Saturday, January 29, 2011

Look back- off the plane in Canada with Julia

I realize I take video of crazy mundane stuff, with a few clips of brilliance. Shaking my head over some of the stuff I taped(ie the diaper blowout as we left China)...Julia is soooo gonna dislike daddy when we go through the videos one day lol!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nanchang memory

This was in Nanchang,at the Teng Wang Pavilion. The dance that was to happen there was canceled due to the stage flooding, but this was, to me, my favorite/most memorable time(outside of getting Julia).

It has been like a month and a half and it has been wonderful. Last night mommy went out for some girl time and Katie went to bed well, so I had a couple of uninterrupted hours with my Julia. Sorely needed(for me much more than Julia!). Love being able to make her smile, to see her stare into my eyes. She loves to touch foreheads together and rub my beard. She is certainly working her way towards crawling, she has pushed herself,while on her tummy, backwards a couple feet, quite happily. She is done with the chest cold she got, and no one seems to be teething today, so stock prices of Kleenex may dip a bit today, and I am good with that!

I am sad that there hasn't been the time to go through even the pictures and video I have taken, nor to connect very much with the travel group, other than the odd email. We will hopefully correct that in the next little bit. I find myself thinking more and more about the amazing treasures we all got while in China and wondering how they are all doing.

Well, work is calling(more like screaming) off to it I go! gonna knock a bunch off the ol' to do list, oh yes I am!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Grace of God- Andy Stanley Book Review

There is always a fear when the topic of grace gets mentioned that there is no balance and inclusion of human responsibility for sin, so the topic and experience of grace gets ignored. I have read many good and bad books on grace, Andy Stanley...GOOD book!

Balance is maintained, and a concept that is nearly as large as God Himself is given thorough treatment. "Grace acknowledges the full implication of sin and yet does not condemn". From the first book of the Bible through to the end he uses powerful examples from it and the examples encourage, edify, and empower the reader.

I also like the use of bolding in the book to accent key principles. This accenting is not done in a typical point by point heading, but conversationally, which makes it an easy read to digest a FULL meal of content.

There is no study guide at the back of the book, but this shouldn't deter this book from being used in a small group setting. There is a wealth of discussion points that could be brought out, BUT I caution, one really has to answer personally and share from your life, you can't embrace this topic of grace in theory, this is real life stuff!

This isn't a complaint, but because the writing style flows so smoothly, it could make it hard to stop, park, and really process the points, and thus miss the meat of it, so as a reader, I would encourage you to take it in bite size portions and really chew on it. The path of grace is a journey and so it really is about enjoying and experiencing it along the way.This coming from a destination minded person! High recommendation.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mockingbird Parables- Matt Litton

This book is based off a knowledge of"To Kill a Mockingbird". Now I had not read or seen any movie variations of To Kill a Mockingbird, but the one thing this book has done is make me want to. Sadly that is about all I can say as positive.

Obviously a working knowledge of To Kill would help, but the author gives enough detail of the story points he is building off that this was not a hindrance, but the flopping all over the place made it hard to follow and glean what he was trying to say. I would agree with him that To Kill has some great learning points, and all, but it was more like a hummingbird, quick flitting here and there. Rather than a book it seems more like a short hand diary of some of his thoughts on the story and those thoughts just seemed to point out the obvious, rather than ADD something to us the reader of THIS book.

There is a SHORT question guide at the back for folks to use in a discussion group. Some may find that useful, but I would suggest that simply reading or watching To Kill a Mockingbird and talking about it with friends would be more profitable use of time.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Well, Happy New year to all.
Things have been full but awesome(overall) since returning home. We had a nice time with family over the holidays, and have settled in now to try to establish some routines.

Katie was ultra clingy and moody for the first couple weeks since returning, from missing us, to adjusting to Julia, to her cutting a bunch of teeth, it isn't surprising. Julia also cut another tooth. So the drool, tears, fevers, and runs have been flowing, but we seem to be in a lull now which is nice.

Julia is back to a better eating schedule, really enjoying the purees, so much so she is too full to finish a bottle, so that is nice. Sleeping has been an adjustment. For the first few days I took Katie to the basement and we slept there, as the girls were taking turns waking each other up with dealing with their teething stuff, and Julia was taking up half of the bed, so no room for me there anyhow.

We are now on a better schedule, although Julia still stays up later, 10 pm ish, prior to falling asleep, Cara is often having to lay with her to get her down, but it is going well, other than her wanting a 5 pm nap, that time isn't cool.So we are trying to work her thru that, and overall happy with that, still some tweaking to go, but all in good time.

Took the girls to the pet store today, Julia slept the whole time, oh well.

Been busy at work, having to preach the last 2 Sundays, have my first Masters level class starting in a couple weeks, and am working on some stuff for Focus on the Family, as part of an adoption/orphan care initiatives they are working on. Booked at couple shows for the next month, which was a surprise, it is usually pretty dead, but that is nice bonus. Still have a bunch of video and pictures to look at from the trip and really want to connect with some of the folks from our travel group to see how the kids are adjusting.

Still haven't gotten Julia to church yet, may or may not happen this Sunday. I will be bringing my Katie as Sunday School is starting up again. We have kicked things up a notch with her, as I have taken her out a bunch to give Mum a break. We have had lots of daddy/daughter adventures, she has started rinsing the dishes, helping daddy go grocery shopping, having spontaneous dance parties in the mall when we hear a good tune coming from a store. I figure folks look at us anyhow with Ultrawhite Boy and his sidekick Afro-girl, so may as well just have fun.She loves to dance, so why not bust a groove at the mall, she loves it, and I love making my girl smile so it is a blast.

We have been blessed to have meals provided for us this last week from friends of ours from the church, it is so nice to not have to add that to the list while we adjust to other stuff, a real blessing.

The girls can't get enough of each other, Julia follows Katie with her eyes everywhere she goes. Katie loves hugging and kissing her, too much and too strong, but that is better than her hating her.

Katie has started calling us Da da and Mama. Not sure where that came from ,she has always called us daddy or mommy, it is cute though.

Had a HUGE dump of snow, light fluffy but lots of it. Julia is NOT fond of the car seat in the car, that is a big adjustment that needs to happen. Cara has a bit of cabin fever, she is pretty house bound, and when she does get out, usually only for an hour or so, as one of the girls ends up crashing and needing to get home.

It is great being home. I do feel that I haven't gotten the same time with Julia as I would like, from working with or distracting Katie, or still giving Cara the main areas of attachment to work on with Julia,that is hard, but it fills my heart and makes it so worth it when I see her seeking Cara out and seeing her eyes light up when she sees her mommy that I know once that bond is deep, I will be able to win over Julia to becoming a daddy's girl like Katie has become, and that makes it all worth it.