Saturday, May 31, 2008

We're home!

How many monkeys can you crowd on a "mattress" in the cook's quarters? About as many as the hours of sleep I got this week ~ not enough! (Kaeleb is so tired he doesn't care that he's covered with a pink blanket :)
A little refreshment on the long drive home from camp.
We are exhausted, but it was a great week! God's protection, provision and presence were abundant. I've never spent so many hours on my feet in the kitchen, but it was an amazing blessing. This week we begin preparations for a special little boy's 2 year birthday party and big Falls Creek ... but for now there are 2 campers, 3 helpers and 1 mommy that will be in bed before 9 p.m.!
Oh, first I have to share something amazing. We stopped to eat lunch in OKC on our way home today, and we couldn't find the restaurant we were looking for so we went to Chili's. And as God would have it, we were seated next to a couple who just returned from China yesterday with their precious daughter! The only reason they were out today was to retrieve Big Sister who had been staying with Grandma out of state while they were in China. What an amazing blessing to meet this beautiful family. Detours are good!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Falls Creek will never be the same!

Please pardon us while we go a little crazy(er???) over the next week.

If you won't come this way ...
...then I'll help you go this way. What a spirit of cooperation!
Could we eat already?
Kambry "signs" birthday cards for her Xiushan sisters who all turn 2 in May!
Yep, looks good!
We've had a lot of bad weather come through, and one storm flung our trampoline (but don't tell these three it's not right).
Seems fine to them!
Bathing beauties
You probably noticed I've changed the music on the blog. If you've never heard SCC's "Cinderella" before, be prepared to cry. And if you have heard it before, you know you'll cry! We are still reeling with grief for this dear family. We can't possibly understand what they're going through, but we know a God who does!
I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day. We are so grateful for those who have gone before us, defending and protecting us, many with their very lives.
We had a chaotic day hosting a cookout with our adoption ministry group, packing for camp and watching the weather. Our fellowship was sweet, and we are making progress on our website and have a few speaking engagements scheduled for Oklahoma Hearts for Adoption. We're working on our logo now, and I'll soon be able to share our site (I can't wait)!
Wednesday morning I will be going to children's Falls Creek with five of my kids (2 as campers and 3 as "helpers"). April and I are cooking for 41 people, and I figure it's only slightly larger than my own family so we can do this! I've packed enough diapers, formula and toddler gear to keep us going for a week. I've caught my work up as much as possible, done the equivalent of Mt. Everest in laundry and left enough food for Kuyler and Clayton to eat. I wonder how Daddy will handle peaceful sleep?!? And when will it be my turn? Oh, never mind! Y'all pray for me, okay? I am fairly organized and am a multi-tasker, but this will be a challenging week, and only the beginning of a summer full of similar events. Hopefully when I'm home next weekend I'll have some great pix and testimonies of the awesome things God did at camp. May you have a blessed week, and don't forget to dance with your Cindarellas!
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Meet Maria Chapman

Friends of the Chapman family have created a blog specifically to remember sweet Maria. You can view it here

Tragic news ~ SCC

We are praying for the Steven Curtis Chapman family today as they mourn the loss of their five year old daughter Maria. You can read the article here. SCC is one of the most humble people we've ever met, and his testimony of adoption is one of the things God used to speak adoption into our hearts. Below are some pictures of our meeting with SCC in February of 2005, soon after Kayden came home. Please remember to lift the entire family up to the God of comfort, grace and mercy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Congratulations, Daddy and Mommy P!

Daddy and his sweet girl, moments after meeting!
Mommy and her sweet girl, Forever Family Day!

Don't these two look smitten! They've waited so long for "Baby M" day, and it finally came last week. We've enjoyed following their journey and can't wait to hold Sweet "M" very soon! Thank you, JA&M, for letting me share your moment ~ what a blessing!


Several times a week I receive sweet notes like this from Kenzie! For this I am thankful!
In a daze over Ni Hao, Kai-Lan. Wait a minute, how did she get up there??? My expressive, happy girl. For this I am thankful!
Peek-a-boo! My happy, silly, all-boy boy. For this I am thankful!
Kayden leading the flag salute. My brilliant, personable girl. For this I am thankful! Seeking Mommy in the crowd. For this I am thankful! And I could go on and on. My engineering student son fixed my washer, and everyone has clean clothes now ~ for this I am thankful :) Kolton will enter jr. high this August ~ for this I am thankful. Kayden 'graduated' Pre-K! She's very excited about Kindergarten, and for this I am thankful!
We have a very busy week with several graduations, grad parties, preparing for Kids Camp, softball, baseball ... and me just loving to stay home :) I am reminded that my first class of youth graduated 3 years ago, which means I've been teaching youth for 7 years, hard to believe! I love this time of year as we prepare for Falls Creek, anticipating the great things God will do. He always amazes me, and for this I am thankful!
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col 2:6-7

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Suds are duds

Last November after repairing our failing washing machine for several years we finally bit the bullet and bought a new front load washer and dryer set. I can do lots more laundry at a time, and it's been awesome ... until today! I was so looking forward to a day doing Mommy things, including many days worth of laundry. Apparently I've used too much soap or we've got a clogged drain line because my washer is locked shut! So my first load of laundry is still inside, soaking wet, locked tightly out of my reach. Now, where oh where is my old fashioned washer that I could just open the lid and drop 50 pounds of bath towels in????

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oklahoma Hearts For Adoption

This is the promo video for our new ministry, Oklahoma Hearts for Adoption. I can't wait to share more about it. Remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and turn my blog music off before starting the video :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earthquake in China

Please remember the people residing in and around Chongqing Municipality as they have experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Last April we received Kambry in Chongqing. She resided in the Xuishan SWI. You can read the article here.

Saturday ~ In the Park

The whole group. Wow, look at all those kids!
Playing a little Yard Ball
Catch me if you can
Ring around the rosie

Kuyler and Austin
The line judge
Kolton and Dad
Ahhhh, Kaeleb and Noah (this one will probably find a frame :)
Girls in the store
Running to MommyMy two brothers and their families all gathered at the nursing home Saturday to celebrate Mother's Day and just get together as a family. My dad had a great day with lots of clarity, and he really enjoyed seeing everyone. The atmosphere was totally different because I wasn't constantly looking for an opportunity to share Christ with him since he made a decision last Thursday. We will celebrate Dad's 62nd birthday next month, Lord willing. The cousins (15 in all!) had a great time playing games at the park. It was a day to remember!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It's Our Day!

Some of you are waiting to become a mother, some have just recently become a mother and some are a mother many times over. Some have experienced loss, and some are thinking of a birth mother you are particularly grateful for. May the Lord cradle you in His hands today and show you just how special you are!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kambry!

Can you say Happy Birthday to me!!!

Her favorite gift, dress-up clothes from David, "Abby," Ashley and Kaylee
Yeah, cake!
No words necessary :)
The whole KrewMy sweet Kambry Hope turns 2 tomorrow. I remember celebrating her 1st birthday, just weeks after arriving home. She has blossomed so much in the last year. I am rejoicing at God's plan to make me her mommy. My heart is heavy for her birth mother. What is she thinking on May 10th? Is she sad? Is she curious? Does the Mommy who brought this precious baby into this world know how much she is loved by the one she will forever call Mommy? Does she know how grateful I am to her? Does she know this child is beautiful, inside and out? Where did she get her charming personality? I am in awe of our Mighty God who orchestrates these amazing plans. Happy birthday, my precious girl!

And speaking of God's amazing plans, did I mention my dad accepted Christ?!?! Want to know how? See this!

Heaven is rejoicing!

"Today salvation has come to this house ... For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Luke 19:9-10
My dad accepted the Lord yesterday morning!!!! My brothers and all our families are gathering Saturday in honor of Mother's Day, and we can't wait for Dad to share his news firsthand. Needless to say, there has been a lot of rejoicing going on. Thank you, faithful friends, for your prayers. God has heard and answered, praise Him!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Silence is not golden ...

... it's suspicious!

I should have known something was up when Kambry was sooo quiet for sooo long. And sure enough, she was amusing herself with a bottle of lotion. And to everyone's surprise ... I just had to remove her clothes after this incident :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Thank yous, naked babies and more

First, I want to extend our sincere THANKS to those who contributed to both our matching grants with God's Grace Adoption Ministry and Lifesong for Orphans! If you gave to Lifesong, you should have already received a personal Thank You note from us, as those donors' names have been revealed to us. However, all donors to God's Grace are kept confidential and so we must use the most public forum we have available (our blog) to say Thank you. Hopefully, you have received a receipt from both ministries for your tax deductible contribution. And from the bottom of our hearts, we are so grateful for your gifts! Thank you for responding to the Lord and investing in His Kingdom! We have promised to raise all our children according to His Truth, and by His grace we now have the opportunity to share Jesus with three who might not have otherwise known His love. From the beginning our decision to adopt was not about the dollars it would take to do so, but about the eternal investment. For us personally, had we had the finances, we might not have been still long enough to listen to God's call to adopt. We have had to depend on Him totally, and He has blessed us beyond measure. Most of you know we didn't have any funds set aside for any of our adoption journeys, and though I have to admit it was a huge obstacle, God has constantly reminded us of His faithfulness, His unimaginable love and His boundless resources! We will continue to work hard, save pennies and sell our adoption decals to pay our adoption debt, but in the end we know God is faithful, and He hasn't promised the journey would be easy. He has promised that His grace is sufficient for us, and we know that full well. May He continue to bless you as you listen to His unmistakeable direction for your life!

Now, on to a matter of less seriousness, but of great concern for many of our cherished readers ~ naked babies :) I routinely dress the kids once a day, whether it's 7 a.m. because I'm rushing out the door for a deposition, or 8:30 a.m. because we're staying home all day. Usually by afternoon naptime Kaeleb has drooled a bucketload on his shirt or Kambry has dumped most of her lunch on her shirt, or we've had a diaper failure (the box says 26 to 38 pounds so what's the deal!!), so one piece of clothing or another must go. I despise laundry, and if I don't intend to leave the house, I figure why add to the pile. So fear not, my babies start the day fully clothed and end the day fully clothed, but what happens in between is tomorrow's surprise :)

And now for a matter of great seriousness, eternal life. I spent the morning with my dad, and God allowed us great conversation. He still didn't accept the Lord, but we made huge strides in talking about the importance of a relationship with Christ. It's very difficult to watch my dad deteriorate physically and mentally at the age of 61! According to his cancer doctor, he probably doesn't have much time left, and my prayer is that he would sense the urgency in coming to Christ. I appreciate your continued prayers for both of my parents. Have a blessed weekend!

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