Friday, December 28, 2007

goin to Liberia

well, ya'll.

..sigh..

I just put my tickets for Liberia on hold. My tummy is tight and my brow is hot. I'm nervous and excited and nervous some more.

Please be praying with us that I won't have to be gone for a full month (as has been requested by the orphanage) - I LOVE my husband and my kids and my bed and I just don't want to... well, ya know.




More later.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The second time around Birthday

My twins are the only people that I've ever met that have the honor of being 7 years old two years in a row... Since war babies weren't being born in hospitals, the girls didn't have birth certificates until we were filing for the adoption. So the orphanage took a guess and then we waited for about a year and took a more educated guess ;)

They'll be seven one more go around! Here's some pictures from their birthday (we were going to go to Zoo Lights but rain was in the forecast so we went out to eat instead):

Monday, December 24, 2007

used underwear?

It's bizarre to think that there are people out there who don't have the cash for underwear, isn't it? It's bizarre to think that there are people who would consider it a blessing to have your used underwear. My good friend Ashley has opened up a challenge for others to get involved in. She pledged to donate 250 pairs of underwear if 20 people will donate 10 pairs each. The undies will be shipped down to an orphanage in Liberia where the kids have one pair of underwear each. One pair. Try whining about the poor gas mileage that your 2005 gets now!

Just think about if you only owned the underwear that you have on now. They are in tatters and, honestly, you're blessed to even have that one pair. When the nannies (or possibly the older girls) at the orphanage where you live have a wash day, you've got no underwear at all until those suckers dry out in the humid jungle climate. There's no target or walmart for you to pick some up at... for that matter you aint got the cash to pick some up anyway. Who will help you? With something as cheap and as simple as this?

Ashley told me that she needs some teenage boys underwear in particular. Join with me, guys. If it were you who didn't have undies, I'd get you some and I'd ask others to help.

Friday, December 21, 2007

pictures with Santa

This morning we went and got Santa pictures and, to no surprise, my kids said some bizarre things to the poor guy.

Santa: What do you want for Christmas little boy?
Mr. P: I wonder what does Santa want for Christmas...

Santa: What do you want for Christmas little girl?
Miss B: A pony, a little doggy that fits in a purse, a purse for my dog, a doll house, some new dolls, clothes that are purple because purple is my favorite color, the parrot that talks to you at Costco - have you seen that parrot?, I'd like some new mittens too but my mom says that I have enough mittens, ooh and scarves with flowers (and on and on and on)....

Santa: And what do you want little boy?
Mr. O: I don't know you.

Santa: How about you little girl? What do you want for Christmas?
Miss F: A doll even though my mom says that I don't play with the ones I already have. But I like dolls.

Santa: And last but not least, what do you want for Christmas?
Miss Z: I wonder if you smell like beef and cheese... (she takes a big wiff)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

105th post

Image generated by TextSpace.net, hosted on ImageShack.us
One would think that I would celebrate post #100 but that's so passé (or more likely I was just too busy to notice). So in lue of the celebration, I thought that I could write down 10.5 (that would be 105 divided by 10) things that make me nervous with the added bonus of some overdone Hawaii thingies. Every good party has a theme.
Sweet.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME NERVOUS
1. Random liquid near the base of the toilet when I'm barefooted
2. When I pour cream into my freshly brewed coffee and it coagulates on top
3. When I can't find ... hang on a sec... when I can't remember what I was looking for
4. Knowing that my husband is home, lurking around a corner waiting to FREAK me out
5. Glancing at the clock and realizing that I've spent an hour looking at excruciatingly random photos of Hawaii.
6. Looking in the mirror in a public restroom and realizing that I have yet to brush my hair today.
7. Speaking of public restrooms, those make me nervous... in a general sense. You never know what you're going to get, ya know? You may walk into a stall where someone has peed all over the seat, or one without toilet paper, or one where it smells as if someone has recently exploded in there. The entire affair makes me nervous.
8. The invisible mouse that I cannot seem to catch who is no longer leaving any traces...
9. Hugs. Hugs make me nervous. I am not a random-person-hugger. I'm working on it, but no go so far.
10. When my husband is being particularly and unusually nice...
10 1/2. Miss F told me tonight that she cut her hair some more even after I told her to please not do it ever again. She thinks she did, but she can't remember exactly when she cut her hair, or maybe she didn't do it again at all. She thinks she may have probably cut it on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. But for sure not Sunday.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm venting

I've been slammed lately and so haven't been posting.

Slammed with a beautiful restoration happening within my family, slammed with mourning with my sisters in Christ who are mourning, slammed with a recent onslaught of mental attacks from the enemy, slammed with activity and projects - but to sum it all up I feel slammed with a sort of helplessness.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not bummed out. At all. It's almost like I'm in the eye of the storm (which, I might add, is a wonderful place to be!). For example, I spoke both on Saturday and Sunday to crowds of around 800-1000 people about how God is working in our lives through adoption. My stomach was tight and my palms were sweaty. It was a benefit concert put on by a large choral group in Olympia and when I was thanking them for giving their proceeds to further adoption support, I said "You guys ROCK."
What?
Can a choral group ROCK?
I don't think so.
But what is so beautiful about the stress and the upset stomach is that I get to be a part of helping someone else. I get to testify about our growth as a family and thus our relationship with Christ. I get to be a part of peoples healing (I've had a number of adult men tell me very intimate stories of how they were raised in US orphanages and been able to show them compassion). I get to show others how much that God's love extends far beyond our own backyards and into the whole world. I get to be a signpost that says : Here's how we can help and grow and learn in Christ. I get to be an encouragement for others. I get to do the best that I can with what little I've got. I get to say, "If I can do this, trust me, so can you!"

I wish that we could sit down over coffee (if only I had a quarter for every time that I say that) and I could tell you about all of the unbelievably and beautifully broken people that I get to come into contact with and love on 'em. That the reason that I'm walking in the eye of this storm, rather than being thrashed around by it, is because of Jesus. I wish that the little table that we sat at together over coffee, would be in the eye of the storm. That you would get a brake from the madness that is so freakin' everywhere all of the time. That you would share with me about how your heart is doing, and I would share with you about how mine is doing. And we would laugh and cry and do our best together.
And so why do I feel helpless? I guess it's because I can't force anyone to take a breather. I can't force anyone to feel Jesus the way that I feel Him. I can't force anyone to read the signpost that says "All of this is for HIS glory." I can't make anyone experience this obscure and elusive feeling that I'm talking about. And sometimes, it just hurts to let people go. It hurts to watch them in the swirly tornado flying around and around while getting battered by the debris and by others who are there with them. It hurts to watch them put themselves through something that they so easily could avoid. It hurts to see them hurting.

I guess I need to work on letting the Holy Spirit work without getting in His way. It's hard for me to be quiet as Jesus was quiet. It's hard for me to shut up and let go of what I cannot control. It's hard for me to see prayer as an act of battle. But it's the next step, I think.
I'm ashamed to say that it should have been my first.

How elusive is that?
sorry.
I guess it just feels good to write it out.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Liberian Christmas

"Every Man Heart Lay Down"

Long time past - before your father live - before his father live
Before his father's father live - long time past
Before them big tree live - before them big tree's father live
That time God live.

And God look on the world - that He done make
And Him heart no lay down.
And He walk about in the town to see the people.
And He sit down in the palaver house to know the people.
And He sorry too much.
And God say "The people no hear My Word.
The people no walk My way. Nev mind.
All I can do is make a new country - and make new people."
And this time God's one small boy - Him small child
Hear God's Word, And the child grieve for people and for His Pa.
So he go for God's face and make talk for His Pa.
"Pa, I come for beg you," so He say,
"I come for beg you; Don't make the new world.
Don't lose the people what you done care for. I beg you.
Make it I go, I talk to people. I walk with people. Bye-m-bye
They savvy the way."

And the child go down softly softly and hold God's foot. (i.e.
begged Him)
So God look on Him small boy. And Him heart be very soft. And God
say,
Left me now, but hear me good; If you go you must be born like a man
You must live like a man - and you must have hurt and have hunger.
And hear me good; men will hate you and they will flog you, and
Bye-m-bye they will kill you, and I no going put my hand there."
(i.e. interfere)
And the Child say, "I agree."
And bye-m-bye God call Mary to be Ma for the child.
Now Mary be new wife for Joseph and Joseph ain't touch Mary self.
So first time Joseph vex. But God say, 'Nev min', Joseph; this be
God palaver.
And Joseph heart lay down.

And God see one king who try for do good for all him people.
"Ahah, now I send my Son for be new king."
And God send star to call the king.
And in a far country, God hear a wise man call his name.
And God say to the wise man, "I send my Son to be new wise man;
Go now with the star." And the star call. And the wise men follow.

And by the waterside - men lay down to take rest.
And they hear fine music in the sky like all the stars make song,
And they fear. And all the dark make bright like day.
And the water shine like fire. And no man can savvy.
And they hearts turn over. But God's angel come,
And God's angel say, "Make glad, all people,
God's child be born in Bethlehem."
And the star come low and stop. But when they go for mansion house
The star no be there. And when they go for big man's house,
The star no be there. And bye-m-bye when they go for hotel,
The star no be there gain - "Ahah, the star be by the small house
Where cattle sleep! " And it was so.

And they found Joseph and Mary and the small child fold up in
country cloth.
And the king bring gold for gift
And the wise man bring fine oil
And the country people bring new rice.
And they look on the God child
And every man heart lay down.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Top 10

Top 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Cut Your Own Hair

  1. A pair of plastic crayola scissors just don't make an even cut
  2. It will make your mommy sad/mad
  3. When it's only a 1/8" - 1/4" it cannot get braided in
  4. Someone is guaranteed to notice your untold secret
  5. It leaves a strange patch of fluffiness in the front/center of your forehead
  6. It defeats the purpose of trying to grow your hair out
  7. Your mommy won't trust you with scissors at school anymore
  8. It makes for memorable family Christmas pictures.
  9. You should regret it (even though you don't)
  10. Your mommy will not be able to help herself from noticing it and mentioning how it was a bad choice over and over and over... even though it doesn't bother you in the slightest.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

evidence

The invisible makes itself known to my husband first.

He wakes up and makes coffee before work 3am Mon-Fri. The house is dark on his first venture out to the kitchen because most of his morning routine takes place in the bathroom. Just a quick walk to the stove to start the water for coffee in a house that he knows by heart. He rounds the corner and movement catches his eye. His breathing stops, his body still... all that he can hear is the banging of his heart. He remains stationary until he believes that he was just imagining things but the doubt still remains. He slowly makes his way to the teapot. One foot in front of the other, his eyes are wide open and his adrenaline pumping. He reaches out to turn on the burner and he quickly leaps to safety.

The next day, the invisible reveals itself to my boys.

Little O and I go and pick up Mr.P around noon from half day kindergarten. Once we're home, I fix them lunch and then they goof around until naptime. This day was just like any other, we followed out routine as usual. After lunch they were playing with some action figures along with my to-be-recycled pile near the back door. Batman (Mr.P) would occasionally yelp at Spiderman (Little O) and a fight would ensue. The shark would hide in a Cheerios box and scare both of the superheroes, to which they would retaliate. Asteroids (legos) would shoot down from the sky and blow up the world.
I sat, checking my emails, at the computer when suddenly I heard them both screaming and running towards my room. This was not a Batman or Spiderman scream... it was a couple of high pitched squeals that tend to induce fear into those that can hear them. I turned my head to see what they were running from. They slammed the door and ran to my side. They too had seen the unthinkable.

Then, my little brother was next.

We sat on the couch, chatting about no-no topics (religion and politics) as usual. Our talks always grow circular and move quickly, following tangents and sudden brain storms. We spoke of Iran, nuclear weapons, Carter, fair elections, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, the term WWJD (what would Jesus do) vs. WWJWUTD (what would Jesus want us to do), is morality possible in government, Islam the religion vs. Islamic control, and corruption. I was passionately giving my opinion on Aidid Jr when my little brother took in a huge breath. He placed his hand on my shoulder, signaling for me to stop my tirade. I congratulated myself on making a good point (what a reaction!) before noticing that he was looking behind me. Slowly, I turned my head. My little brother stood up and slowly backed away from where he was looking. Too stunned to say anything, I searched for what he had seen. Again, I saw nothing.

I think that this invisible thing understands that I would snap it's body in half if I ever saw it. It knows better. It knows that I have no compassion when it comes to invading my home and causing terror. It knows that I am out for blood. To the death.
And so it hides from me.

But I will find it! I promise you that. I will find it and I will conquer it. Little mouse, prepare to die.

Friday, November 30, 2007

statistics

I gotta tell you, I run into this kinda stuff and it just makes me itch my head... Makes me wonder if we can afford more children (I know... trust me, I know what you're gonna say). But COME ON! Did you read that crap? Throwing money at the problem just doesn't make me feel any better. must. do. more. But since adopting more kids seems nuts and donating money doesn't feel like enough - what to do? I mean, we aren't talkin' National Geographic here... we're talking about real human beings. Real human beings that coulda been us. Afterall, who chooses where or to whom they're born?

  • Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
  • Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans
  • Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone)
  • 143,000,000 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home
  • Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
  • Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system
  • Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT
  • Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home
  • In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18.
  • 60% of the girls are lured into prostitution. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.
  • Reliable statistics are difficult to find, even the sources often list only estimates, and street children are rarely included. But even if these figures are exaggerated by double, it is still an unacceptable tragedy that over a Million children would still become orphans every year, and every year 7 Million children would still grow to adulthood as orphans with no one to belong to and no place to call home.

What to do?
What to do...



P.S. If you randomly ended up here because of some of the words used on this post, please check out Bryan Post.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Here's what I was talking about...

Sorry for not giving background...


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A lesson learned

I was trying to convince Miss Brasil tonight that we can all learn something from the classic musicals. So here's to you, T! READ IT AND WEEP. Just because it's a bunch of boys dancing around in tight clothes while singing doesn't mean that there's no depth!

Gee, Officer Krupke
(West Side Story circa 1957)
ACTION
- someone pretends to be the Sergeant while Action sings:
Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke,
You gotta understand,
It's just our bringin' up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies,
Our fathers all are drunks.
Golly Moses, naturally we're punks!

ACTION AND JETS
Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset;
We never had the love that ev'ry child oughta get.
We ain't no delinquents,
We're misunderstood.
Deep down inside us there is good!

ACTION
There is good!

ALL
There is good, there is good,
There is untapped good!
Like inside, the worst of us is good!

SNOWBOY: (Spoken) That's a touchin' good story.

ACTION: (Spoken) Lemme tell it to the world!

SNOWBOY: Just tell it to the judge.

ACTION - Someone pretends to be the judge while Action sings:
Dear kindly Judge, your Honor,
My parents treat me rough.
With all their marijuana,
They won't give me a puff.
They didn't wanna have me,
But somehow I was had.
Leapin' lizards! That's why I'm so bad!

DIESEL: (As Judge) Right!

Diesel says to boy pretending to be the
Sergeant:
Officer Krupke, you're really a square;
This boy don't need a judge, he needs an analyst's care!
It's just his neurosis that oughta be curbed.
He's psychologic'ly disturbed!

ACTION
I'm disturbed!

JETS
We're disturbed, we're disturbed,
We're the most disturbed,
Like we're psychologic'ly disturbed.

DIESEL: (Spoken, as Judge) In the opinion on this court, this child is depraved on account he ain't had a normal home.

ACTION: (Spoken) Hey, I'm depraved on account I'm deprived.

DIESEL: So take him to a headshrinker.

ACTION (Sings)
My father is a bastard,
My ma's an S.O.B.
My grandpa's always plastered,
My grandma pushes tea.
My sister wears a mustache,
My brother wears a dress.
Goodness gracious, that's why I'm a mess!

A-RAB: (As Psychiatrist) Yes!
Officer Krupke, you're really a slob.
This boy don't need a doctor, just a good honest job.
Society's played him a terrible trick,
And sociologic'ly he's sick!

ACTION
I am sick!

ALL
We are sick, we are sick,
We are sick, sick, sick,
Like we're sociologically sick!

A-RAB: In my opinion, this child don't need to have his head shrunk at all. Juvenile delinquency is purely a social disease!

ACTION: Hey, I got a social disease!

A-RAB: So take him to a social worker!

ACTION - says to boy pretending to be a social worker:
Dear kindly social worker,
They say go earn a buck.
Like be a soda jerker,
Which means like be a schumck.
It's not I'm anti-social,
I'm only anti-work.
Gloryosky! That's why I'm a jerk!

BABY JOHN: (As Female Social Worker)
Eek!
Officer Krupke, you've done it again.
This boy don't need a job, he needs a year in the pen.
It ain't just a question of misunderstood;
Deep down inside him, he's no good!

ACTION
I'm no good!

ALL
We're no good, we're no good!
We're no earthly good,
Like the best of us is no damn good!

DIESEL (As Judge)
The trouble is he's crazy.

A-RAB (As Psychiatrist)
The trouble is he drinks.

BABY JOHN (As Female Social Worker)
The trouble is he's lazy.

DIESEL
The trouble is he stinks.

A-RAB
The trouble is he's growing.

BABY JOHN
The trouble is he's grown.

ALL
Krupke, we got troubles of our own!

Gee, Officer Krupke,
We're down on our knees,
'Cause no one wants a fellow with a social disease.
Gee, Officer Krupke,
What are we to do?
Gee, Officer Krupke,
Krup you!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Entering the 21st Century

I know that you all have been here for quite sometime, but I want you to know that I have returned. I turned my back against you all with all of your gadgets (*clearing throat* that would be... uhhh... cell phones) and stood firm in my ground. But I'm back now. I figured that Southy, of all people would be proud of me ;) I can no longer claim old school.

And so, let's take a moment to look back at what has propelled me to get cell phones in the past:

In 2001, I got my first cell phone. Not because I could afford it. Don't fall for that mess.
It all started on a dark and stormy night. Back then, it was just Miss Z and I. I was working part time and going to nursing school full time and trying to give all of my focus to my adorable baby girl. To say the least, life was an uphill battle. Anyhow, I had been studying for an AP exam with another single mom friend of mine and it was around 10pm when Miss Z and I left to head home. I took 405 home and was on the S-Curves in Renton when one of my tires blew. (Now, for those of you who haven't a clue what freeway I'm talking about, the section that I'm referring to has zero shoulders and is a very curvy and dangerous place to break down.) I pulled over as much as one possibly could, grabbed my baby and climbed over the wall of the freeway to take a hike in the disgusting trash that people toss out their windows while whizzing by at 65-75 mph (it's nearly impossible to go faster than that there). I quickly walked along the freeway, apprehensive about who might be doing whateva between me and downtown (if there is such a thing) Renton.
Some NASTY dudes in a rape van pulled off of the freeway and offered to help. I, of course, lied through my teeth about how I had already called and my husband was on his way. I thought about how woman are taught go potty on themselves if anyone tries to rape them. The guys were freaky and I didn't need to go potty. I just kept walking, holding Baby Z tighter, while I turned down their 'offer'. I was headed for a gas station in the distance and no one was coming between me and that pay phone. Especially men who wanted to kidnap me. They began reversing on 405, trying to continue the conversation with me. My pace became a jog as I yelled to them that "My husband is meeting me right over there (I pointed to the closest well lit area). NO THANK YOU!"
To make a long story short, my step dad came and helped me change my tire and I drove home with one teeny tire, safe and sound. I got a cell phone that weekend to assure myself that that would never happen again. I kept that phone for a while but ended up in an argument with AT&T over my bill. I was pissed but couldn't prove my innocence. In haste, I shut off the phone before the contract was up. They made me pay for the extra minutes (I had ordered a larger plan but they said that they had no record of that) and $400 for breaking contract. Did I mention that I was a single mom with a part time job at St@rbucks as my only income? Yeah. But I did promise that manager that I would tell everyone that I knew not to ever use AT&T. I have followed through with that promise (however, my little brother told me that Singular bought out AT&T but continues to use the name?). Poo heads taking advantage of people who can't help themselves. But that's a whole 'nother blog.





Christmas of 2004.
My MIL got me one of those prepaid phones which worked out perfect. When we had extra money, we put minutes on it. When we didn't have any extra money, momma didn't have a phone. I kept that phone for about... well until we were in our first adoption. My regular visits to the salon, cell phone time, and my weakness for shopping in general were all cut from our budget.









Yesterday 2007.
If you haven't noticed, cars break down on me more than your average human being. We don't drive brand new cars but they aren't junkers either. Not to mention that I'm far too PARANOID to drive them if I even think that they might break down. When I drive away in them, they aren't broken. They never break when my husband is driving them. Apparently this is my special problem. The event at Barnes and Noble last week was when I had finally had enough. I wish that we could depend on one another for help, but we just can't. Humans tend to look out for themselves. That's just the way that it is. So, my butt went out and got a phone.

The end.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Giving Thanks

Would you listen along as you read the lyrics?? PLEASE!?! I know, I know... I don't actually read song lyrics either... but this time? for me? The link to the music file is below us. See it? It's orange. Right click on the link and scroll to 'open link in a new window'. That way you can be two places at once ;)


Since I Am So Sick
Don Chaffer
(Enter The Worship Circle)
_______________________________

Since I am so sick
Since I am in need
Since I have no healing within me

Oh, my God, be mindful of me
You are my help and my Redeemer
Oh, my God, be mindful of me
You are my help and my Redeemer

Unto You, oh Lord
I lift up my soul
In Your loving-kindness I believe

Surely those who wait on You
Will never be ashamed
All of those who call on You
Will know the faithfulness of Your name
We sing to the faithfulness to your name
It will never fail
The faithfulness of your name

Though He saved me
Yet will I trust in Him?

You are God
An amazing God
Who can compare to you infiniteness?
Who can compare to your glorious love?

All that I need to know
Is that you love me so
________________________________________________


Everything that I can claim as my own... all of the things that I'm thankful for are wrapped in God. All that I have that is good all came from Him and Him alone. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for loving me in my times of greatest need and in my times of stubborn independance. Regardless of my actions, you are always there for me. Thank you

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday News

I don't know if you've opened up your Sunday paper yet or not but I think that it made front page news. Alright, maybe it got shortened a bit and shoved into the back near some bad advertising and so all the more reason to share the news with you ;) We got word this week that all the paperwork for our adoption is done. It has been received in Liberia and all that we do now is sit on our hands while waiting for travel dates. Can you believe it!?!

And even more importantly, my fear is finally dying down. It felt like my prayers had been flying off to never never land. I was pretty sure that God wasn't listening because as our adoption of Big P has continued, my fear grew like an unswept dust ball (my mom calls them ghost turds) underneath the entertainment center. Lurking there it would show itself whenever a toy slid beneath the tv. One of the kids would slide their innocent hand beneath it and pull out a disgusting conglomeration of hair, dust, lint, and small garbage. And yet we all threw it back and it just grew bigger under there.

A few times when the adoption would come up, I'd paste on a fakey smile and pretend like I was happy. Or, in most cases, I would tell an unsuspecting victim the truth (and they would walk away shaken up and promising themselves to never again ask me about it how our adoption was going). And what a surprise, right? Who wouldn't be excited to adopt a 10yr old stranger with epilepsy from another country halfway across the world?

And so I prayed.
And prayed.
And prayed.

I guess that I've been afraid that it would all fall apart before my eyes. That he would have a seizure and die before I got there. That once he got home, I wouldn't be able to teach him jack (since he's 10 with no education he'll have to stay home until he can catch up with the kids his age). That he's mean to the littler kids because he'll be the oldest? Or that while I was down there, he'd dislike me or cry the whole time for his real mom or assume that all I am (being a white woman in Africa) is cash... that he wouldn't look to me as his momma. What if everything fails? WHAT IF!?!

And finally, for the first time, my heart is beating for this boy... for my son. Out of nowhere, I am suddenly ready to risk certain death for someone that I've never laid eyes on. I am ready to accept his unacceptance. I'm ready to hug him even if he doesn't hug back. I'm ready to teach him even if I suck at teaching and he doesn't want to learn. I'm ready to be his mom. And as crazy as it seems not only am I ready, I am excited!!

God has answered my prayers and he has filled me with an unexplainable love for Big P. Beyond understanding, beyond fear, beyond rationality. This is the love that God gives. This is the love that bubbles over from my heart... the love that I will get to share with my son. MY son. heehee!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm over here with the poorly treated crack addicts.

I'm still here - just CRAZY busy!

(WARNING: excuses to follow. If you don't want to read them, feel free to skip the paragraph in it's entirety.)

My little brother flew in from a three year stint in Italy and so I have been hanging out with him every possible second, Miss Z had her 7th birthday and we celebrated it with 3 different factions of our family 3 different times, I've been absorbing myself in the dialog that's going on over at The Shack, Husband has been picking up extra hours to save for Liberia this = less time for me to fiddle around, and that's all that I can think of for now.

Miss Z and goofy Husband at one of the parties

Last night Miss Z and I were with mi madre so that mi madre could purchase Miss Z books that she got to pick out herself (Ended up being some princess junk and some pretty pony junk. Mi madre and Miss Z hid them from me until we reached the car. They are a dangerous duo.) We exited the Banes and Noble at 7pm sharp. I remember this because nothing happens on the sharp for me. Nothing... except this. ANYHOW! When Miss Z and I reached the car that I was driving, we both climbed in and performed the usual duties of entering the car. Problem was that the car didn't perform it's usual duties. I turned the key.
Nothing.
Tried again, this time making sure that the clutch was all of the way in.
Nothing.
So I sat there, in the dark and freezing cold car, for a minute in order to figure out our plan of action. Run to get mi madre's attention! I yelled at Miss Z to stay in the car as I made a mad dash for her volvo which was quickly exiting the parking lot. Waiving my arms and screaming like a lunatic didn't work.
She drove off.
Back to the car for another think.
Miss Z and I decided that our next best bet was to call Husband and see if he could give me some verbal advise on how to get the freakin' thing started. So we went to the front counter and asked the cute clerk if I could use the phone.
"Sorry."
"Sorry?" I asked
"There's a pay phone by the restrooms."
"A pay phone?" I stared at the phone that was an inch from her hand.
"A pay phone... by the bathroom." She said apologetic words and yet her tone was unbending. So we walked to the restrooms and upon reaching the phone, I realized that I only had .35 cents on me and half of it was in pennies. Trying not to be irritated, we walked back up to the front counter.
what I was hoping our exchange would look like...

"I don't suppose that you give cash back?"
"No. No cash back." the same chick stared at me blankly
"It's just that I don't have enough change to make the call..."
"Sorry." Again, the words that exited her mouth carried no sorrow.
"It's cool." I said while I grabbed Miss Z's hand and we headed for Office Max, directly next door. I bought some gum, got 4 quarters, and briskly headed back to the pay phone. Now, let me be honest here. I was so near tears at this point that I am embarrassed to admit it. I was frustrated to no end at the situation before me. But we kept walking and I didn't cry like a wuss. As we neared the stanky bathrooms, I could hear a woman talking.
'No! Please no!' I thought to myself. But oh yes... someone was on the phone and they were talking about church and living situations and I didn't want to interrupt her so Miss Z and I stood near and tried to not listen (obviously this didn't work). After about 10 minutes of waiting, I figured that we needed a new tactic. Miss Z and I headed out to the parking lot where I planned to ask nice looking people for a jump.
Seriously... not being factious at all, I asked about 15 different people and they all acted like I was going to jump them to support my crack habit. FOR REAL! They locked their doors or walked quicker away from Miss Z and I! They pretended like they didn't hear me, some just looked at me crazy and kept walking! It was 7:30 at night on a Monday in a bookstore parking lot, I was with my daughter, we looked like we always do AND THEY RAN FROM US. I was trying really hard to remain calm. Miss Z was getting a little freaked out by the whole thing (Asking why no one would even listen to us ask for help and "aren't any of them Christians, Mom?" You try answering that one!) So we went back inside to see if chica was off the phone yet.
Nope. 20 minutes later, she was still on.
So we waited some more but this time Miss Z kept peeking in so that she would notice that we were waiting for a turn. A few minutes later she got off and Miss Z and I made the sad call to Husband (he gets up at 3am to go to work and he's got 4 kids in pj's with him... not to mention that we're about 20 minutes from home). Husband, always the helper, says that he'll be there as soon as possible. I hang up the phone and it gave me my money back. That was probably the highlight of my evening... a free phone call. So Miss Z and I headed back out to the car (7:45 now) and it's clear so it's extra cold. We sit in the car to wait until I notice two Ethiopian buddies that had been in the Starbucks there in the bookstore studying. I plea to one of them for help.
30 seconds later, he and his buddy are trying to work some magic on the broken car. We make small talk and I thank them profusely. They tease Miss Z and so she teases back. However...
The car wouldn't start.
"The battery is toe-tally dead. Toe-tally." one of the boys says to me regretfully
"Are you sure? I mean can't the connection be bad or something?" I'm pleading as if their opinion could change fact.
"No. Toe-tally dead."
I thank them more and set them free from our problem. They drive off into the night in their working vehicles as I watch on in jealousy. Miss Z take our positions in the frigid car and wait for Husband's arrival by reading one of her new books.
Husband arrives, fiddles with the connection a bit, attempts to jump the car and the car starts. Can you believe it? That little took that much drama... c'est la vie!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

HIL-ARR-IOS!!!

You guys gotta do this, post it on your blog and then tell me who this thing says you look like!!! Too funny!



Beyonce?? YA RIGHT! I am crackin' up!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

a conversation about color

The boys and I were in the car today and I waved at a friend who was driving by. Mr. P asked me why I waved and I told him that he was a friend. Mr. P then asked me if the person that I waved at is a boy or a girl (the dude has LONG dreadlocks). I explained that he's a boy and that he's from west Africa, just like Mr. P! It was quiet for a minute and so I tuned back into the radio.

"Why aren't there any white babies in Liberia? That's not fair... I mean, equal. Why can black people be from America and Liberia but white people aren't from Liberia too?" he asked me, totally out of freakin' right field. I scrambled for an answer that was suitable for a six year old.
"Well, honey, how many white people are in Liberia?"
"Not so many."
"And how many black people are in Liberia?"
"Plenty."
"Okay... If there aren't many white people in Liberia then there simply aren't going to be many white babies there. So until more white people move there, no white babies."
"So... if you moved to Liberia then Mr. O would be born black but if you're in America then he came out white?" (I tried not to laugh at this unbelievably cute and innocent thought)
"Not exactly... if you mixed brown paint and white paint, what color would that make?"
"Little brown."
"Right, light brown."
"And if you mix white and white what color would you get?"
"More white?"
"Right! Making babies is the same way. No matter where I am, America or Liberia, my white paint mixes into the babies that I make. So if I had married a black man then we would have made light brown babies. But I married a white man and so we made white little Mr. O. You get it?"
"Ummmm so why doesn't Mr. O have orange hair like you?"
"Well... that's because brown genes are dominant and red genes are recessive. Eventually red hair won't exist any longer."
"Huh?"
"Maybe Mr. O's kid will have orange hair."
"Oooh..."
Then Mr. O pipes up, "My baby won't have orange hair because I'm gonna marry a brown girl."
"I'm cool with whateva, Mr. O. As long as she's got a good heart."
To this, Mr. P laughed, "A good heart!? Why not orange hair too?"
"Ya, and fire powers!" added Mr. O
"Mom, if a mom and a dad have fire powers, then will the baby have it to?" Mr. P asked
"ABSOLUTELY!" I responded

And when we got home, Mr. P made this picture of he and I, the "fire family". Notice that in our hands we hold flames that we can throw at all of the bad guys.

Monday, November 5, 2007

the big shack dialog

So... I joined with three other folks to read The Shack... well, actually, I asked them to join me but that doesn't sound quite as cool. Chapter by chapter, we're going to have at this book. I'm curious to see where the discussions take us. It's going to be two boys, Jonathan and Jeromy, and a lovely lady, Verity. I hope that the four of us will all be ready to begin blogging by early next week.

If you haven't read it, you're welcome to pick up a copy and join us on the blog. But, now that I think about it, you don't have to read it because the subject matter that we'll be grappling with doesn't require homework. SO read the book if you want to or don't. That's cool too. But I am interested in what you think as well.

I love me a good debate ..uh.. I mean dialog.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A friend of mine

A friend of mine is sitting in jail right now. Not someone that I know - not that kinda friend. The kinda friend that you hold close to your heart because through them you learn about God and about life and about what we're truly here for. It's a Romans 1:12 kinda thang. She and I were on the phone tonight and God gave me a beautiful vision for her but as I reflect on it, I thought that we could all take something from 'the walk'.

Let's establish a few ground rules:
I believe that their are two parts of this world: the seen and the unseen. What I'm describing is more of the unseen (spiritual) and how the seen (physical) affects our relationship with Christ. Is that perfectly unclear? Good. Let's move on.

It's just you and Jesus. There's thick trees, forests actually, all around you two. You can make out what looks like a mountain up ahead but it's pretty far off in the distance and so there's no telling whether or not the trail that you and Jesus are on will take you up that mountain. He's got a tender but hearty grasp on to your hand - strong enough to let you know that you're safe with Him but gentle enough that you might forget that He's even there. The path before you guys is rutted and free of any large debris. It is windy, though, so it's difficult to gauge what's up ahead.

Almost out of nowhere, you can see people running towards you from the direction that you're heading. They're shouting, "It's so steep! The mountain is so steep! It's dangerous up there!" No one tells you to stop or turn around, but the emotion that they spread is full of anxiety and borders on terror. Panicking, your muscles bind up and your heart starts beating faster. Maybe it will get hard. Maybe it isn't worth it? You hate steep mountains! What are you doing here, anyway? Everyone around you is shouting and it's so confusing, so difficult to keep your thoughts straight. Jesus gives your hand a squeeze and that's when you notice Him.

All else just fades away.

The shouting, the tenseness, the fear immediately vanishes. Oh ya, you remember, HE's why you're here. He smiles at you, catching your gaze, and then quietly turns back to the red trail that you two are still walking on. It's flat and it's narrow, just as it was when you began. The beauty of the walk takes your thoughts away again. The forest is almost like jungle with vines and an amazing amount of density. It feels good to be here, to be walking with Jesus.

Just as suddenly, from both sides, come hordes of people telling you how easy that the walk is, how it's an easy ride and they promise you that the trail shifts into a downward slope in just a few paces. Happily you smile and chat with them. They're gentle and uplifting and you may even befriend one or two of the large group. All of them are laughing but they remain there, in the same place where they first came upon you. Filled with hope of a happier walk, you lift your head high with assurance in their promises. You keep walking but the trail stays the same... Your anger grows just a bit when there are no slopes of any kind. It isn't as easy as you had hoped. This walk IS hard! It's flat and constant and you deserve some easier times! Jesus gives your hand a squeeze and that's when you notice Him.

All else fades away.

The disappointment, anger, and distrust vanishes. Oh ya, you remember, HE's why you're here. He smiles at you, catching your gaze, and then quietly turns back to the red trail that you two are still walking on. It's flat and it's narrow, just as it was when you began. The beauty of the walk takes your thoughts away again. The forest is almost like jungle with vines and an amazing amount of density. It feels good to be here, to be walking with Jesus.

thinker

Thursday, November 1, 2007

who-ha?

Miss B and my step mom

At the girls' school, some chica pushed down Miss B and told her, "Your hair looks stupid! And I know that that hair is fake!" My Miss B? The most docile, gentle, and pleasant little girl EVER!?! I was PEEa-SSED. It took me four hours to get those freakin extensions in and Miss B was proud of them. Yes, I know how to put extensions in.

So some little chica not only shoved my baby but she mocked my work? Oh no.

I asked what Miss B's response was to this madness. Her answer?
"Nothing. I cried after she pushed me on the ground."

GIRL! My arms were wavin' while I told her that "WE DON'T LET PEOPLE TREAT US THAT WAY." Poor baby thought that I was mad at her. Husband told me to exit the area in order to calm down (not that he was any better, grilling Miss B for the chica's name). So while I'm out of the room, Husband discovers that this junk happened on Friday. That would be five days ago? And Miss B, who's crying at the retelling of the story, says that she was too embarrassed to tell anyone.

I walk back in, hear the news and go off some more about how if Miss B doesn't tell us, then we can't help her. Husband gives me the 'look' and I shut up... for a minute.

But REALLY, who can be expected to act rationally under such circumstances? Had it been either of my other girls, well okay - I know that they have mouths and that they probably provoked it. But Miss B?? She's like a sitting duck for bullies. Quiet, gentle, soft hearted. GRRR.

So now we know who this chica is. My question for you folks, what would you do? Walk up to the girl and give her the who-ha? I told Miss B to avoid her at all costs and we prayed for the chica because (while I'd rather not remember) I think it says something about praying for your enemies in the Bible... But what now? Should I approach the kid? Kick her in the shins? Take her photo and put it up on the 'Elementary's Most Wanted' list?


this is me, preparing for battle

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today

Two years ago today my husband and I asked the orphanage to allow us to adopt Miss B, Miss F, and Mr. P. Makes me smile remembering that call. We had just gotten back from the roller skating rink (where I laughed so hard that I almost cried watching Husband and Mr. Brasil try to skate) and there was a message on the phone.

The orphanage wanted to tell me that the kids' village and church had been fasting and praying for two weeks for someone to adopt them. Tears sprang into my eyes, hearing this news... understanding just how big that God is... He answered the prayers of some Liberians through puny old us.

And then I remember the first time that I met my babies... here's a photo of the first time that I kissed Mr. P when I met Husband and kids at the Chicago airport to help Husband with the last leg of the trip (on the left). And another one of he and I from a couple of days ago (right). Hasn't that boy grown?? My little man... He's gained 20 pounds and 6" in just a year and a half (ignore the other kids in the picture who kept sneaking into the shot)!














The point is that today, two years later, in the mail we received word from the US government that we can bring our 10 year old son home to his family (that would be us). I officially HAVE TO travel so I'll find out tomorrow just when that will be but we're hoping before Christmas... this is our only goal. Wow. My baby is finally coming home, guys! Can you believe it?? I'm proud to announce my son, Big P:

secret rich person

Sorry it's been a bit since I've posted... my butt is lazy.
I LOVED everyone's comments on the prior post and can't decide if I should do a part deux as a blog or just answer in the comment section??

_______

Anyhoo, on Sunday night mi madre and I went to the 5th Avenue to see Into the Woods. And it was WONDERFUL! I love the theater and I often wish that some secret rich person would instinctively know this and shower me with season tickets. Alas, the secret rich person has mistaken me for someone else ~ this someone else ironically had the seat next to me at the theater.

I first noticed her when I accidentally tapped her foot with my foot. We both pretended that it hadn't happened. She wore a red pea coat and her hair was highlighted blond. She had on jeans, which I thought was odd (for those of you who don't frequent the theater in Seattle, it is a dressy affair), and some cute black leather boots. And this is when is occurred to me that the secret rich person had mistaken her and I. Red coat ~ red hair. It could easily be done. And I do wear jeans EVERYDAY so the mistake is understandable. Did I tell you that I scored some new boots? See... jeans, boots, red stuff... you can hardly blame the secret rich person for confusing her and I.

And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the secret rich person had been showering this woman with rich things (like season tickets) because while I was a grinnin' at the cleverly written lines during the first act, she was flipping through her bulletin while attempting to receive light from the stage by contorting the pages into different positions. To see what?!? Those bulletins are filled with only advertising and pictures of the people that were acting DIRECTLY in front of her. I tried to ignore her bad behavior. I wanted to enjoy my once a year trip to the theater... we had seats so good that I could see the microphones on their foreheads!

As the intermission began, I went on a hunt for the secret rich person. I started by looking in the women's restroom. I also ended my hunt there as well because the dang line was so long. But I had so many things to tell the secret rich person! Did they see how this mistaken woman no longer appreciated their gifts?? How any other human being on the face of the planet would enjoy the $70 seat more than she?? The secret rich person MUST be found so I can tell them that they have over-spoiled this woman in red. It's someone else's turn.

And so, I have a plan.
I will put up 'missing secret rich person' signs.
On every street corner in my neighborhood.
And then I'll put them up in Mercer Island because that's where the rich people live.
And then, when I find the secret rich person, I'll tell them about the grave mistakes that have been made.
Mistake one: Wrong person on the season tickets - I'm the one whom they meant to give those season tickets too.
Mistake two: Over gifting. They must only give one gift per person per every five years or else the receiver ends up spoiled and undeserving.


Friday, October 26, 2007

deep thoughts part 2

So my chica and I were spurred into a conversation when I was reading a few of your blogs and she saw an icon for Mom's For Modesty. While I REALLY don't like the word modesty (my mind takes it to some drastic places where girls aren't allowed to swim because it isn't "modest") we discovered that I am a teensy bit more careful about modesty than even she (who was stoked when she saw the icon while I tried not to cringe).

The conversation progressed into my chica pointing out how a large majority of teenage girls apparel promotes sex (or lustful thoughts) and shouldn't be worn because it might make the guys around them think thoughts. My argument to this was what I want your opinion on. Can teenage girls, whom I believe have NO IDEA what they're promoting when they wear tight/revealing clothing, be held accountable for their actions?

How can I simplify this idea??
..sigh..

If one doesn't know better, can they be held responsible for an action that they took?

Another example:
I was listening to a broadcast on NPR today and they were discussing the conditions in Chinese factories. The list of importers that buy goods from factories is SO LONG that I am convinced that there's hardly anything within my home that hasn't been through a factory in a third world country where workers arms get chopped off by the machinery daily. If I bought these goods without knowing the conditions from which they came, can I be held responsible for being a part of this chain that propagates itself?

I hope that I'm being clear.

I just wonder if our motive is pure when we act, can we be held responsible for the reactions to that action?

Shoot, I've got some diamonds on my wedding ring that very well could have propagated the war in Liberia where my own children are from!?! But I didn't know better at the time. Ya with me?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

sometimes cheating is acceptable.

Do you know what rodomontade is? (My spell check is freaking out because it doesn't even know what rodomontade means. HAH!)

Mean either and that's why I cheated when I was earning rice for the UN to donate to end world hunger. If you want to cheat too, go to the free rice website while simultaneously having a window open to dictionary dot com. Then just cut and paste the ridiculous words that they give you onto dictionary dot com and fill in the blank!

I earned 410 grains of rice before I got so hungry from all of the cutting and pasting that I myself had to quit and go have some lunch.



P.S.
rodomontade means vainglorious boasting or bragging; pretentious, blustering talk.
P.P.S. cerement means a cerecloth used for wrapping the dead. Duh.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

picture day

..sigh..

The last week has been a BLAST and I feel refreshed and oh-so-content. Let's do a quick overview and then I'll blab about less important things tomorrow ;)


The Gulu Walk:
It was a nasty weather day with mega winds and the rain drizzling just enough to remind us that we were in Seattle BUT the girls were super troopers and we made it around Green Lake one and a half times (thanks to my bad parking spot, we had to walk half way around the lake in order to find the group). I think that we were probably the oldest and youngest walkers in the group ~ I listened to quite a bit of chatter on how to attract boys that act like they don't like you when you like them. Also listened to some chica who was quite self-assured in her knowledge of Africa. A few times I almost interjected into her speech to edit some of the bent facts that she was spouting, but I kept it together and played the grocery store game with my girls instead ;)
Dawne, we represented you and the boys but I flaked and didn't take any pictures to prove it... Thanks to everyone who supported our walk, we raised a total of $325.00 for the children of Uganda!!

Pike Place Market:
It's always a hoot to me, having guests from out of town, because you get to do all of the tourist-ey things with them like the market. We went on Saturday after the walk and it was piz-acked! Can you find my girlfriend in the white coat below? I had a hard time keeping track of everyone in there. But, we did get my favorite food group: humbows (not sure if I spelled that right)!

Down time:
Husband has been back and forth about us having another baby. I am adamantly against this sleepless idea but DANG those babies are just so hard to say no to! They smell good and coo when they're full... my maternal instincts run full blast when I get to fall in love with someone else's responsibility ;) However, this hormonal imbalance isn't strong enough to wipe out the memories of breast feeding and two hour sleep pattern that one picks up with an infant around the house.

Closing Statement:
Overall, I am SO thankful for my girlfriends that God blessed me with. What would I do without them? They make the tough times in life that much more bearable and the fun times ever funner! So a cheers to all of the girlfriends who love me endlessly, do dishes at my house, and love my kids almost as much as I love theirs!

Friday, October 19, 2007

I stole this from Sarah

My power has been off and company in town... ACK! But I can always somehow manage to fill out these weirdo surveys... whatsupwiththat??

_____________________________________________________________________________________

1. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Whom would you blow up?
It's a toss up. There are oh-so-many dictators that I wish would just disappear... probably Mugabe or Jong-Il


2. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence, who would it be?
Nothing's coming to me

3. Whom would you really like to just punch in the face?
the
Kaczyński twins.

4. What is your favorite cheese?
parmesan or feta

5. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your immediate disposal.
avocado, cream cheese, those teensie sprouts, tomato, and some turkey... nummy

6. You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie celebrity of your choice.
I choose not to answer this question for the sake of a happy marriage.

7. You have the opportunity to sleep with the music celebrity of your choice.
Same answer as question #6.

8. You just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. What do you buy?
I took Jenny to the Mac counter and REALLY wanted this lip gloss there... but right before we left home, I challenged myself not to get anything while at the mall so I would get that gloss. And probably the ingredients to the sandwich described above... makes me want some.

9. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?
liberia. Did you read that Tab?

10. An angel appears out of heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the beverage of your choice. It is?
HOT COFFEE.

11. Do you like honey?
yep

12. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anywhere in the PAST. Where do you go?
man... I'd probably go kick it with Jesus...


13. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place?
Don't poop on the beach.

14. You have been given the opportunity to create the half-hour TV show of your own design. What is it called?
World News FOR REAL (not just one part of the world, the whole thing.)

15. What is your favorite curse word?
I have been known to occasionally flip some curse words but I can't say that I have a favorite...

16. One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by MUMMIES. The mummies aren't really doing anything, what do you do?
call 911? maybe unravel them to see what's underneath...

17. Your house is on fire! What do you do?
get out of the fire with all people and pets. that's a weird question.

18. The Angel of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. What do you do?
Kiss my family goodbye.

19. You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What super-power is it?
OHMYGOSH! I totally fantasize about this. I'm not kidding. I would be a flying girl that has the ability to throw fire.

20. You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again?
I'd like to see, as an adult, the moment that my dad told me he was leaving.


21. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
A large number of boys that I "dated".

22. You got kicked out of the country for being a time-traveling heathen who sleeps with celebrities and has super-powers. But check this out... you can move to anywhere. where?
I really like it here.

23. This question still counts, even for those of you who are under age, if you were banned from every bar in the world except one, which one would it be?
I'm not much of a bar gal...


24. Hopefully you didn't mention this in the super-powers question... If you did, then we'll just expand on that. Check it out... Suddenly, you have gained the ability to fly!
Now I'm off to shoot Chavez in the bootie with my fire powers.

25. The constant absorption of magical moon beans mixed with the radioactive vegetables you consumed earlier has given you the ability to resurrect the dead famous person of your choice. So which celebrity will you bring back to life?
Well, hmmm....guess I don't really care...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The second to last Gulu Walk Post

It's second to last because, well, I'm going to have to post pictures from the event, right?

So I'm going to make all you all a deal. If you donate at least $20 towards helping the children of northern Uganda, I will make a florescent sign with your name on it and carry it while on the Gulu Walk. Imagine it now... you will be famous! sorta. I will mount the sign onto a stick so that I look like I'm picketing for better health care but I'll actually have a sign with your name on it. Can you see it?? And if you've already donated cash and want your name on a sign, I'll totally do it but you have to tell me.

Make your own clipart like this @ www.TXT2PIC.com
Even if you aren't up to donating, I still want to encourage you to learn more about what's happening over there. Unicef has a pretty general over view here that you could check out. I am moved strongest with personal stories so please take a few minutes to watch this video.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In response to...

Okay, so pretend like I tagged you and do these on your blog. Make me look good, ladies.

_______________________________________________________________

Euphoria:


Favorite Disney Movie - uhhh... probably Jungle Book

Greatest Dessert - caramel anything

Best Craft - like my favorite craft? I honestly can't say. I like 'em all (except scrapbooking - I don't know why but I just can't gig on it)

Occupation - soldier for Christ

Dream Job - a writer. ~sigh~

Greatest Hero - Jesus. But Husband comes in a close second.

Pet Peeve - Self-righteousness

Randomness about You - I'm pink. But you already knew that.
___________________________________________________________________
The Beast:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Starbucks barista
2. secretary for a shipping place
3 file-r at a college
4. LOTS of bookstores

Four movies I have watched more than once:
1. Sound of Music
2. Shawshank Redemption
3. Garden State
4. Anne of Green Gables

Places I have lived:
1. Seattle
2. Seattle
3. Seattle
4. Seattle

Four TV Shows That I Watch:
1. Heros
2. DOG the Bounty Hunter (shutup. I LOVE him.)
3. that's
4. all

Places I have been:
1. Seattle
2. Seattle
3. Seattle
4. Seattle

Four of my favorite foods:
1. dim sum
2. virtually any and all soups
3. FRUIT
4. greek food, yo

Four people who email me regularly:
1. Ashley
2. Nikole
3. Enrico
4. Mi madre

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. heaven
2. a white sandy beach with a margarita in hand
3. on my way home from Liberia
4. visiting with bunches of family

Four friends who I think will respond:
1. Southy
2. Dancer
3. Euphoria (as in the CK perfume?)
4. T

Things I am looking forward to this year:
1. Coming home from Liberia
2. hugging Husband when he gets home
3. INCOME TAX RETURN
4. I can't think of anything else...

long time no bloggy


sorry that I unofficially took the past few days off... me and amy winehouse (aka my girly from IA who happens to look like amy with that head band on) have been hangin'. more lata.

P.S. can you kinda see that I got me some swoop bangs?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Merry Christmas!

So the other day, I was harassing my dear Husband about his gifting... shall we say... disability. This is a subject that I like to bring up often as once upon a time it was a sore subject but it has grown into something that we can both laugh about (okay, mostly just me).

Before Husband and I got married, I always imagined my future husband to be the dashing masculine hero who opened doors and cooked candle light dinners to surprise me. Uhhhh... I definetly scored dashing, masculine, and hero! So it was a bit of a let down when I realized that Husband was a normal human being like the rest of us down here on the planet earth.

We met in mid November and were engaged on Christmas Eve. Yes, the same year. So I knew that he was going to ask me to marry him (not that we had talked about it, I just knew) and because of this I thought long and hard about the gift that I was going to give him and assumed that he would do the same. We waited up until almost midnight on Christmas Eve and exchanged presents, I made him open his first. He, of course, loved what I got him. Then it was my turn. I tore the wrapping paper off of the kinda heavy box with absolute excitement. What was it going to be?? Had he put weights in the box to mask that it was actually an engagement ring? Nope. It was a set of steak knives.

I tried to pretend to like them and smiled super fake. To this day he insists that it was the steak knives that got me to say "yes" when he proposed about 5 minutes later. I think it's more like I just pretended that it hadn't happened so the moment wouldn't be ruined.

And the disabled gift giver keeps trying every holiday and it is getting better, however it's almost funner if they're just terrible gifts. Like for my birthday once he got me a tennis racket. Ever heard me talking about tennis? Or my all time favorite was when he got me a few sweaters from Lane Bryant. He said that when he went in there, he asked the lady if they had any smaller sizes and when she got the smallest size they had, he said that he just figured that it was this seasons style. Still makes me laugh. Ohmygoodness I'm crackin' up!

But seriously, I love that man. I crazy love him. I remember right before he and I got married, my mom asking me, "Ya know all of those little things that you love about Husband? Those things will get on your last nerve in a couple of months." And I totally dismissed her but some of that statement does ring true. What I felt then is the total opposite now. Like those presents and my reaction to them. Or the level of hatred that I used to feel if his socks didn't make it into the laundry basket, just next to them. Now I just think, 'Aww he missed by an inch!' And then I leave it there when I do the laundry. I'm still working being nice, okay!?! And what I thought was love then is nothing compared to what I feel now... I think I'm getting carried away.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

the best news EVER... almost

That's me, all excited and surprised.
And Tabitha, for the record, I tried to call you with the news but it may be after bedtime.

So lately I have been FREAKING OUT about money. You have no idea how many times that I have fake-blogged (this is when you type it all out but never post it) about this issue, but c'est la vie. Now that I'm at the other end of that tunnel, this will be posted.

So we got into some debt over this most recent adoption and our finances were only getting progressively tighter/worse. I made a bad choice by putting the upfront fees onto our credit card. *Not that this is a bad choice for everyone, I just jumped ahead of God even though I knew better.* And by tighter/worse I mean TIGHTER/WORSE like don't have enough gas to get the kids from school worse. Ya with me? And we go to this church, this church that loves us WAY more than we deserve, and during our last adoption, they set up a "Our last name Adoption Fund". Can you see where this is going?

And it always takes this much for me to just let God do His thing. My stomach has been in daily tight upset-ness, every time that money came up I'd either cry or wish I was crying, I was trying to figure out how I could provide in the financial places that we were lacking, I kept pushing Husband to work extra hours, I stewed over the whole scenario for hours on end, me, me, me, I, I, I, and none of it worked. But in just the past two days I have finally been setting this down at His feet. Once I was finally able to cry for help to the One who loves me most, He swooped in and saved the day... as usual.

Tonight, while at church, I happened to be looking over the missions finances for something completely different and saw that our fund had SKYROCKETED to a teensy bit more than the credit card debt. Did you get that? I said, that the money set aside for us was enough to pay off all of our debt!! I'm not sure if I should throw the number out on the internet but if you email me, I'll tell you how crazy much that it is.

..my provider and my hero..

not sure what's left to say except AMEN!

Boobie trap

IBSEN collects stuff for the auction throughout the year and I had donated this quilt that I made in... April-ish. That was back when I quilted. Right around the time that I named this blog. Anyhoo, the quilt went for $120.00, which aint half bad. I'm positive that it would have gone for more had it not been promoted as a "baby quilt" ~ which it totally isn't. Lap. Quilt. I did hover over it like a vulture in order to help people to bid on it. That might have been cheating but whatever. I would pet it and talk about how much I loved the colors, blah blah blah. About 60% of them fell into my boobie trap. My own mother aided in this venture when she bid (it was in the silent portion) on it with impure intentions. But it worked. HAHAHAHHAAHA!

Monday, October 8, 2007

quick thought for the day

I was watching a movie about Dorothy Day and there was a line in it that said,

"None of the thinkers act and none of the act-ers think."

This got me thinking about whether I'm more of a thinker or an act-er (not actor). From the outside I know that I look like an act-er... but on the inside, I know that spend far too much time thinking about doing things for others, rather than actually doing them. And when I finally do take action, is it thought through to the end? I think that the tough part is finding that middle ground of both preparedness and follow through (which I believe was the actual point of the statement).


If you were honest with yourself, which side do you lean towards?



P.S. The speech went amazingly well and I'm famous now.
P.P.S. Not actually famous
P.P.P.S. I wouldn't like being famous anyhow
P.P.P.P.S. Speaking of famous, I had a dream about K-Fed the other night! mind outta the gutter.
P.P.P.P.P.S. He and I went to brake the news to his parents that he couldn't afford paying for their property anymore. It was weird. As dreams tend to be.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

suprise!

I pulled out ye 'ole beading junk today and holysmokies!
It was like striking gold, as far as I was concerned! It's been... about two years and I had forgotten all of the goodies that had been stored away in the tippity-top of the boys' closet. But there was a purpose to the madness. Mom's birthday was yesterday and ever since I put the beads in storage, she's been bugging me to get them back out (not to mention that we're perpetually broke). After unloading the goodies, I noticed that my pliers were no where to be seen. Called Husband up and he said that he thought he might have seen them in the junk drawer. Which one? He wasn't sure.

pictured above are the three junk drawers that we have... what is all that junk, anyway?














But I couldn't find the freakin' pliers and so I resorted to matching all of the loose earrings that were already made. Do you see those bracelets on the left? WHAT was I THINKING? I mean, they're cute and all but the cost of the swavarski's (or however you spell that) and the silver far outweighed anyone's desire to buy them. And the time that those things took! If you only knew... So anyways, I took the cardboard out from behind some little league baseball photos (ghetto, remember?), cut it up and mounted the earrings on it. Not bad, eh? Now to figure out which one that Mom would like...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Calling all editors (and non-editors alike) *revised *again

Remember a while back when I said that I was going to speak at IBSEN? Here's the major rough draft... I only have until tomorrow night so would you give it a look over super soon? And hash it for me. After all, we don't even know each other so DON'T BE NICE. If it sucks, just tell me.
_________________________________________________________________________

There are simple moments in our lives when we know, almost instinctually, that we are saying ‘yes’ to something that will change our lives forever. Your ‘yes’ might have been when you decided to college or finally chose and stuck with a career path. Or maybe your ‘yes’ was when you accepted a marriage proposal from that person who loves you every bit as much as you love them. My ‘yes’ came at a welcome home party held for a medical missionary friend of ours. She had just returned to the states and
I was excited to hear some good God stories from an African country that I wasn’t sure I had ever even heard of.
“Libya? Siberia?”
“LIBERIA.” she told me for the millionth time.
Later on that night, once the dishes had been cleared away and the kids were entertaining themselves by playing with their buddies, I trotted off to see what my husband was up to. I knew that he had gone downstairs to watch a slideshow our friends’ time there in Liberia, so I aimed myself in that general direction. My mood immediately shifted when I saw my 6’5 husband come up the stairs. Tears had begun pooling around the base of his eyes ~ and he is not Mr. Public-Crier-Guy. Shocked, and almost afraid of his response, I asked him what on earth was going on. This was going to be big.
He reached his arms out to me, not ready to talk yet, and buried his head into my shoulder. This simply was not going to do; and so I did my wifely duty of pressing him for information. After a few moments that felt like forever, he leaned back from our embrace, leaving his eyes looking directly into mine and hands resting on my shoulders. After taking a deep breath in then letting it escape out again, he said to me, “We have children in Liberia, Rachel… I just know it.”

Almost a year later, I finally got to meet the result of that ‘yes’ in the flesh. I was wandering around the Chicago airport, searching for my husband and our three newest children Faith, Blessing, and Palmaray. Amidst the normal airport hustle and bustle, I thought that I had heard the sound of running footsteps and so naturally looked in that direction. Not noticing anything out of place I went ahead and shifted my attention back to making my way through the turnstile. It was then that I heard a faint whistle, quickly followed by three little Liberian accented voices shouting, “Ma! Ma!”
Instantly I knew that those voices were calling my name. I was their Mom and these were my babies. I immediately side-stepped out of the security area and dropped my bags. Falling onto one knee, I waited for those three skinny little bodies to reach me so that I could give them the hug that I had anticipated for such a long time.

Days and weeks passed by with a lot of growing pains, and yet we were all able to pleasure in the development of our unusual family. The security of everyone’s place within our family grew stronger every day. This development afforded all of us the freedom to focus on other things like girl scouts, soccer, and other regular old kid stuff. But another ‘yes’ was yet to come.

Within days of our one-year adoption anniversary, we received an email stating that Palmaray’s 10 year old brother, Papie was available for adoption. The organization that we had adopted through wanted to know if we were interested. Interested?? Absolutely we were interested! You see, Papie has had a special place in mine and Sherman’s hearts ever since Sherman was picking up our three from Liberia. We discovered that the kids’ biological family had tried to put Papie into the orphanage with our original three. But Papie had the cards stacked against him. His entrance into the orphanage had been rejected because the organization was afraid that no one would want him due to his age, his epilepsy, and the fact that it was rare for anyone to adopt a sibling group of four. Thanks to IBSEN and to all of you, we’re expecting to hug and kiss the result of that ‘yes’ before Christmas.

Just this past week my husband, Sherman, was changing the oil on our minivan in the carport. Palmaray, now six years old, was “helping” Sherman by delivering tools to complete the task. Palmaray floated from subject to subject, happy to have his dads’ undivided attention. I happened to be washing dishes in the kitchen, which was just within earshot of their exchange. As Palmaray was squatting down next to Sherman, who was under the car, he handed him a ratchet he said, “Dad, when I grow up I’m going to go work with you at Odwalla too… And when I’m big I’m still going to help you fix cars.”
I set down the sponge and spent a moment thanking God for the place that we’ve grown into. This place that every parent strives for… the one where your child wants to be just like you. How could anyone say ‘no’ to that?