Deuteronomy 4:35

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

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.

Ice Cream on the Beach

We eat ice cream every single day at Gull Lake Ministries.
Anna Mei is the lead dog around here.
She eats superman ice cream which means that is what everyone else chooses too.
It brings me great JOY to see this girl eating ice cream with her sisters.
There is nothing better than ice cream on the beach
It is so good the girls lick the bowl clean.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kung Fu's Night

Absolutely Adorable..

Disco Dinner

A little pet rock painting after Disco Night is always fun...

Baseball Theme Night

Here is where I overload you with memories of our annual week at Gull Lake Ministries.  If you are looking for an amazing, God centered place to spend your family vacation, you couldn't do better than this place.  We have been going for nine years, and it never disappoints.  We love it!  
The first night was a baseball theme.  My little girls were darling in their gear.
The theme night dinners are always a memory maker for my girls.
Love that my big girl is able to participate so fully as the dining hall used to scare her out of her wits. She has come such a long way, and loves everything about Gull Lake Ministries.
Our little baseball tolerated the noise and action pretty well too.
The best part of the week is spending it with our dear friends.  There is much more to come as I can't resist publishing these memories.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Meeting Ellie Grace's Diagnosis

You know going into adopting a child with special needs that there will be a diagnosis.  You know they will have special needs, and you choose to welcome that.  Having done this four times now, you know there is no way to know everything about what your child will have when they are finally home.  You choose a child not a diagnosis, and you walk through the dark, by faith, trusting that God will supply your every need to care for them as they grow.  I have done this all before.  I know how it goes, but when the CDD at the U called yesterday saying that Ellie's micro array test had turned up something..I started to panic.  Irrational thoughts swirled in my head about what it could be, and fear took over in my heart.  Immediately, I began going through horrible what if's.  What if she doesn't live until adulthood..what if she has some serious medical need that is life threatening..what if we have to walk through some scary medical stuff.. Then, the most beautiful thing happened. As I was spiraling into panic, my dear Anna Mei came up to me and out of nowhere said, "Momma, I want you to read me a bible verse right now."  She hasn't ever done that before.  I began to read passages aloud, and, as I did, the panic and fear I was feeling subsided.  My sweet six year old treasure listened to the Holy Spirit, and asked, at just that moment, to be read to from His word..which was just exactly what her momma needed to do to calm the fear in her heart.  How I love that my children minister to me.  I am grateful to God for the gift of my precious daughter who, because she knows Christ as her Savior, is filled with the living God who sent her to request that I read her the Bible at just the time I needed to be in the word myself.    What a treasure we have in His word if only we pick it up and read.  I am so thankful for the reminder of that from my beautiful six year old girl when I most needed it.

More to come about our precious treasure, Ellie Grace, and her designer chromosomes.  She is a rare beauty, indeed, designed very uniquely by a God who very intentionally made her perfectly.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

This is the Day

Blessed beyond measure to have spent the week here at Gull Lake Ministries.  Waking up to this glorious sunrise, and taking it in while walking my babies is always a spectacular sight.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Ten Weeks Home

Twelve weeks ago this girl slept in the orphan's bed. Today she sleeps in a Toyota... a love and cherished daughter... experiencing her first family vacation. Gull Lake Ministries Here We Come!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Our Fourth of July

It was a hot sunny fourth here so we were outside all day!  It was glorious.
Because we are still way too young to stay up late enough for fireworks that don't start until 10:00 PM, I came up with a fun, and messy, art project so that we could recreate a firework experience.
We did a little squirt painting in the backyard.
It was fun, and much more manageable than staying up so late!
The girls were happy with their projects.
We had extra paint, and Daddy thought it would be fun to decorate the playhouse.
The girls agreed.
This was huge memory maker as they were thrilled.
There wasn't an inch of their bodies that wasn't covered in paint.
They were full of smiles, and I loved watching them.
They are growing up way too fast!
I hope your fourth of July was a good one!