Thursday, May 25, 2006
Last Saturday the weather was beautiful so we met my mom and dad at the beach--the boys' very first time!!! All the kids loved it--Anna is finally over her fear of the water and waves and now loves wading into the ocean, and with each wave saying "Here comes the wave!"
Yosef loved both the water and digging in the sand, while Biniam was afraid of the water but really enjoyed the digging. The kids had a great time, and it sure felt good to be back in the sun at the beach again! Here are some pictures of our afternoon:
Monday, May 22, 2006
On our pastor's blog there's a discussion going in which I've discovered that some Christians would say I'm in the wrong for reading a book that includes false statements about Jesus. I decided to read the novel in the first place because I wanted to see what all the buzz was about, so that I could understand what some of our culture is thinking about Jesus, and because a few (Christian, incidentally) friends of mine had read it and said it was good. (In fact, just about our entire growth group Biblestudy has read it.) And I really am enjoying the book, in spite of chapter 55. Interestingly, the scandalous claims about Christ are nothing new, as they derive from the Gnostic gospels which have been around for I think over a thousand years, and I already learned about them in my "Christian Origins" class in college.
Anyway the book has gotten a TON of attention from just about everyone...some people believe the stuff in the book, some people don't, some people don't think Christians should read the book, etc. What do you think about the whole thing? Have you read the book?
The great thing is, if nothing else, the story is getting people talking about Jesus, who He was, and what He did.
Friday, May 19, 2006
1. I'm an only child.
2. I hate when people assume things about me based on that.
3. My hometown where I grew up has a population of 200.
4. Most the people in my hometown are ranchers/cowboys.
5. My family was not either of those things.
6. My best friend and I have been friends for 17 years.
7. I was our 4-H club President.
8. I was our FFA Vice President.
9. We saw a dead beached whale at Pismo Beach in high school.
10. The only organized team sport I ever played was T-Ball.
11. I'm not athletic at all.
12. I hate watching sports of any kind.
13. I always wanted to be a marriage/family therapist when I grew up.
14. I am an at-home mom.
15. I love being a mom.
16. I have three kids.
17. Two are from Ethiopia.
18. I got married when I was only 20.
19. I found out I was pregnant on our one-year wedding anniversary.
20. That's why I didn't finish college.
21. My labor with Anna was only 6 hours.
22. It really hurt.
23. I gained a whopping 36 pounds when I was pregnant.
24. I love being married young.
25. I don't like pets.
26. We don't have any.
27. I love the East Coast.
28. I love all four seasons.
29. Someday I want to be involved in relief work/missions of some kind in Ethiopia.
30. I would love to have a non-profit organization someday to help Africa.
31. I love eating out.
32. I love to read.
33. I own almost the entire Babsitters Club series from when I was little.
34. I never get bored.
35. I've never been drunk.
36. I've never taken drugs.
37. I love midori sours.
38. I love the Gap.
39. I love Target.
40. I hate grocery shopping.
41. But I love having lots of food in the house.
42. I've never broken a bone.
43. I'm not a morning person.
44. I have a myspace profile.
45. That is really, really embarrassing.
46. I drive a car from 1988.
47. That is also really, really embarrassing.
48. I waste a lot of time online.
49. We don't really watch TV.
50. I don't like the town we live in.
51. We will probably move sometime in the next few years.
52. I don't know where we'll move.
53. It probably will not be in California.
54. I like hanging out with my parents.
55. I love quiet evenings at home with Kevin.
56. I like going to concerts.
57. The last one I went to was Tom Petty.
58. He is awesome.
59. I love Seinfeld.
60. My favorite Seinfeld quote is "People...they're the worst!"
61. I've never eaten spam.
62. I never will.
63. I never really liked babysitting.
64. But I want a lot of kids.
65. I love a good old fashioned BBQ.
66. I love fancy gourmet food.
67. I love winter clothes like coats, sweaters, scarves, and gloves.
68. It rarely gets cold enough here to wear them.
69. I hate wearing a bathing suit.
70. I love having a tan.
71. I like the beach but not the way the sand gets everywhere.
72. We live about 15 minutes from the beach.
73. We rarely go.
74. I am a nervous flyer.
75. I once had to have someone arrested for making terrorist threats when I worked for a California assemblyman.
76. There was a big standoff and it took a SWAT team to bring him in.
77. He now lives in Nevada, thank goodness.
78. I have worked (briefly) as a telemarketer.
79. I have worked (also briefly) at Taco Bell.
80. I have worked at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
81. I think I have changed a lot in the last year and a half.
82. Hopefully it's for the better.
83. I shook George W. Bush's hand once.
84. I am a total klutz.
85. I love to laugh.
86. I've been to Ethiopia.
87. I can't wait to go back.
88. I met my husband in our church's college group.
89. The first time we spent any time together was when we ran into each other at a (free) Weird Al concert.
90. I love that Weird Al movie UHF.
91. My husband proposed on the beach in Cambria.
92. Someday I'd like to go to Jamaica.
93. I love "fair food" like corndogs, fresh lemonade, and funnelcake.
94. I was outside the courthouse with my daughter Anna when the Michael Jackson verdict was read.
95. I know I am such a dork but we were already out and heard on the radio they were about to announce it, so we cruised by.
96. On my way to the courthouse, as I drove down Main Street, I noticed people with signs lining the street, running up and down the sidewalk shouting, and helicopters circling.
97. I looked in my rearview mirror to discover that the whole way down the street I was right in front of the Michael Jackson motorcade!
98. Someone I know saw my car on the news!
99. I am very, very easily amused (as you can see.)
100. I love Jesus and I'm a sinner and through His grace and mercy I am saved!
Well duh mom, what were you thinking? Here is a picture of Anna and her purse.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I think we all agreed that children are not particularly valued in our society at large (or at least as much as they should be.) We also talked about the fact that being within the confines of a church does not gaurantee that your kid is going to be valued either.
I remember one day last summer, I had to take the car to get it smogged (and it FAILED--are we surprised?) and so I walked Anna over to Carl's Jr. for lunch while I waited for it to be done. We sat down and she was chattering loudly but happily. An older couple was sitting a few tables over. The woman called over to me, "Can you get her to be quiet?" I'm thinking, I must have misheard this woman, she couldn't possibly mean what I think she means. So I asked, "What?" And the woman said, "She's being too loud, tell her to be quiet." UM, HELLO? Carl's Jr., lunchtime, it's a cheap fast-food restaurant, kids and babies everywhere...what were they expecting? Somehow (and this is big for me, because I am quite possibly the world's least confrontational person) I managed to say, "No. She's a child, I can't control the sounds she makes, and she's happy, she's just talking." GO ME! I was shaking inside but somehow managed to sound calm yet firm on the outside. Well needless to say the couple bitterly got up and moved to the other side of the restaurant.
Now, as fate would have it, I noticed as we were leaving Carl's Jr. that the place where the couple had moved to sit was full of this wonderful, happy, loud, huge group of developmentally disabled adults. I had to chuckle--it would appear that the sterile, silent lunch this couple was hoping for was not to be found in the Santa Maria Carl's Jr. that afternoon. Oh to have seen the expression on the couple's face when that group came and sat down!
I think there is much beauty, innocence and joy to be found in children. Sadly, all too often they are seen as a nuisance, distraction, or just "too much work." I have seen these attitudes in all sorts of places, including church. I am inclined to think it's a by-product of a wealthy, materialistic society.
As a follower of Jesus, I so want to love the way He loved. That means loving children--not just my own three kids, but children in general. I don't ever want to isolate myself from the laughter, fun, and sweet simplicity that kids bring to the table. What about you?
I remember feeling that way sometimes about being an at-home mom. Obviously I realized
that was important and I wouldn't have it any other way, but every once in awhile I'd wish I could do more, contribute more, etc. The primary time though that I felt this way was when
we were in Ethiopia. I stood there at AHOPE surrounded by orphans with HIV and felt overwhelmed, discouraged, and hopeless. It struck me that for every child I adopt, there are about a million more needing homes...many of them will never have one.
But isn't it so true that even if in the grand scheme of things, even though you can't change the entire world yourself, that doesn't mean you don't try, or don't do SOMETHING. Because imagine the difference you're making for that one person. And that's how change happens anyway, right?
Anyway I thought I'd share that quote with you. I'd love to know what you think about it, if there are things you feel that way about.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Recently I was on some sort of missions website and they had this free book offer. The book was about this missionary guy's work behind the Iron Curtain, particularly Romania. I love reading about other countries, and I also love biographies about interesting people, so I signed up to get my free copy of the book, which arrived yesterday.
Last night while Kevin was watching basketball I settled in for a good read. Oh my goodness! This guy is...interesting! In all fairness maybe part of it is he uses some Christian "buzzwords" that have never been part of my Christianese vocabulary, part of it might be that the way he talks has something to do with the part of the US he's from, plus he is an "evangelist" so that maybe has something to do with it too. I don't know what it is, but I was so bummed! I can't help but feel like he's maybe coming across as a little arrogant.
So Jeannett you were asking for a good book to read...yeah this one's not the one. :) Anybody else read something lately they were disappointed in?
Monday, May 15, 2006
I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day. I spent mine sick in bed but getting to hear Anna say "Happy Mother's Day mama" for the first time as she handed me a flower she'd picked from our backyard was possibly the highlight of my whole year!
Accent--none, having been born and raised in California
Bible book that I like--James
Chore that I don't care for--cleaning the floors (ie sweeping, mopping, vacuuming)
Dog or cat--neither (I am so not a pet person!)
Essential electronics--camera and computer I guess
Favorite perfume--"Happy", by Clinique
Gold or silver--silver
Handbag I carry most often--probably my big one that doubles as a purse/diaper bag
Insomnia--only if I have caffeine
Kids--3 of them, Anna is 27 months, Ezra Yosef and Isaiah Biniam are 19 months
Living arrangements--Me, my husband, our kids, no pets, our house is in a neighborhood in a housing tract
Most admirable trait--not sure, you'd have to ask someone who knows me
Naughtiest childhood behavior--my best friend and I when we were little thought it was funny to sneakily trample some of the flowers/plants in our elementary school's dorky little garden---before church no less! Ah, what rebels we were...
Overnight hospital stay--Just when I gave birth to Anna (and I LOVED the custard and jello, I am so not joking!)
Phobias--SNAKES, getting to the end of my life and realizing I didn't make much of a difference
Quote--"Love cannot remain by itself--it has no meaning. It has to be put into action, and that action is service"--Mother Theresa
Religion--Christian, saved by grace through faith alone
Time I wake up--7:30
Unusual talent or skill--I don't think I have any weird talents/skills
Vegetable I refuse to eat--lima beans
Worst habit--spending way too much time on the computer
Xrays--just at the dentist
Yummy stuff I cook--I can make this good chicken pasta thing, also some pretty yummy baked chicken, exciting I know
Zoo animal I like most--gorillas
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Well, we finally made it to Sears to get pictures taken of the kids! This was the first weekend in a long time where none of them had a scratch or a goose egg...it's tough with three active kids!
And let it be known that Anna is actually (gasp!) SMILING in the pictures! The day before and that morning I explained to Anna we'd be getting pictures taken and had her practice her smile. She did pretty well. Unfortunately however, by the time we had all the kids out the door and ready, it was about naptime. We'll have to figure something else out for next time I think.
The thing that came in the most handy was my cell phone. Why my cell phone you ask? WELL, we just got this new cell phone, and I was able to download the ringtone "Buffalo Soldier" by none other than Bob Marley. So, to get the kids to smile, I'd play the ringtone. And it worked!!!
We were all exhausted by the time we left, but at least we got some cute pictures out of it!
Friday, May 12, 2006
Yosef and Biniam made their first trip to Grandma and Grandpa Perruzzi's house (my parents) last weekend. Friday night Kevin had plans to go to Magic Mountain so I took the kids to visit my mom and dad (who live an hour from us.)
The weather was nice and warm, so we ended up out on the patio. My parents have a fountain that Anna's always enjoyed playing with. Well sitting in front of the fountain was this big glass pot that for some reason was filled with water. AND for some reason Anna and the boys LOVED playing in the pot of water!
It began when Bin dumped the pot over, and was therefore sitting in water. I thought for sure he would cry, but he laughed! Pretty soon all three kids were playing, splashing, laughing hysterically and having a ball. So much so that they must have played like this for an hour, and went back to playing the same game the next day! Kids are so awesome--I love that they're so easily entertained!
Grandma and Grandpa Perruzzi's house was a big hit, as usual. Because we have two more kids now (and Anna doesn't use a crib anymore), we had to come up with a new sleeping arrangement for her. My mom had a good idea and bought Anna her very own, special "big girl" sleeping bag--in hot pink! Anna loves it! Here's a picture of my mom reading to Anna on the sleeping bag at naptime:
Another highlight was that Anna got to help Grandma make pancakes in the morning, something Anna loves getting to do. When I see Anna doing things like that, I reflect on how "grown up" she's becoming. And I wonder when it happened! Anyway here's a picture of Anna stirring the pancake batter--my little girl is growing up:
Thursday, May 11, 2006
A couple weeks ago I received an email from someone named Fred Booglewart, asking me some adoption questions (what homestudy agency we used, for example). He said he and his "partner" were adopting from Vietnam. I thought who on earth has a last name like Booglewart? I told Kevin I thought the email was a joke and that maybe one of our friends discovered our blog and was messing with me. I took the time though to write back, Fred wrote back with some more questions, and turned out to be a nice guy. I realized it must not be a joke.
Saturday afternoon Troy and Becky, some of our closest friends, called wanting to come over that evening and hang out and bring us dinner. Fun! After dinner we were sitting around, and all of a sudden they took off their sweatshirts and Troy had a name tag that said "Boogle" and Becky had one that said "Wart!" What in the world?! I sat there so, so confused. I'm like, oh you guys played a joke on me, ha ha, although it didn't make sense why that would have been such a funny joke.
Then they proceeded to tell us that it WASN'T a joke: Troy and Becky are adopting from Vietnam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently they wanted some info from us, but didn't want to tell us yet as they hadn't told their families yet. We are so, so excited!!! This will be Troy and Becky's first little one.
It is sweet to see God move hearts and move people to reach out across the world to love one of His precious children. I am profoundly blessed by their hearts and can't wait to watch them go through the process and the experience.
So that is the story of Fred Booglewart (apparently "booglewart" is some sort of computer gaming term.) I have to say I am so happy that Fred turned out to be some of our best friends!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Has anyone else seen this chilling photograph before? The South African photographer Kevin Carter took it during the famine in Sudan in 1994. The little girl is struggling to make her way to the United Nations food camp, which is only one kilometer away. She's being stalked by a vulture, waiting for her to die.
This photo won Carter the Pulitzer Prize. Weeks later he killed himself.
A new documentary has been made about Kevin Carter called "The Death of Kevin Carter." It's even nominated for an Academy Award. He lived a crazy life, as he and three friends, also white photographers from South Africa, committed themselves to photographing the violence and war in the streets that resulted from apartheid.
I came across his story yesterday and am very eager to see the film (either when it is available to rent or if there's a screening nearby.) I think his life and death raise interesting questions. Tormented by the things he witnessed (and then photographed so the world could see), he essentially lost all hope. He knew the world needed to see what was happening, and he sacrificed his life to do this.
I believe that all of us would struggle if we were exposed to such horrific, unjust things on a daily basis. I think we'd feel helpless, question God, and probably lose our hope. I'm sure Kevin Carter felt all those things and more, and sadly turned to suicide.
I don't know if Kevin knew Jesus. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but his life and death and the work that he did remind me that true justice, hope and peace can only come from God. We don't have to look around this earth for very long to figure out that there are a lot of devastating, sad things here. Life is far from "easy" for most people on this planet, and if you and I actually saw what life is like for those people we would quickly become devastated ourselves. But praise be to God that we can put our hope in Him, that He knows the depth of suffering that those people face, and that He cares and loves them. AND that He wants us to help them.
So go see the documentary. Like I said I think Kevin Carter's story raises some interesting points and is a picture of how we truly can't place our hope in mankind, ourselves, anyplace but in Jesus. Thank goodness.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
AND I really don't have a whole lot to blog about!!! So I will just mention a good book I'm reading and a movie I saw that I really liked.
The book is called "Reclaiming God's Original Intent for the Church," by Wes Roberts and Glenn Marshall (members of the emerging church movement.) It is really good food for thought and makes some good points about how things should be. Ever since God moved our hearts to adopt and opened our eyes to more than just our own comfortable "bubble" that we live in, and ever since we traveled to Ethiopia, I have been thinking a lot about what the Christian life should look like, the purpose of the Christian church, what it is, what it should be, and what it shouldn't be. I am seriously not some great expert or anything but I like to think and read and honestly God has changed my views on a lot of things over the last year or so. A lot of what this book says strikes a chord with me.
A good movie I recently saw and highly recommend is "The Constant Gardiner." (Disclaimer: it's rated R so not a family movie.) The cool thing about it is that it is actually filmed in Kenya, where the story takes place and all of the Kenyans you see in it are just townspeople; they don't use actual "extras" or anything. Anyway, go rent it, it's good.