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Ear Candy #2

During my flight home from the great state of Oklahoma, I decided I’d listen to some tunes rather than read from a book. This is when I rediscovered a few artists I rarely get to listen to because I’m either listening to children’s songs or to road travel songs that both the hubby and I can enjoy together!

First up, Madeleine Peyroux.

The first time I heard the lilting voice of Madeleine was in a Vegas Starbucks coffee shop. Her CD Careless Love was one of their choices on display and the barista asked if it was annoying or enjoyable to those of us standing in line. I was shocked he could even ask such a question! It was absolutely enjoyable to me, though now I can understand his question a bit better as I can’t play her songs for too long when Hubs is in the car.

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From California to Africa

As the family and I are continuing to learn more about our Compassion child, Sergio, and his family, I have found some great children’s books that give all of us a glimpse into the vast and beautiful continent of Africa. Happy reading!

clip_image003I Lost My Tooth In Africa
by Penda Diakité

This is the true story of Amina, a girl who lives in Portland, Oregon, as told by Amina’s older sister, Penda. It’s the story of Amina traveling to see family in Africa as a small girl and her excitement at discovering she had a loose tooth when she was on the plane to Bamako, Mali.

 

I Lost my Tooth In Africa is a delightful tale filled with colorful drawings by Amina and Penda’s fa,kkkther, Baba Wagué Diakité. She tells of daily African life, shares a few words in Bambara, the national language, and there’s even a recipe for the African onion sauce talked about in the book. D loved reading this book with me and I loved learning more about African life with him.

 

clip_image002Chirchir is Singing
by Kelly Cunnane

“High in Africa,
wind like a cat paw
wipes the sky clean.
Chirchir, Born Quickly, is singing.”

 

And so begins this beautifully lyrical tale of a young girl of the Kalenjin tribe of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. She goes about her day, wanting to be a help in any way she can to the members of her family. Whether it’s Mama gathering water from the well or Big Sister spreading a new floor in the family hut, Chirchir wants to help.

But, Chirchir is small, inexperienced, and her family is like a lot of us – they get exasperated when her “help” turns into more work for them. Along the way to each family member, Chirchir sings her own little tunes of what she sees, hears and smells in her homeland.

The artwork is beautifully done in this book and throughout the story the reader gets to learn a few words and phrases in Chirchir’s mother tongue of Kalenjin and Swahili. One final note: it wasn’t until I had read the book several times with D that I took some time to read the Glossary on the last page. I was pronouncing Chirchir as “CHUR-chur” when it’s really said as “CHEER-cheer”. This discovery made the story even better.

Catching up

I’m tired. It got hot. School’s out. It’s Saturday. The littlest still isn’t sleeping.

I’m tired.

Life’s pace just keeps getting quicker and time keeps getting shorter!

I’ve been sweating more but in a good way, since I’m back to getting my hormones balanced – at least for now. (Thank you, Arbonne!)

I have been weeding, amending soil with my compost, planting various flowers, sown wildflower seeds and watered, watered, watered several times a day, every day, for the past 8 weeks or so.

P1090339

The front yard is showing amazing signs of growth after all my toil and labor. I had no idea wildflowers could get so tall! I’m eager to see how they will do when winter comes. If they die off completely, then I’m back to square one next Spring with that area of the front yard. I’m really hoping they’ll lie dormant then grow back even stronger next year, which means I’ll be covering other large areas of dirt and weeds on the property with wildflower seeds!

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The mud hole

It started out as a simple little hole that D and his friend E would “dig” into with their plastic trucks a few years ago.

When it rained a few times over the summer, the hole would get a bit bigger and D would continue to dig into it, by himself or when friends were over.

Soon the hole became big enough for D to actually sit in, which he liked to do when playing outside by himself with his trucks and tools and buckets.

Then L came along. It took awhile before he was able to join D in the hole. Last summer was filled with adventures in mud, whether that was in the hole or a patch of dirt in the backyard.

It’s 88 degrees today. That’s pretty warm for us, being only April. Both boys have been itching to be “one with nature” for the last week or two in the backyard, mostly wanting to get into the pool (which for us is the $25 special plastic pool from WalMart).

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From beignets to blueberries

IMG_5636I tried my hand at making beignets for the first time on Saturday morning. The one and only time I’ve ever tried beignets was at Disneyland, nearly 15 years ago, and from that one taste, I was hooked.

As with pretty much anything else in my life, I glanced at the recipe and jumped in with both feet, hoping for the best. It’s not like the instructions were real challenging, so I gave myself a 75% shot at coming out with at least a few “winners” from the batch.

The original recipe, taken right from the Café Du Monde box of beignet mix, lists 4 steps. Mix. Roll. Cut. Fry.

Easy peasy mac and cheesy, as my 5 year old would say.

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