One More Time

September 5, 2008 at 12:41 pm (Blogging)

Sorry, folks, but I’m outta here!

There is so much fun to be had with a blog, but wordpress doesn’t exactly make it easy.  I have set up a new shop (again, I know, I’m sorry) back at blogger and would love to see you there.

Stop by and see the new place.  The decorater has been through and it’s shaping up nicely!

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HWJV?

September 1, 2008 at 3:27 pm (Growing in Faith)

First – I hate politics, and I don’t have all the answers.

 

I am finding it fascinating that even among conservative Christians people are thrilled about McCain’s running mate.  There is nothing biblical about voting this woman into office, and I stand amazed at everyone’s apparent joy over having a ‘lesser of two evils’.

 

I really hate faddish sayings, but – How Would Jesus Vote?

 

Not for either big ticket party, that’s for sure.

 

If you’d like to just get back to basics, this young lady has written a thoughtful post on the subject from a biblical perspective.

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Laborious

September 1, 2008 at 3:18 pm (Parenting)

Labor Day Fun!

How long were your labors?

1.  6 hours, 50 minutes of pushing.

2.  6 hours, 10 minutes of pushing.

3.  6 hours, 2 pushes.

4&5 Almost 2 years.

How did you know you were in labor?

1, 2, 3:  When the labor inducing drugs kicked in and I wanted to die.

4&5:  When I was devastated over the possibility of having to call off the adoption over not having fully immunized children.

Where did you deliver?

1, 2:  In the labor and delivery room.

3: In the operating room.

4&5: In a court room in Wroclaw, Poland.

Drugs?

1, 2:  Oh yes, epidural dripping nicely.

3:  Oh yes, epidural flipped wide open, flooding my system.

4&5:  Chocolate, and lot of it.

C-section?

1, 2: No.

3:  Almost.  After Rose’s heart rate crashed to 7bpm that’s where we were headed, but I pushed her out faster than the OB could cut her out.  Whew!

4&5:  No, although I felt like I had been cut open a few times during the process.

Who delivered?

1, 2, 3: Dr Wonderful.

4&5:  The hand of God via the hearts of my husband and I.

Interested in more?

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Small Victories!

August 26, 2008 at 6:00 pm (Parenting)

Rose, Han Solo, and Anakin are outside playing football.  You have to be tough for this here.  The children are playing in a rock landscaped back yard (hot) fenced by slump block (hot) and it’s 90 degrees out at 6:00pm (hot) and is 49% humidity (hot).  And yet they are out there playing and having a great time.

 

As I sat marveling at this I watched Anakin run straight into Han Solo’s face.  Expressions changed and I froze to watch what was to become of this.  (OK, really I wanted to see if Han Solo was going to throw a right jab or left.)

 

Then the clouds parted.

 

After Han Solo recounted what happened, Anakin said,

 

“I’m sorry, will you please forgive me?”

 

He then promptly received a nod/bear hug combination from Han Solo and they continued as they were.

 

Desert Monsoon Heat – GROSS

 

Cardinals Football that has Been to Poland and Back – OVERPRICED

 

Boys who Seek and Offer Forgiveness Without Being Reminded  – PRICELESS!

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Blog Management Tip

August 26, 2008 at 5:40 pm (Blogging)

Do you read blogs?

 

Well, by default, since you are here, reading this, you read blogs.

 

They’re beautiful, aren’t they?  Various designs, various colors, photos and graphics, little personalized touches of this code and that.  It’s like going into that person’s home and seeing their living room – it shows you a bit of their personality – a peek at what they’re like.

 

The problem is, if you have several that you like to visit on a regular basis that means clicking on each link in your bookmarks and waiting for that page to load.  If that person has not updated, then there you are, having spent that time to find out there is nothing new to read.  You’ve driven across town to their home, but they are out for the day.

 

Enter Bloglines.  Think headlines here.  Go to Bloglines, set up an account, and ‘subscribe’ to your favorite blogs.  Then, the next time you want to read them, go to your Bloglines.  Down the left side of your screen will be a list of the blogs to which you subscribe.  Those that have been updated since you last read will be in bold type.  Click on them one at a time and their content will come up on the screen to the right.  Super easy.  No, you don’t see the beautiful graphics, but if you want that you can click on the title of the blog at the top of the page and be taken to the actual blog with all the pretty foo foo and everything.  You drive across town when you KNOW they’re home!  When you’re done back up to Bloglines and go to the next bold typed blog.

 

It’s also a nice way to manage the blogs you enjoy.  I know one person who thought their list was out of control at 10, and another who thought that at 50 there were finally too many to read.  Set a limit for yourself, and then every once in a while go through and revisit each one.  Have you changed?  Has the blogger?  For better or worse?  Are there other blogs you enjoy that are better worth your time?  Are you learning from this person or is it more like a talk show where you relate but nothing gets accomplished?  Delete a few; make room for a few more.  Work within your limits so you don’t end up spending way too much time that should be spent elsewhere.

 

Oh yeah – and it’s free!

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Olympic Confessions

August 15, 2008 at 10:32 am (This and That)

It’s a good thing the Olympics is only every two years and lasts a short duration, because I don’t think I can take this going to bed at midnight every night much longer!

 

What exactly is TEVO, a machine?  A monthly service?

 

I’m going to have to find out, because it’s 10:30am and I’m ready for a nap.

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook

August 11, 2008 at 11:48 am (The Simple Woman's Daybook)

For today

I’m doubling up on house keeping tasks so everything gets done despite two days away from home this week.

Outside my window

A standard Arizona August day.  Clear, hot, slight breeze.


I am thinking

That I am so glad a friend of mine is alive for one more day.


I am thankful for

A husband who absorbs the difficulties of life and makes everything ok again.


From the kitchen

Leftovers!


I am wearing

My nightgown still!

Once I’m done cleaning, I’ll throw it in the laundry, shower and put big girl clothes on.


I am reading

Protocol Matters!  A birthday gift that I inadvertently (honest) opened upon its delivery.


I am hoping

To make a nice day for Mr Perfect’s birthday tomorrow!


I am hearing

Mossflower, a book on CD playing for the boys.


Around the house

A sparkling clean master bedroom, with clean carpet thanks to my new Dyson.

Next up is the master bath.


One of my favorite things

Friends pulling together for a common cause.

A few plans for the rest of the week

 

Bringing Daisy home tomorrow, a visit with my grandmother, and Mr. Perfect’s birthday tomorrow.  Errands and lessons Wednesday, then home sweet home for the rest of the week.

 

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

 

A family photo we had to shoot to accompany an upcoming magazine article.

Lando, Daisy, Q, Mr Perfect, Rose, HanSolo

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One More Time!

August 5, 2008 at 9:53 am (This and That)

Do you have an article of clothing which you use as an indicator as to the state of your figure?  You know, the one that when it gets a little snug you know it’s time to get a grip before things get out of control?

 

I have such an article.

 

But when it started getting a tad snug, my solution to the problem was to simply quit wearing it.  Not very effective!

 

So finally I’ve decided to be a big girl (for fear of becoming a bigger girl) and start working out.  Yesterday I relocated the laptop to the master bedroom and pulled out the half-dozen workout dvds I have and enjoy.  The morning routine was reconsidered and work-out time was found.

 

As I was loading up one of my favorites, I read the guarantee on the cover.

 

“Visible Results in Just 10 Workouts!”

 

Well, I’ve used this dvd 10 times and saw NOTHING.

 

But I wonder if 10 workouts in 18 months is perhaps not what they had in mind?

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook

August 4, 2008 at 10:07 am (The Simple Woman's Daybook)

For Today…

Outside my Window

breezy and overcast, with a slight promise of rain tonight!

I am thinking

I’ve got to stick with new habits of exericise.

I am thankful for

the ability to work out.  (I can’t believe I said I was THANKFUL for that!)

From the kitchen

coffee . . . yummm . . .

I am wearing

denim skirt, pink T, gold sandals.

I am reading…

Tapestry of Grace Year 1 Unit 1

I am hoping…

the vacuum situation is easily managed.

I am hearing…

girls working through math, and boys buzzing around with blocks and trucks.

Around the house

things are pretty well managed and in good order.  Yeah!

One of my favorite things…

being the only one awake in the house . . . it’s almost as good as being alone!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…

quiet and home with the exception of crazy Wednesday.  Home – love it!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

I bought a Miele vacuum that was supposed to be this wonderful recommended for allergies high powered vacuum.  After having it for three months I tested my suspicions and vacuumed the downstairs portion of the house with it.  Then I borrowed my girlfriend’s Dyson.  This is what was pulled from the carpet.  I put the lens cap to show scale.  (Yes, I cleaned it before putting it back on the camera!)

Eewww!  Yes, the Miele is going back, and I’m getting a Dyson!

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What To Do With Friends Who Are Adopting

July 29, 2008 at 5:48 pm (International Adoption)

As you may or may not know, we have four children.  The two girls are domestic models, biologically bred, carried by me, delivered to us in a hospital as infants, etc.  The two boys are twin imports, conceived by someone else, prayed for by my husband and I, and delivered to us via international adoption at 7 years of age by God himself.

 

Now that I am several months into this experience, I have collected thoughts to share on ways to support a newly adoptive family.  Of course, not everyone is the same, there may be needs I haven’t experienced, or things I’ve suggested that are inapplicable.  Either way, I hope this is a nice springboard of ideas for anyone interested.

 

While the family is away:  Send cards to the house and emails to the family.  Even if the cards are not received until they get home, they will know you were thinking about them.  Later these cards will fill the pages of a ‘baby’ book, encouraging the child and showing him just how many people were anticipating and praying for their arrival home.  Emails are priceless, as they are the only connection the travelling family has with their life back home.  They are in a strange place, surrounded by a strange language, in a strange situation.  They need to hear from you, all of you.

 

What can you do to help:  Coming home after weeks away, a 12 hour flight with new children, and returning to a dusty house and three feet of grass in the back yard would be very discouraging.  Have a team keep the yard in check and another to blow through the house with cleaning supplies so the family doesn’t come home with even more that needs immediate attention.  Stock the fridge and pantry with some basics to get them through the first 48 hours home.

 

When the family arrives at the airport:  What do they want?  A large party with signs and cheers?  A silent welcome?  (Some newly adopted children are overwhelmed and may not fare well with a cacophony of excitement.  Would the parents appreciate familiar faces quietly and discreetly waving and encouraging, blending in with the crowd to the eyes of the new children?)  Or would a few friends/family coming to get every one home be a better route?

 

The first few weeks home:  Stopping by unannounced is a BAD idea.  Even if you are close family or friends, still call first and get some guidelines.  Other than that, NO popping in!  The family is adjusting to being back at home, the children are wired and off schedule, the house is a wreck of suitcases and laundry, and they are all several hours ahead or behind the local time zone.  You may be dressed and ready to visit at 2:00 in the afternoon, but the family will be very likely stumble to the door in their pj’s after having just been jolted awake by your unexpected ring of the doorbell, because they are still on Russia/Guatemala/Wherever time.

 

But you want to help:  Gather the friends and/or church and arrange for people to sign up to bring meals and/or groceries.  Find out if the children have special needs – they may have food allergies or emotional baggage that relates to certain foods.  If you don’t have any information to go with, keep things simple, chicken noodle soup, rolls, fruit salad, etc.  Easy on the sugar and artificial ingredients!  When it’s your day to deliver dinner, call early in the day to find out when is a good time.

 

A group wants to pull together for a gift:  No one ever really knows the size of the adoptive children, or whether or not the parents feel they need clothing, toys, etc.  If you shower them with stuff, that’s more the parents have to deal with.  AND – the children don’t need to be seeing a river of toys steadily flowing into the house, AND they will probably come home with things that fit but gain substantial weight and height in the first few weeks home.

 

Consider organizing a gift card shower.  Cards to stores like Target, Payless Shoes, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, gas cards, cards to the family’s favorite take-out places, etc.  Those cards will provide exactly what the family needs, exactly when they need it. The size and color will always be right, and you don’t have to wrap it!  One of my favorite gifts received (that I never would have thought of) was groceries delivered to my home.  Cards for this are so appreciated by the mother whose new children are overwhelmed with the visual and audio input we easily block out in a grocery store.  And if her new children are flight risks – grocery delivery is even more so appreciated!

 

The church or a group wants to do something seriously substantial:  The newly adoptive family has just blown through anywhere between $20,000 to $50,000.  Unless one of the parents has great adoption benefits from work (slim chance), or they are extremely wealthy, they are footing this cost themselves and most likely with a loan of some sort.  If you are thinking big, then go big.  Gather funds to help the family put a nice dent or even pay off whatever loan funded the adoption.  Work with a tax advisor to distribute funds in a way that will not cause them to loose tax benefits or having to claim the income.  Even better – arrange this ahead of time, pooling together to sponsor different costs – passports, fingerprinting, home study, travel, lawyer fees, visas, orphanage donation, etc.  Would your church considering tackling this as part of their missions or ministry outreach?

 

Wanting to see your friends:  Since an impromptu visit is not suggested, try calling and arranging to pick your newly adoptive girlfriend up and treating her for pie and coffee, or chips and a margarita.  Would the new father appreciate a game of racquetball or a pizza and a beer?  Get that outing on the calendar and pick him up!  Two things to remember:  First – if the family has just returned from an international adoption, the family has just blown through thousands of dollars, and they may have lost further income due to time away from work.  Also their budget has been severely disrupted; it will be a few weeks before their finances can be balanced.  Don’t expect them to have discretionary funds available to cover even these simple outings.  Second – the new children could very likely be worried about their new mom or dad leaving and not coming back.  Keep your visit short and have your friend home within two hours or so.

 

Your children want to meet the new children:  Have them draw pictures for the new children, welcome home signs and the like.  They can make a card and put their own photo on it so the new children can review the names of their new acquaintances.  You could call ahead and arrange a time to stop by to deliver the offerings in person.  Keep it short and simple.  Leave your car running, jump out, deliver, chat for a moment, and head home.  If things are going well for the family, they can invite you to stay.  If not, you know you’ve loved on them without completely disrupting the children.

 

Your curiosity:  You know it killed the cat, right?  Don’t ask personal questions about the children right in front of them.  Even when they don’t yet speak English, your expressions, the change in tone and key words they may have learned alert them to the fact that you are talking about them.  Save it for when it’s just you and the adult family member or friend.

 

They are the family you go to in a crisis:  Please consider that their newly adoptive status puts them in ‘crisis’ mode upon arrival home, and ‘high-alert’ for the next several months.  There are language barriers, sleep problems, behavioral issues, poor character traits coming out, feeing and disciplinary battles, not to mention bonding and attachment being pursued 24 hours a day.  Your friends are pouring every ounce of energy they can muster into their family.  There is next to nothing left in reserve, and won’t be for a long time.  They are happy, but still in crisis/high-alert.  This is a good time to find some other means of support for whatever you are struggling with.

 

They used to be so friendly and hospitable:  They haven’t changed, but they have permanent house guests they need to concentrate on at the moment.  They may not be able to have people over for dinner every week, or even every month for a long time.  It may even be several weeks or months before they can accept an invitation with the new children.  Don’t keep tabs; they’ll have you over when they get a grip on all the crisis issues I talked about above!

 

Your Two Cents:  Your friends/family are doing some strange things with their newly adopted children.  The 6 year old is in diapers, the 4 year old gets a bottle, the 3 year old doesn’t have to eat her veggies, and why in the world is the 8 year old in a pack ‘n play?  Unless you are asking with the sincerest interest in learning and being supporting with no opinions dying to come out, keep quiet.  The family has most likely read and researched to the nth degree, spoken with all kinds of families that have gone before, sought help of professionals, and really probably have a clue as to what they are doing.  Their children, no matter how cute, seemingly well adjusted, or intelligent, have come home with baggage, and it has to be managed in ways you’re not used to.

 

General thoughts:  Your friends/family has adopted a child.  This event should be treated no differently than the birth of a baby, regardless of the age of the new child/ren.  What would you do for friends or family who just delivered a baby?  Do the same for the newly adoptive family/children.  These children are blessings, no different than the home-grown kind, and the road the family has travelled to get them was very likely bumpier and more complicated than even a difficult pregnancy.  These children have even more reason to be welcomed and celebrated, and the family needs all the support they can get.

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