Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let the Crazy Begin

We're taking the next step in our adventure of crazy. Today, our mailman will get the privilege of joining in the journey to our next daughter. I feel elated. Scared. Joyful. But most of all, settled. This is right. This is the path that God has for Our Gang. Prayers for His Light to illuminate the path would be so appreciated.

LadyBug, Baby BlueEyes and I all laid hands on it and prayed over it before I let them run it to the mailbox. We prayed for God's hand to be on our little mei-mei, that He would hand-pick her for our family like He did for our Li'l Empress. That He would prepare us and her for our joining together as family. And that He would watch over her and this process and give us strength, patience, and wisdom along each step of the way. I must admit, watching them RUN to the mailbox together to drop it in and raise the flag was touching. They are so excited and I am confident that mei-mei will be regularly covered in their prayers.

Raise that flag!
It's a red letter day for sure!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh, and One More Thing Before I Go

. . .before I go enjoy the food and fun with my family for tomorrow's feast, that is. . .

Ni Hao Y'all

I know I'm late to the game on this one, but so my whole last month goes..... But apparently there's a cool give-away going on over at Ni Hao Y'all.  And you all know how much I love me some giveaways. Add to the fact that Miss Stefanie is spearheading the effort and I'm over that.  Late, I know. But all over it now. :)

So, head over to her post today. Join in the fun. And tell her The Gang's Momma sent ya. Cuz she's not already scared enough of my stalker tendencies.

Really, You Have No Excuse

I have a lovely blogging friend whom I first met through the forums of our mutual adoption agency. We've watched over each other's adoption journeys, prayed for one another, encouraged one another, and advocated together for other mutual friends within our agency's community and beyond. She and her hubby are working toward another adoption, of sweet little Lilianna.  And they really need your help.

Read her post to find out what you can do.
It's so easy and so quick that you really have no excuse.
Please, check it out now.

And while you are on her site, surf around a little bit and see if there might be some pretties that you can order to further help their adoption journey to Liliana. I recently purchased some beach towels for my nieces and nephews and now I've got a few extra little hearts petitioning the Father on Liliana's behalf while they dry off after bath time!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You Might Want to Click Through For This

If you are used to reading me in a reader or subscription service, you might want to re-think that in the coming days.

Remember that blog make-over contest I told you all about a while back?  Do you remember that I won that contest?  Well, Miss Christie and I have been swapping emails back and forth for quite a long while now and she's helping me figure out what I want. In fact, she's been inordinately patient and kind through the last few weeks of crazy, busy here at The Gang's house.  And she's getting ready to roll out my new look soon.

So, you should keep an eye out for the changes we've been brewing up together and start clicking through the subscribers to land directly here on my page. You know, in order to view the loveliness that she is cooking up for me. I'm quite pleased with the look and I think you all will like it, too.

Don't forget that she's doing all this as a celebration of the launch of her new blog design business. You can find out more about that by heading over to Bushel & A Peck Designs.  She's really quite talented and I'd love for you to support this mommy-business of hers if you are in the market for a new site or a new look for your existing site.

Can't wait to see my new digs go live!

Monday, November 22, 2010

25 Things For Which I Am Thankful

There's a fun thing going around F@cebook this month, where you post as your status the thing you are most thankful for on that particular day. I'm not consistent enough with the slow dribble like that, so I'm cramming all my thankful's into one big post. Since Thanksgiving falls on the 25th, I'm giving you the big 2-5. This is likely to be a rather random, stream-of-consciousness kind of list, so hang in there with me. My brain is a scary place on Mondays!
~ My 25 Thankful's ~

  1. I am very grateful for my dad's recovery from bypass surgery.
  2. I am thankful for the love and support of my family, my siblings, and my friends, especially during times like my dad's surgery.
  3. Thank you to all my bloggy and real-life friends who prayed for my dad and our family.
  4. I am grateful for my mom and dad's church family, who are taking such phenomenal care of them both during this time.
  5. I appreciate my local church's leadership team. They have great big hearts for the folks they serve and an unquenchable desire to take Jesus out to the world around us.
  6. I am thankful for all the wonderful friends I've made through the adoption community. What a privilege to be part of an extended family with such big, giving, generous hearts!
  7. I am very thankful for my lovely home and that The Boss enjoys making it "home" just as much as I do.
  8. I thank God every day that He chose to allow The Boss and I to partner on this crazy, wild ride of our life together. He is my love, my best friend, and the anchor for our home.
  9. I am grateful for the great five kids (so far!) that God has entrusted to my care. Each one of them is so unique and special - knowing them and parenting them is the joy of my life!
  10. Thank you, Lord, for the friends who have known me "forever" - they are such treasures to me and the comfort and accountability to be real with them is a gift I don't take lightly.
  11. I am thankful for the opportunity to embark on yet another adoption journey - that HE trusts us enough with another little heart to parent is not something I take lightly.
  12. Thank you, Father, for protecting and keeping our next daughter until we meet face to face.
  13. Thank you, Father, that you already know her. That you love her more than we ever can. That you have her life in your hands.
  14. I am grateful for the folks who serve all over the world to keep our nation and others safe from terrorism and war.
  15. Thank you, to the families of those who serve - your sacrifice and service is just as important as that of your loved ones.
  16. I am thankful for my Mom, who taught me to take care of my family and my home, and to cook. I'm so grateful that she instilled in me a love of cooking!
  17. I am thankful for my Dad, who taught me to "do the right thing" all the time. And to follow hard after Jesus.
  18. I am grateful that the path of my life isn't following the safe, "2.5 kids and a white picket fence" route that I thought I wanted when I was younger.
  19. Thank you, God, that even when I don't know what the next step in that path will be, I know YOU and I know YOU will never leave us on the path without a plan!
  20. I am so thankful for laughter. I don't do it enough, but God has given me five little treasures who remind me daily that laughter is a gift.
  21. I am thankful for books. And for the quiet time to read them. Occasionally :)
  22. I am thankful for The WORD - when it heals, when it comforts, and even when it hurts. 
  23. Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of living in a nation where we can freely pray, read The Word, and share it.
  24. I am grateful that I am healthy and that my hubby and my kids are healthy, too.
  25. I am thankful for a nation that recognizes the importance of a day of thanks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Snapshot

Ni Hao Y'all

This was a big weekend of celebration and fun for The Gang... Among other things, on Friday, our Dr. D turned 15. Regardless of my pleadings and begging and bemoaning the facts, these kids of mine just keep marching through life, becoming more and more grown-up every day. Sometimes, every minute. What's a Momma to do?!

The day began with an old-fashioned
sour cream cake donut
and a rousing rendition of
"Happy Birthday" sung badly
by Shaggy and I.

I couldn't believe he chose plain over chocolate.
He did NOT get that from me.

The day ended with a super-moist
home-made chocolate cake with Grandma's recipe
for chocolate butter cream frosting.

In between sweet treats, he finally got to open
his long-awaited Eagles Sn^ggie.
Yes, he asked for a Sn^ggie.
SO.... Momma got him a Sn^ggie.

Confuscius say, "Dr. D a very wise and handsome son."

Happy Birthday, Dr. D!!! You are a wonderful son, full of passion, talent, drive, joy and laughter. You bring such fun to our lives. Your dad and I are so proud of the young man you are becoming. We pray every day that you find your joy in Him and that you abandon yourself to His plan for your life. We can't wait to see what that will be - we know for sure it won't be boring!!!

And I can't wait to snuggle with you on the couch tonite to see our 'birds kick some serious Giant hiney.

Join in the Sunday Snapshot fun.
Don't forget to leave some comment love.
~ I'll be sure to return the favor!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Breathe. Breathe. Count to Ten. And Breathe.

This morning, I sat in a stupor in front of my computer, waiting for the coffee to brew. The kids were all over the house, at varying stages in their morning routines. Li'l E asked if she could go upstairs with Baby BlueEyes and I said, "No, he needs to finish getting ready for school." The house fell silent as the Gang all worked towards getting ready. The silence should have been my first clue.  I falsely assumed that Li'l E didn't hear me say, "No...." because of her stuffy nose and head cold. I assumed that she was upstairs, judging by the numbers of footsteps I could hear back and forth in the hall above my head. I sat unconscious in front of the computer for a few moments longer. 

When I got up to escort the kids to the door for our morning prayers and hugs and kisses, I found this on the kitchen floor.

Covering about 6 floor tiles in the walkway of the kitchen. Seems someone was practicing her penmanship. "H" must be the letter of the day. Which explains the silence. That's what I get for assuming.

It's a good thing I have a nice new Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in the pantry.

It's a good thing I have been working on delaying and containing my reactions lately.Again. Always. Ugh.

Breathe. Breathe. Count to Ten. And Breathe.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Apologies

I'm sorry. I can't talk right now. 
And maybe not for the next couple days.

I'm busy listening. And singing.
And smiling.

And even maybe doing a little dancing.

Okay, ya caught me. Lots of dancing.

Deluxe Edition style.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Random Musings of an Overtired Momma

These are things that have been floating through my mind in recent days.
  • I just spent two whole days in Hershey and the only chocolate I had was two of Miss Crystal's crazy-good and oddly-shaped chocolate chip cookies. Or maybe it was three? It was late, things were fuzzy.
  • Liz Curtis Higgs is one funny lady. I can only dream of being even just a smidge of her kind of funny. If you've never heard her speak, you MUST. Really.
  • Laughter really is good medicine. For heart-ache, for disappointment, for frustration, for PMS. I'm just sayin'...
  • Militaryhandbags.com might just be my new favorite website. I thought the founder/designer was cute as a button on Fox News, but meeting her in person was one of the highlights of my whole weekend.

  • My husband snores very loudly compared to my girlfriend roomies.
  • I'm not normally a fan of female vocalists, but Kim Walker is really phenomenal. Her voice, her passion, her annointing, and her cute haircut, which must be newer since the sites have her pictured differently.
  • (I know, I'm late to the game on the phenomenon that is becoming Kim Walker! I'm not so cutting edge with my worship music choices 'round here.)
  • I've been home two days and I still haven't had any chocolate. I really need to do something about that.
  • Maybe giving me some chocolate (soon?!) will help me tackle the laundry. And the paperwork. And the "To Do" list. So far, the coffee is only helping minimally.
  • Or maybe I should just sit down and read my new book.  With my chocolate.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You, American Veterans

"People sleep peaceably in their beds
at night only because
rough men stand ready
to do violence
 on their behalf."
George Orwell

Thanks to my dad, (retired Army)
and my father-in-law, Eli Whitney (retired Air Force)
for your service to your country in time of need.

Thanks to Brett Johnson, and our many other friends
for your current service to
your God, your nation, your family and ours.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand
and bring you home safely to us all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Baby BlueEyes and his cousins -
crazy look-alikes, huh?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Let me know you stopped by . . .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

She's Not The Only One . . . Part 2

This is the continuation of yesterday's post . . .
Head HERE to read that one first, please!

In October, we had a conversation that changed all that.  The funny thing, is that we were instant chatting on F@cebook, while he was on the train heading home from work.... Not the most intimate, but it will forever be one of my most memorable conversations. He was sharing some snippets (and by snippets, I mean like our 20-years of quick code and shorthand in instant message form!) of what he'd been wrestling with behind the pressures of the big project at work. Things that he hadn't shared while he was so focused on that big project (which, by the way, went amazingly well and is still being applauded by his management and co-workers as highly successful). Things that he knew God was asking him to consider. So I asked him, "Does that mean I can go ahead and request an application? Does that mean you also sense that we have another daughter waiting for us?"

He said, (and I quote) "Yes. And yes."
I love that man of mine. Cuts right to the chase.
With as few words as possible.

And with the vast amounts of great wisdom and maturity that I'm known 'round here for, I panicked.  Yes. Yes, ma'am I did.

I spent the next week or two having mini-mental melt-downs of doubt and fear. In between the feelings and thoughts of pride at The Boss's journey and excitement at the idea of another sweet little person to love and welcome to our home.  It went something like this in the scary world that is my head:

SIX kids? Am I crazy?

Folks are gonna say we're insane. And bleeding hearts.
And biting off more than we can chew.

What the heck are we thinking?

What, is he crazy?
(You know, cuz it's always so productive
to blame your spouse when you are awake
at 2 a.m. and anxiety-ridden.)

Where are we going to get the money for that?

What will our friends and family think?

How on earth am I going to feed them?

Sheesh, where is everyone going to sleep?

We're gonna need another bathroom!

What are folks gonna think?

Yes, I did. I went there. Not all the time. Not even everyday. Mostly when the house was quiet and I'd fallen exhausted into bed.  When I was really, really tired. When The Boss was working late and the van was doing triple duty as the local taxi. When I was out of bread and peanut butter. AGAIN.

And so I turned to the Psalms.  After all, lots of folks thought David was crazy.  I mean, his own wife questioned his sanity. I particularly pored over the likes of Psalms 61626871, and 92. Reminding myself that HE is my strength. He is my portion. He knows me and my capabilities and my potential in Him better even than I do. HE alone is who I need to be concerned with pleasing. He is my judge.

We are proceeding slowly. Cautiously. We don't have more than a step or two illuminated before us. But that's okay for now. We know The Lamp Lighter. We know He won't lead us astray. And we know He is patient and gentle in the leading. That works really well for us for now. 

I find tremendous comfort and truth in the pages of the Psalms. And I guess if I'm gonna go crazy, I'd like it to be in the company of good folks. Like The Boss. Like King David.  Like Stefanie.

Monday, November 8, 2010

She's Not The Only One . . . Part 1

Did you ever notice that "Crazy" tends to exist on a continuum?  And that that line is wavering, blowing madly in the wind, and different for every bit of "Crazy" that is out there?  Head over HERE and read Stefanie's post.  Then come back. Cuz I've got something crazy to tell ya.

And believe me, sometimes my crazy feels a whole lot crazier than I care to admit. But it's my crazy and I love it.

Most of the time.

Are you ready?  Did you read that beautiful, crazy, vulnerable, convicting post?  Really, if you didn't, then not much of my crazy is gonna make sense to you. Not that crazy really ever makes sense. At least not to those looking in from their non-crazy, safe places. . . .
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Here's my crazy.

Right now, sitting in our "inbox" is an application to the Waiting Child program through Living Hope Adoption Agency. Incomplete, but sitting there, nonetheless.

The fact that it's sitting there at all is testament to a work that only God could do. In my heart. In The Boss's heart. In our marriage. In our home.  It's our own little version of "crazy" and we are embracing it slowly and carefully.

None of you, my dear readers, will be surprised, I'm sure, to know that I've longed for another adoption journey almost from the day we joined the Waiting Child program back in the winter of '08.  Something burrowed into my heart in that season, once I threw my heart's doors open to the gentle, repeated knocking of my Jesus. Something that invigorated me, that inspired me, that challenged me, and that brought me to my knees. Figuratively, internally, and literally, in my little prayer chair.

The desire, no the NEED, to advocate for these precious kids has become my passion.  I have learned so much. I have been able to share so much. And I've found a whole new level of excitement about my life and my calling as a mom. I LOVE writing now more than ever and have been so blessed to be able to share that in some really cool venues. But in all of that, underneath that simmering excitement, I still had a sense that advocacy wasn't all that there was for me. For US here at The Gang's headquarters.  I kept approaching The Boss about it, planting little seeds, trying not to nag, wondering if he was on board with building our family further.

At the same time, The Boss was loving on our kids, settling into the idea of being a dad to five, and feeling like this latest big life change was enough for him. That it was time to settle in, settle down, and coast in our new "normal" for a little while. Not that he ever really gets to coast. Between the pace at his workplace, our involvement in our local school and local church, the busy-ness of five really active and interesting kids, and a fairly high-maintenance wife (he says I'm not, but I really think my high need for TIME with my hunny and my kids makes me kinda high-maintenance...in a good way), there's not a lot of actual coasting going on. More like holding steady the course and navigating safely through high seas. Snort.

Fast forward to last winter. We'd slipped into the groove of that new normal, The Boss was gearing up for one of the biggest, highest-pressured projects of his job description, and I was feeling increased need to articulate that we were not finished building our family. What followed was a series of about 6 or 7 months of "tabling" lots of conversations that were too involved, too complicated, too intimate to be solved or resolved in one sitting. And for many of those months, one sitting was all we had. Heartfelt communication and really connecting over dreams, goals, and our family mission was not high on the priority list. For this communicator, it was a quiet, denying of "my rights" kind of season (I don't say this to be noble. In fact, I also learned some ugly truths about how selfish I am). For my "one focus at a time" guy, it was necessary survival. For our marriage? Well, let's just say: Lesson learned. This is not the recommended way to keep your home vibrant and moving forward in healthy ways!

(Looking back now, I see that we chose to table a lot more
than should have been tabled. And then some.
We may have been married 20 years and
learned a lot along the way, but we're still learning.
And that lesson was learned the hard way.)

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the grand adventure into "Crazy" that we've been on . . .

Friday, November 5, 2010

Do You Need a Little Grace?

Hey guys,

There's another "Yay! Free Friday!" 
over at Baby Be Blessed today.

Today's prize is an adorable little doll named "Grace"
that would make an excellent gift for any little girl in your life.
I especially like the verse on her Scripture patch:

"He has made
everything beautiful
in its time."
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Head over HERE to join in the fun.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I REALLY Wanna Win This One!!!

It's no secret to any of you regular readers just how crazy, flipped-out I am over the lovely Miss Stefanie

And I think it's safe to say I've made myself perfectly clear just how amazing I think those Wild Olive Tees are.  (Gosh, did you hear how "Mom-ish" I sounded there?! I feel like I was channeling Harriet from Family Matters there for a  bit!)

And not to be forgotten in the amazing awesomeness of the lovely Miss Stefanie's tri-fecta is No Hands But Ours. Really, if you aren't following their blog, you must. You really must. 

But I digress...

So when I tell you that there's a big deal give-away going on over at Wild Olive Tees, and that the grand-prize is a visit with the lovely Miss Stefanie (and her co-hort in WOT's amazingness, Miss Amie), well, then you pretty much can guess just HOW! STINKIN'! EXCITED! I am by it all.

Right? You could guess that, right?

(I must be excited. I hardly ever use pink.
But it works here, doesn't it?)

So. The give-away.  They are celebrating the re-vamp of the Wild Olives Tees website. And they absolutely have a ton to celebrate. It's a beautiful new site. Classy. A pleasing bit of eye-candy for the loyal WOT shopper. Like me. Very celebration-worthy. (Speaking of which, I'm in process for a bit of re-vamp here, myself.  Can't wait to see what my new blog will look like. Keep checking in. It shouldn't be long now...)

Here's the scoop:  Get yourself over HERE
to check out the details of the give-away.

But, please. Don't enter. Because you love me and want the very best for me. And I promise you: the very best for me would be that grand prize. Really. It would. Cross my heart.

And just in case you might ever doubt the pure delight that IS a Wild Olive Tee, I submit the following evidence:

Delightful, no?
(Said in the most humble manner possible!
The delightfulness for me resides in the fact that
my lovely daughter actually deigned to sit
and POSE with her Momma
without an ounce of tween angst!)

Wordless Wednesday

My two sleepy babies.
In a rare moment of peace
between them . . .

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over here and add your link.
Leave a little comment love,
you'll get a little comment love . . .
here and there!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Say I Love You

Many of you may have heard by now that my dad had an emergency triple by-pass on Friday afternoon. I, and my two sibs who live locally, went right up to be with my mom during the surgery. The Boss held down the fort here at home so that we could focus our time and attention on Mom and Dad.  It was very, very difficult to see him so incapacitated on Friday night and earlier on Saturday morning. But by the time I left the hospital on Sunday afternoon, he was looking much more like himself. He'd had a lap around the nurses' station, was sitting up joking and talking with us and even eating light meals.

We are incredibly grateful for the hand of the Lord that kept Dad from permanent heart damage - according to the doctor, it's a miracle that he hadn't suffered a major heart attack thus far, when considering where the blockages were and how critical they were to major blood flow. We're also grateful that the hospital was able to assemble a team so quickly and that "the number one guy" was available to head that team. Further, we are so appreciative for the prayers, compassion, support and help that folks lent us over the weekend. It was a beautiful thing to see my mom so well cared for, and to hear of the loving prayers that folks were praying on our behalf.  I'm feeling incredibly blessed to still have my Daddy alive and kicking AND to feel the support of so many friends and family around me today.

Please keep my dad and my mom in your prayers moving forward toward recovery. It will be quite a few weeks before he is released to resume any "light duty" of regular life and we all want to see him come out of this refreshed and healed well. "Light" duty isn't really in his vocabulary!

Be sure to say "I love you" today and often. When emergencies like this happen, that love gives strength that you can't even imagine.