Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All Over the Map

As the boys were setting up their toy soldiers for battle, they first identified various mountains their forces could seek refuge in.

"This one is Mount Everest."

"I though that was was Mount Vesuvius."

"How about Kilimanjaro?"

"Okay, and this one over here can be Mount St. Helens."

I guess they have been getting something out those geography/history lessons!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Adoption Non-News and My Out-of-Whack Vision

Last fall, Wade and I became aware of a seven-year-old boy who was possibly going to become available for adoption. At that point his arrangements weren't totally cleared, and so we would have to wait to learn the nitty gritty details of his life. And so we waited.

Then last week, all in the course of a few days, we learned he was officially available for adoption ("Are you still interested in learning more about him?" "Yes!"), found out a family would be chosen for him the next day ("Are you seriously interested in being considered for his forever family?" "Yes!"), then were told that another family had been chosen for him. It was a brief but intense emotional roller coaster ride!

We were disappointed, but not heartbroken, when we found out that we wouldn't get the chance to meet this young man and possibly welcome him into our family. We recognized that this simply wasn't God's plan for our lives, and blessed be the Lord that His will was done and not ours.

One thing does bother me quite a lot about the whole situation though. All along the way, there were details -- so many details! -- regarding how we found out about him, his hobbies and interests, his educational needs, his mental/emotional health, his relationship with his biological family, his very (Biblical) name, that just screamed "THIS IS A PERFECT FIT!" I couldn't help but think that this must be a "God thing."

And apparently I was wrong. What I thought was God, was not. I translated "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT!" into "THIS MUST BE GOD'S WILL!"

And I wonder how many other details and situations in my life I'm reading wrongly. In striving to recognize God in every part of my life, am I imagining Him working in ways that He is not? And shouldn't I be able to recognize the One I claim to love and serve above all others? How can I become more attuned to His will and less focused on what looks good from my (limited, human, imperfect) perception?

"If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives freely to all." ~ James 1. Dear Lord, please give me wisdom. I am lacking!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cooking Lessons

Once again "The Testosterhome Lady" has summed up my thoughts so nicely, that I think I'll just let her do the writing for me. In the week that I resumed the sadly fallen behind cooking education of my children, she writes in a post called Enjoy the Moment:

"There is always something -- the Holy Spirit, I know -- gently reminding me that this is it, this moment is what it’s all about. This child offering his help (help that will slow you down and mess things up and maybe even add a bit more salt than you’d like) -- this child and this help is all part of the glorious, gut-wrenching oft-aggravating ever-redemptive deal of motherhood."

Well put, Mrs. Testosterhome, and thanks for the encouragement to continue enlisting my children's help in the kitchen!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kitchen Wear

For Christmas I received two aprons, which is surprising considering I've never received even one apron as a gift before (unless you count the 4-H one I used for food activities and demonstrations, but I think it actually belonged to the club).

Both aprons were actually complements to some really great gifts. First, Mom H. bequeathed to me her lefse cooker, along with the necessary lefse-making accessories and an ├╝ber-festive reversible apron (snowmen on one side, candy cane stripes on the other), which will forever and always be my designated lefse-making apron. I've made one batch of lefse so far, and it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself, and I'm certain its success is due at least in part to the apron. Thanks Mom!

The second apron was from Mom D.W. and accompanied "The Pioneer Woman Cooks," the most entertaining cookbook I've ever read, and I do mean "read," as in sit down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and digest every word of it, even the recipes my family will never eat. "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" is as much comedy, photography and diary as it is cookbook, which is a combination that makes for darn good readin' (except I don't say "darn," so pretend you didn't hear that). Mom made this apron, and seriously, it's cuter than most of my nice Sunday clothes. Thus, I've been wearing it regularly, because I like to feel like I look cute. Thanks Mom!

Aren't mothers great?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking Awesomeness!

I've finished organizing the 2010 photos (on the computer, of course) into groups for scrapbooking. I took to scrapbooking digitally with our family's 2007 album and just loved the speed and ease of it. And really, while the price of the finished product seemed like a lot in one lump sum, it was comparable to (if not cheaper) than printing all those photos and purchasing the scrapping goods. Thus I've continued.

However, I have missed using all the cool stickers (particularly letter stickers) and papers and other fun decorations. So, realizing that digital scrapbooking is becoming quite popular and that there have to be more people like me who would want digital embellishments, I googled "free digital scrapbooking embellishments."

Oh. My. Goodness!

There is so much fabulous free stuff out there! I had no idea! I downloaded and downloaded and downloaded some more until I had the beginnings of a decent scrapbooking station, and then downloaded a few more! Two of the best sites I found were www.scrapbookpresentations.com and www.freedigitalscrapbooking.com.

Both have lots of embellishments and alphabet sets, but www.freedigitalscrapbooking also has papers, fonts and ribbons.

Anyway, back to sentence one... I've finished organizing this past year's photos and am so exited to begin putting together the 2010 pages with all this fun new stuff! So excited, in fact, that I've already started, and here is one page featuring a few of things I downloaded.

Okay, it's kinda small here, but do you see that fun "OUT in the SNOW" writing? It's a font called Snowfall. And those cute little snowflakes? Embellishments. And that strip of blue stripedy goodness on the left? Digital scrapbooking paper. And the ribbony thing at top and bottom? I just love that thing! (You should see the ribbons and rickrack I'm using on other pages!)

As you may have noticed, finding all this great stuff made my day, so I thought I'd share it in hopes that someone else's day may also be brightened.