Monday, June 28, 2004

Too much to think about

I have been thinking about so much stuff lately, but I just don't seem to have the time to get any blogging done. Plus, my parents are in town this week, so it's not a priority right now anyway. But, here are the things I am thinking about lately. I need to write them down so I will remember what they were once I get back to regular blogging:
- beheadings in Iraq
- Sudan
- God's heart for the world and how that relates to Christians in America
- politics/upcoming elections
- health care
- One God, who is Jesus, who is the Truth. How the belief in "one God" and "one way" is the only way NOT to put God in a box, and the ramifications of believing in "whatever works for you."

On a more personal note, I have adoption on my mind. Some of you already know this, but Paul and I have decided to adopt our next child, most likely from China. I waited to post this because I wanted to tell my parents in person, since it is, in many ways, like announcing a pregnancy. When I found out they were coming, I decided I wouldn't publish it here so they could hear it from us in person.

But, now that they know, I think I could probably go on for days with all the thoughts I have related to this. Most of these thoughts are pretty weighty, since I really have no idea what we are in for. But, it was fun on Saturday, when I told someone and she just got totally excited for us. I just smiled and said "yeah, I am excited too." My parents seemed excited too, which I truly appreciate. A few people have not been so excited in their responses, which is disappointing, though not totally unexpected.

Right now we are trying to decide on what agency we will use. The Chinese adoption requirements are that a family makes $10,000 per family member (including the adopted child) in order be accepted to adopt. We don't make $50,000, so we contacted 4 agencies to ask if this would even be possible. Two said no, and two said it was possible. At that point I wondered if we needed to adopt from elsewhere. But, honestly, the thought of adopting from somewhere else just makes me want to cry!

SO, I am sorting through that now. I am wondering: Did I get ahead of God and set my heart on something that God did not want for us (and now he is closing that door...) or should I take this desire as evidence that this is what he wants. (He does, after all, give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4)) I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, but I am praying about it nonetheless. Proceeding with an adoption from China will, however, require a bit of trust that God can accomplish this despite our lack of income.

Of course this whole process will be a walk of faith in many ways. Even now faith is required, since we have no idea how we will pay for all of this. Of course some may think this is terribly irresponsible, but I just don't think that God leaves people without the resources they need to obey his word. And his word does say to look after orphans and widows (James 1:27) Frankly, it excites me that we DON'T know how this will come to fruition because it is an opportunity to rely on God and see him go great things - things only he can do.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
- Ephesians 3:20-21

No, indeed. I am not even the least bit worried about the money. All I can do is think of what she will look like, imagine the first time we get to see her, feel sad for her, knowing that she will have to leave a safe, familiar environment when she comes to live with us, and wonder if that will scare her... and on and on and on...

Yeah... I am already some baby's new mom. And I am excited!


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Vocabulary Lesson

1. AQUADEXTROUS (ak wa deks'trus) adj. Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub tap on and off with your toes.

2. CARPERPETUATION (kar pur pet u AY shun) n. The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.

3. CAMOUFLUSH (KAM o flush) n. The unnecessary flushing of a public restroom toilet to mask embarrassing bodily sounds.

4. DISCONFECT (dis kon FEKT) v. To sterilize the piece of confection (sucker) you dropped on the floor by blowing on it, assuming this will somehow remove all the germs.

5. ELBONICS (el BON iks) n. The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest at a movie theater.

6. FRUST (frust) n. The small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dust pan and keeps backing a person across the room until he finally decides to give up and sweep it under the rug.

7. LACTOMANGULATION (lak to man gyu LAY shun) n. Manhandling the "open here" spout on a milk container so badly that one must resort to using the "illegal" side.

8. PEPPIER (peph ee AY) n. The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be walking around asking diners if they want fresh ground pepper.

9. PHONESIA (fo NEE zhuh) n. The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting who you were calling just as they answer.

10. TELECRASTINATION (tel e kras tin AY shun) n. The act of always letting the phone ring at least twice before you pick it up, even when you are only six inches away.

These and many others can be found at

Just for the record, I have done #s 2, 3, 5, and 9, and I do #10 all the time!


My beautiful son

Yesterday was a banner day for my boy. While I was holding him, he kept pointing to the refrigerator and saying "aaaah, aaaah!" I knew he was hungry, so I got out one of his favorites - strawberries. Suspecting that he might be able to respond, I looked at him and said, "do you want some strawberries?" And, with all the effort he could muster (you could see the gears turning as he thought this through) he moved his head up and down, up and down.

I got so excited that he kept nodding "yes" to me for the rest of the day.

Now, my husband says that he's seen Bug do this next one "a few times," but I've never seen it. While I read his bed time story last night, I asked Bug (as I always do) "where is the bird?" or "where is the dog?" Last night he FINALLY pointed... and got it right! I was so excited that I read him 4 books.

I know all you parents out there can relate, but it still seems to me that no one could possibly understand how much I love this little boy. He is absolutely precious. What a joy it is to be his mom.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Hippo Birdie

People who have the same birthday as me:
Pearl S. Buck
Greg LeMond
Peter Lorre
Chris O'Donnell
Derek Jeter

Monday, June 21, 2004

Things that don't make sense to me

- skid-proof socks for newborns
- pockets in Mr. Bug's shorts
- applesauce baby food
- I have to fight Ms. Boo to get her IN the tub for a bath. Then, when her bath is over, I have to fight to get her OUT.
- getting sick with fever, aches, chills... but only for ONE DAY. And having it happen 5 times since September.
- that song they used in a car commercial with the chorus that goes "it's been one week since you looked at me." I think that might be one of two lines I can figure out.
- politics
- quantum mechanics
- why so many tolerant people are intolerant of Christians' beliefs (although this might make sense from a Biblical/philosophical standpoint... I might have to think about that more.)
- why Paul always seems to get sick whenever I do.
- why my trip to CT a few months ago cost less to book through United, who put me on a USAir flight, than it did to just book it with USAir.
- why it is cheaper to fly from Dayton, with a layover in Cincinnati, than it is to start in Cinci.
- ice cream joints that close in the winter.
- why people blame others when they feel guilty.
- coupons

Friday, June 18, 2004

Beyond my comprehension

Sometimes I look at Mr. Bug and I think I am going to burst. He is absolutely the most precious boy I have ever seen. Whenever I am holding him, I just kiss him like crazy. Looking at him, as he walks around the kitchen, or splashes in the tub, I feel like I am going to overflow. If I tried forever, I don't think I could fully express the love I have for this boy.

Ms. Boo is my love... and often my laughter. We have a little personal joke between us, and it is the height of my day to giggle about it with her. I am fascinated with her abilities and watching her grow. She is, as her middle name predicted, a Joy.

There have been times, late at night, or during a particularly emotional season of life, when I have wondered "what if?" And there have been a few scenarios. One that I have thought of more than once is, what if there is a tornado? How would I protect my babies. Would I be able to shield them, or hold them tight enough to keep them from danger? I have another "what if" which is totally irrational, about being in the car with them as it sinks in a body of water. Who would I unbuckle first? Would I be able to swim with both of them?

Now, before you call me crazy, I just want to tell you that these are not things that I think about often or dwell on when I do. And I might dare to guess that every mom has had some kind of thought at one time or another. What I do know is that I don't think about these things very long, because even the THOUGHT of living without one of them, and wondering if I could've saved them, is much too heavy to take on for any length of time.

I have been reading a bit about what is going on in Sudan lately. (If this seems like a terrible transition, it will make sense soon enough.) To say the least, it is devastating. But, when I hear stories like this one, I am reduced to tears immediately... because that is one kind of pain that I never want to experience. I imagine myself asleep one night (or up blogging, if this is to be realistic) and being startled by the sound of someone breaking down my door, raiding my home, burning my house. People screaming and running everywhere. Complete fear. What would I do? Run? Try to find my children? Try to find Paul? I have no idea... but am I guessing I would just run. And if, when I got somewhere "safe," I was without my children, I think I would just have preferred to die. I really do.

I don't know if this is sensationalism on my part or not. But I don't want to read stories like these and then just forget about it. I don't want to think "Oh, how terrible" one minute and then "what's to eat?" the next. People are being murdered, raped, and terrorized. I hope that is never "okay" with me.

Pray for the people of Sudan.

more here

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Well, I received an e-mail from Seth yesterday. In it, he explained (in response to a question I asked him) how he heats up the soup I sent in his care package and clarified for me that he does not like Viennna sausages (but one of his buddies does.)

Conclusion: Seth is definitely bored.

I have a lot of other stuff running through my head but it is still in the "jumbled" state. I will get to meatier posting when I figure some of it out.

In the mean time, I feel compelled to ask people to pray for marriages. Pray for ALL marriages, but specifically those that you know. I know a lot of people who have just or will soon be married. I also know of a lot of people whose marriages are in crisis. I guess no one ever thinks their marriage is going to be in cirsis on their wedding day... but it happens. So pray - that new marriages wouldn't get there, that old marriages wouldn't get there, and that marriages that ARE there would heal. And pray for those singles who have the dreamy "marriage-will-fix-everything" mentality.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Very exciting

Today I received confirmation about the "opportunity" I previously posted about. Now that I know it is a "for sure" thing, I am DEFINITELY excited... and I can tell you what it is now, too! I have been asked to speak at the opening MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting in September. The theme for the year is the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. The idea of encouraging women with Scripture through public speaking excites me and, as I metioned before, I have been praying for the opportunity to do it for over 3 years. I am excited that God has chosen to answer this prayer in this way! I feel a bit underqualified, but that just adds to my excitement because it is a chance for God to do something awesome with someone who is very imperfect! Yahooooooooooooooooo!

The added benefit is that it motivates me to study the Scriptures more.

My nephew, Seth, has read my blog! How very exciting (for me) but I think this may go to show how boring Iraq can be for him.

The votes are in. "Lightning bugs" was unanimously chosen over "fire flies." So, am I the ONLY person who says fire flies?

Mr. bug has learned how to march. He only lifts his right knee up in the air, and just walks like normal with his left. Very cute. (Totally unbiased opinion, of course!)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Which version of the Bible is that?

One of Ms. Boo's favorite phrases, of late, is "me first." Whenever we go somewhere, Paul or I will go to the back of the van to unbuckle the kids from their carseats. And, almost without exception, Boo has made a habit of saying "me first."

In response to this, whenever she says that, we have been sharing the scripture that says "he who is first shall be last." We've quoted it to her several times now.

Well this evening, it happened again. Paul went to unbuckle the kids and Boo pipes up with "me first." So Paul said, "Do you remember what the Bible says about that?" No response.

Hoping she would complete the verse, Paul prompted her with, "he who is first shall be........."

"....Mr. Bug!" she replied.


Friday, June 11, 2004

A Little Something for Everyone

Nothing could excite this blogger more than getting comments on my posts. I really enjoy hearing from you all, especially those of you that I don't get to see very often. So, here is a little something for each of you.

Mom: Thank you for reading my blog on an hourly basis. I think you are my most faithful reader. (But you have to stop blowing the surprise for Patti and let her read it for herself!) :) I love you!

Patti: If you started reading this blog every HALF hour, maybe YOU could blow the surprise for mom once in a while. I would just like to note that LA were my initials before I got married. It is no coincidence then, that you feel such a strong urge to move there. But when you get famous, just remember, I knew you when you picked your nose in public.

Shelby: There is a way that you can tell if a "neon" sign contains neon. But, now that you have proven yourself the better internet-information-finder of the two of us, perhaps I should let you figure that one out for yourself. That is, of course, if you really want to know!

Bill: To one half of the couple that my children would've chosen to be their parents (if such choosing was possible,) I have this to say: GET BACK TO WORK!

Maureen: What's up with you? You haven't been commenting lately. What could be so important in your life that you would neglect your blog-reading duties?

Jenny: RE your last comment that radiometric dating is some "crazy MatchMaker service that puts together lonely chemists." I have only one thing to say to you. "You mocked me once. NEVER DO IT AGAIN!" Seriously, though, who do you think we would've ended up with had we used said service? Scary thought.

Heather: If I could toast you, this is what I'd say: "Here's to pants that fit right." RE your question about radiometric dating: It is a method of determining the age of rocks and fossils from the known half-lives of radioactive elements that they may contain. There are lots of different kinds, but the one probably everybody has heard of is carbon-14 dating.

Helen: Thanks for being so much a part of my life that you really don't NEED to read this blog. And thanks for being faithful enough to do it anyway.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Is this allowed?

About 30 seconds after my 16-month-old hoisted himself onto a kitchen chair (for the first time) this morning, my three-year-old CORRECTLY used the word "eventually."

Madness. Complete and utter madness.

Ten chemical/scientific concepts that most people don't know

Here is my pseudo-response to a long-ago post and Shelby's corresponding comment (which I realize was only meant to humor me.)

1. A scientific law is a description of a natural phenomenon which is true in all areas of science. It can often be expressed mathematically.

2. A theory is an attempt to explain "why" or "how," based on lots of observation, experimentation, and revision. A theory cannot be proved, but it can be disproved. Theories do not "grow up" to become laws.

3. Thermodynamically speaking, there IS such a thing as spontaneous combustion.

4. Most people who study chemistry don't know "what happens when you mix...........?" So don't ask them.

5. Every physical thing in the entire universe is either a chemical or a mixture of chemicals. Anyone who tells you that something "contains no chemicals" is either lying or ignorant.

6. Results of radiometric dating are highly questionable. (Here is a technical article, a much less technical article, and one very convincing article. You can find these and more here.)

7. Experimental evidence does not support the idea that electrons travel around the nucleus in fixed orbits (like planets around the sun.) Though most atoms are represented in this way, it is generally believed that these representations are inaccurate.

8. NaCl (sodium chloride) is not a molecule.

9. Most "neon" lights don't actually contain any neon.

10. Dilithium crystals, (which any true Trekkie (NOT me) would know power the Starship Enterprise,) can be explained, theoretically, by the Molecular Orbital Theory, but do not, actually, exist. (Try not to be too disappointed.)

Okay, any of you chem geeks want to add anything? Feel free.

I might have to do a little blogging about numbers 1 and 2 in the future.


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Upon further reflection

More people that I would love to get in touch with again:

4. Liz O.: dormmate from college. I got a letter from her when she was in Japan after we graduated from Witt. My return letter never made it to her... she was gone before it got there. I don't know where she is now.
5. Heather S.: I don't remember her married name! She was a girl I discipled in college. Wondering how she is and what she is up to.
6. Melissa M.: Great girl from college days. On staff with Campus Crusade the last I heard. (She was quite funny too...)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


My all-time favorite TV shows:
1. LA Law
2. A Year in the Life (anyone remember that one?)
3. Studs (for reasons other than content... those were some fun times: every night after dinner with the girls in the Hanley lounge watching that awful show... YIIIIKERS!)
4. The Magic Garden

What I might do with $50 that I found on the street:
1. start a new quilt
2. go to Cafe Istanbul for dinner
3. buy something to decorate the house

The most interesting places I have been:
1. Baku and Sheki, Azerbaijan
2. Safronbolu, Turkey (maybe I'll figure out how to post pictures.)
3. Frankfurt, Germany. It was only a day, but it was fun!

Times when I've felt most loved:
1. When nonmembers of the chemistry department came to hear my senior seminar. (Thanks, ladies!)
2. For my birthday in 1998, the team I was with in Azerbaijan took turns saying what they appreciated about me. I hadn't even been around them for two weeks yet and they were remarkably good at giving specific positive comments.
3. When Melissa and Andrea came and surprised me for my birthday last year. Paul left town that day and I was alone with the kids. They came over and hung out with me all night!
4. When my friends threw a surprise birthday party for me (three months after my birthday) in 1992.

People I've lost touch with and would like to find again:
1. Alicia C.: a friend from the Baku trip
2. Heather S.: my best friend from high school
3. Jenny (Marsilio) Bates: my best friend from grade school

"Pet Peeves:"
1. touching metal when it is wet
2. when someone in the same room is reading the newpaper or on the computer and says "huh!" or laughs, then doesn't tell you what they were reacting to.

Interesting/odd things I have done:
1. Took a hot-air balloon ride
2. Studied Solid State NMR at Penn State in the summer of '94
3. Went on a mission with my high school buddies to steal street signs.
4. Playing pool one night at a pool hall in downtown Springfield. (That might have just been dumb...)
5. Managed my high school wrestling team for 3 years. (and got a varsity letter for it!!!!!)

Things I would like to do:
1. See Cirque du Soleil
2. travel abroad - anywhere that isn't touristy.
3. read Boltzmann's Atom (one of these days)
4. *something specific* (to be revealed at a later date)

Favorite Books:
1. In Search of Schroedinger's Cat (because it blows my puny little mind... still in the process of reading this one!)
2. The Bible
3. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman
4. Celebration of Discipline

Okay, that is enough for now. Hope you enjoyed that. I did!


What will they think of next?

I will be 31 this month. I was thinking about all of the things that have come into existence in my lifetime. Here are some of them:

the PC, internet, cell phones, CD's, UPC scanners, mini vans, car seats, the ROOMBA, over-the-counter Ibuprofen, jelly shoes, laser pointers, call waiting, three-way calling, conference calls, VIDEO conferencing, dry erase boards(?), baby monitors, travel systems, VCR's, microwaves, walkmans (or is that walkmen?), inline skates, the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, Saran Quick Covers, rubber spatulas, Jello Jigglers, home video cameras, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Clapper, rap, touch-tone phones, answering machines, air conditioned cars, LCD's, air bags, anti-lock brakes, liposuction, magnetic card "readers," swim diapers, home satellite dishes, the Dustbuster...

There are so many more. What else can you think of that has been invented in the last 30 years?

Sunday, June 06, 2004


If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.
-Paul Newman

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Brownies, bugs, and babies

Here is how you know that your mate is your perfect match:
1. You BOTH like brownies - but he likes the middle ones and you like the corners.
2. Since you got married, you have grown several gray hairs. Just to make you feel better, he has lost a bunch of his.
3. You are always losing your glasses. He always seems to know where they are.
4. Potato chips: He likes the big ones and you like the little pieces.

One thing that I love about Ms. Boo is that she is always saying "thank you," without being prompted. Today, after she told me "thank you" for getting her a napkin, I said "you are very good at saying 'thank you!'" To which she replied.... "thank you."

I am totally aware that cicadas are harmless to humans. But, whenever they fly near me (especially when they are making that screeching sound) it absolutely freaks me out. I keep telling myself that next time I will remain calm, but I just can't seem to do it. Gross, gross, gross.

Actual quote: "I'm missing the hair to Betsy Ross."
This stuff is seriously out of hand. (Click on "Graveyard.")

Mr. Bug loves this book called "So Big," which features Elmo. I read it to him every time I put him to bed. He just giggles! When Elmo plays peekaboo, Bug puts his hands over his eyes. When Elmo touches his toes or waves, Bug does it too. When Elmo pops up on the last page, Bug tries to hug him. My son is precious!

Unofficial poll: Lightning bugs or fire flies?


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Legislating Morality

Okay. The next time I hear someone say "government cannot legislate morality," I think I am going to vomit. Statements like that seem so illogical (to me, I know....) that I didn't really think anybody actually believes stuff like that. But, I was reading someone's blog the other day and, there is was (though I cannot find that blog again, or I'd link to it.)

So, I feel compelled to address this if for no other reason than to get it off my mind (and share with all 3 of my readers what they probably already know.)

So that we are all on the same page, I will refer you to this for the definition of morality. But generally speaking "morality" means doing the right thing.

Here are some examples of immoral (ie "wrong") behavior that, I think, few people would argue with:
1. raping a six-year-old
2. driving while intoxicated and causing an accident
3. falsifying company audits and pocketing the "left-over" money
4. collecting money for services that were never rendered

The whole reason that laws exist is to encourage people NOT to act immorally and to punish people who do. These things I have listed are wrong, and it is good and right for us to have laws against them - for us to legislate morality.

If it is wrong for government to make laws which prevent/punish wrongdoing, then we need to immediately revoke all laws concerning the above-mentioned behaviors. Really, we need to revoke ALL laws, PERIOD!

I don't think that people who complain about "legislating morality" are properly identifying their beef. I am guessing that most people are generally in favor of laws which govern/punish the behaviors I have identified. The problem is when people disagree about what is wrong or right. People don't want to have laws predicated on a behavior that they don't think is wrong. (You know, stuff like abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research.)

So, instead of saying "I don't think that government should try to legislate morality," why don't people say what they really mean, which is "I don't think there is anything wrong with that."

Now, I could go on, (and probably will, someday) about how human beings cannot "decide" what is moral or immoral... which leads to the fact that there IS no morality apart from God... which leads to the undeniable existance of ONE TRUE GOD... which leads to the God of the Bible... which leads to.... But it is late and I have to go to bed... and, as I suggested earlier, I think the three of you already know all of this stuff anyway.


Worst Case Scenario

It seems like I know a lot of people who, when I tell them about something going on in my life, want to tell me the worst possible story they can think of to try to "relate" to it. It's like saying "here... let me help you worry about that a little more." Or is it just that they want to act like they know more than I do about the situation?

Either way, I don't know how to respond to people when they do that. I want to do it politely, but I always come off sounding rude. Maybe this is a pride thing, and I just need to swallow mine and listen without saying anything. Whatever I am supposed to do, I find that most of the time I just want people to listen when I share the "big" stuff and try to relate to ME instead of the SITUATION. I must say, Shelby, Maureen, and Helen are, by far, the best at that for me. I love them MUCHO!

O course, they are not always around. And, when that happens, I find that these little incidents make me feel lonely. It's good that they are not always around, because God wants me to rely on him at these times (and even when my friends ARE around...) I am glad God gets me, because I don't know what I would do with myself if he didn't. I can tell him about the exact same situation, and He doesn't patronize me: acting like He knows more and telling me a bunch of facts that I already knew. He cares about how I feel. He knows exactly what I need at that time. He encourages me. He cares less about the situation and more about how I'm dealing with it. I love him MUCHO MAS!