Friday, December 27, 2013

The worst....

Obviously I am the worst blogger on the's been a year.  A very long year since I've updated this blog.  I can only say that these days doing much of anything totally wears me out, and I wish I knew why.  In some ways I am better than I have been in past years....but the relentless fatigue/exhaustion doesn't go away, and thus I sit in a fog, with lots of PLANS to do this or that, but never muster up the energy to do any of them.  Everything seems like a huge chore.  Life shouldn't be this way, I am sure.  But by now, I seem to be used to it...which bothers me no end.  I do manage to work every day, but honestly, I don't know how I get through it all...I am doing a very long run, so am on the road 7 hours a day.  But I can't make it financially if I have less hours than that, so that's that.

Anyhow...that said...I am making no promises on how I will continue on with this blog.  But for today, for this very moment, I am here.

This year is a big one for us...Miss ShaoXi is a Senior in High School, and we are all about applying to colleges, auditioning for the dance programs, ad infinitum.  It only brings home to  me the cold stark reality that in about 7 months, my precious girl will be flying the nest, and mama will be flying solo, as well.  Should be an interesting adjustment.  Shao & I are so close that I think it will be harder than most....added to the fact that there is no father in our lives (as in I am NOT married), so I will be truly on my own.  I do hope to join some different groups, etc., that have been impossible what with Shao's schedule for dance, etc.

My girly scored the role of Snow Queen in this year's Nutcracker, and she was beyond amazing!!!!  I am awestruck how she manages to do all she does on a daily basis.  She once again made honors in school, which took a lot of hard work.  She is not one of those kids who never picks up a book and gets all A's.  She works HARD for good grades.  She works hard for everything in her life.  I have never met a more self-motivated kid in my life.  Amazing amazing gift to me, that's for sure.

This Christmas was one of our favorites.  We literally had little to no money, so we bought each other 3 very small gifts, and that was it.  We weren't able to buy anything for anyone else, so even though I would have loved to have bought for the little kids in the family, it made for a very laid back holiday!!!  We spent Christmas Eve at my niece Kate's house, sitting around watching her 15 mo. old baby girl Kelsi be absolutely adorable, as always!!  On Christmas Day we got up late, opened our presents, and eventually meandered over to my sister Polly's house, where again we watched Kelsi and also my beautiful twin nieces, Cadence & Hayleigh, who are almost 5, as they entertained us thoroughly.  Such treasures they are!

Shao & I came home early, napped and then got up and cooked Christmas dinner together....a yummy seafood pasta dish, a salad, and assorted cheesecake for dessert.  We watched "Elf" and "Heat" and loved every minute of being together.  Best Christmas ever...except for NEXT Christmas...when I will be waiting with open arms for her to come home to me from college, wherever that may be!!!!

In February we will be headed south for a whirlwind trip to Jackson Mississippi, and Winston-Salem NC, to look at two colleges, and audition for the one, Belhaven Univ., in Jackson.  We also plan to do a quick sidetrip to New Orleans for Saturday night....should be eye-opening, for sure! :)  My sister Polly is going with us, to help drive.  We will have to drive straight thru to Jackson, which is 22 hours away from here, so need the help!   ShaoXi has to be there for Friday morning, Feb. 14th, so we will leave on Wed., early evening, and drive straight through!  It will be a little more leisurely coming home, but still we need to be back in CT by Tuesday night, the 18th, so Polly can go to work in the morning, and Shao will go back to school.  Anyone with a couple of spare beds live anywhere on the route??? :)

Shao has applied to 6 colleges....Belhaven U., in MS; University of North Carolina School of the Arts, in NC; Point Park U., in Pittsburgh PA; NYU/Tisch in NYC; Ailey/Fordham in NYC; and Wesleyan U., here in CT.   She REALLY would like to go to Ailey/Fordham.  She has already been accepted at Belhaven academically (she will audition for the BFA in dance program when we go down there), and at Point Park U. both academically and artistically.  So far, Belhaven has offered her the best scholarship money, and that does not even include what they might offer her for artistic merit once she auditions.  On top of that, if you visit the school in person, there is an automatic scholarship of $1000 per semester.  Thus, we head south!

That's about all the news...oh, Shao is driving now!  Makes my life so much easier, even if it does leave me "stranded at home" quite a bit! :)

Love and blessings....Nancy & ShaoXi

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wha' happened?

How is it possible that Christmas is over?  So much anticipation builds up, and then in 24 hours...GONE.   And I'm not talking about the "stuff"....just the time, spent with family, relaxing and talking, watching the kids run around in circles even though every adult in the house has said at least once, "No running in the house!"  And taking eager turns holding our little Kelsi girl, reluctantly giving her up to the next in line. 

Tonight it is snowing and sleeting like crazy.  I'm supposed to go to an appointment about a half hour away tomorrow morning...not so sure I am going to be able to go.  We shall see!!

Shao & I are leaving for Maine on Friday morning.  So excited!!!  One of my dear friends from college lives outside of Portland, and we are going to spend 4 days with him, for New Year's Eve.  He is Shao's "official" godfather, although she has a few who I would say are unofficial! :)  Especially her Grampa Ron, who is husband to her godmother, Gramma Donna.  Blessed girl, to have so many people who love her so very much!

Anyhow, we haven't been up to see Unca' Dick for a long long time (too long!!), so this is gonna be fun.  And we might just get to go with him on Saturday to get two new kittens!  His beautiful cat, Mulan, died this fall, and he is ready for a new one...and decided TWO would be even better! :)
Fun times, new kittens! :)

Not much else happening in our world.  I got to take care of Kelsi today for several hours, while her mama and daddy worked.  That is such a me some baby girl time!  Other than that...nada.

Blessings to all...hope y'all are safe and warm! :)

Nancy & ShaoXi

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Three more days until Christmas!!!  How in the world did THAT happen?  I suppose I am ready...but it doesn't seem like it.  It has been a difficult and sad week here in Connecticut.  I feel like I am on a very wild rollercoaster, lots of ups, and plenty of very steep, swift "downs."

One good ballet until January!!  Freedom feels good!  Today my girl is in Boston with several friends.  They have tickets to attend tonights performance of "The Nutcracker" at Boston Ballet.  I am excited for her to see a real company perform this, since she has been in so many of them herself with NHB.  Next year she is gunning for the part of the Snow's hoping! :) 

We are looking forward to having time off, being able to visit leisurely with family and friends, and to be together.  I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas, and that the real meaning of this season is deeply ingrained in your hearts and souls.   Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift...His Son, Jesus, our Messiah, Saviour and Lord!

 Blessings...Nancy & ShaoXi

Saturday, December 15, 2012

About 20 or more years ago, I lived on a farm, in a 300 year old house with wide pine board floors, and rough plaster walls, and views to die for.  To go to work every day, I had to come down out of the hills, past other farms, to a lake/reservoir, and drive alongside that for quite awhile, enjoying the swans who were always there.  I finally came into a tiny little village, with a stopsign in the middle, a old wood-sided general store.  To the left was a lake a few miles down the road.  To the right was the Interstate, another few miles away.  It was a lovely peaceful place, and I looked at homes there to buy.  I taught kindergarten for a couple of years just two towns away, then worked for a large corporation in the nearest city.  

That lovely little village was Sandy Hook, a section of Newtown CT.  Newtown was a pretty and picturesque town with a wide main street, one grocery store and a handful  of  sweet specialty shops.
Every day I drove through those streets.  Yesterday my heart broke for the people of Sandy Hook.  If ever there seemed a safe place in this crazy, broken, sinful world, that would surely be high on the list.  Evil doesn't pay attention to such things, I have found out. 

My heart, thoughts and prayers are with that small community which is reeling in grief today, surely planning funerals for children whose little caskets will be haunting and starkly horrifying by their tiny size.  There is a family who lost mother and at least one son...the Lanza family.  I am heartbroken for them, as well, for those left behind to bear the grief and the perceived shame, although I doubt there was anything they could have done, and no way they could grasped the impending doom hovering over them when they woke up on Friday morning. 

I hesitate to let my girl out of my sight.  I cannot fathom the pain of losing her, although having lost a 6 year old niece to a violent murder, I DO know, I suppose, to some extent.  I know all over this world parents are holding their children closer, and speaking words of love into their lives, now more than ever.  It shouldn't take this kind of act to do that...but in our busy lives, sometimes we are oblivious to the important things right in front of our noses.  

Sandy Hook/Newtown....I grieve with you all.  May our Heavenly Father hold each one tightly in His arms, may you feel His love, may we all be the hands and feet of Jesus to these precious people.

Blessings from CT....Nancy

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Oh, my let me post.  Yippee.  So...hmmm...July was the last time I posted, I think.  Let's recap:
I spent 5 weeks in Phoenix...110 degrees or so...except the 4th of July...Phoenix was one of the coolest places in the US...a lovely 75 or so! Wierd!

Shao danced each day.  I drove her in and picked her up.  While she was there, I did a few things that were really great.  A couple of times a week for the last 3 weeks I was there, I went with my friend Lori, to a stable and played with horses.  I used to have dozens of horses back in the day, and this was such a blast for me! :)  I miss them...hi to Greta, Billy, Chile, Roxie, Riley, Tristan (or was it Trevor?)
Ginger pony, Spoof, ? and Pete.  I only forgot one name...not too bad for an old lady, huh? :)

The first two weeks we were there Lori was away, so I took advantage of that time and went to a woman's Bible Study at the church we attended (Phoenix First AG...DYNAMITE church!) called "Chocolate Talk."  What a blessing that was! 

Shao & I had tons of together time, and it was sweet and very special.  Once Lori came home from vacation we also spent a ton of time with her family...their daughters are from Shao's orphanage in China, and I traveled with Karl & Lori when they adopted their first, Sophie.  They went back 3 years later for Charlotte, my little firecracker.  I love these girls like they were my own! :)

Came home w/o Shao and went right to work at the kids's camp...loved every moment even though my osteoarthritis has reached a point of constant pain, at all times.  But the kids...LOVE the kids...and Skip & Colleen, who are the directors.  Hoping for another opportunity to serve next year.

Went back to work the end of August.  I am doing the same run as last year, for American School for the Deaf in West Hartord CT.  Makes for many hours of driving each day, but I enjoy it very much.  It is probably about the only thing I CAN  do these days, workwise, as I am not walking well at all due to the severity of the joint pain.  And boy am I stiff when I have to get out of the van after 3-4 hours of driving non-stop!!

Shao auditioned for "Nutcracker" soon after school began.  She got 3 different roles, one as a Demi-Flower, in which she has a solo part.  She has just finished up dancing Sat. night's show as I type.  She has had 5 shows since Thursday, and one more tomorrow.  I am going tomorrow, as her solo role is in that show!  Can't wait to see my beautiful girl dance!

We are in the midst of starting to plan for college...EEEK!!!!

Blogger is giving me trouble, so am going to try and post before I lose all of this!

Blessings...Nancy & ShaoXi
OOH...blogger may let me post hasn't for MONTHS!!!!  I'm gonna try...this is a test!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy day after the 4th of July!

So we are enjoying our time here in Phoenix.  The best part has been the church we have been attending, Phoenix First Assembly of God.  Talk about mega church...but they work hard to get people connected.  Shao loves the youth group!  And we have been blessed to spend some time with Linny and Dwight Saunders and their adorable kids!  What a blessing, and such joy for me to stroke Princess Ruby Grace's sweet cheeks, to hold Elizabeth's hand, and to chat with all the kids.  Wonderful people.  We even got to meet friends of theirs who recently got home with their 3-days-short-of-two-year-old son, Jethro...I THINK from Uganda, but not positive.  What a cutie! 

Got a voicemail from my gastroenterologist that all tests are fine....YEAH!  I'll pick up dr's appts, etc., as soon as I get back to CT...well, a week after I get back...because the first week I am back, I will be working at Dustin's Place, a Christian kid's camp that I just love.  Shao is totally bummed that she will miss out on that, since she will be going from here to SD, to meet up with her team for a missions trip.  According to Shao, that's her favorite part of the summer, working at Dustin's Place.

So that's it for now.  We are blessed with the use of this adorable condo, and the car.  Such a blessing.  God is good...all the time!!!  AMEN!!

Hugs...Nancy & ShaoXi