Merry Christmas

familypicChristmasOur Dear family would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

It has been a year filled with ups and down in the Dear family, but one thing we do know is that we have been blessed far more than we deserve.  As we get ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior. I am humbled that our Father in Heaven would do this for me. Why would He choose this way to save His people? He sent His Son to be born in a lowly stable far away from the crowds without any fanfare. A Son that was born to die for me.  It is something that is hard to wrap my brain around. For this,  I am SO thankful.  He loves me more than I can ever love Him back. He deserves more praise and glory than I could ever give Him.

May you experience the wonder of Christ’s love for you. O Come Let Us Adore Him! Our Redeemer has Come!

Dogs of the Market

Every week I’m at the market I am amazed at all the dogs and the occasional pig that come to the farmer’s market. I do not think I have seen any felines come to the market.  There are always a lot of families and their kids that come thru the market. I see them come through with cake pops, popcorn, various pastries (including my sweet rolls), honey sticks, green drink, and the occasional veggie. If you are a people watcher, you would enjoy seeing all the people that come each week.

One thing I have been fascinated with is people and their dogs.  There are big dogs and smalls dogs. There are dogs on leashes or in strollers(really??). Some people hold them as they walk through. There are some cute ones and some not so cute.  Some are dressed up for the day with bows or sweaters.  I always love seeing the English bulldogs come through. The dogs are just fun to watch as well as their owners trying to handle them.  The dogs love to greet the other dogs, and I do feel they may carry on some type of conversation in addition to the traditional sniffing of each other.  You will see the really fancy breeds to your run of the mill mutts. Most of the dogs are cordial to each other, but we have seen a couple not so nice.

So come to the market and pick up a cinnamon roll and check out all the pets that come through, or just bring your own.



These are just a few that came thru this week.

Clothing Options

As many of you know, I have lost a little weight.  While great for my bottom line, not so great on the budget line.  I made it through the summer with some strategic items that I purchased that could carry me into the fall like jeans and some light sweaters.  As I look in my fall/winter closet, there are not many options available to me. I have items in my closet that I had just purchased last year and are not even a year old. All of my jeans that are too big, but I am saving for our service project in December.

Now that I have lost all this weight, there are stores that have been previously unavailable to me. I find myself going into stores that I could not even go into. My hubby is very frightened by this because it has renewed my love for clothes shopping. I am always looking for a great bargain, and I rarely play full price for anything I buy.

While I am rebuilding my wardrobe, I am trying to give my look a fresh update.  I am trying not to buy anything that is grey or black. I am also not getting t-shirts and other items I can just fade or hide in the background in. I have been inspired by a blog that I follow called the Pleated Poppy to get out of the rut of boring clothes and to put  for a little more effort to what I wear.  I am also buying pieces that the girls can potentially borrow or things I can mix and match with other items.

One item I have been wanting, but has just not been in the budget is a lace extender tank.  I look at them in stores, but I just can’t justify paying that price for one.  So with my sewing abilities in hand, I found a tank on clearance and purchased(with a coupon) some cute lace from the fabric store and made my own. No sewing machine was even needed. I am planning on making some more in other colors and for my girls.  I am even planning on repurposing some of my too big for me tees into new shirts with the lace extensions. I hope to make one for some skirts we have as well. I love these extenders because they add a feminine touch to my clothing and some added length that is always good.

This weekend I found the best store called Altar’d State. While many items I would love are out of my budget, I would definitely shop the sale rack. There is a chance I would pay full price if it is some something special. I had seen this store before, but never ventured in because of my previous size.  This time I decided to go in and give it a shot.  I LOVE THIS STORE!!! Not only do they have cute feminine clothes, but they are also a Christian store.  Part of their proceeds go to missions, and they fully fund their employees to do volunteer work in the community.  What is not to love about that! They also have jewelry, shoes, cute purses, and artwork/home decor in their store.  And like Hobby Lobby, they play Christian music in the store.  This is a store I can get behind and support.  It was like a breath of fresh air when I went into the store.


this is the tank I made with the lace extension – so easy.


trying to take a full length shot with my cell phone. My top is new but I paired it with a skirt a raided from my daughters closet.  (top – elder-beerman/ tank – kohls/ skirt – old navy/ boots – justfab/ necklace – jcpenney)


Hello there…

I know I have been a little absent around here, but I just have not been able to think of what to write about.  We have not done anything too exciting. Here is a quick list of what has been going on with us.

1. high school band concert  – It was Emily’s first concert with Granville High School. They did an awesome job, and we are looking forward to the next one.

2. last week of this session for the little one’s swimming lessons.

3. hematology appointment for the little one – standard appointment with nothing new to report. numbers are good.

4. pain clinic for Hannah – not too encouraging but I did make her happy with a strawberry & creme frappuccino.

5. Friday night fun with the little one – they big girls were at teen night and we took the little one out for dinner and games.  we tried a new food for us – guacamole. i know, we really liked it.

6. Emily and I were back at the farmer’s market. She had been off because of various commitments and I took off for the little one’s birthday.  We had a good week. Emily learned that granola sells quick at the market.

7. Hannah was inducted into the National Honor’s Society. She was not sure if she would make, but she was very excited that she did.


I picked up these shoes for a steal this week. They remind me of shoes my dad use to where when I was a kid. It was a sweet memory.


Emily in her dress she was so excited to wear at her band concert.




The last time we were at Children’s for a treatment, the social worker mentioned to me about Team Impact. She wanted to know if she could nominate Rae for the program.  Team Impact matches children with terminal or chronic conditions with college teams in a sport they love or wish they could play.  I didn’t know if we would get accepted or even be matched.

A fews weeks ago the organization called me to get more info on Rae and what she likes and enjoys doing.  I was not sure if they would find a college that would want to partner with them.  A little over a week ago they called me and told me that the Denison women’s tennis team would love to have Rae as a “member” of their team and to partner with Team Impact.  We were excited since we already knew a member of the team.

I am not sure if all the publicity stuff is done, but we did go watch the team’s first home match last week and cheer the BigRed on to a victory.  Rae got to meet the coach and several of the team members.  The girls gave Rae a couple of t-shirts as well.  They are looking forward to getting to know Rae thru different things. She is also looking forward to being on the court with them and hitting a few balls.

Thank you Team Impact for what you do to help kids get their minds off of their illness.



Happy Birthday Little One

It is hard to believe that the little one is now in double digits. It was just yesterday that we were waiting to travel to China to get her.  She has come so far in the last 4 years of new experiences. Birthdays have been one of them.  We do not believe she has even known what a birthday was before she was in our family.  Her first one with us was a little hard to explain, but here we are almost 4 years later, and she has fully embraced what it is.  She knows when all of our birthdays are, and she especially looks forward to planning hers out.

This year was a big one – turning 10.  She planned out what all she wanted to do for her birthday. She wanted waffles with fruit, her and her sisters to put on a My Little Pony show, cake pops, dumplings and spicy noodles. Her birthday was originally on a crazy busy day, but thanks to the Lord and some bad weather – we were able to make it all work out.  We had a day of celebrating her. It was fun watching her truly embrace her birthday and enjoy unwrapping her presents.


enjoying her pink cake pops


the weekend kicked off picking Asian pears @ Lynd Fruit Farm


getting some new friends from Build-a-Bear


Invisible Illness Week


You may wonder – what is Invisible Illness Week? Why? I have never heard of it before now either.  An invisible illness is a variety of different illnesses that someone may suffer from on the inside (epilepsy, fibromyalgia, Chron’s, lupus, etc) but on the outside they look perfectly healthy.  Hannah is one of those people.  She suffers from undiagnosed chronic pain.  She has been to multiple doctors, and been thru multiple tests only to find nothing wrong.  She just lives with the pain. There is not a day that she does not have pain. It is very frustrating for her.  Her pain can go from her abdomen to her elbows, wrists, or ankles.

Due to all of this she thought she was not going to be able to play tennis this year or do much of anything else.  We talked with a neurologists and she told us that since there is no injury she should do her best to play thru the pain.  Her brain is just sending signals to something that is not there.

So, for this week Hannah decided to bring awareness on her social media and to the local high school. We became aware of this on her instagram account when we saw this –

I was really nervous about posting this, but it matters a lot to me. Some of you may know that for the past year I have suffered from chronic pain in my abdomen and joints. It has been rough not knowing what is going on and trying out treatments that don’t work. What I have is known as an invisible illness because it is not immediately noticeable to those around me. Having an invisible illness can be incredibly isolating because it feels as if you are the only one who suffers from one. However, I have recently discovered that I am not alone in this struggle. This is my picture for the #sufferingthesilence campaign where we write our illness on our arms and cover our mouths to depict silence. But we will not be silent about it any longer.

Our hearts just break because that someone at her age is having to deal with this.  The doctors are not sure if the pain will ever go away.


her set-up


her signs for students and teachers to hold up




Hannah taking pictures at the school of students holding her sign to bring awareness to invisible illnesses.



Quick Health Update

I thought I would give you a quick update on the little one’s and Hannah’s health.

At the beginning of the summer the little one started on a new medication called Sirolimus to see if we could prolong the time between IVIG treatments and hopefully eliminate them.  When I talked to the nurse they told us that they were getting good results with this medicine. We were nervous about trying something new, but we knew she was ready for a break from all the sticks and hospital stays. So far it seems to be working.  She is not needing weekly finger sticks unless we think there is a need for it. We do know she is not a therapeutic level yet, but she is on her way. We go back in a week to check to see how it is working.

Her seizures are still pretty much under control as well.  She has had 2 episodes since we have gotten back from our trip. We think they happened mostly due to her growing up. Sadly, because of this they had to increase her medication. She is such a trooper with all the medication she is having to take.

Hannah is doing ok as well.  It has been a year since we started on the journey to figure out what is going on with pain issues.  A year later, we still do not know.  She works through her pain daily.  She has played through it during her tennis matches. She is also still going to the pain clinic at Children’s. She has good days and really bad days. We pray that God will miraculously intervene and take her pain away. We are not sure why he has chosen her to go through it, but we do hope God will use it in some way. She is doing her best staying active and not letting the pain take over her life.


Weekend Wrap-up

Thank you to all who have left comments on our Facebook page over the last couple of days.  It is easier to see them if you can comment here on the blog.  Hubby gets to see them before I do since his computer is the only access to our Facebook account I have.

We have been going in multiple directions over the last few days.  Thursday was the last match of the tennis season as well as senior night.  Hannah did a great job of getting it all organized, and the parent appreciated all they did for the seniors to have a fun night.   It has hard to believe the regular season is over. The next time all of the girls get together, Hannah will be a senior on the team.  All the girls did a great job this year, and best of luck for those headed to districts.

Friday, I was busy in the morning getting cinnamon rolls ready for the market, and then we finished getting the house ready for teen night.  We were excited to be hosting Bunco this month. There were about 32 people at our home Friday night.  Everyone had a great time hanging out and ringing the cowbell.  Hubby managed not to have to ring it.


the Cowbell!

Saturday was a fun day for hubby and I. Someone gifted up tickets to the OSU game that afternoon.  I had the girls take over for me toward the end of the market so we could head over to Columbus.  We were not able to get there in time for the skull session, but we did walk around and see some of the tailgaters.  We had great seats for the game, and enjoyed watching the pregame festivities.  The game was fun, but we did prefer wanting to watch a game at either Miss. State or Auburn. Oh and by the way – HAIL STATE!! We did not watch the game because we didn’t want to ruin our fun day together.

Yesterday after our worship service I came home and did a little laundry catch-up.  I had gotten a little behind, and someone needed some clothing for some reason.  We did enjoy the afternoon, and hubby and I were excited to have a little more time to enjoy another date night.


love hanging with hubby on our date afternoon


view from our seats at the game

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Did you do anything fun?


On a Lighter Note

I have been wanting to do a little upgrading to my little booth at the farmer’s market. The sign I did in the beginning, I whipped up on my computer. It’s ok. It got the job done.

When a friend of ours son got married, I found out his lovely new wife creates beautiful chalkboard signs and other beautiful lettered signs. I follow her on Instagram and she had an opening for new artwork. I jumped at the chance for her to make me a new sign.

She created me a new logo sign and redid my menu sign. I picked them up this week and I am absolutely in love with them. You can come by the market Saturday and see them in person. I will have pumpkin sweet rolls this week.


You can check out Jenn’s work on Facebook and Instagram. It is all absolutely beautiful.