Friday, March 28, 2008

March showers

We have had a good week! Last Saturday we visited Mark & Priya at their baby shower for their twin boys Sammy and Jay. They just turned 2 months old, and are so cute. It was funny, - when one of the twins started crying, Sarah looked at him like, "what's wrong?", and then started crying too. LOL!! We got to see Uncle Jon and Aunt Rachel and the cousins too.

Tomorrow Grandpa & Grandpa Wagner and Great Grandpa & Grandma Ramseier will be in town, and we're going to Katie Ramseier's baby shower, and Sarah will get to meet everyone. Then we're going to go out to dinner. (I'm SURE Sarah will sleep REALLY well tomorrow night after all that!) It'll be a fun weekend!

Oh, and we just found out that Matt and Tiffany King had their twin baby girls TODAY!! CONGRATULATIONS Matt and Tiffany!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

The white dress above was handmade for Sarah by my Aunt Ann. Thank you Aunt Ann!

CLICK HERE for more pictures of Sarah wearing this beautiful dress.

Happy Good Friday! Here's an interesting article I enjoyed regarding Good Friday:
We Live in a 'Good Friday World,' but...

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and a blessed Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Book Review - Snow Flower & the Secret Fan

"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See
I thought this book was a fascinating read, with an interesting plot. It also made me very glad to live in the time and place I do now. It is a beautifully written story about Chinese culture and way of life in the 1800's. The author is very graphic regarding the foot-binding process, and also the daily struggles of a woman in that culture. I learned about the role of a woman in the family, placement of importance of a woman based on child-bearing, and the extreme importance of obeying the cultural traditions. I was also especially interested in learning more about nu shu writing, which was found to really exist.

The story centers on Lily and Snow Flower, two life-long friends. Lily and Snow Flower use nu shu so that they can communicate in secret. However, like modern day e-mail, misunderstandings can arise about meaning. One such misunderstanding has a devastating impact on their relationship at a crucial time in their lives.

Here are a few interesting articles about Nu Shu:

Nu Shu Wikipedia article
The author's web page on writing Snow Flower
Nu Shu, a Women's script reviews

"Nü Shu" written in Nü Shu (right to left).
"Nü Shu" written in Nü Shu (right to left).

Taken from the author's note at the back of the book:
"One day in the 1960's, and old woman fainted in a rural Chinese train station. When the police searched her belongings in an effort to identify her, they came across papers with what looked to be a secret code written on them. This being the height of the Cultural Revolution, the woman was arrested and detained on suspicion of being a spy. The scholars who came to decipher the code realized almost at once that this was not something related to international intrigue. Rather, it was a written language used solely by women and it had been kept a "secret" from men for a thousand years. Those scholars were promptly sent to labor camp."

The author also discusses how foot-binding continued in the rural areas of China up until 1951.
At age seven, a girl had her feet bound. (The ideal size was just three inches long when completed.) From that time until she married out to another village at age seventeen, she lived in an upstairs room with only one window. When she went to her husband's home, she spent the rest of her life in similar upstairs rooms, again with only one window from which to view the world.

The villages in the story are actual villages that still exist today. She also talks about two of the phrases Lily learns as she grows up, and how her Grandmother from China actually heard those phrases when she was a little girl: "When a girl, obey your father; when a wife, obey your husband; when a widow, obey your son." "Obey, obey, obey, then do what you want."

In short, I thought it was a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it!

Review From Publishers Weekly
See's engrossing novel set in remote 19th-century China details the deeply affecting story of lifelong, intimate friends (laotong, or "old sames") Lily and Snow Flower, their imprisonment by rigid codes of conduct for women and their betrayal by pride and love. While granting immediacy to Lily's voice, See adroitly transmits historical background in graceful prose. Her in-depth research into women's ceremonies and duties in China's rural interior brings fascinating revelations about arranged marriages, women's inferior status in both their natal and married homes, and the Confucian proverbs and myriad superstitions that informed daily life. Beginning with a detailed and heartbreaking description of Lily and her sisters' foot binding ("Only through pain will you have beauty. Only through suffering will you have peace"), the story widens to a vivid portrait of family and village life. Most impressive is See's incorporation of nu shu, a secret written phonetic code among women—here between Lily and Snow Flower—that dates back 1,000 years in the southwestern Hunan province ("My writing is soaked with the tears of my heart,/ An invisible rebellion that no man can see").

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter Bunny stuffed animal

Sarah got this bunny in the mail today from Grandpa & Grandma Wagner, and is already having fun with him! Thanks Grandpa & Grandma!!

Sock it to me

Baby Sarah sock, Mommy's sock, and Daddy's sock

I was putting away laundry last night and was amazed once again at how tiny Sarah's socks and clothes are. And it made me start thinking about what a miracle it is that we all start out so tiny, and yet God formed us perfectly, and causes us to grow into exactly who He planned us to be. Thank you Lord for tiny socks!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It was a busy weekend!

We did a lot of running around this weekend. Sarah did well in the nursery at church, and Steve and I got a lot of things checked off the "to-do" list, and also found a little time to relax.

Sarah is still enjoying discovering her fingers, (and of course, sucking on them.) She is trying to hold a little stuffed animal frog she got, and sometimes manages to hold onto him for 10 seconds or so before he falls.

Oh, and I am almost done reading "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan". I'm on the last chapter, and it has been a very interesting read. I'll post a short book review sometime in the next week or two. (I already started reading "I Heard That Song Before", and am enjoying it so far too.)

I posted a few more pics of her on smugmug.
I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, March 14, 2008

4 months old!

Sarah was 4 months old on the 11th!

She had her 4-month Dr. appointment on Monday, and weighed over 13 lbs., and is just the right height for her age. The doctor said she looks great, and she's growing fast. It's hard to believe she already weighs over twice as much as she did when she was born!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Easter Bunny picture

~Sarah with the Easter Bunny~
(Click on the picture if you'd like to see a close-up)

Sarah video - kicking her legs

(It's hard to tell because the video is a little dark, but there are shiny beads hanging on the top of the swing, and when she kicks her legs the beads swing back and forth.)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Forward

I just realized about 15 minutes ago that tonight is the night we're supposed to "Spring Forward"! I guess I have some serious clock re-setting in my near future.

And I can never remember whether I'm supposed to set my clocks an hour forward, or an hour back. Oh, I know everyone says to go by the old saying, "Spring forward and Fall back." But, uh, HELLO... isn't it possible to Spring back and Fall forward?? As in, "I'm going to Spring back from this difficulty", or, "I know she's going to Spring back after that bad cold." And the whole falling part... usually when I see people fall, it's forward not back, when they have tripped over something.

So when I'm trying to decide how to set the clocks, I usually think of the saying, then do the exact opposite, and that always seems to work out. And at least this time around it will stay lighter longer at night... for that I am thankful!

Thank you Honey for the beautiful flowers! They make it seem like Spring in the house!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Sarah video

Sarah has also been enjoying her new Rainforest Jumperoo... (although she's not actually jumping quite yet.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A roll-over!

Guess who figured out how to roll over today? (*hint*: it's not Mommy or Daddy.) ...Little Miss Sarah of course! I put her down in her play pen for a nap on her tummy this afternoon, (that was my hope anyway), and about 10 minutes later I hear crying, and I went to check on her and she was laying on her back grinning up at me!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cherry blossoms

Sarah was reaching up for the little swinging toys when she was in her swing today. She's realizing she can use her arms and hands to reach for and grab things.

The cherry blossom trees are all in bloom today. When we were out and about this morning, I noticed that the trees were all pink and white with color. It's also very windy today, so I could see the Sierra Nevada mountains white with snow all the way from Roseville.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Sun set on the month of February

Happy March!
Steve took these Sunset pictures last night from our front yard...
Simply Beautiful!

Although it's not apparent from her expression in this picture, Miss Sarah thought it was quite beautiful too!


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