Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Hero

Ok, first of all, I know that most EVERYONE is TIRED of the Tiger W**ds media attention. But, I do have to say that I was VERY disappointed to hear about it! I felt that he was a good role model to young people and that finally there was an athlete that kids could look up to. There is a lot of controversy about whether famous people should be held to a higher standard than others and whether they are entitled to their privacy.
My position is that the standard is the same for all and is set not by man, but by God through His Word and by the example that Jesus set while on earth. And, just as there are known hazards for skydiving there are known hazards for being famous...people will want to know every little detail (good and bad; right or wrong) of your life. Does that mean famous people should be or appear perfect?...No, BUT I would like for them to understand that there is responsibility that comes with having millions of young impressionable eyes watching them!
With that said, I do have a bigger responsibility to help my children know what traits and characteristics make a person a good role model. Not money, not athleticism, not talent! Jesus set the example for us to follow and therefore, surrounding themselves with those that try to be Christ-like are the good role models.

Soooo.... Tonight I watched a person work in a way that made her a hero in my eyes. I watched a 7 year old with physical limitations work her hardest on her homework. Homework that she had because it takes her a lot longer to complete pencil/paper tasks than most of her peers.
She brought home a reading assignment because she has to miss a portion of her recess to go to a literacy group for extra reading help. Keep in mind that she has learned the English language in less than a year and has a speech impairment that limits her pronunciation of words, therefore making it hard to sound out words. But, because of her hardwork she is still able to read alomost on grade level!
She brought home a math assignment because she had to WRITE her numbers 1-100 and did not complete it in time to complete the other math worksheet in class. Keep in mind that she can verbally count to 100 and completed the SKIP counting homework with no assistance, except for me transcribing exactly what she told me to.
She may have physical limitations, but she does work as if there were no difference between her and president (couldn't think of a better example...)It is next to impossible to "modify" or shorten any of her assignments, because she doesn't see why she can't do what everyone else does!
That little girl AMAZES me and teaches me so much more than any "famous" person on tv, in a magazine, or anywhere else. She loves God with all her being, gives 100% at everything and continues to want to learn more. That is what makes a hero!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

This year we headed south and had Thanksgiving with grandparents, great-grandparents, cousins, and an aunt and uncle.

I LOVE this picture!!!

This picture was at a roadside stop where we got out to stretch our legs and eat a sack lunch. We try this almost trip down south, but hardly ever have such pretty weather!

Spent time with Memaw and Papa and then headed to Papa's house... The kids paused for this picture after they all climbed the tree at Papa's.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I know our family has sooo much to be thankful for, we just don't pause enough to reflect.

I do thank God for all that he has blessed me with!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gotcha Day- Year 1

A year ago today, this was our first photo of a beautiful but scared little girl. Amid the mass of paperwork and the translation, we were trying to take baby steps towards comforting her. She was sooo brave and from the very first minute we saw her we were awed by her!

By day two- we had a GENUINE smile! It was beautiful! It was really at that point that things relaxed and we began to get to know each other. I still wonder what she must have thought!

So, today after a year of small trials and many joys, we celebrate with what else- A CHOCOLATE CAKE! This little girl who came to us not sure about dessert has developed quite the fondness for sweets.

Lilly has also learned about God over the last year and has been very persistent in asking for her very own Bible (she was not content with her Bible storybook). So, inside of the fuzzy Bob the Tomato bible case is her very own Bible. One thing that has not changed since we brought her home is her fondness for red. Thanks to Veggie Tales we found a red bible cover that she calls Bob! She was EXCITED!

I asked the girls tonight if they remember what is was like before Lilly. None of us could remember- well, Emily did say that she remembered not having to share a room!

Miss Lilly,
You have made us so proud! We thank God everyday for you and your sisters and are so blessed! I know that there are great things in your future!
Lots of Love,
Mom and Daddy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's A Boy!

Those are 3 words we have never said before. It was fun to say but now let me explain...
I recently went to a Natalie Grant/Jeremy Camp concert and it was GREAT! I love their music. During intermission Bebo Norman (we missed him) came onstage to discuss Compassion International. I had briefly heard of it before, but the timing of this was perfect as Jay and I have realized that we have not been serving even close to what we are able to do.
From what I understand, Compassion International works with many third world or undeveloped countries to provide aid to children around the world. In the foyer were MANY pictures of children that needed a sponsor. There is a lot more to it than that, but I haven't researched it yet. I just needed to choose a child's packet. My choice was easy, I wanted a boy and I found one with Jay's birthdate.
So, I brought home the packet and showed Jay. I then showed the girls. Their first question was, "Oh are we going to adopt him?" I wish I could say that we are, but NO! (He does have a family too)I just can't physically get it together right now to add to our family right now. I have to figure out how to be in multiple places at one time first! But, the coolest part of sponsoring a child is that we get a picture, AND we can send letters and photos of us to him. The girls can be an active part of the process.
BTW- This post is not at all about "tooting my own horn"! It is to try and bring awareness to others about organizations such as Compassion International. We are so blessed, but I often feel that we don't DO enough for others, especially the ones Jesus calls "the least of these." Our decision to sponsor a child is ONLY a VERY SMALL step to be more of a servant. We can do so much more! But just imagine of all Christians took a small step towards doing more???
Bebo said something that really stung, especially at a time that I get soooo frustrated with our government. He was talking about how he gets angry with other governments as well, but then he has realized something. "It is not the governments calling to do something, to help the poor, to take care of the widows and orphans. It is OUR (God's people)calling. It is US that should answer the call."

One other thing- someone at the concert mentioned IJM (?), an organization that helps stop the buying and selling of young children. Is anyone out there familiar with this or a similar organization?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

So much to be thankful for today...

For those that haven't heard by now, there was a gasline explosion last night less than a mile from our home. Something like that REALLY gets you thinking! So I thought a list would be very fitting for what I am most thankful for today.

1. Above all else I am thankful for a God that gives us peace during times of trial. I can not imagine how someone goes through daily life, much less a traumatic experience without faith in our one true God.

2. I am VERY VERY thankful for my daughters! They were quite the little troopers last night. They immediately obeyed without question when asked to load up and leave at 1:15 am in the night. My oldest was a rock, she had her sisters up and jackets on while I (frantically) discussed with our neighbors what we should do.

3. My husband is the BEST! He was 2 states away but as always, he was calm, reassuring, and supportive each time I called with an update. Then, he decided to leave at 2:30 am to leave and head home. What a sight for the girls to wake up in a friend's house and have Dad there with do-nuts.

4. Our friends are AWESOME! While discussing what to do with our neighbors, one of our best friends drives up and tells the girls and I to load up. We of course listen thinking we will go straight to his parent's house in the next town. Nope! Instead, as we work our way through the neighborhood, we stop at all of the houses to make sure people are awake and ready to leave. That's just the kind of guy he is! Then there are the friends that let us crash at 3:00 am at their place. There were 10 kids and 4 adults and it ended up being like a slumber party for the girls!

5. My community came together! I have wondered lately about our need for "roots" since we don't really live close to family. Well, we realized just how rooted in the community we really are. By 9:00 this morning we had at least 10 phone calls other than family and a ton of emails, asking how we were and if there was anything we needed. We had no damage to the house, so there was no need for physical assistance. That did not stop anyone! The next question was what could they do for the ones that did have damage to their home!

I wish it did not take things like this to bring me closer to God, but it did. I realized that my "stuff" is just stuff...people matter! With that said, please keep the 1 family that amazingly escaped the explosion. The mom and 1 daughter are still in the hospital with burns, but both are stable. Seeing their house completely gone, seeing and hearing the explosion, seeing the proximity their house and a couple of others...There is NO DOUBT that God's hand was with them and our neighborhood as a whole!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last of the Firsts

This was Lilly's First Halloween...but it is also one of the last "Firsts" that we get to experience. It is hard to believe that she has been with us only a year, but November 10th marks one year from Gotcha Day.
It is so fun to watch her grow and experience things. Here is just a peek at some of the activities she experienced on Halloween...

She was a beautiful Snow White Princess!!!

Here Lilly is with a couple of her "best" princess friends. I loved the Belle wig because that little girl has very blonde hair!

She really liked the concept of Trick or Treating! The girl LOVES candy...just like her momma!

This is her bobbing for gummy worms in whipped cream at a friends birthday party. She did it like a pro and even I cringed at the amount of sugar she consumed!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Pickin'

We finally made it to pick out this years pumpkins that will be carved into jack-o-lanterns...

Anyone know how if I can rotate the pictures that are sideways? This hasn't happened before...ughhh

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's been a while...

WOW! I can't believe that my last post was the first day of school! I am ashamed that I let that happen. There has been so much that has happened in the the last 6 weeks. The girls have had 2 lamb and goat livestock shows, they have completed the first 6 weeks of school and have made great grades, there was the Homecoming Football Game,and we have planned a trip to Walt Disney World for December.
It is a crazy life but it is fun!

This is a scary sight! Dad was helping Lilly shoot at a target at a church fellowship. One of the boys that was there commented that this was the best church get-together because he could shoot!

We were all needing a nap, but Lilly was the only one that managed to get comfortable enough!

This was Emily's first show and I am proud of what an great job she did! But, she did show Nemo, which is the goat that Lilly spends most of her time with (she's not old enough to show) and so Lilly gets a lot of the credit as well. They all got 1st place!

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

My 4th grader!

My 1st grader!

My 6th grader! (Saying that makes me feel old!)

My 3rd grader!

The whole gang, excited and ready to go!

Dad was in town today and I had to explain to him that it IS in the parenting rule book to walk your children into school on the first day. So, he took them and I took Haley. A great first day!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Helpers

For the last couple of days, Haley and Macey have been at 4-H Camp and Jay has been out of town as well. So, you would think that with just me and the little girls at home we would have had all kinds of fun things planned, especially with Lilly's birthday on Thursday.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Our" Birthday...Lilly is 7!!!

Today is Lilly's 7th Birthday!!! And we finally get to give her a real celebration. I have often thought about the birthdays that we weren't able to be with her and the milestones that we missed, but today I am just grateful to get to share this special day with her. She has been sooooo excited about her birthday, not really just about the presents (like her mom and sisters) but more about the joy of sharing her day with family and friends. She has planned her "guest list" for the last 2 months and each time she made a new friend she quickly amended her list. There were even days that we asked her NOT to talk about her birthday until it was only 1 month away.
So, following her sisters' birthday posts I will share 7 (one for each year)special qualities of our Lilly Mei:

1. Lilly has had a great sense of humor since the day we got her. She will make silly faces, play practical jokes on us and giggle uncontrollably!

2. Although Lilly truly dislikes being Mei Mei (littlest sister) she really looks up to her big sisters. She wants to do everything that they do. She also wants each of them to share in different activities with her.

3. Lilly has a wonderfully grateful heart! She has said thank you so much for her birthday gifts, but she has also been grateful simply for the birthday itself. A few days ago she and Haley were discussing homeless people and she asked why we didn't give them money to buy a house. Haley told me that it really bothered Lilly that there were people that did not have food or homes.

4. Lilly has a very determined personality. This has certainly been beneficial for her as she has had to overcome many physical and emotional difficulties. There is absolutely no telling just how far she will go because of her determination!

5. She lights up a room wherever she goes! There are often very few times that Lilly won't smile at people or want to share a story with them.

6. Lilly is a VERY smart little girl and has amazed us all at how quickly she has learned English. Not only has she learned English but she will be entering 1st grade almost on target...after only being in school for 1 semester!

7. Lilly is one very special little girl! She has amazed us, taught us patience, and made the perfect addition to our family!

Happy Birthday Lilly Mei! We can't wait to share all of the upcoming milestones with you! We love you!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vacation on the Lake

Last week we were able to spend a few days in Oklahoma with family. The cabin was beautiful, the weather perfect and we were just a couple of miles from a BEAUTIFUL lake.

The kids (our girls and my two nephews) were happy to just float and play at the little beach area...

But, when we rented a boat for the day, we were all very happy! We just drove around the lake, stop and swam, drove around some more, beach the boat, and swim some more. It was GREAT!

All that fun and a great place to come back to as well. I hope we are able to do it again next summer!

The day after we came home, things were as hectic as before. The girls finished the week at VBS. All of the girls enjoyed it, but it was fun to watch Lilly. She LOVED the silly songs and it sparked a whole lot of conversations about Jesus and God. She asked last night why Jesus didn't just walk in our house instead of live in our hearts! I love it!
Macey finished her summer volleyball season, and I have to admit I am glad that it is over.

This past Saturday we also went to a local lake with some friends. How funny that Jay and I had not been on a boat in over 10 years and now in 1 week we had been twice and in 2 different states.

Finally, Haley and Macey left this morning for 4-H camp. They were both excited, but it was hard to tell that this was Macey's first camp. She was not the least bit nervous!
I'm not sure what the little girls and I will do this week...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lazy Summer Mornings

For the past couple of mornings, Haley has been up bright and early to ride her horse,Penny, by 8:30. One morning her sisters, except for Lilly, decided to join her.

This is where Lilly can be found each morning! Dad will even go in to get her out of bed, but she usually climbs right back in and falls hard asleep again! He is not big on the girls sleeping in...

I also found the the American Girl Dolls enjoy sleeping in... They must of stayed up late at their sleepover. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July Weekend

Lilly before the annual 4th of July Parade. She always puts her hand on her heart when she sees a flag! It is so cute!

Haley spent most of the day working in a duck pond booth at the square. Then, later that night at our block party she spent most of the time helping out with a little toddler. She can always be found with the little ones!

I love this picture!

Lilly did inform us that she had seen fireworks in China. But, the sparklers were new for her! I loved watching her face!

Dad is the official "firework lighter" and Macey is always the cautious one! I feel better having her keeping an eye on dad.