Friday, May 30, 2008

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Rebecca is saying adios to the public blogging community because she is joining the Ice, wait, that is Scott. She gives the actual reasons for her decision HERE.

So much of what she says has been quite heavy on my heart lately, but she said it so eloquently that I'll let you read her words instead. I'll just share the quick comment I left on her blog:

Oh, look, my BBFF wrote exactly what I have been thinking!! This has been heavy on my heart especially since being reconnected with my friend in Mexico. So much of what we do give is out of our insane abundance...perfectly good stuff that we just don't want anymore...or we give it away because we want something new. We really know very little about sacrificial love and sacrificial giving. Why not keep our old coat and buy a brand new one...a NICE brand new one...for someone else? Why not use our vacation money to pay for another person's vacation...someone who cannot afford to "get away"? We tend to feel OK giving for other people's basic necessities...but what about lavishing them with luxury...just as we have been lavished? Great post...I'll miss your blogs...and I hope to get an invite to your private one! LOVE YA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday Fun

Thought I better post some photos before my mom begins to riot! We went to feed some nearby horses today (although we made sure to leave some carrots for our beloved Xena). Then we hit a roadside drink stand for refreshment...and a lei for Matthew! Despite the fact that he is not smiling in any of the photos, I think he had a good time!

OOOPs...this first pic is out of order....

M is 16 months old now and continues to amaze me with his observant nature and memory. He seems to know his basic shapes...when he is interested in that topic, of course! He received a car that goes up and down....yeah, like a low rider...and the first time he saw it move, he picked it up and turned it over to see where the batteries were. He makes connections we were playing with his block shapes and I asked "what shape do you see?" which is a line from one of his books, and he immediately went to find that book.
He is still not saying any words and while I am not worried, I feel bad because I can see him becoming more easily frustrated due to not communicating...which I know is common. We started out teaching signs when he was really little, but he hasn't seemed too interested in them. For example, he knows the sign for "more" and will sign it if we bring it up, but is arely proactive in using it.
He seems to be keeping up his growing and still towers over other kids. This morning at the train station we met a 2 year old who was pretty much the same size as M. We don't have his next check-up till June or July, so I will be interested in seeing where he is on the height chart.
He continues to passionately dislike having his diaper changed and waiting for his food.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

can't think of a title

Can you believe I went a day without posting??? Well, for very good reason! Yesterday I had some great fun taking photos of great friends! I had a blast and the photos turned out well...mostly because these people are gorgeous inside and out...through and to bottom! I think I took close to 400 pics, so I'll share them at a later date.


I took M to the doctor because we still have the junk. He was tested for strep which was, thankfully, negative. But the funny thing is this...we took along M's play doctor set and, when the nurse brought us into the room I casually mentioned that M might try to give her a shot. Well, we talked a bit more and she left...and then M threw a FIT crying and pointing to the door. I finally figured out that when I said he might give her a shot, he thought that meant he was going to be able to give her a shot! So when she came back in, I explained, she obliged, and M gave her a perfect shot on her arm! She was very impressed and said he has a good future in the medical field. I told her he would probably follow in his dad's footsteps in a career with the Ice Capades.


Gotta go...hope everyone is having a GREAT week. We are blessed beyond belief here...HOORAY GOD!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More photos from Memorial Day

More pics from Memorial Day taken by the fabulous Kari on a NIKON D80. I threw them through Photoshop Express but only used cropping and white balance tools...although I see my WB may be on the yellow side now that I have them posted. If you want to see them in a larger format click HERE and choose the Memorial Day album

Kari graciously let me try out the Nikon...and I snagged this photo of the gorgeous Lis.

We had a great time at the Marbury's! Matthew played in the water, played in the sand, hit the ball with the bat, did somersaults in the grass, kissed Seth, and ate his weight in watermelon!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Quick post

We went to Seth's house for Memorial Day. I'll post pics later but wanted to quickly share that I think M was trying to run! While it could have just been that his feet got away from him, he did it multiple times and with a very silly grin on his face. I asked Scott, "Can you imagine how fast he thought he was going...with the wind whipping through his hair?" Precious!

UPDATE: I have more photos to work on, but here is a start: Click HERE and choose the "Seth & Matthew" album.

New Prayers for America

New intercessions for our country listed at my site.

Blessings on this Memorial Day and our deepest gratitude to those who have served, are serving, and will serve our nation and its people!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Our Adoption Video

I haven't posted this in awhile, so thought I'd stick it back up for new readers to view.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

ever feel like smashing a piece of pottery?

check out what can happen at the new Bring the Rain post: The Past & the Pitcher

Happy Saturday!

Hope you are enjoying the weekend!!! maybe M really is a smart little dude. Yesterday he had a yellow comb in one hand and a green in the other. I asked him to hand me the yellow, he looked at the combs in his hands and then did. I put the comb back in his hand, waited a few seconds, and asked him to hand me the green comb. He looked at them and then did. Maybe a coincidence? We had been talking about colors when we were on the plane recently, and I was wearing an orange-ish jacket. As we were looking out the window upon our arrival into the gate, we saw one of the guys who uses the orange stick thingys to bring in the planes. I said "Look at that guy's sticks...they are orange." And M immediately pointed to my jacket.

I think he is smart. I think I may be in trouble. Better go brush up on my algebra now.

PHOTOS: I set out to take a few photos of windows for my class and ended up taking a bunch of others. A nearby church, a big puddle, the ironwork at the entrance to our road. For photos click HERE and choose the "around town" album...but there are only 3 of M, 2 of which have already been posted. SO basically this is for my mom...and anyone who may be looking for another reason to put off paying bills or doing laundry.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sweet Kisses

M and I ran over to church today so I could do some calligraphy for a document (I really don't know HOW to do calligraphy, but they think I do because I have a calligraphy pen!). We were so fortunate to run into Jenn and the utterly adorable Emery! Jenn snagged these shots on her cell phone:

As you can tell by M's face, he doesn't quite know what to think of this non-stop dancing, spinning, jumping, talking, kiss-blowing whirlwind named Emery:
A little precious is this????? M is 15 months and E is 18 months...and just look how tall he looks next to her:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

UPdates of all sorts

Photos from lunch on Monday at our favorite restaurant. Scott found these glasses, and M thinks they are pretty cool.

We joyfully announce to arrival of Matthew's 4th tooth! The delivery was long and hard, but both Matthew and the tooth are doing fine. We have named the tooth Epaphroditus which means "charming."
Our former speed-racing, garbage-disposaling, shovel-it-in-til-you-bust eater has suddenly become a slow, finicky, playin-with-his-food one fell swoop. We figure his growth spurt must be over. Scott broke the news to Matthew like this, "Well, Bubs, this might be as tall as you get."

Since M is my only child, I have no clue what is normal development for his age other than what I read in a book. So I'm just going to pretend that this is sheer genius stuff. It's so fun to see things "clicking" for him.
We have a wooden memory game and, for the last four times we have played, Matthew has matched all of the pictures correctly. Although we leave the "cards" face up, there are 6 different pictures (12 cards) for him to sort through. Last week, he didn't really seem to get the idea of "matching"...this week, he's a genius!
We have an animal puzzle with 8 pieces and was able to show me exactly where each piece goes. Last week, he would just pick up a cow and try putting it down wherever he felt like. This week...oh, you know...he's a genius!
He is beoming a master at the art of the spoon. Not just the getting it to the mouth part but the scooping part, too. Last week he was just a messy eater. This week...say it with me...he's a genius!
He is babbling like crazy this week. This is new for him...our quiet little guy. As he walks around the house playing, he jabbers non-stop. I'm quite sure he is speaking in foreign language...possibly two...with all correct pronunciation and inflection. Complex sentence structure. No slang. Because, of course, he's a genius!
This update is about our rhyming games. The other morning Scott and I were in the bathroom getting ready for the day. I was talking about the multitude of stains on his clothes and mentioned, "Maybe when you eat you should wear a bib." When out of the blue he responded, "Maybe when you eat you should invite Andy Gibb."
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat???? At 6 o'something in the morning...with a very sick wife...he brought on the rhyming challenge.

Tish: Maybe when you eat you should be in a crib.
Scott: Maybe when you eat you should join Women's Lib.
Tish: Maybe when you eat you should have Dr. Pibb.
Scott: That doesn't make sense.
Tish: What do you mean that doesn't make sense? It makes the most sense out of all of them.
(then I realized I said DR. Pibb instead of MR. Pibb)
Scott: Babes, I won't hold it against you that you're not a soda connoisseur.

OK....I have to give him some major points for creativity. I mean, who in the world thinks about Andy Gibb in the wee hours of the morning??? And I didn't even know he was familiar with the term "women's lib." So, he was really kickin' it.
HOWEVER, the game is not won for creativity but for endurance. And the last rhyming word came from my lips...can you say "WINNER!!!!!!!??"

A god on your wrist?

Waiting. Whether waiting for a SW to complete your homestudy, or waiting for news on an important matter, or waiting for a check in the mail, for most of us waiting leads to impatience. And, whether we mean it to or not, impatience reveals a lack of trust in and surrender to God.

Below is an excerpt from a Proverbs 31 devotional I received by email in which Amy Carroll recounts Sarah's impatience with God when His promise of a child is not fulfilled in her expected timeframe.

I know Sarah and I are not alone in our desire for God to hurry up. I once heard it said that we are people with gods on our wrists. In Isaiah 55:9, God says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (NIV) God’s timing is part of His ways. I may be tapping my watch, but He is never late. He may seem slow, but He is always right on time.

Has God made a promise to you that is slow in coming? Has He planted a dream in your heart that has yet to come to fruition? Don’t give up hope! God is faithful, and you can rely on His perfect timing. Fix your eyes on Him and enjoy the journey to your destination. There are things to be learned along the way that will enhance the joy of a promise fulfilled.

May you wait in perfect patience...and in perfect peace.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today was a bad news day. There just seemed to be an increased amount of kick-in-the-stomach-sadness flying around today. And then I just read this:

The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

This daughter, Maria, was adopted from China by the Chapman family. I remember watching their story on video. My first thought was "Oh, Lord, WHY?" But the "why" is not where my focus should be. And so I have included excerpts from the blog on which I read of this tragedy... Bring the account of a mother who recently lost her baby Audrey Caroline...and whose life bears testimony to the peace that comes from keeping your eyes on Christ in the midst of a storm.

Tonight, my knees will bow to the God that gave her to me…and the God who took her from me. The God who loves to bloom where death reigned. We welcome you, Lord. Come and make it beautiful again.

He is Lord. Only He. Not me, not Todd, not my doctors, not my parents.
We don't know what tomorrow will look like, how it will be remembered ten years from now. We can't begin to imagine the road that lies ahead of us, but I know that I will remember today as being a day that I trusted Him despite the hurt


Anyone know why my videos won't show up? I can see them when I go into the post to edit, but when I publish the post they are gone.

UPDATE: I went to the Help section, and it sounds like it is a BLOGGER issue. Hopefully, it will be up and running soon...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Since it seemed like the last video was well-received by many little ones thinking they were seeing themselves on the screen, I thought I would post this video which I have titled "Cleaning Time is Serious Time". Maybe it will trick your kids into thinking that they like to help with housework, too!

Monday, May 19, 2008


i love when my bloggy friends post video of their kids. it's so fun to see the little personalities that go with the little faces. HINT!HINT! so here is baby M in all of his baby M-ness!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Prayers for America

New intercessions listed on my site.

sickANDtired...but abundantly blessed

M & I picked up some kind of unfriendly bug during our recent travels, so we've been down for the count as of late. I guess it's pretty much a cold but with bloody noses. Odd. Poor little M had a rough night...the Thermoscan said 103.9 at first reading. I know fevers are the body's way of fighting the junk, but at that high I always wonder if his brain is gonna fry like an egg.

So how was everyone's weekend? Any fun excursions to celebrate the spring weather? Any new adoption news for you waiting mamas?

We had a lovely weekend despite having Kleenexes stuffed up our nostrils. Some highlights:
- planting new flowers in our courtyard
- attending the pre-Grand Opening of our favorite restaurant...just a 5 minute walk from our house! Cha-ching!
- playing on the shower floor with M as steamy water poured over my throbbing head
- falling more in love with my baby as I held him...his face flush from fever, his little lips like plump cherries, and his sweaty hair as black as midnight
- feeling God working in my my life...and being excited about the changes He will bring

Matthew's new PASSIONS: wearing his towel as a hat and dunking balls:

This is the look I got when I asked him to smile:
The caped zombie walk:
Going for the dunk:
Givin' it all he's got:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Chew on this...

Imagine you are a orphanage worker in China. Your SWI has been damaged by the earthquake causing you to evacuate and care for the 60+ children (over 20 of which are under the age of 2) in less than adequate make-shift conditions. And then receive 24 new orphans. Earthquake survivors.

Reminder: Little Grace is from an SWI that was damaged by the quake, and the children are living in tents. Please join her family in prayer.

UPDATE: Sorry, but I guess that Grace's site is now private.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's 11:11 pm, and I can't think of a title for this post

OK. So going through my photos from the trip I realized I didn't take as many as I thought. What was I doing that whole time? I'm pretty sure eating. My mom has a killer junk food cabinet that wrecks me every time. I can't recall too many moments when there wasn't a high fat, high sugar, high cavity producing goodie in my hand. And just how can one bother with juggling a camera if one is worried about dropping a handful of Sugar Babies???

So I plugged some photos into an album...but I'm tellin' ya that you baby fanatics might be disappointed. And ask for your money back. There aren't that many of Matthew because some of the pics I took didn't even look like him. It was like looking at photos of someone else's kid in my kid's clothes. But my mom has a sweet flower garden...and my camera was lovin' every minute of it.

So click HERE for the photos and choose the album "IL trip."

As a side note for you 1st time mamas who have yet to fly with your baby, I thought I would share a list of "baby entertainment" contents in my carry-on in hopes it might help you in your travels.
1. Flask of vodka (Just kidding, you don't need to pack your own sedation, they sell it on the airplane for $5 a glass!)
2. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks (preferably ones that make no mess yet take a long time to eat)
3. New books (I go to Dollar General and buy $1 books that have lots of flaps for baby to open/close)
4. Stickers/Paper (I have been using stickers for travel since M was 11 months old. I get books of them that come in a variety of shapes/sizes though the bigger ones are best for little fingers. Make sure you have paper to put them on. This can burn up a fair amount of time!!!)
5. A small truck that has a screwdriver. This is difficult to explain but the point is that M can spend a lot of time putting the screwdriver in and out of the hole on top of the truck. So something of the same nature is great.
6. Other small items...for example, I took a large nut (the kind a screw fits in but too big to swallow) and we took turns putting it on my finger, then on M's finger, and so on. Two small farm animals to act out conversations with. A wind up rabbit to move across the tray. Etc.
7. Two very light colored crayons and paper.

I'm sure I had more junk in there but actually on the way home, the things M was most interested in were my bubble gum and my hoop earrings, so we played with those for a long time. Oh...and he won't take a teething toy to save his life, so I gave him his toothbrush and that kept him busy for quite awhile. Yeah, like 3 1/2 minutes. Oh, oh...and the thing that commanded most of his attention? The airplane safety guide! Not kidding. We looked at it over and over. No words, so I made up my own. His favorite part was the pic where one guy opens the overhead bin and the suitcase falls on the other guy's head....BONK!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

cluttered mind = cluttered post

lots to say...

Matthew got his 3rd tooth on May 12!

Smooch's graduation was very nice, and she didn't even fall down the riser stairs in her unsensible stiletto shoes! The favorite child issue was settled once and for all...Smooch received the ultra awesome Guitar Hero for a graduation present...and I got luggage! Dark.Blue.Luggage.

We had a great trip! This time Matthew was way more comfortable being held by everyone...much to the delight of my baby hoggin' family. There is simply never enough time in a visit to talk to everyone the way you want REALLY talk to them...especially now with a baby in tow. But I get the feeling they would rather play with Matthew than listen to me yak, yak, yak anyway!

Bummer...Scott made me a mother's day card, and I accidentally threw it away thinking it was a different piece of paper.

I have more photos to share when I get the time!

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SUPER COOL: Check out how marvelous Gwyneth is doing!!! If you saw this little sweetie in the past, you won't believe your eyes. God is good.

SUPER COOLER: For a while now I have been following Jessica Claire's blog (she is a photographer). I didn't know it but, like me, Jessica has been following Gwyneth's she asked G's parents if she could do a photoshoot for them! Sweet! What a nice thing to do. Photos are here.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

I'm getting the idea that Matthew's first word will either be "no" or "more." I'll let you know as things progress. Any bets????


Many people in the adoption community have a strong affection for the verse in James 1:27 which says “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep onself unstained from the world.” I have read this verse too many times to count but always focused on the "visit orphans and widows" part of it.

Today as I was checking out Shannon's blog, I was directed to a blog written by her husband...a site simply titled "unstained." Through his blog, David is sharing his family's desire to live for Christ and the daily practical decisions they make to bring reality to that desire.

Much of what David says has also been on my heart lately. I was recently reunited with a long, lost friend who lives in Mexico. Through our correspondence, I have been reminded yet again of the luxury that many Americans live in while others live in poverty. However, this time the "other" wasn't half-way around the world...or nameless to me...or someone I would never meet. The "other" dear friend.

I encourage you to check out the "unstained" blog. In particular, watch the short video at the very bottom of the page under the "$8 hot dog" post. Interestingly, Rebecca also recently posted a similar topic which you can view here. The following statement by John Piper could have been pulled straight from my lips:

“I tremble at the prospect of living a trivial, self-serving, comfortable, middle-class, ordinary, untroubled American life.” (John Piper)

UPDATE: In case you couldn't find it, David added a new post which bumped the "$8 hot dog" post to a new page. You can watch the video HERE.

We're back!

Here are a few photos from our trip...more stuff later, but M just woke up mad after only a 25 min nap....

Lil' sis & Big sis

Playing Guitar Hero after Matthew was in bed. I got booed off the stage!
Smooch helping Matthew dunk it!
Matthew & Grandpa Garner (OOOPS! Just realized this photo was deleted when I backspaced...will have to fix later)

Smooch has me in a headlock...but I can still take her down

The Graduate!

My cousin Jake & Matthew
Mother's Day!
Spending Mother's Day with my mama

Monday, May 12, 2008

Canon Rebel XTi

Hey Bloggy Family & Friends! We are still in IL, but I rec'd these photos from a friend and thought I'd share. They were taken with her new Canon Rebel XTi and, as far as I know, have not been modified w/ editing software. I did cut out a chunk of the first photo because it showed a girl's face, and I didn't have time to ask permission to post her. Anyway, I know many of you have said you are interested in buying a new camera, so I thought you might like to see some shots with a Canon.

Please pray for safe travels for us on Tuesday.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Prayers for America

New intercessions listed on my site.

UPdate: Still in IL...busy having fun...and eating way too much! Hope you all had a great weekend! Will post photos of the little man soon!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

hey everyone! We are in Illinois right now, so I will post when I have a chance. Hope everyone has a GREAT MOTHER'S DAY!!! Thanks to all you mamas who have offered your support, advice and humor to this first-time mama! Love you all!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mad Hatter

It's funny how much M loves wearing hats...or just about anything you put on his head. He wore this bandanna even as it slid down his face and eventually sat around his neck.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Matthew and I had a playdate today with the AMAZING Kari and SUPER-SMILEY Seth! Matthew and Seth are polar opposites in physical features and personalities...but they are kindred spirits in the matter of eating. When the plates were set before them, it was a mad race to the finish. Seth won in speed, Matthew won in endurance. Besides making a great lunch, Kari made sure the boys were stocked with sand, water, and lots of toys. We had an absolutely wonderful time! I so admire this family and pray that Matthew and Seth will develop a long-lasting friendship.

To view more photos click HERE and select the "playdate" album.

Kari just sent me her photos of the boys, so I thought I'd post this cute one of them playing ball:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Prayers for America

New intercessions listed at my site.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


We celebrated Mother's Day with Scott's mom today and dined at a local favorite. Matthew ate a whole breakfast burrito! I'm not talking a baby-sized burrito...I mean a size that Scott or I would eat as a meal. OK...he didn't eat a portion of the tortilla or a tiny bit of the hashbrowns that were overdone, but that is only because I didn't give them to him. However, he did also eat a container of baby food vegetables. And when he was finished, he came after my sandwich!

It was a beautiful Saturday! And, the best news ever....Matthew actually slept today! His first nap was an hour and his second an hour and fifteen minutes!!! GLORIOUS!!!!! I started painting a portion of hallway off the foyer and got the whole thing finished. I wanted to go with something bold...something daring...something that screamed, "Live life to the fullest!", so the color I picked is called "Natural"...and is basically a dark off-white...yeah, pretty bold and daring, huh? Haha...that cracked me up.

NEW PHOTOS are on the "Saturday" album.

Accidental Dismemberment

He didn't mean to. Really, he didn't. And you could tell by the look on his face he was sorry. Very, very sorry.

I had given M this photo magnet of Smooch (taken when she was little), explained that it was her, and said "poke" a couple of times so it would sink in. A little while later he started making these high pitched noises, so I went over to see what he wanted. As I was bending down, he thrust his arm up to me and pinched in his little fingers was...Smooch's arm.

Now M has broken things in the big deal...but this was different. It was Smooch, afterall. His lower lip stuck out and his eyes told of his heart's sadness. It was if he really "got" it.

Sorry, Smooch! We love ya!

Friday, May 2, 2008

15 minutes of fame...and some other stuff

If I talked as much as I blog, I would go hoarse.

Anyway, I now have my 15 minutes of bloggy fame! In response to my post about "drama", Jenna posted about one of her favorite books "Olivia Saves the Circus." Basically, Jenna was comparing me to a pig. A dramatic pig. And I took it as a sweet compliment because I love Olivia, too!

Matthew is so crazy about his dad. This morning I let him talk on the phone to Scott and, after listening a few seconds, he tried to kiss the phone. Then as we were preparing to go on a walk, M saw Scott's hat and, even though he was already wearing his own hat, he wanted to wear Scott's, too.


Matthew has become an anti-photograph kid. He pretty much hates when I take photos of him now and will turn his head and move away whenever I get the camera out. In the photo above, he was strapped in and unable to get away...sucker!!!...but he adamantly refused to give me a smile...oh, guess I was the sucker!!!

I'm naming this photo of yuccas in bloom "Tres Amigos"...but I really just wanted to show Rebecca how lush and green it is in the desert!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Three, Three, Three Posts in One!

Another good book! It's based on Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 which says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other." In addition, it is a rhyming book!!! I am a rhyming lovah...sometimes even making Scott play this game with me where we start with a word and each take turns saying a word that rhymes with it until someone runs out of words and is the big loser!

I took Matthew to lunch today and realized that, at 15 months old, my son is the type of person that buffets lose money on.

I'm assuming most of you mamas find that quality time with your husband is about as extinct as...I don't know, as some extinct animal...or dinosaur....or good french fries at McDonald's. Scott and I are terrible at getting caught up in "busyness" and cutting short our time with each other. Perhaps even more than we realize. So last night we had a pretty lengthy conversation...we were both completely engaged in the talk. It wasn't an intimate conversation about our dreams, our love, our desires...nope, it was about business. But at the end I was all giddy and exclaimed, "That was the BEST conversation we've had in a long time!!!!" Hmmm...maybe we should work on prioritizing. Scott must have felt bad because he busted out some old school dance moves for me in the kitchen while I read outloud the 47 Beavers book.