Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our Newest Addition...

is mei mei (little sister in Chinese).  She has been great so far.  She rode in the car rather calmly except an occasional good howl.  She's three months old and her ears are incredibly long :)  It's bed time now and she's not even whining!!

We'll get some better pictures tomorrow!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


-you can't store stuff in the bottom of a gas oven--it gets very hot down there--hot enough to completely melt a plastic lid to the pan. So, Betsy, I found a new place to put my 9x13s!
-gas dryers also get very hot--got it set on delicate so that all our clothes aren't two sizes smaller in five minutes.
-don't paint a dresser until you're sure you can get it up the stairs--Matt cut three inches off the bottom and it still won't fit.  Now I'm refinishing a beautiful hundred year old oak dresser that was left in our basement.  Ana has some nice antiques in her room!
-Ana thinks you're a good friend and will cry because she can't see you any more (she's switching schools) if you let her play your Nintendo every morning and write "I love you" in her folder every day.  Yes she's six and has an admirer and can get him to do anything.  UGH!!
-trying to find a dog on craigslist is difficult--by the time I get permission from my husband they've already given the dog to somebody else.
-I was serenaded by the kitchen staff today as I was cleaning up after 14 four year olds.  Valerie, Valerah, Valerie, Valerah,ah,ah.... I hadn't heard that in years--don't know that one in Asia!  Thankful for friendly, wonderful cooks--the chicken salad was divine yesterday.  He made his own garlic mayo!
-Ana had a job fair today--she dressed up as a horse trainer--but her real desire was to be cheerleader-three months in America and already corrupted utterly.
Have a great Friday!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Football Anyone?

 Shepherd was kind enough to give us 5 Colts tickets with concession vouchers!  I stayed home with Mitike and Uncle Jack and Aunt Kim went along!
 Here's some of the skyline of Indy!
 Inside the stadium--pretty high up.  This was a pre-season game against the Browns.
 That's one BIG flag!!
Of course they did watch the game while eating a bucket of popcorn and other unhealthy things.  Ana's synopsis: "The orange try to get the blue.  It was so funny when they all fell down!"  We've got a looonnnnggg way to go!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dutch Babies

What I'm realizing is that my oven in China never got hot enough to cook this properly!  They turned out so well in my new gas oven (we eat breakfast for dinner on Friday).  We topped them off with some cooked nectarines.  Delicious!!

8 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
4 T. butter
splash of vanilla

-preheat oven to 475
-warm your pan in the oven along with the butter for 3 to 4 minutes
-have your eggs at room temperature or warm them in hot water for 2 to 3 minutes
-warm milk in the mircrowave
-pour it all in the blender and blend until smooth
-bake for at least 20 minutes

Another Happy Day!

 On Thursday my class went on a field trip.  As a general rule--I hate field trips!  Chaos abounds, children get overly tired, and parent chaperones cause worse behavior in their own children :)  BUT, this day was different.  A local company OSP, located only 10 minutes from Shepherd, drafted their staff into doing something wonderful for local schools in the area.
They brought in a petting zoo which the kids were fascinated with!
 They had multiple balloon artists to make three to four balloon sculptures per child.  (I dare you to try to carry those around all morning in a large black trash bag!!!)
 All their staff were dressed as characters.  They prepared a very nice puppet show!
 A staff person read three to four books to them.  Our reader was a VIP--so we were on camera :)
 Their were crafts, games, tattoos, IPads loaded with educational games.  Every room was decorated to the hilt.  AMAZING!
 The kids favorite was a room with huge rolls of bubble wrap and some obnoxiously loud children's videos--they jumped around for about 20 minutes!!  They then fed us lunch and every child left with a lovely gift bag.
I was totally impressed by the organization, staff involvement, and quality of what this company did (and it was the first time they've ever done it!!)  Hats off to OSP (a electronic online store) and many thanks for a great morning for the Shepherd kids!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's Not Everyday...

something in my 'hood warms my heart.  This is a hard place.  There's a lot of poverty and pain.  I was driving back home yesterday when a car stalled out in front of me.  My first thought?  "Great, I'm going to miss the light!"  A large African American man got out and began to push his car (with his family in it) across the intersection.  I was shocked by what happened next.  Two guys (white) stopped at the red light jumped out and pushed from behind.  A heavily tattooed man got off his moped and pushed on the other side.  I'll never forget the wife's face.  It was filled with total surprise (she was hanging out the front window shouting directions :).  This was a challenge to me---help others with every opportunity you get!!

The picture above is a rather run down corner I pass every day.  It says, " Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it."  I'll be looking for little things to do today thanks to three men that did a little thing for a stranger. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Catching Up!

The first day of school came and went long ago.  The last week and a half has gone by too quickly.  I find myself missing being around Ana--since its been 24/7 for the last six years!! She leaves at 6:30 and gets home at 4:30. 
School has presented its own challenges to Matt and I--his mostly being learning all the students names--me--learning how to keep my mouth shut as an aid :) and how to deal with some very troubling behaviors (yes!! I'm in the 4 year old class)
Our house is coming along--only about two unpacked boxes remain.  There are some things hung up on the wall.  We went and looked at couches yesterday.  The yard looks a lot neater--though not entirely tamed.  We're still waiting another week for our split box springs--since the others couldn't fit up the stairs.  Ana's dresser also couldn't be squeezed up the stairs--Matt just cut 3 inches off the bottom.  We also decided to paint it before making the difficult journey--we won't be moving it again any time soon!
We've met some lovely older neighbors who've I've been taking baked treats to--they often ply us with fresh vegetables from their garden. 
This week we had three of us with colds and one with a stomach virus.  Thankfully we recovered enough on the weekend to head out to school tomorrow! 
I will try to do better--about taking pictures and posting.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Lovely Visit

We were overjoyed to get to chat with Glenn and Susan on Tuesday evening.  They stopped by our house on the way to a family reunion.  The house was a disaster and the kids were mostly in bed, BUT it was still nice to catch up.  We exchanged stories about our kids, Singapore, and life back in North America.  Good friends are ones you can not see for NINE years and still pick up where you left off.  Thanks for stopping time we'll meet in Mackinaw!

The Great Outdoors

 Ana found an old mason jar in the back yard.  She has since gone around picking up every bug she can find.  China has helped her catch flies, grasshoppers, a spider, and two praying mantis'.  (All this was found in the front yard--the back yard still needs some taming!!)  I'm grateful they found their own way to occupy themselves!
 The grasshoppers in the jar with the praying mantis were wild to get out for obvious reasons!  (Don't worry--all insects were let go in the back yard!)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Nice Surprise!

After closing we went straight to the house.  We started pulling up the carpet and to our great relief there was inch and a 1/4 oak flooring.  We did end up cleaning and polishing the floor (after removing all the staples and tack strips).  It turned out beautifully.  We're so happy with the way it turned out.  Thankfully the man kept the quarter round (strip that goes at the base) in the garage.  It will be a bit of a puzzle, but a lot less work than staining new pieces.  Hooray!

Monday, August 5, 2013

We are alive!

We are in our new house, the water, gas, phone, Internet, and electric are on, a new kitchen floor is almost done, and the inch and a half oak hardwood floors cleaned up beautifully. One of our neighbors brought us dinner on Saturday night and another brought us cookies.  China and Ana caught two praying mantis' the other day.  Can't say that this has been low stress, but I think it is exactly where God wants us--hope to share more on that later!  Super excited to get our new appliances and mattress tomorrow AND to finally have time to go to the grocery store!