Friday, April 29, 2011

Date Night without the baby

Last night, Jim and I went on our first date night, just the two of us without Jadon. I missed my little guy, but it was great to have some one-on-one time with the hubby without getting distracted by the little guy's cute antics or appeals for attention. We dropped Jadon off with the sitter, went to Claim Jumpers for dinner (thanks to a very generous gift card from a family in our church), talked ministry and movie scripts and plans for summer over a yummy meal and of course a mud pie for dessert, then stopped by Ross on the way home to get Jim a new shirt (his idea! He never asks to go shopping, so I jumped at this one!), stopped by Target to return 2 pairs of shoes that Jadon's feet grew out of before he ever got the chance to wear them, and then I even got some grocery shopping done while Jim picked Jadon up. It was a great, productive, but relaxing evening. I don't think I'm quite ready to do it every week yet (We can still do at-home date nights with Jadon doing his thing around us...I just love being around him so much, and I feel bad that as it is we drop him off at childcare three nights a week already for church), but I think I am finally ready for a once-a-month routine...

Thanks Jim for making this happen. I love you!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


My senior year of high school, my parents befriended a guy at church who was Jewish, and a member of our Christian church. He called himself Messianic Jewish, and he started teaching them all sorts of stuff about how the Christian church has travelled so far away from our Jewish roots and all the great stuff we were missing out on. They ate it up, as did my 7th grade sister. But to me, getting ready to graduate and move on with my life, it was more of a nuisance.

I moved off to college and they continued learning all sorts of stuff, and I thought it was cool enough, but I was glad it didn't affect me. I'm not a big fan of change. I graduated and started teaching, still on my own, and then my sister went away to college and got involved in a Messianic club on campus and started attending a Messianic Fellowship...I mean, she just went crazy with all this Jewish stuff. And I still thought of it as cool for her (at best) and annoying for me (at worst).

But somehow over the years, she/they got to me. And I started realizing how much these traditions and Biblical commands and customs still should be a part of our lives today...and how much they enrich our faith in Jesus Christ. It's awesome!

So five years ago, my sister and I hosted our first Passover Seder dinner at my church. It was such a success that we did it again the next year. Then she moved back to Israel and another woman from church who is just as passionate about these things stepped up and led it (while I did the food) the next two years. But this year, she has been plagued with health problems and had to step out. And my sister is still in Israel. So...gulp...I was left to lead it alone. And just in case I was considering chickening out, God ensured I didn't have that option, because the pastoral staff stuck it on our calendar and the Easter schedule and in the programs before I had the chance. Now mind you, I am perfectly comfortable with all the behind the scenes stuff like cooking the meal and preparing the Seder plates, etc. But leading a group through all the prayers and blessings and the symbolism pointing to Jesus (and the Hebrew!)...that's totally out of my comfort zone! I don't know what I'm doing!

Fast forward to present, I can look back and say this was my best Passover yet. Our family stuck all our bread and yeast products in the freezer and subsisted on leaven-free meals like matzah pizza all week, I poured over the internet and others' Haggadahs (the spoken/read order of the seder) and developed my own (without Hebrew!), my parents cooked up a storm...and we did it! And it was really cool and meaningful. There was even a Jewish lady (non-Christian), who thanked me at the end and was smiling. (Either she was really polite, or I didn't botch it that bad!) (And maybe she even took something away that will start her on a path to discover Jesus as her Messiah...Wouldn't that be cool!) Oh, and Jadon looked really cute in the yarmulke with fake Orthodox curls from Sarah and Greg. :o)

Thank you God for stretching us out of our comfort zones in order to help us learn and grow!

Adoption Update

So, I'm a little behind on blogging (that's what happens when family comes to visit and you host a Senior Dinner for 30 and a Passover Seder Dinner for 50 and it's Easter and your husband is a pastor!)...But anyways, 2 Fridays ago we took a giant step forward in our adoption process: we signed adoption papers!!!! Yay!!!!

Now, no, that doesn't mean the adoption is final...yet. But it does mean we are one big step closer! All that is left is for Jadon to get a physical (check, his pediatrician just filled out the form using his 9 month checkup), one more social worker visit (sometime in May), and then the court has to set a date when it becomes official. Our social worker said that should happen in the next 6-8 weeks. Apparently, the court holds adoption finalization hearings at 9am on Wednesday mornings. Jadon's 1st birthday is on Wednesday, June 8th. So we are really, really hoping that will be his adoption day. (Jim is also hoping that will be when Jadon takes his 1st steps...walking up to the judge! ha!)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's Weird

Every time I hear a pregnancy announcement, I still get bit by a tinge of jealousy. Note: I have ABSOLUTELY NO desire to be pregnant right now (funny how having a baby who still doesn't sleep through the night will do that to you!)...And I HONESTLY don't think I ever will again. Every time I look at how perfect Jadon is for us, and then think of how many other Jadons there are out there needing to be adopted, my heart grows overwhelmed with longeing to expand our family in that way. Seriously, I dream of the day when we'll be ready to accept that next call that comes (we've already had 2 more opportunities that were difficult to turn down). In my dreams, we soon get a little boy only a few months younger than Jadon, so he can have a close brother, and I can have the twins I always wanted--without suffering through the crazy infant stage! Maybe this little guy might even come from Haiti or Africa or something...And then a few years later, we get a baby girl, maybe from Jadon's birth mom...These are my dreams...but you never know. But obviously, there's no room  for me to get pregnant here, and when I hear the horror birth stories of my friends, I REALLY have no problem with that...But still, there's that tinge of jealousy. It must be that maternal instinct. I wish I could shut it off.

Monday, April 11, 2011

[k]amping with a kiddo

This past week we had our yearly Spring Break Missions Project, which we now call GOAL: Global Outreach Acting Locally. We used to go down to Mexico to build houses or do Vacation Bible School with the kiddos, but then things got dangerous down there, and the economy tanked so more of our students used not-having-enough-money as an exuse, and Jim realized, wait a minute, why do we have to do a missions trip far away when there are tons of needs here in our own city? Plus, here we don't have a language barrier (at least not so much), and we can have follow up. And so GOAL was born.

We head on over to Camp Pendleton and camp at Lake O'Neill (a full 5 or so miles from my house!), and in the mornings our students do Kids' Camp at different sites on base (those military wives/moms definitely deserve and appreciate the break!) and in the afternoons they do different service projects from cleaning at an animal shelter to sorting at a thrift store to playing games at a retirement home to evangelism at the beach. Our students have a great time, and most of them end the week feeling much more empowered to make a difference in their own little worlds. PLUS, we charge a little extra and send the money to an international project. Three years ago, it paid for a year's rent for an orphanage in Haiti...which we got to visit last summer. This year, it should pay for 1 or 2 weeks of camp for 10 to 12 year olds in Haiti, at the place where we worked this summer. The coolest part about that is when talking to the missionaries about the hopelessness of Haiti, they said that the best way to change that is to target 10-12 year olds. They aren't too old and jaded yet, but they're old enough to start making a difference in their communities. Which is why these missionaries are so passionate about starting Sports/Leadership Camps...and why we are so excited to be able to help them!

My role this past week was Cook. I got to feed 60 students and adults...from a campsite...with a baby. I'll admit, I was pretty overwhelmed going into it. But in my morning times with God, I was reading through Nehemiah, and was encouraged by his story. He took a rag-tag bunch of discouraged, oppressed Israelites, and somehow, through a butt-load of hard work and even more help from God, they finished building a solid wall around the city in like 53 or so days. Wow! My task seemed much less daunting in that perspective...And with a lot of help from Jim and the students and other leaders, everyone was kept well fed and happy. Whew!

My "kitchen"
Students (Middle School girls especially) were at least as helpful as the Super Yard! :o) Jadon was such a trooper! (But when we walked into the house Friday afternoon, he actually smiled...and then spent the next hour or so just crawling around all his favorite places in our house!) By the end of the week, I gave up trying to keep Jadon clean and out of the dirt. Who knew an ice chest, etc. could be so much fun?!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

[j]erms, jogging, and other Jadon things...

Germs: Thanks to our son being so well loved at church...and us being there all the time...not to mention Jadon's newfound love of putting EVERYTHING in his mouth...this poor kid gets exposed to A LOT of germs! Which means WE get exposed to a lot of germs. Bummer. We are just finally getting over yet another cold--Jadon's 8th and my 6th since we got him 8 months ago...Poor little guy. And poor me. People keep telling me that this is strengthening his immune system, though, and he won't get sick at all by the time he gets into Kindergarten. I hope they're right.

Jogging: In the past few months, it seems like a bunch more of my friends have gotten more serious about running. Which is so cool because we can hang out and be healthy at the same time (which is much cheaper than hanging out at Starbucks, too!)...On Saturday mornings, Lindsey, Sheri, Amy, Megan, and a few sporadic others and I meet up at Tamarack in Carlsbad at 7:30 and run amidst the throngs of other athletes. It's SO inspiring! I never would have guessed that I actually look forward to getting up early on a Saturday morning. And Jim gets a morning to himself since I usually push Jadon in the BOB. I LOVE our conversations about life, babies, God, working out, relationships, etc...Always one of the highlights of my week! And I've developed new friendships with women I always thought SEEMED cool from a distance but I never had the opportunity to get to know them before. Very fun.

These past two weeks, I've also enjoyed a new Tuesday/Thursday jogging regimen with Lauren. We meet at the "new" (OK, it's a year or 2 old, but I just discovered it) bike path by Guajome Park. I've been walk/jogging over to meet her since it's only a mile or so from my house (can't hurt to burn a few extra calories!), and Jadon and Danica love hanging out. OK, so maybe not so much...yet. Danica loves saying hi to "baby Jay", but Jadon still gets a little shy around cute older women! :o) But they babble away in their matching BOBs while Lauren and I catch up on our own babble. Our favorite topic of conversation: how great it is that we get to do this when last year we would both be struggling through the 4th period lull! Jogging with our babies is SO much more fun than teaching reluctant learners!!!

This past Thursday was a GORGEOUS (tho a little hot) feels-like-summer day, and check out Jadon's cool sock tan he ended up with:

Other Jadon Things: This morning, thanks to Lauren's encouragement, we entered Jadon in his first race, the Carlsbad Junior Diaper Dash. It cost $30, which is completely ridiculous...BUT we spent that same amount for his first Santa photo at Christmas, and this is a "first" event at least as worthy as that...PLUS he got a t-shirt and a medal with this one! I am soooo glad we did it. Jadon was adorable in his "future runner" t-shirt, and he crawled with the best of 'em. After he kept trying to jump the gun at the start, he ended up dazed when the race actually began. But he made a rapid comeback, and was actually leading the pack for most of the 25-yard race...until all the commotion of parents with their cameras trying to coax their slow-poke kids got to him, and he started veering sideways. Another kid on the other side of the field broke into a final sprint out of Jadon's view, and by the time Jadon got re-focused, the other kid was already sitting on the other side of the finish line. Once Jadon got there, he decided he'd rather crawl ALONG the line instead of CROSSING it, but he still ended up with a solid 2nd place finish...What a little stud!

I have to say, I almost enjoyed watching Jim as much as watching Jadon. He was such the proud papa! I love my family!!!
Update: After reviewing the race film, I must make a correction: Jadon actually got 3rd place. The 1st little guy took off and made a bee-line, and I never saw him again. But who's actually counting places anyway? :o)