Wednesday, July 30, 2008
You can pray for me as I prepare and trust the Lord that He knows what He's doing. I truly can't wait to be a mom again! I pray that all will work out - the unknowns (birthmom changing mind and other risks) are hard. But it's an exciting time! I'm grateful for amazing blog and real-life (but sometimes far-away) friends who listen, encourage, and most of all share in our excitement. :)
For me, the way God has chosen to beautifully build our family can sometimes be a bit lonely. Adoption is not an easier way to have children, it has a different set of challenges, emotions, and pain. All sense of privacy is gone as we are required to bare nearly every part of our lives to social workers and government agencies. We are held accountable for how we raise our children, our health, our relationships our finances, our employment and whatever else is deemed important and then others determine if we are fit to be parents. I will admit that it leaves me feeling exhausted...BUT, it is completely worth it and we will do it as many times as God blesses!
So all that to say, I will keep blogging and feel free to check back but it may be less than normal or I may write this and then write 3 posts. :) Please know that I'm okay but I am a little scared and I think that's a valid emotion; I'm also a bit emotional right now and feel close to tears almost daily (we'll blame it on expectant hormones). :) Anyway, I'm just trying to keep it real here! I can't believe we are a month until the due date!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
You are our miracle child. When I think about all the things that occured to bring you into our family, I'm amazed. From the moment I saw your picture, I was a goner. You were so handsome and your eyes were so bright. Your dad and I knew instantly that you were ours. And we are so blessed to have you as our son.
On this day three years ago, I became a mom for the second time. Though I didn't know it, God did and He planned for you to be our son from the very beginning. How I wish I could have been there from the moment you were born but know that you were born in my heart.
The joy I feel when you run to greet me, cuddle up next to me, hug me tight, and insist that I be the one to hold your hand, put you to bed, or read you a book is overwhelming. You have come such a long way. I love to see your pleasure in things from Cars to animals to books. You have learned to enjoy reading books, singing praises, and being a helper. I'm constantly amazed by your generous spirit and eagerness to do whatever task is asked of you. I love to see you play with Calvin and I know you are going to be a great big brother.
You are a delight, Patrick and I LOVE YOU! Never doubt that for a moment. I will love you forever and I'm thankful God made you ours. Though you didn't grow in my tummy always know that you grew in my heart. You are chosen and loved. I pray that you will continue to grow in God's ways and honor Him with your life. Happy 3rd Birthday, son!
You have been looking forward to this day since before Calvin's birthday and it's finally here! I know you can't wait to have your grandparents, aunts, & uncles over to celebrate!
Monday, July 28, 2008
I've spent this morning sorting clothes, gettting rid of some, and getting ready for massive amounts of laundry. I have a lot of 12 month and above clothes and have been debating how much to keep - the problem is that it seems like a lot but there are actually clothes for summer and winter combined which makes it not so much. So I've put some in donate bags but I'm keeping the rest at least until I see what we need - I really don't want to re-buy everything.
Tomorrow is Patrick's 3rd birthday! We aren't having his family party until Sunday but I'm going to try to make tomorrow special. We will probably go to the Children's Museum and maybe the park. And I'm going to make cupcakes for the boys to decorate. Homemade french fries will be on the menu sometime this week since they are Patrick's favorite (I forgot to put that on my menu plan).
Finally, I'm opting out of hosting a Bloggy Giveaway at the carnival this week but there are a ton of people participating so feel free to have some fun! You might even win something!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Pasta & Tomato Sauce, Garlic Breadsticks, Cucumber Salad
Fish, Couscous Pilaf, Sauteed Zucchini, Fruit
Pizza, Veggies & Dip, Fruit
Couscous Sausage Stuffed Peppers, Tomato Salad
Soft Tacos, Slaw, Chips & Salsa
That's about it! Things are busy, busy around here. I think we will probably eat four of these meals. :) Check out orgjunkie.com for more plans. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Have a great week!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Marriage is a lifelong commitment, not a trial run or test drive. It's a beautiful, challenging, joyous journey. Your spouse knows you better than anyone else. For me, my husband is my best friend, my confidante, my love. We don't have a perfect marriage because we are imperfect people but we work at it and we love each other. I pray that we will have many years together. And someday I hope to be the cute, silver haired couple strolling hand-in-hand enjoying companionship and loving one another while surrounded by our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. May God be glorified in our marriage.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I was so excited to receive a call from one of the doctors I work for telling me that they just got a referral yesterday for twin girls through international adoption. I'm sooo thrilled for them! Our little office of about 10 has had 3 families adopt over the last couple of years and another is considering it - the love, support and common connection has been awesome! Congrats to Dr. Y - I can't wait to meet her little girls in a few months!
Stay tuned for posts on marriage, the suburban mom, and next week's menu plan - in separate posts. :)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I'm super impressed with the campus this year. They are working hard to be more eco-friendly. They even have cups made from corn and disposable spoons made from potatoes. They boast using local ingredients and hormone-free milk. Impressive on a college campus!
The boys are doing well for the most part. Patrick seems to be potty training himself this week (that would pretty much be a highlight for me!). They aren't too sure about their class - we've had one successful day and couple not so much. :) We'll see how tomorrow goes. I'm hoping this will prepare them for preschool since it starts in about a month.
I'm working on a list (based on much of what you all shared!) of things that I need to find/purchase when we get home. I'm sure it will be a busy few weeks but this is my labor of love as we anticipate welcoming him to our family.
I really should get back to work - amazingly it's not doing itself. I'll try to write more interesting posts one of these days :) - I'm afraid I've been a bit pre-occupied! One note, we LOVE our camera! It's awesome!
Monday, July 21, 2008
We still have a hard time believing all that has transpired in the last 10 days. We pray for C and the baby every day. We feel honored and humbled that she chose us - we assured her that we felt her decision was loving and courageous (she kept apologizing during our meeting). I cannot imagine making such a difficult choice. We love her and we love the baby! We see God's hand every step of the way and are so thankful.
I'm trying to get to e-mail! Please know that we are so grateful - it's just the internet situation that has kept me from getting several of you e-mailed!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thank you also for the camera advice! We are the owners of a Canon Rebel XT - after looking at several, this seemed like a great fit. I'm looking forward to playing with it and figuring it all out. God blessed us with unexpected money that exceeded the amount we needed for the camera - awesome in light of the also unexpected anticipated addition to our family. :)
I haven't been home today much at all and we are leaving in the morning so I will plan to announce the winner of the giveaway soon but maybe not tomorrow. I hope you will understand and I promise the gift will be going in the mail when we get back! Thank you again for sharing in our joy!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
One of the very cool things for me is that I have two friends with adoption due dates in August - one is on the 30th also and I have another adoptive friend expecting a biological child in Aug. also. This is so new for me and thrilling to be "expecting" with others, to have a concrete "due" date and know that our children will be the same age. I'm so thankful for the awesome new friends (adoptive moms) God has brought into my life over the last couple of years (and even months!). It's such an encouragement!
So, does anyone have a list of essentials for a newborn? I'm feeling completely out of my league and completely overwhelmed to even know where to start. What do I take to the hospital? We are going to take a newborn care class in a week or two at a local hospital so perhaps that will help with some answers.
I'm also wondering if you could weigh in on baby carriers and baby wearing - what do you like? How did you decide? Do you have more than one style? Here are some factors for me: I'm planning to use it a lot, I have some back and neck problems, I think the baby will definitely be under 7 lbs. at birth, and I need to be able to put it on by myself (if possible). We had a baby Bjorn with the boys but we accidentally left it in Kaz so we are back to square one. :)
Another question - we will be bottle-feeding and I'm planning/hoping to use Playtex drop-ins for a number of reasons. Have any of you bottle-users bought the newborn kit that has several different nipples etc.? Was it helpful? It seems like a pretty good deal and perhaps really helpful in determining what is the best fit for the baby.
Cloth diapering - I have had several recommendations for bumgenius, any thoughts on quantity to get started? Any other brands worth checking out? I'm going to be reading a few blogs and talking to some of you more on this... :)
I think we have at least 3 weeks until the birth and maybe as much as 5 but probably not much more than that - thus the overwhelmed, need to gather, nesting feeling.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Last Thursday, I came home to a message from the adoption agency we used for the boys telling us that they had a potential birthmom and wondered if we were interested or if we knew of anyone that might be interested. To say I was shocked by this message is an understatement! I quickly called Andrew and told him I had already promised the boys a trip to the pool but would call the agency back at nap time to see what was up. Andrew couldn't believe I could possibly wait. :) He called to get the details and then called me back. We immediately knew that we were to say yes. Andrew called the agency right back (they had called several families) and said we would be interested. The next step was for the birthmom to learn about us and decide if she was interested in us. To make a long story short, within 12 hours of the initial phone call we found out the birthmom wanted to meet us!
We were ecstatic and shocked. We have been planning to begin the adoption process again and had even met with a different organization and planned to sign with them very soon. We had also planned to begin our homestudy in June but due to illness on our part and the social worker being on vacation it had been delayed. Wednesday night, we had the discussion about whether we should delay a little longer or go ahead and Thursday came THE CALL. We woke up Friday and wondered if it had all been a dream and have had the deer-in-the-headlights, pinch-me-is-this-real feeling ever since.
So we found out yesterday that today would be the day that we would meet C. We drove to KY and had lunch with her. I had put together a small photo album of our family to show her and she brought pictures of her daughter. We really, really liked her and she liked us! She would like for us to parent the baby - yes, she chose us! She will call us when she goes into labor!
Here's an important detail, she is due on August 30 - yes, approximately 6 weeks from now! And the other important detail, IT'S A BOY! We are SO EXCITED and SOOOO SURPRISED!!!! It's been hard to hold in for the past week but we wanted to wait until after we knew if the birthmom had chosen us since we really weren't in process. :)
Here are a few more details - birthmoms do change their minds over half the time and while we do not feel that is very much of a risk in this situation, we are still cautious. The main concern is some potential birthfather issues - we are really praying that it will not cause problems. We pray for her and we pray for the baby that whatever the outcome, it will be the best for all involved. We will travel to KY for the birth - she thinks she may go early. We are not sure how long we will be there - maybe a couple of weeks.
So our lives are a little turned upside down right now - in a good way. And if you see us smiling cheesy smiles that won't stop, you'll know why. :) They boys don't quite understand but they are looking forward to a baby (they have been for awhile, now!). They assure us that they will be big helpers. :) Anyway, God may be growing our "meant-to-be" family very soon!
If you had told me a week ago that I would be writing this post, I would NOT have believed you - this is so unexpected!! And if you have any newborn things you don't need anymore, please send them our way. We weren't planning on this and don't have much - we thought we would have awhile whenever we did start the process! :) So, SURPRISE! It looks like we are probably going to be parents again!
1) Don't ever, ever ring my doorbell early in the afternoon; my kids are napping.
2) I will be grumpy if you do.
3) If your product is SO good, have a brochure to leave me.
4) If you don't have a brochure, I will never buy from you.
5) I'm not going to buy something expensive without consulting my husband.
6) I will pretty much never buy anything over $5 at the door.
7) I will only buy things from neighbor kids.
8) Don't act like you know me.
9) Don't flatter me. It won't work.
10) I can say no and I mean no.
11) Don't be rude when I decline your offer.
12) Actually, don't bother to come at all.
An annoyed mother, homeowner, and consumer
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
While we've been somewhat conscious of all of this, we became very convicted of our personal responbility last year. The 6th commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill," which also means, "Thou shalt preserve life." So our journey in green living started with that realization. We have a responsibility to decrease our physical impact on this earth that God has given us to live on. We are still figuring out what this means. We are not vegans or vegatarians, we do still drive an SUV and a mini-van, we do not "hug trees", but we do desire to make practical changes that will lower our impact on the physical world.
Some of the things we are trying to do:
- buy locally as much as possible
- grow/produce some of our own food
- take reusable bags to the store or (if we forget) reuse or recycle the bags we do get
- use nalgenes for portable water rather than bottled water
- leave our a/c (when on) set higher
- turn off lights
- multitask with the oven
- wash clothes on cold more
- convert to non-chemical cleaners (in process)
- switch to eco-friendly laundry soap (does an awesome job and smells great!)
- use a reel mower
- drive less
- recycle newspapers, cans, bottles, and plastic
- buy used
- teach our children how to be better stewards
Some things we are planning to do:
- start a compost (we've kind of done this)
- buy recycled paper goods when we do need/want them
- use cloth diapers at least some of the time (I can't believe I'm saying that!) if we are blessed with more children
- use newspaper instead of paper towels in the kitchen and for cleaning
- switch to cloth napkins
- buy a hybrid car (eventually - it would not be good stewardship to do this right now :))
I would contend that most of those changes have very little impact on the convenience of daily living. Some of them may take a little extra time but in the long run, I know it's worth it. We don't obsess over green living and sometimes we fail more often than we succeed but we do try. We are enjoying this journey and finding it fun to see where else we can make changes. I'm thankful for my husband's leadership, encouragement, excitement, and research that have really pushed us to think beyond ourselves. He has challenged our family to make changes, read books, look ahead, and most of all to honor God.
We had a wonderful time at the Green Festival in Chicago (back in May) and while we didn't agree with everything, we learned alot. It was an interesting gathering of people from all types of backgrounds. I think as we make changes and are committed to conservation, we gain a hearing with many people. It's another way to be a witness since our reasons for green living are usually a little different than the average eco-friendly person. I offer this post as the reason we have chosen greener living and as a challenge to those who haven't given it much thought - neither had we until recent years. You can make a difference with a little effort and a little change.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Anyway, it's a custom in blogger land to post 100 things about yourself for your 100th post. Well, at the time, I didn't know about this tradition and since I'm approaching 500 posts it's a little late. :) I'm sparing you 500 things about myself and just giving you 100. :) These are in no particular order. Enjoy.
- I became a Christian at the age of 3.
- I'm the oldest of 7 kids.
- I've been a dental hygienist since 2001.
- I've lived in 4 states.
- I've moved 9 times.
- My husband is 4 1/2 years older than me.
- I tell him he robbed the cradle.
- We married in 2002.
- He completes me.
- We knew we wanted to adopt before we married.
- We didn't know it would be so soon.
- We planned to have biological and adopted children.
- God had another plan.
- I am passionate about adoption.
- It is the most significant life-changing event of my life.
- The world looks different to me now.
- I hope to be a mom again through adoption.
- One of my sons had an unrepaired cleft lip and palate.
- It was adorable to me.
- I work at a living history museum.
- In costume.
- It's the most fun job I've ever had.
- I really dislike doing dishes.
- I love to cook and bake.
- I was president, secretary, recreation leader, and vice president of my 4-H club.
- In different years.
- I was secretary/treasurer of my dental hygiene class.
- I don't floss every day.
- I actually don't like to floss but don't tell anyone. :)
- I don't think you can ever have enough hand sanitizer.
- Parenting is the most difficult and rewarding calling.
- I love chocolate.
- And coffee.
- And ice cream.
- And fruit.
- I used to be a size 4.
- I'm not anymore.
- It's okay.
- I create recipes.
- Growing herbs is one of my hobbies.
- I'm thinking about using cloth diapers.
- Because I believe in environmental conservation and stewardship.
- I thought I wanted to be a judge.
- Sandra Day O'Conner was my inspiration.
- I could never have been a judge.
- I love to entertain.
- Planning the menu and favors is my favorite.
- I have 14 cousins.
- I'm still close to many of them and their spouses.
- I also love cheese.
- I rub my feet together as I fall asleep.
- My kids are the greatest.
- And cutest - I can say that, they don't look like me. :)
- Pedicures make me happy.
- I edit my writing about 10 times before posting and then about 5 more times after. :)
- I don't like to talk on the phone.
- I only like to talk to my family and close friends.
- Laundry isn't my favorite.
- But I love clean clothes.
- I dream of travelling.
- I've been to Scotland, Belize, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Bahamas, and some other places.
- I lived in Florida for a year.
- I loved it!
- Moving sounds fun to me.
- Only in theory.
- Watching my kids sleep is one of the most peacful and beautiful things.
- Imagining my life without my kids makes me want to cry.
- I've never really been an animal person.
- But I've changed a little.
- And I love my dog.
- I love to camp.
- U2 is my favorite band.
- I took piano lessons for 12 or 13 years.
- Sadly, I don't own a piano now.
- I wish I did.
- I love to play.
- It's therapeutic.
- I also played the trumpet.
- I wish I had stuck with it.
- Our kids will be required to take music lessons for at least 2 years.
- I was homeschooled.
- And I was socialized.
- We "built" our house in 2004.
- It was a great experience.
- I love going to the Farmer's Market.
- I don't like gooseberries.
- I love to read.
- I devoured books as a kid.
- I would read several per day.
- These days, I'm doing well to finish one in a couple of weeks.
- Green is my favorite color.
- I dream of publishing my own cookbook.
- I kind of want to be The Next Food Network Star.
- But I actually don't like public speaking.
- I used to love acting.
- Now it kind of terrifies me.
- I'll be 30 next year.
- I think age and life experience have made me more reserved.
- I'm quieter and less social.
- That said, I love my family and friends.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Couscous & Sausage Stuffed Green Peppers, Cherries
Sloppy Joes, Cucumber Salad, Blueberries
Pizza, Veggies, Grapes
Saturday, July 12, 2008
So I'm sort of beginning the search for a camera upgrade - though we may go ahead and have this one repaired. I think I'm ready for more than a digital point and shoot. I definitely want to stick with digital, though. I do not want to spend a ton of money but would like a camera that is easy to use and takes excellent pictures. Do you have any recommendations?
Friday, July 11, 2008
I've always been a bit of a procrastinator - in college I wrote many a paper the night before it was due. Over the years, I've realized the value of planning ahead but that doesn't mean it always happens. But it's just so much better to have the extra shorts and underwear in the bag or in the car (right, Jenny S.? :)) and to always have snacks and drinks just in case, to carry extra napkins, hand sanitizer, and a plastic bag just in case of wet things, sickness, or whatever... I try to pack a bag that stays in the van with fun things to fill time and I try to keep the necessities close at hand but sometimes the supply gets depleted and sometimes I forget to re-stock and sometimes it accidentally comes inside. The days I have it together are the best - maybe I should shoot for 80% of those kind of days...who am I kidding, I'll try for 50% and go from there. :)
Are you a plan ahead, always prepared or a let's hurry, we're running late kind of person? When I am prepared and together, this is my list of essentials in a bag for toddlers:
clean set of clothes
clean underwear or diapers & wipes (depending on stage)
Shout wipes, Tide-to-go pen, and/or bleach pen (I like Shout the best!)
plastic bag (or two)
2-4 pre-packaged snacks (granola bar, dried fruit, trail mix, crackers etc.)
2 cups w/lids or 2 juice boxes
1 bottle water
1st aid kit (bandaids, triplebiotic, cleansing pad, gauze)
a few small books
2-4 matchbox cars or trucks
writing utensil or small pack of crayons
hat per kid
It's alot but it will all fit in one diaper bag, tote bag, or backpack and I find if I have this list of things, I'm rarely frustrated by situations. It's what I need to be prepared. Oh and I try to always keep a couple of jackets or sweatshirts in the car just in case. We don't often need all of the above but I think we've used every single thing on the list at some point. It pays to be prepared. Note to self: follow your own advice. :) I'm off to update our bags and put them in the van...
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I've been debating what to give but finally decided on:
1 - box of tea
1 - $5 Starbucks giftcard
1 - reusable bag
1 - cookbook (yet to be determined)
I chose tea because I have been loving ice tea this summer - made in my awesome ice tea maker, I chose Starbucks because I love their frappucinos (so summery!), I chose a reusable bag because they are awesome and green, and I chose a cookbook because I just can't have a giveaway without one.
Here's how to enter...leave a comment on this post telling me one eco-friendly thing you do! That's it! Oh and one entry per person. You do not have to be a blogger to win just make sure I have a way to contact you! I will leave the drawing open until Tuesday, July 15. The winner will be selected randomly. Have fun!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Calvin flips, turns somersaults, stands on his head, and even attempts cartwheels. He cannot stay still for very long. He contorts his body (and has the ability to!) and stands up smiling. He doesn't care if anyone is watching, he just loves to do gymnastics. I'm seriously thinking about putting him in a tumbling class. I think he would love it!
Patrick, on the other hand, is so unflexible that I feel a little sorry for him. He has trouble putting his own socks and shirt on. He is just that solid. Perhaps he will be our linebacker. At least he doesn't seem to mind at this point.
They are so different and I love that! They have different strengths and weaknesses that compliment one another. It's fun to see!
So, I feel that the name is fitting for our life and for this blog. Everything that I say and do is founded upon these beliefs. I couldn't quite part with Reflective Ponderings because it is a name that Andrew and I came up with together when we both blogged here and it seems only fitting to keep a bit of the history of our very first blog intact. So without further adieu, welcome to Meant To Be (formerly Reflective Ponderings).
Here are some keys to great pizza:
1) Let your dough rest for a few minutes after kneading (I let my mixer knead it).
2) Oven Temperature! This is probably the biggest thing - turn that baby up! I bake my pizzas at 450 degrees F.
3) Bake it on a stone.
4) Be creative with toppings.
Some of our favorite topping combos are:
bacon, onion & green pepper
chicken, smoked cheddar, sharp cheddar & BBQ sauce (instead of marinara)
plain cheese (mozzarella & cheddar)
Greek - olive oil (instead of marinara), mozzarella, feta, & gyros meat (this is excellent on pita!)
broccoli, onion, pepper, tomato
Most of the time we top pizza with marinara, cheese and then other toppings. I make my own pizza sauce with tomato sauce, fresh herbs (or dried, depending on season), garlic, a pinch of sugar and a little salt. Sometimes I add a can of tomato paste and sometimes not - I prefer it with. The dough recipe I use is the one I frequently post on my menu plans. :) It's easy and delicious - for an extra great finish, I occasionally brush the edge of the finished crust with olive oil.
Our kiddos associate pizza with movie night (not that it always means that :)) and they LOVE it! It makes a great family tradition - we put a tablecloth on the floor upstairs and enjoy our finger food while watching a kid movie. I think Andrew and I look forward to it just as much as the boys. Pizza makes us all happy and family times makes us even happier. Establishing family traditions is important to us - we both have great memories from childhood and we long for our children to have fantastic memories, too. This is an easy way (and inexpensive!) to create a fun family evening. And for other days, it's a go-to recipe for a quick meal. What does your family enjoy for fun nights?
Monday, July 07, 2008
Anyway, back to the weekend. Friday morning we headed to the parade despite the chilly, overcast day. It was worth it. The boys had a wonderful time and it only rained a little. :) They thought that picking up candy was the best and they also really, really enjoyed all the different vehicles. We met up with our friends and neighbors and several of their friends, too! The kids were all pretty close in age which was fun for them and cute to see them sharing their candy.
Patrick took the picture of Andrew and me. :) Saturday and Sunday where filled with lots of family time. We thoroughly enjoyed it! It was hard to have the weekend be over but we started the week with visiting friends from out of town. It was great! How was your 4th/weekend?
Sunday, July 06, 2008
- Grilled Steak w/Bleu Cheese Butter, Baked Potatoes, Salad, Fruit (our date night in)
- Chicken Stir-fry, Brown Rice, Egg Rolls or Wontons
- Fish w/Orange Sauce over Sauteed Greens (Kale, Beet or Mustard Greens), Couscous Pilaf, Fruit
- Vegetarian Pizza, Jello Jigglers, Carrots & Cucumbers, Fruit (our family night)
- Chicken & Veggie Kabobs, Corn on the Cob, Mixed Green Salad, Fruit
Saturday, July 05, 2008
**I should mention that on the recent rainy days we've turned it on due to not being able to use the windows and the resulting humidity in the house.**
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Carefully selecting the next star to be added to his flag - by far his favorite part!
Making sure the placement is just right.
I think we are on the mend. Patrick didn't sleep well last night which resulted in two 2-hour naps today but he seems like he is feeling better. Calvin is coughing a little but seems a lot better. He had some swollen lymph nodes in his neck which are going down (meaning he is successfully fighting off this virus!). I'm still struggling with low energy, a cough, sinuses and some sleeplessness but I can tell improvement with each day. Thankfully, Andrew has remained well. He has been very busy at work and with a short week that translates into a lot of hours for the first 4 days. We are looking forward to a long weekend! DIY home projects here we come!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Please someone tell me this is a phase. My days feel forever long as I try to protect and correct. I feel we must be missing some key but perhaps the key is consistency as we (and the rules) are being tested. It's making me crazy! It's not just an obedience issue but a care and stewardship issue. Both children (though there is a main offender) KNOW it's wrong I have no doubt of that - it's evidenced in their response (verbal and nonverbal) and the hiding when sin has been committed. Any advice for this battle-weary mom? :)
2 slices sourdough bread
2-3 slices deli ham
1-2 slices swiss cheese
2 tsp. honey mustard
Butter outside of bread. Top bread with ham, cheese, and honey mustard. Cook sandwich in griddle over medium heat until cheese is melty and sandwich is hot (5-8 minutes). Makes 1 delicious sandwich. Serve with pretzels, carrot sticks, and grapes or strawberries for a quick dinner.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
I love being a woman. I'm glad God made me a woman and I enjoy wearing a variety of clothing. And while I build much of my wardrobe on more classic pieces, I also enjoy having a few of the more recent trends. It keeps me young (wait, I am young!), current, and somewhat fashionable. Recognizing that we are women created by God and often given the creative desire to dress in a pleasing manner is important. I don't want, say, 5 mix-and-match outfits, 2 sets of jewelry, and 2 pairs of shoes. Part of who I am and part of celebrating my womanhood is dressing in beautiful (hopefully), stylish, and diverse clothing.
Perhaps the biggest thing is that my husband prefers me to dress this way. He notices and appreciates when I wear clothes that complement my body type, are in season, and are fashionable. There are some things he absolutely does not like me to wear and so I don't. What I choose to wear honors him and pleases him.
I do not usually buy designer clothes, I have shopped at Thrift Stores, I have made some of my own clothes (okay, not for years - I was never very good at it), I do shop at outlet malls, and I definitely always shop on sale. There are very, very few things I have ever bought at full price (scrubs and work shoes being the exceptions). Oh and I don't shop often and we donate or pass on to friends or family anything we are no longer wearing.
If God calls us to minister in another country, changes our economic circumstances, or has another plan for us then I will truly be okay with changing my wardrobe habits accordingly. But right now, this is where He has us.
So I'm making a case for more variety without guilt. I'm suggesting a little more creativity balanced with frugality. If your individual circumstances don't allow or your personal style is different that's okay but please don't make the rest of us feel guilty for buying a cute shirt, the perfect pair of earrings, or an adorable new pair of shoes. We are just enjoying being women.
It's not about the brand or the store or the style or about how much money you spend. It's about celebrating womanhood, honoring the man in your life, and staying within your budget. Okay, you can throw the tomatoes now... :)