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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Absence explained

I haven't been online lately due to a connectivity problem.  It seems that my parent's internet was only up to working periodically and by the time I had put out all the fires via email and was ready to go to post on the blog, the internet wasn't working.  It was a vicious, frustrating cycle.  

The connectivity issues aren't getting better, so I'm on to plan B.  Somehow I've managed to get online long enough today to email, so if (and it's a big if) I can manage to connect again I'm going to post this bad boy as quick as I can.  

Anyway, a long (and somewhat pointless) five minutes just to say that everyone's fine.  And in the USA...until Wednesday.  (More on what's next later).


Peace and love,
Jenni

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cold Weather Fun

Well...that may be a bit of a misnomer because cold weather is NOT fun.  At least, not when it's one degree F, with a biting cold wind.   We can't go outside.  Everything in Seoul costs money.  So we've started to improvise.

We play with flour...

and spend a lot of time cleaning it up


Yeah, a lot of time cleaning. 


The apartment manager (who is a very traditional Korean man) may have decided to check out our hot water situation in the middle of playing with the flour and he may have nearly had a heart attack...


We play dress up


and we jump on the beds. 


 jump jump jump!


And look in the mirror and make faces (sometimes)


And dance occasionally


And laugh a lot!


Chase is one of our favorites


And this is probably my favorite picture.  Theo's face is just precious! I laugh every time I see it.


So, here's our life.
For another week, or so. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Ugly Mittens

The song that keeps coming to mind when I think of these gloves is the song by Ke$ha that says, "your love, your love, your love is my drug."  But instead I sing, "your glove, my love, your glove is a drudge."  Lame, I know.

Anyway, here they are.


The buttons were recycled from the LT's old Navy overcoat.  We recently put new buttons on stand these gold ones are the only buttons I had laying around so I decided to put them to use.  

So, the mittens are ugly.  But they are functional and warm, and that's what is important. 

That, and the fact that I'm done.  Hopefully he doesn't lose one because I have no plans for a repeat performance!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Confession

I put the boys to bed an hour early tonight.

**********

Scene: The bathroom.  Tate's dropping a deuce. 
Theo: "Taaaate?  Tate?  Taaaaaaaaaate?  Where you?"
Tate: "Baby, I'm pooping.  Get out!"
Theo: "Get out? What?"
Tate: "I said, Get out.  Get out of my business!"
Theo: "Get out business.  Get out."
Tate:  "BABY! YOU GET OUT OF MY BUSINESS."
Theo: "OUT BUSINESS!"
Tate: "BABY!  I AM NOT YOUR STRAY BABOON!  GET OUT OF MY BUSINESS NOW!"
At this point Mark and I were laughing so hard we couldn't see straight.  I admit, we should have intervened sooner, but it was so funny hearing what they were saying to each other that we didn't.  And for the record, I have no idea what a stray baboon is nor where it came from. 
Update: A couple of days later Tate used the phrase stray baboon again and this time he informed me that it's from Charlie Brown (sweet baboo).  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lessons in Being a Good Steward

One thing I've learned in our journey to being more financially responsible: sometimes being responsible is just not fun.

This week LT Wonderful decided he needs some gloves with the cut off fingers, but with a mitten cover.  Said gloves cost $22.00.  Bless his heart, before buying them he called me and asked me if there was any way I could make him some.  I quickly did a pattern search and found out that I could do it, should I want to.  But guess what?  I hate knitting things like that...things that have to be identical.  I feel pressure to make them perfect and with gloves...ugh.  What a chore.  The fingers are intricate and blah.  My excitement level was a -10.  And, usually I love making something new.

But we decided to be responsible this year and replenish our savings.  No matter how I slice it, $22 is $22.  I could go on a date with my husband with that money.

So I put on my big girl panties and got out some yarn and started making those suckers.  I've finished one and half of the second.  I still don't like it.  It's still drudgery. But you know what?  I'm honoring my husband, and honoring God with my talent.  After all, what good is a skill if I can't use it to help my family?  I am feeling very convicted about this while I knit.  I am doing this for my family.  Every little bit helps and even though I am not enjoying it, I'm serving my family.

I'll post pics of the ugly mitts when they're done.  I really couldn't care less about them in and of themselves.  But I am using up a skein of yarn that was sitting in my stash and I am serving my family.

Oh, responsibility, sometimes I detest you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Branching Out

Now that I'm done with my craft goal I feel free to explore new things without being concerned that if I don't like it and don't finish that I'm wasting precious time.

And, I still haven't bought yarn!

So these were my last two projects.






The Woven Ball: Super easy!  It took a while to get all the strips done (6 total) but I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  This will be a great project for HOPE by Design because the knitting part is easy.  It should be easy to pick up and I think they would sell well at a Farmers Market kind of thing. 

Headband: A little more difficult than the ball but it knit up really quick...like less than a couple of hours!  I plan on making several more.  I love them and I think they would also sell well at a Farmer's Market.  

I am really enjoying the freedom to pick projects where I can learn something new.  I suppose I could have done that before but I was really focused on meeting my goal. 

So here's to more new things this year!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review "Radical"

I was recently given* a book to review, called "Radical" by David Platt.  I found the subtitle particularly intriguing, Taking your faith back from the American Dream.  Several books I have read recently have had similar ideas so I was a little skeptical that this book was going to have new or better information than what I had recently read.

I was pleasantly surprised!  The book was just the right mix of stories and information.  It was more intellectually stimulating than some of the other books I have read and because of that I read slower.  I had to ponder what was written and decide how to integrate the new information into my daily life.

The thesis of the book is quite ambitious, "We will together explore the biblical gospel alongside our cultural assumptions with an aim toward embracing Jesus for who he really is, not for who we have created him to be." (pg. 21).  This was a lofty goal, but Platt manages to accomplish this task.  I would be lying if I said that I didn't feel guilty...I did, several times.  But I believe that the Holy Spirit can use that to bring about change and I hope and pray that as a result of reading the book and putting into practice the One Year Radical Experiment, I can change.

"Radical" is full of good quotes, practical and godly advice and it has the right amount of conviction mixed with encouragement.

If you're dissatisfied with the American Church, if you're looking for ways to deepen and enrich your faith or if you're wondering what the gospel is all about, this is a book you should read.  Platt clearly presents the gospel as written in the Bible and explains how we have perverted it and made God into our image.

The end of the book invites you to take a year long challenge to live radically for Christ.  I am taking the challenge I am taking the challenge and I look forward to experiencing a deeper relationship with God which hopefully manifests and makes me into a more authentic and genuine follower of Christ.

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  However, the thoughts and feelings I have shared here are my own.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Honestly...


I haven't shared much about our trip here or on Facebook.  Intentionally. 

There are a lot of feelings that I'm sorting through.  I did a really great job of journaling this time and I am reading through that, looking at pictures and thinking. 

There's a lot to sort through.  This was our first time with the girls living with us.  I knew going into it that it would be hard, but it was even harder than expected.  

There were expectations that the girls had about how families work that aren't healthy or true.  

There were attitudes to be dealt with.  (Theirs and mine). 

There were boundaries to be set. 

There were new experiences to have, together.  First boat rides, first hotel stays and first hot showers. 

And it was incredibly difficult being the "one" parent that speaks their language.  When they were nasty to each other I could tell, so I got to had to discipline.  This means that I got to bear the brunt of their big feelings of anger, frustration and fear as they are learning about being a part of a family.  

LT Wonderful and I are more convinced than ever that he needs to learn Spanish.  I cannot be the only target for their frustration.  I cannot do this by myself.  We have to be a team, especially since the playing field is already stacked against us.  

So we're home now, with new resolve.  We are going to read everything we can get our hands on about attachment parenting and healing.  And LT Wonderful is working his behind off to learn Spanish.  Because we're in this together.  

And even with all of that stuff we were dealing with, we really did have a great time.  We really do love the girls, and the more boundaries were set, the more secure the girls felt.  The more secure we all felt.  It's just hard...we aren't their parents yet, but we are their caretakers when we are there.   It's a weird dynamic. 

So we're learning and preparing our hearts and minds for when the Lord decides to bring us together, and we're infinitely thankful that we have this time to figure it out before being thrown into having preteen girls.  There is nothing as complicated as a preteen/early teenaged girl (I know, I was one).  

Pray for us, pretty please?


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Leap Frog




The boys played Leap Frog in the Seoul airport.  

The boots really add to the outfit, don't you think?

And yes, they are both in PJs.  Because that's how we roll. 

The good news is that we slept in until 5:30 today!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Suffering Jet Lag

The little boys in the apartment have been waking up at unreasonable hours.  Like 2 am.  And it's not like they are going back to bed.  I'm forcing them to stay awake (bad attitudes and all) so hopefully they'll get on track soon.

Yesterday I went to make coffee (at 3 am when I realized they wouldn't be going back to bed) and when I went to pour my creamer into it, it was a little more creamy than it should have been.  And we were out of milk.  I just don't like coffee without all that good stuff.  I may have stomped on the floor in frustration (sorry downstairs neighbor!)

For now it looks as though we'll be here for another 40 or so days.  I am gearing up to spend the 40 days wisely.

And, in case you're curious, I stepped on the scale.  I'm up 5 pounds.  At first I was mad about working so hard in November to get it off just to put it on again.  Then I realized that just about everyone puts on 5 pounds at Christmas and I only have that to get off (plus the little extra "dream weight" that I've never been without) so all in all, it's OK.  I can do it and hopefully get it done quickly.

I had pictures to put up of the boys playing leapfrog in the Korean airport but the server didn't like them. I'll try again tomorrow.

Peace and love, friends!

Jenni

Monday, January 3, 2011

Craft Goal 2010 FINALE!

 Projects 29 & 30
Random Hats and a Bag
All knitted

These are made of left overs and I can't get over how cute they are!

Size 1-3 years

Size 3 years to adult


3 years to adult

A hat I made for myself.  And I love it. 

Felted bag.  It's petite and cute!


I liked mine so much that I made one for Mark.  And he loves it, too!



Made from the same yarn as my hat.  I love the intricate vines.  Since there's a lot of sides to see I've included several views. 




***************
30 Projects.  One year.  No new yarn (for personal projects.  I did buy some for HOPE for specific projects). 

This year I tried things I've never tried before, learned new skills and was able to use what I had instead of buying more stuff.  It was refreshing.  I still have a bunch of stuff in my stash that I plan to use but I'm not going to push it this year to eek out a specified number of projects.  

This year I plan to try my hand at making a sweater, too.  We'll see how that goes. 

Also on the list is spinning.  My wonderful sis in law got me a book and the stuff I'll need to start so that's on the list, too. 

Thanks for all your encouragement this year.  I feel very accomplished having finished the projects (all of which were done by the time we left for Nicaragua, BTW) on time and without spending more money.  Maybe by this time next year my stash will be almost empty!  

Peace and love, friends. 

Jenni 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 New Years Resolution



I can’t believe that another year has passed. I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s Resolutions for a while now, and while there are a ton of things I want to change, the more I pray about it the more I am convinced that there is one thing that needs to be above all else. For this reason, I have decided that 2011 is going to be the year of contentedness.

I am going to be content with my life. I am going to choose to celebrate what I have and not think about what I don’t have.

Tate and Theo are at great ages-and I want them to look back and remember their mom being a fun, happy, loving kind of lady. Not that I can’t be that with goals, but sometimes I get overwhelmed with goals and my relationships suffer as a consequence.

It’s a great time for me to implementing this. We’re about done with the Nicaragua side of the adoption so we now just sit and wait. I don’t need to rush around to get paperwork completed. I don’t need to push…after talking with several families in the process I feel like I can honestly say that whether I push or sit and relax doesn’t matter with the timeframe for the adoption. Everything here processes at its own speed. I can simply sit and just be content with my life the way it is right now.

I resolve to play with my boys and not worry about finishing craft projects.

I resolve to put my husband’s needs before my own to ensure that he is content. When he’s content it seems like the rest of us just follow suit.

I resolve to not wait until the girls are with us to do fun things. Our life is now. We have only now.

I resolve to uncomplicated our lives by giving away or throwing away things we don’t need.

I resolve to encourage my boys.

I resolve to stop thinking of things in terms of failures and successes. As one wise man stated, “there are no failures, only outcomes."

When I do inevitably fail, I resolve to view it as a means to an end, and the end is success.

2011 is shaping up to be a great year. But instead of looking ahead and planning it all out, I’m going to enjoy the moments with LT Wonderful, Tate and Theo. When we get to spend time with our girls and boys in Nicaragua I’ll celebrate that, too.

So 2011 will look a little different for me. Instead of checklists I’m going anti-checklist. And I’m thinking it may just be our best year yet!