Friday, February 26, 2010

It Comes and Goes

Boy, was I surprised last night.

I was catching up on the blog of a friend who is very dear to our heart because of their key role in helping get PandaGirl home. They have two darling children and just announced their new bundle expected later on this year making number three. Genuinely joyful FOR them. We adore this couple.

It caught me off guard, I guess. For the first time in two months I cried. I dropped my face into my hands and sobbed. Sometimes it feels like PandaPop and I must have done something so very wrong for God to not allow us more children. Like we are being punished.

Come on, now.

I know that's not true, but the Accuser just points a false finger in my face screaming those lies at me and for a moment....I believe them.

Did you hear me?!! TWO MONTHS without shedding a tear over adoption. That is a miracle and an act of God's grace if I ever saw one. Me, the one who typically has a good weekly cry has been able to live and walk in the abundant life and peace that passes understanding any time what would normally be a situation that would stress me out or bring me to tears. Several people at church are pregnant. I have been happy for ALL of them. I removed myself from the picture and let God be sufficient for me. I really have felt at peace knowing that He allowed me to rest in Him.

Grace and mercy.

This song by Rob Thomas that was featured in Meet the Robinsons, which just so happened to have an underlying theme of adoption, has been floating through my head for awhile now. Every time we watch the movie, PP and I both say, "We HAVE to get that song!" Just this week I finally used my i*Tunes card from Christmas to download some songs and remembered to get Little Wonders. Funny that my friend's blog is named after this song and being the PandaBlonde that I am didn't even let it register until this week when I thought to myself, "I wonder if she knows that this song says 'little wonders'?" Well, lo & behold, she has a line from the song in her header. Guess she knows about the song. Smile.

There are some things weighing very heavy on our heart. Things we absolutely must trust God for. We must rest in His peace. Choose to live in His presence so as to not get all bogged down in worry. Trust.

If you don't know the song and could care less about reading the lyrics below then just look it up somewhere in cyberspace. It is a great song.

Little Wonders
by Rob Thomas

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don't you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don't mind
if it's me you need to turn to
we?ll get by,
it's the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away but these small hours
these small hours, still remain,
still remain
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these little wonders still remain

After my cry last night and getting held by PP, I was able to pray, take some Tylenol PM (thank you, Jesus for those little blue & white tablets!) and sleep well. Weird, weird dreams (maybe from the little blue & white tablets), but good sleep. I was pleasantly greeted by my sparkling, shiny, clean kitchen that I worked on yesterday after my last post with the update.

It's those little things in these small hours that add up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

UPDATE: Pathetic Piling & Stuffing Disorder

I remembered this gal and decided to check her out again. I first heard about her TEN YEARS AGO. Just think---I could have been all put together that long ago. Come to think about it---if I would have put into practice everything that I heard about ten years ago I'd be skinny, rich and living the high life in my dream home. LOL!!

Live and learn along this journey one sweet gracious day at a time, right? ; )

True Confessions:

As much as I want to claim that I am organized, I have to admit that I am a piler/stuffer kinda gal.

I hate it!!! : (

I so want to be the kind of person who just seems to be able to put things away and have everything all nice and tidy.

Don't get me wrong. I keep a fairly clean, decent home, but it is because I have all these little piles everywhere. I feel like I've cleaned up one room only to find that I just moved the pile from one room to another or stuffed something in a drawer.

In the big scheme of life, this really isn't worry-worthy, but I just felt the need for a blog confession.

My lack of ability to keep things organized drives PandaPop C-R-A-Z-Y!! He still loves me though. ; )

I can get organized and I can stay that way if I try. I just haven't really tried in awhile. I am making a new commitment to try. Again.

I guess it runs in the family. Below is a pic of PandaGirl's art table. Poor kid.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Current Meme -#2

Outside My Window: it looks cold, wintry with teeny drifting snowflakes.

I am thinking: about several heavy issues out of my control.

I am thankful for: the peace that comes knowing that when things are out of my control I can rest trusting God to be in total control.

From the kitchen: I smell the aroma of scrumdillyumptious cookie/brownie bars I made for dinner exchange---today is my delivery day.

I'm wearing: Grey Baylor hoodie, black shirt, black jeans, black Mary Jane-like shoes with rainbow striped socks

I'm creating: a logo for children's camp 2011.

I'm going: to deliver my meals later---fajitas, black beans, cookie/brownie bars.

I'm reading: Fearless by Max Lucado.

I'm hoping: for some specific plans to work out that would really bless my little family.

I'm hearing: Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson playing from my iTunes on our Mac.

Around the house: Miao is napping on my coat, on the bed. I see a few small piles of stuff that need a home. Quiet.

One of my favorite things right now: Photoshop CS4

A few plans for the week: continue digging into Esther Bible Study, working on photos, dreaming of spring weather.

A picture to share: flowers from Valentine's Day from PandaPop

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Let's Talk About the Girls

Will I get in trouble for this post? I don't know. With whom would I be in trouble? I don't know that either. What I do know is that I don't normally post about such private matters. Well, this issue isn't so private for some, I guess.

I live in the very busy, worldly metropolitan area of North Texas. Dallas/Ft. Worth, for those of you not familiar with Texas lingo. We call it The Metroplex 'round these here parts. While living in Ft. Worth we got the feel of being in a wonderful large city that was hip and trendy while keeping the roots and "feel" of being a good ol' country boy, albeit large, Texas town.

Dallas, on the other hand, is a whole different animal. Arlington and several other cities come between these two metro areas and the shift from Cowtown and The Stockyards is mighty different once you enter "Dallas". For anyone who only has a vision of Dallas as the TV show represented in the 80's of Southfork Ranch then know that Dallas is NOTHING like that. Driving through Dallas on I-35 will allow the driver the opportunity to see several advertisements inviting all passersby to attend not one, but MANY "Gentlemen's Clubs".

There are MANY billboards luring men (and I guess some women, too) to come on in for "no cover charge" or for some "Eggs & Legs" or "always free lunch buffet". Pictured on these billboards are images of young women with sultry, seductive eyes and pouty lips. Let's not forget the squished together, pushed up boob*ies.

And here is where my post goes where it hasn't gone before.

I was driving yesterday through a one mile area where I literally saw three different billboards with ads luring takers into their webs. I've seen these lots of times, but for some reason my eye got stuck on the word "topless".

Please. Someone please help me understand the lure in this. OK--at first glimpse I can see why males (or females) would be all hot and bothered by some boob*ies just OUT THERE for all to see. I can see why the man with some "needs" (puh-leeze) would be happy gawking at breastages (yes, that's a real word....coined by someone close to me. HA!) all around him.

For awhile.

Then, here's my question for the "gentleman" (termed used so loosely that my bowels are tighter while having the squirts): doesn't it get old to be sitting there sipping his beer (I'm quite sure he didn't go in for a Dr. Pepper) trying to eat his "free" 85oz. steak and taters and those boob*ies are just RIGHT THERE? I mean, do the waitresses have long hair that cover "the girls" up to be sneaky or are they just jigglin' away while she toplessly balances her tray? I wonder if they are "cold" all night long? Do they get less tips for their headlights being off?

Maybe I have it ALL wrong since I have never been to a topless bar.

Please forgive my ignorance.

I am fully aware that males tend to adore looking at boob*ies and could do it much longer than their female counterparts. As Joey from "Friends" so aptly put it one time when talking to Rachel, "You just get to look down anytime you want and look at them!"

Wow. What a treat.

In all seriousness (if I possibly could be), my heart breaks for those topless waitresses or the ones dancing around poles and the gentlemen who need to be there. I just want to speak words of life to those precious creations of God that He made them and they have value. More value than a free lunch buffet could ever offer.

I make fun of the ridiculous-ness of the signage. I hurt for the ones seeking value in something other than God. I pray for my Man as well as for other men who are forced to either FORCE themselves to not look or they look and start the thoughts rolling. It is a battlefield.

Ouch. Do I seek value in something besides God, too?

Yeah. Pretty sure I do.

Give me your thoughts in the comments.

Be nice, though.

My girls are sensitive. ; )

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sweet Destiny

I have been going through this Bible study on the Book of Esther by Beth Moore on my own. Last year when I was working full-time I started it, but gave up after the first week because of my own lack of ability to do it along with all my other responsibilities at the time. However, God's timing is always perfect and I need this study more now than I did last year.

My mind is boggled at how incredibly insightful Beth is. I know God gives her wisdom and she is the absolute first to say she is unworthy of any glory and God is the giver of all she speaks. She is a humble and gifted teacher and speaker.

I adore her!!

She is one of my all time favorite people. I try not to put her on a pedestal because she is human and not perfect. Not only do I crave her teaching style I just flat out adore her quirky personality and I enjoy her so much. I personally know some friends who don't like her at all. That completely dumb-founds me. The woman's testimony and teaching are amazing. In several ways she reminds me I feel at home with her. Probably along with several thousand other women who feel the same way! LOL!

I've met her in person when we lived outside of Houston and I attended the Tuesday night Bible study of John, The Beloved Disciple. One of THE best experiences of my life!!! She has prayed over me and I have a darling pic of the two of us together. She wouldn't know me from Eve, but I know her. And I adore her.

If you've never done one of her many studies you are truly missing out on phenomenal teaching. Life-changing teaching. And some funny laughs, too! She is the genuine article and I hope to rise to the fullness of my own destiny as she has done in her life.

A life of complete and full abandon to Jesus.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moving Right Along

I have been working on getting things together for my photography business. There is so much to do and learn, but I love all of it! The pic above is a sampling of my logo which I am totally in love with! Soon and very soon I'll put a link to some photos, but for now, I'm still trying to figure out the best way to edit photos. Plus, since we were all sick for awhile and I did nothing with it....well, you know how that goes. Everything gets put aside until the house is all back in a regular routine again.

The great thing is that there is no rush on getting this business up and running "for real". I am waiting on funds to do what I need to do software and camera equipment wise and we just started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University so just sinking money into a new business is not our top priority right now.

I get such a RUSH from taking pics of people and then I could sit for hours on end editing the photos!! I can't wait to see where this road leads.....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year
~Year of the Tiger~

Cracks me up that all of us families with children from China love celebrating CNY and play up the whole "year of the...." experience, but to truth be told---I would NEVER celebrate any kind of astrology ANYTHING and that's all that the "year of the..." is! LOL We just think it's one way to be excited along with PandaGirl about her birth country. There's not much else to be positive for her concerning that country when issues come up about the mistreatment of the people there and how it is not all wonderful like Mulan and Kung Fu Panda portray. So, we will celebrate today The Year of the Tiger!....just for fun.

I took these pics right before Christmas to play with some camera settings and lighting outside. I learn so much every time I take pics and edit them. This photography venture gives me a rush and I love it, but I have soooo very much to learn!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Texas Snow Day 2010--Part TWO

About an hour after we came inside from making our PandaSnowFamily I peeked out and saw PandaSnowPop leaning over to PandaSnowMom!! Soooooo cute!!!

The pic below actually looks like us! LOL!!
Me getting the fresh snow right off the Jeep for our ice cream.
PandaGirl getting ready to make the stuff!
This would be her own fun 7 year old style concoction with food coloring.
We love watching cooking shows on the Food Network and had just finished watching the darling petite, skinny, Italian cook, Giada make something delightful so PG was imitating her style with the snow with step by step intructions! So cute!
Here is the real deal! We had to tint it blue for the cold effect. It was much more fun to make than to eat. Very gritty with sugar and our Watkins vanilla was way to strong. Still was cute! PP made a "cake-in-a-cup" in the microwave to go along with it.
Miao lounging around in the warm living room.
We have gotten at least six inches and it's STILL coming down nice and THICK at 3:40PM!
It is just so hard to capture on camera how thick it really is!
PandaPop was in his Jeep popping the top to get rid of the heavy weight bearing down on the rag top and I snapped the popping snow in action.
On of my dear friends in my dinner exchange group went ahead and kept her delivery date and brought us our food for tonight! So fun and she looks sooo darling!
To top it all off......she brought these yummy and very Valentine-y cupcakes! What a treat!!

Texas Snow Day 2010--Part ONE

Our fun Texas snow day that will only last one day and then hopefully spring will be on its merry way. This was around 7:30AM when we made our fun PandaSnowFamily and the day is full of more snow to come. Later we will be making snow ice cream!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ohhh, Just Call Me Weak!

I just couldn't stay away from this blog!

I love blogging.

I have no idea when it will ever stop or if it will ever stop. I do remember the days when over 100 people a day would read it or at least stop by. Why? Maybe because blogging and Face*Booking and Twit**tering weren't really popular when I first started this crazy thing and now most everyone who is cyber savvy has no time for reading about me. Go figure. LOL!

However, there is just some unexplained draw to write about real, mundane, funny, sad, spiritual, thought-provoking or mindless stuff for others to see....or not. I hate to think of it in Narcissistic terms because I don't ever want to be thought of as prideful, but really all of this social networking and posting about ourselves is just that: all about us. Not all about ME, but US. So we live in a more cyber focused age than ever before and as long as one keeps in the real world and has real relationships with people who have skin that is within reaching distance then I think all the cyber world is FUN. Just by not partaking in the techno-punch doesn't mean that life won't continue on, leaving behind anyone who doesn't choose to keep up.

There is already sooooooo very much that this blonde brain has NO CLUE about, technologically speaking, that is. But I can keep up with what I like to and one of those small things I can do is blog.

Over the past couple of weeks since I said I was going on a blog sabbatical we have spun a few circles.

*I took some great pics at another baby photo shoot of a four month old
*Learned how to put my logo on my photos as a watermark
*Taught myself how to tweak photos in Photo*shop (still TONS to learn!!!)
*Started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and am a table leader
*Got into full swing of my dinner exchange group
*Took pictures at a Daddy/Daughter event at our church
*Celebrated SIX years with PandaGirl on her Gotcha Day-Feb. 2nd
*Watched the FINAL season opener of LOST with friends!!
*Had a blast babysitting an adorable little toddler (TWICE!) for a friend whose college age daughter was in a terrible head-on car wreck (anyone who knows me, knows that babysitting is NOT my thing!!lol!!!)
*Endured strep throat along with PandaPop
*Rearranged our living room furniture
*Picked up two different friends kids from school a few times
*Been amazed at Beth Moore's Esther Bible Study
*Continuing to watch God do something in our life that is JOYful, but not sure how the outcome will be. I know one thing: no matter what.....we will still have His JOY.

The darling picture above is a shirt I bought for the little one that stayed with us a few days. It looks like her and makes me smile, too. The pic below is what we got to enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday while dreaming of buffalo wings, chips & queso and some Dr. Pepper.

Can't wait to see what the next amazingly wonderful and profound post will be about!