26 February 2011

Show & Tell

Our family has been doing "show & tell" 3 to 4 times a week for the last couple of weeks. We often do it right after dinner and Morgan and I also take turns going up to present something. Although we've done "show and tell" a couple of times during co-op, it wasn't until recently that we started doing it on a regular basis. My friend, Lani shared with me all the benefits of this childhood activity and from then on, I've been totally on board!

Here's Faith, telling us all about her hobby horse.

She said she can use it to play guitar or use it as a microphone.

or a balance beam...

oh yeah, here what it's traditionally used for. :)

Benefits of Show & Tell:
Writing composition (in future years)
How to tell a story
Speech communication
Learning something new
Showing respect
Being a good listener
Asking & answering questions
Observing
Good manners
Encouraging others

I remember in school during my early childhood years, we had designated "show & tell" days. They were far and few between but I do remember being a bit anxious about it when the time came. Was the object I brought interesting enough? Did I say enough about it? Do I even know anything about it?? Oh, if I only had more practice! :)

Here at home, we keep it pretty simple. Each person talks for about 2-5 mins. When they're done, the rest of us can ask questions by raising our hands. For example, Morgan's first object he ever presented was a red silicone spatula. When the presenter is done answering any questions, we all clap and encourage one another.

The girls are really enjoying it and ask to do show and tell frequently. I'm enjoying the process of watching the girls develop not only their communication skills, but other valuable lessons as well. In fact, one night, in the beginning, Faith got in trouble for being a poor audience member and being disruptive to her sister. The next night, she was not allowed to participate in presenting anything. She had to sit there and show us what a respectful and good listener she could be. You can bet the following night, she was respectful, sitting quietly, and had her object ready to share.

In our self-absorbed, high-tech, media saturated, text-happy, void of real human relationships kind of world, learning to communicate effectively (through speech, grammar, body language, and writing) is a dying, dying commodity.

Just sayin'...

25 February 2011

25 things you may not know about me...

I was inspired to write this post after reading my friend, Aubrey's blog a couple of weeks ago. I know I'm pretty open when it comes to sharing my faith, insights, lessons, and experiences but I got to thinking how even the closest people around me, may not know certain things about me. I'm writing this in hopes that by sharing more of myself, others will feel comfortable to do the same. Here goes...

1. My primary love language is Words of Affirmation. Who doesn't require an encouraging word now and then, right? If you don't already know your love language (or your spouse's), The Five Love Languages is a must read.

2. I'm not big on receiving gifts. Thankfully, my hubby isn't either. We hardly ever exchange gifts. We'd much rather go do something fun together.

3. Morgan and I are both dive certified. Before having the girls, we enjoyed traveling all over the world to seek out the best dive spots. So far, Fiji, Belize, Tahiti, and Cozumel were tops! We look forward to introducing the girls to snorkeling this year!

4. My favorite seasons are summer and fall. That's right, I said it- SUMMER, in the desert! It's not particularly for the hot temps, it's the laid back vibe of summer that I like in this resort town. Summer means less people around here, too.

5. Before moving to the desert, I lived in San Diego, Manhattan Beach, and Malibu. Morgan thought I would hate living in the desert. I love the beach and I miss it sometimes but honestly, I thought I'd miss it more.

6. I'm also not big on jewelry (see #2). I'm talking the real stuff here, especially heart-shaped jewelry. It's just not my thing.

7. I drink my coffee every morning with hazelnut creamer.

8. I made the decision a couple of years ago to stop wearing bikinis. How could I possibly teach modesty to my girls if I wasn't practicing it myself? It's ironic because I feel like I'm the healthiest and most secure I've been my whole adult life. Less is so not more.

9. I really don't enjoy any structured type of exercise but I still do it 3x's a week. I do it in order to take care of the body God gave me and it simply makes me feel better and more balanced; something I definitely need in my busy world. Plus, I love to eat! Wait, that's something everyone already knows. :)

10. I have a glass of red wine almost every night.

11. I speak a little Korean. I can understand it better than I can speak, read
or write it.

12. I love Mexican food and if I'm at a Mexican restaurant, I must have a margarita... on the rocks, with salt.

13. I'm looking forward to taking a surfing lesson someday soon. Maybe this year!

14. So far, it's true what they say... Life begins at 40! Sure, I still have insecurities like everyone else, but they seem to matter a lot less. :) I'm enjoying the experience and hopefully, the wisdom, maturity, and grace that comes with age.

15. I have a tattoo. It's pretty big... I've had it for about 16 years. These days, it's for my husband's eyes only. In hindsight, would I do it again? Probably not but there is a really cool story about how I met my husband because of it. For that alone, I own it.

16. I'm a bargain shopper. I never pay full price for anything.

17. I prefer salty/savory foods rather than sweet. Unlike Morgan, I can usually have a little bite of dessert and be totally satisfied. I'd rather waste my calories on real food!

18. I was engaged once before. I cancelled the wedding 6 months before the actual date. Obviously, it was THE BEST decision I ever made. Morgan and I were married 2.5 years later. Thank you, Lord!

19. When I was in college, my dream job was to be a Sport Anchor for ESPN.

20. My favorite sport is baseball and my team will always be the LA Dodgers.

21. I was born in Seoul, Korea and my family moved to Los Angeles when I was 2.5. I was told I cried during the whole duration of the plane ride. Yikes!

22. As a kid, I was afraid of any and all amusement park characters.

23. My usual breakfast these days... peanut butter on toasted English muffin or an over easy egg on wheat toast (with a side of ketchup).

24. I think gnomes are creepy, not cute.

25. I always wash my face before going to bed but I may not always brush my teeth!

So, there you have it... for better or worse, the real me!

21 February 2011

Holiday Snow

Scenic drive up to Idyllwild.

Best Buddies.

Grace looks like she's up to something...

Faith having fun making snow balls.

I'm dodging balls and trying to snap pictures...

Faith trying to make snow angels.

Sledding!

They decided to come down as a train... TOO FUN!!

They ate so much snow!

The snow was like powder but we managed to make a snowman.

Kids took this pic.

Our Family.

Gracie and dad, goin' for another run!

Mama and Faith.

Little snow bunny.

Charming little Vintage Shoppe in town.

Our tradition of hot chocolate after sledding.

Lunch at the Idyllwild Tea Co.

A gorgeous view out the window.

Relaxing and getting warm in the tea room.

The fact is we are blessed to live less than an hour's drive from snow. We've been wanting to take the girls sledding again for some time but we always had something going on or the weather just didn't cooperate. Since today was a holiday and the stock market was closed, daddy got a day off. With the recent storms, we could see from our house that the mountains were covered with snow. Today. was. the. day!!

The snow was perfect. I love how we can leisurely leave in the morning and be back right after lunch. It was breathtakingly gorgeous up there.
Hooray for holidays!

(Now, if I could only be a little closer to the beach, too!) :p

18 February 2011

Overdue

The girls and I visited our new local library this morning. I had heard about how nice the Rancho Mirage Public Library was, but this was our first time there. Aside from the appealing aesthetics, I really like the fact that they open at 9 a.m. rather than 10. They also have beautiful art exhibits and sculptures on hand, as well as a cafe where they serve pastries, bread, coffee and sandwiches. Seriously, we could be there all day! :)

We took some time this morning to get the girls their very own library card. Now that they're almost 5,
I like the sense of added responsibility it gives them. After I reviewed the books they picked out, they were allowed to check out 3 each.
I figured this is plenty right now since we have so many books at home anyway (many are part of their school curriculum). They enjoyed filing out their application and receiving their own card. As soon as we got home, they had the books sprawled out on the floor; their noses deep into the pages. They were lying on their tummies and blissfully content from ear to ear. Thankfully, they've never met a book they didn't like!

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all."
— Jacqueline Kennedy

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. She will not want new fashions nor regret the loss of expensive diversions or variety of company if she can be amused with an author in her closet."
— Lady Montagu, providing advice on raising her granddaughter, 1752

17 February 2011

The artist

Charlotte's Web.


The blushing bride.

-&-

Her rendition of 3 different turtles...






Faith loves to draw and she does so everyday. She's even been telling me that she wants to be an artist when she grows up. She can take a piece of blank paper and happily sit there, while spending quite a bit of time on it. Recently, I've noticed that she's been getting more detailed and imaginative in her artistry. I thought it was worth capturing...

14 February 2011

Valentine's Day

They were asked to stay upstairs until I called them down for breakfast. Earlier in the week, I picked up a plastic red tablecloth at Walmart for $1. I liked it because of the fake lace trim. Other than that, I gathered what I had around the house. I looked for red, pink, or white colors. Although I'm not a big fan of the commercial holiday, I did want to make this day special for my family.
Any excuse to express more love is good in my book.

Unfortunately, Morgan had not been feeling well since the day before and when he woke up, he felt even worse. He stayed in bed and missed work, something he rarely does. My table was just about set when he came down for a glass of water to wash down some cold medicine. He also brought down Valentine's Day cards for all his girls. :)

Breakfast is served!

Good morning, sweethearts!

Table decorations...

Faith's place setting.

Grace's place setting.

My honeys.

"XO"

She loves her card.

Daddy is always so thoughtful, even when he's sick...

Later that morning, the girls and I left to go meet our friends for a Valentine's Day picnic at the park. Hailey organized a fabulous potluck and the kids enjoyed seeing their buddies and exchanging Valentine's. It was a lovely day with our sweet friends.

We love our friendships.

Thankfully, Morgan still had an appetite so I made one of his favorites for dinner, Chicken Enchiladas Verdes. Then we ended our Valentine's Day with this sweet treat...


They look big in the picture but they're actually only about 2 in. wide. The girls split one, Morgan had a whole one, and I tried to eat just half... NOT POSSIBLE!! Oh well, I can always work it off tomorrow. :)

My goal was to make this day special.

I hope by serving my family, my girls will learn to joyfully serve theirs one day.

Lastly, I'll leave you with one of my favorite passages in the bible regarding love. I wrote this in Morgan's Valentine's Day card.

*

*

*

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ~The Message

This is Morgan. I'm so thankful for my husband who shows me what love really means. And thankful to a Gracious God who would allow His One and Only Son to die for me. All in the name of L-O-V-E.

Oh, Morgan and I did manage to go on a date night last Friday... here we are on the way to our church's Great Date Experiment. Fun!

My forever Valentine.

Some new creations!

Periwinkle.

Teal & Brown with pearls.

Rose Sparkler.

Hawaiian Pearl.

Blue Bonnet.

Metallic Gems.

It's a good thing the girls still take naps. I'm having way too much fun in the craft department! These are just some of the singed flowers I've made in the last few days. I found an easy tutorial online and the rest is history! I love how delicate and romantic they look. Singed flowers are so simple to make! For some, I added a little bit of tulle for extra fanciness. :) The last one was made by layering two colors of tulle (shiny white and black). Then I sewed on some pretty gems. It actually came out looking silvery.

I love making them because they are easy, quick, and no two come out the same. They turn out perfectly imperfect! This morning, the girls and I met our friends for a Valentine's Day picnic so it was a fun excuse to give these out as gifts. Happy Creating!

13 February 2011

Family Picnic

The lovelies...

They climbed this rock mountain, oh, about 20 times!!

Let the picnic begin!

The crew (minus Morgan, who's taking the pic).

Cousin Brigid came to visit.

Jen (my sis-in law), too!

Resident locals, Grandma & Aunt Mary.

It was another fantastic day here in the desert. Some family came to town so Grandma and Aunt Mary planned a picnic in the park for all of us. The girls got to play hard and then we all enjoyed a wonderful lunch. We were told to bring NOTHING, so nothing we brought! We enjoyed yummy sandwiches, fruit, chips and homemade lemonade. They also made two desserts... brownies and strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. Yes, it was divine! I don't usually indulge in dessert during the day but this was special!

Afterwards, everyone stopped over to see the new house. Good times!!

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