Thursday, August 23, 2012

Surprise!

 Who doesn't love a surprise?
Especially when it involves friends we haven't seen for months and months!

Of course, we moms had it all planned out, but I left my kids in the dark.
So when the doorbell rang and they saw who was standing there, Char and Amarin started yelling and Jacob choked on a gulp of water.  It's not every day that friends show up on our doorstep that live hours and hours away!

All recovered from the initial shock, and they had a great time playing.  Like 8 months had not even passed since they last saw each other.  And even though my sweet friend, Amy, is a seriously healthy eater...she caved and agreed to pizza for lunch! :)

 Within minutes, the arsenal was out and in full force.

 Laura made it home from school just in time to get in a quick snuggle with Amy before they had to leave.  We're so glad they came to spend the day with us!


Laura's First Day

 We have a 2nd grader!
Laura started school yesterday with a 1/2 day.
(Why do schools bother with 1/2 days?)
Anyway, someone was NOT happy when Mama woke her up at 6 A.M.
Talk about gettin' the stink eye!
So I thought I'd get that look on camera for proof.
Because no one ever believes that she can give me "the look."
But as soon as she heard the camera click, this is what she gave me.

 Aha!  I caught the look!

Oops.  Better put on my happy face again.
 
 Is anyone still looking?  Can I give Mama the stink eye again?

I chatted with Laura's teacher after school and she said she had a great first day.
And she agreed that Laura has indeed become quite loud!
A little kindergarten girl started in her class (also non-verbal) and was shushing her all morning.
Sounds like this could be a funny year!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Watch This! UPDATE

UPDATE:  Actual voting is taking place at this link:
http://on.fb.me/PdsJNe
(look for Caleb Blaha's name under the video at the bottom right) 

In short, please click HERE and watch this awesome music video.
It's totally family friendly.
Oh, and share it with your friends, too.  I'll explain more below if you want to read.

In long...here's the story behind it.

The family that made this video is some of our best friends back where we used to live.
Their son and Amarin are like two peas in a pod.
And Jacob and Amarin stayed with them for 2 weeks when we went to China to get Jenna.
They are a sweet, sweet family, and just love the Lord.

Caleb, the dad, is a very talented videographer...I think that's the right term.
He has put together family movies based on Bible stories, and novels.
When our boys stayed with them, they all worked together to write a script, and turned it into a fun, short film, complete with animation, costumes, etc.

Caleb recently entered a video in a contest by Andrew Peterson, based on his new song, Rest Easy.
The winner of this contest will win a cash award, as well as have his video used as the official song video.
Caleb's video made it to the top 10!

Now the voting begins by simply watching the video.
Ultimately, Andrew Peterson will choose the winner, but the voting will count, too.

So please take a moment to view this video, and then you can share the link on FB, blogs, or whatever other way you would like.  It is very well done and so fun to watch our friends!

Leave me a note and tell me what you think.  I know there are lots of you out there from lots of different countries that lurk without leaving messages!

PS.  As you watch it, pay attention to the video that the kids are watching while lying on the floor.  The two sword fighters...those are my boys in the video that they made while staying there!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happiness is...

 sharing popcorn with a baby sister.

 and holding on to a big brother, 'cause he will keep me from falling.

 Calling "mamamamamama" while trying to eat popcorn.

 Using those little fingers to take food...

 and feed myself like a big girl.

 We're happy.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Babies and Justice

 Jamie's home.  After 11 days, 6 flights, and a ridiculous number of time zones...he's home, safe and sound.
And jet lagged.
But enough about that.

Here is a picture of the goods he took over for the children under the care of BaoBei.


We were thankful that we could fill one suitcase with much needed items for the sweet babies.  Even the suitcase was donated so Jamie could just leave it there.

Well, he had meetings for work the first week he was in Shanghai, so he met with one of the co-directors of BaoBei on Saturday.  Such a sweet lady, and so hospitable.
She showed Jamie a quick video about BaoBei, talked with him about what they do for children, and then...here's the best part...took him to see two babies!
Oh, I would love to show you the photos I rec'd of Jamie with these little ones.
But I can't.  So just imagine with me two of the cutest babies ever.  Are you with me?
OK.
One baby girl was recovering from a recent surgery.  She was hooked up with lots of wires so he couldn't hold her.  But...he got to hold a baby boy and feed him a bottle.
What a precious photo I have of the two of them!
Unfortunately, this baby boy's surgeries hadn't corrected his health issue as they had hoped, so his days here on earth, barring a miracle, are very short.  Jamie's heart was so touched by this little guy.  We just rec'd word this A.M. that Jamie's newest buddy was transferred to an awesome care facility to spend his last days.  And the caregivers promised that when he was in his last days, they would hold him 24/7.  Anyone have a tissue?  That, my friends, is what it's all about.

In line with this topice, I just finished another wonderful book called Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just, by Timothy Keller.


 You see, once you realize what God has done in your life, you just can't look at life the same.  You can't look at the orphans, widows, foreigners, or needy in the same way.  They are not lesser people than the rest of us who are so privileged.  In fact, the Bible mentions caring about these groups of people over and over again. And it's not a request.  It's a command.  And it's not charity, because charity is optional.  It is simply living out the command that we were given.  The command.

When I see pictures of orphan after orphan after orphan come across my computer screen...orphans needing families and surgeries and a chance to live...it just overwhelms me.  And when I see the cost of surgeries that could save their lives, I wonder why some of these kids are still waiting at death's door, enduring pain and discomfort like no child should.  And when I hear about the amount that Americans spend on frivolous items throughout the year, it makes me angry.
For example,
"Americans are going to be spending $6.9 billion on Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation. That's up from the $3.5 billion they spent on the scary holiday in 2005."
 Do you realize how many life saving surgeries that could cover?  That's not generous and that's not justice.  How I pray that more and more people will wake up and see the need "Beyond the Horizon" and their own front door.