Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Lord's Prayer

The sweeties did it!
They memorized The Lord's Prayer!

We are so proud of them!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Bicycle Built for Two

The pianista, who sometimes insists that she needs to wear glasses.  Not!

Learning how when the sun shines on America, China can't see the sun and when China sees the sun, America is sleeping.

The big day came at last - JiJi's bike arrived!

Go to this site - - if you want to see an amazing father/son and their vision.  They worked with us to find funding for JiJi's bike - I wish I would have been ready with the camera - her face was priceless when she got on that bike for the first time!

Thanks to Scott and Janice with  They had the bike shipped to them, assembled it and then they delivered to us!  THANKS, Scott and Janice!

I just had to share - my first home-grown dahlia!  Isn't she a beauty?

JiJi hard at work on her Mountbatten brailler.  She loves for me to dictate stories to her while she writes, then she reads them back to anyone who will listen.

What?  You don't know what this is?  We took a train ride this week from Vancouver, WA to Seattle, WA.  The yellow stripe represents the train track.  The red triangle at the bottom is Vancouver, the blue crystal is the train and each of the pink dots represent a stop that the train makes.  The white circle at the top is Seattle.  JiJi loved getting out her map as each stop was broadcast to see what point we were at and how many more stops we had to go. is the blog of the first guide dog allowed in China.  We had the privilege of meeting Candie and her owner, Lian, and visiting with them while we were in Seattle.

Moustaches, Weddings & Donuts

Stow-Away got married last month and most of the family was involved in one way or another.  MissE was the maid of honor, and JiJi, Chicka and Zabi were flower girls.

IBoy rounded out the participation by catching the garter belt!

Zabi, modeling her oh-so-pinkaliscious moustache.  Just what every young girl strives for.

The three princesses with their pumpkins.

What would the day be without the eating the donut with no hands game?

IBoy's contribution.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Feline Brother and a Sister

 Zabi's proud pumpkin picture for Dad.

The new addition to the family - the brother . . .

. . . . . . and the sister!

Yes, we don't have a full enough house, we brought home two siamese mix 4 month old cats!

Any idea for names?

Darlin' Daughter

Yup, that is the eldest darlin' daughter!  We were headed out to a shower and couldn't resist a photo op.  And yes, we are VERY good friends.

Say, what?????  No, she is not actually going to hunt, she was just holding Papa's gun for him.  She did go out with him, though!  I sure hope we have liver for dinner tonight!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

One Nest Down

Curlylocks?  The girls wanted "kitty ears" hair.  When we were taking the buns out, this is what it looked like!  "Picture, mama, picture!"

IBoy conducted a brief science lesson for the girls when he came home from a walk.  They weren't too sure about getting very close to the nest.  Something about getting stung too many times?

You have to admit, we have a pretty awesome God who can create a creature to construct such an amazing structure, though!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Scrabbled Family

Thought I'd share with you a couple of things we have hanging around.

The kids made the above collage for Father's Day using old Scrabble tiles.

This one was done for Mother's Day by MissE.  She found pennies that were issued the same year as each person's birth.  She even included grandbabes as little frogs hopping around their parent's flower!  SO creative!

I am always on the lookout for fun gift ideas - share me some, ok?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

High On The . . . .

Tractor bucket - what else?
Life on the farm - ain't it great?

Long enough hair for french braids now!  Does the word gorgeous do any justice?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Uh-oh, no eggs????

I had taken my very last bag of razor clams out of the freezer this morning to defrost.

I was fantasizing about crispy clam fritters all day.

Finally time to make dinner, only to discover that we had no eggs!  Kind of a main ingredient in clam fritters!

Although this dish was a totally different taste than what I had been dreaming about, it was surprisingly delicious!

Seared Clams with Brown Butter

6 tablespoons salted butter
1 lemon
olive oil
24 razor clams or 24 littleneck clams
1 tablespoon chives, minced
fresh ground black pepper

Heat butter in a saucepan, over medium heat, until it turns brown and is fragrant; remove from heat, stir in juice from one lemon, and set aside.
Heat a large griddle, or cast iron skillet, over high heat; once very hot, coat with olive oil and place clams, hinge side down, if possible, on griddle or skillet.  (I had just chopped them for fritters, so I just cooked them chopped did them this way instead of whole!)
Cook until they open, about 5 minutes; turn over and cook until the meat just starts to brown ( cook in batches, if necessary).  (this would probably have worked better if my pan wasn't so full - I just kept draining off the juice and probably cooked them 5 minutes total or less)
Transfer clams to a serving platter.
Reheat butter sauce, stir in chives, and season with pepper; spoon over clams.

We served this over baked potatoes - I just split them open and kind of roughed up the inside and spooned the clams in butter on top of the tater.

Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Who'd'a'thunk cleaning a tuna would be called carking.  Like, who would have come up with such a weird word for cleaning a fish!

I didn't know it until I proudly came home hauling a 25 pound whole tuna.

I can everything else, I was confident that I could can a tuna.  How?  I had no idea, but my trusty friend "Google" led me to a site that taught me.  I have to say it was the easiest game that I have ever cleaned - easier than poultry, rattlesnake, rabbit, venison.  I haven't done goat yet, but I plan on that real soon.

I canned us up some plain tuna, some lemon/black pepper tuna, some garlic tuna and some jalapeno tuna.  Now it looks too pretty to open up!

If you have to know, out of that 25 pound whole tuna, I got 8 pints and 6 half pints.

So, if you have a twisted sense of curiosity and want to see how you cark a tuna (and I know you do . . . .) here it is.

Unless you want to turn back now.

Your choice.

OK - how is this - if you look at these pictures, you have to leave me a comment on the oddest creature that you have ever cleaned.  And eaten.

I bet I might have you beat on that one, too - had scorpions lately???  Kinda crunchy, but not too bad.

Alright - Tuna Carking 101

Family Fun

Everyone had the day off, so we took advantage of it and packed a picnic.

There is a hidden waterfall about 10 miles from our home, so we decided that would be the destination.  We had heard that if you climbed above the falls and went back the creek a ways, you could find some cool rocks.

When we got to the falls, someone had been there and made a huge display of pleasing rock towers.  Kind of gave it an even more peaceful feeling.

After much bushwhacking (us whacking the bushes, to be sure, but plenty of the bushes whacking us, too!) and challenging terrain over brambles, fallen trees that we crawled over and under, we finally found the top of the falls.

I would also like to introduce to you our current stowaway, MrD.  We are very happy to have him living with us!

The Lulie's and the dufus mom - believe me, this was the best shot of several - sad.
  That is ok - this mama was enjoying every second of so many of us being together in one spot at the same time!

The posin' Papa - no wonder our progeny likes to goof off so much - it is hereditary!

A beautiful ending from our front porch to a beautiful family day.

Rub-a-Dub-Dub . . . .

three gals in the tub!

We finally got our tub so the plumbing doesn't leak and wouldn't you know it - before the Mama could get her Calgon moment, the Lulie's had to have their turn.  Some nerve!

On another note, the chimney sweep came to clean, but somehow woke up a ton of bees that we didn't even know were living with us!  IBoy, my hero, took care of them.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Yolkless Egg

I have never seen anything like this - I can't wait to try it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Hootin' Day

This day just gets better and better.  I had to share.

We are working on memorizing "Our Father . . .".  JiJi's turn to say the first line and here is what she said . . .

"Da Fadder hoots in Heaben."

Good thing she couldn't see me shaking with giggles.  Fadder, forgive this mama for sharing what she will certainly find embarrassing when she is older!

"Good job, darlin', now let's say it together . . . "

A 30 Second Glimpse

OK - here is the scene.

JiJi (blind) wants to put her own fingernail polish on, just like her sisters.

Towel on the counter, so whatever polish doesn't make it to a human surface doesn't adhere to the counter.

Meanwhile, mama figures it is a perfect moment for an iced/blended coffee drink.  It is afternoon, and she needs one.
check, check

"Mama, what doing?  Gonna be loud?"
"Yes, but I'll tell you before I turn it on."
She understandably doesn't like loud noises and, well, what does any kid do to block out a loud noise?
check :-(

Green fingernail polish in the ears and on the hair.
"Sweetie, I told you I would let you know before I turned it on!"  "sorry, mama, sorry"  Cleaned her up and turned to put more yummy ingredients into the much desired coffee (no, no brandy in the house, rats!)

A door being shut in the background alerts me and sure enough, now there is now green fingernail polish on my bedroom door frame.  Forget the coffee, I'm gonna take a swig from my homemade vanilla I think!
(just joking!)

Yup, moments like these are all too common, and I wouldn't trade them for anything!

OK - gotta get my coffee before something else happens!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Perkins Giveaway is hosting an awesome giveaway - not to mention that it is a tremendous site on it's own!  Go take a look - just click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph!!!

Perkins SMART Brailler Giveaway!

using a Perkins SMART Brailler in the classroom

Maybe you've heard the news about the new Perkins SMART Brailler and if you have you're probably pretty excited about it.
Imagine a brailler with a computer screen and the capability to remember who you are, save your files and settings, quiz you on your braille skills and talk to you!
As a sighted parent, imagine being able to see what your child is typing on the screen in both print and braille so you can follow along and help them! What an amazing tool for anyone (child or adult) learning braille and what an amazing tool to have in a classroom!
Here's what the new SMART Brailler looks like:

SMART Brailler Features

SMART Brailler Features:
  • A video screen that displays SimBraille and large print, combined with audio feedback, for an instantaneous, multi-sensory learning experience
  • The ability to edit, save and transfer electronic documents via USB
  • The "Building on Patterns Series," developed by the American Printing House for the Blind, can be downloaded to the SMART Brailler, offering easy lessons for anyone – sighted or blind – who wants to learn braille
  • Headphone jack and volume control
  • Acapela Text to Speech from Acapela Group
  • Mechanical brailler capability
  • Multiple language platforms including English, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Portuguese
  • Rechargeable and removable battery
Want to learn more? Watch this video below and be prepared to be amazed:

Would you like to win a brand new Perkins SMART Brailler for your child (or classroom)?Entering this giveaway is easy. Simply send me an email letting me know that you want to enter this contest or leave a comment below. I'll be accepting entries until October 5th at midnight.

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Rules for the SMART Brailler Giveaway:

One entry per person. There will be one winner for this giveaway. We can only ship in the US and Canada.
Would you like to earn one extra entry? You can do one of the following…
  • Subscribe to our monthly newsletter;
  • Like WonderBaby on Facebook;
  • Follow WonderBaby on Pinterest;
  • Follow WonderBaby on Twitter;
  • Post about the contest on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest;
  • Or post about this contest on your own blog or website.
Be sure to send me an email to let me know what you did for your extra entry.
This contest will end October 5th at midnight. The winner will be contacted on October 6th.
Good luck!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Whirlwind Vacation

We had the opportunity to visit IBoy in the far north west of our lovely US of A before he comes home in two weeks.  It was only a few days, but we made the most of it and had a blast!

I think staying in a beach house was WAY more fun than a hotel.

Even if we had to sleep 3 to a bed.  Didn't seem to bother the littles at all!

Our family has always enjoyed the books and movies with Ma and Pa Kettle - a true story of a young woman from the Pac NW and her adventures.  We passed right through the area where most of the book was based, so we had to stop and document it.

And then it was on to the circus pre show tour!!

And then the actual circus . . . .
The circus clown chose our row to do part of his act in.

Dad and Chicka checking out something exciting.

MissE on the edge of her seat during the motorcycle act.

And then back to more fun in the water

We had a bubble gum blowing contest.
MissE being goofy.

 Dad fell asleep at the park, and our new found friend guarded him.

The same little guy was so sweet and gentle with JiJi on the beach.
Chicka found a treasure to share.  Yuck!