Friday, May 30, 2014

Making Cookies with Molly's Former Teacher

This precious friend - who is very Audrey Hepburn-ish - invited us into her home to bake cookies and visit. 
After I made the movie star connection with her - she told me her first name is - drum roll - Audrey.
I know her as Jane.
I tell her she's my favorite Democrat!

She even bought us little bottles of soft drinks.
You know.
The expensive ones that are soooo cute!

We had a lovely time in her 1930's home with vintage family furniture - all hodge podge and right up my alley.

She's so unpretentious and real.
Proper but practical.

Jeepers.
This was a dream field trip for sure.

Maybe my whole life is just one big field trip. So fun to have a variety of friends & family with experiences to share.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Workin' on Dem Cooking Skills

Molly is in this top photo cooking pancakes on the left side of the stove.
Emily has another Teflon FREE skillet on the right side of the stove - cooking the exact same meal as Molly.

Pancakes that they measured, mixed , and made under my tutelage. 

Spell check had to correct the last word in the paragraph above.
I was waxing British and felt like using that word.
Tutelage.
Spelled it wrong , though.
Oh my.
Clutch the pearls.

Got the skillets - frying pans - whatever you wanna call them for Christmas from my mom.
Skillets is definitely not a Brutish word.
Country-fied at best.

Chunked all the Teflon, etc. in zee garbage. Not good for us.
I heard Teflon was gonna be banned in the near future.

Look how fancy shmancy the girls are dressed up for Saturday morning breakfast. Lacey sleeved tops - alike but differing shades of blue/green.

I'm working to teach them the life skills they need to run and maintain a household.
Better than how I run and maintain one.
Hey.
At least I can now spell tutelage.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Liberty Kids


Captive Treasure



Ahhh...The Books We've Been Reading at Bedtime

Or maybe I better say, the books I'VE been reading at bedtime.
Not my bedtime.
Emily and Molly's bedtime.
Which technically IS MY bedtime, too.

It's not unusual for me to begin a yawning session right about the time I start up on the current bedtime story.

I'd gotten OUT of the habit, shall I say, of reading to the girls at night.
I picked it up again several months ago.

Seems that when Molly came home from China - back around last April until around November - well...
#1. She couldn't understand what I was reading, and she was tired, tired of having to listen to English all day, every day - and not comprehend what was being spoken.
#2. Emily usually wanted me to read something at HER level - not at a beginner level...which Molly needed.
#3. I was not sure about how to read to Molly at HER developmental level (high) but language level (low...at the time...not so much now) and still appease Emily.
#4. I had gotten a tad weary of dancing around the whole bedtime hugging, kissing scenario because it seems like either one or the other of the girls got their feelings hurt.

It appeared I'd hug one a bit longer than the other. Emily would hang on to me for dear life as if someone was stealing her mother. Molly would notice all this and wonder where she fit in with the whole scheme of relational dynamics, yet Molly was older and I needed to not just 'force' affection on her, yadda, yadda, yadda.

ALL NORMAL in the international adoption process of adjustment with older children.

Well, maybe there was/is a #5.
So -
#5. I was worn slap out by the end of those days.
Translating.
Teaching.
Mediating.
Adjusting.
Discussing.
Mediating some more.
Explaining.

I just wanted to go to bed, and I wanted everyone in the house to go to bed, too.
So there.

BUT - we've been back on the nightly read aloud train for a good while now.
Molly is holding the book Sound Friendships (in photo below).
Gosh. They LOVED this book. It's about a little girl who becomes deaf and how she grows up and learns to use a hearing guide dog.

We just finished Ruth: Woman of Courage.
It's actually a younger child's book about the Bible story, but the girls loved that I read it to them out loud.

We've read Captive Treasure.
This book is about Carrie - the daughter of a missionary - who is taken captive by some Cheyenne warriors and taken to live in the camp with other women and children.
Carrie has to rely on the Word in her heart to keep her fearless and calm through the time that she is away from her family. She is returned safe and sound, though.

And now...we're reading Her Own Way.
It's the story of Lottie Moon.
If you have 1/100th of a drop of southern Baptist blood in you, then you KNOW who Lottie Moon is.
For all my Methodist, Catholic, and Episcopalian friends...you're gettin' ready to find out.
She was a headstrong little girl who grew up to later live in China and serve the people there - while as a missionary.

You might say there's a pattern in our choices of nightly reading books.
Bingo.
Girls.
Strong, brave girls who are spirited and of good character.
Girls with challenges and obstacles.
Girls who look to their Heavenly Father to help them become all that He meant for them to be.

There are some really good guy character books on the horizon, and we've been all about George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, and other notable male figures in the development of America.
And yes. We read LOTS of non-fiction, and I'm ALL for letting the girls make their reading choices.

The girls have been watching the dvd series Liberty Kids.
It's 3 kids, Sarah, Henry, and some other fella, who are journalists reporting events of the Revolutionary Era.
It's an animated series, and quite frankly - I thought it'd be a hard sell after watching reality tv/dvds (The Duggars: 19 Kids and Counting), but Emily and Molly watched all 40 episodes of Liberty Kids and are now RE-watching them.
I keep telling them, "Oh yeah. You'll see THAT again someday in a history lesson."

So - good quality dvds and books bought 2nd hand/used or checked out from the library....we are lovin' it all!!

Sound Friendships


Monday, May 19, 2014

"No. You may not have popcorn for breakfast."


My response to Emily's questioning this morning.

Blurry Pics of Both Girls on the Big Screen at Church

Children's Musical at Church

I left my video cam at home and had to rely on less than quality/hijacked photos.

This was the last projected pic of the evening on the jumbo screen at church.
I snapped a photo fast!!

Choreography...
Emily did the boogaloo motions with pep.
Molly - she got 'em done.
Conservatively.
Dutifully.
Not boogaloo-ey-ish-y.

Last year at choir performance time, Molly no speaka da English.
We told her to say, "Watermelon. Watermelon."

This year - she was on the money.
A good bit.
Progressing well.

Aren't they sweet?
Em in red.
Molly Moo in yellow.
Smiles on their faces.




Saturday, May 17, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Symphony Concert Out Near the Water

Wonderful evening together

Thursday, May 15, 2014

They Took the Pepsi Challenge

...and both chose Coke!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This is a Pic of Emily at her Kindergarten Promotion.

Next Week - 5th Grade Promotion.
Sniff.
More pictures to come AFTER the big event next on 5/23/14.
And the teacher in the picture with her - Suzanne - Super Teacher Extraordinaire.
She's retiring next week.
So is KK - my co-worker of a gazillion years and travel buddy to China (to adopt Molly).
Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes...
But it'll all be good!

State Testing at School and We're Soon Gonna Wrap It Up

Ah.
State Testing.
Just makes my heart go pitter patter.

Uhm. No.

But - it's necessary. Required - so might as well have a good attitude about it all.

The girls have worked diligently to prepare in Language Arts, Writing, and Mathematics.

Molly had to do homework assignments a week or so ago where she had to choose the best examples of sentences re-written using vivid language. She does famously well on these sample test bank items - considering she's only been here one big fat year.

We had to laugh at her, tho', the other night. She actually chose an answer that sorta went backwards in vividity (interesting/specific word choices).
Vividity.
Is that word?
I think I'll use it whether it is or not.
I like it.

The sentence was about "an eagle" blah, blah, blah.
Ex. The eagle flew over the mountains.
The handy-dandy sample test item writers want her to choose something along the line of:
The bald eagle soared mightily and wistfully over the jagged peaks of rock that reached into the clouds.
You get the drift.
BUT...there will 2 answer choices that are very similar. One must think critically.

She went in the wrong direction and chose an answer that removed "eagle" and used the noun "bird" as a replacement.

I said, "Giiiiiirrrrrrlllll....wrong way, sista."
The fluffier sounding the sentence...that's likely gonna be the correct answer.

We giggled and made much fun of her - all in jest.
She usually doesn't make those kind of errors.
She's still working on subject verb agreement but can sure enough find the present perfect verb.

Ok. So we Googled it to make sure we were both right.

Emily was next to last to finish one portion of the test (yesterday). GOOD.
I've really tried to teach her thru the years to be slow and deliberate in her thinking.

The 3 of us have prayed and agreed they'd 'exceed all expectations'.
That's our confession.
We're stickin' with it.

Now. Here's the big question: Is the use of "have prayed" in the sentence above in the present perfect tense? Yes? No?
If you're not sure, go ask Molly.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Em and Natalie - Both Baptized




Thanks for Being There, Dear Friend - Anne


Fire, No Fire, Fire...Blowin' Out Pics

Do you love the cake ?
It's what the bday girl ordered.
Plain yellow cake with chocolate icing.
And ice cream.

I mean - Betty Crocker in a  9x11 well used cake pan. Dents and all.
Does.It.Get.Any.Better.Than.That?
Gospel truth - nope.

This was a family bday gathering with 2 close families.
Good friends.
More like treasured friends.

BUT we want and Molly wants to celebrate with her Cultural School friends and their moms...MORE treasured acquaintances. 
It'll be in June or July. 
We'll think of some kind of party to have.
Maybe an early 4th of July cookout and bday celebration.
Sounds fun to me.

I better start dustin' now.



Party Pics A La Kourtney

Oodles of Noodles Dinner
Cooked by Jeffu
Small family/friend gathering



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Emily was Baptized This Morning Along with Some Other Family Friends

On this morning 6 years ago...I was accepting Emily's referral from China.

Hmmmm....Red Threads? Divine Connections? All of the above!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Boney Biker in the Background was Too Funny

And my girls riding stationary bikes ...at a museum - having fun
And for FREE might I add.
Both girls won museum passes for themselves and me - for having their homework all the time and not getting in any trouble at school.

I wonder if they could win a Honda Odyssey for bringing in exta credit?
Heaven knows we need one!!

I am sooo blessed.

Back to the museum...The girls are 
obviously in the area that teaches children about healthy lifestyles 
Exercise 
Wearing a helmet when biking 

I won't mention the sound effects that are heard as kids crawl through a 
gi-normous version of a human's intestinal tract.
I heard it loud and clear...then turned around and asked the girls, "Did your uncles come back to town just now?!"

The skeleton in the picture is cracking me up!

One time a little student of mine told me a joke.
"Ya know why the skeleton didn't go to the prom?
He had No Body to dance with."

I thought it was hilarious, but then again - I am easily amused.

Out and About


Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Girls Meeting an NFL Football Player

He plays for the New Orleans Saints - Pierre Thomas.
I had to teach the girls how to say,  "Who Dat?!"

Em and Molly at Exploration Museum