Sunday, January 22, 2017

JANUARY 21st BIRTHDAYS

Yesterday was my Thai daughter's 16th birthday!  And she shares the same birthday with another one of my favorite people:  Rice Krispie.  So naturally we celebrated!  We had a party - complete with cake, presents and really good friends!
This crazy bunch of teenagers rock!
I love having kids at my house!
Rice Krispie and Fig Newton share a birthday!
Rice Krispie is 13 and Fig Newton is 16!
Scott made the cake!
He is sooooooooooooo amazing!
Fig Newton wanted a squid cake and Rice Krispie loves music.  Hence, a musical squid cake!
He spent all day in the kitchen....
I think it turned out great!
Singing "Happy Birthday!"
Playing a hitting game...  I didn't understand it, but it was funny to watch.
Taffy made a whip - so everyone tried it out... even Scott!
"Do the whip!  Do the nae nae!"
Taffy and Scott tried communicating on "old fangled technology." 
Fig Newton was really excited by her gift from Kotten Kandy.
Koala is to Fig what Sloth is to Kotten Kandy....
Opening presents if fun!
Happy Birthday, to my beautiful Thai daughter!
She brings us such joy and laughter!
We LOVE her and are glad she came to us in Kentucky!

Friday, January 20, 2017

GERMAN UPDATE

We really love hearing from Lollipop!  She is doing well in Germany!  Check it out:

Lollipop with her family
Hello everyone,
It's been a long time since I've been contacting you and I apologize. But the last few weeks have been crazy. I don't know where to start off. 
First of all, I love my Jets Shirt. Whenever I wear it people come up to me and talk to me about the NFL ;). 
Christmas has been great with my family (I attached some pictures). Then I went to Spain. It was the best time ever. Her family is so sweet and her dog is just adorable. We have been doing a lot together. That's why I've been a little sick over New Years. Anyway it was just fine because I celebrated with my best friend who lives in a different German city. 
Lollipop with Inez
Next week I'm having a scholarship interview in Hamburg. If I get the sponsor I can start going the the major private university in Germany and start studying international management for free besides school. That's going to be hard but I'm up for a challenge.
We really do love and miss this girl!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

OOPS. I FORGOT.

Sunday the YW leaders put on a wonderful New Beginnings event.  It was really beautiful, fun, well done and interactive!  The focus was on personal progress and it was inspiring!  I LOVE the personal progress program!  (As do my daughters!)  Soooo... they had a couple of photo ops:
Kotten Kandy is so silly!
The laurels in our ward are such great friends!
I love these girls!
Apple Jacks, Chex, Fig Newton and Kotten Kandy

Bonus Picture:
My and my girl just chillin'!
Raisin is adorable!!!!!

SLUMBER?! CIRCLES. MOVIE! DANCE! ICE. OH, MY!

So....  Slumber parties are fun... but EXHAUSTING!  I think I'm officially too old to participate any more -- Last night, Kotten Kandy and I had an impromptu slumber party.  It was super fun and we stayed up until 2 laughing and talking like teenagers... but I'm NOT a teenager.  And I'm paying for it today.  It was worth it.  She and I talked about books, friends, the gospel, and dreams for the future.  I'm SOOOOOOOOO grateful I have such a great kid!  And I'm grateful for the relationship I have with all my kids!  I can be a bit overbearing and crazy and involved... but my kids like me anyway!  I'm blessed!  Thanks, Kotten Kandy, for spending time with your OLD mom!
Isn't she beautiful?!  Both inside and out!
In other words, Key Lime Pie and Shortbread slid on some ice last week.  Grand Junction saw some unprecedented freezing temperatures and the freeways were covered in black ice.  They slid off the road and had to be rescued by Grandpa Mac.  (Thanks, dad!)  They were 2 hours late to work...
The truck is off the road.
Patiently waiting for Grandpa,,, and taking the picture mom asked for!
And Kotten Kandy and Fig Newton got to go to a dance on Saturday.  They had so much fun!  I really like their friends and wholesome activities!  
Sweet Tarts (in the middle) did the makeup and hair for all of these BEAUTIFUL girls for the dance!
Dancing with friends!
Hanging out with friends!
Kiara sent me this cute picture of her and Shaved Ice.  Apparently they dressed alike and looked like twins, but this picture doesn't quite capture the matching shirts.  I love these silly, sweet girls!
Fig Newton went ice skating with some other foreign exchange students the other day.  She had a lot of fun but is EXTREMELY sore.  
Sooooo... we went to see the movie Hidden Figures.  It is AWESOME!  (Thanks, Teresa, for the recommendation!)  I loved it so much I begged my mom and sister to take Kiara and GJ's girls to go see it too.  It's extremely inspirational and there are many great lessons to learn from the true story.  I can't stop thinking about it and how it has inspired me (and hopefully my daughters) to grow, and be the best version of ourselves!
So, with that glowing review, here is a book that I do NOT recommend.  The Circle by Dave Eggers was AWFUL.  I wish I hadn't read it.  When I picked up the book, I knew I was taking a chance.  A lot of modern authors are really full of smut and foul language.  This one was no exception.  So, if you want to read about the government/technology taking over the world 1984 by George Orwell is cleaner and better written.  Although it has some terrible parts in it too,  It's cleaner than The Circle though.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

THE RENT COLLECTOR

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright is a perfect book to start my new year with.  It's a beautifully crafted story with wonderful insights and thoughts.  I really enjoyed reading The Orphan Keeper by the same author a few months ago and was excited to read this book too.  I really liked The Orphan Keeper.  I loved this book!
What did I love?  I loved that hope can be found everywhere - even in a dump in Cambodia.  I loved that it made me see my own life differently - as literature.  I loved the characters who inspired me to grow, learn, become and not to give up.  I loved that I learned a lot about another culture.  I loved that literature and references to other great books is sprinkled throughout this book.  I loved that there is beauty EVERYWHERE in this world - even a dump.  I loved the fact that Sang Li and Ki are so in love and support each other in their personal growth as well as growing together as a couple.  I loved the teacher.  I loved the lessons of love and compassion this book shows.
I really can't say enough good things about this book.
I love this quote from Sopeap:  "Teaching someone to read, Sang Li, is very mechanical.  It is like picking trash -- straight forward, simple rules -- you just follow the motions instinctively as your brain directs...
"But literature is unique.  To understand literature, you read it with your head, but you interpret it with your heart.  The two are forced to work together -- and, quite frankly, they often don't get along."
Sooooo... What is Mr. Wright going to write next?!  I can't wait to read it!

Friday, January 6, 2017

I WASN'T MADE FOR WINTER

I don't like snow.  It's cold.  It's hard to drive in.  It's cold.  It gets dirty really fast.  It's cold.  It causes classes to be canceled and activities to be postponed.  It's cold.  It forces people to stay home (and I enjoy getting out.)  And did I mention it's cold.
I am a summer time girl.  But with that said...  it is pretty for the first 30 minutes, and I know a few kids who LOVE it....  Kotten Kandy took some pictures for me of a couple of my favorite girls enjoying the new snow:
Raisin LOVES the white stuff!
And Fig Newton is super excited by the snow!
They don't get snow in Thailand.
Her smile says it all!
Karmel loves the snow too...
So Fig Newton took her out to enjoy!
Kotten Kandy dressed Raisin in her sweatshirt and hat so she could play in the snow.
She stole Kotten Kandy's dog too!
Fig Newton also loves the fact that there is no school yesterday and today....
I took these pictures of Apple Pie enjoying the snow on his trampoline!
He is such a cutie!
My idea of enjoying the snow is staying in doors with my sweetie!
He likes taking silly selfies of us and using Aps with them....
Oh yes... and of course my daughters have to do the wishbone tradition!
I would have wished for summer....



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

BOOKS READ IN 2016

I read 35 books in 2016.  And all but the last one have been reviewed on this blog.
The last one I read was Hear My Sad Story: The True Tales That Inspired Stagolee, John Henry, and Other Traditional American Folk Songs by Richard Polenberg.  It was lots of fun reading this book, but if you do decide to read it, make sure you have access to YouTube... so you can listen to the folk songs you do not recognize or find new versions of the songs you do know and love.  Or, better yet, I wish the book came with a CD/soundtrack.  Oh well.  YouTube worked.
This book isn't just about music.  It's a history book, complete with slavery, murder, love, work and disasters.  Pretty much all parts o life have been turned into a ballad or song of some type.  Like a good book, I enjoy songs that tell a story.  And these songs definitely tell a story.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A WEEK WITH JOY

I love the movie Inside Out.  Joy is one of the emotions that lives in Riley's head... and Joy is Kiara's spirit emotion!  She truly radiates joy and happiness wherever she goes.  This week has been one of the happiest for all of us, because she has been home!  She truly spreads cheerfulness to all who spend time with her.
Here's some of the highlights of our week with Joy:
So... Scott took us all to Sushi.
Fig Newton and Kotten Kandy enjoyed the sushi.
Key Lime Pie and I are not fans.
Hanging out with Sweet Tart - She did everyone's makeup and Teresa gave them all braids.
I LOVE these cute girls!
Friends!
Traditional January 1st Fondu!
YUM!
Kiara hates goodbyes!
Juice said, "It wasn't a decent goodbye because Kiara didn't have time to finish saying hello yet."
I couldn't agree more!  We already miss her smile, humor, singing, dancing and guinea pig laugh!
Sisters!  Sisters!  There were never such devoted sisters!