Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Important Days

September 21, 2009 my littlest girl was born. Audrey Grace. She was gonna be a Charlotte, possibly, as that has always been one of our favorite names, along with Audrey. I know that in our Western culture we choose our children's names because we like the way they sound, or sometimes we just don't have a reason other than we just like the name.

We are some of those funny people who look to name our kids both on how the name sounds, but we also really like some meaning and significance to the name. I think about how in most Eastern cultures (including biblical times) names had such a meaning to them. They reminded people of a situation or of God's greatest blessings or miracles for their family.

My Grandmother, my Nanny was named Audrey Jane. She had 18 grand-kids, and double that in great-grand-kids. I did not spend all my weekends growing up with her. She wasn't the grandparent I called when I was in trouble. I didn't have too many in-depth discussions with her. She didn't raise me, and I was not her daughter. But, the things I do today, things I see in my dad, they are from her. She was always active. She volunteered her time for others always. Anyone was always welcome to visit her. You didn't have to call first, her back door was open and you could just pop in. She'd put coffee on, and pull out some type of sweet. Hospitable. She was into re-purposing before the word even existed. She stripped and refinished furniture, collected antiques, was always looking at garage sales for "deals."  She even canned! I think one of the only recipes I have from her is her pickled beets. (Funny how that is my Audrey's FAVORITE!) She was out-spoken, bold, strong, and opinionated, yet was humble and kind. She loved Jesus and served Him. Christmas Eve at Nanny's was wonderful. I think in my top 5 childhood memories ranks "Christmas Eve at my Nanny and Poppy's. 

This is how I remember Christmas. People everywhere, opening presents, having their own conversations,
 but all part of the larger event.

That's my Nanny and Poppy.  I wish I had a picture that captured the magnitude of Christmas decorations at their house.  The amount of Christmas villages was crazy!  They were everywhere, on top of china cabinets, tables, even shelves built on the wall!

My Audrey with her Nanny Audrey.  Our last holiday with Nanny.

 Then, there is another Audrey that Kenney and I loved. Kenney's Aunt Audrey. She was the only Aunt Kenney had that lived close. She helped make my wedding invitations and favors. She quilted. Oh did she quilt. I wish that I had taken the time to learn to quilt, because that is one thing I would LOVE to do and have NO IDEA how to. She passed away long before Audrey Grace was born and I unfortunately did not get to know her well at all.  But I think we would have gotten along great!

So for my little girl Audrey Grace born at 10am in the morning, September 21, 2009.  Her name is special as she is too!

Audrey at 2 years old is already independent and opinionated. She cares about all the other kids. She is the one to make sure if she gets a treat everyone else gets one too.  She is the best hug giver out of all the kids. She is calm and sweet and isn't a cry-baby. 

While I can't make her be the "Audrey's" she was named after, I can tell and show her the stories. Her name allows us to never forget the people in our life that have helped shape who we are.

Mommy, Daddy, Tommy and Noah love you Audrey! We are so happy to have a little girl like you in our family! May God grow you in His ways and make you a child of His!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Things I Don't Say

If you know me well, or are a close family member of mine, you are reading the title and laughing.  You are probably laughing quite hard, because there isn't too much I don't say...

I am a bit loud, up-front, bold, obnoxious, talkative, and passionate, as well as some other things! Those things can be both a blessing, and my downfall.

God tells us to be ready to give a defense for the hope that is within us. (1 Peter 3:15)
He tells us to defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless. (Psalm 83:2-4)
He tells us to use our words to speak boldly for His cause. (Acts 4:28-30)

However, God also tells us that reckless words can pierce like swords, but words using wisdom can bring healing. (Proverbs 12:18) God also tells us to watch what we say, and guard our words to keep ourselves out of trouble. (Proverbs 21:23) And God also tells us to guard our lips and don't speak rashly. (Psalm 13:3)

OUCH!  Those are some obvious weaknesses of mine, and if you ask Kenney he would so be "amen-ing!"

The last of my seriousness for this post is this: I do not speak kindly enough most importantly to my husband. I do not always tell him the things I appreciate about him. I am thankful for the things he does for me and the family. I am thankful he is willing at 9:30 at night to run to Menards and get more pint jars because I made a bit too much salsa.  I am thankful he enjoys and is appreciative of whatever meal we eat, even if it's just frozen pizza, or a rosemary and bacon stuffed grilled portabella mushroom.  I am thankful he tries.  He pursues being a godly husband and a godly daddy.  He keeps his mouth shut (unlike me) and lets me ramble on about the zillion projects I think I am going to do.  When I say lets (fill in the blank) he doesn't shoot me down or criticize my crazy, irrational ideas!

About two months ago, I had the crazy idea to tear down our pantry, relocate it, add some cabinets or storage as well as a new 8 foot long counter top, basically do a kind of remodel. Oh yeah, pretty much no money in the budget either, so we needed to be resourceful and creative.  Kenney came home to this...

And then, the next day he came home to this...

Yep, all three of them, painting!  For real...painting!  And yep, that is Audrey in her underwear... painting!

Then, I realized I wouldn't have any upper cabinets and needed a space to put my spices.  So I asked Kenney to build me some kind of a spice rack.  Sounds easy enough.  Except... I have over 50 spices, the wall I wanted the rack on is a pocket door wall, so no studs, and I wanted it to match my cabinets.  By the way, Kenney does insurance not carpentry!  And yet, through all of this, he wasn't mad at me, no harsh words, no anger (okay most of the time) and he built me a spice rack!

It hangs from the rafters, so no need for support on the wall, and it matches the rest of the kitchen!  And yes, I. Use. Every. Single. Spice. (so much so, that I usually refill them all at least 2x a year)


So this is for Kenney, for the things I don't say!

And this is for Kenney... if he can build me a great spice rack, what do you think about this in his future?

I love it! Four boys in our future?  Ya never know!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Picture With No Name? A Name With No Picture?

I wanted to give a bit of an update as to where we are in the adoption process. In short - WAITING! We have our Pre-Approval (PA). We have sent our completed dossier to China (DTC). We've paid most all of our agency fees (big chunk #1 of the costs, two more big chunks to go.)

So now, we just wait to receive our "lock in date", which is the official date they have done a basic review and put you in official line to wait some more (LID). Then we wait for our confirmation they have approved our dossier and the kids are "really officially" approved (LSC).  This process is somewhere between 3-6 months...yuck!  After that it is some more paperwork, money, approvals, travel etc.

In the mean time we have 3-6 months to prepare, focus our hearts, focus our parenting, fundraising, praying for our children, and waiting.



In the mean time, I thought I'd put a little "sneak peak" of our children up.  There is this rule however, that we can not post both their names (English and Chinese) along with their pictures, or vice-versa.  The big question then is should I post their names or their pictures... of course their pictures!

Psalm 130:5  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word, I hope.