Monday, March 31, 2008

What I learned while keeping my mouth shut

  • I spend an awful lot of time talking about nothing.
  • The only thing I really missed saying in my 'real' voice was "I love you".
  • I rarely say anything that is really important.
  • I am a much better listener when I can't speak.
  • I really enjoy listening.
  • God really wants me to listen more and talk less.
  • I need to keep my mouth shut more often.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Going to Extremes

It's been 17 days since I had pneumonia. It's been 17 days since I had my voice. That's way too long. If you know me at all, you know I love to talk. So, being without a voice for 17 days is about to drive me nuts.

Typically, I sound fairly 'normal' in the mornings, but as the day goes on, I start to sound a little freakish. This morning, however, I didn't even have anything to start with. So, I went to extremes. I called in sick to work (again), and I have had a day of vocal rest. I didn't speak a word at all until Bryan came home from school. Even then, I only talked for a minute. This may be one of the longest days of my life. Seriously.

I need my voice. I talk all day long at work, on the phone and in person. Yesterday there were many pharmacists in Lexington that were frustrated with me because they couldn't hear the Rxs I was calling in to them. I had frustrated clients in my office that kept saying "what did you say?" over and over again. It was getting old. Hopefully a day of rest will help, and I will be on the mend tonight.

In the meantime, help me out here, and don't call me! It's too tempting not to answer!! If you do call, leave me a message, and I will email you back. I am trying to be a good patient, but it's not an easy job!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A letter...

Deal Ellie~

Tomorrow morning we celebrate Easter- the celebration of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. He conquered death so that you and I can live with Him forever. Oh how I pray that whoever is caring for you now knows Jesus and is telling you of His goodness and mercy each day! So many times, when there is talk of Easter, you only hear of the easter bunny and easter baskets, easter dresses and even easter eggs. But the real meaning of Easter is a celebration of Jesus who was all man, but all God. He lived a perfect life here on earth, then died a horrible death on a cross as a sacrifice for our sins. There is no greater picture of love than that! I am praying already for the day that you will know Jesus personally and follow after Him.

There are so many things that I look forward to celebrating with you Ellie. There are traditions that we will teach you, and I am sure that we will make new traditions once you are here. But we will never teach you anything as wonderful and as important as the Grace and Mercy of Jesus. He loves you dearly, Ellie. His death was for you too. He knit you together in your birth mother's womb, and He has made you perfectly. His plans for your life are perfect. He is making it possible for you to be with us here someday soon, and we give Him all of the praise for that blessing!

I pray that you are safe. I pray that the celebration of Easter surrounds you even now. I pray that you know you are dearly loved and already missed! We cannot wait to meet you, and we pray it isn't long!

Happy Easter, Ellie!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Adoption Update

Our I- 171 H arrived in the mail today, just 2 1/2 weeks after they received our completed home study report. We are so excited!

Next week, we will get everything for our dossier authenticated at the county and state level, then send it off to San Francisco for the final authentication. After that, our dossier is Vietnam-bound!

Thanks for the prayers. They are working. We were told to expect a 45-60 day wait for this form. Keep 'em coming! We want our little girl home soon!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not Again!

Tonight Bryan was cutting a pencil to make a crossbow (he's pretty creative that way). Anyway...he was standing right beside me using Jeff's pocketknife to make a groove in the pencil. You know the rest, right? The next thing I know, he was saying "Oh no Mom!". Never a good thing to hear when your son is holding a knife!

So, we went to visit our friends at the St. Joe East Emergency room. A huge thanks to Dr. Guy who did a REMARKABLE job keeping Bryan well informed and calm while she was suturing his finger. Also, props to the nursing staff who were tremendous as well! They really know how to run an emergency room over there!

Last, but most certainly not least... a HUGE thanks to God for watching out for Bryan. He missed slicing the tendon in his finger by "a suture's width" according to the doc. That's not a lot- basically the width of a piece of thread. Had he hit it, we would have been in surgery right now. God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.

Bryan says he is going to have a great story to tell tomorrow at school!

I'm headed to bed... this ER thing is exhausting.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

next on the book list

I said earlier this year that I had a goal of reading at least 36 books this year. I had a lot of time this week to read since I was at home sick ALL WEEK LONG! Here are the latest three I have read. For those who are counting, this makes 6 for the year so far. I'm behind schedule, I know.

unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why it Matters by David Kinnaman &Gabe Lyons

~ this book is groundbreaking research into how Christians are perceived by 16-29 year olds today. And let me say, it is gut-wrenching. I found myself having to put the book down and get on my knees more times than not while reading this. I was overcome with how pious I must come across to some people. This book has changed me. Really. I think that every person who calls themself a Christ-follower should read this, really soak it in. I would love to hear what you think of it once you read it!

No Ordinary Child: Unlocking the Leader Within Your Child by Denise Mira

~ I agree with the premise of this book: that no child is ordinary, but created in the image of the Almighty. Therefore, we should never accept less than extraordinary from our children. I am on board with that, no doubt. But something about the way this book was written really didn't sit well with me. I got a bad taste in my mouth. I was pretty disappointed given I have been waiting to read this book forEVER. I thought it was judgmental, harsh, and egotistical in its writing. Perhaps it was because I had just read unChristian and felt like the author was saying "Parent my way, or your kids will wind up in hell".(no, that is not a direct quote, but that's how I felt when I was reading). I have to say that the one thing that bothered me the most was the author's insistence that moms should stay at home and never work outside the home. I have many friends who are stay-at-home moms, and I think that's great. I know it means a great deal to them, and they make financial sacrifices to be able to do so. But, because I choose to work outside of our home, I do not believe that I am sinner. I do not believe that any 'problems' or difficulties my children may have are a direct result of my working outside the home. I take pride in my work. I take greater pride in my family. It is possible to raise healthy, respectful, conscientious, and Godly children in a home where both parents work.

Bitterroot Landing by Sheri Reynolds

~ This book is a beautiful tribute to survivors everywhere! I relished every word of this book. I read it in one night, then re-read it the next day. It tells the story of Jael, a girl who was abused, both physically and sexually. But it is not a tragedy. This book is a triumphant fist raised in the air, as the reader gets to watch Jael develop her wings, learn to trust again, and learn to love- others as well as herself! I recommend it to anyone who wants to get lost in a great book! (actually, I recommend ANYTHING by Sheri Reynolds)

Home Sweet Home

Bryan & I drove to the Cincinnati/Northern KY airport last night to pick up Jeff. I will admit that I still am not feeling 100%... nowhere near it, in fact. But there was nothing, I repeat NOTHING, that was going to keep me away from that airport last night. I missed my man, and I was going to get him.

Words can't describe how excited I was when I saw him coming down the stretch towards us. I was almost as giddy as I was on our wedding day as I walked down the aisle towards him. seriously! I was excited!

His luggage was not there, but who cares? He is home! (the airport delivered all of his things safe and sound a little while ago). It was great to hear all of his stories all the way home and even more today. I am sure he will be blogging about the trip soon, so make sure and check out his site here.

For now, I am going to hang out with my family. It's so nice to all be together again.
Love you Jeff! and I am SOOOOOOO glad you are home!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thank God for Moms

Jeff in Guatemala + me with pneumonia = catastrophe!

Yes, I have pneumonia. Actually, I suspected it over the weekend when I was coughing up a lung and sounded like I had been smoking 2 packs a day for 20 years. Yesterday morning, I drug my feverish self out of bed, got dressed, took Bryan to school, and waited for my doctor's office to open. I called right at 9AM and begged them to work me in. They said they could.. next week! I explained that I might be dead next week, but it didn't matter. So, I drug myself to the urgent treatment center because I knew I needed some help. A couple of hours and a chest xray later, my suspicions were confirmed; I have pneumonia. Great.

I drove to the pharmacy with my prescriptions, only to be told it was an hour + wait. My wonderful friend Sherri agreed to pick them up for me so that I could go home (I owe you one, Sherri!), and I took her up on that. On the way, I talked to my parents who have been worried about the sounds of hacking they have been hearing over the phone all weekend. My mom offered to come and help if I needed it. I will be honest here. At first, I said no because I didn't want to inconvenience her, and there really wasn't much she could do here, I thought. But then reality hit me, and called her back and asked her to come.

She was here in a few hours, bag packed to stay until I was on the mend. Honestly, I almost cried when she came in the door. I was just relieved to have her here. I guess it really is true that when you are sick, no matter how old you are, you just want your momma!

She cooked, cleaned my floors, got Bryan to school, and most importantly kept me sane. I probably would have been sitting here all day long feeling sorry for myself and crying. But Mom came through... REALLY came through.

She went home this afternoon since I was feeling a little better. I am going to try to go to work for a while tomorrow- if I can breathe.

Mom, thanks for coming here to help me. Thanks for taking such good care of me and Bryan. Thanks for changing your schedule around to help me. I can't say how much I appreciate you for doing this. You blessed me! I love you, Mom.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

For Jeff...

I miss my husband.

Many of you know that Jeff is away on a mission trip to Guatemala. We miss him around here.

So far, he's missed a lot of snow, frigid temperatures, a sick wife (with not-so-frigid temperatures), a bored son, the cat vomiting (seriously, can it get worse than that?), and a not-so-good ball game. And he's only been gone one night!

Seriously, we miss you Jeff. I am soooooooo sorry I missed your call. I will be taking my phone to the bathroom with me from now on, since that's where I was when you called. You sounded so excited to be at the volcano! I am eager to hear all about what's happening.

You know, when the people we love are away, it makes us realize just how much we love and appreciate them. So Jeff, in case I haven't told you enough (and I am sure I haven't), I really REALLY love you and appreciate you. Can't wait to have you home again!

Monday, March 3, 2008

171-H... that's what you can pray for!

I thought I would give you a quick update on our adoption process. Here's the scoop.
~Our home study is complete.
~The immigration (USCIS) office in Louisville has received our home study.

The contract for adoptions between Vietnam and the US is ending as of September 1, 2008. If they do not renew the contract, there will be no more adoptions from that country at this time. Thus... if we do not have a referral by that date, we are out of luck. (Of course, there is always the possibility that the contract will be renewed without any hitch at all.) Our agency gave us the option of waiting to see what happens or speeding up the process to see if we can get our referral before September 1st. We opted to speed up since we have been praying specifically that our little girl will be here with us this year, and maybe this is God's way of bringing that to fruition. Ya never know! So.. it is of GREATEST importance that we get our immigration approval (171-H form) VERY soon. This is the only thing we are waiting for in order to have all of our paperwork for the dossier to go to Vietnam.

There are many people praying with us about this. I fully expect to find that form in the mailbox this week! I will let you know as soon as I do!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Birthday Bash

Yesterday, we had Bryan's party here at the house. This is our traditional "family" party, and it was fun as always. Bryan had a great time. I will just let pictures speak for it.

This is Bryan's cake. I picked this 'design' after he broke his board in two last week. It was a surprise (it was the ONLY surprise since he opened our gifts up early, the little stinker!)

This one is for Uncle Chris. He had to work, so they couldn't be here with us. But he still managed to crack us all up with what he sent to Bryan! (it's a long story) Thanks Chris!!

opening the gifts... lots of fun. lots of cash!

It's pretty obvious what is going on here.

Bryan & Papa... quite a pair!

He might be 12 now, but he still loves his Momma! I love you too Bryan. Hope your birthday was all you hoped for. I can't wait to celebrate every day this year with you!