Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy girl

So it seems that Reagan enjoys dressing up for Aunt Jacque's house more than posing at home! Maybe it was the abundance of wrapping paper and boxes to play with (since no one-year-old I know ever seems to enjoy the gift as much as the package). We had a wonderful Christmas and are now busy digging out from the incredible generosity of our family and friends. I think that a number of old toys are going to enjoy a little "vacation" in the garage for a while. Better get that done during what remains of nap time!

Monday, December 24, 2007

All ready for Christmas!

Though we've yet to get a photo of a happy Reagan in her Christmas outfit, the three of them still look pretty sweet, don't they? We'll try again tonight! Note the doting big brother who is desperately trying to get a sad baby sister to stand up and smile when mama calls "cheese!".

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hark the herald

I’ve long enjoyed the tune of the carol Hark The Herald Angels Sing, but had never really stopped to consider what the words mean. Several years ago I finally did, and fell in love with the hymn not just for the music, but for the truth it presents about my Savior. The first word is an old one, which means “to listen attentively.” Alternately, hark refers to “a hunter's shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent,” which presents an appropriate and interesting image. The hymn writer is imploring us to listen to, and follow, the truths proclaimed by the angels on that first Christmas night. As we approach Christmas this year, I also encourage you to set aside the busyness for a moment (challenging I know!) to consider the words of the angels. But even more importantly, I would encourage you to consider the Baby they announced - Diety veiled in human flesh, Who was born that men no more may die – and to give Him the glory He alone deserves.
Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
"Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem
"Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Monday, December 17, 2007


As I mentioned in my last post, I recently celebrated the milestone birthday. No, I don’t really feel that much older, but I do finally feel like I’m a true, respectable adult. One would think that titles such as wife, CPA, college professor, aunt, “senior staff” (an unfortunate name for our roles in a college-age Bible Study), homeowner, piano teacher or mom would have done that for me, but somehow leaving my twenties behind seems more definitively adult-ish than any of those other things. So many huge life changes have happened in the past decade that it just now feels like I’m settling in. Between the ages of 20 and 30 I met Dan, graduated from college, started a career in accounting, got married, gave birth to two wonderful kids, adopted a third, ended a career in accounting, started a “career” in teaching – big kids and my own little ones, moved four times, and celebrated 8 years of marriage. It’s hard to imagine that the next decade could hold quite that much stuff. I don’t regret growing older though because each stage just seems to be better than the last. God has been so incredibly gracious to me over the past 30 years that I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me over the next 30!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Not so deceptive, not so delicious

In celebration of my recent birthday (the big 3-0… more about that later), my sister gave me a new cookbook, promoted by a certain talk-show host, that seemed rather promising. The idea is to puree various veggies and sneak them into your kids’ favorite dishes, thus getting them to consume the good stuff unaware. We don’t really have that much of a problem getting our kids to eat what we set in front of them (well, except for Parker who we can’t even get to eat sweets), but I didn’t see the harm in trying to up the nutritional content of the food I serve to the whole family. So on Tuesday I tried the chicken nuggets. Aside from being entirely too much work, they weren’t all that bad. Dan preferred the un-doctored variety, but my mother-in-law swore she liked the broccoli/spinach version even better. I was undecided, but after last night’s fiasco, I am decidedly anti-deception! I thought I’d try the spaghetti pie. Pretty hard to ruin, right? Wrong. For the first time in 8 years of marriage we had to run out for Chinese after dinner came out of the oven. It tasted only a little better than it looked, and trust me, it looked not even half as good as the photo in the cookbook. It was more than a little obvious that the meatballs were full of broccoli, and the carrot and cottage cheese combo was far more than could be overcome by the pasta and tomato sauce. I’m sure a good portion of the blame can be placed on this chef, but I think from now on our veggies will be served steamed, on the side, disguised with only perhaps a little cheese. Now I’m off to find another Christmas present for my sister because apparently great minds think alike – there’s a second copy of this disaster sitting in my closet, wrapped up with her name on it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

They’re out!

Our Christmas cards are in the mail! If I didn’t enjoy getting them so much there’s no way I would go to all the trouble. For some reason the task just seemed especially tedious this year. Maybe it was the multiple photo sessions in multiple outfits on multiple different days (we get to dress and pose for the grandmothers’ Christmas cards as well). Perhaps it was the fact that the cute cards I bought on clearance last year didn’t want to go through my printer, which meant I had to print our letter on a separate sheet. I couldn’t bring myself to make another run out just to get paper, so I was limited to my stock on hand, which of course was not the right size and had to be cut by hand because my paper trimmer was too small to accommodate it… you get the idea! Top that off with the printer running out of ink and the laptop running out of juice mid-print and I was pretty much Christmas-carded-out before I even got to the sort, stuff, address, lick and stamp routine. All in all it’s still worth it for the fun of running out to the mailbox each day to see how our friends and family have changed and what they’ve been up to over the past year. I also appreciate the opportunity to share how gracious God has been to us, but I think next year I might go with the Costco photo shop special. So if you did receive a card, enjoy! If not and you’d like to have one, shoot me an e-mail with your street address ( but you’ll have to do without the letter – I’m all out and not about to start that mess again. Or if you’d rather not have our family photo plastered on your fridge next year, just enjoy it here:

As you can tell from our photo, the ~ family became a little more Vietnamese in 2007! After almost two years of waiting, Reagan finally became an official part of our family on May 15th. Since then, we have enjoyed getting to know the little person who for so many months was just a picture and a dream. Reagan is a sweet, happy baby who has blended almost seamlessly into our crazy life. Parker has embraced the role of big brother with gusto, and his laughter and enthusiasm are contagious. Alyssa loves being mama’s helper, but now shares her mornings and tender spirit with her beloved kindergarten class. Dan enjoyed ten weeks away from work, which we filled with all kinds of fun “bonding” activities after bringing Reagan home, but eventually returned to a job he loves. My life is filled with the simple joys and stuff of being a wife and now mother to three. When there’s time left over I blog about it ~here~. But as grateful as we are for our many temporal blessings, and especially the joy of adopting a child, they all pale in comparison to the joy of being adopted as a child of God. At this special time of year, and every day, we rejoice that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). We pray that you too have been redeemed and know for yourselves the indescribable joy of being adopted by God!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Not beach people

This is how we love the beach! Close enough to smell the salt air, watch the waves crash, and take some cute kid pictures, but not so close as to deal with the sticky persistent mess that inevitably results from any physical contact with sand and salt water. I know, we're spoiled and probably a little too uptight, but we really did have fun and took the kids on the nearby 3-car ferry to make up for not allowing them to bury themselves in the sand!

Friday, December 07, 2007

THE call

One year ago today we received the phone call informing us that we were parents once again. After months on the waiting list, nearly a year and a half into the adoption process, and two countries later, we were finally sure that our daughter was alive and waiting for us in Vietnam. We were shocked she was so young and so tiny, we could barely tell what she looked like from the little grainy photo, we weren’t even sure what we would call her, but we knew she was ours and loved her from the start. Now we know her in the flesh, are watching her sweet and silly little personality develop, and are falling in love with her more every day. As much as we praised God for Reagan one year ago, we feel even more blessed by this precious gift from our heavenly Father today!