Monday, April 28, 2014

A Recital, A Concert & A Snack

Megan ended up having her Spring concert and piano recital back to back. I was so thankful that they didn't end up on the same evening.
 



Megan attends a small Christian school.  I can't say enough great things about her school.  I love their programs.  There is nothing like a room full of children singing praise songs!  Both Megan and I have been humming "In Christ Alone" since that evening.  :)
 
Friday night it was off to program number 2.  She played a solo and then a duet with her teacher.  We are so proud of her!  It takes a lot for our timid little girl to get up and do this.  Not only did she do it but she did it well.   



Megan's playing has improved so much in the last year.  She actually earned a medal for completing six music books.  Her piano teacher, Mrs. Young, is fantastic!


This week is testing week at school.  I was asked to send in a healthy snack for tomorrow.  I made fruit cups and added a small cookie on the top. 


I included a simple note of encouragement that says "you're one smart cookie!" 

 
It was my pleasure to make these.  The up side of testing week is that there is no homework! Yeah!
 
May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A New Week

After a rough couple of weeks it is has been great to get back to the routine. Chuck and I still don't have all of our energy back but we are pushing through. Going to bed early has been a big help for us. Monday started with a big list of things to do. The top item on the list was laundry.


I was able to get all the laundry washed, ironed, folded and put away. Whew! I have another load on the line as I write this. It feels so good to be back on top of the laundry. It really doesn't take long for it to get out of control.

We are finally having spring like weather and it seems that things are growing and changing overnight. There was been many afternoons spent outside and my sweet girl is bringing a fistful of beauty each day.


Sickness and a weekend spent at the funeral home meant the menu went out the window. We dined on canned soup and take out far too many times. My weekly menu is up and I have been sticking to it.


I have to share a Megan story.  In the mist of all that was going on I walked into Megan's room last week and found that her fish, Little Dragon, was floating.  Oh my!  Just what we needed.  Anyway, while brushing Megan's hair after her shower last night she told me that she had a dream the night before.  She had received a letter from Aunt Wanda and Aunt Wanda told her that she was taking care of Little Dragon.  Little Dragon was living in a stained glassed fish bowl (Wanda made stained glassed things as a hobby) and stayed on her dresser.  She also said that all of Little Dragon's supplies were keep neatly in a dresser drawer.  I had to smile at that as Wanda was a meticulous person. 

I fought back tears as Megan told me this but I it also warmed my heart.   

I have only left home once this week.  It was for a quick trip though the car line.  I like to be home and it has felt so good.


My dad stopped by and tilled my garden.  That makes me super happy.  Now if it would only start to warm up.  I am ready to play in the dirt and get some things planted.


I have to say that blogging friends are some of best!  I received a package this week from Kathy


Does she know me or what?!  Everything is super cute and I just love the chalkboard lids.  Thanks Kathy!

Having a slow week at home is just what I needed! 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lesson Learned

When Megan comes home from school she will sometimes invite Abe into her room to play school.  I love listening to them.  Some days I hear her teaching something new she learned at school other days she is teaching Abe counting our how to write letters.  It is super cute!

One afternoon I walked into the "school room" and saw that papers had been taped to the closet doors.  I immediately told Megan that taping papers to doors, walls and furniture was not acceptable.  She agreed not to do it again.  I then went to make dinner.  Later I returned to take the papers down. 


Exactly what I feared happened.  I cringed and inwardly groaned.  I could have been really upset but I wasn't.  I called Megan in to show her exactly why you don't tape things up.  Sometimes seeing the consequence is the best way for a lesson to be learned.

I knew that the doors would need to be primed and then painted.  It would have been faster and easier for me to do it myself.  Often the easy way isn't the best way. 





Sometimes seeing the consequence is the best way for a lesson to be learned. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Friday, April 18, 2014

When Life Throws You For A Loop or Two

Hello Friends!  I hope that this finds you all well.  The last two weeks have been draining around here.  I am not even sure where to begin. So here I go....

*My former work partner, Vicki, suddenly passed away.  She was my age and just a beautiful person.

*We have all been sick. My nemesis is back...  bronchitis!   Yeah me! I have been down for almost a week.  I feel like I might have turned the corner finally.  A girl can hope anyway.

*Chuck's beloved Aunt Wanda passed away.  Wanda has been struggling with health issues for as long as Chuck and I have been together (15 yrs.).   The last few years her quality of life has not been good.  Two weeks ago when she started to decline she opted for no more treatment and asked to be removed from all medication except insulin and pain medication.  After she was weaned from 19 different medications her mind was clear and we are so thankful for the gift of heartfelt conversations.  I love Wanda dearly and her passing has been bittersweet.  We are full of sorrow that she is no longer with us but also feel joy at the thought that she is healed and whole again.  The showing is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow. 

I know that bullet points might seem a little cold, but emotions have been running high around here.  If my little family happens to pass through your thoughts this weekend we could use some prayer for strength, comfort and healing. 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.



Water + Dish Soap + Food Coloring + Straws = Tons of Fun

It also created a huge mess so I suggest this be an outside activity. :)


There has been plenty of time to play.


A trip to Survive Alive at the fire station was a great field trip. 


Getting dirty is always fun. 

 
Cousins!

The past two weeks Megan has been on spring break.  It has made for some busy days and makes me long for summer days when my girl will be home everyday. 
 
Find happiness in the ordinary; it makes for a pleasant life and a serene heart. ~ Granny Willodene
 
May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Adoption Day...7 Years Ago

*This entry from April 2, 2007 from the blog I keep while in China.  Saying that our family has been blessed beyond measure the past seven years is an understatement!*

Here I am getting dressed for my adoption day. Today I am wearing a 3-6 month outfit. I really suck my bottle down so I might move into 6-9 month clothes very soon.

 
While Mama and I were hanging out in the lobby Daddy keep taking our picture.


Finally we made it on the bus and away we went to the Civil Affairs office.


When we got there we had our first official family picture taken. The they took a picture of me for my passport. After that we met with an adoption official. Mama and Daddy had to list their occupation, say why they wanted to adopt a baby from China and what my education would be. They said I could have as much education as I wanted. Let's see if Daddy is still saying that if I ask him to pay for my masters!

After that it was off to the notary office. The man there asked Mama and Daddy to say their names. Then daddy said my name. He then asked if Mama and Daddy were satisfied with me. He asked if Mama and Daddy would ever abuse or adbanoned me. They said never. After that we were handed an official form that says Mama and Daddy are my forever parents. I am officially adopted and part of the family for ever and ever!!



I really love my Daddy!

I can't wait to meet everyone. Mama keeps telling me that I will have lots of fun people to play with.

Love, Megan

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Well... Hello Spring!

Oh yes, spring is in the air and I am one happy girl!  As I type this I can hear the birds singing their morning wake up song.   Ahhh... music to my ears. 

With the wet winter we had it was hard to keep the feeder from becoming a clumpy mess around the bottom.   We finally took it down.  I gave it a good clean and we bought one of those things to deter squirrels with the hope that it will keep some of the moisture off.  We'll see.


While pricing some things at the hardware store I picked up some pansies.  Nothing gives a spring time welcome like these pretties. 


There was an afternoon filled with sunshine and warmth.  I raked the entire back yard and Chuck gathered the large branches that had fallen.  We ended up with a large pile of debris.




We don't normally burn but since there was so much we went ahead.  We burned it on the garden and then will till the ash into the soil. 


I was able to line dry my first load of laundry for the year.  Swoon!  I love, love the smell of line dried laundry. 


Every day more and more things are popping up. 


This is one of the things I like most about this season.  It brings the Lord to mind and reminds me of the new life that only Christ can give. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Tip Tuesday

Good Morning! I have missed blogging and am trying to get back at it. Now, I won't guarantee anything because as you know caring for my family is my number one priority. Anyway, I am going to try to be more regular. Now on to the tips!

Chuck has this handy paint mixer that attaches to the drill. It is awesome for paint that isn't straight from the store and has been sitting for a while.
 
 
If you have a full gallon and happen to go a little fast it will sometimes splatter.  The solution is to place the paint in a paper bag.  Then if it happens to splatter you don't have a huge mess to clean up. 
 
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This winter we had an abundance of pine branches fall.  As soon as it warmed up a little Megan was out to play.  Of course she played with the branches and ended up with pine sap on her fleece jacket. 
 
 
I tried several things to get this sticky mess and nothing worked.  So I did a little research and found several sources that said to try rubbing alcohol. 
 
 
A little elbow grease with a scrub brush and I couldn't see it anymore.  Yes!  I rinsed off the alcohol and then threw it in with a load of laundry. 
 
 
As you can tell it worked wonderful!  This is a great thing to know as my girl loves to play outside and especially creating with sticks. 
 
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I place many of my staples in Mason jars.  The flax seed came in a bag and it seems to always be in the way.  I also found that with so many containers of different sizes they didn't always stack well and make the most use of my limited space.   
 
 
I have a love for Mason jars and now not only does my pantry look pretty but it is also organized and neat. 
 
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Another tip to go along with storing things in jars in labeling.  I will write things on the underside of the lid.  For my yeast I put the measurement to equal a packet since most recipe list packets and not actual measurements. 
 

On jars that hold cooking mixes I will put cooking instructions.    

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!