Friday, May 31, 2013

Petted Miniature Donkey and Tiny Shetland Pony - Out in the Country

They've also:
-gone swimming (Molly's 1st time)
-ridden a 4 wheeler with an adult driving
-played on a small inflatable water slide
-seen miniature donkey and tiny pony
-played putt-putt golf
-eaten homemade fried rice that I cooked
-had friends over for Sunday dinner
-nestled with 2 of our dogs in the bed all night
-gone with me to work with mentally challenged young adults
-sung in the kids' choir yearly performance

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kristen - Sister of KoKo, daughter of KK, and Helper Extraordinaire (just like the rest of her family)
Molly's Birthday Card from Travel Buddy - Kourtney (a.k.a. KoKo)
Our friend, Rocky, the Head Porter at our hotel in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia - the one who learned to speak English with a British accent!

So This is How the Conversations Go...

Conversation with Child:
We're riding along in the car - the one that slightly resembles Fred Flintstone's -- and I hear Emily saying:

"Mom. Molly says she's not gonna get married."

Molly looks at Emily perplexingly - not absolutely sure what is being said.

I said, "Fine. She can stay at home and live with her mother forever."

Emily says, "Yeah, but if she does get married...THE GUY can cut the grass. No woman will be cutting the grass."

Bless her darlin' heart. She's seen ME cut the grass for the past several years, weed eat, blow off the debris. You know. The usual yard work.
I think I'll agree with her about "no woman will be cutting the grass".
Maybe I could draw up a contract stating that fact and sign it with a sharp fingernail dipped in blood.
Sounds good to me.

Ah. Kids.

Conversation at Church about a Child:
I was chatting with a lady at Wednesday night church and prayer meeting a while back, and as she walked off I said, " have a small child attached your leg." (her grandson)
She said, "I know, but it's better than having a tick stuck there."

Conversation with Chum:
THEN there are my friends who merely have the intellect of a child.
I won't name names, but hers starts with M-a-r and ends with l-e-n-e.
She and Donna went to a small town theater to see a play, and the story was based on Sherlock Holmes. Marlene (oops...slipped and typed her name) is somewhat re-telling and/or summarizing the plot and then comments, " was a little on the dark side because Wilson thinks he's killed Sherlock Holmes."
I said, "HUH? Wilson?"
Mar..(.oh that's right...I'm not mentioning her real name.)
Anonymous friend states, "Yeah. His sidekick Wilson thinks he accidentally killed Mr. Holmes."
(Strategic eye rolling by me) "Uhm. Do you by any chance mean W-A-T-S-O-N? As in 'Elementary my dear Watson?' "
Mar/Anonymous friend: "Ooooooooh. Yeah. That's right. Watson."

I must protect the identification of said anonymous friend who is - sometimes - a blonde. Literally.
Shades of Miss Clairol run deep in her family history.
Why stay on her good side? Because she has done sooooooooooo much for my family. OMG!

But she is a hoot.
She'll send me a text, goof up a word, and say, "I wish I had spell check for my fingers."

She IS the friend who supplied me with 10 pair of Dixie Bell pant-a-looms for my trip to China. I just could not take a chance that the TSA officials would check my suitcases (which they did - both coming and going) and have them come upon the 15 stuffed-animal Mongolian camels that I bought AND my "past due needed' drawers.
Back in Feb. and March I was packing, planning, preparing for my U.S. departure to fetch Miss Molly, but it seems I could not find 'unders' that worked for my body.
No Victoria's Secret for me.
Anyhoo - Victoria ain't got too many secrets left these days. Uh Hum.

Mar, I mean anonymous friend, is the Queen of Connections. She knows where to shop, where to find things, and she scouted out 10 pair of the silky undies for me to pack for my trip.
I know what you're thinking.
"Weren't you gone for about 15 days? What about the other 5?"
Remember: I was on a plane or sitting in an airport going over and coming back - for a total of about 4 days. I didn't even brush my teeth for probably 83 1/2 hours of travel time.
I actually had a few at the house that worked fine. I was not totally depleted.
But a friend in need (was I) and a friend indeed (was she).

I know.
One shouldn't talk about such things as underwear..
But I do it anyway.

She (pronoun reference to anonymous friend) also found me some great black shirts, winter coat (donated it in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia), and approximately 15 neon green bandannas (tied on EVERY piece of luggage or backpack that we carried to China) that SCREAMED LOUDLY, "This is YOURS, Vicki. Do NOT set it down, forget it, or leave it somewhere."
They worked great. Job well done.

Thanks anonymous friend for all you've done and continue to do.
We love ya.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Emily and Her American Girl Doll

Molly with Her American Girl Doll

Magnetic Mosaics for Molly's Mind

Again...since language is limited, I give Molly a host of alternative activities. These are magnetic geometric shapes. She followed an example in the booklet and managed to complete the full design. You go girl!
And yes. That is my classroom in the background.

Look at What's Written on the Dogs' Foreheads

Emily did this to one of her little school folders: wrote Molly and Emily on the poochies heads. Sooooo sweeeeet.

This morning in the car Miss Em was leaning over and draping herself across Molly saying, "C'mon Molly. Smile. Smile Molly."
Then she said the cutest thing EVAH.
Emily said, "C'mon Molly. Get your dimples out!"

Em, Molly, and KK Makin' My Mother's Day Treasures

My Mother's Day Loot - Handmade Origami and Beadie Pals

Dressed Them Up "Like Little Monkeys" in Matching Outfits

Isabella Rose the Rescue Dog - Belongs to Ayi Cookie

Southern Girls and Vanilla Ice Cream at 50 y/o Ice Cream Stand

The Girls' Mother's Day Card to Nanny Carol

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We have a car, 3 dogs, 24 appliances, a checking account --- but not a sharp pencil in the house!!

Makin' Her Way Through Heidi - in Chinese!

It must be like cool water on a hot day for Miss Molly to read "her level" book in her native language. I sit and listen attentively as she reads aloud to me or to Nanny Carol. She sits erect and proud and just whizzes through the Chinese characters in print.
She and Emily watched the movie Heidi - VHS tape - last week.
I tell ya.
I thought it'd be good for Molly to make text connections with some English and hopefully enjoy the story visually. She did like it. She got excited -- antsy -- at the parts of the plot where any normal little girl would feel those emotions. So glad she is enjoying the story.

Pollyanna and The Little Princess will be arriving soon - in Chinese. These are some BIG ole honkin books - I reckon unabridged versions.
I've ordered the English companions for Emily. She wants to read these thick chapter books, too, just like her sister.
Ah....don't cha just love a good influence!

My Baby is a Picker and a Grin-er!

Ok. So the photo is not the best...those bright stage lights and my camera just don't always seem to mesh.
No worries.
Miss Emily had her end of the year school/district-wide strings concert.
It was not Tchaikovsky's Concerto. She's not there yet.
Nope. She serenaded us with these songs: Boil Them Cabbage, It's the Blues...Man, and Old McDonald.
(I'm laughing my head off at these funny songs.)

I told her that whatever she played, however, she played...just to glorify the Lord.
I even referenced the Bible scripture that teaches us to do just that in EVERYthing we do.
"When you do your homework, when you do your classwork at school, as you help your sister, or even as you're taking a bath."
She responded, "HOW do I glorify the Lord when I'm taking a bath?"
I said, " just swish around and thank the Lord for the nice warm water, in a nice semi-clean tub, and a healthy body to bathe, and sweet smellin' soap to use..."

I picked at her (pun intended - That's for you, Koko!) and told her to boil that cabbage to the glory of God.
Hee. Hee.

So, Nanny Carol, Molly, and I were captive audiences for Miss Emily's performance that evening.

Em's group was dead last to perform, and needless to say s-o-m-e families left after their child's performance.
Mom and I looked at a few of them close by and jokingly told them, "Aw. Naw. You can't leave. You've gotta stay and hear MY baby perform. I sat and listened to YOUR baby. Now you've gotta listen to mine." We were all laughing!! Kidding around.

One mom said her daughter is still a novice, too, at the violin. She said her daughter would be playing a tune in the house (a.k.a. screeching type sounds - somewhat indiscernible) and come up to her and ask, " you know THIS song?"
Mom's strategic reply, "I do, but I forgot the name of that song. Refresh my memory."

Good save!!

It was a stellar evening!

Friends Over at Mom's House a Few Days Back

I've had the opportunity to be a part of a group -- one that "adopts" international students who come to the US to study at a local university. The girl in the background, Annie - as we call her, is my "match". We've gotten together about 4 or 5 times since last fall. We've gone to a church musical, been to eat authentic Chinese cuisine, visited Nanny Carol to "ooooh and aaaaah" over her Christmas tree, emailed, sent text messages, wished holiday greetings, and just gotten to know each other better and better. I always encouraged her to bring a friend with her. The sweet co-ed to the far right is one friend who joined us for our last get together. Jane and Anna came by and joined us for dinner.
It's been a JOY to connect with students from college and hopefully allow them to get a small feel of family life in America. Both have returned to China, but we all plan to stay in touch. They're soooo very precious!

Two Girls. One Bed.

Emily is the snoozer on the left, and Miss Molly is the "out to the world" chickadee on the right. They've jumped ship from their room and take-n-up sleepin' in the guest room - TOGETHER. Mercy me. Makes my heart go pitter pat!

Happy Birthday, Molly!

More on this later. We'll plan a girl party some time this summer - and maybe combine it with Emily's b'day, too. We're not tryin' to garner lots of gifts, but I do want them to be celebrated for their special days...especially since I missed their early b'days in life. Sniff.
Geesh. Just think of the humdinger goodie bags I'll have to distribute after that party! Won't it be fun?

Tangrams for the Twins

It's pretty funny. Lots of folks think "the girls" look like TWINS. Honestly...I don't think so, and especially not in a picture like this one. All that to say....I DO understand how/why some people might think this. On Sunday, Mother's Day, I'm gonna dress 'em both up like little monkeys in matching dresses with a lovely (there's my word) ever so stylish sweater colored of periwinkle. So there! Surely they'll look like twins - won't they?