Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feeling a bit intellectual

I guess it really has been years, in all likelyhood pre-kids, so that would be almost 6 years, that I really read book after book after book. But the bug has bit and I'm going through at leat one a week. Subject matter- China, non fiction. I'm in the mood to learn as much as I can about this complex and fascinating country; it's history, it's people, it's culture- and it's future. The last time I felt this way was in college when I took an intro to Russian Political Systems course, fell in love with the subject and was in awe of the professor so took every course she taught and 4 years later ended up with a degree in Government with a concentration in Russian Politics. Now the China bug has bit, so to speak, and I can't learn enough. In the past two months I have read the following:

The Lost Daughters of China by Karin Evans
~moving adoption journey

China Road: A journey into the future of a rising power by Rob Gifford
~adventures following the "Silk Road" - great writing and much insight

The Last Days of Old Beijing by Michael Meyer
~really interesting look at life living in a hutong in Beijing

Where the Pavement Ends by Erika Warmbrunn
~not as much on China as I'd have liked, but great stories of her time in Mongolia

Silent Tears: A journey of hope in a Chinese orphanage by Kay Bratt
~couldn't put it down, literally read it cover to cover

Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost
~hilarious writing on his months of travel through China

Mr. China by Tim Clissold
~a memoir of a foreign investor in China in the early 90s, witty and insightful

I'm working on these right now:

The rape of Nanking by Iris Chang

The Search for Modern China by Jonathan D. Spence

Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

The Long March: The true story of communist China's founding myth by Sun Shuyun

Mao, the unknown story by Jung Chang

I'll be busy for a while- do you see the size of the bottom two in the picture!! But do you have
any suggestions for further reading?


Guess what's going to Gracie??

Can't keep it in! Sweet Gracie, the little one we sponsor is turning 1 in March. The Girlies and I brainstormed what we thought she would like. My girlies are B*rbie and doll crazy, so it wasn't a surprise that they thought Gracie needed a dolly. Whodathunk that you couldn't easily find Asian dolls. That setteled it- I'd have to make her one. Far more special that way anyhow. Thing is... I can sew a mean bow, but I'm only a dabbler at sewing much else. I have made some nifty Halloween costumes, but a doll? So I grabbed my tissue paper and set off to make a pattern. I'm thrilled with how she turned out. I drew the face on paper and used my design software to create an embroidery pattern. The doll is just about 16 inches and made out of muslin and cotton. I used this soft 'fur' for the hair and made pigtails I pictutred Gracie being able to grab onto. The dolly has this verse embroidered on her belly- "The Lord will command His Angels to take good care of you." Luke 4:10 . I then had to make her a dress. I found the sweetest birthday present fabric and made the dress reversible with a pink polkadot fabric for two looks! Thie picture is of her still in progress- I'll update with all done pictures. I just have some velcro to sew onto the back of the dress and she'll ship off Wednesday. I hope she loves it. It was certainly made with love!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Bows made it to New Day

Ok, so this happened a few weeks ago but I'm lousy at finding time to do much online besides business and reading all the blogs that I love and that minister to my heart. I have decided that I really need to post more and I have to share (though nobody read at this point) some of the pictures I received.

Though I had hoped to get the box mailed off before the end of the year, that didn't happen. But it arrived on perfect time for the Jiaozi party and our boys and toy cars made perfect party favors! Karen at New Day directly sent me some wonderful pictures of the kids and some dearly special ones of Gracie. We included our old Bumbo seat in the care packages and some clothes and toys for Gracie. My favorite picture os of her in the Bumbo in a sleeper both Girly Girls had worn as babies crewing on the book the girls picked out for her wearing two!! of my headbands. The cuteness was unbearable!

I love the group picture too!

You can see the scrapbook of the Jiaozi party (dumplimg making) here and see all the darling bow heads! I love how they all put in several at the same time.