Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mom Won't Buy Me Ice Cream!!!

Poor Sarah! She had to make her own "snow cream" today!!! Recipe: Pack cup full of snow. Sprinkle with candy hearts, drizzle with Magic Shell and add straw! Yummmyyyyy!!!

She wanted to make a BIG snowman today but the weather didn't cooperate. The snow just wouldn't stick together good enough. So she made a baby snowman, proceeded to drizzle the chocolate over the top and pretended to eat it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's This White Stuff!?!?!?

School was cancelled today due to ice. The school's automated phone message system rang the house before dinner last night to let us know and Sarah was JUMPING up and down excited! Then as the night went on and more ice came Kevin decided to cancel his classes as well.

We went to bed and figured the roads would get cleaned off today and it would be back to normal by Wednesday. We are so silly!

Sarah and I worked on a "double-secret" project today and then were so tired we took a "cat nap" (with the cat!). When we woke up, our world had gone WHITE! It's snowing like crazy here with no end in sight!

This is Missouri -- we don't do snow!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! It's the Year of the Ox and also year 4706 in the Chinese calendar -- kind of makes ya feel YOUNG, doesn't it!?!??! Takes our idea of "antiques" to a whole new level.

Sarah is not too excited about CNY so we'll be having lasagna tonight! Two weeks ago I tried to take her to the small market we have that carries some CNY goodies but she didn't want anything to do with that. She doesn't even want the red envelope filled with money that goes along with CNY. Guess that means more Starbucks for mama!

Best Wishes to you and yours!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gift Box from China

Sarah received a goodie box from her Chinese foster family! They sent her two wonderful PINK (do they know her or what!?) cell phone bags, a set of hand-made cross-stitched Beijing Babies (cross-stitched on front and back) and a gorgeous red silk dress. And, they sent another stunning black velvet dress for me!

Now, before I tell you the funniest part of the gift box, let me preface it by saying that we have never met Sarah's foster family and while she keeps in contact with them via phone, email and letters I'm not sure they've seen a photo of us. Having said that, it never occurred to me what "picture" why would have in their minds of what Kevin and I look like! Apparently, in their minds we look like this .....

Feel free to make all the comments you'd like!!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I know lots of you are shivering in cold areas of the US right now so here's hoping some BIG sunshine comes out soon!

Not a whole lot has been going on here. Well, that's not quite true! Sarah and I started Facebook accounts and have been spending quite a bit of time online with it. It's been about a week since we started our accounts and EVERY night since Sarah has been chatting online through Facebook with one friend or another.

Facebook is GREAT for her English so we encourage her to chat whenever she wants just like we are so happy when she text messages people on her cell phone. Yes, I guess that kind of makes us weird parents! We're like, "Yeah! Go text! Go chat with someone on Facebook!" (So I know that sound rather flip but trust me she is encouraged but supervised!)

When I first heard about Facebook eons ago I kind of imaged it like an online yearbook where you posted a bit about yourself and then waited to see if you heard from others from high school or college. It's actually so much more than that and quite addictive! At Christmas my sister-in-law had said she was ADDICTED to Facebook. She actually said "addicted." I remember thinking "what in the heck could there to be addicted to!?!?" She was right. It's addicting.

To those who don't know about Facebook, you set up a free account, tell some things about yourself, upload photos and can join groups and such. You can even plant a cyber garden to help save the rain forest. Or send animated stickers to friends. Or keep track of birthdays. Or make cartoon pictures of yourself. All this in addition to finding lost friends and keeping in touch with current friends. I "found" a long lost friend who I haven't actually chatted with in about 13 years!

In order for anyone to view your information they have to send you a "friend" request which you can approve or deny. If you approve a friend then the two of you are linked and can view each other's information and chat. You can even "poke" or "super poke" your friends.

Sarah is very selective about approving friend requests. Quite honestly, if you're over 18 don't even think about it! (Well, unless there are special circumstances which she takes on a case-by-case basis! And I think there is bribery involved!) She wants it basically to be kids from school which I totally get. If I were her that's what I would want to. I'm just waiting for her to rescind the friend link she has with me!

Me, on the other hand, I just like to chat. So if you'd like to chat with me, send me a friend request. Then again, for those friends who have read this blog for so long but who I haven't actually "met", you'll need my name in order to find me. So let me introduce myself -- I'm Debbi Hoepner Bracker. Hope to see you on Facebook!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

First Semster DONE!

First semester of 8th grade is now DONE! Today starts Sarah's new classes and in order to work art and industrial arts into her schedule the school had to move her science and PE classes around too, so she really has 4 new classes to settle into today. At least the other three classes stayed the same!

On Tuesday Kevin and I went to school to listen to her advanced piano class give their end of semester recital. It was very good! The photo is of Sarah during the recital.

Hopefully after school we'll hear that she LOVES her new classes!!! Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Horse that Runs on Diet Mt. Dew

It's back to school week for Sarah. After a slightly rough start where she came home early on Monday because she wasn't feeling well, it's been all uphill. Next Wednesday the semester changes so Sarah will leave behind advanced piano and keyboarding class and start fresh with art and industrial arts. Instead of industrial arts should could have selected cooking/sewing but she wanted to try something new. All her other classes will remain the same.

Next Tuesday Kevin and I will be attending a small piano recital at school which is the culmination of the advanced piano class. All the students had worked on a Christmas song as the recital was to be held before holiday break, the the snowy weather that cancelled school also cancelled the recital. So the kids have all had to learn new songs . We'll try to take a bit of video or photos.

I'm EXCITED to say that the Pillsbury Million Dollar Bake-Off just opened up for entries yesterday so for the next few months I'll be sequestered in my kitchen trying to come up with the next great Pillsbury recipe! If you call or email and I don't get right back with you, expect an answer in late April when the deadline closes! LOL! I was a finalist in 2004 and had a great time during my trip to Hollywood to compete, but I did not win a prize. Maybe this time?!?!?!? Could it be "Orlando, Here I Come!?!?" In giddy just thinking about it!

Kevin is easing back into university life and classes will resume next week. He's been doing a few "goodies" around the house like painting the back door frame and organizing all his hiking stuff. He's getting "the itch" to go hiking again -- I can see it in his eyes. As you can see below, he's already started a pre-hike strength training "hallway horse ride" program under the guidance of Sarah and Romeo! And a one, and a two, and a .......

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jiminy Cricut!

(Anyone seen Romeo?!?!??!? LOL!)

Well Sarah has been saving her money for quite some time now. She has money from her birthday, Christmas and from selling some of her DS games on Ebay. Plus, her monthly allowance money which we just started a few months back. We started giving her the monthly allowance to help her learn about money, making decisions about "needs" vs "wants", etc. With her allowance she's to buy her own clothes (minus the "essentials" we buy like shoes, coats, undergarments, etc), make-up, jewelry and fun items. After her birthday and Christmas she's pretty much set on all those areas for the whole coming year!

She's really good about saving her money and not wanting to spend it on small things. She's been looking at an Ipod touch screen and a paper cutting machine called a "Cricut" (which I'm told is pronounced like "cricket"). We went today and checked out the Ipods and then she wanted to look at the Cricut again. She's looked at them several times and always decided just to keep her money. I thought today would be no different. Wrong song, Jack!

"I really want the Cricut, Mom!" she kept saying.

"Why?" I said.

"So I can make photo books, cards and bookmarks! Some for me and some to give. I thought you said it was MY money?"

Hmmmmm...yep, we did say that. So we went over with her again about how much money the Cricut was and how much the cartridges and paper are, etc. She stood her ground.

"You don't want to buy clothes, jewelry, make-up or anything else with the money?"


And, then we thought about how it really is her money and if she's happy with the clothes, etc, that she has, then maybe it will be a good thing for her to choose something "out of the ordinary", spend her money on it and see where the wind blows. (and for those of wondering it, "yes" I am thinking that maybe this is another notch in my "rookie mom's mistake" book!!)

So, here's Sarah with her new Cricut! Of course the first letters she cut were pink and spelled out "Sarah" (except I see in the photos it spells out "SarHA" which is totally goofball SARAH to the max!).

(No, the cat was not part of the package deal!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy Birthday

We interrupt your regularly scheduled reading for a guest-blogger -- Kevin. Tomorrow (Sunday) is Debbi's birthday (she will be turning 28...that's my story and I'm sticking to it) so I wanted to sneak in while her and Sarah are at a movie (can't believe that they wouldn't rather watch football) to publicly wish her a Happy Birthday.

May all your birthday wishes come true!
Sarah and I love you BUNCHES!

Fun with Friends

We had a great visit with our friends from Colorado! Wish they could have stayed longer!!! Just a few photos of the kids -- the last one of the older kids being big goobers.