Monday, March 31, 2008

Small, dark and handsome...

Sorry, Mr. Blog but you have been dumped for someone new who is small, dark and handsome- and takes up every single waking minute of my life. (And even some of the sleeping minutes) He's really very sweet- but also very demanding. He is a charmer- who can melt my heart with a single smile, but can yell at the top of his lungs if need be to gain attention. He's tiny in stature but BIG in attitude. He moved in- took over- and I have a feeling our lives will never be the same. The others, they don't seem to mind, they are quite taken with him too. He can make the biggest mess I have EVER SEEN with one small cookie- and in 3 seconds flat can have every pot and pan out of the cabinet and onto the floor. When not in destructive mode- he enjoys quiet wagon rides along the long dirt road and swinging outside in the sun. (As long as I am right beside him giving him my full attention). He has taken your place Mr. Blog- I hope one day you will understand. For this time goes so fast, and soon he will grow- and one day be gone. Then, I will look back on these days of messy fingerprints and lost sleep and pray they were here again.

9th place!

This past weekend Addisyn traveled to San Antonio with her school for 3 days to participate in the state competition for TMSCA. She placed 9th in the state in Mathematics and received a trophy for her efforts! WAY TO GO Addisyn! (Who needs cheerleading now??) She also had a blast staying in the hotel, going to Sea World and hanging out with friends.

Big Day

Saturday was a big day for Mya. First she had sign ups for Kindergarten- which she is very excited about. (And her mommy is not!) And then she had her first real soccer game. They pretty much got creamed- but she didn't notice at all. She loved having her daddy coach her and her own fan club in the stands. (Another good thing about being in a big family- you always have your own fan club!) I'm proud of you Mya Papaya!

Dress up

What happens when you have big sisters?

You learn to love the color PINK!

Guatemalan Baby wrap

This was too cute not to share... Last night after giving Aleigha her bath she came running into the kitchen to show me how she had wrapped her 'baby' around her just like the real Guatemalan mommies do! :0)


There once was a little girl

Who had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead.

And when she was good,

She was really, really good-

And when she was bad,

She was rotten. (Thankfully not!)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chicken and Sour Cream Enchilada's

A friend of mine from small groups made these and they were wonderful. Thought I'd pass on the recipe!

Boil 4-6 chicken breast until cooked. Cool and cut up into small pieces or shred. Pour in 1/2 c. chicken broth and add chopped green chilies (or jalapenos), salt, pepper and then let simmer on low. This will be the filling.
In a skillet melt 1/2 stick butter then add some flour, stir, add 1/2 c. milk and cook to look like gravy. Add 16 oz. carton of sour cream and stir. Heat thoroughly.
Fill about 12 flour tortillas and place in a greased pan. Add some shredded cheese on top and then the sour cream mixture. Cook about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Paranoid and lack of sleep...

I am feeling paranoid and so I took the new pictures off my blog- well, most of them anyway. Boring to post without pictures I know but even though it's private now I just do not want to take any chances. I spoke with my caseworker today- and she said that in 2 days his video had close to 600 hits. Oops. She did say that when his adoption was final she wanted to use the video on the agency website so that was good. I feel bad though because I just think his caseworker didn't know we were not supposed to put it out there publicly and of course I didn't know it either. I hate feeling like a rule breaker. I really like to play life by the rules (most of the time anyway!) And the sleep issues... first can I tell you all how perfect Kaden is? Seriously, he is just so sweet and smiles all the time. He is 17 months old however and likes to explore- but he is really a pretty easy baby and so sweet. (When he hugs you he just melts into you). But at night- YIKES. Todd and I are basically taking turns (it's his night tonight- YEAH!) Kaden will sleep from about 8-midnight and then he will walk up and have sort of night terrors. Mya did this too for a few months after she came home. I think it is because during the day it is busy and things are new and they don't have time to really think about things. But at night- it's quiet and it's almost like their little bodies cannot handle all the changes. It is so sad. So we basically just have to walk with him and console him (Mya was old enough at least when she came home that she could talk about what was upsetting her or the bad dream she was having) but Kaden cannot. So, we walk and hug, and rub his back and sing to him and just help him work through this. It truly breaks my heart how much he has had to endure in such a short lifetime. It is just not fair and it's not right. Last night as I was walking with him I kept telling him over and over how we will never ever let anyone hurt him again. I am so thankful once again for his foster mom- knowing that for the past year she has done the same for him means the world to me. I know they are still missing him and love him dearly. I spoke with her on the phone today... I know she is feeling sort of 'replaceable' because he is adjusting so well with us. That is of course what she wanted- but still, if I were in in her shoes I cannot image how hard that would be. I told her that what I loved about her was that she was willing to hurt herself to give these precious children a safe home while they need it. Then she has to have her heart ripped out each and every time they move on-and she does it anyway. Most people I know say 'I could never foster because I could not give the child back". I am one of those people. I have said those exact words. And I think that is why I am so forever grateful that she did it. She took the pain for someone else's sake. I see Jesus in her and it an awesome thing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mya's readoption Day

Today we went to the court house and had Mya's readoption done. She is now officially Mya Sofia Jennifer (big name for a little girl, I know) She was VERY excited and the judge let her sit on his lap and hold the gavel. It was so cute. The big kids had to go to school today so they didn't get to be there, but don't worry, Mya told them all about it when they got home!

Gone private...

So ya, I had to go private on my blog today... I really didn't think it was too big of a deal because I am not even sure if anyone is out there reading it anyway. But now I will know who 'could be' reading it (WA HA HA HA HA) So what happened was this. I showed my caseworker Kaden's video and she cried and loved it. Then she showed Kaden's caseworker who cried and loved it. So she showed her supervisor who loved it (not sure if she cried) hee/hee but she said that we could not have it on You Tube because of privacy. Now, after we were chosen for Kaden, I asked his caseworker if I could share his picture with others and she said yes because he was already on a news video and he was already on an adoption photolisting site for the state of Texas. They shared some pretty private info on those if you ask me and used his real birth name. So, I went ahead and shared new pictures. Well, she found out today that she was wrong and said that we had better take the video off of you tube until his adoption is final. (She did say I was allowed to share it as long as it was private and not the world wide web). So- I decided that my blog also contained 'pictures and information about him publicly' so that I had better make that private as well for now. Boring story- nothing too excited- but we just want to do whatever is best for Kaden. His case was a high profile case- meaning that it was in the newspapers several times and there were people arrested and investigations done on a well know facility. So, while we are not at all afraid of his birth family seeking him out- we do want to keep his privacy and protect him. There you have it. I'm feeling really 'private' right now. :0)

Monday, March 24, 2008

When you say yes to God...

Kaden moves in today for good. I cannot even begin to tell you how hard yesterday was without him. My heart was breaking and I missed him so much. Yet no matter how painful that was- it was nothing compared to what Christ endured on the cross for us. I never want to forget that and spent yesterday really reflecting on it. As we sit here waiting for the caseworkers and Kaden and his foster mom to show up, the girls are bouncing up and down on the couch watching out the front window. I’m not sure why I bothered to clean the window’s earlier today because they are now covered with fingerprints. None of that really matters though you know, sometimes I think I am too guilty of letting the ‘little’ things get to me when there are so many more important things to take care of in our world.
But as I watched the girls chatting excitedly about their new baby brother- it hit me how close I actually came to missing this. I remember back to that day- the day we received Kaden’s files… and the memory of the fear comes rushing back as if I were right there again that day. That paralyzing fear- the kind that can stop you from really living because you are so afraid of the unknown. You know, I don’t have any guarantees that our life with Kaden will be easy- just like I don’t have any guarantee that our life without Kaden would have been easy. But what I do have is total peace in our decision to allow God to use us- and in doing so- he has blessed us beyond anything I could have ever imagined for ourselves. I cannot explain to you the joy I feel when Kaden curls into my lap, when he searches for me as I leave the room and how his smile makes my heart melt into a million pieces. It is a joy like no other. He did not come from my womb- but he is just the same my son and I am so grateful that I get to be his mother. From this experience I have learned to trust God more fully- even when it doesn’t make sense, and even at a risk to myself. He always, always has the better plan. If there was one thing I could tell you today- it’s to really live. Really put yourself out there- fight for a cause- give of yourself. Don’t worry what other people think, don’t care if it’s not the popular thing to do- just live big for God. Its what you are here for you know. I’ll end this with a poem I have on my frig door….

God won't ask what kind of car you drove; He'll ask how many people you drove who didn't have transportation.
God won't ask the square footage of your house, He'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
God won't ask about the clothes you had in your closet, He'll ask how many you helped to clothe. God won't ask what your highest salary was; He'll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it, and performed your job to the best of your ability.
God won't ask how many friends you had; He'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived, He'll ask how you treated your neighbors.
God won't ask about the color of your skin, He'll ask about the content of your character.
God won't ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation; He'll lovingly take you to your mansion in heaven, and not to the gates of Hell.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kaden's video

My awesome friend Angel put this video together for Kaden- THANKS Angel!!! You are the best!

our precious gift from God

I know, I know- sorry I kept you hanging... we have been having so much fun with our new son that I haven't had time to blog. Kaden spent the night last night for the first time. He did SO GOOD. Last night it just broke my heart though when I could tell he was acting a little different, sort of grieving. He seems to be doing really well, but I can't help but to put myself in his shoes and think about how hard it would be for someone to take you away from everything you knew and put you in a new place where everything is 'different'. The people are different, they smell different, look different, sound different. The food is different, your bed is different, and you miss your old life that was so comfortable and so good. One thing that his AWESOME foster mother suggested was that we start bringing home some of his toys a little at a time. I could tell that when he walked in yesterday he was excited to see HIS toys- something familiar sitting around in our living room. He had the biggest smile on his face. He slept really well last night, even though sleeping through the night (from what we have heard) is not his strength. He slept from 8:30-5:00 this morning- when he woke up with a bloody nose. We quickly cleaned that up and he fell asleep in my arms again for about an hour and a half longer. He LOVES his big brothers and sisters and they are crazy about him as well. We did see a little jealousy out of Aleigha- which we expected. I assured her she is still the princess (don't worry about Mya- she has no interest in being 'a princess'- she wants to be a 'football player') and that Kaden is the prince. :0) God is good. Kaden gets to spend the rest of today with us, then goes back to his foster parents tonight for his last day with them tomorrow. Monday he will move in with us for good. We are so excited and so blessed by this precious child. I would not change a thing about him- he is exactly what we prayed for and we are so in love it hurts. Thank you Jesus for our son!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

2nd visit

Today Todd and I got 3 hours with Kaden. We picked him up (he was so cute in his little Osh Kosh hoodie) and took him out to lunch at McDonalds so we could play in the playland. He did so good- he didn't cry when we left with him, although I did notice he was not as 'social' as he was yesterday when he was in familiar surroundings. Bless his little heart.. He seemed to really love french fries and even drank apple juice from a straw. :0) After we got tired of the McDonalds playland we headed to the park- and played on the slide. He wasn't quite sure of the slide at first, but warmed up after he knew it was safe. It was so hard to bring him back to his foster mom after the 3 hours were up (I wanted to skip the country with him but Todd said no!) so we are looking forward to having him all day tomorrow- when he finally gets to meet his big brothers and sisters (who have been trying to wait very patiently). Todd and I were sitting at the table watching him eat today and I was just taken back at how much I already love this precious little boy. There is just something about him that draws you in. We are so incredibly blessed. THANK YOU Jesus for our beautiful son!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Meeting Kaden!!

It's official- I am in love!!! He is awesome, funny, smart, sweet, full of energy and makes me smile so big my lips hurt! We spent about 2 hours with him tonight at his foster home, tomorrow we get to take him for about 3 hours in the afternoon. I cannot wait.


Tonight we will meet our beautiful new son for the first time at 6:00! I couldn't sleep a wink last night because I am so excited. Yesterday we had our adoption presentation with Kaden's caseworker, his previous caseworker who is in love with him (I can't say that I blame her) his attorney, the CPS supervisor, our caseworker and his foster mother. I absolutely adored them all. His foster mother though is most definitely a gift from God. This woman is amazing. She has been doing foster care for almost 30 years and she is just precious. I am so thankful for her and so thankful that she has been the one taking care of my baby boy. I know letting go of him will break her heart- but she chose to do it because she loved him so much. She felt she was getting too old to adopt a child his age. She told me as we were leaving that we were exactly what she had prayed for him. And because God is God and always blows me away- Kaden's foster family lives only 30 minutes from us!! 30 MINUTES! My baby has been just 30 minutes away from me this entire wait... and because the foster family only lives 30 minutes away I am hoping that we will forever be in contact with them. They are an amazing family and if I could be half the person his foster mother is one day I would be thrilled. It was so obvious how much she loves him and I am so thankful for that. She told me all kinds of cute stories about him and warned me to keep the bathroom doors shut because as Kaden just proved to them- a roll of Charmin can reach all the way from the bathroom to the kitchen without breaking. LOL She said he is a ball of personality and so much fun. Oh, and Todd was one proud daddy because she said he loves to watch sports on TV! Yep, Todd is in love. So tonight we will get to meet him for the first time, tomorrow we get to take him to lunch and play for a few hours, then Thursday he will come to our house to meet his new siblings for the first time and spend the entire day with us. Friday we will have him for the day and he will spend the night for the first time- then Saturday night he will go back to his foster family to spend his last day, Sunday (Easter) with them. Monday morning he moves into our home forever.
THANK YOU GOD for the exact way you orchestrated this adoption. As I look back now I can totally see how you arranged every single detail to fit into the exact order at the exact perfect timing. I am in awe. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being this perfect little boys mommy. Thank you for his foster family, for the caseworkers involved and thank you God for the miracle of adoption. I am forever changed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Things happening

So yes it turned out to be a pretty long weekend. Thank you to all of you who wrote and asked about Addisyn- just knowing you cared meant the world to her. She did not make it out for the cheer squad. It was one of those teachable moments though where you help your child to learn to praise God- even in unanswered prayer. She was broken hearted- and so of course my mother's heart was too, but I was also proud of Addie for the character she displayed. She congratulated those who made it and hugged those who did not. It was hard- but one of those lessons in life that we all have to endure at one time or another. I caught her a couple of times this weekend, out of habit, silently walking around 'doing the motions to her cheer' - then I would see her stiffen and get a sad look in her eye and make herself stop. Life just doesn't always go the way we wish- but I know that when God closes one door he will open another. Volleyball season is just around the corner- it's all good. And life goes on...
Here is a quote for you Addie cakes.
Success is to be measured, not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles he has overcome.

Tomorrow Todd and I go to meet with Kaden's caseworker, our caseworker and all the others involved in his case for his Presentation. After that is over we will set up our first visits with him- I cannot wait to meet my baby boy! It has taken everything I have to remain calm through this wait. Just the thought of those soft baby cheeks and hearing his giggle for the first time is making me crazy! It's almost here!!! Luckily we have been extra busy with the work on our house and everything else we have been doing to get ready for him- not to mention just plain old life with six other kids. Sometimes busy is good, but once Kaden is home I am going to make sure that things slow down so we can spend lots of time getting to know our precious new son.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Back to the days...

Anyone wanna take a little trip with me… back to Junior High? I didn’t think so. Remember those days? Today is one of those hard days to be a mom. Today, my 12 year old daughter Addisyn is trying out for Cheerleading. Now you and I both know that there are a lot more important things n this world than making the cheerleading squad for 7th grade… But when you are 12- you just don’t see it that way. So, if you could spare a prayer today- please think of Addie. It’s stiff competition- I believe 39 girls trying out for FOUR spots. YIKES. So yes- major prayers would be appreciated. The bible says God cares about every little detail in our lives- so that would include Cheerleading try-outs. Thanks for thinking of us, it may be a long weekend around here…


I don’t know about you, but the more I get to know God the more I realize how serious He is about us taking care of orphans. So serious in fact that He mandates to His people, through His Word, more than 40 times, to care for the orphans.
Last night I attended a meeting at a church who has an orphan ministry. Since God has clearly laid orphans on my heart I wanted to go see what this was all about. This church is a mega church and does what I feel is a great job of including and reaching all kinds of people. I loved meeting the people there who have a heart for orphans like I do. They shared scripture that proved orphan care is big to God. I am sure you have heard many of these scriptures, but I will list a few here just in case you want to check it out for yourself. They are:
Exodus 22:22
Deuteronomy 24:17
Deuteronomy 24:21
Isaiah 1:17
Jeremiah 22:3
James 1:27
Deuteronomy 18:18
Deuteronomy 24:19
Matthew 25:40
Matthew 25:45
John 14:18
Jeremiah 7:6
Jeremiah 22:3
Proverbs 23:10
Deuteronomy 10:18
Psalms 82:3
Psalms 94:6
Hosea 14:3
Psalms 10:14, 18
That is a lot of scripture- do you think God could make it any more clear?

Yet, the woman in charge of the meeting shared with us one scripture that somehow I had not yet heard… one that caught my attention (despite Aleigha and Mya wiggling around on my lap). It was this-“Then I will draw near to you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earners of his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear me. “Say the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:5

WOW. Did you catch that? Did you hear what He said? Like the leader shared last night- when most of us hear the word 'adulterer'-we cringe and think ‘oh what a horrible, despicable thing.’ And when we hear the word 'sorcerer' we think “oh how evil, I couldn’t imagine.” But then God goes on to include THOSE WHO TURN THEIR BACKS ON ORPHANS in this same category... and we all start to feel a bit more uneasy don’t we? Now I have to admit that even as an adoptive mother there are times where I have even had the ‘can’t save the world mentality’. There are literally 143 MILLION orphans in this world today- and that does get a bit overwhelming. But you know what- God never once asked me to do it all alone. He never once asked me to take it all on my shoulders. He asked me come along side of Him-to be His hands and feet... because if we don’t do it- then who will?? Who will be God’s hands and feet?
The Lord is saying to us- "This is truly my heart beat. Run with Me"! Do you have your jogging shoes on?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Abundant Blessings

"The Lord bless you for showing this kindness... May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this." 2 Samuel 2:5-6

Yesteray I went to Ladies Bible study at my church and was totally surprised by what these precious woman had done. They pulled together and showered us with these beautiful gifts for Kaden. There are no words to say how incredibly blessed we feel by the kindness they have shown us. I think of Kaden and how he came into this world with such a rough start- and yet now how so many people have stepped forward to show him he has great value. They haven't even met him yet and already they are showing their unconditional love and support that could only come from God. These woman have been such an inspiration to me- the way they live their lives and how they stand strong in their faith. When I signed up for bible study that day I had no idea what an impression they would make on me. They are true examples of the Godly women I pray one day to be. I treasure your friendships and I thank God for putting you in my life. I cannot thank you all enough for the beautiful clothing, baby bed, car seat, diapers, hooded towel, shoes, photo album, keepsake box, pajama's and more that you have given to us. But most of all- I thank you for your love and for the ways you have touched my life.

"I thank my God every time I remember you. " Philippians 1:3

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Ever since we brought home Aleigha from Guatemala she has had her special blanket. She was given many beautiful blankets to choose from- but it was obvious from the start that the fluffy blanket with the yellow duck was immediately her favorite. It was so special to her that she refers to it as her “special blankie” and she sleeps with it every night. Not only does she sleep with it, but if she is sick, skins her knee, gets into a fight with her sister, feels sad or is just tired and needs to rest- she clings to her special blankie. In it she finds security. As adults we understand that there is no real security in that special blanket- and yet, don’t we do that exact same thing? Don’t we find false security in things of this world… our looks, our job, our influence, or our checkbook? We build fences and walls, we install burglar alarms and buy big ugly dogs that growl at strangers. All in the name of security.

But did you know that God wants to be your special blanket? God wants us to need him. Did you know he is waiting for you to run and find him when you are sad, sick, hurting or afraid? Did you know that he wants to wrap himself around you and let you find security in him and only Him? He wants you to fall asleep at night clinging to Him. Instead of picking up the phone and calling a friend who you know will ‘validate your feelings of being wronged’- God wants you to talk to him first, to look to him and only Him for guidance and direction. Build your life in Him.
What are you putting your security in today?

Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kaden's room

I found these great letters for Kaden's room and I painted them today. They turned out so cute! We decided to do his room in baby blue and brown- I love those colors together!!! Yes I had to pay my older kids to 'pose' for this picture holding the letters- but aren't they too cool? We are so ready for you baby Kaden!!!

Happy Birthday Honey!!

May you always feel the love that surrounds you!!! We love you Daddy!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Under construction

Today our friend David came over to help us get started on expanding our dining area in our kitchen so there is 'room for more'. I can't even believe how easy he makes the work seem and how perfectly it is all coming together. There are no words to say how grateful we are to have his help. As I was watching them work today and thanking God for once again providing for us, this verse came to mind. Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administrating God’s grace in its various forms. 1 peter 4:10

David reaching out and helping us was a true example of how God wants us to be. We haven't even known David all that long, and furthermore, he has never even met Kaden. David just heard of a need and without question- stepped in and helped out. I honestly don't even think he knows what a big deal this was to us. God gave him a talent and out of the goodness of his heart and his love for the Lord- he blessed us with his talent. He could have chosen to spend his Saturday in a million different ways(like with his own family!) and I am sure a lot of them would have been a lot more fun- but he didn't. He chose to serve others with his time and efforts. I'm embarrassed to admit that there have been times where I would not have made that choice. Times that I chose to serve myself instead of someone else-putting my own agenda before theirs. Lord forgive me when I fail you in such an ugly way. Help me to always remember David's example and yours~ for today, I saw you in David. Thank you Lord.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rick Warren Video

I wanted to share this video my friend Angel posted on her blog by Rick Warren. The topic he discusses are near to and dear to our hearts and my hope is to get the word out there!

Be a Hero

Sometime during the day today you will most likely pay a $1 (or more) for something you didn’t really need. Perhaps it’s a candy bar, a lunch at McDonalds, a box of Girl Scout cookies or a can of soda from the vending machine at work. You will make that purchase without even thinking about it- just slap the $1 down and be on your way… on with your own life, your own agenda. But today- today I am going to challenge you. I am going to challenge you to make a difference. Every day God is waiting for us to answer this exact challenge. He waits, loving us regardless of our decision, loving us no matter what we choose, but waiting to bless us more than we could possibly image through our obedience. And God is so good that just by our obeying his command of giving he promises to GIVE US BACK EVEN MORE than we ourselves gave!

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. Luke 6:38 KJV

Today you have a chance to make a difference. Today you can be someone’s hero. Are you willing?

Being around adoptions now for the last several years I have seen miracle after miracle. Story after story of how people have stepped out in faith and adopted God’s children. And while I don’t usually do this on my blog- I am asking for your help for this family that I do not even know. I learned about baby William from another blog (thanks again Wendi) and was so touched by his story. This family is stepping out in faith as God called them to parent this special little boy. And with your help- your willingness to be God’s hands and feet- this child has a chance. Won’t you please skip the candy bar- and be someone’s hero instead? Please take a second and check out William's story at and GIVE!!!!

Lord, please reach Williams family today through your children. Let us be your hands and feet. Today as we go about our day, making our purchases, living our lives, let us remember your child William and his real needs. Your example to us of generosity can never be matched- but let us try to develop a heart like yours by giving out of thankfulness because you have blessed us with so much. For father,then one day when we stand before you we will hear your voice say"well done good and faithful servant".

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Happy Anniversary

To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse. For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.
~Happy Anniversary to the most incredible man I have ever met. I remember the day so well... as if it were yesterday.
We stood together,there at that alter, hands joined. We said the words-but I'm not so sure we really understood their meaning. But God did. We were in love, and believed with our whole hearts that it could conquer all. We knew nothing of the trials that would come. And by the same token we thought we knew joy, but we were wrong there! We'd barely had a taste of it.....
Now the years have passed and when we stand together I do not see the same young man who stood before me that day, handsome in his Tux. I see the new man who has allowed God to mold and and change him- and because of that you have become even more handsome to me. I see the man who has stood by my side, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health~ a man who has kept his vow. I see the man who has put me before himself always.
For now we know that love is a choice. That we must choose to love, and that we renew that choice each and every day. We understand that it being by choice doesn't make it any less real, yet actually gives us more freedom and power, makes it permanent, and perfects it. The years in our marriage has taught us this. It is an act of love to be there with those who have been there for you, to hold their hand and support them. It is an act of love to stand together against any adversity, despite the pain.And as time goes on and we grow older, it is an act of love to hold the hand that no longer works or kiss the almost-hairless head. This I will choose to do for I have loved you, with all that I am, then, now and always. Happy Anniversary my precious husband.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.

- Meister Eckhart

Monday, March 3, 2008

More on Stuff

Many of us are living our lives forstuff. You know- our stuff. The ‘stuff’ that you see in the mall that you just can’t live without. The newest gadgets, toys, and plastic junk our kids just have to have.
We have garages for our stuff, sheds for our stuff, closets for our stuff, basements and attics for our stuff, storage rentals for our stuff and we go broke for our stuff. We spend hour after hour working for our stuff- often times putting our desire for stuff before relationships with friends and family. Because after all, we just can’t live without our stuff. We like it. We like it a LOT.

Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12:15

Over the past year God has made it obvious to me that we needed to be in control of our stuff- so that we have more time to concentrate on Him. After all, if we are spending all of our time paying off our stuff then when do we find the time to serve? Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

A few changes we have made is taking gradual steps toward gaining control of our finances. Todd and I are currently taking Dave Ramsey’s class- Financial Peace University. If you haven’t read his book or taken this class then I highly suggest it. I have never been great at finances- I don’t have a lot of knowledge about investing. Truth be told- it bores me. I ‘thought’ I was frugal and careful with our money- but we have learned so much from this class. Do you know the #1 reason why most people are not financially secure and have debt? It’s our automobiles. The #1 reason people are in financial stress is because of the car they drive! 90 percent of people with marital problems list finances as the top reason for fighting with their spouse.

Another big reason to gain control over our stuff is the Earth. I know- we all take it for granted that it’ll be here tomorrow. We take for granted clean water and clean air. But there is reason to believe that this might not always be the case. Our stuff has to end up somewhere… and it’s the land fills. I ran across the video clip on my friend Wendi’s blog (thanks Wendi!) It’s definitely worth watching and will make you think. The link is Did you know that America holds 5% of the worlds population, yet we are using 30% of its resources- and that of course, is at the expense of others.

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

A few things we are doing at home to try to make a difference is really trying to limit our waste. We have now ‘gone cloth’. No, not all the way- I can’t quite get myself to give up toilet paper… but we have quit buying paper towels and napkins. We bought these cute little red cloth napkins (3 for $1 at the Dollar store shown in picture above) and it’s actually been fun. Kind of feels like you are eating at a fancy restaurant every night. :0) At first it took some getting used to- we were constantly reaching for the paper towels but now that we have been without them for a few weeks we hardly notice. Plus- it has saved on our grocery bill. Those things are expensive! Another thing we are trying this year is a garden- compost pile and all. The kids think it’s a blast and I know that if anything happens to actually grow in our garden I will be one proud individual. There is really so much more that we can all do. A great blog my friend Leslie introduced me to is This blog has lots of earth friendly ideas on doing your part.

Chicken Pot pie

Tonight for dinner we are having Chicken Pot pies. I got this recipe from my old neighbor and good friend Dana. Making her recipe today made me miss her really bad. Thought I would share the recipe with you all too. Like Dana used to say- they look like they are a lot of work but they are really very easy. And my kids loved them too.

2 can cream of potato soup

1 16 oz. can of Veg-all, drained

2 c. chicken- cooked and diced

1/2 c. milk

1/2 tsp. thume

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 refrigerated pie crusts

Combine the first 6 ingredients. Spoon into pie crust. Cover with top crust. Crimp edges to seal. Split top crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Yummy!!!

The stuff

I am finding that a lot of 'stuff' goes into preparing for a seventh child. For one- our vehicle was already full with the eight of us. (We drive a Yukon which I absolutely LOVE). And because I love my Yukon and am not at all interested in another car payment or paying the gas for a 15 passenger- we found this awesome extra seat you can buy that is safety regulated and fits right into our Yukon. And get this- a couple of our kids are already excited about riding in this new rear facing seat! Ahhh, bring back memories of the station wagon we had growing up. Anyway- Todd and I ordered our new seat today and I can't wait to get it. If you want to check it out the website is And, now we even have room for an extra friend!
Another little project we have been keeping busy with is adding on a bedroom for Kaden, as well as expanding our eating area to accommodate a family our size. It was already a bit squishy to begin with so adding in another chair at the table would be impossible. God has also taken care of that little detail and a man from our church volunteered to add on the bedroom and expand our eating area for $600!!!! What a huge, huge blessing. Really, I was ok with being squished- but this is such a gift. God is good. He is going to start working this Saturday so hopefully everything will be pretty much in place by the time Kaden moves in with us on the 28th of March. There have been other little blessings along the way as well where we have really seen and felt the hand of God confirming that our decision was correct. But there has also been some challenges-some hurtful comments and some issues dealing with Kaden's special need. Through these challenges we praise God. The hard times are never fun, but I know when times are tough we lean on God even more and change the most. That is always a blessing. We have made a commitment to Kaden and a commitment to follow God at all cost. The day we said yes to God, we let Him have our life completely for His use. Commitment requires sacrifice- sacrifice of time, money, and self. But in return God blesses you in ways and bring you more joy than you could ever imagine.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. " John 10:10