Sunday, June 23, 2013

Exclamation Mark

Never, ever, ever go into Barnes & Noble the day before packing your suitcases!  You are bound to come out with something to make them heavier...especially when you can't resist a good kid's book. 

I definitely couldn't resist Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld.  It is perfect for teaching beginning readers and writers about punctuation marks.  Though it features the exclamation mark as its main character, there's plenty of practice to be had with periods and question marks, too.  And all that practice comes packaged in a great story about embracing the things that make us unique.  Can't wait to put it to good use!  If you have a beginning reader or writer in your life make sure you check it out, too.


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Great Experiment Part 7: Ending with a Home Run and a Whole Lot of Visitors

Last July I began The Great Experiment.  You may remember I left my recipe box behind and determined to try new recipes.  Though I didn't try as many as I envisioned, I still had fun.  One of my favorite blogs for finding new recipes is The Recipe Critic.  Since I'm very visual when it comes to cooking, I love her photos and the ratings she gives in the categories of taste and difficulty.  I decided to close this experiment with two of her recipes.

We were having some very special guests over for dinner so why not experiment?  (My mother said that only brave women do that!)  I decided to try The Recipe Critic's Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas . I would post my one picture but frankly, I don't think you would want to try the recipe after looking at it.  But I will say this recipe got my Father's nod of approval which is why I deemed it a home run.  I tried to get him to follow in my brother's footsteps and give his critic on camera but he wasn't keen on that.  I can't imagine why not!

Anyway, taking pictures of the guests was more important than taking pictures of the food because....

I got to see the Malletts for the first time since 2006!
And let me tell you, they have some very sweet kiddos - ones that like to read books
and don't mind getting a wash down by our family's compulsive licker, Miss Iya, herself.
Thursday night found us dining with the Schmidts, fellow members of the SIM Niger family.  It was great to catch up with them!  It was unfortunate that my camera was tucked away so all I have to show for this visit is the dessert we ate.  I made Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies
I made some changes like using crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth and adding some peanut butter chips into the mix too.  Overall, they were good but a little bit on the greasy side. 
Tonight we had some more visitors.  This time from Canada.  Bet you can't guess what brought them down south! 
In fact, these kids found out they were going to Disney World only moments before they hopped in the van to go.  Surprise vacation - now that's an idea I love! 
It was great fun to catch up with the Armstrongs, friends since Parkway Bible Church youth group days!
Anyone else want to drop in for a visit?  There's plenty of leftovers! :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Living With My Luggage

This is the stage of transition I like to call...

Living With My Luggage.
It's a delightful stage!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Being Symmetrical is Cool (or The Post In Which Iya Loses Her Cool)

The other day Iya and I were having a conversation.  It went something like this...

ME:  Iya, did you know that you are really quite symmetrical in appearance.  In fact, I think I'll take a couple of pictures of you so that I can use them in math class when we talk about symmetry.

IYA:  Really, I don't get what the big deal is about symmetry and frankly, I'd rather not have my picture taken.  In fact I think, I'll just turn to the side and thwart any attempt on your part to take a straight on picture.
ME:  You know it's for the children, right?
IYA:  Ahh, you had to go and play the Kid Card.  Fine!  I'll give you one but that's all you are getting!
IYA:  You did hear me say I was done, right?
IYA:  Jeepers, you won't even leave me alone when I'm eating.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Night with the Knights

Last Friday Kent's church had a tailgating party before the Charlotte Knights' baseball game.  I've heard a lot about tailgating parties but I must confess I had never been to one before.  It's pretty much a barbecue in a parking lot but in this case, we got to visit with a lot of Kent's friends from Lakeshore Christian Fellowship.  Then we all went in to enjoy the baseball game together.  It was a double header so we caught the end of the first game and enjoyed taking some pictures.

Then we caught the big event which was Pastor Gil throwing out the first pitch.  He got a great big round of applause from his own personal cheering section in the cheap seats.

Then the second game began and just about everyone headed for home but we, Botherases, stuck it out until the very end!

We were enjoying our night of family fun!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Restoration & Transformation

Restoration - The process of repairing or renovating a building, work of art, etc., so as to restore it to its original condition.

TransformationMake a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of.

Both of these processes are currently taking place on the campus of Sahel Academy as the flood recovery continues.  In recent days, several people have asked me for an update so thanks to my friend, Shannon, who took all the current pictures, you can see for yourself how the Sahel campus is being both restored & transformed

The library is an example of a building that has been restored.  If you hadn't seen these pictures,

you might think that these pictures


were taken pre-flood.  But with a lot of hard work all of these library books have been moved from the temporary campus back to their original home.

The shelves have been sanded and refinished and everything returned to its proper place.

In this post, I shared with you one of the beautiful new things that God was bringing out of the dust of the flood.  It is a total transformation of our Dining Hall which is, in many ways, the heart of our campus.  The power of transformation comes in remembering what things looked like before so here we go - the Before Pictures.


During the Flood
After the roof came down, the work continued.
Several new layers of cinder blocks were added and a brand new roof placed on top.  The white painted exterior was scuffed up and prepared to be covered in stucco to match the rest of our school buildings. 
New doors and windows have been installed and painted.
Inside the former all-cement floor has been beautifully tiled
and a new and very high ceiling has been installed.
It hardly looks like the same building!
Restoration & Transformation - these processes will go on throughout the summer as the school continues to prepare for a return to campus for the 2013-2014 school year.  But for now, it's time to make room for Celebration!  There are 13 or so (Don't quote me on that!) Seniors who will be graduating in the next few days and it is our joy each year to celebrate with them.  Pray that despite a very difficult year, they will finish well and that even the events of this past year will have a positive transformational effect in their lives as they are reminded of God's faithfulness through it all. 
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.  This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.
Isaiah 55:12&13

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Friends with Good Judgment and Personality

I stole that title from a six year old but it's right on the money.  My friends M & C have a six year old niece who was recently discussing M's status as an unattached single lady.  Being enthralled with boyfriends at the moment, she could not understand why M didn't have one.  "But I don't understand," she proclaimed to M, "You have such good judgment and personality!"  Yes, I have more than a few friends who have been endowed with good judgment and personality and that includes the ones that are married.  I'm beyond thankful that God allowed our paths to cross because really, who doesn't need friends with good judgment and personality to help us navigate the joys and trials of life?

Not only that but even when I drop in and out of their areas on very short notice they are willing to take time out of their busy personal/professional lives to spend time with me.  That is a huge blessing in my life!

Thank you, My Friends!  Although, looking at these pictures has me questioning why you might be hanging out with me.

It's probably because I'm willing to prancercize for you which I think pretty much eliminates the notion that you might be hanging out with me because of my good judgment!
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