Monday, December 31, 2007

Hillsong - From Inside Out

God help us through these next few days--it's a turning point for us on this journey--and I pray with all my heart--Your Will, Will be Done.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007, SqWishes, and St. Nicholas


12.26.07: All the things I want to Izabella to know about this Christmas in the future—

We were headed out to deliver our baked goods gifts to neighbors and then off to Christmas eve service and my husband walked in with the mail—and oh my--a package from one of my July LID friends! Of course I ripped into it with all the wonder of a kid at Christmas—as I do with all our group packages—I didn’t even bother to look at the return address—I opened it to find your extra square of fleece from Kelly R, a BEAUTIFUL Christmas card and a surprise gift with a Tag that read To: Baby Girl Arndt. I have to tell you—that tag really touched me—I thought--” one year—hopefully soon—Baby Girl Arndt will have lots of gift with tags on them to her”....and we’ll be blessed with the biggest blessing of all—HER—and our family complete.


So—I didn’t want to rush through the opening of this precious package—so I put it on the tree for opening on Christmas morning! Then it was too crazy to open Christmas morning—so I saved it for the last gift that evening—Dan and I opened it together—and I squealed with delight to find the more adorable little red chinese slippers! Dan’s eyes lit up too. He’s so apprehensive about this whole thing—so to see the glimmer in his eye is always a blessing in itself. Kelly -- you’re soooo thoughtful! I admired them and cooed over them for a while and then carefully tied them together with the bow and placed them back on our tree to admire throughout the next week before the tree comes down. I’m attaching as photo of them on our tree.


I also want to post (I be it late--life is so crazy the last couple weeks) the beautiful secret pal gift from Denise--it is the most precious and elaborately detailed lady bug ornament that starts Izabellas ornament collection! It is pictured here as well--on our tree! It is so precious--as I placed it on the tree--I realized we'd probably have (God willing) just 2 Christmas' left before she will be celebrating with us!





And WE GOT OUR FIRST--Family/Friends Sq-Wish today and it couldn't be more perfect. It still brings a huge smile to my face! It's the sweetest purple, fleece with whimsical sheep on it and the best part is--Zophia picked it out! Thanks soooo very much Shayna, Matt and Zophia. And Shayna, your friendship is and always has been "God's Perfect Timing" in action. You give me such hope--and inspiration. You have been on this journey with me since I've known you--you're always there for me--believe in me (even when I do not) and your friendship is so much more than friends--I always think of you as family--your square is absolutely perfect and so very special. As you mentioned in your wish--I hope our daughters will be best of friends--like you and I. I can't wait for the day you meet her--that will be a special day indeed. I'm picturing it here and will post on our quilt site as well...it's too perfect to only see once. :)

On a final note...the Christmas eve service at HOPE was just simply beautiful, as always—but I have to share—the message this year was “God’s timing is perfect.” Can you believe that? As you know it’s our theme song this past year—and will be until we bring her home. For me it was the assurance "God's Wink" I needed to affirm--truly, this is in God's hands and he has only our best interest in mind. Whatever the outcome--this year I have tears of Joy came in my eyes throughout the service. Tears happen for me at every service—I’m always so moved by the way God work in our lives—and it brings me to tears. The difference is—past years have been tears of sadness feeling the whole in my heart where a child should be. Afraid to tell anyone the pain--of that for a little girl that always wanted nothing more than to have a family and be a MOM! Thankfully--no one asked why I was weeping. Until mid-January of this year—the hope of a child was all but gone for us. This year—my tears are of JOY—that we have HOOE—that someday—God willing—we will have a child to share the miracle of Christmas with! As God would do—he even gave me yet another little "God’s Wink" moment—as we entered the sanctuary—a man with a BEAUTIFUL little Asian child was walking towards us. And then she ran by us a couple times—before the service got started—ah...she was so sweet! Someday--Someday...it will be Izabella running around.

In our July LID Yahoo Group--some have been sharing their feelings about the Santa thing! It's a tough issue and there are all perspectives. I personally think it's like your religion--it's a personal choice--and one that only feels right for you. But it is my feeling—and always has been—that St. Nicholas was such a generous spirit and a Saint at that—that I do believe that spirits like his --that are that amazing--don’t just die—they live on and make magic forever in the lives of those they touched and beyond. Silly maybe—but I honestly think I’m the biggest “Santa believer out there”...I remember so clearly--as if it was yesterday--hearing his sleigh bells and watching him fly by my bedroom window one Christmas when I was a mere 5-years old. It’s hard to erase that image from my head and discount it to a myth. So, although I believe the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus—I also believe in St. Nicholas and his amazing spirit. Although I do understand others concerns about lying to our children—I think I’ll stay with the spirit of St. Nicholas in our lives—and like my parents did for me—let me figure out for myself what to believe. When I asked my MOM if "Santa--aka St. Nicholas" was real--she so wisely and simply said--”that my dear is something for you to figure out for yourself--and you can trust your judgement on that.” I will do the same for Izabella :)

Dan and I enjoyed an amazing day just the two of us--we visited with family in Nebraska and Vermont but we did not travel--as Dan has been working 30-40 hours of overtime--so his schedule (the weather) did not allow us to go to Nebraska as planned. However, we had a beautiful day--we opened gifts throughout the day--it was a gorgeous day--so we took the girls (our dogs Montana and Sadie) for a long walk and let them off the leash to run and play--what a beautiful thing to see them prouncing around through the bush chasing each other in such restless abandon. They bring us so much Joy! Had a dinner of Smoked Ham from a sweet friend--it was delicious--Thank you Denny. We even did a few chores together we needed to do and haven't had time--yup--it was actually very satisfying to work together on them and get them behind us. Most would think we're nuts--but--truly--it was kinda fun. :) Dan got a few games for Christmas (shouldn't every boy/man get a couple toys to play with on Christmas) so he broke them open and started playing--while I watched in amazement that he could do these electronic games with such ease. In the end--we both fell asleep watching the story of AC Gilbert (an inspiring story about a man that wanted to be a toy maker--and after much struggle and perserverance he had his dream--a very successful toy company--he is the inventor of Erector Sets, and eventually other educational toys that challenge our young children's minds like the Science Lab Set (which was inspired by his only son who was fasinated by Science). He was called upon by our government to turn his toy factory into a amuniction factory for the war effort--and struggled to support our government (which he did in deep confliction in his heart) to encourage americans to forgo toys for the children and instead by "savings bonds" for them that would support funding the war effort. But, after at the son of one of his closest employees to the war--he had a change of heart--found a way to verbalize that for congress and "saved Christmas". It was pretty neat. He only died recently in 1969. I was 9-years old when he dies--I wish I had known him then. He's a very inspirational man--and lived a wonderful life.
The last thing I said to Dan as we retired for the evening is, "I don't want Christmas to end this year." I think it's because we had such an amazing day together!

The last gift I opened from Dan had a tag that read, "To the one that makes me whole. Love, Daddy." --yeah--ditto that--our lives apart were so different--and as they said in the service on Christmas eve--and we commented on while we were there--our meeting was a long awaited and dreamed of meeting for both of us--one we both thought might never happen. Just like our meeting Izabella. But we both agree--it was not coincidence--it was "God's Perfect Timing"! We're so blessed to have each other--the best gift of 2007.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Square for Them and One for Izabella....

12.3.07: Yup! I went shopping for fabric squares for the families in our JULY LID'rs group quilt swap--it was truly fun...and 3 hours just flew by..it's been a long time since I was in a fabric shop, I had forgotten how many options there are...armed with my list..I thought for sure I was equipped to get just what I wanted. 2 hours into the search--crumpled list and all--I was short 3 squares...then I realized the ones I had weren't the perfect ones either...suddenly I realized I needed a meaningful theme (that's the way i work)--and all of a sudden it started to fall together. We did a get get to know each survey a while back--and it occured to me...if I'm right..most all the families love "pink". So pink it is...every fabric must have some pink--except for the boys of course (which I had easily picked out already--they jumped off the wall of fabric at me...). So in no time I was at the table to cut my pieces from the overloaded cart of bolts. I got all kinds of looks from ladies--"what in the world are you doing with all that fabric?"...if they only knew how special it was..it would make their day I'm sure...:) Hee. Hee. Now I need to make the wishes and they're off in the mail!

On a final note: I couldn't resist this adorable fleece. so I got it...an early christmas gift of sorts. I can't believe the beautiful fleece that's out there now. Sooooo soft, soooo adorable! I'm also beginning to secretly hope all my squares have some pink in them....yup, this from the non-traditional girl. :) So far so good--got our second square last week all the way from a family in Florida..it's PINK and it's so amazingly soft. See our Izabellas quilt blog for a pic of it.
http://www.lotsofsquishes.blogspot.com/

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Decorating our Tree and ICE, ICE, ICE...

12.1.07: This morning we were under a weather advisory for ICE, ICE, ICE so of course, Dan got called in to run his work at 4:30am. I got up with him--like I always do--to see him off. I always have--but since 9-11 I make sure I do everytime--as I recall so vividly (we all remember different things from that terrible day) a woman trying to find her husband--and when asked what he was wearing--she said, "I don't know--he left before I got up." Wow--how awful for her. So...it's a MUST in our home. Anyone leaves the house--or leaves me--and there is always a HUGE hug, a sweet kiss, a sincere I love you, and a special note of them (what they're wearing , the look in their eye, how they feel when they wrap their arms around you..etc.). Might sound silly--but I couldn't bear losing someone I love with my last encounter being awful or non-descript.

Anywho-I also can't sleep well without him--so I just got up--had my coffee--visited with my mom and my sister (on the phone), and got on with my day. We were going to decorate the tree and the house today. So--I went ahead--without Dan--for the first year since we've been married. It was rather sad. I missed him terribly--the lights on the tree just aren't the same without Dan's touch--and the entire day wasn't the same--without football in the background.

Through out the day of decorating--I couldn't help but think about Izabella, how much more fun this all would be with HER here with us. I am reminded--it will happen--in God's time--in the meantime--it was fun thinking of some traditions we could start, and some we could carry forward from my family and Dan's. She will rock our world. At the point where I pulled out our stockings to put on the mantel--Montana and Sadie awoke from their sleep as if someone had whistled to them--and ran over to me--tails wagging as if Santa had already come. Santa leaves goodies in their stockings every year--and on Christmas morning they run downstairs and sit patiently in front of the fireplace, looking at their stockings--hoping to get what's inside SOON. It's hilarious. I swear at times they're just like kids. They never cease to amaze me--at their ability to give me that "kid" experience I need--right when I need it. I love them sooo....:)

I finished decorating as our family tradition will have it--I always put the nativity scene that my mom and dad gave me for my first Christmas in my first home (I was single then) out last. As I was walking up the stairs from returning the last set of boxes to the basement--I thought how wonderful it would be--if the XM Radio would play "Silent Night" while I put it out for this year. Huh--not likely. But it would be really nice. As God would have it--my wish was granted-I opened the box and pulled out one of the wise men and sure enough--Silent Night--began to play--as if on cue! Priceless! A tear rolled from my eye in grateful joy--that He does hear us, that He answers, that even in the smallest things (that we often don't even notice) he assures us.
I can't wait to share it all with Izabella. I just know it will be AMAZING beyond our dreams--where ever you are--I love you so--our little Izabella! Merry Christmas--Mom.