Tuesday, November 29, 2011

O Tannenbaum

When I was a kid, we used to go up the mountain to cut down our tree.

Life in Nebraska is a bit different. We head out some county roads and go to a tree farm out of Ashland. No (reasonably priced) Douglas Firs out here.

A white pine will have to do.

I don't think I could ever go with artificial. They just don't smell right.

I think this may be the first year she got to put the angel on top.
Dan let me break from tradition and do a tree entirely in red and white. Thanks, Dan!

Gretna Singing Christmas Tree

The 2011 Singing Christmas Tree is in the books! Dayna did a great job, hanging in there quite well with the bigger kids!
Dan ran sound and lights, Alaina accompanied, and Dayna sang.

With my partners in crime: Holly Campbell, Kris Perry, and Carmen Campbell

A tree made of children's voices!

Family Tree of Thanksgiving 2011

This year's Family Tree of Thanksgiving. Our priorities may not reflect in the right order, but we are learning to be thankful for everything.

Could She Be Any Cuter?

I mean, really. The gaps in her teeth, the sporty denim jacket, the ladybug corduroy jumper...
...and pink and brown cowboy boots.
I don't they they come much cuter than this!

Orphan Sunday Pictures

We had quite the children's choir...unpredictable...making a joyful noise! It was good to see so many families touched by adoption. Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All I Ever Have to Be

An old Amy Grant song is speaking to me tonight. What a great reminder that I am who God made me to be...and while I'm a work in progress, any attempts to be anyone other than who God made goes directly against His creation of what He considers to be a masterpiece.

When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head,
And the thoughtful words of health and hope
Have all been nicely said.

But I'm still hurting,
Wondering if I'll ever be
The one I think I am.

I think I am.

Then you gently re-remind me
That you've made me from the first,
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst.

And I realize the good in me,
Is only there because of who you are.

Who you are...

And all I ever have to be
Is what you've made me.
Any more or less would be a step
Out of your plan.

As you daily recreate me,
Help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do
What I can find.

And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be
Is what you've made me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Today's blog is brought to you by our guest blogger, Dan.

Dayna had a minor procedure at Boystown Hospital on Monday that required her to be put under general anesthesia for about 30 minutes.

The anesthesiologist has the ability to make the gas smell like certain tasty scents. So when he entered the room, he asked her if she wanted grape, strawberry or bubblegum.

Dayna replied, "Do you have bacon?"

Being good with kids, the Doctor replied, "Not...anymore. We got rid of that when we
discontinued Macaroni and Cheese. We also got rid of tuna because no one ever requested it."

She settled for bubblegum.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this post are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Alaina. No pig has been killed or otherwise harmed in the posting of this blog entry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Semper Fi 2011

In honor of the Marine Corps birthday, Dayna had a song for her Papa today.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday 2011

Today was Orphan Sunday. This is the third year we've observed Orphan Sunday and the first year we've had a significant portion of the service set aside. Today, we had a family interviewed about their adoption experience, as well as a children's choir of kiddos from around the world (and their siblings, friends, cousins...) singing some poignant (well, that was the intention, anyway) songs about God's love for children.

So...the sound system was off, and the monitors gave screeching feedback, and sweet Levi belted out every fourth word into the microphone; another child kept falling across the stage in a perfect comedy act.

Don't know how well the message came off, but the children who were singing "I Am not Forgotten" won't be forgotten anytime soon!

Enjoy the video...a few of the faces from our church touched by adoption. The song is "One Less" by Matthew West.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Running on Empty

Pretty much where I'm living these days.