"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Psalm 23:5~

Wow, how can it be that we are finishing the last week of September already??!!

We have had a lovely week..it went by so quickly...I will give a quick recap of the highlights!

We had 3 exciting e-mails from our adoption agency. We may have our court date in Ghana very soon! We are praying and waiting with great anticipation.

We had a wonderful visit with Mimi..

We had our first visit to the Cheesecake Factory..
We went clothes shopping with 11 yo dd..
We went driving the wrong way down a one way street..(Shh.. Mom I won't let anyone know you were driving ;o)
We had 2 visits to the Dr.
We have had 6 members of the family fall sick...
5 yo and 7 yo dds had a dinner out w/Daddy..
The 5 boys had haircuts...
We have completed 30 days of school...
We made 6 Pizzas for our weekly Friday Night Pizza Night...
I had a date with Jim...
We went to the Publix once and the Wal-Mart twice..

A moment that has had me smiling..
Our dd was making cookies and the Wee Babe was following her around the kitchen saying "Help, me. Help, me." He needed help with a little chocolate craving ;o)

We had a ton of playtime in and out of doors..
Our 7 yo dd is responsible for this little dress up session :o) neither Little Brother or Curious George seemed to mind...

And a great Scriptural truth from our 4 yo ds..

He says, "When Jesus talks to you.. you say Yes, Sir."

That's good preachin'..

Last night we were all huddled into piles on the couches and the floor watching a movie and tears sprang to my eyes as I realized once again..

"my cup overflows" Psalm 23:5~ God is Good and He has blessed us so much..!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Baby Nappers!

Since Sweet Pea was born our girls have been campaigning for her to transition into their room. This was the plan. They have a perfect little nook where her bed will go...but Jim and I just can't seem to let her go yet. We love having her in our room with us. After 13 years of parenting and 9 children it just doesn't get old. We go crazy over her babbling...applaud wildly with her new clapping skill...and are as goofy in love w/her as we were with our first. It's so much fun to be able to share this with all the kiddies..they are so crazy for her too...

This morning the girls baby napped her and brought her into their room to prove to us she would love it there.

This is how Jim found them..

I think she looks like she misses me.. ;o)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Psalm 36:5~

Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Psalm 36:5~

My mouth is healing nicely, but unfortunately I ended up with a bad sinus infection from the surgery..

We were so blessed to see how the older children pitched in and helped this week. They are always a great help, but Jim and I are so proud of how they stepped in and served their siblings and I ..Thank you kiddies!

Our 7 yo lost her two front teeth this past week..which was very fitting... as teeth seem to be the theme of the week here.... with 10 dental appts amongst our family. We have a lot of teeth;o)

Thank you God for being with us and for blessing us with your faithfulness!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Galatians 3:28~

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28~

The other night our 4 yo ds and I were snuggling and talking in his bed..

Suddenly he grabbed my face looked deeply into my eyes and said, "MAMA! Your eyes are black like mine!" He then snuggled happily into my arms and pronounced, "We are twins!"

I was so blessed by his simple childlike expression. My black pupils and his black pupils make us exactly the same. I love how he delights in our sameness.

I treasure this time of innocence in our boys' lives. They are loved and they love in return. The thought of one's skin color...is not even a thought in their little minds.

We have been so blessed by the acceptance of our family in our community. We have had no negative remarks regarding our boys..we have had no ugly altercations...our boys are embraced and loved.

I have been told by others who have adopted young black children that we are in the "golden years". Troubles may begin to arise when they are no longer little boys, but black male teenagers..suddenly they can go from cute to "scary" in the eyes of some.

The truth is someday it is very likely that they will experience racism in their lives and as a Mama that makes my heart ache. Jim and I have spoken several times on the need of preparing them for this, and how we can do our best to raise strong and godly men who will be able to stand through the trials they will eventually face. We know that God will be with them and we know He will give us the wisdom to guide and protect them..

It is so easy though to push the possibility of troubles into the back of my mind and just enjoy these wonderful days of innocence until I read stories like this

and then I know the battle is real and it is out there. I am praying for the City of Jena. I pray that God will bring peace and open hearts and minds. I pray the community will look into each others eyes..see those dark black pupils and... remember..... they really are all the same..

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Melissa Fay Greene

Melissa Fay Greene is a mother to 9 children (including 4 whom were adopted from Ethiopia)..and an award winning author.

I first heard of Melissa in 2002 when she wrote this article for The New York Times..which birthed into our hearts..and the hearts of many others.. the dream of adopting from Ethiopia..

Robel is a rambunctious 8-year-old of the...

half-baked-schoolwork type.
It is easy to picture him as a bike-riding,
Nintendo-loving American boy
. He has surmised that hospital treatment
killed his mother.
''I was born in Tigray,'' he says, speaking
through a translator like most
of the younger kids. ''Then went with
my parents
to Sudan as refugees.
My father would get food from the refugee
camp and bring it to the house.
Mother died in Sudan. She went to hospital
for injection. First injection is good;
second time, she is tired; third injection,
she died. Then I hear people crying
about father. They said, 'Your father has died.'

''My small sister, Gelila, is 4. When Gelila
see something in my hand, she cry,
so I give her. She does not remember our parents.''

There is a terrible sameness to the stories.
They all head
down the
same path: the mother's death, then the father's;
or Father died, then Mother,
then Small Sister, then funny Baby Brother.
Alone, bringing out
the words of the family's end, a child's
eyes fill with tears; the chest
fills with sobs. Bedtime is the worst,
when all shenanigans die down.
At night, ghosts and
visions and bad dreams visit the children.
Through the open windows, you can hear
kids crying into their pillows.


Melissa Fay Greene's amazing and highly acclaimed book
"There is No Me without You"
is now available in paperback. It is a must read for
anyone interested in adoption
or anyone who has a heart for children.
It is a story of tragedy and hope and love...
you will be
blessed and moved by it.

Ephesians 5:25~

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Ephesians 5:25

I am so blessed to have a husband who truly lives this. Friday I had my 4 wisdom teeth removed. I was pretty out of it following the procedure, but I do remember my sweet hubby coming into our room lovingly changing the gauze in my mouth every so often. He would also put ice packs on my cheeks and make sure I was o.k. He also made a yummy banana rice milk concoction to eat. He did all of this the while he had 9 children to care for , and business calls to field. I am so humbled and blessed by his love.

Thank you honey! I love you!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

James 2:15-16~

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? James 2:15-16..

This is why I return every night to Ethiopia.... in my dreams.. I saw what I saw and I can't forget it...

Music and Video by Sara Groves~

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

3 John 1:4~

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4

Monday, September 10, 2007

Psalm 27:14~

Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Here is a picture of Joel opening a letter and pictures we sent to him. That is Merrrily Ripley director of AAI with him.

Today our Sweet Little Joel turned 7 years old. He has been on my mind and in my heart so strongly today. What I wouldn't give to have him home to celebrate. I wonder what kind of cake he likes?..What would be his favorite Birthday meal..? What he would like to do to celebrate...?

I would just love to give him a birthday hug and kiss.

The other week Anita (Director of AAI's Ghana Program) spoke with Ebenezer and Joel via Skype.. Ebenezer told her he likes math..Joel wanted to know when he could come to America....

It is times like these I have to learn to "Be still.." time and again. God has been so faithful. I know that His timing is perfect. He is preparing their hearts to be a part of our family and He is preparing our hearts to be able to give them what they need.

He has blessed me with a real life every day testimony to His perfect timing.

When I was pregnant with Sweet Pea I would worry about the Wee Babe losing his place as the youngest so quickly. We were so thrilled to be pregnant, but I would wonder how our new little son would adjust.. How silly I was.

We have had several of our children close in age, and we have always been blessed that the little ones have gotten along so well...but I have never seen two with a love for one another like our Wee Babe and Sweet Pea. It is amazing and blesses me every day. God knew that Wee Babe needed Sweet Pea..and He knew that she needed him..

God is good. God is faithful We wait on Him and His perfect timing to bring home our sons...

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Matthew 25:23~

Well done, good and faithful servant! ...Matthew 25:23
This morning when we walked into the foyer of our church we did not find Brother Moseley there to greet us as usual...

In his place was a chair with a single red rose and a note which said "Gone Home."

At 1:30 this morning Brother Moseley left this world and entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus met him with the words "Well done, thy good and faithful servant."

To the world Brother Moseley looked like an ordinary man..He was in his eighties,he was tall and thin with a head full of white hair..... which he covered with a cowboy hat as soon as he left the church building.

He lived his whole life in a tiny little Southern town.. he was born there, was raised there, married there, reared his children there, worked there, and died there...

What those of us who knew Brother Moseley know is that this ordinary looking man was really a mighty man of God... who literally touched lives all over the world... all from his tiny little town.

You see when Brother Moseley retired from his career he knew that one never retired from the Christian life. In his 60's he began a ministry sending materials to missionaries all over the world. He worked tirelessly bringing Bibles, Gospel tracts, Sunday School materials, clothing shoes, toys, and so forth to thousands around the world....He ran an amazing ministry that God used and will continue to use mightily.

I am so thankful to have known Brother Moseley. I am so thankful to be able to share with my children what a real hero looks like in a day when scoring touchdowns and strumming guitar licks are considered worthy of hero worship.... heroes are normal looking men and women who allow God to use them for His purpose and good will. They serve in obscurity, and many times they go unnoticed by this world..but God sees them.

I am so thankful for the inspirational life Brother Moseley lived.. may I never forget that God always has a call for His children and an area for them to minister to...not matter how young or old or rich or poor...May I be found ever so faithful.

Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Life With Boys~

I turned around for a minute to dry off a little one who had just emerged from the pool..

Then I hear a splash followed by an admonishing 13 yo saying "Mama, would not be happy..."

I turn to see our little 5 yo bobbing in the pool and I order him out.

I give said 5 yo a stern lecture on the dangers of jumping from the ledge. I give him a wonderful verbal discourse on the dangers of jumping into shallow water..I throw out terms like paralysis and wheelchair..This one is fearless.. I must instill a bit of healthy fear ..I will not let those dimples the size of moon craters sway me.. I must stay strong...

He looks at me with big eyes and says, "But Mama, I didn't jump.."

"You didn't jump?" I ask ..

"No Mama, honest.." he says emphatically.. " I didn't jump.. ..........................

I did a FLIP.."

L'Oreal Medium Brown.. You may want to buy stock in it ;o)

Matthew 10:39~

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 10:39

Ann Voskamp on teaching children the gift of saying YOURS..

If your child enters into the way of God, giving and engaging in helping activities, the evidence asserts that a lifetime later of sixty to seventy years, long after your days on this earth are but a memory, your child will still be reaping health benefits. Children who give of their time, resources, and talents are found to live deeper, richer lives: better school grades, less drug and alcohol use, and more likely to keep giving all their lives. Teach a child to say the simple word, “yours,” and you change a life.

Jesus said the more blessed life is the giving life. That’s the one we want for our children. Highly regarded psychology scientists agree: “One of the best ways we can help our kids is to encourage their own generosity.” Read MORE

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wordless Wednesday~

Practicing her ballet ;o)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Eccles. 4:9-12~

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Eccles. 4:9-12...

On Sept 4, 1987 Jim and I met for the first time...(wow, 20 years ago!)
He took me to Homecoming shortly afterwards...
Where this picture was taken...

It makes me smile to look at it..the hair..his really cool mullet :o)...my bubble skirt..my big hair..it just screams "1980's..you can almost hear Tiffany singing in the background.

Our kiddies wondered why the photographer didn't take another picture as Jim's eyes are closed...the young whipper snappers don't remember the days before digital cameras..we had to wait for FILM to be developed. ..a foreign concept to our computer generation offspring :o).

Why it really makes me smile is that God gave me the wonderful gift of my very best friend in Jim....words can't even begin to describe how much I love him and all that he means to me.

What is even more precious is that God took our two-fold cord...and saved us both through the power of Jesus and now... we are a three fold cord. Jim, I and the Holy Spirit of the Living God. He knew "way back then" that we would one day become His children.

Thank you Jesus for my wonderful husband and friend and thank you for YOU who made us your own.

Psalm 118:24~

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

A birthday party for Mimi....

Happy Birthday Mimi!!!! We LOVE you!!!