I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

How Much Longer?

I Knew I Loved You...


Friday, February 15, 2008

Marathon Post Ahead...

What's new? Well, not a lot really. Nothing new to report in our world that is adoption related. Just praying for & thinking a lot about China & all who live there as they struggle with the weather; ice, snow & bitter cold! Thinking a lot about the families who have seen the faces of their precious little ones & have to wait for their travel approval all the while knowing the current conditions & climate in most of the orphanages. Also, knowing the uncertainty of their upcoming travel plans as well. For once, as much as we want to get to our Mia, we are actually thankful not to be going right now. Please take the time to click this link below to see exactly what I am referencing! Please!
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/photo/2008-02/04/content_6441621.htm
Sobering, huh?

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day. Ours was fine. Nothing too exciting. We believe that you should try as best as you can to make everyday somewhat of a Valentine's Day for those that you love. Thomas & I show our love for one another daily in so many ways & say it often. We think actions speak louder than words. Words are often easy...so, we focus on our actions & try to always make sure that we are carrying out in our relationship the words from 1st Corinthians that we had read at our wedding....you all know the verse;
"If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. "
We are far from perfect & neither is our marriage. We don't always succeed everyday ofcoure, but we try. We try to live this in our marriage & for the most part we do a pretty good job. I am happy & proud to be able to say that as we are approaching a celebration of our sixteenth year of marriage this April! Anyway, Thomas showed up at my work at 4:00 yesterday with a basket full of yellow daiseys, a box of sugar free chocolates & a musical card. I was very grateful for the treats, but was much more happy to see his smiling face!
Thomas did the "Polar Bear Plunge" again for the third year in a row last Saturday to support the Special Olympics. It was cold, but as there motto says, it was "Freezin' For A Reason"! Here are some pics below of the event. Thomas hates the cold, but feels that he should do this as it is for a good cause, plus the associates at the store raise money to see their bosses "take the plunge" & they all really get a kick out of it. So, Thomas also sees it as a moral booster for his staff as well. He is a good sport. As you can see they had to crack the ice just so they could have a spot to "plunge"! The weather was actually warmer than last year, but the wind was blowing much harder this year which ofcourse made it feel colder. This event raised over $15,000.00 for The Special Olympics! Way to go Thomas & everyone who participated!

Still low carbing for me these days. Doing well & exercising more now too so that is helping. Been hard at it again since November 12th, 2007. So, I just hit my three month mark for this go round. On any given day I am down about 32-35 pounds depending. So, overall I am averaging about eleven pounds, give or take, per month. The first & even the second month my losses happened so much more quickly! It is slower now & not nearly as steady, but I am happy just to still be strong at it. I am proud to say that I haven't fudged, NOT ONCE, not one bite of a single thing that isn't on my eating plan since November 12th! I will keep you posted...
I have been getting into Shutterfly lately. I just completed my first book, but can't tell much about it here yet as though I did get a copy for myself, mostly it is a gift for someone else. It should be here anyday & I will be giving it to them soon. When I do, I will post the link here so you can see my first attempt. It turned out great I think if I do say so myself. Now, I will probably begin doing all of our photos in this manner as it is fun, simple & just about the same price wise as purchasing a nice album, having your pics printed off & taking the time to put them in an album. These books are much better & such a great keepsake! If you are interested go to http://www.shutterfly.com/ & check out their "gallery". Just look at some of the ones various people have done. They are so great!
We still haven't come up with a destination for our vacation this year yet, but are working on dates right now. We are nailing down some time frames; Thomas gets four paid weeks per year now, so as soon as we have those dates worked out we will speak with our travel agent to find out what our best options are.
We got our taxes all done & sent off. YAY! Always so glad to get that done & over with every year. We were very pleased to officially find out that we qualified for every penny of the federal adoption credit in regards to our failed domestic placement in 2007! We got nearly, if not every single penny back that we spent. Overall, that was the only good thing that I can come up with out of that whole ordeal! Obviously, I would give it all back in a second to have had the chance to parent "Ashton", but ....well, you all already know that story. Anyway, yay for the refund/tax credit. I think that tax credit is set to expire in 2010. We sure hope that congress signs the bill to extend it. We heard that it is in the works & as long as the budget will tolerate it, that they probably will. Keep your fingers crossed! What a benefit!
Work is fine for both of us. The hospital is a revolving door right now. Lots of Influenza A! People hacking & coughing uncontrollably & just miserable. Young, healthy, atheletic types are being taken out for weeks. Unfortunately, it looks like the flu shot missed one of the major strands this season. UGH! Thomas is back in full swing at the Kirksville store. Still no definite transfer for him in sight at the moment, but could be anytime. Just waiting to find that right store/town for us. Maybe soon. He is glad to be home.
Thomas has been playing in a poker tournament about once a week. They each pay like $5.00 to get in & then get chips to play with. He has won three out of five times thus far & has been at the final table every time. At the end of the tournament after a few months the winner overall wins a flat screen LCD television. It is a friendly game. He also has a group of guys that he meets with on occasion & they all play. It is a good "guy thing" for him. He really enjoy it. He invites me every time to come along, but I thus far have declined as I think it is important for him just to have his time. He does want me to go & watch him play sometime though, so I told him maybe I would go this week.
I guess that ol' groundhog saw his shadow here a while back which means six more weeks of winter for us. Guess he was right. We have had a few warmer days, if you can call 40 degrees warm. However, today it is suppose to be frigid temps again & more snow coming I guess. Well, surely the temps will turn here sooner than later. We are almost to March, right? We are happy knowing spring is on its way as it will soon be planting season & we do love our gardening. Thomas is very anxious to get our garden planned out & to see & enjoy the fruits (& veggies! HA!) of our labor! Plus, it will be Farmer's Market season again! YAY! We love that; our Saturday morning ritual! Usually to the Farmer's Market; sometimes if we are feeling REALLY energetic we walk & then usually to the coffee shop for some brew. It is several miles one way, so the weather has to be decent & we have to really be in the mood & up for the walk.
My Dad has recently had a couple of outpatient surgeries. They both thankfully turned out fine. No problems thus far. They were minor, however, as I always say the only minor, uncomplicated surgery is the one you don't have. That is just the reality of it! However, he is recovering at home & doing well! AMEN!
Our DVR has been getting a work out! "Biggest Loser", "American Idol", "Big Brother", "Survivor", "Real World/Road Rules Challenge"....GOSH! Me & my reality t.v. Plus, now I have Thomas into them too! Too funny. Anyhow, we are annoyed that Josiah did not make it through on Idol. He is a TALENT! He writes, plays instruements & can sing. He is not a one hit wonder with only a good voice! He should have gotten through & we are praying that someone watching who can give him a chance saw him & will give him his shot! He has heart & we think has what it takes! Anyone else think so too? Love to hear your comments on any of these shows. I love to carry on about them! Thomas & I have a great time choosing our favorites & debating over who will win. Although, most of the time it is not much of a debate as we usually agree on who the best ones are on Idol & on the other shows as well. We thought Carly was great on Idol, but now that we heard she in the past already had a major recording deal, CD's & videos that flopped we think that she was a "ringer". It is not fair to have professionals trying out with those who are ameteurs. That was & is messed up!
Okay, enough rambling for this post I suppose. I don't post all that often, so I always figure that when I do you should get an earful for your time. :) Looks like I have succeeded today!
Jen

38 comments:

Brandi said...

Lots going on at your place!

Glad the tax thing worked out. I know you'd give it all up in a heartbeat, but since it didn't work out, it's nice to have the money back.

Dan thinks about doing the Plunge every year, but then backs out. I know my limits, and I'm not jumping into freezing water!

Keep us posted on where you decide to vacation. We probably won't be going too far this year (trip to Denver in May, but that's probably about it), so we'll have to live through everyone else's vacations!

So far we've managed to avoid the flu bug here. Hopefully our luck will hold out!

Good to hear from you! Hang in there!

:)

Tamara said...

I'm glad to hear the great news about Thomas's fundraising and the low-carb success! Hope to see you two in March.

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