November 20, 2008

A Cautionary Tale (Complete with Pictures)

You know you've been tempted. Perhaps it was when Oprah featured them on one of her shows, or maybe it was late one night and the infomercial was fairly convincing that they would CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Some of you may have even succumb to temptation and purchased them, with hopes of impressing your friends. Better yet, you had visions of causing your husbands palms to sweat just like they did the first time the two of you met, and you were wearing your favorite pair of acid washed Guess? jeans. Of course, if your memory is correct, he was wearing those crazy cool military boots and leaning all relaxed and devil-may-carish against a column outside the local Baskin Robbins ....


uh ... wait

where was I?

Oh yes ... the deceptive promises of Shapewear. That's at least it's more subtle name. There's also the much more obvious title of Lipo in a Box, and of course Oprah's favorite, Spanx.

Whatever you call them, I've always been a bit suspicious of them. Control top panty hose make me want to crawl back under the covers and call it a day. So I was never brave enough to try on something, whose name alone insinuates some form of corporal punishment.

My teenie tiny toothpicked size mother on the other hand feels she needs all the help she can get. So after being mesmerized by a late night infomercial she purchased the promise of youth and waited patiently as it arrived in the mail. The good news was that her SIZE SMALL bodysuit came with a free gift of thigh shapers as well. (Did you catch the SIZE SMALL reference? Why on earth would they even make a SIZE SMALL??? And why on earth would someone (my mother) who IS a size small (my mother) feel the need to buy one???? How can you want to look LESS than a size small??? These questions keep me up at night ... but I digress.)

When the package arrived in the mail, she gleefully ripped through the plastic and looked hopefully at her new bodysuit. Perplexed, she realized that the small seemed really .... um ... small. Still, not one to give up, she begin the long and arduos process of trying to wedge her body into it. I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say her hopes of perfection were dashed as soon as she realized that bending over and breathing were the sacrifices of beauty. She immediately called the company and arranged to return the torure devices poste-haste. The good news (according to the customer service rep) was that she could keep the thigh shapers as her free gift.

Which is why my daughters now have some new leggings to add to their dress-up collection.

Ladies, you have been warned ... ignore the Sirens seductive call from the shores of fashion. Your hopes (lo, your very breath capacity) could be dashed on the jagged rocks. Shapewear that a 3 year old can easily pass off as capri TIGHTS is just wrong! M'kay?

November 19, 2008

Up A Tree ...

Wordless Wednesday
I LOVE how he plays with our kids! This post could also be titled "Where my children get their photogenic tendencies" But that's such a long title.

October 30, 2008

Reviews Coming In

The Book is out and I of course LOVED it, but as LeVar Burton used to say on Reading Rainbow, "You don't have to take my word for it ..." because my word is slightly biased and based on a desire for all of my Father in Law's hard work to be a success.

OK, LeVar didn't ever say that last part.

Anyway, people are reviewing it and seeing all of the same positive elements in the book that I loved so much. So here are a couple of reviews from people that do not share a common last name with the author:

Consuming Worship: "the book is a real eye-opener for someone like me who has always been a firm (sometimes zealous) supporter of Israel. When you peek into the life of a Palestinian born in a tent near the beginnings of the last century’s conflict between Jews and Arabs, you cannot help but have your worldview shifted somewhat—maybe not so much a shift in thought but an increased clarity because of learning about the other side of the issue."

Jeff Adams: (Our former pastor, and Daddy to one of my closest friends)
"a tangible example of God’s power to change lives. There is no other explanation that makes sense."

Jennifer at A Quiver Full: "I was encouraged, educated and led to examine the scriptures pertaining to the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael in a new light."

So there you go. It really is a great book! Buy it, request it at your library or borrow from a friend you know named Addie, whatever, just read it. I think with today's volatile climate it's such an important book to open your eyes a bit to God's worldview. Forget all the rhetoric that you may have heard from the religious right or the liberal left, what does God think about this often forgotten people group? And what lengths is he willing to go just to reach them?

October 28, 2008

Halloween, A Parental Lesson in Letting Go

You know it's going to happen when you become a parent, you just mistakenly believe it happens around 18 years of age. The reality is that it starts sometime before 8.

First Halloween: (aka: the time I had more input)

Current Halloween: (aka: I think we know where this is going.)

I didn't want to let her wear this, but she confused me when she started speaking in Klingon and told me that she had to keep the ring safe from the Cylon's ruling in Mordor.* How could I refuse her ... my baby wants to be a hero!

* I totally ripped this off a tv show ... if you know which one, you're cool in my book.

October 27, 2008

TuTu Typical

Aren't they adorable?

Won't they look so cute on Halloween?

It looks like all the hours of hard work and preparation I put into their costumes really paid off.

Except now my five year old tells me that she doesn't think she's going to be a ballerina for Halloween. She wants to be Sleeping Beauty instead.

The sleeping beauty dress we have is old.
And tattered.
And a couple of sizes too big.
And is worn here around the house EVERY. OTHER. DAY.

It's nice to see she's stepping out of her comfort zone.

October 24, 2008

Scary things like PTO's, Arts and Crafts, and Pumpkin Patches

Wow, did I seriously have a blog post up for the last three weeks with a picture of dead bugs in my freezer? I really know how to leave things on a good note, don't I?! For the three of you that have continued to check in here and had to endure that, I am deeply sorry.

The bugs are gone. The freezer's been bleached. And Sporty received a perfect score on her science project. And for all that I say: Hooray!

And because I'm sick today but desperately feel the need to push the bug post further down my page, I give you, in list form, some vignettes from my life. And in keeping with the whole creepy feeling that the bugs have added to this blog, it's a Halloween themed list. Spooky indeed!

1. Somehow I ended up being in charge of the whole Halloween party for Posh's kindergarten class. I'm not sure how that happened. I vaguely remember a phone call, some sort of peer pressure and now here I am. So, I went to the planning meeting a few weeks ago, sat with a bunch of women I don't know, but who all seem to know each other, and I now have all sorts of little tasks to accomplish. Not to mention the expectation to have a party which can entertain 20 kiddos for an hour. Oh, and I have to do it for $13. Or at least that's the amount of cash they gave me. Entertain 20 kids for an hour on $13! Oh yeah, sure, No Sweat! Each kid is getting a half a package of smarties and a napkin that they can take home to keep. Should be a huge success.

2. Posh and Baby Spice are going to be ballerinas for halloween and I'm making the tutus. I'm done with one, and have one more to make this weekend before Trunk or Treat at Church this Sunday night. Here's the one I've already made:


This is only the second time I've ever made a costume for one of my kids. Sporty's very first Halloween we made a butterfly costume out of cardboard and felt. It was SO CUTE!

Or maybe SHE was just SO CUTE! Eight years later, she's going as a Jedi. Surprisingly, she declined my offer of another butterfly costume. :-)

3. I'm hoping that making costumes for the girls will make up for my other Halloween failures. I'm almost embarrassed to admit this ... but ... I buy our pumpkins at Wal-mart. And to top it off, I don't have any pictures of the kids picking them out. (Do you think that would've made for a good family photo op to have the kids positioned all around the blue shopping cart?) This is all tongue in cheek, but I do have to admit that a part of me feels like the odd man out when almost everyone seems to take their kids to a patch to pick out their pumpkins these days. With three kids, it would cost us about $40-$50 to get three pumpkins. Three pumpkins that they are going to take home and hack up with knives. Hack not carve. I just can't bring myself to do it. They don't seem to mind now, but I wonder if later they'll feel deprived when they hear their friends talking about all the fun they had at the pumpkin patch. Maybe I'll just sock away that $40-$50 we saved for the therapy sessions they're gonna need.

Have a Great Weekend!

October 1, 2008

And You Thought It Was Time To Clean Out YOUR Freezer!


(In our city, third grade means an introduction into Entomology. According to her teacher this was the humane way to kill them, so they have their own little shelf in my freezer. A shelf that will be cleaned and cloroxed next week when this project ends.)

September 29, 2008

Because "Rock-A-Bye Baby" No Longer Works.

No doubt about it, my husband has an incredible voice. It's like buttah. And when he's up on stage leading worship, singing and playing guitar it's easy to see he was created for this.

And I can understand why that little weekly snapshot might lead some people to think we have regular family sing alongs, and every night before bed the two of us gently sing the girls to sleep in four part harmony. (that might be a bit difficult to pull off.)

The von Trapp family ain't got nothin' on us.

In reality, while the guitar does come out of the case around our house, it's rarely the idyllic picture you might imagine. First off, the three year old sees the case as her imaginary horse, then the five year old pulls out her Hannah Montana battery operated guitar and competes with daddy, dueling banjos style. Meanwhile, the 8 year old believes this is a good opportunity to fine tune her vibrato skillz. After a bit, all three seem to work themselves into such a chaotic frenzy that they run around the room and crash into each other. Since witnessing this several times, I can see why the pied piper went with a wind instrument. Clearly they are more effective at controlling children than the stringed variety.

However, hope springs eternal, and so last night Ben pulled out the guitar at around 7pm. On a side note, I'm not sure why he felt the need to pull "her" out, but I try not to interfere with their relationship, as long as "she" doesn't interfere with ours. So I just kinda sat on the couch with my laptop and zoned out for a few minutes. Unfortunately after only a few moments, I was brought out of my revery by the usual cacaphony.

Do you see that all of those photos have blur marks representing crazy activity? It was insantiy. Ben sensing he needed to redirect the mob, changed the mood of the music. The notes quieted down while the strumming slowed and his voice became more hushed. He began ad-libbing a song about his daughters. It started as an ode to how much he loved them and enjoyed spending time with them and they were eating up all of the attention.

That is until the song transitioned with the words "But soon they'll be in bed and then we'll..."

"then we'll ..." and the remaining part of the song was dedicated to all of the fun things we would do once they were finally tucked in. The intensity in the song began to build as he sang about trips to ice cream stores, and parties with friends, eating at Taco Bell and buying new video games. Each line was further proof of what they had known all along. Once they go to bed the fun really begins! Ben and I howled with laughter as they cried in dismay. Phrases such as, "NOOOO!" and "Daddy that's not fair!" were barely heard over the noise of our own psychotic laughter. (Don't judge us ... you know you would have laughed too!) But the song had to come to an end and eventually it did. Once everyone had gone to the bathroom, washed their hands, brushed their teeth, and drunk the obligatory 17 glasses of water, quiet descended upon our house and we all settled in for the night.

After all three were sound asleep, Ben opened up his laptop and began working while watching a crummy (albeit Oscar nominated) movie, and, after cleaning the kitchen, I headed upstairs to put on my pjs and alternate between watching reruns of "The Cosby Show" and "House" while I folded some laundry. Exhilarating stuff.

Come to think of it, maybe we should have sang a song about what we REALLY do after they go to sleep. The sheer boredom of it all would have put them to sleep in 30 seconds flat!

September 3, 2008

They say it's how Al developed his whole theory of relativity thingy

A few days ago, we were out riding our bikes after the kids got out of school. We stopped for a water break and she appeared a little droopy in her seat. When her older sister accused her of sleeping, she perked up and stated "I'm not sleeping, I'm just thinking!"

When we finally made it home, this was how we found her:

She had a lot on her mind.

I think I'll block off a couple of hours this afternoon for some deep thinking.

August 26, 2008

Lucky Number 13

And to think on this day, I thought I was the happiest I could ever be. You've spent the last 13 years proving me wrong.

Happy Anniversary my Love, my Best Friend, my Rock, my Soft Place to Land, my Dreamboat, my Laughter, my Partner, my Sounding Board, my Support System, my Therapist, my Safe Place, my Hunka-Hunka Burnin' Love!
PS - To my bridesmaids I offer my deepest apologies. You did nothing to deserve that! Ahoy Maties!

August 25, 2008

Time Flies ...

Tonight we just happened to be clear on the other side of town and due to construction work had to drive past this building.

On a Friday, thirteen years ago tonight, I was here, decorating the sanctuary in fake white roses and navy blue ribbon. Unfortunately it looked more nautical than I had anticipated.

August 18, 2008

I Coulda Been A Contender

Watching the Olympic track & field competitions this week, has reminded me of my own track & field dreams, and how they were shattered with a traumatic turn of events. Well, like, totally traumatic, to like a fifteen year old girl.

In the spring of my freshman year of high school, I made the absurd choice to join the track team. I think that absurd reasoning might have had something to do with my best friend Leah and how teenage girls always have to do things together. It was either run track or go home and do homework in the afternoon. Whatever the reason, it was so out of character that my dad had made the comment that he knew I'd quit after a couple of weeks. That was all the motivation I needed to ensure that I finished the season. But when you learn to hide behind the bleachers after only a week of practice, it's pretty obvious that it's not the sport for you.

After a couple of weeks they pulled us all together to determine how well we could high skip. Apparently I did ok, because they asked me to run hurdles.

Um, does it mean less running? Sign me up.

I don't remember getting very much training. It was sorta here's how you do it ... now practice. So I did. Even now, 20 years later, I can remember just a little bit of the feeling of kicking my right leg up over each hurdle and the jarring thud as I hit the ground running. I practiced for quite awhile and thought I had it down pretty good.

My only issue was that due to my stubby little legs, I was forced to take an extra couple of steps in between just to get my right leg up over the next hurdle. So a few days before our first meet, some genius on the coaching staff watched my form and suggested I alternate legs. In theory, this makes total sense. The little stutter steps I was taking right before each hurdle was hurting my time. Alternating right, left, right, left provided a smoother run in between each jump. So the night before my first meet, I was up at the school trying desperately to throw my left leg over every other hurdle. As dusk settled over the field, I thought I had it figured out and finally went home.

The next day, I worried all day long about the afternoons meet. Finally 2:30 came and we loaded onto the bus. As the time came for my event, I felt sick to my stomach. I got in my start position and waited for the horn. As soon as it sounded, I took off. The first hurdle I made with my right leg. I sailed flung over it with little problem. 5 strides later, I awkwardly kicked up with my left leg, slammed into the hurdle and landed on my knees. Oh my, was I embarrassed, but determined to go on. The next hurdle was with my right leg, so I once again made it over, but inwardly groaned as I knew I was going to have to throw that left leg up once again. Not surprisingly, I hit the hurdle again. This time hearing laughter from some jerk in the stands. I picked myself up and made eye contact with my heckler. By this time the race was nearly over, but there was no way I was walking off that field. I decided then to do what I should have done from the beginning and finish the race leading with my right leg.

I did make it to the end, and then sat silent as a stone through the rest of the meet. That trip home was the longest bus ride known to man.

I don't need to tell you that I never jumped a hurdle again after that. But I have noticed myself during these Olympics, counting steps and watching which leg the sprinters lead with. And I always cheer for the short girls. (OK so I think there's only like one short girl, and she's probably nowhere near as short as me. whatever.)

August 15, 2008

First Day


And today

How in the world did that happen?!

Not too long ago, you were not able to go to sleep until you were snuggled into the crook of my arm, your thumb firmly in your mouth. And now you've taken your first steps into a much wider world, completely separate from me.

When you were born, I was pretty darn sure that you were going to be my baby forever. I was quite content with the two beautiful girls I had ... what more did I need? But before you had even turned two, that plan had changed and I'm so glad that it did. Not just because I adore your baby sister, but because I've loved seeing you in the role of big sister.

You are such a little helper around the house. You love working with me in the kitchen and will often decide go clean up your room or the playroom on your own. I can guarantee you did not get these tendencies from me. You should have seen the sweet little look on your face yesterday when your teacher said you were to be the first 'Happy Helper' on Monday. Oh, the joy! You'll make a great one baby! You were a born happy helper.

I love how big you make your eyes when you are excited, the way you love a good joke, and your happy laugh. It's going to be awfully quiet around here in the mornings. Your baby sister might just be completely lost without you. You are a bright little light in our home and your daddy and I are so proud of you.

Have fun baby ... you're going to be amazing!

August 14, 2008

She's Poshalicious!

In honor of her beginning steps into the wider world of primary education, I give you two of my favorite "Poshy-the-cheerleader" moments.

What can I say? The kid is 35 pounds of pure exuberant motivation!
Happy Kindergarten day tomorrow. I'll be back with loads of pictures and buckets of sap.

Hello. Goodbye.

Hello Beautiful,

Today is your first day of third grade. I don't think I'm old enough to have a third grader, I mean I'm only 26 years old, right? No, I guess not. That's how old I was when you were born. The time has just seemed to fly right by since the first moment I held your pink squishy softness in my arms.

This last year has been a big one for you. For us both really. For one, I seem to have gotten my little girl back a little bit. Not that I lost you at all, but I always say that around 18 months old, my kids quit being my babies and turn into Daddy's little girls. And really who can blame you when the three of you have the best daddy in the world. I love it in fact. Watching how much you all adore him, and love to be with him is one of the most beautiful things my eyes will EVER see. But over the last year, I've noticed you snuggle a little closer to me on the couch, hug me out of the blue and request shopping trips of just you and I. With each snuggle and hug I try to breathe in deeply ... hoping to permanently affix that moment in time.

This year also brought about a change in your heart. I wanted to write about it at the time ... I tried to write about it at the time. In fact, I still have the draft sitting in my blog account. But somehow, I just couldn't find the words to fully encompass my joy for you. In you. Last spring, in early April, just before bed, you knelt with your daddy (your sisters at your side), and tenderly asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. It was a moment that your dad and I had watched evolve in your head since you were very young. (At the age of four you asked me "Mommy, why does sometimes my heart want to do good, but my head says 'no'?" It blew my mind how at such a young age, you could understand such a seemingly complicated biblical principle.) I've treasured watching the Lord work in your life since that time. And I will treasure each moment that is yet to come.

I love you so much baby, and I'm more proud of you than you could ever comprehend. Enjoy your third grade year, and all of the new independence that may bring.

All My Love,
Your Mama

(I know this isn't a photo of you and I, but I think you know by now that your mom is never going to be photo ready this early in the morning. If only we took AFTER the first day of school pictures .....)

August 12, 2008

Let The Countdown Begin

Their backpacks were hung by the doorway with care ....

The Pros:

  • No more fighting.
  • A slightly cleaner home.
  • Someone far more qualified than I is learning them.
  • I can think for all the blessed quiet.

The Cons:
  • They make you take them really, REALLY EARLY.
  • Like practically 8 o'clock!
  • Someone far less qualified than me is guiding them.
  • I miss them terribly. (well not for like the first couple of weeks!)

Goodbye summer. You were really good to us this year.

August 11, 2008

She Has Been Fined For Several Rubber Ducky's Rights Violations

I think most parents would agree that one of our main jobs in parenting is to create self-sufficient people out of those cute little balls of wrinkled skin they place in our arms at the hospital. And if we can just get them to clean-up after their own mistakes, we consider ourselves a huge success.

People, let me just show you what success looks like: (WARNING: this photo is not for the faint at heart. But if it does bother you, try to let it just roll off you. Like water off a duck's back.)

Success, it ain't always pretty!

She was trying to clean-up after she had another 'accident'. The clean-up after her "clean-up" took a VERY long time. And I'm not sure all the anti-bacterial soap and scalding hot water in the world would make me or the ducks feel completely clean. (Is it safe to bathe in Clorox?)

And don't be fooled by those sweet little fuchsia smiles. They are crying on the inside. And somewhere out there, a big, pink, momma ducky is grieving for her babies.

August 6, 2008


Wordless Wednesday

(PS, she's most likely listening to Toby Mac ... or rather Tru Dog ... I think she has a bit of a crush.)

(PPS, what about this picture makes you smile more, the iPod in the ears, or the Don King hair? Personally, it's a toss up for me.)

(PPPS, I'm not very Wordless on this Wednesday, am I?)

August 2, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation (An Essay)

What I Did On My Summer Vacation
By Addie

On my Summer vacation I spent many, MANY hours watching each and every episode of the tv show Lost from seasons One through Four.

The End.

While it makes for an exceedingly short essay, I think we can all agree that it was a very productive summer. To redeem myself (and my time) somewhat, let me clarify that all of those episodes were watched on my laptop. Which means that due to the laptop's portable nature, approximately 3 episodes were enjoyed while folding laundry and four were watched in the kitchen while cleaning up after the kids went to bed. So I really only sat on my toockus for 76 of the remaining episodes. Productive summer indeed. And I think I can safely say that 315 minutes of that time was Uber productive. (7 epsidoes x 45 minutes each = 315 total minutes. See kids, you will use all of those math lessons later on in life!)

Alright, I'll admit that besides becoming a Lostie, I've done I've accomplished I'm desperately hoping to finish one other project this summer.

Potty Training.

If you've been through this disgusting soul shredding unique process you fully understand. If not, there is very little I can tell you to prepare you for what lies ahead. The one positive I can say, after having experienced this great joy three times now, is that you can learn a lot of Life lessons while mucking (and I do mean mucking) through it.

So in order to bring some beauty out of my ashes, I'd like to share with you a few of the lessons I've learned that are not only true with potty training, but are also true in life:

  1. Success comes from failure. (At least that's what I keep telling myself. And as it stands now, we're about due from some HUGE success!)
  2. You're hands have to get dirty if you want to get anything done.
  3. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. (As in go ahead and leave the house in underwear, but bring along plenty of extra's.)
  4. Take Mary Poppins advice: "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." In other words take time to have a little fun in the process.
  5. Don't take what seems to be the easy way, it's almost always the longer more difficult route. (I helped pay the salaries of the Hugg!es Pu11-up$ department for almost an entire year my first time around six years ago. Let's just say a year is a really long time to be potty training!)
  6. Smile and the world smiles with you. Strike a 'Vogue' pose and they are forced take your picture.
  7. Sometimes sitting in your own mess is the best lesson of all.
  8. A Good covering is the best investment. (I like these for potty training and this for life.)
  9. If the road gets rough, don't underestimate the rejuvinating power of a nap.

  10. Keep a lot of anti-bacterial soap stocked around the house ... you're gonna need it. (This one is not so much a life lesson, but I felt the need for a well rounded list of 10.)

May 20, 2008

They Are My Sunshine

This week is the last week of school around here, and to say that we are excited would be a bit of an understatement.

Saturday was the first truly warm day we've had so far this spring, and what did we do the moment the temperatures reached 80? Threw the swimsuits on and watered the kids and grass at the same time.

May 19, 2008

She'll tease you, she'll unease you, with her Bette Davis Eyes

"Mom, That tree looks like a person.


"That tree looks like a person."

"Really? I don't see .... Oh, I think I see an eye."

"Wait a minute, I see a nose! How cool is that!"

When I grow up, I wanna see the world the way she does.*

*For the record, I'm referring to the view from a four year old's eyes .... not a tree's ... or for that matter, Bette Davis'.

May 16, 2008

It would appear that she was never LONESOME

At the beginning of April, Aldi had a sale on some lovely potted hanging plants. So I grabbed one, threw it up on the front porch, and declared it Spring. When my friend Rebekah saw it, she told me the horror story of their hanging plant and how it became home to a freakishly overprotective bird. Frightening stories of her poor family forced into ducking and covering their heads just to get in and out of the house.

Apparently these stories weren't frightening enough, because I didn't move the plant, and shortly thereafter we found we had a new tenant.

Isn't she pretty? I think she's saying "Can't a girl get some privacy while she hatches an egg?!? Sheesh!!!"

Contrary to popular stereotypes, she was actually very quiet. However, I was still a little afraid that as soon as her babies hatched, she'd turn into a freak. A swooping, flapping, squawking freak.

Today, almost a month after her arrival, we saw her two little babies for the first time as we sent Sporty off to school.
And look, mama's not freaking out .... which I guess shouldn't be surprising. You know around this house, mama's are KNOWN for being sweet and docile. (ahem)

So I looked on the google to see if I could determine what kind of bird family we have here, and it looks like we have Doves. aahhhh.

So happy birthday little Doves!

And thanks mama for not attacking our friends and family as they visit. However, the next time a little neighbor child comes over, with the intent to ring the doorbell, right in the middle of nap time, and thereby ending all of this mama's blessed peace, feel free to do a little swooping and squawking. I'm sure you understand how hard it is to get those young'uns to rest!

May 12, 2008

Room To Wait

This is a waiting room. In fact it's the very waiting room that I waited in today. This picture only shows about two-thirds of the people in that waiting area. There were several more to our right and behind us.

I hate waiting rooms. I hate waiting. It seems nothing ever productive happens in a waiting room. (Unless you consider reading out of date magazines a productive use of your time.)

Not to mention how maddening the lack of control can be in a waiting room. Someone else owns your time in that waiting room. And it's completely up to them on whether or not they ever come and meet you in that room. Generally you stare at a closed door. Just hoping that soon someone will open the door, and bring you out of the seemingly endless waiting.

The waiting room I was in today was not my wait. In fact it wasn't really the wait of anyone you see in the picture. We were all waiting on behalf of someone else. We were the friends and family of the Kelsey family, and we were waiting to celebrate their newest addition to their family. We were waiting on the adoption of their beautiful baby girl.

But that adoption didn't happen today. That celebration didn't happen. The wait has been extended by a couple more weeks. And fear came in the form of a long distance phone call from the birth father.

Tears were shed.
Hearts were broken.

And God himself was right there in the midst, grieving with us, grieving for us.

However, what this picture can't convey is what is happening behind the scenes. Not in the court room, not on the phone line, but in the heart and mind. Because God's brilliance shines brightest in our dark.

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
-Isaiah 40:29-31

And if you happen to find yourself in your own 'waiting room', here's something to read other than the typical out of date magazine.

May 9, 2008

No primates were harmed in the making of this post.

It's coming....

My Father-in-law's book will be released soon. I've just begun to read it now. Boy-howdy! Seriously good! You're gonna want to read it, but I'm afraid you can't ... not yet at least ... but soon. I know you wish you were as special as me and that you were given an advance copy, but I think you have to marry his son and produce some cute grand babies in order to get these special privileges. And since he only has one son, and I have no plans to give him up any time soon, you'll just have to wait until it's released.

This book has some incredible stories and will give you a greater understanding of the mid-east conflict, and the people who struggle to live in the midst of that conflict day in, and day out. The humanity hidden behind the headlines. Tass himself is responsible for eliminating so many of my own personal stereotypes in the two decades that I have known him.

(In fact, at 17, when I was invited to his home to share an authentic Arabic meal with the family, I was relieved to have one stereotype completely banished. I had seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and I was pretty sure I knew what 'authentic' meant. Thankfully chilled monkey brain was not on the menu .... nor would it ever be. Surprisingly, that delightful story was not included in the book, it's just a little bonus I'm giving you. Feel free to use this anecdote as further proof that our public education system has failed us OR, as further proof that I was a complete idiot at the age of 17.)

September 15th is the release date. You can pre-order here or here.

In the meantime, you can read the blog here. We're hoping to post a few previews of what you'll find in the book so stay tuned for that.

May 1, 2008

It's Edison Meets Lucas

Today was a much anticipated day around our house. Sporty's entire science grade for the 2nd grade rests on what happens today. That is A LOT of pressure.

It is "Invention Convention" day, and this morning the 8 year olds in her elementary will offer forth their inventions for a panel of teachers and peers (1st and 3rd graders) to review and judge*. And the competition is stiff. Last year the stand out invention was ... get this ... a table cloth with a hidden pocket ... a pocket designed to stuff your unwanted food into.

Hard to top that.

But I think she's come up with something pretty great. Not just an invention, but one with some clear marketability. (what mother in her right mind would buy that tablecloth I ask you???)

I'm proud to present to you a new game which we hope to have on the shelves in time for Christmas:

Star Wars: Galactic Wars

I have played this game twice and love the fact that all of us can play together. Although, I will say that I have officially been beaten by every member of my family. Every member. Yes, even this one ...

*Use of the word judge is probably a bit of an overstatement. In actuality she will probably get the same grade as the kid who is bringing in water and food coloring. His invention? Colored water. I'm not kidding.