Friday, November 28, 2008

Keeping it Simple this Christmas



I found this video over on Missy's blog. It is AWESOME! All morning I have been feeling that "itch" to get out there and do some shopping (impulse shopping) because I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet and there are "good deals" out there somewhere! Over the past year I have really tried to reduce my acquisition and consumption of "stuff" but my convictions were being put to the test today.

After watching this video I have renewed my resolve to keep it simple this year.

On Aimee's blog I found a great idea for simplifying the Christmas wish list for my family. The idea is to buy a few gifts for each person that focus on body, soul and spirit. For example, clothes would be for the body, one special gift that your child really wanted is for the soul, and a bible or inspirational book would be for the spirit. Then do a few stocking stuffers for fun.

I plan to try it this year. I think this idea will keep me focused and reduce impulse buying when I get that last minute Christmas panic! Last year I was so frustrated with myself because a few days before Christmas I suddenly felt that I hadn't done enough and my kids would be deprived! So I went out to the store that must not be named (sorry Joel, this is true confession time) and bought a bunch of junk! It was very silly!`

Now please don't misunderstand me, I am not a humbug, really! I love Christmas! The music, the lights, the movies, the traditions! I look forward to it every year. My desire is to not get caught up in the "machine" that tells me to buy my happiness. I want to keep my focus where it should be, on God and family, not on stuff.

You might have noticed that I am kicking off the holiday season with a new look for my blog and a Christmas music play list! I'm sorry if the music annoys anyone! I know that some people have strong feelings about music on blogs. My blog has become a place where I like to hang out and relax and music is a big part of that for me. So I hope you enjoy it too but if you don't, just remember to push pause on the play list. ;0)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Baby It's Cold Inside

With this week's cold, foggy inversion we have made an unpleasant discovery.

To preface this, we knew that the new heat pump system, that was installed during our remodel, would have difficulty "keeping up" during cold weather.

We knew that an auxiliary heat source was recommended.

We thought that meant the heat pump would just have to work more to attempt to heat the house and the auxiliary heat source was optional.

What we somehow did not realize was that it wouldn't function at all when the temperature dipped below 35 degrees or so.

Yes, you are marveling at our brilliance right now.

This morning we woke up to a temperature of 54 degrees, inside our house.

So, we have invested in a couple of space heaters and are trying to figure out our best options for the "auxiliary" source. We have a fireplace that needs a lot of work and we have an old oil heat system, that needs a lot of work. Note "lots of work" = "lots of money".

In the meantime, I am sipping hot tea while curled up in my big green chair in front of our new "Heat Dish" and opting for denial. I'm rather comfy right here.

Here's a song to warm you up (remember to pause my playlist at the bottom of the page):

Baby It's Cold Outside

Saturday, November 22, 2008

GO COUGS!




The Cougs won the Apple Cup!!!! This is a bright spot in an otherwise disastrous football season! GO COUGS!!!!

Did anyone else happen to notice our coach's enthusiastic and quite lengthy victory dance? He's got mad skills.

It's a Major Award!



This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.



If you have seen A Christmas Story you will understand the title of this post! ;0)

Actually I am very flattered and happy to present my very first blog award! Thank you Hippie Housewife! I love reading your blog!


The rules are:

1. Accept the award and post it on your blog along with a link to the person who has awarded you.

2. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are the blogs I picked:

Skyward Journey
It's a Wonderful Life
Still His Girl
Make It From Scratch
Golightly Place
Everyday Becky
Days to Come
Life's a Beach With the Joneses
Hope Has Returned
4 Reluctant Entertainers
strandfam

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Wonder and Beauty of Adoption


I just saw this picture on MeDenne's blog and I couldn't resist sharing it with you. One look captured my heart. I think about Noelle's birth mom often, she gave my precious little girl the gift of life. She tried to keep her for four days before she made the most agonizing decision imaginable. She must think of Noelle every day, I know I would. I wish I could tell her how beautiful her daughter is. So very funny, smart and talented as well. I wish she could see her one more time and know that the tiny baby that she wrapped in a clean, blue flowered blanket has a good life. Her daughter is loved and cherished in a forever family. I wish with all my heart that Noelle could some day meet the woman she prays for every night. To look into her birth mother's eyes and see herself reflected. I know that I would want that closure if it were me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dealing with Racism

My 5 year old daughter seemed a little down yesterday and when I asked what was bothering her she said, "Mom I think there are kids at school that don't like me because I'm Chinese". This is the first time she has ever expressed something like this so I asked if anyone had said something mean to her about being Chinese and she replied, "No, I just know".

After all the websites, blogs and books I have read about trans racial adoption, being a multi-racial family, and the racism that still exists today in America, I was still shocked by her comment. Everything I had read about how to talk to your child about this topic fled my mind and I struggled with what to say. I didn't want to mouth platitudes about being "color blind" or lie to her and say that no one would ever think such a thing about her. I ended up saying something along the lines of "That must make you feel sad when people don't like you because you look different than them. That's not okay for them to do that". But I know as time goes on that this will not be enough.

Since we brought N home we have worked very hard to celebrate our differences as well as our similarities as a family. We have tried to help our daughter to feel proud of who she is and where she came from. We have several children's books about adoption and Chinese stories and poems. She has many Asian dolls and she loves her "Dance and Learn Chinese with Mei Mei" DVD. But I still wonder if there is more I should be doing? In Boise there are more opportunities for Chinese dance and language classes but our resources are limited and the commute is an issue. I have begun to wonder if we made a mistake moving to rural Idaho? There are three other Chinese adoptees in N's school as well as a few children of Hispanic heritage, however, the vast majority of kids there are Caucasian. At times like these I feel my own "whiteness" very acutely and wonder whether I, as a member of the ethnic and racial majority in this country, can truly understand what my daughter may go through in her life being a member of a racial minority.

What are your thoughts dear readers? I know that some of my "regulars" here are adoptive parents and members of transracial families. Have you faced the issue of racism with your children? How did you deal with it? What steps have you taken to help your child to embrace their racial and ethnic heritage?

Thanks for your help.

Jen

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hands Down THE Best Election Post I Have Read

I HATE to get political. Mostly because I can't stand confrontation. However, I just read a post-election blogpost at Still His Girl that perfectly captured how I feel about the election. I love how balanced she is and full of grace and peace. Click here to read her post.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Encouragement for a Friend

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43 : 2

This is for a sweet friend at work who is "passing through the fire" right now. Would you pray for her? Thanks!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Quotes from my 3 year old today.

"Moooooom, you taking for all day long, hurry up!" (about 20 times on the way to the DMV this afternoon).

"Mommy, I Captain Hook and you Mommy Hook!" (very cute).

"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" (scream, shriek, throw self on floor, wail some more for good measure).

"Mommy, I broke this thing!" (He's been breaking/ripping/dropping/spilling a lot of things today).

Don't you just love 3 year olds?

New Addiction

I have discovered facebook. You may never see me again.
Ha ha, I'm kidding of course... well, I hope.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Amazing Story

Check out this video of an incredible, inspiring woman who was born alive during a saline abortion. It is long but well worth hearing.

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