Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Day in 90 Seconds Included 2 near death moments

I decided to do my second 90 second day in review today. I did not think this day would make me really think about the value of life so much. All day long I took 1-3 second video clips of what I did throughout the day. We went strawberry picking at this little spot that is run by a cute elderly couple. Then the whole fam went to Starbucks after picking 4 buckets of strawberries. We enjoyed a drink and some time just chatting. What a perfect way to start the day.

Kynzi and I headed over to the Ditchen's to pack up an inflatable and shoot a safety video with it. They have 2 little kids and Kynzi loves kids so we stayed there about an hour as she played with them. Then we headed home, but stopped at the Bennett's to say hi. We ended up staying there about an hour or so as well. Great to spend time with friends I don't get to spend a ton of time with.

As we headed home, we came over the bridge that goes over the interstate. I was surprised how quickly the truck pulled out without stopping. All of a sudden a Volvo pulled out right as we were passing. Had I not swerved hard we would have been t-boned. Kynzi thought the hit us, but I was sure it was the truck that was waiting to pull out that released air from his air brakes. I pulled over to look at the side of my car and noticed this car sat in the middle of the road for 2 minutes and then suddenly drove across the street and headed back to the interstate they had just gotten off of.

We went to church and Jeff lead worship and Josh preached and did a great job! Jeff and Kara were commissioned for their trip to Egypt! So excited for them. Please click on his name and buy his first album. Good stuff! Plus, you support their trip to encourage missionaries/international workers as they lead worship for them. I love when Josh gets to preach in big church. He talked about Joshua 3 and how there are major moments that God grabs us as we trust and obey God completely. He ended with a blog entry from Becca (his wife) that talked about their early part of their adoption story and how they trusted God for the finances and how He has been providing. Love that story. God is good, all the time!

We headed home and on the way home a truck pulled into my lane pretty quickly and I swerved and honked my horn and he last minute swerved back. Man! What is up with this day. After catching my breath we kept going home and I fixed dinner (Norwegian waffles...yummm!) and then I went for a run. I hit 5.32 tonight. It felt really great. I have been praying on my runs recently and that was good (for another post soon).

After 2 VERY near moments that could have changed our day and our lives it has caused me to reflect a bit. Part of that reflection is on how precious each moment we have actually is. We have no idea when we will be called Home. None. It could be tomorrow, it could be 70 years from now. What I do know is that I need to live my life in a way that appreciates the life God has given me and do something with it. I don't want to waste my life. I don't want to look back at my life when I am old and have a bunch of, "I wish I had..." That would be awful!  So today I say, "God, I am yours! Whatever You want from me; where ever You want me to go; whatever You want me to do; whomever You want me to talk to; I am Yours! Lead me. Guide me. Help me to have faith to step into the waters of uncertainty like the Israelites did when they stepped into the Jordan and You dried up the overflowing river so they could all cross on dry land into the promised land! I want to live like that. Always ready to step into the rushing waters, trusting You the whole way, wherever You lead me!"

Wrapping it up now as we will head to Portland with 9 kids tomorrow! Night.

Oh, sorry the video will have to be posted later. Ran out of time. Haha.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Some News About Numbers and our Adoption Agency!!

Often during the waiting time you feel like you are not sure things are real, except for people asking you how the "adoption thing" is going. I love being asked, but I don't love not being able to give anything solid other than we are in a holding pattern for the next 4-6 months. That's how long they say the average wait time is while you are on the waiting list. We have been on it for 3 weeks now. So nothing solid. Some agencies tell you where you are on the list and how many other families are ahead of you. Ours does not do that. They firmly believe that the children are chosen very specifically for your family. So to just take the next in line doesn't always happen perfectly.

Today they sent us an email with some numbers and it was a fun surprise to get.
Since May 2010, when the new regulations were implemented, sixteen (16) Dove families have been matched with a total twenty (20) children.  Matches will continue during the court closure.

Dove received our first assignment of court dates under the new regulations.  Several Dove families will be in Ethiopia the first week of August for their court hearing.  Dove is sending Adoption Program Director to gain first hand knowledge of this new process.

As a reminder the Ethiopian courts are scheduled to close on August 9, 2010.  The official opening date has not been announced, but court dates have been scheduled for October 2010.
 It was just exciting to get a small hold of "where we are on the list" even though there is no real order. For all we know there could be 2 children who fit our exact "parameters" that show up tomorrow and that don't fit anyone else. That is unlikely, but it is feasible.

Anyhow, it is still quite surreal, but it feels like the baby just kicked for the first time or something like that. Thanx Dove for the info! Kids, we pray for you EVERY single day and for your birth parents. We pray protection, care, love and a knowledge of Jesus for them and you. Love you already!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting Rid of DishTV?

I have been thinking about this for a while. I love my DVR, but it's expensive. There are definitely days I think, "It's totally worth it." and other days I think, "How is it that I am paying for this?" The totally worth it side wins out almost every time. I love TV. If you know me or have followed my blog you know that is true. Like the post on being a DVR snob in May. I have had a few posts on how sad I was about certain shows being canceled, etc. All that to say this would be hard...and I am only in the thinking phase.

I have a few friends that have turned their laptops into TV tuners. I am staring small and slowly moving towards what may possibly land me with out my Dish and DVR. The first move was to try out Netflix using my Wii. Pretty AWEsome!! Next step? Get the cables/connections to try playing what is on my computer on to my TV. After I try this I will see what happens next.

Want to learn how to make the switch? Connections? Netflix? Hulu? ESPN3? There are a ton of options. You can watch live sports online now. I got to see several World Cup games online! You can watch almost anything on Justin.TV. It's pretty amazing. Can I handle watch my reality shows a day later? Maybe they will be viewable live too.

Check out this article. It has a ton of ideas and insights.

Thanx to Colby for the reminder. HD antennas!!! You can get yor basic stations in perfect HD with them. (there takes care your American Idol Meesh)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gowalla and Foursquare

At the beginning of the year I jumped on to these 2 location based games/social networks. The basic concept is that when you go somewhere you "check in" there. Opening the app it will show you the closest places to you and you check in. Anyone who is a friend will then know where you are. It is an interesting thing to me. Out of all the social networking things I am involved with it is the thing I have the least "friends" on. I don't really want all the world to know where I am at all times.

With each one you get different things when you check in. On Gowalla you get points and there is a leaderboard that shows you who has the most check ins at a certain place. You can also add pictures to places you check in at that anyone can see. Occasionally you find virtual items at places. You can use those items to drop or swap at establishments to become the founder of that place.  You also receive stamps for certain things, like I have a stamp for creating 50 places. Basically because I have been in on it early there were stores that were not on there and I added them.

Foursquare is the one that currently has most prominence because it is working with so many companies. When you are the person who has checked in the most at one place you become the mayor of that establishment. There are some places that are working with Foursquare that give out incentives to visiting them the most. Starbucks was giving $1 off cold frappuccinos for a couple of months to the mayor. I am the mayor of 2 Starbucks (even with Scott trying to dethrone me at one of them). My favorite has been Mio Gelatos. The mayor there (me) gets a free gelato and cup of coffee any time they want. I have cashed in on this several times!

I had been thinking I was going to give up Gowalla when I checked in to the Apple store last month. As I checked in a screen popped up that said, "Click here to see if you won an eye-fi card." I clicked and I won! It's a 4GB SD card that goes into my digital camera and it automatically uploads my pics to my pic site of choice when I get on wifi. No need to put it into a card reader or anything! It arrived last week and it's awesome!

So, for now, I will keep checking in on both. But if you get on there and try to add me as a friend, please don't feel rejected if I don't add you. For now, I am just enjoying trying it out. I know, you may think, "But you always tweet and interact on FaceBook." True, but I am relatively generic when it comes to where I am...sometimes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Helvatia Half Marathon

I meant to post this the same day as my marathon, but here I am. Blogging seems to be that friend that I hang out with a ton at a time and then get going with other life stuff and we pick up where we left off...whenever it is we pick up. So, my feeble attempt to "journal" like this and let you inside my head and world a little is something I keep wanting to and trying to attend to.

So I trained and trained and got myself ready for my second half marathon. Steve and I were ready. We left early with Jerry and headed to Hillsboro. We stretched, took some pics and lined up. Jeanne-Ann and some of her girlfriends were doing the 10K and drove up separately. I am so proud of my best friend! She is amazing.

We started off in the mass of people and got on our way. We started really fast. The first mile was done in 7 minutes and 15 seconds. We slowed a little bit every mile, but not by a ton. We hit the 2 major hills and I was dying. I literally went back to that place I was when I ran the 800M race in high school. Every time I ever ran that race I thought, "If I can trip in the pack it will look like it was someone else's fault." I never actually did because I love competing too much. I had that thought, what if I tripped. Then I can bail out of this thing. I had run 10 miles the weekend before and felt great! This was different. We ran too fast and had major hills. I had that thought over and over. I also reminded myself that a half marathon is mostly mental.

I pushed my brain past the pain. We hit stride into the last portion of the race. We were on the last part of the downhill section. After that we would be going on flat roads for the rest of the way. Then came that ill-fated moment. At around mile 8 I was running along the edge of the road when I stepped on the edge where there was a 4 inch drop and twisted my ankle. I followed that with a double roll-over and immediately heard a large collective gasp from the 15 or so people that were right around me. Thankfully I fell into grass and not the 8 foot drop into rocks that was just 100 feet back.

Steve asked if I needed help, but I knew I already threw him off so I told him to keep running. I got up and hobbled for about a half mile until I saw a volunteer. She didn't have anyway to contact anyone, so I waited. A police officer on a motorcycle stopped and called in an ambulance. When they finally got there they gave me a cold pack, but I guess I wasn't priority enough to get a ride, so the police officer was kind enough to call in another officer who had a car. Soon enough I was on my way. During all of this some guy stopped and asked if he could quit because his back was hurting (he has chronic back pain) and so the police officer put him in the back where he complained that the seats were uncomfortable and not ideal for tall people. The officer said that if you break the law you deserve an uncomfortable ride.

So I began to ask the officer about his life and he kept sharing more and more. Turns out he was let go from the force 8 years ago in another state and has been volunteering for a number of years at the behest of a friend. He will finish his law degree in October and hopes to get back on the force full time. He had shared so much with me that as we pulled into the stadium I asked if it was OK if I prayed for him. The guy in the back said, "Let me out before he does that!" That made me laugh. The officer said, "I'm not a religious person." I told him it was OK if he was OK with it. He said, "Sure."

I prayed for him and he said, "Do you do this often?" I said, "You mean pray for people?" He said, "Yes." I told him "all the time." He thanked me and let me out. I headed to where the finish line was without crossing it. It was weird. I got my free burger and joined Jeanne-Ann and the kids and Steve and Jerry and their families and some other friends. Drank about 8 Jamba Juices and we headed home. It was quite the event. I am very sad that I didn't get to finish. Next year, but for now I will have to just train for the Hood to Coast race.

Monday, July 26, 2010

40 Days of Blog

Tonight we had dinner with some of our dearest friends in the world. We all decided it would be fun to do a "40 Days of Blog" together. Essentially we are committing to posting one blog per day for the next 40 days starting today! As soon as Bex mentioned this I was ALL IN! It is exactly what I need. I want to blog more and I need motivation and accountability. I love to blog, it is just one of those things that can be hard to set time aside to do. Now I am doing it! You can hold me accountable to. Interaction is a great thing (hint..feel free to comment). I love that blogging can open conversations on all sorts of topics.

I am sure there will be plenty of adoption conversation along the way, as that is what 3 out of 5 of us are doing and it consumes a lot of our thought energy. It will also have plenty of daily life mixed in, as that is what my blog tends to be about. Hopefully there will be something that will be thought-provoking and interesting to you as well. I expect that there will be some give-aways happening. I won't reveal yet, but I think someone from this team will be doing one today. So keep a look out.

Want to read along? Check out the "Team."
Bex Mann.
Michelle Unwin.
and Steve Unwin (but Steve will start his 40 days on the 1st of September)

Here we go!!!
    My beautiful bride, Jeanne-Ann is blogging, but not yet ready for 40 days. Encourage her and comment on her blog!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Silly Bands

Have you seen them? Chances are you have. You may not have realized what you were looking at, but it is the current craze amongst young people right now. At first I thought it was just elementary aged kids, but it crosses several age brackets.

Basically it is gel bracelets that are in the shape of almost everything you can imagine! Disney characters, sports teams, words, animals, instruments, etc. Some even glow in the dark. They are all the rage right now. I was at a conference this past week in Louisville called LIFE conference with 6,500 high school students and I saw them everywhere. You can pick them up almost any place you can spend money. I picked up a few at a gas station for my kids. Then my nephews had hundreds of them including a dreaded Yankee one. Ewwwww! I will have to see if I can find a Red Sox one soon.

I then read an article on line that mentioned that some schools are banning them because they are cause for fights and distraction. It's crazy. Do you have any of them? If so, what kind?
The Mickey and glow-in-the-dark dinosaur are upside down. oops.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We are on the LIST!!!

Last week while we were at LIFE conference we got some great news. Our dossier was sent off to Ethiopia. That means we are on the list. We watched as the DHL tracking kept moving along. It was very exciting, but most exciting was when we saw that it had arrived in Addis Ababa. I shared earlier that there are some similarities of going through the adoption process to going through pregnancy. This moment is likened to hearing the baby's heart beat. this is the most excited I think I have been in this whole process. Now it's just waiting and raising the funds for the next check. Thought you might like to join us on the journey we went on.

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