Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twenty Years and Counting...

I know I've been terrible the last few months about updating my blog. Life gets a little crazy sometimes. In July, Larry and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. We kept is a small celebration because we had booked our BIG celebration for September! On September 8 we flew into Newark and then took a car service over to NY and our hotel...the Marriott Marquis! We stayed in New York until the morning of the 11th when we took a cab to Brooklyn and got on a cruise ship that took us to Newport, RI, Boston, Bar Harbor, St Johns, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. What a was so fun and so relaxing and really a dream vacation. Here's some of my favorite shots from the trip: (more to follow as I edit!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mommy Bragging Rights

I am so proud of my kiddos this week.
In just the last couple of days:
  • Landen got his California High School Exit Exam scores (kids take it every year starting as sophomores until they pass it and must pass to graduate) and he got PERFECT SCORES on it... as a sophomore!!!
  • Isaac's baseball team (he's playing for Park View Little League Yankees) was the 1st seed in the championship playoffs and has won every game so now goes to the championship on Saturday!!! Whoo-hoo!
  • Emma came home with the most amazing report card ever and a invitation to be a part of GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) next year!
  • Maddie, mommy's baby... graduated from kindergarten!!!!! What a big girl! She is reading voraciously, tying her shoes all by herself and just has a heart that is full of love for others...I couldn't be prouder.

Thank you for indulging my mommy moment! Please...I'd love to hear YOURS! Post them below in the comments!!!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Long Lost Brother (Sister)

I've been praying these lyrics today as I prepare my heart for reunion with a dear friend... Thank you, Karin and Linford for this beautiful rendering...

Long Lost Brother (Over the Rhine)

I thought that we’d be
Further along by now
I can’t remember how
We stumbled to this place

I loved you like a long lost brother
On a bad day maybe I thought why bother
I’ve seldom seen so much anger
In a face

I wanna do better
I wanna try harder
I wanna believe
Down to the letter

Jesus and Mary
Can you carry us
Across this ocean
Into the arms of forgiveness

I don’t mean to laugh outloud
I’m trying to come clean
Trying to shed my doubt
Maybe I should just keep
My big mouth shut

More often than not
When it comes to you
You want whatever’s not in front of you
Deep down I know this includes me too

So tell me your troubles
Let your pain rain down
I know my job I’ve been around
I invest in the mess
I’m a low cost dumping ground

Trouble is I’m so exhausted
The plot, you see, I think I’ve lost it
I need the grace to find what can’t be found

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today is clearly a "Mommy's-too-tired-to-choose-to-battle-over-what-you're-wearing" day...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hurt People Hurt People

I was recently blindsided by an e-mail from a friend. This friend had misinterpreted something I had done and then made some further assumptions that cut me to the quick. I had no idea how to respond. Part of me was angry that she believed things about me that were not true. Part of me was wounded by her words. I was just flummoxed by the whole scenario.

As I was trying to reason out the best way to respond, my brother (and Pastor) wisely reminded me of a story I had told him many years ago.

While in high school I volunteered a number of times for Special Olympics. I absolutely loved being a "hugger"--one who stood at the end of the "race" or "jump" or event and hugged the participants as they finished. But on one particular occasion, instead of being asked to be a "hugger" the person in charge of volunteers paired me with a mentally challenged girl with Down's Syndrome. She had no family or friends at the event to watch or encourage her so I was assigned to walk her from event to event and support her as she participated in each activity.

It was going fairly well until it came time for the long jump. She completed a jump of about a foot and 1/2 and a look of utter disappointment and horror crossed her face. She had thought she would do so much better. I walked toward her to hug her and congratulate her for completing the event and she lashed out, angry at herself for her perceived failure. She began to cry and wail and then to start hitting herself in the face with her fists. I threw my arms around her trying to pin her arms down so she wouldn't injure herself and her fist collided with my right cheek just under my eye. I just kept holding her, whispering in her ear, until she calmed down.

The point my brother was making was her anger, in her pain, she ended up hurting me... the one who was trying to help. But she didn't mean to... it was a by product of her disability.

We are all disabled in one way or another. Some emotionally, some physically, some spiritually...this affects how we act, how we respond, and sometimes it unintentionally hurts those around us. Hurt people hurt people.

This reminder, this nugget of truth was enough to take the edge off my own pain and glimpse the bigger picture. It was enough to soften my heart again toward this friend who I love and compose a response that was honest AND loving. It was enough to remind me of grace.

Thank you, Matt, for the reminder.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still Missing- ERICK WALES

It is almost midnight on Tuesday and Erick is still missing (see post below). There has been a website set up that includes a flyer that people can print and download. Please pass it on...share it with anyone and everyone. And continue to hold Erick and his family and friends in prayer.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Erick Wales is MISSING!

UPDATE 6:26 pm- Erick is still missing. He drives a black Saturn Ion, California plates - FR33BSD.

Jane and Christina are a mother and daughter who I love VERY much! Yesterday morning, Erick (Jane's son and Christina's brother) went missing. He was last seen in San Diego, is in his mid-20's and this is out of character. Please look at the pictures below. I'm also asking that you pray for Jane, Christina and Erick during this uncertain time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Photo Contest-Vote for me!!!!

Disclaimer: This is a shameless plug...
My dear friend, Cynthia, is one of the most avid (and balanced) environAdd Imagementalists that I know. She has inspired me in many ways but most evident is probably my new consistent use of reusable shopping bags.

On Friday, our families went out to dinner to celebrate Larry's birthday and the birthday card they gave Larry was the coolest thing! She had purchased it through the Arbor Day Foundation and the purchase goes toward planting a tree in one of our National Parks. This thrilled Emma (my little nature lover) and so today she decided to send an electronic version to her BFF, Madeline, in Indiana for HER birthday. While we were on the site we noticed a banner for a photo contest they are holding. The grand prize winner's photo will be featured on their Give-a-Tree cards. Emma and I got very excited because I enjoy (just for my own pleasure) taking photos of trees and plants that fascinate me. We immediately went through some of my more recent ones and chose the following photos to submit. (Each person can submit up to four photos.)

Please logon to Arbor Day Foundation to vote for one of my photos (you can search by photographer... under Melissa B.)

WIN!!! If you leave a comment here, I will enter you in random drawing to win your own personalized card with your favorite photo. You can get additional entries in the drawing by referring your friends to the link or posting it on your blog or Facebook. Just comment here with links to your "referrals" OR have your friend comment here with your name somewhere in the comment so you get credit for the referral!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why I'm Not Crazy About UNICEF...

I know. I know. Believe me, I know that UNICEF has done some fabulous humanitarian work. However, the fact remains that they have an aggressive anti-international adoption stance. They seem to prefer that a child grow up in an institution (orphanage) in their own culture than with a forever family in another culture. To give you an idea of why I have issues with Unicef, I'd like to share with you a blog post by The Joint Council on International Children's Services. It will explain a lot!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Little Late...

Well, we've always had good intentions for starting family devotions and somehow every time we tried it fizzled... usually because of schedules, boring/cheesy material or just lack of discipline. We are trying again (pray for us!).

When I discovered the book that we are using for our women's Bible Study, I noticed that the author had also created a dinner devotion book for families. Because I admire her adult material and I feel confident with her theology, I decided to order it.

In the week or so that we've been using it, it has gone pretty well. Only a few groans and sighs when we pull it out. They are fairly brief which works for us although I have noticed that it sometimes tend to be a little over Maddie's head (just turned 6 years old). I've found that we can usually have one of the other kids explain it in their words to her and I think that's a GOOD thing!

Do you use family devotions in your home? If so, what material do you use? Or do you simply read through scripture? If so, do you have a method to what you choose to read?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Re-entering the Real World (and the blogosphere)

Yes, it's true. I'm back... not that I think anyone is actually reading this or was waiting with bated breath for my next blog entry but, well... here I am. In addition to returning to my blog, I find myself after four straight months of performing, plus rehearsal time, returning to the life of full-time mom and out-of-work actress.

My show, "Joyful Noise", just closed last Sunday and I have to say that it was one of the most emotionally difficult closings I have ever experienced. I think in part because everyone else in the cast was moving on to their next project while I do not have anything "lined up". I also believe it's because I'm feeling particularly vulnerable in my abilities as a mom. Also, coinciding with my return to full time family chauffeur, Larry is traveling Monday thru Thursday this week. And believe me, that leaves a HUGE hole for me to fill.

Nevertheless, I plug ahead. I started a new devotional, "The One Year Book of Hope", to help keep me on track as well as a women's Bible Study on Hebrews, "Hoping for Something Better". I know that in order to be the mom I need to be, I need to be growing spiritually.

I also revamped our "chore" routine. Today I worked on our pegboard and also added a daily rotation list for 6 chores that will rotate between the three older kids. For the ones that don't rotate, I use the PEGS system, an invaluable tool I picked up at a Hearts at Home conference a few years back. I'm hoping this will help add some order back into a house that has been flying by the seat of its pants since we moved in back June!

That's the update for now!

Tell me... what do YOU do when your routine needs a kick in the pants???