Thursday, November 11, 2010


I can't explain where I've been. Suffice it to say life totally overwhelmed me, and I had all I could do to just drag myself through each day. I am just coming out of the long dark tunnel now. Two Long time.

Our thirteenth "GOTCHA DAY!" anniversary fast approaches. How can that be? Thirteen years of joy. I am blessed.

I promise, I will try to blog more often...MUCH more often (which, hey...that would be like, every TWO WEEKS, and that would work, considering my long hiatus from here!!!)

Blessings to all!!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Prayers for Megan

A post or two ago I wrote about ShaoXi going with her friend Megan to comfort her as she faced some minor surgery. Today I heard the biopsy report. It is hard news to hear. Our Megan has Hodgkins lymphoma. It IS highly treatable, but it is still not what any of us wanted to hear. The girls just started High School last week. Tomorrow the family meets with an oncologist. Thursday Meg will go in for further surgery on her arm. I suspect my girl will go with her. And then? Probably chemo. Maybe radiation. Hard stuff to swallow. Cancer just hit home here. While I follow many blogs of folks with kids with cancer, so that I can pray for has now arrived in my backyard, so to speak. And I need to act. How sad that it took this to spur me to some form of action. Not sure what that action may be....but I will find a way to make a small difference.

Please pray for Megan. This is going to redefine her world. And since we have had some ongoing concerns for where she was headed, we are hoping it will redefine it for the better. This will be a whole new direction for her, and I am hoping ShaoXi will be by her side to help her through to the other side. That is her plan, my girl, and I am all for it. I told Megan's mom that if there was something that was extremely tough, or if Meg was just in a bad place, that ShaoXi would be there, school or not. Some things have to come first. And close friends are one of them. We have to be warriors for those who have fallen and need help to get back up.


Saturday, August 28, 2010


So this is where we have been for the past several days! Recognize it? It's world famous...and rightly, so! Yep, Niagara Falls! Shao & I had never been, and we had the opportunity to go with my friend Wendy and her three kids (whom we traveled to DisneyWorld with two years ago!) It is beyond belief beautiful, and magnificent, and every other adjective you can think up, and then some. We got to see it at night, as well, when the Canadians put colored spotlights on it. And we were there for the Wednesday night fireworks show, as well. We went on the Maid of the Mist boat, right up to the Horseshoe Falls, and went to the Cave of the Winds, which takes you right up to the side of the Bridal Veil Falls, pictured on the right of this picture. If you look closely at this picture, you will see a beautiful rainbow.

We had a great time, and I hope we get to go back another time, when we can explore the area a little more. There is lots to see and do. And we all need to get passports, so we can go to the Canadian side. Unfortunately, mine was expired, and Shao and two of Wendy's three kids don't even have one. So NEXT time we will go and stay on the Canadian side, which apparently is less costly, and has much prettier views. Looking forward to it! Here are some pictures Wendy took. I don't even bother to pull out my camera, as she is a camera hound, and takes 100's of them. I let her do all the work, and enjoy the fruits of her labor! :)

So now it's back to reality...I start work on Monday, and Shao starts school the following day, on Tuesday. And can someone please tell me...first of all...where did summer go???? I am missing it already! And in the world is it that I have a HIGH SCHOOL kid now? Where is my baby? This baffles me!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ministry in your own backyard

Today ShaoXi got herself up early and headed off with her friend Megan and her parents. Nope, they were definitely NOT off for a day of fun and excitement. Today ShaoXi volunteered to go with her BFF to have minor surgery, to keep her company and minister to her. Miss Megan is phobic about drs, needles, and all things medical. When I say phobic, I mean she goes absolutely ballistic, kicking, clawing, hitting, biting, screaming, and swearing...and that's the better moments, I'm told! So ShaoXi offered to go along and console her friend. And I'm told it was way better than usual, and that Megan's parents were deeply grateful to ShaoXi for coming. I'm thankful for a child with a giving and compassionate heart. And that Megan's surgery went well. Now we just have to wait for the biopsy results. That could be a bit daunting. Please pray that it is a good outcome.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Silence is Golden

Alright, so maybe NOT, in the blog world. We are alive and basically well, here on Planet Earth. :) I say basically, as I continue to have GI issues, ever since my hospitalization in January. I am not liking my "new normal" much at all. And I think I need to try and tweak it, if at all possible. It is just NOT fun to be nauseous 24/7. This can't be right, can it?

Other than that...loving having my girl home. And she is LOVING being home. I had hoped to get down to PA this weekend to visit friends, but she just wanted to stay home. She is definitely a homebody! Having said that...this doesn't stop HER from leaving ME, if a good opportunity comes going out to Block Island for 3 days last weekend, on her friend's yacht. And sleepovers at places that have POOLS, to combat the beastly heat and humidity we have had since June.

I must say though...the humidity is GONE...thus this post! Now, WHAT, you may ask do the two have to do with one another? computer is in what we call "the back room." Said room is actually an extension of the attic belonging to the apartment below it, which translates...HOT. No insulation. HOT!!! This is always the hottest room in the house, and because it has 3 tiny high jalousie windows on one wall, and a small one on the opposite one, it does not get much airflow, either. Have I mentioned that this room is HOT? I do not have the courage to come in here much when it is hot, and ESPECIALLY when it is humid. I do the bare minimum and get out, FAST! It really is brutal. posts for awhile. But last night? I had to close windows in my bedroom, and I was still chilly!

Fall is definitely on it's way. I am going to put one of the blankets BACK on my bed today. I have seen some leaves changing in our area. I am SOOOOO not ready for fall. It's sad. I actually LOVE fall. It is such a fresh time of year, crisp air, lots of blue skies and big fluffy clouds, crisp apples to eat, gorgeous foliage here in the NorthEast. But I KNOW what is right on it's coat tails. And THAT is what I do not like. Winter. Ice, snow, sleet, mush, cold. Not a fan. And makes me really sad to see fall coming. In truth, I'd take the heat and humidity over the cold.

I DO love Christmas, and that's what gets me through to the first of the new year. But then...oh, then it is all about surviving the next 10 weeks or so. Once we hit the middle of March, I begin to relax. I KNOW we can get snow in March and even April. But it doesn't stick around. It melts. There are some brave little snowdrops and crocuses already up and I can SMELL spring in the air. I can HOPE. out. If I know you, and you live in a more kindly clime, I may be camping out at YOUR house in the winter, in a few more years. Once Shao is off in college, I am looking for places from which to escape winter! :) You may want to change the locks! :)

We have one more week "at home," and then are driving to my friend Wendy's in the Catskills in NY, then going with her and her kids to Niagara Falls! We will spend 3 nights there, then drive back to Wendy's. The following morning we will leave VERY early to drive home to CT, as Shao has an open house orientation at the High School, and then right afterwards our church is holding a huge event for the teens. Gonna be a busy week, but also fun, I hope! :) And then we have 3 days and Shao starts HIGH SCHOOL, and I go back to work. Can't believe the summer is winding down. What with Shao being away for 4 weeks of it, I feel like it should be just halfway done, not almost gone! sigh Guess that's all the news from here. I will try to blog more often. Pray for cooperative weather! :)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dustin's Place

So, camp is over. But 104 children, and 30 or so Jr. Counselors are still in my heart and mind, and in my prayers. I have to say, that was one of the most amazing camps EVER. I am so excited for where God is going to take this ministry! Skip & Colleen are looking for a large (50+acres) of land, with a lake/pond on it, to buy. Their dream is to have a kid's camp all summer long, then host other groups throughout the rest of the year. They want to have animals at the camp...horses, who knows what?!? :) For next year, they are hoping to have camp for 2 or 3 weeks. After that, the whole summer. But they need to find land. They need to find a BIG piece of land, with certain things on it, to make the camp work well. Please pray for this end, so that the Kingdom of God might be glorified, and many young hearts reached with the message of Jesus' love!

We are talking about me maybe living on the grounds, and caring for the animals. Wouldn't that be the coolest thing ever? If we had too many animals, I would definitely need help. I'm not getting any younger. LOL! :) But I think it sounds heavenly. And to be involved with this ministry...what a gift THAT would be!!! :) I intend to be involved with the kids' camp no matter what. I just loved watching these kids worship God and open their hearts to Him. Precious, precious times! we are home...the mundane has taken over. I am dog-sitting until Thursday night...then doing it again M-F, next week. Thankfully they left the money ahead of time, so I used it to pay my rent. Unbelievable, that SOMEHOW $1000 came in this month. Of course, I haven't paid any utilities, so that needs to be addressed. But I am amazed that I came up with August's rent. What a clear blessing from God!

The last week of this month we are going to Niagara Falls with my friend Wendy and her kids. I have never been, so am excited for this little vacation. And it's not costing us much, as Wendy is paying all traveling costs, and for the hotel room. We just have to pay for food, and $66 for our Niagara passes, which get us into the Cave of the Winds, the Aquarium, on the Maid of the Mist, and onto the trolley...and something else, I can't remember. $33 each...not really a bad deal at all! :)

That's all the news for now. Hope everyone is having an AWESOME summer. I can tell you that I am glad, glad, glad to have my baby girl home. Oh, how I missed her! :)


Monday, July 26, 2010

First Day!!

We have made it through the first day of camp! I can't say that was a particularly HARD thing for me, as I was in the house the majority of the time, just responsible for keeping water jugs full at two sites, and keeping a Koolaid one and another water jug full at all times at the tents, where the kids meet to eat, do crafts, whatever. While they have snacks twice a day, the jugs are ALWAYS full for them at all times.

ShaoXi was a jr. counselor for the group of fifth and sixth graders. She is whooped, and in her room...not sure if I will see her again tonight! :) Hope so, as we need to eat dinner, which is halfway cooked.

It was such a blessing...104 kids, all having a blast. They moved from activity to activity, loving them all...we start out with awesome worship in the morning, then they begin their rotations...kayaking, swimming, arts & crafts, fishing, bible time, story telling, games. These kids are kept BUSY! :) Somewhere in all of that we fit in 2 snack times, and lunch! :) What a blessing to serve at Dustin's Place! I am loving it! :)


Sunday, July 25, 2010

All done!!!

Shao is home, and I don't have to give her back! She's here to stay! :) This weekend was amazing!

I left for Nutmeg at 7:30 AM Sat. morning. Arrived JUST in time for the observation class at 9AM. Here's a Picture (or two!)

Aren't these neat? Bad lighting, but still!

Then we moved her out of her room, except for the clothes she was going to change into after the performance. We then ran to Mc Donald's for a quick bite to eat, back to Nutmeg, and she had just a few minutes to get ready and go to the theatre. Then I had to go run to the florist, since her Gramma Donna was running late, so I picked up her flowers for her to give Shao.

We finally all got to the theatre, I picked up the tickets, etc., and we settled in for the show. It was wonderful, but no photography allowed, so I could not take pics. Afterwards, Gramma & Grampa went to check into their hotel across the street. Shao & I went for ice cream with her friend Megan, Meg's mom Martha, and Shao's Gramma Bonnie (we are blessed with lots of special "grammas" in our lives!!!) Afterward they left, Shao changed, and we went across the street to have dinner with Gramma Donna & Grampa Ron. Yummy fact we are having it tonight, since we had lots of leftovers! :)

We came home, got in before dark...I always love THAT! :) and unloaded the car. I ran to Wal*Mart for oil....light came on....oops! Must keep better care of my car! It's gotta last me awhile! Put oil in the car, carried in the rest (mostly) of Shao's stuff, and went up to take a shower. Oh, joy! Love me those cool showers on a hot sweaty day!!!

Today...precious!!! How do I find the words for this day?!?!? My precious child got baptized, proclaiming to the world that she wanted to follow Jesus, and that she loved Him with all her heart. Precious, I tell you! Here's a few pix of that! :)

Two of Shao's best friends came to the baptism, which made her SOOOO happy. Afterwards, they went swimming, and then came home with us, and are still here at almost 9PM...which is okay with me, although I think Shao will be exhausted by the time they leave!

And tomorrow...we begin at Dustin's Place....can't wait! Here's some pix from there...we had an orientation meeting there last Sunday...oh, my! Glorious views!! :)

This week I need to see God do a miracle...please keep our finances in prayer. August rent is coming up...and I am way short, nor have I paid any utilities since the end of June. Go, God! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Been WAY too long!

Oh, my! Let's see...I'll have to do this in bullet points!
Lenai (SP?!?) came home with ShaoXi...sweet little girl, but she sure was homesick!
They went back to Nutmeg on Sunday night.
Tuesday I sent an email to let the dorm mother know Shao would be coming home again on Sat., and I mentioned that things were pretty rough in room 208, that I had received a phone call two nights in a row from a sobbing child, begging me to come get her.
Dorm mother went and spoke to girls, who promptly decided it was Shao who had been complaining, and ostracized her even more.
Principal of school called Shao into his office and talked to her, told her she needed to grow up, that these things were all part of life, and if she had a problem not to bother me, but to talk to an RA or the dorm mother.
Shao called me about her mtg w/principal, and I promised I wouldn't send any more emails! :)
ANOTHER girl's mother called/emailed, and asked for her daughter (Shao's only friend!) to be removed from that room!!! At that point, the principal went and talked to ALL the girls.
Girls sat down once he left and had a real heart-to-heart, deep discussion...this was a week ago. Upshot...things have been SOOOO much better in the room...too bad it took 3 of the 4 weeks to
get there!!!!

Shao came home by herself this past weekend. Thankfully, my bro-in-law, Kenny works near Nutmeg, and he brought her home for me...saved me 3 hours of driving! WAHOO!

We just spent the night sitting on the couch cuddling and talking, watching some tv. It was nice. On Sun. we went to church, then to a picnic at a conference center where we are both volunteering next week, for a kid's camp. It is on the water, very, very gorgeous grounds. My job? I have to have pre-packaged snacks and drinks ready for the campers at 10:30 and 2:30. In between? I sit and look at the water. I am NOT kidding you! Shao is a jr. counselor,, of the kids in grades 5 & 6, so she will be busy as a bee. This is gonna be one amazing camp!!!

Tomorrow night at 8PM and Sat. at 2 the Nutmeg students are performing in the Warner Theatre, next door to the Conservatory. There is an observation class at 9AM on Sat. for parents, so I will go to that. Then we will pack up her room, just leaving an outfit to change into for dinner after the show. Then it's off to the show. Her godparents are coming down from New Hampshire and are renting a room directly across the street from the theatre, so we will have dinner with them. One of her best friends is coming up with her mom to Sat.'s show, so that will be fun. Maybe we'll go have an icecream with them afterwards...gramma and grampa made the reservations for 6PM, so I think ShaoXi will be mighty hungry before 6 rolls around!!!!

And then I get to bring my girl home. Sunday morning we have church, and then it's the annual church picnic, at Hammonasset State Park, which is a beach. And my precious girl is getting water baptized! Praise the Lord! I am so thrilled!!!!! Of course, as usual, no one in my family is coming, just as no one is coming to the show. But I will be there...I pledge to ALWAYS be there for my girl!!!! I should say that it's not that they are around, and just don't want to come. Nope, they have all made vacation plans, and everyone of them is going to be gone. So be it.

And Monday morning we begin at the camp, Dustin's Place. Can't wait. Gonna be a blessing and a blast!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

My girl is coming home for the night!

My girl is coming home for the night, and bringing a friend with her. She called me this morning to ask if she could bring Linnae home. And then she told me that she had a friend sleep in her bed with her last night because she was terribly sad. And what was she sad about? Linnae had been telling her about her life in Washington DC, and about the prejudice she endures, and the physical abuse from caucasions. Linnae is African-American, and it sounds like life is pretty tough for her where she lives. And she is very, very homesick. So my sweet compassionate girl wanted to bring her home and love on her for awhile! How sweet is that? Oh, I love that girl of mine!!!!

So I am straightening up the house as much as I can, and planning a nice supper. Hopefully the weather will be nice tomorrow and maybe we can go to the beach. I need to remind ShaoXi to bring home her bathing suit and have Linnae do the same. We are expecting BIG thunder storms to roll through here tonight, but it is supposed to put an end to the AWFUL humidity we have had for 2 weeks now, and tomorrow and into next week are supposed to be stellar! YAY!

Gotta go back to work! Hope everyone has a great weekend...I know I will, with my girly in my arms! :) And hey, as a bonus, my brother in law is bringing her home today (he works a block away from Nutmeg!) so I don't have to drive all the way up there TWICE in 2 days (It's a 3hour round trip!!!) YAHOO!!!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Even Keel

So...they had a big confrontation in room 208, (Shao did NOT go to an RA) and all agreed that by 10:30 they would at least quiet down, that anyone not from 208 would leave. So sleep is a little better. However, it has left a divided room. Shao has one girl, Sarah, who hangs with her. The other four are a clique to themselves, and it breaks Shao's heart. I encouraged her on the phone last night that no matter what, she needed to be a light to these girls, that she needed to heap good works upon their heads, and turn the other cheek, no matter how hard it is. She agreed, and we both agreed it is a very hard thing to do. Considering the stress, Shao wants to come home again for Saturday night, especially since her one friend is having a visit from her mom, so will be gone on Saturday night. It will be good to have her home again. And as far as I know there are no plans for Sunday afternoon, so I will keep her until the last moment (Curfew!)

Keep my girl in prayer. She is LOVING the classes, and has made friends with lots of other girls from other rooms, so that is good.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010


ShaoXi called me this morning to say "Good morning!" Except what she said was, "Mama, I am sad today!" This breaks my heart. She has repeatedly, over the last 10 days, asked her roommates to PLEASE quiet down after 10PM, to no avail. Their replies range from "You can't expect us to be quiet!" to just totally ignoring her. She is desperate for sleep. They are up at 7:15AM, and their last class ends at 8:15PM. She needs at least 9 or 10 hours of sleep, considering the grueling schedule. She had huge bags under her eyes all weekend. She cried herself to sleep last night. Please pray for my little girl. This is tough.

Considering she has been struggling with this for 10 days, I told her enough was enough, she needed to talk to the dorm mom about it...not to tattle as much as to find a solution...whatever that might be! Poor kid. You know her roommates will be ticked at her for "tattling." But I really don't care, except that this might make her time there more difficult, if they are cold toward her, or not nice. She is the sweetest, most tender hearted kid, and that would kill her. I feel helpless to change this for her. Please pray.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

24 Hours!

I had my baby with me for 24.5 hours! I picked her up at 3:30 yesterday, and dropped her off at 4PM today. It was wonderful to have her here, even if it wasn't for long. It was NOT wonderful to have to take her back. I cried on the way home. I miss her so much, and this week I do NOT have Vacation Bible School to keep me busy. It's gonna be a LOOOOONG 3 weeks until she comes home!!!

But...she is doing beautifully. They love her there. She is growing and changing, and all in good ways. She is learning what it is to be truly responsible for her own self. Good life lessons, for sure! And I will go up to visit once a week, even if she is not coming home. But reality...I don't think she IS coming home this coming up weekend, and I DO think she is coming home (with a roommate or two) the following, and then the one after that? VOILA, she will be DONE!!!

I will persevere and get through. I WILL! :) Please keep us both in your prayers, and also pray that some work comes my way.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Joy Unspeakable!

So this week has been a wild one! I was a "crew leader" for our Vacation Bible School at church. I had 2 assistants under me, and we had a total of about 15 kids. Let me tell you, as annoying as some of the boys were, I came to love those kids. They were all 10, headed into the 5th grade in the fall. Cool age, if a bit antsy! :)

Anyhow...the biggest joy came today. Today I had the privilege of leading one to Jesus in prayer! And then later, at the end of the day, another came up to me and said quietly "I asked Jesus into MY heart a few minutes ago!" Oh, the angels are rejoicing today! What a privilege and blessing! I am SOOOO gonna miss these kids. A few of them go to my church, but most were from the community. I will be praying for Jonathan, Connor, Tristan, Tanner, Emily, Abi, Katie, Austin, J.D., Lee, Samantha, Eli, Chris....oh, man, I think I'm forgetting a few names...but GOD knows who was there! Tristan and Emily are our new little brother/sister in the Lord! :)


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Prayers are being answered!

The joy is back in my girl's voice! Oh, how I rejoice in that! She called yesterday afternoon and said she LOVED her "partnering" class. That is dancing with a male dancer...something she doesn't get to do much, since there are only one or two of them at New Haven Ballet. Makes me wonder what I SHOULD be doing with her, dance-wise. Maybe New Haven doesn't have what she needs? I dunno. The problem is, there is generally a lack of male dancers in almost any school...except Nutmeg. And at her level? It would require her to attend their boarding school during the school year, to get what she really needs. OR for me to drive her to Torrington every afternoon. An hour and a half each way. And many hours of classes each day. I don't think that is a possibility, eh?

But she is happier, and says her feet are getting more used to it. And she really wants to come home for Saturday night, but she wants to be back in Torrington Sunday afternoon for the picnic and fireworks they have planned for the kids. So it will be a short visit home, but well worth it! :) We miss one another terribly! People have always remarked on the unusually tight connection we have. I am definitely MOM, but still...we are buddies, and we "get" it, and we have the same sense of humor, and we laugh at the same things...and we have DONE all of this since she was really, really young...she really GOT it when she was about 5...amazing. Comes from having an old mama and no siblings, I guess! :)

So...keep on praying. Today is the first, and I am waiting to see what my paycheck (direct deposited) from last week will be...but I KNOW I won't have enough to pay the rent, as I only worked 15 hours last week. Go, God! I am excited to see His provision...I am confident He will provide!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Crazy Love Prayers needed!

My girl...she is so homesick. She calls me several times a day. It is only the first day, but she is burning up her minutes on her new cell phone! I feel so bad for her, and I miss her so. Please pray for her, that she will settle in, that she will find joy in her classes, that she will grow and flourish. Pray for her poor feet...she is in agony! Poor kid. I feel so helpless, I can't do anything for her. I did ORDER her to go to the dorm mom and get an ibuprofen, so the pain at least is muted a little. Hopefully some GOOD sleep will help her view of things. She IS enjoying her roommates, and whenever I tell her to have sweet dreams, and to tell them the same, she does, and they all call back to me "Sweet dreams!" So sweet.

Please pray for our finances. I THOUGHT I would be working in July, but I am NOT, and while I will get unemployment, it isn't even enough to pay the monthly rent. I am asking around for work, although this week I am volunteering at our church's VBS. OH, I love my kids! I have the ten year olds, and they are a blast! I just LOVE them!!!! :) So I CAN'T work this week, and it KILLED me this morning when my boss called to see if I could help out and I had to say no. sigh

I also had an offer for a house/dog-sitting job, but THAT week I have volunteered to be a camp counselor at a wonderful camp being run by a couple from my church. They are COMMITTED to helping children come to know Jesus. I have to smile...the two times I am doing something for Jesus, I have had to turn down PAYING jobs. Think He is trying to tell me something? Something like "Trust Me!" You'd think I'd have learned this lesson by now! :)

Thank you for your prayers! We sure are needy! :P


Saturday, June 26, 2010


Tomorrow...tomorrow my little girl tries her wings. Tomorrow she puts her toes (literally...haha, ballet humor!) into the giant ocean called life and experiences it on her own, without me by her side. Oh, I will be just a phone call away, but still. Tomorrow I have to drive away with a smile on my face. Yeah, right. sigh. Okay...I'll TRY!

We are pretty much ready to go. Her suitcase is packed, her linens/bedding are packed. I have two small boxes in the is toiletries, etc. The other is her "kitchen." Paper plates, plastic utensils, one sharper knife, napkins, paper towels, ziploc bags, a couple of containers, some garbage bags...just in case.

She has her books and Bible packed. We already put the cases of water in the car. Dancing is thirsty work! Her new ballet slippers are all set, elastic sewn in. There are leotards, pointe shoes and ballet skirts waiting for us at Nutmeg's Boutique. It's all good. EXCEPT...she's leaving me. Ever watch "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? I keep doing the line "Why you want to leave me?" with all the pathos that the Dad used to his grown up daughter. It makes us both laugh...but WHY YOU WANT TO LEAVE ME???

I'll be fine. I think. Oh, I know I will. Still....this is not easy. sigh

We have to stop at a Target store on the way up to Nutmeg, to buy an extra-long twin mattress pad. I know they have them...and OH, why did I not BUY the thing when I was there? I plead insanity. Now we have to go there, after having hit several local (sort of) WalMarts, to no avail. However, we DID get the cell phone she needed! So that was good. I can't believe that tomorrow is the day. Please keep us in your prayers...ShaoXi for fun and excitement, new learning experiences, new friends, health and rest. ME? for not falling apart without my baby girl.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My baby goes to Nutmeg in FIVE DAYS!!! EEEK!!! Boy, will I miss her. I am gonna do my best to NOT cry til I've left her there. We'll see...I'm a cryer, so it's gonna be hard!

We took a mini vacation to New Hampshire to visit her godparents. While we were there, they took her to the bank with a large coffee can full of change...cashed it in for dollars, and sent her home with $185 to get things for Nutmeg, and for spending money. Blessings abound. These are the same wonderful folks who are paying for half of the session! They are so very very good to us!

And NH was GORGEOUS!!!! Best weather we've had while visiting there. BIG fluffy clouds, in a blue sky, with the lake and mountains. Oh, how I love it there!!! It fills up my soul.

Now it's back to normal life. I'm working today, and two more days, and then I am done for the summer. I just applied for a dog sitting job for a week in July. Please pray that comes through, because I have NO clue how I am going to pay the rent and utilities for July and August, with only unemployment coming in! That doesn't even cover the rent, never mind anything else. Trusting God here....BIG TIME!!!! Willing to work at whatever I can.

Gotta get to work getting girly ready to go. Right now she is out mowing the lawn. The landlady hired her to do it, and she has been saving money from that, too. So she is very set for new pointe shoes, as needed, and spending money. Thank You, Father!!!!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Teenage Angst

Because the picnic with 20 girls wasn't enough, I brought 3 of them home with me for the night. Shao has a close circle of girlfriends that are very precious to her. But they also drive her nuts some times. And two of them lately, more than usual. It would seem that these two, who used to be Shao's friends, and friendly with one another, are now very tight, and unknowingly excluding the others, to the point where Shao and a few of the other girls are really hurt over it.

WELL...let me tell ya...last night was interesting! LOTS of deep feelings came out, lots of discussion, lots of tears and sadness, but in the end...LOTS and LOTS of joy and love and laughter, and I think much closer friendships than before! PLUS...when I went in to say good night? FOUR girlies jumped up for goodnight hugs. I thought my heart would burst! How sweet was THAT? These three girls are very dear to my heart. All for different reasons, all have different needs, all are very sweet, nice kids. I long for them to know Jesus, but Shao longs for that even more. We often take them to church with us, invite them to youth activities, and just keep loving on them. What a delight it was to see such open lovingness from them last night!!!! I hope it lasts...but when I saw them this morning, I opened my arms wide, and each one came for a morning hug! :) JOY!

Please pray for Krista, Emily and Megan. I want them to know the joy and love that is available to them. I want to be a vessel for God in the lives of these girls. They have lovely parents, but each girl has something in them that really needs ministering to, and each need is different. Also, please keep Megan especially in your prayers. She has some lumps on her arm, and has had all manner of tests, etc. Still no idea what it is, so the next step is a biopsy. But the thing about Meg? She is MANIC about needles. I am NOT kidding when I say she goes absolutely beserk, and totally freaks out. So it's a HUGE thing for her, and her parents are dreading telling her that she needs to have the lumps biopsied. It will not be a pretty thing...but GOD. I am going to pray earnestly for this. This kid needs to have some peace about this whole thing.

Anyhow...I now have a yard full of happy NINTH graders (well, they aren't 8th graders anymore, so I guess they're ninth graders now! I hear music, laughter, singing. I see some dancing and sunbathing, and just generally happy girls. YIPPEE, JESUS!!!! And I don't have to work this afternoon, so I can just sit back and enjoy them...and chauffuer them wherever (most likely the beach, but we'll see!)


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Yesterday I arrived home to warm, freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! :) Today I arrived home to find my girl mowing the lawn, riding around on it like a pro, looking far more grown up than I am ready to face. Why do kids grow up so fast? I need to sit back and savor the sweetness of each moment. Because they really ARE fleeting. She will be off to Nutmeg in just 12 days. She is going to come home her first weekend, as it is Fourth of July, and we always celebrate it with beach and fireworks and friends. I am so glad she wants to come home for that. I spent so many July 4ths alone, wishing I had someone to go see fireworks with. Ever since she came home, it has been what we do. When she was very little, she called them "flowers in the sky." How apt is that? :)

Tomorrow my girl graduates from Eighth Grade. Today she received an award from the State of CT, chosen to receive Polson Middle School's "Eighth Grade Excellence in Citizenship Award."
Can you say proud mama? :) What a treasure she is.

We were supposed to be hosting a Graduation Party after the ceremony for 20 of her friends, down at the town beach tomorrow. HOWEVER...much rain is in the forecast, so we are moving to the rain date, which is Thursday. And listen to THIS....I was all worried about taking Thursday afternoon off, because I am already taking Wed. morning off, to attend graduation. But His infinite wisdom, already knew I wasn't even NEEDED on Thursday afternoon, because my student's mom is picking him up! SOOOO...we are ALL set. Yes, I won't get paid. But I also won't put the bus company out, having to find a driver to do my run. Isn't God amazing even in the little details? Thank You, Abba Father!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

My princess!

Isn't she beautiful!?!? This is the dress I made for her, for her Eighth Grade Social, the end of the year dance. She absolutely loved it. I wasn't quite happy with a few things, but in the end, she loved it, so that's all that counts. Of course, her latest request? "Mama, can you make me my wedding gown?" AIYIYIYI!!! I don't THINK so! :) Here's another picture:


Friday, June 11, 2010

Still doesn't know

So, I decided to NOT tell her IF she had decided to go to the graduation. Because I did not want to make her sad, and what was the point, if we weren't even going to be here? And she definitely did want to go to the graduation, and then to the dance, so that is what we did. And now I am still left with the sad task of telling her about Mr. Barker. But she ended up inviting a friend over for the night, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Time enough to bring her down from her party high!!! She had a blast, and looked GORGEOUS. And somehow I never took a picture of her. Won't she just LOVE it when I make her put it all back on tomorrow, for picture taking?!?!? :) And I WILL do that, believe me! :)


Sad today

Just got an email from my daughter's dance school, New Haven Ballet. The artistic director passed away yesterday afternoon from a long battle with cancer. Oh, how we will miss him! He came in the same month we joined NHB. But he had STARTED the school back in 1985, and then left to go on to other things. He was a brilliant, gifted dancer and he leaves behind a whole school of kids and faculty who will mourn his loss, AND a wife and 7 year old daughter.

And here's the part that at this exact MOMENT impacts my life. Do I tell ShaoXi today? There is an open house at the ballet studio from 6-8PM to honor him. No funeral arrangements as yet. BUT...tonight is her big 8th grade dance, the one I made a dress for, the one she has been so excited about. AND it is also graduation night for her old private school. St. Bridget's only goes to 8th grade, so her old fellow students are graduating and going on to schools all over the place. The original plan was to go to the graduation (it's 45 min. away!), leave there by 8PM and get to the dance by 8:45 (it ends at 10). But lately ShaoXi has been on the fence about attending the graduation, so I don't even know WHAT she wants to do tonight. And then there's the open house now. SIGH

This is the tough part of parenting. When and what and how to tell your child. Do you let them enjoy their big night, THEN tell them? But that means they miss the opportunity to choose to attend the open house. But then they will have even MORE confusion as to what to do. As do I. Oh, my goodness. These are the times I kinda wish I was married, and had someone to bounce all this off of! Times like these, it's hard being a single parent. It's a lot to deal with. Thankfully, I happen to have one of the most incredible kids on the planet, so I DON'T have to deal with behaviour issues on my own...not yet, anyways...hopefully, NEVER! :)

Pray for the Barker family...Noble's wife Ruth, and his little girl, Eliza. Pray for me as I struggle with what to do. Please pray for all the children of NHB who will be affected by Noble's death.
Hard times. Thank You, Father God, for walking this path with us!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

100 Pounds Soaking Wet!

My little/big girl just came home from her Eighth Grade trip, soaking wet and happy as a clam (which, now that I think of it, prefers to be wet!) They go to a place called Holiday Hill, which offers just about every fun thing you can think of for kids, including horsebackriding. So my girl took her first REAL horseback ride today and really liked it! :) She has been up on the backs of friends' horses and on many a pony ride at fairs, but not truly ridden. Cool!

I got to hear every minute detail of her day, which I LOVE. Hope she ALWAYS wants to tell me stuff! And now we are headed down to our local nail salon to FINALLY spend our gift card there. Tomorrow night is the big end of the year Eighth Grade dance, and baby girl asked me to PLEASE make her a dress. So I did! I will take a picture tomorrow of it, I promise! So girly is getting a mani AND pedi! Woohoo! Pretty girl!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Absolutely right!

A reader named Sandy commented on my last post: I wouldn't just say that "when she is a famous ballerina, we will be able to say "it is because of schools like Waterbury'sCT academy of performing arts"... I think you should say it is because we serve a mighty God...don't you think? Give credit where credit is due. Only God orchestrated that."

At first I felt taken aback...but then I realized. She is absolutely right. Of course she is! The thing is, THAT is a given. An absolute. In our home we firmly and fully acknowledge that EVERYTHING is a gift from God, and that He meets our needs and even longings of our hearts every day. Thank you, Sandy. It made me realize that here in the "bloggy world" we need to be ESPECIALLY careful how we word things. How would you know that we absolutely believed and confirmed this every chance we get? We've never had the privilege of meeting, so you WOULDN'T! But I hope this makes me remember that I need to be really clear in some cases.

YES...this was GOD, through and through. It was GOD who put this gift for ballet IN my child, long before she took her first lesson! And it is GOD who continues to show her teachers that she is a child who truthfully, it must be a privilege to teach. I say that because she LOVES dance, she is TOTALLY focused, she is loving, polite, and thankful...and gifted. If I were a ballet teacher, I would be delighted to have her as a pupil! NOT to negate the gift of her being ALLOWED to dance on scholarship. Not at ALL!!! But isn't it nice that not only do they get a gifted student, but one who makes them smile every day?!? :)

It is a wonderful thing to be able to point out ACTUAL things that God has undoubtedly provided, and to tell your child "THIS, THIS is God's hands stretched out to us, using His people to provide!" The fact that she is filled with faith, and loves her Saviour beyond measure flows from His direct Hand in our lives!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Memorial Box daughter HAS to dance!

When we sold our house in 2006, I knew I would HAVE to find a new ballet school for ShaoXi. And I admit, I was worried about that. I KNEW New Haven Ballet was a really good school, but our old school had us there on full scholarship for years, and now what would happen? I was driving past their studio and saw a sign for a free registration/placement class. I noted the date and we showed up there that day. I had sent an email to the office a few days before, but that was at the NH office, and this was their satellite studio in Guilford.
I took her in and went up to the desk where 3 ladies were standing. I said something like, "Hi, I sent an email to the office this past week, but maybe you don't know about it. The thing is, I have NO money, am not working, and we just moved here from Waterbury. But my daughter HAS to dance." I told them I had inquired about scholarship possibilities, etc, in my email. They smiled, said no they hadn't been informed of my email, but why doesn't Shao come in and dance, and then we would talk? I sit down in the waiting room, and she goes off with them down the hall.
45 min. later all the little girls and the teachers come out, and the head teacher comes to me and says "I'll be BACK!" She proceeds to go to every other parent in the room, telling them where she felt their child should be placed, etc. After they are all done and gone, she comes back to me, plops down on the coffee table in front of me and says, "Your daughter HAS to dance!" I smiled and said "Yes, I told you that!" Miss Diana said that ALL parents/mothers come in saying that, and it is as it should be...they think their little one is very special. But my girl? Oh, she IS special...and one of the ways is at Ballet. She takes my breath away, honestly. And so, this fall we will begin our fourth year at NH Ballet. And we are so very, very thankful for their support of ShaoXi. Some day, when she is a famous ballerina, we will be able to say "It is because of schools like Waterbury's CT Academy of Performing Arts, and the New Haven Ballet!"

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Three weeks!!! EEEKKK!!!!!

Three baby is leaving me in THREE weeks! YIKES!!!! Oh, man, I gotta start packing! :) Actually, I have already started but just little things like toiletries, as I thought of them. But I really have to begin to PACK soon. THREE weeks! And then I will be all alone for four weeks, unless she decides to come home on the weekends! Oh, my baby. When did she get big enough for all this? I miss her already! :)



Friday, June 4, 2010


Tonight was ShaoXi's year end Dance Recital. It was stunning, and one of my favorites ever. I think because it was all Broadway music, which I love. The ballet suite at the end was all music from West Side Story! Very cool! I am so blessed to have this child! And she is so blessed with such rare talent. AND...her English teacher came to see her dance. Now how cool is THAT?!?! Very, very cool. Loved meeting her. We went out to eat afterwards, and just got home at 11:15. To say we are tired is an understatement....gotta go to bed. Girlie is already sleeping away!


Sunday, May 30, 2010


My daddy passed away a few years ago at the age of 87. I loved him so very much, and will always miss him. He wasn't perfect. In fact, by a lot a standards, he was SOOO far from perfect. But he was my hero, for a lot of reasons. Every little girl looks up to her daddy as a hero, just by reason of him being big and strong. If he is a halfway decent Dad, then he is also loving and protective. For some reason, I was extra attached to my Dad. When I was a kid, I would spend hours in his workshop with him, handing him tools. I couldn't talk much, because he had lots of numbers and measurements in his head, and talk would make him forget. It didn't matter. I was with my daddy. And life was good.

One of the BIG reasons I saw him as a hero is because he WAS. Daddy was a platoon leader in the Army, and on D-Day, he led his platoon off the boat, through the waves, and onto the beaches of Normandy. My daddy was a hero. This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day. And I have special reasons to remember, and to be thankful. Thank you to ALL who serve this amazing country we live in, the United States of America. To all who keep it safe, both on the homefront and overseas. Please know you all have my heartfelt gratitude!


Saturday, May 29, 2010


In four weeks my baby girl will be heading off to Ballet Camp! I can't believe it's that soon. It seems like just yesterday that I was making lists and thinking how very premature all my planning was! And now it's a month away. Oh, I miss her already! Her gramma/godmother called today and asked how much a pair of pointe shoes were, and she is planning on giving Shao the money to buy a pair as needed, at camp. I just bought her a new pair, and it is likely she may need 2 or more pairs considering how much ballet she will be doing over that four weeks!

Her leotards are all ordered. I still need to order the tights she needs. A sweet bloggy friend and participant in "Crazy Love" is sending us a set of sheets for her bed at Camp...I am sure they will be awesome! Can't wait for that surprise...I LOVE surprises! :) I've begun a box of stuff to take...a roll of paper towels, soap, shampoo, bandaids, toothpaste & brush. Still, there is a lot of little things I need to get: black bobbypins, black hairnets, sanitary supplies, etc. I want to take a couple of cases of bottled water up with her, so she'll have plenty to drink. And I would like to stock her little refrigerator with some wholesome snacks. Oh, I am gonna miss this kid!

I tell people that I spent the first 45 years of my life having lots of leisure time...I'm done with that. I want my kid! :) Poor soul, she likely would have been much better off with a sibling, so she could catch some breathing room. And I would have loved to have many more, but it was not to be. So I support OTHER people's adoptions, and live vicariously through their wonderful stories! :) Anyhow...four more weeks. Then four weeks without her. When asked by others if she will be coming home on weekends, she does not say instantly, "Of course!" So I am laying low, and leaving it up to her. But I hope she does. I will miss her too much. At least the first weekend, which is July 4th, it would be nice to have her home. We'll see. I'm going to let her decide. But it will be SOOOO hard not to beg her to come home! :)


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Monday...ummm...Thursday!

So, does anyone out there have a toy Dodge Neon that they could spare? Cuz that's what I need for my Memorial Box! Here is an incredible illustration that God, our God, cares about our every need, and has our WHOLE future in His hands.

The other day Shao's godmother, my dear friend Donna, mentioned that next Spring she and hubby Ron were going to sell their Florida home. Not only were they selling the home (any0ne interested? It is being sold with most furniture, and is REALLY nice, with heated pool, etc!!!), but they were also going to sell their boat (hey, it could be negotiated into the house price!) and their car, too. They just bought a condo in Arizona, to be near to their daughter, and didn't need TWO places to fly away to when it got cold in New Hampshire!

Tuesday night Donna & I were talking on the phone, and after awhile she said, "Oh, by the way, Ron says we are just going to GIVE you our Neon! But you'll have to come to FL to get it!" Now I have a car. But it has 130K miles on it, and their Neon hasn't even hit 60K yet. And I'd rather sell mine (hopefully for enough money to afford to go to FL & collect the Neon!) while it is still doing relatively well. It is beginning to use a lot of oil, so this does not bode well. Donna's car has been garaged all it's life! And it has working AC!!!! WOOHOO!!! That'll be a first for us!

So...I am in need of a Neon...match car size! :)


Sunday, May 23, 2010


Today was special. And hard. And a little sad. Today, Shao danced in a benefit performance to raise money for the artistic director (and one of her ballet teachers) of New Haven Ballet, where she dances. He is dying of pancreatic cancer. So very, very gifted, with a 7 year old child, and a whole ballet school full of kids...and he is dying. It was his every intention to be at the benefit, but on Thursday he ended up in the hospital, so was unable to attend. It was videotaped, and a copy will go right to the hospital. Not only did NH Ballet dance, but many many other dance schools and companies participated. It was wonderful to see so many people come together to help out one of their own. I cried, as I always do at such times. It kinda broke my heart that Noble wasn't able to be there. But it was wonderful to see all the different modes of dance.

ShaoXi danced divinely, as usual. It's funny...she MAY make mistakes, but since I only have eyes for her, when she is on stage, unless it is a glaring one, or she falls (which she NEVER does), as far as I'm concerned, she's perfect! :)

Today was also sweet Chrissie Patterson's funeral. I can't even imagine. Little girls should get to live to be five years old, don't you think? Sigh.

Hug your loved ones especially close tonight.


Friday, May 21, 2010


So...yesterday, ShaoXi was all upset because she has two friends who lately have been ignoring her, in her eyes. They sit at her lunch table, but they whisper to each other, which ShaoXi has asked them not to do, to no avail. And if she is with one of them, talking to them, if the other comes up, the two just wander away, leaving ShaoXi standing there. I suppose, though she hasn't said it, is that these two girls were NOT friends before they each became a really GOOD friend of Shao's, and then she introduced them to one another. I would imagine that hurts a bit. There is another friend who is also feeling the same way, very left out, very sad. And the two girls are SWEETHEARTS, so I don't even think they realize what they are doing.

Thus...the intervention. I am so stinkin' proud of this girl of mine. She does NOT take after her mama, who talks a good talk, but when push comes to shove, doesn't do this well...she contacted all three of the other girls, and they are having a meeting with a guidance counselor (who Shao said she is going to ask NOT to talk, just to mediate if the need arises!) :) I think it might be about NOW, actually...hang on! Okay...I'm back....bathed it all in prayer again. Sweet girl of mine. with a teenager. I am blessed that she is not snotty or defiant, rebellious or wild. She is a total sweetheart, and doesn't handle rejection well. Been there, done that, I get it. BUT...she IS willing to step out and make herself vulnerable. You know why? Well, first, because she knows how to be a true friend. And second....she wants her friends to come to know the Lord, to have a personal, on fire relationship with Jesus that lights up their lives. And if she walks away, she feels she will have failed to lead them to her Saviour. I told her that God Himself will provide a way for them, but that it is up to THEM to choose to take the gift of salvation. So I did NOT want her to feel that way, but that I DID expect, even if she chose to walk, that she would continue to care about them and pray for them.

I'll keep ya posted!


Thursday, May 20, 2010


My girl was sad yesterday. She gets that way on occassion, and I seldom know what to do to help her, other than love on her, and pray with and for her. I tell her it is all the new things going on in her life and her body, and the hormones, etc. But that only assures her it is normal, it does not REALLY help with the sadness itself. We talked for a long, long time, we prayed, and by bedtime I think she was better. But it breaks my heart to see my joyful, loving child so teary and in emotional pain. I asked her if she thought some counseling might be in order, but I never did get a definitive answer to that one. Meanwhile, I will continue to pray for the right words. This parenting thing is HARD!!!! Particularly when you are doing it on your own, and have no other parent to bounce things off of, and to have your back. sigh. But you know? I wouldn't trade it for the world. Not for anything short of my salvation in Jesus, itself. That's the only thing more valuable to me than my girl. She is the treasure I am laying up in heaven...I am investing in her, and what a treasure she is!!!! Please keep us in your prayers.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dancing with Jesus

Please pray for the Patterson Family. Their sweet Serbian Sensation, Chrissie (see sidebar button) went home to be with the Lord early this morning. It has been such a long, terrifying, amazing 30 days since her surgery. I feel some emptiness myself, and I never met them! But, OH, how many lives that one little Warrior Princess' life has touched! I pray it goes on and on! Knowing what I do about the Patterson's, I believe it will!

Blessings....and hug your loved ones extra close today!...Nancy

Monday, May 17, 2010

This and that...FINALLY!!!

OH.MY.GOODNESS!!!!! No wonder almost no one has visited my blog this past week...there has been NOTHING to draw them here! No excuses...although I guess I could definitely come up with some! :) BUT...I am here NOW. Hello, friends! :)

I have spent much of the past week helping my sister move. It is amazing what one can accumulate in 20+ years. 2 years ago her husband walked out on her, and she could not pay the mortgage anymore. The house FINALLY sold, in a short sale, for probably HALF of it's actual value, and as of this weekend, she is no longer a homeowner. And it's sad. And it's happy. All at the same time. I LOVED her house. An old 1850's farmhouse, lots of original features, etc. But needing lots of work. And Carrie, the new owner? LOVES it! Which makes us smile. She is so excited. My sister, Polly, is now living in a camper trailer, at my other sister's house. That's a temporary situation, as she has a rent but it won't be vacated until mid August. Should be an interesting summer!

I am scurrying about, trying to get things together for Shao's summer ballet camp. I got a letter from our town, offering $120 toward a camp of her choice. What a blessing! That money went toward her leotards and such. Yay! She needed THREE of them, each a different color. $30 each! I am thankful beyond words to see God's hand providing in ways I never thought of!

So...we continue to be blessed, and busy, and happy. Please DO pray for me though. Having some health issues, not quite sure WHAT'S going on, but not feeling quite right. Headed to the Dr.'s for an appt RIGHT NOW!!! Gotta go!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for just about everything in my life! :) No, really! I am so blessed! I have the most amazing kid I have ever met as my OWN! I have my home, food in the cupboard, friends and family. I am blessed.

But I'll tell you what I am really thankful for, today. I am thankful that these crazy Crazy Love people are STILL coming back to my little blog, and posting comments that they are praying for us. THAT, folks, is something to be thankful for! Prayer changes EVERYTHING!!!!! I know it does, for sure, for positive! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please know that YOU play a part in every good thing the Father sends our way! Thank you for being His hands and feet, and heart, extended to this little family. We so appreciate it!!!!!!!

May His love enfold you, and may you be blessed many times over!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Terrific Tuesday, anyone?

I am thankful that God's mercies are new every morning, and we can begin again with a fresh start. :) This has been a much better day, although I did lose patience with my bus aide...not that SHE knew I did. Because I bit my tongue and held it in. But.....ayiyiyi! She is a little elderly lady who spends our very LONG rides commenting on my driving "You'd better slow down!" "EEEK, watch out!" "OH MY, watch out for the guy, he's going to pull in front of you!!!!!" "You know, my other drivers never drove in any lane but the far right." "I've never had a driver go over 60 mph before!" All this said in her sweet grandmotherly little, well, no maybe not, since much of it is screeched!

So here's the deal. I'm a good driver. I am a confident driver. I am NOT an aggressive driver. Miss G. is gonna drive me nuts. is over in 7 weeks. I can DO this. YES I CAN! But I MAY bleed to death before then, from biting my tongue!

Anyhow...better day, less traffic, no random drug tests. Life is good! :)


Monday, May 3, 2010


Ever have one of those days? Well, me fact, TODAY was one! I drive a van for our local school system. My kids go to a special school for autism and it is 45 miles away. Which on a good day can be done in 2 hours, round trip. Except today was NOT a good day. There was a 23 mile back up, over half of which was between home and the exit the school was at. So a 2 hour trip turned into 3. That's a long time to be bumper to bumper, with antsy kids in the van. They did well, though. But, OH, I was tired when I got back into town. I didn't have to go back out for another 4 hours though, so thoughts of a nap danced through my head like sugarplums. Nope. Not happening.

I walked into the office, and got the lovely news that my name had come up randomly for drug testing. I had to turn around and head BACK the way I had come. Waahhh!!! All I wanted to do was go home. And I had to use the restroom...but I couldn't, since I was gonna need to "perform on command" when I got to the facility. Big bummer.

So I drove over there, went to the window, only to be told they had no idea I was coming, and where was my form? Uh...nobody gave me a form. I sat down and called the office, and was told they DID know I was coming, and THEY provided the forms. So I waited...and waited...and waited...and waited some more. 45 MINUTES went by. I went to the desk and said "Uh, I've now been waiting 45 min to pee in a cup. And I had to pee DESPERATELY when I arrived here, so you can imagine my problem!" Uh, yeah...they (same girl who was flustered and clueless that I was coming....ya think she's new or something?!?) had put my paperwork in the wrong slot, and the staff in the back thought I was there to see a Doctor. Which apparently takes a long, long time in that place. Once that got straightened out, I went right in. I must say, I performed magnificently, if not a little frantically, as soon as I went through all the procedures: put purse in a designated place, remove jacket and hang on hook, empty pockets, wash hands, and pick the collection cup from the second shelf (this one puzzled me, don't ask!) By the time I got home I had an hour and a half before I had to go out and pick up my kids. At least the traffic wasn't nearly as bad as the AM run, and I did the whole run in just a little over 2 hours. AND I will get paid for the time getting drug tested. So there is ALWAYS a silver lining, as indiscernible as it might seem!!! :)


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day, everyone! Consider your doorbell having been rung, and finding these on your steps! :) Anyone ELSE remember that little May Day custom? No? I'm the ONLY "old" person here? Alrighty, then!!!

It is a glorious day here in CT! Headed to the mid to upper 80's in temp, soft breeze, no humidity! Oh, ya gotta love it!!!! Of course, I am INSIDE, writing THIS. But I hope to get outside and ENJOY, today.

Please continue to pray for sweet Princess Chrissie. She is a miracle, through and through. See her "button" on my side bar. I have seen God do so many miracles in the past few weeks. What an encouragement to my heart, to see Him as a Miracle-Working, Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God!! Yep, stole it from my sweet bloggy friend, Linny...and I KNOW she won't mind! She wants MORE people to come to know our precious Jesus in this way, believe me!

Didn't have much "new" to post. Just wanted to wish you all a joyful May Day! Enjoy!!!


Friday, April 30, 2010

Fabulous Friday!

Yeah, I'm on a roll here...ya wants some chips with that? Get it? :)

Anyhow...Miss Chrissie, the Serbian Sensation (see button on side of my blog) is hanging in there like a trouper. Go, God! Go, Chrissie!!!

It is bright and sunny, and hit about 77 degrees today. Tomorrow they are calling for more of the same, except warmer! Yeah! :) My kinda weather! And tomorrow is...drum roll, please...SATURDAY!!!! PERFECT!!!

The one little fly in my ointment is my bus aide, Gerry (short for Geraldine.) She is VERY old...for a bus aide. Maybe close to 80? And weighs MAYBE 90 pounds...she is about 4' 8" tall. Teeny, tiny. And...I guess my driving scares her to death. The very first comment she made, the very first day, within the first 30 seconds of getting on the highway (I KID YOU NOT...30 seconds!!!) was "I've never had a driver go over 60 before!" Um...lady...the speed limit is 65. It's a van, not a bus. We're allowed to do the speed limit. The traffic is FLYING. If we don't get up and keep up the speed, we're gonna be rear-ended!!!!! Since then, she has told me about all the very many drivers she has been with, all who stay in the slow lane, and don't go over 60. Aiyiyiyi! Luckily, I actually LIKE her, when she's not doing a running commentary on driving skills! :) Thankfully, she does not work on Mondays, so I have 3 days off. And the young man that she aides for graduates in less than 2 months, so that will be that. PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Other than that....things are good! :) I have a new endeavor, I am doing digiscrapping for an orphanage in China!! It is run by a South African woman who was raised in the US, and all the babies that come to her are special needs. They can be there for a few months, or up to several years, before they are adopted by their "forever families." And Amanda likes to take pictures...1000's and 1000's of pictures. SOOO...we are making scrapbooks for each baby, to give to their new families. Cool, huh? Lovin' it!!!!

Not much other news than that. Hope y'all have a GREAT weekend!!!! :)


Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Thankfulness!

I'm BAACK! :) Errands all done, laundry in wash, load in dryer, and I don't have my 12 o'clock run, so I have time to blog a little more!

Thankfulness...actually, if you REALLY want to experience God's miracle moving stuff, go to the button on the side that says "pray for Chrissie." I have been haunting that site for days now, and OH, what God is doing in that little 4 year old's body and life! You GOTTA read it. It's beyond belief. God's still in the miracle business today, folks! You have only to meet Chrissie and you will be full convinced! I am THANKFUL for His great and mighty heal, to love, to forgive. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and ALL that is within me, bless His holy Name!

You know...that's enough...go meet won't be sorry!


Thankful Thursday!!

It's Thursday! Wahoo! A day like any other to cherish and savor, and squeeze until you get every morsel out of it! :) Actually...every day should be that...but it IS fun to have one day a week to actually POST about the thankfulness we should have at all times!

I am thankful for all the "usual" home, my precious treasure of a child, my job, my family, friends, and YOU, my bloggy whom I sometimes feel closer to than the people I see everyday! :) Strange how that I chat with "them" about this and that, but I pour out my heart to "you." Wierd, really, when you think about it!

I am thankful for the two new tires on my car. Thankful that we did not have a serious blowout but instead had one go flat overnight. Much safer that way, eh? I am thankful that I had the money in my checking acct. to pay for them. I am thankful that I think even with that huge (to me) chunk gone, that I WILL be able to pay my rent for next month. AND pay my utilities, as well. That's God, friends...cuz usually there is NO cushion available!!

I am thankful that when we went to the Emergency Clinic, that Shao's wrist was just sprained, and she just needed to continue what I had been having her it, ice it, take Ibuprofen 4 times a day. I am thankful that I just typed that, which reminded me that I have to run to the store and get a bottle to take into school for her! So...I'm outta here! :) Might be back, because for sure, I have more things to be thankful for! But gotta go take care of that, before my senility sets in again, and I forget! :)


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A list, as requested!

So...a sweet reader asked me to post a list of things ShaoXi needs for her trip to camp! My sweet sister in the Lord, Sherri, is buying her a set of extra-long twin bed sheets! YAY! Something we absolutely didn't have. The list the Conservatory sent is divided up into a few different sections. Bedding: sheets, mattress cover (didn't notice this one til right now!), towels and wash cloths (but we have these...may be old, and not matching, but we DO have them!)

Toiletries: Containers for make-up, jewelry, and hair items (makes sense!)
ANd then the actual toiletries. And I am not sure if it is a communal shower room...if so, I guess she would need some sort of a caddy to carry things to and from the bathroom!

Sneakers/comfortable walking shoes (no flip flops allowed! No idea why!) This girl has SHOES!
no problem there! :)
Coverups for over her dancewear...I think I might make her a couple of those dresses that are gathered on just buy the material, enough to go around her, and PRESTO! A dress! (once you add straps!)
Dance bag/dance wear: Most of this will need to be ordered from their Dance Shop, since it is
very specific as to maker, type and color!
The appliances she is okay with...alarm clock, hair dryer and Ipod (I thought that was a riot, that that was listed ans an appliance!!!)
Cup/mug; stationary; hangers (got those!), Laundry bag & detergent (got the detergent!); Quarters to DO laundry; umbrella; raincoat

She will obviously need to bring all the usual personal items, ie, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoos and conditioners, LOTS and LOTS of black bobby pins (they disappear like crazy!), black hair nets for her bun, to hold it all together; etc., etc.

I also told her I will send her up with a case of bottled water to start with. You can buy it in the Dance shop, but I am SURE it cost money! I was happy to hear that the rooms have a small dorm sized frig, so she can stock it with water! Yay! I will also send lots of healthy snacks, some plastic utensils, a jar of PB, and one of jam, some bread, the POOR child doesn't starve to death! Yes, there is a reportedly very good food program. But you know kids!!! :)

I told her we could untie the curtains from her room at home and take them, in case we can use them...they are tie ons, so easy enough, and just sheer aqua so should work...IF there are curtain rods. Not sure. I am sure she will take along a few of her MILLION fuzzy throw pillows and a stuffed animal or two, as well as her beloved bed pillow. Her gramma gave her a laptop, so that will go along. I need to find a cell phone program that has no set amount of months, that is one set price for a month, all inclusive. Anyone have an idea? I am pretty clueless about anything technical! I do manage to blog here, but it's by the grace of God, believe me! :)

Okay...much of this stuff we have at home. I am resisting beginning packing. Believe me, when I was getting ready to head to China, long before I actually got my referral, I began! Maybe I need to get a cardboard box and begin putting stuff in it...toothpaste, shampoo, etc.! I think that would make me feel like I am doing something...relieve my anxiety, a little!

So...there ya go. A list. Just pray, okay, that we gather everything together. I'm not too worried. Except about the actual dancewear. Not that I'm worried. But that stuff we definitely DO NOT have, nor was I able to find it anywhere on line...looking for more reasonable prices, don't ya know? :)

Blessings...and hugs...and thanks!



That's the sound of me, exhaling loudly. Yesterday was that sort of day. Seriously. To start it off...on Sunday morning, I trotted out to my car (which was parked in an ever-growing puddle), got in, and made it two feet out of my driveway when I realized "I have a flat tire!" Thankfully, my Mom was just coming out of the house, headed to church with my sister, so I borrowed Mom's car, and off I went.

When I got home, Mom called AAA, and they came out and changed the tire. ( I DID move the car to the other side of the driveway, so the poor guy wouldn't have to change it in a puddle!)
Yesterday after my morning bus run, I took the car over to the tire place. He took one look at the flat, and said it was shot. Okay. Not happy, but it is what it is. He said he'd put a new one on the rim and call me when it was done. No call until 10 min. before I was ready to head out the door on my afternoon run, so I told him I would be there after work.

When he put the car up on the lift, it wasn't good news. The OTHER front tire was just as bad as the one that had gone flat. I am buying TWO new tires. Sigh. Walked out $300 poorer, but at least my car is safe to drive! The guy said the back tires looked pretty good. Thank you, Lord! Bad enough. I hate these unexpected things...they really make me scramble for money. I am SURE it is another chance for me to trust God to meet the need. But you know? Sometimes it sure does get tiring! I wish I'd learn the lesson, alright, already! :) Sheesh!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Memorial Box Monday

So, Miss Shao is getting more and more excited about Nutmeg! And I am beginning to start my lists of lists, getting ready for the big day. There is a list of things she needs to bring along, some of it dance wear, and some of it for her dorm room. My little a dorm room. Oh, my heart! Thought I had at least another 4 years to prep for this one! :)

Anyhow...a sweet sister in the Lord, who I am assuming came to my blog through Linny's Crazy Love Challenges, sent me a comment to please contact her. And so I did...and she said God told her it was HER job to provide the extra-long sheets for ShaoXi's dorm bed! Now...sheets, you say. Doesn't sound like a big, huge thing. OH, but it IS!!!!! Cuz the truth is, I just don't have the money to spend on something that she will only need that one time. And sheets aren't cheap, anyways! And MAYBE she will be able to use them again another year. That remains to be seen. And we COULD have used a set of double sheets and made do with it. But no....our God wants to show my girl just how very much He loves her, by using Sherri. And she isn't just "buying sheets." She asked exactly what colors Shao likes. I did tell Shao, and she is very excited to see the surprise when the bedding arrives! So cool! Thank you, Sherri. Thank you for blessing us! We pray that God blesses you back, "pressed down, and running over!"


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Teenagers! AKA Sunny Saturday

So Miss ShaoXi came home all fired up yesterday. She organized a group of girls to come down to our town beach and do clean-up! Pretty cool, eh? I was very proud of her! So...of course, this meant that SOME adult needed to be there as a check-in person. That, um, would be ME, since it was my kid who was the one who dreamed this up!

Lucky for all, it was a glorious day, and 8 13-14 year old girls spent about 4 hours on the beach...some cleaning DID get done, and a LOT of fun! And me? Well, one of the kid's grandmas brought her, so I made a new friend, a very nice lady, and we had a great time chatting.

Let me tell you, teenage girls are a hoot! I LOVE hearing them jabber and laugh together. But I must say...I am glad (OH SO GLAD!!) that tonight? I am goin' solo...girly went for a sleepover! Peace reigns in shaosworld! :) And I'm thinking...four hours of sun and sea breeze? We should ALL sleep well tonight! :) IF my rather sun/wind burned face lets me! YIKES! :)

You know what I REALLY like? That these girls, who do NOT come from Christian homes, KNOW that Shao does not like swearing or inappropriate things. And so they do NOT swear in her presence. I'm thinking...if they spend LOTS and LOTS of time with her, then eventually, maybe the NEW habit of NOT swearing will come into play more than the old! Meanwhile, I pick her and the two girls having the sleepover up for Sunday school and then church in the morning! YEAH! I'm goin' out into the highways and byways, and bringin' 'em in! Let's get them all saved, that's my mission in life! :) At least at THIS point! :)


Friday, April 23, 2010

Fabulous Friday!

So today, I celebrate Friday! This has been an intensely crazy week at work. Coupled with coming back after a week OFF, it has been doubly crazy! So, even though I truly TRY not to wish the days away (when you get to be my age, you want every day to STRETCH!), THIS week I am glad to be done...well, almost. In fact, they just called me to do an unexpected run in half an hour. I pretty much never say no. Which is why they call ME, and not someone else. My mama didn't raise no dummies! :) I need the money, and am thankful for whatever they throw my way. And THIS week, it sure felt like they were THROWING the stuff at me...I was all over the place, and they would send me one place, then call me back, change things a hundred times...nuts.'s Friday. And next week I am SUPPOSED to be starting a new, permanent run. As permanent as it GETS in the Durham School Bus world! :) This will be my THIRD "permanent" run this school year. I think it would be much less crazy if people would just COME to work. It amazes me how many people call out each day. If I was in charge, (and if we had enough drivers, which we NEVER do!) calling out for no good reason would lead fairly quickly to termination. I go in no matter WHAT! I had laser eye surgery yesterday, and fit it in between my runs. I fit ALL my appointments in between runs, when ever possible. I go in when I am sick as a dog. It's my's my responsibility. And it's not like my work can be left undone until I come back...the kids need to go to school and back again!

Okay...enough venting! :) FABULOUS Friday, remember? With a bit of Thankful Thursday thrown in! :)

Today I am thankful for:

my sweet apartment, with all it's beautiful wood floors, and 250 year old charm

my precious daughter, who went to school this morning with a kiss and a smile

my job...having been unemployed regularly for 4 years, this is a blessing! I know there are many folks out there with NO job.

my family and friends who love me despite of myself!

my Saviour, Jesus, Who is faithful, true, and loves me beyond reason!

Hope you all have a terrific weekend! I plan to! Miss Shao has taken it upon herself, in honor of Earth Day, to organize a crew of girls to go to the beach and clean it up! You go, girlfriend! I am so proud of that kid! :)


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Slightly Late Memorial Box Thursday! :)

A month ago ShaoXi had the awesome opportunity to audition privately for Nutmeg Conservatory. Before we even drove up for the audition, I had inquired about scholarships. I knew the price...$4900 for the 4 week program. That is way more than a third of our annual income!!! So I KNEW that a scholarship was our only chance! But the director did say there were limited scholarships available, but sounded like it was not a shoe in, by any means.

Going up there, I told her I thought it might be about a half hour audition, since she was the only one! WRONG!!! She danced for almost two hours, all by herself, with the director. No mamas allowed. I sat in the foyer and waited...and waited...and waited. After about 90 minutes, the director came and found me, and said Shao was taking a little break, and then they were going to do pointe! YIKES! Talk about thorough!

Finally Shao came down, and Mr. Alexander came and ushered us into his office. The first thing he said was "Well, you're definitely accepted!" That was a relief, and a proud moment, as well! He put a folder out on the desk, and said we would need to get the $500 deposit in very quickly, as the spaces were filling up. And although I knew the price, I asked again. Nothing had changed. So I inquired again about a scholarship, and sounding doubtful, he said he would speak to the scholarship committee. We were hopeful, and trying not to get too excited!

Poor Shao was famished and exhausted, so we went to Applebees and used a gift card we had received for Christmas (Thanks, Dickie!) While there, she called her Gramma Donna to let her know, since she had asked to be called as soon as we were out of the audition. Gramma told Shao she'd see about helping out financially, once we heard from the committee. I figured it would be the end of the week before we heard. It was gonna be a LOOONG week!

But early on Monday afternoon I got a call saying she had received a merit scholarship of $2500!!! WOOHOO!!!! But that still left the other half. Which in our little world is a small..make that LARGE fortune! When Shao heard, she immediately called Gramma & Grampa. Then I talked with them, and Donna said if I could cover the deposit, she would cover the rest. Thank God for tax refunds...I had put it aside, to help us get through each month, especially with summer coming up and no work. But I decided that THIS was important, and that as I have done for many a year, I would just have to trust God to provide this summer. our Memorial Box will go a little pair of ballet slippers that usually hangs on our tree each Christmas! I guess we will put them back on the tree each year! And of this point I don't HAVE an actual, physical Memorial Box. But even so...we are blessed!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Prayer needs...Crazy Love Challenge

Our needs remain the stability, health, etc. Please also pray for both ShaoXi and I as her time at Nutmeg approaches...we have never been apart more than a night or two. I suspect baby girl will do far better than her mama! :) While I think she will come home on weekends, still, four weeks is a long time! Pray for her to be a strong witness for Christ to those around her, both students and faculty alike. Pray for her to make right decisions while there, without mama to run them by. Pray for me to find ways to keep VERY busy! :)

Also, for the final finances for Nutmeg. We got the paperwork finally, and she needs 3 different leotards, tights, pointe shoes, 2 books, 2 ballet skirts. Yikes! :) Not to mention the stuff to furnish her room, though it's not much. But we don't HAVE extra long twin sheets! So that's another expense...although I MAY see if the twin sheets we have will fit...I do know they are BIG on the twin bed we have! So hoping this works! :)

Pray for my health. While the diabetes is stable, I am experiencing increasing joint and muscle pain/weakness, which is concerning. Either my arthritis and fibromyalgia are ramping up, or there's something else going on.

And here's my heart's desire...I would SO love to be able to go help Katie in Uganda...or Bill and Lynsay in Beijing...or travel with Dw and/or Linny on a trip to Africa or Haiti. But we are scraping by, barely, every month. But I KNOW our God can provide this. What I would REALLY like is to adopt again, but my age is against me...but I long for babies to cuddle and nurture! So I'm thinking...mission trips to baby homes! Yeah!!! :)

Thank you all SOOOO very much! I will pray for you all, as well! Isn't our God WONDERFUL?!?!?!?


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Home, sweet home!

It's funny. No matter how much fun it is to be on vacation, no matter how much you already miss the folks you were with, there's nothing like coming home. We were ecstatic to be home, to be done with traveling for a little bit, to sleep in our own beds, to be surrounded by our own things. Home. It's a beautiful thing.

And yet...there are so many out in this world who don't have that in any way, shape or form. I think of the people of Haiti, and those in China recently, who have been devastated by an earthquake, and are literally without a single possession other than the clothes on their backs. And I can't fathom that depth of misery. I really can't. But there is a small, teeny, tiny part of me that wishes I could. Oh, don't misunderstand me...I am grateful for all we have. But sometimes it is hard for a spoiled American to even empathize with those in misery around us. And I feel a little shame in that. Maybe more than a little.

Lord, help me to see people through YOUR eyes, which work oh so much better than my own!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun in St. Louis!

I have never been in the midwest before. It is in the high 80's here, if not 90, and GORGEOUS! Yesterday Richard brought lilacs home from work...our lilac season in New England begins in mid-May, at the earliest!!!! LILACS!!!! My very favorite...oh, the smell!

And today I got to rock their baby to sleep...such sweetness! Heaven, in my eyes!

Today we went to a butterfly conservatory, and apparently butterflies LOVE me. Hmm! I had one "hitchhiker" the whole time I was in there, and several who came and went, including one that came and sat on the back of my hand for a very long time. So very beautiful!

Thursday we are going to see the famous "Arch" in St. Louis, and a basilica, and maybe back to the butterfly place. And I don't know WHAT else. Should be a full day! :) And Richard will take the day off, which will be a blast.

Meanwhile, my girlie is plying her now beloved Uncle Richard with deep theological questions...very cool! He is so cute about it...he actually took her list of questions to work with him yesterday and spent time looking up answers and scriptures! Shao said to me, the other night, "Mama, you were right!" I looked at her questioningly and she said "I LOVE Uncle Richard!" I had told her to just wait, she would LOVE him...yep! Mama knows best! :)


Friday, April 9, 2010


Tomorrow...tomorrow I will see one of my very best friends from Bible college, whom I lost contact with maybe 10 years ago! I found them again about a year ago (DUH...finally ocurred to me to call his mama, whom I KNEW would still be living in his hometown!) Anyhow...Shao & I were blessed with tickets to fly to St. Louis, MO, to see he and his wife, and their two boys. But it gets better. I THINK he is going to water baptize ShaoXi!!!! She has asked me if this could happen, and he is working on it. He DOES have a baptismal pool at his church. This is so special! You see, he and his wife and his oldest son Alex drove all the way up from North Carolina when Shao was first home from China to do her baby dedication. And now he might baptize her...the only thing left is to help perform her wedding ceremony! How cool is all that?!?! adoption agency is headquartered in St. Louis! So I get to take my treasure over to see the folks there and thank them...what a gift, beyond all reason, she has been in my life. Hmmm....maybe I need to bake cookies, or something, eh? :) How in the WORLD do you say thank you for such a gift? I have no clue!!!!

We will be there until next Friday. So we get to hear Richard preach a few times, and MAYBE he will be able to set up a baptismal service. I asked him VERY late, as I was waiting for confirmation from Shao that this is what she wanted. And she is eager...oh, my heart, God is good!!!!!!!!

So...I can only imagine they will have a computer at home that I can use. I think I will have some free time, as they both work, although they will take some time off to have fun while we are there. And I did volunteer to care for their 20 month old monkey, Josiah, when they had to work. That will save them some money, which is always a good thing! :) Can you tell I'm excited? It remains to be seen how Miss Shao does. I'm told Alex loves video games, but Shao is more of a climb a tree, do cartwheels, get outside kind of kid. Hopefully they will find some common ground! He is 2 months older than ShaoXi. So, off to St. Louis we go! Gonna be a blast!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I continue to be humbled and thankful for those who drop by my blog. Not everyone leaves a comment, but I know folks have been by. When I DO get a comment, it is such fun, and such a joy to read. And hopefully folks are praying for us...I know many are, I can FEEL those prayers! Let's keep this crazy love going, folks! God doesn't call us to EVER stop! :)


Monday, April 5, 2010

Memorial Box Monday: Easter Blessings and Miracles

This past weekend we traveled down to Downingtown PA to celebrate Easter with my bestest college buddy, Kim, and her husband Henry. We went down on Thursday afternoon, which was the FIRST blessing. On a whim I asked my boss if there was a spare driver with no run, and there I did not drive my last run, instead we were able to leave for PA at 3PM instead of 5...which got us in at 9, MUCH nicer than 11 or more!

On Friday we went to visit a family I met on line. They have 3 girls from China, all around Shao's age. When I found out they live near Kim, we decided to go visit, and it's been the tradition ever since, for about 4 or 5 years now. We walk in the door and it's if we had never left. I LOVE that kind of connection. And we don't just VISIT! Wayne is a fantastic chef, mainly of Chinese food! And this year? Well, he outdid himself! He had a printed up sheet of each course, and there were TWENTY of them! NO LIE!!!!! We only got through 16...and that was with leaving the table after several hours, and then coming back to polish off 3 more! :) YOWSER!!!!!

On Saturday Uncle Henry swept ShaoXi off to go shopping for an Easter outfit. Very secretive about all the plans. Kim & I went shopping too, and when we got home, ShaoXi gave us a fashion show. Let me tell you...her Easter dress was drop dead gorgeous! I will try to download a picture! After buying the dress, then going shoe shopping, Henry took her to Gordon's Jewelry Store. And bought her a real pearl necklace, bracelet and earrings. And THEN they had their first fight. And Henry won. He wanted to buy her a beautiful sapphire/diamond necklace and earrings set, and Shao, ever the thrifty one, felt it was too much. It is beautiful. She felt like a princess, and very, very loved! This by a man who is not really INTO kids. But oh, my, does he love my girl! :)

On Sunday we went to church. Henry guided us to a row about 5 back from the front. I usually sit farther up. So I groused a little about being "so far back," and then acquiesed and filed in first. Soon, from the other aisle, a man came and sat next to me, and then two young ladies a little while after. After singing several songs, we greeted all around us, and then sat down. And the pastor then said there was a "friendship pad" at the end of the pew, please fill it out, and pass it down. The man filled it out and passed it to me, and I flipped it open to sign. And gasped. And looked in right in the eye and said, "MARK STROHM????" He said yes, and I pointed to myself and said "NANCY JOHNSON!" His reply was "THE Nancy Johnson???" We hugged, I cried, I laughed. Oh, it was wonderful!!!!

You see, Mark and his wife Ellen had been my dear friends when I was teaching kindergarten at Christian Life Academy in Brookfield CT. Actually, Mark was the principal/director there, and he was the one who interviewed and instantly hired me! And the week I moved up from PA to CT, Ellen gave birth to their 3rd child, little Julie. I fell totally in love with this family, and with their kids. Andy was maybe 3 or 4, Allie was barely 2, and then baby Julie. I was their babysitter, and more. I hung out at the Strohm home all the time. We were good friends. And then they moved to VA, for Mark to get his masters. And I visited them once...on the way down, I stopped at Kim's to drop off my kittens for her to care for...and then they moved again, to Illinois. We talked once in awhile, and then...lost touch. I would say about 18 years ago. This...THIS was my Easter miracle. I cannot tell you HOW many times I have looked at their IL address in my book, and felt sad. THEN GOD!!!!

Anyhow...come to find out...they had left IL about 7 years ago and moved to PA...and had been attending Kim & Henry's church for all of that time. When I went to introduce Kim and Henry to them, I only got a word or two out when they were all "Hi, Kim, how is your recovery going?" (she recently had some surgery!) THEY KNOW EACH OTHER!!! How wierd and wonderful and just like God to do this, is THAT?!?!?!? And Mark has a sister who lives in my town...and they come here all the time. Do ya think we will be getting together? Oh, you betcha!!!! :)

I have Ellen's business card, and it will go in my Memorial least I won't lose it then! So to say I had a great weekend would be quite the understatement! Thank you Father for ALL that You did this weekend. But of course, most of all, thank You for what you did 2000 years ago, on the cross. That is the greatest gift of all!!!