Monday, February 28, 2011

Cherish's Chore Record

Today is the last day of the month of February, so I thought I'd show you Cherish's chore record/calendar. She gets a sticker for each day she completes her chores first thing in the morning. The calendar is in Cherish's bedroom, and she manages her own record with her own stickers. I don't double-check her accuracy.

The calendar shows two things:
#1: Cherish is honest...
#2: Mom cares more about getting to church early on Sundays and having fun on holidays, than I care that all her chores have been completed.

Good job, Cherish! Onward to March....

Friday, February 25, 2011

A New Book to Devour

A sweet lady in my church family allowed me to borrow a book to read to Cherish. It's called The Rhyme Bible Storybook and it's by L.J. Sattgast. Side note: Cherish LOVES books!

Did I mention, Cherish loves books?

Well, the precious lady gave me this book Wednesday morning:
The Rhyme Bible
It is Friday night. We are on page 398! Cherish is eating this book up! (Oh, and that doesn't count all the library books I have read her since Wednesday morning.)


The book is actually a blast to read. I even sing some of the stories to her--because the rhymes flow so well. I can honestly say I am having fun with this book. We just might have to add this book to our home library.

I wish I enjoyed reading as a kid. I didn't pay any attention to books until the sixth grade when my school teacher read my class the book: Adventures of the Snow. All of a sudden, I liked books. But, not like Cherish. She BEGS to be read to.

I am looking forward to the day when she can pick up a book and read it to herself (and to her little sisters *wink*). My voice is getting quite the workout!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Growing Up

Cherish woke up and immediately began getting ready for the day. She emerged from her bedroom all dressed to play outside with her new friend Lily. She picked out her own clothes, got dressed down to her shoes, and did her hair. This is how she dressed herself:
Looks like perfect clothing for playing at the park ;-).
She loves these barrettes,
so she made sure she used each and every one. =)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cirque Dreams Illumination

Derek surprised Cherish and me by taking us on an unannounced, out-of-the-blue date night. We went out to eat and then headed to Cirque Dreams Illumination. The production was a mixture of the circus and the Chinese acrobat show with silly and unexpected twists. It was a blast--and very well done!
Prior to the show opening, they had many free activities for the kiddos (and their parents).
Hand painting and tatoos: 
Ribbon dancing:
Look at that expression of pure joy: 

Face painting with jewels and light-up buttons:
They even put a stick-on pearl on me =). I liked it.
Maybe I'll go buy some today for some fun future date nights ;-).
Cherish took this picture:
I love spending time with my family!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine's Day

It has been so busy here this week, so I'm a little late getting to several posts. I am just sitting down after painting for 12+ hours.

At the last minute, Derek and I changed our Valentine's Day plans, and it was the first time since I've known Derek that he and I did not "go out" to eat to celebrate the day. Instead, we decided to spend Valentine's Day together as a family.

Derek got off work at 3:00 p.m. and picked up KFC on his way home from work. We got our bikes out of the garage, grabbed our "picnic" dinner and some toys, and drove a little over 2 miles to the closest park.

I snapped a picture of Cherish while Derek ran in to a store to get bottled waters.
 Picnic first, play second:

 Look at Cherish's expression as she hits the tennis ball!
I LOVE it!!

We found a great spot for pounding the ball as hard as we could to each other (with no fences--yeah!). We all had a blast. Of course there was time for the slide and a swing ride, then off into the sunset. We drove our bikes back home watching an absolutely gorgeous sunset. What a great evening!

It was wonderful to be able to spell love "T-I-M-E"!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chinese New Year and LID Anniversary

Well, today we are celebrating the second anniversary of our adoption paperwork getting logged into China (LID). It has actually been 2 years, 9 months, 1 week, and 1 day since we began pursuing our second daughter, Hope. It is sad that the wait is so long, but...

Our minds were taken off it this weekend as we celebrated Chinese New Year with our fabulous group First Coast Families with Children from China. We are very active in the group and enjoy watching the group grow as more and more children come home from China. What a blessing! What a special group of people!!!!

The families and their guests numbered--I think--somewhere in the 400-range for the evening's activities. The children danced, did crafts, ate, and all-around had FUN! The adults had a blast with the silent action, food, watching their children perform, etc. What a great night!

 Derek's parents were able to celebrate with us:
Here is Cherish's dance group. (Special thanks to Laurie McDonald for video taping this performance!) The children performed to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and the age range of the children is from 2-4.
The children were so brave and CUTE!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cherish's Homemade Robe

Well, it took me a while, but I finally finished Cherish's robe. The material is fleece, and it's very warm!
Cherish has been so kind: "Thank you! Thank you, Mom! It's GORGEOUS! I love it, Mom! Thank you so much!" (Followed by numerous hugs.) It makes all the trouble I had with my first fleece project quite worth the effort.

Valentine's Day Gifts

Need/Want some inexpensive Valentine's Day gift ideas? Check out Frugal Valentine's Day Gift Ideas. I think you'll be glad you did. =)

Cleaning, Transformation, and Chores

OK, you may be sick of me talking about grout. So, I promise this should be my last post on the topic.

Here is Cherish cleaning the grout with a denture toothbrush:
 The child loves to work!
 Cleaned mauve grout:
 Painting and sealing the grout:
I really should pay this child!
 Ta Da:
"Hello-o Gorgeous!"
I really should pay Cherish for all her work! She is so quick to volunteer to do my "chores"!

Two days ago she told me, "From now on I'm going to make your bed so you never have to do it again." She made it that day--after the sheets came out of the dryer, and yesterday she beat me to it again. She ran to my room, LOCKED my door(!), and made my bed. I really should compensate her ;-).

By the way, I beat her to it today. =)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Free and Safe Kid Mode

Well, with the projects I have going on around the house, I have found a way to keep Cherish occupied--when the toys she has begin to wane in their entertainment. Zoodles is "A safe kid mode for every device". Check it out.

When I allow Cherish on Zoodles, she can have tons of educational fun without any worries. The zone/mode blocks off ALL access to my computer and hard drive, so Cherish can't accidentally click on ANYTHING.

What a winner!

Grout Sealer

I just learned that if you mop tile floors with a cleaner that is PH- (negative) or PH balanced, the sealer will last 20+ years. Good to know!

The down side: The cleaners cost a lot more,
but the up side: You don't have to redo the project!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kitchen "Fun"

Today was filled with about 6.5 hours of priming the kitchen (which included moving the stove and the refrigerator). So, for dinner I served an all-you-can-eat cereal buffet. Yummy and quick!

Therefore, I had some "free time" to paint/seal the back splash behind my sink. This was UNBELIEVABLY easy! In the time it normally takes me to cook dinner, I had a transformed back splash. Ahhh!

First, let's back up to the end of last week:
Cherish wanted to help with drywall repair:
 And then today, she wanted to prime the walls:
My rule is that if a child views work as fun, let them help!
It builds a great work-ethic in them.

Anyway, with the gourmet buffet of cereal over, I had time for grout painting and sealing. No offense to the previous owners of this house, but Derek and I were never into the mauve grout. So, we bid it farewell!

This was WAY TOO EASY!! First, clean the grout and let it dry. Then, taking a toothbrush, paint on the new color brushing back and forth. Let it dry for about an hour and simply wipe off the excess with a damp cloth. Snap! EASY!!!
"Hello-o, Beautiful!"
(I used a tube of "NuGrout" Grout Colorant and Sealer.
It can be found at Lowe's, Home Depot....)

Another day--after I finish painting the walls of the kitchen--I'll paint and seal the floor grout. I can't wait to see the transformation!

Now, off to do some laundry....

Friday, February 4, 2011

For the Love of Books

Is it really any wonder that Cherish loves reading books? It ALWAYS means snuggling time, and it usually means extended bed times.
This is what I see just about every night:
(The lighting is poor in the photo,
because the room is lit by colored Christmas lights strung around the room.)
They read or play phonics games together before "sleep time". It's their special time.
For the love of books...and family.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our New Basketball Team

So, Pappy got us club seats for our team's basketball game. He knows people!
Nanny and Pappy
 The "Giants" are good! 
Final Score:
They remain...undefeated.

Time to Go

When a tree leans toward your house and you live in hurricane territory, it's time for the tree to go!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the tree from an angle where you could see it tilting, but trust me; it was leaning forward over the top on the back of the house. Therefore, the men had to take the tree down in bits, so that the tree didn't land on the house.

 There's a man up the tree cutting off one branch at a time:

Told ya:

 Stump and all. Gone! Woo-hoo!

Though I HATE to see shade disappear from our yard--in this sunny part of the country--I'm glad I don't have to be concerned about that tree anymore.