Sunday, December 20, 2009

the earth

I awoke this morning to a special radio broadcast of discussions occurring in Copenhagen, where the climate summit is being held. It was a little discouraging. We seem to be on this downward spiral of destruction that we cannot control or contain, let alone reverse. We've been watching the BBC Planet Earth series at home lately, which has been awe-inspiring, to say the least. The beauty of this world and its life is breathtaking, and mysterious. In a sad way, the earth is even more beautiful when viewed with the knowledge that it is not going to last forever. Like all of us, it is dying.

I've been doing some daily readings during Advent from the liturgical calendar. After the Copenhagen broadcast, today's reading was:

"The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains;
The world, and all who dwell therein."
- Psalm 24:1


It is a tiny bit comforting, I guess, to be reminded that humanity's power to damage and destroy - great as it is - is yet far, far smaller than God's power to create, sustain, redeem, and renew. It takes faith to believe this, but I have hope.

Friday, December 11, 2009

more quotes

I have posted these on FB so sorry if they are repeats. Mainly I am reposting them here for my own sake- so I can look back on them later.

Papa (after Alex and Sam bumped heads): "Ouch, that hurts, doesn't it? Heads are not for bumping!"
Alex: "Yeah. Heads are for singing!"

Heads are for singing. I like that. I bet a lot of my neurologist friends don't even know that. Or Bryan's psychiatrist friends, either, for that matter. In fact, if we could get more of our "head" patients singing, maybe that would help them.

Alex: "When I grow up I want to be a construction man. I would be very good at that." I can just see Alex hard at work in her little yellow hard hat. I'm pretty sure she would be the director of the crew.

Alex (completely out of the blue): "Spoiled milk controls me." Don't know what that means, but it was a truly unique thought.

Monday, November 30, 2009

you never know the impact you're having

A couple of events this month have got me thinking about how we are having an impact all the time on those around us - even if we never realize it.

A guy in our church came up to me after the service a couple of weeks ago. He had been sitting behind us, and Alex was sitting with us as usual. It was a normal day and a normal church service. There was a baptism, of a smiling boy about 9 months old, and we recited the usual prayers and litanies welcoming this child into our "family" and promising to support him and his parents in their journey of faith. The pastor briefly mentioned adoption, in the sense that we are all adopted into God's family and are welcoming this child as well. Anyway, it seemed that this triggered the man sitting behind us to look at Alex and think about how Alex and Sam came to be where they are now. He told me he was overwhelmed and started to cry, just thinking of how their lives started out and how different their lives could have been. This of course shook me out of my everyday fog and made me appreciate anew the miracle that is our family. Thankful for our kids and ever mindful of their birth mothers.

Also, our kids' preschool teacher related an incident to me that has given me pause to think over the last couple of days. The kids were at her house when someone knocked at the door. Alex said, "Maybe it's God." (!) The teacher's son (4) said, "Don't say God, that's a bad word." (I think they've been telling him not to "take God's name in vain.") Anyway, Alex said, "No, God is GOOD! He's ALMIGHTY and POWERFUL."

A couple of take-home messages, the wonder of being a child and fully expecting that God could be standing at the door at any moment. A friend of mine actually wrote a little Advent devotional using this story and connected this with the verse, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." I believe God uses people to reveal himself but I rarely consider that the person I am dealing with (whoever is "knocking at my door") may be God's way of communicating with me. Hmm.

Two, I have to admit my first thought was, "Where did Alex come up with this?" We have probably spoken of God as good, great, powerful etc. but the word "almighty" is not in common use in our house...maybe it should be...anyway, I've been feeling a little remiss as a mom in teaching the kids about God. I haven't felt I've given them much in the way of "spiritual formation" and have felt guilty about not being more on top of that. So this seems like an affirmation, as if God is saying, Relax, mom - remember, it's MY job too, not just yours, to reach your kids. Very comforting.

Three - there are so many things our kids can teach us, if we would only pay attention. In the day to day crush it is hard to really see and really listen. Praying for eyes to see and ears to hear.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

need a battery recharge

My batteries are running low tonight. It was a day of more than usual stress. I got rear-ended while stopped at a red light. The truck behind me was stopped too but the driver decided it was time to go when the left turn arrow turned green, even though our lane still had a red light. I didn't even see it coming. The kids were with me. Luckily we were all belted in and no one was hurt, but now 10 hours later I'm starting to feel twinges in my neck and back. The back end of our car is damaged, but the big GMC truck that hit us seemed completely unmarked. It did make me think about driving a bigger/safer car. Ironically, we just made two trips for car repairs last week and thought we were all done with car stuff for a while. The battery in the Prius died at 107,000 miles and the warranty goes to 100K. Figures. $3000 is a LOT for a battery with a 1-year warranty. It kind of undoes the savings you get on gas. I'm kind of disillusioned with car stuff right now...

In addition, I'm getting drained dealing with Alex's frequent tantrums. She is better than she was, but some days, especially when she's tired, she reverts back to the 3- and 4-year-old level - screaming, hitting, kicking, and even biting. Once she loses her temper, it is very rare that we can "talk her down" or get her to calm herself. And she can lose her temper on a dime, unpredictably, with no warning and sometimes no fathomable reason. We can and do give her choices, give her time out, take away privileges, talk to her about it afterward, etc. But I know she needs to teach HERSELF to control HERSELF and I feel at a loss as to what else we can do. The only encouragement I have is that (1) I know she is smart, and a good intellect will be on her side (2) she IS showing improvement as she gets older, even if it's slower than I would like.

I'm probably also feeling low because I'm getting over a cold. I've cut down on my workouts and I've been staying up too late. So hopefully I can start next week feeling better. My life demands a lot of energy and when I don't have it, I miss it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sesame Spinach Salad Recipe

Our new favorite spinach recipe. I've never seen Sam actually eat spinach until we made this. :-)

From my new favorite cookbook, Extending the Table:

Sesame Spinach Salad (Korea - from Pat Yoder, Goshen, IN)
Sigumchi Namul

This salad is typical of the way Koreans prepare and season cold vegetables. Tester found this to have a surprisingly wonderful flavor: "I hate spinach and just loved this!"

Steam until just tender and still green:

1 lb fresh spinach (500 g)

Strain and squeeze out as much water as possible. Cut spinach coarsely.

Place in serving bowl and add:

3 T. soy sauce (45 mL)
2 T. sesame oil (30 mL)
1 T. toasted sesame seeds (15 mL)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. sugar (15 mL)
1 T. vinegar (15 mL)
dash of black or ground red pepper, to taste

Mix, chill, and serve.

A few notes:
1. I used half the amount of sesame oil to cut down on fat, and it tasted fine.
2. I used rice vinegar.
3. I used the minced garlic out of the jar - easier.
4. You can buy toasted sesame seeds at most grocery stores in the international foods section.
5. I forgot all about the dash of pepper at the end. It was still good.
6. We steamed the spinach in the microwave. You could do it the old way, or blanch it, if you want it a little more "al dente."

:-) Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two silly kid quotes in one day

After a rather dry spell, we had two good kid quotes today.

Alex has been trying to learn some tongue twisters. After attempting "She sells seashells at the seashore" a few times, she stopped, then said, "You made...You made...You made my brain go all BLACK!" She was mad that I laughed, but I couldn't help it.

Later, Bryan and I were driving the kids home in separate cars. Sam was with Bryan, and Alex was with me. We were ahead of the boys for a while and Sam asked, "Where's mama?" Bryan told him, "She's ahead of us. She's driving faster than we are." Silence. Then Sam says, "You're NOT Lightning McQueen!"


Monday, September 21, 2009

family photos - Sept 09

I already posted these on Facebook but am putting them here as well. The white shirts/white background were an experiment - I think it turned out pretty well!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Alex and God

Today we were in the car on the way to church and Alex said, "When I was a baby in Korea, and I was in my bed, God came to me and came into my heart."

This was especially sweet to me as I remember the many prayers I said for her when she was a baby in Korea. I wonder what she remembers of this experience.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cascade Springs

Well, we didn't see as many fall colors this time. Usually by mid-September the leaves are changing at the high elevations, but on this trip we saw just a few. That's ok - it was a beautiful afternoon, warm and sunny.

I had to include the picture of Bryan changing Sam's diaper in the trunk of our car. It is a regular part of our life, one I suspect we would forget in future if we didn't have photo documentation. :-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bees Game

We got free tickets to the Salt Lake Bees game today. Nice way to celebrate Sam's arrival day anniversary. We had great weather and the Bees won, but barely. We actually went home before the end, but I found this article describing the Bees' narrow victory:

The kids' favorite thing was the race between 3 people dressed up in huge inflatable food costumes. The hot dog knocked over the pizza in the middle but the pizza still ran ahead and won, and the ice cream cone never seemed to have a chance.

There was a playground nearby and I was there for a while with the kids. I noticed Sam had disappeared and went looking for him. I found him under the slide with 2 other boys. They were sitting in a circle having a cute little picnic together, consisting of dirty red licorice bits that someone had dropped. Yuck. Still, they were pretty happy kids. Not only did they get dirty Nibs, they got popcorn from Sam's Sunday School teacher who was very gracious and shared freely.

Overall, a great summer day. Love Salt Lake, the Bees, and my family. :-)

Arrival Day - 3 years with Sam

August 24, 2007

August 24, 2008

August 24, 2009

Tomorrow marks our 3 year anniversary with Sam. He has completed our family and brought us unbounded joy. Happy Arrival Day to my little buddy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

party pics

We had a wonderful birthday party. At the end when we were getting ready to leave, I tried to go out a door closer to our car and inadvertently set off an alarm (in my defense, it was only marked "EXIT" with no alarm warnings or emergency exit sign). Alex does not like loud noises, especially surprises. On the way home Bryan asked if she had a good party. She said no, because of the alarm. Despite that, I think she had a very good time, even if she won't admit it. :-) And I very much enjoyed her chocolate cake!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

birthday girl


first birthday

age 2

age 3

age 4

age 5

How the time flies by.