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 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  The organization supports widows in Kenya.  Go order one today