Monday, December 29, 2008

Sorry for the non-update. Christiana is home. She is doing much better. Thank God she was here! She went through a battery of tests. Everything from a spinal to nose swabs. After 3 days it was determined she had a really bad cold. Her pulse oxygen dropped to %60, thus requiring oxygen.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve at the Hospital

I just got home from the hospital. Christiana was admitted tonight on Christmas Eve. I have no idea how long she will have to stay there. Please uplift them in your prayer and thought.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Walking a Fine Line

This Christmas more than any other I am completely aware of the fine line between consumerism and blessing those you love. Sometimes ignorance is indeed bliss. Not only do I have my recent trip to Africa and your stories and blogs to remind me of what our true priorities should be, I also have a daily glimpse of the realities of this world when I look not only in the twins eyes but also those of Gedese and Christiana. Every day when I struggle with the selfish desires of my heart, I see 9 people that I love beyond words. When their demands are greater than my ability at the moment and can't help but to think about what the demands of the twins parents are like at the same moment, or the demands of Gedese's family. I am again humbled and ask God for strength and thank Him for giving me perspective.
Having Gedese and the twins here are like having a built in consumermeter. Do I really need a box of macaroni? Wouldn't it be more cost effective to make my own? Should I pitch the shirt with stains? Or wouldn't be better to maybe dye it? Do my kids really need more clothes? Isn't 4 pair of pants per kid enough? Do their clothes really need to be washed after wearing it once? I think just by having them here I have saved thousands on needless purchases. The thing is- I'm not really a shopper. We spent the greater part of our marriage without much-and now that we have I could do without. I really think starting our marriage and family out doing without was the biggest blessing. Sorry a little side tracked. Okay, but here's the thing. I love to give. I really do. I love to find needs and fill them. I would rather go without shoes if it meant I could give them to someone. (Lest you think I'm a saint- I should mention my desire to give is selfishly motivated-It makes me feel sooooo good! I love it!)
Sometimes the consumermeter that Gedese provides irritates me though. Like for Christmas.
I know my kids could live without gifts but again I love to give. So there is my quandary, the fine line between consumerism and blessing. I thought I did a pretty good job at this. My kids get three presents. One from us, one from the boys and one from the girls. However when Gedese heard this- I got a deep sigh followed by a tsk tsk and a never in Ethiopia talk. We have a lot of these. Then I started to think- Maybe I have crossed that line. My desire to bless really has become the transcending into consumerism at Christmas. I know people who don't gift at Christmas. I admire that, I really do, but my nature is to give. So here I am again walking that fine line.

BTW- thanks for all the prayers- I am feeling better. I'm on some crazy antibiotics. Diezel is a trooper. Other than his noisy breathing, you wouldn't even know he's sick. Xia on the other hand-Wow! night after night up crying. High fevers, cough, and throwing up. Christiana is holding strong. We continue to suction her out before every feeding and check her temp. She is at 99.8. So we get to stay at home.

If I don't post again before Christmas-
Merry Christmas! May the Lord's blessing pour upon you and your family.
Thank you God!!!!!! For sending your Son to die for me.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Up all night doing breathing treatments on Diezel and caring for Xia(who is now sick). I had to go to urgent care this morning. I am peeing blood. Waiting for test results.


I still need to go Christmas shopping.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Still Here.

Online is down again.
using hubby's laptop.
Diezel has pneumonia again. Pretty bad. Around the clock breathing treatments. He's still at home with us (no hospital). Christiana is getting sick as well. Praying to make it through tonight without any ER visits.
I slept most of the day so I could take the night shift to watch over Diezel and Christiana.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It Just Feels Right....

I wore Xia on my bag (African Style) tonight for the first time in 6 months. She melted on to me. I could almost sense her little body and spirit thinking, "It just feels like home."

* Note to self*
Never stop doing the little things that make my children"feel just right"

Holy Cow!

Just found out Tyson Griffin is also coming to the premier tomorrow night! It's going to be a great time!

Changed mind

I changed my mind-I was wanting the new blog to be a "safe" place for people to share experiences and ideas. However I also want it to be tool everyone can use. If there are links to organizations, fundraisers for adoptions and needs that need to be met please let me know so I can add them. Just comment on the new blog! I'm really excited to see what God is going to do.

So here it it: Remember it's pretty empty, just got started yesterday.

Meet Needs Today

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Blog

I created a new/second blog for the sole purpose of having a place to share my passions. Mainly for Africa, but hey, show me a need somewhere else and I'm there(at least on my knees). I realize that some people come here to my blog to check up on our family and how the kids are doing. Which is awesome! There are others who maybe visit looking for something different- a cause to rally around, a need that needs prayer, a mission that needs funding or just plain ideas on how to be proactive in doing something. I decided to separate my blogs in this manner. On this blog you will continue to read about our lives and our adventures. You'll get to see the dance, zits on my face, cute pictures of my kids, my thoughts on life, raising 6 kids and chasing after that quest to live happily ever after.
On my new blog you'll get to read about my organizations, candid reviews of agencies, ways to raise money, swap ideas about fundraising, causes that keep me awake at night, my victories and failures as I try to meet needs today! I will often have links to other sites, donate buttons and info. I will promise to do the best research I can to find trustworthy and credible causes and organizations to support. I welcome ideas and direction as I start this new endeavor. I hope it will be a resource for everyone. Due to the fact that we will be talking candidly about many things this blog will be private for a while. Please leave a comment on this blog or email me if you would like to have access to the new blog.

Candid - Real Candid

For you my dear Wife to the Rockstar blogging friend:

The assignment:

Take a picture of yourself right NOW!

DON’T change your clothes, DON’T fix your hair… Just take a picture.

Post that picture with NO editing.

Post these instructions with your picture.

Well, you can't get anymore candid than that. I sure wish I wasn't so zoomed in though. Me in all my glory.

I think the meds are wreaking havoc on me. I am breaking out like a teenager. Wouldn't be so bad, except just found out last week that we are having a huge red carpet event here in our home town to premiere our movie. Any advice on how to clear up skin quickly?

The premiere is on Tuesday- If you live in Missouri, please come!!!!!! It's only on Tuesday. We are honored to have three great fighters that are in the movie come to Tuesday's event . Ernie Reyes Jr., Gray Maynard, and JermaineAndre .

The whole family will walk the Red carpet this time-Even Gedese and Christiana!!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


My mind is racing,
I can't sleep,
thoughts, ideas, plans
Another sleepless night thinking about Africa.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Valiant Attempt

Here's my attempt at newborn photography. Good thing Christiana is sooooooo adorable.

More Pics.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Was Sorta Brave

I somewhat survived my dentist appointment on Monday. I've been a haze the past few days. Combination of pain, swelling, meds and then the side effects of meds. Yes, I did end up taking half a Valium before my appointment. I actually took half the night before because I kept crying every time I thought about dentist. I know, I know, It's beyond ridiculous. I think going to the dentist is my weakness.
I'm so glad I took the Valium. I mentioned to the dentist that I usually vomit for days after sedation. ( I was okay with this. He however was not) He decided to only numb my mouth instead.
I would not have been able to make through if I wasn't relaxed from the Valium. By the time he was done(over 2 hours) I was feeling the pain.
After taking some pain medication, I pretty much got to stay in bed most of the day. IT ROCKED!!!!!! Never happens.
Everything was fine until last night I started having a reaction to the antibiotic. I started freaking out that it was going to be like before(see here). Now they put me on something that I never heard of that comes with huge warning labels. I will probably go back in tomorrow because something is not right. My gums are turning grey/white at the implant site. The pain is also increasing. (Insert poor me violin music here)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Calling ALL Bloggers

I really want to start a blog list again. I miss reading everyone's blogs. The problem is I have to hunt through old blog posts to find you. If I visit your blog or have ever left a comment will you please let me know by leaving me a comment so I can create a new blog list. It would mean so much to me and save me tons of time finding you. Even if I haven't left a comment on your blog for a long time, I still want to find you. I miss you all. Even if you think I already have your link, please leave a comment, it will make my life soooo much easier:)

And if you've read my blog for any length of time, you all know I need help.


Just One Blanket

One of my dear friends Brandi is asking for help to spread the word about a crisis in China.

You may have read about our KidsLake project this month. It just got a lot more urgent. NO BLANKETS will be given to this village until they have enough collected for ONE PER FAMILY. that means at least 222 more, or none. They are $10 per blanket. This is more than we usually raise with KidsLake. WOuld you consider putting this on your blog and encouraging others to do so too? Here is what I recently posted. YOu can also go to the original KidsLake post and copy and use any of that and any of those pictures too. THank you for your help! Feel free to forward this on too!

UPDATE for Blankets! URGENT

I just received an email from our contact in China. They have collected 370 blankets to give out in this village. But, the leaders will not allow them to give out ANY until every family can get ONE blanket. This means 1200 people living in tents, homes made of bundles of straw, and earthquake-damaged homes (some with tarp roofs) as well as some who live in completed but very sparce homes. Many have no electricity and none have any heating. It is more like going back 100 years when we go to this simple village. This is Africa type poverty. . but with winter coming! These families will go without blankets until we can raise enough to get 222 more blankets so they can give out one blanket per family!

We are asking for your help! This is a big project at a stretched time of year. Help us get the word out. Email your friends and family and ask for blankets for Christmas. Write about this on your blog and ask anyone else you know to do the same. Spread the Word. This is one of the most unreached people groups and we have the chance to provide warmth so that maybe, just maybe they can understand and hear about the real warmth that comes in the arms of Jesus!

We have added our donate button to the side bar. Email me and I'll give you the html code so you can copy and paste it into your blog if you'd like! (often, people may not be inclined to link to someone else but might just click the donate button on your blog!)

One more thing. . we'd like to say a HUGE Thank YOU to Global Orphan Outreach who is partnering with us to raise the money through paypal. They are a great organization who I encourage you to check out as well!

Thanks! Brandi

What would happen if everyone who read this donated enough money for 1 blanket? According to my blog stats I'll the blankets that are needed would be purchased.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008