Tuesday, December 18

A Partridge in a Pear Tree: Our Christmas Post

This is our tree. I put it in a different spot this year...so the furniture is hugging it a little. Ignore the strange arrangement, please. And the floating sconces. : )

So it’s five days until Christmas Eve, which is when all the fun starts in our family. One of my favorite Christmas songs is The 12 Days of Christmas…which if you’ve ever been in my car, you have had the pleasure of hearing it…usually several times in a row. It’s just one of those songs. You know which ones I’m talking about. The ones you have to sing in a certain order. Backwards. As loud and fast as you can. Then you have to try again because if you only had one more chance you could get it right.

Plus, it has funny gifts. I mean, who gives their true love eight maids-a-milking? Where do you put the eight maids? And what about whatever they’re a-milking? This song is an organizational nightmare! But I love it—because it’s so fun. And (you knew there was an and…) because it is so meaningful.

From around 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testament

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit (Prophesy, Serving,Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy)

-Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control)

-Ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Oh, and I decided to throw in several pictures of some of my favorite Christmas ornaments.
Enjoy. Or not. Either way. : )
Angels played a big part in the Christmas Story. They first told Mary and Joseph about the birth of Jesus. Then they proclaimed good news of great joy to the shepards. Then they did lots of rejoicing.
This is the Cross. It's the whole reason Jesus was here on Earth.
I love this butterfly. It represents growth, renewal of the Spirit, and the change in one's life from who they once were to who they become in Christ. An ugly worm to a beautiful butterfly.
Cool, huh?
More with the fall colors, I know. But this leaf also represents the changes we see in our lives through Christ: what He has done for us, where He has taken us. To me, it also represents the seasons of one's life; to remind us that after the fall and winter comes a refreshing spring with the Lord!
I have some glittery pears and apples. They remind me of the Fruits of the Spirit and the sweetness of a life in Christ. I only have eight of them though, so I'm always wondering which fruit I am lacking. : )
These are clearly stars like the one that led the Magi to Jesus. Stars also represent the light of the world, which is Jesus. You know, God is the best literary writer ever. The Bible is just packed full of stuff!
Another swirly twirly star. It's rays are super bright.

I like the really long point on this one. If I were a Magi, the star would have to be like this, otherwise, I'd be totally lost. This reminds us of the incredible journey that the Magi took just to see the baby King, as well as the incredible life that Jesus lived, the incredible sacrifice God made to send His Son, and the incredible journey that Christ leads you on. Also, this year, there's an incredible journey of faith through adoption! Lots of incredible stuff here.

And finally, and most important, is our partridge in a pear tree.

Merry (12 Days of) Christmas, Everyone!!!

It's gonna be a Boy. Or a Girl!

Yesterday morning I worked on our dossier/homestudy stuff for a little under two hours. Man, who knew getting birth certificates and marriage licenses were so expensive! (Anyone know where to get them for less than an arm and a leg?) I am starting to see why all of this takes so long...because so much of it depends on other people! You have to order stuff and wait. Ask your boss to write something and wait. Check the mail and wait. The exciting thing is that I'm noticing that AGCI families are currently only waiting about 8-10 weeks for infant referral from the time their dossier is done. Speaking of that, the Beelers just received a referral for a little girl! How exciting!

This is great for so many reasons -- on a selfish personal note, it means that there's a possibility of girl referrals for non-gender-specified adoptive parents. Did that make sense? I've noticed on several blogs that parents who do not choose girl or boy usually receive boy referrals. And since Justin and I couldn't agree on a gender, we did not specify. Which later led me to believe we would receive a boy referral. (And I can't say that I'm not starting to at least get used to the idea of a boy.) But now I feel excited that it really could be either! Yay! I love not knowing. I think it's one of the most exciting parts!

Wednesday, December 12

do good gifts

This is the Feed Bag. With the purchase of this gift, you will school and feed a child for ONE YEAR. Isn't that incredible?

The creator of TOMS Shoes, Blake Mycoskie (who was on TV's The Incredible Race) added this to his site. If you don't know about TOMS Shoes, they are "shoes for tomorrow.

This is the pair that I have...and of course, I have told Santa about some cool new brown and gold ones that would be handy. Let me also add that they are sooo comfy! TOMS Shoes took several THOUSAND pairs of shoes to needy kids in Argentina in 2006. Earlier this fall, he came to our church and did an interview about it. This year, I think in November, they took 60,000--that's right, sixty thousand pairs of shoes to Africa. How incredible is that? Also, while touring the continent, he went to Ethiopia and learned about Mossy Foot Disease.

Mossy Foot is a debilitating condition foundprimarily in rural districts on people that work in soil of volcanic origin.This condition causes swelling & ulcers in the feet and lower legs. This deformity, swelling, repeated ulceration and secondary infections make people with Mossy Foot social outcasts equivalent to those with leprosy.The afflicted are deserted by their friends, their hope of marriage and employmentis lost because of others fears of contracting the disease.

When Blake learned this, he vowed to continue working in Ethiopia until the disease was eradicated. This means he'll be providing shoes for our children and their birth parents, as welll as their communities. Doesn't this just make your heart cry out?

Also, on several blogs now, is this fabulous shirt, which you can sport and half the proceeds go to Hannah's Hope in Ethiopia, where all the AGCI kids live before coming home to their forever families.

Tuesday, December 11

hip hip hooray!

Well, after a while of being sad, I was just about to give up. I was going to take my photo card and stand at Walgreens for hours waiting to download all the prints. All of a sudden, my hubband remembered that his printer takes cards. Lo and behold! An XD drive! Yippie!!! So, finally, without (much) further ado, a few pictures. Let's face it, blogs are better with pictures!

This little sweetheart is Landon. He's already 4 and a half months old. This was when he was brand new and I think that both our faces are classic expressions that totally represent who we each are.

This is me in the fall aisle at Hobby Lobby, or affectionately known around here as HoLo. I love fall and fall colors and in order to really get any type of fall here in Texas, you just stand in the aisle and pretend. Just like I'm doing here. (Notice that my outfit including my glasses match. That's how ridiculous I am.)

This is the long awaited (ok, well, maybe I've just been longing to publish) picture of us at Halloween! I wore my prom dress (again, ridiculous, I know) and some bonus stuff as the Tooth Fairy and Justin went as a dentist, in case you couldn't tell by his over-excited brushing.

These last two are from our trip to Fort Worth, Texas. We toured the Botanical Gardens and the Japanese Gardens. These are nifty little tubes you can talk and listen with a friend who is really far away.

Or not so far away if you're with Justin.

: )

Ok folks, that's it for now. I'm running off with Misty and the kids to do pictures at Wal-Mart. AND! Bonus, I'm an emergency shopper for our church's Christmas Miracles Project. Woohoo. I get to do extra Christmas shopping. And wrapping! How awesome and amazing is that? Today is a grrrreat day!

Saturday, December 8

spoiling your baby

A big congrats to Ted and Tracie who received their referral! Yay!
Speaking of referrals, I've been doing a lot of reading lately. Our agency sent us a packet of info along with our dossier to read. It's got stuff about getting ready for baby, meeting baby, bonding with baby, attachment issues, and so on. Lots of the info is generic for adoptive families with multiple countries. Some of the things I've read lately make me a little nervous. So my question to all you fellow bloggers out there: what types of attachment and bonding are you seeing from your Ethiopian darling?

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