Friday, May 29, 2009

Care Package #2

Yesterday we sent KayLi another care package. We sent this package through Red Thread again. Ann is so sweet to work with on these packages! If you look really close you can see that she put KayLi's picture on the tag of the red bag. I thought that was such a nice touch! She said KayLi should receive this one Monday.

Oh how I hope she'll know we are thinking of her and want to bring her home so bad we can't stand it! I'm also hoping beyond hope that the nannies will take a few pictures of her in her new clothes and send them like last time. A girls gotta dream!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Field Trip To Carlsbad Caverns!

With all of the excitement surrounding the adoption this last week, I almost forgot to write a post about Emily's field trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The entire fifth grade went and I can't tell you how excited Emily was! They have been learning about rock formations, stalactites, stalagmites, columns, draperies, and Mexican Free Tail bats for a months.

She had to be at the school at 5:30 a.m. for the three hour bus ride to New Mexico! And they didn't get back to the school until 9:45 p.m. That is one VERY long day!

She is trying sooooo hard to look cool and not smile too much in this picture. When your kids have their own camera, you just never know what type of pictures you will get. She took over 100 pictures. The three above are the best three out of six she is actually in.

Most of the pictures look like this stalactite.

Or like this stalagmite.

She was thrilled that she took this picture! She likes it so much because this part of the cave is called "Popcorn Fairyland."

I was a little disappointed that she didn't take any pictures of the bats as they exited the caves at dusk. I really wanted to see that!

And I was just a little sad that she didn't take any pictures on the bus ride. It's always half the fun of a field trip!

But at least she didn't miss this shot!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nineteen years ago today I married my best friend. I love this man more than words can say.
Happy Anniversary!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


(Remember the sunshine picture?)

Over the last few years I have read so many adoption websites and blogs. Probably too many to tell you the truth. I just can't seem to get enough of what God is doing in the lives of these children and their families! I have laughed, cried, prayed for and rejoiced with you all countless times. You have been such a blessing to me!!! You have encouraged and prepared me more than I can say. Thank you!

By far my favorite part of any adoption story is when a family begins to plan their travel and we, the breathless blog followers, get to watch God's plans unfold in all their splendor and glory. Amazing, really just amazing!!!

So many times I have thought and dreamed of what I would write when God began this phase of our journey. Would I be creative? Would I be funny? Would I have all the perfect words to give God the glory that He and He alone deserves? I just couldn't wait until it was our turn and I could begin to articulate with Spirit filled prose about how awesome God is.

Well, here we are in that, oh so exciting phase. Over the last three days we have received blessings beyond measure that include:
  • Updated pictures of KayLi that we were not even expecting...thank you Ann at Red Thread!!!
  • A financial blessing that provided the last of what we needed to travel and some of what we need to bring Emily to China with us...I'm crying AGAIN just typing that.
  • News that we will travel in mid-late July...praise God a "due date!"
  • And new news last night that we will actually travel around mid JUNE!!!! GLORY!!!
Yep, here I am ready to write something so very creative, funny, and articulate that you will just be astounded. Something that will further your knowledge of who God is and what He is doing in our lives and the lives of orphans around the world and all I can do is cry. Every five seconds...think about it all and cry. I am completely and utterly speechless!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Drum Roll Please....

Introducing KayLi Faith Zhi Zhen!!!!

We got our RA today and hope to travel mid to late July!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Little R & R

Allie had carpal tunnel surgery last Friday and I thought this picture really summed up his doctor enforced R & R. The guitars are hung up, the coffee is close by and he is having a very slow morning.

Other than the fact that "My guitar is calling me. It's saying 'Allie, come play me.' " he has done great! His discomfort has been minimal and his attitude is amazing! He sees the doctor Thursday and hopes to be given the green light to play again. Until then please say a little prayer for our, I mean HIS sanity!

Music has been a huge part of his life since before I even knew him. So to see him unable to play for awhile is kinda sad. I wrote a little about him here, for those who may be new to this little blog spot :0) I appreciate your prayers!!! Especially since he hopes to have his other hand done in a few weeks.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Care Package & A Prayer

Last week we sent a care package to KayLi through Red Thread China. We were so impressed with the service they provide. I really couldn't recommend them more. Ann is amazing and I'm so thankful for all she has done! She was so thoughtful! We were so excited when she sent us a picture of the items we ordered. This simple picture has become my prayer list for the nannies at the orphanage, the children there and for our daughter.

"Lord, thank you so much for the nannies that care for our daughter. Please give them all they need to provide for her and all the children with her. May you give them a little time to enjoy this tea we sent and know that they are appreciated. I ask especially that you would help them to know you as their Savior. That you would fill them with your love so that it will overflow into the lives of all the children they care for.

Lord, I ask that you would make it possible for the children in orphanages around the world to have toys to play. Toys that would teach them and allow them to use their imaginations and dream. Toys that they can hold when they are scared. Toys that would come from people who love you and want to be a blessing. Toys that will remind them they are loved.

Lord, I ask that you would guide the nannies as they take pictures with the camera we sent. That they would understand that we want to use those pictures to teach KayLi where she has come from. And that we would have those pictures to remind us to pray for the children that will still be there when she leaves. May many people come forward to be your hands and feet to them. May they all feel your love and come to know you as Lord.

Lord, I ask that you would give the nannies many opportunities to show KayLi the photo album of our family. That you would use it as a way to prepare her heart and soul for all that she is about to go through. That when she sees us we would not be strangers to her. That she would know how much we love her and want her to come home.

Lord, I ask that when the nannies dress KayLi in her new pretty clothes that she will feel pretty and special. That she would know we sent them to her because we love her already. That she will feel like the princess she is, the daughter of the King! May she someday be an amazing display of Your splendor!


Oh and because Ann lives in China she was able to contact the orphanage directly. She received updated measurements and even pictures of KayLi! I can't tell you how much it meant to see her well cared for and HAPPY! Since I can't share pictures on the internet yet, let me just say that she looks just like this sun....seriously!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Finally Quilting!!!

Last weekend we FINALLY began working on KayLi's 100 Good Wishes Quilt. My friends T.J. & Donna Sue came to my rescue and they are amazing!!! I have no clue what I'm doing in the picture above but they guided me through. I actually learned enough to feel useful. And they taught me really cool phrases like "quarter inch seem allowance" and "fat quarter."

All Donna Sue needs are little birds tying ribbons in her hair!!!

T.J. was so patient with the little details! I still can't figure out how she cut all the little green corner squares. I would have had a full blown melt down!

I had no idea there was so much ironing involved in quilting. It's making me reevaluate whether or not this will be a hobby I pursue in the future. At one point I was actually teasing that the next adoption would have to be from a country without 100 Good Wishes Quilts :0)

My mom and friend Priscilla were awesome, too. Since we meet at our church to quilt, they came over and took advantage of the kitchen and cooked dinner for our families. Believe it or not this really is the best of three pictures my husband took of them cooking. Sorry mom...the lasagna was wonderful!!!!

We still have far to go but here's a little sneak peak at what it will look like...someday :0) It was so fun to work on this with all of you! The whole idea of living in a commune has always sounded nice to me. If it's anything like this day was, I would love it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day Recap

Ryan came home Friday night and that alone would have made my Mother's Day weekend wonderful!!! He's your typical super busy college student and has many commitments at his church. I can't believe he came home for the WHOLE weekend!!!!

Since I didn't know that Ryan was coming home, I had made plans to begin sewing KayLi's quilt Saturday but that's a whole other post though. Let me just say that I have a couple very talented friends who are a blast to cut fabric with!!!

Emily's gift was priceless. She made me the cutest card! I'm so impressed that she used my favorite colors! I wonder if there is a hidden meaning in the way she used my "ransom" rubber stamps to spell "Happy Mom Day"? I tried to scan the inside of the card but she wrote it in pencil and it wouldn't pick it up :0(
I love that she signed it
Love, Em
( or your daughter)

Inside the card were this amazing coupons! At eleven years old she is a little too cool to cuddle. And for some reason she no longer likes it when I try to tickle her tummy. So I am VERY thankful for the coupons to"love on you" and "touch my belly"! I still can't figure out why she would give me a coupon that asks her to stop whistling. Just because she taught herself to whistle when she was four years old and now whistles full songs incessantly, doesn't mean I would EVER want her to stop!

After church we went out for Chinese food. It was a small reminder that the only thing that would have made this Mother's Day any better would have been KayLi's presence. Aaahhh...
next year!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May God bless you on Mother's Day and always!
I love you mom's!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

Makes me laugh!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Over the last week I have been doing everything possible to keep busy and keep my mind off of receiving our RA. My friend Priscilla has been such a great source of support and encouragement. Not to mention HELP!!! She helped me reupholster the chair for KayLi's room (see the last post) and she also came over Saturday and helped me paint my bedroom.

I LOVE IT!!! It was the last of the major painting projects around here...well almost but that's for another post. It feels so good to be done with the big projects that I've been hoping to get done before we travel. I'm a California girl at heart and this color has just the tiniest touches of a beach house feel to make me feel at home.

The only problem is that the rest of my house has been ever so slightly neglected by all these projects. Priscilla was giving me such a hard time about the amount of dust that has accumulated on every flat surface...she could allow me a little extra grace, we live in dusty West Texas! She actually had the nerve to say that she was certain she was going to find the following written on a table somewhere...

Can you believe she said that to me? Actually she cracks me up!!! As I was cleaning...yes dusting Priscilla...I started to ask myself a question. Am I living my life in such a way that people look at me and see that statement? Am I allowing Him to be self evident in my life?
Humm....just makes me think a little.

Thanks so much Priscilla...for everything!!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Just Squint...

I found this rocking chair for KayLi's room a couple months ago and thought it would be cute, if only it wasn't hunter green. It's so comfy and Hobby Lobby had the perfect fabric, that I knew would be adorable. The only problem was that I have been completely intimidated by the thought of cutting this cute fabric! So, Thursday afternoon my friend Priscilla and I decided to summon our courage and try our hand at the upholstery business. Yesterday we were STILL working on it!

After approximately eight hours we thought we were getting pretty good at it. We also decided that professional upholsterers are underpaid! We started joking about going into the business but somehow I don't think we would be very successful at it. We thought we would name our business "Two Idiots Upholstery Service" and our slogan would be "Our work looks great...if you just squint."

The chair turned out OK, when you consider, we didn't have a clue about what we were doing! At least it's no longer hunter green...and it's still comfy. I can't help but dream about the many stories that will be read in it!

It was a great distraction from China's announcement that they are asking families to postpone travel and take extra precautions when they travel, due to the swine flu. Please pray that this virus will pass quickly. There are a lot of rumors about how it could effect international adoption. Maybe it would help if everyone stopped focusing on a worst case scenario. Maybe it wouldn't look so bad if everyone would just squint...