Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Most Beautiful Post

Today I read the R House Blog and she shared a great story about a book called the Runaway Bunny. I have never read it and would like to read it based on her recommendation. But the end of her post is what got me. I have copied it here but changed a bit of it to fit us. At the end are some recent photos of Landon. Life has been pretty busy lately and we have not had much time to post.

i will...
dream of you,
long for you,
search for you,
cry tears of joy for you,
sit on the exam room table time after time,
watch your birth mothers' relinquish for you,
be labeled as "difficult" for you,
have my home inspected for you,
endure one waiting period after another for you,
pray for your birth parents for you,
get background checks for you,
get fingerprinted for you,
be interviewed for you,
get medical paperwork done for you,
worry about you,
prepare for you,
hold you,
hire the best attorneys money can buy for you,
endure good and bad caseworkers for you,
be judged for you,
sacrifice everything i have for you,
love you until the end of time...

no matter what,
i will run after you.
for you are my little bunny.

For Father's Day Mike got a new game for the Wii. It is the greatest exercise game called EA Active. Landon thought it was so much fun to try to run on the balance board just like his dad.
A couple of Saturdays ago we went to the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House here in South East Michigan. They were opening a new exhibit and had fun things for kids. We saw a little play about an imaginary car, were able to build our own car out of modeling clay, and we took our picture in front of a car built in 1941. It was a little cool that day but loved the green grass and getting to see the beautiful grounds on which this mansion was built. Mike took the tour of the house while we played.
I know it is hard to see in the picture below but Landon got his first real pair of tennis shoes. They lace up and everything. He even carried the bag from Payless to the car. He also got a great pair of church shoes that picture will come another day. He looks so put together when he has them on.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Important to Us

Father’s Day Frosty Weekend

Wendy’s restaurants will be donating 50 cents for every Frosty product purchased over the Father’s Day weekend (June 20-21) to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s initiatives. Customers can also stop by Wendy’s and donate by purchasing a Frosty pin-up for $1 each.

This year, Wendy’s started a new tradition for Father’s Day. Kids can go to to create a free custom Father’s Day eCard and Wendy’s will donate an additional 25¢ to the Foundation for every Frosty Card sent. Kids choose from a variety of scenes and objects, from sandcastles on the beach to baseball in the backyard, or they can give Dad a taste of Hollywood by selecting a pre-designed card created by a celebrity.

Thank you to the many folks across the nation for buying a frosty and helping children who wait for adoption. Last year’s efforts raised more than $1.5 million!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What We Do Matters

So while I was writing the other post, I forgot to write about the important stuff. (Fair warning: This post is going to sound academic, but bear with me.) In addition to the Ben Franklin book, I have finished or am in the process of working on a few books that all seem to share a common idea that I hope somehow to incorporate into my academic writing on leadership (Side note: If you want a career with a fair amount of unstructured time, vague deadlines, and lots of reading and writing, choose academia. On the other hand, if you dread the thought that for the rest of your life you’re going to have to do what boils down to “homework,” don’t). The Ben Franklin book and the other books I am or have been working on—Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (finished a few months back), Church History in Plain Language (just finished), By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion, and Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas—all share some common ideas about people and history.

It boils down to the claim that the actions of individuals matter.

Mr. Franklin put it well with this little ditty: “If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.” Givens, on page 45 of By the Hand of Mormon, puts the idea best in describing Mormon as an abridger who emphatically emphasizes “that individual choice produces cataclysmic consequences.” Givens goes on, “‘Either something or nothing must depend on individual choices,’ writes C. S. Lewis (in Perelandra, p. 142), and Mormon . . . embraces the first option (see Alma 46:9 where Mormon describes the effects of Amalickiah’s quest for power).” What you do matters. What I do matters.

What we do matters.

As far as leadership goes, this idea is huge (not new, but important anyway).

What we do matters.

Each of us has both the capacity and the responsibility to act in ways that may profoundly affect those around us and serve as a catalyst for changing the world. What seemed to make the difference between ordinary folks and the extraordinary heroes and villains of history was not who they were or where they came from, but the energy they devoted to an idea and the effort they took to bring their vision of the future to pass. Longfellow set this idea to verse:

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

Again, no new ideas here, just my realization that history is the story of generally ordinary men and women who, energized by ideas (good or bad) and the will to spread them, have profoundly affected the events and people around them. The effect of our individual actions may not get into the history books, but

what we do matters.

What we do, done with intent, bears real fruit in the lives of those around us.

The Big 200

It's taken us since October 2004 to do it, but we've managed to post 200 blog entries (did you know we were keeping track?). I wanted this to be "Detroit Red Wings keep the Stanley Cup," but it was not to be (Congrats, Riley). Oh, well. Moving on. At least I have the Lakers.

Instead, I will tell how Michigan has seen fit to introduce me to a new, unexpected, and unwanted experience: allergies. Love the green, hate the pollen or whatever is wreaking havok on my eyes and sinuses. The last time I felt this bad was as a missionary in Buenos Aires. It gradually occured to me at breakfast as we were chatting and reading Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (no relation to what we were reading--just random free association) that my mission nurse may have misdiagnosed my sinus woes in BsAs as sinusitis rather than nasty allergies. Springtime and fall in Detroit and BsAs share many similar qualities, including a whole whack of plantlife coming into bloom or decaying. I never had allergies growing up, so this is new. Hello, Benadryl, my new best friend.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thoughtful Friends

Today I was in contact with a friend on Facebook that I know from my mission. He sent this Mormon Message video on to me. Thanks Jerry!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Want To Go On Vacation Because Of Them!

We do not have television to watch so we listen to a lot of radio. On the radio I hear commercials for Pure Michigan or . They are wonderful commercials in my opinion as McCann-Erickson does the job of putting me right in the spot where they are talking about. We found out tonight that the voice is Tim Allen (Tool Time was supposedly set in a suburb of Detroit). Hopefully you will enjoy one of my faves!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We're exactly where we need to be

Our friend Stephanie recently posted a story on her blog about going home for her grandma's funeral. She made the following statement of gratitude for the Lord's hand in her life: "Nothing makes me feel more blessed than seeing how the Lord has blessed me and always gotten me where he wanted me to be." There's something deceptively simple yet profound in the second part of that statement that stuck with me. I have also found that, in spite of my best (worst?) efforts, the Lord always manages to find a way to get me where He wants me to be (Cripes! It's as if He knew my life's path or something). I find it strangely comforting to know that in spite of any regrets I may have for decisions I have made, He's already anticipated my choices and their consequences, and He's moved on. "Pick yourself up, kid. I've got you covered. On to plan B (or C, or Z). I'll get you where I need you to be." Take Joseph Smith: "OK, so you lost those 116 pages. Yes, it is a big deal. Yes, you should feel bad about it. Fortunately for you, I had Mormon throw in this other bit, so things will work out. Now, let's move on." A related bit of wisdom comes from Meet the Robinsons (which is a great adoption story, by the way): "Keep moving forward." When I have those times when I'm feeling down and reflecting upon where and what I might have been, I take comfort in remembering I am where I am now because of the good graces of a kind God who wants me to look back with gratitude and forward with hope as I resolve in the present to make the most of what is here and now.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A story that we take to heart

An important family value we have is living fully in the present. Mike stumbled on this story that really embodies that ideal. Enjoy!

Wherever You Are, Be There

by Steve Goodier

A delightful story is told about a young man who applied for a job as a telegraph operator. He answered an ad in the newspaper and went to the telegraph office to await an interview. Though he knew Morse Code and was qualified in every other way, seven other applicants were also waiting in the large, noisy office.

He saw customers coming and going and heard a telegraph clacking away in the background. He also noticed a sign on the receptionist's counter instructing applicants to fill out a form and wait to be summoned to an inner office for an interview. He filled out the form and sat down to wait.

After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering why he had been so bold. They talked among themselves and finally determined that, since nobody had been summoned to interview yet, the man would likely be reprimanded for not following instructions and possibly disqualified for the job.

Within a few minutes, however, the young man emerged from the inner office escorted by the interviewer, who announced to the other applicants, "Thank you all very much for coming, but the job has just been filled."

They were all confused and one man spoke up: "Wait a minute -- I don't understand. We've been waiting longer than he and we never even got a chance to be interviewed."

The employer responded, "All the time you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message: 'If you understand this, then come right in. The job is yours.'"

This man knew a valuable life-lesson that most people miss: Wherever You Are, Be There. If you're there physically, also be there emotionally. Be there mentally. Be there attentively. Be there as fully as you can.

It's about being present and fully alive in the moment. Wherever you are, be there. Give your full attention to others (is there really a better gift?). Give yourself fully to the task at hand or to the present moment. When you're completely present, you'll make the most of every minute. And minutes lived fully add up to a life lived magnificently.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Ray of Sun

This past Friday was a very beautiful day here in South East Michigan. Days like these you forget Winter is one of the four seasons. After Landon woke up from his morning nap we went to the Tot Lot. He had a nice time. He loves to follow the other kids around. Last Summer he loved the swings. Not so much this year so we are trying him on them every time we go and this time was a bit better. Afterwards we thought it would be fun to try an ice cream joint that we have driven by many times. We tried the Saunders Bumpy Cake and Landon as you can see had his very own cone.

To Be A Mom

It wasn't my week to feel quite so competent as a mom. Poor Landon. I don't know what was worse--crying or him watching me cry. But in the roller coaster we call life we are on a different part of the ride today, and things seem to be okay. My night was made when, as we were playing with Landon upstairs after giving him a bath, the doorbell rang. (We don't have a regular doorbell. We have a vintage bell in the door that you turn back and forth. Thanks, Canada!)
The great youth who were ringing it rang it with such vigor. I loved it! Most people don't even realize it is there so we don't hear it very often. Mike went and answered the door and said I had to come down to get it. My hair was pulled back with a head band, and my bangs were sky high. I was more worried about my tight fitting t-shirt than my dumb hair. The boys had a HUGE beautiful bouquet of flowers just for me. I would have liked to have shed a tear, but I think they were all gone for once. (Finally!) Their mom is my Visiting Teacher and she is in SLC right now so that may have had something to do with it, but I don't care. I was loved and am loved. The cute boys gave me a hug and went on their way. Sure made being a mom a little bit better.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I Have No Idea...

what to title this blog. It is all random but that is what our life is like sometimes. So I will describe the pictures which in turn will tell you about our random life.

The Gerbera Daisies were bought at Randazzo's Nursery. They were so colorful and pretty and remind me of my sister Carly. This is also Hallie's extent of gardening. Mike on the hand will get his hands dirty. So... let's hope the sky does not come down on us anytime soon because I will not be able to feed my family.

Landon got haircut number 5 today from Bill the Barber. He was very good the whole time. I have to admit now I like it neat and trim. Grandpa and Grandma O gave him this little train for Christmas and Landon just realized this last week he can ride it. So this evening when the sun peeked through the clouds we took him outside to ride on it and he loved it. That was until he thought it was time to dart across the street to see the neighbor. This kid was nearly all the way across the street before I could get him. I need an invisible fence!
Below are some of the great flowers and foliage you can find in our front and back yard. The folks who lived here before us did a great job of planting stuff that comes up year after year with relatively little maintenance. I thanked her the other day when I ran into her at Trader Joe's. It sure makes our house that backs up into an alley like a little oasis.

Today was the day we got our new dishwasher. Yee Haw! Hallie was so dang excited. These pictures are backwards. Here is the new dishwasher all installed and ready to get dirty.
Landon LOVED watching the man install it. Whenever the man would go to his truck to get something Landon ran after him would wait by the door until he came back and then followed him again to the kitchen.
Here is the gaping hole under the counter. We found a few things inside. A little insight into the past.
The new little baby on it's way. It will have to do until we get a real baby.
A fond farewell. We were excited to have a dishwasher after living 6 years in Utah without one. Except for the rust spots it left on our dishes it did us well for the last two years. Good bye dishwasher.

Some plugs

We wanted to make a few plugs for items and causes of interest. 

First, if we don't win this bike, someone we know should. The Madsen Cargo bike is one of a kind. Click the banner ad to go to the site and find out about these awesome bikes (OK, this was a shameless plug, but the bikes are cool anyway). 

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Also, we are looking to advertise our adoption, and the R House is promoting a company that produces (among other things) adoption pass along cards. Follow this link to find out more about Spaces for Faces and to see what other items (such as baby announcements, calendars, holiday cards, etc.) they make. It's worth a look if for no other reason than to give us a chance to get our pass-along cards. :)

Finally,  LDS Family Services launched their new web site today. 

We don't get anything for plugging this one, but we just think it's neat.