Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I have not done an update on Madeline lately
She has come a long long way since this past summer
she is still hesitant to try new things
and meet new people
but she is
totally loves animals
and bugs
and most things outdoors
wants to be a hunter like Daddy
agreeable like 85% of the time
enjoyable to be around
starting to enjoy reading
does her homework without much complaint
she can still be
 and of course
but so can Mom ha!

We had a gorgeous spring like day today
Madeline let me take a few pictures:)

I love this picture so much!

she looks a little sad here...she wasn't
she kept giving me her "fake" smile so I asked her to just look at me.
Those eyes take you right to her soul.

You know how your kids kinda switch places???
Well Janie Jane is so full of drama right now
she deserves it a bit after the past 2 weeks of testing
so I will say that is why!:)

an agreeable moment
goodness she is so precious!

a not so agreeable moment!
laugh out loud
goodness this little girl can pout like none other!

look at that lower lip!

Julianne to the rescue...
a little race helps everyone
especially if your sister lets  you win!

smiley face is back:)

Saturday, February 15, 2014


I am following along on facebook watching my brother and sister in law's progress with Zoe. She is one precious little peanut. I am so proud of Zachary, he is such a good big brother already!

love this!

she is precious is she not???

she is letting Jo leave her for a minute and sitting on John's legs:)

what a precious little girl....those lips!!!!

this is the "baby drop off" building outside the orphanage
if you have read about this, this one is the first one made available in Shenzhen...
the government's hope is that children won't be left abandoned in places they may not be able to survive
not sure how I feel about this
I think it is a better solution than being abandoned on the side of the road 
I can wrap my brain around this but not my heart...
I think I am having trouble deciding what I feel because I wish
that babies would not be abandoned....ever....the end!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Thanks to my friend Jen I get to have super cute Valentine's cards for the girls!

                             These little monkeys had a great Valentine's Day!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's All OK....

with our Janie Jane!

she is still crazy as ever
but no spinal surgery whoo hooo
all tests ended up normal
...after some drama of course. 
You can see from the pic that our girl is full of drama
one day we thought she would need surgery
the next day
I am thrilled that she does not have to go through that again...
she has to see the surgeon in 6 months:)

Now an iphone dump of cray cray girl!

Gardner says if we have to hold her back in school
it does not matter....
she will be a performer anyway lol!

and this sweet pic....
my friend at PRO sent it to me.
This is the earliest picture I have of Li Qing Zhong
what a peanut!
It is weird and sad to open a pic of your child,
the one you adore and feel you know completely
and see a pic of her life
 before she knew us..
her family.
Once again I am amazed by God's grace and mercy 
upon her and us.
She is a joy to raise
drama and all!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Atta Boy!!!

John David had a great swim weekend consisting of 2 short course Championships, middle school and MSS league.

this was for his middle school team:)

and high point winner for the small MSS league.

We sure love watching him swim!!!
We are so proud of you John David with or without awards!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Meet My New Niece.....

Our newest family member was in the arms of her Mommy and Daddy and brother very early this morning, 2:00 pm China time.....

Zachary looking out the window waiting on Zoe....

every single one of us adoptive mamas know exactly what Jo is feeling right here....ahhhh at last!

oh my goodness those cute little pigtails!

my sweet brother is probably a little shell shocked:)

these 2 sure have days and years ahead of them to get into many things together...

Zoe we have not met you yet but we love you dearly!!!
praying for her sweet little heart and mind as she adjusts to her new 
FOREVER family:)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

An Anniversary and Perfect Blue Buildings.....

Today is our 13th wedding anniversary!

Thirteen years ago we lied to most of our friends and told them we were getting married on February 14th.
My closest friends knew otherwise and planned an engagement party on the 4th. 
We arrived at the party a few hours after church... married!
We married in our pastor's office with just our family....
it was perfect for us and for three young children whose lives had been torn apart the previous year,
quiet, no one to stand in front of except those who knew us so well.

God knew exactly what he was doing...
he blessed a  young widow and 3 young children with a husband and leader for their family.
I vividly remember laying on my bathroom floor begging God to take Hank away
it was too soon in the eyes of the world
"make him not care for me"
"make me not care for him"
I begged God
He did not listen to my pleas
instead He chose to bless me
to bless my children
despite what the world thought
less than a year after Jeff''s death. 
I chose to follow God and my heart.
That first year was not easy
makes me laugh to think of it now...
Hank had that "deer in the headlights" look
I was still grieving 
the kids were still grieving
God knew
He chose to bless 
and I will be thankful every day of my life for that blessing.

This morning I have been processing my life
just quietly dwelling on how different it is than I had imagined. 
When Jeff was sick I listened to Counting Crows
a lot
For those of you who don't know I am a total music snob
I don't like country
Hank loves country
I know Jeff is totally amused by this...
I get lost in great deep lyrics
of which Hank can't even understand the words lol
I try to explain 
he has that blank look
after I dropped the kids off at school one of my all time favorites came on XM
Perfect Blue Buildings
John and Gardner I know you all are saying YES!

That was one of those songs that just spoke to me when I was in the depths of 
a young husband with cancer
these lines got me every.single.time

Asleep in perfect blue buildings
Beside the green apple sea
Gonna get me a little oblivion, baby
Try to keep myself away from me (myself and) me

I needed oblivion from my thoughts and my sin
those were some deep hard days

This morning I sat in my driveway and listened to the song 
checking facebook as I listened
I come across some videos posted by my sister in law
videos of their precious little girl
all the way in China
about to get a Mommy and Daddy and a brother
in one week!

My heart stopped for a second
as I listened to Perfect Blue Buildings
and stared at this perfect little angel
I thought of my sweet girls
safe in their classrooms 
with a family to call their own
of my John David who is his Momma's boy
and I cried....

I'm so thankful God did not answer my pleas to take Hank away
that He did not give me what I thought the world thought I needed
He gave me a husband to love
He gave me more children to love
He gave me a heart to love orphans 
He gave me a deeper understanding of who He is
and helped me to look outside of myself
He saved me from
myself and me

Happy Anniversary Hanky!

I have to say I'm still a music snob though!