12/21/2010

National Adoption Day Comes to Harris County Family Court

I had the most amazing day today. Thanks to our newly formed orphan and adoption ministry, 1:17, and our participation in a larger alliance of churches in Houston for adoption, I got the chance to help out with a huge celebration of adoption today. Today in the Harris County family court system we celebrated National Adoption Day by throwing a huge party for about 46 kids being welcomed into forever families. Here's the story as shown on the local news tonight. You can see me in one shot wielding my camera in the background, since my main job was...of course...photography!

 
I can't wait to share more photos from the day, but the court has to go through them all to make sure they are ok for publishing. It was barely controlled chaos in our party room...a converted courtroom filled with waiting families, crafts, food, gifts, clowns and Santa! Then in two courtrooms on the same floor we had concurrently running dockets full of adoption consummations. I got the chance to witness about ten of these, and to take the first official family photo in the courtroom with the presiding judge. There were tears of joy and hugs all around. And that totally works for me!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

12/19/2010

Overheard at Panera Bread

Tonight I headed to our local Panera Bread to pick up a little dinner since Mike is sick and not wanting a big deal with lots of dishes to clean up. Sunday nights at Panera are not particularly busy, and I think it's like the third string of staff working.  I'm in there a few times a week, so I know the first string of managers and wait staff pretty well. While trying to get the soda fountain to work properly, I overheard a rather disturbing conversation between a busboy and the guy behind the counter who makes the sandwiches. Of course, since I ordered take-out, I had to stand in front of the counter and wait quite awhile listening as it got heated.

Busboy: Wait, so YOU celebrate Christmas?
Sandwich Guy: Yeah, so? Christmas is not a religious holiday.
Busboy: Of course it is, it's a Christian holiday.
Sandwich Guy: Nah, Christmas just means, "Imma gonna get sum presents."
Busboy: It's Jesus' BIRTHDAY, duh, that's a Christian holiday.
Sandwich Guy: Wrong. Christmas is a pagan holiday that was taken over by the Christians and then taken over by Hallmark. Christmas is a Hallmark holiday. Everybody knows Jesus wasn't even born on December 25th.
Busboy: Of course Jesus was born on Christmas! Every Christian knows that.
Sandwich Guy: No! Jesus was born in the springtime, December 25th was a pagan holiday.
Busboy: You're thinking of Easter, Jesus' death. Jesus died in the springtime but I GUARANTEE you 100% of Christians KNOW that Jesus was born on Christmas.
Sandwich Guy: Wrong, Jesus was born in springtime. And anyway Easter isn't about Jesus' death,  it's about his resurrection!
Busboy: ...and his death! Jesus died and then three days later was resurrected. What do you know anyway, you believe in Univers...cintology.
Sandwich Guy: Scientology?! NO. (Very loudly) I'm an ATHEIST! I believe in SCIENCE! FACTS! REALITY!

(this is the point at which it was all I could do to not jump in that I, too, believe in science, facts and  reality...and Jesus as my Savior.)

Sandwich Guy: I know all about Christianity. I don't actually DISBELIEVE in anything, any religion, until I know everything there is to know about it. (emphasis mine)

This is the point at which my number was called, I exhaled sharply and ran out, praying all the while for both kids, who could not have been a day over twenty.

Ah youth. I remember when I had a very similar attitude to that sandwich guy. I thought I knew everything there was to know about anything of importance, and most especially anything to do with Christianity. And I was pretty quick to tell people too. Age and experience has taught me how little any of us really know about anything at all. Maturity has taught me how little I know of God, despite knowing what the Bible says and believing its authority as truth. What I do know is that He exists, science has proven that to me. And I do know that He is loving and personal, experience has proven this to me.

The whole conversation was saddening to me, the fact that so many people do believe Christmas is all about getting presents, and that so many have been led to believe that science proves there is no God and religion is stupid. So many young atheists fail to see how religious their beliefs really are.

12/17/2010

Warm Weather Winter Fashion

I have to admit that I am not very big on holiday fashion anymore, unless you count super fabulous sparkly evening wear. Green and red are just not my thing these days. Not to mention the fact that our weather here in Houston can be very UN-seasonal, in the Christmasy sense. It was 75 degrees and sunny here yesterday, and that is not unusual at all. Of course, tomorrow it will be 32 when I walk my kids to school, so I have to be prepared for it all. The opportunities for sweaters are just not so frequent.

Which leads me to share with you the shopping I did with some birthday money before I kicked straight into Christmas mode. First up was the Boden USA sale. Not as good as the sale going on right now, but better than full price.  I learned the hard way that the stuff I really really want but waited to go on sale? Sold out in my size. Thankfully the skirt I bought was my second choice.


And then I took the cardigan my husband bought me for my birthday back to LOFT (because cardis almost NEVER look good on...ahem...well endowed women such as myself) and applied my LOFT birthday coupon towards the exchange to get TWO stunningly gorgeous blouses.  One of the blouses looks so perfect over the new Boden skirt, I just couldn't get over it.


Unfortunately it looks like this blouse is no longer for sale at LOFT online, but I'd be willing to bet they have a few left in some stores, since I just bought it a couple weeks ago.

The other blouse I bought is just as pretty, and perfect for our warm winter weather here in Houston.  But it may have to wait a bit for those of you in cooooold locations. Of course, this brilliant orange color would look fabulous with the right jacket thrown over top of it all winter long. I'm all about bright colors to liven up the winter blahs.

I think it's more orangy in person than in this photo where it looks almost pink.  But trust me, it's beautiful.

So that's it for this Fashion Friday, be sure to check out the other Fashion Friday posts linked up below! I would love to hear about how you use fashion to warm up your winter blues.

12/14/2010

Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs

I know I am probably not at all alone in posting a list like this today, let alone this week or month. But I can't help myself, I adore Christmas music. Black Friday my Christmas CDs come out with the rest of my decorations, and I fire up the Holiday iPod playlist. The car radio is permanently set on KSBJ playing all Christmas music, all month long. I do miss going to a church where we sang four or five traditional carols every single Sunday in Advent, but I like that we have an event called Christmas Cafe every year where I get my fill of great seasonal performances. I'm totally jealous that my grandparents went to the Houston Symphany Pops Orchestra concert last weekend, which undoubtedly had breathtaking Christmas music.

So I give you my somewhat unique list of favorite holiday tunes, along with the artist whose rendition I like the best. Maybe you'll find something new and enjoyable in this list.

1. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus - Kyle Cantrell

2. Gather Round, Ye Children Come - Andrew Peterson



3. Come and See - Olivette (This whole album is simply beautiful)

4. Comfort Ye - Daniel Renstrom

5. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Sara Groves (Totally unique and gorgeous version)

6. All Creation Sing (Joy To the World) - Fee

7. We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Weezer (One of these things is not like the others...)

8. 2000 Miles - The Pretenders



9. Here With Us - Joy Williams

10. O Holy Night - BarlowGirl


So tell me YOUR favorites? Pretty please?


This post courtesy of:

Top Ten {Tuesday}

12/09/2010

Back to Blogging

Opening the blog back up and celebrating the Advent season. I'll get back to writing soon but for the moment I just want to share a video I happened upon today, thanks to Rob Bell's tweets. I've always been a big fan of The Killers, but hadn't seen this one from Brandon Flowers, their lead singer who has gone solo. It is visually stunning and the lyrics are worth listening to, not to mention the great little pop sound and his luxurious voice. He's easy on the eyes and ears. So enjoy!


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