Thursday, December 23, 2010

birthday pictures

Here are some pictures of the girl on her big day turned into week.
It was a blast.
I hope she knows how thankful we are for her.

and please, how adorable is her "6" shirt????? Love it Ashleigh!! Thank you!
This cake was left at BR by some friends of'll notice that we took the spoons to it right then. It was a great night.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

red light means go??

The photo uploader is still missing.....and I have some GREAT pictures to post!!!!
I am painted almost all over & you have not been invited in or near my house for good reason -because it is a disaster.
Priority #1 is to finish painting.
So I have literally been stepping over laundry & praying that breakfast would magically appear at my house...and you know what?
It did.
Big shout out to Kimberly. You really have no idea the gift that rests in that pumpkin bread. The kids were giong to have leftover lasagna tomorrow for breakfast.
So. Many thanks. From all of us.

I want to be finished with painting so that I can enjoy completely these next few days before Christmas. We still have lots to cram in! I'm tempted to move Christmas to the 26th just because I NEED AN EXTRA DAY!!!!
There's baking that needs to be done & a playroom that should be in good order for the big day & boxes that should have been shipped last week but alas....they haven't. And friends I desperately want to just sit & sip a cup of coffee with.....

But as I paint I do have the joy of reading the Words of Scripture over & over again. And when I do this I am often amazed at what speaks to my heart.
Mary, for instance, has been on my heart a lot.
I was pregnant during a December & I clearly remember gasping at the thought of riding a donkey. I found that my honda accord sat waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too low for someone as pregnant as I was & taking cues from all around me I assumed I needed an SUV for this 7 or 8 pound person that would be riding with me soon.
Turns out that all I really needed were diapers, a pack n play was sufficient, like 4 onesies, wipes, bottles, a blanket & some sleep.
I didn't really need the SUV.
But I digress.....

I think about the law of the day when Mary was born.
An unwed woman carrying a child??
I am betting that from the outside it looked very "unwise" for Jospeh to stay with her.
I wonder what her parents said.
I wonder what his parents said.
I wonder about the Son of God being born in a way that may have caused conflict....even scandal.
I wonder about this idea that God blesses with comfort & wealth & health, & then I see the Savior of the world born in a barn.

I heard a preacher speak the other day while I was painting.
Matt Chandler (thanks Jill :) ). He said something along the lines of how sometimes we can begin to think of our Bibles as God. We cling so tightly to the principles that we lose sight of the relationship.

Jesus' birth paints a sweet picture of that.
According to the law & sound principle - none of this made much sense.

I was driving down the road the other day & I pulled up to an intersection where my car & I frequently travel. And the light was red.
But there was a crossing guard waving me forward.

The crossing guard trumps the red light.
You should always always stop at red lights. It's the law. It keeps us & others safe.
Unless a policeman steps in with information that you don't have access to & tells you to drive right through it.

I am not a person who likes being indebted to people.
I have a hard time receiving help because of it.
I wonder 'are there strings attached?' & 'what will be expected of me if I say yes?'
So, I probably say 'no' more often than 'yes'.
Salvation was a tough one for me to grasp because of the feeling that I was indebted thing.
I lived my life under the idea that I must perform better, serve better,
do it all a little. bit. better.
Trying to get it right all the time is exhausting.
Trying to be understood all the time brings me to the point of crazy.
Understanding that God didn't give me a set of rules to be locked in a prison with. He offered the opportunity for me to know Him.
And to rest in the truth that He already knew me.......and He liked me.

He's the God who said to the men who desperately wanted to please God by observing His laws ....that healing a man on the sabbath was a good thing.
That being with Him was the "why" of it all anyway.
That's what He always wanted.
To be with us.

Emmanuel - God with us.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

six years.

She turns 6 today.

How did that happen??

I feel like recently I have cradled each of them as if they were a little bit smaller & I have told them the story of the day I met them.

Precious days for me.

These people that get to begin their lives in my home. They did nothing to deserve being there and I must remember that I did nothing as well.

The whole thing is just a great big miracle. With the fingerprints of God's grace all over it.

When I think of all the reasons to tell them about why I think they are so incredibly awesome I am blown away by all that makes them who they are.

That I am such a tiny part of that.

They are reflections of their Heavenly Father. I pray that they will grow to reflect Him more & more.

On this day, my big girl, I want you to know how amazing I think you are.

How your smile can change the hearts of everyone you come around. That even on those days when I hear the stories of you being left out of something with friends...that you never see it that way.

You assume the best in people.
I love that about you.

I love how you like to tell us how to do things. You have a helpful spirit within you. A little bossy at times, but mostly just super duper helpful.

You have an enthusiasm that I want.

You desire to please & I pray that you will always rest in the fact that you are dearly loved.

You teach us each day.

And I am so very grateful that I get to be your mom.

You didn't have to be born of my body for me to love you. You don't have to do anything for me to love you. There's nothing you could ever do to make me stop loving you.

Chances are good that we are in for some disagreement in our future - and even in that - I will love you & be for you - knowing & believing that God has big plans for your life.

Plans that are bigger than my brain.
And that's good.

That is very very good.

Happy birthday big girl.
I will locate the photo uploader & post pictures from the day later on....
good night

You totally knock my socks off.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Last year I let painting take the best of me & I feel like I "missed" Christmas a little bit.
I definitely have been painting more than I should lately, but our nice little break is just around the corner. However, I'm not missing the fun of Christmas this year. We are baking & making ornaments & drinking hot chocolate for breakfast & it's been great!!
When we pulled out the ornaments this year I was surprised at the emotion around some of them. My mind would flash back to the ones they made. Remembering the time & place. And that their hands were smaller....and how are they getting so big so fast??
And this seemed to be the 1st year that at least the big girl "got it."
So.....this is one of the ornaments we have made this year. The ball. I think she did a great job with it!!! I would cover my tree with them if Icould. But I will practice self control & save room for the years to come.

Or we will just have 2 trees.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

there she is

Getting so big. With a personality that she barely carry all by herself. She's a mess. And we're all pretty much in love with her.
She's a girl who knows what she wants & she's a big communicator because of it. It's funny the things I thought were absolutely true about her just a few months ago I am seeing differently. She's slowly showing us who she is.
I can't imagine life without this baby who jumps up & down when I walk into her room to get her.
Who claps & cheers for her daddy after he "prays for the day" in the car.
Who will often exit a room with a turn of her head & a simple "kisses!" as she blows one away.
Amazing little girl.
How come I get to witness this time of her life??
A total priviledge.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

too much space

Lee & I took a stroll down memory lane last night & laughed until we almost cried reliving this moment.
And after we got some control over ourselves I started reading through old posts I had written.
I am so glad for the memories recorded here. The funny things these kids have said along the way. And the way they said it.
It has all passed & I would have forgotten without this sweet reminder.
And I am actually sad that I haven't kept better records lately.
The kids are still funny. And a lot is going on......
A lot of stretching & straining within my own life, which I am thankful for & even that is weird to say.
It amazed me how aware I became of my words on this blog - not knowing who was reading them & if it mattered to me.
So I took a break.
An unplanned break.
And though it has been okay to have this break....I want to get back.
And so I plan to.
Tomorrow sometime i'll be here......
so I'll see you then :).

Friday, December 10, 2010

not the Christmas card

Now, we are not actually doing Christmas cards this year - this season has already gotten away from us & I don't think we can add another "to do" to the list without going absolutely crazy.
But we do want a picture for our books...
and this isn't it.
Nor is this...poor baby. She looks as if she is being lovingly strangled in this picture.
Or this ...
But they make for good memories....and quite honestly it's much more authentic this way :).
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Thursday, December 9, 2010


Can't say that I particularly like this picture of myself - but the picture of that baby just makes me laugh. Perfectly captures how she is trying to smile for pictures these days.
If she is being forced into a picture - this is her trying-real-hard face.
And I am in love with it.
She truly has a wonderful smile.....but this isn't it.
More pictures to come of us all enjoying this Christmas season...I'll leave the ones out where I'm up to my eyeballs in paint.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010


We made it back home to see my family for Thanksgiving & without much planning it turned out that both of my sisters were there too!
Would you look at all of those girls??
It was loads of fun & I may have doubled my weight in the food I ate.....and I consider it well worth it.
Complete gluttony.
And I do feel bad about that.
A little bit.
I have sisters & with girls comes drama.
And the drama has made me a better person. I'm thankful for those girls standing next to me. And for all those littles standing in front of us - rotting their teeth out with those lollies. And that boy would have nothing to do with the girls' table. He sat proudly next to his daddy & his uncle & drank the 1st sprite out of a bottle ever. In fact, I'm not sure he has ever ordered a soft drink at a restaurant before. It was a big night for the kid.
So there's a little update from Thanksgiving.....I'm a little delayed on the blog updates these days. I hope i am getting better....but I can't make any promises :). Christmas has arrived! & I have joined the crazy.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I don't know about you, but I love so many things about Christmas. I love that my first baby was born around Christmas - I love hot chocolate with Christmas music playing & cookies baking & bringing treats to friends & decorating the tree & Christmas PJs & being reminded about the reason of this huge celebration. I am way more overwhelmed about the reason for Christmas with littles around wanting to know about the "why" of all the madness.

But equally on the other side of all the joy & fluttering I am balanced by the anxiety of the cost of Christmas. The cost of meeting everyone's expectations & checking things off the list.

And I know I'm not alone because I have heard more TV & radio personalities talking about how to deal with this particular issue. And if I sound really cynical there - well, maybe it's because I guess I do sound that way.

But the truth is that I LOVE giving the right gift - the one thing that will make that person so happy & feel so thought of.

I love to wrap presents.

I love all of those things.

It's the cost that drowns me in those heavy feelings.

That & the crowds.

Well. I am learning that there are ways to be doubly generous during the holidays.

This Christmas when you give a gift you can feel so good that you have been a part of big stories. I keep hearing about people who have wonderful gifts available & they are raising money for great causes - helping women & children rescued from the sex trade & people on the journey to adopt .... and more...I'll update again...but for now, check this out.Gus & Lula - has AWESOME Christmas cards & more.

I plan to buy a print or two & have them framed in my house.
There are also crazy fun silhouettes!

Another sweet adoptive momma is making Christmas cards as well. Here's a sample of her work & her contact info

Intown Sundries has THE BEST smelling/feeling soaps & wraps them so beautifully. You can read a bit about what they are up to RIGHT HERE IN ATLANTA & check out her etsy shop here

And I'm a pretty big fan of what Emily & her crew are up to in Ethiopia - and I'm also loving this tumbler.

And I've ADORED the pin & shirt I bought from Sewing Seeds Ministry - 100% of the proceeds go to the community in Nicaruagua that is learning how to support their community. Here's a fun little picture of one of their creations in the making. And here's their website - I'm not really sure how to even get your hands on their things...but they are set up through Northside Methodist Church.
OK, that's all for now.....will keep you posted! Happy shopping!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jingle Jangle

Anyone who knows me, knows that right now I am staying up way too late these days.
And those same people know how much I love this.
It's the time of year when I am painting more than ever - I only do 1-2 shows a year usually & this is when they usually fall....and I enjoy it.
My hands can't get the things in my head out fast enough.
The Garden Market is this weekend. And could go on & on about why I love this market so much. But what I love most about it is how it began.
Wendi & I had paid way too much money to be in a 2 or 3 day show. We set up a big ol tent - I'm still not sure where that tent came from. But it was a poorly marketed show. Hardly anyone was there. And we were disappointed.
But we turned that moping into grand planning. That experience - that crappy market experience - is what gave birth to the market. A Market where our goal was to encourage people in what they do.
We knew right then that we knew people who had gifts that should be shared.
And we decided that we would be a part of encouraging them in their gifts.
We also believe in community - we believe in linking arms with one another to make this work. This video paints a sweet picture of our hope of this market.
People using their gifts - their God-given gifts. Bringing glory to Him by doing what He made them to do.

The vendors are generous - so often we find that the hearts of these artists are so pure & sweet. They are so often letting their gifts be an offering in donating portions of their proceeds towards various organizations. I love to see that.
Jennifer Tanksley, who is in the video above, is one of the artists. She has been with us for a few years now & I love the way she uses her gifts.
Check out the blog & learn about how you can be generous this Christmas, simply in giving your Christmas gifts. You are more than likely going to need a few gifts anyway....might as well let those gifts benefit others.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


OK, so I don't know where to write this down but I don't want to ever forget I'm placing it safely on this blog so I'll know where to find it when I find the right place for it.....

This morning I was painting a little bit & my baby girl (2) & my boy (3 1/2) walked into the room - not even noticing that I was there.
My boy was playing with something & she wanted it.
So she asked him for it.
He said, "You need to ask differently"
She said something back with a "please" in it.
"You need to say it in spanish" he replied
She mumbled something
"That's not spanish"
And that was that.

I'm pretty pumped that I got to witness that conversation.
Made my day.

Monday, November 8, 2010


It's been a while.
I know.
I hope we can still be friends.
I'm pretty positive that I am talking to myself here, as who in the world would still be checking on this phantom blog.
I've been busy.
That's all there is to it. Crazy crazy busy.

But it's been good, fun crazy busy. Which I'm so thankful for.

But enough about all of are some long overdue pics from halloween.
Cowboy Woody here with Little Bo Peep who lost her teeth.
Have I mentioned that yet?
She lost another tooth! And she's eating like a horse! I think she's growing.....which is killing me. And I know I can't stop it......but I just want to freeze time a little. Where is it going so fast!? Why is it in such a hurry?
And with all of her teeth falling out - well, now that boy is wanting his teeth to fall out. And the baby tells everyone that her teeth have fallen out. And I just can't take it anymore.
We actually made plans to go to a wonderful place for halloween but had also made big plans & promises for the trick or treatin' for the boy - this was his first year to be able to go & we couldn't let him down.
And you can see by this picture that we definitel pulled through. :)
Or I should say some very kind & flexible neighbors let us go a day early.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Buzz buzz

Ok. Seriously? What do you do about that cuteness right there?
I know. I'm biased. But seriously.....
I had zero plans of dressing her up for halloween so a big thanks to Christina for letting me use this costume. I got more giggles lsitening & watching her say "buzz buzz buzz" all afternoon long.
I could eat her up.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Market plannings & goings on...

I'm exhausted.
A good kind of exhausted....the kind that comes with so many fun things going on - just not enough hours in the day to do them!
See the little jingle jangle over there?
Right there to your right?
So cute right?
That's been a primary activity that's been keeping me busy.....

The Garden market is in its 7th year!!
Which blows my mind.
What blows my mind even more is that even after all of the work that Wendi & I put in each year, & I will generally pull an all-nighter the night before just for kicks.....even after all of the stress that can come with pulling this thing off.....I have never wanted to bag it.
Even in that enhausting moment just as the last few people leave & we're packing things up & sweeping the place down & carrying heavy things to cars.....I still look forward to the next year.

Now, we'll see if that holds true after this year....

But for now. Right now - I am so excited!

And these wonderful artists - many of them mommas who put their amazing talents to work - some are willingly giving away items or 1/2 off of items just for becoming a fan on the garden market facebook page.

And I hope you will. And I you will encourage us all by passing the word on to your friends.

And we all hope to see you there....there will be a grand surprise which involves a certain Atlanta street vendor & a truck.

More details to stay tuned - find it on facebook - or you can always check the blog, too.
OH & always feel free to grab that little jingle jangle from the garden market blog & post it on your blog.
Always appreciated....Plus, what a great way to get your blog all gussied up for Christmas :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

heart break

Oh man.
I read this woman's words & I 'get it'.
When my heart first broke this way I became pretty self righteous & judgemental .... wondering what in the world was wrong with everyone else around me! It's like if you drink Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. You get in a camp & have very firm reasons why you drink what you drinkn& in order to defend your territory you state your case for whatever coffee it is.
My heart broke for the orphan & there was a season in my life when I thought everyone should feel the same way I did. Until a friend helped me see that my words carried a lot of guilt for her.......
And a light switch went off.
This heartbreak was specific for my heart.
God was nudging me towards learning a little bit about the plans He has for me.....
And if there was heartbreak for me......
then there was a heart break for her....
and for you.....
And if we all encouraged one another in the plans & the purposes that the Lord has set out for us to do.....even if we are uncomfortable with it.....if we could spur one another to have faith enough to execute these good deeds in faith. ...
Well, what a world it would be.

It excites me to look into the eyes of my friends - even people I am meeting for the first time - totally aware that God has a plan for their life.
That. Is. So. Exciting!

I stare at my kids in wonder at this truth.

What is it?

My big girl looked at me the other day while we were walking through a store & she said, "You & Me should open a store like this. We should sell old things. We should do it together. And help people."


That's from within her.

That was a priviledged moment that I got to be a part of right there.

And I shouldn't be surprised that the sweet Lord is showing little glimpses of her herat to me. I beg Him to please help us know her heart - help us shepherd each of them to be who He made them to be.

Beyond the boundaries of my expectations.

Monday, October 11, 2010

goodbye summer

I am aware that school has been in session for a while now & that summer officially ended in September, but it was only just a few weeks ago that it became cool enough to really need to pack the summer stuff away.
Pools are closed & for some reason I battle with whether or not it's okay to let my toddler wear white......she's 2.
Do those things matter at 2?
I lean towards no......but I feel a little awkward every time I do it.
The bummer about pulling out my fall clothes is that they aren't the fall clothes that I purchased just last fall....they are the clothes that I purchased many a fall the question is not only will it fit? But how outdated is it? And well, you just need a girlfriend or two to come help you with those kinds of problems.
Anyway....fall is my favorite & as soon as I am able to carve out a little time, I'll get to baking my pumpkin muffins. But for now, I just wanted to say hi.....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

working it out

In an effort to work off some of that apple pie, I went to the gym this morning....and couldn't locate the earbuds.
Ah the tragedies that I deal with on a daily basis.
Work out in an air conditioned room with a television attached to this workout silence?
So I picked up a magazine....and I found this article.

I overdosed on Francis Chan several months back & haven't been able to listen to him for a while now....but reading this article reminded me of some of the inspiring things he has showed me.
I was just about to go on a rambling about the ways he helped me read the Bible in a new way & then I was going to say....and anyway, I'll spare you the details.

I hope you have a chance to read the article.....and I would love to hear what you think.

Monday, September 20, 2010

10 lbs heavier.....

...and I think it was worth it.
Once upon a time there was this apple pie.
I heard about this apple pie a lot.
My friend Caroline would stare off from time to time & say, "do you remember that apple pie...."
And I would remind her that I WASN'T THERE FOR THE APPLE PIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was envious of the people who had tasted this particular apple pie.
So when my little girl & her classmates returned from a field trip to an apple orchard with a bag full o apples....I thought it high time I tried this apple pie recipe.

And I must say......
It was worth the wait.
I saw that our little family had finished 1/2 of it soon after it came out of the oven & I thought to myself...."apple pie will make a perfect breakfast for tomorrow morning!" Healthier than other things I make for breakfast on a regular basis....pancakes with syrup??? How is that a good way to start the day? I've never understood it...and yet i feel good about myself when I put forth the effort to feed it to my family.

But instead we decided to finish it off before the sun went down.
It. was. amazing.
And we had bagels & cream cheese for breakfast.

So there it very first apple pie.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010


A friend commented on how much 2 of my kids looked alike at this age & I got these are some pictures of my babies on/around their 2nd birthdays.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

she's 2. Part 1.

In spite of my best efforts to prevent it from happening...
my baby turned two.
She is growing up & I can barely handle it!
How is this happening so quickly?
She's so tiny that it really did sneak up on me. I would laugh & say, "can you believe that little thing is almost 2?!"
Not fully understanding that that meant I would no longer have a 1 year old.
This little girl is precious in so many ways.
I adore her! Yes, she is confused about her role in this family. She is certain that she is in charge. And believes with her whole heart that she should get what she wants when she wants it & she has been this way from the get-go. I remember sitting with her in the hospital - just the day after she was born.
Just me and her. Or is it her and me? If my dad is reading this he will call & let me know....& I would actually really appreciate that.
Anyway, we were sitting there when our pediatrician came in to check on us. We chatted & she was just about to leave when I mentioned that my baby didn't like to be wet or dirty....even for a moment. She would yell to be cleaned off immediately.
This hadn't happened with the 2 that came before her & I thought Dr. F could offer some insight.
"Your third isn't supposed to be like that."
And that, my friends, really is who my kid is. She really likes to let us know how she would like things and she hasn't taken the hint that we aren't following her lead....maybe because we are following her lead. Maybe there in lies the problem.

And these are just a few pictures of day 1 of celebrating this baby girl's first 2 years on this planet.

I love being her mom.

I think we're going to have tons of fun together ;).

Happy birthday little girl.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

first days

All 3 had their first days of something these past few weeks & we don't need much reason for celebrating around here.
First days of anything warrant cake in our house -
so that's what we did.

We sat on the floor & ate too much cake.

This school year has kicked my tail so far & in all honesty, I don't have to get too many people to too many places. I think it's this new early wake time.
I don't understand why people insist on starting the day before the sun is fully risen. And as I type this, I feel like I am repeating myself. Like I have typed these same words on this here blog in the very recent past.

Well....I'm not adjusting.
And I'm not sure what to do about that.
But this is one of the reasons that you haven't heard from us in a while.
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Monday, September 6, 2010

mre later

I'm too tired from all the fun from this weekend. But I thought I would at least leave with a photo.
Will update when I am actually awake
Good night.
And Happy Labor Day!
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