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

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend in Pictures,pt2

Sparkly Fireworks for Chinese New Year... A Valentine's Day candy craft...
More Fireworks... Waiting and Listening...
Yeah! It's my turn!!!
This takes lots of concentration...
Can I make one?...

What do you think of my fireworks?... FUN... we really put our feet into our crafts...

Weekend in Pictures

Making Valentine Cards... Making Iced Tea... Sisters...beautiful girls... Chatting... Meeting New Friends...
Crazy Teens...enjoying friend time...

Scooter Races... Scooter Collisions...Do you think they have insurance? Just Who is driving those things? Enjoying a rousing game of basketball... These were just the leftovers...oops! I think I over planned on thefood... Sunday lunch...
Littles ... Hey where is our food??? Big boys waiting their turn for food...

Joy...Pure Joy

As I am typing this a stillness surrounds me. I can hear my babies playing, but oddly it is very quiet. There are so many things I should be doing like laundry, or school, but I just want to sit and remember the joy of this weekend. You see it was a weekend filled with lots of activities, lots of joy, and lots of love! My family and I had been planning this weekend for several months, the anticipation and excitement were at an all time high by the time the last bit of the preparations were finished on Friday evening. The official weekend would first begin with a chance to see and visit with friends that we made on our first trip to China... one of our fellow travel buddies (now family). Mia and friend were reunited, and we could witness first hand...pure joy! They hugged one another and the joy and love just radiated in their smiles and laughter. They joined hands and disappeared to Mia's room and played to their hearts content. We rarely saw them during the entire evening. All the other kiddos just took off together , and we were offered a glimpse of their joy each time we heard their laughter drift upstairs. The adults were able to spend time reminiscing and then to share the other family's joy as they await bringing home their next child. We could see and hear the joy in their voices, the excitement as they spoke of her, and the pictures of her beautiful face. Another of God's children will have a family to call their own...pure joy!

The evening continued when another group of our friends arrived. We met this special family five years ago at the very beginning of our adoption journey. We experienced the joy of getting reaquainted. Our house was filled to its brim with love and joy! We had a total of 13 children and 4 adults all sharing our home for the weekend. The beautiful sounds of children playing filled our house. It thrilled this momma's heart!!God's love and joy was evident in every word spoken and the smiles on each and every face.

Saturday morning brought much more excitement. We were ready to, oh sweet joy!

After getting everyone fed and ready(no small feat with 17 people), we left for the church where our party was being held. Each and every person pitched in, and we had the party set and ready to go. As everyone arrived, tears of happiness and shouts of joy could be heard. We met new people, saw old friends, and just had fun being together. It is so hard to desribe, but God's loving presence was felt. As we joined together to pray blessings over our food and the group gathered, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed...the tears started to flow. I glanced around the room and witnessed all the wonders that God had and is doing for every family present. Each family was filled with the beautiful children that God had blessed us with both biologically and through adoption. A room filled with laughter, childrens squealing, teens joking, adults visiting...and it all brought pure joy! We ate, played, laughed, shared stories, made wonderful crafts (Many thanks, Ms Kim, Ms Jill, and Ms Connie)and ate some more... Joy...pure joy!!

After the party, we were blessed that our friends stayed on to spend the remainder of our weekend with us. The kids had fun and the grownups enjoyed our time together. Sunday brought church, and once again God filled us with his joy as we worshipped Him together. I had a hard time stopping the tears then as well. After church and Sunday School, we shared lunch at our house with more friends. We were thrilled that additional friends joined us and the joy would once again abound. Early afternoon brought the departure of everyone as they had to return to school and work the next day, but all of the memories, the laughter and the joy continue to ring throughout our home.

...and since it was Valentines Day, and Chinese New Year, daddy took all of his "Valentines" out to dinner at the Japanese Steak House. It was the first time we had ever been there. Once again, the joy would spill over... all six of our children would sit entranced throughout the entire meal as they watched the chef prepare our meals right befor their eyes. The joy that shined in their faces...oh my!

God truly blessed our weekend...

We want to send a special thank you to all our helpers,planners and friends. Thank You Ms Susan and Nicci for helping with shopping,food prep. and decorating!! We couldn't have done it with out all your help!! We very much missed all our friends who were unable to make it to our adoption gathering...we will have to plan another event ...maybe an annual thing??

All I can say is...JOY!! PURE JOY!!

[4] For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;
I sing for joy* at the works of your hands.*
[5] How great are your works,* O LORD,
how profound your thoughts! Psalm92:4-5

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Helping Haiti

Check This Out... the ladies at Wild Olive Tees have created a beautiful t-shirt for sale. 100% of the proceeeds will go to benefit the people of Haiti. They are hosting a giveaway for one of these beautiful shirts. Whether you win a tee or not, by purchasing one, you are helping others and showing love to those who need our help. By clicking on the t-shirt, you can link directly to their site:

What Love means to 4-8 yr olds...

My Father-in - Love forwarded this list to our email (not that I want to encourage "forwards",haha...but this was cute). It fit my theme for the I had to share an edited version with you all. All of the kiddos sayings were just adorable; however, a few statements really touched my heart. Which are your favorites?

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' Rebecca- age 8
'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' Billy - age4
'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl - age 5
'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.' Chrissy - age 6
'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri - age 4
'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.' Danny - age 7
'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss' Emily - age 8
'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' Noelle - age 7
'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' Tommy - age 6
'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy - age 8
'My mommy loves me more than anybody! You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.' Clare-age 6
'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine-age 5
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.' Chris - age 7
'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.' Mary Ann- age 4
'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.' Lauren - age 4
'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image) Karen - age 7
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.' Mark - age 6 'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica - age 8
And the final one The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry'