Wednesday, May 23, 2012

[A Giveaway!]

{A Giveaway!}

I love giveaways!
Even though I've been known to say that I never, ever, ever win them... ;)
they are always so fun. me winning or not.

But this is my first time offering one.
because I couldn't ever decide what I wanted to giveaway.

My friend Christy recently became a published author!!!

and so...

I am giving away an autographed copy of her book, "Until the Day Breaks and the Shadows Flee."

I have had this book in my hands for the past few weeks, just reading it slowly. soaking. absorbing. enjoying.
Keeping my pen for underlining and yellow crayon for highlighting nearby. it's that kind of book. I am just loving it.

"Full of encouragement and inspiration, Until the Day Breaks and the Shadows Flee is a devotional trilogy that will challenge your faith, resuscitate your hope, and surround you in the loving embrace of your Heavenly Father. Author Christine Christopher draws on her own life lessons and answers from God to help empower and strengthen you on your faith pilgrimage."

Christy is one of my favorite people; a treasured, faithful friend. She truly has a heart of gold, reflecting the beauty of our Father. She loves intensely. listens gently. hears unspoken depths. prays sincerely. is compassionate. discerning. challenging. encouraging. and has a great laugh! I love her dearly.

You can read Christy's weblog and experience more from her heart and HIS here.
and her recent post introducing her new book is here.
You can check out and "like" her book's facebook page here.
and learn more about christy and what her book is all about here.

and along with her book, just a few  more of my favorite things...

*starbucks coffee pike place roast. my cup of coffee in the morning is a delight. all three of them. ;)
*pink notecards. because i adore pretty paper things. snail mail. and pink is happy.
*tea in a london tin. because i fall easily for clever packaging. and i drink tea all.of.the.time. but more than tea, i love london. and have things that say london around my house just to suggest to my lil brain as it dreams that it is a someday!!! instead of a maybe.
*$25 kohl's giftcard. my fav store is our local thrift shop...which wouldn't work for you. :) so hopefully, if you don't have a kohl's nearby, you can use it online.
*$10 itunes card. because music is my thing. lovelove. i don't have "i" anything...but you might.
*jelly bellys. gummy candy is the best.

*christy's first book. i like writing first. because you never know what all He might be up to. :)
*list pads. because, right. i like pretty paper. and i do lists. lists are my brain on paper.
*journal. you can't have too many ready and waiting.
*sour gummy worms. because sour gummies are even better than gummy anything else.
*godiva gems and lindt truffles. chocolate. no explaination needed.
*pepper jelly. not pictured. :) something homemade by me.

I can see how the sour gummy worms just really classy up this whole thing. winky

I can't write "my favorite things" without thinking of Julie Andrews and raindrops on roses. anybody? Really though. What else comes to mind is that my fav things aren't things at all.
But people. the precious people in my life.
So in honor of those favorite things that aren't things... :)
You can enter the drawing by sharing a comment about one of your favorite things.
something that is warm fuzzy happy. deeply meaningful. or just plain simple and fun.
fav song. place. life verse. snack. quote. book. flavor. accessory. season. scent. color. product. time of day. ANYthing.
If you choose to spread the word, let me know and I'll put your name in the hat for each link shared.
and on June 7th, (the last day of school---yay!) my kids will pull the names and I'll announce the winners. 

1st name will receive all of the aforementioned items.
2nd name, Christy's book and a $10 itunes card.
3rd name, Christy's book.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I am feeling reflective.

Today is May 17th.

It is Thursday.

I know that May 17th was on a Thursday in 1984.

Twenty eight years ago.


I can't tell you much about that day until around 6pm.

I know what I was doing. where I was standing. then sitting. 
I can see the color of the carpet, dad's desk. his chair. 

I can see me like I am really there again. feeling it. living it.   
I can see me from a bird's eye view. and can narrate in the third person.

I always knew that I was adopted. meaning, I don't remember not knowing. It was never a secret.
What Mom and Dad emphasized was that I was their daughter. and loved. truly.

I never really blogged about it until last year, here. and only because I never get around to blogging about alot of things. that's why.

My parents adopted babies in the late 1960's. It was a different time. and birth mothers rights were terminated sooner rather than later.
Papers were signed. stamped. and then records sealed. the door on the details closed. and locked. permanently.

So 28 years ago on this day when my birth mother called me out of the clear blue...
we were more than shocked.

It was not something anticipated. at all. ever.


I'd like to say that it was such a great thing at that age. how well it all went.
But I can't.

It wasn't quite that way. 

But I can say...

that in it. and through it. there have been great things. really.

Because that Is Who He Is. and that Is What He Does.

I'll admit. I've wept today...
sad tears. happy tears. both. and lots of them.

tears of relief. release. even rest.

tears because of His Presence.
where I know I am His Beloved.
tears from seeing that Grace has a Face....
over and over and over.
and it's His.
It's His.
His Face.
And I've seen it shining through yours. and yours. and yours.

So I have tears of gratefulness too.

You can listen to Jason Gray's "Remind Me Who I am,"
Here.I liked this song alot when I first heard it a few months ago. until I saw this video. and then I fell in love with it. I already shared it on facebook, but when it started playing on the radio this morning, I felt like it fit today.

"Tell me, once again
Who I am to you, Who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget
Who I am to you, that I belong to You
to You."

I am His beloved.
You are His beloved.
We are His beloved.

and that is something to celebrate.


and I am.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I looked out my window...

I looked out of my window a few weeks ago and saw this...

Four men walking back across the pasture towards the house... after checking on our newborn twin calves.
The three in black are mine; The Farmer, Jared and Ben. The remaining one is our friend Michael.

I ran to get my camera to snap this picture. had to.
Even knowing that it wouldn't turn out clear; shooting through a window and with the distance involved.
Still. I needed to capture the moment.

And quickly.

As parenting and mom-ish cliches popped into my head.
They grow up so fast. times flies. don't blink or you'll miss it. The days are long and the years are short.

You've heard 'em. and now. already. dear God. I'm not only thinking them...
I'm the old enough mom to know... that they are all true. :)

Because seriously. in some ways, on some days. it feels like it WAS just yesterday...
that I was the girl
wearing tent-like maternity dresses. a few of us did back then. ;)
the young first time mom with sososo much joy. overwhelmed with love. and many questions. changing diapers. smelling like spit up. winding the baby swing.

(that winding thing dates me too. snicker. anyone else, remember swings without batteries?)
...then a second baby boy. more joy. more love. more questions.
my heart fuller than my hands would ever be. :)
nursing an infant while the toddler was either trying to sit on my lap with a book, 

making suggestions about the flavors mommy was providing the baby,
or getting into things in another room.
like eating the supplemental iron tablets put high in a cupboard out reach. playing with postage stamps like stickers.
raiding and emptying and moving things like a little aggressive warrior on a mission.

a training mission.

I thought they were in training...
At least before I had kids I thought that's how it worked.
But we all were.
ARE. still. in training. yes indeed.
they have taught me so much.

Little boys that just yesterday looked like this...

and were insisting that not changing their underwear was "helping with laundry."
I remember proud announcements about new found skills, "I was multi-tasking mom! I brushed my teeth and peed at the same time!"
and who knew? that I would need to be saying things like, don't drool in your brother's hair! don't pee in the trash can! just dripping from the light fixture? who cut the screen door? why is there an entire hot dog floating in the toilet? and sand and water in your dad's new work boots?

who knew? that I could get so angry. or laugh so hard.
or that the roles, job and people that I had wanted more than anything would reveal my own need for Him like almost nothing else.

I had little boys who played with imaginary friends, legos and farm toys. loved tea, scones and John Deere. (who doesn't?! winky) and wanted to grow up to drive tractors, fly planes and drink coffee just like daddy. inventive boys. the kind that found mud and sticks to be great entertainment. and bit sandwiches into gun shapes to shoot at their vegetables.

Boys who thought heaven sounded wonderful without a naptime and bedtime (while their mother did not silly) and wanted to know if their bicycles would be there. and spiders. boys who gave their hearts to Jesus. loving Him back. and had me flat out proud some days and on my knees as well, crying out to Jesus in desperation to please. please help us. wondering how we would ever make it.

Micah 6:8 men. above all else. He loves you. walk with Him. 

remember hearing happy birthday mommy just about all year long as it was the most heartfelt, sincerest wish for having a great day that they could think of. I learned how to use a fire extinguisher. how ipecac works. and am grateful for the nice nurses in the emergency department. everytime.
My little boys liked when the "pretty sunset was up" and often picked flowers for me. They hated writing. and most academics. but loved reading. climbing. ramping. hanging. jumping. riding. and woke up at an unthinkable early hour, eight days a week, all year long, almost without fail... until recently when they started turning into man size people.

Man size people.
Which is why I took that first picture.
I'm not sure when it happened. but it did.
My little boys turned into man size people.

Look at them! taller than me now. and hairy. :) with deep voices. and almost "out of the door." I cannot even believe it.

They grow up so fast. times flies. don't blink or you'll miss it. The days are long and the years are short.
Jared, Ben and I ran a half marathon recently with our friend at journey. and they were awesome!
It became way more than training and running together. thankyouthankyouJesus.
Because with all of their interests, accomplishments and abilities that can both scare and thrill my heart,
there's nothing so precious as knowing that your sons are literally breathing "He is with me."

So grown up. and yet...
still growING up.
BeING and becomING.

their mother. and with their mother. ;)
As a mom, I'm not less busy. but different busy. with my heart still fuller than my hands.
Still sososo much joy. overwhelmed with love. and many questions.
Still flat out proud of them some days and on my knees as well,
crying out to Jesus in desperation to please. please help us. wondering how we will ever make it.

Be Micah 6:8 men. above all else. He loves you. walk with Him. 

Since we make boys in july... we just recently celebrated the birthdays of all three.
So I'm sharing my littlest boy here too.

can't leave Sarah out, even in a post about boys!

Jacob, our youngest, is seven now. which means that he really isn't little little.
But please don't tell me that. shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. because I already know...

They grow up so fast. times flies. don't blink or you'll miss it. The days are long and the years are short.

Be Micah 6:8 men. above all else.
He loves you. walk with Him.