Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hurry up and...

wait –verb
1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens
2. to be available or in readiness
3. to remain neglected for a time: a matter that can wait.
4. to postpone or delay something or to be postponed or delayed: Your vacation will have to wait until next month.
5. to look forward to eagerly: I'm just waiting...

Some things are more challenging than others. Not sure I like to think of it in terms of #3!

I am really NOT the kind of person to read more than ONE book at a time...

I think Amazon should give you a volume discount...or at least some frequent buyer card!
Here's what I have on MY "nightstand:"

I already finished this book by my sweet friend, Deanna Jones. She is incredibly real and has such a refreshing heart for moms & kids! She is so brave to share her life...wide open.

I am reading this book (after reading Chan's first book, "Crazy Love," and loving it!) with an old friend who has orchestrated an online book study via Skype. Good thing I have techno-saavy teenagers. It's an intriguing book about the Holy Spirit.

I LOVE this book. When I read it, there are some thoughts I am convinced the author is plucking straight from MY brain. She is moving me to a scary/exciting place of wanting to live with more step out and change....FOR change. I am hoping to do this as a small group study. There are additional resources to go with it.

I have not started to read this book...yet! I recently read Craig's two previous books: The Gutter and Starving Jesus. I love this guy. He is edgy...but LOVING. He is real and sincere and NOT judgmental. He is out there reaching the "unloveable"...the people with really messy lives. Yet, he says the hardest people to love are the self.righteous Christians. Hmmm?

This book was recommended to me by a woman I interviewed for the Safe Families foster program. Reckless Faith...Let Go & Be Led. Hmmm...sounds simple? Sounds falling backwards. If the God of the universe says He will catch me, why do I not just go for it? The author's stories are intriguing she says...putting a burr under my saddle!

Ten years ago, I would not have been brave enough to read these books...for fear of where they might move me. Now? I cannot read them fast enough. Lord, help me loosen my hold on what I falsely believe is "security" here on this earth.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Strange Priorities

We went to a pumpkin farm fundraiser this weekend. It was $15.00 per car and that included horse rides, tractor hay rides, tattoos, a fishing "pond," lots of animals to pet & feed, places to play and a FREE pumpkin for each child.

We ended up talking to the man who was there with the more unusual animals. It was very cool to see the falcon and the itty bitty owl, among other wild animals. He was "guarding" the bald eagle and told us the story of how she came into his care. She had a problem with her wing that required surgery and she was not able to be released back into the wild since she now cannot fly straight. He also told us about a 27 year old bald eagle (way past the average life span) who came into their care with MALARIA of all things.

The animal rehabilitators had to search for malaria medication for this bird. The gentleman we talked to indicated it was complicated and pricey. He also added that the malaria infected bird only lived for three and a half weeks before dying from it's illness. (Maybe old age, too?) He proudly emphasized that at least the bird was able to die in a warm, dry barn...well fed...with the knowledge and comfort of someone taking care of her and attempting to protect her. She died with dignity...and she was not alone.

This makes me cry. Not for the bird. For the children. Who die alone. Who are not warm and dry. Who are FULLY aware that no one cares for them. Who do not get the medicine, food or clean water they need to survive...(or just not die quite so young). Who KNOW how vulnerable and unprotected they are. Who do suffer.
I do not criticize this man and his co-workers/volunteers who care for these animals. I just cannot understand how so many of us can turn our hearts cold toward SO MANY vulnerable, suffering & DYING children...

NOTE: I am happy to be able to report that these PARTICULAR "animal lovers" ARE indeed doing something for the children. The fundraiser was for orphans and needy families in South Africa! So...they used the animals they are caring for to draw people to an event that is providing for some of the children. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

how can this not BLOW your mind?!

From the book (referenced below) that I am currently reading:

Governments of the world are spending $1.2 TRILLION on their militaries. If you are like me and you cannot grasp that number - think of it this way: That is 1,200 BILLION. (Not that I can grasp a billion...but it's a closer reach than whatever a trillion is.)
The U.S. accounts for almost HALF - 1/2! - that amount...which means we spend MORE than the next 46....46!...countries combined. (Are we really feeling that much safer than the rest of the world....per dollar spent?)
Wealthy nations spend $104 billion on global humanitarian aid to assist the world's poor. That is 1/12 (think of it like a pizza...pretty small slice) of what is spent on militaries and defense.
It is estimated that only $65 billion per year would be enough to lift the one billion people who live on LESS THAN $1.00 A DAY out of their extreme poverty. In percentages? It would mean diverting ONLY 5% of global military spending toward helping those struggling to survive in our world.
Hmmm...this might seem like a no-brainer - BUT - I am sure you can do the simple "math" of greed.
I work for a church. Our main goal is (or should be) to advance the kingdom of Christ...whatever the cost may be - right? Well, economic hard times have made it necessary for church leadership to make changes. One of those changes was to cut staff salaries by a mere 5%. (This also meant that virtually no one actually LOST their job.)
People in that staff meeting were in TEARS. Are we so greedy that we cannot sacrifice 5% for something we believe in....heart and soul? Can we not celebrate the 95%?
My personal prayer is that I will hold loosely to that which is temporary and focus on the eternal and on making a loving difference in the lives of those I am blessed to know here on earth. The root of all evil is not is the LOVE of money. How sad that something so meaningless can consume people and make them miss out on their opportunities to make the world a better place.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Definitely Moving Me...

Maybe because of where I am in life right now...
Maybe because of what I have already read up to this point...
Maybe because Rich Stearns is not afraid to SAY IT...
Maybe because God is speaking to my heart and prodding me out of my comfort zone...

Maybe all of the above?!

Scary exciting, either way!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Who the Players Are?

Here's the scoop on who is involved in this bizarre and over the top adventure:
Home Study Agency: EuroAsian Adoption Consultants
Adoption Agency: Arise Adoptions, Inc. in KY
Orphanage in Ethiopia: Kingdom Vision International

The Cost of Our Adoption

Some people have here it is...all broken down and jawdropping!We are working with Arise Adoptions, Inc.

Application Fee - 250

Stateside Case Management, Home Study Review & Dossier Prep - 4200

International Case Management, Translation, Child Care, Medical Testing/Care, Court Representation & Humanitarian Aid - 9000 (paid in three 3000 installments)

USCIS fee (immigration) - 670

Fingerprints - 240

Home Study fee (done by EuroAsian Adoption Consultants) - 3950

Child's Visa - 450

Fees for Certifications, Authentications & Couriers - 200 to 300

Airfare per Adult - 1700 to 2300 each

Child's One Way Airfare - 1000 - 1500

Monetary gifts to Orphanage Workers - 200

And....NO....I don't want to total it up.....I know it is MORE that my brain can handle right now. I am fully aware of the BALLPARK figure...and I am praying God will show us where HIS money will come from.

Stolen thoughts

Here are some things I found at the bottom of a wonderful friend's email to me. I hope it makes you think and squirm and pray and ACT!
Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act.
Proverbs 24:12 (Oh my! What DO you know?! More than you actions reveal, I bet.)
"Sometimes I’d like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it.But I’m afraid God might ask me the same question."
If only 7 percent of the 2 billion Christians in the world would care for a single orphan in distress, there would effectively be no more orphans."
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Matthew the language of 2009!

"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed.
I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water.
I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported.
I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes.
I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness.
I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved."

Excerpt from The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, U.S. President of World Vision

Tough stuff...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thrilled to have my son home...

He went on an inner city missions trip to Indianapolis. They were randomly chosen for different jobs. My 2nd of five kids ended up working in a PRESCHOOL the whole time. The little kids loved him so much they did not want to let him leave. Glad they did, though....'cause his family was missin' him somethin' awful. I think his older sister was the worst.

I love summer haircuts!

They are glad I talked them into these "graduated bobs." No one misses the ratty, tangled look.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I cannot change the channel anymore...

Today, 6,500 people will die as a result of AIDS.

6,000 of those people will leave behind children.

Those children will join the already 15 million children who have lost parents to this treatable disease.

2.3 million children are infected with HIV world-wide.

Most pediatric infection occurs in mother-to-child transmission - the virus infects while the immune system is immature, making it easy for the virus to disseminate through the body.

It is estimated that, without treatment, 50% of HIV+ children in resource-poor settings will die by the age of two.

I miss my big cartoon impersonator!

Kane has only been gone for one week on a inner city missions trip to Indianapolis and it's crazy how much we MISS him. He is so much funny...and such a quick wit! I have often told him he sets the tone for the whole family's mood. When he does all his King Julian lines, how can we NOT be happy.....?!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On second thought...I disagree

Someone once told me:
"The need does not necessarily justify the call"
in an attempt to make me feel better about rushing ahead of God.
Well, I don't agree with that for the most part.
143,000,000 orphans?
The need DEMANDS the call to respond...SOMEHOW!
- no matter what your religious beliefs may
or may not be.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's Not Okay to do NOTHING...

Have a heart for children?
Have a heart for adoption?
Have a heart for the children left behind?
Have 10 bucks in your pocket?

Let’s join together and make a real difference!

Maybe you have already endured the long journey to adopt your own child. No doubt you have been bothered by the sheer numbers of children who need families, the incomprehensible number of children who will be left behind.

Maybe you have thought: “God called me to do something about this HUGE crisis – 143,000,000 orphans – to help ONLY ONE?!” Well, there IS more you can do.

Not every parent who pursues an adoption is willing to consider adopting an HIV+ child…but some ARE. Most of us are fully aware of the large financial obstacle that defines international adoption. Let’s band together to REMOVE that obstacle for families who are responding to God’s call to make these children – the least of these in the eyes of the world – a treasured part of their families.

Reece’s Rainbow and ProjectHOPEFUL ( have combined efforts to identify HIV+ children around the world who are available for adoption. Beautiful photos of these children can be viewed at They are otherwise healthy children who can be adopted by parents willing and able to provide them with the love and medical attention they so desperately need.

Reece’s Rainbow has set up a grant fund to help adopting families offset the cost of their adoption. You may not be called to adopt again – or ever – but we believe ALL of us are called to respond…if even in a small $10.00 way…to the reality of 143,000,000 orphans.

The challenge: In the next 14 days, donate $10.00 or more to Reece’s Rainbow AND get at least 10 of your friends to do the same! Let’s watch that number rise. Our hearts’ desire is to hit $20,000 to $25,000…the average cost of one of these adoptions.

God created these children and they are adored by Him…and He is asking YOU to make a small sacrifice to save their lives. Up for it?

Got an extra 10 bucks…and a few kind-hearted friends?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

will GOD DAMN US for our apathy?

Why are we not SCREAMING about this? And doing "SOMETHING" - anything! - about it? I am not one to condone swearing - but - I have to wonder: Will GOD DAMN us for our apathy?
What about those of us who claim to be Christ followers? Is He leading us on this path of affluence and comfort?! In my opinion, not unless there is a different Bible out there that I have not read yet.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I totally LOVE this...


Love kids? Love coffee? We do too.
There are an estimated 143,000,000 orphans in the world and this number is expected to grow. Rob Webb, founder of One Love Coffee Roasters, knows personally how expensive the adoption process is. The thought of having to raise tens of thousands of dollars to adopt a child is staggering to many. It can be the obstacle that stands in the way of a family’s commitment to adopt, and many times slows down the process of bringing an adoptive family’s child(ren) home. Many people don’t know where to start. One Love Coffee Roasters wants to be that starting point for raising money to help unite families with their children.

We try to make your fundraising as simple as possible for you. One Love does not ask or require you to purchase anything. We handle all of the order processing from setting up a web page specifically for your family with the coffees you have to sell, to fulfilling the orders, collecting payment securely online and sending your portion of the proceeds. All that the adoptive family is required to do is to fill out the application to validate your adoption process, complete a our W-9 form, send the link to their One Love web page to as many people as possible to generate sales for the fundraiser, and finally notify us when your adoption is complete!

When the adoption is complete, your friends and family who purchased One Love Coffee can continue to do so on our main storefront and continue to support orphans with a portion of the proceeds of all One Love Coffees going to an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
It’s that simple!

One Love Coffee Roasters is being built as we speak. The official website is being constructed, coffees are being cupped for final roast profiles and blends and our facility is being constructed. Take the time to read our story, then sign up for our turnkey fundraising program where your family will have a dedicated store to sell One Love Coffees while we handle all of the order fulfillment. All you have to do is sign up and get the link to your store out to as many people as possible and receive your money each month! Yes, it is THAT EASY.

Fair Trade Coffees Helping Orphans & Their Forever Families!
We try to make your fundraising as simple as possible for you. One Love does not ask or require you to purchase anything. We handle all of the order processing from setting up a web page specifically for your family with the coffees you have to sell, to fulfilling the orders, collecting payment securely online and sending your portion of the proceeds ($5 per lb. bag). All that the adoptive family is required to do is to fill out the application to validate your adoption process, complete a our W-9 form, send the link to their One Love web page to as many people as possible to generate sales for the fundraiser, and finally notify us when your adoption is complete. When the adoption is complete the friends and family who purchased One Love Coffee can continue to do so on our main storefront and continue to support orphans with a portion of the proceeds of all One Love Coffees going to an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. So it’s that simple. Just take a look at the potential this single fundraiser could have for a single adoptive family. While our family’s adoption took less than a year, the typical adoption process is at least a two year process. So if a family gets started early they have the potential to knock out a large chunk of their adoption expense by simply getting the word out about their One Love Coffee fundraiser.
Rob Webb knows coffee. When Rob was two years old, his father started Webb’s Coffee Service, which blossomed into a full-blown refreshment service supplying businesses in Nashville, TN and the surrounding areas, and is now run by Rob.

Rob Webb knows the adoption process. In the summer of 2008, Rob and his wife Emily were called to adopt from Ethiopia. After much prayer and discussion with their first two children they started their adoption journey in August 2008. During the flurry of paperwork and preparation, Rob & Emily read books not only on adoption in general, but specifically on Ethiopia. Learning that Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee caught Rob’s attention, and after reading about the living conditions and wages of the average coffee farmer, he was compelled to take action. What developed through his reading and his trip to Ethiopia to unite with his daughters was a realization that he could combine his expertise and longstanding desire to roast his own coffees with his desire to help others. One Love Coffee Roasters was born! Roasting Fair Trade Specialty coffees, One Love uses the proceeds to help an Ethiopian orphanage and families adopting not just from Ethiopia, but from anywhere in the world.

Do I Seek God more than I Desire "Security?"

Thoughts from Chapter 7 of Crazy Love by Francis Chan:
  • Christians today like to play it safe. We went to put ourselves in situations where we are safe "even if there is no God." But if we truly desire to please God, we cannot live that way. We have to do things that COST US during our life on earth but will be more than worth it in eternity.

1 John 3:16-20 (New Living Translation)
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

John 3:16....For God SO LOVED the world that HE GAVE.... (Leading by divine example?!)

  • Remember the story where Jesus fed thousands of people with one boy's small lunch? ...Jesus gave the loaves to His disciples and then the disciples passed them out to the crowd. Imagine if the disciples had simply held onto the food Jesus gave them, continually thanking Him for providing lunch for them. That would have been stupid when there was enough food to feed the thousands who were gathered and hungry. (Are we not doing this in our world today? To the extreme?!)

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 (Today's New International Version)
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: "The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little."

  • This idea is pretty far- fetched in modern-day culture, where we are taught to look out for ourselves and are thus rewarded. The gap is so extreme in our world that we have to TAKE LIGHTLY passages such as Luke 12:33: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor." How else can I walk out of a mud shack and back into my 2,000 S.F. house WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING? The concept of downsizing so that other might upgrade is biblical, beautiful...and nearly UNHEARD of. We wither close the gap or don't take the words of the Bible literally.
  • Dare to imagine what it would mean for you to take the words of Jesus seriously. Dare to think about YOUR children living in poverty, without enough to eat. Dare to believe that those really ARE your brothers and sisters in need.

He offers the thought of Aspiring to the Median: People committing to living at of below the median US income ($46,000 in 2006) and GIVING THE REST AWAY! "Is it intimidating to think about giving radically and liberally?

  • Pride tells you that you've sacrificed more than others. Fear tells you it's time to worry about the future. Friends say you've given enough, that it's someone else's turn now.
  • Do we really believe that "it ought to be the business of EVERY day to prepare for our FINAL day?"
  • We like to find refuge in what we already have rather than in what we hope God will provide. But when Christ says to count the cost of following Him, it means we must surrender everything.

Hebrews 11:6 (New International Version)
...without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

  • "What are you doing right now that requires faith?" Would life change very much if you DIDN'T believe in God?
  • God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through.

Isaiah 58:10-12 (The Message) A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places "If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people's sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.

Posts without Pictures?


Latest Book Order

I had to limit myself to long as the two together earned me the FREE SHIPPING. Otherwise, I - of course - would have had to find a THIRD!

Candy Wrappers

This is what we put on candy bars (and water bottles) we attempted to sell at the yard sale. (I do believe MY kids ate most of the chocolate...but it had to hide out in the fridge/freezer for MUCH of the time!)

Through the Storm

This really isn't a great picture....but it was about the only one we bothered to take over the almost two weeks of YARD SALE-ING. Wild and crazy....exhausting and humbling. More people came in the rain on the first Friday and Saturday than on the sunny, hot Thursday and Friday. Go figure.
Our motivation to run this circus-sized yard sale was well received by most people. I thought it was ODD that several people wanted to know if it was for PET ADOPTION?! Uh - no way would I bother - too much work for the furry, 4-legged variety.
  • Some people came simply because they have a heart for adoption and wanted to support us...and, of adoption!
  • I met people and found we had mutual friends.
  • We provided lots of people in our community with lots of decent clothes for only $1.00 per item....less than that for some hard core bargainers.
  • I was entertained by a lively brown preacher and his smiling 20-something son. He said some loving, convicting things about "The Church."
  • The ice cream truck camped out right at the end of my driveway TWICE and waited for the little children of "my customers" to beg money from their parents. The second time he came, my children had just brought sherbet out to me and the ride-along girlfriend in the ice cream truck actually hopped out and bought a pair of flip flops.
  • I have a PATH in my yard where I am hoping the grass will bounce back. Right now it looks like a cattle brand of matted, slightly brown grass.
  • One crabby woman told me I had the worst garage sales signs EVER...and complained that it took her forever to find me....and then she spent ONE DOLLAR!
  • I had wonderful friends help me before, during and after. It was priceless...just having their company...having them haggle with tough customers (I hate doing that!) and having them take my kids off to THEIR houses to swim in their pools when it was bubbling HOT.
  • Neighbors we knew - and several we did NOT - stepped up in a huge way with donations and even emergency tarps in the midst of the craziest stormy weather. Good hearted people....
  • One sweet girl asked about the reason for the GIANT yard sale, I told her, she got tears in her eyes.....and asked if she could HUG ME! Too cute....we were kinda sweaty - but - what the heck?!
  • I told one young guy who asked what type of adoption and he said, "WOW - that is F***ing cool!" I replied - " is."
  • All my leftovers are going to a sweet woman who volunteers for me at church. Pete took a whole truck load over already and we have just as much in our garage waiting to go over right before her sale.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Okay....some people worry about rain on the DAY of their yard sale. Alas, I was treated to SO much more on the weekend of our GIANT adoption fundraising yard sale.
Let's see...rain, "SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS" (6 times the strength needed to categorize it as severe, according to the weatherman), possibility of BASEBALL sized hail - WHAT? How many people have even SEEN something like that? Add gusting winds in excess of 70 MPH, and {{{{drumroll!}}}} TORNADOES! To increase the drama, I have a tent - on makeshift poles - covering my driveway and almost my entire front yard. So, if you find MY junk in YOUR yard...just sell it and send me the proceeds!
We were blessed with TONS of donations and - thanks to neighbors who loaned us tarps and my husband's HARD work - we only have a few wet clothes that will most likely dry out in the sunshine of tomorrow's predicted 80 degree weather. WOO HOO!
If you don't laugh, you will surely cry!
God sent us spectacular weather, but the people still came and the day we thought we were not even going to set up at all was QUITE profitable. Praying for tomorrow and maybe even Sunday...if we still have some good stuff leftover.
It's fun to think of this crazy experience as an analogy to our adoption experience:
  • It's a huge undertaking
  • We humbled ourselves and asked for support (donations flowed in from people we know and those we had never met)
  • A small handful of people - not necessarily the people we might have suspected - came alongside us and gave us tremendous support
  • When it seemed like we were not going to be able to pull it off, we just kept going anyway
  • Some people were weird about it....oh well!
  • Even after only Day 1, it was worth it! Now THAT is the part I will be looking forward to...."Day One!!"
  • OH, BUT WAIT! What does it mean if we are doing this all over again tomorrow...and maybe Sunday....THREE TIMES? Three times?! ("Ummm...Pete?.....)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Listening to Sports Salaries

Listening to baseball highlights while brainstorming fundraising ideas.

Do you ever just wish the guy who makes 20 million a year playing a ball game would toss you 20K to adopt a kid?

Here's an interesting perspective....(just for "fun")

Below are the 2009 salaries for the top 25 Major League Baseball players on active rosters and disabled lists as of June 1.

1. 3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY $ 33,000,000

2. OF Manny Ramirez, LA $ 23,854,494

3. SS Derek Jeter, NYY $ 21,600,000

4. 1B Mark Teixeira, NYY $ 20,625,000

5. OF Carlos Beltran, NYM $ 19,243,682

6. OF Carlos Lee, HOU $ 19,000,000

7. OF Magglio Ordonez, DET $ 18,971,596

8. SP/LH Johan Santana, NYM $ 18,876,139

9. SP/RH Carlos Zambrano, CHC $ 18,750,000

10. SP/LH Barry Zito, SF $ 18,500,000

11. OF Torii Hunter, LAA $ 18,000,000

12. OF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA $ 18,000,000

13. OF Alfonso Soriano, CHC $ 17,000,000

14. 3B Aramis Ramirez, CHC $ 16,650,000

15. 1B Todd Helton, COL $ 16,600,000

16. SP/RH A.J. Burnett, NYY $ 16,500,000

17. SP/RH Tim Hudson, ATL $ 15,500,000

18. SP/LH CC Sabathia, NYY $ 15,285,714

19. SP/RH Jason Schmidt, LA $ 15,217,401

20. OF Vladimir Guerrero, LAA $ 15,000,000

21. 1B Ryan Howard, PHI $ 15,000,000

22. SP/RH Derek Lowe, ATL $ 15,000,000

23. RP/RH Mariano Rivera, NYY $ 15,000,000

24. SS Miguel Tejada, HOU $ 14,811,414

25. 1B Lance Berkman, HOU $ 14,500,000

Ever wish you had the guts to send 'em a fundraising letter?! Of course, not - but it's fun to imagine it!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Preschool Graduation

I almost forgot to post photos of the preschool graduation. It was short and sweet. The best part about it was that our WHOLE family was able to one! I guess maybe it would be sad if I knew we were done with this age. See - there ARE benefits to not having a concrete "plan!"
He finally did that "graduate thing" and got his diploma. Now it's "KINDERGARTEN, HERE I COME!"
Family photo one! I think Brogan felt special with EVERYONE there to see him graduate. He did not even mind wearing his felt cap.
We try not to take for granted the convenience of Pete working so close to home. Gotta love the White Sox hat with the grad cap underneath. Ice cream social in full swing!
What a face!
With Miss Beth...what a sweetheart....glad we did half the year in the morning class!
Miss Tricia....made the switch to afternoons SO much easier than it could have been. (Has no clue he is NOT doing a good job hiding the candy in his cheek!)
Miss Kathy...what an easy-going, accepting mom & conversations with her this year! (Pucker face kid)
Gotta be careful where you leave your coveted grad cap laying around....who IS that large kindergarten kid?!
Can't leave out Miss Kathy's monster truck. Little boys are easily impressed....hehehe!
Probably THE most beautiful preschool campus in the country!


As of today at 9:00 am....we are FREE! ('til sometime in late August...not nearly long enough)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In case you are wondering what the lyrics are....

I love this song by Nickelback!


My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride
If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day
Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you'll never live it twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life
If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce of memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you're dreamin' of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day
If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothin' stand in your way
Cause the hands of time are never on your side
If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce of memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you're dreamin' of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Just putting this here.... prove that I can post an entry withOUT a photo or illustration. (It's killin' me tho!)

More Fish Stories

The pictures do NOT tell the true story.
Brogan was TOTALLY into this fishing trip to a local pond. He hung in there with Dad before, during and after the girls flaked out. He even shared some of his hot dog bait with another lil boy on the pier. When Pete told him he was going to have to put him in the water to reach the REAL big fish, he calmly replied, "No, Dad - you don't really have to put me in the water. I'm okay here with these little fish."
Fynley wanted no part of it from the get go. When she started to CRY, I thought Pete was gonna cry, too. (" of my kids not only does not like to fish - but she CRIES about it? What is that?!") Honestly, I suspect she was nervous on the pier - maybe thinking she might fall in since the railing did not go all the way around - and Brogan told her that fish hooks like to go INto your skin....but they don't like to come OUT. I suspect she was living in fear of the dreaded HOOK. She caught a fish, asked to go to the playground and promptly decided I needed to take her to the bathroom when we came back for Round Two. (Exit stage left to the store for milk and dinner supplies.)
Tatum was a real good sport about it. Gave it the ole college try - but - simply was not catching anything. Hmmmm.....can't stand still, can't keep your mouth shut? Here fishy, fishy!? So, she took a break to join Fynn at the playground. When we went to the store/bathroom, Tate stayed to try again for that illusive aquatic beast. As she puts it - in a sassy, complaining sister-tone, "Brogan kept saying, 'Dad, I got one - Dad, I got one!' Everywhere he went, he would JUST CATCH A FISH." Tate would move to Brogan's spot and he would move to a new guessed it: Tate would catch nothing & Brogan would hook another! Finally, Pete asked Brogan to hand his rod to Tatum next time he hooked a fish so she could reel it in....must run in our family!
We returned from the store and the three of them were walking to the playground. Brogan looked so cute carrying his tackle box and fishing rod - but - his face started to get all twisted up and he looked like he was going to CRY! Yikes, not another crying kid on a fishing trip?! Well, Pete had told him he could play at the playground til I got back and he panicked when I drove up and he was only a few yards from that colorful kid wonderland. Of course, I did not make him leave.....silly boy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

They will have stories...

My brother knows how to make the fish look SO SO big in comparison to the fisherman.
Sounds like they had perfect weather, perfect fishing conditions and a wonderful time.
Ali was feeling a lil queasy so she sat out for a bit...but Papa was determined to have her catch a fish. When Kane hooked on to one, they all agreed he should hand the rod to Ali. Well, Kane was reluctant. Uncle Bill could not stop laughing as he told me about how they were playfully punching Kane in the arms to get him to let go of the rod. Why? Because Kane quickly realized THIS fish was bigger than any one he had hooked into before. (Of course, right?) Mat put a comical spin on it. While he was telling his dad about the fishing adventure on the phone, he explained that Kane hooked a HUGE striper...but had to have Ali reel it in for him. Very cute.
Did I mention how much I love having big kids? I miss 'em - but I am happy they are having fun. I am so thankful that my kids love my extended family and vice versa. The fact that everyone seems to like the boyfriend is just extra. (smile)

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Our efforts to put flyers ALL around our neighborhood is paying off. I am still getting calls about dropping off stuff - AND- my living room is already PACKED! We will find a place for it all...even if we have to stack it several feet high! (Might have to invade the kids' bedrooms and take over the basement, soon!)
One wonderful woman in my neighborhood is letting me borrow CLOTHING RACKS her church stores in a shed. They loan these racks to other churches who are having rummage sales or to private citizens who are having big 'ole yard sales.
A few friends have offered to come to sort, price and work the yard sale with me. Others have offered to either bake stuff and drop it off - OR - come earlier in the week and bake at MY house. (Maybe it was the wine cooler bribe I sent out in an email.....???)
I am overwhelmed by the positive, supportive response. I know I am basically just taking the leftovers of what they wanted outta their house anyway - but - they have all been SO wonderfully pleasant! And, to think, I was afraid people would be offended by finding our flyer on their porches....
It's fun to see the reactions now that the front room is JAM PACKED. The hardest part will be to keep MY kids from burrowing in there like naked mole rats and rummaging through everything. I told the three youngest kids they have to PURCHASE whatever they want to keep. (Since they have no money - this should not be a problem! )

Friday, June 5, 2009

All Over the Map Today

Wow - what a weird day. I ended up telling Pete that I have decided I am like connective tissue. None of this is at all about ME. (And I like it that way!!!)I spoke with a lady from the local farmer's market here in IL who is going to comp me a space each week to offer Bead for Life jewelry as a fundraiser. I spoke to the Bead for Life people in CO and they love the idea. I should receive a large shipment by June 21st - woo hoo! Striking aWEARness....
I spoke with an Associated Press reporter from the Chicago area who is covering the placement of a brand new baby with my freind who is serving as a Safe Family through Lydia Home. We are all going to pick up that lil baby tomorrow (technically today - late night again) and I am curious to see what the story angel will be. My friend who is getting the baby for a couple months passed my name along to a man in TN who started an organization to get retail owners (some BIG ones, too) to support orphans around the world. I was only able to speak to him for a short time but - WOW - I loved what I read on his website. Check it out:
I have also been playing phone tag with a pleasant DCFS social worker in FL. I inquired - on a whim - about a darling lil boy I saw on a photolisting. I never ever thought they would entertain:
  1. A family all the way up in Chicago, or
  2. A family whose home study was done in 2006.

However, this woman said they are looking for the best match for this child and if that family happens to be in IL, we can get our home study updated prior to placement. I know it is a long shot.....but it is fun to go for it.....who knows, maybe this is part of God's crazy plans!

And I FINALLY found some old - very important - photos for a special family in NJ. I could not send the zip file 'cause it was I put the pics on Snapfish. I hope that works!

The weirdest part of it all is that I am so "NO ONE!" I am a mom of five without a college degree - just an open mouth, willing to share what and who I know. Hey - it will be fun to see what God does through an empty vessel, huh?!