Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Part of the Tapestry


Last week PandaGirl and I got to spend a fast 24 hours with some of our dearest friends. We have been friends since the girls were two. So many precious memories made with them along with our old playgroup of darling little Chinese girls. I can't stand that we live three hours apart now and have for the past three years. Though we keep up with each other constantly there's nothing like skin on skin and being in person with those who know you so well.

We are in front of our friend's Auntie Anne's Pretzel Shop that they own. To die for pretzel dog and cinnamon sticks for lunch....for FREE!

The red thread that binds all of us families with children from China was woven a little tighter in the tapestry last week and we are forever grateful for our connection.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby & Sham-moon

PandaGirl has carried and loved "Baby" around since the day she came home from China. Baby is a darling plush softie Asian doll. THE only doll PG will even entertain the thought of playing with. Poor girl. She greatly dislikes any other type of doll. I swear I did not teach that to her, but I do not care for many dolls either. However, I used to love playing with the babies that would wet its diaper and I could change it. So grown-up.

PandaPop went to SeaWorld on Saturday with the mission/choir group he sponsored. Brought back Sham-moon with him for PG. Yes, I am aware that Sham-moon might seem like a ridiculous mis-spelled name. In PG's world, it totally works.

All the people from my church have heard about this, but for you others....

The COOLEST most RANDOM thing happened to our high schoolers while they were on their own choir tour in New Orleans (PandaPop went with the middle-schoolers in a different tour in San Antonio). As they were singing Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz on the streets of New Orleans.........LENNY KRAVITZ shows up and joins them!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHH! Follow the link here and watch all five minutes of the video from Lenny's own twitter page. (Yes, you will now know where I go to church, but if you were going to kill me or stalk me then you would have already found other ways to do it.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

::click on photo to enlarge::

While PP has been gone on the middle school choir tour PG and I made a quick visit to my parents' home, our dear friends from HERE and my in-laws'. We had a blast, but are really glad to be back at home and are SOOO ready to hug and squeeze PandaPop!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

These Small Hours...

::click on photo to enlarge::

We finished up our VBS week at church and had a FABULOUS time doing Saddle Ridge Ranch plus the musical worship experience. We are SO blessed to be at our church. Two years ago PandaPop colored his hair green because the kids met the goal for the missions offering. They missed it last year, but held their own this year so that PP had to dye it royal blue! I think he looks so GREAT!!

I'm thinkin' Smurf.

We had a short, very short visit with PandaJoy. She came, I got strep throat for the third time since February, sent her home, went to the doctor with my theory that PJ is the strep CARRIER and I have dormant bacteria and when we get together....we activate. Lovely. I'm going to an ENT soon to see if I need my tonsils out.


That is a MAJOR surgery for an adult and it scares me to death. : (

PandaPop has a hurt foot.

PandaGirl is super-big-time into reading her chapter books.

The Pledge Multi-Use spray is just about THE best cleaner. Ever.

I broke down and bought two pair of Yellow Box flip flops because so many friends at church swear by them. I'm hooked. Feels like I'm walking on marshmallows. They cost way too much for flip flops, but my feet and body were hurting this week from tromping around in my cheapies.

About PandaJoy....I am specifically asking those of you who pray, to please pray for God's plan to unfold for her and us. Looks like we are going to be fighting a spiritual battle over her. Our hands are tied in this physical realm and we can only do so much, but we Believers know that our struggle is not against flesh & blood (i.e., the state foster system), but against forces in the spiritual realm just like Ephesians 6 tells us. Hands down, we believe PJ should be with us, but it is just not that easy. It's very complicated and drawn out in a waiting pattern. I am asking you to intercede for our family and for PJ. Not that we have her, but what is best for her and us. We HOPE that what is best, is for her to be our daughter and sister. If that is not the Lord's plan in all of this, we need peace. Thank you in advance.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Her Eyes

::click on photo to enlarge::

I totally stole this idea from a client of mine who took the disc she purchased from the photo shoot I did of her family and she turned it into a photo book. The client has two small daughters with the older one going through leukemia, losing her hair, all the treatments, etc. The little girl is now fully healed and will be celebrating the end of her treatments with a huge, and I do mean HUGE, party in downtown Dallas at the end of July.

They asked me to do the photos.


I even had to ask a fellow photographer to help me out in order to capture everything going on that night.

Where was I? Oh--my client used the lyrics to Martina McBride's "In My Daughter's Eyes" throughout the photo book. Oh my. You could not help but get all choked up with chill bumps on your skin if you tried! So precious.

When I was messing around with my camera and our $1 hats from Tar*get I snapped this one of PandaGirl. I know it doesn't look like her normal cheerful-eyed self, but with the color editing I did on it along with those words...it just brings me chills and makes me so very grateful for my daughter.

The Lord has stretched me greatly through her little life and I am the better for it.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

These Small Hours...

::click to enlarge photo::

I am so loving my "These Small Hours" posts. While meaning nothing to those who see the photos or read about the daily goings-on in my life, these little tid-bits of my life keep me motivated to count my blessings which are truly bountiful.

God blesses me so richly while I sit and ponder what I don't have and I do not mean just material things. Never been much of one to be jealous over things as much as ideals of situations. I am one to constantly be thanking the Lord for all He has done in my life, but I am also one to get bogged down at times with wishing for something more.

I have been asked to voice a prayer of thanksgiving about family and friends today at church. What an honor to help the body of Christ to revel in the constant blessings God gives us through our families and friends. Yes, we all have problems from time to time with other people in our lives, but we couldn't live without them...well, maybe a couple of them...JUST JOKING!!

No matter what, our families and friends are in our lives for a reason. Maybe to comfort us, make us laugh, be there for us when we cry, guide us in wisdom or to rub us the wrong way in order for us to be refined. Quite possibly WE are in their lives for the same reasons. Take time to thank God for those in your life. The big things. The small things. It all adds up to be the sum of our life.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First Grade: All Done!

::click photo to enlarge::

We are so very proud of PandaGirl and her accomplishments in 1st grade!!

She finished super strong with THE HIGHEST Accelerated Reading points for all four first grade classes!!! That is so amazing since at the end of the first semester she was struggling with site words from one page to the next. Now she is reading early chapter books on her own and loving it! We think it is phenomenal with the six weeks we tried homeschooling at the beginning of school (well, four weeks since the last two weeks of Stone Table Academy was spent with Little Guy and all the trauma the ensued) throwing a kink in the normal flow of her first grade year.

On top of earning those high reading points she also was awarded Most Responsible student. That cracks me up and makes me wonder if she really puts forth a great effort to be responsible at school or if all the other kids were just mindless blobs, because PG is so scatter-brained like her momma that I don't know HOW she got the Responsible award!! LOL!!

I am so grateful for her teacher and the experiences she had. There are still

M-A-N-Y reasons

I would love to have The Stone Table Academy and homeschool, but it just wasn't meant to be, at least for now.

Now we are off to a wedding for PandaPop's cousin.....who was OUR little ring bearer almost 18 years ago in our wedding.

My, my---time flies.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


::click on photo to enlarge::

We were blessed by PandaPop's father with tickets to the INDY Car Race this past Saturday. His dad has worked for Bridgestone/Firestone forever and is like the national manager for the off-the-road division or something like that.

I've never been to any kind of car race much less a significant one like an INDY Race! Woohoo!

It was about a thousand degrees, but super fun. Along with our race ticket we also had a special green pass that got us into the Firestone chalet (fancy word for getting to eat awesome food inside!!) plus we got to tour the garage and pit row where all the crews were getting the cars ready for the race. We also go to meet Dario Franchitti who won the INDY race the week prior and who happens to be Ashley Judd's husband. That was all so fun!

Once the race started and the whoop-n-hollerin' died down my friend and I looked at each other with our earplugs snuggly tucked in our ears and mouthed the words, "Well, this is fun. Only 227 more laps to go." LOL!!!!!!!

There were four "incidences" happen like a driver's car burst into flames, but other than that the race was pretty much the sound of

"reeeEEEeeer, woosh!----reeeEEEeeer, woosh!-----reeeEEEeer, woosh!"

as the cars made their way around the track.

I was all excited about Danica Patrick being in the lead for just a bit and I also got to be about two feet from her with my hands filled with iced tea cups not being able to get to my camera. Then I Go*ogled her and saw that she has some not-nice-girl pics of her very rich self and that made me not want to cheer for anymore. Boo.

I got to meet up with my high school cheerleading friend/cousin whom I hadn't seen in forever except of FB recently and THAT was sooooooo fun!

Overall it was a really great experience and I loved it!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sweet Summertime

::click on photo to enlarge::

While most schools are already out for summer vacation our lovely school district decided they needed more money from the state so our kids don't get out until Thursday. Isn't it interesting that all the textbooks were checked back in LAST TUESDAY--grades are all done---and the teachers are absolutely pulling out their hair (if not the kids'!!) trying to babysit for so many days when the weather outside is already so hot that the kids hide in any kind of shade they can find during recess?


We have the same schedule for next year, too. Hopefully enough of the teachers will complain that something will be done about it, otherwise it's just another thing I can't stand about public school.

Too bad homeschool didn't work out for us.

Enjoy the pics of PandaGirl until I can post the great pics from our weekend adventure we just had:

Firestone 550 INDY-Car Race!!