Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't you just love a good blog post?

You won't find any here....at least not today! BUT

Check this one out! I could have lots to say about it, but I want you to read it yourselves.

I am so thrilled that we got to be a part of it!!!

I'll be back tonight or tomorrow to post some pictures from the last couple of days!

Have a safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

T-shirt Giveaway!!!!

Do you ever feel lost when you are without your laptops, computers, phones, and all other things gadgety? Well, I have felt that way over the last couple of days. My laptop's system board had to be replaced. It was only gone for a couple of short days, but within it's little plastic casing was all of my precious photos of the last 4-5 years of our lives, my emails, some important and some not-so important documents, and all the email addresses to my friends. Thankfully, my laptop is still under warranty and they came out to our house, fixed it for free, and I am back up and running!!!! Ahhhh, feels good!

In the meantime of my computer being down, I was able to spend some much needed time studying and was also able to write 13 letters and get them sent off. Now I only have 4 more to write and then I will be caught up!

I will be updating more soon, but right now-I want to tell you about a GIVEAWAY!

You might have read in my previous post that me and a few others will be fasting on November 27th and will spend the day in thought and prayer for the children and their families living in poverty. I am aware that November 27th is Thanksgiving-a day that usually consists of A LOT of eating! Yes, this would mean no turkey, no stuffing, and no apple pies, but what a great day to spend giving thanks by being in prayer for those who have little to none.

Please consider joining us! In no way am I trying to say that if you don't join us, you should feel guilty or that you don't care about these families. I understand that fasting isn't for everyone. Maybe you have to eat for health reasons and you would like to give something up (like that apple pie) for Thanksgiving. Maybe you want to be in prayer with us that day. What I'm talking about is being thankful for the plentiful amount that God has given us by giving our time, thoughts, concern, and prayer to those who don't have enough.

One of the things that I would love to do is to encourage everyone joining us to purchase THIS shirt (I LOVE mine BTW-my husband says it's slimming!) and wear it on the Fast and Feast day to show that we are united in fasting and prayer for these families.

Sign-up by making a comment to this post and I will add your name into a drawing for one of the t-shirts compliments of me. You will be able to pick one of the 4"Please" shirts in either Bengali, Amharic, Portuguese, or Creole.

I will draw a name on November 19th to insure it's delivery to the winner before Fast & Feast day!!!

Sign-ups

1.myself (I'm not in the drawing though)
2.Brittany C.
3.Benita H.
4.Bill B.
5.Carol L.
6.Miztremblay
7.Tina

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fast and Feast

My grandparents use to live in Port Aransas, TX when I was younger. It's an island in the Gulf of Mexico by Corpus Cristi. I always loved visiting my grandparents there. I remember the love and excitement in my grandparent's eyes when we came and the sadness in all of them when we left. My sister and I use to spend a lot of time walking around the island to all the surf shops and the souvenir shops, walking down to the grocery store for my grandma, and roller skating at the local EMS Auxiliary building where my grandma was always excited to take us to play bingo.

Sometimes, my parents would let us stay at their house so that we could spend more time with our grandparents. My parents then would make the long 10-11 hour haul back to Oklahoma and then dad would come pick us up the following weekend. During this time, we loved to learn to cook from grandma. I remember her looking at us and telling us how much she had looked forward to the day she could teach her grandkids to cook. I don't remember a whole lot of what we cooked, but I do remember my first thing was green beans-haha! Then there was "the" cheesecake. My grandma made a FANTASTIC cherry pie, but that cheesecake....well.....was not to be eaten!

My sister and I always did a little different cooking on our own. My grandparents had a detached garage and my sister and I liked to pretend it was our house. Right outside the garage, nestled in the yard of stickers (the prickly kind that keeps you from walking anywhere without shoes) was a slab of concrete. That slab of concrete was our working space to make pies. Not grandma's pies, but MUD pies.

Now, we didn't eat our mud pies. Who would?

Well, that is where the story shifts. As I remember those times of making mud pies that we pretended where delicious chocolate pies or cookies, just over 1400 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico is another island where people are making mud pies and this is not the only place. There is one huge difference in our pies though.

Mine and my sister's childhood mud pies---pretend.

Haitian mud pies---REALITY.

Please, please stay with me. Don't look away.



Photo and following quotes come from this article

"Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. "When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too," she said.......Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases....

A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered."

My stomach is sick thinking about it. My blood is pumping fast.

What about you?

Will you use those feelings to do something? Or will you file it away or even toss it to the side?

In this post, you might remember me saying, "here real soon, I will be asking you to join me in doing something towards the end of the year. Something that has been on my heart for over 2 months. Between now and then, I am praying that each one of our blog readers considers joining me in spending just one day focused on others over ourselves. More to come on that though! :)"

It is time.

I'm not going to be asking you to eat mud pies to get the feel of what these people's reality is. I'm not going to ask you to sell everything you own.

What I am asking is on November 27th, that you join me in fasting from food and feasting in prayer for all sisters, mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles.....all of God's children living in poverty.

Also, the week of the 27th (November 23-30th) we will be having a money drive to benefit them by giving to Compassion International's Global Food Crisis Fund. More details will come on that at a later time, but I will tell you now--You do not have to give to be a part of the fasting and prayer and there is no set amount to give if you do.

Now, you may have noticed our Fast & Feast day is on Thanksgiving. Oh, yes-this is by no mistake!

Take a moment to think about it.

So here is what I want you to do--Think about it. Pray about it. If God puts it in your heart to join me, come back and add your name to the list by leaving a comment. Invite your friends and family to join. Have them stop by and add their name to the list or add it for them.

Lets show satan that his lies he tells the poor are just that-LIES. The people living in poverty eating not much more than mud cakes matter to God and they matter to us!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Psalm 63:4

I have been meaning to blog about this for last week. I haven't for various reasons, but I've decided to go ahead and share.

The other day, Chris, Aleeyah, and I were in the living room. We had the radio turned on to one of the local Christian music stations. We were listening to Chris Tomlin's, How Great is Our God. Here is a video if you are unfamiliar with it.



Chris and I were sitting on the couch and Aleeyah was standing in front of us. Chris and I were deep in conversation and weren't really paying much attention to what Aleeyah was doing. Nearing the end of the song, I looked over at Aleeyah. There was my three year old standing in front of the radio with her head thrown back looking to the ceiling with her hands lifted. I quickly got Chris' attention without getting Aleeyah's. We couldn't do anything but watch. I truly believe, she wasn't just looking towards the ceiling, but looking beyond that. Far beyond that.

This may not sound like much to those who have been raised in a congregation that raise their hands on a regular basis in song and in prayer. You might be thinking...she is just mimicking what everyone else does in worship services on Sunday. BUT we come from a long line of congregations that believe that raising your hands in prayer/song is being un-orderly-just one step away from doing the macarena in the pew. In fact, the fact that we listen to christian music with the accompaniment of musical instruments in our home would surely have given us a one way ticket to hell. Growing up, we were allowed to listen to country, rap, hip hop, or any other music that spoke of divorce, cheating, drugs, gangs, sex, but mention God-and it was turned off.

Now, before I get a ton of emails/comments with scriptures such as Psalm 63:4, 1 Timothy 2:8, 1 Corinthians 10:31....the list could go, I don't personally believe that these past thoughts are the way that I should worship. Do I raise my hands in church now? No. But it's not because I believe it's wrong, but because I'm not comfortable with it for me-at least yet. Even though the congregation that we have been attending does this from time to time.

Getting back to topic-Aleeyah isn't in worship with us so she wouldn't see the people who occasionally lifts their hands during worship. She goes to children's church. As I say that, I can hear yet another gasp from fellow church of Christ members.

As you can imagine, with our past worship beliefs, I was a little taken back in the first few seconds.

What's going on?

It only took those couple of seconds for me to realize that my daughter was worshiping God and nothing could make me happier.

As the song ended, Aleeyah dropped her arms and turned around and looked at her parents staring at her with amazement.

My eyes were filled with tears. My entire body felt warm all over. My heart was filled with pure joy.

How GREAT is OUR God!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Patch



Aleeyah and I went to a pumpkin patch this afternoon with a couple of moms/daughters from MOPS. We had a great time! Here are some pictures from our afternoon.....




















BTW-We didn't end up making it out to the park to take more pics of Aleeyah in her costume. It is suppose to rain for a few days so I am not seeing it happen this week either.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cinderella shooting!

No, I don't mean that Cinderella was shot! Cinderella....camera.....photo shoot.....get it?

Remember this?

Well, we are a little less than 2 weeks away from Halloween!

I found a park that I wanted to take Aleeyah to so that I could take her pictures in her Cinderella dress. Chris and I had planned on taking her this evening to do just that, but I never actually mapped it out. Chris went to look it up just before we left and we realized it was about 45 minutes away. If we would have went, we wouldn't have had enough light. So we just took her out in front of the apartments to get a few shots. Honestly, it was killing me to not share with you guys. We are going to try to take her to that other park tomorrow for a few shots that I just HAVE to have! If we end up going, I'll post those tomorrow.

She absolutely loves her dress and really enjoyed getting dressed up for the pictures (she better! does she know what I went through to make it for myse......her? haha). It's amazing how you can put a princess dress on a 3 year old and all the sudden she turns about 10 years older and acts the role quite perfectly! I have to admit, I had a bit of a mom moment and started to tear up. My baby girl looked so beautiful and not so babyish anymore.

I still need to find her gloves to complete her look. I hope that I can still find them this week!

Alright, here are the pics! They aren't the best, but it was a last minute effort! Let me know what you think!!!!

BTW-the swirly graphics are something for digital scrapbook and I am completely aware that they are not good quality. I wanted to make you aware so that you didn't think that I wasn't aware and think that I thought that it looked nice close up when in fact...it doesn't! And for some reason-no matter what I do-blogger is squishing my last photo! Okay....I feel better!





Friday, October 17, 2008

Just another tag-ful Friday. Whoa-oh!



My friend, Jill, tagged me. Oh, yes, another tag! But I do believe this one will be more interesting than the last.....maybe....

7 Random/Weird things about yours truly!

1. I have grown up with a clear dislike for anything green that can be eaten. Green beans, guacamole, peas, etc. I've even been known to not eat green M&Ms, skittles, cake sprinkles. I have in my later years found a love for Granny Smith green apples and green, leafy lettuce.

2. Staying in the food line-I have major texture issues. Too long to go into too many details. I eat my veggies raw because then they are crunchy. This would include potatoes. I stay away from fruits because they are on the mushy side (besides for my green apples). Grapes are the worst-the squirt in your mouth when you bite into them. To make it worse, green grapes fall into the....well.....I-dont-eat-green-things category. I like chicken. It has good consistency, but severely dislike (can I say "hate" in this instance?) hamburger meat. It falls apart in your mouth and that's just nasty. I don't eat things that have mushy and crunchy things in the same dish. Add slimy, worm like onions and I think I might just get sick.

My stomach feels achy just thinking about meatloafs and guacamole so I will have to finish up without anymore continuation of my "food disorders".

3. Ahhh another weird thing about me.......I grew up with a split toenail that I inherited from my dad. Thanks DAD! I don't have it anymore after the thousands of attempts to rip it out of the skin. It finally worked.

........okay, that doesn't help the already sick stomach and you probably just started feeling a little queasy.

4. I also share a fascination of office products with Jill! I use to look at the Office Depot catalog all the time. Dreaming of the days, that I could buy file organizers and pencil cups! (okay, I still do that from time to time)

I just asked my husband to name a weird thing about me and he said, "You like big butts and you cannot lie". Now if you don't know what I'm talking about-clearly, you haven't lived. KIDDING!

5. I don't know all of the simple multiplication. I don't know if that makes me weird or just dumb, but it's true. I hated Math in school. Of course, I can always figure out what 8x3 or 9x8 is but it's going to require fingers.

6. I have a weird sleeping thing that has sent me to the emergency room. In very, very short-when startled awake during deep sleep, I cannot move. I appear to be having seizures-according to Chris and paramedics. I can open my eyes but they are moving in crazy like when you are in REM sleep. I can't talk. My sensitivity to light and sound is greatly increased and if either is too bright or too loud it will send me into involuntary, uncontrollable crying fits and kicking followed by hyperventilation. Most of the time, I come out of it within 30 minutes, but there are several times where it took me over 2 hours to regain all movement and speech. On top of all of that, I am conscious the entire time so I just feel like I have gone crazy!

Will you still be my friend? I promise, I'm not TOO crazy!

7. I do not like green eggs and ham.

Okay, so the last one isn't weird-I'm just bailing out. I would have said I DID like green eggs and ham, but in fact, I've had them and I don't like them. Why? Refer to point #1.



For my tags......

Kelly Ty - she tagged me last time-PAYBACKS!!! :)
Brittany C - she needs something else to do! lol
Jeana S - she's got to have something weird about her ;)
Jess B - I believe she is even more random than me
Carol L - any mom that dies her hair purple....well.... love ya Carol!
Kari C - she is a fun lady-she will have something fun to say!
Kelly Th - she is funny and should be cheap entertainment!

The Big Leaf Hunt!

The day before yesterday, Aleeyah and I decided to go on a walk on the trails after the rain. I love this time of year when all the leaves are changing colors and we loved it even more with all the puddles of water on the paths and the leaves still dripping.

We had a great time finding leaves of all colors. We brought them home and enjoyed showing them to Chris. We are letting them dry out and then will use them for a craft project of sorts.

Aleeyah also found a snail crossing the trail that she named Smogul. We didn't keep him of course, but enjoyed his company for a short time.

Anyway-I won't continue to ramble on. Although, I had every intention of doing so. :) I'll save it for another day!







Thursday, October 16, 2008

Please

There is a great post over at Compassion's blog right now. It's about the Global Food Initiative and joining the fight against global food crisis. The global food crisis is one that I blog about most. Sponsoring a child is the most effective way of helping these hungry children and their families, but if you feel that you cannot commit to the once a month cost of $32.00-please, consider giving to the food crisis fund.

I encourage you to go over and read the post and even visit the Global Food Initiative website. It has lots of great valuable information and tips on how you can make a difference.

Here is a little sample of what the post today is saying....

"Under the burden of the global food crisis, the hungry are more hungry, poverty is more overwhelming. The need for food is more desperate, and the word falling from every hungry mouth, I imagine, is, “Please.”"

So they have asked us in putting out our hands and asking "Please". "Please" for the 854 MILLION people across the world who are hungry. "Please" for the 16,000 children who die EVERY DAY from hunger-related causes. That amounts to one child every 5 seconds.

For me, what pains my heart the most, is thinking of a helpless child having to say "Please" for food. They shouldn't be working for food. They shouldn't be sold or have to sell themselves as sex slaves for food. They shouldn't have to beg for food.

My daughter means the world to me and I couldn't imagine her having to put out her hands and say "Please" for a even a crumb of food.

Just take a moment to imagine......

Be disgusted. Be angry. Cry. Weep.

Do what you need to do to be THE change that each of these children and their families need.



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mothers with empty arms across the world

If you have sent me an email that you fully expected me to reply to and I have not done so, it's not because I don't love you! Apparently, I need to rely a little less on Outlook to retrieve my mail and actually go to my webmail from time to time to see what is sitting in there. I had several emails that were not downloaded into my Outlook.

One of which included my Compassion bloggers assignment for today! Grrrrr. I thought it was kind of cool and crazy that some of my friends were blogging about Compassion today. Cool that they are spreading the word about the fact that poverty is real, but crazy that they all decided to do it today! Once I came across my abandoned email, it made a little more sense.

I read over at another blogger friend's site that today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I couldn't imagine the feelings that mothers are faced with everyday from miscarriages, still births, and from loosing a child. The pain at times, I am sure feels unbearable.

Today is also Blog Action Day. Blog Action Day is s an annual on-line effort to get as many people as possible talking about one crucial issue in hopes of inspiring action and bringing about change. I think that it is by no mistake that these 2 days are shared together. Why? Because this year's focus for Blog Action Day is to bring attention to a rising crisis.....POVERTY.

How do these 2 go hand in hand? Poverty steals infants and children from their mothers through hunger, AIDS, and diseases. Poverty replaces the joy of motherhood when a mother has to decide what is best for her children or how often they will eat-leaving children dying from hunger related causes. No mother wants this for her child. No mother wants to see her children cry. No mother wants to weep because she has lost another precious baby.

But she does.

She cries......just as you and I would.

BUT where people are, there is Jesus. Where Jesus is, there is hope.

As you know, I am a strong supporter of Compassion International's efforts in the fight against poverty. One of the ways that I have not talked about to help through Compassion is through their Child Survival Program.

Here is a video talking about the program and what they do. It's just a little over 3 minutes. Will you take the time?


So as we remember today the mothers who have lost their children, will you remember the mothers having to watch their children die for unnecessary reasons. Reasons that could be changed, if you and I just locked arms together to make a difference.

If you and I do.....I wonder who would follow.

I know the task seems overwhelming, but God is on our side. He gave us the desire to love.

So will you love these mothers and children today? Will you make a commitment to be their voice? Will you fight for them? Will you be disgusted by the dying and choose to say, "I WILL NOT stand by and let this happen!"?

There are so many ways to help. Find one today that touches your heart.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is your house organizingly empty or cluttered?

Most of my evenings (of course, after we put Aleeyah to bed) consists of checking email/blogs and possibly replying then or I will decide they can wait until the morning. I try at least once a week, I check my logs to make sure there isn't any children that I write to who has been overdue for a letter, postcard, or something of the sorts. If there are then I will take some time to write. Then once I am done with those things, I reward myself with a nightly bath. I use this time to indulge in reading a book, a magazine that my mil gave me, or even a pamphlet of sorts while the water is running. I spend the next 15-20 minutes involved in reading and spending a little Abbie time. It's nice. It's relaxing. More importantly, it's void of a 3 year old little girl splashing water at you or attempting to wash your hair.

Last night, I was reading a magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, that my m-i-l left over at our house just a couple of weekends ago when they were here visiting. I enjoy reading her hand-me-down magazines. They are home type magazines and I like to look at them for decorating, craft, and food ideas. Because I didn't purchase them, I feel comfortable not reading every page and only look at the pictures if I feel like it. I also love that the reuse of the magazines works well with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle theme that we as a family are trying to adopt.

I came across an article titled "Nobody's perfect-and Thank Heaven for That". The picture is what caught my attention the most. It is a picture of a lady standing on a ladder trying to trim a hedge. At first glance, you see this woman trimming a very large hedge in a tear drop shape. The yard is green and mowed. The hedges are clean. She is wearing a sky blue dress that has 2 strings that come to a perfect bow in the back and finishes her look with some sandals. Her ponytail is perfect and her roots don't appear to need touched up. You can only see the back of her, but she appears to be a mom that has it together. Why do I say a mom? I don't know for sure. The yard isn't cluttered by toys. I don't see any kids at the bottom of the latter shaking it and yelling, EARTHQUAKE!

Maybe it's just because I can relate to her. As a woman, a wife, and a mom, sometimes I feel like we are expected to do such things. Like we aren't allowed to put on our clothes that we have worn over and over while painting the house and tennis shoes that are caked with mud from all the times that we picked up our children and walked through the mud-opposed to just letting our children attempt to jump it like we did. Instead we feel that we have to put on our cutest, little sundress and coordinating shoes while we help with the yard work so our husbands won't have to do it when they get home.

I know that there are many of you saying right now, "I would just put on the grubby clothes", but isn't there a little piece inside of you that hopes no one will see you so that you don't destroy your womanly or cute mom status?

So I read the article. It starts out saying....

The house looks thrillingly perfect. The burnished blank horizon of the coffee table is disrupted only by the slender stalk of narcissus rising from a dish of glass pebbles. The spotless cream of the sofa with coordinating pillows matches cream-colored walls graced by polished squares framing black-and-white photographs of immaculate children.

Of course, they're not my children. My children are here in the living color, sprawled out next to me on a couch decorated with cracker crumbs, in a sunlit living room strewn with colored pencils and drawings of planet Zort. The kids are pressing their dirty, bare feet on me and screaming with laughter while I beg, ''Give me two more minutes with the Pottery Barn catalog-please.'


I thought this was a very funny visual. Because I too have sat and looked at the pictures in the Pottery Barn catalog-imagining my life in those rooms. The baskets are neatly placed on the shelves and perfectly labeled by tiny chalkboards that lay perfectly straight on each basket. I imagine if the baskets were filled-there would be no Lego's where the Barbies are suppose to go. There wouldn't be any Playdoh mashed in between all the little tiny pieces of straw-making it impossible to get clean. Those black-and-white pictures would be replaced with my kids from the time we went on the most amazing vacation to a secluded island. The first picture would be of my daughter standing in the sand just far enough away to see the ocean with a glimpse of the sun sinking into the water. She would be clothed in a white sundress and barefoot with the wind just slightly blowing her hair-just enough to capture the perfect moment. The moment that you can share with someone else and say, "Look how we have it together".

But our lives in the Hamblin are not that. Mine, as a mom, is more like what the author shares about her own life. There are picture frames on my walls that are empty. I couldn't begin to imagine how much food is caked into the carpet. The house isn't always clean. The beds aren't always made. My kid's hair is crazy from sleeping last night and she is still wearing her PJs.

One of the things that I loved this weekend was my time I was able to spend with my friends, Kandi and Greg. Kandi has a humor about her that is so honest and I can't help but feel comfortable about my sometimes un-confident ability to parent Aleeyah. You know those times, when you just don't know that you are doing the right thing or you just have no idea which choice is best for them. During our time together, we confessed some of our "mom moments" and nothing could have made me feel more relaxed. In fact the next day, we laughed about our children playing under the table together at the restaurant and wondered at what point we would find them across the room yelling for us. I felt confident is saying, "Yes, my kid is crazy sometimes because she is a kid and there are times I just don't want to control it."

So this morning, I look at my daughter who needs a bath, some clothes on for the day, and has a bad case of bed head. I look at my house-cluttered with a pile of laundry from emptying the luggage, a bowl of Spaghetti-O's on the couch from Aleeyah's breakfast, and the endless mountain of toys in Aleeyah's room that desperately needs to be cleaned up and reorganized. And I say-you know, it's not the most important thing in life. It's really not and I guarantee that when I do clean it up, I won't look like the cutest mom ever. My hair will be in a crooked pony tail with hair falling down, I will probably be wearing a t-shirt and shorts, and my toe-nails will still need to be repainted.

The author of the magazine article also points out a rhetorical question from Albert Einstein-"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"

My house is lived in, my child is in color-complete with orange spaghetti stains, and I am a wife and mom that isn't always put together.

I don't believe I want an empty house filled with empty baskets.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lag, Bag, Nag, Tag

We made it back home! I will update you guys a little later on our trip. I don't know if that will be tonight or not. I've got a bit of car-LAG from the trip and am really thinking about skipping the replies to emails and blogs for tonight.

Also, I really need to go down to the car and bring up our BAGs. Chris is busy trying to finish up his school work that is due at midnight so I told him I would take care of the luggage. So, I suppose, I should probably take care of it or else he might just NAG me! :)

But until then, I leave you with a little TAG. I was tagged by Kelly of The Adventures of Sophie and Family. They are friends of ours that we use to go to church with. They moved to Kansas not too long ago, but we thought they were cool people and wanted to be just like them so we followed them to Kansas just a few months later. However, I guess we didn't get the memo correctly and found ourselves almost 3 hours away from them!

The idea of the tag is that you are to post the 6th picture in the 6th file of your photos and then tag-I don't know how many people so I will go with the 6 theme-6 other people.

Now, it would depend on which 6th file you are talking about in my case. The 6th file of my windows "picture" file or the one where I store all my photos. So I give you both because I am generous! lol

The first one is of Aleeyah that I took at the park not too long ago and the second one is of my cousin's daughter, Ariana when she was at our house in Oklahoma.




Let's see.....for my tag in no particular order:

*Shannon of A Plumb Crazy Life (because I just got onto her this morning for not blogging!)
*Carol of The Leeth's
*Jeana of Keeping Up with the Sorrells
*Jill of Girls Just Want to Have Fun
*Brittany of The Clarke Family
*Juli of Sheep Droppings (I'm hoping this one might be one of her recent trip to the Dominican Republic with Compassion)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

And the waving wheat sure smells sweet!

It's 7:15 am. Do you know where the Hamblins are?

Well, Chris is out playing golf with his dad, Aleeyah is still sleeping in the spare bedroom, and I am sitting on my in-laws couch. That could really only mean one thing-we are in OKLAHOMA!

I know, I hadn't said anything about coming home for the weekend and honestly, I debated on saying anything about it at all. Because as much as I would love to do what we did last time and dart around trying to see everyone with as little time as we had, I don't have a car. So unfortunately, that can't happen this time.

A little over a week ago, the mom of Trey (you will probably remember him from other posts) aka my friend, Kandi, called me and told me that they just found out they are moving to Germany. There are many different emotions there with moving so far away, but mostly, a lot of anxiety about needing to be there by mid January. Trey is about a year younger than Aleeyah and they just recently had baby Easton about 2 months ago. So after I talked to her for a bit, I remembered that my dad was coming back to Oklahoma soon to help my Grandpa out with a few things and to visit. So with that, I decided that it would be a great opportunity to come back home to help Kandi in whatever way she needed me.

So all three of us piled up in my dad's truck to come to Oklahoma. We made a several stops along the way for food, drinks, and bathroom breaks (btw, Aleeyah stayed dry the entire trip! So exciting....in our little world!). We even made a stop in Wichita to pick up my dad's girlfriend, Sherry. We finally made it to Chris' parents sometime before midnight. I have to say the trip was much more enjoyable than the few times I have driven it just with me and Aleeyah.

So we are here-in Oklahoma. I am without transportation. I am trying to figure out how I will even get to Kandi who lives about 30 minutes (yes, I calculate distance in minutes-hush it!) from where I am currently sitting.

Anyone want to be my personal chauffeur for the weekend? Yeah, didn't think so. :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Compassion Amharic Shirt!

So need to get to bed, but I stumbled across something and wanted to share!

I am thinking I need one of these shirts from Compassion. It says,
"Please" in Amharic (most commonly spoken language in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia-where we will be adopting from).

Also, the proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go to the Global Food Crisis Fund!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

There's nothing to see here----except for a video!

Whew! I am finally sitting down to reply to emails and blog about a couple of things and now I feel so tired to even begin to tell you about it! In fact, I think it will all just have to wait until tomorrow morning.

So coming tomorrow- dolls gone crazy and the adventures that led to a run in with the Police!

Okay, so totally pointless post except to say stay tuned!

I feel bad about it so I give you a video that we took last night of the girl.......

She is talking in her own made up language. It was much better before I grabbed the camera. She was so confident in calling different things various words that she put together. Kind of reminds me of when my brother thought he could speak Spanish! lol

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just another day at the park!

Yesterday, was spent cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning. Since I had been sick, I lacked the energy to clean it and it showed! I am super stoked that I only have 2 more loads of laundry to wash before the laundry is caught up. Yeah, I am a mom and I get super stoked about clean laundry. What can I say?

Since the house was clean and there wasn't much laundry to do, Aleeyah and I decided to go to the park this afternoon for a picnic. We packed our backpack and were on our way to the garage to get the bike when I realized that I didn't have the garage door opener. So I went back to get it and it was no where to be found. Assuming it was in Chris' truck, we decided to drive to another park instead.

Well, that would have been great if I could have actually remembered where the park was. BUT we finally made it and had a great time!

Here are some pictures from our day! Yes, there are finally pictures!

Aleeyah waiting on me to go


The infamous coming down the stairs picture. It seems like I take quite a few as she is coming down the stairs on our way to go somewhere. Probably because she is so stinkin' slow and I'm just standing at the bottom waiting for her to get all the way down. But she is beautiful-so I don't mind watching and waiting for her!


Aleeyah blowing off the seeds of the "flower".


Aleeyah showing the boys what girls do!





Aleeyah listening to her FP3 player while I finished making dinner (tilapia and rice-yum yum!).


Tomorrow's agenda:
Get caught up on emails -so yes, I will reply soon :)
Work on dolls to get caught up-if you've order be looking out for an email in the next couple of days!
Get a box of stuff together for a friend who is going to help me make dolls-no, I haven't already done it :(
File a police report-see a post tomorrow about this one!
and finally--
Avoid dipping my finger in the chocolate icing container........ =O

Monday, October 6, 2008

There's No Place Like Home


(I live in Kansas now. I can use the cheesy Wizard of Oz lines!)

It's been weird to be absent for a few days from blogging. I've been keeping up with other blogs but not my own! :) I think more than anything, I have just been trying to sort some things out in my head before I could really write about them or anything else. I guess I've been feeling a little lost in thought.

Nothing happened in particular that spurred it on. I just began feeling overwhelmed by feelings of (for lack of a better word) insecurity over the weekend. There have been so many changes in our lives over the last few months. After spending my entire life so far in Oklahoma, we moved to another state for a different job for Chris. Of course, being in a new place there has been new everything. New church, new people to meet and friends to make, new home, new streets, new stores....you get the idea.

I feel incredibly thankful for God giving us a clear direction in our lives when we made the choice to move and even more thankful for the transformation in my heart and life since we have been here. There are things that have happened while I've been here that normally would have put me in the mood to mope-just shy of being crushed. But since He has been transforming me, He has used these times to strengthen me instead. He has made it more clear to me what is important in my life and I no longer am able to let the other things affect me like they once did. Not to say that the people involved aren't important to me because they are-they just refuse to see it. It's more that. More than what I want to write about here. I needed the changes He has made in my life. I had so many people tell me before we left, that this might just be the best thing for me. And I couldn't agree more. Getting out of my comfort....and sometimes uncomfortable bubble has been good. I could go on for days about that, but won't. I have a feeling that this post is going to be long enough as it is.

Where there has been great things, there has also been the insecurity I mentioned above. I feel secure in my relationship with God, my husband, my daughter, my dad and my brother. Meaning they are there. The relationships are great. I can be with any of them at drop of a hat. But outside of that-I feel lost. A friend of mine emailed me this weekend and said she misses me and feels like she is losing me. It saddened me because I couldn't be there to look her in the eyes and tell her everything will be fine. The only thing I could think to type was-"I understand". No great words of wisdom. Just, "me too."

There are many days that I feel like I am loosing "home".

I don't mean home as in this home (although, it was hard to look at those pictures again the other day). I mean home as in the family and friends you are surrounded by, the church family that supports you, the job that you loved with the kids that you still love, the neighbors to greet you, the ability to be at a friend's door when she says she misses you or when another friend that just found out they are moving to Germany is scared.

It's sort of like going on vacation. It's exciting to go. It's fun. It makes you grow in areas of your life. But doesn't it feel great to finally be home?

I broke down the other night-I felt sad, lonely, scared, anxious. My first reaction was to call someone, but it was late. So I did the only thing I knew to do-the best thing for me to do. I went outside to be with my Rock, my Refuge, my Shelter. I needed to go where I knew I would be able to feel His presence. I sat on the balcony looking up to the stars and cried. I poured out my feelings to my Friend and then I closed my eyes to listen.

I was reminded of how He led us here and that where He leads, He watches. That me and my family weren't led here to to be hurt and without growth. We believe that this is HIS plan and His plan is perfect-always is. And in that I felt comforted.

About that time, Chris came out and joined me on the balcony. I began telling him my thoughts and concerns about the move. He reassured me, through his own confessions of his feelings, it was okay to feel a bit lost away from home. As we talked more, I was reminded of the relationships that have grown through separation-some too personal to share and even how separation has played a vital role in our relationship.

Just the next day, the same friend I got the email from-told me about a scripture. Ironically, because I needed it. Ironically, because I knew it. Ironically, because it is probably one of my favorites. Well, maybe "ironically" isn't the right word.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you....Jeremiah 29:11-14

I love the reassurance we are given in this scripture. "For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." We aren't to worry about the future-God already has it all laid out for us. It's already in his design He has for our lives.

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." The other night, I went to Him and prayed, and I know He was listening. He was there.

But the greatest security that I find comes in the beginning of verse 14, "I will be found by you..." There is a reason it doesn't say, seek me and I will find you. It says "I will be found by you".

God is always there waiting for us to come to Him. To talk to Him, to cry out to Him, to find shelter in Him, to look up into the stars at Him. He is always there, but we have to seek Him. We have to open our eyes, minds, and hearts to Him and only in Him, will we find comfort.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Is it too early for the "Prison Dad" stories?

We have had a playdate at the park planned for today. So once it was time to go, I asked Aleeyah if she wanted to go to the park. She got really excited and had a huge grin on her face and asked, "with my friends?" "Yes, with your friends", I replied. Then I laughed hysterically to her response...

"Are they boys?"

Oh, no! Not already!

I told Chris about it over the phone on his way home from work. His immediate reaction was like mine-laughing, but then he quickly stopped and proceeded with the proclamation that she is 3 and not at an age to be even thinking about boys! Then he went on with his plans to deter boys away from her later in her life.

I have a feeling it's going to rough for all of us! haha

We had a great time at the park though! It was a beautiful day and it was nice to spend a couple of hours soaking up a little sun before it gets too cold.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to share from today. I know, I know I've been lacking in the picture department lately.

I will try to be better!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gettin' my groove on!

So just last night, I wrote about putting a fish in time out and was feeling a bit too mommy. Today, I tell you about.....well, just read it!

Before you read: I am still recovering from a cold and have been taking drugs....oh, wait nevermind....I haven't taken them today.

Aleeyah and I were in the kitchen this afternoon making more Crystal Light-a favorite in our house. There wasn't any music on, but I started singing and dancing (and no, there will not be any video for you today) while making the crystal light. Normally, she will start singing with me, but I guess the dancing threw her off a bit. No doubt that God did not gift me with the ability to dance. I ain't got the mad skillz.

So the kid looks at me and says....

"Momma, you're weird!"

After we laughed, my mind immedietly was flooded with the many years of watching my parents dance and thinking they were weird. In fact, just this weekend we had some good laughs in the car with Mark and Benita as they proceeded to dance using only a pointed finger.

Today, I feel old BUT so blessed to have a child to tell me that I am weird!

BTW-I am feeling MUCH better!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One Fish, Two Fish

You know those days when you realize maybe you have stepped over into mommy-hood too much? Maybe you find yourself tyding up toys in the local department store or wiping down your table at a fast food restaurant after you have "done the dishes". Maybe it's the day that you find yourself putting a fish in time out....errrrr....WHAT?

Oh, yes!

So here is how it went down...

We bought Aleeyah a fish tank for her birthday. She has always LOVED looking at the fish at the zoo-a sort of fascination, if you will. We bought her tank and set it up in her room. Gleaming, crystal clear, de-chlorinated water. Beautiful!

After letting the tank sit a good week, we decided it would be time to add some finned friends. We headed up to the surplus of fish store (where you can even buy tattooed fish-not praising them by any means). We carefully picked out the fish that we wanted for the tank and found a man who sells these things for a living and prides himself in being a fish "expert". He asked if our tank has been through what they call a cycle. Where as I replied, if you could explain a cycle, I could tell you if it's done that or not. Me and the tank haven't had the puberty talk-if that's what you mean. Okay, I left out that last sentence!

Apparently, something about fish poo and bacteria, something else about alkaline and nitrate, a little something about toxic water, equals dead fish.

Got it?

Yeah, me neither. Moving on anyway. Solution is buy 5 $.15 goldfish. Feed them. Let them swim around for a month. Tank will get dirty and a little mucky. Tank should be good to go.

Well, this "expert" forgot to mention that they would all DIE in the process. After yet another trip to the pet store, another "expert" told me WHEN they die-leave them in there.

Oh, did I fail to mention that I have a 3 year old daughter who also has the ability to see?

Dead fish, floating in water + 3 year old who loves fish = you get to deal with her!

I did as any parent would have done and I took them out except for one that blended into the rocks and explained to her that the fish were sleeping in the castle. :) Lying always works in these scenarios!

So weeks went by and finally levels were good. Time to add fish.

We go to the store where the newest "expert" explains to us why the fish-that the original "expert" told us would be fine to put together-in fact, cannot be put together in the same tank. GRRrrrr. Grrrr. Grrrrrr.

We decide on 4 fab fish and 1 pleco and head home. All went into the tank beautifully-despite the fact that one of the fish bags opened inside the shopping bag which in turn was spilled all over the carpet AND Aleeyah's fine ability to pour out a bag of water into the tank and leave the fish in the bag...with no water.

The fish swim around for a few days...yadda yada yadda. All the sudden, BOOM 1 fish dead. Hmmm... Next day Pleco dead with weird white stuff coming out of mouth.

Check levels-all appears stable....to me :)

Watch fish closely and notice black and blue fish is apparently, the bully and is biting the remaining 2 fish. The yellow fish is laying on his side (good indication he is looking into the light) completely stressed. So what did I do?

I did what any mother would do-I yanked the "bully" fish out of his sanctuary and dumped him into a pink Eskimo Joe's cup that turns a pretty purple when cold water is poured into it-for a good ol' fashioned time out!

There he spent his "time out" sentence in the time out cup for about 3 hours until it was time to go to bed.

I was nice and poured him back into the tank. He was a bit more subdued and keeping his mouth to himself.

Tonight? The yellow one's gone. Looked at the light too long-I suppose.

So that's the story of the mom who wasn't afraid to put a fish in time out.



One fish
two fish
three, four,
five, fish
all but 2 are dead fish!

Isn't that the way the book goes?

***EDIT: Because husband already asked...
No, there isn't a book called that.
Yes, I edited it.
No, I didn't take a picture of Aleeyah's book (she has that exact book).
I googled it!
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