Friday, July 27, 2012

snack heaven...

We stopped at a gas station today on our way to the beach to grab a snack for the last leg of our trip.  This girl was in snack heaven.  We let her pick out her own snack -she would have added many more to her find if we had let her. She chose a small can of pringles cheese flavored chips!  This is pure joy and delight on her face.  We love experiencing these little moments with her!!  What a blessing!!

some funnies...

My kids are so funny and cute - and  yes I am biased.  Here are some recent converstaions/happenings that make me feel this way....

Nathan and Luke have recently been really into this book about sharks that we own.  I think they might have memorized part of it.  It is a pretty thick book with all kinds of different sharks in it - some I have never even heard of before.  Anyway they were having a discussion on sharks and how they are dangerous and bite people sometimes - this is the conversation I overheard them having at the kitchen table...

N: I wish sharks could talk or at least hear us
L: yeah me too...
N: Because if one of them was biting me and they could talk or hear us I would just say shark why are you biting me - don't bite me - here let me show you where your prey is....

I am so glad I was in the other room as I was laughing so hard silently of course that I was crying!!! It was one of those moments where I just had to pause and give thanks to God for these special blessings and the gift of being able to stay home and the immense joy that it brings.  Do you ever have those moments??

Earlier this week I woke up with a migraine and ended up having to go lay back down in bed.  Fortunately only the boys were awake at this early time in the morning.  A little while later they all three came upstairs and had brought me "breakfast in bed"  because I wasn't feeling well.  They had warmed me up a waffle in the microwave, put some butter on it and they even opened a coke zero and poured it in a glass for me.  They know that is one of my favorite drinks.  I wish I had snapped a picture but I wasn't even thinking about it.  These boys are so precious and just made my day.  I love their thoughtfulness and I am even more thankful for their daddy who models these kind of actions for them consistently.  So glad to be a mama of boys!! 

And for your final laugh tonight ... last night as I was tucking the boys into bed (they all share a room) E informed me that I had forgotten to make his bed and I had told him I would do this several days ago.  He sleeps on the top bunk and well I just don't make the boys bed everyday.  So I told him I was sorry and said I was a bad mama - now I was just teasing when N and L pipe in and say "no you are not a bad mama - you are a good mama" and then N adds on to that - "you just make promises and sometimes break them" oh he was so matter of fact and I got the biggest giggle - they did too!!  It was a great opportunity for me to remind them that I am not perfect and never will be and I will probably sometime in the future make another promise and break it , but the best part of the conversation was directing them to the One who never breaks a promise and that is something we can always count on.  

Cow Appreciation Day...

July is not complete without our annual "Cow Appreciation Day."  I am so thankful for this company and how God has used it in our lives. I am thankful for the job DP has and am grateful all that CFA encompasses.

This year we of course celebrated in style and had lunch with daddy at his office which is always a super big deal you know, and then visited our local CFA the Fayetteville Dwarf House for our free dinner!!  If you haven't heard of cow appreciation day then you are missing out!! Dress like a cow and get free chicken!!  I had appliqued the boys shirts a few years ago and well N has grown out of his so he just donned his super cow cape while the other boys wore their cow shirts.  I had made this dress for Linnea before she even came home - I had to take it up some but she will grow into it and have it awhile.  I guess I will have to figure something new out for my growing boys for next year.  What did you do for cow appreciation day??

love my sweet brood!!
this is one of their favorite parts about visiting daddy - riding in the bus!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

China friends...

Adoption is glorious on so many different levels - primarily our own adoption into the family of God.  I am always amazed how God uses it in other ways as well.  I cannot begin to tell you how many new relationships have been formed just through our adoption process.  I love that the Lord has brought so many new friends into our lives.  We have been blessed just this month to reconnect with two of the families that we traveled with in China.

Our first visit was with the Hord family.  This family has become so near and dear to our hearts that they are like family - its one of those bonds I just can't explain.  I can't remember if in previous posts from China I ever mentioned our "Guangdong family" but these are the people we spent our entire time with in China.  There were only 4 couples in our Guangdong family and I miss them all terribly!! The Hord family was one of those couples but I am so thankful that they live in GA and are within driving distance!! We were able to meet the Hord's before we left for China at a travel meeting and we just prayed that the Lord would allow us to travel together.  It is so nice to travel with people you already somewhat know!  And on top of that our girls are from the same orphanage. So not only were we in China together the whole two weeks we also took the trip to Maoming together to see where our girls were from - all this to say that this family is really super super special to us!! So one Saturday this month we loaded up and went and spent the weekend with them.  I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have - but I did get a few.  The girls share a really special bond but clearly are not at ages that they can even comprehend this!!  So glad that our girls can play on this side of the globe together!! We pray that the girls will be lifelong friends just like their parents - for now we just keep telling them they have to be best friends ;-)

We also had the privilege of getting together with another family that we went to China with this month.  This family : the Mattox family actually was with another adoption agency but we had the same guide and we only spent time with them the second week of our stay in China.  But I have to tell you as soon as we met them I was just completely smitten with their children.  They had come to adopt two boys this time, but this wasn't their first Chinese adoption it was their third!! I just love them!!  In addition to the boys they were adopting they had two older girls and they are all just a bunch of cuties!! What a sweet family.  They also live in GA and were going to be up in our neck of the woods for a weekend - so of course we just had one big Chinese get together at our house!!  Linnea was in love with Josie Tatum - I am thinking Linnea might need an older sister from China..... just thinkin... :-)
Enjoy the pics! (again I should have taken more!!)

4th of July (22 days later...)

"This one's for the scrapbooks....." That is what our local newspaper said about this sweet picture! And for sure this will go in her journal!! You my friends are looking at the winner of the 4th of July photo contest in The Fayette Citizen (our local newspaper)!  Is she not so super cute??!! (I know I am biased!!)  She was absolutely loving the parade, wearing her cute little star beads, holding her flag and picking up every piece of candy that had been tossed by the participants on the parade route!

This was Linnea's first 4th of July as a United States Citizen and it was a super special day indeed!! We feel so blessed to have this little girl in our lives and be a part of our family forever.  I love the 4th I think because David is off and we just have such a fun day as a family.  A few years ago we used to spend the 4th at the lake but the past few years we have been home and made some new traditions.  We always go swimming during the day and grill out in the evening and have a our own firework show in our cul de sac.  It's quite the show with lots of sparklers and poppers!! I am also grateful for the fourth as it is such a great reminder of our freedom and the sacrifice that has been made so we can enjoy these freedoms.

I know its way past the 4th now - but enjoy these pictures!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A year ago today......

What a difference a year makes!!  One year ago today we received our referral and picture of our sweet little Linnea!!  I can remember the day like it was yesterday.  I guess it is similar to to the moments you find out your pregnant or even your labor experience.  I know where I was exactly what I was doing when we got the call.  I literally can recall may facts and details surrounding the whole day!!  We are so thankful first and foremost to God for choosing this precious child to be our daughter and giving us the privilege of being her parents.  And I would be remiss if I didn't thank our sweet friend Andrea who persevered to get this referral/file to our family.  She had told me in the very beginning of our adoption journey she felt like the Lord had laid it on her heart which child was to be ours it is this sweet face you see above and we had no idea who she was but God did and we are thankful he used Andrea to help us find her. And here we are today by God's grace home with this precious child.  We are thankful for our agency Lifeline and all the work they pour into finding families for orphans.  We are soo blessed - way beyond measure.  Happy referral day Linnea Hope! WE LOVE YOU!!