Thursday, May 29, 2008

Splinter in the Grass

Easy there, Classic Mama,
this story is not nearly as racy as it sounds! ;)

The drama was unfolding while I was chatting with my mother on the phone. Dr. Doolittle was sitting behind me with tweezers and a magnifying glass, moaning and screeching about the pain he was inflicting on himself. The first splinter of bare foot season. Oh, how I hate bare foot season.

I hung up the phone after my mom and I got a good chuckle at Dr. D's quirky humor. The screeching and moaning was mostly for effect. Or so I thought. I poked around his disgusting sweaty foot for a minute and advised him to soak it in very warm water. I actually said "the hottest water you can tolerate," knowing that it would be lukewarm at best. The Boss and I set off for a nice walk around our neighborhood to look at all pretty landscapes and get some quiet time alone together. We needed it. Each of the four little gang members seemed particularly chatty and gregarious tonight. (Read: chaotic and out of control, with diarrhea of the mouth times FOUR!)

Upon return, we heard the melodic strains of Dr. D's French horn wafting through the open windows. The downstairs was empty, save for Shaggy hunched over the computer updating his little MP3 player with some country tunes (yes, another convert! yay me!!). I wandered upstairs to find Dr. D sitting on the edge of the tub, soaking his foot while he mournfully played the Star Spangled Banner on his French horn. Excuse me, his borrowed mellophone (a French horn for marching bands. Great. I'm going to be a marching band mom. yay me.) I set to work on the splinter.

What followed can only be described as hilarity. Pure dramedy. Screeching and howling and biting of towels was involved. Digging at dead skin and searching for potential entry points of the world’s largest splinter commenced. Laughing and admonishing my son to sit still, I poked and prodded. I wrangled his toe into weird and unnatural positions. I scraped some more and dug again. That little bugger was stuck and stuck deep. Out came the big guns. I thought Dr. D was going to wet himself when he saw me walk in with a utility razor. And being the sick and twisted Mom that I am, I got a little bit of a thrill and a not just a little giggle out of the suspense and dread he was now feeling. I could feel the blog post building in my head at that very moment. (These are the moments that I LOVE being a mom. Sick, I know.)

Finally, after scraping away LAAAAAAAAYERS of dead skin (I think I need a shower in some hospital strength disinfectant!) and digging the needle in under live skin, I called in The Boss for a third hand. While The Boss held the wound open and Dr. Doolittle screamed and moaned into a towel that I made him stuff into his mouth, I flicked the splinter out. I cleaned the toe thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. All that’s left for Dr. D is a little tenderness when he walks and a bit of sting - mostly to his pride. (We all heard him screaming like a girl, even through the towel!) And a strong aversion to running barefoot in the front yard while he takes practice swings with a 9 iron at the recyclables.

Now I’m off to scrub my hands with bleach. And maybe some lye if I can find it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Favorites Friday

In light of yesterday's sad and tragic news about the loss of little Maria, Steven Curtis Chapman's gorgeous youngest daughter, I am posting today's Favorites Friday as a sort of tribute. This family has done so much for the plight of orphans all around the world, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to their mission. In fact, their family story has played a huge role in our journey to China for our own daughter.

My Favorite Songs During The Adoption Journey
  • Cinderella - by Steven Curtis Chapman, this is the quintessential Daddy Daughter love song. I will never be able to listen to this song again without a tear and a prayer for this precious family.
  • He Knows My Name - the Lord recently gave me this song, by Tommy Walker, to pray over Aidan during this journey. It's likely that it will be some time before she can sing it for herself so I am lifting this promise to Our Father in her stead.
  • All I Really Want for Christmas - also by Steven Curtis Chapman. The Boss bought me the cd the year we started our official journey and paper chase and there have been many days that this song haunts my heart as I wait for my girl.
  • He Reigns - when our former church started using this song by the Newsboys in regular worship services, I was a wreck! For months after Baby BlueEyes was born, I had this sense in my spirit that we weren't "done" and that the Lord still had an "Aidan" to be birthed in my heart. This song helped me hang in there till HIS timing was right to start the process.
  • He Ain't The Leavin' Kind - this declaration of the great faithfulness of our God by Rascal Flatts serves to remind me that although our daughter will have been left by her biological family, He is bringing her to a family that will never leave her. And that our foremost goal in loving and parenting her will be to model the faithfulness of our Father, that she might learn for herself of the True Love that will never leave her.
Please, join us in continuing to pray for the Chapman family. Their grief and pain is incomprehensible to us. But it's not to our Father. He well knows the pain of their loss. He well knows the agony of their hearts.

Father God, be close to this precious family in these horrific days.
Guard their hearts and their minds against any attempt
of the enemy to scar or wound them further.
Give them strength and endurance to face the days ahead.
Give them the comfort that only you can give,
by the ministry of your Holy Spirit.
We intercede on their behalf - be near to them, Oh God!

If you feel led to give a gift in honor of little Maria,
the family is requesting donations be made
to Maria's Miracle Fund through
Shaohannah's Hope, their not-for-profit ministry
that funds adoptions, both domestically
and internationally, and cares for the orphans of the world.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The BEST Man Won!

From his achingly sweet audition tape to his outrageous performance with ZZ Top. From his amazing rendition of "Hello" to his KICK BUTT version of "Still Haven't Found What I'm looking For." Looking every inch the true American Idol that he is, the best man won it all.

America has found what it was looking for.
Finally, an American Idol for grown-ups!
I have no other words. Except, I told you so! :)

Wacky Wednesday

Today is Wacky Wednesday at our local elementary school. It's part of "Spirit Week" leading up to their annual field day of games and fun and community building. Say what you will about home-schooling vs. private schools vs. public schools. This particular public elementary school that my children attend is ACES in my book!

They have been fortunate enough to remain on the smaller side of the local elementary populations, the administration makes genuine efforts to be family-friendly, and the environment there is full of life, fun and love of learning. We feel so blessed by the numbers of Christians that we've encountered in this little community and we are regularly impressed by how hard everyone works to make our school so outstanding. Wacky Wednesday is bound to be a fun day for the kids - the teachers all get really into the spirit of things and are just as silly as the kids! As an aside, I'm particularly fond of this school because of the higher-than-normal ratio of male teachers in the building. As a mother of three boys, I love that they have great men teaching them to love learning!

Here's my two, decked head to toe in their Wacky Wednesday finery. I take no credit - they did it all with each other (a huge milestone of sibling relationship building here!) while I was sleepily checking my emails after breakfast. With the morning sun glaring on their feet, you can't really see that they both have mis-matched socks and shoes. I just hope the school nurse doesn't call me to meet her at the ER with broken ankles from LadyBug's sneaker and ballet flat! And yes, those are pipe cleaners in LadyBug's hair and monkeys hanging all over Dr. D.

Have yourself a Wacky Wednesday - you deserve it :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Blog Birthday to Me!

Belated . . .

Saturday, the 17th, was the one-year anniversary of my adventures in blogging. I'm not up on the latest trend of celebrating such an auspicious event, and frankly, we were so busy opening our pool on Saturday that I didn't even remember the date till I dropped into bed at 12:30 a.m. (I was up late helping - hovering over?- Shaggy and his first real babysitting gig for the neighbors.)

Because it's only Monday morning and I'm wrung out from a long and crazy week and weekend, I'm going to take the easy way out and share this meme with you. I found it at Ni Hao Y'all (another adoptive mom's blog that I follow). Maybe, if you've been a reader for the whole year, you'll actually learn something new about me. And if you had fun reading it, then consider yourself tagged. Here we go!

Favorite person (outside of my family)? My life-long friend Stacey G. She’s the friend who has been there through all the good, the bad, and the ugly and loves me anyway!

Favorite Food? Hot buttered popcorn.

Quirks about you? I have this weird tendency to develop harmless little crushes on celebrities – sometimes for no real reason and other times because they are just too darn cute. This mini-obsession is well-chronicled over the course of the year of this blog. And in my current side-bar . . .

How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less? The Boss said, "Outgoing, purposeful, giving, prudent, worshiper, thoughtful, organized, creative." I know, he rocks.

Any regrets in life? This is oddly embarrassing, but I have a couple former boyfriends that I hurt unnecessarily when I ended our youthful romances. I’ve made amends to one, but there are two to whom I’d love to go back and apologize. I was immature, selfish and not at all Christ-like and it still sticks in my craw. I know – I need therapy, I’m sure.

Favorite Charity/ Cause? I love Compassion International. I’m also very passionate about any godly, faith-based organization that supports orphans, especially in China.

Favorite Blog recently? I am pretty addicted to Confessions of a CF Husband, and recently got my husband and sons hooked on Stuff Christians Like.

Something you can’t get enough of? Hugs and kisses from my Gang. Coffee with creamy sugar-free hazelnut creamer. Also well-documented over the course of this year.

Worst job you’ve ever had? Making donuts at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday mornings in the kitchen at Messiah College. I’m soooo not a morning person, and the hour was (IS) ungodly. Seriously, is God even awake that early?

What job would you pay NOT to have? I could never, ever be a cafeteria lady at any educational facility. The left-overs, the messes on the trays, the noise? Oh. My. Goodness.

If you could be a fly on the wall, where? The Rumor Queen’s office. I have no idea how this woman is so connected and so in touch with so many facets of the Chinese adoption program – I’d love to hear even just snippets of conversations she has with her sources. See, aren’t you curious now? It’s all so “Deep Throat” and CIA-ish for me!

Favorite Bible verse right now? Jeremiah 29: 11-14 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Guilty Pleasure? My secret stash of Cheetos and the occasional Starbucks Chai Latte. Cheesy romantic comedies.

Got any confessions? Not that I’d share here!

If you HAD to spend $1,000 on yourself, how would you spend it? Probably on a diet/weight loss/training program to jump start me back on track. Maybe on some landscaping around the pool area instead.

Favorite thing about your house? My new bedroom. My front yard and the landscaping.

Least favorite thing about your house? My kitchen – cabinets, lay-out, flooring.

One thing you are bad at? Numbers and logic-related puzzles. Theology debates/discussions.

One thing you’re good at? Making my house a home. Decorating, hospitality, creating a safe environment for The Boss and the rest of the Gang.

If you could change something about your circumstances, what? Speed the adoption (and the fund-raising too) along so we can get on with the business of parenting and loving Aidan.

Who would you like to meet someday? Besides Aidan? Well, I’d love to meet Dr. Dobson and his family. Dr. Sears and his family.

What makes you feel sexy? Huh? What’s that?! Umm, newly shaved legs? The Boss’s cologne.

Who is your real life hero? Also documented here – My mom.

What is the hardest part of your job? The constancy of it. Ironically, it’s also a source of comfort for me: it’s always there, it always has to be done, and it rarely changes in its nature.

When are you most relaxed? Is it a bad sign that I really can’t answer that?! I'm not sure I remember what "most relaxed" feels like.

What stresses you out? Rushing, clutter, and repeating myself 100 times a day. Huh. That must be why I can’t answer the above question.

What can you not live without? Jesus. The Boss. Good intelligent conversation with adults, time with my family, coffee with creamy sugar-free hazelnut creamer.

Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? Someone actually wrote an article about that? I had no idea . . . now I have something else to stress out about . . . . Gee, thanks.

Why do you blog? Mmmm, well, I have lots more to say than The Boss could possibly handle listening and responding to on any given day, so that’s one reason. Additionally, I have enjoyed the challenge of writing again, no matter how trite or trivial my subject matter. I love the sight of words on the screen and I kinda get high on the feeling of words and thoughts flowing out of my brain onto the screen. Plus, it’s a fun way to connect with others (old friends, adopting moms), keep up on current events, and learn from others. Really. I know, I’m a geek.

Who are you tagging? Anyone who had fun reading this can play!

New/Newer bloggers? Haven’t read any new ones lately . . . Suggestions anyone?

Bloggy friends? Kateri, Heidi at God's Grace In Practice and Bev at Happy In The Moment.

Bloggers you’d like to get to know better (or in person!)? Elissa at The Harrells. Plus, I just want to kiss her little sweeties’ cheeks off! Have you seen this child of hers? OY!

Bloggers who you don't think will respond, but you hope will? Honestly, I’m not answering this – I hate that pressure when I read my name in similar such places, so I won’t do that to you!

There you have it. Play along or don't.
But please be sure to leave a comment and feel free to speak up.
I'd love to hear more about you!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Roots Are Calling Me!

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.

You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

Thanks to Hands Free Heart for this fun little quiz.

I'm still here - hoping to be more consistent soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Apology Accepted!

Somehow, when I posted a couple days ago about the contest over at the Today Show, in partnership with Teleflora, I missed the breadth of the controversy into which I was jumping. I admit, when I read the description of the "NonMom" Mom category, I was slightly miffed. (This controversial description is laid out in my Thursday post.) I mean, I know I'm a mom because I gave birth to these four who are mine for now. And I know that my pending adoption will only enlarge and enhance my definition of "Mom." What I missed, amidst my tears and total sap-reaction to the moms featured in this awesome category, was that they were lumping adoptive moms into the "NonMom" Mom category. Well, I didn't really miss it, but I was willing to overlook it for my own purposes. Because I loved the way that they (NBC and Teleflora) were choosing to honor these moms from all different walks of life, I assumed it was purely a lack of education about the issues surrounding adoption.

What I didn't know is that this "NonMom" Mom category had been ruffling a LOT of feathers for a couple of days. (I'm pretty clueless about most of these controversies and other world events lately!) But after a couple commenters left their thoughts on my Thursday post and I spent a couple minutes of down-time investigating the whole issue, I slowly began to realize that I jumped headlong into a boiling cauldron of hurt feelings, irritation, and anger at the lack of sensitivity expressed by the contest organizers. Several blogs and adoption boards were lit up with well-thought out comments on this topic. Several of these same sources had horrible, derogatory and mean-spirited comments flaming the powers-that-be at NBC and Teleflora. I waded through it all, and at the encouragement of my new blogging friend over at Happy In The Moment and some of her commenters, I crafted a polite and considerate email to send to NBC and to Teleflora. I got a standard, canned response from NBC, owing to the huge volume of emails that they receive. But I also got two beautiful apologies: one from Teleflora and one from Edelman, the PR group that has been working with Teleflora for this contest. Here is an excerpt from the apology on behalf of the Edelman group:

After closer examination, Teleflora recognized how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children… moms who are indeed real moms in every sense of the word. This show of insensitivity was in no way intended and Teleflora offers its deepest apology. It was always Teleflora’s intent to salute and celebrate all moms.

Please know that in response the concerns expressed, Teleflora immediately changed the name of the “Non-Mom” category to “Adopting Moms,” which has already been posted on the “semi-finalist” page at

I thought you might want to know. On behalf of Teleflora, I hope you have a very happy Mother’s Day.

And from Teleflora themselves, edited to avoid repetition:
In response to your concerns, Teleflora is immediately changing the name of our "Non-Mom" category to "Adopting Moms." After closer examination, we can see how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children -- moms who are indeed real moms to their children in every sense of the word. In fact, many of us at Teleflora are "adopting" parents ourselves, including our president and owner. The essence of this category still focuses on a grandparent, neighbor, step mom, or mom to adopted or foster children, each one raising and loving a child.

In closing, all of us at Teleflora would like to offer our sincerest best wishes to all the many women throughout the world who have worked so hard and given so much to earn the name "Mom."
I am happy to report that the boards and the blogs are all lit up now with gratitude for these apologies. I recognize that each of these organizations probably worked extra hours away from their own families to craft these responses and control the damage that was unleashed. I'm sure many of you are working moms, and I want to say thank you for the efforts that you have all put forth toward righting this offense. Your efforts are not in vain. Your apologies are accepted, and I am very grateful that you heard us and understood our thoughts and feelings. Thank you, Teleflora, Edelman and NBC.

I feel better now, don't you?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Favorites Friday is back!

I haven't done a Favorites Friday in a few weeks - seems as if my Fridays have been either too incredibly busy to allow for proper rumination and development of a scintillating topic. Or they've been too impossibly quiet and boring which thereby numbs my brain against proper rumination and development of a scintillating topic. Today is neither incredibly busy nor is it impossibly quiet. I'm sitting here listening to the conversations between Baby BlueEyes and "GoH Jus" Niece as they create their egg carton caterpillars (the absolute stretch of my creative crafty-mom pursuits!) and the steady drum of rain on the roof. All the makings of a perfect Friday morning. Especially now that I've gotten out all my big words for the day (and quite possibly the whole weekend) in the above sentences.

My mom's birthday was this week. And with Mothers' Day looming, I thought I'd share with you some of my Favorite things about my mom. This format is taken from a little survey that we had to complete for a Mother~Daughter luncheon I attended at her church last weekend with my sister, her girls and my LadyBug. I hope from it you can capture a bit of what makes my mom so amazing. And what makes all of us love her so incredibly much. She's a very special woman and I'm happy to share her with you in this way.

My Favorite Things About My Mom

Something funny about my Mom - One of the funniest things about my mom is that she can’t get through a joke (or at least a really good one!) without cracking herself up! Another is that her Boston accent returns briefly almost every time she talks with her mom or her sisters!

Something I admire about my Mom - I admire my mother’s wisdom and compassion – she’s got a gift for meeting you where you are at, but not leaving you there. I love that when I talk to her about parenting or marriage or ministry in my local church, she always gives me another perspective to think about when we're done. (See, Mom, I DO listen to you! Honest!)

A special memory of my Mom - A favorite memory of my mom is when she stayed overnight in the hospital with me when Shaggy was born. I was so scared, now that he was actually “here,” and in a lot of pain from the delivery. When I started to go into shock overnight, she got right on the nurses to get me some help and was so encouraging when I started to nurse. I also loved the sight of her holding her first grandbaby – it was thrilling!

Something that distinguishes my Mom from all other women - My mother’s anointing to be a godly mother-figure to the many younger women in her life is something that distinguishes her from other women in our lives. She carries that anointing with grace and humility and is very real and approachable in her ministry to all of us!

And an add-on to the original questions, Something that I hope to emulate from my Mom's life - I hope to grow into a steady, "rock of the family" woman that all my family knows that they can count on. I watch what my Mom is walking through as her mom ages, and I am amazed at her steadiness, her resolve, and her faithfulness to honor her mother's independence and still be sure that my Grandmother's health is prioritized. It can't be easy to watch her mother become more and more frail and I'm humbled by the way she's handling it all. Her whole family KNOWS that she can be counted on to make wise choices and it's a blessing to watch.

Happy Mothers' Day Mom.
I love you
Though I may not say it often enough,
You Are My Hero.
I want to be just like you when I grow up.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

America's Favorite Mom

I'm way behind the times, apparently. For a while now, the Today show has been running a great contest in conjunction with Teleflora Florist, for"America's Favorite Mom." This morning, while making a real breakfast and sipping my creamy hazelnut coffee, I got to see the semi-finalists in the "Non Mom" Mom category. The definition of today's featured category is as follows:

"Grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children,
each one raising and loving a child.
A priceless gift for everybody."

I know I'm a sap. I know I'm the worlds' easiest target for all Hallmark and retro McDonalds' commercials (you know, the one with the little sister and the big brother's letterman's jacket?). So, when I tuned in and turned it up, I knew the stories would get me. And I wasn't wrong! You really must head over and view the stories of each of today's moms yourself (Go to the "vote May 8th section of the page).

These women are doing great work and I am happy to report that the common denominator between all three of these awesome moms is their belief that they are doing God's work. That God created these families with which they have been blessed. That the children they have the privilege of parenting came to them via God's hand. It was a good thing for me to see today. And a great reminder for all of us: these precious ones are God's and when we serve them, we are serving Him!

Go. Read. Cry. Vote.
And be encouraged: you are doing God's work today, Mom!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself . . .

I found a great conversation about blogging, commenting, and readership tonight, by way of Happy In The Moment. By the way, I can't exactly remember how I found Happy In The Moment, but I'm thoroughly enjoying her take on the world. When I visit there, I'm always surprised by the combination of light-hearted joy that she finds in the world around her and insightful thoughts about the moments with which she has been blessed. Drop by her blog and enjoy the happiness! (It doesn't hurt her case one iota that she's a fellow David Cook fan!)

Anyway, this great conversation about blogging and commenting can be found here. And if you are one of my lurkers, DE-LURK yourself already. It doesn't hurt, I promise. In fact, it's often quite fun to leave your thoughts and feelings. To share your voice with the rest of us. Fun and not painful at all. Honest!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fresh From My Garden

Baby Blue Eyes wants me to be sure
to tell you all that he wishes
you could smell 'yem'
cuz 'yem' smell 'weeally' good!
He's right.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Gearing Up For Mothers' Day!

I've never done this before, but I hear that 5 Minutes for Moms is hosting a huge blogger giveaway and I thought I'd get in on the action. Head over there for your chance to join the fun! I'm heading back there now to make sure I didn't miss anything really great. Come with me - maybe you'll win something too!

Mothers Day 2008 - Giveaway Event

Thursday, May 1, 2008

And The Award for Funniest Real Life Experience Goes To . . . .

Okay, a couple days ago my friend at Like I Was Saying posted about her new affinity for Giant Foods' new "shop from home" grocery service. I was excited to read her thoughts, as I belong to a consumer survey group that works with Giant Foods. This idea had been tossed around the discussion boards and there was mixed thoughts on how the service would be received and implemented.

I contacted LIWS and asked her permission to give the Giant people the link to her blog. Seems as if Giant Foods really wanted to hear what she had to say. And so did a local consumer advocate reporter. They set up a meeting at the local Giant, planned an interview and some filming time. Please, please, give your ab muscles a great work out and head over to read her behind the scenes view of the experience.

But DO NOT commence reading with a full cup of coffee.
Or with water in your mouth.
And especially not with a full bladder.
Trust me. Don't do it!

Oh yeah. If you are curious about the new shop at home service
that Giant is piloting, head here for the consumer reporter's story about it.
Pretty cool stuff!