Monday, April 27, 2009

The Winner is.......

David and Sarah - You are the winner of good mail.

Your name was chosen randomly out of a brown paper bag:)

Email me at w/ your address. I want to put it in the mail before I leave for Dallas on Wed early in the morning.

Thanks everyone who participated. I love this stuff.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

One of My Favorite Blogs.

I love this blog.

She is fresh, honest, funny, encouraging and has such a sweet spirit. She loves God and her family in such a genuine and humbling way.

I was blessed to meet her on a recent trip to Phoenix.

Go read her blog. Be prepared to laugh out loud and be encouraged.

Just wanted to share her with you all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Unexpected Mail and a Giveaway!

We got a surprise package in the mail filled with treats for everyone. It was sent by Grandma Jo.

It made our week.

There's something about unexpected mail that brightens your day.

Not the kind that makes you go- "I owe what?" or "What are you trying to sell me!"

Good mail. The kind that makes you feel loved. The kind that puts a smile on your face. Unexpected.

So here it is...
I want to mail you that kind of mail. It will be a small care package- one that will hopefully brighten your day.

The only rule.

After you leave a comment you'll be entered into a random drawing;
If you win- You need to be willing to send some good mail yourself.

That's it.
Contest ends Mon at 6:00pm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Just had the next step in my dental reconstruction done today. Definitely worse this time. I had over 15 shots in a two hour period. For some reason I was still feeling the pain. I was feeling ill before I went in (fever+ nausea). So we used very little nitrous- side effect from it is nausea. So I pretty much had to deal with it. Today was a gingivectomy, two crowns, and new temporary on my implant. So I have three teeth kind of glued together right now. I'm swollen and in pain. I have one more big procedure next month and then hopefully will be finished with the dentist for quite awhile.

I'm hoping to look/act somewhat normal when I travel to the Orphan Summit Conference in Dallas next week. Right now I look kind of like a combination of Octomom and someone who has had tons of botox injections in the lower half of their face. Oh yeah I have to use this crazy mouthwash stuff that stains your teeth. Not to mention the drugs they have me on. Wow!

He did agree to donate toothbrushes for my trip to Africa(that I will make sometime).

New to my dental adventures- Click here

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bad Mother

It's not the best feeling to come to the realization that your not the best mother. Driving down the road this morning it hit me like a huge weight in the gut. I feel it. I know it. I believe it. Maybe I'm just being too hard on myself?

But I'm not.

Lately my heart hasn't been in the right place, my priorities are skewed. My days are filled with managing, getting by, being a referee, and then crawling into bed. I live for nap times and long for bedtime for the kids. I'm frustrated more than not and sometimes just downright resentful and angry.

People say it's a, "phase" all "good mothers experience this".

But I strive to be more. I am not satisfied or comforted by those thoughts. If I just dismiss it, I can't overcome. I can't be more. I would have no motivation to change.
And it starts with priorities.


Then where's my heart? Do my priorities require a heart of management? A heart of getting by? A heart filled with defeat in the morning?

I should be investing my time, teaching my children, encouraged, filled with cheer, thankful for the moments I have and abundant with love. When I'm "forced" to stop what I'm doing ie.(.laundry, research about pregnant women in Uganda, having that "important" conversation about ending poverty in Africa, cooking dinner, facebooking) because of another sibling fight, request, or bathroom emergency- I need to willingly and with great anticipation focus on the true priorities- My children. Their hearts. Guiding them in love. But before I even begin with all the other stuff... Have I ran to God yet this morning? This moment? Right now? Is He just another thing I need to "manage" or is He my reason for getting up. And what about Adam? How's my attitude towards him, what are my words, my actions showing my children. That I love him? Adore him? Respect him?

So here I am. Feeling. Knowing. Believing. I can be a better mother.

Monday, April 13, 2009

10 Minutes

10 minutes is all it takes to put out a grease fire in the oven, clean up a broken wine glass, change and sanitize a urinary accident of one toddler, take out Xia's hair, get dinner on the table and write this blog.
Yeah all in the same 10 minutes.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Not Your Typical Saturday.

Adam was invited to participate in a "celebrity shooting competition". Which cracks me up for two reasons. Let's see #1. Ummmm... He doesn't shoot. #2. Celebrity? hummm...I love it!
*not to dog the competition or my husband being called a celebrity. Just funny..If you really know us:)
He is required to practice at least two times before the event (which is probably a great idea:)
A wonderful man named Steve who is helping Adam allowed Jace and I to come shoot as well. I had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew was it was going to be outside. I pictured in my mind being in the woods with random gunfire. Because of this vision, I made us wear red. Not at all what I expected. We probably looked like dorks, but I am the biggest self proclaimed dork of all time. So no problem!

It was a blast. We shot a '45' a '22' and a "glok"? I think Adam and Jace are addicted. Me? well.. I had to pee so bad I couldn't concentrate. I finally found a spot in the woods. I was freaked out the whole time trying to pee with gunfire going every direction! After my "break" I found a new sense of focus and actually hit the target.

This is definitely something we don't do on a typical Saturday and the day before Easter, but hey we're not exactly a typical family.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Birthdays, Hair and Reflection.

Today my 10 year old daughter and 4 year old son share a birthday. Things worked out perfectly the other four children all had places to be this morning. So, I got to spend a few hours with just the birthday kids. I am so blessed by them.

McKayley turned 10. My first girl in the double digits. She is turning into a creative, beautiful and loving young woman. She is my melancholy child living in a house full of sanguine people. She brings a spirit of quietness and grace to us. When she was 6 she asked to get her ears pierced. Adam and I quickly dismissed that thought and told her when she was 10 she could do it. Age 10 seemed so far away to us and surely she would forget, right? Nope. First thing this morning we went and got them pierced. Awwww..She's growng up! Last night she had her *first date* with her daddy of course. Adam and I are both wanting her to enter her teen years with a strong and deep connection with her dads. Her earthly one and heavenly one. We want her to know she is a princess and how much she is loved. They were both so cute last night. Adam called before coming home to pick her up. He was at the florist and wanted to know if he should buy her flowers. He showed up with a rose and off they went. Hopefully the first of many daddy daughter dates.

Lukas turned 4 today! This kid is as funny as he is charismatic. He creates an audience wherever he goes. He seriously is one of the funniest kids to watch. He is thoughtful and sweet. He was so proud of dressing himself today. It wasn't until we got to the book store did I see what was wrong with his outfit. I'll post pictures-See for yourself! He was so excited to pick out his present. He chose a $2.00 Lighting McQueen car and couldn't be happier. I'm pretty happy about his choice as well.

And hair....
I'm finally after all this time getting more confident in doing Xia's hair. I'm getting pretty quick and more importantly she seems to enjoy it. For the longest time I relied on Gedese for the hair care. Except Xia would scream until she threw up every time she did her hair. Needless to say I feel pretty darn good that Xia doesn't do this for me:)

Finally reflection.
This time last year, I was spending my days and nights in a hospital room with the twins. I was very sick, tired and scared. So were the twins. I had a pregnant stranger(Gedese) living with us. If it wasn't for my husband's cousin Laura and my husband's sister Leah- Lukas and McKayley's birthday would probably have come and went without a celebration. Gedese would have felt alone and isolated. Laura was amazing and planned everything for them. Leah cared for our children while we were in Africa. She planned an amazing welcome home for us. She showered Gedese and the new twins with love. I will forever be grateful for all they did. I love you Laura! I love you Leah!It's hard to believe it's been a year. God has done amazing things this past year. He has blessed me with a quiver full of children, beautifully supportive friends and family to spend our lives with.

You have all touched and helped me through this year.

Xia's first steps in the hospital. She was 22 months old, weighed 12 pounds and was wearing 3-6 month clothes.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Our partner Doma International and in country(Uganda) connection has applied for a grant to get Because Every Mother Matters off the ground. They are waiting to hear back-it could be substantial in getting this going. Please pray for favor! Thanks!

We are at 130 members on facebook in two weeks!!!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


It's hard to realize you've been so wrong about something that "feels" so right. When you know you heard God speak, but then to end up questioning your motives and if you were actually hearing Him or your own desires.

My eyes are swollen from tears and my throat raspy from crying out. My husband's shoulders are wet from holding me.

After much talk and prayer it has been decided that I am not going to Uganda and Ethiopia this month. It is simply not the right timing. I know and believe with all my heart that I heard God call me to these places-I just tried to force it into my time frame and not God's. I will go, but not now.
I need to first
1. pay for all the Gedese's medical bills. (5k)
2. find people who are going to partner with me for the Uganda sponsorships.
3. invest more quality time with my children.
4. work on strengthening my attachment to the twins.

Psalm 27:14
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Huge Task-Big God

I'm sorry about being so vague about my upcoming trip. Things have been more than hectic here and also a little intrigue isn't a bad idea either. I really am still in processing mode.
I will be meeting 8 other women In Uganda. None of us really know each other personally and I only know Brandi through our blogs. From the moment I saw her blog almost 2 years ago I knew I wanted to be a part of her vision. We quickly became friends and began throwing ideas at each other. We partnered to create 'Because Every Mother Matters'. This past year she has been involved in more projects than I can remember. She is an inspiration and an encouragement to me. She started talking to me about Uganda months ago. I was too overwhelmed with Gedese, Christiana and her life to really listen to what Brandi was saying. And honestly I believe God only wanted me to focus on Gedese at that time- That was my full time ministry!. But I know a seed was planted. About two weeks after Gedese left I felt God-strongly-tell me to talk to Brandi about Uganda. The moment she started explaining the trip mission I knew without a doubt that I was suppose to go. That was maybe two weeks ago! We leave on the 28th. Talk about a whim. I knew I was suppose to go, but how and exactly why were yet to be answered. The trip was/is geared for a pastor/representative of a church body. Children's Hope Chest has actually created an amazing program and opportunity for churches of all sizes to directly and personally have an impact on an orphans life. Basically the idea is to have a church body come along and individually sponsor children from an orphanage meaning one church one whole orphanage. Ranging anywhere between 50-300+ kids at $34 a month, but it goes beyond just clothing and feeding. They disciple them as well. Someone meets with the kids weekly for bible studies and spiritual mentorship. What is also unique is they encourage the one's sponsoring to actually go to Uganda once a year to meet and pray with their children. As cool as this was, I was not feeling led to this. I kept talking with Brandi and she told me about another opportunity with Children's Hope Chest. It involved children run households and a widows' ministry. Alright! I'm in! As an adoptive momma I really believe in the importance of keeping a child in their home. I can only think about my own family- My oldest is 13, let's say if Adam and I both perished to disease and the only options for our children were to live at home as Jace being the head or in an orphanage- I would choose at home as a family as long as they were safe and their needs could be met of course. What excited me about the widow/child headed household concept was that if it was in the best interest for the children they could stay in their homes with not only the support of people like you, but also with widows from their village who could care for their emotional needs as well. Not to mention they would also benefit from Children's Hope Chest discipleship/mentoring program. Someone would be visiting them on a bi-weekly basis to teach them about God's love. The coolest part is I get to go and actually meet and identfy the children myself this month! So where do you come in? I need to find sponsors for at least 50-100 children in child headed households. The program works the same as a child sponsorship in the fact it's $34 a month, letter exchanges, praying for them and possibly finding a away to travel every 12-18 months to visit them and identify additional needs they or the community may have. I know finding 50-100 individuals to want to travel would be absurd. I also have the disadvantage of not being a church and having that type of community and commitment. But God did give me a vision! A doable one! I see 5 people stepping up to the plate. 5 people who will find and represent 10-20 people to sponsor these children. 5 people who will travel next year to uganda with me to hug, encourage and pray directly with these children. All except me who are traveling this time have the sponsorship figured out, they know how many orphans and even who they may be already accounted for. I am going purely on faith to represent as many orpans as God shows me in hope that I will find the people who will stand up and say boldly, "Count me in, I will care, I will take the plunge, I will walk in faith, I will commit to the least of these"!