If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

My photo
I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday Snapshot- The Cowboy


I am pretty convinced after watching him try to rope a fake cow that he is not going to make his millions in the rodeo.



So we will keep working on his musical talent so he can be the guy whose concert is after the rodeo so the event people can try and convince us to come early for the cow roping.  Trust me, it took Taylor Swift to get me to my first rodeo 2 years ago.


There is another cool note on my boy from Friday.  He brought home his school work from the week and in it was a page titled, "If I Were President of a New Country".  The way he filled it out made us so proud.



First Question:  The rules would be?
Jack's Answer: "That you can not say anything untrue about God"



2nd question: Because...
Jack's Answer: "God died on the cross for us so we should do something for him"


That's my boy! I am crazy about that kid.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

I have been a bad blogger this week. I hurt my back or have a kidney infection and well sitting to blog hasn't felt so great. I promise to be better soon. In the meantime, here is a black and white for B&W Wednesday.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What If We Had Known

I don't know how familiar you are with the special needs adoption process.  Basically it starts with a lot of paperwork and one of those forms is a place where you specify what you are open to.   This can be a scary form because there are a lot of diagnosis that you may not know very much about and it can be unsettling to say yes or no to them.



Trent and I approached this form with prayer and a lot of internet research.  We felt like we had a pretty good picture of "what we could handle".


When Ruthie's referral came, she had a diagnosis of "both hands endoduction abnormality" and a few other things consistent with institutionalization.  There was no mention of the involvement of her elbows or shoulders. 

Early in the process, a story like this would have so frightened me.  However, I can easily say that I am  glad that I didn't know.  Trent and I talked the other day about how if we had approached this process on our understanding, we might have had a very different outcome and we would have missed out on one of the best gifts God has ever given us.


Adoption is a scary thing.  Yes there are a lot of unknowns but I can say that it was one of the greatest steps of faith I have ever taken and I have not regretted it for a single moment.  


I am glad I didn't know that her elbows and shoulders were also involved in her diagnosis because I am scared to think how that might have affected my decision to move forward and it brings me tears to think about what I would have missed out on.


Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Snapshot- The Rocket

Ni Hao Yall


"Full speed ahead" and "in the clouds" are 2 phrases we have used often to describe our middle child, Sam.  That is why we thought it was perfect when a friend suggested that parenting Sam is like putting fins on a rocket.


This child absolutely loves life and that may be the only thing we have in common (oh and we both don't eat vegetables)


I believe that every item in the house has a place.  Sam believes that the place for every item is wherever he set it down when he was last finished with it.


I think bedtime is a gift from God.  Sam thinks it is an interruption to his fun.



My first instinct in parenting Sam was to try and make him more like me, but that would be a mistake. Sam is a rocket.  I don't need to change his full speed ahead view of life.  I just need to put fins on it so he actually lands somewhere productive.



For example, my goals is not his behavior but his heart.  He may never put everything in its proper place, but he can learn to be a good steward of what God has given him.


I love my little rocket and I can't wait to see what journeys he has for us.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

Well at least I learned something...it think

The other day, Sam picked up one of those flowers that when you blow it, "stuff" goes everywhere (the name of which escapes me right now).  Anyway, I had my camera out and thought it would be great to take a picture of the action.  My first instinct was to increase the size of my aperture by decreasing my f to 2.5 that way my shutter speed would be fast and the "stuff" would be sharp.



Well that didn't turn out near like I had hoped.  Sam and the flower, whose name escapes me, were in focus but the "stuff" got lost in the bokeh of the picture.  In hindsight I am thinking that I should have decreased the size of my aperture so more would have been in focus.   Now for those of you who are thinking that you would be able to see it better in color, I included that picture too and it isn't much better.

I would love to try this again sometime but since I mow my grass and this flower, whose name escapes me, is a weed, I will have to do some looking around.  Any recommendations from you photography types on how I might take this better next time?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thoughts on Editing AND The Forbidden Gardens Part 3

When I was in the 6th grade, my friends and I discovered the world of make-up.  My theory early on was if a little make up made me look better than a lot of make up must make me look real good.  One day my sister came home from college and kindly addressed the paint on my face by telling me that my goal shouldn't be for people to say "that my make up looks good" but instead to say that "you are a pretty girl".   I heard my sister loud and clear and truthfully I wear very little make up now.

I remembered that the other day when I crossed a new line in photo editing.  I discovered photoshop about a year ago and was immediately drawn to all of the crazy things I could do with my pictures.  More recently I have discovered that my goal is not for people to say "I love your edits" but instead to say "wow that is a great picture".  I still do a little crazy stuff every now and then because I know that some clients like that but for the most part I am becoming a fan of subtle enhancements.  

Here are some more pictures from The Forbidden Gardens.  Funny thing is that these aren't edited at all.  I have been editing wedding photos all week and just didn't get to enhance these in time.







Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

I took these using a piece of black foam board for a background while having my neighbor strategically hold a piece of white foam board to reflect the light from the window onto Ruthie.
Happy Chinese New Year!






Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FG Part 2- Terra Cotta Warriors

The first part of the exhibit is within the walls of a Forbidden City like structure and then it moves outside to the Terra Cotta Warriors. There are 4000 miniature warriors that are a replica of what an emperor built to protect himself in the afterlife.

If it looks like she is falling into the palace here, it is because she is. :)


Jack the warrior.


Of course my children discovered things like pine cones, rocks, and a big hill to climb along the way.


Looks like one warrior lost the battle.  We didn't fall into this one, it was like this on the side of the exhibit.

My other warrior.

Not a warrior at all.  Just a beautiful princess.


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