Welcome to our world of big family life, faith, adoption, farming, staying fit, thrift and food...lots of food!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Birthday Party

Party prep. Making ranch crackers and potato salad.
A stir of sweetness
A shake and a smile
Finally, it's chow time!
Then the cake
Yep, that's my boy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Silliness ...

If it makes noise and moves, it's a great toy!
The evening talent show
Future gymnast?
"You otay, Daddy?" WWF, Johnson style.
Silly moms
Life is a little slower-paced for the moment. We have family plans for the weekend and football games start in a week. We had our first adoption ministry event last weekend. Check out our website for details: Oklahoma Hearts for Adoption

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Paul's words

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
This was my study passage this morning. I've read this passage many times, but today it really speaks to me. Am I a 'poster child' for the abundant life and gift of salvation Jesus has given, or do I stand in the way of God's plan to rescue the lost? My actions are a reflection of my beliefs. Lord, please let me reflect your character today!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy 20th Birthday, Kuyler!

Is Daddy proud or what?!?
That is one cute baby!
Handsome young man.
I did not forget to post that yesterday was Kuyler's birthday. It's not like it slipped my mind. I even cried because we couldn't spend the evening as a family. I was simply going to wait until after his party this Friday ... until one of my friends told me she wished Kuyler happy birthday yesterday on Facebook! You can imagine how this mom feels :) But enough of that.
It seems only yesterday we welcomed our first child into the world. I remember it like it was yesterday. Easy pregnancy, average size baby. Clayton was at work, and I was going to mow the lawn, except for the strangest nagging pain! It was two weeks to our due date, but six hours later we had a beautiful baby boy! As our first (and only) child for seven years, Kuyler had lots of attention. From Grandad and Grandma he received RC cars before he could crawl and bikes before he could walk. Despite our failures, he has grown into a generous, compassionate and godly young man. On the lighter side, we still apologize to him for being our 'trial and error' first child. And Dad says Kuyler gets his good looks from Mom - because Dad still has his :) Happy birthday, Son ~ we love you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

It finally arrived!

My personal license plate! It looks sorta like this, only better :)


Live Out Loud!


You can listen to Part I of Dr. Dobson's three-part interview with Steven Curtis Chapman here. It's titled "The God of All Comfort I." It made me cry, laugh and cry again. This precious family, through tragic circumstances, has been thrust into a position of proving their faith. I can only imagine that God is saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" Matt 25:21a. Let's continue to pray for them.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yes, Larry King, you can have that faith

Remember the Larry King interview with the Chapman family? It was an amazing hour, and here is Larry's reflection of the interview: Click here

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Close Encounter of the Virtual Kind

Ever had a hard drive crash? Have I ever mentioned that my business revolves around my computer? Sure, I go out and take the depositions, but my trusty software converts the Steno into English, then I email the transcript and sound file to my scopist, who edits, then emails it back to me, allowing me to proof, print and bill the job. And have I mentioned that my computer houses the Kodak moments of three unforgettable trips to China and every snapshot of our chaotic life since? What about my "Contacts" and "Favorites"? And all the emails I've archived, what about those? Thursday morning after blogging, my computer went dark and began telling me it was doing something crazy like dumping memory. I quickly shut it down and tried to reboot, thinking it was probably just overworked. But each of the ten times I tried to fire it up it told me there was no recognizable drive. As Kuyler is very calmly telling me what's happening, I'm reliving all the moments I've thought about purchasing an external drive "just in case" I have a hard drive crash. I'm loathing my dislike for clutter, trying to avoid managing too many files, thereby storing all photos in one tidy place - my computer, with no backup. My mind is like a slideshow of four years of photos forever lost. As Kuyler is preparing to pack up my dying computer to see if some guy at Staples can retrieve any part of my corrupt files, I must leave to work on an Oklahoma Hearts for Adoption project. Surely that will distract me. All I can really do is pray that God doesn't think my hard drive is too trivial to retrieve! And surely there is a lesson to be learned in this. My mind is going back and forth between coping with the loss and realizing how foolish I've been. When I returned a few hours later, just on a whim, I turned my fragile laptop on "just in case." To my surprise and joy, it booted up! Kuyler insisted I leave it alone while he went to buy an external hard drive (what a great idea!). I don't know how or why, but before midnight everything on my computer was safely backed up (you are my hero, son!). And I have learned a valuable lesson: if it's worth the space, it's worth backing up. My photos are now saved in three places: my computer, my external drive and on Walmart.com, ready to be printed! This reminds me of the way we often are with God, waiting until we crash to allow Him to back us up. Unlike our electronics (and their operators), He is always present and always faithful. Point taken, Lord!

More pix from reunion

Thanks, Kitty, for letting me swipe these pictures :)
Strong duo!
Look out for these two
And this is shortly after Kaeleb dove in. The boots survived!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sooner Sophomore

Monday Kuyler could check into his campus apartment. Kolton and Kenzie were in school and missed the fun, but we picked up Kayden after Kindergarten, picked up April and headed south.
First stop, Red Robin for lunch... "Say, 'Cheese,' April"

"Like I'm gonna eat all that?"
"I'll have the Princess Platter, please." (ummm, don't look for that on the menu :)
"We'll have it all!"
Clowning around in a 2-year-old boyish kind of way at the table
The apartment complex. I took pictures of the inside, but it just didn't have that 'lived-in' look yet. I'm sure with four young men that will change. Interesting thing is, these guys are all engineering students and each one came equipped with ... Guitar Hero, PS2, XBox and 4 surround-sound getups! My question: They are going to study when???
Somebody's got the giggles

All I need is my book ... and my juice ... and my space

Yes, he is sleeping.
It's been a busy week, and we're only halfway through! We still have the Oklahoma Hearts for Adoption baby shower Sunday afternoon, and on Monday Kuyler turns 20 (waaaaahhhhhh). And since we're finished with corn, I need to return to work ('cause I do nothing now :)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:17

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guigang Gals Reunited!

We started with a meal (gotta work food into the plan!) That's one long table!
Kambry and Bubby Kolton
Kaeleb copying Daddy. The bumps on his cheek are 8 mosquito bites - good grief!
There they are, Kayden and Jia
Monkey Kayden
Guigang Gals
Kolton and Kaeleb

Jia and her sister Kitty (KeKe)
Jia
Kambry
That's one beautiful bunch of kids!Way to be a sport, Mr. Rowland!

Finally, after nearly four years, we were able to reunite with our travel friends. It was so awesome to see their family of six again! It was a short visit as they were passing through on their way back home, but we packed as much conversation in as chaos would allow. Kaeleb and Kambry proved fearless near the water, causing Daddy to jump in with his boots (way to be the hero, Dad!). Kayden and Jia chatted away, and the big kids enjoyed the swimming. It was difficult taking pictures around the pool, and I don't have many of Jia's brothers, Carson and William. Carson has sure grown up since we traveled! What a huge blessing this reunion was. We hope to do it again soon. Rowland, Kitty, Carson, Will, Little Kitty and Jia, we love you guys! And, Rowland, I need a copy of that Gotcha Video :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Countdown again

3 days till corn is done!
Kenzie and Kaylee taking a break to chase chickens out of the field
Last week my good friend and her two daughters came for a visit. Kayden and C crammed a whole lot of playing and conversation into an hour!
There was dress-up and school ... and no time for the camera. Totally random, but look at these beautiful peaches. They went into the freezer!
And speaking of school, three of these babes started last week. So, I have 1 in college, 1 in jr. high, 2 in elementary and 2 in my hair - LOL! Seriously, why must they grow up so fast?!?
K is for Kayden in Kindergarten!
2 days till we meet up with Kayden's Guigang 'sister' Jia and her family!
1 day till Kuyler moves into his apartment at OU!

For the first time in the nearly four years since we all met in China, we will have our first reunion with our traveling companions. The girls haven't seen each other since they were 15 and 20 months old. To say we are looking forward to our visit is an understatement.

And Kuyler is allowing me to help him move in, organize his apartment and bring him home to finish out the work week since he doesn't start classes till next week, on his 20th birthday! You can be sure I'll take pictures! For now, here is a look back to September 2004 ...
Our travel group, the Smiths, Currys and Johnsons with our guide, Alice, in Nanning
Daddy and his sweet 14 month old Kayden Faith. We spent 3 weeks in China due to the Moon Festival, and she turned 15 months before we came home. She was a Daddy's Girl.
Rowland and Jia. She was also a Daddy's Girl.
Brenda and Jasmin, who loved her mama from the get-go. Brenda's husband couldn't travel due to his overseas work.

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