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Archive for April, 2007

A Child Dies

EVERY 3 SECONDS A CHILD DIES FROM THE EFFECTS OF EXTREME POVERTY…………………. EVERY 3 SECONDS.. THAT IS 20 CHILDREN, BABIES, TODDLERS, INFANTS EVERY MINUTE……

Let that statistic marinate in your head and heart.  Try to imagine what that looks like. Can you even grasp it?                                                      

How does that sit with you?  Does it make you a little uncomfortable?  Does it hurt your heart?  Does it overwhelm you?  Do you just want to tune out, shut off, or forget that you even read it?  I feel all of those things too.  Sometimes I need a little shake, a little wake up call, that life isn’t always about me and that I am entitled to so much less than what I have.  I need to be forced to think about what life outside of my comfortable South Jordan home is really like for millions of people.  It is hard.  It is ugly.  It is heartbreaking.  It is motivating.  I am forced to ask myself…. How does knowing this fact change me? 

Think about it….

That’s enough for now…….

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Idol Gives Back

Did any of you happen to watch the results show on American Idol last night?  For some reason Brandon and I have really been enjoying this season of American Idol.  We have our favorites and as the show winds down to the final 6 contestants we are dreading that one of the favorites will have to go. 

Well, last night they did something called, Idol Gives Back.  They spent the entire evening focused on raising money for the impoverished people of the United States and Africa.  They showed video clips from some of the judges trips around the US and Africa.  They used music and comedy to help raise awareness of what is going on in our country as well as around the globe.  It was truly a moving two hours.  In fact, Brandon and I spent the majority of the show in tears and even weeping at some points.  We were moved beyond words and felt physically drained after watching.  Today it has been on my mind all day.  I can’t seem to get away from the images. 

I think it resonated with us so strongly because are hearts have been stolen by the country of Ethiopia, where our future son is either living (if he is born) or will be in the future.  The faces of the children were the face of our unknown child.  God has placed in our hearts a passion for Ethiopia that is beyond what we understand.  And so….. over the next couple of weeks I am going to be focusing some of my posts on Africa and Ethiopia specifically.  I will be sharing with you some of the things I have learned about the country and it’s people.  I will be sharing with you about our adoption and why we feel called to do it.  I will be showing you some hard facts and statistics.  I hope and pray that it will move you to your knees on behalf of a country that desperately needs Jesus and you………..

Check out this site to see some of what Idol Gives Back was all about (by the way last time I heard they had raised 30 million dollars!)

www.americanidol.com

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Home- Part Two

My dad wrote about “home” yesterday and I thought it was so interesting because I had started a post with the same title.  I found myself not having much to say after reading his post.  However, he encouraged me to keep going with the topic.

 I started thinking about what “home” is when we sold our first house almost 2 years ago this May.  It was the first home we ever owned and we really loved it.  From there we moved into my parents house and started the never-ending process of building a house.  Before it was finished, Sean was born, in might I add, yet another house.  Finally, our new home was finished and we moved in.  Two  months later Brandon had a job offer and he was off to Utah.  We followed in October 2006.  We went from a brand new 2300 sq ft. house to a tiny 1200 sq ft apartment.  6 months later we are in a whole new town in Utah, living in our recently purchased townhouse.  All this is to say that “home” has been elusive to me the last two years.  I crave the known……. surprises aren’t my favorite.  I like the security that a house surrounded by my stuff brings.  So now when we are finally settled and most of our belongings are unpacked for the first time in 2 years, why do I still feel homeless?  Why do I feel like I am a ship floating around at see, away from the port and without an anchor?

Maybe it is because I am so use to the chaos that I am unable to settle down now. Maybe I am afraid to get to attached to a place because who knows when I will be leaving it again.  Maybe I just haven’t been here long enough to feel attached to it.  All of these things are probably true, but as I have really contemplated why I am feeling so without a home, I think it is because truly this world is not my home.  For the first time in my life I think that I am beginning to see and understand that we, as Christians, really are aliens and strangers.  This world just isn’t fitting me right anymore and instead of longing for the peace and security that having a home brings I need to be longing for Jesus.  As my dad said in his post, home is in Jesus Christ.  I think the last 2 years have loosened my grip on this world.  How like God to take me on a journey like this.  A journey, that at times felt like it was taking me so far from Him, but in truth was leading me right into His arms. 

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Sloan Fishing

Sloan Fishing

Sloan Fishing,

Click here to see the rest of the pictures.

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Well, I think we have a new fisherman in the family.  Look out Poppa! 

We have a lake here in our development.  It is called Oquirrih Lake (pronounced O- ker)It is man made and they stocked it with fish last year.  Now the fish are huge and and they opened the lake for fishing last weekend.  Well, Brandon’s family was here and he thought it would be pretty fun if Grandpa Armstrong and Great-Grandpa Armstrong could take Sloan out on his first fishing trip.  So between the three older guys and Sloan they managed to catch two fish. 

Brandon said that Sloan did a pretty good job being attentive, especially when they finally bumed a worm off of another fisherman and managed to snag a fish.  Sloan helped reel it in and watched as Brandon had to hit it on the head and then kill it.  Brandon said that at first Sloan wasn’t so sure about the hitting part but after he explained that it was ok the fish were for food, he was all over it saying, “Daddy let’s get another one.”

At one point, I called to see how things were going and was told that I was interrupting guy time and scaring away the fish with my call.  I guess I was put in my place. NO Girls allowed.

Terry (Brandon’s dad) related another story.  As they were leaving, proudly carrying their catch, they walked past a family of little girls who were fishing, but hadn’t caught anything.  They were clamouring to touch the fish, so Terry let them.  Sloan just watched and wouldn’t touch it.  However, as they were walking away, Terry said he could tell that Sloan was thinking about something and pretty soon he just carefully reached over and touched the fish.  No big deal…..  Seems like this is what Sloan is all about….. Not doing anything until he is ready.  If you try and force him he just digs in his heels, but if you give him time he usually comes around.  How interesting that they start that so young. 

Anyway, I don’t know who was more excited about the fish, the little guy or the three “big” guys that took him.  And as usual when a man tells the fishing stories the fish were HUGE!  Check them out for yourself.  I will attached pictures in the next post .  By the way, we BBQ’ed them for Sean’s party.  Sloan even tried them and liked them.  When Brandon put Sloan to bed that night all he could think about was catching another black fish. 

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Easter2007

Easter2007 011

Easter2007 011,

Hold your cursor over the picture and you will see a little box come up.  Click on next to  see the rest of our Easter 2007 pictures. Enjoy!

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Sean’s First Birthday

Sunday, April 15th, was a special day at our house….. Sean turned ONE!  He wasn’t feeling very good and so he slept through the first hour of his party, but he didn’t seem to mind.  Brandon’s parents and grandparents were able to be here to help celebrate, which made the occasion even more special.  We also had a couple of new family friends over.  We gave the kids bubble guns to play with and they chased each other around the neighborhood for quite a while. Sean and his little friend Addison (10 months)  just sat there and watched the bigger kids act crazy.  We ate lots of great salads, enjoyed watching our kids, had good conversation and watched Sean stuff his face with cake.  I remember Sloan didn’t like cake the first time he had it, but Sean loved it and wanted more.  I know I am a pushover but I actually gave him two cupcakes.  Don’t tell……

While it was just a small party in comparison to Sloan’s first birthday and we missed the family and friends who weren’t there, we did have a great time celebrating Sean’s first year of life.  He is a wonderful, beautiful stubborn blue-eyed charmerand we are so grateful that God blessed our family with him.  We can’t imagine life without him. 

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