Monday, January 31, 2011


We had an amazing day yesterday! Praise the Lord, the sickness has left the building!
In the evening we had our annual Lunar New Year celebration. Judging by the pictures, fun was had by all.

In the morning we were blessed to share our testimony for Sanctity of Life Sunday. Thank you for praying! The kids behaved, and the Lord was present!
Lots of good stuff this week! We are expecting company this Thursday, and we can't wait! Have to share about that when they get here.

Thank you for spreading the word about our Canon fundraiser! It ends a week from today. We need the Lord to show up big time ;-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


You won't find me posting this picture anywhere or hanging it on the wall. It's not the most attractive...but it's probably the most 'real.'

I mean, seriously, when are we all sitting perfectly still, looking the same direction and smiling?!?

We've got 1 kid ready to flee the scene; 1 who looks like he's on something; 1 forcing himself not to blink; 1 getting situated; a few saying to themselves 'enough already - let's do this thing'; a dad taking care of things and a mom trying to line everybody out. My point?

We've been invited to share our testimony with another church this Sunday. Yes, they've asked the people depicted above to step into their service and share the difference Jesus has made in our lives. Their church will never be the same ;-)

Our prayer is that God would speak through our faulty offering. I'm sharing how Jesus has changed my heart and changed our family through adoption.

In December I celebrated my 46th 40-something birthday, but what I really celebrated was my 9 1/2 birthday since knowing Christ!

When Clayton and I accepted Christ later in life we both surrendered everything to Him. Sometimes it's hard to follow through on that and we try to re-define everything, because it seems so hard, so abnormal, so c.r.a.z.y., so isolating and lonely, so out there.

Call me crazy, but I believe that Christianity is not about maintaining the status quo, but rather implementing kingdom change by imitating Christ, no matter what.

Every time we step out in faith, despite the critics, the Lord affirms His plans. So, Clayton will share about the indescribable peace that follows surrender.

Will you please pray that God would be glorified (and the kids would behave)!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We Are Grafted In

One of my posts about older child adoption is featured today on We are Grafted in.

Simply Delish!

I tried a recipe last night that's so simple and good I had to share it! I even plugged it into WW Recipe Builder and got the Points Plus value (as accurately as I could).
Baked Omelet
8 eggs
2 cups ham, shredded (I used Hilshire Farms deli sliced)
1 package Oscar Mayer real bacon bits
2 cups 2% cheddar mix, shredded
2 cups 2% milk
15 saltine crackers, crushed
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Pour the mix into a greased 9x13 dish and bake 30 to 40 minutes (or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean).
12 servings; 5 WW Points Plus per serving

Roasted Asparagus
2 bundles fresh asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 425. Place asparagus in baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to coat the asparagus.
WW ~ asparagus is free, but the olive oil is 1 Points Plus

I wanted to serve bacon-wrapped asparagus (wrap each spear with a piece of bacon (sliced vertically in half) and bake in a single layer)...but you wouldn't even wanna know the points in that!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is It Bad...

...that I have so much to say I don't know where to start? Never being short of words, I'll figure it out :)
First, happy birthday to my sweet hubby! (The princess on his lap is sweet Alyssa, but we'll claim her as our own!)
Honey, I don't care what those candles say (or don't say), you are an amazing man, at any age!!!
Now you see it... you don't! Our little painting project is complete. I l.o.v.e.d. the blue in my office, but I seem to squint a lot when working, so we had to go to a more vision-friendly color. Last week my eye doc told me at somewhere around 40 we need double the light, blah, blah, blah... whatever!
Remember on December 22 Kenzie won the Kerrie Roberts Cover Song contest ~ we barely got the office put back together in time for their skype chat on Friday!
Thank you for the incredible response to our decals (my one creative spurt)! You have blown us away with your orders. Everything ordered so far will be in the mail tomorrow!

And finally, we are excited to be moving forward on our "Both Hands" project through Lifesong! We actually have two widows we get to serve! We are now forming our team and hoping for project dates around the first two weeks of March. If you're interested in being on our team, let me know and I'll tell you what is involved. It's an incredible project bringing James 1:27 to life ~ one hand for the orphan and one hand for the widow. We can't wait to see what God does here...since our costs have increased ;-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Decals Are Back!

Remember our decals? Well, we are thrilled to bring them back ~ the new and improved version! They are now available for $5.50 each via the Paypal button on the sidebar.
We have a long way to go ... because our costs have increased ;-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

They're baaaaaack - new tee!

Hey, Peeps, those amazing gals at Wild Olive Tees have extended our fundraiser!

There is a new "Love Others" tee that is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.!!!!!
The "Hope" and "Faith" tees are also available! And there's a rumor that we'll be able to purchase other tees for resale!

It's simple. Click the adoption fundraising link, and when you check out, use our family code: Johnson1119, in the 'enter coupon' space.

If we reach 50 tees, we get $10 per tee!
So what are you waiting for? Go shop for Joy... :) :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's a Keeper!

If a new recipe makes it past the trial run, I slip it into the menu again...if it gets requested a third time, it's a keeper! And it's really a bonus if my friend, the crockpot, can work all day so I don't have to!
Here's a recipe I've tweaked to our liking and size. Take note, I don't use any fancy spices I can't pronounce :)

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
4 lbs cut up chicken pieces
4 cups water
6 cups chicken broth
4 chicken bullion cubes
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp parsley flakes
2 tsp minced garlic
12 oz (or more) noodles (I use a short, fine egg noodle like Manischewitz)
Place all ingredients except noodles in crockpot, cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Remove chicken, debone and return meat to crock. Cook noodles separately and add to crock (reserving liquid in case you need more in the soup).

And did I mention I even worked this into my Weight Watcher's plan ~ and so far I've said goodbye to 6 pounds!

Monday, January 17, 2011

He Speaks!

Don't you just love it when the Father has a Word just for you at just the time you need it?!? He's good like that! This familiar passage is one from my devo this morning ~

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Actually, we've been claiming that verse for a week now...but more about that later ;-)

If you have any prayer updates or praises, please let me know. If you haven't informed me otherwise, I'm still praying for your original requests, and what a privilege it is! You can leave a comment or email me.

Stay tuned ~ we're praying about doing another fundraiser/giveaway! We really need the Lord's guidance, because we want it to be another super cool item (like the camera that Lori won!!!), but none of our giveaway items have been donated, and with the rising cost of our adoption we want to take stewardship of the funds God has provided. But more about that later ;-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

P90X What?

This girl is trying to keep up with orders for her duct tape wallets! She's saving for a certain trip to another land, and her friends are stylin' their one-of-a-kind wallets!

Speaking of youth, I've been challenging my Sunday School class to read their Bibles. I shared that I'm on day 14 of reading my Bible through in 90 which Ty replied, "So you're doing P90X of the Bible!"
I love those kids!

Friday, January 14, 2011

You Might be an Adoptive Parent if... recognize these!
No wonder it seems I'm always doing paper work. But it's all good! Each of these files represents a journey. Every obstacle God has overcome. Every gift He has provided. Every Treasure He brings home.
Right now we are busy filling out more grant applications and looking for super creative fundraising ideas. Our adoption costs have just increased...
We're still putting together our team and organizing the "Both Hands" project and can't wait to share it.
All I really know is...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One Less!

It appears Davids has a family! Now we need to pray for provision as time is critical!
For nothing is impossible with God.
Luke 1:37

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Voice of Truth

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the Voice of truth says "this is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

~ "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns ~

When a Child Needs a Family... much else seems trivial.
Meet Davids and read his story here. He only has a matter of days for his family to step forward.
Lord, we plead with you to bring Davids home!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


WOOT WOOT! We are logged in.
On another note, I've received the emails and comments with your prayer updates and requests. I'm just telling you so that I'm accountable to ARE being lifted up!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Prayer Updates?

Thank you to everyone who has commented or emailed me with your requests! I consider it a privilege to lift them up daily. I'm wondering if any of you have updates you'd like to share. Or additional requests...

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Phil 4:6

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Squeaky Shoe Sale ~ $10!!!!

We are committed to raise all the funds necessary to bring Kasidi Joy home!
So let's have a sale! All shoes are $10 a pair!
You will find the shoe description, number available and sizes above each shoe
Leave a comment or email with questions or to order.

Black with pink flower, runs about 1 size big
Available: 1; Size: 5 ~ 6" heel to toe
And 3; Size: 6 ~ 6 1/4" heel to toe
And 2; Size: 7 ~ 6 1/2" heel to toe

Brown with pink polka dots, runs about 1 size big
Available: 2; Size: 7 ~ 6 1/2" heel to toe
And 2; Size 1 ~ 5" heel to toe

Boys' black with white stitch, runs about 1 size big
Available: 2; Size: 7 ~ 6 1/2" heel to toe

Brown with white/pink flower, runs about 1 size big
Available: 1; Size: 4 ~ 5 3/4" heel to toe

Brown canvas with pink laces
Available: 3; Size 9 ~ 6 3/4" heel to toe
And 2; Size 10 ~ 7 1/2" heel to toe
And 4; Size: 12 ~ 7 3/4" heel to toe

Pink Camo
Available: 1; Size 4 ~ 5 3/4" heel to toe
And 4; Size: 11 ~ 7 1/2" heel to toe

Boys' navy with soccer ball
Available: 2; Size: 12 ~ 7 3/4" heel to toe

Black patent leather, runs about 1 size big
Available: 3; Size 1 ~ 5" heel to toe
And 3; Size: 3 ~ 5 3/4" heel to toe
And 1; Size: 4 ~ 6" heel to toe
And 2; Size: 5 ~ 6 1/4" heel to toe
And 1; Size: 6 ~ 6 1/2" heel to toe

Red brocade
Available: 1; Size: 5 ~ 5 1/2" heel to toe

Lilac brocade
Available: 1; Size: 5 ~ 5 1/2" heel to toe

White with light pink stripe/flower
Available: 3; Size: 7 ~ 6 1/2" heel to toe
And there's more in this post !
Thank you for shopping for Joy!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

'JOY'ful Squeaky Shoes ~ Round 2 Sale ~ $10

To order, please leave a comment or email me!

White with Pink & White Flower
Available ~ 1 each:
size 6 ~ 6" heel to toe

Brown with Pink Stripe/Bow
Available ~
Size 8 ~ 6 1/4" heel to toe

Navy with Blue Stripe/Bow
Available ~ 1 each:
Size 8 ~ 6 1/4" heel to toe

Brown with Small Pink Flowers
Available ~ 1 each:
Size 3 ~ 5 1/4" heel to toe

White with Pink Accent Top and Flower
Available ~ 1 each:
Size 8 ~ 6 1/2" heel to toe

Navy with Red Flower
Available ~ 1 each:
Size 3 ~ 5" heel to toe

Hot Pink with Light Pink Flower
Available ~ 1 each:
Size 2 ~ 5" heel to toe

Squeaky Shoes Round 3 ~ $10

Canvas with Flowers
Available: 2; Size 3 ~ 5 1/2" heel to toe
Runs about 1 size big

Black with Red Polka Dot
Available: 4; Size 1 ~ 5" heel to toe
Runs about 1 size big

Happy 15th, Dude!

Finally got that shiny belt buckle!
Lotsa behind-the-scenes work goin' on for this occasion. Seriously, if you've gotta wear're grill's too hot!

The entire goofy Krew!
A few friends, a ton of food...
...and cards loaded with loot! Yep, it was a good party!
Little brother's reaction upon finding out it IS NOT his birthday!
It was low key, but significant! This was Kooper's first 'friends' birthday party e.v.e.r.
Happy birthday, Son!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Check out my guest post on No Hands But Ours, "No Holding Her Back!" You will find a ton of resources on the NHBO site!

Oh, and inquiring minds want to know...
yes, Kinley Grace is from Zhejiang province, and we finalized her adoption in Hangzhou!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No Holding Her Back!

(Adopting two at the same time)

13 months and 28 days…but who’s counting? That’s how long our two newest Treasures have been home. It’s a journey that has seemed like a lifetime, and will last another lifetime.

When we met our son Kooper, almost 14 at the time; and our daughter Kinley Grace, 2, we had no idea what the following year would hold. All we knew was that God had clearly invited us to join Him on an adventure that would be impossible on our own.

My writings over the past year have mostly focused on the joys and struggles of Kooper’s transition, in hopes of encouraging families that teen adoption is doable. Not necessarily easy, but doable nonetheless.

But what about Kinley Grace? Sometimes I wonder if she’s gotten the short straw in facilitating her transition into our supersize family.

On October 26, 2009 we first held our screaming beautiful daughter. She was the 5th Treasure God had placed in our arms, and never had we experienced a reaction this negative.

In a span of 30 minutes she went from a kicking, screaming frenzy to complete shut-down. She would not utter a word or leave my hip for five l.o.n.g. days. She literally ate, slept and poohed – all preferably as my appendage. And she would have nothing to do with her daddy.

I remember vividly a day in China that I was so exhausted and discouraged I thought maybe these two Treasures really would be better left in their birth country. I began to reflect on all the photos we had of Kinley, realizing she was never smiling. And then I remembered the comments of a family who had met her, observing that she was very introverted and wouldn’t smile. I began to wonder if she’d ever come out of her shell.

Fortunately, it was only a matter of hours till I realized that I was buying into a lie straight from the enemy! The battle was on, but we would emerge victorious!

Six days after Gotcha while Kinley was cautiously standing beside my chair, she ‘accidentally’ started talking. She immediately looked at me, as if to say, “Did you hear that? I didn’t mean to say that out loud.”

At last, hope! After that breakthrough she began to smile, then giggle and eventually chatter in two-year-old gibberish. She would venture away from her lifeline (Mama!) and play with toys. By the time we flew home she actually occupied her own seat.

Once home, she had no problem interacting with her older siblings, but she still wanted nothing to do with Daddy…until two weeks home. For the first time, she saw Daddy and ran to him. Really ran to him!

Kinley Grace’s medical need was listed as post-operative left cleft lip. Her lip was repaired in China under the Tomorrow Plan. However, her gum line is also cleft, which was a bit of a surprise to us – but we wouldn’t change a thing! We have scheduled a revision to straighten her nose and reduce her scar this spring. At the same time, she will undergo testing for the muscle development and tone in her mouth, and her gum line will be repaired once her permanent teeth start coming in.

Now that we’ve begun the adoption process again, as I reflect on the past year I realize I’ve sometimes worried that Kinley would get left in the shadows and not receive al l the attention she deserved, but God, in His sovereignty, has protected her and preserved our family.

He has grown her into a beautiful, outgoing, spunky little firecracker who will talk your leg off! There is nothing in this world that can hold her back - not my parenting fears and failures or the ginormous needs of her siblings! Because no matter what chaos our life brings, there is One always in control … and there is nothing beyond His redemption!

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