Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday's post was a delightful surprise to me. Thank you all for the kind words and notes, in email, on Facebook and here.  My readers rock!

Since we decided to spend my birthday here at home this year, instead of our normal trek to the lake with my folks, I asked The Boss if we could do something special with The Gang and the in-laws.  When the kids heard me ask that, they groaned. They know well enough by now that "something special" and my birthday almost always equates to soaking in the local history.  And let's face it, The Gang lives in a region RICH WITH HISTORY!  Here's a couple pics of how we spent the first day of my weekend-long birthday holiday.  (Declared officially by me.)

These "huts" have totally captivated me.
I think I might frame a couple of the clearest shots.
I couldn't get over the serenity juxtaposed with
the utter crudity of these little cabins.

This Continental Soldier let Baby BlueEyes
hold a musket and took a great deal of time
with him to explain the different uniforms and
accessories. Great memories!

The Memorial Arch was beautiful.
And sobering.

 This was the highlight of my whole day.
Walking where George Washington walked,
I had goosebumps through the whole house.

Look at that! President Washington and I have
the same taste in paint colors!

Can you imagine the conversations and strategies
conceived in this room? 

I actually got a little teary-eyed thinking of the hours
of thought and prayer that I imagine were lifted from
this room to Our Father.

I came away with a renewed feeling of gratitude
for the godly influences and foundations
laid by our forefathers.

The Gang in the shadows of greatness.
And a wonderful birthday celebration. So far!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Huge thank you's to Dawn, for her shout-out to my little blog in a recent interview that she did with Insider Secrets.  I am humbled by the recommendation. And a little freaked out to see and hear about my little corner of the blogosphere in such a big forum.

The interview, transcript and audio version,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

For temporary use, there was the un-laminated
pressboard counter in place.
It snagged a lot of my clothing.

Nicely laminated. Trimmed off.
Painted and cleaned.

Another home improvement project brought to you by The Boss.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Scared Straight

I was running LadyBug to band camp this morning and saw a funny thing.  Well, at first it was funny. But when I watched longer, it got less funny.

An SUV next to me was manned by a elderly gentleman. This gentleman was chatting quite animatedly on his hands-free headset. WHILE he was juggling a steaming cup of morning coffee. AND trying to fit his G*P*S into it tiny bracket on his dash. All this as he was sitting in the left-turn lane at one of the busiest intersections in our neighborhood.

The funny part was watching him while we all sat at the red light, his hands flying everywhere. It also slightly amused me that the hustle-bustle frantic pace of life so often associated with my age-stage of life seems to be infecting the older generation.

Until the light turned green.

The not-so-funny part came when I watched him gun it at the green left-turn arrow and keep doing all the stuff he was doing while he waited.

I'm sure glad I was in the middle lane. I was scared straight.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Snapshot

Ni Hao Y'all

Today, The Boss set about finishing the last steps of our little kitchen re-do.  He laminated our new kitchen counter and finished off the end of the newly-shortened peninsula. Pictures from that project will come later, I promise!

When he took the laminate out of its packaging, Lady Bug and Baby BlueEyes decided it would make a perfect spaceship for a certain little astronaut.

The Mei~Mei 3, ready for launch . . .

Every commander needs a headset!

Command Central, keyboard and all!

All of their engineering, manufacturing, and interior decorating went very well. Until Li'l E was IN the spaceship. She leaned out the window of her aircraft to get a better view of the moon and the whole thing started tipping right over.

If LadyBug hadn't moved so quickly, Li'l Empress would have broken her spacecraft's fall. With her face. My heart was in my throat as we righted the ship and realized just how awful that engineering error could have been.

They rescued our poor little moon-walker
from her command post and turned the
spacecraft in to a boat.

  Ahoy, maties! Permission to come aboard?

If you want to learn more about Sunday Snapshot,
even if it is only occasionally, head over here to link up.
Leave me a comment if you do and I'll be sure to come visit you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gather Round for a Giggle

Li'l Empress has a great sense of humor. She's easily amused and amuses us easily at the same time. Once in a while, somethings strike her so funny that she loses it. But she "gets it together" really, really quickly if it means more giggles will follow. We took this video last night, when I was playing a game with her. It started a couple weeks ago when I asked her what she might want for a birthday present. It evolved into this very funny game. And three weeks later, it still gets her going every time.

Warning: put down your morning coffee
and swallow before you watch this one.
I dare you not to chuckle.

Excuse the wiggly camera - Dr. D was laughing, too.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Please Be Patient

It seems as though my blogging mojo has up and left the building. I think it's on vacation. Likely sipping fruity little drinks with pink umbrellas somewhere balmy and tropical. No postcards home, no word of imminent return.

I think it's waiting for me to crawl out from under the pile of STUFF that has accumulated around here since the holiday weekend.  Yes, I know that was almost two weeks ago. Trust me, I know. The pace around here since July 2nd has been erratic, inconsistent, and irregular. At best. No wonder my muse has departed. Can you blame it?

I'm hoping that a day or two of some sort of revised routine and scheduled normalcy will entice it to return to me. I miss it.  I sure hope it brings me a souvenir when it returns. Maybe a grass skirt? Ooooh, wait, some of those little umbrellas to dress up my Tigger mugs o' coffee. Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

"You wanna a piece of this?!"

Backyard football at its best . . .

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Worth a "Look-See"

There's a great post over at No Hands But Ours. It's beautifully written and I think it would be worth a "look-see," as my grandmother used to call it, for any of you who stop by here frequently.

Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

These little babies seem to be LOVING the crazy triple-digit heat . . .

  Imagine how excited I was
to find that they also attract butterflies!

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ain't This Country Grand?

I had the most wonderful experience the other day at Costco.

I know, I know. How wonderful could it be? It was Costco, on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend.

But seriously, I was alone. I was meandering the aisles, sampling and snacking my way through the store and dodging carts and shoppers as I walked among the traffic.

And that wasn't even the wonderful part.

As I stood in the mile-long check-out line, I tuned in to the conversations and people swirling around me. Normally, with a list in my hand and a cart overflowing with bulk-sized bounty, observing the shoppers near me is the LAST thing on my mind. But this day, I was particularly attentive.

There was a young Korean family, corraling their kids with frazzled gestures and whispered admonitions to behave. They spoke quietly to each other and the kids in Korean, but the kids were sassing back in English. It wasn't very funny, having been there myself too many times, but it brought a smile to my face anyway.

On one side of me was a "Jimmy Buffet-esque" old guy chatting on his Bluetooth with a friend about the big clambake coming up with their friends. He was bemoaning the long list his wife had written out, frustrated that the store was mostly sold out of the majority of the list.

In front of me was an elderly couple, jockeying for a spot in the shorter line, communicating without words. They carried themselves with a great sense of "old money" grace and style. It was obvious that they were happy about their weekend plans, as they talked quietly about the kids coming in and the grandchildren's sleeping arrangements.

On my other side, was a young business man, looking to be of  Middle Eastern descent with his lovely dark skin and coal-black hair.  When he spoke kindly to me as he tried to settle into one of the lines, his accent confirmed my observations. He had his hands full of ice cream for a family cook-out for the holiday, so I let him go ahead of my over-stuffed cart. His effusive thanks and polite inquiries about my weekend plans (based upon my full cart) were thanks enough for me.

Across from the line where I was waiting, a young African-American mom was chattering to her chubby baby in an effort to pacify her during the long wait. Elderly folks around them smiled and nudged each other as the baby's giggles rang out.

Several carts ahead of me, a grumpy old man was greeted cheerfully by my favorite clerk. She graced him with her regular smile beaming from her ebony eyes, chatted pleasantly in her deep-South accent and rang him up with the not just a little flair and flashing sparkly nails clacking away on the keypads. Her slow drawl eventually won a smile even from his deeply grooved frown. This is why she's my favorite.

All over the store, folks from all walks of life were stocking up on snacks, party supplies, and grilling meats. Planning their Independence Day festivities. Exchanging smiles and empathic grimaces at the hustle and bustle. Giving "Happy Fourth" greetings. Making plans for trips "down the shore" and out to fireworks shows. Chatting with friends and strangers. The atmosphere was festive and largely jovial, with only a few exceptions.

Different languages. Different foods in the carts. Different customs and cultures. But one purpose and intent. One goal. One common plan. One celebration connecting us all.

Happy Birthday America!  I love all your colors. All your sounds and all your sights.

Ain't this country grand?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Some of you may remember that when our Li'l Empress was living in China, she was part of an orphanage system that was cared for, supported by, resourced by an organization called China Care. They are celebrating ten years of caring for China's children and I am so excited to share this video with you. We are grateful that an organization such as this one exists. Not just because of the excellence with which they cared for our daughter, but also because of the on-going work that they do. Because of the partnerships they have formed. Because of the vision they carry to expand and grow their work. Because of the respect that they show each and every child in their care.

For more information on China Care
and their story, head here.