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Archive for January, 2009

I can’t believe I get to be this dude’s mommy!

ENJOY!

Jaxon has been learning some Bible verses. This video is of him quoting Genesis 1:1.

Jaxon titled this song his “tattoo song”. Hold on to your seats because it is CUUUUUTE!

Happy Friday!

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Happy Chinese New Year

Steven brought Jax a traditional outfit that chinese boys wear on New Years

Steven brought Jax a traditional outfit that chinese boys wear on New Years

Yesterday was Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is one of the most important celebrations for our Chinese friends. About a month ago, we were so blessed to meet a family from Shanghai. They have a little boy, Steven, who is just a few months younger than Jax. The first time we met them Jaxon and Steven were so cute together. Steven does not speak much english and Jax doesn’t speak chinese…yet! They would just talk to each other and laugh. It was SO cute! Last Friday we were honored to have them in our home for burgers. It was a fun time to hang out and let the boys play together. We started talking about how much we miss the food in China. Hongwei invited

Jax & Steven watching a movie while we are making jiaozi

Jax & Steven watching a movie while we are making jiaozi

us to their New Years party on Sunday night AND she offered to teach me how to make jiaozi (chinese dumplings…also known as potstickers). Justin and I both LOVED jiaozi when we were in China last Christmas. Chinese restaurants in the US don’t hold a candle to how good the potstickers are from the street vendors on the streets of China. Sadly, Justin had to miss out on the festivities, but Jaxon and I got to spend most of the day with our new friends. We learned to make

We made 3 plates of potstickers!  Hongwei was a good teacher!

We made 3 plates of potstickers! Hongwei was a good teacher!

homemade potstickers, Jaxon had fun playing with Steven, and we got to take part in a chinese tradition called “hot pot”. We had so much fun! It does my heart good to be around the chinese culture! I learn so much when I am around their hospitality, selflessness and generosity. Jaxon was so cute in the midst of it all. He was making everyone

Jax, Steven, Zhiping & Sean

Jax, Steven, Zhiping & Sean

around the “hot pot” laugh. He loves being around different people and even tried a lot of the new food. He would say, “Mommy, I LIIIKE it…Yummy, Yummy to my tummy.” Everyone at the table would laugh. He was even good at repeating some of the chinese words. He learned how to say “Happy New Year” in chinese and was actually really good at it!

I can’t wait to get to teach our little girl about all the amazing qualities her birth culture adds to our world! I know no culture is perfect…ours sure isn’t. I do know that we could all learn SO MUCH when we open our hearts to learn from all the good in other cultures!

By the way we have been talking about what we wanted to name our daughter from China. We have decided to make it final…we are ready to call her by name and not just our little girl from China. We want to use her birth name, but also give her an American name to go with it. We will call her Mae. We love the name…many little girls in China are named Mei….and my grandmother’s middle name was Mae. So, it has made it a little more real for her to have a name. We are in the middle of working on our dossier. Please keep us in your prayers as we seek God and wait on God in the adoption. We are learning that this whole process is a lot slower than we would like. Our plan was to already have our dossier in the hands of the Chinese government by now, but the name of the game is BE FLEXIBLE! Hopefully we will have all of our paperwork done and sent to China by early spring! We are learning SO MUCH and KNOW God has a plan and just the right timing for our little Mae to be a part of our family!

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Prayer Challenge

My little Lumberjack!

My little Lumberjack!

I have been SO blessed this week! I have been participating in a prayer challenge that my close friend is doing on her blog. It is a 10-day prayer challenge for our kiddos.  I have set aside Jaxon’s naptimes for 10 days to do this challenge. I wanted to share it with anyone out there that has kids. All you have to do is go to my blogroll and click on “The Smith family”. You will not regret it!  I thought it might be fun to have everyone who does the challenge to write a blog when you are done sharing something God showed you or spoke to you during the challenge!  A fun way to celebrate the Lord together!  It has been so fun and refreshing for me already and I have only finished 2 days.  When Jaxon woke up from his nap the first day of the challenge, I told him that I had been praying for him during his naptime. He looked at me real sweet and said, “Oh, Thank you!” I love him! I know God has big plans for him! Who knows how God will use this prayer challenge in his life!  I look forward to celebrating with you guys how God works in your family through this challenge!

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New family pics

Our friend Scottie Wade of Studio 914 took some GREAT pics of our family…just having fun and being silly together! He did such a GREAT job! Check out his website at http://www.studio914.com. He is just getting started, but the pics look like he has been doing it forever! I’ll let the shots speak for themselves!

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I just love these men of mine! They sure do make life full and fun! Thanks Scottie for capturing a bit of our personalities in these pics.

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I’ve only been a parent for 3 years now, but I’ve come to discover that it is one of the most difficult, yet one of the most rewarding things I’ll ever do. I remember as a child the timeless words of my father: “this hurts me more than it hurts you”. I’ve learned that in all the joyful moments, through the tantrums, the discipline,  and beyond all the memorable moments I’ll look back upon, there are two things that I must do as a parent that I believe to be the most difficult things a parent should ever have to embark upon. I’ve discovered that one of the most trying, frustrating, and disgusting things I’ve ever had to do is to take my two year old to go potty in a public restroom. I’ve always been a bit of a germ freak, but I didn’t realize how bad it was until I had to take Jaxon to use the restroom in a truck stop over Christmas vacation. I truly believe that it would be easier to solve the world’s economic problems than to keep my son from touching everything in the public restroom. No matter what I say or do, it’s in his nature to want to touch EVERYTHING!!

The second, and what I believe to be more difficult task that I have encountered as a parent is one that I had never experienced before. I have a college degree. I consider myself to be a fairly resourceful and bright person. I feel like I could tackle almost any problem and at least learn from that experience. I always thought of myself as a somewhat accomplished person… until I tried to put a straw into Jaxon’s juice drink. This must be one of the most frustrating things known to man. 9 times out of 10, I either puncture a whole all the way through the drink, spill it all over myself and my son, or break the straw in half making the process even more difficult. Parenting is full of lessons. I realize that. But if I could bypass public restrooms and juice drinks altogether, I feel that life would be a little bit sweeter.

Just to give you an update on our adoption, we sent in our I-800A form this week. This form is basically an application with the federal government that you have to fill out for international adoptions. Just another hoop to jump through, but we’re jumping… one step closer to our little girl. Thanks for reading, praying, and believing in what we do.

peace, love, and clean restrooms,

– justin

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Big faith

I read the story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-41 this week and it has taught me so much!  Jesus told the disciples that He wanted to go to the other side of the sea.  He didn’t sit them down and let them know that things might get rough; that they may get scared…He just simply told them what He was going to do.  The disciples had already witnessed numerous healings.  They had heard some of Jesus’s brilliant teachings.  They had WALKED with Him and had close intimate relationship with Him.  He expected for them to believe He would do what He said He would do without a lot of babying and reassuring.  Jesus was worn out from teaching and needed some rest.  He expected the men who had walked with Him and seen His crazy power, to believe Him even if circumstances got rough.  They did what I do all the time…”Jesus, please reassure me.  It looks rough out there.  Do you even care?  are You really big enough to do what You said You would do?  Why are you sleeping?  I need your reassuring words!”  Jesus DID care and didn’t give them more than they could handle…with 3 little words, He made their circumstances good and peaceful again!  He desired for them to have the kind of faith that would stay strong without a lot of babying even though the circumstances got rough!  I wonder how the story and their lives would have been different if they had believed He would do what He said He would do?  No matter…Jesus still stretched their faith…He is such an amazing Teacher and has such unending patience and compassion for us!  There are areas in my life that I believe that God has spoken some promises to me.  I long to have STRONG faith.  I don’t want the time to come when He gives me what He has promised and Him ask, “Why didn’t you believe I was going to do what I said I would do?”

our illustration of Jesus calming the storm

our illustration of Jesus calming the storm

This morning I made pancakes for my dudes.  I put chocolate chips in some.  Jaxon REALLY wanted some chocolate chips.  I told him that I would put all the extra chocolate chips on his plate when I was all done making the pancakes.  Well, he had a few small meltdowns in the process of making the pancakes because…I guess he didn’t trust me.  He didn’t really believe I was going to do what I said I would do…I just needed to wait to make all the pancakes first.  Funny how God can use a 2 year old to illustrate a lesson for me!

Later this morning I got to share the story of Mark 4:35-41 with Jaxon.  We drew a picture of the story on his new chalk board.  I love sharing with him about how GREAT Jesus is!!

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Go Daddy Go!!

Justin is running a marathon on February 15th…quite impressive!  He has been training for a couple of months now.  With his training he does one REALLY long run and every week it gets longer up to the marathon.  Since the marathon is getting close, the runs are getting LONG!  There are 2 really great places to run in our neck of the woods.  One is by our house…Brushy Creek trail…and one is downtown at Lady Bird lake.  Both places have several spots along the way that are tons of fun to stop and play.   So, Jax and I have decided to go with Justin on his long runs and have fun playing while he is running.  This week his run was 18 miles!  When you run 18 miles, it is important to stop and have a couple of snacks along the way.  Mine and Jaxon’s job was to show up a couple of places along the way and give Justin some snacks and cheer him on a little.  This week he ran at Lady Bird Lake.  Jaxon and I had so much fun playing and cheering for dad!  We played at a FUN playground called Zilker Park.  Then we walked down to a gazebo that is on the running trail and right on the lake…it is SO pretty!  We had a snack there and waited to give dad a clementine around mile 10 on his run.  I brought a special snack for me and Jaxon…Fun Dip.  It was Jax’s first time to eat this…it was fun sharing something with him that brings back so many childhood memories of being at the ballpark…watching…or playing while my brother played baseball.

lickin' our Fun Dip Sticks

lickin' our Fun Dip Sticks

forget the stick...I just want the sugar!

forget the stick...I just want the sugar!

It's not good unless it gets all over your mouth!

It's not good unless it gets all over your mouth!

After our fun dip adventure we went closer to the water and watched the ducks and took a cool pic with downtown in the background.

Mommy and Jax!

Mommy and Jax!

Next we headed to a different part of the trail where there is a big field…perfect for kicking a soccer ball!  We saw Justin run by and did a good cheer for him.   We had fun playing with the soccer ball and watching all the dogs chase their balls.  We were tired and ready to rest, so we sat on a bench by the water and read our new Cars book.  After more than 3 hours of running Justin finally finished and was ready for a good snack…and a big hug from Jax!  We were proud of Dad!

Jaxon needed a snack too...of course!

Jaxon needed a snack too...of course!

Last night before going to bed we all took a turn telling a story.  Justin went first and told a story about growing up and going camping.  Jaxon requested that I tell the story about the boy who cried wolf…he loves this story for some reason.  When it was his turn to tell his story, this is how it started…”One day I picked a flower for you. (pointing to me and smiling REAL cute) Then I got on my motorcycle and rode to the library….”  I love sharing life with these two guys!

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