Saturday, May 30, 2009

I am a stay at home mom. I don't get out much.


building things...

like this train track...

might bring me my greatest sense of accomplishment for my day.

And then this happens...


Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Labels Can Stick

I randomly found this article on a site I had never visited before.  I feel like this is great advice for all of us parents!

Labels Can Stick
By Gregg Stutts

When I was a kid, my mother once called me “anti-social” because I didn’t want to go to a party. I’ve never forgotten that.

During her childhood, a friend of mine was introduced by her mother as the “pretty, but not too smart” one. She’s never forgotten that.

Words matter. Labels can stick. Especially when they come from a parent.

So try to catch your children in the act of using their God-given gifts or exhibiting a certain character quality you want to reinforce. Identify it. Give it a name. Then point it out to them.

Let’s say you ask your son to clean his room. An hour later you check and the job is done. When you tuck him into bed, you could say, “Son, you not only got your room clean, but you did it right and you did it the first time I asked. You are someone who is responsible and trustworthy.”

Maybe your teenage daughter is trying a new hairstyle (or make-up, clothing, etc.). Try saying, “You sure are beautiful, but not just on the outside. I’m so proud of who you are.”

Your words are going to stick one way or the other. You might as well make them good ones.

You can read more interesting posts on the site HERE.  It is called the DadPad, and it is a site for Dads with articles written by Dads.  (I am not a Dad, but I still found a lot of the articles enlightening!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Light for Love.

Some of you may have seen my post a few days ago with this picture:

Steve came up with the idea to start a company, sell a product, and give 100% of the profits away to missions projects that we believe in. When he first told me he wanted to make candles and sell them, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. I have never made a candle, nor seen anyone make a candle. I just wasn't sure how easy or time consuming it might be.

Steve sold one of his nicest camera lenses and used all the money to buy supplies to start making candles. He bought molds, wax, a pour pot, dyes and fragrances, wicks, etc.

When Steve gets an idea, he is just an all or nothing kind of guy.

So he started making candles about two weeks ago, and I have to admit that he is pretty kick booty at it already!

Our friends Mike and Janessa came over on Friday. Mike and Steve are very like-minded guys, so Mike is into the selling candles for those in need idea as well. This is Mike:

And this is Mike's candle he made (with Butternut Pumpkin scent in case you are interested to know!):

So I was taking this picture of Mike's candle, and as I was focusing on the candle I was seeing his tatoo out of the corner of my eye.  So now we have evolved from:



light for love.

Kinda catchy, huh?  

If you don't think so, you don't have to tell me.  I posted a semi-controversial article the other day and after getting a few comments from people that might have been slightly offended by the article, I decided I am sticking to my usual subjects. To be totally transparent, I just don't much like debating at all!  I will leave the controversy to our friend Brett Tilford

So I will keep you posted as we get further into this.  We have lot's of details to figure out, but we are excited about the money that we could put into the hands of those that are being light and love to people (especially kids) around the world that desperately need it.

OK.  So while the guys were making candles, Janessa and I were knitting.  I am just getting started, so I haven't even finished my first scarf yet.  I will post a sneak peek of that in the next few days.

This is Janessa:

See Janessa knit:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I'm Sorry...

but I LOVED it!  I know, I am stuck in a genre and I can't get out...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Foster Parenting and The Church

I came across this article recently and have been thinking about it.  A lot.  I don't  agree with everything that he has to say (his confrontational approach isn't really my style), but I can't argue with the heart behind it. I also think there are other ways to live out this verse besides foster parenting (adoption, volunteering your time with at-risk kids for example) and he doesn't touch on those.

Any thoughts?  I would love to hear what you think.

Is the evangelical church ready for "true religion"?  

By: Warren Smith

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about foster children. I’m not 100 percent sure why. I’ve never been a foster child, nor have I been a foster parent.

But I was reading the book of James the other day, and I came across this verse: “This is true religion, pure and undefiled in the sight of God, to look after widows and orphans in their time of need.”

When I read that verse, I was stopped dead in my tracks. First of all, here’s a verse that could not be more plain. If we want our religious activities to please God, then we’d better be looking after widows and orphans. End of story. 

So, the next question is: How are we doing with that clear command? Where are the widows and orphans in out culture today, and what are we doing about them? 

Perhaps the largest group of orphans in America are those children in our foster care system. According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report, there were 523,000 in the foster care system in the United States on September 30, 2003. That means that, on average, there are 10,000 kids in every state. Probably hundreds living all around me – and you – right now. 

But who is looking after these orphans? Well, unfortunately, it is mostly NOT the church or church-going people.

To be fair, in a system this large, there are undoubtedly many wonderful, caring, and selfless foster parents. I know of one family, for example, that over a 25 year period has cared for more than 80 foster children. Any money they’ve received they’ve plowed back into the care and education of the children. 

But it is also fair to say that since most counties across the country pay foster parents to look after these kids, many foster parents become foster parents at least in part because of these payments from the government, which can be as much as $1000 per month per child. Can you do the math? The government spends $500-million dollars A MONTH to keep kids in foster homes. That’s $6-billion a year.

I go to a fairly large, theologically conservative, evangelical church. Our budget is nearly $1-million a year. We just spent $2-million on a new building. I was even on the building committee. But I don’t know if we’ve ever spent one dime, or taken one hour, to address this issue in our community. 

My guess is that your church is the same way. Now, we’ll spend thousands to go on a short-term missions trip to Haiti or Africa, but we won’t go to the trouble of letting the government pay us to look after these precious children right in our own neighborhood? Forgive me for saying it this bluntly, but something is badly out of whack with our values of the evangelical church when it could allow this to happen.

What’s particularly interesting is that the average stay in a foster home is 18months. Think about that. It’s not a lifetime sentence to look after these children. It’s less than 2 years. But that sure is a long time for an 8-year-old. In two years, you can change that kid’s life. You can share God’s saving grace with him in both word and deed. It’s enough time to get a kid behind grade level up to grade level. You can change his life forever, and get paid for it.

Becoming a foster parent is about the last thing on my list right now. And my guess is that it is on yours, too. But I’m going to look into it. I’m going to see what I have to do. I’m going to see if my church can offer a training program in foster parenting.

Because even though it’s the last thing on my list now, it’s also becoming apparent to me that if my religion is worth anything in God’s eyes, maybe it should be the first thing.

Warren Smith is the publisher of the Evangelical Press News Service. His new book, “My Lover’s Quarrel With The Evangelical Church,” is now available.

(Please click on comments below so you can see what others are saying and chime in yourself!  If you don't have a Google account, you can enter an anonymous comment and just sign your name. Thanks for joining in!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Few Movies, In Review

First up, circa 1996...
Grabbed this one at the Plano Public Library.  Somehow, even though I was a 19 year old girl when this came out in 1996, I didn't manage to see it until now.  Stunning oversight on my part.

I am going to hang my husband out to dry on this one.  He liked it.  Not sure if he was ready to admit that to the blog world, but I think he even said he really liked it.  Not in a Lord of the Rings or Gladiator kind of way, mind you.  But he still thought it was more than "alright".

I admit it.  I love films set in this period.  Loved the recent Pride and Prejudice, too.  Gwyneth Paltrow is made for this role of Emma.  I was actually considering watching it again, but someone had it on hold at the library and I wasn't able to renew it.  Bummer.  You just feel good after watching a movie like this.

It got 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, a site that I highly recommend and consult on a fairly regular basis before going to pick up a movie.

Next Up...
Hmmm....Still not completely sure what to make of this one.  I know this for sure - the acting is superb.  Stellar.  Exceptional.  I love me some Amy Adams (Enchanted anyone?).  And Meryl Streep is a brilliant actress.  I wanted to love it, but I just didn't.  It wasn't boring, per say.  But I would venture to say that the story lacked something.

Rotten Tomatoes gave Doubt 78% and had this to say "Doubt succeeds on the strength of its top-notch cast, who successfully guide the film through the occasional narrative lull."   Exactly. Well put, RT.

Oh My.  And this one....

Please do not rent this movie if you are feeling at all down in the dumps or depressed.  It may push you over the edge.  And come to think of it, don't rent this movie if you are really happy and excited either because you might NOT be after this movie.

This is a movie about the Holocaust.  It is haunting and unusual.  It brings you face to face with your own humanity and what one might do if put in this little boy's shoes.  If you are looking for a happy ending, Emma.  That doesn't mean this isn't a great film, because it is. 

Rotten Tomatoes gave this one 65%.  This was Steve's favorite of the three films.  My favorite was Emma.  

I'm so deep...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Caleb woke up earlier than usual this morning. His speech therapist came over at 8:30, and by 10am, this is what he looked like in the middle of the living room floor...

If you remember
this post, then I think you might agree with me that his scar is looking pretty good!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Learning to...

Thank you Jen for inspiring me to learn with things like this and this(and that!) Thank you Janessa for coming over and patiently teaching me how to get started last night!  

I have been working on my first scarf today, and I have a bit of a crick in my neck.  I find myself concentrating really hard and tensing up my muscles.  I know that this is supposed to be a stress relieving, soothing habit.  I am going to have to work on my form a bit!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all mother's and future mother's out there!!

And especially, to my beautiful Mom.  I love you!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Puddle Shenanigans

"What u talkin bout Willis?"

Still supervising from the sideline...

I was trying to take pictures of Caleb (who wasn't interested in being photographed) and "someone" kept dodging into the picture...

Seth somehow looks surprised at his current state of nastiness.
Still supervising...

"Caleb, gimme five!"
"I promise, I won't get you dirty bro!"
hmmmm.  contemplating the world's problems it seems.
Ahhh.  That's better. 
(Just in case anyone gets any wise ideas about saving yourself $60 and doing an at-home mud facial, I would advise against it.  When we cleaned this mud off Seth, his face and stomach were broken out into a rash for about an hour.)

Clapping for brother's shenanigans.
Forlorn.  I don't think he liked how dirty he was getting on the sidelines.
This was as close as he got.  He never got in!!
I think someone was in time-out in this picture...
Caleb's looking for the nearest escape route when Seth gets out of time out!