Monday, December 31, 2012

Why Miracle?

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you've probably noticed I refer to Kasidi as our "miracle baby" often.

I do believe all children are a miracle.  Some of our children have a beginning that required one or more miracles for them to merely survive.  And I am so very grateful that God allows us to be recipients of His miracles

As I was looking through paperwork today, I was reminded of one reason she is such a miracle.

Our Joy was not intended to survive, according to where she was found as a newborn.

In fact, the director gave her a name meaning "pure" and "effect of a miraculous cure and bring the dying back to life."

By God's grace, she has indeed been given life!

 And she lives it to the fullest, with more courage and strength than I can fathom.
He performs wonders that cannot fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.  
Job 5:9

Sunday, December 30, 2012

B90X Reading Plan, Week I

January 1 - January 6
Tuesday, January 1: Gen 1:1-Gen 16:16
Wednesday, January 2: Gen 17:1-Gen 28:19
Thursday, January 3: Gen 28:20-Gen 40:11
Friday, January 4: Gen 40:12-Gen 50:26
Saturday, January 5: Exodus 1:1-Exodus 15:18
Sunday, January 6: Exodus 15:19-Exodus 28:43

Here we go...

B90X 2013 ~ Wanna Join Me?

I've decided to read the Bible through in 90 days again, starting January 1.
It was a great challenge to start last year, and many of you joined in.
I'll post the weekly reading plans every weekend (starting later today).

Friday, December 28, 2012

12/21 ~ What a Day!

The day we received LOA, Khloie also received our Christmas gift!

Snuggled in her new blanket, checking out the candy.

A sucker in one hand and the other hand in the candy bag...

 ...makes a girl smile!

We're hurrying as fast as we can, sweet Treasure!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Gift of Giving

This is Sami.
She is beautiful, inside and out!
Her parents follow the same (3) gifting tradition as us ~ something you want; something you need; something you'd like to give. 
Sami chose to give to our family to help bring Khloie home.
She even made this beautiful card that says:
Merry Christmas
For Khloie
From Sami
Doesn't that just make your heart sing?!?

Sami, we thank you for your gift to help bring Khloie home.  You are precious beyond words.  
The Johnsons

He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  
Matthew 18:2-4

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Child is Born

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  
Isaiah 9:6

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Stockings are Hung...

 ...on the chimney with care.

And Mama has finally wrapped the gifts, with hours to spare!

Thank you, Daddy, for keeping the Krew busy.  Now it's time to bake cookies!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Easy Krew-Pleazn' Lunch

Since my people love to eat, several times a day, I'm always on the lookout for simple dishes that suit the biggest to the smallest.
Oh my yummy, I hit the jackpot this weekend with this~

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps
*1 package Kraft Fresh Take, Cheddar Jack and Bacon (found in the cheese section)
*1 1/4 lb chicken tenderloins, thawed
*10 soft taco size tortillas
*Grape tomatoes, halved
*Ranch dressing
Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare the Fresh Take breading, coat the chicken and bake in a pan prepared with non-stick cooking spray for 25-30 minutes.  Once chicken is done, let it cool slightly before preparing wraps.  To each tortilla, add 1 tenderloin, lettuce, tomato and drizzle of Ranch.
*I doubled this for my Krew*

No, go be the hero!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nikon D5100 Up for Grabs!

***Since Chip-In is being cranky and not showing up on the sidebar, here are alternate instructions for entering the Nikon giveaway***
Log in to Paypal, then press "Send Money" and in the "TO" section use my email address,;
Then enter the amount you wish to contribute, and in the Message section, type "Nikon".  Thank you!!!

Wow, following our glorious, unexpected news of LOA, we are even closer to travel than we thought!

We've got some exciting things in the works to raise funds, including three grant applications and two Both Hands projects!

But in the meantime, let's have a camera fundraiser/giveaway!!!!
This is the Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

*Runs from December 22 - January 31
*Each $25 contribution gets one shot
*Each $50 gets three shots, etc.
*Each FB or blog post gets one additional shot
*You may use the Chip-In on the sidebar or email me for other options.
*Please leave a comment if you've posted.

God is so very good!

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  
Malachi 3:10

LOA, Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We just received the most glorious, unexpected news and an early Christmas present~

for Khloie!
It took all of 22 days, which is completely miraculous!!!!!
Okay, I've got to get my creative thinking cap on and raise funds...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oh, Linny, Thanks for the Linky!

My sweet friend, Linny, is hosting a Linky for families like ours ~ matched with one child, nearing travel, still needing funds.

Linny has a heart for the orphan, and it's evident in her family.  But more than anything, she is desperately in love with the Lord!
To participate in the Linky, each family must answer the following questionnaire:

1.   Tell us a bit about the child you are adopting - including this treasure's age and name {Please post a picture if allowed.}
This is our Khloie!  She just turned 2!
We weren't necessarily planning to adopt again as we were asking the Lord, "What next?"  After all, the van is full, the house is stacked and the bank account is empty.  But this little beauty captured our hearts, and the Lord reminded us that surrender means giving it all.  There was no response but, "YES!".

2.  Is the child you are adopting considered "Special Needs"? 
Yes.  Khloie is diagnosed with HIE, ASD and CHD
 3.  What country or geographic area are you adopting from?
4.   Have you adopted before?
Yes, 7 times, all glory to GOD!
5.   How close to travel are you?
Hopefully within 90 days.
6.   Do you attend church regularly?   If so, what type of church is it?
Yes, we are members of a Southern Baptist Church.
7.    Do you tithe with each pay {at least the scriptural standard of 10%}?
Yes, the Lord has spoken clearly to us regarding this!
8.  This week, did you participate in any way with the day of Praise, Prayer by giving praise on the link and then posting your request?
I did not this week.  I participated in the last day of Praise and Prayer.
9.  Have you read the entire Deadbeat Dad series?  {Yes}  Please read it in full, so you can better understand the heart of God for stewarding the money He has graciously gifted us with. 
It is a four part series and can be found here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
10. How did you hear about this Link up we are having?
I am a regular reader of A Place Called Simplicity
11.  Is there anything, briefly, that you would like to share with our orphan-lovin', God-honorin', Jesus worshippin' bloggy friends reading this?
God has proven Himself faithful time and again in our lives!  He broke our hearts for the orphan just 2 years after I accepted Christ (at the age of 36).  We've never had the funds to adopt, but in faith, we've moved forward 8 times, and He is our Provision.  We are not stashing away our own money in savings while asking others to join our fundraising efforts; we have spent every dime the Lord provides to bring our children home and take care of their medical needs once home.  The only investments we have are the deposits into our children's lives.! 

I Can't Resist

I just have to share this video with you!
If you haven't already seen it, it's well worth the six minutes.
If you have already seen it, it's worth watching again :)

New Film Premiere - I Like Adoption. from on Vimeo.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Today my family celebrated me.

They humored me.

And they loved me.

Thank you, family!

My motto: 
If 50 is the new 30...THEN I'M 29!!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Don't Tell Me

I just finished a Continuing Ed course on human trafficking.
*You may want to stop right here*

That's right, modern day slavery, the loss of one's freedom to another's control by force, fraud or coercion.

When I started the course and saw the overview of trafficking, prostitution and child porn, I knew it wouldn't be an easy pill to swallow, but I had no idea what these terms really mean.  I've learned more than my mind can fathom.  

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.  It will soon surpass drug trafficking!
A drug can be sold once.  A slave can be sold repeatedly.

Types of human trafficking include: debt bondage (promising an opportunity at a price which can never be repaid); sex trafficking; child brides and soldiers.

According to the State Department, up to 17,000 internationals are trafficked into the US each year, but that is considered a low estimate.
Let's read that again~
17,000 + human beings are trafficked into the United States of America!  Each.year.

Who is primarily targeted?
  • The most vulnerable.
  • The invisible.
  • The forgotten.
  • The undocumented.

So...don't tell me it's ridiculous to adopt 8 kids from China.
Don't tell me it's not our problem.
Don't tell me we can't make a difference.
Don't tell me you'll do something once you retire.
Don't tell me you're too busy.
Don't tell me your house is too small.
Don't tell me it's not our problem.


Not In My Strength

I've been studying 'suffering' lately.
In the scheme of things it seems ridiculous to consider anything about my life 'suffering' (to endure hardship or suffer loss).
But the truth is, there are times I feel so defeated.

There are hours in a day in which I allow myself to give in to the momentary circumstances.  The effects of trauma.  The chaos.  The seeming hopelessness.
I'm not talking about the panic that sets in when I hear the school bus drive up at 3:35 and I haven't accomplished half of what I intended ;-)
I'm talking about the sense of isolation, momentary reality that seems eternal, loss of perspective, fear.  The times when I'm hanging on by a thread because I'm relying on my own strength.

When I really ponder suffering it reminds me of the unthinkable: the loss of a child or spouse, a terminal diagnosis.  You know, those kinds of things.

Usually, when I have these momentary lapses of  perspective (can you say pity party?), I am reminded of those who truly suffer.  Those who have no voice.  The ones who truly are alone.  Those who suffer silently.  With no relief.  No hope.  Those who cry silent tears.  The ones whose hearts are literally broken.  Day after day they wait for a shred of hope.  

I'm speaking of not only the orphan...the widow, but of the neighbor.  The friend.  The parent.  The student.  The pastor.  The teacher.  The ones we overlook in our busy-ness.  We think they should have it all together.

What 'suffering' have I endured so that I might extend hope to another?  
How can God use my 'sufferings' for His glory?
I'm not a martyr, but does my demeanor give the impression that I think I am?  (Oh, I hope not!)  Where is the joy?

When I've accepted defeat and lost joy, I've lost sight of Who God is.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kenzie's Tryout ~ Steady My Heart

Made Ya' Smile

Told ya'!
You needed that, right?!?

Kenzie loves playing around with my new camera, and this is some of her work product.  Soon she will teach me how to use it...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More Praise...and JOY!

When Kasidi Joy came home at 18 months there was a lot we did not know.  We didn't have a base line for the effects of her diagnoses of spina bifida and hydrocephalus.  There were no images of her brain or spine.

There was a lot we did know!  We knew, sadly, she had a dark beginning and someone did not intend for her to survive.  But her life was redeemed!  She was taken to one of the best orphanages in China and had repair surgery immediately!  When she was placed in my arms I received a journal of her life which included photos of her in physical therapy.

We knew her meningocele was in the thoracic (upper) region, and it was predicted that she would not walk or have bladder or bowel continence.  

We knew we loved her with all our hearts and would do everything we could to give her the best quality of life, no matter what.  And so the exams began, to establish a base line.

We found out whoever performed her surgery did an amazing job.  We found out her hips were in alignment.  We found out her spinal cord was tethered in the lumbar region, and we had that surgery done last summer.  We found out she does have fluid-filled ventricles in her brain so the neurosurgeon referred us to an ophthalmologist to test for pressure on the optic nerve and the full gamut of vision tests.

On Monday we found out her vision is perfect, there is no pressure and she has no indication of hydrocephalus!
Why are we surprised?!?
Approximately 95% of patients with SB also have hydrocephalus, and it is manageable in most cases, praise the Lord!
Many also deal with continence issues.  At this time we are praising God that Kasidi does not have hydrocephalus, and she is fully continent!
They said she wouldn't walk...
but they don't know our GOD.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pe-Coma Pie

I've waited and waited for a reason to try Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie recipe.
Never found a reason but I tried it anyway.
I made it so late in the day it didn't have time to cool... I tried a slice for breakfast.
And I'm posting after coming out of a sugar coma.
I see why she says to serve in 'thin slivers.'
It is yummilicious!!!!  Oh, yes, it is!

And in other interesting news...
...Kolton's show goat thinks she's a cat.  Or a dog.  Or something.  We can't keep her in the pen, and she hangs out at the back door.  And licks it.
Welcome to the farm.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Merry Christmas ~ Third Day

This is the 7th Christmas we've spent waiting for one of our children to come home.
Our hearts ache knowing Khloie is without her family this Christmas.
Our arms ache to hold her.
Soon, precious one, soon...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Shirts and Shoes Required :)

Shirts and shoes are required everywhere we go, and I've got 'em!

Unlike me, you're probably nearly finished Christmas shopping :)  But just in case, we've got you covered.

Each shoe is individually sized and priced. Please leave a comment and/or email me to place your order. You may use the chip-in in the side bar or send payment directly, whatever is most convenient for you.

Black patent squeaky boots.  I have:
Size 3 ~ 5" (2 pair)
Size 4 ~ 5 1/4" (2 pair)
$27 each (includes shipping)

These squeaky boots are adorable. I have:
brown with multi in size 7 ~ 6" long (1 pair)
red with white polkadots in size 7 ~ 6" long (1 pair)
pink with white polkadots in size 7 ~ 6" long (1 pair)
Multi with white/pink/green in size 7 ~ 6" long (2 pair)
$27 each (includes shipping)

Soft girls butterfly shoes in XL (18-24 months, 15 cm)
$23 (includes shipping)

Soft boys sports shoes in XL (18-24 months, 15 cm)
$23 (includes shipping)

Cute polkadot shoes available in
Pink with white polkadots, size 5 ~ 5.5" (2 pair)
$22 (includes shipping)
Stylin' Zebra Squeaky Shoes, available in
size 3 ~ 5" (1 pair)
$22 (includes shipping)
Sparkly Mary Janes, available in
Black, size 5 ~ 5.5" (1 pair)
Black, size 7 ~ 6" (2 pair)
Silver, size 6 ~ 5 3/4" (2 pair)
$23 (includes shipping)
Adorable Zebra Squeaky Boot
Size 2 ~ 4 7/8" (1 pair)
$27 (includes shipping)
Fuzzy Animal Print Shoe
Size 4 ~ 5 1/4" (2 pair)
$22 (includes shipping)
Boys' Camo Squeaky
Size 1 ~ 4.5" (2 pair)
$22 (includes shipping)

As for tees, I've ordered some as dirty santa exchange gifts because I love them so much!
Wild Olive has two pages of adoption tees available, including a new men's tee and children's tees.  When checking out, please use our family code: JOHNSON704.  Y'all have purchased over 60 tees on our behalf!!!

Happy shopping and thank you so much!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Winner Is...

Jodie Lund, you won the $500 gift card!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to every single person who shared and gave to our fundraiser to bring Khloie home.  We are completely dependent upon the Lord for this journey, and we give Him all the glory and praise.
This fundraiser brought in $257 above the cost of the card, and that will go toward our travel fees.

As promised, those who contributed $50 or more may select a pair of squeaky shoes from this post.
Jennifer FR
Laura M
Linda W
Sasha P
Elisabeth S
Maureen W
Ellen K
Mandi Y
Please email or leave a comment to let me know which pair.

Have a blessed weekend!!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tomorrow ~ $500 Gift Card!!!

Tomorrow, Saturday, December 1 we draw for this little nugget.
Thank you to all who have given.
We have raised slightly more than the cost of the card.
Every dollar beyond 500 helps bring Khloie home!

You may use the Chip-In on the sidebar titled Khloie Coming Home, or email me for other options!
Ends Saturday, December 1
A $10 donation gets you 1 shot
A $20 donation gets you 3 shots, etc.
A share on FB or your blog gets you an additional shot.
If you share, please leave a comment or email me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Our dossier was logged into the CCWCA (or whatever it's called today) on 11/27.
I'm wondering about LOA by New Year's?!?
Seriously, Letter of Acceptance has come anywhere from 26 to 100+ days from LID...
Oh my goodness, hang on baby girl!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

5 days to $500!

Wow, I glanced away from my laundry basket a moment and realized that THIS SATURDAY is December 1!  And that's the day we draw for the $500 Wal-Mart gift card!

We have a small issue - so far we haven't even paid for the gift card.
But I'm not in a panic.
I'm not stressed out.
Although we are a family who has had to fundraise from day one, I don't get anxious over the number on the Chip-In.
We are so grateful to those who give.
We are completely dependent upon the Father.
And every dollar belongs to Him!
It's not yours; it's not ours.
It's His!
And He loves our girl.
He will provide for her to come home.
How do I know?
He provided over $47,000 for our last two Treasures to come home - in 9 months!  Through fundraising, grants and gifts.
He provided $50,000 for our Treasures #7 and 8 to come home, including a $21,000 spaghetti dinner a week before TA!
It's nothing we did.  It's all HIM!
Thank you for journeying with us.
Thank you for praying.
Thank you for spreading the word.
Thank you for giving.
'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." 
Malachi 3:10
Here's the scoop:
You may use the Chip-In on the sidebar titled Khloie Coming Home, or email me for other options!
Ends Saturday, December 1
A $10 donation gets you 1 shot
A $20 donation gets you 3 shots, etc.
A share on FB or your blog gets you an additional shot.
If you share, please leave a comment or email me.

Thank you for helping us bring our girl home.
To God be the glory!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

And Today We Gave Thanks

We thank the Father for the redemptive work He has done and the transforming work He continues to do.
We celebrated with family.
We also celebrated life.
The miraculous life of Kasidi Joy.
Today she turned 3.

Her beginning makes us weep.
Her life makes us rejoice.
Thank you, FATHER!

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