Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

I thought it would be easy...


two of the boys at our church camp...


the other at home with a nasty cold and hoping to head to camp soon...


Yep, thought the trouble makers were "out of the picture"...


so to speak!

bwhahaha

But nooooooo...


They have been corrupted...


these girlies of mine...

Happy Father's Day to the bestest trouble maker of them all!!!


Love that sweet Hubby of mine!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Lucy

Oh sweet Lucy...


you are turning 7? years old...


on a day that you picked cause...


you wanted a pool party.


Oh my darling...


even though we still don't know how old you are...


or what your true birthday is...


it does not matter today...


because today, we celebrate that you have a birthday...


that you are here...


that you are full of compassion and love...


that you are giving and caring and...


determined and inspiring.

video

This year you had both feet and both calves reconstructed...


spent 9 weeks in casts and a wheelchair...


learned how to walk again...


and run...

video

and through it all, never lost your compassion for others!


I saw where you came from...


where you spent so many years of your young life...


I have heard the stories...


and I marvel at how the Lord protected your spirit, your beautiful, caring, compassionate spirit.


I watch as you struggle just to get up out of a chair and walk across a waiting room, to give another child a book to read.

I watch as you give away most of your candy to your siblings.

I watch as you pray for your friends who are still in China.

 I watch as you give and share and laugh and love...


and I know that His army of angels was watching over you long before I got to watch you do any of those things!

Happy Birthday precious Lucy...


you love well and are well loved my sweet one!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Change

On the one hand, I find change to be exciting and fun...

but on the other hand (the more dominant one - heh)...

I like comfortable!

Now, I totally recognize that my current comfortable would have been oh so un-comfortable in my previous life!

However, the Lord has eased me into this new comfortable...

this 7 kid, 4 dog, 2 crazy cat comfortable...

His comfortable...

 and I like it, but...

 I was comfortable and it was, apparently, time for a change.

So, when the call came...

I was not unprepared.

I was still saddened but not shocked...

cause bit by bit, day by day, even night by night (4:00 a.m. every night to be exact)...

He was readying me for this change.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed
1 Corinthians 15:51

I have loved being an adoption advocate for Lifeline Children's Services but my time there as an employee has come to an end.

What a blessing it has been to be able to serve in this way and to be able to serve along side faithful friends who are simply put...

 mighty warriors for the Lord and for all whom they serve!

So, while I am no longer Annie H., International Adoption Advocate for Lifeline Children's Services...

I am still Annie H., Orphan Advocate and I will continue to advocate, until or if He tells me otherwise.

For now, Wonderful Waiting Kids will remain open and active, although maybe a little less active for a while as I spend some much needed time with my family.

Because, I am also Annie H., wife, mother, daughter, friend and lately...

Annie H., "Maggie and Lucy" advocate.

I truly believe that part of this redirection is a gift from Him...

the gift of more time for my family, because He is just so good like that and because...

this one will be a senior next year...


Sigh...

and this one is learning how to drive...


Yikes...

and this one is starting to actually care about the clothes he wears...


sigh and yikes...

and this one can wear my shoes... 


almost...

and this one just needs me...


all the time...

and these two have 4 days of therapy appointments...


every - single - week...

and this one just misses his wife...


and I miss him.

I have loved my time at Lifeline and am awed everyday at all that these amazing people do and how hard they all work, for these children and for the Gospel.

If you have not done so already, please go here to get to know this incredible ministry and read about all that they are doing all over the world as well as right here at home.  Their Unadopted Program is near and dear to my heart and a perfect way to help for those who do not feel called to adopt but still feel the burden for these kiddos!

Yep, change...

not always fun or "feel good" but always an opportunity for continued dependence, trust and growth...

an opportunity to marvel as He just does His thing!

It is times such as this, that you are able to most clearly see His hand in everything, in every circumstance and in every detail.

We may not always, at first, understand the "why" behind change but if that change is His change, then we don't really need to understand, do we, because He never changes.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Beginning and the End

Well, it is that time of year again...

soccer has ended...

school is coming to an end...

and it is time for a little break.

No more getting up before the sun to rush to get everyone ready and out the door for school.

No more juggling after school schedules and therapy appointments with soccer practice and soccer games...

and that is ok for now.

As much as I love watching my kiddos play...

our Saturday mornings have suddenly opened up to pancakes and bacon and it has been so nice!

Em and Lizzie have survived completed their first year of home school and just as with Caleb, we have had our moments of...


 “That's it, I am sending you back to public school next year!”...

*snicker*

but overall, I have just really enjoyed have these two beautiful spirits home with me this year!


They are sweet and funny and helpful and now have me totally hooked on the The Pioneer Woman!

Yum!

We have learned all of the state capitals, learned our multiplication tables, just about completed 2 History and 2 Science text books and finished up with Grammar and Spelling weeks ago!

Whew!

Soccer for the girls ended with an amazing team party, complete with tubing, kayaking and a cook out!




I just love where we get to live!

Maggie and Lucy have another school year done and have made such amazing progress! Hard to believe that not even 2 years ago, these precious ones didn't speak a word of English and had never been to real school!


Maggie has loved being with second grade for a large part of the day and has made some really sweet friends, as well as some really suweet progress!


Baby girl still has a way to go but oh how far she has come!

Lucy's year was interrupted for a while with surgery, casts and wheelchairs and while she had to stay home with us for the duration, she worked so hard and was ready to tackle the world and walking (grin) as soon as those casts came off!



 Chatterbox, I mean Lucy, has even managed to graduate from outside speech therapy!

This determined child has shown us all what it means to trust in the love that surrounds you and allow that love to heal.

My wonderful Caleb has also survived completed his first year back at public school and not just any old public school but one with a bit more rigorous curriculum, which had him taking pre-algebra in the 6th grade!

He rose to the challenge, however, and not only survived but thrived!


Having his Dad and his 2 big brothers there didn't hurt either...




Most of the time anyway...

*wink*

And then there is Charlie! I have said it before and I will say it again...

Charlie just makes me smile...


all the time...


and he is a teenager...

for real...

So while there has been some scary moments...



*gulp*

Charlie's teen years have been, dare I say...

pleasant!

Gasp!

Charlie served on the school's student council, won 2 drama awards (go figure) and made the varsity soccer team...


in the 9th grade!

Our oldest, Christian, will be a senior next year!

sniff sniff

He has grown into such a respectful, hard working young man and we are so proud of the choices that he continues to make...

except that drinking out of the milk jug thing!

bleh!

He has gained such trust and with that I have released (however slowly) some of my grip on him, amazed at the responsibility and seriousness in him.

I was so NOT that serious and responsible at that age!

This year, Christian was elected and served as Student Council President, was elected into the National Honor Society, won an award for Peer Mediation and 2 awards for Spanish 3, competed for and won an amazing internship for the summer and was voted MVP for defense on his soccer team!


He also has a very sweet girlfriend who is beautiful inside and out.


This amazing young lady already has a cause, already has convictions and is just as serious and responsible as her side kick, and...


is a vegetarian..

just like me...

something my dear sweet carnivore Christian used to tease me about.

Those particular chickens, my dear sweet Christian, are coming home to roost – not roast!

Bwhahahahaha!!!

Then there is my wonderful Hubby, whose heart has grown in such amazing and beautiful ways.


He has also survived completed his first year of teaching Geometry!

He was an immediate hit with the kids and turned out to be an amazing teacher, as someone (not to name names – ahem), knew he would be!

So proud of my Mr. H.!


Praying the Lord will provide the way for you to continue to do what you feel you are supposed to be doing right now, and what your fellow teachers tell you, you should be doing...

cause I may not get math much past the 5th grade but I do know enough to know that...

 teacher's salary + family of 9 = not possible

however, we all know that with God...

nothing is impossible!

Then there is little old me.

I have some how managed to survive complete another year of home schooling, another year of advocacy, as well as advocacy for my girls, another year of watching helplessly as my kids grow bigger and stronger...


That is just not right y'all...

and another year full of opportunities for trust and for growth.

It has not always been easy but it has always been blessed and now there is another change on the immediate horizon for me...

one that I am having to give over to Him and trust that this particular ending is leading to a brand new beginning.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
Ecclesiastes 3:1

more on this later

So while it is the end of the school/soccer year...

it is the beginning of summer and I cannot wait to see what His summer plans for us are!

Happy Summer Y'all