"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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pure Beauty

Does it get any better than this?  Gosh I just love her in an afro.  Just had to share this pic of our almost 2 year old!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


 We went to Stone Mountain again...the kids love it and they got a new water play area that the younger 3 loved.  Owen opted to stay dry with mom and dad ;)
 Oh my word.  All of Stone Mountain Park heard our little bundle squealing with joy.  The workers couldn't help but giggle.  So glad I captured some of the smiles...
 Her dress was sopping wet.  Good thing it was HOT outside!  It was near 90 this day.

 Owen climbed the rock wall 3 times.  He was so proud of himself and so were we!  How did he get so big?   
 The girls just love to shop.  This is Sadie trying to skateboard in the Goodwill.  Sadie is getting pretty good at staying close and not being a little "Distructo".  But lil bit is every bit of two when we are at the store.  "No mommy", "Mine", "I do it", "I get down", "OUT peas"!  She runs, she pulls from the shelves, she destroys.  Iss no bueno.  Needless to say we've had to cut our shopping time short several times lately because "someone" isn't minding the rules.  Eh-hem.  No better way to teach 'em right? 
 This is day 2 of yarn extensions.  She loved every single day of the long hair and beads.  She clicked, she clacked and she swung those suckers smack dab in her eye several times.  But yesterday we took them out because the fuzz was more than I could handle.  I was so happy they held up for 15 days though! 
 Look at her!  Friday nights are pizza and movie night and we all just love it.  It just amazes me how much Emery has changed over the past few months (notice paci on plate-still struggling with it).  When she saw the others sit down for the picnic, she put her sweet leggies out and placed her plate right on top then parked her paci safely close by.  Gosh I adore her...and that stinkin' paci. 
Notice the boys shorter hair...we did summer cuts on Wednesday and they both love their new shorter hair.  More than anything...they love not having to detangle! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thank you Jesus for MIL's

Oh lands. I don't know what people do without family close. Our fam has been tremendous help when they come to see us. And this week I am especially thankful for my mother-in-law who has been here since last Friday.

The minute she booked her flight she text me to tell me to schedule appointments for myself and times to be with the boys at school. Can you believe that? Man, I pray that I can be that kind of MIL to my childrens' spouses.

We are doubly blessed because unlike most situations...both sets of our parents remember this stage in our life: young kids, feeling pulled in too many directions with little time for ourselves and each other. All four of them go overboard to support us in this precious time in our lives.

So this week the boys went to Lego Land with Blake and Gigi, I have been able to spend time in the boys' classrooms reading, went on Owen's field trip and helped out with some volunteering. It's been so good for my heart! I am forever grateful because I know the boys enjoy it just as much.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We are packing!!!

Oh my word! It's that time again! We are packing and have 36 days til we head West. I have told Blake that this will be my last house.

No more moving! I am tired :)

The boys have been so excited and have loved helping pack and separate into keep and Goodwill piles. Emery on the other hand is so confused about what we are up to!

We have also been doing hair!!! I spent about 6 hours putting yarn extensions and beads in Sadie's hair last week. We absolutely love it! Then the next day I put more in Emery's hair. We have so much fun doing hair. It's amazing to see how Sadie has a lil swagger with long hair ;) Can you just hear her clickity clacking those beads?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's Friday, But Sunday's Coming

The precious baby doll I found at the Goodwill. Dang. I love that place. This was straight from Jesus. A dark brown soft doll that looked like Emery's version of Raggedy Ann for $1. She loves it and so does her big sissy ;o)

Great expression!

Could yellow look any better than on chocolaty smooth skin? I think not.

They decided to pull their allowance together to buy some cotton candy at the candy shop. Poor Emme just had to go along with it. The day is quickly approaching when she will no longer stand for the shenanigans and follow the guys...

Hey cutie patootie!

Skipping rocks with their daddy at Stone Mountain Park. Wow. This is a moment you dream about, right? Your husband being this kind of dad and teaching your kids this stuff. Lord, please help us to always slow down and embrace these sweet moments together and soak them up.

Early Monday morning at breakfast we were talking about Owen's decision to follow Jesus. Cooper said he believed those same things...and he wanted to give his heart to Jesus.

I have to admit, I wanted to say that he was too young, that maybe he didn't understand. But I knew better and by the grace of God I didn't say it. We kept talking. We talked about it here and there all day. And the verse about the faith of a child kept coming to me...

"Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them." Mark 10:14 The MessageSo Monday night, I not only prayed with Owen to accept Jesus...but then with Cooper. What a sweet and tender moment. One that I will never forget. After Cooper and I prayed he said, "So is he in there (pointing to his heart and donning a HUGE grin)?" He told us the next morning that he was no longer afraid of monsters because he had Jesus with him. Melt my heart!

And for my title...Cooper is in love with the video on YouTube "It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming." He watches it over and over. And he's uber protective of Sadie seeing parts of it that might scare her (the crucifixion from the Passion) and he makes her cover her eyes.

So to say this has been a dreamy week is an understatement. I told my parents that there will be no greater joy in my life than this...in all the wonderful miraculous things we have experienced with the boys; their birth, their birth mom, their adoptions finalizing, dedicating them to the Lord...being able to say the prayer with them to give their heart to Jesus tops it all.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

We had an incredible Easter.

I can't quite settle down, I am beyond thankful for the things that happened this weekend. Saturday we went to our favorite Stone Mountain. We played and hiked and avoided the spring break crowds. And I got this adorable pic of my lovies below!

Saturday night at bedtime we read Easter books to get our hearts prepared for Sunday. While reading the boys always ask questions. One question led to another about if the soldiers that hung Jesus on the cross would go to heaven. I told them that I didn't know if they had ever given their lives to Jesus. I explained that this is something between you and Jesus.

After saying this Owen said, "I did that. I asked Jesus into my heart." I was shocked, but asked him questions to make sure he knew what this meant. That Jesus is the son of God, that He died for us, for our sins, and that he rose from the dead. And. He. Did.

He wants to give his heart to Jesus.

Then I cried. The tears wouldn't stop as we kept talking about this. Cooper was (as he always is about this) curious and wanted to know why he can't hear Jesus talking to him. Awww, sweet thing.

It was such a precious time that I never want to forget it (sorry for rambling, but i don't want to forget the sweet conversation). This is something Blake and I pray for constantly...our kids to love and follow Jesus. We want them to really grasp how deep His love is for them. This is the beginning of that understanding.

We woke up to a great Easter day with the promise of new life and freedom in Christ. We had Easter lunch with new friends and the kids all played wonderfully together. Well until Emery took the 7 year old's toothbrush and tried to brush her teeth. Oops, he was so grossed out! That girl loves herself a toothbrush :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus...

Gosh I love that hymn.

We sung it at the end of every service growing up. It was a visual song for me as a child. I would hold the hands of my church family across the isle and see myself walking toward Jesus. No turning back.

As Easter drew close, I felt an unease that I remember feeling at Christmas. A feeling like the focus was off, and like I was in a tailspin to keep our family focused on Jesus and his sacrifice instead of egg hunts, the bunny, baskets, new clothes, candy, etc. I have to be honest, sometimes I feel like a complete freak. Like I am a glutton for punishment. Why can't I just go with it?

At church on Sunday, this hymn was sung. And my parents were in church with us. I cried singing it of course...and I remembered why I can't just "go with it".

Tho none go with me, I still will follow...

The world behind me, the cross before me...

No turning back, no turning back...

In a desperate need for a feeling of normalcy I reached out to someone I adore and asked her to blog about Easter so that I could steal it and share here (I was kidding of course....maybe). She was already writing it. Not that you really want to know more behind my thoughts, but if you are looking for a great read and a woman after God's heart...introducing Jen Hatmaker. Get ready, she's gonna mess with your head!

Fast forward to last night. Our precious foster family that we are supporting invited us to Easter dinner knowing we didn't have family close. I began to get nervous about how I was going to explain. She emailed me about the plans and Blake and I discussed how in the world we would tell them our thoughts/desires for Easter to be different for our family. This morning she showed up at my door to drop off the boys for the day and we talked a bit more about plans for Sunday. Then she said, "Ummm. Have you ever heard of Jen Hatmaker?"

Holy bananas! Thank you Lord for placing us with a family that not only shares our faith, our passion for the fatherless, but also "gets" our holiday make-over!

Praying that our children grasp the unconditional love of our Father, and that this weekend we can teach them of His ultimate sacrifice on the cross and resurrection on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kid Talk

Day 2 with all 6 kids went great! I kinda feel bad because having the kids here is pure entertainment for my kids. So it's been really fun these last few days. Today we went to the park for 2 hours, had a picnic for lunch, played tennis, kickball, football, hit the swings and then loaded up for the pool! And I thought I got looks before...today we had ages 10, 7, 6, 5, 3 and 21 months!

Today the kids were talking and the word "mom" came up. The lil guy D said, "are you talking about her (to me) or your real mom?" I responded, "I am the real mom D, but do you mean birth mom or first mom?" Cooper jumped in, "I have two real moms!" It was so neat for my kids to feel comfortable talking about our unique family to these two. And hopefully allow them to see that they aren't alone in their transition...more kids than they could shake a stick at have more than one mama! Then D said, "I have like 17 moms!" He's a hoot!

I can't find my camera (hmmm) so I am sharing some more pics from my parents visit!!! Enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 1

So...I found a new blog.

I linked it to my adoption buddies blog list. Get ready. It should stir you. Especially if you live in Oklahoma. Its The Fostering Hope Project.

I just can't shake this pull at my heart for our foster kids. And this has been pretty steady for about 4 years. I hear stories that more families are pursuing foster care certification, more than ever...and that OK state DHS adoption numbers are at a national high...and then I keep hearing this from friends that are social workers and from those on the inside: our shelters and foster homes are FULL.

Today was our day 1 with foster care support. We've done a few things here and there to support our foster family, but today was the first day we would really be helping with daytime care.

I am not telling this because I am wanting to toot my own horn. But I am telling you this because there is no family less qualified to do this than us. Do we have our hands full? YES! Do we act like complete hooligans and circus talent most moments of the day? YES! Do I talk to Jesus every hour asking for strength and patience? YES! Do my kids disobey? HOLY MOLY YES! But here's the great part. God does this. Not us. And when we realize that, miracles happen. Is this convenient? No. May this be painful? Yes. But what part of life worth living is without those two?

And I can't help but think...how many more families might step forward to be a foster parent if they knew that 5 families in their church would do it with them!?!? This might just be less isolating. A little less daunting. Not so emotionally draining. That is my prayer for our foster family!

Guess what? We had a fabulous day with our new friends. God worked miracles today....drumroll please...The house was clean when Blake got home! Shazaam!!! Thank you Jesus!