Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Silly Faces

I thought I'd do a separate post on Cherish's silly faces. While at Disney, one of the rides she and I went on came to an unexpected stop (probably to help a person with a handicap transition on or off). However, we were in a dark area alone and Cherish started to panic. I asked her to give me silly faces so I could take pictures. The fun helped her feel at ease and the ride resumed shortly thereafter.
That's my fun-lovin' girl!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bollinger Family Disney Day

George and Carileen invited us to all get together for a weekend in Orlando. (Parts of the weekend were Christmas gifts from "Pappy and Nanny".)
Lunch with Cherish's friends:
 Pappy was taken off-guard:
 Then Cherish got tickled by Tigger:
 Hugs from her favorite character:
 Nanny got a surprise:
Pooh came up from behind and hung on a. long. time.
 Spinning tea cups--Cherish and I like to go FAST!
(A ride we rode about three times because of small lines on this ride--only.)
This is the one picture to prove that I actually went to Disney:
 Cherish waited a long time to ride Dumbo:
 Nanny driving:
 Cherish driving Derek:
 Pappy was driving me in the car in front of their's,
so the pictures are blurry.
 You KNOW it was a jerky ride, since Cherish was looking down:
 ...and not looking at the track most of the time:
But, she did earn her driver's license!  
 Swiss Family Robinson Tree House:
She loved the house so much, she climbed it three times:
Magic carpet ride, one of Cherish's favorites:
I was pumped with so much caffeine, and it worked! We were up at 5:40 a.m. to get to Disney, and we left at midnight. Long day, but I didn't drag--and no headache!!!!!! Woo-Hoo!!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Chore, Weird Momma

OK, so I am a weird momma. I admit it.

Yesterday morning Cherish wanted a new chore. No problem. I gave her the chore of putting away the silverware from our dishwasher—once I took out the steak knives. She was SO excited! She emptied the silverware yesterday morning (as we wash the dishes at night and let them air dry over night to conserve energy). Last night, I ran a full load again. The silverware was dried before Cherish went to bed, and she went to the kitchen (initiated by herself), and emptied the silverware tray. She was SO glad she could do the chore twice in one day!

Side note: she periodically peaks into the dishwasher to see if more clean silverware has “appeared”.

So, what’s a momma to do? Disappoint a child? No way. Therefore, this morning I put CLEAN silverware from the silverware drawer into the silverware tray of the dishwasher, before she woke up.

Upon waking up, Cherish headed for the dishwasher and got a thrill! CLEAN SILVERWARE in the silverware tray! What good luck! ;-)

It was as if she found a huge prize waiting for her in the dishwasher!

So, weird momma? Yes.
Excited and happy daughter? Absolutely.

(I know the novelty is going to wear off soon, so I probably won’t try this again. Let the good feelings last as long as possible….)

A last-minute after-thought picture:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Alhambra's Children's Theatre

Today Cherish and I spent the entire day having mommy-daughter time. One of the first things we did was to go to Alhambra's children's theatre, where "Alice in Wonderland" is playing. (The schedule and further information can be found here.)
Sitting at the table waiting for the show to begin:
The children's theatre was quite fun--especially since the performance was interactive with child participation. On top of that, Dormouse stopped at our table for a quick nap! (We were at a table for four, but the other party of two did not show up....) Cherish laughed so loud at Dormouse's silliness, that she was probably the loudest child laughing at the moment he stopped to take a nap at our table.
One of the "child participation" moments:
Note: you are allowed to take photos--even flash photography--of the entire performance (unlike the dinner shows). So, take your camera if you get a chance to go!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fly Lady

Well, I have been too busy to post, but now I'm back. There will be no catch-up, because there would be too much to catch up on.

So, I'll jump in with Fly Lady. I have been enjoying Fly Lady's Baby Steps. I joined Fly Lady about a month ago, and it has changed my life and family's life tremendously. It's all about little steps that reap huge pay-offs. (I am still on the "baby steps".)

Within the first year of being married, I was driving Derek crazy with how clean I kept our place. It used to upset him that I would clean the kitchen sink of our evening snack dishes before retiring for the night.

One night he made me leave one spoon in the sink telling me that when I woke up the next morning, it would still be there. Drove me crazy! (But, at least it ended up breaking me of my OCD habits--which was good.)

He told me he liked the lived-in feeling in a house. He would say, "Who cares if it is always clean? I certainly don't." It took the pressure off, but it was breeding ground for a habit of laziness.

Well, fast forward eleven years, and now my kitchen sink is staying clean again (instead of just doing the dishes after dinner).
For a month now.
Throughout the day.
It has transformed the way the entire kitchen is staying clean.

Since my kitchen is in the front of our house, it is the first place everyone used to dump their stuff. Now things get put away. Simple things that reap huge rewards.

Derek has commented several times about how nice it feels to have the kitchen remain clean. Also, it has allowed me to show hospitality "on a dime". And, I am baking more often, because my counters are basically empty.

Fly Lady.
A great way to live.
A simple way to live.

A house of peace. Yes!

Disclaimer: This does not mean my house is always spotless. But, it does mean that the bones of my house are clean, and the excess "lived in feeling" can be straightened up in about 20 minutes before entertaining.

Fly Lady. Baby Steps. Baby Steps.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting there...

Well, we have worked hard on getting our kitchen re-done. Derek stripped the wallpaper--some of which was on unsized walls. Major UGH!
 Late nights...smoothing out the walls:
Cherish was in charge of painting behind the refrigerator.
The one wall that's all one color is the accent wall.
 She had no idea she had paint on her face:
 Finishing up her wall and a half:
 Before blocking off the sun:

My first choice was yellow, then sage (because Derek's favorite color is green), but we settled on blue. Derek actually wanted a midnight blue, but I felt it would be too dark for the room. So he came up with the two shades you see above.

The slave I force to work:
My daughter who loves to help:
On the accent wall:
 The lighting/coloring changes continually,
especially in the evening,
since we face into the setting sun (i.e. west):

Still to do:
1. Put up white chair rail and white crown molding.
2. Trim the door openings.
3. Paint the grout white and seal it.
4. Order and mount backsplash behind stove.
5. Print ocean pictures, mount them in white frames, and hang them on the right wall. (Photos are complimentary of the wonderful photography of my nephew Kevin Winder. He took the pictures while visiting Florida.)
Hopefully, that's it. But all in due time....

Feeling Loss

Sadly and unexpectedly, my in-laws’ dog passed away Sunday evening. The dog's name was Lily. Cherish and Lily were sweetly close. Lily always got special privileges when Cherish came to visit.

This past week, Cherish was at her grandparents’ house five out of the seven days—due to visiting friends and their young daughter being in town. The guests’ daughter’s name is Lily, as well, and Cherish fell in love with her. (Thus, Cherish went over to her grandparent’s house as often as possible to play with the little girl.)

Saturday evening Cherish was hugging Lily’s neck (the dog), telling me how very special Lily is and how much she really loves Lily. That same night, Lily, her new friend, flew home to Colorado, and the next evening, Lily, the dog, passed away.

Sunday afternoon Cherish was grieving the loss of her friend—whom she had grown to love. Hours later I found out about Lily, the dog, passing away. I kept it hidden from Cherish until the following morning.

Monday morning when Cherish and I had Bible Study, we read about the beginning of the world, and how God created animals and people. We talked about the difference between animals and people (people having souls and having an opportunity to go to heaven—a topic we’ve talked a lot about in the past). I asked Cherish if all the animals God had created way back then were still alive. She said, “yes.” I told her they were no longer alive, and then we joked about how “crazy” it would be if all the animals that ever lived were still alive. Cherish said laughingly, “If all of them were still alive, then we couldn’t even open our back door to go out on the deck! There would be animals everywhere, and we’d be tripping over them!” The talk lent itself to talking about Lily and the fact that she had died the night before…. We spent a while hugging and comforting each other.

Later that morning we had breakfast. While we were eating Cherish asked me to tell her a story. I told her the story of Noah, and how God loved animals so much that He had a plan to rescue them from the Flood. Talking about God’s love for animals comforted her.

Cherish sadly said a couple of times: “I just want to see Lily again.” God gave me an idea. I pulled out a photo album that had a lot of pictures of Lily in it. I let her choose her favorite picture, and I put it in a little photo album she already had. Now, she can “see” Lily anytime she wants to.

Cherish is doing surprisingly well. Thank You, Lord!

At the same time, my heart aches for my in-laws who have experienced the loss in a harder way. I am so sorry, George and Carileen. =(