Friday, December 30, 2011

And so the beauty began

Today is my anniversary.  Eleven is the number and I think you all get the idea already, about how I love my husband and about how he's a really very good husband, it's true.  But there is something that you might not know about me, about the eleven years.  It was hard at first, still sometimes is.  But I'm talking about the hard where you go into the bathroom and turn on the shower so no one will hear you sobbing, hard.  I'm talking about the hard where you spend hours toying with the thought, maybe we made a mistake.  Where you cannot fathom your life with or without this supposed other half.

When Kyle and I got married, I had firmly turned my back on God, I had decided that I was going to live my life the way I wanted.  I had bought into the lies of the world and I wasn't going to allow God to talk me out of doing what it was I wanted to do, including marrying whomever I wanted to marry.  This life was meant to be enjoyed, the wisdom in the Bible, it didn't apply to me.

I never consulted God when it came to Kyle, nor him when it came to me.  We were young and in love and couldn't imagine that we would ever feel anyway else.  After we got married we reaped what we had sowed, the wages of our sin was death and we felt it in our marriage, death eating at the love we thought would be enough.

Yet there was never a moment when He wasn't there with us in our pit.  Our DaddyGod, always standing right there waiting, asking for us to turn, waiting to catch us when we fell, protecting us from ourselves.  No matter how much we had tried to turn away, we were still His children.  It wasn't long before the shine wore off from the world, living for ourselves left us empty, starving, we were alone and we had no idea how to fix what we had broken.

After nine months of marriage we walked into our church, and God began to make us whole again.  We showed up that day with our hands full of ashes and we traded them all in, every one, not sure what we would get in return but sick of holding on to that which burns.  And so the beauty began.  Just a little at first, a friendly smile, the promise of friendships to come.  But beauty multiples, blessing upon blessing.  Soon it was a flood, truth spoken over our lives, mentors to show us how to love, teach us what the Bible says about marriage, an example, a blue print, an understanding not just of how to be one flesh, but of how to walk with our God.  People who were not afraid to come into our pit in order to pull us out, friends who would become family, prayers and then more prayers.

Ten plus years later our church trusts us to do pre-marital counseling and I remind myself that it is a privilege.  To be able to go back in time and speak to those young lovers, to tell them the truth about marriage, to tell them just how hard it is, how much work it can be, to insist that they understand, a strand of two will break, it has to be a strand of three.  To let them in on the secret that while all of that is true, a marriage built on the Rock of Ages, is joy, is laughter, is finding out what you've been missing all these years.

Eleven years ago when my faith was so small, when I had decided that I no longer needed the One who saved me, I used to cry out to Him to please take away the pain, to please make it all better.  I never could have imagined that he would do this, I would have settled for mediocre, for just being happy.  But our Father longs to give good gifts to His children, He desires that my life be lived to the full.  And it was for His glory that He saw fit to turn my marriage into such beauty, to build a family here, a legacy, a place where He can dwell.

Happy Anniversary Kyle, you are the best part of the beauty, you are just one more gift I never deserved.  I'm pretty sure I would be boring and small minded and probably fat if I didn't have you :).  You make me happy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One family's story of finding joy in Christmas

*disclaimer: The Bible teaches clearly that we (children of God) are free in Christ, free of the law and of sin, we now live under grace.  God has made each of us unique and we will all have unique stories, I hate division between believers and have no desire to speak about Santa in general terms, if it works for you, awesome!  What God has laid on my heart may be different from what He lays on yours.

image credit

I have always loved Christmas, I loved everything about it, the music, the food, the parties and of course the gifts.  Santa Claus held an important part of my heart growing up and I remember trying so hard to believe in him even after I knew the truth, because a Christmas without Santa seemed like it had lost it's magic.  The fact that Jesus was born on Christmas was a passing thought in my mind, something to go through the motions about so that we could get on to the good stuff, presents!

When we had children I jumped right onto the Santa band wagon, so excited to celebrate Christmas through my children, by buying them as many gifts as I could afford, and placing them under the tree from Old St. Nick.  I spent hours during the holidays, making my house look perfectly decorated, planning parties, and meals.  I found the perfect family photo and mailed it out to all our friends.  I bought into everything the world told me was required to have a Merry Christmas.

The only problem was I wasn't merry, and every year it got worse.  I found that during the Christmas season I spent less time with God than during the other 11 months of the year.  I found myself wanting things, bowing down to worship money and new items, that I suddenly needed, craved.   Every Christmas Eve service was spent trying to keep my kids from messing up their nice outfits and trying to keep my eyes open after all the work I had been doing to make this season special.

Last year God began to work on my heart, to ask me what exactly it was that I was celebrating during the Christmas season.  He began to reveal the sins that were stealing my joy and ask me to choose Him over the world, to care about glorifying Him over glorifying myself.  It had been a long time coming and although I felt a little apprehensive about doing Christmas differently than the world around me I was ready, I was ready to not take a month off of worshiping my King, ready to not have a month filled with stress instead of joy.

First God began to show me that I could not worship two people during Christmas time, I could either make my focus (and teach my children) about Santa Claus or I could focus on and turn my children towards the God who came down to save us.  Even after I knew without a doubt that was what God was asking of me, I delayed nervous of what others would think, till one afternoon Kylynn (who at the time was four) came to me and said, Mommy the tooth fairy and Santa Clause, they're just for pretend right?  And it sealed the deal for me I started to try and contradict her and the Spirit wouldn't let me, I could not lie to her.  So later that evening I told Kyle I think God would like us to give up Santa Claus and he turned to me and said, me too.  So that was that.

The problem with getting rid of old habits is you must have new habits to put in their place and so this year has definitely been a year of adjustment for us and I know that each year it will become easier and we will form new traditions.  We have been reading about the coming of Jesus and the events that surrounded it, throughout the Bible during this month each night after dinner and it is like the scales have been removed from my eyes.  I am seeing for the first time what really happened all those years ago.  It's not a story of a baby being born, but a story of love so deep that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would bow low, would endure suffering we could never understand to enter the world He created.  It's a story of God fulfilling His word that prophets spoke long ago, it's a story of God doing for us what we couldn't do, in order to conquer sin and death.  It's a story of a God saving His people, no matter the cost.

So this Christmas I look at my children as we sit around the Christmas tree, drinking hot chocolate, reading His word (His word that is alive! is there anything more magical than that) and we write them on our heart, we talk about what we're thankful for, and finally I am understanding the meaning of Christmas.  This year, I have found my joy, and it is better than anything this world had to offer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the 80's, Christmas gifts, and the flu

*Kylynn has the flu.  I feel entirely guilty that I never got around to getting her and I the flu shot, so far the rest of us are well, but I'm fighting the urge to decide that we're all going to get sick Christmas morning.

*When fashion's throwback to the 80's began, I thought it was hilarious, I mean no way was I going to wear that stuff ever again!  Now a couple of years later I have cuffed my jeans, love my aviator sunglasses, rock my skinny jeans, and on Friday I took the ultimate plunge, I bought some leggings which I wore with a long shirt.  If I start crimping my hair please stage an intervention.

*My dog is 10, she pees in my house, I do love her, but it's really getting old, the end.

*Christmas time with 3 small children, is different than Christmas time with 2 small children.  I just can't keep up this year with any of it, and we scaled back Christmas big time this year.  I finished my Christmas cards last night at midnight and was wishing I didn't have any friends so I'd never have to do them again :).

*Are scarfs from the 80's because I wear one almost everyday when it's cold?

*Target makes me happy.  Last Thursday when I was supposed to be packing to leave for a trip, I ran to Target on my way home to get a gift I'd forgotten, and I spent 15 minutes just shopping for me.  I left feeling like I was totally hip now (and of course like I'd just stepped out of the 80's).

*I was so excited about the gifts I got for people this year (it's a long story), but I got lots of them either from thrift stores or from Etsy.  Then Kyle told me that about this article he read that stated a survey that found in regards to gift buying, neither how much thought went into them or how much money spent on them, were the greatest predictors of someone loving their gifts, instead it was whether or not it was on their list.  Uh-oh, I totally did not get a thing on anyone's list, I thought my gifts were so cool and unique but they may just be a big disappointment!

*I'm pretty sure Kyle hasn't gotten me anything yet...I'm kind of understanding the survey now :)

*When women come up to me in stores and compliment my children/remind me to enjoy them, it always makes me cry, I mean I'm not a total freak, I don't start weeping, but it makes me get teary eyed and choked up.  It's very embarrassing that people's kindnesses have such a large effect on me, last time it happened the woman talking to me responded to my emotional state by becoming teary eyed herself, it was all too much!

*I do love living in this town, I know it's not everywhere that people are so kind.

*My most favorite Christmas song right now is, "You're Here" by Francesca Battistelli.  Can you imagine being Mary, holding your baby who is also the Creator of the world.  He could have left us on our own, but He's here, oh it causes me to worship...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to make Christmas cookies

from December 2010:

Step 1: Realize that all the days dishes are blocking the counter you plan on using, do the dishes.  Don't forget to listen to your daughter whine that you're supposed to be making cookies, while doing dishes.

Step 2: Hear that your son is up from his nap and you need to go get him before making cookies.  To appease daughter show her how to place a small amount of sprinkles in each of the 5 bowls, explain clearly that you put just one type of sprinkles in each bowl, also explain three times how little you need in each bowl.

Step 3: Come downstairs with son to find this, in. all. five. bowls.  Notice that all your sprinkles that should have lasted you a good three years are now gone.  Breathe in.  Pray.  Talk to daughter about disobeying.  Decide that Christmas cookies don't have to be perfect and move on.

Step 4: Decide that before you make the cookies you should wash son's blanket, after all he'll be having fun making cookies and shouldn't mind at all.  Start washing machine.  Comfort hysterical child, when that doesn't work bribe him with food.

Step 5: Read ingredients and directions, realize you are missing one ingredient and call hubby to pick up on way home from work.  After all it is now 5pm and you are yet to start actually making the cookies.  To appease rightly frustrated daughter, bribe her with food.

Step 6: Get missing ingredient from hubby and actually start mixing some cookies.  Since it is now so late you will need to get dinner going at the same time.  Place meat on the stove to cook.

Step 7: Take daughter's picture with cookie cutters in hand, even though this recipe doesn't call for cookie cutters, because daughter feels the need to accessorize in pictures.  Roll cookies into balls, and allow daughter to roll in sprinkles, continue to cook dinner while daughter takes forever rolling in sprinkles.  Place beans and corn on the stove top to cook.

Step 8: Place cookies on baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and flatten with the bottom of a glass, try a few glasses till you find one that actually flattens.  Allow daughter to lick the spoon, then stop her when you catch her eating the bowls of sprinkles with a spoon.  Throw away all but one bowl of sprinkles that did not get slobber on it, make a mental note to buy more sprinkles before next Christmas.

Step 9: Take cookies out of the oven, set on stove top next to meat, corn, and beans that are cooking on a gas stove.  Call husband when you turn around and see that the parchment paper is on fire, when husband thinks it's no big deal and goes up stairs, yell for him more franticly till he comes down and saves the day.  Make a mental note not to place cookie sheets with parchment paper on the stove top while the burners are on.

Step 10: Clean the ashes off of the cookies.  Scoop the ashes out of the corn.  Move the cookie sheet and turn back on all the burners so dinner can finish up.  Give up on ever having a clean kitchen again.

Step 11: Serve cookies for dessert after dinner is served at 7:30 that night.

Step 12: Have a glass of wine before you have to tackle cleaning that war zone that once was a kitchen.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just in time for Christmas: an infomercial

Ok guys there is a lot I've been meaning to blog about, like our weekend (yes the one a whole week ago) and how we're trying to do Christmas differently this year, and how I'm afraid everyone will hate their gifts.  But I'm tired and I trying to keep up with all there is to keep up with this season.  So you'll have to settle for a gift idea.

One of my favorite things I own is the Prepara Herb Savor.  Apparently before it was one of my favorite things it was one of Oprah's favorite things, but amazingly it doesn't cost 500 hundred dollars.  And unlike Oprah I actually cook my own food, so you can believe what I have to say about it.

This thing does what it says it does, it saves your herbs.  Cilantro is probably my favorite food, just the smell of it makes my whole day better.  But you know how cilantro is, after one day that stuff is dead, and even I can't use a whole bunch in one day.  But with the Herb Savor my cilantro is still (just) useable after three weeks.  That's right THREE whole weeks!!

For the cook who has everything this year, check out the Prepara Herb Savor, cilantro lovers around the world will thank you (oh yeah it also works for other herbs).

End of infomercial, Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Foreverforever part two

Over Thanksgiving week we went to court to finalize Chloe's adoption.  I managed to be calm leading up to the big event and during since I knew this time that it was really just a formality.  Once again the judge asked us to swear that we would be Chloe's parents and she would be our child in perpetuum.  This time I knew the meaning of that big word, we were promising to love her in perpetuum, or foreverforever.

There are blessings in adoption that you never see coming.   Our family's relationship with our kids is one of those things.  They don't get a say in whether or not they would like to become an inter-racial family, whether or not they're okay with all the waiting.  When I get to spend time with them and I watch them love my children so completely, the way I do, without regard to the way they joined our family, it's one of the greatest gifts in my life.  They all came out to cheer us on, we had my entire family!, plus most of Kyle's.  It was really amazing to have so many people who love our children there to witness the day that Chloe officially became ours.

Afterwards we all went out for ice cream and then we took the kids to the San Antonio children's museum.  Let me tell you I had no idea a children's museum could be so big and have so much fun stuff to do!  They all had a blast and by the time we left it was almost dinner time and I thought my feet might fall off.

Chloe, sweet daughter of mine, here's the thing, the way I love you surprises me everyday.  For some reason I am always amazed by the love God gives us for our children, and that it doesn't decrease by the time you get to number three!  You're aware of your competition though and you still get mad when I try to hold or snuggle Kylynn or Jack.  But you have become a whole new person in these past eight months.  You feel secure, you trust that I will come back for you when you go to the nursery at church, you crack me up all day long.  And as of late you have decided that as of now you are able to do all things by yourself, any help from mommy is met with high pitched squealing.

I'm not sure how we were ever getting by in this world without you, but I am so glad that you are home now, that the courts agree with my heart, that you are mine.  That I get to love you foreverforever.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5

It has been a rough week, maybe even a rough month, I see that I've hardly found the chance to blog during the month of November, which is a sure sign of hectic days (and maybe a sign of having to divide computer time between blogger and facebook now :).  This month God has been working on me, producing hope, and while it's painful, it's also wonderful.  Today my heart aches mainly from being too full and I am seeing God more clearly.

We went to San Antonio for Thanksgiving last Tuesday, and were happy to have the opportunity to spend time with family, finalize Chloe's adoption (blog to come!), and eat some turkey.  And while the week started off as I would have pictured, Kylynn came down with a stomach bug Thursday night and Jack Friday afternoon.

From Thursday on my days have been filled with scrubbing, and laundry, and strangely looking around and finding so very much to be thankful for.  Here's a little bit of what I recorded during those days:

*Clean sheets to replace the dirty ones
*Help from Nana in keeping up with all that needed to be done
*A peaceful drive home, where the kids mainly slept and the only incident of sickness was in a gas station!
*Christmas movies on youtube, one after another after another
*A husband who lets me sleep in till 9:30!! while he decorates the house for Christmas, even though he is just as sleep deprived as me
*A father who happily goes to the store, again!, to get what the sick ones want
*A grandma's message checking on this kiddos
*A text from a friend asking what she could get for us; remembering God has filled our lives with people who want to love us in tangible ways
*A great washing machine!
*Medicine that stops throwing up
*Chloe, Kyle and I remaining well the whole time

On Monday, I was feeling pretty good, thinking that maybe, just maybe, I was learning how to be content in all things (I love how Paul says he has learned, that this skill is something that needs to be learned).  So that afternoon I called the IRS to make sure they had received our latest fax, the one that I was sure would finally resolve this mess, they say to allow 5 to 10 days, it had been 12.  The fax had not been entered into the computer, and she informed me that on the 30th of this month the IRS will be mailing us a letter of deficiency.  Also known as the "90 day letter" it basically means that we can either pay up or choose to go to tax court regarding the issue at hand.  I started to cry while I was on the phone with the representative, I got myself together until I finished the conversation, and then had a nice cry.  I told God how angry I was with Him and this situation and how I just can't believe He hasn't stepped in and fixed this already.

Then He reminded me what He had taught me that morning, I had pulled out one of the follow up lessons from Kylynn's Sunday school and it had been reflecting on, "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7   Do you know I've had that verse memorized for years, and every time I re-read it in the Bible I realize I've memorized it without, "with thanksgiving."  And I can tell you why, it's because that didn't make sense to me, how do I petition God, with thanksgiving?

Kylynn's worksheet said that when bad things happen we need to adjust our attitude, we must choose to be grateful and when we do we won't miss out on all the blessings God has given us.  I sat there crying about the IRS and God asked me to adjust my view and start telling him why I'm thankful and at first I couldn't think of much more than, I know the plans God has for me are for my good, I suddenly realized that I may be learning how to be content, but I've got a lot more learning to do!  The longer I tried to do what He asked of me the easier it got:

*God is in control of this situation
*All my money is God's and He will do with it what He wills
*Material things will not last the end of this world, it is meaningless
*I would sell everything I own to have my children
*An opportunity to have a "court date" with the IRS would (I think!) resolve this issue, we are in the right
*The lady on the phone was so kind to me, especially once she realized I was upset
*God is changing me through this
*I'm not scared
*I have the money to pay the amount they think we owe
*my invisible friends who have emailed me ideas to fix this situation as they've had similar situations
*The reason I'm dealing with the IRS at all is because of a credit that I never would have dreamed would apply to me.  My children are such amazing gifts
*There are so many bigger problems people face

I awoke this morning like a new person.  I cannot believe how much I've been missing by taking out that "with thanksgiving" from that verse.  It is through the thanksgiving that one receives the peace, it is through the thanksgiving that you can turn over your requests to God.

Today has been a great day, I have no idea what will happen with the IRS, I am sure this will not be the last time I will watch my children's body revolt against them, there will be more trials in this life, in this year, in this month, but in them He is producing this hope and it causing me to rejoice!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A thank you tree

My jaw hurts and I realize I've been clenching it tight, all day long.  The day was long, and everywhere I turn I see the piles of all I've left to do, my life so full of straw and hay it feels empty.  This is the month of Thanksgiving, of thanks giving, of giving thanks and so I am trying to learn, this being content in all things.

I open my copy of One Thousand Gifts and my view begins to change, my hearts understanding the importance of coming into his courts with thanksgiving.  I long to always in all circumstances see and believe that my God is good.  I take up my pen and I write them down, the gifts, "blue sky the color of my love's eyes", "shaking a tablecloth in the front yard, knowing I'm leaving food behind for the birds."

But it's hard to stop and pay attention and there are times where I can't possibly think what it is I am to be thankful for.  He screams in the aisle and I am overwhelmed and I feel like I'm failing at this shaping of the hearts who've have been entrusted to me.  "I was not alone" is the only thing I find to be thankful for in that moment, He was with me, always with me.  And all afternoon it seems small, scribbled in my notebook, "I was not alone", but really isn't that the biggest thing, the thing to be thankful for, that He is with us, always with us.  That He didn't leave us here alone.

And so, the day goes on and there seems to be few and far things in between I can grasp onto and return to Him in thanks.  So I take the one who has furrowed my brow all day long, we go outside and he happily gathers sticks for the "thank you tree."  We walk along together and as he gathers, my shoulders begin to relax.  I look at him and am reminded of the miracle that is my son, and suddenly the tension is gone and I feel the Spirit utters words I've never heard to praise the giver of this great gift.

I find a jar and wipe the cobwebs off the surface, and I feel Him doing the same to my heart.  Beginning to make me clean, using this thanks giving to change my heart, could it be?  We place the sticks in the jar, and they sit barren, empty.  I get the paper, the punch, the pen.  Find the notebook and turn to the page filled with words of thanksgiving.  I punch, and I write and I tie.  As my hands work, punch, write, tie, I feel the cleaning, the filling.  I am making a thank you tree, and with each leaf placed I am practicing over and again, thanksgiving.

Punch, write, tie.  You are a good God.  Punch, write, tie.  A God who gives life.  Punch, write, tie.  An abundant life.  Punch, write, tie.  Who takes us, so barren, and fills us up gift after good gift.  And in the giving thanks we are restored.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday (the rebel post)

*I'm not even sure if Elizabeth is going to do Whatnot Wednesday, but really it's the easy way to blog and I've become a lazy blogger, so here I am the rebel WNW blogger.

*I joined facebook.  Here's my story and I'm sticking to it: it is all Pinterest's fault.  I went to sign up and you had to use either your facebook sign in or your twitter.  Since I know even less about twitter I bit the bullet and signed up for facebook.

*Truthfully I was grateful for the excuse.  And it turns out I have more self control than I gave myself credit for, up to this point it has been a fun way to stay in touch with friends and not the all consuming addiction that I feared it would be.

*I started reading, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Totally love it.  The topic is amazing (thankfulness) but her writing is like poetry, so it is such a treat to read.

*I made my Thankful tree, my leaf paper punch arrived in the mail yesterday, I'm all ready to start adding what we're thankful for to it, I'm super excited!  Let's hope I convert my excitement into action and put something on the tree before Thanksgiving sneaks up on me.

*I went to bed last night at 8:30, yes I did!  Something is up with me lately I've been feeling just under the weather enough to be exhausted without any other symptoms.  I decided yesterday I'm anemic, I'm not a doctor but I like to play one in real life.

*I also decided yesterday I have cancer, but that should be completely ignored by all, it's a bad habit I have, anytime I read an article about someone with a type of cancer I am convinced I have it.

*It's supposed to get down into the 30's tonight, yesterday I had to run my A/C, it's confusing to live in Texas, but I was so excited to put Chloe in her feety jamas tonight!

*Favorite Kylynn quote of the week: "Mommy, there is something that I'm almost tall enough to do, and pretty soon I will be tall enough to do it.  I don't remember what it is, but pretty soon I will be tall enough."  Me too honey, me too.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

I couldn't make this stuff up

photo credit

This is a true story...

April 14th: despite having a new baby for less than three weeks, Kyle completes our taxes and submits them to the IRS.  We claim the remaining balance from Jack's adoption credit, causing us to owe no taxes and be entitled to a refund.  We include with our paperwork the adoption decree from the US court system.

May: we receive a letter from the IRS, stating that they are reviewing our taxes, specifically our adoption credit and will get back to us within 30 days.

June: we receive a letter from the IRS stating that they require further proof of the money spent to adopt Jack.  Not a problem we submit receipts from our biggest expenses (as the adoption credit is for less than the actual costs to adopt a child from South Korea).

July: we receive a letter from the IRS telling us that they received our paperwork and will respond in 30 days.

August: we receive a letter from the IRS telling us that they have opened our mail and will get back to us in 30 days.

September: we receive a letter from the IRS telling us they have yet to have the chance to look at our paperwork but we will hear from them within 30 days.

October: we receive a letter from the IRS telling us that our adoption credit is frozen and we owe the government taxes plus a 20% penalty.  After calling and speaking to a very rude representative Kyle is told that the credit is being denied (frozen) because we did not include our adoption decree with our paperwork we submitted in June.  Kyle tells her that we sent that with our original taxes and it was not requested in June.  She informs him that what we sent back in April is, "on file" and they will not pull something up from file we must resubmit.  Kyle sends in the adoption decree again and just for good measure, Jack's green card, new birth certificate and social security card.

November: we receive a letter from the IRS, stating that they received our paperwork but our adoption credit is to remain frozen, we owe the government taxes plus a 20% penalty.  We are being denied due to the lack of a, "translated foreign adoption certificate."  There is no such paperwork, Korean adoptions cannot be finalized in Korea, you are not allowed to finalize a Korean adoption until six months after you take guardianship, therefore our adoption was legalized in the United States.

I call and somehow manage not to yell at the representative and end up with a knowledgeable and kind woman.  She informs me that this makes no sense to her that we have submitted all the paperwork we need and that the paperwork he is requesting doesn't exist (tell me about it!)  She says she will send the employee in charge of our case a note to call us so that we can explain the situation to him and get this issue resolved.  She says we will hear from him by the end of this week.  We are yet to hear from him.

Here's the good news: God is not surprised by this situation.  God is not frustrated by the IRS's lack of understanding, God is not angry at the man who is refusing to process our adoption credit.  God's got the situation under control, and he's not worried about how it's all going to turn out.

Would you pray for us that God would resolve this situation with the IRS this month, that we would receive our refund, and that we would feel his peace as we deal with it and even manage to be a light to those we interact with while we work it out.  Thank you friends!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

And the winner is...

The winner of the No Biking in the House Without a Helmet is comment #2, Barbara!!  Congrats Barbara, email me (achosenchildblog[at]gmail[dot]com) and I'll get your information to send it to you.

Thank you guys for the birthday wishes I twisted your arm for enticed out of you, it was fun pretending to be Pioneer Woman for a week and doing my very own giveaway :)

Enjoy the weekend I'm looking up some new soup recipes and checking out the books y'all recommended to me.

*I used to generate a random number for me*

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Doctor, a Roman solider, and Dorothy walk into a Fall festival

Happy Halloween my dear friends.  We made our first of four appearances in our costumes.  I thought they were all so cute, but the winner of the night was Jack.  His costume got so much attention, with all kinds of people coming up to me to compliment it.  Then after jumping in the bounce house, he was the last kiddo to come out and all the parents standing there starting cheering, yay! for the gladiator, he had a fan club! :)  So thank you Nana, the costume was one of the best there.

Dorothy, thank you God for Target putting out red sparkly shoes this time of year!

My Roman Solider/Gladiator the star of the show

my little doctor

We had the most fun yet at this year's Country Fair at our church!  Despite the rain, the kids had a blast, I ate really yummy food, Kyle won something on the cake walk, and we all enjoyed a hay ride!  Chloe was so cute when she got to pick out candy at each booth she was very consistent, she picked a lollipop each time, it's the only candy she's ever had and I guess she's not much of a risk taker :).  Kylynn was old enough this year to really play all the games and have a great time doing it.  Jack was really excited to get some candy but didn't want to have to play a game to get it.  I hope you're all enjoying this season as much as we are.

ps-don't forget you have until today at 5pm to enter my giveaway!

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's my birthday and I'll do a giveaway if I want to

This week is my birthday.  I'm turning 32, and I'm told I don't look a day over 35 so there's that.  I was thinking about what I wanted for my day, and one of the things that came to my mind was "comments."

If you are not a blogger then this probably does not make any sense to you, but getting a comment on a post you wrote is truly a gift.  I love getting to hear what someone out there thought about a topic, I love knowing that at least one person read my blog, and most of all it is through comments that I have made new friends, some of them who have become people I adore and talk about constantly (although I do always preface it with you know my friend I've never met....).

Then last week I finished reading, No Biking in the House without a helmet by Melissa Fay Greene, I knew that I had to do my first giveaway.  It's the perfect combination, I get to give you a book I think you'll love and at the same time I get to meet some of you out there who read this blog :).

The memoir, No Biking in the House, is one of the best books I have read in a really long time. Bottom line, it made me happy and I didn't want it to end.  I completely fell in love with this family, I wanted to move next door so that I could spend time with them everyday.

Melissa Faye Green's is the mother to nine children, four by birth, and five by adoption.  This memoir begins when they have reached a point in their life where they must decide whether or not to try for a fifth child and tells their rather gradual and perhaps accidental path to adoption from there.

I must tell you, this book is just the story of their family, it is not a how-to on international adoption, or a book on dealing with the issues sure to come with adopting older children (though she certainly could write either of those books).  There is no preaching to be found, instead it is full of honesty in their successes and failures, including their doubts and second thoughts during each adoption.

This book made me laugh out loud, which is something I rarely do while reading.  I was inspired by her ability to relax about the craziness of having a family of eleven, her laid back approach was contagious.  It also made me cry, admittedly it was because of my own life experiences, but her love and devotion to her children and the journey they take to bring each one of them home is very touching.

It's hard for me not to not just start over on page one, but I figure the next best thing is not let you start on page one, then we can discuss. :)  So if you would like a copy of No Biking in the House without a helmet by Melissa Fay Greene, leave a comment telling me the last book you told all your friends about.  

If you would like to blog, facebook, or tweet about the giveaway go for it, please leave a *new* comment for each one you do.  Each person is allowed up to 3 comments.  The chance to enter the giveaway will end Friday at 5pm and I will randomly pick a winner and announce it by next Monday!

*I just wanted to give away a book I loved to one of y'all, it's a gift from me to you, Melissa Fay Greene has no idea who I am.*

Friday, October 21, 2011

Coming Monday..

I read a book that made me so happy that it made me want to buy a copy for all my friends and hand them out.  And since y'all are some of my favorite friends I thought I'd start with you.  So, I'm going to do my first ever giveaway next week!  I am super excited, check back on Monday for all the details.

I hope you have a restful weekend.  Anyone else have that baking urge, I think the sight of pumpkins brings it on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday


A Jack quote that I have made part of my daily vocabulary, "I love you like a honey bee makes lots and lots of honey."  Love is hard to explain sometimes and you know what I think he's on to something.

A Jack quote that I will never correct as long as he keeps it up:
Jack: I'm a bad guy and Chloe your a bad Chloe, we're bad Asians!
Mommy: (laughing), you're what?
J: bad Asians!
M: (crying laughing) you mean you are bad agents?
J: no, mommy, we are bad Asians!

Does anyone else wear aprons these days.  I have this apron my mother-in-law got me from Williams Sonoma and it is beautiful, so beautiful I actually considered planning my study around the colors in it.  But anyways I love to wear, it's very flattering, and I usually only need to wear it when I'm wearing nice clothes and don't want to get food/cleaning stuff on them.  So when I put it on I feel like I just traveled back to the 50's, with my heels, and dress, with my apron on top.  The problem is I think I'm the only one out there wearing an aprom and feel weird so I always take it off if I need to answer the door, or see someone.

I had a salted carmel mocha (or latte I can't remember) at Starbucks yesterday.  Our weather finally cooled off, it was in the 60's and chilly!  I just couldn't allow myself to go home, so I headed to Target, because I'm in love with Target (I know who isn't?)  While I was there I passed by the Starbucks and they had their big chalkboard with the fall flavors that they offer this time of year.  They are advertising geniuses, there was something about it that made me feel like it was a requirement of a real fall day to order up on of these hot drinks.  The verdict: a little too salted and too much carmel for my taste.

Kyle said to me the other day, "I think I'm ready for an iphone."  Stranger words have never been spoken.  Don't get too excited though, Kyle is known for moving slowly on purchases like this.  Plus I think I'm over it, I told him that I think one would be great for him but I'll just stick with the normal phone.  Although the next day after I said that to him, I decided that it was the dumbest thing I've ever said, so we'll see.

Jack goes to speech therapy two times a week and his therapist is a wonderful lady, I adore her.  The other day she came out into the waiting room and was going over what they worked on that day and as she was looking at me and talking to me, my nose decided to, all the sudden out of nowhere, run down my face.  I swear I didn't feel it coming, one minute I was a normal person, the next minute I turned red and started wiping my nose with my hand and sniffing like a maniac.  She was nice enough to look away and pretend like she somehow didn't notice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our family glamping trip

We went on a walk around McKinney Falls State park on Sunday, to end our weekend long camping trip.  Along Onion Creek is the rugged camping spots.  They are beautiful, breathtakingly so, I wanted to not just camp there but build my home there, to run away from all of society and only have to answer to my Lord and the birds each morning.

But we did not camp in the rugged camping area, where there is no electricity, and shared water.  Where there is no access by car, you must hike in and out, and also hike to and from the bathroom.  No that style of camping lives only in my fantasies, our family is not so much campers as we are glampers- glamor campers, for those unfamiliar with the term.

We fill our van up to the very top with everything you could imagine.  There is of course the typical camping gear: tents, sleeping bags and pads, a camp stove, a lantern, and chairs.  But there is also a booster chair for Miss Cloe, a fan to help our children sleep, a giant tote (I mean big!) full of food, a cooler full of food, sippy cups, our chili pepper lights to string around our site, bikes, buckets and shovels, a potty, and about a hundred other random things we think our children might need to get through the weekend.

When it's cold we have both a fan for noise and a heater in our tent to keep us warm, now that right there is the definition of glamping!  This weekend it was not cold, it was the hottest I have ever camped in, with temps getting up into the upper 90's Saturday afternoon.  Fortunately McKinney Falls has wonderful waterfalls and creeks to swim in, unfortunately due to the drought the waterfalls were non-existent and the water was too dangerous to swim in because of the algae.

Instead we walked around several of the different areas of the park and participated in the activities they had going on that day.  There are some caves up on the cliffs that Native Americans lived in thousands of years ago, and I always love walking up to them, it reminds me of how big my God really is.  The park had several different people there with activities the kids could do, they made an arrow head out of flint, learned about the sotol plant, and cut wood.

Kyle tried to make the weekend a bit of a treat for me by taking me to IKEA on the way to camping to let me pick out what I wanted for a work space.  It was a surprise and I felt so loved for him to go so far out of the way (when we already had a really full car) to get me something I've been wanting.  Kyle's brother came up on Saturday and the kids were really excited to have another adult to talk to and pay attention to them.  He brought them each a carved pumpkin, which they were super excited about!

Despite the heat, it was a really good weekend, we all had a lot of fun, and I so much enjoyed getting to spend so much time being active and together as a family. And of course I was so excited to get home and take a much needed shower.  How about y'all what'd you do this weekend?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where I store my treasures

When Kyle and I look at our finances and discuss the different categories you are sure to hear me say, "the one area of my life that I know I am being obedient to God is in our financial giving."  It occurs to me for the first time in a long time that that is no longer true.  Somewhere along the way I stopped regularly asking God what he would like for us to give and switched over to an equation, as long as I met my equation I was good.

It didn't hurt that I live in a country where giving sacrificially is rarely a part of people's plan for success.  So I took a look to the left and the right, for good measure looked across from me and behind me and sure enough I was doing a good (no, a great) job because compared to the majority I was practically a saint.

Then I sat down to eat my lunch and read what Flower Patch Farmgirl had to say on "Letting go of Money."  And God rocked my world,
I wanted a reasonable justification for staying rich. I didn't want to suffer at all for charity. I didn't want to know what it felt like to sacrifice, though in my mind, I would be sacrificing. I would be sacrificing the things I would never have. Something like this, "I could be driving around in a brand new Toyota, but instead I'm still in my beat-up Ford Explorer. I could be wearing designer jeans, but instead I'm in Target jeans that smell funky when you buy them. See how I sacrifice for the poor?" 
I killed two birds with one stone. I sacrificed nothing at all, but I still went to bed at night convinced that I had.
This is not a post about money being evil or about needing to sell all your possessions in order to truly follow God.  No, money is neutral, our attitude towards it is not.  What I discovered when I sat down and read Shannan's honest words was there is a lot of sin wrapped up in my giving, both in why I do it and in the amounts I choose.

I honestly don't know what God has to say to us yet about our giving, but what I realized was it is something I need to check in with him about and renew my commitment to submitting that area of my life to him, fully.  That somehow I had begun to store up treasures here on earth, and I know better.  Go check out this post, it'll make you think.

Monday, October 10, 2011

You at 18 months

I love shoes, any will do!
My beautiful daughter, you are 18 months old, and you have been home with us for 6 months now.  Soon we will go to court and make it all official, as if it could be more official than the family God has built for us.  You have made our family stop and pay attention to the blessings around us.  You have made me remember why I love being a mama, what's really important to me in this life, and just how little control I have over anything in this world.

Today you stayed in the nursery for the whole time, it made me weepy and nervous, as I'd always been called back after only 20 minutes.  Your Daddy read my mind and went and checked on you.  You were not thrilled but you were not crying most of your time in there, just one more answer to prayers.

Do you know how much you have been prayed for, I surely don't know the extent of it, though I know it involves many people who loved you before they ever knew you.  Every night I pray for you as I lay you down, that you will feel safe, you will know you are loved, that God would heal you of the pain I still see in your heart.

your first time to play playdoh and you didn't even try and eat it, I was shocked...I still am tempted to eat it!
I call you "munchy" it's short for munchkin and really has no meaning behind it, but as I sit here to type this you are on round 5 of your snack and it occurs to me what an apt nickname it is, as you are always eating, you always have the munchies :).

I often get comments on how petite you are, and you are like a little doll, so tiny and perfect, with your porcelain skin and your almond eyes.  But here's the thing you are in the 30th percentile for height, you are far below in weight but as I mentioned before that's nothing I can worry about with all the food you ingest.

You will not understand this until you have children of your own, but over these six months I have gone from loving you and knowing you were mine, to falling head over heels in love with you.  Mommies love their children with a kind of crazy love, I often catch myself looking at you, doing your cute things you do, and I feel like my heart might explode inside my chest.  I cannot believe that He gave you to me, you are a gift beyond what I could have imagined.

Speaking of cute things you do, you have quite the personality now, you smile on command and you know when to turn on the charm to get what you want.  Your Daddy would rope the moon for you if you were to ask, he has no ability to tell you no, but considering how long he had to wait for you to trust him, I can't say I blame him one bit.

packing up to "leave", got your glasses on
One of your favorite games to play right now are "wait right there."  In this game you go to the play kitchen and make me some food, bring it to me and then hold out your hand as if to say, wait right there, and go and get me more food.  You do this over and over again.  You also really enjoy, "bye bye."  In this game you get your backpack (that we bought for you in Korea) and put it on, then come and give everyone a kiss and a hug and tell us bye bye!  You return 10 seconds later and we repeat the process.  If you find of your sissy's purses this game becomes more fun for you and more cute to watch.

bye bye
You demand more of my attention than either of your older siblings, you've had your first ER trip, and I'm afraid it won't be your last.  You are a climber and an explorer and a fan of the toilet, toilet paper, paper towels, crayons, you get the picture.  I was under the impression that because you were my third you would also be easy and laid back and I was sorely mistaken :).

I've never seen siblings love each other the way you and Jack love each other.  It makes me so happy, to see you two find each other's hands as we walk in the park or drive home from school.  You have become a hitter and he's yet to hit you back, but I would hope that you won't push him too far.  You study him and copy everything he does.

caught you putting on my underwear, just like mommy!
I am amazed at your ability to re-produce what you see us do.  You can open doors (if you can reach the handle), open tubes of cream, turn on water, get soap, and my favorite, if the pantry is left open you will go in find the box of raisins, open them and eat them by the handfuls!

You have begun to give us kisses and it is the best thing that's happend to me it seems, not just because I love your kisses, but because you are showing us that you too love us back, and we waited so long for that.  You now shout, DaDa when ever he comes home and you get excited everyday we go to pick up the big kids from school.  You understand that this is your family, you feel safe here, you feel loved.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for our life together.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

*Last night I awoke at 4 o'clock in the morning from a deep sleep because I knew that a bug was crawling on my arm.  It was all very real.  I am not sure however how I could have known it was real and not part of a dream, but I had to turn on the lights to make sure.  Doing so found no bug, but did wake up my sleep deprived hubby, then I couldn't fall asleep, making said hubby leave to sleep on the couch.  At some point before my alarm went off I managed to get another 3 minutes of sleep.

*All day I kept seeing the blanket on the couch, and the alarm clock on the table next to it and telling myself, you need to clean that up in case a neighbor stops by, if not someone will think y'all are having problems :).  Apparently in my head I live in a world where neighbors stop by to chat and are very judgmental, I think one too many re-runs of 50's sitcoms.

*I love the way Jack prays, he has such faith.  He never asks for anything, but instead if he hurts his leg he prays, "Dear God, thank you for making my leg better."  Without fail this is how he prays as if everything on his list is something God will take care of, no need to worry about it a minute more.  I could learn a thing or two from him.

*Jack could also teach us all a thing or two about knowing what will make someone the absolutely maddest they could be.  Twice this week when he was mad at Kyle or I (for the stupidest things I must point out) and he peed on his carpet on purpose.  Just typing that makes me mad again, that boy is a genius, he wants to do something to get back at me and he has found the absolutely perfect thing.

*Lost has ruined every show I watch.  Whenever I decide to watch one of my taped regular shows instead of watching an episode of Lost, I'm left thinking, that was okay I guess, but not really all that exciting.

*We got to go visit my grandmother in Decatur this past weekend.  Every time I go there I don't want to leave.  Somehow I managed to forget my camera which is really unfortunate, we did a lot of neat things.  We went to a catfish fry at the Greenwood store (which is in a town of about 15) and there were some local men playing bluegrass, behind them was the wooden shelves stocked with cans of tuna fish and diet coke, and Chloe sat in a high chair dancing and clapping, and eating more pieces of catfish than I did.  It was one of those moments I wanted a picture of, then again because I didn't have a camera I made sure to imprint it in my memory.

*Kylynn is growing up before my eyes and I want to sit on her and make her stop.  The other morning I was running behind on getting everyone ready and out the door, she took Jack upstairs and helped him brush his teeth, put on his socks and shoes, put on Chloe's socks and shoes, and then helped Jack pack his backpack, all of her own initiative.  I stopped and realized just how much I couldn't do this without her, she makes me so proud.  I think it's time I took her out for a date, it's been too long.

*Chloe adores Jack, she follows him around and wants to do everything he does, and he seems to think being a big brother is the world's best job, I've yet to see him lose his patience with her.  Today in the car I looked back and they were holding hands over the edge of their car seats.  Here is a video* of the two of them playing air hockey (craigslist find) against Daddy, they're a cute pair!

*please forgive the voice of Kylynn in the background begging for me to take her picture


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Right, Wrong, or just Different

Kyle and I were having an argument last night.  You know the kind where you get off topic and weave and wind till nothing anyone is saying makes much since, we were arguing for the sake of arguing.  But at one point during it I said, the problem is instead of just thinking that you and I are different, you think your right and I'm wrong.  Exactly, he said, finally something we could agree on.

Once upon a time our arguments included yelling and insulting and anger so big it couldn't fit in the room with us.  Over the years God has worked on our hearts and our marriage till we've both reached the place of desiring a loving marriage more than we desire to be right.  So there was not really any anger last night as much as there was frustration as we tried to find a middle ground.

It begin over whether or not to invite someone to accompany our family to an activity, he was in the yes category, I was in the no.  This is a common place we find ourselves, having become so similar in most of our thinking, it's surprising to me just how far apart we stand on this issue.

Kyle loves people, I love people too but in a different way.  Kyle enjoys inviting anyone and everyone to do, well anything with us.  It doesn't matter to him if he has just met the person or if we're long friends, they are equal opportunity to invite along on a family vacation, an impromptu lunch at our messy house, an outing to the local park.  Kyle has very few what I would call close friends, but the man is friends with just about everyone in this town and if it were up to him he would love to have each one of them here day after day till we reached the end, and then start all over again.

I am, at my core, the opposite.  I enjoy spending time with my family and just my family.  For some reason in my head the event is less significant if it involves other people.  I realize that, at least in part, this is not the way that God has asked me to live my life, so I have over the years moved slowly, step by step, over to Kyle's camp.

We now have people in our home for a meal a couple times a week, I don't yell when Kyle invites someone over without warning me first, I have come to accept the fact that people do not care whether or not my house is clean, and I truly enjoy the sound of my home filled with a large number of people fellowshipping together.

But, oh yes here it is, the "but" I was trying to get him to understand.  I believe that there is something that is different and important about family time.  That there is something to be said for spending time together with just your family.  Something special about being alone with just your spouse or just your child.

Or at least that was how I felt last night, while we argued in circles about nothing, me not quite able to get my footing in my argument, because frankly, I was treading on shaky ground.  While there is something unique and even necessary about spending time alone with members of your family, to imply that we don't get enough of it, that we need to turn away lonely friends, to carve out some more "family time" was plain selfishness.

When I allow myself and my home to be used by God I am able to love my neighbor, to love the least of these.  When we bring along people into our lives, into our activities, and our meals, they become part of our family.  They remind me a family is not people who share a last name but those who share a Father God.  Me and Kyle, we are different, sure, but this time I was also wrong.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Linking it up

While I love to write here on this blog, I love reading other people's blogs even more.  Here are some of the best posts I've read in the past couple of weeks.  Click on the titles to read the entire post.

And you, what did you love reading this week, leave me the link, I'm always looking for a great blog to read!

Christ the Church and Pat Robertson on Moore to the Point

Sadly, many of our neighbors assume that when they hear the parade of cartoon characters we allow to speak for us, that they are hearing the gospel. They assume that when they see the giggling evangelist on the television screen, that they see Jesus. They assume that when they see the stadium political rallies to “take back America for Christ,” that they see Jesus. But Jesus isn’t there.

Jesus tells us he is present in the weak, the vulnerable, the useless. He is there in the least of these (Matt. 25:31-46). Somewhere out there right now, a man is wiping the drool from an 85 year-old woman who flinches because she think he’s a stranger. No television cameras are around. No politicians are seeking a meeting with them.

But the gospel is there. Jesus is there.

So no thanks, Mark Driscoll.  Peddle that bike parable somewhere else please.  Ride it around in front of people stronger and more mature in their faith than I am, because when I read your post I'm tempted to think that God gave me my beautiful, giant house in one of the safest neighborhoods with the nicest schools.  I'm tempted to believe that God gave me my Expedition.  I'm tempted to believe that God gave me my clothes from Ann Taylor Loft.  I'm tempted to believe that my stuff fell straight from heaven, so why not enjoy it instead of owning the fact that I used my own brain to decide what house to buy.  The truth is, God provided the money and I picked out my car.  I picked out my clothing.  I decided how much to spend on me and how much I'd give to my neighbors who have nothing.  God gave me the money and I decided whether or not I needed a bike and if it should be top of the line or one I bought at a garage sale for $20.

God gave the money.  I made the decisions.

After the Airport  on Jen

I followed a God into this story who heals and redeems, who restores wasted years and mends broken places. This God specializes in the Destroyed. I've seen it. I've been a part of it. I have His ancient Word that tells of it. I love a Jesus who made reconciliation his whole mission. My children will not remain broken. They are loved by too good a Savior. I will not remain exhausted and spent. I am loved by too merciful a Father.

So today, I'm writing for you who are somewhere "after the airport." The big moment is over and you are living in the aftermath when the collective grief or euphoria has passed. You lost a parent, a sibling, a friend, a child. The experience mobilized every single human being who loves you, and they rallied, gathered, carried you. And now it's three months later on a random Tuesday, and the sting has worn off for everyone else, and you are left in your sorrow.  

I love my husband very much. 

But sometimes I hate him, too. 

You see, I am married to a Perpetually Skinny. You know the type. They’re the ones who can eat whatever they want without gaining weight. They’re the ones whose metabolism never actually catches up as they age. They’re the ones who can order a pair of jeans online and be reasonably assured that they are going to look great when they put them on. 

Come with Me on Flower Patch Farmgirl 

But then I would think of what's ahead of us and I'd know it all again. We are going. We don't know where, exactly, but it's different from here, and that's exciting and it's also a little weepy, a little anxious-feeling. For a long time, I would have equated the butterflies with an absence of peace, but I know better this time around. I know that sometimes it's necessary to gather up some extra courage and jump with your eyes closed. Because what's faith without a little fear? How much do we really need to trust when what we're doing is our favorite thing, the easiest thing, the quietest thing? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

The day Chloe needed to go to the ER for her cut lip, Jack seemed to, at no point, be aware of what was going on.  Despite Kyle and I yelling and running around (yes we do not do well under stress), Jack kept repeating over and over, mommy I washed my hands, wanting me to praise him for doing this without being asked.  When Chloe came home I said, "look Jack Chloe is back and she's all better."  He came over to her and said, "oh Chloe your back is all better."  I ignored him not sure of what to say until later that afternoon when he came up to her again and rubbed her back and said, "I'm so glad your back is all better."  I couldn't resist speaking up, "no Jack remember Chloe cut her lip and it was bleeding, her lip is better!"  He gave me a confused look and just said, "oh."

So I found some fat in my budget after all and I've stopped using someone to clean my house.  There is good news, she only came once a month and had begun to do a pretty crummy job so really I feel glad to save the money and do a better job myself.  The problem is to clean my whole house in the small windows of time I have available will take about three months, more or less :).

I can't remember if I told y'all but I thought Chloe had ringworm for almost four months!  I had taken her to the pediatrician and she glanced at it and said, oh yeah keep treating it, it can take a long time to clear up.  Thankfully we have a friend who is a doctor who looked at it at church and said that it wasn't ringworm, but eczema.  Sure enough now that we're putting lotion on it instead of anti-fungal cream it looks great.  I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders I had begun to think that she would never be able to overcome this "ringworm" because the more I treated it the worse it looked, go figure!

Does anyone else hate getting their hair cut?  For me it has about as much appeal as going to a doctor's appointment.  I know it's supposed to be this relaxing thing I can do for myself and truly I wish it was.  For some reason haircuts have always made me anxious, the sitting in the chair for hours (if I'm having my hair colored) making small talk, the praying it turns out good, the trying to be bold enough to speak up if you don't like it.  I know I have issues, but hey I bet you've got some too :).

Jack consistently puts both his shirt and shorts on backwards, every single day.  You would think if it was an accident that at least some days, by chance, he would get at least one of them on right.  Every time I see him walking around with his backwards clothes (no I rarely bother to fix them) I think of Kriss Kross. In my middle school there were people who actually wore their clothes completely backwards just like Kriss Kross.  Even as a very impressionable pre-teenager, who knew that those were the cool kids, I couldn't help but think they looked stupid and uncomfortable.  But it is a catchy song....Kriss Kross will make you jump, jump....

Fellow bloggers does this ever happen to you?  When I go to parties and see friends of mine I haven't seen in a while, they often greet me with, "how are you, I'm sorry I haven't/I don't read your blog."  In case you are a friend of mind in the real world know this, it never even enters my mind to assume someone knows how I am because I have a blog and I definitely never assume anyone out there actually reads this stuff.  But I wouldn't mind new readers maybe next time someone asks me how I'm doing I'll just hand them a card with my blog address on it and say, "just go read about it."

ps- don't forget you can post your own Whatnot Wednesday post, just click the button to link up!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I miss nap time!

back in the good ol' days of napping
For a good five years once a day, most every day, I laid down my children one by one, after diapers and potty, putting on pajamas, reading books, for their daily nap.

It didn't matter that they began to protest this need for sleep, or that they reached the age where friends were allowed to go nap free.  Here's the thing, nap time has always been a little bit more about my need for them to nap, than it is about their need to nap.

Over the years it has evolved into "rest time" a time where they don't have to sleep but they do have to rest quietly in their rooms for a period of time, followed by a time of quiet playing.

This concept worked great with Kylynn when she finally outgrew naps (only about a year ago), she was happy to play with her dollhouse, look at books, or "read" in her room making not a peep.  This allowed for nap time to continue without change, the other kiddos could nap without being disturbed and I could have some time to myself to break up my day.

Then Jack reached the magical, I'm not tired age, and unlike his sister he wasn't kidding.  That boy would not fall asleep, not ever, no matter how evident his need for a nap was.  So I of course implemented "rest time" with him.  He would have to stay in his bed and look at books for 20 minutes (he knows when he can get out based on the hands of the clock) and then he could play quietly in his room.

The problem is Jack is not interested in anything that is quiet, anything that involves rest, or spending anytime at all in his bed.  So every. single. day.  I go into his room countless times to deal with the fact that he has gotten out of bed before the set time.  Then when, yippee, play time has come he has this compulsion to open and close his door over and over again, very loudly.  He knows he's not supposed to do it, but I swear sometimes I think he can't help it.

If by chance I decide to lay down and take a nap, I am usually awakened very suddenly after a very short nap by a slamming door, if I manage to fall back asleep the whole scene will repeat itself in 90 seconds.  Needless to say this makes me rather angry and puts a damper on my afternoon.  If I decide to stay up and get somethings accomplished I spend so much time going up and down the stairs dealing with Jack, that I get nothing accomplished and again end up angry and in a foul mood for the afternoon.

Either way, I lose, nap time is no longer something I look forward to.  Instead of being a nice time of quiet around the house for us all to rest and prepare for the rest of our day, nap time has become a time to see if we can make mommy lose her mind.

And it's working, there is not much left to this mind of mine....I miss nap time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A good weekend, even when it wasn't

We had an eventful weekend this past week.  Friday night we went to an ice cream party to say goodbye to our family (ok our friends but y'all get it, right?).  I couldn't sleep that night because I kept writing and re-writing one of my friends a "goodbye letter."  She had planted the seed in my mind and my mind was trying hard to not be devastated, so it wrote letters, over and over.

Saturday morning we had our six month, and final, home visit for Chloe's adoption.  Once the paperwork is complete we can finalize it!  It was bittersweet to say goodbye to our social worker, she has been visiting our family for four and half years, since we applied to begin Jack's adoption up until the finalization of Chloe's.  The whole time she was there I kept thinking, we can't be done here, nope, no way we're done.  Kyle looked at me like a crazy person when I told him that, so alas we might be done, but I've got a feeling that God can work on Kyle's heart if I'm right.

We then went on to run several shopping errands, eat some frozen yogurt at lunch time in order to get in two more stores, and came home to eat late lunches and take long late naps!  This was a happy accident because that night we had a wedding to go to.  Yes that's right, these people actually invited our three small children to their wedding as well :).  It was such a lovely wedding, outside in the country, we ate yummy Mexican food, and the kids were amazing little munchkins.

Sunday after church we decided to go on a bike ride.  We very much want to get back into this habit, but I feel a bit like I'm starting all over again, maybe not square one, but definitely square two.  I have to pull the trailer behind me in order for us all to be able to go on "big" rides again.  So we packed up some water and snacks and headed out.  I hadn't been feeling great that morning so I didn't eat a snack and for some unknown reason didn't drink any water either.  Sunday was much hotter than it had been all week and I am terribly out of shape, so it was a hard ride.

We took a break in the park and Kyle played with all the kids, everyone was having the best time.  It was really truly the perfect day, for awhile at least.  When we got home I was feeling like I needed  to go lay down under the ceiling fan, I had pushed myself hard, so I made the mistake of going in and leaving Chloe outside, with my bike up on it's kickstand.

Next thing I know I hear Kyle run in with Chloe screaming a horrible cry and see blood everywhere.  She had pulled my bike down on her and her teeth had gone through her lip.  It took a while to figure out where she was bleeding from, once we got a look at the cut we decided she needed stitches.  I gave her a popsicle, something I had once read on Vitafamiliae's blog (see blog reading is useful!), to help stop the bleeding in her mouth and Kyle set off for the hospital which is less than a mile from our home.

I was supposed to join him up there as soon as I managed to stop blacking out, remember I'm a fainter, and got something to eat and drink into me and the kids.  While I was running around grabbing things, I noticed Kylynn was sprawled on the arm of the couch moaning.  I went to check on her and she kept saying, it's going to hurt her so bad when they give her stitches.  Then she said, mommy I'm going to throw up.  She never did but as she was hanging out over the toilet, she started to pass out, I carried her over to the couch and got a wet washcloth on her head, and got her to come back around.  So I called Kyle to see what to do and luckily he said Chloe was fine and there was no reason for us to come.

In the end the doctor was able to glue her lip closed and she was not traumatized enough by the experience to stop trying to climb everything in her path.  We could see God's hand at work throughout the ordeal, she was happy to be comforted by Kyle (which is huge, when she was so upset) and he was back in only a couple of hours, so as to still be able to have a normal afternoon and evening.

It was a good weekend, a really good weekend, it reminded me that God is in control and that all things work together for the good to those who love the Lord.