Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008...Was It Great???

If I were to have posted my thoughts on the year 2008 just a few weeks ago it would have read far differently than how I want to post now. It would have said how painful and disappointing the events of the year were with one attempt after another and another and another seemingly failing in our efforts to adopt another child. It would have complained about the massive loss of money we shelled out for our adoption. It would certainly have been whiney about starting full-time work after a five year hiatus being a SAHM. I wouldn't have forgotten to post about our 14th move in 16 years the week after school started for Rainbow Brite entering Kindergarten. It would never have missed out on the sadness of saying goodbye to my BFF who moved to the other side of the world for the next three years, nor my other BFF who moved three hours away from us and I can't leave out the heartache of hearing totally different situations about two of our best friends being asked to leave their ministry jobs because someone else didn't handle the budgets well enough. I would have made sure to talk about how our doctor told both Mister Green and myself that if we continued on the same unhealthy eating path that we were on that we could count on being diabetic within five years. I would include the intense emotion that has gone on at our church after our music ministry staff all up and left at basically the same time leaving questions for many who didn't think they had all the answers. This caused great pain for our pastor whom we ADORE. And last, but not least, I would want everyone to know how this is the first year that I really felt old, wrinkly, saggy, fat and pretty much like I was falling apart inside and out--being the 20th anniversary of me being crowned Homecoming Queen and not feeling anything remotely like that spunky young Senior girl in the fall of 1988.

Nope. I don't want to go down that negative road.

Instead, I want to reflect on the amazing goodness of my God.
He has been so faithful to take care of me every step of the way even when I was pushing for my own will and calling it His.
He is so forgiving to take me back into His loving, gentle arms at every whimper of my tired voice.
He blessed me with fabulous friends, new and old.
He saw to it that we didn't trod down the wrong paths for our adoption attempts despite my constant pushing from January clear to the middle of December.
He hit me square in the face with the reality of the kind of place where my precious daughter came from when He allowed us to go on a mission trip to an orphanage in Guatemala.
He totally rocked at children's camp this summer!
He let us buy our incredibly fun Jeep!
He brought my brother and his family back to Texas allowing Rainbow Brite to get to know her cousins.
He gave me opportunities to be with my BFFs before they left.
He blessed me with a great paying job that is so easy and has great hours.
He blessed Rainbow Brite with a wonderful Kindergarten teacher and school.
He knocked our socks off with our precious house.
He blessed us with a friend who got my new Canon Rebel camera for a great price.
He is letting me watch our church come together and unify in a mighty way as we wait on His will for the flock.
He had me laughing down memory lane with several high school friends whom I hadn't even spoken to in 20 years.
He so wonderfully blessed me with a much needed girls-get-away weekend with my 3 college best friends.
He gave me time to read nine chick-books in June!
He challenged me to get out of my comfy SAHM box and do something great for our family by using my salary to get out of debt and plan for a Disney trip in 2009!
He so lovingly allowed Mister Green and I to celebrate 16 years of marriage!
He is allowing me to teach Biblical truths to the 6th graders in our children's ministry.
He let me celebrate with my parents their 50th wedding anniversary.
He led us to our current doctor who is one year older than me and who told us to "grow up" concerning our health which has in turn made us eat healthy and exercise regularly since Nov. 30 and we are on the right track finally!!!
He has given me much insight into how He protects us from the wrong move even though everything in my heart said to go full throttle ahead.
He has blessed me with an AMAZING husband and marriage that rocks my world.
He has blessed me abundantly with a BEAUTIFUL and funny daughter.
He has filled my heart with hope.

I can't explain the craziness of this past year. I truly felt beat down at times. I have cried over this adoption thing so much this year that I can't recall ever crying so many tears. If you were one to have given us money for our adoption, then PLEASE know that it went towards EXACTLY what I said it would: up front adoption expenses. I can't tell you what the future holds for us concerning adoption. So much has happened to close door after door after door that we have put our adoption on hold indefinitely. Don't know what that means except that we are trusting God for His provision at just the right time. We are getting ourselves right physically, financially and emotionally. Maybe that's what He has been waiting on. I do know that God is good all the time....all the time God is good. I questioned His silence a few times in the past several months. I wondered why all the losses. Even felt like I was being taunted and teased by Him at one point. I know that isn't His character. He loves me. He has a plan for our little family. I just know it.

So...2008. Was is GREAT? You that I am looking at it with a renewed heart and with the knowledge that God is who he says he is, God can do what he says he can do, I am who God says I am, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, God's word is alive and active in me. I am looking forward to 2009 with excitement as I get in shape and seek God's heart. I pray that I will bring Him blessing and honor.

God bless you, your family and your growing relationship with Him!

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

PandaG.....oops, I mean Rainbow Brite (I have the hardest time not referring to ourselves as the PandaFamily!) decorating her first gingerbread house. Mister Green put all the pieces together for us and then we decorated with the brick hard icing and all the colorful candies.

Tah-dah!! It may look adorable, but this pre-made kit tastes gross! I guess it's the fun of doing this project together 'cause it certainly ain't the taste! Gag.

Rainbow Brite decided, on a whim while we were out shopping Saturday, that it was time to get her ears pierced. I seized the moment and never looked back! LOL! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Made lots of chocolate/toffee covered pretzel logs for several neighbors.

I just l-o-v-e my new camera.

Simple gifts ready for delivery.

Guess who gets to come inside since the weather is tooooo stinkin' cold overnight even for his super thick coat?

Guess who wasn't too thrilled with the new visitor? Can you saaaay...snooty-snob kitty?

Mister Green reading Charlie & the Chocolate Factory to RB. I loved hearing the giggles while I was cleaning up the kitchen. Next is the Wizard of Oz!

Watching movies and snuggling up on the couch with my munchkin while the frigid cold weather is finding it's ugly way INSIDE our house!!

Be intentional about enjoying your family and the REASON we celebrate Christmas in the first place: the birth of our Savior...JESUS!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Peek at A Week #2

What a week!
Lots of good, some not-so-good. Blessed, no doubt.

We started the week off with an open house for all the Children's Ministry volunteers at our house. We began this tradition last year and it was a huge hit!

We were beaming with joy as Rainbow Brite made her singing debut last Sunday at our church Children's Christmas Musical.

Always fun to get these three together from our church.

Mister Green and I had a fun date night going shopping for Rainbow Brite!!!

Left work quickly to go purchase hand-sanitizer and Lysol to help stop all the cooties coming from some of the kids I see for speech, was returning to school so I could eat my lunch and wouldn't ya know it, I got one of THESE:

I was doing 47 in a 35. I am one of the safest drivers I know!!!!! I haven't had a ticket in....I think it was 1999. Hmph. I was speeding and there was no way around it. Didn't even try to get out of it. The irony is that my $173.00 ticket was given on the same stinkin' day I got my $500 bonus from work!!! GRRRRRR!

Rainbow Brite was so proud of herself for buying her Daddy a couple of presents and wrapping them all by herself.

Mister Green was a wonderful shepherd in our church Christmas worship experience and musical. We are with an interim music minister right now and the lay leadership of our church OUT-DID themselves with the production this year!!!!

There was a great need for me to sit down and go page by page of this little book that sits on our end table. I NEEDED to be reminded of the joys and blessings of Christmas and all through the year.

Though it turned out for the better, it was really a rough week for me last week. For now I'll just leave you with the good. In another post I'll expound on the way God worked in me to get through the struggles of this last year concerning adoption.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Make it a point to CELEBRATE the birth of Jesus!!!

He is the reason we have HOPE!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

50 Golden Years!

December 6, 1958

My brother and I with our parents.

We had the best day yesterday celebrating my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. We had a party at their home with family. There is so much to be said about a couple staying together through thick & thin for 50 years!!! How blessed Mister Green and I both are to each have parents who were high school sweethearts and are still married to this day. Truly a blessing for us.

My new friend is Shutterfly. With the help of my sister-in-law I was able to put together a great scrapbook online with old photos along with new ones displaying their life through the years from 1958 to now. They LOVED it!!! Woohoooo! ; )

The whole crew that started with my parents! ; )

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Hammock

Please don't judge.

I had every intention of resting peacefully in the graceful hammock after downing my man-size piece of pumpkin pie with REAL whipped cream. Temperature was perfect. The time was right. Apparently the hammock was a wee bit broken on one end.

I did try to lay in the middle first.

Guess it didn't work. my expense, please.

So Mister Green--who had so much fun taking my picture--gives it a whirl...

RF, JBass & S. Hudgins---I can totally HEAR each of you laughing at us!!!!! ; )

Let it NEVER be said that I only put cute pics of myself on my blog. These are absolutely incriminating!!!

I laughed SO HARD that I got a headache from the actual event as well as looking at the pics over and over again. Laugh therapy does a heart good.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

So Thankful

How fun to start the week with Rainbow Brite's Thanksgiving Feast for her Kindergarten class!! We had a blessed week with family and enjoying each other.
I needed a break from work.
I needed a break from being busy.
I needed a break from life.
Lately I have been really struggling with our whole adoption journey. Many twists and tangles leaving me and Mister Green emotionally raw. As I type this God has done a great work in me. The sermon this morning was just what I needed to hear. The past few weeks have been rough for me dealing with these adoption issues. I have been mad at God knowing full well that He didn't do anything to me, but is allowing suffering so that I may know Him better. I had to CHOOSE joy over the holidays. My heart wasn't in it, but lo & behold He blessed me anyway, even though I didn't deserve it. He DOES have a plan for our family. I just know it. The journey, however, is much more than I thought it would be. Despite my own sadness in my heart over adoption misleads I had a fabulous break and am actually looking forward to going to work being refreshed from the Thanksgiving holiday.

Picking up pecans is Rainbow Brite's favorite thing to do at her grandparents' land. She went straight outside as soon as we arrived to start filling her cup with pecans....(for those of you non-Texans, that's pronounced "puh-KAHN"---not "PEE-can"...wink).

Rainbow Brite with her aunt (Mister Green's sister) enjoying the exquisite weather. Cool crispy air, leaves continuously falling from the trees and the sound of them crunching under foot. OOOO---I LOVE FALL!

The night before Thanksgiving we had a hot dog cookout along with S'mores at Mister Green's parents' land. The weather was just perfect for such a treat!

Oh yes. My new love. I got my Christmas present early because I begged Mister Green to let me have it for Thanksgiving. Because I have a job and we have a friend who has worked for Canon for 30 years I am very happy to own my new Rebel XSi that takes AMAZING pictures!!! I have always wanted a camera that would take a picture and blur the background or show fabulous detail and also one that would catch action pics and NOT blur the subject. I finally have it and I took GOBS of pics over the past week. This berry shot just makes me smile.

With my new camera I was able to capture about eight continuous pics in a series of Rainbow Brite laughing, swinging and making crazy faces. This is just one of the many showing the sheer joy of being a kid.

We were able to visit both sets of grandparents which is such a blessing because they are in the same city. Grandma (my mom) had the kids decorate her Christmas tree for her. Too cute!

A little tossing of the football with cousins.

We put up our Christmas decorations, watched White Christmas and drank hot chocolate!

Miao's favorite place every year at this time.

Be on the lookout for the next post and a series of...interesting pics.

I call it The Hammock. ; )

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Texas Twilight

I had the opportunity to decorate the 45 tables at our church for a fun women's event which featured Christmas treats, sing-a-long and speaker. The best part was the TEXAS theme!! We love our Lone Star State and a good old Texas style Christmas came together on Thursday night. When I agreed to do the work (with a great team) I wasn't working full time and had the time to devote to it. Because of being busy all the time it came down to the wire of gathering all I needed. I couldn't have done it without GREAT help. It was fun!

Our native-Texan speaker was stuck in traffic and an hour late because her agent switch her venues with another reporter and was on the other side of Dallas. She finally arrived and was quite delightful.

There is a precious woman at my church whom I want to be like when I grow up. ; ) She did this fabulous stage for us!!!

...and then it was FINALLY here---TWILIGHT.

Midnight Showing.

We had a B-L-A-S-T hanging out at Starbucks after the Texas dinner, having a peppermint white chocolate mocha AT TEN O'CLOCK at night!! We headed to the theater an hour early. Got there to find millions, literally, of crazy teenagers giddy with excitement. We oldies were rolling our eyes until a The Man in the Yellow Shirt came over and said, "I have something for you." Oh goody!!! Since the THREE screens were going to be full of Edward-lovin' teens they opened up a fourth screen JUST for oldies!! LOL! We adults guarded our doors and no teenies were aloud! It was glorious!!

The movie was nowhere near as fun or alluring as the book, but it was still good. The whole experience is what was fun. I got into bed at 3:00AM and then got up at six for work. I was actually still wired and did fine until about 5:00PM yesterday.

Thanks girlies---I had a wonderful time!!!

It's fun to be heart. ; )