Monthly Archives: April 2015

Happy, happy day!

My Guatemalan princess is 10 years old today. How is that possible? She opened her present before I got home from work (gift wrapped on the dining room table). She had the PC lap top up and running before I even got home! She asked for Chinese take out and a cookies and cream cake to celebrate…..


So happy to call this special lady my daughter today!


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my amazing Samantha

Aidan recently attended his first Bat Mitzvah. His friend asked for people to make a donation to a charity close to her heart in lieu of gifts. As we were reflecting on what a lucky family we are and have all that we could ever need (an important place for me to get to with all of my recent stress over our budget, etc), I mentioned this to Samantha since she has a birthday coming up soon. She is getting a lap top from us, and her grandparents will get her tons of clothes and fun gifts, so I suggested that she consider a charity for her friend party. She will have about 12 girls over, most spend around $25 for a birthday gift. That money could go a long way if donated to a charity. I did not push the issue, though because I wanted it to be her decision.

This morning she came downstairs and said she had a dream about a girl in Guatemala who did not have a home and was not able to go to school and that she wanted her birthday gifts to go to From Houses to Homes. Wow!
We learned about this organization when we were planning our spring break trip to Guatemala last year. One of the local charter schools goes each year with high school students to build a house for a family. This knowledge was super important when we were on our trip and Samantha asked what the small buildings were along the side of the road as we traveled to Lake Atitlan. In Guatemala, many call this a house.

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And, as we strolled around the town next to the lake, Samantha innocently asked if the children there were on spring break like her. It broke my heart to tell her no that these children did not go to school. That night back at our rental house in Antigua, she asked me the hard question that I knew was coming…would that have been her if we had not adopted her? I had to say probably so. Through tears that night we decided that one day we would come back and build a house for a family (and the children of those families get to go to the FHTH school).

So I was not surprised at all when she chose From Houses to Homes as her birthday charity. I would also not be surprised if one day she heads to Guatemala to give back in an even bigger way. She has an amazing heart.

If others want to make a birthday donation in Samantha’s honor, click here. Be sure to note it is in Samantha’s honor that you are donating. She wants to see what kind of impact she can make with this wish.

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a few updates

Wow, what a busy week. First, the best news of all….I secured funding for 2 scholarships for the Girls TALK program at Glenwood Elementary. For more on this amazing news, click here.

The irises are my favorite flower. I get one each Mother’s Day to add to my special mom garden. My first bloom arrived this week.


And, a bathroom renovation update: almost DONE! Cannot wait to take a long, hot, relaxing bath in this new fancy tub!


We have a mama robin nesting in the tree off of our deck. I love that she is so protective!

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This weekend, as most are, has been busy, busy, busy. Tae Kwon Do, dance, soccer, and the Carolina Friend’s School 50th anniversary celebration.

Life is good!


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Vinca minor…. I do love these purple blooms but I will be fighting its invasiveness later in the summer.


Azaleas…on Wild Azalea Lane.


Our first time growing brussel sprouts. We know they are slow growers, but we do love to eat them so waiting should be worth it!


Someone relaxing after work 😉


Buffy, one of the chickens.


And how Smooch helps in the garden…sigh.


Oh, how I do love spring!


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ukulele and guitar recital

What fun to watch the kiddos at the recital today. Samantha played Blue Moon, Aidan and Sam Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix. Here are some pics and videos. Enjoy!

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heading into summer….when it rains it pours!

Only one more month of work for me. I like having summers off, but this year not having summer income is feeling very stressful. You know that saying, when it rains it pours? Well that is happening right now with our family budget. First, our power bill has been double what it is normally for the past 3 months. At first I wrote it off as just a cold winter. But when we came back from spring break, I knew it was more than that. We need a new compressor (have been using only electric heat during the winter) to the tune of $1500. The pool heat pump has an alarm message, we have the expenses of our bathroom renovation, taxes are due, as well as tuition for the kids’ school. UGH!!!!

So back to looking for part time work that I can do along with Girls TALK. Double UGH.

My Father in Law tried to teach me about options trading last fall, so I might look into that. But to make money, you have to have money and take risks. Makes me a bit nervous.

Having said all of this, we did get some news that made us go “whew!” this week. Our dream house in Carrboro is back on the market. Apparently the buyers backed out 2.5 months into the deal. The new listing had an even lower selling price with the statement “all repairs have been made.” So as stressful as all of this is right now, we could have been in a situation where we bought that house (out of our price range) and needed to do repairs while selling our house. Talk about financial stress!

And, I know in my heart we will make it work for the kiddos to go to Carolina Friends until college. Aidan had an overnight advisee outing Thursday night. To hear him talk about all the fun and all that they learned with a friend from his group last when we picked them up makes it all worth it. Both kids are getting an amazing educational experience that will help shape them into amazing grown ups. There is no price tag that you can put on that.

So for now I will practice what I teach the Girls TALK girls….deep breathing when your worries get big, find an outlet to help process feelings (for me, writing) and trust that things will be ok. Ready, set….here I go.


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Tuesday happenings

Today was a big day for Aidan. He got his braces off! The folks at the orthodontist are so nice. They sing, make a really big deal about it, oh and give the recipient a cup full of all the prohibited candy he was not allowed to eat for a full year. Aidan also got lots of congrats at school 🙂

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Next up….Rahul forwarded me an email with a link to pics from the Get Your Rear In Gear race we did for Duke GI Team Butts and Guts. Here is the a pic of the moment Samantha asked for a walk break then took off for the finish trying to beat me. Haha. Great pic!

Race pic

Just another day in the Shimpi family. Now for me….I need to get some planning done before bedtime!



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