Friday, February 19, 2010

Kung Hai Fat Choy

Come celebrate a Chinese New Year with us and enter a contest at Jimmie's Collage!

It's the year of the tiger according to the Chinese Zodiac, and Anna Rose used her drawing talents to depict the tiger in this colorful crayon illustration.

We started off with a delicious stir-fried dish composed of chicken marinated in garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, red peppers, zucchini, carrots, celery, water chestnuts, and baby corn accompanied by brown rice. Probably not exactly authentic Chinese cooking but we loved it!

Anna Rose fashioned a paper lantern. The symbol on it means "tiger" in Chinese.

Here she is painting the symbol for "happiness" on a banner which we will hang at the sides of the door.

Here is the finished product. The symbols mean "happiness" and "riches."

Anna Rose enjoyed reading several Chinese folk tales that we checked out of the library.

Her favorite was The Voice of the Great Bell by Lafcadio Hearn, retold by Margaret Hodges. "There was a little girl whose father along, with other workers, would be killed if the king's bell was not finished by the next morning. The girl wanted to save her father from death so she went to a magician and asked him what to do to save her father. The magician said that she would have to jump inside the melted gold, brass, silver, and metal. Then they would blend together and make a bell. If you want to find out what happens, you can find this book at the library." - review by Anna Rose

Here is a piece of music that Anna Rose recently learned called "Chinese Song."
(scroll down)

Thank you for stopping by to share in our celebration.

May your happiness be as wide as the East Sea!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Memorable Story

"One of the many things nobody ever tells you about middle age is that it's such a nice change from being young."
Dorothy Canfield Fisher (February 17, 1879 - November 9, 1958)

Today is Dorothy Canfield Fisher's birthday. She wrote one of my favorite children's books, Understood Betsy. Poor timid Betsy is an orphan sent to live with her "barbaric" cousins in Vermont. Coddled nearly to death by the maiden aunt with whom she had lived, she is entirely unprepared for the independence she will need to muster to adjust and thrive in this new situation. You will cheer along with Betsy as she slowly awakens to just how rich life can be, even - and maybe especially - in the simplest and most primitive setting.

If by unhappy circumstance you don't own a copy of the book, you can always read it online here, but I highly recommend buying your own copy because you will return to it again and again. You don't have to be seven, ten, or twelve years old to read Understood Betsy. I can assure you that it will bring joy to your heart - and a tear to your eye - no matter what golden age you have reached. Find a youngster with whom you can curl up on a snowy day; light the fire, share a pot of cocoa and some biscuits, and meet Betsy together. You will never forget her!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Am Loved

My heart has been lifted countless times, like discovering flowers in unexpected places, as God shows his love for me through the kind and often sacrificial deeds of others.

A friend comes to spend the afternoon, bringing her children to romp in the snow, carving time out of her busy schedule to share a cup of tea, to lighten my burdens and those she bears through heartfelt conversation and laughter.

A daughter's face, wreathed in smiles and trembling with giggles, as she presents a handmade Valentine bookmark she insists on giving three days early.

An offering of orchids that causes a gasp of delight, their delicate beauty accentuated by the calloused, hardworking hands that cradle them.

Bright mittens, knit with love by a mother's time-worn, freckled hands, fashioned stitch by stitch to warm this daughter's hands and cheer her heart on cold winter walks.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
1 John 3:18

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." - Philippians 4:8
Another manner in which God ministers to me is in the form of beauty. Since I am in my home most of the time, it needs to be a sanctuary of peace and comfort, a place of quiet contentment. It reminds me that He is to be our refuge from the storms of life.
If you were to visit me, you would find artwork and Scripture on the walls, small vignettes of figurines and whatnots on desks, bureaus, and bookcases, and books.....books on every conceivable surface. Doilies cover chairbacks and provide a foundation for centerpieces on each table. Everywhere you look, there is beauty to impress your sense of sight.
If you listen carefully, you may hear the pleasant strains of Bach or Mozart. Soft candlelight glows and fills the room with the comforting aroma of sweet vanilla sugar cookies. Bubbling on the stovetop may be a pot of broth, filled with nourishing vegetables or turkey with rice and mushrooms. A tray of muffins is cooling on the counter, ready to split and fill with soft butter. There is even a friendly cat or two to twine about your legs or curl up on your lap.
All these elements combine to form a warm and hospitable atmosphere that ministers to those who live here as well as those who may come to call.Do come in....I've been expecting you!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day!

The Jolly Woodchuck
The woodchuck's very very fat
But doesn't care a pin for that.
When nights are long and the snow is deep,
Down in his hole he lies asleep.
Under the earth is a warm little room
The drowsy woodchuck calls his home.
Rolls of fat and fur surround him,
With all his children curled around him,
Snout to snout and tail to tail.
He never wakes in the wildest gale;
When icicles snap and the north wind blows
He snores in his sleep and rubs his nose.
Marion Edley and Dorothy Grider

Hm, I don't think I'd mind sleeping the winter away in a warm, snug burrow while the winds of winter howled and the snow fell outside my door. Those rolls of fat, however, are another story.