Thursday, September 30, 2004

Callling all Knitters/Crocheters

Hey, there is a lady in Michigan who is making blankets to send to orphanages in China. Many of the orphanages don't have heat... so I am sure it gets cold, up north, especially. She is collecting 7 inch squares, any color, any style. Use sport or worsted weight yarn. If you are interested, you can e-mail me for her address. Or, you can send your sqaures to me, and I will send them all to her. (I will probably mail mine out the week of Oct 17.) I am asking the ladies at church to help out too. I am hoping to get 100 squares. (I think that will make 4 quilts.)

You never know... you just might be helping to keep my daughter warm this winter!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

My (Older) Daughter

Ms. Boo was playing with a friend at the kitchen table yesterday when I happened to be on the phone with my doctor. I was checking the status of my medical forms that I need for the adoption. After hanging up, her friend asked, "who were you talking to?"

"I had to call the doctor about..." I paused, to search for an explanation a four-year-old would understand.

Without missing a beat, Boo finished for me. "Adoption," She declared. Then, thinking, she added, "agency."

So, she doesn't actually understand, but at least she's listening!


Looking through the pictures of Boo's first trip to the bowling alley, I just could not resist the urge to make a page of it for her scrapbook. She had those little bowling shoes on, and it was just too cute.


I just told her that we'd be going out today to find a birthday present for my friend, Helen.

"I know," she said. "Let's get her some BUBBLES!"



Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Sugar Withdrawal

I am in sugar withdrawal. I don't like it. But I eat way too much sugar, so I am trying to cut back... and the fact that I am in withdrawal is just evidence of that fact. Please pray that I don't go bonkers.

In the meantime, I am getting more excited about meeting my daughter. It is a lot like being pregnant in that there is frustration at having to wait so long to hold her and love on her. But, it is a lot UNlike pregnancy because I don't get to feel her kick, and she can't hear my voice, and I have no real control over anything that she experiences. Yet, oddly, I still feel attached to her. She's my girl.

I have been reading a bunch of posts on a yahoo group that I just joined for parents who are/will/have adopted from China. There are almost 14,000 members. A wealth of information, to say the least. Already I have received a great deal of encouragement from them.

Anyhoo. I don't have a lot to say other than this.

Peace out.


Friday, September 24, 2004

This, that, and the other

* I have been playing with Ms. Boo's leap pad (interactive learning toy) in an effort to FINALLY master the locations of all 50 states. Darn it if I don't mix up Alabama and Arakansas... and I thought Iowa was way farther west than that. My geography stinks...

* Somehow, in the few times that I've sat down to watch TV recently, I managed to catch the very first AND the very last episode of the Amazing Race. I think it should be called the Amazing Disgrace. I am always disgusted at how these folks treat the people of whatever country they are in. It seems to perpetuate the obnoxious American stereotype that the rest of the world seems to have (with good reason?) Anyway, I about busted a gut when I listened to the interviews after the race was over. More than one person cited "experiencing different cultures" as a benefit of participating.

Um, yeah. Something similar happened to me, once. I got to experience French culture by eating a croissant. France ROCKS!

* Goal: paperwork for our dossier (documents sent to China) completed and at our agency by November 1. Hoping our entire file gets to China by December. I had to fork over an extra $20 to get NEW copies of my physical forms from my doctor. I have searched high and low for the first set he filled out. I fear they somehow made it into the trash can! But, fingerprinting was fun. We spent more time trying to find our way back INto the parking garage than we actually did getting the fingerprints done. But the machine they use for fingerprinting was COOL! The guy said it uses a bulb which emits different wavelengths that are absorbed by the oils in the skin. Ahhh, spectroscopy. That's good stuff. WOOOOOOOOOOO!

* Wondering: what's the point of putting a political sign in your yard. Paul and I were trying to figure out if it's just that neighbors like to egg each other on, or if the signs actaully work to affect peoples' votes. (Just think, in one drive around town, I'd decide to vote for Kerry.... no, Bush.... no,, Bush...) I'm even more curious about the point of SEVEN political signs in your yard, all of which say the same thing. I know, I think too much......

* We have new neighbors two doors down. The boy (who is 8 or 9) and the girl (who is 6) have been over every day since they moved in. They are hilarious.

* Last night, Paul and I were playing with the kids in the family room. Ms. Boo brought out every blanket from her room AND ours to lay on top of us. (We were laying on the floor.) I asked her why she was covering us up. She said, "so we can play hide and seek." Once we were all covered up, she left the room, counted to ten, declared "ready or not, here I come," and found us.... guess where we were hiding.

* The only game more humorous is duck, duck, goose played with two children who don't know how to play. Mr. Bug doesn't sit at all. He just walks around, hitting everyone in the head, saying, "guuuh." This means that at any given time, there are actually THREE people running around the "circle," which, of course, actually consists of only one person.

* The "Fruit" talk was lots of fun. My favorite comment afterward was, "Thanks. That was meaty. I can't stand the superficial stuff." I praise God for giving me that message and the chance to share it.

* Ms. Boo has some patches of icthy, dry skin on the creases of her elbows. She was in bed a few nights ago when they started bothering her. After I'd put some medicine on them, I tried to give her a goodnight hug. She would only hug me with her forearms. I looked at her like what are you doing? And she said, "I don't want to get you all medicy."


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Thank you all...

for participating in the latest unofficial poll. Again, I am in the minority.

I think there is only one fruit of the Spirit (and so do some others who are much more edumacated than I, by the way.) Here is why...

1. Galatians 5:22,23 reads "the fruit of the Spirit is" NOT "the fruits of the Spirit are." I looked in the Greek at the verb "is." It is translated "are" in other places, so my interpretation may be called into question. BUT, I don't think it is a far fetch to say "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience..." just like you would say "the fruit of the peach tress is pit, flesh, and skin."

2. Although the Bible translators, who know more Greek than I do, translated it "is" and not "are" (and Vine's Expository Dictionary agrees by the way...) I thought I might try to interpret Gal 5:22,23 by comparing to other scripture. I think my one-fruit belief is confirmed in Ephesians 5:9 which says, "the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth." This is a much broader description than that given in Galatians. It encompasses much more.

3. I liked my mom's thought that there are infinite numbers of fruits. But, after mulling that over a while, I settled back down to my first conclusion. Mostly, I think this because I think God, and the fruit of him working in us, is much bigger than the little pieces that we like to label. Those are pieces, but the whole is much greater.

Anyway, this isn't interpretation that is earth-shattering, but I do think it changes my perspective on the fruit, how it is worked out in me, how I should pray, and how I perceive God.

So, now that I have just expounded upon the fruit of the Spirit, I invite your comments.

And, I do have one more question. In the scripture that says "be fruitful and multiply" (I'm in a rush and I don't have the reference right now) what do "fruitful" and "multiply" mean? Are they meant to be repetitive, as in being fruitful and multiplying are somewhat synonomous. OR are they different things? Does "fruitful" mean displaying the fruits of the Spirit? And does "multiply" mean PHYSICAL multiplication or SPIRITUAL? I am curious if there is any example of a command in the Bible that God gives which some people are NOT able to keep. (As in, if "multiply" means physical multiplication, then infertile folks cannot obey that command.) I haven't looked into any of this yet. (okay, that wasn't one question.)

So fire away.

We are off to the immigration office to get our fingerprints done. Yee haa!

Monday, September 20, 2004


In preparation for my talk about the fruit of the Spirit, I was hoping to do another "unofficial poll." It's just for some background info, I won't use your responses in my talk.

This poll, however, is exclusive. Only those who have previously heard teaching about the fruit, or studied it for themselves can answer. If you need a scripture reference, I am teaching from Galatians 5:22,23

Unofficial poll: How many fruits of the Spirit are there?

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Name the Artist:

It's hard living life on this merry-go-round
Always up, always down,
spinning round and round and round.

If you know it, let's hear it... but if you have to search for it, please keep the answer under wraps.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A Grand Evening

I love to hang out and chat with friends.

I love to make stuff.

Last night, I got to do both.



This evening at church, someone came up to me and said, "You've been on my mind a lot lately. I've been praying for you." Then he asked, as if trying to confirm a suspicion, whether things were "good" with me. "No," was my only reply. His response was, "well, then I'll have to keep praying." Then he told me something very specific that he'd been praying about, which is one of the things that I have been dealing with.

The last few weeks have been hard for me. But, it encourages me that, without me even knowing it, God put my needs on someone else's heart and he has been praying for me the whole time.

God is good.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Now You're Talking

Well, after my whining about wanting people to ask what I think, I cannot let the comment from my big sister (see previous post) go unanswered. The funny aside to this story is that I didn't know who "favorite sister" was when I read the comment. I thought it was my younger one. At different times they have both referred to themselves as the "favorite," and sometimes it is hard to keep it all straight. I, of course, will never divulge who my true favorite is :)

But to answer fav's questions, there are many things, specifically, that prompted me to write that post. Not all of them are worth mentioning here and, as the title may have hinted, I don't think I can describe all of it either. (I'm still processing.) But, here's what I can say, so far.

Stuff that really matters, but is difficult to achieve:
1. living in grace
2. extending grace
3. loving the unlovely
4. not reducing God's Word to.... (still working on the wording here)... rules? cheap grace? easy-believism?
5. living like it's not about me - being selfless and sacrificial with my time, my talents, my finances
6. raising kids who live like it's not about them
7. forgiving
8. not relying on programs and managerial creativity to accomplish outreach
9. letting God into every facet of my life

and, there is a lot more... but I just can't quite put my finger on it right now.

I must give credit to Maureen at this point, because I am sure that some part of my list has been plagiarized from her. Maureen is great at getting my mind going and inspires and challenges me in a lot of this. She is also fantastic at verbalizing these kinds of things. (Basically I am just one of her groupies, so if you want some real meat, you might go check out her blog.)

And, fav, thanks for asking.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I Wish I had words

The more I pay attention, the more I realize that being an inhabitant of the world and a citizen of heaven means that the stuff that really matters usually ISN'T easy to achieve. And the happy life that I blindly live, might not exist tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Kindergarten Angst

When I was a wee lass, we had to do this assignment in our kindergarten class. Each day we learned a new number and a new letter. That day, the number happened to be 20 and the letter was "n." To incorporate these in one assignment, our teacher gave us each a sheet of paper and asked us to draw 20 things that start with "n."

To this day, I don't think I can come up with 20 DRAW-able things that start with "n."

Needless to say, we all just shrugged our shoulders and looked around a lot. I, of course, also got frustrated. But, as frustrated as I was, that was nothing compared to the news my teacher broke to me, as she reviewed what little I had drawn. Apparently "nife" starts with a "K?"


Anyway, here is my list of drawable "n" items that I think a kindergartener could come up with:

1. needle
2. nail
3. nine
4. necklace
5. noodle
6. neck (though I think a 5 year-old might have a hard time drawing that.)
7. nickel
8. name?
9. Nintendo (which didn't exist when I was 5.)
10. Nemo (ditto)
11. nut
12. nap
13. net

I am wondering if, with everyone's help, we can get to twenty.

Fruity and fruitless... all at the same time

I am a fruitcake. (Without the rum(?) because I'm a Baptist... and eveybody knows a Baptist fruitcake can't contain rum.)

Lately, the fact that I am a fruitcake keeps making its way to the forefront of my mind.

I saw some women from MOPS leadership on Wednesday. They asked me if I was "ready." Meaning, was I ready for the talk that I am giving at the MOPS meeting on Sept. 21. My response was, "I'm ready... but the question is are YOU?" Because, of course, I am a fruitcake.

I suppose it is appropriate that I am fruity since the topic of this talk is the fruit of the Spirit. Hopefully the women in the audience will accept "fruity" in place of "fruitful" because I think I am way more of the former than the latter.

Just today I was watching E's (also a MOPS mom) kids for a few hours and she brought over a basket of fruit for the kids to snack on. When she left, I tried to give her the basket to take home, but she refused... adding "You are the fruit of the Spirit woman, after all."


Let me tell you about the time I dumped an entire box of KIX into Ms. Boo's cereal bowl. She wanted more than I had given her and wouldn't stop whining for more. My loving, patient, kind, joyful, peaceful, good, gentle, and self-controlled comment was "THERE. How's that for more?"

She cried.

Don't misunderstand... I don't feel worried or any less worthy than anybody else. I just think it is funny that I get to speak about this topic. Let's just say I have spent a lot of time studying.

Then there is the monthly article for the newsletter. I was just working on the most recent one, which is supposed to be about self-control... and all I can think of is how much I want to eat some donuts... despite the fact that I'm not hungry. Suffice to say that so far, my article is pretty much just me talking out my behind.

I'm a fruitless wonder.... More studying required.

I can't even escape to the shower. One look at the shelf, which holds strawberry shampoo, apple conditioner, raspberry smoothie shaving cream, melon body wash, and both pear AND tangerine shower gels, and I'm laughing at how ridiculous it all is...

that God would use a fruitless, (rumless) fruitcake to teach about fruit.

Yeah, I am way excited about it.

(And, just out of curiosity, is there anyone out there who finds the idea of shaving with a raspberry smoothie appealing?)

Friday, September 10, 2004


> I just typed up a cultural heritage plan for our Chinese daughter. I think this is hilarious. Don't tell anyone that we really don't know what we are doing.

> A few nights ago, while putting Ms. Boo to bed, she asked for some cold sheets. "You like cold sheets, don't you?" I asked. "Yes," she said, then explained, "but when you lay in them for a while they get warm, so you have to move to a different spot." ......You don't say..........

> Boo likes to take pictures. Whenever she takes one of Bug, he says "cheeeeeeeeese."

Public Service Announcement:
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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Not to be rude, but...

... no duh!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Schedules and commitments

When I was in Azerbaijan, we were told from the start that if we got one thing done in a day, that was a lot. It was hard to get stuff done. Grocery shopping required a long walk to the store, and an even longer walk home, bogged down with everything you bought. Laundry, (whether you washed it by hand and hung it on the line, or took it, via cab to a distant laundro-mat) could also eat up the greater part of a day. But you know what took the most time? The people.

On any given day that we had planned to meet with friends, the "date" always lasted the better part of the day. The Azeris didn't just meet for a quick lunch and then run on to another errand. They met for lunch and hung out until dinner. Sometimes they would take us to see some of the sites, or walk with us by the sea. But most of the time, we would just sit and talk. And talk. And talk. If they had somewhere to be, they just didn't go. Hanging out with folks seemed to be the priority.

In fact, we came up on quite a culture clash one day just before we were about to leave. Some girls wanted to get together with us again and phoned to ask if we could meet them. We had already arranged to meet someone else, so we had to decline. The hurt feelings that resulted were intense. They just could not understand why we didn't change our schedule to accomodate them. That's what they do... and Azeris are used to it. They don't show up somewhere and it's no big deal because they were with some friends.

Bill's (the same Bill who has never closed his door on our usually uninvited yet oft-appearing family) comment on my last post got me wondering about us Christian folk. It's stuff I have wondered before and it always makes me think of the Azeris. As Christians, how much priority should we give to schedules and commitments? Jesus was a relater. People were always more important than the what, where, and when of his "schedule." How many times have Christians (myself included) been guilty of letting "I gotta go (run some errand)" keep us from the simple but profoundly effective ministry of just being with someone (or even talking with them... or listening for that matter.)

The broader question is one of simplicity. How much do we really HAVE to do. Very little, as I learned in Azerbaijan. We got along just fine without accomplishing an entire to-do list every day. Granted, that was the culture. The fact that everyone lived that way made it a whole lot easier. And, maybe people went to greater lengths to be with us b/c we were Americans. I don't know. But I wonder if Christians need to borrow a page or two from the Azeri relationship handbook: the page about people being more important than accomplishment. If something doesn't have to get done, why do we let it get in the way of spending time with someone?

To what extent can these changes be made in our culture? And what, specifically, can a person do to pare down the time constraints that seem to bind us? I would like to hear from you.

Thank the blogger malfunction

I typed out a long, whiney post last night and wondered if I should even post it. Blogger decided that for me, thanks to some kind of malfunction that kept me from publishing. You are all probably better off for it. So here is a much more tame, much shorter, and only slightly whiney version of what I said:

I think that listening is an art. I also think that this particular art has very few masters.

Now, although I think this statement is true, my feelings about it are born purely out of selfishness. I want people to care about what I think. I want to talk about what I think and have people consider what I think. I want people to ask about what I think. I want people to give me time to explain before jumping in with advice, information, or correction (particulary the information... I'm growing weary of hearing more information.)

I am the sort of person who processes things by talking, and I am finding that opportunities to share what is on my mind are rare. And, I am also at a stage in my life (as previously stated in a long-ago deleted post) where I am realizing (and admitting) that there is a lot I don't understand. But, I am also trying to find things out, look for my own information, consider inconsistencies in the things I hear/read, get the "whole story" before I settle down on what I think about things. But, for me, processing that stuff means talking... and I can't talk if people don't listen.

Selfish... I know.

Through all of this, Philippians 2:3 comes to mind - considering others better than myself. Then there is also - doing unto others as I would want them to do to me. So, I am taking my frustration in this arena as a reminder that I need to be a better listener. But in the mean time I feel misunderstood... because I have a bunch of stuff "Rattling Around" in my head that no one even knows about.

AND SO...... I guess that is part of the reason for this blog. But, even this falls way short of real conversation.

Perhaps it is unfair to expect such attentiveness from others. Or, maybe this is exactly where God wants me... so I will stop relying on others and start relying on Him to meet this need. He is, of course, a fantastic listener. And, being misunderstood is a non-issue with Him.

It's stuff like this that reminds me how only relationship with God can free me up to be what he wants me to be. Otherwise, I'd be (and am) so preoccupied with getting my needs met that I wouldn't be able to care about anyone else. We love because he first loved us, eh?

Anyway, that's my whining.

The end.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Minority Status

I find the following results of all of the unofficial polls very interesting.

Lightening bugs vs. Fireflies
Lightening bugs - 5
Fireflies - 1
my vote - fireflies

White meat vs. Dark meat
White meat - 4
Dark meat - 2
No preference - 1
my vote - dark meat

Black pens vs. Blue pens
Black pens - 4
Blue pens - 0
No preference - 1
my vote - blue pens
(I couldn't distinguish the actual vote in one of the comments.)

Does anyone detect a pattern?


I got up at 7 this morning. I read Proverbs 6, then promptly fell asleep again... perhaps because I was sitting in the easy chair? Anyway, I will try again tomorrow and see if I can stay awake.


A more meaningful post, about the evolution of scientific thought, is beginning to take shape in my head, but it will be a while before I put all the pieces together. (And I have another article due for the MOPS newsletter, so that will get priority.) So, if you are getting tired of the mindless stuff, just give me a week or two...

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Change of Schedule

It is now 11:26 pm and I am dead tired. I didn't nap today (which I often do on Sundays) and we took the kids to the county fair tonight... so I am beat. My goal is to get to bed "early" (e.g. before midnight) and get up around 6 am so I can have some quiet time in the morning before the kids get up. I will let you know how it turns out... I know, the suspense is just too much...

I checked out Christianity Today's blog today. For the most part, I thought it offered fair criticism all around. Refreshing.

Bits and Pieces

What a great time we had tonight with Steve and Ami and their kids (a girl who is 3 and a boy who is 2!!!) We invited them to our favorite hangout. I met Ami at MOPS this past year and have been working with her on the newsletter. Our kids have met, but they wouldn't remember each other... I have been wanting to get together with them and we finally did! By the end of the night, Ms. Boo and K were walking around holding hands. So very cute. Mr. Bug and Z were mimicking one another... at one time they were both just lying there on the floor looking up at those who walked by. A good time was had by all.


The ladies that I am most often in touch with from my Witt years have a book club. I don't know if they have been doing it lately, but they were getting together once a month to discuss a new book. They have always invited me to participate. I have often wondered if I could get Helen (who loves to read) to fill me in on all the particulars, and then attend the discussion and see if I could fool everyone into believing that I read the book. Helen would probably crack up laughing before I got very far.


I am really wanting to live out my dream itinerary with Jenny, one of my roomies from my senior year, and a fellow chem major. Paul is okay with me going, now we just need to clear Jenny's schedule. I would just love to sit in on a few classes. Man, it's good stuff. I miss it. I think mostly I miss being able to talk about it. If I had studied literature, or history, or music, or just about anything else, I think people would show some degree of interest when I share ideas that interest me.... but alas, chemistry just doesn't make for good conversation.


Marketing. I think if I went back to school I would study marketing. I don't know why.


Ms. Boo was telling us one of her (made up) stories the other day. She actually used the words blah, blah, blah, complete with rolled eyes and nodding of head.


The inhabitants of Ohio have been enduring commercials for the 2004 election since about 1884. I don't watch much TV, but when I do, I get so tired of the commercials. Paul and I have both received absentee ballot applications. Apparently, the candidates have figured out that, in order to escape the deluge of commercials, thousands of Ohioans will be moving out of state until the election is over.


I need to stop staying up until such ridiculous hours of the morning.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

My hidden athletic abilities

From Matthew Henry's commentary on Hebrews 12:1-3

"Every weight, that is, all inordinate affection and concern for the body, and the present life and world. Inordinate care for the present life, or fondness for it, is a dead weight upon the soul, that pulls it down when it should ascend upwards, and pulls it back when it should press forward; it makes duty and difficulties harder and heavier than they would be."

I know this might surprise you, but I am a world-champion weight lifter.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

Chinese Proverbs

Man's schemes are inferior to those made by heaven.

There is no wave without wind.

The arrogant army will lose the battle for sure.

Men should worry about fame just as pigs about being fat.

If you are in a hurry you will never get there.

You cannot fight a fire with water from far away.

An ant may well destroy a whole dam.

Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.

Clear conscience never fears midnight knocking.

Crows everywhere are equally black.

You can find more at

The Lord is good to me

Wednesday nights are a fun time for me. After the service at church, Ms. Boo stays in the nursery while Paul is at choir practice. She loves the nursery, Paul loves the choir, and I love my alone time with Mr. Bug.

Tonight we went to the local donut shop/dairy bar. Mr. Bug and I sat at the counter, eating donuts and having a grand old time. He was just so happy to eat a donut and drink water from a cup with a straw. He has been doing this thing lately when he eats... he takes a really fast bite of food while making a groaning noise. Like he is devouring it. It is seriously cute. Watching him eat his donut was a treat.

The added treat was that they guy behind the counter put an extra donut in the bag and didn't charge me for it!!!

After we were done eating, Bug was content just to walk around. I got him a little stuffed animal out of the vending machine. It was a hot-pink bunny. We kept ourselves amused with that thing for quite a while. He even made a snoring noise when I told him the bunny was sleeping.

Every so often I am reminded that life will not always be happy for my children. So, I just enjoyed the time tonight, watching my son be happy. I think I could've stayed there all night.

And, thank you, Lord, for this beautiful boy you have given me!

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