The day I got married, one of my closest friends looked me in the eye and said "God has many wild and wonderful things ahead for you and Jeremy."

Being called mom by 7 kids is definitely wild. Each day I look for the wonder in it all...and give thanks.

Partnering with my husband in life, parenting, work and serving is definitely wonderful. He is my favorite.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gotcha Day!

We celebrated Savannah's 4th birthday June 13th (4th birthday!! cannot believe it!) and I'll share more about the Birthday celebrations below, but today is

Gotcha Day

Gotcha Day is the day we met Savannah and she became ours--June 28, 2007.  Since she was born 11 weeks prematurely, she was still in the NICU when we found out about her. 

We met her birthparents and the birthfather's parents before we met Savannah.

Her birthfather introduced us to Savannah.

You can read all about our adoption experience with Savannah starting here--it's a story I love to read over and over.  NOT because I wrote it, but because only GOD could have pulled that off.  I am in awe of His work and that He lets us in on it.  WOW!

Savannah is into everything princess and ballerina.  So we had a Princess Ballerina Dress Up Birthday Party.  We just invited family, but she was as happy as could be because she was getting to dress up with her cousins.

Happy Birthday Savannah!
We thank God He brought us to you June 28, 2007!

Friday, June 24, 2011

How's your dash?

Today I went to the funeral of a person we have done business with for several years.  Although we did not know this person up close and personal, we are friends with the family and enjoy working with them.  I am still pondering some things that was shared in the eulogy. 

One story the pastor shared was about a man and his son walking through a cemetery and talking about the names of family members that had passed on.  The boy asked his dad what the numbers meant, and he explained the first date was their birth and the second was the date of their death.  The boy continued his questioning with, "what does the dash mean?"  The father replied, "That's the most important part."

It got me thinking....

How is my dash?

When I am gone, what will people say about me? 
About my life?

God keeps bringing to my attention His words in Matthew.  When He does that--when He keeps showing me the same truth in different places through different people, songs, and sermons, I know I need to stop and listen.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6: 19-21). 

treasures in heaven

A blog friend of mine, calls each of her children "treasures".  I think about the orphans coming to spend 3 weeks with us in July.  Each one a treasure....

I pondered more during the eulogy as I listened to what his children and grandchildren said about him, I couldn't help but to wonder what my kids would say about me and my husband when we pass.  What would they remember?  What will they cherish when I'm gone?

In the same moment my mind (heart) went back to the kids we will have in our home in July who do not have a mom and dad.  They have no inheritance.  No family to make memories with.  No dad to teach them Eskimo kisses.  No mom to hold them when they hurt.  No parents to celebrate their successes, their birthdays, or just them.

As I left the funeral, I prayed that I would let loose of any earthly treasure.  That my treasure would be in heaven.  That my "dash" would glorify God--that I would fully love, fully trust, fully hope in Him.  And that I would feed Him, clothe Him, give Him water, and serve Him faithfully everyday, as I look into His face in "the least of these."

How's your dash?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Generous people

There is something I have noticed about generous people in the last few weeks and I want to share it.  Recently we had our first fundraiser garage sale for our next Rwanda trip (leave a comment if you want more details about this trip).  Many many people donated items for the garage sale, and a few friends even gave of their time in pricing and helping on garage sale day.  ONE FAMILY even had their OWN garage sale the same weekend and gave us the money they made!!  You know who you are and you totally ROCK!

But this is the thing that I notice about these folks:
they give generously and abundantly of their time, money, and/or resources and to them,
it is no big deal...
like of course they would give so abundantly. 

They don't even think twice about it--it is just what they do.

And I am amazed by them.

I am utterly humbled and it just makes me want to
live generously,
give abundantly,
and be a wise steward of what we have been given.

I want to live like that!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Remembering Mamaw on her Birthday

My grandmother, who we called Mamaw or Little Mamaw, was born June 17, 1914.  "Little" was added to her name when my very large aunt became a Mamaw.  Don't worry, we did not call my aunt "Big Mamaw." 

That would just be rude, don't you think?

Little Mamaw passed away in April of 2008 and later that year, I wrote this song in honor of her--well, I wrote the words and gave my brother an idea for the tune and then he did the rest.  I wrote it from my dad's point of view and dedicated it to him.  If I can get it on youtube I'll share a link later.

The Way It Should Be

She was born in Arkansas
With eight brothers and sisters in all
The oldest girl in the family
Caring came quite easily

She caught Daddy’s eye one spring
It wasn’t long the church bells rang
In a few short years the kids came along
Life was hard but love was strong

Then the year when I left home
Mama called me on the phone
Daddy took his last breath
And she looked to the Lord when he was put to rest.

She cared for friends and family near
And told stories of memories dear
She thanked God for all she could
And her pride in her children was understood

Mama lived ‘til she was ninety-three
Filled with the love of her family
I tell you that’s the way that it should be
Yes I tell you that’s the way that it should be.

Verse 2
A kiss and “I love you, Hon”
Was what I got when I walked in
And that same sweet affection
When I walked out again

You ask her how she’s doin’,
She says she can’t complain
Yea she loves the sunshine
But she’ll take the rain

When the holidays would come
We’d find our way back home
We’d talk about the weather
And she’d say “Isn’t it good to be together”

She cared for friends and family near
And told stories of memories dear
She thanked God for all she could
And her pride in her children was understood

Mama lived ‘til she was ninety-three
Filled with the love of her family
I tell you that’s the way that it should be
Yes I tell you that’s the way that it should be.

She cared for friends and family near
And told stories of memories dear
She thanked God for all she could
And her pride in her children was understood

Mama lived ‘til she was ninety-three
Filled with the love of her family
I tell you that’s the way that it should be
Yes I tell you that’s the way that it should be.

In memory of Mamaw

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Wesley!

I posted this earlier this year, but today is this guy's 10th birthday.  Happy Birthday, son....

Wesley--I love this kid!

At age 9 Wesley brags to his friends that his mom can do the moonwalk and that she is a tetherball champion.

(I 6th grade.)

How much longer do you think that will last?

He likes to draw, paint, and make books.

Usually has something to do with Star Wars.

He loves both his sisters

but Savannah is his favorite.

There's no denying it!

I wish I could copy his entire Rwanda trip journal on here---but I don't think everyone else would enjoy it as much as I do.  (plus it took me a month to get my journal on here!)

So here are a few little tidbits about our Rwanda trip
 in his own words:

11.19.10 My favorite part about going through airport security is taking off my shoes, it is really fun.

11.20.10 When our 3rd plane landed in Kigali Rwanda everyone got really excited especially me!  But we all got there really late. And it is the night I got to sleep in Africa.  It's also the very first time I've been below the equator.  In other words the first time I've been to the southern hemisphere.  (hehehehehehe!!  love that!!!!!!)

11.24.10 Today in the morning we went to Home of Innocence.  We raced cars and built our 2nd rabbit hutch.  It was really fun until we went to the Gahanga orphanage.  Worst orphanage ever!  Then we went back to Christine's house to show us her house.  Finally we went back to Ms. Lisa's house to eat dinner.  We ate pizza and it was good.  I can't wait until thanksgiving day tomorrow but tonight me and my dad had a little talk about the Gahanga orphanage.  And he told me that some are offcast and really different and when you're doing it for them you're doing it for Jesus.

11.27.10  Today is our last day in Africa.  Imagine being in 3 continents in 1 day.  Africa, Europe, North America.

I love this kid!

He thinks a lot.

He asks questions.

He likes to be right, first, and doesn't want to miss out on anything.


He is competitive
Finishing his first triathlon

He loves to play games as a family. 

He enjoys, I mean, gets as giddy and tickled as can be when he knows something cool or funny is about to happen to somebody else.

Sometimes Jeremy calls him "ball"
~ which is short...

for goofball 

He has such a sweet heart.

Did I tell ya that I love this kid??