Monday, May 31, 2010

pardon my mess...

...somewhere between potting plants and potty training the renovation of my blog got put on the back burner.  i have a renewed commitment to giving this thing a face to go with the heart that's behind it {no simple task}.

for all you other blogging newbies, here is a handy little resource to help with your blog design from butterfly girl.

i'm still struggling with a name so i'm tinkering a little right now...let me know what you think of the ones i post and if you come up with anything you want me to try out.  i would love some more names to choose from and would be 'jump up and down' happy if any of you graphic design geniuses came up with a custom header to go with the name.  i promise to give you a major shout-out both here and on my fb page.  as you can see i need serious help since my current header doesn't even fit in it's designated box (then again...what's so great about fitting in a designated box anyway...i kind of like being an 'out of the box' kind of person)

anyway - in the meantime i will continue to be the blogger with an identity crisis...off to therapy (a.k.a. late night dessert and a glass of milk)...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

making memories stick

last week my computer died...with a capital "D".  the verdict is still out on whether or not anything can be recovered from my hard drive.  i have a pit in my stomach as i wait...not because of all the recent documents i typed and never backed up (those can be recreated)...i'm going just a little koo koo remembering all the pictures and videos that i never moved over to my external hard drive.  there's nothing i can do (i already laid hands on the laptop and prayed for it's recovery) so rather than worry i have vowed (1) to ALWAYS immediately back up my files from now on and (2) to be more intentional about imprinting special moments with my kiddos in my mind (so that technological failure can't take them away).  tonight was one of my favorite memory-making moments yet...

a normal nighttime routine with lucy (my 2 year old) - bath, yo gabba gabba, tears over not being able to watch dora, a reluctant walk upstairs, cuddling up under the covers on the 'big girl bed' (having already forgotten about dora), story time, and then...prayers...

most nights lucy likes to give a few suggestions of things she'd like me to pray for.  this can include anything from uncle robert to church to 'tweet tweets' (a.k.a.-birds).  tonight after we had covered everything and i had held her head in my hands for a special blessing over her, lucy climbed up into my lap...
me: ok, doodlebug, it's time for bed
lucy: ait mom! (that's 'wait, mom!')
{eyes squeezed shut, head on my chest, grasping my hand}
lucy: pray my mommy. amens.
...that's the first prayer i've ever heard my daughter pray...i don't have a movie or picture of that moment but i promise i will never forget it...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

birthday girl!

first thing this morning joey, oliver, and i popped into lucy's room singing 'happy birthday'.  {well...oliver was just grinning really big but if he could talk i'm sure he would have been singing}  lucy immediately joined in the singing...happy birthday to US!  she was right...it was a happy birthday day for all of us!

wow...what a difference a year makes (particularly when it comes to HAIR)!  the 1st of these pics was taken on lucy's b-day last year and the second one was taken today on lucy's 2nd b-day.  so much fun celebrating our big (curly headed) girl!  more birthday pics to come but for now this tired mama needs some sleep after a long day of partying...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

i've been tagged!


this is a first for me.  for those of you who may be amateur bloggers (like myself) you should know that being 'tagged' is somewhat of a rite of passage in the blogging world.
thanks to my friend and creatively clever blogger, felecia, for deeming me worthy to answer her 10 questions...


{disclaimer - it is terribly difficult for me to complete a task like this.  i put way too much pressure on myself to determine the ONE best response for these types of questions...i'd rather give my top 3 or 4...guess i'm just indecisive}

and now...my answers...drum roll please...

1 -  What MUST you wear for your weekend-kicking-around-clothes?
easy...jeans (the grubby, worn out, broken-in ones...not the fashionable ones i have to suck in to button)

2 - What is your “quote” for life?
uggghhh...this is what i'm talking about...ONE quote?!?!  i have journals full of quotes that inspire me.  let's see if i can narrow it down to 2...
'Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD' ~psalm 102:18  {this reminds me of the importance of passing on the accounts of God's faithfulness in my life so that others would see and believe...it's one of the main reasons that i blog...}
'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.'  ~C. S. Lewis  {i think this one is self-explanatory}

3 - If you knew your next meal would be your last, what would you eat?
uggghhh again...i like eating too much...i'm going with a big plate of assorted sushi and a glass of wine...for dessert (this is the really hard part) - depending on how full i am either (1) homemade apple pie a la mode or (2) a spoonful of nutella

4 - What do you think is the greatest invention of our time?
blogs : ) - {although i must say anything related to technology is a blessing and a curse...but that's just my opinion}

5 - You have one day of uninterrupted time alone. What will you do?
lay in the sun by a pool in a tropical location finishing all the half-read books lying around my house (and probably drinking a pina colada) 


6 - The beach, the mountains, the desert, the farm country – all are just 30 minutes from you.  Which way will you go?  Why?
i live in farm country (and love it) so i guess my get-away would be the beach  


7 - This one’s important, now:  Coke or Pepsi?
coke {i really don't care - sweet tea is actually my caffeine drink of choice - but felecia works for coke so that sounded like a good pick}

8 - What do you think it would be super fun to dress up as for a costume party or Halloween?
pass - i always think that dressing up for halloween is a great idea but then i wait until the last minute and can't come up with anything...my mom did make a killer strawberry shortcake costume for me in elementary school though!

9 - What absolutely, positively HAS to be on your i-pod (or radio, or mp3 or CD player, or whatever)?
geez...i love music but i'm really not that into my i-pod etc...i guess if you looked at my current playlist you'd find a lot of u2, jennifer knapp (yes...i heard the news), leona lewis, rob thomas, switchfoot, matt kearney, and, of course, my sweet and incredibly talented friend emily lynch

10 - Its sports day at school….who’s Jersey are you wearing?
well at least the 1st and the last ones were easy - clemson, of course...go tigers!


so...what about you?  i would love to hear your answers to one or all of these thought-provoking questions...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

mother

i know i'm a few days late on the 'mother' topic but i took a bit of a technology break on sunday so that i could fully embrace my motherhood.  i hope all you amazing mommies received countless little reminders of the joy that you give and receive in this role that is uniquely yours.  this lucky mama felt celebrated all weekend long by my own mom, my husband, my kids, and many other family and friends.  i get extra loved this time of year because my birthday always falls within a few days of  mother's day.  

sunday morning, after much prompting from her daddy, lucy grasped the concept that it was mother's day and repeatedly wished me 'happy mommy day' (awwww...seriously...melts a mama's heart!).  i think it was majorly confusing when she woke up the next day to find her daddy prompting her to wish mommy 'happy birthday'...she seemed to get it and passed on lots of birthday wishes throughout the day but eventually it all started to run together so she was just running around saying - 'happy mommy!'.
yes, sweet lucy, this is one happy mommy!


several months ago i wrote this post which mentioned a little bit about how precious lucy's birthmother is to me...i think of her with particular fondness this time of year...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

3 things

there is much more i would like to say on this matter, but for now...


3 things baby jilly has taught me:
#1 - God DOES work miracles (I'm not going to let you forget this one!)
#2 - suffering DOES ultimately produce hope....and hope in Christ DOES NOT disappoint us... (this is not an original thought...see Romans 5 for the full story)
#3 - big, huge, amazing, beautiful things DO come in tiny packages (see for yourself below)


proud aunt lizzy and our 3 (now almost 4!) pound angel...

(see mama meg's blog for more updates!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

gourmet

i've noticed this trend in blogging where people proudly display the healthy gourmet meals that they prepare for their families.  i thought i should jump on the bandwagon and start posting some of the gourmet meals i slave over in my kitchen...
...wait...here's the tricky part that i want to give you a heads up on...


...make sure that you use the 'sauce' packet first to mix in with the beef and noodles.  the 'topping' packet is mixed separately and poured over everything at the end.  i know the instructions indicate this but it can sometimes be tricky.  gourmet cooking is tricky.


my friend, mentor, and cooking icon - carol - is cringing right now.  


seriously...if you make hambu*ger helper (or the generic - panbu*ger partner - which sometimes makes an appearance on our dinner table) don't be ashamed.  we all know that in life important things come up and the gourmet meal has to be put on the 'back burner'.  i wouldn't recommend this meal every night of the week but my family does get a taste of it a few times per year when i'm desperate.  they never complain.


and just to prove that i really do value nutrition and yummy tasting food...this is actually the most recent meal i made...
it tasted delicious and was super easy to make (and as an added bonus - it looks pretty : ).  it's a variation of the salmon with cucumber dill salad found here.


what are some of your latest culinary adventures?

Monday, May 3, 2010

under construction

hopefully no one has been trying to read my blog over the past 30 minutes.
in that time i think i have tried out at least 12 different backgrounds, had 4 failed attempts at designing a custom header, and successfully erased (but then recovered) valuable content...whew!  this blog thing is not for the faint of heart!

i am attempting to make my internet home a little cozier for your viewing pleasure but i must say - it ain't easy.  clearly this is a work in progress so please bear with me over the next week or so as i try to figure this thing out.  any brilliant blogging secrets you may have are, of course, welcome {and much appreciated!}

...for now this site {much like my life} is a work in progress...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the woman who said 'no, thanks' to madonna

i've been putting off posting an update from our trip to mn for the orphan summit because, quite frankly...i don't know where to begin...


let's see if i can keep this simple and still relay the impact of the past few days...


the summit began and ended with a specific word to me from God...keep your eyes on ME.  


literally the first contact that amy and i made when we walked in the door on thursday was a precious, spirit-filled woman named lisa.  she had started an orphan ministry in zimbabwe a few years ago...her story was an amazing story of faith...traveling to a foreign country having no idea where she was going or what she was doing but believing that God was leading her to something that he wanted her hand in...as a result hundreds of orphans have been helped.  lisa's biggest piece of advice to me - '...stay in love with the King.  he will remind you as he always reminded me - keep your eyes on me and i will keep my eyes on the kids...'


fast forward...final session at the summit - john piper.  i keep saying that he was the 'exclamation point' at the end of this event...i don't know how else to describe the impact of his message on me.  i could write multiple posts on that one message but let me just highlight one point from pastor john's teaching on hebrews 11...God is better than what life can give and what death can take.  in other words...faith in God means loving Him more than anything (including our orphan ministry)...to me that means pouring out my life in obedience to God's calling on my heart and then leaving the results (triumphant or tragic) up to Him.  And in order to do that...in the midst of overwhelming need and obstacles at every turn...God reminds me that the best thing i can do is...keep your eyes on ME.


so as i seek to do that (and i hope that many of you will hold me accountable on this) i humbly witness the 'Father of the fatherless' unfolding very specific plans for the BLOOM project.  amy and i are literally on the edge of our seats ready for what's next!  over the next weeks i will be rolling out some of the specifics of what we've learned and where we are heading.  i invite anyone with a heart for orphans (which is hopefully all of you : ) to join in the adventure...more to come on that...


just a couple more highlights from summit...


...mary beth and steven curtis chapman demonstrated inspiring authenticity surrounding the loss of their daughter and their deep love for orphans...


...don't let the smiles fool you - our brains are mush!  amy  and me on the last day of summit...
...and finally - the woman who earned the title position for this blog post - theresa malila.  this woman is doing amazing things in malawi where she runs an organization called somebody cares.  as i look ahead to the work we plan to do in burundi i was hanging on this woman's every word about how to do ministry in africa...she knows her stuff!  her programs have ministered to HUNDREDS of villages (which means THOUSANDS of families) over the past 12 years.  she believes so strongly that children in africa are better cared for within communities and families that she told madonna 'no thanks' when she offered to build her an orphanage...now that's a woman who knows what she's doing!  
her quote - 'i am an insignificant woman who has been raised up by God for a significant purpose.'  
God - please let my heart reflect this!