Thursday, September 29, 2011

Entertainment value

I can't resist sharing some hilarious old pics to make you all grin!  Last night Mike was spending quality daddy time with the little ones.  His favorite activity is to lay on the bed with old photo albums and show them pics.  I dug out some that will crack you up. Or, maybe they won't, maybe my brain's a bit fried.  I just mopped with Ammonia.  What is ammonia anyways?  I remember my mother mopping with it when I was a kid.  So, in my mind, if you don't get a slightly singed nasal hair after cleaning, then it isn't really clean? 

First off, here is Dillon at age 3. He looks like a Compassion Int. chid that needs sponsoring.  This picture was taken at his 2 day a week childcare center.  I did not send him to school in light blue knickers!  I guess he'd gotten dirty and they dug out clothes from a leftover pile.  Of course, it would be picture day!  When he came home, I peeled the tight knickers off him and they were size 12months wind pants.  Classic family pic!

Next, we have Mike's artwork.  This is his rendition of sitting in between 2 older Korean gentlemen on the subway in Seoul.  I giggled the whole way because he looked like a giant!

There is one more that I keep loading and loading, but alas, after 5 attempts, I'm sick of it.  The picture was of Hudson at about age 9months.  He is in a walker, in his foster mother's home, and I kid you not, has a pink flowered head band on!  Umm, excuse me?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Church Sunday night

A dear teacher at Mike's school was being ordained Sunday night as a minister of the gospel.  He leads worship at a tiny church in the poor, minority section of the city.  The pastor of the church also teaches at our school, and they've been serving at this church for 5 years.  We were invited to Max's ordination.  First, about Max.  Max was raised in Panama.  He is trilingual, teaches Spanish at the school, plays guitar and sings.  He leads mission trips to the jungles in Panama(think travel 3 hours by canoe to get to the villages) each summer--Yeah baby, you know I want to go!  We love Max.  So we loaded up Sunday evening and went.  The church is behind a liquor store in the hood in the part of the city where people have big fences around their front yards and strangers to the neighborhood probably lock their doors when driving by.  Really, I'm not exaggerating at all.  It shares a building with a Head Start daycare for educationally at-risk children.  I LOVED being there.  Talk about an authentic church.  Everything was old.  No fancy PowerPoint presentation, no hands-free mics, children sitting with their parents instead of being wisked away to nursery, hymnals from 1975, different ethnicities together.  It was similar to when I was at a church service in Nicarauga(except for the air conditioner).  The people there weren't waiting to be entertained.  A breath of fresh air.

Monday, September 26, 2011


No time for a real post. I'm running out the door to work and I started a  new class last night.  Here is a preview of what I want to "chat" about.
Dillon's soccer team--PRESH.  Out of 6 little boys, 5 are Korean.  Too cute!
Last night we had the sweetest experience.  We went to church in the hood!  It was humbling and beautiful.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Real Texans Now(we got a pickup)

We had so much fun Tuesday.  As you long time visitors to psalm139verse14 blog know, we have driven the same old(yet perfectly reliable and wonderful) vehicles a long time.  We try to follow Dave Ramsey's financial plan(but don't do that great!).  So, Mike's driven a great Accord sedan for 11 years.  It has over 200,000 miles on it and works perfectly.  He's been saving and wishing for an extended cab truck.  Saturday he was with the boys at Target.  Driving in the parking lot he spotted "it".  The heavens parted and shone on this used, but in pristine condition beauty!  The driver was a mechanic and I think we could eat off the engine,it is so clean. So, we prayed and talked budget.  Tuesday he bought a new to him truck and it is gorgeous!  The kids went wild when he drove it home.  It's been 8 years since we purchased a car.  Mike's face was pure joy :)  The next morning, Carter opened the front door and stopped.  He said "Wow, I can't believe something so nice is in our driveway."  We are really having fun!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh yes He did!

God gave us some big gifts the past several days.  I actually wrote this post Thursday morning and then, after talking with Mike, realized I'd misunderstood him and almost blew a huge secret to smithereens!  So, I quickly deleted it and now that it is safe, I'm reposting.

First off, you all know how I preach about keeping a prayer journal.  This is one I'll be loving to reread someday.
Since last early spring, one of those crazy, how in the heck is this gonna happen, prayer request was a 1 million dollar donation for our school.  We  just built a new secondary building and had zero dollars left.  They gym was a shell and wouldn't be built until there was money.  So, a bunch of us have been praying for a miracle--a million dollar miracle to be exact.  Last week, a couple who have no affiliation with the school, came for a visit.  It seems they came into a very very large amount of money and felt God told them to donate to our school.  They want to be completely anonymous.  They man handed the chief admininstrator a hand-written check for 1MILLION dollars!!!!!!!  Not only that, he wrote a separate 100,000 dollar check to cover all the scholarships the school has had to give to families in hard financial times.  Over and above, that is God's way.  What a sweet time of saying "Thank You" and remembering that He really does answer prayer.

A couple more:  my dad's shop sold.  In this economy, in a small town, that is darn miraculous. 
 Mike's sister and her husband, along with their 2 girls, had a really neat answer to their prayers over the weekend.
My sweet friend, Jessica, had a miracle baby by birth.  She was born 8 weeks early.  Yesterday I got to help bath her and feed her.  She is 4 weeks  now, at home, weighs 5 pounds and is perfect.  They will travel to Ethiopia in about 5 months to bring home the 4 siblings they've been waiting on for a year! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Attention challenges

One of our kids has attention and organization challenges.  I'm  not talking about the usual kid type stuff, it's more severe than that.  Anyways, I thought some of you out there may be struggling with the same thing.  Here is what we've learned.
Grades schmades:  really, in the grand scheme of things, who the heck cares what you made in history?  We aren't aiming for Harvard.  We are aiming for whatever it is that God has called this person to do in life, to serve Him
Use color:  use colored-notebooks and highlighters for homework and notes.  Lots of color stimulates these kids minds and grabs their attention
Get physical:  these kids need to run it off
Let them listen to music:  Really, listening to music(not blaring drums) during homework can help
Be creative and try new strategies
Don't blow up and blame the kid all the time:  Soooo hard to not do!  Confession time, I threw a computer mouse across the room a few nights ago.  Trying to help your kid write a paper can push you over the edge.  My outburst was shocking to  the child and now, you all know, I'm a looney mother just like everyone else :)
Last but not least:  choose your battles.  Does having the closet clean with clothes hung up really deserve to be a hill worth dying on?  NO.

I'm reading "Learning Outside the Lines."  It was written by 2 guys who were labeled ADHD and Learning Disabled as children and basically labeled as stupid and problem kids.  They finally came into their own and graduated from Ivey League colleges.  It has awful language and is more for college students, but I'm learning  good tips.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stole my mom's post--A New Name

Here's the deal. I have a 20 page paper on in-depth health assessment due by 0800 tomorrow. I don't have time to think of much clever or wise posts.  My mother is the women's pastor at her church and wrote a really good post on her women's ministry blog.  I copied it(and  no, I haven't told her yet). It is really good and I think you'll be blessed.

Last night at our Kick-off, we talked about names; how we got our names, what we like and don’t like about our names, what name we have wanted to be called, and what our names mean.

I like my name, Jeannette. I think it is a pretty name. It means gracious, or gift from God, and I like that. BUT, somehow, it does not seem right for me. It is too long and sounds too formal. Often, when I hear it, I feel like I am in trouble, because it sounds harsh.

Our names are important, but they are given to us by our parents before they know what kind of person we will be. The name may not reflect the person at all. According to the Bible, God has a remedy for that.

Isa 62:2…and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.

Rev 2:17 To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.'

God often changed the name of people in the Bible. He gave them new names that reflected their new character or their new calling. Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, Simon became Peter, Saul became Paul. I think that God has a new name for each one of us. I imagine that at the time of the coming of the New Heaven and New Earth, that He will tell each of us our new name. It will be a special name that only He knows, a name that will perfectly reflect each of us, a name that will connect with your heart. Each of us will have a unique name. In heaven, if I say Nancy or Emily, I won’t have to say which Nancy or Emily. There will be only one. God has infinite wisdom and infinite creativity, so there is no end of names, so He won’t have to repeat. Each individual person, with unique gifts and abilities, unique ways of thinking and processing things, each one will have a unique name that God made up just for you!

P.S.  It is time to register for Kairos.  If you want to join me Oct 21 at Gateway for a conference on freedom, emotional healing, breaking free of besetting sins and generational strongholds, sign up!  My sister is on staff in the freedom ministry dept there and it is a top-notch conference.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

Along with everyone else, I'll never forget 9-11-2011.  I was at home, Abby was at the sitter because I was going in to the hospital late that day, Carter was at school, Mike was working at school.  Someone called me to say "Turn on the TV", I don't remember who, maybe Mike.  I stared in disbelief.  As the buildings crumbled, it was like my whole world as I  had known it crumbled too.  Should I drive straight to pick up Carter?  Should I drive straight to the hospital for possible other attacks and casualities?  Should I hide in my closet with my Bible and pillow?  All sounded equally sane.  What were you doing that day?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chinese Eyes

Funny conversation overhead yesterday:

I was sitting in the courtyard at our school waiting for Carter to come out.  Abby, Hudson, and Dillon were with me.  There were 2 kindergarten students sitting near us.  I overheard them talking and it was too good to not share(you transracial adoptive families will totally relate).
  Little girl- "She has Chinese eyes, he has Chinese eyes, he has Chinese eyes, but she doesn't have Chinese eyes."
  Little boy- "Ohhhhh, I get it, adopted, adopted, adopted, not adopted."
  Little girl- "Maybe she has Chinese eyes too, but we can't see them because of her sunglasses!"

These innocent and curious child conversation crack me up.  I don't mind the natural curiosity of children.  What drives me batty are the stupid adult comments like "Where did you get her?"  Uh, she's a person, not a handbag!

FYI, there is an old adoption book called Chinese Eyes that tells the story of an Asian girl and her Caucasion family.  It is a bit wordy and the adoption lingo is a little out of date, but the story is pretty powerful.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We who labor on Labor Day

Here's to all the people who don't get a 3 day weekend(like me, apparently sick people need help on holidays too!).  Mike just left with the kids to head to the country.  He and Carter will  hunt dove at Grandma's place, while Abby, Hudson, and Dillon will be spoiled rotten by their grandparents and play for hours with their cousins.  I don't get to go.  I work at the hospital tomorrow.  I'm a tad sad because I miss several fun events a year due to work.  But, can I get a Boo-Yah for time and a half tomorrow???  Oh yeah, my sadness turned to joy pretty soon when I figured how much more my check will be :)  Hey, don't judge, Christmas is right around the corner and I have ZERO stashed for our Christmas budget.  You want to know the other reason I'm over my sadness?  I'm all alone!!!!!!!!!!!  Hooray for alone time.  I've got grand plans for the rest of today:  balance checkbook, do dishes, study for my Assessment quiz, grocery shop(I plan on indulging in lots of Pita chips with sea salt--addicting!), get the oil changed in Mike's car.  Sounds like a rockin' grand time eh?  Well, if you have 4 kids and a tight budget, you totally understand my jubilation at having some alone time that doesn't cost babysitter money. 

To perk me up, here are some pics:

Dillon's first day of second grade

Abby's first day of 5th grade

Carter starting 10th grade(where does the time go????)

Hudson trying to blend in to Abby's class(he wants to go to school so badly)