Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Crazy Day,,,,,

Did you ever have one of those days that starts out all innocent and ends up kicking your butt? That was today for me.

I had a fairly busy day lined up, actually. My husband was working. Elementary school kids needed to be at their school at 4pm for registration and to meet their teachers. Then my high schooler had to be at his school at 5pm. I had a friend lined up to watch my younger kids while the I went to the high school thing.

And then my oldest son also had to get to book group at 3:30.

And then my two oldest kids wanted to have their friends over today.

And I had to run three errands.

So, errands were accomplished, friends were picked up, we got home, and I had great ideas of making homemade bread to go with a spaghetti lunch that I would make for all eight kids. But I got sidetracked, so there was no bread, so I made healthy ice cream for a treat (they loved it, as usual) and we had lunch.

And then my husband called, needing me to bring him something to work that he had forgotten.

No problem! If I would hurry I could get there and back before book group, with time to spare. In fact, I could even squeeze in a trip to Great Harvest Bread, which I've been wanting to do.

So, off we go, meet up with the hubby to give him the thing he needed, and then on we go for our fun! fun! trip to get yummy! yummy! bread!

And as I started to back out of my parking space, I noticed that the radio seemed to not be working right.

And then I started putting up the windows, and one of them seemed very, very, very slow to respond. And as I was exiting the parking lot there at the post office I thought to myself, "Hmmmm.....the radio has just gone dead and the window didn't want to go up.....I wonder if there is something wrong with the car......"

And then it died.

Right. in the middle. of the road.

With cars piling up to my left and behind me.

And it wouldn't go no mo'.

Male Young Adult in Front of Engine of Broken Down Car

(It was *just like* this picture, except I'm not as young and cool as this guy, and I drive a big blue mom-mobile, and I had six kids hanging out with me.....)

I'll tell ya, it gets HOT FAST in a car when the windows can't go down and the a/c just went off!

Thankfully, my cell phone was handy so I called my Battalion Chief husband, "Help! Come rescue me! The car just died in the middle of the road in front of the post office!"

And then I sat there wondering what on earth I was supposed to do. I couldn't remember or figure out where the hazard lights were. Cars were piling up. I didn't know if I should attempt to get the kids out of the car or just sit there. Both seemed somewhat risky.

There was a real genius right behind me that was honking his horn. What a moron. I mean, honestly, did this guy think that as I was driving along that I just decided not to go any more, and that by honking he might help me realize that I should make the choice to proceed onward? Jeepers.

A nice man stopped his truck and came over to see how he could help. He motioned for the cars behind me to go around, and then he pushed my car back into the parking lot so that I was at least out of traffic. Thank you, nice man!

By then my husband had arrived to rescue us.

Thankfully we were right at the PO so I was able to take the kids into the air conditioning and wait until we figured out what to do next. As it turned out, we had the car towed up the street to a repair place, and the kids and I walked a couple blocks down the road to a friends house.

Funny "coincidence" was that as we were walking along, we got to a cross street and a car pulls up to the stop and rolls down the window. It's one of my kid's friends and his mom! She's like, "What are you guys doing?!" "Oh, just hoofing it to a friend's house because our car broke down!" She had us hop in her car and drove us the rest of the way to the friend, plus she took my one kiddo home with her to play with her son.

Meanwhile, we're missing book group, missing the elementary school thing, hungry, tired, and of course I can hardly wait to find out how much our little repair bill will be.....

But! They got the car repaired very quickly (new alternator and battery) and we were on our way before 5. I raced home to pick up my oldest, dropped off the younger kids with the friend that was watching them, headed over to the high school thing which was both boring and a madhouse in the way they "organized" it. (not) Then had to eat something (starving!!), tried to backtrack over to the elem. school to see if any of our teachers were still there (nope), then debated about whether or not to pick up my stray child at his friends house, or pick up the other 4 kids. Decided on the other 4 kids, but then plopped down there and started gabbing. Before I knew it two hours had flown by and it was 9pm. ugh.

So I hurried over there, apologizing profusely for leaving her with my child so long (she seemed fine about it), and finally made it back here a little before 10.


And I didn't even get any yummy bread. :(

So, what did you do for fun today?

And why do school events seem to be geared toward people that are unable to read simple information for themselves, or for those that would really, really like to hear the same basic concepts repeated many times?! Mercy me! What nonsense....

Win a Flat Screen TV!

5 Minutes for Mom is hosting a awesome giveaway sponsored by Best Buy: a flat screen TV! You can go enter the contest here.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Decluttering Day One: Glasses Cupboard and Plasticware

So I decided to start with the cupboard where we keep glassware. I recently (in the last 5 months) bought a new set of glasses since our former grouping had been broken one by one over time. Since getting the new glasses, we've not been able to comfortably fit all of our cups and glasses in the cupboard. Duh! Time to pare down!

I decided to part with the entire upper shelf of stemware. I only use it once a year, and have something else I can use instead. I only kept the new matching tall classes and the coordinating small glasses, and enough mugs for our family if we all have hot cocoa together.

In late spring I decided to get color coordinated cups, bowls, and plates for the kids, thinking that this would be a fun and helpful way to organize. It is, but the problem is that each item came in packs of four. So, for the five kids that I got the new stuff for I ended up with 20 cups, 20 bowls, and 20 plates. Too much! I actually have had an entire large Rubbermaid container to keep these in. And, of course, only the top items get used again and again. Ha! So, I have decided to only keep one cup, bowl, and plate per color. The rest are going bye-bye.

Other decluttering steps I took tonite:

Visual clutter in the kitchen. I took down a loooooooong alphabet chart and number line that I made a couple of years ago. I also took down about 90% of the stuff that I had tacked onto a cork board next to my calendar. It's just amazing how much stuff gets into our regular landscape and then we don't even notice it any more! Now I just have my calendar and a couple of actually important items on the board.

I'm pretty pooped out by now, so I think this is all I will do for tonite. However, I'm on a roll, and my daughter loves to help with stuff like this, so you'll be hearing from me about this again!

What are YOU going to go declutter today??

Inspiration Brewing in My Brain

After discovering great and inspirational resources like Eyes of Wonder, Live Lightly, and Walk Slowly, Live Wildly, I am seriously considering doing a mega declutterization around here, and selling off stuff at a major yard sale day that is coming up in a couple of weeks.

For a long time I've had this thought that it would be wonderful to rent one of those storage containers and to box up everything we don't absolutely want and need, and see what happens.

You know the drill: When we have too much stuff, we can't even enjoy it. So. True. And since we've lived here (7 years) we've probably gotten rid of no less than 4 truckloads of STUFF, and I've never missed one item that we parted with.

Every time I get a little wind of decluttering energy, I run with it and get rid of as many items as I can. Seems like the time is drawing near again.....

Would you have stopped?

I found this interesting article today about an experiment that was done to see if people would recognize great music in a different environment than they would normally expect to find it. I really enjoyed reading about this, although it saddened me to see how people are so busy that they don't take time to appreciate serendipitous pleasures.

Personally, I love street performers and have listened to and watched many of them when I have had the opportunity to do so. I am confident that unless I had some serious deadline, I would have stopped and listened to this guy. What about you?

Have you checked out Eyes of Wonder yet? The combination of gorgeous photography and gentle, uplifting music was so relaxing to me today. Many inspirations here!

Recently Overheard...

Two funnies by my 11 year old daughter...

The other night we were talking about her hamster, who appeared to have an eye infection. She was afraid that her pet could not see any more. Said tearfully, "It must be scary to be a blind hamster....."

(I had to stifle the laughter that threatened to overtake me)

And today, inviting her little brothers to relocate their play: "Come on up to my room, it's way more comfortabler."

Love it!

I found this and other wonderful posters here that describe many aspects of emergent church-type people's values and beliefs. The statement on this poster I love. It's been a theme at the two best churches we've ever gone to.

I think this is so interesting

I got this in my inbox this morning. I've seen it before, but it always amazes me....

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid, too.
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe tuo fo 100 anc.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Movie Review: The Road Home

We got to watch another sweet, family-friendly film tonite. The Road Home is a Chinese love story. Very simple, lovely, and innocent. It has interesting bits of Chinese culture from generations ago, too. And beautiful countrysides too! All the acting is in Chinese, so you have to read all the subtitles. My 11 year old daughter watched it with me and was able to keep up with most of the reading herself. I don't think I'd want to try to do all the reading for the younger kids, though. Worth watching!

I just found this cool blog this morning. He has some wonderful insights on parenting, politics, and American culture. Check it out!

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Tear To My Eye...

You know, I'm having quite a bit of fun at the stage of parenting I'm at. The kids are all able to pee independently and buckle their own car seats. Nobody needs my body parts in order to eat. (not that I minded that! I'm just saying...) Everyone is old enough to have interesting conversations with. And now, with my oldest nearing 15 years old, I'm getting even more fun stuff.

I've been looking forward to being the mom who always said Yes to having the garage band practice at her house. (we don't have a garage, but they come here anyhow) I just love the happy racket that comes from my oldest son's room now that he is playing electric guitar and bass. (teaching himself, and doing an amazing job at it! A great living example for us of how well people do when they are motivated to learn something.)

Today was another great moment. My oldest is in marching band now, and today was the end of their nearly 3-week-long band camp. So they had a little concert performance for the parents, so they could show off what they learned so far.

Now, let me just back up to say that my wonderful oldest son has a personality very similar to mine. He's very individualistic, for one thing. Up until recently he has mostly pursued things that he could work on by himself and do in a freestyle sort of way. He doesn't care much for conformity, and has had a bit of an adjustment being in school and learning that sometimes (a lot of times, for students!) you have to do what you're told even if you don't want to and it doesn't make a lick of sense.

Last year we started talking to him about marching band, hoping that he would be interested in it by the time he was ready to start high school. Other than the fact that my husband and I love marching bands, we felt like being a part of one would give our son an experience that he needs to help round out his personality and perspective about teamwork, hard work, suffering a little to achieve a goal, and so forth. When we first talked to him about it, his opinion was that marching band would be annoying and "too hard." We were wondering what kind of character deficits our child had that he would shy away from hard work in marching band.

Well, just like my other kids, he's a smart cookie. It didn't take long before he was not only doing his regular school band stuff, but added pep band and jazz band into his routine, and then wanted to join the marching band.

So, here we are. For over two weeks he's gotten up at 7:30am to go sweat and strain and march and play trombone from 8-5 Monday-Friday. He's now tanned and is sporting new muscles thanks to holding his instrument up for hours and hours every day. He's like a buffer, cooler version of himself. :)

And so tonite I got a little taste of the fun we're going to have with marching band this year. It was really exciting to see what the group has learned in such a short period of time, and it really thrilled me to see my kid doing his thing so well. Wow! Inspirational, I tell ya!

It was also great to take my younger kids. Believe it or not, it wasn't even stressful to take them along. How wonderful to be at the point where I could have them all obey, tag along, follow directions, and be able to see their brother in the group, and not have to stress out over little tots straying away from me. It's like a breath of fresh air!

So, life is good. What can I say? I'm chipping away at my Plagues and Nuisances list, my husband is doing a great job handling the money, and my kids are growing and thriving. I'm also reading a "dangerous" book that is interesting and thought-provoking. Maybe I'll tell you about it another day....

Declutter Challenge

I was just inspired by something I read, to do a little burst of decluttering. I gave each kiddo a Wal Mart bag to fill with junk to throw away. We are now all scurrying around the house to rid ourselves of six full bags of stuff we don't need. Yay!

A Little Drama

Well, yesterday I got to cross one more item off my list...I went over to the elementary school to pick up some paperwork and let them know that two of my kids won't be attending next year.

And then, just what I knew would happen, happened.

My daughter saw the class lists on the wall. And of course, she had gotten the teacher she wanted, and her best friend was placed in the same class.

And the tears began.

She managed to pull herself together while we ran a bunch of errands, but by evening she was ready to talk. "I changed my mind! I want to go to school!"

After a good little discussion with her it was revealed that her motivations for wanting to ditch her homeschool plans were....pretty lame! Mainly stuff about friends, and how she was willing to suffer through all the negative aspects of being in school all for the joys of eyeballing her buddies all day long.

I listened carefully, since it seems discussions with 11 year old daughters require ninja-like stealth to get through without causing the girl to burst into tears and declare you unfit for conversation.

Eventually I was able to ask her about the many *very good* reasons she had given me for wanting to homeschool, and pointed out that any time you make a big decision you will have some doubts.

I had to go give the little boys their baths, so she had some time to think on her own. Proving herself to be the smart little cookie that she is, she had already come around by the time I checked back in with her. Thereby saving me (and her daddy) from having to break the news to her that she *is* going to be homeschooled next year, even if she objects. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Life: Beautiful

Check out this gorgeous new magazine for Christian living! Looks like it will be wonderful.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Blueberries for Who?

I laughed and laughed at this post over at Sweet Juniper. Enjoy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

In Reponse to the “One True Church” as Asserted by Pope Benedict

(This article was sent to me by the author, Bob Evely. I thought it was worth passing on.)

In Reponse to the “One True Church” as Asserted by Pope Benedict

Surprisingly I found myself agreeing with Pope Benedict’s recent statements concerning the church. (I am not Roman Catholic.) There is only one church … I agree. The Orthodox churches are defective … I agree. Other Christian denominations are not true churches … I agree. But I would go one step further and observe that the Roman Catholic Church is also defective, and is not the one true church!

The one true church is invisible. It is simply the total collection of Believers in Christ Jesus around the world … regardless of where, or even if, they attend a “visible church.” Some may decide to attend or be part of a “visible” church, but this is not necessary. There are many other ways to fellowship with other Believers outside of these man-made “church” settings.

The one true Church has no required creed, nor are there articles of religion or other regulations to which one must consent in order to join. Water baptism is not necessary … membership of any kind is not necessary … attendance is not necessary. These various requirements are part of the many man-made churches, and are often based on mis-interpretations of the Scriptures. But they are not required by God to become a part of His one true Church.

Long ago God spoke, Abraham believed, and this was counted by God as “righteousness.” Through the Bible and through His Son Jesus Christ, God has spoken. We who believe are “Believers” and are AUTOMATICALLY a part of the one true Church, also known as the Body of Christ. We do not believe because we are smarter than those who do not believe. Nor do we believe because we are more obedient. If this were the case we would have cause to boast in the fact that we have believed. God ENABLED us to believe, not because He loves us more than others, but because He illustrates His grace and love through us, and desires to use us to serve as His ambassadors to the world. We are the example of how God is working to ultimately save ALL of mankind.

It is not necessary for all Believers to agree on all points. God has spoken through His Word, and we sometimes have differing opinions as to what He is saying. We who believe should be working together to better understand what God has revealed. Our agenda should not be to make up our minds about an issue and then seek to justify our chosen set of doctrines from Bible texts. All man-made churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, are guilty of doing this. Disagree and you are expelled from the group, which is controlled by the hierarchy (i.e. bishops, ministers, professors, etc). The goal is not to seek a better understanding of what God has revealed. It is instead to enforce the doctrines already determined to be correct by the individual man-made church or denomination.

Here is the root problem. The Greek word in the New Testament that is commonly translated “church” is “ekklesia.” The word means “the called-out ones.” This is a group of people “called out” from humanity. But the group being called out is not always the same. Bible translators make the assumption that “ekklesia” is always the “church,” and this is why we run into problems with Bible interpretation.

Do you want proof? Look at Acts 19:32 where the “ekklesia” is an unruly mob. Here most translations agree that “church” would not be a proper translation, so they use a word like “assembly.” Or look at Acts 19:39 where “ekklesia” is a legal assembly, and is not translated “church.” So clearly “ekklesia” is not always referring to the “Church.”

Now to go one step further, how do we know that the other times where the Bible translator has rendered “ekklesia” as “church” that they are correct? Could “ekklesia” in these various instances refer to DIFFERENT groups of called-out-ones?

Pope Benedict believes the “Church” was founded in Matthew 16:18 when Jesus said to Peter, “… on this rock will I be building My ekklesia…” But is this ekklesia really the “Church,” and is it right to require a succession from Peter for church leadership? Consider this. Throughout the entire book of Matthew, Jesus and His twelve apostles went only to the Israelites. Look at Matthew 10:5-6, Matthew 15:24 and Matthew 19:28. When Peter spoke in Acts 2:22 he addressed the Israelites. Look also at Acts 4:10 and Acts 11:19.

Think about this. There were twelve apostles, and only twelve … just as there were twelve tribes in Israel. When one of the twelve departed (Judas) he was carefully replaced with just one replacement apostle, returning the number to twelve (see Acts 1:15-26). But then along came Paul who was also an apostle … in ADDITION to the other twelve. How can this be? It is because Paul was ushering in a new thing that God was doing. In the past God had worked through Israel, and the twelve apostles were the apostles Jesus had selected to go to the “sheep of Israel.” The ekklesia (not yet the “church” of our day) was comprised of Jewish believers. It was not until Paul came along that God began working directly with the Gentiles.

Paul was not just one of the twelve apostles … he was a different kind of apostle. He was the apostle to the nations! So why do the man-made churches of our day insist upon tracing their roots to Peter or the twelve? Paul did not simply learn doctrine from the twelve. What Paul proclaimed came through a revelation directly from God (Galatians 1:11-12). This was not the same gospel the twelve were proclaiming … it was Paul’s gospel (Romans 2:16 and Romans 16:25). Whereas Peter was proclaiming, to the Israelite believers, the gospel of the Circumcision … Paul was proclaiming to the nations the gospel of the Uncircumcision (Galatians 2:7). This was not the SAME gospel going to two different groups of people. Through Paul God had begun doing a new thing!

Paul was the first to speak of the Body of Christ … of being new creations (not just born again). He was the first to go directly to the nations … the non-Israelites. This was unheard of in Paul’s day, which is why he faced so much opposition.

Pope Benedict insists that the “church” must trace its succession through Peter. But the Body of Christ was not initiated by the words Jesus spoke to Peter in Matthew 16. Most “churches” today, including the Roman Catholic Church, improperly focus on the writings of Peter and the twelve, when in fact Paul was the apostle to the nations … and Paul brought to us the gospel of the Uncircumcision. The church (ekklesia) Paul spoke of met in homes and was non-bureaucratic. There were no articles of religion. There was no membership. There was no required succession from Peter. This church had some who were leaders (elders) because God called them as such, but they were not appointed by bishops or popes. These leaders were simply those that had certain gifts from God that prepared them to serve a specific role such as preaching or teaching.

Some may dispute my conclusions, doubting that the huge majority of Believers within the visible church could be wrong in how they have formulated the doctrines and structure of the “church” in our day. But read 2 Timothy, which is the last thing the apostle Paul wrote. Here you will find that he was largely abandoned by other Believers. He and those select few that followed him were a small minority. When did Believers who understood truth wise up to become the majority? Biblical truth has ALWAYS been understood only by the minority outside of the traditional religious community. Consider the Old Testament Prophets, or John the Baptist, or Jesus Himself. Consider Paul even as he concluded his apostolic career. The majority have always distorted truth. Beware of the majority (i.e. the traditional, man-made churches of our day). Study what God has revealed in His Word, and think for yourself!

There is a huge difference between the many visible man-made churches we see in every town and countryside … and the one true Church that God has created. Let us not be deceived by those within any of the man-made churches.

- Bob Evely (7-18-07) -


Bob Evely is a business man and an independent minister, teacher and writer. He and his wife Jill have five children (two married) and reside in Wilmore, Kentucky. Bob has an M.Div. degree from Asbury Theological Seminary. For 8-1/2 years he served as a bi-vocational pastor within the United Methodist and Free Methodist denominations before stepping down due to theological differences. He writes, teaches and leads a weekly small group in his home. More information can be obtained through his web site at www.GraceEvangel.org

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shall We Have a Countdown??

I have a little list....it's sometimes an actual (but missing...can't find it anywhere) list, and it's always a mental list. I call it

Plagues and Nuisances

What's on the list? All the terrible things that are hanging over my head.

These are the things that cause me to have a tight, scared feeling in my chest. Sometimes I'll be going through my day and realize I feel scared and stressed out, and I can't readily figure out why. I have to stop and ask myself, "What it is that upsetting you, dearie?" (OK, I guess I don't call myself dearie, but maybe if I started it would feel soothing....ya think? Maybe I should also offer myself a cup of herbal tea and a cozy blanket....))

Usually it only takes me a minute or two to figure out what it is that's stressing me out. Right now my list includes:

I am late on filing my business sales tax for December and June. It would only take me a couple of minutes if I would just dig out the papers and get it done. (my paperwork is very disorganized)

UPDATE: Finished the December filing. Now I have to find the form for the first half of this year...

I have to contact my children's school to let them know that my 3rd and 5th graders won't be attending there this year. I don't know why I feel sick about this. After all, I have 4 other kids in local schools, and a good relationship with everybody there. I guess I make up this idea in my mind that people will think our decision to homeschool is somehow specifically because of a gripe with the school. Stupid. They aren't going to care either way, probably. And I could even just write a letter. And still, I'm a weenie.

I need to tackle my filing. (See item #1) Finding any sort of paperwork is a headache for me. If I spent one evening on it, I'd probably be all set.

I have to call an office person where my husband works to ask for some paperwork. I put it off because I feel like a dork to bother her, even though part of what she does in her job is give people like me this paperwork. (I'm an idiot! What can I say?)

UPDATE: Weenied out and asked my husband to do it. If he doesn't do it by Monday I'll bit the bullet...

Money used to always make me sick, too. Our money is organized almost as well as our paperwork. Thankfully my husband saw my distress and decided to take over money management and bill paying. In the past I dissuaded him from this, I guess because I wasn't sure he's have time to do it well or something. This time...I'm like, "Here's the bill folder! Thanks!" I already feel better to just say, "Do we have money for this?" and have him say yea or nay. Much better! Plus, now he's more in touch with the financial reality of our life, which is important for him, methinks. So, one plague down...

I have several more P&Ns that I won't bore you with. I'm tired (tired!!) of feeling this subterranian dread all the time. I'm thinking of just making a list (where can I put it that I'll see it but not lose it?!?!) and working my way through it. Truth be told, I could probably do it all in a day. (or a week if I thought of several more things)

Do you have a mental P&N list? shall we declare a holiday to tackle the junk? Tomorrow is my 5th kiddo's birthday...maybe one day next week. Anyone want to join me?

Movie Review: The Greatest Game Ever Played

I added this movie to my Netflix queue simply because it was recommended since we had liked something else. Once it got here I found myself feeling a little bit apathetic about watching it. I mean..how good can a movie about golf be?? (can you tell I'm not a golf fan?)

Well, let me tell ya...it was a great movie! Clean, family-friendly, inspirational, and historically and geographically interesting. My little guys enjoyed watching it too. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Husband's Fire Department

This video was done by a guy on my husband's shift. The BC Johns gear that you see at the start of the video belongs to my hubby, and the Tahoe is what he drives while at work. (He's the Battalion Chief) I just thought you might enjoy a little look at what he does.

Time for a smile

In case you're not one of the 9 million people that have already watched this ingenious and fun music video, check it out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Movie Review: Children of Heaven

Today we watched a delightful movie about an Iranian brother and sister. The little sister's shoes are accidentally lost, and the parents are too poor to buy new ones, so the children hide the fact that the shoes are lost and figure out a way to share a single pair of shoes by relaying back and forth with a single pair of shoes.

The movie gives an interesting view of Iranian (and Islamic) culture, and the children that act as the brother and sister do an excellent job. Recommended as a great family film, both for depth of the story, and for the glimpse into another place and culture.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hi again,

Just a little update today. Thanks to those of you that have been praying along with us.

The other day I received lists of documents needed and questions to answer for a home study. Never before have I felt so inadequate as a parent! (except for possibly when I was under a pile of babies a few years ago....) These are good questions to be getting asked, but it is quite humbling.

Honestly, after looking at the list of stuff, I'm amazed that anyone ever adopts at all.

We have received some important additional information about one of the possibilities we were looking into that was quite negative. I'm not sure if that's a totally closed door, but it's at least a flashing red light! The thing about what I heard that distressed me more than even the immediate bad thing about it, was that I assume that the people who ended up in a bad situation were probably some nice Christian families just like us that had their hearts in the right place, prayed, had all sorts of stuff fall into place in order for it to even be possible to adopt....and then it all blows up in their face. Where is God in all of that? I don't know. But it scares the SNOT out of me to think that you could somehow jump all the MANY hurdles in an adoption, and end up in a bad, bad, bad situation. Kind of blows that whole if-the-doors-open-it-must-be-God's-will theory right out of the water....

So, you know...plenty to percolate upon.

I did come across an interesting verse that instructs people to help widows and orphans within their gates. So I'm wondering if that specification is important at all....and who counts as being "within my gates." I don't have any widows or orphans at my house, but certainly I do have those people in my own community and at my own church. Just thinking, thinking, thinking.....

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's kind of terrifying, actually, to ask people to pray for you. Especially when it's about a potentially hot-button issue of "Should we adopt more kids when we already have six??"

Today was my day to start asking a few select real-life friends to join us in prayer about this issue. We don't feel like we want to just walk into church and ask everybody to pray about it yet. The potential of people's off-the-cuff reactions (whether positive or negative) feels too heavy to deal with right now. Emotional reactions to the issue of adoption are pretty common.....we've got enough emotions of our own without inviting a bunch more.

After sending out the first "please pray with us about this" email today (to our pastor) I just about burst into tears. I was gripped with fear that they might eventually say to us that they don't believe God wants us to adopt. What if everybody tells me that we're nuts, lowsy parents to the kids we have, and that nobody wants me bringing a bunch of orphaned children around?

Writing it down like that actually helps....because I see the fear for the nonsense that it is. I guess it's just terrifying to try to sort through hearing from God and hearing from everybody else. And when your heart feels like you need to do something, it wouldn't feel too good to have the doors close in your face. Especially when your mission has the potential to save lives....

When trying to unravel my thoughts and desires about adoption, it can be tempting to over-analyze. You can out-think yourself about just about anything if you work at it long enough. When I think about what the Bible says about God's heart for orphans, I have to ask myself, "Why on earth would I doubt that God wants me to do what God's Word tells me He wants done?"

Adoption On My Mind

I've mentioned it here before. We have a soft spot for adoption. We've talked about it and considered it on and off for at least 11 years. Once again we're at a point where we're wondering, "Is now the time?"

Aside from that we're asking ourselves what adoption path to take. There are a lot of possibilities. (kids from foster care, or kids from many nations around the world)

We're asking people that care to pray along with us for guidance on this. Would you like to join us?

Here is Part One and Part Two of an Oprah show about families that adopted kids from Liberia. This is one of the options we're considering. (we had the idea before we knew about the show)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Had a fun outing with my kids tonite, seeing a performance by the MadCap Puppet Theatre. This was a combination of human drama interacting with puppets, and kind of blurred the lines between puppetry and human performance in a very interesting way. The people in the show were extremely talented. Often the summer reading events are kind of rinky-dink, and sometimes are geared to very young kids. This one my kids really liked. (even the 14 year old said, "It was actually kind of cool...")

Afterwards we used our summer reading program coupon loot to get free ice cream at Brewster's. Yumm!

Does anybody know why blogger hasn't been letting me fill in titles for a few days? It's annoying!

Justice in the Burbs--Coming Soon!

I have mentioned Lisa Samson several times here, and link to her blog over in the blogroll. This video features Lisa and her husband Will talking about their upcoming book Justice in the Burbs. I am looking forward to it!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I've been working working working on my book for most of the day while the children have played all around me. I came up for air long enough to do some baking with them (pound cake--it was delicious!) and a little while later made a quick dinner that wasn't one of my best culinary creations.

Toward the end of the meal the kids were getting kind of crazy. One child had been sent to bed for complaining (remember the Bedtime Train?!), others were making fun of him or acting spazzy because they were excited about having dessert. (others were just acting crazy because they like to)

In the midst of the chaos my littlest kiddo comes over to me with his bowl of dinner in his hands. He looks up at me and says in a super sweet voice,

"Um...mommy? I don't want to eat any more of this because I don't want to throw up."

I laughed so hard I almost fell over.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Compliment!

One more thing from today. At the hardware store I was called a "pretty girl" by an older man standing behind the counter.

I did my best to look modest and humble (while appreciative), but..... it honestly made my day! Pretty AND Girl all at once? What a blast!

When I told my husband about it he asked me why it doesn't make my day when he tells me I'm pretty. it does, I told him. But you hadn't told me so today! ;)

What is the world coming to?!

Have you heard the news story about the woman who was stabbed and dying in the convenience store? Shoppers stepped over her, did not offer to help in any way, and took photos with a cell phone.

I. Cannot. Fathom. such a thing. Apparently we live in a society that is comfortable turning it's back in the face of suffering humanity.


Here's a butt-kickin' article on Christian mothers in "ministry." Sure to step on some toes, but good food for thought!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Help a Family in Need

Today I want to tell you about a family that you can help.

Kate Estes is mother of 7. She and her husband run HandsAndHearts.com. Their baby Noah has been very ill, resulting in many trials, medical bills, and he still has a lot of challenges ahead of him! Their four year old daughter was recently attacked by a rabid squirrel. Another child hurt his leg. And now their van is having troubles too! I know that other parents won't have a hard time imagining just a little of how difficult things must be for the Estes family. You can read more about the Estes family and the specifics of their current situation here.

Many members of the Christian homeschooling community have come together to create a benefit for the Estes family, to help them financially. There is an amazing collection of downloadable homeschool products, books to inspire you as homemakers, fun stuff, coupons, and more! All of these items are available to anyone that makes a donation of at least $27. 100% of the funds raised will go to the Estes family.

I do not have anything to gain by sharing this with you, except the joy of getting to help do something tangible to help this dear family!

You can go see all the specifics of this wonderful benefit here.

This special offer only lasts from July 5-13. Please feel free to spread the word to your friends, family, and other egroups that might like to get involved.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Picture Time!

You rarely see a photo of me here. But today I have this one to show. I am holding my great niece Sadie! Isn't she sweet? My adorable 11 year old daughter is at the far left of the photo. :)

Mom's Song

Monday, July 02, 2007

Book Giveaway!

For those of you with voracious readers in your home, you would probably be glad to check out this Ballantyne Christian Adventure Library. My 14 year old son has trouble staying in booksbecause he reads so fast. We'd love to win these!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Fun Site

I've known about this site for a little while, but just got a chance to visit it yesterday. If you are interested in a fun, wholesome, interesting place to watch YouTube videos, this is it! Educational and entertaining!