"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful







Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two weeks

It's been two weeks since we saw Blake. And it's been a crazy and fun 2 weeks!

Luckily we've been busy and have lots of time with family. Cooper has started to mope around lately and be a bit of a fuss bucket, but he's not being ornery, just sad almost. Not sure why it took my sister pointing out that it was his daddy that he was missing!


On Wednesday of this week my sweet grandmother, Grandy, lost her husband of 8 years. It was a sad day for us, but a wonderful day for Charlie to meet his savior. We are so thankful that my grandmother has moved in with my parents while things settle. I have been delighted in all of the time I've been able to love on her this last week, but sad that it came at the cost of her losing someone so precious. Thank goodness we were still in town, I would have hated to have been in Aspen while she went through this.

Here are some pics from this week. On Thanksgiving day, my sister Becki had a sick crew so we were sad the Francy's couldn't join the fun!


Momma and Sadie on Thanksgiving Day after putting up the tree!

Could she be any cuter?

Every one of my kids has taken a bath in this kitchen sink! I love it!

Laura and Greg with baby boy #3, Luke. He looks exactly like his brothers, it's unreal!

Kisses from Cooper!


Owen decorating the tree! We had so much fun singing carols while putting up (and breaking) the ornaments!

Blake is doing well, finally has cable and internet at the apartment- WOOT WOOT! I was getting a little nervous about the next 8 weeks without blogging or internet! We got to Skype on Thanksgiving and it was wonderful to see his face. He worked as a medical team doctor for a national women's ski race this weekend and as a team doctor for the Aspen High school football team last weekend. He is hating all of this skiing though...it's just killing him!

We travel to Colorado on Wednesday/Thursday and are praying our sweet baby girl can stay calm during the ride. As an update to her "screamer" post, she is doing wonderful! I actually found that I was the one that had to be trained. When I slowed down to nip it in the bud I realized that Sadie screamed almost every time Cooper did...I had just gotten used to his screams. Once I started disciplining the boys for yelling (yucky water or time out), it was incredible how quickly Sadie stopped. She hardly ever does it now...except in the car! She loathes long car rides, and by long I mean over 15 minutes.

Last night we went to see The Christmas Train in Dry Gulch, OK. It was so neat. Of course, Cooper about lost control when we told him that we were going to ride on a train and see Christmas lights. Even better though was that the whole focus of the event was about Jesus! Now, Santa was there, but the whole train ride was the story of Christ from birth to resurrection! It was incredible what questions were sparked from that train ride when the boys saw Jesus being crucified. Although we've talked about Jesus's sacrifice for us, Cooper had never seen Jesus on the cross and whoa did it stick in his mind. It was so neat to keep hearing him say that Jesus loved him and that Jesus died for him. Man how I pray that we continue to pour that message into our children this season instead of the message of Santa.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For Daddy!

We miss you Blake and can't wait to see you! We head north in one week!

Here are some pictures from our time with my family.
The kids in their Christmas jammies! Thank you Gigi and Papa Joe!
Watching Polar Express and eating homemade popcorn.
We went to see cousin Max at his Thanksgiving program at school! So fun!

The kids are absolutely loving being with their cousins, aunts and uncles, and Noonie and Papa non-stop. Its been fabulous and certainly taken the edge off of not having our pumpkin of a daddy with us.

It's starting to set in for them though and bedtime is getting harder. Owen keeps asking me to take pictures of him and send them to Blake. So sweet. At night he says, "Mom, will you tell my dad that I really, really love him?" Oh my heart!

Sadie modeling her Chosen shirt! Seriously, look at those eyes and that smile! I could eat her up!


These two are 7 months apart. You couldn't tell it by this picture though! Luke is already 7 months old! How in the world?

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Thank you to my family for surrounding us during this time and going out of your way to be with us when it might be easier to go home after work/school. We are beyond blessed by this time together!

Hope you all enjoy the pics and we'll see you soon honey!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hello blogging world!

I don't think I've gone this long without blogging since I started this!

He wouldn't admit it, but that post for Cooper's birthday was done by Blake! Thanks honey for getting the video up and going for Cooper's special day.

So, we are in Tulsa with my family and are so enjoying seeing our cousins everyday and of course Noonie and Papa for breakfast and dinner! What a blessing this is to have family so close and available, especially since we won't see them for 8 weeks once we make it to Aspen.

Blake is doing well. Ends up we qualify for government funded housing in Aspen. That's how we compare to Aspen folk. I got a good giggle out of that. His hours have been incredible and the town seems really laid back...such a wonderful change from the trauma service that he just finished.

Yesterday our pastor did his sermon on adoption and how we are all adopted into God's family. He had asked me a while ago to videotape an interview with him and I was honored to do so. Yesterday he shared about the need as Christians to make room in our homes/hearts for children that have no family. Then he shared the video. Chosen had a booth out so that people that were interested in foster care/adoption could come by and check us out.

I have to say that I was overwhelmed by the stories and the response from the church. So many people in our church have wanted a ministry like this and were so excited to know what we were doing. We had a birth mom come by and share how God has been speaking to her about the need for her to serve in our church! We had adoptees and adoptive parents come by asking how they could help.

I was humbled to be a part of yesterday and cannot wait to see how this all unfolds for our church. If you want to see the sermon you can click here and it will take you to the church website. Go to quick links and choose "weekend message online". Then pull up the "There is Room for You" sermon.

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Blake is dying to see pics of the kids, so here are some random ones from the last couple of days. I haven't been that good at taking them! Sorry honey!
My birthday boy! Notice he's going the wrong way on the slide!!! See his party hat he made...that was one of the activities the kids did. Cooper just decided to color the top of his hat with markers! So creative, huh?
Does Owen look like he's trying to impress Anna? Is she not so cute?
These are the kids from our block (minus the Brooks 4). We are going to miss them so much!

Baylor and Owen doing a potato sack race! It was so much fun and I couldn't stop laughing at them falling all over the place!

Is this not hilarious? We bought clown hair for Cooper to wear since we did carnival games and face paint for his party. Sadie looked so cute with all of those curls!
Cooper checking out his cakes! I love this one below...my goodness I am so blessed!!!

These are just a few from Cooper's party last weekend. I will update with another post later with more pics. We had so much fun and were so blessed to be able to see our friends before leaving town!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Cooper

Cooper turns the big 3 today. However, if you listen to him he has been 3 for about a month now. He is certainly getting spoiled appropriately today. Our family is reminded this day about how much Cooper enriches our lives. This guy sure knows how get a laugh. He loves Buzz Lightyear, OU football, and mostly his trains. If you want to get this guy mad in a hurry, just mess with his trains without his permission. Here is a video showing some of the fun Cooper had this past year. Hope everyone enjoys.


video

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Would you have laughed too?

Am I the worse mother in the world because I totally died laughing?

Hope you get a giggle out of this too.

video

I won't have much time to post in the next few days, so wanted to post this.

It's made Blake and I giggle at a time when we are so sad about saying good-bye to each other. In almost 15 years together, we've never been apart this long and it's killing us to think about.

We've often praised God in that thought though. If missing each other is the hardest thing we are going through in our marriage...we are beyond blessed.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Want one?


We've had so much fun working on Chosen.

It's been amazing to see how many people are excited about this ministry.

It's amazing to me how many people have felt that gentle tug on their heart to do something for children without homes...but just not known what they were supposed to do.

In preparation for Orphan Sunday (which is today!) the group had shirts made.

Aren't they cute?

They are our first fundraiser! All of the money raised will be used to touch the lives of these children.

I had to show them off! For anyone that wants one, we'd love to share! They are only $15. And even better. The family that is printing them for Chosen, is in our ministry and they are foster and adoptive parents! How great is that? We get to support them too!

There is a design for the girls/women and one for the boys/men. They come in all sizes, 12m to 4XL, but they run large!

On the back, you'll see our web address. It's not up and running yet, but we had to have it on the shirt for when it is!
If you can go to www.orphansunday.org at 4 o'clock this afternoon to be a part of the web cast in Nashville with Stephen Curtis Chapman!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A real story for National Adoption Month

If you know Blake and I, you know we haven't done foster care.

So when I posted yesterday it was out of a wrestling that God has been doing with me lately.

Ashley commented yesterday and I jumped to her blog to catch up with their journey and had to share this tidbit from her post...it's so moving!

"Tom and I knew God was calling us to be foster parents awhile ago, but then we started letting our human ways take over. Saying things like, "oh maybe it would be 'easier' if we adopted through an agency from infants, or these kids might have special needs, or have 'issues'." Then one day it hit me and I felt so bad, I went running back to God and asked for His forgiveness. First of all, knowingly diverting from what we know God wants us to do, because it might be "easier" is selfish and wrong! Also who am I to say its "easier" it may appear so from the outside, but i've never experienced that either, so what do I know. And lastly, I felt so ashamed that for a split second I thought twice because foster kids have special needs, HELLO, we all have special needs of some sort, and besides God gave His ONLY son, for me, who is flawed and has needs and issues, who am I to judge a CHILD on things he had no part in?! "

Thank you Ashley for sharing your human thoughts with the rest of us that fear the exact same thing.
God has also laid a song on my heart that brings me to tears everytime I hear it. It's Michael W. Smith's song, "Mighty to Save".
Read the words and as you do think of how this applies to God's heart for children without families.
"Everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

Chorus:
Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave

So take me as you find me
All of my fears and failures
And fill my life again
I give my life to follow"
If as Christians, we don't open our homes and hearts, who do we expect to do so?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Toes

I have been wanting to write something about this being National Adoption Awareness month.

I have been wracking my brain for something creative and profound.

That I haven't said already.

As if I have said anything that is creative or profound before.

But I just read a statistic that makes me not care to be cautious anymore.

I am always so worried about stepping on toes or offending someone.

I certainly don't want to sound high and mighty...

BUT I AM SO TIRED OF HEARING EXCUSES FROM CHRISTIANS!

Why in the world are more Christian families not praying about this?

Why are we still standing by and letting children age out of the system?

Why are we letting fear lead us in this area of our lives?

Tonight I learned that Oklahoma is 3rd in the nation for children being abused while IN FOSTER HOMES!!!!

Does this make your stomach hurt like it does mine?

Please pray with me this month and ask God how He wants to use your family to change the life of a child?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November is here!

This month is Adoption Awareness Month and I love it!

As if I don't talk enough about adoption...I am going kick it up a notch.

Just kidding. I know you all just closed my blog page!

So, for the 3 of you that stuck around, here are some cute pictures of my munchkins from the last couple of days!
We went to Tulsa to see my family for the weekend. It was such a treat to have all 10 grandkids together!
Saturday morning we went to Max's soccer game and I caught these two. Makes my heart skip a beat! Look at that smile.
Notice we are not trick or treating in our neighborhood! The 6 oldest grandkids!
Daddy taking sister to the houses trick or treating! She loved watching the kids but was perfectly content hanging back with the adults!


And this guy...could there BE a better looking Buzz Lightyear? I think not! Cooper, I love you! For real, I may have to put her in this every once in a while because she's makes the cutest ladybug EVER!This was today, swimming in November! We had a beautiful day in the upper 70's, it was warm enough for the boys to swim! Thanks Noonie for heating the pool for them! They slept all the way home!
No worries, I WILL talk about adoption this month! I know you were worried I might forget!