Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jen Hatmaker's blog post and my Les Mis review

I really should post about Christmas.  It was a very nice and fun time for the whole family.  We had Christmas at Mike's Grandma's, Christmas at my sister's, Christmas at my Aunt Barbara's, Christmas morning at our house, then Christmas at Mike's mother's. Lots of eating, lots of hugging, lots of gifts, lots of laughing, lots of fun!  Christmas is plain fun, but, it is plain exhuasting also.  I swear I'm going to go on a brocolli and water fast to get all the rich and sweet food out of my system :)  The pics just got loaded so I'll post Christmas in a few days.  Alas, what I'm really interested in is this:

Jen Hatmaker - BLOG

Anyone who has followed Psalm139verse14 blog for any length of time knows my adoration for Jen Hatmaker:  real, honest, raw, brilliant yet down to earth, wife, momma, lover of Jesus, champion for the orphan and poor, trailblazer.....basically exactly who I want to be when I grow up!  The post about the Proverbs 31 woman was wonderful.  Go read and be blessed.

Switching topics now.  yesterday Mike and I saw Les Mis movie and it was incredible! Mike and I are Les Mis afficianodos and know most of it line by line(we listen to the soundtrack when driving). Here is my recap: Hugh Jackman was comptelety brilliant and will win an Oscar, hands down. As good as Hugh was, there is no one who can sing "Bring Him Home" like Alfie Bowe. Anne Hathaway was brilliant also and sang "I Dreamed a Dream" better than Lea Salango.... I cried like a baby during that song. Russell Crowe--average. Did you catch that the priest played Jean Val Jean in the original Les Mis on stage? So cool! Eponine was the same actress as in the 25th Anniversary edition and was super awesome! Bad part about seeing it in a movie theater. I wanted to clap and whistle after "One Day More", but it was silent in the theater in small suburbia Texas. One more thing: the adoption story was much more powerful in the movie than on stage. I can't help but think Hugh Jackman influenced that seeing as how he is an adoptive parent.  The threads of redemption were wonderful.  It was so powerful and heartbreaking to understand that the oppression and abuses in the story are not an 1800's problem.  We can't look at the play and think "boy, that was a dark time."  NO, that is OUR world now!  163 million orphaned children, sex trafficking of women and children, labor camps in China, the woman who was raped and beaten to her death in India last week, 22000 children die of starvation and diarrhea every DAY, our world is exactly the same!!  Please people, open your eyes and see the realities outside your perfect little bubble.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book winner is...

Emily!  I drew it from a bowl.  Email me your contact info to beepa27@gmail.com and I'll snail mail the book to you.  Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

New children's book about adoption and a give-away!

My friend has recently published a beautiful children's book about adoption. I think many of you will love this sweet story! She and her husband are parents to 3 children(1 by birth, 2 by adoption). They love Jesus and wanted a book that would help parents talk to children about what adoption means. Sweet Tina Turtle needs a family and the Duck family had been praying for a child to love. Here is my favorite sentence "It is the kisses when you fall down, the stories at bedtime, the hugs when you are sad, and your parents just being there when you wake up day after day after day that makes you feel special". The book is called On the Far Side of Poplar Pond You can visit her blog
HERE or visit her Facebook page HERE

and it is available on Amazon and CBD( click HERE for direct link) and would be a wonderful addition to your family library. 



Let's have a give-away! My friend will autograph the book. I'll mail it to a randomly selected person. Just leave a comment to this post if you would like to be included. Then, on Wednesday, I'll announce the winner.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We made something crafty!

In the words of Princess Bride..."Inconceivable!"
We made some cute stuff for Christmas.  Mike and I lean towards the "phone it in" kind of folks(thanks Frankie from The Middle for coining that term).  We don't get over-involved, over-excited, over-worked, or over-spent about much with holidays and such.  So, that generally means no crafts!

Check out what we are doing with our Christmas cards
Of course, they keep falling off.  But, I think the display is really pretty.  By the way, I just got our cards made today(thanks Walmart for lightening quick and cheap, yet pretty, cards!).  Uh, I accidentally dragged and dropped the wrong pic of Carter and didn't catch it until they were printed.  He thinks it is fine, but really not the best photo of the handsome young man that he is.  Mom fail! Actually, I was on a roll of making mistakes today.  I also ordered from Taco Casa, chatted with the drive thru dude, waved, and drove off without my super taco salad and sweet tea!  Losing it....

Then, we actually made teacher gifts.  Mike had wanted us to make those cute cookie mix in a jar things for a while.  He found a recipe for oatmeal, cranberry, and white chocolate cookies.  They were a lot of work, but so pretty!  Dillon helped.  He was a very hard-worker and measured all the ingredients for us.
Well, that's about all the "whobilation" I'm up for.  What movie???

Monday, December 17, 2012

Accidental Christmas season

Any one else have accidental Christmas?  Sound weird?  What I mean is that I haven't done anything to deliberately enjoy the Christmas season. It stumbles upon me in a flash, stresses me out and makes me sick to see such waste and pomp, then bam, it is over and I look back wishing I'd made it special!  Here it is Deceber 17th and I've not taken one moment to deliberately, consciously, methodically plan a family memory.  I get over taken by the "if onlys", like "if only people would just get back to the simple basics of Christmas--Jesus humbling himself to be born poor and lowly", or "if only people would spend the same amount on orphan care as they spend of sparkles, bows, candy, and batteries", and of course, the "if only we could drive to a cabin in the mountains and spend Christmas simply--with nature and just our family."
Sadly, the 20 first-graders who are no longer with their families made me realize the importance of making memories.  As I look at my tree with the ornaments clumped in the bottom center brances, just at a 5yr old's level, I remember we are not promised our next breath. What will my children remember as special to our family each Christmas?  Will they make fun of Scrooge-mom who bellyached about spending money?  I've got to relax and have some Christmas fun!  These 4 kids are growing so fast.  In fact, Carter will miss his first family Christmas event this coming weekend.  He was given a ticket to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the AAC in Dallas this Sunday.  For the first time, he won't be at my parents' Christmas celebration.  Very sad for me and for my parents(especially my dad, he and Carter are 2 peas in a pod and disappear for hours playing guitars together).  Alas, children grow up and live their own lives. 
This past weekend we had Christmas with Mike's family.  It was a sweet and simple time at Grandma's house in the country, playing with cousins.
Geez, whose weirdos are the 2 little ones???  :)

PS.  Family pics remind me of those with no family.  Ive named the 2yr old little Korean boy on the Waiting Child site(to pray specifically for him and I think the name fits him!).  Anybody have a heart string tugged to call him son??

Friday, December 14, 2012

When the cloud doesn't move out

Here is something we've walked through and learned from, thought some of you guys might relate or need to hear the message.


Recently we revisted the whole moving thing(remember my dream house a few months ago and the near listing of our house?).   We found a few houses in which we were really interested. Common theme with them?  Space--a huge yard with space and trees around us instead of a crowded neighborhood and a spare room for a music room where Carter can rock out his guitar without waking up the little boys. We don't want a big, fancy home or lots of land to care for.  We just are tired of our cookie cutter community with tons of cars on the street and  no trees. 


After driving by these 2 houses a few times and even snooping around the empty ones, we contacted our realtor.  These houses had been the market for months!  I'm talking prices dropped several times and listed for many months.  Literally, within a few days of our interest, both houses got a contract on them.  Then, Mike found 1 more on Zillow that he really wanted to see.  It suddenly had a contract  and it had been for sell forever.  So, we realized that God was closing the door on our move--for now anyway.  I just happened to be reading through Exodus and Numbers the past 2 weeks.  It struck me that the Isrealites only moved location when they saw God move. 
Exodus 40:36-37

In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out--until the day it lifted.

Clearly, we weren't supposed to move.  Mike and I realized that we'd dug ourselves into a bit of a debt pit and God had not released us yet from this home, get out of debt first!
In the meantime--until we are released to move, we are learning contentment AND wondering if there is someone we are supposed to reach out to in this neighborhood.  What a shame if we'd missed that opportunity!





Wednesday, December 12, 2012

He's waiting

There is an absolutely perfect little 2yr old Korean boy on a Waiting Child listing.  He needs a forever family.  Pray someone comes forward asap for this little darling.  Maybe he'll have a family speak up for him for Christmas?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Meet my hero right now: my son Dillon


Dillon is in his school choir.  He wanted to join at the beginning of the year.  We certainly were happy for him to try.  I'm so stinkin' proud of this child.  It has been difficult!  Not many kids would have had the guts to even try.  Dillon has several "differences" and the biggest obstacle he has in life is communication.  He has apraxia of speech and an articulation disorder which make the mechanics of singing nearly impossible.  It has been challenging and he wanted to quit.  Mike and I decided he needed to stick it out through this semester and then he could quit.  So, las week was his holiday concert.  He was so excited to wear dress clothes and be on stage.  Below is a video I took of him practicing at home.  He was SO serious and tries so hard!



Psalm 147:1 How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!




The concert was great and he did awesome(except for the total lack of mentioning Jesus and the REAL meaning of Christmas--it is a public school and I guess they are allowed to only sing about Frosty, Santa, and reindeer).
Anyway, the moral of this post is this:  My son Dillon wants to try!  He has more limitations than anyone in our family, but that does not stop him from taking risks, trying hard things, and putting himself out there.  He starts Upward Basketball next week.  Physically, his body doesn't quit click like typcially developing 10yr olds.  However, the boy loves sports and practices shooting basketballs almost every day.  I admire his strength and character.  He is my role model right now.  I don't have any limitations or challenges that prevent me from doing what I want to do.  My graduate program begins in 5 weeks and I'm scared!  Ive thought about quitting before I even start.  Shame on me for being a wimp.  I have all the strenghths and gifts I need to accomplish the program, the only thing holding me back is that it will be hardwork.  May I, and all of you reading this,  not take our strenghths and gifts for granted.  May we try hard things and take risks!  Let's be like Dillon!
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Not too old for a new adventure

My parents are fairly crazy--at least in some people's eyes!  Not in mine.  No sirreee, we never think our own family is strange :)
  See, my dad sold his sign business in the summer. It was a miracle sell.  Nobody buys an old shop and sign business in 2012.  But, someone did.  They've been restless a while.  They see no retirement in the Bible.  In fact, Abraham, Moses, and Joshua were old old men when they did amazing feats for and with God.  Anyways, at the age of settling down a bit and enjoying retirement, they are selling the nice and spacious family home to my sister Emily(lucky!).  And, they bought a dump.  Inside it looks like an episode of Hoarders.  Major cleaning and remodeling. They have big plans for ministry, moving, new friends, and fun.


Here is a poem my dad wrote about what they are doing in their Golden Years:


*Our PLATEAU of COMFORT’s been years in the making, while ahead are old houses that need some re-shaping.


*We’re leaving a history of SO MUCH THAT’S BEEN DONE; extending the legacy where there’s SO MUCH TO DO.

*We’re trading out of our LARGE HOUSE, into a SMALL HOUSE, because our lives are drawn toward an even BIGGER STORY.

*We’re exchanging our EXCESSIVE SPACE for a far LESSER PLACE, determined to engage a MUCH GREATER GRACE.

*We’re leaving a beautiful place to STRETCH OUT, and headed for an ideal place to REACH OUT.

*We’re obeying the inner witness to SIMPLIFY, and answering our higher calling to GLORIFY.

*We’re lowering our STANDARD of LIVING, with hearts set on raising our STANDARD of GIVING.

Not surprised by my talking of moving to Nicaragua someday huh?  I grew up hearing this stuff at home.  It stuck.
By the way, looking for the perfect gift?  My dad purchased these items for my mom at www.pinktoolbelts.com.  The organization supports widows in Kenya.  Go order one today

Friday, November 30, 2012

Guess he likes us

Hudson said something about when he was in my tummy. I explained, once again, that he grew in his birth mother's tummy, then lived with his foster mother, and then came to live with me and daddy...we adopted you. He grinned and said "I like that you and daddy did that" !  I told him that me and daddy were glad too :)

In other news, Abby had her first basketball game yesterday.  She's never touched a basketball before 2 weeks ago.  She was so nervous and really had no clue how the game works.  I was so proud of her.  After getting in a few minutes of play time and watching her more experienced friends playing, she grabbed a loose ball and took a shot!  

Carter is writing lots of praise and worship songs.  The boy is a teen genius in the music dept.  

Dillon has his first school choir performance tomorrow.  He wanted to join choir despite his apraxia and articulation disorder. He can't sing...I don't mean he is flat or tone deaf...I mean he truly cannot sing thanks to the speech disorders robbing him of that ability. I'm so proud of him for trying hard things.  He also begins Upward Basketball next month.  Way to try, my sweet boy!

Oh, I got robbed today.  I'm fine, just was a walking naive target that fell for the old "Excuse me man, I really need to call my ride, can I use your phone?"  Took it and ran like lightening, in broad daylight in front of Super Target!  I'm just so thankful he didn't take my purse, wedding ring, or me!

And 2 more tidbits:  I got my eyebrows threaded!  OUCH.  But, it tamed my bushy brows so well and is supposedly better for your skin than waxing.  Next, you MUST buy Gateway Worship's newest album "Forever Yours."  Ahhh-mazing!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gracious sakes alive...he's Five

Hudson turns 5 the 27th.  Such a smart boy.  Above is one of his referral pictures.  Hilarious cheeks! And, for your enjoyment, his theology is pretty good too:
Hudson told Mike that Santa and Jesus live in his heart.  Mike then told Hudson that Jesus is much more important than Santa.  To this, Hudson replied "Yeah, Jesus makes the sun move and the rain come down and Santa just brings us a bunch of junk."!!!  That's MY boy :)
You know, when your child joins your family at 21months of age, the 5th bday comes so quickly.  Where did my baby go???

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It can't really be Thanksgiving morning can it??

Seriously, this year is flying!!  Since school started mid August, the days are a blur.  I love Thanksgiving and want to enjoy these sweet days, not watch them fly by me. My paternal grandfather passed away on Thanksgiving 24 years ago.  And, this year will be the first holidays without my maternal grandfather. My parents are selling our family home of 27 years and embarking on an adventure that I'm sure their peers think is nuts(I think it sounds F-U-N).  The only guarantee in life is change.

This morning an attitude of gratitude is in order. I'm thankful for
Jesus, my Lord
my healthy family and a husband who supports me in my wild ideas
my own health--running the Turkey Trot 5K with my buddies this morning
my warm home that houses my most precious treasures--whom are all still asleep this morning
our extended familys on both sides
Susie's surgery went well and her lymph nodes are free of cancer
clean water every single time I turn on the faucet
my job that offers awesome benefits for working part-time
both schools the kids attend....ah-mazing
Rosas and Taco Tuesdays
our sweet, fun, church
a teenage son who doesn't give us a lick of trouble
my dear old minivan that has 203000 miles on it and runs great(paid for!)
my coffee with french vanilla creamer
antibiotics to kill Hudson's "ear confection" as he calls it
that God led us to adopt 3 angels from South Korea--Carter cackles in joy watching his crazy little brothers and Abby loves to help Carter--like a little momma
Vaseline--I'm addicted to it being a constant presence on my lips

Pics to follow of our sweet holiday.  But, to help you all remember to keep your priorities straight

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4

Monday, November 19, 2012

My friend has breast cancer




There, I said it!  I've not wanted to say it out loud.  Kind of like, when you say something out loud, it is real, intiendo?
I haven't wanted to tell the story on here because this isn't my story.  Susie has cancer...it is her story.  But, it affects me too and I know she is fine with my sharing the testimony and I want some of you e-friends to pray and rejoice over her healing...in advance!
Remember how she was accompanying us on the Korea trip?  Well, the day before we were to fly to Seoul, she had a follow up sonogram for a suspicious spot.  This was nothing to worry about because she has a follow up exam every year for dense spots. At 11:15 that morning, I get a phone call from her and I knew her world was crumbling.  I dashed to the hospital where to office was.  Basically, the radiologist was so sure it was cancer that she wanted to biopsy the mass within a few hours.  So at 2:30, Susie had a biopsy.  I paced back and forth in the exam room begging God for it to not be malignant.  By 4pm Susie knew.  I could see it in her face and demeanor; she had breast cancer.  We both knew the Korea trip was out of the question.  Then the doctor's aftercare instructions stated that she couldn't push or pull anything over 5 pounds with the right arm.  Uhh, international trips require lugging a bit more than 5 pounds! 
The next morning, Mom, Abby, and I flew to Korea and Susie stayed home to be with her hubby and 2 children. 
The funny thing is, she feels perfectly fine and healthy.  She doesn't feel like she has cancer.  On Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving, she will have a double mastectomy.  You wouldn't believe her attitude.  She has joked about attending her 30th highschool reunion next summer with new girls, been thankful, joyful, and upbeat.  Oh sure, there are struggles with fear and not sleeping well.  But, we are all praying for healing and that after surgery, she will be free and clear....never to have cancer again!  You know, there are some theologians who say that the healing miracles have ceased, that God doesn't work that way anymore.  BULL CRUD!  Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Abby's award winning chili!

Tonight was our school's huge Thanksgiving extravaganza complete with chili cookoff, class project and class gift basket auction, carnival games, and enormous bonfire that is dug in a pit.  62 turkeys will be slowly cooked under the embers tonight with senior boys and their dads camping out to watch the pit.  Abby won the student division of the chili cookoff.  Her's was called Texas Chili with a Korean twist!  It had a secret Korean ingredient ;)
I have no pictures because I left my camera's battery charger plugged in to the wall in the guesthouse in Seoul.  Bummer dude. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Acceptance letter!

Friday I was bemoaning to my coworkers that I'd still not heard from the university regarding my application to the Master's program.  Thirty minutes later, the email came!  I've been accepted to begin the Nurse Practitioner's program in January! Exciting, terrifying, overwhelming, super fun...all of those feelings at one time.  I'm not worried about learning the content.  It is just that I'm not sure I really want to be in school again :(  ICK.  However, it will be really worth it.  3 years...I can do this! I'm choosing the Family Nurse Practitioner track so I can treat babies to elderly.  You know what I'm so excited to learn?  Suturing!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

tooting the horn...on Dillon

Sweet boy is doing so great lately!  I think his social appropriateness for his age has jumped up by a big leap.  He is getting and using sarcasm and playing little jokes on us.  His teaches report that he loves to participate in class and if he doesn't know the answer to a question, he says "oh, I forgot"!  I love it.  Dillon read a simple book to us a few nights ago and only needed help on a few words.  I think he is making great progress right now.  Unfortunately, the speech articulation disorder isn't.  When tired, his words slur so badly that it doesn't sound like he is speaking English.  But, lets celebrate the good!  He will play Upward Basketball this winter and I'm teaching him some basic skills.  Dillon will shoot and shoot and shoot the ball and never give up.  If typically developing children had half the uumph and heart that he has, they'd accomplish anything!  So proud of him.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Consider Adoption Video to go with prior post

Why I didn't write a special Orphan Sunday post yesterday

It's complicated.  That is why.  Yesterday was National Orphan Sunday.  This day was dedicated to education and focus on the global orphan crisis and the need for good foster parents.  I love foster care and adoption. In fact, I've been an annoying and irritating, spokesperson for Christians to get their butts in gear and care for orphans and foster children for many years( I'm thankful that our little church loves adoption. We have the Shoes for Orphan Souls drive every March. We host the Heart Gallery(display of foster children who need adoptive homes) for 3 weeks every October. Our pastor supports and encourages adoption and foster care. Many of our church partners are foster parents and/or adoptive parents).

So, why was I quiet this year?  Because I'm frustrated and people setting aside  one Sunday a year to recognize this huge issue really isn't going to change anything.  I'm frustrated at the lack of Jesus followers who truly care about this issue.  Sure, many do care and are involved; many more than 10 years ago.  For that I'm grateful. However, most Christians spend more money on their vehicles and cell phones than they do on advocating for the fatherless(Mike and I do too)!  There is room at most tables for another child, but not room in most hearts. I'm also frustrated at the state of adoption procedures around the world and in our own country.  163 million orphaned children in the world and, yet, the countries with adoption programs make it so difficult to give these children homes.  Certainly, there must be laws and protocols in place to protect the children from human-trafficking and screen families. However, the wait times are way too long.  The paperwork required is cumbersome, the fees are burdensome, the age of children coming home are older and, therefore, placing the children at risk for attachment problems. In our own country, the foster system is doing its best with overwhelming numbers(500,000 kids in foster care in the US).  Still, foster parents jump through ridiculous hurdles.  Foster-to-adopt parents get their hearts broken when a judge or caseworker rules in favor of the birth family to have repeated chances at getting their lives back together, even though the foster family is ready, equipped, and wants to give the child a permanent, adoptive family!  I've watched my sister and her husband go through this several times and they grieved over children they thought might be their next son or daughter.
What is the answer?  I don't know.  I've been to children's homes in Korea, Nicaragua, and Haiti.  Some do a great job, some do a horrible job.  Funding is inequitable. How do we help with orphan care in a sustainable manner?  How do we make a difference in people's family situations and healthcare so that birthmothers don't die from disease and children don't have to be abandonded or removed due to mistreatment?
This problem is overwhelming and heartbreaking.  But, we can't give up.  The Bible commands us to care for the fatherless...from the very beginning of God's laws to the Jews, all the way through the New Testament. Jesus' own words in Matthew tell us that however we treat the "least of these" is how we are treating Jesus. It is hard and sometimes I want to shove it to the back of my mind and pretend the problem doesn't exist.  But, it is worth it and so wonderful.  Adoption is a beautiful miracle, not a burden.  My Korean-born children weren't a rescue project, they rescued us!  We are the ones blessed by them joining our family.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Super fun night

What a special treat tonight was.  I should be in bed since I work tomorrow.  But, I'm still excited and wanted to get these pics up.  Homecoming was tonight.  Carter took a lovely girl. 

She ended up winning our school's version of Homecoming Queen!!
Carter was the junior representative.  I escorted him on the field as they read off some details about Carter; like when he placed his faith in Christ, what he most likes about his school, who has had the greatest spiritual impact in his life, and what his future plans are.  Clearly, judging from my face, I was listening super intently to the announcer ;)

All the grandparents drove in for the festivities and even Mike's sister, her husband, and 2 girls.  We had a great time.  I keep realizing how little time I have left with Carter at home.  I must enjoy and relish every second.  It goes by so quickly and these memories are precious!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween was a might smaller than usual

Our house is usually the place to be for Halloween.  This year, we just weren't prepared.  I'm still not in my routine after the trip(haven't run or had my quiet time in 5 days!).  We did have our usual guest, Susie and her son Jake.  My kids and Susie's kids have enjoyed Halloween together for 8 years.  Below are Dillon, aka Pizza Man wearing Nacho Libre mask(don't ask!) and Thomas the Train's Conductor.  We had a good time in our young family centered neighborhood.


Tomorrow is Homecoming and Carter was voted class Representative.  This means that his peers selected him as the boy in his class that most represents the qualities of Christ.  I'm so stinkin' proud!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Best part about being home

Mike and the boys welcomed us home late Friday night.  OH how we were ready to get off the plane!!  I've never had such a hard time flying.  My ankles were so swollen that I could barely put on my shoes.  We walked out to the baggage area and they all ran up saying "mommy!".  Sweet sweet times of snuggles.  Mike did a wonderful job running the ship alone.  The house was clean and the boys were all healthy.  I'm so proud of him.  I don't want to even think about flying again for a loooooong time!!  However, last night Mike was already planning a possible trip to Nicarauga next July for our church and 20th anniversary.  Let me recoup and I'll be ready. Abby and I are suffering from jet lag and couldn't sleep last night.  She is itching to get to school tomorrow and see her friends.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Last full day in Korea(it is long)

What a fun and sweet day we had yesterday!  We arrived at a large community center that is run by Eastern Social Welfare Society.  Props to Eastern because they are one of the most amazing and comprehensive private welfare organization(largely funded by donations) that I've heard of.  The community center serves the residents of Seoul; from preschoolers to the elderly.  We helped distribute lunches to elders who are shut-ins.  It was similar to Meals On Wheels, except in a city like Seoul, it is Meals on Feet!  We took the bags to super high-rise apartments

The  boxes had rice and several side dishes plus a medicated patch for arthritis.  We also put in cookies with labels saying "We love you, from the Dillon mission group"

Here we are with the cutest little lady ever!!  I just grinned ear to ear when she opened the door.  Imagine her surprise when 3 giant American women were standing there :)  I swear she was 3.5 feet tall.  She was thrilled and shook our hands and patted us.


The community center also focuses on job training for elders.  Here they are training the ladies to cut and perm hair.

And, a coffee shop with older women who are licensed barristas!



 My mother, Abby, and I then helped some teachers prepare food for an after school program.  Abby made fried Tempura shrimp.


We made Halloween crafts with the children in the after school program.  The teachers said they were having a Halloween party Friday, even though it is not a widely celebrated day here. They tried to speak English with us.

Other services offered were speech and physical therapy for delayed children(I was really excited to see that, but no children were there during the day), job training for adults who are cognitively impaired(I had a cute boyfriend in there who kept grinning and waving at me). They offer yoga for elders, day care for little kids, and they have a cafeteria for low-income people to get a free meal everyday.
After spending all day at the center we headed to a theater to watch Nanta Cooking.  It was kind of like Stomp but in a Korean kitchen setting.  The show was fantastic and hilarious.  I've seriously never ever heard Abby giggle and laugh so hard.  She has corny Korean humor!
To end our day, we had a dinner at a Chinese restaurant(I'm so ready to eat plain sandwiches!).  Each person shared what they learned or what touched them most.  Here is what I've learned and stay with me here.....
One of the really neat things about this trip is that Abby has spent 8 days with other Korean adoptees (including one woman who is 30 and met her birth family on this trip).  She is generally stoic and closed about her birth situation and doesn't like to talk about adoption.  This week she has been forced to reflect and realize that there was great loss in her birth family situation.  However, there is also great joy and hope. I think that at the cusp of becoming a teenager, this experience will benefit her enormously in terms of being comfortable with her identity.
Personally, I don't think we "helped" anybody on this trip.  For the first few days I really struggled with frustration because we weren't busy serving and I'm a driven, type A worker.  There was no tangible accomplishment. We did a lot of smiling, bowing, hugging, talking, and sitting in ceremonies, and rocking babies.  Then, it hit me!  Really, what impact did I expect to have in a few short days?  It would be extremely arrogant and ethnocentric to think that this group of Americans could change the situation of parentless children in Korea. My pastor believes in supporting indigenous leaders working in their own country.  I think that is what this trip accomplished.  If we encouraged the local people at Eastern Social Welfare Society, who are working so diligently every day for 40 years, then it is worth it. They are the ones leading true change and improvement.  They are the ones who need to see that what they do has a lasting impact.  I'm honored to have spent 8 days demonstrating gratitude and appreciation for all the people here. The people at Eastern are truly expressing pure religion:

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More trip details

It occurred to me that I've not given much detail on what Seoul is like.  This is my 4th trip here and so many of the unique details are not new to me.  Let me start from the beginning.  Seoul is a city of 12 million people.  It is packed in to small land masses so high rise buildings are everywhere.  People live in apartment buildings.  It is very modern, very clean, very busy and crowded, but easy to navigate. Almost every person under the age of 30 speaks some English.  They have fantastic public transportation and puts Texas to shame in that area. 
 We've eaten like kings.  The Korean people are very gracious and proud.  They try so hard to impress us.  As I said earlier, it is like we are traveling diplomats.  Here we are about to enjoy traditional Korean Bulgogi

Monday we traveled to another province.  The countryside in Korea is very beautiful.  It is mountainous and the trees are changing for fall.  It reminded me of when we lived in North Virginia and the Blue Ridge Parkway.


 Yesterday we met with Dr. Kim, the president of Eastern Social Welfare Society.  She is wise and gracious.  She described to us that they have 400 babies in their care and are overwhelmed because less and less people are willing to foster the babies.  And, adoptions have slowed down to a mere trickle due to the Korean government.  I wish I could have just a few minutes with the  lawmakers to help them understand how many people are thrilled to give the babies loving homes.  I met with Hudson's foster mother after lunch. Oh so precious!! She was very emotional and happy to see me again. But, when I gave her the beautiful scrapbook that my sister, Emily, made for her, she rubbed Seong Cheol's(Hudson) little face and cried! It was a treasure for her and her family. She said that he was the longest child she'd ever cared for (21months) and he was a perfect baby...always happy and all her neighbors loved him. When I showed her the video of him on my phone she couldn't believe his voice and smile. Such a sweet time. She couldn't stay long because she currently is fostering 2 four month old babies and her daughter was at home watching them. Thank you Mrs. L for selfless love and sacrifice! Because of you, he had a wonderful first 21 months of life and is healthy and happy.


We also spent time with the babies yesterday.  Really, that is what I want to do most of the time.  I hear them crying in the nursery and want to go pick them up.  I was wrong about the number.  Dr. Kim told us that there are 60 babies in the nursery!!  

 I held a tiny newborn who suckled my cheek.  It really broke my heart that she had that God-given instinct to suckle and yet had no momma to nurse.  This baby lives with 60 other babies.  Eastern provides amazing care and I'm so impressed.  However, it isn't a family.





Last night we spent time with unwed pregnant women.  We made a blessing tree with the ladies.  After breaking through the language barrier, we made a beautiful craft that has blessings for their babies written on the trees.  
Today we will spend the day at a community center.  I'm looking forward to serving with the senior citizens and delivering lunches to them.  I face timed with Mike and the boys last night.  They are all doing really well.  It was great to see them in action and also to see my house :)  Abby is an awesome traveler and doing great.  The group we are with is fantastic.  There is always that one person in mission groups that drives everyone nuts.  Not this group.  Every person is a wonderful friend and we feel like we've known each other for years.  My mom has made sweet friends with several ladies. One more day.  We fly out tomorrow at 5pm. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Photos from last 2 days

Here are some pictures of the San Rok Children's Home we visited Sunday afternoon.  As I said before, it was super nice and well run. 


Play therapy room and counseling

Abby face painting

I'm supposed to be teaching basic English.  Did not go too well! Good thing my interpreter was awesome.

Yesterday we traveled across the peninsula to a province that was hosting an adoptive families conference.  We had meetings with Korean families who have adopted.  It was super sad.  They struggle with keeping adoptions secret because of ridicule in society.  One family had moved 5 times to keep the child protected from people knowing she had been adopted.  Bloodline is most important in this culture.  The families all struggled with when, if ever, they should tell their child about his/her adoption story. We couldn't relate to their problems and shared with them that in our case, we began telling the children their birth/adoption story the minute they were placed in our care--yes, as babies.  This way, the parents are comfy talking about adoption and birth with their child instead of it popping up out of the blue.  It was rather awkward at moments.  Afterward we had a traditional Hanbok ceremony.  Here we 3 are looking smashingly feminine :)

Today we visited a home for unwed mothers.  We had lunch with them and did a little bit of cleaning.  

A disclaimer:  this trip really is not a mission trip.  I've been on several mission trips overseas and this is nothing like those.  Really it should be called a relationship or bridge building trip.  I  prefer hard work, fast-paced, traipsing through the jungle and drop in to bed from complete physical exhaustion to this type. I'm praying that God will use our contact with the Korean adoption community to change the very difficult laws that were recently implemented and have slowed adoptions here dramatically.  Experiencing Abby, Dillon, and Hudson's birthland with my daughter and mother is very special.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 2



We attended Young Nak Presbyterian Church this morning. 

Very sweet time and we were treated like visiting dignitaries.  After church, the welcome committee hosted a reception with coffee/tea and cookies.  They showered us with little trinkets from the church.  I think my cheeks hurt from smiling hard and bowing to try to communicate thankfulness to the people.  This afternoon we visited SanRok Children's Home where 71 children live.  We only spent time with a group of 20 or so children.  Most of the kids have family to visit on weekends(extended relatives, not parents).  The children who stay over the weekend do not have family.  One was a darling 2 year old who had been abandoned.  Due to Korean law, he cannot be made available for adoption because there are no official relinquishment papers.  This beautiful little boy will live the rest of his childhood in an institution.  The facility is fantastic.  The director was super proud of how hard he'd worked to secure donations and provide a quality home.  They had a library, gym, and play therapy room.  I was most impressed with the program they offer teens who age out of the group home. Kids who turn 18 can move in to a dormitory and stay for up to 5 years free of charge.  They attend trade school or college and try to become independent.
Supper was Korean Bulgogi and was fabulous!  Tomorrow we travel 5 hours to a different province that has invited us to meet with a group of domestic adoptees.  Abby is doing great.  There are other kids on the trip.  A 15yr old boy, a 12yr old boy, a 13 yr old girl, an 11 yr old girl and then Abby.  They are loving having some kids to hang out with who look like them and have similar family stories.  I think this is really good for Abby.
I saw something Hudson and Dillon would have liked at a store this evening and had a wave of sadness.  I know they are fine.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sharing Hearts Mission Trip Day 1

This will be short because jet lag(or jet leg as Abby calls it) has hit.  We slept well last night.  This morning we served in the Babies' Home here at Eastern Social Welfare Society. Although, the word serve is a misnomer because it was pure joy.  First we cleaned 3 rooms and the got to the babies. You should have heard all of us women saying "aaahhh" and "ohhhh" and "how cuuuuute" over the babies in their little wooden beds.  I'd estimate 35-40 babies were in there.  Dang, nothing cuter than little Korean babies with stick up black hair! Let's just say, yes, we cried.  So precious and so heart-breaking to see all those babies in need of families. For confidentiality, we aren't allowed to post pictures of the babies' faces(drat because they are so pretty!)  Fyi, the pink blankets do not mean they are all girls, they just use pink blankets. We were amazed at how well organized the head nurse and caregivers were.  They keep a chart of when and how much each baby eats.  Everything was spotless and organized.





Suffice it to say that one of the babies loved me.  Yes, he really did.  He stared in to my eyes and laughed when I played with him.

Later on in the day we toured a 1000 year old palace.  We had a sweet 14 year old tour guide.

We ate Korean pork BBQ wrapped in lettuce leaves for supper--yummo! 
Miss my man and boys at home.  Abby's allergies are acting up and she doesn't act like she feels all to great.  I'll dope her up tonight after a hot shower.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jetting off


It is 4:15am and we are headed to the airport in a few minutes.  Ouch, my heart hurts leaving this house and my boys!  Yesterday was a rough day for other reasons. And yet, we rejoice...God is Sovereign and on His throne!  He has work and fun for us in Korea.  We are blessed to partake in His ministry.  Pray for my hubby and sons at home.  Pray I don't lose my ever-lovin' mind on the awful plane ride.  This is my 4th time to make this trip and each time I swear I'll never fly that long again.  :)  
I made my 2 little boys a chain of notes.  There are 8 links and each is numbered.  At night, they clip the day off and read mommy's message inside.  Ouch--it hurts to leave those little snuggle bugs.  I know that every where I turn in Korea, I'll see little boys that remind me of them! 

See you all Saturday with post number 1.  Abby will be guest writing about her experiences too.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reminded of why it matters

This video explains why it matters, why it is worth taking 8 days away from my family, why it is worth scrimping and scratching to pay several thousand dollars in 6 months to go fly to Korea and serve people, why it is worth my 12 year old daughter missing 7 days of school so she can be the hands and feet of Jesus and rock homeless babies and play with Korean children living in Evergreen Children's Home, why I'm constantly thinking about homeless children and adoption and how to spur the church to be more involved.  It is a true story of a pastor in Seoul who rescues abandoned newborns.
http://vimeo.com/41412962
Life is precious and worthy of our love and effort. God has been working over-time the past week to remind us of his love for the orphan(163 million of them worldwide).  Mike met people involved in a miraculous Russian adoption this week and the video tore him up.  The Dropbox Movie, in the trailer above, nearly killed me.  Knowing there are abandoned infants in Korea, who are not placed in to families like ours--families that would love to call them sons and daughters, but will grow up in an orphanage--devastating!  Then, since we sponsor a child with Compassion, we receive their quarterly magazine.  One of the stories was about a newborn girl found along the roadside in India.  She'd been mauled by a wild animal and lost an eye.  She was covered in ant bites.  A family took her in and cared for her.  Horrifying what people do to babies.  Do we have no regard for life anymore??

So, I'm renewed in my zeal for standing up for children who need an advocate and a momma and daddy! Every life is totally worth it

PS.  My amazing sister, Emily, offered to  make Hudson's foster mother a scrapbook!!!  Thanks Em. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

spinning like a tornado


I'm running around like a crazy woman with my hair on fire!  So...much...to...do....
I leave for Korea 1 week from this morning.  I'm having a last minute garage sale Saturday morning to clear some stuff we've accummulated and because I'm a couple hundred away from the trip being paid for.  Of course, the forecast is calling for rain--every garage sale I've ever had has rained!  I guess I'm a slow learner because every 2 years I attempt another one.  I'm in charge of the Junior breakfast next Wednesday.  I'm in charge of the Heart Gallery display at church for 3 weeks(a photographic emphasis on the children in Texas foster system who are legally cleared for adoption and NEED forever families).  I'm in charge of coordinating an education conference and dinner at work for a group of nurses.  I'm in charge of the class basket auction item in Hudson's class. And, I work tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday.  Oh, I still have no gift whatsoever for Hudson's foster mommy!  YIKES, I feel like I'm drowning.  And yet, I'm blogging....great time management Libby :(
  So anyway, yesterday was awesome.  I had to go to my fav thrift store in the hood and look for dress shoes and a skirt for Korea.  You will not believe my finds! 
Brand new, black seude Cole Haan boots for 12dollars!!  I did the whoopwhoop happy dance and then hid them under a pile of shirts in my basket in case anyone else saw them.  I also got a Liz Claiborne clutch bag for 4.50, Bass flats for 7.00, black dress pumps for 7.00, and 4 shirts--total of 48.00.  Truly, I have a gift.  I'll share my thrift secrets:  never ever take your children, only go when you can peruse through every item, do not be to proud to buy used items-remember you are beating the big business and not aiding companies that use child slavery in sweat shops, don't buy something you really wouldn't wear just because it is a great price.  It still is a waste if you never wear it.  You must be patient and willing to flip through every shirt hanging.  Do you guys know how many Ann Taylor Loft sweaters I saw??  Anyways, I'll take you with me someday.

Then, in the mail was this:
I was afraid the university had changed their mind and not given my degree!!    I'm thrilled to death.  Thank you Mike for insisting I finish what I started in 1991.
Now, off to price items, write out a schedule for the boys while I'm gone, plan a menu, buy groceries, and order pictures of Hudson's last 3 years with our family to take to Korea.  Drat internet, stop distracting me please

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Making ready for the trip

9 days til we leave for our trip to Korea!  I have gathered much of the giftage that needs to be taken.  Koreans love to exchange little gifts when they meet new people.  In honor of their culture, we are to bring lots of little gifts from our home state.  Susie and I shopped at the farmer's market a few days ago and got lots of honey, jellies, and candies made locally.  I bought nice assorted chocolates for the staff of an adoption advocacy group that wants to meet Abby, my mother, and I.  I need a long skirt to wear to the church service and to the 2 meetings with directors of agencies.  The first rule of going on a mission trip is to be flexible!!  Always be prepared to adjust your plans.  My plan is already being adjusted.  We will not be visiting the Welfare Town that I thought we were going to work at.  I'm very sad because there is a home for children with cognitive disabilities.  Clearly, special needs children are dear to our hearts and I so wanted to see them.  But, I've been praying that this would be God's trip and they He would order our steps to do the most good, to bring honor to him, to break our hearts(love that song..."Break our hearts for what breaks yours" do you know that worship song??)  and teach us.  So, I trust that the new schedule will be even better.

Speaking of breaking hearts, the documentary Half The Sky aired on PBS recently.  We recorded it and I am watching it this week.  I read the book last year--heartbreaking and awful. If you are a woman with opportunities and choices--you are so blessed.  Educate yourself of little girls and women sold in the sex trafficking industry.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

ARD meeting

If you aren't involved in the special education world, let me define a few things-
ARD meeting--conference that is required once a year to review your child's progress and need for special education services
IEP--individual education plan
SLP--Speech Language Pathologist

I've heard horror stories of awful ARD meetings, insensitive teachers and principals, deadbeat parents who don't show up for their kid's ARD.  Our ARD meetings for Dillon have never been like that.  Well, actually, we had a frustrating experience when he was 3 and wasn't getting the services he needed.  But, since we've been in the district in which we live now, they've been wonderful.  The teachers are rooting for his success.  The SLP loves him to death.  The Resource room/Content Mastery teacher treats him like her own son and he would rather spend all day in her room than anywhere else.  The principal is a professional who strives to do what is in Dillon's best interest. What a blessing to have good experiences!  There is good news and bad news.  Good news is that he is happy, engaging, shows a penchant for math, likes to participate in class, jokes with his teachers, and has a new friend. Bad news is that he has lost some ground in his speech development.  The good news about the bad news is that we have clearly documented regression in speech.  Sounds like an oxymoron huh?  This regression qualifies him for ESY(extended school year).  He will be able to receive speech 2 times a week in the summer.  He has never gotten this service and so we've had to pay out of pocket for private speech therapy every other summer.  My insurance will only pay for speech therapy if it resulted from traumatic injury, stroke, or acute illness that will improve in 2 months!  Kids born with a language disorder don't qualify-that is so unfair to these kids!!  Private speech is 50.00 for 30 minutes.  Do simple math and realize how quickly that adds up.  So, we are actually thrilled that she has documented regression.  He has also been diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia(on top of some other things).  This disorder is when children know in their mind what they are trying to say, but their brain to mouth pathway is not working correctly.  With this on his file, he should be able to get more help--like an iPad with language apps.  If anyone out there has a child with Apraxia, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

We saw Les Mis!

Mike, Carter and I went to Les Miserables yesterday!!

 Since last March, we have been anticipating seeing the traveling Broadway production.  My sister, Emily, saw it in London when she lived there for a semester in college--almost 20 years ago.  She fell in love with it and spread the intersest.  My parents have seen it a few times.  Mike and I have been listening to the 25th Anniversary Edition on our iPod for several months.  In fact, our children know the words to several of the songs(we are a strange family. We listen to the soundtracks of classic Broadway musicals on roadtrips--Fiddler on the Roof, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and such). Mike announced to us that if any tragedy struck the actor that plays Jean valjean, he had been practicing and was prepared to jump in to take over :)  Fyi, Mike has a beautiful voice and could probably do a bang up job.
 We made the show a combo birthday gift to ourselves and bought really nice tickets.  It was worth every penny.  We cried, clapped, laughed, and loved the whole show.  If you aren't familiar with the story, it is set in the 1800's in France and is a story about oppression and injustice, orphans and illness,adoption, grace, redemption, legalism, mercy, salvation, second chances, slavery, and honor.  Jean valjean(the hero) is my favorite.  When he sang "Bring Him Home", Mike, Carter, and I were on the edge of our seats about to burst. My sisters, Katy and Melody, and my mother were in the auditorium also.  They all were crying when the show was over and we met up in the foyer.  Melody was so moved by the story that when she was driving out of downtown, she went the wrong way down a one way street!  All this to say, go see it!  PS.  The movie is coming out Christmas Day and stars Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman.  Happy Christmas date to me

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Risk vs Benefit Analysis

My friend, whom I 've never met but pretty sure we'd be great buddies, started this post.  Linny, over at aplacecalledsimplicty.blogspot.com wrote about taking her daughter to get her eyes worked on.  The child was angry with the mother for taking her to the doctor.  This sparked some great dialogue about children getting upset at parents for making them do something for the child's own good--even if it makes the child mad. Thus begins my story about taking Dillon to the orthodontist for work on expanding his palate.  He has the tiniest  mouth and also an underbite.  And, since he has a really bad articulation disorder, we hoped this treatment would help.  We began working, slooooowly, on this orthodontic plan 3 years ago.  The doc does a tiny tweak and then we wait 3 months before anything else.  Dillon wore a reverse headgear for several months.  Now, he needs a new appliance to accommodate the movement of his palate.  Problem:  Every single visit if fraught with anxiety and drama.  It goes like this....Dillon is happy go lucky and greets the assistant.  She begins working in his mouth, within a few minutes he is squirming and biting.  I come to try to coax him to cooperate.  A few more minutes goes by and he begins crying and coughing.  At this point, we are all frantically working to do the adjustment, take the impression with that gooey stuff, or place spacers--whatever is the treatment for day.  I kneel next to the chair and hold Dillon's mouth open and he frequently vomits.  Today was the worst.  He panicked, complete with rapid breathing and holding his throat like he was dying, turned on to his stomach in treatment chair and that was it!  No amount of rational, friendly bribing with QT hotdogs, or sweet mommy voice(but inside I was wanting to pinch his head off!) was getting through.  I marched him out of the office balling.  Embarrased--yes!  I looked like "one of those mothers" who can't control her children.  Sad--yes!  This isn't fair to Dillon. I should say that the ortho office is amazing and very very patient with him. I've placed a call to the office manager to discuss risk vs benefit.  My hospital utilizes this concept with every decision and I rather like the concept.  Are the risks/costs outweighed by the benefit?  In other words, is putting Dillon through the trauma worth it?  Will he really be that much better off with a corrected mouth and palate?  Or, have we bought in to the middle class American lie that every child has an inalienable right to perfect teeth and really this is all stupid?

Risk vs benefit can be applied in most situations.  For example, we almost moved last week. A few weeks ago we'd found "the house"!  You know, up on the hill, an acre of land(it is Texas people, we have sprawling areas of land not gobbled up YET), trees, and a house that seemed perfect for our family, but needed updating.  However, we met with our dear friend and realtor.  Thanks to the housing bust several years ago, our house was worth less than it cost us to build it back in 2007.  We'd make zero profit and then go further in to debt on the new house--making Mike 72 when a 30yr note is paid off.  The cost/risk far outweighed the benefit.  And, after sprucing up our house to put on the market, it suddenly looked beautful!

Disclaimer:  When God calls you to take a risk for Him, all the benefits outweigh the risks!  Our old friend always said "BOO-COD" Benefits of obedience-Consequences of disobedience.  In other words, sometimes the worldly risks appear to be great, but in reality, obeying God's promptings in our lives will produce much great benefit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life can be a stretch sometimes

  My 2 oldest kids really saw a glimpse of life last week.  In one day, they attended the funeral of beloved Coach K at our school, their great-grandfather died, and their friend was diagnosed with leukemia-all in a matter of 4 hours.  I could almost see their childhood innocence disappearing.  Life can be hard.  But, it can be joyful too!  Coach K's brother made a decision to become a follower of Jesus after seeing the powerful testimonies at the funeral.  I can see him pumping his fist and rejoicing in heaven over that! 
We had Grandad's funeral yesterday.  It was lovely.  My bro-in-law, Doug, preached it and boy was it awesome!  Lots of sweet friends and memories. My hubby sang old gospel hymns--that man can sing!  In fact, I'm thinking the funeral home may be calling to ask if he will be a full-time funeral singer.
Grandad had full military honors.  Not a dry eye when they played taps and handed the folded flag to my 96 yr Grandmother, hunched over in her wheelchair in front of the coffin.  They were married 73 years!  My sister, Emily, took this amazing photo.

And, we are praying for sweet M, a strong and beautiful 16 year old in the hospitald receiving chemo.  We trust she will be healed and back to school next year.
Dillon's annual ARD meeting is next week.  We have a feeling that it will hold some changes for his IEP.  For all you momma's of kids with special needs, you know what I mean.  ARDs are hard. But, life is a blessing.  A wonderful journey and we are blessed beyond measure.

For You light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.

 For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall Psalm 18:28-29

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hudson funny

I was walking out of the library with little Hudsy(as my neice Aspen calls him).  A woman was walking right by us when Hudson looked up at me and said "You are my best grandmother!".  I sheepishly smiled at the lady who smiled back.  I said "I'm not your grandmother." Hudson said "Yes, you are!"  Soooo embarrasing! Our lives would be missing a whole lot of fun if he weren't here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Let me tell you about my Grandad

My grandfather is a proud old man.  Yes, he is really old--95 or 96--I lose count.  He was a WW 2 radio man.  He was a self-taught engineer.  He was an avid watcher of the stockmarket and political analyst on the side.  He loved his family.  I'd call and ask what he was doing.  He'd answer "just sitting around worrying about my grandkids." He drove for Meals on Wheels for many years.  He wouldn't step foot into a senior center until his late 80's because that was "for old folks."  He used to give each of us grandkids a bond for Christmas because he'd lived through the Depression and understood the importance of saving.  My grandfather was mentally sharp as a tack until Sunday night.  A stroke ravaged his mobility and mentation.  Tonight he is in Hospice care, spending his last hours on earth.  A great man.  A devoted family man.  A follower of Jesus Christ.  A treasure.  I'm a blessed woman.  I'll be 40 next month and still have grandparents.  My children have great-grandparents.  He is secure in his future and I know he is ready to go see his Maker.  During my 16 years as an RN, I've helped countless patients transition from this life.  This is heart-breaking, not because of death, but because of what he and grandmother have  had to endure the last few years.  I just want them to be whole and healthy and happy again--handing out Dr. Peppers and standing on the front porch waving as we drive away from the sweet 2bedroom house.
Tomorrow Mike will help the students at his school attend a funeral and grieve the death of a beloved football coach who passed away Monday.  It's a hard week. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

the one constant

Change is part of life.  Scary, adventurous, exciting, overwhelming, fun, interesting, expensive, tiring, exhilirating...all of those adjectives can be ascribed to change.  Several people close around us are uprooting, moving from the family home,making job changes, going back to school, growing their families with new babies, teenagers driving,and even friends dying of cancer.  It is hard to deal with change sometimes.  But, as followers of Jesus, we understand that the only constant in this world is Him.  I think I'm going to claim this verse for the next few weeks so I don't stress myself out too much!
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever Hebrews 13:8


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

filling the days


I'm loving not having any school work to complete.  My free days have been so enjoyable--lunch with friends, painting the laundry room, reading books that I want to read--not have to read.  Insert commercial for the book "Weird" by Craig Groeschel, amazing! Let's just say that if I get declined admission into grad school, I may not be too disappointed.  Dillon has started school with a bang.  He stayed home with me yesterday due to a mild case of pneumonia.  Our family is so strange.  Here he is eating rice with seaweed strips for lunch.  Hey, we are taking our kiddo's Korean heritage to heart!

Here is my project.  I began painting the laundry room in May.  Uh-hem, I am not slow, I'm deliberate!  I just wanted to make sure this is what I wanted.  What says clean laundry and bright home like a fresh coat of yellow?  The little blue flags are where I'd measured the kids and marked their height on the wall.  Those markings are precious so I put little flags with the name and date and then pushed a pin in to the spot. 

Hudson informed me this morning that he'd rather stay at the extended time after preschool than come home with me at 12:30.  I'm boring :/     So, I'm sprucing a few things up around the house.  Some people dear to us are selling a house and it got me to looking around at the spots we've run down or ignored for 5 years.
Oh, random, but Mike wrote a little post in the school's newsletter about true blessings.  That man is stellar, I tell ya!  How in the world did I snag him?  I'll share it with you sometime.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Forever Family Day-3 years

3 years ago today we landed at DFW, a family of 6.  Seong Cheol was 21 months old and completely terrified of Mike and I.  Thank the Lord we'd taken Abby with us to Korea.  He instantly bonded with her and she had to care for him on the plane home.  His coping mechanism from the first day he saw us was to close his eyes...maybe they aren't really there...if I just don't see them!!  Poor little fella.  If you'd like to read about our trip home, click HERE

(sweet friend Faith helping Dillon hold the Welcome Home sign)

(we were surprised anyone braved the airport arrival at 11pm)


("they really aren't here, they really aren't here!")

The last 3 years have been pretty wild.  In all honesty, the first 6 months after his arrival were HARD!  He screamed a lot, cried a lot, was very demanding, and vomited all over our city(whenever in public, he'd have a tantrum and vomit).  All typical grieving and adjustment behaviors.  Fast forward to today.  This kid is a brilliant and funny 4yr old.  He loves school, is obsessed with Thomas trains, is very musical and sings all day, has super expressive eyes, and cracks us up.  Just a few days ago he gave me the perfect explanation:  "I think I know why I'm so loud, it is cause of my huge lungs."  Brilliant I tell ya!
Happy Gotcha Day Seong Cheol.