Monday, September 22, 2008

Caleb-isms IV

While stalling before his bath tonight, Caleb said he needed to go to the bathroom. Steven was standing in the bathroom with him when he said,

"Daddy, could you close the door? I need some practicey."

I mean, really. What more comic relief could we need with him around?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Isaiah beginnings

Last week was the first meeting of the Precept Upon Precept class I participate in at my church. We met to pick up our books and will be meeting this week with our first week of homework done.  We are studying...Isaiah!  I've been looking forward to this study for almost a year, and I have to say that it is already as wonderful as I knew it would be.

In the first chapter of Isaiah, the Lord is making a "case" against the nation of Israel for the sin and iniquity that have plagued the hearts and minds of most every man, woman and child.  I have studied the prophets before so I have seen this "case-making" before.  What is new, and already so striking to me is the beauty of the language the Lord has used.

1:5b, 6
The whole head is sick
And the whole heart is faint
From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing sound in it, 
Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged
Nor softened with oil.

That is the result of sin.  Their sin and ours.  It is true that those of us who claim Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our lives can claim (1:18b) "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."  But just because we claim Jesus as the Lord of our lives does not mean we are incapable of sin. It means we are not slaves to it.  We can still make poor choices that are sinful.  We can still sin.

I found this description to be so vivid.  This is how our God sees our hearts.  This is what they look like to him when we choose to walk in sin.  We are a mess of bruises, welts and raw wounds with no band-aids or Neosporin.  But we don't have to walk in sin.  We can turn around and lay hold of the bandage of Jesus and He will be salve for our wounds.

Caleb-isms III

From the backseat of our car driving home from Tai-kwon-do class last week:

Caleb: Mommy?
Me: Yeah, baby?
Caleb: I want my sister to come home. I am tired of waiting. I'm done, now.

Aren't we all.  Please pray for patience for the baby of my womb and a speedy referral and placement for the baby of my heart.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My 30th B'day Surprise

The above slide show contains my favorite pictures of the weekend Steven and I just spent in San Francisco.

Let me start from the beginning...I turned 30 last month. When Steven turned 30 last year, I surprised him by taking him on a cruise which he had never done before. So, when my turn came to turn the big three-oh, he wanted to surprise me, too.

We have been talking about going to San Francisco for about 10 years now. Steven grew up there and wanted show me around his old stomping ground. (Just in case anyone reading this doesn't know my husband, he would never, for all the money in the world, use the phrase "old stomping ground"...that would be ME.)

He managed to keep the secret all the way to the gate to board our flight before he "showed" me where we were could've knocked me over with feather!

Our flight was great and when we got there, he had reserved us a convertible. It took about an hour to get it, but it was SO worth it!!! As we were leaving the airport, we asked the lady that had helped us with our car to recommend a restaurant and she sent us to a Filipino restaurant very near the airport. This was my first time to eat any of the food we ordered and it was GOOD!

That afternoon, we walked around Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. It had been a long day so we went back to the hotel for a good night's sleep...the next day was going to be FULL!

On Friday morning we woke up and went across the street from our hotel for breakfast and it was of those local, tables on the street affairs and we were ready for a great day. We got the car and drove up to Muir Woods and Sausalito that day.

I don't know what to say other than it was one of the most beautiful, peaceful and awe-inspiring places I have ever been. No words or pictures could ever do it justice. It is a MUST visit place for anyone going to the Bay Area, for sure. After exploring the Woods, we went into Sausalito for lunch at a restaurant called The Spinnaker. It is on the Bay with all-window-walls for the best views. This is where I ate the best sandwich I've ever eaten. It was a fresh oven roasted turkey with dill havarti cheese - the cheese alone would make you smack your mama - tomatoes, and fresh avacados on sour dough marble rye toast. I would consider moving to California just to be in close proximity with this sandwich...or maybe I'll just learn to make it...yeah, that'd probably be easier.

After lunch we drove back into the city because we had tickets for the 3:00 ferry to Alcatraz. On the way back we began to see the fog roll in under the Golden Gate. It was truly a sight to see as it started out so small that it looked like smoke from a fire and grew to the point that it obscured view of the city from the bridge and the bridge from the city. As we drove across the bridge the fog was coming across it so that it was under the bridge and above it and trying to come across it as well. The cables were breaking the fog as is came across making it look like whispy fingers curling through and across trying to reach the other side. It was quite watch and to feel...the temp dropped about 10 degrees from the edge of the bridge to the center.

When we got into the city, we had a little time to kill, so we drove over to Lombard street and drove down "The Crooked-est Street in the World". It was fun and beautiful with gorgeous views of the city and the Bay covered in a "floating cloud".

After driving in the city a bit, it was time to make our way over to the piers to catch our ferry. One of the strangest parts of this trip was how remarkably different the weather was from one spot to the next with as little difference as one mile between them. Our trip to Alcatraz was no different. The tour told us that the distance from the island to the mainland is about a mile and a quarter. By the time we had reached the half-way-mark, we could no longer see the city clearly and when we had reached the island, the city was completely obscured by the fog.

The tour of the prison was interesting and informative. One thing we learned that was more than a little surprising was that while the prison was operational, there were about 260 civilians living on the island, including the families of some of the guards...yes that includes their CHILDREN!!! That's all I have to say about that.

The tour was sad, in a way. I know that the men housed there were "hardened criminals", but the sizes of their cells, the utter isolation, it was, simply put, sad.

That night we went to Chinatown and walked around and bought a kite and had dinner.

The next day we drove down Hwy 1 along the coast to Santa Cruz. That was the most beautiful drive I've ever taken and I don't think that any words I could come up with could do it justice. The "poem" I posted yesterday was inspired by what I saw.

In Santa Cruz, we went to the board walk, road a roller coaster, and ate lunch on the pier before heading up to San Jose to begin our tour of Steven's childhood. It was so much fun to see the places he grew up and watch him remember "riding his bike down that street" or his "best friend living in that house". He showed me where his family lived in San Jose and later in Alameda, then took me to the apartment complex that his grandparents maintained. Across the street from the apartments is a beach on the Bay. His grandfather used to take him there and they would make kites together out of bamboo, and rice paper using (somehow) rice for the glue. We went to that beach and he taught me how to fly the kite we had bought the night before in Chinatown. It was a special experience.

When we were finished flying our kite we headed back into town to find some dinner. We wound up in Little Italy at a delicious restaurant. We ate pasta.

Our flight on Sunday morning was at 9-something, so we ended our vacation very early in the morning, but, despite the fact that I am NOT a morning person, I can honestly say that after the relaxing, refreshing, and wonderfully reconnective time we'd had together, I didn't mind.

Thank you, my precious husband, for loving me so well. You are the perfect partner that God designed just for me. I love you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

God's Amazing Creativity

As we drove down Hwy 1 on the Pacific coast last Saturday, I was inspired by the sensory experience of the drive. These are the words the Holy Spirit laid on my heart.

Great God of wonder
I see the majesty of Your creative hand everywhere I look.
From cliffs to sea
From mountains to beaches
Your creativity knows no bounds.

The sea rolls and reaches its white hands up toward the beaches
But You have said it can only come so far.
It rages against the cliff face
Giving voice to its frustration - a soothing fury.

From the heights I can see beyond the reaches of the sea
Diamonds dancing on the waves
Glittering in the sun
Until they are swallowed by the clouds resting on the water.

Breathtaking sites, soothing scents, relentless sounds
The smell of the eucalyptus that stays in your mouth and clears your nose
Mingling with the scent of water - salt and sand.
You have created it all
And every part of creation
Shouts the wonder of Your hand.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Well, it has happened. We are, frankly, in a state of shock, but it has happened. We have been approved by the Intercountry Adoption Board of the Philippines and are officially on the wait list to receive our referral!!!

We are totally shocked. We were told that approvals have slowed down significantly and that we should expect it to take 3 months with an additional month of "waiting" to find out our approval date. In other words we did not expect to hear of this news until mid-to-late-October.

Our dossier was sent on July 9th, 2008. Our dossier was approved by ICAB on August 21st, 2008. For anyone counting that is 6 weeks and 1 day!!! :)

We can't wait to meet you, Rebekah!!!