Who writes this stuff?

My photo

I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Friday, October 31, 2008

White and fluffy

 I heard on the news that the first big snow of the season fell across the entire northern part of the country a few days ago. I was slightly saddened by that. It will be a long long long time (never) until we see snow around here. In fact, even though it has been cool enough for long sleeves several times lately, we broke 70 degrees today. 
 So I was slightly discouraged about my location in the world when I headed out this afternoon. But as I pulled out of my tiny little town, I noticed a slight dusting of puffy white, floating lightly on the grass beside the road. It was absolutely beautiful. Dainty and pure and simply pretty. 
 
Cotton. 

 It is harvest time. And suddenly, I can appreciate my tiny little southern town again. Dirt roads, pecan groves, and loose cotton, rather than snow, dusting the side of the road. Life is good. 

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Saturday

 After our late night on Friday, we got up early and drove to S. Carolina for the wedding of one of my roommates from college, Sarah.  Weddings seems to be reunion time for Shorter. Most of us don't make it to the actual "reunions", but we try our best to make it to as many of the weddings as we can. College is getting to be a faint memory, but it always comes back full force when we are together. We are running out of people to get married.... we need a new excuse to get together. 
 I would like to point out a few things about the pictures. First of all, I knew when it was being taken that the absolutely terrible picture of me was going to be terrible. However, Charity insisted on taking it, with my mouth full of food. And strangely enough, even I can find it amusing, even though I should just be completely embarrassed and ashamed. So, I posted it. 
 Secondly, all the good pictures were taken by Charity. She has real talent. If you are in N. Carolina and need to hire a photographer, drop her a line. I thought I had her web page somewhere, but now I can't find the link... Charity, leave it in the comments if you want.
 


 Thirdly, for anyone who does not read my Facebook, please note what Lindsey is wearing in the late night pictures. Yes, that is a Sorority T-shirt. That started a discussion, which has led to the discovery that pretty much everyone I talk to on Facebook from Shorter still has at least one college T-shirt that they keep around and even still wear. What about you non-Shorter people who read my blog? Any favorite shirts you keep around, just for old times sake? I actually have a T-shirt that I sleep in from a fair from 1987. I love that shirt. It is just so soft, and full of memories. Please... comment. 
 Enjoy my trip down memory lane, and hopefully it will trigger one for you too! 

Good morning God - An adoption update

"And when they had come to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them." Acts 16:7

"What a strange prohibition! These men were going into Bithynia just to do Christ's work, and the door is shut against them by Christ's own Spirit. I, too have experienced this in certain moments. I have sometimes found myself interrupted in what seemed to me a career of usefulness. Opposition came and forced me to go back, or sickness came and compelled me to retire into a desert apart.... 
 Teach me, (Holy Spirit) to see another door in the very inaction of the hour. Inspire me with the knowledge that a man may at times be called to do his duty by doing nothing, to work by keeping still, to serve by waiting. When I remember the power of the "still small voice", I shall not murmur that sometimes the Spirit suffers me not to go."   George Matheson 

When I cannot understand my Father's leading
And it seems to be but hard and cruel fate.
Still I hear that gentle whisper ever pleading,
 God is working, God is faithful, ONLY WAIT!
                                           Mrs. Charles E. Cowan 


We still don't know anything. We are doing our homestudy. Fingerprints, background search. Andy and I go in for our TB test and drug screening tomorrow. 
 Gifty is making improvement. She should be "home" from the hospital by now. Even though she is not going to be ours, I can't help but keep up with her. Any time you would like to check on her, feel free to read the OR&R site, Love in Liberia, or Deb in Liberia. Each of them update on Gifty on occasion, and I know that any of those sites would love to have your prayers as well. 
 But since Gifty is not going to be our daughter, who is? What is God's plan for us. Why did he call us to fill out pages and pages of paperwork, RIGHT NOW. We were planning to do it someday, when we were a little more financially well to do. We had every intention of doing it someday, when the children we already have are a little older. We had definite plans to do it someday, after Andy finished his degree. And I guess that might sum it up nicely there... there is always another excuse, for someday
 Right now, we do our paperwork. Pray continually. And wait. 
 I know that "our child" is waiting for us. We will wait for her, or him. 

"Do not say in thine heart what thine will or wilt not do, but wait upon God until He makes known His way. So long as that way is hidden, it is clear that there is no need of action, and that He accounts Himself responsible for all the results of keeping thee where thou art."

"Where God's finger points, there God's hand will make the way." 
All quotes taken from Streams in the Desert

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming....

... to bring just a brief moment of bragging, compliments of your local proud wife and mother. 

Andy made Airman of the Quarter for the Entire Base!!!!!!

He had already earned Airman of the Quarter for his group (maintenance), but today we found out that he made it for the next level up too! I am so proud of him. 
 It is slightly amusing, since he is no longer an Airman, but a SSgt now, but when the package was submitted, he was an Airman, so it counts. 
 The nice thing about this award is that it comes with a fun little prize package too. We will have dinner out, courtesy of Outback Steakhouse, a free oil change (which we had just yesterday discussed needing!) free text books for one class at Embry Riddle (which is where he happens to attend school, don't you love how that works out so well!) and misc. other wonderful little perks from local military supporting retailers. So, not only am I proud, I am feeling very blessed too. Double happiness! 

 Quick side story about Canaan too. Yesterday when I was out running errands, my friend Amanda called me and asked me to go check out a Playschool Log Cabin she had found on Craigslist. Since she lives in N. GA, but has family down here in S. GA, she occasionally searches for things she really wants "down here". I ended up buying it for her, but the lady I bought it from did not know how to take it apart. So, here I am, with this huge toy log cabin taking up the entire back of the truck, and, like an idiot, I can't work the stupid strap things that are supposed to hold things down. So, I drive 35 mph (and Canaan had already heard me call someone "stinkin slow" in exasperation that day... so he said now it was our turn to be "stinkin slow") all the way to base and go through the gate with a huge toy in the back of the truck. Andy came out from work and helped me strap the thing down. But then I realized that I was going to have to back up.... in a parking lot full of cars.... with a log cabin in the truck blocking my rear view completely. So I stressed just a little. 
 I tend to talk to myself when I am stressing. So, everyone around me knows when I am stressing. I asked Andy to help guide me, and he teased. Canaan listened. After I had managed to successfully back-up, Canaan announced from the back seat, "That wasn't so bad, now was it, Mom?" 
 I am doomed. Boys just know everything....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Friday

 I want to preface this post by saying that my mother-in-law is a creative genius. She can create pretty much anything. Give her a pattern, or even just a finished product to look at, and a few weeks to work on it, and she will make you pretty much anything you can imagine. At least, it seems that way to me. She has been impressing me for years. However, this last project may have taken the cake, especially where the boys are concerned. Because now my boys have a "Bee ball" to play with at their grandparents house. Check out the photos, and look at what she made, BY HAND, by herself.  




 Late Thursday night Andy drove up to N. GA after work. He went to Walmart, bought "Flight of the Conchords" Season 1 on DVD, and he and my sister Emilee sat in the truck in the Walmart parking lot and watching it while I was at Wicked. Isn't he a good husband, to sit in a parking lot and wait for me? 
 Don't give him too much credit - he had a blast. If you need to define Andy, sadly enough "Flight of the Conchords" and "My Name is Earl" pretty much sum up his sense of humor. Luckily, he has other redeeming features! 
 Anyway, after his exciting night, I then dragged Andy around to shop for a wedding present, buy a long sleeve shirt (because he hadn't packed one, since it had been warm in S. GA, and was nearly freezing in N. GA), get fingerprinted at the Rome jail, and finally sit in the Panera Bread and do his homework using their wonderful free internet service. What an exciting day... 
 Luckily, my Mom was able to watch the boys for most of the day, so we didn't have to drag them around on most of those errands and then, thankfully, the evening was an improvement over the day. We surprised Andy's Mom by bringing him to dinner, rather then just me and the boys. We had a blast with the whole Freeman crew, hanging out and playing the before mentioned "Bee ball".  
 

After driving back to my parent's house and putting the kids to bed, we then heading over to our good friend's, Corey and Carrie's house. Andy and Corey have been friends since they were about 6 years old - It shows. 
 
After several hours of misc. mischief, I finally remembered to pull out my camera. Of course, the battery died after about 5 shots. By this time, it was about 1:30 am. Perhaps pictures were not such a good idea anyway?
 


If you would like to see more pictures (taken with Carrie's camera), and hear more about our fun filled, and slightly crazy night, see here.
 The boys really were being silly, so the pictures are worth glancing at, just for that.  
 We were there until almost 3am. These bones are starting to feel old... 3am is much much later then it use to be! Perhaps because children still wake up at their normal time, no matter when you go to bed? 





Thursday...

I'M BACK.......

Oh, It feels good!!! 

 I have had internet withdrawal the last several days... seriously. I think I have even had the shakes and everything. When I finally logged onto my E-mail, for about 60 seconds on Sunday, I had 130 E-mails. By the time I got home last night, I was too tired to even start, so when I got around to it this morning, there were 168. 168 E-mails is too many. Luckily, about 100 of them were easily scanned and deleted. I can handle 68. 

 But what have I been doing for these last few days, since I obviously haven't been on the internet? Well, I will have to tell you in increments, because I have been doing A LOT. 
 Let's start with Thursday... 



 Any guesses what I was doing? Thursday night was absolutely wonderful! After Mom and Emilee went to see Wicked a few weeks ago, they insisted that I HAD to see it when I was in town. Unfortunately, I left the camera with the pictures from that night at Mom's house. I will have to see if Dad can E-mail me the pics. But, there are two funny stories real quick. I went to Wicked with Eva Jo and Hannah. Hannah was the Flower Girl in my wedding. Now she is old enough to go see Wicked with me. She will be 14 this week, and that freaks me out just a little. That makes me feel just a little bit old - she was a tiny little girl, and now, she is half grown. 

  Also, I was all dressed up for Wicked, and we were running a few errands before hand. I went to the police station to get fingerprinted (adoption stuff) in tiny little Adairsville (just FYI, they can't do that there). Here I am, in my cute little skirt and heels, walking from the car, when suddenly, all progress ceases. I got my heel stuck in a grate. Mom had to get out of the car, help me get my shoe off, twist and turn, before it finally came back out. I was just laughing the whole time, thinking that I belonged on a television sitcom. Surely my life could be a t.v. show. I have never seen Sex in the City, but from the commercials, that seems like something would happen on there. Or maybe it would fit better on "Seinfeld". Either way, it was hilarious. 

 We are late for Story Hour. I will have to give the rest of the week's event later...
 There will be pictures, I promise. Until then, keep smiling! 


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just the two of us...

Mom took Canaan to see "Puss in Boots" this morning. So it is just Zion and I, hanging out and Noni's house. So far, per his request, we have eaten Pop-tarts, watched Bob the Builder, and vacuumed the kitchen. Yes, per his request. I'm telling you, the boy has a strange idea of what is fun. Vacuum cleaners rate really high on the list.This is the one we used this morning. It is an Electrolux, Super J model (like you care, but it just adds something to know what it is called, right?) My Mom got it as a wedding present in 1977. I remember riding on it, like a rocket, many many years ago. Now, my two year old drags it around my mom's house, sits on it like he is riding a rocket, and completely enjoys it.
Most of the people who read this blog are my age, or younger even. How many of you still have the vacuum you received as a wedding present? I don't. I am pretty impressed with this 32 year old machine. Mom does have a newer one too, but this old, heavy, loud one still gets the job done, and greatly entertains my Zion. And that is what really matters. Cheers, Electrolux!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

Today we made our annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch Farm. I was first introduced to this place when I taught at the Berry College CDC and I have returned every chance I get since then! This was my fifth time there this year.
Since I left my camera at my house, and the only camera I could find here at mom's house is a piece of junk that only held 14 pictures before telling me the memory card was full, and I currently do not know how to remove the pictures from my camera phone, I am going to treat you to a slide show of the past and present. This little trip down memory lane will show you all the wonderful facets of the Pumpkin Patch Farm, as well as how much my kids have grown in the last three years. (especially considering that Zion was just a bump, albeit a very large bump, in my belly the first year I took Canaan to this pumpkin patch)
So, light a pumpkin candle, open a window and feel the cool breeze, spread a little hay around... maybe even roll in some fresh manure. Whatever it takes to get in the pumpkin patch spirit!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My brain has shut down....

I don't sleep well when I am here at Mom's.
Actually, if I can just get to sleep, I sleep fine. But for some reason, I stay awake here.
Last night, I did finally sleep, and I dreamed we had a little girl named Lily. Andy and I were leaving her and the boys with my parents, and getting ready to go out to eat, and it was such a normal day. Sometimes I really hate to wake up.

I really miss my iced tea. Loose leaf decaf green tea with apricot. You really have to try it.

I can't seem to write tonight. Check out the pictures from the birthday party we were at tonight, and I'll try to be more creative with my blogging tomorrow after we go to the pumpkin patch.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spiders and Playdough and Fires, Oh My!


I feel slightly Dorthy-ish right this minute. This trip has hardly started, and already I am singing, "Oh my". I should be prepared for adventures by now, right? I did grow up a Binkley, and have spent the last 7 years as a military wife. Surely I should know....

Mom and I got less than 3 miles from my house when am ENORMOUS, HUMONGOUS, LIFE THREATENING, TEXAS SIZED (Okay, I might be exaggerating a tiny bit) spider dropped from the ceiling of her car directly in front of her face. While she was driving.
I think that if you were someone on the outside watching, it was probably a really funny thing to watch. She and I are both screaming. At first she thought it was a wasp, so she rolled down her window, and the wind is whipping through the car, blowing our hair, and the spider everywhere. Mom pulled the car over, and I jump out, grab Zion's coloring book out of his hands and run around to the drivers side. By this time the spider had crawled back up to the ceiling, and every time I try to swat at him, I miss, because I am standing outside the car, and he is conveniently curled up in a corner inside the car and I can't see him at all! Mom finally grabs the book and swats the thing out the door and I see him nonchalantly stroll away, like he hadn't a worry in the world.
So, I might have exaggerated his size a little, but he was big enough for me to see him nonchalantly stroll away - under the car - so I only exaggerated a little.

I suppose the whole incident only took about 90 seconds, but it sure was a heart pounding way to start the trip!

We met my sister and her husband for supper at the Sweet Tomato's at Barrett Pkwy. That is always fun, since Emilee can't actually eat anything, and Kevin doesn't eat vegetables. I guess they met us for supper, since they just sat and watched us eat! It was actually kind of convenient though, having extra adult hands. Emilee is getting all kinds of mommy practice! If nothing else, she is learning that once you have kids, you can no longer go anywhere without wipes in your purse.
Let me restate that. You can go places without wipes in your purse. I just don't recommend it.

Zion was sleeping when we got to Mom's house last night, so at 6:15 this morning he woke up and didn't know where he was, or how to find me. That was fun!
My Mom and Dad have put in a new hardwood floor in their kitchen since the last time I was here. (Which was actually a project that Emilee and Kevin did - aren't they good children?) They are beautiful. The floors look fabulous in her kitchen. I hate them.
Why you may ask? Because I have already had to pick playdough out of them with a toothpick, and I have been here less than 24 hours. Who knows what joyful and lovely junk my two year old will decide to stick in the beautiful decorative "cracks" next. My Mom's house isn't kid proof any more.

Last story... I promise.
I decided to make bread this morning. My dad has been in India all week, and my Mom has either eaten out or at a friends house pretty much the entire time, so there was in her fridge, exactly: 10 eggs, 8 mini yogurts, a bag of apples, multiple condiments,(ketchup, sour cream, mayo, etc) milk (expired) juice (expired), shredded cheese, cottage cheese (expired), a pack of tortillas. That's it. So, the expired milk smelled okay and I figured it would be fine in bread. I found a pack of yeast, some butter, eggs. I went out to the garage to grind some wheat in my Daddy's vita mix. I put the wheat in, turned it on, then went back inside. Then, I got distracted. Later, the phone rang. After about 10 minutes, I remembered.... THE FLOUR!!!!
The smell of burnt wheat is horrendous, in case you ever wonder. It is not the same as burnt bread. The machine just runs so fast, and so hard, that if you leave it running, it just disenegrates the wheat, and eventually burns it. I don't know why. I have done it before, and I will probably do it again. That is the price you pay sometimes for fresh ground wheat--- a really stinky garage.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Computers

 I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone recently, and I told her she really "just had to see something" online. She told me that she couldn't. She was at her in-laws for the weekend, and they don't have a computer. WHAT?!?! Not just don't have high speed internet. Not just don't have the internet at all. They don't have a computer in their house at all. 
 That is just a completely foreign concept to me. I realize that huge portions of the world do not have computers in their home. I am aware of that. But these people are middle class, educated, middle age Americans. I really can't think of any reason for them to NOT have a computer. 
 Maybe I am wrong. Maybe it comes from being raised by a computer programer/pastor/missionary/office manager. I don't remember a time, ever, when there wasn't a computer in my life. I learned how to type when other kids learned how to print!  
 
 The whole point of this blog was to talk about my Dad. I realized today that he has been in India for a week, I think, and I haven't even said a word about it on here. He goes every year, and we tend to not make a big deal about it. Same ole, same ole. But I am proud of him. He goes where God sends him. It isn't glamourous. He gets sick almost every year. But he loves the country, and the people, and he desires to serve his Savior. He sent me an E-mail today, just to check in from India. (I think he might have been missing the internet just a little too - I have to have inherited this love of online conversation from someone, right?) 
 I am glad I was raised by a computer programer/pastor/missionary. We may not always see eye to eye, but I sure am glad to have him. So, if any of you think about it over the next week, say a prayer for my Daddy. Safe travels. Clean water. Peaceful sleep a lot of time zones away from home. And for the love of his Savior to shine out of him with every word, every smile and every breath. 
 I stayed up way too late last night. Anyone want to take a look around my blog and take a wild guess at what it was I was doing? The thing is, once you start a project like a blog makeover, you can't quit half way through. You really have to complete it. I may be paying for it later though! 

 We have been on a board game kick around here. After the Monopoly fiasco of two nights ago, we decided to try "Life". Zion was slightly more involved in this one... it has toy cars, with little "people", so it held his attention for about 4 minutes, rather than 60 seconds. Hey, progress is progress, right? This time, I won. Quite nicely, if you really want to know. Canaan was not a good sport. He whined that he wanted to win, and that it wasn't fair, and why did he have to lose, etc. He is five after all. Andy gave him a small talk about good sportsmanship, and asked him to apologize to me, but we didn't make too big of a deal. It was already 7:45, and we were running late for the bedtime routine. We proceeded with the pajamas, teeth brushing, stories, - small detour to have a serious discussion about how completely unacceptable it is to spit in the house ever, but especially on your little brother - memory verse and prayers, tucking in...
 There is always one last "I have to go potty" and "I need one more toy train to sleep with" type request, but finally it was quiet. Andy knew that he had to be at work at 5am (yes, on SAT!!!) so he was already in the bed. I was sitting in there, rubbing his feet (side story here... lest you think I am just a good wife, it was merely a guilt driven foot rub. Last week I was sick, then I have had a UTI, and tomorrow I am leaving for my Mom's for a week... he hasn't been getting much "special attention" lately, and is not going to be getting any next week. I figured he deserved something.) Anyway, I was rubbing his feet, about 40 minutes after we put the kids to bed, when I hear little feet pattering through the kitchen. Canaan comes up to the side of the bed and says, "Mommy, I am sorry I didn't say Yipee when you won. I love you." 

 My heart melted. I still sent him back to bed, where he belonged. And I might have laughed just a little. But all the same, my heart completely melted. It no longer mattered that he was a bad sport earlier, or that he spit on his brother during bedtime stories. He is an angel. I love my Canaan. Oh yes, I LOVE MY CANAAN! 

Friday, October 17, 2008

A page full of links

Just a few things...

Andy and I got totally and utterly trounced at Lord of the Rings Monopoly last night. By our five year old. That is just sad! I think it is a very accurate portrayal of our opposite personalities though, and how a blending of them works perfectly. Andy was entirely too aggressive, and spent too much on "strongholds", not saving enough for paying rent. I was not aggressive enough, so when people landed on my properties, I didn't make much money. Since we were both advising Canaan, he played a perfect game. Plus, he did have all four "horses" (which are the same as the railroads in the original) That was the killer right there! Zion participated for exactly three rolls of the dice. He then sat on Daddy's back for about 60 seconds, strangled him for about 20 seconds, ran off with one of the extra playing pieces, before I finally decided to let him play "Elmo" online. Thank goodness for Sesame Workshop! 

 I have gone more than two weeks now without reading a novel. It is a strange feeling... my desire to read is just gone. Perhaps because I have so many other things to read? Speaking of which... I want to point out a few of today's favorites. Just because. 

While sipping my chai - This is a homeschool friend that I grew up with. I thought this was a very well spoken expression of her political views, and the video at the end is hilarious, if a little long. 

Thoughts, Ponderings, Musings - This is one of my best friends and her plan for Christmas this year. I think it is a great plan and I am so excited to hear how it goes. 

Looking through the Windshield - This is the husband of one of my college roommates. I barely know him, but I love his wife, and I respect what he has to say, and the way he says it. 


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joy in sorrow

 Sometimes I must admit that I have no idea what God is doing. Okay, let me say that differently. Often, I have no idea what God is doing. But, that isn't my job, is it? What is my job, you may ask? To quite literally and in all ways trust, wait, and listen, knowing that HE knows what He is doing.
 The last 18 hours have been slightly emotional for me. I guess I should rephrase that too. The last two weeks have been very emotional for me. The last 15 hours have just been in addition to what already was. Late last night, after everyone I love was already in bed asleep, and there was no one to call, no one to express myself to, I found out that another family was most likely going to adopt Gifty. Now, in all actuality, that is FABULOUS news. We have hit roadblock after roadblock in the last few days, so I should have known that God was trying to give me advance warning. But IT STILL HURT. Because I have already fallen in love with that precious child. Sadly, the people whom I love the most cannot understand that. They are fabulous, wonderful people, who love me, and support ME. But they did not yet love HER. So they simply say, be happy for her Bethany. And I am trying to be. This other family already has their paperwork in order. They live close to a transplant center. God obviously had them picked out already. Perhaps Gifty was just the catalyst to get us moving. The trigger to make us move toward adoption. We have always said someday, and Gifty just made today turn into our "someday". 
 So truly, I am so happy for her, and the family that will be making her their own. Only my own selfishness is left. Because that tiny little girl grabbed my heart. Now she gets to keep a piece of it. 
 You know what... I gladly give it to her. 

 Now I am at a place of questioning. I will continue to do the homestudy paperwork. There are forms to fill out, and things to copy, and fingerprints to send in for background searches. But what then? Now I need to pick a country, and wait for a child. I am not capable of that. I can't pick a child. I want them all. Every single one. 
 I am back at the  same place I started. Knowing that my job is "To quite literally and in all ways trust, wait, and listen, knowing that HE knows what He is doing." I'm listening.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Words, from many sources

I am currently in the middle of three different devotional books/bible reading plans. I try to read all three of them every day. Yesterday I was feeling discouraged. As I was getting ready for bed I realized that I hadn't read ANY of them that morning. So, I read them all that night instead. Look at what God had to say to me, in all three of them separately. 

"It's safe to trust God's methods and to go by His clock." S.D. Gordon 

"Let us be faithful, and care for our own part which is to suffer for Him, and lay Christ's part on himself, and LEAVE IT THERE." George MacDonald (my own emphasis added)

"But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Roman's 8:25

"You've stayed long enough at this mountain. On your way now. Get moving. .... Look, I've given you this land. Now go in and take it. It's the land God promised..." Deut. 1:6-8

 Now, remind me again why I waited to read His promises? Wouldn't my day have gone better if I had started it in His word, as well as ended it in His word? Obviously, that is not a question that can be answered... but I think it would be yes. 
 On a side note, Andy is reading a book. Voluntarily. Without being required to read it for school. Please, no one pass out. Some wonderful new friends of ours loaned it to me this weekend when we had dinner at their house, and Andy has totally stolen it. Strangely enough, I can't be upset. I have never seen Andy interested in a book before. It is called "Saving Levi" and it is about a little Chinese baby who is abandoned and left for dead, and the woman who insists that he is worth saving. I think it is something that both Andy and I need to hear right now... a success story. A baby who survives, despite all odds. (Click here for a book review I found. )
 We just keep taking it one day, one hour, one page at a time. 
 I will keep hoping for a happy ending to our book. I have always liked books with happy endings. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Busy weekend

It has been a little crazy here. Saturday we had our first visit with the lady who is doing our homestudy for the adoption. It was both wonderful and terrible. Wonderful, because she is a woman of God, and let us know that she takes every one of her cases before the throne of God, and prays for his guidance and TIMING. Terrible because she very realistic, which was slightly depressing. There is still A LOT to do, paperwork that we haven't even seen, physicals that have to be signed off on, and it goes on and on.....
 
In other news, Gifty has pneumonia. That is never good, but on top of already being so sick, it is just dreadful. I guess it is never a good idea to blog when  you are already discouraged, but I am feeling very very discouraged right this minute. It might have something to do with the fact that I am sick too. Sneezing, sniffling, achy head. Last night I was feeling bad enough that I actually took Benadryl. That is pretty serious for me to take meds. They pretty much knocked me out. I dreamed about "The Hill" (for those of you who are not from Rome, GA, that means Shorter College). In my dream, I was driving down the main hill, in my old Nissan Sentra, back before they put in those annoying speed bumps. I was waving goodbye, and it felt so final. I woke up feeling sad, like something had just ended, and I didn't know what the next step was. I don't know what starts next. 
 I know it was just a dream, and it was probably just the Benadryl talking, but it has left me feeling sort of confused and unsure. What did it mean? What is over? What am I supposed to be saying goodbye to, letting go of?
 I should probably go to bed. Please, pray for Gifty. I hate that she is hurting. It literally makes me hurt to think about her. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Change of subject

I have been slightly "Gifty" obsessed on here lately, so I wanted to give my other kids a little time in the limelight too. First, a Canaan story. 
 When Andy was cooking our fish for dinner the other night, Canaan came into the room and asked, "Daddy, are we having dead animal for dinner again?" Andy was not happy, to say the least. He proceeded to tell Canaan that he had been listening to "his mommy" entirely too much, and that fish was made out of vegetables. My son is no fool! He wasn't falling for that. He questioned his daddy, of course. It led to a small "argument" which ended with Andy questioning how Canaan could know that fish was dead animal. Canaan declared that his mommy told him so, and "Mommy is ALWAYS right!" 
 I listened quietly from the sidelines, but I must say that I was quite happy with the ending of that discussion! 

 Zion has recently started a new saying also. He shrugs his shoulders up and says "I don't know". We got it on video, because it really is the cutest thing ever. He can't quite pronounce it clearly, but he is so confident that he gets the point across. Hilarious! If I ever figure out video on here, I will post it. 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Schindler

Today, as a surfed the net, looking for knowledge, I ran into a lot of interruptions. Zion peed his pants. Andy called from work to check in. Canaan needed help with his math. (which is not unusual... he is only five after all) 
 But then, I found some interesting sites. Full of adoption information. And pictures. Lots of pictures. And I felt like Oskar Schindler. Have you ever watched that movie, Schindler's List? At the very end, Schindler looks down at his watch, and his ring and realizes that he could have saved more people. "How many?" he says. "How many could this have saved?" 
 That is how I felt. I got my hair colored a few weeks ago. $60. Could I bring two children home if I wasn't quite so vain? Where else can I scrape together $20, $40, $60?  How many more can I "save". They are just children who want to be loved. I have love. I am not lacking in that. So, how many can I have? 
 
 The average international adoption costs between $6000-$20,000. We made our first "payment" on Gifty today. She is so totally worth it. Now I really want two... or three. 

That is actually the first thing Zion's speech therapist said when we told her about Gifty. I have befriended her, of course. I don't know how to not be friends with someone. When we were talking about Gifty, Stephanie just laughed and said she was sure I would come home with at least two children. Knowing me, I would be asking at the boarding gate how many I was allowed to hold on my lap. "Surely I can squeeze three into this seat with me, right?" 
 

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A new update...

I just got an E-mail about Gifty, then saw this post on the OR& R blog site, and thought I would post it here. We had just gotten good news today that she was doing better, and now this. Emotional roller coaster.....
 
I was hoping that I would have a happy report about Gifty today. She was discharged from the hospital this afternoon. Her jaundice and abdominal swelling are better. But when we left the hospital she had begun a small cough. I spent a few hours at Fatu's orphanage with her caregivers going over her meds and watching her. She did not seem to have a fever so I decided to see how she did overnight and reassess her in the morning. About 3 hours later I got a call that she was not doing well. I went back over to check on her and she had definitely worsened in those few hours. Her cough was much worse, she was coughing so much she could not catch her breath , she was lethargic and burning up with fever. Back to the hospital we went. She was readmitted with bronchiolitis, which she probably caught from another child in the hospital while she was there. She is getting a different kind of IV antibiotics and is being monitored. Her little compromised immune system is having a hard time fighting off the bugs. I will go back and check on her tomorrow. Please keep watching here for updates and continue to pray with us for a miracle for Gifty.

God's Gift


Everyone, I would like you to meet Gifty. We are hoping, praying, doing everything within our power, to make this little angel part of our family. On Tuesday of last week (as in 9 days ago!!) I opened an E-mail from a friend, titled "little girl in Liberia needing help". It had a picture of a little baby reaching out toward me. Anyone who has known me for long knows that I have always planned to adopt, "someday". Well, when I saw that picture, God said "today is someday". I showed her to Andy. I didn't say a word. I didn't even show him the title of the E-mail. I just showed him the picture of her. I believe his first words were "We need to bring her home." So, we prayed, and we prayed, and we prayed. And then I spent about 24 hours straight on the phone. Now we are currently living life on the fast track, or at least on the adoption fast track.
 You see, Gifty has a very serious disorder called Biliary Atresia, which, from my understanding, means the bile duct connecting the liver to the intestine is blocked. (I still have a lot of learning to do) If she had been born in America she would have had surgery at a much younger age. Since she didn't have surgery, her liver has been completely worn out. She needs a new liver. 
 So, right now we are trying to move quickly. We are filling out paperwork as fast as we can. Our first interview for the homestudy is on Saturday. Hopefully within the next 4 weeks I will be flying to Liberia to pick up our little girl. 
 Right now we need your prayers. Gifty has a fever, and we would really like that to go away. Andy and I need wisdom as we try to learn as much as possible about the adoption process, and Biliary Atresia as possible. We need the legal process to move quickly, for health reasons. And sadly, but unfortunately true, we need God to work a miracle with money. 
 I know God said take this step. I trust that the next step will take care of itself. Please, check back here for updates. Thank you in advance for approaching the throne of God on our behalf. We serve a loving God, who is involved in our lives. Praise God!  

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

9 years---plus pics

***Added Pictures****
(The first picture is Andy and I, when we had been dating just a little while. The second picture is my favorite picture of us while we were dating. Unfortunately, I put a sticker on top of it at some point in time, and now I can't get the sticky yuck off -that is what the white stuff on the side is... hopefully I can find the negative someday! Anybody know who took it?)

Yesterday Andy and I celebrated the 9 year anniversary of our first date. Nine years ago we were two college kids who went to Kroger and bought a tub of peanut butter, a bag of chips and a single slice of cheesecake. We then went back to my dorm room to pick up plates, silverware, a blanket and a loaf of bread. (I was already both "green" and thrifty!) We sat on that blanket in the park by one of the rivers there in Rome, GA and watched people go by. Little did we know that the world had just changed for both of us. Or maybe we did.
 Andy and I had already been friends for about a month by the time he "asked me out". I think pretty much EVERYONE was surprised (even him) when I said yes. After all, I was older (10 whole months) and more "put together". At the time Andy was definitely still just a kid, and not a super mature one when it comes right down to it. But for some reason, I always saw who he could be. I knew that he truly and honestly was seeking God with his whole heart. He might not have always followed the right path, but he was consciously trying to seek him. 
 From that first date, I knew. For nine years now, there has never been a moment when Andy was not my other half. You can ask my Mom. She had to hear about him pretty much non-stop for weeks on end! 
 I had to wait for him to finish growing up. Wait... maybe not finish... if that were the case, I might still be waiting! Anyway... nine years later, he still completes me, still amazes me, still gives me all his love, still seeks God with me, and still buys me cheesecake.
 What more could a girl ask for? 

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Random blabbing

Just a couple of things...
1. Loose leaf green tea with apricot is delicious when iced. Just thought you would like to know. 

2. The sun is 93 million miles away from earth. (can you tell we are studying space this week... )

3. Adoption paperwork is a pain in the patootie. It is really difficult to answer page after page of questions, especially since they don't just want a yes or no answer. For example... If you could change something about yourself, what would it be, and why? or.... What has been your greatest accomplishment to date? or.... Describe what life was like as a teenager. or..... What are the strengths of your marriage?  and it goes on and on and on. (Of course, there was Andy's favorite... Have you ever been arrested for any reason? Oh, how he hated answering that one! Ahh, the joys of foolish teenage decisions!)

Needless to say, I have spent the last few day thinking really deep thoughts about myself. I am pretty confident about what I believe. Jesus is my best friend, savior, and giver of joy. What I believe isn't hard for me to define. But who I am... for some reason that was harder. Defining myself... I just don't think about that too often. I had to describe my personality in one paragraph, then another question asked how I thought others would describe me. Andy laughed at that immediately, but it wasn't hard for me to see how the answers to that question could be two totally different things. Sometimes a person's public persona is totally different than how they see themselves. So now I am curious.... I have already filled out the form and over-nighted it to the people doing the homestudy, so don't worry, it won't be part of my adoption paperwork.... how would you describe me? Do people see me the way I think they do? 

On a side note... I found a really great blog that gives updates on Gifty. It is the personal blog of one of the girls that works for Orphan Relief and Rescue, and she has a newer picture, if you care to see. We are still taking it one day at a time, but for now we are still trying to bring her home. If someone with more money, and the ability to move faster steps in, we will let them, but until then, we will follow God one step at a time, and trust him to give us the guidance for the next step when the time comes. Please, keep praying for our little girl. 

Monday, October 06, 2008

One word answers

I have been tagged by  both Marcy and Lindsey. I guess that means I need to do it. The rules are, answer the question with only one word. Hmmmm. Am I capable of that? 

1. Where is your cell phone?
Counter

2. Where is your significant other?
Couch

3. Your hair color?
Blondish

4. Your mother?
Amazing

5. Your father?
Focused

6. Your favorite thing?
Jesus

7. Your dream last night?
stressful

8. Your dream/goal?
family

9. The room you're in?
vacuumed 

10. Your hobby?
reading

11. Your fear?
spiders

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?
military

13. Where were you last night?
home

14. What you're not?
grumpy

15. One of your wish-list items?
(more) children

16. Where you grew up?
EVERYWHERE

17. The last thing you did?
scolded

18. What are you wearing?
t-shirt

19. Your TV?
Lord of the Rings

20. Your pet?
frog

21. Your computer?
Apple

22. Your mood?
Optimistic

23. Missing someone?
Kelsey

24. Your car?
Matrix

25. Something you're not wearing?
shoes

26. Favorite store?
Target

27. Your summer?
frustrating

28. Love someone?
unbelievably 

29. Your favorite color?
blue

30. When is the last time you laughed?
seconds (ago)

31. Last time you cried?
Thursday 

I tag Emilee, Kelly, Carrie (although she's already been tagged twice), Corey and Kathryn. There are others I would tag, but they never blog, so it would be pointless. You know who you are....  is you
 
r significant other?
c

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Honeybee Festival

Yesterday was the annual Honeybee festival, which is basically the crowning glory of our town. That, and a Ray Stevens song, are about the only things we have as our claim to fame. The parade is a huge local event, which the Shriner's from miles away turn out in grand display for. There are local politicians, beauty pageant winners, boyscouts and girlscouts, marching bands and gorgeous antique cars. Tons of wasted gasoline. Some amazingly interesting sounding horns. Horses, and the waste product that comes with them... you know that was a cause for discussion, since I was there with 3 little boys. (we went with some friends from church)
 I wished I had my camera. I saw one of those priceless moments that you see in Life Magazine. An adorable little redheaded toddler, sitting on his father's shoulders. A handsome, young, clean cut man with a crew cut. The toddler had a miniature U.S. flag, and as he watched the parade in awe, he waved that flag with all the enthusiasm that only a two year old can have. They both had such pure, real smiles on their faces that I couldn't help but smile too. Even if the parade had been completely boring, I would have enjoyed it, because of the utter joy reflected on those faces.

You know what the best part is? Those faces, those beautiful, awe inspiring faces....they belong to me!  

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A history lesson...

For any of you who can't tell, this is a battle between the "Redcoats" and the "Patriots". After reading our history lesson on Thursday, Canaan really wanted to make a LEGO representation of the main players. His isn't entirely historically accurate. He insisted that King George would need to be at the battle. George Washington is the leader of the Patriots, in the black tri-corner hat. Our LEGO men didn't have enough historically accurate clothing. Some of them look more like Indiana Jones or like medieval knights, then like early American settlers, but it was still a wonderful experience in history. Both Canaan and I enjoyed our LEGO history lesson, because it was completely Canaan's idea. He saw a picture of the Redcoats in his history book, and came up with this interpretation on his own. I love the imagination of a five year old! 
 By the way, did you know that when the American patriots dressed up and threw tea into the harbor it was called the "Often Tea Party"? Just thought you would like to know that! 

Friday, October 03, 2008

Verbs and Nouns

There is A LOT going on around here right now. When I know more, you will know more... just trust me on that. In the meantime, prayers for wisdom, a medical miracle, paperwork impossibilities, and money to appear out of nowhere are all appreciated. 
 
 In the midst of emotional turmoil, daily life continues. Andy joked that I should be stressed beyond belief more often. Yesterday I scrubbed both bathrooms, including the tub (and those of you who have read prior blogs on this subject know that I DON'T DO TUBS), mowed and weeded the yard, homeschooled the boys, and watched the neighbor girl, all while spending about 2 hours on the internet researching and at least 2 hours on the phone with misc. people. 
 
 I read another homeschool mother's blog the other day, talking about teaching boys. When they are learning phonics, B is for boogers, not butterfly and P is for Poop, not princess. I laughed at her story, because I could totally relate. I want to add to it just a little. Canaan is past the "B is for" stage. Now he sounds out words. He just feels the need to act out each word as he sounds it out. S p i n... Spin!!! multiple twirls around the room. Next word. S p i t... spit!!! literally spit on my floor! (don't worry, I made him clean it up) Thank goodness for nouns or I would be totally exhausted by the end of every reading lesson! 

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I am always looking around the great wide world of blogging. I found this, and thought it was worth passing along. Listen. Think deep thoughts. Pray for wisdom for those who make decisions. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pennies, or Sanity??


I found another great use for the wonderful multi-purpose pan scrapers that come with Pampered Chef pans. If your two year old, who is helping with the laundry, happens to dump liquid laundry detergent all over the tile floor of your laundry room, the scrapers work really well to scrape it back up and, drip by drip, put it back in the container. You save about $1.00. 
 However, if your lifetime goal is to remain sane, I don't recommend it. 
 Perhaps a better idea would be to use a dirty towel, then just not add detergent to the next load, since that towel would then be completely saturated. 
 I used both ideas. Scrape scrape, drip drip drip. Scrape scrape, drip drip drip...... Grab dirty towel and mop up the remainder. 
 Life is good. 
 In other news... when the weather was nice I use to brag about my adorable little town. Over the oppressively hot summer months, I have stayed indoors and ignored my adorable little town. It has finally cooled down again. The boys rode their bikes and I walked to the pharmacy today. I think it is about 2 miles. (Andy disagrees, so I will have to drive it and find out now, just to prove it to him) It was just a fabulous adventure. We got my migraine medicine, walked down to the gas station and got an Icee, then over to the park to play. While there I met a single mother, trying to go to college and raise her kids, who just needed to talk. She has a lot on her plate. God sure likes to throw people into my path. I hope I encouraged her. I pray that I learn what I am supposed to from her. I know that she made me appreciate my blessings. Especially my husband. Andy may drive me insane sometimes, but he is an absolutely amazing man of God, fabulous cook and wonderful husband. I am so thankful for him. Nuff said.