Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oh sure ... Leaf out NOW....

Yes, this beautiful
shiny red leafed plant
is growing. in my yard.

We didn't know it was a climbing vine in our yard,
until April 2, 2011.

When I went out and "cut back" some vines, unknowingly cutting this vine too.
It had no leaves. Who could tell.
See how Thick that vine is?!

It's the really thick one, with a small vine and leaves coming out,
just under that clamp thingy on the fence post.
Yeah, it's old and thick.
and trying to kill me.

and to make matters worse...
It's completely entwined into the honeysuckle vines and
the fencing.

Cause, what fun is it,
unless it's it is really embedded.

Okay, so it's poison ivy. Really old and deeply rooted Poison Ivy. The kind I have never caught until now poison ivy.

and to boot, now I have had an allergic reaction to Keflex.

So, we will be (eventually, this week I'm painting and recovering from the rash and reaction) having someone who is immune to Poison killya Ivy (thanks Scott K.) come over and help remove this icky stuff.

Just wanted you all to see the culprit. :)

Back to our regularly scheduled sleep, eat and painting week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lotsa Lotsa Lotsa goings on.

this little table needs to get a bit bigger

(truthfully, we currently seat 5 at this table with the leaf in!)

We plan to seat 6 and maybe more (eventually, not all at once apparently)

We had part 1 of 3 of our homestudy visit Wednesday.
We have part 2 on Friday and part 3 on Monday.

Very exciting.
A little stressful (who knew my house could get even cleaner! ha)

The Lord has been pulling on our heartstrings lately.
About adoption,
the call to care for the orphan.

We began headed toward a domestic newborn adoption,
then curved over toward an international adoption
and now, we think simply domestic.
Though we remain open to hear His heart.

I ran across a blurb on a blog about a waiting sibling group.
and well.
my heart. was increased.

I would say broken, but I think it simply enlarged.
I was completely pierced for these siblings.
In my prayer life and in the natural and in this joyrney of adoption.
(Yes, I saw the typo, I think it appropos)

We stood up and said yes,
and today they called back and said no,
It looks like we aren't big enough on paper for them to say yes to four at once.
Their country wants to see more money in land, trusts, insurance and
savings to take on such a big blessing all at once.
and honestly
it is okay with me.

To go back to thinking of taking on only one at a time.

We have been praying all along for our Father's heart for the orphan.
His great love for them to be poured out somehow through us.
We will be blessed beyond measure no matter how we grow.

So we joyfully flounder through endless amounts of paperwork,
and education requirements.

And try and plan things like Fundraisers.

We are having our first fundraiser on Monday April 18th.
A local restaurant/pub is giving 10% of sales that day AND
having a silent auction of which 100% of the funds go to our adoption.

and I can try to apply for grants when our homestudy is finished.

The garden is getting planted,
things are really growing around here.
Including the sizes of our hearts.
Incredible blessing.

Thanks God.

My Love Language .. Or How He talks to me

I received 4 text messages at 4:44 on 4/14.

If you are close to me, you totally get why this is pertinent.

It's how He talks to my heart. and I love it when I am listening well enough to hear Him.

Today 4/14. I got 4 text messages at 4:44.

IF you haven't seen Bruce Almighty ... you know "I'm available at 7 on the 7th". You totally should. It is a funny movie. and He really does speak in the small things, about the small things.

and this #4, to me is no small thing, but it is a 4th small thing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I am too growing things...

So, yesterday I turned these leggy plantlings...

Really, really Leggy seedlings

Into lovely, more uniform ...


These are my pepper, tomato and eggplants.

I am trying a couple of new varieties this year.

I cannot wait to see how they all do.


Seriously ... poison whatever...

Main Affected Arm
began breaking out last Tuesday after exposure Sunday during high winds.
Both arms have it, the left is patchier and the right is weepier.

That is the top of the right arm, on top of scar tissue from last year's run in.
I am now breaking out in little bumps all across there.

And this is my left ankle, a little streak turned into a nasty round patch
which is getting more bumps all around the original streak. And this is my side/tummy,
I can only guess it caught the urushiol oil when leaves and bark flew down my tank top.
It was completely protected with clothing.
yet it has streaks of bumps.

I also have it on my face under my right eye and
on my neck and behind my ears. (my hair was up)
I think I have some on my scalp too.

and yes, I have been scratching. Mostly as I sleep, I wake myself scratching.
so I stop and go back to sleep.

I have tried to be very vigilant and not scratch, rather use the Ivy Stop spray and hydrocortisone.

But, I am only human.

The spray did stop a patch on my chest from getting too bad,
rather it is a patch of red leather now. I have the same red patch under my eye,
no blisters, just leathery skin.

Just so you know... It's official.
You can catch poison oak when it has no leaves.

No problem. I have Antibiotic now and some different steroid anti-itch cream.

We'll see how it all does.

Did I mention we have our homestudy visit in 2 days.


Excuse me while I clean.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thanks for stopping by...

I just joined in with the Ultimate Blog party and have been having fun cruising all around reading people's blogs.

Funny fact about me: I always feel silly leaving a comment on someone's blog. So sometimes I do and most times I don't. I am trying to get better.

I have been blogging for just over 3 years.

I love blogging and I learn so much reading other people's blogs.

We have 3 children and 1 angel baby in heaven.

We are now in the process of adoption. We were headed domestically, But the Lord has changed us over to a sibling group internationally - Taiwan. More on that later.

I am a plein air painter, I homeschool my children and love to garden.

Thanks for stopping by!
Visit often.

~ Paige

My arch nemesis ...

Poison Oak ... has returned with a vengeance!

I have it on both my arms, my chest and neck and my tummy and under one eye.

Righteous Rashes Batman.

It does look to be better than last time. I worked outside last Saturday and started breaking out on Tuesday ... and it keeps spreading. It was very windy so it must have spread the oil all over my skin.

I might post pics and I might not. It is not pretty.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Anniversary Weekend ... Wurstfest 2011

Sunrise over Hermann
the view from our room

I wish I had my paints with me...

The fireplace in our room

Gorgeous view on the way in to Hermann

Dessert brought to our room at 9:30p
Two chocolate cake/brownies
and ice cream with raspberry sauce.

this was our welcome tray
at wurstfest there was a booth with hilarious mustaches as part of their decor ... so we cut up ...

"You must pay the rent"

"I can't pay the rent"

"I'll pay the rent"

Happy Anniversary
to us.

Mr. BR

the four of us hanging out in Hermann

Yeah ... this is the wurst hat.

us, again,
aren't we cute!

The other day ...

Remember this painting

Before Stellan got his Miracle.

Now he is a healthy happy handsome little guy.

I became a follower of her blog. and found many a blog that has humored and/or helped me along my way, simply by reading her blog and comments.

Two blogs of note:
I met Angie Smith (Her book I will Carry You = Lifechanging)
and Ann Voskamp (Her book 1000 Gifts = Lifechanging)

Anyway ... Thursday March 31 = we were totally blessed to pop over to a local rv park and visit with MckMama (yup, Stellan's mom) and her entire family.

They have borrowed an RV and are traveling cross county for a month or so. Enjoying the fresh air, meeting people in different cities and giving photo shoots (She is a stellar photographer).

We did not get to have a photo shoot :( that money needed to be saved for our adoption fund)

So, being myself. I emailed her a few days before they left to travel and arranged to have a picnic lunch with them right before her afternoon photo shoots at Laumeier sculpture park. It was a blast. Our children ran around with all her children and their puppy. Husbands talked, wives talked. It was great fellowship.

and fantastic to meet someone whose family has been in our prayers for over 2 years. :)

and still being myself... I neglected to take a single photo. and didn't have her take any either.
shoot. Oh well. My children were thrilled to meet them and hang out with them.

Beautiful Weather & Great People :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

so, I totally stole, um "borrowed" this post...

from my new favorite blog ... Sit a spell

because I read the book. and loved it. and loved this post. :) thanks Heather!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Gift of One Thousand Gifts

I received the sweetest gift yesterday. In the mail. For me. Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. A blog reader sent it to me. A handwritten note was hidden inside. Beautiful words. Lovely handwriting. I am an admirer of pretty handwriting. Mine is atrocious, so I marvel when I see words so wonderfully written. Thank you, "mbs" for this perfectly timed gift. You sent it a month ago. It just arrived. We could blame Haiti's mail system. I choose to believe that God knew I needed this book today. Now.

"Really, when you bury a child - or when you just simply get up every day and live life raw - you murmur the question soundlessly. No one hears. Can there be a good God? A God who graces with good gifts when a crib lies empty through long nights, and bugs burrow through coffins? Where is God, really? How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away. Where hides the joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life is full of hurt? How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?" (Chapter 1, One Thousand Gifts)

Three pages into this book and unexpected tears were streaming down my face. Three pages and Ann Voskamp had already burrowed deep into the hidden parts of my soul, pulled up a chair, and gently said..."Let's talk about this. Cry. Let it all out." She squeezes my hand and whispers, "I know." The words in this book galloped through my soul...fast...hard...like a naughty horse heading straight for the barn.

Set the book down on the bed. Turn over. Let the hot tears fall. There is no stopping them. "God I want to know that you are good. And not just to me. To other people. To these people."

I know a Kingdom is coming. Sick babies. Sad mothers. Hungry kids. Abused women. Molested children. God will heal this. One day. We'll sing the song of justice. He'll wipe away these tears. The wrong will be made right. Restoration. One day. In the midst of all the hopelessness....my heart. It hurts. It hurts. It aches inside my chest for God's Kingdom to come.

But I want to be like the man in the Bible who said...

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

I want to know that God is good today. In this Kingdom. This broken one. In the overwhelming sadness, I don't want to miss where God is already working all things for good. I want to hear the sound of a Kingdom advancing. Rejoice over the times when we get to see a glimpse of His will being done. Right here, like it is in heaven. I want to hear the song of redemption in Haiti. Celebrate the gift of seeing a glimpse of the Kingdom that is coming when wrongs are made right, the hungry are fed, the truth is declared, the weak protected.

One day we'll sing of God's goodness and grace so loudly, all creation will join in. But today...today. I just want to hear it. Hum it.

Me again:

I read this book and followed the video chapter by chapter at incourage bloom and was inspired to begin my own 1000 gifts journal. and just because. He is.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Remember this face...

right before the last class of swim lessons this session...

His stance:
I'll go, but I won't like it.

which is in fact incorrect,
he did like it.
a little.

and he worked hard

for swim lessons,
you couldn't ask for a more encouraging instructor!

She was very happy to work with him.

this first floating
he kept his left leg out of the water the whole time

His instructor is amazed
and happy he is floating!

I think he looks a little tense here,
but he is flat on his back and kicking well.

Medium, preparing to "dive" in

He held on each time he jumped in...

He did jump 3 times.

and then there is this one:

"I can't want swim lessons."
so, neither of the boys will be following my swimming footsteps (at least right now)
but they both have a healthy fear of water and
enjoy getting their feet wet
and blowing bubbles with faces in water.
At least I know they will be safer this summer around our little inflatable pool.

It might have been worth those first 3 weeks where small
screamed and cried
the entire 30 minutes of class.



Saturday, April 2, 2011

True Story ...

Beginning an adoption is like asking God to visibly demonstrate that you have absolutely no control over anything and truly have no idea what is good for you. It also is asking God to put on display how amazingly beautiful, loving, creative, mighty, and all-powerful He is!

and a whole lotta Hurry Up and Wait.


Missing a Flamingo ...

Flamingo is in honor of Mom
who passed away 4 years ago today.

Which got me to thinking.
When someone dies, and time has passed,
you look around and realize, they simply aren't there.

and you miss them.

I think of the orphan
whose parents simply are not there.

and how great the need is for them
to have a mommy and daddy to be there for them.

stability and someone to count on...

to kiss and hug and love and laugh
and hold them when they are hurting
and cry with them
and understand when they are missing someone or something
and to rejoice with them
over everyday wonderful things
and spectacular once in a lifetime things

and I think about our child(ren)
who are not with us yet
but may be alone
or missing someone
who undoubtedly
are missing having their mommy and daddy

and my arms feel empty
and my heart aches

and I plant things.
to symbolize growth and life.

in the midst of brokeness and death.

and I think about my mommy.

I miss her.

I am sad she doesn't see my children.

all of them.

these were her hyacinth
and her narcissus.

and they bloom every year,
no matter where I replant them.

and they were her mothers before that.

and now, on to gardening...

Our bare root crop was planted today. :) I put 100 Strawberry plants into a pyramid and some planters today. It was fantastic weather and the boys were able to get a little vitamin D digging in the dirt in the spot where we plan (ha, someday) to put in that brick patio.

and these are my brussels and broccoli.

and these are the blueberries.
The two on either end in front are looking spectacular.
laden with blossoms, that will be fruit soon.

this is the small strawberry planter.

These are the two larger planters.
(I bought all three for $5 at a yard sale. I know.)

This is my strawberry pyramid.
It has about 75 plants in it now.

It will be even lovelier when it is covered with netting and
has green plants leafing and blooming
and the sprinkler is on!

these are the peas.

2 rows.
We'll see.
Last year they flopped out on me early.
This year I got them in the ground at least 3 weeks earlier.
I will also replant them in the fall.

The garden looks like this so far.
I need to add a little more mulch.
and the rest of the seeds and plants.

and a dozen earthboxes in the middle there,
on either side of the steps.
*the steps are so the children can run through the garden*