Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Prayer Requests?

…being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:21

It’s been almost 2 months since I received many of your prayer requests, and I know God has already moved mountains. I think it’s time for updated requests, so please leave a comment or email me.

If you email me with your request and you have a blog, I’d love it if you would give me the address!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to Normal!

Or a little-less-chaotic-than-corn-harvest normal.
And back to Dad driving the school bus!
Which means I can put two pre-schoolers on the bus.
Which means it's Kasidi Joy and Mama at home.
Oh happy day!
We have a super fun and busy week planned with the hopeful arrival of the Big Mamavan from Florida, the local fair, first Friday night lights and the arrival of good friends for the weekend!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Don't Make Me Come Back There!

After six months...
two sets of document production...
60 days with the Taxpayer Advocacy Service...
our Adoption Tax Refund landed in our account yesterday!!!
We are stoked!
Because sometime this week this Big Mamavan will be sitting in our driveway. (She'll never look this clean again). Thanks, Ralph, for finding her for us!
All she needs is a stompin' adoption decal, maybe a personalized license plate, and six car seats :)
We've checked ~ she will hold six car seats, three teenagers, one college kid when he comes for a visit, and a mama and daddy seated comfortably at the head of the khaos. (we checked into the cargo variety with the cage in the back, but...)

She gives a whole new meaning to my rear view mirror rant, "Don't make me come back there!"

On a slightly more serious note, when we accepted the Lord's invitation to journey with Him down the adoption path again last August, we knew our vehicle was too small. Much too small. It didn't keep us from moving forward, but we were concerned about how we would haul this Krew from one place to another. So we asked the Lord to provide a way, without debt, please.

In January we heard rumblings of the But we didn't think we'd qualify...until we spoke to our accountant! As soon as the IRS released the form in February we filed and expected a refund big enough to answer our prayers! Like 90% of other adoptive parents, we've had the privilege of being audited, staying on hold and waiting. But we are waiting no more, and our prayer of a year ago has been answered!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eight by 8!

Yesterday I put six kids on the bus at 7:30.

Kolton ~ 10th

Kenzie ~ 9th

Kooper ~ 8th

Kayden ~ 3rd

Kambry ~ K

Kaeleb ~ Pre-K

(and I can't get this picture to move!) But when my littles got off the bus at 4:11 this was the reading, and they looked like wilted flowers :(

At 8:00 I took these two Treasures to PreSchool.

I was worried about Kennah.

It was her first day in another facility, away from Mama since May 22.


And big sister showed her the ropes.

Monkey business all.the.time.

I am certain if I survive this week, I can do anything!

Last week of corn (poor, exhausted Mr. Greenthumb)

4 softball games

1 football scrimmage

county livestock show

back to school youth bash

Kuyler's birthday, although we aren't celebrating till Labor Day weekend because he can't eat after his wisdom teeth extraction :(

I can't find the time to work... ah, well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Stirring

This week I saw a picture that has rocked my little world and stirred my heart. I wish I could share the photo with you, but because the enemy is on the prowl it has been temporarily removed from my friend Adeye’s blog.

Some of you saw it. Many responded to the urgent plea for help. But this is not a post just about adoption.

So here’s what transpired. Adeye has been advocating for those ‘forgotten.’ And God has been faithful, and He has been glorified! *Please forgive me if I get the dates wrong.* On August 17th Adeye posted, without details, an urgent need and plea for large items such as iPads, cameras, eReaders, etc, for a fundraiser.

The next day, August 18, folks had responded in such a huge way that she had thousands of dollars in fundraising items, and she posted about a precious little girl who is now 11 years old, weighs less than 20 pounds, and is literally dying in a mental institution because that’s what happens to some children, orphaned, and deemed a burden in short-staffed facilities. A child needing rescued. A ransom required. A family needed.

The mission was to raise the ransom so that when the Lord called a family forward, they could race through the paperwork and not have to worry about the funds. The goal was $22,000. In less than 24 hours there was over $23,000 raised!!! And a few days later Adeye announced that a family had stepped forward to bring this precious Treasure home! ONLY GOD!

It’s one thing to say that God is faithful; it’s another to be in a place of requiring His faithfulness!

So what happened in my heart? I’m ashamed to say. When I saw the urgent post I only had time to skim it and then rush out the door. I couldn’t get this precious one off my mind so I decided I would post the need on my blog the next day. But… the next day the need was met! But what rang in my heart was that I had missed an opportunity! While I sat on my hands waiting for a convenient time to respond, the Lord was not sitting still, waiting for lil ole me.

See, He doesn’t require my response; He doesn’t force my response; and He doesn’t need my response. Does that release me? My heart says NO!

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” Matthew 27:24

I can’t wash my hands of my responsibility. When I make no decision at all, I’ve really decided “No.” No matter what excuses I make, no matter how reasonable they seem, they are still excuses. We tell the youth this all the time ~ an excuse is a lie disguised as a reason. Ouch!

Even if we don’t say the words, how many times do our actions (or inaction) say, “When I retire, I will…; When my kids are grown, I will…; When I achieve this, I will…; When my life slows down, I will; When I finish this, I will; Tomorrow, I will…”?

Talking to the self here, folks, talking to the self! This little girl’s picture is a reminder that I am not promised tomorrow, and I’m certainly not promised retirement (again, please tell me where that is in the Bible!).

And I’m not just talking about the giant leap of faith to bring a very ill child home from another country; I’m talking about the needs of the person sitting next to me, the widow down the road, the teen in crisis, the sick, the dying, their families…

Serving isn’t always convenient. In fact, it can be downright dirty at times. Am I willing to get my hands dirty? Am I willing to face rejection? Am I willing to be wounded? Am I willing to have my heart broken?

I wanna be there! I don’t want to get so accustomed to ignoring God’s voice that I no longer recognize it! So now what?

James 2:17 says, In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

No matter how much I think about serving, dream about serving, hope to serve or talk about serving, it is just that ~ a thought ~ if not acted upon. My prayer is that the Lord would give me the energy every single day to act.

I love this quote:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, “Wow, what a ride!” ~ Author unknown

That’s the way I want to live my life. I don’t need to arrive at Heaven’s door well preserved. After all, I get a new body someday! This temporary vessel was made for helping. Not.for.helping.myself.

Some days will be tough, even impossible. But nothing is impossible for my God! When I’m at the end of myself, He is completely able to carry me forward, no matter how rocky the path seems.

Lord, please continue to stir my heart in such a way that I must act! Don’t ever give me a false sense of peace for sitting on my hands. Help me to love as You love, to act as Your ambassador and to use every resource You’ve given me to Your glory!

Monday, August 22, 2011

All Day Long

My goodness, I just have to stop a moment and tell you something!

My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Psalm 71:8

Mr. Greenthumb just reported to me (yes, at 5:30 am) that we need to sell more corn today because it is abundant and perfect!!!

At 8:00 or so I can start making more phone calls, then go to work, be back in time to take Kenzie to the softball bus at 2, take Kolton to football practice at 3, hopefully make it to the softball game, and sell more corn for tomorrow.

The Lord never ceases to amaze me. Did I tell you we needed the crop to produce an indescribable amount of good corn to make up for the 3 weeks we lost? I just know it's going to happen ...because that's the kind of God I serve!

Woo to the hoo and praise to the Lord!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dedication Day

Today we stood before our congregation and committed to raise our two newest Treasures in the ways of the Lord.
What an awesome responsibility.
What an incredible blessing to know our children will be taught by godly Sunday school teachers, VBS workers, G Force workers and the body of Christ.
We love ya'll!
And I promise I'm working on putting the 'stirring' into words...

Friday, August 19, 2011


Thank you, dear friends, for praying for Kuyler's routine surgery, for the crop and for our family. Your prayers mean so much to me!
Surgery went great; he is resting.
The crop is in the Lord's hands. We're trusting He has restored it!
And finally, I just have to warn you the Lord has really been stirring my heart.
I'm in prayer over how to put it into words.
I just want to be totally truthful.
Until then, I'll let Him continue stirring this burden I have.

Corn, Surgery, Changes...

If you think of Kuyler today, will you please pray for his wisdom teeth extraction. I'm taking him in right after we finish picking corn around 8 this morning.

And then he moves back to college tomorrow. This year is different, knowing this is probably the last time he will 'live' with us. We've been privileged to have him come home every summer to help with the crop...but next May he will graduate, hopefully get a job, and have no reason to come back except to visit. That makes me sad. I know we are supposed to raise our children to become independent. I know this. And he is independent. He lives in a nice home with several other godly men and has a job during the school year. But I really love having Kuyler around! He's an awesome young man of God. And his little brothers and sisters adore him!

Another change is that we are picking corn very late in the season. School starts next week, and we have more than a third of the crop left in the field. Our plan is to pick it all within 7 days! The awesome thing is that if it's good corn, we have people lined up to buy it! Will you please pray with us that the Lord has restored His crop!

This is going to be a fast-paced year. We've got two high school athletes in full swing of their sports. Kenzie's already had several softball games, and Kolton's first football scrimmage is tomorrow night. We can't wait for Friday night lights! And hosting Fifth Quarters. And softball in cooler weather.

Sorry this post is kinda all over the place. That's pretty much where my mind is at today. We really are in a season of change.

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:13-14

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm Done!

School supply shopping, that is! Or at least I quit.
And as of today, haircuts are done too!
I can see her beautiful eyes again. She's thrilled about it too.
And so is this one.
That's better. The others were so excited they wouldn't sit still for a picture.
Kenzie has her own salon thing goin' on, working on her french braid.

It's a rough life!
Kambry works to pay the bill :)
These people insisted we eat at McD's. Salad for me,
Notice there are no other people of the adult variety. Not pattin' myself on the back or anything; just sportin' a kickin' new do that makes me feel super - lol :)
Now we're nearly out the door for more of this...
On the agenda tomorrow:
Back to picking corn after a 2.5 week break.
Kuyler's wisdom tooth extraction.
Softball in the afternoon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Medical

Because everyone dreams of seeing two doctors in as many days, Kennah went to the dentist today. I know, don't be jealous! And because I'm still rallying back from yesterday's trauma, Daddy had the privilege of taking her.

X-rays confirmed what we've suspected ~ lots of missing permanent teeth. And she's going to need several root canals on her baby teeth. So we were referred to a pediatric dentist who will put her under general anesthesia and hopefully do all of them at one time. She will be in braces for a long time, but thanks to talented doctors, she will have beautiful teeth one day!

Somehow I just don't think that's going to console her much when she sees the dentist, the cleft team and the speech therapist in the next 30 days...

Winding Down

Is summer really almost over? School starts in 8 days *squeal*. It will be an insane schedule, but it will be a schedule, nonetheless. And we thrive on s.c.h.e.d.u.l.e.

But before we can declare summer officially over, we must meet with our local adoption group! I'm so grateful for this group of families, and I appreciate all the hard work and planning to keep us connected (Paige!).

Picnic at the pool

Give a girl a bag of chips, and she's good to go!

See what I mean!

This daddy would jump in, boots and all, if necessary. (Trust me, it's happened)

"Not gettin' in, eh? I'll drench you anyway."

"Come to Bubba, Kasidi." Her reply, "No."

And so there you have it ~ quite possibly our last trip to the pool this summer.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mama of the Year...

...probably not!
Let me preface this post by saying that I made this trip singlehandedly. (A little sympathy, please :)
This morning at 9 am I loaded two unsuspecting girls in the car, and we went to the doctor for a well baby check and blood draw.
What was I thinking?!?
One hour into it, two sippy cups and one handy dandy cup-o-snacks, and all was still well.
Then we registered at the lab and things went downhill fast.
Kasidi seemed to know something was up. She started grabbing my neck and pinching my arms.
Once in the lab with Kennah perched on top of the mega diaper-slash-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink bag, three big people holding sharp objects and safely in Mama's arms, Kasidi began to scream! Fortunately, Little Miss Joy has plump veins, and the vial was full in no time!

Kennah, on the other hand, has no veins! Bless her heart! On the third and final attempt, Daddy showed up ~ our hero! He knew just how to comfort his sweet girl as she cried, "Mommy! Daddy!" Oh my goodness, broke my heart!

We are praying they got enough blood for all the tests...because we won't be going back soon.

Even with big, ugly bruises on their arms, they are SO forgiving!
Bonus! Miss Kennah has gained 1.5 pounds and grown almost 1 inch!

All this harsh treatment has meant lots of snuggles today!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fun Times

So...Friday Michelle texted me and asked if some of my kids wanted to spend the weekend with them. That's just the way she and Jay roll. They love my kids! And we love them.
They seriously invited a LOT of my kids, but in the end I could reasonably only send two :)
And then I received this picture in my inbox...
I think Kayden and Kinley Grace are having a blast at "Aunt Shell and Uncle Jay's," don't you?!?

Hurt Healer

I'm so excited about what's going on in our youth Sunday School class. We're reading this book:
Tony Nolan brought the message when we were at Falls Creek, and we even had a chance to meet the authentic, outta this world, crazy guy who loves the Lord with all his heart, and wants others to experience the same love he has discovered.

After a suggestion from the youth and time in prayer, we (April and I) decided to study one of his books for Sunday School.
We started today! I warned the students though ... this could get tough! And they were still ready to go. And from what I can tell, all of us are ready to: "....take a good look at our attempts to connect with them (unbelievers), and make some deep life changes for the sake of reaching out to a broken world." Hurt Healers ~ Tony Nolan

May He be glorified!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Survey Says...

It's the number 1 after-practice, after-game, anytime-you-need-a-snack snack.
And this little beauty...she'll be gone by noon Saturday, even with three of the kiddos absent (visiting friends).
Mr. Greenthumb spoils us!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Successful Day, Yes?

I have re-defined success :)

Yesterday six kids piled into the suburban (well, technically, I loaded and strapped in 2 of them), and we embarked on the horrendous task of school supply shopping, which rates second to multiple doctor's appointments in a single day.

After hitting St*ples and W*l-Mart, we retrieved 75 percent of the supplies.

Two other stores granted us two of the six pair of tennis shoes we need.

We renewed our strength with Ch*ck-Fila (yum!), and met Dad and more kids at the school.

In under two hours we enrolled six kids and headed to the softball field to watch Kenzie's first high school double-header. (Way to go, Lady Devils!)

We came home, fixed supper and went to bed on time...and then Kolton had midnight madness football practice, which I did not attend (Thanks, Ty, for taking him!)

No one got lost, I didn't lose my mind, and we accomplished most of what we set out to do.

It was a successful day. (except I didn't get any softball pix)

Now, please excuse me while I wash the uniform (and six more loads I didn't get to yesterday) for another game today...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

*A Few of the Things that Make Me Smile*

Homecomings (and friends who greet us and capture the moment!)

This Krew
Big sisters who keep me on my toes

College brothers coming home to visit
Both Hands!

Daddy lovin' on his babies
Boys and their tractors
Friends ~ near and far
Being surrounded by my littles
Pedis with my big girl
Friends who don't mind the monkey business
Weeny roasts in the driveway
Falls Creek, youth group and leaders

Homemade cookies and kids eating them

Kids at the pool
Sisters (in-law, but true sisters to me)
Sleeping teens
Sleeping babies
Mr. Greenthumb
Big brothers playing with their sibs

Sitting around the table
And, well...
You smiled too, didn't you?!?
And those are just a few of the things that make me smile!

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