Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Thankful

As I sit here tonight, I am reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.

Given what has happened with our family, financially over the last 2 years, it could be very hard and it could be a daily struggle to stay thankful.

However, I am thankful for so many things.

I am thankful when I see my girls hold hands as they walk together to their friend's house.

I am thankful when the kids use good manners.

I am thankful for a beautiful 70 degree day in November...

and I am thankful for our struggles.

Yep, I said it!

I am thankful for all of the financial struggles that the past 2 years have brought.

Why, you might ask?

Well, without these struggles, we might never know to be thankful for hands that are held, well said "yes mam's" or a beautiful day.

It is funny how these struggles, these things that can make us so ungrateful, can make you so incredibly grateful, can totally change the way you look at life and what is important in your life and what the Lord tells you is important in your life.

Don't get me wrong, we are still so, so much better off than so many here in this country and certainly all over the world, yet these are our struggles and struggles they are but God has shown me how to be thankful and God has shown me so much of what I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for this guy...

My dear sweet hubby who loves me for me, with all my craziness and "emotionalness" or should I say "emotional-mess!"  LOL!  He is having to say "no" to me right now on something that means the world to me and I know how much that is tearing him up inside and I know how much he wants to say "yes" because...

He LOVES me and I am thankful!

I am thankful for my eldest child, Christian

who just tonight told me that he had watched a documentary on teens who had no parents and how thankful he was to have us and how it "moved" him.  I was reminded again tonight what a good and kind heart my teenager has, what a responsible nature and deep, deep soul.  We had a long talk, a good talk and I am thankful!

I am thankful for my Charlie

who makes me smile just by being in the room and brightens my day, every day and who still (at 11 years old) will come to me for a hug and grab my hand as we walk along, who would rescue every single stray that his momma doesn't (heh).  Charlie knows when I need something and is always right there to give it and I am thankful!

I am thankful for my Caleb

who has a heart so large that it really takes my breath away sometimes.  Caleb who upon hearing that his oldest brother needed money to pay for something, gave him his last $12 and these days, around here, $12 might as well be $100!  Caleb who has also offered to give me all if his money to help bring another child home, "cause I know how expensive it is, Mom and we need to bring another sister home."  I am speechless and I am thankful.

I am thankful for my sweet Emmeline

who is the epitome of "be careful what you ask for!"  Hehe!  Em is part "pink loving" girly girl who wants so desperately to be a mommie and part "don't mess with me or I will hurt you" tomboy, with a heart of gold!  My sweet Em who at 3 years old wanted to bring home all the babies so that "they would all have mommies and daddies."  My sweet Em who can give her sister such grief but the minute Lizzie starts to struggle or cry, my girly tomboy will be right by her sister's side to try and make it all better and I am thankful!

I am thankful for my precious Lizzie

who has changed the course and purpose of my life.  My sweet Lizzie who tells me 10 times a day, "I love you Mommie," even when she is struggling.  My amazing daughter who inspires my heart and touches my soul every single day, who will, with joy in her heart, give away her last treasure, trusting that there will be more treasures to come.  My beautiful Lizzie who refuses to be defined by her fingers and toes but by her heart, makes me thankful!

So, you see, despite the struggles and even because of the struggles, I am incredibly blessed and so very, very thankful.  I am fabulously wealthy,  beyond what money can buy and I AM THANKFUL!

What are you thankful for?

To read more Sunday Snapshots go here,

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

What I am thankful for:

Five kids...

Five dogs...

a very big truck (although perhaps not quite big enough) and ...

headphones to keep my sweet hubby sane!  Hehe!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Swimming

Ever heard of Christmas in July??

Well how about swimming in November???

Yes, it is the week before Thanksgiving and it was a brisk 80 something degrees here, so after a hot afternoon of soccer...

The girls figured it was time to go swimming...

in November


right before Thanksgiving

turkey who???

it was hot

and that was all it took

for a 20 minute quick trip back to summer

tomorrow may bring coats and scarfs but today

was all about bathing suits and swimming pools!! 

and where were the boys you might ask???

Not here!  Heh!

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Lost but NOT found - by us!

Can you believe it????

This adorable yet really dirty little kitten was found at one of our soccer games this season

and guess what???

He did NOT come home with us!!!!


Note relieved laughter!

Another kind hearted family gave this little one a home!

Thank goodness!

Sometimes in doggie and kitty rescue, you feel like you are the only one who does crazy stuff like take in lost little kittens or abandoned doggies.

It does my heart good everytime I hear of another sweet soul getting rescued...

especially by a family other than ours!!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving - Really???

OK so WOW!

It is almost Thanksgiving!!!

How did that happen???

Wasn't it just Halloween???

I am the kids are still eating their Halloween candy!

How can it almost be Thanksgiving??


Time marches on!

So, just as I put up the Halloween lights and I am the kids are finishing up the remnants of their Halloween candy, the girls have their Thanksgiving Day program at school!

Em was a Native American...

Princess, if you ask her!  Heh!

and Lizzie....

Well my precious little Lizzie was a


and happy to be one, I must say!  Hehe!

I was so thankful for my princess and my turkey and so proud of both of them but...

The one thing that truly made me thankful was finding out that my little turkey is more than likely going to be released from the school's Special Ed program!!!

Yep, that little turkey has gone and done so well at school and at life, that her Special Ed teachers and her Kindergarten teachers think she would be better served spending her entire day, every day with her mainstream kindergarten class.

Oh boy is my little turkey going to gobble this up!!  (sorry - heh)

She hated being pulled from her mainstream class to go to her Special Ed classes - but shhhhhh!

It is not quite official yet and you don't want to spoil the surprise!!!

Way to go my little turkey lurkey! 

I knew those broken wings would eventually heal and you would soar!

I know, I know, turkeys don't fly...

but apparently this one does, with a little help from her turkey day twin!!!

Love my girls!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Room #6

So Thursday started out to be like any other day.

I sent the girls off to school.

I drove the older boys to school.

I got Caleb started on his Math test...

and then...

I answered my phone...

I should have known when I saw the number...

I KNEW when I heard her voice...

"Mrs. Hamlin, this is L--- H---, I am here with Emmeline - in the nurse's office...

"in the nurse's office"

Never a good thing!

At this point you know that you are either going to be dealing with a vomiting child or a bleeding child and with my kids, with the exception of one who tends to vomit when he just thinks he might have a fever, if you chose bleeding...

you would be right!!!

Now, here is the toughie!

Can you guess which child tried to get out of school by bleeding profusely from the head???

No peaking!!

If you have read my blog for a while, you might just be able to guess which child had a fight with his/her desk

and lost!

Which child might, how shall I say this, be a bit more inclined to end up at the nurse's office bleeding so badly that his/her Mom (that would be I) had to be called away from her perfectly peaceful morning routine??

Well, here is a hint.

It is not this one, believe it or not,

but it might as well have been!

Got it now???

Well, if you guessed this one...

You would be right!!!!

Yes, little Miss Emmeline decided that she just had to follow in the foot steps of her brothers, her "twin" brother to be exact!

So, off we go to the local urgent care, who honestly should know us by name and have a dedicated wing just for our kids!  Heh!

Dear Miss Em ended up in the same exact bed, the same exact room, room #6, as did her "twin" when he decided to wipe up the road with his face!

Ah yes, room #6, I remember it well.  What memories!! 

We were treated to popcorn and soda and chips and prizes and...


Yep, Miss Em decided that even though her injuries didn't require a CT scan or an MRI as did her "twin's," she figured she would "out stitch" him by 3 whole stitches!

but with all the chips and popcorn and prizes and soda that you can handle, who cares about 5 little stitches!

I am surprised we didn't end up back at the local urgent care later that night with tummy aches!

My kids spent the rest of the day banging their heads up against the wall trying to get me to take them back!!

I am on to you, urgent care place!!!

So that was out little stroll down memory lane in room #6.

I spent the rest of the day trying to keep her quiet!

Yeah right!

Once again, Miss Em has proven that she is...


Sigh!!!  Hehe!

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I know all of my wonderful followers recognize that name and surely will recognize this sweet face

Precious Blossom's new Momma, Pam, is asking for prayer tomorrow, prayer for patience as she feels the longing to bring her child home and prayer for provision to begin her homestudy. 

I am asking that you might help spread the word to donate, help Pam with fundraising ideas, share her link, Along the Blossom Trail with your friends or simply pray for this family!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


OK, I know Halloween was last week but I was a bit obsessed consummed with Orphan Sunday and getting ready for Orphan Sunday and talking to Kim about Orphan Sunday (and everything else under the sun - hehe). 

Bottom line - I neglected my Halloween pics.

So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to

Miss Em...

my WILD CAT - her words not mine, although she got an "amen" on that one!!!  Hehe!

Miss Lizzie...

my sweet Polar Bear, who didn't growl all night - not even her tummy which was FULL of candy!

Young Master Caleb...

my stealthy Ninja who protected our candy loot for us all night!

And the older two...

who are probably TOO OLD TO GO TRICK OR TREATING!  I never know who they are suppossed to be and I don't think they do either!!!  Heh!  But it is the call of the candy that prompts them to don old army jackets and camoflage face paint:)

We started the night helping out at our Church's festival. 

Take a look at the little helper in the background

yeah, you better run!  hehe!

They put us in charge of the dart game!
Yep, you heard me they put darts in the hands of our kids and then put them in charge no less!!  LOL!

It was fun though and no one was injured and it was a great way to start our night, our LONG night, cause ya know we had to make up for the time spent at the church festival and trick or treat long after the face paint started to fade away!!

It was a fun night and I am certain that all the Peanut M & M's I ate got burned off with ALL the walking we did!!!  That is what I am telling myself anyway!!  Heh!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Orphan Sunday and a Way to Help

Last year for Orphan Sunday, I wrote this post, Sunday Snapshot - Orphan Sunday

Please go read it as I do not think I could say it any better this year and...

I had no time THIS year...

THIS year, I got to put the rubber to the road, so to speak.

THIS year, I got to DO something and what a blessing it was for me! 

THIS year, my dear friends, Kim and Angie, and I decided to hold our own Orphan Sunday presentation.

THIS year we made prayer cards for many of the kiddos that we have been adovcating for, many of the kiddos who have waited so, so long for a family.

THIS year we gathered agency packets and we armed oursleves with statistics and cold, hard facts and our own personal adoption experiences.

THIS year we got to see, first hand, hearts being moved in this small little church, in this church full of beautiful families with such hearts for orphans. 

I have already gotten an email from the wonderful family who chose precious Ty's prayer card (HIV positive and listed with Lifeline) and DREW'S prayer card.  My sweet Drew, whom I have been advocating for, for so long. 

Watching the Lord move through this room was humbling and amazing and I cannot wait to watch what He will do for some of these wonderful children.

THIS year, I also want to tell you how you can help. 

There are so many children who need families, so many children who long for a Mom and Dad of their own,  so many children who watch all their friends go home while they continue to wait and sadly many of those children never find their forever families, but...

There are a few very special families that I want to tell you about. 

A few families who are making a difference.

A few families who are making ONE LESS!

There are 4 families who are right now, busy fundraising to bring their children home, children who will be orphans no more.

Four families who took that leap of faith to answer the Lord's call, totally trusting that He would provide all that they needed to make one less orphan in the world, one less child who will go to bed without a Mommie and a Daddy to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight, one less child who will wait and wonder if they will ever know that kind of love.

Let me begin with a child who has been on my heart and on my site for a very long time. 

Sweet Blossom is finally coming home and coming home to a beautiful Momma named Pam. 

If you have been following my site for a while, you know that sweet Blossom has severe CP and will require lifelong care. 

Does that worry sweet Pam? 

Absolutely not, as a matter of fact, it may have been one of the things that drew Pam to Blossom. 

You see, Pam's job is working with adults with severe special needs and she is ready, willing (oh so willing) and able to give precious Blossom the care that she needs.

However, like so many families, Pam does not have the money that she needs to bring her beautiful daughter home.

Please go to  Along the Blossom Trail and prayerfully consider helping Pam bring precious Blossom home.  She has only raised $40 of the $4000 needed to complete her home study and sweet Blossom has waited long enough!

The next family I would like to feature is a sweet friend who, after just getting home with their beautiful daughter, Avi, found out about another precious little one in Eastern Europe who has CP (like sweet Avi) and will not survive without a family.

Do you remember THIS POST

Do you remember sweet Lilianna?

Liliana is an 11 year old child who weighs 10 pounds and is lanquishing in an orphanage in Eastern Europe.

Liliana found a family, Praise God, and my sweet friends found Mariana.

Mariana is in the same orphanage as Liliana

on the same floor as Liliana

is 5 years old and weighs 10 pounds

and now has a family just as Liliana does! 

Please go to their first blog, Mariana Orphan Fund and consider buying a T shirt or simply donating to help rescue this beautiful child.

My next family is a family whom I have met, a family with whom I have prayed for and with and who have prayed for me and all the beautiful children who tug at my heart.

Sharon has 2 beautiful little girls from China and is now in the process of bringing home adorable John Wesley.

Precious John Wesley has Spina Bifida and is being cared for in an orphanage that just cannot met his needs.

Sweet Sharon has been working so incredibly hard to bring their son home and has some pretty terrific fundraisers going on right now.

Please go to Our Family Our Story and check out all the great things Sharon is doing, like these wonderful T shirts:

How cute is that!  Please help bring sweet John Wesley home!

Lastly, I have to tell you about my dear friend, Angie, who was with us today at Orphan Sunday.

Angie and her sweet hubby, Tom, just got home with their wonderful 14 year old son, Colin.

Remember this post, Colin is Home when I got to be at the airport for this amazing homecoming!

Angie and Tom had never seriously discussed adoption before but as soon as they saw Colin's face, they knew that this is what the Lord was asking them to do.

So, they set out to do the impossible - bring their son home in record time - before he aged out for good.

The Lord loves this kind of stuff and boy did He ever come through for this wonderful, faithful family. 

Doors were opened and provisions sent to move mountains and bring this child home.

So now, they are on another "impossible" journey...

To bring their son Cameron home

Cameron has been on Angie's heart even before sweet Colin came home and the Lord just kept making it very clear to her that He wanted them to go back.

He wanted them to bring Cam home too!

So, after only being home for a couple of months, they are sprinting to the January first deadline, the date that precious Cameron ages out - forever!

Please go to The Ryland's Family Adventure to check out all of Angie's efforts to bring their newest son home or simply donate and watch the Lord do the "impossible!"

I have to end this post with the names and pictures of the children whose cards did not get chosen today and just ask that you pick a child, email me for more details, if you would like to, and just pray for this child, advocate for this child and be blessed by this child.










and sweet Brennon

Of course, I cannot end this post without 2 very powerful videos.  Please watch and pray and advocate for all the orphans all over the world, who without you have no hope, no future, no love and no family.

Hope is Fading – Orphan Sunday from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

Please help...

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