Tuesday, December 15, 2009

12 Days of Christmas


My friend Rett did this on her blog and I want to do it too! Wives of Faith is doing a 12 Days of Christmas Blog Carnival. See the latest post here.

So I'll catch up with the days I missed and hopefully keep up from here on out!

1st Day of Christmas: My Favorite Christmas Song
I have several favorite Christmas songs and I am unable to pick just ONE. I love "Oh Holy Night" and "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas". They both can get me all choked up pretty quickly because of their messages. I also love the song "Silver Bells" for extremely nostalgic reasons. My mother has never been known for her singing voice - but for some reason, she could sing that song on pitch and I remember driving around in the car at Christmas time, singing Silver Bells with my Mom. It is a good memory.

2nd Day of Christmas: My Favorite Christmas Recipe

My grandma always made fondant at Christmastime. I try and make it each Christmas now to remember her. It is pretty much PLAIN SUGAR, but oh so yummy. I used to love helping her knead the fondant and then roll it into balls and place nuts in the middle. I miss Grandma this time of year.

No Cook Fondant

1/3 c. soft butter
1/3 c. corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar (TOLD YA!)
Food coloring (optional)

Blend the butter, syrup, salt, and vinalla in a mixing bowl.
Add sugar and mix again. Turn onto cloth and knead until smooth.
Wrap and chill. Divide into thirds and add food coloring.
Nuts, coconuts, or candied cherries can be added or leave plain
and put a walnut half on top. (She always made them with the walnuts.)

3rd Day of Christmas: The Best Christmas Present I Ever Gave
This one is pretty easy. I LOVE giving gifts. I often get in trouble because I can't wait until Christmas to give presents and then I end up buying more to make sure those I love have something to open on Christmas. But the best Christmas Present I Ever Gave had a little help from the family I spent most of my time with during high school. I credit this family with helping me survive some rough times in my life. Their family had a tradition of making blankets out of jean material. They are so warm and you can personalize them by using patches on the squares, etc. (The Family Mama actually made me one too, and I still sleep under it.)

When my Grandfather died, I got some of his old farm overalls - and that sweet family helped me sew a jean blanket for my Grandma. I worked day and night for a couple of days before our family Christmas. I remember all of us around their kitchen table putting the final touches on it the morning before I was to give it to Grandma. I was exhausted that Christmas, but seeing how much Grandma loved the blanket was so worth it. If you read my blog, you know my Grandma is gone now too - and I just recently got that blanket back. It is a great memory that I can share with my children.

4th Day of Christmas: The Best Christmas Present I Ever Received
I have a lot - but I don't remember the Christmas GETTING as much as I remember the other things. One of the first things that came to mind for me was during my freshman year of college. My parents got divorced that year. It was a rough time, but my Dad and I have always been close and we helped each other through it. That year, I came home and there was a leather jacket on my bed. I had always wanted a leather "bomber" jacket and my Dad got me one. I think he knew we both needed some happiness in our lives. I still have that jacket and it always makes me think of Dad.

5th Day of Christmas: My Favorite Christmas Movie
Once again, I cannot pick just one. I have several. First of all, it is a family tradition to watch "White Christmas" every year. I have great memories of that movie and now my hubby and I watch it with our children. I also love the old cartoon "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with the mice and the clock. As for newer Christmas movies? I love The Santa Clause movies, the Grinch, and probably my most favorite . . . The Muppet Christmas Carol. The music in that movie just GETS me. Hmmm. I think we need to watch it. Tonight.

6th Day of Christmas: My Funniest Christmas Memory
I can't think of a funniest right now . . . but I can think of a "funnest": Our first Christmas with the kids. These three children who had never seen Christmas like we do it. Their eyes bulging out when they came down the stairs and saw all the presents and the things Santa left for them under the tree. We went a little crazy with gifts that year, but we were trying to make up for the Christmases where they didn't have as much. It was so fun, watching them open those gifts, hardly believe it was for them. We were still getting to know each other as a family - but that first Christmas was so exciting - and I will always remember it.

7th Day of Christmas: What Christmas Means to Me
My first thought when I read this was "Lights please . . ."

Linus reminds us every year of what "Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown" and that is what Christmas means to me. Christmas is about Jesus' birth, which was about Love. Christmas is about His love for us and our love for each other.

I finally got caught up - I'll try to do the rest of the days one at a time!

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful time of year . . .

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Yes, I've been immersed in drama land, again. And will continue to be - at least through February.

But tonight - The Best Christmas Pageant Ever opens. I have one line at the very beginning and then I "wrangle" children who are waiting in the wings. My kiddos are shepherds/angels.

It is going to be a great, fun, family show and I hope many people come to see it.

I really am blessed to live in this community and have so many new friends to share these things with.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It has been too long . . .

I've really been neglecting my writing. :-(

Theatre has overtaken my life - and I am happy for that. Mostly because I have met so many talented and wonderful people along the way. The only thing I'm not too thrilled about?? Artistic people, their fragile egos and their constant need to cause drama OFF the stage. But it is all part of the overall package. And in the end - it is worth it.

We performed in Fiddler on the Roof as a family, hubby and I just completed My Fair Lady, the kids and I are doing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever now and there are several things lined up for next year. I've been sucked in with no hope of escape!!

But that is okay with me. We have found something that the entire family enjoys. And I think it is great!

What does your family enjoy doing together?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful that My Fair Lady opens tomorrow.

This has been a really stressful week and I have barely seen my children. I'm looking forward to seeing them on a regular basis starting next week!!!

I am thankful for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and talented people in this show and I am thankful that my husband and I get to share this experience together.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Climbing out of the rabbit hole

(internet photo - behappy4life.com)

Depression is very real. I grew up with people on all sides of the spectrum when it comes to depression. There are those who have experienced it, understand it and know how to deal with it when it happens. There are those who experience it, refuse to acknowledge it, and make the lives of those around them difficult because of it. There are those who hate the stigma of depression so much that they don't want to discuss it. And there are those who don't believe depression is real, say it is "all in their head" or "they are just doing it for attention."

Because of these things, so many people do not want to talk about depression.

I think it is important that we do. So I am. Read on if you wish . . .

My family has a long history with depression. We have had family members who have committed suicide and a large amount who have been diagnosed with some sort of depressive disorder; some who take their medicine and deal with it as they should, and others who only admit their issues when it is convenient for them.

Because of what I went through as a child/teenager/young adult - I am aware of the signs of depression. When I start to feel down, I try and decide what is causing it. Once I've figured out the reason, I try to determine the best way to deal with it. If I cannot make the sad feeling go away - I seek help. I never want to put my family through the things I had to go through. (Which is a much longer story for another time.)

We've had a rough few months. It was not all bad, it was just very hectic and busy, mixed in with some yucky stuff. I dealt with it pretty well for a while - but then I felt myself falling into that deep dark hole. I got cranky with people. I yelled at my kids and my husband when I usually wouldn't. I was mean. And I am not a mean person. Then my chest would feel heavy and I felt like I could not breathe. I knew that I had to do something different.

I'm not afraid to admit when I need help. I went to the doctor and got some "happy pills" to get me through the rough spot. I have mixed emotions about using medication. The last time I had to use medication for depression - the medicine made me feel like I didn't care - about anything. I wasn't happy, I wasn't sad - I just existed. I hated that. I HAVE TO FEEL. I am an emotional person, and that is just who I am. I don't want to change who I am - I just don't want to live in the darkness.

The other thing that is an issue with anti-depression medication is that it often causes you to gain weight. Well THAT would just cause me to be even MORE depressed, so how would that help?

The good thing: I have an awesome family doctor. I expressed all of these things to her and she was able to find something to help me that did not cause weight gain and that worked quickly. After only a few days - I started to see the light of the outside world again. My meanness subsided and I was able to smile. And I was thankful.

I honestly believe that everyone deals with depression at one time or another. The important thing is to find someone to talk to about it. Don't let it run your life and don't let it turn you into a victim. You can make it through it and come out a better person on the other side. Don't be ashamed. The only reason to be ashamed is if you refuse to deal with it and cause others to suffer along with you.

"People make mistakes,
Fathers, mothers,
People make mistakes
Holding to their own,
Thinking they're alone.

Honor their mistakes
Everybody makes
one another's terrible mistakes.
Witches can be right,
Giants can be good.
You decide what's right
You decide what's good.

Just remember . . .

Someone is on your side.
Someone else is not.
While you're seeing your side
maybe you forgot:
They are not alone.

No one is alone.

Hard to see the light now
Just don't let it go.
Things will come out right now
We can make it so.

Someone is on your side

No one is alone."

-Into the Woods

Monday, August 31, 2009

I think I need to change things to THANKFUL MONDAY!

I have been slacking. On blogging, on being thankful, on many things.

It's been a pretty stressful couple of months. Some good stress, some bad stress, and some just plain, everyday, ordinary stress. I won't go into the details, because I would rather just put it behind me.

However, we had a very successful run of Fiddler on the Roof. We got standing ovations every night and our last two performances sold out. Hunkahubby and I are now doing My Fair Lady and the kiddos are tagging along to some rehearsals - while my bestest friend in the whole world is watching them for me on other nights. I don't know what I would do without her!! I couldn't!!

Needless to say - with working all day and rehearsing all night - it is really hard to get up in the mornings! ESPECIALLY ON MONDAY! The next few weeks are going to be pretty rough - but I am determined to keep a good attitude and do my best in everything I am involved in.

How can I keep a good attitude? Because I have a beautiful family. Three kids who allow us to indulge in this passion without too much complaining. A wonderfully talented husband who is working so hard at so many things.

And friends. Old and new. Those old friends who you know you can always count on no matter what, no matter how stupid or crazy you act, they still love you.

Those new friends who laugh at your crazy and stupidness and make life a better place to be.

For all of these things - I am so very blessed. So this MONDAY - I will remind myself of all of the blessings . . . HAPPY MONDAY!!

(And I cannot forget to mention this BEAUTIFUL PRE-FALL INDIANA WEATHER that God gave to us!!! THANK YOU!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am struggling to find things to be thankful for today. It has been a really rough few weeks. But I will find some things to be thankful for!

1. My youngest daughter is six today! She is growing up so fast.
2. I'll be registering the kids for school this evening, and I am excited about buying school supplies!
3. I have great friends, old and new, who really know me and make me feel loved.
4. I've been married for 8 years (as of the 4th) to my wonderful husband who puts up with me when I hit a deep blue funk that I struggle to climb out of.
5. My mother-in-law who recently had quadruple bypass surgery is doing much better and should be leaving the hospital for rehabilitation in the next few days.
6. The sun is shining, and my family is healthy. What more could I really ask for?

Thank you to Amaya for reminding me to be thankful!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have a good job.

A wonderful, gorgeous, talented husband who loves me unconditionally, even on the days where he would rather lock me in a padded room.

I have 3 great, smart (sometimes with an -alleck tagged on the end) kids who are pretty good, MOST OF THE TIME.

I have a ton of little furry things running around my house who really do love me unconditionally and don't want to lock me up, who miss me when I'm gone and always listen to me.

I have great friends. Some friends that have stuck with me for over 30 years, and some who I just met in the past month. I love those friends who I can go weeks without seeing and then when we get together, it is like no time has passed. I am also very blessed by my new friends that make me feel like I have known them all of my life!

I have a God who created this world and loved me enough to give me the chance to experience all these things that I am so thankful for.

This Thursday - I am really, really thankful. :-)

How about you?

Monday, July 6, 2009

My dark day

Every year, I wake up on this day and wonder why I don't feel quite right. Then I look at the date. July 6th. Four years ago today, I lost my Grandma. And it still hurts.

So today, I am revisiting all of my previous Grandma posts with you, while I am missing her.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thoughts on a Lost Boy

Over the past few days, I have been trying to determine why a celebrity's death would throw me for such a loop. It's not like I ever met this celebrity or even attended one of his concerts.

Yes, I am talking about the biggest news story right now: the death of superstar Michael Jackson, also known as The Gloved One, Wacko Jacko, MJ, The King of Pop, and even Peter Pan.

Did I cry out when I first heard the news because Michael Jackson was born in my home state?

Am I mourning because I had a major crush on Michael Jackson as an adolescent and used to sneak into my brother's room to open up his ALBUM to this picture?

Am I sad because the music and dance world lost an icon and an inspiration?

I think I am sad for all of these reasons . . . but there is so much more to my melancholic mood over the past few days.

Whatever your thoughts on Michael Jackson, you cannot deny his talent and the effect he had on the world. I have personally always viewed him, not as Peter Pan, but as a lost boy. I think he had fame thrust upon him at a young age; too young an age to have even partial responsibility of "bringing home the bacon" for a large family. I truly believe that the only time Michael was happy was when he was making music and/or dancing. You can see it on his face, even as a child. But I cannot even begin to imagine the type of pressure he was under.

He was a young, black entertainer born into a family of musicians trying to make it. And he tasted success at the very beginning of a country's journey to a change it was not quite ready to make. Somewhere along the way, Michael Joseph Jackson got lost, and I think he stayed there, in Neverland, as a perpetual child . . . a lost boy.

While listening to some memorials to Michael on MTV, a long-standing friend said he once asked Michael about his oft-debated relationships with children and Michael said something like, "The children are the only ones who tell me the truth." For someone who stayed in a childlike world, the harshness of the real world had to have been difficult. I am not saying this in any way excuses him from some of the crazy things he did (nor will I claim I know what crazy things he DID do), but it makes me see things in a different light. How many times have we wished we could go back to our childhood when things were simpler? Well, Michael did it. Things were never simple for him, but he tried.

Even with all of these things, I still could not determine why the cloud of sadness was lingering over me. So I started remembering . . .

When Thriller came out, I was 7 years old. It was 1982. In 1982, Time magazine named its first non-human Man of the Year, the computer. A black man and and a white man recorded a song about "living in perfect harmony". Ronald Reagan was president, and even though we were in the midst of a recession, he would not back down in his belief that our country would come out okay on the other side. And we did.

Although there were some scary things going on at the time, I remember being full of hope for the world that I lived in. I believed in hope for a better day. Hope and Change were not words that people used to get elected, they were words that they used because they wholeheartedly believed that there was hope for change, for the better.

Ronald Reagan said, "Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known." Ronald Reagan was right . . . but are we holding up our end of the bargain?

My two favorite MJ songs have always been "We are the World" (co-written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie) and "Man in the Mirror." (Videos provided in an earlier post.) When I hear these songs, I remember that feeling of hope; that feeling that our country really is good and that none of us have lived up to our potential . . . but we still could.

I think I am sad because people have given up. People have started using words like hope and change to sell records, to win elections, to get people to jump on board a sinking ship. They use these words and then blame someone else when things do not go the way they planned.

But the death of Michael Jackson has made me realize one very important thing:

"We can't go on pretending day by day, that someone, somewhere will soon make a change."

We cannot wait for someone else to make things better for us. We have to be a part of change, be a part of hope, and we have to take personal responsibility for ourselves and our actions.

"I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love. It's time that I realize that there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan. Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone? A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart and a washed-out dream, they follow the pattern of the wind, ya see, cause they got no place to be . . . that's why I'm starting with ME."

I am sad, because I feel like I have lost a symbol of hope from my childhood.

But my hope is renewed because I believe that there are others who believe as I do: that Good will triumph and that we CAN and WILL make a difference . . .

"If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remembering Michael . . .

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful that God is in charge and not me.

And I am certainly glad it is not the A/C guy who STILL hasn't fixed the drippy ceiling above my desk at work. Will I ever be able to put my things back where they go without the chance of them getting wet?

I guess I can pretend I am on vacation and the sound of water is a waterfall, but it sounds more like a drippy faucet and that makes me feel like I need to pee. (Sorry if that was an overshare!)

So thank you God for being in charge of my life - if I would just give it over to you (and NOT take it back), I wouldn't get myself into the messes that I do.

But the drippy ceiling is not my fault . . .

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Today was a rough day. I didn't get much sleep last night, I was late to work, my finances went haywire and it isn't even near payday, I hit my head, my two youngest children have decided that their ears don't work and truth doesn't matter . . .and one of my cats got out!

I thought it was going to take a lot of digging to find something to be thankful for.

But the people I work with are caring and helped me through the day. Whether they realized it or not, God made them my angels today - and things are on the way back to normal. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to realize who is holding you up.

So I will praise Him in the storm as well as in the sunshine.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday (late) and Furry Friday all rolled into one

I am thankful for our animals. Although they drive us insane, they are such a stress reliever when you just need to cuddle.

I've noticed that the kids gravitate toward them when they are having a bad day. Each of the kids have at least one animal that likes to sleep with them, and they LOVE that.

So this week, I am thankful for the furries that God gave us for so many reasons. :-)

Here is Murphy making himself at home on our bench. And yes, he needs a haircut, and yes I took this picture with my phone.

I'll do better next week . . .


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Furry Friday (a day late)

I thought I would include ALL of the Furries this week.

This is a complete roster of the Animal Planet that lives at our house.

Our newest additions - Murphy and Riley. Very much PUPPIES.

They LOVE to take rides.

Baby Willow who is probably almost a year now- is growing up

into a proud fat cat like her sisters.

Gracie is around 2 years old.

She is attempting to help me grade papers.

Max is Hunkahubby's kitty (or was, before the traitor got DOGS).

He is 3.

Max likes to get in our drawers . . .

The only furry who is absolutely without a doubt, MINE. My big boy Rufus.

He was my 30th birthday present, which means he will be 4 this year

(and yes, I just confessed my age.)

The beautiful white/calico kitty is Cali.

We got her from our friend who had an overabundance of kitty cats

(seriously, a TON). She is about 6, I think.

Rufus and Cali have a love/hate relationship.

This beauty is Britney. She was Hunkahubby's kitty before we met.

He found her in a snowstorm. She was tiny. She is definitely not tiny now.

She is about 12 years old.

And this ornery thing is Lily, the office cat who comes home with me

on long weekends and vacations. She is a people cat, NOT a cat cat.

I have no idea how old she is.

So there you have the furry side of our family. Go ahead, you can say it. We're NUTS!

But if you ever need animal therapy . . . come to our house! :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Birthday Edition!

Today, I am thankful for my brother who was born THIRTY-EIGHT years ago.
This post is for him . . .

I am thankful for all the wonderful memories we have of our childhood,
especially the times we spent with Grandma and Grandpa.

I am thankful that you forced me to play school when I was 2, so I could read by 3
and helped me learn to love reading so much that I now use it as a procrastination tactic. (hmmm . . .)

I'm thankful that we still remember all the "silly ditties" we learned
or made up when we were kids.
(Especially our very clever answering machine messages that we sang in harmony.)

I miss singing with you . . .

I'm thankful that we survived our sibling rivalries when I was your bratty kid sister,
and learned to love and support each other even more
after you ABANDONED me and went away to college.

I am especially thankful for the way you love your nieces and nephews.
They are crazy about Uncle Bobby.

I know we don't always agree, but I know that because of what we have been through together that we will always get through whatever comes our way.

I love you.

P.S. - YOU'RE OLD!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Win a Wii!

Our Wii is one of the favorite gadgets we own.

Go here before June 4th and you could win one too!!

Happy Tuesday!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's Furry Friday!!!

Gracie has the right idea. But I guess I should go to work.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today is the last day of school for my kiddos.

So today I am thankful for SUMMER VACATION!! (Ask me in about 2 weeks and I'll be ready to be thankful for school again.)

This is the last summer before all 3 of my kids will be in school. Where did the time go?

Take some time today and every day to be thankful, it might help to slow things down . . . even if only for a moment.

[will update this later with pictures]

Friday, May 22, 2009

Furry Friday

I think, because I've been attempting to do Thankful Thursdays each week, that I need to do a FURRY FRIDAY.

Each Friday, I will try and post a picture or two of the Furry Things that have taken over our house.

At present, if we add one more furry - we'll have twice as many furries than we have humans.

Our latest addition?


Murphy is SO happy.

(And I think the cats are too. Thank goodness the DOG is going to leave US alone!!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I had to go to the doctor for a consultation on a procedure I have to have next week. It isn't a big deal as I've had this procedure before. While I was waiting, I had some time to think about what I am thankful for.

  • I am thankful that we have doctors who are able to make us feel better, when years ago most things were not possible, and many unthinkable.
  • I am thankful for those people who were called to go into the "healing" profession of medicine and are there because they want to help people feel better.
  • I am thankful for those friends who have had medical scares this past month and are finding new reasons to be thankful every day as God answers prayers.
The one specific thing I want to talk about this week, doesn't have a lot to do with medicine - but I thought of it in the doctor's office, so it counts.

While I was sitting in the waiting room - there was a couple who obviously got to the office early. I assumed it was a husband and wife. They sat there and discussed their lives (not at all quietly), not caring who heard anything and everything about them.

At first, I was a bit annoyed. Didn't they see that the waiting room was full of people who didn't really want to know the inner workings of their everyday lives? But after a few minutes, I had a change of heart. These were obviously very caring people who had been together a very long time. Maybe their lives were busy and this was the one time they had together to catch up. It brought to mind my own grandparents and a time that was much simpler.

Maybe when my grandparents were young, they didn't have as many medical breakthroughs and people had to deal with a lot more pain . . . but everyone knew everyone. And if you were in a waiting room - you didn't have to explain your lives, because everyone pretty much already knew. The doctor knew your name, your husband's name and profession, and probably delivered each of your children. Back then, people trusted people with the 'guts' of their lives.

Some people might say that people were nosier and we had less privacy (party lines, anyone?), but that is not true. (What is FaceBook but legal stalking, anyway?)

Honestly, even when I was little, I remember that we couldn't go anywhere without running into someone that we knew - and it was always nice. It was nice to have people who cared about you and wanted to know how you were doing. I miss that.

As I was thinking about my grandparents, the nurse came out and asked for "Virgil". I was physically startled, as that was my Grandpa's name. A nice older man stood up and went through the door with her, chatting all the way about how he was doing "okay" and laughing, although it was quite obvious he was not "okay".

I had to hold back melancholic tears as I took a minute to miss my eccentric Grandpa. My Grandpa, who went to just about every local funeral, because he had lived in our county so long that he pretty much knew everyone. Some people might think it is morbid that someone would like to go to a funeral home - but this was where Grandpa got to catch up with his friends, hear about people's families, and remember. Remember the 'good ole' days'.

There are a lot of people who never got to know their grandparents, and I know I am lucky that I got to have most of mine for as long as I did.

So today, you might laugh, but I am thankful for FaceBook and other social networking sites. In a weird way - they allow us to go back to the 'good ole days' in a virtual way. We can still be nosy and not have to peer over the fence to do it. It allows us to connect and talk to people without having to travel to our childhood grocery store. It allows us a feeling of community that so many people have forgotten about.

And most of all, I'm thankful for my grandparents and the legacy of love and caring for people that they left behind.

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Doubly Good

Today is a "doubly good" day for me.

May 10, 2009.

For all mothers, today is Mother's Day.
But for me, this day is so much more . . .

(Mother's Day, 2009, even Murphy got in the picture!)

Let me take you back a few years.

August 4, 2001.

Two people pledged their lives before God, their families, and friends
to love, honor and cherish each other, no matter what.

We knew in the beginning that having a family (beyond the furry children)
would be a challenge.

But we were up for the task.

In 2003, Hunkahubby and I started discussing our options for having a family.

After much prayer and discussion, we decided to become foster parents in our county, in hopes of giving a home to children. We wanted to adopt, but knew we would wait on God.

During this time, I got to go to Costa Rica for a Spanish trip.
Our caseworker said we could start our parenting classes when I returned from my trip.
While I was there, I was drawn to the Hispanic children in a major way.
I knew that somehow, these children would be a part of our lives.

While I was gone, my wonderful Hunkahubby moved us into our new house.
A house that had room for the hope of a family.

He even decorated a child's room.

This is what I got to see when I got home from my trip.
I remember sitting in that room at night, crying and praying.
I wanted to be a Mommy so bad, but I knew God was in total control of the situation.

I was not worried . . . only anxious.

And then, we found out that there was a "family" for us. Not just a "child" but a family. Three beautiful children in need of a loving home, together. And they were of Hispanic heritage.

Yes, God was in this.
This is the very first picture we had of our babies. Hunkahubby and I kept this with us through all of our parenting classes. Knowing it was possible that we would not get to be their family, but praying the entire time that God would allow them to come to us.

My how the time has flown. And boy, was our God faithful.

This sad and lost little girl . . .

. . . is growing, way too fast, into a beautiful young lady.

This quiet little boy . . .

. . . has a zest for life and a heart of gold (and is not so quiet anymore.)

And this chubby cheeked little angel, with an ornery spark in her eyes . . .

. . . is still ornery, and a ray of sunshine in our lives every day.

You see, today is a doubly good day for me,

because May 10, 2005 - we became a family.

On this day, four years ago, I was OFFICIALLY a Mommy and these beautiful
blessings were officially a part of OUR FAMILY.

So, on this day - I thank God for allowing me to be a Mother and allowing us to celebrate the wonder of families that HE puts together.

Only God can take two broken adults and help them find wholeness through Him, in the love He gave them for each other. And only God can then take three lost, lonely, and neglected children and give the five of them more love than any of them ever thought was possible.

And because of that:

I will thank the Father for the things that He has done
And thank Him for the things He's yet to do

Because we found a love that's tender, and we found someone who's true

We thank the Lord,

He's been doubly good to us . . .

(Words paraphrased from "Doubly Good to You"
- written by Rich Mullins and sang by Amy Grant)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Do you like Chinese food?

Our family loves Chinese food. And sushi.

This is probably my favorite restaurant right now.

But why should we be the only ones who are allowed to enjoy this?
Shouldn't our pets be allowed to enjoy Pan-Asian fare?
Now they can!

Check out these cool cat treats!

And because we are equal-opportunity pet-lovers . . .

Check out these cool sushi treats for dogs!

Do you think they will like them?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

My good friends over at Two + Two = FOURever Family try and post every Thursday for what they are thankful for. I think it is a great idea, so I need to do it too.

What am I thankful for today?

I am thankful for rain that causes grass, trees, and flowers to grow.

I am thankful for a good job, when so many do not have one.

I am thankful for the laughter of my children as the puppy attacks them.

I am thankful for my artistic husband who is at school tonight, but I am also thankful that when he comes home, I will have an even bigger reason to be thankful.

And this Thursday, I am especially thankful for my best friend Michelle, who loves me and fixes me dinner on Thursdays when I'm too tired to do it myself. :-)

And I owe every single one of these blessings to the One who made the rain, allowed me to have a job, and brought my family and friends together.

Monday, April 27, 2009