Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Confessions

Okay, guys- now that we have another Christmas behind us (ours was wonderful, btw- hope yours was, too), it's time to play "Christmas Confessions." I want to hear what the absolute, all-time, Worst Gift was that you ever received. I'm thinking of mine right now, but- since I'm not sure whether or not the giver will read this post and I would never want to hurt his/her feelings- I'd better not tell you. But you can tell me yours! Come on- your crazy Aunt Sally won't read my blog, so go ahead and tell us all about it.

You can also share your Best Gift, Strangest Gift, Silliest Gift, etc.- whatever you want. Heck, create your own category if you need to, just spill it.

I do have a story that would fall into the "Strangest Gift" category that I can share...

It was the first Christmas I'd spent with my birth mother after meeting her, and I had no idea what to get her. We hadn't known each other very long at all. What do you get for the person who spurted you into the world, yet is still basically a stranger to you? The budget was tight, too- which only made choosing the perfect gift harder.

I ended up taking the safe and practical route and chose a nightshirt for her. I figured most birth moms probably wear something to bed, right? So, there you go. It was a dark, pretty shade of emerald green, with a few little flowers embroidered on it.

When we got to her house, I was nervous and second-guessing the gift I'd picked. I should have chosen something... better. She's going to hate it. What a dumb gift. Oh well, it was too late. I figured- once I get to know her better, I'll be able to choose something more suited to her tastes next year.

We started opening gifts, and a box was tossed my way. I was a little distracted by helping the kids open their gifts and watching all the activity, so I didn't even take time to read the tag on the package before I started opening it. Once I had the box open on my lap, I took a look inside, and I...

Was mortified.

Under the tissue paper, staring back at me, was the dark green nightshirt. One of the kids must have accidentally handed me a gift that was FROM me, instead of TO me, and without paying attention, I just tore into it and opened it. I was so embarrassed. I looked over at my birth mom to explain I had mistakenly just opened the gift I'd brought for her (what a dufus. Way to make a good impression, there, Michelle!) but she was sitting there...

Holding up a dark green nightshirt.

I was confused at first. I even looked down quickly to read the tag on the paper from my package and it said "To: Michelle, From: Barb." It took me a sec to realize what had happened.

We had gotten each other the exact same gift. Same color, same little embroidered flowers, same everything.

I waited for Rod Serling to pop out from behind the couch, but he didn't.

Strange, huh?

Now, let's hear your stories!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From our family... To yours.

We wish you a blessed, Christ-filled Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Photo Tag

Tracy at Tracy's Corner has tagged me. Here are the rules:

1.go to your documents
2. go to your 6th file.
3.go to your 6th picture.
4. blog about it.
5. tag 6 friends to do the same.

I'm going to cheat a little bit because I'm on a computer that doesn't have a ton of pictures, so I can't go to the sixth file. But here's the sixth picture in the file. Fortunately, it happens to be a picture that I absolutely love. This is my son, Kyle (from Darrell's first marriage), and our granddaughter, Jaden.

I think it's so sweet the way she's walking along looking up at her daddy. I don't get to see her as often as I'd like- she's growing up so fast. She reminds me of her dad when he was little. He was about 18 mos. old when I met him and just the cutest little thing. She has his big, beautiful eyes and blonde hair.

Here's another picture of them from the front: Isn't she a doll? Or am I just a proud Grandma? No... She's a doll. Her daddy's not too bad-lookin,' either. I can say that without bragging, since I had nothing to do with his DNA.

I'm cheating again and not tagging six people, because I'm too lazy busy right now to link to six blogs. I'm going to give an open invitation to any and all of my blog buddies to play. If you do, leave me a comment so I can check out your photo!

Now, I'm off to spend the day baking Christmas goodies with my babies, then we're going to watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Gotta have my George Bailey!

Thanks for the tag, Tracy!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Yesterday was an interesting day here at And Sam Makes Seven. Yes, sir. I started out by stupidly believing I was putting up a simple, goofy, fluffy post about our new puppy.

Um, yeah... And how did that work out for you, Michelle?

Not good. Not good at all. Thank you for asking.

You know the old saying, "No simple, goofy, fluffy deed goes unpunished."

Apparently, good Americans should think twice before using the words "evil" and "Obama" in the same sentence. Whether or not they actually intended to call Mr. Obama evil doesn't matter. It Although, just for giggles, I Googled the words "Bush" and "evil" together, and OY... The quotes about our current President including the word "evil" (among others) were aplenty. I guess that word is supposed to be saved for history's worst offenders- like Satan, Hitler, Bill Maher, George W. Bush... I didn't know it wasn't supposed to be used jokingly to describe dogs, or even remotely connected to the Great and Powerful Ob. Because of my unpatriotic faux pas, I had unknowingly (unintentionally) picked a fight and apparently attacked a reader, all before noon. The whole flap blew up out of nowhere, and it was, um... I'll just say unexpected. Very unexpected. I did try to explain the intentions and thoughts behind the blasphemous error, but then threw in a joke about enemas and underpants, and it all went downhill from there... Apparently, it is immature to suggest a reader needs an enema. It Who knew? I lost said reader (actually before I ever said anything about enemas)- which, you know... if we're being honest, I'm betting it's not the first time that has happened, but it was the first time a disgruntled reader let me know they were not returning. It was also the first time I lost someone I considered to be a blog buddy. Funny how upsetting it can be to lose a person one never really knew. The whole thing made me feel rather like Howard Stern must feel at the end of the day, albeit on a much, much smaller scale. It was all very exciting, in a small-town scandal kind of way, but that is not the kind of excitement I like.

I don't like confrontation. Some folks thrive on it. Not me. I don't like being "upset." I don't like knowing that someone else is upset with me, at me, around me, or because of me. Some people are great at the whole cat-fight thing... Me? Not so much. I start feeling like I want to throw up. Even when I am the offended party- the one who has been wronged- and I have every reason to be angry, I still feel bad. No, not just bad... Guilty. Like I shouldn't be allowed to be upset. I'm pathetic. I'm also one of those that can never say just the right thing at the right time, but it will come to me later- much too late for it to do me any good. I hate that. I'm one of those that takes things waaaaay too personally when someone says something mean. I don't just shake it off as I should. I internalize it. I let that one crappy remark define me and direct the course of my whole day (or week... or month...). I've always been so jealous of my husband's sense of self-assurance and confidence. He's not easily fazed by others' opinions of him. Not me. I don't do well with the knowledge that I'm not liked. And I'm one of those that tends to react to all strong emotions with tears. I really hate that. Even anger comes out with blubbering. What a pansy I am. And is all of this way more than you ever wanted or needed to know about me?

Anyhoooo. The point? By last night, I was "Up Worrying." Do you do that? I was awake long past the time I should have been snoring with my mouth hanging open, thinking and worrying. Worrying and thinking. Feeling like crap. Not just about the little dust-up on the blog yesterday, but about everything- About the fact that I didn't get any cards mailed out this year. Well, one. Yippee. ONE (By the way, Friends and Family, you're not getting a card from us this year... I'm so, so sorry. It's nothing personal, and you're not being snubbed. Really. It's been a crazy couple of months. I bought cards. They're sitting right here. Thought that counts, right?). Anyway, I was Up Worrying ...about the fact that I still have soooooo much to do before Christmas. About finances and the economy, The Future... The adoption... About the fact that I've been so busy trying to make Christmas special for my kids, that I haven't been spending any time with them- except, it seems, to snap impatiently at them... About the fact that I've been so sick (off and on) for the past 6 weeks, that my sympathy level for my fellow sickos- my own babies- has been, uh... oh... nonexistent. ...And should I really try that new apple crisp recipe for Christmas? What if it sucks? Like I said- EV-ER-Y-THING. And knowing people were mad at me just made it feel ickier. I seriously felt like having a good long cry, both preceded by and immediately followed by a thorough vomit. See? I told you. Total Pansy.

But I had a moment of clarity early this morning as I looked at Bri's precious little sleeping face. I thought to myself, "This is what matters." Not blog "feuds"- people I will never know IRL being mad at me, disliking me... whatever. Not cards, cookies, gifts, and all that crap. Not bills and budgets. I know this sounds so pitifully corny, but it was a nice little epiphany (or "epiphery," as Michael Scott would say, for fans of "The Office"). For once, I was able to say "So What?" about all the stuff in my head, and all the circumstances swirling around me, and honestly mean it. I think I even laughed out loud. I reminded myself that I have everything I need, and so much more than I ever dared to want. I'm so blessed, it's ridiculous. I have a beautiful family, a roof over my babies' heads, good friends, and most importantly, an awesome God who loves me. There truly is nothing to worry about.

Clarity. It's a good thing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Evil has a face...

and it looks like this: You thought it was going to be a picture of Obama, didn't you? Another day- I promise.

J.D. has unfortunately chosen to perform not one, but two- TWO- unsightly, malodorous, altogether unholy bodily functions on my lovely ivory crocheted lace tree skirt.

The honeymoon is over, apparently.

Monday, December 15, 2008


J.D. (as in John Deere) He seems to be a real lovey little guy- very sweet!


Yesterday was a gorgeous day. A little overcast but the temperature set a record high. It was 71 degrees and I was out Christmas shopping in just a t-shirt (I did have pants on, too). Alex went golfing in shorts. And then...


It started to sprinkle. Then it got chilly. Then it got *&%$#! cold. Once the temp. started dropping, the rain turned to sleet. Darrell and I went out yesterday afternoon with the intention of stocking up on groceries and supplies and running a few errands since we knew bad weather would be heading our way this week. We fiddled around too long I guess, because we ended up having to come back home before we ever got any food since the streets were getting bad.

The windchill is currently 3. From 71 yesterday to THREE. School has been canceled. The streets are icy. They're saying it's going to be this way all week. And there's no food in the house. Yay! I get to venture out today to go to the store. I'm such a pansy when it comes to driving on ice.

I also have to go pick up a Christmas present for Alex tonight. I'll give you a hint... It barks. His friend's Lab just had puppies and the kid is giving one to Alex. He's been wanting a good hunting dog.


I don't know how I managed to spawn such a redneck. He loves hunting, John Deere crap, country music, all things cowboy. I don't get it. I raised that kid on a steady diet of good music. Def Leppard. Van Halen. You know... The classics. He prefers George Straight. Where did I go wrong?

This hunting kick of his is fairly recent. He got a bow and started buying all kinds of doo-dads for it, then he bought a shotgun (or a rifle... which is which? I don't know guns). I wasn't happy about that one at all. He's hoping to murder Bambi's dad. If he thinks for one second he's going to hang the head in this house, he's out of his mind.

A couple months ago, he was invited to go dove hunting. DOVE hunting. Am I confused? Doves are widely considered to be a symbol of peace, are they not? Is it just me, or is there something a little funny about shooting at the symbol of peace? ...Ahhh, look at that beautiful bir... KABOOM! That just doesn't seem right.

Anyway, we're going to pick up his future retriever of dead animals puppy this evening. Olivia is presenting it to him (our kids draw each other's names to exchange Christmas gifts, and she drew Alex this year) and she's really excited. It will be fun having a puppy in the house again. So.Much.Fun. Going outside in my nightgown and coat at 3 am (with a windchill of negative-flippin'-40) because the puppy needs to pee and Alex is sleeping right through the yelps and cries... Waiting for the puppy to pee because the puppy isn't stupid and he doesn't want to step out into the frozen yard. Seeing the sad little puppy eyes looking up at me like I'm the devil for continually placing him back on the frozen grass. Waiting. More waiting. Watching the puppy pee on the front stoop right outside the door because the puppy isn't stupid and he doesn't want to step out into the frozen yard. Now, that's some quality entertainment right there. You can't beat that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Out of Control Christmas

You know that saying "Too blessed to be stressed"? Who made that up? I want to meet the idiot who created this phrase and sock her in the teeth. Really hard. Twice. Then I will laugh and laugh. Merry Christmas.

I know I'm blessed. Tremendously. Yet I'm about to have my 19th Annual Christmas Conniption. I still have shopping to do. Cookies to bake. Cards and letters to send. Laundry to wash. People keep getting sick here. Everyone is just... well, gross. So.Much.Snot. Oh, the humanity. I want nothing to do with any of them. We've gone waaaaaaaay over our Christmas budget. As the world sinks deeper into a global financial crisis, I am spending money on "one more" %$#!* gift. I have this vague, icky feeling in the pit of my stomach that I've accidentally gone more overboard on spending for some kids than others, which I won't know for sure until I dig the stupid wastes of money gifts out of the closet and see exactly what I've bought and what I still need and since I can't find time to do this I can't finish the shopping. And, by the way, I want to go back to Toys R Us and Walmart one more time to deal with selfish shoppers and snotty, tired salespeople like I want to be covered in hot grease. And have I mentioned lately that I'm fat?

My, that was a mouthful. Let's all just take a deep, relaxing breath, shall we?

This was supposed to be The Year of Scaling Back. The year when we really concentrate on The True Meaning of Christmas. The year when all the commercialism and materialism gets kicked out of our lives, once and for all, as we focus on God's gift to us. Um... Yeah. Not so much.

Am I the only one who is so pathetically disorganized? Am I the only one who gets sucked into the hellish world of lists and gifts and buying "one more thing?" Am I the only mom who gets so caught up in trying to make Christmas a wonderful, memorable experience for my family that it winds up sucking for me? Am I the only one with my head eternally up my...

Anyhoo, it could be worse. I know that. It could be like last year (see the rest of the story here, here, and here ). I truly am blessed and I shouldn't complain. Christmas will come, whether I'm ready or not, and it will be wonderful. Snot, laundry, and all.

*On a totally unrelated note, I should warn you all that I'm getting ready to import all the posts and comments from my old blog over to this blog and delete the old one. I've noticed that a few readers still access this blog from the link on the old one. If that's you, you'll have to update your link. Also, if you use Google Reader or something similar, you're going to see a bunch of "new" posts from me. Just ignore them, unless you are so totally in love with my idiocy that you want to go back and reread my old posts. And who could blame you?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas program pictures

Tuck felt good enough to go to the Christmas program last night. All three kids did a great job and seemed to have a good time.

Have you ever seen a cuter Mary?
Yeah, the mother of Christ was Chinese. Who knew?My three superstars: Olivia was a bailiff (the play was a riveting courtroom drama where the shepherds were put on trial) and Tuck was one of the shepherds.

And here's one from Thanksgiving. Darrell with 88.9% of our kids and 33.3% of the grandkids.Kyle and Kindra (and Braden) got to come, but Nick couldn't make it. We had a really nice day, although I felt pretty yucky and was in a fog all day. I'm told the food tasted great. I wouldn't know. My head was too clogged up to taste any of it. Since Kindra is pregnant, I was so worried about her getting sick that I kept fanatically scrubbing my hands all day like Monk.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm back... kinda

I've been a horrible blogger. A few of you have been checking on me (thanks for that!!) so I thought I should check in. I didn't fall into a hole, although I would have preferred it...

I've been sick. No, that's not quite right. I didn't get sick. I got SICK. For weeks. Finally went to the doctor and I'm better now, after two prescriptions, but I'm waaaaaay behind on... well, on everything. My attention has been elsewhere.

Now Tucker seems to be getting sick. He was running a little fever yesterday and he's supposed to be in the kids' church program tonight. Oh, yay. I imagine the director of the play will have my head on a platter if he's too sick to be there.

Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving. Are you all getting ready for Christmas? I haven't been reading any blogs and don't know what's going on out there in Bloggerville. Miss my buddies.

I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The End of Days

I have seen something, friends. Something that signals the approaching apocalypse more than ever.

I'm not sure I can even get the words out, I'm still so frightened by what I've witnessed.

Last night... I was innocently channel surfing, and...

I clicked past QVC (you know... the shopping channel?), and I saw...
(change the channel RIGHT NOW, stupid girl)

What the...? Free Smiley Face Courtesy of

I saw Barry... Manilow. And he...

Wait. I need a moment...


So I stopped for a second on that channel (stupid, stupid girl) because I innocently thought, "Hey, what's Barry Manilow doing on QVC? That's weird."

Truer words have never been uttered, dear ones. It was weird. It was more than weird.

If only I would have heeded the sense of foreboding welling up within- that overwhelming feeling that something wicked this way comes- and changed the channel before I saw...

Before I saw...


Barry was on QVC singing...

He was singing...

Oh. No.

He was singing Careless Whisper... you know, the George Michael (Wham!) song?

("I'm never gonna dance agaaain...Guil-Tee feet have got no rhy-thm")

Wait. I need another moment.

The swaying.

(Though it's easy to preet-hend, I know you're not a foo-hhooolll")

Sweet fancy Moses... The closing of the eyes. Whoops, I vomited in my mouth a tiny bit.

Barry was really feeling this song, know what I mean?

("I should have known better than to cheat a friend...)

The... Aw, Geeyawww... The Seductive Glances...
(Did Bar just look directly at me and attempt to make a sexy face? Oh, please. Say he didn't. Why, yes, Michelle. I believe he did.)

("And waste a chance that I've been given")

And the hand motions. Dear Lord. The hand motions.

("So I'm never gonna dance again, the way I danced with yoooooo-ooooo-oooo")

Gah... Somebody, please. Help me. Make it stop.

That's all I want. Just please, make Barry go away.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanks for voting

Well, it looks like PC beat Mac, but only by a couple votes (10-8). After reading your opinions and looking around on the Internet, I think I really want a Mac. So, I'm going to buy a PC. Haha! The reason is summed up perfectly by one of my commenters: "They are just so crazy expensive. For one Mac I can outfit my entire family in PCs." I have a steak appetite on a hamburger budget, so there you go (it always comes back to the food with me, doesn't it?).

I have my eye on a little HP that's on sale, so we'll see. Like I just have scads and scads of money right now to be dumping on such things. Ha.

I know you were really stressed over this and gripping your seats awaiting my decision. Now that it's settled, you may all relax and return to your normal lives.

Thanks for your votes and helpful opinions, guys. I appreciate it!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I can't stand these people. Technically, I don't think they can really be called "people," but still. I seriously doubt any doctors read my blog because their time is just too precious, and they are waaaaaay too smart to bother with an idiot like me (This would be sarcasm, here. I do that)- but just in case, I should say that I know not all of them are horrible. My kids' doctor is wonderful. We've been seeing her since I was pregnant with Evan (1994). She knows us. She talks to us and with us, not at us. She's just a person who happens to be a physician, know what I mean? And she's a darn good one. She cares. She realizes my input as the mother and the one who sees the kid 24/7 should not be discounted. I'd be sick at the thought of losing her. My husband's doctor (and mine, too- on occasion) is a really normal, down-to-earth, funny guy. Again, he talks to us. He listens. He asks questions and hears the answers. He signs 11 copies of the same piece of adoption paperwork without an attitude.

So yeah, there are some decent ones out there, and if one of those decent ones is reading today, just ignore my rant because it obviously doesn't apply to you. If, however, you are swirling in the cesspool of humanity that makes up the majority of the medical establishment (according to my own poll), and my comments do apply to you, then by all means, please do take them personally. It's probably about time someone told you the cold, hard truth anyway. I realize your time is precious and you won't listen to me anyway, so I'll sum it up quickly (that's what you like, right? Short, quick, to the point...): You suck. How's that? Quick and direct?

Was that a little harsh? It felt kinda harsh. I have an extreme dislike of you and your kind, is what I would be indicating here. Did you pick up on that?

The type of doctor who makes my blood boil has that whole nauseating superiority thing going on. You know the type, right? Educated Idiots. The self-righteous, self-involved, self-important, self-satisfied, egotistical, sanctimonious, smug, asinine type. Did I make that clear enough? I could add a few more adjectives if needed, believe me. The arrogance. The conceit. Oy. A whopping 94.87% of these morons (again, my own poll) can't even seem to comb their frickin' hair, so why are they so deluded into thinking they're better than everyone else on the planet?

A little bonus story: When I was having my c-section with Tucker in 1998, they let a med student do my epidural. They did not tell me he was a med student at first, but it wasn't hard to figure out when he poked me repeatedly in the back with the needle and a sharp, unholy, burning pain hit my lower back and went down my hip (which was nowhere close to the needle). He must have done this ten times. I'm kind of funny about showing pain or admitting to any kind of injury or illness when I'm around people, so it's pretty unusual for me to YELL, "OH MY GAAAWWWD!" over and over, as I sink my nails into the poor nurse standing in front of me. The med student kept saying, "I'm sorry! Oh... I'm so sorry." Yeah, he really exuded confidence, which was comforting.

Anyhoooooo... The epidural, once it was finally done, did not numb me up far enough. So when the actual c-section finally started, I could feel everything above the belly button. Since this was my third c-section, I knew what to expect and how they felt, and this was not how they were supposed to feel. I asked the lady standing by my head (Nurse, I guess? Who knows.) if I should be experiencing this much pain, and I told her it was getting to the point of being unbearable. Get this: She said... "You mean pressure? You're not feeling pain. You're feeling pressure. Pressure is normal." I set her straight in that very kind, calm, Christian way I have and explained that, yes, in fact I was feeling pain and golly, it would sure be great if someone could do something about it before I pass out and/or choke on my own vomit.

See? This is what I'm talking about, people. This whole haughty idea that we are just dumb sheep who could not possibly know what we're talking about, because we don't have the fancy-pants education. It's like they're all walking around thinking the same thoughts, "I'm the medical professional, you're not. I am the expert here, not you. Oh, and by the way... It doesn't matter that you have been a parent for 19 years, ma'am. You know nothing about your child. In fact, you know nothing about yourself. You're just a big ole dufus, so shut up and let me handle it" (Do doctors use phrases like "big ole?" Probably not).

Another big thing I hate SO MUCH about these "people" is that they are often anti-faith and/or anti-Christian. Why, they are much too intellectual for such folly. I've dealt with several doctors who are soooo openly hostile and disrespectful toward the idea of faith. They seem to forget I am paying them to provide a service for me, not to insult me. Not to attack my faith and belittle my intellect. You.Work.For.Me, you Gigantic Gluteal Cleft.

Oh, yeah... This post was going to be about taking Evan to the Dr. on Saturday (Yes, Saturday. When his regular doctor wasn't in the office and we had to make a trip all the way over to an Urgent Care clinic). I veered off-track a little bit there. Haha. Got a teensy bit upset. Whoopsie. Sorry about that.

Evan broke out with poison ivy Friday night and woke up Saturday morning with one eye swollen shut. He looked like he'd been in a bar fight and felt even worse than that. He reacts pretty badly to poison ivy and it never clears up without a steroid shot and a week of pills. So I knew it wasn't going to wait until Monday.

The nurse at the clinic was such a snooty little you know what. She'd ask me questions, not let me answer, then interrupt me to ask the same flipping question again. She snipped at Evan for moving the hand that had the finger clamp, blood oxygen thingy on it. "You're supposed to KEEP THAT HAND STILL!" Gee whiz, lady. May I suggest either some decent sex or an enema?

I started to think I was on some twisted version of Jeopardy, so I blurted out, "What is a Horse's A**?

Then the doctor came in, after making us wait in that little room for 45 minutes. Mr. Important arrived on the scene as we peasants fell to the ground and worshipped, which of course cut into the whopping four minutes he was willing to give us. He was even more of an a**hat than his nurse, if possible. Several hours and $161 later, we got the shot and Rx we came for and left. So, yeah. Doctors...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PC vs Mac: Opinions Wanted

Are there any computer-y people out there? My poor computer is a broken-down, tired old hag. It's time to deal with the cold, hard truth and realize it will not be here much longer. I must begin the process of letting go and moving on (Sigh). Do the 5 stages of grief apply to computer loss?

It will be awhile before I can get a new one- unless by some miracle, it's free. In the meantime, I'm hoping you guys will come through with lots of awesome advice on what to get. I want a laptop that will be good for photo editing and music/movies/video. I've always used a PC, usually an HP, and have never had a Mac.

If you love (or hate) your computer, leave me a comment and let me know why (and of course, what kind of computer it is... it really wouldn't be as helpful to say you love your computer and then leave) I'm putting a poll at the top of the page to vote on PC or Mac. VOTE (but only if you know what you're talking about, please)!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I've been waffling over whether or not I wanted to talk about this. You guys might think I'm nuts. But haven't I given you reason to think that a time or two before?

Anyway, ever since all the political crap (and religion bashing) started flying around on blogs, something weird has happened to me. All of a sudden, I find myself feeling a little afraid of you guys. I mean, I'm not scared of those of you I "know"- my blog buddies. And I don't mean "afraid" as in watching to see if you're lurking around outside in my yard, or anything- although I wouldn't put it past a few of you smarta**es to sneak into my yard and cover my windows with Obama stickers. But, I guess this political season brought out such a "different" side in several bloggers, and it's really driven home the point to me that we, as bloggers, really don't know jack crap about the people we read about every day. We only know what they want to tell us. We begin to feel like we know them, then... BAM! We find out there's a side to them that's... well, how do I put it? I don't know. I'm just finding that I think and feel very differently about a few people now. Not many. But a few. Most of you, my regular readers are not included in this group. But then again, I don't really know who all of my regular readers are. And I guess that's the whole point. That's what's scaring me. I'm suddenly very aware of the fact that I'm putting personal information out there about myself, including pictures of my children, to strangers. To people who may not be very nice. I know. That makes me sound like the dumbest woman on earth. Wasn't I aware of that before? Yes. Of course, I was. But it never felt scary before. Now, I'm freaked. There's an open hostility out there, an accepted spewing of hate, toward people like me (and by that, I mean Conservative, Evangelical, Christian, Republican, Homeschooler, Creationist... pick a label, any label). I've already blogged about the fact that my faith and political views (and the accompanying lack of intelligence that apparently goes along with my faith and political views) has been openly mocked these past few months. That bugs me, but it's more than that. It creeps me out to think people who "hate" me (and I don't mean "me" personally, but "me" collectively), and are openly disgusted by all I hold dear can stumble upon my blog and see all my personal thoughts, feelings, and pictures of my children. Again, I sound stupid. I know. I'm a little late to worry about my personal information floating around out there.

If you're a regular reader and commenter, please don't think, "Oh, I bet she means me." Chances are I don't. And a few of you are so wide open on your own blogs, that even when you say something that surprises me, I don't feel shocked by it- as if you're a completely different person than I had believed. You've remained true to yourselves whether talking politics, religion, or weather.

Do you guys have any thoughts on this? Have you ever felt paranoid out of the blue like this about who is reading your blog? Have you ever suddenly felt very "naked" as a blogger and been a little freaked by it? Have you ever had an experience when you suddenly realized a blogger was not at all the person you thought them to be? (Haha. If so, it wasn't me, was it?) Anyway, how have you handled this stuff? Am I just being paranoid?

I'm sure this icky feeling will pass as the political talk begins to die down and our lives return to "normal," but for right now, I feel totally creeped out about talking about anything anymore. And yet, I've just spent the last ten minutes laying my feelings out there to strangers... Once again contradicting myself.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I told you guys I'd post a little info about the RMI (Republic of the Marshall Islands) program for you, but I'm going to be lazy and link instead. Our agency's RMI page will tell you just about everything I would about the adoption program. For information about the place itself- culture, etc., here's a link to the RMI embassy website. There is also a Yahoo group (isn't there always?) for RMI adoptive families called RMI-kids if you're interested in this program and want to talk to APs who have been there.

The really cool thing to me is that the RMI program was our original choice (before Vietnam) when we started thinking about adopting again. I had been looking at the program on our old agency's website (the agency we had used to adopt Brianna) while I was still trying to talk Darrell into another adoption. I was totally hooked on the RMI and really sure that "this was it," but one day I went to the website and saw that the program was closed. I took that to mean the RMI was closed (kind of like what recently happened between the US and Vietnam). I was horribly disappointed, because my heart was really set on it and I could see myself holding my adorable Marshallese little one (a boy, btw, I keep picturing a boy... but we'll see). Eventually, Darrell and I started to pursue Vietnam, and of course, we all know how that turned out. Just a few months ago, I found out I was wrong about the RMI. The country program was open, just not with our old agency. RMI adoptions are now handled through Journeys of the Heart. I couldn't believe it.

As much as I'd hoped to adopt from Vietnam, I'm really feeling like we're "back on track;" like this is where we were supposed to be all along. When the RMI idea originally fell apart, we assumed an Asian country would really be the best choice anyway, since we already have an Asian child, but was that what we were supposed to do, or just what we assumed we should do? Our baby was obviously not in Vietnam. I believe he's in the RMI. I am able, once again, to envision myself holding my little peanut. I feel like it's really going to happen again. I can hardly wait.

The first question from A LOT of people when they hear "Marshall Islands" has been, "Where is that?" so don't feel bad if you're not familiar with the geography. The islands are east of Micronesia and roughly 2100 miles southwest of Hawaii.

People have also asked when we'll get our referral. It sounds like the wait won't be too long. It looks to be about 6-10 months, depending on gender (the wait for little girls being longer) so being open to either will work in our favor. Our agency rep. is strongly encouraging families to get their dossiers in quickly. I've done all I can do on mine, so I'm just waiting oh-so-patiently for our homestudy and other paperwork to come back.

The best thing, in my opinion, about adopting from the RMI is that all adoptions are OPEN. Isn't that awesome? We'll have contact with the b. mother and her family and be able to continue a relationship with her. What a gift! I wish I could give the same thing to Bri.

The worst part is the amount of time I'll have to spend away from home. Darrell and I both have to travel, but one parent can return home after about 10-12 days. The other (that will be me) has to stay for approx. another month, waiting for the visa. But, I can think of worse places to spend my time...
If you would like to contribute sunscreen and/or flip-flops... Just kidding.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What a Week I'm Having!

Who knows where that title comes from? If you can tell me, you win my undying admiration. And you'll get bonus props if you can name the person who said it.

Anyhoo, this week has been... I'm trying to think of a descriptive phrase that doesn't include any filthy language... I'm going to have to settle for the words "hectic" and "unpleasant," but that's not what I really want to say.

The past week in a nutshell:

A very close friend of mine lost her MIL in a car accident that happened as she was leaving the high school. My friend's daughter was also in the car and got banged up pretty bad (she's fine now, though). We had the visitation to attend last Wed. night. Obviously, that fits more into the "unpleasant" category than the "hectic" one. I'm not quite that self-centered that I'd worry about how hectic my life is made by someone's death. I feel terrible for my friend and her family. Losing something like that, just out of the blue- one minute you're talking to them, the next minute, they're gone- man... I can't imagine.

By Thursday, I noticed I was catching a cold after sharing a drink with Tucker (who was sick and told me not to drink from his cup) and assuring him that "It's okay, Tuck. I won't get sick. I never catch your colds." Olivia has now started getting sick, too. Yay.

I worked myself into one of my typical tizzies over the upcoming homestudy (which was last Saturday). Why, oh, why do I do this to myself? I was frantic about having the house clean "enough" even though it was fine. I still worked like a dog and barked orders, making my housemates "dislike" me.

Friday night (Halloween)... The night from Hades. We found out at the last minute that the Fall Festival our kids attend each year was cancelled, leaving us with no plans for them for the evening. The big guys all had plans, but the little kids needed something to do. They suggested we take them to see High School Musical 3. Okay, fine.

Let me just say right now that any parent who sits through this movie deserves some kind of big cash prize upon exiting the theater. At the very least, our pictures should be published in the paper with a caption saying, "SHE DID IT!" It's ridiculous. I'm not a musical kind of girl anyway. I can't ever grasp why so many people know the exact same dance moves and sing together in the middle of public places. Or right in the middle of conversations. Who does that? When I'm at Walmart, I never see random strangers burst into the same song and dance. Do you? It's troubling. Very troubling.

If I were Mary Kay Letourneau, I might say that the only saving grace about HSM 3 is that little lambie-pie, Zac Efron and his friend, whose name escapes me (but he has the wild, curly hair)... But I'm not her and I would never, ever say that. No, not me. I do not look at young boys the same ages as my own sons. Stop accusing me. Stop. Let's move on.

So, anyway, there we sit, watching this craptacular "film," when my phone rings. It's Alex. The first thing he says is, "Uh. Mom? I've had a little accident." I immediately notice his speech is slurred. OH CRAP! And, of course, I'm thinking *accident*, as in CAR... Duh. Anyone with common sense would know not to start a sentence with "I've had a little accident," unless you mean you rammed your car into another car, or person, or ditch... whatever. What is wrong with kids these days? Anyway, I had a sudden flurry of panic/fear/hysteria/anger/confusion because he was supposed to be playing basketball with his friends. Why is he slurring his words?
The next thing he says is, "I got elbowed in the face during basketball and one of my front teeth is kind of almost hanging out, well not really hanging out, but it's knocked down and backwards, kinda. Anyway it hurts like a son of a... (his voice trailed off-thankfully)."

OH, THANK GOD! I mean, not Thank God his tooth is almost hanging out, but... you know what I mean.

From the theater, I called the dentist at home, who thought it sounded like something he needed to see right now. He drove 25 minutes from his home at 9:00 pm (What a guy!) to meet Alex at his office and tried to get the tooth back up where it belongs, but he couldn't. He said he'd have to see an orthodontist on Monday, and would possibly need braces. Great. So... Alex had to go all weekend long with his tooth like that. He was in pain and couldn't eat anything. He had a big fat lip and his poor gums were pitch black. Really gross. You know, it really is true that it doesn't matter how old your kids get. It still hurts a mom to see her kid hurting and to know she can't do anything to make it better.

The next day- Saturday- homestudy day. I woke up nervous. Nervous enough that I threw up by 10:00 am. Nice. Then I realized I had forgotten to fill out the financial statement our SW needed, and frantically started searching for all the information. The social worker came at 1:00, and... That's it. Nothing to report. Totally uneventful because everything went fine. It went exactly like our previous homestudy visits... just fine. This is what I worried about- to the point of yakking.

Monday, Alex got in to see the orthodontist. Yes, he does need braces. Oh, crap. Oh, and we have no dental plan, so that will be $1600.00, please... Today! OH CRAP!

Tuesday- Alex went back to get the braces put on. His lovely teeth that never needed anything beyond a little Crest and a toothbrush now look like this:They only have to be on top, and only for about six months. It's the front tooth on the top left in the picture. Looks fine, doesn't it? Yeah. Well, the braces do not guarantee the tooth will be okay. It could still die and fall out. Isn't that nice to know after plunking down your entire family's Christmas gift budget (plus the mortgage money, and the electric bill money, and the phone bill money, and...)?

Tuesday was also my 42nd birthday, which really was nice. The kids brought me breakfast in bed and presents. They made me a cake, too- the sweetpeas. I took the day off school, and made cookies with the kids. Darrell took me out to dinner that night, which was awesome. Of course, when I came home from our lovely, relaxing evening out, I found out that the bad thing that happened Tuesday (regarding that thing we were voting on... Remember?), which we shall all pretend didn't happen and not speak of in my presence again, was happening. It all went downhill from there. And that was my week.

I'll post more later about the Marshall Islands adoption process, for anyone interested- if I can get a chance.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where in the World is Sam? Location Revealed

Many of you caught onto that last clue and guessed correctly that we are hoping to adopt from...

Drum roll, please...
Oh, come on. That was pitiful. Give me a little more than that.
Better. Thank you.

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker


If you didn't figure it out, you could click on the picture from the last clue, and see the file was named Majuro airport, which was a big, big hint. Congratulations to all who guessed it!

The first to catch on (and with the very first clue!) was Stacy , who didn't come right out and say the Marshall Islands, but let me know she was onto me with this comment:

"I'm 99% sure I know which country, but I'm not going to say specifically because I didn't get it from your clue, but from a comment made on a previous post and I message on a different yahoo group that I think was yours and thus that almost feels like cheating. Why I picked up on these things I don't know! But I'll say if I'm right nobody has guessed it yet, it's a country name usually referenced with two words but I think officially is really three. If I'm right I bet you know what I mean (and if you think that's saying too much, feel free to delete/edit!)..."

Stacy wins the highly coveted "SUPER SLEUTH AWARD" for catching on so quickly. Congrats, Stacy! She also gets to go around obnoxiously saying, "First!" all day long.

The person who first mentioned the Marshall Islands by name was Rachel after this clue. This was the clue that seemed to confuse several of you, but Rachel got it, so she wins the prestigious "SMARTY PANTS AWARD" Congrats to you, too, Rachel!

That was the clue that said:
"The area we've chosen to (hopefully) adopt from is not actually on any of the seven continents. It is in a region associated with one of them, obviously, but not ON one of them. (Here's a bonus hint, just so you won't hate me too badly. We're trying to adopt from an area associated with a continent that begins with the letter A, but another, more specific, name for this region begins with an O. Most people don't use the term with the O- most people use a term beginning with a P. Most people assume that this area with the P belongs to a different continent beginning with an A, but it doesn't. It belongs to one of the other A's)."

The A was Australia. The O was Oceania. The P was Pacific Islands, not the Phillipines. The "different continent beginning with an A" was Asia. Make sense?

From OCEANIA, the smallest continent, is one of the most diverse and fascinating areas on the planet. A large percentage of geography experts now consider the long-established continent of Australia to be more accurately defined as Australia/Oceania. Collectively it then combines all of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, as well as the thousands of coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific Ocean, including the Melanesia and Polynesia groups. Oceania also includes Micronesia, a widely scattered group of islands that run along the northern and southern edges of the Equator.

Congrats to all who guessed correctly! You each get aPyzam Glitter Text Maker

as a token of my highest esteem (whoopidee doo). And thanks to everyone who joined in and played the game!

I'll post tomorrow about how the homestudy went, and everything that's been going on around here.


Ah. Where to begin? Let's start with a few quotes. Each one sums up my feelings regarding this historical event in a different way:

"I'm very proud to have supported Senator McCain and the only regret is that more Americans didn't share my conviction that he would have made an outstanding President. I not only recognize, but respect that we are a nation in which the people choose and tonight they have chosen Senator Obama. He was not my choice, but he will be my President and I will pray for him to lead this great nation with God's help and grace. He will face serious challenges to lead our country and he will need all Americans to give him a chance.

The campaign is over and now is the time for governing and leading. The Republican Party must now reassess where it is and where it is going. Our problem is not that our views aren't acceptable, is that many in our party have abandoned the very principles that once drew Americans to trust us. Our party will be back with strength, but tonight we should all celebrate the historic nature of this election and put our country ahead of our party.

As disappointed as I am that we have lost the election, I can't help but feel that many courageous leaders of the civil rights movement look down from heaven tonight with a smile that the day has come when a man is elected without regard to his color. I salute President-elect Obama for his discipline and tenacity that has given our country the opportunity to witness this significant event.

Politics is not an event but a process. We sometimes lose the events but it never gives us the right to stop being faithful to our principles that enlisted us in the process. We shall live to fight another day."
Mike Huckabee

(Christina beat me in posting a portion of this, but I picked it first, Chris!)

"Tis morning; but no morning can restore
What we have forfeited.
...We are betrayed by what is false within."
George Meredith

"Crap. Crap. Again, I say Crap."

First, a great big Congratulations! to my liberal friends. I wish I could say I was happy for you, but you know... gag reflex and all. I imagine today will find you quite busy, what with the gloating and the happy dances and the writing of the thank you notes to Oprah, all the anchors at CNN, and most other celebrities and members of the media. Have fun with that. : ) I can at least say I am genuinely happy that our country has finally pulled its head out of its bum and elected our first black president. Exciting stuff! I just wish it wasn't this particular black president.

I mean, common sense told me he was going to win and I thought I was prepared for that, but coming to terms with saying "President Oba..." Uh-oh. See what just happened? Okay you couldn't see it, but I just gagged a little bit there. Apparently, any and all references to this man are going to have that effect on me. I'll work on it.

Nevertheless, may God bless our nation and our new President. May He guide him and give him wisdom, humility, strength, courage, discernment, and the ability to lead this great country in the right direction.

You will all be able to find me in my happy place where I will be deeply entrenched for the next four to eight years. Please have someone forward my mail.

And finally... To those of you on the liberal side who felt the need not to engage in reasonable, good-natured, intelligent political conversation, but instead, thought it necessary to resort to calling me and my fellow conservatives every unkind name in the book, including, but not limited to:
(Religious) Fanatic (which sounds a lot like "psycho" the way you type it)
and on and on and on (including several that aren't fit to print),
even as you criticized me for name-calling, I have only this to say to you:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Would you have aborted me?

Okay, this is the post on abortion that I warned you about. Run away now if you don't want to hear it. I know this is a hot topic that I should probably stay away from, but have I ever mentioned my common sense is, um, not great?

So let me get the disclaimers out of the way... First, my thoughts will probably be quite rambly. I have a million thoughts swirling around, but will do the best I can to get them out in a way that makes sense. Please forgive me if I'm not as succinct as I should be. If I stumble over my words, or repeat myself one too many times, you'll understand I'm nervous about discussing all this with you, right?

This is not a politically motivated post, although I think the subject is a timely one considering tomorrow's election, and one of the candidate's deplorable views on abortion. This post is not about trying to sway anyone- it's just an airing of my own feelings regarding one very specific segment of the pro-abortion camp. My hope is that I can cause you to look at your views from another angle- to step into another's shoes, for just a moment.

If you are a sold-out abortion supporter, you will not get this post. Likewise, if you are not a Christian, you will not get this post. Go ahead and read if you wish, but don't expect it to make sense to you.

I personally feel that there is no middle ground when it comes to abortion. Notice, I said "personally." These are my feelings. You may share your feelings if you wish, but my feelings are not open to debate. I want to make it clear right away that my comments today are not directed at the unwavering abortion supporter, but to the Christian believer who thinks there are cases when abortion is sometimes "acceptable." So, pro-abortion people, any arguments over your side vs. my side are pointless. You won't sway me, and I'm pretty sure I couldn't sway you.

Since I'm sharing personal feelings and revelations here, my intentions are definitely not to offend or anger anyone. So, I would appreciate if your comments do not intend to offend or anger me. Please keep them civil.

My view of abortion is that it is murder. This allows you yet another chance to flee if you feel you won't be able to take it. Everything I say will be steeped in this view. I do not believe any of us should get the "choice" to murder a child. If that bothers you, stop reading right now (This does not mean that I don't have compassion for women struggling with an unplanned pregnancy, or suffering from the guilt that often follows the choice of abortion. I do. I am not one of those so-called "Christians" who stands outside an abortion clinic screaming hateful, horrible things at the hurting women coming out. I do not believe for one second that's how the Lord would treat these women, or wants me to treat them. I have very dear friends who have experienced the pain and trauma caused by making this choice for themselves years ago and my heart aches for them as they continue to battle with the long-lasting ramifications of their decisions, finding themselves unable to truly forgive their own actions and move on).

Still reading? Okay. Either you're with me so far, or you're one of those people exactly like me who are compelled to keep reading after the warnings have been issued! You at least have to admit I've given you plenty of time to skedaddle, so you can't say I didn't warn you.

Here we go... Boldly going where no sane person would go.

I often hear the phrase, "I am opposed to abortion except in the case of incest or rape." I'm sure you've heard this too, or something similar. Maybe you even believe it yourself. If so, I'd like to encourage you to seriously reevaluate your thoughts on this. Each time I hear this, I remind myself not to take it personally. I shouldn't let it get to me. I tell myself they are not speaking to me personally. I should just let it go.

But I can't. I'm sorry, but it is personal. You are speaking to me. About me.

As one of those "rape babies," what I hear is this: "I usually believe abortion is wrong, but I totally understand why a mother wouldn't want YOU!"

Yes, my bio mother was raped. And guess what?!? I didn't rape her. So, why is it so easy for you to understand punishing the child for a condition she did not cause, and a crime she did not commit? Okay, so maybe you don't consider abortion a punishment? Maybe to you, the true punishment is in some woman carrying the filthy spawn of a rapist- "The Bad Seed"? Have you really taken time to learn the details of the procedure? Would you like to experience those "details" from the baby's point of view? Criminals are executed more humanely than babies are aborted.

My bio mother had someone in her life who wanted her to abort me. If she would have let her secret out to more people, I'm sure she would have had others who thought abortion was an entirely understandable and acceptable measure, considering her horrible circumstances. After all, who could blame her? Why on earth would she want to carry a rapist's baby?

Here's the deal: The life of an unborn child is either valuable or it is not. I understand the people who say it is not. I do not agree with them, but I understand that that is their view. I do not understand the people who say it is valuable sometimes.

So I have to ask you... If a rape baby is expendable in your eyes, why not a baby with disabilities? How can they still be precious to God, while I am not? Why not get rid of a baby of the "wrong" gender? Heck, why not just go back to Nazi-era Eugenics (which may not be too far off, IMHO)?

Whose life is more worthy in the eyes of God? And how can you be the one who chooses? When we start deciding which children can or should be done away with before birth, when and where does it stop?

I personally find it disgusting when I hear you shouting from the rooftops that abortion is wrong, then you follow it up with your quiet little disclaimer "except in the case of incest or rape."

It hurts me on a personal level (yes, even though I know it shouldn't) and sickens me as a fellow believer that you can think my life is not as valuable as a "wanted" baby, simply because a crime beyond my control, was committed against my biological mother. I (and every rape baby) was created by God, who makes no mistakes, just as surely as he created each and every other baby, whether they be "perfect," or impaired by disabilities or deformities.

The view that "abortion is wrong, except..." is hypocrisy- the epitome of fence-straddling- trying to feel good about holding onto one's convictions and moral values in theory, while allowing an "out." I'm reminded of the verses in Rev. 3 that say, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

Either the contents of the womb is a living being and therefore deserves to be protected and valued, or not. Unborn children are either precious in His sight, or not. Psalm 139 says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful,I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Tell me, where does that scripture allow for your convenient "out"? Where does it say rape babies are exempt from that whole "wonderfully made" thing?

God may not desire for a woman to experience the trauma of rape, but in His goodness, He can still bring something good out of it. Why did a loving God allow my bio mother, or any woman, to be raped? Why did I have to be born with such a disgusting legacy as that? Why couldn't I have been born as a "wanted" child into a family that looked forward to my arrival and raised me in a loving home? I have no idea.

But, I believe the Bible when it tells me God considers children to be a blessing and a gift. It doesn't say "some" children, or "planned" children. I believe the Bible when it tells me "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" I know He had a purpose and a plan for my life. And I accept how He chose to begin it. Why can't some of you?

I understand a woman who has been raped may not be able to love or want the child she carries. I understand that very, very well. But, I also thank God that my own bio mother did not punish me for something I didn't do. She couldn't keep me, and understandably didn't want me, but that didn't mean she had to "terminate" me. Thank God she chose adoption over abortion. Were those nine months of carrying a rapist's child hard on her? I'm sure they were- beyond what most of us could imagine. Does that justify the destruction of the child? I don't think so.

The next time you find yourself thinking, "I am opposed to abortion except in the case of incest or rape," consider the people who are listening to your words. You just may be speaking to one of those you deem to be exterminable. Maybe you should tweak your words slightly so that they accurately reflect what the people you are insulting will hear: "I usually believe abortion is wrong, but I totally understand why a mother wouldn't want YOU!" "I can't imagine having to be pregnant with YOU," or just come right out and say, "Children conceived during rape or incest do not deserve to live as much as 'wanted' children." Isn't that pretty much what you're saying anyway? Then decide if you would still say that out loud. If so, come on over and say it to my face- lol!! That ought to be fun. ;D

I realize in today's society we're all supposed to have the touchy-feely warm fuzzies for all people and tolerate anything and everything from each other, but I have to say it... If you are a Believer and you believe abortion is wrong, except in the case of rape and incest, You.Are.Wrong. Forgive me for not sugar-coating it, but there you have it. Your view is not in line with the teachings of the Bible. You are wrong. You are wrong. You are wrong. The God you profess to love and serve created that life. Was He in error? Answer that for me... Was He in error?

He has a plan for that child's life; a future and a hope- a future that you would snuff out. You are wrong.

And with that, dear friends, I'm done. Let the comments fly. Thank you for kindly indulging my opinions on this subject. We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Either the life of an unborn child has value or it doesn't.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's almost time to make one of the most important decisions you will ever make

"...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face... then will I hear from heaven..."
2 Chronicles 7:14

I have accepted Christina's challenge and want to extend it to my readers. Here's a short snippet from her post and I love the way she puts it:
"Wait, am I saying that Christians should be “single issue voters”? And isn’t that rather extreme? Question: If we were living in the 1860’s and slavery was the “single issue” how would you feel? Can we, as Christians, honestly say that the death of nearly 1 million innocent babies every year is somehow less significant than slavery was?

A good friend of mine shared something interesting with me this week: While she has already decided who she plans to vote for, she is going to ask God to change her mind if He wants her to vote for another candidate. And right here and now, I will take that pledge as well: from now to election day I will pray daily that God will show me who to vote for. (And I’ll let you know if I suddenly become an Obama supporter!) Will you, my Christian friends and readers, do the same thing? If you have always been a democrat and have your own list of reasons why you are voting for Obama (or against McCain/Palin) will you take this pledge as well? For truly we can make no better decision than when we seek God’s guidance first, right?"

If you are a fellow believer, please, please seek God with all your heart before you vote in this crucial election and be open to the idea that He may want you to change your mind.

I pledge right now that if after praying daily and seeking His will, God lays it upon my heart to vote for Obama, I will. I promise. Even though those words made me gag just a tiny bit as I typed them, I will change my vote if I know it's the Lord's leading. Will you please join me and commit to doing the same thing, even if it means a vote for (gasp!) McCain?

God bless you as you vote.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth- he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:12-22

I had a few other things I wanted to say on the topic of abortion, but I'll save them for another day. It's not so much a political thing- I promise- more of a personal thing on the subject, but I'll give you a head's up so you can skip it if you want- lol!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Consider this...

Most of us have made up our minds by now about the upcoming election. Personally, I can't imagine how anyone could still be undecided at this point, but I know some are. If you are still trying to make up your mind, take a look at these posts by Ohilda at "A Bouquet of Blessings:"
Still Undecided Part 1
Still Undecided Part 2
and Don't Shudder

Warning: These posts are going to tick off the unbeliever and/or the diehard members of the Obama Fan Club, but if you're still struggling over your vote, or Obama's position on some of the topics close to the hearts of believers, give these posts a look. If you are in the Rah! Rah! Obama! Camp, and you choose to look at these anyway, you do so at your own risk. If you have a stroke, it's not my fault. And please do not be a jerk. Play nice. Do not leave nasty comments on this sweet woman's blog. She's not asking for a debate. If you absolutely must be mean, come back here and be mean to me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where in the World is Sam? Clue #4

This is the airport. You've got to be kidding me. I'll need to be sedated if I'm expected to fly in and out of this. Remember the rules: You can guess as many times as you want, I won't reveal the winner until all the clues are given. If you already know the answer because I've told you or because you belong to the Yahoo group for this program, don't spoil it for those who want to play!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm back and I need a favor...

I just got back this afternoon from Florida. Had a great time, weather was beautiful, good times with my mom, blah, blah, blah. Now, here's the deal... My mom's computer was acting up the whole week, so I'm waaaaay behind on my blogs. Gotta have my blogs, you know. I checked Google Reader and there were, I kid you not, 54 gazillion posts for me to read. I don't have that kinda time. SOOOO- Would it be at all possible for you guys to give me quick summaries of everything I've missed? That's not too much trouble, is it? Just real quick- tell me everything that's happened in your lives for the past week, condensed into a comment of 20 words or less. Easy, yes? I feel just like I did in Jr. High- pathetically out of the loop, looking over at the cool kids' table, knowing they're talking about something totally awesome and oh so important, and I have no idea what it is. Help me catch up, guys.

I have to brag a little bit on The Hub. He tried so hard to keep the house in order for me while I was gone. Of course, he and I have slightly different ideas of clean and orderly, but hey- he tried. And he did a great job. I'm not so worried about the homestudy on Saturday now. I'll easily be able to finish up the last few things without having a(nother) breakdown. What a guy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Almost Done

I made a lot of headway this week and the nervous breakdown never came... At least I don't think it came. Maybe it did, and nobody wants to tell me.

Actually, I've pretty much done all that I'm able to do on the dossier, so a big sigh of relief there. Now, we just have to wait for documents to be returned to us and get our homestudy done. I sent the requests for reference letters out to everyone who has ever met us, regardless of whether or not they even remotely like us. We signed the agency contracts and mailed in the first fee. I mailed out an extension request for the I171-H, then re-mailed it after it was returned to me, unprocessed, because I sent the wrong fee for Alex's fingerprints (stoopid). We each got our two sets of fingerprints done the other day and mailed one set off to the FBI. The other goes to the KBI (we'll still need to be printed for the I171-H). I'm not happy with Michael's prints- they were done by a different guy than the one who did ours, and they're... Well, they're just plain crappy. They totally reflect the guy's "I don't give a flip" attitude. He seemed angry that he had to do it for us and made sure it showed in his work. They look like a four-year-old was playing in ink. I have a feeling they will definitely have to be redone, and in fact, we're considering taking them back and asking someone else to do them before we even bother to send them in. We've heard the FBI/KBI are both very, very picky and will reject less than perfect prints. What's your experience with this? Did you have to keep getting prints redone? What's the turn-around time on getting results or a rejection notice?

It's amazing how expensive everything gets before you even start paying the *actual* adoption fees. I mean, most people think the money is all going to the agency and travel, but anyone who has adopted knows that's not the case. The majority of the money goes there, but those fees for ordering documents, getting fingerprints, and of course, the homestudy, really add up fast. When it's $50 bucks here, and $25 there, it doesn't seem as intimidating as those agency fees for thousands of dollars. You don't really realize how much you've already spent until you take the time to add it up. Well, I added it up... It's a bunch. I was tallying everything that we've spent so far on this adoption (not counting the Vietnam costs), and it just about made the hair on my chest fall out. When I think about the additional money already spent on the VN adoption... Oy. I start thinking, "Geez. That money could have paid for this... And this. And we really, really need that." It's scary. Common sense would tell you that these are not good times, economically speaking, to be spending this kind of cash. That's the thing about Darrell and I- we don't claim to have any common sense. But we do have faith. And that always seems to get us a lot farther than common sense would have, anyway.

I didn't get everything done around the house that I wanted before the homestudy, but... It's good enough, I guess. I really wanted to get my bathroom painted, but there just wasn't time. I seriously doubt the SW will judge us too harshly for having unfinished walls. She's been in our home 5 different times, and at least one room has been in some state of remodeling each time, so no biggie. The important thing is that the dog doesn't greet her at the door with underwear in his mouth. If we can get through the day without that happening, I will consider it a successful visit.

I'm most worried about the amount of laundry that will surely back up while I'm gone all week. I hope she doesn't walk out into the laundry room. I'll have to bar the door with a full body block and demand she step away. I'm thinking of throwing all the laundry into the storm shelter outside while she's here. Good idea? We might as well get some use out of it, since the tornado warnings stopped the day we put it in the ground.

I hope the boys' rooms don't have that horrid, decomposing-corpse-that's-been-peed-on-by-the-cat stench when I get home. One week away is more than enough time to work up a strong dead body funk that will be hard to erase before she comes. One of my poor, misguided sons (I won't say which one, but it's Mike) is addicted to that terrible smelling Axe crap. When the smells of lingering Axe and teenage boy funk combine in a room... It's not good. Not good at all.

I leave for my mom's early Monday morning and come back next Monday, the 27th. I probably won't talk to you again until after the homestudy. I'll let you know how it went. The diet is going to go on hiatus while I'm gone. My mom is a tiny, size 4 runt who can eat like a sumo wrestler when she wants to, without gaining an ounce. Good for her. Not so good for me.

I hear it's supposed to rain the entire time I'm there, while the weather here at home is supposed to be gorgeous all week. Of course. My one chance a year to go to Florida WITHOUT my kids and have an opportunity to really enjoy the beach and the beauty of the ocean... and I will be spending it inside my mom's tiny house, in the middle of Old People Village (just kidding, Mom).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Praying for the economy

I really enjoy Max Lucado's books. This is him, praying from his own prayer journal, during one of his church services.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Old Dudes

Has anyone else noticed how rapidly our presidents seem to age during their time in office? Here's proof that I'm not imagining things.
Bill Clinton on the campaign trail in 1992
Bill Clinton in 2000George W. Bush, 2000......and this year.
So, I'm wondering... What does this mean for John McCain, if he gets elected?

The "To Do List" is growing

Bri lost the other front tooth (which she pulled by herself again because she's convinced she does it better than I do) and looks so darn cute, I could just pinch her every time I see her. I keep stopping her in the middle of things and saying, "Smile at me!" She'll be sick of it soon, I'm sure.
I left a few items off my list in the last post...

1. Shop for food, then come home and cook it. Apparently these people actually expect to be fed on a daily basis, and more than once a day- so try not to forget that... If the phrase, "Mom forgets to feed us," comes up during the homestudy interview, it may not reflect well.

2. Don't forget to scrub the sidewalk chalk off the walks outside before the SW comes- at least where "MIKE IS A POOP!!!!!!" is written over and over in bright, beautiful colors. OR... Pray for a really good rain.

3. Threaten Gently instruct children not to write any other colorful phrases on the sidewalks. Make them Suggest they write things like, "Mom Rocks!!" and "I have the best Mom in the world!!!!"

4. I noticed (too late) that in Sunday's post I spelled tic (as in facial) like tick (as in bug)! HA! Something like this would normally drive me nuts, but this time... Not so much. There's no time for such needless worry right now. NO TIME, I TELL YA! Better start asking Betty to proof all posts before they go out.

5. Stop crying.

6. Write myself a note on a post-it to stick on computer screen reminding me not to make jokes about wanting to be a professional drinker while I'm trying to adopt a child. ...Probably not the smartest thing. Never know who's reading (The funny thing is- I don't even drink. No, really. I don't).


8. Remember to threaten remind Darrell that just because he may want to kill divorce me after my behavior in these next few weeks, there's no need to mention that to the SW.

I don't know what I'm so worried about. I'm sure everything's gonna be fine... Everything's gonna be fine. Everything's gonna be fine. Everything's gonna be fine. Everything's gonna be fine. I'm going to vomit.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm calling in sick tomorrow... and the next day, and the next, and...

Here's the tentative plan for the week:

Keep up with school at home.
Go, with Darrell and Alex, to a town 30 minutes away to get two sets of fingerprints taken for each of us.
Mail fingerprints, accompanying paperwork, and fees to two different places.
Mail letters of reference forms to our 3 oldest children for them to fill out and send to agency.
Go to parent/teacher conferences at the high school.
Ask two teachers at the high school to write and send in letters of reference to the agency.
Feel embarrassed for asking these people who don't know us on a personal level and couldn't care less about our adoption needs to write personal letters on our behalf.
Wonder who came up with the stupid idea to start dieting now... This idiot should be dipped in hot grease.
Ask 4 friends (again- because I've already done it once for the homestudy) to write and send in letters of reference to the agency.
Ask one friend to send letter to agency stating they will be guardians for our children in case adoption stress kills us both simultaneously.
Ignore the twitch developing in my eyelid.
Turn around and go back to the town 30 minutes away to get Michael's fingerprints done, since his and Alex's schedules wouldn't allow for all of us going at the same time.
Sign agency contracts, etc., and mail back to the agency with a whopping check.
Tell myself that the chest pains that will absolutely occur while writing the whopping check are just God's way of making me feel like I'm getting a big 'ol bear hug.
Search for my big girl panties since this whopping check is just the first of several.
Replace printer cartridges on my printer so that I can continue to make copies of the 50 bajillion documents for the dossier. Only 22 bajillion to go... YEAH!!!
Remind Darrell (again) that he needs to drive to a town 2 hours away to pick up the copies of his divorce decree for the dossier, because they've been holding them at the front desk for two weeks.
Get my house completely clean and organized, even though: 1. It has never once been completely clean and organized in 16 years. 2. It will be destroyed by the time I come back from my mom's, just four days before the homestudy.
Start eating like a pig.
Tape my eyelid shut because that full-blown tick is driving me crazy.
Help Tucker and Olivia practice lines for the church play every day.
Crawl up my husband's and son's butts (again) to make our yard look a little less like an episode of Sanford and Son.
Apologize for the language I used in front of kids while complaining about the Sanford and Son-like quality of the back yard.
Feel guilty when I see look on husband's face that says, "Dear God, woman- I'm doing the best I flipping can."
Cry. But just a little bit for now. Next time will be the whopper.
Write an autobiography for the agency.
Remind Darrell (again) to write his.
Write Darrell's autobiography for the agency.
Get our tax information ready and send to tax man.
Ask tax man to write a letter verifying employment.
Here comes the whopper crying jag... Bite my lip and keep going.
Continue making copies.
Consider applying for job at Office Max because I'm so freakin' good at this copy thing.
Do mountains of laundry so I will have clothes to pack to go visit my mom next week.
Make appointments for our physicals.
Anticipate the attitude I'm going to get from Dr. when he hears he needs to sign 5 pieces of paper for each of us, and write a letter explaining surgeries and medications.
Create imaginary friend named Betty who will begin eating lunch with me every day, and giving me a shoulder to lean upon as the insanity begins to take over.
Pack for trip to mom's.
Wonder if it's too late to consider "professional drinker" as a career path.
Call tax man and ask where in the #%#! is that letter.
Call friends and ask same thing.
Lose a few friends.
Sit in my closet and sob like a little girl.
Ask Betty for ride to psych ward when nervous breakdown occurs.
Wonder aloud with Betty why nervous breakdown took so long to arrive.
Ask Dr. in psych ward, since I'm there anyway, if he would mind filling out my medical form and writing a letter on my behalf, vouching for my mental stability and abilities to parent.
Ask Betty why Dr. is laughing.

Have a great week, Everyone!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hooter Hiders

With a name like that, you can't help but be intrigued, huh? Laurie's got another great giveaway going on. Go check it out!

I'm ready to fire our Tooth Fairy

Elaine, I think you and I must have the same Tooth Fairy (see Elaine's comment on yesterday's post). Last night, TF did remember to come and leave money for Bri, but then she inexplicably left the envelope with the tooth still in it, sitting on the coffee table, for the girls to find this morning. Everyone knows this just isn't how it's done. She must take the tooth. She must. Why, it's almost as if she plopped her tiny butt down on the couch to watch ESPN and eat chips or something- then flew off to bed, absentmindedly leaving the tooth behind.

This was her last chance. She even assured me last night that she would not screw up, since we've had a few run-ins in the past over various children being forgotten. Her exact words to me were, "I won't let you down." Sealed it with a kiss and everything. Does anyone know how devastating it is to be forgotten by the Tooth Fairy? Devastating to the mother, that is- since she's the one who will be reminded of it time and time again for all eternity. Uhhhh, yeah- she's totally fired. Flap those tiny wings and hit the bricks, Tooth Fairy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just when I thought it would never happen...

It did. Bri finally lost one of her two front teeth. She pulled it out herself. I was beginning to think she'd still have these tiny teeth on the day she graduates from college, so this is A.Very.Big.Deal. Lots and lots of excitement around here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weekend in Review... Lots of Photos

We had so much fun with the kids last weekend. We went up to Kansas City early Saturday morning for an arts, crafts, and music festival at Missouri Town. The arts and crafts for sale were bogus for the most part (which was disappointing only to me), but we still had fun. The demonstrations and people dressed in period costumes were interesting. I think I told you I really go for all this historical crap- not enough to walk around dressed like this, but still...
It was also a weekend full of animals. This guy kept ramming the fence right in front of me with his humongous head because I was focused on taking pictures instead of giving him carrots. Scared the frap out of me.
Was so glad Alex wasn't there to see this big guy- his only thought would have been to shoot it.This was the biggest ox I have ever seen in my life. His name was Moses. He liked being scratched behind the ears.
And more animals.After we left Missouri Town, we did a little shopping and went to stay the night at Darrell's mom's. On Sunday, we took the kids to the KC zoo, and again had a great time. More monkeys... They look like they're in a cage, don't they? Right where they belong!If it wasn't for the kids tugging my arm to move along and see something else, I could literally spend the whole day there watching the gorilla. I adore him! Isn't he gorgeous? These are not very good photos, but I think he's such a beautiful guy. I wish I could have zoomed in closer and gotten really good, clear pics of him. Truthfully, I wish I could just get down there with him- face to face, but he'd probably rip me in half. I got some halfway decent pics of other things, though. Loving my new camera, even though I don't have any photographic talent.
My diet took a serious hit. Serious. We ate at my all-time favorite place on earth: Dixon's Chili. There was just no way I could be faithful to my diet and pass up Dixon's. It's not just good, greasy food to me- it reminds me of my dad, and everything good about him. It was his favorite spot, too. Eating there feels like I'm honoring his memory, even though that sounds goofy, and it makes me miss him. I'm sure he's looking down on me with pride as I pass on the Dixon's torch to his grand kids!! Then on Sunday, we stopped for great KC BBQ. You cannot visit Kansas City without eating BBQ. And don't even start debating with me about Memphis vs KC. I don't want to hear it. Memphis BBQ is good, but KC BBQ is better. And you poor Texans don't know how to BBQ, I'm sorry. You seem to think you do, but sadly, you do not. My goal with this post is not to hurt feelings or start any fights, though- so we'll leave it there and move on.

I'm telling myself that all the walking we did for two days straight will counteract the bad food choices. I'm hoping, anyway. I have to be bikini-ready for my Florida vacation in two weeks. ...Yes, of course I'm joking. I'm like that. I wouldn't make innocent bystanders look at this jiggly mess in a bikini. I'm not heartless, for Pete's sake.

The whole time we were gone, I was a little worried because we left Alex and Mike at home for the first time. I can't imagine one good reason why boys at 16 and 18 would not want to go to the zoo with Mom and Dad, but whatever...

I know what I was doing when my parents went out of town and left me alone at home as a teenager. It wasn't good. I was nervous about what was going to happen during our absence, as I remembered some of the (ree-hee-heally fun) things from my youth (If my mom is reading... That one was a joke, too- of course. I never did anything bad while you guys were out of town. I cleaned the house, read books, and volunteered at a soup kitchen. I was always in bed by 9 p.m. Yep).

Anyway, the house was still standing when we got home and the boys appeared to be "normal-" No vomit on their clothing or the floors, no glassy eyes looking back at us or beer breath rolling out of their mouths. No skanky girls hiding in closets. That's always a good thing. My bedsheets did not appear to have been... um... oh, we'll say- slept in. If you know what I mean. I really don't want anyone... um... sleeping in my bed besides me. Not that I really think my boys would do any of these things. They're good guys. I'm proud of them. BUT... Teenage boys, even really good ones, do things they have been ever-so-kindly instructed not to do; stupid things. Especially when they feel more like men than boys. AND... Mamas worry.

We were so tired when we got home late Sunday night. Our butts were dragging the ground and it was really hard to get going Monday morning. It's always fun to cram a lot of activities into a weekend, but you definitely pay for it Monday. I was still kind of in a fog all day yesterday, too- so I guess our whirlwind weekend really kicked my butt.

Darrell and I went up to our PD yesterday to get our fingerprints done for the FBI background checks, but they couldn't get good prints. They tried on me several times, wasted about 4 printing cards, then told us we'd be better off going to a different town with better equipment so that the prints won't be rejected. That's the joy of living in a really small town! We'll try again on Friday. Alex has to come with us, too- since he's 18. He will also have to come with us to KC when it's time to get re-printed. I sent in my request for our I600a extension (really important piece of paper from our gov't allowing us to adopt), so we should get a new fingerprint appointment for that pretty soon. Why can't you get your prints done just once and use those prints for all the different background checks? It's such a hassle. But all will be worth it!

Now, we need to start getting ready for the SW to come on Nov. 1st, which means it's time to let my OCD tendencies take over! YEAH! I leave in 12 days for Florida and will return only 4 days before the homestudy visit, so whatever I'm going to get done has to happen before I go. Obviously, my family will destroy all my hard work while I'm gone, and I will use the four days to frantically redo everything.