Monday, November 7, 2011

Gracie’s Room is Growing and we need your help!
Due to delays in government funding and construction, XinXiang is not due to move into the new orphanage until October 2012.  
Until then we would like to make the current room as bright, colourful and warm as possible - just as you would want your own child’s nursery to be. We want Gracie’s Room to be a room that stimulates the children’s senses for proper development, a room where they can lie on their bellies on a soft, clean mat, exercising and developing their muscles, a room where they are discovering sights and sounds with nursery rhymes and colourful walls, all the while having a figure encouraging, loving them and helping them to grow!
The current Gracie’s Room is in desperate need of upgrades.  No improvements were put into this existing room as we were expecting to be in the new facility by October 2011.  We instead focused on staffing and immediate needs of the children.
As the transition is now delayed by a full year, we need to double our fund-raising efforts to maintain the childcare and to make improvements to the existing room.
To accomplish this Dianjiang Kids International is launching our biggest fund-raising event ever:
Gracie’s Room now has a wish list on
Vitamins, cleft lip/cleft palate bottles, sippy cups, toys and wall decals are just some of the items listed.  
Donations of baby quilts, hats, socks and mittens have already been offered!
Monetary donations will be used to replace the existing foam matts, repair broken windows and winterize the room.
Investments in growing the existing Gracie’s Room will be able to be moved over to the new building in 2012.
Please visit our link, do a little shopping and remember the children.
Click on wishes and then type in Gracie’s Room. 
Or click on:
Monetary donations may be made through our website at 
All items will be hand delivered to Gracie’s Room in March, 2012 by members of Dianjiang Kids board.
Thank you for all your support!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011



Monday, October 31, 2011

Lily's Birthday Cake

 It's Lily's birthday today!  7 years old!  Man....where did the time go....

She is such a character.  She has recently starting playing with Bratz dolls and wearing dressing and getting her hair done.
For the past 3 years, it has been all about Star Wars and Droids, and light sabers, and knights and swords!!
So today for her birthday cake she has asked for a princess cake, you know the one I mean.. You bake a big bowl cake, and stick a barbie in it, throw some frosting on it and voila Princess Cake.... easy peezy and cheap right???  Heck how much can a box of cake mix and a Barbie cost?  12$ at the most??

 Yeah right...

I wanted my "barbie" to have more of an Asian look to I started to search for a Mulan doll...
After walking from one end of the mall to the other, (god forbid they put the toy store and the large deptmaent store next to each other)  I came up empty handed, and had wicked sore feet!
So back to the other end of the mall to look for any doll that doesn't have blonde hair and blue eyes! sigh..
Why did I decide to wear my high heel fancy boots today?
oh yeah... they make me look tall...
I don't look hot but I do look 2 inches taller and that makes me smile, and I can see over the Starbucks counter when I order my coffee!  That is worth the blisters.

After my $6.00 coffee fix, I managed to find something...that almost could pass for Asian.. at least it has dark hair!
I'm not a huge Barbie fan, my older daughters were never into that stuff so I really never paid attention to the price of them!

Geezz... 15$ later

So I cook up my upside down bowl cake for her dress, only to find out that the "usual" barbies used for these cakes actually have no LEGS!!  WHAT??

I ended up carving out a honking hole down the centre to fit my nice new expensive non-legless Barbie, using a fluted Champagne glass.
It is now 10 mins before supper and I need to get this cake done pronto!  I throw some store bought frosting, toss some sparkles at it and some gummies.... VOLIA!!  The dress is done is less than 5 mins!

I wrapped the doll in plastic wrap. (It looks like she is on a body wrap weight loss program!) and shoved her into the cake!  Only for her to fall right through... Those Barbies, legless or not, are pretty skinny!
Quick thinking in Abigail's part and we came up with this:

She's standing on a shot glass!!  
We served her on the a foil lined tray that was sprinkled with sparkles!  

Lily LOVED her! 
The cost??

Here's the breakdown:
Doll: $15.00
Coffee: $6.00
Cake mix and frosting: $5.00
New top I found while looking for perfect Barbie: $25.00
Champagne (can't use a champagne glass without filling it.. gasp.. faux pas..) $30.00
Tequila (can't use a shot glass without filling it.. besides by this point I needed the drink) $30.00

Was it worth it???  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Plum Cake = YUM

This weekend I needed a quick recipe to use up the plums from our tree in the backyard.
I searched the web and came across this website:
Got No Milk and I made the Plum Cake.  WOW!  It was so good, and so easy to make!
Of course I didn't take any pictures, I was dealing with Lily and her strep throat, roast beef in the oven and some yorkshire puddings that decided not to work, and washing the kitchen floor!  All before our company arrived! whew!
I can't wait to really search the website for more recipes!  I'm tired of coming up with dairy free things for Frank and I'm starting to make the same things over and over again.  It's getting boring!
I'm pretty excited to find this site.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Front of the house is DONE!

We'll get to the sides next year..  too cold to paint now!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Check out the FAT Racoon that was eating our grapes last night!
We had been wondering what was breaking our trellis!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finally First Day of School Pictures!!
but...the bus was coming and the the kids were rushing out of the yard, and I when I called them back into the yard to take thier pictures, in my house coat with my bedhead hair, they were NONE TOO IMPRESSED!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We got a new pool this year! We didn't have it heated at first, but we now have a heat pumped installed and we have a nice warm (85) 27.7 degrees right now~
After weeks of 19 degrees and the kids freezing in the pool, this is nice!!
It's 15x48 but we don't have it filled up the whole way. This way it's not over Hanlin's and Lily's head.
Lily is such a waterbug! Do you think I can get away without bathing her for the summer if she's in the pool everyday??

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mommy, Does this need a band-aid?

We just got back from a great vacation at Parlee Beach!
We stayed with friends (Mary and Gary) at their cottage and as always had lots to eat and lots to drink and a crazy amount of fun!!
...did I mention lots to drink?
The first day we arrived, Isabelle managed to wade into a pile of jellyfish and got stung all over her legs! I think she was more shocked than hurt. I offered to pee on it, but she wouldn't let me!
Watching Isabelle's shock, Lily then went into full panic mode and refused to go anywhere near the water's edge! Abigail arrived a short time later and took her for a long walk down the beach and talked with her and by the time they got back, Lily was over her fear and had moved onto a complete obsession with Jelly fish and racing into the water, tried to catch and hold as many as possible, which sent me into a full panic mode, wishing she wouldn't go anywhere near the water!

Another bright and hot day followed on Tuesday, and Frank brought down his windsurfer and tried teaching the bigger girls. Abigail had a good couple of tries, but then managed to fall off the surfer and into a pile of menacing jelly fish that stung her. The stingers wrapped around her upper thighs and got her good! She managed not to show Lily what happened, so we avoided another panic /obsession attack with her! whew!
Honestly there wasn't very many jellyfish in the waters, almost none actually, but for some reason both girls managed to find the 1 "swarm" of them in a huge ocean!
The rest of the week was Sting free!

We had a long, hot day on Wednesday and the kids begged not to go back to the cottage to even eat! Mary (our hostess) thought they were going to get sunstroke! We threw on t-shirts and Frank ran back to the cottage and grabbed extra refreshments, (aka beer) food and sunscreen and we stayed a few hours longer! ...did I mention lots to drink??
I don't think my camera was out of my hands for more than a few minutes!
I love taking pictures at the beach!
Thursday started out calmly. The little ones were outside playing waiting for us to collect out things for the beach, and finish our coffees, when Hanlin came into the cottage and calmly said "Does this need a band aid?" I had my back to him, and yell.."shut the screen door" (he was always leaving it open), he turned shut the screen and asked again! I took one look, sat him down, asked someone to get some paper towel, thankfully, Mary came back with a towel!!
He had a HUGE gash on the top of his foot. He was playing around the fire pit and slipped on a rock and it sliced his foot. Frank, Hanlin and Gary went to a little clinic in Shediac. I offered to to go, but Frank said, "No, this will be a good bonding moment with the boys!"
Well, Gary left the room and the nurse offered Frank a chair when Hanlin started to howl while getting the stitches! yeah right, some bonding moment!! :)

For the first few hours, we thought he would be in lots of pain, and unable to walk so we set him up on the couch with movies, coloring and toys, and crafts (scissors, glue, boxes). He was in heaven!

... Notice the box around his foot?? yeah.. he kept hitting his foot or laying on it or rubbing it against things and although it didn't seem to bother him, I thought it couldn't be good for it, so I put one of his craft boxes around his injured foot to help him "remember" that he had, well..
a foot.

While he was crafting, he looked at me with this panicked look and a box in his hand. I asked him what was wrong and he giggled and said, "ohh, I thought I pulled my foot off!"
After a few hours he was definitely feeling no pain.

So since Hanlin wasn't allowed to go the beach we opted to do some touring. We packed everyone up and headed out to a goat farm. (Hmmm.. sand in fresh wound vs goat poop in fresh wound - we choose goat poop) maybe not the wisest choice, however....I digress..
We buy from this fellow, Patrick at our local market every Saturday. We love his cheese! (I'm sure he cringes when we show up at his counter, as the kids eat all the samples he has laid out).
The kids had a blast petting the goats and since they are bottle raised, they were super friendly!
Mary, we found out, is some sort of weird "goat whisperer". She would talk to them and they would follow her around like little lambs! This one tried to eat her coat!

That night we had a huge lobster and shrimp dinner and great wine!
ok, so every night we had great wine, but hey we're on vacation!

Friday was a cold and rainy day, and we even put a fire on in the cottage.
We visited the wharf and had ice cream and Hanlin had Frank do some daring diving off the wharf! **nice form Frank**
The girls were so excited to find starfish!

They were dying to get in more surfing and even though the winds were cold, and there wasn't a soul on the beach, and I had to wear a sweatshirt and long pants, they braved the chill and jumped in! fools
I wish I had of been able to get a picture of Mary and I sitting on the beach, jackets, long pants, hoods on and towels wrapped around us! Brrrrrr..... Meanwhile this was in front of us:
When I saw them running towards me, I thought "YES, they're finally freezing", but I was wrong, they grabbed goggles and turned on their heels and ran back to Abigail and the awaiting surf board! sigh...
They finally finished surfing and I got to go back to the cottage and a warm fire, and a glass of wine!

We left for home on Saturday with great tans, 2.3 million shells, 18 pet jellyfish and great memories!
Thanks Mary and Gary!!!
Your the hostesses with the mostesses!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our photo Shoot with our god daughter Lucy!

Blowing kisses!!