Tuesday, March 31, 2009

exciting news...


Meet Elizabeth! She'll be graduating from Winthrop University this May and then moving up to Lynchburg this summer to be our RUF intern for the next two years! (so you'll probably be seeing alot of her!) She's also a native South Carolinia-n like Daddy, so does that mean our family's gonna be eating boiled peanuts & sweet tea all the time?!? ha!


Not only will Elizabeth be present at our weekly RUF meetings on Thursdays...


but she'll be meeting with & ministering to our girls one-on-one and in small groups while she also participates in the RUF intern study program. (20-25 hours a week) We are SOOO excited that she's coming! Pray that she'll be able to raise all of her support quickly and that God would guide her & prepare her for her ministry here.


And after giving so much to gals in RUF, I just hope that she saves a little love for me... :)
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Monday, March 30, 2009

daddy's caddy...


Hey everybody! Wanna see my favorite game to play with Daddy outside? Well, first I watch him practice hitting some golf balls in the back yard...


then it's my job to run & get 'em!


I got it!


"Ready for the next one over here, Daddy!"


Woohoo!

Milestone of the Week: calling for Mommy by name!! ("Mama")
New Foods of the Week: lettuce with ranch dressing & peanut butter crackers
New Word of the Day: Brush (pronounced "buh")
Funny Fact: remember my new word the other day? Well, guess what EVERYTHING Mommy takes out of the dishwasher (cup, plate, fork, etc.) is called now? That's right. A "bowl." (pronounced perfectly-- it's so cute!) ha!
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

ruf lunch...


Once a month after church, a family in our church hosts "RUF lunch" for our college students! It gives the students a chance to get off of campus and get to know a family in our church (as well as each other) better. It also gives ME a chance to be around the students since I normally don't go to RUF on Thursday nights.


And check out the view we had from the porch today!! (Mommy shouldn't have taken the picture on the screened-in part of the porch! oops! oh well- you get the idea.) For those of you from Texas, those things on the horizon out there are called "MOUNTAINS." :) ha!


Anyways, I loved snacking right alongside the students. I think I probably ate at least 30 chips before lunchtime. :)


But not to worry, folks. With my energy level the way it is, those calories are long gone!
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

you are what you eat...

And while we're on the subject of my messy eating habits...


Bagel with cream cheese.


Corn and spinach.


Eggs.

And my personal favorite...

Lasagna!


"More, please!" (yay for sign language!)
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

i do it my way...


Mommy says the civilized way to eat applesauce is with a spoon...


but forget table manners-- I've got my own ideas.


Mmmm Mmmm.


Okay, Mom. Here's a compromise-- at least I'll HOLD the spoon while I shovel it in with my fingers... deal?
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

night-night at family night...


Each week our family has 2-4 of our RUF college students over to our house for dinner (we call it "Family Night"), and part of the evening is that the students go through my bedtime routine with us.


It's always a good time for the students to get off of campus & come spend an evening with a family, and it's always a good time for our family (and especially me!) to enjoy the attention... uh, I mean, company! :)


The students get me dressed into my pj's & take turns reading my stories. Then we all sing some hymns & songs together, and then we pray together. Everybody says goodnight, leaves the room, & I drift off to sleep while they go enjoy some more time together.


That's the routine and I'm stickin' to it. :)

Milestone of the Day: One more tooth has arrived! That makes lucky number 13!
New Word of the Day: Bowl
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the all-purpose word...

Didn't you know that "baaaa" is the all-purpose word?

video

Baaa Baaa!

Baaa,
Caroline

Sunday, March 22, 2009

prints...

Thanks, everybody, for your great & helpful feedback to Mommy on the adoption book! (you're welcome to keep the ideas coming as she's still pondering what to do...) We'll be sure to keep you guys posted. While her creative juices were flowing, here was our project for the day that she highly recommends to any of you new parents!


So for around $3.00, we made this cute set of prints to mark me being 1-year-old! (okay, so we're a month late... ) A pad of ink, a piece of white paper, a piece of decorative paper, double stick tape, black frames that Mommy already had laying around, and a baby that will somewhat cooperate with you is all you need! :) Our prints match my nursery colors, so each year we can do a similar set of prints & hang up our collection over the years! (or take 'em down & put them in an album).


And birthmommy Megan, you'll be happy to know there's another set of prints heading your way soon!


Oops! Ya caught me red-handed! (or pink-handed I should say!)


And pink-footed! ha ha!
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decorating secret...


Don't know if any of you blog readers enjoy home decorating/interior design-type-stuff like me (Amy), but I just thought I'd share a little decorating/design secret that I did awhile back in our house. My kitchen window needed SOME kind of fabric treatment to break up all the white cabinetry surrounding it, (you know, a little "pizazz") but I didn't need any privacy for that window & I wanted to keep all the view that I could...


So, I took a piece of lumber we already had laying around (a 1x6 in this case), wrapped it with some batting/padding stuff, then stapled on a piece of fabric I found on clearance at the fabric store.


We mounted it to the wall with L-brackets, and wah-lah-- for around $10, I've got a window treatment!
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Friday, March 20, 2009

crazy (?) idea...


Don't know if any of you remember us showing you guys the children's book we made to tell Caroline her adoption story. (see here)

Well, tonight we had some friends over that after reading through it had the idea/suggestion that we think about turning the story into a generic children's book for adoptive parents to read to THEIR kids about God's special plan. (it would leave out all the pictures & details of our family & details of OUR adoption experience, but still tell the basic adoption story... for example, it starts out, "Long, long ago, before you were ever born, God had a special plan. And this is a story about that special plan. This is a story about how you came into our family." Then it would go on to tell about how your birthmommy loved you so much, but she was sad she couldn't give you what you needed to grow big & strong, etc. etc. She wanted to follow God's special plan, and then God led her to Mommy & Daddy, etc. etc.

Since much of the adoption wisdom is switching to being pro-open-adoption (unlike 30 years ago) and encouraging parents to speak to their children about their adoption story from day one, I think this story would help children to know how much their birthmother loved them, how God had a plan for them even before they were born!, and how their adoption mirrors our adoption into God's family. (you can read that page if you click on the link above.)

Okay, so I've got all these thoughts swirling around in my head about this, and it might be a crazy idea, but I just thought I'd throw them out to you, my wonderful blog readers, family & friends. So here's what I want to know from you...

1) Instead of starting with the publishing route, what about going an easier route & re-writing the story & binding it/laminating it like ours & selling it on this blog? (My goal isn't to make a bunch of money on this, but everyone that's read the book has had really good feedback & I can't help but wonder if it could help other families out there going through the same thing, you know? Plus the lamination & spiral binding has been SOOO fun & easy for Caroline to turn the pages, too!) Would any of you guys be interested in having a story like this to read to YOUR adopted children or think it would be helpful to purchase for other families in your churches, for example, who are? If I went this route (which is the easiest for me, for sure!), how could more people find out about it?

2) I've obviously got the text for the story, but no children's book would be complete without some really great pictures to go with it! (we'd take out all of our personal photographs & replace them with illustrations) After all, it's gotta keep the kids' interest! Are any of you children's book illustrator-wanna-be's that would be interested in this project? Or do any of you have ideas on how I could modify the pictures? (I'm a musician, folks. NOT an artist.)

3) I don't know that I'm ready to put all the work/hassle/effort/money into sending it off to a publisher or even paying to have it published myself at this point. (But I'm willing to hear from those of you who know a thing or two about this area.)

So I don't know-- this may just be a late-night brainstorming session that fades away by tomorrow, but I thought I'd throw that out there & see what you guys have to say.

I know, I know. Too many words and not enough cute pictures lately. More soon to follow, I promise... :)

spring...


Oh my goodness- I can't believe it! Spring is finally here! And you know what that means-- it's time for me to run around and...


put rocks in my mouth...


and cut some grass...


and be chased around by Mommy & Daddy...


and enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer.


Oh, and look where Mommy & Daddy are going WITHOUT ME this June for their 10th anniversary?! :) Boston! I'm sure they'll be weeping as the whole crowd sings "Sweet Caroline" in the middle of the 8th inning! (and can you believe they are playing the TEXAS Rangers that night, too?! How perfect!)
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

free grace...

You know those weeks when you've got twelve million things going at one time that all have deadlines that you have NO idea how you're going to get it all done? And while you're frantically trying to put out these fires, it seems like everything in your life starts falling apart? (housework, neglecting your family, laundry, to-do lists pile up, etc.)

Well, long story short- this has been the busiest week for me (Amy) since moving to Virginia. In addition to my usual weekly commitments, I took on a 30-hour paid handwriting job (to help pay for the pepto-pink remodel!), and offered to serve some others with my time.

All that to say, I received an email from our pastor's wife asking me if I needed any help at all. I'm thinking, "oh my gosh, do I need help?! Of COURSE I need help!" but in reality, what do I start typing? "Oh, that's so sweet of you to offer to help. I think I've got everything under control and..." when Marc stops me and says, "Amy, she's willing to help you. You need the help right now." (and he sure knows because he's been a saint all week with washing dishes, feeding Caroline breakfast before work each morning so I can work, etc...)

But you know that feeling that you get in your gut!? I mean, sure-- I really do need someone to come and clean my basement to get it ready for the wedding shower I offered to host at my house even though I'm going to be at symphony rehearsals all day. But I'm not going to ask my PASTOR'S WIFE to come and clean a TOILET!!!

Nevertheless, at my dear husband's prodding, I told her I needed help. And within the hour, there she was. Stooping down and cleaning the toilet. Vacuuming the floors. Cleaning my basement. And as I sat upstairs working on my handwriting job that I MUST finish up before tomorrow, I felt terrible. I felt like a failure.

And then it hit me. Here was a woman of status (our pastor's wife!) stooping down to do something so menial and embarrassing like cleaning up my basement for free, but how much more did Jesus, the King of all the Universe, stoop down to take on flesh & come down to clean up our filthy, messed-up hearts and redeem his people?! For free.

But quickly, all the typical thoughts started to plague me: what can I do in return for her? I should buy her a gift. I should give her some money. I need to write her a thank-you-card at the least. I OWE HER.

But you know what? How in the world can I accept the grace of Christ JESUS if I can't accept a sister-in-Christ offering to help me clean my basement?! The point of GRACE (just like this basement cleaning) is that it's given to us without ANY strings attached in love. There is no I.O.U.! It was her delight to help me, (as much as I have a hard time accepting that!) and how much more is the Father delighted to give unceasingly to His children.

I believe that to the degree that you are able to ASK FOR help, or RECEIVE help, or GIVE help to others when it inconveniences you shows the amount to which you really understand GRACE.

It's humbling. It doesn't sit right with us. We think we can do it on our own. And when we finally realize we can't, even THEN we find a way to add something we CAN do to make up for it.

But the Gospel humbles us. There's NOTHING we could ever do to appease an infinite, holy God. No check we could write. No gift we can give. No amount of good works. (the Bible says even our good works are like filthy rags!)

But hear and believe the good news of the Gospel: "For it is by GRACE you have been saved- through faith- and this NOT from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- NOT BY WORKS, so that no one can boast." - Eph. 2:8-9

Hallelujah! Praise God for His glorious grace to us in Christ Jesus. And you know what? That makes me WANT to give my life and my all to Him... not to pay him back, but to thank Him for doing it ALL for me. It makes me want to give away the free grace He gave to me.

"For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Eph. 2:10

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

lucky number 13...

Today I'm 13 months old! So that Mommy will have a record of what I was doing at this age, here's the lowdown...


-On most days, I'm still taking 2 naps a day. At night, I sleep from about 7:30pm- 7:00am.
-I am starting to LOVE songs and rhymes with hand motions like "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Head, Shoulder, Knees, & Toes," etc. Now, I'm not saying I DO the hand motions (although I may try one or two!), but I'm pretty fascinated with whoever IS.
-Walking is taking over my life. It's all I think about. It's all I want to do. Most recently I just want to walk around the house with a book in my hand. This results in various books and toys ending up in various rooms and places. Which leads us to the next one...
-I just learned what it means to "pick up." I'm pretty sure I don't like it. :)


-Talking is also high on my list. I've started having conversations by myself when I'm playing, complete with inflections and everything! (Hey- it may not make sense to you, but it sure does to me. Mommy & Daddy love it!)
-I love to imitate words that Mommy & Daddy say, and I am understanding ALOT more than I can say. For instance, if I'm reading with Mommy & she asks me "where's the sun/banana/car/butterfly/crackers/kitty-cat/shoes," etc., I'll point to them! It's amazing how many new words I'm collecting in my little brain every day.
-Speaking of pointing, I'm pointing to everything I want to know about. Everything around me is a wonderland that I want to explore!
-My word list now is mama, dada, go go, nana (for banana), ball, hey, bye bye, night night, Mamie, Pop, Nanny, Papa, Lala, "poo" (for spoon.. ha!), and every day, I'm adding more.


- Still a great eater. I love eating whatever Mommy & Daddy are having. Some new favorites added to the menu... fresh tomato pieces, cucumber pieces, pizza (it's a good thing in this family), pasta, black beans, orange pieces, tilapia, and sandwich pieces. Remember how much I loved green beans as a baby food? Well, no luck on the real stuff yet. We'll keep trying.
- I like to push my limits. I want to know if that same thing is STILL a "no no" as it was yesterday. :)
- I'm one loved little gal.
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