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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, February 27, 2012

See ya....for now

It's always interesting what the Lord says to us, isn't it?  For quite a while now, I've been praying that I could be obedient to His calling and to follow Him in a way that brings glory to Him.  I've also been feeling that, for a while now, He's been asking me to take a break from the blog. 

In a manner that is typical of me, I continue to wonder if I'm hearing Him.  Whether I'm really hearing what I think He's saying.  Am I understanding what He's saying to me.  Etc., etc., etc.  But the bottom line is, it doesn't really matter if it makes sense to me.  It makes sense to God and He's asking me to put my money where my mouth is and to coin a popular phrase, "just do it".  Who am I to question God?

Sunday's sermon kinda sealed the deal, so to speak.  Our ass't. pastor was talking about how often our pride gets in the way of our focusing on God.  He used himself as an example and how for the last 32 years, he had been known by his nickname (Chooch).  Not that it was bad, but that it was a way that he really felt unique (not many Choochs running around) and how it was such a part of his identity.  Our pastor had been feeling that the Lord was calling him to, in a sense, grow-up and leave the nickname behind, but of course this was extremely hard for him, because, at the end of the day, he liked being called by his nickname.  As our pastor continued to feel the gentle pressure of the Lord working on him, he realized that his prideful desire to hold so tightly to something, was perhaps exactly what the Lord wanted him to release.  And so he did.

Ohh that desire to hold on tightly to something, only to have the Lord gently pry it from our hands.  I know this lesson well, and yet I still fight it...and have to keep re-learning it.  So, all that being said, I'm going to say, "see ya...for now".  That's not to say that I won't be back, or drop in now and then, but I'm going to try and listen, and thereby honor God. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laissez les bon temps rouler...

...or 'let the good times roll'!
When I picked the Noodle up from the babysitter's house, all the kiddos were giddy with the excitement over the fun, colorful beads that had just been handed out.  The little donut holes didn't hurt things either! 
We took her mask 'to go' and when we got home, the Noodle marched over to her craft box and got out her glue.  She was ready to beautify it--(is that even a word?!)!  The feathers!  The sequins!  The wet, drippy glue that wasn't quite dry!  Ooooh, such fun!
 Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A change...

"Hi there.  In case you didn't notice, Mama decided to give the blog a make-over.  About time I'd say!  That other picture in the header was of me when I was 3.  Now I'm 5!  Bye!"

And just in case anyone decides to call us on the land line, don't be surprised if the Noodle picks up.  We've been working on phone etiquette.  Nodding your head when answering a question and you're on the phone doesn't cut it.  So if you've asked a question, and you hear the sound of silence, that's why.  The Noodle is just nodding away :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just pics

Hey howdy hey!  Not much to report here except that we have one silly Noodle who was willing to let me take her picture a few days ago. 
You can see the progression of photos from the static electricity in her hair.  It grows.  And grows.  And grows.  Man that bugs the heck out of me.  Thank goodness it doesn't bother her.
Hair in my face ranks high on the list of pet peeves for me.  For the Noodle?  Getting "glop" on herself.  Even when it is her own.  Notice how she's wiping off her mouth in the third photo?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Giddy up Partner!

Last year it was a sword.  This year?  It's all about a cowboy hat.  Simple pleasures.  Simple treats.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Made you sit up a bit straighter in your seat on that one, didn't I?!  Ha!  It is nothing like you think.  It was actually the focus of yesterday's sermon at church.  Well, somewhat--our church is studying 1 Corinthians right now and so it was building off of that. 

Actually the focus was on how that too often we're "babies" in our faith walk.  Our pastor did a pretty good job breaking it down.  Think about it.

Babies are selfish.

They are consumers (and not producers).

They are demanding.

They are self-centered.

They are messy.

The list could go on and on.  And, at first glance, it is easy to think that we are nothing like babies.  I mean, come one!  But then that little voice, the Holy Spirit, starts to niggle and point out some not so pleasant truths.

Like how I like to do what I want, when I want it, in the way that I want it done.  Now I certainly don't throw myself down on the floor and pound my fists (how very undignified), but when I really think about it, I do walk around in a huff and make sure that those around me know I'm unhappy, simply by my actions and the words that I say, or more precisely, those words that I don't say. 

And then there is the thought that just happens to pass through my mind every now and again, how I can attend bible studies and go to church and enjoy the praise music and drink in the message...but how am I really giving back?  Am I just take, take, taking without giving anything in return?

All of a sudden the dignified, mature me starts to dissolve and what is really left is a big spiritual baby.  It's a pretty sobering thought.

As I reflect even more, I start to think about how babies have throwing temper tantrums down to a science.  Now I have to say, I have quite a bit of experience dealing with 'temper tantrums'.  Some days, it seems that I go from dealing with one student's temper tantrum to another.  Then I leave and just occasionally, I get to deal with it on the home front.  I tell my students the same thing that I tell the Noodle--"it doesn't matter if you throw a fit, you still have to do XYZ" or "you never get what you want when you throw a temper tantrum".  Such wise words...until the Lord turns his spotlight on an area in my life where He is asking me to change or to be obedient to Him.  I may drag my feet, give all kinds of excuses, whine, complain and cry, but at the end of the day, He is still telling me the same thing that I tell my students.  Makes me squirm a bit.

Guess it is time for me to stretch a bit and grow up.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

As the years have gone by, I've written quite a few social stories for the Noodle.  It is the sped teacher in me.  When there's an issue, write a story, explaining in positive tones, the situation and what the expectations are.  Include visuals to really hit the message home.  Granted the Noodle doesn't have special needs, but I still have found it to be helpful, especially when there is some sort of more frustrating challenging behavior being displayed.
You know the funny thing?  She enjoys going back (although in the above picture, she's pretty seriously studying something) and reading the little ditties and remembering "way back in the day".  Ha!  Hilarious :0)  In all honesty, though, it is good for me too, because it is a little jolt to remind me how she continues to grow, mature and develop.  Old behaviors fade away and new ones rear up their pesky little heads.  All part of the growing process I guess!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Today was the FCC (Families with Children from China) CNY banquet.  Everyone got their "silks" on.  Seeing all the kiddos together reminds me of a peacock--all those gorgeous colors and hues!
There was food, food and more food.  There were fun crafts. 
There were lots of little girls (and a few boys) running around, giggling and being silly.  There was a parade.
There was the opportunity to be a family that looks like everyone else's, rather than one that stands out a bit. 
Most importantly, there was the celebration that while these children had found their forever families, they also remember from where they come.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Back to normal

Yes, thankfully, we are back to normal.  No more fevers.  No more being quarantined to the house.  No more Toy Story 2, which we just happened to pick up at the library on Monday, the day before the Noodle got sick.  Good thing, though--it kept someone entertained, even if she did watch it over and over and over....!
I really can't complain.  I think that last time she was really sick, was like a year and a half ago.  That's pretty darn healthy.  I'm just glad to have our little Noodle back to normal!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A little light reading

I don't know if you're like me or not, but I'm always on the look-out for a good adoption/China book for the Noodle.  Thankfully our public library is pretty good about carrying a nice cross-section of books (more about China than adoption, but that's o.k.).  If you've never read anything by Grace Lin (Round is a Mooncake, Red is a Dragon, One is a drummer or Dim Sum for Everyone), she's got a bunch of great picture books.  Ed Young (Lon Po Po (the Chinese Little Red Riding Hood) and Yeh Shen (the Chinese Cinderella) has some good ones too, but right now the Noodle thinks his illustrations are too frightening.

I decided to gather up the various books that we have on our shelves and compile a list.  I was actually suprised at how many we own!  Clearly I'm a sucker for picture books, especially from these genres :) Perhaps you'll find something that strikes your fancy or you can pass on one of your favorites to me!

Books about Adoption/Chinese Adoption:

This one always brings tears to my eyes.  If you've adopted from China, I'm sure you'll be able to relate.
How one little girl addresses the "family tree" school project.  Touches on the feelings associated with not having much, if any, information about birth parents.
Not about Chinese adoption, but rather international adoption--I believe the author adopted her daughter from Central America, and all the excitement that comes with that long awaited call!
A mother kangaroo with an empty pouch and a longing heart.  A baby bird looking for someone to take care of and love him.  Blessings do come from up above.
Choco the bird needs a mama and so he sets off to find one.  Along the way, he asks all kinds of animals, but none look like him or seem quite right...then he meets Mrs. Bear who acts just like a mama and seems right, but doesn't she look like him.  Does it really matter?  Read and find out!

Chinese New Year:
Colorful illustrations and simple text help even the youngest reader understand about Chinese New Year and all the traditions associated with the holiday.
Based on the Danish folktale The Talking Pot, this book incorporates a Chinese wok and the importance of sharing...with a skippity-hoppity-ho it is just the ticket to a festive Chinese New Year!

Chinese Culture:
An ABC book that uses photographs to document each letter of the alphabet using objects, ideas, concepts and images from China.
Another ABC that uses illustrations to introduce China and its culture, customs and traditions.
A great non-fiction book that uses photographs and text to introduce youngsters to the culture, people and land of China.
A step back in time to ancient China with Ms. Frizzle and the rest of the Magic School Bus gang.
The love that a brother and sister have for their 2 pet doves...and what they'll do to make sure the doves always come home.
I have no idea how to pronounce most of the Mandarin words...but I keep trying!
This book has a cool feature where there are see-through scenes.  Curious as to what a noble's house looked like many moons ago?  You can learn about the outside and then, presto, lift the flap to see what it was like on the inside.  Cool stuff!

So that's it.  Our little slice of adoption/China culture/Chinese New Year books.  Hopefully there was a new one that you hadn't come across yet.  Happy reading!!

 ***Since this little one has been battling a fever on and off the past few days, we've had a lot of chances to catch up on our reading!  Hopefully we're on the mend now :)