Monday, August 31, 2009

busy day

Today is a super busy day!

Book our flights.
Do my mom's hair.
More homeschool.

Did I mention that I'm booking our flights today?!!!
I couldn't be more giddy.

Nancy, I loved your comment yesterday.
It made me even more excited to go!
And do a superb job blogging...just for you.

I can't believe I am even sleeping at night...
I'm just soooo excited!!!!

that was a really boring post
but I really gotta get busy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

a trial post

Ok, friends....
I have been told that blogger IS blocked right now
in Ch*na so I'm testing out posting via

I'm going to also post a picture.
Sorry if it's one you've seen before...
but my camera is having some alone time right now.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

a bittersweet reunion

There is an incredible reunion that happened in
China yesterday.
A little boy who had been abandoned (or so
everyone thought), and then was placed in
an orphanage (the same one Shu Li is in).
Then a lovely woman who was on a mission trip
met this sweet boy and couldn't get him
out of her heart or mind.
You guessed, it...she adopted him.

Now, at age 17...this young man found out that
his birth family had not abandoned him...
but lost him while at a crowded bus station.

Can you even imagine?

But, his birth family has been found...
and they have been sweetly reunited for a visit.

It's an incredible story,
that you will want to go read about.


Sure, it melts velvety smooth with an eye-pleasing color.

But so do crayons.

Velveeta.....delicious or disturbing?

Your thoughts?

Friday, August 28, 2009

more progress

Our consulate appointment was confirmed last night!!
So now we are just waiting to find out (later today)
exactly how much time we will need to spend in Luoyang, then
we can book our flights.

Now I need to start cranking out the lists of "to do's"
and work on crossing things off!

And to answer some of you who asked...
YES, I will be bringing my laptop and will blog
DAILY...or more!

But since blogger has been blocked in the past in Ch*na,
I will either email my posts to my blog
and hope for the best (I'm a wee bit picky on how things
look so not being able to see the posts for myself will
bring a twinge of discomfort). And/OR I will post
to my JTM journal.

Well, that's all I have for right now.
Sorry there's no exciting pics or anything.

Oh, and thank you SO MUCH for all your extremely
kind words....I gotta tell you,
I was glued to my computer last night and kept
"refreshing" as I would see new comments pouring in each time!

You guys rock!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

super-duper great news!

GASP!! I'm so excited to tell you all that we just
got a call....


We got our TA!!!

Yes, Lucy wrote that all by herself!

We are waiting for confirmation of our consulate appointment
but our tentative travel date is Sept. 19!!


thankful for Dora underwear

First, thank you all for your sweet comments about
my TA pity party.
Honestly, I believe that perhaps God has allowed
this long wait as a test. For me.

As stubborn as I am...
I'm here to say, 'I surrender!'
God's lessons for us only make us stronger if we
lean COMPLETELY on Him.


Lucy's appointment went well.
Her procedure was to start at 9:45.
So of course, it started promptly at 11:05.

Grrr. No, really...I'm not complaining.
It beats socialized medicine any day.

She ended up having two silver caps put on her back molars,
which she is very proud of, I might add.
She will quickly show you her new fancy teeth,
whether you want to see them or not.

She also had about 4 or 5 other cavities filled.

It sure wasn't easy seeing her as she came out of her
anesthesia. Poor baby. I just couldn't help but be so very
grateful that we were only dealing with dental work
and not something serious.

Playing with Daddy as we waited...and waited.

Sorry for the fuzzy pic, taken with my cell phone.
But I couldn't resist this.
The sweet innocence of a child...
she had no idea her backside was open for
all the world to see.
Thank goodness for Dora underwear.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

hodge podge

Crazy day.

Actually, yesterday was crazy and today
I just recovered.

Long story short,
I fully expected to receive out TA on Monday
but we didn't.

Disappointment flooded my heart.

I actually did an entire blog post on it
this morning then decided against posting it.

It was whiney...and I wasn't looking for sympathy.
And if I heard one more time that God's
timing is perfect, I was going to scream.

Yes, I believe God's timing is perfect...
yes, yes, yes.

But let's face it,
there is an adversary who fights with
all his might to stop the things of God.

And just because something does,
or does not happen...


That's all I'm going to say.

Please forgive me for sounding grumpy...
I'm really not!



I had finally decided I was giving up on waiting
for B's computer to start his school
(actually, he has been able to work on his Mandarin
and Pre-Calc).

I figured D*ll would eventually get around to
sending us his new computer
and in the meantime I would go ahead and
install his other subjects onto my computer then
transfer them over later to his computer.

Got it?

Well, when I went to install his English onto
my computer I couldn't find the disk...
it was in his old (brand new) computer that
was no longer working.
I mean,
we weren't even able to turn the thing on!!
And the new fancy shmancy disk
holder thingymajig was too high-tech to just
pop open to retrieve the disk. is K-man and Brenden
working on dismantling the darn
non-working, brand new computer
trying to get the stinkin' disk out.
They got it!

Oh and wouldn'tcha know...
we got his new computer today.

So far so good.

Life is never dull.

And here are a couple of pics of the
inside of our little school room.

It's coming along rather slowly,
which is OK because that means K-man
is busy with paying jobs.


Tomorrow morning is Lucy's dental
procedure that she is having done as an
outpatient at a children's hospital not too far away.

Poor lil' pumpkin!

Monday, August 24, 2009

wonderful weekend

Unfortunately, my self-allotted blog time expired about two hours ago.
It took me forever and a day to get these pics
to upload.

Now I have about 30 seconds to write a quick something
for you (seriously, it amazes me that anyone comes back here),
then jump in the shower.

The weather here has continued to be amazingly
and unseasonably cool.
I'm so thankful for Al Gore dreaming up "global warming"
cause it's really workin' for me.

So we took advantage of the great hair day
and spent a lot of time outside yesterday.

Pulling the camera out now automatically
puts Lucy into model-pose mode.
Oh my.

Not exactly modelesque but cute, no less.

Lucy has been making this face since about
day 3 of us becoming her forever family.
It continues to make us smile!

Simply gorgeous.
A rare pic of mother and daughter.
We spend a lot of time on our scooters.
A lot of time.

Our little one-room schoolhouse is
coming along nicely!

Gotta run.
Have a happy Monday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lucy and her new jump rope

Lucy, being the resourceful and creative gal that she is,
decided she needed a new activity.
So, she quickly eyed the belt on my bath robe and
turned it into a make-shift jump rope.

It was really quite cute to watch her "jumping rope"
with my fuzzy hot pink, way-too-long re-invented jumping apparatus.

Then it began to be a bit sad that this girly
didn't even know that there were actual ropes made
especially for jumping.

So I said to her one day,
"Lucy, we should go go WM and buy you a REAL
jump rope."

Well, that was the greatest idea she had
ever heard of!!

And so it began....

Lest you think that Lucy is some super toddler
who has mastered this the pictures might
lead you to believe....there really isn't any jumping rope
going on. At least not in the traditional way.
It's more like jumping...with the rope.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


We went out for some deee-licious Chinese
food last night!
And of course, at the end of the meal we
were given fortune cookies.
Now I certainly don't put much (any) weight into
what these crunchy little cookie comments say...
still, it's always fun to just see what's

Having said that,
I was a little taken aback that my cookie held,
not some inspiring proverb but this
"gem" for me....


Friday, August 21, 2009

the way to a girl's heart

I can't think of anything more exciting
(short of someone showing up with a giant check for a million dollars at your door),
than getting something
special from a potential husband? gentleman
in the mail.

Lucy's friend Bryson sent her some super
fun worksheets and STICKERS!!

Lucy was so excited!!
But just so you know,
this pic was Take II beca
use the first
one didn't turn out...and apparently
Ms. Diva found it riduculously rude for me
to request a second photo, so her
body guard (aka, big brother) had to encourage her a bit.

"Don't bother me, I'm working."
A couple masterpieces.

Thank you Bryson!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

hard hat area

My blog is in mid-reconstruction!
Make-over, baby!

Oh yeah.

a big surprise for me from Lucy!

Lucy ran up to me yesterday and said,
"Mama, I have a BIG surprise for you!"

"Oh wow, really?"

"Yes, it's a BIG surprise!"

"Well, what is it??"

"It's a new baby for you!!"

instantly wondering if this child has just received a prophetic word...
or simply has a vivid imagination,
" it a boy or a girl baby?"
My curiosity has set in.

"It's a girl baby, Mama!"

probing to squeeze out more info...
"Is she a baby girl in China?"

"Yes, she is in China right now."


I gotta admit...
I'm excited!

But then she quickly proceeded to
tell me she was also giving me the moon
as a present under the Christmas tree.


Time will tell, I reckon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ponder this

"Suppose there were no intelligence behind the universe.
In that case, nobody designed my brain for
the purpose of thinking.
Thought is merely a by-product of some atoms
within my skull.
But if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true?
But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course,
I can't trust the arguments leading to atheism,
and therefore have no reason
to be an atheist, or anything else.
Unless I believe in God, I can't believe in thought;
so I can never use thought
to disbelieve in God."

C.S. Lewis

families helping families

Would you please take a few minutes to
go check out my friend Mandi's blog?? They are
bringing home the most adorable
little guy from Ch*na and because of an
unexpected layoff at her husband's place of employment,
they are really needing the adoptive
community to rally around them to continue in
their adoption plans.

Would you pretty please stop by and take a look
at their sweet little Drew
and you will see why they are so eager to
get him home!

He needs his family...and his family needs him!

Oh and don't forget to leave a nice donation too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dory who?

Yesterday morning before we did our devotions and Bible study,
I asked the boys if they had any prayer requests.....
as if they might possibly share with me
part of their mysterious lives.

Silly me.

Brenden said,
"Nope, we are hunky dory."
Pointing to Nick, he then said,
"He's hunky and I'm Dory."

wondering why in the world he would let Nick
carry the title of "hunky," said,
"YOU are Dory, and Nick is hunky?"

"Uhhhh....yes, Mom. All my friends say I'm just like Dory."

"Dory WHO?"

"Good grief, Mom. How many Dory's do you know??....
Dory from Nemo."

Okie dokie.

Actually, that makes complete sense to me.

We then dug into the deep subject of developing
a Christian worldview....just Hunky, Dory, and me.


Shortly after that, I got a June Cleaver-inspired moment
and decided to make a chicken-pot-pie for lunch
for my beloved children.

My case you were wondering:

2-3 chicken breasts; cooked and cut into pieces
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 container of whipped cream cheese
1 large can of Veg-all veggies (I cut the veggies up into smaller pieces)

I prefer a real pie crust but this time I made a
Bisquick topping (1 cup mix, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk).

Pour into large pie pan, cover with crust,
then bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

a rainy monday

Right now it's stormy out...
and I can't think of a more perfect way to start my



Today we are getting back on track with school.
Even though Brenden still doesn't have his

Let me vent just a bit, okie dokie?

D*ll tried to fix his BRAND NEW laptop after
we discovered it was defective,
after only having it one week.

It couldn't be fixed so they said they would
send a new one.


It's been a week and a half now and still
no word.
I tried calling them and I kid you not,
I got transferred SIX times before someone told
me our order was being processed.
I am not happy.
Mainly because they HAVE OUR MONEY
and they aren't willing to expedite our order.

Anyway, sorry.
Now I feel *better*...actually, not really.


Our homeschool room is coming along so nicely!
I will post pics when it's further along,
which should be soon.


I'm really praying that our TA comes this week...
even though
the trend is that it takes 3-4 weeks
after the 2nd LOA is sent to the CCAA.

God's got it all figured out...
and knows that airfare will be much cheaper
with as much notice as possible.
And that the trade fare is coming to GZ,
which will make airfare & hotels crazy-expensive.
And that the more notice I have,
the more time I have to get everything done
that needs to be done.

Yes, He knows all that...
because I keep reminding Him.
Oh and because He's GOD!

His timing is perfect...ALWAYS.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

exciting opportunity

As we prepare to travel *soon*
I am nervous and downright giddy, all at
the same time.

I simply cannot wait to meet Shu Li.
A dozen scenarios have gone through my mind
on how things will be in those first few days.
From horribly difficult to sweetly smooth.

The unknown can be exciting and nerve-wrecking!

I have carefully gone through all of Shu Li's new clothes
and items that we have purchased over the past
few months and chosen various styles and sizes to
bring with us.
All of these things are now nestled neatly and tightly
into her hot pink suitcase.

I already feel so blessed to be her Mama!

But a separate excitement is churning in my heart
about going to Ch*na...
I simply can't wait to go to BJ.

No, not to climb the Great Wall,
or go to the Forbidden City, etc., etc.

Been there and done that.

What my heart is leaping to do is to hug the necks
of our sweet friends Bill and Lynsay...
and to hold and pray over the babies they care for.
And I can assure you,
I will take a gazillion pictures to share with you.

But for today,
I have a challenge for you.
Would you prayerfully consider "holding" these babies
What I mean is,
maybe you can't go and directly have them
in your arms....


you CAN (oh yes you can), "hold" them by supporting
them with a donation.
Even committing to monthly sponsor one of these
beautiful babies.

There are so many large ministries who care for
orphans...and GOD BLESS THEM!!
They all make a huge difference and if that's
where God has called you to give your funds,
then by all means, continue to do so.

But if you feel a tug at your heart for this
little ministry, a ministry that God has blessed so greatly
and performed miracle after miracle through,
take a leap of faith and give.

Maybe you think your little donation won't
make a difference.

Please don't think that way!!
Remember what Jesus did with a little
boy's sack lunch that he was
so willing to share.

Jesus Himself told us that in this life we would
have troubles.
And certainly, in this lean economy many of
us are having troubles.
But never once did Jesus say,
"During difficult times, hold on tight to your
money....look out for your own bank account.
Every man for himself!"


Even in difficult times....especially during
difficult times, is the time to give.

Please do yourself a favor,
pray, go read their blog(s), pray,
look at those precious babies, pray,
read about the miracles of God's provision,
and pray.

Then do what God calls you to do.

Simply click on the picture!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Let me ask you a really serious
and personal question...

Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


A very short and sweet blog post.
Cause I've got a c-r-a-z-y busy day.

Last Sunday I showed up at church and
quickly realized that (once again) my friend Angela
and I had dressed alike.
Seriously, I thought only my sisters and I did
this sort of mind-reading attire planning
but apparently Ang and I are sisters at heart.
Definitely sisters in Christ.

At age 40, I thought this was funny.
If this had happened when I was 14,
I would have begged my parents to take me back
home to change.

I actually love how with age we loosen up a
ton bit, don't you?!

Aren't we so cute?!
Thanks to my friend Faith who was
camera-ready to take our pic!

sweet friends

Yesterday one of my most favorite girls came to visit!
Sarah is seriously the coolest gal,
who is wise beyond her years,
loves Jesus like you wouldn't believe,
and is just so darn cute!!

She is here for a visit from Florida and
came over to our house to get a few highlights/lowlights
and a little trim.

It turned into an all-day extravaganza.
After I did her hair we went
to run errands.....

including, going to the beauty supply.
I had imagined Brenden and Nick staying in the
car while Lucy, Sarah and I shopped alone
looking at all the fun stuff.

But guys insisted on going in
and as you can imagine,
the *fun* then played out....

Brenden caught in an endearing embrace.

And here he found some new bling...
aka, a nail polish sampler.
Do you see what I'm up against here?

When they team up,
it's time to really start worrying.
The last few pics were taken from my cell phone.
They are fuzzy only because I was laughing
so hard & couldn't keep my hand still!

After we escaped the beauty supply alive (oh, and
trust me, Sarah was right in the mix of the
boys' shenanagans...I just somehow didn't
get a pic. Lucy was the only one who behaved),
we went to the DMV.
I INSISTED that they all stay in the car.
When I was finished with my business,
and came outside...
my van was parked on the other side of the parking lot.
Of course it was. I expected nothing less.

Then we went to Hobby Lobby and Brenden
insisted on spending the last $3 to his
name on a slinky.

Back at home...
Brenden showing off his new toy.
Can someone remind me how old this
kid is??

Then it was outside to ride scooters.
Why, of course.
No, Brenden isn't being a good lad
and sweeping up anything...
this was his "rowing" device.

There simply aren't any words
for this.

Sweet friends!

We had a super fun day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

preparing to be gone

I really have nothing exciting to blog about today.
I even went to WM last night with
Brenden and thought for sure that he would give
me some good material that would leave you
all in stitches for much of the day.

But no.

So, what's on my mind today is how quickly
our departure day will be here.
It occurred to me last night that I have more to do
to prepare for being gone than I do to
prepare to go.

Make sense?

I want to make things at home as smooth as possible
to make it easier on my mom
and on the kids.

I have started writing a "manual" about how we do
things so that Lucy's routine won't be disrupted.
I have completed about two pages on our bedtime ritual.
Oh mercy.
The next chapter I need to write is on how to
work the remote controls/videos/DVDs/DVR.
Mercy, mercy.

The following chapter will be on how Lucy likes her eggs,
the apple juice/water ratio and that she calls all meat, chicken.

Oh, and then to just get used to the fact that Lucy
will be eye to eye with you as you potty.
And will graciously offer to get your toilet paper for you.
All two squares.

Woo! I'm getting excited about going!

Good luck Mom!

Ok, I better get busy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

busy-busy fun day

You guys crack me up.
My busyness yesterday wasn't exactly a
mysterious thing.
Karen, your comment made me laugh because
yes, I was on the phone last night (fuming mad) with D*ll.
My advice to you all...don't buy a D*ll.

But my day was exciting!
First and EARLY was Nick's big day at
the Kansas City Crusaders Junior Masters!
We left so early that I picked Lucy
up out of bed and put her in her car seat (PJ's & all) and
as we were driving down the drive-way she said,
"But it's not day time yet!"
Boy, I'll say.

Nick arriving at the fancy shmancy country club.

Waiting for his ride to take him to the driving range to warm up. Notice the socks? In keeping with tradition at this course, they strictly require crew socks. Nick thinks they are sexy.

And because Nick would rather die than have me on the course taking pics at such an event, the next pic is the end of the tournament where he is signing & turning in his score card.

Nick and his caddy/golf instructor. We are so grateful that he gave up most of his day to help Nick!

But unfortunately, this was a really difficult course
and it just wasn't Nick's best day.
It was an amazing experience for him though!

On the way home we stopped at Krispy Kreme to
bring home a dozen donuts.
Isn't that the way everyone celebrates a great


From there the day got even better!
The US Consulate sent
our 2nd LOA to the CCAA!!!
Which simply means...
everything is now done for our TA to be issued.
But that probably won't be for another
3-4 weeks.
The time will fly...cause I've got tons to do.
Oh, and our passports/visas are due to arrive
back today!!
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