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Daily Verse

Sunday~
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

Why do we try to conform God to our will? Live in His word and know true joy.

Monday~
"Make me to know your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old."
Psalm 25:4-6

God reveals the truth of our time and all time to us through Scripture.

Tuesday~
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the tstimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:7-10

All the laws in all the books in all the libraries of the world are but a footnote to the law of God.

Wednesday~
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

To know and understand God comes not through our intellect, but through the wisdom given to us by the grace of God.

Thursday~
"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:1-3

Don't measure success by society's standards. Use Christ as your measuring stick.

Friday~
"The the LORD answered Job our of the whirlwind and said: 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstond...?'"
Job 38:1, 4-6

When we measure God by our limited standards, we attempt to measure the elephant by weighing one strand of its hair.

Saturaday~
"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so lon, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?'"
John 14:8-9

Christ is God made flesh. If you want to know God, you must draw closer to Jesus.

J.E.N.E

Patch

12.14.03

8.20.04

1.20.05

4.26.05

Anniversary

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Princess

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunshine

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Cupcake

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Love Bug

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Healthier Me!

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Season of Trials

We seem to go through seasons, and our current season is one of trial.  The enemy is very real and he is trying to get us to step away from God and lean on ourselves...that doesn't work so well.  When it gets to that point, the point where we buy satan's story, that is when things crumble around us.  It is no secret that Handsome and I pretty much do things alone.  There are not many people that have decided to stick by us...which is fine, but that also means that Handsome and I are everything to each other.  Sure, I am blessed to have my mom and dad that support....but they are not here.  I chat with mom when I can, but I also don't want to dump everything in her lap every time we talk!  So Jason and I tend to hold our 'stuff' in until no more can fit and then we 'dump' it on the other and then the other feels like we are not good enough...right now we are battling the school (again) on behalf of what is best for Sunshine.  Along with the fact that our 7 year old is back in diapers full time, has a compulsion to eat anything he THINKS is consumable...and doctors just don't have much advise on how to handle his case other than "you are doing exactly what he needs, good job mom and dad" (which by the way, isn't much comfort).  There is no book on "how to handle your drug baby with ODD, bi-polar, encephalopathy, ect..ect..ect.." So we wing it.  But God doesn't promise life to be easy.  Then you look at Princess, she is about to turn 8, and she is becoming such a beautiful soul.  When she is thinking about her actions she thinks of others...she cares for babies...she offers to get drinks and food for Mama and Daddy...she LOVES her brothers and sisters and does a fantastic job of being their big sister.  But the effects of the stress in caring for special needs children gets to her, she gets sad...she cries...she feels like she is second best because the others require so much attention and because she doesn't she doesn't always get as much as she should.  She is definitely my right hand around here, and I try very hard to not take her for granted.  She is AMAZING!  Next we look at Cupcake, and well much like her older sister she doesn't have any major needs....but she does like her snuggles, and she needs physical touch more than any kid I have ever known...and some days Mama just cannot sit and snuggle.  Some days Mama just doesn't have that spare moment because of the needs around the daycare/house/other kids....and then we act up.  But there are nights like last night, this precious Cupcake, this girl who grew inside of me...she needed those snuggles so bad she stayed up until the late night hours waiting to snuggle in my bed, she looked for ways to help so we could get there more quickly, she put out a new potty pad for the dogs, she cleared the dishes from the table, she brought me my water when I didn't have it....until she passed out in her daddy's arms because she just couldn't wait any longer.  HEARTBREAKING!   But there are medical bills that require paperwork, and paperwork for the school (that we already filled out but here are some of the issues preciously mentioned), seriously...I am only one person.  We also have our LoveBug...who is having MANY struggles right now.  She started pre-school this fall, just a couple weeks after turning three.  She goes two mornings a week to receive her therapy's...but she doesn't like it, and it is turning her into a monster.  She comes home exhausted from the events of the morning (and tear stained cheeks and dried crying boogers under her nose) all she has left in her is too eat and sleep pretty much the rest of the day.  But she isn't the happy little girl she once was, she is cranky, crabby, and mean.  She also has decided that she doesn't like to wear diapers any more (though she is no where close to potty training) and she takes them off and leaves messes for Mama and Daddy to clean up...the liquid ones aren't too terrible, but when she decides we need drawings on her crib and walls and the only color option she has is BROWN the smell alone overwhelms me...let alone the clean up.

On top of our 4 kiddos we have two foster littles that have been with us since November that are at the point in the case that something needs to happen for them.  They need permanency...they need to start working on their future rather than being kept in limbo.  The two year old Teddy Bear is confused and acting out..often, but she can also charm the pants off of you, she is just confused.  Her 1 year old brother follows her lead...and we have many melt downs.  But they continue to have visits with bio mom every Friday where they also see their 4 older siblings.  They do not understand....but they want to know what their future holds! I am trying to brace myself for when they leave...I love them like my own, as I do with all foster kids in my home.  I invest in them like my own...and I would love for them to become my own...but we are still trying for reunification.  Which breaks my heart!  The odds of that happening are slim, but in the event that doesn't happen the state will rip them away from the place they feel safe, the place they learned what love and stability was all about, the place where they got to be kids rather than having to learn life skills over survival...and they will be moved out of state to be with some distant (older) relatives that they have never met.  How long will it take the kids to recover and trust/love again?  Will that be able to?  I don't know...but I am trying to prepare myself for their departure.  Prepare myself for the ache my children will have when these two kiddos leave our home.  It will be like loosing some of our family.

Please know this is not a complaint about my life...we are living the life that God intends us to live...He just doesn't promise it is going to be easy.

But back to doing it alone, in this world there are very few people that understand why Handsome and I have chosen a life that clearly requires much work, little rest, and a LOT of hurt.  Do you know that I work because I am trying to pay for our adoptions?  One of our three adoptions were supposed to have been paid for, but when we made a decision to follow God in a direction He was leading us the family that had raised all of the money for that adoption decided we didn't deserve it.  Okay God, we will trust you!  Did you know that for LoveBug's adoption there was a surprise $11,000 to get her out of the hospital?  Okay God, we will trust You!  Did you know that if we wouldn't have adopted our children I could be that stay at home Mom? that I dream of being?  Except then what would be the purpose of being a stay at home mom???  We have lost many things by choosing to follow the path that God has paved for us, we have lost Handsome's family, we have lost adoption funding, we have lost most of our friends, we have lost churches (seriously!?!?), we have lost sleep, we have lost babysitters, we have lost date nights, we have lost much....God never promised it would be easy....

But here is what we have gained: a relationship between Handsome and myself that is truly rock solid-it may not always be pretty, and it may not always be lovey dovey-but rock solid there until death do us part!  We have gained a child like faith in God, because honestly, there are days that I just don't know how it is going to work out....but God does!  We have gained 3 beautiful adopted children and one amazing biological child, all of whom are exactly the children that are supposed to be in our family, in our home, and in our hearts!  We have gained so much in choosing to follow God no matter what the cost...

So I am not complaining, I am not asking for pitty...or money...or anything else.  We go through seasons, and ours is a season of trials right now.  From our experience trials are usually testing, and if we don't pay attention to the test at hand and learn the lesson that God is trying to teach He will surely present it to us again and again until we get it.  We are trying to get used to handling this craziness by ourselves...with Him.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

3 years...

About this time 3 years ago we got a fun phone call from Family to Family Adoptions Inc in Texas.....they had news for us...a baby girl due September 6....We already had Princess (4), Sunshine (4) and Cupcake (4.5 months) and we were going to be a growing family!!!
 I don't remember the exact date they called...but the call itself...I will never forget!
My mind instantly went to this....having my arms full and my heart overflowing!


 She was tiny and beautiful...


And she was ours...well not until the end of August was she born...and then in March we finalized her adoption....but how she has changed this family for good!  We laugh more because of her...we smile more because of her....we fight more (as in fight for each other and the needs of our kids/family)...we are stronger because of her...we face the day differently because of her....she is our LoveBug...and this is the song I have chosen for her:

So Far To Find You
by Casting Crowns

You were broken, abandoned
And crying all alone
We were waiting and praying 
And longing to bring you home
And then we saw your face
In a moment you were wrapped up in our hearts
We took a step of faith
And now here we are

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

From a world away, I journeyed
Just to hold your hand
You will never be alone again
I've come so far to find you
So far to find you

You were fighting and fearful
You were hiding your heart away
But I was trying so hard to show you
'Cause there were no words that I could say
If you could see my heart
You would know that all I want to do
Is care for you

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

Here in your eyes I see
Reflections of myself
How I"m the child that's really running
But I can hear a voice that's whispering my name
Saying come to me, don't run from me
I'm all you need and I am calling

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
(I have come so far)
Will you take my love and give up the fight
(I have come so far)

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

From Heaven's throne
Down to a rugged cross I came
It was My love for you that brought Me all the way
So far to find you
So far to find you

You were broken, abandoned
And crying all alone

~~~~

It is an amazing song...Our LoveBug was 6 lbs 1 oz when she was born addicted to crack cocaine.  She was tiny and frail, she needed someone who could fight for her.  It was a difficult road.  She was so stiff should wouldn't latch on to nurse (I was already nursing my 5 month old) she cried for hours on end.  While I was pumping/attending to Cupcake my Handsome would hold this little tiny baby in the wee hours of the night/morning and sing to her, quote scripture to her and hold her tight/close skin to skin.  There were 5 months of withdrawals.  She stayed in preemie diapers until she was 3 months and only because of quantity of fluids we then put her into Newborn diapers which leaked almost as bad because her tiny little legs were too small for the diaper to fit tightly around.  She was in Newborn diapers until she was 8 months old.  She couldn't grow...she cried...we cried...she doctored.  But there was a miracle in this child....she had a desire to live....a will to fight...far greater than anyone could ever imagine.  She also had an amazing smile and an awesome giggle! This girl came to us broken...I mean her body was in tact and every finger and toe was in place...but inside she was struggling with an addiction she didn't choose.  We thought we were there for her, but let me tell you something...she is here for us!  This girl is still so cute, funny, smilie, full of laughter and just adorable!





To say that this girl has my heart...an understatement.  She was meant to be in this family...she was meant to be my daughter...I was meant to be her Mama!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Growth

What would you think if you saw a person from high school that was exactly the same as the day you met them?  They looked the same, weighed the same, were wearing the same clothes, driving the same car, using the same slang,  they were doing the exact some job...living in the exact same home...partaking in the same hobbies....I am telling you NOTHING had changed about this person.  It is understandable that some are closer to this time frame of life than others....buy my mind instantly thinks of Ross, Rachael, Monica, Chandler, Pheobee, and Joey.  Can you imagine if those 6 iconic characters were to just stay in 1995 mind set until 2050?  They would be thought of is pretty silly.  

Can you imagine your 12 year old self being married for 20+ years, having grown children and grandchild, a job, a house and all of the responsibilities that come with those things...yet only be able to function with what knowledge/capabilities you had when you were 12?
 Growth is natural, from the minute we are conceived we grow.  Each second that passes is one we will never get back.  
 Our parents, aunts & uncles, teachers, pastors and others around us work at keeping us healthy and equipping us with the needed 'tools' to get from the very beginning of our lives through all the way to the end.
 There comes a time in our lives where we have to choose to take the reigns of our own 'growth' and continue down that path.   Depending on what exactly we are talking about makes a difference at what stage of our life we take over.  One wouldn't really expect a parent to brush their teeth if they were 18, but at the same time a parent really shouldn't be physically dressing a 16 year old either.  (I know in some circumstances this point isn't valid.)  I find it interesting that in many ways a child from the point of mobilization (crawling, walking, talking) is trying to become independent from their parents. 
~ I frequently hear "I big, I do it" from my 3 year old.  ~  
 But yet as adults, whether married or not, schooled or not, working or not we are looking for ways to blame our lack of growth in areas on others.  Maybe it is someone that doesn't 'own' their responsibilities at work, or someone else that hates life to the point they need to take others around them down so they don't feel so badly about themselves.  Maybe it is the fresh out of college employee that feels angry because s/he isn't making as much as the veteran employee that has been there for 39 years.  I do not completely understand why as humans we have this self destruct button, but it is damaging.  It breaks relationships, it brings depression, it really makes chaos in all areas of life.
I have some things that I am not proud of, some of my biggest 'self destruct' tenancies come from a variety of things in my life...but ultimately it is my choice if I will allow them to swallow what could be happiness and health, laughter and progress.

*I like food, knowing that there are certain things that my body doesn't handle well...I still eat them because they taste good.  Which causes medical issues, mood swings, and just a crumby feeling after eating the 'bad' foods....hence why I am constantly on a quest for a healthier life.  in 2010 I tackled that trouble and was able to have victory...enter Cupcake and the pregnancy that came with her...and at the end I was blessed with a healthy baby girl....but my body was back (literally) in the exact place it started...maybe a few more stretch marks.  I cannot blame anyone other than myself for defeat in this area....I CAN try, but the truth is that it is MY FAULT that I am where I am.  

Anyway, I guess this is a rambling of my mind....I read something today that just sparked my mental state into needing to plead with mankind to take responsibility.  I believe 100% that we all have a purpose on this life and that purpose IS NOT to cause brokenness and sorrow.  

Do something positive today...negative is naturally going to come our way.  What are we going to do with it???  Be someone positive today....you just never know who you might touch!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Music gets to me...

As I have stated on more than one occasion, music can really get me thinking.  I can hear a song and it can completely change my thought process for the moment or it can change my mood....music gets to me.

For example, on Sunday morning I had on Pan.dor.a and the song "Precious Memories" comes on...my mind is immediately taken back almost 12 years to my newlywed days when Handsome was providing pulpit supply for area churches when there was a need.  One of our little churches was between pastors and so for 4-5 months we would get in our old black Mercury and drive to this little town while listening to the Gospel Hour on a local country station...almost every week they would play Precious Memories and now every time I hear the song I can smell Curve cologne, see my Handsome in a suit and tie and almost feel the plush burgundy seats of the old car!!!  It is crazy!

But last night I had another song come up, "I Could Not Ask For More" by Ed.win...Mcc.ain.  Now I realize this song was written for a couple, but while I was hearing the words I couldn't help but think of my kids.

"Lying here with you
Listening to the rain
Smiling just to see the smile upon your face
These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
Looking in your eyes
Seeing all I need
Everything you are is everything to me
These are the moments
I know heaven must exist
These are the moments I know all I need is this
I have all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
Every prayer has been answered
Every dream I have's come true
And right here in this moment is right where I'm meant to be
Here with you here with me
These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've got all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
Every prayer has been answered
Every dream I have's come true
And right here in this moment is right where I'm meant to be
Here with you here with me
I could not ask for more than the love you give me 'Cause it's all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more"

The entire song really makes me think of my children.  Knowing from the age of 13 the odds of me carrying a healthy pregnancy to term were slim to none, becoming a mother was one of two things I really ever wanted....getting married and being a mom!  When I met Handsome and told him that I probably could never give him children and he responded by telling me that we could just adopt!!!  I knew he was my man!  

"Smiling just to see the smile on your face"
-I do this often, there is nothing better than a dimple cheek, toothless smile of one of my kids!  I love how their personalities come through in their cheesy little grins!!!

"These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive"
-Seriously, what else is there in this world than loving your children?!?!?  Or at least for me...when I have my Handsome and my kiddos I am a happy lady.  Just the other night all 6 of the kids were playing Ring Around The Rosie and when they would All.Fall.Down they would laugh and laugh and laugh...get up and do it again.  Our Cupcake would tackle anyone that thought they could get away with not falling and then more giggles would happen.  It was fabulous!
..."These are the moments I'll remember all my life"

"Looking in your eyes, seeing all I need"
-The fastest way to bring my attitude around (other than music) is being able to have a little sweet time with one of my kids.  When I look into any of their eyes and connect with them on that level it really is an amazing form of contentment that comes over me!  I love my kids!  I love that God allowed me to be their mother!

"I could not ask for more than this time together, I could not ask for more than this time with you"
-I honestly have a hard time committing to anything that is going to take me away from my kids regularly!  When I first was invited to my bi-weekly Bible Study that was one of my biggest concerns...but I will be missing putting them to bed, feeding them supper, jammies, Bible story time....my Handsome had to remind me that 13 nights out of 14 I would still be doing those things and it was okay to be away from it.  But, "Right here in this moment is where I'm meant to be, here with you here with me!"

"Every prayer has been answered, every dream I have's come true"
-One honestly could not know how many prayers went up before my babies came home!!!  I prayed for children before I was married (though I wanted to wait until after marriage), my Handsome and I prayed for children almost immediately after marriage, and we asked many friends and family to pray with us knowing the battle we had ahead of us...and then the miscarriages...there was many prayers!!  But the prayers have been answered (even though I am still praying for another baby) and my dreams have been realized in the fact that I have 4 amazing children that are all mine...and two on loan for the moment!!! ;)

Anyway, I know this post is a little cheesy, who am I kidding...most of my posts are!?!?  But it is a glimpse of how my brain works when a song comes on.  Each and every line I dissect to get the deep down meaning of what is being said/sung!!!  This song just so happened to be singing from my heart about my kids!  

Have I mentioned that I love my kids???  "I could not as for more..."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why we do what we do.

So Satan always has a way of creeping into our home on Sunday mornings...I truly believe he is trying to either A) keep us from church all together or B) get us upset with eachother so that some or all of us arrive at church stewing about that rather than focusing our heart and mind on Christ and the message He is giving us through our pastor.  Either way Satan is fighting us every step of the way to church!

This morning as I was trying to get myself and our 4 littles ready I was listening to Pan...dora on shuffle and a John.Michael.Mon.tgomery song came on that I have heard a million times before.  As I listened to the words I kept thinking of the precious children that have been brought to our home in other ways than through my belly.  I am speaking for our agency adopted children, our foster/adopt child and our foster children (past and current.)

Here are the first two verses of the song "Little Girl" by JMMontgomery

"Her parents never took the young girl to church
Never spoke of his name never read her his word
Two non believers walking lost in this world 
Took their baby with them what a sad little girl
Her daddy drank all day and mommy did drugs
Never wanted to play or give kisses and hugs
She'd watched the TV and sit there on the couch
While her mom fell asleep and her daddy went out
And the drinking and the fighting
Just got worse every night
Behind their couch she'd be hiding
Oh what a sad little life

And like it always does the bad just got worse
With every slap and every curse 
Until her daddy in a drunk rage one night
Used a gun on her mom and then took his life
And some people from the city took the girl far away
To a new Mom and a new Dad 
Kisses and hugs every day!"


Sadly I do not think that many people realize how really severe the problems of today are.  There are thousands of children in our very own country that wake up (on their own) every day...if they are 3 or older they are probably waking up to scavange food for their younger siblings.  They tip toe around their mom and/or dad trying NOT to wake them because they are afraid of WHO or WHAT they will receive when they wake up!  We have had a 2 yr old foster daughter placed just 1 month post her 2nd birthday and already knew to look in the corners of the house for crumbs, climb kitchens counters to find 'the good stuff', and check and change her 1 yr old brothers diaper (not well, but she still tried.)  Her older brothers and sisters were old enough for school, so they were able to get meals when they were at school and they were also able to get a break from having to parent the younger siblings to go to school and try to blend in so they didn't put a spotlight on their parents. But while they were at school the babies were forced to live on their own.  Sometimes there wasn't an adult around, sometimes there was but the partying was more important than feeding or caring for the child.  Life was about survival and it was scary.  There was not love, there was not structure, there was not stability.  This is the story for child after child in the system (and many who are not) in our country.

My husband and I did not 'choose' to be foster parents long term.  We DID decide to get licensed so that we could grow our family when agency adoption wasn't working well for us and I was desperate to be a mother.  In that moment we never really could have known what God had in store for us.  Yes, our first placement was precious adorable little baby boy that we were able to dress and feed and love.  But that little boy quickly had so many doctors appointments that I was hauling our 3 month old baby girl along with to 30-40 appointments a MONTH!!!  He was sick because his birthmom thought there was only way to feel loved by men.  She had babies and was unable to care for them because no one took the time to care for her.  She didn't know how to survive on her own, let alone caring for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th baby she brought into the world by way of getting 'loved' by men.  Sure, that little boy is the CUTEST little blonde haired boy I have EVER seen, and we are blessed that he is permanently calling us Mom and Dad....but even in his short time that his biological mother was responsible for him (pregnancy) she made decisions for herself and against our son that has altered his quality of life forever.  We are unsure if Sunshine will ever leave our home to live on his own...will he be married?  Go to college?  Have children?  We simply do not know.  Non Christian doctors have basically told us our best chance for him is to get on our knees!!   Prayer is something I can do...but I do not know if God will choose to answer these prayers or try to teach us or reach others through my son.  We will see.  We fought for our son...we love our son...and when we FINALLY were able to go to court and legally adopt him that was not the end of our fostering.

No God had a bigger plan...far bigger than we would ever know and probably bigger than we would ever have chosen on our own.  We just received our 'thanks for 8 years of service' certificate at the Foster parent Appreciation Picnic this month, I do not say this for 'congrats' or 'thanks' but for the fact that a decision we made to become parents was fulfilled in just a 2.5 year time after starting...so why do we continue.  We continue because God needs people that will love these children, God needs people that can provide stability and structure for these children.  God wants people to teach this precious souls about Him.

God has called us...

We are not 'good people' we are not the 'bleeding hearts' we do not 'love being foster parents' (okay sometimes, in some situations I do.  I can think of at least 3 cases over our years that I have LOVED being involved in) but we do this because God has given us a job to do, God needs us to love these children.

Think about the repercussions of  putting our own 4 kids to bed one night and having them wake up the next day to 2 strange children that came while they slept.  Think about the fact that most of these children come from sad SAD situations similar to what the songs talks, or my example and that they do not just 'fall into place' in the family.  There is fighting, screaming, destruction and crying...what gets me the most is that little child crying for the mother that has been putting her cigarettes out on her little one that is covered in round little burns all over their body.  Crying for the Daddy that has used her as his 'enjoyment' when there was no one else around to fulfill his 'needs.'  How heartbreaking is is that when you offer a bed to a child for the first time in their life, food on a regular basis, toys that look like they are never ending, and love...the child still cries for the people that abuse them because that IS ALL THEY EVER KNEW!!!  But imagine this just for a moment.  Yes when a child comes into my home I buy them clothes...I dress them as if they are my own...and we love and teach them like they are our own...because why should they have second best just because they may only be with us for a short time???  When they are in my home they are treated and taught just like mine...I have 6 kids right now...I do NOT have 4 children and 2 foster children.  The child should not suffer because his/her biological parents need to get some things together in their life.  But please remember, just because they 'look normal' doesn't mean they are.....

God has called us...

I write this to let you in on a secret...it isn't us at all.  It is God working through us that allows us to do what we do.  Did you know we have been talked down to by church pastors and leaders because we have foster children in our midst?  Did you know we have not been welcomed in some churches because of our unique family?  Does anyone really want to NOT be wanted or included?  I do not, but neither do these precious children.

God has called us...to love the little children.
God has called us...to father the fatherless.
God has called us...to be a home for the lonely.
God has called us...to adopt and love children that may otherwise not receive those very important things in their lives.

Please pray for us as we continue on this journey that God has paved for us.  It isn't easy, it isn't always fun....but it is where God wants us to be.  Please pray for the children that are not receiving hugs and kisses every day, because they are everywhere and no where at the same time.

God had called us and that is why we do what we do.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It Won't Be Like This For Long...

 It won't be like this for long

One day soon that little girl is gonna be all grown up and gone
And this phase is gonna fly by, so he's trying to hold on
'Cause it won't be like this for long
It won't be like this for long

-Darius Rucker 

 I have spent much time away from my kids lately, not away from my home...but we are preparing for a rummage sale and so Handsome has been taking care of the feeding and the house while I have been cleaning, organazing & pricing items for the sale.  But while I am pricing all these cute tiny outfits and shoes my mind goes back to what seems like yesterday.  Back when they were little...but the truth is there isn't a one of them that have anything really very 'little' about them any more...and that makes this Mama heart both sad at the 'loss' of babyhood and proud of who they are becoming!
 .
 Our little Miss Princess isn't so little any more...in fact when we are not dealing with what seems like teenager attitude and laziness we usually 'catch' her picking up a responsibility with one of the younger ones in the house.  Sure she does still have her fun, but she is Mama's excellent helper.  This girl, I can think back to yesterday (a few yesterdays ago) to when she was little and while she didn't ever really need my help, needed me much more than she does now!!!  Her love of life has always been one of the things that stands out about her...her laugh, her smile and her happy eyes!  She is becoming a beautiful young lady, still rough around the edges...but growing into a young lady and trying to choose God's way for her life

 Our little LoveBug!  She is so amazing to me, the struggles she deals with on a daily basis are overwhelming (at times) to her Mama and yet most days she faces them with a huge smile on her face!  She keeps us all giggling around here.  One of her 'big things' around lately has been trying her hand at sentences...no doubt the speech therapy is helping...but whenever you ask her a question IF she says YES (usually she says NO) it is actually 'YES, I did!'  Ex: "Are you stinky?" "Yes, I did!" or "Do you like pink?" "Yes, I did!"  She is so precious to me.

 My Sunshine!!!  This kiddo has many obstacles he is working to overcome but his heart is overwhelmingly sweet.  He has been working on his temper lately, working to not throwing tantrums and not screaming out of control.  When he is thinking through things he is a huge helper...he loves to teach the little ones new things (and for the most part they are GOOD).  Sunshine has always enjoys outside play time and taking care of our dogs.

 The Cupcake...this girl screams BIG in every single area.  We are on her 3rd week accident free, as in not even at naps or bed time!  She wants to do everything the big kids do and she is often spouting off orders to anyone who will listen.  It is an interesting feeling as the Mama to my only biological kid.  I see myself in her...never had that before.  It makes me almost harder on her in some ways, because I don't want her to have to struggle through the same mistakes that I did.  She has most guys in her life wrapped around her finger (Papa, Daddy, Brother....) and that is exactly how she wants it.  But then, when the sun goes to bed for the day we get this tender sweet spirit that is very dependent on Mama and Daddy snuggles!
The Bible says children are a gift from God.  Oh how true that is, and how amazing it is that God has chosen these 4 children to allow me to raise them for Him (and the foster babes too!)

While I am reflecting on my 31st birthday I can only imagine what my mom is thinking about her two children, where we are in our lives and where she is in hers.  It makes me think that she probably remembers these days with my brother and I as if they were yesterday and wonders where the time went....like I am with my little ones!  Cherish this time my friends...IT WON'T BE LIKE THIS FOR LONG!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lord I thank YOU!


Who would have guessed that I would be sitting here writing a happy birthday letter to a child who frequently hears "you are your Mama's miniMe!"  With our rough start to building our family it definitely was something that left my thoughts several years before!  But here I am and she is nothing short of a miracle!

This little Cupcake has taught me so many things that I didn't know were missing in my life....I am thankful for the beautiful puzzle God has used to put our family together, but tonight I am thankful that He saw fit to bless me with the opportunity to carry a baby to full term and deliver her.  To raise a little one that from the very minute I met her could look into her face and KNOW she was mine!  It has been a journey, one that is blessed and perfect...one that I believe God gifted me with.


Rather than meeting my baby as a stranger and working from that minute to teach her who I was...she knew. She knew me better than I did, my breath sounds, my heartbeat, my voice....it was calming and soothing to her.  She knew me...and I knew her!  We were instantly bonded and to this very day this precious girl still needs looks and touches in a different way that any of my heart born children! 

That first year went so quickly, her personality started to blossom and the stubborn nature that surely allow her to stick around inside of me became evident!  She was just so perfect.  I literally wanted to take in every moment of her life.

Those toes, those dimples, those cheeks, her upturned nose, here puffy little grandma arms, her wispy blonde hair, her blue blue eyes...sheer perfection.  A true miracle of God!  Now I do think this of every child...not just Cupcake...but not every child is of me.  Her second year proved again to us just how amazing it was to have a child that was part of us.  Her stubbornness continued and we started getting a little bit of attitude.  But she also had a very fond spot for her Papa!  She loves her Papa and babies and birds and ice cream and touching her Mama!  She notices things, she GETS things, as in you can explain simple things to her and rather than having to go about it 100 different ways...she GETS it.  It is beautiful.
And now I sit here on the day of her birth, just 3 years later and continue to be in awe of what God does to bring a child into this world.  This baby, this Cupcake was just a tiny little speck inside of me that grew and grew and grew until she was out of room and it was time for her to join the world.  She captured many from the very beginning and continues to do so.  

As I quoted on my FB account last night...my first grade teacher Mrs. Lordan was a huge influence in my life all the way until she passed away after we had Princess & Sunshine had a saying she told me.  Apparently it was something she used to tell me when I was in her classroom, I don't remember that, but on my high school graduation she told me that she knew I would do great things because I have always been "small but MIGHTY!"  While I can say that Cupcake is one of those great things I now can look at this little person (who still looks A LOT like myself) and see that very thing in her.  She is SMALL BUY MIGHTY!



I can only give credit to One for this precious blessing I call my own...you see before I loved her He knew her...He knew when the perfect time was for her to join our family...He knew when my body would be able to carry her...He knew.  And every single day that I go into her room and wake her up I am reminded that God still performs miracles!!!  I love you my Cupcake!  Thank you God for letting me be her Mommy!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 26th

I have been thinking about writing this post for 3 days, but just couldn't find the words.  January 26th marked 9 years since our 3rd precious bundle decided Jesus' arms were calling.  While I can see the plans God had through loosing our first 4 babies through miscarriage, it does not make it easier to see their 'birthdays' come on the calendar year after year.  I used to think it would have been easier to endure the loss if we had living children around us, but now that we do have precious children my realization is that now I know what we missed by not knowing those precious children.  Hearing their giggles, kissing their owies, snuggling little bundles and seeing the world through their eyes on a daily basis are all things that in our last two miscarriages (both after we had living children) hurt even more!  Now to be honest, having miscarriages is not the biggest trial I feel we have endured, but they were life changing and have helped me to enjoy being a mommy at all hours of the day AND night and to watch my complaints about what parenthood means.  Those precious babies grow up and they become toddlers and in be'tweens' and the one we have not yet experienced - teenagers.  But you know what?  We have 6 children that we never get to go through those stages with!!!  -wonderful or tough stages as they may be- So for me to complain about the stage of parenthood we are at with ~enter any difficult moment (and there are MANY)~ our living children would be to forget the battle we faced along with being ungrateful for the blessings God has bestowed upon us.

I miss you my six precious -PERFECT- angels...see you in heaven one day.

I encourage anyone that may read this to think about a family that struggles with fertility or have even moved into the roller coaster called adoption and find a way to bless and encourage them.  Even if they are not asking for help....THEY NEED IT!!!

Maybe the words were still not right, but it was time for me to 'write' them out!  Thank you for reading my thoughts.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

My Handsome

 I have to take a moment and brag on my amazing Handsome...This guy literally makes my world spin on a regular basis, He wears so many different 'hats' and I do not always understand what that means for him and all that he does in a 24 hour time period!!!! 
 He is an amazing husband, always has been.  He is sweet and fairly chivalrous (was more so before children...but when wrangling 6 kids to get into the Suburban I cannot exactly expect him to open my door any more!  ;)  He pays attention so little things and is very good about helping around the house!  He cooks, does laundry & dishes, changes diapers and occasionally gives me a day to myself!!!  He is working on becoming more of a romantic (not a natural thing for him...but I am) but when the day is done I know that this man is mine forever!  He is my true love and I am blessed that God saw fit to make me for this man! 
He is a hard worker...sometimes TOO HARD a worker. He started our married life (11.5 years ago!) as an electrician and quickly starting doing pulpit supply for area pastors that were sick or on vacation.  That lead him to becoming an Associate Pastor (while still doing full time electrical work) and then a Senior pastor (while still doing FT electrical work.)  My husband puts 110% into whatever he is doing.  I honestly cannot think of another man I would rather listen to preach God's Word.  He started working for the city right after Cupcake was born and 6 months in received an amazing opportunity (promotion) to where he is now....plus since then has been given many other responsibilities, labels, ect. that he is in charge of.  He has remolded/built/upgraded/added onto every house we have ever lived in, even the ones we didn't own.  He is AMAZING!  And while he isn't doing direct electrical work or pastoral work any more he still finds time to do that here and there.  He does some electrical on the side for people and also fills in preaching when given the opportunity! 


He is a great Daddy!  This is him and our Princess dancing in the living room one night before bed.  Dance speaks to this girls heart and he went as far as doing 'the Daddy' dance two years in a row on stage in front of people just to connect with his precious first born!  She has talked him into dancing again this year and I'm excited to see it!  He does a very good job with explaining things so kids can understand them and also teaching them what God expects of them! 
 Handsome & our Sunshine
Our sunshine has been a bit of a challenge to both myself and my husband, his mental issues really stretch us on a daily basis...but that being said it has been AMAZING to watch Handsome blossom as a father to this (not so) little guy.  He allows him to watch and learn while doing landscaping/yard work or even when working in the kitchen.  He takes the time to explain and discipline...he really strives to teach our son how to be a respectable adult/husband/father/worker one day!

 Handsome & Cupcake
This honestly has been one of the most amazing things for me to witness!!!  Cupcake is our only surviving biological child, and while we love all of our children the same...there are things that are different about her.  She comes FROM us, the rest of our children do not.  We have been working to bond with and strengthen that bond with our adopted children ever since they joined our family...but Cupcake was born bonded with us.  To see the natural bond between my Handsome and Cupcake has been awesome.  He has changed on account of her...in a good way.  She has softened him, she had shown him love, she has taught him so many things....and he adores her.  She can get him to melt into a puddle with a cute little smile and head turn.  It is beautiful.
 Handsome & LoveBug
LoveBug has been another trick for us...she was born addicted to crack cocaine.  We already had a 5 month old at home that I was nursing/pumping for.  So Handsome took on the challenge of taking care of her in the middle of her withdrawals....he would snuggle her up so tight and walk with her all hours of the night and day.  Because of this a very special bond was formed between the two of them...she has turned into a clown and he and her have so much fun together.  To this day he is the only one that she will settle down and snuggle with! 

I am so blessed and thankful to have a husband that loves me, loves our children and sticks by through thick and thin.  Which is good...because he is about the only one who sticks around...we have a desire to serve God in the capacity in which He deems best for us, at this time it seems foster care is really where He wants us.  Handsome also has a desire to get me healthy so I can enjoy a long life with the children God has given me.  I am thankful for this man...this very man God gave to me!!!!
 
I Love You Handsome!!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Sunshine

 Oh my sunshine, what is this Mama supposed to say about you?  You have melted my heart from the very begging of you entering our home as our first foster baby you have melted this Mama's heart.  There was something about you that I KNEW you were not leaving us.  Even though it took the state 21 months for us to be able to LEGALLY be your family, you were my son from the minute you entered my arms on January 2nd 2007 when you were six days old!
 In the first few years we knew that you were not a 'normal' child but you were going to be very special....and that you are.  You do not do things the way that others do, but you get them done.  You are very smart and have the opportunity to do great things with your intelligence.
 Your precious smile/giggle and your loving/warm eyes have always melted every single person that comes around.  From very early in your little life your smile and giggle were that people would comment on.  Oh how you can melt those around you with your charm.

 Tonight as we celebrated your 7th birthday it was so special to have you surrounded by those that love you.  When I asked you tonight what was your favorite part of your day your response was naming the people that were here throughout the day...those that came to be a part of your day.  2 sets of Aunts & Uncles and a GREAT Aunt & Uncle.  Sunshine you are loved.  There is love all around you, and how blessed we are to be your parents.  I understand you have more struggles than the average kid....I also know I struggle at times as your Mama.  Please forgive me for that because when I think about you I remember these special moments.  The giggles, the laughter and your quirkiness like squealing when you opened your coon skin hat tonight because you were afraid it was something alive!  ;)  I look forward to what your future holds...you can do great things my Sunshine! 
Happy 7th Birthday Baby!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

 
Happy Happy Happy...this is one of my favorite phrases.  As the youngest (official) child in this family I try really hard to keep people laughing.  My mom is so busy with all the kids at The Patch the she forgets to laugh sometimes and my dad, well he makes me laugh because he is always coming and going from one of my appointments to his Bible study or one of his jobs...he is just REALLY busy (and popular!!!)  Just in case he doesn't have enough to do Mom always has a list of painting or fixing for him.  My sister Cupcake tends to forget she isn't my mom sometimes, but I'll give her credit, she knows the Pumpkin babies needs fairly well!  I like her because she is always asking to watch Veggietales, now if she would just stop trying to push me around!
 
I have another sister and she turned 7 in September! She started the year getting spoiled by Grandma & Grandpa....they took her on a boat bigger than our block and it had Mickey, Minnie & lots of Princesses on it.  She started in Texas....went to some islands that sound like cayenne pepper (Cayman Islands) and also to a place in Mexico that sounds like someone is sneezing when you say it (Cozumel.) Princess still loves to dance and she even gets to be on a competition team this year!  She gets to stay at home all day because my mom is her 1st grade teacher, but I just think she likes to hang around to remind Mama that her (Mama's) feet are smaller than hers.  Princess is very happy because two weeks before Thanksgiving our family added two little chocolate foster siblings...we are all think they are pretty special, but Princess loves that they are 'dark chocolate' like her!
 
My brother, Sunshine, has had a rough year and many of his appointments have added to the old Suburban coming and going quickly from our driveway.  He is in 1st too, but he gets to ride a bus to school and he LOVES that!  He has decided that his favorite day is Wednesday because he gets to eat supper at church and then they have Bible Club after.  Sunshine is also REALLY enjoyed being in the Christmas program at church last weekend.
 
I also have  to share, from my 2 years of experience, that my Mama turned OLD this year!  She celebrated her 30th with a hail storm that gave us a new roof and holes in our siding.  Daddy was so thankful to be our of town so the Suburban's were safe, but he should have known to keep quiet because a month later ANOTHER storm came through and made it look all dimpled like Cupcake's cheeks!  Do you know how lough golf ball sized hail is from the inside of the Suburban???  Mama was thankful that her precious roses survived both those storms AND the October 40 inch snow storm as well!  Her red rose bush reached over 6.5 feet tall this year!!!
 
So I think it is time for me to go to bed now.  Usually that means I jump in my crib and sing some of my favorite songs (Jesus Loves Me, The Wheels on the Bus & Jingle Bells are at the top of my list.)  I'm going to try and be good though, because Sunday is coming and after church we always get to go to Guadalajara's for lunch an d then go home and watch the Vikings loose.  I get bored and usually starting chasing Buzz Buzz (out dog) around trying to kiss him!
 
My family stays very busy, but we work hard and love the Lord.  We also enjoy being together.  I hope you have had a HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 2013 and that 2014 will be just as wonderful or better! 
 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Love,
LoveBug...but don't forget Daddy, Mommy, Princess, Sunshine & Cupcake love you too!