Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Outing -

At Mrs. Melissa's house - That's her with the girls.
Our first swim of the summer
Marlene and Nanny Carol not in picture
Nanny Carol left her bikini at home.
Melissa's hubbie, John, is prepping for ice cream making.

Church friends.
Silly folks!

Making homemade ice cream
Oh my!

Mary pouring milk - slowly

Emily's turn - Melissa mixing with her almost vintage appliance

Molly pouring

Ice and rock salt
Electric ice cream maker

Such fun!

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Lunchroom Lady at Church Has Retired

Someone else gave Debbie the lovely flowers.
I told her how she "saved me" at times -- back in the days of first becoming a mother.

Emily was home from China - 2008 - and I'd take her to Wednesday night supper/prayer meeting.
I was mentally and emotionally worn out.
Emily grieved hard for a while.

I'd go sit in the church dining room, food already prepared. I didn't have to cook or clean - just show up.
Marlene would come and help me.
Mom was there.
It was a time to breathe a sigh of relief.

It seemed like sooooo many people at church wanted to hear our story.
Folks were curious about Emily, older child adoption, China, and the hundreds of details that accompany these aspects of our lives.
I told all that I felt comfortable saying, but in all honesty - it wore me slap out.

Jet lag was still in high affect.
That in and of itself is a kicker!

The day might have been a challenging one with grief, language barriers, confusion, 'triggers" that might have caused meltdowns for Em.

I still had U.S. paperwork to complete, Emily's doctor's appointments to meet, surgeries to schedule, international adoption clinic to travel to and consult (in another state), legal issues to address, new family dynamics to adjust to.
The list was long.

Going to Wednesday night church suppers was a God send, and Dear Debbie helped make it all happen.

What a treasured time of life to remember
...the beginnings with Emily and then continuing on with Molly (who cried over green beans her first week there) and now Mary (who sucks the bones of the drumsticks - ick).

And sweet Debbie was there for it all.
We'll miss her!!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Beginning of Summer Celebrations - This One at Church

That's s balloon parrot on Mary's shoulder.

Here's the clown who crafted it.

Clutch the pearls.
I let kids wear shorts to church.
Surely it's a sign of the end times....MOTHER!!

Simple, little old fashioned fun
Putt Putt Golf

The super duper sisters who are great sports and so helpful

The painter-girl asked Mary, "Do you want a little design or your whole face painted?"
She and I answered at the same time with 2 different answers.
I said, "Go for it."

The guy in the red shirt is from a "missionary" family.
Funny fella!
I think his brother is serving right now in Indonesia.

Fun evening
Almost missed it

I was at my weekend job, hauled home Sunday afternoon at 4:45 after being there all weekend (since Friday at 4:30)  - loaded up dog, kids, suitcases, coffee pot, portable DVD player, and all our other belongings---
And we made the concerted effort to get back to church (as we always do...but the events this night started earlier).
We made it because I wanted us to all be outside on a great evening -- with Nanny Carol -- meeting up with church buddies 
And having good, clean, free fun!!!
So worth it.
Not easy to accomplish - but glad we all pitched in to get there.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Guess What We'll Be Watching All Summer

We splurged and ordered lots and lots of these --
Entire seasons of Little House on the Prairie on DVD 

Since we don't have TV
And the girls (well Mary is still learning) are really good at self- monitoring.....when to watch movies, how long to watch them, how late to watch them...
I wanted them to have a fresh batch of movies (tv episodes) to have on hand this summer.

I realize how unusual it is to raise children without televisions blaring all the time,
But it just seems so normal to us.
We have great movies that the girls watch over and over.
We check them out at the church library and the public library.

No Netflix here (but possibly one day).

We watch tv at mom's house -- Me TV type shows (Gilligan's Island with Ginger and her dress tighter-n-a-glove AND Mary Ann wearing her Daisey Dukes).
Gilligan is so goofy.

Of course, Andy reigns supreme.
Griffith - that is.
And he will always be number 1 in our book.

The girls get a kick out of Dick Van Dyke and I Love Lucy, too.

We have 9 seasons of the Waltons that we've accumulated thru the years.

Now - we'll have some Little House DVD's to add to our collection.

Molly read the entire series of Little House books.
Amazing considering she did this year #2 of being in the U.S.
Emily read 1...but school work (a few years ago) sorta took a lot of her time.

Anyhoo - I'm looking forward to the entertainment value and simple lessons of life and love exhibited in these stories.
And yes.
My cousin says, "Somebody always ends up cryin' in that show!" (Paraphrased)

Laura Ingalls, Ma, Pa, Mary, and Carrie - here we come.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

My Little Dream Team

Mary and another little fella led the pledge of allegiance. 

Look at the fella in the back slapping his face "Home Alone" style.
Something's awry!

Mercy me. 
She wanted a buh-loon.
She got one!

She chose to pose like this.

Happy Graduation Day, Sweetheart!!!

Here's How the Conversation Went....

Mary is doing her "morning read" on the way to school.
It's from a kindergarten reader by Horizons.
Skills are clustered and build on each other.

Well, she was reading about Fisk who wanted to go to the farm and complete tasks.
Kinda goofy. I know, but great exposure to these blends of consonants -- "-sk" sounds.

Well, ole Fisk wants to milk a cow while on that there farm.

Mary blurts out, "I know how to do that."
I bait her and ask, "Do what?"
M - Milk a cow
Me - Milk a cow? YOU know how to milk a cow?
M - Yes
Me - How?
M - You use those pink things.
Me - Pink things?
M - Yea. On the cow
Me - What pink things?
M - pull on those pink things. I dunno what they're called.
Me - And what happens?
M - Milk comes out.
Me- How does the milk get in there?
********* I know. I prod!! My mother said I could argue the horns off a billy goat. I consider myself an educational miner...digging deep for understanding. Makes me sound less aggravating than I am. ***
M- I think the cow drinks the milk and then it comes out.
Me - Well, why don't we just drink the milk first instead of it going in and out of the cow?
M - MOM......

Later on she decided she'd call the teats on the udder - "drippers".
Too funny.
Actually -- funnier that I called them udders and not teats.
I best get my own facts straight first.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Gotta take a bath, Mary. You're graduating tomorrow!" (Mom)

It's not that we only take baths for special occasions... But I did wanna make sure she was spic and span for her big day tomorrow.

Kindergarten graduation

It's really just "promotion"...but we're making a big deal of it.

Sorta. She's getting her wish...a balloon.

At least she's gonna feel special.
We'll celebrate her hard work.

We're so thrilled for our little Missy Girl.

Mary cut a green paper plate in half and made this boat.
The USS Mary
Pipe cleaner for the mast
I love the Googly eye on the bird.

Creative little sweetie pie
Our Mary!!!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bracelet Making - Once Again

Great fine motor skill work
Brain connections galore
Em and Molly teach Mary these super great "crafts".
Not me.
I don't even know how to weave rubber bands into bracelets.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

She Did a Wonderful Job!

Mary had to read the routine morning announcement (pledge, school vision) over the phone-intercom 
Seen above with her teacher.

It has some BIG words and "high achieving institution" and "potential".
It's the same, standard verbiage every morning.

Some aspects of the little assignment were simply memorized. Why not?
I actually deleted "individual" from the announcement.
Too much like "indivisible

Mary did a super job!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mary Practicing the School's Morning Announcement

Mrs. Amanda is listening to Mary's pre-written "shpeal".
Is that even a real-ish word?!?

Her turn is on read the school's morning announcements.
So she's practicing with lots of folks.

I didn't sign her up for that.
Her teacher did.
It's an honor to be asked.

Gotta lead the pledge of allegiance, too, over the school's intercom.
That "indivisible" is a kicker.

She's pretty close on "liberty" but it sounds more like "with liverty and justice for all".
Liver Tea?
A beverage designed to help one's liver detox contaminating minerals from the body?

It's obviously past my bedtime!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Mary made this in Sunday school.

The 3 girls created these beautiful bookmarks. Lovely.

My posse cleaned and swept while I was away.

Emily and Molly picked baby peaches off a tree in our backyard.
Maybe a little soon. (Insert a "probably weeks too soon"....but they did not want worms and bugs to get the peaches first.)
Sweet gesture.

According to Mary's fill in the blank answers...
I am 82, like purple flowers, make the best cake, am SO good at dishes, and Mary's best memory of me is "good".

She made 1 mistake.
I like purple AND pink flowers.

I worked all weekend with these silly girls and some others (who went home before church) to spend time with family.

SOOOOO Donna and Marlene bought and prepared a Mother's Day meal for all of us and brought it all to the group home where I work on weekends.
Nanny Carol was there, too. Yay.

Wow. How special of Donna and Marlene.
And to think I talk so ugly about them behind their backs!

Not really.

I just say it to their faces.

These 2 have been a support system for me as I've undertaken the lifelong tasks (at a later age) of motherhood...and being single. The list is looong of all the ways they've helped my little family.
Never mind that they're hilarious.

They're the dearest of friends. They wanted mom and me to feel special even tho I was working on Mother's Day. (I volunteered. Dave Ramsey would be so proud!)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

At an Old Fashioned-Type Candy Store

We bought 11 caramel apples for all the educational folks in Mary's life - for Teacher Appreciation Week.

These are folks I work with/work for...and it's a great opportunity to give them a little "happy" and thank them for taking care of my child and "looking out" for her.

Asst. Principal
Music Teacher
ESL Teacher
Visual Ed Teacher
3 office workers who dote on her daily 

Her teacher and assistant teacher were given gift cards to a grocery store.

I appreciate the way each of these wonderful folks love sweet Mary.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Gang is All Here

This is what Mary arranged on the floor...all wrapped in white towels
Piper the Penquin
Our newest friend, Rosie the Dolohin
Dalmatian in a bunny outfit
and last but not least 
Teddy - the bear who traveled from here to Kunming via Fed Ex...the little stuffed sweetheart that I met up with again in China as I traveled to bring Mary home 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Birthday - Sweet Molly

God blessed this family with our Molly girl and changed us forever --
In the most noble and gentle of ways.

We are better individuals because of her.

She exudes kindness and compassion.

Although she has a generally quiet demeanor, she is actually as bold as a lion in many aspects.

She loves others - by example and by her deeds.

Her great desire is to return to her region of China and share the out the gospel...and impact her homeland for Jesus.

She will.
I'm sure of it.

Happy Birthday, Molly Moo.
You are dearly loved.