Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Infectious Joy

Boy, I am going to miss this dear girl when she heads back to school.  Her joy is infectious and we have enjoyed having her with us every minute this summer.  I can't believe that she is in third grade this year.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Early Morning Spa















Anna Mei was up and at going at 5:50 AM this morning as usual.  I love that my girl is an early riser.  Not only is she an early riser, but as soon as she wakes the girl is ready to go.  She had this spa up and going a bit after 6:00 AM this morning, and boy was it fun!
Molly got in on the action, and did a lovely job making herself even prettier than she already is.


















Even Jillian wanted to play with us which always makes this momma so very happy.
















Her nails were quite a sight with the red polish accenting the mug and dirt that is ever present on my mud loving girl's hands.















Anna Mei was my make up artist too.


















If you ever feel like a 5:00 AM manicure, our kitchen table is the place to be.
















Another beautiful morning to be beyond grateful for the fun these little girls bring me.  Beyond blessed to be their momma!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Precious Baby

I rock this baby to sleep, and hold her during her naps as much as I can.  As I snuggle this little babe against my chest, it is impossible to not be overcome with just how miraculous all of this truly is.  We have five amazing daughters that God has allowed us to raise for Him in this season.  Four beautiful babes from across the ocean. Once orphaned, these sweet, precious girls are now cherished daughters who, though they have no biological connection to us, are grafted into our hearts.  We call them ours.  Daddy takes them for bike rides.  They run into his arms when he comes home from work.  They sing VBS worship songs at the top of their lungs while they dance around our living room at night.  Though life with four littles who have varying degrees of special needs, and one big girl who is about to go off to college is so extremely chaotic, this life is so much more abundantly blessed by their presence than I could have ever imagined when I set out dreaming about what my life might look like when I started all of this.  I didn't even know to dream this big for my time here on Earth.  My dear man's favorite idea, that we first heard at a teen conference, is that God's plans are so much bigger than your imagination.  That is so true in our lives.  As I hold this dear one in my arms, I have so much reason to give thanks to God for planning this incredible life for me.  I continue to feel so unworthy of parenting these babes as I make many mistakes throughout the day, but God continues to show me about His mercy and grace in my life.   This huge story for us just started with one yes.  My has God taken our very shaky yes when we signed on, and turned it into a big, giant faith shaping journey.  Friends, knowing God and serving Him is the thrill of my life.  It is all that matters.  The only hope that never fades throughout our crazy, chaotic days.  I am so very grateful to know Him today, and all the days of my life, because, while so much about life isn't easy, I always have hope in Him.  



Friday, August 11, 2017

Devonian Fossil Gorge

After an appointment at the U the other day, we headed with a picnic lunch to the fossil gorge.  It is on the way home from the city so it was a perfect detour to turn our appointment into an outing.  
It wasn't a large area to hike which was perfect for our little girls' short legs.
The temperature was beautiful,
and our sweet girls loved, loved exploring.
It was a day that I stepped back out of for a minute, and gave great thanks that these enthusiastic little ones are mine.  How life would be so dull without them.
There were wonders everywhere, and our girls took full advantage with wonder.
I am not sure we had the actual patience to find a real fossil, but we sure thought we saw many.
We also did plenty of hamming it up while we explored.
Grateful...Blessed....
A little sad too that summer has to end.

Monday, August 7, 2017

City Park Fun


After donuts, we headed to a city park.  The park has some vintage carnival rides which, for less than 75 cents a ride, where the greatest thing ever for our little girls!


They loved them!

You would think we were on the tallest, fastest roller coaster in the world.
It was pure, simple fun!


Ellie Grace enjoyed strolling in the stroller with Daddy throughout the park while the girls rode, and I didn't get one picture of that sweet thing.


The end of summer is so near which always makes me sad.  Oh that summer could last forever somehow!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Because Summer is Slipping Away


We took full advantage of a trip to the University last week because summer is slipping away.


We all loaded up, and after our therapy was over, headed to the Hurt's Donut Shop.


A deliciously, fun time was had by all!


Never in my wildest dreams did I think this girl would ever enjoy eating a donut, but here she is eating a donut!


I love that this little one doesn't stay put for a picture anymore.  She is all over the place, and since she couldn't even sit up three months ago, we are thrilled!


Double thumbs up for delicious donuts.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

18


18.  How did we get here?


How can it be that we are moving this young woman out of our house in just three short weeks?


I have no answers, but the reality is our time with this girl as a child are gone..just like that.  I am grateful to God for the gift of this incredible girl who was the first to make me a momma.   I am even more grateful that God didn't follow my plan of only doing this momma thing once because having an empty nest in just three short weeks would not have been a good idea.  What was I thinking in my twenties? Grateful God gave me just a few more of these beautiful babies (two of whom will likely never leave me)  because my nest will never be empty.  Praise God for His plans!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Our Princess's First Portraits

I was able to get Ellie Grace to a local studio on Saturday, and they captured her first professional poses for us.

Her silly smiles look just like she does everyday.

We are thrilled with all the sweet angles of her face.
(These shoes and gold bracelet were my Emily's that she wore at her 12 months photos.)

There is nothing more precious to this momma than sweet images of her treasures.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trisomy 9p

It has been several weeks now since we met our daughter's extra chromosomes.  Trisomy 9p is the official declaration given.. the nuts of bolts of why she is who she is today.  To us, we don't see her as anything more than perfect, valuable, and created by a maker who makes no mistakes.  He intended for her to be put together just as she is, and to be our daughter.  I could go on and on about just how miraculous she was made.  I don't think Daddy has even read the pamphlet about the rare designer chromosomes our daughter has because, as he said, she is first of all just our daughter.  It makes no difference to us that her chromosomes are out of the ordinary.  On the contrary, most days we feel as if we have won the family lottery being able to parent these extraordinary daughters we have been given by the Lord. The geneticist at the U, who has seen all our girls and is very familiar with our beautiful family, said that we should put no limits on what our baby girl might accomplish because look at all she has done already.  I agree! God knows what this time on earth for her will bring, and all that she will do to change this world to bring Glory to Him who created her.  We are just along for the ride, and couldn't be more thrilled to call her our precious, treasured daughter.  

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sometimes a Girl...


Sometimes a girl plays so hard, she just falls asleep in the middle of her destruction. I love having a baby to mess and destroy all within her reach again.  This girl is doing some serious exploring this week and we are thrilled to walk through all her piles.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Boat Rides

We also love to ride the pontoon boat each year.
Eventually, Ellie fell asleep, but she enjoyed the wind and water while she was awake.
Jilly and Daddy rode the boat every day as Jillian is a huge fan.
The driver would get going really fast, and Jilly would just smile and smile.

Beach Fun




















There are a million things to do at Gull Lake Ministries, but through the years, the beach is our absolute favorite!  It was special to have this new little beauty here with us.
The little girls can't get enough.
They are getting older and so we could take a shorter nap this year.
That meant we could spend more time in the water.
Anna Mei was big enough to go out to the blob by herself without Daddy this year.  She was very, very proud of that.
Paddle boats with momma is always a highlight.
Jilly just loves her some water and sand.
These girls are so precious swimming every day away.
How I love, love to watch them enjoying this week each year.