Saturday, April 27, 2013

Year of Dates: April 2013

This month's date was a spa treatments date.  When I planned our year of dates, I had a different job and a bigger budget, so what I had planned didn't quite work out like I'd first planned.  But we made the best of it & had fun anyway!

We gave each other facials this morning.  Here's Larry.  (Grin...when he won't let me take a picture, I use google images & create the moment for everyone.)

And here's me!  Lovely huh?  You can hardly see it, but my sweetie made a Nike swoosh symbol on my left cheek.  ha ha!  This was after I told him that I'd draw a picture on his face---maybe a heart or a flower.

We used this yummy lavendar-scented mask.  And you can see by the label on the tube, it was created to be used in April.  Surely this was a sign from God that it would make for a romantic spa treatment date.

After we put it on each other's face, we hung out in our bathroom & chatted for the 15 minutes it had to stay on.  When the time was up, we used warmed washcloths to wash it off, then went on with our days.

It wasn't a huge "event" this month, but it was fun.  And I suspect my spa-shy husband would actually be willing to do it again!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Adoption DVD Giveaway WINNERS

For those of you who read and entered the drawing on THIS post, it's time to reveal the winners!!

If I don't already have your mailing address, email me so I can get your DVD on the way.  Congratulations to Jenny F & Cindy R!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hiding Behind Beauty

Tonight, our family went outside and did some yard work. While I was blowing leaves and thinking, I remembered how many times a blog post has popped into my head while doing yard work. Sometimes the life and spiritual applications I see while pulling weeds or planting flowers jumps out to me and I can hardly wait to get into the house to type it up.

While wielding the leaf blower tonight, I was admiring my work. After all, it takes some skill to really blow the leaves well. Without some practice, you just create a leaf tornado. They blow up into the air, get stuck in your hair and fly in every direction. After years of doing our leaf blowing, I’ve acquired a talent for sort of ‘sweeping’ the leaves with the blower and pushing them exactly where I want them to go.

At one point, I was standing in our flower bed, one foot behind the rose bush to blow the accumulation of crispy leaves out from the back of the flowerbed where they had piled up against the house. I began thinking about the spiritual implications of hiding behind the rose bush. How often do we ‘hide’ behind beauty (our best traits, our physical appearance, our talents) when there is a lot of ugliness going on behind the scenes? How often do people only see what’s on the outside when there is a struggle going on at home? Maybe you’ve got a spouse with an addiction or a child who is giving you gray hairs with their behavior. Perhaps you’re facing a legal problem or financial stress or trouble at work, but no one would ever know because they only see your pasted on smile, your success, your big paycheck or your fa├žade of happiness.

As I pondered these things, I had not quite nailed down how I would present it in writing. I was working on it as I stepped out from the flower bed and began blowing leaves in another part of the yard. I was brainstorming about the life applications of hiding behind beauty when I realized that I had little bits of leaves and twigs in my shoe. I shut off the leaf blower and reached for my slip-on shoe to shake out whatever was is in. And then I realized something. When I grabbed the sole of my shoe and pulled it off, I pulled my hand back and gagged. The smell hit me as I felt it mush between my fingers. When I stepped out from behind the beautiful rose bush, I must have stepped in it. Yes, THAT. We live on a corner lot and many neighbors have allowed their dogs to (ahem…) relieve themselves in our yard. And now, I had it not only all over my shoe, but my hand too! Yuck!

I had to stop and laugh. Not only at my predicament, but the way it had played out in my thinking about what I’d write. I quite literally stepped out from beauty into poop. Isn’t that just how life is? We may hide behind something beautiful but we all face our version of dog poop. I love discovering that all the people in life who I’ve at one point idolized or looked up to for ‘having it all together’ all face troubles. I’ve told my husband many times that we’re all dysfunctional in some way. Some people just hide it better. Be careful putting anyone on a pedestal or giving their opinions and words too much weight. After all, they may appear wise or like they have it all figured out, but they still get poop on their shoes sometimes.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Five Question Friday ---I've missed it!

None of you may have even noticed it was missing, but about a year ago I gave up doing the Five Question Fridays.  I'm not sure why.  I really like it!!  If you go to the blog "My Little Life" located at, you can find the weekly questions listed.  They are good conversation starters sometimes.  Other times, they're just fun to answer.  If you decide to answer them, too, let me know!!

Onto this week's questions!  (I'm a day late!  Oops!)

1. Where do you hide things from your kids at?
At Christmas, presents go under my bed or in gift bags that are on the shelf where I keep gift wrap & bags (so it just looks like a bag sitting there) or wherever else I can find to hide it!

But if we're talking about snacks that I don't want them to eat, I put them in one particular cabinet in the kitchen that no one but me bothers to open. (That works for hiding snacks from Larry, too! ha ha)

2. What is your favorite rainy day activity for bored toddlers?
It's been a while since I've had a toddler.  My youngest is 12 yrs old.  But at the preschool where I worked, we have all sorts of crazy fun ideas for rainy days.  One of my favorites is playing in shaving cream.  I roll masking tape onto the table to divide it up into little boxes (one box for each child) and then squirt shaving cream on the table.  The kids love to squish & rub & spread it and it's easy clean up!

3. Are you a punctual person or are you always running a few minutes (or more!) late??
Umm...well, you see I have 4 other people following me around most of the time.  If it's just ME, I can get there on time.  If I am getting the kids fed, lunches packed, Larry out of bed & into the shower, may take longer.  It seems like we're always running late!

4. When eating out, do you prefer off the beaten path "Mom and Pop" cafes or tried and true national food chains?
I like both for different reasons!

5. Does your significant other snore? Do YOU snore?
If I could attach a sound file here, I totally would.  I've recorded Larry snoring to prove to him that he snores.  It's LOUD & like a freight train.  But he doesn't snore every night--only about 50% of the time.  I don't snore usually, but I have occasionally snored at random times.  Larry says I make a "click & pop" sound instead of a snore.  ha ha!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Adoption DVD Giveaway!

As most of you know, Larry & I have three biological children.  In 2002, we began to feel led to adoption.  We spent most of the next three years talking about it, praying about it, listening to adoption stories of other people, searching adoption websites and just waiting for God to show us the next step in our journey.

We talked to a case worker with the state, feeling like a domestic adoption through CPS would be our best choice.  We got all the paperwork to begin the process and filled it all out, but felt led to hold onto it for a while.  It just didn't seem like the timing was right.  And so we waited.  We had no idea why or what exactly we were waiting for.  During that time, God continued to nurture our hearts, planting us in the right places at the right times to hear the message of adoption over and over again.  I can't tell you how many times I turned on the radio and heard Focus on the Family doing a series on adoption.  Or how I just "happened" to find TV shows with an adoption theme.  Or how many blogs I stumbled onto that were the adoption stories of families I have never met.  In stores and restaurants around town, we seemed to constantly be surrounded by adoptive families.  We weren't searching out these things---they just seemed to always fall in our laps.

In February 2006, through circumstances we never imagined, we took custody of our niece and nephew.  I started this blog to share our adoption story and update friends and long-distance family of how things were going in our growing family's world.  Those posts are all still here in the archives.  Unfortunately, in March 2007, things changed and our niece & nephew went to live elsewhere.  But that's a story for another time.

While things did not work out, Larry and I know, without a doubt, that God prepared our hearts all those years before the kids came to live with us, for adoption.  He showed us His redemptive plan for our lives, and in turn, His plan for the kids' lives.  We know that we were chosen by His hand to be parents to those two children for exactly the season they were in our home.  While we don't always understand the reasons for things in our lives, we believe God ordained from the moment of conception that we would be A&K's parents for those thirteen months.  It was a season of pain, of great joy, of memories, of investing in their lives and learning so much!

In the Fall of 2006, one of my sisters and her husband began their own foster/adopt journey.  Within two years, their family grew by 2.  In 2011, my other sister and her husband began to walk the same road and since then, they have added 3 children to their family as well.  Countless friends have fostered or adopted (or both!) in the past several years.  It goes without saying that adoption is near and dear to my heart!

And so, a couple weeks ago when I was presented with the opportunity to do this DVD GIVEAWAY, I jumped at the chance!

Kirk and Heidi Weimer began their family much like many adoptive families.  Kirk wanted 2 kids.  Heidi wanted 4.  They compromised and had 3.  When their youngest was about a year old, God nudged them about adoption.  After a mission trip to Ethiopia, they knew this was where God was leading them.  Two siblings group adoptions later, the Weimer home is now full of laughter & craziness --- a total of nine kids!  They never dreamed that their family would turn out this way, but their sweet story, presented on the DVD "We Have Room" is powerful and fun to watch.

I have TWO copies of the DVD to give away.  I would love to see them go to families who are considering adoption, families who have already adopted, families who are praying for & supporting friends who are adopting, or perhaps churches with an adoption ministry (this would be a great video to show at get togethers for the families in your church!)

To win a copy of this DVD, follow these guidelines.
Each of these methods = 1 entry.  (If you do all 3, you get 3 entries to the drawing!)

1.  Leave a comment.  (If your comment is not connected to blogspot account where I can find your email address on your profile, leave your email address as well so I can contact you if you win!)
2.  Post about this giveaway on your blog.  Leave me the link to your blog so I can find your post.
3.  Post about this giveaway on twitter or facebook.  Link me to those posts as well.

The winner will be selected using a random number generator online.  I will contact the winner to get your mailing address.  Drawing ends Monday, April 22nd in the evening hours, Texas time!

FYI:  This DVD is presented from a Christian faith viewpoint.  If this is offensive to you, you may not want to enter this giveaway.