Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Emily peeled the foil lid off a portable peanut butter container.
She said , "Look mom at the smiley face."
It was just formed underneath - all by its little self.
Cute, huh?
Of course. 
I took a picture.

10:30 p.m. - Up grading papers

...and pickin' my teeth with a Post-It note.

Gee.

It's past my bedtime!

Went to a Farmer's Market this evening.
Visited with Anne and Jimmy -
And the girls devoured their Warrior Cookies and good ole southern Boiled Peanuts that they made and were selling.
Shared with mom.

Oh. Oh. Oh. 
And Anne's cucumber pickles.

Went to the Apple Store, too.
1st time EVAH.
Phone went nutty and had to be whipped back into line.
Did not KNOW the 75 people mingling about the Apple store had made reservations/appointments.

I was a goober who seriously needed the contacts back on my phone.
Got all kinds of business to attend to...and it's tough when I cannot retrieve names and numbers stored in that dawg gone iPhone.

Doctors offices trying to reach me for appts.
Physical therapists attempting to work out scheduling ( or not - grrrrrrr).
Teachers I need to talk with or text about meetings and paperwork.

You name it.
We are phone dependent when it comes to reaching our impt contacts.
Forget phone books .

But I had no reservation and would need to come/go back tomorrow.

I teared up amongst all my new Apple Store acquaintances.
I put my sunglasses on IN the store cuz I was leaking tears.
The guy felt sorry for me and said all I really needed was the tech-repairer.
He called a techno guru over to fix my problem, and I was all taken care of.

So - that Apple Tech and I are now exchanging Christmas cards.
Signed us all up for a class on how to use iPads - at my new friend's suggestion.
FREE class.
By reservation only... In a few weeks.
Good teaching/ learning.
Why NOT get a one on one tutorial session with an expert?!?
But again - we are not Internet connected at home.

We're gonna sign up for the iCloud session if we get a chance.

Heaven knows we need it .
Pun intended !!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Andre. Andre. Andre.

Oh. Where do you begin to describe someone like our friend Andre - Mrs. Cindy's grandson?

We had the super duper pleasure of traveling about the south and meeting up with Cindy, Chuck, and Andre in several states, several cities, all to have fun and take care of some necessary medical appointments for Miss Molly.

Andre was waiting on us with Monopoly dice in hand.
To tromp us all in his strategic thinking of what to buy, what to snatch up, what to steal, and what to auction off.
Don't make him the banker. He gets 'loot happy.'

Emily and Molly gladly took him on as a competitive - yet friendly - game player with whom they must deal. I'm telling you these kiddos stayed up til 1:00 in the morning playing Monopoly Empire.
Quick. Fast action.
Lots of surprises.
Different from the old timey Monopoly.

With as MUCH as I love the old days, old games, etc., I DO believe we've given up the ghost on the original Monopoly. It just takes tooooo long. Seems the newer versions bump it up several notches. The cards in the drawing piles present opportunities for twists, takeovers, and turns in the game.

Well, Andre -- being the teacher extraordinaire that he is - taught us all how to effectively play the Empire version AND eat calamari. Well, not me on the squid...but the girls - yes. Ick.
He'd accompany us on night strolls to the beach to get buried in the sand.
He was constantly hiding my flip flops albeit he denied it every time.
This fella can whip out cards tricks faster than our friend Donna can order products on QVC.
No lie.

Master A is just an all round super duper guy - who underneath all the silliness and brilliance - is so caring and compassionate.
He read on the blog where the girls had a laptop to do school work and one dvd player.
Know what he did?
He gave the girls his old Chrome Book when he got a new laptop.
HOW nice is that?
Seriously.

We sooo appreciate Andre, his family, and his friendship. This was a wonderful summer, and he was part of the reason why.
He's a permanent fixture on our prayer list of friends - trusting that as he grows - he will unfold each and every blessing that the Lord has prepared for him in the days ahead.

Hey Andre (a.k.a. Shady Spadey). If you're reading this now....I'm STILL looking for my flip flops!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Homework - But Not At Our House


Seeee. We ARE learning to be tech savvy.
Laptop and Spelling words.
iPad and Vocabulary. That thing looks lit up " like a house afire in the photo below."

Again - no Internet at home.
But we're not at home. I'm working for the weekend as a group home "house mom."
Been doing this for probably over 20 years.

THEY have Internet there.
SO I log the girls onto WiFi -
and they check on the Duggars. 
Wow. Big news there, huh?
Baby on the way for Jill & Derrick.
Another wedding - Jessa and Ben.
Emily and Molly have enjoyed keeping track of the news in the Duggar family....ever since we met them all face to face last March. What positive role models. Me oh my.
Modesty.
Kindness.
Faith.
Family.
 
My girls will sometimes go to the American Girl site.
MOSTLY - it's Pinterest. They LOVE (as do I) getting "dream pictures" and saving them.
-- how they'd like to decorate a room
-- what craft they'd like to make someday
-- what house they want to live in
-- what recipe they might try soon
I tell them in reference to Pinterest, "It goes on forever, so you gotta stop looking sometime."
 
I'm with them.
Overseeing.


Emily's working on root words with. "Auto " as in autonomous and autoimmune. (Latin root words)
Molly's list consists of words centered around the theme of "home ." 
Example: premises and tenant.
(So is that 2 n's or 1 in tenant?!)

Hey.
Off to a great first week of homeschooling.
Now instead of teaching them concepts OF their homework every night, I'm grading it all - and quizzes, and comprehension checks, and tests. 
Much easier.
Time consuming still.... But easier.
Great for them.

So - I get my pink ballpoint pen out and make smiley faces, write notes, and make corrections/suggestions:
-- let's line up those numbers when multiplying
-- love your original and creative sentences
-- place checked pages on the right side of your folder
You know. All the "teacher" sayings.
 
But I've been writing all this at 10:00 p.m.
When they're in bed.
Hmmmmmmm.
GOT to adjust that schedule.

We'll get the hang of it all.
My goal is to check daily work at 8:45.
Then put my own self in bed at some point soon after.
Along with 2 of 3 dogs who hog my space each night -- Chase (the pillow case licker and Peanut.
Skipper Dee, with no eyes, sleeps snugly in his large kennel.
He might fall off the bed during the night time since he cannot see. At All.

Been really busy - but it's ALL wonderful.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Molly's Original Writing

Tough for ESL kiddos to compose original writing....meeting specifi criteria of the English language. 

I think it's the toughest 'domain' to conquer.

Molly's sentences - on today's homework - are well written. 

Here's an absolutely perfect one:
"We have a playground near our house.
Not the norm for many ELLs.
Molly reads a lot.
I read to her.
She...
Listens to English.
Sings songs in it.
Chats.
Has fun learning experiences - interacting in English.
Has had a wonderful ESL teacher/family friend.
Has had fab teachers.
She listens to books on tape/cd.
She interacts with family members who speak English - albeit not the King's.
She watches movies/DVDs.
She had a sound education in her native language - in China where a study ethic has been imparted.
She reads well in Chinese.
She's motivated.
She enjoys learning. 
She wants to please.
We claim the blessing of God over her life and Emily's...that they exceed all expectations!
Amen.

Here's another sentence in the very same homework assignment with traces of Chinglish:
"in a rainy day, I saw everybody is wear their raincoat."

-- no capital I in In - 1st word in sentence 
-- switching verb tense
-- more normal than not for a child who has only been in the US almost a year and a half 

Geesh. WHERE did that time go?!? 

I cannot fathom that I'm typing 1 1/2 years. Oh my.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day Trip around the South - with Valedictorian Justin

I love this fella.
He's a nut.
Smart as a whip.

He was 5th  grade valedictorian .
Emily was salutatorian.
They differed in overall averages by 8/10 of a point.

Emily picks on him mercilessly.

His mom and I had made arrangements to have him join us on a learning excursion.

They ALL got Jr. Ranger badges that day - pertaining to history.
Ate bar b q.
Drove for hours.
Licked ice cream cones.
Toured museums and famous dwellings.
Learned some stuff.

We all had a fun, fun time.




At Church Fish Fry


Bowling - at a Friend's Bday Party



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The First Day of School Photo

Well...almost first day.

They'd done a full day the day before 
AND
Completed 2 lessons recently .

They are homeschooling.
It is an answer to prayer .

No I'm not retired.
They're part if a local homeschool co-op and will be at a dear friend's house with her homeschooling kiddos. 
Their mom teaches them.

 My chickadees are enrolled in ABeka Academy - DVD/ online classes.

So...they're loaded and ready to embark on this new journey.
Laptops packed.
Books.
Lunches.
Snacks.
Scheduled break times, play times, fresh air, comraderie, field trips - and super Christisn-based learning.

It's gonna be great!!!

Happy School Year, Sweet Angels!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

EVERY Single Issue of National Geographic



Every one. 
None missing.

Our friend, Mr. Steve is a huge Nat'l Geographic fan - obviously.

Some are reprints, but he pulled out one from 1917.

He was looking for a copy that had a featured article on some family friends of ours...dear, dear folks. (pictures below) The 2 sisters are (1) feeding catfish in their pond - with Emily and Molly and (2) playing Dutch Blitz card game with my girls.

Between Mr. Nat'l Geo Guru & his wifey and my almost Amish friends (who live out in the country in another location).... I have some really nifty friends.


Why are we sitting outside in the blazing summer Sunday heat? 
Cuz our friends do not have electricity - as in no A/C.
No car.
Simple. Simple people...and some of the most devoted and loyal friends we could ever hope to have.
But boy oh boy...did we ever make some special memories that day.

More pics and stories about them - coming soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Uncle Skip "Running His Race"



Oh how he pesters these girls!
They like it.
Sorta. Kinda.
Or as Emily says, "N. O. No."
See how she's trying to escape?!

He tells them he's going to the park to chase girls.
That he wants to kiss some imaginary person named Sarah and/ or Big Bertha.
 
He teases the girls mercilessly.
You know...
the whole "sittin' in a tree/k-i-s-s-i-n-g" 

Naw...it's all in good humor.
He calls them his BBGs = Baby Girls.

Skipper came to town to run a 5k sponsored by a local church - benefitting inner city mission. 
Great cause.

Emily, Molly, and. I volunteered to help out.
Our good buddy Marlene was one of the head honchos over the race.
A BIG event for her, and we wanted to be on Team Marlene - to be of service to her.

Skip did well.
Marlene did a bang up job.
We had a blast helping out.



The girls put the kee kees in this rolling organizer and tootle them all around the house!! Hilarious.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Molly's Pizza Bash - Birthday Party

Happy 13th, Sweetie Pie. We love you so much!!