Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition

We gave our blog a new look. What do you think?

I Am Forever Changed.

Be careful learning about the plight of the orphan. Like me, you might be forever changed. You may think about them in the middle of the night (not just my three but whoever, wherever, the abused child, the street child, the hungry child, the homeless child); when you eat a delicious meal; or climb into your soft, warm, safe bed.

Please take a quick moment to hop on over to my niece Jenny's blog for her poignant perspective that she posted after reading my post at the Flip Flop Fleet.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Vacation, Day 7, Part 2 (long, but go on, stick it out!)

Here's the thing. Remember that short trip up north that Lee and I did at the end of June? That was going to be our vacation this year. Our LAST trip before kids. Then, when I found out about my training in Las Vegas, my wheels started turning. Hmm....if we did this on a budget...maybe...with all the adoption expenses, it would have to be cheap. We constantly feel like we can’t do something, eat somewhere, spend any money, because we are adopting. Can any of you relate?

So any way, I decided to post on our Haiti adoption YAHOO group and ask if anyone lived in NV or AZ area, thinking, well, let’s just see. OH! Yeah…and I PRAYED about it. Then I got an email…it said, “We live in Boulder City, NV (Hoover Dam) =) Can we help?” I felt so instantly blessed when I read this. In one of my emails, though, I decided to give them an “out” just in case. Then I got this email…“I know how fingerprinted, TB tested, signatured, homestudied, filed, questionaired, and dossiered you have been. So, we are happy to have you and it will be a blessing to visit with another adoptive family. =) I look forward to your visit.. =) Jennifer”

And so, we were going to stay with them for two nights. When Lee and I were about five minutes away from their house, we started talkin' smack. “Oh my word, Lee! I am getting nervous. I met this chick online – what if they're weird?” Lee said, “What if they hate us?” I was like, “What if it’s awkward?” and so on until all of a sudden, “This is it. On the left.” Then, we saw people outside joyously waving us in. Instant love. Instant welcome. Instant connection. YAY! So my RISK of asking near strangers to house us, and their RISK of saying, “YES, we will do that” paid off with rich REWARDS of wonderful friendship! We were so blessed by them and in fact they say they were blessed by us! We sat in their kitchen and talked about what if we had missed out on this??

This is an amazing family. They have two bio kids, three domestically adopted kids and are waiting for a boy from Haiti who was born with no legs. They raise desert turtles. They homeschool. They have a dog. They are musical, singing and playing multiple instruments. They make it all look EASY and they have SO MUCH FUN. They are wonderful, loving Christians and we are soooo glad that we met them. They are truly grateful for every blessing they have.There nearly hasn't been a day since we got home that Jennifer and I haven't emailed, chatted, IMed or texted. As I write this I am so sorry that all of you don't know them!!!!

Here are 11 of the 12 turtles all piled up in one corner. There was one little anti-social turtle hanging out by his lonesome self on the other side of the cage. They were a hoot to watch. These turtles have all since been adopted out to homes. You know me, I wanted one! But they are DESERT turtles and our climate would kill them (it pratically kills US!).

This is sweet Miss Mattie. She is TRULY a miracle baby. Her birth mother was a meth addict and Miss M was born with a hole in her heart, her intestines on the outside of her body and more. She has scars down the entire front of her body. She endured three intense surgeries and was so sick she was on a ventilator for 21 days. What a little fighter she is. And what a SWEET girl.

Here is Buddy. We loved him, too!

Here we are with Sammy, who was recently diagnosed with autism, Mattie and Sully. Sammy and Sully are half brothers. Their birth mother is a prostitute. What an amazing testament this family was to us by living Matthew 25:40. Their oldest two boys were either sleeping or working so we missed them in this shot, but we had a wonderful time seeing this whole family operate as a cohesive unit.

Me and the precious Miss M giving each other "squeezies". We had a dear connection and I miss her terribly.

This is Jennifer and her "hub-a-lubs". He works with the hotels and often receives meal vouchers as a perk - thus we were treated to a FABULOUS steak dinner - another blessing! We also got a fun and quirky tour of the strip, too! We had a WONDERFUL time. Thanks AGAIN, guys!!


Too pretty to eat!? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaah......

Yummy Creme Brulee'

The beautiful glass-blown ceiling at the Bellagio.

Last morning...driving away... waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!

I had a co-worker who once told me (yelled it at me, actually) how annoying I was because I always had to get a deal or save money on things. Call me annoying then. We try to be frugal and to spend our money wisely. This trip was something that would not have occurred without the kindness of our friend John, and without this family. I was feeling so guilty about it at first, going back to, "We are adopting! We have so many expenses!" But seeing God's handiwork in so many ways - through the beauty of His creation to how He has worked and is working in our lives and the lives of others, and how we saw so many testaments of His grace and sovereignty, I have NO REGRETS. Thank you friends and praise God you live this: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.

P.S. Jennifer! You made the blog!! YAY!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vacation, Day 7, First Half of the Day!

Lee and I are one of those couples who like history and read all the signs at museums. Oh, I am sorry, I should have prefaced that with we are one of those couples who GO to museums. So the more you wish to learn about the interesting history of the Dam, the more you can click on the linkys that are provided. There won't be a quiz, I promise.

Here we are at the Hoover Dam! Boulder City, where we stayed, started as a tent city for the men who came to work here in the 1930's. During the Great Depression, men came from all over the country for the good pay they could receive. The best pay was for the "High Scalers", who were paid 75 cents per hour as opposed to the 50 cents other workers received.

They are building a massive by-pass bridge over the canyon.

I personally LOVE historic photos. Times change but people don't and in my humble estimation we don't give enough credit or respect to those who came before us. Over 25 men, women and children died in the first summer of construction just from the heat conditions in "Ragtown". The second man to die on the project was a man named J.G. Tierney and the 95th man to die was his son, Patrick W. Tierney. I can't imagine what the wife and mother of this pair felt. The total lost just in construction was 98 men.
In those days, of course, racism was rampant and only a token 30 black men were hired out of 21,000 men. The same went for the Native Americans, even though they were in abundance in the area.

Here we are 539 below ground by the generators. The floors in here were marble! Certainly something that would not take place today, especially UNDER GROUND.

Lake Mead

There was interesting artwork around, too, though I noticed that most people didn't even walk around to see what it was all about. If you are sight-seeing, don't forget to SEE what is around you.

Class dismissed!

Fortunate Friday (or Sweet Saturday!)

My Mama had her second three month follow up appt this week to make sure we keep tabs on this ugly cancer business. The tumor marker is supposed to be 35 or less. Three months ago it was 13. Her doc (we love you, man!) said that even if the number went up a little this would not be cause for concern. Well, he said we would have results Wednesday or Thursday and when Friday rolled around and we hadn't heard anything, I bugged her to bug them. She said that they said we wouldn't hear until Monday (AAAGH!). Then, at 5:13, she called me and said they called and the results are "excellent". It didn't go up! It actually went DOWN (12)!

She is such a reminder to have BIG FAITH. She believed she would be healed. We were scared of her faith because it was so big. Some people have told me that when she was on her deathbed in March, that my faith that she would be ok scared them. Please take something from her illness. PLEASE. Ask God to give you big faith for something. Something that seems impossible. Like a 77 year old woman with inoperable stage 3C ovarian cancer with pneumonia, a staph infection, a blood infection (totally septic), a skin condition and on a ventilator in the ICU for 17 days surviving. Surviving three deadly infections, any one of which could have killed her on it's own. Surviving inoperable cancer.

We took this picture because this was the best she had looked for so long. She finally got her tubes out and we could see what makes up so much of my Mama. Her SMILE.

And look at her now. WOW. I simply LOVE this woman. I can't even tell you how much or how big. You have to know her to really get it.

She doesn't remember any of her ICU stay and not that much of her rehab, either. My Dad and I joke that we wish we didn't remember it, either. Sometimes (always with a tear strolling down my cheek) I wonder how my Dad, (who was receiving radiation treatments for his own cancer all the while she was in the hospital), and Lee and I made it through the daily hospital visits (I had 45 days in a row until I got sick) and through all the feeding tube stuff and meds once she came home. FOUR months of non-stopness. But then the lightbulb goes off. It was the Lord who brought us through and it was the prayers of all of you who carried us and gave us extra strength, extra grace, extra sleep, extra stamina, and everything else we needed to be there for HER. Thank you all.

...and still no cancer...WOW.

What a Fortunate Friday. What a blessed girl I am.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Waiting on Haiti

When we got the call on August 6 that we had "First Legal" (the first step) after only a few weeks I thought that maybe our Haiti adoption wouldn't take as long as all the horrible things we have heard. But when it is the end of September now and we are still waiting to enter IBESR (step 2) we don't even know what to think. Please don't tell us, "The Lord will bring your kids home in His timing" - this we know. What we know and what we feel and what we want don't always line up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't Forget...

to check out our other blog

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Sick :(

I am one sick puppy and I am feeling rather pouty about it. I am feeling really crummy and have to say that this sore throat could bring even a tough sicky sick to their knees. And I am not a tough sicky sick. I am a big ole' ba-by.

I haven't been sick since April. The one good thing is that since I did a post on wanting Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup when I am sick, something changed! Lee not only made me the soup, he hopped in the car to go BUY me the soup. So this is good.

Maybe he will find this little contraption somewhere...

This would come in handy right now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Vacation, Day 6 - Grand Canyon!

In 1898 a hotel called the Grandview was built next to Grand Canyon. Early tourists rode horse and buggy to get here, something I can't imagine as it is quite a ways off the main road. Reminded me again about how much we complain about stuff when we have it so good.

Lee kept creeping closer and closer to the edge and I hollered, "Any farther and I'm divorcing you!" and a woman walking by said, "You sound like ME!" He scared me a few times that day!!

It was breath-taking and each stop along the way had a different view and something new to offer.

I was just a lucky little devil on this photo. I was going to take a picture of Lee standing there and then the bird flew in. It was really cool!

Apparently the elk are quite used to people as they were eating about five feet away from some folks and were about 10 feet away from us!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Have You Heard the Latest?

"Check out the Fleet...Jennifer told me it's bloggalicous!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vacation, Day 5

On day 5 we left Phoeniz and drove to Camp Verde to see Montezuma Castle National Monument.
For some reason we look like we are leaning in this photo! But it shows how high up the dwelling really is. The people who lived here had to carry the animals (including deer) up ladders. They would eat what they could for that day and the rest was dried for jerky. It was built by women since the men would have needed to keep hunting.

Here is a model of what the interior looks like. People were able to tour the site until 1951.

I am so proud of my JUNIOR RANGER!!!

Next we drove to Sedona. It was soooo beautiful. We just keep saying WOW.

We hiked down to the river - I had to get in and cool off my toes a bit and I could do that since I was wearing my beloved Chacos!

After our hike we went out to a gallery and then out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I was a bad blogger and didn't get a picture of the lovely lit patio on which we dined. It was a wonderful evening.

My only complaint about Sedona was the folks hitting us up for time shares. LEAVE US ALONE!!!! NO we don't want to take time out of our VACATION and drive somewhere and listen to a seminar for who knows how long. ENOUGH, I SAY!

This night we bunked at the Days Inn in Flagstaff. Clean and cheap and a good place to crash. Free breakfast, too. It did everything we needed it to do for $48.88.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin