Monday, July 30, 2012

Meet The Girls! UPDATED!

And here are their names (I think ;-)

I have an issue with names...

I love so many of them and often second guess myself...

But I think names are important!

It's part of the bonding experience for me!

the girls
with their 

Mia Christine
Anhui Province!
Mia is 10.5 years old and will be 11 when we bring her home!

Melissa Faith
Guangxi Province!
Melissa is 6.5 years old and will be 7 when we bring her home!

And last but not least!

Madeline Mary
 Guangdong Province!
Madeline is 5.5 years old and will be 6 when we bring her home from China!

All the girls are sayin 
"Please to meet you!"

How do I know that?
Well, because I'm their Momma!

Be still my heart!
We are on our knees in thankfulness to our Dear Lord!



I will be in China for a very long time!

Prayin you'll be there with me!

(In other words, commenting words of encouragement on my blog and praying for us!)

Okay on a side note-
 I am not 100% sure of Melissa's middle name...hmmmm...
So let me know your thoughts!
Melissa Faith
Melissa Ann
Melissa ???

Sunday, July 29, 2012

AND... the winner is!

It was so exciting!

We put all the names on little pieces of paper!

Mixed them all up!
I held it high so she (Sarah) couldn't see inside the container!
And then she picked one!

And read it to us! 
And the winner is...

Congratulations Laura!!

I am so happy she won!
I really wanted everyone to win!

Thank you, to all of you that participated!
This was so much FUN!
It was my first giveaway AND I think I am going to have to do this again!

Did you know that we actually got to meet Laura and her family in Guangzhou! 
It was when we adopted Ava and Sam!
March 2011
We had hoped to meet BUT time was running out and then GOD did it for us!
We ran into them on the street in Shamain Island!

The Jones family has adopted 3 blessings from China and soon they will have one more from Ethiopia!

Enjoy the book Laura and family!

Our family LOVES it!

I need your address so I can send it to you!

God Blessings to all of you!

If you are interested in purchasing this book, please go to this site!

ps- so sorry I posted this early.We seemed to be holding at 76 comments, so we went ahead and did the drawing!
(Plus we are hoping to start school tomorrow, so we needed to get this done before school!)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

We have PA!!

 Oh My goodness, we are beyond excited!

We are adding another sweet treasure to our family!!

WE were drawn to her 
but she had a family. 

When things weren't able to work out for them 
she was once again available.

We couldn't help ourselves,

we had to ask,


 it would be possible,


 just maybe, 

this sweet dear child, 

could come home to our house,


And the Lord moved the mountains!

Our agency(Lifeline) asked for special permission!

And the answer was YES!

Praising God!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

When they take God out of the story...

(Please go to previous post for book review and GIVEAWAY!)

Now onto the STORY!

Hubby and I were at a gathering and many people were asking us about the wedding.

For us the wedding was one of the most wonderful experiences we have EVER had!

It was so amazing and God was so present that even trying to describe it in words is so inadequate...

It was a blessed and joyous event!

As we mingled and talked with old friends it became more and more apparent to me-
That God was being taken out of the event.

Each time I told the story I praised him and talked about the miracle of the rainbow and the answered prayer regarding the reception.
BUT more and more I found my audience wasn't buying it.

God wasn't part of the story they wanted to hear.

They wanted to know what went wrong and how awful that was and that our venue should have handled it differently 
"weren't we just freaking out?"...




We were NEVER freaking out. 


We also knew we had a wonderful, christian woman as our wedding planner!

My question was - 
Okay God, so what a you thinking?
Will it be somewhere else? Will we end up at the ballgame for brats and beer? Maybe another country club or a town hall?  Will the power go on or will the generator work?

We were never mad, freaked out or upset...
HIS PEACE was always upon us!
We were just praying to HIM and wondering what HIS answer was going to be?

This little incident was a way for us to see how GREAT HE IS! For us to see HIM at work! For HIM to shed HIS peace on us. For us to show our trust in HIM. AND for this young couple to see how MIGHTY our GOD is!

And it made for a great great story!

Until someone wanted to take HIM out of the story.

If ya take God out of the story...
there is NO story!

On a side note!

This time it was Sam's turn to come to Abby's transfusion with us!
We always have fun!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Review and GIVEAWAY!!

Searching for...
The You We Adore

Written by Valerie Westfall

Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

We were so excited to receive this book from Valerie!

The children ran to the porch- our usual reading spot!

Right when we opened the package we all immediately noticed the super shiny red ribbon that is on the cover
and throughout the whole book!
(And of course they all had to touch it, too!)

This is an adoption book but it is not country specific!
It is perfect for all countries and yes, even domestic adoption!
It celebrates the love that parents have for their child even before they become a family. The love they feel in their heart as they search for their child!

It is a heartwarming story and it helps the child know how deeply they are loved and cherished!

The words rythmically flow and the illustrations are beyond beautiful! Our children loved every adorable page and followed the brightly colored shiny red ribbon all the way to the end!

I think it helped our children to know that we would go to the ends of the earth to be united with them!
It wasn't by chance...
It was an intended journey!
We searched...
We were lead...
And we found each other!

And they are forever ours...


This book will be treasured in our home!

And now for the super good news!!
I have an extra copy to GIVEAWAY!!
Just leave a comment on this post and you will automatically be entered!
One entry per person please!
The GIVEAWAY will be open through midnight (central time) Sunday, July 29th! 
We will announce the winner on Monday, July 30th!

If you are not selected for the GIVEAWAY but would still like to purchase this book please go to-

Please check back on Monday to see if you have won a copy of
Searching for...
The You We Adore!

Monday, July 23, 2012

How are we doing?

Many people have been asking how are we doing without Katie and Andrew and how are they doing?

Thank you for your thoughtfulness!

Katie, Andrew and Penny arrived safely in Germany and are settled into their studio hotel room. They are looking for a place of their own but it is more challenging than they thought. Katie can't look without Andrew because she doesn't speak German. Andrew is busy with work. So they look when they can. Germany also has high realtor fees- which makes some places too expensive plus they need a dog friendly place- because of Penny!
They are hoping to find a place soon and move in October.

She is loving being married to the man of her dreams and her BFF!

We have chatted over the internet quite a few times! (okay maybe every other day) It is amazing and easy! I love being able to see them as we talk! It feels like they just aren't that far away!

Lil Kate has had a few homesick moments but for the most part she seems to be doing very well!

Friends have encouraged her to start trying to learn the language and enjoy the culture. I think that is wise advise. This is such a unique and wonderful time of their life- we want them to fully enjoy it!!

I miss my sweet girl! We always have so so much fun together! At the same time I am overjoyed for her, her husband (my 14th child ;-) and their journey. Katie and I, in many ways are BFF's and we often confide in each other and get each others opinions on things. A couple times I wanted to pic up the phone and chat but have held off wondering what time it is there or/ and because of the cost. If I wait a little we can face chat for free!

Since Katie and Andrew left we have been working on Johnny's grad party. We had it with a few other families this last weekend! 
It went great! Praise God!

You will be happy to know that there are NO more big events on my calendar! 
(well kind of... that is...)

So now I am trying to prepare for homeschooling those that are here while knowing new kiddos will be joining our family sometime around February.
I want to get as far into the school year as possible before traveling to China!
We will also be visiting the kids in Germany- can't wait and Kate (and Penny!) may come home for a week when Andrew travels for work.

I am so thankful to God that she has such a wonderful husband, that we can easily talk to each other (it lessens the pain of being apart) and that we can travel to see her. The world just isn't as big as it used to be!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for this sweet couple and her Momma- they are so so appreciated.

Friday, July 20, 2012


We love going to plays at our local theatre!!
This time it was "Horton Hears a Wh*"!

They did a wonderful job!
And the "Cat" was there too!

We read the book and then watched the movie!

Has anyone else found this to be true- sometimes the children don't laugh until I tell them it's supposed to be funny!
It's just one of those things that happens when a child has a language and culture change.
And of course I have to make sure they know that when someone is punched in the nose on TV it might be funny BUT we cannot do that in real life! Okay Sam!! Good, good, whew!

Luke is starting to do everything Sam does. Sam loves to wrestle with the big boys!
The next thing we know, Luke's getting in on it too!
Too cute!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Falling short...

It does bother me.

I have emails that I have not returned 
and questions from bloggy friends that I have not been able to answer
and phone calls I needed to return
and books that I said I would review 
and home project that I really want to accomplish
and photo albums that I plan to do
and rooms that need to be cleaned 
and voice mail that needs to be listened to
and, and, and

no dear friends,
I cannot do it all...

I am falling short...

at the same time...

We have been blessed with 8 incredible children.
That now have a forever family!

Can you say BLESSED!
Because that's what we are!
Blessed with 5 wonderful older children and 8 wonderful younger children!
And two more on their way home!

This is his first time on the trampoline!
He loved it!

I am falling short in the worlds eyes...
I just pray...
I am not falling short in God's eyes...

Monday, July 16, 2012

And it's another....

Birthday at our house!!

This time it's their turn!

So we headed to the M*ll of Amer*ca to have some fun!!

We had lunch at the Ra*nforest Cafe!

It was our first time there and we all loved it!

This sweet girl is turning 10!

And this one is turning 12!

This is also their  2yr Gotcha day anniversary!

We are so thankful they are home sweet home!

Both Emma and Ellie have made wonderful progress!
Emma did a lot of talking today! She was beyond excited and could hardly contain herself!
Sometimes she would make a run at me- to give me a hug! Usually from about 20 feet away!
I braced myself as she would run full speed into me!
It happened a lot and thankfully we both did not fall over! ;-)

After lunch we hit N*ckelodeon Un*verse!
It was another first for all of us!
Yes, I know it is so close to home for us but we just don't get over here much!

At this point I have to warn y'all! It's picture mania time! I like to take individual pics so they can have them for memories instead of always being "together".

Abby's liver is still FULL of iron. She will be having a bone marrow biopsy and a liver biopsy.
I felt so discouraged when I heard her iron was still so high. Now I realize it will take a year to years to get it out. Praying her MDS stayed away so we can get the iron out and the bone marrow transplant on the calendar.

Sweet Anna needs to have surgery to connect the muscles on each side of her lip. Before that surgery she is having an endoscopy to see which surgery she needs for her speech. Sometimes she can do a straight smile but other times it's this cute crooked smile!

One very happy birthday girl!

No diapers, no pull ups just underwear for this boy!!
And that been since May- only 4 months after surgery!!!

Another very happy birthday girl!

Luke loved the whole day! He enjoyed the calm rides but loved watching the bigger kids go on their wild rides!

Everyone LOVED the merry go round!

Even Sarah!

Sarah, Emma , Ellie and Ava went on this thing!

They came off of it with smiles but chose not to go on it again!

The littles loved the bumper cars!!

It was a perfect way to express their inner aggression!

And this guy loved it the MOST!!

Outta my way sista!!

Look out for Sam!

He took no prisoners!

And neither did the girls!

I wasn't sure how Emma would do but she did great! She loved the big rides and the little rides!!

Ava... on the other hand had enough of the "big wild rides"!
She opted out of this one!!

Another thumbs up!!

The reported back to Ava that it really wasn't so scary!

Sponge bob and what's his name where their visiting!

The wrist bands made it so the kids could go from ride to ride!!

We all had so much fun!

Smiles every where!

This was the mini version!

They giggled their way thru the ride!

She went on the bigger version!

No thank you!

But she loved it!

Then we went home for dinner 

and presents!

Which they loved!

Of course! 

They each picked out their our cake!

We wish everyone was home and we miss the rest of the kids...
But we still had a ton of fun!

Happy Birthday Emma and Ellie!

And then every one was hysterical after our family rendition of the song...

Happy Birthday to You!

We are that bad!!