Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy 13th Birthday Kayla

It is so hard for me to believe that this beautiful young lady was placed in my arms 13 years ago this evening. I remember that day as if it were yesterday yet it seems so long ago. She was so beautiful and we were so proud to be her parents.

Here are just a few highlights of the last thirteen years:

The first family member that we told we were pregnant was his mom, dad, and sister.

Their response- "She will still be pregnant in the morning, call back then." (We called them at two in the morning) We took the test about 1 in the morning.

The first friends that we told were Shawn and April- we waited till morning to tell them and then went to Shoneys for breakfast to celebrate.

She was 2 weeks early and weighed in at 9lbs 2 & 1/2 ounces

She was the loudest baby in the hospital nursery- we could hear her crying all the way down the hall.

She was born with black hair which fell out & was replaced by curly blond hair

She was the only baby in the church nursery and people fought over who would get to stay with her.

She did not like pacifiers. She was very colicky

She loved to sleep on our water bed (yes I know very taboo) but she only napped there while I did laundry.

She preferred to sleep in her swing or her car seat

She loved music- her first movie was a sing a Disney sing a long that she would watch while kicking one leg to make her bouncy seat move

Her nursery was done in Noah's Ark - Her toddler room in Winnie the Pooh

Her first word was Pooh ( as in Winnie the Pooh) At 9 mo old she could hum the theme song to Winnie the pooh.

Her first boo-boo came from having her forehead pinched in her stroller the day before pictures

Her favorite animal was a cat

Her first Birthday theme was Winnie the Pooh

She has always loved animals, water, and coloring or drawing

When she was two she "practiced" writing her name all over her bed room wall the day after we had it painted. She said that she did it because she did not have any paper.

Her first pet- Abby the dog (has had her since she was 4) , second pet- Callie her cat (no longer with us as of a week ago today)

Favorite food then- sweet potatoes and apples and cinnamon oatmeal, Now- I would say pork chops and macaroni and cheese

She has never had stitches

She dislocated, hyper extended her thumb and broke the growth plate in her thumb when she was in 2nd grade ( sported a hot pink cast for weeks) Arrived in the ER in full Chinese Costume

She had an MRI when she was 5 because they believe that she had a tumor on her spine- we believe God healed her-very long story

Has been home schooled since third grade

Has always been drawn to Children with disabilities- would help them in her preschool class instead of doing her own work.

Is known for her tender spirit and compassion

Very trustworthy

I have so many memories and so much that I could continue to share. I might even go back and add things to this post. I have said many times that Kayla has been my biggest challenge and biggest blessing rolled up into one package. She has challenged me in ways that have stretched my abilities and her life has blessed be beyond measure. Together we have overcome so much and we have shared much laughter and tears. I know that my first role in her life is to be her mom not her friend but I can honestly say that she is the type of friend that I would cherish. I know that one day when I am past this season of parenting her that I will cherish her as my daughter and friend. She is a beautiful girl outwardly but her true beauty comes from within. Her faith is strong and her passion for Christ at such an impressionable age astounds me. She continues to make us proud and we are so blessed to call her our daughter. I feel in love with her thirteen years ago when they placed her in my arms and I continue to love her more deeply with every passing day.

Happy 13th Birthday Kayla, I love you so much!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Callie

Tonight we took Kayla to meet her Sunday School class so that they could go caroling. While she was caroling James, Noah, & I ran errands so that we would be ready to leave for my sisters as soon as James gets off work tomorrow. After he pulled in the drive way I asked him if he would back in instead so that I could load the van tomorrow. As he was backing in we quickly became aware that we had hit something. At first James thought it was Kayla's bike and then the horror and reality hit. It was quickly confirmed that the family cat "Callie" had been hit.

It is best that I leave out details but I am sorry to say that Callie did not make it. She was laid to rest between two trees that she loved to hang out by. Most people know that James and I are not big cat lovers but God brought her to us several years ago and she was a great kid cat. She loved to hang out with the kids. They even jumped with her on the trampoline. They would hold her while they jumped. She loved it. Any thing to get attention.

Kayla took it pretty hard but is already doing better. When she is ready we will show her where she is buried. She helped make the decision but did not want to see her and it was just too cold for the kids to be outside. Plus it was really dark. Noah will not stop talking about it which is not helping sissy's grief. It is very hard to explain death to a toddler but we refuse to lie to him. Death is a part of life and we have been very open with both of our children on the issue.

Please pray that we can leave this sadness behind us for a few days and enjoy our time with family. This is Kayla's first experience with loosing a pet. It is the first pet that James and I have lost together. Well unless you count a fish or hamster. Please pray for dad as he bears the weight of being the driver. Callie was always greeting us and getting so close to the van or truck. We have worried so many times that she would get hit.

I better go it has been a long day and it promises to be very busy tomorrow.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Visiting Mr. Clause

A few weeks ago we received a flier in the mail from Silver Dollar City. On the back there was a picture of Santa Clause. Noah brought me the flier and said "mommy mommy I need to go here today. I need to see Mr. Clause and tell him that I need a Bat House"! I told him that we could not go today to which he replied "okay then we need to go tomorrow". We had already been planning a trip to SDC but not that week. We really have not talked to him about Santa. He has seen him on TV but we have never taken him to see Santa. We have also never called him MR. Clause but that is what he calls him. Since that day that is all we have heard him call him.

When it was Noah turn to see "Mr. Clause" he had so much to tell him. They had a hard time getting a picture where he was looking at the camera because he was deep in conversation and would not pose for a photo opp. I finally got him to look at the camera. The woman taking the picture asked if Noah was telling Santa a story and Santa asked me how old he was. When I told him he just turned three he was kind of surprised. Noah was able to relay his desire for a bat house and we were able to get a few cute pictures of his first trip to see Santa. Or should I call him "Mr. Clause"?

There are many Branson stories to share but I will probably do so in a different post.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

WARNING! This post may not be for the faint of heart!

So... it is possible to cause bodily damage with a cookie sheet. The purple is from all the bruising. The cut is at the joint even though the toe nail looks so bad.

I really thought that this was the week that I would get caught up on school and chores. I'm not sure it is a good idea to enter a Monday with such high expectations. I should have had a clue Sunday when Kayla was complaining of a sore throat and had the chills. I also should not have dismissed the sores on Noah's face as mere dry skin.

We began our week with a doctor visit for both kids. It turned out that Kayla did indeed have strep and Noah had Infintigo (which is a form of step that is contained to the skin instead of the throat). Both are on antibiotics and doing much better. Noah's birthday party is Saturday and it looks as though he will be through with the nasty sores by then. He is not contagious anymore but looked pretty rough for a few days.

Monday and Tuesday I took care of sick kids and by Wednesday it looked as though I might be able to get a few more things done. My plans were to spend Thursday getting things ready for Noah's party. We have a very ful day Friday (which is Noah's actual birthday) and I wanted to spend some quality time with him instead of going crazy with party prep.

As of Wednesday night those plans were shot. I returned home from picking Kayla up from church and from getting Philip. Philip was spending the night since his mom had clinical very early the next morning. We had the boys in bed about 9:45 and I was in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner. I grabbed the cookie sheet off the stove that I had baked the garlic bread on and went to put it in the sink. The pan never made it to the sink. Instead it took a hard dive toward my right big tow and hit it square on. One might think that this would hurt (kinda of like a stubbed toe) but that the sting would go away rather quickly. That is exactly what I thought. The problem is the pain did not subside but became very intense to the point that I thought that I was going to be sick. I still had my head leaned over the counter and had not opened my eyes when James realized that the groans coming from the kitchen were not ceasing. He has heard the crash and the load grunt/moan and decided he better check things out. (Okay if you are squeamish you should probably stop reading now). Remember I have not surveyed the situation because I am in too much pain to do anything but try and shake it off. When he came in the kitchen he said " Angie your bleeding"! I said I know-which I didn't and then it hit me that he was serious. I looked down to see my white sock soaked in blood and thought oh no this is not good. Then I looked around as he said "you are bleeding really bad"! That is when I saw that puddles of blood in a circle around me. At this point I am not sure if I am going to freak out or pass out. I did have enough common sense to ask for a chair so that I could get my foot above my heart. The next half hour was spent trying to stop the bleed and figure out if an emergency room visit was in our agenda for the evening. We were able to stop the bleeding but now we are convinced by hte size and color that the big toe is broke. The pan hit the joint so James was worried that the joint might be smashed pretty bad. We made the decision to stay at home and see my doctor the nest morning. (We do not like emergency rooms). It did continue to bleed some but and soaked through a couple of bandages but I am glad that we waited. The morning brought less pain and bleeding but more bruising. We saw the doctor this morning and I am happy to report that the joint is fine and there are no broken bones. I also did not need stitches so it was okay that we did not go to the ER. I bruised the soft tissue really bad and they said that the cut would seal up by the end of the day and stop seeping if I stayed off of it. I am supposed to keep it wrapped and take it easy for a few days. I can still drive but I can not wear a closed shoe. The birthday party is still on but it may be a little more difficult to get all my errands accomplished.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sleepover Silliness

It's been a while since we've kept Philip overnight with out the other two. The boys had such a good time. Philip is starting to play more with Noah and they chase each other all over the house doing silly things. It is so much fun to see them interacting and learning from each other. Philip can also say Noah clearly now so he love to chase Noah calling his name.

Here are a few pictures that we took right before bedtime. Are they not the cutest things you have ever seen?


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Snow Globe Toy & MySpace Layouts at

Monday, November 17, 2008

13 & 3

I can not believe that these two will be three and thirteen by the end of next month. We not only have one maturing into a teenager but then our toddler is becoming a VERY independent preschooler. They could not be any more different if they tried really hard. Talk about starting over. We are so blessed to be allowed to parent these two beautiful children. Most days it feels as though we are doing it all wrong and that one day we will have to fork out big bucks for a therapist...for theirs and ours. Life is certainly challenging with the 10 year age span but we reap so many blessings through all of it.

One day I want to post about life with our little Noah, but for now I am at a loss as to how to put it into words. Please just pray for patience and wisdom as we (okay more so I) try to parent this handsome bundle of energy. I think that my next read needs to be Bringing up boys.

Cookies With Mom

No Joke...Noah had no idea that he looked like this. He was disgusted when we showed him that he had flour all over his face. His first clue was when he saw sissy with flour on her nose. She put it on her nose so that they would match for pictures. When he turned and saw her face we captured his face. See the picture below this one.
What is that one sissy's face?
The next two pictures were captured before he saw his sissy's face.
They are just too cute for words!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Catching up on post

I did not get pictures of the kids in their costumes this year. I also did not get pictures of our very exciting night. I took a picture of Noah's pumpkin but not of Kayla's. I was able to get Noah's before I went to bed that night but James and Kayla were still working on hers when I checked out for the night. The only time I would remember it was still to light to get a good picture. I did get a few pictures of the carving event if that counts. It just blows my mind that we can be so busy. It feels like we move from one thing to the next with no break.

This year our church decided to do a "trunk or treat." Most people have heard of this event but we decided to take it to a new level. Instead of hosting it at the church we held it at a sports warehouse that had a HUGE parking lot. This location was across form a Walmart so we knew to expect a lot of traffic. Instead of just having open trunks with candy, every trunk had a game or purpose. The kids would play a carnival type game and then receive candy. We even had a trunk that you could put your name in for a free bike. We had tattoos (fake of course), popcorn, face painting, hot dogs and lemon aid. We also had three inflatables along with 60 plus trunks. We even had a "BIG" screen set up that played Veggie Tales and random Christian music videos. We have been told that we had more than 2000 people come through this event. Of those 2000 at least 200 families claimed to be "un-churched." It is our desire to now reach out to those families and see how we can minister to them.

When the church told us that each Adult Bible Fellowship class needed to host at least two trunks and that in a way this was a competition to see who could get the most trunks together and be as creative as possible we knew that it was on. We love our group of people but let me just say we have a very competitive group. When our group heard this one of our guys that drives OTR said "How big can the trunk be?" With that said we ended up with a semi truck and trailer as one of our booths. The problem came when were not sure how to get the kids in and out of the truck and then what do you do with all that space. rent stairs (that the company ended up not let us pay for) and then you set up cosmic bowling. So we went on line and purchased a huge inflatable bowling set. The ball was as big as the kids and the pins were over two feet tall. Then we set up black lights, a strobe light, and a fog machine. Everyone in the truck wore black with white gloves. One of our guys made this awesome banner for the side of the truck. When you entered the truck it was like walking onto a giant bowling lane. The kids had a blast and our people never stopped. It took about 15 of us to man our two booths for the few hours we were there. We took turns taking our own kids around and working our two booths. James actually never left the semi truck becasu he was so busy. I have to say it was actually more fun to work than to play. Needless to say there just wasn't time for pictures. The other booth that we had was cool too. We set up an electronic basket ball shoot where people could compete. We had two Harley Davidson bikes as our trunks. We decorated with a Razorback theme and then handed out candy and razorback tattoos. Both trunks seemed to be a big hit.

Volleyball is going pretty well. We have playoffs this week. One of our guys injured his back and we really miss having him on the floor. He was kind of our secret weapon. We are up against some good competition this year so we are having to play a lot harder. I am really feeling the lack of being in any kind of shape to play. It is not that I am not able to play I just feel the pain when it's over. I have an old knee and shoulder injury that acts up when I do crazy things like play volleyball and other more intense physical activity. I am ready to be able to not be in pain every time I try to lift my arm; but I will miss playing. This is our favorite sport and James and I actually play well together. This past week we had an amazing play together and it was so exciting.

Other items to report...School is going pretty well. Noah is changing so much and I really want to post about him soon. He is such an interesting little fellow. Kayla and I got our flu shots this week. Kayla had a lot of pain in her arm but I did not feel mine. She is feeling better now but I have experienced really bad muscle spasms since the shot. It started at the injection site and has moved to other places as well now. It is actually happening as I type. It is rather bothersome. James has been sick but is feeling a little better now. We are all so very tired and I am looking forward to Christmas vacation. James and I did have a great date night Saturday and even had an entire evening with out kids. They spent the night with their aunt Ber. Thanks so very much, we really needed that. It's your turn next.

I still want to post about our trip to Texas for my Grandfathers funeral. I have some priceless photos and stories but I have jsut been too tired and too emotional to put that post together. Still processing that trip. I also what to share some Noah stories so that I will have them later.

I do have to give an insight as to what I am up against during the day with our little man. This afternoon I was quizzing Kayla on her school work and she got kinda of snappy with me. I gave her the look and said, "that was rude"! Noah quickly came to my chair and climbed up in my lap. He looked me in the eyes and said "maybe you should just spank her!" I replied with a "maybe you should go sit on your bed." When I was done quizzing her I went to check on him and he was sound asleep. That is the first time I can remember him just laying down and going to sleep. I figured that he was playing in his bed. He was all covered up and out like a light. I have to admit it was kind of nice. I just closed his door and I was able to get some chores done.

I guess I am going to try and get the rest of my chores done so that I can go to bed before midnight tonight. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Things that make you feel old and young at the same time...


We won our first game tonight. We are really getting better at communication and playing as a team. We had a great night but we were down to 5 players on the floor with no substitutions. We had a lot of players out sick tonight. So considering these facts we really played well as a team. We leave feeling young and spry and reminded of our youth...then we wake up in the morning and can't life our arms above our heads. It takes an extra 5 minuets to stand up because the muscles in your legs are weak and burning. The good news is these feelings only last a few weeks and then you are back in reasonable shape. The bad news... the season is now over.

Congratulations Team. Your awesome!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I have started several new post and have not finished any of them. We had a really good weekend. Saturday morning we took the kids to the pumpkin patch (speaking of which, I think the pumpkins are still in my van) to take pictures and pick out this years perfect pumpkin for carving. After that we rushed to a friends house an hour late so that we could celebrate Abbie's second adoption day with her and her family. After a late lunch (because we were late) the kids played and Abbie opened a few gifts. The guys grabbed a quick nap and then we headed out for a hike that would take us to a cave and a water fall.

Sunday brought a much needed nap. James had to work extra nights this week. I helped him with one of them, he did the other two on his own. This means that we get to bed about 9 or 10 then up at 1:30 am work till 4:00 or 4:30 am then try to get back to sleep until 6am then up and back at the regular job. He typically works one night a week (on the weekend) but with craft fair we had extra days. We had a lot of early mornings, late nights, and we had our first volley ball scrimmage this week. Usually we play for one hour, this last week it was two. By Sunday we were all whooped.

Monday I woke up tired, achy, congested and with a really bad stomach ache. This lasted all day and into Tuesday. It was tough staying focused on school. Tuesday I had to get kids by 6:30 am and still fighting the sickness. I started feeling better around 3 or 4 pm and so we went to run some errands. Wednesday I was sleeping in and hopefully going to get caught up on laundry and school. I had to meet someone at 9:30 am then I would be back home and focused. I even wrote a note so that I would not forget my appointment.

I was hoping to sleep in till 8am. We are usually up at 7:30 then ready to start school by 8 but we were going to start a little later today. Instead my phone rang at 7:15 this morning. When I answered it was my mom informing me that my grandfather had passed away at 3:30 this morning. We talked for a short while and discussed what we thought would be the arrangement details. I spent the next hour looking into flights and decided it was not a cost effective way to go. The rest of the morning was spent trying to work on details. I also kept my nephew today because his mom had to work and I figured it would keep my mind off things. A little after 9 I received a phone call reminding me that I had an appointment. I quickly showered and left as soon as my nephew got there. The rest of the day was filled with phone calls to hotels, family, etc. At 3pm Kayla decided to leave with Amber and eat with them at church. This would allow me to finally put Noah down for his nap and make so more calls to solidify reservations now that we know when the service will be. I had just started dinner when Amber called and said that she was at the emergency room with her oldest daughter and Kayla was with her and not at church. The next several hours was spent in the ER. Her daughter is doing better but has a sever kidney infection and ear infection. She is still running a high fever and in a lot of pain. I brought the kids home when we realized that the ER visit was going to take a while and feed them dinner. Prior to my leaving for the hospital a good friend of mine calls and ask if I could take care of her daughter Thursday because her mom is in the hospital and they believe that she has had a heart attack. She apologized when she had heard about my day and said "I should not have bothered you". I just said it's okay, if they are at the same hospital I will just make my rounds. Of course no such luck. So tomorrow I will have her daughter and will be trying yet again to get caught up on some extra school work that we are working on and trying to get the house ready to leave. We also have a volleyball game tomorrow night. The funeral is on Monday so we are going to wait until Sunday to leave. The kids are going to stay with a friend so that we can make a quick trip. Plus we do not have anything to do with Noah while we are at the funeral if we take him with us.

So the run down is that it has been a long exhausting day and the next several days do not promise to be any better. I am tired physically and emotionally. I'm sure that these thought do not make much sense but it is all I can muster at this point. My bed is calling me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Missing pieces of 2007


So I was looking for Fall pictures from 2007 because we have yet to take any for 2008. I have needed them a few times and could not figure out what I had done with them. Then it dawned on me that we did not have time for fall activities last year. I guess I just thought that somehow we managed to make it to the pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins, and take fall pictures. The only fall pictures that we have are ones that we had done in November at JC Penny's for Noah's second birthday.

Instead we were busy in many different ways. Some of the things that we were doing this time last year included...moving Amber out of the new house and back into the old house, helping take care of her and the kids due to Danny's death, Philip's birth and complications from the birth. We were also welcoming home Mark from a year in Iraq, and nursing Kayla as she had severely sprained her ankle at Mark's welcome home party. No wonder there are no pictures of pumpkins and fall activities. We do however have many pictures of spending time with the new baby and pictures of Kayla's lovely ankle (which was almost as big as a small pumpkin). We did manage one of our family traditions which was to watch "It's A Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown". We have watched this every year since Kayla was very little. We even own our own copy. We do not celebrate Halloween but we love fall and that movie is one of our favorites. We just love Peanuts.

Another happening last fall was the addition of Bob. Who is Bob? Well he happens to be the long awaited Jeep Cherokee. James has wanted a project jeep for as long as I have known him. Of course I have not fully understood this passion but relented last year when we were all under an extreme amount of stress. If this would help release some of the overwhelming responsibility then who was I to stand in the way. Actually I was counseled on the matter extensively. Many of his close friends said that this was exactly what he needed and the new widow in our life made a good point that life is short and you just do not know how long you have to fulfill those dreams. Danny had always wanted a motorcycle and had finally purchased one two months before he died. He passed away just weeks before he was going to be attending his first Bikes Blues & Bar-B-Q on his own bike. So knowing all of this I just could not quench his dreams any longer.

So... Bob still has not moved; except to take my parking spot but I have been patient and slow to share negative feelings towards Bob. However I am growing ever so eager to have my parking place back. With any luck maybe by the first snow?

We are looking forward to many new memories this fall and winter. Even though 2007 brought several tragedies we experienced many blessings. We may not have pictures to post and reflect on, and many of the memories are not how we would have planned them, but they hold a special place in the life of our family. They are unique and treasured and we are grateful that we were able to share in them. We welcome this new season with great anticipation!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A day off!

Saturday our ABF ladies went to Branson to go shopping. We had planned to spend the night Friday and then shop on Saturday but too many found it difficult to work out childcare. Instead we left about 8am Saturday morning and returned around 10pm.

We had a safe day filled with fun and shopping. It was really good to have a much needed break form the daily grind and from the responsibility of the kiddos. We shopped until about 2pm and then went to Olive Garden for the never ending pasta bowl. We had a fabulous waiter that was fun and witty. We had a great meal, fun fellowship, and a lot of Diet Coke. W also ordered five different desserts and then shared them. The best part we didn't have to share with kids and we never had to take some one to the bath room. We didn't even have wipes with us. I do not remember a time recently that the meal did not end with getting out the travel wipes. After dinner we returned for several more hours of shopping. We did not have to stop because someone was throwing a tantrum or to take them to the bathroom. We were not rushed to get done before the melting point hit. It was so much fun and so relaxing.

All this to say that I owe a big THANK YOU to my wonderful husband who stayed behind to care for 5 children. That's right. He took care of our two and Amber's three. Not only that he was up most of the night working. He is such a champ. I talked to him a couple of times that day and he was either at the park or giving baths etc. The kids said that they had a great day. He took them to a few garage sales, to the park, McDonald's, they played Monopoly, watched TV, he made them pizza for dinner and then sent them through the bath tub. He did have two really great helpers but he also had a 5 yr old, 2 yr old and a 1 yr old. Now the house was trashed but it was well worth the day off. Thanks are an awesome husband, dad and uncle!

Adventures in Parenting

It has been awhile since I have posted faithfully. Life is pretty busy since school started and I have so few brain waves left at the end of the day. I am trying to stay on top of chores ect. but things have gone down hill lately. It's amazing how fast the chores can get away form you.

It has been awhile since I have posted about the surgery. We have seen so many amazing results. I feel like I am sleeping so much better. Many nights I am sleeping through the night. The down side to that is that I wake up sore from sleeping in the same position for so long. Two weeks ago I got my first cold since the surgery. I had forgotten how miserable I once felt. The good news is that I was over the cold in a little over a week. In the past it would have kept me down for weeks and even months. Today I have had a terrible headache. The good side of that is that this the second headache that I have had since the recovery part of the surgery. I lived with chronic headaches and relied on pain meds more than I would have liked. I mostly suffered through them to avoid the meds but it was still more than normal. Now I have only taken Advil a few times since recovery. I am still having some pain and irritation in my throat when I am tired. That seems to trigger something, not sure why. I can breath so much easier and actually sound better too. Many people have commented on how much clearer I sound. There are still a few things we need to address and I go back to the ENT in December but for now we are seeing promising results. I am still needing to see my regular doctor about other issues but haven't followed through with that like I should.

School with Kayla is going well. It is already hard to stay focused. We both would rather be doing so many other things with our time. We are staying on track though and have a few fun field trips to look forward to. She is really enjoying youth group. They are talking about a lot of grown up issues and she is really responding to it. We love our youth workers and trust them tremendously. We had an opportunity to work closely with them in Thailand and think they are amazing. Life with a teenager (well very soon to be official teen) keeps you moving and on your toes. There is always some where to be and some kind of drama going on. Kayla is an amazing young lady and we are so blessed by her sweet spirit yet there are still challenges when raising a young lady. This stage of their life to them and trying to parent them in it is new to us. We are faced with the knowledge of what it was like to be that age and it seems to scare the pants off us. We remember those days and the choices and temptations that we were faced with. Today they are faced with so much more. We are trying to be supportive and keep healthy boundaries at the same time. Some days we just totally freak out and want to lock her up till she's thirty. The sad thing is the rough part hasn't even begun.

Our little man is keeping us on our toes these days too. He is full of new vocabulary and opinions. One minuet he is so witty and cute the next minuet he has totally crossed the line and spending time in his room on his bed. His latest attempt at checking his boundaries took place while renting a movie. I had asked him to not touch the movies because he would pick them up and then put them in a different spot. After a few reminders I told him that if it happened again then he would have to go sit in the van with his sissy. I held his hand for a few minuets to help with the temptation, Next thing I knew I saw him reaching for them. I kindly spoke his name as a reminder and he turned to me and kindly but directly said "you not tell me what to do". So he was sent to the van with sissy. I know that she was thinking why am I being punished. The good news was that all I had left to do was pay. When I got in the van he looked at me and said "mommy you spank me softly". I told him he was not getting a spanking but he was going home and going to bed for a nap. Our days are filled with him testing boundaries and trying out his extended vocabulary.

We welcome the challenges that come with raising two beautiful strong willed children. We would not have it any other way. We learn so much through them and are so grateful that God has allowed us to be parents. We may not be perfect and it is not easy but we enjoy the adventure and continue to make some great memories along the way. We tire easily these days but with God's help we manage enough strength to make it one more day.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A must share moment!

Last night we decided to use some eye drop in Noah's eyes. He is prone to eye infections and they were getting red and had some drainage. He also complained of them hurting all day. We have used these drops a lot since he came home but have not used them since last winter. We knew the drill and knew that it would take both of us to make this happen. We tried to down play it so he would not freak out but still have extra hands when needed. As soon as he saw the drops he was not happy. We managed to get both eyes doctored when he began screaming "you killed my eyes, you killed my eyes!" We reassured him that in a minuet he could open them and they would feel better. He just kept telling us that we killed his eyes. While we felt bad that he was upset and that the drops do sting we could not help but laugh at his insight. This morning we had to repeat the drops and after we finished he looked me in the eyes and asked me, "where did you get that medicine?" I told him that the doctor gave it too me. He asked me for the name of the doctor. I told him, but he still seemed as though we had done something unethical.

Tonight we went with our Adult Bible Fellowship group to see Fireproof. This was a very powerful movie. If you have not been to see it you should. Please do not wait to rent it. We need to support this movie while it is in the theater. You will not be disappointed. Please let your voice be heard by showing film makers that we support these movies. Make sure you take your tissues. I can only imagine the impact that this movie would have on families if everyone in America saw this film.

Friday, October 03, 2008

"Oh No You Never Let Go"

I am really tired tonight but wanted to stop and post about a neat moment today before I forget about it. I seem to forget a lot these days.

Tonight we were headed home after celebrating a friends 40th birthday and his wife's graduation when we heard our little Noah singing in the back seat. He had been singing since we started to drive off but James, Kayla and I were talking and not really listening. Noah usually sings his ABC's or numerous preschool songs that he knows. Tonight I realized that he was singing something different and tried to get Kayla and James to listen but not stop talking. If he knows we are listening he will stop. Anyway they finally heard it too..."Oh no you never let go through calm and through storms oh never let go Lord never let go me". That is what our little boy was belting out over and over. It just amazes me that at two years old he is singing praises to our God most High. I just knew that God was smiling even bigger than we were. That song has been the back bone of our faith as we have walked through the joys and sorrows of the past two years. Thank you Lord for never letting go!

There's more that I could share but this was the high-light of my day.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Here I am so far behind again. I think about posting often but just too over whelmed at the end of the day. It has been an emotional week and a tiring week. I have been sick and now Noah is sick. The guy barley has a voice and he coughs until he sounds like he going to throw up. He has also had a little fever. I hate it when my kids are sick but he is so much calmer when he is. I know it is wrong for me to enjoy his calmer side but what can I say except that we are all flawed.

Today was James 34th birthday. All day long Noah has been singing "Happy Dirt Day". I'm not sure where he got that one. I could tell he was feeling a little better today because he was such a ham. He is still very congested but moving around more.

We met several families at Acambaro for dinner and cake tonight. We enjoyed the fellowship and good food. James received some very thoughtful and fun gifts. Thanks to everyone who was able to come and help us celebrate. The kids and I went to Fayetteville today and took James out to lunch for his birthday. All in all it was a good day. We are all happy that tomorrow is Friday and that Saturday we can sleep in. More later if I get around to it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Momma Chicken?

I had to stop and post this so I would not forget this.

This morning Noah and Philip were eating breakfast. Philip was throwing his food in the floor (it's the thing he does most these days). He continued to throw it in the floor and I finally said "Philip you're being a turkey, stop throwing your food in the floor"! Noah looked very puzzled and then asked me "is that a momma chicken"? Of course I was lost and asked him what he said again. He asked me again "is a turkey like a momma chicken"? For a little guy who loves animals he really gets confused with their names. What we have come to find out is that he is really into zoo and safari animals but he is mixed up on his farm animals. He knows them he just periodically calls them the wrong name or makes the wrong sound for them. The animal that he gets mixed up on most often is the giraffe. He calls it a dragon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rush Of Fools Strret Date Concert

Tonight we took Kayla and a friend to the Rush of Fools Street Date concert. Noah stayed with his Aunt Ber while we went. It was a really fun night and the girls really enjoyed themselves. We went at 4:30 and then James met us after work. There was a concert at 4:30 and then at 6:30. James brought pizza so that the girls and I did not have to leave. We had a pretty good view and could have been right up front but James and I really did not want to be smack dab in the middle of all those teens.

Kayla and Hanna had a picture autographed and Kayla had them sign her shirt too. During the concert they threw out guitar picks (which I had to fight for because Kayla is learning to play guitar). I really did not fight for it but I did have to be on my toes. She was up in the loft and they were not throwing them up there. She was excited. We wish that they had the name of the band on them but she was just excited that they had touched them. Oh, I so remember those days! It was a fun night and we really enjoyed worshiping with such a great band. They are amazingly talented and they have a passion for reaching those with addiction. They work with a foundation that brings awareness and healing for pornography and sexual addiction. If you have not heard this group you should check out their music. I really like it when we can enjoy the same music that our teen does. Also if you live in our area check out Skia christian book store. They were amazing to offer this event and the store has so much to offer. It is not your traditional christian book store. Youwill just have to check it out for yourselves.

Happy Un-Birthday

Place Settings
Goody Boxes ~ I love it when I have the chance to be creative!
Look at these cute cupcakes our director made. We each had our own little flower basket.
This was a giant "cup cake" cake made to look like a flower basket!

Saturday our ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship) class celebrated all the ladies birthdays. This event was to kick off our fall events. We are planning a retreat in October and we will be starting a bible study soon. The party was a lot of fun and it was a way to love on our ladies. Everyone brought a "girl friend" gift for our gift exchange and at the end everyone got to take home there goody boxes. I had a lot of fun doing the boxes and decorations and our director worked very hard on the cupcakes. Over all it was a huge success and tons of fun.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where sorrow and joy meet.

Well it has been 15 days since my last post. So much has happened, so many thoughts have come and gone. I'm not really sure where to even start. I have been reading other post of friends but I just have not had the time, energy or mental capacity to put these last 14 days into words. I'm going to try so that one day when I look back I can see God at work in us and those around us.

When we first started this blog it was to keep family and friends informed during our adoption. Then tragedy struck our family and life with a new baby happened. The blog went untouched for a long period of time and there are so many gaps that I hope to one day fill in. On the other hand I feel like instead of looking back it is time to move forward.

One of the reasons that I began to blog again was because I needed an outlet and a way to process life. I also want family and friends to feel connected, but most of all I just need these thoughts saved so that I can go back and remember how God has moved in our lives. I need to be reminded of the trials and joys of life. It is a place where I can record life and ponder on it as I look back.

We had a great time in KS at the Great Wolf Lodge. Some of the circumstances that surrounded the planning were stressful and we knew that they were schemes from the enemy himself. I so do not like him! We prayed through them and God blessed us with a wonderful memorable trip. Our family as well as two other families made it through the anniversary of Danny's death. Memorial Day was busy as we spent the day playing and celebrating family. Monday night we were driving home when it occurred to me that one year ago we were standing in the hospital, in shock, wondering what just happened. I wanted to pinch my self and wake up shaking off this horrible dream. How were we ever going to make it through this. How do you heal after such a great loss. Well our God is BIG and he is GOOD because one year later we were laughing with the same family and singing silly songs. Trying to name the artist or the song and remembering a husband, father, son and dear friend. Yes, we are moving forward. That is what Danny would want and that is certainly what our Father wants for us. Life is too precious to not celebrate every moment.

I am sure that many people read this blog and wonder why I post so often about death or the families that it has effected. Isn't this blog about adoption and about life being a journey? Why not just write about the journey that brings happiness? All I can say is that we have learned more in these times of sorrow than any other time. Because we live in a fallen world our lives must be intertwined with sorrow and joy. This is where our foundation is tested

As a family we have experienced several tragedies. These tragedies have molded us and formed us into the family that we are today. We are not professing to have the worst experiences out there but we have felt deep sorrow we have experienced our share of the enemies schemes. What I have learned through these is that God does not promise us that this life will be easy but instead speaks of it's difficulties. I wish that we could bypass the trials and troubles of this world but I have to admit that I would not be sold out for Christ if it had all been easy. I would have never learned to trust Him or to turn to Him in difficult times. I would not have sought Him out and wrestled with Him. I would not have seen His suffering or acknowledged my need for His forgiveness. If I had not been wounded I would not have experienced a desperate need for Him. If I had not searched I would not have found Him. If I had not had my heart broken I would not have felt His heart beating. If he answered all my prayers the way I wanted I would not know Jesus as I know Jesus today. He would not be my Abba, my Father, my Redeemer, my Shelter, my Tower of Strength. I would be eternally lost and with out hope. So even though I have questions and my heart aches when life takes that unexpected turn I find comfort in knowing and believing that my God is my Salvation and that this world is my opportunity to show His Love to those who are yet to find and experience that Love and peace that carries me through.

I'm not sure how to share this thought so I am going to just type and ask God to speak. I want to share where my heart is on "family". God has really used Noah's adoption to speak to me about the meaning of family. If you spend much time around our family you would believe that we have a great deal of extended family living close by. You will hear us talk about sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. The truth is we only have James grandmother (granddad passed away in November) and James aunt and uncle that live nearby. The rest of our family is spread out in other states. I'm sure this is not making sense but what I am trying to say is that our children have people in there lives that they refer to as aunt, uncle, etc. We have people in our lives that we refer to as sister and brother. I have been asked many times if I am related to so and so. The answer is usually no. So where am I going with this? A friend once asked me (actually she asks me a lot) why we help her so much. We usually say because you are our sister. Her response is "not by blood so your not obligated". Our response "what about Noah"? "He does not share our blood but we are committed to him." If the only way we can be family is biological blood then our family is a lie. The reason that we help each other and that we call each other family is because of the blood of Jesus. We share eternal blood. It is His blood that connects us and makes us family. We love them because He loves us. His blood was shed so that we could become one and fellowship together. It is not about the blood that runs through our veins and keeps our heart beating. Our blood will one day cease while his has eternal power. His blood covers sin and enables us to fellowship with Him. My point is that we need to think of others as our eternal family and love them in the here and now. We are all so busy with our own families that we we balk at the thought of connecting with another family that may need us to walk with them. This is our only time to make a difference. One day this game of life will end and all the game pieces will go into a box and it will perish. What will we have left. What will our families have left. Who is your family? How well do you know those that you will spend an eternity with? Here's what I have experienced...when you go through infertility for 12 years you begin to reach out to other people's children as your own. You invest in their lives and you connect with them because you long for that relationship. Then there is adoption. I have come to understand my adoption into God's Kingdom so much more clearly after experiencing Noah's adoption. Have you ever loved and given of yourself outside your own blood in a way that will make an eternal difference? If not you are missing one of the greatest earthly rewards there is to receive. Remember God does not need us to take care of His Kingdom but He left His world and came to ours so that we could experience His Kingdom here on earth. His Kingdom exist within the hearts of those that believe in Him and one day, sooner than we know, He will return for His Kingdom.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge...Here We Come

Noah playing at the inside water park
This is part of the out side water park

One of the kids water slides
Statues outside the Great Wolf Lodge
This is the famous GWL bucket
A picture by the mantel
Kayla chilling out after a long day of travel and play (this is a a bunk in the kids cabin that is was in our room)

Kids cabin located inside our room-it has it's own T.V. and Video game system
The "grown up" portion of the room- We also had a small kitchen and balcony

Earlier in the summer I did a few post about our upcoming trip to Texas. In one of those post I stated that we had a surprise for our kids and that we would post about it when we returned (as to not spoil the surprise). I never got around to posting. I'm still working on the pictures. My camera was down so I borrowed a friends and it is taking time to get the pictures down loaded and edited. I took more photos than I have ever taken at one time. When I'm done then I want to turn them into slide shows. It was one of the best vacations I have had with my children. ( I decided to post a few of the pictures from our last trip.

The big surprise was that we stopped in Grapevine TX at the Great Wolf Lodge. The kids were so excited. It is an amazing place for kids and families. One of the reasons that we went was it is a family favorite for Amber, her late husband, and their kids. She wanted to take the kids back but knew that it would be difficult since this was were they spent many family vacations. We really enjoyed our time and we made some new memories.

Since this is such a difficult weekend Amber decided that we should all go away for the weekend and what better place than the GWL. This will be the first time James has been. We are going with another family as well. We thought that it would be fitting that since we were all together one year ago we should be together a year later. According to the date it will not be one year until Wednesday but it was Labor Day Monday when we received that devastating phone call. It was also her birthday so we are going to celebrate her birthday this weekend. Her real birthday is the 3rd...the day he died and so we are going to celebrate early. It is going to be a surprise. I took the kids last night so that they could buy their mom something for her birthday. We had such a good time and they were really into shopping for her. To my surprise they haven't spilled the beans either. She told me today that her kids have not said a word about what we did last night. The 5 year old did say that we went to the circus. I told her to tell her mom that if she asked where we went. So last night when I dropped the kids off the 5 year old said " aunt Angie I had so much fun at the circus. That was the best cotton candy." She is just too much for words some days.

I will probably not have much time to post next week. We will come home on Monday, Tuesday I start keeping Philip part time, and then Wednesday...well it is just going to be a difficult day.

If you are reading this post please pray for this dear family. This year has been so difficult for them. If you only knew the extent of the obsticials that they have had to face on top of loosing Danny. Please pary that we will know how to comfort them and how to support them through this next week as we move through the one year anniversary of this tragedy. Also pray for us as we celebrate Philip's first birthday...with out his dad.