Thursday, August 28, 2008

These pictures were taken just over a year ago, days before we were leaving Benin. Today we are getting on a plane and heading back for a visit I already anticipate flying too fast. These are faces that we love and think about daily. They are in our conversations and in our prayers continuously. What will it be like to see them again? To give them hugs and to hear about their lives. So much has happened in our lives since then, so much has happened in theirs. We want our visit to encourage and refresh their spirits. Thank you for your prayers for us while we are gone. We are expecting God to do great things!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008


We are about to embark on a HUGE week for our family. All four kids will be starting school on Monday. Tori will start 4th grade, Timothy will begin Kindergarten and Jon and Lael will start Pre-K. The tears are continually brimming in my eyes. They are all excited and I am too. They are all nervous and I am too. Tonight after church we drove to both of the schools with the kids and prayed for our coming year at these schools. It was especially precious to listen to Tori and Timo pray for Jon and Lael and then for J & L to pray(short and sweet) for Tori and Timo. As if that were not enough to challenge our family this week, we have added a bit more excitement to the mix. Thursday afternoon we will be leaving for a quick visit to Benin. We are looking forward to seeing the faces of the ones we love so much and left there just over a year ago. Tears are also brimming in our eyes when we speak of this and anticipate stepping briefly back into the life and land we grew to love. Please pray for us any time we cross your mind. We are so thankful for the many generous gifts that have been given towards the Village of Hope. We can't wait to share with these kids and their caregivers the gifts you have given. If anyone wants to give and you have not yet had the chance, or if the Lord has put it on your heart to give again, please make sure your gifts have been given online or directly to myself or Randy by this Tuesday, August 26! Go here to donate online today!
Luke 25:40, " The King will reply,"I tell you the truth,whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,you did for me."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Children's Book Review

Once again I have been given a sweet privilege of reviewing some special books that are new in stores this week! This time these books are for children. I have all three books posted and in the order that my children have enjoyed them! Again I have 2 copies of each book to give away!! Leave a comment about your little one and which book interests you and send me your address via my email that is listed on the sidebar and I will send it to you while supplies last!!

The first one is a gentle story that provides satisfying answers for a young child’s most difficult questions about heaven. Parents, grandparents, childcare professionals, librarians, Sunday school teachers, and others will appreciate the gentle approach to a topic that’s on the minds of many “little cubs.”

Through captivating, full-color illustrations and tender, biblically sound storytelling, young readers and those who love them will find reasons to rejoice in knowing that God Gave Us Heaven. This was a fun book to read and it opened the door to conversations about heaven that have been precious to share!

Go here to buy this book!

In two new books from best-selling children’s author Dandi Daley Mackall, clever rhymes and delightful illustrations help young children, ages three and up, understand God’s huge love for them and his joy in creating them. Parents will appreciate the engaging stories that communicate God’s perfect plan and his divine purpose for little hearts.

In God Loves Me More Than That, children learn that God loves them deeper than a wishing well, wider than a semi-truck, louder than thunder, and softer than a kitten’s sneeze. Each question, presented with charming child-like faith will help young ones grasp the great love of God through comparisons and descriptions they can easily understand. In short, they’ll discover that His love is bigger, wider, higher, and deeper than anything they could imagine!

In When God Made My Toes, kids are drawn into the wonder of their creation by God. Their masterful artist who fashioned them just right for amazing and delightful adventures, such as roller skating, finger-painting, doing flips, and drinking cocoa. Children will come to an understanding that God shaped each part of their amazing bodies with joy, delight, and humor.

Go here to buy this book!

Go here to buy this book!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Let's Dance!!

It was a great party!! Lael loves to dance to just about any kind of music! We chose a dancing theme for our fun little three year old! We decorated and played the music and the kids had fun jumping and moving to a fun beat...we all took turns with the hula hoop, played pin the tail on the donkey and took a swing at a disco ball pinata!! This party was LOUD! We are so thankful for the friends and family that came to celebrate Lael! She received a ton of fun presents!! She was a bit overwhelmed by the visitors at first and seemed to finally be warming up when the party was over! She is so precious! We are so thankful that it is in the Lord's plan for her to be in our family! The Lord is working out his purposes in Lael and we are honored and delighted to be a part!! We love you Babygirl!

Randy did a wonderful job with Lael's Disco Ball Cake!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Welcome Home Eden!

Click on this picture and take the time to look at the precious faces of Eden's Welcome Home Committee!! This little girl is surrounded by love and she is bringing out the best in these precious ones already!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So precious...We are all in love!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Eden Elizabeth is here!

At 5:59pm tonight our lives were changed! Eden Elizabeth made her entrance into our world! She is much anticipated and we are overjoyed!! She is 6 pounds, 14 oz and 19 inches long! Eden has a beautiful head covered in dark brown hair! She is exquisite! My mom and I had the sweetest privilege of being in the room with Becky and Tony as Eden arrived. Thank you so much Becky for letting us share in this moment. Definitely one of the sweetest moments of my life to this point!! I am so thankful to DeeAnn Brownlow and Brenda Vick who came immediately to care for our kids so that my mom and I could join Becky as soon as possible!! My Dad, Andy and Jessica came in quickly from Abilene and Baird and we could not quit smiling!! This has been a great day! Becky was amazing, laboring hard all day with an amazing attitude surrounded by six kids. When she finally got to the hospital there was hardly any time left...she got her epidural and she was ready to go! She was admitted a little after 4 and Eden was born at 5:59!!
Be sure to click on these pictures so that you can see precious Eden up close!!

Sweet Big Brothers welcomed their little sister! You may be able to tell from the pictures that Pate is more the observer taking it all in and Benjamin is hands on!!
They were both so precious with their thoughts and questions. They were most concerned for their mommy and why she was in a bed with tubes in her hands and why she couldn't leave with them. Oh my goodness I love these guys!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One day at a time

Update on Tuesday night....At this point Randy is the only one hanging in there. I have been sick since Monday afternoon and tonight Tori is getting sick...stomach viruses are awful!! Pray health is quickly restored to our family.

I found this picture tonight from Tori's return on my mom's camera and liked it even better than the one I posted last week! Since last Thursday night we have had at least one sick kid in our home, primarily Timo, but Lael and Jonathan have also had some major episodes that involve stomach issues that are best left undescribed!! They all seem to be on the mend tonight. Tori is hanging in there strong and Randy and I are too at this point! May it continue! Randy and I have so much going on right now it is just CRAZY!! Working full-time,tag teaming with childcare until school starts, registering for pre-school for J and L tomorrow and the real deal school for T and T on Tuesday, preparing to leave for Benin 3 weeks from this Thursday, anticipating sweet Eden's arrival at any moment, and trying to maintain joy, peace, and sanity!!! Is it possible? I am sure going to day at a time!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tori's Last Summer Baseball Game

Tori had her last game tonignt. She has had a blast playing Baseball this Summer and being the only girl on her team! She has had a great encouraging coach who really loves the game and he has been really great for Tori! She has fallen in love with the sport and hopes to play again and again. Tonight she told her coach she wanted to do something hard and she asked if she could play catcher. It was the last inning of the game and here comes Tori strutting out in full catching gear ready to try out a position she has never even practiced once. Everyone was watching and enjoying her genuine effort and desire to try this out! She did amazing. She caught the ball in her glove several times when the batter had swung the bat...this is especially amazing to me. This would not have been a position that I would have volunteered for, but Tori loved it. Once the ball smacked her in the leg and left a mark. Tonight that mark was a symbol of sacrifice for the game that brought a smile to her face. We are so proud of Tori!!! Timo is in his uniform in this picture just because he wanted to wear it!! His last game is later this week!