Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013

Sweet Christmas memories.  Somehow, it all seemed a little less excessive and stressful this year.  We kicked off our family party marathon at Mike's grandmother's home.  Here are the cousins together.  

Here are Grandma's amazing pies!  I saw a wonderful idea in an old house that I'm planning on replicating.  They took their grandmother's prize winning pie recipe and put it in a shadow box along with some related memorabilia.  When I inquired about her recipe, Grandma dug out a yellowed and faded handwritten pecan pie recipe that she wrote in home ec class in high school--about 67 years ago!!  She still uses it to cook.
 We love going out to the country for some fresh air and pretty scenery

The next day was my side of the family's party at Melody's home.  Below is the littlest grandkid...7months old Nora.  Shoot that child is ADORABLE!

All the grands so far....there will likely be a couple more in the years to come.  My crazy parents are the ones photodiving behind them.

I worked Christmas day so we had our family Christmas time the morning of Christmas Eve...Santa knows mommy works at the hospital ;)

I let Hudson and Dillon wrap presents this year.  You really can't see the full effect of how much tape Hudson used!

That evening, we went to our church's Vintage Christmas service for the first time. We played hookie and skipped my aunt's Christmas party...felt so guilty missing it for the first time in 20 years and yet we enjoyed our church so very much!   Our church is friendly, fun, funky, and so sweet.  Happy Birthday Jesus(even though the Bible does not say when you were actually born).  What a sweet gift of salvation and forgiveness through Jesus Christ!
On Christmas Day, I took care of sick people and ate 1500 cookies.  Mike took the children to his mom's home.  They had a great time, but apparently the camera was dead.  Drat!  I have no pictures of that time. Sorry Nana!

And, it is over, for one more year.   Can't say that I'm sad.  On to a new budgets to write(and not really follow) exercise goals to write(and only follow for about 2 months) To Do lists to post on the calenders to fill in.  I love New Year organization.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

1983 wants its kitchen back! makeover is going well

It has been 2 months since I last posted a picture of our kitchen.  Yes, I realize it is the day after Christmas and I should be doing the obligatory Christmas post.  However, I worked yesterday so Mike took the kids to his mothers and they spent the night (whoohooo alone time, I slept until nearly 8am and no little voice is begging me for food or to play checkers at 8am, but I digress!) ...along with my camera full of pictures.  Back to the kitchen.  In case you need refreshers on what it looked like, go to the October 28th post. We have been debating about what to do with the backsplash.  Certainly, glass subway style tiles was what we originally planned.  We bought some and looked at the process and returned them!  We just aren't that handy and we sure don't want to spend money hiring someone.  Plus, for the time being, we can't replace our golden oak colored butcher block laminate on the counter top.  It made little sense to put up pretty tile backsplash and keep ugly counter tops. A great solution came up.  Heavy duty kitchen wallpaper.  We got beadboard-look wallpaper.  It is really thick and textured and paintable.  My parents showed up a few days ago for a quick visit.  After 1 hour of work with them showing us what to was done!  We painted it the same as the cabinets.  It isn't perfect. There are some tiny bumps and seams that you can see if you are looking for flaws.  But, I think that generally people will walk in and be like "Wow, that beadboard looks awesome as a backsplash!" Cost us 20 bucks for 1 roll and looks great.  The best part is that it isn't a permanent solution.  In a few years, we can get new counters and new back splash with out wasting dollars.

The wall color has been a stumper!  Previously, it was seafoam green.  I did not want a country looking kitchen, but a simple, clean, traditional yet with a slight funky twist.  We started painting the walls a gray color to help it look more modern and sleek.  Ugly!  It looked like silly puddy and too washed out with the off-white cabinets.  Mike suggested a darker green.  I was very nervous about darker green.  Until I saw this picture on Pinterest. So, a darker green is what we went for.  It looks so fun and the color is really rich.

We are copying this kitchen pretty much exactly (minus the beautiful glass front doors, the non-popcorn ceiling and the modern and super expensive appliances). 

Next up:  take down the 2 long fluorescent tubes that are the light fixtures,put up lovely and funky light fixture maybe like this one

and get a new sink, sand and stain the existing wood parquet floors from orangy oak color to a darker brown, and install the over the stove microwave we bought on sale the day after T-giving.
Let's see, judging by our current progress, it will be 2015 when we finish :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mean racial remarks still happen

First mean racial experience: at Target tonight our son Dillon (11 years old chronologically but about 6-7 developmentally) was 2 aisles over from me. I heard some giggling and looked over. Three other boys, looked about 12 years old, came over and were playing around. I kept waiting on Hudson a few more minutes. Pretty soon Mike and Dillon came walking up. Mike had rounded the corner of the aisle where Dillon was. The other boys were close in his face saying fake Chinese words "Ching Chong Ching Chong". When they saw Mike they took off running!! Poor sweet Dillon had no idea what to do or really what they were doing. He was bothered by them being in his face. Mike walked all over that store looking for the boys(they should be glad he didn't find them!). I was fairly surprised at these boys making fun of a Korean child. Our adoption agency(the best ever...Dillon International) teaches parents that children who were adopted and are of a different race than the parents don't struggle so much with adoption issues as they do with identity and race.  We've just never experienced this type of negativity before.  
The most distressing aspect of this was not the stupid racial remarks.  We are most concerned over how defenseless Dillon is and that he can't relay a story because of the speech disorder.  If something more serious happened and we were not around, I shudder to think of it!  I'm seriously considering putting him in Tae Kwon Do or Karate to learn some self defense and confidence.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Transracial nativity scene

Hudson's kindergarten class colored pictures of Mary holding baby Jesus.  I gasped when I saw his....He colored a light-skinned momma and a dark-skinned baby!!  Just so wonderful I grinned ear to ear!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Icepalooza of North Texas 2013

  I really hate being cold. My hands are freezing (I'm like Elsa in the new movie "Frozen"...which is a wonderful movie!).  Texas is the greatest place to live during the winter. We have 1 or 2 days of really cold and some light precip..enough to get some use out of the neglected winter gear, slip around a bit, take pretty pictures, have a fire, and by is melting and sunny.  Perfecto...for me...65 and under is cold!
So, for this crazy winter storm that blew in last Thursday evening leaving us in the 20's, we are all crying Uncle!  Where is our beloved sunshine?? Life screeched to a halt.  School was out for 3 days because so many people live out in the country and the buses cant travel secondary roads.  We don't have snow plows around these parts...really it is embarrassing the way the world shuts down for 2 inches of snow/ice

As it happens pretty much every year, the ice/snow blows in and I always have to work.  I'm so blessed that Mike is a school administrator and can be home with the children.  Nurses have no excuse for not coming to work in bad weather and roads.  I'll spare you all the drama of the nightmarish Friday/Saturday experience.  But, I was one irritable, tired witch and it took me 2hours and 45 minutes to get home Saturday night (usually a 23 minute drive)!  This is the entrance to our neighborhood.  The city barricaded it due to ice.  We are very seriously considering my next car being a 4 wheel drive vehicle.  I'm not scared of driving on ice, I've been driving to work in it for the last 17 years (shout out to my parents...I'm so thankful you raised me to be a strong, fiercely independent woman!), but being trapped up in our neighborhood is kind of freaking us out.

This picture cracks me up!  Clearly Hudson needs some work in the preparing for winter play department.  Note the sandals and socks ;)

Our backyard has a fairly steep slope that ends in cedar brush and a fence.  The kids had a blast sledding down it on a skim board and in a plastic kiddie pool

Monday, December 2, 2013

holiday mantle reflects memory lane

Mike and Abby surprised me Saturday night with the most delightful holiday mantle decor!  Our new home has a big brick fireplace and mantle.  We have an old Dickens Christmas village that my mother-in-law gave us.  It looked pretty but lacked height and uumph.  We have lots of handmade Christmas crafts that our children have made throughout the years.  So,while I was at work Saturday(and it stunk it up to high heaven that day!), Mike and Abby created this:

They took wooden clothes pins and spray painted them red, green, and gold.  Then the hung fishing line across the mantle.  Years of treasures are now hanging up for me to smile, laugh, and tear up at. I tell you, when your oldest is talking to colleges(in Kansas no less) and talking about moving out....looking at Christmas crafts he made as a 2nd grader is pretty emotional.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The baby turns 6

referral picture when he was in S. Korea

Here is what my heart and mind are swirling with right now.  Hudson turns 6 tomorrow.  Our last little one.  He is missing his 2 top front teeth.  Do you have any idea how adorable that is?  He still takes his blankie to school. In many ways he is a little boy.  But, this isn’t my first rodeo.  With age 6 comes more peer influence, learning to read, play dates, independence, steps toward becoming a big kid. It is bittersweet to watch the baby of the family grow up.  Heck, he just joined our family at age 22 months so we missed his first 2 years.Truth is, and this is where most of you will tune me out as nuts, if I wasn’t in grad school, and thus not so exhausted,  we were not about to embark on college for Carter, and if we had a family member to help with everyday childcare juggling, we (and yes, Mike loves it just as much as I do) would almost certainly be on the list to adopt a special needs toddler girl living an an orphanage in Asia.  We love children.  We do a decent job of providing a loving and safe home for children. Our eyes are wide open to the huge need for warm, loving, parents to step up and say “You are important, you matter, you are NOT an orphan any longer” to the 150 million children in the world who have no parents to raise them. 
But, all good things must come to an end.  There is a very fun and sweet future for our family....a family of big kids....not little kids forever. We are having fun and enjoy no more diaper bags, no more daycare, no more sippy cups.  Yes, big kids are special and sweet!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

kitchen reno slllooooowww

We took all the cabinet doors off several weeks ago.  Mike bought a sprayer and sprayed them all in the garage.  Um, we didn't realize there would be a fine white (actually, the color is called "linen") coating of pain all over and learn!  So there are no doors on the cabinets.  Do you know how exposed you feel when you host a birthday party and you have  no cabinet doors?  Awkward.  I lined all the pots and pans and spices up in nice straight lines.  Clearly it was a work in progress.  And I use the word progress lightly.  We've done nothing since.  The doors all look so pretty...lined up along the wall in our dining room.  If only I didn't work and didn't have my school to occupy my time, and 4 kids, and basketball, and church duties, and so on.  No worries, it will get done in due time.

Friday, November 15, 2013

school is getting cool

It is starting to click.  All my studying is beginning to shape up my thinking about my patients in new and much more in depth ways.  I'm thinking more critically about the physiology and what it means in patient care. I really enjoy this deeper understanding. I took care of a lady who was an alcoholic and I had just finished a lecture on the MEOS alcohol metabolism pathway.  It was so fun to be able to talk to the doc on a new level. Hopefully, this burst of interest and excitement will carry me through December 2016
Speaking of school, Hudson came home telling me about what Mrs. Hartt taught the kindergartners.  He said "in the old days, people had to kill the sheep for sin, because blood cancels the sin.  But Jesus was the sheep and now we don't do that anymore."  Whoa!!  Some deep lessons and he got it! Now, if he can just get it in his head that he has to obey, even when he doesn't feel like it :)  Little toot is too smart for his own good.

In bigger news....Carter has a new(gently used) car!!!!  Our very very well loved 1998 Accord with 227K miles needs a new the tag of 2800.00.  Um, I don't think so!  We had so much fun getting him this car. He has kept the same job for a year and a half and other than not being able to remember his homework, we have no trouble with this teen/almost grown man at all.  He is a joy.

Photo: Our beloved '98 Accord with 227K miles bit the dust. Carter has kept the same job for a year and a half and is a great young man! We enjoyed getting this sweet car for him. Merry Christmas, happy early bday and happy early graduation! You make us so proud

Monday, November 11, 2013

My time with Jen Hatmaker

So that title was a tad misleading :)  I actually DID meet her and speak with her a few sentences.  Friday night I drove to my sweet friend, Meredith's home and spent the night.  We had a blast sitting up and talking.  Then the next morning, we picked up a couple more friends and went to a short and wonderful ladies' retreat in East Texas.  Jen was the featured speaker.  It was the sweetest thing.  I don't think 3/4 of those ladies had a clue who she was nor how BIG of a deal she is much less had read any of her books!  The church was a small and intimate old fashioned Baptist church.  Jen was awesome.  I was literally sitting 2 rows back middle--directly in front of her. When we met her, she was so real and approachable.  You will be pleased to  know that I did not act a fool and embarrass myself.  I did tell her that she and I were on the same brain wavelength and that I have been to the ministry that she loves so much in Haiti.  She signed my worn out and flagged copy of "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" (I personally believe it is one of the most crucial books of the generation).  I had told my mom that Jen didn't know it, but she had a lot riding on this conference.  I was praying for the Holy Spirit to speak ever so clearly to me about some big life decisions right now:  clear vision and direction for my continued school, if I should join my sweet friend Christi for a mission trip in Haiti again this summer, and what to do with our vehicle situation (long story). Well, I loved every minute of my time and heard the Lord speak to me.  Unfortunately, not in any of the above situations.  So, I registered for my next classs (advanced pharmacology), I'm definitely leaning towards Haiti (when I reflect on my adventure there 3.5 years ago...crossing rivers in hollowed out trees, trekking through mountains with medical supplies and food) how could I not say YES?  As for the vehicles....we are still praying for wisdom.  Mer...I love you friend and had sooooo much fun with you, Kelly, and Carrie. To my hubby, thank you for always encouraging me to go and experience life.  I know my treks are hard on you sometimes.  But, OH, the great experiences I've had over the years.  You never ever act like it is an inconvenience and you encourage me to branch out, live life to the fullest!

"We feel like our job is to make the gospel right, but Jesus says we are to make the gospel real"
"I refuse to sit idle in my luxuries while the world starves and grieves"---Jen Hatmaker

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

She did it...and I'm so impressed!

My sister, Emily, ran her first marathon last Saturday. I really can't even fathom this feat.  She has been an amazing example of determination and hard work.  She has struggled with weight, poor self-image, and inactivity for nearly her whole life.  18 months ago she said "enough!!"  45 pounds slimmer and jogging with diligence and education (she is all smart now about distance running-the Galloway method), she ran 26.2 miles in 5 hours and 13 minutes.  Her 3 young daughters cheered as she crossed the finish line.  What a memory those girls will never forget.  I'm so proud of her!!  She has energized me to quit blaming my grad studies on my loss of running time.  I'm getting up and getting my cardiac muscles pumping.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

2013 Halloween bust

Not our best Halloween.  Carter is too old and too cool for us.  He joined friends and left us in the dust.  Abby, now age 13 and too hip for us as well, refused to join in and stayed home.  Our new neighborhood, beloved by us for the privacy, quiet, and space seems to be brimming over with boring retirees.  Thus, Mike and I took Dillon and Hudson to a local community college's Trick or Treat event....LAME!  The clientele was a bit shady.  Dillon's sensory sensitivities were in high alert due to the crowd and costumes.  We left after a few minutes.  We ended up in our old neighborhood for a few door to door treats.  It was full of families out walking and made us sad for our old community.  Also, for the first time in 10 years we didn't hang out with our old friends the Hennings.  Their kids are 13 and 16.  I didn't even take a single picture!  Of course, as you all know, I'm a "phone it in" (to quote Frankie on The Middle) kind of parent when it comes to holidays and costumes.  Two days before Halloween Mike asked what the boys were going to wear.  I told him we had several costumes in the dress up box that they could choose from.  No planning or buying for us :)
And now, my friends, it is NOVEMBER!!!  The time is flying by me.  How, on God's green earth, did it become November??  Hudson's 6th bday is the end of the month, Dillon's 11th bday is in mid December, and of course, the onslaught of holiday "whobilations" (what movie??) is upon us.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Having fun making memories

All I can really say is I'm Blessed!  Saturday Mike and I went out for my birthday while little Miss Abigail deftly took care of the little boys for us.  We perused some art at my favorite world-class art museum.  Then we downed plates of delicious Cuban/Mexican food.  The rice was full of black beans and reminded me so much of my week in Nicaragua.  Man that country stole my heart.  Church yesterday was wonderful!  Carter is part of the worship band now and you can't imagine what it feels like to see your teenage son up on stage playing and singing.  Then I snoozed 2 hours on the couch, while the lame Cowboys played!!  After I woke up, we decided "Why not?"  and we tore off the butcher block laminate back splash.  Truly, the place looks brighter already.  We have big plans of installing subway tiles ourselves.  

Tonight we carved a pumpkin.  Mike is a great carver.  The boys loved watching.  We baked the seeds.

To top off our fun, I pulled Hudson's first tooth.  The four front teeth are porcelain caps because he joined our family with severe baby bottle rot.  That cap was tenacious and has been a work in progress for about 2 months.  Mike was adamant we not pull it out until school pics were done.  They were done this morning.  So, dental floss and a flew.  Hudson is running around the house in his underwear saying "I'm SO happy!!!"

I'm just so stinkin' blessed.  My home is full of noises and laughter and "firsts", like loosing a tooth, for many years to come. Nana gave the kids Halloween treats that I've been stealing the past 2 days!  Our family is healthy and happy.  What a sweet miracle.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Need a spark

Go to work
Do my schoolwork
Wash clothes
Take children to school
Pick children up from school
Take children to activities
Take pics of my children doing activities
Go to church
Pay bills
Eat fast food...feel a mile to counter act the fat
Plan a simple menu for the fam
And on and on and on

I'm becoming a middle-aged bore who feels tired all the time and goes through the routine

I need a spark....a creative impetus to light a fire

I  need to get out of myself and the "I" world in which we live here in suburbia (the one that is nauseatingly self-indulgent and centers around making our children's lives the most ahhh-inspiring Pinterest-worthy picture of childhood).  Lord help me, the holidays are about here!!  I'm feeling my inner Grinch starting to surface. My biggest hatred of all---blow up Harley motorcycles with Santas riding them were spotted in Lowe's last week.
Serving others...that is the only cure for this feeling about to overtake me.  Must....Step...Out...of....Comfort....Zone!!!
I ran in to a friend's father at a local restaurant.  She is in South Sudan delivering babies for women with  no access to medical care.  Now THAT sparks my interest.

Don't worry, I'm not about to jump ship and do something weird.  But, a little crazy is how Mike and I like to function :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Big honor at Homecoming

We are so proud of Carter.  He was one of 3 boys in his grade to be  nominated for Mr. T**.  The students were instructed to vote for the person who best imitated Christ at school, worked for unity in the student body, and had kind speech.  He is a super duper young man and we are so thankful for him.  And lets not forget, super handsome!
  . Thank you to grandparents and aunts/uncles who came to watch.  It was a precious night that I'll treasure in my heart. Oh, and thanks goes to my sisters and friends who helped me borrow clothes and jewelry.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Isn't it funny how the ugly soon blends in?

Our house reno stalled out long ago.  We pretty much have zero funds to do any renovations/updating.  And, we have little time nor energy for such projects.  I find it really amusing how the hideous stuff we wanted to fix right away has now become the norm.  Not just the norm, but we don't even notice it really!  Can you relate?  For example, the kitchen is a concoction of cheap and dated golden oak wood(or wood-like products) coupled with popcorn ceiling, a large recessed fluorescent light and old appliances.  It was one of the things we wanted to update pretty quickly.  Truthfully, unless we are having company (which is rare), I don't even notice it anymore. Then there is the "game closet." It seems that homes built in 1983 needed much less storage for all the junk that 2013 parents buy for their kids.  We lost a good bit of closet space when we moved.  So, since April 25th, there have been 2 large boxes on the floor of the master bedroom containing family games. Heck, I even vacuumed around those boxes today!!!  UGH.  I'm not a clutter or junky person.  I keep a minimalist style home.  But, 2 large boxes are now part of my bedroom furniture.  We have grand ideas of building a long walk in closet for linens and games.  Let's see, that takes money, time, know-how, money, more time, more get the picture.  Maybe we the kids move out and are self-sustaining we will renovate our house?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

He can see clearly now

Is this not the cutest face you've EVER seen???  I know, really he is.  Little Hud got some spectacles today.  The school nurse suspected a slight problem back in PreK and suggested we wait til kindergarten to go for a full exam.  We have noticed a slight turning in of the left eye.  Well, actually Tina (hey friend) gently suggested that he needed to have the left eye checked close to 2 years ago.  Anyway, nothing like some great laid back parenting style (especially for mom to be a nurse--FNP in training even) to put things off a bit.  Today was the big day.  His left eye has astigmatism and the right eye is overcompensating. You should have seen this kid.  He totally schmoozed over all the office workers and dr.  They were eating out of his hand.  And let me make a side remark here....Asian faces are very discriminated against in the eyeglasses world.  Hudson really has no nose bridge so finding a pair that won't slide down constantly was challenging.  In the end, little star in the making selected preppy Guess black frames.  He can't wait to attach a strap to them.  Um, anyone want to inform him how dorky that actually is?? Nah, me either.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ignorance was bliss but not anymore...Kale Chips

My class is making me paranoid.  Right now is biochemistry and pathophysiology of cellular damage.  She keeps mentioning polyunsaturated fats aka PUFAs, saturated fats, free radicals, high blood sugars, high salt diets, antioxidants and on and on.  I don't think I'll be eating red meat for a looooong time!  My poor kids are now taking daily vitamins with omega 3 and 6 in them.  I'm really trying to make more plant-based meals (and not canned veggies).  My  youngest sister and her hubby are plant-based eaters and give me tips. My friend, Claudia, told me about the jewel pictured below...

Kale Chips...O....MY...Goodness!  Delish and so easy.  Tear off the stem, tear into smaller size pieces, toss in a bowl with a little salt and some olive oil, bake at 400 for about 10 minutes and you have little crunchy treats that nearly dissolve in your mouth.  You are welcome!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Guard against the B word

Here's what I'm wrestling with lately.  The dreaded B word.  Yep, BUSY, is the B word.  This was a kicker week.  Mike had school meetings til 8pm both Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  I worked 39 hours, spent Tues/Thur watching school lectures and studying, and Abby had 2 volleyball games.  Saturday morning we were in the historical area of the city at 7am for Carter's senior pics (Little side note, our photographer is fabulous and creative.  She totally captured Carter's artsy, funky, sweet and silly personality.  If you live near the DFW metroplex and need a good photograper, message me for he name).

By Saturday afternoon, we all lay on the couch relaxing and snoozing.  The little boys played, Carter took a nap, and we just chilled. I literally could not keep my eyes open!  The B word was circulating in my mind. I know many of you struggle with this as well.  What on earth are we doing?  We know our days are numbered.  The Scriptures compare our lives to a passing wind or a fading flower.  In Psalms, David says  Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.
Psalm 39:3-5

Here is what I'm aiming for....saying NO to things that cause more and more nuttiness.  We have always had a rule that our kids can only be involved in one sport or extra event at a time.  More than sports, I need help setting boundaries.  I want to learn to evaluate everything that exhausts me through the Kingdom other words, does it really make a difference in the Kingdom?  Oh sure, sometimes you just gotta go buy toilet paper and donuts.  Certainly those have no Kingdom impact, but they are part of being human, as is sometimes taking a shopping trip or going to a sports event.  My friend Meredith(girl, only 6 weeks til our time to see Jen Hatmaker!!!) recommended a book that I must read.  It is called Margin by Dr. Swenson and is about creating balance in our lives...through a Kingdom lens.
I leave you with a challenge to say no to things that, in themselves are not bad, but do they really build up your family or your relationship with Jesus or others?
Here is a song to  help us remember the B word trap.  Veggie Tales made a cartoon teaching children about The Good Samaritan.  Along came the mayor and he stopped to talk to the poor cucumber on the side of the road.  He couldn't render any aid because he was too busy.  I wonder, in not such harsh words, how many times have my actions said this to my children?

"I'm busy, busy
Shockingly busy
You've no idea, how much I have to do!
Busy, busy
Dreadfully busy
Much, much too busy for you!"

Thursday, September 19, 2013

fitness poser

I haven't exercised in weeks.  And yet, on some of my days off I wear my running if I am about to run or just completed a good heart-healthy jog!  I'm turning to mush...both brains and brawn.  The unit in which I work is having difficulties and as the staff person who has been there the longest, I place burdens upon myself to try to be the cheerleader and hold things together. I'm picking up extra hours the last several week to pay off a few things.  Advanced Physiology is HARD.  It has been 20 years since I've taken Anatomy and Physiology.  When hubs and kids are at am I...sitting on my mushy butt listening to a lecture that sounds like a foreign language (Transamination and Gluconeogenesis). Something must give.  Jogging can wait. But hey, cooler weather is coming soon.  I love to run in the cold!

Just to cheer us all up from my woe is me...another Hudson cutey.  A mom of a kid in his class passed away Saturday.  She had been fighting cancer.  Hudson has been praying every night that "C"'s mommy would have fun with God in heaven! :))

Sunday, September 15, 2013

kindergarten joy!

The Fire Dept visited school last week.  Check out Hud's face.  Think he liked it??

A girl in his class called him short last week.  He gave her a little shove. Poor kid.  Some big life skill learning happens in kindergarten :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A message of freedom

My parents lead the Celebrate Recovery ministry at their church.  This past Sunday was "Celebrate Recovery Sunday" and mom brought the message.  That woman preached it!  If you need some freedom, joy, peace, abundant life.....listen to mom

Monday, September 9, 2013

We are headed to see Jen!

My friend Meredith and I got tickets to see Jen Hatmaker in 2 months!!  Whoohoo.  We are so pumped.  I'll drive several hours to Mer's house, spend the night...likely talk til late(which is about 10pm in my book), and the next day we will drive to the place where Jen (my twin sister, I've never met) will be speaking.  And herein lies the dilemma....what does one wear to hear Jen Hatmaker speak?  Really this is a bit bothersome to me.  On the one hand, I want to connect.  You never know when opportunity comes knocking on your door.  What if I wear my "147 Million Orphans....Feed 1" shirt or maybe my A21 Human Trafficking awareness T-shirt that says "Unlock Freedom", and Jen spots me from the crowd, and then wants to chat, and then likes me so much, and then we hit it off, and then she invites me to speak and write alongside her???   Ohhh, that would just be awesome.  But, on the other hand, I don't want to be "that" woman.  You know, the one who tries way to hard and looks obnoxious.  She'd spot me from the stage and silently sigh, thinking, "there's another one...trying too hard."  What to wear??

Friday, August 30, 2013

2 teenagers in the house

 Abby turned 13 on Tuesday!! Whoopwhoop.  Can you believe we have 2 teens?  This gorgeous young lady was sooooo excited to get a Facebook page.  Before you ultra conservatives go hatin', I laid down some pretty strict rules and made sure her privacy settings were secure.  Anyways, moving right along to the birthday girl, she and her volleyball team mates spanked the opposing team that evening (as they do all teams) and then we celebrated at the restaurant of her choosing.  Mike and I gave her a beautiful silver ring from James Avery that is a crown.  We read I Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

We want her to look down and be reminded that she is a beloved daughter of the King Most High. The women in our family and some sweet friends wrote blessing cards for her to keep in a treasure box during the teen years.  Here are the main points that I put in my letter
1.      1. Your value is in who Christ says you are-not what our icky culture says
           2. Disappointments, troubles, arguments, and heartaches are temporary.  It feels like the end of the world sometimes but I promise, you will look back and laug h at how teenage girls make everything a huge deal
3.       You body is God’s design and temple-treat it with respect and insist others do the same
4.       Open up and talk about your feelings keeping hurts and confusion bottled up inside only causes bitterness and anger. Dad and I want you trust us with your thoughts
5.       As a Korean adoptee, it is okay to wonder about your losses; culture, language, and birthfamily. Don’t try to pretend those are not valid losses
6.       You were created ON purpose and For a purpose

     What a fun and smart treasure she is. Now, watch Mike get his shotgun and be on the porch when a boy starts calling ;)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Big D begins 4th grade

Dillon began 4th grade yesterday. I'm going to be transparent here, and likely make some of you pucker your lips in disdain.  This kid holds my heart unlike our other 3
This kid is such a precious little(actually not so little anymore) boy.  Oh, I wish everybody could spend some time with him.  He loves with complete abandon...both people and his Heavenly Father.  He tries so hard to do what other 4th grade boys do. He enjoys all sports and wants to play football, but that is out of the question for several reasons.  He tries to read, but his 5yr old brother beats him to figuring out the words before he can say it.  A cruel speech disorder robs him of the ability to clearly tell stories or sing the words to songs. He is steady, calm, funny, social, outgoing, and compliant. I've seen how he brings joy to those around him, and that is a gift!  He loves slap-stick comedy. You should see him watch his beloved Texas Rangers on matter what really happened in the game...the Rangers are always safe and they always get the "bad team" out! If 12 years ago you'd asked Mike and I our thoughts on adopting a child with life long special needs we'd likely have said "oh  no, we are not prepared for something like that." Stab me in the heart to think of saying no to this kid.  Our whole world has been changed...for the better.  Thank you Jesus for your special plan.  Because really, all of us are special needs in some unique and varying ways. But, the truth is we were all created ON purpose and FOR a purpose. Sweet Dillon, may your 4th grade year be a banner one; a year full of growing, learning, making friends, and having fun. 
Psalm 139:14 
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Baby box...Dear Korea, we would love them!

This is not a new story line, but one that slaps me back into harsh reality every time I see it.  A precious pastor and church in Seoul trying to care for the helpless unwanted babies.
Because of new laws that scare birthmothers away from making an adoption plan, 280 babies have been left abandoned in the last 3yrs. These children grow up as orphans...forever alone...never part of a family.  A family like ours.  So many people would be thrilled to offer these babies a home, if the process was fair and smooth, and not insanely expensive.  OH, it kills me!!!  We have been completely smitten with our Korean born children and would be honored if God asked us to open our home to just one more.  I'd gladly give up school and keep driving my old clunker to give a priceless treasure a home.Pray with me please for justice.
photo taken from

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New class begins

Advanced Pathophysiology begins this week.  I'm excited to be taking something that will be concrete, memorizable, and applicable to my daily nursing life. Can't believe I've got 6 hours of grad work completed...rocking the B average...totally good enough for me!  I'm still very ambivalent in my feelings for school.  Is that normal?  Surely I should have much more drive to continue. Alas, until God puts a big stop sign in front of me, I'll plug away.  After all, this is going to take 3 more years.  I can be 44 with a masters or 44 with no masters.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

sometimes being a hoarder pays off

Abby saves everything.  When I say everything, I mean every dumb piece of paper, wrapping paper she took off gifts, tags off of clothes stuffed in to tiny jewelry boxes, last years school notes, tubes of lip gloss hidden in her sock drawer...etc.  This is a point of contention in our relationship.  I hate clutter.  I like open spaces and I have been known to throw away important items without really thinking it through. Once a month I got in to her room(when she isn't home) with a trash bag and clean out all the purses, gym bags, and keepsake boxes. Well her saving has paid off.  She's been hoarding cash, in a zip lock baggie no less.  After saving babysitting money and her paychecks from sorting books at school, she has 410.00!  She has been eyeing a used iPad on Amazon.  Today we will order her iPad and case for a total of 380.00.  Mike and I don't even have an iPad.  Heck, our computer is a slow piece of crud.  I'm so proud for her!!  I hope she catches the bug of saving and paying cash for items for the rest of her life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

3 of 4 kids launched this week

School started this week for 3 out of the 4 kiddos.  Monday night was orientation at Trinity, the Christian school where Carter, Abby, and Hudson attend.  They had a prayer time for the senior class, of which Carter is a member---can it truly be???  The dads prayed aloud over their kids and committed them to Christ for their last year of school. TEARS!  Oh man, this will be a rough year for momma. (Wasn't it just yesterday that I carried a chubby 1yr old Abby to escort Carter to Kindergarten and he asked me "Momma, do I look cool?")
Carter told me a wonderful Biblical application that came to him that night.  He said that he could hear all the other dads praying around him.  But, when his daddy started praying, all he could hear was that one voice, because he knew that voice.  Carter said it was just like the verse that talks about the sheep knowing their shepherd's voice. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" John 10:27. 
I pray he always distinguishes his Father's voice over the murmur of the crowd!

Hudson began Kindergarten today.  He has been over the top excited and this morning came running into the kitchen at 6:15, waving his hands over his head saying "I'm so excited!" Good luck Kinder teachers....Hudsey can already read and is raring to go!

The yearly first day photo.  Abby begins Jr. High!!  Man, I am praying her Jr. High years are not as icky as mine (mostly self-inflicted ickiness, I confess).  She is excited and loves school.  She is taking pre Algebra as a 7th grader and I look forward to seeing her soar.

Dillon is living it up at my mom's this week since childcare was not working out with the conflicting school schedules (I miss that angel and smelled his pillow last night to make me feel better).  He is attending a cooking camp with cousin Lexi and doing all things grandkids:  eating pizza, riding horses, and who knows what else.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

And this sums it all up...."Missional Living"

Missional Living

Click the link to listen to Matt Chandler, Sr. Pastor of The Village Church, speak on Missional Living.  It is an old message, but pretty much sums it all up for Mike and I.  May we constantly re-evaluate our lives and what we are doing--never growing complacent with easy and comfort and riches, but looking to point others to Jesus.  Sooooo hard in affluent and me-centered suburbs where making our kids' lives fun and insulated is the number 1 priority.  Mike and I have slipped the past several months.  We didn't take our kids to serve the poor a single time this summer--Lord knows there was lots of time to do so.  We watched movies, played and worked on our house and bought 75.00 Sperry boat shoes for Abby for school....nothing that points to Jesus.  I'm becoming the person I've preached against for the last 10 years. Time to ask for some Grace and redirect our attentions.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sounds of summer

I see some fellow mothers posting things on Facebook like "I'm so happy to have all my chicks in the nest alllllll summer" and "I don't want school to start, I love having my children home with me allllll day"

I'm sorry, but I smirk and gag a bit when I read those posts.  Here is what summer sounds like in my house
        "Hudson, STOP"
"MOOOOOOOOMMMMYYYYYY"  insert little boy running to tattle on his brother.  One minute best friends and enjoying stunts like below.  The next minute at each others' throats. (side note, check out our totally funky 1983 stained glass front door!)

I also hear our money being sucked out like a vacuum: ice cream here, out to eat there (cause it is too hot to cook  or 2 out of 4 kids aren't home and it is SO cheap to only have 2 kids go out with us!), and camp here, and a movie there.

You get the picture.  I love summer and my children, don't get me wrong.  I'm just saying that it isn't structured the most wise way.  I sure wish we could go to school several months, have a month off, go several months, have a month and so forth.  I am ready for school after about a month.  Abby has had her school backpack packed and at her door since last week.  She is driving  us nuts about going shopping for school supplies.

In the meantime, we are trying to enjoy our last few days of a little bit more relaxed life.  We've become fairly red neck as well.  Our wooded acre is great for pellet gun practice.

And we discovered a sweet and poorboy style lake marina/beach.  Five bucks gets you this paradise :)  It really is nice and well done.

There are some great advantages to summer of course:
no making sure there are school uniforms clean, eating whatever is available for lunch and not packing a decent school lunch, Abby is home to babysit for me when I work.  I love paying her instead of a random sitter.  For our anniversary, she and the little boys made us this.  So sweet :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

20 years later, I still DO

Happy 20th Anniversary to Mike and I on July 30th.  Shocking to realize that I was 20 when we got married.  So, I've been married to Mike as long as I was alive pre-marriage :)  Twenty years have flooooowwwn.  We've been all over the world, had joys and sorrows, moves, career changes, fun adventures, been so stinkin' broke, been so stinkin' blessed.  What a precious life together.  I love you Mike and I don't regret a day of being married to a godly, funny, handsome, compassionate, full of integrity man.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Korea camp wrap up

We had so much fun.  The boys really really enjoyed Korea Camp.  I was completely worn out by the end of the day and didn't get to visit much with other moms (bummer, because I love me some sweet Dillon Int. Mommas!).  Here are some pics of language class, Tae Kwon Do, traditional drumming and just plain fun with friends

Thank you Dillon International for being a professional and Christ-honoring adoption agency, and also, for being our extended family!  We love you guys and appreciate all you do for children needing forever families and for the families who love those children!