Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A love for books

I love to read. Even if what I'm reading is not particularly interesting, I still get some pleasure just from the act of reading itself. If I'm sitting at the table eating breakfast and there's not a paper or a book, I'll read the box of cereal, that I've read already, but really I can't help myself. I love the way words are so powerful, how if you string certain words together you can create something beautiful, not just the image it brings to mind, but the words themselves can be beautiful.

Libraries must be the best place ever invented. A place you can go, filled with more books than you could ever read, all of which are available to take home and read, for free. I made it a habit several years back to always try and find the local library whenever we visit a town for even a few hours. I've been to libraries in towns we were just passing through as well as libraries I've been to several times in places we visit often.

You can tell a lot about a library by the way it looks from the outside, how big it is, how long ago it was built, whether the people in the town have forgotten about it or if it is the place to be (which most likely means a great story time for kids and lots of DVDs to check out for adults). You would be amazed how nice some libraries are, that in a town of a few thousand they would spend the money to have rows upon rows of DVDs, 100s of magazines to choose from, and children areas that will blow you away.

My favorites are the really old libraries, the ones that have been there for at least a hundred years and will remain for a hundred more, these are found in small towns, but they are worth finding. When you walk in you smell the unmistakable smell of thousands of books. I love that smell, it makes me feel happy and safe and like I've entered a world full of possibilities. These libraries always have big, soft, armchairs in an out of the way corner by the window. If I could sit in that chair and read all day, it would be a perfect day. One time one of the old libraries we found had stained glass windows, and I considered for a moment how I could convince Kyle to move to that town, without him catching on that it was just because of their library.

When I was a little girl, in the summer time, a traveling book center came to our community center once a week. It was just a small RV made into a library. I remember walking up there full of excitement of what I was going to get. To this day I think some of my favorite books are the ones I read as a girl, The Boxcar Children, Ramona Quimby, all of Judy Blume's books, the Babysitters series. I cannot wait until Kylynn is old enough to start reading some of them, so we can read them together and I can get another chance to travel to those worlds that were pure magic for me.

Today on the way home from the library both Kylynn and Jack just had to read one of their new books in the short ride home, so I gave them each one and the both "read" out loud, the stories they saw on the pages. Then when I went into Kylynn's room this afternoon to put her to bed she was laying on her bed, on her belly, with her knees bent and feet swinging in the air reading her books, just like I used to. It made me so happy, my children love books, and because of that there is a whole other world available to them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Swimsuit giveaway


Head on over to Sit A Spell's blog for a chance to win a free Lime Ricki swimsuit!

His mercies are new every morning

It was a hard day, here are a few highlights from my day
*Chasing the kids around my sweet neighbor's, who happens to be 94, house praying they wouldn't break anything.
*Sending Kylynn across the street to another neighbor's house to clean off the crayon she drew all over their door.
*Trying to take a much needed nap (due to a small fever and a unhappy stomach) and instead listening to Jack scream for the entire nap time.
*Apologizing to the man who came out to put gutters on our house, because I had snapped at him for not knowing how we wanted the gutters done.
*Trying to cook chicken nuggets and finding out that in fact our oven is not working (again).

"Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." The Bible, Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mac, baby!

We did it! We finally gave in to the all the great feedback we've, heard and upgraded to a Mac. I know, I know, you either love Macs or hate them, so I'm sure some of you are cringing to hear we've gone over to the dark side. But so far I must say, it's been well, love at first sight, I mean really they are so pretty and white. I even enjoy the way my fingers feel when I type on the keypad more.

It was a long time coming, my previous non-Mac laptop (that's all I'm going to say, no need to bash any brands around here) had become a bit of a joke. It had to be plugged into the wall to work...not so laptopish anymore, huh? It was so slow I swear I had flashbacks to the 90's when I would try to play Oregon trail on my our family computer (or was that the 80s I can't remember). It always had some mystery software running on it when I would try and shut it down, that I'm sure was just one of it's many viruses.

I'm using it today for the first time and I've yet to get confused or open the book, I just turned it on and so far it's making sense to me. Now if it has a better way for me to organize my pictures and help me to actually get them off of the computer and into a photo album, I will name my next child after it...I'll let you know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The great debate

We've been in "discussion" mode around here for the past month or so. Do we want another child? And if so, how should we bring that child into our family?

It became quickly apparent, that yes we want another child, although we both said yes with a sigh that says, "I know I want another child, but I have no idea why. I mean I'm so tired and these kids we love them but they sure can drive us crazy. And if we have another we'll have to do it all over again." But actually, that's the thing, even with all the lost sleep, the crazy days, the work, we want to do it all over again, couldn't not, do it all over again.

So the debate turned rather quickly to the how. How do we want to go about adding another child to our family. Do we try and get pregnant or do we adopt? It is, to say the least, a strange spot to be in. At one point, I looked at Kyle and said, I feel like we're trying to decide which child we love more, he knew exactly what I meant, and you just can't pick between the two loves of your life.

Adoption and giving birth, they are both miracles that is for sure, but if you read this blog often you know that it was adoption that God imprinted on my heart as the most amazing miracle in my life. On the other hand, I really loved being pregnant (ok, maybe I didn't I can't remember that well it's been 4 years, but my mind has at least re-created that experience to say that I loved it). And having a newborn baby and all that goes along with it was wonderful (again, perhaps it was not but I remember it as wonderful). And part of me will be sad if I am to never again go down that path again.

So that's where we are. I will keep you posted as I think we both know what we really want, we've just got to take that next step and say yes, this is it, this is what we're going to do.

There are people following me...

I added the followers gadget on my blog and so far so good. It has had the intended effect, I've got several new people sign-up as a follower of my blog. If you enjoy my blog and wouldn't mind, would you sign up to follow it.

My reasons are purely selfish. I would like to sign up for a company that reviews products (you are not paid for your review, but do receive the item you are reviewing for free), and this company will not consider my blog unless I have at least 50 followers.

Don't feel compelled to do so, but if you follow my blog anyway, why not make it official? Thanks guys, it's really fun to see who's following my blog, especially people who I don't know personally.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The love of a blanket

Jack has a special blanket. But special is not the right word, not nearly significant enough to describe his devotion to and love for that blanket. I can tell you without a hint of sarcasm or jealousy his blanket is more comforting to him than I am.

If I had to guess as to why he is so unusually attached to blanket I would guess that it has to do with the very difficult transition he was forced to go through at nine months old. In that transition, he lost the only mother he had ever known, his language, familiar looking faces, food, smells, routine and was left feeling angry and alone and scared. When we traveled to Korea we took a blanket for him, in hopes that it would bring him some comfort, we gave it to him the first moment he was ours, wrapped it around him in the baby carrier and the rest is history. He was instantly attached to it, and now I often think that although he is not conscious of it, he loves that blanket because it is simply the only thing in his life that can take him back to his first home.

If you were to be a fly on the wall and watch our family operate you might be confused and think we have three children, Kylynn, Jack, and Blanket. Everyday several times a day and every time we are leaving the house to do anything, you will hear, do you have blanket? Because if Jack doesn't have his blanket and he decides he wants it, nothing and I mean nothing will console him, until blanket returns to it's rightful place.

The part that makes this more of an adventure is Jack gets sick (as in throws up) very easily. He does it from crying, when he eats or drinks something he doesn't like, sometimes for no apparent reason at all. So when he gets sick it's all over his blanket, which he carries on his hand, wrapped around a finger, with that finger in his mouth. Of course I then have to take it away and wash it, this is the worst hour of my week.

This weekend we went up to visit my parents and on the way up Jack got sick three times. I managed to let him keep his blanket until that last time when it was so dirty it was not possible to let him keep it. Of course I explained to him that Mommy needed to wash it and would give it back really soon, of course I begged him to trust me and be comforted that mommy was there with him, but it was no use, he was completely inconsolable. I called Kyle to decide if I should just turn around and come home, I still had almost 3 hours left to go. He told me to go to a gas station and wash it and give it back to him. So that's what I did, I washed it with soap and water in a gas station bathroom, all the while Jack screaming so loud I knew the whole place thought I was hurting him and gave him back a sopping wet blanket, I'm talking really, really wet. As soon as he had it he stopped crying, and as soon as we were back in the car he fell asleep, holding onto that blanket, that works even when it's wet, to soothe him and comfort him and remind him, I think, of a part of him that he wants so hard to remember and cannot.Jack taking a nap in our hotel room in Korea the morning after he became ours and of course next to him is his blanket.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This just in

My closest friend H and her kiddos came over today for lunch, she wanted to try my La Croix, sparkling water that I talked about on my blog (How I kicked my soda habit). She thought it tasted like in Pledge, the cleaning it's not for everyone. But I like it.

To each their own

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Rodeo

We went to the Houston rodeo on Friday as Jack's birthday activity and we had a blast...well up until we tried to get home (long story short, we went less than 10 miles in 2 hours on 610, the fact that Kyle didn't pass out from stress is a miracle). Anyways, we had a blast, it was such a fun thing to do with the kids and this year they had something new (they had it last year too, but we missed last year) an activity where the kids get to collect several different products from a farm, then take them to the farmer's market to sell, then take their dollar and buy a snack. It was great, and of course if I loved it, it was free.

We pet lots of animals, saw all there was to see, ate our heart's content in fair food, and it was a beautiful day to boot. Here's some pictures...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Under Construction

I made the mistake of trying to put a new fancy template on my blog and didn't work out so well. We've finally got it looking pretty much like it used to but am still having trouble with the date and comments not looking like the option I've chosen. Hopefully I'll get it worked out soon and until then please forgive the funky date and the comments up at the top.

Beware of templates that require you mess with the basic template of your blog!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A GOOD lowfat dressing, I promise

It's too beautiful outside for being on the computer, so I'll make this quick. I want to tell y'all about this salad dressing that my mother in law introduced me to (side note: my mother in law should have her own blog where she just introduces you to the latest and greatest product she's discovered, she always finds the best things, and no you can't have her).

Back to the salad dressing, it's called Bolthouse Farms Creamy Yougurt dressing. In most of the flavors yogurt is the first ingredient, and it's made with all natural ingredients. It is pure genius, it tastes like the good salad dressing you get when you go to a nice restaurant and ask for the house dressing, but you get that taste for about a third of the calories and fat in a regular salad dressing. The three I have in my house (ranch, thousand island, and ceasar) have about 70 calories and 5 to 6 grams of fat per two tablespoon serving, compared to around 150 to 200 calories and 15 to 20 grams of fat for the real stuff.

I have only been able to find them at HEB here in Bryan/College Station, feel free to comment if you know other stores their available at. They have the flavors I listed above as well as blue cheese, at least those are the four flavors we have at the Bryan HEB. You can find them in the produce section, near the carrots and other salad dressings that need to remain refrigerated, which this one does. Oh and they were on sale today when I bought them, I love a good sale!

I really am not in the mood lately to eat low fat, and I have never until now found a low fat salad dressing that I liked, so I'm really excited to find a salad dressing that I can feel good about eating and that helps me get more vegetables in my diet. If you try it, let me know what you think.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Words that Rhyme with Orange

Ross King, who's music I am a big fan of has a new CD, Words that Rhyme with Orange,'s a children's CD. Yea!! Go Ross! I really cannot listen to children's music, I really can't stand it, but this CD is absolutely great, I actually caught myself listening to it without the kids. Want to buy it? Go here.

Here's a new video for Happy to be Me, the first song on the CD, made in part by her husband (so smart that man):

*Sorry if you read this post earlier on Saturday and saw Jack's birthday...that is not a video made by a smart man but instead an average me, now it has the video I intended all along. It was good for a good laugh!*

Friday, March 5, 2010

You gave him life

Jack turns two this week and I've been thinking of you. The one person, besides Kyle, to whom this day is equally significant. The person who feels everything and nothing I feel on his birthdays. I wonder how you're doing. Do you have peace about your decision? Do you know anything about his life now?

I wish I had a picture of you. Somehow I feel if I just could see you I would be able to know you better, to understand how we came to be tied to each other in this inexpressible relationship of love and loss. I wish I could show it to Jack on his birthday and say, "This is your birth mom, she loves you and is thinking of you today". I will tell him those things, I just wish I had a picture too.

Are you beautiful? I know that you are. I see the little boy who carries part of you in him and he is the most beautiful little boy, he must have gotten part of that from you.

Or your name. I want to be able to give Jack part of you, to be able to tell him your story and I don't even know your name. If I could speak your name to him, I know there would be power in that, it would make you more real to him.

I couldn't love you for a long time, it was too hard, too scary. I realized as I was thinking of you this year that I've learned how to love you. I began to pray for you, for your family, for the little things I know, and I found the love I was looking for. I know I need to love you, if I am to teach him that's it's okay for him to love you he has to see it in me first.

You've given me the most amazing gift I've ever been given and I wish I could tell you that. I wish I could tell you how you changed my life, how much you didn't make a mistake, none of it, it was all part of God's good plan. Thank you. Thank you for giving my son life, you didn't have to, and I wouldn't be me without him.

Most of all I pray that you let the Lord love you, that you accept His gift of salvation, because I'm afraid that heaven is the only chance I will have to know you and I can't imagine not knowing the woman who gave me my son.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jack is 2!

Jack turned two last week and we had family in town to celebrate. We had a great visit and were so grateful for having so many people who love Jack there, not to mention the beautiful day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Breaking Point

Jack is sick, again. We have had over a month of straight sicknesses in this house one after another after another after another. When Kylynn finally got over what I guess was the flu Sunday evening I was ecstatic, surely we were done with sickness, not counting Jack's never ending earache. But I was wrong, God has some patience He would like to teach me and I had yet to learn it. Monday morning Jack woke up with a fever, cough, and green snot all over his face, he now had the flu from his sissy.

My poor baby boy has had a rough week, a rough month. He now has his still going strong earache, the flu, and some mysterious rash covering a good portion of his little body. Unfortunately Jackie is like his mommy, when he's upset about his situation in life he wants you to know about and know about it I do.

Yesterday, he was exhausted from being up half the night and so, of course, fell asleep in the car when we went to pick up Kylynn from school. By the time we got everybody back in the car he was ready to play, that 5 minute nap suited him just fine. We got home and he immediately ran to his new train table Daddy made him. Of course it was nap time so I made him go upstairs and that is when the screaming began, he slept maybe 30 minutes and screamed the rest of nap time. Jack has this cry, I can't really explain it, you just have to hear it but let's say, it's very hard to ignore, it makes your blood pressure go up, you have a sense that you must make him feel better instantly. This cry/scream continued for another hour after I got him up from his "nap."

That's when I put him in his crib to calm down and called Kyle. My instincts told me more than anything he was mad not in pain, especially considering all the drugs we have him on, and since I needed a break so that I didn't end of screaming too, to the crib it was. I called Kyle and tried to sound calm telling him I didn't know what to do, he told me to take him outside and that he'd pray for me (of course praying, duh, what a genius idea, why didn't I think of that!).

So I went and got him and he was amazingly more calm for having spent time in his crib, got him dressed and took him outside. This was not an instant cure but sure enough after about 20 minutes outside he seemed to improve and at least stopped crying. For the rest of the afternoon I walked on eggshells around him, afraid that any little thing would set him off again, the boy has a temper.

Then I heard it, my knight in shining armor was home. And the weight of the day suddenly came crashing down on me, I started to cry, and with each tear I felt a little bit of tension disappear. Kyle took the kids for an hour and I laid on the couch and read a magazine and managed to come down some from my perch of stress I had been on all day.

Today has been a better day, relatively speaking, and I know it's only a matter of time before Jack is well and we're back to a sense of normalcy. Reflecting back on my day, I see God's hand, how He only let me get right up to my breaking point, not all the way there. I'm trying to remember that God loves Jack immeasurably more than I do and He will take care of healing His child. I find myself repeating, "in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world." -John 16:33b

"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." -Romans 5:3-4

Monday, March 1, 2010

A day at the computer

We had family in town this weekend to celebrate Jack's 2nd birthday, so on this rainy Monday, I am left with no cleaning that needs to be done, Whoop! So I thought I'd check out some websites online that I'd been wanting to look at for fun or in order to better save for my family. I'd thought I'd pass them on to you.

A new blog that my friend Carolyn, told me about is wonderful, it's called Flower Patch Farmgirl and I felt like I found someone who I could relate to on so many levels when I read this post.

Kyle sent me links for ways to reduce the junk mail you get (don't forget it also helps save trees):
Opt Out of credit card offers and Control the catalogs mailed to you. I have used the one to opt out of credit card offers in the past and it worked very well.

I went to today a website I've been wanting to look around at and from there I found another really neat opportunity, that turned out to be my find of the day.

At Upromise you can save for your child(ren)'s college fund when you spend money. You can sign up any store cards you have (like Kroger or CVS) and upload coupons onto them and instead of you saving the dollar off of your bill it goes into a college savings plan. You also earn a percentage of money spent at several online stores. Money can be earned when you eat out, you have to sign up your credit card(s) in order to earn those rewards. You can also earn rewards by opening one of their credit cards and using it to make purchases, but you can skip that option if you don't want to, don't be fooled, there's a small link that says "No Thanks". I was really impressed with all you could do to save money for college through their site and the neat thing is anyone can sign up and save money for their family members or even friends, not just parents. Once you save the money you can have it put into a savings account or even a 529 college plan, check it out and see what you think.

I hope y'all have a happy Monday, try not to waste too much time on the computer, but hey if you save a bundle of money for your family, that's not time wasted, right?

*Want to buy that t-shirt I have pictured at top, you can go to