Tuesday, June 30, 2009

a give away!

UPDATE**

The contest is over, and Loveday's Day is the winner! Please send me an email with your address, and I'll get your Welcome sent right out.  Thanks so much for all of you who participated!

*********

This is a big moment in the life of my blog. I have never had a contest or give away of any kind, but with the help of my sister, Rachel, that's all changing today.  And what is up for grabs?  


Not the door, but the writing on it. A Welcome vinyl applique of sorts for your door or anywhere else you would like to put it.  It's by a company called UpperCase Living, and before becoming acquainted with it last year, I had never seen anything like it.  I have several things around my house, and I love, love, love them!

This is a picture of my "Poppy" wall, and if you look right below the first shelf, you can see the UpperCase Living my sister designed for me with Poppy's name.  I was thrilled with how perfectly this fit the spot, and the price fit to, totaling up to less than $10.00!

In addition to walls, UpperCase can go on just about anything, like a tile, wood, a mirror, toy bins, buckets... I love that because it makes UpperCase a fantastic gift option as well.


Rachel has her own site on UpperCase Living, complete with picture of work she has installed in a number of homes.  I am crazy about how versatile this stuff really is because of the option to design your own custom piece.  The color, wording, font, size, and spacing are all up to you.

Now for the details: To win a Welcome sign similar to the one pictured above (same color, slightly different design), go to Rachel's UpperCase page and click on the Photo Corner tab.  Look through the photos, pick a favorite, and leave a comment under this post letting me which design you like best.  And it's as easy as that. I will pick a winner at 9:00 CST tomorrow night. 

Happy Looking!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

a happy meal

Lunch today was nothing but smiles...and with Uncle Micah there to play with and an air vent to stand on and blow up dresses, it was really nothing but smiles. No eating.  No sitting at the table.  But lots, and lots of smiles.








Friday, June 26, 2009

mark of maturity

I can very easily remember back to when I was a little girl and my opinion of coffee wasn't very high. I saw it as a disgusting grown up drink, and nothing more.  Then I can remember hitting high school and being introduced to the mocha frappuccino.  That gave me an appreciation for coffee that I'd never had before, as I realized that the espresso bean could be masked under enough chocolate, sugar, and whip cream to not even be discernible as coffee any longer.  My affair with the mocha frappuccino lasted several years until Nathan introduced me to the chai latte shortly after we started dating.  After that, it was a sans coffee lifestyle for me once again.

It wasn't until I had arrived at the ripe age of 21 and got a job as a Starbucks barista that I began to have even a hint of appreciation for coffee in its unadulterated form.  As part of the training process, every barista must complete a series of coffee tastings, and it was either man up or get another job.  So I did it.  But even then, I wouldn't drink coffee by choice.  But I did work in a coffee shop and after being around it day in and day out, something had to break.  My happy medium was the latte, and I found I could drink any amount of espresso as long as it was tamed with a little steamed milk.

College graduation closed the Starbucks chapter of my life, but left behind it some coffee-loving seeds, planted, but lying dormant.  Five years have passed since my barista days at Starbucks, and gradually, almost imperceptibly, those seeds have been watered.  It was a cup of coffee here and there when someone had a pot brewing, but nothing consistent.  Then it was the purchase of our first small coffee maker for the house in case we wanted to make some when friends came over.  Next came the occasional request for coffee when I was out, until I finally arrived at the conclusion that I am a coffee drinker.  And what's more, I don't even drink it for the caffeine.  I drink it because it has become something as enjoyable and relaxing as that mocha frappuccino of ages past.  

Tonight I ordered my first after dinner cup of coffee at a restaurant, and drank two cups, black, with not a drop left.  And with those two momentous cups came the realization that I am now officially a grown up. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

sticks and stones

If you hang out in the blog world long enough, by way of reading, writing, or both, then sooner or later you're guaranteed to come across what I will call, the disgruntled commenter. You probably know exactly who I'm talking about.  That person who seems to stay up late at night thinking about a zinger of a comment to leave on some unsuspecting post with the purpose of being hurtful, derogatory, or just plain ugly. Yep.  It happens.  On this blog, I wouldn't say it happens all that often, but every time it does, my initial reaction is to get defensive. After all, this is my family blog and if people don't like what I say or think, they certainly don't have to keep reading.  I'm sure if you've had it happen to you or if you've seen it happen elsewhere, similar thoughts have crossed your mind.

But after those first thoughts take a mental lap, I stop and I think about it.  What kind of person leaves a comment that is meant to hurt?  Who unloads on someone they've never met with the intention of insulting her or making her feel dumb?  I think we all know the answer, but it's an answer that's easy to lose sight of.  I think the kind of person who does that is the kind of person who more often that not, needs love the most.  It's the person who's own tank is so empty, they are fueling up on the empty fumes that come from lashing out at others.  It's the kind of person that feels so hurt, or jaded, or alone, or unloved, that they in turn make themselves unlovable.

It makes me think about how Jesus told a group of people that He didn't come to save the healthy but the sick.  What He meant by that was that He didn't come to help those who felt that they already had it all together on their own and who didn't see any need for a Savior.  He came to help the rest of us.  Those of us who know what a mess we are in on our own.  Those who realize we are not God's gift to creation.  The ones who are hurting, imperfect, and in need of Savior.  

Sometimes people are ugly because people are hurting.  Sometimes things are said or written in a moment of frustration or a result of the overflow of pent up pain.  Sometimes people are so used to building up walls of protection that they have become prickly all over, criticizing and tearing down wherever they go because they have been criticized and torn down. But it's exactly people like that who Jesus reached out to—like the lady who had been married five times and was living with a man who wasn't her husband, or the tax collector who had unfairly cheated people out of money, or the thief dying on the cross for a crime committed, or a diseased man dying of leprosy.  None of those people sound very lovable to me, and if I had to guess, I would say that each of them probably had their moments of coming across as acidic and easy to swallow as a sour lemon.  But still Jesus loved them.  Just like He loves me, faults and all.

So if that's true, and I know it is, then my first and last reaction to an ugly comment can't simply be to take offense.  To do so would be to miss the point, because even though the words might be aimed toward me, I am not the underlying issue.  So instead, I've made a decision to pray for each and every hurtful commenter that comes my way.  Now that doesn't mean I will leave it posted, because I don't think it is generally edifying to leave something non-constructive up in the comments.  But even it if is removed, I will pray for that person and ask God to allow he or she to be loved fully and completely by Him.

It may sound like I'm inviting all the criticism you can throw my way, and really, I promise you I'm not =).  I'm actually quite sensitive to criticism most of the time.  But something I learned from my grandfather is that you've got to pass the praise to Jesus and pass the criticism as well. He can handle it, and as long as I'm trying to please Him, those things don't really matter anyway. 

You may not have a blog, and you may not get negative comments, but all of us have to deal with people who are hurting and who consequently hurt us out of the overflow.  Comments are actually a really small deal compared with many other situations, but I feel like the truth behind the hurt is still the same.  Hurting people need to be loved desperately, and that's hard to remember in the heat of the moment.  But the more I can remember it, the less time I will spend feeling steamed and the more time I can spend passing them right along to Jesus.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What do you do by two?

I don't know about you, but every once in awhile I have one of those days that makes me feel like I've crammed in a week's excitement by the time I reach two o'clock.  Today is one of those days, and 2:00 is the magic number because it just happens to be the time that I got both kids down for naps and sat down to breathe.  As I sit and think about it, it's kind of amazing (and a little exhausting) to consider how much half a day can hold.  I guess there's a little super hero in all of us, waiting to pop out and shine when the moment presents itself.  Mine definitely "popped" today, but what was terribly disappointing was the lack of glamour that came with it. Nothing today would warrant a cape or movie time to anyone except those who have had their share of "moments" and know what a truly super thing it is to survive without a meltdown (at least on your part!)

So here's the nitty-gritty:

*I had the girls and myself, cleaned, fed and dressed by 9:00, and I was out the door by 10:00  with the play room cleaned, the bed made, the mess made by the dumb dog cleaned, work emails answered, and story time completed.
*We drive across town for Adrienne's weight check at the doctor (with the good news of a hefty two lbs gained in 6 weeks!) and are told that we need to go to a lab for a little blood work.  
*We load back up in the 97 degree heat, and we are off to the less than kid friendly environment of the Apple store for a new charger.  Both girls are crying because of the heat, thirst, and overall crankiness by the time we are in the store.  The place is a mad house.  Everyone looks urgent and no one else has kids. The line is really long, and Adrienne kicks and cries while I hold her, and Marianna stands by my side and cries as we wait.
*We load back up in the 97 degree heat, and take off to the lab for blood work. Adrienne has really tiny veins that prove VERY difficult to work with.  The first attempt makes her scream until she has soaked her arm and mine with her tears. They draw blood but not enough.  They come back with the news that I'm going to need to hold her down again as they try the other arm.  I watch in horror as they wiggle and wriggle the needle around trying to find a vein as Adrienne lets out heart-wrenching sobs.  No luck with the second attempt, and neither Adrienne or I can handle any more, so we head out and hope they are able to run the test with what they got.
*We load back up in the 97 degree heat (just in case you've lost count, this is time number 3) and head to Chick-fil-a for a pick-me-up.  In transit, Adrienne dumps a bag of rice cakes onto Marianna (I was a softy and let her hold the bag because of all the trauma she had just been through) and Marianna now feels traumatized by the crumbs and rice cakes covering her and her seat.  
*We make it home.  As I'm unloading, I see that Adrienne's cup of milk has overturned and has soaked through the carpet of the car.  The back seat looks like an elementary school food fight has taken place.
*I take the girls inside, sit them down to lunch, clean up the car, vaccum the house, spot clean the carpet (once you're on a roll, it's hard to stop!) re-organize the toy closet, play with the girls, and at 1:55, I put them down.

Whew. If you made it to this point, I congratulate you.  Half way through I realized, no one will care to read this list, just as certainly as I did not care to go through it.  But I hated to delete it all and have nothing to show for my few minutes of relaxation and computer time. 

Now I am eating cold grapes and thinking about that little lurker,  the superhero, and how it shows up at the most unlikely times!  Thank goodness God put a little "super" into us because, frankly, I just don't feel up to it some days on my own =).

Now it's your turn, and I hope you don't hold back!  Please tell me, what do you do by two? 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Frills

Awhile back I heard about a great sewing idea to take a man's dress shirt and turn it into a child's dress, and in the back of my mind, I thought, "I'd love to try it out for Father's Day."  Fast forward a month or two to this Friday, when I realized if I wanted to make that thought a reality, I needed to kick it into gear!  With the help of my very talented mother-in-law and one of Nathan's obliging dress shirts, we made a Father's Day masterpiece that Marianna is happy to call "my Daddy shirt dress."

These pictures were taken inside of a not-so-scenic Qdoba, but as I knew chips and cheese were coming, I opted for cleanliness to backdrop.  Here is the front of of the dress, which is actually made from the back of Nathan's shirt. The sleeves were cut from the shirt sleeves, and the only part of the dress that didn't come from the shirt is the little rick-rac trim.




The back of the dress is made from the front of Nathan's shirt, making it a veritable sewer's dream since all of those buttons and button holes were already there.



Marianna was pretty pleased with the finished product.  And who could blame her?  A sentimental, inexpensive, and fashion forward piece, all created by this easy, step-by-step tutorial =).  You should give it a try and see for yourself.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

we have a swimmer

video

One day she uses floaties, and the next day...Well, you can see that floatation devices are now a thing of the past.  That is until she gets exhausted from the bizzilion laps she's done and she decides to slap those floaties back on for a few minutes of relaxation before she's at it again.

What else can she do?  I'm glad you asked, because on top of swimming, Marianna is also a top-notch catapulter, cannon-baller, and belly-flopper.  I just caught one of the three with the camera, but all were equally entertaining.



And what about our other little water lover? She's making big strokes all her own.  


Nathan told me summer isn't official for a few more days.  I say, tell that to the kids!  For us, summer is definitely in full swing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

observations

I want to clear a few things up about my last post, because I feel like there was some level of misunderstanding, maybe not by all, but by some. The issue is God's faithfulness, and the question is, is God faithful because He gave me and the other girls new babies?

The answer to that question is no.  God is not faithful because He allowed us to adopt Adrienne.  He is not faithful because He allowed the other girls to have babies.  Rather, He is faithful.  Period.  Not faithful because __________.  Just faithful.  He is faithful through the bad times and the good times, and His faithfulness looks different in each individual person's life.

For me, it is impossible for me to view my life without seeing the faithfulness of God on every aspect, the happy and the sad.  God was so faithful to me every step of the road we walked through trisomy 18.  He was faithful to carry me through the grief that came with Poppy's death.  He was faithful to watch over me and protect me from wrong thinking and bitterness over what happened.  And then He was still faithful as He brought me out of the dark waters and into a season filled with happiness.  In my life, God was faithful in the way He brought Adrienne into our home, and in the way He has used the suffering we went through for His good.  Would that faithfulness be negated if Adrienne had never become part of our family? No

God's faithfulness isn't an equation.  There is no such formula as baby=faithfulness, husband=faithfulness, good job=faithful, good health=faithfulness etc.  Instead, God is faithful, always, and the ways we see that in our individual lives are as varied as the sand on the seashore.

It's a slippery slope to begin comparing God's faithfulness from one person's life to another.  God isn't fair, and He never claims to be.  Instead, He is there, sufficient, faithful, loving, and good.  I think we must all except that for our own lives, if we are ever going to be satisfied in God and His plan for our lives. 

I want to end by saying this.  I never want this blog to be a place where any group feels ostracized.  God loves us all equally, no matter what place we find ourselves, and it is never my intention to make anyone feel that if their life does not resemble mine, then God has not been faithful.  That couldn't be farther from the truth. I hope you see my heart.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

from vision to reality

I'm re-posting something that I wrote in April of 2008. Go ahead and read it, and I'll tell you why I think this is pretty downright amazing.

Children of Promise

I recently started running again, and I was quickly reminded that it is a form of exercise I like in theory more than reality. It's a love/hate relationship because I truly do like it when I'm good at it, but right now, being a year out of practice, I stink. I'm trying to push through, and I've set a goal to work my way back up to a 5K hopefully by next month.

I think one of the reasons I'm struggling right now is the boredom factor. I run outside with no iPod or music entertainment of any sort, making it incredibly easy to focus on the shortness of breath and pain in my side rather than anything positive. But the other day something broke through the tedium. It wasn't a vision, but it was something I envisioned as clearly as if I was seeing a photograph in front of me. It was like all of the sudden I had this image of babies and children outside on a blanket, bunched together for a photo shoot. They didn't look at all alike, but every one of them was smiling. As the picture floated in my head, I felt God telling me, "These are the children of promise."

I remember years ago on the first anniversary of September 11th seeing a magazine with a front cover spread of the babies who had been born after that date. I remember thinking they were a dual symbol of grief and hope. They were reminders of so much that was lost, yet they were also beautiful pictures of life after the tragedy. "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13

This is the closest thing I can think of to compare what I saw. The picture in my mind had so many kids, and one of them was mine—the baby we haven't yet adopted, but who we know God has already chosen for us. The others were the children of my friends who walked this road with me. The kids didn't know it, but what they all shared in common was the fact that they all had a brother or sister in heaven who they would never know. They had no idea how special they were; they had no idea that they were the children of God's promise.

I doubt that photograph will ever be taken physically, but I feel the truth of the image is certain. I don't know when or how, but I believe that God will provide for each of us, in His perfect way, and in His flawless timing. That does not mean the road will be all sunshine from this moment on. God hasn't promised that. But He has promised in Psalm 30:5 that "Weeping may last for the night, but 
a shout of joy comes in the morning." I've already experienced this shout of joy in many ways, but I don't think it is complete. God has put on my heart the desire for another child, and I believe He wants to fulfill this in my life. I'm looking forward to seeing His promise play out, one beautiful child at a time.
***********
That picture I envisioned one spring day last April, has become a reality. Yvette, Christy, Kim, Kenzie, Chrissy, Karen, Emily, and I, the members of the Atlanta Eight, all have our children of promise. Seven of us have those babies in our arms, and in just a few months, Karen will as well. This has been one front row seat I wouldn't have traded for the world, as I've gotten to see how God has worked in our lives individually and as a whole, bringing healing and new life in His perfect timing.
And now it seems like something is brewing—something as you can tell from the old post that I never expected to happen. It looks like we just might get that chance to come together again, all of our babies with us, and take that picture I saw in my head last April. The details are not all in place, but I feel in my heart that it is going to happen. These babies did not heal our hearts—only God could do that—yet they are symbolic of God's love, His grace, and His provision.
I want to leave you with this. It is a clip from a Beth Moore conference that Chrissy was able to attend last weekend, and to me it is simply God's sweet confirmation to all of us that He uses those who are willing to give their situations over to Him, and He redeems the pain for His good. I got chills when I listened, not because she was talking about me and my other friends, but because she was giving testimony to something that is straight from God. I am in awe of the mighty God we serve!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

V is for Vacation

First we Venture.  Just me and the girls, from Memphis to Tampa.  One suitcase, a double stroller, a diaper bag, two carry-ons and a lap top.  We have a very eventful flight, Marianna and I, as we try to keep our Wiggle Worm under control as she grasps for heads in front of her and catapults food to those behind her.  Finally she falls asleep and I hold my breath for the rest of the flight.  Two hours later, we touch down! Tampa, here we come.

Next we Visit. My three wonderful roommates, each who I had never met before the first day of college, are now life-long friends who I visit once every year.  We love the yearly catch up, always picking up right where we left off.  This year we decided to try it with the kiddos, adding a new flavor to all the activities.  For the most part, it was a good flavor.  And then for the latter part of the trip we moved the party over to my dad's house to spend some time with him and my two half-sisters.    

Each day we get a chance to View.  First, I had my debut trip to IKEA. I was amazed by everything about it, from the kid drop-off play area at the beginning, to the showrooms, to the massive shopping area at the end.  It was fantastic! We also had two trips to the beach, each one packed with fun (though not packed with bottoms), as I discovered that both of my girls l-o-v-e the beach!  No amount of sand on the face or down the diaper could keep Adrienne from being happy, and the sting of the salt water wasn't enough to stop the wave-jumping, ocean loving Marianna from getting her water time.  We also are able to hit Downtown Disney, the pool, a park, a mall, and some sprinklers.  

Along the way we Vacate.  We vacate a lot of things. Routine and schedule, manners and good behavior, sleep and the happiness that goes with it.  Mommy especially misses the things we've left behind and she gets her best idea yet of what it is like to single parent.

As the trip winds down, we Verbalize.  Marianna's language of choice was a whine, the tell-tale dialect of the sleep deprived, and Adrienne's sweet voice worked up into a fervor rarely heard from her, as she protested when one missed nap too many finally caught up with her.  My daughters let me know that their tanks, full at the beginning of the trip, are now dripping dry.

And finally, we Validate.  Even with the mishaps that come from traveling alone with a one and three year old in a setting far removed from that they are used to, and a schedule that does not run anywhere close to the one on which they operate, we realize that getting to visit with family and friends is the reason we came, making the trip a huge success. The girls missed their daddy and I missed my husband, but it was a great experience and one I'm glad we got the chance to take!  Ask me tomorrow afternoon, and I may have a different answer...there are nearly 8 hours of travel, including two flights and a two and half hour lay over,  separating the girls and me from home.  It should be Very interesting =).

What better way to finish our very V vacation?

Friday, June 12, 2009

picture perfect


The sky was blue.




The sand was white.




The lighting was beautiful. 

All the makings for a classy day at the beach. 


Until I realized I'd forgotten something...

The swimsuit bottoms.

So we threw out class, threw on the panties, and had a great day at the beach anyway.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Challenge Day is here!

It's been a month, and that means today is the day of the memory verse challenge! My passage was 2 Corinthians 10:7-10, and to be honest, if I had set aside a little time I probably could have knocked it out in an hour. But that wasn't the point.  What I really wanted to do was make a conscious effort to focus on a passage that was significant to me and memorize it.  Long or short, it's something I want to be doing—and hopefully this will give me that little motiviational push that will keep me actively trying to memorize.  

My mom is an inspiration when it comes to memorization.  She has books memorized.  Literally.  And not just the one pagers.  I'm talking about Romans, Daniel, Revelation, James, Phillipians, Colossians... the list doesn't end there, I just can't remember everything she has memorized! No surprise, but she has a passion for memorizing the Bible.  Growing up I can  remember the projects she worked on well, but even more than that, I remember the projects that she worked on with us.  To help my sister and I memorize,  Mom would take long passages–or at least passages longer than an eight year old would be interested in learning—and put them to music.  And as many of you know, once you learn something to music, it's with you for life.  

That is the case with Hebrews 11.  One of the greatest chapters in the entire Bible, the chapter entirely about faith, and I'm so grateful that mom taught it to me all to song because it's with me today, word for word, just as it was when she taught it to me 15 years ago.  And since this was memory challenge month, I decided to see if Marianna would be interested in learning some of it. I was hoping she would enjoy some of the songs, but I knew there were some big words, many quite out of her three year old's grasp of vocabulary. So I  thought we'd give it a go and see what happened.  I don't mind telling you she knocked my socks off with how quickly she was able to pick it up, and it has thrilled me to my toes to see how much she's enjoying learning it.  

Of course we wanted to share it with you, but the tricky part was getting it on tape. As soon as I pulled the video camera out and told Marianna I was going to tape her singing her verses, she pulled out all of her favorite camera manuevers, including but not limited to, singing while dancing, singing while examining her feet, singing while spinning wildly on the swing set, and singing exclusively to a rose.  What I chose here was a middle ground between the wild and the weird, but unfortunately my camera skills were a little under par on this take, and I missed the first few words of the verse.  What you miss is: "Now faith is the assurance," and she picks it up from there. So here it is, straight from our back yard to you, Hebrews 11:1-6.

video

Now, just 34 more verses to go =)

p.s. in case you were wondering, Adrienne was not fending for herself in the backyard while I taped!  Nathan had her.  She wasn't happy, but she was safe =)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

top 10 reasons my child woke up at 5:00 am on Saturday


10. The Tinkerbell movie is more magical in the pre-dawn hours.

9.  It's the best way to extend the most fun day of the week.  After all, if it starts at 5:00, it's three hours longer than every other day.

8.  It's the only way mom will give a slice of cheese for breakfast without any questions.

7.  Promises of Saturday fun are too exciting to sleep through.

6.  There's an extra element of surprise, not knowing who will come when she starts yelling.  Mom, dad? Dad, mom?

5.  It's the best way to garauntee mom will have breakfast made for dad by the time he wakes up.  It's important to look out for him since he has worked so hard Monday-Friday. 

4.  Friday night sleep is strangely rejuvenating for those under 5.  Less is more.

3.  It's the only sure-fire way to be wide awake by the time Saturday morning cartoons start at 7:00.

2.  It usually results in getting breakfast twice.

1.  It moves Saturday nap time to 11:00, which leaves the whole afternoon open for swimming!

Friday, June 5, 2009

number nine

I love it when the things we've been trying to hammer home with the kids hit their mark.  I'm a proud mama when I hear manners without any prodding from yours truly, or better yet, obedience without even a whisper of punishment.  Those are beautiful moments. 

Those moments don't happen all of the time.  

And that's a shame to, because if they did, I would have a whole lot more time to sit around and stroke my feathers and marvel at my abilities as a mom. Funny how God didn't see fit to let that work out...What am I supposed to be learning here, anyway?  Humility? Dependence? =)

I digress, but you get the point. My kids aren't perfect.  We are in a training process that I don't expect to end as long as they are under this roof, and I'm perfectly, satisfactorily happy with that.  That's how God wants it, and that's what I'm here for.  But there is one thing in the behavior department that I want to make sure is never, never, never tolerated; it's something my mom ingrained in me and I'm hoping to ingrain in my girls right from the get go.  I want them to always tell me the truth.  And in that area, I don't want there to be any wiggle room.

If I can trust my kids, if I can know that even if they get in trouble they will tell me the truth, then I will value that like gold. In fact, no other behavior—manners, obedience, attitude—can match the importance I place on truth.

I was reminded of this on Wednesday night when my pastor, Bro. Danny, gave a devotional on the ninth commandment, do not lie.  To be honest, I didn't expect the message to pierce me like it did, because on first glance it seems so straightforward. But as Bro. Danny unpacked the full implications of a life lived out in truth, I realized that the narrower version of "truth" that I had in mind  didn't quite cover it all.  Living without any lies is harder than you would imagine  because it encompasses a whole lot more  than the straightforward telling a mistruth that we normally think about.  It applies to exaggeration, gossip, presenting something in a better light than it really is, telling partial truths, leaving out parts of the whole truth, insincerity, pretending to be something you are not. It takes a conscious effort to live like that, making sure that the truth, whether it makes you look good or not, is all that is coming out of your mouth and being lived out by your actions.  

God hates lies. He makes that pretty clear in His word.  And my pastor pointed out, if the illustration he gave through Annanias and Saphira tells us anything (read Acts 5 for the story), God especially hates people who pretend  to be more spiritual than they really are.  

So the point is, truth isn't just for kids.  I want my girls to know how important it is to be known as a truthful person, but on the same token, I must always watch my own life to make sure it measures up to the full meaning of truth laid out in God's word.  

Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment." Proverbs 13:19

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the definition of cool

In which picture is Adrienne truly the definition of cool?  You decide.

Is it this one where she is sitting in her pool chair, while on the pool ledge, licking her blue popsicle?


Or could it be this one, as she is sitting under the porch, sporting her shades, and downing some liquids (I say "liquids" instead of milk, because let's face it, milk really isn't that cool but I don't want to hurt this photo's chance of winning)?


I know, I know.  Can you really choose?  Well, as her mother, the answer is no I cannot.  But maybe you, as friends, can help us decide which picture will get the coveted title: truly cool. So which will it be?

Monday, June 1, 2009

this is low, even for low

I know we've all been there.  The moment where we rip into a package of food, only to discover that the contents are quite a bit smaller than the container in which they were packaged.  It's always a disappointing moment for me as I feel the double whammy of loss of food and value. I've read the disclaimers...food may settle in packaging, yada, yada, yada. 

I think we all get it. It's more economic to package air than product, so manufactures fill up with as much as they can get away with without looking criminal.  Well, today I found a product that crossed the line. It was low, even for low.

The product.


The contents.


The level from the outside where the contents begin.



I rest my case.  

a few FYIs

  • Today is June 1, which means we are just a week away from the memory verse challenge.  I am down to my last verse, so just one more to memorize over the next week.  I tell you what, taking a month to work on a passage is so doable! I hardly feel like I've been memorizing because the repitition of reading over it every day really did the work without me even noticing. For the occasion, Marianna and I have been working on something very special that we will reveal, one week from today, on Monday, June 8.   So for those who are memorizing with us, don't give up, and for those who would like to jump on board with a few verses this week, please join us!
  • For those of you who have been waiting anxiously for an update on Marianna's wart situation, I can now give a report of a 50% success.  One wart gone, one wart remains.  But the good news is that the wart polish was never painful, even when the blisters appeared.  That means that a repeat visit to take care of the more stubborn of the warts shouldn't be an ordeal at all.  And maybe by this time a month from now, Marianna will be wart free.
  • Adrienne has improved tremendously since I asked for advice on her eating habits back inthis post.  She will now eat anything that has a dry texture.  Sure, that leaves out fruits and vegetables, but for now, I'll take an overload on carbs over nothing.  I know she's going to get there sooner or later, and I'm just getting a few bonus lessons in patience while we wait.
  • I can now happily tell you that my haircut that started out on the wrong foot two months ago, has now grown to the exact length I requested at the cut!  I'm taking in this picture next time (which is still probably two months down the road) to try and knock down the communication barriers that seemed to be present that fateful day.  


Happy June!