Friday, December 10, 2010
adj (comparative grand`er, superlative grand`est)
1. outstanding: outstanding and impressive in appearance, extent or style
2. impressive: impressive, ambitious, and far-reaching
3. worthy of respect: worthy of great respect by virtue of exceptional ability or high rank
4. wonderful: wonderful, enjoyable, and memorable
5. principal: main or principle
Taiger and I are home from China. Of all our adventures so far, this was, certainly, although not "by far", the grandest!
We are still suffering from jet-lag. Taiger keeps trying to communicate in Chinese with non-Chinese speakers. Taiger has hardly stopped eating since we arrived (when we called my family before boarding our last plane from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, Taiger asked Grandma to please meet him at the airport with FIVE cheeseburgers and a pop). I feel like I have "medicine head" and can't stay awake, nor stay asleep. It is wonderful to be "home"!
Our time in China was wonderful and difficult and I can't wait to share pictures and stories!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
When I was little, I LOVED the 4th of July! When I was a pre-teen/teenager, HATED the 4th Of July. I just wanted to put that out there. Done.
The Fourth of July is a very special holiday where we celebrate men and women who have fought, or are fighting, for our country, and when we show our gratitude for their families. I won't go on and on (and on) about my appreciation for those who serve to keep our nation free...I kind of already did that in my Memorial Day post.
So, I will move right alone.
The Fourth Of July is a kind of marking place for me. It started when I was a child as a marking point that only eleven days remailed until my birthday. It later meant it was one month since my best friend, John's, birthday (I don't know why it was important to remember this, but I just always did...it was one of those funny things). This year, it means something else! Any guesses? Any??
It means TEN DAYS until we leave for China!
Are we ALL sick of hearing about China yet?
Oh well. I will be gone soon and won't be able to blog anymore so you won't have to read about it anymore. :) (You know you'll miss it. ;) )
So, ten days. What have I been doing today to prepare for departure?
Well, I have been digging through boxes trying to find the things I packed that I actually need to have to go to China!! I certainly have NOT completed my financial aid application (due before we leave), registered for classes (must be done before we leave), made dentist appointments, doctor appointments or optometrist appointments (all of whom I need to see before I leave). I have not bought the last minute items I still need (tylonal, children's tylonal, binkis, chapstick, sunglasses, and a million other things I cannot even remember). Nope. I have not done ANY of that. I DID watch "Paint Your Wagon" with Taiger, AND I took a shower. (Accomplishing GREAT things here, people).
Will I have everything done on time at the rate I am going?
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Taiger and I catch a plane out of here in 14 days. Can you believe it? I can't.
I have so little time to accomplish all I need to before I leave, and I still am not sure if it will all be done in time...I mean, without using my time-slow-down-er-machine, which IS always a fall-back plan.
Another reminder, I WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO BLOGS OR FACEBOOK WHILE IN CHINA!!!!! If you want to be in touch for the next year (or so...), PLEASE send me your email address. :) THANKS!
I am getting really, really nervous about going to China. Worried about the house? Nah. Worried about a 15 hour flight with a four year old...a little, but we'll survive. Worried about culture shock, baby sitter for Taiger, lack of communication with the outside world? Not at all. So, what else is there? SCHOOL!!!!! I am so, so worried I am going to fail all of my classes! Remember, every single one will be taught IN CHINESE! The last time I checked, I could speak Chinese, not ramble on and one at a collage level. And I certainly cannot write every character known to man, or read long works of literature without a dictionary. I'm getting really, really nervous about this. When I Google search images of Hainan University (the school I will be attending), this picture pops up:
These people all look very studious...and smart...and I am getting nervous about keeping up with this girl in the ponytail. If I run in to her, I'm smashing her glasses and yelling at her for making me so nervous for so long by looking so smart on her Google search image picture.
Hate this girl.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
My Grandpa was a soldier. He fought bravely. As a young girl, I would sit on his bed with him (his house was so small, his room, that hardly fit a bed, was the best place for two old souls to sit and talk quietly about things only we understood) and listen to his war stories. My Grandpa had a cupboard of maps above his small, twin size bed. He would pull them out and point out places he had fought as well as places he had visited while in service. In my mind, it didn't seem anyone else in the world understood my Grandpa like I did...and I didn't think anyone understood me the way he did, either.
As a teenager, I came to own an old, beat up army coat. The fabric was soft with years of wear. The cuffs were frayed and worn, and the pockets had holes. I imagined the stories that coat would tell if it could. While other girls were interested in fashion and style, I was interested in wearing that (horrible) army coat because I felt like I was wearing my respect and honor of soldiers where everyone could see. I used to sit on my bed in that coat, imagining the man who wore it, listening to, "The Grave" by Don McClean. (You can hear it here: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4G2iKDzHrs&feature=related) I remember tears pooling in my eyes because I felt such great respect for the person who had worn that coat, and for ALL of the men and women who fought for our country.
When I was twenty, I went to China. While I was there, my Grandpa died. The last time I had seen my Grandpa, he had cancer and we knew he would die soon. Although I knew on the inside his body was shutting down, on the outside, he was the same man I had always looked up to. I still wanted to hear his stories. I still wanted to thank him for his service for our country. The days we spent with him flew by far too quickly and I soon found myself standing face to face with him on his front porch, about to say goodbye. Everyone else had said goodbye and was sitting in the car. It was just he and I. He looked me in the eye, the way he always did, and his blue eyes twinkled, the way they always did. I stood there for a moment, and then, I saluted him. He saluted me back. I threw my arms around him. Grandpa and I understand each other.
When I heard he had died, I knew I could have spent the money and flown home, but I am too much like him and didn't want to experience the deep pain of seeing him, laying in a casket ready to be swallowed up by the earth. Grandpa was too strong, too amazing, to by laying still somewhere, his body empty and his busy mind and hands still. I knew his spirit was somewhere else, still existing, and still BEING that man I remembered. Besides, I wanted to remember him the way I always had...as sitting in the sunshine in his bedroom, telling me stories of his adventures.
All of China goes on vacation for one month, and I had a month by myself to travel and backpack around China. It was the middle of winter...the coldest my town had seen in decades, and the southern part of China, with it's warm weather and blooming flowers, beckoned to me. However, I opted against sitting in the sunshine for the next month, and instead, I travelled the more adventurous routs. In the end, I chose to go places that would bring me closer to my Grandpa, visiting places he had been. At one point, I found myself on the Burma Road, right where my Grandpa had fought. I spent the day asking where the military base had been. In the end, I found it. A great, stone building. I reverently walked inside. The building was empty. I assumed it was still in use, but it looked so much like I imagined it would have during the war it was difficult to fathom it still being used. The wooden chairs pulled up to the antique tables, the green wallpaper with green flower designs, the cold cement walls and floor. It all seemed so 1940. The power was out and the sunlight filtered through the dusty windows. I felt closer to my Grandpa in those moments than I had in a long time. I stood on the stairwell and felt his spirit with me.
I thought I would marry a soldier. I wanted to have someone THAT brave, THAT strong, THAT devoted to doing right, THAT humble at my side for eternity. I wanted to serve, in a small way, someone who was serving me in such a great way. Of course, life happens, and marring a soldier may or may not be in the cards.
Wanting to honor those who have served, and those who have died in service, is important to me. I have long-ago given up wearing the army coat, and my Don McClean cd is lost and gone. However, each Memorial Day, I feel a flood of emotion catch in my throat and stay there all day. People have flags in their yards, the cemeteries are adorned in red, white and blue. I think of my Grandpa. I imagine his strong hands, I hear his voice, and I see that twinkle in his eye. I remember the days of sitting on his bed, listening to stories, and I miss him. I feel such overwhelming pride in him, and gratitude for him.
Thank you, to all the servicemen and women. You fight bravely. You go forth boldly into battle. You give to use what we cannot give ourselves, and something that is more precious than gold: our safety and our FREEDOM.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
Love you, Grandpa.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
SO much has been going on! Our Spring is going just as a springtime should...lots of playing outside without getting TOO hot, mornings home with Mom and afternoons with friends once they are home from school...Just perfect! We even went out and flew kites! So fun!
One thing that has been GREAT about this Spring is that I have started running again. YEAH!!!!!! As some of you may know, I. LOVE. RUNNING. Something about it...I just LOVE it. For years I have not been able to run. It has been hard not being able to do something I love. But there were other things I loved that I could do, too. I loved to ice skate, but as I got older, I had to quit spending so much time at the rink. Now, I rarely go. I LOVE singing, but life has changed and I haven't been able to stay taking lessons. Being able to run again is giving something back that I LOVE to do and it makes me so happy. Taiger rides his little 4-wheeler and I jog along beside. It is perfect because I don't have "Mommy Guilt" from leaving him to go to a gym, and he loves being able to get out and ride his little four wheeler. Everyone is happy!
This post is really random because there is so much to say! So, sorry!
Plans for leaving for China are still going well. Taiger got his passport. What a proud day. I was so excited. :) In my mind, getting your first passport is sort of a rite of passage, or something...a major event in one's life. I LOVE that my little baby has a passport. Can't wait until every single page is filled with Visas to different countries! :D
Okay, so I made a few online purchases lately. One, I may or may not even mention here...ever. I haven't decided. If I do, it will certainly get it's OWN post. The other thing I bought, I am really, really excited about. Ready for this? I bought me...
A PAIR OF VIBRAMS FIVE FINGER SPRINT STYLE SHOES!!!!!!!!
Okay, although I am overwhelmed with excitement, I will calm it down a bit because I realize you may have NO IDEA what Vibrams even are! Here is a visual aid:
Yes, those really ARE shoes. :)
Any I LOOOOVE them! I have been wanting them for almost FIVE years. Yes, I am not even exaggerating AT ALL. Since Taiger was a wee little lad, I have wanted some. I found JUST the ones I want online, and I ordered them! I will let you know what I think of them when I get them. I'll have to do a review. :) (HUGE note: There are TONS of "FAKES" out there, and websites claiming to sell authentic VFF. If you want some, go to birthdayshoes.com and at the bottom of the page is a link to a list of REAL VFF retailers. How did I find this out? I searched ALL over online for the best ones and, in the end, ordered from a FAKE retailer! Now, I know about this page, and I have since ordered me some REAL ones.)
Taiger is doing well. All of his boy cousins are here visiting, so he couldn't be happier. FINALLY, someone to play with who actually knows HOW to play Batman! (Apparently, I am NO good at it...NO good). It has been busy and fun (Taiger has been completely wiped OUT by the time bedtime rolls around) and Taiger has LOVED having so many little buddies around to play.
Notice the HUGE lack of pictures in this post? That is because we are half moved to Idaho, and one of the things that is with the half that is moved is my camera charger. So...no pictures for a while more. Darn, huh? I know. I think I need some kind of rehab to come down off of my camera. I am THAT addicted to taking pictures.
Alright, so that is the low-down with our little family! PLEASE take the time to go read sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com and hear about all of the great projects we are doing! :)
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
SATURDAY, MAY 29 from 7:00am-2:00pm at
1811 SOUTH 1800 EAST SALT LAKE CITY, UT AH.
SO....At our Open Air Benefit Sale, you can score some REALLY NICE things! We will have children's clothes, adult clothes, and other amazing items!
Each day I am going to tell ONE thing that this sale will do to help the children in our homes. This sale will:
*PROVIDE DIAPERS FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE MALNOURISHED AND NEED SPECIAL DIAPERS TO FIT THEIR UNIQUE BODY-SHAPES, CRADLE THEIR FRAGILE BODIES AND BE SOFT ON THEIR SKIN, DELICATE WITH LACK OF NUTRIENCE.
Monday, May 17, 2010
OPEN AIR BENEFIT SALE
Saturday May 29, 2010 from 7:00am-2:00pm at my house,
1811 South 1800 East Salt Lake City, UT 84108.
This is going to be SUCH a cool event!! Art project for the kids, lots of cool things for sale for YOU to bring home, and items there to buy and donate right then! LOTS of information, pictures, slide show of pictures of the people we help... No set prices...you donate what you think is fair and take the item! It is all about helping the children, and EVERY single penny donated goes right to helping the kids. There is also going to be a place to sign up to participate in Project: 1000 WORDS!! Sponsor a camera while you are there for 10 dollars. We will also have our shirts for sale for 20 dollars. Bring your jars of change, grab your kids, and come have some fun while serving others! :D
We do have a facebook event page set up, so feel free to RSVP there AND to use it to invite friends (even if you won't be able to make it). Please spread the word on your facebook and blogs.
The facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=122713431086455&ref=ts
Thursday, May 6, 2010
SEARCH NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Boy, have you come to THE RIGHT PLACE! Here are THREE ideas that will make your Mom's heart sing!
** IDEA 1 (NO! NOT the cute little munchkin in the picture...sorry!) NECKLACE
The catch to ALL of these is that they probably would NOT be delivered to your Mom for Mother's Day. :( But don't worry....Mom's are known for their patience ;). To let her know about her gift before it arrives, try this special idea:
Of course, sign the card with a BIG, "I LOVE YOU!"...we Moms can't hear that enough. :)
Hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day this Sunday (thought I would add the
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
But, I try.
I am getting REALLY excited to move to China! Taiger has been nervous about this move the ENTIRE time, but he is starting to warm up to the idea and has started initiating conversations about China without prompting from me (THIS IS HUGE!). I am anxious to get there and be done with all of the nerve wracking preparations. I have a lot of anxiety about living there, but I think once we arrive and are settled in, the nervousness we both feel will subside (I HOPE!).
The weather here has been nothing short of ridiculous. For several days it was almost HOT! The sun was shining, the temperature was 79 degrees, the flowers were in bloom...And the next day, it was snowing. I kid you not, that is no exaggeration.
So, the garage sale for Sixteen Small Stones has been delayed until Mother Nature figures out what she is doing. Obviously, we aren't going to have a yard sale in the snow. I just have a feeling not many people will come to it. I dunno. Just a hunch.
Despite the delay, things have been progressing with the preparations for it. Just today we had MORE donations of items to sell at it, and for items to be "sponsored"! What a huge blessing! I am so, so excited and so thankful! If I may be so bold to ask, please pray that this garage sale/fundraiser will be a success. I am so worried it will not go over well. Please pray, if you feel so inclined. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, that is all for now. It is too late to think clearly, so I am having a hard time recalling things about which would be interesting enough for a blog. So, I will end here. Good night, everyone!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Okay, so I am here to BEG some help! Sixteen Small Stones is having this huge, amazing, wonderful Garage Sale to raise money for the children. ALL of the money goes to helping our Friend Homes and Friend Organizations/Ministires. It is going to be a WAY cool Garage Sale, totally out of the ordinary, and I encourage you all to read all about it at www.sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com .
Okay, so now for the begging. Do you have ANYTHING you would like to donate to be sold at this sale? Anything at all? As you are doing your "Spring Cleaning" (who does that anymore?! Well, maybe you do!) and thinking, "My child NEVER plays with this toy anymore. Hmmm, I wonder what, oh, WHAT I should do with it?!" or "Gosh, I used to LOVE this shirt, but I have this new one I love EVEN MORE...what to do with this old shirt?! Hmmmmm...", remember that Sixteen Small Stones would absolutely LOOOOVE that old toy, or that amazing shirt you never wear. Set it aside and then shoot me a comment on here asking where to drop it off! Be sure and leave your email address so I can reply. ;)
I don't have a date yet for this sale...waiting to see how many millions of people are just DYING to donate items and how long they need to bring over their truckloads of wonderful, used goods. :) (Don't you love my possitive thinking?!) I will let you know AS SOON as we have a set date! Also, I will be setting up a facebook page for this event, so be sure and RSVP so I can see how many thousands of people will be showing up. Boy, will the neighbors ever be mad! :D :D
Thank you all!
Friday, April 16, 2010
The biggest issue we have faced is how DRY his hair is! Dry, dry, DRY! His skin has also been very dry. I lotion him all the time, and so I thought his skin was "okay", but I notice sometimes it looks "ashy".
For years (not exaggerating) I have wanted to get SOMETHING that I KNEW would be good for his hair and skin. I have always known not to use hair products (shampoo, conditioner, etc.) made for "white" people, but since I am white, that is what I have at the house! I don't have a lot of extra money, so I never bought anything special for him. My friend, Jeremy, actually spoiled us and bought us some "Mane And Tail" last year, which I have LOOOOVED! It has helped SO much...but I still felt like he needed a leave-in conditioner.
SO...I emailed a friend of mine who recently adopted a little girl from Ghana. This child's hair is always SO cute! She does her little girl's hair in the cutest styles, and she always look SO nice! So, I emailed her with tons of questions, and she was kind enough to offer TONS advice!
I knew Shea butter was good for African skin and hair, but I didn't know where to get it, what kind, etc. This friend of mine suggested I try coconut oil.
So, I bought PURE coconut oil and started rubbing it all over Taiger's hair and skin.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MADE! His skin is no longer ashy!!!!!! At night, I put it in his hair and then wrap his head in a satin cloth, as my friend does with her daughter, and by morning his hair is so soft, manageable and looks SO NICE!!!!
Taiger writing in his journal before bed.
So, I decided to take things a step further. I decided to try doing twists in his hair! I have tried it before but they never looked good. So, over Sunday and Monday I spent a good 7-8 hours doing twists on his hair. After the first three or four house, I check my email and my friend had written to me advising me NOT to do the twists without gel! By then, I had already started, so I finished them without gel.
Because I didn't use gel, they turned "frizzy" or "puffy" after only a few days, but I left them in anyway, and I think they looked cute.
Yesterday, I undid the twists, which made his hair go curly and accentuated the coily curls he already had!
Here is how his hair looked yesterday!
That is the story of our first adventure in changing his hair and skin care! I am sure this will be an on-going theme, and you can all give your opinions and advice as we continue on this adventure! :)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Okay, but aside from all that, we have been crazy busy and having fun! We are getting ready for Bryttan's wedding, are in the middle of moving back to Idaho, are moving warehouses for our work, are getting ready to move to China (did you guys all know about that??) AND in the middle of all that, we had EASTER!
It was a FANTASTIC Easter! The night before, we had a special Family Home Evening that was all about Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. It was so spiritual and I think Taiger could really sense the importance and spirituality of Easter.
The next day, Taiger had a BLAST hunting Easter Eggs! I have NEVER, in all my days, seen a child have SO MUCH FUN hunting eggs! His EXCITEMENT was overwhelming and it was SO FUN to watch him hunt eggs and scream and jump up and down each time he found one! It was great. He got some special little gifts in his Easter basket, too, and that made it fun for him as well.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
We have done some fun things lately! Despite the SNOW STORM we have had the last few days, it really is SPRING, regardless of what Mother Nature believes. A week or so ago, the weather was BEAUTIFUL, so Taiger and I went to the park! It was SO FUN!
Okay, my computer is being CRAZY, and I can't get the rest of the photos to load. So, I will post more Hari Krishna photos when I can. In the meantime, they are all loaded on facebook! You can see them there if you really are that interested. :D hee hee