Sunday, October 31, 2004

Take Heed, cuz I'm a lyrical poet.

Had a great weekend. We went to the opera on Friday night. FREE tickets! We even PARKED for free. The opera, which neither Paul nor I have been to previously, was entertaining, but slow. What made it entertaining was that it (The Marriage of Figaro) was funny. But, I told Paul that if I had to see a dramatic opera, I probably wouldn't be able to sit through the whole thing. But, the comedy saved it for me, so I enjoyed it.

Maureen and Charles came over on Saturday. It was fun hanging out with them and getting to know Charles a bit better. They even came to church with us for a little while. We went to the "Fall Family Festival" with the kids in their costumes. Ms. Boo was INSANE once we got the costume on her (a ladybug -- very cute.) She kept chasing Mr. Bug around the house trying to catch his tail. (He was a lion -- also, very cute.) The kids had fun and played games. Then Boo, who had not napped at all, hit the wall. She was walking around like a zombie. She fell asleep in the car on the way home. We put her in bed immediately. She just said "goodnight" and rolled over to go back to sleep. It was the easiest bed time we've had in a while!

Today I was overcome with emotion about something that I think might have been stupid. I spent a good part of the morning trying to figure out if I was taking something personally, or if I had a legitmate concern. It bugged me all day. Then I took a nap. When I got up, all the emotion seemed to be gone. So, I guess it was just me being over-sensitive.

Lately, I am thinking a lot about kindness. I don't practice it. More times than I care to recount, I have responded in such a selfish way to different people, refusing to act kindly. I want my kindness to develop. No one benefits from unkindness.

I have started studying kindness as it is used in the scriptures. I came across this, and it encouraged me:

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
- Titus 3:3-8

Goodnight, everybody.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7:9

Anger is crippling. I think there are a lot of people out there who are angry because they don't know what else to do with the hurts they experience. I have dealt with anger of varying degrees at different times in my life. And every time I do, it seems that I am miserable until I let God take care of it... or maybe take care of me is more accurate. I have heard people talk (usually with disdain) about using God as a crutch. But, what truth they speak! If I didn't have God to lean on in these times of anger (among other things) I would be completely miserable. But His power is made perfect in (my) weakness. When I am weak, then I am strong... because he frees me from the miserable trap of my anger.

Yet, I am still learning.

I could go on about the newest homestudy snafu, but it really isn't worth it. Suffice to say, I am "quickly provoked." The more important issue is how I am dealing with it. I believe God is using this process to refine me. I am getting better at trusting him with stuff, but sometimes, when things go wrong, I still get really PO'd. I am trying to reconcile how I can trust God with things, yet deal properly with the emotions when stuff goes wrong. I stew about things for a few hours when they happen. And all the while I can hear God telling me to bring it to him, and he will help me let go of the anger.

So, for all of you who are praying for us during this adoption, please pray that I would respond correctly and that I would not hold on to my anger. Pray that I would remember that these events are not just delays in the process, but they are meant to make me more like Him. (And that my attitude would reflect that!) Of course, if you want to pray that we don't run into any more obstacles, that would be great too!

Next post: kindness.

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Whenever it comes time for me to decide what judges to vote for, I end up wondering something. Why are jugdes affiliated with political parties? It seems odd, to me.

Prediction: Ohio's voting results are going to be a huge mess.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

* * * * * * * *

I have absolutely no interest in "playing" church.

But, sometimes, I think those are the only rules I know.


Last night we took the whole fam out for dinner at Wendy's. Mr. Bug kept playing around and seemed uninterested in eating. I let him play and started eating my own food. After what seemed like only a few minutes, I looked up and saw that his box of chicken nuggets was empty.

"Did you eat all those?" I asked him. He shook his head no. He still confuses "yes" and "no," so I rephrased. "Are they all gone?" Again, he shook his head no. So I tried "are they all in your tummy." No, again. But this time, to prove his point, he spit out the wad he still had in his mouth and held it up for me to see.

I guess he really meant "no."


Monday, October 25, 2004

Aye, Aye, Aye

Okay, folks. Here is the latest in the homestudy SAGA:

We got our homestudy back today from being authenticated in Columbus. (This, if you remember, was the document we found out we needed last week, just when we thought we had everything done.) Having received it, we were preparing to mail everything off to our adoption agency. As I went through their checklist, I saw that they had listed four items that were to be attached to the homestudy.

Does anyone want to guess how many of these attachments WERE attached to our homestudy?


Why I didn't look at this before, I don't know. I guess I assumed (since our homestudy agency has prepared homestudies for many Chinese adoptions, had received specific instructions from our adoption agency, and is directed by a woman who has, herself, adopted from China,) that they would include all necessary attachments when they handed me the "final" copy.

I should have learned not to assume things from this agency.

Anyway, our adoption agency has a copy of one of the documents, and they will attach that themselves. I went ahead and sent them all of our other paperwork. Now I have to get on the folks doing the homestudy and have them send the two remaining documents to our adoption agency. Thankfully, these documents do not have to be notarized, because that also would mean certifying and authenticating.

If there is anyone out there who is considering adopting, please, ask me first who did our homestudy, so that you will not use them!


Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come for You?

I have a few vague memories from my childhood of an odd shaped newspaper called "Pro Football Weekly" that I'd see laying around the house. I don't know if I knew it then, but my dad wrote a column for that paper. This column was a round-up of the games played in the various minor-leagues that existed around the country.

Apparently, my dad was the first person to ever cover minor-league football. Every week, he would type up his article (on that old, black typewriter? man... he could fly on that thing...) and send it in for publication. He did this for about six or seven years.

Because of that, he is being inducted in the National Minor League Football Hall of Fame.

Now, how cool is that?

Way to go, dad!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Who Dat?

I don't know if I am unique in this, but I get particularly upset when I think that someone has misunderstood me. One of my "defenses" against being misunderstood is that I try very carefully to say exactly what I mean. Yet, despite my efforts, there are always occasions when people infer meaning that I never meant to imply. (which, I guess is normal.) But when that happens, AND I don't get the benefit of the doubt, then I really get upset... and it makes me not want to share my thoughts with that person anymore.

Please, don't tell me what I already know regarding this post.
  • I know that what people think shouldn't bother me.
  • I know that I need dialogue.
  • I know that I am too sensitive about this.
  • I know that I can't prevent being misunderstood.


Other random thoughts:

  • I am curious to know if anyone besides me has a favorite herb. I think dill and basil are tied for first in my book.
  • Is it dumb to have a favorite herb?
  • I am perfecting a recipe that is supposed to be the lentil soup we ate in Turkey. That stuff ROCKED! Mine is getting close. I guess that means my version is only stoned.
  • This lady on the news said that the sun is a source of vitamin D. People who don't have even a general knowledge of science should not be allowed to report on it.
  • When I heard the reporter say that, I jumped up, made a growling noise, and threw my arms in the air. That's how much it bugged me.
  • I went to a high school football game tonight because I love my husband. It is not something I would generally choose to do, but it was fun because we got to hang out together. He wanted to see a "good" game. I think it was a good one, though some Spartans may disagree, since they lost.
  • I am not implying that I am a Spartan.
  • But the cheerleaders in that hilarious SNL bit were Spartans. I laughed my pants off when I saw that one.
  • I am not implying that I watch SNL anymore.
  • When I am at a high school football game, I forget to watch the game.
  • I have been to an Army/Navy game. It was very cool.
  • Upon further reflection, I have decided that I like basil a little bit more than dill.
  • The ladies at church made over 170 blankets squares. Someone also made an entire blanket. There were also 7 blankets that someone purchased.
  • I thought Jade would've been a great name for our Chinese daughter. Paul hated it.
  • I think it is funny that HS football in these parts is so hyped. It still seems strange to me.
  • I am not implying that there is anything wrong with the hype.
  • Blogger says that I have only posted 114 times. This is not true.
  • This week at MOPS we packed up shoe boxes to donate for Operation Christmas Child. I was actually bummed when I realized that some of my kids' stocking stuffers got mixed up with the stuff I'd brought, and ended up in a box.
  • I think it is kinda lame that I was upset about a needy kid getting something I'd bought for my kids, when my kids don't really need it at all. But, I was bummed, nonetheless.
  • The song with the lyrics "You found out you loved me just a little too late," was Solitaire, by Laura Branigan.
  • Since I don't like thinking up titles, I am now just typing whatever comes to mind as the title of my posts.
  • I am not implying that there is anything wrong with titles.
  • I was somewhat relieved when the Red Sox won game 7 of the ALCS, even though it meant they beat the Yankees. I think the talk of the "curse" would have been unbearable, had the Sox lost that game.
  • Voter guides are funny.
  • There is a guy at the coffee place in the Dayton Mall who talks INCESSANTLY while you are placing your order.
  • His topics have included: a detailed description of the decaffination process, current price comparisons of coffee drinks, the effect of too much caffeine on him when he has to DO the price comparisons and ends up buying coffee from his competitors (because he is just a "nice guy,") and an explanation of how the Beanery Blended (which is no longer on the menu,) compares to the Cafe Frappelatte.
  • By the way, that's pronounced CAH fay frAH puh lAH tay.
  • I am very tired.
  • I am implying that I would like to go to bed.

Friday, October 22, 2004

"Everyone, Please Stop Skating..."

Monday evening, after a call to our adoption agency, I found out that our homestudy (prepared by a different agency) needs to go to immigration before immigration starts processing our orphan petition. This can take 6-8 weeks. Our adoption agency cannot do anything with our documents until they have approval from immigration. At the time of that convo, our homestudy was still being completed. Needless to say, I was angry. We wanted our documents IN CHINA before the end of November. This news means that it may even be a stretch to get them in before the end of December.

Before that conversation, I was just about to walk out the door to make some final photocopies, and mail our documents to our adoption agency. Since the homestudy is supposed to be one of those docucuments, and since I didn't have it, I decided not to bother. The rest of the night, I was fuming over the delays that we'd encountered at the hands of our homestudy agency. I thought it was ridiculous that our homestudy had not been completed yet.

In my distracted state, I went shopping, and left my purse in the cart when I pushed it back into the corral in the parking lot. I didn't discover this until I was home for about an hour and a half. Aside from the fact that my credit cards, check book, and license were in there, I also had my and Paul's passports in there. (Those were two of the things I needed to make copies of when I was planning to send out our stuff.) I knew that if our passports were lost, then we would have to wait about 8 weeks to get new ones... and the adoption process would be stalled just as long.

I called the store. They didn't have my purse, but said they would go get all the carts, and told me to call back. When I called back, they said they still didn't have it. So, I spent the next 45 minutes closing credit card accounts. Then, at about 12:30 a.m. I decided to file a police report. It had to be done in person, so I got in the car and headed to the PD. On the way, I decided to check at the grocery store once more. This time, I asked for a manager. She went to the office and returned with my purse.

Needless to say, I was thrilled.

As I sat in the car before coming home, I thanked God for answering my prayers in this manner. It was easy to see the "lesson."

"I get it," was my only response. I get it that I am just as capable of messing up this process as anyone else. I get it that mistakes happen and no one is perfect. I get it that He is in control of the timing... and everything else. I get it.

So, with that lesson learned, my attitude has been adjusted.

Our homestudy agency had the completed homestudy in my hands on Wednesday morning AND, it was already county certified. (Which is a major praise, because, to certify this out-of-county notary, I would've needed to do some extra traveling.) So, I sent the homestudy to Columbus for authentication that day and hope to have it back on Monday.

In the mean time, the lady doing the homestudy sent it to immigration and asked for expedited processing. If we get that, then our petition could be approved in two weeks.... we just have to wait and see.

I don't know if any of this makes sense to people who aren't/haven't adopted. The process isn't really that hard in itself. It's just that there is a lot to do, and the timing of it all can be difficult. It isn't even that easy to explain why a 6 0r 8 week delay is such a big deal. But, it is.

I am just trying to remember that God is taking care of things.


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Lazy Day

Today I wore socks around the house. This can only mean one thing. I have a fever. It's like maybe 1 degree higher than normal (and mine is usually in the low 97s,) so I am not even close to 100 degrees, but I am achey and chilled. I think that is so strange.

If I was a bettor, I'd lay money on these symptoms being gone tomorrow, completely. I do this every so often, which I think is even more strange. And, if this is like the other times, then I'd be making a pretty sure bet.


Ms. Boo keeps using the word "disappear" when she can't find something. "It disappeared, mom!"

Tonight, Ms. Boo put on a new pair of pjs that had a huge Elmo, head to toe. Mr. Bug, much to our surprise, pointed to her and said "AAAAH MOOOOOOOO!" Then he kept shouting "AAAH MOOOOOO! AAAH MOOOOOO!" Over and over again. This didn't stop until Boo got too hot and took off the pjs so she could run around in her underwear.

Boo threw a fit tonight at bedtime b/c she wanted her "face mask." My sister sent a little toiletries kit to Boo that she got from the airline on a recent trip to England. It contained that little mask for the eyes to keep the light out. Well, we couldn't find it at bedtime. Much crying ensued.

After calming her down, and promising to look for it (again) I walked out of her room and found it right away. So, after about an hour of hysteria, I gave her the mask, she put it on, and promptly fell asleep. The funny part is, she won't let us close her bedroom door, b/c she wants the light from the living room to come in her room.

Oh, Bug can say "puppy" too.

Has anyone tried to instant message me lately? I am trying to figure out if Norton Internet Security is blocking people's IM attempts.

Now, I will go take another ibuprofen, and go back to bed.

Unofficial poll:
Tylenol or Ibuprofen?

Friday, October 15, 2004

Lack of Inspiration, or just plain busy?

Things have been busy, lately. But I can't say there is a whole lot that I am dying to post about. Maybe I will just tie up a few loose ends.

First, mom asked a while back about how old the kids are in Chinese orphanages. When they are "discovered," they are usually not much older than a week old. If they are not adopted, they will (can?) stay in the orphanage until the age of 18.

So far, the ladies at church have made 93 blanket squares that will be sewn together and sent to China. I am impressed. Some of the squares are quite beautiful, too.

Well, I certainly have China on my mind. I spoke this week with the woman I met (way back when) at the library. She has been home from China for 2 weeks now with her second child. Things are going well for her. Her daughter, Leah, has a parasite, but is on medication and had a double ear infection when they got her. These haven't been a big deal, according to her mom. They are waiting for the results of her AIDS and Hep-B test. Hearing this sent my mind racing. It's something that I have thought about before, but this made it seem too real a possibility. I find I must constantly remind myself that God knows exactly what he is doing.

I went to a baby shower at church last night and found that I was oddly weepy. This is TOO crazy! I have heard adoptive mothers say that they went through all the same emotions when they were waiting that pregnant moms do. I didn't believe it... but maybe last night was proof of what they are saying. I am not at all a "happy crier." But last night, I was tearing up. The only other time I have cried out of happiness was - you guessed it- when I was pregnant.

I remembered at the shower that I am expecting too. The difference is that there is no physical reminder of that, so no one else seems aware that I am anxious about getting my baby too. It is almost surreal. I can't even imagine what that will be like.

I have also been thinking about my daughter's biological parents. How hard it must be for them to give up their child. I think they will be the subject of many of my prayers over the lifetime of our new daughter. I pray that they will have peace and know that their daughter will be well cared for. God the Father gave up his son, too. He knows just how they feel, so I pray they would know his comfort.

Anyway, our documents are in Columbus so they can be authenticated. Once we get them back, I will probably want to send them to our agency immediately. It will be great to be done with this stage, since it seems to be such a circus act to get all the paperwork completed. But, I think the waiting that is about to begin will be much more difficult. Like silence. It's going to be hard. But, the folks at the adoptive parents group who got their documents logged in (in China) last April are already getting their referrals. That means they waited 6 months. Maybe it'll go that fast for us too. How cool would it be to be in China for my birthday?!?!?!

In other news, I am teaching Sunday school this weekend and have an article due for the MOPS newsletter on Tuesday. I haven't started working on either. Right now it is rainy and cold and all I want to do is go take a nap!

well, sorry to bore you all, but that's all I got!


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Various and Sundry

All forms requiring notarization have been completed. We will commence certification next week and will hopefully have them sent off for authentication in 2 weeks. Once that's done, we just have to mail our stuff to our agency and............wait....................

Mr. Bug keeps coming up with words out of nowhere. Today he said "hopper" when the neighbor kept talking about a grasshopper. He saw a duck today and said "duckie." Yesterday he started saying "thank you," and "goose."

Took my babes to buy pumpkins today. When we pulled up to the field-o-pumpkins, Bug said "BALL! BALL! BALL! Yaaaaaaaay!" As he threw his arms up in the air.

We painted the pumpkins today too. Ms. Boo has been asking to do it again ever since she finished.

That some things can't always be boiled down to right and wrong.

About what it means that God is sovereign. Sovereignty is no joke.

That I need to lose 20 or 25 pounds.

That I sometimes think too much.

And now:
I am going to bed.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Quirky, Berzerky

I know I'm quirky:

- Whenever possible, I try to eat (small) food like M&Ms, crackers, or carrot sticks in twos.
- When I am involved in a long conversation on the phone or in person, I almost always find something to play with like a piece of paper, a fork, or a wrapper of some sort. By the end of the conversation, it is all twisted up, or bent or chewed on or something...
- When I see something that can be recycled in the regular trash, I "rescue" the item for recycling.
- I can't stand sleeping on top of my hair or having any wrinkles in the pillow case underneath my face.
- I also hate the feeling of my hair on my forehead. (Unfortunately, I like the look of long bangs that is back in style now... so I am left to choose between vanity and sanity.)
- When I go to sleep, I make wrinkles in the sheet and run my toes between them.
- I have memorized the test announcement for the "Emergency Broadcast System."
- When I pick up the kids' toys, I group everything together. For example, the lifelike farm toys and the "cartoonish" farm toys are separated into different boxes. Maybe this is not such a big deal... except that I actually tried to explain the system to Ms. Boo, who had no clue what I was talking about.
- I have a collection of PEZ dispensers. Though, in my defense, I am not really responsible for this.
- I like to buy fabric even if I don't know what I am going to do with it.
- I drink milk with ice cubes.

Anybody got any quirks they'd like to share. I am interested in hearing...


Wednesday, October 06, 2004


It has been over a year now that our church has been without a pastor. For the most part, it hasn't bothered me. I can say that only because, in general, people have handled it very well. Our Wednesday Bible study has not been without a teacher. The deacons are taking on additional visitation. The congregation is growing and making more of an effort to love and care for each other. I am quite proud of my church family. In lots of churches, this would be prime time for members to disappear and for fellowship to dwindle. I am thankful this has not been the case, and prayerful that it won't be in the future. I am also thankful that the guys on the search committee are willing to wait as long as it takes. Obviously, the right person hasn't come along yet, and I am glad we haven't "settled."

But, in the last week or so, I have found myself becoming increasingly weary of all of this. (I bet I'm not alone.) I am not sure what I am expecting, but I find myself wishing we had a pastor more and more. Maybe it's because I am currently pondering (agonizing over?) a weighty issue and I just wish that Paul and I could sit in our pastor's office and ask for his perspective and have him pray with us. I suppose we could do that with anyone... but it doesn't seem the same.

Maybe I just want to hear a great sermon from someone who is one of us - someone who is invested in us long-term and doesn't have the "luxury" of detatching from us until next Sunday. (This is not a criticism of the preaching we are under right now. I just want someone who, after preaching on Sunday, will keep walking with us throughout the week.)

Maybe I want direction, or routine, or who knows what. But I really want a pastor. And I want one soon.


Oh, it was glorious. The other night I caught a song on "Abosolutely Eighties" that I haven't heard in a REALLY long time. Here is a line:

"You found out you loved me just a little too late."

Any guesses?


Friday, October 01, 2004

I need people

I got to spend some time with Helen today (and her beautiful daughter.) If you don't know Helen, she rocks like cooling lava. God has made me in such a way that I think I would wither up and die without regular doses of long conversation. Maybe everyone is like that, I don't know. But, I always get my fix with Helen. And she always encourages and challenges me. Basically, she *gets* me. So, tonight was fab.

I even got to have more meaningful convo with a friend from church that I saw in Target after I met w/ Helen. We just about closed the place down. So, I take back my previous statement. Tonight was super fab.