Sunday, January 29, 2012


Happy Lunar New Year!

Lan Su Gardens in Portland, OR

Papa clicked the camera at just the perfect moment - JiJi had just pushed back on MissE, making her narrowly avert falling over backwards into the water!  I, of course, was oblivious.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Do Everything Good

I LOVE this!!!!


"Blindness is not a disability but rather the ability to see 
the world without eyes."
-Cody Laplante,
high school senior, legally visually impaired

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hot out of the Henhouse

OK, class, meet your new teacher!  Since her sisters all wear glasses, JiJi figured she should wear some, too.  She was prouder than punch when I noticed that she was wearing MY glasses!  Somehow, I simply cannot get enough of her smile - I eat it up as fast as she dishes it out!  I wish all of you could experience her first hand - suffice it to say that she exudes sweetness in her energetic little body.  My weeks away from being 7 years old, 38 pound, 43 inch tall princess, who is lucky be able to hold up a size 2 undergarment!

Who knew learning symmetry could be so much fun?  Again, you have to know this Chicka to experience the full creative vivaciousness of her sweet, sensitive personality.

Our snow flake experiment with a borax solution worked! Somehow, ours didn't turn out particularly symmetrical.

After a hard, cold day, 3 of the girls decided to take a snooze next to the heater.  Oops - busted by Soni.

JiJi's new job - folding the napkins and setting them on the table.

Remember less than a month ago when I posted that she would rip any clip out of her hair as soon as I could put it in?  What does this girl now ask for each and every morning?  Her pony, of course, complete with a bow that she chooses each day!  It even stays in ALL day!  That's my girl!

We learned how to identify quadrilaterals today.

And now for the piece de resistance - my henhouse - or to be more precise, what I found IN my henhouse.  

I was ecstatic when I went to see my girls today.  My Maran's are laying!!!!!  Aren't they gorgeous?  Why had I never heard of this breed before???  My Maran rooster is as calm and gentlemanly as they come, and oh, so handsome!  Breakfast for a select few of us tomorrow is going to be fun!  Hmm - how to select?  First come, first serve?  Draw names?  You make it, you eat it?  What?  I have to share?????

Wanna Date, Honey?

Here, at my friend's blog, I found a recipe for . . . . . ok, well, I can't find it there right now, but you might want to stop in and say hello to my friend, anyway . . . . ok, so moving right along - a recipe for . . . . a recipe for, well, ok it isn't there either (still a good site to visit!).

Maybe I was dreaming it, but I know I didn't, because I have the recipe sitting right here in front of me and I have made it.  And I LOVE it!  So easy and delicious on freshly ground peanut butter!

OK, so I thought this was going to be a quick easy post, but NO.  Did I even save the durned recipe on my 'puter?  NO.

Here is it - let me know if you enjoy it as much as I am!

Date Honey

1 cup pitted dates (about 6-8 Medjool or 18-20 Deglet Noor)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour dates and water into a small saucepan, making sure dates are completely covered (add additional water if necessary).  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low (don't forget to do this!!!!) and simmer 45-60 minutes or until dates are very soft and broken down (kind like me).  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly for about 15 minutes.  Here is recipe says to pour mixture (including liquid) into a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth. Not - heck, that gives you just one more dirty container!  I just smooshed the heckarooni outa'em.  Completely smooth - patoooey - a few little ol' chunks isn't gonna hurt anyone!  Ok, enough nonsense, sprinkle in cinnamon and stir well.  Store in a sealed container in refrigerator.  If it lasts that long.  Yield: 12 servings (serving size about 1 Tablespoon).  No joke on the serving size, a little goes a long way since it is so yummily sweet.

Enjoy it on toast, sliced apples, PBJ sandwiches - get creative.

OK - your turn.  Please do let me know how you like it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Food for Thought

The Case For Functional Skills

He is 18 years old, TMH (30-40 I.Q.) and has been in school 12 years. He has had a number of years of "individual instruction" and he has learned to do a lot of things!
He can now do lots of things he couldn't do before!
He can put 100 pegs in a board in less than 10 minutes while in his seat with 95% accuracy.
But he can't put quarters in vending machines.
Upon command he can "touch" nose, shoulder, leg, foot, hair, ear. He's still working on wrist, ankle, hips.
But, he can't blow his nose when needed.
He can now do a 12 piece Big Bird puzzle with 100 percent accuracy and color an Easter Bunny and stay in the lines!
But, he prefers music, but was never taught how to use a radio or record player.
He can now fold primary paper in halves and even quarters.
But, he can't fold his clothes.
He can sort blocks by color, up to 10 different colors!
But, he can't sort clothes; white from colors for washing.
He can roll Play Dough and make wonderful clay snakes!
But he can't roll bread dough and cut out biscuits.
He can string beads in alternating colors and match it to a pattern on a DLM card.
But, he can't lace his shoes.
He can sing his ABC's and tell me names of all the letters of the alphabet when presented on a card in upper case with 80 percent accuracy.
But, he can't tell the men's room from the ladies' room when we go to McDonald's.
He can be told it's cloudy/rainy and take a black felt cloud and put it on the day of the week on an enlarged calendar (with assistance.)
But he still goes out in the rain without a raincoat or hat.
He can identify with 100 percent accuracy 100 different Peabody Picture Cards by pointing!
But he can't order a hamburger by pointing to a picture or gesturing.
He can walk a balance beam frontwards, sideways and backwards!
But he can't walk up the steps or bleachers unassisted in the gym to go to a basketball game.
He can count to 100 by rote memory!
But he doesn't know how many dollars to pay the waitress for a $2.59 McDonald's coupon special.
He can put the cube in the box, under the box, beside the box, and behind the box.
But he can't find the trash bin in McDonald's and empty his trash into it.
He can sit in a circle with appropriate behavior and sing songs and play "Duck, Duck, Goose."
But, nobody else in his neighborhood his age seems to want to do that. I guess he's just not ready yet.
By: Preston Lewis

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

ready, set GO!!!!

My little girl just counted nearly to 100 in ENGLISH!!!!!!  She had a few that she got mixed up and each new ten she came to, she did the typical thing - 20 10, 30 10, instead of 30 or 40, but she rattled them all off!!!!

She also sings the ABC's in English and I counted them - she has over 60 English words that she uses every day - unprompted and completely in the proper spots!  She is learning SO fast - it takes my breath away!

Sorry guys - I just had to brag!  Hope you can put up with me!  For those of you who saw my sweet JiJi in action while still in China - you KNOW what you saw and I am telling you - she is NOT the same little girl.  The spunk is there, but well directed and I swear, that smile does NOT leave her face!

6 Packs in the Snow

Notice the 6 pack abs?  What?  Not what you thought I was going to show you????

JiJi got the scrambled eggs ready to cook.

SNOW and MORE SNOW!  We woke up to about 18 inches this morning!!!!  With the tropical heat wave that moved in over the course of the day, it is almost gone now - boo hoo!  The heat wave brought rain, too, so we didn't go outside and play this afternoon.  Instead, Zabi was busy with her Legos.

If you look closely in the center of the goat feeder, you will see a head - she loves to snuggle up in the warmth of the alfalfa, and of course, being such a lazy girl, she doesn't even have to move to eat!

Yes, a wink and a chocolate mouth - could it get any better????

Using the metal bowl as a target, JiJi tossed wooden spools into it.  She knew if it was a dull thunk, she hit the towel - close, but not quite.  She knew if she heard wood on wood, not close at all - it hit the wood floor and rolled away.  TING - you got it in the bowl!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

Our newest little sparkly princess falls out nearly every day still.  Until last month, she was used to having a nap every day, which we are trying to faze out.  In the middle of dress up time yesterday, I came into the room and found her sound asleep on the floor, her legs tucked under, all warm and cozy.  Do you see her hands folded so sweetly, too?  Melts this mama's heart.

Everytime I look at this dreamy photo, though, I think of all the other princesses and princes just waiting to sparkle with a family of their own.  Won't you consider helping just one sweetie find their family?  Don't just think about it or wish you could, DO something today!  Please, if you don't have any idea what to do or where to start - ASK me - I'll help you find a way.  Prayerfully, monetarily, action - there is a way for you to help!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Play

 Zabi took aim and actually got me!

This is JiJi's first snow - she couldn't get enough of going down the hill on the sled!  Her English is growing by leaps and bounds.  When we came in from the snow I asked her if she had fun in the snow and she answered without hesitation "uh-huh, YES!"  It took me a minute to realize that she had really answered my question!  As you can see, she lost her other front tooth - again, I have no idea where it went!

Papa even took a turn going down the little hill.


Chicka and Joanie joined the fun.

Joanie and I braved the big hill and set a new record!

There was so much snow blowing in my face I couldn't see where we were going.  The blind leading the blind?

We ended up just short of the mailbox at the end of the driveway - that black speck is us halfway down - the fence at our left.

IBoy had fun messing around with the toy snowboard.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Long Haul Trucking

My brother and sister-in-law are having a blast in their retirement careers of being long haul truckers!  Yep - even she is!  They were in our area today and we met up for lunch and a tour of the beast!  He is hauling a load of 75' poles next week - NO WAY!!!!

Of course, the favorite part for the littles was pulling that air horn handle!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Weaving a Wonderful Day

After reading a story about weaving, we thought it would be fun to weave a pot holder.  Even Joanie had to give it a try.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day, we decided to go out for a walk in the back forty.  Since Joanie's guide dog is back in training - she doesn't like puddles, and, well, where we live, puddles are a fact of life.  While Spritz is taking a refresher course, Joanie is using her cane.  Not her favorite tool.

Exactly who is leading who on this hike????

Queen of the hill!

What on earth?????  The two halves of M&M treat tins are high heels.  Who but Chicka would think of that?  Furthermore, who, other than Chicka, would DO that????