Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To lighten things up a bit

And now, for a not so spiritual or deep post, here's what's going on at our home.  Hudson has deposited large unsavory deposits in the tub during his bath, THREE times in a week and a half.  Not fun! I'm wondering if our bathwater has magic powers that promote peristalsis?

Good thing he is so cute.  I'm tellin ya, he gets so many kisses on the cheeck(face!), love pats, love bites and such from me that sometimes I think I really can eat him up.  Here is Mr. Thunder Thighs himself!  As you can see,  no appetitie probs.

Today we are having a Toddler United Nations convention at our home.  My dear friend brought over her 2 toddlers to play.  They are both 2.  Eva recently came home from Haiti and Jordan is African-American, adopted at birth. 

Are they not adorable(well, Hudson is looking like Uhhh, this girl is stealin my camera time!).  Jordan, the little boy, didn't want his picture taken.  He was way too into the choochoos.  It was wonderful to talk with a friend who loves missions, loves Haiti, loves adoptions and loves to live all out for Jesus, even if it is counter-culture.

As they were leaving, my sister dropped off her daughter and her foster son, both of whom are half Hispanic.  So, at one time we had toddlers from 3 different countries and 3 different skin tones.  Talk about beautiful!!!!
I'm watching Melody's kids while she and her husband go to our friend's funeral out of town.  You should have seen  lunch time.  It was like feeding time at the zoo.  Aspen has some feeding issues so I was chasing her down and coaxing each bite.  Meanwhile, Hudson and Lil Man(can't use his name) were hanging their mouths open wanting me to shovel it in faster.

Currently the boys are both asleep.  Aspen is on my bed rearranging my pillows.  I keep going in there and saying "Aspen, it is time for night-night."  When I come in the door, she throws herself face down like she's been lying down the whole time.  :)  This should be one intersting day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Uh oh, she's got new books and lots of passion!

Yipee, I've got new books to read and be inspired by!  Susie lent me a book called The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg.  I'm only on the 4th chapter, but it is really cool so far.  The author is a free spirit and had an unusual upbringing AND is a woman!  I love to read wonderful and challenging(think--not cheesy!) books by women.  I knew I'd like it when she stated this in the first chapter
   I can't be the only one who looks at the seemingly rich buffet of everything this world has to offer and loses my appetite, because even with countless provisions, friends, and activities-many of which are not only good but could be classified as goldly-I can't shake this sense that there's more.
 The hunger growls that there's more of God not only to uncover but to discover.

My dear friends told me about Pastor David Platt and his new book coming out.  I'm giving you advanced notice--If you thought I was a bit on the edge and outspoken about things before, after I read this book, I might be really wild! ;)  It is called Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream  Oh, I cannot wait to sink my teeth into that one!  If anyone out there has read these or wants to jump in and share about your walk with Christ and how you are being challenged, please drop me a comment. 

It seems that God is drawing Mike and I out.  When I say out, I don't necessarily mean packing up and moving to Africa.  I just mean  more out of the worldly junk that surrounds us!  It is like he is giving us a great glimpse of what life looks like when you totally live to please Him.  I will be the first to tell  you, we stink at it so far!  We are learning though.  Mike has come into contact with some people who've shown him what the persecuted church experiences around the globe.  In Adult Bible Fellowship Sunday, he shared a video produced by Voice of the Martyrs.  The Christians in an asian country(don't want to say where cause you never know what looney is reading on the internet) face severe persecution and yet the underground church is flourishing and Jesus is changing lives.  We all cried through the video.  It was amazing and inspiring.  He mentioned some really exciting things that our family might do someday!  Remember me harping on how great The Outward Focused Life by Dave Workman is??  Well, Mike has read it and run with it!  He has a great plan for him and Carter this summer.  They are going to pack our minivan with some coolers of water, a few changes of clothes and food and get in the car with a map.  They are going to pray and ask God to lead them to people who need ministering too, then, they will set off.  No plans, no agenda, just follow the Lord's promptings and serve!  They will return in 5 days.  Mike will take the laptop and post stories and pics on here for anyone interested in following their adventure.  It is called "The OFL trip"(pronounced awful).  Get it?  Outward Focused Life??

Well, enough for now.  Someday soon I'll share a bit of my religous experiences as a child.  Might shed some light on why and who I am.  Oh, and a dear old friend of ours passed away Saturday.  He was truly amazing and I'm going to write a post in the next day or 2 and share what he taught us about really living!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Just in case I start to forget and grow complacent

First scroll down to bottom right hand side and pause my Playlist

This video was taken in Rwanda and is so precious. It so much reminds me of the feelings I had when I was in Nicargua and Haiti.

Copy and paste the link below into your browser to view a video(for some reason it won't let me directly display the video) I took of children in a Haiti singing How Great Thou Art!  It is so precious.  Iknow that soon we will all get into our normal routines full off food, car payments, movies, clothes, sports, tv watching and other things that steal our hearts and time.  Don't forget the children in Haiti!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Pledge :)

Here is a flashback funny.  Abby is so quite and easy that I don't talk about her much.  Well, she made one of the funniest transracial adoption sayings I've ever heard.  When she was in kindergarten she began learning the pledge of allegiance.  She is super duper smart and this made total sense in her mind.  Here is what she said.
             I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America
             One Asian, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

We would tell that story over and over and just laugh! We try very hard to teach the kids racially appropriate terms and obviously, she'd heard the word Asian before.  The word nation wouldn't have meant anything to her!

By the way, she was and is stunningly beautiful.  So, for a smile, here is a picture of her from 5 yrs ago when she was 5yrs old.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A thank you note

Dear Heavenly Father,
I want to write you a thank you note.  You see, I don't tell you this enough, but you are a good daddy!  You know what I need, you like to give me the desire of my heart, you discipline and chasten me, you provide for me, you love me unconditionally.  After a long tiring day, seeing something as adorable as this

makes me realize how much you love me, your daughter, the apple of you eye! Some other things I want to say thank you for:  the two students at Mike's school that made decisions to follow Jesus yesterday, the fact that Mike can talk to students at school about Jesus, there will be one less starving person in the world next year thanks to Carter's 30Hour Famine fundraising--he has 360.00 dollars raised which will feed 1 person for a year, access to medicine when Dillon wakes up coughing and wheezing, rain yesterday, my many precious friends. Thank you again!

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New parenting lows!

Hhhmmm, I've gotten a bit lazy with my 4th child.  I used to be so careful and strict to follow all the rules.  I'm famous for carrying baggies of sliced apples and carrots in the car so we have healthy snacks.  However, desperate times call for desperate measures right??
  This afternoon we waited in one of Dillon's specialist's office for an hour and 45minutes before ever seeing him.  We were at wits end.  Afterward, we went to the snack bar.  Hudson had a sippy with a little water left in it.  Dillon picked out a can of Diet Coke(his favorite).  I admit this huge blunder as a parent--go ahead, call our social worker and inform her :)

                                        I poured Diet Coke into the water in the sippy and handed it to Hudson. 

Gasp!  Hey, he was  happy and I was exhausted.  So sue me.

Yes, I realize that 2 months ago we bought 4 brand new white porcelain caps for Hudson's previously rotten teeth(he came with those from Korea--I'm not taking responsibility for those).

I promise never to do it again.

Any of you mom's of many done something so horrible???  Please tell me you have!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FAQ "Are you done?"

I am frequently asked if we are done adopting?  I find this an incredibly difficult question to answer.  I know that Mike and I feel like the answer is YES, are lives are very full and busy and crazy!  Four children is a perfect number--a full and fun house, an even number, yet not completely chaotic.  I've been thinking about posting this question for a few weeks now.  Maybe, my honest and transparent answer will minister to or help someone out there reading. Bringing home Hudson was a huge adjustment for our family.  All the kids were in school every day.  I work 2 twelve hour shifts so I had many days to keep a clean and organized house, drive on field trips at the kids' school, have lunch with friends, run, listen to my ipod, read books, and do whatever I felt like doing.  We weren't paying on an adoption loan or for any childcare during the days I work.  We didn't buy diapers or soymilk(he's allergic to regular milk).  Our minivan fit us perfectly and now it is cramped.  We didn't have to have a stroller, carseat or diaper bag.  Convenience-wise, things were getting really good.  Carter is in 8th grade and has lots of after school activities that are very difficult to juggle with all the children and our work schedules.  Dragging a 2yr old to football games, guitar lessons, and track meets isn't exactly fun!

Not one single place in the Bible does it talk about the goal for our lives is to be convenient, easy, indulgant for me.  I promise you it doesn't, I've read it through many times.   Mike and I want to follow and honor Jesus, no matter what. Right now we do not feel like we are called to adopt another child and we are quite content with our family. But, to use Jesus' own words "not my will, but thy will be done."  When Hudson came home, it was HARD.  Anyone who thinks it is easy to bring home a 2 yr old from another culture and country is not being realistic.  Those first few nights home I cried and wondered what on earth we had done to our sweet little family!  Now that it has been 6 months, we are in the swing of things.  Hudson is the most amazing 2yr old boy.  He is so happy and cheerful.  Oh, yeah, he can be incredibly stubborn, but we know he'll make a great leader someday.  I wouldn't trade anything for the blessing of kissing his fat cheeks, seeing him giggle hysterically when Carter does something funny, seeing how he and his siblings play together, watching his cheeks jiggle when he walks fast, having a sweet toddler taking a nap next to me as I type this, hearing him ask "Why?" just because he's heard Dillon say that.  I'm so thankful that we are the lucky ones God chose to bring him home!

So, are we done? 
I really think so.  Of course, we will never say no to God's call on our lives, but it is just too difficult for us to juggle everyone's different age levels, needs, schooling(homework is a huge drag for me!), extra-curricular activities and such.  And who can forget that Carter will be driving in 2 years and then there is college!!  If I didn't have to work(I have to for good group insurance and I want to cause I love being a nurse) then adding another child would be much easier. There's just not enough of me.  If we had the resources, would I love to adopt a special needs toddler girl(maybe from Ethiopia) and use the girl name I've been saving for a long time?  You betcha!  But, honestly, I think our family is complete.  Mike travels several times a year with his work and I always feel like I'm a burden asking my mom, Mike's mom, my sisters, and my friends to help with keeping kids and taking them where they need to go.

What's next?
Well, as you all know, Mike and I have a huge love for missions. I constantly think about the 143million orphaned children in the world.  We would love to be able to take more mission trips overseas.  I think we will start praying and saving for another trip next year.  We both love Nicarauga and I'd return to Haiti very soon if I was offered a free trip!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

When your teen knows the Scriptures....

.......he can use it against you :)     This afternoon, after many hours of Carter doing basically nothing, I said "Carter, why don't you go out in the garage and lift weights?"  You see, we have a very large weight set in our garage(no, I can't park in there!) that doesn't get used much.  Carter replies "I don't think the Sabbath rules are different just because it is Old Testament.  They did no work on the Sabbath and that sounds really good!"  Serious as a heart attack, that's what he said!  HA.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's official!

Happy Adoption Day to Hudson.  We had a great time at the courthouse today.  It was a big group adoption day with about 15 families there.  The courtroom was packed.  There were balloons, stuffed animals for all the children and cookies.  Mike's parents and my parents came.  We are glad Hudson's grandparents shared in our big day.  We are blessed beyond measure and really don't understand why God continues to pour out His favor on our little(well, not so little) family.  Hudson is a perfect addition and we are thankful.
Oh, there were 2 families with little girls recently home from Ethiopia--CUTE factor through the roof!!! 

So, are we finished with our whole process?  No!  But the very big one is done as of today.  Now, prayerfully, the silly Social Security Administration will give Hudson a SSN so we can file our taxes(I'm going Tuesday morning to try).  Eventually, when I have a spare 900.00 and I'll apply for Hudson and Dillon's Certificate of Citizenship through the US citizenship and immigration dept.  Until then, we have no proof that they are American citizens.  Hopefully God won't call us to orphan missions in Central America until we get those documents  :))

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Big day tomorrow

Tomorrow we go to court to finalize Hudson Lee _____'s adoption.  I don't know why, but I'm unusually reflective tonight.  Maybe cause it is our last child.  Maybe cause he was a "surprise" adoption(sort of!).  Maybe cause he's 2 and waited for us.  Maybe cause I can't believe how crazy blessed we are.  Whatever the reason, I'm so excited and happy.  He's changed hugely in the last 6months.  From bottles, not eating solid food, scared of everything, and very babyish to funny, independent, very attached to us, eating like a 17yr old boy and life of the party.
Our first meeting in Korea. Hudson wouldn't leave his fostermom's arms

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

the drive up

MIke and Carter skiing

Today was spectacular weather.  It was warm and sunny.  It snowed yesterday and last night so the mountain had a fresh dusting.  I'm so proud of the above picture I took off the scenery while Mike was driving up the mountain this morning.   Mike and Carter hit the slopes all day.  Abby and I aren't so into fast adventure.  We tried some snow tubing(weren't crazy about it), then we tried sledding a little but saw a grown man crash and blow his knee out--we promptly left.  I'm tellin ya, I have a disorder and it is called "the danger alert" disorder.  Seriously, all I can see around here is danger danger danger!  It certainly takes the spirit of adventure and need for speed.  Abby and I pretty much took the slow way in doing everything :) 
We leave first thing in the morning and I'm so ready to see my little boys.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ski Trip

C..a...n...t      S....l....e...e...p!!!!  UGH.  Here we are on a lovely vacation and my sleeping woes caught me.  I was super exhausted after todays fun that I went to bed at 8pm.  At 10pm my head was throbbing(will get to that story in a minute) that I took a half tab of Vicodin.  You see we keep an old bottle of Vicodin from Mike's ankle surgery in our med closet for emergencies--like 2 out of shape people whose muscles and bones are older than their brains remember!  So, for our trip so far.  Did I mention that we are staying in a wonderful and spacious 2 bedroom condo in Ruidoso for FREE??  It is great.  May God bless our friend double big for this blessing.  Yesterday we hit the moutain with gusto.  It is a winding and steep drive up to Ski Apache, at least for us Texans who call a tiny hill a mountain.  You know the kind of road that if you look over the side you see yourself tumbling down?  Well, the kids and I were saying "keep your hands on the wheel daddy!'  Carter was keeping us in stitches when he blurted out "Jesus take the wheel!!"  We did make it fine.  The mountain was covered in a fresh blanket of 18inches of snow 2 nights before.  Abby, Carter, and I took ski school and Mike went off to see if he could regain his old skiing might.  I have skiied once before--15 years ago!  Needless to say, I was the star of our class :)  The instructor kept using me to show and lead the group.  I was feeling fairly confident in my abilities.  I could see from Abby's posture that she didn't like it.  Abby is one of those kids who once it is in her head--dog gone it, she's done.  Stubborn she is(just like her momma)!  As soon as her class was over, she was building up the "I'm not gonna do it" in her mind.  She is very very smart and creative--athletic and muscluar she isn't.  I insisted that she could not give up so soon and that I'd teach her myself.   We headed for the beginner chair lift.  She was nervous, but we very smoothly boarded.  We smiled and high-fived our getting on the lift so easily.  Bad idea!!!  At the dismount, our skis became tangled.  Down she went and took me with her.  Unfortunately, the lift kept going and smashed right into the back of my head.  I truly thought I was going to pass out.  I lay there clutching the back of my head for a few seconds.  I could hear Abby saying "Are you alright momma?"  and I made myself get up.  Stars were spinning above me like the old cartoons and my stomach was churning.  I touched the back of my head and there was blood!  So, off to the first aid station we went.  I had Abby call Mike's cell phone just in case I did pass out.  You guys know how I am about money so you won't be shocked when I tell you that my first thought, lying there in the snow was how we couldn't afford another hospital bill!  Glory to God, the medic checked my laceration and it didn't need any sutures.  He did ask my if I'm always "that pale" to which I assured him that I am.  I wore some oxygen and rested a few minutes.  I'm not proud of this, but Abby and I never got on a lift again!  The good news is that we didn't waste money on buying she and I lift tickets today cause we both knew there was no way we'd get on one!  So, we improvised.  We would ski down the bunny slope then shlep our poles and skiis back up and ski down again.  Yep, I'm pooped!  Carter, on the other hand, has taken to the sport quite beautifully.  Mike took him to the top today and other than an "accidental" trip down a black that was way too hard for Carter, he is doing fantastic.  Tomorrow the boys are spending one more day on the mountain and Abby and I are taking it easy at the condo.  It is supposed to be 28 degrees and snowy tomorrow.  I'm really having to conquer my huge bent toward worry and fear and let God be God over my son.  It is really scary knowing what might happen.  I hate being a worrier!  Here are a few pics

You may be wondering where are our 2 "so cute it should be illegal " little boys?  They are happily staying with Mike's mother and then will go to my mom's.  We offered Dillon the chance to go--over and over and over.  He was adamant that he didn't want to come and kept saying "scary like monster."  He must have his familiar routine that is safe, has plenty of snacks, and doesn't require him to experience a lot of new sights, sounds, and/or anything fast or loud!  As for Hudson, this is his first time to spend a few days away.  We miss him, of course, but seeing other parents of toddlers who are cold, tired, and crying--we made the right decision. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Break!!!

We've been SUPER blessed!!!!!!!!!!  We have a friend who has a gorgeous condo in Ruidoso New Mexico.  We came here in the summer a few years ago and loved it.  This week we will ski at Ski Apache.  We are just overwhelmed with gratitude at how the Lord is blessing us for this Spring Break vacation.  We have a 100.00 gas card that was given to us, a Chili's gift card, a Cracker Barrell gift card and a free condo.  I keep pinching myself.  If you can, bless someone else.  Proverbs 11:25 says      A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.    Today Abby and Carter will take ski lessons.  Mike will use those 2 hours alone to brush up his black diamond skiiing skills(lets just say it has been a long time since he last skied).  I'll let you know how all this goes.  In the meantime, here is a picture of what we think Carter will look like in a few days ;)

Friday, March 12, 2010

New country programs

More countries are opening up for adoption.  I just read about a brand new program today that I'm excited to share with you.  The Democratic Republic of Congo has a new international adoption program.  It is brand spanking  new and so therefore, there will be many bumps along the journey to the Congo.  But, I'm super excited about it for personal reasons.  You see, my dad traveled to the Congo 2.5yrs ago to help set up an eye and glasses clinic.  He said many of the same things I said about Haiti:  the poverty and need is staggering, the people are beautiful, imaginative, joyful, bright and loving.  There are thousands and thousands of orphaned children living in institutions. 6 in 10 children die before their 5th birthday.  If you are interested, go to and read about the Congo.

 Here is my dad holding a precious little one in the Congo.

Since we are talking about needy children, I am sooooo thrilled to let you all know that Carter's 30Hour Famine fundraising page already has 290.00 dollars!!!!!  This will feed a person for about 10months.   If you are feeling led to donate copy and paste this in your browser

Thursday, March 11, 2010

YUMMY little honey!

For me anyway, there is nothing in this world more adorable than a little boy in overall and hiking boots.  Sorry all you momma's, he's mine! ;)
I cut his hair this morning and shaved around the neck(yes, he is so hairy he needs a little shaving!).  Then I bathed him and slathered him up in baby lotion.  I could eat him up now.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shopping Therapy

I deleted my vent about how awful work was the last 2 days.  Yep, it was.  But, if there is one thing being in Haiti a week taught me, it is to be super thankful I have a job.  No more lamenting.  I did do some shopping therapy with my friend Susie at the mall.  We were looking for something nice for me to wear to Hudson's adoption finalization next week--Whoohoo!  No, for all you people thinking I'm a wacky tacky dresser, I'm not going to wear the Adoption Rocks t-shirt ;)  I still think it would be quite fun.  I'm going conservative, yet cute.  A gray shift, black heels, purple and gray scarf.  Better? 
6 months ago today we landed back in the USA with crazy Seong Cheol.  Whew, it has been a whirlwind these last 6months.  I can't believe how quickly it has gone.  He seems like he has been with us forever!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cute video of Hudson playing and a word for you....

FIRST, scroll down to my music player on the right and pause the music so you can hear Hudson talking. March 9th will be six months since we became a forever family--he is a funny genius!!!

Now for a word of encouragement.  Last night my friend and I drove a little over 2 hours to be a part of my mother's ladies retreat.  You see my mother is a full-time, on staff, Minister to Women(at a Baptist church--and the church is not a large church at all, I'm so proud, they are  radical and put their money where their mouth is!!)  For the last 14 years she has held a ladies' retreat.  My friend  and I had a great time chatting the whole way up.  On a side note, please pray for her and her husband.  They have been in an adoption program a long time and are getting very disappointing news about it's status.  So, the sessions last night were wonderful!  Awesome music and a dynamic speaker.  She was talking about seeing and hearing more from the Lord.  Last night was about how we often see more of God in suffering.  Here are my 3 favorite points:   1.suffering doesn't always mean that I'm failing or need to fix something--it does mean I need to pray more and listen for God      2.suffering will clarify what my heart worships and will purify my heart a child of God, chance has been eliminated from my life!!!!!!!!  Whoohooo, that is my favorite!  Can I get an amen and preach is sister????

Thursday, March 4, 2010

30 Hour Famine 2010 Preview Video

Our church youth group is participating in the 30hour famine to support World Vision's feeding programs. The teens raise money and don't eat for 30 hours. We've set up a donation page through World Vision for Carter. Please visit it and donate. For 360.00 dollars, he can feed a person for an entire year!!!!!!!! The big event is April 16th. What an awesome learning experience this will be. Copy and paste the link below into your browser for Carter's fundraising page

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

People who really make a difference

I want my life to really count, I mean REALLY count and make a difference.  I've told you all about "Jantsen's Gift" before and I'm reiterating how badly you need to read this book.  Go to
and order this true story that will knock your socks off.  I just got my newsletter from the foundation and just so far in 2010 they've done huge things.  Sunday at church, our pastor prayed "Help us do radical things that make an eternal difference".  I love love that prayer!   Touch A Life Kids is doing radical things, like rescuing child slaves in Africa.  Here is an excerpt from the newsletter.

In the first six weeks of 2010, Touch A Life has rescued 12 children from a life of slavery on the waters of Lake Volta in Ghana. That's more children than we rescued in all of 2009!
 With the devoted help of our Ghanaian staff, we rescued Jacob, a precious six-year-old who, until last week, had never known a life of freedom. We rescued Gemale, a seven-year-old who had attempted to run away twice from his master and had been beaten severely. Now they are in the care of Touch A Life, and they are glad to be free.
If you still are in the dark about the HUGE epidemic of human trafficking, here is a resource for you