Sunday, August 30, 2009

147 Million

Please, please read kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com. Her post this week almost made me cry! How are YOU going to help just ONE of the 147 million orphans that are in the world today? It is really, really easy. And if everyone helps ONE then they will all be taken care of!! If you don't know what to do to help there are some amazingly simple things you can do! 1) PRAY. It requires no long-term commitment nor any monitary investment. 2) Purchase a product from 147million.com. The products are made by local refugees, and ALL proceeds go to help the children Katie feeds. The necklaces are made by the women in one of Katie's villiages, so buying a necklace sends money right to those women PLUS provides food through Katie's program for the kids! Also, sometimes the money goes to help families who are adopting! WOW! What an easy way to help in many different ways PLUS you get something super cool (like a necklace or a saddle bag, both of which I am saving money to buy! LOVE 'EM!) 3) Sponser a child through Amazima or another orphan care organization. 4) Help with Sixteen Small Stones (my favourite, hee hee).

Of course, you could always ADOPT...... :D

Friday, August 28, 2009

First Day of School Pictures!!

Here are the pictures of Taiger's FIRST DAY of preschool!!!!

He was SO excited the night before that he hid his face when I told him we were starting school the next morning. :)

An eager little scholar

Here is Taiger practicing writing the letter "A"

The third orange one, Taiger did HIMSELF! Pretty good, I'd say!

Since we are learning about Space, we HAD to paint a GIANT picture of Space! As we learn about each planet, we are going to make that planet and hang it in front of our Space picture!

Taiger got carried away and had to use his foot. The mischievous smile on his face proves he knew what he was doing was NOT a good idea...but, since this is HOMESCHOOL, ANYTHING GOES! So, he didn't get in trouble for painting with his foot. In fact, I was really glad that he would use his whole body to learn! That is really good, actually!

Due to the foot painting, we had to have BATH TIME in the middle of school (the joys of homeschooling!). Here are Taiger's little foot prints leading into the bathroom

After bath time, Taiger had a snack! I cut different foods into "planets" (circles) and put them on his chart of the planets. Each planet was covered by a different food. As he ate them, I commented on him eating that planet ("Oh! You ate Mars!"..."Can you eat Earth?") By the end, he was saying, "Can I have another Jupiter?" LOL! (By the way, Jupiter was a slice of marshmallow!)

After snack, he built space ships with Legos. (GREAT for fine motor development!). He LOVES to build with Legos, so this was a fun part of school! (Notice he never re-dressed after bath time...the child HATES being dressed! Glad he is homeschooled! If he took off his clothes and ran around naked in public school, I would be IN TROUBLE! :D!!!!!!)

He had to stick his head right in to his Lego bucket to find the right pieces for his space ship. Silly boy!!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School Days

Today, I started school with Taiger. Wow, was it ever amazing! Taiger is the smartest child I know!!!!! I let him choose what he wanted to learn this year in homeschool. His answer? Bugs and Space! So, we have started our SPACE Unit! He LOVED it and we had a TON of fun today! I am too tired or I might write more. Instead, I will go to sleep and post pictures tomorrow.

I started school yesterday. I usually LOVE collage...but this semester is going to kick my...well, you know. Chinese 3010...The ENTIRE class was taught IN CHINESE. There was SO MUCH I didn't understand. :S Not good. I just kept thinking of China and Sixteen Small Stones' Food Program and all of the lives we will be touching, and it kept me from standing up in the middle of class, marching right over to the administrations office and DROPPING the class! I WILL finish this class! It is my last one, and I have done SO MUCH, sacrificed SO MUCH to get this far. I can't quit now. Going to class pregnant with Taiger, WITH morning sickness...riding the bus nine months pregnant to get to school, wearing sweats to school when I was too pregnant to fit in any maternity clothes, giving birth THE WEEK OF FINALS, taking Taiger IN TO ONE OF MY FINALS WITH ME when he was a few days old, leaving him to go to class, leaving class to go to the parking lott and nurse him, missing sleeping with him at night so my Mom could take him to bed with her so I could stay up all night studying...Yes, I have sacrificed too much to give up now.

So, I will finish this class. I want a degree. I want to be able to communicate while in China. Most importantly, I want to show Taiger how IMPORTANT it is to GO TO COLLEGE!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mother's guilt

So how IRONIC is this?! After posting that blog post, I cruised over to check out a friend's blog and linked to another blog, which linked me to another. On that blog, this Mother had copied and pasted part of someone else's blog! That blog post was about not worrying what our kids look like in public (and many other things). HA! So, I should stop worrying that Taiger is, even at this moment, running around Idaho in red work-out pants, a t-shirt that doesn't match the pants, and who knows what shoes! I am going to paste that part of that blog here. Enjoy, all you Mommies!!!!!

What's up with mother guilt!?See, I was struck with some kind of small epiphany late this afternoon as I drove our MSC to an outing. MckNugget's face was dirty. And I'm talking really dirty. Like, there were probably still 14 calories on there dirty.And when faced with the strong impulse to wipe his face clean of the honey/almond butter/marker/bread crumbs/goodness-knows-what-else mess before we entered our public destination, I stopped short and asked myself a few questions.Does how my child looks in public really matter? Do I sometimes try to find my self-worth in how my children behave/look/smell? Do I unnecessarily impose mother's guilt upon myself? Is this just another way of trying to control things in my life? Am I afraid of having that child?You know that child, don't you? That one with shoes on the wrong feet, snarly hair and ketchup on his shirt who's not quite potty trained but really should be? The one who embarrasses us in the grocery store? The one who we think makes us look like bad parents because of their misbehavior? The one who isn't perfect? That child who is just average?I decided once and for all today that I do want that child. That I accept average. Down with mother's guilt! Unlike opinions that I held strongly before having children, there actually is nothing wrong with allowing my children to enter a public establishment with a drool-stained onesie, an outfit that doesn't match, or behavior that is less than adorable. That it doesn't display bad things about me as a mother when my children act like children.And so I left MckNugget's face dirty, and we entered the establishment with our heads held high.And then, after I realized that I do want that child, I realized that, accept it or not, anyone with children already has that child. No child is perfect, just like none of us are perfect. All children are messy, all children disobey, all children have accidents in their pants and all children are born without the ridiculous notion that how they look in public matters at all.Because it doesn't matter. And people aren't looking at or paying attention to us or our children even half as much as we think they are, anyway. What if, instead of trying to play the comparison game just to make sure our kids have a leg up on others, we just let it go?Besides, where did all this mother's guilt come from, anyway? In the Garden of Eden at the fall, of course. Although I had my fair share to do with the promotion of mother's guilt. Especially before I had children. You know, when I was the perfect mother. I used to silently judge mothers who had to drag their tantruming sons out of Target by their belt loops, cringe at mothers who let their daughters walk around with food stains all over the fronts of their shirts and swear that when I had children, I'd never have that child.And then, when I became a mother, I let a lot of that go. I realized that having children is hard. And dirty. And messy. And imperfect. And that that child was my child! But in turn, when I let that go, I picked up a new unhealthy habit: I found myself clinging to what I did do well, and propagated mother's guilt oh so subtly upon others that way. My children always potty train really early. I use cloth diapers. We eat organic food. Look how nicely my children sit while we lunch at the Community Center. Blah, blah, blah, blah. As if any of that proved that I was a fabulous mother. And that brings me back to my epiphany from earlier. I realized today how I long to reject mother's guilt. Early potty training works for our family. But I am not a better mother for it. There are scads of 2 year olds who can produce much clearer words that the toddler babbles that still come out of the mouth of our 2 year old. But there is nothing wrong with our parenting because of it. Health and wellness are valuable to me and I love natural parenting. But I am not a better mother for making those choices. I didn't make enough breastmilk for Small Fry and I had to stop nursing her much earlier than I would have liked to. But I accept no guilt for that. See, mothering is hard enough work without allowing ourselves to be burdened by others' guidelines for our own children. It's hard enough without giving mother's guilt to ourselves. It's hard enough when we do fail and have to face legitimate guilt, so it seems silly to add false guilt over silly, meaningless things to the mix. Mothering is hard enough! So, here's to letting go of potty training stigmas, to allowing ourselves to be okay with being imperfect mothers, to dirty faces in public being socially acceptable and to feeding our children whatever we think is best for them. And to, instead, focusing only on what really matters. Down with mother's guilt!!

Taiger's In Idaho.

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. There hasn't been much to say! Taiger has been gone for FOUR DAYS! I miss him LIKE CRAZY!!!!!! He is in Idaho visiting Grandpa and Uncle Bryndon, and other relatives. He absolutely LOVES going to Idaho!!!!!!!!!! I don't know what he loves more, seeing Grandpa and Bryndon or playing with the mass amounts of LEGOS they have spread all over the sun-room (I mean, usually they are put away nicely, but once Taiger arrives, the sunroom becomes a Lego-Land!!).

Sunday, my Mom was going to be going to Idaho and she offered for Taiger to come along. I was hesitant, but Taiger had NO reservations about it! He begged to be able to go and I relented. I knew four days would be long for me, er, HIM, but he so badly wanted to go that I let him. I quickly packed his bag. About 12 outfits, two kinds of Tylenol and two pair of shoes...that's "all" I felt he needed for four days in a house WITH a washing machine and three OVERLY doting adults for him to have his most basic needs met. Hey, I didn't send the kitchen sink, so I thought I was doing pretty well.

Saturday night, Jeremy and I went to the mall and OF COURSE brought Taiger with us. Because Taiger hadn't taken a nap, I figured he'd fall asleep in the car and I wanted him in something comfortable so he could just wear those clothes to bed. I put him in a cute t-shirt and "work-out" style pants. Wow, did he look ridiculous! Something about the pants with that shirt and then his boat shoes...he looked horrible! BUT I let it go. His comfort was WAY more important than his "dressed-well" level. (He rode in the stroller at the mall, so you couldn't really tell what he was wearing, AND I crossed my fingers we wouldn't see anyone we knew...HA HA! Am I paranoid or what?! Really, I am not THAT anal, but this outfit was sad). So, of course, Taiger fell asleep on the way home and I carried him in to bed and left him in his comfy, albeit nerdy, clothes. So, the next morning when my Mom wanted him to go to Idaho, he had only just woken up and wasn't yet dressed. I decided to let him travel in those comfy clothes and they could dress him in Idaho. At the last minuet, my Mom grabbed an extra outfit that was laying out, thinking it was something I had meant to pack but had accidentally left out. Anyway, about two hours after they left, my Mom called. They had stopped to let Taiger go to the bathroom, but when they went to get his shoes for him, his bag was nowhere to be found. I ran into the living room and, sure enough, there was the bag, all packed up nicely, sitting by the couch, waiting to be put into the trunk of the car that had already left.

I thought it so ironic that I had been so paranoid about what to pack and in the end it didn't even matter! I realized he had no Tylenol, but they could buy that at the store. It also meant he had no shoes! But my Mom said she would buy him some flip-flops or something cheap to get him by. However, the shock hit when I realized he was in Idaho for four days with nothing to wear but that super nerdy outfit!!!! HA HA! Luckily, my Mom had stuck in that one extra outfit, so she can do laundry and have SOMETHING decent for him to wear!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This Post Ended Up Being About Three Paragraphs Longer Than I Thought It Would Be! HA HA! SORRY!!

SO....we have pictures up on our website of our "Paint-A-Stone" Event! WOO HOO! (I was very excited about this because it has taken me since the day of the event to figure out how to put pictures on! LOL!) I am working even as we speak to figure out how to put the slide-show on the website so EVERYONE can watch! I made the slide-show last winter and I never knew how to put it on youtube or anything for others to watch. I hope I can figure it all out and get it up where people can see it. It is a touching slide-show and I hope it moves people's hearts in the same way mine has been moved.

I just kind of want to say one other thing: I am so thankful for all of the people in the world that love and care about and reach out to orphans. I am learning that "those" kinds of people are few and far between, and when you find one, it is a rare treat. For those of you out there who "have a heart" for orphans (so to speak), I LOVE YOU!!!!! Thank you for your kindness. There are not words to describe how I feel towards you. All I can manage to say is THANK YOU!

I am having a really hard time right now "staying put"!! I want so badly to run to China and start on this great work I feel called to do. However, I have learned over the years that God's time is the BEST time (even better than mine...I know, surprising!). I have really been humbled as I have waited for so many years to do this great work...but I have seen the importance in the waiting.

It was well over 15 years ago that I first had the notion to open an orphan home in China. When I was in China, I tried SO hard to make the right connections, to ask the right questions, etc. to be able to open an orphanage. I felt that it was what God wanted me to do. I was disappointed when all of my efforts were to no avail. However, I never gave up! Over the years I have dreamed of my orphanage. Whenever something would seem IMPOSSIBLE, God would put an answer in my path that made that challenge POSSIBLE! As the years have passed, my dream has become more and more real to me. I really do understand that this is a great task God has asked me to do. I have also learned, through HIS wisdom, that I need to start a food program. Now, I don't know if it is God's will for me to later open an orphanage or not, but I DO know this: starting a food program still feels like the "right" thing to do, but answers SO MANY of the uncertainties about opening an official "orphanage". I know that if I had not waited as God wanted me to, and I had rushed things and just gone over to China and tried to start an orphanage, it would not have been very easy and maybe not at all successful. As it is, I waited. While I waited, I felt prompted to look in to adopting. After some time of thinking it was God's will to adopt, I realized it was not at all His will that I adopt! Rather, it was His will to get me looking in to adopting and Africa, and through that research I found out about Katie (kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com). I learned about the program she has in Africa, and I felt inspired to do the same thing she is doing, only in China! God is good...ALWAYS GOOD! His plan, His timing, EVERYTHING is PERFECT! Orphanage, adopting, Katie, FOOD PROGRAM! :D I can't wait to see what God has in store for me, and how, in His greatness, His perfection and His wisdom He leads me to the place He wants me to be!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Paint-A-Stone Event

Okay, so I know some of you may be wondering how the fund-raiser went! Rather than put it all on here, too, I will send you all over to our other blog, sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com!! Thanks! (You can see some pictures of us preparing the night before, too, if you look at the blog entry two before the most recent!) You can see pictures at 16smallstones.com...but not tonight! They aren't on yet! LOL! SORRY! :D :D

Thanks, everyone!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Update on Sixteen Small Stones Event

UPDATE on preparing for the Sixteen Small Stones "Paint A Stone Event":

We copied 100 fliers last night at Kinkos (THANK HEAVEN they are open 24 hours!!!!!) and about 11:00pm Jeremy and I took Taiger in the stroller and we went around the neighborhood putting out fliers. Unfortunately, we didn't get many out before we needed to head in, but I will go out again tonight and do more. THANK YOU, JEREMY, for helping me!

I got a list made up last night of everything we need for Friday. There is a lot to do, but I have faith we can get everything done in time!!!!! Please pray for us to get everything ready, AND to have a good turn-out.

I am so excited for everything that is taking place! This is a wonderful opportunity to serve so many people! I foresee great things happening with Sixteen Small Stones for years to come, and I am excited that this is our first step on a life-long journey!

"The journey of a million miles begins with one step." ~Lao Zi

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sixteen Small Stones

Okay, so if you follow both of my blogs, you are going to get this twice! I could say "SORRY", but maybe it is good to get it twice...I hope maybe if people see it twice they will want to come. This is all part of my mind control, at which I excel. I even have mastered Jedi mind tricks. LOL! Just kidding.

(I started an organization called Sixteen Small Stones. We serve and reach out to the orphaned and less fortunate in Africa and China. To read more, visit my other blog, sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com, or our website at 16smallstones.com. Thanks!!!!)

Our FIRST EVENT is planned and we are hurrying like CRAZY trying to get everything ready in time! Friday, we will host our first "Paint A Stone Event". This is the COOLEST fund raising idea, EVER, I think. People donate 16 cents (for "SIXTEEN Small Stones"...get it?!) and they get to paint a rock to take home! It will give them a fun little craft AND since it is a stone it will help them remember us and MORE IMPORTANTLY to remember all of the orphaned children in the world! I am really, really excited and praying it goes well. If it does, we hope to do more of this fund raiser.

Our vision is that this simple fund raiser will be SO FUN that it will catch on other places, too, and people will either host their own Paint A Stone event, or will themselves just paint a stone. What we hope is they will send us a picture (or even a video!!!!!!) of their event or of them and their painted rock. We will then post the picture to our website! We want our site to be PACKED with pictures of people ALL OVER painting rocks as a symbol of their advocacy for the orphans of the world. It would be such a miracle and a blessing if they felt compelled to send us their 16 cents, but even if they don't, we still want them to paint their rocks and send us their pictures to show they care about orphans. SO....Here are the details for the event we are hosting! EVERYONE is invited, and it would be GREAT if you came! We would love to meet you!!!!!!

DATE: August 7, 2009 (THIS FRIDAY!!!!)

TIME: 9:30 am - 12:00 noon
PLACE: 1811 South 1800 East Sugarhouse, UTAH 84108 (If you need directions, please comment here and let me know! I can email directions to you!)
WHAT: For 16 cents you can paint a stone to bring home! We will have slide shows showing pictures of the children we will be helping. ALL of our board members will be there to answer any questions you have about Sixteen Small Stones, orphans, China, Africa...whatever!


We really hope you will all come! It is going to be so much fun! SEE YOU FRIDAY!WE CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Long and Short of It

So, on Friday, Taiger and I took the big step. We borrowed Jeremy's brother's hair clippers...and we cut Taiger's hair! And I mean SHORT! I think he looks SO MUCH BETTER...even though I did love the long hair ;)! His features are more pronounced, and it is easier to see his twinkling eyes and you can really tell how big his smile is!! More importantly, I know HE FEELS BETTER, which means more than anything! His head used to get SO HOT when his hair was longer. He used to cry each day when I combed it, and he would BEG me not to comb it! He HATED washing it, and I would have to scrub and scrub to get through those thick curls. Now, washing it is quick and easy, it is MUCH cooler, AND we don't have to come near it with a comb (or pick, or brush, or detangler, or a water squirt bottle...or any other hair-care implement!). I didn't PLAN to cut it so short, but I am glad the clippers weren't working properly and it ended up so short. It is really cute, I think, and SO NICE!


After his haircut, I stuck him in the bath to rinse off all the hair clippings. However, Taiger was only in a few minuets before the bath water was full of the prickly stubble, so I emptied the tub and we tried the shower. Taiger had never taken a shower alone before, and I wasn't sure he would even try it, but with some minor persuasions, he decided to give it a go. (Taiger: "Showers are for GIRLS!" His two year old rational had lead him to believe he takes baths because he is a boy, and Mommy takes showers because she is a girl....The only plausible explanation, clearly!! Me: "Uncle Bryndon takes showers!" Jeremy: "I take showers every day!" Taiger becomes a member of the showering population.) In the end, he LOVED the shower and I had to practically drag him out by his slippery little toes.

In the shower after his haircut

Slippery Toes!!