Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Six-word Wednesday



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two More Days!

Only TWO more days until Happy Birthday Jesus!!!! Abby is SOOO very excited. But, not for Santa. Nope, not for presents. And no, not even for yummy holiday food. She's pumped because she gets "Happy Birthday Jesus cake." She has been asking for His cake for days now!

I'm just giddy. For the first time since childhood, I have that twinkling, fluttery feeling inside. Every Christmas is special. Last year was super special because it was with my girls for the first time. But this year is different. Abby and Laney get it. They get the idea behind it. Yeah, yeah, Santa and all that jazz...but Jesus' story too. At least they get it at a two (soon-to-be-three) year old level. It has been such fun!

Next year might be downright perfect though, when some family that is out of town returns. We'll all be together and we will all be TOTALLY be pumped. :) We miss them terribly.

Don't forget to celebrate Jesus' birthday. This holiday is, afterall, all about Him! Hug your family tight and thank Jesus for them. And don't forget to pray for those who have nothing to celebrate. They might not have family (nearby) or the money to celebrate. Or they might not know the love of our God (yet). Pray for those kiddos who won't let themselves get excited because they are expecting disappointment. Pray for those kiddos who do not have families to call their own. Especially for those kiddos. Christmas is just another day on the calendar for them. Nothing special. Please pray for them. Thank you for being faithful!

OK, ok, I'm super emotional right now, can you tell??? We'll post again after our fun celebrations. I just wanted to take a minute to pop on here and with you the merriest of Christmases!



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful that one of my kiddos has had this flu/virus thingy. OK, not exactly THANKFUL, but glad I got to be the one to take care of her.

Laney started out Tuesday night not eating dinner. Um, hello? Something has to be wrong, my Mama's intuition told me. Then, Tony pulled her on his lap whereupon her lunch made it's first reappearance. Mama's intuition kept going off saying, "Nope, this isn't the last we've seen of beef and noodles." Heheh. She got sick a few more times that evening, but then was just sluggish.

The reason I'm thankful is because Laney is our little independent one. From day one, she's kind of kept us at arm's length. Now mind you, she's randomly told us a thousand times that she loves us and hugs all over us, etc. She even told me she really missed me after spending their first night at Mimi's house. Just what a Mama wants to hear! But when she is sick or stubborn, she seems kind of aloof. (My mom says she has an old soul that can see right through you...I agree!) Well, on Tuesday night, after the third clothing change, she crawled up in my lap to snuggle. It was downright lovely. We watched Charlie Brown and just enjoyed each other.

Fortunately, we had a snow, or rather ice day, on Wednesday so I got to stay home with both cuties all day. It was great. They were both in good moods and we played and played. When they asked if they had to go to the sitter and I said no, Abby said, "We stay here with you, Mama?" and I said yes. Laney said, "That makes me happy." Awwww, melt this mother's heart! Heheh, then Abby added, "It makes me happy too!!!!" Not to be left out!

Now, I'm NOT so thankful that now Tony has this same bug. He was sick all night last night so it was all me getting the girls ready to go to the sitter today. We have five minutes till we absolutely had to be out the door and Laney started complaining about her tummy again. After many tears and no evidence of her tummy hurting, this Mama had to go to work. My mother-in-law (a.k.a. savior today) came and took over for a bit before heading to work. I feel bad...maybe Laney just wanted to stay home together again. I wish I could have. I was a bit snappy with her because of the time and situation. Looking back, she was probably just trying to get us to stay home. Bummer. I wish I could have.

Only one more day girls. Mama has only one more day at school then TWO WEEKS we get to spend together!

I'm excited. I miss them when I'm not with them. NOT that they don't drive me nuts, but that's their job right? To just be two smart, beautiful, ornery kids. Oh Father in heaven, I am SO thankful for them.

Finally, I'm thankful I'm from a family and set of friends that pray for us. Please pray that Tony gets well (he went to work late b/c he had MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR meetings today he had to be at...ugh) and that Abby and I avoid this bug. I see a major Lysol coating coming!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gonna Get Real

I'm tired of some people thinking I'm just another person with a "passion" that they'll humor listening to for a while. I'm tired of some people thinking that yes, my girls were orphans at one point, but that now they're not so we should move on. I'm tired of some people thinking that this orphan business doesn't affect their lives, so why should it matter? I'm tired of some people thinking I'll get bored with this and move on to something else. I'm tired of some people thinking they'd rather donate money to buy a child locally a toy, instead of donating blankets in Russia, or a heart surgery to save a life. Who said it was an either/or question? Why not do both? A child is a child. They all need us.

And bigger than that, we need them. We need them to know the love of God. A God so huge he cares enough orchestrate events to help us with employment. A God so huge he cares enough to pave the way for for a future surgeon to help heal an ailing loved one. A God huge enough to unite families that lived on two separate continents and several oceans apart. This is MY God. This is YOUR God. Aren't we blessed?

I'm SO blessed that I try do what God says. I try to be a good child. Am I perfect? No. Do I stumble? Yes. Fortunately my God loves me unconditionally and picks me up each time. He knows I try. One way I try is by following his instructions. James 1:27 says, Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. I can do that. I can't do much, but I CAN look after orphans. It doesn't mean adopt every child (though I would if He told me to!), it just means be faithful by them. As a friend of mine Linny typed, "Till my last breath" I want to know I have done all I can for those children that are the face of MY children.

I'm tired of a lot...but I'm thankful for a lot too. I'm thankful for the beatiful family God raised me in and blessed me with. I am thankful for the Godly man I am married to. I'm thankful for his Godly family as well. I'm thankful for my perfect children that not only God created in His image, but that He loaned them to me! I'm thankful for a loving and supportive family who understands the needs out there and are willing to follow me (or my blog) to the ends of the earth while I try to do what I can. I'm thankful for friends who listen to my endless hopes, dreams, and wishes and challenge me to try. I am just so stinkin' thankful.

Regarding God's's hard to wrap our minds around that ridiculous number of 143,000,000 orphans that there are worldwide. Here's a YouTube video to watch to help us get a handle on it. It's time my friends, to get real.


Monday, December 08, 2008


Baby steps. That's how my girls work. Baby steps.

Last year, we had been a family for a mere month and we thought we knew it all. We hadn't planned on forcing the girls to meet Santa last year but thought, well, it might be worth a try. We dressed the girls all cute-like (red and green and all that jazz) and headed to the mall. Lo and behold, the big guy was there. He sat upon his velvet throne so mighty and cheerful. We thought, yeah, we can do this. I mean, there wasn't one screaming and crying kid in a two mile radius! He had NO ONE in line! It was surely meant to be!

OK, so we stepped closer, and closer, and closer. One step too far and Laney violently shook her head no. I'm pretty sure the little voice in her head was shouting in Mandarin, "BOO YAH!" (This is the phrase our guide in Ch*na told us to say to get the vendors to take us seriously and leave us alone) Ok, ok, so we didn't push our luck. Santa was nice enough to come over to the little fence and give our girls high fives. They were cool with that. Santa was long as he is inside that fence. (Kinda like we view tigers)

Fast forward to this year. This has been the best Christmas ever! (If you don't count the year I got my 10-speed bike). The girls have been such fun. They GET it! They understand the concept of Santa, the reindeer, the presents, etc. Well, as much as a near three year old can understand.

So this year, we have been building it up. We started talking early on about sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what you want. Sweet Abby just kept saying, "No, I can't like Santa!" She meant that she doesn't like Santa. No chance her cute little hiney was touchin' his soft red pants. Laney just sat the fence. One time she said she'd be brave and sit there, and another time she'd say "NO WAY" (The 2008 verson of Boo Yah)

Well, we got up bright and early on Saturday morning and got the girls ready in their red and green gear. They opted for lunch first, but I think they were stalling. So we ate and then headed to the mall. Third in line!!! Can you believe our luck? Santa just got back from lunch (carrying a slurpee nonetheless) so we were early in the "we're skipping our nap for this" frenzy. Life was good. The girls were good. They thought Santa looked neat. Awesome!

One family done. Only one more between us and Santa. (Holy cow I'm channeling Ralphie on Christmas Story) Well, we stepped up to the same metal fence from the year before and anticipation built. I was settling last minute picture package details (I KNOW--20 bucks for WHAT? Memories? Oh, yeah. I forgot) when all of a sudden an adorable little child started to cry somewhere. What? That's MY adorable little child? My brave little Laney started sobbing at my feet. No time for tears sister! We're NEXT! Dry it up! :)

We trucked past that little gate with two girls crying and saying, "NO SANTA!" Thank the Lord Santa was as sweet and patient as the stories make him out to be. He immediately pulled out two coloring books and talked so sweetly. The girls immediately calmed down. While a line of tired parents and impatient children began to grow, we tried to convince the girls to sit on this nice stranger's lap. The young perky photo girls immediatly piped up and said they had some stools the girls could sit on so they coulld be "near" Santa without sitting on his lap. We all happily agreed.

This, my friends is our best shot.

So, we're making strides. Last year, high fives outside the fence. This year, inside the fence and on stools near Santa. Who knows, maybe by next year the girls will text Santa while sitting right there on his lap!

Memories, my family, memories. I wouldn't trade one second of that experience!


Friday, December 05, 2008

Yay God!

Ok, a great new blogger friend Linny (and her family) just got approval to bring their two newest cuties home from Uganda!!!!!!! YAY GOD! You will SO want to check out their story! They are living, breathing testimonies of God's word!

You'll be home soon Elisabeth and Elijah!

Ok friends and you think Laney and Abby are ready for a sister or brother? How about from Africa? (Yes, I just gave Tony another gray hair!)