Thursday, October 30, 2008

a little bedtime story for you

video

Tonight M had his first BIG spill...falling face first onto the tile...bloody, bloody, bloody nose.

We are excited for Fall Festival tomorrow at our church! M is going as a MONKEY! But...he already outgrew his costume!!! Not kidding. I bought it awhile back since I was unsure how often we'd need to travel to IL, and I didn't want to miss out on getting it...and now it is too small. Today we made treat bags for the kids on our street, and we're going to deliver them tomorrow. Will post photos!

WINNER!!! I won a free photography class with Christi at Rawsii!!! I think there are still spots open if you are interested! I am really excited. My goal is to get good enough to take unique, quality photographs for families who cannot afford to have their pictures taken by a professional. A guy we know serves in an amazing ministry in which he moved into a rough neighborhood and brought the love of Christ to the people living there. It's been a total transformation! These are some of the people I would like to bless...so pray that Christi can teach me to focus in manual!!!!

edited2add: Here is a site I checked out last night and wanted to share since I am always looking for new ways to give away your money! HAHA! http://onemillioncan.com/ I loved all the causes, but I was especially diggin' this video: http://megavoice.com/indexvid.php ... I just wanted to give all those people a BIG HUG!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

cheetos, zoo, & tortillas

While M is still not a chatterbox, he does choose to speak about the important issues in life, such as "CHEETOS, MOM." Cheetos are dear to my heart because they were in the picnic lunch packed by Scott on our very first date...and again on the day he proposed. I hadn't eaten any in a very long time, but I bought some yesterday...WOW, I had forgotten how cheesy-crunchalicious they are! So now when M says, "CHEETOS, MOM," I'm inclined to oblige!


video



M and I went to the zoo. Had the place to ourselves. We took his zoo book, and he enjoyed looking up the animals we encountered!

This morning we attempted to make homemade tortillas. If I am going to grow old in the desert, I need to learn the staples of southwest living. I think our breakdown occured at the kneading stage when M decided to roll out our dough balls into snakes. Needless to say, we ended up with some pretty tough tortillas.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

I've been meaning to re-post this post, but kept forgetting until Rachel shared this video:



Also on Rachel's site is a video created by her former church to promote Advent Conspiracy...check it out!

Often when we watch a video like this our heart jumps, and we say, "ooooh, great idea!" But that great idea gets forgotten or tossed out the window when it's time to practically apply it to our lives.

D.L. Moody stated that "Every Bible should be bound in shoe-leather”...meaning don't just read it, live it! So... in the interest of putting feet to our faith, does anyone want to share any practical ideas you plan to implement this Christmas to get your family's focus back on Christ? For example, making your own Christmas cards, or spending a certain % less on gifts this year, or starting a new family tradition, etc

Also...regarding Advent calendars/spirals...is there anything in between the cheap paper calendars and the expensive wooden spirals?

Monday, October 27, 2008

my lifeline

If I were on "Who Wants to be an HTML-ionaire", my lifeline would be REBECCA! Everything good on my blog, I owe to her. Thanks, girl, for telling me how to make my slideshow large... and for all you do for this 1st time blogger.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

too. much. fun!

here are some pics of our lovely day! i love the ones of scott jumping over M...in one of the photos, M turns and runs at the last minute. his face is so funny!



just trying to upload larger photos...for some reason i can't get the slideshow larger...testing...1, 2, 3...
IMG_1879

UPdate:I posted earlier that M seems to know the difference between boys and girls. This morning he and Scott were looking at a book that had articles of clothing, one of which was a dress. We've never brought it up before, but today I asked M if boys wear dresses. He shook his head no. Then I asked if girls wear dresses. He nodded. I thought he might have just guessed, so I started asking about different people....like Daddy, Mama, Kit, etc...each time questioning if he/she wears a dress. He got it right every time!

edited2add: Jump around, jump around, jump up jump up and get down! Yes, Scott can fly without even really trying. And while it wasn't one of the characteristics that led me to accept his marriage proposal, I must say that his vertical has come in mighty handy at times for this girl of small stature.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

friday's fun & UPdate

photos from playing with balloons in the morning and playing at church in the afternoon:

(if you'd like to see the slideshow in full screen, first click the play arrow then click the square with 4 arrows on the bottom right of the box)




UPdate:

M is finally getting some teeth!!! The best part about this will be no longer having to watch him swallow string cheese without chewing....yuck!

Since M understands the differences between boys and girls, I thought I try to see if he could get "he" and "she." Last night as we read I would ask questions like, "Does he have a ball?" or "Does she have a hat?" when there were pictures of both boys and girls on the page...and he always answered correctly.

If you ask what word starts with D, he will say Daddy...and M he will say Mama and (sometimes) also point to himself. He often remembers what words look like and can point them out when you ask.

M enjoys playing pretend, and he seems to have a great sense of humor. Not that he giggles at everything but that he "gets it" and laughs when you make a joke.

I asked Scott if he wanted to add to this update, and he said, "He's stinkier than two months ago."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To China for Owen Fundraiser

Rebecca and family are having a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY to raise travel funds to bring home their precious Owen! This giveaway should really be called a FUN-raiser because the prizes are just oozing with fabulousness! No money is required to enter the drawing...but after you see Owen's sweet face, you are going to just hand over your credit card. He is THAT cute.

Check out all the details at the official fiesta site!

P.S. Don't Owen (photo at left sidebar) and M look like they could be brothers?

Praying for the Presidential Election

Yes, I'm rockin' the blogs today with 4 posts (so far)...(and I made pumpkin bread!)...but I just posted some new Election Intercessions on my prayer blog if you'd like to join me.


side note: I think sometimes the greatest moments are when you're just going along in life...loving your kid...when out of the blue you just fall more deeply in love with him.

With the way his face lights up when he finds the exit number you ask him to look for. Or with his most excellent skee-ball follow through. Or with his little head resting on your chest in the dark.

It's like a Snow White moment when little birds circle your head chirping sweet melodies and soft bunnies hop beside your feet and...DANG GNATS! Seriously, these gnats are driving me insane (don't push me cuz I'm close to the edge, I'm tryin' not to lose my head --remember that song?) One is flying back and forth in front of my eyes (see, I thought it was little birds) and another keeps jumping on the keyboard. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

But, anyway, I really love my kid.

Rawsii

If you are looking for just one more reason to turn green with envy, the HTML Queen Rebecca has created a new site for Ultra Fab Photographer Christi...and it rocks! As if you'd expect anything less from these two!
To celebrate, Christi is having a {SMASHING FABULOUS} Wedding Photography Giveaway!

The winner will receive the {SMASHING FABULOUS} Wedding Package, valued at $4200, which includes full day coverage, a 30-page (60-side) Storybook Album, and online proofing. In addition, the winner will receive the High Res images on DVD, and a 16x20 Gallery Wrap, an additional value of $1000. Plus, all travel and lodging expenses will be covered by Rawsii!!!

CHA-CHING!

To learn more about the giveaway, CLICK HERE!

thursday morning stuff

When I walked into M's room this morning I was greeted with, "WHOA, Mamama!"

- - - - -

While we brush M's teeth daily, I think it's time to step up the dental care routine. He was climbing over me this morning when suddenly my hair burst into flames (which is actually OK with me since I have now grown weary of my new short tresses). I questioned, "Could that REALLY be his breath that rivals the stench of a city garbage dump?"

So I decided to investigate...without being obvious, of course. No sense in making him paranoid about his hygiene before the age of 2. So, as he proceeded to use me as a StairMaster, I tried to smell his breath. The research took longer than expected because he kept trying to bite my nose.

Finally, the verdict was in...my baby needs some breath mints!

Anyone ever try to crush Altoids into your baby's morning milk?

- - - - -

If I am ever going to learn to photograph people in manual, I seriously need to hire a model. Scott and M are just not willing to make the sacrifice to help me achieve my personal goals. Selfish, huh? So...I'm taking applications. Interested parties must be willing and able to sit still for long periods of time while I try to focus...

- - - - -

M was in time out for throwing my lens cap across the room because I wouldn't let him put it on the camera. The light is blinding, but his face is funny!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

hanging outside

Yesterday M and I were hanging outside so I thought I'd snap a few photos. I didn't actually look at the photos until I got inside...and was bummed to see they were either not in focus or had a big circle right on M's sweet face! Bummmmmer.


Monday, October 20, 2008

smooch

home now...missing my sister. the boys are both asleep, and i've grown used to chatting til the wee hours of the morning.

smooch was somewhere in between M and scruffy in the "cooperative modeling" department. for every smile she gave me, she threw in at least two crazy faces. i'm saving those for future blackmail opps.





Sunday, October 19, 2008

scruffy

since my boys aren't here to photograph, i had to snap pics of my family's dog...she was a much more patient and cooperative model than M...though I'm sure it had something to do with the treats in my hand




Friday, October 17, 2008

water baby

i took these photos before i left. love M's face as he tries to get a drink.






TRIP UPDATE:

Flights were smooth. My gates were within feet of each other. Fastest trip to IL I've ever had...so I was very grateful. I actually read a book. A WHOLE book. Well...because I'm so used to reading things quickly now, I should say I scanned a book. Spending my time in bed next to my mom. Praising God for His goodness.


How precious [is] Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You [is] the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Psalm 36:7-9

Thursday, October 16, 2008

off again

I'm headed back to IL early tomorrow morning. Just a short trip because Matthew is staying home with Daddy. This will be my first time away from M for anything longer than a few hours. Feels strange. But I am confident that Scott will do a far superior job of mothering than I do, and I know that M will thoroughly enjoy having Daddy all to himself.

Here's the possible trip buster...as much as I tried to avoid it, I have to fly through Chicago. As in O'HARE.

Insert scary music here. Or a shrill scream. Then maybe some more scary music.

I only have 40 mins between my flights on the way there. Of course coming back I have 2+ hours. Can't they just add the layover times together and divide by 2 to make it less likely that I miss my connecting flight? With it being such a short trip, I don't want to miss any possible moments with my mom.

Here's a photo from our walk this morning...which looking at reminds me that I need to cut M's hair before I leave.


Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

soft kids

Anyone up for a discussion? (Jenna, I can see you raising your hand right now!).

This morning in my Compassion Magazine I read a story about 13-year old Melaku who, at the age of 4, was given by his mother to a couple who both lost their legs from leprosy. Melaku's mother allowed Taye and Seged to adopt the boy because she knew they needed help for daily survival.

Melaku attends school with the help of Compassion and dreams of being a doctor. For now, he fetches firewood and water, cleans the one room hut, and cares for his disabled parents.

I was recently having an email conversation with Rachel about M's sleep issues...and discussing how, even though it's tough, I really don't know the meaning of the word.

I am spoiled, pampered, living in comfort.

I am soft.

I don't know what it's like to go hungry so my kid can eat...or to work in a rice field with my baby strapped on my back...or to walk a mile to the river with my laundry piled in a pack on my head....or deal with a sleepless child in a one room hut!

I am soft.

Which made me think about Matthew. He never has to sleep in blazing heat or frigid cold...his room temp is always "just right." Even when we get into a hot or cold car, the air or heat are immediately turned on. He never experiences hunger pains because he's fed before they occur. And he has variation in his meal plan. He never has to go for long without someone or something to play with...to entertain him. He has a variety of toys to choose from. He has an abundance of clothes, and all are clean and in good-repair. His days are spent in play and fun.

I'm not necessarily saying this is bad. But is it completely good?

Of course as a mother I want to make sure he is comfortable, well-fed, clean and happy. These are blessings that I am sure any mama in any country would love to give her child. And I don't think we should feel guilty for living in a blessed country.

But what about beyond meeting our child's basic needs? How do we keep from raising soft children? How do we live in the comforts of America and yet instill strength, resilience, contentment, sacrifice, endurance and mental and physical toughness?

I sometimes wonder this...if M wanted to be a missionary in another country, would the lifestyle change be SO dramatic that it might cause him to turn back from his decision? Would the loss of the comforts that are so ingrained into our daily lives be such a shock that physical would take precedence over spiritual? Or what if he were called to defend our country in a war...guard our borders...protect the lives of others?

Would he be too soft to serve?

edited2add: better say up front that i don't lose sleep over this at night...just something i thought would be interesting to discuss!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

no sleep...does he think he's in college?

I kept M on his one-nap schedule yesterday despite him acting (as so eloquently stated by Andrea) like he "had no brain."

And so begins the all too familiar cycle of utter sleep destruction where overtired snowballs into extremely overtired.

Frequent readers of this blog already know all of this (sorry to bore you again), but I never know when a newbie is visiting...some worn-out mama who is wondering if anyone else can relate to her child's sleep issues. And so, the destruction in detail:

7:00pm - in bed, falls asleep quickly
9:30pm - restless
12:30am til about 2:00am - AWAKE
5:45am til 7:45am - AWAKE (I left him in bed so I could read & pray...and he was content)

He just fell back asleep, so we'll see how long it lasts. I am very grateful that he did indeed go back down. Yesterday I didn't even get him out of his bed for the first time without a fit.

On a much sweeter note, I put on an old fleece this morning and felt something in the pocket. It was the pacifier that M used when we met him in Taiwan. Made me miss that little baby!!!

Yesterday my big boy and I went over to the university to feed ducks and hang out. It's amazing how much M likes being at "college." The must-be-entertained-every-second demands fade away, and he is content to sit and watch even when the smoothie well has run dry. We sat on a wall outside the student union and, I think because he was tired, he leaned his body over on mine, kicked his feet up on the wall, and chilled. I wish I could have snagged a photo...his pose was very "college boy." So maybe last night he was simply awake practicing for his college days.

WELL, his back-to-sleep lasted for 20 minutes. I'm pretty sure if you do the college math, that should easily make up for the 4 hours he missed out on last night!

Monday, October 13, 2008

hair chop

ok...that was REALLY difficult to get some shots of the chop without laughing hysterically.

almost as difficult as recording a voicemail greeting...something i have not yet done successfully on my new phone. it's pretty much me laughing and scott at the end saying something like "that's a nice one, babe."

here is the former length of my hair
here is the new length, which actually looks longer in the photos because of the way i am sitting
can you tell i'm about to lose it here?
ok...kind of a smile but not in focus.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

TSA and In Control

I'm not saying that TSA is in control...just that I'm sticking two topics in one post.

My recent conversation with a TSA employee:
TSA: That you baby?
ME: Yes, he is.
TSA: You give birth to him?
ME: No, he was born in Taiwan.
TSA: Oh, so you are like his foster mom or you adopted him?
ME: Yes, he was adopted.
TSA: You got a....a...significant other?
ME: Yes, I am married.
TSA: You want any kids of your own?
ME: Well, we consider him our own...but if you mean biological children, whatever God has planned is fine.
TSA: Well, God bless you!!!
He already has!


IN CONTROL...not...
Ok, I'm guessing that most people have some sort of "thing" they do when they are in the midst of a not-so-fun situation in which they have no control.

For some it may be organizing closets. For others it may be retail therapy.

For me...it's cutting my hair.

Or maybe I should say "chopping"...yes, chopping-maiming-annihilating is a much more accurate description. I guess that when I am in crisis mode, hair chopping is my signature "thing." Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing IF I went to a professional...or had some kind of scissor-wielding certificate of achievement myself.

But, alas, I now have a messy, uneven, *coughcough* inches shorter hairdo that I will complain about until it grows out to my standard shoulder length. BTW, I tend to fall on the sassy side when I have short hair...so no telling the direction my posts will take for awhile!

OTHER STUFF
Matthew is pretty much as cute as can be. We are working on one nap/day...which seems to be going OK. Would be better if he could sleep for longer than an 50 mins-1 hour for his one nap, but that may take time. He loves dancing and has added the side-to-side sway to his list of groovin' moves. He's become pretty picky with eating and will shudder and cry at the thought of putting something in his mouth (even if he loved it the day before)...but if I say "5 more bites" then he quickly just shoves them in his mouth, no problem. He is still growing like a weed. Pants that fit him in May are high-waters now.

I recently had a biopsy at my gynocologist's. It was an endo-someotherletters-opsy. I wasn't too worried going into the appointment. Afterall, my gyno is Dr. Touchless. I think the first rule of thumb for any procedure ending in "opsy" should be "keep all 20 inch clawed metal instruments out of patient's view." Seems reasonable. The procedure wasn't horrible (yes, yes, it really was), but for some reason in gyno-related situations I suddenly morph into Jerry Seinfield's sister and run comic relief commentary the entire time. I actually think the whole thing could have been over in mere moments if the doctor had not been laughing so hard. What was I thinking??? BTW, the results were fine.

Funny...not sure if I already posted this...but I told Scott I was craving steak one night. So what did we do? Steak tacos from Taco Bell. Classy, huh? Should have paired them with a nice box o' wine. And the really funny thing is we searched the Taco Bell website so we could make sure they even had such a thing before we ran for the border. Gimme an L, gimme an O, gimme an S.......

Photo courtesy of my precious friend, Kari:

edited2add: ok, of course right after i post about M doing fairly well with the new sleep schedule, it falls apart. he has been sleeping til almost 8:30 every morning which is how we've been able to make it until noonish for his one nap. he sleeps for about 50 mins, then he's up til bed at 7:00p. he had a restless night last night and was up before 7:00a this morning...making it highly unlikely that he'll be able to make it until his noon nap without a huge throw down. so....do you keep on the same schedule OR put him down earlier thus having to either put him down again for a 2nd nap or to move up his bedtime tonight? i really want to get him on one nap a day if possible.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

verse 34

The following are verses from Mark 10 in which Jesus tells His disciples of the things He will suffer when they reach Jerusalem:

verse 33: "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles;

verse 34: "and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again."

verse 35: Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask."

Reread verse 35. Do you ever find yourself pulling this with Jesus? I do. Like the disciples, I can easily gloss over His sacrifice and say, "OK, yeah, the scourging, the spitting, the killing...thanks, Jesus...now what I really want You to do for me is..."

I hope that, despite your needs & wishes & wants, today you will stop at verse 34.

For today may you camp out there...really listening...as if Jesus is speaking to you while you walk the dusty road to Jersusalem. May you ruminate on the truth and reality of His words until they make a change in your heart.

For today may verse 34 be enough.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

our trip

Well, I guess there are two points concerning our trip to post about...the traveling and my mom. I'll start with the traveling.

Preparing for this trip, I knew I needed some new ammo for the flights. So I made two big purchases in hopes of finding just the right anti-hysteria trick. One purchase was a family size bag of dum-dum suckers and the other was an inexpensive DVD player. Yep, I was more than ready.

I'm happy to report that on this trip no flight attendants were kicked, no passengers threw themselves out the exit door, and we were not banned from the friendly skies. In fact, I didn't even need any of the new stuff, which actually turned out for the best because now I have suckers for Fall Festival and the DVD player had somehow run out of juice making it unusable (did I mention it was "inexCHEAPpensive"?).

M's sleep was, of course, off kilter during the visit, but he held up fairly well. He did, however, sleep until 9 the morning after we arrived home. So now we are back to trying one nap a day...but that is another post.

As for my mom, she is not well. The photos do not reflect the physical suffering that she is enduring. She is not necessarily in pain; she just feels miserable. A few times I found myself apologizing to her for the difficulty I have in truly empathizing with her...for I honestly cannot comprehend what she is going through. I wish I could...wish I could take on the burden...relieve her of the fear. But this is her path to walk just as one day I will walk my own. Yet knowing that does not shield your heart from your mother's sobs.

Here's the thing though...while I do not understand all she is going through, I know the One who does. While I am unfamiliar with the loss, the humiliation, and the separation from loved ones that have come with her cancer, Jesus is not. I trust that not a tear falls upon her cheek that He does not see and is not willing to wipe away with His love. His compassion fails not.

God tells us to "rejoice in all things" and, right now, that is really all I want to do....so....

I am thankful for
- my mom's cat peeing on my sister's futon so that we had to share a bed...which led to very late night gab sessions
- my stepdad who is caring for my mom with a servant's heart...even if it means cinnamon danish cravings in the middle of the night
- the vibrant hues of pumpkins and flowers and turning leaves that brighten even the dreariest of days
- people who work and volunteer in hospice
- being surrounded by family and friends...my heart is heavy for those who go through trials alone
- the absolute confidence I have in the absolute power of God...knowing that He could heal my mother completely and immediately even at this moment...and yet being resigned to His will. This is a gift from Him...not a quality of my own.


and we're back

M and I are back in NM. Will post about our trip later...photos of pumpkin carving...a funny conversation with a little TSA worker...and a pretty great traveling companion in lil' M.

For now I just want to share this video that I saw on Stefanie's blog. Most of you have probably already seen it, but for those who haven't it's a good watch. May you be reminded of the unfathomable power of God.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

and we're off....

getting ready to head to the airport for our trip to IL. if you are in the mood to give a shout out to God for me, please pray james 1:2-6.

leaving you with this video...a song by kendall payne...you have to sit through (or fast forward through) a little bit o' francis chan. but the words to the song are shown, so i chose this version to post.



and, because i'm not sure how often i'll be able to post, i thought i'd share a little bit of sugar to sweeten your day: