Saturday, January 31, 2009

Awwww...I'm blushing!

I'm totally thrilled to have gotten this "Online Friend Award" from Rita over at the Andrews Crew. Right back atcha, Rita, YOU'RE THE BEST! I am so thankful for you!



"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find friends and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships will be propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly- written text into the body of their award."

Now I am struggling to pick only 8 special online friends - people I have gotten to know and grown to love through blogs and comments and prayers and emails and such - out of the MANY of you who deserve this major award! There are so many of you who have become so important to me through this journey...But for expediency's sake I am going to send a big cyber hug to ALL of you and pick these 8 to "Share the Love" in no particular order:

1. Christina - Kwisteena's Kwaziness

2. Jennifer - And Then There Were 2 and Jen's Reawakening (of sorts)

3. Carmen/Shane - Bringing Home Abraham's Stars and Carmen Rose Prose

4. Renee - Life With My Special Ks and Bringing Kellsey Home

5. Sherri - All Glory Be to God and Seemingly Random

6. Genece - Half a Sky Away

7. Beth - Hollis Adoption-Colombia

8. Kimberly - Domita Hope

Monday, January 26, 2009

A little fun...and not as bad as I expected, actually!

70%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?


(click on my results to take the quiz for yourself!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Slow and steady...

Galapagos Tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus)
PHOTO CREDIT: Cliff1066

we lumber along. The excitement is building as we wait for word of whether our agency is requiring any changes or clarifications for the home study. We are getting closer, slowly but steadily.

I decided on a whim yesterday to start rearranging bedrooms and living spaces. It was a long time coming and there's a long way yet to go but I feel like we're making progress again. Progress is good. And everyone knows slow and steady wins the race!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Making faith make sense to kids

It's probably no surprise to you that faith is a huge part of our lives in the Murray household. We walk by faith and we are doing our best to guide our children into a deeper understanding of the faith that shapes our lives, which includes regularly attending mass at our church. At five and eleven years of age, most Sundays my kids give listening and paying attention a very good effort but sometimes it's pretty tough for them to understand the scripture readings, which makes it even tougher for them to pay attention. (And, if we are being honest here, at 33 sometimes it's hard for me to grasp what's being revealed in the scriptures so how can I expect more from them?)

Enter Hear My Voice, A Children's Translation of Gospel Readings of the Catholic Mass for 2009. Hear My Voice is geared towards children around first communion age and provides the actual scheduled Gospel readings to be proclaimed together with a "children's translation" of the reading that can be better understood by children and a corresponding illustration. It is recommended that parents read the passages with their children prior to the mass to assist in their understanding of the readings and the overall message of the weekly mass itself. Sounds great, right? It is.

In our house, we have added Hear My Voice to our nightly routine. After dinner and before the family prayer at bedtime we take a few minutes to read the Gospel passage and its "translation" and discuss what we understand about the reading and what new information we have gleaned from each successive reading. Even though my children are a little older and a little younger than the target age group, Hear My Voice has been an effective learning tool for all of us. I know from my own experience that the more often you read a scripture the deeper your understanding can be. Repetition works for us. By the time we get to mass on Sunday, the kids have heard the Gospel reading six times and discussed it in terms that make sense to them so when the Priest or the Deacon begins to speak they are excited because they know what he is talking about. Kyle put it best by saying, "this book is great because it helps me 'get it!'"


The Catholic Company, where I got my copy of Hear My Voice, has lots of great books and resources like this one. If you're looking for something to help your kids - or yourself - better understand the Catholic faith, take a minute and look around.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Got a minute?

Check out the blog post by my friend, Deanna, about the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) and please join us as we pray.

And please, you don't have to tell me what you believe; but even if you don't believe abortion is wrong at its very core, I'm sure you can find another aspect of FOCA that requires your prayers -- taxpayer funding for abortions, maybe? Or what about this: parental notification will no longer be required. Imagine your daughter scared and confused and getting an abortion without you even knowing about it. I can't live with that. Can you?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So have I been up to lately?

PHOTO CREDIT: QueenNeveen

I'm finding myself thinking about names a lot lately. I'm wondering if our child will be a boy or a girl. I'm thinking of room decorations and what we'll need to have prepared. I'm even starting -- just in my head right now -- a packing list for what we'll need to take when we go to Colombia. I check flights about once a week to try and guestimate what we'll be paying for airfare.

At the same time I have been talking to people and emailing people and reading blogs written by people who have children with Down syndrome. I want to get our family involved with the local organizations now and not wait until we come home, since we have no idea when that will be yet. I've been doing a lot of research on Down syndrome and am learning a lot about it...on paper. My thinking was that we should get to know a little bit more about Down syndrome and start making friends with kids and adults with Down syndrome. People, not theory. We need to make a human connection. I'm not going to start quoting Barbra Streisand but you get what I mean. It's starting to come together -- at church the other night I was able to talk to a lady whose son is Katie's age and goes to her school. (When we got in the car Katie said "* is my best friend!" How could you help but smile at that?) A really great mom I "met" through blogging (and who lives not nearly as far from us as I thought) has offered to meet us at the park so our kids can meet and play.

I've been going through the paperwork again to see what else we'll need to update again before we go; checking each list a second and third (and fortieth) time to see what I may have missed before now. I've been worrying, even though I know I shouldn't, and I have been anxious, but just a little bit. I've been pondering how God will orchestrate the rest of this process and praying with faith that He has a perfect plan in motion. I've been praying for our agency and our social worker and the other adoptive families who have become our friends even though we've never met face to face.

But, mostly, I've been thinking of names - "K" names for a boy or a girl - because one day soon, when God is ready, we're going to have another child. And it's definitely going to be worth the wait.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oww-Wii!

PHOTO CREDIT: Phillie Casablanca

So the kids are thrilled that Memaw and Papaw got a Wii for Christmas. I'm digging the Wii Bowling myself. Or at least I was, until I decided to work some extra exercise into the game and started rolling every ball with a deep lunge that I hold until the pins drop which rendered me incapable of walking for a day or so from the sore muscles. How lame I must sound, I know. But the truth is a week of Wii Bowling makes the fact that I am quite out of shape painfully obvious. (The pun? Reader's choice: take it or leave it.)


But, since it IS fun, I have decided that I will try to keep it up, alternating bowling lefty and bowling righty, and Wii my way to the the best buns on the block! The exercise? I'll take it where I can get it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009