Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
We are probably the only two women I know who can immediately recognize and name all three men on that bus -- the only exceptions being my mom and Aunt Rose! For those who are sports deprived, it's the ESPN Game Day crew who were set up next to the company tent.
Before the game we watched the players pass right by the tent as they walked into St. John's Arena for the Skull Session. There was a jumbo-tron set up outside the tent to watch the game and several big screen tv's inside. It was a college football fan's paradise.
Whenever DH goes to one of these parties, he's immediately drawn to all the s.w.a.g. (stuff we all get not sista with a gun) and we inevitably leave with all kinds of goodies. His biggest reason for going to these parties is the free food and all the loot. He wasn't disappointed! We came home with picnic blankets, camp chairs, gift certificates, and a signed Tressell football! He was like a kid in a candy store with all the give-aways.
UPDATE: We also joked about the photographer taking pictures of the event. It felt like we were lurking in the background of half his pictures. Here are a few he took. One of us is each of these pictures, see if you can find us.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Today, I have a bit of a headache and I am tired. I also feel like there is so much for me to get done that it would be humanly impossible to finish it all. These are the times I need Mass the most. Unfortunately, the girls can sense this mood in their mom and they hone in on it. The youngest two did not behave in Mass. I suspect this is largely due to how tired they are as well. Here's the conversation that ensues as I load them up:
Bophie: Donut, we get a donut?
Me: Are you kidding? You and Bear behaved atrociously, there is no way you're getting a donut.
Banana: What does atrocious mean?
Me: Terrible, horrible, awful.
Banana: Basically it means deplorable, right?
So, my 8 year old wasn't sure what atrocious meant. Apparently, deplorable is more her speed.
I am to grab the closest book. I am in the kitchen, so I went to the small bookshelf between my living room and kitchen. The shelf holds mostly dh's books. He has a serious obsession with books. I picked up one of his newest, "Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Volume XXXI".
I am to turn to page 56 and locate the 5th sentence:
"The very fact that the process was slow, and that therefore the real line was almost stationary, made it easier to turn the eye away from it, for such digressions were at least diversions from the dull horror of protracted war."
For extra credit, I am to relate this sentence to my life. Without reading the sentence in the context of the article (which I may do later), what came to mind when I read about a slow process was our adoption wait. The adoption seems to be on my mind alot as we near our referral, which we hope will come next week, so I guess it is not surprising I would relate a random sentence to it. Certainly since it has taken so long I have allowed myself to have many digressions and diversions, especially when it came to thinking about how I would handle 2 weeks away from my girls. Now, with referrals coming closer, the details of our trip have begun to stress me out a little. None of this has anything to do with a "protracted war" but at least I was able to relate to most of the sentence.
Now I have to tag others. This is when I really wish I had more blogging friends. All of you lurkers out there should start a blog so I have people to tag! I will go with what I have and tag Shelly and Charlotte. Then I am going to challenge those lurking here to go grab their books and post your results in my comments.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
We are getting very close now. The rumor mill says that TA's (travel approvals) for the last batch of matches have begun arriving. This is usually a sign that the new matches are about a week away. So right now, in a small room in China, there is a pile of folders, one with our name on it. There is another pile of files of beautiful babies who need a home. Most likely, sometime this week, someone I will never meet is making a decision that will forever change the lives of everyone in my family. Within two weeks we should know the name of the newest member of our family. Amazing, isn't it?
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Fast forward a few years (ok, more years than I want to admit) and I have to wonder where the time went. Today I got my first email message reminding me the holidays are around the corner and I need to start preparing. Heck, Target has had their Christmas stuff out for almost a month now. Any look at my oldest daughter is a stark reminder of how quickly time passes.
Tonight, my little Bophie fell asleep in my arms. She had a long day. Banana and Bear have classes on Thursday, so I have a little time with just Bophie. Today we went to run errands. We got coffees and dashed here and there and she didn't get her nap. Then we went to pick up the girls and she fell in the pool in her clothes. Luckily Mom was there to pull her out! It was an eventful day for her. She was so worn out that tonight during prayers she curled up in my arms and fell asleep-- fast asleep. I was at first thankful that tonight I wouldn't have to deal with her bedtime blues. Then, I was even more thankful for this time. She isn't a baby anymore, and pretty soon she won't crawl into my lap to be rocked to sleep. It was a moment of wanting that roll to unravel more slowly.
On the other hand, knowing we are next for matches (God-willing) has made the time since the last referrals seem ridiculously slow. I check much too often to see if there are new rumors about when the matches will arrive. I find myself wanting the end of the month to get here so we can see our little girl. We have been waiting almost three years and I am ready to finally get off this slow boat to China.
So I guess I am fickle and can't make up my mind. Speed up? Slow down? I'll take both :)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
In fact the highest calling is strict adherence to the moral law without admittance of compromise, even in the face of worldly futility. It is a mark of humility to recognize ones own powerlessness as opposed to that of idolatry.
I needed to hear this yesterday. I needed to be reminded that no matter what the world throws my way, I need to humbly pick up my cross-- no matter how futile it seems sometimes. We have reached the mid-point of 40 Days for Life. I know my sacrifices have been minimal and my prayers could use more fervor and devotion.
To use a sport's analogy (imagine that during college football season), I need to fight with the veracity of the underdog. I need to keep alive the drive, to understand that even if no one thinks pro-lifers can win I must continue to do my part. It is the higher calling.
Each month we join a group from our parish to pray in front of an abortion clinic in our area. I take my girls because I know they will have to continue this battle someday. Last month, they got together with a friend and decided to bring their baby dolls so that the people going in would know how nice babies were. Dear Banana also made a wonderful sign. It read Life is Pro-Life. I chuckled a little, but I am so impressed with her young sense of justice. She also added "pray you can see for yourself."
Today, I am going to take up that prayer. I am going to pray our nation can truly see the effects this has on our society. I am going to pray for all those walking into a clinic today to kill their unborn children. I am going to pray they see what they are doing for what it is. I am going to pray for an end to abortion in our country and around the world.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The problem? Have you seen the mall lately? I get tired of trying to strategize and come up with circuitous routes around the growing number of stores that market clothing for hookers and streetwalkers to my children. I cringe at the language of passer-bys. Then I get sticker shock from the few items of appropriate clothing I can find.
I never knew clothes shopping for an 8 year old girl could be so difficult or expensive. Once Banana hit a size 7, our choices became infinitely smaller and the prices for those options jumped exponentially. Why is it that clothes for a girls' size 7 look like they were made for 16 year olds? Some of the clothes would even be inappropriate for 16 year olds. I am stuck shopping at places I never dreamed I would shop because I find the prices unbelievable. Our package has jeans that were originally priced higher than I would pay for a pair of jeans for myself! Luckily, they were on sale and I had a coupon. But in order to get decent clothes at a decent price, I feel as though I have to constantly be shopping.
Why do these clothing designers market this stuff to kids? Can't an 8 year old be content to look like she is 8? Why encourage them to jump into teenage stuff? Looking back, are there many people who feel the teen years were the best in their life? Why not relish the few precious years of being a kid? I even hate the term tween. Why can't they just be kids?
I don't feel my girls should have to sacrifice nice clothes in order to be modest. I also don't understand why nice, fairly stylish, modest girls clothing has to cost an arm and a leg. I need my arms and legs to pay for gas and groceries.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I kind of enjoy this as it keeps them busy and not hounding me to buy more things. I love TJ's, but I always end up leaving there with way too many snack foods. I am lulled into thinking that because it is healthier, it is healthy. The distraction of the dolphin allows me to get what I need rather than constantly saying no, no, no.
The girls may have taken the reward thing too far though. Dh is amazing and gets up everyday to go to the early Mass-- really early Mass. Once a week he takes the girls with him and then takes them for breakfast. Last week they came home talking about the reward McDonalds has now.
Girls: "Mom, we could win $100 if we find the cat in McDonalds and it is much smaller than Trader Joes."
Me: "$100 for what?"
Girls: "We have to find the cat at McDonalds. There was a sign that said $100 reward for whoever finds the lost cat in the picture."
I chuckled at this. It was just too cute and I was busy at the time and didn't have time to explain what was really going on. This morning, I got up and we went as a family to Mass, then I took the girls to McD's as dh had to get to work. This is what I hear in the backseat.
Bear: "Darn, we didn't win the $100 for finding the cat."
Banana: "I really could've used that $100. That's a lot better than a lollipop."
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
2 large butternut squash
Ground red cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper, kosher salt (all to taste)
1 stick butter
1 ½ large cans of broth (I typically use chicken)
2 8oz packages of cream cheese
Cut squash in half, remove seeds. Lightly sprinkle with red cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper, kosher salt (all to taste). Place squash in a shallow baking dish that has about an inch of water in the bottom. Roast for about half an hour at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let it cool. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the peeling and cut into pieces. I make my pieces about the size I use when making mashed potatoes.
In a soup pan over medium high heat melt butter. Add onions and allow to caramelize. Then add the broth and squash pieces. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Using a blender, puree the squash and broth mixture with the cream cheese. Put the soup back in the pan to heat, but do not allow to boil. I taste it here to decide if I would like to add more spice as we tend to like it fairly spicy here. Serve warm
Here is a recipe similar to mine: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Butternut-Squash-Soup/Detail.aspx
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
In other news, we got a call from our agency this week letting us know we are officially next. Barring any complications, we will receive our match in early November. This call really made us feel like this is going to happen-- and soon. We will be spending October making sure all our ducks are in a row. I am sure I will spend a fair amount of time at the rumor site too. Please continue to pray for our little one. I was thankful for this week's Feast of the Guardian Angels. During our family prayers that evening we asked our angels to watch over her.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
However this is an article by Mark Shea I read yesterday and really enjoyed. While it is not really a story about my girls, I still thought it was blog worthy.
Here is a little excerpt:
The moment we go from framing the question in terms of trying to bargain our way out of damnation and instead put it in terms of seeking virtue, all the fog disappears. We no longer have to wonder just how close we can tiptoe up to adultery without committing it. We don't have to endure puzzlement about how near to hypothermia we can push our victim without it being torture. We don't have to microscopically parse the question, "How near to personhood should our victim be before it's wrong to burn him alive or tear him apart in his mother's womb?"
When you are working to be virtuous and not merely trying to get away with something, you don't do that kind of thing. The discussion begins on a different footing. You ask things like, "How can I love, honor, and cherish my wife and avoid the near occasion of sin?" You seek to interrogate prisoners in a framework of humane treatment and discover that people more readily divulge accurate information to people they trust than to people they hate and fear. You seek to care for women and their children without making it a kill-or-be-killed scenario.
You trust, in short, that Jesus knows what He's talking about when He tells us, "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you as well."
It reminded me to take this approach as a mother. I may not have email conversations with Bill Clinton, but everyday I deal with little ones who are trying to "bargain their way out of damnation."I am daily bombarded with some little one giving me some excuse for pinching, poor schoolwork, or the mess in their room. I also am confronted with difficult questions like: "She gets to have 6 jellybeans, why do I only get 5 and a half?" There are also those impossible situations of one child teasing and the other finally having enough of the taunting, says something terribly hurtful.
In these situations, I need to not split hairs about blame, but rather encourage growth in virtue. Instead of sorting through who did what and how that fits on the scale of wrondoings, I need to remind my dear children we are called to kindness and sacrifice.