Thursday, May 30, 2013

As promised .... GARDEN PICS!

As I have promised, this whole post is proof that my garden actually exists :) Starting on the deck and working my way down.

My pretty petunias:

I got all creative and reused the watering can with (great big) holes in the bottom to be a planter.

Fearless guardian of the garden (*cough cough* in my dreams.)  In reality, if I don't lock every single gate, this fur ball morphs into a terrier.  Much to the dismay of me and the plants.

The fancy gate & arch way-we are training a combination of morning glories, clematis, a climbing rose, & swamp jasmine to climb over it.

Baby Squash:

Beans on the left, gladiolas on the right:
Beans & onions:
Peppers & Marigolds:


For Me?!?!?

Thomas, garden helper extraordinaire!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Fun

We survived enjoyed the final soccer weekend. Josh continued to spin aimlessly in the centre of the field, oblivious to man or ball, and generally speaking, a good time was had by all. It was a tiny bit bitter-sweet, as this is Sarah's last year in the league, but it's obvious she has a knack with the little ones, and I suspect coaching will be in her future.  The rest of my weekend say work was rough would be the relative understatement of the year....or century. My specific words, upon entering my house a good hour later than anticipated on my first night of the weekend were 'Well, today would make you quit.' Things did not improve from there. In addition to all that went wrong in the context of work (mostly grumpy people, perhaps myself included,) I found out a colleague will be shipping out to Afghanistan for a year....for the third time. :( R., please know, we will keep you lifted in prayer, and we are proud & grateful for your service! Overall,  I guess it's a great job that makes you go HOORAY IT'S MONDAY!!! right?

Mr. P. was home, c/o federal holiday, so we slept WAY in (hence why you are getting a blog update at a quarter to midnight), got the good word that our amended application landed safely in our in-country agency's hands, and basically puttered about the garden Interspersed with a run to Lowes (aka Bob the Builder's), Five-bucks, and the Green House (the local nursery, yes in fact, it is called the Green House-though they have like 10-along with every shade of geranium you can imagine, and a few you can't.) My beds are nearly full to bursting, and Sarah has the makings of  a very nifty raised bed for strawberries. She also planted her carrot seeds. This is an annual event, allowing us to prove, again, that carrots do not grow in Virginia. So this year, we try special foo-foo Technicolor organic carrot seeds. Something new and different to not really grow. :-D Her bed, Go for broke kiddo! The greenie-er than me crowd will be proud of my repurposing of pots (like the nice huge ones the fruit trees came in) to get my 8 million or so squash plants transplanted-the big pots are frankly sufficiently large that you wouldn't need to transplant them again. Those are going to get rehomed though, as I have no less than 8-10 summer squash, zucchinis, 4 acorn, and 10+ cukes. The plants that go into the ground sooner already have itsy-bitsy little squash on them!!! I could potentially have fresh baby squash by the weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I'm a little excited...check to see how excited I am the end of July ^_^)

Our final bit of productivity involved looking over our adoption funding. Patti over at  A Perfect Lily is continuing the Saving Penny fundraiser, with the goal of raising $3000 for her (winner gets an iPad!!!) Julie's (Fallon) adoption will add about $5000-5500 in fees, travel notwithstanding (so really, it could be closer to $6500, depending on ticket fees, and other sundries.)

 This could cause me to hyperventilate......but I refuse.  Wanna know why?

This verse was my verse o'the day in my email box this AM:

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19 KJV

God is going to provide this. HE has faithfully gone before us, opening every door, finding funding, matching us with individuals who are passionate about saving orphans, and calming the storm of fear that sometimes rages in our own hearts and minds, when we meditate a little too long in our humanness on just what exactly we are embarking on. When we needed unity, and when we needed a little bit of a shove. HE has always been there. And HE will continue to be.  Doesn't make it 'easy' per say, and doesn't mean we won't need to continue to scrimp & save (and potentially live off squash). We're called to obedience, not easy. To sacrificial living, not affluence.

$6500 to rescue a life. Kind of blows your mind, doesn't it?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Little of this, a little of that (and a little something huge)

So this was kind of a social week (code for not a lot of school work done, but we've been gone enough the house still looks decent ;-p)

Monday was a gardening kind of night, Tuesday & this evening were the final soccer practices; the thunderstorms which have otherwise dominated our weather (though don't even merit mentioning, comparatively) held off. After 10 weeks of Thursdays watching Josh, I've come to the conclusion he is very much like Ferdinand the Bull .  Saturday is the final morning of complete and utter chaos game. Mr. P. will be ready for a reprieve, if no one else.

Wednesday we moseyed up 301 (and by up 301 I mean way up, 10 miles from the 301 bridge way up). I did not realize that was only about an hour and 20 minutes from here...apparently I need to get out more, but had not had occasion to be in that part of the state before. We had a chance to visit Mandy and her family. Our kids are pretty close in age so everyone had buddies to play with. Grey fell completely in love with their beagle and Ben figured out Sarah's name in under 30 seconds to max out the push me on the swings potential :) We, naturally, snapped the group photo (though cleverly we both managed to NOT get in it.
This is a quintessential group photo-some one's goofy, someone's crying, 10% aren't looking at the camera, and some goofball (mine) is holding up bunny ears. Mandy managed to get a slightly better shot; and I just managed to delete it, like an idiot.
 I could be biased, but I'd call it a good lookin' crew!
Because we were a mere 10 miles from the river and the ginormous bridge, we wandered the rest of the way up to the VA line and stopped at a cute little park on the water. We did all the cute stuff:
held up the bridge:
Came theeeese close, but did not actually go in the water (stopping at the Sheetz  2 miles down the road was contingent upon you staying OUT of the water). But we did not drive over the bridge. Momma cares not a whit for bridges, nauseatingly steep ones go double. The last time I went over that particular bridge it was 12 hrs into a 16 hr total trip back to college from PA by way of Jersey (don't ask)  in Sunday-after-Thanksgiving-shoot-me-now traffic. And it was icy, just for spite.
I got back in time to find the email regarding that file we'd been praying would be found...was found. And is ours :) May I introduce you to both our girls......






Penelope Joy  'Penny'                       And                Julia Anne 'Julie'


The file being found did necessitate another crisis trip to 1111 East Broad , which Mr. P. nobly and fearlessly led, assuring both paper & parking challenges covered. The kids once again dined al fresco on street vendor hot dogs, and a good time was had by all. We topped off an untoppable day (and a dinner fiasco) with $0.50 corn dogs and half price milk shakes at sonic (Mom, I didn't have the molten lava sundae after all-be proud of me!)  
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
                                                        ~Psalm 30 v5b

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Leaving work I saw this:

And heard this quote:
" You will never lighten any load until you feel the pressure in your own soul."
                                                                                                ~Ravi Zacharias
                                                                                            Watchman on the Wall

Something to think about.

Someone to think about:
Sweet Rebekah, this is the second time I have seen her listed on Reece's Rainbow. She's 6...maybe newly 7? This is probably an old picture, and she probably has a file a half a sheet long, that says little to nothing about her. She catches my heart; perhaps because she shares a citizenship and diagnosis with my Penny. Perhaps because too short a while ago, Sarah had pink checked bloomers and ruffled socks. I don't feel God calling me to adopt her....but I feel the pressure in my soul for hers . To petition God and man for her family, because they are out there. I can't lift her burden of orphanhood. Tonight however, I can feel Christ's pressure on my own soul for her life. Will you join me? Share her story and lift her up to the Most High God. 

 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Watching the world go by...

Really, I have no idea what was so cool in the boxwood bushes or the drive way, but Grey clearly found it fascinating enough to pull up a chair. Maybe he's trying to see what it is the dog barks at when she stares out the window :p

If I may be so bold as to ask for prayer, please be in prayer for a very specific item be found and added in with our dossier, if this is the Lord's will. And for peace to simply rest in God's timing & perfect will be done, in this and the adoption at large. Thank you!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sweet news

In case you haven't seen it already, you should mosey on over to Patti's blog and welcome sweet baby Hayden!! Born on Mother's Day, gotta love that!

My mother's day, while not that^ exciting by any means, held some sweet, special news of its own.  That'll be shared at a later date. Mr. P. also created a wonderful shade shelter over the picnic area of our deck. I'll admit, as he tried to describe what it would look like too me, I was a bit suspect. But the actual finished product is outstanding. We enjoyed a picnic dinner (for me, snack for him, it was 9:45 at night) al fresco when I finally rolled home last night. I again jinxed myself by telling him at 4:30 that work was going really well, and there was no reason I could see that I shouldn't leave on time. I know better, really I do. 1 rapid response, 1 code (not the same one), 2 fever work ups, two ileus (es? iliei? what is that plural in Latin??) that are puking, two less chest tubes, two follow up x-rays, and one GI bleed. And a partridge in a pear tree. I was only a half hour late leaving, go me :-D I work with the best nursing staff. Bless their hearts, they were trying to ply me with 5 hour energy by 6 o'clock. I was too scared to try it, however ( 5 hour energy or Never....sleep...again....

So, latte cheers to hoping that Monday is slightly LESS productive!!! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Singing God's Praise

This is 14 minutes long, but it is well worth it. Today's been a frustrating day, to say the least. And yet we are commanded to join with all creation to Praise HIM! I had absolutely no idea that by "all creation" God, in fact, meant ALL CREATION. You'll enjoy this one!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Love notes from God

It is funny how, when you are getting a bit discouraged or frustrated in this whole adoption process, how God will reach down and show you His love with just a bit of *exactly* what you need to remind you again, He's in control of this process and loves us dearly.

What's to be frustrated about...ha ha! I'm a planning sort of girl. I love lists (really, that might be my neurotic, self-soothing behaviour-when you make a list & item 1 is "write list" so you can cross that off as soon as the list is made. Voila-accomplishment!) And I love knowing the plan and generally being in control. It makes me good at my job,  you'd think it'd make me a great housekeeper (ahhh the juxtaposition of planning and actually least where laundry or decluttering is concerned.)  But it is giving me an ulcer where Penny is concerned. We know snippets of information, most of it pretty dated, and have 1 minute of grainy video on Vimeo that's I've watched 100 times if I've watched it once.  I ebb and flow between taking it in stride and wanting to hop the next flight to the Land of B. Ironically, the closer we get to traveling for our first trip, the frustration of not knowing can hit in waves ( waves that look like tsunamis, depending on the day.) I try not to dwell on it, as I can't change it and certainly it isn't as though I am the only in process adoptive mom who feels this way.

I'd love to be soooo religious and tell you I've given it to Christ. This might be true, but I am fairly certain that rushing back to the foot of the cross to snatch this burden right back up again negates whatever religiosity or virtue I might have otherwise had.  So I dwell & pray & dwell some more.  And Jesus took compassion on me all the same.  While I haven't gotten a letter post marked 1 Pearly Gates Lane, He gave me something nearly as sweet.

As you all know, Patti over at A Perfect Lily is graciously organizing a fund raising give away entitled Saving Penny.  Not only have people given beyond generously, folks have been face-booking (is that a verb?) tweeting, and re-blogging about it. When Susanna at The Blessing of Verity (who is supposed to just be snuggling her sweet baby boy) blogged about it, a comment came from another Mom who also adopted from Penny's orphanage who had seen Penny! We were able to connect and she gave me some information about Penny's condition and, more importantly, real encouragement.

 What I felt from her was that there was this child trapped in this contracted body...We had prayed for a family that could love her –

She saw a child who, while  alarmingly small, pale,  & weak, loved to be held.  Who made eye contact & didn't shy from being touched. Who enjoyed a volunteer singing to her. Who turned her head to look at you when you spoke her name.  And this mom prayed for her....and for us.  

I still want to have her home with us like tomorrow, but again I rest knowing God is directing our steps in this path.  And I treasure this gift of a glimpse into what our daughter is like.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

 Matthew 7:11 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rainy night post

   Very little new tonight, but I feel a sense of obligation I should post SOMETHING :) Still waiting on an update regarding the status of our documents, as they've been there a good 3 weeks now. In the meanwhile, we've been ohh'ing and ahh'ing over the lovely pictures of Benjamin

   Mr. P. has been hard at work in the garden. After almost 13 years here, I have given up on trying to plant in the tilled up part of the yard. I can't keep ahead of the weeds and the soil is just beyond poor quality. Very sad. To help with my grief (and to utilize a chain saw and other power tools...) he has made me some gorgeous raised beds and I've been having a ball. The weather was super warm a few weeks back, and being mid-April already, I thought that the cooler weather stuff would be a waste of time to plant now, so I tossed some beans & squash in, then some zinneas, gladiolas, sunflowers, & cukes. And I am not sure we've hit 60* more than twice since then. *Ahem* apparently the lettuce would have done ok. ^_^   Meanwhile, the zucchini is c.o.l.d.! So today I ventured out to Short Pump in search of row cover (and can I just WHINE mention how insane the traffic is?!?  Seriously, why is it bumper to bumper traffic at 2:45 on a Monday?) I did call ahead, & I was surprised Southern states, which is half the distance to drive, didn't carry it.  So I checked with Strange's,  and after I managed to get the gist of what 'floating row cover' is across to whomever answered the phone, I hiked out there, retrieved it. We enjoyed some Arby's on the way home (gotta love the 5 for $9.99 roast beefs) and called it our adventure. I could have easily spent hours (and a pay cheque) wandering through  their nurseries though.   The temp actually came up a bit this afternoon & tonight it's raining rather steadily, so I'll see how it looks tomorrow to actually rig the stuff up.  (*cough cough* AND TAKE PICTURES!) 

A bit of a local shout out, Lavender Fields Farm, which is a Virginia Century Farm and now certified organic (and run by lovely folks!) is having the second weekend of their annual herb faire. Sarah & I ventured up there last weekend-busy but fun, and I snagged some nice herbs (one of this & one of that,  I just didn't feel like starting from seed....however if you need a zucchini, let me know....those germinated by the hundreds I think!)

The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. 

Deuteronomy 28:12

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Amazing Love

We are just astounded by the love of the Body of Christ & believers from all over! Our wonderful church allowed us to formally present Penny to the congregation & took up a love offering to benefit our adoption. This raised nearly half of the second installment fee (#2 of 3 total to About A Child.) As though this weren't quite enough, Patti over at A Perfect Lily has begun a fundraiser entitled Saving Penny to help us complete our fundraising needs. God is so good, all the time!!!  It is so humbling, to read another's words to advocate for your child. It is hard though, to look at those pictures of children tied to crib rails. It goes beyond comprehension, what possesses an adult to do that to a child. And crushes your heart to know that if you did that to an animal you'd be (and rightfully so, don't get me wrong) prosecuted harshly. Do that to a child however, and excuses are produced to justify it so fast your head would spin.  And NPR will feature an editorial on how adoption is bad....Apparently lunacy knows no bounds.

But today, I refuse to not choose joy.  I am choosing joy because our God is Awesome, and He loves us. He loves Penny, and while I cannot even begin to comprehend why she's suffered, I know He will redeem her life and bless ours immeasurably; of this I have no doubt.  I don't know why, beyond a somewhat nebulous concept of sin in the world i.e.: Genesis 3, this suffering is allowed. But I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the least of these will surely be first in the Kingdom of Heaven, and in this life or that to come, accountability will be demanded of those who justify these types of atrocities.  And mostly, because our daughter is coming home and will finally know love. So I will rejoice in Him who sets the lonely in families.

Choose JOY with me today :)