Monday, January 31, 2011

blog header - trying something

7 quick takes on a Monday

Just hours after messaging a friend,
"We're all healthy..."
Lily woke up screaming
and vomiting everywhere.
She's not one of those who just grabs the bowl and takes aim.
She fights the bowl.
I try to not get irritated;
I know she can't help it.

Tyler's dad died yesterday
(was that just yesterday??)
after a very long stay in the ICU.

We are still adjusting to having a new family member.
(who likes to go off taking long walks without telling anyone)

My eyes are burning
that 'sick' burn.
But maybe it's just that I haven't slept well the past few years days.
I hope I hope...

I need to pay the bills
but every time I get logged in
I have to help the vomiter 
or clean up diarrhea
or Lexi decides (again) that she is a cling-on today
(a very cry-y one, at that) 

I have 2 little gifts on my list
and I just can't seem to manage the time to get them made.
I don't like that much.

On a happier note,
I just opened my door
 to find that a sweet friend
dropped off some cookies 
(for when the sickies are over. or maybe for me, for now ;-)
and some Sprite.

TKD testing

Belt Testing (is that what it's called?) was Saturday.
The boys were all a bit nervous,
not knowing what to expect,
but they did great!
('cept Papa, who hasn't been taking TKD long enough to test)
got their orange belt.
Josiah got a special patch for being able to kick over his head.

Way to go, Guys!

how cute is he??


Thursday, January 27, 2011

fish or fishin'?

Give a man a fish and  he eats for a day.
Teach a man to fish 
and he eats for life.


Does it occur to anyone
that perhaps
are necessary??

Monday, January 24, 2011

a little about laundry

We just can't get away from it.
it's not chore that I hate.
But I do hate when it gets away from me.
That usually only happens 
when I spend too much time out of the house.
And I don't care for finding clean
and even folded clothes in the dirty laundry!
That won't be happening much anymore, though;
Lily is my new self-appointed laundry sniffer.
She's been sorting the boy's laundry
into the hampers in the bathroom for the past few nights.
More than once, she's shoved an article in my face,
"These aren't dirty! They don't stink!"

On Thursday, Marcos and I talked about laundry.
I asked how his family washes clothes.
He answered with his hands.
Washing the family's clothes was one of his many responsibilities.
Before he left Belize,
he bought his mother a washing machine
(on credit, of course - where was he going to come up with $800??)
She is sick
and he's afraid washing all those clothes by hand
might kill her.
I said that I bet he wore his clothes many times before washing.
He agreed, "Oh yes, Miss."
Except it sounds more like, "ohyesMiss".
Then I flippantly added, 
"My boys just throw things in the laundry after wearing them once."
I didn't think anything of it 
until I went to grab dirty clothes from the boys room
and found that Marcos had thrown everything he'd worn
(including 2 jackets) in the basket!
It blesses me that he is so eager to please,
but we sorted that one out right away :-)
I was so tickled 
the first time he had a pile of laundry on the back of the couch,
I almost took a picture.
It seemed silly at the time,
 but now I wish I would have.
I wonder how long it's been 
since his laundry has been lovingly washed for him?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

and the winner is.....


those cheeks.... ooh, I could eat them up, still!

Lex' was done in by all her work
and had to turn and face the wall.
Or maybe it was all of my,
"Hold the paper so Mommy can see the letters...."
Congratulations, Sandy!!!
And thank-you to everyone who entered the drawing!
I really do wish 
I could buy One Thousand Gifts for all of you
but alas, the budget is stretched a bit thin these days.
What I can offer, though, is this:
- for my local friends - 
if you can come pick it up
(or I could send it to work w/ Tyler)
(or bring it to church...)
I'd be happy to order one for you,
along with Sandy's,
and you'll need only pay the $9.14 $9.04 for the book.

Praying that God will bless each of you today ~ Tracy

Saturday, January 22, 2011

giving well

I feel it every time I see Marcos' new ball.
I'm not even entirely sure what 'it' is;
but it isn't good.

You see,
the ball
- a Christmas gift from some well-meaning Christian ministry -
is perfectly sized for Josiah.
Five year old Josiah.
Marcos is 18.
I can hear it as if it were yesterday,
"We'll just get the cheap stuff; they don't care anyways."
We were preparing to host a block party for Riverwalk Apartments
(The outreach ministry our family has been involved in
 for over 10 years)
and when talk turned to food, that was somebody's comment
(not a regular on our team, thankfully!)
"Just get the cheap stuff."
The purpose of a 'block party'?
To be more visible in the apartment complex,
so more people would know the Christians were there.
There to love and serve them.
mm hmm.
Just get the cheap stuff.
In just two weeks,
over $92,000 has been given to the NDSS

In more than double that time, 
 $2361 was raised for The Mercy House,
a home in Africa for pregnant girls.

Please don't misunderstand me;
I am thrilled about the ninety-two thousand dollars!
Teary at this very moment!
But Kelle has a huge, dare I say mostly secular audience
Kristin's is primarily Christian.
I think
Christians just don't give well.

I think that feeling,
when I see Marcos' tiny soccer ball,
is disgust.
- mingled with sadness - 
that God's people, as a whole,
don't give very well.
I really want to be a good giver!
please help me to give like You.

Friday, January 21, 2011

oh, Ya'll!

I've been reading my book.

If you haven't entered the drawing
do it now!
You want this book!
I wish I could buy one for every single one of you!!

I was afraid it might be hard to for me understand.
Sometimes Ann's posts go way over my head;
her writing is so poetic and ethereal 
and I am so
It turns out
 One Thousand Gifts is an easy read.
In that it isn't too flowery for ordinary folks to understand.
I should give you fair warning, though;
before you begin reading,
you may want to gather 
and your favorite writing utensil.
edited to add:
The book is less than $10 now.
(and # 11 on Amazon's Best Seller list!!)
Just thought you might want to know,
in case you just can't wait for Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

first snow

Marcos asked yesterday if it ever snows here.....

He kept saying, "Beautiful!"


 While Marcos was playing in the snow for the first time,
was playing in it for the last.
as a one year old that is.
Our sweet baby will be two tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marcos is here!

He arrived at 9:37
give or take a minute or two.
His bag
did not arrive.
He kept it with him on the plane to Dallas
but in DFW, they valet-checked it.
He didn't know he needed to get it when he deplaned
and we didn't know it hadn't been checked....
That bag holds everything he has in the US
 - and more importantly -
all of his documents
and instructions regarding what happens next.
It has no identifying tags on it.
It's just a plain black duffel.

I don't know that I have ever prayed over a bag before
but let me tell you
we were praying over this one!

About 3 hours after realizing it was missing
we got a call from American Airlines;
the bag is in FSM!
Thank-you, Lord!!
Marcos is the third of ten children.
'Large' families are normal in Belize.
I told him, "Here - we are weird!"
He hasn't seen his family since October 20th.
As you can imagine,
he's been missing his young siblings!
He knew 
that some of the girls that had been on the mission trip
had taken pictures of some of his family,
so Tony put out a request on FB
and within minutes,
Meghan posted them.
Pictures of the brothers and sisters he hasn't seen in 3 months.
For the second time in his life,
(the first being about 15 minutes earlier)
Marcos was on the World Wide Web.

Marcos said, "This is making me cry."  "Yeah, me too!!"

We're off to a good start;
we had nachos and beans & rice for lunch.
When he saw the bowl of beans & rice
he said, "This is what I eat all the time."

Maybe our own full house
will help Marcos feel more at home.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

a gift for me, a gift for you

Lana gave it to me for my birthday
way back in September
but I still haven't actually received it,
because it was just (finally!) released yesterday.

I wanted to give a copy to one of you
but I was going to wait 'til I had the book in my hands,
you know,
so I could decide for sure that ya'll would like it and want one.
I've discovered, though,
that the first two weeks of a book's sales 
are crucial to the longterm success of the book.
duh ~ of course that would be the case....
rather than waiting to peruse my own copy,
and because, really,
I'm quite sure One Thousand Gifts would bless
pretty much anyone,
I'm going to go ahead
and gift a copy right now!
Not my birthday book, mind you,
your very own brand spankin' new copy.
To be entered in the drawing for
One Thousand Gifts
simply leave a comment
telling me if you've been anxiously waiting for Ann's book
 if this is the first you've heard of it.
I suppose you could have heard of it
but not been eagerly awaiting it's release...
Naw, not likely.

Sunday afternoon sounds good;
I think we'll draw the winner then.


The kids were asking Lexi what kind of a 
Happy to You cake
she wanted for her birthday Friday.
Jeremiah suggested 'dirt cake'
(the one with pudding and oreos)
Lex' wrinkled her nose,
"Oh, no!"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

little bit of everything

Yes, that's our drive. One of the reasons I can live in this nasty house.

We got some.

Kids were thrilled.

Mom was sick of it
in like 8 seconds.
Not the snow
but all the mess 
that having snow on the ground
Wet muddy snow gear everywhere.

Good finds at the thrift shop.

It'd been 3 weeks since I'd been.
I was nearly giddy
driving there.
I know.

I re-did the schedule.

I asked Tyler to hold me accountable
to actually
the schedule.
I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants gal.
Problem is -
I hadn't really been feeling the urge to fly....
Not good when you are your child's educator.


 Speaking of educatin'

 I guess the girl is just gonna teach herself 
how to read.

Found this the other day

In case you don't recognize Him,
that's baby Jesus.
And He's happy to see ya.

Have I told ya'll about Brandon's blog?
He posts some close-up shots.

Ya'll leave a comment
saying what you think they are
and the next week
he'll reveal the items

and post new close-ups.
Please? :-)

Our application has been approved;
we've been granted custody of Marcos.

We're still racing against time, though;
If they (immigration) prove that Marcos is 18
(and he is)
before he's on the plane to us
then he gets moved from juvie 
to adult detention.
And his chances of being allowed to stay in the US 
will drastically decrease.
Tyler drove very quickly to the bank 
to purchase a money order for his ticket,
then hightailed it to the P.O.
to overnight it.
Lord willing
he'll be here Wednesday.
I guess means
I'll need to re-do the schedule.

for more 7 quick takes, visit Jen

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

people pay for this?

am not a fan 
of getting my hair fixed
by anyone except my big sister.
I often leave a hair appt. with my hair slightly wet.

I just spent about fifteen minutes
with both girls
fixing my hair
(so I would look like a princess - oddly enough
when they finished, it looked an awful lot like it did when they started.
I guess I pretty much always look like a princess :-)

Lexi would 'bruff' my hair into my face
and Lily would brush it out.
Some people
- like Tyler -
would bask in this type of attention;
but to me?
Feels like torture.

weird, huh?

Speaking of weird,
the beauticians are now dressed up in nothing but swimming suits.

Friday, January 7, 2011

just seven quick takes

I'm not sure if I've got seven takes in me this morning
but I'll give it a whirl

2011 is hurtling by;
I found it difficult to believe
when I wrote a check yesterday
that it was the sixth 

After going in and out the 'door' a time or two
Brandon said, "I really like having a back door!"
I just buried my head,
not sure if I should laugh 
or cry.
The door is a piece of styrofoam and some duct tape!

It drives me nuts.
on top of the normal noise
of kids, appliances, voices, etc
(as there has been for several days...)
and add to that
one or two videos more than usual,
to keep little girls who would rather be outside with the action,
inside and occupied.

Dora pushed me over the edge.
We'll leave it at that.

I went grocery shopping
for the first time in 2011 yesterday.
It took five hours.
Five hours!
That is why I don't do big shopping
at all three stores
(Walmart, Sam's and Aldi)
very often.

I left all kids home when I took said shopping trip.
There wouldn't have been any room in  the Excursion for them 
and it would have taken 
a l l

More paperwork to fill out for Marcos.
Why can't they just give it all to us already??
I was thinking a few days ago
what a good thing it was that this was dragging out
(to a degree) so that God had time to prepare my heart.
My heart is prepared; no need to drag it out any further.

I look forward to Ginny's Yarn Along every Wednesday.
Then I spend  a few minutes here and there
seeing what all the talented ladies are knitting and reading.
I've added a few books to my reading list
but I keep reminding myself, "Knitting is not for you.
Knitting is not for you."
Well, whatdya know?
I did make it through seven and could do more.
But I'll leave it at seven.
You're welcome.

for more quick takes, see Jen

Thursday, January 6, 2011

RIP dear window

If you've been around any length of time
you know I love my window.
I need my window.
Or rather
I need my view
out the window.
Tyler asked where I wanted the window in the cabin.
I said I don't care,
so long as I can see out it from the kitchen.

Here's my window.
or rather, where my window was...
complete with duct tape hinge...
Not to worry ~ I'll be just fine soon enough.

I'll have a new window - that opens
Here's a funny window-related story:
The other day
Josiah asked me what a 'knick-knack' was.
I told him that we didn't really have knick-knacks,
'cause we only have stuff that's used for something
and knick-knacks don't really have a use,
they just sit there.

He looked up at some mini-blinds
(not the ones we use for our art gallery
and not the set that covers(covered) my 'view window',
which got opened and closed regularly,
but the set that - you guessed it - does nothing.
The window behind those particular blinds is especially nasty
so the blinds pretty much just stay closed all the time)
and said, "So, I guess that's sort of a knick knack, huh?"

our own Fancy Nancy

Just so you know, Ter',
the 'lampshade' is being put to good use :-)
As is the tulle skirt, Lana...
As I type
Brandon is reading some Fancy Nancy books to Lily
for the first time.
Daddy will be so happy!
(He's wanted me to buy Fancy Nancy for her for quite some time;
I thought she was quite fancy enough without Nancy....)
He can thank the FS Public Library.
To be honest
I'm a little worried.....
I don't think she needed any help.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

the gift that keeps on giving

I figured that was the end of it.
It wasn't.
She calls me every day
to read our day's memory.
(Well, every day, except for two,
when she thought she'd already called me...)
It's just a quick call
but it's been nice to hear her voice every day.
She calls my sister, too
and shares the memories with her also.
I imagine she also calls my mom....

I hadn't expected that the gift would draw us closer;
I was just hoping to bless my Grandma.
I didn't realize how much I would be blessed, too.
Sure, just the remembering and writing of the memories
was a blessing.
But the daily phone calls have been a bonus blessing, too.
And if the phone hasn't rung by 11:00,
I start wondering when Gramma's going to call.


Speaking of bonuses....
It was such a treat to have Marin come with Matt last week.
She's been 'part of the family' for several years
but I hadn't really ever had an opportunity to get to know her
beyond the polite talk of holiday gatherings.
She's fabulous! 
We talked about all sorts of things
and it was just really comfortable to have her here.
There were no awkward moments - at all.
That's what I'd like for it to be like with my daughters-in-law
(is that the plural of daughter in law??)

And the kids?
They loved her - no surprise there!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

moving right along

earlier today...


about a half hour ago...
I think this gives a clue how tiny our house is;
the 'cabin' while pretty darn tall is only12x16 on the bottom and 12x20 on top