Tuesday, August 30, 2011

About those goals...

You may recall back at the beginning of June I made some goals of things to accomplish this summer.  I'm a planner, a list maker, and I love to have some goals that I'm striving for, but I'm also a mom to three whose is currently really proud of herself if the kids get a bath every other night and the dishes stay done.  So there will be no guilt here for things left undone, I just wanted to see how I did.

Here were the goals I set, anything I accomplished I crossed off and the bold are my comments on how it went,

1. Read five of the non-fiction books I have been meaning to read forever.  I am currently reading Mere Christianity (more on that soon) the other four will come from the following list I've got going.  RadicalNo Biking in the House w/o a helmetOrganized SimplicityYear of Plenty (half way done)One Thousand GiftsShepherding a Child's HeartBringing up Boys, Bringing up Girls (2/3 of the way done).  Three out of five ain't too bad, I'll take it!  I will continue to read through this list along with several great books on adoption, orphans, and attachment that I found on Amazon.

2. Read four books for fun.  Duh, this one was a no-brainer, I'm sure I read twice that many, a favorite for those of you who are looking for a good book, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

3. Get my computer time under control, set up a plan/schedule of rules for healthy computer usage.  I've got nothing to show for this one, I need to roll it over into my school year goals I guess.

4. Greatly related to #3, get back into the routine and then habit of spending time DAILY in God's word as well as continued prayer throughout the day.  This one continues to be one I struggle with I did well for a while then fell out of the habit, then spent the rest of the summer having a dedicated "quite time" about 3-4 times a week, again I need to roll this over into my school year goals.

5. Get together with several friends I haven't seen in the past few months.  I was so proud of myself I actually saw a ton of different friends this summer, I need to keep that up!

6. Finish organizing our study, and set up a workable work area for me.  I am stuck on this one, I would like to purchase a sort of work space table from IKEA that will be perfect for this space and Kyle is in no hurry to drive over to a city 2 hours away for a piece of furniture, so for now my work space is frustratingly unorganized.

7. Hang the various wall hangings throughout the house that have been bought in the past six months.  Nope, not this one either, however I did buy more things to hang on walls, so we can spend even more time figuring out where everything goes :).

8. Complete my sewing projects.  (That is the funniest sentence I've ever typed, but I'm serious, really, kind of, no I have to get it done!)  Y'all I should have a party to celebrate this.  I put a backing on the curtains in Chloe's room and made 4 of the 8 pillows I needed to make BUT they were so easy I will finish the next 4 in a one night sitting soon.

9. Goals for teaching Jack:
*Potty trained.  This has to happen this summer or I suddenly become a homeschooler and need to add some more goals and books to my summer :)
*Begin to write his name.  I was aiming too high here, I should have written begin to write (as in scribble and this he did begin to do this summer).
*Work on counting to 10.  He's got 1,2,3,4,7,8,9 just need to fill in the middle :)

10. Goals for teaching Kylynn:
*Know all letters and the sounds they make
*Count to 20, write numbers 1-10
*be able to swim.  I totally failed on this one, I never even call the swim instructor to set up lessons, our summer was really that crazy, next summer.

Now I wish I would have put on my list, watch obnoxious amounts of Lost, check!  And in an amazing turn of events paint our entire den, check!

How about you, what'd you accomplish this summer and what are your goals for the school year, or do does the word "goal" make you think of Mia Hamm?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

*The other day we were in the grocery store and Jack stopped (in the chip aisle) and said, "mommy I need to pray, dear God we need some rain! amen."  The lady next to us looked at me and said, "he's really, really little."  All the way home I kept thinking, what was her problem she doesn't even know how old he is, how does she know he's little?  Finally it dawned on me, 2 year olds don't stop to pray for rain in the chip aisle, so she was making a (correct) assumption.

*With our new schedule of picking Kylynn up from school at 12:30, Chloe takes her complete afternoon nap in the car, which leads to two major problems.  1)I have at least one child awake and needing my attention, every moment of everyday and 2)Chloe has to make all the way till 7pm from a short nap ending at 1pm.  I do not know how to fix this, but I'm not liking it.

*Kyle and I painted our den this week.  We taped, textured, primed, and painted the walls two colors and the ceiling a third.  We are down to just needing to paint all the trim, it has been intense, but I was very motivated, I told myself I cannot watch anymore seasons of Lost until this project is done.

*When I say we painted our ceiling I mean we painted it a color.  I found all these articles about it online and saw these amazing pictures and decided we should go for it.  The ceiling turned out so much darker than I had imagined so I had a complete melt down and decided that I wanted to re-paint it.  Kyle lost his mind was frustrated with that idea and I decided to give it a night to get used to it.  I've decided I like it,  really like it, it's different, but it looks really cool (pictures soon).

*My kids have totally ruined my brain, I cannot tell you (because my brain is ruined and I can't remember anything) how many dumb things I have done this week.  But today I went from never getting my kids names right on the first try,"Kyly..Ky..Ja..Chloe!", to not even calling them a real name.  "Please stop climbing up the stairs by yourself, Shoe-y."

*We went to the library this week and there was a lady there, getting a library card, and she was essentially naked.  She had on a bright purple "dress" that covered just to the bottom of her, well bottom, above and below that was all skin.  Then on her chest it covered just a strip down the middle, as in a large portion of her boobs were just out there.  I didn't know what to do, as we walked to the line, I was  scared Jack would point her out, loudly, (praise God Kylynn was not with us!) but he didn't.  Then she turned around and caught me staring at her and I felt embarrassed but then realized that there is no way someone would dress like that unless they wanted people to stare and really it was impossible not to.  I just kept wondering how she could move in that dress and not be afraid that at any minute she might accidentally be showing off her who-ha to everyone.


Monday, August 22, 2011

The beginning of the next 13 years

Today was day one of a new stage of our lives, the school years.  Kylynn had her first day of Kindergarten today.  Of all the milestones I've reached in my life this is the first where I just can't believe I'm here already, time is slipping through my fingers faster than I can catch it.

When she walked into my bathroom in her brand new "first day of school" dress, I saw her take a big breath, and I knew just what she was feeling, here we go!

She was ready, has been ready, so there were no tears shed by anyone this morning, except for Jack, she walked into that room and never even turned around.  All day long I couldn't shake the odd feeling that, I have no idea what she's doing right now.  How I longed to be a fly on the wall and just watch her for a few minutes, was she making friends, was she having fun, was she understanding the lesson in class.

She came home excited, sure that she will LOVE Kindergarten, school, reading, her teacher, her friends.  She brought with her, her first book she could read, "Mat", now that's fast progress :), then she scarfed down some lunch and quickly fell asleep.  I had to wake her up after two hours, I guess all the emotions of her first day wore her out, I was so glad we chose a half day Kindergarten.

Kylynn Fay, I was so proud of you today, so proud to be your mommy.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you this year, these school years, this life He's given you.  I pray that you will grow in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and men, I pray that you will someday give up this life you've been given so that you can truly live.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday night is pizza night!

This little beauty is one of my favorite kitchen appliances.  My absolutely favorite bread machine recipe is the pizza dough recipe I found at Allrecipes.  Whoever you are Kim, thank you for this one!


  • 1 cup flat beer
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast


  1. Put beer, butter, sugar, salt, flour, and yeast in a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough setting, and press Start.
  2. Remove dough from bread machine when cycle is complete. Roll or press dough to cover a prepared pizza pan. Brush lightly with olive oil. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Spread sauce and toppings on top of dough. Bake until crust is lightly brown and crispy on the outside, about 24 minutes.

To make your beer flat open it up the night before or in the morning and let it set out, if you forget to as I always do, you can pour the beer into the measuring cup from high up, then do the same when pouring into the bread machine, it's not perfect but it'll make it flater and the recipe seems to come out just as well.

In addition to Kim's ingredients, I also use whatever Italian seasoning I have on hand, usually a combination of basil, rosemary, and oregano, I add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of each, you can add whatever seasoning you fancy or just leave it out altogether.

Add all the ingredients in the order that your bread machine prefers (sorry for the horrible picture, P Dub I am not).  Make a little dent in the flour to put the yeast into.  Once the machine begins making it into dough make sure to check the consistency to see if it needs more liquid or flour.

This pizza dough is good, it tastes more like focaccia bread to me than pizza dough.  If you're a crust girl like I am than you'll love this, the crust is the best part!

Roll it out into a circle the size of a pizza pan (sorry folks I'm not good with measurements so that's as accurate as I get).  Use lots of flour to keep it from sticking and then transfer it to the pan or stone you want to cook it on.  

After I roll it out, I pierce it with a fork all over, put a little EVOO (love Rachel Ray!) on it and bake my dough for about 7 minutes before putting on any toppings.  I find that it comes out doughy if I don't do this pre-bake step, but that's just me.  After I put on all the toppings I cook it another 17 minutes or until it's done.

I made this Margherita (no sauce, mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, drizzled in EVOO and sprinkled with salt) pizza a few weeks ago when I was still trying to use up the tomatoes from my garden.  My favorite to make when I don't have an abundance of tomatoes is BBQ Chicken (BBQ sauce for the sauce, cheddar cheese, chicken, and red onions) pizza.  

I haven't picked up a pizza for dinner since finding this recipe (unless we were out of town), it's that good and that easy!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday (picture edition)

What Kyle does for fun, part two

Chloe already knows how to wash the dishes, made a huge mess but was extra cute

Jack weed-eating, I'm sure Daddy is counting down the days till it's for real!

The water rocket, it was fun, but the heat made me go in early

what to do when it's 100 degrees at 10 in the morning?

being sprayed with water wasn't her favorite

a doughnut date with Daddy

I had no idea she was old enough for this type of thing, good Christmas gift ideas

Elizabeth, this one's for you, me with my socks on my hands for pre-school graduation

In my search for my first day of Kindergarten pictures I found these, first day of 1st grade (and 1st day of pre-school for my sisters).  My youngest sister on the left is cracking me up with that pose and look on her face :).


Monday, August 15, 2011

My day

I asked God to help me wake up this morning, because this is the one area of my life where I completely grasp that I can do nothing apart from Him.  He did and I was magically awake at 6:30 and the awesome thing, I felt more awake all day and got so much done.

Within about three minutes after lunch today Jack spilled a cup full of chocolate (almond) milk, I spilled a bottle full of wood floor cleaner, Raven had to decide which would be better to lick up chocolate milk or floor cleaner, Chloe needed a diaper change, and Jack filled the entire sink full of water while he was supposed to be washing his hands.

After going a month with pretty much no accidents Jack pooped in his underwear twice today, it was my fault I fed him as if he wasn't lactose intolerant when indeed he is.  Strangely he never liked cheese till he was told he couldn't have it, now he craves it.

I cannot decide which I like more dental hygienists who talk non-stop and therefore distract me from my anxiety or dental hygienists who allow me to sit in quiet and not feel like I need to try and talk back even though their hands are in my mouth.

I hired a babysitter for the first time in 4.5 months (since Chloe came home) but it was only to attend Kylynn's parent orientation.  We did manage to rush out of the house a little early and grab some frozen yogurt on the way.

It was the best frozen yogurt I've ever had, probably because I put a cup of cookie dough on top and finally! the cookie dough tasted exactly like the stuff in the tube, you know the stuff they say not to eat raw, but who listens to that advice.

Kylynn's kindergarten teacher is amazing.  Her classroom is amazing.  I'm not sure which is better, but this I know: Kylynn is going to fall head over heels in LOVE with her teacher and her school.

They spend very little time during the day sitting at a desk, this made me so happy, this is so perfect for Kylynn and I'm sure for all of the little five year olds running around there!

Ok let me go ahead and be upfront with you guys, I want to go back to kindergarten now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What C.S. Lewis taught me this summer

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis rocked my world this summer.  I enjoyed every page, loved his writing style, and was amused by his obvious belief in aliens.  Most importantly I was left with some truths that are stretching me, training me to be more like Him.  There is so much wisdom in this book, one of my favorite parts was the ways he explains The Trinity, but I couldn't quote a whole chapter here, so you'll have to read it yourself for that bit of wisdom.  Here are some of the quotes that grabbed me this summer.

On choosing a church:
"the question should never be: 'Do I like that kind of service?' but 'Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here?'"

On why God gave us free will:
"Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.  A world of automata--of creatures that worked like machines--would hardly be worth creating.  The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water.  And for all that they must be free."

On the original sin:
"The moment you have a self at all, there is the possibility of putting yourself first--wanting to be the centre--wanting to be God, in fact.  That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race."

On happiness and peace:
"That is why is is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion.  God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.  There is no such thing."

When Christ returns:
"something else--something it has never entered your head to conceive--comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?  For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature.  It will be too late then to choose your side.

On individuality of our walk:
"An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons--marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning."

On giving:
"I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.  In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little.  If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small.

On judging:
"That is why Christians are told not to judge.  We see only the results which a man's choices make out of his raw material.  But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it...when his body dies all of that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or worst out of this material, will stand naked...We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was.  There will be surprises."

On pride:
"In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself.  Unless you know God as that--and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison--you do not know God at all.  As long as you are proud you cannot know God.  A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you."

On loving your neighbor:
"The rule for all of us is perfectly simple.  Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did.  As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets.  When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him."

On salvation:
"He offers everything for nothing.  In a sense, the whole Christian life consists in accepting that very remarkable offer.  But the difficulty is to reach the point of recognizing that all we have done and can do is nothing."

On community:
"God can show Himself as He really is only to real men....to men who are united together in a body, loving one another, helping one another, showing Him to one another.  For that is what God meant humanity to be like; like players in one band, or organs in one body."

On one of Satan's tricks:
"That is the devil getting at us.  He always sends errors into the world in pairs--pairs of opposites.  And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is worse....He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one.  But do not let us be fooled.  We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors.  We have no other concern with either of them."

On giving ourselves to Christ:
"The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self--all your wishes and precautions--to Christ.  But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead.  For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call 'ourselves', to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be 'good'."

On what God desires to do in our lives:
"Imagine yourself as a living house.  God comes in to rebuild that house.  At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing....But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.  What on earth is He up to?  The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of--throwing out a new wing here, putting on a an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.  You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.  He intends to come and live in it Himself.

"Lose your life and you will save it.  Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life.  Keep back nothing.  Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours.  Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.  Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay.  But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Tuesday!

Look what I just found out my computer can do, I know I'm a little late to the party, but how much fun!  Plus I look so much better in color than I do in the mirror, I think I might demand all pictures of me be taken in "pop art" mode from now on, what do you think?

Tonight I'm heading out to a women's event at my church, it's the first time I've gone to something by myself since Chloe came home.  I guess I was a little excited about it, I showed up last week, turns out I was the only one that excited, not a soul there :).

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy birthday to the one that makes this life fun, the one who makes it possible, Daddy!

Anything fun that ever happens in this house, is because of you, maker of brownie sundaes for dinner, water rockets, indoor tents, and family movie nights.  We would be a bunch of boring whiners around here without you, the fixer of our broken house, cheerer upper of fussy children and worn out mommy.  Every day with you, every new year is a gift.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


This week I have walked around with a lump in my throat.  Tears right behind my eyes, ready to fall with the slightest emotion.  But here's the thing, it has been a good week, an amazing week.  I keep looking around me at this life God is creating, it reminds me of a quilt, each unique block when sewn together creates something beautiful.  I feel it, my cup so full, running over with joy, with contentment.

For years I have been praying for God to provide for our family what it was missing.  To bring to us Korean people who would love us, who would walk this road with us, who would care about my children.  For years I have prayed for families that look like ours to come into our life, for my children to not wonder why they're the only adopted children they know or why they are the only one without a white face.  Recently God has begun to teach me about community, I have begun to pray that He would make that a reality, that our life and our home would be filled with the body, a place where deep relationships can be formed.

It took me a long time to realize that she was the answer to my prayers, it wasn't until I realized how much she needed us that I saw our need for her.  Watching her set the table or help us make dessert,  is the answer to the prayer I've never put into words, the longing He placed in my heart long ago.  Last night she taught me how to bow correctly and told me that Chloe has a Korean accent.  As my children grow they will have a face that looks like theirs around the dinner table, they will hear her whisper Korean to them, her presence will change their lives.

Then this week I met her, I was both surprised and expectant, deep down knowing she would come, another mother like me, another family like ours.  And no matter how I tried on that day we met the tears kept sneaking up.  Before I knew her name I knew her heart and that was enough to know I had made a dear friend.  To have another friend who's walking this path of adoption, one I can reach out and touch, one who will be a daily part of our lives, a gift from a loving Father.

Always there is the mix of students and families, Americans and Internationals, new believers and mature ones that fill up my home each Sunday evening.  It is the day I look forward to most of all, to hear about their week, to praise God for the answered prayers, to be able to tell them I need their prayers, always I need their prayers.  Their wisdom on His word teach me and point me to the truth.  But most of all their laughter stays with me and it makes me lighter, carrying me through to the next week.

This week I've seen my life for the beautiful quilt it has become.  Solid in my chest I feel it, rising up as a lump in my throat.  This is the life He has created for me, an answer to the prayer he put on my lips, a life abundant, a life in community.