Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Fun

The Girls Completed Their Needlework Projects

Molly's creation will hold Christmas cards

Emily's needlework is a crayon box container 

K.K. gave them these canvas projects when I was in China.
In November
Of last year
To bring Mary home.

As one of my mottos in life goes:
We WILL get around to it..............

And we did.

The school year is just a tad too full to fit much more in.

The girls had to cut the patterns out of plastic canvas and build while they stitched.

This was no craft in a box.

At points where they actually had questions about what to do next, they figured it all out on their own.

'Das what I'm talkin' 'bout.

They've taken classes at a sewing store - during the summers.
BUT - K.K. taught them sooooo much about sewing, stitching, measuring, needle work - at school in their enrichment class. 

Both Emily and Molly had K.K. and me as their enrichment teachers in the public school they attended.
It was FUN!

K.K. and I taught in the same classroom for years - until she retired a year ago.
She went with me to China to adopt Molly - and her daughter Kourtney came - as well as my Emily.
Like I've written before - 
We were Thelma and Louis on soy sauce.

Anyhoo - the darling projects are completed.
Great learning.
Super accomplishment!

Way to go, girls.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hammerin' and Choppin' - These Girls are Learning Life Skills

...and they are so incredibly helpful
All the time
and even better -- they're glad to help.

This summer we have been waaaay off schedule, 

When we'd get up in the mornings, the girls would hang out and then
prepare breakfast (an assigned job all the time).

The menu likely included one or two of the following:
Chinese soup
Baked turkey bacon (safer than stove top)
Toast with jelly or Nutella type spread
Ezekiel raisin bread with butter
Gluten free muffins 
Scrambled eggs

Then we all would meet to come up with the game plan for the day -
Reading times
Errands to run

We are a team around this home.
Gotta be.
Plus - it's great for character development.

We aim to serve one another.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Don't Know If the Picture is Blurry or If Glass Door is Slobbery Where They've Licked It

Peanut and Chase
2 rescue pups

Peanut was "saved" from being at a breeding kennel in CA. He ended up here in this area and belonged to one of my students (who moved here from CA).
I reckon he's a West Coast boy, 
But I feel sure he's very conservative!

I'd see Peanut in the carpool line after school every day when his family came to get the student.
Well...situations at home (student lived with her grandmother) shifted a little, and they needed to re-home the little fella.

Ta da! My house -- about 8 years ago.
Mercy me. Has it been that long?
He was at least 2 years old then.
I'm not realizing he's as old as he he is. 

Chase - dear baby.
He hails from somewhere in Texas.
Owners took him to Loiusiana on a trip.
Lost him.
Left him.
He got a home - then original owners were found and informed.
They said they were not coming back for him.
New Louisiana owners kept him, but
Chase was later hit by a car.
Big damage to back leg. Big vet bill.
New owners couldn't pay, gave him up, and a Yorkie rescue group took up his cause.
When I saw his picture posted on an animal rescue board, sniff.
He reminded me soooo much of my beloved Rudy - precious baby for nearly 14 years.
Had to have him.

So - these rascals are have been brothers for about 6 years and have had me jumping through hoops since I first laid eyes on them.

Must be on a leash if not in the house or backyard (NOT uncommon - but Rudy never strayed 3 feet from my legs. These 2 would sign up for The Amazing Race and travel the world.)

Have been known to go outside only to return inside and "lift a leg"

Caused me to fortify my backyard fence to the level of Ft. Knox

You get the picture.

8 million times more "trouble" than Rudy ever could have been.
But then again - Rudy was the perfect dog.

Ahhhh...there are those special creatures to care for - who make me fall in love with them to the Nth degree.

In the photo you can see them 
taking a little time outside on the patio before it gets too hot
Then - inside all day
Or should I say in-out-in-out-in-out?
They're silly!
So glad they're part of our family.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Redneck Egg Rolls and a Fun Time Out to Eat

Filled with slaw and meat 
Not Asian at all

Sunday, July 26, 2015

At the Doctor's Office on a Sunday Morning

Had to schedule an appointment at weekend children's medical clinic.

Uhm - up A LOT LAST NIGHT with Miss Mary.
Ice pack wrapped in a towel
Quick bath in cool water
Iced fluids
Children's Ibuprofen

Missed church.

This has sorta been "coming on".

I don't RUN to the doctor but figured I'd better go ahead.

Swollen lymph gland.
She was a trooper.

Gotta go tomorrow to her regular pediatrician for some blood work and follow-up.


How tall?
Not sure.
I remember 37lbs.

We read this Little Golden Book while we waited.

Celebrating Another Friend's Birthday

Happy 12th - Sweet Lily!

This was our sunset view on the way home from the birthday party Saturday night.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Family Night on Friday Nights: This is the Movie Molly and Emily Chose

They'd watched it once and loved it.
I'd not seen it.
So.....Chinese rice and chicken with pink sauce and this movie.
At Nanny Carol's house - and after Andy Griffith.

I do NOT remember Andy and Helen Crump getting married.
And I consider myself somewhat of an aficionado on the topic of this television series from the early 1960's.

I'm gonna have to Google that.
But not tonight.
I'm at 4% on the ole Smartphone and headed for bed.

Great fun!

School Books and Manuals Have Arrived

Molly is unloading all her new books. We bought NEON pink crates to store all of her manuals, quiz books, test booklets, etc. Same for Emily.

Emily has already peeked at her dvd's for the new year.
World History is going to be great. I've heard fab reviews about this teacher -- a man...with a passion for history. Heard he lights a fire in the hearts of students to look at history as more than the study of dead men and dates.

Miss mary has already begun learning via this book.
Got a few math ones and a big, ole fat handwriting book, too.

There are days I totally "get" that kiddos have to be exposed over and over and over
to concepts in meaningful ways to grasp and understand the complexity of it all.

It's beyond flash cards and worksheets (although I believe they have a place of value).
Example: A young child might count to 50 every morning in a classroom.
Day after day.
But after doing so - ask them what number comes right before the number 40.
Many - not all - will look at you like you have three heads.

Children have to develop - over time - in the richness of "what it all means and how it is all connected".

Mary is doing just that.
Having fun.

Adults are really getting a kick out of her speech and choice of words.
She'll say, "Well...actually mom...I did brush my teeth."

Guess who uses the word 'actually' to explain things to Mary?
I do.
Kiddos will parrot what they hear.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hmmmm....Watched 7 Kiddos Today

Super Friends, Robin and Forrest, had to take a 1/2 day trip outta town with their #3 son - Stephen. 

I call him J.R.R.
As in Tolkien
The writer of Lord of the Rings
and a strong influence on C.S. Lewis.
(The Chronicles of Narnia)

Anyhoo - I'm prone to give/assign people that I know...well...I tend to give them alternate names.

So when I learned - way back - that Stephen likes Lord of the Rings --
He affectionately became J.R.R.

Case closed.

I watched the posse of my kids and R and F's kids.
We played Monopoly Empire
Watched Mulan 2
Answered the many questions of 4 and 6 year olds
Worked up a sweat in the backyard swinging and bouncing balls
Finished a craft project
Baked MORE cupcakes
Ate Chinese takeout
Unloaded and loaded the dishwasher
Did 2 loads of laundry
Swept the kitchen 4 times because a glass measuring cup fell, broke, and shattered into 473 shards
Mopped said kitchen
Cleaned up our other messes
Shared our toys
Got R and F's kids bathed/showered
And the little ones to bed.

Piece of cake.
Shall I say...
Piece of cupcake! 

It Was a Wonderful Day

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happy Birthday, Precious Mary!

Now We Are Six - A.A. Milne

When I was one I had just begun
When I was two I was nearly new

When I was three I was hardly me
When I was four I was not much more

When I was five I was just alive
But now I am six, I'm as clever as clever;

So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

It's Been a Cupcake Kinda Day - and a Great One

Photos from the whole day -- 

Thank You, Trista and Joshua

When I Woke Her Up With "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart...."

She said, "Thank you, Mommy."

Later she asked, "Am I growing?"

More loved every day!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday - Last Day as a 5 Year Old

She's sooo excited.

She'll be getting cards with $6.00 inside.
6 years old - 6 dollars
Miss Mary wants to use her money to go fun places and do "happy" things.

Example: "Chick Flake" and play in the inside play area (and eat)
a.k.a. Chik Fil A

Simple little excursions like this.
She's full up and bursting at the seams with toys, clothes, crayons, and books.
No room for another item!

We'll celebrate her for sure ALL DAY!

Little Ling Yuan Ping is growing up into a sweet and silly and spirited member of our family. we're glad she's here.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This balloon has a battery operated light that makes it just light up.


I never.

Thanks, Jewels and Jenna.
We've had a blast with these!!

"Mama - I play the violin."

That's a guitar."

She proceeds to strum, strum, strum
With great excitement 
And emotion.

Then Mary asks, "Is that lovely?"

My kind response, "Oh. You have no idea how lovely you play!"

Friday, July 17, 2015

Recent Birthday Gathering

Mary, Alli, Molly, Anna K., and Emily

Sweet Jenna and her treasured Grandmother 
Super precious friends

Thursday, July 16, 2015

She's Been Marking Off the Days Until Her Birthday

It's next Tuesday. 
She's been ready since April.

Back to the Pool

Because I'm back at my part time job
That I've had for over 20 years
Working with great folks!!

Molly has really learned to swim via her swim lessons this summer.

I'm in awe of the time we have during the June and July
to enjoy time together in a pool
Enjoying the sounds of crickets and birds
Watching beautiful sunsets

This pool will close up in about 5 weeks...and will reopen next year around Memorial Day.

Mercy me.
Time is passing for 2015.

Baby Doll and Bear at Doctor's Office

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I Thought They Tasted Divine

Gluten free
Almond flour
All organic ingredients
A blueberry muffin recipe presented by Dr. Axe (Google him. He's fab!)
Staged ever so delightfully in front of my antique Coca Cola crate

Miss Molly and Sister Emily prepared the batter, baked, and hoped to use these as breakfast staple items.

Not necessarily the case.

Molly politely stated - when polled - that she really didn't care for them.
Said there were too many blueberries.
We might try again and literally make more muffin than fruit.

Emily liked them at first....but then wavered on her opinion.
But....she said would eat them for/with morning meals.

Both girls are discriminating in their tastes.
Not really picky...but they know what they like, and they're very keen in determining things like too much salt that is already present in foods (I rarely --if ever-- add salt - but use Himalayan salt if I do).
They might detect an herb in one type of sausage from Whole Foods...that another brand there does not have.

I reckon we ALL are this way to varying degrees.
We are.

I tell Molly that when she puts rice on her plate or in a almost looks like a religious activity.
She's precise.

But they are soooo appreciative of meals cooked for them, foods provided, and any any effort I expend to feed and care for them (school supplies, clothes, fun activities).

They say thank you a LOT!!
How blessed am I?

On to another healthy muffin recipe for these 2

Miss "I'm wearing red tennis shoes with my pink leggings" Mary DID like the gluten free blueberry muffins.

Now I have to find out what Nanny Carol thinks about them.