Friday, February 28, 2014

We've set a date.

So i've had the priviledge of traveling to India FOUR times in the last two and a half years. Each trip has been completely different. different people. different experiences. but the same beautiful children and staff of Asha House Home for children. The Hubbs was able to join me on this last trip, but all the while my four beautiful children have had to wave goodbye to their mama for days on end.

after this last trip everyone has been asking when i'm going back or when the next team is going. I basically haven't answered because i honestly didn't know. at this point i've taken 11 other people and it's time now to focus on my family.

my hope is that the folks i've taken will now take their own groups, or even just return on their own.

that doesn't mean i'll stop going. no way, no how, buddy.

all it means is that i couldn't plan another trip until i figured out when i could take my kids. the asha house kids have asked for them to come. the staff have asked for them to come. and quite frankly, they've been wanting and ready to go.

so a couple weeks ago i calculated what it would cost to get all their passports and visas, and the cost of flights and expenses for all of us...picked a time of year when the weather is a little bit more mild/manageable since they are young and the stress of travel, a different environment and different food will be challenge enough.

and... we've set the date.

March and April 2015.

The kids and I (and the hubbs for a few days) will go to India and spend about six weeks with our friends. ah, the beauty and freedom of homeschool.

the preparation process officially began yesterday as we stopped at the courthouse to get a copy of one of the kiddos birth certificate (for some reason we just never got hers).

1 step down. 50 more to go. (i'm guesstimating)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Peacocks Everywhere

The story goes...

went to a christmas party.
participated in a white elephant gift exchange.
had the peacock mug stolen from me.
there were many tears.

not really.
ok maybe just a few.

I found out where the mug came from, so a few weeks later I ventured to the wonderful world of TJ Maxx (I always feel like I'm on a fun scavenger hunt when I go there, always sure to find some remarkable little jewel in the middle of the slight chaos). The same exact mug wasn't there any more but what I did find was an entire line of peacock beautiful-ness. Mugs, plates, boxes, journals. I ended up creating a box of goodies for a friend because I could think of no better gift for someone than the stuff of such beauty. Of course nothing will ever really suffice to thank them for caring for our children while my husband and I were both in India over Christmas. but I can try.

anyways, I did snag myself a mug with a beautiful peacock on it.

then maybe a week or two later we decided to stop in again. I think I was contemplating buying a second beautiful mug. I drink a lot of tea. That's my excuse for my mug addiction.

and i found this journal/notebook.

i mean it was just, well, loook at it! (I know. its an illness.) and the paper inside was a beautiful blue. i mean, seriously?!

so it took me days to figure out what in the world i would even put in such a beautiful notebook. i mean, this is NOT a grocery store list kind of notebook. this is special. this is worth keeping around for a long long time.

then i knew there was only one purpose for this beauty.

prayer. it would be my prayer journal. i could envision it all... tears would be shed. there would be special moments, frustrating moments, confusing moments, exciting moments, vulnerable moments... between me and the creator of the universe and they would be recorded on these beautiful blue pages. the needs of others, family and friends who i can't live without, would be written in these pages as i make my feeble attempt to lay them before the throne of God. I would want these pages to be worn because I would have used it so much. i would want to see tear-stained {and maybe even a few tea-stained) pages. and i wouldn't mind a few random scribbles from the kids as well. i don't need a journal to pray, but i want a record. i would want to look back and see the Lord's hand at work through the years.

I've never had a prayer journal.
i dream big don't I?!

obviously it won't all be magical. this ain't disney folks. prayer isn't magic. prayer is dirty. and hard. and challenging. and beautiful all at the same time. (kinda like India) sometimes it's like trudging through the mud {have you ever actually walked through mud, your shoes get left behind, because the mud won't let you go. its rough. and a little scary.}sometimes' it's like resting in a grassy field ona sunny breezy day. i know days will come when i'll "forget" to reach for my beautiful journal. and then days will have passed and i'll have to look for it and will find it sitting under a pile of junk.

so that was a few weeks ago. it's taken me a few weeks to start it {mostly cause I'm an organizer and I like to plan}... mostly because I didn't know where to start. and finally last night I dove in. I started listing names and places and needs. it's not perfectly organized. it's not perfectly written. but it's me. it's what and who i love most on blue pages. and it's a start.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Name Game

So the fun began when I had to find a new address for this new blog and of course that means a new name. I was trying to think of a name that was creative but not too cheesy, something more general or universal since sometimes blogs are so focused on one thing that it's hard to branch out into something else... and I'm pretty much all over the place so I didn't want to restrict myself to just one thing.

I started to play around with my name and looked up the meaning again, which I've always known as "God is my Judge" or "arbiter"... well that's cool but not catchy and blog names usually need to be catchy. BUT! Good ol' Wikipedia also had this:
Dana or Danah, in Arabic, means "the most perfectly sized, valuable and beautiful pearl". This name is used mainly by Arabs of the Persian Gulf, due to their traditional pearl diving professions wherein they gave different type of pearls names.

Of course I thought that was pretty neat, plus pearls are cool! And did you know that the history of swimming goggles dates back to the 14th century where Persians were described as using polished tortoise shells when diving for pearls? well now you do. :) Then I was thinking of things I like and colors and such and of course I'm all about peacock's lately (I'll be getting a peacock tattoo on my arm soon, I'll post a picture of my sketch at the end of this post).

So I was playing around with the words "peacock" and "pearl" and discovered there are actual "peacock pearls", go figure!
"A peacock pearl describes one of the most valued and sought after colours of a type of saltwater pearl called the Tahitian pearl, which are cultured in French Polynesia in the black-lipped oyster Pinctada margaritifera." 
well. spiffy!

and thus was born "The Peacock Pearl" bloggerredo name (that's an old word I just made up, in case you missed it). :)