Monday, November 12, 2007


Last Saturday we participated in our first Walk to Cure Diabetes benefitting the JDRF. Alicia, Jeff, and Adam came into town on Friday evening and we had fun catching up and playing games together. Saturday brought a crisp, clear, beautiful morning... a perfect day for a walk outside. We drove to the campus of Wake Forest University and were amazed at the number of cars and people there! The walk was four miles long and wound through the campus's beautiful buildings, expansive trails, and quaint scenery. The leaves were in full color and were breathtaking! That and the fact that we were among our favorite family members made the walk fun and not so long. Even Sadie was a trooper and didn't complain. There were pit stops along the way for potty breaks, healthy snacks, and water, which helped ease the discomforts of a long walk for those of us who were pretty out of shape. Our team, Jake Rocks, raised $875 to go toward finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. We were excited and thrilled to do this and look forward to walking again next year, hoping to raise even more money for a cure! Thanks to all of you who supported our cause and thanks especially for Alicia, Jeff, and Adam for making Jake's day by walking with us. It made him feel really special to have his own 'team' of cheerleaders that support him in his every day battles with diabetes. xoxo

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Death of Family Values....

....that's what we dressed up as for a costume party in our neighborhood last weekend.
Do we look like the Cleavers or what??
You've gotta love John's big hair.
My dress plus John's tie = $6 from Goodwill
The problem is, this was like pouring salt in a wound for our children. We informed them a few weeks ago that we would not be participating in Halloween this year. We explained that with Jake's diabetes it just wasn't fair because he couldn't eat all that candy and it was only a temptation being in our house. Also, I'm very tired of spending bazillions of dollars on stupid Halloween costumes that last one night. (Thanks Dave)
So instead we will have a family night.... get out of our neighborhood (which is inundated with trick-or-treaters), spend the $50 that I ususally spend on candy (for the bazillion trick-or-treaters) on a nice meal out and doing something fun as a family.
Sadie, being 8, has had the hardest time with this. It's a good thing that I've acquired the Jewish guilt thing and told her that having a brother that was alive was better than Halloween candy... poor Sadie. Lilly is also being quite immature about the whole thing but is a little more understanding. Sam doesn't know what he's missing, although he did get to make his first jack-o-lantern tonight. Jake is as happy as can be that he won't be left out on Halloween.... his joy comes from the fact that his sisters will be as miserable as he is.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Income Tax.

Are there any economists out there listening?

I often wonder what the downside to eliminating the Income Tax and replacing it with a Federal sales tax. The way I see it (with my simple mind) is that whomever buys more, pays more.

The rich buy more, so they pay more in tax

The poor buy less, so they pay less in tax.

I look forward to being made to look stupid. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

See below

Okay, here is a picture (if I can make it work) of our tree-house (see post below.)

Camping Weekend

I've been trying to get on blogger forever but for some unbeknownst reason, everything in our account is in Chinese. I've been randomly click and cannot figure out how to get it back to English. There must be some cookie or something in here from when Tony was here but it's been fine for so long and then all of a sudden... everything is written in Chinese characters. Yes, we did learn some conversational Chinese for our trip to China and for Sam, John did learn how to read a few characters, but this is just crazy..... Do you think they guys from google who read all of our email see that we've written about China and naturally think that we're Chinese? A conspiracy? Ha. Oh well. If anyone reading this can read Chinese and call tell me how to look at the blogger dashboard in English it would be very much appreciated!

Okay, back to the topic at hand. A few weeknds ago (yes, I am behind as usual) we went on a faulous family camping weekend. We went to Cherokee Cove which is nestled in the mountains between North Carolina and Tennessee. The leaves were so beautiful and colorful! The camp is bordered on three sides by state forest and was truly awe-inspiring!

About the camp... it is a Christian family camp, conference center, and retreat center. They have cabins as well as tent platforms and "tree houses"---which is what we camped in. There was a little lighted path off of the main thoroughfare that wound back into the woods to our "tree house". We pitched our tent up there and had plenty of room for 6 person's-worth of stuff. (It is virtually impossible to pack light with 6 people!) It was so neat being back in the woods all the while staying warm and dry off of the ground.

The food.... oh the food! It was absolutely fabulous! We're not talking beanies and weenies folks... The owner of the camp, a wonderful servant of Christ, is a chef. His wife, also a beautiful example of servanthood, is a licensed dietician. They are into healthy and organic and anything crunchy..... right up my alley!! We had fresh organic greens and veggies, exquisite home salsas and sauces, home-made breads, the freshest and healthiest ingredients, and some very healthy and yummy smoothies! Last but not least, there were also s'mores to be made!

They had activities for us during the day: hiking, crafts for the kids, a marriage seminar, scavenger hunt, nature walks. At night there was singing around the campfire, games, s'mores, and awesome fellowship.

Did I mention that we went for FREE? Yes, the folks at Cherokee Cove have such a heart for families that they offer a FREE family camping weekend on the first weekend of every month from May through October. How do they afford this? Throughout the year they host numerous retreats and conferences, concerts, etc. They do nutritional cooking classes for teens and adults, youth retreats, women's spa retreats (that's what I'm talkin about!), Father-son and Mother-daughter weekends, and Marriage retreats. They also receive donations from individuals who have been so blessed by and want to help give back to their ministry.

Cherokee Cove camp is not advertised so they rely on word of mouth to get the word out about the camp. I can highly recommend it for church functions, retreats, and personal get-aways. These are genuine people who love Jesus and love families and have a passion to minister to them. Please check out their website and plan a trip!! I cannot say enough awesome things about it.

One other cool thing was that the Scott family from Sparkle City met us there. It was great to see them and enjoy God's beauty and with them in sweet fellowship. Hey, let's all go together in the spring!! Wouldn't that be fun?!?!? We (us and the Scotts) are definitely all going back again... to camp and to serve. We can't wait!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My King

I first saw this video a year ago and I have not yet tired of it. If you rather not spend 7 minuted watching it, I have pasted the words for you to peruse.


My King was born King. The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King.
He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King.
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that’s my King. Well I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King?
David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament show His handiwork. My King is the only one whom there are no means of measure can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
Well, well, He’s enduringly strong.
He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast.
He’s immortally graceful.
He’s imperially powerful.
He’s impartially merciful.
That’s my King.

He’s God’s Son.
He’s the sinner’s saviour.
He’s the centrepiece of civilization.
He stands alone in Himself.
He’s honest.
He’s unique.
He’s unparalleled.
He’s unprecedented.
He’s supreme.
He’s pre-eminent.
Well, He’s the grandest idea in literature.
He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the supreme problem in high criticism.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of proved theology.
He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion.
That’s my King.

He’s the miracle of the age.
He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
Well, He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He’s strong God and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharged debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.
Do you know Him?
Well, my King is a King of knowledge.
He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the doorway of deliverance.
He’s the pathway of peace.
He’s the roadway of righteousness.
He’s the highway of holiness.
He’s the gateway of glory.
He’s the master of the mighty.
He’s the captain of the conquerors.
He’s the head of the heroes.
He’s the leader of the legislatures.
He’s the overseer of the overcomers.
He’s the governor of governors.
He’s the prince of princes.
He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords.
That’s my King. Yeah. Yeah. That’s my King. My King, yeah.
His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Well. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable. He’s indescribable. Yes.
He’s incomprehensible.
He’s invincible.
He’s irresistible.

I’m coming to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explaining Him. You can’t get Him out of your mind.
You can’t get Him off of your hands.
You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree.
Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
That’s my King. Yeah.
He always has been and He always will be. I’m talking about He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor. There’s nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him.
You can’t impeach Him and He’s not going to resign. That’s my King! That’s my King!
“Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory”.
Well, all the power belongs to my King.
We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but it’s God’s power.”Thine is the power”. Yeah. “And the glory”. We try to get prestige and honour and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. “Thine is the Kingdom” and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever. And when you get through with all of the “evers,” then, Amen.

—Dr. S. M. Lockridge

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Life in the Carpool Lane

Life in the carpool lane sure has been crazy!! I guess the thing I miss the most about homeschooling are the lazy of days of being in our pajamas and cuddling on the couch reading great books together. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying having three out of four kids going off to school too. It's just different.

Here is what I mean: On Wednesday I left the house at 8:45am. I dropped Sam off at pre-school at 9am. I picked up Daniel (he's hanging out and homeschooling with us on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the morning hours that Sam is in school and his mom is working as the preschool director). The boys and I headed to the church office. I made copies, cut, folded, and prepared for Sunday... with Moni's help of course!). At 11:30 I left the church office and stopped at Sonic for fast food....and all of you that know me know that I hate stopping for fast food...yuck! Jake, Daniel, and I picked up Sam from pre-school and headed over to the consignment sale to drop off some stuff and help Stephanie get stuff on the racks. We ate our fast food there. Daniel stayed with his mom.

Sam, Jake, and I drove 20 or so minutes to Jake's guitar lesson, only after stopping off for a quick errand. After Jake's guitar lesson (where Sam won't sit still and "has to use the potty" every time) we drove to get the girls at school. We sat in the carpool line for 30 or so minutes. Now we are headed for home!!!

By around 4pm we finally pull in the driveway. I realize that I forgot to run the dishwasher and the beds are still not made ( I don't want John to think I sat around and ate bon bons all day). I run around picking up, making beds, moving the laundry from washer to dryer, etc.

Now it's homework time. Sadie finishes hers in an hour or so, amidst antics and such. Lilly is....... well, Lilly. She has locked herself in the bathroom again. Hmmm. This unnerves me daily but I guess it's the only place she can get some peace and quiet and I can't tell her to do stuff.... kinda like John in his X-box cave (Halo 3...uugh). After Lilly emerges from her hide-away I beg, plead, and threathen her into getting all of her homework and studying done.

In the meantime I need to get dinner going because Jake thinks he actually might die of hunger. Thankfully, I got up early this morning and put chili in my crock pot so I've only got to set out the toppings, bake the corn bread, and serve the drinks. Jake has to set the table to get his mind off his hunger pangs. He whines the whole time, but gets the job done.

John gets home around 6:30. We eat dinner. At least one out of four kids doesn't want to eat dinner on any particular night so we have that battle. I win. heheheheh. I am bound and determined.

After dinner, Lilly is still doing homework. I quiz her and we study. I do lots of threatening, ranting, raving, etc. I put yet another load of laundry from the washer to dryer. Now there's clean laundry dumped on my bed. I have one to two loads of laundry per day.

8:00pm.... begging, threatening,etc. for kids to take showers. Still folding laundry. Lilly is still studying. Everyone wants dessert. Okay... snacks for everyone who has already bathed or showered. Lilly does not fall into this category, but she is now getting answers right when I quiz her!!! Yahoo!!!! Good times!!!!

9:00pm. Three out of four kids in bed. Lilly is finally learned and showered. Now she needs her bedtime snack.

9:30pm.. still folding laundry. Piles are stacked outside of my bedroom. Kids (at least two out of four) can put their own laundry away. Yes, I still baby Sadie. I hang up the clothes in her closet since she can't reach that well (errrr...truthfully she can do it just fine, but I pick my battles... she's the baby girl).

10pm... fall into bed and wait for the alarm to ring at 6am..... to do it all over again!!!!

Guess what???? I wouldn't trade it or my family for the world~~~~~

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Chicken Dance

Here is Sam, well, being Sam.

(If you got this message in your email- open the blog to watch the video)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Kirsten!

29 Years old! Can you believe it!?!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Has it been this long..........?

I know, I's been forever since we've updated the blog. Can you believe that we've been home with Sam for six weeks now?? In one way it seems like forever ago, in other ways it seems like just yesterday. Where has the time gone?

Lilly and Sadie are going to a new school this year. It seems fabulous so far! Sadie, being the easy-going third child that she is, had adjusted nicely. Her one complaint is that the new school has a dress code so she whines about it every morning. I recently asked her if she was going to whine every day for the whole school year and until she reaches 8th grade; she said that she might. *snort*

This is the first time that Lilly has been away from home for school since she was in third grade. And as you know, 7th grade is a lot different from 3rd. She has a great attitude though and we are very proud of her. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers though has she adjusts to more responsibilities and a heavier workload.

Sam started pre-school this past week. He was hesitant at first but yesterday he was all smiles when I picked him up. Some firsts for Sam since he's come into our lives have been: a bath in an actual bathtub, airplanes, ice cream, swimming pool, snuggling on the couch, a big boy bed (no crib), a brother and sisters to annoy and be annoyed by, car seats, church, and chicken nuggets. He absolutely loves all of these new things!! He is such a joy and I thank God for him every day.

Homeschool also started for Jake this week. We are learning about world history and are starting out with Egypt. I've still got a few books trickling in but we are well under way. Jake is happy and smart. On another note, Jake did spend a day in the hospital last week because his blood sugar was very very high. This week has been better though and he's been making better food choices.

I hope you all enjoy the pics and I'll try to update again soon!!

Love, Kirsten

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Leaving Guangzhou

Hi Everyone!

Our new son is a joy!! Our trip has been wonderful. But it is winding down..hooray!! We check out of our hotel on Shamian Island in Guangzhou this afternoon. We head to the U.S. Consulate to take our oath and receive Sam's visa.

After receiving the visa, we had directly to the train station for a two-hour train ride to Hong Kong. We will spend the night in HK and fly out in the morning. We should arrive in GSO on Wednesday at 7:25pm (EST)

We are praising God for an amazing safe trip to adopt our son. We can't wait for you all to meet him! Please pray for safe travels and a calm boy on the airplane home. See you soon!! xoxo

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stranger in a Strange Land

Hello from red China!

Kirsten and I arrived Beijing almost a week ago and I feel as though we have been here for months. Although I miss Lilly, Jake, and Sadie so VERY much (and other family and friends) this post is for the description of our experiences.

I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the Beijing airport, so imagine my surprise when the transport van delivered us to a muggy, dusty, and smog filled city! I was not disappointed, just caught a bit off guard. We had a whirlwind tour of the typical tourist traps, and we enjoyed them very much. The one thing I did not like was the tourists. Please, spare me the irony speech- for those who know me know that I know what I know. For those who don't know- don't ask. :) (it makes sense if you think about it)

When we were not being herded with the others I felt wonderful! I am trying to speak as much Chinese as I can (negligible at best) and eat new things. For breakfast I ate noodles and dumplings! I am not as yet bold enough to try chicken feet or pig ears, but I will leave that door open.

When we flew to Nanjing I was pleasantly surprised to see a cleaner city even though there is still much smog. I absolutely LOVE haggling with the vendors, and it unnerves Kirsten to see me smile when I manage to save an extra 3 yuan (which is 38 cents). Yes, I am cheap- but in this case it is purely the thrill of the hunt that satisfies, not the money being saved.

I have learned the necessary phrases that mean: Hello, Thank you, No thank you, and That's too expensive. :)

Today after a trip to Wal*Mart (true, and experience in and of itself) we asked our guide to take us somewhere for lunch- somewhere SHE would eat and she took us to an underground mall; to a noodle restaurant. It was awesome!! They serve you big bowls of soup with a variety of extras. Kirsten ordered the vegetable noodles, and I got the extra spicy beef (ranked at 4 chili peppers!) It was spicy, but not too hot- I could eat like that every day!!

I am currently very tired as the humidity drains my energy- so bear with me for erratic writing.

It is also worth noting that everyone here smokes, and they do it anywhere they want! In the mall, in the restaurant, and even in Haagen Daaz (where they have sit down service).

OK- perhaps I should get off the computer. I look forward to sharing my experiences upon our return to the USA!



Sunday, July 15, 2007

Greetings from China

Hi Everyone!! We have made it to China! We spent the past two days in Beijing and this afternoon (Sunday for us, Saturday for you) we flew to Nanjing, Jiangsu province. Thankfully our hotel here is much nicer than the dirty one if Beijing.

We have unpacked our suitcases and set up 'house' here. I've been nesting like crazy and cannont believe that in 15 hours we will get to hold our Sam for the first time! We are so excited, nervous, etc.

Please pray for a smooth transition for Sammy as he joins his forever family!

Love, J & K

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Hi Everyone!!

Well, it's almost 4am on July 12th and we are getting ready to leave for China!! We are so excited to meet our new son!

We will try to keep the Vogel China Adoption blog updated. Please click here for more info!!!

~K & J

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Bionic Boy

It's been over a week now since Jake became the "bionic boy". He has a new insulin pump that hooks into him and delivers his insulin throughout the no more shots! It's wonderful really! Whenever Jake needs to check his blood sugar, it registers right into the pump. Then he inputs the carbs for what he is going to eat and the pump figures out the exact amount of insulin that he'll need. Jake has named his pump "Cosmo".

The worst part (for the parents) is that we have to change the infusion site every other day. This requires sticking our son with quite a large needle. You kind of have to push it in. It usually makes my stomach do a flip-flop, but the good news is that Jake doesn't feel a thing. He's got some numbing cream that we put on beforehand..... thank God for the people who invented that!

We have joined the ranks of the thousands that hope and pray for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Medical technology is amazing and the JDRF is making great strides! We'll be participating the walk for a cure coming up this fall. Stay tuned........

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Least of These

Okay, I've finally got a few short moments to sit and tell you about what's been plaguing my brain for the last two weeks. Bear with me as I recount the story.....

Lilly, Jake, and I were on our way back from along morning in Chapel Hill. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A in GSO because Jake had to eat. I had just enough money for three sandwiches and a soda to share. Actually I had a buck left over.

There was a homeless person standing on the corner at a stop sign after we exited Chick-Fil-A. He was holding a sign that said "Cancer patient, please help". So I rolled down my window to hand out my dollar while cars were lining up in back of me at the stop sign. I was really taken aback when I realized that it was a woman holding the sign.

She seemed well spoken, and her clothes were not tattered, but she was so thin! The sun hat she wore covered an almost-bald head. My heart sank into my stomach as I pulled out onto the main road. Then my heart started pounding and I was praying to God to help me. As I was praying I pulled onto the highway but was led by the Spirit to get off the next exit.

I turned around and went back, stopping for water and cash. I prayed the whole time I was driving and just felt such an urge and compulsion to do something for this woman. So dumb me drove around again to the same stop sign, I handed her the cash and the water. I asked her if she'd eaten and she said no, but she'd be okay. I asked her to come with me to Chick-Fil-A, but she again said she'd be okay and glanced back at the cars impatiently lining up behind me again. So I left.

I cried the whole way home and "that was the 'least of these', that was the 'least of these' ran over and over through my mind. The lines of her face and the picture of her frail frame would not escape me. I wanted to go back again, actually park my car and go talk to her. But I was running the risk of being late to get Sadie from school. So on I drove.

I didn't sleep at all that night and prayed for this stranger all night long. I asked God to protect her and provide for her. I drove back the next day and she wasn't there. I drove back the day after that and she wasn't there either. I decided that I had given her enough money for food for a few days at least, so I would wait a bit and try to find her. I am fascinated with knowing this woman's story; how she got to that place; how else can I help her?

I drove back this past week when I was in GSO and I didn't find her. With the price of gas I can't afford to keep driving there every day. A friend said she saw the lady that I described in the area. So this week I will make another trip. Maybe I will hear her story. Maybe I will bring her home with me. Of course there's the side of me that says maybe I'm nuts, maybe she's a fraud, maybe I'm naive (okay, well I know that I'm naive, but God made me this way). I'm still praying for her regardless. I'm praying that maybe I will touch her life as she has touche mine.

~Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us. (James 1:27)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Locks of Love

During the month of March (yes, I'm still trying to get caught up), Sadie got TEN INCHES cut off her hair for Locks of Love.

There is a ten year old girl named Krista who lives in our neighborhood and goes to Sadie's school that has cancer and has lost her hair.... this made Sadie so sad. She came to me and said ,"Mama, I want to give her my hair". So although we weren't able to donate the hair directly to Krista, we were able to send it off to support her cause.

Sadie has such a sweet and tender heart and we are so proud of her.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


My mom just called and told me that Erik and Aubrey had their ultrasound and they're having....... (you guessed it!).....a GIRL!! We are so thrilled for them!! That will make three new nieces is one year!


We've had lots of new additions to our family this year!!! John's brother Randy and his wife Suzanne had a baby girl, Kathryn Faye, this month. John's brother Kyle and his wife Kim, and brothers Beckett and Adley, welcomed little Tess Riley into their family too!

Our good friends, the Waite's, had a baby girl, Abigail Rose. Janet and Steve from our Journey Group found out that they are having a girl. Tara and Dan from Wisconsin are having TWINS!! They get a girl too...... and a boy!!!

My brother Erik and his wife Aubrey and daughter Natalie are expecting in September. Maybe a girl??? It seems to be in the water. We'll see!!

Of course, being who we are, we like to "go through the narrow gate" and are awaiting the arrival of our new little boy!!

We had the great opportunity to see one of our new little neices when we travelled to New Jersey at the end of the month..... Here is a picture of sweet little Kathryn Faye


On March 1st we celebrated Samuel's 4th birthday. It was a hard day for me, knowing that he was in an orphanage so far away, but we look forward with expectant anticipation to his 5th birthday when we can have a big party and be all together!

What's Going On?

Hi Everyone,

I apologize for being WAY BEHIND on keeping you updated with family news. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and attempt to catch up! I'll start with going way back to March, and hope to get caught up before the end of April. For those of you who subscribe, there will be multiple posts and it will be easier if you come to the website to read them all. xoxo ~K

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I love this joke!

This has been a favorite of mine for many years... enjoy!

Every morning the Trids got up, ate breakfast, and marched over the bridge to Tridville to work.
One morning, a troll moved in under the bridge.
When the Trids tried to cross the bridge, the troll climbed up and kicked the Trids all the way back to their homes.
The Trids decided to take the day off in hopes that the troll would go away, but the next morning the troll once again climbed up onto the bridge and kicked them back to their homes.
In desperation, the Trids decided to ask their Rabbi for help.
So the next morning the Rabbi walked across the bridge several times but never saw the troll.
He went home believing the troll had indeed moved on.
When the Trids tried to cross the bridge afterward, the troll climbed up again and kicked the Trids back home.
The Rabbi returned to the bridge and called out for the troll.
When the troll appeared, the Rabbi asked why he was allowed to cross the bridge but not the Trids.

The troll replied, "Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids."

You know you love it!


Friday, April 13, 2007

Thank you!

Hi all~ I wanted to say thanks for your comments on the lyrics I posted. It was nice to learn to see things a different way. I wonder if any of you would like to post your favorite lyrics for us to see and share. Hmmm.

Anyway- See ya next post!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Fools, said I, you do not know Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you.
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell and echoed in the wells of silence


What do these words mean to you?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Go light your candle

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn,
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, go light your world.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Things that make you go hmmmmm

So this past weekend we logged more than 24 hours in the van. So let's do the math:

3 hyperactive preteens plus,
1 teenage exchange student from Taiwan plus,
2 emotionally needy shi tzu's, plus
2 tired and cranky parents...

divided by 700 some odd cubic feet


Me focusing my mind anywhere else in the universe I could. And that brings me to today's topic.

As I was listening to many songs over the course of the trip I realized how much lyrics have played a part in my philosophical life. I wondered if I took the lyrics out of context and posted them here what you, the lovely reader, would think.

Here is the first one... I am looking forward to your thoughts


Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead...
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken...
Don’t close your eyes, This is your life and today is all you’ve got now; and today is all you’ll ever have.

Don’t close your eyes, This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be, when the world was younger and you had everything to lose?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The better half

I, John, have been spending perhaps too much time wondering what kind of impression I have on people. How does the passer-by see me; how do my co-workers see me; how does my family see me; how do the people at church see me?

Does that matter? I think it does. Not in the sense that I will strive to become what 'they' like, but more in line with "Do they see me as I wish to be seen?"

I think there are two halves to me.

One half is the person I want to be.
One half is the person others see me as.

So as I think, I contemplate what is within my control. More than I might like. It is easy to blame others for their "incorrect" perceptions of me, but a much more noble task to act in such a way that they have "no other choice" but to see me the way I want to be seen.

As I read that sentence I hope it makes sense.

The church service today was about compassion. Compassion being a combination of two halves- a soft heart and a willing hand.

I would like to think I have both, but really I have a willing hand with a dense heart.

As a Christian it is my chosen lifestyle to follow Jesus' example- so was he compassionate? More than anything else.

Jesus never passed up an opportunity to help. When his disciples encouraged him to escape the crowd, Jesus chose to serve them. When the masses pushed past one downtrodden, Jesus sought out the individual and served him. Jesus always put others before himself. Yep- every time. If there are any reading this that wonder what Christianity is- please don't loook at me because I am a failure.

Look at Jesus. If you look with sincerity you will find that he turned away from power and glory. He served the lepers, criminals, poor, prostitutes, etc. with all he had. He treated everyone with respect regardless of religion, race, gender. (go ahead- challenge me).

When I think of my two halves, I like to think I am a lot like Jesus- but I must admit that I doubt others see me that way.

I have a lot of work to do.

See ya along the way.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Chinese New Year, Pre-School, and the Paperchase


I know I'm a little late since Chinese New Year was actually over a week ago, and now officially over, but things have been so hectic here that I'm just now getting around to updating.

We celebrated the beginning of the Year of the Pig with our family, the Matterns, and the Gupta's. We ate Chinese food for lunch (of course), and the kids got some little treats including red envelopes with 'lucky money' inside. We're enjoying learning about western culture and having a lot of fun with it!! I hope you enjoy the pics!!
Also on Friday of last week, I registered Sam for Pre-School!!! I was so giddy with excitement!! He'll be going three mornings a week. Our hope is that he'll enjoy the time spent with other kids his age (since that is what he is used to) and that he'll catch on with his language skills. We are so excited to bring him home!!!
Lastly, the Fed-Ex man dropped off the last piece of paperwork for our dossier yesterday!!! I went and made copies (101 sheets) and overnighted our completed dossier to our agency!!! The Paper-Chase is complete!! What a relief!! Our agency will give it one more authentication, which should take about a week, then our dossier will head to China!! Check out our China Adoption Blog to read more about it.
Have a great day!!!! <>< ~K

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Finally a post you can laugh with

I thought about posting a poignant & profound quip to help you think about life's quandries, but I thought that perhaps you wanted to see what makes me laugh. And religion makes me laugh.

Leave a post- you are guaranteed a reply!


Friday, January 19, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Well, it finally happened; it snowed! I was going to take pictures, but the snow disappeared faster than a marble rye in a Jewish bakery.

The good news is that Tony has never seen snow before (remember he is from Taiwan) so he was excited. He was so excited, in fact, that when school was cancelled he spent the whole day in the playroom playing Xbox 360.

Now that's my kind of snow day!


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A tough lesson indeed

God caused me to come upon this writing and because of the impact it has caused me I feel compelled to share it with any who take the time to read it. The following is a letter penned by Elbert Hubbard in 1902:

IF ALL THE LETTERS, messages and speeches of Lincoln were destroyed, except that one letter to Hooker, we should have a good index to the heart of the Rail-Splitter.

In this letter we see that Lincoln ruled his own spirit; and we also behold the fact that he could rule others. The letter shows frankness, kindliness, wit, tact, wise diplomacy and infinite patience.

Hooker had harshly and unjustly criticized Lincoln, his Commander-in-Chief, and he had embarrassed Burnside, his ranking officer. But Lincoln waives all this in deference to the virtues that he believes Hooker possesses, and promotes him to succeed Burnside. In other words, the man who had been wronged promotes the man who had wronged him, over the head of a man whom the promotee had wronged, and for whom the promoter had a warm, personal friendship.

But all personal considerations were sunk in view of the end desired. Yet is was necessary that the man promoted should know the truth, and Lincoln told it to him in a way that did not humiliate nor fire to foolish anger; but which certainly prevented the attack of cerebral elephantiasis to which Hooker was liable.

Perhaps we had better give the letter entire, and so here it is:

Executive Mansion,
Washington, January 26, 1863

Major-General Hooker:

General: I have placed you at the head of the Army of the Potomac. Of course, I have done this upon what appear to me to be sufficient reasons, and yet I think it is best for you to know that there are some things in regard to which I am not quite satisfied with you.

I believe you to be a brave and skillful soldier, which, of course, I like.

I also believe you do not mix politics with your profession, in which you are right.

You have confidence in yourself, which is a valuable if not an indispensable quality.

You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does good rather than harm, but I think that during General Burnside's command of the army you have taken counsel of your ambition, and thwarted him as much as you could, in which you did a great wrong to the country, and to a most meritorious and honorable brother officer.

I have heard, in such a way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the army and the government needed a dictator. Of course, it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain successes can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship. The government will support you to the utmost of its ability, which is neither more nor less than it has done and will do for all commanders. I much fear that the spirit you have aided to infuse into the army, of criticizing their commander and withholding confidence from him, will now turn upon you. I shall assist you as far as I can to put it down. Neither you nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good out of an army while such a spirit prevails in it. And now, beware of rashness; beware of rashness, but with energy and sleepless vigilance go forward and give us victories.

Yours, very truly,


One point in this letter is especially worth our consideration, for it suggests a condition that springs up like deadly nightshade from a poisonous soil. I refer to the habit of sneering, carping, grumbling at and criticizing those who are above us.

The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified and misunderstood. This is a part of the penalty for greatness, and every great man understands it; and understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness. The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure contumely without resentment. Lincoln did not resent criticism; he knew that every life must be its own excuse for being, but look how he calls Hooker's attention to the fact that the dissension Hooker has sown is going to return and plague him! "Neither you nor Napoleon, were he alive, could get any good out of an army while such a spirit prevails in it." Hooker's fault falls on Hooker—others suffer, but Hooker suffers most of all.

Not long ago I met a Yale student, home on a vacation. I am sure he did not represent the true Yale spirit, for he was full of criticism and bitterness toward the institution. President Hadley came in for his share, and I was supplied items, facts, data, with times and places, for a "peach of a roast."

Very soon I saw the trouble was not with Yale, the trouble was with the young man. He had mentally dwelt on some trivial slights until he had got so out of harmony with the institution that he had lost the power to derive any benefit from it. Yale is not a perfect institution—a fact, I suppose, that President Hadley and most Yale men are quite willing to admit; but Yale does supply certain advantages and it depends upon the students whether they will avail themselves of these advantages or not.

If you are a student in a college, seize upon the good that is there. You get good by giving it. You gain by giving—so give sympathy and cheerful loyalty to the institution. Be proud of it. Stand by your teachers—they are doing the best they can. If the place is faulty, make it a better place by an example of cheerfully doing your work every day the best you can. Mind your own business.

If the concern where you are employed is all wrong, and the Old Man a curmudgeon, it may be well for you to go to the Old Man and confidentially, quietly and kindly tell him that he a curmudgeon. Explain to him that his policy is absurd and preposterous. Then show him how to reform his ways, and you might offer to take charge of the concern and cleanse it of its secret faults.

Do this, or if for any reason you should prefer not, then take your choice of these: Get Out, or Get in Line. You have got to do one or the other—now make your choice.

If you work for a man, in heaven's name work for him!

If he pays you wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him—speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him and stand by the institution he represents.

I think if I worked for a man I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of the time, and the rest of the time work against him. I would give an undivided service or none.

If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

If you must vilify, condemn and eternally disparage, why, resign your position and, when you are outside, damn to your heart's content. But, I pray you, so long as you are a part of an institution, do not condemn it. Not that you will injure the institution—not that—but when you disparage the concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself.

More then that, you are loosening the tendrils that hold you to the institution, and the first high wind that comes along, you will be up-rooted and blown away in the blizzard's track—and probably you will never know why. The letter only says, "Times are dull and we regret there is not enough work," et cetera…

Everywhere you find those out-of-a-job fellows. Talk with them and you will find that they are full of railing, bitterness and condemnation. That was the trouble—through a spirit of fault-finding they got themselves swung around so they blocked the channel, and had to be dynamited. They are out of harmony with the concern, and no longer being a help they had to be removed. Every employer is constantly looking for people who can help him; naturally he is on the outlook among his employees for those who do not help, and everything and everybody that is a hindrance has to go. This is the law of trade—do not find fault with it; it is founded on Nature. The reward is only for the man that helps, and in order to help you must have sympathy.

You can not help the Old Man so long as you are explaining in undertone and whisper, by gesture and suggestion, by thought and mental attitude, that he is a curmudgeon and his system dead wrong. You are not necessarily menacing him by stirring up discontent and warming envy into strife, but you are doing this: You are getting yourself upon a well greased chute that will give you a quick ride down and out.

When you say to other employees that the Old Man is a curmudgeon, you reveal the fact that you are one; and when you tell that the policy of the institution is "rotten," you surely show that yours is.

Hooker got his promotion even in spite of his failings: but the chances are that your employer does not have the love that Lincoln had—the love that suffereth long and is kind. But even Lincoln could not protect Hooker forever. Hooker failed to do the work, and Lincoln had to try some one else. So there came a time when Hooker was superseded by a Silent Man, who criticized no one, railed at nobody—not even the enemy. And this Silent Man, who ruled his own spirit, took the cities. He minded his own business, and did the work that no man ever can do unless he gives absolute loyalty, perfect confidence and untiring devotion.

Let us mind our own business, and work for self by working for the good of all.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's been a while...

Kirsten and I love our children so much that we often forsake our own desires to the needs of our lovely offspring. :^)

I am pleased to report that Kirsten and I forced ourselves to go out to dinner- just the two of us! It was great, and I had all but forgotten how nice it is to spend time with the best woman in the world.

We went to Amalfi's (the best Italian restaurant in Kernersville) and we found so much to talk about other than parenting.

I love my wife and was glad to spend some time with her.

I can't wait until next year!