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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Leap of Faith

"It's complicated, expensive and you never know what you're going to get." My mom quickly voiced the concerns I'd hidden in my heart for years about adoption.

Brian had shared his heart for adoption early on in our marriage. I'd let him talk a while and then have another baby. His talking and my non-answering grew after almost three years of trying for our 4th child. He never pressured -- just shared his heart.

I can tell you I was NOT seeking God's will about adoption last spring as I worked through an in-depth study of the Book of Esther for the second time. (Learned all kinds of different lessons the first time around!) We were looking at what might have changed in the few short verses between the Queen saying, "I can't go to the King. I'll be killed!" and "Fine, I'll go. And if I perish, I perish."

Our teacher asked us to consider what we were currently afraid of and after some thought I honestly answered "nothing." I said to myself what I'd say to anyone else I'd hear something like that from. "Are you kidding? How can you be afraid of nothing?" It occurred to me as I took a closer look at how I'd built my life that I feared nothing because I never said yes to anything I didn't think I could do extremely well. I didn't do anything where I thought I had the possibility of failing!

So the next question was this: what had I not allowed God to even put on the radar? A few things came to mind, but adoption was so clear that a few short months later I was on the phone with Mom sharing our process. I couldn't disagree with anything she said. It just took me a dozen years of marriage, three kids and two times through Esther to realize that LIFE is complicated, expensive and you never know what you're going to get.

Life with Jesus is an adventure and adventures sometimes require a leap of faith. Our adoption story isn't anywhere near over, but I can say I never thought I'd feel such peace in the midst of such uncertainty -- like halting in mid-leap, but knowing your safety net will never fail. If you know where your security lies -- the leaps are so much easier.


Monday, February 14, 2011

10 Ways That Say "I Love Him"

It may seem like a joke, but it's not. These are the kinds of little things that ease my man's mind a little. It's the very least I can do considering all he does for me.

1. Keep your shoes on your feet or in your closet.
2. Unplug the curling iron when finished.
3. Have the dishwasher emptied and ready for supper dishes.
4. Keep the counter by the fridge clear of clutter.
5. Sweep the inside door mats regularly.
6. Keep all cabinet and closet doors closed at all times.
7. Don't track mud onto the driveway from the corner of the yard.
8. Above all else, think "value."
9. Combine errands as much as possible.
10. Don't buy expensive greeting cards on holidays.

Hope you feel loved today, baby!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

As I said, the power did in fact go out the day we thought it would. It was off for 48 hours, but seemed like 4 or 5 days! Sam didn't like the beginning of "Sorcerer's Apprentice" -- a little too creepy for her.

Thankfully, the house held heat pretty well the first night. We lit a fire first thing in the morning. I was near tears when I realized the coffee maker used more wattage than the converter would power. (Yes, it's an addiction and I should work on that someday.)

Also realized, a little too late, that the side burner I intended to use on the grill wasn't working! Ugh. We were glad for the fire to heat the beans and cornbread for supper and for the warmth of a friend's home for a couple of hours that evening. Unfortunately, we let our fire go out and house temp dropped pretty fast on the second night. Other sweet friends offered their generator and again realized we needed a lesson in wattage and amps and electricity and such! We couldn't get it to run our space heaters sufficiently, so we all slept together to stay warm. Well, except for Grandaddy. He was in many, many layers (including the long johns) and lots of blankets on his own.

The kids slept in their stocking caps all night.

We woke up on Day 2 to 41 degrees. I wore my winter coat all day and kept Grandaddy in his coat and a stocking cap. The kids, on the other hand, never once complained of being cold despite their red noses. We all moved to the living room and kitchen, shutting off all the other rooms. We stayed in one spot where the space heater and fire combined to get us to a scorching 58 by the time Brian came home from work.

We never had to use the water in the tub and the food turned out to be the least of the troubles. I found it most difficult to live in the mess I'd let my kids create to entertain themselves. We still did school and lots of reading. You'll see they made a restaurant in the kitchen under the table -- we ate on pillows Turkish-style while Chase and Ava sang "Here Comes the Sun" as the live entertainment. (Someday I'll post about how I made the cover for the fort -- soooooo easy to make one to fit whatever size table you have!)

Nearing the end of daylight hours on Day 2, the kids were a little tired of all the closeness. I set up three play centers: in the teepee, on a pile of sleeping bags in the hall and under the table. In each I put some sort of game they could play on their own like Perfection or magnetic shapes or chalkboard and chalk. I'd set the timer for 10 minutes and told them when to rotate and then we'd put in new games and start over. That might have been the most peaceful time of all! I'm going to start incorporating that into our school day!

Probably what I liked best was working on this 3D puzzle of the Titanic that we've had for years and never attempted. It was the perfect time and we did it!

Believe it or not, we were thankful for the reminder of all the things we take for granted: warmth at the touch of a button, hot water at the flip of wrist, and hot meals whenever we want them. And, we tried to make the best of the situation without complaining -- pert near a miracle in itself, if you ask me. Even Grandaddy said he enjoyed sitting out with us and watching the kids play. Maybe it was just what we needed to shake things up a bit.

Please, no more shaking for a while.


Ice Storm Prep

Last week, there were predictions of an apocalyptic ice storm headed our way, so I spent some time preparing for the worst. I wrote the following a couple hours after the power first went out:

You’d think water and warmth would be on the top of my list, but the first thing I think of is how on earth I’ll get my coffee. (I do this when I prep for camping too!) Last year, Brian bought a power inverter for the truck. I intend to use it to keep my cell phone and laptop charged, but most importantly, I can brew a pot of coffee pretty easily. I am more thrilled about that than I should be.

Firewood: we didn’t have as much on hand as we’d like. Brian kept warning me not to burn so much just for ambiance, but I didn’t listen. So we pulled some out of the woods that we’d stacked for bonfires and brought it into the workshop. Hopefully, we won’t need it, but if we do, it will be dry.

Food: we always have enough food to get us through WWIII, but I did sift through to see what I might cook before we lost power. I pulled out things that are hard to cook on a gas grill. I put a pot of dried beans on the stove, tossed a roast and some potatoes in the crock pot, then threw a tray of bacon in the oven followed by a double batch of cornbread and the rest of the cookie dough left from the giant Sam’s Club bucket. Everything else will either keep for a long time (like peanut butter crackers and granola bars) or I can cook on the grill pretty easily (like eggs and noodles.) We also have a case of bottled water – which, with all the ice outside, seems a little redundant.

I did cook one of our frozen pizzas for lunch assuming that you can’t put that on the grill. I got curious and learned that you can, in fact, bake a frozen pizza on the grill. Google is a beautiful thing.

The grill will be moved to the garage or workshop depending on how long we’re out of power. Garage would be convenient, but the workshop would keep the cold further away from the living space.

I had everyone take showers/baths with full shampoo and blow dry before the water wouldn’t be hot and the blow dryer wouldn’t blow. My sensitive smeller thinks ahead too!

I filled my garden tub full of cold water. I figure water pipes could freeze or maybe if we don’t have power, the water plant might not have power either. Who knows? Again, a little redundant as I look outside at all the ice on my deck. I guess it saves a step or two anyway.

I meant to post this before the power went out, but I missed it by a couple hours. I’m typing in the dark now. Chase is already asleep in the teepee. Sammie and Ava are watching “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” on Brian’s laptop and Brian is watching youtube videos on his phone. We’re hoping to get through the first night without lighting a fire.

Granddaddy declined any special treatment when Brian offered an extra pair of long johns or long sleeved shirt. I took them into him an hour later for “just in case,” I said. He put them on about five minutes after I left.

Check back in a few days to see if we turned to icicles ourselves!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Skateboarding With Parker

I'm not sure which part of these pictures makes me the happiest. Is it the fact that Parker, as a very young teenager, was so sweet to my Sammie?

Or the fact, that six years later, as a young man, he's just as sweet to the whole crew?


First 3D Movie

Summer of 2009
Little Rock, Arkansas
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

You see all my brood with Ava in Logan Adcock's lap. The "Nuddah Mckena" in the middle.

I wish I had pics of the next time we went to a 3D movie last summer. We took Grandaddy to see Toy Story 3. He said he didn't really understand the beginning (that would be the previews,) but he liked it once it got going. Anything with cowboys you know....


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Long Hair, Big Heart

Sammie has been growing her hair for some time now, so she could donate it to a company that makes wigs for cancer patients.

Pantene will take 8 inches and Locks of Love will take 10 inches. It's easy. It's free. And, it could add some smiles to an otherwise crazy hard place in life.

I'm proud of my girl. And, I'm praying she's always on the giving end of this gift.