Thursday, June 30, 2016

First Batch of Homemade Kombucha



Gotta first get them COLD in the frig!

We're on a roll.
Whoo hoo.

That yellow melamine-type sectional plate -- behind the bottles -- and green, blue, maroon ones, too -- are from my childhood.
My brothers' as well.

I've got them out on display. 
(...the plates...not my brothers...)
I want to see them.
Enjoy them.
Let them clutter up my 2ft. x 1ft. section of counter top to the right of the sink.

Out and About



Sharing a sampling of foods we don't usually eat at home -
Fried fish
Baked fish
Masala rice (Indian dish)
Vegetable egg roll - ok...we do have this from time to time


Finishing off our water bottle


Molly showing Mary the Christian flag


Mary slit her pickled okra down the middle and said, "Crocodile!"
The seeds even look like teeth.

We're at Wednesday night prayer meeting.
Weekly family tradition!!!


Mary's last Wednesday night in her kindergarten class at church...
Sniff.
It's been a special season of life!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Little Potty Humor- Pun Intended



Mary giving her "pose"
Mercy me!

We'd been out and about so Molly and Em could use their Christmas gift cards - from Nanny Carol - on some super summer sales.

These girls treat gift cards (and cash) like g-o-l-d.
Not impulsive buyers.
Discriminating.
Thoughtful.
Modest.
Appreciative.

Molly found 2 tops, and Em found 1 top and 1 dress -- approximately 55% off on everything.
Yee ha.

We could've made the evening addition of any news network tonight.
Ran to the bathroom in big department store (2nd floor) for 1 or 2 girls to use the facilities.
CLOSED.
Floor sopping wet.
I politely told the delightful lady cleaning the restroom I was in a predicament with kids and announced, "Well. I'm taking them in the Men's restroom."
That door was open, floor had dried, very clean, no male occupants-- in we scurried as our new lady friend stood guard for us.
Gosh - just think.
We could've gotten a national standing ovation for doing what I've done several times before in the past.

This shopping time was a summertime "fun" excursion after the girls have been with me working since last Friday.
They're considerate about moving out of our house into another each time I go to my weekend/part time job (fill in house parent at group home).

Tomorrow ----- Goodwill - to drop off items and peek/see, my classroom to return books, Walgreens to fetch photos, gas station to fill up the vehicle, Whole Foods to get some July 4th food (I work again this weekend so gotta prepare in advance), and maybe to ride a big, ole carousel.

It'll be Wenesday night prayer meeting and supper at 5:00.

We are some kind of adventurous- huh?!?

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Fabric of Our Lives



This is a quilt Janice made for Emily when she was a wee lass. 
It's a treasure at our house.

This morning as we were cleaning up the kitchen (Shocking - I know!), she picked up our quilted "to go" coffee cup holder - homemade by Janice in the last year or so...to keep hand from getting too hot from hot coffee in cup.
Gosh.That was a long sentence!
A gift.
A coozie.
It's next to Em's elbow in the photo.

Anyhoo Emily said, "Mom. These two pieces of fabric are in my quilt from Mrs. C. (a.k.a. Janice) 

She recognized the pieces, designs, colors.

I waxed sentimental and went to snap a photo of the quilt and the coozie.
Here it is.

I love the connections of time and friendship evidenced in gifts from someone else's hands and heart...and that Emily is keen enough to remember and notice.

Thank you, Janice, for your many gifts to my girls through the years. 
Mary has been sleeping under your Enchanted Zipper design quilt, and Molly's is at the foot of her bed.


I dearly love how these fabric designs "speak to my soul".
Some of my favorite soft and simple colors...ahhhh.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Discovering...


Em and Mary found this little fella and beckoned me to come quickly.


Right behind them but way up high atop an outside ceiling fan -- baby birds in a nest.

Mary ran for her binoculars.


This is a blurry enlargement of one of the wee babies - bug eyed and pouty beaked (as they tend to be).

Yesterday we somewhat blocked traffic on our side of a normally busy road to allow an unusual looking turtle to finish crossing the road and head down an embankment.

His turtle watchin' angel surely got him safely from the other side of the road to where we were approaching.
Miraculous feat considering the cars barreling around that bend....

We actually were coming out of a driveway on this road....but as I did my safety move of "look left, look right, look left again"...I saw my new friend scurrying in the road.
He was much faster than other turtles I've assisted.
Very distinct long tale - triangular.
I'll have to investigate and figure out just what type of turtle he is.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Only 2 of My 3 Chickadees Can Get in a Pool


Sniff.
Sweet Emily is out of this game for a while...

...and swimming - for us - is fun, relaxing, out of doors, good exercise, meaningful sister time, and FREE!

Ok. 
No whining allowed.
Be thankful.
Be thankful.

We are all at my part-time job -- for the weekend and into next week for a few days. Swimming pool is located here.

Then we'll back for the 4th of July weekend.
I think I'm off on the 4th.

Anyhoo - Emily is in the group home several yards away. She's a great sport about it all. 
She's not a complainer.

Molly is so kind.
She'd give up swimming on account of her sister -
And now that she's learned to swim (lessons last summer) - 
She's one happy fish!

Mary's not mature enough to grasp it all.
Give her a doughnut floatie and the shallow end of a pool.
She's goin' in!

Glad to have Em's surgery behind us.
Rejoicing that The Great Physician has given us His promises to stand on - in faith.

We've got a To Do list of simple, fun things the girls want to do.
Gonna get after it!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Mary's devotional book


The cats looking at Emily's flowers --

These were taken from the huge arrangement at church....divided up, delivered to those recovering from surgery/shut ins

So sweet of folks to bring this by our house


John 3:16 written in Chinese (by Molly)


Peanut taking a rest - with a stuffed animal


One cat and several critters "tucked in"


Canadian Geese and babies 
We love to stop and take note of God's   wonders in nature.


Mary's bows

Making Kombucha - Day 9 of the Fermentation Process


Molly filling up a bottle with Kombucha tea and organic mango juice


Emily with starter tea in measuring cup and our next batch of organic green and black tea - to ferment into Kombucha tea

All this is done because of the SCOBY.
Google: Dr. Axe Kombucha Benefits
It's a growing "thang" necessary for the healthy drink.

If you're new to the planet and have not heard of Kombucha -- welcome.

Kidding.
A lot of folks have not heard about this "ancient elixir".

We've bought Guava Mango Bucha Kombucha at the grocery store, but it gets pricey.
$2.79 a bottle

I went to Amanda's house and learned how to make the stuff.
This will be way cheaper in the long run
PLUS
My girls love, love this stuff and love making it.
Recycling glass bottles
Growing SCOBY discs
Saving money
Having plenty on hand to drink
Experimenting with various fruit flavors


Our SCOBY (on plate)

I'm not a DIY add on kinda girl -
DIY = Do It Yourself 
I'm not.

I do not get excited in a Home Depot or Lowe's.
Nope.
That just spells MORE work.
More DIY.

I've got enough DIY every single day to keep me content and busy for 1,528 years.

I was doing yard work until 8:30 last night.
Never got to the backyard.
Granted...I was waiting for the sun to wane in its extreme heat.
I only came inside because I knew folks were probably putting kids to bed (I was using noisey power tools.)
AND
I couldn't see! It was dark.


Amanda rinsing her SCOBY in a water/vinegar solution 
Emily is is bottom right of photo video-ing the process (on iPad).

Back to Kombucha -
We're DIY-ing it all the way.
We've not harvested our first batch. 
That'll be another 6-7 days.
We are fired up about this easy project.


Amandas's SCOBY "hotel" - storing them for additional batches
WE want to have a lot, too!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Deja Vu Doctor Visit


This is Nurse Natalie hugging Em.
She's not with our ear expert doctor/surgeon extraordinaire anymore.
She's in Nurse Practitioner School.
 -- soon to be going forward in clinicals.

She's subbing this week for Valerie - current nurse (on vacation).

We've not seen precious Natalie in years!!!!

Seeing her again and hearing her gentle and calming voice took me back to Emily's early days of doctor appointments here.

I was a new mom.
Emily was still so young and new to our family, this country.
We were on a journey to bring healing to tiny "Mei Xia Ying" - ears, eyes, anything that needed attention.
Those were uncharted waters for me, for her - 8 years ago.
We held tightly to each other - and learned to love and care together.

I literally choked up upon chatting with Natalie and seeing her once again.

She always encouraged me - comforted me, reassured me.

I talked with her of how she spoiled Emily with Dum Dum suckers and stickers galore.
I'm absolutely positive we still have some of these stickers in one of Em's Rubbermaid storage containers - holding all her paper-type keepsakes.
** Molly and Mary have keepsake containers, too.
TLC HOARDERS show.....here I come. **

Little Em would "save" her stickers and rarely pull them off the backing.
Just how she was back then in the early days.

Seeing Natalie and Em together again....Oh.How.This.Brought.Back.
Memories.
Even as I type this with my index finger on the iPhone, what happy feelings I have.
Feelings that pull me back to former days.
If I'm not mistaken, those are the feelings of happy motherhood.
Then and now.

We were in and out of the doctor's office -- which means all good news (post surgery).
Natalie loaded Emily up with "the usual" suckers (....and she rarely ate those -- except for maybe the root beer flavored ones). I asked if she'd give our sweet patient some stickers -- for old time's sake.
She did.

We are ever thankful for a Heavenly Father Who "sets the solitary in families"
and "heals ALL our diseases and afflictions"...
Who IS our Comforter...
He's our Champion of Courage.
Our Marvelous Memory-Maker.
We love Him so!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Out Visiting Family -- In Another State

We needed to go hug some necks, and Miss Emily (patient extraordinaire) needed to get outside of the house, hospital, and doctor's office.

Mary and Molly needed to get out of their holding pattern for the week (Interpret: Hold on. Mom's gotta tend to Emily.)

So there was some fun to be had. 


Tiny frogs galore....



Drawing in the sand


Dog and palm tree


Big smiles for Emily and her sisters
Visiting family members
Happy hearts for all

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Emily is Having Surgery Right Now



Her left ear - with titanium replacement parts (inserted in a previous surgery)
Removing a cyst from behind that ear drum
Bless her!
I slathered her with Lidocaine cream at all 4 possible IV points.
Covered those spots with Saran Wrap. Works great!
When it was time for IV, she never felt the stick.
Yay.

In surgery now.
Praying
Believing for total restoration 
Complete healing


We've been doctoring all week long -
Ear tests
Meeting with surgeon/expert dr.
Meeting with nurses
Pre-admitting at hospital 
Lab work 
CT scan
Phone call conferences
Pharmacy consult 

Met our family insurance deductible in one fell swoop with the CT scan

Em let me take her pic in front of the CT machine.

She had been in pain. Now we have serious drugs for that - until surgery date (today).
Last night was tough.
There were tears.

We appreciate your prayers.
Agreeing she'll exceed all expectations...
We trust our "above and beyond" Heavenly Father!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Went to Visit Mrs. Anne and Her Forty Thousand Flowers


This is Anne's gorgeous Martin house.
Those are not real birds perching.
Just in case you're like me and wondered "at first glance"...

Anne is one of our favorite people in the solar system! We jumped at the chance to go visit.


We love her bridge.
Oh. The. Tree. Next. To. It.
Spectacular.



Day Lillies with names like Golden Trumpeter, Issac, and Carnival Ice -- the girls wore them in their hair.

Now what's the name of the deep purple one with "Revolution" in its name?!?


Mary told Nanny Carol, "I knew the name of one of the flowers, and it starts with a D....Daisey!"


What a glorious sunset to top off a delightful time of marveling at God's beauty and creation! 
Thank you, Anne.

Rainbow Happy

.

We saw BOTH parts of this rainbow -
Right Arch


Left Arch


Mary in her Sleeping Beauty dress and hand-me-down tennis shoes -
Yup.
Wore it all to Walmart.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pool Party - Happy Gotcha Day, MiMi and Stacey


The homemade card


Mermaid-decorated envelope


Mary, Emily, and Molly


Crab hummus dip


Octopus guacamole 


Sweet MiMi - celebrating Gotcha Day with her mom

Friday, June 10, 2016

Our Dog With No Eyes



Ole Skipper Dee (around 13+ years old...rescue/no kill shelter dog from 10 years ago --
Aging
Can't hear well at all
Arthritic in back legs
No eyeballs (That's another story.)

Bless his heart.

He's still loving life 
And
Being well loved.


Saxon Math and earthworm find -
Good learning!