Monday, September 29, 2008

Movie Review -- Fireproof

We don't get many opportunities to go out to the movies so when Susan's mother called last week and asked if she could watch our kids (and my Sister-in-law's children -- that's 6 in all from 2 to 10 if you are counting) so we could all four go out to see Fireproof, we jumped at the chance.

I don't usually like to jump to the ending, but let me tell you I really liked this movie. It is a well written story and very well done movie. So, here is my attempt at a movie review.

Fireproof tells the story of a fire captain (Caleb Holt played by Kirk Cameron) who is a hero in his community. He rushes into burning buildings to save people he does not even know. He lives by the creed "you never leave your partner". But at home, it's a different story. Caleb and his wife Katherine are living separate lives. After seven years, their marriage is burning to the ground, and they both want out.

Caleb is counseled by his friend and Lieutenant Michael Simmons (Played by Ken Bevel) that marriage is for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Michael goes on to say that most people only mean for the better. When Caleb responds that marriages are not fireproof, Michael tells him that "Fireproof doesn't mean that a fire will never come, but that when it comes, you'll be able to withstand it".

This is a good time to take a break and mention that Kirk Cameron is the only paid actor in this movie but you may never know it. The actors playing Michael, Katherine and most of the others are true professionals. I was really surprised to see that they have no other credits in the IMDB. This movie was produced by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany Georgia. The story of how this movie came to the screen is a miracle in itself. I heard the producers in an interview on Focus on the Family talking about some of the amazing ways that God worked to get this movie into the theaters and provided their needs at every turn. By the way, this is the same team that created Facing the Giants in 2006.

Back to the movie. When Caleb shares with his father that he is going to seek a divorce, his father asks if there is anything in him that wants to save his marriage. When Caleb admits to a small part that does his father gets Caleb to agree to put off the divorce for 40 days and tells him that he will be sending him something in the mail. A few days later, Caleb receives a journal in his father's handwriting called "the love dare" which helps Caleb to understand and practice unconditional love for his wife.

I don't want to reveal much more of the movie, or take up more of your time with this review, but I will say that this is a must see for all couples (married, dating, whatever). Believe me when I tell you I know how hard it is to make time for a movie or any kind of date with my wife. I strongly encourage you to make a date to see this movie as a couple and to have coffee or dinner afterwards to talk about what you have seen. This movie is not just for couples that are struggling in their marriage, but for everyone. Fireproof means ". . . that when fire comes, you'll be able to withstand it". If you are nearby and can't find a babysitter, we can work something out.

If you are interested in another review, check out this one from Plugged in online which does contain some (noted) spoilers. I also found a few mixed reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. Let me also "warn you" that this movie is unflinchingly Christian in it's doctrine. There is a clear gospel presentation in the middle of the movie when Caleb's father tells him "you can't give her what you don't have" (referring to the unconditional love that comes from God through Jesus Christ). You may find this a turn-off and I hope you don't; but even if you do I hope you will find something of value to yourself and your marriage partner in this amazing movie. If you make it to the movie let me know what you think. I sure hope you like it as much as I did.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The First Year-Round Swim Meet

In early September, Jeremy began swimming with one of our area's year-round teams. He wants to compete, so we signed him up for the first swim meet that was hosted by his team.

The meet was named the "Wave IMX."

Turns out that the "X" stands for "eXtreme challenge." Oops!

So our 10 year-old who is used to swimming 25 yards with the summer league swam a 200-meter individual medley, a 100-meter butterfly, a 100-meter backstroke, a 100-meter breaststroke, and a 200-meter freestyle today. Oops. But, he did it!!! He is very tired now.

This will make him stronger, right?

This kind of reminded me of the first season that we signed Jeremy up for summer swim team. He could not swim across the pool and was very upset at me for signing him up.

William had his first year-round timing experience while a listened to the girls whine for 3 hours. (That was not a first.)

Our dear friend and social worker, Rebecca, stopped by the transition home while in Ethiopia picking up her new son and took some adorable photos of our Benaiah! We were shocked to see that he is BALD, but he is adorable all the same. We'd rather see him bald than buggy!

Court is still scheduled for OCTOBER 8.

Tentative travel is OCTOBER 25.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Amusing Ourselves with Photos While We Wait

My friend Amy with whom we will hopefully travel *next month* has asked us to share the silly things that we do with our baby's photo.

Of course, Benaiah's photo is the wallpaper on our computer -although, he looks a little chunkier because he's stretched.

All five of us and my mom have little brag books filled with his photos. Snapfish ships copies to Grandma & Grandpa in Ohio also.

OK. Here is the silly part... We have these little photo holders that have a clip on them to hold the photo. The kids get behind a chair and hold the photos up over the top and have a Benaiah puppet show. The Benaiah puppets talk about how they want to go home.

The Benaiah puppet also likes to ask to nurse when I am pumping...

We'll leave it at that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Baby Shower!

Today was great! I am *so* tired! My friends Leslie-Jean and Jen along with my sister, Patti, threw a baby shower! Thanks so much to all that came, and we missed those of you who were not able to make it. It was lots of fun, and the food was wonderful! We received lots of nice things for Benaiah and many items to take to the transition home and orphanages!

Isn't this the cutest cake? My sister emailed the bakery, Once in a Blue Moon, the little baby off of our ticker at the bottom of the blog. Cool! It was really yummy too -chocolate cake with chocolate-raspberry mouse and butter cream icing.

Here is our mini-America World gathering! It was great to meet Jill, Marshall, and the famous "Mr. Squishy Cheeks!" We also had a little celebration for Candy's referral!

Thank-you everybody!! We feel *very* LOVED!

(Happy to not disappoint, Jen!)

Friday, September 19, 2008


Today, our baby boy, Benaiah, is 8 months-old. It breaks my heart when I realize that he was only 4 months-old when we received his referral and that it will be another month before we will hold him.

Two years ago today, I watched my baby sister give birth to her and her husband's 3rd child! WOW! That was some show! LOL! What an awesome experience to witness life coming into the world! Now, he is two and every minute of it!

Happy Birthday, Isaac!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Checking In...

This past weekend was SO BUSY! Our garage sale made $120 over the two days. We've decided that we are too nice and let people have stuff for less that it is worth. We are grateful to have this extra money though and will be opening the garage next Saturday morning to try to bless strangers with more stuff. Thanks so those who have donated things to sell! You're stuff is selling better than ours!

Saturday night, William and I fixed the washing machine! (He is to post on that eventually.) We are so over repair companies!

Sunday was a day of meetings. Jeremy had a meeting for Awana youth leaders. Yes, Jeremy is an Awana leader! He has aged out mom's church's program, but is too young to move on to the next part, so he is working with Kindergarten Sparks! I had a meeting at the aquatic center with Jeremy's year-round team, and William had a meeting with the other Awana Cubbies leaders. He is in Annika's class this year.

Marissa lost a tooth Sunday night.

Annika skipped lunch yesterday and is now throwing up and unable to hold down anything. She does this. We cannot come out on the winning end of making her eat what is on her plate...

Here is something to make you smile!!! (Especially if you grew up in the 80's!)

Cut and paste this if that didn't work:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Garage Sale Friday & Saturday!

Woo hoo!

We are having a sale to raise money for all of the incidentals that are coming our way as we travel next month. (AND to help make room in our house for another body!)

Our sale is Friday & Saturday 8 am - 1 pm both days.

Email me if you'd don't know where we live.

We have little girl clothing, convalescent items, a cherry twin bed, a cherry double bed, toys, and miscellaneous stuff. Come on by and say "HEY!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Krispy Kreme Field Trip

BY Jeremy

Today our home school group went to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in downtown Raleigh.

We were greeted by a man named Herman who told us some interesting facts about Krispy Kreme which are here.

Then, we walked through the doughnut facility, there were doughnuts EVERYWHERE!!
We got to pick a one off the conveyor to eat, and then, we got to order a doughnut and drink FOR FREE!

Thank-you Krispy Kreme!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Helping Kids in Ethiopia

We will have the opportunity to transport much-needed donations to the transition home and orphanages in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These homes provide care for many children and always have needs. The over-the-counter medications that are readily available for us are not as easily obtainable, and prices in the stores have increased by over 30% this summer.

Please, consider purchasing some of these items to send with us to help!

  • infant's acetaminophen
  • infant's ibuprofen
  • infant's liquid vitamins
  • children's acetaminophen
  • children's Benedryl (or store-brand equivalent)
  • children's ibuprofen
  • children's vitamins
  • baby gas drops
  • anti-fungal ointment
  • anti-fungal shampoo (like Nizoral)
  • lice treatment shampoo
  • antibiotic ointments
  • diaper ointment
  • band aids
  • surgical gloves
  • hand sanitizer
  • baby wipes
  • formula with DHA
  • diapers (mostly sizes 1-3)
  • baby bottles with nipples
  • pens
  • pencils
  • white board markers
  • masks (the germ-blocking kind)
  • pillowcases
  • office supplies

Cash is always good. We can buy other things that they need there.

We hope to be traveling before the end of October, so please help us with our packing by getting items to us as soon as you can.


Friday, September 5, 2008

September Update on Benaiah!


M***** is on Nan-1 formula which is for children under 6 months.


M***** is a good sleeper, and wakes twice during the night for a bottle. He takes a couple of naps during the day.


M***** is so happy, smiley, and loves interacting with people.


M*****’s skin is a beautiful shade of brown. He is petite, yet very strong! You’ll often find him doing some sort bending /stretching movement on the floormat…He is crawling/scooting himself around, and gets on top of the other babies and makes them mad! Recently he has started to pull himself up on the Bumbo seat to stand up. His little legs wobble a bit, but he just stands there smiling!


M***** has been very healthy since the last update.


Current weight: 13 pounds (August weight)

We are still scheduled for the October 8th court date with tentative travel dates of October 24 - October 31.

Our Trip to Ohio

We are still recovering from our busy LONG weekend.

Thursday after our home school co-op, we left for Ohio. We made good time and got to Dayton in 9 1/2 hours.

Friday, we took the kids to Orchardly Park where there are some water features in which to play. We would never have this in NC due to water rationing, so this was a treat. The kids really loved playing in wet sand, and of course there was playground equipment. That evening we enjoyed dinner at the NCR Country Club.

Saturday after some Bill's Donuts, we went swimming with "the OH cousins," visited Susan's aunt and uncle in Troy, OH, and went on a double-date with William's brother, David, and sister-in-law, Elizabeth.

Sunday we went to Apex Community Church to meet another family in our agency's Ethiopia program. Phil is the worship leader at Apex. Sadly, his wife, Amber, got detoured on the way to church due to a sick child. We were very glad to meet Phil though! That afternoon, We celebrated William's dad's birthday with his mama, siblings, children, and grandchildren.

Monday, we attended the "Holiday at Home" Labor Day parade in Kettering, OH. The highlight was the finale -the Budweiser Clydesdales. They were beautiful!

We drove part of the way home on Monday, finished the trip on Tuesday, beat the 5 PM deadline to return the rented van by 5 minutes, went to Mom's for dinner, and took Jeremy to his first year-round swim team practice. WHEW!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Something to Think About

Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child.
Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.

- Rita Laws, PhD