Thursday, March 24, 2011


Last weekend I had some fun doing digital scrapbooking.  It was so good to get some more pages done for the girls! 

I create all of these pages through a digital scrapbook program called Storybook Creator.   It is available through my friend's website:    I then buy digital "papers & embellishments" through her site.  The program is easy to use & makes doing scrapbooking a lot less time consuming.  There are many pre-designed pages that you can use so all you have to do is drag & drop your pictures onto the pages (love that!!!).

I save each scrapbook page as a JPEG & then print them in size 8:x8" at or   If I am in a rush I use Costco but if I have more time I print them online at because it is cheaper & I think the quality is better than Costco (if that is possible). 

I have an 8x8 album for each of the girls that I fill with these printed pages as I am able to do them. 

Here are a some of the pages I finished last weekend ... Enjoy!!

Fun times.

Life is good.

Many more wonderful memories to come ... stay tuned!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This is the Day the Lord has Made ....

Friday was supposed to be school for Lily & a meeting for me but she just wanted her Mommy .... so I changed the plans. 

At first I thought "great, Lil, we can go run some errands together" ...   but that wouldn't be much fun.

Instead we had a Mother / Daughter day -- complete with a trip to the zoo, ice cream at Dairy Queen, games & time on the swing.

It was what Lily needed and the time with her was therapy for my soul!!!  

As she was on the swing she was singing very loudly "This is the day the Lord has made" (emphasis on VERY loudly!!!!).

All of Kentucky got the message and yes, Lily, it is!! 

The girls & I have been singing that song a lot (and we've been singing "I'm a little tea pot" but that's for a different post)

Those words are just a good reminder that no matter what is going on, no matter what disappointments we face --- each day is a made by the Lord & He has good gifts to give!!

I am forever thankful for the gift of Lily -- she brings me endless joy & such happiness!

Here are some pictures of our day -- my camera is still not fixed so these are all from my phone.  I HATE that I don't have my nice camera right now but at least I was able to capture the fun of our day together.

Swinging in the backyard -- she would live in this seat if I'd let her!   No shoes - weather was nice & I just carried her down to the swing. 

 Playing Candy Land in the basement.  She won.  I hope that is no surprise :-)
At the zoo!!!   "Look, Mom!!!"
 This guy was hysterical -- we hung out here for a long time.  He put on a real show for everyone!
 Notice that Lily is holding "Baby".  Baby comes everywhere with us.  I have to order another back up from Targ*
 Tuna fish sandwiches for lunch on a bench & just being together.   
And, yes, this hat is cemented to my head!!  
Last Wednesday when I came into my Bible Study (BSF) group I didn't have a hat on 
& my leader said "Oh my goodness -- you have hair!!"  
It's true -- I love my 3 hats :-)
Finished up the zoo with a ride on the carousel.  A great time delighting in my sweet girl as she checked it all out & tried to figure out how that horse went up & down. 
Ice Cream at DQ before getting home to meet Hannah at the bus stop (our driveway!).

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice & be glad in it."   Psalm 118:24

God is so good.  
He always gives good gifts.  
Life is filled with so much pain 
but no matter what you are going through 
this is the day the Lord has made 
& he wants you to know His tremendous love!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bragging On Hannah

If you are a long time reader, you know that Hannah has been through more than any child should ever have to endure.

At this point, Hannah is one year back at school & back to "normal" life...and I have a lot of bragging to do.

Hannah is absolutely loving 3rd grade!  After missing a year & a half of school she is right on track & in the upper half of her class.  The kids in her class are very kind to her & respect her.  I am just amazed at the caring relationships she has developed & the way the kids treat her. 

On Friday, the teacher was announcing the "Star Student" for this coming Monday (Star Student gets to sit on the couch all day in class with shoes off & relax while learning!).  Miss W. was scanning all the kids sitting on the carpet saying "Let me see?  who has been a great example today?  Who have I not had to talk to about anything today?...."  All the kids, started shouting "It's Hannah!  It's Hannah!"  And, yes, it was Hannah!  Hannah was OVER THE MOON to be the star student!

I am proud of her for being a role model to the kids but mostly for her kindness to others.  There is a girl in her class with a lot of emotional issues & Hannah continues to reach out to her & "try to help her when she is having a hard time."  What more could I ask for?  I am glad she is getting good grades but mostly I am proud of her kindness & caring attitude towards others.

Over the past five months Hannah has been a part of an amazing program through the University of Louisville Medical Center called "Healthy for Life." This program has been helping her get more healthy after all the weight she gained from steroids, medicines & sitting around waiting for her bone marrow to come home. I am so proud of her! Recently, we had a follow-up appointment with the director & she was praising Hannah up & down for doing in 4 months what most patients do in 6.

The program recently added acupuncture. The director felt the acupuncture would help rid Hannah's body of the toxins from all the medicines she took while she was so sick. Hannah has had two treatments and loved it! The acupuncture is done by a Pediatric ICU doctor that also specializes in Japanese acupuncture. I don't know many 9 year old children that will allow a doctor to put needles all over their body but Hannah did it without any problem.  She didn't complain or fuss & told him she liked it!  Amazing.

As part of this program, the State of Kentucky offers a 6 month membership to the YMCA for free. Hannah is now a champ on the elliptical, the treadmill & enjoying the swimming pool.

Hannah is a joy to have around.  The past week she has been out of school with a stomach flu (yes, another illness!!).   Even when she was feeling her worst, she was still happy & easy going.  What a treasure!

Here are some pictures from my phone from the past few weeks ---

At the dentist for a cleaning ... no cavities (or "magets" as Lily calls them).

The day after we got home from China, Hannah took Lily in her car seat to "play school."  Let's just say it didn't go as Hannah had planned.  Lily was 1.  Lily had jet lag.  Lily didn't speak English.  These days Hannah thinks she has died & gone to heaven because finally Lily has come around to the fact that Hannah is the teacher, Lily is the student.  Most days it goes well.  Here are the girls in the basement playing -- Hannah is sitting in "Lily's desk" grading her paper.  I think Hannah had been teaching her fractions.  Maybe she can teach me. 

Last weekend Hannah got a guitar. Now we just need some lessons to go with it. She has been strumming away all week. Having fun & writing more songs in her notebook. Adorable.

The other day she told me she is 1/2 way to 18. 
Just stop the clocks right now!

Last but not least, the love she has for Lily is precious.  I love their tender relationship -- which of course has its moments but truly Hannah takes care of Lily. Looks out for her. Comforts her. Makes sure she knows what is going on. On this night Lily was asleep in my bed and Hannah was loving on her baby sister before she went off to bed in her own bunk.

Since the time I was five I wanted to be a mom.  Hannah made my dream come true and she makes my "job" very easy. 

I could not imagine life without her ... and never want to!

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Hannah -- for your healing hand on her life & the joy you place in her heart! 

I am a blessed mom and so proud of the sweet 9 year old girl that I get to share this life with! 

All God's best from HOME,  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Love Me A Road Trip

The girls & I were in need of some change of scenery .... so off we went to Nashville, TN for the weekend.

Just us and Cupcake, too!

We ate amazing food -- thanks to Monell's -- where the food just keeps coming & the Southern hospitality is alive & well.  Breakfast was family style (read: sit with people you don't know & the kitchen just starts sending out the food!!).  Pancakes, sausage, best bacon ever, fried chicken (yes @ breakfast!), biscuits ... and on & on.

The food was endless & I felt like we had Thanksgiving dinner with strangers at 10AM on a Saturday in February.  I highly recommend it.  Glad I packed my yoga pants. 

We went to the Science Center .. forgot that the earth spins at 1,040 miles per hour (no wonder I feel dizzy).  Good to be reminded of that & many other facts that I will easily forget. 

Hannah now calls the town "My Nashville".   I love that it is now her Nashville after just 48 hours.  Adorable.  She even wrote a song about the place. 

Did I mention that Hannah has a notebook filling up with songs?  She tells me she has a performance planned with all the songs for the next time we get to Idaho.  She wants a crowd that cheers.   I can't say that I blame her. 

Breakfast @ Monell's
Lily owns the camera ...and she'll use it!
Her view of  our table.
Happy Thanksgiving .... in February!
Not a happy camper.  Can't you tell?
"Cheers, Lil" with the sweet tea that flowed like the Cumberland River.   What a country!
Heaven will for sure have a place like this!

Science Center .. Hannah's favorite part.... or parts.  No pun intended.

Ice cream at Mike's on Broadway.   Red Velvet cake ice cream.  Chunks of real red velvet cake in the ice cream.  I died in this place. 
Hatch Show Print Shop ... historic place in Nashville.  Not of interest to Lily but the cat sure was. 

And last but not least: 
Lily on Broadway Street in the downtown.  
I love how she is rocking the boot with her "Baby" in hand.  
That's my girl!!

Living in Kentucky is so different than Southern California. 

No Disneyland passes here. 

It's fried chicken & a road trip. 

I love it!!

All God's best from HOME in KY,