Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gong Xi Fa Cai - the Year of the Rooster

It's been almost twelve years since our little Rooster was born. Dayna is excited that her year has rolled around again. We're in a bit of denial that our girl is almost twelve!

With the exception of Dan getting sick the night before, we had a fun celebration. Dan's dad was able to join us, and Dayna brought a friend this year. China Buffet once again fed us well, and the lion dancers were spectacular. Good food. Good friends. Happy New Year!

Annie passed notes the whole time with her new friend Natalie. It was so sweet to watch them interact.


This is one of my favorite videos that shows how beautiful the Chinese culture is and how a simple thing like a pair of chopsticks can bring so many people together.

50 years!

Fifty years ago, these two young teenagers stood before God and made a promise. That first year saw basic training, the birth of their first child, and separation by the Vietnam war. They had so many things going against them. But they had God. Since then, they added two more kids, seven grandkids, five great-grandkids, and have opened their hearts and home to more. Their marriage has been an example of love, commitment, and reliance on the Lord. I love you, Mom and Dad!


We've waited almost eleven years for this moment. The day we met Dayna in China, we played recordings of the Bach Cello Suites performed by Yo-Yo Ma.

This week, she started learning them!

This is the Stuff - Part 2

"In the middle of my little mess/I forget how big I'm blessed."

Yes...the refrain of Francesca's song doesn't end with the crazy. It turns my focus around to see how big I'm blessed. I've put in many, many days of subbing this month, including covering for the long-term sub one week in Annie's preschool class. I had one morning when all five districts contacted me for a job.

My piano studio has outgrown my home. Last spring, I had 9 students perform at the recital. I have added ten students (four just this month!) This month, I started renting space from a local church. And I have a handful of new inquiries weekly and a growing waiting list again.

There are weeks I've put in 55+ hours. (Not bad for a part-time gig, although I do need to make sure my faith and family stay a priority.) It's been five years since my career was turned upside down. I had no idea where God would be taking me - and here I am, self-employed, loving what I do, and still able to help provide for our family.

Our bills are paid. Our house doesn't leak. We never lost power. We had three wonderful weeks with a little hamster. We live in a free country where we have a say in our leadership - and have the freedom to protest that leadership as well. No damage happened to the driver or the car.

I could go on and on - but it's true. In the middle of our little mess, we need to stop and remember how big we're blessed. And while not every month brings the overwhelming blessings I'm feeling right now, it's good to remember how big the "little" blessings are as well.

This is the Stuff - Part 1

I love Francesca Battistelli's song "This is the Stuff." The refrain begins: "This is the stuff/that drives me crazy/this is the stuff/that's getting to me lately..."

In addition to the demise of our newest pet, this month has brought the Wilsons a few ice storms (although nothing like my family in Oregon has experienced), a minor car accident as a result of the ice, the stomach bug keeping one of the clan from celebrating Chinese New Year, bronchial yuck for another one of us...

Not to mention the vitriolic divisiveness resulting from the recent Presidential Inauguration that persists in flooding our newsfeeds and daily interactions.

Throw in some typical pre-teen and pre-school interactions, and this month has been somewhat exhausting. If I let myself dwell on it, I think I would be going crazy.

But the song goes on...

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was that glorious year when my birthday fell on a Saturday. After much deliberation how to spend the day, we went into Lincoln and got a hotel room so the girls could swim and we could all watch cable. (It's the little things.) We also checked out a new (to us) restaurant in the Haymarket called Leadbelly. The Philly cheesesteak egg rolls were pretty delicious! Thanks for making it a memorable birthday, Dan!

I love the wrapping paper he chose!

Finished (and dream) Projects

My goal was to finish one pair of socks a month in 2016. I came *so* close. I ran out of yarn on the toe of my last pair. So technically, these were finished in January. My most ambitious knitting project yet - Fair Isle Socks.

In other news, thanks to a generous Christmas gift, I finally bought this gorgeous rayon yarn I've been drooling over for almost a year now. Can't wait to see what it will become.

...oh, and I've made some new dishcloths. Apparently, when you spend so much time knitting socks, you don't notice the old dishcloths that are wearing out. Also trying to use up some stash with simple baby hats to donate to local hospitals.

Short and Sweet

Our dear little Hamilton - young, scrappy and hungry - wasn't quite as scrappy as we'd hoped. After three wonderful weeks with our little guy, he got a little too cold one day and started to hibernate. Despite our best efforts, we couldn't get him warmed up fast enough, and the little guy didn't make it. He was a sweet addition to our family, even though his time with us was short.

Months and Days

Check out this awesome preschooler learning her months of the year and days of the week!