Saturday, January 30, 2010

He did it !!!

Daniel's goal for his swimming this year was to achieve a Jr. National Time Standard for breast stroke. Yesterday he swam 100 breast.  His best time was 1:00.9 and the Jr. cut is 59.49. His swim was a little slower at 1:00.7. He was disappointed, but took solace in the fact that he is only 15 and placed 6th in the state. Besides, 1:00.7 is a great time. Last night, like most of the state, we got 3 inches of snow and a layer of sleet. The meet start was delayed and the swims would all be timed finals. That means the swimmers get one chance at each event. Today, he was to swim 200 breast. We never thought about getting the Jr. cut in 200 breast, because he was 4 seconds away from the cut of 2:09.79.  Things happen when you least expect them! He swam a time of 2:08.85, second place in the state!! He is ecstatic! The Jr. meet is in Orlando in March. He has been walking on clouds all night. We figured since he was on a roll, he should time trial another shot at 100 breast. He came up short again, 1:00.53, but still a best time. He has 2 more meets (high school regionals and high school states) where he could achieve the time standard. The Jr. National times standard is a great achievement for anyone, but especially a 15 year old. We are so proud of him. He has worked extremely hard in practice, given up fun times with friends and been very devoted to acheiving his goal. Also, we know of one college coach that was watching his race and circled his name! They can't contact him yet, but now he is probably on their radar.
 Calling friends and family to tell them the good news

 At the meet, Abbey made a new friend

Passing the time by reading
 Chillin' out at the hotel


Enough watching swimming, I want to swim myself!
Making a definite fashion statement in her boots!
Let me show you how to do it, Daniel.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A lesson in the kitchen

A few days ago, Abbey asked if she could help me bake the cupcakes I had planned on fixing. I told her of course. As we set out to bake, she insisted that cupcakes needed sprinkles. "Sprinkles?" I asked. "Yes, sprinkles and then they will be soooo beautiful!" spoken by my sprinkle-holic. Well, who can resist making beautiful cupcakes, certainly not I.  I began to look for things she could "help" with. She poured the water in, cracked the eggs, held the mixer briefly, and, of course, put in her beloved sprinkles.


  After fishing out the eggshell pieces, from her cracking, I began thinking about how quickly I would have gotten the cupcakes baked if I had been working alone. But, I would have missed the giddy jumping and dancing while singing, "We're making beautiful cupcakes!", or I would not be able to have my heart skip a beat as she wrapped her arms around my legs and gushed, "I love you forever, Mommy!"  Nope, no matter what those "beautiful" cupcakes looked like or the fact that my kitchen looked like a hurricane hit, I would bake cupcakes with Abbey all over again. This bonding experience really made me appreciate my God. He can accomplish running this world all by himself. He doesn't need us to minister to others and He can draw people to himself just fine. Nope, he really doesn't have to have our help. In fact, a lot of times, I bet he's up there thinking, "Ewww, what a mess!" But, then we turn to him more through the messes we make, and he is thinking," It's all worth it." The bonding we would miss out on if God decided not to put up with our ineptitude. But, he doesn't! He actually desires that we take part in showing others his love. Again, getting the cupcakes baked wasn't the main goal when I baked with Abbey. It was the quality time we spent together and the lessons she learned. It's the same way with us and God. It isn't the destination, but the journey, the things we learn and the bonding we have with him as we get to the destination that matters most to him.
Eating a beautiful cupcake
After she polished off the rest of the sprinkles

Sprinkle smile

Elijah wasn't happy about being left out

Monday, January 25, 2010

High School Conference's 100 Breaststroke Champion Lives In Our House!

Yep, Mr. Daniel handily won 100 Breaststroke at the conference championship swim meet on Sat. night. He came in 2nd in 200 IM. There is a story behind the victory, also. Before he swam, he was visiting with me and John in the stands. I told him, "Make sure your goggles are tight, so they don't fill up with water." Well, he wins and when he comes to talk to us, he tell us that indeed his goggles did fill up with water. But, before he swam he was listening to the band For Today, and the chorus kept going through his head, "For He alone is God. Prepare for His Victory"(If you've ever heard For Today, you, like me, may marvel that Daniel could understand a single word in the song...very heavy metal).He believes that God gave him that verse so he could keep on going. He was able to keep going and win! He didn't get a best time, but it was a good time, especially with goggles full of water.  Pretty good for a sophomore! Now it's on to regionals, then the top 8 in each event go on the state championships. Daniel's goal is to go a Jr. National cut of 59.49 in 100 breast. His best time is 100.9. He has several meets coming up, so Lord willing, he will get the cut. Thanks to Maggie for the pictures.

The start

The Finish
Enjoying a post victory bagel

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A princess crazy about princesses

Yesterday my Mom, Dad and I went to a huge children's items consignment sale. Together we bought Abbey and new comforter, sheets and headboard cover, all with Disney's princesses on them.  To say she was thrilled would be an understatement. When we got it all washed and put on her bed, she wanted everyone to come and look at her comfortable (ie. comforter). She also wanted to go to sleep right away. This morning, for the first time ever, Elijah got up before Abbey. Maybe the princess just needed princess bedding? We'll see what tomorrow brings!

Ready for bed!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Look who can now feed himself with a fork

And he's pretty darn proud of himself!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Light Bulb Moment

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

The other day I had a light bulb moment. The verse above has always been a favorite of mine. I've taken such comfort in it. I can truly say the Lord has given me many of the desires of my heart. What person wouldn't want God to give them the desires of their heart? But, I've always stumbled on the "Delight yourself in the Lord" part. What does this mean? I really want to do it. Is is possible and how do I go about delighting myself in the Lord?
I get these mini-devotions from Proverbs 31 ministries sent to my e mail. A lot of time they hit me right where I am. A coincidence? Of course not! This one was titled, "The Desires of His Heart". In this article, Jennifer Erin Valent, talks about this verse. She says that in the original Hebrew language the word, "delight" has to do with being soft and pliable. Hmmm, so I need to allow God to shape me,(ie. like the potter and the clay), and then He will give me the desires of my heart. Ok, I can try. Then as I thought more, God gave me this thought. As He molds me more like Him, my desires will mirror God's desires. Ah-ha! That is the key. To become more Christlike so that my desires are His! It is so exciting when I see new insights into God's word. Now, about the molding part, not always easy to allow myself to be molded. But, I can try!

Monday, January 18, 2010

You Know You're An Adoptive Parent If...

I saw this on someone's blog a long time ago. I wanted to post it with the prayer that it might encourage someone who has already adopted, but just as importantly, might motivate someone to take the plunge and adopt. I can promise you that God will give you whatever you need. The orphan has his heart.

You Know You're An Adoptive Parent If...

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.
2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.
4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.
5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who've experienced the blessing of adoption.
6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about your adopted child's "real" parents.
7. You've been pregnant with your adopted child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.(2 yrs)
8. You had no idea how you'd afford to adopt, but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing He'd provide.(& He did!)
9. You've taken an airplane half-way around the world with a child you just met.
10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.
11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.
12. You know what the word "Dossier" means and you can actually pronounce it correctly.
13. You've welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.
14. You shudder when people say your child's so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you're the blessed one to have him or her in your life!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Bible According to Abbey

Abbey loves to read her books. It's amazing considering I used to have to hold her down and read really fast in order to get through a book.

Every night before bed, Abbey and I read some Bible stories. She has several memorized word for word. The other day I was unloading the dishwasher when Abbey came in with one of our Bible story books. She opened it and began to "read"...
"Goliath was a big man. He said, 'I'll fight you and beat you up'. Then Moses said,'Oh,no you won't!'" Then she turned it to the story of Jesus' birth and read, "They were so tired. But, there were not no place to go. So Jesus be borned with the animals."

Times like these are priceless, and make me realize how grateful I am to be home with my kids, so I don't miss out on little moments like this one.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Four months with our little guy

Today marks the four month anniversary of Elijah coming into our family. Here he is the day after we got him:

And here he is today:

He has started to verbalize more and more. He can say: bye-bye, Mama, Abbey, stop, Layla, night-night, down, peek a boo, thank you, cheese, light, hi, and ut-oh Most of these you would not know what he is saying except from context. He signs more and that's all.
I'm not sure what he wears, but the 9 month clothes are now too little and some 12 month clothes are too short(most still fit), so I'm sure he has grown. He feels chunkier. He has mastered going down the stairs on his tummy. He now has 6 teeth. His favorite food is anything sweet. He really eats just about anything. He sleeps 12 hours a night, if Abbey will let him and takes a  1 1/2 hour nap every day. He's really started to play with toys. A favorite is the scooter. He still loves to put objects into another object. My cabinets have fake drawers under the sink. The other day I looked in the cabinet and found many toys. Elijah had opened the door and dropped them in. He loves to be held. Sometimes, too much so. Often it is hard to do anything because he wants to be held all the time. If he gets put down, when in these moods, he will pitch a huge fit.In the car he will break out into song. Of course, you can't understand a word of it. He and Abbey are interacting more and more. There are times when Abbey makes up a little game and they actually enjoy playing together.  Overall, he is such a joy and John and I are so grateful to have him. He is calm most of the time and will obey when we tell him, "no". It is so amazing to imagine that we've only had him for 4 months. We are certain that he was meant to be a member of our family. These are some more of the pictures I took today.


Abbey has no lingering effects of last night's staple adventure

Anna is exempt from all of her exams, so she is home all day, which thrills Abbey.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One little Abbey jumping on the bed...

She fell off and bumped her head. An urgent care visit and six staples later, Mom and Dad say,

"No more little Abbies jumping on the bed!!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Camera Hog Is Born

Elijah has become quite the little picture poser. Whenever I bring out my camera he looks like this:

He squats down and says, "Deee" (That's cheese in Elijah-ese)
Here he is again

You can certainly tell he's has his picture taken quite a few times. Plus, he's been watching and learning from the master:

Camera Hog Extraordinaire

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Need a manicure?

We have just the person! Abbey and Anna had some sister bonding time the other day. After Anna painted her nails, Abbey so wanted to return the favor and paint Anna's. Being the great big sister that she is, she allowed Abbey to decorate her nails....and as a bonus, Abbey included a finger painting too! I hear she works really cheaply, a marshmallow or fruit snack will do the trick.

The finished products

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Budding Artist

The other day Abbey was drawing on her Magna Doodle. She showed me this:

To my knowledge, this is her first attempt at faces. I asked who they were, and she said, "My family, Anna, me and Daniel. Oops! I got to give them hair." Then she drew a bunch of hair on the Daniel drawing. Maybe Daniel ought to rethink his decision not to cut his hair???

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We've been experiencing an artic blast the past few days. The temperature hasn't gotten very far above freezing. It's hard to go outside and enjoy yourself, because it is so cold. But, Abbey needs time to go out and play. Otherwise, she starts to bounce off of the walls. Yesterday, we went to McDonalds to take advantage of their indoor playground. Today, Abbey wanted to go out, so I bundled her and she went. She didn't stay very long, though. I think it took longer getting her ready than the time she stayed out.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Abbey's favorite show these days is "Little Einsteins".

John tried to explain to her who the show was named after. He even showed her a picture. After talking to her he asked, "Who is this man?"

And Abbey promptly said, "Little Albert Einstein!"

One day last week. I was playing with her and I said, "I love you, Abbey. Do you love me?" She responded with a "Nope." (The little stinker). So that night when I put her in bed I told her I loved her and she said, "I love you more." I replied, "No you don't, today you said you didn't love me." Her response was, "But, I love you now !"  I wasn't worried, I knew it all along!!

She had one of Anna's school books. Anna asked for it back. Abbey replied that there was a story about Cinderella in the book. Anna said, "No there are only stories about dead people in that book." Abbey said, "No it's not, because Jesus died so we don't do dead!"

"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, "'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?"
Matthew 21:16

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Whole Brand New Year!!

The countdown to 2010(I can't believe I'm writing that number), was prettty uneventful. Anna, armed with my camera decided I needed a picture of myself for the blog.

So I took the camera and said that turn about was fair play:

Both Anna and Daniel were home with us. We watched a movie and then pigged out and toasted the new year

As usual, I've reflected a lot about the new year and the old. I'll always look at 2009 as very special. I met my youngest child in 2009, and what a sweetie pie he is! I can't help but wonder what 2010 will hold? I have no clue, but I'm not fretting, I know the one who does. Sometimes I get fearful of the future and what may or may not happen, but I have to steady myself and repeat the belief that everything that comes my way is filtered through the hands of my Lord. I also believe there are no better hands to have things filtered through.
Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Toddler Rule: If you don't see or hear them...

You better go check and see what they are doing.