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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bouncin' around


This school year, the Noodle has participated in an after-school program where the kiddos learn all kinds of ball-handling skills.  Kinda like the Harlem Globetrotters.
One man runs it and has been doing so for the last 40 years.  40 years!  He does it all on his own. Without help.  On any given day there are anywhere between 40-60 kids plus doing his program. Again, I state, on his own.  Did I also mention that he's 72?!

The dude demands attention and the children are only too willing to give it to him.  As a side note, I cannot imagine, ever, signing up to try and instruct 40-60 kids on my own.  He really is that good.
All year long the children work hard learning tricks, practice their skills and perfecting their routines. They give up their recess at the end and even eat shorter lunches some days.   It all leads up to the big event when they get to perform for the pre-game and half-time show for a NBA game.
Last night was THE NIGHT.  Such excitement!  The nerves!  The anticipation!  The energy!  The Noodle went down with J and had a blast.  I don't know whether she'll do it next year because the fearless leader is retiring at the end of the year.  His shoes will be pretty big to fill, but he's certainly left a legacy.  We're thrilled that she got to be a part of it!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Christ is risen!

Let no no caught in sin remain, Inside the lie of inward shame, We fix our eyes upon the cross, And run to him who showed great love, And bled for us, Freely you bled for us
Christ has risen from the grave, Trampling over death by death, Come awake, Come awake! Come and rise up from the dead!
Oh death! Where is your sting? Oh hell! Where is your victory? Oh church! Come stand in the light! Our God is not dead, he's alive! He's alive!
"Christ is Risen"--Matt Maher

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Preparation


How do you prepare for Easter?  New clothes?  Spring hat?  Full cart at the grocery?  Dying eggs? All good and fun, but the most important preparation begins in our hearts.  It is easy to get caught up in the Easter bunny craze and somehow neglect to focus on the real reason for Easter.
The fact that on Friday, Jesus, who had died an absolutely horrible death, was dead and put into a tomb, but that three days later, that tomb was empty.  Our Lord rose from the dead.  Just like he said he would do.  Amazing.  Mind blowing.  Life changing!!
We've been trying to be a bit more intentional about Easter this year.  If J and I don't focus on it, how will the girls ever grasp the true  meaning?  Certainly not by just hoping that they absorb it at Sunday school (although don't get me wrong, this is also a huge component!).  But it is so easy to just go along with the flow and get swept up in the candy, eggs, bunnies and baskets of it all, that all of a sudden, Christ and his sacrifice, becomes just a passing thought or comment.
Hopefully, by little discussions and meaningful (fun!) activities, they will start to understand and fully grasp the full sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us by taking on our sins and dying for us.  We don't do anything earth shattering--making resurrection cookies, eating hot cross buns (and "breakfast ice-cream" ha ha!) for breakfast on Good Friday, a prayer walk around the neighborhood (mainly adults, puddle splashing/tree climbing for the kiddos), watching a cute movie for family movie night, spending some quite time reflecting on Jesus' sacrifices.  But it opens the door for conversation and discussion about what Easter really is about.
Don't get me wrong--we've still got our new clothes, dyed eggs and enough chocolate and jelly bean eggs to give anyone a sugar rush!  But most importantly, we've got the promise of  new, eternal life that only he can give.  What can top that?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why Not?!


It's a Wednesday night.  The girls have on their jammies.  We have school tomorrow.  It is rainy, windy and cold out.  Seems like the perfect night to go get a soft serve at D.Q.!  Why not?!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One step at a time

A few weeks ago Mei Mei and I had an appointment at the cleft clinic.  This was a whirlwind series of appointments where we cycled through and hit audiology, ENT, speech, the surgeon, a pediatrician, a dentist/ortho and even a social worker.  Whew!  Just writing that exhausts me!  The good news is that they've gotten these clinics down to an exact science so things move smoothly and quickly.
There weren't any big surprises, but, as I was telling a friend recently, I still came home feeling a bit deflated. I knew in my head, that Mei Mei was going to require more extensive medical interventions just because her cleft lip/palate was more severe than the Noodle's palate had been.  But still.  My heart hoped otherwise.
There's nothing that really needs to be done right now.  The tubes that they put in last April, during her palate re-repair, are doing their thing and she has yet (knock on wood) to have any ear infections. The palate looks good and speech is coming along nicely.
Speech is coming along so nicely, in fact, that she didn't end up qualifying for speech services though our local school district.  I'll just insert here that I have majorly mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, she has been making consistent progress and of course no one wants their kiddo on an IEP. However, I was pretty certain that she'd qualify, at least for speech/language, but I was obviously wrong.
All that being said, we are going to have her do private speech therapy.  She's made such huge gains, especially considering that just a year ago she didn't speak any English, but she's still not where she should be.  Much better to hit it hard during these early years!
There will be some more surgeries down the road, in a few years, and a mouth full of metal and other appliances in her future too.  As my Mother-In-Law gently reminded me, it is important to just take things one step at a time and to remember that the Lord is going before us.  There is no reason to fear--His plan is perfect and we can trust in that.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Currently...


Reading...Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, The Christian Parenting Handbook by Turansky and Miller (bible study) and just finished Loving Our Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk (class at church).  The first one is fiction and I'm really enjoying it, the others, obvs., are non-fiction but chock-a-block full of all kinds of great biblically based parenting tips.  I've also got a stack of magazines (all fluff i.e. In Style, Harpers, etc.) thanks to LaLa.  Finally, the Noodle and I have been reading Mary Poppins Comes Back on and off at bedtime.

Playing...Third Day.  J and I have a date tomorrow night with another couple from our home group to go see them in concert.  Yipee!!
Cooking...a new recipe in the crock pot tonight for dinner and just made these  for the weekend. Let me tell you.  De-vine!!
Drinking...coffee or water--depending on the time of day.  Come tonight, however, I'll be pouring myself a glass of vino.  Let the weekend begin!

Wearing...these fun polka-dotta TOMS.  I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair.  I thought these would be super cute for spring!
Thinking...about how I need to go fill out some paperwork for Mei Mei's speech therapy.  More on that to come.

Creating...these cute tassels in pink and green for the mantle.  They'll go with the watercolor doilies we made before Valentine's Day.  I'm thinking they can take us through St. Patty's Day, Easter and even into May...right?! I'll be adding our Peeps bunting closer to Easter.
Watching...nothing noteworthy.  We have rabbit ears for TV so that seriously limits what we see.  The only movies we watch are those that we can rent from the library--usually stuff for family movie night.  Most recently it was Disney's Mary Poppins and as far as adult fare goes, the last movie J and I watched was God's Not Dead.

Going...to pick Noodle up from the bus-stop and then head to the library. Let's get this weekend started!! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Crank it up...


the oven, that is!  Like much of the country, we have been experiencing some pretty intense, cold weather.  And I think I can pretty much speak for most people in our area that we are so.over.it.

However I also know that we've still got quite a few weeks left of these frosty temperatures so I'd better just suck it up and deal with it!  That being said, since it is so cold outside, might as well do a little baking inside.

This afternoon all was quiet in the house and I did some serious baking with peanut butter-chocolate granola from here, mint chocolate chip Neiman Marcus bars from here, and whole wheat blueberry muffins from here. Let me just tell you--the house smelled divine!  The minute the Noodle walked into the house she took one sniff and said "You've been making granola, haven't you?".  The kid knows.
The Neiman Marcus bars are for a certain someone who has a milestone birthday that we're celebrating on Saturday.  The granola is pretty standard fare around here--great for breakfast, lunch or a snack.  As soon as it runs out I usually make more.  The blueberry muffin recipe was a new one, but I make the banana whole wheat muffins all the time and so I'm sure these will be good as well.

Baked anything good lately?