Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
posted by Reese
Saturday, March 29, 2008
A chattering or flighty, light-headed person.
1549, "chattering gossip, flighty woman," probably a nonsense word meant to sound like fast talking; as the name of a devil or fiend it dates from 1603.
posted by Reese
My newest anti-stress tool: classical music. Listening to it in the car makes me feel like I'm in a Bronte novel. The heroine, of course. My heart rate slows, my breathing is deeper and slower, the kids even calm down. It's great. The classical station I listen to is Classic FM and I've opened an account with them so I can use their My Classic FM option and listen while I'm surfing the internet or reading. (The only problem with listening online is when I go to a site that has music playing. Then I'm forced to choose. Earlier in the week when I came across Tea With Tiffany, I chose her music over mine. Check it out, you may decide to do what I did and stay on her page just for some beautiful worship music!)
Listening to classical music is new for me. I used to see it as something old people listened to. Wow; have I changed... or maybe I just got old. Still, it's change for me. But as I look over my life, I'm surprised at all the changes that have overtaken me.
For example, yesterday found me sitting in a little old coffee shop in a small English town, eating a traditional English breakfast and sipping tea. As I sat there, across from Tim, it occurred to me how differently our lives have turned out, so far. We've gone from starry-eyed high school kids to an old married, world-traveling military couple with four kids and two mini-vans. The only things left of our former- or imagined future- lives is the things of our heart; the dreams we had that stemmed from the gifts God gave us. I still want to write, Tim still wants to play and record music. We still love our friends and family, even more so than we did in our youth.
The point of this post? We change. We stay the same. We grow. We move to the wrong side of the world. Tim's beloved hair starts to fall out. I take up listening to Yo Yo Ma. So wags the world away.
posted by Reese
Friday, March 28, 2008
There are not seven wonders of the world in the eyesof a child. There are seven million.
I remember when I was 9 months pregnant with Mark and I desperately wanted him to be born. I would take Amanda, age 2 (almost 3) out for long walks every day. We'd smell the flowers, watch the birds, talk about what was going on around us. To me, it was everyday things I'd already experienced a million times over, but to her it was all new and exciting. I cherish those moments with my first born.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
My boss is gone today, which in itself means I will tend to play. But, not today. I hope to have my desk cleaned off (no easy feat) and my filing done (yet another catastrophe!). Today I am turning off the Internet and cranking up the iPod and getting some work done.
Because I'm not going to be online and because I'm going to crank up the iPod, I thought I'd do the iPod shuffle! Here we go!
- Dreaming With a Broken Heart by John Mayer
- Only One Thing by Todd Agnew
- Day Tripper by The Beatles
- Take a Little Time by Jeremy Camp
- Every Move I Make by Fusebox
- The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani Feat. Akon
- Always There by Todd Agnew
- There and Back Again by Daughtry
- All In/Mr. Talkbox Interlude by TobyMac
- Hype Man (truDog '07) by TobyMac
Posted by Heather
My daughter came to me a couple of nights ago and told me that she had been hearing people say bad things about God. From references on tv and movies, to classmates, and in books, she was noticing an assault by humanity on the existence and holiness of God. She started crying and said, "It makes me feel bad." I acknowledged that it made me angry too, to have my Lord shunned and disrespected. Her next words pierced my heart: "I feel bad for the people saying those things. I wish they could know Jesus."
Wow. Why doesn't compassion for the souls of the lost overcome me like that? Is that one of the ways I can become more childlike: to have grief rather than anger at attacks on God? In reality, those who reject God are securing their doom. That should break my heart. And lead me to my knees for the souls of these lost people.
- I'm thankful for my daughter's tender heart toward God and the lost. "Lord, please fan that in her."
- I'm thankful for God revealing my hardness of heart in this area. "Father, continue to soften my heart."
- I'm thankful that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. "Father, help me to remember your mercies of the past, and to take faith as my shield for the future."
- I'm thankful that my mom decided to make a career change and is now nearing the completion of her training and on the verge of starting on a new journey. "Lord, Please be with her as she takes the test in Portland today. Help her to recall all that she has learned. May this step of faith be a testament to your love and faithfulness and an example to others in my family that they can change and improve their lives with God's help."
- I'm thankful for new blogging friends. "Lord may Heather and I make all the connections online that you intend us to. May we encourage and bless our sisters even as we are encouraged and blessed by them.
posted by Reese
Christ is building His kingdom with earth's broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth's broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth's saddest failure up to heaven's glory.~J. R. Miller
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Visit Tiffany's blog Tea With Tiffany. When I stopped by her blog to let her know she had won Red Letters, I read her latest post, which contained this link to a her recent article for Ungrind. Stop by and be blessed!
posted by Reese
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
2. I've been trying most of my life to disguise that fact.
3. I have hazel eyes.
4. I wear contacts.
5. I hate wearing glasses.
6. I used to be five feet, six-and-a-half inches tall.
7. I'm now five feet, five-and-three-quarters inches tall. I don't know why I'm getting shorter.
8. I have two brothers and one sister. I miss them all so much.
9. I have four kids.
10. I wish I could have twin girls, just so I could name them Ginger and Jasmine. Tim says, "Thank God we're done having kids!"
11. My first name is Carrie.
12. My middle name is Darice.
13. My nickname is Reese.
14. I spelled "Reece" with a "c" until Heather set up an email address for me and spelled it with an "s". I had been kicking around the idea of changing it; I used that opportunity to go for it.
15. There are very few vegetables I don't like. In fact, not one is coming to my mind.
16. I don't like cooked apples.
17. I put my iPod in my back pocket and listen to it very often.
18. I named my iPod (in iTunes) "Reese's Escape from Chaos."
19. I avoid touching the dog unless I absolutely have to, and if I do touch her I wash my hands immediately.
20. I like romantic comedies and adventure movies.
21. I have three nieces and three nephews.
22. I met my husband when I was 12.
23. I started going out with him when I was 16.
24. I married him when I was 17.
25. We gave all our kids two middle names.
26. When Tim and I get into a fight he almost always says to me, "You just like to cause problems." I'm biding my time until the perfect opportunity, when he's introducing me to someone, to say, "Hi! I'm Reese. I like to cause problems." It has to be in front of Tim, and I have to keep a straight face. (Then, I suppose, I really will be causing problems!)
27. I don't have a favorite color.
28. I don't have a favorite animal.
29. I would get rid of our dog Gretchen if the kids weren't so attached to her, even though I think she's a good dog.
30. I want to paint my room cranberry red.
31. I hate to paint.
32. I can't draw.
33. I like to write.
34. I open the toilet lid and seat with my foot when helping my three-year-old go potty.
35. I can't wait to move back to The Dalles. I miss it with my whole soul.
36. I am so bad at math I am going to have to start at the lowest possible level when I go back to college.
37. Hot tea is the most comforting thing I could ever consume.
38. I don't drink herbal teas very often.
39. I rarely drink pop. I don't like the carbonation, it's too sweet, doesn't taste that good, and makes me feel bad.
40. I love limes.
41. I listen to Rush Limbaugh nearly every day.
42. I wish I could eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
43. It creeps me out to keep the shades open after dark. I feel like people are watching me.
44. My eyes are too close together.
45. I wish I could wear wigs like Sydney Bristow in Alias. I would love to have all those different looks whenever I wanted. I'd even like to have blue and pink wigs.
46. I've always wanted to dance; ballet and any kind of ballroom dancing.
47. I HATE stupid humor. Jokes are funnier when they make sense intellectually.
48. I like to read.
49. I would love to have painted toenails but hate painting them.
50. I usually forget to do the boys's hair before leaving the house, and it drives Tim nuts.
51. According to sources that I trust, I should always add an apostrophe and an "s" when making words ending in "s" possesive (for example: boys's), but I usually don't just because I don't like people thinking I've made a dumb grammatical mistake.
52. I wish I could speak French, but have no desire to learn the most obvious second language choice:German.
53. I live in Germany.
54. I'm seriously considering going to culinary school when I go back to America.
55. I'm not a naturally talented chef, but I'm interested in learning more.
56. I can't type very well.
57. There are a couple of people from my past I think about duct taping to a chair and pelting with paint balls, or maybe dead fish. In reality, I'd never do it.
58. I hate wearing shoes in the house.
59. I can't sleep with socks on.
60. My biggest fear is that my kids won't follow The Lord as adults.
61. I love Merlot scented candles.
62. I hate changing light bulbs.
63. I don't like milk.
64. I have a memory foam mattress and I love it.
65. I really believe that "charm is deceitful and beauty is vain" yet still wish I was beautiful and charming.
66. As much as I want to write, I hope I never do if I would be ashamed of it before God.
67. I made the decision not to make close friends here after I saw how often people leave. Sometimes I regret that.
68. I bought doilies from a Gypsy who knocked on my door selling them.
69. I wish I could cook all day long and never have to worry about shopping for ingredients or cleaning up after myself.
70. I hate cleaning out the fridge.
71. I do most of the housework by myself. I don't like housework.
72. I don't mind loading the dishwasher but don't like unloading it.
73. I once ran over a skunk.
74. Roses are my favorite flower and my favorite scent.
75. It really bugs me when people pronounce "pecan" like "PEE-can."
76. I haven't seen a Brad Pitt movie I liked. (Oops, except Ocean's Eleven.)
77. I avoid eating red meat.
78. I'm not a big fan of seafood. There was this amazing brie-stuffed halibut I had at McCormick and Schmick's in Portland- very, very good.
79. I want to own a house right on the beach on the Oregon coast.
80. I hate driving a mini van. I want to drive a small four door.
81. I like chai, especially Oregon Chai. I also like making it myself.
82. I miss dressing up for the office every day. I wear jeans and jammies all the time now.
83. I love olives.
84. I have a MySpace account under the name of a made-up person. I only have three friends there: another made-up person (not my own), a band, and Tom.
85. The most important thing in my life is my family. Nothing I do is in vain if my family benefits from it.
86. I'm fascinated with the mythical brute The Time Being. Why is everyone always doing things for him?
87. I'm proud to have driven past the Barilla factory in Italy, as if confirming its existence in Italy somehow validates all the pasta I've made over the years. It really was Italian even if it seemed awfully American.
88. When I eat a fast food sandwich, I tear off as much bread as I can and throw it out.
89. I love the Fillet-O-Fish. In Germany, it's called a Fisch Mac.
90. I like The Backyardigans.
91. I can't stand cheesy organ sounds in songs.
92. I love the sound of a piano being played.
93. I only have one daughter. I love spending time with her.
94. Our family had a hand-drawn picture done of ourselves on a street corner in Paris.
95. I used to collect tea pots, now I collect tea cups.
96. I'm 31 and still don't know what I "want to be" when I "grow up."
97. I've always believed I was born in the wrong century. I wish I lived in the 1700's (or maybe the 1500's, or the 1200's, or... anyway, you get the idea.)
98. I like bubble baths.
99. I had my tubes tied.
100. Despite all my short-comings, I know Jesus loves me just as I am and is working in me and through me to fulfill his purposes.
3. I miss James
4. If I could live in my dream house, it will be a log home
5. I would rather be in the woods than any place else in the world
6. I leave my shoes all over the house and it drives my husband crazy
7. I love my church
8. I have an amazing group of friends
9. I love to watch my childrens' relationships with their friends grow
10. I can't back up my suburban
11. I love peanut butter and pickle sandwiches
12. I have a U2 iPod but am not a huge U2 fan...I just loved the look of the iPod
13. I'm not a good house cleaner
14. My favorite scent is vanilla
15. Riding on the back of a motorcycle is one of my favorite things
16. I'm scared of storms
17. I used to play the clarinet
18. I can be very lazy
19. I love being outside
20. I hate to be cold
21. I'm very unorganized
22. I love to watch Franklin and Little Bear
23. I enjoy hauling wood
24. My family and I laugh often
25. I wonder what it was like to live 100 years ago
26. I wish I liked vegetables
27. I have to fill the dishwasher. If someone else fills it and they do it "wrong", I'll go back and fix it
28. I would love to be a stay at home mom
29. Some day I would love to adopt a little boy
30. I hate Menkes
31. I hope my children have grand adventures and don't settle down too young
32. I love 80s hard rock
33. I miss the joys of being a kid
34. I hate paying bills
35. Someone that I would have loved to meet is Steve Irwin
36. When I listen to the radio I'm constantly listening for new songs to download to my iPod - but so far haven't downloaded any.
37. I liked being in labor (strange huh?)
38. I used to want to be a doula
39. I LOVE being an aunt
40. I am surrounded by all of my grandparents, and love it!
41. My great-grandma will be 94 this month
42. I love being in the car at night
43. I can't go to sleep at night unless I read...even if it's 2:00 a.m.
44. I tape Oprah every day
45. I'm a Taylor Hicks fan - SOUL PATROL!!!
46. I am proud of myself for kicking the 8 a day Pepsi habit
47. I love to walk to work
48. I enjoy my job
49. I scare easy!
50. I will not watch a movie that will make me cry
51. I love a good love story
52. I was a Natural Helper in high school (someone trained to listen to, and help, people when they are having problems)
53. I would love to re-learn to play the piano
54. I don't cook...but secretly wish that I did
55. My kids go to the same elementary school that I did, and have had some of the same teachers
56. I love going to thrift stores and finding good books there
57. I am very scared of dentists
58. I love baby feet & behinds
59. I am thrilled when my husband and I can go for walks at night
60. I can't fathom living somewhere without being surrounded by mountains and water
61. I like to pull weeds
62. I don't usually dream, but when I do dream I always have nightmares
63. I wish I was more adventurous
64. I have two tattoos and want more
65. I love going to the zoo
66. I love that Kyleigh goes and visits the veterans
67. I am scared of water (I love looking at it but not being in it)
68. I am not very patient
69. My favorite clothes are my comfy jeans
70. I hate to dress up
71. My husband makes me laugh hard
72. He also shocks me with the things he says and does :)
73. I love to eat my grandmas big pancakes
74. I don't like to eat ice cream
75. I read the same books over and over
76. I got married when I was 17
77. I had my first baby when I was 19
78. I hate getting up in the morning
79. I would like to be a foster mom
80. I love math
81. My dogs make me angry
82. I have known most of my friends since I was in elementary school
83. I love pomegranates
84. I wish I ate/lived more healthy
85. I love how warm our house is because we burn wood
86. I talk to my mom several times a day
87. I despise laundry
88. I think that the most important job is being a mom
89. I wish more parents felt that way
90. Thanks to my brother in law, Darrell, my niece, Allie, calls me "Aunt Creepy" and I think its funny
91. I could spend the whole day getting lost in a book store
92. I love antiques
93. I love to wander around the cemetery, look at the stones, and wonder about those peoples lives
94. On 9/11 I went hiking instead of sitting and watching the news unfold on the TV
95. I went white water rafting once and loved it, but don't think I will ever go again
96. I love my house and the fact that it was my sister-in-law & brother-in-law's house before it was ours
97. I love reading emails from my friends & family
98. I spend a lot of time on the phone
99. I love to stay up late
100. I wonder what path my kids will follow in their lives and am thankful that the Lord is in charge, and not me.
posted by Heather
Monday, March 24, 2008
- If I was Eve, I wouldn't have eaten the fruit.
- If I was Lot's wife, I wouldn't have looked back.
- If I was Rebekah, I wouldn't have advised Jacob to deceive his father and steal Esau's blessing.
- If I was Bathsheba, I would have stood up to the lustful King David and remained faithful to Uriah.
What an elevated opinion I sometimes have of myself. I'm of the same emotion-driven dust as these memorable women, yet I always think I'd make better decisions. As it's said, hindsight is 20/20. That's why I'd rather live my life in reverse.
Two Sundays ago my pastor was preaching and he stated that often when people are praying and asking God for direction, they think he is being silent when in reality he has already given them instructions and is simply waiting for them to comply. The problem is that often in response to God's direction we spell out all the reasons we can't be expected to do that thing, then fall back to our knees and repeat the question as if God were a Magic 8 Ball and a simple shake and quick flip will get us a different answer.
As soon as he made this point, I knew that was me. Grr. Don't ya hate that? I've spent 20 years wanting to write, and nearly as long asking God what I should do with my life. And he's seemingly remained silent. Or was it that I have carried my list of reasons I can't... won't... write in my back pocket:
- It takes a lot of work.
- It takes more creativity and talent than I have.
- I don't have a desire, and therefore no drive, to get published.
- Everything that needs to be said has already been said.
- I don't have time.
- I don't have Word installed on my laptop.
- I can't type well.
- I need to go get a cup of tea...
Alright, alright! Enough! I'll write and you, Lord, can decide what to do with it. It's all in your hands. Hopefully, when people look back on my life they won't be tempted to say, "If I had been Reese, I would have written something"!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Here she is today, our very first attempt of short hair ponies. After I did her hair, the first thing out of her mouth was "Take a picture and send it to Reese". In my rush to hurry to church, I did not get a picture first thing, so it's a tad sloppy but here it is:
I also have not shown Reese the kids' new haircuts, so here they are. I'll have to find one of Amanda. Here are McKenna and Mark right after getting their hair done.
I love the colored gel. The funny thing is that dramatic McKenna rarely wants the pink gel in her hair, but calm and quiet Mark asks for it every day..even Easter. I love the new cuts!
We attended church with our new church family and were blessed beyond words as usual. There is a sweet woman there who is like a grandma to me already. She kissed me on the cheek when she saw me, hugged me several times during the hours we spent there, and made a superb bread pudding to boot! She has an amazing heart and I love her to death.
In the evening we went to a family's home for dinner. They are also from church. We ate a traditional English roast dinner, complete with Yorkshire pudding. After dinner we played The Big Taboo. We haven't played board games much since our early married days when we used to get together with Dan and Heather and play Uno, Uno Stack-O, Taboo, and... I'm not sure what else. It was one our favorite pass times back then. This was quite fun and brought back memories. Our silly Little Boys put on a little show for our hosts and their other guests, singing Amazing Grace, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and You Give Love A Bad Name, among others. I'm sure our new friends think Americans are odd!
It's very late here and I've been having some issues with insomnia again, so I guess I'd better call it a day. A cold, snowy, happy, blessed day. Good night!
posted by Reese
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Question 1 Do you color your hair (give me some background info on this one)? Yeah, I color my hair, but am not nearly as brave as Reese. But one thing I just learned is we started the hair coloring hobby exactly the same. I also started with the same stuff that you put in your hair that changed the color by hairdryer or sun. I loved the golden color that it always came out and by the time school started I always had a great tan and wonderful streaks in my hair - LOL! Oh, those were the days. But, now I usually am brown with blonde highlights. I tend to stick to my normal color but occassionaly go pretty blonde. When Reese was here last I actually went auburn and although I loved the color it only stayed for about 2 weeks and then I was my yucky brown color. Sorry..but, I hate my brown hair. So, now I'm back to brown with blonde highlights.
Question 2 What is one thing that you do with your family (or by yourself) to celebrate Easter? I'm with Reese on this one, wish the question wasn't asked. I don't do much either. We go to church and that's about it. We will dye Easter eggs with my nieces today and tomorrow we will have a desert at our house. All this was decided about 10 minutes ago. We are very spontaneous. Our town puts on a play every year called "The Last Days of Jesus". It's pretty amazing when you think about it. They start at the courthouse where Jesus is whipped and then he carries his cross up the hill to the library where two other men have been waiting on their crosses for him. All the people follow Jesus up the hill. Some begging for him to be let go and some pushing for him to be crucified. It's surreal to be in that mob as you follow Jesus up the hill. Of course, they put him on the cross and when it is over they take him to a church where there is a cave. They put him in and there are guards who take shifts until Sunday morning when he is resurrected. It's a yearly event for our family and it reminds you why we celebrate Easter. It helps you remember what He did for us.
Question 3 How old was your oldest living relative (still living or in the past)? My Mamalee lived until last January. She was almost 94. She was my great-grandma. So, she was my children's great-great grandma. Her mother (my Nana..my great-great grandma) lived until I was 12.
Question 4 What is one thing that can be a "time waster" to you? Computer and TV. I love them both!
Question 5 Most annoying bug? Bees...I hate bees!
Bonus Questions Question 6 What does Easter mean to you? It blows me away that Jesus loves me enough that He died for me. I am so thankful.
Question 7 Is there currently a sin that you are holding onto, and you know you should let go of? There are a couple of sins that I am working through. A couple of them would be time and money management.
posted by Heather
Friday, March 21, 2008
Do you color your hair (give me some background info on this one)?
Oh, yeah, I have for a REALLY long time! I started with that spray that you leave in your hair that lightens it with the help of the sun or a blow dryer, then moved on to permanent, over the counter blonds. I have had black hair, light and dark brown, various shades of blond, various shades of red and auburn, and everything in between. Currently, I'm a copper red and love it! I'm still not tired of it after a whole year, but have to admit that my thoughts are turning toward blond again. Coloring my hair is a hobby for me, I guess!
What is one thing that you do with your family (or by yourself) to celebrate Easter?
I wish you hadn't asked this question! I think that Easter is the single most important Christian celebration, yet we do very little. Of course, we go to church and participate in the worship service. We usually have a candy/egg hunt after decorating eggs with the kids. I make a point of retelling the resurrection story, but over all there is little fanfare. I say that with shame.
How old was your oldest living relative (still living or in the past)?
I think I had a great grandma who lived into her 90's. That was on my mom's side. My dad's side generally kick off earlier than that.
What is one thing that can be a "time waster" to you?
Most annoying bug?
I hate roaches the most, but the feeling I have toward them is NOT annoyance! Disgusting creatures! (Did you know they have little bits of brains all over their bodies and if their heads get cut off they eventually die from not eating rather than decapitation. Bluck.) Annoying? Flies when I'm trying to sleep and one thinks my eye is a toasty place to rest itself. Or hordes of tiny gnats.
What does Easter mean to you?
In all its complexity, it is also very simple at the same time: Jesus loves me. Enough to die. Enough to suffer incomprehensibly. Enough to rise from the dead so that he can be with me forever.
Is there currently a sin that you are holding onto, and you know you should let go of?
Nothing willingly blatant, but I am not more than flesh and bone, so, yeah, I'm a sinner. I'd say time management is a big one. I am feeling convicted to see my time as a sacrifice to God and to be sure not to waste it. I am still working through the final stages of forgiveness for a few people in my past. In the past few days I'm having an absolute epiphany as to the material extravagance of my life and it makes me ashamed.
posted by Reese, who plans to kick off later rather than earlier
Thursday, March 20, 2008
We took the kids to see Horton Hears a Who. It was such a great movie. My favorite quote was from Katie. She's the one being held by that strange creature on the left.
"In my world all creatures are ponies and they eat rainbows and poop butterflies"
That just made me laugh. It's a great movie if you have the chance to go see it, I highly recommend it.
Post by Heather
(I tried to download the actual scene from youtube, but my computer won't work right now...if you want to see it just go to youtube and type in "Katie" + "Horton Hears a Who"
Some of you may remember this post. Well...you will never believe it! I have lost my keys..AGAIN! We are talking major lost! They have been gone since Saturday. I begged my husband to take my suburban key off his key ring so that I could actually drive my car. But, I don't have a house key or anything else. And, if I loose this one lone key to my car, we are in big trouble! I need to find my keys.
In the comments section of this post Reese mentions that I should elaborate more on the story. So, here is the rest of the story (I hope it's not too offensive, it's my daughter and she's crazy!)
Tonight I took Amanda to the store to buy a deck of cards. She comes out and says "The cheapest cards were the breast cancer cards. So, I bought those and 10% of money will go to help the breast people".
I said that's really nice. Then she goes on to say "I'm all about people not having big boobs". So, I said "You mean, you think breast cancer is when you have big boobs?". She said "yes, it's for big and deformed boobs and then people have to have surgery so they can get smaller boobs, I'm all about smaller boobs".
I didn't think she was serious...but, guess what...she was!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On a more serious note, I'm excited to read the book that Reese mentioned below. Adoption and helping Orphans are something I am passionate about. I hope to adopt one day, we'll see if it ever plans out but it's something I'm very open too. If the Lord opens the hearts of those around me and removes the obstacles in our way, I would love to move forward in that. Sometimes I get very discouraged about not adopting but lately I have been praying that the Lord would show me what I can do while I wait for the adoption to happen. It may never happen, I'm still not 100% sure that it's what our family is meant to do, but there must be something that I can do while I'm waiting.
I would really appreciate prayer for my 9 year old son Mark. He is really struggling in school, I'm struggling to find answers and feeling rather helpless. These are issues that we have been dealing with since I came home from Germany back in September. It seems it shouldn't take a whole school year to get some of this stuff figured out.
Posted by Heather
- I'm thankful for a new home church that is welcoming us openly. It felt like home the first time I walked in and I'm blessed that my whole family feels the same way.
- I'm thankful that we are fully moved in and settled in our new home in England. We've transplanted ourselves and are now beginning to grow roots.
- I'm thankful that I made cream of mushroom soup today for the first time without messing it up!
- I'm thankful for the eye-opening book I read yesterday (see post below).
- I'm thankful for my amazing friends, who keep me sane and happy and enjoying my humble existence.
- Most of all, I'm thankful that this weekend is Easter Sunday and that we have another chance to be grateful and to teach our children the meaning of Easter.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."Matthew 25:31-46
These verses have always made me uncomfortable. I never see anyone thirsty or hungry, other than my kids and I feed them. I gave a hungry neighbor kid from a tumultuous home breakfast once; that's the extend of my feeding the hungry (that, and I volunteered at a soup kitchen once.). As a comfy Westerner, what is there to do?
Though our world has expanded to include literally the whole world through internet, our Christian world view, in light of these verses, has stayed small. My neighbor hungry? Nope. He has two cars and a satellite dish on his house. The poorest American is rich by third world standards. In reading this book I was challenged to allow my Christian view to grow in the same way my social and physical view has: to include the world. I want to challenge you to ask yourself what I am now asking myself: what would Jesus do in my situation? What responsibilities do I have to the poor and outcast and diseased of the world?
Coincidentally, last week I rolled out of bed and this thought shot like lightening through my brain: I am so blessed. I stopped and looked at my newer highest-I've-ever-had thread count sheets, my two pillows, my comforter, the jammies I bought myself in Germany... Wow! I am blessed. Then my thoughts went to those around the world sleeping on floors or on the ground, even children, with no blankets or benefit of the simple convenience we take for granted: running water. I am blessed. And I have enough to give from my abundance. I could even give until it hurt, but whatever I gave is fairly easily replaceable.
If we are Christians- "followers of Christ"- then we must ask ourselves: what would Jesus do?
Some friends from our last base in Germany have acted on Christ's love in their hearts: they have adopted a little girl from China and will have her in their home by May. I was so blessed when I saw this, I cried. Little Sarah is a long-awaited answer to prayer for the Orahoods, but they are a long-awaited answer to prayer for those who seek to place children in homes with Christian parents. Because of them, her future is bright and she will know God.
To follow the progress of Sarah's entry into her new home, check in with the Orahood's blog.
I've requested a sponsorship packet from Children's HopeChest, and I was thinking it might be a fun to do a group sponsorship. Any thoughts?
I finished the book Red Letter: Living A Faith That Bleeds and I'd like to pass it on to anyone interested in reading it. If you'd like me to send it to you, leave a comment by Monday, March 24 and I'll draw a name.
If you choose to buy the book, you feed an orphan for a month. Here's how:
And as long as we're giving Tom a platform, let this encourage you:
posted by Reese
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Mark says "Hey, I just learned I can take reading tests online for school".
Mom says "I'm surprised you can do that, some kids might have their older siblings take the tests for them"
Mark says "Oh yeah, Amanda...you have a new job"
McKenna says "It must be Super D Duper to be a mom" (If only she knew)
Today Mark came home from school and our good friend, who is his music teacher is currently in Germany so he had a substitute. We drove by our friend Mark's house and I said "How was school without Mark there?" My Mark's response was "We had the worst substitute teacher ever, she taught us Social Studies instead of Music. I wanted to yell Hey Lady..do you know we are in Music..Not Social Studies" (I made sure he knew that was inappropriate and that he was not to ever talk to a teacher that way...but, it still made me smile)
The other day Amanda went into the grocery store to buy a pack of playing cards. I told her to grab the cheapest ones. She came out and said "Well, the cheapest ones for breast cancer cards, so I bought those, and 10% of my money is going to the breast people"
Posted by Heather
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Once we had washed our faces, we proceeded to use an over the counter product to exfoliate, and it wimped out on us. After Mary Kay's Microdermabrasion set and even the sponge exfoliator I got from the BX, this product just didn't make the cut.
What do you do when you need to exfoliate your skin but don't have anything to do it with? Run to the kitchen and grab the sugar!
We used demerara, but white or brown sugar would have been even better. The degree of exfoliation depends on how long and how vigorously you rub. And when you're done: baby soft skin. It works really well on dry lips too.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I really enjoyed having a menu last week, and, honestly, that surprised me. I had always thought of creating a menu as an insanely time consuming project and I thought that planning dinner on the fly was freeing. How wrong I was, and it only took one week of planning to convince me. First, I created my menu within minutes. I did a quick survey of my pantry and freezer and that was it. Granted, I didn't make anything new or exciting, but old family favorites that I knew would be appreciated. Second, both my sanity and my budget were preserved as a result of my menu. No last minute panic as the clock ticked toward dinner time, and when I dashed into the commissary (ONCE!), I knew exactly the 2 or 3 items I needed.
I'm going to branch out a little bit this week, and I've issued myself a challenge: make a whole week's worth of meals that are vegetarian without my family noticing the absence of meat. I must exclude tonight from this challenge, as I need to do some shopping and haven't been able to today due to my little boys' colds. The shopping will either be tonight after dinner or in the morning, so in the decade's long tradition of treating colds we're having homemade chicken soup tonight. After that, I've tried to plan a week of meals that are colorful, flavorful and interesting enough that the meat won't be missed. Here's the plan:
Monday: Chicken soup with lots of garlic and onion to fight the nasties making their rounds in my house!
Tuesday: Baked potatoes with various toppings: vegetarian chili, cheese, sauteed onions, sour cream and steamed broccoli. Also, beer cheese soup.
Wednesday: Veggie fajitas with corn on the cob and Mexican rice.
Thursday: Homemade cream of mushroom soup (I've wanted to try this for a while) and our family's favorite spinach-blue cheese- pecan salad.
Friday: Hummus and baba ghanoush with flat bread and roasted vegetables. A side of Mediterranean olives.
Saturday: Impossible vegetable pie and individual baked sweet potatoes and a variety of toppings (butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, marshmallows) and steamed broccoli.
posted by Reese
Sunday, March 16, 2008
"Here you go, dear, your dinner. A nice plate of spaghetti and meatballs and a glass of iced tea."
"Why, thank you," she takes the plate and balances it on her exposed lap." What's for dessert?"
"Oh, no dessert tonight, I'm afraid." He answers as he leaves the room. "Bowling night."
He changes his clothes and brushes his teeth at the kitchen sink, and as he walks past the doorway of the room his girlfriend is in he asks, "Do you think you'll come out today?"
She hesitates, biting her lower lip. She reaches for her glass that's balanced on the edge of the sink and takes a slow, long sip. Her voice quivers a bit as she answers, "Maybe tomorrow."
He stops and looks her dead in the eye. "That's what you said yesterday. And the day before."
"Well, I mean it this time."
"Did you mean it when you said it last year? And the year before that?"
"Uh," she hesitates again, "It's just that, well, I can't leave."
"Bugger and Blast! You know it's all in your head!" His face grows red with a heady mix of anger and exasperation.
"Not this time." She lifts her head of greasy, unwashed hair and looks him full in the face. "This time it's real. I can't leave."
"Oh, yeah?" He mocks. "Is a fire-breathing dragon gonna incinerate you if you step out of the bathroom? Is the banshee going whisk you to your grave if you dare to stand up and go to your own apartment?" He bangs his fist against the wall, emphasizing his words. "THERE. IS. NOTHING. KEEPING. YOU. ON. MY. TOILET!"
"But, honey, there is this time. My butt's grown unto the toilet seat. Two years of sitting on a toilet will do that every time. I can't get up."
Think this is a bizarre story? It's true (with my own fictitious embellishments) . Click here for the story.
posted by the Reese
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
What can you draw well? No…not at all, I wish I had that talent
Name a TV show (at any period in your life) that you watched that you were probably a little too old to watch. I have a lot of shows I watch, and admit to watching them when my kids aren’t home. I love Franklin, Little Bear, Hannah Montana and Drake & Josh. As a teenager I enjoyed watching anything Winnie the Pooh and Gulla Gulla Island on Nickelodean.
What color is the dominant color of your wardrobe? My closet is very dull. Black is a popular color, so is brown.
Favorite donut? I love, love, love….Bismarks (no clue of that’s spelled right. They have cream inside with chocolate frosting!)
Wear painful shoes just because they are cute? Nope
Is there anything that you believe you do not believe God about? My brain is not wrapping itself around this question. I will have to think about it…if anyone can put it to me in other terms, I will definitely answer it…sorry!
In general, do you think it is ok to be frustrated with people? Hmmm. These questions are getting harder. I don’t know if it’s okay to be frustrated with people, but I think no matter who you are, you are going to get frustrated. I do not think it is okay to be rude or unkind even if you are frustrated with someone and I think you must guard your actions and not let your emotions dictate how you treat someone.
Post by Heather
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Yesterday was a true test of my loosing abilities. I ran some errands at noon, including going to my bosses house to pick up one of his briefcases and some books and then onto my house to grab my cell phone charger and back to the office. Well, obviously if I was driving my car...I had my keys.
Late in the afternoon I began to realize that I couldn't find my kids (Reese just caught that typo..did you? too funny..I'm leaving that in! LOL!). I accused my boss of stealing them, searched the office, and my car...and, still no keys. I knew I had to get to my mom's quickly last night as she does daycare and needed to leave by 5:30. Amy called and told me that her wedding pictures were online so I forgot everything else. Forgot about my keys and about my mom. Thankfully, at 5:20 as I'm frantically looking for my keys my coworker Erin offers to take me to my mom's and I am without a car for the evening.
My boss brought me to work this morning and once I looked in his office, I immediately knew where my keys were...in his briefcase, where I put my cell phone charger as well. I took out the charger and left my keys.
Brilliant...very brilliant. Will I ever learn??!!
Post by Heather
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Second best is the only SG detergent I can get at the commissary, the dish soap from their Free & Clear line. As far as I can tell, it cleans as well as the best detergents I've used in the past and I'm surprisingly happy with scent-less dishes. One time I cleaned Tim's coffee travel cup with green apple scented soap and he was disgusted for weeks. Nothing I tried would remove the smell; not rewashing in a different soap, not vinegar, not air drying and leaving the lid off for weeks at a time. It took pouring coffee into it several times and not repeating the green apple mistake to make him take up using it again. Not to worry about such a problem again. Not only is Seventh Generation Free & Clear unscented and free of dyes, it is also environmentally friendly, as it is vegetable based rather than petroleum based.
I'm also liking their natural dishwasher powder- also of the Free & Clear line- which boasts freedom from chlorine and phosphates. According to the back of the box, chlorine bleach use creates dangerous toxins, one of which is dioxin, which has been documented to have a hand in cancer, birth defects, and developmental and reproductive disorders. It is said to be especially good for households with people who suffer from allergies and asthma.
This may be the only evidence I ever present you with that I am at all sympathetic to the moronic global warming, environmental activist's hype of eminent world destruction. This and maybe a photo of me with my reusable Tesco shopping bags.
posted by Reese
Monday, March 10, 2008
I've never been good at planning my meals ahead of time, but I'd like to get better. This is my first time trying it on the internet, which as a little weird, I must admit! It's not quite as bad as taking pictures of my underwear drawer and posting them online, but it ranks up there.
After doing a quick survey of my pantry and freezer, this is what I've come up with:
- Monday: steak and veggies
- Tuesday: Breakfast For Dinner- scrambled eggs, sausage and scones
- Wednesday: Italian wedding soup and cheese toast
- Thursday: baked chicken and veggies
- Friday: creamy potato soup with carrot & celery sticks and fresh cucumber
- Saturday: slower cooker roast & root veggies with gravy
posted by Reese
Now, what was McKenna was saying about drinking water from the faucet? Ah, the wisdom of a child.
Click here for the whole story.
posted by Reese, who enjoys stirring things up
Sunday, March 9, 2008
“There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend”
~Katharine Butler Hathaway
In the process of moving I came across numerous letters, cards, notes and framed pictures and plaques that have been given to me over the years by friends. They had been shuffled around, tucked into drawers and books, stacked in the top of my closet. As I came across them they never failed to bring back the warm feelings I felt when I first received them, and it occurred to me how long-lasting and powerful an encouraging word can be. Some of the notes had been written up to a decade ago- even more- yet still lifted my spirit and brought to mind the richness of my life.
During a particularly low time of my life that lasted several years, one of my sisters-in-Christ would write me regularly, sending me cards in the mail, or leave me notes in books I was reading so that I would find it when I reached that place in the book. I'm not in that same deep valley now, and that is in part thanks to people like my friend. This gal was God's voice in my life at a time when nothing made sense and there was no hope in sight. She took on the job of being my vision; she saw what I couldn't, held my arms up in the midst of a battle where my strength failed, and spoke faith into my life. I have a written testament to her love for God, and for me, and my heart will be forever changed for the time she took to love me in the midst of my pain. Seeing this in my life creates a desire to be that kind of hope for others, and I pray that God provides me that opportunity. To love like my friend did- like CHRIST did- should be the ultimate goal of every Christian.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
My little boy Zach, who is four years-old but I just got pregnant with him yesterday (know how that feels?!), is about to start a British school. The chance to see him in a school uniform is not to be missed, and anyways, all we've heard is good stuff about their school system here. BUT... they start half days at 3 years, and the equivalent of our kindergarten at 4. Since his birthday is in November, I've been prepared to send him off to school the September before he turns 6. Now it all changes and I'm facing a much sooner departure from the cherished at-home-all-day days.
Just today I broke into tears while alone in the kitchen doing dishes when I realized that my oldest son Sean will be starting high school in the fall. He chose all his elective classes for his freshman and sophomore years this week. His top choice? AFJROTC (Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Course). My baby, who seems much too young to have that shadow of a mustache on his upper lip, is not only starting high school but is already preparing for college and a possible military career. Happily, when I met this lady on Thursday she actually laughed out loud when I told her I had a son going into high school. She said I looked too young for a kid that old. (Isn't that a Garth Brookes song?)
So with all my kids facing the door of the nest, whether for good or just during the school day, I have been thinking about what I'm going to do with all this extra time. By the fall Ian may be eligible to start school part time (if he's potty trained by then), so I'll be completely alone for a few hours of every day. Wow. That hasn't happened in years. Now is the time to decide, I guess, so I don't end up wasting it away napping or blogging all that time. I'm thinking of taking classes, working toward one degree or another, or maybe working. There are a few hobbies I've considered taking up, namely beeding and decoupage. Seeing as I'm the least artsy-fartsy person I've ever known, that might not last long.
posted by Reese
Friday, March 7, 2008
I have been blogging for a year this month, so my question is what made you start your blog?
I started blogging as a way to connect with others at a time that I had very few connections. I enjoy communication immensely, and I thought that if I could share my thoughts online anyone who was interested in reading them could see- especially friends and family. As it turns out, very few of my family members check my blog regularly, but I still enjoy expressing my thoughts and making new internet friends. One of the biggest bonuses to blogging now is that I get to blog with Heather and our conversations on the blog have become an extension of our real world friendship.
Do you speak another language? If so, why or how did you learn it? No. I can get by in German, but usually by using "spechen zie englisch?"!
Morning person, or night owl (or somewhere in between)? Definitely a morning person. I love mornings, but to spend time with my hubby I often have to stay up, since he's an unreformable night owl! This makes me sleepy in the morning and less chipper than I would be if I went to bed by 9pm.
Do you exercise on a regular basis? No. I love exercise and how I feel when I'm active, but recently circumstances have kept me from exercising.
If money were not an object what is one thing you would like to do for another person? I would love to bless both my family (parents, brothers, sister, nieces/nephews) and my husband's family with homes, cars, and a host of other necessities. It would bless me more than it would them to be able to give back to them all.
What is one of your favorite attributes of our Lord God? GRACE. Amazing grace.
Have you ever thought about adoption or foster care? I would love to adopt. I'd be very willing if God made a way for that to happen in my family.
(posted by Reese)
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I happened upon this prayer site today and immediately loved the commitment to pray for Baghdad. The military and its mission is close to my heart, but even more so the plight of those we are there to defend and liberate. The Bible says that our battle isn't against flesh and blood but against an invisible force that wages war against the very souls of men. What an awesome opportunity we have here: to fight the real battle by joining hundreds of others in prayer for this ravaged area.
Will you join in the fight?
(posted by Reese)
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Almost daily I've had posts swirling through my head with no way to satisfy the urge to share them, and now that I can, I'm drawing a blank! I do recall something about turnips and something else about the spiritual strongholds in different regions of the world, but I'll save those for a different day. It's nearly 9pm in my little corner of England and my bed is whispering my name.
I'm so glad to be back, so happy that Heather and her family are better, and looking forward to pouring out my thoughts in the next few days, whether those thoughts be about root vegetables or not.
(posted by Reese)