Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It could have been me. Reece's Rainbow Waiting Child

Benjamin, Mason, and I meet Cinderella!

Dear Readers,
  Today was a wonderful day for us and I hope it was for you, too! It was so wonderful to be together again. We had fun sending out Christmas cards and sewing! Thank you for your prayers for Benjamin....we truly appreciate them. He is doing well! 
    I was all set to write a Christmas post, but God had other plans...

Rebekah, a precious child listed
on Reece's Rainbow
Meet Rebekah. Isn't she just precious? I was scrolling through Reece's Rainbow this afternoon in search of a child to feature on an advocacy blog that I'm blessed to write for, Still We Wait. I fell in love with her and decided to post about her. As I pulled up the short segment Reece's Rainbow has on her, I read a sentence that hit me in the chest. See if you notice anything about this sentence: "Rebekah was born premature at 27 weeks and has quadriplegic CP.
    Born early at 27 weeks. Benjamin, Mason, and I were born at 28 weeks. Oh. My. Goodness. 
  I suddenly was filled with the desire to go hug her now, to hold her and squeeze her and never to let her go. She has Quadriplegic CP just like Benjamin. She was born at 28 weeks. And she is darling. 
    "Okay, Claire, we get it, y'all were all born early! What's the big deal? Most of the kids listed on RR were born early!" I know. I know, I know, I know. 

   But the reason her story so broke my heart was because I know that could have been me. Or Benjamin. Or Mason. We could very well have been the child listed on a waiting children site. 
   But the difference between Rebekah and Benjamin, Mason, and I is our mothers. My mother chose life for us, because she loved us with or without disabilities. She loved us through the long, tiring days at the NICU...loved us through hard days of therapy....loved us through times where I felt alone because I didn't have CP...loved us through surgeries...tears....and days of joy and triumph. Rebekah's Mommy said she couldn't do it. She said she couldn't handle a baby born premature, couldn't handle CP. 
   I'm not going to lie. This makes me mad. So, so, nailbiting mad. How anyone could look at that face and not be willing to give her the world is unthinkable to me. 

I'm angry that all mothers aren't like my Mom. I'm angry that Rebekah's Mom was unwilling to care for her daughter, despite the sacrifices. I'm angry that she has to suffer while I was blessed with so much. I'm angry that she has waited for six years. I'm angry that no one has snatched up this beautiful little girl! How could you not?? 
  But maybe you are feeling like Rebekah's birth mom did. Maybe you feel called to adopt, but unable to care for a child with a disability. Let me tell you this: You yourself are unable to handle caring for Rebekah. It's true. You can't do it. But God can. God is able to care for her and the millions of other inhabitants of the earth. In fact, He does it everyday! He is caring for her as we speak. He is caring for you, and me, and my family and yours, too. He will carry you as you carry Rebekah out of that orphanage. His GRACE is sufficient for you in all that you do. Adoption included.

   My sweet little angel Marcia is no longer listed on Reece's Rainbow as being available for adoption. She may never know the love of a family, may never feel the arms of her mother around her. She might not know how it feels to be loved until she reaches Heaven. She waited for five years and now it is too late.
    But it is not yet too late for Rebekah! She still has a chance! She is filled with so much joy, despite her suffering. She would be the biggest blessing you have ever received, I can assure you of that. She needs you. Please step up and save her before it is too late. 

Give her the world like my Mom gave me. 

Thank you, Mom, for all you have done for us and continue
to do! You are the biggest blessing
God has ever given me!
 Te amo!

There is HOPE for Rebekah and many other children around the world! Please remember them in your prayers as we celebrate the One who gave us blessed hope. Your Blogger,


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Our God is in Control

You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry

You could raise me like a banner in the battle
Put victory like fire behind my shining eyes
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie

Set me like a star before the morning
Like a sun that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I'll illuminate the path You've laid before me
But for now just let me be

So let me go like a leaf upon the water
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me

  Those are the lyrics to a song called "Show Me" by Audrey Assad. I had trouble making sense of it at first, but a couple of nights ago its meaning hit me. Or at least my interpretation of it, any way. God used it to speak to my heart! 
This is my take on this song:
God can use us in so many different ways, as the song says. (Blossom like a flower...banner in the battle...star before the morning...) But sometimes we just need to be still and and be in Him. (but for now just let me be...God, just stay with me) Sometimes our hearts are just craving Him--so we need to slow down and give in! Sometimes we can't  just run around serving...because we need to drink in His love first. Yes, during the hour you spend reading your Bible, He could be using you to serve...but in that moment you need to rest and learn. Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time for everything...a time to be silent and a time to speak...a time to weep and a time to laugh...
    This song and verse spoke to me on so many different levels. Sometimes I don't want to joke around with anyone, I just need to be alone and cry.  Other times I don't want anyone to ask me about these surgeries...I just want to laugh and forget about it. But this verse says there is a time for  everything--laughing and crying, joy and fear. I'm so thankful that there is. Because sometimes you just need to cry out to God. And sometimes you just need to goof off!
I took this month off from volunteering due to Benjamin's surgery. And so as I listened to this song the other night I realized how I have needed to spend time just focusing on Him. I needed to stop serving for a little while and confront my own fears and emotions and let God take them. I like to shove all of my problems way down deep and turn all of my attentions to the orphans or volunteering or whatever He's recently placed on my heart. It has been good for me to just lay down and drink Him in. 

       I'm trying to be with God, figuring out that He really is faithful in everything. That is a really good place to be in, y'all.

   I won't lie. I kind of want to lock the doors to our house and not let anyone in sometimes.  But we can't do that. And, honestly, we would miss out if we did. Sometimes my inner-hermit comes out though, especially during surgeries. :)
  A friend of mine had some hard medical news this week. She called to give us an update, and despite all that she was going through at that moment, she took the time to pray for ME and MY family. She ministered to my on-the-verge-of-tears heart even though her own was sad. Even though surgeries make me never want to talk to anyone...I know I can't do that. Because God's plan IS to raise me up. 
    He has a lot of people needing to hear of His Love...and we are called to show His Love. We can't just spend all of our time "Drinking in" and none "giving out". And if we lock the doors to our house, just us and the Bible, then we will be the only people profiting from it! 
    James 2:14-17 says this: "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

Dead. Faith without works is dead. I don't want to hold all of this goodness in to myself! That would be worse that baking Amish friendship bread without giving it to your neighbors! I want to drink in and be filled...only to go give it all out again. 
   So I am going to be with God right now...I am going to try to savor these moments where He grows me and stretches me by hard things. But I am also going to go out and feed His sheep. 
   What about you? I encourage you to go encourage someone else this week, no matter if you yourself are going through a hard time. 

Your Blogger,

P.S.--my parents and Benjamin are currently on the plane to the Frozen Tundra, aka Minnesota. He has surgery tomorrow...and we so appreciate your prayers!! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On my soapbox..

*Know if you are taking the time to read this, I am grateful for you! I apologize if our views do not align about this treaty, but even if they don't, I'm still thankful you stopped by!!

Dear Readers,
  You may not know about it, or even care about it. But the U.N.'s Treaty for Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities was defeated.
   The saddest part, to me, is that so many of the organizations my family and I support were vehemently opposed to this treaty. The treaty was going to require that churches have x amount of parking spaces for people in wheelchairs. It was going to mean that buildings had to be accessible. And oh my goodness, a lot of people were opposed to that! I mean, why would we want people in wheelchairs to have access to church?!? This greatly upset many!
   The treaty was also going to impact education for children with disabilities. These were the main things the homeschool organizations we supported were opposed to. They did not want the U.N. telling them what to do in their churches, because that might mean that religious freedom comes next. They don't want people taking their children away from them because they choose to home school.

  I, too,  do not want my religious freedom touched. I do not want the government telling me what education option to choose for MY child. But from what I understand,  this treaty was not going to touch that.

    This treaty was, however, going to make churches accessible. And this was the real kicker for me. Because, really, guys-- Why aren't our churches already accessible?! 
If we, as a church, claim to love the least of these, then why aren't we filled to the brim with wheelchair accessible parking spots?  Why doesn't every church have a special needs ministry? Why do we have to be forced by the government to make room for  people in wheelchairs in our churches?! I am embarrassed that anyone even had to write this treaty. Because the Church should be setting the standard for how people with disabilities are treated; not the United Nations. How sad. How truly, truly sad. There are so many children and adults in the United States who have a disability. With this disability comes so many struggles that the church could help them through!! Families with a newly diagnosed child are hurting...in fact, many families with special needs children are divorced. It's estimated that about 85% of families who have a child with Autism get a divorce. Might this rate go down if churches made more of an effort to reach out to these families?

      I have been blessed with a wonderful family who recognizes that Arizona's public education system is not the answer for us. They have taken the initiative and have provided us with an amazing blessing: the ability to home school. Not all families, however, are able to do this, and I realize that.
    There are children all around the world with disabilities who stay home from school because their parents don't know about services for the disabled (or there isn't such a thing in their country). These children are called a "burden to society"...but they have so much to contribute if only given the chance! I am sure this treaty is not perfect, because government is not perfect. It may not do much for these children...

But what if it did?
What if this treaty made sure that all Deaf children had access to sign language, and all children with disabilities were able to go to school? What if this made a difference in the lives of the millions of Disabled children and adults in the world? What if....

  But that "what if" can't happen, because this treaty was defeated. That hope that I held in my heart was stomped out by the very organizations I supported. Generation Joshua, The Home School Legal Defense, The Busy Home School Mom...they all followed their political party so strictly that they forget to follow our true leader, Jesus. Jesus didn't tell the paralytic's friends to stop lowering him down from that mat...he honored their efforts by blessing their friend. 

I pray that soon we will all be able to see through God's eyes--eyes of compassion and love first for others, with ourselves merely as an afterthought, if we have to be a thought at all. 
But until then, I am thankful that even when we make mistakes and forget to love first, God is just as loving and full of forgiveness.

If you have already made up your mind to be against this treaty, I ask that you look at it from someone else's eyes. It's too late to get it passed, I know, but it isn't too late for you to decide you are going to start LOVING before you blindly follow. 

Your Blogger,

P.S.--I'm blessed to attend a church that has a wonderful special needs ministry. If you are interested in learning more about Disability ministry, please visit: http://scottsdalebible.com/ministries/special-ministries and Joniandfriends.org 

Monday, December 3, 2012

My ramblings...

Dear Readers,
 Well, hello there! I apologize for not having blogged in...forever! I keep writing blog posts in my head but just haven't had time to sit down and write them out. Actually, I don't have time right now! But I'm going to write one any way because it's rather cathartic and I need to. So there. (And I wonder why I don't have good time management..hhmm...)
    December is upon us! Our Christmas trees are up and decorated, the radio is playing Christmas music, and we had hot chocolate last night.  I love this month! I especially love remembering Christmases past...so many laughs!! 

 But three of our family will leave later this month for surgery. That kind of puts a damper on the mood, huh? Actually, it does a lot more than that. I hate surgeries with a passion, and the fact that there are two in the very-near future stinks. Some days we can sing Christmas carols in the car at the top of our lungs and forget about it...but some days we can't. And I hate it when I can't just stick my head in the sand and forget about it, because surgeries are just plain depressing. ha
 I so appreciate your prayers for my family during this season!!

With all of this upcoming surgery, I can't help but wonder about the people around the world who need this same surgery that Benjamin is having this summer, but don't have access to medical care.  What about the children with Cerebral Palsy in Africa? What do they do? Although I hate that Benjamin has to have this surgery, I am ultimately grateful that my family has access to medical care for it. Please be praying for those people around the world who desperately need surgery but are unable to get it. 

    I also can't help but think of those who are in nursing homes, hospitals, institutions, and prisons this Christmas. As we drove through our neighborhood the other night, admiring the decorations and laughing as a family, I started thinking about the children all over the world whose families have abandoned them. In that moment I just wanted them all in the car with us, laughing, too! I wish no child ever had to watch a birthday or a Christmas pass without a family to love on them and tell them they are special and valued.  As hard as finding joy can be sometimes, I know it must be even harder when you are in a prison, hospital,  or nursing home. 

 Two years ago (okay..I think it was two years ago! I'm really not sure haha!)   I had the privilege of getting to sign some carols  at an Alzheimer's Home around Christmastime. This year I keep thinking of the residents, remembering how they kept asking my Mom to take them home. The staff did a wonderful job making this place home-like and cheerful, but there was a big difference between that and a HOME with your own family. 

    As you celebrate this Christmas with your dear ones, please remember those people who don't have family near to hug and hold! 
    But as you keep them near in your thoughts and prayers, take this time to thank the God who is with them and you for the great gift He has bestowed us with: His Son. 

Your Blogger

P.S.-- "Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast." ~Psalm 139:7-10

Isn't this a beautiful reminder that God is with us, around our Christmas tree, but also in those prisons, nursing homes, and institutions around the world? Thank you, Lord! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful for...

These sweet people who I love so much...

This sweet baby and his family...

My precious SEVEN year old sister!
Amongst other things, I am thankful for the things pictured above. I am thankful for these past seven years with  "Baby" Cate...what a gift she is!! I am thankful that the weather is finally cold...I am thankful for chilly mornings with my Bible and a Chai Tea Latte. I am thankful for the early morning runs my mom and I go on. Actually, if I was honest, I'm more thankful for the car rides to the gym where we can talk than I am for the runs themselves! Ha! I'm thankful for sweet friends and the times we are able to spend together. I am thankful for my church and the two ministries that have become home to me there. I am thankful to my God for bringing me to where I am today and the memories and moments He has blessed me with. This November I am thankful for my family and the wonderful journey of life we are on!! I am thankful for the opportunity to serve and love and grow. I am thankful for this life. 
                                                         What are you thankful for? 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday: Reece's Rainbow

Dear Readers,
Every time I go on to Reecesrainbow.com, I go to the search box and type in the name "Marcia".
And every time I type that up, the above picture is my answer. I had allowed my heart to hope just a little bit in the moments between the home page and the no results page. "Maybe she will be there this time!!" But Marcia is no longer listed on Reece's Rainbow. So instead of her sweet little picture, 
I'm greeted with this dismal message: "NO RESULTS FOUND". 

But does the fact that she is no longer on Reece's Rainbow mean she no longer exists? Of course not!
Somewhere this precious girl is locked in a mental institution. Somewhere halfway around the world from me Marcia is hurting.  This sweet girl is in desperate need of a family. She needs someone to hug her and kiss her and wipe all her tears away. She needs someone to scoop her up from that crib she spends all day in and tell her she is loved. Marcia needs medical care for her Spina Bifida and love for her tender little heart. 
This picture makes me cry every time. Seeing her little fist on those metal bars...that hopeful look in her eyes! When I was able to get updates on her from Reece's Rainbow they said she had lost all hope
Lost all hope. 

Today is Orphan Sunday. 
Marcia is one of millions. There are hundreds of millions of children in the world who go every day without a mommy or daddy tucking them in at night. Like Marcia, they have no one to tell them they are loved. 
If you jumped from foster family to foster family because they couldn't handle your extensive emotional needs, or disabilities, or even just your personality, how would you feel? If you were left in a cold bed all day, never feeling a loving touch, would you feel loved?
Here are some staggering statistics from Show Hope: 
 43.4 million orphans live in sub-Saharan Africa, 87.6 million orphans live in Asia, and 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean.
 1.5 million children live in public care in Central and Eastern Europe alone.
 At any given point there are over 500,000 children in the U.S. Foster Care system.

Do you know what "public care" means? Public care means a mental institution where they lay a five year old down on a bed the day she arrives, and she will hardly ever leave that bed again. Public care means laying in that crib with nothing to listen to all day but the screams of the others in there. Public care means stimming and biting yourself because you are so, so bored. 

Today is Orphan Sunday. Today we need to do something for those children who are in Foster Care in the US. Today we need to do something for the millions dying in orphanages and mental institutions around the world. 

Today we need to pray.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ribbons, bows, and beauty in God's eyes

Dear beautiful Readers,
   As you all can see, I've been running kind of low on blog ideas lately. There just has not been enough time to sit down and compose a post! I wrote (and even published!) one on how much I've missed my parents while they have been in Italy....but it was the size of a novel and merely my ramblings so I ended up deleting it. :) I wrote another a few weeks ago on a lovely little boy named Harrison, who is Deaf and listed on Reece's Rainbow. For some reason that one never posted!! I ask that all of you pray for this precious boy who so desperately needs a family. What a world would be opened to him if he was blessed with a family to teach him sign language!!

     Any way, there I go again...rambling! I really did have a reason for this post, however.
It is going to be a lot different than my other posts, though...so hang with me! It's really only aimed at the girls, so if you are a boy you are going to be sorely disappointed!! However, I'm really not sure that any boys would visit a blog titled Claire's Calico Corner...go visit Caleb's Camouflage Corner or something like that! hahaha

When you see this picture, what do you think of? Does it excite you as you think of your next shopping spree and how much fun that will be? Does it make you wish you had jeans as cute as these? Does it make you think "Oh, I would never look that good in those, but they would look cute on so and so!" 

I don't really like shopping for clothes for myself. I enjoy shopping for my mom or sister, or  shopping for gifts, or even shopping for myself as long as it isn't clothes. When I see that picture it doesn't excite me at all...it just makes me realize that I would never look that good in those! 
   Clothes shopping produces a very bad effect on me, haha! It puts me in the absolute worst mood! Ask my mom--even if we go to her friend's (who sells clothes out of her home) house to look around, I get in the most depressed mood when asked to try anything on! I feel like just stepping in front of the dressing room mirror triggers every insecure thought I have ever had to come rushing back at me. Even if I find something that I like, it will most likely sit in my closet for months as I wear one of the two outfits I feel comfortable in that season. 
If it was up to me we would all be wearing one of our two calico dresses complete with bonnets and petticoats. 

According to my sweet sister, I, however, do not "know fashion". I have to say, though...if the above picture is fashion then I am glad not to know it! :) 
My heart breaks for so many around the world....but sometimes I think I tend to forget that so many people right next to me are struggling with the same things I am. I forget that I'm not the only person who feels insecure. In fact, the very people who cause me to feel insecure--like the model above--themselves struggle with feelings of insecurity. I was talking to my mom about this very thing the other day...
Why do so many women (in fact probably every woman!) struggle with feeling like they are not pretty enough? Why  are we always trying to lose that dress size? Why can't we just get together and love one another without stressing over being underdressed or overdressed, looking fat or looking thin, wearing enough makeup or too much? Why are we always comparing ourselves to everyone--even those we love most? 
Sometimes I think it is so hard for us to believe what the Bible tells us--that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. 

My heart is absolutely broken over this fact. I so wish we all could just not struggle with this!! I wish when someone told me I was beautiful it would make me  instantly not struggle with insecurity any more. I wish I could tell all of my friends that they are beautiful and have them not struggle with insecurities anymore. But sadly it doesn't work that way. Would it help if we got rid of the kind of clothes pictured above and wore pioneer-style garb? Probably not. We still would find things wrong with ourselves. 

But, even if you are not going to believe me, I'm going to tell you any way----

You are so beautiful!!!!

There.  We are all beautiful. Because we wear makeup? No. Because we have cute clothes? Nope! Because we work out with a trainer? No again! 

We are all beautiful because we are made in God's Image! 
                           "So God created man in his own image,
                                              in the image of God he created him;
  male and female he created them." ~ Genesis 1:27

"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—  but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." ~1 Peter 3:3-4

   God sees all of us as being so beautiful. He formed us, and He loves us. When we say we are not beautiful it is like we are telling God that His Handiwork is not beautiful. He didn't sloppily pull you together--He gently and lovingly formed you out of the immense love He has for you.  He looks at you and He sees your heart, not your makeup or what size jeans you wear. He sees a person who is made holy by the blood of His Son. And that is enough for Him. 

 If it is enough for God, shouldn't it be enough for us, too? Who cares if the rest of the world thinks all that counts is if you can fit into that (hideous!) yellow dress up there... God does not care about that in the least. 
       I can't wait to get to Heaven and have all of us realize how beautiful we are. Suddenly all of those dress sizes, diets, and whatever will be so unimportant. Because we won't be worried about how we look---we will be unable to take our eyes off our beautiful Savior.

BUT until that day comes I think it should be every woman and girl's mission to uplift, not tear down. Let's help each other finish the race strong! Did you know that 7 million American women have an eating disorder? Or did you know that 20% of people who have anorexia will prematurely die from complications from this disorder? In fact,  Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. What harrowing statistics...absolutely heart breaking. Can you imagine your best friend dying from an eating disorder? These aren't just blind statistics--we are talking about your friends, your neighbors, your sisters in Christ. We have the ability to abolish those statistics.   I want to see that 7 million turn into 0. It would be amazing to deplete that 20% to 0%. Love your sisters in Christ, girls, and lets help each other as we walk this road of life! 



Monday, October 1, 2012

Verse of the day!

Dear Readers,
So....today has not necessarily been one of those days that will go down in the history books as being the greatest.

But instead of moping around I thought I would send out a quick note. My Bible app's verse of the day is Titus 2:11: "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people."

What a beautiful truth!! God offers salvation to you, your family, your coworkers, your neighbors, your friends. I want to wake up each day thrilled that I have the chance to reveal the truth of this verse to the world. Don't you?

Lets do it! Lets wake up tomorrow joyful at the chance to spread the word of Titus 2:11!!! No matter how bad or great your Monday was or your Tuesday will be...I pray that we always choose joy.

God bless,
Your blogger

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why I'm missing right now...

I am in Rochester, MN cuddling with this precious girl...I love you so, Moriah!! She is such a gift from God and I feel so blessed every time I get to hold her.

It also feels so good just to be back in Rochester...it seems like everywhere we go I have more memories recalled!!

So we will be rehatching our old memories as we meet with precious friends, and making new ones with my precious new cousin. So if you'll excuse me, I have a baby to love on...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things!!

Dear Readers,

I love my Mom. 
And I try to be like her in all things.
Once upon a time I longed to wear glasses so I could be like her.
And I ended up needing glasses because my left eye wasn't seeing...it was just letting my right eye do all the work. 

I watched "Sound of Music" because it was her favorite movie.
And ended up loving it.

I read the Mitford books because she loved them...
And they are now my favorites! I'm on my second round, I bake recipes from the books, and I try to make my neighborhood more like Mitford. I'm not obsessed or anything....alright, I wish Father Tim was my grandfather! There. I've said it. ha

So, I've decided that this blog post is going to be a list
of a few of my favorite things...
because "When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feeeeel so bad!!" ~Sound of Music. 

1.) My family.
they are my life!

2.)Anything and everything old fashioned.

3.) the Mitford books.

4.) The Little House books

5.) Janette Oke books

6.) Maybe we should just go ahead and put books in a category of its own before this gets to be a million books long...hehe

7.) Scottsdale Bible Church's Special Ministries. My time there is so refreshing, and challenging, and full of love. I thank God for opening the door to this ministry for me! It's such a blessing.

8.) My Bible. My big, light tan, ESV Bible that I got for Christmas...I love it and couldn't live without it.

9.) Argentina and all of my loved ones which it holds. Te Amo!!

10.) Scrapbooking, stamping, cross stitching, sewing, plastic canvas stitching, and quilting--even though I don't know how to quilt.yet. These are all more things I took up because of my Mom...and fell in love with!

11.) Music. I came up with this one on my own, haha! I joined two different choruses while in public school, played Alto Saxophone in band and violin in strings, and today play violin and piano. I love music. As my old band teacher said, music is a gift that can never be taken away. It truly is a gift...

12.) Journaling! I call my journals my own Psalms because they mimic David's so much... "God, I need your help so much...what will I do? Ahhh!!!" to "Oh, Jesus, you are so amazing!!" to "this world disgusts me!" to "I can't believe You created such beauty." yeah.

13.) Special times with just the girls. As in me, my precious siter, and my mom.

14.) My sweet sissy! What would I do without her?!?!

15.) Sunsets.

16.) Chai tea lattes...especially if I drink them early in the morning, while basking in the cool fall breeze, reading my Bible after a workout with my mom.

17.) Running with my sweet encourager--my mom!!

18.) The children of the world. 

It may sound silly, but my
dream would be to wake up every day surrounded by children...
children the rest of the world has thrown away...
children who don't know what it's like to be loved...
who rarely feel a love-filled hug...
children who others turn their eyes away from because it hurts too much to look...
"Kisses from Katie" set in me a desire to be called mommy by these precious kids around the world..someday...

19.) Blogging. That's a given! But I love writing out my thoughts like this.

20.) God's plans. 'Nuff said. 

21.) The color yellow. And pink.

22.) Listening to Cate do school.

23.) Being homeschooled...

24.) Small towns.

25.) My town.

26.) Volunteering!

27.) Baking...anything!

28.) advocating for my heart children!

29.) School


31.) Watching old musicals with my family

32.) Staying in a hotel with that family of mine! Always an adventure and so much fun.


34.) playing the four favorite things game

35.) Memories

36.) Riding horses

37.) playing with my dog

38.) taking quizzes

39.) making/eating homemade bread. That's the only time I'll ever eat a PB&J.

40.) Fried chicken. It's my weakness...

41.) Mississippi State. My second home...

42.) Any place we have vacationed and have good memories at makes me smile.

43.) Sign language.

44.) Teaching sign language.

45.) Spreading Deaf awareness and information on sign language.

46.) Interpreting!! Best job EVER.

47.) Being in Moezart with my brothers and sissy.

48.) Our weekly dates after Moezart/before High School Ministry.

49.) Reading blogs

50.) Staying up late..and getting up early! 

51.) MATE!!

52.) Chinese food

53.) Facebook (most of the time!)

54.) checking the mail! It brings me joy. And if you write me a handwritten letter, it makes my day. Come on guys...if Paul could do it while in prison, you can spare the time to jot a quick note to show you care! 

55.) Prison ministry. and orphan ministry. and disability ministry. there are so many great ministries out there...

56.) Macaroni and Cheese. (even though I don't like cheese!)

57.) Reading a book at the same time as someone else in my family so we can discuss it. Because I can't read a good book without discussing it. I just can't.

58.)Good book clubs that challenge you to broaden your horizons and pick up books you would normally not look at. 

59.) Purses! I used to hate them and never carry one, but when we went to Hawaii two years ago my mom bought me a big calico bag for me to carry my books and coverup and such around in. I have used one ever since and never looked back! 

60.) Taking pictures. Especially of my parents! haha

61.) Going on vacations with my family!

62.) Dreams....

63.) Typewriters...it may seem strange but I have a love for them!!

64.) Aprons...

65.) Quilts...

66.) Rocking chairs..

67.) The name Jubal. It means "father of the flutes", as Jubal in the Old Testament was father to all who played the flutes. I want to  name one of my children that. haha! 

68.) Christmas decorations!!

69.) FALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

70.) Easter. Jesus gave us such a huge gift...

71.) Celebrating Christ's birth!

72.) Talking. Big surprise, right? 

73.) But I also love listening. People often come to my mom with their big things they need to talk about, and I often pray that someday people will feel comfortable talking to me like that. I love hearing about peoples' lives and learning how I can pray for them.

74.) Writing out long lists like this...

75.) Having goofy Halloween parties!

76.) I love old people, I really do, and have so many wonderful memories at nursing homes from when I was in that sign language group. 

77.) Writing current events

78.) The adorable decorations that adorn small towns at Christmas time.

79.) Christmas movies...we have a tradition that we watch all our favorites that we can before Christmas eve. It is one of my favorite traditions! 

80.) Another tradition I love is baking sugar cookies at Christmas time...and decorating them!!

81.) Anything from the 1800s...or the 1940s-50s.

82.) I love doing spontaneous things! (like our last flagstaff visit)

83.) I love listening to music from the 50's on our Sirius radio...

84.) I love going in Walgreens near any holiday!

85.) I also love going in Ace HardWare..

86.) Eating lunch in an airport

87.) Accompanying my dad on his weekend rounds. I love going to work with him!!

88.) My "A Vintage Christmas" book...and planning how to make our Christmas more old-fashioned with my mom!!

89.) long car rides!

90.) Taking Pluto on car rides with us

91.) DisneyWorld/Land/Cruise!!

92.) Just BEING!!

93.) The ocean...although sand in my swimsuit annoys me, I love love love the ocean.

94.) Looking at scrapbooks of my parents'

95.) Spanish!!

96.)Braids (although I'm horrible at them!)

97.) Being a sister

98.) Old quilts

99.) Birthdays!!

100.) The fact that I got to 100! I'm grateful for having so many gifts in my life!!

I am sure I have many more to share...but for now I'm stopping at 100! I challenge you all to think of at least five things you're grateful for/or one of your favorite things.
Buenos Noches! 
Your tired blogger,