Monday, November 30, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Seasonal Shift


Goodbye Thanksgiving 
(Emily's art)


Hello Christmas
(Mary's masterpiece)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving




Molly and Emily constructed this from their Art book from homeschool curriculum- Abeka

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 

Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. 

Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. 

Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. 

One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world....
Your return."

Mary Jean Irion - author

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"They shall walk and not faint...."



I honestly didn't tell them to pose like this - hand holdin'.
They just sorta "do" this.

People often comment about the interaction between the 3 girls...namely how the older 2 help care for the youngest.

Molly and Emily are wonderful with Mary.
I do have to run interference every now and then here at the house, tho.

It's just part of the teaching and learning process.

Last night we watched Chariots of Fire - the movie from way back when.

I wanted to see it - again - with Em and Molly cuz of the whole Eric Liddell/China
connection. 

Molly and Emily enjoyed the story.
Mary fell asleep on the couch - as expected.

Liddell's parents were missionaries in China, and although they were Scottish...he was born in China.

Liddell is portrayed in the movie quoting one of my fave Bible verses - Isaiah 40:29-31.

"He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength.
Those who expect, look for, and hope in Him shall change and renew their strength and power.
They shall run and not be weary.
They shall walk and not faint or become tired."

I've been reading about this missionary and runner who had wings on his heels.

I love Liddell's commitment to the principles of God's Word - his kindness and good sportsmanship toward other competitors -- 
His service to those in need
His thoughtfulness toward his sister, Jennie
How he lived to honor the Lord in all his endeavors
His self-less life poured out as a witness to those with whom he came in contact

Great character qualities of a real "superhero".


Monday, November 23, 2015

We Went to a Church in the Country - Worshipped (while Mary Wiggled on the Pew)



It's the loveliest of days -
Or shall I say the loveliest of Sabbaths.
Seems people don't use that term very often anymore.

We had the traditional privilege of visiting with friends waaaaay out in the country at their tiny little church.

We've done this for several years - on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Mom comes with us.
Both of my brothers have shared in the experience.
Marlene has come with us, too.

We missed the occasion last year.
Mary had just arrived home 48 hours earlier. She was....we were....in major adjustment mode.
She'd had THE BIGGEST meltdown ever on Saturday night after we reached home.
Grief
Fatigue 
Confusion
Fear

So last year I pretty much cancelled EVERY-thing except Thanksgiving dinner.

Oh what a difference a year makes.
She's still learning
As am I.

Yesterday was a glorious time to reunite and catch up with folks we only see once a year
at this country church.
We shared a Harvest Meal in the little dining room, sang We Gather Together, and talked about Mrs. Jenny's homemade chicken and dumplings that she makes in the same, dented washtub that her mother used to make the same scrumptious dish!

There is a comfort in family traditions.
I feel it deeply.

The church graveyard - behind the girls in the photo above - has headstones dated before the Civil War.

So - it reminds me of one of my favorite hymns about a little church.
It's sung best by Andy Griffith and Barney Fife as they sit rocking on the front porch with Aunt Bea and Opie.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcZcDHRGyOs

(Copy/paste that link on to address line.)
My mother and I sang it many years ago with a group of older ladies - at their quilting bee session - waaaay out at another old church here in the Deep South.

I must teach it to my girls.
Maybe they will learn to play it on the piano for us all.
That'd be the best birthday present ever!


(Bible Story time for Children)

--------------------------------

Come to the church in the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale,
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

How sweet on a clear, Sabbath morning,
To list to the clear ringing bell;
Its tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh, come to the church in the vale."

The Dining Room Decor


Saturday, November 21, 2015

A "Program" (a.k.a. Pilgrim) on Thursday - and a Native American "Rainbow Princess" on Friday



Gotta love the red tennis shoes.
It's time for another pair -
Like yesterday.

These were hand me downs from Robin's crew.

We love pass along clothes, shoes...these work great for littles.

Molly and Emily sorta don't have older girls around for all this.
So - they shop at consignment stores, thrift stores, and yes....department stores.

I'd say 99% of what they've gotten at dept. stores has been on sale.

They're older and have their own sense of style. I wouldn't even attempt to buy clothing for them.

And you know what?
No one could buy clothing for me.

When I shop with Em and Molly - I drive them, get them inside safely, and then STAND there. 
I'll advise
Consult 
Offer approval 
But I pick out nothing!
I'm not a big clothes shopper!

The girls are always so UN-demanding and appreciative. It's a joy to see them find something they really like.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Choppin' and Sautéing - It's Cornbread Dressing Night




That's not my huge kitchen with gobs of counter space.
I'm working this weekend at a group home -- where I've worked on some weekends for over 20 years.

It's time to make our Thanksgiving AND Christmas dressing.
I'll freeze both and thaw one on Wednesday, and the other I'll thaw right before Christmas Day.

Can this year truly be drawing to a close?!

We use 2 "family" recipes....one for the cornbread and the other for the dressing itself.

Years ago my Aunt Ann and grandmother came to visit mom and me. We all worked together to prepare these recipes. We laughed, giggled, chatted -- and just had a special time together.

Our Little Pilgrim



Her hat is constructed from a white paper bag and a piece of yarn.

Too cute.

Mary's kindergarten teacher made the darling hat and collar.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mary's Choir Sang Sunday Night at Church



"Wherever I go, God goes 
Near or far
High or low
Wherever I go, God goes."

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Had a Party for Day Old Grayson

He's the 1st grandbaby for Robin and Forrest. They're such good friends. We just HAD to celebrate!!

We were able to Skype with the new mom and dad  and see Grayson ---they live waaaay up north above the Mason Dixon line.

Our little shower was burlap and baby blue. 
Redneck to the core.
I know.

Someone asked me where I got the darling vintage ladder.
I said, "Off my back porch."

It is what it is!



Friends, sisters, new aunts - all mingled together 

It was a great evening!


Monday, November 16, 2015

I Love Their Creativity



Emily's Turkey from Egg Carton and OJ Can Lid 


Molly's Whimsical Pumpkin from Paper Strips


Mary's Autumn Leaf 


Mary's Cartoon Giraffes - She looked at cartoon giraffe images on Google.


Emily's Reading Project
Abby - Lost at Sea
Emily wrote a summary of the story and placed inside the red envelope.



Molly's Billy Sunday vocabulary cards

We chatted about the man, Billy, and she chose these words to describe his life -- sequentially (how he started out in life and how he was at the end)
Impoverished 
Rebellious
Popular
Humble 
Impactful 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

There are Those Binoculars!


Selfie -Sorta - But I'm Cropped Out



Mary wanted some cuddle time this morning.
She was so content for me to wrap her up in a blanket and hold her on my lap.
I think her little emotional bucket needed filling, and a non-hurried Saturday morning is the perfect time.

I was siting on my great grandmother's wicker couch , looking out my big picture windows in the bedroom -- at the gorgeous autumn day -- having my coffee and quiet time.

She was content to snuggle and say, "It's a beautiful day...isn't it?"

When she has her "be quiet" time at night ....she says she likes to draw pictures of God's creation.
Reindeer
Rabbits

I told her I think this is a great idea.
I'm sure the Lord is honored that His creation is so appreciated.

I snapped a selfie of us -- and I never take selfies.
I wanted a photo showing her peaceful state of just being loved
Minus my morning breath and bed head.

She's a delight.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Gotcha Day, Sweet Mary!



She's sooo "ba-cited"!!
aka- excited

One year ago today - I met little Long Yuan Ping in Kunming, China.

Ahhhhhh....the wonderful adventure of her life with ours!!

Thank you, Lord, for this treasure!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mary's Autumn Craft and Poem on Display at Home



Thank you, God, for autumn leaves.
They swirl around my head.
They crunch, crunch, crunch under my feet -
Orange, yellow, red.

Saturday, November 7, 2015





Molly with the Art teacher at Chinese Cultural School


Emily and Lily 

Cultural School - We LOVE It!!!




Em and Molly made these masks.



Mary had story time, show and tell,  and planted in a container garden.



It's a special time to connect with others who've adopted.