Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"I don't drink coffee"

Last Sunday morning was exquisite. Larry and I were staying at the Renaissance in downtown Chicago and I had the pleasure of waking up whenever I wanted to a quiet room with coffee brewing on the desk. I got to take a shower and get dressed at a leisurely pace with no children fighting in the other room. The TV was tuned to some coverage of the presidential candidates instead of Sponge Bob or Hannah Montana. There was snow spinning and twirling over the city view we had from our hotel window. All was right in my little world.

After lounging around our hotel room for the morning, we decided to head out onto the streets and find a casual place for a little brunch. We stepped outside into what we later found out was 16 degree weather, with a windchill factor of -5. We pulled our wool coats tight, turned up our collars and braced ourselves against the 35 mph winds and flurries of snow. As I adjusted my gloves, I prayed a silly, silent prayer of thanks for the impulse to pull my tights on under my jeans that morning. Walking through the city we were flanked and passed by a plethora of Bears fans and Cheeseheads, decked out in their winter gear, carry blankets and wearing their jerseys over their coats as they walked to Soldier Field. After just a block and 1/2 we were about ready to turn back and simply eat breakfast at the hotel when we spied a small shop on the corner, Corner Bakery Cafe. We could see customers huddled together as they exited with steaming hot coffee in hand and we knew we had found our destination.

We approached the ever-present-in-Chicago revolving door and we were forced to step aside as the side door opened and a manager briskly escorted a homeless man out onto the sidewalk. "Now, see what you've done. I don't have a choice now. I have to call the police. You can't come in here," she declared as she turned past us and went back to her post behind the counter. I could see the clientele at the tables absorbed in the drama as if it were part of their dining entertainment. Whether he had come in and started panhandling among the seated customers or whether he had simply been looking for a warm place to stand for a moment, we will never know.

We entered the cafe and as we walked to the counter I mumbled to Larry that if I had been living on the street in these temperatures I would probably risk arrest for a moment of warmth also. We started to place our order and I began to scan the room for a table. It was crowded and I asked Larry to order so I could grab a spot when it became available. Larry handed me my coffee cup so I could fill it and as he did, the thought occurred to me that I should buy this man outside a coffee. I asked for another cup and left to go fill them up. Not knowing what he would want in it I simply poured a little cream and grabbed a lid. The coffee was just brewed, smelled amazing and I could feel the heat through the cup as it warmed my fingers. I was starting to feel glad that I had acted on the impulse to get some for this man.

As a I pushed through the revolving door, he stood up and thrust his cup toward me. "I don't have cash," I said (which I didn't), "but I did buy you some coffee." I held out my gift. He looked at me incredulously. "I don't drink coffee," he stated blankly. I was momentarily thrown but quickly recovered remembering how the coffee's heat had radiated through the cardboard cup. "Well, even if you don't drink it...it's very hot and just holding it will really help warm your hands up for a little while," I said optimistically. "I don't drink coffee," he repeated insistently. "If you go back in and get me some hot chocolate, I'll drink that but I don't drink coffee." I was flustered. "I...I...I was just trying to help, man..." I stammered.

I pushed back through the revolving door (what is it with Chicago and revolving doors?) and as I was thrust back into the cafe I felt my face flush with heat. I looked around and saw curious stares. I could see people trying to piece together the conversation I had just shared with the homeless man in their minds. I wanted to shout it to them verbatim to stop the gawking and perhaps to garnish some favor. Tears started to well up in my eyes and I couldn't figure out why I was reacting so violently to this rejection.

Part of me was angry. "What an ungrateful little bastard" was one of the phrases floating around in my subconscious. Another part was slightly humiliated. Were people thinking I was a gullible little bleeding heart or that I was foolish?

Then another thought overtook me. Was I being condescending toward this man by assuming he could use a cup of coffee and not even bothering to find out what his real need was? Or even his desire? Why did his preferences and tastes not matter to me? If he were one of my friends, a person a loved, I would have asked him not just what he needed but what he wanted. When did I decide that a homeless person shouldn't get a choice in what is given to them...that it simply didn't matter.

I am haunted by this and have been since my encounter with this man on the streets of Chicago. I see a need for a change. I thought I was socially conscious, caring for those in need and genuinely moved by those facing hardship. What I discovered was that while I was moved it was still as a stranger, not in the love that Christ has for them. If I loved them, my gifts would take into consideration not only their needs but their preferences, what they like and what they love. And while it would be easy now to beat myself over the head for my insensitivity, I am thankful for this new conviction and the opportunity to grow and see things in a new way. I also know myself well enough to see that simply making the commitment to act on this new perception would not work. This is a change that the Holy Spirit is making and will sustain in me. I am praying for a new redemption day and that it begins in me.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Wicked Night!






This is the view from our hotel room window. I love hotels. I love walking into a clean room (that I didn't have to clean), seeing a huge comfy bed, having blackout curtains, looking through everything to find the little extras...coffee, robes, mints... I know Larry's probably sick of them because of all the traveling he has to do but I get a thrill every time we stay in one... I'm like a little kid.

Here we are! Leaving our hotel room to go to dinner and see WICKED!







We had dinner at the hotel.








The show was absolutely amazing. I can't say enough about it. I was mesmerized from the first note of the orchestra's score to the last bow of the curtain call. The cast was strong (with the exception of Boq) and while the girl playing Galinda was quite young (21!!!) she was exceptionally talented and came off as a seasoned performer. Brilliantly done!










One last thing... we passed this sign in an asian restaurant on the way to the theatre and couldn't stop laughing!











Thursday, December 20, 2007

The New Nativity Scene...

...as played out by an almost-4-year-old obsessed with Disney Princesses. This is what greeted me when I went in to the computer room to clean up. I mean...who knew that Jasmine, Belle and Cinderella were at the birth of Christ???? Apparently Maddie! Notice the extra special touch of scattered fish food underfoot. I think there's an extra horse in there also...he snuck in behind the donkey.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Did I mention?


That my incredible husband (the one last seen on this blog as Santa), is surprising me (ok...obviously it's not a surprise anymore but it was until a few days ago...) with a night away in Chicago this weekend for my birthday AND (most importantly!) tickets to "Wicked". The kids are green with envy and I am aglow with anticipation!

Picture Worthy Happenings






Yesterday morning Uncle Joe drove through town and stopped for coffee before heading off to Kansas City on his cross-country drive with his old roommate. We were so happy to see him!






Then...this was great!!! This week Larry did a favor for a friend and was Santa. Our kids LOVED it! I always wondered what it would be like to kiss Santa!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Advent

O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ,
Desire of every nation,
Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell among us.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Emma's 9th Birthday

Emma had her party last night. So even though her birthday is not until the 18th ....here's some pictures of the main celebration!

Winter Storm Update...

...ok...now they're saying over 12" by tomorrow night!!!!! YIPE!

Winter Storm Warning...


Yep...they are forecasting a potential of 8-11 " of snow by tomorrow night! I'm pretty sure we haven't had that big of a snow while we've lived here. Of course, our forecasts are famous for being purely speculative so...we'll see.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just a quick...


...post while I wait for Landen to get out of the shower so I can drive him to Jazz Band before school...


Higglytown Heroes:


  • What's with rhyming "heroes" with "fear-o"? It sends a spine-chilling shiver (akin to the one that accompanies fingernails on the blackboard...which....I don't even think they use anymore...anywho...) through my entire body everytime I have to hear that lame attempt at creativity.

  • What responsible parent in their right mind would allow their children to play with a squirrel? They are rabies infested, nut chucking, vile little creatures! I don't care how cute they are or if they happen to be able to speak with an authentic Minnesota accent!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

And The Winner Is...

Dana Berroth!!!! (results were chosen from an online random number generator with numbers assigned based on the order of the posts)

Keep checking back...I may yet have another one!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Baldwin Cookie Baking Extravaganza



After 9 hours of cooking baking I think I'm done!!! I've heard of people setting aside one whole day for baking during the holidays but have never done it. I mean, get real...I just started really cooking this year! :-)





Emma and I sat down the other day and picked which cookies we would be baking and I made a grocery list. Due to our pre-planning we only had one call to Larry to pick up something at the store and one run over to the neighbor's for 1/2 cup of cocoa (Thanks, Lori!).





The kids didn't help as much as I thought they would (do they ever?)....but we made it. I still have a few sugar cookies to frost but that can wait. I never knew that baking could make your body ache. This is our list of cookies for 2007:



  • Mocha Crinkles






  • No Bake Cookies






  • Sugar Cookies






  • Russian Tea Cakes






  • Oatmeal Butterscotch






  • Chocolate Chip Snowmen






  • Yuletide Linzer Bars

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Mixed Up Christmas

I thought I'd share my Christmas Music Mix and here's the bonus! I invite you all to comment, share your mix, or link back to your mix by midnight tomorrow (PST for all my west coast friends) and on Dec. 9th I will choose at random a winner to receive a CD copy of my Mixed Up Christmas! Yay...let the posting begin!

  1. Blue Christmas- Elvis: How can you NOT have a Christmas mix with this song???? It's nostalgic...well, if you're over 50, I guess. It is by an artist whose name alone calls up images of little people with pointy ears and little green shoes with bells on the toes. Need I say more?

  2. Joy (to the World)- Avalon: NOT the traditional version...this is a fun, rousing, sure to get you moving faster as you decorate, shop, address cards, wrap, bake, clean...anything you need extra energy for...plus the vocal arrangement is amazing...I love harmonies and small group vocals (as you will see as you continue down this list)...especially ones that sound difficult to pull off!
  3. After December Slips Away- First Call: One of my favorite groups of all time.
  4. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?- Ella Fitzgerald with the Frank DeVol Orchestra: Ok...hand's down this is one of my favorite Christmas songs ever...I had never even heard it before 1999 but my extremely gifted friends, musical arranger extraordinaire, Vanda Eggington and playwright Kerry Meads, used it in a Christmas show I did that year and the moment was so moving that I used to sneak to the curtain every night just to watch the scene (I obviously wasn't in that scene!). Since then I can't help but listen and fall back in time to the beautiful moment created on stage by Robbi Starnegg and Tom Stephenson...it was unforgettable.
  5. Snowfall- Manhattan Transfer: Once again...amazing vocal arrangement (and difficult...). It really is gorgeous. One of those "in-front-of-the-fire-sipping-an-adult-beverage-with-Christmas-tree-lights-on" kind of song.
  6. Mystery- Selah: It is the lyrics to this song that draw me in and hold ...riveted:
    "God predestined that His son would die, yet He still created man".
    This song brings my heart back to the gospel and the true significance of Christmas. As our worship pastor, Ryan Flanigan, recently posted in his blog:
    Our Advent worship is, in the words of Bob Webber, "joyful sorrow."
  7. Drummer Boy- Jars of Clay: What post-modern Christmas list would be complete without this version of this song?
  8. Here It Is- Over The Rhine: OVER THE RHINE...what else is there to say? Ok...so maybe not everyone has had the fortunate experience to be introduced to this brilliant band...let me give you a taste of their lyrics (from "Here It Is"):
    "I cried when I wrote this, I'll always remember the worst kind of lonely is alone in December, The act of forgiveness is always a mystery, the meltingof ice and the future of history..."
    If it made sense (which it doesn't because, after all, this is a mix cd) I would put everyone of their Christmas songs on this list!
  9. I Sing The Birth- Lamb's Players Theatre (An American Christmas) I cried the first time I really heard this song with all it's parts and the rich imagery in the lyrics. We performed this each year I was in this show and each time it never failed to move me.
    I sing the birth was born tonight; The author both of life and light
  10. Hold Onto Christmas-4Him: I have this thing about Marty Magehee's voice...basically I could listen to it forever...I have a feeling that all the tenor angels in heaven possess the same resonanace and timbre that Marty's voice carries. Just a note: if you happen to look up this album on the internet...as far as I know, Marty no longer sports that totally rad mullet (the world breathes a sigh of thankfulness).
  11. Wisemen and Angels-Staci Frenes: Heard this simple, lovely Christmas song last year. Staci was kind enough to let us use it.
  12. Carol- First Call: Love the "olde" sound of this one!
  13. All I Really Want-Steven Curtis Chapman: Given my heart for adoption, how could I leave this one out?
    All I really want for Christmas is someone to tuck me in, a shoulder to cry on if I lose, shoulders to ride on if I win. There's so much I could ask for, but there's just one thing I need,. All I really want for Christmas is a family
  14. Twist of the Magi-SheDaisy: This song is hysterical! Check it:
    HE: I put your mother on a greyhound (you did what?)You always hoped she'd have the chance to see the world-now she can SHE: I torched your Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues (No, no, no,no)So I could be your only girl-and now I am BOTH: And I did it all for you, I did it all for . This Christmas all your dreams will come true
  15. Hallelujah Chorus- Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration (Quincy Jones)


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Two Years Ago Today...

...a scared little girl walked away from the only life she had ever known and into the arms of two people who looked like nothing she had ever seen and said nothing she could understand but who loved her more than she could ever imagine. I've said it before, but my picture of courage changed that day. She was so very brave for such a little girl. She was sick and little....fiesty and weepy...clingy and scarred...and she was my daughter. Today she is still full of spit and vinegar. She is affectionate and dramatic. She believes she is a princess and we agree. Her becoming a part of our family was and is a miracle.

Happy Gotcha Day, Madeline Yan...mommy loves you...even on exhausting, trying days like today! :-)

The kids...elfed...

Random things to do when you're procrastinating...

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1174220424

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This is me...


Quote:



Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.




-Leonard Cohn

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Quote...

Dear Baby, I hope someday somebody wants to hold you for 20 minutes straight. All they do is wrap you up in their arms without an ounce of selfishness to it.








From "Waitress"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Adoption Fundraising

A family from our San Diego church are in Liberia right now completing their adoption of two beautiful boys and one stunning little girl. As some of you know, adoption can be costly, primarily because it's a lump sum (instead of spread out like medical costs for a pregnancy and birth). To help them out, I have posted their fundraiser link on my blog. Please give if you feel led. This family is taking three amazing kids out of poverty and offering them a home, a family and making an eternal difference! You can visit their blog at Our Growing Ohana .

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Baldwin Family Day 2007


Official Baldwin Family Day

What is it?


Today is the 10th anniversary of our own family holiday. We call it Family Day.
Each year we celebrate how we all became one family...through marriage, birth
and adoption. It doesn't always have to be elaborate or expensive...sometimes
it's just spending time together. When November 17th lands during the week we
pull the kids out of school, take the day off and clear the schedule of any
other appointments. This is a sacred sabattical from outside "stuff". It is our
family day.

How did it start?

On November 17, 1997 a little 5-month old baby boy entered our home and became our son. We had only known about him for three days and had just met him for the first time the previous day. He was a gift of grace to our marriage and our family and his name was "Laughter", or "Isaac".


(pictured fr. left to rt.: Melissa, Desiree, Isaac's birthmom-holding him, and Larry)


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Signs that I may need to curb my tongue...

Larry and the boys were tearing down an old fort under our patio last weekend. Maddie was watching the whole ordeal and acting as the warning system for any spiders on the loose. Suddenly a huge spider crawled out from behind a beam and Maddie let out an enthusiastic, "Holy Crap!" Which of course sent her brothers into hysterics. Maybe I should be more careful with my mouth!!! :-)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Braggin' Rights...



Next week my brother and his family are coming to visit us in Indiana. We are excitedly getting ready for their visit...the last chance for them to come see our life here before we move back to California. I am so proud of my brother...he pastors a church in San Diego but today I just want to brag on my nephew and niece (who I got to help deliver!!!)...Dakota and Shaye...are they NOT the cutest???!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Portrait of Halloween



Today I took the kids to get their annual Halloween photos. We took Madeline Hubbard (Emma's best friend) along. She and Emma dressed up as twin Elvis's. Here...take a look!


































Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Miniature Diva...

San Diego Fire Relief


· Over 1700 homes lost in San Diego alone to date
· Hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes
· Largest evacuation in California history…larger than evacuation during Hurricane Katrina


You may be like me and watching the news wondering what in the world you can possibly do to make a difference even from a distance. I have one avenue that I would like to pitch out to you.

When we left San Diego, we were involved in a church called Crossroads Church. The congregation at Crossroads has a motto: No One Stands Alone and they live it. When there is a need they will hold “No One Stands Alone” offerings and throw themselves into serving that need. This is NOT a church with a lot of money. They do not live in suburban America with 4 bedroom homes and 2 car garages. Many of them rent and live in apartments. The majority are blue collar workers living paycheck to paycheck. They are a living, contemporary example of the church in 2 Corinthians 8:

2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme
poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.


Crossroads is currently involved in the effort to provide fire relief in San Diego. They have done everything from directing traffic in front of shelters to donating water, cots and other needs. They are being the hands and feet of Jesus to the victims of the fires with their time, energy and money.

Here’s how you can help. By writing a check to Crossroads Church and including “SD Fires” in the memo line you can be guaranteed that your money will go directly to fire relief. If you are in the Michiana area, I would be happy to collect the checks and get them to Crossroads. Or you can mail your check directly to them. (You will receive a tax receipt at the end of the year)

I’ve included an e-mail from the fire relief point person at Crossroads so you can get an idea of what is being done.

Thank you already to those of you who have already contributed!

****************************************************************

Hello everyone,

Matt Ortiz and I spent the morning and early afternoon visiting some evacuation shelters. From our contact with leaders there I would like to suggest a strategy for those would like to organize and help. Please forward this to anyone who is interesting in participating. If you want to receive updates on how to help, make sure you e-mail me at Daviemio1@hotmail.com or call me at 619 248 8226.


Assessment
First, let me describe the situation with evacuation centers. Almost all centers are currently well organized, supplied, and staffed. Volunteers have been storming Evacuation Centers in large numbers. Matt and I spoke with the leaders of the Chula Vista Youth Center and two San Ysidro evacuation centers today. The centers are well prepared for Evacuees. Larger Centers are the main focus for the cities and are less needy. Qualcomm and the Rock for example even have live entertainment. It is the smaller centers, especially those housing the elderly, that are the one's needing more supplies and manpower. Since the volunteers came as a spur of the moment "thing," these smaller centers may need assistance soon.
Assisting
For those who are local to San Diego: Scouting the needs of smaller Evacuation Centers might be the best use of our time. As the day(s) go on, the needs of specific evacuation centers will become clear. Perhaps the best strategy now would be to visit local centers, meet the leaders get their contact information and ask them regarding their needs. Do they need people or supplies? If so, what kind of supplies and what kind of activities are the people needed for. Basically, the evacuation centers are off to a good start, but we want to make sure we can be there if the volunteers and supplies start to die down. If you are not local to San Diego: It's difficult to see if and when we will need volunteers. So far it seems like evacuation centers have more volunteers than they actually need, but this could easily change. If you are interested in helping, please let me know what you think you can do. As we hear from individual evacuation centers I will pass that information on to you.
My email is daviemio1@hotmail.com.
My cell phone is 619 248 8226.


Summary


  1. Tomorrow (Wednesday) night Crossroads Community Group will meet at Chula Vista Youth Center to volunteer from 6pm-8pm. It is on the south side of Chula Vista High School 4th and K in Chula Vista. Tim Berroth is sending information.

  2. Find and visit local evacuation centers, meet their leaders, get contact information, inform them or you willingness to help, and determine their needs. As you encounter needs, please pass those on to others (and please to me).

  3. If you are out of town, please let me know what you are thinking you can do, so that we have an idea of what we can rely on you to provide. Primary Needs: Cots (especially for the elderly), Bedding, Toiletries (not toilet paper - there's plenty of that), Cash (Note: See P.S. below)

Thank you,

David Looney


P.S. Crossroads Church can accept checks made payable to Crossroads Church with a memo line that reads: San Diego Fire Relief.
Mail to:
Crossroads Church
555 Saturn Blvd., Suite B, PMB#510
San Diego, CA 92154

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Sky!

We don't have any fires coloring our sunsets at the moment but you sure wouldn't know it by looking at our sky last night...do you remember that commercial a few years back where the little boy and daddy watched the sunset and then the little boy whispered, "Do it again, Daddy..."


















Do it again, Daddy...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Preschool Perspective


Maddie's comments to me while we watched "Dancing With The Stars" during their samba/rhumba episode...


  1. "Mommy, somebody ripped the back of her dress!"

  2. "Eeewwww...she's NAKED!"

Latest Update!

According to San Diego Sheriff's 346,000 homes have been evacuated...that is NOT the number of people...that is the number of homes...the number of people is MUCH higher.

I am working with my brother's church, Crossroads, to coordinate relief efforts. If you would like to be a part of this effort, please leave a comment and I will contact you when I have details and resources set up to accomodate the help! Thank you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Prayer Request!

Many of my friends and family live in the San Diego area. They are currently facing multiple firestorms in worse conditions than when we had them back in 2003 (our family was evacuated at that time but suffered no damage...other than smoke and ash). Some have been evacuated and others are on alert. Please keep them in prayer. The entire city is blackened with smoke and ash.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Parenting Tip of the Day


From Stephen Colbert's "I Am America (And So Can You!)" :


Arbitrary rules teach kids discipline: If every rule made sense, they wouldn't be learning respect for authority, they'd be learning logic.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Basement Burrowing

The kids and I are currently huddled in our basement. Landen has the girls watching "Annie" on Larry's laptop while I track the storms on the television. Our sirens went off a few minutes ago sending Emma screaming down the stairs while Isaac had the presence of mind to grab Maddie from bed and meet us in the basement. Poor Maddie was shaking so hard from being jolted from bed by sirens and screaming...she ran to Landen and wouldn't let him put her down. Oh...the exciting adventures of midwest living. Can't wait to get back to the earthquakes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Finally! A Candidate I Can Stand Behind!



And I'm thinkin' the view might not be too bad from back there...hmmmm....


Yes, it's true...the illustrious Stephen Tyrone Colbert has officially announced his bid for the Presidency.







Creative, socially-conscious, intelligent housewives unite!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Desert Wanderings

I thought we were headed for Canaan. We had sold our overpriced, yard-deprived bungalow in the dry, smog-filled, traffic-infested land of Southern California for a solid profit and after the purchase our new much larger home in a green, upscale Midwestern neighborhood, still had money to sock away for a rainy day. We had experienced a peace about our new adventure and not solely based on what seemed like the promise of financial security. Every door had opened wide for us and we were eager to see what God had planned for our family of five in our new community.

I have to say that the first few months were incredible. Larry was home because we were waiting for a contract he had to start. We found a perfect local coffee house to hang out in and felt a strong calling to our church. We dove into our new life with relish. Within a few months we had some significant friendships, had gone to China on a mission trip, were starting an orphan ministry and were enjoying making our new house a home. We came home from China and began the adoption process for our sweet Madeleine who was waiting in an orphanage back in Asia, a addition to our family we hadn’t even considered while in San Diego.


Then the roof caved in. Every consulting contract that appeared on the horizon seemed to dissolve before our eyes as obstacle after obstacle kept us from moving forward. We started living on our profit from our San Diego house and, with adoption costs added to every day living expenses, we started watching our nest egg evaporate. Each consulting contract soon became the proverbial carrot…always just a little out of reach. The lean months turned into a year. A year turned into two. Our money was gone and our credit was maxed. We were down to one car and struggling to pay the bills each month.


Why had God brought us here just to let us flounder? Had we been mistaken in what we thought had been his direction? We believed we had been obedient. We believed that He had plans for us beyond what we could imagine. We certainly hadn’t imagined this.
And yet we got to see God where we had never seen him before. We met him on our patio in the melting snow where bags of groceries had been left anonymously. We found him in our mailbox where two gift cards of $200 each showed up in a blank envelope at Christmas time. We glimpsed him in the eyes of our new chosen child. Everywhere we turned, expecting to find no one, we found Him.


So, here we are. Three years after arriving in what we believed was the Promised Land, we are leaving. God has provided a job for Larry in San Diego. This is where my family is. This is where I am from. What we thought was our Canaan has been revealed to us as our desert wanderings. A place where God has been refining us, teaching us to depend on His provision and increasing our faith. He has taken two first-born over-achievers and taught us how to accept help. He has deepened our understanding of the gospel and how it should affect the way we live. And frankly, we’re not sure that our big, beautiful house in suburbia is it.

While to many people it may look as if we are running home with empty hands, we have seen the sovereignty of God at work in our lives, as individuals and as a family and it has changed us. And we wouldn’t change that for anything.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Girls' Day Out

Emma (my 8-almost-9 yr old) is best friends with Madeline ...the daughter of my best friend here in Granger, Kristine. When we started planning our move back to San Diego, the girls hatched a brilliant plan that would make their separation more bearable. They decided that the four of us (mommies and daughters) should go to Chicago and visit the American Girl Place where they would pick out "Looks Like Me" dolls and then exchange them so Emma would have a doll that looked like Madeline and Madeline, one that looked like Emma. Kristine and I thought it was ingenious idea, so yesterday we gathered up our toll money, piled into the car and made the journey to the Windy City. We had a long, wonderful day. Our first stop was the American Girl Place and then we had lunch together at the Cheesecake Factory. The rest of the day involved a visit to the Hershey Store, walking, stopping to go potty at Borders, more walking, petting the horses waiting to pull carriage rides, walking again, buying Kristine cute maternity clothes on sale at The Gap, MORE walking, buying a "short attention span" onesie for "The Boy" (how we are currently referring to the growing male within Kristine's womb), walking (sort of) a little more, throwing pennies in a wishing fountain, limping, stopping get me a Diet Pepsi fix, and then some staggering to our parking garage! It really was so fun to watch the girls just enjoy everything.

Quoted!

I answered a call from a fellow Writer Mama for a piece she was writing for Washington Parent. Check it out!
http://www.washingtonparent.com/articles/0710/healthy.html

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Theatrical News...


Marcel Marceau, the silent man who brought mime to the general public, died Saturday. He was 84.


...I guess that's one box he won't be getting out of anytime soon.


(Did I mention that mimes scare me?)