Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Simpler times

A few things have me thinking about how we can simplify some areas of our lives.

Our old desktop is on it's last leg. A friend's husband was able to bring it back to life after a hard crash. Thankfully I had backed up 75%, but the external drive is not directly compatible with my mac, so I was unsure how I was going to get access to the documents and pictures. Since the HP is revived, I have been slowly using a thumb drive to switch over files.

I have had a few empty days, so spent the better part of Monday and Tuesday transferring and sorting (and deleting blurry images) into folders on my laptop. I have put images into folders by year. We were all looking through them last night and marveling at how the girls used to look (Teagan's crazy thick dark hair, Piper's huge blue eyes) and how empty the house was in the background.

Teagan at 3 months old

Piper at 22 months old

In the past few years we have gained some new furniture from my grandmother, but it's not the presence of furniture I noted- it's all the clutter. True, there is an inordinate amount of colored plastic baby toys in the old images, but there was also space. Something there is little of now. Both girls looked at old pictures of their rooms and said that they wanted their rooms now to look like that (hallelujah!). They are both pack rats and save every little thing. I'd love to clear out a great majority of the "stuff" in their rooms. Same goes for me and the closets and the insides of cabinets and all my bow stuff needs a massive reorganization.

I have grand plans for this summer.

I started going through the guest room piles of old clothes yesterday. So many items to ebay this year. I am committed to not miss this selling season. I need to have all my auctions up by late July to not miss on the high fall/winter traffic (crazy, I know!). So I began washing and folding and taking inventory (95% is Gymboree- old lines= good $ to be had) and researching current selling prices. I think I have some possible big $$ items.

And when we are not cleaning and sorting, we will be watching some simpler times TV. They play outside a bunch, but in the afternoons when it is too hot and they need a break, we cool off inside for a bit with a show.

We checked out Leave it to Beaver from the library and the girls have loved it! We also watched the Disney mini-series of Little House on the Prairie. We just got the TV pilot episode in to watch, and then we'll check out the seasons to view. They are hooked!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame...

We had a great time on Saturday taking the girlies to their first baseball game. We went to the AA Minor League Richmond Flying Squirrels. A friend's husband had $1 tickets available through his company for the general admission seats. Parking was only $3, so $7 for admission for the 4 of us to the game!!!

We had great seats on the first base side and three foul balls came withing 10 feet of us. There was so much fun stuff to see in between the innings. It was also fun to watch the girls get excited cheering "Go Nuts" and attempting to follow the game.

YMCA time!

I grew up on the baseball diamond, my dad was a HS varsity coach for 30+ years and he also took me and my brother to minor and major league stadiums up and down the east coast. It was hard not to laugh at a lot of the girl's comments about the game. Like when I explained to Teagan before the game started about the foul line and yellow foul pole and that a ball hit over all the billboard ads would be a home run. She looked at me very seriously and said, "Oh, so a home run is a very bad thing because then their ball is all gone and they can't play anymore."

We found our friend's in the stands and sat together. Their girls are the same ages and they all had a blast together. They danced and sang and cheered and got to run the bases at the end of the night.

Piper runs the bases

Teagan's turn to run the bases

Teagan about to come home (friend Abby is in front of her)

There will be two more $1 nights and we can't wait to go again!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Small World

I turned on the TV to check the weather for tomorrow and caught the tail end of a story on the national news- a new Republican is in the race for the Presidential nomination- Jon Huntsman. The name sounded somewhat familiar, so I listened for a bit. He is a former Governor of Utah, and Ambassador to China.

Nope, not why I know the name.

I think I taught a boy named Jon Huntsman. I've taught well over 1000 kids, but I have an uncanny ability when it comes to names.

Yes, I taught a Jon Huntsman. His dad was an Ambassador, and I thought it was to somewhere in Asia (turns out it was to Singapore). He had recently gotten a baby sister from China. As I thought about it I remembered more and more about the young man I last had last seen as a 5th grader in 2001-2002 when I taught at an elementary school in the posh suburbs of Washington, D.C.

I went and found my yearbook, just to be sure.

Yep. Jon is Jon III. And his dad is running for the Presidential nomination.

He was a really great kid (who is now at the Naval Academy). From a neat family.

It's a small world.

Article about the Huntsman's adoption of Gracie Mei


Friday, June 17, 2011

Last Day of School (finally)

It's finally here...

The last day of school for 2011-2012!!

The girlies had outstanding years with phenomenal teachers who were amazingly perfect for them in every way possible. It really could not have been a better first and second grade year!

Mrs. Harrell with Teagan

Both girls were blessed to have her for 1st grade!

Ms. Rudd with Piper

This was Ms. Rudd's last year teaching. She said it was her best class in her 30+ year career!

First Day back in September 2010

Last Day- June 17, 2011

Piper was very upset this morning when I told her I would not be picking her up at school- that she would have to take the bus home. It's a crazy tradition in our neighborhood to "attack" the kids as they get off the bus on the last day. For the past two years I have picked up the girls from school because they were afraid of the water balloon, super-soaker and silly string onslaught. We have beat the bus home and seen the throngs of parents at the ready at several other stops and watched the attack unfold at our stop. This year Teagan was excited and I decided it was too much to try to go get Piper, she'd just have to make do and run the opposite direction when she came off the bus. To say she was not happy was an understatement! We drew a map of the intersection, where I anticipated the parents would be (our stop has 35+ kids- it's mayhem!) and showed her where to run when she got off the bus. Fingers crossed it all goes well. I'll be back with an update and pictures!!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Bring Our Children Home

We have just passed the one year anniversary of the day God provided the initial agency application fee and we were convinced that it was His timing to start the adoption ball rolling. Just a few months into the document gathering the mountains that had been in our path evolved into an entire mountain range and we were unable to proceed. What I had hoped would only be a few months "on hold" evolved into many more. All our documents have expired. China has new rules that will make the process more difficult and more expensive (no Hague HS agency anywhere near us). But He will complete what He has started- all in His perfect timing.

I love the words in the bridge:

When we cannot see you moving
When it seems the dark has won
May you find us still believing
That you want this more than us
You will finish what you started
And your plans for us are good
Help us cling to what you promised
You are faithful, You are sure

And I just love what Cindy says on her music website about about her song:

"I pray as you watch this video of families that God has brought together from across the globe you are filled with awe and wonder at the mighty hand of God. I pray you are encouraged and your faith is increased as you see what great things he has done. I pray you are reminded of His faithfulness to see this through. And most importantly, that you know deeply that any good thought/prayer/love in you for your waiting child comes straight from the heart of the One True God."


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Love my little reader

Piper has been going through books like crazy.

Last week she came home from school with a new library book and was reading it as she climbed down the bus stairs. As soon as we walked in the door she sat at the kitchen table and kept reading. When a friend came by thirty minutes later asking to play, she was still at the table, several chapters in to her new read. My girl loves books.

I was just up in her room gathering all her silkies (her little love blankets she has cuddled with since she was an infant that she hates to see in the wash). I was digging under her stuffed animals and pillow to gather them to wash(yes, she has multiples. I bought a few extras in case we ever lost one, and she found them and ended up having them all at once. But that's another story...). Anyway, I lifted up her pillow looking for silkies and this is what I found:

The stash of books Piper is currently reading. She stays up late each night after I tuck her in reading. She is a night owl like me. I don't mind that she doesn't turn in until after 10 each night. She is fueling her mind and growing her love of a good book.