Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Spring!

Flower market in Guangzhou, 2007

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Random Fun!

I saw this sign one of my first days in China.  It's always made me laugh and I hope you find it fun, too!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beautiful Day!

So many beautiful places to see around the world!
The South of China, 2007
Enjoy this day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


What's one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?

Well, the first thing to come to my mind was that I once won a trip on a blimp.  Really.  I'd share photographic proof, but it was in the days before digital cameras.  I will say, though, that for a gal who is afraid of heights, it was one of the freaky-coolest things I've ever tried.  
How about you?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

I thought we could all use some color this morning!  Blessings!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I used to live in China. It was a wonderful experience and I miss so much about it- especially my many dear friends. While I was there, I had the chance to travel, to experience many aspects of the culture, and to indulge in one of my favorite things: Chinese food. I was fortunate, too, to have the opportunity to learn how to make many of my favorite dishes including dumplings (called jiaozi in Chinese).

I have many sweet memories of large dumpling-making parties around New Years! So, in honor of these memories and since it's an important part of many of my Chinese friends' New Years celebrations, I made some pork filled jiaozi today. They were so delicious!

I used what I remembered from the past to make my dumplings, but for anyone interested in attempting these at home there is a good recipe at What I can share with you are two tips I picked up in China for boiling them.

The first is to keep your dumplings turning around in the pot. When they are almost done, you'll see that they will float to the top of the pot. The dumplings are glossy at this point and you should keep boiling them for 1-2 minutes more.

The second tip I have to share is for knowing when they are done. After they have been floating at the surface they will start to puff up. When your dumplings lose some of their glossiness and puff up, they should be done.

Finally, here are some photos from my very first time making jiaozi in China.  Such good memories!

My first apartment in China
Preparing the meat
Preparing the dumplings
My first attempt at making a dumpling

Happy Eats!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Project #2

How cute is this???

This was a pattern called "Nana's Bunnies" in the book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger. I never thought I would be able to make something like this... and yet I did! It helped so much to have my mother-in-law here to help me get started and as a resource whenever I had questions. She's an excellent knitter and super patient with all of my many questions. 

I think I could also make some other animals (maybe finger puppets?) if I modify the pattern.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Project #1

I finished my very first knitting project: a dishcloth!  Hurray!

I saw this cute dishcloth at Sweet Bees Buzzing way back in October 2010 and have had it bookmarked ever since.  I thought that it would be something I could do... as soon as I learned how to knit, that is!  And finally, that day is here!

This past week, I've also had my sweet mother-in-law, a fantastic knitter, in town.  Did I mention that?  So with her help, I finally tackled it.  It was good practice with increases and decreases for me. And when it was finished, both my mother-in-law and I had sturdy washcloths for our homes.

O Happy Day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Giving Thanks!

Today, I give thanks for...
1.) A warm and comfortable home.
2.) A good job.
3.) A safe vehicle to drive to and from work with every day.
4.) A cozy pair of pajamas to slip into after work.

"The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!" -Henry Ward Beecher

Hope this week is a good one for each of you!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Goals

Before making any goals for this year, I sat down to read. I wanted to read Scripture, re-read my sermon notes from New Years Day, and to check out some of my favorite bloggers before getting started. Tsh from Simple Mom gave this encouragement: "Keep [your goals] focused on making yourself more available to God’s presence, not on becoming perfect." I read that and thought, "Yes. That's exactly what I want these goals to help me do!"

Here's what I came up with for 2012:

  1. Read the Bible daily. This is a practice that I know from experience helps me be available to God. I've fallen away from making time for it daily, though, and really want to get back on track. Goal number two should help with this. 
  2. Use a calendar to help me manage time better. I'm just beginning a very busy and stressful season at work. I hate it. But, as I've learned from past experience, this particular busyness cannot be ignored. So to help me reserve free space in my life I'm going to try sticking with using a calendar and schedule. 
  3. Adopt healthier habits. I blame some of my problem on being too busy and too undisciplined in my life. But with some discipline regarding my time management, I should have more space in my life for healthy habits like exercise, sleep, and meal planning. 
  4. Be mindful of listening more. I do truly value being with people and one of the ways I can demonstrate this is by quieting my own tongue to listen to them more. From James1:19 "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy Belated New Year!

It's been a relaxing week here at home.  I'm still working on getting caught up on sleep- 2011 was such a busy year!  We had new nieces, new work opportunities, and a wonderful new puppy!

Later this week, I'm hoping to find time to write some resolutions for the coming year.  Have you done that yet?  I know I'd definitely like to lose weight and be healthier.  Y'know, the usual.  But I'd also like to spend some time considering resolutions related to my character.  Last Sunday, our preacher spoke from Ephesians; he encouraged us to really consider what traits we need to put off and what traits we should be putting on in their place.  One example of this principal would be talking less (putting off) and listening more (putting on).  This is something I really want to examine as I make my resolutions for 2012.

I hope that this new year is off to a good start for all of you!