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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday?

I'm linking up to share what's up this Wednesday!

First up, What we're eating this week:
Asian slaw with peanut-ginger dressing.  When it is hot out, this is an easy, cool dinner to make.  Just make ahead and add some crunchy french bread--the recipe does seem to make a lot of the dressing so you might want to adjust accordingly.  Colorful and tasty--yum!  Also frequently found in the rotation is 20-minute lemon pesto penne.  Dinner prep in 20 minutes?  Yes please!
What I'm reminiscing about:
We just got back from vacay in the Panhandle of Florida, so I'm longingly reminiscing about those lovely sugar sand beaches and all the family time!
What I'm reading:
Since we were on vacation, I was able to do a lot of reading!  Just what I love :)  Between walks on the beach, riding the waves and chatting with J and the girls, it was a pretty safe bet that I had my nose in a book.
First up, Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford.  The book is told through the voices of the two main characters--a mother and her son.  It talks about the choices we make for love.  Not gonna lie, it was kinda a depressing book but it was so well written and Jamie Ford is a wonderful storyteller.  I read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, also by him, so if you liked that, I'd definitely say give this one a go.
After a heavy one, I was ready for some light, frothy fun.  This one was perfect for that!  All about an author who falls in love with a Frenchman and moves to France.  Bonus?  Recipes at the end of each chapter to try.
This book was one that J had actually picked up to read but I had seen other's talking about it, so once he was finished, I snagged it.  Laugh-out-loud funny.  Seriously!
 Earlier in the summer I had read the book One--Impossible Starts Here and blogged about it here.  Love Does reminds me somewhat of that--not being afraid to embrace the wonderful things that God has planned for your life by just saying "yes" and by letting our love be an action rather than just something that we talk about doing.  After I was through with it, J picked it up and read it.
So I haven't completely finished this book yet, but so far it is very good.  Obviously I'm interested in China because of the girls, but this would be one that anyone could pick up and enjoy.  How does a Chinese-American woman navigate Beijing where the only Mandarin she speaks is "kitchen chinese" or the Chinese she heard her mother speak in the kitchen?  You'll have to read it to find out.
What I'm dreading:
So dreading is probably a pretty strong word, but I'm not looking forward to this one being in afternoon preschool because frequently this is what happens--
it gets reeeeallly quiet upstairs and I find her curled up on her bed, the hardwood floor or even on the stairs!?
And can we just take a moment and look to see how many bows/accessories she puts into her hair in the name of fashion?  When she got up, I counted 7 plus 2 long beaded necklaces that she rigged through the clips.  Oh sweet Mei Mei!
What else is going on:
We're just trying to soak up the last few weeks of summer before the back-to-school madness begins. I'm not going to lie--the start of the new school year is always pretty stressful for me until we get into our new routine, but while we still have a little free time, we're making the most of it!
What will I miss most about summer:
All the snuggles on the couch with these 3 and having slow, leisurely mornings!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Santa Rosa Beach--Part I

Last week we hit the road and headed out for our vacation in Santa Rosa Beach in Florida.  It is one of the many beautiful beaches along 30A in the Panhandle.  Turquoise water?  Yep.  Azure blue sky? Check.  White, sugar-sand beaches?  You got it.  Endless sunshine?  Of course.  The only drawback? The 15 hour drive.  Agggghhh!
The good news is that my Aunt and Grandma live about halfway between our house and the beach thus making it the perfect stopping point!  My Aunt also has a country craft/garden center/farm so the girls were excited to go and see the animals.  Feeding the goats and the sheep were definitely another high point!
The other bonus (primarily for the Noodle) was that there was a dinosaur tourist spot one exit away from where we were stopping for the night.  Yes, we did our part to help the local economy...can't say we'll go back, but it was a fun experience and both girls were waaay into it.  Ha ha ha!
The second day of our trip is the longer day.  Usually about 9 hours.  Unfortunately for us, this year there was tons of construction (really the whole way down and back) which added on 2 additional hours.  One of those hours was tacked on to the last 40 minutes of the trip.  I think this picture says it all without going into the nasty details.
When we finally rolled into town, we did a quick unpack/potty stop/hand wash and then grabbed a bite to eat.  We also had to pick up groceries, along with everyone else and their brother, at the local Publix, but somehow that warm ocean air made it o.k.
Since the 8 and under crew wake up at the same time every day (regardless of weekday vs. weekend, time zone difference or anything else), we were usually down on the beach by about 8:30 each morning.  We'd stay down until lunch and then go back to the condo to eat and rest for a few hours before heading back down until dinner.  Some nights we ate in and others were went out.  Basically that's how we rolled all week.
Suuuper laid back and casual.  Perfection actually.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


 There's no place I'd rather be.................

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Perfect day for a garage sale!

Right before we moved, back in 2012, we had a garage sale.  We had a lot of our own stuff, but we also sold stuff for our parents.
Fast forward a few years and it was time again to weed out some things.  We had the typical housewares, the random assortment of odds and ends and the accumulated bric-a-brac.  All high end stuff, let me assure you!

This time, however, we also had quite a bit of baby stuff.  If you've ever put on a garage sale, you know that this can be what makes or breaks ya.  People always seem to be looking for infant gear, and this time was no different.
I will admit, it was bittersweet to see things like the crib, jogging stroller and highchair go.  A closing of an era of our lives that, at one point in time, I wasn't sure we'd ever even see or be a part of!  Same thing with all those little outfits that have sentimental value.  Realistically though, it is silly to hold on to the stuff, especially when others can certainly use it.
While we were hawking our goods, the girls had set up a lemonade stand.  The Noodle was in charge of finances and production.  Mei Mei was the greeter.  Both did their jobs exceedingly well.  From 9-3, they pretty much stayed at their post and kept an eagle eye out for customers.  At the end of the day, their little stand had made $23.  Not too shabby!
Our final count was $380 which was a pleasant surprise, especially since it didn't seem like there was tons of activity.  The main goal going into this was to get rid of stuff, which we did.  The added benefit was making a little extra moolah.
We decided to take the same approach with the money made from the sale and the lemonade stand as we did with all that Halloween candy.  It was another great opportunity to talk about being intentional and giving the tithe (10%) and then giving another 10% to a local charity.  That still left the kiddos with some mad money and allowed us to have a little extra to take when we go on vacation.
By the end of the day I had carted off a full car load of stuff that hadn't sold to Goodwill, J and the girls had cleaned up most of the remaining stuff and had taken a quick dip in the Lake to cool off.  I picked up dinner from our favorite kabob restaurant and we ate using our finest china and crystal right out of the styrofoam containers 'cause we're classy like that--beer bottle and all.  Ha.

Then it was early to bed for all of us--we were exhausted!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Painted tosies

A little secret about me:  I am a girly-girl, but I'm not a big nail polish fan.  I rarely have my fingernails painted.  I do like to have polish on my toes, especially in the summer, but I have zero desire to go get manis or pedis.  Weird, huh?!!

My youngest daughter is turning out to be the EXACT opposite.  Lord help me!  She is always noticing people's polish.  She oohs and ahhhs whenever she sees fingers or toes painted up.

Another little secret about me:  I'm not crazy about young girls wearing polish.  I know--old fashioned of me--but it just seems that most of the time it looks chipped, cracked or is peeling off.  In other words, tacky.  So..........I don't encourage this nail polish infatuation of Mei Mei's.
Disregard my freakish foot in the background...not sure what was going on there?!
That being said, a favored Aunt recently sent the girls a goodie box and inside it contained, among other things, 2 pretty colors of polish.  Oh.my.goodness.  Mei Mei just about sailed into the stratosphere she was so pumped.  There was also a note enclosed that said for "for toes only"--mwhahaha!!!  She knows me well ;)
Opening the bag and realizing it contains nail polish!!
Reading the note about how the polish is for tosies only.

I had promised the girls that we'd paint tosies and they were counting down the minutes until we broke out that polish.  Mei Mei kept saying, "This is so pretty!  I love the polish!!  Ohhh it is so wonderful!!!" Throughout the day, she'd gaze down at her toes and sigh happily, just at the sight of them.  

Oh boy.  I think I'd better hide the polish and make sure it is up out of her reach so she doesn't decide to give herself a mani or pedi!!