Monday, August 31, 2015

Ironing Wax Paper Leaf Collection

Emily's science assignment- leaves.
Lots of varieties were placed in between wax paper.
We covered the wax paper with a pink pillowcase.
All placed atop cardboard from a box Emily disassembled -
Retrieved from Nanny Carol's garage.

Know why there are no follow up pics?

Cuz the iron died.

Or maybe it's been dead for a long time and I just didn't know it.

Because I don't USE it.

I feel certain there was a Republican president serving our country when it was last plugged in.

Anyhoo - it did heat up.
The light came on.
I'm not a dummy.
I do know how to use one.

Feel kinda silly that we all took turns ironing, me helping Mary - explaining all the safety facets of our endeavor.
She'd never seen an iron before.

Gonna be a long time until she sees one again.

Naw - I'll borrow one and we'll finish our little project.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The girls help me wash, chop, and prepare meals at the group home where I've worked on some weekends...

For 22-ish years.

They love the way I season with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms -
But I'm definitely the onion chopper in this group.

I'm putting a Pampered Chef onion chopper on my Christmas list. 

Mary is using a plain ole dinner-type knife.

So - today we took the house residents  shopping, swimming, and ate ice cream at the end of the day.

Found a Peanut. Found a Peanut. Found a Peanut Just Now.....

Friday, August 28, 2015

Savoring Swim Time - Soon Will Be No More

....or at least not until next summer
- unless we find an indoor pool
- we'll be looking!

In the pic above, the girls are COLD.
The temps have been a tad lower,
And the water is not warm...

Until they dunk underneath.
Then - they adjust.

I forgot my swim clothes.

Leaving school to come to weekend job
I run home to snatch
- 2/3 of the kiddie posse cuz I have 1/3 with me (Mary)
- 2/3 of the dogs (yes...Peanut and Chase come)
- 4 bags of some sort that hold clothes, books, blow dryer, Sunday clothes (but obviously not swim clothes)
- another bag that holds my small Mr. Coffee pot, Coffee Mate, stevia, coffee filters, and Community Dark Roast coffee, dog leashes, dog food, makeup
** Rats! Forgot my hairspray!
- bag that holds Molly and Emily's school work that I need to check, help explain, and books to read

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Children's Book

What a great door decoration for Mary's class!!!

Mary's artwork on the wall...

The popular book

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Finished Documenting Summer Reading Journal

We're turning in a log for 100 books.
It's really a larger number.
Many of these books were read repeatedly at Mary's request.
We, of course, only noted them 1 time.

We accommodated her wishes.

We read for pleasure 
To learn about Gods great big world
To be awed by what authors have to say
To touch and feel the animals in books that have fabric or cotton characters 
To re-visit old friends
And make new ones
To learn famous stories from the Bible
And how "Lucky Duck" emphasizes short 'u' sounds

Mary had to draw pictures 
Copy words 
Cut and Paste
To show (prove) that she did indeed participate in reading experiences with these books

We all read to her
Board Books
Library loans
Most from our own home collection 
Several given to her via Janice - ESL teacher
Some books were cassette stories (cuz I love an audio cassette player - Case closed.)
A few were CD's

A couple were played on her special audio device from the Library for the Visually Impaired - little tape looking objects that - when inserted - become Talking Books (I'll take a good book any way I can get it and in any mode!) 

It was s concerted effort to sorta "scrapbook" the reading journal...
But as Sweet Betsy, mom to daughter from Kunming (where Mary is from) says, "Done is good."


Dumplin and Peanut

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Coppin-a-Squat: DVD Time

Wrong season - Springtime Surprises
But I'm not one to care about that.

I borrowed this DVD from the school library - it and a DVD with Shelly Duval hosting bedtime stories.

Emily said she watched those when she was younger.
She said she saw some of these stories with her school librarian, Martha K.
Dear, Precious, Unselfish Martha & her hubby. (They are the cutest couple.)

She stopped by a few weeks ago to grace us with her adorable smile, the sweetest card, and a gift card for the girls to go shopping. 
I'm beyond blessed to have friends like I do.
Oh how we love her and her family.

Molly and Emily are sweet to sit with Mary and watch these stories with her.
I believe the older girls tend to enjoy doing so.

A mom of 7 whom I admire to the ends of the earth told me that having Mary here in our family will actually "keep Emily and Molly younger for a longer period of time".
I easily grasp how this is so.

Molly missed out on family time as a young girl -- and it's almost like she's in "make up for lost time" mode.

However, she's mature, keen, and wise.

We'll soon be celebrating Emily's 7th Gotcha Day.
Oh my. 
Where did that time go.
She will now have lived longer in our family as a U.S. Citizen
Than she did in China.

Emily loves for me to tell her about the early days of her arriving to America.
She often asks, "Was I little like Mary?"
"Did I act like Mary."
Nope. Different personalities.

Last night at the dinner table Molly told us stories of her younger years in China.

Today - for the first time Mary asked me to tell her about our time together in China.

Children want to know the stories of their lives.
Of how they've been loved
Watched over 
Cried over
Prayed for 

"Red and yellow black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world."

-- even when they're grown, working hard, retired, in school, caring for others, volunteering, and living life to the best of their abilities 

Swaddled Olaf

One of Mary's do-ings

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Lion and the Mouse

Oh how I love this mouse!
She's been drawing these for a while.

Mary, that is.

Can't wait to see how it changes when she realizes Mickey needs 2 more legs!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Alternating Red/Yellow in Discs of Two

It's really a Connect 4 game, but she liked doing this.


Ya know I love 'em!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cleaned. Rested. Played.

Gorgeous location 
Lovely  evening

Mary in photo
Sisters way ahead up the bike trail

We rode around the large parking area.
Don't wanna go deeply into the wooded area unless lots of folks are out.

Look at Molly whizzin by!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tactile Tangrams

This learning-thinking resource is something I ordered for Mary via the Exceptional Ed dept in our school district.
They paid for them.
Mary does have an IEP providing her the accommodations necessary to assist her in learning.

Let's order nifty items!!
Here are the tactile Tangrams.
Completing the patterns and designs are not easy. 

It's a "stick to it until you get it" type activity - for ANY person
Any age.

These templates have raised edges and Braille.
Mary doesn't need Braille, but the raised, blackened edges sure do make it all more defined.
It's blank inside the design.
No hints. Nuthin'

I let Mary look at the answer sheet below as she handled the 7 Tangrams pieces, manipulating them (flipping and rotating them).

Good brain connections - understanding how geometric shapes relate to one another in designs.
Figuring it all out.

As she develops in her thinking skills I'll provide less assistance -- thru the years.

Take those black lines out from everywhere but the border of the picture and you'll see how challenging these can be.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Kissing Hand - A Children's Book

Mary colored this little sheet and cut out/glued the heart in the middle.

It's a sweet, sweet story of how a little raccoon knows she'll miss her mother when she goes to school.

The mama raccoon kisses the wee one's palm to serve as a reminder the kiss will be there when mama is not.

Thus - the kissing hand.

Mary said she left the raccoon's eyes white. 
Good idea.

She's having a great 1st week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

1st Day of School. Goodbye, Summer. We'll Miss You! Sniff.

Gnawing a chicken bone - cartilage and all

Helping Joshua put his shoes on

Friday, August 7, 2015

Paint Color Cards Turned Into Flowers, Butterfly, and Ladybug

Emily's flowers and bugs are created from paint card samples.
I hope Lowe's can forgive us.

Actually I think I AM the one who got these with a five finger discount.


This is Mary's picture.
She has one precious little flower made from the paint color cards.

She's learning by example - in more ways than this.
Quite the little art-test, huh?

She's leaving the "Airplane Phase" of drawing.
EVERY picture she's drawn for 3 months has had an airplane in it.
Over a bunny's head.
Above a steeple.
Beside a carrot.

I'm not sure about her source of inspiration on all that.

While these 2 were creating, Molly was out and about mastering bike riding 101!

Mary's Artistic Rendition of Our Family

Big sister told her how to spell all the names, but the creativity is all Mary's.

I'm boxy but slender.
Hmmmmm. Christmas card!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

She Sleeps

-holding the bear I sent to her in China

You are correct.
The lovely blue fitted sheet 
Cheetah inspired top sheet do not match.

The top sheet is part of a set I had -
Teacher friend gave me
When she downsized.

Translate: Got a big ole southern "Dee-Vorce".

The top sheet is a Ralph Lauren brand and feels like sweet butter to my skin.

I {heart} it.

The fitted sheet that went with it ripped and then ripped some more.

I kept the top and use it still.
Reckon I should get a tan Queensize fitted sheet so as not to look so - well - tacky.

It is.
But Mary and Bear don't care.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bikes and Trikes

Em and Molly did not have bicycles - until today.
Emily has probably not been considered a big bike rider even tho she loved learning how to ride--- and has wanted one. can she be experienced if she doesn't have a bike?
She does know how to ride one, but has not had tons of experience on one.

Molly has never ridden a bike - and will need to work hard on balance, movement, strength to control a bicycle.

Her challenges are sorta what's kept us on hold.

Now that can change.

The girls got bikes.
We'd done the Walmart, sporting goods stores, online looking - but there were so many aspects to consider to adapt to Molly's physical need.

I finally decided we needed a top notch
bike professional input - at a for real bicycle store.
We got it.

I even called the day before and sought out the guy who'd be best for us to consult with considering our unique situation.
Then I made an appointment.

Molly needs her feet on the ground because of her leg/foot challenges.
That means a low bike - 24" with adjustable seat (which is technically  too low for a child her age).
She also needs fat tires.

She needs a training type wheel (1) to assist her on her left side.
Ain't got dat.

As far as we know, stores don't have adaptations like this for any bike over 20".
I'll have to search options via special needs websites.

See all the factors that have held us up?!

These bikes cost more than the standard or low end ones, but I'm comfortable that these will do for now.

Molly spent today just "walking....coasting a little" on the bike.
You can imagine the sensory overload at her age having never been through the training wheels stage.
I told her it would take time, and she is one determined young lady.

Everybody wears helmets.
Em and Molly were taught how to wear there's, adjust straps, and turn tension knob.

So - loads of fun times riding and learning to ride a bicycle.

The circle of life.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Berenstain Bears and Tim Hawkins

The girls are watching comedy clips of Tim Hawkins - a Christian stand up goofball.
Cracks us up!
He is off the chain.

Search him out on God Tube or You Tube.
You might better put on your Depends.
His routines are full throttle funny!

Miss Mary is all cozied up in a chair watching Berenstsin Bears -
And later it was Caillou.
Then the next all time fave - Mister Rogers!!

Looooove him.