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