Monday, November 30, 2009

Do Christmas differently



People are dying from the lack of clean water. In fact, it's the leading cause of death in under resourced countries. 1.8 million people die every year from water born illnesses. That includes 3,900 children a day. The solution to this problem is directly beneath our feet. Drilling a fresh water well is a relatively inexpensive, yet permanent solution to this epidemic. $10 will give a child clean water for life. That's not an estimate. It's a fact. And here's another fact: Solving this water problem once and for all will cost about $10 billion. Not bad considering Americans spent $450 billion on Christmas last year. Our hope is that, by celebrating Christ in a new way at Christmas, the church can serve as the leading movement behind ending the water crisis once and for all.
Advent Conspiracy asks that every church and organization who participates in this program give at least 25% of their offering to the water/redistribution project of their choice. For three years, Advent Conspiracy has partnered with Living Water International to help solve this problem. Oh, and no money comes through Advent Conspiracy.

For more donate clean water or learn more about Advent Conspiracy click here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful

I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love how it is a time to celebrate God's goodness, reflect on our many blessings, and to enjoy family. To me Thanksgiving is like Christmas without all the stress, chaos and pressure!

We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving dinner at my Uncle Mark's house with relatives coming in from Chicago, Kansas City, Austin, and more. A brother and a sister, cousins, aunts and uncles, great nieces and nephews twice removed, and of course soon to be great-great grandmother, the matriarch, Nanny. We ate all day, enjoyed family fellowship, and I enjoyed a great game of Scrabble with my two cousins and a cousin-in-law and watching the kids jump on the jupiter jump that my uncle was gracious enough to rent for them. I really love my family!

I suppose today we should drag out the Christmas tree and the lights and ornaments and garland out of the attic and start making this place look festive. I do not know what is wrong with me. Maybe I am a little bit of a Scrooge, maybe I am lazy, or maybe I am just feeling a little bit down about so many disappointments of late. I dreamed we would be having three little African children here with us to celebrate this Christmas. At least I hoped by now we would know whether to hang up five stockings or eight. :(

I pray that I would be able to keep my focus centered on Christ this holiday season and not get distracted with all the little worries and details and annoyances that tend to make me tired and stressed and grumpy. Can anyone else relate or am I alone here? At any rate I am so thankful for the generous blessings the Lord has given me; particularly my wonderful husband and five really great kids!

And speaking of family.....Here are a bunch of kids who will not be celebrating family this Christmas. As you are hunting for bargains today, would you please remember these children that do not have a family, and consider donating a gift of $35 or more to go towards an adoption grant. These kinds of grants are very helpful in finding families for these orphans. Hurry, and you will get a Christmas ornament with your angel's picture on it to hang on your tree! We have done this for three years in a row now and it has become a very meaningful family tradition to pray as a family for our "angels" that they would be found by their forever family. Click here to see these precious children.

Our family sponsored Zane from Asia and Alina from Eastern Europe this year. (Is it obvious why Alina tugged at our heart strings???)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My little 1950's girl

I'm trying out a new version of blogger in this post. So forgive me if I screw it up...

Would you believe I MADE this 50's poodle skirt last night?? Out of a tablecloth I found at the GoodWill and some felt and yarn from the craft box. I'd say it's not too bad.

Considering I don't really sew! Ha.

Liesel is in the 4th grade play tomorrow night. This girl reminds me SO much of myself when I was her age. Notice how she won't look at the camera. She felt soooo.....embarrassed to go to school dressed like this today for rehearsal, afraid everyone was going to 'stare' at her.


Good thing she is just a singer in the back row huh?
My poor Mom spent a lot of time when she was here a couple of weeks ago teaching me how to make pin curls and poofy buns.....50's style....in preparation for tomorrow night's event.


And then I went and put it up in a scarf and pony tail. Sorry Mom.

I don't know that I would have been very stylish had I lived in the 50s.

Time for Depends?

Does anyone know what happens when a kid outgrows the biggest size of diapers? I'm guessing I have to start buying Depends? Please tell me I don't have to start buying Depends. Somebody? Anybody?

Monday, November 16, 2009

A weekend family getaway

We picked the kids up early from school on Friday and headed to Branson for a semi-spontaneous surprise family getaway for two nights. Getting away for a couple of days was JUST what I needed.

I didn't feel like lugging my big camera all around Silver Dollar City so I left it at home. Too bad, because I missed some great photo opportunities. The rain chased everybody away on Sunday so we practically had the place to ourselves. I came prepared with raincoats and umbrellas for each of us so we got to continue to ride the rides in the rain, not to mention with NO lines, which in my opinion is the best way to ride roller coasters!!

We stayed in a cabin, and Friday night/Saturday morning Ava woke up in the night...which she never ever ever ever does....I was laying with her in the bed since we didn't have a crib and I didn't want her to roll out of bed. Anyway, she sat up in bed and started signing something in the dark. I was finally able to make out what she was trying to say: "HOME". She wanted to go home!

This is significant to me because 1)she understands the concept of home and understood that we weren't there...and 2)while everyone else was happy to be on vacation, she wanted to be home. Maybe you just have to be her mother to appreciate this, but I thought it was awfully amazing!

Saturday night I sent John to Walmart for a few items. I texted him the grocery list since we couldn't find paper to write on. I texted:
-bottled water
-cheddar cheese
-orange juice
-bananas
-chapstick
-sausage biscuits for breakfast
-snacks for the kids
......Then, realizing we were in Missouri where they actually sell wine at Walmart which is prohibited by law here in Oklahoma, and thinking hey, we're on vacation in a cabin in the Ozarks, we might as well go all out..... I texted:
-wine...

John texted back: wine?
Me: yes----and a redbox movie, for after the kids are in bed.
John: what kind? white?
Me: blush
John: blush?
Me: Yes, it's pinkish.

When he got home, he informed me that there were no movies available worth watching...and he handed me this:


The nice lady at Walmart helped him pick it out.

Man, I love him!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Give blood


This is my 4 year old nephew Von who is in the hospital with the swine flu. Not the best position to be in when you are battling leukemia. My brother wrote this post yesterday about the power of donating blood. Next time I donate blood I'll be doing it in honor of Von. Please consider doing the same.

Be sure to check out his blog to see the pirate (also known as my brother Jason) that made a visit to the hospital. What a dad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The blessing of a root canal

Yesterday after several days of pretty intense jaw pain, I saw a dentist. I ended up with a root canal. Upon determining by x-ray that the tooth didn't have any decay, the dentist asked me I've been under a lot of stress. Um....yes. Apparently without realizing it I have been clenching and grinding my teeth from stress, causing enough damage to the tooth to warrant a root canal. Nice.

So believe it or not yesterday's dental procedure has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Every time I clench my teeth down even the slightest bit, pain shoots up into my head. This has served as a very effective and frequent reminder that I need to let God be in control of my life and my every situation. Isn't that amazing? I've only had about 15 reminders this morning, so I think we are making progress. Thank you Lord.

I had a really nice conversation with a Facebook friend last night. She is also an adoption advocate, and she is working very hard to change some laws right here in Oklahoma that would help to preserve the dignity of birth mothers who decide to place their children for adoption. It is neat how God uses the very hard experiences in our lives to bring about awareness of things that need to change, even laws that need to change, and how He equips us with strength to bring about changes even when we think we are the least qualified to be that vessel.

We are still praying and asking the Lord what He wants our role to be in recent hard experiences. What emotions must Abraham have gone through when God asked him to lay his son Isaac on the altar. Was he absolutely confident from the minute he heard, or did he go back and forth questioning himself? Somehow I get the feeling Abraham's faith was a little more mature than mine. LOL Needless to say, we are still waiting, praying, listening for the outcome of that sacrifice.

When my parents were here last week, my mother bought me this beautiful statuette to remind me of my cause. I probably don't have to tell you that I tear up every time I see it. It sits on my shelf, reminding me that no matter what happens, whether the outcome is adoption or not, that we did everything in our power to make sure that birth mothers were carefully informed. That they were offered more than one alternative. That they were treated with dignity and respect. And that they were empowered to make the decision that ONLY they could make for their children. Thanks Mom for this beautiful reminder. It is perfect.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Blazers

Simeon's soccer team, the Blazers, are on a winning streak. They are undefeated so far this season with only two games left! Yesterday's game was expected to be a good one since they tied 4-4 last time they played this particular team.

Here they are warming up.....Can you believe Simeon picked 00 as his number? Who would do that? Someone who has a lot of self confidence, that's who.

He got this goose egg over his eyebrow the night before the game while jumping on the trampoline with Liesel. I think it was an elbow.....
He had two headers during the game, which I'm sure didn't feel so great.

The game was tied 1-1, it was the second half....and Simeon made this shot, winning the game by one point.




Woo hoo! Way to go Blazers!!!


AWWWW. Be still my heart.......

Meanwhile...... somebody please help, I'm in trouble! My daughter has been proposed to twice, and she is only 5!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Random information

Moe the horse had a big knot on his abdomen today. When I looked closer there was pus dripping out and what looked like intestines protruding. I sort of freaked out. Thankfully there is a vet that makes house visits in town and he came out and saw him. Apparently he punctured his skin on something, maybe a stick or the cow's horn (?)and it was not intestines coming out after all but just fatty tissue! Whew! A week's worth of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories should do the trick. Otherwise he is doing well and Liesel and he are becoming good pals. He even let her ride backwards bareback. I wish I had gotten a picture of that.


Yesterday I called poison control because Hope drank the liquid out of a glow stick. Turns out glow stick liquid is only hazardous if it gets in your eye. The really dumb part about this is, I was the one who cut the top off and gave it to her to drink! I thought it was one of those wax candies with liquid inside. You remember those candies from when we were kids? Do they still even make those anymore? She is doing fine. Can you believe how silly that was of me? I kept thinking to myself, I wonder why they are making these so hard to open now, I finally gave up on the lid and just cut it open for her. My goodness. You can see why I would have done this....Right? Please say yes.

Glowstick:

Wax candies:

Someone asked about the status of our floors. Well, over the past two months so many white spots have popped up from moisture that now you can't even see the debris that was sealed under. The funny thing is, we have had three different people come recently who thought that we had purposely marbled and distressed them this way. They liked them! Meanwhile we never did hear back from the floor people about either fixing the floors or trying to get payment from us. They claimed they were going to take us to court for payment, but almost 60 days have passed with no word about it either way. So I'm assuming they moved on and so probably we will too. I am tempted to leave them just as they are. After all, if we had nice floors Hope wouldn't be able to do her chores wearing roller blades.



We had to call a plumber out twice last week. First because there was a big, muddy puddle in the front yard from a busted underground pipe, and two days later because our garbage disposal got stopped up. The plumber asked me if there have been any unusual objects thrown into the kitchen drain recently, and I answered, "I have five kids."

Meanwhile this is what has been going on in the front yard probably as I type even.


Both my parents and John's mom came for a visit last week and as always it was lots of fun. I took this sweet photo of Ava with Opa during family devotional time. I think she really likes him!
Words cannot tell how GLAD I am that I made the decision to take Hope out of preschool! Initially I though she would be really bored here at home without anybody to play with, but this cat has really been a great sibling substitute. Poor little guy. I wonder if he likes dressing up like a fairy and a princess and pretending to be Baby Jesus in the manger?






Hope is reading! If you are looking for a good reading/phonics program, I highly recommend the Explode the Code workbooks. I have used these on all my kids. All three of the older kids are great spellers, and I am pretty sure these books had something to do with it. They are really entertaining and funny too.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy November!

I love turning the page on my calendar.There is nothing like having a fresh start, a clean slate every month.

Wait a minute....

Darn it!

Isn't it weird how these kinds of things can both irritate the heck out of you yet put a big smile on your face at the same time?


Happy November everybody!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I went to the Goodwill last week with the kids to try to come up with some cheap and fun costumes. I found the big stuffed sheep for $1, and the white ruffly dress for $3, thus Little Bo Peep was created. The bonnet was a doll dress tied on backwards with a ribbon.

The chicken was inspired by a couple of little eggs that Hope picked up and wanted to buy so she could pretend that she was their mama hen.

Simeon saw the shirt at the Goodwill and decided he wanted to dress like a redneck guy. Thus Larry the Cable Guy. Not because he has ever seen Larry the Cable Guy. In fact I swear Simeon didn't even know who he was....I had a little bit of a panic attack yesterday when I realized I should have probably explained that our kids DO NOT, I repeat do NOT watch potty mouthed comedians. ha!


And Brangelina, yes, are they not adorable? Liesel tried the sunglasses on at the Goodwill, and said "How do I look?" Next thing you know I'm tying scarfs and strapping baby dolls to their backs. I just couldn't resist. I am cheap this way, and thankfully my kids are pretty flexible, even when they have no idea who they're dressed as. Jude did win first place at our church's costume contest for his age group, and earned himself a Toys R Us gift certificate. Can't complain about that!