Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving - the day after

Nope, this post is not about how swollen our bellies were the day after, even though they were!

This post Thanksgiving post is all about where we took those swollen bellies...
right to the farm!
This was Maggie's and Lucy's first trip to my brother's farm....

and they loved it!

From the chickens

to the pigs

to the horses...

they had a great "day after"

and I was very thankful!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for this year...
we spent the day at my Mom's...

and I didn't have to cook...
the boys got to see their cousins and play BB...
and I didn't have to cook...

Maggie and Lucy had their first Thanksgiving...

and I didn't have to cook...

the kids just had so much fun together...

and I didn't have to cook!!!!


but I wasn't feeling very thankful when it came time to get the kids together for a picture!
I mean, is it too much to ask to just get one decent group shot???
Just one????
Every year around this time, I expect that our annual Christmas picture, complete with kids and animals, is going to be hard and is going to produce lots of "out-takes"...
Christmas 2012

So I don't know why I was surprised that our attempt at a group pic, complete with our kids and cousins would be any better.
There may not have been any actual animals in the pics but they sure did act like animals!
At first, I thought this one was the one...
but then I took a closer look...
don't exactly know who my nephew was looking at, but it sure wasn't me!  Must have been a really cute girl standing right behind me!


So, I settled on this one

not perfect but it will have to do, cause I am not doing that again until...



Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Artist and the Soccer Star

So, you all know by now that our weekends are usually filled with soccer.

Even with only two playing this season, it still makes for a busy weekend of games.

Lucy and Maggie cheered on their siblings very soon after coming home and as long as there were snacks and water bottles to be had, they were all in, right from the start.


Now, early on, we noticed that Lucy seemed completely intrigued by the whole soccer thing.  So much so that she wanted to play soccer as well as watch soccer.

She has gotten so much stronger since coming home and can now (sometimes) kick a soccer ball around for at least 5 minutes before falling down!

That is HUGE y'all!

So now, while her siblings are playing soccer...

you can usually find Lucy kicking the soccer ball around.

Talk about inexpensive PT!

Love it!

I put no limits on you baby girl!  Continue to kick that soccer ball my sweet girl and any other obstacle that might get in your way!

No expectations but no limits!

Now Maggie, while also enjoying playing soccer (or football) 

while cheering her siblings on, seems to be more the artist!

That girl would draw, color, do worksheets or anything that involves markers or crayons and paper, all day long!

Heck, if she doesn't have any paper, she has been known to color on walls...

but we won't go there right now!


We have done so much since they came home 3 months ago.

Thank goodness they both enjoy doing "school" with Mommie and they have made such progress.  

I must admit, the task of teaching these two seemed daunting to say the least but witnessing as their minds begin to open and learn and crave more, has been incredible!

Maggie's favorite, favorite thing to do though, is draw and y'all just about every single picture is of us...


One of the few times, her pic was not of us, it was full of hearts.  Maggie told me that it meant...


Love you too sweet girl!

These two awesome little girls have put my heart in places that were uncomfortable and unexpected but through it all...

there is love...

just sweet, revealing, blossoming, healing love!

So in the middle of the hard places...

and there have been many...

our hearts grow

our faith grows

and we begin to understand the true blessings of this life.

I have no doubt that as Lucy and Maggie heal, their journeys will continue to touch our spirits and inspire our hearts.  

I think about where sweet Lizzie's journey has brought us and cannot even imagine where the Lord is taking us now but I have no doubt, it will be somewhere amazing!

Welcome home my precious daughters.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Blessings

So the bad news...

Hubby got laid off.

I know...


The good news...

Here we grow again!

No, not the size of the family...

I know that's what you were thinking!


Growing in a way that will make us stronger.

Growing our trust in Him.

Growing our dependance on Him.

Growing our faith!

Not to say, there have not been moments since last week that I haven't thought...

Really Lord??




I mean it's not like we just brought two special needs little girls home from China, going from 5 to 7 kiddos and oh yeah, Christmas is right around the corner!

40 days to be exact!






I just have to trust that He knows "why" and that He will use this to grow us and strengthen us and secure our feet on His path!

He has already started blessing us in ways that make me excited for the road ahead.

Yep, excited.

I know that sounds funny cause well, you know, the whole "no job" thing but I tell ya, watching Him work is just - yep - exciting!

He showed me this a few days after Hubby was laid off.

Just 2 or 3 days after we got the news...

this was my devotional for the day...

Um, ok, Lord, I don't feel abundantly blessed right now...

it sure doesn't feel like a time of ease and refreshment or lush meadows and I was almost offended (I never learn) that He would choose to show me that particular devotional - until...

until I read the scriptures at the bottom.

Notice Psalm 23

I know this is a very famous Psalm but it was particularly significant for me that morning because just the night before, my sweet Emmeline asked if she could pick out and read a passage from her Bible and guess which passage it was???

You got it!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Even though things look difficult, oh so difficult and our path is rocky right now..
I will not fear.
I know You are with us.
You are comforting us and I have no doubt that You are preparing and working for us right now and I get how blessed we are...
not in the way the world understands blessings but blessed none the less. 
And the biggest blessing of all...
Hubby is finally HOME!
After a very looooong year of Hubby working all week, every week in a neighboring state...
He is HOME!

Thank you Lord for constantly knocking me upside the head reminding me how blessed we are!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

An Answer...

I was going to blog about Wednesday.

I was going to blog about Wednesday and how disappointed we were in the non-answers we received.

The girls had their big Neurology appointment on Wednesday and we were so hoping to hear "an answer".

We wanted a, "this what is wrong and this is what we are going to do about it" answer.

We wanted an answer as to why sweet Maggie cannot control her precious little body.

We wanted to hear that with good physical therapy, Lucy would one day run!

That is not what we heard though and we were left feeling saddened by what our girls might have to overcome or simply learn to deal with as they grow up.

Once again, I found myself feeling un-equipped for what we heard or did not hear.

There was just no "answer"...

or at least not the answer that we wanted...

and that was hard and left me feeling discouraged - but then...

 He answered

 and He answered in the way that He knew would penetrate my heart the most.

After the business of the rest of the day, my sweet Lizzie...

you know the one whom we thought might have the toughest time adjusting to her new sisters, the one whom we thought might not want to share us...
 or her stuff!

Yep, the Lord used that Lizzie to give me an answer but it wasn't an answer to our "what is wrong" question but more an answer to "what is right".

There is a question that comes up about our adoptions (spoken and unspoken).

It is a question that many adoptive families get, especially those who have adopted multiple times.

How will this affect your other children?


Don't get me wrong, I totally get that most people ask this out of genuine concern for our children but it still makes me sigh.

The Lord gave me an answer though as sweet Lizzie chose this day to show us what she had been writing in her journal at school.

Interpretation - "I love you Maggie and Lucy so much!!  They have cerebral palsy.  For Maggie, it affects her talking.  For Lucy, it affects her walking.  Lucy is like Charlie (loud - hehe).  I LOVE YOU MAGGIE AND LUCY!"

Yep, she had written about her sisters and about her big family and about how much she loved us - all of us and there was my answer.

Not the answers we had hoped for that day but the answer that really mattered.

Love, just love, unconditional and totally accepting.

I saw it in the face of our Emmeline that day on the beach.

You all remember those pics right?

Those beautiful pictures of Em realizing that her sister, Lucy, who walks very slowly and unsteadily had been left behind...

 and the joy that radiated from Em's sweet face as she went back to get her was my answer.

It was not a burden for sweet Em, but a joy.

A moment that was not lost on me and one that I use to remind myself of the blessings that have been gifted to us.

I was reminded again today as we watched our precious Lizzie play soccer.

After watching this amazing child just tear up that soccer field, our precious Lucy insisted that she walk across that field, all by herself, so that she could give her Lizzie a hug!  The look on Lizzie's face as she watched her sweet sister struggle to get across that field and walk right into her arms was all the answer I needed!

So, yes, growing our family through adoption has indeed affected our other children.  By allowing them to tap into to those precious fruits of the Spirit, they are learning (and are teaching me) that just loving unconditionally, without an "answer"...

 is the best answer of all!

  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 

 His answers aren't always what we would like them to be but they are always the best answers and trusting in that is a constant work in progress for me but what blessings come from waiting on Him and staying on that sometimes rocky path!

Praising You in the good times and in the tough times Lord!