Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.



Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy 10!

How did this happen so quickly??? My sweet boy is 10 today. Happy Birthday, buddy. Love you so much! (real camera battery charging, so had to get this with the phone....)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas came early!

Jeff and I had a little early Christmas surprise for the kids on Saturday.....and at the end of this post you will see why I haven't gotten this post done very quickly! (And this seems such a stark contrast to my last post, but we are living joyfully in this season while wrestling with how to do it well. There has been so much going on, I have not been able to keep up with life or my thoughts, so more coming soon!)

This was going to be a big deal, so we made a big deal....we did a fun scavenger hunt to find it. Here is the first clue--and I promise, Cynthia really was having fun... Another clue......

They stopped long enough for a quick picture on this one.....

One of the clues was to 'call your maternal grandparents'. They had the next clue by phone....
Samuel had a basketball game, so the last clue at home was on the GPS and said to take it with them to the game and the next clue would find them. Sure enough, at the end of the game, a friend handed them a clue with an address on it. We got back to the car, plugged it in and it led us to our sweet friends' house.......who had the next clue.

Here are their faces when we pulled up in the parking lot and they figured out what was going on.

Yes, really!!!!

Do you know yet?

Paperwork....

And waiting.....hmmm.....paperwork and waiting, this is feeling familiar.....

Here she is!
They were really excited and it was so much fun!
And she is so cute!!! Meet Abby Drake.
She is a Chocolate Lab, but was actually at the Humane Society with 7 of her siblings...some black some chocolate.


So, here we go....in the midst of house breaking, training, playing, and just loving!
I think she is going to make a great addition to our family!

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. -Genesis 1:24

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mall Trip

Pictures coming soon of some fun things going on around here...but right now, I need to process my thoughts. The kids had a half day of school today, so after they got home, we made some Christmas yummies and then headed to the mall to look for Daddy's Christmas present.

The mall is not a place I frequent.

I guess I have just been so crazy over the last months, I don't have time to 'browse'. I usually run to Target or Wal-Mart, grab what I need and run somewhere else....

As we walked around, browsing, my mind would NOT stop. It was like it was flashing up a slide show of reality....for the rest of the world. I walked past a display of Christmas china and saw an image of children in Africa eating from a dirty bowl with their hands. I looked at racks of clothes and pictured kids in torn or no clothes. I saw a Christmas display of gadgets...those things you get for someone who has everything...and got a little teary-eyed. We have SO much...and we are still shopping for more...another, newer, better. My kids have toys they don't play with. I have clothes I don't wear because they are a little out of style. And there are children--and adults--who don't know where their next meal is coming from or if they will even have one at all. They aren't worried about finding the perfect gift. They aren't looking at Christmas decorations. They aren't planning a big Christmas meal.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think there is anything wrong or evil about any of this. Life is to be lived with JOY. God gives us so many gifts and we should be thankful for all of the blessings he gives us. We should celebrate--especially at Christmas.

And we did buy a present for Daddy. (no hints here, Jeff, sorry!)

And we do have gifts under the tree. I have read several places about families deciding to 'give Christmas away' by not having gifts. That is definitely admirable--and our Christmas looks different than it would have if we hadn't traveled around the world for a precious girl--but we still do have gifts.

It is just that throughout this adoption process and now beginning to think more and more about orphan care and a new orphan ministry, I have been reading so much. And my heart is broken. But I want it to be broken. I want it to be broken for what breaks God's heart. I want it to bother me when I see so much excess in contrast to utter poverty and need. I want it to bring tears to my eyes when I think of children who will wake up on December 25th and it will be just like every other day....and they are hungry-just like every other day. I want to be joyful when I think about Cynthia and the contrast to last Christmas. I want it to make me think-hard-about what is important for me, for my family and for our lives. It was definitely a reality check for me today. What is Christmas really about? I want to relish this time with my children--the trees, the lights, the baking in the kitchen, the gifts, the fun, but I also want to make sure we all remember that it was and is the baby, the child. He gave up EVERYTHING for us. Maybe we should think a little more about what we can give up--for him. I want to live like he did - sacrificially for the sake of others and I want to teach my children the same.

Hmmm, maybe I should go to the mall more often!?!?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Uh oh E!

OK, this is totally random, but was too bizarre not to snap a picture of. Can you guess what happened? I would NOT have believed this if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Yes, that is a letter E in our vent. (From a bananagrams game...like a scrabble tile). (and please ignore whatever that discoloration is that showed up with the flash of the camera inside the vent....I don't even want to know! The joys of an older house!)

Cynthia loves to put little things in cups or bowls, dump them and do it all again. We were playing this game and she was playing with some extra tiles.
She had to go potty (Yes!! I said potty!) so I picked her up, tiles and cup in hand and carried her to the bathroom. As I was about to set her down she dropped 3 tiles. This one BOUNCED off of the floor-thunk-went straight through those narrow little vertical slits-plink-hit the horizontal metal piece-tink-and landed right there-ping!!! I just stared in amazement for a minute....and then remembered why we were there in the first place. This vent is right next to the potty, so C sat and looked for a minute, too, and then said, 'uh oh'. At some point the letter E was mentioned so when Daddy came home she ran to tell him "Daddy, uh oh E!!" Of course, he had NO idea what she was talking about.
By the way, this happened several weeks ago, and in case you are wondering, she still says it because it is still there!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tree farm and FIRST Christmas Tree!

What a fun season. I love all of the traditions, the expectation and the family time around this time of year. And what a blessing to see it through a 2 year old's fresh eyes! We took our annual trip to the tree farm-a new one this year--highly recommend Carter Tree Farm--and had a great time. Mommy with camera in hand, trying to get the 'perfect' picture! We just walked around for a while, snapping pictures, looking at trees.....


Roasting marshmallows..........

And eating them whole..........!


Learning new words....Christmas Tree.
Smiling with hot chocolate smiles...........

We finally found the perfect tree..........who is that old looking young man watching?!?!?
Samuel jumped in to make the last few cuts and yell 'timber!'
:)

Here is where it got interesting. We were talking to a friend while the guys put the tree on top of the car. When we walked over, Cynthia said, "Ah! Tree, up, car!" A little surprised and confused.
When we got home, she and I went inside and she said it again. I responded, "Yes, Daddy is going to bring it inside." She snapped her head toward me with a confused and then surprised look--complete with an open mouth. (wish I had gotten that on camera!)
It was her naptime, so while she slept, we decorated. And when she woke up, 'Christmas Tree' had a whole new meaning!
Cheese!
We got an email recently from a company that we had to take some on-line classes with as part of our pre-adoption work. They have other classes that they advertise. This one was titled "Helping your child with holiday stress." Not to ever minimize what other adopted children might be going through, because I know it can be a big problem, but I don't think we are going to need that one............




May you take JOY in this season of celebrating our Savior's birth!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

5Years Old!!!

How did this happen???? Our princess turned 5 last week. She started counting down the days as soon as November came, so we printed out a calendar that she could mark each one off. When the big day arrived, we all woke her with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday....and a treat for our sweet. We had her party the next day.....she planned it all.....she wanted dress up, face paint and a scavenger hunt. We had crafts and lots of fun was had.

They decorated their own cupcakes with LOTS of sprinkles! Time has gone by so quickly! Molly, you are such a treasure, we love you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thankful

Still catching up...
Our Thanksgiving was a great time of being with our family. And we have so much to be thankful for this year. As always. Mostly each other--and a first Thanksgiving.


Our celebrating started with Molly's school program. She was SO excited for us to come watch her. Dress rehearsal day:

Here is the Indian crew.
Our sweet Molly.
We love you so much!!
Then, we threw some clothes in a suitcase :)and headed to Atlanta and LaGrange to spend Thanksgiving day with family. This was the place I grew up going for Thanksgiving every year, so to me, it IS Thanksgiving. I didn't do a good job of getting any family pictures, but here is the main event (after the food!). I grew up with 3 girls in our family and 3 girls in their family. We used to sit around the table and talk, talk, talk and laugh ALOT. Now, with husbands and lots of boys, a new tradition has started--The Cousin Bowl!! Our boys were talking about it for 2 weeks prior and word is the cousins were practicing extra!
This year, we took it to a new level--from backyard football to the local high school field.

Complete with cheerleaders!Until they decided the playground across the street looked a little more interesting!Bad hair day, anyone??And, our version of a 'Thankful Tree'. Ours isn't as impressive as some of yours I have seen, but our hearts and lives still overflow with things to be thankful for.