Deuteronomy 4:35

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Calling All Adoptive Families..Add Names..Order Shirts

As with our past adoptions, we are in need of names of adopted children that can be listed on the back of our current fundraising shirt.  We have designed a front logo that says adopt one more loved with 1 john 4:19 referenced on the back.  
This logo pictured will be on the front of the shirt, but we would like to list names of your adopted kiddos on the back as a testimony to the many one mores that are thriving in a loving family.  
(It will look something like this with your children's names listed.)
We featured more than one hundred names on our last t-shirt and it was such a testimony!  PLEASE EMAIL ME DIRECTLY AT,, WITH YOUR CHILD(REN)'S FIRST AND MIDDLE NAME so that it can be included on our t-shirt list!  

The shirts are ready to preorder in gray, red, royal, or pink right now and make great gifts for Christmas.  We will take orders below for about three weeks.  It will take two weeks to print and ship them, and they will arrive in time to give for Christmas gifts in the beginning of December.

Order them through Paypal below.

Shirts are $20 shipped.
They are a unisex fit in a 50/50 blend of polyester and cotton.  They can be ordered in youth and adult sizes with the drop down menu.  When you push add to cart, you will be directed to paypal to pay through our account.
(You don't need a paypal account to order.) 

Azaela (Pink)

Dark Heather Grey

Red T-shirt

Royal (Blue) T-shirt

If you have any questions, you can email me at


I was just handed a completed copy of our home study!  Now we can move on to the immigration step.  I am thrilled to be moving on!  I can't wait to get to our baby girl!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Precious, Precious

Pulling into the driveway just now, my precious Anna Mei says, "Momma, I just want Ellie Grace to be home right now.  Momma I will give you all the money I have to get her home."  To which I say, "I know baby having her in China so far away is so hard.  You are such a precious, precious hearted girl.  Momma loves that you love your baby sister so much already."  I may have shed a tear or two as well. Waiting is hard, but I got an email today that our homestudy might be done next week!  If it is done, we can start the immigration process which just means we can file a few more papers and wait for them to process.  Only about one million more papers to go until we hold her...Counting the days until then!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ellie Grace Update

Our paperwork is at a stand still.   It isn't even crawling, and, while I know this place well, it never gets any easier waiting while a piece of your heart is a half a world away.  

We did receive an update about our girl this week though. 
Our girl is dangerously small for a two year old.
 She isn't sitting up, crawling, talking, or eating much.  She desperately needs a family, possibly amplification to gain access to sound, and a slew of therapies.  I know that there is much that the Lord desires to teach me during this time as I wait to hold this sweet babe, but it doesn't make it any easier to be without her.
Just look at this sweet smile.
I sat here at my computer last night, long after bedtime, staring into her eyes.  I imagined having her here with us, and while her special needs are so unknown, I have such immense JOY and peace when I think about adding her to our family.  I know the tremendous blessings that mothering an exceptional child brings, and that God would allow me one more precious girl in my quiver makes my heart fill with gratitude to Him for bestowing such a blessing again.

If you feel so lead, please pray for our Ellie.  
Pray that she would be stimulated, held, loved, and fed until we can get to her.  
Pray that our paperwork would move.
Pray that we would have the $7,000 we need to move on to the next step when our paperwork is completed.
Pray for patience while we await God's perfect timing to bring this precious treasure into our family.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

He Just Wants Our Yes For Today

Recently, I had the privilege of walking alongside a very good friend as she left this Earth and went to be with Jesus.  It was extremely unexpected.  I never dreamed that the turkey and mayonnaise sandwich that I brought her on that Monday afternoon would be the last meal we conversed over on this Earth.  She was a friend of the best kind.  She loved deeply, gave unselfishly, and was present whenever I needed her.  When Sean had his accident last winter, she stayed at the hospital all night with me while he had his surgery.  She loved my babies as she was an avid Steven Curtis Chapman fan, and a special education teacher.  It was a match made by heaven our friendship.  God brought her into my life when I so desperately needed her, and He took her home way too soon.  She was 44 years old, and the first close friend I have ever stood beside as they left this world.

 Death does something to your heart.  It reminds you of how temporal all of this is that surrounds you everyday, and causes you to long to use these short breaths for eternity even more.  I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of young moms last week about what God is doing in my heart over the last month because of my dear friends passing.  While this last month has carried some hard, hard places, and deep aching at loosing such a dear one, it has been filled with many, many lessons that I can already see God is using for good.

After the funeral, I was battling some serious fear about bringing home another baby.  I am 40 myself, and it is crazy to be saying yes to being a momma of a two year old.  Let alone a two year old whose special needs are so incredibly great.  My mind was spiraling.  What if I died myself at 44 leaving this baby behind?  The attack in my thoughts went on and on and on.  Questions, doubt, and grief overcame my morning that day.  Y'all none of this comes from the Lord.  As I was folding laundry that morning, the Lord reminded my heart that He merely wants my yes for today.  I might not make it to tomorrow, but I can trust that God knows each and every day that He has laid out for my life.  He has a plan, which may or may not include my seeing this new babe grow up, and if He takes me home..He can handle her future.  He has her days laid out too.  He is calling us to this babe.  He just wants our yes for today, and each day that He gives us on this Earth.  We don't have to have everything figured out.  He is already there.

I will not let fear of the future paralyze me.  I will boldly follow the Lord into each new day trusting that He has a plan to use it!  

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Even in her death, my dear Janele has lovingly ministered to me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Celebrating the Mid Autumn Moon Festival

As Anna Mei and I were preparing to celebrate the Mid Autumn Moon Festival this year, she asked why I loved China so much, why we celebrated its holidays, and why I cared because I am not Chinese.  It was such a beautiful time for me to tell her that  a part of me is Chinese, though not through blood, because she is Chinese.  I was able to tell her that who she is and where she came from matters very much to me because she is my daughter.  
These days are some of the most precious of my life as I am homeschooling her.  I will forever cherish them.  The memories we are making, and the bond that we are growing, is priceless. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Budding Artist

 Last weekend, while Daddy took afternoon nap duty, I slipped away to a free art festival with my little creative spirit.  Having one on one time with my girls really fills my heart.  She loved the first station which was this squirt gun painting canvas.  She used red and white in her squirter to create pink.  She is a pink kind of girl.
 This girl of mine eats up our time together too, and this was the perfect way to spend a few hours just with her.  She used "loose" art parts of many kinds to create a mask masterpiece.
 They had a chalk drawing station where they learned about different techniques to use chalk in art.
 This was probably her favorite station as she loves mixing paint to create new colors right now. She loves experimenting with shading, and depth.
 She painted on glass, and then transferred her painting to paper by using a roller to press it on.  It was called monoprint design.
 There were instruments to explore and play.
 As you can see, this few hours made my babe very happy.
I know these moments are fleeting, and I am working to hold on to as many as I possibly can.  Five is just so precious, and watching her grow into the woman she is becoming never grows old.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fizzy Science

 We added a twist to a simple baking soda and vinegar reaction this week when we used glue to create apple forms, covered them with baking soda, and then used eye droppers to drop colored vinegar on top.
 We used red, green, and yellow vinegar because those are the colors of apples of course.
 As you can tell, this activity was a huge hit.  There was color mixing, fizzing, and so much fun.
It was just a bit messy, but was mostly contained to the trays.   
What is life without a little mess anyway?
Have I mentioned how much fun these beauties are to have with me all day?

Oh that five and three could just last forever...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Jillian Visits the Eye Doctor

Our Jillian..she is such a miraculous, incredible little being.  Yesterday, we headed to the eye doctor.  Because medical stuff has been so hard for her, we hadn't ever tried to take her for an exam before.  We just couldn't bring ourselves to put her through the stress that it would cause her when we didn't see any concerns, but as she gets more and more comfortable we are constantly seeking new ways to help her.  We haven't necessarily had any concerns about her eye sight, but she has been doing so well at conquering life that when we began to see a wonderful eye doctor for our Anna Mei we asked her about bringing in our special treasure.  As usual, this girl of ours absolutely rocked her appointment, and brought this momma to tears.  She signed, and signed, and signed some more.  I am overcome with so much emotion that she is able to share so much with me.  There were so many months in the beginning of her life that, because of neglect, she was happier to be soothing herself, silently suffering alone that I feared many, many days that she would never get here.  She LOVES watching cataract surgery on youtube so she asked if she had a cataract and would have surgery asleep which made me chuckle.  She asked a million times about seeing the microscope.  She talked about the drops in her eye to open it.  (She didn't like the drops, but recovered so quickly.)  She told me that the light bulb scared her.  She said so much with her signs, and I listened to every single one soaking in the miracle that has occurred in the heart of our girl as God has restored her.  She spent so much time not mattering, spending each day hopelessly alone, and cast off.  While it seemed like some days we would never be on this side of her, being here is just so good.  As always, she was a show stopper.  Many, many mommas watch her, ask me about her, and tell me what a beautiful thing she is.  This baby of mine shines in the most perfect, and beautiful way.  She radiates a worth, a hope, and a soul that is hard to ignore.  That God would allow me the privilege to be her momma is so far out of my grasp that my only response can be gratitude.  I am so grateful that God brought us this beautiful, amazing little girl.  I am so thankful that He allowed her to open our eyes, and our hearts to the orphan because these last five years with her have been full of miraculous because she has been in it.  After her drops, she lay in my arms with her head perfectly peaceful and still against my arm.  I rocked her in the waiting room wiping tears, and singing "How Great Is Our God" because indeed He has shown himself so great through this babe of mine.  I can't wait to get home just one more!

By the way, she has a wee bit of nearsightedness showing up, but it may be years before she needs a prescription.  That is a relief because it would take a miracle of the Lord to keep glasses on this girl.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Eats For Ellie Grace

Y'all, we had our first fundraiser for our adoption of Ellie Grace last night.  It was incredible!  We sponsored the tailgate at our christian school's first Friday Night Lights program.  We sold over 100 walking tacos.  We had a huge part of our village show up.  They bought tacos, made tacos, served, took money, washed our crock pot, and encouraged the socks off me.  We got to share our prayer requests for Ellie with so many, and share our adoption story with some new friends too.  Every time I do this, I don't take for granted the Lord's miraculous provision, and truly that is what every single dollar is to us.  We don't have the money laying around to bring home our newest treasure, but so, so many share so much so that we can get her home.  I stand in awe of the many that God is already gathering to provide for our Ellie's needs over the coming months.  That God would bless us so abundantly is far more than anything my mind could every fathom.  We made enough last night to pay for our homestudy update which happens to be due in two days.  God's timing is perfect, and He is beyond good.  I know He's got this..every single detail.  I wait in anticipation as His perfect plan unfolds before me.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Just Drilling

This girl continues to amaze us with all that she is able to do.  
Her hands may not be typical, but they certainly are extraordinary!
There isn't a thing that this precious babe can't do.
If you are considering adopting a sweet one with a limb difference, do it!
This peanut has taught us so much about embracing who you are, and working to be all you can!
I can't imagine this little house without her in it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Growing Crystals

After our cave visit, we did a super easy science experiment.
 It couldn't be any easier to engage this kid.
Just look at her goofiness.
 She poured, explored, and mixed long after the experiment steps were executed!
 I am so thankful I picked up this little science kit at a thrift store this summer.
 It isn't exactly necessary, but she is darling using it.
 These crystals were super easy to grow!
You can find the directions here.

Our Field Trip to a Cave

Our area has a fantastic Home School Association!  Basically, it is a district for homeschoolers that offers services galore!  There are about ten or so field trips a month, and we took advantage of one the second week of our school.  We went to Crystal Lake Cave which is very near to us. 

 Anna Mei was a real cave explorer.  She is so very eager to learn!
 We spent lots of time looking at the elements of the cave.
It was very wet and chilly down there,
 but exploring was so much fun.
 Molly was a bit afraid and very timid for most of the tour.
The last hall she decided to get down on her own leading the way for her big sister.
They both fell asleep on the way home, and took a nice long nap after walking the mile in the cave.  I can't wait to go on more field trips with these curious little learners.  It was a wonderful day.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

First Days of School

I have four babes all in different schools this year.  That means four different events calendars to coordinate, four drop offs each day, and lots of excitement!
 Em is a senior this year at our Christian School.
She is heading into senior year with a #1 class ranking.
She is even taking an accounting class as an independent credit because she thinks she might like to do that when she "grows up".  College is just around the corner.  My OH My!
 Jilly Billy is in second grade this year.
She has a staff of people who are so dedicated to her at her amazing public school.
She has come so far as they give her exactly what she needs.
She even has an interpreter this year as sign language is her preferred mode of communication.   
She can hear everything we say, but talking just isn't happening for her.  
I am so grateful that she can communicate through sign and with her NOVA though.  
We are especially blessed by all our local school district has done to make sure that she reaches her full potential.
 Miss Molly Kate is in the 3 year old preschool program at the local school district too.  
She attends a building about 20 minutes from Jillian which makes drop off a mad dash.  
They are super with her.  
This week during her assessment she showed them that she knows so much. 
 Her articulation is coming so slowly, but her receptive language, and vocabulary (when you can understand what she is saying) are catching up. 
 I can't wait to see how she grows this year!
My dear Anna Mei is homeschooling for her kindergarten year, 
and I couldn't be more thrilled to have the chance to be her teacher.  
To say that the past week of teaching her has been a JOY is an understatement.  
We are only a week in though, but so far so great!  
She is reading her first little book, and is eager to learn!

Stay should be an exciting year!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Some Exciting News

There is another sweet little one coming to our house!


She will be two years old soon. 
She is waiting in a Ch*nese Orphanage.
Her name will be Ellie Grace.
We just got preapproval today!
We couldn't be more thrilled!

My Creative Loves

 Oh, these babes give me so much JOY!  Every day is a new adventure.  I love, love fostering their creativity, and we are blessed to have so many resources to do so.  The other day, Molly drug out these magnetic bingo chips to experiment with, and it wasn't long before Anna Mei created a fish on the floor.:)
Molly left her mark too..

 I always leave watercolors on the easel shelf in the corner of our kitchen.  Molly put on her school backpack and went to work the other day creating a master piece.
 Anna Mei wants to leave her mark on everything!  She is really into customizing all of her toys with paint in the craft room.
She hardly leaves that creative space these days, and I love when she emerges with paint on her nose.  My, she looks so grown up here. :)


 Just over a month ago, we celebrated our biggest girl's birthday!  I can't believe that she is almost grown, and ready to leave our nest.
 She has been an absolute joy to raise, and celebrating her on this day with a chocolate peanut butter pie was a delight.
Gone are the theme parties, little friends, and decorations as she is way too grown up for that, but this almost adult child of mine is growing into a pretty cool woman that I am happy to call my daughter.  She has been so patient with me as I made many, many mistakes testing out my parenting on her.  By God's grace, she has turned out okay.  I can't wait to watch where this life takes her.