Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kangling Year in Review

{Chloe (9), Hannah (8), Rachel (13), Lilly (3), Autumn (11), and Elise (5)}
This year has been a very eventful one for the Kanglings full of crazy trips and sport seasons.
So here is the girls' year in review:
Rachel: Rachel lives for Starfish and is going back in February to spend a month there with her grandma. She played forward this year in soccer and had a lot of fun. She also played Unified Sports this year for soccer and basketball and really enjoyed that. Her biggest accomplishment this year was completing her Personal Progress award for church (similar to the eagle scout).
Autumn: Autumn got to go to South Korea this year and really enjoyed it. She is progressing in photography and takes amazing pictures (lots of them). She played defense in soccer and had a fun year with her team (your worst nightmares). She is still the comedian of the family and always makes us laugh. She loves reading and when she has a book you won't be seeing her until she finishes the whole thing. She also found a recent love for Shakespeare.
Chloe: Chloe plays the piano like crazy and is now playing hymns and primary songs. We constantly find her picking out songs from all of Rachel's books. She played soccer this year with Chris as her coach. She played forward and was one of the top scorers on her team. Chloe's been doing a lot of sewing and knitting and made a lot of cute things to put in fair this year.
Hannah: Hannah turned 8 this year and was baptized. She still loves horses and has been reading books about them like crazy. We've found her reading out of a horse encyclopedia and she knows about every type of horse there is. :) She started book 2 in piano this year. She had a fun soccer season and was her team's goalie. When schedules didn't conflict she played for Chris' team.
Elise: Elise believes she is the queen of the family. She loves making pies with her "pie maker (Rachel)". She started reading this year and always is excited when she can pick out a word. She's learning piano really quickly now and is learning songs every week. She loves posing for the camera and listening to her sisters read aloud classics to her. (a Kangling first)
Lilly: Lilly is our cuddle-bug and loves to give hugs and kisses. She loves Hello Kitty and is always pretending to be a little kitty and goes around on her hands and knees, meowing. She loves when people read her books and always comes to you with a pile of about 10 books at a time and has to have you read them all, unless you can distract her.

Lilly was being a little silly during our family pictures this year
and in every picture she was making a face similar to this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

tooth fairy shenanigans and more

Elise, our wimpiest Kangling that takes after her mother, lost her first tooth today with minimal drama. (we have been warning her for a week that it will bleed and that she doesn't need to cry about it.) I can't wait for her to lose a few more teeth as she has had the most cavities of all of our girls. I like to blame it on Chris' stroke, her sneaky nature and on the lack of a pantry door lock. (which we did end up purchasing eventually.) Anyway, I would love for those teeth to fall out and for us to get a new start on her mouth. And typing this lovely blog post has reminded me that I better go off and do my motherly tooth fairy duties. Our family hasn't required a visit from the tooth fairy for a while so I suspect that my eldest daughter might be out of practice when it comes to covering my rear. You know the routine. Mom forgets, daughter distracts tooth fairy client, daughter fills in for the oh so sloppy and forgetful tooth fairy, mom wakes up.

Other exciting family news? Our banana is getting baptized this weekend. It got moved up to October from November, which made us all extra happy. Hannah has been counting down for so long that it was a fun bonus to have it come even sooner. The only bad part of this rescheduling was that my mom had a not so lovely surgery last week. This not only prevented her from making the traditional baptism dress, but it also might prevent her from coming. We are hoping that she can make it, but we also don't want her put at any risks for blood clots and what not just to come down. We're excited to have lots of family join us (Mike and his fabulous new wife are coming, along with Beth and James!) but we're pretty disappointed that Lia isn't hauling all 6 kids cross country for the big day. :) Just kidding, Lia. But we are sad that she lives too far away to come to our little family gatherings anymore. Changes stink. It will still be a lovely day, just a little quieter. (in a sad way, Lia!!)

Side note: our Bishop brought this picture to our attention...doesn't it look a lot like our Hannah, complete with personality?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

conference, oh how I love thee.

Today was day 1 of Conference weekend and I find myself filled with gratitude for the opportunity to listen our prophet and apostles. It was a little tricky making it all work, with 4 soccer players and 2 rather fidgety littles but WE DID IT. It included watching conference at a neighboring stake center so we could get each soccer player to watch one session and much of the thanks goes to our crock pot that cooked up a yummy stew while we were being fed spiritually. (and then lunch was waiting for our break between sessions.)

My notes are still a little scribbled as I wait for the transcripts to be released. (I just can't write fast enough, so I have lots to fill in here and there.) Here are some quotes/thoughts that I just loved:

Richard G. Scott:
scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our life
to memorize a scripture is to forge a friendship
Barbara Thompson:
Remember to first inquire of the Lord (Nephi)
I didn't keep my testimony through those times-my testimony kept me! (pioneer)
the spirit of revelation will illuminate and enlarge your soul
Jose Alonso:
analogy of lost son (sheep): they didn't need a planning meeting to find him and the son didn't even know that he was lost
Christ's love is for all but he never loses sight of the one.
"The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion." -Thomas S. Monson
Let us do the right thing, at the right time without delay.
Boyd K. Packer (so perfect for our youth!)
Young people are being raised in enemy territory
(His whole talk was wonderful, but full of long quotes that I didn't get completely enough to put on here.)
Dieter F. Uchtdorf (individual worth, in a nutshell)
Compared to God we are nothing, but to Him we are everything.
The Lord doesn't care if we spend our days working in Marble Halls or stabled stalls
The Lord uses a scale very different to the world's to measure the worth of souls
David Bednar:
All about family history for the youth
It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord — not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation.
(I just found it to be such an a-ha moment. Of course the youth have been prepared to do family history. Every time I attempt to get help at a family history center, I find myself frustrated that very well meaning and family history saavy workers can't help me because their technology skills are about 10 years behind. Of course the youth are the answer!)
Neil A. Anderson:
Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider. (Thomas S. Monson)
Motherhood is not a hobby. It is a calling. It isn't something you make time for...It is what God gave you time for.
(LOVED this talk. It summed up my feelings on the matter pretty well. Amen, Elder Anderson....then again I felt that way with every single talk that was given today. Wow. Such a wonderful day.)

Ok...I'm too tired to go on. I've gotta get some shut eye before tomorrow as we are a little spoiled over here with our normal 1 pm church time. I will try to finish this tomorrow, but as the joke goes in our science class (in reference to experiments that involve me going to the store to purchase necessary items) that means never. The whole point of this post? I *love* conference. Hey. Did I tell you how much I love conference? (And that I saw Chloe write across the top of her notes "I love conference!"?? How cute is that?)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

our school year and its delayed start

Our big bang of a start to our school year is kind of...nonexistant. (in a good way.) I had a rather silly goal of starting school this past Tuesday while all of the local kids didn't start school until Thursday. I figured it would make up for us taking next week off to play at Disneyland. The problems with this plan?
•I still am waiting for a few books to show up in the mail.
•My house was a mess.
•We need to pack for said trip.
•I haven't even printed up the girls' schedules
The girls humored me. They get an a+ for effort, but my heart just wasn't in it. There was too much to do. So, like any mom who needs a little bit of permission to be mediocre, I asked Chris to tell me to wait to start school. Like a good husband, he did. Like a tricky mom, I waited to tell the kids until Wednesday around 9. (which resulted in a few more subjects being done. Ha.) Instead of school, we cleaned. I think they would have preferred school, but it feels good to have a clean(er) house. School year delayed. Disneyland, here we come. Lilly is excited to ride every ride except for the "roller coaster with the scary monster" and is pretty sure that the princesses are waiting for her. Elise is tall enough to ride just about every ride and plans on doing just that. btw: Disneyland has a great discounts for groups over 10. It is so great that it is worth doing even if you have a couple short of 10.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

home sweet home

This morning I am trying to take some time to tackle a seriously long to do list. It seems that we've been awfully busy trying to enjoy each sunny day that hits and in the process, I've gathered a backlog of things that are begging to be done. So this morning is dedicated to my husband, who tends to be more responsible than I am when it comes to putting the "bleh" before the "yippee". So far? Toilets cleaned, laundry started, bed made and a long list of phone calls made. Ok...not a ton done yet, but I am working on it!

(Rachel started her choice and accountability project today. I tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn't have it. She is attempting to tackle my craft room. Maybe it is because she sees it every time she walks out of her room. Or maybe it is because she wants me to hurry and turn it into a bedroom for girlies. Either way, I'm ecstatic.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

treats in my mailbox

I got a delicious package in the mail today. (delicious as you can get when one has sworn off sweets for the month.) I got a 5 year journal, which was new to me until a few weeks ago. It has questions on each day of the year for you to answer, but it has spots for you to answer it for 5 years. I anticipate it being fun watching my answers vary over the year...because hopefully I change at least a little bit over the years. Right? And the other treat? A well bound book (because I am a sucker for things like that.) that has simple but cute pages for me to record all of the adorable things that my kids say. When you have a memory (or lack of) like me, you need all of the help that you can get in remembering the hilarious things that your kids spout off. So far? All of the pages are filled with Lilly-isms. Do kids stop saying funny things after 3? I hope not because I was hoping for a book capturing all of their cute sayings.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I have been trying to slowly (extra emphasis on the word slowly) catch up on some scrapbooking over the past few weeks. It has made me a little more appreciative for my blog as the journaling from my blog saved my bacon quite a few times when my memory failed me. I also managed to lose our Halloween pictures from a couple of years ago, but was able to salvage a few of them from my blog. Does this mean my blog and I might start hanging out again? I don't know. I hope so. One of my best finds in my scrapbooking? This picture of all of us siblings together with our amazing parents. Yep, it had been hiding in my hard drive for the past almost 3 years.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

house guest, kitties and swords...oh my!

Chris' nephew of sorts is here for the week while he goes to a fencing camp so our week was spent trying to make us look less slovenly that we are. The garage was cleaned, the car was cleaned and the guest room was reclaimed. (it had become a craft room part duex of sorts.) All were disgusting and they look pretty fabulous now. Why do I clean for others and not for myself? Maybe because I just don't care? I should because it sure does make the husband happy.

So our guest arrives last night, bearing the best kind of gifts you can give my girls. Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty and more Hello Kitty. But all of this was not nearly as cool as him showing us all of his fencing gear. And because he fences we, of course, had to show him the infamous sword fight in Princess Bride. He probably thought we were dorks, but we did it anyway. And the icing on the cake? He played our cello (apparently it is a baby cello.) and our piano for us this morning. It is always nice having one more person to serenade us on the piano. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011


The Savior taught His disciples, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives. Thomas S. Monson

Monday, May 9, 2011

saving lives, one starfish at a time

That pretty much sums up what Amanda over at starfish has committed her life to doing. One afternoon we got to sit down with her and go through pictures and listen to her stories. She showed us a picture of one of the babies she got from a dying room. (Oh, they don't exist, right?) Then we got to see him as a toddler. A chubby, happy go lucky toddler that a year and half earlier was slated for death. We arrived at Starfish shortly after Sam arrived. When I saw him, I immediately thought, "Wow. Now THAT is what jaundice looks like." Nope. That is what serious liver problems look like. He was yellow as yellow can be and Amanda was told by a Chinese doctor that he needed a liver transplant. (Which basically equates to a death sentence since a liver for a baby is hard to come by.) Amanda merrily went on her way, taking Sam to an Australian doc for a second opinion. This doctor had better news. It wasn't Sam's liver, but the bile duct (is that right??) was partially blocked. This still required a serious surgery, but at least Sam had an option. I remember us all being so excited to hear this, that Sam now had hope. And then today started out with an email telling me that Sam had died. Sigh. I honestly don't know how Amanda does it. Falling in love with baby after baby but inevitably losing some along the way as she does deal with a full spectrum of serious medical issues...I don't know how many she has lost, but I imagine that it doesn't get any easier. Oh, Amanda. Just as I heard in a story of Mother Theresa making sure babies were held and loved before dying, I am so thankful that Sam was in an environment that provided plenty of love for the last month in his earthly life. And now he is on to much bigger and *much* better things.

on a lighter note: Rachel has been working like crazy to get her operation starfish shop open. It isn't completely done as she has more projects to upload, but you can jump on over for a sneak peak. 100% of the money from these items will benefit the starfish house. I am also adding a donate button on my blog. Rachel's goal is to not only raise money for her plane ticket to Xi'an next year ($1000), but to also raise $4000 for Starfish. Go, Rachel, go. You're my hero. Give her a week and it will be stocked with all sorts of goodies.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Paul, the starfish baby with a little gq in him

This is Paul. Not only is he adorable with his naturally occuring faux-hawk, but the only thing that they can find wrong with him is that he is half white. Horrible, isn't it? Apparently, the ladies at the local orphanage didn't want to have much to do with a half-blood of sorts so they concocted a story for Amanda about Paul's blindness. Yet there isn't any sign of vision problems as he is a pretty alert 2 month old who loves making eye contact. He is a little small for his age, but pretty dang healthy compared to the other babies in the starfish isolation room.

There was another baby Amanda got from the orphanage that was "refused" care from the orphanage workers. They claimed that this baby had aids. (and they assumed that this was why he couldn't thrive, even though it probably was because nobody would touch him!) She showed us pictures of him when he came and his skin was hanging off of his bones. The funny (or really not so funny) thing is that the claim that he had aids was not based on any test, but just on word of mouth. Amanda tested him regularly, never receiving abnormal results. When he left the Starfish House, he was a plump and chubby little toddler who had thrived on love.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coco the sweet

Oh, stole my heart. Coco has quite the mysterious background. She came to Starfish a couple weeks before we arrived, right before her 2nd birthday. As I mentioned before, she couldn't sit up when she came. Amanda said that she would fall back immediately after being sat up. By the time we arrived, she was holding her own bottle with both hands. Both of her hands have movement but one isn't on your normal wrist. I'm not sure what the medical term for it is. She also came with some mystery scars and they aren't quite sure what surgeries they came from. I do know that she had a colostomy surgery, which causes her to have horrible diaper rashes. (and I mean horrible...the worst I've seen.)

We are not sure what Coco has been doing in the orphanages for the past two years, but you can't help but think that she spent a majority (or all) of her time laying in bed with little interaction with people. To see her improve so quickly makes this seem like one of the only likely scenarios. While we were at Starfish, she started sitting up better in her high chair and pretty much holding herself up. Although it scared her in the beginning, they started sitting her on the floor for a little bit and we found she could hold herself up there and became quite happy playing on the floor. Before long, she was looking through her books and playing with toys while sitting on the floor! We also started playing with her "other" hand...the one that is basically on a shorter arm and lacking a wrist. (I hope I am not slaughtering her medical conditions here!) It has movement but she wasn't using it. We started playing with her fingers and putting toys in that hand and within a day, she was grabbing toys with it and turning pages of her books with it. Our last experiment was to teach her a new greeting. Coco has this adorable signature greeting that everyone at Starfish knows. It is similar to the sound one says when someone calls their name (huh?) but with more of a mmm to it. Adorable. But we thought we would try a wave. So every time someone would walk into the isolation room, we would go through a big back and forth "hi" session, complete with us waving to her and us waving her arm. A day later, she held her arm up a little longer after someone waved for her. The next day, she wiggled her fingers when her arm was raised. I wouldn't be surprised if she is waving like crazy now. Her learning curve is amazing and I just can't help but wonder where she would be at now if she hadn't spent the last 2 years being neglected. Don't worry, have an army that is going to help you catch up. (and love you to bits and pieces all along the way.)

And on that was so encouraging to see the many, many volunteers that come through Starfish. I can't blame them as I can't think of a better way to spend a vacation. But bigger than all of the traveling volunteers were the local Chinese that come volunteer rather regularly. I see their attachment to the babies at Starfish and their concern with the plight of these sweet babies to be a gigantic sign of hope for generations to come. We also got to meet some wonderful volunteers that got to stay much longer than we did and got to see many more miracles than we did. Jealous? Yeah, just a little.

ps: Keep your eyes open. I know of a certain thirteen year old that is working like crazy to open a special etsy shop pretty soon. Shopping with 100% of the proceeds going to Starfish sounds like guilt free shopping to me, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

China: better late than never

So I wasn't such a faithful blogger in China. This was partially because we were pretty busy and also because China isn't super keen on blogs. I was lucky to have access to a vpn/remote access sort of thing at the Starfish House, but blogger still didn't work 100% of the time using the vpn. Now I am left with the I start where I left off or just summarize the whole expedition?

I guess I will start by giving the rundown of our time at the Starfish House since Rachel and I both have agreed that this was the highlight of our three weeks, hands down. The last 3 months at the Kang house have been full of preparing all sorts of goodies (mainly sheets and pillow cases) for the sweeties of the starfish house. We ended up with almost 100 sheets and a little less than ninety pillowcases. I can't express enough how prepratory this project was, as I saw Rachel go from being giddy about our impending travels to being truly invested in helping the babies at the starfish house. She went from talking about which hotel to stay at to asking if we could just cancel the rest of our trip and stay at the starfish house the whole time. It was amazing, watching her float around the foster home, finding ways to help and really working like crazy the whole time we were there. She spent the majority of her time in the isolation room, which is where the new babies stay until Amanda feels they are ready to join the rest of the munchkins. This is not necessarily the easiest place to be (even though we would all love to hold sweet tiny babies all day) because some of the babies require a little more care, some of the babies (cough, cough...Luke...) are harder to get food down and some the babies are more likely to spit up all of their food back on you. Outside the isolation room, time is easily spent playing with the toddlers of the starfish house who are anxious to have some one on one time with anyone who walks by. Inside the isolation room, the time flies by as you get one baby asleep only to have another one (or three) crying or needing a diaper change. Think octuplets with special needs. :) Oh, how quickly you become attached to those sweet little babies!

A couple of weeks before we arrived, Amanda had received a couple batches of babies, making the isolation room nice and full. Over the next week or so I thought I would tell a little about each of the isolation room babies as those are the ones we spent the most time with. I'll start tomorrow with one of my favorites, Coco....for reals this time.

It didn't take Rachel long to decide that she wants to make another trip back to the starfish house. This time, she wants to raise enough money to pay for a few surgeries and her trip. (and, of course, she wants to stay a little longer.) She started off talking about going a few times a year, but I talked her down to a goal of once a year. I think what really fed her passion was seeing the full spectrum of babies, starting with the ones who were coming to the house malnourished and needing care, babies healthy and awaiting their surgeries, babies who had already received their surgeries and the ones who were moving on to their new families. What it really boils down to is that we are both inspired by the amazing things that are going on at the starfish house and the sacrifices that are being made by volunteers all over the world, but especially the sacrifices made by Amanda to make sure that these children get to not only be loved and placed in families, but that they also receive the medical help that they need to get healthy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

China and the whatnot

Well, here we are in China. I have a little (and I mean little) Chris in my lap as I type away. He was brought to the starfish house last week and they aren't quite sure what his story is. He has cleft palette but he also has a lovely little scar. They think the scar is from a mystery surgery that went amiss, leading to his abandonment. He is a tiny guy and didn't gain any weight this last week so I am trying my best to get lots of food in that mini tummy of his. I have a learned more about the comings and goings of the Xi'an-ites but I, in my paranoid little being, am not sure what I can write about while here. All sorts of social issues and of course, I've learned a little more about the orphanages around here. The things I feel more at liberty to talk about? Funny thing, but kids in China love all of the things that kids in America love. Being sung to, being read to, being held and being loved. Surprised? Yeah, not me either. The littles that are newer to Starfish (3 weeks or less) all are in the isolation room where they are extra loved and doted on. We're doing what we love to do: spoiling babies with lots of holding. A particularly interesting case is Coco. She has been here for two weeks and is 2 years old. (and so stinking cute!) When she came, she just laid there, not able to move much at all. She gets daily acupuncture (which she hates) and has since been able to hold her bottle, sit up in a high chair and now she can sit up by herself while playing with toys. Amazing progress for 2 weeks! I can't wait to see some of these babies that we are trying to nourish as they get some chub. We were talking with another volunteer about how quickly we got used to their little cleft lips and other difficulties. These are some wonderful little spirits that inhabit the starfish house and my favorite thing is to see them go from cast offs to treasured children in their adopted homes. How I would love to show their birth moms' pictures of how the babies have exceeded their (the birth moms') expectations. I'll talk more tomorrow about our adventures at the Muslim Market and my close call with a squatty potty.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

off to China we go....

Thursday is the big day. Agh! I can't believe it is here. I finally talked to Lilly about us going to help at the Starfish House and...I am not quite sure what I was thinking leaving my babies behind! Until Becky had cancer, I hadn't been away from my girlies for more than 24 hours. Crazy, I tell you!

BUT we have filled up 4 big ole' suitcases of goodies for those stinking adorable babies and we can't wait to love on them. We ended up with 98 sheets, 77 pillow cases, lots of pj's, onesies (Rachel appliqued 50 of them!) and lots of other baby goods. We've had help from a lot of friends, sewing like crazy to brighten the nursery.

I've had a few people that have been a little bewildered with our field trip to China and why we would go so I thought I would try to explain my most recent parenting experiment. (because so much of it really is an experiment, right?) I have been watching Rachel become a teenager with a little bit of dread in consideration of my teenage years and some of the grief I caused my parents. My memories of my teenage experiences include a lot of selfishness and a whole lot of me, me and me. My parents try to tell me that I wasn't "that" bad, but I remember differently.

So my recent hypothesis was that if my kids could see just how differently some people live, just how much some people really suffer...and if they could learn to love them and think about them more than about me, myself and I...they could maybe avoid some of that perma-selfishness. So that was driving point number one and number two was just that I would like to spend some major one on one time with each of the girls when they are 13.

We have spent the last three and a half months sewing like crazy for the Starfish House. I have watched Rachel change from being concerned about the touristy things we will do to only thinking about those babies. She checks their blog regularly, she can recognize most of them by name and knows their circumstance AND she has spent days and days up in her room sewing on her own. She packed her clothes today and told me she only packed clothes that were baby friendly. I had to remind her that we will be doing a week in Korea where I would like a few nice shirts to make an appearance. The best moment was when she decided (without ANY hinting or pushing) to pay for a surgery. When she found out that she could afford to pay for the whole shebang and that she could pay for Elise's surgery (our 4 year old is Elise, too.), she was jumping up and down with the excitement that might be saved for a new ipod at this age. In fact, she could have bought an ipod touch but she chose to help a baby that lives across the world that she has never met. As you can guess, Elise is pretty excited about helping Elise, too. She wants me to bring her just about all of her special belongings for Elise and she has been working like crazy to fill up her jar, too. She's up to $6 and some odd cents. I love seeing how excited Rachel is to help and serve. Autumn has already started planning her trip to India.

Monday, February 14, 2011

crib sheets for the starfish babies

We've been busy like crazy over here, sewing away. In fact, it has been enough now that every time Lilly sees us sewing, she asks if we are making it for the starfish babies. Why yes we are, Lilly! On of their big needs right now are crib sheets. Between their non-standard sized cribs and the low quality of Chinese fabric/elastic, they really need us to make these for them. They have 50 cribs and right now we have 49 sheets cut out. (35 in the final stages of sewing) I would love to be able to bring over enough for them to actually be able to do laundry here and there, which is why I am putting out this plea for help. Any of you lovely folk out there that want to be part of this worthwhile and downright easy project, let me know! And for those of you that have already asked for instructions, here they are:

There are 3 sizes of cribs, so the amount of fabric will vary from 1 1/2 to 2 yards of fabric per sheet. PLEASE prewash your fabric as we don't want these shrinking once they go through the wash.

1/4" elastic (93", 100", 110")
fabric: flannel or cotton (to simplify their massive nursery, we're asking for solid blue, red, yellow and lime green. if you want a pattern, stick to the ones at Joann's with white dots on them)

*for the fabric, you will need a piece 54, 61 or 65 inches long. This is the size you want it to be after washing, so I always add a few inches when I am getting it cut. I know that 3.25 yds will make me a small and medium sheet. 5.10 yds will make you one of each size.

•And here comes the hard part. (just is super easy.) You cut your fabric to the right length (54, 61, 65) and width (37, 37, 41) to make a big rectangle. Then you cut a 6" square template and fold your rectangle in quarters. (half, then half again) Make sure all of the corners and sides match up before pinning your template on the outside corner and cutting out the corner.

•Now you go to a corner and take both 6" cut edges and serge them together, right sides together. (if you don't have a serger, reinforce with a zigzag stitch.) You're almost done now. :)

•Move on over to the ironing board and you will iron your casing. You start by ironing down 1/4 in hem all around the sheet. Then you fold it over again (1/2 inch this time), ironing it down as you go.

• sew down your casing (I move my needle to the far left for this so I can sew pretty close to the inside edge) and sew all the way around, leaving a 2-3 inch gap for the elastic.

•clip a safety pin on the elastic and put it through the casing, sewing both ends together when you are done.

• sew the casing shut

•fold it. (this is the hardest part, by far. Really, just throw it in an envelope. We're going to make my rather particular husband fold them all.)

thank you, thank you, thank you for helping the starfish house out. I just love what is being done over there. Have you read Silent Tears? Good read. And if you really aren't feeling the sewing thing, we would love to bring over any other goodies you want to share with all of those sweet little babies. We are saving 3 suitcases for them and trying to make it 4.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

what we've been up to over here....

Yes, I am back. At least for tonight, right? So we've been up to the same ole, same ole at the Kang house. You know: homeschooling, sleeping, cleaning up lots of poop (no, I am not a fan of being forced to potty train.)...the norm.

But Rachel and I have been planning a little something that is kind of taking over. We've decided to go on a little (just is VERY big.) adventure this spring and are busy planning away. This started out as a trip to somewhere in this big planet of ours to do some humanitarian service, but it has evolved into a trip to China to help in this wonderful orphanage for 8 days, a quick jaunt over to the Great Wall/the Forbidden City and then a week in Korea. (Because, apparently, we aren't allowed to get that close to Korea without visiting my husband's motherland, as he likes to call it.) We're pretty excited, in an extreme understatement sort of way. We have the plane tickets bought, the hanok reserved in Korea, and some cute luggage purchased. Beyond that, we kind of have a lot more to do.

So...a little about the Starfish House. What an incredible place! St. Amanda, as I like to call her, receives babies from orphanages that need extra medical care. A lot of the time, these babies are malnourished and need her to get them back to normal. After this, she arranged surgeries and what not to get these babies ready for adoption. Many of them have cleft lip or cleft palate, others have heart who was recently adopted had a birth mark on her face. She started with 5 babies, but currently has 45. I, for one, can't wait to go over there and love those littles to death. I've been trying to convince Chris to let me keep one (Please, mommy, can I keep one?) but he isn't convinced yet.