Sunday, November 30, 2008

Friends that Make Us Laugh

I was working on my computer yesterday evening, inbetween packing and repacking for Africa when I saw an email come in. It was from my sweet friend Lori and I only caught a bit because of how the computer shows the email coming in....I caught the "urgent" in the title and I saw the "ASAP" in the body of the letter. I guess I am feeling in a 'heightened alert' state with heading in less than 36 hours to Uganda, so I thought, "Oh no! What is wrong?"
I quickly opened the email and here's what it said:


Ok girlfriend....look at the attached pic ASAP. We insist that after Uganda and China...you come to Kansas to adopt!! Love Ya! Lori


After reading the letter I thought, "Oh boy, must be an entire family that needs to be adopted...." So I opened the picture and found this:

If y'all remember Lori was once a blog lurker, who came out of the shadows, we became great friends and she and her family came to visit us in October for almost a week. We had an absolute blast with these down to Earth fun-lovin' family who we now have the privilege of calling precious friends.


Our kids now text all the time and have become great friends. Infact earlier yesterday, as a family, we were laughing about something K-man (Lori's husband) said/did while he was here. Wouldn't want to embarass him, so I won't post it, but every few days we laugh and laugh thinking about what he asked us??!? (Peaked your curiousity I bet, but mums the word from me.) =) And for the record, you owe me big time K-man for not telling the world....and I mean BIG TIME!!!


PS....According to Lori, Brendan photoshopped the picture

and worked really hard on it -

but K-man gets the credit as it was all his idea!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving at Abigail and Ryan's Home

Our Famous Sweet Potato Casserole - even the most anti-sweet potato person has been swayed! Yummmmmmmmm!
There is a rumor that Abby and Ryan's home used to be used as the first sheriff's office in their little town...if you look really closely you can see in the white wood trimmed box on the wall in the foyer (above the dried flowers) and what looks like bars of a jail cell window...we are inclined to think it is true....behind the cell window is the master (only) bedroom...


The girls doing dishes....(some things never change)


Helping big sis make Ch*x Mix...... Their sweet little kitchen (notice how those cottage windows open)

So nice that big sis is a professional photographer
and can do photo shoots whenever...



Some of their friends who came for Thanksgiving....
STOP taking pictures Mom!!


Lexi Lu

My sweet son-in-love and I sharing some fun....I cannot tell you what we were laughing about because somebody somewhere would maybe be offended...but I can assure you we were really laughing....


We are a snuggly family....but when I downloaded these pictures it hit me....we are almost all just snuggled together in one little area...(we were watching Elf - a Thanksgiving Tradition) and that's Lexi Lu (boxer) and Mogley (rat terrier)....


Our handsome little guy was lovin' being at big sis'


Hanging lights to eat Thanksgiving out in the backyard (but the weather did not cooperate, except for dessert)

Where exactly did everyone sleep? Let's see! If you move the chair into the foyer area, then there is room for three on the floor....they rotated who got the couch...and yes, they would not be too happy if they knew Mom snapped their picture in the wee hours...but from the left: Emmy, Graham, Abigail and Ryan....Dad and Mom got the bed and Liberty and Isaiah were on the floor in our room....It worked....next time some will be in the kitchen on the floor....


Friday, November 28, 2008

A New Family Picture....

I mentioned the other day in a post that I wanted to have Elijah and Elizabeth photoshopped in our family picture so that they could begin to see exactly what family they are part of.



A sweet bloggy friend, Julie, wrote to me and volunteered her hubby to do it for us. Within a day they had sent the picture back. Voila!! We are so excited. I am currently having it printed and then I will take it and get it laminated so my sweet babies can smother it with kisses and lovin'.....and see all of us together!



Don't they just look so "at home" in the picture?? Elizabeth is just kickin' back and Elijah is grinning so sweetly in his TaTa's hat...I am just tickled to pieces with it...



Thank you Julie and Curt from the state of Washington - you rose up and met a need and our new and improved picture will (on Monday) be wisking its way to Africa with us....thanks to you!! You guys totally rock!! Yippee Jesus!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday - It's Thanksgiving! We have so Much to Be Thankful For!!

Oh my gracious! We have so much to be thankful for - where can I even start?!!

1. I am so thankful that Jesus rescued me from such a life of pain and torment and set me free!! Galatians 5:1 - It was for freedom that Christ set you free, therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to this yoke of slavery.
2. I am so thankful for a wonderful, best-friend husband of 30+ years.

3. I am so thankful that Dw and I can laugh and laugh and laugh with each other. Laughter is truly good medicine.
4. I am thankful that we are at Abigail and Ryan's this year for Thanksgiving.
5. I am thankful that our oldest daughter, Abby, and her husband love the Lord and are so happily married.

6. I am thankful that we have so much fun with all our kids.


7. I am thankful that our son Tyler loves the Lord and is serving our country, even though he is far from home today.

8. I am thankful for the Lord's protection over Tyler as he trains and while he's been deployed.

9. I am thankful that Autumn gave her heart to Christ many years ago.


10. I am thankful that Autumn has such a good job that she thrives in.

11. I am thankful for Emma's desire to serve Christ as a missionary one day in Africa.



12. I am thankful that Graham loves Jesus and wants to please Him!

13. I am also thankful that Graham just would not allow us to go to Africa without him - he cannot wait to meet his new little brother and sister!

14. I am thankful that Liberty asked Jesus into her heart years ago and is very tender to the needs of the people around her.


15. I am thankful that Isaiah is learning about Jesus. We pray that soon he will ask Jesus into his heart.



16. I am thankful that this is Isaiah's second Thanksgiving with us.
17. I am thankful that in four days I am leaving for Africa. *gulp*

18. I am thankful that the United States allows international adoptions.

19. I am thankful that Jubilee will be coming from Ch*na this Spring.

20. I am thankful that I will get to see Bill and Lynsay in Ch*na when I go get Jubilee.
21. I am thankful for my bloggy friends who bring so much joy to my day - daily!
22. I am thankful that God is always so faithful - that there has NEVER, EVER been a moment in my life that He has removed His faithfulness from my life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

California!!

Pausing for a stretch at the Mojave Desert....Abby and Ryan's bungalow.....
Stop taking stupid pictures for your stupid blog mom - or we will make stupid faces....


We left on Monday afternoon to head out here to California to spend Thanksgiving at Abby and Ryan's home. Because of Dw's shoulder I did most of the driving. We spent Monday night in Kingman, Arizona and cruised the rest of the way yesterday.

While driving to Abby's home I passed signs for Hesperia, California. I thought, "Wow! Someone who stops by my blog is from Hesperia because I have seen it on the blog locations thingy!" So, whoever you are out there, as I passed by the exits for Hesperia I prayed for you....that you would be blessed and that the Lord would meet all of your needs! You are not that far down the road from my Abigail! =) Kind of fun, huh?
Abby and Ryan live in the sweetest little 1920's bungalow with a darling little front porch. It has a living room, kitchen and one bedroom, oh yeah, and one bathroom. They have one bed. So how exactly do we all fit? Literally - it is wall-to-wall people on the floors. It is cozy and homey and we are having a blast.
Yesterday while we were driving here Abby texted the kids so they could ask us: What do we want for breakfast? Pancakes and bacon; french toast and bacon; or sugar cereal and bagels? Isaiah immediately said, "Sugar cereal and bacon!" (Our junk food junkie who wants anything to do with sugar!) So big sis is having sugar cereal and bacon to score brownie points with little brother.
Tyler's unit is on call at his base, if there should be an international emergency they must be ready to deploy in a few hours, so he is unable to come for Thanksgiving. We are still trying to talk Autumn into hopping on a plane and spending the day with us. After all, she is a supervisor with the airlines - so come on girlfriend - get here already!!

Then on Friday we will drive straight thru to get home. On Saturday we will finish packing up, Sunday morning has the two church services, then after noon we will go cut down our Christmas tree so that Dw can enjoy it for three weeks while we are gone. Then we have an Evening of Worship on Sunday night. And then on Monday morning, in the not-so-bright hours we will begin our journey to Elizabeth and Elijah. Yippee Jesus!! I can't wait!!

My Birthday Presents




One of the best parts of the Birthday Bash were the gifts my friends gave me. I had politely requested "no gifts"...but asked if instead could people please, please, please bring gifts for the little ones of the orphanage where Elijah and Elizabeth live and for the street kids we will meet on the street in Uganda? Most don't have shoes - so I was praying that we would get a sweet bunch! Here are the pictures of some of the things people donated! Our friends so totally rock! The stuff is already packed in a suitcase and will be heading to Africa with me on Monday - Yippee Jesus!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Big 5-0 Bash - the pictures say it all....


The cake with all of us on it....

Seth and Maria totally get into it....Toby and Isaiah...... Rob and Robin.....
Kristin and me....


Destini and Graham getting into the action....
My beloved JoJo and her hubby, Dave....


So they say it Reduced Fat??


I was telling JoJo the other day while she was here.....I have all this post-menopausal weight that must come off. I also have a problem because I love potato chips.


Well then I got all excited cause I found this bag of chips. It said, "Reduced Fat"....so I figured since it reduced fat it must be for us people trying to lose weight. After all it claims that it "reduced fat"...sooooo I have been eating bag after bag after bag after bag...meal after meal...and still nothing!! I don't get it! Just exactly how many bags do I have to eat to have noticably reduced fat?

They just better not be lying to us. Cause come on! It's just not nice to mess with this post- menopausal mama!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Memorial Box Monday - The Tiger - Our Wild Adventure Part TEN


Today is our designated day of Prayer and Fasting for sweet little Gracie. If you don't know what that's about, you can read it here.


Dw and I started off our prayer time together this AM interceding for little Gracie. How faithful God is and oh-how-much He must love when His children come together for one little girl's healing.


I find it so cool that it is also no accident that this is the day that Gracie and her mom meet with her surgeon at Mayo. Thank you so much for all of you who sent emails and posted notes. Her family has been totally encouraged by your gracious love for their precious baby girl. Gayle wrote about it all here. Thank you, thank you and thank you for being such sweet bloggy friends!!


Memorial Box Monday is probably one of my favorite days because it reminds us of God's continual faithfulness in our lives. For those of you who have just found our blog, there is a post explaining our Memorial Box here.


But this Memorial Box Monday I thought I would explain the big Tony the Tiger in our Memorial Box. While I was telling about Our Wild Adventure I mentioned a dream Dw had just before he left for Africa. For those who don't remember, I will brush you up on it......The dream was two nights (June 28th) before Dw left for Africa. He knew that he knew when he woke up that it had been a prophetic dream.


In the dream there was a giant tiger sitting on top of a rock mountain. There were two tiger cubs at the bottom of the moutain playing together. What I didn't mention before was that the two tigers were each a boy and a girl. (I didn't want to give it away to anyone who would have a clue.) Anyway, the two little tiger cubs were frolicking and playing together and then they both started to climb up the rock mountain to where the Big Tiger was sitting. Dw said that when the two cubs reached the top they climbed right up on the big tiger who looked more like Tony the Tiger! Tony the Tiger bent back and laughed and laughed and laughed as these two cubs climbed all over him with reckless abandon. It was no doubt, a very happy prophetic dream!!


Of course, when Dw woke up he had no clue what it all meant. So on July 11th Dw and Emma returned to their room after just having met with the attorney and, Barbara, the orphanage director. He said that he sat down and all of a sudden the interpretation flashed before his eyes. HE WAS THE TONY THE TIGER!! The two baby cubs were our precious Elijah and Elizabeth!! How gracious of God to give us a dream in advance that, once revealed, would show us that God had planned this all before the beginning of time. He was at work to bring Elijah and Elizabeth home long before Dw even boarded the plane!!
And so we have a Tony the Tiger in our Memorial Box, given to us by someone who attends our church. Everytime we look at it we think of how faithful God is and just how miraculous it is that the God of the Entire Universe would take time out to give Dw such a fun dream, that would, before long, confirm His daily work in our lives.

Everytime I think of God's faithfulness, in little ways and the very gigantic ways, I am reminded that He is always worthy to be praised!! That He cares about the details! That He desperately loves the orphans and that He wants you and me to depend on Him on a daily basis - this mountain-moving, awe-inspiring, gasp-giving God!! How we worship His Holy name!! Yippee Jesus!!

And in one week I will already be in the air heading to hold my baby cubs...oh Yippee, Yippee Jesus!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our Wild Adventure - Part NINE

We have wonderful news!! Friday we talked to our attorney and he has scheduled the first court appearance. We were then able to book the airline reservations. So here's how it sits:

Monday 12/1
Kiss the handsomest, biggest hearted man in the entire world and two of my sweet babies good bye and fly at dawn through Denver and on to Detroit.
From Detroit we fly to Amsterdam.
From Amsterdam we fly straight to Africa.
It will be late at night on 12/2 when we land and head for a bit of sleep (if I can sleep at all!)

On 12/3 - extra bright and early African time this Mom of Many will run down the hill to the orphanage where my precious promises live....and I will hug them and love them and wipe the tears from my eyes - oh how I cannot wait!! What will they think of me??? We pray they remember Emmy. I am praying that I can find someone to photoshop them into our family photo and I can take it with me so they can see just exactly what they are getting themselves into!

And for the record, I confess, right here and now, that I am hopelessly addicted to blogging. But even apart from the addition - I will try to update my blog from Africa cause faithful friends - I definitely need the prayer support!! This is unchartered waters for me and there is so much that must take place before I can bring my sweet babies home.

If I am unable, for any reason, to access the internet, then my sweet hubby, Dw, will post for me...(it may be short - you know how non-wordy men are - bless their hearts!).....I believe we may have even several updates on some days. I sincerely am praying that God will bring us to mind for you sweet friends, so that you will continually be praying for our safety, for our protection from Malaria and Yellow Fever, for the judge to grant us favor immediately, for the passports to come quickly, for the little ones to think we are extra special and begin the bonding and want to come with us and for their VISA's to be granted quickly, so that we can fly home on the 18th of December and start life as a family forever.

So there you go!! I am off to change and get ready - I am doing another ride-a-long tonight.

Before the Bash even Started.....

Friday night my childhood friend (who is also my accountability partner), Joanne (JoJo), came with her hubby, Dave, from the Denver area to help celebrate my big 5-0 with us...it was just so much fun having her here.


Saturday JoJo and I took off and had lunch together at a sweet little mexican restaurant. Then we decided to walk downtown, grab a Starbucks and browse in some of the little shops.


We have an alarm system on our home, which includes a fire alarm system. So while we were heading home we found out that we had a fire alarm going off at home and the fire department was on their way. Jo and I were laughing and laughing. Only in our home would we start our birthday bash with the fire department showing up. I told Jo, it would make a good blog story too.


So Jo and I raced toward the house (laughing much of the way) to find out that indeed the fire department was there. I asked the firemen if they had come to be ready to put out the 50 candles that were about to be lit?!??!! I also invited them to my party, but they didn't show (party poopers).

The firemen were all very sweet and politely posed for my blog pictures, so glad they could stop by for a few pictures on my special day!


Buh-bye


Friday, November 21, 2008

Please Pray for Gracie

Dear Bloggy Friends and Lurkers,

Quite a long time ago I met another adoptive mom, Gayle, through her Journey to Me adoption journal. Gayle and her husband Curtis live in the midwest and have three birth children. Two years ago they had the unbelievable privilege of adopting a baby girl, Gracie, from China. Gracie was born here in the United States and trust me, their story is one worth going back and reading through. Gracie was born with a very serious condition that greatly affects her heart.

This remarkable couple have had many very difficult challenges with Gracie's health and still this past July went back to China to bring home a precious 7 year old daughter - Selah!! They have weathered difficult storms with Gracie's health and continue to put their trust in Jehovah Rapha, the healer of broken hearts (literally)! Their families heart for the orphan is huge and they have hopes to adopt yet again!

Anyway, over the course of Gracie's life the Lord has touched her little body on more than one occasion. But now she is facing very blue days daily. Her oxygen levels are very low and the situation is extremely serious.
I asked Gayle for permission to share their story on my blog. I have heard from so many of you regarding your love for the orphan and how our story has touched your life.
Gracie situation is such that she needs a miracle - whether God uses doctors/surgeons or His own miraculous hand to touch her. BUT the fact is she needs the miracles NOW.

We, as a family, have been praying a great deal for Gracie. But there are times we feel that a situation warrants a time of prayer AND fasting! This is one of those times.

I was thinking about this: How would I feel if I had a child whose life was dependant on a healing touch from Almighty God?? Yes, if my child needed a healing touch I would be praying that someone would rise up and organize a day of prayer and fasting. I know that when Ch*na said "no" to Isaiah, I felt more than overwhelmed and actually very alone in my deep anguish.
We also knew that we knew that only God would be able to move on the Ch*nese Government's heart to set our little guy free - and that would probably only come through prayer and fasting!! My sweet friends, Jen and Chelsea, empathized and so strongly felt the burden that they came alongside and asked if they could go before our church body and ask everyone to join in a corporate day of prayer and fasting. It was amazing!! People joined together to set a little orphan free! As you all know, God moved in a gigantic, awe-inspiring, gasp-giving way and Ch*na reversed their previous decision. **tears totally welling** OH YIPPEEE JESUS!!

I don't make my request flippantly. I just ask you to consider "doing to others as you would want them to do for you or your little girl"....would you join Dw and I in a day of prayer and fasting for little Gracie to be healed by the Lord? We are designating this Monday, November 24, 2008 as a day of prayer and fasting. Fasting is merely missing a meal to take that time to pray. It is saying, "I love food God, but I love little Gracie and want her healed more than I love this meal. Please move on her behalf and heal her heart." (On this very Monday Gayle will be at Mayo Clinic with Gracie to meet with her surgeon.)
If you would be willing to even write Gayle a note of encouragment you can send it to my email on the sidebar and I will forward all emails to her. Gayle is a precious woman of God who exudes God's grace and gentleness. You guys would love her, and I still encourage you to check out their adoption journal I mentioned above.
Thank you already on behalf of Gracie, Gayle, Curtis and the other kids! You guys totally rock and are the coolest bloggy friends around! xo