Friday, December 30, 2011

The Reason we celebrate

 The past month has been a month of celebrating the joyous birth of our Lord and Savior in so many ways.  Shortly after Thanksgiving we began decorating and planning and I decided to do something I hadn't done in a long time.  When the boys were little we had many friends with kids the same age and we had a Christmas party for all of the kids at our house. 
Many years later, I once again enjoyed planning a 
Happy Birthday Jesus party.
What a perfect way to combine the fun part of Christmas and the reason we truly celebrate by having Santa tell us the Christmas story and share with us why Jesus is better than Santa...
Santa comes but once a year 
Jesus is with us all of the time when He lives in our heart.
The day after school was out we had a fun filled time of serving lunch at the Ronald McDonald House and then ventured next door to the hospital to take some pictures and enjoy the Christmas entertainment.
As the Christmas holidays grew closer,  I wished for one gift more than any other;
The gift of having all of my family together.
And that is exactly what I got and it couldn't have been any sweeter!
We spent Friday night with David's family, and Saturday night after our beautiful candlelight service we had our family dinner and gift exchange.  
Then Sunday morning we dug through stockings and saw what Santa left before going to church 
to sing Praises to THE ONE who came to this earth all because of
LOVE for YOU and for ME!
After church, we went to my mom's house to have lunch and fun with my Mom, Nannie 
and sister's families.  We seemed to string this celebration out for awhile, but it was so nice to really have time with each family and not feel rushed.  Soon, the gifts will be forgotten, but the time we spent together LOVING one another will always hold beautiful memories in our hearts.

 My family showered me with wonderful gifts,
and when mom says NO to a game for Christmas, 
I guess you can count on big brother to get it for you!
                                      I wasn't impressed, but it certainly made for many laughs.
 With legs as long as hers are getting, it was definitely time for a new bike,
 and anything zebra print will put a smile on her face!

Many more pictures to follow, but blogger is not allowing me to upload anymore tonight!  It might have something to do with the late hour, but if any of my blogger friends have ideas on how to upload photos a little quicker please let me know!  They seem to be taking forever to upload!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfulness and Black Friday

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
                                        his love endures forever. 

After sharing our day with so many loved ones and enjoying a feast like no other we broke out the sale ads to check out all of the bargains.  

Every dollar you spend will supply a need for an orphan and you will also get a
tax credit from  
Can you find a sale any better than that? 

Do you like the new header photo?  
We had fun playing in the middle of this road today taking family pictures, so a new one will be soon to follow with 
this crazy family for which I am beyond

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My favorite....

No not my kids that is, but my favorite verse is this:

Don't you just LOVE this piece of artwork!  

I received  this as a gift last night when I had the opportunity to share my testimony to a wonderful group of ladies at First Baptist Church Hurst.  What an incredible blessing it was to be able to stand up and share the many ways the Lord has been working in our lives in the past few years.  Not only did I get to share on Veteran's Day, a day very dear to my heart, and National Adoption Month, a super special month, I also got to share on 
All of those 1's and I had the awesome chance to point to
  THE ONE and ONLY!  
It doesn't get much better than that!

Speaking of favorites, I really don't have favorite kids, but it is much easier to get pictures of some of them than others.  We have been very busy lately and I often don't have time to update my blog, so here are a few of the things I may have missed!
A fun evening with some very special girls eating at Babe's Chicken-YUM!
My two oldest teaching each other how to shoot a gun! 
SO VERY GLAD we don't live in the city!

Watching my oldest carry the cross! 
So glad I had a camera in hand to snap this photo 
as they were cleaning up things in the barn and he was moving this to another location.  
What a reminder that we must carry the cross everyday!

The beautiful kitchen remodel we just completed along with the pantries my 
crafty husband completed. The best gift ever to finally have a nice place for storage.

 My middle son who travels often and we treasure the little bit of time we get to see him!

Cousins sharing a moment together!
  Some beautiful flowers and even more beautiful girls.

Lia reading me the card she made telling me I was her BFF!
Sharing a wonderful Thai dinner with our youngest son, Brandon, 
and the special love of his life, Baleigh
along with the LOVE of my life!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shoelaces and shovels

How will my girls ever learn to look for a young man who treats them well and values them?  Hopefully they will learn because they have been taught those lessons from a daddy who daily teaches them and values them for who God created them to be.

 Those little lessons like learning to plant flowers and learning to tie your shoes 
 bring with them much deeper 
life lessons they don't even realize right now.
  Lessons like....
 He wants to spend time with me...
I'm important...
I'm beautiful....
I'm his favorite...
Nothing is too insignificant for him.....
things every young girl needs to know.
 And in the not so distant future when those sweet little eyes begin to look at others I pray they can see their heavenly Father's eyes above all others because they saw it through 
their earthly father's eyes first. 

Those are the same eyes that could see this momma had endured a long week at school and
I came home to find these beautiful flowers today.

Reminds me of these words by Amy Grant:

She's got her father's eyes
Her father's eyes
Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help, when help just can't be found
Eyes full of compassion, seein' every pain
Knowing what you're going through, and feelin' it the same

Just like my father's eyes
my father's eyes

On that day when we will pay for all the deeds we've done
Good and bad they'll all be had to see by everyone
And when you're called to stand and tell just what you saw in me
More than anything I know, I want your words to be

She had her father's eyes, her father's eyes
eyes that found the good in things when good was not around
eyes that found the source of help when help would not be found
Eyes full of compassion, seein' every pain
Knowin' what you're goin' through and feelin it the same

Just like my father's eyes,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finally here-maybe

After a scorching summer, we've had hints of fall, but summer seems to creep back in each time.  Last night, the winds started blowing and along with the hard winds came window clattering thunder, lightning and rain(the rain we still desperately needed).  The temperature dropped about 20 degrees and I think Fall is finally here.  What better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with a few pictures of a cute little pumpkin.

   “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
   wisdom and power are his.

 He changes times and seasons;
   he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
   and knowledge to the discerning.
 He reveals deep and hidden things;
   he knows what lies in darkness,
   and light dwells with him. 
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
   You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
   you have made known to us the dream of the king.”  
Daniel 2:20-23

What a beautiful verse this is becoming to me! These past few weeks during our study of Daniel we have been challenged to memorize this verse and I love how God knows just the words we need at just the perfect time.  I don't know about you, but it sure is comforting knowing HE sees what lies in darkness and just like HE changes the seasons, HE has the
power to change circumstances beyond our control.

Oh, believe me, there are some circumstances I would change if it were in my power,
but I know it is His power that will change them in the perfect way and at the perfect time and I can't wish for anything better than HIS PERFECTION!

Monday, September 19, 2011


 Some days there are reminders during those moments of routine that even though it seems like Lia has been in our family forever, it has really only been 15 months.  Such a short time, but I can hardly imagine our life without her and the joy she brings.  She has adapted better than I would have ever dreamed and we have our new routine with a young one around again.  Sometimes those reminders are funny and others times they bring tears to my eyes.

There are moments like tonight when she wanted to draw with the sidewalk chalk outside and not remembering the correct word, in her precious little voice she said, "I want to porkchop." Huh? You want to what?  I guess, porkchop and sidewalk chalk have about the same ring to them.  Pretty cute porkchop I must admit!

Then there are the gentle reminders of the tough days with very little that she experienced.  I occasionally ask her if she remembers something from her time in China simply so I can record it for her for later.  Tonight, after bath time, while she was carrying her clothes to the laundry room I asked her what she did with her clothes in the orphanage.  She said we just put them in a box so someone else could wear them the next day.  She said, "we had to share clothes."Sometimes they didn't smell good cause we all wear them."  Now, one of her most exciting things to do, is pick out her clothes for the next day.  Can you blame her?

Then, there was the short moment tonight that was a gentle reminder that she has experienced more abandonment than most of us will ever know.  While I was outside she was a bit stressed when she couldn't find me and I was only around the corner.  Once again, I promised her I would NEVER leave her and we went to prepare for bed. I snapped this photo with my phone the other night, but it is the same cherished scene most nights.  She wants to make sure we are VERY close before falling asleep and then I can quietly sneak out of the bed.

As we snuggled into bed and read a book, she decided tonight that she didn't want her pillow.  It was yet another reminder that she slept on a hard metal bed for a few years and sometimes she just reverts back.

Just like a couple of mornings ago I saw this sunrise and was reminded of God's faithful new mercies every morning.   I am so thankful for the new life He has given each of us who believe and that He promises never to leave us or forsake us. 

And then we have little reminders like really cool t-shirts matching big sister to remind 
us to think on the good things.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Phil 4:8

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How do you measure LOVE?

Around this house with a sweet little 5 year old we get lots of lovin!  After storing it up for four years with no one to share it with,  there is more than enough to go around.  

We play a little game and say, "I love you to ____ and back."  It usually goes something like this, "I love you to China and back."  Then the other person says, "I love you to the moon and back."

Tonight, it went like this:

Me: "I love you to the moon and back."

Lia: "Well, I love you to China and back."

Me: "Well, I love you to Australia and back."

Lia: "Well, I love you to


Now that's what I call a LOT of LOVIN!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

School days and play days

The lazy days of summer have come to an end and the routine of another school year is now upon us.  As much as I like a routine, I don't like the early mornings that accompany it and the fast paced evenings in order to get to bed early.  
As we prepared for this new year, I was so proud to be part of a church that spent Sunday afternoon walking the halls of our schools and praying for the students and staff who would soon fill the buildings.  Teaching is a huge responsibility, but one I can face with confidence because I know that my heavenly Father is the One who gives me wisdom and endurance to face each new situation.
I am thankful to all the prayer warriors that daily bear our burdens 
in the classroom and lift them up to heaven on our behalf.
I have the awesome privilege this year of having Tia in my reading and writing class and will cherish this year and the time we get to spend together.  She made me promise not to embarrass her, but I wonder if that is possible!  Isn't that our goal as parents-to embarrass our children? 
I did promise to be on my best behavior!
Do I have to?
We have had two great days and I look forward to an exciting year and making lots of memories.  Lia is loving kindergarten, although the rigor is quite exhausting.  She asked yesterday, "When is rest time?"  Obviously, the powers that be have decided that 5 year olds no longer need rest time.  It has certainly made for an early and easy bedtime and a very tired little girl!
First day of kindergarten
Day two and still smiling!
After sending Brandon off of to college again last week David and I looked at each other and said, "I guess we could have been enjoying the empty nest now."  
Well, as much as we love our time alone, we are so glad our nest isn't empty!  
We are having a BLAST with our two girls and the laughter they bring to an otherwise stressful journey with young adult children.
 Who wouldn't have fun when every mealtime is a new adventure...
and we get to once again enjoy the simple pleasures like ice cream sundaes and merry go rounds?

This ride was the one and only thing Lia wanted to do all summer and
for $2.50 she was one happy girl!

We try not to take a single moment for granted as we know too well how quickly this time will pass and other challenges will arise.  I am trying to keep my sanity as my FAITH grows daily while my boys are facing difficult situations.  My morning devotion is spent in prayer and reading The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children, by Stormie Omartian, which is helping me keep focused.  

Please keep our boys in your prayers as Justin is traveling back from Mexico again this week, Nathan is working a very dangerous oil field job 
and Brandon is in a new college town(enough said on that!)

 All your children will be taught by the LORD,
   and great will be their peace.  
Isaiah 54:13