About Me

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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.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Music Together is always fun

Tappin' out the beat with the rhythm sticks.
The Noodle and I have signed up for another session of Music Together this fall and are having a ball.  She loves to sing the songs (although not always during class!) and experience music through a variety of means.  I love to see how she is progressing musically as well as just letting herself go and "getting into" the music.  I frequently find myself humming the songs through out the day as well--they really are good, unlike most children's music!  I'm not sure how much longer we'll be participating, which makes each class that much more special.  If you're looking for a wonderful early childhood music program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners, then look no further!  Check them out and find where a class is being offered close to you.  They are an international program.
Movin' and groovin' to the music with the scarves.
Rockin' out during the "jam session" time (aka bring out all the instruments and play to your hearts content)!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Giveaway results!

Congratulations!! to Kimberly and her little Snickerdoodle, A.K. 
 You are the winner of the "Halloween-a" pillowcase dress.  I'll be in touch, in order to get the dress to you, once it is finished.  Yeah--and thanks to everyone who participated :)   Happy Saturday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Mooncake" cookies

We managed to get our act together and made the mooncake cookies (aka thumbprint cookies with jam) this afternoon (only 1 day late).  It actually was close to dinnertime, so J was able to help out.  They tasted much better than the ones we made last year.  After they were done baking, we attempted to read the story about the Autumn Moon Festival, but someone was tired and had zero attention span.  It was rather wordy....maybe next year!
There's still time to enter the "Halloween-a" pillowcase dress giveaway.  Scroll down to read more about it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Today is the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.  Last year we made a variation on the traditional mooncake.  This year, I wanted to try and make the real deal (but fill it with a more Western filling).  When we were down at the Asian Market most recently, I asked if they carried the mooncake molds.  The woman looked at me strangely and basically said that they are VERY hard to make and that most people just purchase them.  I decided to take her word for it and just purchased one for us to split because quite honestly, the Chinese have a different appreciation of what constitutes a "sweetie".  I, for one, have a hard time waxing on poetically about the delicious taste of red bean, lotus, etc.  We had pineapple once and it was o.k., but certainly not what we were expecting.  I think we'll be going back to the jam print cookie style mooncake that we did last fall, but leave out the "brushing with egg bit".  That made them a weird yellow color and somewhat gross.  Chalk it up to experience.

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway (see below).

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Fall giveaway

I have never been one to decorate for holidays, other than Christmas.  An American flag or 2 for Memorial Day/4th of July, some gourds/pumpkins/mums outside for Halloween/Thanksgiving, pansies for Easter--you get my drift.  Buuuut I do love to dress the Noodle in thematic clothes.  Shocking.  I  know.  It is just too easy with a little girl, and let's be honest, before I know it, she's going to be refusing, so I might as well do it while I can!!  The only problem, of course, is that there is a limited window of time when she can wear said clothes.  Soooo, I haul out my trusty, go-to patterns (the A-line jumper and the pillowcase dress) and go to town (oh yeah, and then J is sooo happy too, because I haven't spent like $50+ on a dress she'll only wear a few times...smiles all around!).
 The wise owl dress reverses to the Thanksgiving turkey dress.
 The Halloween-a dress
I was also thinking, that perhaps someone, somewhere out there, might like one of their own?  A giveaway, let's say.  Interested?  Great!!  Here's the fine print--I RARELY, if ever, sew for anyone else and in fact am very self-conscious about doing this, but thought life's too short to worry about it, so here goes!!!
This is what I'm calling the Halloween-a dress.  It is a "pillowcase-style" dress with white polka-dots on an orange background.  Black grosgrain ribbon act as the ties.

This is a close-up of the applique.

Here's the deal.  All you have to do is leave me a comment, telling me what size you'd like (24M-4T--so sorry that I don't feel comfortable branching out into other sizes).  That will get you 1 entry.  If you'd like a 2nd entry, then become a follower of the blog.  I'll close the giveaway on Sat. 9/25 at 3:00 p.m. EST.  Make sure you leave me your e-mail in the comment so I can get in touch with you.

Here's to all things Fall!

***This giveaway is now closed

Who knew circulars were such fun?

 Yikes--check out that crazy morning hair! 
Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time knows that currently, the Noodle is IN LOVE with all things related to L*ghtening McQueen ("Ka-Chow" as she calls him) and Th*mas the train.  Actually, this obsession interest has been going on since about last Valentine's day.  One of the things that she does, first thing in the morning, is go through the newspaper circulars looking for anything, ANYTHING, that has these characters on it.  Doesn't really matter whether it is an ad for band-aids, toothpaste, soup or even checks.  No matter how teeny-tiny it may be, she'll spot it.  Oh yeah, she also likes to keep a look-out for Sp*nge Bob (thinks he's funny looking), Sc*oby-Doo, T*nkerbell or really any childhood character, even though she has no experience with any of them .  Last month's In St*le magazine, all 600 pages of it, happened to have an ad for chicken noodle soup geared towards kiddos (w/ Sp. Bob on the can).  The ad was like on page 579...and she still managed to find it.  Now, she's taken to cutting out the picture, so we have quite a collection of "treasures" accumulating on her desk.  Every so often, I go through and make a sneaky sweep, but I have to be careful...she is adamant about NOT throwing anything away.  Yeesh!  At least it is good fine-motor skills having her cut everything out.  What a Noodle!!!

Showing Daddy a "book" she made.  It was about 5:45 a.m., so things were pretty low-key.
The place where it all goes down.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Helping out???

 In the spring we planted various gourds, pumpkins, acorn squash, watermelons, etc.  This afternoon J harvested some of the bounty.  In order to preserve the gourds, they needed to be clean.  The Noodle saw J out the window washing everything and immediately wanted to help.  Things started out well...
but quickly turned in to this--
So what's your opinion?  Certainly more than the gourds got washed this afternoon!  Ha ha!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Forever Family Day

2 years ago today, we met a scared, little toddler who had no idea of how her world was going to be turned upside down.  Thankfully, today she is a happy, fun-loving, smart, silly, caring, sweet, kind (the list could go on...biased am I?!) preschooler.  The other day, during my quiet time, I realized that she has now been part of our family and in the US for longer than she was in China.  Her memories here are now stronger and longer and China is becoming a distant memory.  While that makes me glad, part of me is still sadden to think that the first chapter of her life is receding to such a depth that pretty soon, if not already, she will have forgotten ever living in China.

So today, we celebrated God's awesome plan for bringing us together to make a family but we also remembered the Noodle's roots and culture.  We went down to AsiaTown for dinner and then came back for Gotcha Day cake and a few small gifts.  We said prayers for the Nannies who took care of her, for her orphanage and the children that are still waiting for their forever families, for her Chinese birth parents who made a plan and gave up their precious gift so that we could humble receive that gift.  We thanked and praised, rejoiced and even cried a bit.

 When asked, she was very specific about wanting a white cake with red frosting and those sugar animals that you find in the bakery aisle. Oh yeah, the cake was suppose to have a second layer. Guess who managed to drop one of the layers as she was removing it from the oven?  Yeah.  Keepin' it real here.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before they came to be".--Psalm 139 13-16
***Here's wishing an early Happy Family Day to all the families we traveled with to China (we got the Noodle a day before everyone else b/c it was during the Autumn Moon Festival).

Back to School

The big day finally arrived--The Noodle went back to preschool.  She has 2 new teachers and is in a new room this year, but there are some familiar faces returning with her, so she seemed very eager and not at all nervous (yeah!).  Today was a shortened day, where parents got to stay with the kiddos and see what the new room was like, become familiar with the routine, etc.  Half the children went today and the other half go tomorrow.  Everyone starts for the full 2 hours on Friday.  She was hopping and skipping around the house before we left and was especially excited because Daddy was going to be going too.  During lunch, she kept saying "I want to tell you about my day", which is what she used to say each time she'd arrive home from school last year.  I always love to hear her little narratives!

It is also a big day because today is the 2 year anniversary of when we became a forever family!  Check back later to see how we celebrated :)  We're busy, busy, busy around here!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Storytime with the Ch*ck-Fil-A cow

Yippee!  I can't believe I'm here!!!!!!!
One thing that I really try to limit, is the amount of fast food that we eat.  We rarely eat lunch out, go through the drive-through or even stop when traveling (I'm more of a proponent of brown baggin' it and pushing through).  Just one of those things, ya know?  Last spring, we were really pushed for time and had to get to a doctors appt. but needed to eat lunch prior.  When weighing my options, I thought Ch*ck-Fil-A would be the best option.  Well, the Noodle thought she had died and gone to heaven!  Just the sight of that play structure had her drooling in her chicken meal, even though at the time, we couldn't go play since we had to get to the appointment!  Whenever we'd drive past a Ch*ck-Fil-A she'd gaze longingly out the window... until today.

I like the view of the cow from up here, thank you very much!

Our early childhood PTA group planned a story time with the Ch*ck-Fil-A cow and I knew that she'd love it.  Ironically, she remembered that there was a car suspended in the play area and kept talking about it, even though I had absolutely no idea what she was going on about (note to self--she has a memory like an elephant!).  While she wasn't a huge fan of the larger-than-life cow, she enjoyed the stories, running and climbing around the structure and of course eating her lunch.  To top it all off, she had earned a "free" ice cream through the library's summer reading program so we decided to redeem that too.  In for a penny, in for a pound!  She's one tuckered out little peanut--and sleeping like a baby :)
This is for you, Papa.
Toppin' it all off with a sweet, cool treat!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kite Flying Festival

"Many people believe that kite flying began in China over 2,000 years ago.  The ancient Chinese believed that kites could carry away their bad luck and talk to the spirits in the sky...[There] is an annual kite-flying festival held on the ninth day of the ninth month and is now sometimes referred to as 'the Double-Nine Festival'".--Grace Lin from Kite Flying

Our local FCC chapter met down at a city park to participate in the kite flying festival this afternoon.  How beautiful it was with the blue sky, sunshine, white caps on the Lake and elaborate kites waving majestically in the breeze!  There was every kind of kite imaginable--teeny, tiny butterflies, dollar store plastic kites, N*mo the fish, P*oh Bear, a scuba diver being chased by a fish, an elephant, and some absolutely HUGE kites that I'm sure cost a few hundred dollars!  Kite flying is obviously a passion for some.

Afterward, we took a nice stroll down the pier and enjoyed the city skyline.  It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Daddy's Old Car"

...is really a '64 VW Bug.  The Noodle has never ridden in it (not so compatible with her carseat--ha ha) and come to think of it, I haven't ridden in it, in quite a long time (pushing 2 years).  Sigh.  Fall was one of my favorite times to go out for a drive.  We'll just have to admire it from the driveway and as Daddy takes it for a spin down the street :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I spy, with my little eye...

In the process of clearing out Great-grandma and Great-grandpa's house, all kinds of treasures have been found.  The latest was a magnifying glass.  The great outdoors takes on a whole new meaning when you're looking through a magnifying lens.  Even a green tomato worm (covered in eggs...yuck!) looks cool!  Wonder what other goodies we'll find?
Glad J found this and not me while reaching in to pick tomatoes.  I would have TOTALLY lost it.  Yuck-y!!!
My what BIG eyes you have m'dear...
And just because it was so nice out, we brought out the bubbles--look at that concentration!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Makin' the most of summer--one last time?!

 A little "bucket-head" runnin' like crazy!

Yesterday we met out for a picnic with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle E, Aunt C and all the cousins.  Grandma and Grandpa are building a new home, right on the Lake and so we went to the site to play, laugh, eat and just hang-out.  While it was cool and breezy at home, there it was sunny and warm.  I knew we were going to be on the beach and so had brought some sand toys, but had thought that it would be way to cold for swimming and so hadn't packed suits...silly me!  A major meltdown let-down was avoided, however, when we whipped out the "spare" set of clothes--from there the Noodle was off and running.  Cavorting in the waves, helping her "peeps" (what she likes to call her cousins) build a sand castle, running along the sand with Daddy--she didn't stop.  We definitely tried to make the most of summer--but will it be the last time?!  Only Mother Nature knows for sure :)