Monday, May 18, 2015

All Sorts of Waters - Wild Beach Pictures

We went to the beach yesterday and that is what inspired me to write about all the different kinds of waters I've been to. I took pictures too so I'll be working them in throughout the text even though its not directly related.


I've had a pretty eclectic experience when it comes to growing up with different kinds of waters. Our family has always been active and my parents made a point to take us as many places as they could.



One of those places was the mountains. Mom and Dad would take the four of us kids (this was long before Jubal was born) on weekend camping trips so often that we practically didn't have time to put our sleeping bags away. We lived in South Carolina at the time so went to the Smokey Mountains, which is at the tail end of the Blue Ridge Mountain range. The drive was part of the adventure and I remember being able to recognize the roads because we went that way so often. Up there in the clouds we would go on hiking trips or playing in the freezing cold mountain streams, sliding down slippery rocks or standing underneath pounding waterfalls and swimming in the pools formed below them.

When we weren't in the mountains we would go to the lake. There was a lake called Lake Hartwell (we called it Lake Cartwheel) that we frequented. Once we had a bonfire there with some friends and Uncle Mike melted the souls of his shoes and my friend Emily swallowed a fish and got sick. Someone else got their fishing line stuck in a tree. Once time I went walking along the red clay shore a long ways from the group an found an old log and some dog poop. Other lakes we visited were Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee which were much bigger and colder. I remember some kind of party at one of these big lakes. We went boating and water skiing and I almost lost my goggles. Another time I went with my friend for her birthday to Lake Keowee. There was a low rock cliff face, probably about thirty feet, and at the foot of the cliff a shallow shelf of rock just beneath the water . At the top of the cliff blue lines were painted on the rock and if you ran and jumped far enough out you would miss the rocks below and land safely in the icy cold water. I was there with my friend and her brother and their dad said he would give us a dollar if we would jumped off. Of course a dollar was a substantial sum of money in my mind back then so quick as a wink I ran through the blue lines and launched myself into the air. The fall was thrilling and folks cheered me when they saw my head bob up from the lake below. My friend and her brother were too scared and eventually their Dad said he would give them five dollars so they jumped too. I was mad at my friends because they got more money than me.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Being an Older Adoptive Sibling

Hello friends, it has been a while since I've posted on here.

Today I have something important to talk about. Although I can't share everything here online I must make you aware of the fact that we are no longer adopting the boys. Many things have contributed to this decision on my parents part and it is not my place to explain everything. Even so, everything I said before about loving being a big sister, about how I could see God leading us to these boys, all of that still applies. The time we had with them was hard but still a blessing. Maybe more for them than us, but I don't regret that time at all.

Having read different blogs and forums, I've noticed that people are always saying that nobody really talks about adoption that much. I wouldn't have known since all of these places were talking about it, but maybe I just stumbled upon the few rare gems. Since there is a need for more discussion on the subject I would like to share with y'all my story as an older sister in a local American adoption. I hope some of you other adoptive older siblings will find this story and get some encouragement out of it.

Easter 2015
We're just missing our older brother Zachary!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Floral Shorts and Muscadines Remind Me of His Mercy

A while back my mom took my sister and I shopping at a Spring sale Old Navy was having. Styles are cycling back around and what was once popular when my Mom was a girl is once again becoming the latest trend. Many of the prints and colors were familiar to me. Mostly I remember the shoes from Mom's closet but I guess when we were younger we also had some old hand me downs, mostly dresses. I got a pair of navy blue shorts with pink and blue flowers plastered onto it. I like them a lot but whenever I look at them I cant help but remember the hideous dresses Mom used to make me wear when I was little. They had flower print just like my shorts and one had big puffed sleeves and soft gathers at the hem so my dress looked like that one sleepy cartoon dog - Droopy is it? - Anyways, I don't know why but I had so many floral print dresses and I hated them all. I swore I would never ever wear dark colored with medium sized contrasting flowers on top clothes... especially dresses. Now here I am wearing a pair of shorts that if they were a dress I would immediately throw into the donate pile. Go figure.


The other day my brother was listening to country music and one of the lines in the song is "sweeter than muscadine wine" How many of y'all know what a muscadine is? Well you won't have to wonder long because I'll tell you. They're summer. They are komorebi (the soft light that turns leaves into glowing fireflies). They're the gentle breeze that sneaks under the thick vines and cools a little girls legs but not her sweaty brow. She is almost completely out of sight under the thick growth, her waist and legs rest in the moist dirt as the rest of her strains reaching up and up, to the very center of the friendly vines where she plucks the very last fruit. She collapses and rests on her elbows that are digging into the soft earth and plops the muscadine into her mouth. She sucks on it and then pulls it out and carefully begins peeling off the skin to reveal the green inside. It matches the glowing leaves. Finally she eats it. Muscadines are the perfect day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cinderella

I know I talk a lot about the ways my life has gone wrong, and it may be easy to get the idea that my life was nothing but torture for me, but there were many many good times that I haven't written about yet. It's not that I don't want to its just that the scary parts stand out more than the times that I smiled I guess. Anyways, rest assured, there was a time when I was a very happy little girl and that time is not at all lost upon me.

In many ways I grew up with a normal American childhood. I learned to ride my bike, I was involved with sports from a young age, swimming, baseball, basketball etc. I shared a room with my sister and played Barbies, and of course watched cartoons in the mornings. I loved Mickey Mouse and his friends, and enjoyed watching other classics like the Pink Panther, Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Flintstone's, The Jetson's and Under Dog. Aside from cartoons we watched movies too. We watched old live action movies, CGI, claymations... but honestly, the ones I remember the most would have to be the Disney animations.

One movie Disney is famous for is Cinderella. I don't really know why since they didn't do a particularly good job, but you will have to admit, almost every little girl you will meet will have watched Disney's Cinderella. I of course watched that Cinderella movie too but you may be surprised to know that my fairy tale education did not stop with one multi-million dollar company's interpretation of said stories. Mom bought different versions of different fairytales and we watched them all. We had books too of course (like Grimm's) but I remember the movies the most. My absolute favorite fairytale movie was one live action Cinderella movie where the step sisters were hideous, cruel, pale red heads and Cinderella was a breathtakingly gorgeous black girl with a beautiful, vivid, dazzling blue dress. I remember watching that movie twice over in the same night one time! I loved it so much and I loved her. It's been years since I have watched that version of Cinderella. I have no idea who the actor was or what the name of the movie was. Even better, one time my parents took me to see a Cinderella play!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Flarp

Three months ago it was Christmas. Now, from this first sentence you may think that this story is going to have something to do with Christmas, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong, but you're not right either. This story in fact, is only tenuously connected to all the holiday cheer, presents, Christmas parties... So maybe I should choose a different opening sentence, but I've already made it this far so I am going to stick with it.

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                                                               "Lihya, that was a toot."

Three months ago we opened our larger than average stockings and were not surprised to find our traditional, crackers, cheese, and sausage in addition to about a quart of peanut butter cups at the the toe. I was however, surprised and delighted to find a small cylinder of gooey pink Flarp. I was sent into a fit of laughter and tears even began to squeeze out of my eyes. I couldn't contain myself. My face turned red from lack of air as I immediately opened up the little putty toy and began playing with it. I made such a spectacle of myself that my mother began laughing uncontrollably and the tears came squeezing out of her eyes too.

Why in the world would such a silly play thing, you may ask, invoke such an outrageous reaction? I don't rightly know but let me tell you a story about Flarp.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunday School: Job

Yesterday during Sunday School there was a lot to think about.

We are going through the book of Job so I knew there were going to be a lot of things that would hit me personally... but today I was just blown away on how seamlessly all of this fits into my own story.

The one thing that I remember the most, (I wish I took notes!) is the fact that even though Job did not reject God he was still not able to see God. Job desperately wanted to see his Lord but he just could not. If you have a background similar to mine you will right away understand the significance of this statement.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Wizard of Oz

NOTE: This was written several months ago. I think even before we met the boys.

When I was very young we were at some friend’s house. A movie about the Wizard of Oz was put in and we youngsters did not sit still and watch it. Everyone was very wiggly including me. I was at the most four years old. I was annoyed with the other children because I couldn’t hear what Dorothy was saying or the Lion or the Tin Man. I sat close to the television and pressed my ear against the speaker. I couldn’t see but at least I could hear. Eventually the travelers made it to the Emerald City. There were scary adventures and some happy times too, I don’t remember much about it. I do know though, that was the day I fell in love with the Land of Oz.
                Some years later a remake of the Wizard of Oz movie came out and it was very popular. McDonald's began including dolls of the characters in the happy meals. Every Wednesday on the way to piano lessons we would stop at a McDonald's that was right next to a green BP gas station. We didn’t normally buy happy meals but since Mom knew I liked the Wizard of Oz so much she bought me the happy meals and I collected the dolls. I got the Tin Man, Dorothy, a flying monkey, and Glinda the Good. I was disappointed that they stopped giving out the dolls before I could collect them all.