Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Precious Moments

Yesterday we went out for breakfast.  Our oldest eats...a lot.  She'd had her full plate of food and part of mine and she started reaching to pick at Chloe's when I said, "Are you sure you are still hungry?"  When she replied, "I promise, mom, I am not full yet."  I had an epiphany that perhaps she doesn't understand at what point she should stop eating.  She was our chubbiest infant/toddler and I never knew when to stop feeding her because she didn't turn away.  She is also tall for her age and not obese, so I never know if she's just growing or doesn't stop eating if she likes what she's eating.

Anywho...I asked her.  "Ava, what does 'full' mean?"  Her reply was to precious not to share.  She said, "It can mean two things.  It means you can eat a single thing more or it can mean a young horse."  Ha! Ha!  It took me a minute to realize she meant "FOAL";)

(and just to finish the original point of the conversation, I told her you can stop eating when you no longer feel hungry.  I told her, "You don't want to eat until you can't eat one thing more all the time.  That is uncomfortable.  You want to eat until you feel satisfied.  You no longer feel hungry, but you don't feel stuffed."  Who knew- we'd been having a misunderstanding over the word full.  This morning, she has a smaller breakfast than normal and told me she was pretty sure she was satisfied and if not, there would be a snack at school.;)

Monday, May 28, 2012


Stillness...true stillness.  I am so not good at stillness.  I like time to myself, but I usually fill it with a book, computer time, watching a moving, taking a nap.  I am not good at just being- my mind races, it's hard to settle, hard to be still.  Yet, I think the still small voice of God is audible only in that space of stillness.

We are really struggling at the moment with how to parent our oldest.  I've been reading books and trying to learn "how to" do this right.  Trying to handle it on my own.  In the past couple weeks, God's really been showing us we can't.  He's also showing us He can.  He's really been calling me, especially to stillness, to listening to Him, to examining my heart before Him, to leaning on Him completely for wisdom and strength.  He is her Creator.  He knows exactly what she needs.  What comfort!

I've pulled back from ministries, obligations, busyness and am entering a season of intentional slowness and stillness.  I like simplicity but he's calling me to more than I am comfortable with:)  He is giving me the opportunity to observe, to be, to really study my child and gain insight into her heart.  He is giving me time to pray with her and for her in new ways.  It is hard and will be hard because at times I will feel alone, I will feel life is mundane, I will itch to be out and about, but I am so excited for this season.  It is so clear to me that he is at work in her, in me, in all of us.  She is uber sensitive and insecure at the moment.  She's always been sensitive, the insecurities are new.  Some resulting from difficulties in friendships at school that are resolved, but have left her unsure of herself.  She is fragile and we can see it so clearly in ways she's acting out.  We have an opportunity here and God is so clearly showing us that opportunity.  I don't want to squander it.  I want to listen and allow God to show me how to help mold her in the fragility, how to point her towards him.  I just know this season is preparing us for the fragility our adopted child will also be in.  It's hard, as growth often is, but it's exciting.

I want Ava to look back at this time and remember the fragility but also remember God's love and provision to her. I want her to remember being supported, loved, and taught by her parents.  I want to cherish these moments as difficult and frustrating as they can be, when she is fragile and still looks to us as her source of help.  What influence we have.  What power in her life.  Oh Lord, may we use that influence in ways that point her to her need for you, to the freedom you provide!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Since moving I posted more than my share of musings on friendship.  I am sure some of you are sick to death of hearing about it, but I really think the Lord is teaching me so much.

We are in a caregroup with some amazing folks.  People that I cannot wait to keep growing with.  People that I love very much.  Yet even as we left on Friday I realized we are still learning so much about each other.  There is so much about me, they have yet to learn.  Not because I've been hiding anything, just because it takes time to learn ones life story, quicks, strengths, weaknesses.  It takes time to learn when one is being realistic or when they are being too hard on themself.  Time.  Friendship builds over time.  There is something new and exciting about discovering these things and I find it humbling that these amazing women want to take that journey with me.  A blessing.

Today, an old friend and her kids came to visit.  Her husband is out of the country and she came just to hang for the day.  There is great depth in this friendship.  We have had time- lots of it.  Today I was blessed by being known.  I processed through some of the stuff I am currently being challenged by in parenting my oldest and she gave such good perspective because she has known Ava from Birth and knows me so very well.  She could encourage and affirm that I wasn't giving myself enough credit.   She affirmed so much; God used her today.  I felt known and loved and again humbled at this amazing woman who has journeyed with me for the past 10 years.  A blessing.

New friendship and old.  New friendship full of possibilities and old friendship that gives me great insight into what the possibilities can be.  God is good.  He made us for community and I am so thankful for friendship and love and a God who really does meet needs I can't articulate in ways I couldn't imagine.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Muffins and Fonduta

Today was a day of ups and downs.  I had a WONDERFUL morning with a friend, complete with chocolate cheesecake muffins.  I mean what a start to a day;)!   The afternoon, however,  was less than stellar.  I think my little Chloe is getting sick because she was CLINGY and WHINEY all afternoon.  My head was pounding by the time Marc walked in the door and I hadn't been able to get a decent dinner together.  Did I mention the old crazy cardinal is STILL attacking our house?  He is currently sitting on top of our sunlight and pecking away....enough to ignite my angry streak when I have a headache brewing;)

Marc waltzed in oblivious to the chaos but my face gave away my misery.  My Knight took over.  Held Chloe (my back is extremely thankful), fed the kids hot dogs, and suggested yummy take out.

We have an little Neopolitan Pizzeria in town, called Il Ritrovo that is amazing.  It would be amazing by Chicago or New Yorks standards- it's amazing period.  I love food and good food sends me to a happy place.  This little pizzeria has an appetizer called Fonduta al Forna.  Picture a terra cotta little pot filled with melted fresh and smoked mozerella and San Marzano tomatoes topped with thinly sliced prosciutto that was baked just long enough to crisp but not brown.  Fabulous doesn't begin to describe it.

Now I was pretty sure in my "feeling sorry for myself" mode that Fonduta could not be made "to go" and I was going to "settle" for a pizza (they are amazing in their own right), but I figured, I better just ask before assuming.  Guess what?!  They DO make Fonduta "to go."  I miss the terra cotta pot a teeny weeny bit, but mostly I am in HEAVEN.  Cheese, tomatoey, salty GOODNESS.  Mama is happy, happy, happy.

I am so glad God made food and tastebuds and such.  I mean really, he might have done it just for me.  Life just wouldn't be the same without the YUM factor.  What a gift!

Sure, I got a bit grumpy there for a few hours, but God bookended my day with a wonderful friend and muffins and the world's best husband and Fonduta.  He's got me more than covered and I can just say, "I totally don't deserve it, but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!"

Now, off to take a hot bath, pop more tylenol, and cozy up with a good book.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Silly Supper x 2

While we were away for the weekend in California my sisters kindly did Silly Suppers with my children. Here are pictures of the delight they experienced;)

Rainbow Dinner

 Making Rainbow Rice for the Sensory Table
Playing with the rice
Decorations;)  (I mean this makes me happy just looking at it;) 

Rainbow Attire (this is Chloe and my neice, Mia;) 

 Rainbow Fruit Plate

 Rainbow food- ketchp is red, chicken nuggets orange, cheese yellow, peas green, and they made the ranch dressing bluish purple

My youngest sister- Katie

And my younger sister, Karla (Mia's mama)

For dessert?  Rainbow Cupcakes, of course!

Around the World Supper

My sister, Katie, made placemates to represent different countries.  They had tropical juice, pasta, quesadillas and fortune cookies.

The kids favorite part were the "mustaches" so they could pretend they were Italian men- LOL.

They still talk about these crazy things;) 

Is there anything better than a baby covered in "sketti"?

Monday, May 21, 2012


Good News!  We received word today that our Dossier and Homestudy meet the agencies requirements.  YAY!  This means we don't have to "redo" anything.  The agency now send the documents for Authentification.  We are sending our first immigration form in and will soon be speaking with our agency's director of Haiti adoption about our children's temperments, etc. to prepare for the referral.  Referral means- we'll be matched with a child or sibling group.  Exciting times.  Still lots of waiting ahead but what a thrill to receive an email that says, "Great Job- no changes needed!"  YAY!  Oh little one(s), I cannot wait to put a name and face to the place God has already built for you in my heart!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dossier in the Mail

A Dossier is a collection of documents ALL about us that we send to our adoption agency and then on to Haiti to apply for adoption.  It pretty much leaves no stone unturned from detailed financial and insurance records to blood tests.  They'll know everything about us.

It takes quite a bit of work to assemble.  Everything has to be notarized and notarized very specifically so sometime letters need to be redone.  We had been waiting on a letter form our physician about our health. He had to go get it notarized, etc.  We finally got it and yesterday I checked and rechecked multiple times before sending off our hopes and dreams in a little envelope;)  Actually it was a pretty sizable envelope;)

We've now done pretty much all we can do, with the exception of some immigration follow ups once we have our referral (referral meaning- when we know who our child(ren) is).  I have been done with anything in my control since March, except this mailing, waiting on things from others, but this really feels out of our hands now, because it is.  The agency has it all;)  We now trust them with; no we trust GOD for his perfect timing.  Let the exciting and excrutiating waiting commence!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grumpy Tuesday

8am- It's Tuesday and I am officially a Grump.  I have had a sore neck for a couple days.  It isn't enough pain to be debilitating but plenty of discomfort to be annoying, give me headaches, and worst of all make sleep difficult.  I have been up since 4:30 today and I am not so happy about it.  To top it off I started low dose Birth Control pills to try to manage some migraines I've been having.  There is a reason I wasn't on the pill- it makes me grumpy.  It's like a perfect grump storm up in here.  As if it weren't enough, my son decided to remove his pull up after we put him to bed last night so I have plenty of pee sheets and blankets and stuffed animals to wash AND emptying my cupboards reveals lots of dirty dishes put away by my very helpful MIL who meant well, but doesn't have the best eye sight.  My wonderful cleaning lady is very sick, so my to do list for the day grew exponentially since I have house guests arriving this evening.  GRUMP, GRUMP, GRUMP!  (and did I mention- GRUMP!)

Lots of excuses for grumpiness, but as I try to somehow justify my completely stinky attitude I am reminded that "grumpiness" missed the fruit of the Spirit list.  I am guessing it wasn't even close to making it.  I suppose that also means snapping at my kids and husband isn't really excusable?  Grrr.  These are the days that remind me how fragile I am.  Give me a little hormonal imbalance, lack of sleep, and nagging discomfort and nice, patient, fun mommy/wife, becomes a nightmare.  Oh how I need Jesus!      I am just sitting here, pouring my excuses as his feet and asking the Holy Spirit to fill me with HIS fruits, asking him to help me take mean thoughts captives, asking him to bind my tongue from words that wound or thoughtless conversation.  I hope and pray that 12 hours from now when I crawl into bed Grump Tuesday will have turned into Victory Tuesday.  It certainly will be testament to the power of God made perfect in my complete and utter weakness...it's actually awesome to know ALL things are possible with God.  Sometimes seemingly small things are big miracles.  I know I need one today and I have great hope that my powerful God can overcome my nastiness;)

Addendum- Things that helped turn Grumpy Tuesday into Victory Tuesday (I'll add throughout the day)

1) Bible study gals- thankful I didn't skip just to clean bathrooms
2) Bacon....one of the best foods on earth in my humble opinion
3) Jimmy Johns
4) a nap...a short power nap really does make a world of difference
5) my Kari Jobe CD
6) Jesus Calling Devotional
7)  Laughter...at my husband's expense (He came home from work with a bleeding head.  He escaped work because his head is bleeding and he didn't want try explain how the heck it happened.   He scraped his head on the coat hook in the handicap stall when pulling up his pants.  He's fine...and so I can laugh...it also for some strange reason reminded me of a friend who pulled her butt muscle doing the "superstar" move from SNL...bringing on more laughter.)
9) we've been a bit stressed about money since starting the adoption.  We have had more unexpected financial requirements than ever before (no coincidence, we know).  We have been a bit stressed about making sure we are diligent with saving, yet also somewhat excited because we are 100% confident God has it in control.  Today, we got a refund check (YAHOO!) AND found out we'd been overpaying into escrow on our mortgage so they decreased our monthly payment;)  Unexpected blessings;)

8pm-  Guess what?!  Not too bad today.  God totally answered prayer- I'll gladly receive bacon and a nap ANY day;)  What surprised me most, however, was one of the things that gave me most joy today ended up being cleaning my bathroom.  I have an amazing cleaning lady- I sort of adore her.  Still, I don't think anyone scrubs my house like I do and it's been a couple months since I've scrubbed my bathroom myself.  It's sparkly and uber clean and scrubbing gets out tension.  I found great joy in the job...thanks, God;)