Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Big Goal

Well, I've done it. For about 15 years, I've considered signing up for a 1/2 Marathon. You know, it's one of those bucket list things. And this is the year. I need the motivation to be more active and I need to have a goal. I think it will be hard. I plan to run/walk. I have three months to get ready.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Power of Pez

Yes, you read that correctly and perhaps more precisely...the power of Buzz Pez. It started yesterday. You see, I have an almost 2 1/2 year old that is VERY motivated by sweets. And he has decided that since he gets candy rewards for potty success, he will go potty every 2-5 minutes. I'm not kidding. I really, really wish I were. I haven't even really pushed the potty training thing - my other two were 3 and 3 1/2. While I think it would be fantastic to be diaper free, I'm not one to do it too early - been there, done that, tears all around. :)

So, I seem to be the one who is kicking and screaming at the potty training timing while he announces every 2-5 minutes, "Poop" or "Potty." And here's the thing, he goes 70-80% of the time. A small stream but a stream nonetheless. He will not be convinced to go anymore, he hops down, receives his reward and after savoring every bit of it (about 2- 5 minutes), once again is ready to go again. My day is consumed. My thoughts, my actions, my every thing interrupted all for a little taste of the candy that comes from a Buzz Pez dispenser. Perhaps I should switch to taffy rewards so that I might get a full 10 minutes between trips to the porcelain throne.

I applaud his motivation, his self-starter attitude, and his commitment. But I have to wonder, when the Pez is gone, will the resolve and success remain? I'll let you know, folks, I have my doubts. But for now, we are going strong.

Today's Note: He has stayed dry and I have given some other rewards, so perhaps I'm wrong...maybe this will be the real thing. We are giving it everything we've got - I can't squelch the enthusiasm. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Word

I'm a little late jumping in with this but I've been pondering this year and while I've spoken a little about what some of our goals are, I've continued to think about it. 2010 was a difficult year and so the start of 2011 was quite welcome. Anyway, many people have posted about what their word for the year will be and I loved the idea. I considered many words and ideas but something kept coming to the forefront of my mind and heart. So, after MUCH thinking, I decided that I want my word of 2011 to be relationships.

I desire this year to be identified by building and strengthening relationships - it's harder to be lonely when that is the goal. :) I'm challenged that I haven't done enough in the areas of hospitality, friendship, etc. Let me just say that the last month or so of really wanting to start the year this way has been wonderful. My cup is overflowing with the amazing friends and family that God has brought into my life. I love that it is full of old friends and new friends.

And part of working on this is also to work on being a better wife to Andrew and mom to my kids - to really work on seeing them each individually and ministering to their needs. It is such a joy to spend time with each of them and to see their strengths and gifts.

It's easy for me to get bogged down by the things that need done, by my own feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, and by various other excuses. The truth is - I sometimes miss out on some of the really important things. And seriously, the to-do list will still be there and I need to work on my issues. :) It's important for me to really focus on people, to quit making excuses.

So, it's time for me to grab that cup of coffee with a friend, make that special dinner for my husband, invite that family over, take that child out for special time... I'm excited about this year, this goal. I really want to deepen friendships. So thankful for the blessing of friends and family - near and far!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hearing Them

I hear them talking, laughing, expressing, and roaming. I see them freely enjoying and living life. I watch them discovering, learning, and growing. I smile at the lives that shine - the personalities, the gifts, the aspirations and dreams. I appreciate the faith, the hope, the love, the joy, the life they have brought into our home and lives.

And I can't help but wonder about the other children in their groups - the ones who called out to us - desparate for attention; the ones who watched us from afar - scared; the ones who understood - Amirkhan & Murat had a mama & papa now; the ones who ran to us - wishing for their own visitors. I think often of the babies and todders in Uralsk Baby House #1 & #2. I remember many of their faces, I remember the smells and sounds, and I remember the understimulation and the crying.

My heart bursts and aches all at the same time. How happy to see my boys thriving, how sad to know how many children are not.

Many of those children - the children who shared a home and toys and food with my boys, for the first year of their lives - are still a part of the over 140 million orphans worldwide - 140 MILLION.      

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Hard Decision

I've been contemplating the blog and struggling to prioritize, re-organize, and balance life. Needless to say, I've decided to quit blogging here for awhile. I'm still over at The Cooks Next Door and I think/hope I will be back here eventually. But for now, I need to let go of the pressure - could be for a month or a year...I'm not really sure. I have seriously missed the more frequent posts, the blog "conversations," the keeping in touch, and the inspiration but I can't seem to muster any of if these days and that's okay. There are seasons of life. And I've also taken on some new responsibilities that I am excited about but will take time.

Anyway, I can still be reached via e-mail and facebook. :)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year & A Brief Book Review

I'm sitting here on the couch drinking ginger ale and eating soda crackers. Not really the way I envisioned 2011 beginning. Not only did I come down with the flu during my favorite gathering of the year (my family's Christmas) but I completely missed out on ringing in the new year. This perhaps summarizes 2010 - a year where many things did not go quite as planned. :) Isn't that so often life?

There were many highs and many lows of this past year. The highs included my mission trip (and the tremendous love poured out that made it possible!), Walk for Kaz (which surpassed our expectation!), deepening friendships (God has taught me much about friendship this year), and more time with my little family. The lows included smoke damage (and the weeks of hotel living that followed), illness, and the passing of Andrew's grandfather - to mention a few. Andrew and I both began new jobs which have overall been better than we could have imagined. I'm so thankful. The tenor of our home has been a blessing for the last half of this year - much less stress and much more time to enjoy each other and grow as a family. The new jobs were welcome but difficult transitions.

I closed out this year with reading the book, Choosing to SEE, by Mary Beth Chapman - I read it all in one day which hasn't happened for many years! It was an appropriate year-end read and an excellent book. I've ordered a copy to include in my personal library. I am certain I will pick it up several more times. It challenged me, made me laugh, and brought me to tears. There has been a stirring in my soul for the past year and it spoke to me in a profound and convicting way - as a parent, as a Christian, as an adoption advocate, and as a woman. Definitely makes my top books of the past few years and I highly recommend it.

As the sun is streaming into the room, I can't help but feel anticipation of what 2011 will hold. We have briefly talked about some of our goals (especially financial) and I am ready to begin meeting them!

Our family desires to make a difference and show compassion to others - here and around the world. We have some practical ideas to grow and develop in these areas. And our boys have big hearts that have challenged me even more!

I pray that we will live with joy, love with sincerity, grow in grace, and be committed to change!

Here's to a new year (yes, I'm raising my ginger ale :))!