Thursday, August 28, 2008


Eye ExamLeaving Awanas...and for the first time
embarrassed to have her picture taken.
Well, let's see...where to begin...

Monday was the first day I was sick, after a sleepover with 4 additional kids...and it wasn't the kids that did it. I think Love shared her lovely little bug with Momma. Tuesday, the first day of school, I was so sick Big Daddy had to take off work and take the big kids to school on the first day....the first time I ever missed it...durn it! Just couldn't do it. He took care of the littles too. Then yesterday, I was feeling better but as the day wore on I knew it wasn't over and was probably the most sick last night. Can I just say right now that I have a new respect for those of you who have been through chemo, radiation, or any illness that makes you so sick and nauseous. I know I only endured a small portion of what you all take on a regular basis. I can not even imagine...I will be praying even harder for you. I took the girls, along with my Mom, to the doctor for their 2 and 4 year check ups. They are both growing beautifully. Hope on the charts is 75% on height and weight....she is solid for sure. Her hearing, and eyes are great. Her chest is no longer "crackly" either. But the poor thing had to get 5 shots and the FluMist up her nose. I had no idea there were so many shots at this appointment. She probably terrified every child in the office...waiting room included with her wailing. She is not a Demi Moore/Ghost crier...she is the loudest screaming crier I have ever heard. The poor thing was still in pain in one of her legs and arm last night. Of course, she got a new Mulan DVD out of it...our VHS one bit the dust. Love is 25% weight, 50% height on the charts. She had an ear infection and possibly the bug 'tourista' from Mexico which is causing all the trouble. So, she put her on an antibiotic to take care of it all. She ended up with 3 shots and the Flu Mist up her nose too. I am glad my Mom was there I couldn't have managed so many shots is so traumatic. I mean, they have me hold down their arms and head and the nurse holds down their legs. No matter how many times you tell them it is for their own doesn't make a lick of sense at this age.

Later last night Hope attended her very first Awanas class. I was so nervous for her. A lot of the kids go to Sun. morning class together, and she hasn't yet...she was still too yucky this past Sun. to push her into it. She was ready, Bible in one hand .50 dues in the other. We met her teacher, Miss Amanda (who saved the day) and she was so sweet. I told her about Hope being a little insecure and not knowing anyone and she got her a "best buddy" for the night. Bless this little girl. She made all the difference in the world. Because the first night was jump houses and playground kick off party. So really no chair time. Without her "best buddy" she'd likely have stood off to the side or wanted to leave. Big Daddy helps with M.A.D. the youth ministry on Wed. nights so he checked in on her. I left after about 5 minutes and came back early. She did fabulous. Her exact words when I asked how it was were..."It was great. My teacher is sooo nice. I have a best buddy who played with me the whole time Mom. The boy in the green shirt pushed me really, really high on the swing too. He is so nice too. We singed a song. But, we didn't talk about Jesus" and then she took a breath. I told her even though she didn't speak about Him that He was there. That teacher shared Him with you, your best buddy shared Him with you and the nice boy in the green shirt shared Him with you. I am so happy she enjoyed her time at Awanas. I know she will get a lot out of it and it will be good to develop friendships with kiddos her age at church.

Wednesdays are a big deal around our house. We have a time battle. Both Faith and Hope's soccer teams practice on Wed. nights. But our kids go to church. Does anyone remember when you couldn't practice or have games on Wed. or Sun.? I miss those days. Needless to say, we choose to go to church. When I say we I mean we....we don't force Faith to go to MAD, she chooses it and Hope wants to attend Awanas over soccer too. I think what they learn on the soccer field is important if they want to continue to improve in the sport and do well as a team member. But I think what they learn about the Lord and their relationship with Him will help them in every aspect of field included.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School....

Hunter started 8th grade this year...his last year in Jr. High, blows my mind.
Faith started 7th grade this morning. She came home bummed about
her schedule and the lack of friends in her classes but was excited to start back
to school this morning. Hunter was not looking forward to the new school
year and came home all pumped up about his classes. Go figure.
When I look at this photo it just makes me sad to see them growing
up so fast right before my eyes. I still picture Hunter in cowboy boots, shorts and a hat and Faith in her little pigtails in dress up clothes. Seriously, where does the time go?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Can I just say....


10,000 ladies to see Beth Moore
Beth with Shaley and I...heehee
Aunt JuJu....I know, not the best photo, but look how excited she was just to walk into the sanctuary :0)
Aunt JuJu and I Friday night
WOW!!! This weekend's event was completely amazing. I got to hang out with the ladies from Leaning Tree, share some time with my sil where we could actually talk and both hear and speak back uninterrupted. I got to catch up with my girl Shaley too. And it was wonderful and sweet and fun and it was good.

But, the best part was when Beth brought that amazing Word from the Lord that I had been praying for. I am telling was good. Even the little side humor in between the main points led me deeper in my walk. I don't know if you could understand what an encouragement Mrs. Moore is to me...even as she shares the stories of her own life or that of her family or fellow is encouraging to me to hear that women are completely on fire for the all circumstances and fighting the good fight all the while. She spoke on inheritance, and y'all I am an heir of God...and I have a beautiful inheritance. It resonates with me so much more now than before I had her guiding me through the Scriptures and breaking it all down. There are so many a-ha moments that I had I don't think I could even count them. I am so thankful for the time, the monetary means to get there, and the support of my husband. Who by the way had to deal with bronchitis from our middle daughter and take the two youngest to the doctor and had his first real go at profuse vomit and diarrhea from our youngest daughter, in a restaurant no less. He did fabulous and let me know what was going on but would always say..."I have it all under control...have is all ok"....ahhhh...that is my Superman. He even spoke my love language...I walked into a sparkling clean home...with laundry and mopping included...can y'all even understand how much this man of mine gets me??? :0)

I've wondered if I enter that worshipping an idol with Beth Moore...and I believe at some points I have to stop and think...yes, probably, and ask myself...why? She is an amazing vessel for the Lord...she brings isn't a "prewritten lecture" that she shares all over the is always a fresh Word of God..every event...that blew me away when I first learned of that. But I believe the woman puts herself completely out there for the Lord to use to bring women into His kingdom and those who are already heirs He uses her to bring us to a deeper relationship with Him. I know what it is about's Jesus...she leaves Him all over me when I read her books, do her Bible studies and attend her events. So, I guess it is true...she is someone I look up to...but if I really think about it...I don't think it is idol worship...I think I am loving and wanting the relationship she shares with Jesus. And what is most amazing about it is I CAN. Her quiet time isn't a quick 15-20 minute to do on a list...which mine has felt like before. She said something so profound but so simple at the same time....she said something among these lines, "Girls, (speaking to her daughters) If I leave you anything, if you learn anything from me....know that your relationship with the Lord is far more important than any ministry you might have." Have you ever felt like your ministry was so much that you didn't have time for your own relationship with Jesus, or just too wiped out to spend time with Him...I don't like to admit it but I have felt that way before. She is the real deal. She uses her gift of teaching so beautifully...she is fighting that beautiful fight. I have no doubt of the special anointing placed on her and her ministry. Bless her Lord.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday MaMa!!

My grandmother turned 87 years young today!
We had a lovely lunch after church to celebrate. She is such a sweetheart.
Life is better because we get to have her in it :)
We love you are such a blessing to us all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Leavin' in the Morning...

Headed to San Antonio, Texas in the morning to hear Beth Moore with some lovely ladies from Leaning Tree and Aunt JuJu. Can't excited!!! Gonna be home sometime Sat. evening. Big Daddy is taking the day off to manage the kiddos and do some SAHD-ing...(stay at home dad). Good luck is far harder than you think ;) Just kidding...he will do great...he always does. I am so thankful that he finds it important to take the time off to stay with them. I know they could go other places but Love hasn't been left without one of us at all...except the lovely one hour grocery run I went on this week. MiMi said she was not a happy camper at all...she was pretty upset with me leaving her, cried almost the whole time. Bless her little heart. Momma was needing some grub...we were running outta everything....she's been sick...from both ends (TMI?)....$180 bill later...she ran up to me when I arrived home and said "Yeaaaaa! Yeeeaaaaa! Moooommmm" Ahhhh...that is my little dumpling :) So, I am trying not stress about leaving the kiddos at home...they are in good and capable hands.

I am praying for an amazing word from the Lord...through Beth...well, she just delivers so willingly and beautifully. I have my quiet time, go to Sunday service, share with friends and family but really struggle with corporate worship. Our little ones don't attend nursery. Hope is about to venture into the big world of the Jungle for 4-6 yr olds during worship, she's been with us in big church all this time. Love will continue to be with us...which translates into anywhere from 5-20 minutes of worship music and then we gotta bolt because baby girl is a talker...and when Pastor Jerry doesn't respond...well, she gets louder. So we go to the cry room, or outside or the nursery (together). I miss out on the message. I don't want it to sound like I am is just the season we are currently in, and we love this season but there are times that it is hard to be completely committed to the worship, what the pastor is preaching or have an adult conversation or even have a phone conversation. But, I am about to get fed...and this ain't no snacking from the cookie drawer with the baby on my hip...I am about to partake in a 4 course spiritual meal...yummm! I am so hungry y'all :) But, I know I will miss my babies...all 4 of 'em little stinkers ;0) If you run into Big Daddy around town...just ask him if the kids have been fed lately...ha! ha! Just kidding honey...really I am...I love you ;)


Way to Go My Women!!!

I had a late night last night...had to watch my women...that is the US Beach Volleyball team of May-Treanor/Walsh vying for the gold and the US Volleyball Team in the semifinals.

Woo Hoo!!

As I am sure most of you know May-Treanor/Walsh won gold last night!!! They won all 3 games back to back, in the pouring down rain and China gave them quite a battle. But they tore it up. May-Treanor was incredible...such precision. Wow! I won't even go into how a woman is supposed to stay focused on volleyball while sporting such a small "uniform". Am I wrong or did a man totally come up with women's beach volleyball atire? The men's teams play in shorts...and there not even that short.

And this here is a photo of the US Women's Volleyball team...yep, they won last night too. They beat Cuba and once they were "on" there was just no stopping them. They will go on to the finals and fight for gold!! And the gal on the far right...Stacy Sykora...she totally went to my high school...and this is her 3rd Olympics...pretty cool, huh? Go Gettum Girls...I Smell Gold :0) My name is Sugar Momma and I am an addict. Isn't admitting you have a problem the first step to recovery? Seriously...I can't stop watching...I'm not even sport or gender specific...just love the excitement and anticipation of it all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Our Trip....

Well, we had a good drive getting to Oklahoma. Love was far more fussy than usual and of course, it is not ever a lot of fun driving anywhere for 4 or 5 hours especially with 4 kids with no naps. But we managed to make the best of it. It was fun just trying to imagine this new city we would be living in for a few days. The little girls would get restless or whiny and Faith would sit up and hold their hands and comfort them....I love the photos...could have done without the lovely black nail polish Faith applied at a friend's house though.

We pulled up to our wasn't what I had envisioned. The girls got a kick out of Big Daddy putting them up on the luggage cart. The room was "different" let's say. We did have a lovely velvety couch and a view that was interesting...of the sliding glass doors and check in desk. We had to keep our view limited because...we were only on the 2nd floor so everyone coming in could see directly into our the room stayed fairly dark :( The biggest deal was Hope wearing Big Daddy's boots all around the room that came clean up to her knees and then Love would wear Hope's shoes for the day....exciting times, huh?

We found a wonderful play park with swings, climbing wall and tons of slides and ladders and bridges...the little girls had so much fun! The weather was wonderful...not too hot or cold. Just right about 80. The park had a small skate/bike park which Hunter took full advantage of. There was a farmer's market but nothing more than onions, small tomatoes and, we have it good at home with all our fresh fruits and veggies!

We managed to eat at Panera Bread...which I love, Faith likes quite a bit and Big Daddy even likes it. The little girls don't much care for it, except the fruit and Hunter's words are "it's a "girly" place to eat". He thinks salads and sandwiches are more for the ladies...he likes more stealthy foods I guess. We tried some local Mexican fare but it didn't really fare at all. It was bland and made me miss home even more but the atmosphere was good.

We ventured throughout Oklahoma State University quite a bit. They have the most awesome campus. It was so nice and peaceful and the housing is quite nice. We talked to a gal and her mom...this weekend was the drop off. They started school this past Monday. She shares a 4 bedroom, 2 bath suite with 4 girls. They each have their own bedrooms that crazy or what? Pretty nice accommodations. Not that our kids will go there...that is simply too far...ha!

On our way home we stopped off Turner Falls seemed like a place the kiddos would like to go. The folks we saw were having a good time. It reminded us of the river in Del Rio...several separate pools of water with the waterfall in the middle. We might head back there sometime.

Finally home...Love is sick with the intestinal stuff...the other 3 seem to be getting colds and coughs....ahhh....but at least in the comfort of our own home ;0)

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Touchy Subject...

Well, a day or so before we left we had unexpected company, who Big Daddy hasn't seen in years show up (I was never so happy to be "flying") and stay a while. I was soooo proud of Big Daddy. Right off the bat he was hit with a few of my pet peeviest questions..." got two real kids and these two here?"(in front of our 4 year old...very good listening child Hope) Which Big Daddy responded quickly with "They are all my real kids. But yes, two are biological and two are adopted." And the ever famous "Well, they ain't really sisters are they?" and Big Daddy swiftly took this one with "Yes, they are really sisters just not by blood." I was so proud of him. I have my words pre-chosen for most of the questions we receive but it still blows my mind when they ask such questions with no regard to our daughter who completely understands them and is standing with us.

We get these types of questions in Wal Mart and the like, out to eat, in doctor's offices, gas stations, church, family name it. And, I don't even mind the questions if it is someone who is contemplating adoption or wanting to know more because they love our family or even are just curious (sometimes). But some should be saved until our kids are out of the area. For people who are just nosey or sometimes even trying to be hurtful...I just don't have much patience.

Here are some regularly asked questions...see how well you'd respond...especially if your babies were right there with you. I have included what I have responded with and even somethings said are just too hateful to share. I am not naive in that I don't expect everyone to just know and understand. I would like to be able to expect common courtesy. And if it is a person truly interested in adoption...I have given my phone number, email and even business cards of our agency to help. I will talk with them and share our experiences as much as I can. Now, if someone is being pushy or a little nasty...I usually pick up on that and they get my "smarter, if any" response.

"How much do they cost?"
Actually, she is priceless...there are fees associated with adoption but only for lawyers, governments, travel and paperwork.

"Are you their real mother?"
Yes. I really am.

"Why didn't you buy an American kid?"
A child who needs a family is just that. A child who needs a family. I don't think it really matters where they were born. China happens to be where the Lord led us.

"I bet it is expensive...why didn't you just have your own?"
She is our own child. But the fees are really less than most cars cost. Most people don't bat an eye at purchasing a new car. I also tell them about the tax credit offered by the fed. gov.

"I've been seeing a lot of Chinese and black kids with white moms lately...I just thought they were mixed breeds. I guess a lot of people buy other race kids now."
I just stood there...speechless and had to walk off....I could feel some words a brewing that I sure did not want my 4 year old to hear....and yes, I did repent.

"How many real kids do you have?"
Four...everyone of them is real. I haven't had a fake one and walk off.

"Could y'all not have real kids?" (when I don't have our older two with me)
Actually, we do...all four of our kids are
The following was a quote off one of my many adoption support groups:

Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child.
Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.
-Rita Laws PhD

There are so many more questions and comments that we have....and now with Love having the port wine stain so visible...we get a lot of questions and comments...but for the most part people just thinking it was a rash or burn. I don't mind that...but I pray about giving both of our girls the words and wisdom they will need to be equipped to answer questions, correct misconceptions, and protect themselves for what lies ahead of them. It wasn't their choice to leave their birth country, their familiar people, smells, sounds and was our choice....only it wasn' didn't feel like a choice at all. It felt like a necessity...a yearning....truly being led to each one of them. I am so thankful for them...I just don't want to let them down...but I know they will witness me fail trying to protect them.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gettin' Outta Town....

We're heading here!

Big Daddy is officiating a wedding this weekend in the great state of Oklahoma. We'll be gone for a few days. I am not sure what, if anything we will be doing but one thing is for sure...we won't be attending the rehearsal or actual wedding with Big Daddy. While I love a wedding as much as the next woman, I am gonna have mercy on this fellow and his bride and their families and their friends and Big Daddy to stay at the hotel and patiently wait for him to return. I can only imagine how cute it would be to hear Hope and Love chanting "that's my Daddy" or "I wanna sit by Daddy" but probably only I could appreciate the adorable things they'd say in the midst of the quiet. So, anyway...we are off to Oklahoma...hoping to see new things, discover new places and just relax...not to mention...I won't be cooking for a good 7 or 8 meals or doing dishes or I guess I will be on vacation :0)


"I got neewww soccer shoes!" sung over and over in the sweetest voice ever! We bought Hope her very first pair of soccer cleats, and she was overjoyed. Yep, not only Pre-K but her first organized sport as well. Soccer, and she is ready for this. We have debated dance, gymnastics, soccer or TBall and we decided on soccer. She is high energy and this should be right up her alley. On another note, Faith started practice on her new team last night. Her coach is incredible...I have a feeling her skills are about to soar. I am so excited for this new season to start!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This little stinker right here is about to start....Pre-K. I went to register her today...I guess I thought if I held off to the last few days that all the spots would be taken. And being the good Mom that I am...I would have tried and it would have been the school's fault there was no spots for her. But, nooooo...there had to be a kid who just had to move and no longer was able to attend. Talk about lack of commitment...ha!

No, seriously. I am in need of help. I am asking for prayer, advice, even medication at this point. It gives me such anxiety to leave my precious little one in the hands of a person I know only as "Miss Linda". I know there are moms that jump for joy the day their child is old enough to go to any type of day care or preschool. I just am not one of them. I know she needs some separation. She is with me full time, all the time, every day and night. She has spent 2 nights away from me 3 years. I know, I know. It will be good for Love to have Mommy to herself sometimes too. But, Love already told me she's gonna miss Hope sooo much!

I have "built it up" for Hope. It will be so much fun, you will learn so much, you will make new friends, you will be around only kids your age. Sounds good to her. She has asked over and over and over "Are you sure my teacher is nice? Are you sure you'll remember to pick me up? Are you sure that I will have fun?" You don't think she is picking up on my ya?

Anyhow, that is where we stand...and Meet the Teacher...I won't be there...boohoo! Big Daddy will not only have Faith's soccer practice but he'll have Meet the Teacher...and have to purchase school shirts...argh! What if he gets the ones that are too small and tight or too big and long and she can't tuck it in without leaving a big bubble? Oh...for Pete's sake! I have already committed to Beth Moore and the original Meet the Teacher was on Thurs....that figures, but they moved it to accommodate more parents...stinkin' majority.

I do know next year when Hope attends Kindergarten....that she will be going 5 days a week, 7 hours a day. This will be good preparation for the separation. It will help ease our transition...avoid the cold turkey syndrome. She will be going Tues and Thurs from 9-2:30. She will be taking a "rest time" for an hour, by kiss on the cheek, no "I love you more than all the stars in the sky" no "Mommy, will you cover me up real tight". And she'll be bringing and eating her own lunch...away from us. Who will make sure her straw is punched into her little drink, or what if she wants more and is still hungry and what if she just doesn't feel like pb&j that day? I know....I need counseling...but she has been one of my main responsibilities thus far...and now I have to share her with "Miss Linda". This is just too much for one Mom to take. And yes...I would like some cheese with that whine ;0)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taking Flying Lessons...

Do you ever just so dislike the condition your home is in you don't even want to be there? Well, I find more and more that is my predicament. I have tried the "I just don't care, we have 4 kids" doesn't make me wanna live here anymore than I did before I say it though. I have CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). Oh sure, some of you have been over and been fooled into thinking our home is clean, clutter free and ready for a visit. But, you never looked in my drawers or under my cabinets. or in my closets..did you? No, seriously...did you? Then others of you...mostly family have witnessed the CHAOS and still entered at your own risk. I just want on the record, we don't have decaying food laying around or roaches randomly running around the house or even funky smells but I have had I am taking flying lessons!

I am gonna fly myself right out of this cluttered, disorganized, can't find what I am looking for, toys everywhere, dishes in the sink house. If I could afford a professional organizer/declutterer or even a maid...I'd have done that already. I have tried enlisting my family...and they don't obey so well....or at least for extended periods of time. I am gonna change the only person I really have control over anyway....So, I am using my own elbow grease and some helpful organizational and cleaning tips from this gal....The Fly Lady:

Intrigued? Well, you too could be a fly baby with me....just go to We could become fly ladies together, oh, a special bonding time :) She even encourages us not to expect full house changes for 9 that is something we can probably manage to do. So I guess you could say my organizational/decluttering pregnancy begins today. Y'all no comments about me already "showing" this is just my Blue Bell figure....jealous? Off to shine my sink :0)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Well....we had to dig....

We had a wonderfully exciting weekend. School clothes and shoe shopping for our two oldest kiddos...NOT!! I won't even go into exactly how much time we spent in Hollister....I believe Big Daddy said 52 minutes to be exact...not that he was counting or anything. He was outside the store (in the safe zone) with the two little ones and Hunter. Faith and I were knee deep in the trenches of the sale room. Oh, yes...they have one...and if you can dig deep enough, wide enough and long enough...your deals will be worth the time least to you. I think the hubby would have preferred full price and 15 minutes max. Poor Guy! He did take one for the team...I so owe him a tag along trip to Bass Pr0Shops or Cabellas. He wouldn't take my word for it that it was way worse inside the store with the blaring music and piles of clothes. My reasoning of having to dig through stuff didn't really help either. But I was speaking the truth. Anyway, hours later and most of our shopping completed, we had somewhere better to go.

We met up with my sil and bil Jan & Greg and my nephew and his wife Matt & Heather. Fun! Fun! Fun! Gosh I love those people!! We about ate her out of house and home...we were all famished when we got there from our mall walking...ha! We had a bevy of snacks to tide us over and then we all went out for BBQ...and those little stinkers picked up the tab ;0) They are too kind...and they totally identify with two teenagers back to school shopping. Bless them! You know there are some qualities I have tried to pick up from Aunt Jan. She is one of the most generous people I know. She always offers everything under the sun to us and then says and if we run out..."we'll go and get some more"....gotta love that...teaching me to be more hospitable. My kids feel completely comfortable with them as well. She also lets my kids make true and tried messes. I remember one time Hope was over her sink "washing dishes"(read...making a mess of soapy water on the counter, floor, chair, everywhere) and instead of freaking out...she just said how good of a job Hope was doing and how if we make a mess we'll just clean it up...just to have fun. She's been known to say...."there ain't nothing in here you can break that can't be replaced" I want that for my kids...I want it for myself. Miss Love took right to her. I had my stinkin' camera in the car and walked off and forgot it....I was too involved with my BBQ to think about it. I do think I have relaxed a ton with the two smaller kiddos and Big Daddy and I always talk about how she is with the kids and us...we just love her!! Oh, and Uncle Greg too!!

Heather and Matt will be jumping back on the baby train soon...Hope prays for them. That God would bring them a baby. We have been lifting them up and just know Heather will be an awesome Mommy. She is so gentle and kind and just a real sweetheart...Matt was really blessed with her. And Matt will make a great Daddy, no doubt. Jan and Greg are eager to be grandparents and they will be amazing. We are ready for God's timing and their timing to meet up. While they are on the baby break...Heather looks fabulous and Matt is working out like a fool.

We had such a good time. We just love them all so much! I wish we would have had more time...but that just gives a reason to load up and do it all over again ;0)



I know it isn't nice to gloat but I can I just say.....

Naaaa NaNa Na Na!!!

See what happens when you talk smack???

The men's relay race was incredible....I still can't believe how close it was.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Chapman's

I know most of you probably already know about The Chapman's losing their 5 year old daughter Maria due to a tragic accident in May. Here is the link to the excerpt from their interview on Larry King Live. You'll have to wait through a commercial but it will come and will be worth the 11.5 minutes you spend watching it. Their hearts will bless you.

It is heartbreaking to say the least but their interview brings such a message of hope, faith and love. I have wanted to write about this situation for a while but it just breaks my heart and I can't complete what I begin to write. I am continuing to pray for them and their message...which very well may be more powerful than even they know. I can not imagine the pain they are enduring but I am so thankful that we serve a God that does.

Does Anyone Else....

Miss Her??? I can't even watch the weather on channel 5 anymore, nothing against
the new gal. I have read about the situation with Rebecca and I think it stinks! Somebody was playing dirty over on channel 5. She was my meteorologist. I miss her :(

Let the Games Begin....

Did you all watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics? Well, we did and we thought it was fantabulous!! Have you ever seen anything on such a large scale so synchronized? I can't imagine the training that took place for them to pull off such a flawless performance.

One of my favorite parts was with the children (big surprise)...I loved how they all came in carrying the flag and the part where they put the umbrellas up with the faces of all children.

When team USA entered it was incredible...there were so many of our athletes there to represent. It made think about how some of these competitors probably began competing or preparing to compete way back when they were Hope's age...a life long dream coming to fruition.

This Olympics are a bigger deal to me personally this year. China means so much to us as a family. It is where are two youngest were born. Hope spent 11 months in China and Love spent 20 months there. Our family would not be complete without The People's Republic of China allowing us the privilege of adopting our two beautiful girls.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Birthday Bash!

Hope turned 4 on the 28th and Love turned 2 on the 31st. Who would have guessed our two youngest girls would share not only the same birthday month but birthday week? It was a lot of fun. We had hot dogs, smoked sausages, and brats and of course cake and ice cream. This time we tried that Life Savers rainbow sherbet too(per Hope's request)...that stuff is yummy!! We had a small family party...even a small one is big around here though...we are so fortunate to have so many family members so near by...a few were missed (you know who you are)but we will see them soon! The girls are now going to be dressed to the nines. Oh, and the swing set and play house given early are still big hits with all the kiddos. The girls got some money and gift cards :)

Our little Hope has grown up so much this past year. I miss her being little. She has been an awesome big sister and has such a joyful heart...sometimes to the point of me actually saying..."quit laughing". Once she gets started...she has such a hard time stopping. But, I love her laugh. She has recently added one that sounds much like Arnold Horseshack. It is quite a laugh...and Love has caught on...oh my! She amazes me. She is bright, loving, fun, exciting and full of energy!

And Love, well, this very well may have been her first celebrated we tried to do it up for her. She has been such an easy going, laid back, happy, affectionate and fun loving child. I can't wait to see what the next year holds for her. She is just beginning to say some words although I know she understands far more than she can communicate.

To say we have been blessed would be an understatement....I can't believe our two youngest are now 2 and how time flies...tear...sniff...

2nd Treatment...

Love had her 2nd laser treatment this morning for her port wine stain. She is doing really well. The doctor did increase the amount of energy he used this time. And, I am pretty sure that may be the cause of some of the blisters. She didn't have them last time. She also had to have pain medication when she woke up, and we didn't need that last time either. She is a real trooper. I don't understand how she does so well.

They took us back to the room and squirted this sedation that goes up her nose...she wasn't happy but after about 4 minutes she didn't care where she was or who she was with. Then once back they gave her an iv and used the mask to put her completely under. I don't like the fact that she has to be put to sleep but we will do what is necessary to make her most comfortable and the doctor to be able to make the biggest difference. She came out of the sedation really well and hasn't seemed to have much if any pain. She did get sick a couple of times in the car on the way home...I think that is from the pain medication. So, she came home got a bath and has eaten some crackers. She is just as smiley and loving as ever. We are all about to go down for a nap. Big Daddy went to get us breakfast while we waited for her to come out of surgery. He went to Seekers and a local christian radio station was there. They prayed for Love over the air and he got 2 free Hawaiian Falls tickets to boot...pretty cool.

Just to let you know...we aren't doing this because we think Love would be any prettier without her fact, her birthmark is exactly what brought her to us through the Special Needs list. She is beautiful and her birthmark is part of her. But as she ages there are complications and problems that can be avoided or diminished by taking these steps early on.

I am thankful that this time seems to be about the same thus far with Love experiencing pain. I am just gonna go ahead and give all that glory to God...I know and have read how much worse it could be...thanks for your prayers...we felt them :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's Going to be a.....


I am going to have a nephew come January...I am so excited!!
Oh it will be so nice to have a baby boy around again ;0)

More on the Mission Trip

These photos are from everyday happenings. We all stayed at the Iglesia Bautista Peniel church of Eagle Pass. It was about 2 miles from the Mexican border. Pastor Felipe is the pastor of the church and was so hospitable. He opened up the entire fellowship hall to us. And the accomodations were well above what I had expected. We had access to the kitchen, 4 showers (2 womens, 2 mens), the gym, and several rooms we made into our bedrooms. I felt like we were really pampered. I had envisioned no air conditioning, really roughing it. We had showers with hot water, really cold air, indoor sleeping arrangements, plenty of electricity...we were so well provided for.

We met several people both from our old church and the other two churches that were teamed up with this mission. We got to know several families that otherwise our paths may have never passed. Two of the women were particularly interested in adoption and of course, Hope and Love are two wonderful examples of how well that can work out.

We had a lot of fun being around our old friends and really began to get to know the new associate pastor and his family. They are a perfect fit for LTC. We were able to share our time at the orphanages with them and they are just the sweetest folks.

While the women of our church were attending the Backyard Bible Club the men had a basketball ministry with the local area guys. They had many show up and several hung out afterwards. We attempted a soccer ministry but it really didn't go over for the time slot we had available. We had a dinner prepared for us by the women of the church and it was really good and authentic.

We celebrated Hope's 4th Birthday with a pinata and cake and gifts...even from people who had just met was really thoughtful and surprising.

On Thursday, Love's 2nd Birthday, the men finished the roof and we had a huge cookout and fellowship at the river an hour away in Del Rio. The water was clear and very cold. The kids loved it...I was not a huge fan but it was refreshing.

The girls birthdays being celebrated while away was really better than I had expected. I wasn't too concerned about the actual day knowing their party was the following weekend.

So, all in all...the mission trip was fabulous...I am so thankful we had the opportunity to go. I know we were so blessed to be a part of it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Raising the Roof...

Our guys well, and a few girls too, replaced the decking and fascia and roof of a house that was affected by the tornado back in 2007. It started out as a just a rip off and replace but once they discovered the rotting decking they had to replace that to be safe. One of our own youth, Sammy fell through the roof and and ended up with staples in his was ripped by a nail. He had quite an ER experience but I will just leave it at that. Hunter helped put the roof on. He had to overcome a few fears but he was willing to do it and came away with a sense of contribution. I think it did him good to work and sweat on someone else's behalf. He was working for Jesus. From what I understand it is quite a job that they undertook and completed in just 4 days. It was a big roof. There were many youth guys up there doing was needed to help. It was so nice to see them all working toward the same help out the family in need.

Backyard Bible Club

Backyard Bible Club was a first for me. I had participated in Vacation Bible School before but this was different. We met at a "host" location where a very kind woman allowed us to meet at her trailer. We had fliers distributed and the kids of the area showed up. We had about 12-15 local kiddos and then we brought the kids from our group as well. I can tell you that the local kids looked forward to this time. We had games, Bible story, crafts, puppets, snacks, and songs. They really got a glimpse of Jesus. A few of them already knew a lot about Jesus and their answers to the questions asked were incredibly detailed. It was one of the things that blessed me the most - to hear about Jesus through the voice of a child. Our leader was Bec...let me just tell you, this gal has got it together. It is in the details how smoothly and well received these types of programs run. She had all her ducks in a row and the BBC was a success. She has a very special gift teaching children. She is such a sweetheart and her effort did not go unnoticed. Shaley and I got to paint faces again and the kids really loved it. In fact, one of our own kids wouldn't wash his Spiderman face off for days...seriously. The youth girls under leadership of Cassie and Casse performed, set up, and broke down the puppet show and stage. Faith started out as the microphone girl and graduated to puppeteer by the last show...still a bit shy about it but she did make the effort. She also helped with crafts and snacks. Hope was an attender and did so well...she really loved it and made me hopeful of her beginning to attend children's activities in our own church. It was a sweet time.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Orphanage Visit Slideshow

Orphanage Visit....

We had originally planned on taking the entire family to visit the the end we decided that Big Daddy would stay home with the girls so that I could attend the trip to the orphanage and the next day he would return. As much as I would have loved to see Hope and Faith with the children of the orphanage it opened the opportunity up for me to be more available to hold and play with the children. Shaley brought paint to paint faces and I helped her. The kids seemed to really enjoy it...all kids seem to and they are no different. It gave me a chance to really make eye contact with them. I couldn't help but wonder what must go through their minds...a complete stranger touching them and speaking with them... The children are beautiful and made my heart so full. I wanted so badly to reach out and hug them and hold them but I was hesitant to cross their line of boundary. I would touch them as much as I thought I could...quick rub of the shoulder, pat on the back, pat on the head and the little ones got as much love as they could handle. There were 9 children that I saw from the orphanage. It is a fluctuating number as they had 18 last month. The children ranged in age from 15 (I think) to 0. We brought jump ropes for them to play "jump the river" and "limbo". The kids smiled and laughed and it brought so much joy to me to witness such a happiness among them. They were thrilled. We brought a stage and puppets and puppet show with songs in Spanish that they enjoyed. We brought them toys and supplies and the following day a group came and babysat the group so that the house mom and dad could go out to eat together....a rare treat. We played a game of soccer...I played for a while...although, not well...I still made the effort. The people that care for the children are sweet. There was a little boy named Julio who was will see him in the photos...he has a moustache...he has such an attitude for being so young. At one point he had a cell phone and it was taken away and he threw quite a fit...he was very upset and Bec went to comfort him and gave him a ball...he put the ball down and reached for her and fell asleep in her arms...later she shared with us how rewarding it was to be a mother to this child who had no mother even if just for a few moments. It was so sweet. He was full of himself but just the cutest thing ever. He has a little brother, Kevin, who is one. He is a super cutie too, he was quite attached to one young lady who was 15. She recently left the orphanage and was there for a visit and he wasn't letting her out of his reach. She apparently helped raise him and if you didn't know better you would think he was her own son the way she cared for him and his bond with her. I enjoyed holding a sweet thing named Lupita...just a real cutie. She was under 1 and it broke my heart how it wasn't her natural instinct to smile...I don't know if she ever smiled. She was so serious. But, oh, she was a doll. I could go on and on but I think the slide show will tell more than my words.

Mission Mexico....

I have so much to say but no words to really share exactly what we experienced in Mexico and Eagle Pass. To say that we have come home different people would be too generic...we have been changed from our time there....both among those we were ministering to and with. I believe while we were trying to bless the children of the orphanage and Vacation Bible School we were the ones who were blessed. It was an unbelievable experience and if sign ups were today for the next trip we would definitely jump on board. I am going to split each event up into what we did there....just so I don't loose the details from each event. I loved our time spent with our old friends, it was refreshing and renewing to be with them again. I have missed them and it did our hearts good to be among them once again. They are family. We were very busy while there and although we would be tired the Lord always gave us what we needed to give to those we were trying to reach. We are so thankful for the incredible opportunity to be able to go and our hearts overflow with a love for the people of Piedras Negras and Eagle Pass....