Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

I have mentioned before that I have spent many summers and a few cold January's in Romania ministering to children living in orphanages. I have grown to love these children very much and am very sad that I have not been able to go back in recent years. I just found these videos of 2 of the summers we were there. A bunch of memories came flooding back that warmed my heart and filled my eyes with tears when I saw the faces of the children who are now 5 years older. I ask that if you watch these short videos that you would pray for the children you see. It is not necessary to know their names for to list them would be many, God knows their names and knows who you are praying for. Please pray that they would come to know Jesus and that God write their names on His palm. Tabara Buckner 2002 - Lapusna, Romania video

Tabara Buckner 2003 - Lapusna, Romania (at the end of this video we are opening a new group home for 10 of the children. The monies to initially open this home which supplied all the furniture and large appliances was donated by Wedgwood Baptist Church. What a surprise these 10 children had when they went to their new HOME instead of an orphanage!!!)


"most of these children have heard of Jesus and His love for them, but they have never experienced it...that is what we are called to do, show them Christs love through our loving them, IT IS THAT SIMPLE!"

nine days to go

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The birthday that almost wasn't


I am not one of those people that does not like to tell people my age, I just do not like a big fuss about my birthday. I almost got away with it this year. 3 days and counting to my birthday and not a word...YEAH! But then my sweet friends; Elissa, Patti, Sonia, Edith, Rachel, and Cathy hoodwinked me and threw me a surprise birthday lunch. They had me so clueless that I was the one calling and reminding everyone of our weekly lunch without knowing that it was already set. Well, with Madeline at the lunch the cat was out of the bag. Madeline proceeded to tell literally everyone and then began to plot with Daddy. Saturday morning I got breakfast in bed (my birthday isn't until Monday). They would whisper right in front of me about what they were going to do and then run to the store, lock themselves away in her room as they made gifts for me. Tonight, Sunday...still one day before my birthday, Madeline comes out from her room with a poster and gift bag, she has a very hard time with secrets as does every 5 year old, about ready to burst with joy and excitement. She loves rainbows and her present to me reflects that. In the bag is a pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon shirt. Kelly says when she saw it she insisted on getting mama the rainbow shirt. I love it! Even my dad and sister surprised me. This weekend I am reminded that I have been blessed with family and friends who do so much for me. I am thankful for them and even though I would have been totally content with my birthday slipping by without anyone noticing, I am very touched that they all took notice and celebrated with me. THANK YOU ALL...I LOVE YOU!

Monday, August 18, 2008

"www.chinesetalking.com"

Madeline is ready to be a big sister. I know I have said this before but I am reminded of it constantly by things that she says and does. Today, she was spending a lot of time in her room without making much noise. Being curious about a quiet child in another room, I asked her what she was doing and she replied. "I am practicing being a big sister and cleaning my room because I will have to clean Rebekah's room." I cannot ask for more. Tonight she is enjoying her 2nd dinner with daddy, (he came home after we ate and she did not want him to eat alone so she had another dinner), and she was telling him that he needs to go to school to learn how to talk Chinese to Rebekah. Well, I was working on the computer and she exclaimed, "Mama you need to go www.chinesetalking.com for daddy to learn chinese." It is not a real website but it was interesting to me that she knew how to say a web address correctly.

rain, rain, glorious rain

We are finally getting RAIN in Fort Worth. So far we have 1.20 inches of rain today. What is better, our mid August temperature is is 74, WOW! We are expected to get rain throughout tonight and tomorrow. We have had light rain showers since Thursday last week but nothing significant. Our grass is green now and I had nothing to do with it. OH BEAUTIFUL RAIN.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

GO ROMANIA!!!

Just finished watching the Olympic women's marathon holding my breath and waiting to jump up and down...Its a GOLD for Romania. What a race...2:26:44! Congratulations Constantina Tomescu Dita. On a side note, she is the oldest female at 38 to win Olympic Gold in the Marathon

Thursday, August 14, 2008

against my better judgement

Hot days can do strange things to your judgement.
Madeline: "Mommy, can me and my friend get in the dog pool and play with the hose?"
Mommy: "Sure, why not!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

there and back again

YIPEEEE! We got our American Consulate appointment yesterday afternoon. We are heading to China September 7th - GOTCHA DAY will be September 11th (a good thing to remember on that day). Please begin praying now for our Rebekah Wei and her transition to us. Pray that GOTCHA DAY is not too traumatic for her and that she bonds quickly with us.

We purchased our international air travel tickets yesterday as well. Our initial plan to fly out of Los Angeles was scrapped and we are now taking the northern route through Minneapolis with a stop in Tokyo, Japan. Our trip is longer than initially expected and we have also added 2 days on the front and back of the trip to break up the hours spent in the air and on layovers. We learned, though, that the Minneapolis airport has a ticket price penalty if your layover is longer than 24 hours (oddly enough, it seems they do not want you staying in their city spending $$). SO our overnight stays in Minneapolis, going and coming, will be 3 hours shy of 24.

You may notice the writing on the map is upside down and backwards. Well, the only map I could find showing the route our plane would take, over the North Atlantic Ocean was an upside down map. It actually is an excellent map for dyslexics like me.

GOLD FOR GEORGIA / BRONZE FOR USA


Well, the alert I set up from NBC to wake me @ 5am for the Women's 70kg & Men's 90kg Judo Finals did not come so I slept through them. This was probably a good thing consisdering I got to sleep about 3:30am after watching the preliminary rounds. congratulations to Rhonda Rousey of the USA winning the BRONZE and who brought home America's 1st olympic medal in Judo. A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS goes to Irakli Tsirekidze of Georgia who smashed the Russian Ivan Pershin in the 1st round of the finals to bring home the gold. I was able to watch all the match replays and was very excited for all.

a VERY SAD wednesday morning


I watched my first Olympic Judo tournament tonight (actually this morning @ 12:30) and did not have a clue about what was going on but I am a fan now. I wish I had better news but my brother-in-law, Brian Olson lost in the first round by 1 point to Diego Rosati from Argentina (Congratulations to Diego) in the golden score (sudden death) round on a penalty. To be honest, I did not see the penalty, but then again remember, I know absolutely nothing about Judo, I am learning as I go (thank goodness for Google). I am waiting to see if Brian will get to the Repechage Round to compete for the Bronze. For that to happen Diego Rosati will have to get into the finals. But Diego is going up against the Russian Ivan Pershin who won his first round match by ippon. I do not think Diego will get past Pershin though, he looks mean! By the way, I just learned a Repachage Round is, in Judo single elimination brackets are used to determine the two athletes who will compete in the final match for 1st and 2nd place. The repechage bracket is built by selecting all the athletes who were knocked out by a finalist and building brackets to determine third place. Well it is now official, Brian will not compete for the Bronze. Ivan Pershin not only defeated Diego Rosati by ippon but also his next competitor, Andrei Kazusenok of Belarus, man this guy is a tough, that is 3 wins by ippon. I will now be cheering on Irakli Tsirekidze of Georgia to beat the Russian Ivan Pershin in the 1st round of the finals - GO GEORGIA!!! Well Diego Rosati redeemed himself from that horrible 2nd round performance against Pershin with a win by ippon in his 1st Repechage match only to loose to Patrick Trezise of South Africa in his 2nd repechage match. Well it is 2:52am and the prelims & semi-finals have just ended. I am now officially a Judo fan. Good Luck to Rhonda Rousey of the USA as she competes for the Bronze. I will try to be up at 5am to watch the Finals but don't bet on it. Congratulation to the winners so far. Good night, or should I say good morning?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tiolets!

I was watching the Olympic coverage tonight and was intrigued by a story on the "largeness" of China. By that, how China has been building BIG over the last couple of years, from their maglev train that can travel to speeds up to 300+ mph in Shanghai, to the new CCTV headquarters in Beijing that appears to be 2 building coming together and dubbed the "pants" building, to the Yangtze's Three Gorges Dam. I would love to see all those places, however, we will not be in those areas to see those spectacular sites. SO one of the places we are going to see is the Public Bathroom in Chongqing, China where we will be. It is not only famous because of how big it is, but also for its interesting comodes and sinks.

SPECTACULAR!!!

I have watched this over and over and I still jump up and cheer! WATCH RACE

Sunday, August 10, 2008

OH MY WORD!!!


I am sure glad that Madeline sleeps through anything, because tonight Kelly and I were watching the mens 4 x 100 relay in swimming with the United States going up against a very confident French team. If you saw it ya'll were probablly just like Kelly and I, jumping up and down and shouting GO! GO!! GO!!! when the anchor of the team Jason Lezak stormed back in the last 50 meters to win by 8 100ths of a second SMASHING the current world record by 4 seconds. I would like to say it was not close but even I could not tell who touched the wall first in slow motion, it was very close.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Watch Olympic Events Live Online

AH HA! I finally found the link to watch olympic events online. NBC does not have the most user friendliest website. You will have to download a Microsoft Video Player but if you ask me it is well worth it. I am currently watching Swimming on TV and Weightlifting online. TOO COOL. Anyhow, here is the link WATCH LIVE OLYMPIC EVENTS ONLINE. I have also requested to be alerted for specific events by text messaging & email, hope that works. EHJOY!

"Dumnezeu, multimesc pentru creat..."

I am truly amazed by the strength of children, whether that strength be physical, emotional, or spiritual. This was brought back to me in force during the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics when the 9 year-old boy Lin Hao was featured. Lin Hao was a victum of the May 12 earthquake near Chengdu, China. He was trapped in one of the collapsed schools. He was able to escape but instead of going for help he became the help and rescued 2 of his classmates. When he was asked why he did this, his response was, "I'm the hall monitor, it is my job" After hearing this my mind was brought back to a little girl in Romania named Ana Maria (we affectionately called her Poop-pah). It was a cold January morning in 2003 and I was on a mission trip with Buckner Orphan Care International handing out shoes with their Shoes For Orphaned Souls drive. We were in Targu Mures, Romania at the "Big Blue Orphanage." I had been to this orphanage several times before and participated in camps for the children living there. I met Ana Maria in 2000 at one of those camps, when she was about 7 years old. I am not too clear on her story but I know she had lived at the orphanage most if not all of her life. She was a tiny little girl and always had her head shaved, but she had a smile that was brilliant and when she smiled her eyes glowed with joy. She was about 10 years-old during our 2003 mission trip. We were at the orphanage finishing up our story time to a group of children and were about ready to pray and thank God for His love and provision, when Ana Maria spoke up and said, "After you pray, I will pray!" So after we prayed Ana Maria prayed, "Dumnezeu, multimesc pentru creat..." When she had finished one of the translators, Cristina, put her hand on her heart, let out a breath, and said "do you know what she said?" Which I replied "NO" (becasue my Romanian is a bits and pieces sort of understanding)so Cristina told me her prayer, Ana Maria prayed,
"thank you God for creating me, thank you God for saving me, and thank you God for making all my days happy."
I was amazed that Ana Maria had nothing (everything was shared in the orphanage), she had no parents yet she was able to thank God for creating her, saving her, and making all her days happy. I recall the verse John 14:18 - "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." Ana Maria has not been forgotten...She has a family with God as her Father. I was humbled and learned something from a 10 year-old.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Go World!!

The Olympics have begun - YEAH!! I can officially dust off my Olympic Junkie t-shirt. I am hoping the coverage on NBC will be better this year than in past. A couple of highlights for me was the 2008 drummers that opened the opening ceremonies. WOW! I am about half way through the parade of nations and I am looking forward to seeing two specific people when the USA comes in. First, the US citizen who is carrying the American Flag is Lopez Lomong a naturalized citizen from Sudan who was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He is running in the 1500 meter. The second person I will be looking for in the US team is my brother-in-law Brian Olson. He is competing in his 4th Olympic Games in Judo. He is in the 90kg weight class and, as near as I can figure out, his first match is Wednesday August 13th. He will be matched up with Rosati Diego from Argentina. GO BRIAN!!! He has never metaled in the Olympics and came in 7th in the 2000 games. What is amazing about his participation in the 2008 Olympics is he retired after the 2004 games. He qualified for these Olympics after being idle from competition for 3 years. He only had 1 year to train and prepare for the Olympic Trials. His team mates believed he deserved to be Captain of the Judo Olympic Team.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

UNBEYING

Madeline came out to me tonight after I had tucked her ino bed and told me, "I'm sorry for unbeying you today" Translation, unbeying = disobeying

Edouard?

Tropical Storm Edouard just might make it to North Texas. Tonight as I was heading to the store, and backing out of the garage PLOP PLOP PLOP came raining down on my car. IT WAS RAINING - and much to my shock because it was as bright and sunny as it could be. I never knew it could rain without clouds (well there were clouds but not like rain clouds or anything just patchy big puffy white things) BIG drops of rain fell with a splat splat splat! I was joyous because we have been having very hot dry weather lately (107 on Sunday and Monday and a totaly of 12 100+ days in a row). The humidity rose to a stifling level but the temperature fell, thank goodness because our AC has been working overtime lately. It did not rain for long but what we got was very nice and we are hoping for more. It also caused 2 beautiful and vivid rainbows. COME ON EDUARDO, COME TO NORTH TEXAS

SICHUAN PROVINCE AFTERSHOCKS

I was awakened this morning to learn that another earthquake had hit the Sichuan Province in China. The quake was another aftershock in a series of aftershocks that have hit the region since the devastating 7.9 earthquake on May 12th. This latest aftershocks epicenter was 30 miles northwest of Guangyuan which is near the northern border of Sichuan. XiuShan, were our daughter Rebekah Wei is living, is about 362 miles southeast from this latest 6.1 aftershock (about the same distance during the May 12th quake) and should not have had any damage, though they may have felt it. With the news of this new quake I am reminded that the people of Chengdu, which was 50 miles WNW from the epicenter, and surrounding areas are still in need of our prayers. The devastation in that area is great and many people who survived were left with little to nothing.

Kelly, Madeline, and I will travel to Chongqing China to be united with Rebekah Wei. Chongqing is approximately 215 miles ESE from the epicenter of the earthquake and aftershocks. We ask that you pray for us and our travel safety. We also, and most importantly, ask you to pray for the people of the earthquake region. I am at a loss to know how to pray because I have never experienced the devastation or loss the Sichuan people have just experienced. But I ask you to pray as you are lead for comfort, peace, and healing both physical and emotional.

These pictures are from the May 12 earthquake

Monday, August 4, 2008

CHINESE TRAVEL APPROVAL ARRIVED TODAY!!

Yippeeee! We have received our approval to travel to China today. You may be asking, "what does that mean?" Well it basically means we have cleared one of 2 major hurdles. We are still waiting on the American Consulate appointment and after we receive that then we will know when we travel. We are still hoping that we will leave sometime in mid to late August so Madeline will not miss her whole first 2 weeks of school but we just do not know. Please pray that the American Consulate can schedule our appointments SOON. Thank you all

No travel word yet

I love this picture of a baby piggy smelling a flower. Rebekah Wei was born in the year of the pig and we have chosen baby piggy's as a theme for decorating her room. We are still waiting on our travel approval from China. We are not all too worried about the time it is taking to receive them becasue our agency said it could take up to 3 weeks. They believe that they could hear something this week. Once we get our travel approval we can make our American Consulate appointment and we should be off with in 2 weeks. A good estimate of a departure date would be the last week in August.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

there is something in the air...


FOOTBALL SEASON IS ALMOST HERE. GO 49ERS!!!!