Deuteronomy 4:35

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Fun

I know I talk about the amazing parks, splash pads, and programs in our area, but we are so grateful. We haven't lived here long, but this is a great area for our family. This new pad opened and it is in a neighborhood adjacent to ours so, after Jillian finished her morning at summer school, we went to check it out.  It was a blast.
My girls love, love water of all kind.
They shoot, dump, and run through it to their heart's content.
You can see this little beauty is no different.
She gets right in there.
One thing is for sure, it took all three of us big people to keep track of these three little ones.
Our hands are blissfully full with these amazing girls.
(Look how chunky she is getting.  She is filling out and looking so healthy these days.)
She decided she knew how to jump while we were there and has been jumping all day.  It is adorable!  I just can't get enough of this little, cute person.  I know she will be as big as my big girls in the blink of an eye so I am trying to enjoy her every moment.

We are so looking forward to all the next few months will bring as we enjoy summer together.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I Love Having a Baby Sister

One thing that has taken me by surprise this time around is just how much my Anna Mei needed this baby sister.  My sweet four year old has much, much healing to do herself even two years after gotcha day.  She is haunted in her sleep often by memories and her emotions are powerful, even out of control, at times.  She struggles a lot much of the time.  She still rages, fights for control, and resists love like nobody's business.  But, this sweet baby has brought much healing to her new sister's heart in the last three weeks. Anna Mei has cuddled, fed, rocked along with me, and loved, LOVED this sweet baby sister.  Last night as we were walking to the park, she said, "Momma, I love having a baby sister!"  I said, "I know you do baby." with tears in my eyes.  This baby girl has helped my Anna Mei see herself.  She has helped her see me, as a momma, through a different lens.  Anna has kissed me more, asked many, many questions about her China life, and slept through some of her nightmares in the last three weeks since welcoming this beautiful, smiling girl into our home.  Anna Mei has bee able to feel love and compassion like she never has when she cares for this girl of ours.  It is beautiful, and reminds me of God's goodness because truthfully Anna Mei's struggles could have kept us from saying yes to adopting again.  She is still a handful.  We still have many, many sleepless nights, time ins, and prayers on a regular basis for her heart's healing and her finding her place within our family.  I am grateful to God that I didn't let these circumstances keep me from saying yes again to the blessing that this baby has been to all of us.  She is a precious, precious gift that I could have easily missed had I not trusted that God intended her to be in our family.  This morning I am so very, very thankful for her and that God has allowed us a small part of who she will become because having my girls together makes my heart overflow with JOY!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

This Baby Girl

 This baby girl always wears this smile.  Always.  She is the most precious, happiest little thing I have ever known and she melts this momma's heart.  I had a dear friend asked how she can pray for me now as I transition and I honestly couldn't name one thing , aside from generalities, because everything about adding this baby has been a true, true joy.

 Would you just look at her..She LOVES life.  She was adorable racing her big sister down the side by side slides and, you can see, it made her very happy.

 I can't believe how she played at the park this week.  She can do just about everything her sisters can.  It is amazing.  She is a tiny little peanut, but she is mighty.
 She even went down the twisty slide all by herself.  She climbed up two flights of stairs to the landing and off she went while I caught her at the bottom.  She is only twenty pounds and 30 inches tall.  She is only wearing 12 months clothes, but she doesn't let anything stop her.  Unbelievable.

 I just can't believe that God would bless me with these beauties as He has.  How I love them.  There is nothing in the world that makes me happier than an afternoon playing at the park with these girls.
 They are learning so much about each other and, this morning, Molly Kate let Anna Mei feed her.  Anna was over the moon.  She kept saying.."she trusts me mom.  she let me feed her. we belong together. she is my sister." PRECIOUS!
It is just the four of us this week as DH and our oldest are on a mission trip.  We have enjoyed each moment, but when I stood back at the park and got this view of all three of them my heart was just full.  It baffles me that God would create these beautiful children a half a world away and intend for them to be mine.  AMAZING!  Truly adoption is a miracle!
Jillian is crazy about the rock climbing wall lately.  She conquered her fear of them while I was gone in China and now she is glued to them.  It makes me so happy to see her overcoming her fears and enjoying life!
 One of Jilly's games on the wall involves placing wood chips on the climbing spots.  Molly Kate watched and watched her.  Then, she started placing chips herself.
Loving these beauties and caring for them makes life so full and so busy, but so very good.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Water and Sand! Oh My!

Awe..Summer!  I absolutely love it.  I love hanging in the backyard in our swim suits in the hot, sticky air more than just about anything.  We live outside.  Molly Kate is fitting right in with our summer activities as you can see.  This girl was pretty pleased with holding the hose.
 She is growing more and more comfortable with water which is a relief because we are a water loving family.
 This lady of mine couldn't be happier with living outside.  She stays out long after the younger two have had their fill.
 She can splash, dig, and climb for hours.  I mean hours, and be just as happy as a lark.
We recently built the girls a huge sandpit.  Anna Mei is spending lots of time building and creating all sorts of things.  Her little mind is always, always imagining something.  Hoping for some more hot weather this week, and some breaks from the rain to enjoy our yard even more!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

In the few quiet minutes  I have this morning, I wish I could come up with the words to say all that this man is to us.  Father. Husband. Leader. Love. He is a constant, Godly figure in our home who serves us without regard to himself.  He spends countless hours at the park, in the mud, and swinging because that speaks love into his treasures' hearts. He commits his own heart and his love to our children even when they are a half a world a way and welcomes them with open arms.  He leads us, prays for us, and loves us like nothing I have ever seen.  He is ours and we are so very blessed to have it.  Happy Father's Day.  We love you!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Boy, Does She Bring Us JOY

 This little one does everything her sisters do.  She is constantly watching them and modeling their every move.  Anna Mei has been building with every kind of block she can get her hands on.  These are great fine motor building activities for Molly Kate so I am glad she is joining in.
 They built airplanes together one morning with bristle blocks and it was darling.  Molly Kate would model "flying" her plane just as Anna was.
 Molly Kate even follows her sisters right up the ladder to the slide in the backyard.  My other two girls couldn't even begin to do anything like this the first months they were home.

Anna and I spent the morning at "garage stores".  This is what Anna Mei calls garage sales.  We scored this infant swing that attached to our bar in the door way.  We had one when the other girls were little and they loved it.  Molly loved it too.  It will be so helpful this winter and on rainy days.  This smile, this little lady..she is a JOY to have around.  We love, love, love her.  I have never seen a little one fit so perfectly in a family so quickly.  She is a dream who waited far too long for a momma and daddy to claim her, but if she hadn't, she wouldn't be mine.  Rejoicing she is mine this morning because I can't imagine life without her.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


 There is something absolutely adorable about a toddler all covered in spaghetti.
 And this toddler ate three full trays so she was pretty covered.
 She is eating like a horse and we are thrilled.
 She loves all vegetables, hummus, yogurt, rice, shrimp, fish, and spicy/savory things.  She does eat leches and mandarin oranges like there is no tomorrow.  She loves bananas right now too.
 She tried a few bites of a cookie and didn't even finish it.  She is feeding herself so well and is a slow eater.  She will spend an hour in her high chair every meal savoring every bite.  It is a blessing to have our family sharing a meal around the table together.  Praising God this little one is home!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Her First Sunday

We attended worship for the first time at Cedar Valley with our newest treasure on Sunday.  She went up front in her Daddy's arms and he introduced her to everyone.  They clapped and cheered for her. What a change has taken place in this little one's life in the last week.  Truly, my heart overflows with JOY that God has allowed it.  I take time often to think about all that He must have planned for her life and how He has used her already.  It is humbling to think that He has given me a small part of rearing these beautiful girls for Him.  I wait with great anticipation to see just what He has in store for each of my daughter's lives and I am enjoying each moment with them so very much.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, June 15, 2015

So Very Blessed

 Our Anna Mei had her dance recital yesterday afternoon and she was absolutely beautiful.  When the show was finished and she was presented with these flowers by her adoring family, she said fank you, fank you again and again.  My did we have our hands full getting her ready and out the door with all the littles in toe, but with all hands on deck we made it.
I can't believe that we are so blessed.  What an incredible, spunky, passionate little girl this four year old has become.  She is such an incredible big sister.  This morning she was packing her purse for church.  I listened as she named off all the things she needed...a snack for Molly Kate, a comb for Molly Kate, a chewy toy for her, a precious that she was modeling exactly what I was doing when packing the diaper bag and thinking about caring for her baby sister.  I told her that I loved her so much my heart could burst as she is growing into a strong, responsible young lady.  Then she looked at me a little while later when I was giving Molly Kate her bottle and said.. "I like Molly Kate so much my heart could burst. She is my baby sister!"  It is overwhelming to me at times that she is such a mirror of me.  I am in no way qualified for this and, yet, she looks to me for everything.  Being a mother to these girls that God has given me is such a tremendous privilege and I thank Him today, and everyday, for the blessing of them.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Girl and Her Purse

 Little Miss isn't napping.  This has actually been a great thing because every afternoon she and I can play without our big sisters joining in.  Boy do I love having some time with this babe.  She is so charming, so easy going, and that smile is always, always on her face.  She decided, as we were playing, to carry her purse.  Then she began to get out the objects that are inside and she was adorable.  I couldn't resist getting it on film.
 She needed to apply some lipstick.
 Then she had some phone calls to catch up on.
Isn't she just precious?  She is so bright.
Listen as she "answers" the phone..
Despite being stone silent most of our China trip, she is really coming out of her shell and we are so enjoying her.  It is so fun to have a two year old in our family again.  We love, love this little babe more than words can say!  We are so excited to watch her growing.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Playing Blocks and Taking a Bath

This little one's transition into our family has been a dream.  She is truly an absolute doll baby.  She is beginning to be into everything, model all that her sisters do, and that smile she constantly wears is a show stopper!  I brought the mega blocks out to the living room yesterday and all the girls have been playing with them as if they have never seen them before.  Of course, Molly Kate loves them too and can already pull them apart, push them together, and build all sorts of things even with those unique hands of her.  She is truly amazing!
She also has not been a fan of water so I have been bathing her in the sink while she cries through most of it.  Last night though, she watched her sisters get right in the big tub and started to take her clothes off too.  They splashed and carried on something precious.
These days are so very blessed and overflowing with JOY because this sweet baby is home with her family!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Adorable and More Good News

I had the girls by myself for the first time last night as DH had youth group.  I figured out how to position the girls at the dinner table so I could feed Molly Kate with one hand and Jillian with the other.  It worked out wonderfully!  I was pretty pleased with how amazingly well they all did.  We had dinner and played outside in the baby swimming pool afterward.  It was a blessed evening.

Sweet Molly was finishing up eating while I was cleaning up the kitchen.  She started singing to herself and just about went to sleep.  It was adorable.

We also had the early intervention team meet with us this morning in our home.  They evaluated our Molly's development-cognitive, fine/gross motor, language, and emotional.  Our incredible little one is not even delayed enough in any of these areas to receive any consistent therapy.  She scored at least 18 months on each of her evaluations with the exception of language!  Even her fine motor skills are very close to age appropriate coming out at above 20 months!  This is amazing given her little hands, and the fact that she was institutionalized for the first two years of her life.  She doesn't let anything slow her down.  She can do nearly everything anyone else can do.  Her language was, of course, delayed , but because she hasn't been in an English speaking environment until two weeks ago, she can't yet receive services for that.

Yesterday, we met with our amazing pediatrician and planned out her next few months medically.  Her initial exam didn't reveal anything out of the ordinary.  Her heart sounds normal and, while she is tiny being only in the 1st percentile for height and weight, she seems healthy.  We have lots of tests to run.  Geneticists to see, blood work to be done, Shriner's Hospital to visit, and lots of shots in the future, but for now, we can just enjoy this little one.  It is good friends!  It is good!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Our First Day At the Beach As a Family of Six

A family of six? Typing that makes me giggle as I never wanted a large family.  I sure never dreamed any of this for our life, but it is so good.  We love the beach.  It is one of our favorite places in the whole wide world.  It is only a twenty minute drive for us and it is totally free. What could be better? I remember sitting at the shores of this lake last August naming Molly Kate and now she is here with us!

 This is definitely Jillian's absolute favorite activity.  She LOVES the beach.  She was thrilled to be here.
Molly Kate doesn't love water so she didn't go near it much, but she enjoyed shoveling the sand in her bucket.  And isn't she adorable in her sun hat?

Anna Mei has grown so much since last summer.  She is a big girl who is so helpful and she loved being at the beach.  She said, "Thank you mom for this day.  It is so fun to be at the beach."  LOVE!

Molly Kate eventually asked Daddy to carry her out into the water a bit.  He did exactly as he was told, and walked in the water while she was in his arms.  She didn't smile too much as she was very unsure about this place, but she did enjoy sitting under the tree on the picnic blanket eating lunch.  The girl is becoming such a good eater.  Emily enjoyed the beach too, but wouldn't let me get any pictures of her.  :)  She is such a blessing with the girls.  It was a blessed day.  I marvel at how easy adding daughter number four has been.  She fits right in with us perfectly!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It is As If..

she has always been here.  She is such a darling baby girl and she is so very good. 

She can already get into her own car seat!

She and Anna Mei chat away like they have always been together.

 She is already sitting in her high chair eating away.
 I guess she has gained two pounds already!
Look at her sweeping.  Oh that face! I could just eat her up.

On Becoming Sisters

 It has been one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen watching my girls interact.  Anna Mei is over the moon to have a baby sister.  She is my little mommy.  She loves all things babies and her sister makes her heart overflow with love!  She tells her throughout the day how she is like her and says Molly Kate you belong with us. (This is especially precious as I tell these same things to Anna Mei often.)
They just seem to fit together perfectly.  Jillian will often sign "my baby" when she sees Molly Kate and plays so well beside her.
I am feeling so very blessed to have these three beauties to call my daughters.  They keep us very, very busy, but I wouldn't want it any other way.