Saturday, September 27, 2008

Froggy II

SaraGrace befriended another froggy. While her sisters cower and gasp, SaraGrace remains unafraid and doesn't get grossed out by slimy frog bodies.

Froggy II had some talents that Froggy I did not possess.

He was an excellent driver,

with a perfect driving record.

He flew fighter planes fearlessly.

He was adored and carried in a baby carrier.

Sadly, he met an untimely demise, an apparent victim of an accidental fall from a plane. SaraGrace cried real tears and in an effort to comfort her, big sister Molly made a little gravestone. Biggest sister, Jillian, dug a small grave and buried froggy. Molly said a prayer over him and they all sprinkled flowers over froggy's grave.

"Bye-bye, little friend."

Perhaps we should switch to stuffed froggy friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Trip to the Zoo

The weather has been beautiful this week, so we called Grandma and Grandpa to see if they wanted to meet us at the zoo. They did...and here are some pictures of our fun day!

What a magnificent animal!


Riding on the train

Cheesy smiles with Grandpa and cousin Jackson

Beautiful flower that is part of the zoo grounds

Baby Formula News

Many of you have probably heard about the tainted baby formula in China. We are currently waiting for our agency to attempt to check on Zoey. Her orphanage had been getting formula donated by a local charity but it recently went out of business. We are not sure if Zoey would have started getting the tainted formula at that point. We are concerned and hoping/praying for good news.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Someday My Prince Will Come

But for today, I only have a frog.








Froggie did make a few mad dashes for freedom only to be captured once more by a very determined four year old. He took his admonishment with grace.


Little froggie has kept SaraGrace entertained for hours. She wants to play with him until her big sisters come home from school. She named him Sara. Him. She picked up froggie's front leg, examined it closely and said, 'I wike you nails.' Thankfully, she didn't want to paint them. She is carefully 'watering' him every five minutes to keep him wet and happy. This frog will have an adventure to tell his family about tonight.

No animals were severely harmed in the creating of this post. Amphibian in question will be let go after a few more hours of being treated to 'best buddy' status by SaraGrace.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Helping God

I have lots of little helpers at my house. They are so eager to help when they aren't all that useful. There are so many times when they offer to 'help' and I groan inside because I know it's going to make my task take twice as long.

It got me wondering... Does God feel this way when I eagerly offer Him my 'help?' Perhaps He smiles but also knows that having me 'help' Him means that it will take Him a lot longer to accomplish His purposes than if He just did the job Himself. He doesn't really need my help, but He LETS me help Him.

Maybe He lets me help Him for the same reasons I let my kids help me. It's good for them. They are happy when they are doing something to help me. They feel useful. It teaches them to give of themselves to help someone else. They learn to do new things and they grow from it.

I do get some benefit out of it. It makes me happy to see the smiles of satisfaction on their little faces when they are finished. They love to hear me say, "You did such a great job!" We both end up feeling good.

How many times have I 'helped' God and then felt that He owed me something in return? How many times have I felt noble for 'all I have done for Him?' How silly. He doesn't NEED me to help. He LETS me be a part of something so much bigger than I could ever comprehend. I need to keep that in perspective and thank Him for the opportunity.

So...thank you, God, for letting me be a part of what You are doing in the world. Thank you for the privilege of 'helping' once in awhile. Thank you for Your patience as I stumble clumsily through the tasks You have allowed me to do.

And thank you for letting me be a mom so that I can see Your love for me playing out in a practical way every day.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Today we made a trip to a local pumpkin patch. The kids had fun choosing a pumpkin, petting some animals, and walking through a kiddie-sized corn maze.

SaraGrace was grumpy because the straw was poking her legs.

Hello, God!

SaraGrace loves to talk on her play phone. Tonight, she was talking to God as only SaraGrace can...with MUCH drama.

"Hewwo, God. Um...watcha doin up dere? Tank you for dying on da cross. Can you help my sister not be scared at school tomorrow? Um...I hope da orphans in China get a mommy and a daddy. Can you give dem mommy's and daddy's?"

Here she looked at me and said conspiratorially, "Jesus and God...dems da twins."

The twins? I cracked up! She smiled and with a twinkle in her eyes, continued her coversation with God.

I'm sure 'da twins' were smiling.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Snips and snails....

Taylor has been catching frogs and turtles lately in a nearby creek. He brought a frog home the other night, made a 'home' for it in a fish tank, and put it on the kitchen counter. He wanted it under the cabinet light so it would stay warm. My concern was that it would get out of the tank. He assured me that it wouldn't.

The following morning, the girls and I peeked into the tank and could see no sign of Mr. Frog. Hmmm.... I questioned Taylor about it and he insisted it had just burrowed into the mud at the bottom. I had my doubts, but he was quite insulted that I would ask.

Several hours later, he sheepishly admitted that he had found the frog hopping around in our family room. I don't even want to think about where it went after it hopped out of the tank that was sitting on the KITCHEN COUNTER! GROSS!

The next day, he came home with a turtle - a large one. Why I allowed him to keep it in his room overnight, still remains a mystery in my mind. What was I thinking? A saner mother across the street had forbidden her son from bringing it into their house. Jeff came home from a business trip and said, "Don't those things carry diseases?"

The turtle was safely returned to its natural habitat shortly thereafter. I did take a few shots of it before Taylor let it go.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

SaraGrace wants to go to school

SaraGrace loves to dance with great expression and beauty, so we decided to let her try ballet. I took pictures through a glass window, so they are rather cloudy, but you can still see what she thinks of her 'new school.'

Friday, September 12, 2008


Molly made it the whole week! She did very well and by the end of the week, she was going to the bus without holding my hand. Today she climbed the bus steps, turned, and with a wave, yelled, 'Bye, Mom!" She also went off and played with friends when she got home and didn't seem to be grieving the loss of 'Mommy time" anymore. For those of you who know Molly, you will understand what a miracle this is. She has struggled with this since we adopted her. She has made slow, steady progress over the years, but this was huge for her. Her faith has been so inspiring. She prayed - she expected God to help her be brave - and He did. For her it's as simple as that. No wonder Jesus talked about the faith of children.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What a difference a day makes!

Thank you so much for praying for Molly! Today was much better. She didn't cry at all and told me that every time she is afraid, she asks Jesus to help her - and He does. I had lunch with her at school yesterday and she loved it.

She went willingly, without tears, to the bus stop today and is learning the valuable lesson that God is there for her when she needs His help and He is 'making her brave.'

She stuck to me like glue when she got home from school, saying she wanted to use all of her time to hang out with me since she doesn't get to see me as much anymore. She is such a sweet child. I remember being so afraid to adopt her because I thought having four kids would push me over the edge. God reassured me that Molly would be a very special child, and wow...what a blessing she is!

I talked briefly to Molly's teacher yesterday who told me that she adopted a daughter from Korea over 20 years ago. How cool that God gave Molly a teacher with some experience adopting a child from a foreign country.

God is good - all the time.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Now I remember why....

...I chose to homeschool.

This morning we awoke and within one minute, poor Molly was sobbing that she didn't want to go to school. She is having a very hard time with the new schedule. She wants to spend more time with Mommy and is grieving the loss of that time. She has always had many fears, and this is stretching her to her limit--and maybe beyond. I have tried to comfort her and she says she prays a lot at school for Jesus to help her. She says He always does--but she would still rather be home with me. Bless her little heart.

So...we are trying to get everyone ready for school this morning and Molly is crying. SaraGrace starts crying - for reasons unknown to us (and probably her). Jillian starts yacking about how they are not allowed to have chapstick 'anywhere' in the school building and what will she do about her chapped lips? I look at her incredulously and want to say, "WHO CARES about chapstick right now? Your sisters are hysterical." ha. I manage to bite my tongue. Chloe was the only one who stayed sane and quiet. mature kindergartener.

Molly cried all the way to the bus stop. I did my best to comfort her but it seemed to be falling on deaf ears. As the bus arrived, Chloe came over and held Molly's hand and they walked to the bus together. My heart was in my throat as I sent her off--feeling like a heartless heel. I have not felt God leading me to homeschool her, though, so I am trying to stay strong. I know that God can - and will - use this for good in her life and bring her into a closer relationship with Him, but it is so hard to watch her suffer.

I'm going to the school at lunch time to sit with her. Hopefully that will help.

My Molly

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Back to School

Posing for a picture before heading to the bus stop

Jeff and I have made the difficult decision to put the girls in school this year. I am very sad and will miss them so much - but feel that God is directing us to put them in school.

Once again, I have been so comforted by God's goodness and kindness as I began to realize I just couldn't homeschool this year. I asked Him for confirmation, and that particular morning, I read a promise that he had given me several years ago. It's a verse that I cling to often in Isaiah 54. "Your sons (and daughters) will be taught by the Lord and great will be your children's peace." It was so good of Him to remind me of that promise and to reassure me.

Molly is the one we have been the most worried about, since she has a tough time in social situations and will not go to a Sunday School class unless her best friend is there. Last year she became friends with a sweet little girl in her Awana program, who also attends our school. I asked the principal to put Molly in the same class as this little girl and she was able to honor our request. I had planned to call the mother of Molly's friend but was so busy, I hadn't gotten a chance. Last night, we were in the parking lot of a local store and who should come walking out but that little girl and her Mom! Molly was able to tell her friend that they would be in the same class and it greatly relieved some of her fears about school. I smiled all the way home, thinking how great it was that God had arranged that meeting for Molly. He is soooo good!

After the decision was made to enroll the girls in school, we have been dashing to numerous stores buying school supplies, new shoes and spending some precious 'girl time' together.

So, Jillian, Molly and Chloe are off to school today. They are excited and I am learning new lessons in letting them go and trusting God to watch over them.

Jia's surgery a success!

I was going to write to you and ask for prayer for Jia's surgery but the surgery is already done. It appears to be a complete success! She didn't need a pacemaker or shunt as had been expected. Hooray! Please pray for her as she heals.

A precious life saved.