Sunday, March 29, 2009
For me, I honor God. I try, anyway. We live in a fallen world. I am not perfect. But. I try. Thank God that the Holy Spirit is in me, or else I'd truly fail. I honor God in the little things and in the big. I gave Him my heart and he gave me my child. I gave him my heart and He gave me my life. I gave him my heart and He gave me direction and purpose.
Do I know what the future holds? No. Do I know that God will be with me every step of the way, yes, I do. God loves me, and I believe that. So, I am obliged to honor Him as best I can.
Being able to work helping our Veterans in their times of need, is an honor for me. I feel like I am contributing to the betterment of our society. And I wouldn't wish it any other way. I am obligated. Obligated to help our brothers and sisters find the help they need, via whatever role I've been given.
I am obligated to my family. I am obligated to help overcome despair of brokenness. I am obligated to help move my family into the next season of the healing. Whatever that means, I will open my heart and listen, and follow.
I am obligated to myself and to my daughter. I prayed for a daughter, and she came. For that, I am forever grateful. Let it be said again and again, that she is amazing and I love her with my whole heart. I am obligated to teach her in the way she should go. To love her, believe in her, and be her Mommy forever. I believe it was divinely inspired that we met and I believe that if I am led to parent a 2nd wonderful child, that I will be led to that as well. God knows what is in our hearts and what we can handle, too.
I was watching The West Wing (season 2) this weekend, and it is truly amazing. The feelings, the obligations, the doing things for the greater good. Faith without Works... so, there are works. I'm anxious to see this next season because it hits my heart in that spot where you feel like... wow, are there anyone out there anymore that feels that way (standing up for something right, righteous? And would they even do anything to get it done if they did??
La Familia es bueno. My family is good. The dogs are good, Lil M is good. I'm good. Going to have to figure out Easter Dinner in a week or so, but that'll be fun.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I've been working on my finances lately. So, I thought I would share a couple of things that work for me.
1. Write it down - Either write your budget (yes, I used the budget word) on paper or in a spreadsheet. I use Excel. I have all my monthly expenses written down, and additional lines for things that come up. Don't forget to give yourself some fun money / slush money. Or you won't likely stick to whatever you've written down.
2. Be realistic - Debt doesn't happen overnight, so fixing whatever ails you won't either. This is saving money, paying off credit cards or other debts, getting out of living paycheck to paycheck, etc. Try to set a realistic goal of what you want to accomplish. If you want to save $40 a month, figure out where that $10 can come from each week. For me, I know if I want to save a certain amount, I pay myself first. It does actually work.
3. Stay on top of it - Check your bills / payments frequently. I check my accounts several times a week. Sometimes even daily. If you aren't the type to do this, write it ALL down. Find some way to make yourself be accountable to YOU.
4. Give yourself permission - You deserve the best. This doesn't necessarily mean whatever is right in front of your face at this moment. It means, in everything. So, give yourself permission to put yourself first. I have to do this with myself. Maybe others don't. But I do. I also give myself permission to splurge once in awhile.
5. Have checkpoints and new goals - If you know your end goal is years away, or even months, having an interim checking point helps to stay on track. So, for me, I have a big goal, but then smaller goals that make up that goal. For example, if I want to save a certain amount of money this year, I might check to see where I am monthly to make sure I'm on track. But, then I also have maybe a 5 year plan. Or want to put money in different types of investments. Pick one, do that for a year, then add another. Breaking things down into manageable chunks helps me be able to see the bigger picture that can be accomplished.
These things worked for me when going through the adoption, financing the adoption and buying my house, etc. Whenever I have a bigger goal in mind, I try to stick to these basic principles. Maybe simple, but it works for me!! :)
Now, go over to We are That Family and see what types of things work for others, day to day!!! :)
Monday, March 23, 2009
Lil M likes to have the dogs go "nigh nigh"... here's tonight's display of Skippy in a blanket. :D
“We have gotten into the habit of spending money we haven’t earned, to buy things we don’t need, to impress people that we don’t like. So get rid of that habit.”
- Deepak Chopra
Isn't this the truth?!!! I'm working on my budget this year, it is my number 1 goal... I encourage you to do so, as well!!
But I took a movie plunge this weekend. I watched "The Changeling", "The Constant Gardener" and "88 Minutes".
The Changeling - Angelina Jolie, did a fantastic job in this movie, IMO. Different type of role for her, and she was not only very believable, but very good. I really liked this movie. It was definitely different... I am considering watching it again, even. Not sure I like the ending... but it is based on a true story, so I can't really complain that much! For an ending, overall, it was good (i usually hate movie endings)... I just felt it was sort of anti-climactic. Although, during the movie, there were some great things that happened, and showed the Mother's resolve to find her son. Loved that.
88 Minutes - typical action flick. Pretty good... but sort of not-believable... It was OK.
The Constant Gardener - was FANTASTIC. It is probably one of my all-time favorites, to date. I like smart movies, good plots... this one had everything I like... little action, but mostly a lot of clues that you had to walk through with the characters to figure out... and it had a fantastic middle and end. Seriously. One of my favorites. I even liked the end. Actually, it was a good ending.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This morning... getting ready to go to daycare to have her pic taken...
Mommy snuck a camera in and took a pic too!!!
LOVE the pink sweater that Auntie Ellen gave Lil M! It is adorable... Her hair is looking pretty good today, too. Getting so long. Glad we did the trim recently. Oh, and she had her pic taken with Martha-Kelly too... but I didn't get one of it on my camera! They were adorable! :)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A Reuters article reports that Madonna wants to adopt another child from Malawi. My favorite quote from this article:
Madonna said she wanted to keep him connected to his homeland.
"It is a big priority for me to educate my son about the world, but always to stay connected to his Malawian culture," she said.
"He has a big map of Africa in his room with lots of arrows pointing to Malawi."
...Ok, seriously, I hope this statement was taken out of context, because otherwise... yikes.
At the same time, I am personally finding it hard to know how and when to teach Lil M as much as I can... but I'm not Chinese, so that in and of itself is a hindrance. I have already gotten her quite a few books written in Chinese, as well as teaching materials to hopefully get her acquainted with the Chinese lettering, when she's old enough (read: next year or two). And I hope I can find some viable historical material for her to learn about her birth-country. There are other ways and things, too, but it's going to be a process.
Some take the burdens of life and internalize them. In these economic times, it is easy to get caught up in worry. It is easy to want to fall down and wail...
But what we're supposed to do is:
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you...
From: Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
55:16-23 In every trial let us call upon the Lord, and he will save us. He shall hear us, and not blame us for coming too often; the oftener the more welcome. David had thought all were against him; but now he sees there were many with him, more than he supposed; and the glory of this he gives to God, for it is he that raises us up friends, and makes them faithful to us. There are more true Christians, and believers have more real friends, than in their gloomy hours they suppose. His enemies should be reckoned with, and brought down; they could not ease themselves of their fears, as David could, by faith in God. Mortal men, though ever so high and strong, will easily be crushed by an eternal God. Those who are not reclaimed by the rod of affliction, will certainly be brought down to the pit of destruction. The burden of afflictions is very heavy, especially when attended with the temptations of Satan; there is also the burden of sin and corruption. The only relief under it is, to look to Christ, who bore it. Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it in his own way and time. Care is a burden, it makes the heart stoop. We must commit our ways and works to the Lord; let him do as seemeth him good, and let us be satisfied.
To cast our burden upon God, is to rest upon his providence and promise. And if we do so, he will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a child; and will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall sustain the trial. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him. He will not suffer them to be utterly cast down. He, who bore the burden of our sorrows, desires us to leave to him to bear the burden of our cares, that, as he knows what is best for us, he may provide it accordingly. Why do not we trust Christ to govern the world which he redeemed?So, I hope this encourages you today to cast your worries upon the Lord, whatever they may be. God is a loving God and will sustain us.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Chase, my nephew, had a great time at his destination imagination group yesterday. I have been feeling exhausted this weekend, and sort of slept through it. :( Sorry, Chasey-man. But he called me this morning and told me all about it, and that was awesome!
I am so proud of him, because he has such a great imagination and this group is helping him with his interaction with others!! :) I love him so much.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I am happy with my life, and I believe I'm where God wants me to be. Not every woman has to be married. Not every person has to be married. In Scripture, Paul extols the benefits of being a single person. I'm not knocking marriage. And, as a matter of fact, I will get married if that's where my life leads me. :)
But that's not where I have been for the past few years. Oh, I dated. And dated... but God had some work to do in me before I could be ready to marry. I had to be able to stand on my own two feet and to realize my own worth before I could love someone else, too. We are all different. Some people learn early on that they are worthy of love. Others don't. And then there are those who think that Marriage is the end-all-be-all and it will make them "whole". Well, it doesn't.
God created you whole. And if you aren't feeling whole, it is because there is something you need to learn. That may or may not include marriage. It is not a reason to get married, IMO. Two whole people who get married are the ones who truly love themselves, and their mate, and put their own needs in the mix. If you don't love yourself, you're apt to put the other person first all the time, and eventually will drain yourself (possibly) of all self-esteem you had to begin with. You could be used and abused... and not necessarily even know it. We live in a fallen world.
I wish people would teach their children and loved ones, and especially our young women that it is OK to EITHER be by yourself or be with someone, but that they must love themselves. Love others, yes. But love yourself, too. It is OK to take the path less traveled. And it is OK to get married. But do it for the right reasons.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Just remember, that nowhere does God say that we can't love ourselves. He wants us to love ourselves. We were made in God's image, and that is a good thing. If you don't love yourself, truly, then how can you love others... truly...without being in a place of putting your own self down (guilt, fear, or no self-esteem, etc.). Think about it.
PS. This has nothing to do with my current relationship. I'm very happy with S, and we're waiting to see what the future holds for us. I just wanted to write a little about what I've learned and other options for people out there trying to find themselves and/or a mate.
Last weekend was awesome, and I had a wonderful time. It's just that I can't do that every weekend, and especially this week after trying to get used to the time change. Lil M hasn't been napping well this week, and that adds to the need for a relaxing weekend.
onto another topic:
I have been reading some wonderful blogs, lately. Most probably realize that I'm quite addicted to the whole blogging thing (reading and writing). ;-) I've found some interesting ladies who are either young-ladies staying at home with their parents, hoping for courtship and then marriage... to be homemakers. Questions of extending their education or not, based on not using it later. While I think it is very admirable, and God-seeking to extol the virtues of marriage above career, I thought I'd throw my $.02 out there.
Marriage is a wonderful arrangement, when it works. We live in a fallen world, and so marriage doesn't always turn out like people want/hope/wish for. I'm not saying anyone should go into marriage with the idea it could end. But, frankly, it will eventually. Number 2 reason would be if your partner passes away first. What if that happens when you are young? And have no outside career to fall back on? How will you support your children (assuming you have one or more)? Yes, there is life insurance. Please make sure you get some. But this doesn't always cover everything, and sooner or later, you'll likely have to find work outside the home. Well, unless you're farming, and then you might be able to make do.
The number 1 reason (unfortunately) would be divorce. Now, I realize that people go into marriage thinking it will never happen to them. But... it does. Especially in our world. Maybe not today, or 5 years from now, but what about 30 years from now? What then? Do you have skills that you can use to get a job outside the home? Highly likely. But, will it pay the bills?
Keeping some type of outside work, volunteering, educational growth (a degree) will help you if something should happen to your partner or your marriage. What happens if your partner gets in an accident and he can't work? He was the bread-winner... and now someone else has to be. It has now fallen on your shoulders... what do you do?
Now, don't get me wrong. I really think the idea of young people slowing down, courting and the like is wonderful. I just think that our young women need to be prepared if something should happen, to be able to continue to take care of their families as best they can. If you can't provide for your children outside the home, and should you get divorced... the likeliness is that the husband would get the children.
I realize that keeping a realistic eye on the future probably makes me sound like a defeatist. But, I'm not. I'm a realist. I believe in family and all its virtues. I also know the dark side of divorce. By keeping your personal growth in mind, if you never needed to use it outside the home, how would it hurt? You could surely use it to benefit inside your home (like, accounting, finance, education degrees - to homeschool better)...
Just my thoughts. I find it all so fascinating how our world and cultures are so different! But all have some great qualities. :)
Friday, March 13, 2009
I was reading a lovely blog today (eyes of wonder) and I found something she wrote awhile back and wanted to share it. I do have a tendency to worry, but I try to remind myself that it is OK to give it to God. God does care how I feel. ...and cares how YOU feel, too. And, thankfully, God's burden is light.
We are not being irresponsible, by not worrying, or feeling bad about, or striving against, the things that we cannot change, no matter how hard and out of control they may seem to be. It is absolutely legal, and we are free, in Him, to tell our cares and concerns, needs, struggles, hopes, dreams and desires, to Him--pour them all out--and walk away from them, leaving them in His care, knowing we have not only done something, but we have done the greater thing. We have placed our life and times in His hands--in childlike faith--and walked away to do the next thing, however small or simple, or seemingly insignificant in the scheme of things, that may seem to be at the time.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication (*being supple, bendable, pliable while waiting) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4: 4, 6-8 King James Version (*inserted thought, mine)
Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
For the rest, brethren, whatever is *true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].Philippians 4: 4, 6-8 Amplified Bible *God's Word is true
God is there. He is always at work, most often in ways that we cannot see, nor could we entirely understand, even if we could. I do believe that He is getting us exactly where we want to go, but in His way, in His time. The very same way and time that we, too, would choose, IF we could see and know and understand, everything and every one, and had all the power, as only He does.
He loves you and He is always for you. You really, truly, needn't fear, today or tomorrow. You needn't try to please people, or live up to their expectations. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Give Him your cares and then ask Him to show you the next thing to do. If you find that your eyes are taken off of yourself and you are seeing the most basic needs of those around you and are drawn to meet them--even if it is with the little or nothing that you might have, physically, materially, it is Him. Let go of the cares (to Him) and leave them there, and let Him love--you, and those around you.
As always, Peace.
FRANKFORT - The sponsor of a controversial bill to ban unmarried couples from becoming foster or adoptive parents acknowledged Tuesday that the bill is dead.
Tapp said he didn't know why the Senate's Republican leadership didn't schedule a vote on SB 68.
"I quit asking," he said.
Neither Senate President David Williams nor Majority Leader Dan Kelly, the chamber's top leaders, could be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Even if the bill were to win Senate approval, it would still need to be passed by the House. And there is little chance of that happening with only three scheduled days for passing bills remaining in this year's session.
..."We're encouraged," said Chris Hartman, executive director of Louisville's Fairness Alliance, which held a Feb. 25 rally at the Capitol to oppose the proposal.
Hartman said he hoped the numerous calls, letters and e-mails to lawmakers from opponents have "driven home the message that hate legislation should never be passed in the commonwealth."....
The bill appeared to be gaining momentum when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it at a special meeting Thursday, announced as the Senate was adjourning for the day.
One opponent, Lexington Democrat Kathy Stein, called it "legislation by ambush."
The bill passed unanimously, with no discussion, after Tapp and Edmunds spoke in support of it.
But it hasn't moved since. And Tapp acknowledged that with so little time left, chances are remote that it could clear the Senate and the House.
Stein said she thinks that's for the best.
"I think that's an excellent thing," she said, adding that she has had numerous calls from people in her district who oppose the bill.
Tapp said he expects to sponsor the bill again next year.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
SB 68 made it through Judiciary committee via a secretive meeting last week, where only the defenders of the bill were present. That really upset me, and has made me feel like my efforts have been for nothing... I will keep trying, though. This bill is awful for our state. And I really believe if we rally together, we can affect change.
I received this today from the KY Fairness Alliance:
Some are suggesting that State Senator Gary Tapp’s Senate Bill 68 may be dead for this legislative session, but we are proceeding with caution.
The fair-minded community has certainly seen this picture before. In 2004, we thought the anti-marriage amendment was dead, but pressure from religious extremists forced legislators to revive the bill in the final two days of the session. We CAN NOT let this happen to our families again!
If you have not yet contacted your State Senator over this bill, please do so NOW! CALL the Legislative Message Line at 800-372-7181 and LEAVE YOUR MESSAGE OF OPPOSITION TO SB 68 for your Senator AND Senate Leadership. This is painless and takes only a few minutes.
Senate Bill 68 may be voted on today or tomorrow by the full Kentucky Senate. The Legislature then breaks for Governor Beshear’s veto period. They return on Thursday, March 26 for two days of legislative action.
While the fair-minded community has been busy working on this issue, we must prepare for what could come next. If the Senate passes SB 68 this week, we will be launching efforts to assist you in getting your message of opposition to your House members during the veto period. Do not let SB 68 become the phoenix rising from the fire!
Stay tuned... and keep the calls to State Senators flowing.
Your KFA Team!
PS - Check out the "Face Off" between the Family Foundation and a fairness supporter in The News today.
Again, this affects ALL KINDS OF KENTUCKY FAMILIES. Please help us get them to vote this down. Support our children!!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
MK, Mk2, Lil M and Mommy:
Whew, what a weekend!! We went to the Zoo yesterday with MK and MK2. That was awesome. The weather was absolutely, utterly perfect! Then we have some friends over... (didn't watch Tyra, Tom... we missed you!! LOL) And had big fun. I was remiss in not getting a pic of our new friends C & K! Little K was just adorable. :)
As if all of that wasn't enough... today, we went to the Circus! What fun that was. :) MK, MK2, Sis, Abbi, Mia, Scott and I went today. The girls rode the camel. :) And, Lil M and I went down the blow-up slide. It was a ton of fun! ... Thank you Scott for treating us all to such an awesome day!
I have a blue-ton of pics... but am only posting a couple from yesterday. I'll post more later!!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Went to get my hair cut last night and had Douglas cut Lil M's hair just a little so I could finally get a snippet for her baby-book!! He also cut the little fringies she has for "bangs" (natural, it wasn't my intent to give her bangs, but the front of her hair is really fine and short-fringies... so, he just got them out of her face! She gets her pic taken for DC next week, so let's see if we can get a good one this time. They've all been decent, but she's such a big girl now, that I'm hoping they get a cute one.
When we were at the salon last night, Lil M was hanging out with Scott in the back where Douglas puts my color on. Well, when he came up while I was getting a trim, Mia wanted Mommy... and started crying when she couldn't sit with me. Uh oh. That was a first. I'm convinced she didn't have a nap yesterday... even though the DC told me she did. Ugh. Oh well, she did fine, especially after she got to sit with me. She definitely likes being with Mommy!! hehe And, boy, do I like that!! Of course, when there is a need for someone else to hang out with her for a bit, it'd be nice if she'd do that without crying... but she's a baby, so that's normal, too.
Oh, in not so happy news... that stupid Senate Bill 68 got through the Judiciary committee. Ugh. Apparently, they had some 'secretive' meeting. It's still got to pass the Senate as a whole, and then the House, but it still bites the big one. :( Back to writing more letters, I guess. But it looks like it was for naught the first go around. Blech.
But, this is Friday! I'm looking forward to the weekend. :)
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Soon after I received my referral, the wait dramatically, extremely dramatically, slowed down. I can't imagine. 18 months was hard enough. Please know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers. And I hope you see your baby's face soon!!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
It also makes the trashcans smell better. With the typical animal accidents and baby poo in the trash... it can get pretty yucky. So, I sprayed the bottom with vinegar. And, what do you know... it actually worked.
I also made my own laundry detergent. Yes,... I did. Grate up a bar of soap (ivory), add washing soda and borax... 2 C soap, 1C WS and 1C borax... use 2TB for each wash... it actually also works. Sweet!
So, there you go. Vinegar rocks. Not sure if it will actually take up the pet stains like I've read... but I'm trying that tonight.