Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Season of Praise

Wow, I haven’t blogged since EASTER! I look at those pics of Grace and Ella (two former orphans who now know the love of a family) and I feel all the emotions of what God has been doing in my heart welling up…

Want to hear more? This is a post that is a long time in coming…

Several weeks ago I was having an official pity party (actually I have had more than I want to admit over the past few months). I was tired (still am) and tiredness is often the gateway to self pity… I was home alone because Grace was spending the night at my sister’s house so I could go to my early class without having to wake her and I was laying in bed crying and praying and crying some more… I told God that I don’t know how I can do it, be a Mommy (not just a Mommy but a really dynamic Godly Mommy who fixes healthy meals so my daughter never has to struggle with her relationship with Christ or her weight like I have), be a student and get high enough grades in every class (including chemistry) to actually be able to get into the very competitive Dental Hygiene program, keep my house clean, find time for family and friends, and why did I gain all the weight back that I worked so hard to lose…. You get the idea. I was also really upset with God for making me such a passionate person and laying things on my heart that I can do nothing about and calling me to do things that are years out and I have to feel this heavy load of sadness that my hands are tied… Yadda yadda yadda. I finally fell asleep.

The next morning I arrived at school a bit early and had the rare opportunity to visit some of my favorite blogs before class. I “happened” across an older post on Carolyn’s blog which was a letter from a friend of hers Everything I had been questioning God about the night before was gently being answered by a woman whom I had never met nor even read her blog for that matter! Lol! I sat there with my lap top in front of me not even trying to hide the tears that streamed down my face as I read, I only wiped them when my vision got too blurry to read… God is good. Even when I am weary and have no idea what I will do if I do not get into the Dental Hygiene program, God is good, and He knows the plans for my life.

I have shared with many that I feel God is calling me to adopt again. This time from Ethiopia, and this time a little girl who is HIV+. It feels weird to say God is calling me… I am not saying He talked to me in a burning bush or anything like that, but I do have this unquenchable burning passion that I can not explain away. I want to be a Dental Hygienist so that I can afford to adopt again as well as have good working hours for a single Mom. I want to take one or two months off every year and volunteer with dental teams working with widows and orphans in countries like Ethiopia… I feel this PASSION! Yet it all seems so unattainable.

A couple weeks ago I thought that chemistry was going to keep me out of the program for sure and then I found out my grade was way better than I thought and my hope was renewed. Two days ago I got a letter in the mail telling me I had to turn in all my transcripts including those from when I went to college right out of high school. (I was previously told I did not have to use those) Well needless to say, grades from my younger years are going to destroy my current 3.87 GPA, so once again I am afraid I will not be able to get into the program… This roller coaster is KILLING me!

In the midst of all of it God continues to calm my spirit. I have been praying that God will help me leave all these things in His hands… I have also been praying for whoever this little girl will be… I know that I will not be financially ready to adopt again until Grace is 7 or 8 but just the same I have been praying about a name for this special little girl who will become a part of our family. Grace’s name is full of meaning as she is definitely an unmerited gift from God. Gracelyn JoAnn, the lyn from my sister Lynda and JoAnn after my Mom, two amazing people in my (and Grace’s) life. So what name would be equally as special for my new daughter? I know that to most of you it sounds crazy but I wanted my daughter to have a name even though I will not even meet her for a few years!

On November 14th during Saturday night worship service we were singing a song (can’t even remember which one) but the word PRAISE kept hitting me…. Praise that is IT! Her name will be Praise =) Then the doubt set it, it is an odd name and I don’t want her to have a weird name. I hopped on Face Book that night and was led to another of Carolyn’s friends whom I have never met and a video of their daughter adopted from Ethiopia named PRAISE! Such an ADORABLE video!!! So she won’t be the only Praise out there =) Now for a middle name… I will shorten this storey and just tell you… Her name is Stacey Praise and we will call her Praise… What a beautiful name and I know Stacey would be so pleased to have a precious child from Ethiopia named after her. So for my friend who lived a life of praise I will name my daughter Stacey Praise.

Now that she has a name, my prayers for her have become even more fervent. I don’t completely understand why it has worked that way but it has. Thanksgiving became a day of mixed emotions for me as I played with Grace and watched her enjoy time with our family. She got more hugs than one could count, she laughed hysterically as G-Ma gave her horsy rides, and of course there was an abundance of food all day! Grace had a WONDERFUL day =) My mind kept wondering back to Stacey Praise… If she comes to us as a 5 to 7 year old when Grace is about eight then she has already been born. Is she already an orphan or does she have a family? Does she have enough food? Is anyone hugging her? I prayed for one daughter as I delighted in the other…

God continues to work in my heart… I just need to trust that He is in control and will use me (even me) to accomplish His will

I hope your Holiday season is truly the best ever! As you thank God for sending His son, and as you sing praises to Him with your family and give a prayer of thanks, if you think of it, please also pray for a little girl, a little girl named Praise…

Sunday, April 12, 2009


My Mommy makes me do all messy projects in the buff...

Are yellow eggs bad like yellow snow Mommy?

Please do not attempt this at home, I am a professional!

Am I cute or what?

My BFF, Ella, wore a coordinating outfit with my own (totally unplanned), I guess great minds think alike! We were both considering wearing pastels when we saw red and white dresses, at which point we both realized it was PERFECT for Easter, because Jesus died on the cross and His blood washes our hearts white as snow... I just love having a BFF who understands me, thinks like me, and looks absolutely fabulous in my favorite color too! I hope your Easter was as fun as mine and I hope you know that Jesus loves you so much, He died for you... AND THE TOMB IS EMPTY BECAUSE HE LIVES!!!!! Happy Easter!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I saw this on the internet and just had to share, because it is such a beautiful picture of our Abba Father (Daddy) as well as the wonderful gift of adoption. (Both mine as His child, and for all of us who are blessed with an adopted child of our very own...)

10 DAYS ... AND I WONDER ...
This was written by another adoptive parent ... this family is 10 days away from meeting their sons.

I wonder...when it was 10 days before I met God and He adopted me, was HE this excited?

I wonder if His stomach did flips and He got tears in His eyes when He thought about holding me for the first time.

I wonder if His heart ached when He thought about my life without Him as my Daddy.

I wonder if it grieved Him to know that I was living as an orphan and had no hope of a future without Him.

I wonder if He was as okay with paying my ransom as I am with paying our boys'.

I wonder if, for Him, there was no cost too high, no sacrifice too great.

I wonder...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

One Of My Favorite People ~ And Grace's Too! =)

Today Nathan Taylor got his driver's license. A very proud moment for any teenager and even cooler because his parents got him a truck for his birthday! Well of all the places this handsome young man could have driven to on his first night out on the town, he honored Grace and I with a visit. ;) Yup, the first to see this newly licensed driver as he took his truck out on her maiden voyage was little o'l me!

Of course Grace was not at all excited to see the tiny paper with Nathan's picture on it that he carried in his wallet.... SHE JUST LOVES NATHAN! (Whom she refers to as her boyfriend....) Sorry to all you young ladies out there, because I think Nathan is equally as smitten with Grace... Of all the places he could have been tonight, he was playing barbies and dress up with Gracie!

After a few rounds of "tickle wrestling" Grace sports her wild child hair do and purple princess dress, while Nathan accessorized with a pink chiffon princess skirt...

After playing barbies, dress up, eating ice-cream and watching the movie "Cars", Nathan went out to stir up some trouble with kids his own age. We are just glad that he is not too cool to still hang out with us once in awhile too!

Friday, January 2, 2009


As I sit and reflect on 2008 I am humbled by my lack of faith... It seems that whenever I am faced with a problem or challenge, I WANT ANSWERS NOW!

From job, school, and finances to friendships and even a cancer scare... I have a really, really hard time leaving it in God's hands. To say I struggle with this would be putting it way too lightly. As I look back over 2008, I can see that God had His hand on these things the whole time. While much is still not resolved, I have to admit that I can see God there through it all. So why do I worry and fret? Why do I try to "fix" things when God is not going fast enough to suit me?

The scarey thing is, that I am a lot better than I used to be!

For 2009, I want to work on my faith. Sheesh it scares me to even write that, for fear that God will give me even more challenges! lol!

I want to trust that God truly does want me to live an abundant life, full of peace and joy. I want to trust that God will provide and take care of the details... (O.K. I just let out a heavy unbelieving sigh... That is not a good sign!)

I really want to live with Jesus as my BEST FRIEND, the one I turn to FIRST, the one I can't wait to talk to and spend time with...

I guess for 2009 I want a revival in my soul. Can that be a resolution or goal? Hmmmm.... Well whatever label one wants to put on it, that is what I want more than anything.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

~My Snow Angel~

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Game and Great Conversation!

Christmas Meme
A little Christmas time questionnaire...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Can I have Egg Nog in my Hot Chocolate? =) I love them both but usually enjoy them separately. Have you tried Starbucks Egg Nog Latte'? YUMMY!

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We have not really done Santa at our house, but if we did we would call him Auntie Lynda! She gives Grace about 20 really nice gifts during November and December because I have told her she can't overload Grace with gifts for Christmas because that is not what Christmas is about... One of these days Grace is going to figure out Auntie Lynda's sneaky ways around Mommy's rules!

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white? I like both looks as long as there are LOTS and LOTS of lights!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Hmmm, I am afraid it would not get much action at my house.

5.When do you put your decorations up? This year, they all went up on November 20th... I get a little excited to start the Christmas season... =)

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? That is awfully strict to exclude dessert... I would have to say candied yams, (yes I know, it is very dessert like, but it is served with the meal so it still counts!)

7.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I have an older sister and brother who made sure I never remember actually believing in Santa. HOW RUDE!

8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not usually

9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lots of fun and special ornaments. I am so excited to finally have some that Grace made and I look forward to adding lots more every year! ;)

10. Snow. Love it or dread it? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! =)

11. Can you ice skate? When I was a kid we would skate on frozen ponds in Minnesota and Michigan and I did quite well, thank you very much! The last time I went, I mostly held on to the wall, (usually with both hands!).

12. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pumpkin pie and Pecan Pie, one large slice of each please, but hold the whip cream cuz I am on a diet!

13. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I LOVE giving gifts! With money tight this year it is really killing me...

14. What is your favorite Christmas song? I wish I could remember the song by Avalon that I use to make my friend Julee play over and over... Anyway, now I will have to try to find it cuz I just remembered how much I LOVE it! ;)

15. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck? YUMMY! Funny story, one year at my Mom's house they hung lots of candy canes on the tree. One day my sister and I noticed this large "candy cane free" area on the tree. Then we realized that it was the area my mom could reach from her recliner.... TOO FUNNY! So for fun my sister went out and bought like 10 boxes of candy canes and hung them all on the tree so my Mom would not run out! ;) You could say, I got my love of candy canes from my Mom. And I have already passed the addiction on to Grace!

16. Do you attend an annual Christmas party? No, but I am looking forward to the one Jill is going to start having... LOL! Love ya Jill!

17. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's? After the Christmas Eve service it is straight into PJ's, I need loose pants to accommodate all the goodies!

18. Do you own a Santa hat? No, but I sure think they are cute! ;)

19. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? Family, usually at my parents' or at my Sister-in-laws'.

O.K. now for a great conversation I had with my daughter yesterday.

Grace: Mommy, smell my fingers.

Mommy: Ewww gross! Did you scratch your bottom?

Grace: No, (smelling her own fingers) kinda smells like poo poo.

Mommy: Why do your fingers smell like poop?

Grace: Oh, I just touchin that yucky o'l poo poo in the toilet.

I run to the bathroom expecting to find an awful mess...

WHEW! Clean and toilet flushed.

Mommy: Did you poop in the toilet and touch your poop?

Grace: Yup

Mommy: Well don't do that any more, that is gross.

Grace: It not gross, it disgusting!

Lots of soap and watermelon scented hand sanitizer and she was good as new! =)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thing 1 & Thing 2

Well today did not start out well as Grace has had a fever off and on for the 2nd day in a row. We stayed home in hopes that some good rest would help her feel better so she would not miss all the days festivities. (She missed her Halloween Party at pre-school) She still had a fever but seemed in good spirits so I thought I would try an hour or so at the church harvest party, (after all, Thing 2 would have been very lonely without her buddy...)

Jill (Ella's Mommy) and I thought Thing 1 & 2 outfits would be perfect for our duo, and boy were we right! These little munchkins were so hyper and all over the place it was VERY hard to even get a decent pic of both of them at the same time!

Ella was able to sit about two seconds longer than Grace... ;)

I had to include this photo of Grace just after she gave Ella a big shove... For no apparent reason, other than Ella was there.... Such a sweet girl, don't ya think! ;)


Awwww, they really do adore eachother!

"Daddy Ron" helps Gracie get TWO hole in ones and win a stuffed turtle! (No that is not a cigarette, just her third sucker!) ;)

Ella was the big winner in the GIANT CANDY BAR WALK!
After about an hour we went back downstairs to rest with friends before heading home. Grace was sitting at the table with her sucker and kool-aid, when she let us all know the evening was truly over by puking on the table... I know I am a horrible Mommy for taking my sick daughter out in the first place, but please remember, she is my first and only child and I just could not bear having her miss such a fun night! Would you believe there are so many more reasons why I will never win Mother of the Year? Oh well! ;)

I want to give a VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to AUNTIE LYNDA for making the wigs for Grace and Ella! The outfits were adorable and a HUGE hit! Thank you Lynda for all your hard work and for being the BESTEST AUNTIE EVER!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

At the Pumpkin Patch with my Punkin

Starting our adventure with a nutritious lunch.....
Grace loved the straw pile more than anything else at the pumpkin patch!

Especially when she had a straw fight with G-Ma! (G-Ma started it!!!) ;)

Grace and Mommy

Grace chose the smallest most pathetic, bruised pumpkin she could find, to take home. When we went to purchase the pumpkin, the cashier took one look at the little, almost rotten, white pumpkin in my daughter's hand and said, "Oh, I can't charge you for that..." Those of you who know my daughter, know she seems to LOVE the unlovely. (Which will serve her well in the future!)

Grace also LOVES to do pretty much everything opposite of how she knows she is supposed to...

Need I say more?

We had a great time at the pumpkin patch with G-Ma and Papa. What you did not see besides the hot dog and ice cream was, the Carmel apple, chocolate covered gummy bears, and gallon of fresh squeezed cider that my parents bought for Grace. A 3 year old child coming down off of a sugar high is NOT a pretty sight. But I must say, the memories were well worth it! =)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I am still alive... barely

O.K. so maybe the "barely" in my title is a slight exaggeration, but I am so pooped! Between work, school, being a Mommy and working on Judgement House I am really wiped. I am still trying to find the balance and I must admit I am floundering.

I have been reading every one's blogs, but most of the time I am too tired to comment. I do like to keep up on your lives and have been encouraged many times by your posts. I won't be posting much, just due to my hectic schedule, but I wanted you to know that I do my best to read yours, so I can pray specifically for you and be encouraged by you as well... =)

On another note...

Today while singing with Grace's class I just had to laugh as Grace sang the "ipsy dipsy spider"!

Grace is amazing at tracing. She came home with a couple of work sheets where she had traced circles and squares and they were done so well that I just assumed she had lots of "help" from her teacher. After dinner tonight I gave her a couple of color pages that had shapes to trace because I wanted to see how she really did. I was so impressed! I guess her teacher did not help her after all!

Grace is doing really well with her preschool work and Mommy can't be shown up, so into my 3rd week of school, I am pulling a 4.0! =) (just on a side note, my grades will never be posted again) LOL!

O.K. I was not going to post this but I am so tired, my good reasoning skills are not at their best...

I still take baths with my daughter about once or twice a week. Grace loves taking baths with Mommy and it is a very bonding time. She washes my hair no less than 6 times and chides me as she dumps water on my head, "you are fine, it is just water." Hmmm. I do say those words to her, but I am not dumping buckets of water over her head and certainly not up her nose!

Anyway, the other night when we were bathing, I let her know that I was going to get out and she could play for a few more minutes. I stood up and my sweet daughter wailed, "Mommy, you made all the water go away!!!" I am seriously considering taking offense to that!