Saturday, April 25, 2009

Broken Cookies...

My friend Tarrah laughs at me because I tell her to frequently ask me; "Are you following the broken cookie principle?" This principle has become my new standard of operating.
My top gifts that God has given me are giving and serving. And I feel filled up and joyFULL when I use my gifts. However, awhile back I had a shocking realization - which led to the "broken cookie principle."
I had finished baking cookies and Phil came in the kitchen. He started looking around on the counters and finally after a few minutes, asked:

"Where are the broken cookies?"
"There aren't any this time...I actually made a perfect batch!"
"Oh...that's too bad"
"You can have one from the cooling rack"

Now that may seem like an innocent conversation, however, it hit me soooo hard and made my heart HURT! I realized that I was giving my family the leftovers. In all my baking, cooking, serving OTHERS, I had made my family feel second best, second place. AND sure enough, Lukas came into the kitchen a few minutes later and we had the SAME conversation. "OKAY GOD....I GET IT!" Then Evalin, in her sweet voice "I get a BEAUTIFUL one today!" OH MY HEART! (Kathryn and Isaac haven't observed the pattern so they were as equally happy to get a perfect one as a broken one because....SUGAR!!!!!!!!! HA!)
Needless to say, lesson learned! This is also why my blogging has hugely tapered off....I can't sit and blog all while saying: "No, honey, I can't read you a story, because I am writing our family's story for the world!" I exaggerate, but truly, they can't have my leftovers...including time. So when I have extra time (LOL) then I will blog:)
So if you see me walking around.... you have my permission to ask...."Have you served any broken cookies lately, Amanda?"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back on the air again...

So I did temporarily have this blog go private because I freaked out about privacy issues. However, I have heard from soooooo many people that they so enjoy our blog and stories that I decided to go "public" again.
My freak out started with a Starbucks barista who I didn't know (and who is probably reading this right now...nothing personal, okay?) saying "Oh I recognize you and your kids from your blog" which made me think..."How many people notice us and know us from our blog?" So I am still deciding what to do and have not decided yet. I am not finding a lot of time to blog anyway, so in the meantime, enjoy the blog....

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year ponderings

Okay so today is the last day of 2008 and so of course I am reflecting on all that has happened to us and all that I have learned, so you lucky readers get blesssed (aka: stuck) reading my reflections and ponderings.
2008 was the HARDEST year I have lived. There were days that I strongly disliked my life and there were days when I questioned everything that I originally believed in (mainly the wisdom of international adoption). However, 2008 is the year I grew the most in my faith...isn't that loving of our Father? Through our hardest most painful experiences, MUCH good comes of it, usually more good than our easy times.
Anyway, one thing that I have learned this year,(which is VERY helpful in this economy that we are stuck in) is to look for blessings in other ways than money. I have often equated blessings with money, but this year expanded my thinking. We make half (yikes) of what we made 2 years ago, but we are MORE blessed than before.
First of all, I have four HEALTHY kids (and a healthy husband) and as I observe friends in our lives who are sick with cancer, chronic pain, and HURT, I realize that God has given us an enormous blessing in the way of giving good health to us. I think if you were to ask ANY parent of a child who has cancer or a spouse of someone with a life-threatening disease, they would without a moment of hesitation, give all the money they had and more to see their child or spouse healed. Sometimes money doesn't matter that much and money isn't always the best blessing we have.
And secondly, we have salvation. I know it sounds cliche, but truly, who cares if we have NO money at all! This life is sooooo short and eternity is soooooooo long (in fact I heard it is FOREVER!;-) so truly, who cares if we live a few short years without some things. We still have more than 80% of the world!!! We have been saved from hell. Ponder that for a moment...our pastor said "Imagine if your child was about to be hit by a semi-truck and someone raced out and snatched them from death, is there ANYTHING that you would not give them, your house, your car, ANYTHING?" God rescued us from eternal death! I need to ponder that more, because when I do, I realize how MUCH I have been given.
Thirdly, my eyes were opened this year to the world around me. There is real, visible, touchable suffering that is happening in my lifetime. I do not have real, visible, touchable suffering, but others do. Because God has lavished blessings on me and taken care of me, I believe He expects me to do something with those blessings. If I have been given much (and I have) in ways that I have mentioned: health, salvation, happiness, etc. and then I hoard what I have been given, why would God want to give me anymore. I do live better than 80% of the world. I do have health and energy. I do have restoration and a relationship with GOD! so I better get moving and share what I have been given.
In conclusions to my ramblings, learnings, and ponderings (if you are still reading, thanks for hanging in there):
In 2009, if you see a blur, followed by 5 little blurs (LOL!) don't be is just me, rapidly doing my Dad's work!
The time IS short. My days are FEW. My blessings are MANY!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

This last week has been fun, fun, fun! For the first time since I can remember, we had a WHITE Christmas! Kathryn and Isaac both kept telling me that it would snow then we would have Christmas; and seeing that we usually get snow in January, I told them it probably wouldn't snow before Christmas. But they kept saying "Mom, it will snow THEN Christmas" So of course as soon as it started snowing (December 17th) they said, "See, Mom, NOW we can have Christmas" (Reminds me of a conversation I had with Kathryn last April where she kept praying for snow and I told her we didn't get snow in April...)
Anyway, here are some pictures from our fantastic Christmas!

View from our back porch
Over the river and through the woods...

Delivering presents.

My snow baby (ONLY snow baby)

Phil + Snow = TROUBLE

New Pajamas!
"Just what I wanted!"

Wow! Socks!

New Barbie Scooter

Oh no! another Darin (saving the paper!!!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We need another word...

Sometimes "thank you" isn't a big enough word.
Our friends just gave us $500 (yes, you read that right: FIVE hundred dollars!!!) to help us with our adoption of baby Gwendolyn. And last week, someone (anonymously) paid for our car bill which was $533 (yes, again, you read that right: Five hundred, thirty, three dollars!!!) and another dear friend gave us $300 dollars for our adoption. These are all people who have so touched us with their sacrificial giving. And we have many more people who have given us their HARD earned money to help bring baby Gwendolyn home. To all of you, THANK YOU! It seems like thank you is not a big enough word to express our gratitude. We know that adopting 3 kids in one year is CRAZY and doesn't make sense and we honestly didn't know how we would pay for this 3rd adoption, but the people of God chose to let God work through them and give to truly is a BEAUTIFUL picture of the body of Christ at work. Phil and I don't feel like we "deserve" to have people give sacrificially to us, in fact, we feel very undeserving because there are sooooo many who have less than we do. Our first adoption we learned so much about ourselves and God; and so far, this adoption process has been no different. This time we are learning and trying, very hard, to be humble and let the people of God help us. This is a lesson that is actually harder than some of the other lessons we have been taught. So it is with DEEPEST gratitude that we say "THANK YOU" to all of you! (you know who you are;)
(And please don't critique my writing ability based on this post, because I just proof-read it and realized that I jumped all over the place and didn't tie my thoughts together very well. The message is still from my heart though;)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lohrer Update

WOW! It has been awhile since I updated our blog! We have been VERY busy. I officially started working at our church in the children's ministry department and I must say that it took me a full 2 weeks to figure out the whole working mom bit (even though I am just part time). So here are the updates:
  • I (amanda) started working
  • Lukas ran his marathon
  • Lukas lost his first tooth (thank you Lord!!!)
  • Phil came back from Ghana (again, thank you Lord!)
  • Kathryn and Isaac celebrated their VERY first thanksgiving!
  • Evalin asked Jesus to be her Savior!

So as you can read, we are busy, but soooooo happy and BLESSED! God continues to SHOWER us with undeserved blessings....We are truly thankful!

Me and my super hot date!

Silly girls drinking hot chocolate outside in the freezing cold!

Gingerbread artists!

How that roof stays on, I will never know! (it must weigh about 3 lbs!)

My marathon runner!

First missing tooth
(I only have to pull 99 more teeth over the next few years!)

This is why boys NEED a father's influence
(this picture taken while Phil was in Ghana:)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Say "NO"

Lukas was brushing his teeth last night and from the bathroom I heard a "Oh NO!" Then he came out to me and said,
"Mom, you said never to try drugs, right?"
"That's right Lukas, they are soooo bad for you"
"No Lukas, there aren't drugs in your toothpaste"
"YES MOM...LOOK!" and turning the toothpaste bottle over and shoving it toward me, he said,
"see...DRUG FACTS"
After, I finished laughing hysterically, I hugged him and reassured him that they were not "bad" drugs, but that medicine is sometimes referred to as "drugs"
I am so glad my "just say no" message has been so effective!

My deep thinker...pondering life