Saturday, October 30, 2010

There's a BUZZ Around Town....Happy 7th Bday Julia...

Yes, this is a CRAZY time of year for us....Not only does Halloween have as many fun, kid activities as Christmas, but it is also my 2nd daughter's bday!!
Julia's bday falls 2 days before Halloween..and this year she turned the BIG 7!! My Julia is our little LOVE!! She is sweet, funny, easy going, kind hearted and slightly more outgoing than her older sister!! She loves her friends and has always made us all laugh!! Her big Sister and her Cousin Haiden are her two favorite 7 and 8 yr. olds in the world....but Lucy Lane will always be her favorite baby girl in the world!! Julia adores her family and always gives the BEST HUGS!!!We usually have a Halloween themed party for JuJu..and this year was no different!!! We've worked all week getting stations and such set up in our garage...The kids have ALL been a huge help and I could never put on these things with out all their help!! Julia invited her entire class over last night (friday..her actual bday) PLUS a few favorite other friends...and WHAM...we had a nice big crowd coming!!!

We dipped caramel apples (thanks mom for your help with that), face painted (thanks a million Jules for all your help with that), craft tables, tattoos...and even bobbed for apples...
above ,we have Julia's cookie cake...this was her request this year instead of a "regular" cake!

above, the jumpy people arrived to set up the jumpy in the drive way.....and Jules painted this wrapping paper for Julia below:

And, here she is....Disco Dolly aka "birthday girl":
Yes, it was a Halloween Dress Up all the kids wore their fun:
Oh....and did you hear the BUZZZZZZZ....there's a NEW LITTLE BUMBLE BEE IN TOWN:
Oh....she's just too cute:
And, we have my two girls who are 7 and 8 Cousin Haiden who is 7 too:
bobbing for apples was fun:
The only pic of me from the night...posing with sister kasey:
And, she was ready to blow out the candles:
We love you JuJu are the greatest 7 yr. old in the world...and we think you hung the moon:
*Still trying to recover from staying up ALL night for several nights in a row to get ready for the reading to her class for her the eating lunch with her and buying her class ice cream at school (that's what they have parents do for bdays at their school)...ALL WHILE TWO BABES WERE ON MY HIP!! :) crazy but fun times!! :) BUT...the party was LOTS of fun....Julia had the time of her life...and well....we mustard up enough energy to head to the homeless shelter this morning to dress and load up kids for the annual Ordinary Hero Fall Festival they do for the kids and moms from the Nashville Rescue Mission!! I'll be posting pics from that soon...a great time. Plus the Halloween Hay Ride party we were invited to tonight by some of my hubby's clients....cute pics from that too!! Phew....yes, still trying to catch my breath...and Halloween isn't until tomorrow!! :) LOL Will be posting #3 post about my trip too...very soon..i promise!! :) Alright...that's all i've got!!!

**Happy 7th bday Julia....Happy Halloween Eve....and Happy Saturday to you all, kj

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Post #2...Every Bump...

I guess I'll start by saying that EVERY story is different....EVERY person's REASON to adopt varies....BUT for us... it's important to remember that WE NEVER ONCE IN OUR LIVES DREAMED OF ADOPTION!!! We never discussed it, talked about it, or ever THOUGHT it would be a part of our life!!! With that said....I was completely happy and content with 4 babies at the time!! I wasn't overly worried that we COULDN'T have any more pregnancies due to 4 just all seemed to be "fine" with me!! This is WHERE God stepped in....BECAUSE our plans aren't always HIS PLANS!!!

*I know with out a shadow of doubt that ANY person with a 5 yr. old, a 3 , a 2 and a 10 month old WOULD have found 100's of reasons to NOT adopt when faced with the "possibility"...IF GOD WASN'T INVOLVED!!! NO husband in their "right" mind...who had NEVER discussed the possibility of adoption ...WOULD HAVE EVER SAID YES....IF GOD WASN'T INVOLVED!!! You see....across the world, sat a pregnant teenage girl PRAYING with her family about her unborn child. And, I know NOW that the exact same time she finds out she's pregnant and her FAMILY GOES to PRAYER over it.... I go to sit at my computer, just like i did at some point every day...and my INBOX was an email from a friend...It simply said, "Pass this to your sister...I think she'll enjoy it." It was one of those

*AND, I made the fateful choice to OPEN the email instead of passing it straight on to my sister Kelly. And, at that moment...a family in Ethiopia is praying over the baby in the young mom's womb...knowing they would NOT be able to keep the baby!! And, at that very moment...MY HEART BREAKS..I watch the VERY first Gotcha Day video I'd ever seen...I watch a family adopt from Ethiopia ( a country I knew nothing about)...and my HEART BREAKS INTO A MILLION PIECES!! I sit crying WONDERING how i'd gone my whole life with out knowing or caring about the fatherless children of our world!!! And, at that very moment....God answered the prayers of this family in Ethiopia....And, as baby girl continued to grow inside another young woman's womb.....WE BEGIN THE PROCESS TO ADOPT!!

* About the time this young mom gives birth to her daughter Martha....we are WELL into our wait on the waitlist!! As this family decides IT's time to take the baby to an orphanage....teenage mom decides she just can't do it yet....and we reach #1 on the wait list.... and are referred ANOTHER baby!! As we sit and fall in love with Baby "k" just knowing she was going to be OUR daughter.... A teenage mother is pouring love and trust and courage into her infant baby girl at home!! As we fall more and more in love with Baby K over the next month....Teenage mom spends valuable time with her daughter...seeing her smile and giving her the gift of LOVE like only a mother can do!! As we get the DREADED call that our Baby K is gone...(her birth mother came back for her).... A teenage mom has decided it is TIME....TIME to let her baby go!! TIME to take her baby to a state run orphanage FAR from her village....having ONLY prayer that she'll find her way to a family that can care for her!! And, as we sit CRYING at home...asking God "why" is our Baby "k" gone....Lucy Lane Martha is handed over to strangers at an orphanage. For 3 weeks we sit and cry and wonder and plead with our agency and ask them over and over again WHY it is taking so long to get a new referral....ALL ALONG...our Lucy Lane is making her way to Addis Ababa where she will reside at Hannah's Hope Orphanage.....As I hand the pain over to God..and tell HIM that HE is in control....NOT ME....I just can't TRY and control things any longer....Our Lucy Lane arrives to the arms of strangers once again at HH...where she is put through various tests to PROVE she is healthy for referral....WHEN i think I can't CRY one more tear.....MY PHONE RINGS!!! And, on the other end is our case worker....with a baby girl she needed to tell us about...and her name is "Martha"....a name chosen from the bible!!
* I will always be GRATEFUL and HUMBLED by this young mom...for making an incredibly hard choice for her daughter's sake. (I will save all details to WHY she was given up for adoption for LL to share some day if she wants) AND, I'm forever grateful that God broke my heart that particular afternoon. I will always VALUE that time that LLM got to spend with her birth mother....If my wait hadn't been as long as it was...OR if we hadn't experienced the loss of referral....and IF we'd been given LLM right from birth...then I don't think she'd be the SAME person she is today!! God intended for her to be secure, strong, funny and full of love....and she came to me with those qualities...which I know she learned from the valuable time she was able to spend with her birth mom.

* So, NOW i'm grateful for the wait...i'm grateful for the pain..and for all the little bumps I didn't even mention...cause THEY all got me to HER...which I know was ALL GOD'S PLAN!!

*And, as I landed on Ethiopian soil....
ready for my daughter to be placed in my arms...there was ONLY one other thing I wanted ever so badly...and that was to thank the woman that gave birth to her....I couldn't wait for my birth parent meeting...I had dreamed of the day we would meet...the day I could hug her and let her know JUST HOW MUCH I loved her daughter....but that day never came....For several reasons...she didn't get to come to the meeting...and instead I was handed pictures of this beautiful YOUNG Ethiopian girl kissing and loving on her baby daughter. You see... JUST TWO WEEKS EARLIER...she had come to say good bye to her...and they captured it on film.

*I've NOW sat and stared at those pictures for 16 months....still dreaming and praying for this young girl that I never got to meet....AND, OUT of the clear hubby ups and "gifts" me with a return trip to full fill a dream I'd held onto for 16 months....BUT, before I could commit.....I HAD TO SOME WAY, SOME HOW ASK HER PERMISSION TO COME...... (to be continued...)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Post One on Returning to Ethiopia...

You see...God has done the MOST amazing thing....He has ALLOWED me to ACTUALLY SEE what answered prayers look like.....
I've learned so much recently about our adoption and JUST HOW much God was in EVERY single detail...every single bump in the road.....Sometimes it is SO BIG that i can't even wrap my little brain around it all. And, after much prayer over returning to Africa....God showed me that I was SUPPOSE to be on this upcoming trip...and as detail after detail of this trip gets underway...I'm once again blown away by the way God is using my life!!! After all...this is HIS life....and I'm just trying to obey and follow His command!!! So...what I've learned is: It's NOT a joke or a trend to adopt....Feeling the overwhelming burden for the orphaned child is NOT something placed there by YOUR OWN EMOTIONS ALONE....It goes so much deeper than that....When someone walks up and says, "are you just adopting to be like the stars?" Actually, that's offensive...cause we're talking about a LIFE here...a REAL human life that WAS PRAYED FOR OVER and OVER...TIME AND TIME AGAIN by a family, by a young mother ACROSS the world...and God heard her cries....and you see...that ACHE you feel...KNOWING you are SUPPOSE to do AN ANSWERED PRAYER FOR SOMEONE...SOMEWHERE.....I've just recently learned HOW TRUE THAT REALLY IS....

**Tomorrow night I'll start with HOW EVERY BUMP and EVERY TWIST LED US TO HER...OUR LUCY LANE MARTHA!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Fall Yall (and A SUPER CRAZY SHOUT OUT)

So, a little stomach virus can't hold me back from our ANNUAL pumpkin patch visit yesterday!! I totally HEART this place and look forward to going EVERY year!!! So, my question for ya is: DO PEOPLE IN THE NORTH HAVE COUNTRY PUMPKIN PATCHES TOO??? I we have banjo players, fried potato twirls, and hot corn on the Cob!! So, is that only for us in TN, KY etc....OR do you Northerners take your kids to such things too?? Just wondering! :) So, above we have LL decked out in her Fall Apple Poppy Dip outfit "striking" a pose as we entered the pumpkin patch...funny girl!! Then we have ALL 5 of my little pumpkins ready for some fun at the pumpkin patch...I just love my little cuties:

ok, some nice person stopped and asked if she could take a pic of ALL of us together...Well..sure you can:

I was decked out in my rust Ordinary Hero tshirt...Someone walked up and said, "i noticed your you know Kelly Putty?" Ummmm...kind of...she's my older sister!! :) LOL

So, this place is full of all kinds of fun...the weather was perfect...the food was amazing...and they have TONS of things for kids to sliding through a giant black tube thing...hmmm...have yall seen this at other pumpkin patches?? :)

My little country girl loved her a little tractor ride with the ummmm...not sure what those things are...but i'm sure one of yall could tell me:

Miss Pretty Pants LOVED finding the PERFECT pumpkin:

But it was exhausting we needed to grab on to Momma's leg for a minute to make sure I knew JUST how tired she was:

Everyone was hard at work picking out their 2010 pumpkin....hmmm....we traded them back and forth at least a dozen times:

But FINALLY...5 were chosen...and the "littles" helped get them back to the car safely: was home for some carving time:

And, finally they were all ready and proudly displayed for the world (or our neighborhood) to see:

Ok, so flash off so we can see them light up:

BUT..the BEST picture of the day......WAS WHEN HAL WENT AND FOUND AN EXTRA PUMPKIN AND PLACED IT AT THE BOTTOM AND SAID IT WAS FOR HIS NEW LITTLE BROTHER FROM ETHIOPIA!!!! Oh...buddy...I LOVE your heart!!! And, of course, I told him to make sure he ran and showed Daddy what he did!!! :) I can't wait to tell him some day that HIS LOVE and PERSISTENCE for a little brother from Ethiopia WON DADDY's HEART!! :) (note: for family week in kindergarten..hal drew in an "extra" brown boy at the end of every family pic and told his teacher "it" was his new little brother from Ethiopia...yes, I had some questions to answer at the first parent/teacher conference....and he did this on his own... love that child :)

****Now for my SUPER CRAZY SHOUT OUT: My bloggy friend Kari emailed me to let me know of her CRAZY give away!! I totally can't believe she is GIVING TWO MISSION TRIPS AWAY!! Yes, you will get to travel with Kari and her gang from on a missions trip to serve orphans IF your name is drawn!! You simply enter by buying one of her tshirts..that's it!! You can find her tshirts at her store: !! And , you can read all about it by going here: They have already sold enough tshirts to give away TWO now they are going over and beyond by supporting two of her favorite charities while there!! So awesome!!! a tshirt, enter to win...and wait and see WHO gets to go!!! What a great idea Kari!!!! Here's some of her shirts:

***Ok, that's all i've got tonight...Happy Fall Yall...I love this time of year!!! And, Happy Monday to you all, kj

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What It Looks Like When Mom Gets Sick...

Ok, so this is my life: I throw up all Friday night....I'm still throwing up plus other lovelies on Saturday morning...I'm still in bed (except for the constant up and down run to the bathroom) when i remember that THIS is the ONE morning that we signed my 6 yr. old up for her FIRST ever CHEER camp!! I'm lying in bed (bright and early) PRAYING that she forgets she's going to I can keep sleeping!!! Well, she doesn't forget..and she comes "sweetly" into the room and lets me know (bright and early) that I need to get up to watch the other 4 kids cause Daddy would be taking her to her FIRST cheer camp!!! So, I try and get up...but have to run to the bathroom to vomit again on my way down the stairs...and well....they cheerfully were out the door, and 4 other littles were smiling, staring at me, and ready to play!! :) So this is what I did: After trying to convince them that watching cartoons on Saturday morning was fun (so i could continue lying on the couch)...they begged and pleaded..and eventually found the keys themselves to get out the back door to the beautiful fall weather awaiting them...So...since my kids are TOO little to play outside by themselves....and after I attempted sitting up in a chair to watch them....I finally couldn't stop throwing I had to lie down. I grabbed a couple of pillows and was VERY thankful we decided to put an outdoor rug on the deck this summer! :)

I was able to let them play..and meet all their 1 million needs AND lie down AND not throw up ALL at the same time!!! So, this is what life looks like with 5 littles, no family around..and a stubborn head that REFUSES to ask anyone for help!! :) But I survived...and I have LOTS of pics to prove it!! 144 pics to be exact!! Yes, the kids were entertained by my camera the majority of the time....I could show you the pics of the babies stripping off their diapers, the pics of everyone's insides of their mouth, pics of every toy outside we have, atleast 30 pics of ME lying on the deck, etc....BUT I'll spare you all those pics and give ya just one:
Yes, that would be LL underneath the drink cooler...found this one on my camera...not sure I ever knew she was under there!! :) Just glad I could find a pic of her with her diaper on!! :) Anyways, yes..the kids were being nutty with Dad gone and Momma DOWN....but no one got hurt and everyone was still smiling and laughing when Daddy got home 3 HOURS LATER!!! :)

And, yes, LL loves me!! While the others snapped pics...LL kept coming to give me LOVE!! And, I have to give KUDDOS to my 8 yr. old who told me I could go to bed cause she could take care of the 3 littles!! She said she'd just wake me IF someone pooped...cause she wasn't changing a poop diaper!!! No worries...I didn't take her up on her offer...but she was a big help and tried to talk George and Lucy Lane OUT of jumping on ME with all their strength CAUSE they decided it was a funny game to watch Mommy moan with pain each time one of them landed on me!! :) My 8 yr. old did feel sorry for me then and distracted them with toys in the yard. Gotta love a responsible first born child!! :)
***I woke up feeling great today...about 99% isn't being too friendly to me yet..but I'm getting there...Oh, and positives from this experience:
* praising God that the weather was so nice
* praising Him for outdoor rugs and soft pillows
* losing 5lbs in 24 hrs....
* loving old ugly green sweatshirts that date back to my hubby's college days
* and that stomach virus' generally pass quickly (and so far no one else has come down with it)
**** Happy Sunday to you all, kj

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall Festivals (and the dreaded stomach virus)

We attended our church's annual fall fest last is always so fun!! Daddy's blurry below cause my camera is always dirty! :) ha
We left straight from there and headed to the elementary school fall fest where my older 3 attend.... Having a big sister that is 6 yrs. old really pays off for LL:

LL decided she loved the ice drink things:

We also took cousin Nathan with us (pictured below)...he is my Ordinary Hero sister Kelly's 6th child....They adopted him from Ethiopia about 6 months before we got LL....He and Hal won the "mummy" wrapping contest:

LL ran into her little Ethiopian friend Maggie!! Maggie and LL will go to kindergarten at this school some neat for the girls to have each other:

LL also tried her first cotton candy...but didn't enjoy it too much...She just wanted me to get it off her hands:

Ok, so then seriously we went to bed and I woke up shortly there after and VERY OBVIOUSLY have a stomach virus. yes, I was sick ALL NIGHT....I threw up until i was too weak to get back to bed!! so yucky!! My kids had lots of fun taking pics of me today...i'll have to share those soon!! My kids never see me lying around so they found it awfully funny that I couldn't raise my head without running to the times!!! :) that's all the energy i've got for tonight....happy Saturday to you all, kj

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Overload of Info....Lots of Stuff to Share...

**oh, sister just MOVED our Ethiopia Trip UP by a couple of're looking at heading out MID she promises we'll be back in plenty of time for Christmas!!! But, man..what a BUSY time of year to be flying across the world!!! We have SO MUCH to accomplish that ONE WEEK...I can't wait to share ALL our plans and adventures with you all....And, I'll share them with you all....cause we'll need LOTS of prayers!!! :)

**Also...LOTS of you have been emailing me wanting to KNOW the EXCITING news my younger sister Kasey has...Well...I kind of left ya hangin a few posts back...then a "little" glitch came about with her well...I can't share her blog quite yet....They need a little private time to figure a few things out...then I promise to reveal my younger sister to the world of blogging!! :)

**Another tid bit of info.....My mom has started a blog... Yes, my skinny, little tiny Momma!! She's always been a great writer my entire life. She writes ALL THE TIME.... So, she's decided to put some of her funny happenings in her life OUT in blog world!!! Do yall want the address??? She's quite a HOOT!!! She'll keep ya laughing that's for sure!!! My Momma:

**And, check out My friends Gwen and Suzanne are the speakers for this event in Georgia.... and I was asked to give a little shout out for the check out the blog to see if you'd like to attend...Sounds amazing!!

**And, have yall been reading My friend Andrea decided to CREATE a womens conference and hoped for about 50 women to sign 200 she's had to shut down the sign ups....Ok, so it looks like EVERYONE in adoption world wanted to come!! :) LOL How awesome is that!!! I think you can read about it on her blog still!! I plan on being there..and yes, I'll probably even bring LL with me!! Can't leave her behind again after going to Africa in December....Oh, and this ladies conference is in February...What fun!! :)

***Oh, my 18 yr. old niece is trying to raise the money to go with Kelly and me to Ethiopia in December....She is a freshman in college and desperately would RATHER spend her break in Africa than AT HOME!! She's following in her Momma's foot steps for sure!! She's sponsoring a kid from Kora and cant' wait to get back to see him! How amazing is that!! Here she is pictured below with her sponsored Kora child!! She used every dime of her summer babysitting money that was suppose to be used for college TO SPONSOR this child to go to school!! She has a huge heart and I'd love to see her dream come true and for her to be able to travel with us:
If you feel led to help her get BACK to Africa, let me know and I'll send you their address or their pay pal link!!

****And, do yall need a 23 month update on LL?? She turned 23 months old while on vacation....Crazy...less than a month until her birthday!!! Ok, so here's a favorite pic from the 15th..the exact day she turned 23 months:
This is LL in her swim diaper and George playing with two pretend knives!! Nice huh?? LOL LL is in the stage where she constantly tells us she LOVES us all the time!! She kisses everyone and says, "I love you Mommy...I love you Daddy" It melts your heart!! George was asleep on the beach and she walked up to him and leaned down and kissed him and said, "I love you Georgie" Yes, she is the sweetest thing alive and we PRAISE GOD for her each and every day!! She even has the sweetest "I'm sorry Mommy" every time she makes a mess all day!! Such a little blessing!! Have a I mentioned lately HOW crazy we are about her!! :)

****Ok, that's all i've got tonight...Maybe, just Maybe...I'll start telling yall about my plans in Ethiopia soon!! Can you tell I'm procrastinating?? You'll understand why when I tell ya everything!! :) Lets see.....well...tomorrow night is two Halloween i'll probably post cute pics from that..then i'll take Saturday off...then....hmmmmm...maybe Sunday night?? That sounds like a good plan!! :)

Happy Thursday to you all, kj