Archives for November 2007

Now that’s small

This evening we were watching the movie The Railway Children (a good family flick by the way!) and in one scene a boy is shown in a bed that was SOOOOO narrow that my 13 year old son said, “I’d fall out of both sides of that bed!”

Faces of Layla

My girls are featured in about 10 places in this gorgeous book, The Faces of Layla. The pictures were taken at Layla House in Ethiopia just one year ago by a professional photographer, before we even knew that the girls would be coming to us. The book is just lovely– and not only the parts featuring my girls. If this beautiful book appeals to you, you may be interested to know that a large portion of your money will go straight to the GRACE FUND, a fund dedicated to giving grants to families adopting older children who have waited a long time for families. Not everyone is able to adopt, but truly, we all can help get kids into families where they belong.


Today I watched my five year old splashing in the pool at the rec center. Since most of her siblings were scattered around in the various pools, I expected she would be chasing the big kids– she thrives on companionship and commotion.

Instead she found a quiet end of one pool and played by herself. She danced and spun like a ballet dancer under the fountain, poetry in a green-and-orange striped Speedo. She chased and splashed and swam after a ball, all the way around the pool. She did head stands under the water, head ducking down and bum going up, bobbing like a duck going after a bug in a pond. For many minutes she was utterly engrossed in her play, fearless and unself-conscious, a study in pure joy.

After a long while she looked my way and flashed me a grin that glowed like the sun.

And as I smiled back I wished her a million more moments just this rich and free.

Works for Me- Christmas ‘Canning’

Do you have a short string of mini Christmas lights that doesn’t have a home this holiday? Try stuffing the whole string of lights into a canning jar with just the plug end sticking out. Plug it in and set it on a shelf or a windowsill and you have a lovely spot of color to brighten your space.

Small strands of mini lights work best— if you decide to use a strand that has more than 100 lights, keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too hot. And incidentally, this is a great use for a strand of lights with a section of burned-out bulbs. Amid the tangle of lights and wires in the jar, you won’t be able to tell that some of the lights are not working. Holiday decorating in a flash– works for me!

I Love You More

Looking for a book to show your child just how much you love him? Check this one out.

The only day of the year you’ll find me up at 4:30 in the morning

My usual waking time is somewhere between 7 and 8 am –homeschooling’s tough like that. But on Black Friday Eldest and I yawned our way out to the minivan at 4:40 AM armed only with coffee, fried-egg sandwiches and a battle plan carefully marked out in a notebook. First stop: Walmart.

We were delighted to be handed a store map on the way in the door, complete right down to the locations of each pallet that held ‘doorbuster’ items. My daughter grabbed a cart and headed for the far corner of the store, hoping to grab a couple of $20 remote-control Jeeps as gifts for children in our extended family.

I was headed for the electronics department, so I didn’t bother with a cart. My (shall-be-nameless) items were smaller, and I knew from experience that carts are a hindrance in the zoo of the electronics dept. Sure enough, even cart-free it was hard to navigate. But thankfully I was able to snag my most-desired items and with the help of my cell phone soon met up with Eldest who had also been victorious in her venture.

Most of the other items on my Walmart list weren’t terribly exciting– jeans for $8 and PJ’s for $5. We ended up with half a dozen pairs of PJ’s and a dozen or so pairs of jeans, including some adorable embroidered girls jeans with adjustable waists. Yeah!

By 5:45 we were headed out to the van with our booty. Next stop: Target. The deal I was most excited about was the Razor scooters for $18. Our family currently has ONE scooter. I was dreaming of snatching up 6 more. I figured my chances would be very slim, but I wanted to give it a try. We arrived at Target just as the doors were opening and people were streaming in. I dropped my daughter at the door and went off to park. It was a madhouse– cars filling the lot all the way to the back of the lot. As I cruised around trying to figure out what to do, an 18-wheeler roared to life and pulled away, leaving 10 spaces free for me to choose from. Hooray!

Once inside, I headed for toys at the back of the store. It was wall to wall people, shuffling along the main aisles at a funeral pace. Even the side aisles were tough to navigate. I called my daughter. She said that the scooters were already gone, so we agreed to meet in the building toys aisle. I was hoping to find another box of K’Nex (I’ll blog about K’Nex soon!) but those also were gone. Darn. Next we headed for the sheets. They had advertised 100-count sheets for $19, any size. But it turned out they were individual sheets, not sets, which made them out of my budget for the people I had in mind. Darn again.

We were able to find a few other things, mostly items of clothing (don’t tell them, but my 5, 9, and 12 year old daughters will make out like bandits in the clothing dept for Christmas!) and a few scrapbooking things. By this time the line for the checkout was gargantuan. We started walking to the back of the line and were horrified to find that it stretched across the whole front aisle of the store and down one side aisle to the far back corner.

Darn again.

But then just as we were getting in line, the heavens opened up and showered blessings. My daughter happened to notice that the end-cap that had held scooters before was being RESTOCKED. She roared over there and grabbed SIX of the 15 or so that were being put out. Within seconds the rest of them had also been grabbed and were all gone. A very nice lady helped her load her arms and then she staggered back triumphantly to where I waited in line.

We had no cart– there were no more — so we stacked the 6 boxes of scooters, three high on the floor, and stacked our other items on top. Our plan was to shove the heap with our feet each time the line moved forward. Once we got situated and looked at the line again, I introduced myself to the woman in front of us in line. Seems only polite if you’ll be standing within 3 feet of each other for the next hour. she turned out to be happy to chat.

She offered me space on her cart, but it looked pretty full already, so I told her I’d go it on my own for awhile at least. We alternated making little forays out shopping with pushing each other’s stuff forward when the line moved. Thankfully it was indeed moving pretty well. In fact, by the time we’d moved from the back to the front of the store (still FAR from the checkstands) the line was moving fast enough that my legs were getting tired of pushing my heap of scooters forward every few seconds. (Eldest was off finding DVD’s for both our new friend and for us– there were some pretty good sales on those too).

When my whole heap tipped over, my new friend started loading her cart with my scooters. “Don’t argue,” she said. And it was so easy after that that I wondered why on earth I’d been so stubbornly trying to do it on my own for the last half hour. We ended up waiting in line only a few more minutes– they really did move people through quickly.

After Target, Eldest and I headed for Bed, Bath, and Beyond for some browsing, then on to the craft store, and to the mall. By then it was after 10. A quick stop at Sonic for a (second) breakfast, and then it was time to head home with our van full of booty. I was really pleased at all the good deals we got.

Even though I was practicaly comatose for the rest of the day.

Sunday (and Christmas shopping)

Isaiah 58: 6-11

10 If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

As you seek to bless your loved ones through gift-giving this Christmas season, may I challenge you to also reach out to a child in need somewhere beyond your personal circle of loved ones? You could change a life.

When children fight

Here’s all I have time to write now! Enjoy your weekend!


If you’re looking for something really luscious to give the chocolate lover in your life, don’t miss these new dark chocolates called Ferrero Rondnoir. They are melt-in-your-mouth wonderful!

Thanksgiving… and beyond

Just wanted to take this opportunity to let you all know that you’re on my ‘thankful’ list!!! Y’all enrich my life in many ways. Just a few examples (and there are many more!): one of our favorite Bible story books these days was one that Shannon recommended. This weekend I am planning to copy this darling craft that I spotted over at Jenni’s. Sometime during December I am also planning to make these yummy things from Robinznest. Posts like this from Anita help me be even more thankful for what I have. And Heather’s honest posts about faith in tough times always point me towards my Saviour.

And now, in case any of you are planning on getting up at some ridiculous hour to shop 30 hours from now (but who’s counting??) , may I offer my last year’s tips for successful Black Friday shopping?