Sunday, July 30, 2017

Look What Molly Found on the Internet


Molly is one of the 3 little girls holding the sign - the darling in the middle.

She'd been Googling her hometown in China and came across this image.

She remembers that a group of officials/volunteers was visiting the area.

Amazing, huh?
Absolutely astounding!

I'm sooo thrilled to have a photograph of my daughter from her younger years.

On the back row
Top right

The 2nd and 5th people from the R on that back row are women --
Who loved and cared for Molly.

I met them in Hohot, China when I was there to meet Molly. 
Emily remembers them, too.

They'd traveled from Xilinhot to a city north of Beijing so I could meet my daughter.

Precious, precious!

On the next to the top row
Top right
Very end person - another lady
I met her, too.
Dear soul!

I completed paperwork with these women, took them to dinner, talked to them via an interpreter...and witnessed their heartbreak as Molly (Guo Yang) continued on her life journey with Emily and me.

They were happy for her - but apprehensive to let their sweet "charge" be carried off by a stranger -- to the other side of the world.

Molly Skype's with them about once a month - voice call.
So happy she still has connections with those who loved her first.

She found 2 more...

These pics were all taken on same day when "visitors" were in the community.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

SEE?!? They're Becoming Quite Tech Savvy

Em is completing an online registration for a Homechool membership family affiliate - entering Visa number and checking all the right boxes.

Molly is researching Paddock Boots - for her to wear as she begins her horse riding lessons.
We will call the company directly on Monday morning to inquire about coupon codes (hopefully) and shipping.
She recorded the phone number.

Next Emily went online to enter a shopping code, take a store survey, and earn bonus gas points for us.

Then Molly edited our online missions consignment report, corrected typos, and entered more items for the sale.

I told the girls these are excellent life skills - figuring out all the ins and outs of online applications and requirements.

Bonus: Saves me tons of time!!

The iPads were gifts, and we're using WiFi at my weekend job.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Theme Parks

We went to Refrigerator-Land to ooooh and ahhhhhh over fancy shmancy friggies.
I like the big ones with maneuverable shelves (and the little elf inside who turns the light on for us when we open the door)...but I'm not into the bells and whistles.

Too much that could break....

Then we went to Sharpie-Land for Mary to draw and explore -- to create.

Em and Molly went to Notebook-Land to stock up on spiral bounds that were on sale.
-- heavy gauge wire
-- closed tight on the 2 ends of the wire
-- college ruled

Of course, all this was done after I personally visited Plumbing Land - to purchase toilet repair items.

We are some kind of exciting!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Three Little Spend the Night Buddies

These babies were dropped off in a box -- no mama to teach them what to do, to help shush them into the pond in case of danger.

They were left at a park....but these sweeties had no clue what to do.
They were near cars, a street...and no other resident duck "took them under their wing".

Other park go-ers were expressing concerns, too.
They were pretty much on their own for several days. We had gone out of town.

So - on Monday evening we had a mini duck rodeo and rounded them up, took them home, fed them, and the next morning took them to the duck wildlife rescue liaison.

I re-homed this little cutie about 2 weeks was in the middle of a very busy road.
Cars were straddling it.
Bless his heart.

I had to find a safe place to stop the car.

I ran back down the road, jumped up and down and pointed to the moved to another lane.

I snatched my buddy off the street and proceeded to find a safe place for him to live.

We love critters!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Still Celebrating -- Donna and Marlene Helped Make It Special

Nanny Carols's bubbles and silly string

Marlene made the darling sign for Mary
AND the tee shirt.
She rolled dollar bills with ribbons and inserted them into the pink balloons.

Sure was fun popping them!

We had birthday cookies - thanks to Nanny Carol.

Molly cooked quesadillas and prepared Mary's Pho soup (prepackaged).

Emily helped me organize and assisted Donna and Marlene.

Geesh - Maybe it DOES "take a village"!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Be Strong in Grace"

This is the devotional page
From 3 years ago
That helped REALLY solidify the confidence of my decision to move forward with paperwork for Mary's adoption....

When I'd not actually publicly made it known to folks that I was on a journey that seemingly didn't fit the norm of what others might think.

Older mom
Younger daughter
Unknown special needs 
Taking out a loan to accomplish it all

I knew in my heart that Grace was to be 
part of her name.
the very devotional for July 21 - her birthday -- had this title.


Happy Birthday, Mary Grace!

You are a treasure from the Lord!!
It's gonna be a great day

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mary's Last Night as a 7 Year Old

Mary's special treat from Whole Foods.

Those folks love my girls.

We shop there for organic meats, reverse osmosis water (we take gallon containers and fill them for 49 cents), and specialty organic items not found at our "regular" grocery store.

They did so much for us today in honor of Mary's birthday...
-- gave us a boatload of candy from their "candy bar"....jelly beans, chocolates of all kinds (we'll have to share b/c we eat this only on special occasions)
-- provided Mary's slice of pizza free of charge 
-- presented her with a happy bag of non-GMO juice and snacks

Later last night...

She wanted to light a candle to celebrate her last 2 hours of 7 year I granted her wish.

Happy Happy!

Ms. Dominique - always greeting my girls
at Whole Foods

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day-Cation: Out and About in the Sunny South

Good Buddy, Melzana, is "Planner Extraordinare".
Oh my stars - detailed, prepared, fun.

Well....she did me a huge favor and made all the plans for a long day trip.
Mom, the girls, Mel, and I set out for a day filled with simple -- but wonderful --memories.

Melzana and the girls in front of her junior high school
I treasure old buildings!

The girls on Mary Street

It's an old, old brick street.

Mercy me.
We ate at a rather historic, vintage restaurant.
There's lots of history in this place.

Cocounut pie

This is the chocolate pie.

I had to take pics of these unbelievably humongous desserts - sitting in a cupboard.

Yup. We ate these!!
Had to tote a lot of our meal in "to go" boxes. 
Leftovers for later

Here we are on the balcony of a very old, famous hotel...overlooking the small town. 
We went in, drank their peach tea, looked at artwork and photographs, then headed out again.

Stopped at an independently owned bookstore - quaint and cute!!

Melzana and the girls in front of the courthouse (Mom is keeping the car cool for us.)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Went to Hang Out with a Cowgirl Friend and Her Family

That's Donna's niece riding the pony.
Donna "Faye" - just our made up name for her - is one of my besties.

That's Marty- Donna's brother, Aubree's daddy, and Summer's hubbie.
He's a certified nut.
He "walked the girls" around on this pony, Smokey.

There's Aubree in her cowgirl boots.

We're looking into Molly taking riding lessons, learning how to groom and work with horses.

We'll keep ya posted.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Emily's First Time to Run Cross Country

Running in the woods.

Em is the girl in blue shirt - far right.

Running "interests" are pursuing it.

I believe it's time for my older girls to find a physical discipline that gets them out and about - in nature, under other teachers/coaches, with other kiddos.

She's been doing her daily (M-F) movement DVD's (Classical Stretch) for about a year and is in good shape.
Of course, beginning a regimen with an organized group is at a whole other level.

But this will be good for her, us...
The life lessons she is already being exposed to -
Personal goals
Training schedules
Learning about specific nutritional requirements -- and when they're needed (before/after training)

I think the biggest lessons we discussed in advance -- that I wanted to I instill in her are these --
** She will be behind
** She will be last
** She is running with state champions 
** Her head will tell her she is way out of her league
** She will begin thinking this was a mistake
** She'll feel the effects of  4:30 on a July summer day in the Deep South -- sweltering and humid


** As other beginners join the group, you will have runners behind you
** As you practice, you will not stay "last"
** You are brave to train with state champions, and you can strive for hard earned honors if you so choose
** It's sometimes good to be "out of your league" with others who can challenge you to do more than you ever thought you could
** It's normal to feel you've made a mistake when you've chosen a positive path that many others will never choose.
You'll be a better person for simply having the experience.
** Try to have a good attitude about the weather. "It ain't goin nowhere."

So - this is where we are right now.
I'm having to process team practices (not close to where we live) -- driving home to get her there after my full day of teaching and staying late at work for meetings....with zero time to spare before the cross country runs begin.

God's got a plan.
This may or may not be her niche, but I'll do whatever I can to assist her and guide her as she develops along the Lord's path for her life.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chick-Fil-A Dress Like a Cow Day

....and hold a cat

eat free entrees --

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hummingbird Feeder Going Up

You Don't See One of these Balloons Too Often

Happy 100th Birthday, Mrs. Ouida!!

She's funny, witty, compassionate, giving  - and a prayer warrior. 
Such a spitfire.

How blessed are we to know her?!

Folks wrote her tons of cards.

Her surprise was that people gave money to fund the digging of a well in an Aftican village - via Samaratan's Purse.

Whoo hoo!