Monday, February 28, 2011

Look who's three!

My baby boy is three, we celebrated at pre-school (I was very excited to see him blow out the candle un-prompted, yes I'm a mom like that!)

Today he got a card in the mail that sings! from one of his great grandmothers, he loved it so much.  His loved seems forced in this video, but I promise he was all about that card :).

A new addition to his "when I grow up..." which is still heard 50+ times a day is, ready for it, a robot :).  Love that boy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Song for fish

You sat in the tub and glanced down at the fish you were singing to and I took in those eyelashes that are much too beautiful, too long, and too dark.  I took in your ten fingers and ten toes, your little finger nails shaped so perfectly, so entirely unlike mine.  The little muscles that are begining to form in your legs and your perfect round belly full of food and all I could think of was her, and does she know.

You looked up at me smiled and went back to your song for fish and I thought, the sound of you eagerly singing your song may be my favorite sound on earth.  I began to cry, this loss that is her's is gain for me and it's wonderful and horrible and beautiful and messy.  You were busy with your song so I allowed myself the thoughts, the pain, the tears.  She is missing all of this, all of it, and will she ever know that God created something beautiful in her body?

The only time she ever looked at your beautiful face was when it bore the evidence of something gone wrong, did she blame herself, does she still?  Oh, to find her and help her lay down her burden, to tell her who you really are.  How you charm people, how people meet you and are taken captive by the joy you carry around, handing out to those you pass.  That already I can't dream of who you will become, for the talents loom, an athlete, a lover of animals, a gentle spirit, a fixer, a helper.  You are a boy who is nothing gone wrong.

Will you find her someday and show her the boy God grew in her womb.  Will you find her and see what her eyelashes look like.  And look at her fingernails for me and see if there yours.  Tell her that when I look at the perfection in you I have always thought of her, her beauty and her pain.  I have always prayed that she would find healing, that she would find you.

My words are left unspoken, saved for a day you will better understand and I smile at your song for fish and begin to sing along, grateful for the beautiful mess.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Try, try again

I have a bit of trouble with patience, not to mention worry, and doubt, so it shouldn't have surprised me when I began to feel like Jack's speech therapy was doomed a full three sessions in.  Yes, I am that short sighted.  After three sessions he hadn't made any progress (uh duh!) and didn't want to practice with me, so I began to let my head wander, what if...

Today Jack had his fourth session, he goes twice a week, and he mastered where to place his tongue to say the "d" sound, not only that he was excited to show me where he puts his tongue and practice making that sound.  It was a good day!

This is the third speech therapist I've experienced and I want to encourage other moms out there, if you think your therapist is not doing a good job, go find another one!  Especially if your child was born with a cleft, find someone who understands how to work with children with clefts.  We have found an amazing therapist and she is night and day better than the first one we experienced.  Jack loves going so much he thinks it's is bi-weekly fun play day.  She told me today that he so smart that if she tries to just pull out the flash cards, he says oh no!  So she's found all these neat ways to trick him into therapy, love that lady!

Next time I begin to decide all is hopeless after a few times of trying with my kids can someone please remind me that learning takes time and patience is virtue.  I think I will especially need this reminder, perhaps several times a day, when potty training Jack.

Monday, February 21, 2011

An eating assignment for you, your welcome

On Saturday we headed out to have some frozen yogurt, Kylynn had chosen that as her reward for that week's star chart.  Can I just tell you, how hard it is to not try and sway her decision when it comes to what reward she chooses that week, I wish she would pick the "ice cream" reward more often but she doesn't.  So anyways we decided to try a new frozen yogurt place I had heard about.  Another side note, what is the deal with our relatively small city having 37 frozen yogurt places suddenly, it's like we're going for a new record or trying to get picked as the frozen yogurt capital of the world.

Anyways, we ended up at Project Yogurt, in Bryan and I need all of you to make it your new frozen yogurt headquarters.  Get this, they donate 10% of all of their profits to charity, the charities that they donate to change every quarter but are currently, Still Creek Ranch, ONE Aggieland, Hospice of the Brazos Valley, Down Syndrome Association of the Brazos Valley, and United Way.  They also have a place set up where you can donate extra money to any of the organizations.  The yogurt was amazing, I liked it much more than the one I'd had at some other local yogurt shops, but Kyle thought it tasted exactly the same as the other shops.  They had great toppings, including one I'd never seen and loved, cheesecake pieces, kind of cancels out the whole eating yogurt thing but I try not to think about that.

If your a local check them out, their prices were the same as other yogurt shops, so you can spend the same amount of money but support local charities, such a wonderful idea.  Not to mention there was tons a seating, and the workers were super friendly.  They're located in the shopping center by the Bryan HEB on Villa Maria.

Friday, February 18, 2011

When I grow up...

A couple weeks ago Kylynn had to go to pre-school dressed up as what she wants to be when she grows up, she chose a ballerina, and that was the end of that as far as she was concerned.  But when she came home that day, she asked Jack what do you want to be when you grow up?  Well let's just say Jack has taken this question to heart, decided to ponder it for hours upon hours, always out loud.

Approximately ever 1.5 seconds, for the last two weeks, Jack says, Mommy, when I grow up, and fills it in with various possibilities.  Here are the ones I hear most often
*a firefighter-who will wear a hat and help people
* superman
*spider man
* a baseball game (he means a baseball player)
* a football guy
* have a water gun
* a cowboy
* a grandpa

His birthday is coming up soon and I'm trying to decide what type of cake to do and he changes so often I just can't decide what he's loving right now the most.  But I love hearing the hopes and dreams of a soon to be three year old and feel grateful that God saw it fit to give him a future full of possibilites.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Russell Moore and Loretta Lynn

One of my new favorite blogs these days is Moore to the Point by Russell D. Moore.  I very much enjoy reading his takes on living out our daily lives as followers of Jesus.  I was going to send my readers over there today, to read his article, Honk if you love anti-Christian bumper stickers, but then as I finished reading it the article below it caught my eye.

The article, You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take my Man), is part of his new series the Cross and the Jukebox and you actually listen to a talk on that song/topic, so I've never taken the time to listen to one before, but it was well worth my time.  This talk is about 30 minutes long and is on Loretta Lynn's song, "You ain't woman enough to take my man", and I just had to hear what he was going to say about it after reading the opening line. 
"What does Loretta Lynn have to say to the Internet pornography scourge in our churches? Well, maybe more than you think."
The church we attend has done a relatively good job on talking about the elephant in the room, that is internet pornography and how it has become a cancer in our churches and in our homes today, but I'm afraid in many Christian churches Satan is winning by making sure this topic is never discussed openly.  

In surveys it is reported that 70% of Christian men age 18 to 34 look at internet pornography at least once a month.  So I doubt there is any among us who couldn't benefit from listening to Russel Moore's talk this month, if it doesn't touch your family than it is sure to touch the lives' of some of your close friends.  Listen up women and find out how to stand up and say, "you ain't woman enough to take my man."

Monday, February 14, 2011

All I want for Valentine's is you

When we found out that Chloe was not coming home in 2010, I remained calm, I kept my eyes focused on Him and His peace guarded my heart.  When January rolled around and Kyle began to feel the sadness of a child missing, I remained unchanged, God's timing is perfect and I trust him.

But then February showed up on the calendar, it was really 2011, the second month in and not only was my daughter not home, we were still a few steps away from brining her here.  I began to unravel.  Somedays I would place the kiddos in bed and pull up my email, certain that today was the day, the day to see an email saying her emigration permit had been approved, our last major hurdle before we could go get her.  When once again my inbox lacked that jewel of an email I would become angry, and take all of my anger out on that refresh button, hitting it again and again, like a crazy person thinking that if I just refreshed the screen one more time, that email would be there.

Yesterday as I sat in church I felt God undoing me further.  I was angry at Him, I was losing my patience, and I had forgotten who He really was.  Every song I sang made me cry, every word the preacher said reached down into my soul, God speaking to me, do I have your attention.  Finally I could resist Him no more, if you're going to break me into pieces, put me back together more beautiful, a vessel filled with your glory.  Forgiveness was sought for the sins I had begun to wallow in.  His goodness and his timing were made real to me again.  And the pain and sadness that I had so desperately tried to ignore, I allowed in, and instead of ruin, I felt healing.

This morning I turned on my computer so that I could send an email to someone, not thinking for a moment of the email I had been longing for, and yet there it was.  Chloe's emigration permit has been approved.  We're in the home stretch now, it could still be a couple of months, but she is almost home.  This morning when I woke up I sat half way asleep and prayed, Father please just tell me when she'll be home, reassure me.  And today on this day of love He did that for me.

Happy Valentine's day friends!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Considering adoption?

Considering adoption, considering adopting an older (as in not an infant) child, one from another country, one with special needs, one of a different race?  Then click over to Rage Against the Minivan to read this.

It is so important that we are fully prepared for all parts of adoption, because it is the best thing that's ever happened to me (no doubt) but it can be very hard and very painful (and I don't know the half of it, or even the tenth of it).  God never said doing His will would be easy, but with His help we (those God has called to adoption) can do this, let's not go into it with blinders on though.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

my red and pink girl

Today was Valentine's day as far as she was concerned.  Today was the day to put on her red dress, her black tights and her pink sweatshirt to top it all off.  Today was the big day.

We drove over to the place where grandmas and grandpas live, as she explained it, to sing them songs about the One who loves them greatly, and I prayed, to be reminded of what we are to be about on this earth.

She sang along with all her classmates, each holding a pink or red ballon, sang about how much Jesus loves them, loves us, loves everyone.  Sang about how someday we're going to heaven.  As they sang I looked over and saw a woman, her eyes closed and a smile on her face.  Her hair was white and deep lines traced her face but when she opened her eyes, I was stilled by her beauty.  In her eyes was what the children sang about, as sure as the sun, there it was, a woman who knows the love of God and has the hope of her future in heaven with Him.

They were to pass out treats to the residents and I went to help give my red and pink girl the courage to love.  I told her to hand them to the grandma or grandpa and to tell them her name, to tell them happy Valentine's day, and to give them a hug.  Around she went speaking to one after another after another, hugging each one, even the ones who couldn't speak, even the ones who made her uncomfortable.

I wanted her to understand something today, I wanted myself to understand something today, that loving people is more important than our own comfort.  That it is in loving the ones hardest to love that we begin to understand God's love.  To start to be able to feel it's weight in our hearts, and begin to be changed.  And when we understand God's love, then the rest will follow, it is then we can be used, it is then we find freedom.

On the way to drop her off for the rest of her school day, I told her again and again, how proud I was.  "Thank you for the way you talked to all those people you didn't know and thank you for hugging them, it was very special for them."  Someday I will tell her, that when I look at her I can already see the gifts He has gifted her with and if she will only let Him, He has big plans for her life, because the the gift I see biggest when I watch her, is His love.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Sometimes you can't help but find love in the strangest places.  A doughnut for example.  Yesterday morning Kylynn was taken for a short Daddy/daughter date to go pick up doughnuts for daddy's work and of course a few for us.  Her feet didn't touch the floor the whole time she was there, daddy time makes her that happy.  Later that night she told Kyle, "I love you more than a doughnut."  Well that is a compliment!

Mister Jack loved his kolache so much he told me, "mommy I love hotdog doughnut."  And really who doesn't, two of the great food groups in one, hotdogs and doughnuts.

I hope you find some love this week of Valentine's in those small blessings God is surrounding you with.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy thrift store Tuesday!

I don't like shopping.  The crowds, the fluorescent lights, the decisions, they always overwhelm me and make me just want to throw up my arms and leave or worse grab the first thing I see and buy it just to be done.

But for some reason, I LOVE shopping at thrift stores, antique stores, junk stores, you get the idea.  There is something about walking through a store filled with old that calms me.  Having to look up and down, behind, and around the corner to find a deal is thrilling and finding one, well that can make me happy for weeks even months.

Today I dropped the kiddos off at school and headed out for a marathon of thrift store shopping.  First stop was Habitat for Humanity's Re-Store, this is personally my favorite thrift store in town as it has household items AND building materials, need a new toilet, some tile, a door, check them out.

I got this lamp for $17.50, I love how unique it is.  It will look so nice in my living room where we have several things we've collected from other countries, this bird ties into a lot of what we have in there.  I'm not sure what it's made of but it's a heavy guy and has the appearance of tarnished brass.

I got these three planters, they are real pottery, and are creamed colored with a sage green leaf pattern.  I'm so excited that we're going to be working on our backyard this spring.  These will look so nice on our patio/deck.  For one large pot and two medium pots I paid $40.

And entirely un-exciting, I found a trashcan for Chloe's room for $2!

Next, it was off to the local Goodwill, I didn't find any of the things I was looking for, but I did find some cute things for the kids.

I got Kylynn a dress and two skirts for $11.27, but I was most excited about finding these in her size!

The cashier made me smile when she checked twice that I understood that they were tap shoes and might therefore drive me crazy.  She may be right but, her feet grow fast and I know she will adore these.  I'll give these to her for Valentine's day, they were $2.99.

I got Jack two polos for a total of $5.98, boring I know but he's not in need of much clothes.  

Next I was off to the Mrs. Baird's thrift store, do y'all have one of these in your town, check the phone book because they're not much for advertising so most people don't know they exist.  They sell bread soon to reach the sell by date for discounted prices.  When you're lucky they'll have bread that has to be sold by today's date, when that happens all the bread/bagels/rolls/tortillas/you name it are 4 for a dollar or 39 cents each.  Here's my haul for a total of 1.39.

Happy thrift store Tuesday to you sweet blog friends!  I hope you find something that makes you smile and that the hunt alone is enough to make your day.

WAIT...I almost forget, I picked up this beauty of the way home for free (a gift card from Christmas).  A tall decaf mocha, total $0.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The great joy of my life

At exactly what age will I figure out how to do this mommy thing right?  I would take doing it pretty darn good, but most days even that seems like an idea I once had.

Yesterday I asked Kylynn to tell me her memory verse from school this week, she had said it the night before so I knew she knew it and I was helping her commit it to memory.  With a little help getting started she said the verse, but when I asked her for the reference, she couldn't think of it.  So I told her it and asked her to repeat it to me, and after .2 seconds she had forgotten what I said.  I decided that there was no way she could have forgotten something that she knew the day before and I had just told her.  So I told her that we weren't going to get out of the car and go watch our movie until she repeated it to me, deciding that she was being stubborn? lazy? funny?  But then she started to totally stress out and it escalated from there, no matter how much I tried to give her clues she was too far gone into freak out mode.  In the end we went inside and she went to her room to calm down and she was able to think of "Mark" and I supplied the numbers.  For the life of me I do not know if she genuinely didn't know the answer or just didn't want to give me the satisfaction.

Daily this little girl makes me so unsure of whether I've just chosen the right battle, said the right thing, praised her enough, taught her enough.  There are countless moments where I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing and whether or not I've made the right decision.  I often end my days with her, sitting on her bed and apologizing for how I responded to her in anger, but explaining that even though my response was wrong, her behavior was still unacceptable.

Jack has been unusually whiny for the past two days, crying for long periods of time for no reason.  He won't tell me anything that's wrong and has no physical symptoms, so I just assumed that it's the fact that he'll be three in a few weeks that's causing it.  At every meal, he's said, I'm not hungry and not wanted to eat.  When it comes to Jack and eating I have been brought to tears over it on more than one occasion and am constantly praying about it.  He has actually gained a decent amount of weight in the last six months but I am always trying to sneak in more calories into his diet, in my mind him not eating is completely unacceptable.  So I told him he had to finish this or that on his plate and then he could get down.  Finally at lunch time today, he said my belly hurt, so I took away his plate and laid him on the couch and sure enough about 30 minutes later he was throwing up.  I wish I could tell you that this is the first time I've forced a sick child to eat, completely unaware that they were actually telling the truth about not being hungry, but it's not.  Hindsight's 20/20 and after the fact I can't believe that I thought that he was just being grumpy.

Daily I question whether I let him get away with too much, is he telling the truth when he says that his sissy did it, or is he just trying to stay out of trouble.  Do I spend enough time focused on just him, since he's content to play by himself and not constantly asking for my attention like his sister.  I often end my days with him trying to tell him a little of his unique story, already unsure of whether I have the right words for his small questions.

I suppose that it's only after you do it that you learn how it's done.  That it's in the doing that you are trained in how to be a mother, that it's in the mistakes that you learn what to do better next time, that it's in the sorrows that you are reminded of how much joy there is.  But God He knew all of this and so he gave mothers a love big enough to cover over all our sins and have enough left over to teach our children that they are desperately loved.

My patient children I may never get this mother thing done perfectly or even pretty darn good, but know that everything I ever did I did because I love you in a way that makes me catch my breathe and blink back tears.  This chance God has given me, to raise His children, to be your mommy, it's the great joy of my life.

"Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's cold outside, baby

This week has been cold.  Highs below freezing for several days in a row, even a day that didn't get out of the 20s.  I know y'all up north are not impressed but for us this is crazy cold.

This is how I looked most of the week, I was so cold even inside that I never took my hat off.  I bought that hat in Korea so if you think it's less than fashionable, like my sis, I plead jet lag.

Even crazier today we got snow, just a dusting but the kiddos were excited.  Kylynn was all about running around and dancing through the snow, Jack just wanted to eat it all.

I hope y'all are managing to stay warm and enjoying this chance to hunker down and spend time together as a family.  And I hope today you have a reason to smile as big as that boy of mine.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I know that many of you want to know what's going on with our current adoption of our daughter, Chloe.  I often want to know what's going on with our adoption too...if I actually took the time and energy to focus on this adoption I would be probably be a touch frustrated and entirely sad, so honestly it is something that I don't think about very much.  I've allowed myself to buy a couple things here and there, some clothes that still had tags on at the Goodwill, some bows at the grocery store, fabric for the curtains in her room and this part of getting ready for her is fun and helps me feeling like I'm doing something productive.

So as you can guess from the above, we don't have much in the way of news, timelines, or the like, but we did get some good news, not very exciting news but good all the same.  About two weeks ago, Chloe's paperwork for her permission to leave Korea was submitted.  Once this is approved there are several steps that need to happen in order to get the call for travel (to pick up Chloe), but this first step really gets the ball rolling in that direction.  My prediction is that we still have about two months to wait.  My prayer is that prediction is completely wrong and we'll be heading to Korea in a few weeks.  My hope is that she'll be home by her first birthday which is towards the end of March.

Chloe's bedroom was formerly a loft connected to our bedroom and the project to build a wall and turn it into a nursery is now complete.  We still need to paint the trim, and by we I mean my hubby who has single-handedly done all the work.  I have a sweet friend who made Chloe a beautiful baby quilt and because it was so beautiful I just couldn't use my nursery decor I used with Kylynn and Jack, so she's making me a bumper and crib skirt from the fabric she used to make the quilt.  I'm so excited to have a girly room for Chloe.

I have been praying that God would prepare our hearts and our family for our new little girl and most of all that God would prepare her for the very difficult transition of leaving Korea and coming to our family.  I know that the older she gets the harder it will be on all of us and I'm praying for wisdom on helping her in her grief.  As always we would love your prayers for our family and Chloe's adoption.  The fact that you continue to encourage us, ask about the progress, and pray for us is one of the great blessings in my life.

*Here you go Jessie, new pictures of the kiddos, thank you Laura, they are beautiful and you are so talented.