Monday, September 29, 2008

Rebecca's Raffleway!

Hyperlink on over to China, Baby! and help Rebecca's family bring home their handsome son Owen.

The raffle prize is beautiful, the story behind the prize is more beautiful, and the maker of the prize is the most beautiful!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

sunday night stuff

I'm chuckling a little. Actually, I'm laughing kinda hard. But quietly since everyone is asleep...except these dang gnats. Does anyone else have a gnat problem?

Or maybe I should say gnat pandemic.

Seriously. I know I overexaggerate a lot. But not this time. It's crazy. There is pretty much a gnat flying around my head at all times. I can't tell if it is the same gnat that follows me through the house, or if they do a tiny tag team high five and switch off as I move from room to room. All I know is that they are everywhere....Scott's tea, M's yogurt, and my lips if I wear too much chapsticky stuff.

Anyway, this is not a post about gnats. Well, at least not anymore.

The reason I am laughing (quietly) is my FEEDJIT has been showing a large number of visitors coming from google hits where the subject searched for was "Gap kids contest." And in my mind I picture these parents...drooling at the thought of their Baby Adorable being named "Little Gapster '08"...and looking online for tips on submitting that winning photo (you know, THE photo)...but then...they land...on this post. Hope they didn't leave disappointed!

BIG BEDS
Hey if you...WAIT, a gnat just flew onto the keyboard...ok...if you would like to share at what age you moved your child from a crib to a bed (and whether it was the worst or best decision of your adult life) please leave the juicy details in the comment section.

PHOTOS
Random activities...some manual...some auto

Saturday, September 27, 2008

loving them off the streets

You may remember previous posts about the World Race ...well, the racers are back at it, and I'm hooked.

Racer Kim Daniels posted that "a generation is asleep. They are breathing. But few are dreaming. And even fewer are moving. Their eyes are closed, and they don't know themselves in an awaken state. They don't know who they are, or who they aren't."

While Kim was most likely speaking of her own generation (the young ones!), I would say that statement aptly describes my generation (the not-so-young ones!). Oh, how we have been lulled into deep slumber by our comfortable, secure, and controlled lives.

Of the World Race experience, Kim states that the racers are "...dropped into a community, forced to get outside of themselves, to serve something other than their own agenda, pride, or fear, and after 11 months, they have rubbed off the sleep from their eyes and are beginning to ask the tough questions. The ones that matter. They are saved of the things that defined them before, and for once, they see life through eyes that believe they can actually change the world."

Here are some vids from the World Race GATO (Going After the One) Team as they describe ministering to women in Thailand. God is SO big...and He is working through girls He loves to save the lives of girls He loves. Don't know about you, but I don't want my inability to "go" to be an excuse for continued slumber. The alarm is sounding; I want to rise and live.



G.A.T.O. - Thailand from Kim on Vimeo.



The Well from Kim on Vimeo.

Friday, September 26, 2008

i scream, you scream...part 2

video

yeah, that's right. better throw your body down and twist a little just in case you didn't get your point across. funny thing was that as soon as i asked if he wanted to watch himself on the video, he completely & immediately stopped crying.

M's been spending some quality time in the "slammer" lately. he has a penchant for throwing things when he is mad...toys, beans, magnets, anything he can get his hands on. here are some shots of him in isolation:



Thursday, September 25, 2008

i scream, you scream...

we all scream for ice cream!
does it seem like my kid is always half-naked? he is.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

better than *bucks

Makin' coffee:
video

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

new kicks

M got some new kicks for fall. Wasn't planning on getting them for awhile since his feet have been growing like crazy, but he will need closed-toe shoes for our trip to IL. Got 2 pair...used a gift card that we've had for over a year...HOORAY!


edited2add: Anyone else have a kid who can't play alone? Get fingerpaints! Not. You would think...you would imagine that fingerpaints would do the trick. Not so. Instead of painting on his own, M shouts repeatedly from his chair "oval, oval!" because he wants to draw ovals on his paper. I give in, telling him that I will help him draw one oval and then it will be his turn to do it....then as I walk away he starts shouting letters of the alphabet for now he wants to write letters on his paper. Alright...time to find a new trick.

Book Reviews

I was fortunate to receive 2 complimentary books, Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds and The Art of Listening Prayer, from the Red Letters Campaign.

Red Letters by Tom Davis is a fast moving book that highlights the the growing issues of HIV/AIDS and poverty in our world. You may remember two previous posts in which I quoted from this book. Davis puts names and faces on the staggering numbers of those affected and calls the church on the carpet for our lack of action to help those in need. I think this Amazon review really encapsulates the purpose of Red Letters: The call isn't so much to social action as it is to be such a genuine and radical follower and lover of Jesus that you cannot help but be transformed into his likeness...and in turn, see his likeness in those around you.

Seth Barnes' The Art of Listening Prayer requires more time and thought. Basically, Barnes' premise is that God wants to speak to us, but we rarely listen. If you are not a good listener, reading this book will highlight that weakness...and that is excatly why you need it! The Art of Listening Prayer challenges, encourages, and helps you to make listening an important part of your communication with God.

P.S. If you'd like to read how God's light is shining in the darkest of places, read Barnes' post "The price of innocence in Viet Nam in $1.25."

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On a separate but related note, I purchased the book Hope Lives by Amber Van Schooneveld because it was recommended by Rebecca. When I first started reading this book I wondered, "How in the world did Amber get into my head" because so much of what she said was reflected in my blog posts at the time: not hoarding our resources, luxuries vs. necessities, etc. Amber doesn't just present daunting facts and compelling stories, she also provides encouragement and resources for her readers to take action.

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Matthew's recommendation:


WHEW, I'm hyper-linked out!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

is it already sunday night????

well, as you see, i still haven't posted my book reviews yet. but they are coming. soon. to a theater near you. or a blog near you.

this weekend...we planted trees, picked berries, and some other stuff that i can't remember right now. my heart is heavy for my mom, and it is difficult to be so far away. as soon as we get M's next doctor's appt out of the way, we are headed back to see her! she begins more radiation soon, so please pray for her.

M put two words together today. when i forgot to put the straw in his sippy cup he told scott, "uh-oh dada." oh, and scott and M watched this old sesame street video on youtube where grover sings about around, over, under, through, far, and near. not anything i would have thought to teach M right now, but he totally got it and loves to practice it!

oh...speaking of scott...last night i walked into the kitchen after scott did the dinner dishes, and the garbage can was OVERFLOWING. i told him that i was going to take a picture of it so that when M gets big and shoves garbage in like that, i can remind scott that he did it, too. scott looked at it and laughed and then started to move toward the can. i said "no, let me take a photo first!" scott replied, "i wasn't going to take it out!" and he DIDN'T!!! dirty rotten! and to top it off, today (yes, today as in the garbage was still in a huge heap on top of the can TODAY) i found my candy bar wrapper dangling in the debris. double dirty rotten! he deserved my candy though...he hauled a gazillion bags of lawnscape junk, 2 heavy trees, and some pampas grass...AND he stayed with M in kids' ministry so i could attend service. yes, M still SOBS the ENTIRE time at church, so we are slowly weaning him off us so the volunteers don't all quit.

ok...here are photos. the ones w/ red bridge are from last week when i was practicing in manual. the berry picking is from today but in auto because i didn't want to miss good shots. OH, and i stuck in a photo of M from LAST YEAR'S berry picking so you can see how much he has grown!

Friday, September 19, 2008

TGIF

So grateful for Friday! M had a baaaad night last night and has already melted down today. I'll never understand how missing sleep can make you not able to sleep. Kind of Twilight Zone-ish if you ask me.

Decided it was time to try shooting manual. Not even working with the settings yet because I can't even get focusing right! I'm the most unfocusy person ever. So some shots are below...I didn't worry about settings, composition, or lighting...just trying to FOCUS, Tish, FOCUS. And all the while singing "O come, O come manual!"

The following italicized statement was listed as the Quote of the Week on another adoption blog. It made me really sad. “Or, you know, maybe someone needs to remind Sarah Palin that Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor.”

I'll be posting some long overdue book reviews later....slacker that I am. Hope you are having a SUPER Friday! Let me know if you have any cool weekend plans so I can copy you...slacker that I am!


For some odd bloggy reason, today's post keeps posting under yesterday's post...which, when your post is titled TGIF, it doesn't make good sense to have it show up on THURSDAY. So here is yesterday's post that kept clawing it's way to the top of the screen:

M's Prediction: Some mornings M and I walk to the elementary school, watch the kids get off the bus, and then talk about school things. This afternoon we were outside watering the flowers and, while I'm not sure how this topic came up, I asked him, "Bubs, what do you think Mama is going to do all day when you go to school?" He replied, "AAH, AAH!" I questioned, "You think I'm going to cry all day?" He looked me in the eye and confidently nodded "yes!"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

living love

The following short video was created by the Children's Hunger Fund in thanks to Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley. Last year Cornerstone gave away HALF of all monies they received to help the needy and oppressed, with $1M going to the Children's Hunger Fund.

This video was shared during a service entitled "Prayer and Praise," which can be found at the Cornerstone website. Francis never fails to stir my heart by his transparency and honesty, as well as with his challenges to the church to live and love sacrificially.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

giddy up...and stuff

God's grace to SAHMs? Being able to go to the State Fair on a Monday morning when everyone else is at school or work! No lines, no overcrowded exhibits...just steaming hot corndogs, friendly animals who haven't been over-petted (is that a word?), and the smell of roasting green chile wafting through the air.

Fair photos:



The next photos are of the following:
- A delicious picnic we had after M and I read a book about picnics,
- M deciding he needed to wear some pink fuzzy slipper-socks of mine,
- M pretending to be a doctor, and
- M's new "school book"...I bought this workbook on a whim and M loves it. He can actually follow the directions correctly but sometimes he just wants to scribble all over the pages...which, of course, is way fun!



I've been listening to some messages on Christ-centered marriages by Francis and Lisa Chan. If you're interested, click HERE, go to the sermon list, then choose "Christ-centered Relationships" part 1, 2, or 3. As always, be discerning as you listen and place anything you question against Scripture itself. I say this about every book you read or message you hear, not just for these sermons in particular. And...if you'd like to listen and discuss...I'd be happy to join you!

Monday, September 15, 2008

the Captain of the storm

Then Jesus turned toward His wind-torn friends. "Why were you scared?" He asked. "Did you forget who I Am? Did you believe your fears instead of Me?" - The Jesus Storybook Bible

kissin' cousins

M & L playing outside the restaurant...neither will stay still long enough for a posed photo...but still as cute as can be!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

M is for Make-My-Day





Last night 'long about sundown there was a standoff in Kitchen City.

Outlaw M was in town, and he was more furious than a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin' chairs. He was stirrin' up trouble wherever his feet would take him but no more so than at the city table. You see, Sheriff Daddy and Deputy Mama had laid down the law, but Outlaw M is no law-mindin' man when it comes to mixed vegetables.

Outlaw M used every trick in the book, but the Sheriff and Deputy stood their ground. As darkness overtook the night sky, M waved the white flag of surrender. After spending the night in the county crib, Outlaw M was released this mornin' on a 5 kisses bail.

Actually, M has been throwin' some fierce tantrums lately; however, only when he is with me. Kind of a Jekyll/Hyde thing. So I must say that, as much as I hated to see him so upset, I was glad that Scott was finally able to see what I have been trying to describe! Not that Scott didn't believe me...but I think he will now have a better understanding on those days when he walks in the door and I collapse at his feet.
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New Stuff About M:
- He likes shopping with coupons! I give him the coupon, and he finds the right product.

- He is now trying to say more words, including Jesus and Bubs (what we call him).

- He is getting really good at knowing boys vs girls and right vs left.

- He can find the row we're parked in if you tell him the number to look for on the sign.

- He gets a BIG kick out of this...when he is sitting on the floor, he tries to lean back all the way til he is laying on the ground.

- When he sees Asian people, he will point to himself...but I was amazed when we looked at Yvonne's blog and he saw the drawings in her header, realized they were Asian, and began pointing to himself. Here is her header:



So not only am I monochromatic on my walls...I bought fresh flowers because we have a house guest....and look at what color they are!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

cancer sucks, but God is good

I've been sitting on this post for awhile and, after reading Laurie's post on prayer, I decided to "publish post" today. I haven't written too much about my mom out of respect for her privacy but, as obvious in the last photos I posted of her, she has cancer.

I pray for healing for my mom. It doesn't matter that the doctor gave her an unfavorable prognosis, my prayer continues for restoration of her health. Sound foolish? Like I'm not facing reality? Perhaps if you only look at the visible, physical evidence....but God transcends what we can touch and see. Just consider Hezekiah, or Jairus's daughter (8:41), or Lazarus, or sweet little Gwyneth.

The other day when I was praying for her, I stopped and thought, "This is crazy! I'm praying for her to stay in this world but praying for Jesus to come for me!" That made me laugh...even now as I typed it! Seriously though, my prayers for my mom have changed since her diagnosis. While I once only prayed the selfish cries of a daughter, I now pray the pleas of a sister in Christ.

For while I'm confident that she would be exceedingly better off in Heaven since to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ, in God's compassion for those who do not know Him He tells us to "pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." My mom is a believer, and so my desire is to see her health restored that she may live to serve her Lord and Savior as a laborer in His harvest. May her life be extended that she may bear much fruit for His kingdom.

Do I know that it is God's will to heal my mom? Nope. But I also don't know that it isn't. However, I do know this. Unless He tells me it isn't His plan, every time I pray to God to heal my mom I am glorifying Him because I go before Him in confidence that He alone is the Great Physician. I acknowledge Him alone as Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who Heals.

A question asked on the Truth Project was something to the effect of, "Do you really believe what you believe is really real?" The example was that if we REALLY believed that praying was to go before the throne of our Holy God and have Him welcome you with arms outstretched to sit and talk with Him, praying would not be difficult. In fact, we would want to pray all day! We call ourselves "believers," but do we really believe?

If you would like to pray for my mom's healing, I'm sure she would appreciate it. Her name is Sara. I also write this post in hopes of encouraging readers who may currently be discouraged. Every day that you have on this planet is a day with purpose. Whether you are bedridden, unemployed, a POW, or a SAHM (kinda the same as a POW, huh?) your life has great value in the eyes of your Creator. Every breath you take is an opportunity to glorify God in your thoughts and actions, and the ultimate way to glorify God is to trust in Jesus Christ as the One who died so that you might live.

edited2add: The following comment is from my mom...I'm just posting it for her!
I would go for years and never mention the greatness of God and now it seems that in this hardest part of my life has been the easiest to praise Him for all He has done. The opportunity to just slightly mention to others how wonderful He has been to me through all this just keeps popping up. And I say these things to people I would never have mentioned religion to before. Now I hope I can figure out how to send this comment!

And since I know it will bum out my mom if there are no photos, here goes:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

purple is the new gold

Move over, Oscar, there's a new award in town...

I was very kindly double-whammied by Rebecca and Stefanie to receive this award, which I do so gratefully. Muchas gracias! And, if there was a lavish gala at which to accept my purple frog statue, I would borrow a dress from Jennifer Aniston, have my speech written by Gwyneth Paltrow, and find a hot pair of Jimmy Choo shoes...on sale, of course!
At this point I am supposed to post the rules, which I copy & pasted from R's site:
1. The recipient must link back the the award's creator.
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must choose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.
Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes. (WAIT...how did I get nominated for this award???)
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.
This is where I pass on the goods...but remember how I just want everyone to win? I don't think I can pick 5 blogs out of the gazillion stored in my "favorites." So I am going to try to pick people who haven't mentioned being really busy lately or who would probably prefer I didn't choose them (you know who you are!)
Yvonne - which languages do her kids NOT speak?
Tami - a humble heart and gentle spirit
Kerry - a single mama and she STILL takes on an exchange student!
Rebecca - we share a heart (I would have said "brain," too, but didn't want to offend her)
Kari - no one more precious on the planet...she has a crazy crew and yet her blog is serene

M's reaction to the previous post

I let M watch the video I posted yesterday, and here is his response:

video

video

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

ihavenotitleforthispost

Random, unrelated, unimportant thoughts guaranteed to increase my bloggy fanbase by 110% and leave the current readers wanting for more! Just jokes! Anyway...

What are the odds that TWICE in one day M's finger can be jammed so far up my nose that it causes a bleed?

I gave M a Baby MumMum and said, "Here's your surfboard!" He looked at the MumMum, put it on the floor, and stepped on it as if he were trying to surf!

Why we are not homeschool worthy: Scott and M were looking at puzzle letters, and Scott was naming words for each letter. When Scott said, "P...paleontologist" I smugly thought "wow...great word!" The next letter, however, showed our true colors when Scott said, "N...none-ya-bizness!"

I'm not a competitive person...I just want everyone to win. I'm not even really competitive with myself...except when it comes to spell-checking! I just noticed the "ABC" icon at the top of this page and assume it is a spell checker. I refuse to use it....for some reason I just have to try to spell things on my own. I guess it's a competition between me and the English language. Anyone else odd like that?

Not sure what this video is all about because something is wrong with my sound...but I thought it had two blog-worthy qualities: drool flying and Scott dancing.

video

Monday, September 8, 2008

is it bedtime yet?

tick, tock goes the clock
this day will never end
the house...a mess
the kid...a fuss
slow time is not my friend

tick, tock goes the clock
scott's almost home...can't wait
ugh...just got some real bad news
daddy will be late

who needs vegetables...

when TJ's has DYNAMO? And not just Dynamo, but Dynamo plus calcium? Chock full of everything your body needs and your mouth can't pronounce.
I did some painting this weekend. I figured if Stefanie...with her brand new house, 8 kids, and weekly trips ot Iowa for casting...could get her whole house painted in an afternoon, I really have no excuses.

So the piano room and Matthew's bathroom are now finished! I think I could move more quickly if I wouldn't paint the ENTIRE room with a 1 1/2 " brush. But the truth is I enjoy trimming...I was born a trimmer...Scott calls it a sickness, but I call it love. No blue tape, no drop cloth, just me and my 1 1/2"-er just trimming away.

I've posted a photo of my color palette so you Hue Queens can have a good laugh at the fact that I'm not exactly rockin' the color wheel! I like to refer to myself as "monochromatic mama."

Friday, September 5, 2008

a pig in your pocket

sometimes it's easier to type an email to Daddy when there is a pig in your pocket...




And speaking of pork, yesterday for lunch I chowed about 100 slices of salami and washed 'em down with a spoonful of hot fudge. The only reason I ate the hot fudge was because all of the amazing truffles I received from Rebecca were HIS.TOR.Y.

Anyway, I thought that it might be time to kick a little nutrition into my daily diet. I've been looking at other mamas' Meal Plan Monday menus, and the meals all look amazing but so, well, ingredient-y. (My ingredient tolerance is at about 3). And they look so filling. Scott and I are pretty good with a bowl of cereal or mac&cheese w/ a tortilla for dinner. And most of the meals I've seen appear to be the kind that would leave you with leftovers.

So...can anyone recommend a book or website with nice, light dinners? Preferably not with tons of vegetables. There is really nothing green in our fridge save the green chile. But, for Matthew's sake, we probably could endure A vegetable.

Hope you all have a super weekend!

edited2add: As evidence that I'm not the only one in the family with nutritional issues, I just found a fudgesicle stick in the shower....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

toyette? and some other stuff

Webster's defines a layette as "a complete outfit of clothing and equipment for a newborn infant." The use of the word "equipment" is funny, yes? Even though M wasn't a newborn when he came home, as a 1st time mama I thought the idea of a layette was great...serving as a guideline to meet the baby's needs in terms of soft stuff.

So I was thinking if we have a layette why not a toyette? Yes, a toyette! A general guideline of baby's needs in terms of hard stuff. For example, from your experience you may say that every child needs 3 teething rings...or 1 set of stacking cups...or a motorized Barbie Dream Car (Don't even!!!).

So...if you would like to share your must-have toys for kids newborn - 3 years, we can create a toyette for others to use as a guide. Just tell us the toy (either general or specific) and the age range the toy suits best.

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My little smarty-pants is killing me with all his smarty-pantsness. You may remember the alphabet puzzle and how he can place the letters where they go. Well, I thought that maybe he was doing it simply by the shape or the letter-related picture on the board. So the other day we were playing with his cash register, and I asked to buy a letter (Wheel of Fortune, here I come!). I queried, "May I buy the letter Z", and M found the Z in the pile of wooden letters on the floor. We did this all the way through the alphabet...although he did give me some buy-one-get-one-free deals. He not only could pick up the correct letter, but he sometimes did it almost without even looking...as if he just remembered where the letters were on the floor...even if only half of the letter was showing because it was under another one. Before you call him Rain Man, please note that at times he did have to search through and look for the right letter...but still I was amazed.

Then today we were in the office briefly while I talked to Scott on the phone. M seemed pretty busy looking out the windows. Later we were leaving and I said, "I wonder where my bag is." M took off, went straight to the office, and got my bag off the desk chair. I had forgotten it was there and didn't even know he noticed it when we were in the office.

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Shouldn't sleep issues be classified as Special Needs?????? Kidding...well, OK, maybe not totally kidding.




RE: the photos - why do i take so many photos of M's feet? because his feet generally do not notice me taking pics and, therefore, don't get mad like his head does. and i'm sure a photo of scott's feet was pretty much the last thing you wanted to see on a blog, but i thought the reflection was cool.