Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's a mom to do?

An evening without kids is certainly a rarity these days and one I would NOT want to experience very often.  Occasionally though, it is nice to have a little bit of time alone.  So what's a mom to do without little girls running around? First, I spent 2.5 hours catching up over 
dinner with a special friend that I do not get to visit with near enough! 
Then, I shopped for a little while before stopping by Starbucks on my way home to get a 
drink(with my gift card, thanks to Mom!) 
to enjoy on the drive home.  Once home, I got a non-weight watchers bowl 
of ice cream to enjoy in my bed while I took time to catch up on some important reading material like facebook and blogs!  Then, I finally had the chance to share some photos taken over the holidays that I haven't had a moment to share until now. 
Thanks to my sweet sister and brother-in-law our family had a wonderful evening looking at Christmas lights in  a luxury hummer limo.  We certainly had some great laughs together!
On Tuesday I took these sweet girls to the nursing home to sing Christmas carols 
and read to our friend.  
You can tell by the looks on their faces how much fun they had.
Then I had the joy of serving a meal alongside the man of my dreams and my other family and 
friends  at the Ronald McDonald House.  I hope we were able to bless the 
families there even half as much as they blessed us.
Christmas Eve was spent quickly wrapping and decorating gifts before they
were unwrapped.  I wrapped in white and let the girls decorate however they chose. 
Look at their beautiful artwork!
 The best evening of all this season was having all of my kids at home to worship our Saviour and celebrate His birth at our candle light service on Christmas Eve. 

 And before bedtime watching big brother read to his sister brought a tear to my eye
as I saw the love in both of their eyes.

Last night, we had a small family dinner to celebrate turning FIVE years old.  In order not to have a party two days after Christmas we had already had the Princess party in November. 
When we got home she used her new Princess phone to tell me "I texting my friends."
When I politely told her they could not come visit at 10 pm she used her new favorite word, "Whatevvver!" Oh, this girl has some spunk, and that is our Christmas miracle.
This season has left us with many wonderful memories that will last way
beyond the gifts that were opened. I pray, you also, were able to enjoy special moments
with those you hold dear. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How will I answer this one?

Having a little girl that asks a million in one questions can sometimes get quite interesting!  This morning I was reading her a small pop-up book about the birth of Jesus.  I explained that baby Jesus was in Mary's tummy and He came out.  Quickly, she asked in her sweet little inquisitive voice, "How he come out?"  I had to quickly decide how I was going to answer this question, because after five children, I have discovered that they often don't want as much info as we tend to give.  So, I told her that God puts babies in Mommy's tummy's and then they come out, waiting to see if more questions would follow.  That answer was enough to satisfy her curious little mind and she said, "What about Daddy's?"  I told her Daddy's don't have babies and she said,"Aww, poor Daddy's!" 

Mommy's aren't you glad He chose us to bear His children? I bet the Daddy's are too!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One week from now...

One week from today it will all be over...the shopping will be done...the presents will be opened...and the food will all be gone (or at least added to our hips.) That means  that we have one week left to prepare for the biggest day of the year.  We have one week to decide how we are going to glorify THE ONE who humbled himself and came to earth to be placed in a manger for you and for me. 

Yesterday, as I entered the mall for the first time in a long time I saw so many people in a hurry to pick out just the right gift.  I wondered how many would even be giving a thought to what they will give to the Christ child this Christmas.  I had the opportunity a few days ago to share the story, "What Jesus Wants For Christmas" with our Mission Friends.  As I watched their little faces open the last box with a mirror inside and sweetly proclaim, "ME!" I was reminded that we are all He really wants.

I realize finances are tight for many of us this year, but I hope you will consider how you can give of yourself this Christmas to make it a little more blessed for someone else. The Chip-in on my blog will be available for another week to make a contribution to The Children's Welfare Institute in Zhejiang, China, the orphanage that cared for and loved our baby girl for three years until we could bring her home.  I appreciate the donations that have been given online and personally.  I can't wait to send our donation and know that many children will be blessed because of the generosity of some of you.  We received a sweet letter from the assistant director this last week asking how Lia was doing and thanking us again for giving her a forever family.  We are the ones who are blessed this year as we are able to experience the awe of Christmas through the eyes of a little girl for her first time.

I hope you will take time this week to also experience
the awe of His birth.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Paying it Forward

Caring for orphans seems like an impossible task when you think that there are over 
147 million in the world.  
How can you and I make a difference with such an overwhelming number?  
Of course everyone isn't going to go out and adopt, but can't everyone do something? 
As I've been reading through scripture this year, I am more convinced than ever that 
we are ALL called to provide in 
some way, shape or form for the least of these.  As we said prayers tonight,  
I listened to my girls pray for children that have no mommy and daddy and it 
just continues to break my heart.  
So what can I do about it?

I hope you will join us in sending a little something to some of those children without families to love them.  Lia wants to send her friends at the orphanage a present for Christmas and we thought you might like to help.  I LOVE to see who is following my blog and believe me I read every comment.  I see that there are 61 followers and if each of you clicked on the "chip in" button on the right and chip in as little as $2(the price of your Sonic drink) we could make a big difference in a child's life.  It would be REALLY COOL if all of you sweeties that tell me you read my blog would become followers and also add to that number!  I am only leaving this on for two weeks so that I can send our financial gift along with a picture she is drawing to those still waiting for forever families. 

One organization that is making a huge difference in the lives of orphans is Love Without BoundariesIf you look at their home page today you will see our precious girl (on the far right) and the excitement on her face last year when she got some new clothes and shoes.  It wasn't the newest gadget or toys that brought a smile to her face, but simply some shoes and clothes to keep her warm.  You see, it doesn't take much to make a child smile when they know they are loved!

For my friends on facebook, PLEASE take about 30 seconds to click on the video "Focus on Formula" by Suzanne and vote "Love it," to help win $10,000 for LWB to provide formula for orphans.

Whether it is around the world or in our own backyard, I am reminded of Matthew 25:40 when Jesus tells us,
"Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, 
you did it unto me."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Merry Christmas

Experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child for the first time takes on a brand new meaning.  I pray that we can each believe in the miracles of the season with the 
faith and love of the children around us.
Celebrating the miracle of healed hearts tonight with the cardiologists, Santa,
and lots of little ones at the children's hospital.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Six many changes!

Six months ago we looked into the eyes of a scared little orphan girl and 
at that moment our lives would forever be changed.

June 1, 2010 
was a day we will forever remember when the Lord 
brought Lia into our family and continued to work in our lives 
in ways we could have never dreamed.  He created a love within our hearts that we
didn't even know existed and brought with it an incredible joy.  
Wondering for 18 long months whether we had 
really heard God speak clearly, it was on this day that we wondered no longer. 
We had without a doubt heard His still small voice and there was no mistaking
the fact that we could have easily missed this moment.  
I praise Him today for not giving up on us 
as we continued to seek and pray for His will while our baby girl waited a little longer
for a family to love her.  Oh how I wish we had been there to love her
when she was younger, but God knew the perfect moment when all of our hearts
would be ready to fall in love. 


Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.
They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. 
It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. 
But once you do, everything changes.  
Radical by David Platt

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm a little late with the information, but that seems pretty typical for me. So if you are ready to win some fun stuff for that special Christmas gift take a look at this great blog and all of the giveaways she has in store.  Hope we win!

Ni Hao Y'all

Friday, November 26, 2010

Who is that?

That, little sister, is baby Jesus and the reason for the season! There isn't a black Friday sale that could compete with the excitement I'm experiencing around our house today. What a joy it is to explain for the first time why we really celebrate Christmas. Having all of my kids at home, helping to decorate for the greatest day of the year. It doesn't get much better than that!
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spirit of Thanksgiving

If you frequently stop by my blog you will notice some changes.  I wanted to add our family photo, but the other background just didn't look well with it,  so I hope you like the look.  If not, stick around and if you know me very well, you know it probably won't last too long!  You may also notice the new song I added today.  Take a minute and really listen to the words and cherish the thought that HE is the one we can praise through the storms of life. 

Why on Earth would I add such a song when it is Thanksgiving?  I have come to realize that being thankful often takes work and effort.  The work and effort that are sometimes hard and take thought.  As Christians living in America, we are blessed beyond measure and want to be thankful, but when the storms of life come, thankfulness is easier said than done.  That's where we have to make a choice.  Are we going to let the storms of life steal our joy and thankfulness or are we going to praise HIM through the storm.

The storm clouds have moved our way recently, but I am CHOOSING to praise my heavenly Father, my refuge and strength, my very great reward.  He is MY miracle-working God and the ONE in whom I place my trust.  He is the reason I can celebrate Thanksgiving no matter what circumstances ever come my way.  I hope and pray you too will CHOOSE to be thankful, no matter what is happening around you.

These are some of the things that help me make the choice to be thankful:

A precious four year old, singing Jesus Loves Me...funny how she forgot the words and needed my help with, "they are weak, but He is strong." Yes, those were the words I needed to remember!
A beautiful, fun spirited, eleven year old who plays with her little sister when I am too tired!
Son's who love their momma even though they may not always show it,
and care enough about their little sister to make her feel special.
A husband that ADORES his family and places each of our interests before his own.
Then there are the words of encouragement from faithful friends and family that 
brighten my day at just the right moment.

Such moments can not be captured by a photo, but will forever be captured in the memory of my heart.  You are the ones that help me remember that no matter how hard the storm rages, 
I have more to be thankful for than any storm could ever blow away!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Praising Him for His promises!

"I have loved you with an everlasting love...This is what the Lord says:
"Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,"
declares the Lord.
"They will return from the land of the enemy.
So there is hope for your future,"
declares the Lord.
"Your children will return to their own land. (Jeremiah 31:3,16-17)

Thank you Jesus that I
can cling to
YOUR word!

As a parent, I try to be careful what I say on my blog so as to keep some privacy, especially for my grown children. I can tell you though that the enemy is very much alive and trying to ruin what we have worked so hard to build into our families. However, my God is so much more powerful than any enemy and I am choosing to listen to His word! Would you please join me in praying that His word would be the words we hear and that we won't believe the lies of the enemy?
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What will $500 buy?

At this time of year we all  start thinking about the many things we need to spend money on and the list seems to go on and on.  I know I could certainly use and extra $500 right now!  
More than that though, I can help bring another orphan home. 

 Please take a moment before 3:30 CST today and look at the blog of this wonderful family at 
as they try to raise the funds to bring home this sweet little angel.  Not only could you win a $500  Walmart gift card to be delivered before Black Friday, but you could help a precious family give an orphan a forever home. So what are you waiting for, click on the link above and be blessed!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A birthday to remember

After having our post placement visit for our adoption and then "China school" we came 
home to a great time of family, friends, and birthday celebrations.  

You see, every since Lia came home, she has wanted to have a birthday party and be a Princess.  Tia had a birthday celebration a few weeks ago and Lia wanted to know when her birthday was.  She has never really had a birthday, more than just the cake and stuffed animal that we sent her last year.  I explained that my birthday was next, but I couldn't imagine her having to watch one more birthday celebration that wasn't for her.  So, considering the fact that I REALLY didn't want to draw too much attention to my birthday, and that is all she has dreamed of, I decided that we would just party together and that is just what we did! 

We had a Princess cake and cupcakes with plenty to spare!

There were 5 candles for her to blow out
and I didn't have to get out the fire extinquisher for all of mine!

We  had balloons in her favorite colors-
and lots of little Princesses to share our party

and a special gift that Daddy picked out just for his little Princess
which is of course where we spent the afternoon today;
riding the jeep in the beautiful fall leaves

While putting her to bed last night David asked her if she liked her jeep.  
She said yes, and asked,  "Why you bought it for me?"  In all his daddy wisdom
he told her we wanted her to have it for her special birthday.  
She said, "Why? Because I'm being good?" 
No, it's just because we love you and 
there are no conditions attached.  
Kinda a hard concept for a little girl.

Reminds me of the Love my Heavenly Father has for us.  
We may not be good, and I know I am NOT deserving, but He
LOVES me anyway and pours out His gifts to me.
Most of those gifts look like this:

  While we had Tia's friend over to visit I let her snap a few
family photos with all seven of us in the beautiful fall leaves 
while I actually had everyone at home. 
It may not be professional, but she is only 10 and I think she 
did a pretty good job.

So that, my friends, is hopefully a birthday celebration she will remember, 
and times that I will always cherish.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday

 Please take just a minute and watch this great video in honor of Orphan Sunday.  Don't forget to turn off the great new song, "What if God's People Prayed," by Casting Crowns at the bottom of the page. 

Then turn the song back up, nice and loud, and tell me what you think! 

Why Love Orphans? from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

 Why Love Orphans? from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What does God look like?

David and I taught Mission Friends for the first time tonight and what fun! We taught the story of God talking to Samuel (1 Sam 3). Afterward, I asked the kids to draw a picture of what God looks like when He talks to them. What precious pictures to see their view of God and how He is so much bigger than the others in the picture. Our sweet girl surprised us with God and His green hair bow. They each had a different picture of God but one thing they all had in common was that He was big and he loves them. I guess that is what's really important anyway. Oh, to have a childlike faith!
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Use your imagination

I have so many things I would like to post, but time just doesn't allow.  I'm only sitting down right now because I have two girls attempting to make me beautiful.  I have tried countless times to take a picture, but they are NOT worth posting - Trust me on this one!  Both of my sweet girls are standing behind me arguing over which one is making my hair look the best.  From what I can see, I have pieces of hair sticking out in many different directions and I'm praying a good shampoo job will put it back in place before morning!

So, until I have time for something more profound, please enjoy pictures of our crazy weekend of birthday celebrations.  I'm still trying to catch up on sleep after a slumber party with 12 10/11 year old girls on Friday night. I have lots of fun pictures, but try to be careful not to post photos of other kiddos without parent's permission, so you will just have to visualize this one also.  Total craziness is all I can say!   On Sunday, we celebrated Tia's birthday and Mimi's birthday together and although it was a bit more calm, getting this family together always calls for a bit of craziness.


Sweet girl, your smile will light up a room and has been lighting up our family for 11 years now.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with her sweetness!

Bobbing for apples was everyone's favorite.
Lia was  SO happy to see her big brother come home from college!
Is there anything better than a Daddy preparing 
smores for the Princesses in his life?
 Missing one of my big boys, but I have to take a photo when I can.  
Pictures are few and far 
between with my boys these days.
 Tia "11" and Mimi is ?
Lia loves to have her Aunt Sherri read to her.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


What does it take to make you happy?  
Do you have to have the best house or the newest vehicle on the market?  Or would it be that beautiful new outfit or the newest gadget on the shelves?  So many times in my life I've thought, "If I just had that ____ my life would be so much better or easier."  I remember one time I just HAD to have that new vehicle because I'd never had a new one before.  Amazingly, as soon as we drove it off the lot it was no longer new.  Then through the joy of raising three boys, I quickly learned that anything new and nice in my house would soon be held together by super glue, so I better not get too attached to it.  How many times have we thought that our kids "needed" that newest toy only to play with it for a time or two and never to look at it again.
Yesterday, my little artist drew two pictures at preschool that she told me about when she got home.  This is a child who is happy with the simpliest things in life and other than today when she didn't get a nap, usually has a smile on her face.
When I asked her to tell me about the pictures she had drawn, she said this friend was sad because she had no mommy and no daddy.
The letters are just her way of writing new letters to tell her story.

The next picture is a friend that is happy because she has a mommy, daddy, brothers and sister.  The letters are writing, "I LOVE YOU," as she is learning new letters.

That's all it took to turn her picture from a sad face to one with a smile.  It wasn't toys or new clothes.  It was just a family to call her own.
How sad to think that so many other children are sitting in an orphanage or foster care somewhere, waiting on the one thing that will make them happy, 
A Family.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Breakfast of Champions!

I'm sure there are donuts in China, but it is a new food to our sweet girl and obviously one she LOVES just like her big brothers!
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A day at the pumpkin patch

What is better than a beautiful fall day?  Spending it at the pumpkin patch with a happy little girl.  Seeing the excitement in the eyes and faces of four year olds was a such a joy. 

              Picking out that special pumpkin with a sweet friend.

             So many new experiences as she takes it all in.