Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring.It.on!

Looking forward to 2011!
2010 will go down as a "learning and growing" year.
There have been moments of great joy and moments I would like to erase.

I am sensing that this coming year will hold great change for our family.
I am pretty excited about it.
At moments scared to death of it.

[excited]

2011....
Bring.It.On!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Love!

When I am loving something I start taking [lots] of pictures.
As you can see there has been a lot of lovin' going on.
Enjoy.
I am.

[Pics. before the candle light service]

 [tradition here = clam chowder by candle light]


[Daddy telling the story of our Savior coming to Earth - as he does, each child places their part of the Nativity scene]
 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

God is so good.

What else can I say?

He sent His Son to earth.

For me.

For you.

Words escape me.

What a reason to celebrate.

Merry Christmas.
 
May God's amazing gift of His Son overwhelm you this season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

She is beautiful......

On the inside AND out!

Today #1 cut her hair for Locks of Love.





                     [before]                                                                                [after]

We have been talking about unique ways to give, to celebrate the season of the most treasured gift we have been given, Jesus Christ.  One night we were talking about giving out of what we had.......and she has hair.....lots of it!  Today, after never, ever cutting her hair, she cut 10 inches! 

What a doll!  Long, short or no hair ...... this girl is beautiful!



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Are we going to adopt again?

With the Uganda trip only 50 days away [yes 50!  Ekkkkk.....] I have had people ask if I am going to "bring another one home".  Let me start by clarifying for those that may not know....it is NOT that easy - wouldn't it be great if it was?  :)  But I get what they are asking.  And this is my not-so-short answer:

As the Lord leads!

Let me explain.

After # 3 we were pretty comfortable and thinking we were done. 

Surprise!

#4 was on the way. 

After # 4 we made it so that we were done - biologically at least.

Surprise!

God birthed adoption in a BIG way!

# 5 was on the way!

While in Uganda we asked to adopt a sweet girl.

Door closed.

As you can see we have learned through this journey to remember that His ways are higher, His plans are better [waaayyyy better] and our job is to abide in Him and He will lead and .........

Be ready!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Final

I can not explain the joy I had on Dec 1st.  What a way to kick off the season!





Isaiah's adoption was finalized!




I expected it to be routine but it was much more than that for me, on that day.

My computer was not working, so my "to do" list was mostly cut [a gift from God for sure]. 


I spent the morning giving long baths filled with bubbles, to the top, for "the Little's," followed by long massages.

We had Christmas music playing all day and it was just a sweet day.

Really hard to explain but I will try.

This adoption was a whirlwind for me.  From the time God birthed adoption in our hearts to Isaiah coming home, was right at a year.  

One very awesome CrAzY year, filled with major emotion.

Then he was home.

Now what? :)

Learning to parent in a whole new way. 

Learning 

Growing

Crying

Restoring

and a ton of prayer!

How fitting the Lord would choose to ordain Isaiah's finalization after a year of healing. 

Bringing all of us to a place of being a "whole" family.

I would love to introduce........

Isaiah Ryan Muwanguzi Vaughan



~

Here is how it went down:

We drove out of our driveway, greeted but this rainbow, directly in front of us.  Surely the Lord was reminding me of His faithfulness!


Then we waited.....


Friends, that are more like family showed up.......


Then court was in session!



Then after a bunch of questions that we could confidently answer "YES" to......

It was finished!



Time to celebrate with people we hold so very dear that words can not explain how I feel about them.  These people have been our cheerleaders, mentors, counselors, family and so so much more.  I love them so much!  Thank you Ron, Renee and Teresa for holding this family up in prayer and love through this journey.



Blessing to you all this Christmas Season. 

God is good!
 
God is faithful!
 
God is worthy of all our praise, all our lives!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leading Our Children

A leader is someone that leads, goes first, shows the way and then turns back help others. 

I desire to lead my children to Christ. 

To be an example. 

I could just sit and tell them about following Christ. Talking to them is key, for sure, but more than that I want to show them by being a living sacrifice.

I will be leaving my children again for 13 days.  13 days without mommy.  13 days of upset schedule. 

13 day of........sacrifice.

You see, this is hard.  We do not pretend that it is easy for our family to give up mommy or daddy for a time. 

But how will they know if we do not start NOW?

Do they start serving Christ when they are 18?

That is not biblical - at.all.

Serving Christ for what ever He has called you [or my kiddos] to is not for later. 

It is for now

We are not promised tomorrow.

Romans 12:1



[ A Living Sacrifice ] Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From our house to yours....


Happy Thanksgiving!

We were challenged, by one of our pastors, to make a list of 50 things we are thankful for!  We will be making ours as we drive up to family.  I challenge you to do the same!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New look thanks to Miss Lexie!

Check out my new bloggy look!  

I love it and I love the young lady that updated it for me!  I have never met her but my hubby spent 2 weeks in Ug@nda with her, and he thought she was one amazing young lady!

Thank you Miss Lexie

I love it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trip Questions

Lots of people have asked, "What are you going to do in Ugand@?"

SERVE.

That was what the Lord laid upon my heart when I was there.  To bring women to serve.  To serve the children and those that are in the mix EVERY.DAY.

Could you imagine caring for dozens of hurting children every day?  

What a breath of fresh air to see people come in and "visit" the children.  Possibly lighten the load for even a day.

So that is what we shall do.

A building project? nope. 
A big outreach?  nope.

Those things are great and needed desperately but we are each given different gifts and talents to be used for God's purposes.   

My greatest prayer is that our team will enter each place with a huge heart of service and bless these children and workers. 

I pray we leave a sweet fragrance of Christ as we GO.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (New King James Version)

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One Year and Ugand@ 2011

On exactly one year to the day, that I stepped onto USA soil from Ug@nda, a few girls met in my living room, we prayed, then......

we booked! 

That's right, it's time! 

And God in His sovereign ways designed it to be booked on exactly the one year anniversary of coming home.  This was something I realized after the date was set to meet because of schedules.  Cool, hu? 

God rocks my socks off!

This time it is the girls turn!

The Ug@nda GO Team 2011 is all girls.

AWESOME girls!

Girls I just met, girls I have known a bit, girls I love and girls that love God with all their heart!   All their heart!

I just love each one!

Praising God!  Overflowing with joy and excitement!
May God be glorified through every part of this journey!

[special "tasks" have already been given, like telling 2 treasures they are being adopted by some of our best friends - oh my heart, I may not make it - I may pass out from excitement before I get it out.  AND getting to kiss my sweet niece that I already love.  Praying my sis will already be there.]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yes! Amen!



Please watch and then let's chat.....[or I will tell you what I think cuz this is a blog and it is really hard to chat beings that I am leaving the minute I finish ;)  BUT I would love to hear your thoughts so... go watch and then let's chat].


Good, hu?  Um ya!

You know that train?  Ya, it is filled with 160 MILLION orphans, innocent children.  We are singing louder, having more "feel good, inspirational conferences," bigger more convenient buildings so we can gather together and worship in comfort.  All the while singing louder and louder because well...."you do not want to get on that soapbox" or "there are so many and it makes me sad to think about."

I refuse to buy into that.  I have, and I will not any longer.

I am at Jesus feet about taking a few women to Ug@nda in February.  I have had so many "weird" comments that it drives me straight to the word of God and EVERY>SINGLE>TIME I walk away seeing that taking women to care for orphans, the poor and oppressed, is not weird. 

What is weird is to sing louder.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One year ago today!

One year ago today I walked into S@nyu Babies Home in Ug@nda East Africa and have never, and will never, be the same....ever!

One year ago today my heart was shattered.

One year ago today I got to see what God sees everyday and why He says in His word for us to do something about it.  In fact He says to care for these vulnerable treasures is undefiled before Him.

One year ago today I met my son whom has taught me more in the last year than any person alive.

My heart is heavy with so many thoughts and feelings as we walk through all of these one year anniversaries.  One year since we boarded a plane, one year since meeting #5, one year since going before the high court, one year since the verbal ruling, one year since the visa was issued, one year since boarding a plane to come home, one year since stepping off the plane and into our family of 7 forever, forever. 

It is sweet, so very sweet. 

Words kind of escape me.

I am overflowing with gratitude to God.

Thank you God for taking me on this journey.  Thank you God for using me to bring you glory through this.  Thank you God for #5!  God, you have made him fearfully and wonderfully.  What an amazing blessing this child is.  Thank you for allowing me to be his mommy.  Thank you for teaching me all through out the year how to be his mommy.  I could not imagine going through this life with out him.  Thank you God for what you have taught my entire family.  Thank you God for drawing all of my children to yourself though out this year.  I praise your Holy name God.  You are worthy so very very worthy.  Amen

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sweet Family Night

*I love spontaneous dance parties*


Look at #4 and #5's faces - how cute is that?

Then our evening ended with Daddy talking about worship and what true worship was.  We pulled up this youtube and worshiped as a family - enjoy!






Thank You Jesus for this sweet night!

Mission Trip Giveaway!

My Crazy Adoption blog is giving away a free mission trip to Ethiopia!  Here are the details:

◦Prize: Mission Trip to Ethiopia, February 17-26, 2011


◦Prize value: $3100

◦Number of winners: 1-2

◦Number of Tee shirts to sell: 183 + 183

◦Ending date of the giveaway: 10/28/10

◦Where it can be won: My Crazy Adoption Blog

◦The prize is from: www.mycrazyadoption.com

◦To enter this giveaway, you can: purchase a tee shirt at My Crazy Adoption Store

Hurry and enter!  Bloggy world can be very fun!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh, the change of seasons...

In the last two months Justin and I have had a walk down memory lane through our childhood "things."

My parents and his mom are experiencing a change of seasons.

Moving, packing up and letting go of "things."

It has not been easy for either of them. 

Change can be so bitter-sweet sometimes.  Sad to know that season is over but excited for what lies ahead. 

We know that God has good plans for each of them! 

Very good plans - it is a promise!  Each of them trust God and have put their faith in Jesus Christ so we stand on that promise!  What great comfort!

This weekend we packed up the kids and headed to my parents to pack up their home of 23 years. 

Two of my sister were able to make it [so sad #3 sis could not be there - they are in the midst of grieving the loss of a parent, please pray for them].


We had a good belly laugh pulling out our senior portraits.


Where has the time gone?



The way we were.
[now there are 4 husbands and 18 {and counting} grand kids - a little different, aye?]


After going through 23 years of "stuff" you can get a little silly and by this point we all were a little [or a lot] nutty! lol

One more ride on "Eli!"  {and no I did not break her, I think}


One more....weren't we cute?



Dad, Mom and Mom V.,
We know that God has good plans for each of you.  We are praying for each of you and look forward to seeing what God will do in and through you in this new chapter.  Thank you for being great parents and most of all for teaching us to love the Lord Our God with all of our hearts, soul and mind.  May we each be spent for Him in this coming season!

Love you all, 
J, S and kids 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Grace in learning - Praise the Lord!

I learned so much at T4A.  One of the reasons I was so excited to go, was that I knew I would get some new tools for parenting.  Parenting has been a new ball game with #5.  I felt as if I had exhausted my tool box and was left standing with a big fat question mark on my head.  I need to be clear - #5 is a good boy, great boy.  I was just noticing time and time again that my parenting style was not bringing the connection or results I was expecting.  We have come a long long long way and that my friends is the grace of God.

When #5 came home, I treated him like #4.  I thought this was the right way - "treat him like the rest" - I was told over and over.  Now, in hind sight I can see how silly that is.  The rest had not had the trauma in their life that #5 had - things needed to be different, I needed to embrace that.  Sometimes I felt like a rehab center and resented that because I was trying to ignore what #5 had been through.  What my thinking was, I am not sure.  Really, there is a post-adoption fog that happens very similar to that of postpartum - so I am not sure where my head was.

Listening to Karen Purvis talk about trauma and the effects that it has on the childs development, I wanted to stand up and yell "YES!  That is SO true!  What this lady is saying, WE have experienced!"  but I spared us all and did not. :)  I sat there begging God to let all the info soak in all the way to my heart so that I could be the best mommy to #5 and fulfill the role God had granted me.

We have been implementing many of the things she suggests (not perfectly) but making great strides to retrain our brains and reactions.  Wow, we have already seen results.

So ...... we are busy reatraining our brains to help grow his, and loving every minute.

PS - Have I said lately that adoption rock? ...oh!  I does! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just One of the Many

Please read this and get a taste of one of the many things that happened this weekend at T4A:

http://wearethatfamily.com/2010/10/miracles-happen-when-you-speak-up

I think when we all here the numbers or injustices we can begin to swim in a sea of despair.  The quickest way to kick out of that is to act now - in the moment - if it is good, right, God glorifying - jump.  I know one girl that will forever be grateful that that man did.  Please go read.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Full!

Oh my heart is full! 

I can not tell you what a blessing T4A was.  If you are reading and wishing you were there, I just want to encourage you to plan for next year.  It is in Phoenix, AZ!  I love AZ!

I am unpacking my things, washing a ton of laundry and hearing things like "we did not brush our teeth once while you were gone" - lol - oh my, oh my, oh my!  hehe

I want to share everything - record it - never forget it - bottle it up and take a peek on days I need to remember.

It was a place I felt hearts were united for one reason and that was to Glorify God.  Period.

The topic of adoption was plentiful but not without it being Christ-centered.

Honestly, I felt like I got a big fat hug from God!

[more to come]

Friday, September 24, 2010

Home...At Last!

In May of 2009 Hubby was preparing to go to Africa, with not one soul that he knew.  The team was from Colorado and God had clearly laid it before him to "GO!"  We were thrilled, but I had a personal prayer.  "God please give Justin a friend.  One to watch out for him and have those late night chats with." 

Oh boy, did God answer! 

Through e-mail (if I remember right), we decided that Justin and this other guy (not from Colorado) would meet in the London airport and have dinner.  I anxiously waited to hear what this guy was like, knowing hubby was about to spend 2 weeks, in a third world country with him.  I will never forget breathing a sigh of relief when Justin called and said he was a great guy and they even looked alike. :)  I laughed and thanked God for His sweet goodness!  What an answer to prayer!

The two weeks in Uganda together created a brotherly bond that I believe will last a lifetime.  They were two dads loving orphans, praying for each other and both starting and adoptions together.  They celebrated the beginning of those adoptions and encouraged each other through the bumpy road that was from the start.  They laughed together, they cried together and cleaned up other team members puke together...some real bonding...eeeewww. hehe


[this is Justin, Shonnie (whom we love too) and James]

After returning home we began to Skype.  I "met" James first and was floored how much he and Justin were alike.  God has a complete sense of humor.  They both love to hunt and be outdoors but most importantly they are both sold out for Christ and passionate about heir families.  Cool hu?  Who put these two together? - God did - ya, He gives good gifts! 

Later, I got to "meet" Cheremi and before long we were laughing and it became very comfortable, very fast!  We had regular Skype dates, at least once a week.  We spent a lot of time just getting to know one another and sharing our adoption steps. 

We prayed insane amounts that God would allow us to go to court all together. 

Justin and I got our court date first and headed out.  We prayed and hoped they would join us but had little hope at that point.  I will never forget sitting in the little internet hut and reading that they were on their way!!  I could not believe my eyes and was over.the.moon.happy! 



I grabbed my camera the morning they were expected meet their children and documented their first moments. 

Is that the most precious moment?  It was!

What a blessing to be together.

[they are laughing at me because I took my hair out of the bun for the pic - I knew it could end up on a blog post - see C & J - much prettier hair for the blog lol]


Our husbands were like little boys that had their BBF back!  lol  At one time Cheremi and I noticed the guys were missing and had no clue where they went.  They had gone down the street to grab a rolex together.  :)

It was not long and they realized Canad@, their country, was going to be a problem.  Canad@ was not issuing visas for legal guardianship in a timely fashion (or any fashion for that matter).  Cheremi headed home to be with their 3 children.



[this was right before Justin headed home to be with our 4]

It was not long and Isaiah and I were on our way home.

[saying bye to Uncle James]

It was bitter sweet for me.  I was so relived to be with my family but I felt like I had left a fellow solider behind.  There was rarely a conversation had, that I did not ask for people to pray for them.  We prayed, we fasted and shook our heads at the far-to-long-wait.  We watched Christmas come and go with James in Uganda, fighting for his kids and Cheremi at home.  Our hearts we heavy for them and they were never far from our thoughts.

After 5 long hard months James came home, empty handed.

I was glad for Cheremi to have her hubby home, single parenting is hard.  It was time for them to fight for their kids from home.

In September they stepped out in faith and booked their flight to Uganda and petition for full adoption.  This is only done for special circumstances.

Praise God, Full Adoption was granted!

We screamed, yelled and cried knowing this trial was coming to an end.

It was all I could do to not book a ticket to UG to help Cheremi home with 2 kids!  She need a friend, I wanted to be that friend, but I couldn't, so I prayed, A LOT, knowing that God was able to strengthen her.

On my birthday they were on a plane, what a gift!

On September 21, 2010 they were untied forever as a family!


 [Aren't they beautiful?]

Welcome Home Schalk Family, Welcome Home!

Psalm 68:6



God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing
 
 
 
 

Monday, September 20, 2010

One more......

Please read below first but the greatest birthday gift today was.......

Knowing that Cheremi was on a plane WITH her 2 children coming home to their forever family!  Yay!  I keep looking up and praying for: strength, joy, energy, safety!

:)

Reasons I loved my birthday today:

morning kisses and sleepy happy birthday wishes

obedient kids ["cuz it's my b-day" was used a few time]

facebook wishes - every few minutes I would click over - how fun!  lots of love!

dreaming and praying about a women's trip to Ug@nda

loving phone calls

nap with #4 (and no rooster to drive me crazy - seriously would like him to go away for my b-day...every 30 seconds people, every 30 seconds)

the new baby cow next door being named "Shauna" - honored [unless she is a he and then that will just be sad]

finding out there is a mama pig in Ugand@ named  "Shauna" - honored [I think]lol

hubby making me a killer dinner ..... gotta go!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mother Daughter Night


Saturday night we were blessed to gather with other Christian moms that desire to have our daughters grow in the ways of the Lord.  All of our treasures are in their tween years and we realize we are headed, full steam, into years that are full of change.

I love how one mom put it. Let's get into ready position, as best we can, instead of being afraid or running away from the tough issues. Then we all shared a bit of our hearts.

It was a blessing to me and I feel it put a few more tools in my tool bag, as we enter the junior high years.

[all of the girls wanted to run outside and twirl in their pretty dresses......my heart skipped a beat, wanting to keep her twirling forever, yet knowing that God has good plans for her too]

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

There is so much to be thankful for each.and.every.day!

This world would like us to drown in the negative pool of discouragement but Jesus says, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." 

We know that there will be hard, yucky times but we have a promise from God himself - He has overcome the world!  I read about missionaries who were physically destroyed yet praised God because they knew and understood this very thing.  

I am thankful for:

My hubby that is so patient with me tho I may be a bit of a head case at times.  [love you Babe]

My kids that are truly treasures and make life so rich!  God says children are a blessing and indeed they are!  It makes me sad when people don't like their kids - that would be like not liking the cool whip on hot coco or frosting on cake or coffee without a good read or.......you get the idea.  Very thankful for them!

Our church!  What a blessing! 

The fact that there will be 5 less orphans with in the next year [God willing] and we will get front row seats to watch God set the lonely in these families!!  More thrilled about this one than words can say!!!!!!!!

I am thankful for 2 more orphans being placed in their, long awaited family, this week!  But that one deserves a post all on it's own....coming soon...waiting on a pic that has been a year and a half in the waiting!

Umm...ya....T4A!  T4A!  [just sayin']

Ok - I am off to tackle a closet that has been out.of.control! 

Love you all - Happy Thankful Thursday!  What are you thankful for?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Being Sensitive to the Spirit

Yesterday's message, last night's movie and today's podcast have my head filled with God's ways, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and repentance.

Yesterday our pastor preached an awesome message.  He talked about being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the conviction of sin in our lives.  He talked about allowing God to search our hearts and shed light in our lives to reveal that sin.  Without the revelation of the Holy Spirit we will walk blind to that sin. 

Sometimes, God reveals and we ignore - creating a calloused heart.  THAT is something I do not want.  I DO NOT want to have a hard heart or be stiff-necked as God often refers to people that do not turn to Him, those that do not bow their knee to Him.

The more we allow God to show us the sin and then REPENT [turn from - actually takes action and a movement not just a thought] the more we will hear from Him and live the life He has for us.  He actually tells us to flee from sin - run - get away.  God does not want His children bogged down with the weight of sin.

This is where yesterday's movie come in.  God loves to teach me, and then we often practice that lesson straight away *sigh* - can anyone relate? :) 

I love movies.  I love vegging.  I love chick flicks and that fuzzy feeling you get when it all turns out so sweet and wonderful.  Ahhh...

But the selection these days sucks.  I just had to say that.

Oh but I keep trying! : (

The day before (God had this little lesson in mind apparently) I went to blockbuster and picked up a chick flick - I did not look at the rating just grabbed it because I like the actress and it looked cute, harmless, funny.

After putting the monkeys to bed I snuggled up with a bowl of ice cream and popped in my chick flick, ready for my little fun, fuzzy movie.  Hubby was in the room but studying/preparing for the new men's class at church.  [made this lesson more obvious and painful, I am sure lol]

Movie starts out cute, minutes later, a few crude moments but kinda funny too - I am just thinking it will get better.  Then bad words are about every other word - ok, maybe it fits the beginning and sets the stage for the cute and funny to come back. 

It doesn't. 

I feel that "you should not be watching this" feeling all over.  *sigh*

I tell myself not to be legalistic [such a fantastic cop-out for not obeying the Holy Spirit].

I see Justin tensing up (he hates t.v. and always has - this is not a struggle for him - he has others, this is not one).  I decide he is a prude and it is talking about women stuff anyways - he does not get it.

Oh, but I keep watching cuz after all there are a few funny parts, enough to keep it justified in my head.

After about 30 minute my stomach feels sick and I am embarrassed that I am watching and have laughed at such garbage. 

Phone rings - thank God! - I jump up turn off the movie. 

I was thrilled to take that out of my DVD player and thrilled to put it by the door, ready to send it back to where it came from.

Why didn't I turn it off before the phone rang?  I guess pride.  A feeling of, I can watch this, I am not harming anyone.  But that also made me sad because that is how it work.  God reveals/convicts - we respond. 

It is how we respond to that conviction that either softens our heart toward God or hardens are heart.

I realize a movie may not seem like a big deal to many but I believe it was the very thing that God used to teach me more about having a relationship with Him. 

Next time, it may not be a little movie.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday #2!

We had a very special weekend camping with our church family.  Even more special than that was that our first born son was baptized! 

Is there anything more special than to see your child make that decision on their own? 


 What.a.blessing!
What.a.blessing.he.is!
What.a.gift!

We could not be more proud of the young man he is.

The very next day was his birthday.


He got a bike (a little early so he could enjoy it all weekend and he did).



Sweet Boy,  You and your big brown eyes have been a blessing since the moment you were born.  You were the sweetest baby in the whole world. 
You have always had a tender heart and I remember when you were about 6 months old I could just say your name in a lower tone and you would burst into tears - quite a change for this mama, after your strong-willed sister. :)
I am over-the-moon-happy that you are such an amazing example to the younger boys.  I love how you and #3 stay up late talking and how you pack Isaiah on your back.  He seems to fit perfectly!
You are kind, smart and have eyes that see things in a different light.  Your father and I often marvel at your gift to figure things out and do things in a more functional, simple way.  Your dad often laughs and say "ya, that's what I was gonna do." :) 
I can not wait to see how God will use all your amazing gifts and talents.
We are proud of you Sweetheart!

Happy 9th Birthday!

Love, Mommy

T4A T4A T4A!!!!

Can you hear me yelling?  Jumping?  Happy?  Excited? 

Ya, I am! 

Why?

We get to go to Together for Adoption!

For those that may not know about it, you can go here to read about it.

[Silly Excited!]

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3? All True?

Last night our family devotion was reading Matthew chapter 2. 

God showed  J and I something about the things we feel He has been leading us to, whispers in our heart.  You see, we feel like God has given us 3 things that He has for us......the problem is, they do not fit.  Not even a little bit.  I can not figure out for the life of me how all three things will work or will come to fruition.  I have told the Lord, and others, that one must be wrong and have tried to deny each one, thinking it will never work.

Here is where Matthew chapter 2 comes in. 

In Matthew chapter two the Magi (wise men) were looking for the King of the Jews.  They knew that God had said in Micah 5:2 that the ruler that will shepherd Israel will come out of Bethlehem - then they followed the star and found him - they were looking for that star to lead the way and the they knew the scripture was truth, it would be fulfilled.  Because of their obedience, they got to be a big part of God's story. 

Then, an angel of the Lord told Joseph to go take Jesus and Mary to Egypt.  Therefore fulfilling Hosea 11:1 "out of Egypt I call my son."

Then and angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him to go back and they settled in town called Nazareth - fulfilling what was said through the prophets "He will be a Nazarene."

Now if you had sat back BEFORE Matthew 2 was written for us, you may have said "how is the Savior to be from 3 places"?  Born is Bethlehem, out of Egypt and a Nazarene?

But God had it all figured out....way back then!

The plans were perfectly fulfilled.  Jesus was from all three.  And I am pretty sure God did not struggle to "get it done." :)

As J and I look at our three things and scratch our heads, I need to remember Matthew chapter 2 and that God lead those plans, in those moments and they were perfectly done for His glory! 

That is what I want.  I do not want to do anything that may be my plans - I want them to be His good works he has set for me/us (Ephesians 2:10) and ALL for His glory!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jesus T@ke the Wheel!


video
#4 and #1 share a room now. They have been listening to C@rrie Underwood's CD at night. This is #4's version of "Jesus T@ke the Wheel". And yes, that is a stuffed br@ she has on, thanks to #1 thinking she was very funny this morning!

This cracks.me.up!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Family

This summer has been crazy fast!  Can it just last for a few more months pllllllleeeeaaaassse? 

I love summer!  I am a happier mama - period.  Sunshine, playing outside, playing with the animals, less laundry, what's not to love [ok maybe the flies - I am kinda done with them]. 

We were blessed this weekend to make some more memories. 

We were privileged to be asked to come share our adoption journey at the church my husband grew up in, got married in and dedicated our first born in.  What an honor.

We got there and we had no idea it was "Family Sunday" - how perfect!  I loved the whole thing - it was a true blessing to me! [esspecially since our family filled the back two pews - 20 family members :) ]

We crashed my sis with one days notice, nice hu?  Didn't seem to phase them!  My sis has an awesome hubby and 5 beautiful treasures that are making a difference in this world.  I am so stinkin' proud of them I can not even tell you!  Justin and I stayed up late talking to the 2 older ones, Sat. night and went to bed saying that we hope our kids turn out like them.  Whatever you are doing C and J - keep.it.up!!!

My sis has been my greatest source of encouragement [aside from hubby - but girls just need girlfriends - amen?] through this whole adoption journey.  God really used her to speak into my life when I needed it most.  God used her in a big way.  She also took care of all 4 of my kiddos for 2 weeks while J and I were both in Africa.  My kids are still talking about it and I believe it gave them an extra bond - love that!

She wrote the sweetest blog post today about how she feels about Isaiah.  Blessed me so very much, I have read it many times and thought I would share it here. [and you can gawk at how beautiful they all are]

Her love for Isaiah (and that of her hubbies and children) has meant more to me than I could ever write.  See, it is very different when you adopt.  There was no baby shower, there was no excited phone calls to see when he would be here, there were no gifts........but hers.     

{there were a couple more that came later...in the weeks to follow but nothing like my bio kids}

It was a blankie and he is sleeping with it as I type!  It is very special indeed.

Thanks Brewer Bunch for blessing us this weekend and for all of your love!  Your Family Rocks! 

[I would post pics but when the kids are together they disappear until it is time to go.]

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Birthday #1!


Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!
How can you possibly be 11 and entering the 6th grade?
I am thinking it was yesterday that you made your grand appearance and I could not believe the overwhelming love for you that washed over me!  I sobbed harder than you!  I was overwhelmed with your beauty and sweetness.  God gives good, good gifts!!!

I am so blessed by you these days.
I am blessed by your brilliant mind.  You are a smart cookie!
I am blessed by your love for your siblings, esspecially Lily.  You have a sweet bond that I love to watch bloom more and more.  Sisters are a gift, I should know, I have 3!
I am blessed by your hunger for truth.  You soak it up sweet thang and it will get you through!
I am blessed by your open heart to love the least of these.  Sometimes I think you "get it" more than I do.  You have never wavered in loving Isaiah and teaching him how to be in a family.  And I love how you encourage us to adopt again.  You are rich encouragement to your dad and me!

You have blessed us more than any blog post can say.

Your dad and I will always love you and we are praying for you as you enter into these next few years where things tend to change alot.

Happy Birthday!

Love, Mommy

PS ~ I am also VERY blessed by your love of baking although I am a frustrated with that one because now I am going to have to spend a lot of time with the treadmill this fall because of all your summer baking! :)  Get back to school so you can quit stuffing me with your homemade waffles, banana bread, cookies..... :)! 

[this pic is from this morning before church ~ she is covered in both of her Grandma's love.  One Grandma got her the dress from Africa and the other got her the horse necklace and earring - two things that definitely make up this little girl!]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Meme!


Happy Birthday Meme!!  {my Mama}

Meme, We love you and pray that you have a beautiful birthday!!  #4, J and Curly Tops! [was a little windy outside :)]

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Joy



The boys are off to the woods. 
I have never seen my boys so excited - ever.  Even Justin quoted the Disney commercial the night before they left "I'm too excited to sleep!"



Isaiah is stuck with the girls, he will have to get a few more years on him before he packs-in.

I had a tough night last night. The dog barked allll night and little sleep was to be had.
Today started poorly and I got into a pit. I was struggling with climbing out. I shut off the computer (good idea for addicted me) and took the kids swimming, came home and Lily grabbed a few books for me to read to her and Isaiah as we sat outside. I started to laugh because this was how it started:

"For the Heart"

"Every now and then a sad day will come. Maybe we're sick or it's raining outside. When sad days come, think a happy thought. Think about God's love for you. That can make you happy all the time!"

The next page was the song "Happy All the Time" then "I've got Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy"

I was kinda chuckling [not because I think "think a happy thought and everything will be OK"] but that God loves me so much He was reminding me that my joy comes from Him!

Thanks for the reminder God!