Happy Friday Ya'll!

Friday, May 30, 2008

And by "ya'll" I mean my dh and Amanda (who I'll link as soon as she gets her blog running-nudge-nudge). Above is Noelle at her preschool graduation yesterday.  This is her feeling quite grown up at the beginning of the 45 minute ceremony.  Twenty minutes into it, she was revealing her butterfly panties for the entire sanctuary.   A nice reminder that she is only 4 and not moving out yet...

This morning, I mailed off step 2 in our adoption process: our documents for the Home Study!!! It's a strange feeling to be anxious to wait.  (Once all our paperwork is done, our job is to wait for a referral for our children. ) I just want to turn everything in, have everything completed on our part, so we can just wait...and pray that two children who belong in our family will join us at a divinely perfect time.   

Opa & Giddo-Stop Reading Now...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For Father's Day this year, the kids and I made these stepping stones for their grandfathers' gardens.  We also baked a batch of brownies for my father in law in this nifty edge brownie pan. My fil prefers the edges, crispy and chewy, while the women in the family like them ooey and gooey.  Since we are the bakers, he usually has to take what he can get.  And for my book-lovin' father, I ordered one of these cool stamps, for book covers or the intended envelope.   

Now for my dear hubby's gift....i'm still working on that...

Our Family Schedule-Works For Me Wednesday

Two weeks ago our pastor, Jeff Jones, reminded us of the profoundly encouraging verse Ephesians 3:20: 
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
In Jeff's message, he asked us to mentally fill out a blank check for the one thing we would dare to dream that God would fulfill in our lives.  I had already been thinking of what my dream request would be.  It had been on my mind for months and in the past several weeks had seemed impossible.  If God granted me one blank check at this time in my life, I would write it out for making me the best mom I can be to my children.  Motherhood is my job, but it is more than that.  It is my honor, my pride and my joy.  It is also the scariest thing I've ever done.  WAAAY to much is at stake here. Why did I ever think I was qualified for this position?

So anyway, this week I am taking one step closer to being the best mom I can be to my kids.  I am going to try to follow a Daily Schedule for the summer.  What does a schedule have to do with being the best mom I can be?  Well, for one, I have NOT scheduled time to check my email until mid-afternoon.  I also have NOT scheduled time to clean the toilets while the kids are awake.  What I have scheduled are the things I believe are truly important and therefore should not be pushed aside with household tasks.  Things like a devotional time with my kids where I get to tell them how much God loves them, and how he has made them for a reason-to do great things.  

This schedule isn't going to solve all my problems, but I do hope it allows me to live with more integrity.  I tell me kids I love them constantly but then they watch me choose to do something that inhibits my ability to to spend the time necessary for them to perceive that love.  So here's our Family Schedule.  It's beautiful, isn't it?

And before I post this, I must give a huge shout-out to my bro-bro, Jon, who fixed my banner for me.  Who likes my banner?  You know you all do.   

Safe for Eternity

Friday, May 23, 2008

WHAT'S GOING ON???? DON'T I HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO THAN POST FOUR DAYS IN A ROW?????? Guess I like blogging after all.  It feels therapeutic. And today I need some therapy. 

My heart is so heavy and broken for the Chapman family today.  I have always loved Steven Curtis Chapman's music and appreciated all he and his wife have done for the cause of orphans worldwide.   When I read the news, my instinct, even at 30 years old, was to call my mom.  I knew she was working, so I emailed her.  I thought her wisdom was worth repeating and posting, if only for me to read again later:

Thinking back to the NT times...it must have been agony for Mary to see her son crucified...but God had a higher redemptive purpose in Christ's death than in just keeping Mary's son safe...it was to redeem and make many "safe" for all eternity!  being a parent is walking a fine line...needing to provide and protect and nurture...but yet acknowledging that ultimately God is in control.  When we dedicated you and Jon as babies, we were publically confessing that we had been given a trust by God.  That's not to say that there won't be times when we'll fail, or you'll fail...but God is working all things together for HIS good, which is ultimately for our good.  Meanwhile, we will have some sadnesses to endure for a time.  All our tears are noticed...and His Spirit will give comfort in the times ahead. 

Let God's Word dwell in you...let it speak against the paralyzing fears that creep into your mind.  Talk to you later.  
On another note, we mailed off our application to Adoption Advocates International today!  So on the way home from the Post Office, I picked up a bag of injera from the shop just down the road from us!   

Our Adoption Timeline

I will update our process as events occur. Although to really understand how we came to begin the process, you'll have to know My Depression/Adoption Story.

5/23/08-Mailed in application to AAI

5/30/08-Mailed in documents for Homestudy

8/24/08-Home Study visit

11/19/08-Mailed in Dossier packet

12/15/08-Dossier to Country

4/14/10-Referral of Baby Girl!!!!

6/15/10-Court Date, MOWA closed, rescheduled for 6/23

6/23/10-Passed Court!

7/28/10-Embassy Date

7/31/10-Forever Home!!!!!

Duck Tape Prom

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm so proud of my little cousin, Erica, who's not so little anymore. She and her date, Jake, graced the front page of the Style section of the Charlotte Observer.  They look awesome, don't they?  You have my admiration, Erica!  

Works For Me Wednesday

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I love this idea...both what I am going to share, but also the theme for blogging on Wednesday. I read several blogs, where stay at home post little tips that make their life/job easier. Since I have an insane desire to offer advice, I am going to use the idea to challenge me to post more often...
So, if you couldn't gather my tip from the above picture, then let me explain. I use a really large hefty bag hung on a hanger to store all my gift bags, along with the other supplies for wrapping. This is stored in my bedroom closet for the moment, but will likely soon move to the hall closet. Part of my insane desire for organization includes having NOTHING on my closet floor. Even if the shelves have flopped over from stacking shirts too high, there remains a degree of tidiness when the floors are clean.
Okay, your turn, my blogging friends, (Angi, Sammi) what works for you? I read your blogs, so I will be waiting with anticipation for your tips.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This is my major 30th birthday purchase...a circa 1920's chest. It is old enough to make me feel young, while also making me feel sophisticated and mature to recognize the beauty of a vintage piece. (Yes, it is vintage, not yet over a century old to be called an antique, thanks, Brooke.)
I bought this off craigslist, my favorite shopping venue to re-purpose things still of value. My intention was to use this for storage for seldom used dinner party items-linens, candles, silver pieces. Then I thought about making this a place for more often used gifting items-bags, ribbon, tissue paper, although I like my system for that already. More on that tomorrow. (WHAT? TWO DAYS OF POSTING IN A ROW?????) And my kids would never be able to refrain from getting all of the wrapping supplies out and wrapping the contents of the playroom up until I was out of every supply. So for now, this is only an object of beauty to welcome you into our home, as it's in the entry hallway. Although, for me, that is purpose enough.

We can always repaint it if it doesn't turn out right...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It's been improved slightly since this photo, but this is what I have been working on while the kids are at Mother's Day Out.