Daily Verse

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.








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Sunday, September 28, 2008

2 years ago, the Ada Grace story! Pt1

So since I was not in the blogging world 2 years ago when all of a sudden AG came into our lives, I thought some of you might like to relive the story with us.

2 years ago September 25th~
We got a phone call from Family to Family Adoptions Inc. telling us that there was a birthmother whom was due on October 4th (1 week and 2 days away) who was going to be considered a 'hard to place' situation. When asking what they meant by 'hard to place' the first thing that they said was that they didn't have any families that were ready to bring home a baby that quickly and the second thing was a much more unfortunate reason. I asked about the health of the baby and was told that the birthmother was carrying a perfectly healthy African America baby girl. They realized we wouldn't be able to get the money together in 9 days, but did encourage us to have at least $10,000 when we arrived in Texas. I told them that we would have to pray about this, talk to each other and to the banker before we could say yes. They said that was fine because we needed to fax them our profile and homestudy so the birthmother, we will call Dorthy, could learn about us and decide if we were the family for her baby. I made many phone calls and talked with my husband and prayed for a miracle. When going to bed that night we pretty much thought that there was no way that this was going to happen because we couldn't afford the cost of adoption in that short of order. I put my head on my pillow and cried and prayed that the Lord would do a miracle.

2 years ago September 26th~
We woke up this morning sure that life was just going to continue on like it had for the past 4 1/2 years of our marriage. Jason left for work around 7 am like always, and did some housework and then had to leave for work at 9:45. While walking to work the adoption agency called us and said that Dorthy would love for us to adopt her little girl and I responded that we hadn't heard back from the bank, so didn't know if it was going to work out...would let them know as soon as I did. Well, at about 10:20 the bank called and told us that even though we had been turned down for a $10,000 unsecured loan before...they were able to give it to us this time but we would have to make an appointment at the bank in Belle Fourche and sign some papers and then the money would be available 24 hours after that. So I called the agency (probably my husband first) and told them that we knew that we could get the first $10,000 at least and we would start making plans to come to Texas. They asked if we would come a few days early so we could meet Dorthy and ask her questions and answer questions she may have for us. We agreed we would leave either Saturday or Monday depending on what we could get for plane tickets. My boss told me to go home and we would talk about my work schedule after I returned from Texas with my beautiful baby girl! What wonderful bosses I had/have! I believe that I spoke on the phone with Dorthy that afternoon for a short time. But most of the afternoon was spent on the phone.

2 years ago September 27th~
I woke up earlier than normal because I was SOOOOO excited! Jason went to work like normal and my goal that day was to nail down our plane tickets and get situated to go to Texas in a few days. While making phone call to travel agents (we didn't have Internet then) I received a phone call from Family to Family stating that we needed to get to Texas ASAP because our baby was coming TODAY! This was one week earlier than what we were expecting and less than 24 hours after we heard from the bank that this was going to be possible! I called Jason and couldn't get him on his cell...kept trying and he wasn't answering. Finally I called his place of work and got his bosses cell phone number, whom he was on a job site with, and called it. Sure enough Jason was working in an attic and couldn't get to his phone so through his boss James, I was able to tell him that he needed to come home because we needed to get to Texas to meet our princess! I in turn called my mother to tell her to meet us in Sioux Falls in 6 hours because we were going to Texas to meet her Granddaughter! She was so excited! I quickly packed up some things for myself and Jason and then dug out of storage some of the things that we already had in preparation for a baby! The car seat, some clothes, some lotion, bath soaps, hair do dads, etc and we were on the road! We did meet up with mom who had 1/2 to pack and 5 1/2 hours to shop for pink stuff! And the three of us headed off to Texas! We drove straight through the night and the trip was about 26 hours long! Our Ada Grace was born at 4:44 pm CST!

2 years ago September 28th~
We arrived to Family to Family Adoptions Inc in Richmond Texas at about 1:00 pm very tired, but excited none the less! There was some paperwork to sign and the $10,000 check to blessing was that we were able to get another $8,000 loan from the ABBA fund in North Carolina that gives interest free loans to Christian adoptive couples...what a blessing! So we only have $4,000 left to come up with! Anyway, after signing the paperwork, meeting the ladies at the office, and having a drink of water...they drove us to the hospital to meet our Ada Grace! We arrive there around 2:30 so she was about 22 hours old! At first AG was in the nursery and we were brought into Dorthy's room and chatted with her, but she being a wonderful person called the nurses in almost right away to bring AG to us! What a wonderful experience! She was so tiny and perfect! She has lots of soft, black, curly hair and wasn't as dark as she is now. Daddy held her first, we asked if it was okay to take pictures and Dorthy said "she is yours, of course you can!" Mommy held her next, I do not even know if there are words to express what I felt at that moment, something that I had given up on...this little miracle that God had given to us! After all the troubles that we had with adoptions before this we just thought we would never be parents! It took fractions of a second of having her in my arms to know that I was her Mommy and life as we know it had just changed! Grandma Pam got to hold her next. Oh how fun to see my mother hold her first grandchild, one that she had waited for for such a long time! Belinda, one of the ladies from Fam 2 Fam, was in the room with us the entire time. I think we only stayed for 2 1/2 hours that day because we were so tired from the drive. It was so hard to leave that hospital knowing that precious hours were ticking away in our daughters life in that hospital nursery! But we had decided that we were not going to remove her from the hospital until the 48 hours papers were signed by Dorthy relinquishing her parental rights. So we grabbed a quick bite to eat at a golden corral, dropped off the film at the local WalGreens and went back to the little apartment that I would call home until October 6th. Grandma and I went to Walmart and bought a few snacks, and of course some PINK baby things! We also got me set up for the week that I would be in Texas without Mom and Jason and would be making meals and things of that sort while waiting for the ICPC paperwork to go through so we could bring Ada Grace home to South Dakota. What a wonderful day it was!

2 years ago today (September 29th)~
We went to the adoption agency first thing to make sure every thing was in order. Today was the day that the paperwork would be signed at around 5 pm and we would be able to bring our baby girl back to the apartment with us! The ladies suggested that we pick up something for Dorthy as a gift to her and so we bought a flower arrangement and a stuffed animal, if I remember correctly! Grandma Pam also found a white teddy bear with the state of Texas embroidered on it chest...that was for AG though! After that we were able to go up to the hospital and see our baby again. We actually spent several hours there that day, and we were able to get arm bands that allowed us to take Ada out of the nursery into private rooms and spend time with her, without Dorthy in the room. It came time to take hospital pictures and do the paper work. The ladies at the adoption agency were a huge help in all of this. We did not actually get the chance to say good bye to Dorthy because it wasn't made clear that we would not actually see her again. She did get time to say good bye to AG, but while we were doing our paperwork and nurses were going over newborn care with us in one room, Dorthy was being released from the hospital and signing her paperwork in another room. When we finished with our papers we were expecting to go and have this awkward good bye and instead the founder of Fam2Fam walked us out to the car...actually funny story...I received new mom treatment and was wheeled out to the car in a wheelchair with AG in her infant carried on my lap! She was ours! It was around 5:45 and we were officially parents forever! We went back to the apartment and made phone calls, took pictures, and of course studies every inch of her beautiful body! It was also a very sad day for me! I knew that tomorrow (Saturday September 30th) Jason and Mom were going to have to head back to SD and I was going to be left in a scary new place without transportation with a new baby! But we enjoyed every last bit of it! We went out to a steakhouse for supper and showed off our beautiful baby girl! And came home to get some sleep. I honestly do not remember having to wake up that night...maybe I didn't sleep! I don't remember! I just remember knowing that God had given us a MIRACLE! Stay tuned for the rest of the story day by day as they come!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ada Grace is 2 Today!

Two years oldOne Year Old
Two Months Old
What a blessing!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Adoption Profile Scrapbook 2008-09

Friday, September 19, 2008

Daddy took us out for Pizza!

Last Sunday nigh after church Jason decided to take us out for pizza and I happened to have my camera along so while we were waiting, we had some fun photo ops!
Ada Grace and Daddy, take 1 Ada Grace and Daddy, take 2
"Scrunchy" face!
Looking at the moon
Mommy and Ethan, take 1 ~ and it's a good one!
Daddy and Ethan playing the scrunchy/crazy face game!
Our handsome little man!

A new favorite past time...

So now that AG is almost 2 years old she has taken on a new past time, one that was one of Mommy's past times when she was growing up...her and Grandma Pam talk on the phone almost every day now. It is so cute to listen and watch as she strolls around the house have "conversation" with her Bamma.
She even talks with her hands sometimes!

And Ethan is so hard to catch to get a picture of. You would have NO idea of how many little blond blurs I have deleted from my camera in the last few weeks! I have to catch him in his high chair or something like that to even get a remotely good picture!

Sophie Autumn

I cannot believe that my adorable niece is already 16 months old! These pictures are all so sure looks like she had a great personality!
Here is Jason's beautiful sister, Melissa, with her way too cute daughter Sophie!The entire family~ Eric, Melissa, & Sophie
I do not know why we have a super small picture here...hmmmmmm
I just really think that this picture is GORGEOUS!
Smile after smile
Too cute!
Daddy and Sophie
A great picture of the two of them...cannot wait to see you guys at Christmas....especially you, Melissa!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ada Grace's 2nd Birthday Pictures

I am thrilled with how they turned out! Of course, my daughter is GORGEOUS and this dress is just too cute! Ada Grace was not in the best of moods that day, we woke up early to take a bath and do her hair, had some errands in the morning and pictures at 1....something missing? A NAP! Regardless, I am loving the pictures!
This one was an "accident" but I loved it so much I had to keep it!

The very last picture we took, you can see she was ready to be finished. Up to this point she had been up on their counter and Ethan was down in front of it eating some treats and AG couldn't see him. We took the counter away and she was standing up and was able to see that her brother had nummy numms that she wanted....I still thought it turned out too cute! She poses just so and did very well with getting her picture taken!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Movie Review

As many of you may or may not know, I am a fan of Matthew McConaughey and so when we went to Mr. Movies last Friday night to get Flywheel, and we had 4 other movies to choose from (it is cheaper to get 5 for 7 days, than to get 1) I was drawn to the movie, "We Are Marshall."

It is very closely based on a true story and here is the plot:
In November, 1970, virtually the entire football team and coaches of Marshall University (Huntington, W.V.) die in a plane crash. That spring, led by Nate Ruffin, a player who was ill and missed the fatal flight, students rally to convince the board of governors to play the 1971 season. The college president, Don Dedman, must find a coach, who then must find players. They petition the NCAA to allow freshmen to play, and coach Jack Lengyel (McConaughey) motivates and leads young players at the same time that he reexamines the Lombardi creed that winning is the only thing. The father and the fiancée of a player who died find strength to move on. Can Marshall win even one game in 1971?
It is a pretty good movie all the way around...there is some language that some might not like, but it is one of the cleaner secular movies that we have seen for a while. Worth watching in our opinion!

Ada Grace is almost 2!

As I sit her reflecting on the last two years of our lives, it has been such a whirwind...but at the same time it has been two of the best years of my life! Children are blessing beyond what I could ever have imagined! I do not think that there has been one time that I have thought it was "hard" to be a mom or that I wished that I wasn't a mom. The hard times were when we had Andre, Christopher, and Kaley...but most people do not have 5 children 3 & under in their home at the same time. Anyway, I am so thankful for our Ada Grace and Ethan and pray that one day (hopefully sooner than later) the Lord will allow us to have more children!
In the mean time, I thought I would share some picture of Ada Grace's first month or so...right after we got our first digital camera.
Ada Grace at only 13 days old...this is the day that I was working at taking her picture and getting a good one for her adoption anouncement
I have always loved this photo, however as she grows I see more to it than I used is her basically telling us that she is going to try and do it her way no matter how much more difficult it is!
This outfit is just waiting for another little girl to wear, it is Jason an my favorite from this point in her life. We have always LOVED lilac on her is still our favorite!
Many of you will rocognize this one, it is the one we chose for the annoucement
So tiny and CUTE! Now Ada Grace is calling other babies cute...all by herself
She has always had big hands...looks like Mommy should hae put more lotion on them here
This is the first time that cousin Alexa met Ada Grace. She would have held her for hours if we wouldn't have had to drive home a 7 hour trip. The thing I remember the most was when Alexa just kep turning Ada Graces hands over to see that the underneath (palm side) was close to like hers, but the top (back of the hand) was so different. Then when it came time for a diaper change, the tights came off and she saw that it was the same with her feet. The precious memories! Alexa still is the one that is the closest to Ada to this day!
This was before Ethan, Sophie, and Katie were born. So it was all the cousins at this poit...they were happy to have another Hartung cousin! Notice Alexa is the one holding Ada Grace...

So I hope you have enjoyed this blast from the past, it is hard for me be believe that my babies are not babies any more. They are toddlers and so much fun to be around...I love them to pieces! I love being a Mommy!