Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So clever.

During an ice storm week like this one when I have spent a good portion of time in my pajamas, this music video was especially fun to watch. Thanks to Rachel at Black Eiffel for sharing.

Oren Lavie, "Her Morning Elegance"

Finish this phrase...

Because it's a snow (really, ice) day, and because I don't have any fun pictures to post, and because I can't think of anything exciting to blog about today, I thought I would take advantage of this "meme" (is that what these are?) I saw over on Kori's blog. It was kind of hard to come up with some of these answers. Let me know if you do this as well -- I'd love to read what everyone else comes up with.

I live: where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain. Now you know.

I work: as a pianist, but only a few hours a week, although, being a mom is pretty much full-time hard work.

I smell: nothing right now, surprisingly.

I listen: to sermons, but I have a hard time concentrating much of the time.

I hide: chocolate from my diabetic husband, and sometimes peanut butter, too.

I walk: most nights on my treadmill for four miles in an hour while watching Gilmore Girls. I wish America was more like Europe where people walk to most places and are in much better physical shape.

I write: numerous "to do" lists every day.

I see: the good in almost everything.

I sing: Big Band and jazz standards to myself when I am alone.

I can: turn a Styrofoam cup inside out.

I watch: less network TV now that the stupid networks have canceled my favorite shows and more cable TV, especially TLC.

I daydream: about living in the country, but preferably minus the spiders, vermin, and coyotes.

I want: to be more organized and enjoy cooking and cleaning.

I cry: usually about once a month. Hahahahaha.

I read: lots of books from the library, but I wish I would have more of a passion for reading the Bible on a daily basis than I do.

I love: Blue Bell ice cream, especially "Homemade Vanilla", even though I am usually a chocolate girl.

I rode: on a camel once, when my best friend's mom took us to the Shriner Circus.

I sometimes: want more kids, but then I sometimes don't. We've got a pretty nice little threesome going.

I fear: drowning in the ocean.

I hope: it's a mild summer this year. I hate the ultra hot and humid days.

I eat: mostly well-balanced, healthy meals. But I must always have a little dessert.

I drink: hardly any caffiene, maybe a pop every once in a while, definitely no coffee, and very rarely a cup of tea.

I play: Bunco.

I miss: my dad. Terribly. And my friends and family who live far away.

I forgive: but I sure can have a hard time forgetting sometimes. Other times, I forget completely and couldn't recall if you asked me to.

I drive: an almost 13-year-old car, and I could care less what people think about that. Me, I think it rocks that my gas mileage is so fantastic, my car is in tip-top condition, and we save money with no car payments. Plus, my dad helped me buy it, so I will NEVER get rid of it.

I lost: two friendships last year, and I really hate that. Well, not so much lost them, but kind of let them go because of how the relationships were affecting me, but they are not forgotten and I hope one day to possibly rebuild them if it is healthy for both sides.

I dream: all the time, but rarely remember my dreams.

I kiss: my dogs. Yep, I'm one of those people.

I hug: my two guys every chance I get.

I have: never been to New York City, but would love to go someday, especially if it involved the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I remember: all too vividly what it was like to be unpopular growing up and picked on. It still affects the way I think of people.

I don't: think Oprah is all that great, and I think she has become a cult.

I believe: in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins.

I owe: some money back to the piggy bank.

I know: a little bit of Spanish, but I sure wish I was fluent.

I hate: that there are so many people hungry and in need around the world when we over here in America gripe about such petty things.

I wish: our house was completely paid off and that we also had a completely paid for vacation home in Oregon. Ha!

I wear: lots of corduroy pants, but they are not so fun to get the wrinkles out of. I especially like them for the swishing sounds they make when I walk.

Maybe I should: stop procrastinating. And that's not really a maybe.

People would say that I'm: a pistol.

I don't understand: why everyone is constantly upgrading their cell phones.

Life is full of: time, it's just that you don't know how much you're gonna get.

My past is: pretty boring if you want to talk about the teenage years. I was a good girl and a nerd.

I get annoyed when: my time gets wasted.

Parties are: a lot of work.

Tomorrow: is always when I say I'm going to do something I've been putting off.

Never in my life have I: been more comfortable in my own shoes.

When I was younger, I: had a room decked out in Holly Hobbie finery.

When I'm nervous: I try and concentrate on the very minute I will be done with whatever it is I'm nervous about.

When I was 5: I wore my new red "Annie" dress on my first day of kindergarten. My mom made it.

My life is not complete without: my husband, son, and all five dogs.

If you visit my hometown: you'd be surprised at how nice of a place it is to live, even if it's not the most exciting place. Many people call it a hidden gem.

The world could do without: greed.

If I ever go back to school: it will be to enroll my son, or it would be to attend a cool art school of some sort for a short period of time.

Another top ten...

Due to today being the third day of cabin fever (Monday at least halfway counts since the sleet/freezing rain started coming down at noon, and I haven't been out of the house since), it's time for another "top ten" list. Rather than focusing on my ever-increasing case of cabin fever, I will choose to list the ten best things about our little ice storm (with a dollop of snow at the end).

1. Bunny tracks. Remember, right now I don't have access to posting personal pictures because of my stupid iPhoto issues, but just take my word for it -- the bunny tracks zigzagged all across our snowy front yard are adorable.

2. No makeup. Since I'm not leaving the house, I don't have to bother prettying myself up, although my husband probably would have appreciated it last night since by then I was starting to look a bit like Medusa...

3. Space heaters. Although we do have heating and air in our house, it is quite drafty (as it is expected to be since it was built in the 1930s), but thankfully we own three or four (maybe five?) space heaters which is helping out immensely.

4. Not having to be anywhere. This is one of those "on the fence" realities -- part of me is going crazy from being cooped up in the house, but another part of me is happy to not have to be anywhere in particular since everything is canceled.

5. Online episodes. Every season I say I won't tune in, but this season I have caved, and my guilty pleasure is totally "The Bachelor". It was nice catching up on some episodes on my laptop yesterday, nice and warm in my pajamas, while the boy was sawing logs at naptime.

6. Treadmills. Another "on the fence" one -- part of me dreads the treadmill, but it is nice to be able to get some exercise while homebound. I'm up to a good 4 mph daily.

7. Clean and organized. Since I have nowhere to go, I'm actually accomplishing a little more every day on the cleaning and organizing battle I have waged against my house.

8. Russell Stover 75% off chocolates. Thank you, dear husband. I can survive anything as long as there are chocolates in the house, especially knowing you got them 75% off.

9. Electricity! Nope, we haven't lost it, and it doesn't look like we will be!

10. Good books. Homebound = more time to get caught up on reading.

And for a bonus #11 -- it will be warming up tomorrow, so we will not be homebound past today. Hurrah.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A painful goodbye.

I knew it was inevitable, since I had read the rumors floating around BlogLand. But it wasn't until the dreaded little postcard arrived in my mailbox today that I knew it was for real. Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Magazine, my long-time #1 favorite magazine, is no more.

Please pause for a moment of silence with me.

I have subscribed to this magazine pretty much since it's first issue, which I believe was sometime around the fall of 1996. 13 years people. I told you I was a longtime fan. And now this. Stupid recession. This is going to take me a while to get over. Back in the day (starting in middle school, I think) I was the world's biggest Mary Engelbreit fan. I have since done away with most of my Mary Engelbreit paraphenalia, but that magazine has stuck. Every issue was always filled to the brim with such creative stories, beautiful homes and studios to lust after, and free ideas galore. I can honestly say that a good chunk of my eclectic decorating tastes have been influenced by this magazine.

Ugh. The good thing is I still have most of the issues in possession, so I will forever be able to thumb through them for continued inspiration. Now I suppose Country Living Magazine (which really isn't very "country" at all, at least not my definition of "country") will be finally able to take the #1 spot on my list. It's a great magazine, too. But really, the worst part is there isn't another magazine out there I can subscribe to that is anywhere near similar to Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion. No substitutes. I just have to quit, cold turkey.

According to the postcard, I will now be receiving Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Okay, I guess, since I used to receive that magazine anyway. But no offense, Martha Stewart doesn't hold a candle to Mary Engelbreit in the whimsical department.


Random. It's what I do best.

Forgive me, but last night, while watching "A Very Duggar Wedding" (while on my treadmill, thankyouverymuch), I couldn't help but chuckle at the amount of birth control commercials. I'm totally not making fun of the Duggars -- in fact, I find so much about them to be really inspiring in ways -- but the irony did make me chuckle. Personally, just watching a show about having 18 children is enough to keep me from having that many children myself, haha. (Props to the Duggars and how happy they seem to be with so many wonderful children, but whew, it is not for me. Of that I am sure.) Do they show that many birth control commercials during "Jon and Kate Plus 8" as well? I'll have to pay more attention.


The IceMan cometh. As I type this the freezing rain is steadily coming down. Thankfully I made my grocery store run this morning and am tucked away safe and sound inside my warm house. I'm hoping and praying it is nothing like the beast we got last year. 10 days without power for us. The city was basically shut down. We bought a generator (with professional install, which was way more expensive than the generator itself) which basically was Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday to each other for the next few years. Not exactly the most awesome present I could come up with if I got to pick, but a blessing nonetheless. Believe me, I was begging for that generator. But I'm hoping we don't end up having to actually hook it up again this week.


The boy's bedtime prayer last night mentioned bubblegum. Several times. And I didn't make the list. Hmmmm. My ratings must be down...


Did I mention that I bought my first anti-wrinkle cream last week? Hmmmm. A true sign that I am into my 30's, yes?


Too cute. My boy is a tad distraught right now because one of his cars stopped working. (Batteries, it's always batteries around here. And I'm the mean mama that sometimes allows the noisy toys to remain without batteries indefinitely. That comes from being the one that has to listen to them 24/7.) All of a sudden a lightbulb seemed to come on in his head because he ran off, came back and announced, "I fix it mysef!", and proceeded to first use his doctor's kit on it (cute, right?), and when that didn't work, ran off, and came back with his wooden tool kit. You gotta love the imagination.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happiness is...

...being the proud parent of a three-year-old boy who has had several weeks of 100%-golden-delicious-behavior in Sunday School (I think the term "angel" was actually used today!)

...coming home from a busy Sunday morning to a delicious home-cooked meal made by one's husband

...finishing said lunch and hearing those glorious words, "I'll do the dishes, honey, don't worry about those", declared by said talented cook husband (which is a rarity in these parts)

...taking a loooooong Sunday afternoon nap (haven't done that in forever)

...waking up from said nap only to find out I don't have to go back out in the cold downtown to the Sunday School leadership meeting after all (which, um, is not necessarily the most fun task) because my sweet husband surprised me and went instead so I wouldn't have to get up from my nap even though he went last month and it wasn't his turn to have to (er, I mean, get to) attend this month

Oh yeah. I'm feeling really happy right now!

Good Christian panties.

Thanks go out to Amy for sharing this one.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm a junkie. (A music junkie, that is.)

Anyone that knows me in real life (as opposed to my virtual life here, haha) knows of my obsession with making mix-CD's. Forget the iPod (and yes, I have one in my drawer somewhere). I like to do things old school style -- come up with the perfect playlist for any and every occasion (or non-occasion) and burn it to a CD. I still remember when the whole iTunes/iPod craze first started, and they had those commercials with the catch-phrase "Life Has a Soundtrack" (or something like that). Man, what a line. I wish I was the one who came up with that slogan! Seriously, that could be my own personal slogan -- because I associate everything in my life with music. Everything in my life does have a soundtrack.

So lately I've been working on my "Spring 2009" playlist -- go ahead and throw me into the "nerd" category if you haven't already done so. I totally make playlists for every new season, along with birthdays, Christmas (of course), and various other occasions. I am a huge iTunes fan and visit the homepage almost daily looking for new stuff. Last week I discovered these guys -- Fiction Family -- a brilliant collaboration between Jon Foreman ("Switchfoot") and Sean Watkins ("Nickel Creek"). I'm actually not a huge Switchfoot fan myself, but I had recently bought several solo works from Jon Foreman, and I have been a longtime fan of Nickel Creek, so the pairing of the two really intrigued me. Their new album just came out January 20th, and I must add, how cool is it that you can actually buy a vinyl record even?! Right now this is my favorite song ("When She's Near"):

A most quiet Friday.

Usually I don't mind the winter, but this year I seem to be longing for springtime to come already! We've actually had virtually no real winter weather here in Wonderland yet (as opposed to the world's worst ice storm last year), and there has been one afternoon almost every week that the temperatures manage to climb up into the 60's and even sometimes the 70's (like yesterday) before plummeting back into the 20's and 30's again. These little gifts of warmth have probably been the culprits behind making me want spring already -- once you have a taste of the warmth again, it's hard to want to go back to being cold. This afternoon I've already watched this little clip several times to sort of pacify me until Lady Spring decides to arrive. "Alice in Wonderland" has always been one of my favorites!

Today has been a nice, boring day so far, just like I like them. My husband surprised me and took our son to work with him this morning, giving me a nice 4-5 hours of quiet freedom at home. He returned him to me just in time for lunch, and then, voila! Time for a second round of quiet for me -- NAPTIME! Woohoo! I can't say I've been super productive, but I have managed to get a few things done, and most important of all, I've had time to relax and rest since my nice little cold doesn't seem to be leaving me anytime soon. Ahhhh-chooooooooooooo!

I put in an order for a few pieces of this for my boy's closet (found at The Land of Nod):

Two blue large hanging organizers and one small (shoe-size) blue hanging organizer to go between them. The right side of my boy's closet is incredibly shallow, and the one rod that is installed there is so close to the wall that it makes it very difficult to hang up clothes on that side. Now I will be able to take all the hangers down from that side, fold all the little t-shirts up, and stack them on these hanging organizers. One more step towards organization!

I wish I could show you pictures of my newly organized house, well, the parts I've tackled so far at least. Like I mentioned yesterday, my iPhoto program is jacked up right now, so I think my computer will soon be taking a trip to one of those Geek Squad/Nerds R' Us type establishments for some serious help. It's driving me crazy that I can't upload any personal pics to Facebook or to my blog posts right now!

I'm very excited to announce that I finally got the opportunity to join a quilting bee! Our group, Pieced Together, starts next month. It's a larger than normal group of 20, but I'm excited because that means I will have more quilt blocks to make a larger quilt with. I've only done swaps in the past, no quilting bees, so this will be a great change of pace. Plus, I am one of the later months, so that will give me plenty of time to plan out what I want for my quilt.

How's that for a boring blog post? Ha! Hope you are enjoying your Friday, wherever you are!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Maybe if you don't care about living...

Found this little interesting list on Yahoo today: FORTUNE came out with their "100 Best Companies To Work For" list. Perched happily at #6 is a company called Cisco Systems. My husband worked for Cisco Systems when we first got married. He was with this company for quite a few years. It was great pay, yes, but it was the single most stressful job he has ever had. The company was stressful to work for, the environment was stressful, his fellow employees were stressed out -- STRESSFUL was written all over this company. It was like someone threw my husband in the shark pool every day, and I just hoped and prayed each day he'd be able to swim to the surface without losing too many limbs. I'll never forget one annual company meeting he attended in California where a fellow coworker dropped dead of a heart attack right in front of him from a stressful meeting they had all sat in on.

So this list FORTUNE Magazine released today? Pshaw. I think I'll skip going after the fortune in favor of living a long and happy life. No thanks, FORTUNE Magazine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where is my chicken soup?

It just occurred to me that my blog hasn't been very crafty lately, and it is titled "My Own Crafty Wonderland", now isn't it? I feel like I am still catching up after the holidays. My poor sewing machine has sat neglected for over two months now, still in the plastic wrap from when I took it Christmas break to be serviced. The good news is that it should purr like a kitten when I do get it back out.

Another delay in blogging is the fact that something is amiss with my photos on my computer. I have so many photos I could post, but for some odd reason, they are only showing up in my iPhotos program and not when I search for them when it comes time to upload them to a blog post. Argh.

And I have a cold. A good old-fashioned make your nose burn and good-gracious-how-many-times-is-it-truly-possible-to-blow-your-nose-in-less-than-a-minute cold. Not that I am complaining too much -- somehow every year we seem to avoid the dreaded stomach bugs that travel around, and we always get our flu shots as well -- so a cold is usually as bad as it gets around here. Uncomfortable for sure, but I'll look at the silver lining and take a cold anyday over those others. (In fact, I must seize this opportunity and tell you how over-the-moon thankful I am for my crazy healthy boy. Other than his yearly checkups, my almost-four-year-old has only been to the pediatrician one other time for pink-eye, which really doesn't count as a very serious visit at all.)

Okay. That's all. Nothing exciting, sorry. Hopefully I'll be back in a day or two and have some more interesting posts. (With pictures, hopefully.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Proud to be an American.

What an exciting day for the United States of America! This might sound like a strange comment coming from me, especially since I was a McCain/Palin supporter. But the truth is, I do agree with the fact that President Obama represents such an amazing change for our country, and whether you want skin color to be an issue or not, it is. I am the mother of a boy with the most beautiful brown skin you've ever seen, and I would be a fool to not celebrate what this day means for our country, and the fact that it is opening those doors even wider for my boy and his hopes and dreams. If my boy grows up dreaming of becoming President of these United States, his skin color will not be an issue. I've actually been quite appalled and disappointed in these last few days with so many comments I've heard or read (via Facebook) from friends of mine and fellow Christians across the country regarding this new President. The truth is, no matter what our political opinions are, we are called by God Himself to support our leaders.

Romans 13:6 (The Message version):
"Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, RESPECT YOUR LEADERS."

I even found this website: Presidential Prayer Team -- a great resource that tells us specifically how we can best pray for our new president, especially through these first 100 days in office. All of us, regardless of our political opinions, should be praying for President Obama, for his protection and safety, that he would seek the wisdom of God, surround himself with wise counsel, that he will execute and administer justice.

God Bless America. And congratulations to President Barack Obama and his family.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

Seriously?! The uber-talented woman finally made an adult-sized piece to giveaway?

Be still my heart.

From the mouths of babes

More little funnies from the boy...

"Iss my song! Iss my song!" proudly triumphed from the backseat on more than one separate occasion when the little trumpet fanfare comes on to signal the start of "All Things Considered" on NPR. I have yet to figure this one out, how he has latched on to this little seconds-long fanfare out of everything on the radio.

"Day doo, Gah, for my Mama, Papa, TV, be a dood boy (be a good boy), no hitting, no Tung Fu Panda, no be mean, AYYYYY-men!" Hmmm. Can you tell that we've really been talking it up about no more naughtiness at school, please? Although I am rather thankful that we now have a little extra prayer for good behavior being said. We can, er, sometimes use all the help we can get on making it a full day at school without an altercation with one of our little friends. Ah yes, I use the term "we" very lightly here...

While passing a semi truck, or rather, being passed by a semi-truck on the highway, the following little conversation was struck up:
Boy: "Mama, who made dat tuck?" (Who made that truck? -- right now, he is all into who made something, where did it come from, etc. type questions)
Me: "Baby, I don't know. That's a good question!"
Boy: (very matter-of-factly) "God. God diddit."
I love how if it is impressive to my boy in any way, shape or form, he is automatically sure of himself that God must have done it. Too cute.

And on Sunday at lunch, we were asking him about his Sunday School class and what Bible story he heard that day:
Me: "Did you hear a Bible story today in class?"
Him: "Yes. 'Bout Jesus." (Jesus. Always the right answer in Sunday School if you don't really know the answer, haha.)
Me: "And what did Jesus do in the story?"
Him: "Fight the bad duys. Said don't be afaid."
Of course, in his little world, Jesus' favorite pasttime is the same as his -- "fighting the bad guys". And the "don't be afraid" part? He is still quoting the only phrase he latched on to from the Nativity story (when the angels told the shepherds to not be afraid) and inserting it into every single Biblical-related question we ask. Ha.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Never a dull moment.

Tonight was our first game of the season in our church men's basketball league. As I've mentioned before, my husband and I took on the leadership for the newlyweds class at our church (and "nearly newly" and "dating"). Since we've got most of the younger guys, we knew we would have an awesome team. My husband, usually the non-sporting type, decided he needed to sign the roster as well to show leadership, be supportive, yada yada yada. Now, keep in mind, my husband is our token "old guy", considering he just turned 40 years old and some of our guys are in their early to mid-20's, with maybe a few in their very early 30's. (And no, dear readers, I am not calling any of you "old" out there if you, too, find yourself in good company with my husband age-wise. It just makes it more fun to tease him, especially since we are surrounded by all the young newlyweds.) So, being the odd man out already, he knew he wanted to find some way to bring the funk, so to speak.

Anyway, he decided he wanted to dress "old school" -- you know, short shorts, headband and wrist bands, high-top Converse, tube socks and all. He had trouble finding the short shorts like they used to wear (thank the good Lord above), so he settled on some bright red medium-length shorts. Since it was cold outside tonight, he put on sweats over his outfit, and left a few minutes earlier than my son and I since he wanted to get there a tad early to "practice" (considering he hadn't played in like 20 years).

When my son and I got there, I could already see the newlywed wives laughing on the bleachers, especially when they saw the two of us coming, so of course, I knew something was up. Sure enough, when my boy and I sat down with the girls, they could barely stop from laughing to tell me that they had a great story for me! In our almost seven years of marriage, that means one thing and one thing only to me -- my husband did something highly embarrassing.

Sure enough, according to the girls, Doug was telling them all (including his teammates) about his awesome outfit, and whipped off the sweatshirt and then whipped off the sweatpants to show off his outfit. Unfortunately for him, his basketball shorts whipped right off along with the sweatpants, and he ended up standing there in his skivvies in front of all these poor newlywed wives without even realizing it at first.

Yep, my husband stood there in front of these poor girls in his underwear. I'm just glad they weren't tighty whities, but still. Here we are the directors of the class, and my husband totally pulled off his pants in front of all the wives. Bless their cute little hearts.

I'll be praying that we still have couples show up to class this Sunday...;)

Kids say the darndest things.

My boy cracks me up a lot. The other day he was playing with Legos and was so proud to show me what he created. "Look, Mama. I may a dun (I made a gun) for spankin' the bad duys!" Ha! His words, not mine!

The other day we were leaving the library. We go to the library at least once a week, so this is nothing new to him, and he very much understands library etiquette and the need to control one's mouth and volume level. While the librarian was checking our books out for us, my son took advantage of the ultra-quiet-although-completely-filled-to-the-brim-with-lots-of-people-environment and YELLED out:
"MAMA, WHEH DID GOD TUM FROM?????" (Where did God come from?)
Yep, not a small question from my small fry. Nope, not at all. Needless to say there were many quiet chuckles heard immediately afterwards, not to mention all eyes were on me to see what my response would be. I think I told him that "God is with us everywhere", and pretty much we got the heck out of Dodge. (Although my answer actually ended up being a good one. This past Sunday he came out of his little Sunday School class singing "God is with us everywhere, everywhere, everywhere", so it was pretty good timing nonethless!)

He also is very much into wooden blocks these days and likes to build houses for me. A little while ago I walked into the playroom to the shouts of "Suh-pise!" and found a "house" just for me (a tower of assorted blocks). He informed me that it was a house for me, Papa, himself, all five dogs, and all the Indians. Yes, my friends, apparently it is my son's desire that we live amongst a tribe someday. (I can only joke because I actually am a card-carrying tribal gal myself. Really. No jokes for this here pasty white girl.)

Last night's prayer was all about thanking God for "God, Jesus, and the bad guys". At least someone out there is praying for all the villians of the world.

And what would any little boy be without a deep-seeded, completely innate love for all things related to flatulence? Ahem. Yes, I may try my darndest to teach this boy manners, respect for adults and the female species, but by golly if he doesn't proclaim a very triumphant "Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!! Wass tha smew?" (as in, "Mmmmmmmmm!!!!! What is that glorious scent?") and erupt into uncontrollable giggles after every fantastically loud toot that his three-year-old body produces. Of course, my husband, the ever-proud Papa, always joins in with the uncontrollable laughter.

Boys. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Still here...

...but a little bit distracted with a heavy heart.

We have some friends we made through adoption that brought their daughter home from Guatemala shortly before our son came home. I had the privilege of meeting this beautiful little girl a few times. Over the last year, the family received some devasting news about their daughter -- at only three years old, she was diagnosed with a very high-risk, aggressive form of leukemia. Let me tell you, the adoption process is difficult enough (and this beautiful blended family has been through the process three separate times), but to fight to bring your beautiful child home only to be faced with a new type of battle that you have way less control over? This has really really been tearing my heart to bits for this precious family.

Please, please join me in praying for this sweet girl and her family, especially this coming Wednesday, the first day of a 60-day round of treatment that her doctors have already described as "hell". Certain genetic complications have put her chance of surviving the treatment at about 20%. But we serve a God who is bigger than leukemia, bigger than any 20%, and a God who has received so much glory already all because of one amazing little girl and her equally amazing family.

Thanks, my friends.

*You can read all about Abby's story on their family blog:

There is also a Facebook group you can join called "Praying for Abby".

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A final farewell to 2008

Some friends of ours do a "Top Ten" list every year by looking back and writing down their favorite parts of the past year, which I think is a grand idea. 2008 was actually a very quiet year for us -- in the four years preceding 2008 we had traveled a lot, adopted a child, experienced several deaths in the family, moved across the country, etc. -- so 2008 was really a welcome change in my book. The "top ten" things in 2008 might not be monumental, but it is a very good thing to go back and be reminded of all God's blessings to us, both big and small.

Without further ado, our top ten of 2008 (in no particular order):

1. Staycation! We were supposed to go on a big jam-packed trip to the NE and Canada, but close to the time I should have had it all planned out, I caved and wanted to stay home. It ended up being the absolute best decision because we had a fantastic time at home, truly putting aside work and other responsibilities for a season and enjoying the days together as a little family of three.

2. Newlyweds. Ha! A somewhat surprising decision in 2008 included my husband and I taking on the leadership of the "newlyweds/nearly newly" Sunday School class (we call them Life Groups, but whatever, it's still Sunday School) at church. It has been really fun so far, and we are enjoying getting to know so many new couples.

3. Fencing in the front yard. Love it. My boy can run and play to his heart's delight without fear of being hit by a car, it looks cute, and the most fun surprise is that it seems to keep the solicitors at bay!

4. The boy's bed was built! I never thought THAT would happen. Of course, I still need to complete the painting, but for the most part, all the big projects in there are finally done.

5. New career path for my husband, one that he is enjoying, and one that keeps him home so much more than ever before. Less travel is so much better for all of us!

6. Bilingual preschool. I could go on and on here, but all I really need to say is how very much we love bilingual preschool and that our son is learning two languages. Now if we could just somehow convince the directors to expand it up to age 18, we'd be set.

7. Date nights. We finally incorporated this back into our marriage, at least somewhat. We could stand to improve on the frequency of these date nights, but at least we are starting to enjoy some alone time again. I could sum this one up in one word -- "glassblowing" -- one of the most cool things I have ever done!

8. Eating at home. I never thought this would be such a big deal, but I've finally crossed the threshold from "dreading" cooking dinner to "mostly enjoying" it. Not only does it save money, but everyone knows it is better for health as well. It also gives us more time together as a threesome, meeting up to not only share meals but share our days with each other.

9. Fun trips. Although we didn't travel as much as usual, we still enjoyed some really fun trips -- Tennessee for my birthday weekend, Minnesota in the fall, and Tennessee in the fall again. There were other smaller trips in there as well, but those are the hilights.

10. Still a family of three. This might sound like a strange one to many of you, but we are really happy to still be a family of three and not more. To an adoptive parent, this is huge. I don't know about everyone else, but once you adopt, there is almost always a huge pressure to adopt again (usually because everyone else is). All you need to do is look at Brangelina and you can figure that one out. For quite a while after my son came home, there was this intense craving to start it all up again, but it wasn't the right timing (not to mention how expensive adoption can be), and when I finally got past that point, it was this amazing sweet relief that washed over me. God may or may not have plans for our family to grow, but for now, I am simply content with what He has blessed us with in each other.

I read on another blog about picking a "word" for 2009, a word that could kind of sum up what you are wanting the year to represent, and for me personally, that word would be "content". Being content with the blessings already in my life, being content from the "materialism/consumerism" standpoint and not allowing myself to want to "keep up with the Joneses", etc., being content with life in general. Because when I am content and truly satisfied, then any other blessings that pop up are just icing on the cake. And being content myself will hopefully teach my son how to be content as well.

Of course, the word "content" also has a flip-side for me, and that means I need to be ever mindful that I don't become too content in other areas of my life. I don't want to ever become content spiritually, but instead I hope that my desire to know more about God will only continue to grow. I also don't want to become content in my goals, but strive to not only reach them but also surpass them. Hmm, sounds like I picked quite a tricky word, huh?

So here's to 2009!