Saturday, November 30, 2013

Morning Hike

With such beautiful weather we decided to head to Oak Mountain for a morning hike before settling down to watch the Georgia Tech vs Georgia game.

 Of course our hike was complete with light sabers.

 Buckey, the class mascot, joined us too.
 We made it to the bottom of Peavine Falls!!  Thanks to my camera's self timer we got a family photo.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Savings

We had the ultimate Black Friday Savings today....saving for what matters!

We spent our Thanksgiving Day thanking God for the incredible blessing of family.  Last night we had a fun Mario Kart tournament.  The laughter of our children and the joy on their faces was priceless...nothing can top it.

This morning we slept in...until 6:00 (which was late for us).  Preston and I did p90X yoga and just had a wonderful family morning together.  Late morning we headed to Preston's Mom's house to celebrate Paw Paw Bill's birthday and spend another great day with family...enjoying yummy food, playing outside and watching football.  The family time again was priceless.

It was so relaxing to not look at a single sale add, rush out the door on Thanksgiving Day, stand in line for hours, stay up all night or shop for hours.  There was nothing I needed that Wal-Mart, Target, Bath and Body Works, or any other retailer can provide.  So, what savings did I gain out of today?  The savings of every dollar I would have spent on items retailers are convincing me I need.  All of these savings and all our savings for the next year are directed to bringing home our daughter who is sitting in a Ukraine orphanage right now waiting for her parents.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Extra Fun Times with Logan

On Friday Logan's class held a Thanksgiving Feast.  Turkey, cornbread, green beans and pumpkin pie were on the plate of each child in his class.  His teacher wanted everyone to experience the first Thanksgiving meal, just as they have been learning about it.
 Logan was an indian.  He wrote several messages on his clothing.
 The indians and the pilgrims sat together for the feast.
 Each weekend a child in Logan's class has the opportunity to bring home the class mascot, Bucky.  Logan was fortunate enough to have Bucky over Thanksgiving break.  The two quickly started having fun times and making memories together.  Bucky had a light saber duel with Logan and he won.
 Bucky came with our family to the Samford game on Saturday.
 He enjoyed sliding down the hill in the stadium with Logan.
 The weather was pretty cold.  I ran home and grabbed some blankets so we could enjoy the game without freezing to death.
 Logan is off of school all week.  Today and tomorrow Nathan and Owen still have school.  Logan and I spent several hours with Bucky outside this morning playing in our backyard.  Bucky is quite the hiker.

While we were hiking in the backyard I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

coffee, adoption and fair trade

Now that the weather in getting colder drinking hot beverages is becoming more and more least I know it is for me to keep warm.  I know I am in Alabama and many of you are in much colder climates but I still like to warm up with a nice cup of hot my case.

Just Love Coffee offers delicious coffees from all over the world.  If you visit Just Love Coffee through our weblink then a portion of your purchase will be sent to help fund our adoption.  Also, I encourage your browse their fair trade selection.  This is a great opportunity for you to also support coffee growers around the world who are providing fair wages and a sustainable lifestyle for their workers.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Adoption Update

Today we had our orientation interview.  As with every interaction with Lifeline, our adoption agency, it was a pleasure.  I always enjoy the opportunity to speak with them, learn more about the process and take one more step in our adoption journey.  Our next step, the first meeting of our home study, is scheduled for December 11th.

We need your support on this journey.  We really covet your prayer support!  We are already praying for: the process to go smoothly, all our paper work would find favor with the government of both countries, Preston and I will be able to clearly discern from God which child He has chosen for us (we will not be matched until we are in the Ukraine and will be presented with a few different files of children to choose from), and that we will find the right person to be able to spend some of the time with us in the Ukraine to help with Nathan, Owen and Logan during some of our meetings.  We would also appreciate your financial support.  The cost of this adoption is more than we have saved.  We know God is calling us to this adoption and that He will provide the funds through many different people and opportunities.  If you are interested in supporting us financially please visit our support raising website at  Your donations are sent to Lifeline from this website and are tax deductible.  

Appointment updates

As I do periodically I thought I would give an update on Nathan and Owen's most recent appointments.

This past Friday, Nathan and Owen had their 4 year old pediatrician appointment.  It is so hard to believe they are 4.  They have come so far in the past 4 years and are such a blessing to our family.  Unbelievably they are both on the charts!  Owen is 15% in height (38") and 10% in weight (31 lbs).  Nathan is 5% in height (36") and 3% in weight (27 1/2 lbs).

Tuesday afternoon Nathan and Owen had an appointment with Dr Law, their physiatrist.  They are both doing well and making good progress. Nathan showed off his walking with assistance skills.  Owen showed his love for baseball by sharing his baseball iPad app.  Owen had an adjustment in his medicine to help relax his muscles even more at night.  We are hoping this helps with his lack of sleeping and in turn will help his muscles to be more relaxed during the day.

Nathan had a dentist appointment today.  Like most extremely premature children he is missing a lot of enamel on his teeth.  I was concerned because his bottom front teeth were very I made an appointment after only 3 months. Now his teeth are pearly white and healthy.  Thankfully the dentist reported his teeth are strong and doing well.  Regardless of his diet and how many times a day we brush his teeth they are still going to stain very easily.  She recommended instead of 6 month check-ups he has 3 month check-ups.  If anyone lives in Birmingham and is looking for a new dentist; we absolutely loves ours and would be glad to give you contact info.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Adoption Update

Periodically I will give an update to where we are in our process.  There is still so much for us to learn about the process that we have no idea what all is in front of us.  However, I can tell you what we have completed and our next step.  Our application is approaved.  We had our Welcome Call on Friday.  Monday morning we submitted 12 signed documents and our second payment.  This week we will have our Orientation Interview.  After this step I believe we start setting everything up for our Home Study.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Samford's Homecoming

We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at Samford's Homecoming!  The boys loved the parade and they offered Logan to walk with one of the groups next year if he wants.  All the boys loved jumping in the inflatables and the yummy lunch at the School of the Arts tailgate tent.  The game was great...with a Samford win.  The really bad event of the day was when our friend Kim broke her ankle. :(
Logan enjoyed sliding on his huge box but then also decided to just slide on his box.
Nathan was very excited to be at the game!
Logan and Owen really enjoy being together.
This big box contained a diaper shipment a few weeks ago.  We have been saving it for today.
Logan, the monkey, loves to climb trees.
Nathan with his flag from the Chinese group on campus.
Watching the parade.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Four Years Ago Today

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.  The things of earth did turn strangely dim on November 14, 2009.  My walk with God grew much deeper and my perspective on life turned way more eternal.  

Four years ago today I held my precious baby girl in my arms for the first and last time.  God called her home to be with Him at just the perfect time.  Of course selfishly I would love for her time on earth to be far more than 9 hours.  I think of all the fun things we could have done together and all the things she would be doing with Nathan and Owen. But these are all in my earthly perspective.  I am so thankful God has given me an eternal perspective of Mia's life.  He united people in prayer for her in many different nations and denominations.  He brought people on their knees at His thrown who had not been there in quite a while.  She had a life well lived and now is enjoying eternity with our Heavenly Father.  Earth is temporal but eternity is everlasting.  I will spend eternity with my daughter. 

Four years ago today I saw two of my precious sons for the first tiny and frail.  

Four years ago today we started a journey that I never planned to take.  This journey is amazing and given a second chance I would absolutely do it again.  Nathan and Owen have many more challenges than most people but not a single challenge that God did not specifically place in them for His glory.  God uses their special needs as special abilities to share His love, glory, faithfulness and miracles.  Our family is blessed by our sons.

Preston and I had the opportunity to read to Nathan and Owen's class at school today.  We were also able to go to lunch with them.  They were so excited we were there.  Owen was a little overcome with emotion and cried for a while.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Logan's Annual Cookie Party

Since Logan was one year old he has held an annual cookie party.  The vision behind the Cookie Party is to teach Logan to make something (with less and less help each year) and use it to give to those less fortunate.  Friends are invited to enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, hot tea and coffee.  A small box is placed on the cookie table.  Friends may give a donation if they desire.  Each year the Cookie Party has raised money for the Samaritan's Purse Feed a Hungry Baby for a Week program.  We decided this year to place the funds raised into our adoption account.  We feel helping bring our girl from an orphanage in the Ukraine into our home is a very worthy cause.  We would love for all of you to come and enjoy some great fellowship and yummy cookies.  Invite a friend.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Logan's baptism

This morning Logan share in the beautiful outward sign of the work God is doing in his life through baptism.  Logan prayed to receive Christ on July 25th.  He has been excitedly waiting for this day to arrive.  It was wonderful to have so many family join us at the service this morning.