For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Out of Surgery

Mandy is out of surgery, and she did great. Brad said that she went back like a champ and was joking with the doctors right before they put her under. She was an old pro at this, and she was excited that another phase would be behind her. She is counting each of the phases down until they are complete. Looks like one more will be necessary unless the surgeon requires more. Brad and Mandy will stay the night in Little Rock so that she has more rest and recovery. Mom felt it was safer to have her close to the hospital overnight.
Thanks for all your prayers!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mandy's Surgery...Phase III

Pre Surgery..

Post Surgery... Phase I
Post Surgery....PhaseII

Mandy will have Phase III of her ear surgery tomorrow. As we are trying to conserve money and resources, Brad and Mandy will go down to Little Rock , and the other kiddos and I will stay at home. I really don't like sending them off without me, but it can get rather expensive to stay in hotels(with 6 kiddos, we now have to take 2 rooms),eat out and of course the travel. The other kiddos have nothing to do as we wait at the hospital, and so, it works out better to keep them at home. We will finish this weeks school and wait anxiously for daddy's calls to update us on her progress.
Phase III of her surgery will be a day surgery; however, it will be a little more intensive. The doctor told us that they will remove some cartilage from the right ear to help build the left. This surgery will take a bit longer than the second, but not as long as Phase I. She is a bit nervous, and excited about what it will look like. She is counting down the number of surgeries until the reconstruction is complete. Would you please remember her in your prayers?...and the surgeons?
We certainly appreciate all your well wishes, thoughts, and prayers.
I'll give an update when I hear from Brad tomorrow...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Autumn...

Can He Lift It?...Yes He Can! Oh,So Strong!!!

My Heros...!!!

Autumn Colors... some of our trees are full of color and others are just beginning to change...and others have lost all their leaves already. Usually we have a more even transformation...
Can you see the beautiful Red tree behind our house?
Brad and the big boys decided to tackle more tree trimming. We have a very old, very huge river oak in our front yard. It had a limb that was dragging the ground. Brad got out the chainsaw, and cut this (not so small) limb down. The boys got to help clear off the logs. That made for a fun Saturday morning. Saturday evening was filled with fun when our friends came over for a cook out. We were hoping for a bonfire to roast marshmallows, but it was too windy. So wegrilled hamburgers and hotdogs and microwaved the Smores for dessert.
I was in the kitchen a lot, so didn't get pictures of the crazy crew. We did have a great time just enjoying these beautiful days of fall!

Fun Friday

A friend from church(who also happens to be a homeschooling mom)invited us to come out to their house on Friday morning. We had been planning this event all week. We would go out, the kids would get to play and explore the trails in the woods behind their house. The weather was perfect until Thursday. A cold front set in and it rained and the temperatures dropped to the low 40's. So, the mom's were unsure. first it was canceled, then we decided that we would just bundle them up. The kids were ecstatic that we made that decision.
They had a great time. They explored and played. The moms (several homeschool moms) visited,played with the little ones, and had fun exploring, as well. We enjoyed a picnic that we had packed at home. The kids didn't want to slow down much to eat, so they ate 1/2 a sandwhich and dashed back out to play. We had such a good time and look forward to sharing more fun events with our homeschool friends.
***Note: Nolan was playing basketball with some of the kids while I was taking pictures on the Trail. He is avoiding pictures these days.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Sabotaged Kim's Blog

I just HAD to put Kim's blog in the spirit of the World Series! Don't you think it looks better?

Kim's annoying husband, Brad :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This and That

The Big Boys were helping Dad mow the yard...the little kiddos wanted to help,so daddy put them to work raking leaves... Can you say "mischief"?

These are just a few pictures from our relaxed weekend at home. The weather was beautiful, and the kids and Brad took the opportunity to spend lots of time outdoors. Mom was busy making and decorating the birthday cake.
Also, My friend Tami is now in China, and her baby boy was placed in her arms yesterday. He is absolutely precious. Please pray for he and his family as he makes the transition. Would you please say a couple of extra prayers for his mommy(who is in China), for his daddy(who stayed at home with the other children) and for his siblings as they are apart for 2weeks.

Happy Birthday,Nate!

The Birthday Boy...
A Pirate Birthday Cake... Nate asked momma to "make" him a chocolate cake... Waiting Not SO Patiently...Gifts...Don't you just love the gift wrap... Just the present he wanted...
Nate's big brother wanted to give him a gift... he gave Nate some of his prized "mini-skateboard" stuff... Nate was thrilled!

Seven years ago, a sweet baby boy was born. He had made it against all odds! I had miscarried his twin early in the pregnancy,and the doctor warned us, that usually with twins, the other can miscarry as well. But, Nate was a fighter! He grew and developed on target, and I even carried him to term. I remember well the moment they laid him in my arms. He was so beautiful and looked as if he were a replica of his older brothers. He had my heart with one look into his captivating blue eyes. He was such a good baby(he was saving the challenges for the toddler years) and was so content. At the age of 15 months, he would again have a struggle with a series of serious stomach and intestinal issues. With God's hand, many prayers and a skilled surgeon, Nate would not only recover but thrive. I still stand amazed ever time I glance into this little boys face. I stand amazed at the gift that God gave us!
I find such pleasure in watching this child grow! He is maturing into such a terrific young man. He continues to be a "dog" lover, but his love for animals is expanding to all varieties. I wonder if he will be a vet, but then I am not sure if that will cover it...maybe a zoologist? God has blessed this little boy with a very creative nature,as well. He is quite the artist.... We have always known that he was a wonderful story teller. He has loved telling amazing adventure tales since he could talk. We have seen a "budding" artist mature(my aunt can share some stories about our little "Picasso", as she lovingly calls him). His dad and I marvel at some of his drawings. He loves to illustrate many of the stories that he tells, and he is now loving the fact that he has learned to spell enough to write out some of the words he wants to say. It is great fun to read the wonderful tales that he puts in his journal. He can spend many hours occupied with drawing,creating and writing. What an amazing brother he has become... he has always loved his big brothers and spends as much time with them as he can, but the loving,protective brother that he has become to all of his siblings is astounding. He has gone from the little boy who told us to leave his baby sister in China("We don't need any little girls here")to being his sisters champion. He will be the first to defend any of his siblings and has opened his heart to knowing and loving all of his siblings,most especially his sisters and baby brother. This child's kind and compassionate nature has served to teach and humble me.
When Nathaniel Adam was born, I knew that God intended something big for this young man. His daddy and I are so proud of him! We look forward to watching the plans God has for his life as he continues to grow.
We are so very blessed! Happy 7th Birthday my sweet Nate!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Look How Much Elvis Has Grown...

Elvis at 8 weeks...
Elvis at 5.5 months...

Elvis is now 5.5 months old. I cannot believe how big he is getting. He is absolutely gorgeous and is working really hard to learn and do his obedience training. I am afraid that we need to put a little more time and effort into our training sessions. He would be better trained if we were more disciplined. Nolan is such a responsible pet owner, but he is finding that it takes lots of time and hard work to have a pet. He love his puppy though... and the whole family loves him too!

It's beginning to look a lot like Autumn...

Our Beautiful Tree... Brad and the kids had fun making Jack-o-lanterns...

I am loving these early days of Autumn. I love this season and all the wonderful changes it brings. I love the sights,sounds and smells of fall. The beautiful colors are just beginning to make their appearance. We have this beautiful tree that greets us as we enter our driveway. It is such a magnificent site to see this towering tree full of all the colors of Autumn. I love all the activities that take place in this season. The kids look forward to visits to the pumpkin patch, bonfires(yeah! we can have bonfires in our own backyard), parades, hayrides, fall festivals, and of course holidays. We are especially looking forward to this Thanksgiving. My Aunt has planned a family reunion, and we look forward to sharing all the fun with our great, big, happy, loving family. I hope that everyone has the chance to enjoy this beautiful season.

Friday, October 10, 2008


We are now the official guardians of Levi. Yesterday's court hearing went as well as we could expect. Levi is doing fine and seems to be adjusting to our family. The kids love having a "little" brother,and he fits right in. He seems to be very happy, smiles lots, and sings even more. We ask that you continue to pray for Levi, for us, and for the other family. We all want what is best for this little boy, and once again God continues to astound us as He reveals His plan!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


This month will bring several "happenings" for our family. First, our custody hearing for Levi will take place this Thursday. Please pray that all will go well, for Levi, and for both families involved. Second, I(Kim) will be speaking Saturday morning to a group of ladies from our church giving my adoption testimony. I have felt like God is leading me to share and perhaps begin an Orphan/Adoption ministry in our church. Please pray that I will open hearts to the ministry of orphans and that I will share God's plan for my life in a way that will Glorify Him! Third, Mandy will have Phase 3 of her ear reconstruction surgery on October 30th. This will be a day surgery; however, it is a bit more detailed than Phase 2. The surgeons will be working on both ears. Apparently, they have to use a small amount of cartiledge from the right ear to add to the left. Please pray that the surgeon(s) will have a steady hand, and that Mandy's heart will be prepared for this third surgery. In addition, please pray for safe travels to and from Little Rock for our family.
The "Old" house still remains unsold. The showings have dwindled to almost non-existance, but apparently that is the case all over town(and the across the nation). Our agent thinks that we have listed it at an excellent price (the lowest we should go). We continue to rely on God's timing and know that He can do what seems to be the impossible. So, we lift it up in prayer, as well.
October seems to be bringing a lot of "stuff" ... it promises to fly by all that much faster. I am just enjoying every moment and concentrating on the joys of raising my very big, very busy, very wonderful family.
...Oh, my friend Tami got her TA and is headed to China in the next few weeks to bring her little boy home. Please join us as we pray for safe travels and easy transitions for that sweet baby and his wonderful family.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Masterpiece....

Have you ever closely looked at a fine piece of artwork? I took Art History in college, and it changed my perspective on works of Art. I love Art in all its forms. Consider a painting...painters such as DaVinci, Michaelangelo, Monet,Picasso all created many beautiful masterpieces in painting and sculpture. How about a poem... Poets such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Wordsworth, and Robert Frost created masterpieces using their pen. Music... Look at Musicians,singers and songwriters...Classical composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Handel all created musical masterpieces with their talents that withstand the changes of time.
Have you ever closely examined a piece of artwork? It is amazing to see all the special details that each artist puts into each piece of his/her work. When I was in college, I worked in the China/Crystal department of a big name store. I loved being there and training in all the different styles and pieces of fine silver,china and crystal. My favorite was Waterford crystal. Each piece,whether it is a vase or a water glass, is hand cut and designed by a "master" artisan. Each piece is lovingly blown and cut to perfection. When you closely examine each piece it shows the love and care if its artist. They are inherently different yet so similar that only the trained eye can see and sense its preciousness. Each piece is delicate, beautiful, and amazing!
Now consider this...
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Workmanship... we are God's workmanship...
The greek translation for workmanship is "Poiema", and poiema signifies a work of art or a divine masterpiece...
We aren't just his workmanship. We are his divine masterpiece! He created each one of us for a specific reason, with a specific job in mind for each of us. He designed us, formed us and breathed the breath of life into each of us with the loving precision of a "master artisan"...

So,some questions that I ask myself are these....
1)Do I realize how precious I am to God? 2) Do I honor and serve him everyday...trying to live out the plan he has for my life? 3) Do I realize how precious each of His children(young and old) are to Him? and 4) Do I treat them in the way that we treat fine,precious, priceless pieces of a True Masterpiece?