Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Beach Trip

We just returned this afternoon from our annual week long trip to the Florida Coast!

The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed spending time with our family. Each year we travel to Florida with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and my niece. This was our first year to travel since my dad passed away last October. It was sad not to have him along with us. I continue to grieve the loss, along with the rest of our family. I am most sad that my Sarah B. will not know her "Papa", a precious man who was an amazing influence in my life.

As for the Beach trip, we enjoyed hours on the beach and pool side. We also spent a wonderful day at the local water park with Anna and my brother's family, while Mom stayed behind with Sarah.

For the record, Sarah Beth does NOT like the ocean. I suppose it is quite intimidating to a little one, that noisy water that rushes up to get you over and over again. She warmed up to the pool on the final day of our stay :O( Wish it had been a little sooner! She slept okay, considering she was in a pack-n-play, in an unfamiliar place. She is cutting two more teeth and the last of her two year old molars, so we've been dealing with a little crankiness from that. But, overall, we had a wonderful time, as usual. Can't wait to go back, but that will likely be about this time next year. :O(

For those of you who like to follow along with my "current read", I must tell you that I finished up about 3 books while we were away that I'd started previously, but never finished. Two others that I took with me I decided weren't worth finishing. So they have since been unpacked and placed immediately into my "donations" box to send along to the Thrift Store next time I make a drop off.
I came to the conclusion this week that if I'm not hooked by chapter 3, I'm not likely to get there, so I'd might as well chalk it up to being a bad purchase, and let myself pass it along to someone else who might actually enjoy it. I love to read, though you'd never know it by the looks of my house - ha, ha, ha! (There are books in literally every room of our house, and bookcases in most of them as well!) Mostly, I read non-fiction books. So, here's my list of what I just finished up Lord, I Need Grace to Make it Today (a fantastic Bible Study by Kay Arthur), Simplify Your Space, and How Did I Get So Busy. Along with that, I read Homeschooling By Heart (Which I thoroughly enjoyed!). I am a reading machine when we go on trips!

I am not a fiction reader, except for the read-alouds that we enjoy as a family. These are all mostly classic children's novels and such. A few of our favorites, that you might enjoy with your family this Summer are - The Summer of the Monkeys, The Tale of Desperaux, Freckles, The Mistmantle Chronicles - Urchin of the Riding Stars, and Hind's Feet on High Places. We often enjoy reading a book on our way to-and-from our vacations, but as we had the little one this year, we resorted to a few well chosen videos instead.

As for Sarah's growth and development thus far, at her 18 month check-up she was right on target for height and weight. She is currently going through a round of vaccinations, after I had a long talk with our Pediatrician about it's possible links to autisim in children. He told me that the ingredient that was in question has been removed from the vacines, so I was glad to hear that. (Side note: For those of you who haven't adopted internationally, often times the vacinations that they get overseas or out of the U.S. are not of a sufficient strength to provide protection to the child from the diseases. The International Adoption Medical Clinic determines through blood work whether or not they need to have all or some of them redone.)Also, she has really started "talking" up a storm lately. She jabbers and chatters all the time, using inflection as if asking a question, and not saying a single thing we can make out! She still only says about 5 or 6 things that are understandable, and the rest is just "baby talk." She laughs all the time, is very ticklish, and is easily amused. She loves to play "Pat A Cake" and to do the clapping for "If You're Happy and You Know It." Her favorite past times are tearing the house completely apart and climbing on everything! My mother says she's a "meddler" because she's always rummaging through something.

She has totally changed the dynamics of our family and our home, and I am so thankful for this precious little one that the Lord has entrusted us with. She truly is an amazing gift!

One last quick funny story. Tonight Todd mentioned to me that he'd like to go rent a movie for he and Anna to stay up late and watch this evening. Sarah Beth responded with, "YEA!", as if she had any idea what he was talking about! What a hoot! Anna thought it was so cute!

God's richest blessings on you and your families. I hope that you are enjoying a safe and happy Summer. For those still waiting for your babies, the long wait is so worth it, and I continue to remember you in prayer!

Love in Christ,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Being Still

Alrighty, looks like it's time to deliver as promised some thoughts on "being still" or slowing down that I learned after I took a tumble down my basement stairs.

I don't know about you all, but our family often lives at a "break neck" pace that is ridiculous. With all of the things that we try to be involved in and all of the "errands" I can come up with to run in one week, it's truly overwhelming some days.

After my fall down the stairs, I spent 3 weeks in the bed. For the first time I can remember as an adult, I was forced to allow someone else to do everything for me. I couldn't take care of my home, my children, my husband. I couldn't drive, I could barely get myself dressed and medicated each day. It left me wondering what it must be like to truly be a person so handicapped that they are at the mercy of others to care for their every need. A humbling thought indeed. How many times have I complained about having to run errands with the kids in tow? Yes, it is easier when you have an extra set of hands or two, but it's not that bad - when you have all your faculties and the ability to do so.

The hardest thing for me was letting someone else tend to the things that needed to be done around the house. Fortunately my mother lives nextdoor and was able to jump in and handle things for us. She cooked dinner nightly, took care of my kids all day, did my laundry, you name it. For the first time I've hired a "house keeper" or whatever you want to call it. She comes in every other week to clean and do all of the hard stuff that I just can't do anymore. I hate to call Tammy my "housekeeper" because I feel like she is my help, my friend, my lifesaver! I've had trouble with my back off and on for years. Two car accidents were the beginnings, and the fall down the stairs I'm afraid finished me off. It truly was the worst pain I can ever remember having.

My amazing Sovereign Lord kept me from breaking anything (like my neck or back), and from hurting our precious little one, and for that I am deeply thankful. I believe He allowed all of this to teach me how important it is to live in the moment, and not be so busy that I'm "mindlessly" doing things without thinking about them. The day I fell down the steps, I had both hands full, I'd stayed home WAY later than I should have. I was leaving late, and in a rush to get somewhere. Why was I leaving late? Well, apparently, up until April the 1st, I was under the misguided impression that I was able to get more done in 30 minutes than I really could. So, I'd pushed myself to the last second, trying to get too many things done (probably none of them necessary) before I left home. I can't remember all I'd done that morning, but I'm sure it included checking my email a couple of times, and other things that really weren't all that important. All I really needed to do was get us all dressed and fed, and ready to go, but doing just what needs to be done has never been good enough for me. :O)

The "fall" has caused me to question everything I do each day - "Just how important is this?" "Just how bad does this need to get done?" "Does this need to be done at all?" "What does God want me to do with the next 15 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, week, year?" All of these questions have helped to greatly reduced my stress level for sure. I hope that you too will begin to question the things you do every day.

Here are the verses that have been most encouraging to me during these days of stillness and during my days of reflection. I am so thankful that God's Word dwells in my heart and that these verses come to mind when I need them.

Ps 4:4 "... commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. "
Ps 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."
Mt 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Recently our pastor did a fantastic sermon on The Gospel and Parents. In his sermon he talks much about what is really important for parents to do for and with their children, and what isn't. He discusses the issues of our day that often hurt our children instead of helping them. I encourage you to listen to the sermon, it is fantastic, and his points could be life changing for you and your family. The sermon can be downloaded and listened to here, and the one on marriage and singleness are great too. Actually, they're all equally as good! Enjoy!

Blessings to each of you, slow down and enjoy your lives, your children, your health. Be thankful for a God who watches over your every need every moment of every day!
Lori (Being much more still these days!)

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Hi Everyone:

Well, I haven't had time to blog my thoughts yet about being "still and quiet" with the Lord after my fall, but I promise I will get to that soon.

I wanted to post the following link so that hopefully some of you will get the chance to see some photos we had made recently of the girls (and our little dog). The link will only be good for two weeks, so it will "expire" sometime around June 20th.