The truth as I know it:

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands. ~~~ Kristi Larson

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fun with Photos!

Okay, in case you haven't guessed, I love to take pictures. And I stepped out on a limb last weekend and took photos for some other folks in an "official" shoot. I've done this in the past for family and close friends, but this is my first real "work" as a (cough cough) photographer. :)

I just had to share!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Living Beyond Yourself Bible Study

Okay ladies, I have purchased my access to the on-line study of Living Beyond Yourself. It's pretty simple to register. You just go to this site, click "Enroll Now" and then pay as if you are ordering something online. You will be given a username and password. I chose to use "Overcaffeinated" as my username so that others would be able to identify me if we are on together. Most people know my name, I realize, but maybe some people don't????

I think this should be fairly easy for everyone since you can watch at your own time and you can sort of set your own pace. Barb, I'm pretty sure this should work for you too??? Anyway, now I am trying to figure out the best way for us to "discuss" the lessons together. Here are the two options I have thought of, but I'm open to other suggestions:

1. I could set up a Yahoo group for us and we could all just chat away regarding each days lessons, weekly, etc. with e-mails going to everyone in the group. This would definitely be the more private way to do it in case we end up bringing up feelings that we don't want published for the world. I have done two studies with Beth Moore and she has a way of bringing out some things that you might not have realized needed airing! :)

2. We could do a "blog circuit", much like Not Me Monday, etc. Then each week on a particular day (or every two weeks, whatever we decide) we each post regarding our thoughts and ideas about that week's lesson. The downside I can see to doing this is that a) I don't know how in the world to set up a blog circuit and b) it's a very public way to share and it might prohibit some from sharing the whole story? The very positive side I can see to this is that there might be some out there who would just follow along and not participate in the study but might be touched by something God is speaking into someone else's life. What do you think?

Just let me know your thoughts on all of the above. Once we get a format settled, we'll set a date for our first lesson and get started. I'll work out a schedule too. Let me know if you prefer every week or every other week. I think every other week is more realistic for me, but honestly, I'm so last minute that I would probably do it all the night before either way, so if you prefer the intensity of every week, we'll go with it. I am flexible. :)

Psalm 32:8
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

Okay, this photo really cracks me up, I may be chastised by my husband for posting a photo of my daughters tutu clad booty so if you come back later and it's gone, you'll know it was daddy worried about protecting his daughter's honor! :) I think what makes me laugh if that the "club hand" as we called it is so out of place in this photo.

If you would like to get a good photo of Liam, don't say, "Smile" because this is what you'll get! :) Is that a smile or a grimace? Hmmm, maybe he's doing that on purpose from one too many times of staring down the lens of my camera.

I'll be using this one for black-mail later on in life!

What a cutie pie!
Uncle Dave picked up the Jelly Fish... don't try this at home kids!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some Housekeeping**** Edited

I can't post without showing off my treasures....

I have a few things I wanted to mention so this is going to be a hodge-podge post.

First of all, a while back, several of us talked about doing an on-line Bible study. I need it so badly right now. I am so out of the habit of studying the Word and I need something and someone who will hold me accountable for it. I have asked the Father to direct us to the study that needs to happen and I am going to start searching for something we can all do remotely and come together weekly to discuss. Please please please weigh in if you feel led to a certain study. It just might be YOU that God is inspiring to direct us to the Words He wants to give us this fall. Going into the holiday season, I want to be sure that I am meditating on His Word and not caught up in my own frenzy all the time. Jack had a memory verse for church last week that hit me in the face, "I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You." I haven't been arming myself too well lately and the jerk always knows when you are running low on ammo... you can bet he'll come after me if I take my eyes off Jesus.

**Here is what I have found.... the first one is Believing God with Beth Moore. I have done this study before and it's amazing. I would happily do it again, in fact, I've wanted to do it again. It's intense. It will have you on your knees within a couple of lessons. Check out the info here.

The other one I found is another Beth Moore. This one is called Living Beyond Yourself. This sounds like something I could really use a lesson in, for sure. It's based on The Fruits of the Spirit as found in Galatians. I'm open to this one too. Here is the info. on that course.

I could not find any other courses that were offered where you could get full access to everything anytime you wanted. There were some that started and stopped at a particular time, but I thought with some of us living in different time zones, it should be self-driven. Just "vote" for which one you want and we'll pick a date to start. **

Another thing I am praying about that I wanted to throw out there just to get some response and guidance is that Michelle has been encouraging me to write a book. It's something I've thought about for a long time, but never quite knew where to start. Actually, I still don't know where to start, but I trust that will come if He ordains this. Anyway, the book would basically be a reference guide for families when they are experiencing difficulties during transition. I would have resources listed, stories of other families, and "advice" from myself and some actual experts. It would be a go-to sort of thing when you experience x, try z. It wouldn't be a novel, but more of a reference manual. I have felt for a long time that agencies are falling far short in their commitment to preparing families for the aftermath of adoption. I can't tell you how many families I talk to who had no idea what to expect or how to react. The vast majority of families have heard about some of these PI behaviors, but have not been coached in how to respond when they experience them in their own homes. I wonder how many children are a mess today as a result of bad reactions from parents? I wonder how many of those kids are out there giving international adoption a bad rap because people think their issues are due to the time they spent in the orphanage, not the unpreparedness of their families to heal them. I can tell you that for sure there are alot of kids dealing with on-going issues that could have been solved by parents who understood what was needed. It's not that these families didn't want to do the right thing, to the contrary. Who goes around the world to rescue an orphan and doesn't have enough love to give them what they need. Most of these families responded incorrectly because they didn't know how else to respond. It's not rocket-science, but it's often counter-intuitive. Okay, so maybe I've just written the intro to the book... hahaha. At least I'm passionate about the topic. Anyway, I really want your HONEST feedback. If you think it's ridiculous, please say so. I'd rather be shot down now before I invest myself in a project that falls flat. And if you don't think it's something that would be well-received, you might be God's voice encouraging me to wait. So, please don't lavish encouragement if you think it's a bad idea. I'll blame Michelle since she's the one who thought of it in the first place! :)

1 Peter 5:6-7
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A much needed rest

We now interrupt this regularly scheduled blog for a test of the emergency stress relief system! Our family is heading out this afternoon for a much needed "time out" at the beach. I'm so excited to be going. I love the beach. It's supposed to be cold while we're there, but I don't even care. Just sitting on the sand, even in a sweatshirt, brings my blood pressure down. :)

When you get ready to leave for a long weekend, you really realize how many pets you have. I farmed out the hamster and the frog (yes, we "inherited" one of the class frogs from Jack's teacher!), hired a dog sitter for Vince, and asked the neighbors to come over and love on the cat. (Is it a sign of how much I love the animal if I use their name vs. their species?) Whew! I did ask my sister-in-law to keep the hamster... you know, the same sister-in-law who left her beloved Bichon with me when SHE went to FL... I'm thinking maybe the hamster will disappear for a few days while I'm gone, just so I can know how it felt. hehehe Little does she know that was my evil plan all along. bwahahahahaha

Hebrews 12:20-21

"May God, who put all things together, makes all things whole, Who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant, Who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd, up and alive from the dead, now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please Him, make us into what gives Him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah. All glory to Jesus forever and always! Oh, yes, yes, yes!"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Please Remember to Pray

Just a reminder to keep your vigil for our sweet Hope this morning. She is currently in the fight of her life. Melanie e-mailed me this morning at 4:45 AM and said they didn't sleep a wink last night. I can only imagine that they didn't, I am sure they could not stop staring at their precious Hope, wondering if this would be the last night they watched over her sleeping in their home. I cannot pretend to imagine the emotions a mother and father would feel in this circumstance, but I can lift them up to the Father for comfort and I can lift Hope and her surgeons, nurses and anesthetists to the Lord for intervention. Please please please pray!

I love that Chappy and Melanie gave Hope a name that is written specifically so many times in the Bible. Even in Corinthians it says that the greatest gifts are faith, love and Hope! Beautiful! I looked up every verse my concordance recorded with the word Hope in it today. I am praying some of these throughout my day because I believe God is okay with me inserting Hope the person for hope the verb. Here are a few that I will be praying. Please feel free to use these or find others.

Psalm 42:5
"Why are you downcast, oh my soul? Put your hope (Hope) in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."

Psalm 147:11
"the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope (Hope) in his unfailing love."

Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An Eventful Week

On Friday, Connor went for his THIRD set of ear tubes. He was a champ!

He colored for quite a while until they came to get him.

He was pretty happy to hear there would be no shots involved... gotta love Children's Hospital!

The surgery only took about ten minutes and then we were allowed to see him. He didn't mind the hospital at all once he found out there were banana popsicles involved.

But he didn't mind going home either. In the arms of his protector! :)

We had not been home from the hospital more than 30 minutes when Connor asked me to make him some scrambled eggs. I turned to take the eggs off the stove and told Meg, "Don't touch, baby, that's hot!" Well, any seasoned mother can tell you that I might as well have sent my daughter a written invitation to touch the stove. So... guess where we spent the rest of our "surgery day"?

Everyone is doing fine now. Meg's hand is in the bandage until Tuesday. We'll see the doctor and he'll make a decision on how to treat going forward. We were blessed. It could have been much worse. It was only second degree, there was no deep tissue damage. But there is alot of blistering. All four fingers and the top pad of her palm are blistered and turning dark. Poor baby, she's been a trooper. She sobbed and moaned until the doctor finished bandaging her. The only time she cries now is when we have to change the bandage. She says, "It very hurting!" :(

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Maybe I should get out more?

You think?

I have a favorite pair of earrings that MATCH EVERYTHING!!!! I should have taken a photo of them to prove to you how perfect they are, but I'm too lazy to get out the camera. Anyway, I lost one. :( I even asked my goddaughter, who makes jewelry, to make me another one to match but she couldn't find the beads. Anyway, tonight when I was getting ready for the carpet cleaners to come, I FOUND THE MATCH under my bed! Allelujah, allelujah, allelujah! :)

I kid you not, as I put the match safely back next to the other earring in my jewelry box, this song immediately went through my head...

"Reunited and it feels so good... reunited cause it's understood.... we both are so excited 'cause we're reunited, hey hey!"

Yeah, I should DEFINITELY get out more. And maybe listen to some more recent music? Just sayin'.

Speaking of the carpet cleaner... I have no recollection of when the last time was that we had our carpets cleaned, but I can tell you that there are magic marker, mascara, and lipstick stains that have magically appeared that were never there before. Who said a little girl would be easier on the carpets than the dirty little boys?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Now you know...

Okay, so, I wore my 147 Million Orphans baseball shirt last week to a pretty large function. A Christian woman walked up to me and covered the words and said, "Oh, that's so sad, I don't want to look at that!" May be, but now she knows! Now her eyes are open and she cannot say she doesn't know. Now, God will hold her accountable for knowing. That's what is all about... awareness. You really don't have to understand me. You don't have to understand why I am broken into 1,000 pieces, you don't have to get why we love orphans, Brian and I. You don't have to believe in or support adoption. You don't have to do any of those things, but if you know me, most likely you do know that there are hundreds of millions of orphans out there. If you know me, most likely, you know that there is something very simple that you can do for them. If you know me, most likely you have an extra $25/month that you could spare. Most likely, if you know me, you wouldn't even miss $25/month, maybe you'd give up a few lattes, maybe you'd spare yourself a Target shirt or two, but on the whole, it wouldn't affect your life too much. But guess what, $25/month sends a Ugandan child to school (school isn't free in Uganda) AND it pays for their uniform and school supplies, AND it gets them two hot meals EVERY day, AND gives them medical care FOR ONE WHOLE YEAR!!! Think of that! And now you know... you can choose to go about your merry way, saying it's too painful to look, saying that you "just want to be happy and not think about that stuff", enjoying your gourmet coffee and your Target baubles (and don't get me wrong, I love me some Target and I love me some latte!), but if I do that at the expense of a child, then I cannot say, "Look God, I really didn't know." Because He knows that I know now! And He will hold me accountable for what I know!

Watch this, but only if you are willing to be accountable. If you don't want to be responsible, then skip it....

I'm willing to be an outcast. I'm willing to be thought of as weird. I'm willing to forgo popularity if it means that my life stood for something. That doesn't mean I don't long for it. It doesn't mean there aren't days, or time EVERY day when I wish I didn't know. There are many days when I wish I wasn't broken, but whole, and that I could live in my little suburban bubble and not have this crushing weight on my heart that sometimes makes it hard to breathe. But then again, I don't wish it. To the extent that this hedge of thorns keeps me closer to Him and keeps my path straighter than it would be, I am thankful for it.

Proverbs 24:11-12
"Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help. If you say, "Hey, that's none of my business," will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know - someone not impressed with weak excuses."

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A few changes....

If I have to face the fact that my BABY is no longer in a crib, then I might as well cherish what's left of that crib, right? I took one of the side rails of the crib and created this little display rack. I hung all the photos from her dresser and some of my grandmother's handkerchiefs and doilies. The little doll at the bottom is something my grandmother made for all the grandchildren in her family. They are made from handkerchiefs that my grandfather carried to church in his pocket.

My mom cut some quilt pieces last winter and her friend, Mrs. Wall, quilted them for Meg. Of course, in order to display this quilt properly, I had to have the quilt hanger that my mom has in her guest room. Of course, she gave it to me. That's what moms do, right? :)

Finally, Meg is in her pink princess bed that my sweet friends gave me. The really neat thing is that since my friends bought this bed for Meg, I have since met the precious man who made the bed (Monte) and his dear wife, (Sallee) who have two adopted children from Ethiopia and who are in the process of adopting a third. You have got to take a minute and check out the adorable way she is raising money to fund their third African adoption. Every girl needs one of these precious Poppy Dip Dresses!
Turns out that taking the crib down wasn't quite as bad as I had expected. Now when I have to part with this pink bed, I may need therapy (it doesn't come apart so I can't imagine where I'd store it, but you can bet I'll be trying to figure it out! :)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Weekend with Meme and Pepaw

My mom sent me these photos earlier this week. The weekend of the wedding, three of the kids went to stay at my mom's. You know how every young child LOVES a wedding, so they really hated to have to go do all this fun stuff instead of sitting through a 1 hour and 20 minute wedding mass in a church with no air conditioning. But they suffered through it. You can see how miserable they were! :)

My parents live in a very small town, which just so happened to be having their Harvest Festival that weekend. Believe me, there's not always a giant climbing wall in Fulton, KY on the main drag! :)

This photo makes me smile because this is how we initially bonded with Meg, we let her put stickers all over us. Looks like she's giving Pepaw some loving too! :) What a patient victim!

Jack loves Meme and Pepaw's giant cruiser bike.... which they bought because Jack needed something to ride while at Meme's (his skateboard wasn't enough, apparently! :)

I mentioned that my parents live in a small town. My mom works at the hospital, so this is small town version of romper room... playing in the PT room at the hospital. :)

I'm so glad my mom got to have Meg fall asleep on her. There's really nothing more precious and special than this.... after a long day, it's just hard not to fall asleep in the shelter of a grandma's arms, isn't it?

Luke 20:36
"...; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection."