Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Precious in the sight of the Lord

"Precious in the Sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" (Psalm 116:15)
Today, my aunt Norma, for whom you all have joined in and prayed with me, passed away. It had become quite evident recently that this was God's will and that to answer our prayers He was going to give her a Heavenly, perfect healing - rather than healing her here on earth. It is definitely not my will, not the way I was praying and hoping for, but I know that right now she is in heaven rejoicing with the Lord and having a blessed reunion with loved ones including her husband who died 24 years ago. That obviously gives me comfort, but doesn't stop the hurt or the tears. My aunt was one of the most giving, selfless people I know, and Kenny said something to me when I called him about how "this was like her, to hold on until after Christmas for everyone else." So true. I started trying to think of Scripture and I found this verse and decided to look it up. A couple things I read mentioned this -- that precious here is meaning precious and costly. It definitely feels costly to us. I told Kenny Monday that this doesn't even seem real, the idea of my aunt not being on this earth, not being able to see her, doesn't even feel possible. But then I was reminded that it was costly to God too. My wonderful aunt is in heaven right now because of the great price that God paid, the death of His son on the cross. The sting of death for her is not there, she has a perfect brand new body and is seeing her Saviour face to face right now. And then I read this part of a sermon
(Precious) means that the death of every saint is a demonstration to all creation that Christ's atoning death was gloriously successful. It was not in vain. Therefore, the arrival of every saved saint in heaven is another trumpet-tribute to the preciousness of Christ's life and death on this earth. He must (it seems to me) take each one by the hand, as it were, and lead the saint to the Father, and say, "Look! Another trophy! Another 'fruit of my travail.' Another sinner saved and soul made perfect. O Father, look what we have wrought! Is this not precious!"
I can truly only imagine what it must be like for my aunt right now, we are hurting, we are missing her already, and yet she is in the arms of Christ. And for Him to be taking her by the hand and leading her to the Father like a precious trophy of His wondrous grace! Not only is she excited to see HIM, but He's excited to see her too! How precious for her!!!
I hate thinking of my girls growing up not knowing my aunt, not having memories of her like I do, but somehow it has been a comfort to talk to my Isabella. She doesn't understand at all, or maybe she understands more than I think and just finds the idea of being with Jesus much happier than my tears. Last week, she asked me why Nunu was still in the hospital, I told her that Nunu was still sick and she said "BUT I prayed for her" (You know how she expects those prayers answered right then) So today, I was able to tell her that God answered her prayers, that Nunu was in heaven, she wasn't in the hospital, she wasn't sick, she was all better -- but we just couldn't see her. We talked about how Jesus died on the cross and I asked her why He did that -- she responded "so we could go to heaven." Then I told her that because Jesus died and Nunu loved Jesus and trusted Him, that Nunu is in heaven right now. We talked about how Nunu is like an angel, how we can't see her, but that she is in heaven with Jesus and how wonderful that is. (Of course, she liked the idea of Nunu having wings like she did in the Christmas play :) ) I asked her "Do you think Nunu is giving Jesus a hug right now?" And she smiled and said "Yeah!" I know she doesn't really understand, I know that when we go up in the next day she will probably ask about Nunu and maybe where she is, but I also know that through her childish innocence, she has reminded me what a truly joyous event this is. It doesn't stop the tears, it doesn't stop the hurt, it doesn't stop the heartache I feel for my cousin who just lost her mom or my dad and aunts and uncle who just lost their sister. But I have to cling to the comfort and the joy knowing that my aunt is no longer plagued with this awful cancer, that she is no longer in pain, she no longer has to fight -- when she "woke up" this afternoon it was in the presence of our Lord.

Face to face with Christ, my Savior
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,Jesus Christ Who died for me?

Face to face I shall behold Him,Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,I shall see Him by and by!

What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.

Face to face—oh, blissful moment!Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!!

We hope you all are having a blessed Christmas! This morning as we got the girls out of bed, we read the book we have called Baby Jesus and Kenny asked Isabella -- "You know how Polar Express says the first gift of Christmas, what is the REAL first gift of Christmas?" She responded "baby Jesus!" With all the celebration, I hope that we all remember what an amazing gift that God has given us in His son and the wonderful privilege we have to worship Him!

Friday, December 14, 2007

My little witness

Isabella is my social butterfly, wherever we go she is constantly talking to people. And she assumes that they all want to talk to her. :) And its not just, Hi, how are you? type of talk, she normally wants to go sit with the people and talk. Trust me, this has made it challenging trying to teach her that some strangers are bad. One day while we were in the car, I had been talking to her about how some strangers are bad, so unless she is with mommy or daddy she can't just talk to strangers -- so she asked me "Mommy, why are some strangers bad?" Hmmm, thinking, thinking "Well, baby maybe some of them don't love Jesus..." "WHAAATTTT? They don't love JESUS? I have to talk to them!" After that conversation, I should have known what was coming next. Yesterday we had a family day and took a little day trip. We were out to eat for dinner and Isabella decided that the family next to us needed her company. The dad and son had already left and the mom and daughter were waiting to pay the bill, so Isabella started talking to them, then she slid off her seat and onto one of theirs. Of course, we're apologizing, but the lady said "How could you say no to these sweet eyes" Then as we were talking to the lady Isabella says "Do you know what? Jesus died on the cross FOR US! And then he rose again. " Oh the sweet innocence and boldness of my child. And yet, I am nothing like her. How easy it should be for us to share the exciting news that Jesus died for us and he rose again. My sweet girl doesn't even understand what this means yet (I'll share a story about that later) and yet she knows that it must be exciting news that everyone should hear. I hope she never loses this boldness! Kenny said last night "Wow, I think she is going to open some doors for me to talk to people" :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Are you having fun yet?

We are! I'm already becoming a "Debbie downer" and thinking how we only have 2 1/2 weeks left of this season. :) I'm so slack on blogging that I'm not sure if anyone is even still reading, but right now I am both busy with Christmas things and my ever "busy" children, and just having fun enjoying my family through this season. Hope you are doing the same!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Season is HERE!

Haven't got around to getting my pictures from our Thanksgiving trip to post, so I thought I would at least start posting something Christmasy and hopefully change my background soon too. :) My friend Andrea did this so I thought I would too. :)

Christmas Time's A Coming.....
1.Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot Chocolate -- we always drink hot chocolate Christmas morning
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Neither.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White, I don't really like colored lights. I like when I see something with all red, or all green, etc. Don't like the different colored lights all together.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? We have before, don't know that I have any now.
5. When do you put your decorations up? As soon as possible, this year it will be Saturday after we go to a tree farm and get a tree.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sweet Potato Casserole
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? I have a few, but probably the top 2 that were "constants" are that we would always go out on Christmas Eve and visit friends and take by presents/goodies, and my brother and I trying to find our presents. :)
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember believing in Santa Claus, but my mom told me that she thought I stopped believing around 2 1/2 (after being potty trained) due to our neighborhood setting up a place for Santa and when I saw him, I was so surprised that I wet my pants. (For the record, I know longer get that excited about Santa. :)
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, but just one - well Kenny and I may just open a stocking gift and last year the girls got a stuffed animal..
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Snowflakes, snowflakes and lots more snowflakes, white lights, and ornaments that are special to us. I used to do 2 trees, and would decorate them differently but now I don't have room. My mom still does this and I love more trees. Isabella does have her own little tree in her room. :)
11. Snow, love it or hate it? Love it -- rarely see it -- Hate ice!
12. Can you ice skate? Ha, Ha, Ha. LOL!! (In case you didn't catch that, no) I did meet a guy my senior year of high school while ice skating because I was so horrible and needed help, fell flat on my face in front of him. Went this past year with my hubby and the teens and didn't fall, that's great progress. :)
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I do remember several, but I don't know if I have one particular favorite
14. What is your favorite holiday dessert? For Christmas, I like my mom's homemade peanut butter balls, coconut balls and her friend Barb's toffee. (hint, hint to both of you)
15. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Celebrating the birth of Christ, finding ways to teach my children about Him and finding ways to teach them about giving to others.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Again, don't know if I have a "favorite", I love getting up in the morning, reading the story of Christ's birth, drinking hot cocoa, etc. I love turning the Christmas music on and decorating the tree, watching Christmas movies and there are also several things we are enjoying doing as a family, like seeing the lights, parades, going to see the gingerbread house display, etc.
17. What tops your tree? A lighted snowflake
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? giving, really, I'm not just saying that I love shopping or making things for others in anticipation of giving it to them.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? "Mary, Did You Know?", "Silent Night" but I honestly love all Christmas music! I love getting the "older" Christmas music like Bing Crosby, and I love my Crooners CD.
20. Candy canes? Yes
21. Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut --- urrr, sorry Dad, I really mean Mom for Christmas. :)
22. What do you leave for Santa? nothing -- although I have no idea what Isabella may try to convince me of this year because Isabella has decided on her own that she is believing in Santa.....

And now, I'm off to go pick up my mom and we are going to go to a huge Christmas Craft Fair. And the Christmas fun begins. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!! In just a few hours we are leaving for a LONG trip up north. We will be spending the holiday with Kenny's family. We are both really excited -- oh and Isabella too :) - to be going up and seeing everyone. Some of the family we saw in May, but about half the family have not seen Isabella since she was 17 months old, which also means they have not met Amelia at all. I think Isabella is going to be ecstactic to be with so many cousins. I told her "You're going to see LOTS of cousins, do you know how many?" and she said "FIVE?!?!?!" --- well it is more than 3, which is what she has nearby. She will actually be seeing 14 cousins, I think she is really excited about seeing her one cousin Josey who was here in May, so I guess the number doesn't matter to her. :) Amelia...... I think after time will have fun with her cousins too. I'm afraid that at least her uncles are going to freak her out -- not purposely of course, she still is just afraid of strangers, men especially -- honestly, she just kind of warmed up to my brother on Saturday and she sees him more often and she has chased men out of the church nursery when its a couple doing the nursery. I don't think it will take her long to climb off my lap and run around with the kids though, she'll just be sure to run around those uncles. :) If you think about it, please pray for us, its a long trip. Please pray for safey and pray for Amelia to do well on the trip. I'm really not trying to make my sweet Amelia sound difficult, she is just particular. She is really such an easy going baby, but she just has those few Diva things that she doesn't like. One of those is that she doesn't like to sleep in the car, actually doesn't love to be in the car for very long so we are hoping that she does well. We're actually going to stop at a hotel tonight to maybe break it up a little but we will still be traveling for 8 hours today. Isabella on the other hand, will take a nap as soon as we get started, wake up for dinner, watch a movie and color, and then probably go to sleep later on. Granted, she will ask us a thousand time "Are we there yet?" or "I think we're almost there" but she doesn't mind traveling as much, I'm just hoping my sweet Amelia surprises me and does fine. She's not at the age that she can be entertained by a movie or drawing so we aren't even sure how to keep her occupied.

Again, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! I know we have so much to be thankful for, not just on Thanksgiving, but everyday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

History repeats itself

This picture of Isabella was taken on her 18 month birthday -- I guess I should be happy that it took Amelia a month and a half longer to get into the same thing.
Yeah, she looks sweet in these pictures, I have pictures of her crying after she got caught, but then once the camera was out it was all "cheese".

It was actually rather funny because Kenny had just gotten home from work, the girls were running wild and crazy and he picked up some books and was putting them on Isabella's bookshelf. I walked into Isabella's room, sat on the bed and said "I wonder if we can hide in here" -- we talked for maybe 2 minutes and realized it was quiet and I said "I guess we should go check on them, (and added jokingly) Amelia has probably dumped out my makeup and Isabella is raiding the candy jar (she had gotten in trouble for that earlier by taking a piece of gum, and trying to hide in the laundry room with the door locked.) I really didn't expect to see that Amelia had done exactly what I said. :) I remembered that Isabella had done the exact thing and looked back at a folder on my computer full of silly pictures of Isabella with all the things she had gotten into. I already have a few of Amelia as well, I guess I'm in for it if history continues to repeat itself. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We've been having fun the last couple weeks so I thought I would share some pics. The first Saturday in November we went to an "Old Time" Day at a local farm -- its the same we went to last year. Isabella had a ball riding the horses, swinging on the sack swing, shucking corn (pic not shown) and milking the cow --- Ok, so it was a fake cow, but she had fun. Both the girls loved seeing all the animals and going for a hayride -- most of the pictures of Amelia are of the back of her head because she wouldn't turn away from the animals, so I am only sharing one of her from that day. Lots of fun all together.

Will do farm work for cotton candy
This picture is a little disturbing to me -- did she touch the cow BEFORE she put her finger in her mouth......

Then we had a fun dress up day last week. I got Isabella's little "princess dress" for $3 on clearance after Halloween so of course the next morning she wanted to try it on. As soon as Amelia got up and saw her "sissy" dressed up she wanted in on the action too.

I love this picture -- its like Isabella is showing her just HOW to wear that tiara.

And this is the normal everyday occurence for our poor cat -- constant hugs and kisses from Amelia -- oh who am I kidding, he's as much of a diva as Amelia so they're two peas in a pod.

She looks so innocent doesn't she..... just wait until you see the pics I post tomorrow though. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

She remembers WAY too much

Over a year ago, Isabella's first (of many) fish died. I mentioned in this post that we had told her that her fish went to play with Nemo. I know, we're horrible parents for lying -- but she was pleased with that answer. Yesterday I heard Isabella yell "OH NO, MOMMY! I can't find Rexy-Keeko" (She named the fish, we had absolutely nothing to do with his name and aren't sure where she came up with it) I knew I had seen me a couple hours before so I told her he was probably just hiding behind the filter. "But I can't SEE HIM! Come here Mommy!" So I went and tapped on the back of the little tank and sure enough he came out from behind the filter. Isabella let out a huge sigh of relief and said "Whew, I thought he had gone back to Nemo" Oops, I guess kids remember things longer than you realize. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm still giggling....

I just went and got Amelia out of her crib after her nap and when I opened the door to this I couldn't help but laugh. She had decided to redo her hair. :) I love the natural look, but this is a little crazy, but hey we are all about big hair in this family....

And my first thought when I saw this......
maybe her hair is finally long enough to do......

POOFS!!! I've been waiting for the day when her hair will be long enough to have the 2 cute little poofs in her hair -- we're almost there. :)

Friday, October 26, 2007


I didn't even know how to title this..... Most, if not all of you, who read this blog have heard about the adoption fraud that we went through right before Amelia. For those who might have just found the blog or might have missed it -- this is not me calling it a fraud when it was a failed adoption, where the mother decides to parent instead. I think all of you know that I have the greatest respect and love for my girls birthmothers and I cannot even imagine what any mother who chooses to place her baby goes through. That being said, that was not the case, it was a fraud, it was told to us by our attorney at the time that what she did was a felony and that he was going to send an affidavit for her arrest. I doubt he did, but that's another story. Anyway, Wednesday I got a message from a girl who found me through another girl's "networking" --- she said she recognized our name and didn't know if I remembered her but she worked for "above mentioned bad attorney" and that we might like to know that it looks like Andrea (that was the potential birthmothers name) would be going to jail because she has been caught again working a scam. This time, she was using a fake name, fake SSN, and a fake pregnancy test. She hoped she wasn't stirring up bad memories, but thought we would like to know. I responded something like "I hate she did this again, no it doesn't bring up bad memories regarding her. I think about her often, wonder how she is, where she is, was she even pregnant.... but that GOD IS GOOD and had really taken any bitterness toward her away and showed me sorrow for her because she doesn't have HIM" (But with alot more words because you know I talk too much. :) She responded to me "Andrea's mother said that Andrea did this for her last pregnancy, which was probably with you guys so she probably was actually pregnant. " She also mentioned that this was not with one of "bad attorney's" couples but it was a couple with the SAME FACILITATOR/REFERRAL AGENCY that he uses, THE SAME one that worked with Andrea with us. I felt sick hearing that, here this same mother went with the same facilitator (called referral agency for "bad attorneys" own purposes) and scammed another couple. She was quick to tell me that she had only been matched with a family for a couple months -- ONLY, are you kidding me??? So someone else had to go through a scam because once again this place doesn't screen/talk to/check records on/..... their potential birthmothers. I responded that I honestly wasn't surprised because I had heard alot of bad things about this facilitator and read alot of negative things on the internet. Although I didn't mention "bad attorney's" name in that, I never heard back from her after that. Because honestly, he won't stop using them either. Although in SC facilitators are illegal he uses one as a "referral agency" because he doesn't have many birthmothers come in his office. And don't get me wrong, I don't think all facilitators are evil -- we used one with Isabella, but went into that naively and she was a Godsend, and I am starting to think a very rare "good one", we learned this as well as alot of lessons through our scam -- but again, another story. This bad facilitating company is based out of the east and yet most of their birthmothers are out west -- interesting huh? They don't meet these mothers in person, they don't counsel these mothers and probably can't check up on them afterwards. I'm not sure how expectant mothers, birthmothers, or adoptive families are getting the kind of treatment they deserve. Obviously it is not a real concern or they wouldn't have repeat offenders. I have not really vented much on this issues, because I don't want it to sound like I'm bitter. Once again I actually feel sorry for Andrea, I hope that somehow when we flew out and met her and showered love on her that God uses us and our sweet Isabella to be brought back to her memory and that she could see Him through us. I'm doing this more of a warning that people would realize to be careful. God didn't spare us from that hurt maybe so we could somehow help others not go through it, I don't know. As for the facilitator -- they are a religious organization, "bad attorney" is a Christian, and its so frustrating to me to think that expectant mothers, birthmothers, and families are going through pain because of them. And so many people will trust them because they hide under the name Christian. I really thought of this other family, I wondered if they were Christians, I wondered if they had Christ to lean on for their hope and comfort, I wondered if they had adopted before like we had and had already seen God's bringing their child to them, and I hurt for them remembering what it was like to go through that loss and quite honestly, I felt a little angry, felt angry that this same place had let this same woman do this again to another family. BUT, I once again have to go crying to God and realize that HE IS IN CONTROL! In our situation I see His will revealed in the sweet faces of my girls. I don't know why these companies continue to work, but I know that is in God's hands.

On a sweeter note, so I don't leave you with a bad taste - and as at least one of the many reasons God had us go through sweet Amelia. Today at lunch Amelia was so cute, we went with my parents and Papa kissed her goodbye, then she pointed to her lips, so he kissed her lips, then she pointed to her nose, so he kissed her nose..... how cute is she?!?! :) God really does know exactly what (who) we need! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween, I mean Fall Festivities

We're off to see the Wizard.......

Hopefully, I can get some better pictures of them dressed up, since we do have a few more "halloween" type things to go to, but I thought I would share these from Friday night. We took the girls to Boo in the Zoo and also the YMCA. I love all the family type events they have for Halloween. I know some people don't like Halloween for its evil beginnings or for the things that may go on that night, but I always enjoyed dressing up and tricker treating as a kid and I personally just love to dress my girls up. :) While I was sewing the Dorothy outfit, I told Kenny I must be crazy spending this time on this outfit because there were 16 pattern pieces to cut out -- which I HATE doing. Not a terribly hard outfit to make, but very time consuming. So I put it on Isabella and she twirled around the room and then came over to me and gave me a hug saying "Thank you mommy for making my Dorothy" *twirl, twirl* "You're the BEST Mommy!" *twirl, twirl* "You're the best..... maker" And yes, that did make it ALL worth it! Then seeing both of my girls looking as cute as can be, that made any time worth it. I will say we didn't run into as many Wizard of Oz fans like us, we had several ask if Amelia was a princess? Ok, if she wasn't with Isabella that's understandable, but come on -- she looks just like Glinda. :) She is such a little girly girl too, she LOVED wearing the tutu and didn't even pull the crown off, and boy did she know how to swing that wand. Hope everyone else is enjoying the season and the festivities!

Friday, October 05, 2007

October Joy

I love fall, its my favorite season. I love seeing the leaves start to change, I love the weather getting a little cooler, I love the pumpkin patch, the apple farm, hayrides, football (yes I did say that - wish we actually could go to more games, its the one sport I do enjoy watching) Halloween, ur, I mean Harvest, Thanksgiving, jeans and sweaters, etc. etc. Just something about the smell of fall air makes me happy. I will admit though that lately I have been busy and felt somewhat overwhelmed. We have alot going on, we have something tonight, but tomorrow is probably our last free weekend for a long time, we have alot that we want to do, I've been doing a good bit of sewing for my girls, and now I've started doing more sewing for others (this is a good thing, because then it pays for the sewing for my girls. :) I really have felt terribly disorganized, which then makes me realize it is my fault that I'm disorganized and then I get overwhelmed with that guilty feeling...... Ok, maybe its not as bad as it sounds, but it definitely has been a matter of prayer for myself.
Just a couple weeks ago, Daddy got a "new to us" swing set for the girls and Isabella loves having her own "park". And it brings me joy to watch her, she really has the most infectious laughter and my heart just swells with joy to be able to share just simple times like this with her. And then I found this poem and it seemed to fit perfectly with things going on right now.

Time rushes by, yet simple joys remind us of what is truly important.

So, I still need to find a way to be better organize my time, but this is one of those Truly Important things, spending time with my girls and enjoying them. Time is definitely rushing by so quickly.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Isabella's "Funnies"

I really wish I would type down everyday the things that Isabella says. The child cracks me up constantly, the only problem is that she pretty much never shuts up so I would have way too much to type. :) But I thought I would share a couple things from today. First, we were looking at a little toy catalog she got in the mail yesterday, we looked at this one toy yesterday and I explained to her what it was, then today she got the book out and again asked what it was.....
"What do you do with the monkey again"
"You hide it"
"And then what does the witch do?"
"What witch, there is no witch, just the little wand."
"And then you say "Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo" and wave the wand?"
"No, you hold the wand and it will beep when you get close to where the monkey is hiding?"
"And then we shoot the monkey?"
"What, NO, you just use the little wand to help you find him"
"And then we shoot him?"
"NO, we don't shoot monkeys!"
"Its just a pretend monkey mommy"

This is extra funny to me because I don't know where she gets this whole shooting thing from -- #1: she's a girl, she doesn't play with guns #2: I don't like anything about hunting and glad my hubby doesn't do it #3 and most importantly: We totally support Diego in his animal rescues :)

Also -- today is my parents Anniversary and the girls and I went to lunch with my mom and Isabella acted really bad (side note, don't know if any of you have heard or believe this but I heard somewhere that children act worse on rainy days due to the barometric pressure or something and its totally true for Isabella. She's always wild, but today she was just downright grumpy!) Anyway......
I said to her "Today is Noni and Papa's anniversary and you were supposed to be a sweet girl and tell Noni Happy Anniversary. Today is the day that they got married."


Monday, October 01, 2007

We've Gone Pink....

.... Have you??? Yes, today is the first day of October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This Saturday, my mom and I went and did the 5K walk at the Race for the Cure. It was the first time we had done that and I know that it is going to be an annual thing now that we want to do. It was great! It was also very emotional, seeing many women walking around with their pink survivor shirts, the survivor walk and just seeing people out there supporting friends and family who have gone through or are going through breast cancer. And to think of those we know who have had breast cancer or have it now. As you can see, Isabella came down to the race for a short time with my dad and had a shirt on to support her "Nunu". Isabella asked me a couple times Saturday after I was home "why did you wear that shirt (the one they give you for the race), why were you racing?" I know she doesn't understand, but I told her that we were trying to raise money to help Nunu and others who are sick like Nunu -- she understands that because she prays for her every day. And of course, my Aunt Norma was in the forefront of my mind and how I wish we could be doing this Race in celebration of her being cancer free -- but that's not the case right now. Her cancer seems to have kind of baffled her drs -- or at least they say they haven't seen it like this,..... that is another reason for me to feel there needs to be more research done to help breast cancer. Even if the doctors haven't seen cancer like this, or maybe are confused about things -- I know that God isn't confused at all. He has His hand in all of this and He is in control!!! I may not understand why He is doing what He is doing, but I know that I trust Him and that He should be glorified in all things. Right now I am praying for real encouragment for my aunt, because I know being in and out of the hospital has to be discouraging and I know that she is in pain. So please keep her in your prayers as well. Saturday night, Kenny and I went on a date and went to a Mark Schultz concert. Loved it! When he was singing the song "He Will Carry Me" -- it made me think again of my aunt as she is going through this and also my cousin, Sheryl because I'm sure seeing your mom going through this is hard, so I wanted to post some of the lyrics for them as well as for others who are going through breast cancer (or any other trial)

And even though I feel so lonely
Like I've never been before
You never said it would be easy
But You said you'd see me through the storm

And even though I'm walkin' through
The valley of the shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him
Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone
And I've been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will
Ever need And He will carry me

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mikey B, you might have some competition

..... or I could title this, My Arranged Marriage Idea Might Not Work Out. :) Since the day Isabella was born, she has been promised to my friend Becky's son. Well, we can at least hope right? :) Although Mikey (he's 5, maybe he wants to be called Mike or Michael now?) I think has some "back ups", I do believe we have brainwashed him into thinking he wants to marry Isabella when he gets older. As of Monday, I'm thinking Mike might need to up his game to win my little girls heart. Monday morning we went apple picking with some friends -- actually, there were no apples on the trees due to the frost this year, so the "picking" was done out of bins. When we got to the orchard Isabella and the boys were playing (the only other girl was Amelia who was running like a wild woman) and she and Chase were playing on top of the hay bail, although I heard Isabella say, "let's play pirates - Aargh", she was acting like the sweet little girl so perfectly. Chase would throw hay and some would land on her arm for which she would hold up her arm to him and as this picture to the left shows, he would then wipe off of her arm. What a gentleman. :) On the way up there, Isabella kept telling me she didn't want to go on the hayride because she was afraid of the tractor. I don't know where this came from since last year she loved it. So when it came time for the hayride I told her that everyone else was going, it will be fun, etc., etc. She wasn't totally convinced because she said it was going to be loud. Chase then said "I'll protect you" and she said in an oh so sweet damsel in distress voice "Oooo Kkkk!" This all sounds so sweet, but as you can see in the picture, she took this rather seriously, she really thought that Chase, the mighty 4 year old could protect her from the fire breathing dragon -- urr I mean tractor. His mom, Shelli, and I were laughing and saying how cute this was now, but give them another 10 years..... I'm still rooting for ya, Mike, but we might have to talk to your parents about this "living so far away" thing. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Season of Life

I feel like I have been so absent from blogging lately, actually I feel like I have been so "busy" lately and I kept wondering why since I was feeling like I was not getting that much done, or at least what I am getting done seems to take me forever. Then, yesterday I was making lunch in the kitchen and looked over and there was Amelia standing on our breakfast table -- STANDING in the middle of it. And it hit me, oh yes, this is THAT season of life. The last few weeks several ladies have said in passing, all with young babies or pregnant, that they weren't "baby" people. They loved their babies, but they didn't like the baby/newborn stage, they looked forward to when their babies would start walking and able to communicate some with them. First of all, I can't even imagine not thoroughly loving the baby stage. Both my girls were prettty easy though so maybe it was different for these ladies. Although I do enjoy at least parts of every stage, and right now Amelia cracks me up with her little personality, if I had to pick one stage that was my least favorite -- this would be it. This is the age where both my girls have turned into little monkeys and start climbing on everything, EVERYTHING! They go non-stop, I think Amelia was walking at 12 1/2 months and running by 13 months -- and she doesn't stop. And they start doing things that need disciplining, but how do you REALLY discipline an 1 1/2 year old -- its not like I can sit her down and talk to her about what she's done, pray with her, and then hope to see a repentant heart. :) If I had absolutely nothing to do (or if I could get myself up at 4am) then this would not be so bad, I could just follow Amelia around non stop and not have to worry about her even having the chance of taking a nose dive off the couch, bed, computer desk, or table, but as we all do, there are other things I need to do as well. Oh yeah and throw in her very active 3 1/2 year old sister ..... Don't get me wrong, I'm still enjoying this stage. She is so funny as she is learning more words and trying to "talk" to us by using one word she knows and jibber jabber for the rest of the sentence. Its funny to hear her as she picks up books and "reads" them aloud in her own little language. She LOVES shoes, she is constantly bringing me Isabella's shoes to put on her, or yesterday when her cousin Olivia was here it was Olivia's shoes, last night was the funniest of all, it was Daddy's shoes and she will continue to bring them to you everytime they come off (last night I finally had to hide Daddy's shoes because I was tired of putting her in them :) She is actually becoming more of a cuddler, which I love! But, for me this seems like the craziest stage of all, so my time on the computer blogging might continue to be few and far between for a few more months. Oh and as I am writing this, she just pushed the button on my computer so that it "hibernated" and she is now throwing the candles off the coffee table. :) I really do have pictures and things to share, it just might take me a little longer to get them here. :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

1 year ago today......

Amelia "officially, legally" became our daughter --- obviously, she was our daughter before this, but this was the day that her adoption was finalized. Heres pictures from last year -- we had to call in to the courts and finalized over the phone (that's why Amelia has the headphones on :) --I hated not going to court and getting it all on video and picture, but I still cried and we still had a nice day with pictures, trip to Build a Bear and a dinner that night. I can't believe it has already been a year and my baby girl will be 1 1/2 in a couple weeks. Once again I'm reminded of how precious she is and how blessed I am. She is such a sweet little blessing and her little personality is getting even cuter.

I barely recognize the baby in these pictures. I would love to write a nice long post about everything, but right now we have no air conditioner and I'm getting ready to leave, so I am just going leave you with more current pictures of my little diva......

Monday, August 20, 2007

My "baby"

This is by far my favorite picture right now! She does give the sweetest little kisses. :) And of course I love pictures of my honey with daddy's girls.
And no, this picture below is not upside down. Amelia was in her stroller and just kept looking up at me with the cutest little grins, so I had to take some pictures. I can't believe that tomorrow my baby is going to be 17 months old, is that really possible?!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Where's the camouflage when we need it?

I don't know about the rest of you, but Sundays are really hard on my girls. With church it really does mess them up, especially Amelia with her (Praise the Lord) 2 nap schedule. This Sunday is even harder because we have had a very busy last couple weeks. Almost 2 weeks ago we spent a couple days with family while they were vacationing a couple hours away. Then we got home and had VBS at our church. That ended on Friday night and Saturday morning we headed to the Lake with our friends Randy, Andrea and Makenna. We were there until Tuesday. Then Wednesday we had my cousin and her family come in and they just left this morning. Going non-stop, schedules being scattered and crazy, so today is an even crazier Sunday. Sunday morning/afternoon is especially hard because church is right during Amelia's nap time, so by the time church is out, she's hungry for lunch, but tired because she missed her nap. We decided today after church to go out to eat at a "family restaurant" -- the place was busy, Amelia was cranky, the only 2 available highchairs we realized were broken, Isabella was "rambunctious", Daddy and Mommy are tired, so are the girlies....... and everyone notices us already because we do have the cutest girls on the planet and... Oh yeah, we were the only pasty white folks in there with children darker than them. :) Quite honestly, it doesn't bother me that people notice our differences, I enjoy that God has given me the children He has and has made us a multi-racial family. Sometimes I am amazed that God chose me to stick out like a sore thumb to people because I'm kind of shy and I don't think I'm the type that tries to stand out in a crowd. And most of the time people are always nice -- even today Kenny and I said "our girls are being kind of rotten, why is everyone coming over and talking to them and mentioning how sweet and pretty they are?" :) Really it was quite comical, crying children, mommy and daddy taking turns eating so one of us can hold Amelia...."Do you want this Amelia? No, this?....." "What do you want? "If I had a cookie I would give it to you", "Isabella, please sit down" "Eat your food" "Thank you for announcing to the whole restaurant that you have to go POO POO" And in the midst of this, honestly, we had at least 6 different people come and talk to the girls, most of them worked there, but its not like they were all our waitress. So as we were leaving Kenny and I decided we needed a camouflage -- a magic button to make us not pasty white so then maybe on days like today we wouldn't be noticable. Oh, who am I kidding..... we still have the cutest girls on the planet, no one is looking at daddy and mommy anyway. :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

I should've known

This is pretty much the picture I wanted -- minus the bunny, which she said she wanted to be a chick instead. But these are the pictures SHE wanted...

I titled this last one "honestly, we're not rockers" -- doesn't she look like that? She also mentioned to me that she didn't want to wear her "pirate" pants because, well, pirates are for boys. So I should've known that this day was going to be "interesting" with her. When she gets in these ultra silly moods, it can sometimes also mean wild, crazy, and somewhat stubborn. I don't need to talk about the stubborness because we all know that ends in discipline, but some of the crazy things were running and hiding when she was about to be disciplined, she asked if she could go talk to Amelia when she heard Amelia waking up from a nap --- I went in to find that she had climbed in the crib with Amelia, I believe she is either part monkey or gymnastics is having an adverse effect. She also was wild at the restaurant today with friends and climbed up on something and might as well have had a shirt on that said "My mommy is not doing a good job" because that's probably what those around me were thinking -- who am I kidding, I was thinking that today too. Oh and the day is only half through....... :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

3 1/2

We don't actually celebrate 1/2 birthdays around here, but today my sweet girl is 3 1/2!! Why does that sound so much older than 3 to me?! I didn't tell her it was her 1/2 birthday or she surely would have expected presents and a cake, but we did get to go to a movie this morning, so I guess we actually did do something special. She really does keep getting sweeter and sweeter all the time. She has the best little personality (although not immune to rottenness too) I wish I could share all of the ways she makes me smile and laugh on a daily basis, but then I guess I would miss it all sitting in front of the computer. :) She is so precious and I am so thankful that God has entrusted her to us!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A toy store is a toy store to a 3 year old

Here is proof that my 3 year old is pretty easy to please. Last night, I convinced my husband to take me to a thrift store. I have been browsing on some sewing/craft sites and ladies were mentioning that they had found some cool vintage sewing patterns and material at thrift stores, so I decided that I wanted to try and see if I could happen upon anything interesting. To begin with, the one we chose to go last night was not a good choice. There might have been a great vintage pattern there, but if so it was at the bottom of the bin -- literally. We went to a Goodwill, but it was a Goodwill Clearance Center -- which cracks me up, now thrift stores aren't even cheap enough you have to have a thrift store clearance center. Definitely a clearance center, everything is 99 cents a pound. Everything is thrown in these HUGE bins, no rhyme or reason EXCEPT for the toys, they are all in one area. So as soon as we walk in, Isabella is excited to see bins and bins of toys. It made me laugh to realize its not just the toy area in Target, Wal Mart, or Toys R Us -- even old broken toys get this child excited. Well, the trip wasn't a total waste, we got a frisbee for the dog to chew up, I found a Disney dress up dress for Isabella (its in the washer as I write) but best of all -- Isabella found her "treasure" -- this is what she wanted, we couldn't convince her otherwise.

May I present, Dancing Cow -- as she has named him. Now all of you rush out to your local thrift store in hopes of finding a "dancing" wooden cow with a broken ear!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to my honey!!!! He's the one on the right with the Urkle pulled up pants with the huge roll up at the bottom. HA! What an outfit. (And Tanya if you read this, don't laugh to hard, that's your hubby on the left. :) I think he had a good day, we met him for lunch and Isabella got to take Daddy some balloons. They also were as cute as can be because I had embroidered some shirts for them to wear to his work that say "My Dad's the Coolest", he liked those the best. (See below for pictures) Then tonight he actually got a small surprise party, which we never do parties for us, so any party would probably be a surprise. I had mentioned to the teens that it was Kenny's birthday on Wednesday so I was going to bring a cake and ice cream to youth group -- well, they decided they wanted to do something so they went out and bought decorations and cards/gift for him. I had to make up some excuses to hide things, but I got there early with the teens and helped them decorate and he was surprised when he got there. They also had asked me for some pictures of him that they could blow up -- I REALLY need to get some more "embarassing" pictures from my in-laws. :) Actualy, I think he's had a whole birthday week, because I gave him his present on Monday, we got together with my parents, brother and sil last night to celebrate 3 birthdays, then today was his actual birthday and we celebrated. I hope he remembers this week long celebration when my birthday rolls around. :)

I was trying to get Amelia to smile in this one by singing "If you're happy and you know it..." but Isabella decided to play along too. :)

AND, since it is Daddy's day, I thought I would share a little conversation Isabella and I had the other day.

Isabella: When Daddy gets home can he do..... (I won't write it all out because she was making no sense what she was wanting :)
Me: Honey, I don't know what you are talking about, but I'm sure if you ask Daddy he will try.
Isabella: I love my daddy, SO much.
Me: You have a good Daddy don't you?
Isabella: Yeah, he gives me lots and lots of kisses. *pause* He's so handsome and pretty. (She's giggling because she called him pretty)
Me: Silly girl, not pretty.
Isabella: He's so handsome and cool!

I agree honey, you are so handsome and cool. :)

Watching what we say....

I forgot to share this earlier, but I thought ya'll would get a kick out of this. A couple weeks ago the girls and I went out to the store. I put the girls in the double stroller, but Isabella doesn't like to be in the stroller -- she's a big girl, you know?! She may be a "big girl" but I know my child, she would be running around the store like a crazy woman if I let her just walk around. So we kind of "compromise" - I tell her that if she sits good and behaves that I won't lock her in -- she hates to have the buckle on her -- but she HAS to be a good girl and not get out of the stroller. While we at the store, as it seems to happen everywhere we go, a stranger came by and started talking to my girls. Actually its more like a stranger walks by and Isabella starts talking to them. She is my little social butterfly and loves the attention so she of course did her normal "What's your name?" etc routine. Then out of the blue she says "If I'm bad, I get locked up!" Thankfully, I don't think the person really even heard her, or maybe she was just pretending like she didn't hear -- I don't know but either way I know try to say buckled in rather than locked in.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July

Thought I would share a couple pics from the 4th. I'll probably have some more after this weekend because we are having our church 4th of July picnic Sunday. We had a great 4th.
This first picture of my girls cracks me up, I really just wanted to get a picture of Isabella all dressed up -- not that I didn't want one of Amelia, but I thought there would be no way that I could get them to sit together, I thought she would either crawl away, try to grab the camera, etc. Instead I told Isabella to go stand so I could get a picture of her and right before I snapped it Amelia walked over, sat down and grinned. :) (Of course, neither one is looking at me, they're looking at Daddy)

I love this picture of Amelia and Kenny -- I'm not sure who adores who more!
After afternoon naps, we went over to our friends Randy and Andrea's house and then went swimming, had a cookout, and shot off a couple fireworks. This is Isabella's little friend Makenna -- I at first couldn't get them to pose until I asked them to hug and pose like they are always doing. We will go out and they will hug each other like this and say to us, take a picture (of course its when we don't have a camera) and then they will try to walk while they are hugging each other -- so cute!!

Everyone enjoyed the sparklers, I love the pic of Amelia looking at the sparkler, I left the flash off on purpose, so it may be a little blurry, but it was on purpose. We didn't get to go see any big fireworks because this is how Isabella watched the small ones Daddy was doing. She loves to see the "pretty fireworks" but doesn't want to hear them. And yes, that is her nose smashed against the window -- sorry Andrea, you probably have a mark on your window from that one. :)