Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do you hear music????

Well, that's because I added it to my blog using playlist.com!!! What do you think? I'm not sure how this will affect those of you with dial-up - please let me know if it makes it harder to read my blog. Also, if you're at work trying to read this and don't want to get "caught" you can scroll down to the bottom and turn off the music - just hit the "pause" button.

Another change especially for you Mom (and the rest of my family and friends without their own blogs) - I've changed the comment settings. So now, even if you don't have a blog, you can leave a comment. (If I end up getting strange comments from unknown people I'll change it back.)

Hope you enjoy the music - I'll add more songs later!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Great Movie (and a Not So Great Movie)

If you haven't seen it yet - you MUST see Slumdog Millionaire! I watched it the other night while Dave was out of town and LOVED it! It has everything a movie should - sadness, happiness, action, adventure, love, hate...at one point I'd be in tears because it was SOOOO sad and then almost standing up and cheering at other parts. Trust me, it's awesome! But don't take my word for it, see it for yourself!

Then there's Twilight...I read all four books and really liked them but was not happy with the movie at all. There were some parts that were good but overall I was very disappointed. First off I didn't think the characters looked like how I'd pictured them in the books, especially the Cullens. In the books the Cullens were take your breath away, drop dead gorgeous but I didn't think that in the movie. As for Bella, she looked fine but her acting wasn't great. Jacob was another one who didn't look like what I thought he would - I thought he'd be better looking. Edward Cullen was the only one I thought did well and looked close to how I'd pictured. Then there was the connection/attraction between Bella and Edward. I just didn't see it - I don't think it was developed or explained well enough - especially if you hadn't read the books. I could go on and on with the things I didn't like about this movie. I don't know if I was just expecting too much, but I was pretty disappointed. So consider yourself warned - you may be disappointed too...So rent Slumdog Millionaire instead!!! :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

God is Good!

God is so amazing! Just when I was ready to give up all hope of ever adopting God stepped in. (NOTE: Before you get too excited - we have not been choosen.) A week ago I wrote in my journal about how frustrated and confused I was with our journey to adopt. When I read it I can feel the confusion, sadness and plain hopelessness in the words I wrote. At the end I prayed that God help us. As always, my prayers were answered but in an unexpected way.

Saturday Dave and I attended an adoption seminar put on by a local church. I had read an article in the paper about it and decided to go. I was hoping to learn more about foster care thinking maybe God doesn't want us to adopt, maybe he wants us to be foster parents instead.

The seminar included some inspiring testimonies from several families who had adopted internationally. Then there were 2 women from an adoption agency who spoke about their agency and specifically about international adoption. I began to wish that Dave and I had pursued international adoption, I thought that if we had maybe we would already have a child. Then, at the very end of their presention, they mentioned that you could adopt from the Oregon foster care system then they sat down. One of the seminar organizers asked if they could speak more about that topic.

As the woman explained how it was possible for MI families working with their agency to adopt thru the Oregon foster system I started to feel excited for the first time in a long time. Hope began to rise inside me and I wondered what Dave was thinking. Was he as excited as I was? Someone asked if you could transfer your approved homestudy from another agency to this program and the answer was "No" - you have to be with that agency. So I asked if, in that same situation, you could have them do a whole new homestudy. The answer was "Yes!" In addition, because of the low fees for adopting thru the foster care system, it would actually be less money than if we were to adopt domestically thru our current agency! Dave and I looked at each other and I knew we were on the same page. He was feeling the same excitement and hopefulness I was!

We had a break shortly after that and spoke briefly to the women from the agency. I could tell that they felt bad for us when we told them how long we'd been waiting. However, they spoke of waiting on God's timing and His plan. They were very nice, encouraging and genuine. One of the women gave us a book to look thru with the pictures of the children available for adoption in Oregon. As Dave and I looked at all the beautiful happy faces of the children my heart ached for them.

Then I turned to a picture of a little boy and girl laying in a wagon and my heart stopped. I felt such a pull as I looked into their beautiful innocent eyes. (They are brother and sister, he is 3 and she is 1.) I paused at the page but then continued on to the other pictures in the book. But my mind kept going back to those 2. I could picture them as part of our family! I wanted to be their mom!

The only thing keeping me from that are three things: 1) a new homestudy which will take 3-4 months to complete, 2) an okay by the committee responsible for picking the families for the children (there may be other families interested in those kids - the committee chooses who they think would be best for the children), and 3) most importantly, my husband's okay. You see, Dave has always said he only wants 2 children even though I've always said I wanted 3. But I agreed to only have 2, that is until we decided to adopt. I've told him that if we adopt we need to do it twice, so that the children could have someone else to "relate" to, someone who knows what they're going thru. Also, I didn't want our kids to be called "the adopted kid" and "the biological kid." But this reasoning still hasn't changed Dave's mind so why would he change his mind now?

After we got done with the book I couldn't help flipping back to the page that had tugged at my heart. I had one last look with Dave before giving the book back. We then spent the next hour and a half listening to a woman from Bethany talk about the thousands of children in the MI foster care system who need a family. It's so sad and I felt like I should want to adopt thru MI but I kept thinking of the kids in Oregon.

We were barely out the door at the end of the meeting when I asked Dave, "So, what do you think?" As I suspected, he was as ready as I was to pursue an Oregon foster care adoption! On the drive home I reminded him of the little boy and girl in the wagon and asked what he thought about them. To my surprise, he didn't immediately say no. In fact, he asked a couple questions that lead me to believe he isn't totally opposed to the idea!

We have already submitted our pre-application and we will now wait to be contacted about the next steps. There are a lot of unknowns, like whether or not that brother and sister will still be available by the time we get thru with the homestudy process. We don't know. As always, only God knows what will happen. But I do know one thing, last week I was feeling sad and wrote this in my journal: "I wish our path was clear to both Dave and I. Lord, please give us direction. Please give us the strength to get thru the wait and the peace with whatever path you choose for us." Wow, did He ever answer that prayer (and then some)! Isn't God amazing?!!! Not only do we have direction but where I was once filled with worry and despair, I am now filled with hope and excitement! Glory to God!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Great Book!

Just wanted to quickly tell you about a GREAT book I just finished! It's called "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan. A patron at the library suggested it to me (wish I could remember who so I could thank them).

Anyway, it's a true story about a 30-something woman (wife and mother of 2 small children) who gets breast cancer and then she finds out her father, whom she's really close to, has bladder cancer at the same time. I know it sounds depressing but it's actually a really funny book. The author wrote it so well! She alternates the chapters, one is about when she was a child then the next one is about now. It's called "middle place" because she's in the middle of being an adult - a wife and mother - but still a child - a daughter. I can't say enough great things about it! I couldn't put it down! I'm adding it to my list of "favorite books" right now! Hope you enjoy it too!

p.s. If you've never read "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert, that's another great book I'd highly recommend! (I thought about this book several times when I was reading "Middle Place.")

First Free Day in a LONG Time

WOW! It seems like it's been FOREVER since I had a free day all to myself! It's been so nice today - I didn't have to work or volunteer at Lexie's school or run errands. I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted! So what did I do?

1. Took Lexie to school
2. Ate a leisurely breakfast and read
3. Downloaded pictures from my camera, Lexie's camera and my mom's camera
4. Organized the pictures and then burnt them to discs
5. Caught up on my e-mail
6. Posted to my blog
7. Went for a long walk with Sandy (Boy am I out of shape!)
8. Caught up on some TV (Samantha Who? and Survivor)
9. Ate lunch in front of the TV (I can't remember the last time I did that!)
10. Took a shower around 1:00 in the afternoon (because you can take one whenever you want when you have a free day!)
11. Made a bunch of calls - scheduling appointments, etc. (because I knew Dave would be asking about them)
12. Started the laundry (since I'm wearing my last clean pair of underwear)
13. Started post #2 to my blog - Yay me! :)

Wow! I feel so proud of myself. I'm going to just dwell in all I've accomplished for awhile before I start thinking about the hundred OTHER things I still need to do and probably won't get to today. Like painting and grocery shopping and cleaning the house and putting the clean dishes away and loading the dishwasher and the trunkful of returns I need to do and I haven't even thought about what we're going to have for dinner!!!!!!!

Ooops. I got out of my happy place.

Did I mention I did 2 blog posts today? Hope you're enjoying your Friday.

"Mommy, am I fat?"

Something very disturbing happened a few nights ago with my daughter. She was in the bathroom and she called me in and asked me this question: "Mommy, am I fat?" WHAT?????!!!!!! Keep in mind she is 6 1/2 years old and that the word "fat" is considered a bad word in our house.

I don't know that I really handled it well. I said the first thing that came to mind. "Where did you hear this from? You are 6 years old! You shouldn't be thinking about this! Where did you hear this from?" I know I repeated the last question but I was in shock and angry - I wanted to have her stop watching whatever show she saw it on, or stop reading the book, or stop hanging out with the "friends" that said something...you get the picture.

She assured me she hadn't heard it anywhere. She just looked down at her belly and squeezed it so that cute little rolls were between her thumb and her fingers. Then she said she thought she was fat. Of course this got me boiling again. I felt mad at TV, at society, at books, at magazines - for having my SIX year old daughter already worry about this!!! It killed me to hear her say that she was anything less than what she is - a beautiful little girl.

But I pulled it together enough to tell her that she was NOT "fat." I explained that most of her pants have the adjustable waist because she's so skinny. I also told her I didn't want to hear her talk like that again. Then I hugged and kissed her and she brushed her teeth and got into bed. Meanwhile, in my head...

Did I handle that well? No, I did everything wrong! What should I have said? What is the "right" thing to say? I can't believe she's already worried about how she looks! I thought I was doing such a good job of building her up. What happened? Where did I go wrong? I thought I was teaching her that it's what's inside that's important. That who she IS is more important than what she looks like. What about all those times I've seen her in front of the mirror, primping and preening and I didn't say anything? I should've said something! All those poses she does, pretending she's Hannah Montana, I should've made her stop that. Maybe I should remove the mirror from her room?

But I didn't say any of that to her, instead I just told her that I didn't want her saying anything like that again. (Brilliant right?) Then she lays this on me, "I just said that because I thought you'd laugh Mommy." !!!!!!!!What???!!!!!!

Whether that's true or not, I don't know. But one thing I do know, I'm going to pay a lot more attention to how she looks at herself in the mirror and about what kind of images she sees around her. As her mother, it's my job (for the next 12 to 50 years) to build up her confidence in who she is - inside and out.

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Review of Tonic Studios 12" Guillotine Paper Trimmer: (30cm) w/Large 12" Base


Perfect for scrapbooking and home office desk tops. Always ready for use without taking up valuable space. The Kushgrip comfort handle features a stainless steel blade for a clean straight cut. A paper clamp with integrated finger guards presses down firmly to ensure paper does not move while cu...

I'm loving this trimmer!

Jenn MI 4/10/2009


4 5

Pros: Clean Edges, Cuts Straight, Good Cutting Capacity, Sturdy

I'm a scrapbooker and I've gone thru many different trimmers over the years - the Fiskars personal trimmer, the Cutterpede (green), and the big Fiskars rotary trimmer. None of them gave me a consistently straight cut. In addition, when I would try to cut a sheet of pictures I wasn't happy with how the edges looked frayed (not true with the rotary trimmer).

I have been VERY happy with this guillotine cutter. It seems to be doing a great job so far - even with pictures! I was tempted to give it 5 stars but I'm still getting used to it. I do wish it had marks on the board for normal picture sizes like 4x6, 5x7 & 8x10 but I guess I could make the marks myself. Overall I think this is a great cutter!