Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Chinese New Year -- Year of the Pig!

For more Wordless Wednessday, go to 5 minutes for Mom.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Series Of Tedious Tasks

I have been thinking for a while about making some hair bows for Abby. They are so expensive to buy and I wanted to be able to choose my own colors.

Last Friday, my mom and I went to JoAnn's to do a custom framing order for a couple of pictures Billy and I bought in China for Abby. Yes, we're just now getting around to having them framed. Anyway, I had a coupon for 50% off the entire order, so I jumped on it!

While there, I got some grosgrain ribbon to make some bows. I found the directions to make the korker bows on my "One Hundred Good Wishes Quilt" Yahoo Group. There are also directions here for lots of types of hair bows.

Here are my condensed directions:

1. Wrap the ribbon tightly around a wooden dowel. Wrap as many dowels as you have.
2. Bake the ribbon dowels in the oven
3. Carefully unwrap the ribbon
4. Cut the ribbons to 2.5 inches
5. Put fray check on all the ends
6. Lay 12 inches of string out on the table
7. Stack up a bunch of the cut korker ribbons
8. Tie them together
9. Attach the bow to a hair clasp or head band with hot glue gun

Each step, especially #1, #4, and #5, is quite tedious. But the result is SO cute! The first bow took the longest. After I got the hang of it, it wasn't so hard. I made two matching purple bows for Abby and one pink headband bow for my niece, Aria.

Here are the results of my labors. I LOVE the way they turned out! Sorry I don't have pictures of all the steps. I didn't know this post was going to turn into a tutorial. Here are the girls together yesterday at church. Abby just can't help but sqeeze those little cheeks.
Last night, I made Abby two pink hair clasps similar to Aria's and also a pair of red, white and blue ones. I'm on a roll now!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Happy Day!

Wednesday is Abby's favorite day of the week. In fact, we had to teach her the days of the week just so she would understand that it doesn't come every other day.

Why is she so excited about Wednesdays? Because that's the day she gets to go to Rainbows. Rainbows is a class our church sponsors for 3 and 4-year old boys and girls. They learn about God and animals and other pre-school stuff. She loves it!

On Wednesdays, I usually wait til 5 pm or so to tell her that it is Wednesday because as soon as I tell her, she wants to go right then. She will keep asking and asking to go. It doesn't start til 6:30 pm.

Today was no exception. This little video is a glimpse into her excitement. Although I will say that it is a little intimidating to have a camera pointed at you so her response was somewhat subdued.

And, in all her excitement, she poked herself in the eye. After a little drama, she recovered quite nicely. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Which means, "Happy New Year!"

Chinese New Year was Sunday, February 18. I'm a little late in this greeting.

A little info for you:

Arrival of the New Year is an important celebration on the Chinese calendar. It’s a time for cleaning house, repaying debts, enjoying feasts, distributing “laisee” packets (red envelopes that hold gifts of money), remembering ancestors, and renewing family ties. The festival lasts for at least 15 days, until Yuen Sui, or Feast of the Lantern.

The New Year also is considered “everyone's birthday,” a day on which all become a year older and gift giving is prevalent. “Gong Xi Fa Cai” is a typical greeting and means “wishing you luck and prosperity.”

The Chinese New Year is the second New Moon after the winter solstice. It is based strictly on astronomical observations, and has nothing to do with the Pope, emperors, animals or myths. Due to its scientific and mathematical nature, we can easily and precisely calculate backward or forward for thousands of years.

The 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar recognizes each of a dozen animals in the Chinese zodiac – rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2007 is the Year of the Pig.

Famous people born in the Year Of The Pig include Billy, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock, Mahalia Jackson, David Letterman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

For a really cool picture of a dragon made of 30,000 pieces of porcelain, click here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

My Little Routine Girl

Now that we're not talking about me anymore, I thought I would fill you in on a typical day around here.

Abby wakes up around 7 a.m. I've tried to get up before her and those two times I actually did, it really helped my mental state in the morning. However, since my body is on the 8 a.m. wake-up schedule, I usually try to coax Abby to stay in bed with me a little while so I can catch a few more winks. Some mornings it works, and some mornings she paints lip gloss everywhere or something equally mischievous.

So when she finally convinces me to get out of bed, we go downstairs and have breakfast. She chooses between cereal, waffles, and eggs/toast. No pop tarts here!

After breakfast, she always watches a movie. This is my time to shower, check e-mail, read a few blogs, etc. I know, it's bad to let the TV babysit my child. But Mama needs some alone time, too!

If we have somewhere to go in the morning, 10 a.m. is the earliest I can seem to get out the door. And she does like to go! To Nana's house, Auntie's, the Library, anywhere!

For lunch, it's a PJ or Ramen noodles. (Can you tell I'm really getting those 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in her on a daily basis??)

Nap is around 1 p.m. - More alone time for mom!

When she wakes up, it's either, "Can I paint?" or "Can I go outside to play?" She knows what she likes!

We have dinner around 6:30 p.m. cause that's when Billy gets home and then he plays with her until bed time at 8 p.m.

Sounds exciting, eh? Sometimes we try to mix it up, and do something daring, like go to Wal Mart in the afternoon. But mostly we stick to what works. I guess I really thrive on having a schedule. (So you can add that to the list.)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

100 Things about Me

In honor of my 100th post, I am attempting the traditional "100 things" post. I will try not to bore everyone to tears as they are reading this. However, one hundred things is A LOT of things to read all at once. If you feel you need a breather, you can stop along the way to refresh yourself with strong coffee.

Here we go.

1. I have a teddy bear

2. His name is Shagga (hence the name of this blog)

3. We share the same birthday

4. I am one year older than he is

5. I don't usually spend a lot of time talking about myself

6. That's why I'm horrible at job interviews

7. Most of my jobs came from actually knowing someone who worked there first, which goes to prove that it's not what you know but who you know.

8. Speaking of jobs, my first one (that I can remember) was working at my Aunt's ice cream place. I loved that job - we got to eat the mistakes!

9. I also worked as a waitress at Golden Corral (my sister worked there first).

10. I HATED that job! and vowed never to work in food service again.

11. I have never worked in retail. My friends in retail say that's a good thing.

12. I finally found my "calling" working in an office -- I'm pretty good at organizing and telling other people what to do.

13. Now I do bookkeeping and I like that, too.

14. I love to balance my checkbook. To the penny. I know, I'm weird!

15. I like to help other people balance their checkbook. I want them to feel as good about it as I do. Most of the time, they don't. But I still feel good.

16. I have never worked in a bank. If they only knew how good I would be...

17. Enough about work, let's talk about school. (I'm such a nerd!) I only went to half a year of Kindergarten cause my birthday's in December.

18. They let me graduate to First Grade after passing the First Grade Entrance Exam with flying colors. Yes, I know my Primary, Secondary, AND Flying Colors!!!

19. I went to two different schools for second grade.

20. One of those schools was the same school my mother attended when she was little.

21. I played clarinet starting in sixth grade.

22. Then I got braces on my teeth, and my First Chair position flew out the window.

23. I finally got used to the braces and my chair came flying back in. (love that picture) I played in the band through the 9th grade.

24. I ran track and cross country in Junior High. I still see myself as a runner even though I probably could not run down the street without getting winded. Ok, I probably couldn't run past three houses without getting winded. A girl can dream can't she?

25. I didn't do sports in high school. But I liked to cheer for my team. "If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter!" :)

Now might be the time for that coffee break.

26. I love to sing! I should have put this one first, as it's probably the one that most people know about me.

27. I've been singing ever since I can remember. I used to wear out our records and then cassette tapes.

28. When I was two, I was in the hospital for spinal meningitis. I was in a coma for a little while.

29. My mom came to the hospital and knew I was on the mend when she could hear me singing down the hallway.

30. I've sung in church choirs all my life. Some of my best memories are of children's choir productions at Christmas and Easter.

31. I even sang in the adult choir when I was a kid (thanks Jerry!)

32. I sang in several choirs in high school. I'm so thankful for the great Music Department my school had.

33. I failed my voice class the first year of University. Actually it was an incomplete for not going to enough recitals and eventually the "I" changed to an "F."

34. I sang in a traveling singing/signing choir for two years in Bible school.

35. We got to go to Jamaica one summer!

36. I got the worst sunburn ever in my life in Jamaica.

37. After graduating from Bible school, I started leading worship at our local church. I haven't stopped.

38. I married a man that likes to sing, too.

39. We sang together at our wedding.

40. We've been singing together ever since.

41. I love it when he helps me lead worship. When we first started, I sometimes had a hard time with being the "leader" and would try to make him do it. Eventually, we came to the understanding that it works best when I lead and he backs me up with the praying and encouraging. This applies only to the worship leading experience. In everything else, I definitely let him take the lead!

42. I always knew I would marry my best friend. I knew it wouldn't be a blind date or anything like that.

43. Billy is still my best friend and I would rather be with him than anyone else in the world.

(44. This post has already taken me over an hour and we're not even half-way there...)

45. Billy and I met in August 1993

46. We started dating in March 94

47. We were engaged in June 94

48. And married in November 94

49. Billy was attending university when we were dating/engaged. At the time, I had NO interest in finishing my education. For a couple of reasons...

50. I hate homework!

51. I am a bad procrastinator. (are there any "good" ones?)

52. At his graduation in 96, I got inspired and said, "I can do that!"

53. So, I started back to school in the fall of 96 and finished in May 98.

54. I got strait A's attending those two years and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

55. It was a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences. The emphasis was in Business. Those two don't really make sense together, but I put all of my different schools and credits together to make this one work.

56. I'm almost done paying off my student loan. Yippee!

57. I really don't like working away from home.

58. When I did work outside the home, I used all my vacation days as soon as I accrued them. I'm not one that would have weeks saved up after a couple of years. I work to live not live to work.

59. Early in our married life, I worked (how did we get back on this subject???) a full-time job and kept saying, "When I get pregnant, I can quit working." Finally, I decided, "I'm just going to quit now!" So I did. That was in Jan 2001.

60. I've never been pregnant. I guess it wasn't the stress of working preventing it.

61. I have been through lots of infertility treatments.

62. It was not fun!

63. I hate needles poked into me. There were plenty of needles during that time in my life.

64. Ironically, I had to have blood drawn for the adoption as well. Apparently, if you want to be a mother, you have to have needles stuck into you.

65. Even though the process was hard, I'm so glad we went through it. Billy and I learned how to lean on each other more. And God was truly faithful through it all.

66. Our adoption of Abby was God-ordained from the beginning. It was a match made in Heaven - by God Himself. She fits us like a glove and brings such joy to our lives! That's why I mostly write about her on this here blog.

Time for another break???

67. Now for some trivial stuff... My favorite color is blue.

68. I like blue paired mostly with white, but sometimes yellow, or pink.

69. I love office/school supplies. I can wander around Staples for hours.

70. I would love to have a laminating machine.

71. My favorite kind of pen is paper mate felt tip pens. They come in all different colors.

72. I just bought a set with purple, pink and aqua last night. They are so pretty!

73. I love movies! While we were both working (aahhhh the working again!) and had no children, Billy and I went to the movies almost every weekend and then rented some, too. Now? not so much.

74. We did go see a movie last night for our Valentine date. We saw "Music and Lyrics." Cute movie, although we could have done without the scantly clad young woman dancing a rather suggestive dance a couple of times.

75. I love it that my man likes to watch "chick flicks" with me.

76. I cannot watch horror movies and even some suspense movies are too much for me.

77. I am a thinker. I will think about the plot of a movie (or book) for days and try to think what happens next or how something that happend in the movie is technically impossible because of this reason or that.

78. That is why I try not to watch movies on Saturday night, cause I don't want to be thinking of the movie while trying to lead worship on Sunday morning.

79. I like to read a good novel every once in a while.

80. If I get into the plot, I can usually finish the book in a couple of days.

81. I can ususally finish a good non-fiction book in a couple of years. Or, never. I do try to read them. But it is more like homework than pleasure.

82. I do like biographies, too. Sometimes.

83. I like it when a movie inspires me to read the book, like Pride and Predjudice.

84. Or when a historical fiction book inspires me to learn more about that period in history.

85. I love my family.

86. I have two sisters and one brother.

87. I am happy to say that we all get along fairly well together. And we're friends as adults.

88. My parents have been married since 1964. And they still love each other!

89. Both sets of my grandparents were married over 50 years before death parted them.

90. I am so thankful for my Godly heritage.

91. I usually like making lists. This one has been hard! It's now been over two hours in the making. But I have had a few distractions...

92. My favorite food is Mexican. Everything EXCEPT the beans.

93. I HATE beans!

94. Except green beans. Those are OK.

95. I love my dogs!

96. I have two Australian Shepherds.

97. Their names came from movies I've seen. Imagine that.

98. Billy and I like to quote movies and try to guess which movie it came from. Recently, my daughter has started quoting movies. Too funny!

99. I like doing crafts: scrapbooks, painting, decorating, etc. This has recently surprised me because I never used to think of myself as an artistic person.

100. This is the longest post I've ever done. I am so glad this list is over cause now, I can write about Abby again....

Friday, February 16, 2007

Speaking Of Schedules...

As you can tell, mine has been a little off lately. Especially where this blog is concerned.

Last week, on Monday the 5th, my sister gave me a couple of books cause I had mentioned that I wanted to read something. I started reading "All She Ever Wanted" by Lynn Austin that evening. I finished it on Tuesday evening. Amazingly enough, I also got a few loads of laundry done at the same time. Speaking of laundry, I'll be back in a sec...

Now, I'm back (as if you were reading this in real time, HA!).

Then on Wednesday, I started reading the other one, "A Woman's Place," also by Lynn Austin. I finished that one on Friday afternoon. And it was COLD last week, so a large portion of the book reading time was spent in the bathroom - the warmest room in the house. :)

Small book review: Both books were great. I love getting into a good story. And Lynn Austin is a good writer, not revealing all the secrets right up front and making you wait till the end to bring everything around. I have read a couple of her other books and liked them, as well. From this review, you can tell that I am not a writer but I can appreciate the art in others.

I have determined that I'm not very good at doing two or more projects at once. If, for example, I am painting a masterpiece, I cannot get anything else done, except maybe laundry. and even that suffers a little. So while reading books last week, the blogging suffered.

What is my excuse this week? The weather. Tons of snow and a husband that decided to work from home four out of five days. Don't get me wrong, we're glad to have him. But as he sits in front of our regular desktop computer, he lets me use his laptop for the internet and it's just not the same. No mouse, no favorites, no pictures saved on the hard drive. That's why I ususally don't blog on Thursdays and Fridays, and this week, not at all. I'm at his laptop right now... it is better than nothing.

Anyway.... another reason that I may have been putting off the blogging... this is post number 99 which means that the next one is supposed to be titled 100 things about me. Now, I have been thinking of what to include on this list. But that is all it has been, thinking. I should have been writing them down. Some of them, if I remember, were funny. But now all I remember is laughing at myself when I thought of them, not the actual thing. This will take some major brain power.

So now you know a few more things about me... I cannot do two major things at once, and I tend to put things off that I know are going to take a lot of effort. Darn, I should have saved that for the next post. Hmmm.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Let it snow! Let is snow! Let it snow!

The official record was 14 inches. But the drifts in some places were much higher than that! Like in front of our doors.

Here are some pictures...

The wind had made this "ditch" around the fence. Cool, eh?

My old boss, Mike, came with his tractor to dig out our driveway. Yeah! I was not looking forward to shoveling all that out.

Monday, February 05, 2007

It's Finished!

Yeah! The bedding came in the mail on Saturday. I love FREE shipping!

Here is a picture of her bed.

And here is the view of her closet.

I hung a couple of her ballerina dresses on the opposite wall.

I am very pleased with the way everything came together. And I'm happy that besides the bedding, I didn't spend too much on the decorations.

Abby loves it!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Budding Photographer

Abby wanted to take some pictures by herself. She took SEVERAL of the kitchen floor (thank goodness for digital photography). And of her feet.

Then I asked her to take pictures of her dolls. She took a couple before I went in to help her. The clear ones are the ones I helped her with. Also, I centered some of them up for the collage. The originals are somewhat off-center. (Again, thank goodness for digital photography).

In case you were wondering, the middle picture on the bottom row is the eye of a Nigerian doll. She likes to take close-ups!


Friday, February 02, 2007

Making Cake

Making Cake

We finally had my mom over for her birthday Friday night. Her birthday was on Jan. 28. Abby and I made a cake for Nana. Abby helped me measure everything out: flour, sugar, chocolate, etc. It was fun! She even helped with the mixer. Abby ended up with flour all over her pants and the counter. And then, chocolate all over her face. Yum!

Here's a little video of her using the mixer. The sound is weird cause the mixer is so loud.