Sunday, May 24, 2015

Of Graduations and End of School

Should you be worried when one child comes home with a certificate honoring him as "Mathamagician" because as his advanced math teacher said, "He manages to figure out the correct answer, but I can't understand from his work HOW he did it."

and the 2nd certificate labeled "Master Physicist" because as that teacher said, "He writes his notes in strange hieroglyphics but his answers are right."

Then older brother asks, "So are you still working on that alphabet?"

Son #3 says, "Yeah, now I'm working on the grammar."

Son #2, "When do you get time to do this?"

Son #3, "During class."

Son #2, "Yeah, Mr Physics teacher used to keep an encyclopedia behind his chair, to read when he got bored."

Son #3, "Well I'm writing one."

During another conversation Zeke was asking Hope what she remembered of geometry and she grabbed a piece of paper and wrote E= MC2.
Must be what happens to all the left-over pieces of information that she stored in her head and didn't use in those final tests. She opens her mouth and it falls out.
In other news,
And Shekinah took the preschool test and passed! She finally needs uniforms!
In order to be organized this summer I printed out a schedule ....weekly and daily...have two "willing volunteers" that will be cooking supper one night each. A long list of boredom busters for those days when the one hour of screen time and the one hour of reading time are not long enough. Yes, I did limit their reading time because we are fast running out of books...especially if you read a 400 page book in one afternoon!

Zeke took a step back and said, "What is THAT?"

Hope, "The cotton gin......Henry Ford invented it....for ...something."

Joseph graduated from 8th grade and in his words " I can't wait till next year! I will get something done in study hall and finally learn something!"

(wonder what he was doing this year?)

Thing is, she had her teacher in a fit of giggles in the short hour she tested her....oh my!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fast Forward , Pause

This post has been rolling around in my mind....

Two women I know would probably wish for one of these buttons.

The one dear lady was fighting that beast called cancer, her journey started about seven years ago. At the five year mark, we celebrated with her. A few months later it was back, she fought for nearly 2 years. It attacked the lining of her brain, but it didn't win, she ran to Jesus. I have to remember the last time I saw her, I had stopped in on the way home from school and dropped of flowers. I left the children out in the car because I didn't think the shear mass of humanity that follows me would have been restful. She was awake but kept her eyes shut, the headache had been harder and harder to keep under control. I ended up chatting with her friend and as I was heading toward the door I said, "Now if you guys need anything, just yell."  Immediately, we heard a... yeah...I guess even she would have called it a squawk ,  from the bed. We both sort of jumped and turned toward the bed  to see the sick person's shoulders shaking with silent laughter!
When I got in the car with the children, they asked how she was doing. I wasn't sure what to say because just about a dozen days before she had been at church and looked not much different than in the past year.  I told them, "I think that Mary is wishing there was a fast forward button to get past this part. She knew for awhile that Heaven was coming soon, but to get there she had to go through this last part."
(side note: A woman who would choose Isaiah 54:5 for her funeral text was an interesting woman. We will sorely miss her sense of humor.)

Now the "Pause" button

Another woman, she is a foster mother - a good one. If anyone tells me again, "these Mennonites just foster for the pay."....well.... I hope I can keep my hands in my pockets, and be sweet.

This mother has a little one, for almost a year, she has sat up with him at night, nursed him through a hospital stay. Stayed home most of the winter because of his fragile immunity. Attached to him, so he knows what unconditional love looks like. Through all that she  knew there was a good probability that she would say "good-bye" one day.  That day is coming soon. We hope that the birth mother can keep her side of the bargain, the little one needs a big person to take care of him for awhile yet. This foster mom is wishing for a "pause" button.... time just slow down a little bit, one more giggle, one more lop-sided grin, one more "first".  That big world out there looks so cold and heartless and scary for 1/2 pint-sized people.  Prayers little one....that's all we can do.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day Etc.

This is how you eat breakfast at grandma's house.
First thing is "ball" he has to bring a basketball along is as they come in the kitchen door, 
from then on who has time to sit?

He wasn't too sure about Shekinah taking over his stroller.
I wish our driver in China could see the use we are getting out of this stroller.
He thought it was so stupid to buy a stroller while in China.

First ice cream cone at grandma's house. Grandma needs to get some real bibs,
but homemade cloth napkins and a clothes pin works just fine.

Then it was Mother's day. Ben helped the little girls pick some flowers (May apples).
He wrote a poem.

Hope baked oatmeal sandwich cookies AND cleaned up  afterward!

Demetrius and Glenda brought a flower basket ( I need to take another picture, this was right after they were watered) and visited awhile on Saturday.

Then Sunday we went for a walk and the neighbor man had a "bike" to get rid of. We assumed that Shekinah would be too little to ride it well,... Wrong!

Right after she did a 180...laughing, not crying.

Finished some quilt projects that have been in the works for awhile.

I did not do the applique on here...I'm way too slow.

Quote from Shekinah: During mealtime prayers "and help this food to be good for us". I love that thought much better than "and bless this food to our bodies".

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


They tell me I had a birthday this past week. It surely cannot be a whole year
since the last one!
I asked for lights under my kitchen cupboards so my dear hubby stayed home from work
and put them up. He had so much help that it only took twice as long as it should have.

As I was in another room listening in on their conversation. I realized how MUCH this child 
TALKS...and sings...and TALKS!
He asked her how on earth she is going to sit still and be quiet in school.
I love my new lights, but now I need to keep after the cobwebs.

She put a puzzle together with verbal instructions from me.
She doesn't have much patience for puzzles, I guess I need to find some more to practice on.

Only a friend (s) would carefully craft these cute cupcakes for my birthday.

Friday, April 17, 2015

First Week TBRI

Well, that is a bit stretched....should say "First Week After TBRI Refresher".

So after a weekend of "drinking from a fire hydrant" I was trying to remember and use some of the connection principles as well as prepare for a speech on Wednesday and finish the next issue of Adoption News.
So Tuesday found me baking bread and Shekinah was right there "helping". I wanted to put supper in the crock pot too, so I left her play with a cup of flour.

Thinking all the while "what a good mama! getting things done and daughter is doing some sensory stuff, we should be good to go for the rest of the day."

Silly mama...
So the floury mess got bigger and bigger and finally it was time to clean up.
While I washed the dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, I asked her to get the dust pan and brush and clean up the mess down the front of the cupboards and on the floor.
She cheerfully found the tools and was sweeping away. I turned and saw her dumping the contents of the dust pan on my freshly wiped counter!

TBRI went straight out the window, "Shekinah! you know better! you don't put dirt on the counter, now go get your dress like I told you to!

Way to go mom!

She fled, down to the basement to get her dress (earlier she just couldn't go down there without me).

I spent a couple of seconds...well maybe 120 of them, thinking   about connection.

So I went down to find her hiding in the dresses, you know, just the feet showing below the skirts. In her hand she had a "going away" dress. (groan, I had told her earlier not to get that dress, but to leave it for the evening when we were going away).
One thing at a time...."Come here, I see you found your dress"  Held her and then, "Is this the dress you want to wear?"  She nods.
I held her a bit, then said "come, lets get you dressed and clean up the counter together."
She came with me,  and we cleaned up the flour together, then she wiped her hands and said, " I'll go get an everyday dress and save that one for tonite."

Yes, dear, this time we both "got our act together"

There have been more times this week, when the mindfulness is paying off....chug, chug, chug, chug.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


In a little town in the eastern part of PA we dreamed of holding a Karyn Purvis 
Empowered to Connect seminar.
Thing was....the office space was still not painted
the floor was still "messed up"
the potties were still in the boxes
and the lighting wasn't finished.
AND there was no internet connection in the building.
Some very energetic men
finished the last of the painting
on Thursday night.
A son who was willing to try some set ups and a lady who said "well if it doesn't work, 
we will watch the Karyn Purvis videos."
A dad who hadn't thrown away that old lamp yet.

We received the internet from across the street at my son's house via that beige box on the old lamp post. If the dumpster would have been moved back 12 inches or the pile of rubble had been 12 inches higher,or if our windows would not have opened, OR if my son's router had gone out on Saturday instead of Monday... We would have had no internet connection. (his router did go out on Monday morning and he quickly replaced it and borrowed a backup.)

 Below is a better picture of the little house across the street.
I think 20 families were represented in the 28 people that attended.
We were part of an audience of 20,000 according to the simulcast folks.
So much stuff to process and remember, this second time around was good for us.

 This afternoon we took advantage of the sunshine.
The girls picked some bluebells on the hill.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Motherhood is the Necessity of Inventions

So I thought I was so smart when I came up with the perfect hostess gifts for Zeke to 
take with him this weekend...
The school's Gospel Team is going on tour for five days and the students usually take a gift for the host/hostess. I usually am scrambling the night before because this is one thing we forget.
This year Zeke reminded me early, I ordered "hand poured soy candles" from our local soy candle manufacturer (otherwise known as son#1 and his wife)

I thought I would quickly find some easy gift box on Pin*rest....did I say quick?

So I dug out some burlap,
crumpled up some grocery bags for the lining

 Then decided they need something extra

 Even re-used the handles from the grocery bags

Then for some more inventions...
You would think we are adopting again, for all the crazy things that have been happening this week

We are helping to host a Karyn Purvis seminar this Friday and Saturday.
The wheel bearing on the van gave out AGAIN...

thankfully it was 3 weeks before the warranty was up.

We all came down with a wonderful-stick-around cold

The main drain for the gray water clogged and our bathtub has filled up with washing machine water three times now. We have hit the clog with some powerful stuff, but it is stubborn.
So am I
Zeke needs his clothes washed so he can go on the aforementioned tour.
I decided that the wash water can just get pumped out into the backyard via a garden hose
you can't just connect those two hoses.
So I spent 45 minutes wandering after a helpful hardware clerk
came home with $11 worth of connectors and clamps.
Their universal washer drain hose was a different size than mine
of course it was
so nothing fit.
So I found some stuff that was on the sink and managed to keep the two hoses together long enough to finish two loads of laundry.
Now hopefully the high powered stuff that hubby brings home does its thing.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

He is Risen!

Happy Easter!
Resurrection Sunday!
The whole reason that Christians can face tomorrow. 

In the last week we had some additions to our family.
The post office called early and I went to pick up the babies. Put them in their cozy home but first I needed to remember to dip their beaks in the water in their waterer so they know where to find it.

Parker and Shekinah were highly entertained.

Then while I was doing book work Shekinah decided to play Apples to Apples. I figured it wouldn't get too bad....yeah, well there are 900 some cards in that box.
So I told Shekinah to help clean up...she didn't want to. I told her that is OK but, we won't be able to go see the peeps later if she can't help. It took her awhile to decide but she decided that it sorta looked like fun to clean up after all. Even Parker got in on picking up.

This is the snow we had left on Thurs afternoon. I am happy to say that it is all gone now.

On Saturday the cousins came! Faith told me she is glad I wasn't an only child.

Parker was impressed by the youngest of his daddy's cousins.
He said "arf, arf".

On Friday, dad and Zeke decided to used car shopping. Zeke's car was older than he was and was coming apart at various places, and needed weekly infusions of various fluids.
They settled on a 16 y.o. car instead.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Life is Crazy

Sometimes you just need your own wash basket!

And cleaning out grandma's cupboards is great fun.
I'm hoping this week is a bit more relaxed, last week I over-scheduled and left people down, so I'm hoping this week is better. 
Two weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a lady who wanted to order a quilt for her 83 y.o. grandfather. She needs it to fit on his hospital bed and really other than the size she know that she wants it in the color of blue. AND to help ease my mind (not really) she doesn't want to see pictures of the quilt in progress, she wants a surprise.
Oh, and since he is 83 and just coming home from the hospital....I think I'll work on that this week.

I only plan to teach ONE   CPR class instead of four- what's with that anyway? Why all the classes suddenly....ah well, keeps me out of trouble.

Science Fair project is finished...did you know that ...

these interesting designs are made with sound and water...called cymatics 
not sure  where the pictures are of the salt and sound.

Then...on the day Spring began! we were blessed  with more snow!
The picture is from Saturday the morning our drive was completely covered.
Thankfully even though the township opted NOT to salt the bridges or anything for that matter...Ezekiel and I made it to our destinations without actually hitting anything.

QOTD:  Joe to Zeke: " So why were you taking sermon notes in that weird hieroglyphics?"
Ben: "yeah, you still use that? Is it a 26 letter alphabet?"
Zeke:" No, now it is....32 I think...5 'O's' and then one for that sound the Scots make in the word loch...or like the the Dutchmen make when they say 'ach'.... just in case. 
Ben: " I dare you to hand in your physics homework written in that script"