Monday, September 17, 2012

The Birthday Card

Today I turned 37.

Let's just take a moment and reflect on WHERE in the WORLD the last 20 years have gone.

Moment over.

If I still act like a 17 year old, I'm still 17 in spirit. Right?

Yes, you too can have these beauties for the remarkably questionable price of $89.95. Don't miss the fact that they are tiger striped and will make you six feet tall.

Or, you know, you could feed a child for THREE MONTHS.

This is Jose Luis. Today is his birthday. He needs school fees and healthcare. He needs you.
My husband very graciously let me take a long weekend with some other adoptive mams where we learned new methods to parent our children who are used to parenting themselves.

And we laughed a lot.

I might have gone more for the laughter than the stellar parenting advice, but I'll keep that under wraps.

And this morning, after four days off and before I had my first cup of coffee, I pulled the birthday card. My rant speech went like this:

"I hate to do this, but I'm going to pull the birthday card. I have a minimum of three children crying at me for something that is either frivolous or out of my control and not one of you has told me happy birthday. On your birthday, birthday trumps all. So stop."

I said it calmly.

They mostly shaped up.

Today is my birthday. I am 37. I need nothing. I want new carpet because I have seven colors of carpet, none of which I like, but I don't need new carpet. I don't even want tiger striped will make you six feet tall backwards heels. (Which, by the way, other women came and tried on after I did because I made them look so good. Or because they wanted the photo opp. One or the other.)

Today is Jelsy Mary's birthday. She needs protein and water and will eventually need school.

She has no one to pull the birthday trump card on. She needs you.

Today is John Lenard's birthday. He loves math. But he needs someone to pay for his school, to help provide him the water that he carries for his family.

He has no one to pull the birthday trump card on. He needs you.

Me and these three kids, today is our birthday. And we're pulling the birthday trump card. If you have been riding the fence on child sponsorship, today is your lucky day. I have a deal for you. I have three very special kids from three very different countries that would love to have a very special birthday. They would love to hear they have a sponsor. I'm giving you the chance to give that to them.

I have their cards. If you claim one of these kiddos, I'll send you their info with a dozen cookies and my eternal gratitude.

I have been on a World Vision Project. They are legit, people. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On a Mission

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wel...lness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but no
t inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can
bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.”
― Bob Moorehead

Chaos here: sadly, Bob Moorehead is an accused child molester.  Goes to show that you can have great thoughts and still be a fallible human being.
Doesn't make his words any less profound, but sure taints 'em.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Conquer Your Fears and “Live to Give” Webcast

Thomas Nelson Author and Hoops of Hope founder, Austin Gutwein, to host September 6 online event to focusing on themes his latest release, Live to Give.

 On September 6 at 8 PM EDT, Austin Gutwein will be hosting a live Facebook web event to encourage participants to conquer their fears and use their talents to help others. The webcast will center on the themes Gutwein writes about in his latest release “Live to Give: Letting God Turn Your Talents into Miracles(Thomas Nelson/August, 2012). At the conclusion of the webcast, the winners of a month-long social media fueled “Get and Give” contest will be announced, including the winner of a Kindle Fire and $250 donated to the winner’s charity of choice.  

Join Austin on the evening of Thursday, September 6th as he shares about his own experiences and encourages others to conquers their fears and “live to give”. Austin will also be taking audience questions and interacting with participants. PLUS – there will be several “Live to Give” giveaways – books, gift certificates and much more! RSVP today and tell your friends.

Based on the John 6 story of Jesus feeding the 5000, in “Live to Give” Gutwein challenges his readers that regardless of age and talent, God can use them to make a difference. Even though God could take care of everything Himself and doesn’t really need our help, He desperately WANTS us to help Him care for others. Gutwein walks young people through discovering and embracing their unique God-given strengths and abilities, then figuring out how to use those talents to help others. Sometimes doing that takes a leap of faith on our part, and often becoming fearless in the process.

 More about Austin: At eighteen years old, Gutwein speaks with wisdom and has the experience to reinforce his message. When Austin was just nine years old, he watched a video that showed children in Africa who had lost their parents to AIDS. Gutwein realized these kids weren’t any different from him—except they were suffering. Feeling called to help, he took his love of basketball and decided to shoot free throws to raise money for orphans in Zambia. On World AIDS Day in 2004, he shot 2,057 free throws to represent the 2,057 kids who would be orphaned during his day at school. Through sponsorship from parents and friends, Gutwein raised over $3,000 that day to give hope to eight orphans in Zambia. Over the past eight years, Gutwein’s efforts have created Hoops of Hope, the largest free throw marathon in the world. With an estimated 40,000 people in more than 25 countries participating, Hoops of Hope has raised more than $2.5 million to build schools, medical clinics, dormitories for orphanages, and the only computer lab in Zambia.  

Enter to win a Kindle Fire and have $250 donated to your favorite charity. Click for the banner for details and entry or visit Learn more about Austin and Hoops of Hope at and + Unending Devotion, Jody Hedlund

Monday, September 03, 2012

The power of fives

Iris and I have been noticing a lot of fours around here.

Our table fit four kids. Had to get a new one. (Now it fits 6. She is petitioning for another.)

Four matching frames with photos of me with my three week olds.
      (OK, I missed the boat with Princess. Rectified with the next two.)
She's a really big three week old. This saddens me.

Remember my silver van issue? Solved with the cheezy Kansas family. Finally got another girl on there.

Great Granny used to get each new great a silver cup. Granny found one for us the other day.
Slowly , but surely, we're getting our fours up to fives.

I'm not sure if she feels any more a part of us or not, but each time she discovers a five, it makes her smile.

I'm thinking she might even smile for a family photo now. Time to get out the awkward family photo matching outfits.