Saturday, June 30, 2007

What's Goin' On

Well, in case anyone cares, I thought I'd give you a mini update on life these days. (The challenge here is to see how short I can make this! 1,2,3,GO!) KIDS: This last week the kids attended the Avalanche Ranch Vacation Bible Blast (much more exciting than Vacation Bible SCHOOL, you know!) at First Presbyterian Church downtown. We went b/c we knew some people that would be there and it was the absolute best $25 I've spent this summer! The kids had such a good time and the program was great. They spent 3 hours every day learning about how God is REAL, WITH US, STRONG, AWESOME & IN CHARGE! I think we could all stand to spend a week focusing on those things, don't you? And they'll be singing along the the awesome songs on the CD for months to come I'm sure. Fun, fun! ADOPTION: We got the draft of our home study yesterday from our social worker so that's about done and he has recommended us for approval to adopt! : ) Not that we expected he wouldn't but it's nice to see the whole thing written up. We are still gathering papers for our dossier and hopefully will have that together so we can ship it to the Thai consulate in LA soon. Once that's all done, we will be officially on the waiting list. It could still take a year after that before we get to bring our new child home (but it could be faster, too.) HOME: We are still trying to get our new master bedroom finished. Today Lowell installed the 2 ceiling fans and I'm working on getting window sills ready to be painted. We still have the floors and clean-up and some other random things to do. This part is always hard b/c we stop caring about the details and just want to GET IT DONE ALREADY! A NEW CHALLENGE: I am working on writing an article/essay for the Christian Leader magazine about tv, movies, books, video games, etc. and how we as Christians determine what's ok to be entertained by and what's not. WANT TO HELP??? Either comment here or email me and let me know what are your family's standards for entertainment? What lines have you drawn that help you determine what's acceptable. I have to have an outline or draft to the editor this week so the faster you respond, the better. Thanks for any input you give me. Have a great weekend/week! More profound things to come next week I'm sure...


Now I know where the bad dreams are coming from...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Now, what do you say to that???

So what do you do after you have this conversation with your son?????? (asking about the VBS CD we got this morning...) "Do we get to keep this music forever???" ("Yes.") "Do we get to take it to our new house?" ("What new house?") "The new house we're moving to." ("Who told you we're moving to a new house?") "God." AND THEN! One of your hubby's co-workers tells him about a job he thinks he should apply for somewhere... Well, I actually know what to do. Don't panic. Trust God that He knows if and what He's telling Toby and Lowell's friends and that He'll talk to us eventually, too. : ) Be still and know that He is God. It will certainly be interesting to see what (if anything) happens!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

This is My Story...

Do you know that hymn? Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! I love the chorus: This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long... Earlier this week I was thinking about how (like everyone and everything) I have strengths and weaknesses. I think one of my biggest strengths has to do with words. I love just about anything (positive) that has to do with words: singing and writing songs, journaling, blogging, talking, teaching, encouraging, word games, praying, reading God's Word, studying words, learning new languages... Words are my thing. (Keeping my house clean, cooking, being on time... not so much.) The same morning I had this realization, I had been reading Psalm 145. I went back to it and was blown away by all it had to say about what we can do with our words when they're about God. Here's Psalm 145:
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

There are two things about this Psalm that I love at this moment. First of all, it tells me what to do with my words. In as many ways as David could think of, he talks about talking about or talking to God and then in the middle, almost as if he can't keep it in any longer, he stops talking about talking and starts just talking about God and how marvelous and wonderful He is. Which brings me to the second thing. Look at what this psalm tells us about God. He is glorious, righteous, slow to anger, compassionate, loving, good to all, near to us when we call, He saves us, fulfills our desires, watches over us... If this were the only thing I knew about God I would want Him. I would want a relationship with Him. I would want to be one of the ones He rescues and loves. I would want the blessed assurance of saying "Jesus is mine."

So, I think in some ways, this Psalm is my story and my song. I want to use my words to tell others about God and to worship and praise and exalt and extol Him. Because He is worthy. If I can spend my life and my words doing that, I think I will have fulfilled at least one of my purposes for existing.

My Precious Jesus, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart and the posts on my blog be pleasing in Your sight. May they bring glory to You because You alone are worthy.

~With All my Heart, Melissa

Thursday, June 21, 2007

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands...

(Do you have the song stuck in your head now? Good!)

First of all, sorry for saying "come back tomorrow" to see what hilarious thing Toby said. It has been several days since I posted anything because I was trying to get my house cleaned up after last week and couldn't let myself start blogging when there were other gross things I won't disgust you with to deal with first. BUT here I am! Finally!
ANYWAY! (The story, PLEASE...)

Father's Day morning we were having breakfast (cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs, in case you're wondering) and one of the kids made the observation that daddy is the biggest of the adults (that would be between Lowell and me) and that Mikaela is the biggest of the kids. Then Toby says,

"But I'm the biggest of all. Cuz I can pick up the world!"

After marvelling at that for a moment or two, and asking how he can pick it up, etc, I asked him if he even knows what the world is. He said, "I have seen the world and it's not very big. It's maybe as big as our house. It's maybe as big as the cozy sack. And I can pick it up. Really!"

He seemed so serious and we were all cracking up. Which of course, he loved. After declaring he could even pick up God (don't worry, we cleared things up about that one) he said, "I'm just teasing about all that stuff!"

The last quote-worthy thing he said was,
"I can count up to God. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, GOD!"

I'm still trying to figure out the theological implications of that one. Any ideas??? For now I'll just leave you with this: "He's got you and me, brother, in His hands. He's got you and me, sister, in His hands. He's got the whole world in His hands." (And that would be God... not Toby.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pictures Finally!

I'm trying to post some pictures of Mikaela's graduation (or "promotion" as they actually called it) but I'm having trouble uploading the pictures. But I said I would add some so I'm determined to because I try to do what I say I will do no matter how much grief it causes me. (A watermelon's faithful, 100%!) And what do you know! There's a picture! (Let's see if I can add some more...) (More grief, I know.) There must be a million people on the web tonight cuz it's running really s-l-o-w-l-y. What kind of traffic jam is that? A BLOG JAM!!! (Get it? Like a LOG JAM??? Yes, I just made that up and it was bad, I know.) But hey! We have another picture! The first one is Mikaela with several of her buddies, the next one is Mik, Josie and their marvelous teacher Senora Lucero. The two pictures below are of Mikaela's class and Mikaela introducing one of the songs they sang. We were so proud of her! : )

Now I'm going to post this before I accidentally delete anything. : ) But come back soon because you just have to hear what Toby said yesterday at breakfast. It was hilarious! : ) See ya tomorrow!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Coming Soon...

Pictures and maybe video of Mik's graduation if I can ever get the computer to cooperate with me. Cute, cute stuff!

So much to say...

Where do I begin? I am almost overwhelmed (as in if I think about it too much I might start crying) at how good God has been to us. Today was Mikaela's last day of kindergarten. Ever. Last year about this time I was fretting about choosing Track C afternoon with Mrs. Lucero or Track B morning with a new teacher. It felt like a complicated decision for lots of reasons. But I begged and pleaded for God to lead us and get our daughter in the right class and did He ever. Sra. Lucero is without exagerration the best Kinder teacher I have ever seen. Even Toby is sad to be leaving her. He said today, "But Mikaela's new teacher won't know my name!" (I assured him that by the end of the first day she probably would.) And he said, "But Sra. Lucero always lets me give her a big hug!" (Awww.....)

The first time I saw her class (7 years ago) I was amazed and apalled that I wasn't teaching my students nearly as much as she was. When I visited again a year ago I felt like I was home. She was who God had picked for us and I am so glad. (And the afternoon schedule ended up being PERFECT for our non-morning-people family. Thank you Lord!) (And if we'd picked track B we would NOT be on vacation until August. Thank you Lord again!!!)

As I was revelling in the joy of being on vacation this afternoon (I felt almost instantly less stressed) I found myself reminiscing about summer vacations back when I was a kid (in the old days, as Mikaela would say). Granted, we were off for about 3 months instead of 2, but they seemed to last so long. I was wishing somehow I could make this break last as long as those summers seemed to. I want to play with my kids and do projects with them and go camping and maybe to VBS somewhere and take naps and read books and go for walks (sometimes known as exercise) and go swimming (an even more enjoyable version of the same) and play in the sprinklers and make popsicles and, and... Sigh.

But rather than set myself up for disappointment by creating a long list of things to accomplish, I think my list will be short and simple:
  • Teach kids about Jesus
  • Play with kids
  • Practice resting
  • Work on adoption and file taxes (all play and no work uh..... causes problems.)
  • Try to have Mikaela's friends from school over if it works, don't stress if it doesn't.
  • Take things one day at a time
  • (Ok... and do laundry and make dinner and stuff like that.)
I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


This is a picture of my beautiful daughter who is 4 days away from finishing her first year in school... officially known as kindergarten. We took these pictures up at Hume Lake after hiking up to the Little Brown Church with Mik, Toby, cousins Samuel, James, Matthew, Allison, Lowell and Myself. The kids AMAZED me with their ability to hike the half mile it was from our cabin (ok, Toby WAS begging to be carried) and they were thrilled that they made it and thrilled by what they found at the end of the journey. (As you can see, the Little Brown Church is exactly what its name implies.) It is beyond thrilling to me, though, that all these kids love Jesus and church so much that they would be so excited about finding a little church and the little Bible in it. (That's a yellow golf ball on the little pew, by the way.)

Mikaela hugged the cross. Remembering it still brings tears to my eyes. I couldn't ask for more than for my kids to truly know and love God and I am so grateful for the priviledge of watching them and guiding them in their learning to know Him. (Toby has been reminding me of a little Nicodemus lately. He wants to understand so badly where God is and how He can be everywhere and so big and still be in our hearts. It's amazing the questions he asks. And hard to find answers sometimes.)
When I started this post, I was calling it "4 more days..." thinking about how Mik has 4 days of school left and how ready I am to be done--especially with feeling bad when we're late to school (which has been way too often lately) or don't get all her homework done (again, too often!) It's particularly embarrassing since I was a kindergarten teacher before Mik was born. But I think I have a case of summeritis (like senioritis but for parents of non-seniors.) and I'm just ready.
And not ready all at the same time. I am anticipating this week will be an emotional one for me. But I realized I will get through it the same way we got up the hill to the Little Brown Church. One step at a time. Together. Sometimes whining, sometimes aching, sometimes being carried... but oh SO thrilled at the destination when we find Jesus there. And shouting "I love Jesus!" at the top because He's the One who's gonna be carrying me convincing me that I can be a trooper, too.
And by the way, He'll do the same for you... Troop on friends!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

En la Cocina con Toby

Yesterday I was making some sandwiches with Toby, who is very enthusiastic and optimistic about life in general. When I told him what I was making, he said, "I LOVE BBQ beef! It's my favorite kind of chicken!" : ) Then when I really was making chicken to put in the crockpot, he touched the raw chicken and proceeded to stick his finger into his mouth, presumably b/c he thought the chicken would taste good already. We then had this nice little discussion about not doing that because of the bacteria that could make you sick, etc. (I skipped the really big words like Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Bacillus cereus, and Entero-pathogenic Escherichia colisalmonella.) (And yes, I just found those online somewhere.) It went about like this: T: "What are bacteria?" Me: "Ummm... they're kind of like germs." T: "And do the bacteria get out when you cook it?" Me: "No, when you cook it they die." T: "OH GOODY!" So now I'm off to excite him again with some egg salad sandwiches. (To which Toby says "Right on!") If only the rest of us were that easy to please...