Monday, February 28, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Go Texan Day for the not so Texans

It's Rodeo time in Houston. Rodeo season means that people do crazy things like herd cattle down I-10. And buy boots, overly ruffled shirts and jeans three sizes too small just to wear on "Go Texan Day". It's a funny thing really.

I don't have a country bone in my body. I was raised in Texas, but somehow avoided the whole Clint Black, chaw spittin', ain't sayin', and the chicken and dumpling eating. Neither of my parents are from Texas, so I guess that's how we skirted around most things Southern. I do love Texans, I just don't partake in a lot of things Texan.

Today is Go Texan Day. So, my kids had a Rodeo Day at Mother's Day Out. I had nothing. I ripped off a bandanna that we're using to mark our luggage and wrapped around Makaria's neck. I took a costume from the playroom and threw it on Kesed. I laughed so hard as I got Kesed dressed because he looks like he should be working a bachelorette party. He even shot me his "How you doin'?" face for the picture. Wonderful.

When I got Makaria dressed, nothing in this bandanna felt Texan. It felt like Communism. The scarves they wear symbolize the Young Leaders in China. They all wear red scarves to school. Do my China friends feel that after looking at this picture? I also put her in a Dora the Explorer shirt with Spanish on it. That's rather Texan if you ask me.

Makaria was going for more of the Rodeo Drive look.

At least Brad's got a hat on! And plaid even. Wow, we really went all out.

Kesed decided to ride the horses with his eyes closed. He almost fell off but was rescued by the trainer operating the pony-merry-go-round. Crisis averted.

Here's Charis shooting the deuce. You can take a girl out of China, but can't take the China out of the girl.

See...he's smiling because Jesus DOES love him. I think we're going to wrap this up and send it to Mark Driscoll in Seattle. He'd love it.

I love this kid. Beat of his own drummer, I tell you.

Happy Go Texan Day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why Ethiopia?

Today, at Together for Adoption, there is a great group of ministries partnering together to equip Ethiopian churches to answer the call of taking care of widows and orphans.

We get asked all the time why we chose Ethiopia. While there are a thousand reasons, this outlined on T4A's blog is probably the most compelling:

Why Ethiopia?

In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 out of every 8 children is an orphan. Of the 143 million orphans worldwide, more live in Ethiopia than any other country in the world. Just twice the size of Texas, it is home to five million orphaned children. While international adoption from Ethiopia has increased in recent years, at the current rate it would take 5 million families, $125 billion, and 2,500 years to solve the Ethiopian orphan crisis.

There is a also great book called "There is No Me Without You", that follows a woman who begins an orphanage simply because people keep dropping babies off at her doorstep. It follows the kids and their stories. It's beautiful and will make you cry. A lot.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Over the hills and through the woods

Since we've been in the States, my parents have taken the kids exploring a few times. Right in their neighborhood is this little creek. It's amazing. You are in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, but it feels like you are tucked in the secluded hill country.

The kids love it.

I do not like being inside, so little adventures like this become a life line for me.

If my son could have 6,000 acres, a camera and a few sturdy sticks, I'd never see him again.

I like winter trees. I like that they've lost their leaves and are waiting. I look at winter trees and the words "potential" and "hope" define them. It's beautiful.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First hair cuts and my battle with pink

If you know me well, have ever met me, or even know how to spell my name, you will know that a place like this has never been on my "take the kids to" list. Actually, places like this have been the brunt of much mocking in my world. Not gonna lie to you. But, they had a wonderful deal on haircuts. So, I endured the pink and the "girls rule" paraphernalia and took Makaria for her first hair cut. It was about time. She was looking like Macy Gray, but not in the trendy, on purpose type of way.

She's so laid back. All she needed was a granola bar and Aerial and contentment ruled the hour.

And, then it happened....the glitter hair spray....the pink hearts on the cheeks....the sassy modeling of the new hair. It was all I could do to not want to take her and have her run through the mud to make sure none of this princess stuff actually stuck. They really did a great job with the hair cut and style. M did great and loved all the glitter (despite her mother).

I can't help myself: moms...your 3 year olds do not in fact need a manicure or to walk the catwalk in their bright green tutus after getting an updo. Sigh...ok, I feel better.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Run for Gold!

Ok, folks. If you live in or around Houston, or just want to come to Houston and visit the beautiful flat lands, factories or oil companies, you need to come on March 19th.

a Run for Powdered Gold!
Saturday, March 19th
8:00 am
{beginning and ending} at Barbara Bush Elementary
7420 Crownridge Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77382


Click to begin the registration or you may register the morning of the race from 7:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.

You may purchase a t-shirt for $30 online or at the race.

Children's 1 Mile Run will begin at 8:00 a.m.
All children under the age of 12 are welcome to participate.
***Prizes will be awarded to all participating boys and girls!***

This is a family race, so there will be none of this....ladies. I've been to enough weddings to know we have this in us.

FormulaRunEthiopia 5k (3.2 miles) will begin at 8:15 a.m.
All are invited to run or walk this race.
***Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 males and top 3 females.***

Please join us for awards, coffee, and a light breakfast following the race!

I say, throw caution to the wind, you did just knock out a 5K.

Please understand that all registrations are final.

All proceeds will go towards the cost of purchasing and shipping formula to their partnered YWAM Adoption Ministry orphanages in Ethiopia.

All the cool kids are coming. What an awesome way to come out and savethe life of a sweet child in Ethiopia. What an awesome way to teach your kids to give back. So, don't wait and think about it, just click and register. Done. See, that was easy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

America the Beautiful

America, America, you've brought many things
from donuts and pizza and new songs my kids sing

No longer the Chinese anthem in a red scarved sea,
But, "doncha wish your girlfriend was hot like me"

Walmart and Redbox for movies and treats.
Finding the toilet instead of peeing on streets.

Running and jumping barefoot and outside.
Kids streaking the front lawn with glory and pride.

Ordering pepperoni pizza without having to explain
"add the pepperoni to cheese that originally was plain."

Chips, salsa and cheese til I ache
"But I won't eat this in China!" is the excuse that I'll take.

Car rides with heat and a radio inside,
to drive and shuttle and sometimes just hide.

With all of the fun and all of the joys;
it's time for us to head to the motherland of noise.

It's time to eat veggies and wash our feet;
from the grime and the stories our legs will soon meet.

God has a journey for our family to learn
how to trust and have hearts that will long and yearn

to depend on Him and listen for His voice;
treading the unfamiliar, but given a choice.

Seek out the Lord until He answers my pleas
fight for joy and fight on my knees.

He is reminding me daily of our calling and love
for Him and the people living below and above.

Friday, February 11, 2011



About 4 weeks until we fly
things to do I can only describe

Packing and cleaning for a family of 7
makes me yearn and ache for life in heaven

There are 14 check-ins and as many to carry
requires an army or women whose legs are hairy.

Movie screens on the seats are my new best friend
5 movies later, my kid's trip will end.

Heading towards security makes me shiver
and gives TSA an ulcer on their liver.

People run and people hide
when they see us coming to their side
of the line that winds to and fro
I hear them praying we aren't in their row.

If we make it to China with computers and kids
a victory dance happens and we take a bid
which parent will fall first, asleep in the night
Not waking til we see the bright morning light.

Now back to the packing, I cannot delay
From a month to a week and then finally one day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Horses and Birthdays

Grandpa took the three oldest, hubs and I horseback riding on Tuesday. We went to Cypresswood Trails. We had a blast. The instructor was so great with the kids. She taught all of us how to hold the reigns and where to put our feet so that we aren't sore in the morning.

We rode for a solid hour through the woods. I pretended I lived in a Jane Austen novel and wrote prose in my head about galloping after my love on the rain. It was lovely.

Charis got to ride by herself too. They had another guide on horseback that was attached by this rope and rode in front of her. He was like her tow truck. She loved it. We were nervous because she is not a fan of animals in general. She has told me she hates dolphins because they would eat her dress. The last time she tried to ride something, it was an elephant. She wouldn't even do near it. So, this was a big victory for her.

Selah could not be more in love with horses. She was telling me all kinds of wonderful facts about trotting and cantor and how you should wear your hair while on horseback. She was awesome to watch.

Little buddy here rode "Marcus" and was ecstatic when, as I rode behind him, Marcus started to poop. It pretty much made my son's day.

My horse's name was Aloof. Perfect.

The day was gorgeous. After the horse riding, we headed out to grab a quick lunch and get to partying at Incredible Pizza. Both Malachi and Charis had birthdays recently. So, this was the celebration.

He has not put this toy down since he got it. Both my boys are Buzz obsessed. He even wrote a poem and painted a picture about him. Here's the poem:

Buzz has wings, they come out, ZING! He shoots lasers, (he can shoot YOU later). He can talk, he can walk, if you want to play with him, YOU walk, walk, walk, to “toys r us!

Little Charis is all about Rapunzel. Grandpa took the kids to see Tangled a little while back and she's been smitten with this character ever since. She also painted a picture of her doll yesterday.

We had such a great time. We spent almost 5 hours at the Pizza/Game place. I got last place in laser tag. And yes, I'm blaming it on my faulty gun. This was kind of our last hoorah before going home to China. I'm so glad we did it, everyone had fun. And then we slept well....really, really well.

Friday, February 04, 2011

You WILL enjoy your time with me!

China Might Force Visits to Mom and Dad (January 29, 2011, The New York Times)

On the eve of the Lunar New Year festival, when Chinese flood train stations, bus terminals and airports to reunite with loved ones, one Chinese ministry is proposing that the government mandate closer families. Under a proposal submitted last Monday by the Civil Affairs Ministry to China's State Council, adult children would be required by law to regularly visit their elderly parents. If they do not, parents can sue them. The proposed amendment to a 1996 law on rights of the aged could be considered by the National People's Congress, China's government-appointed legislature, when it conducts its annual session in March.

Could you imagine the backlash this would cause in the States?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

flute and me.

Since October i have been playing the flute. And i just wanted to tell you readers about it.
well, first of all we always have to began with a picture of me( or should i say " The cute girl".
(sorry it is up there.) ANd i am about to learn how to play " Jolly Ole Saint Nicholas".
And i want to tell you something that someone once told me : when you first start playing the flute you might not like playing it. But, the more you play the more you will like playing it. Any way i will keep writing lots of blogs, way often.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Charis' 5th

Yesterday was Charis' 5th birthday! We are having a celebration next week with Malachi, but the day of her birthday included pink coffee cake and candles,

a giraffe named "Miriam" and a very excited little girl.

I took the older three out for a birthday lunch of her choice. Of all the fast food offered to her, she chose Sweet Tomato-a soup and salad buffet. My kids think buffets in America are the sole reason it's risen to superpowerdom.

Then we let her pick out a movie-Dispicable Me. We had a great time honoring our sweet girl. As usual, we went around the table at dinner and told her the things we love about her. Some of things were:

a joyful servant

hard worker

generous with her things


concerned when others are sick and hurting

and so many others. We love you, Charis! You are a delight to our family and to others. Your smile brings joy to our day.

Happy Birthday! We Love you.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Today...I heart homeschool

Homeschool. Is it a blessing? Yes. Is it easy? No.

If you meet someone who goes on and on about how easy and wonderful home schooling is for her, then she is lying. Or her bun is wound too tight and her apple applique jumper is squeezing the sense out of her brain.

I do love home school, but there are days that I don't just want to throw in the towel....I want to take the towel and make a rope to escape out my bedroom window. But, today was fun. We've been on a bit of an auto pilot mode lately and we needed to change things up a bit today.

We've started Earth in our Astronomy. In preparation, we made a huge sugar cookie. Each one picked out two continents to cut out of dough. After they cut them out, we placed in on the blue earth.

Then, we made lunch and ate outside. Since it was 75 degrees (thank you, Texas) the kids spent a long time designing and constructing a tree house village.

It was complete with a mailing system, parking garage and front porch chairs.

Kesed rounded out the day with an attack of the pantless dinosaur.
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