Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tae Kwon-Do Tournament 2011


This weekend was the Tien Lung Tae Kwon-Do tournament. Tim and all three boys are all in TKD and all four of them competed.


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Josiah is the most exciting to watch. I wish I could have gotten clearer photos of him, but he moves so fast, it is hard to capture him! He got the bronze medal in patterns. He is a black stripe and will be testing for his black belt in March (along with Tim).




Josiah won the gold medal for sparring. He went up against one of his best friends at TKD and that is why they are smiling at each other in this photo... it wouldn't have mattered to them who won, they were just happy to be sparring each other!


Then we have Micah. He just started TKD this year and this was his first tournament. Micah got a bronze in sparring and a bronze in patterns.


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Tim got his butt kicked. Well, not too bad! He still got the bronze in sparring and patterns.


My favorite photo... Eli defeated! I am not saying this in a mean way... Eli doesn't really care if he wins or loses, as long as he is having fun! And he does like to act a bit dramatic...


Friday, February 25, 2011

Artisan Bread


I saw this recipe on another blog and thought I would give it a try. We don't eat a lot of bread and I am not a great baker, but this bread is super easy and delicious.

6 cups of flour
1 tsp. yeast
2 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups of water

(I use half white flour and half whole wheat flour)

Mix with fingers until dough pulls together into a rough ball. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 24 hours.


Preheat your oven and clay pot to 500 degrees.


There are many different baking methods for this bread, but the most common method is to bake the bread in a enclosed clay pot. You can also use pyrex, a roasting pan or a pizza stone with a tray of water placed beneath it. I wrapped my handle in foil because the plastic handle can smoke at this heat.


Flour your counter top and pour dough onto top (it will be quite stringy). Gently fold the four edges underneath so it forms a round shape. Flour the top and cut some slits to make it look pretty. Place into your very hot pot (you need to line the bottom with parchment paper) and cover. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 20 minutes more.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Number 6


Basketball season is almost over. I love watching my girl play sports! It keeps life crazy busy, but I am thankful for active kids.


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Abby's team is not doing very well this year. But they play very hard. Abby is great at defense! She can be a little scary even... she grits her teeth and waves her very long arms and is right in their faces... She can get very aggressive.


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We are thankful for her high school, for the opportunities it has given her. We are thankful that we have a happy 15 year old girl!


Friday, February 18, 2011

What I am reading


The Tenth Gift was by far my favorite book in a long time. We have all heard about the abduction of slaves in Africa. But around the same time many people were abducted from Europe by Middle Eastern Pirates, to be sold as slaves in Morocco and this is the story of one such person. The Tenth Gift has the same feel as the books that I love by Kate Morton. There is a modern day character (a rather annoying one!) who finds diary notes jotted down in an old embroidery book that was given to her as a gift by her ex lover, and she begins to put the story of this girl together.

Cool Water was another very good read. Written by a Canadian author, the story takes place in small town Saskatchewan and has many different characters. I could relate to it, since I have lived in small town Saskatchewan and I felt that it portrayed that lifestyle well. I could understand the characters well, the way that you grow up in one place and know nothing else and kind of get stuck there. It is kind of fun to read a book, where a character will talk about the Canadian Finals Rodeo that they went to as a kid in Edmonton (where I live), or a weekend trip to Medicine Hat (where I went to High School) or Swift Current.

I have been trying to decide if I would like reading e books on my i pad. I LOVE books. I LOVE holding a book in my hands. I LOVE turning the pages. I LOVE the smell, the feel and the look of a book. But how convenient to have my library all in one place, without clutter. I think in the long run, this is the way that books will be read. In the same way that video stores are going bankrupt, book stores may be headed in the same direction. And it is environmentally friendly, right?

I decided to read The Thirteenth Tale on my i pad. I wanted my first e read to be a really good one. And it is. And I am not minding reading it this way. My only issue is that with such a great book... I cannot share it or pass it on. And the book still costs about $15.00. Not such a great bargain, when it is only me reading it. If they came up with a way to share books, I might be more convinced. At this point, I will likely still purchase "real" books, but every once and awhile, if I can get a good deal, I may be tempted to read on my i pad.

On to The Thirteenth Tale... if you have read any of the Kate Morton books that I have recommended, and liked them, or if you have read The Tenth Gift, and liked it, you will love this book as well.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” -- Robert Heinlein


An Interview about Love... with Lilah...

Q: How old will you be when you get married?

A: 4

Q: Who are you going to marry?

A: I don't know.

Q: How are you going to find him?

A: I am going to look EVERYWHERE.

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Q: How will you show him that you love him?

A: I will hug and kiss him.

Q: Where will you live?

A: At home.


Q: What will he look like?

A: Happy. With brown eyes, glasses and he won't wear girl stuff.

Q: How old will he be?

A: He will be 4.

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Q: How will you know that he loves you?

A: He will give me birthday cards and he will make toy cupcakes.


Q: Should Abby have a boyfriend?

A: Yes.

Q: What should Abby's boyfriend look like?

A: He should have brown eyes, glasses and he should be smart. (Hmmmm... sounds familiar!)

Q: How old should he be?

A: Seven.

A: Oh, and he should get a car for his birthday, from all of his friends.

This was Abby's homemade valentine for her boyfriend... who by the way, has brown hair, glasses and is very smart. But... I am pretty sure his friends won't be buying him a car for his birthday.


Saturday, February 12, 2011


"I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon."




Thursday, February 10, 2011

Addison Hope

I have added a prayer button in my sidebar for a little girl named Addison Hope.

She was adopted from China in July 2010 by a family that lives in the same province as we do. Her special need was very minor and looked like it wouldn't cause any problems. Blood work has recently shown that her little body is attacking her liver and she is about to go into the hospital for a week to start some very aggressive treatments and if these don't work, she may need a liver transplant in the next few years.

I know that much of this adoption community is a praying community and we want to surround this precious little girl and her family with prayer.

You can click on the button to see Addison's blog and read more of her story.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Seeing the beauty in Winter

Everything is equal in the snow: all trees, all lawns, all streets, all rooftops, all cars. Everything is white, white, white, as far as you can see. Covered by snow, the well-kept and neglected lawns look the same. The snow hides the shiny newness of a just-bought car as effectively as it does the rust and dents of a ten-year-old one. Everything looks clean and fresh and unmarred by time or use. Snow, like the silent death it counterfeits, is a great leveler.-- Adrienne Ivey


Monday, February 7, 2011

Medical Update


Today, Zoe went to for her first appointment at the Cleft Clinic. We saw the plastic surgeon and then the dentist. The surgeon was impressed with the work that had been done in China and said that other than speech therapy and a bone graft in the gums (at age 6 or 7) there won't be much else to do. If her appearance bothers her, they can do some cosmetic work when she is a preteen to fix the lip slightly and the nose slightly. Zoe will be seeing the speech pathologist March 14th, as well having her hearing tested.

She will need some dental work as well, which may start at age six or seven. But overall, the dentist thought things looked pretty good.

We also found out that Lilah's first procedure will be on March 17th. It will be a day surgery to implant a tissue expander under her right eye. They will leave this in for two to three months and if all goes okay, we will have Tim fill it at home, so that we don't have to run back and forth. It is hard to know exactly how long it will be in, it just depends on how everything goes. I am not sure what to expect. How it will look... how uncomfortable she will be... if it will affect wearing her glasses... I plan to stay very close to home during this time so that people don't stare even more than they usually do.


When they feel the skin is stretched enough to form a new lower lid they will do one or two more operations, where the craniofacial plastic surgeon will build up the bone, the pediatric plastic surgeon will fix the soft tissue and the opthamologist will fix the eye. I am hoping it will be done in one surgery, but depending on how it goes, they may have to take her in for some additional fix ups.

I am dreading this. I am also glad that it is finally in the process, I know that it will make a huge difference in her appearance, which is important as she will be starting preschool in the Fall.


This is her before photo. When I photograph her, I usually try to camouflage the right side as much a possible. But this is who she is right now and I am curious to see the after photos.

Can you tell she has a cold?!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.








Wednesday, February 2, 2011



Oranges are Zoe's favorite fruit. They are also a traditional Chinese New Year's staple. She asks for many a day... although she does call them apples.