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Showing posts from 2007

P.S. New Job Possibility

I wanted to update those of you who were thinking of me and praying for me during my impromptu job supervising a non-custodial parental visit.

The visit went really well. The dad was extremely emotional, and I struggled holding back tears of my own. It was upbeat and positive. And I'm actually going to be supervising a visit with the same family again this weekend.

Also, there is a possibility of more work like this for me in the future. It's rough, emotionally, but I think it will be good. I'm in contact with someone...

I prayed for him, the kids, and the mom throughout the whole visit.

I can't imagine that being a bad thing for a broken family...

Thanks for your prayers!!!

Snow Day

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I'm thinking of you today, Jeny! I know that ground cover in December absolutely delights your heart. I'm putting on some Christmas music, heating up the tea kettle and thinking of you today!

Oh, and bundling up four little people for some outdoor play.




Float

It's Wednesday. The Candlelight Christmas parade is Friday. In two days.

Did I tell you that Pathway enters a float into the parade every year? This will be our 4th parade since we moved here. The first year, Seth was only two months old. So natually, we thought, Live Nativity. (Okay, so maybe that's not the "natural" first thought the average mother of a newborn has. I think that natural first thought is, "I'll stay home with the baby." Maybe I'm not so average.) Anyway, our generator stopped working, so none of the strings of lights we painstakingly hung were lit. (Lights are kind of important in a nighttime Christmas parade.) But we did have paperbag luminaries, each filled with sand that anchored a small candle. The kids were dressed as shepherds, a couple of grownups were wisemen, a Joseph was thrown in there, and I was Mary holding a very red-headed baby Jesus, who thankfully slept through the whole parade. I was so thankful, because I didn…

B-b-b-b-baby, It's C-c-c-c-cold Outside!

As I type this I'm listening to ice from the heavens angrily pelting my window. It's as if the snow was in too big of a hurry to drift softly, silently to the earth, but impatiently scrunched itself up into little balls of icy mischief and threw temper tantrums from the clouds, who are floating by, shrugging their shoulders at the path of winter they've left behind.

I think winter is here. I'm praying we won't be iced out of church tomorrow.

And I have this feeling that Michigan is going to be one snowy tundra this season. We're due for a hard winter.

Lily and I did a little bit of Christmas shopping today and found the big boys' presents. I won't spoil the surprise, but snow will sure come in handy!

I have a very interesting job ahead of me tomorrow. A lawyer friend contacted me, and he is working on an ugly, brutal divorce case. The dad has been issued a restraining order from his soon-to-be ex-wife and his two young sons. However, he has been granted …

A Family for Christmas

Get the tissues handy...


Travels

Sadly, I have no Thanksgiving pictures to share with you today. Seth's curiosity about our camera caused him to extract the photo card, and it was still missing when we had to leave.

Our family traveled to Ohio for Thanksgiving, for the first time in the 12 years we've been married. Since our families aren't close, we are required to travel for most of the holidays, so early on in our marriage, we staked our claim on Thanksgiving as a day for us to celebrate at home. When we were first married, we were both working retail, and as you all know, no one working retail gets the Friday after Thanksgiving off. (BTW, has it always been called Black Friday? I'd never heard that term before until this year, and I heard it everywhere.) So who wants to travel all over, only to have to leave on Thanksgiving Day to return home in order to get up at unheavenly hours to work the following day? Not us. So we didn't.

And then we had kids, and I loved celebrating Thanksgiving with th…

The Discovery

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No, Caleb didn't find a Santa suit stashed away in a bottom dresser drawer. But true to his skeptical nature, all along he suspected something was up with the big guy dressed in red.

"Mom, I don't think Santa Claus is real," he stated matter of factly last week. Gabe stood beside him, his brown eyes as big as chestnuts.

When Rob and I first got married, long before our firstborn made his entrance into our Christmases, we had a Santa Claus discussion. His position: He grew up with lovely, childhood-belief-in-Santa memories, and he wanted his kids to have that same kind of wonderment and magic at Christmastime. My position: What if once our kids figured out that Santa wasn't real, that we lied to them, they begin to question whether or not God is real before their spiritual foundation has solidified? What's more, I never believed in Santa, and I was FILLED with Christmas magic and romance, long before December hit each year.

We finally came to a compromise: we w…

School Days

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I haven't written too much about our homeschool time. This is our third year "officially" homeschooling. Every year I have a distinct plan that I want to follow, and so far it's never gone as I planned. In 2005, I had no idea how the adoption process and fundraising was going to consume my time. Last year, I didn't plan on the transition of adding Lily to our family being so difficult. And this year, well, I've started babysitting for a four-month-old little boy, and his kindergartener brother, whom I must pick up from school, and Lily has speech therapy that takes us away from the house eight hours a week. In addition, I'm tutorting at least 2 hours, sometimes 3 hours, a week and now leading a women's prayer group on Thursday evenings.

Never is there a day that I can sit down with my kids and "do school" for several hours in a row a day.

Now some of you may be thinking that I'm doing my school-aged kids a true disservice. And daily I DO h…

Fasnacht Family Fun Friday

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My days are FULL! We have so much going on, and I'm struggling to keep you updated regularly. I decided not to feel guilty but to just do what I can.

Life is hard right now, but I'm only chronicling the good stuff. And later, maybe much later, I'll have more good stuff to share, and I'll begin it with, "Look at how God worked in this difficult situation!"

A couple of weeks ago, I felt spontaneous, and declared that day, "Fasnacht Family Fun Friday." Unfortunately the head Fasnacht still had to work without too much fun, but the kids and I spent the day thinking up as many fun things to do (cheaply) as we could.

We started off, after Lily's morning speech therapy session, heading to a state park nearby called Russ Forest. It has several trails, and we walked through the maze of paths for an hour and half!!! before we ended up at the play ground. Okay, so the last half hour of that walk was less than fun for my tired crew, but we truly enjoyed the …

November is Adoption Awareness Month

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Please, please, please is there anyone out there who could bring this little girl home??? She is SO, SO cute, and look what a happy toddler she is!

Here is a little bit about this little one, born on 12/20/2004 and found on New Year's Eve in Guilin, Guanxi Province, China:

"She was found next to a lottery post near Fuli Hospital in Guilin City on December 31, 2004. Officials were unable to locate her parents and family; she was declared an abandoned infant and taken to the SWI with the permission of Guilin City Civil Welfare Office. She has been living with a foster family since April 25, 2005. She likes cartoons as well as the weekly Peking Opera program, she loves music. She loves to go out to railroad club, fresh market, supermarket, and to parks with her foster mother everyday. She loves eggs and flour products. In September 2005 she had cleft lip surgery and had her cleft palate surgery in 2006 . She can sing children songs and can count to 20 with help. She likes to meet …

Joy

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October is one of my favorite months. I even love the way the name October rolls off the tongue into the autumn air and is then whisked away by the curt breeze along with the swirling leaves. October holds tons of birthdays for my family, including my mom, Rob, Seth, my dad, Rob's brother Ryan, our nieces Emmaly and JoAnna, and our nephew Nathaniel.

October has held her share of broken heartedness as well.

On Sunday, one of my friends passed away after a long, difficult battle with cancer. She was only 55. Yesterday was her funeral. She was a faithful believer, and I'm so thankful that she is no longer suffering. Still, we miss her.

October is also the anniversary of the deaths of my best friend and sister-in-law, Erica and her daughter, my niece, MiKayla. Eleven years ago on October 4th, God allowed a horrific car accident to take them to Himself, leaving my brother, age 18, a widower and single father to 10-month-old Ralphie. I once thought that the pain of that day would neve…

They say it's your birthday

Today is Rob's birthday.

The very first of his birthdays we celebrated together while we were "just friends," he hinted to me that Tori Amos was coming to town, and it happened to be the weekend of his birthday. I was lucky enough to score a couple of tickets, and we spent a great evening together reveling in the soul-touching beauty of live music.

I wish we could spend every one of his birthdays like that. We couldn't go back to those days of sweet, newly blossoming romance, leaning towards one another, knees touching, hearts pounding along with the piano, meeting his eyes at a particularly captivating stanza to enjoy it together, wondering what God had in store for each of us, and PLEASE, God, could it include this wonderful man beside me?

But I wouldn't for a minute trade the new, baby flower blossum of our early relationship for the gorgeous,fragrant, hardy yet delicate flower that is our marriage today. How could I have gotten so lucky to be paired forever w…

Apology

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Please forgive the last post. I had just come home from 2 1/2 hours of tutoring algebra, after a full day of chasing small people, cleaning, only 1 out of 15+ loads of laundry done, canning applesauce, 3 1/2 hours of speech therapy (includes travel time) and then a nasty McDonald's on-the-go supper for the whole family. So you can see that I was truly not in my most reasonable frame of mind.

I mean, who in a reasonable frame of mind would think that anyone reading a caual blog cares about algebra formulas and passenger trains?

Please come back, reader! Don't abandon me! I promise I won't give you anymore algebra!!!

See? We'll talk about something else. Like Seth hiding from Rob in the drier yesterday...no, he didn't close the door. Or that Lily is starting to make the "p" sound at the beginning of words, and even a few "b" sounds! That's all much more interesting, right?

So, do you forgive me for my late-night math ramblings? We're okay?

Right Brain, Left Brain: Duking It Out

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Many of you know that I studied English Ed in college. And some of you know that I love to read and truly enjoy expressing myself with the written word. Go ahead and think it: I'm a nerd. Would it help if I told you I play the clarinet? Yeah, I'm an even bigger nerd than you originally thought.

Last year, my friend's high-school-aged son was struggling with some of his classes. I offered myself as a tutor. This school year I stepped up once again to fill that role as tutor for him, in addition to tutoring his cousin. But it's not in Shakespeare, even though I did help him with his "Romeo and Juliet" worksheet last night.

Even though I have a deep and spiritual love for good literature, and I become almost indignant at misplaced commas and semi-colons, my left-brainedness is having to step aside--with pouty lips, if a brain has lips--because I've been hired as an algebra tutor. I admit it: I love algebra! You should see the nerd-radar go off in these kids…

Brotherly Love

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I found the sweetest letter today.

Of course, Seth must have realized that I'm sentimental and employed his super powers of contrariness (it is TO a word; I looked it up), and crumpled it up. Actually, he didn't just crumple it up; he rushed it outside as fast as he could, splashed water on it, and used it to wrap up a handful of peagravel from the playground before I could catch up with him. Have I mentioned here that he is somewhat destructive? At least he's truly creative in his destruction.

*Like the time he came into the room with a red crayon. "I found red," he said. He put the red crayon into my hand and walked away. I looked all over the house, up and down for NEW red crayon marks--he's already left a Crayola trail from previously destructive artisitc endeavors. (Oh well. I guess I WILL paint the natural wood entry closet after all. Yes, I have tried the Mr. Clean magic eraser and sanding it makes it look uneven.) But this time I didn't find the r…

Little Cherub

I am such a sucker for chubby cheeks! Maybe it's because each of my children h

Little Cherub

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I am such a sucker for chubby cheeks! Maybe it's because each of my children was born with soft, so, so kissable jowls. Even Lily. A month after we began pursuing Lily, a dear friend left for China to adopt her own sweet daughter from Lily's orphanage. Lily wasn't there, but the orphanage director told my friend that Lily was doing great and "has a fat face." I love it. Thank-you, Lord, for chubby cheeks.

Take a look at the cheeks on this little sweetheart. Oh my word, she makes my heart flip! She was born on April 24, 2006. What a fun age she is right now, toddling all over the place, I'm sure getting into everything. I bet she keeps her nannies hopping. She was born in China, and she is listed as "Lisa" with Adoption House. You can see her here:

www.adoptionhouse.org/china-special-needs/available-children.html

Her personality is described this way: "Lisa is a happy, extroverted child. She is active and enjoys being kissed. She likes to listen to…

Seeds

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I had the most lovely visit from a dear friend today. Tiana is an AMAZING woman, and I was so excited to learn that she was going to be spending a couple of weeks in the area, and even more excited when she arranged a visit. Her visit was such an encouragement to me. Tiana is the type of woman who steps into a room and dramatically enhances its warmth and beauty just by being in it. She is quick to see God's hand in her life, and in mine as well, and she simply encouraged me in my ministry and calling here in this land called Michigan. Even though we're really not that far away from family and friends, the reality of daily living and family life often allows months, sometimes years even, to go by without seeing people that are precious to me. I do often feel isolated, and sometimes I hear Satan whispering in my ear that I'm all alone. I know in my heart that's a lie, and rebuke it as so.

Even so, I can be quite vulnerable to loneliness if I'm not careful. Tiana tol…

Fields of the Fatherless

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***Platform alert***

Many of you who know me know that God has placed in my heart an open wound, sore and bothered by the plight of the orphaned child. God blessed us tremendously with the adoption of our own dear, sweet, fiesty Lily Chang, the daughter of my heart. What many of you don't know is that my soul LONGS for another child, but God is saying, "Not now." I scour the waiting child lists, especially those children from China where I left parts of my heart 19 months ago, and I don't think I'll ever get them back. Nor do I want to. If I am not to bring another child to my home, it is my prayer that God uses my voice to open other families' hearts to the possibility of bringing one of these little children into their own homes. Especially those children who are harder to place in families because of differences.

Can I just say that "normal" is my least favorite word right now? God delivers every child as a package. Each one comes with beauty and …

Bottom Hero

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The first post of a new blog...this computer screen is blanker than a blank page of crisp, white paper, having the potential of either doodles and drivel or profundity. You probably should set your expectations closer to the drivel side of the spectrum. After all, I do have four small chilren, and they tend to make depth of thought a bit of a challenge. Ah, but the rewards. I'll share with you one of my bigger paydays from last week.

Seth, my almost-three-year-old, had a pretty bad diaper rash. I'm not sure what he ate, but he was playing outside when nature called, and he answered right into the back of his pullup. (Surely you must know that rarely a day goes by when mothers of diaper-clad children do NOT have poop discussions. Sorry to have to mention it here, in this my first post of a new blog. Please refer back to the part about expectations and drivel, etc.) Anyway, since he was playing outside, the poop radar detection system we have installed, i.e. our other children wh…