Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a gift from my husband

Matt shared this quote with me a few weeks ago and I keep reading it over and over. It's worth sharing...

“What I need first of all is not exhortation, but a gospel, not directions for saving myself but knowledge of how God has saved me. Have you any good news? That is the question that I ask of you. I know your exhortations will not help me. But if anything has been done to save me, will you not tell me the facts?”.

- Gresham Machen, Christian Faith in the Modern World

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Ever end up disappointed with a movie you rented? Even a loser from the Redbox can be a bummer for me, and that's only a dollar wasted. Ultimate two biggest let downs: Jaws 4 and The Last Song (I am NOT a Miley Cyrus fan but Nicholas Sparks usually tells a decent story).

Tonight I saw a true WINNER movie: Temple Grandin.

First off, the acting is incredible. Good ol' Claire Danes from My So Called Life is simply amazing! The supporting cast is impressive as well. This film is interesting, thought-provoking, funny, sad, curious, and inspiring. I can't think of anything offensive in this film unless bull testicles on a windshield bother you...

Since Allyson was responsible for the pathetic choice and viewing of Jaws 4, I'd like to mention that Temple Grandin was her pick. She has certainly redeemed herself with this one!

Check out the trailer and then rent it via netflix.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Call

If you haven't taken the time to read or listen to John Piper's, "The Prodigal's Sister" then you are missin' out.

Here's his final prayer of the imaginative retelling of the parable of the prodigal son.
And now, O Christ, let there be light
So we can see the way aright
Between two dismal forms of death,
And with that light, O give us breath
To live again, and bring us back
From pleasures in a foreign shack,
Or from the pride of weary arm,
While working on the Father's farm.
From demon sloth and pleasures raw,
Or demon toil and pride of law.
The pathway home from either place
Is opened by the word of grace.
O Christ, pursue us till we see
That all of God's bequests are free.
The ticket that we have to show
Is this: that we are glad to go

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Favorite Things

So Oprah gave away cruises to her entire audience on day one of her Favorite Things.

On day two, she gave everyone in her audience a brand new 2012 VW beetle.

OK, so I DO wish I was in the audience on day two.


We got some pretty amazing news which translates into a HUGE GIFT for our entire family.

On Wednesday, December 15th at 9:00am we are going to officially adopt David Josiah and Jayda Hope!

Beat that Oprah! ;-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

mom jeans - a classic

mama said there'll be days like this...

...there'll be days like this, my mama said (mama said, mama said)!

Come on, sing along with me, don't be shy.

These are the facts about the day that Mama said I'd have:

The day: Thursday
Significance: Co-Op
Required time to leave home: 8:20 a.m.
Required time to get everyone up in order to leave on time: 7:20 a.m.
The only day of the week that every child decides to sleep in: Thursday
Extra details: Matt is away at conference; flying solo on crazy morning

I woke up at 7:15, got a quick shower in our quiet home, because like the facts state, it's the only day everyone sleeps in. Go figure. Got dressed and by 7:35 the little kids (3 1/2 and 2 1/2) were getting up. Big boy and Big girl moved quick. They understand time and knew we were running late. Baby girl jumped up with more energy than Tony Robbins. Little boy was a little slower. Actually, much slower. With curls sticking up and sleep in his big brown eyes, he shuffled (sort of like Matt's sick shuffle) to the bathroom. He's been potty trained for some time now with only a handful of accidents and we're so happy about that. All should have gone well on this rushy-rush Thursday morning.

But all did not go well.

Not for little boy and not for me.

Little boy adjusted his sleepy self on the potty and somehow dozed off mentally right before liquid substances began squirting from his body. Of course this is meant to happen and is normal, but let's just say that the positioning of his firing weapon was a bit off.

That's when I heard the screaming/crying.

Leaving gusto-filled baby girl downstairs, I ran back upstairs to find baby boy in a most unhappy state. I also found a puddle of pee on the floor and on the carpet. OK - a misfire. It happens. It's not fun, I have to take the time to clean it up, but it's not the end of the world. Mama did say there'd be days like this.

The drama is far from over though.

Little boy is still unhappy.

That's when I notice that part of his hair is wet. Not sure why but I have a sneaky suspicion. The second I ask him why his hair is wet, the crying gets louder and louder.

I do what any curious mother would do. I bend down to sniff his hair, only to prove my suspicions are accurate. There is definitely pee in my little boy's disheveled curls. Why did this happen and more importantly, how did this happen?

I ask.

And ask.

And ask again.

The crying went on and on and on.

Through tears and sobs and a bit of fear, here's the answer I got:

"Mommy....the squirter came out and I couldn't stop it from going everywhere so I put my hand in front of it and then wiped it on my head."

Operation Wash-Half-of-your-child's-head because there is pee in it -before-CoOp was in full swing!

Amazingly, we did manage to get to Co-Op on time.


I forgot the power cord for my MacBook so I couldn't do what I intended to do for my art classes. Bummer.

And, to top things off, I attempted to heat up a cup of oatmeal for breakfast, before helping out with another class. The oatmeal exploded in the microwave, creating a disgusting mess and leaving me with exactly three spoonfulls to eat. That's what you call a double bummer.

Mama says not to worry though...just listen!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

takin' it all in

When my little fam' made the decision to be a foster family in April 2008, we never expected to be where we are now. I didn't at least. Matt always had a sense that we would end up adopting our first placements. Not so with me.

In May of 2008, two little munchkins joined our family. They are still with us, after 2 1/2 years. Looks like we're going to adopt them. This was God's plan from the very beginning, and I am still in awe of the many twists and turns we've taken on this road of fostering to adoption.

Adopting via foster care is almost always an "open adoption". Having only adopted internationally, this is new to me and I am takin' it all in. I want to learn all that I can about what is best for the child(ren) regarding appropriate contact with their birth families. There is a way to walk this out that will bring glory to Jesus and that is what I am after; not what is easiest on us, what others we respect may think we should do, or even what seems to makes sense. These books are a tool and only a tool.

I'm pretty sure that the road ahead will have all new twists and turns for our family.

But isn't that true for all of us?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Congratulations to our dear friend, KATHY SZELIGA, on her sweet victory!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

i can vote

I can vote and it brings me tears.

Every time. Every election since I can remember.

I miss my early voting days when I snuck behind a thick curtain like the Oz in Wizard of Oz. I can still picture my ballot, holes punched out indicating my choice for the various offices. It was a private and unique experience.

Now it seems less special as you stroll up to a barely even semi-private desk with a computer touch screen. I feel like the whole world is watching what I do, not that it makes a difference, but still.

This year, since my older children are both under 13, they joined me on each side, creating a bit more privacy. I wish I would've brought a big blanket with me; they could've each held a side to give me that closed in curtain feel, like the good ol' days.

Anyway, with all the changes, one thing still remains the same for me.

I cry when I vote. My husband laughs at me for this. But seriously, when I stand at the voting booth, two things come to mind and these two things lead me to tears:

1- I see the faces of those in other countries who are not allowed to vote. They literally flash before me. They are the faces of women.

2- I ask, why me? Why was I born in this country with these rights? Why am I so fortunate in this way? I thank God for the privilege and it makes me cry.

I love putting the little "I Voted" sticker on my jacket. I love walking out of my local high school having casted my vote. I love my freedom, although I rarely think about it or thank God for it.

But I did today, because of this election.


This year, in addition to sending our nerd, pirate and little tiger out to collect huge amounts of candy, we decided to do a little something to bless our neighbors. After all, Halloween is the only holiday where people you don't know actually come to your door and talk to you!

Thankfully, our "condo-home owners" joined us since they don't typically get trick or treaters. We could not have pulled this off without their help! Robin and Becky made delicious homemade cookies that turned out to be a hit and Allyson made huge crockpots full of creamy hot chocolate and wonderfully spiced hot cider. My son Stephen set up a long folding table at the end of our lawn and we set up shop. Matt and Stephen plugged in some strobe lights so our house was lit up and could be seen on the other side of the court!

We prayed just minutes before people started arriving at our home and it was so exciting to see how the night unfolded. As adults arrived to our home with their child(ren), Becky would joyfully greet them with "Happy Halloween! We have treats for the children at the front door and we have treats for the adults here." People seemed to really love and appreciate the thought. At one point in the evening as I was returning to our house after taking Abbie and D to another part of our neighborhood, I could see that there were a few people at our table. As I got closer and closer, I started laughing because Becky and Stephen were mobbed with teenage boys who were loving the hot chocolate and cookies!

All in all, it was a perfect night! We hope and pray that this act of hospitality opens the door for us to share about our wonderful Savior as we interact with our neighbors throughout the year.

Here are some photographs of our night.

Monday, November 1, 2010

nyc, again, in 2010

The tradition lives on! My sister and I took the Megabus with our oldest two children - the "tweens" as we call them - to NYC for our annual trip.

We had absolutely perfect fall weather: crisp enough to wear a jacket or sweatshirt, warm enough to not have to wear a bulky winter coat. The sun was shining and the air was cool.

Here are some photographs that capture our time.

I call this one: waiting for the subway, hoping to see a rat! The Uggs and Converse capture their their personalities and style without ever seeing their faces...

What's a trip to the American Museum of Natural History without meeting up with Rex?

Me want gum gum you dumb dumb...

The Pond at Bryant Park is simply magical, even for the Chinese boy that we kept seeing fall on his face. Poor kid!

Would it even be feasible to visit NYC without stopping in to visit our favorite toys at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue? I must admit, the store was super cool from the outside. I know what Stephen is thinking, "Is it really this thin?"

My son, after he bought something from a street vendor. I love that he loves NYC as much as I do. :-)

And my favorite picture of the day? It has nothing to do with our personal time there, but it still remains my favorite: