Saturday, October 30, 2010

A cheese by any other name...

Abbey and Elijah love, love, love cheese. They like many different kinds of cheese. My refrigerator is usually stocked with a variety of cheese. Abbey has developed her own nomenclature for various types of cheese.

Here she is enjoying "Polka-Dot cheese"
aka-Swiss Cheese

We also enjoy "Flat Cheese" instead of American  and "Orange Cheese" or "Block Cheese" for cheddar. String cheese is "Stick Cheese". Pretty self-explanatory, huh?

I've read that Chinese don't like cheese. My two kids certainly didn't get that memo. Maybe folks in China would  like it better if it was called something different??


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I noticed a little lesson about fear from watching Elijah at the fair. I'm not stranger to fear. I've grappled with it for most of my life. I can sit and take a scenario to the extreme where I'm about to have a panic attack. I have many fears that I struggle to trust God with. It's not that I don't trust the He is filtering everything through His hands, it's just that sometimes God lets things happen that aren't very fun. I know He is there. I know that He will create good from it. But, it still isn't fun! Thus I fear.

Well, back to Elijah. As I said in the State Fair Post, Elijah couldn't enjoy the carousel, because he was scared. Scared of the merry go round, go figure. He couldn't have been more safe.

Trying to muster a smile

Then later in the day, we all rode the ferris wheel. It does have an element of danger. You are dangling very high above the fair, no seatbelt, no harness, way, way up in the air. And to this ride, Elijah showed no fear. He really enjoyed this ride and was completely at ease. So much so, that he made me nervous with his complacentness.(not sure if that is a word or not??).

Standing up, not a bit afraid

In Bible study last week, the lecture was about dealing with fear. The speaker said that most of what she feared has never happened, but the bad things that have happened, she had never thought about them beforehand. Therefore, she wasn't afraid of them, but had wasted a lot of time being afraid of things that never happen. Makes sense with my life too. So, why do I fear? It's all about a lack of trust in the Lord.

I wondered why Elijah felt secure in the ferris wheel, but not on the carousel. The difference is that he was on the carousel alone. Well, John was beside him, but not holding him. On the Ferris wheel, I held him until he was comfortable, a little too comfortable for my tastes.

So, the lesson I got from this little example is that I need to realized that God is holding me, watching over me and protecting me even when I don't realize it. Just like John and I were doing for Elijah at the fair.  I also need to trust that He knows when I'm safe and when I'm not. He will lead me to safety, if I'll just let him.

Now, if He will just stop my house from creaking when John out of town on business!!!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Grandma visits

This weekend Grandma came to visit. Grandma is John's mom. She lives about 2 hours away, but doesn't come to visit very often. John aunt, Brenda, passed away a couple of weeks ago. She lived next door to John's mom. It was totally unexpected, being that  she was very much younger than John's mom. So, she came to our house for a pick-me-up! I'm not sure how picked up she was, but I'm sure she wasn't bored!

She put together puzzles

We got to celebrate her 84th birthday

The kids loved having her here!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

The State Fair

This past Thursday, John took off work, and he, Abbey, Elijah and I went to the State Fair. We had a great time. The weather was wonderful, the crowds were light (as we were leaving it was getting very crowed), and the kids were both in great moods! The pictures do the talking....

We started off at the carousel

Elijah wasn't so sure this was a good thing
And so began his ride experience... and so ended it!

Abbey would have to go solo on the rest
Didn't faze her a bit!
(As we were leaving, we saw a "for big people" ride. She pointed to it and said, "I want to ride that one. I can do it by myself!")

Elijah was happy to have his bottom firmly planted in the stroller

He would go down the slide with me

They both enjoyed the clown show

John had to try the famous Krispy Kreme Doughnut Bacon Cheese Burger
(A perfect way to ruin a Krispy Kreme Doughnut, in my opinion)

Elijah trying his first cotton candy.

I can assure you no one envied us the ride home when they heard the kids play their new toys

The only thing that would have made the day better, would have been if all of our kids had been there. That night as I tucked Abbey in bed, she said, "Tomorrow we're going back with our whole family, and we will all ride the roller coaster together!"


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sometimes a girl has just got to sleep!

After fighting it for quite a while, sleep gets the best of Abbey. She usually takes a nap in our bed, because she and Elijah will not go to sleep during the day in the same room. This day she wanted to sleep in the chair. Doesn't look very comfortable, does it, but she woke up refreshed and ready to go!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Aren't we all adopted?

Abbey has really begun to get into playing with her baby dolls. She loves to play "Mommy and baby" with her friends. Her favorite doll has been this one.

She loves for me to tell her how I ordered this doll before she ever came home. How I dreamed about the little girl that God had chosen for me. I tell her how I wondered about what she would look like, how old she would be, and what her personality would be like. I share how I loved her before I ever even knew her. The doll is a Chinese baby, so I'd look at it and wonder if my little one looked like this baby when she was really little.

This morning, as I was getting Elijah dressed, Abbey was playing with her doll. She put the Chinese doll in the baby bed and said, "I've got 2 babies now. I've adopted another baby" She then held up another baby doll.

Oh, I said, "Where is that baby from?" The little mommy replied, "America, I adopted this one from China and this one from America."

Abbey and her babies

I chuckled to myself and silently wondered if I should share that not all babies are adopted. Then I thought, no, we are all adopted. God has adopted all of us. With Jesus, we are children of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.

Romans 8:17
 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

You know we've had a lot of dry weather when....

The kids beg to go and play in the rain!

A few weeks ago, we had been several weeks without rain. When the drops finally started to fall, Abbey had a fit to go and play in the rain. It was comparable to when we get snow. She stomped in the puddles

and had a grand ole time playing in the rain. (After it finally started, it rained for about a week).  I was amazed at her fascination with rain. Elijah, on the other hand, wasn't at all interested in the rain playing. He was happy to watch her from inside. Such different personalities those two have.


Friday, October 15, 2010

What now???

That is the question churning in my mind right now.

Many times in the past I've had this same feeling. The unsettling feeling that God has something for me to do. Something...but I don't know what it is yet. The feeling goes between excitement and a bit of fear. Usually it means God has something new for me. Something that will take me out of my comfort zone, out of my little box.

I had this feeling before I began the children's church program at our then new church. I felt unsettled before God called me to become a small group leader to high school students.  I felt this before I was asked to be the speaker at MOPS. I also had this feeling before we adopted both times. All of these times I was frightened to embark on each new journey, but through each and every one I saw God work in miraculous ways. I got to know God on a whole new level. My faith was continually strengthened each and every time.

I've been pondering, asking God to reveal what's next. I feel He was speaking to me through my Bible Study Fellowship study.  We are studying Isaiah. Last week I read the verse, "Here I am, send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)   Although, I must admit, that it was with a considerable amount of apprehension, I did say, "Ok, Lord, whatever it is, if you help me, I'm willing.

Then I read THIS BLOG POST, oh me, oh my, did it ever strike resonance in my heart! God's heart does break for the orphans around the world. So, I do feel that He is grooming me for some sort of ministry to orphans.  But, what is it that He is calling me to do? I'm just not sure. So, I'm waiting. I know from past experience, that when the time is right, when He thinks I'm ready, He will reveal what all this turmoil in my soul is about.

One small thing that I know that John and I are called to do is to advocate for THIS ORGANIZATION. Orphan Voice is a team of people who are ministering to orphans and indigent children in Viet Nam and Myanmar. The founder, Tony Brewer, was the head of the adoption agency we used to bring our children home. He is such a humble, Godly man.  (He and his wife are the parents of 5 adopted children.) This organization is doing wonderful things for these needy children, who will probably never be adopted. Through OV they are seeing Christ. If anyone reading this feels the need to help an organization, I can wholeheartedly recommend this one.

But, I still think God is speaking to my heart. I'll keep listening and walking by faith. I know that one day that still, small voice will be a loud and clear shout!

Note: I'm not writing this to make myself look super spiritual. That isn't my intent at all. First of all, I know way better! I know that I'm not anywhere near super spiritual.  But, I'm writing it as a marker, something to look back on to trace how God orchestrated things. I've found that I'd forget these things, if I didn't write them down.  Also, I've wanted to make people aware of Orphan Voice.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

His favorite toys

Can you guess what his favorite toy is??

Look what's in his hand..
Yes, he's sound asleep, with one of his cars.

He loves his cars. He will carry them around all day. On this particular night, he didn't want to part with it at bedtime. So I let him have it, with the intention to take it out of the crib after he was asleep. I had no idea that he would be sound asleep and still strongly grasping his car.

He also love trucks, anything with wheels really catches his fancy.

Here he was even making the engine noises

It's so much fun to watch him play with his cars!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meet Sally

Our new friend, Sally, is quite a gal. She lets Anna poke and prod her hair and doesn't say a word. When she first appeared at our house, Abbey said, "I don't like that girl!" She didn't even flinch at that remark. She just keeps her eyes focused ahead and her head held up straight.

Here she is with her new original "updo"

 Anna won 2nd place for this creation

  The front view

Anna practicing with Sally's hair

Sally has helped Anna get straight "A's" from cosmetology school. Anna also got a job at a local salon, which she adds to her other job of lifeguarding. We would like for her to quit the lifeguarding job, but right now she wants to keep both jobs.

John and I are so proud of Anna and her work ethic. She is excelling and enjoying it at the same time.  She really enjoys school for the first time in her life! It's going to be such a perk to have a cosmetologist in our family.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Please, please, please no rain for the next two days

Because our car has no window on the back passenger's side!

Today while doing his regular yard work, John hit something with the weed eater. What ever it was it became  a  projectile and,  hit my car's side window just right. It completely shattered it!

Like this

We scrambled to get it all cleaned up, as John and Daniel were leaving soon to go to the UNC game.

John called our insurance and found out that it would be $300 to fix it. (Makes one wonder why we have insurance??) And... they can't get to it until Monday. So today, the kids and I rode around without a window. Abbey really didn't take too kindly to the wind blowing in her face.

The interesting thing is that this month we pay our last car payment. We were thinking that we would have a $300 surplus in our budget...Silly us!

Of course, another way to look at it is that without stressing our budget,  God has once again provided for a need we didn't even anticipate we would have!


Monday, October 4, 2010

He didn't get the memo..

The memo that says that eating in the den is a no-no.

and that using the chair as your cereal bowl, is a super-duper no-no!

He got the container out of the pantry, opened it and sat down to a "cereal in front of the TV picnic".

Gotta love the independence!

(If the truth be told, he probably has watched older siblings who got the memo, but chose to ignore it)


Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Music Box

Several years ago,  there was a popular song, In the Living Years, by Mike and the Mechanics. I really liked that song. The other day I had flashback to lines in this song:

...I wasn't there that morning
When my father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo 
In my babies new born tears
I  just wish I had told him in the living years...

One of my favorite pass times is going to yard sales. Our church has a huge one to benefit missions several times a year. Last weekend, I took a deep breath, strapped Abbey and Elijah into the double stroller and set out for the yard sale. We ended up shopping for over 2 hours. The kids behaved wonderfully. Maybe it was the bribe, umm, I mean, incentive, that I gave the kids. I told them that if they behaved well, I'd get them a couple of toys.

I picked up a music box for Abbey. It caught my eye, because it had Cinderella on the sides. It played, "A Dream is a Wish". I showed it to Abbey and she latched onto it immediately. During our browsing, I saw several other things I would suggest that we buy. But, no! She would not trade anything for that music box. All day long, when we got home, she carried it around, playing it over and over.

I never would have thought that a music box would thrill her so. I turned to her and said, "You are just like your Great Grandmother. She loved music boxes."  I was seeing my Grandmother, Brandon, as I called her, in Abbey.  My grandmother collected music boxes.(Beth used to try to count all of them. I don't remember how many there were, but it was a lot.  John, Jr., in typical little boy fashion would try to wind and start them all playing at once. The lines quoted above from the song echoed in my mind.

My Brandon was the best! She was one person that was always on my side. She moved into our house when I was twelve, and I was very close to her. She would let me turn the tv in her room to whatever I wanted, just as long as I'd stay and visit with her. She would listen to "my" music and not flinch. She'd even start to clap and jive away to the pop sounds. She gave me many lessons on life. She crocheted constantly. I can still see her there in her chair, making some knitted project.  When I was young and visited her, she would always have a present for me. Many times I think of her and am so disappointed that she didn't get to meet Abbey and Elijah.

 My Grandmother at my wedding

The song replayed in my mind and stirred my heart.  But, one thing is different. I did get to tell her how much I loved her in the living years. About 12 years ago, we knew that Brandon was dying from leukemia, so  I wrote her a letter telling her how wonderful she was and how much she meant to me.  During this time, she encouraged all of us to pick out the music boxes that we wanted.

I remembered all these details when I began telling Abbey about my grandmother. I showed her the music boxes that I have that were Brandon's.

All of these thoughts were brought about by Abbey's obsession with a music box. It turned into a neat time of reminiscing and telling Abbey about her great grandmother.  It gave Abbey a connection to her past, to her family. It doesn't matter that there isn't an ounce of shared genetics, she is Brandon's great-granddaughter. And her love of music boxes proves it!!