Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lunar New Year

I should be working on other things, but I wanted to post some pictures from the Korean Lunar New Year celebration we attended on Saturday. We had such a good time. We found a spare hanbok for Alyssa to borrow and she looked beautiful in it. She bowed to us and we gave her some money - a tradition at Korean New Year. We saw a wonderful program with beautiful dancing and singing and tae kwon do. And of course, we had bulgogi, chap chae (noodle dish), Korean pancakes (savory), and Korean cookies. Yum. We did, however, all pass on the kim chee!

I have an opportunity to submit a manuscript to a publishing house just getting in on the inspirational historical market and I'm excited. But it means a lot of work this weekend to get things ready to be submitted. A writer is never perfectly happy with her work and will edit til kingdom come if allowed! Glad Lunar New Year was last weekend.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY January 26, 2009
Outside my window...the bare trees are dark and still against the gray sky. The kids' play structure looks barren and alone.

I am thinking...that I wish spring would come soon. I'm anxious to get into my perennial garden and just spend some time outdoors.

I am thankful for...Brian's safe return from Snow Camp this weekend.

From the learning rooms...Alyssa is studying her memory verse. Brian is still eating breakfast. He's tired from Snow Camp and is having a hard time getting going this morning.

From the kitchen...we are going to have chicken and noodles tonight. We had a roast chicken for Sunday dinner and I have lots of leftovers. I love leftover chicken. The homemade noodle recipe is my grandmother-in-law's. She cooks her noodles in chicken fat, but I cook mine in the leftover, fat-skimmed-off gravy. Then I cut up chunks of chicken into it and add a side of corn. Yummy! BTW, the beef empandas from last week were delicious. Another recipe to add to my recipe box.

I am wearing...I think it's the same thing as last week, LOL! Stained gray sweatpants and a beat up sweatshirt. Today I have a blanket covering me. It's cold.

I am creating...still working on that scrapbook page and hoping to start a page about Jonalyn's birthday. Tonight our scrapbook group meets and so I'll get it done tonight. I love our group - a little scrapbook and lots of fellowship.

I am take Alyssa to piano lessons this afternoon and to scrapbook tonight. Are you seeing a pattern here? I'm a person who likes routine!

I am reading... the Bible. Our pastor has been preaching through Psalm 119 and encouraging us to read a chapter from the Bible each day. Doug and I have made it a priority to do this and we are into Exodus right now.

I am get through lots of schoolwork today, including a science experiment for Brian. I also have a long list of phone calls that need to be made.

I am hearing...the dog chewing on her rawhide, Alyssa moving around in the classroom, and the humidifier running. Another pretty quiet Monday here.

Around the house...we are settling down for a day of work.

One of my favorite having a vacation to look forward to. And now I have three - a water park trip with my family next month, a girlfriend's get away in March and a summer vacation in July. Makes the dog days of winter bearable.

A few plans for the rest of the week: My mom is coming on Wednesday to help me clean out my kitchen cabinets. She comes once a month to help me with a project. I simply can't do spring or fall cleaning anymore, I don't have the time, but she is a big help to me and I do manage to get some things done.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I wonder what she's thinking??

To read more daybooks, go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

I have enjoyed reading this on other blogs every Monday and have decided to try to do it myself. Have fun. You can go to The Simple Woman's Daybook to read more.

FOR TODAY January 19, 2009

Outside my window...the sun is shining and the new fallen snow is sparkling like glitter. It is so bright it makes your eyes water to look out.

I am thinking...that it will be a good day.

I am thankful for...the wonderful family the Lord has blessed me with and how much I love my husband.

From the learning rooms...Brian is studying for a science test and Alyssa is writing a paragraph about her favorite birds.

From the kitchen...I think I'm going to try a new recipe tonight - beef empanadas.

I am you really want to know? LOL. A stained pair of gray sweatpants and a beat up gray sweatshirt. Hey, I like to be comfy when I teach and I don't like to get nice clothes dirty when I clean.

I am creating...a scrapbook page from when Alyssa and my dad fed the giraffes at the zoo in September. I have a QuicKutz revolution and I got my first font for my birthday last week, so I can't wait to use it.

I am going...nowhere today. Doug is home because of the MLK holiday and he is going to take Alyssa to piano lessons.

I am reading... nothing right now and it's killing me! My mom gave me "Love Finds You in Miracle, Kentucky" by Andrea Boeshaar, a friend of mine and my former agent. I'm trying to save it until we go away for a couple of days in February, but I don't know if I have enough willpower!

I am get a lot of work done today, including a good bit of writing.

I am hearing...the hum of the forced air heater we have in our basement classroom. It keeps us toasty while we're working.

Around the house...all is peaceful and very quiet.

One of my favorite having my hubby home on a plain old weekday. It doesn't happen often, but I love it when it does.

A few plans for the rest of the week: We are taking tomorrow off from our regular school work to learn about presidents, the oath of office and inauguration traditions. I'm looking forward to the break from the routine.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

It was 23 degrees on Saturday and finally warm enough to get outside! Kylie had a walk and then played in the snow. Doesn't that look like fun?!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Alyssa's party

Today we celebrated, rather belatedly, Alyssa's birthday. We had a date set for her party in December, but her best friend couldn't come and we just couldn't have a party without her, so we postponed it. At the state fair this summer, we saw a cute cake and built a party theme around it. The beach. Yeah, tough to pull off in January in Wisconsin, but a lot of fun. The girls had a picnic of grilled hot dogs, chips, watermelon (try getting that in January!) and, of course, cake. They did some sand art and then it was off to the pool to do some swimming. They had a blast and everything went perfectly. She is now dressing her American girl doll in some of the clothes she got today. What fun.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cooking up a Storm

Alyssa got a children's cookbook for Christmas. I think it ranks up there with her favorite gifts. She is so excited to cook for us. On Monday she made Crispy Chicken Fingers and Garlic Fries. Yummy! And she even did the dishes all by herself. Now that's my kind of cook :) Last night she made us Mini Meatloaves and Smash 'Em Mash 'Em Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Another great meal. (Yeah, I know, no one is going to want to come within ten feet of anyone in our family with all the garlic we've eaten!) I meant to take pictures of her meals, but I'm afraid I'm really bad about getting the camera out. I'll have to leave it to your imagination.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Simple Things

Alyssa has been reading "Little House on the Prairie" for school and I've read it again (for about the tenth time!) to refresh my memory. When I was young, I loved those books. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls and live in those times. And I loved her writing and dreamed of being an author like her someday.

After reading what I needed to for school, I wanted to keep reading. I read the entire series again. Then I went to the library and got a biography on Laura Ingalls Wilder. They have found that she kept a list of Bible verses next to her chair and she had them listed by category - what to read when happy, what to read when troubles come, etc. Her favorite Bible verse, however, was Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." She was someone who faced so many difficulties in life, especially early in her life. She was never a rich lady and there were plenty of times she and her family were hungry - very hungry. Grasshoppers and storms and drought ruined crops and her restless father had difficulty finding steady work.

But she learned the lesson to be grateful for the simple things in life. What you have on this earth is not what is important, but what you have awaiting you in heaven. She took pleasure in the things the Lord did provide for her - a sunrise painting the sky with a full palette of colors, cool green grass tickling her toes, the lowing of cows, the blue canopy of the sky overhead, Ma and Pa and Mary and Carrie and Grace. As I read through the books this time, I was also overcome by how they all trusted in Providence for everything.

I will never get to live in those times and I will probably never be as famous of an author, but I can learn from Laura Ingalls Wilder. I will rejoice in my family sitting around our kitchen table enjoying a bowl of piping hot chili, the powdery dusting of snow topping the ornamental grass heads in my garden this morning, the wind in my hair, the warmth of the heat blasting through the vent next to my feet, the song of my children's laughter. The simple things in life, precious treasures from the hand of the Lord.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, 2008 has gone and 2009 is here. Looking back, I can see all the progress Jonalyn made during the past year. Still, it was a long, hard year. For an older, special needs child, attachment is very difficult. It has taken so much more time than I had anticipated and we have a long way to go. She now asks us to help her, which is a big step forward. Sometimes she asks too much and we have to remind her that she can do it herself. We took another step forward tonight. She fell against the stove in the kitchen. It was cool, thankfully, and she really wasn't hurt too badly. But she went right to Doug and patted him on his thigh, wanting him to pick her up. It is the first time she showed any interest in wanting comfort from us. I don't think she would have come to us if we had been in the other room - we were standing right next to her - but it is still something. We have learned to celebrate the small steps we take forward. I sat at lunch yesterday - a normal lunch of sandwiches and leftovers - but I had such a feeling of completeness and peace. My family is all together and we are functioning like a real family again. The feeling was wonderful. I praise the Lord for all he brought us through in the past year.

We had a very nice day. My parent came over again and we had some snacky foods - shrimp, smoked salmon, cocktail meatballs, Vietnamese egg rolls. We played Boggle and Uno. And it was a good day - I won at both games! This is very rare.

May all of you have a blessed and peaceful New Year.