Goodbye Ordinary

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us. Isaiah 63:7

Adoption – Physical and Spiritual December 31, 2008

Filed under: Adoption,Faith — Lori @ 12:27 pm

Even though our family has adopted two children, I have to admit that my thoughts on adoption – both physical and spiritual – are not always Biblical.  We all have information stored in our brains that we have gathered over the years about how we view biological children in families versus adopted children.  We may desire to view adopted children as “real” children, but do we always?  When adopted children are from another culture and, therefore, another skin color do we really view that child as a “real” son or daughter with all the same privileges and rights of a biological child?  Do we see ourselves as literally being adopted into God’s family?

I read this neat article about adoption and wanted to share it with all of you.  I thought it explained both physical and spiritual adoption very well and might help all of us to view adoption in the right way – the way that God does.  (Please note – those of you less blog savvy readers – that the word “article” is a link to the actual article that you can read.) 

Enjoy the article and thanks for stopping by!

 

Our Special Christmas December 29, 2008

Filed under: Adoption,Faith,Family,Life — Lori @ 1:21 pm
It really was a special Christmas for all of us this year.  You remember how much fun it makes it when you have little kids who are so excited about everything?  That was the girls this year.  Everything was new and fascinating.  They enjoyed every minute of it.  During December, we watched every age appropriate Christmas movie available and listened to Christmas music as often as possible so the girls could learn the songs.  It was so funny because in explaining the holiday and that the focus and reason for it was Jesus’ birthday and that Santa was a fun story and not real, it was interesting that after watching several animated movies about Santa they got confused!  I have no problem with Santa – other than the fact that I NEVER have told my kids that Santa was real and then pretended to be “Santa” with gifts or anything.  But, I certainly didn’t want the girls to get confused and forget the real reason for the celebration.  I did have to repeat several times that Jesus’ birth was the real reason we celebrate Christmas and that Santa is a fun story about giving to others.  I need to get a good book that explains the real story of St. Nicholas.

In the end I think we did okay.  On Sunday, when someone asked them at church what Christmas was about they said Jesus was born and then they mentioned giving gifts – which is a much better answer than getting gifts! ha

My three elves on Christmas morning!

My three elves on Christmas morning!

The girls had so much fun making or buying gifts for the family.  They had amassed AWANA bucks and shopped for several people at the AWANA store.  Kalindi went into her typical methodical, hardworking, systematic, and creative mode and after I made her a list of everyone in our extended families and different friends from church (when she asked me to) she determinedly set to work making either a picture or card for that person (sometimes both) and/or made a bead and string book mark – sometimes all of the above!  It was so cute.  The funniest part was that she kept asking me if she could “pack” her presents to which I would respond, “You mean, you want to “wrap” your presents?”  She used the “pack” term so often that I found after a few weeks of hearing it that I used the word myself to describe wrapping gifts.  Eventually either you wear them down or they wear you down!

Kira's gift to Kalindi

Kira's gift to Kalindi

Kalindi's gift to Kira

Kalindi's gift to Kira

Helping Daddy open his gift from them

Helping Daddy open his gift from them

The girls got baby dolls, strollers, a girl doll, doll clothes, and a wonderful handmade oak doll bunkbed.  They love to pretend with their dolls.  I get a kick out of listening to them playing and how they talk to their babies or girl dolls as they “mother” them.  It is so sweet.  I hear them repeat things that I have said to them – reminding me yet again that I need to be so careful how I model being a mother to them.  One slight bump in the baby doll gift.  Kevin and I had run to Toys R Us for a last minute gift shopping trip in between snow storms.  I wanted to get the girls babies and I wanted them to be a little different – like with different colored clothes.  So, after much hemming and hawing and going back and forth (while Kevin IMpatiently looked on) I chose two babies that seemed the least offensive in bells and whistles (Some of the dolls had sensors and would cry and say mama, moving their arms and heads when you walked by them.  Creepy!).  One of the babies was dressed in blue and one was dressed in pink.  Well, on Christmas morning, after the girls opened them and we spent twenty minutes cutting all of the wires and strings holding them in the boxes, we found out that the babies would wet their diapers after you had fed them a bottle of water (didn’t notice that detail when I bought them!) AND, lo and behold, the baby in blue was anatomically correct and was NOT a girl!  Well!  That put a damper on things.  Kalindi was not  happy about the fact that hers was a boy.  I told her that when “he” was wearing a dress and had his diaper or pants on no one would know it wasn’t a girl.  I am not sure if I will ever live that one down.

Kevin and I at my parents house

Kevin and I at my parents house

Grandma (my mom) and Kalindi

Grandma (my mom) and Kalindi

 The girls with their baby bunkbed

 
The girls with their baby bunkbed

We had a very quiet Christmas Eve at our home with just the five of us.  We lost power for about an hour and a half that day – thank you God that it came back on so quickly!  We had our dinner and then read a devotion that our pastor had sent all of us since our Christmas Eve service had been cancelled due to weather.  We then sang Christmas carols while Kelsey accompanied us on her guitar.  It was a fun evening!

Christmas Day began when the girls woke up about 7:30 or 8:00 (it’s been too long ago, I can’t remember exactly!) and we all headed downstairs in our jammies to open the stockings first.  I could have sworn that we always did stockings last, but Kelsey assured me that we did them first.  🙂  Then the girls couldn’t wait for everyone to open the gifts that they had chosen for them.  After opening gifts, we had breakfast of hash browns, bacon, and eggs and then got ready to head to Grandma Rae’s house. 
Christmas afternoon was spent at my parent’s with my sister’s family there as well.  My Dad smoked a turkey and it was late getting done with it being so cold outside so we ended up opening gifts before eating.  We had a great afternoon and evening at my parent’s house and then headed home hoping that it had warmed up enough to melt all the snow we had gone through on I-205 as we drove through Vancouver, WA on our way to their house.  Thankfully, the roads were clear and our drive home was safe and uneventful!
We had another Christmas celebration with Kevin’s family on Friday at our house.  It was fun to all get together – Kevin’s parents, his two brothers, sister, and their families.  There were 21 of us in all.  When I had been telling the girls about our different Christmas activities I showed them a photo from a previous Christmas so that they could see all the family members that would be at our house on Friday.  Kalindi announced that, “The whole world was coming over” after she saw a photo of the 19 of us together that year!  She also confessed that she had been confused seeing that photo – it was in the album we sent them at the orphanage.  She thought all those people lived in our house! 🙂
img_7720
The family photos that we take at the “S” family get togethers always end up with at least one person in the family looking like a deer caught in the headlights because you feel like the subject of paparazzi with so many camera flashes going off at once!
I always end up looking back at my photos and wishing that I had taken the time to get more posed photos of different family members and groups of people together – especially when it is at my house and I am running around trying to keep the hospitality angle going.  We did a Mexican potluck this year and it turned out great.  I really thank the Lord for our house with it’s large open area for entertaining when we have these family functions.
All in all, it was a great holiday.  I remember how much we all had wished that the girls would have been here by Christmas 2007.  We ended up finding out our papers had been signed in January, 2008 and traveled a month later.  Last year’s Christmas was a good year for the three of us to spend together and I know that the Lord had many reasons for delaying the girls’ arrival.  His timing is perfect.  But, it was great to have this special Christmas together and to build memories and traditions for this “new” family unit.
 

First Snowman December 24, 2008

Filed under: Family,Kids — Lori @ 1:34 pm

The girls and Kevin were finally able to successfully build a snowman yesterday.  They had fun doing that and running around in the snow. 

girls-and-snowman-brighter

In the paper yesterday (but it was delivered today!) they showed the annual snow amounts for the last 132 years in a graph.  In the winter of 1892-93 the Portland area had 60.9 inches on snow!  On one day in December 1892, 14 inches fell.  It is kind of interesting to look at the cycle of snow in the last 132 years and see that there are periods of little to no snow and then winters that get way above average.  Kind of blows the global warming theory if you ask me.  There are cycles in weather – there always have been and always will be.  It was interesting to look at the snow totals on the graph and see that this storm that seemed so very severe and out of character isn’t necessarily.  You can pass that information on to your husband after he is done shoveling your driveway!

Kevin shoveling

Kevin shoveling

 It warmed up quite a bit this morning and things were thawing out.  That is good overall, except that our backyard looks like a war zone with pieces of branches everywhere.  As the ice and snow melted in the trees it came crashing down.  I guess I shouldn’t complain (unless that branch we saw fall between the trailer and the fence actually hit the trailer) because losing a few branches is nothing compared to losing a tree or having a large limb land on your house.  We are counting our blessings.

Merry Christmas!  Stay safe and warm and enjoy your families.  We sure are.
 

You’ve got to be kidding! December 22, 2008

Filed under: Family,Life — Lori @ 3:47 pm

Just in case you were wondering about the fate of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus……

img_7538

It isn’t going well for them.

I keep telling the girls (who have completely gotten over their awe of the snow and are very nonchalant about it, by the way)  that this just doesn’t happen all the time and they should appreciate it while they have it.  They were not buying that for a minute and went back to their game of Carrom in front of the fireplace.

The thing that is crazy about this snow is that you take photos thinking it is so deep and it is probably going to stop soon and then in a few hours you come back to the same place and take another picture because it is even deeper.  It has snowed all day long. 

Kevin went to work for a little while because even though most of his people didn’t make it in, he needed to get some things from work so that he could get information to his people who are working at home.  That’s the unfortunate thing about being in Information Systems/Technology – you have your work with you! (computer)  He made it back home safely and after having some lunch went out and is pushing the snow off the top of our trailer.  There has to be well over a foot of snow and then that layer of ice in between.

img_7526

img_7550

img_7563

Here is Joseph and Mary from the front.  Joseph is doing his best, poor guy!

img_7565

It is absolutely beautiful.  I wish it would stick around until Christmas, but it probably won’t.  Thank you God for this reminder of your power and sovereignty.

Job 38 

 22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
   or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
   for the day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
   or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

Psalm 147

12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
   Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
   he blesses your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders;
   he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
   his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
   he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
   who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
   he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
   his statutes and rules to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
   they do not know his rules.
   Praise the LORD!

Isaiah 1

18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

 

Ice and Snow Photos – Just had to share! December 21, 2008

Filed under: Life — Lori @ 3:31 pm

Kelsey and I love an artsy opportunity to take photos and an ice storm is full of subjects.  She and I both had fun outside documenting this storm and the results of it.

That's how thick the ice was on top of the snow - close to a 1/2"

That's how thick the ice was on top of the snow - close to a 1/2"

 

img_7486

img_7482

You can see my entire snow and ice photo album at Facebook.  You can also go see Kelsey’s photo album here.

We were out with the girls and letting them pick up chunks of ice and throw them.  It is fun to watch and hear them shatter as they splatter across the ice.  It started raining again with some sleet now.  The temperature is still below 30 so that means it is adding to the ice already there.  Tomorrow should be interesting.  🙂  Stay safe.

 

Our Snow/Ice “Event”!

Filed under: Family,Life — Lori @ 11:08 am

I know people from the east coast or states like Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana like to make fun of us here in the Portland area and the fuss that we make about snow. (The 24 hour news coverage is definitely over the top!)  The problem is that we just don’t get it often enough and when we do get it there is usually an ice issue in conjunction which makes the whole driving thing complicated. 🙂

I can speak from some experience, because I lived in Wyoming for five years before moving to Oregon.  In Wyoming, there was snow on the ground pretty much all winter and on the road at least half the time.  It rarely slowed, let alone stopped, much of anything going on.  However, because that was the norm we were all prepared for it.  The roads were taken care of with plowing or sand and everyone had snow tires or just plain knew how to drive in it.  It also stayed cold so that nothing thawed and then refroze.  That is not the case here.  And, we wouldn’t expect it to be.  How can people who rarely drive in this be experts at it?  And, why would a city invest in all that equipment for weather that hits so seldom?

The girls enjoyed getting out in the snow yesterday and played for awhile.  They made snow angels and threw snow puffs at each other.  You really can’t call them “balls” because the snow was so dry.  No snowmen were made for the same reason.  It snowed ALL day long and Kevin thinks there was about eight inches by last night.  Today we woke up to over 1/4 inch of freezing rain that covered everything.  We have quite a few small branches that fell in the backyard, but so far nothing major.  Every time we hear the cracking/crashing sound of something falling we check the yard to figure out where it hit.

My snow angels:

img_7444

img_7446

Can you believe this is Portland, Oregon?

Can you believe this is Portland, Oregon?

 

We are at home today tucked snugly in our warm, safe home and praying that our electricity stays on.  We are disappointed that church has been cancelled for the second week in a row.  Can you believe that?  Our pastor said that in his seventeen years at the church he can only think of three or four church services cancelled for weather and now two weeks in a row!  I hope that all of you are safe and sound in your homes and with your families.  Enjoy these few days before Christmas!

Poor Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus!  Brrrrrrrrr

Poor Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus! Brrrrrrrrr

 

The Nativity December 17, 2008

Filed under: Faith,Family,Kids — Lori @ 11:59 pm

We watched the movie, “The Nativity” with the girls tonight.  They love to hear the story of Jesus’ birth and I was hoping that watching the movie would give them a fuller picture of the whole story.  Watching it again reminded me of the emotion that hit me the first time I saw it. 

I cried multiple times the first time I saw it and I did this time as well.  The movie makes you think about how Mary felt when she had the visit from the angel and must have been wondering what her parents, Joseph, and the whole village would think about her when her pregnancy became apparent.  I cried when Mary arrived to see Elizabeth and the two women could share the special purpose that God had given them.  Can you imagine how it felt to be Mary and Joseph and face an entire village who thought she (or both of them) had sinned?  And, one  of my favorite parts of the story is that God sends the angel to tell the shepherds about Jesus’ birth. 

As we were watching there were a lot of questions.  Kira’s were mostly the same, “Is that Joseph?” (She asked this about pretty much any man who came onscreen.)  “When is Jesus born?”  “Are they in Bethlehem yet?”  We tried to make things a bit clearer and explain things as the story went along.  Afterwards, I read the actual account from Luke and Matthew before bed and we talked about the fact that the story of Jesus’ birth is true.  It isn’t a fairy tale. 

I got some interesting questions after Daddy had kissed them in their bed and left the room. 

“Mommy, how was Jesus born?” 

“You saw the whole story of how Jesus was born.” 

“No, I mean, how did he come out of Mary’s tummy?” 

“Well, how God brings babies into the world is really a miracle.  They grow inside the Mommy and when they are all ready to be born, they………..come out.”

“How?  Do they cut your tummy?”

“Sometimes, but not always.  God made Mommy’s bodies special to have babies.”

Whew.  That seemed to satisfy them for tonight.  🙂

 

 
%d bloggers like this: