Monday, July 30, 2012

6 months ago today......

Angry, sad, scared and really just shut down

6 months later.....

Happy, silly, loving, funny and FULL of LIFE!!!!!

We love this baby girl!
 Happy 6 months with your forever family Louisa! You bring such joy to us and we can't imagine our family without you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Struggle

There is a constant struggle that goes on inside of my heart.
God vs the world
God and his unmerited grace, love, wisdom and goodness vs the world and its temporary trappings
Doesn't sound right
Why would one not choose God?
Why would one be drawn to the things of the world that fade and inevitably loose their luster?

17 years ago when I first started coming to this beach, I dreamed of living in a beachfront mansion like this. I walked through the rooms in my mind and decorated them all. I envisioned myself drinking coffee in the mornings on one of my many porches overlooking the Atlantic ocean.

Since then God has been working on my heart. Through people, circumstances, and experiences God placed in my path, my dreams have changed. I no longer dream of living here. 

Instead I find myself dreaming dreams with more eternal value. Don't get me wrong, I live in a lovely home filled with plenty of comforts and extras. And I complain and whine and forget I am blessed beyond measure. In God's great sense of "humor" He exposed my still growing heart last week. After reading and crying over the blogs of the women on TEAM CHENZHOU and their love and dedication to some of China's orphans, I poured my heart out to Him asking Him to break my heart even further for those things that break His. I asked Him to reveal to me what more I could do. 11 year old van had a "slight" malfunction and the window motor would not allow the window to roll up. My sweet Dad duct taped plastic on it so we wouldn't sweat or get wet on our 1 hour and 15 minute ride home. I fumed inside all the way home as the rain pelted against it and the constant flapping of the plastic,which sounded more like a sledge hammer being beat against the metal, gave me a most throbbing headache! My worldly self rehearsed over and over the many reasons why we needed a new car! HAD TO HAVE A NEW CAR!

Until it hit me. He gently nudged my heart. We don't really NEED a new car and we don't buy a new car because it is paid for. We have no car payment. We can use this money for eternal purposes. We can donate to places and things we feel led to. Things that make a difference. Things with eternal value.

So I will drive my old car.
And I will continue to struggle but...... 
I will continue to pray for my heart to be molded more like His.
I will pray that He leads me to Him and away from the glittering here and now of the world.
I will pray my children learn this.
I will pray I choose Him.

And His everlasting love and grace.

Forever Family Day 5 years

From a bald, sweaty, screaming, thrashing 9 month old to a happy, smart, funny, beautiful 5 year old! That's what love can do! Can't imagine our lives without our princess Jaida. We love  this child beyond words. We got to celebrate this year at our favorite beach..... Happy Forever Family Day sweet Jaida Ruth!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The most beautiful nails in the world!

Lulu had her nails painted today! All 7 of them! She is sooooo very proud of them. Showing all of Sam's friends and anyone else who would look! When we told Jaida last year about Lulu's special hands and feet she was so concerned about her not being able to have them painted. You see this is a big deal for my girly-girl. Well today Jaida and I were doing our nails and guess who walked over to join the painting party? Miss Lulu. Jaida begged me to paint her nails too. So painting an excited, squirming 2 year old's nails is not an easy task. But that I did. We just painted skin where there were no nails...this sweet, little foot above has none. She thinks they are BEAUTIFUL!!!!! As she says, "pitty"!  And we do too!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy 14th Birthday Julia!

My sweet 1st born came into this world with eyes wide open and ready to take on life.

Today she and I spent the entire day together. What a wonderful day we had! Shopping, lunch, and......

getting her ears pierced!!!!

We rejoined the "fam" for cake and dinner out.

Chinese of course!

How much I love this first born of mine! She showed me that wonderful, joyous Mama love and I will be forever thankful for her. She is a blessing to us all and I love her with all my heart!
Happy Birthday Julia!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A matter of the heart....

The Visiting Orphans mission team that was at Lulu's orphanage last year when we were matched with her in June is there again NOW! Julia and I had hoped to go this year with them but with a new little one and bonding and castings and surgery and.....well it just wasn't possible this year. We cried. We really, really wanted to go. We wanted to give. Give to the children left behind, give to the nannies, be the hands and feet. A part of my heart is there. And as I have read the blogs of these wonderful women there at Chenzhou I have cried, well sobbed really. I have realized a LARGE part of my heart is there! I want to do more. Simply put... more. I have been praying about this since we left China. I know He will give me the answer of HOW to do MORE. So very many needs. So I sit, here in America, not so patiently waiting on Him to direct and guide. I have a few ideas and I am praying about those. Please visit the blogs of and pray for and with these women. Click on the Flicker link to see photos of those children waiting there for love, hope, and a future. Real children with real needs. Please pray for them. These are the same little faces we looked into when we were there in January. The sad reality that they are STILL there and probably will be until....... breaks my heart.

Friday, July 6, 2012

4th of July 2012

Lake, grandparents, cousins, swimming, skiing, food, fun and fireworks!
It was also the first 4th of July for our newest American citizen...Lulu! She loved it!!!!
We always celebrate Julia's bday as a family too!
Wonderful memories!