Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thoughts of a New Year

My dear bloggy friends,
I typed this out and it was supposed to automatically post on the First.
I guess I need a little more practice.

I enjoy sharing our stories and enjoy your comments
I feel "not so terribly alone" on our journey
knowing you are reading
and thinking of us.
maybe even saying a prayer or two.
2011 has held such grief, and pain for me.
Not the loss of a loved one in real-life
But the loss of a son-in-law
and the "happily ever afters" I held in my heart
for my daughter,
the future grandchildren.
To watch my darling daughter not only loose her house-
but the home she created.
For her to not get a teaching job
after all the struggles to complete her degree
while working and supporting a husband and his ailing family members the past four years.
No job and no real home to "go home to".
Her finances falling apart as a result - no job= no money.
Her wedding rings stolen.......

I could choose to focus on all of this......

2011 has held so many many beautiful moments.......
and I choose to focus on them instead my friend.
I am focusing on the "God-in-it-all".
We cannot change some things,
but we can change our perspective.
When things feel so out of control,
I can take control!

Wont you please join me this new year in daily,
counting the gifts,
seeing the creator in the creation?
None of us knows what this next year will hold for us
or the ones we hold dear.
But God does,
none of the mess was a surprise to him.
Through our adoption of sweet Lil G I held onto so many verses.
I learned so much about faith.
not religion,
but faith......
I love this one in Jeremiah:
I'll show up an take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. "When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." Gods Decree. "I'll turn things around for you. I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you" Gods Decree- "bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.

Then I love this in Romans 5:

We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Its all grace isnt it.....

Under His wings,

Holiday Cheer anyone??

As busy as we have been this month,
Its likely that I will fall off the face of the earth in a day or two.
My husband has off work starting tomorrow.
So I was wanting to say a proper farewell until next year.
That way if I am able to link up tomorrow to "whats in your studio"
it will be icing on the cake- an unexpected blessing.
If not, no tragedy.

the tree has been decorated........
presents are wrapped and under the tree.
We can sit back and savor it.....
each moment is a gift.

Dont forget to dance a little......
spend time with friends..... old and new.
Under His wings,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Elves at work

Yeah this is the best picture we could get.
Have I mentioned she is opinionated?
Have I mentioned she doesnt like having her picture taken?
Yeah, welcome to my world.
here Lil G is dying laughing because I gave her a penny to throw in the fountain.
This is after I handed it to her and she immediately crammed it in her mouth.
I cant begin to let my mind wander as to where it had been.....
(she was watching a grandpa hand some littles change to throw in- I had to let her try.)
I was thinking maybe she was making a wish about her little friends at Para Sus Ninos-
Meeting their new families. (see her shirt. I know you want one... contact this family.
the purchase of this shirt will help TWO of her room mates come home with new families!
Its a win-win situation. I know you want one.......I cant wait until her brother unwraps his and I can get photos of them.......)
she sees other people sitting on the edge and thinks
it looks like a good idea
This was the best part of the shopping trip on Monday.
I never found gloves small enough to fit her hands. A six year old with hands the size of a 3 year old. We shopped four hours and only found mittens- that will not work when your form of communication is sign language. It would be like putting duct tape on your mouth. Anyhow, I remembered my sister loves Lands End and LL Bean. I found them in ten minutes flat, on sale and will arrive before Christmas, free shipping and handling with a hat to match. Will someone remind me next year? I may do all my shopping that way. This elf does not like to shop- THE END. My sister..... she has the gift of shopping. Me, not so much. Give me a hank of yarn and let me sit in the quiet and knit a gift. Or give me some paints and paper or wood......tucked away in my little quiet home on my quiet little road, (not really but it sounded good!)
for son's bathroom........
Something I made for son's apartment

. husband helped me fix them, the wood warped. I put hangers on the back.
Hanging over the couch. He is so happy.
Im also working on coasters made with scrabble tiles.
Some hand knits...... Keeping busy.
Loving the Advent season.
Under His wings,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December update

Yeah , I know..... you were starting to wonder if
I fell off the face of the earth.
When my life gets too full I start crossing things off my list
it seems like the blog just kept getting crossed off each day.
If you are a blogger, you will understand.
what takes you a few minutes to read
can sometimes take a few hours for me to put together
by the time Ive uploaded pics,typed out what I wanted to say,
deleted it all, Typed it out again, spell checked.You get the drift.
Ive been catching a few extra minutes every couple of days to read my favorite bloggers
sometimes leaving a comment.Sometimes not.

This month has held some emotional days.
There have been several families traveling to Ecuador this month
it has brought up so many memories and feelings.
Lil G has been doing awesome "firsts".
I saw a friend at a restaurant the other day that had never met Lil G.
Lil G decided she wanted to show off, she singed "nice to meet you." HOLY COW!

If youve adopted you know what it feels like to see photos of your little one.
I cried like ten times the day I saw this picture for the first time.
Lil G is only a few months old here.
Seeing her at this age doesnt compute.
My brain has a hard time processing that this is my daughter.

Lets just say this chaos and pandemonium set her off.
This is only the right side of the room.
Double it. That is the reason for some outside play time! Im learning.

She lost one of her contacts Friday night at the Church musical watching big brother play his bass guitar, so glasses it will be until sometime in January or February- her appointment is the 6th of Jan and they have to be special made. (insert huge frown here)
brother is the blue blur on the left.
I guess my hand isnt still enough for photos without a flash.
The season wouldnt be complete without watching the nutcracker
yes, she sat still and watched the. entire. thing. Well I have to take that back,
she did sign dance and get down to twirl around some. A.DOR.A.BLE! It was NY city ballet.
She also sat through the Polar Express- twice now........
We have come a looooong way baby.
Yesterday we met with the Orphanage Director
AND the lady that put Lil Gs baby book together, Bonus!
Of course Lil G HAD to be in a "mood". Ugh.
She has a list of circumstances that can/will throw her "off".
No telling which one or combination it was......
Papa did a great job at wrangling her.
yeah, you read right. A baby book.
I didnt even look at it really until about 3:30 in the afternoon.
I looked at two pages before I set it aside.
Of course I sobbed like a baby.
My parents were in town all weekend for my grandfathers birthday/ Christmas
so we dropped by and my mother and I were able to
laugh and enjoy it together.
They had saved the outfit the nurses at the hospital bought to send her to the orphanage in
a photo with nurses that had red rimmed eyes.
They had taken care of her, a 4.5 lb baby girl for a week.
We also have a set of contacts in a box, and four pair of outgrown glasses.
Her first pr are so tiny, and heavy.
lots of pictures. Four and a half years......
They have some beautiful pics of us together the day we met her.
Im so relieved. Ours werent all that great.
I am going to be spending some time on Google translate reading the pages the tias wrote for us. Each one of her Tias wrote a goodbye letter/prayer.
I cannot wait to see what they had to say.
This is more than I could ever have hoped for.
I thanked the orphanage Director for making sure such care was taken
the attention to details.
Lil G cannot communicate much,
there are many things We are having to learn on this journey
I told Melinda that God has been faithful to shower us with grace upon grace.
This is icing on the cake.
I pray this finds you and yours
enjoying family and friends
making beautiful memories.

Under His wings,

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Many years ago our family took a huge leap of faith,
packed up and moved to a "foriegn land".
Lower Alabama.......
Things really fell apart
and we ended up on the receiving end.
We made a promise that when we were back on our feet things wouldnt change.
We would continue to remember the real reason .......
our hands would stay open
receiving to give
(who needs one more "thing"?)
Focusing on Memories,

Our trip to Ecuador hammered that deeper into my soul
the being- thankful- for- every-thing.
Seeing Lil Gs room mates that were being left behind
begging to go home with G's Mami and Papi
I am changed.
The Christ -child- in- me compelling me to do it His way
(my church friends learning about Gs first home.)
good bye hugs.......

There are two families headed to Ecuador soon.
(the third family is meeting their daughter today)
The children cannot be forgotten.

If you still want to do for someone and havent yet,
Even if you cant help financially or physically purchase anything,
lift a prayer or two for this family and this family
these children?
If you want to see a present God gave me today-
a video on Youtube with G on 4:22
some of the other little ones I know and love are on there too!

these are the needs listed on Kim's blog:

**Baby wash/Baby lotion. These things have a high tariff and are really expensive in Ecuador.
*Shirts for children ages 10-16
*Underwear for 16 yr old girl
*Thermal socks for 16 year old girl
*Sweatshirts/jackets for children ages 10-16
**Crib Sheets
*Twin size bed sheets
**Plastic bibs
*Sweaters for boys and girls sizes 3-6
**tights for babies and toddlers
(There is a greater need for items with two stars)
If, while you are out and about doing your Christmas shopping, you would like to pick up any of these items, please do. I am sure they will help make Christmas a little more special at the orphanage.
For my friends locally,
Let me know if you would like to send a few things
I would be glad to include them in my package.
Im also wondering about sending a check instead of the soaps given the weight
it would add to the shipping price considerably.

Under His wings,

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A huge surprise and blessing!

Guess where I was....... Do you recognize this face?
horrible quality photo, Im so sorry...... but
could that be Beth Moore?
in Pensacola???????
cute as a button!

Thousands of women Singing Amazing grace
after quite a few of the ladies had already
started to head home........
I love how passionate this dear woman is about Gods Word.
This was not a "pep rally"
or anything of the sort.
A great time learning and studying.
I wasnt going to go.......
I guess God had other ideas.
The message was just, well, there arent words.
I am really numb.

Please pray for my dear friend that gave me her tickets,
Melissa is her name.
They thought she had been bitten by something
but I think the Drs have now decided
she has one of those super-bug infections on her stomach.
She is very very sick.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent and Christmas

As you probably understood in my Thanks giving and Advent post,
we were out of town for Thanksgiving and came home late Sunday night,
up to start a new work week on Monday morning
So, my house is not decorated.
I have a routine,Saturday following Thanksgiving
shop for a tree,
de -clutter before setting the Nativity collection out
(much of the other decor gets packed away in the Christmas boxes)
move furniture before setting up the tree.
Instead, you see piles of papers, suitcases gaping open as I relieve them of the contents
laundry running,
boxes to go to storage still by the front door
you get the picture.

We needed milk and a few odds and ends so I stopped by the store
it rattled me, The countdown has begun........
I dont watch much tv
but when it came on last night
my senses were assaulted with things we ALL need and should have
to make it the "Perfect Christmas"
(the worst are the Audi commercials- REALLY?!Seriously?!)
The world is trying so hard to soothe the aches and pains of "real life"
gadgets and gizmos that will fill the holes
like retail therapy will fix it,

when really
what we are all searching for
cant be wrapped up all nice and pretty
tied with a bow.
We cannot put God in a box.

The prophets were looking for him
waiting for a King or a prince to wage war
instead he chose a different way.....
stop trying to put God in a box
wrapped with a pretty bow.
keep looking for him
mark some things off your list
to allow yourself time to keep waiting
and watching
it might look differently than you were expecting
it all started with grace........

Monday, November 28, 2011

On Thanks giving and Advent

I am sitting on my couch in my home
after a nights rest in my bed
the right amount of blankets in my flannel jammies
and the temp just like I like it.
Lil G is playing in her room with her toys
after eating her cereal in a zip top bag
while watching 2 Sesame Streets
and two cups of juice
(while I sipped my coffee, read my Bible, then checked blog land)
after sleeping in her bed with her soft sheets and just right blanket
new birthday doll tucked in beside her.

adorable photo here)

As I savor it all
the Thankful or FULL-of-thanks
for the routine
no more yelling "NOOO!"
because it all felt so wrong.
she was able to do it
(whereas I could not)
the deep yearning for it to all be right
even in the wrong.
How being without
makes us full-of-thanks for what is.
Changes in perspective,hearing just the right words to remind me
that even though what I expected,
no matter what the yearning deep in my soul
for all to be made right.
It just wont be,
not on this side of heaven.
not the trips we plan
and "happily ever afters" we are promised (by media and society)
because there will be forgotten cameras
and expectations that go unmet
(and ones that cannot be met)
and we are all human
no matter how much we love the Lord
or claim the cause of Christ......
our humanness continually reminding us of the need for grace.
leading into Advent.....
That is what the Prophets were begging for- Isiah 64:9
They were begging God to fix it
"dont you see whats going on all around us?"
(sickness, joblessness, orphans, disease,strife)
"Please come. Come fix it!"
They actually gave voice to it.
Yet, when he came it wasnt how they thought it would look
If Im not walking around with the correct perspective I just might miss it
I might be looking at all thats wrong
and not focusing on God-in-it-all.

Isnt this the CUTEST
birthday photo EVER!!!!)

I am full of thanks
family that understands-
that makes a home- made birthday cake
"just so"
hearing the "happy birthday song"
echoing off the walls
while lil G embraced the moment
and did her best to even sing along
unabashedly- because it was hers
and kept on trying to blow the candles out.
Each of us, internally wanting to help......
big brothers with fierce love hoping the next try would do it.
Family that could enjoy the grace filled moments
until it overflowed....

that I could hear her unspoken words through the screamed "NOO!"
(I was telling her about presents while she was eating her cake.)
She was happily eating,screaming no, and signing cake.
That night in bed it clicked.(it takes me awhile)
Maybe she was saying"let me savor the moment. "
"Stop talking about presents!"
This is the moment to savor the cake.
The cake with the rainbow.
that was made with me in mind.
I can eat it all by myself
and let it take as long as I need to savor each crumb.
not looking towards what is next.
savoring the now.

(One more time
Imagine this photo really
bringing tears to your eyes
cuz Lil G is just so adorable!)

Thanksgiving and Advent(the four weeks leading up to Christmas)
being thankful,
because in being human
it is all grace
and received.

Under His wings,

(maybe, just maybe tomorrow we will have some great cell phone pics
to go with another incredible post! wink wink)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ecuador Part 3 and yarn Along

This week I have been knitting on plain ole Stockinette squares -
I am knitting a blanket for my son and his Fiance for Christmas.
I wanted to knit them a Hemlock ring.

its one of the most beautiful things I have knit.
A little difficult, but as long as you use stitch markers
and keep track of your pattern it is worth it!
But as I considered it I wasnt sure if a round blanket would be snuggly enough,
plus one with holes in it.
(a peeve of mine- you get all snuggled up and a toe or something comes poking out of a hole.)
The second drawback was its made of wool,
has to be hand washed. I just worried about it standing the test of time......
it accidentally gets thrown in the wash -
you end up with a felted coaster that took months to make!
I had purchased the Cascade 220 to make a sweater for him
he grew and decide he wasnt the sweater wearing type.
I think it will be beautiful when I get it knit and felted.
(oldest daughter is helping)

What Ive been reading? "Reclaiming Lily" by Patti lacy.
All in all this was a good book. It was hard really getting into the rhythm of the story. The author ties two cultures together by an international adoption from China. By the time the oldest biological sister fulfills her dying mothers wishes to "reclaim Lily" her younger sister is 17 years old. During those seven years the sister has gone to medical school in America and found the cause of their mothers death which only fuels her desire to find her little sister. The disease is genetic and she wants to warn Lily and her adoptive family. In this process there is healing for all involved. It was hard to follow at times because of the oldest sisters flashbacks to China. I also had a hard time with the adoptive mothers emotional instability. Being an adoptive mother I remember how emotional international adoption can be but her personality rubbed me wrong and it seemed like her faith wasnt real. There were many twists and turns,plus a surprise ending, but if you can keep up I am sure you will enjoy this story.

Speaking of adoption,
Ive been posting this week about familes adopting in Ecuador.
I know of three families that have paperwork in the process and will be traveling soon. You can Read Monday and Tuesdays posts if youd like to read more.
Today I wanted to share a link with the last family I know will be traveling soon.
This little girl went to the same school as our Lil G and was an orphanange sister as well.
I am so excited for all the little ones finding their families......
Having a home
and a family

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ecuador part 2

this is a blog from another family
headed to Ecuador
to bring their new daughter home.
Their beautiful daughter
happens to have an extra chromosome just like Lil G.
She is from a different orphanage......
So glad that these families are getting the paperwork done
and moving forward in the process so smoothly.
(they are hosting a giveaway right now)
These adoptions are being added to my list
things to be thankful for.
It could have looked so different.

She shared this video.
I have watched/ listened to it so many times.
Her daughter is one of the last little girls.

Under His wings,

Monday, November 21, 2011


I fell in love with Ecuador several years ago,
I cant believe its been 12 years.
Its like a lifetime.
Lately if you follow Compassion you have seen the faces
Youve read the stories,
If youve been reading here long enough you will remember that its where our youngest daughter spent her first 4.5 years of her life.

Para Sus Ninos - Lil Gs first home
Her mother left her in the hospital after delivering her almost six years ago,
(our Lil G will be turning 6 next week.Thanksgiving day!)
this will be her second birthday as an American-
(we couldnt have done it without A LOT of help!!!!)
She left alot behind when she joined our family last summer
Many friends, roommates, sisters and brothers-in Christ.
Tias that rocked her when she was sick,
they held her and brushed away the tears when she fell down.
They fed her warm nutritious meals
and celebrated Holidays with her-
when we could not.
They taught her about Jesus,
They taught my daughter how to walk, potty trained her
and taught her to pray over her food- no matter how small
it needs to be prayed over in Lil G's book.
But I need to tell you that no matter how much they love the children
its not like having a family.

Several families are working on adoptions right now,
this family specifically is adopting TWO of Lil Gs Orphanage roommates
and they need our help......
If you have a heart for adoption,
if you have a heart for Ecuador,
wont you please consider purchasing a t-shirt
and spreading the word???
only $20........ something for you and something for these two orphans
and when you wear the shirt you will be reminded to pray......
Together we can do something BIG
Something big for D
Something Big for sweet L

This something Big is a home......
a place to "come home to".
I know there was nothing like the feeling of "coming home"
after eight weeks in Ecuador.
While you are spending time with friends and family,
giving thanks,
going home for the holiday,
wont you say a prayer for these little girls,
for this family,
and if you are so inspired,
lend a halping hand.
Ive met these little girls,
Ive cried real hot heart tears.....
that their family would find them.

“Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
Psalms 96:3

Friday, November 18, 2011

Focusing on My God.....

"Now God has us where he wants us,
with all the time in this world
and the next
to shower grace and kindness upon us
in Christ Jesus"
Ephesians 2:10 Message

Life has been throwing curveballs lately
I keep choosing to focus on Him
"I AM"
not all the stuff.
Is amazing what a change in perspective will do for ya
I have been so so blessed following the Compassion Bloggers
Seeing those beautiful little ones in Ecuador
appreciating all that God did to bring lil G into our family
all the things I learned to appreciate
this spoiled American needed to learn a thing or two.
Then a family adopting from Ecuador posted this beautiful video
He knows my heart
He continues to bless me
Being able to hold my dear sweet daughter last night as she sobbed
what a blessing to have your 23 yo in your bed
instead of shedding tears alone
to know that she is home
that God has allowed us to be in a place financially
so that even during the gut wrenching losses
she is fed and has her needs met
praying that His words
that we continue to speak over her
that we are living
Will fix the brokenhearted
even though she has put her running shoes on
He understands.
I know this.
Its all grace.......

Joining up with the ladies at studio JRU
sharing whats in my "studio" this week........

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Resting and sharing photos

We went to see the Blue Angels perform last weekend.
I wonder if G remembers last year?
Ive meant to post photos all week.
I just cant believe its Thursday
and tomorrow is Friday.
Come back tomorrow now,
cuz Fridays we share whats going on in our studio
and Ive got a few things to share.
" Family"
She loved signing with her gloves on

Brothers -I love this one!

Isnt that awsome

Sorry about the cheesy grin.
I figured I needed to prove Im not vain.

This is the end of the "Wall of fire"
I know this is hard to see~ God put on his own airshow.
The sunset was AMAZING and this is the moon.
It was a huge ball of Orange. I couldnt take my eyes off it.
The fire works display beats our Fourth of July
I tried my hand at taking photos. Its hard without a tripod.
And to think............. I didnt want to go.
Giggle giggle
Under His wings,