Friday, January 30, 2009

Is it God's Will??

Have you ever felt like you were caught in a decision-making dilemma, not knowing whether you should proceed with something because you weren't quite sure it was God's will or not?? You pray, stammer, seek counsel & sometime still feel uncertain? Oh my, I've been there so many times!! But I think sometimes we make things harder than they need to be.

And though we most certainly should be in deep prayer over decisions, I love what my friend Patty said during their last couple heartbreaking attempts at adoption. As they contemplated over whether it was God's will (to also adopt a 13 year old), they simply found themselves asking Does it honor God? I wonder if God sometimes just wants us to step out in faith, with all that we know is that yes, it does honor Him.

As we have been very excited about our next adoption, it was a very scary decision. We had to make a very quick decision to move forward on it...giving us little time for prayer, much less fasting. But while we were moving forward what I prayed was, "Lord, I'm a bit (ok, very) fearful of the unknown here. In many ways this just doesn't make sense that we are doing this. But what I know is that there are so many orphans in the world...how can we not do our part? We are moving forward in faith because we can't see how this would not be pleasing to You. IF for some reason this is not your will, then shut the door immediately." The door has remained wide open.

We were at one of our many basketball games the other night and a dad from the opposing team walked by & said how adorable Lucy is. Of course I said thank you & moved on. He later mentioned that if his wife saw her she would want to adopt. Hmmm. I know he meant well but it kind of hit me wrong. Just because you see a cute little girl you would want to adopt?? Anyway, later the wife did see her & said something about adopting but that he didn't want to...& that she couldn't talk him into it. Honestly, I felt my blood start to boil!! I was thinking...these aren't puppies we are talking about...they are PEOPLE...children who have NO HOMES!! I left it with this statement that I hope penetrated their hearts, "You know, there are 150 million orphans in the world....as Christians we MUST do our part." They looked puzzled & said, that's right.


I hear so many excuses why people can't adopt...we are too old, it's too expensive, I don't have the energy, it wouldn't be fair to our other children. UGH! Please!!!! I do realize that adoption isn't for everyone...but I'm really starting to think that it IS for MOST of us. PLEASE take the time to read Bill's adoption story. You will remember that he and his wife Lynsay are in Ch*na working in their ministry The Morning Star Project.

Bill's adoptive parents certainly stepped out in faith, and the result was God-honoring...and changed the lives of Bill & his siblings.

The only reason any of us should NOT adopt is that we have clearly heard God say NO. Has He really said NO to you?

Glad I'm Not Alone!!

Well, I tell ya what...if I had known that by the end of the day I would have so many of you telling me of your own laundry woes, I wouldn't have worked so hard to get mine all put away!! Now I simply must tell you about a conversation I had with Lucy while doing so....

Lucy, "Mama, where are my boobies??"
Me...ignoring her, trying not to lose it with laughter.
Persistant Lucy, "Where are my boobies, Mommy?" AS SHE IS CUPPING HER LITTLE HANDS OVER HER CHEST IN THE BOOBIE REGION!!!
Me, "Well Lucy...your boobies are under your shirt, they are just very, very tiny."
Lucy, "Oh, Ok. Fine."

I guess I should have known that was coming after a trip to WM where she, while in the shopping cart & with both little hands, grabbed mine and said, "Mama's Boobies!!!"
AAAAHHHH!!!! The boys were right there, beet red and laughing hysterically!!

Ok back to laundry. I feel so free knowing you all are right there with me. So now I feel I owe you another apology for jumping ahead of you by leaving no traces of laundry piles around my house....please know that I won't snub you or pretend to be better than you....you whose homes are decorated with colorful mounds of clothing, linens & other assorted fabric items. Truth is, I'll be right back there with you within a matter of days. Now, would you please make me feel less alone about my perpetual dirty bathrooms???

**I told K-man about my conversation with Lucy...he said that she better not get any boobies until she is at least 30!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Laundry Gone Wild...my dirty little secret revealed.

Who was it that did an entire post on how she faithfully changes her sheets twice a week giving the illusion that she is a neat-freak and has the whole housework thing under complete control..?? What? It was me?? Well, please accept my apology for my deception. Yes, it's true that I try to change my sheets frequently but honestly, that is the only thing I do regularly to keep my house running smoothly. Well, I do insist on my kitchen being clean (most of the time) AND if I know someone is stopping by I will have my house neat as a pin (at least the parts they will see)....but other than that, I am truly a horrible housekeeper. There. I said it.

So it is with pride swallowed and embarrassment fully in tact that I reveal my laundry laziness.

Yes, that is laundry stacked high...frighteningly high. **sigh**


What's this? Another stack...or two?

Oh....how can this be? How can I let this happen?? Why don't I just PUT IT AWAY??? I do laundry everyday. And I wouldn't dream of leaving clean laundry unfolded in a pile somewhere (I do have a shred of integrity you know)...but my naughty little secret is that I leave stacks of clean folded laundry in various locations of my house (kitchen table, my dresser, Lucy's bed, the boys' rooms...but that is THEIR problem). So my goal is that by the time I post whatever wackiness I can think of for tomorrow, I will have my laundry put away. Gulp. Yes, I WILL. Maybe.

Here are some pics from Nick's last game....sorry if this is boring to you but my life is ho-hum & you apparently find it at least slightly amusing or you wouldn't be here....or perhaps my life makes you feel better about your own. Probably even more so after this post.





**Now, head over to my good friend Jean's blog becaue her house always looks wonderfully put together (though photos can be deceiving). AND she has the most beautiful family, including a sweet 8 year old girl just home from China!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Way Too Much To Do

I can't believe how busy I am...I have laundry stacked high (at least it's clean & folded!), I'm trying to keep Nick going on homeschooling and I have a ton of year-end stuff for our business to work on. Plus I found a $2,000 error in our account (NOT in our favor) and it is a major bee in my bonnet (not to mention quite painful as things are tight around here right now!!). So I decided today's post would be featuring another favorite blog of mine...one you likely have never visited but you really should. This is my sweet friend Sarah who is one of the cutest, sweetest, funniest, spiritually mature teenagers I know. So, it will brighten your day to read her little blog today!! Click HERE! You won't be disappointed. Make her day and leave a comment!


**Oh and your questions regarding yesterday's post (our "project") have likely been answered by Chris in the comments from yesterday. If you have further questions, feel free to leave a comment or to email Chris or me. THANKS!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This and That

I have a variety of things to talk about today....

First, notice this week's memory verse at the top. Yippee! This one I memorized long ago & have used it MANY times!!

I have decided to extend our fundraiser one week!! You have until Friday, Feb. 6 to enter!! And speaking of The Morning Star Project....Make sure you check out their ministry blog!! AND also go to Lynsay's blog to see a great video of life in Ch*na during the New Year celebrations!!

As you may recall, my fingerprint situation was likely going to set us back about 3 weeks because of my prints not being good. Well apparently the gals at the KBI are super women & some how, some way got my clearance checks back to our agency by last Friday!!! I got an email while in Colorado & couldn't believe or even figure out how they did it so fast! YIPPEE JESUS!!
So now our homestudy is DONE, APPROVED, and will be on its way to immigration this week!! I talked to our Senator's office yesterday and they said YES they will help us get through more quickly!!!! PLEASE PRAY!!!

Ok, Linn if you are reading this please stop here!! Don't read any further because I am working on a surprise for you!! If you have had enough surprises for a while then I guess go ahead and read but just know that you have to at least ACT surprised when our project is complete.




Ok everyone...we are making Linn a 100 wishes quilt!! As you may recall, one of the many, many things Linn lost in the fire was her favorite quilt and though we couldn't possibly duplicate it, we want to make another one that will hopefully become a NEW favorite of hers. Here is how it will work:

Send in a 12"x12" square piece of 100% cotton fabric that is a shade of either sage green, muted purple or lavender or soft or muted pink. Let's stay away from bright versions of these colors so our quilt is in soft, soothing colors.

Also, send a little square of the same fabric attached to a nice piece of paper or card with a little note on it telling who you are and something nice to or about Linn & her family. These will be compiled into a scrapbook so she can see who sent each square of her quilt.

Please have your squares in by FEBRUARY 10!!! That's two weeks!

My VERY GENEROUS blogger friend Chris has eagerly volunteered her talented quilting skills to put this quilt together for us!!! To find out where to send your fabric squares and any other questions please email her at raychris@dejazzd.com .

Please make sure you send the correct size and fabric type other wise your piece will not be able to be used.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Beauty of Colorado

We arrived home early this morning at 2:30. UGH!! I hate that! But I'm so thankful for our safe trip.

As I reflect on our short time in Colorado, I am struck by what we saw there. We have been to CO so many, many times...it's our favorite place to vacation. In fact as many of you know, it's where K & I met as teenagers! It has always been a desire to live there someday. We love to bask in the beauty of it all...the mountains, the rivers, trees...so on. But on this trip there wasn't time for site seeing or any of that. In fact, except one time that we went out to dinner, our time was spent either at the hotel or at the Saunders' house. But we saw true beauty there anyway....this sweet family whose faith has not been shaken, whose determination to serve the Lord is even stronger and whose conviction to bring orphans home is even deeper. I also saw the body of Christ at work...friends and family giving of themselves, through their tears of compassion, helping to bring some order back to the lives of this sweet family. I met so many people there who were joyfully giving so much of themselves and I'm so glad to now call them friends of mine. Carie (thanks for becoming a follower C!), Kim, Joanna, Irma...just to name a few, are the funnest gals & have huge hearts.

So the true beauty of Colorado wasn't in the majestic mountains or crystal clear flowing streams...this time I saw a beauty that makes me even fonder of this great state....brothers and sisters in Christ pouring themselves into a family in need. I LOVE YOU guys & can't wait to come back!!

We may never call Colorado home, but I know for certain that God is preparing a place for me that will no doubt be a log cabin (masion size) in between heavenly mountains, rivers, great, great friends...and FORMER orphans!






















(That's a ROOT beer bottle, btw)


Wolf Creek Pass on our way home...

Frozen wiper blades...ever hear of a coat K-man?
Oh my goodness...I didn't get any pictures of Emma & Liberty!! I'm sorry girls!!! I guess we gotta come back!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

FUNdraiser!!

I am resuming our fundraiser for The Morning Star Project. For updates on the Saunders, please click HERE, or scroll down for updates and for my usual daily posts. PLEASE DON'T GET THE TWO CHIPIN'S MIXED UP!!




Drum roll please.......




That's right....an iPod Touch (8GB). This is the latest and greatest version of the iPod and trust me friends, it is awesome!! (My son Brenden bought one with his Christmas money and it is incredible!!!) An extremely generous friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous (God knows who she is and will bless her greatly!!), has graciously donated this brand spankin' new iPod Touch. Wow, God is good!!

But that's not all!!!! Another generous donor has given me a $35 Walmart gift card as a 2nd place prize!!!

AND for 3rd prize, the book, "Shaoey & Dot" will be given away.


All of this is to raise awareness AND MONEY for The Morning Star Project which is a ministry that my friends Bill & Lynsay have in Ch*na. They desperately need a vehicle to get them around town (to get to and from the hospital, grocery store, etc.) with their special needs babies that they care for (at the moment they have one baby but will very soon have more). They are also looking for a larger home because their ministry is growing quickly. PLEASE be a part of this exciting adventure!!

Here's how this is going to work (and I may have to tweak things a bit as I get this all figured out).

First, PLEASE read all the "fine print" because things have to be done in a certain way in order for me to put your names in the "hat" for the prizes. If you donate, I will assume you have read and understand the "rules."

And please, please know that this fundraiser is being done by this Christian Midwestern girl whose heart is bent on helping orphans (ME!)...I will handle this with the utmost honesty and integrity. If mistakes are made, please graciously forgive me! I'm not an attorney or CPA!

1. For each chance at winning, please donate $10 by using ChipIn (top right of this page), which is a secure site.

2. After you have made your online donation...PLEASE email me (bloggerLori@aol.com) immediately with your donation amount, your name, address & phone number. NONE of this information will be used for anything other than notifying you that you won OR if I have questions about your donation. If you wish to remain anonymous that is fine, but you will understand that there is no way for me to add you to the drawing.

3. We will run the fundraiser for 3 weeks with the possibility of a one week extension, if needed.

4. The drawing will be done the old-fashion way (unless I come up with a better way), drawing out of a "hat".

5. No one in my household is eligible, much to the chagrin of Nick who wants desperately to win! Sorry Nick. :(

6. All items are NEW. If any additional items are donated to give away during the course of this fundraiser, they will be given away in order of their value. (For example, if another gift card is donated for say, $50, it will be moved to the 2nd place prize).

7. NONE of the money comes to me, it all goes directly to The Morning Star Project.

Ok, I think that covers it, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Now get busy and GIVE, GIVE, GIVE!!!

If you have a blog, a little plug on behalf of our fundraiser would be so appreciated!!!

The Joy of Children

Yesterdat K-man, Bren & Nick spent much of the day out at the Saunders' house helping with whatever they could (wow, overwhelming....lots to be done there!). I had the pleasure of taking care of all the little kiddos (I got the easy job!).


Liberty, Isaiah, Lucy, Elizabeth and Elijah were my sweet companions and they had such a blast together!! Sweet little Elijah (turning 2 on Sunday!) seemed a little lost without his Mama but tried his best to keep up with the older kids...while still sensing that things were not quite right. Elizabeth and Lucy quickly hit it off & shared in their "mothering" skills. Oh my goodness....they found some baby dolls (we spent the afternoon at Linn's friend Kim's house) & together they hoovered over their babies, kissing them, covering them up, etc. Oh, it was priceless!! I will post pics later but let me just say, they were stinkin' adorable!!!!

We went to dinner last night with the whole gang. It was fun but still seemed like a cloud overhead with all that's going on. I'm not sure that any other family could take all that they have endured without running away screaming. But they are just focusing on the tasks at hand and keeping a thankful spirit about them. Amazing.

**Emily, I gave the Dwight & Linn your generous gift & they were tearfully thankful. You are an incredible young lady and God will certainly bless you greatly for your tender heart.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sweet Friends

Wednesday night when I was rushing around trying to get packed to leave for CO, at the very last minute I remembered to bring my camera. Whew! I would have been so mad at myself if I had forgotten it! BUT....I forgot the cord to upload my pictures to my computer. :( So, I will either wait to post pics until I get back or ask Linn if I can borrow hers (if it even fits...???).



We spent the evening last night with the Saunders in their make-shift home (aka, two hotel rooms). We had a lot of laughs, shared a great dinner that someone had brought (whoever made the lasagna...it was awesome!!), and watched the little kids play (which in a hotel room meant taking turns jumping from the coffee table to the couch!). They are all so cute together!



I must say that Linn is doing well, though it is obvious that she struggles with reliving the ordeal in her head. I pray that those horrible pictures etched in her memory will fade. She is amazingly strong but extremely fragile at this time so we need to continue to lift her up in prayer.



I will try to post pictures later!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We Are Here!!

Hi everyone! Just thought I'd let you know that we drove all night long and we are finally in Durango! We are exhausted so this will be short.


When we were just an hour away from our final destination Lucy threw up all over herself AND me! Nick was completely grossed out but I assured him that he needed to get over it cause it WILL happen to him someday! Along with being peed on, pooped on, sneezed on, so on and so on! I got Lu changed and she felt a lot better....then did it all over again. But since then she has acting just fine. Car sick I guess!


As we came into town we stopped by WM to get a few groceries since our hotel room has a kitchen. We checked out and grabbed our bags and I heard a gal say, "Lori!!" I looked at her, not recognizing her at all but thinking that maybe I went to highschool with her and I was trying to crank my fuzzy memory but couldn't place her. She said, "I recognize you from your blog! I'm Linn's friend!" Oh my goodness. How funny is that! And a little creepy! :)


So we got to our hotel & ran into Dw, Linn & family. SO GREAT TO SEE THEM!!! And they all look so good. We are going to have dinner with them after we rest up.


Ok, my family is harassing me that I am already blogging so I better go. Plus, it's almost 1 PM and I still haven't brushed my teeth for the day. A full shag carpet is setting in on my choppers.

**Oh and to my friends and family...Lucy dropped my cell phone in a glass of apple juice and now it is toast. Call/text Kel's cell or email me. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Can You Say POWER STRUGGLE??

Whew. Yesterday was a crazy day. First, let me say that as the Saunders are constantly on my mind, my little mishaps pale in comparison and leave me thankful for my problems being so small. So, priorities in check, here is how my day went down....

I woke up determined that Nick and I would get a lot of school work done, catching up on some things that we were behind on. I had also planned on going to WM to get groceries...and I wanted to go do some other shopping to pick up a few things for the Saunders (WE ARE GOING TO SEE THEM THIS WEEKEND!!).

Reality changed my plans after I found out about my fingerprints. SO, I hurried to get myself showered & ready to go. During that time, Lucy decided that covering her face with vaseline would be a splendid idea...then rummaged through my make up to cover her slick new face with blush, applied with an eyeshadow wand. **big sig** Isn't she cute.


We headed out the door...dropped Nick off at his science class then went to the KBI. What a friendly group of people...seriously! I had called them earlier in the day to discuss our situation & when I arrived they were waiting for me, got me right in & did my prints (digitally this time). Two different people looked at them to make sure they were good. Then I paid (again...grrr...but I didn't even blink at it because I just WANT MY GIRL!) the fee. The lady told me she was going to hand deliver the prints to where they needed to go and try to get everything cleared up and in the mail back to our agency by Friday!! WHEW! We shall see. Thank you for your prayers & sweet comments!

Then we zipped home...I cleaned my kitchen real quick like then took B to his basketball game. N, in the meantime, was at his practice (THANKS MARTHA!! BTW, tell Emily that I get to hand deliver her generous donation to the Saunders!!).

Ok, I need to wrap this up because who really cares about my moment-by-moment day?? Lucy had several complete melt-downs (that's where the power struggles came into play) at Brenden's games. In her defense, we did a lot of running around and her only nap was in the car but what triggered the tantrums at the game was that she wouldn't say PLEASE when she asked me for candy....it was a battle I CHOSE and probably shouldn't have. So, we ended up leaving after the first game (she did end up getting the candy).

This scene was all too common last night...notice her shirt...hmmm.

I HAD to go by WM to get at least a few things. I was exhausted as I pulled into the parking lot & literally prayed for a close parking space. Sure enough, just as I got close to the store, a lady pulled out, leaving me a great spot. I said, "Thank you Jesus!" And Lucy said, "Xie Xie Jesus" (thank you in Mandarin) OH MY HOW CUTE IS THAT!!!

We got through the store successfully. Oh and right there in the store Lucy did some of her dance moves that she "learned" in class. Of course she did.



B's game...only got a few pics. His games are so fast paced that I have a hard time! If he would just be still for a second!



Do you see the lengths I must go to to get my own picture in my own blog??

Nick had an awesome game on Monday night & I love taking pics in this gym
Welcome to the scoreboard 3 points!



Please Pray

I was just informed that my fingerprints have been rejected twice by the FBI because they couldn't read them. I don't understand the process at all but I am heading to our state capital to get my prints redone. I have zero time to do this but....what else can I do. The FBI is like three weeks behind so unless they expedite things for us we are set back three weeks, which we don't have to spare.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lucy the "Ballerina"

First, a follow-up to my "follower" post: Shortly after self-manipulating things in order to get my following to an even 50, I was excited & somewhat disturbed to find that I had two more followers...leaving me with 52. I said to K-man, "Oh no. I have 52 followers now...rats! it's uneven again!" K-man said, "Umm Lori, 52 IS an even number, don't you know that?" Me, "no it's not...well, it IS but I liked it being at an even ten-increment number." K, with a look in his eyes that tells me he has finally concluded that I am, for sure, out of my mind, "Well, the answer is obvious, just remove yourself and me from your followers, leaving you with 50 again." Me, looking at him as if he is the crazy one, "WHAT? That would have me losing followers...and that would be devastating to me!" K.....silence, which spoke volumes.

Now we move on to what is becoming my Monday morning blues...Lucy's dance class. After having been sick all weekend, I wasn't even sure that we would make it. But as I casually mentioned it to her over her morning noodles she was very excited at the thought. I quickly decided that since her nose wasn't running and her hacking cough could perhaps be suspended for the 45 minutes of prancing about, we would hurry up and get ready to go.

We arrived in time to let Lucy get used to the idea of being there again. And to my surprise and relief, she readily sat down with the others and I assured her that I wasn't leaving but would stand, over there. That seemed fine and dandy with Miss Ballerina.

But once again I found myself begging her to follow along with her friends and do what they are doing (that will no doubt come back to haunt me at around 16). But no, my stubborn girl is her own woman and felt no need to cave to peer pressure (let's remember that attitude). So as you can see from the pictures, this amazing Asian will plie' and act like a kangaroo if and when she wants to. I'm questioning whether my money is being well spent here.



Let's unpack this frame by frame:


Here we see Lucy mixing in quite nicely with the other dancers


I quickly realize that the previous picture was Lucy giving me false hope...


I know what you are thinking....but please don't feel sorry for her, she brought this on herself

Look closely...that's right, Miss Lucy is just sitting on the mat


And here we see Lucy refusing to pretend to be a bear

And apparently she's too good to be a leapfrog as well


Lucy, "You want me to sit? I think I'll stand."

Lucy's side of the parachute never did get any higher than what you see here


Lucy, "And why are these girl doing this?"

Lucy, "Oh, stickers for all of us? YIPPEE! I'll have two please!"


"Why can't Brenden be in my dance class??"
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