Friday, March 29, 2013

A little creative break- what's going on in my studio

Joining up today over at Studio JRU.
its been too long ladies, thanks for not writing me off the list!

My mother and sister were in town last week.
Mom went shopping and bought Lil G two adorable outfits.
I'm not sure if its the same where you live,
But here in the South we love some big hair bows on our girls.
When I shop at Gymb@ree I like to splurge with a matching hair bow.
Since these outfits were purchased elsewhere I had to come up with a plan.
Off to a few crafty stores to purchase ribbon, hair clips and hunt up my glue gun.
Why is it that I never seem to put the hot glue gun away with the glue sticks?
I mean really.......
I used this tutorial
(I apologize that my blogger app doesn't make pretty links.
If someone knows how to make this IPad app work let me know) :

And got busy.

Learning to Love- a book review

I pray this finds you and yours Savoring the moments of Holy Week.
(If you follow along you might be rewarded by an adorable photo, or two, of Lil G!)

I've recently read a book and would like to share the review.
I read ," Learning to Love" by Heidi and Rolland Baker

Stories about missionaries, God doing amazing things in Africa and seeing lives changed. What a beautiful back drop for a good book. This book was written by a husband and wife working together on the mission field, sometimes there is even an excerpt written by someone else on the team. I loved the topic of the book, Love has to be tangible first- someone can't hear the gospel if their stomachs are growling or they are in mind numbing pain. Heidi and her husband Rolland have actually put love in action building churches, putting their lives in danger daily, digging wells, bringing food and gifts to children that have never experienced Christmas, setting up orphanages and schools to give the children a hope and a future. 
I had a hard time writing this review because I believe in the message the authors are trying to convey, that you and I can be doing the same thing in our world. We don't have to work on a mission field to be meeting the real tangible needs of others and forming relationships that will make a difference. Sadly many of us are too busy running after the "American Dream" instead of being aware of the big picture. It's a message we need to be reminded of. 
I do have to comment on the book though and say that the writing was not fluid. I had a hard time following the story because it was snippets of stories then some scripture or exhortation. It didn't fit. It felt disjointed. I wanted to like it yet struggled to stay focused. There were many pictures throughout and I found those were a distraction as well. Maybe if they had been put at the beginning of each "chapter" or in a cluster in the middle or back of the book ? This is the reason I will only give the book 3 stars. 
I want to end this review by stating there are many beautiful quotes and paragraphs of encouragement that are highlighted in my copy. Specifically one paragraph that really touched me where Im at. You see, we adopted Lil G 2.5 years ago and I see stories of other families doing the same thing- yet adopting more children and serving in big ministries as well. I struggle that I am not doing more. 

Pg 142 speaking of Jesus, " He stopped over and over again for just one person, for just one life. (Emphasis on one) God is looking for laid- down lovers who will give themselves up for just one person. I truly believe that in heaven, your reward will be just as great if you really loved one person, as if you saw a million people give their hearts to Jesus."

I will close by thanking Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book. I was in no way compensated for this review and the opinion expressed here is completely my own. 

Now for a few cute pictures of our silly Lil G! 

Monday, March 25, 2013


I was reading a blog post today and had an, "Aha!" Moment.
You know, lightbulb going off.
Slapping your forehead thinking, "duh
I read over at, "the blessing of verity"
Mama is posting of all the progress that is being made at their house.
Beautiful post through the eyes if Katie.

Here is what was said,
"Oh yes, here’s more progress. My family has noticed that I’m getting pickier about food. Do you know what that means? Only prosperous people have the luxury of being picky about food. My pickiness is saying loud and clear that I am feeling all the way secure that there is plenty of food, more food than I need, all the time, and I don’t have to worry about being hungry any more. So Mom is happy that I’m picky!"

We have had so many battles over food since lil Gs bout with seizures last June,
I had forgotten that she is an," Orphan no more!".
She no longer needs to fill emotional holes with food.
She can decide she simply doesn't like what is being served,
There will be another meal, or healthy snack later.
(I'm not saying she ever went without, the children were well fed at her Orphanage)
She can also choose not to eat, simply because she isn't hungry.
Thank you Adaye for the reminder.

Lil G enjoying cooking food for breakfast.
And eating her supper.

Friday, March 22, 2013

What have we been up to?

The past few weeks have been crazy- full.
Last week I was able to get G's pleat neck tunic done!
It really looks adorable on her.
I am so glad I ripped it out and reknit it.
(See adorable photos below)

I finally had my outpatient surgery on Friday and I'm on the mend.
I hope this will indeed help resolve the anemia I've been having.
The Dr said it could take three to six months for my iron stores to be rebuilt.
(More adorable photos of lil G doctoring mama and baby doll)

I also received a book to review and read it in only 4 days!
It was so so good!
The book I read is titled "Firefly island" by Lisa Wingate.
Firefly Island is an easy read, filled with romance, and action- lots of suspense and drama.
The author grabbed my attention in the first paragraph and held it tightly in her grasp until the last word.
The main character, 30-something working in DC and educated, is swept off her feet by a handsome man. He has an adorable son whom she falls in love with as well which only adds to the sweetness of the story.
He gets offered a job in Texas so they plan a whirlwind wedding.
Much to their dismay things aren't as they had hoped for when they arrive in Tx.
They learn how to be a family and make a home together in the midst of small town politics and drama. I loved getting to know the folks from Moses Lake and was so sad to see the story come to an end.
This book was written as part of a series, thankfully it stands well alone but the other two, "Larkspur cove " and "Blue Moon Bay" are now on my must read list.
Thank you Bethany House for sending me the review copy of this book.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dr Seuss week

Lil G received a package in the mail yesterday,
Someone special had been thinking of us,
And decided to send some Braille books Her son had outgrown
I am so thankful God placed three families in our lives
That had children that were blind.
Before we adopted Lil G.

One of the books was a Dr Seuss book.
I have to admit I was sad that we didn't have any of his books
In Braille when literacy / Dr Seuss week approached.
Being the kind of girl that doesn't keep close tabs on her calendar
Once I realized it, it was too late to order a few.
I think that is one thing that makes me sad about our new adventure
I can't just go to a big box store a grab a few books.
I have a thing for books, can't seem to get enough.

T@rget had some on sale awhile back and you don't know
how hard it was to control the shopping cart as it veered in that direction!
There are a few companies that produce books in Braille
I'm thinking about earmarking some $$ each month
Towards purchasing a few at a time.
Lil G can see well enough to see the pictures in the books we have
I'm not sure how well. Bright colors help.
(And the new high strength bifocal in her glasses has helped)
The thing we have to remember is that using her vision is tiring.
The nystagmus and strabismus must be very frustrating,
Nystagmus is the eyes vibrating involuntarily. This is due to her brain not interpreting vision.
We are hoping the new prescription will help with the strabismus, the eyes being crossed.
Surgery might be in the future for that once again. She already has increased like hood of glaucoma so if its only going to be for cosmetic reasons her father and I have discussed not having it done. That is up for discussion at our follow up appointment.

Grace reading her Dr Seuss book,
Feeling the bumps.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yarn along- to honor and trust

Today Im linking up with Ginny @ Small things.
I enjoy reading and knitting so Wednesday's are a perfect combination for me.

I will start with a book review.
"To honor and trust" by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller
I was so happy to be chosen to review this book. I have already read the first book in the series so I was looking forward to reading this continuation of the Bridal Veil Island series. As I read the story I realized that none of the characters would be the same. This has its pros and cons, I suppose another reader might enjoy the fact that they could read this book as a stand alone, or could be disappointed that it wasn't a continuation of the series. I wanted to enjoy this book but the plot was so shallow that I found myself reading it in hopes of finding the good part. From the beginning of the story nothing was left to the imagination so I felt bored knowing that I had already figured out who the antagonist was and how the story would play out.
The redeeming qualities of this novel were the relationship with the main character Callie and her employers, and the children she was hired to teach. I loved the descriptions of the setting, bridal veil island and many times could imagine the beautiful shore and wildlife. If you are looking for a book that reads easy, for a trip to the beach or poolside this would be a perfect choice. But if you are like me and enjoy a book with a deep plot and that keeps you guessing you might want to skip this one.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for the review copy of this book. The opinion shared here is completely my own.

Next I will say that my pleat neck Tunic for Lil G is coming along nicely. The pattern was written by Debbie Bliss and is in the Spring/summer 2010 magazine. The pattern was written for a child up to a 3T which is what I started knitting it in. Being a smarty pants I decided to rip it out a few weeks ago, this is being knit in a size 3 needle so it does take time, I was about 3/4 done when I ripped out but felt like if I wasn't happy it wouldn't be worn as often as if I was pleased with the outcome. Who wants to spend money on fine yarn and the time to knit it up on size 3 needles and not be happy?! Not me! I have knit it in the round and added stitches to the cast on to allow for size, Lil G wears a 6x now. I've also added several inches to the length so she might be able to wear it for ore than one season! I think I should be able to separate the front and back stitches today and possibly share photos of Lil G wearing it next week! ( if you check out the photo in the magazine you will see the model wearing adorable cotton eyelet pants with it. Yes, I have purchased a pattern and eyelet with the decorative edging to make the pants! So adorable!)

I am still reading the book on Orientation and mobility by Joseph Cutter. This book is a must have for any family that has a child that has visual impairments/ blindness. I am. Reading it slowly, processing the information and emotions that come along with understanding what has been a mystery.

Have a beautiful week!
I remain Under His wings,

Monday, March 4, 2013

New school tools!

If you've been following our adventure for any amount of time you will know that we've recently learned that Grace was born with congenital cataracts, she has no lenses, therefore she is blind - since her vision was not corrected all along she is also blind with her glasses.
Since the new diagnosis in September I have had to shuffle some of our school goals around. What will literacy look like for Lil G?
She has incredible "functional vision", meaning: she has learned how to function well with the vision she has. Here is more about how that is measured if you would like to learn more

Since she does so well I am fighting an uphill battle when I express my desire for G to learn Braille. The fact of the matter is, Braille isn't easy. Secondly, many of the teachers that work with children that have visual impairment don't read Braille or know how to teach it. With technology abounding Braille seems to be an outdated way for those that are visually impaired to read and write. Third, lil G has Down syndrome, I often forget about this diagnosis so I can become hypersensitive to the thought that it would even be part of the equation. Sadly I think that it is, it would be much easier to teach her to use the remaining vision she has and only learn to read with magnification devices, read books on her computer in extra large print, and have audio books. But as her mother I need to take everything into consideration and that means teaching Braille. She is blind and Braille is the mode of literacy for people that are blind. It's as simple as that. It doesn't matter how long it takes for mastery, but I believe that she can do it and that it would be much easier to start the learning process now rather than waiting until she develops another eye condition rendering her completely blind, the facts are there. She is at a higher risk for glaucoma and other eye conditions.

Today we are placing Braille ABC stickers on her leap frog fridge magnets and in a few books
And repurposing them. We will also read a few of her new books, books filled with textures and Braille to develop sensitivity in her tiny little fingers.