Thursday, December 6, 2012

Love reconnecting these sweet girls and us mamas!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Princess Abbie

So not only we were DTC today - which is super huge news!!  I also got a little Christmas present from DP early!!  And no DP the vacuum does not count ;-)  This sweet husband of mine - contacted our friend Miko in China to see if he could get some professional pics of Abbie made - he was thinking like our Target or JC Penny studio - nothing to big or elaborate - Miko let him know that this kind of thing was available and very inexpensive as in 15-16 US dollars.  DP was just thinking that the pictures would be emailed to him and they were but then even to his surprise yesterday he got a phone call from Andrea who works with Lifeline saying that she had the package of pictures at her house - Miko sent them back with another family who had just gone to China to pick up their son!!  I cannot wait to hug this girls neck again!! I just love her so!!! Now I should explain our picture taking at Target or Penny's is not the same in China - they go all out!!  I am so glad for Abbie's sake as it looks like she got the royal treatment!!  What a sweet treat for all of us!!  So without further ado - here is our princess!!

Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Calendar...

I cannot take credit for this idea - I got it from here.  I have been wanting to do something with advent and the month of December - and really in all honesty I have been wanting to make a Jesse Tree like the one here that my friend in the computer Lauren made.  She is so super crafty- she even made me a tutorial but I have not quite had the gusto to tackle this project - mainly because art is not my forte!! So much so that in high school my art teacher begged me not to take art!! Anyway - I saw this idea and thought this might be a project I could tackle.  We already owned the Jesus Storybook Bible - it is one of my absolute favorites - if you have kids - this is a must have Bible!!  My SIL Melanie helped me figure out what the dimensions probably were for the actual calendar and then I got to work - it wasn't as hard to make as I thought it was going to be and I really enjoyed doing it and knowing that we will have it for years to do with the kids is a sweet treasure.  We have enjoyed each night looking to see what story comes next in God's redemptive plan and of course counting down the days to the long anticipated birth of our Rescuer!!  I love these special times with the kids and treasure them in my heart.  

DTC (Dossier to China)

So super thankful to see this package heading out!!  One step closer to Abigail!!! 

The Thankful Chain

So the colorful chain you see above is the chain we started working on before Thanksgiving.  We decided to add it to our little Christmas tree in our playroom for decoration.  The kids love to put that tree up during thanksgiving break - it actually was the first tree to go up.  (We have 3 up - so thankful we got married during the Christmas season and the two trees we bought for wedding decor have made it all these years!!) The thankful chain is now on the little tree in the family room.  This was the first year I had done this with the kids and it was such a fun experience.  These are the things that we put on the chain -

grace and mercy beach
jie jie (big sister in Chinese)
art and paint
watching movies
the world
God's word
the cross
Jesus rose again
clothes and shoes
ge ge's (little brother in Chinese)
baby Robert
my hubby :-)

I look forward to doing this again with the kids!!  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving : #26-30

Well I have been a total slacker this week!!  I could not let today get away though and not post some final thoughts on trying to keep up with the days of gratitude.  It has been a very busy week and I or we have physically been out every night for one reason or another.  Tonight was the first night I have been home all week so there just has not been time for me to blog - but there has been time for me to be thankful - since I am late a whole week - I will label each day....

MONDAY 11.26.2012
thankful for sweet friends to get together with and brainstorm ideas for our program for what has now become our annual ladies Christmas tea.  I am so thankful that or ultimate goal was to have Christ and HIS gospel be so clear.  Thankful to share in the faith with the ladies at Berachah.

TUESDAY 11.27.2012
on this day I was particular thankful for carpooling with some good friends at CCS.  It was so nice to drop off the kids that morning and not get back out until that evening.  Thank you Panzenhagens!!

WEDNESDAY 11.28.2012
this morning I awoke early enough to spend some quiet time alone and workout and get a shower all before I had to leave to take Linnea to school.  So thankful to the Lord - for those of you who know me - this would not have been possible without His help!!! It made for a very productive day.  We also got to spend some good quality time with our friends the Burgess's - while a good portion of our time was spent working with the kids on their big school project - we had many laughs and it was super enjoyable.

THURSDAY 11.29.2012
It's cookie time!!  This evening we had a cookie swap amongst the Dwarf House/Truetts Grill ladies.  It was a fun time of fellowhip and festivities.  I also had really great one on one time with Ethan.  He is a riot.  He makes me smile.  I think he might actually love Christmas more than I do - he had me put up every Christmas tree we own - I have now have 3 decorated trees in my house and one of them specifically had to have a star on top.  

FRIDAY 11.30.2012
as my eyes are barely hanging open I am thankful to day for those who work outside the home - doctors, nurses, police, fire, you get the drift.  I don't know how they do it and maintain a home.  I have finally been home all day and well I have accomplished much.  I have been able to catch up on some sewing I needed to get done. I am thankful for days of rest.  Oh and sleep - yes I do love my sleep!!

The kids and I put together a thankful chain this year and I would like to end my 30 days of gratitude by posting a picture and telling you what made the chain - so stay tuned - hopefully tomorrow you might get a post!!  Happy Thanking yall!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #23, #24, and #24

What a full weekend and so so so much to be thankful for!!  Time got away from me and I just didn't have moments to steal away to blog - or if I did have moments I was just plain tired - but I still had my thankful list running in my head so here's my list:

thankful to be able to visit with Great - David's 91 year old grandmother was here for Thanksgiving and it was so nice to be able to spend time with her

leftovers - so thankful to have food readily available to us and to enjoy leftovers

great fabric sales on "black Friday"  I love a good deal at JoAnns

laughter - joy is such a gift from above and I am so thankful to be able to laugh and laugh with family and friends

Christmas movies and music 

DATE NIGHT!!  I got to steal away for an evening with my sweet love and it was much needed and lots of fun

a great babysitter that my kids love

a great week off with the kiddos

a family traveling to China and willing to take a package to Abbie and snap some pictures of her for us

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : # 22 (Thanksgiving Day)

On this my most favorite holiday I do indeed have much to be thankful for but mostly for today I am thankful God allowed me to be wife and a mommy.  Besides my pure delight from being a child of the Most High King -He gives me much joy and delight in my sweet husband and precious children. We enjoyed a fun morning together watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and having a few sausage balls and some breakfast casserole - this is our tradition and I love it.   A friend of mine sent me this list of the following 10 things a mom can be thankful for and I thought I would share it today for I am indeed thankful for these things I added a bit to make it my own: 

unexpected hugs

sloppy kisses from a little one or a stolen kiss from a big one

family devotions and bedtime snuggles

the gift of another day with my husband and children

forgiveness when I mess up

hearing "mama!" or "mommy!"

childhood innocence

a home

a smile, a tear, a knowing glance, a shared moment

the joy that only being a mother can bring

Thank you Father for this incredible gift of motherhood!!

It's Thanksgiving Day 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #21

Its Thanksgiving Eve!!!!!!! Tomorrow is my favorite day of the year woo hoo!!!  Thankful for today and all the blessings it holds - here's my list for today:

exercise - yep you read that right - thankful that I am able to workout and run and move all the different limbs and muscles in my body

a little Christmas shopping this morning and a relaxing afternoon/evening at home

listening to Christmas music, wrapping Christmas presents and watching my favorite Christmas movie

egg nog - I really like that stuff!

tree decorating to take place this evening 

a polar express movie night with the kiddos

water and modern day plumbing

working on a "thankful chain" with my kiddos

clippers to cut the boys hair

Daddy has the rest of the week off!!  

Can't wait for tomorrow!!! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #20

I can't believe Thanksgiving is two days away!!! Here is my thankful list for today:

my husband loves to go to the grocery store for me and I love that and I am grateful!!

getting to love on my sweet nephew Robert - oh how I love to get a good baby fix

Davids grandmother affectionately known as "great" so thankful for the years God is granting her

the letter "T" well really I am thankful for the fact that my daughter is beginning to master that sound we have come leaps and bounds in 8 months

I have a date night this Saturday with my hubby - woo hoo!! We are about to hit our 10 year wedding anniversary - where does the time go??!!

What are you thankful for tonight?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Days of Thankfulness 2012 : #18 and #19

Thankful for many things the past two days :

God is a Father to the fatherless 

a church that preaches Christ's word 

no school this week!!

this week marks the beginning of my favorite week of the year - hands down!!! Bring on Thanksgiving and parades and tree lightings!!

today Linnea has been with us for 8 months - tomorrow will mark the longest she has ever lived in one place (more on that in a post tomorrow)

not having to go anywhere all day long!!  Oh we got so much done around the house!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #17

I know I have said this one already but I have to be thankful for it again because I just am grateful for the joy my kids bring into my life - they are SOO funny.

a great neighborhood run this morning

early mornings in my favorite chair with my Bible - I am so mindful of this freedom as others are tearing pages out of Bibles and hiding them just so they can keep them and there are places where Bibles are illegal.

the smell of cinnamon


fellowship with other believers - oh what sweet times these are!!


I really did not know what to even title this post hence all the question marks... but I knew if I didn't write this conversation story down - I would one day regret it because I wouldn't be able to remember all the details... so

Tonight we had EAT-C its kind of like a supper club in our church several couples sign up and then those couples are broken down into groups of 3-4 couples and for the next 3-4 months you have dinner once a month rotating homes and what to bring, etc - you get the point.  I asked Nat and Wade if they could watch the kids because they are not in our group and then I could return the favor for her sometime.  Well we were going to be a little early to their house so I suggested to DP why don't we ride by my old house and show the kids where I grew up.  I literally lived 5 minutes from where Wade and Nat live now.  So we asked the kids if they wanted to see it and of course they said yes.  Thus begins the parade of questions - mainly from Luke.  How old were you when you lived there? When did you live there.  Then Nathan chimes in - we've already seen where you lived by great mimi.  So I explained I did live right down the street from great mimi when I was a really little girl but after my daddy died we moved to this house that we are going to see now.  Back to Luke - how old were you when your daddy died? Six I answered.  How did he die? He was very sick David responds.  We certainly didn't feel the need to get into the whole cancer topic. Then we arrive at the neighborhood which has gotten so old.  I explained to the kids how I walked to the bus stop - rode bikes in the cul de sac where we lived - showed them them the window in my old room.  Nathan asks if I rode my bike to the bus stop because it was so far away.  As we are leaving the neighborhood Luke says - so did you have any brothers or sisters?  (I am presently right now as I am typing this laughing so hard because this story just gets funnier!!!) Nathan answers rather dramatically kind of in a I can't believe you are asking this kind of way - you know who they are - um yes Uncle Joseph and Aunt Shannon.  To which Luke says no not them you know little brothers or sisters that were like one.  Clearly he was not getting we were all little at one time.  It was hilarious.  I would love to be in his mind sometimes.  

Now fast forward a couple of hours - we have picked the kids up and now we are on our way home.  Ethan says is your daddy in heaven. And I say yes my daddy is in heaven now.  He asks where is your daddy and I respond again my daddy is in heaven.  And then Luke pipes up again.....(this is the part where it gets really funny and DP and I are trying to control our laughter)  So when your daddy died did he just stand in the middle of the road and God put his hands down and just picked him up into heaven.  David says well we don't know how it really all works but you don't have to stand in the middle of the road.  Luke - well how did it happen - I reminded him my dad was really sick and he was  in a bed when he died.  Then we have a long pause .... then Luke says maybe he just catapulted into heaven.   You might not think this was remotely funny - but we were cracking up silently - I was laughing so hard I was crying.  You might have had to be there.  Catapulting to heaven...... catapults clearly he has watched a Narnia movie quite a few times

On a side note another Luke funny - DP and the boys saw a great big buck in our front yard this morning as we were heading out to meet some friends.  DP said it looked to be like an 8 pointer.  You know they all get real quite and still and Luke very quietly says "Dad go get the BB gun so we can shoot it."  Oh that boy cracks me up!!  So thankful for the joy and laughter he brings to our lives!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #16

Today I am thankful for:

Friday nights at home with the fam!

hot drinks i.e hot tea, coffee (with lots of peppermint creamer), hot chocolate - you get the point

my favorite reading chair, my "princess blanket" as the boys call it, a space heater and a good book or crochet project

advanced technology such as youtube -which taught me how to crochet along with my mimi

good craft stores close by i.e JoAnns, Hobby Lobby and Michaels all within 7-10 minutes of my house - yes thank you!

hearing the news of friends or coworkers who want to start the adoption process - oh how this makes my heart leap!! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #15

homemade soup and bread

my husbands amazing yummy wheat blueberry pancakes

sweet drawings from my 8 year old


a week home with my sweet kiddos next week!! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #14

the pitter patter of rain - oh I do love me some rainy weather!!

books - I am reading quite a few right now - something I said I would not start - but alas I did and my pile is high - but I am so thankful to be able to read and that God has not only given me a voracious appetite for His word - but for reading in general

blog giveaways!! - I won a book and a pair of earrings this week on a blog giveaway - regardless of whether or not I win they are still fun

praying with my sweet children in devotion time at night - I love to hear them pray.  So thankful for a God who hears!

rocking chairs and a sweet little girl who wanted to be rocked tonight

thankful to have my hubby back home - which leads me to gratitude for the spouses of our military forces - I don't know how you do it and I am forever grateful for your sacrifice as well. 

neighbors - I love my neighborhood - I love the trees and the different color leaves you see all over and I have great neighbors on both sides - sometimes I feel like June Cleaver  just kidding not really.

homemade soup and bread - if you ever visit my blog - you might vaguely remember I am NOT a cook - well it turns out I can cook a few things - my bread got a two thumbs up tonight from the hubs - this is progress!!  

almost one week away from Thanksgiving my favorite holiday - CAN'T WAIT!!! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #13

Ladies Bible Study every Tuesday - oh how I miss it when we don't meet

Chick-fil-A - not just the food however it is great - but the company itself - so thankful my husband works for this great company founded on Biblical principles

workout dvds - while this most days is a chore - I am thankful to be able to work out and do so in my home

chapstick - I probably have more sticks around here than necessary - thankful to have them

a clean playroom and 4 sweet kiddos who helped me get it that way

Monday, November 12, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #12

the rainy weather - seriously this is my favorite kind of day

unexpected blessings

a super helpful husband

the recent study of James I have been going through

the mail service - mailed off our dossier packet to LL today - brought back memories of the last time I did that!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #11

I would be remiss if I did not include in this thanksgiving post a huge shout out to the Veterans on this special Veterans Day.  A big thank you to you all but especially to my dad, my brother, both my grand-dads, my father-in-law and my sister-in-law!! Thank you for protecting our freedoms!! While I am most thankful for that today here are some other things I am thankful for as well:

missionary friends home on furlough - it has been such a sweet time reconnecting and hearing how God is working in their lives and in the lives of those they are serving

my church - Berachah Bible Church - I cannot say enough about how thankful I am that God led us to this body of believers - what a journey I have been on - because in the beginning I didn't really want to go there....

prayer - do you know a privilege this is - and what power is behind it - so thankful I can approach His throne anytime

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #9 and #10

Just as I thought keeping up some nights is hard.  This has been a really busy weekend - but that doesn't mean there aren't things to be thankful for ;-)

weekend visit with my mom

being an aunt - our first nephew was born in August and I have a second one due in a few short weeks!

date night with my hubs!! 

the beautiful tree with gorgeous yellow leaves in my front yard (I'll have to snap a pic)

great morning runs in my neighborhood

and last but not least - I800A approval!!!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!! got that in the mail today!! hold on Abbie - we're coming!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : # 8

See those cutie cakes!!  Yes these are my priceless treasures and I am so thankful for them.  I love them fiercely like a mama bear loves her cub.  They have stretched me in more ways than I ever thought I could be stretched and for that I am thankful.  My knees are worn and my heart is burdened and that is exactly where the Lord wants me.  Not only am I am I thankful for all that - I am thankful for the joy they bring into my life and the laughter that spills out of me (sometimes silently) over the funny or cute things they say.... like:

Me: "Thanksgiving is my MOST favorite holiday!" Ethan: "mine too we get to go to grammas and then we can put up our Christmas tree!!"  (I love the way this kid thinks - warms my heart!)

Luke: "Hey Nathan - you know that Christmas song whats it called Harry the Happy Angel Sings?" (clearly he was trying to remember Hark The Herald Angels Sing now he calls it Hark the Happy Angel Sings)

Luke: (when we went to vote I informed them we might be there awhile - turns out we were in and out rather quickly) "We're done? Well that was quick I thought we were going to see Mitt Romney."

Nathan: (we saw the movie ET for sale at Wal-mart - of course he thought we should buy it and I informed him I thought Great Mimi might have it so there was no need to buy it) "Well if she does have it its probably in black and white"

Just typing these out gave me another good chuckle - and I am for sure thankful for the gift of laughter!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #7

I'm super tired but wanted to post my thanks for today :

Nighttime so we can rest


A cozy bed - right where I'm heading.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #6

November is National Adoption Month so tonight my gratitude is really centered around that as it has been particularly close to my heart more so than normal..... I am so thankful for:

My own adoption - thank you Father for choosing me!! Thank you for the gift of salvation and new mercies every morning.

Thankful for a husband who cares just as much about orphans as I do - what a heart God has given him.

Friends who are on this journey with you and friends you meet in the journey.  Today in particular I got to catch up with one of the moms we traveled with - I now call her a dear friend - had it not been for adopting in China I may have never met Carrie and she literally lives on the other side of the world because her husband is in the military.  I am so thankful for how God sovereignly places people in our lives at just the right time.  

Almost 8 months ago when I would rock Linnea before bed she would look at me like I was a stranger as I was - she had no voice - now when I rock her she says mama over and over with this big grin, the look of the unknown is gone - my heart is overflowing.

8 months ago I can remember trying to get Linnea to say "mama" and both of us ended up in tears literally I had heard her say it once and I just thought if we practiced she could do it again - WRONG.  She could not say one word on command.  She can say "mama" and "mommy" and with conviction of who I am to her.  God indeed is kind to us. 

I often think of Linnea's birth mother - what a gift she has given us - she could have chosen to abort this precious child or had been forced to but God had other plans.  She is a mother regardless of the choices she made and I know her heart must ache - I am thankful she gave Linnea a chance and I choose to believe she loved her for the few months she had her. I am thankful I get to rock her at night - I get to see her blossom - I have the privilege of teaching her about the ONE who loves her more than any mother ever could - again my heart is overflowing.

As I write these thoughts of gratitude I must praise my Savior - all of these things are to bring glory to His name.  May HE be praised!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Orphan Sunday from Daddy's perspective

Had a great "Orphan Sunday" with great music, testimony and message from Ephesians. I saw this quote by David Platt and thought it was appropriate in light of November being adoption month....“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” – David Platt (author of Radical and adoptive parent)

This picture was taken the day we got Linnea. She was a scared little girl who finally seemed to trust us a bit that day by making the connection of throwing this little ball back and forth. She started cracking a small smile and I will never forget that day! What a blessing she has been to our family. I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for her. So proud to be her daddy here on earth. - David

One step closer to Abbie

Friends that prayed - thank you - your prayers were heard and God chose to have the USCIS show us favor!!  For those of you in the dark - David and I had our USCIS Biometric Fingerprint appointment today - well I should say my appointment was scheduled for today.  It occurred to me sometime a week or two ago that I never saw David's name on our appointment letter nor did he ever receive any kind of notice in the mail.  So right away I called our agency who in turned called USCIS.  To make a long story short - no one could give us any answers - even I tried to call and after being on hold for 45 minutes last Tuesday I finally got to speak to a live person and had to leave a message - which of course didn't get returned until Saturday and I just got told I needed to call another number - mind you my appointment was at 8:00 Monday morning as in today.  Our agency advised us to have David go ahead and come along and just explain we never got a notice for him.  I confess I was a nervous wreck.  The whole morning I kept telling myself over and over God is good and kind and He is in control and His plan is the best plan.  Clearly the worst that was going to happen was we would have to redo this whole process and wait longer to get to Abbie.  But alas we didn't!!  When we walked in I explained our situation to the officer there - and he was straight up honest and told us it was a problem - I asked him to beg whoever he had to talk to and he immediately said we aren't gonna beg we are going to pray - can I just say that was amazing - and he was serious.  I told him I had already been praying and I had other people praying too!!  He came back a little while later and let us through - we were both going to be able to get fingerprinted!! Praise be to God!!  I did tell the officer that even if David wasn't able to move ahead it still would have been okay because that would have been part of God's plan - He is never surprised by what goes on in our lives.  Thankfully that wasn't His plan today.  So we got our fingerprints and now we are one step closer to our sweet girl.  We now await the approval of our fingerprints and then our dossier is prepared to make its way to China.  Abbie knows she has a family - we often wonder if she ever wonders when we are coming.  Well hang on sweet girl - we are coming.  I am working on getting a Christmas package together for her to send over to China.  I am going to make her a blanket and crochet her a warm hat - not sure what other goodies we will put in there but I am sure we will think of something.  I look forward to the day when my sweet family is complete and this mama can rest easy knowing all her babies are safe in the nest.  I am thankful for our Heavenly Father who watches over us all - and way better than I ever could!! I got these pictures of Abbie recently and I have been meaning to share them - these were taken when some Lifeline families traveled to get their precious treasures from Maoming last month.  They were so kind to deliver packages and take pictures for several of us waiting mommies.  These photos are a priceless gift.

love her smile!!

we have heard she is quite the little mama!!

I love this - she always looks so happy! I can't wait til she knows true Joy from our Lord!!

we sent this bear to her and it had all of our voices recorded on it.  We were told she loved it!!

We love you Abigail Joy!!  

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #4 and #5

Well I got in bed last night and as soon as my head hit the pillow I remembered that I had not posted my thanksgiving list... and to be honest I didn't want to really get out of the bed just so I could blog.  So I will just put the two together for tonight.  As a song I know says it best "there's so much to be thankful for..."
friends who share recipes, patterns, ideas etc.
craft stores like JoAnns ;-)
church family
quiet moments {trust me these are not to be taken for granted! :-)}
praying with my kiddos - love their sweet prayers
freedom to vote tomorrow!!!
making bread for the third time in a row and it finally turning out right!!
God recalling to my mind scripture that I have tried to put to memory

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #3

This time last year as I was running the annual New Hope Harvest Classic 5k also known as Footsteps for the Orphan I was only a mommy of 3 - I remember vividly passing some ladies who were walking with their daughters that they had adopted from China and I thought to myself - I can't wait for this race next year when I will have my girls with me - at the time we had only been matched with Linnea and we were still anxiously waiting to know who our other daughter would be.  While we don't have both girls home for this race we do know who that precious other girl is - Abbie Joy!!  So today I was ecstatic to be able to run with Linnea.  What  joy and great reflection of God's hand!!  Today I am grateful for:

legs that can run, walk, jump, skip - you name it
being able to run and push a stroller and not fall out!!
God's heart for the orphan and how He is raising up His church to defend them!
my sweet Linnea bug - so happy to have her home!
Abbie Joy - praise God for his preservation of her life

Here we are pre-race

And here we are post race!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #2

It has been quite a day - Ethan has been quite a sick boy this week particularly worse today.  I have been playing chauffeur, nurse, housecleaner, and laundromat today and in between those moments I had the sweet opportunity to hold and love on my sick boy in his waking moments.   God used those moments of quiet for great reflection and time with Him, and time to pray specifically for Ethan - I am for sure thankful for those times.  I have much to be thankful for today - even if I didn't feel thankful in all the moments of the day.  Here is where my thankful thoughts landed tonight:

a working washer and dryer
clothes to fold (even though this is my least favorite chore and I felt like I was doing it all day!!)
a fabulous pediatrician
carpooling with friends at CCS
a helpful husband
music - Christy Nockels in particular today
prayer and knowing I am being heard.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Days of Thanksgiving 2012 : #1

First I must confess - when I would see fb posts or blog posts in Novembers past all about thankfulness - I would think to myself we are supposed to be thankful everyday actually ALL the time - why are we just posting this in November - what about everyday? Yep those were my thoughts - sad and wrong - who am I to judge what or when someone else posts. But God being rich in his mercy and ever so loving to me has been growing me in more ways than I could ever write about and thankfully has not only forgiven me for such thoughts, he graciously led me to a post where my sister in Christ shared how she wasn't really thankful right now but went back to her November posts from last year and saw all of God's kindnesses and was reminded of how truly good He is to us in ALL things.  Thank you Leah for the reminder and how it spurred me on to this same thing.  I am not always thankful and I don't always see God's kindness to me and it exists EVERYDAY.  So here I am - I am going to (Lord willing) try and do a thankful post everyday this month - is it likely to happen everyday - probably not - but I am going to try.  I don't know how long the lists will be and that doesn't really even matter - what matters is my attitude before my Holy, Just and Loving Savior.  Here is what I am thankful for today:

my Savior 
giggles from my sweet children
good health
His word
new mercies everyday
Linnea is home and vocal!!!! 
a thoughtful husband
sweet friends who help you out in a bind [Elizabeth ;-)]

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Linnea!!

We are so thrilled to have this sweet girl home for her birthday this year!!  It feels like just yesterday we were mailing off birthday packages to China for her! So thankful that the Lord has brought her home and loves her more than we ever could.  We pray that He will draw her to Himself and that she will know Him and His steadfast love for her.  We love you "Linnea Bug!!"  Happy Birthday princess!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Ethan!!

Where does the time go!!  Today my sweet little Ethan affectionately known as our Ebear turned 4!!  He is the sweetest, funniest little 4 year old I know!  We praise God for this sweet life and are so thankful to be his parents.  We pray that God would make Himself known to Ethan at a young age and that Ethan would live for Christ.  We love you Ebear!! Happy Birthday!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

She can hear!!

I cannot even begin to explain what an exciting day this has been for our family.  Linnea can hear!!

We left this morning around 10 am to head to CHOA at Scottish Rite to get her hearing aids.  Our appt. was at 11 and we didn't finish up until 1:30 so it was quite a long morning - but so worth it!! I cannot brag enough on Pediatrics ENT of Atlanta and their audiology team.  We LOVE Dr. Matesvac and her intern Brittany.  They were so great with Linnea and spent soo much time with her.  They were so detailed and took such time to explain each and every little aspect of her hearing loss and what life with hearing aids looks like.   The appointment started out with a behavioral hearing analysis to see if how she performed today while she was not sedated was comparable to how she did with the ABR (auditory brain response) while she was sedated.  In comparison the two tests gave pretty much the same results.  The purpose of this was to make sure that her hearing aids had been programmed properly.  They had to tweak the programming on the hearing aids just a little bit. Just to give you some idea of what Linnea was hearing like - think of it like this - you and I are having a normal conversation talking at a normal decibel level - if you were to have a conversation with Linnea at your normal decibel level it sounds like a whisper - maybe even a little softer than that.  So everything she has heard thus far from us was like we were whispering to her.  This totally explains why she would hold her little music player up to her hears to hear it.  Of course we learned about proper care and how to turn the hearing aids on and off and change the batteries and all that other jazz.  Then came the big moment - put them in her ears and turn them on.  I am so super glad that DP and I were both able to be at this appointment.  I really can't put the moment into words - it was such a sweet emotional time for us.  It was like she was hearing our natural voices speak her name for the very first time.  She had such a look of glee - like a baby when they see bubbles for the first time or a kids first trip to Disney.  As I sit here and ponder back on the moment I really can't put it into a lot of words.

Linnea has been such a trooper and she did soo super great!!  She has kept her aids in all afternoon.  It has been such a joy to watch her around the house and to see her interact with the boys - it has been a really different scene.  She has been mimicking some of them trying to say what they are saying - of course it doesn't sound exactly right - but she is trying.  I think my favorite thing has been seeing her play with a music toy that she loved when we first came home - she would hold that pink player up to her ear so she could hear it and now she is just holding it out in front of her.  My heart is so full of joy and thankfulness.

I am overwhelmed when I think of all that the Lord has done for us and for her.  Praise be to Him.  He does more than we can ask or imagine....

BEFORE - we were on our way!!

AFTER - she says look at my ears - I can hear!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

One Happy Girl


We were so excited to get these pictures this morning.  So thankful for Ann at RedThread who helped us to make this day super special for Abbie!!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Abigail Joy!!

We are one of the fortunate few adoptive families who knows the actual birthdate of their daughter.  Abbie was left with a note that had her DOB on it.  So we know for sure she was born on September 25, 2004.  In honor of our sweet girls birthday we had a little family celebration.  I made some orange cupcakes because she really seems to like the color orange with cream cheese icing and pink and purple birthday letters.  We lit 8 candles and sang "Happy Birthday"!!  While we were celebrating here we know she was celebrating there as we made sure she got a cake and had a little birthday party.  We are awaiting pictures and as soon as we get them I will try to get them up here on the blog quickly!! We are so thankful for this precious child and how God has preserved her life.  I know HE has great plans for her and we are just so thankful to be a part of her story.

We are also very fortunate to have a family going to Maoming next week.  You know what that means??!!  We got to send another package and get more pictures!!  I am so thankful for the willingness of other families to bring packages - it means so much to the family who is sitting on the waiting end.   We decided to go to Build A Bear and "build" Abbie a teddy bear!  We were even able to record a sound bite with all of our voices.  So when she squeezes the bears hand she hears "Hi Abbie its mommy and Linnea" "I'm Nathan," "I'm Luke," "I'm Ethan," "and this is Daddy."  "We love you and can't wait to get you!!"  We all stuck a little heart in the bear, prayed for Abbie and sewed it up!!  Its now on its way to Washington and then off to China!!