Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ice Skating on Morgan Square…

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In a rare escapade, we rented some boots with a thin metal blade on the bottom and attempted to skate around on ice. I’m sure we looked ridiculous… but so did everybody else. Aside from the blisters on my ankles, I enjoyed every bit of it. Daddy & Lovey were Not. Too. Sure. 

Sisters! Mommy & Me O Tannenbaum! Not too sure of this... Skating Duo Family on Ice A Kiss for Mommy

The Pumpkin Patch…

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“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”     ~ William Butler Yeats

I read this quote recently and I love its simple truth. It expresses something I’ve always known, but been completely unaware of knowing. Do you ever feel like that?

After returning home from the pumpkin patch a few weeks back and noticing the happy problem of having too many cute pictures for a blog post, I knew it was time to stretch myself and learn to make a video — time to grow.

I’ve been working on it for weeks. Though it’s not the HD clarity my perfectionist nature craves, seeing it here makes me happy. Enjoy my first attempt at telling a story on vimeo…

If the video above does not work try clicking video.

…with special thanks to my dear husband for providing more technical assistance than I’d like to admit. I have just enough creativity to begin a multitude of projects, but (being the professional Project Engineer that he is) he has the patience, persistence and know-how to see them to completion.

A Day to Celebrate…

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We dedicated Lily on Orphan Sunday, November 4th. This was a joyful opportunity to publicly recognize her as a gift from God and to commit to raise her up for Him, as He gives us grace. It was a special service and we reveled in the magnificence of our Lord and His works.

In the weeks leading up to Orphan Sunday, I reflected on how much we’ve been blessed in our decision to bring an orphan home and adopt her as our own child. Never could we have imagined how much we would love her, how much joy she would bring into our lives, or the perfect fit she would be for our family. What started as an altruistic effort to make a tiny difference in the orphan crisis has ended up being one of the greatest blessings of our lives.

I borrowed the following words from a John Piper post I recently read,

“Only a few things have gripped me with greater joy than the truth that God loves to show his God-ness by working for me, and that his working for me is always before and under and in any working I do for him.”

Copied below are some of the scriptures referenced on Piper’s post that illustrate this truth.

  • “No eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:4)
  • “God is not served by human hands as though he needed anything, but he himself gives life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:25)
  • “The eyes of the LORD run through the earth, to show himself strong for those who trust him.” (2 Chronicles. 16:9)
  • “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1) (This one’s engraved in our wedding rings. Just another example of how I believe He’s been preparing us for Lily for a long time.)

It sprinkled rain later that Sunday afternoon. After Lily’s nap, Whitney did something I’ve never known him to do. He helped Lily get her boots on and took her outside to play in the rain. I was already outside washing the car. For some reason, we looked up just in time to see the pale hues of a beautiful fading rainbow. I raced inside to get the camera.

What a perfect blessing for our day! I felt like it was put there just for us. To think that God would choose this day to send a rainbow — to remember His covenant and show us a glimpse of His glory…

Yes, God set His bow in the cloud on Orphan Sunday, November 4th to remind us

He keeps His promises!

 

 

Down on the Farm…

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Right about the time the leaves were supposed to be at their peak of autumn color (or as Olivia, the English major says, “autumnal color”), we packed the car and headed up the Appalachian Mountains to my dad’s farm in rural Virginia, formerly my old home place. The trip is always an adventure for us, more so this time because Whitney, Jr. drove down from Pittsburgh to meet us. It was the first time we’d seen him since August and this mama was past ready to lay eyes on him and see how he was doing for herself.

The farm is lovely this time of year but the autumn color was a little past its peak.

Still, it was fun being together, enjoying the great outdoors, and spending time with my dad. The weather was perfect, if a little chilly, and Lovey enjoyed being outside much of the weekend. It was good for her to get a taste of life down on the farm.

One of the highlights of our visit was seeing Granddaddy’s new baby calves. All six were born within ten days of each other. Just a few weeks old and thriving, they presented a rare pleasure for me, a wonderful experience for Lovey, and a simplified winter for Granddaddy…

There are a few more pix in the gallery. Just click on any picture to go there…

Happy fall, y’all! Enjoy the seasonal beauty where ever life finds you today.

 

 

Adventure Bound…

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Hello World




Lovey wants to run so badly. She’s been trying to figure it out for weeks. At random moments throughout the day, she’ll reach for my hand and say,

“Run!”

On these occasions, I grab her hand and we’ll run around the inside of the house a few times. A happy hum always emanates from her mouth as we run. [For some reason, I always tire of this game before she does.]

Some time ago, Lovey discovered that the sidewalks outside slope away from the house just enough to give her the momentum she craves. Once she gets started, she’s able to use gravity to build up a little speed.

After she ‘runs’ a little way down the sidewalk, she walks back up to the porch, steps up onto it, and begins the process all over again.

And ohhhh, how it makes her laugh…

That laugh makes my heart sing!

October Days at Home…

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“All things on earth point home in old October…”

Thomas Wolfe

It’s mid October and here we are home in our cozy little gray clapboard siding house in the beautiful piedmont of South Carolina. The pitter patter of little feet in our home has added a sweet rhythm to my days and I’m enjoying life with a freshness that only someone living with a toddler would understand. Each day is full of miracles, everything is enjoyed for its own sake and new and exciting adventures abound.

I love having a “Little” in the house.

Happy to share some of our rhythm with you today…

Thanking God that Lovey is home this October and praying for all the children still waiting. Their hearts, too, point home. ♥

Celebrating our Girl…

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Three days before our girl’s 2nd birthday the postman arrived with a special delivery from Korea! We could hardly wait to see what the box with the telltale red characters contained, but we were pretty sure it was full of sweet birthday wishes…

And we were not disappointed.

Inside the box were a CoCo Mong tea set with dishes and a precious letter from Umma and Appa sending their love.

It brought tears to my eyes to think how much they must miss Lovey,

and how much she must miss them.

And I thanked God again for giving her amazing foster parents who would not only care for her tenderly, but pray for (and with) her and love her without holding back. Words are inadequate to describe how much we love them or the connection we feel to them.

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts…

Lovey’s birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so we put her down for a quick nap after church, then headed over to the local Korean restaurant for a special meal. She enjoyed eating beef bulgogi and rice with chop sticks. That is, I fed her with my chop sticks. She drummed on the table with hers.

Birthday cake was a delicious chocolate chip cheesecake, baked with love by Daddy, which we enjoyed with dear friends at home.

And a few more pictures of Lovey’s special day…

Lovey got a few cards and packages in the mail even after her birthday, which enabled us to spread out the gift extravaganza and extend the celebration a few days…

[In photography, like in many other areas of my life, I’m still learning exactly where my focus needs to be.]

But the real celebration is Lily Love’s day-to-day presence in our lives — the joy she brings and the opportunity we have to SEE the world through her eyes.

When I remember what we were doing this time last year,

waiting, hoping, praying, planning…

to bring her home —

I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming!

Happiest of 2nd Birthdays, to you, our little flower!

I’m so glad you’re home to celebrate with us this year.

Water Baby…

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There’s nothing like a little water to keep a toddler occupied.

I decided our teak porch swing needed a good cleaning the other day, so Lovey got to play with the hose. I adjusted the nozzle to a fine spray and she kept busy on the porch all afternoon, allowing me to work. A few sprinkles of borax, a lot of scrubbing, then a generous drenching with bleach to finish off the mildew and the swing was ready for a new coat of linseed oil. That should take care of it for another year or two…

My productivity hasn’t been very high since we brought Lovey home, so this was a particularly satisfying job. It was delightful to watch her enjoy the water, enjoy being outdoors, and enjoy being alive. She does that so well…

 

A light sanding with a fine sanding block, some linseed oil to preserve the honey color, and the swing looks and feels better than new.

A few days after finishing the job and feeling quite pleased with myself, I read that oil is NOT recommended for teak wood because it actually PROMOTES mildew growth, as it is an organic material.

Why is life always like that???

It’s not like I didn’t scan 30 or 40 sites on the internet to find out how to do the job in the first place. Why didn’t I see that minor detail BEFORE I slathered oil all over the blasted thing swing?

 
In any case, here’s the little ‘sitting pretty’ showcasing the newly-cleaned-and-beautiful-but-mildew-feeding-swing on our front porch.


 

Maybe I’ll get it right next year…
 

 
Please comment and give your opinion regarding the medium-size pictures. I decided to try something different because the large size seems so,

well,

LARGE.

And, if you’re one for details, you can always click on the pictures and see them in size GI-NOR-MOUS!

I’m eager to hear what you think…

Ready, Set, GROW…

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Baby Love got her first injection of growth hormone (GH) tonight.

The pharmaceutical company sent a nurse out to train us. Toward the end of the training and, after a few practice injections into the trainer pad, Daddy had the honor of giving the first shot!

She didn’t like it — not one little bit — but she recovered quickly!

[the mommy AND the baby]

Sanguine Dr. Amrhein predicts in a couple of weeks she’ll come willingly when we say, “Lily, it’s time for your shot.”

Hmmmmm…

Does Dr. Amrhein remember Lovey is an adopted child? And that we’re trying to build a trust relationship here?

I never forget it!

A few details to comfort & encourage:

  • the needle is so tiny it’s called a Nano
  • according to the website, most children say the injections are painless
  • the box of needles says they’re designed to give “the ultimate injection experience…”

Yeah, right!

Nothing but the best for our little girl, eh?


I snapped this over the weekend while Lovey was napping.


…Takes my breath away.

It still seems so surreal that she’s here — that she’s ours. Have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:6-7

A mother’s prayer:
Please, oh Lord, if it be your will, help our Baby Love to grow in wisdom AND in stature. And help me to be a servant like Paul and Apollos and to remember that it is You who makes things grow. Amen.