Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - What I am thankful for...

As I think about Thanksgiving and all that I have to be thankful for, all the whining and complaining and worrying that I have done over the past year seem like such a waste of energy and time and well just plain ungrateful!  Yep, we have been through our share of financial struggles over the past year and yep, it has been hard and yep, it has been stressful and yep, it has been a trial, but...

It has also been a journey, a beautiful journey that has brought us closer to God and has brought us closer to each other and has shown us what it means to be grateful and has shown us very clearly all that we have to be grateful for. 

This journey, this beautiful journey has taught us what it is to have faith, not just I believe in God so I have faith, kind of faith but the kind of faith that allows you to let God take it all and trust that He knows what you do not and that His plan IS the perfect plan and that no matter what, He has got your back! 

So as weird as it sounds, this year, I am most thankful for the struggles, I am most thankful for the hard times and I am most thankful for the trials because without those, we might still be going about our day as we were - walking beside Him but not holding His hand, not allowing Him to lead us.  It is still a journey and we are still learning but the miracles that I have seen ever since my eyes were opened and ever since I have bit by bit, given it all to Him have been well, miraculous! 

Of course, I am also thankful for all the blessings in my life like crock pots and frozen pizza, vacuum cleaners and anti-bacterial wipes, like duel controlled electric blankets, clothes that last long enough to actually be handed down and king sized beds.  I am thankful for my coupon clipping grocery shopping, I can stock the pantry AND save money,  hubby.  I am thankful for things like hair color, pony tail holders and 2 in one shampoo, things like washable marker and durable slip covers.  I am thankful for my precious pets - and carpet shampoo!  I am thankful for my boys who know how to change a flat tire and my girls who constantly remind me to pray - for patience!  Hehe!!

I do have so much to be thankful for and this Thanksgiving I was able to spend with just about all of my family



my crazy





wonderful


family!

Thank you Lord for opening my eyes to what I have and as I tell my children, to think more about what we DO have and not what we DON'T have, because in the end, the things that we have had this past year, this really hard year, are the things that matter the most and the things that I am most thankful for!

To join in on Sunday Snapshot go here


Ni Hao Y'all

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Super Mother Powers

Apparently that is how I know everything!

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Hey, I need those "super mother powers" to battle forces like this:






Pretty formidable, wouldn't you say????  Hehehe!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Mousey!!!

Remember this Sunday Snapshot, Mousey?  Still, when I go back and read that post, I cry!  Still, Lizzie would tell me every day, how much she misses her beloved Mousey!  Still, Lizzie prays for Mousey every night!  The loss for Lizzie (and me) was so much more than just the loss of a stuffed mouse.  It went much deeper than that and stirred up feelings within myself that I had no idea ran so deep.  For my sweet Lizzie it was another deep loss and a loss of a connection to a time when she was finally held and sang to and cuddled and kissed and loved once again! 

Then there was that glimmer of hope.  Remember this Sunday Snapshot, The Great Mousey Hunt?  After loosing mousey again in an Ebay auction, I think I began to understand the depth of loss I felt for my daughter.  Yeah, it was just a stuffed pink mouse but to me, it represented the greatest loss in her life and I felt completely helpless to "fix it" for my child.   I - broke - down!

The one beautiful thing that came out of all this loss was the response I received from all of you!!!!  It really touched my heart.  So many of you all searched and searched for another pink mousey for my Lizzie!  It was amazing!  You all are amazing!!!

Well, one very special person who just happen to read about Lizzie beloved lost mousey, decided that she just had to do something - and - do - something - she - did!  Kathryn read about mousey and emailed me.  She explained that she belonged to a knitting group and she just knew that her one of her immensely talented friends would be able to knit a mousey twin for sweet Lizzie.  To say that my broken Momma's heart leaped for joy, would be such an understatement!!!  I was beside myself thinking that my sweet girl and her beloved mousey would once again be together, that this little stuffed mouse who meant so much to Lizzie (and me) would finally be here again to comfort and remind my Lizzie of the time when her heart began to heal and her life began to change and she - was - once - again - loved! 

Well, after many emails back and forth...

 Are you ready????

video

Lizzie and Mousey are reunited!!!

And a small part of Lizzie's heart (and mine) is healed!

video

This is what I saw when I checked on the girls before bed...


Mousey will never heal Lizzie's whole heart but for now, all is right in Lizzie land and as my sweet girl told me last night, "Mom, now when it's thundering, I can just hold mousey and hug her and I won't be scared anymore!"  Oh sweet girl, I pray that the comfort you learn from mousey and all that she represents will help to comfort your heart - always.  I pray she will help you to remember the time that love was once again found for you. 

Thank you so much Kathryn and everyone who reached out to my sweet girl.  You have done so much more than simply replacing a lost lovey.  You have replaced that beautiful connection to the time in Lizzie's life that love began.

To read more wonderful Sunday Snapshots go here,



Ni Hao Y'all

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Soccer is over???

So why do we continue to play????






We had our last soccer games this weekend and the very last game happen to be in my hometown, so we decided to descend spend the night with my Mom.  My parents anniversary was November the 15th and because we lost my Dad in September of last year, I just felt like Mom might need us there. 

Well, it turns out that WE needed to be there!

We have been going through some stressful times financially and really needed to just relax and enjoy each other for a while.






So, we played soccer - all - of - us



and it was FUN




and we enjoyed each other



We even tried to master the donkey scorpion kick





ALL - of - us!!!


Hehe!!!

So as it often happens, in doing something for someone else, we ended up feeling pretty good too!

Thank you Mom and we hope that just laughing at watching your 47 year old daughter try a scorpion kick, helped just a little!

I know the kids had nothin to do with it, right?




Riiiiiight?  Hehe!  Love you Mom!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Ways to Help

So I was planning on doing this Sunday Snapshot on my sweet Caleb, but because it would have been loaded with unabashed Mommie brag and because I just subjected y'all to some heavy duty Mommie brag on my last post, A Beautiful Soul, I decided to go a different way today!

I don't know if you all are aware of a wonderful family who is desperately trying to save a young man from aging out of China's system.  This precious young man is 13 and will be 14 in January.  Janis and her family have been given a second chance at bringing this beautiful child home, but they have to act quickly and they need to raise the funds to do so!  Time is of the essence and time is running out for this child.  If you have been reading my advocacy posts lately, you will recognize him.


He is ZL and he loves computers and he needs a family.  Please, please prayerfully consider donating to this child's future.  Janis has a chip in on her blog, We're Taking Baby Steps .  Even a small amount will help to give this child a family.

There is another family who is trying to save another precious soul from aging out.  Regina and her family were in the process of adopting Alyssa, a beautiful 7 year old girl when they saw "Helen" listed with MAA and then saw that she was about to age out as well. 


God spoke to their hearts and now "Helen" is Mandi and Regina and her family will add TWO daughters to their beautiful family.  Regina has had several different fundraisers on her blog but right now it's all about T-shirts!  T-shirts for those who have heart for orphans!  Please go to their blog, here to donate and check out their cool shirts.

I also want to mention Anita and her beautiful family.  They are hard at work fundraising to bring their sweet Kaleb home!


Anita is having a really great fundraiser right now with prizes like an Ipod Touch and a Visa gift card, just to mention a couple!  Ya gotta go to their blog, He Leads Us - Faith Walking To Kaleb and check it out!  This one ends on November 20th! 

Another wonderful family I want to mention is my friend Chelsea.  This family I posted about in this week's advocacy post.  They adopted their beautiful Claire from China and are now fundraising to bring their sweet Asher home.


Please go here on my blog to read about this fabulous giveaway.  It is for an iPad and if you leave me a comment on this post, you could win a really yummy cookie bouquet!!!  Please go check it out!

Also gotta ask you to consider my beautiful friend Stephanie and her fundraising efforts.  Just like Chelsea and her family, Stephanie and her family have already adopted a daughter with CP and are now in the process of bringing home another precious little girl with CP.  Stephanie has been a source of inspiration and support for me and I have loved watching God provide for this family.  Please consider helping this family and their beautiful Kristina.  Stephanie does not have a blog but you can email her at stephanie.carpenter@lifelineadoption.org to find out about their bake sale and their fab T-shirts too!!!

Can't stop until I mention 2 other sweet families who are trying to raise the money needed to bring their precious children home.

First is Micheal's family.

Please go here to check out their on going fundraisers!!

and last is my wonderful friend Rachel and her family.  They are trying to raise the money needed to bring their sweet Josiah home.


Josiah is a precious little boy who touches everyone he meets.  Josiah has no function in his arms and 2 clubfeet.  He cannot walk but uses his precious feet to do the things for himself that his hands cannot.  Please go to their blog, Waiting on Him to donate to this beautiful boy and his family's efforts to bring him home!

Thank you so much for considering these wonderful families as they follow God's will to bring their precious children home - and don't worry, the Mommie brag will be back for next week's Sunday Snapshot!!!  Didn't think you would get off that easy, did ya???  Hehe!

To read more Sunday Snapshots go here,


Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Beautiful Soul

Remember this guy??



You know, the one with all the hair???


Yeah, well turning into an official teenager must have messed with his mind, just look at what he did!!!


Hehe!!!  Looks good, don't ya think????

Know what else this teenager did??  Warning - big time Mommie brag time!!

In a world where you seem to hear about all the challenges our children face (there are so many) and in a time where you seem to hear all the bad things our youth are involved in, I know there are those kids out there who have values and empathy and principles - so many more than we think. 

How do I know?

I know because I see it around me.  Have you read Tammy's blog, Country Girl at Home?  Her teenage daughter, Joy is doing some wonderful advocacy work - on - her - own!  Amazing!

How do I know?

I know because I am raising one of those teenagers. 

Christian got his first real job this fall.  He is working on the Jr. Cotillion staff, helping to demonstrate dances and etiquette and such! 


As I have said here before, I give that credit to his Grandmothers, cause I just don't know nothin bout that etiquette stuff!  I mean, in this house even the girls think bodily noises are funny!  I know - no hope!  Hehe!

Anyway, the other night, Christian was working at Cotillion and they were practicing different dances.  There were more girls than boys that night and Christian was the stand in.  As it so often happens, there was one girl who never got picked.  Sigh!  Because Christian was the stand in, he would get paired with this sweet child every time.  As they were dancing, she looked at him and asked that heartbreaking question, "Why does this always happen to me?  Why don't I ever get picked?"

Do you know what my teenage son did???

He told this hurt child that she was a really good dancer.  He told her that the boys didn't want to look like they didn't know what they were doing and that is the only reason they didn't pick her!!!! 

Oh my!!  My heart just about burst right out of my chest!!  Not only did he know that she was hurting but he knew just what to say to her!  To say that I was proud doesn't really seem sufficient. 

I really can't take credit for the empathetic boy that he is.  I think that is something that is just born into a person, something that is a part of their soul. 

I can, however, shout to the world how thankful I am that God gave me the blessing that is my sweet Christian!  I just cannot wait to see where that beautiful soul takes him!