Monday, December 28, 2009

Wanda

Last fall I received an email from my mother that told about lots of things from the past - a time with no credit cards, most phones were on party lines, people sitting on the front porch, boys on bikes delivering the newspaper and on and on. It made me miss my Grandmother so much. Her name was Wanda and whenever I need peace of mind I just start remembering life at my Grandmother's house. I spent a lot of time there as a child and I so wish she was here and my children could know her. I wrote the following after reading my mom's email and just felt like sharing with you.




My Grandmother

My Grandmother was born in 1906. If she were still alive today she would be 102. Her name was Wanda Elizabeth Lynch. That is why my oldest daughter's name is Heidi Elizabeth. Life at my Grandmother's house was easy and peaceful. The first thing you did after opening the door into the kitchen was go straight to the frycake jar. Frycakes are donuts but better. I still look for frycakes that tasted like those but I haven't tasted one in over twenty years. My grandmother never wore pants. She had house dresses and good dresses. Good dresses were mostly for church or the occasional wedding or party. My Grandmother never drove a car and did not own a TV until her daughter bought her one in 1957. Of course that was black and white. My mother tells me that before they had the TV they would go to a neighbor's house to watch the Arthur Godfrey show. Imagine a neighborhood sharing a TV today. Most families today don't even have to share one TV. I am proud to say that my family of six does share just one TV. My Grandmother was part of the Ladies Aid ( they made quilts I think), the Rebekkah Lodge (I have no idea what they did), she taught piano lessons out of her home, she was the choir director and the organ player at her church. Every Easter the men from the church would haul the piano up onto the back of a pick up truck and drive it to the cemetary. We would be there for sunrise, the real sunrise. We didn't just call it sunrise service and make it a more convenient time. We got up in the dark and drove in the dark and huddled together as we watched the sun make it's appearance. My grandmother use to get up on the back of that pickup and play that piano and sing "The Old Rugged Cross". Sometimes when I think of these memories my head spins at how different life is today. I can feel an ache and a longing that I have learned to accept as part of who I am. My mother and her siblings went to a one room school house - several different grades in one little room, warming their soup on the woodstove for lunch. Sounds heavenly to me. She walked to school and carried her books and her lunch with no back pack and no ipod - imagine that! When I was little my Grandmother use to give a dime to my cousin and a dime to me. This was a lot of money for her to part with and she would have never sucked it up in the vacuum cleaner thinking that it couldn't buy anything. We would walk with our shiny dimes down to the corner store. The floors were wooden and the storekeeper knew us by name. There was a glass front case with penny candy and a small chest freezer with popsicles and fudgesicles. A dime allowed us to get a frozen treat and FIVE different pieces of candy. We were so happy walking back to our Grandma's house. We were content and happy without a care in the world. I use to sit for hours and play canasta with my Grandmother. This game could go on for days and often it did. We would set it up on the dining room table and eat on the TV trays or on the front porch, the side porch or the little kitchen table. The side porch was often where we would eat our lunch, the front porch was for afternoon snack and a rest. Grandma would say "come on dear, let's sit a spell." So we did. We smelled the peonies that lined the front walk, we watched the neighbor Virginia work in her garden, the neighbor boys being boys and the occasional car go by. We were in no hurry to get anywhere, there was nowhere to go. We were present to the moment and we didn't have to meditate or read ten books to know how to do this. We would shuck peas and drink lemonade. The TV was not on, we didn't have the radio either. We just litsened to the sounds of life. Sometimes though we would use the TV trays to eat our dinner and watch TV. We never wondered if this was bad for us or if we weren't connecting as a family. We just thought it was fun. Popcorn was the standard evening snack. If I was there she would holler from the kitchen "dear, I will put butter on it since you are here, I normally don't". I have my doubts, I am pretty sure melted butter on the popcorn was a regular thing at Wanda's even if she was all alone. We would always put the leftover popcorn in the gas oven and the pilot light kept it fresh for the next day's snack. After playing cards or watching a little TV we would go to bed. she always prayed on her knees. She had two twin beds in her room and I would kneel with her next to her bed. She prayed aloud with just a little light coming from the bedside. Her version of a night light was a hankie over a lamp. A fire hazard I suppose but we never thought about that. I can see that room in my mind instantly and just the memory of it comforts me. Chenille bedspread, windows that looked onto the front porch, a bible and a jewelery box on the dresser. Simple but cozy. She never called pajamas by that name, they were night clothes. She wore an apron as part of her outfit and only removed it if we went somewhere. Sometimes she even forgot and would wear it to the store under her coat. Going somewhere meant getting a ride because my Grandmother lived almost twenty years beyond her husband and still she managed to have a beautiful and full life without driving or owning a car. Her common phrase for children was "Bless their heart." How come nobody says this to me anymore???? What a beautiful thing to do - bless someones heart. The last time I spent the night with my grandmother was about eight weeks before she died. I was a junior in highschool. It was January and I just felt like having a sleepover even though I was now in the world with my own car, a job, a boyfriend and lots of social committments. I called her and she said "come on over, dear, I'll be here". That was the last time I would ever hear that. We had frycakes and played canasta. I drove her to the store myself. We had dinner and I sure wish I could remember what it was. We watched a little TV and popped some corn. She never said "do you want some popcorn", she would just get up from her rocking chair and say "I think it is time to pop some corn". We drank faygo soda and ate the popcorn out of the blue melmac bowls one last time. When it was time to put on our nightclothes and pray, she said "come sit beside me on the bed dear, my knees are aching me tonight." So we sat side by side on her chenille bedspread with our hankerchief nightlight. And we prayed. The next morning came and we got ready for church. She let me wear a special pair of earrings from her jewelery box. She told me to keep them. She had never done this before out of the countless times I had sorted her jewelry box and played dress up with my cousin. I was happy she gave them to me but something inside knew. I drove her to church where we sang and prayed some more. We came back to her house and had a snack and then it was time for me to go. We hugged goodbye. A month later she was diagnosed with cancer and another month later she died. Time has not healed this loss I have just gotten more used to it. She missed my graduation from high school and college, my wedding, my children, my whole adult life. She would have added such a richness to the lives of my children and they have missed out on something they don't even know. I hope somehow that there is a part of me that reflects her and they can feel the strength of a woman they never knew. Last August while looking out the screen door at my family celebrating my mother's birthday my Aunt took me aside and said she had never seen this before but she had to do a double take when looking at me. She saw me standing at the door and for a moment she saw her mother. She looked again and still she saw it. She came inside and still she looked at me and saw her mother. Do I need another compliment the rest of my life? I don't think so.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So exciting....





See this little girl with her Daddy? The first one is the second day that Lilly met her Daddy and the other is two years later at a friends graduation party playing with their new puppy. Our life is now full of these wonderful simple moments. We get the privelege of seeing life again through the eyes of a child.

Is their anything better than a little girl and her Daddy who adores her?  Or a mother who loves you beyond the sky? Or an entire family who will be there for you ALWAYS and FOREVER?

Keep reading to see how you can help make this happen for more precious children.

It's happening. Not in avalanche style the way I would prefer but it IS indeed happening. We need YOU to open your heart, read the post at http://www.thechristmasmiracleproject.blogspot.com/
and then donate whatever you can. And I mean WHATEVER. Every single penny matters. The word is spreading and the miracle is in progress. If you are reading this right now then please take the few minutes to go to http://www.thechristmasmiracleproject.blogspot.com/ and read the post there. Then use the Chip In button to the right of the post to make your donation.We will then send you a book and an invite to the private blog. Some people have not been able to make paypal work or don't want to register their credit card or debit card. If that is you then please send me an e-mail and I will give you a regular old snail mail address to get your donation to this project. And if you want to help but need to wait until after the holiday rush then please know that this project doesn't end on December 25. It NEVER ends. The blog will then be moved to another address and we will keep the miracle project alive so PLEASE keep spreading the word.
YOU can make a difference.
YOU can ask your kids to be a part of this and you can read the private blog together as you watch families meet their children for the first time. Your kids can know that they helped to make it happen. Won't that impress something so huge upon their hearts and souls?
YOU could have a bakesale, your kids could shovel snow or you could hold a garage sale. Their are tons of ideas and we need your support, your prayers, your love and most of all ....your ACTION. It is so easy to be moved or inspired and sometimes that ACTION piece is where we falter. My grandmother use to say 'God moves mountains, you better bring a shovel.' So bring your shovel and help God move the mountain between a child and their family.
Thank you so much! Now go to http://www.thechristmasmiracleproject.blogspot.com/

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Christmas Miracle

Hi Everyone! Happy Monday from Lilly and her Mommy!
We are dreaming of a Christmas Miracle....will you help us?


First a little about me, Lilly's mom: I live in upstate New York. I have been married to Scott for just shy of 20 years! We have three biological children. Joshua soon to be 19, Heidi 16 and Gregory 15. In December of 2007, Lilly Grace KeXiu joined our family. Lilly was born in China and we were blessed to adopt her. We are now dreaming of adopting more children. This time we are planning to adopt two biological sisters from Ethiopia.

I have long been dreaming about a way to help people overcome the financial burden of adoption. The other night I prayed that I would be shown a quick and easy way to make this happen. I prayed on my knees at the side of my bed as my grandmother taught me when I was a child. I prayed to be able to provide for our next adoption as well as our dear friend who is waiting for her referral of a little girl in Nepal. I also prayed that the idea would be big enough to help another family I had yet to meet. I sensed this family would have an urgent need for funds in the next few weeks. I have long believed that if you want something you first must find someone else who wants it too and help them get it. In this process, miracles happen and everybody's dream comes true.


Here is one of my dreams come true!

Soooooooo.............I awoke the next morning to this idea before I even opened my eyes...compile an electronic book with the stories of families who have adopted. They would each write their own story. I would tell 'The Story of Lilly' as well. The stories would be sold in e-book format for $10.00. With social media this idea could spread far and wide and fast. The goal would be to inspire others with the stories. Inspire them to adopt, sponsor a child, pray or donate money. The funds would then go to help people adopt. It seems that money is so often the thing that stands in the way for people. MONEY SHOULD NEVER BE THE REASON CHILDREN DON'T HAVE A LOVING AND FOREVER FAMILY.
That is just crazy to me! Yet, I know $20,000 - $30,000 is daunting to many. We received some loans from some kind hearted individuals while preparing to go to China. We were incredibly grateful for this but it was  a big burden when we got home and had to find a way to pay it all back. I kept dreaming of a way to help others with the GIFT of money. No strings attached.


Should a face like this have ANY strings attached?

We are ALL called to care for the orphan. You  may not be called to adopt but you are still called to do something. How about purchasing a $10 book and changing the course of many lives. If we can get this to spread like wildfire than we can place more children in families than we can even imagine.

And this is the Christmas Miracle.


Lilly Grace on Christmas day 2007. She had been living in an orphanage just two weeks before.
Now part of a circle of family and friends who adore her.
FOREVER

I am putting the call out for stories. Your story. Stories of adoption, how you were inspired, the dreams, the fears, the finances (notice how I put money right after fear...hmmm), the miracles, the LOVE, the joy...............just your story and how it has changed you. We aren't talking about award winning literature here............whatever pours forth when you sit down to share your story will be perfectly perfect. If you are adopted and have a touching story about that and how blessed your life has been as a result than share that too!!!!

So this family with the urgent need showed up here: http://www.ifwehavefaithofamustardseed.blogspot.com/ They need to raise funds by 12/15. I would call this urgent! I have e-mailed with this lovely Mom for the past 24 hours and she is totally on board to tell the story of their previous adoption from China in an effort to get their son home from Nepal and help others as well.

The stories are pouring forth and the ones I have tomorrow night - December 8 at 6pm - will be in the book.
The idea is growing into doing this each Christmas season....bringing as many Christmas Miracles as God allows. After all.....Christmas is all about the birth of a baby!!!!!

So what do you think?
Would you be willing to share your story with others?
Would you be willing to help spread the word?
What are YOU willing to do?
There is a blog for this project and I will post this request there as well. That address is http://www.thechristmasmiracleproject.blogspot.com/ and there will be a paypal link to download and buy the book by the end of the week.


Joy to the World!!!

How far can this idea spread? How many miracles can happen? I can't wait to find out!
Look at that sweet face above....how many of those faces can we match with a forever family?

Will you be part of the miracle?


With Abundant Love, Great Expectation and Infinite Trust,
Kimberly and Lilly

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Our Lilly Grace KeXiu - China December 2007


Can you feel the love?

Daddy holding his Lilly

Sharlyn - truest bluest friend and lover of the Lilly Bean

Could we get any happier with this baby chosen for us by God?
The perfect match maker.

Sleeping on Mama's chest.
Home at last.
Lilly was born in our hearts in December 2004....(thank you Lisa Ling and someday I will say that in person and give you a giant hug for inspiring me to take bold and immediate action) 10 months of paperwork and 2 years of waiting after the dossier was turned in and then the call and then the frantic packing and then the 14 hour plane ride and then the other families (a blessing beyond anything I had ever, ever imagined), and then The Forbidden City and then the Great Wall and then the second plane ride
out of seven total flights
and then........................................
Lilly Grace KeXiu was placed in our arms and we fell in love in less then an instant.
She has brought more joy, more love and more laughter than seems possible for one tiny little girl.
People say she is lucky and I feel myself bristle.
It is not lucky to be born to a mother who can't keep you, a mother who has no money and no hope.
A mother who carries you for 9 months and gives birth to you and then wraps you up and places you on the steps of a factory to be found by a worker while she hides nearby and waits
 and watches to see if someone brought you to safety.
A mother who will most likely never recover from this loss.
This is no kind of luck.
Lilly has a story that she will have to find peace
with as she grows up.
There is no way to tell how this early part of her
life will impact her.
But please refrain from using the lucky word.
Scott and I however are blessed, BLESSED and
blessed. Over and over again. Each day, each moment as we have the PRIVELEGE of being her parents.
God chose us for her and her for us and that is something I
fathom at all the time.
Her birth mother's greatest loss is our greatest joy.
I pray for her each day that somewhere in her heart she feels a peace and a knowing that she and I are a team and OUR daughter is thriving and growing and learning and giggling and so, so happy.
She lights up the room with her presence.
She inspires others to adopt with her story.
She is already changing lives and hearts and she is not even three years old.
Imagine what is in store for her.
My sister is adopted and we have always called the day we brought her home her 2nd birthday.
I love that.
So..... Happy Second Birthday Lilly Grace.
Happy Homecoming.
I love you sooooooo much.
You are the bravest person I know.
You are the miracle.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Would I be correct in assuming that some of you do NOT come here to this blog to hear me ramble on but to see pictures of this precious and amazing child? Well, if that is you then today is your day!
Here is your Lilly fix...I may even post more photos of her later, but for now it's off to take lunch to the big brothers - one is at work and is too busy for a break and one is at school and forgot.
Do they EVER call their Dad when they are hungry????
Nope, never.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't be alarmed....


I know I already posted once today but this just absolutely requires a second.
See that beautiful girl in the pink t-shirt? That would be my 16 year old daughter Heidi.
She just did the dishes WITHOUT  being asked and made me a hot cup of tea.
I checked her for a fever but she appears fine.
Miracles are indeed possible folks.
Look what just happened to me.
This should instantly restore your faith.


A Grateful Heart


Sunsets....

reunion with Lilly's "sisters"....

friends....

Lilly's own bed.....

My oldest child graduating from highschool.....

memories of trips to the beach when the older kids weren't old.....

The sweetest, oldest dog in the world....Belle.....

flowers.....

the best cat ever......

happy dogs and happy girls and sunny days.....

new friends that feel like family.....

road trips with my girls.....

my dream house.....

my extended "Chinese" family

A very grateful heart indeed.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Getting Closer............




This was three years ago.....

This is three weeks ago.....

It looks like we really will move in January.
It seems kind of surreal to have a life long dream about to become real.
I love houses. As a child I would love to see the inside of any house, I wanted to see how people lived.
Let's get real...I wanted to see how they decorated and even as a very young child I would silently redecorate the homes we visited. In my mind I would move the couch, change the curtains, hang family photos, paint wooden floors and on and on. These decorating 'dreams' would even be what kept me up at night. I just love to rearrange, choose paint colors, shop for curtains, take something that someone else has thrown on the trash heap and transform it with soap, water and paint but most of all love.
Yesterday as I started to pack I got so emotional at the thought of truly leaving the place I have called home for the past decade. Not so emotional that I want to stay, but still tears were flowing. When we moved here Josh was 8, Heidi was 5 and Greg was 4. They were still so little that all of their clothes fit in one dresser. Now they are 19, 16 and 15 and have a sweet sister Lilly from China. We are about to decorate our 10th and last Christmas tree here in this tiny little house. We have celebrated in this house. We have mourned the loss of loved ones inside these four walls. We have argued and made up. We have laughed and cried, lived and loved. And now we will bring all the people and pets that we love the most and fill up our dream house. There will be joy, there will be sadness and by God there will be DECORATING!!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Hero Lydia

She did it!!!!
Lydia's faith was so strong that in 8 days she raised $26,550!!!!!!!!!!!!! They only need $20,000 to adopt Darya and they have friends who have delayed adopting because of lack of funds...no more! Anything over the $20,000 goes to their friends so they too can adopt a baby.
I was obsessed with checking their blog to see if Lydia did indeed get her Thanksgiving miracle.
Can you imagine the joy in that house tonight???
What a wonderful Thanksgiving that I will always remember.
Sleep tight Darya, Mommy and Daddy are soon on their way to bring you home FOREVER.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Thanksgiving is all about....

This is one unbelievable story so fix some tea or get a snack but get comfy and prepare to be amazed.
 This morning I stumbled upon a blog. I believe this story has moved me beyond words but I am going to try to explain. Lydia is the 11 year old daughter of some amazing parents in Tennessee. Her parents have instilled such a trust and belief and faith in God inside of her that she came to her mother with the dream of adopting sweet little Darya. Darya is a litte girl living in an orphanage in the Urkraine. She has Down Syndrome but this does not daunt Lydia's parents because they have already
have two children with Down Syndrome. Hope is biological and Charlie is adopted.
I told you these are amazing people.
Simply amazing.
So when Lydia came to her mother with this idea her mother told her that if she could
raise $20,000 then they could adopt Darya and possibly even another baby with Down Syndrome.

Is the word amazing coming to mind? 

Did the number 20,000 stop Lydia? Nope. She quickly did some math and said this is only 200 people giving us $100.00. Smart girl. Break down a big number and suddenly it doesn't seem so scary. So she was off and running and in the past few days she has raised more than half of what they need. $10,000!!!!!!
In something like 10 or 11 days.

ONE GIRL.

One AMAZING girl, with some AMAZING faith.

I want to be just like her when I grow up.

They have washed cars, baked cookies, painted wooden candy canes...you name it.
They are willing, willing to go all out for God.
And Darya.
Lydia has been asked to be on the local news Thanksgiving morning and tell her story. I am praying that she will have all the money when she is interviewed.
Visualize this!
God can do this THROUGH us so go here. Find the DONATE button and pledge what you can.
Five dollars makes a difference. Skip some part of your traditional
Thanksgiving meal if you have to but please help bring Darya home to a loving and forever family.
I just heard about Lydia and her family this morning and want to do my part.
So I am spreading the word and the LOVE.
This is what Thanksgiving is all about isn't it?
Lydia, you amaze me and I am inspired and uplifted by you.
 I can only begin to imagine the greatness in store for you as you continue to demonstrate such devotion and faith. To those of you who come visit here from time to time or those of you were led here today for the first time,please, please, please help change the course of Darya's young life.
RIGHT NOW!
If you are inspired by this please just take the few minutes to do this. If you are like me you might be so moved by this but think to yourself..."I will donate later, tomorrow, next week" and then you forget.You don't mean to you just get busy.Please just do it right now.Whatever is waiting for you can wait five more minutes.I am so thankful for your big heart and generosity.

Go Lydia!!!
Go God!!!

xo
Kimberly

Monday, November 23, 2009

You know what is really weird???

Well, let me tell you......what's weird is when you have a friend considering using match.com to find a man. You help this friend sift through the options (this is not an easy job). You see several possibilities. You see several no ways and even find yourself uttering words like "Are you kidding me? Is this guy for real? and What was he thinking with that picture?" You wonder why men aren't smart enough to take off their sunglasses for their photo. That just screams creeper. You find yourself shocked at how many man are in their 40's looking for a 20 year old girlfriend. Ewwwww. Super gross ewwww. So after reading about fifteen profiles you see a guy and say...he's not bad and your friend says "I know I already read his profile before, he's cute, seems okay." Upon closer inspection of the photo (and a quick call to my mother for verification) you realize this "cute, okay" guy is actually your childhood friend. The one you built forts with, played in the creek with, the one you had a crush on - (think early, unrequited love), the one who lived next door to your grandmother, the one you had sleepovers with until you were 12 and then your mothers sat you down and told you that you could no longer sleep in the same bed and because you were such late bloomers you just cried and thought they were mean. Yeah, that very same little boy is all grown up and on match.com and your friend clicked his profile and he stood out from the sea of faces to me as a pretty cute guy.
Yep, that was really weird on a random Sunday night.
Really weird.

Friday, November 20, 2009


This is Lilly's high chair which I LOVE.
She is a big girl now and sits at the table.
:(
I can't wait to see our next daughter eat her meals in this sweet chair.
I really love being a mother, it is such a blessing and a privilege.
I take delight in something as simple as folding Lilly's little clothes or watching her focus intently on her sticker book or when she hears music and says "Mama, dance."
Her latest thing is noticing how many people are in public places.
She says "lots of peoples mama", not sure why this makes my heart soar but it does.
She just climbed onto my lap as I type this, book in hand and said
"ead mama" - translation: Read mama
So I guess this means goodnight to you all.
Sleep tight wherever you are.
xo

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giving Thanks


One time my mother told me that it was very comforting to her to know that she had taught me how to be a friend and that I had such a beautiful supportive group of women in my life. It made her proud and it felt good for her to know that I had these women to turn to in times of joy or times of sorrow.
I realize now just what she is saying because I feel so comforted knowing that Heidi (my daughter pictured on the right) also has such a great group of loving, kind friends. Alexa (pictured on the right) and Heidi first met in Kindergarten and they have maintained a friendship ever since. Alexa switched schools in third grade and even without daily contact they remain sisterly close. This comforts me. Alexa is like a daughter to me and she spends nearly every weekend with us and has been on vacation with us many times as well.
Last Sunday morning Alexa, Lilly and Heidi were cuddled up under a blanket watching a movie. I was doing the normal morning chores when I looked up and saw them all snuggled in. Tears came to my eyes instantly when I realized this wouldn't last forever. It was almost like I could feel myself ten years from that moment and what it will feel like for my girls to be grown up and moved out. I could feel the longing. Alexa and Heidi are juniors in highschool and will soon begin the next stage of their journey. They won't always be here curled up on my couch and I will miss that more than words can say. It reminded me how important it is to be in the moment and really see and FEEL how good it truly is right this moment.
And now I'm crying again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why we never order pizza out anymore.....


This is how it looked before it went into the oven, but sadly I cannot show you the just out of the oven photo because there isn't one............. it went straight from the oven to our mouths!
This is super simple and once you make pizza this way it will be hard to go back.
The Dough
2 cups flour
1 tsp.salt
1 pkg.yeast
2 tbsp.oil (olive or canola)
1 cup very hot water
1/2 - 1 cup flour

Mix the first 5 ingredients and stir together. Add 1/2 - 1 cup of flour until it is the right consistency to knead.
Knead for just a couple of minutes.
Place dough into well greased (olive or canola oil) bowl.
Cover with towel and wait about 1 hour.

Pizza stones are essential. Mine came from Pampered Chef and I have been using them for years and you really can't make good pizza without them.

One batch makes about five individual pizzas and I just stretch them out into a kind of oval shape.
Each person can have their pizza exactly as they want it.
Kids love this.
I skip the sauce and just use olive oil. Then cheese. I find a combination of mozzarella, provolone and just a tiny bit of parmesan or cheddar work best. If you go with just two cheeses stick with mozzarella and provolone. I cover mine with finely chopped veggies. My favorite combo is broccoli, red onion, garlic, orange pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes. The guys like to add pepperoni (of course).
Imagination is key.
 Create any combination that you can think of and please let me know!
We never order pizza anymore and I love it.
We try to eat as organic as much as we can.
I use organic flour, olive oil and vegetables.
The pepperoni? Not so much.
I love knowing that my family gets to eat one of their favorite foods and it is so healthy.
In the summer we cook them on a grate over an open fire.
Scott said the best thing this summer while building the fire at the new house as I prepared the dough.
He said:
 "It must be so good for us to eat food cooked over wood that came from the land that our home sits on."
I thought that was a great way to think of it and I am
 pretty sure it bumps
the nutritional level up at least a kajillion times.
At least.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What makes us love what we love?


Lilly lovvvvveeeeesssss horses. She is an all around animal lover but horses seem to really be her thing right now. On the road to our new house there are five different spots with horses and she knows each one and we usually stop at every place and admire these gracious giants. I also love horses but have been afraid of them and can only remember riding one time. My father was very over protective and there were certain things I just knew he wouldn't allow. Horses were on the list. Too dangerous. Growing up my neighbor had a horse that I was around and I begged for my own for a short while but no such luck. He told me that I would only take care of it for a little while and than I wouldn't want it anymore. Maybe that's true. As my cousin would say "hard sayin', not knowin' ".
 I have some friends coming over to make art today. I love to do art!!! Especially with other people. All that creativty just makes my heart soar. We made a lot of art when we were waiting to go pick up Lilly. We made it to sell at the fundraiser. It was mildly successful but the fun we had was over the top. Every Saturday for weeks we gathered together in a small out building on our property and we made art. We lit the woodstove, ate cookies, drank chai, played music and mostly we felt inspired. Inspired by the dream of children and inspired by all the creativity flying around. That was when the dream got so much bigger than adopting Lilly. Never before did I realize how incredibly passionate I was about the orphan crisis in the world. I was absorbed in my life and did not see the bigger picture. I love how God works. It was always God's plan to be short of funds just before we received Lilly's referral. It was this discomfort that forced me to expand my vision and to grow so much. It was humbling myself this way that allowed me to open my heart and see that Lilly represented 143 million orphans worldwide (the number is bigger now but was 143 million at that time). I have stalled over the past two years not knowing exactly how to do what I dream of doing. I am going to have to put down a cushion for my knees soon! I continue to ask for guidance and it is coming. I find it simply amazing how passions are born that you didn't even know you had inside of you. That in itself is a miracle. I can tell you that there is NOTHING that I feel more passionate about than adopting more children into our family and encouraging others to do the same. This has been placed in and on my heart and I vow to do whatever I can to make this number smaller while I am here on this earth.
We are here to serve.
That is the reason to get our structures stable, to secure our financial situation and live without worry over our committemnts so that we can be fully avaible to use our lives to help others.
Period.
I don't mean to sound arrogant but I know this for sure.
So, I don't know what makes Lilly so fascinated with horses or why I feel so compelled to use my life in this way but whatever it is for you, pay attention to it.
Your heart is calling you to it for a reason.
Trust that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How I Decorate


When I want to decorate I first have to be inspired.
Luckily, inspiration is found anywhere.
 I have to fall in love with something and the
process goes from there.
I could fall in love with a comforter, couch, curtain,
paint sample and then the rest unfolds quite easily.
I "build" the room from the first feeling that this item gave me.
If I don't love it I don't buy it.
Period.
This cuts down on wasteful items, wasteful spending and
creates a room filled with only the things that I truly love.
This seems only fitting since the people and pets that I love will live in these rooms.
That should help explain why I am posting a picture of a bracelet here.
I have fallen in love with the way this bracelet makes me FEEL.

The floor plan in our new house is very open
 in the main living area.
It is framed in such a way that each room is clearly defined yet
completely open to the other rooms.
This is perfect for the way I like to live.
I love to be part of what is happening and a home where
 I was isolated in the kitchen would be depressing
and lonely for me.
As most moms do, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Thankfully, I love to prepare meals
 for my family and cooking is something I really enjoy.
So, back to the decorating.....I envisioned each room
 having it's own feeling
 yet flowing easily into the next room.
I like a cottage style kitchen and
want light cupboards with vintagey blue walls,
soapstone countertops,
my old (and very large) pepsi sign, a very cool old bench that came from somewhere in Europe and dashes of red here and there. The kitchen will not be done when we move in
but I can see the end result
in my mind and will work steadily towards that.
 For the living room I want to feel cozy, cozy and cozy. A place to sink into the couch and read a great book, watch a movie or snuggle in with my husband and kids. I love a couch that swallows me up, lots of pillows, candles and the dog curled up next to a woodstove. Maybe a table in the corner for games and puzzles. I want a soft sage green on the walls, but it can't be too light or too dark. The living room leads to the dining room and when you step in the front door both rooms are right in front of you. I want to paint the dining room walls a very soft yellow, neutral, not sunshiney or daffodil but a yellow that is starting to lean towards the neutrals. But of course it has to be warm and inviting too. I have an old antique table that has lead paint and have been advised that the best thing to do is paint over it and ecapsulate the lead paint. My daughter votes for black, a soft matte black. At first I said no but thinking of the future soapstone counters in the kitchen, this could actually tie the two rooms together very nicely. So....then I started wondering, how in the world am I going to pull this all together. The colors have to feel earthy, but not in that brown, dull, drab way. More in the rich, deep, sensual way. I focus A LOT on the feeling tone I am trying to create when I decorate and color is a huge part of that.
 If the colors are right then the whole room works.

One day I was poking around one of my favorite stores and stumbled upon this bracelet.
And....I fell in love.
All the colors I want, all feeling a bit subdued and smokey but still bold in their own way.
I want my house to feel the way this bracelet makes me feel.
Suddenly it was easy for me to see how I can make this all work. Including the bit of sparkle I  like to add in here and there (see red sparkly beads on the bracelet) I just love me a little bit of sparkle.
Must be the girly girl in me.
I have been living and breathing paint samples all week and have settled on several colors.
I am so excited about this next part.
I have been dreaming of decorating this house before we even broke ground 3 1/2 years ago.
The budget is nearly non-existent at this point so if you are looking for ways to beautify your house on less than a dime, I'm your girl! I started digging out in the garage yesterday and found some dressers and other goodies that will go a long way in creating the look and the feel I want.
This is going to be so much fun!
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Feeding the crew........


I love when there are lots of people at the house working, each of them doing different things. I like the energy of it all. My father is a contractor and I have been around building and remodeling all of my life. The sound of hammers and saws and the smell of the fresh wood make me feel so comforted. I love the process of turning nothing into something. My cousin was putting up siding, Scott was working on the boiler, the electrician was busy getting things ready for the inspector to come next week and give us the green light for putting up insulation and then sheetrock and then we MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hot dogs gross me out. In a big way. I have been an off again on again vegetarian most of my life and hot dogs top the list for meat that freaks me out.
But it made the guys full and happy and happy workers are always a good thing.

You can't eat hot dogs without chips.
It's a law.
No, really...it is.

Today I found out Gregory, my youngest son, doesn't like mustard.
What's wrong with him?
I think the mustard would have made this photo better.
I can't help it, color is my thing.
It's an obsession.
But I think it's a good one because it makes me happy.

Happy, happy girl.

Lilly was thrilled with her ha gogs (her word for hot dog)
We love her version of it so we now call them ha gogs too.

After running errands for Scott this is what I saw when I pulled in my driveway......
so how was your Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Prayer


It is my fervent prayer that my life be used in the highest way possible to connect orphaned children with loving forever families. I have little baby ideas but sometimes the 'how' is just so loud in my ear. I keep having to tell the voice to be quiet, the how will reveal itself and I will recognize it immediately and take bold action. Can you picture lots and lots and lots of children being bathed, fed, tucked in at night wearing cozy jammies, being read to, being hugged and kissed over and over and over? Can you? I can. It is what makes me want to pay off my debt and live a financially free life so that all of the excess can be used to bring love to these innocent children. Tonight I shall return to my knees as my Grandmother taught me so many years ago.
I am here, please use my life.

I love my new house.....love it, love it, LOVE IT!


Did I mention I love my new house???

Two years ago we were getting ready to go to China to pick up Sweet Lilly and now we are getting ready to move into our dream house. What a perfect time of year for such precious gifts.
If you know us, you know that this journey has had a few bumps in the road but when I am tucked in cozy with my family, wearing jammies, making soup, watching movies, doing puzzles, drinking tea and watching the snow fall outside while we are curled up next to the fire it will all have been worth it.
I want to devote so much more of my time to the orphan crisis in the world and it will be so wonderful to settle into our permanent home and have the building phase over.


Soon the REAL fun begins.....DECORATING!!!
This will be done a budget of approximately $5.00, so stay tuned on how to decorate on a dime!
Paint samples coming soon!
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