Monday, December 31, 2007

Simple Life Calendar

I love putting up a new calendar. It is so fresh and clean. So much possibility. This was written on the back on my new calendar and I just had to share it with you.

With the completion of each new calendar also comes the realization that another year has flown by! Oh, my! I am sure that I'm not alone when I say how busy life can be. The philosophy behind this Simple Life Calendar is simple - be more aware of the moments we are in. I don't think I can slow my life down, but I can certainly try to do more of the things that enrich my life. Perhaps inviting a friend for a visit or sitting in my backyard at the end of the day and smiling out over butterflies fluttering in the breeze. I can't slow down the hands of time, but I can make the most out of each and every day. Here's to a more Simple Life for us all!

Friday, December 28, 2007


Just to let you know about a couple things in Bloggerville...

Laced with Grace is having a give away so go over there and enter.

Rachel Anne is starting a new thing for the New Year. Each week or so she will post on Friday a simple idea on how to bring peace, beauty and order into our homes. She has a small supply list today and will start after the first.
!Kim is also doing a Praise and Coffee giveaway. My two favotite things - yea!

Check 'em out

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The week before New Year's

Christmas is over. Whew. Christmas brings out the best and worst of my children. This year I saw our son really enjoy the spirit of giving. You see I have a rule, you have to buy a gift for each of your siblings...I don't care if it is a pack of tic-tacs but you have to get each of your siblings something with your own money. In years past that is exactly what Eli (11) would do, get whatever cost him the least (least effort, least money). This year with the help of our family's new friend Carol Eli really got into the spirit of giving and really thought about what his family would like. That was a blessing on Christmas morning to see him just as excited to give as to get, well, almost as excited to give. Hey, it is progress. I also saw the kids playing well with each other. Enjoying each other's company with games, movies, and books. There were moments I thought 'Wow, we must be doing something right'. And then there were other times.

The bickering increased. Short tempers appeared (including mine). Impatience reared it's ugly head. Greediness showed up.

I think Christmas has a way of heightening all things. Sights, sounds and smells are abundant so the senses are overloaded. It brought out the best and worst of all of us. It brought the dross to the surface. I think this is a good thing especially going into a new year. This time of year I start thinking over New Year's Resolutions and what I would like to see happen in my family and in myself. I don't have a long list, just a few things I want to work on and a few things for us to work on as a family. Last year my resolution for myself was to be more hospitable. To use my home to welcome others and make them feel loved. At a ladies retreat in fall of 2006 the Lord told me I needed to work on this area. It was fun to think over the past year and how many times we had people in our home. I hope they left with a feeling of love, welcome and warmth.

I am not sure what 2008 holds for us but I do know the ONE that holds it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Meal Planning? Yeah, right.

Two weeks ago my hubby got the surprising diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. I totally didn't see that one coming. He had not been feeling all that well for a few months which we explained away with his summer schedule and then jumping right into a big production at church. Long story short...he has diabetes. God has a funny sense of humor because I has just talked at a parent meeting a few days before about meal planning, ha.

This diagnosis has not changed what we eat all that much. A few years back we had an overhaul and got rid of all processed foods and went to a more whole food diet. I am sure that the Lord was preparing us for this. I am not all that thrilled with our nutritionist who has told us not to worry what kind of carb we are eating just count carbs including processed yucky ones. So we are learning a little each day on how his body responds to different kinds of carbs. This is lots of fun for him especially this time of year with all the goodies that we are receiving from church members.

The meal planning has been simple and a bit boring. Lots of chicken breasts, veggies, salad, a little bread and a little fruit. I am hoping to expand more in the coming weeks.

Friday, December 14, 2007

This is not me at all

What Your Latte Says About You

You are very decadent in all aspects of your life. You never scale back, and you always live large.

You are a very frivolous person. You don't take anything too seriously. Why should you?

You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.

You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.

You are a child at heart, and you don't ever miss the opportunity to do something playful.

You are deep and thoughtful, but you are never withdrawn.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Christmas Meme

This is a fun little thing. I am expecting at least 3 of you to do this on your know who you are.

I got this over at Kim's Blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both...With a little one bags don't work so well right now.

2. Real tree or artificial? Aritficial, we got a new pre-lit tree this year. I am so happy the old one has past on.

3. When do you put up your tree? First of December.

4. When do you take the tree down? The day after Christmas. I like to be rid of the extra 'stuff' around the house aka clutter.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, and I discovered eggnog lattes at Starbucks this year...yummy.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A Charlie McCarthy ventriliquist doll.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Yes, several.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Brother in laws family.

9. Easiest person to buy for? My children.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I plead the 5th.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Only mail.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? The Nativity Story and Miracle on 34th street.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? It is never the same year to year. This year we started at the end of October and are just about done, just a few little things left to get.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Again, I plead the 5th.

15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? My Mother in Law makes a breakfast bread that we call 'Bubble Loaf' that is wonderful and we look forward to every year.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells is my favorite. My daughter always plays it for me Nov-Dec as she is practicing her piano.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? This year I want to STAY HOME!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen. Comet, and Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reighndeer of all... Rudolph the red nosed reighndeer...

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Usually an angel that we purchased the first year of marriage. This year nothing on top.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning...but maybe a gift of jammies on Christmas eve.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Comercialism.

23. What is the "corniest" family tradition you do, or miss doing? ???I don;t know.

24. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented? Fiberoptic trees.

25. Which looks the best, theme trees or homey trees? I like both. Both can be done well.

26. What does Christmas mean to you? Christmas is a time to celebrate God becoming flesh! Christ left his throne and place at the Father's side to become a helpless baby in a poor, poor family - to grow up despised and rejected by men, and live a perfect life and die a sinless death in order to completely absorb all of God's wrath against my sin! Now when God looks at me, he sees me through Jesus! (This is what Loraena said...I can not say it what she said!)(and I am copying it from >Kim)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My heart is full

If you are tired of hearing about adoption you can skip reading today's post.

Today is our one year anniversary of receiving our daughter Ella. As I woke this morning my heart was full with the thoughts of not only this day last year, but all that has transpired over the past 12 months.

Often I am asked if I love Ella any differently than my other children. I have to say yes and no. 'No' in the sense that she is every bit my child as any of the other children. I feel completely bonded to her. I love her so much. 'Yes' in the sense that adopting her has taught me so much about God and His love for us. Our biological children have taught me of how great God's sacrifice was to give freely His son for our salvation. How hard that must have been for Him. How much He loves His children and want the best for them.

But adding Ella to our family has brought new insight. God has shown me through this process how He pursues us, not because we deserve it. Not because we can give back what He has given. Just out of love for us.

Certain words have new meaning to me. Grafted. Chosen. Predestined. Fatherless. Orphan. Every tribe, nation, and tongue. All people. Go into all the world. Although we did not go to China on a organized mission trip, I think of our adoption as a similar calling. Ours just didn't have an ending point. It is a lifetime commitment.

I have been so blessed this past year to be able to be this sweet little girls' mommy. It has been by far the hardest thing I have ever done...but far exceeding the difficulty has been the joy and blessing. Nearly always when God asks us to do something for Him it is hard. Hard to sacrifice our selfishness for Him. I think of the hard things that God asked some of His people to do. Moses, Daniel, David, Mary,Paul, John,... Jesus. We so often think that if something is hard it is not of God and that is just not true.

We have come so far this year. A year ago Ella would wake up (several times a night) screaming. Now she gently calls "Mommy, Momma, Mommy, Momma" Last night was the first time when I was tucking her in that after I said 'I love you' she replied 'Love you'. God is so good.

One year ago today