Monday, September 19, 2011

Present and Accounted For! (I think!)

Hey ya'll!  I was so very thankful for each one of you who commented that you missed our posts!  It means a lot!!  I want to catch you up a bit on our little corner of the world.  (I think a bullet-style list would be best here!)

  • All three kiddos in our house graduated and moved up.  Abby and Laney graduated pre-school and headed to kindergarten.  So far, kindergarten has gotten about a one thumbs up approval.  They think the math " not great fun."  and find it all rather boring.  YIKES!  I assume this is because they have had preschool for two years and since this seems to be review for them, there isn't a lot of excitement.  Hayleigh, however, has moved on to 7th grade!  She loves the new challenges and the fun social perks that go along with the freedom.  She's also playing volleyball, and doing an amazing job at it!  Are we ready for them to grow up?  NO WAY.  I'll save the "OMGoodness, she's a pre-teen and we're not ready for all that goes with it" post for next.
  • As Tony posted in picture-form, we had a fun summer.  Hayleigh and I taught at Safety Town again this year.  It's an awesome program that teaches kindergartners about all things safety related.  Hayleigh was a HUGE help this summer.  She read to them, taught some of the curriculum, and just helped out in general.  We work with a few Sheriff's deputies and they think a lot of her too.  
  • We also vacay'd in TN with my family (and Tony's family came too!).  It was good to see family that we hadn't in a while.  The girls had fun with all of their cousins too!  
  • The summer was filled with other fun activities like a birthday pool party, a fairy walk, and a concert (NKOTB, baby!)  And really, I feel that although the girls (Abby and Laney) have been with us for nearly four years now (WOW!) this past summer has done the most for us as far as attachment.  It is fun for me to finally say, I have two full-on Mama's girls now!  LOVE THIS!
  • One of the best things we did, as a family, was host some children and a chaperone for the Children of the World Choir.  They are a part of the World Help organization.  We hosted two gorgeous little girls. Asmita is eight and from Nepal.  She was full of spirit and such a stinker!  We LOVED her!  Irene is 10 and from Uganda.  Irene's smile could light up a room, and her prayers were so tender and loving.  She melted my heart!  We also hosted a chaperone, Auntie Carla, from the Philippines.  She was such a caring adult.  She was once a sponsored child, herself, and wanted to give back by being a chaperone.  Although the three of them only stayed three days, they impacted us for a lifetime.  They spoke to us about the need for wells and clean drinking water abroad.  They also showed God's great love.  These young children gave us a taste of what Heaven will be like.
Which leads me to why my husband has gray hair coming in. (Sorry honey!)  I have been talking to him a lot lately about God's direction in our lives.  I feel like I am so open to so much.  
  • in a big move...if God would say so.  Which may mean a change of career for one or both of us.
  • Adopting again!  Woot woot!
  • Homeschooling.  I'm all about this, right now.
But here's the thing...God may not be calling us to any of these things.  But I'm trying to remain open.  And I'm trying to hear Him clearly.  I often pray that God remove these desires of my heart if they are not His path for us.  And so far, He hasn't.  He hasn't called us to do any of them, but He hasn't removed them from my heart either.  (Or maybe He has tried, and I'm too stubborn!)  OR, just maybe, He has something different planned that we cannot even imagine!  I'm ok with that too!  (Not that my opinion matters here...heheh, HE IS THE BOSS!)

Tony and I just long to be obedient.  We want to be willing to say, "Here am I, Lord.  SEND ME!"  when He does want us to. I keep telling Tony, we only get one shot at this life.  If God wants me to teach math to fifth graders for the rest of my time here, then so be it.  But if He does intend for that...why do I feel His whispers in my heart?

What about you guys?  How is God using you?  What thoughts are swirling around your heads?  Do any of you struggle with obedience?

Do any of you have a word from God for us?  Hehe...see, I'm desperate!  But I do believe He uses friends and blogs too!

So there you have it. A little catch-up.  A little heart talk.  A little coffee.  (Oh, that was MY coffee...sorry)

Talk back to me, friends!


Monday, September 05, 2011


Greetings...its Tony.  You probably know I like to post I will give you photo update showing what we've been up to this summer...Enjoy!

 Last day of preschool. 

Hayleigh's 6th Grade graduation...friend Ashtynn in the picture as well. 
 All the girls at Safety Village.  Rett and Hayleigh taught Safety Town...
Abby and Laney were able to participate. 

 Tennessee VACATION!  Tony and the girls enjoying NASCAR Speedpark....
 Family Picture (taken before the professional photographer). 
 Here we are in the Great Smoky Mountains.
 Girls chillin' at the hotel balcony in Gatlinburg.
 Girls with cousin Addison at the Sprite and Fairy walk in Muncie.
 Girls at their 5.5 year old pool party....
 Hayleigh with her older sis Makayla at her 12 year old pool party...
 We went to Africa!!!!  These were friendly critters!....Just kidding...actually the Indy Zoo...

Rett and her niece Kristy at the New Kids on the Block Concert...Thanks for the ticket Kristy.
 First Day of School! :(  Kindergarten for the girls, 7th grade for Hayleigh. 
 Tony and Hayleigh at the Colts's game

 Family picnic at Aunt Karla's...
 Hosting our international guests from Philippines, Uganda and Nepal...
At the orchard with our guests...apples are a treat to them.

There's more Rett can blog about later.  But this should give you an idea of our past few months.  Keep checking in please!  Have a great day.


Friday, September 02, 2011

Aw, Shucks!

Ya'll make this Mama's heart swell, I say!

Glad I was missed.  I missed each and every one of you too!

I promise...during this long weekend, I'll do a catch-up post with lots of pictures too!

Thanks friends!!!!

P.S.  Lori, your sticker is in the mail.  Please do not lick it with your Rum soaked tongue.  It'll make it taste nasty.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A letter to you, from me.

Dear Blogger World,

Do you remember me?  I've been gone for awhile.

Now THAT was a bloggy break, if I do say so myself.

I wanted to take the summer off to enjoy my family.  So I did.  I didn't plan on NOT blogging...but it was sort of a freeing experience.  Heheh.

A lot has happened in our little corner of the world...but where to start?

I know.

I'll start with...


Totally looking for a compliment or two here.

SO, just checking to see if anyone still reads this.

If not.  Well.

Eek.  I don't want to think about that.

I've miss you all.  Just sayin'.

Much love,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


There's a lot going on in our little world right now.  Cheerleading practice and try-outs, school wrapping up, hair cuts, etc.  But after I read Linny's blog...I cannot bring myself to write about those items.

Yeah.  It's that important. 

Talk about an eye opener.

Go read it.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Mother's Day

This year, Mother's Day has take on several new meanings.  It now has several new levels of depth.  I almost can't wrap my mind around it all.  Here, I'll let you in on what is swirling in my brain.

  • We have Stinker with us this year for Mother's Day.  That means that this Mama's heart is even more full than in years past.  God has granted me three wonderful girls.  Whereupon I once thought I didn't even want children, now my heart longs for those with no Mama.  Our children come to us a variety of ways.  So far, mine have come to me via China, and through guardianship right here.  If the Lord sees fit, we may have more come home too.  And I'm ok with that.  Way ok with that.

  • We have Stinker with us this year for Mother's Day.  No, that's not an echo.  It actually means that she is not with her biological mother this year.  A friend and I were talking how it's easy to think about us as Mother's.  But, what about the children?  Our littles have no memories of their biological mother.  So, between that and their age, they do not have a lot of emotions tied to this day.  But Stinker?  She knows her mom.  She talks to her mom semi-weekly.  She knows the situation her mom is in is rotten.  She also knows this is a painful holiday for her mom.  And she carries some of that burden.  Yes, her mom did this to herself, but Stinker feels the weight of it.  It's totally unfair.

  • Mother's Day will be a challenge this year for Rob and Ally.  Just one short month ago, they said hello and goodbye to their first child.  To, Oliver Matthew Junebug, their son.  And although they trust God, this Mother's Day, her arms will be empty.  Even when we longed for children and couldn't conceive, I am not sure that pain comes anywhere near the pain they're dealing with.  She snuggled her baby in her womb.  Then she snuggled him in her arms for an hour and 41 minutes.  Such a fleeting time.  I just hope and pray that we can do the right things, and say the right things to bring her comfort this weekend.  Hers is another perspective we don't often think about.

  • A good friend of ours lost their infant son during heart surgery a while back.  I have written about Tressel before.  And although the loss of a child is much like Ally's, Tressel's mommy is feeling something different.  She is suffering the loss of him on this day that celebrates motherhood, all the while feeling his baby sister move about in her tummy.  She is carrying Tressel's little sister Scarlet.  She's healing from the past, and embracing and trusting God for her future.  This Mother's Day will be bittersweet, for sure.

  • Then there are the new mommies.  The ones who prayed and prayed for a child.  Or the ones who experienced the joys and pains of a surprise pregnancy.  Their feelings are precious as this day unfolds for them for the first time.  

  • And I will never forget those who have prayed for a child, longed and cried for a child, only to be without a child.  I cannot forget the pain that lingers month after month while waiting to see if you're pregnant.  Or even the pain waiting to see if an adoption was ever going to happen.  That pain runs deep.  And this Mother's Day will be a hard reminder of the absence of a child.  

  • I cannot and will not forget that we nearly lost my mom this year.  Just two weeks ago, she had to undergo emergency surgery.  Surgery where if we had waited just a few more hours, we could have lost her.  Then, this Mother's Day would have been sickening painful.  And my mother-in-love DID just lose her mother, our Mamaw, a couple of months ago.  Such an incredibly painful time.

  • And finally, there is the perspective from those who wait.  Those who do not, or have never known the love of a Mother.  There are hundreds of thousands of children who have no one to tell them they're loved.  They have no one to caress their cheek, or play with their hair.  No one to kiss their boo-boos or read to them.  They have no one to cook or help them get dressed.  They have no one to rock them when their scared, or pull them into their laps when they're sad.  They  have no one to sing silly songs, and whisper how Jesus loves them.  No one.  How fair is that?

So welcome to my world.  This Mother's Day, I'll be in serious prayer for those affected by this day on the calendar.  Will you please pray alongside me?  I have not touched on every perspective, just those that that are a part of my world.  This year will be tough.  But it will be joyus too.  I love being a mom.  Love it to the depths of my soul.  And so I'll celebrate with my children.  They deserve that.


Thursday, April 28, 2011


What a week.  What a month.  Wait, what a 2011. 

This past Saturday, we had a really scary situation.  My mom had been feeling kind of yucky for a week or two.  She mostly had some really bad back pain.  Lower tailbone back pain.  Well, after going to a VERY unhelpful doctor's visit on Friday, it was determined she needed to go to the emergency room Saturday.

My sisters and I followed Mom and Dad in to the hospital.  Mom could barely even move.  Once we settled into the ER room, the doctor came in.

To summarize, he said, it could be severe arthritis, or muscular pain.  OR, it could be (and pray that it wasn't) an aortic aneurysm. 

You guessed it.  She had an aortic aneurysm in her lower abdomen.  So when we questioned about the course of action and he said surgery, we resigned to what would happen.  When he clarified that the surgery would be RIGHT NOW, we became one group of emotional people.

I got on the phone and called Tony.  Thankfully, Rob and Ally were at our house and would watch the girls.  Then, I called our pastor and friend, Greg, who said he'd be there in two minutes.  And he was. 

But before any others got there, we gathered around mom to pray.  By pray, I mean sob.  It was so hard knowing it was an emergency surgery.  We were a mess.  Well, everyone NOT in a hospital bed was a mess.  My mom, on the other hand, was a pillar of strength.  When we gathered to pray, everyone had their heads bowed and eyes closed.  No one could pray aloud.  No one could breathe without sobbing.  So who prayed?  My mom.  The one getting ready to undergo surgery.  She prayed.  She prayed for the surgeon and nurses.  And she prayed for us. 

This is the same woman who, when she was in the hospital another time, had Greg come and pray with her.  Greg said when he finished praying, SHE prayed for HIM.  He said it was highly emotional because he had never had someone pray for HIM before like that.  That's my mom. 

So after we prayed, others made it to the hospital.  They whisked her upstairs with us in tow to the surgery waiting room.

During the three hours after surgery, at one point there were 25 people gathered in that waiting room.  TWENTY FIVE!    That should be a true testimony of my mom's ripple.  The effect she has on others.

Well, she came through the surgery with flying colors.  PRAISE GOD!  And the surgeon came out to tell us that the side of the artery was tissue paper thin.  He said that between her pain level and what he found inside, we could have lost her in mere hours.  LOST her.  My heart races to even think about that.   God was written ALL OVER this situation.  If this were a memorial box post, I'd put a balloon in there.  It would remind me of how one side of Mom's artery was like a stretched balloon.  But I'd write GOD on the balloon, because He kept that balloon together until the doctors could perform surgery.

She's still in the hospital recovering.  Because, when my mom does something, she does it big.  Not only was she fighting this aneurysm, she is also fighting gout.  Badly.  But she's healing.  And she's her funny, sassy self. 

And I'm praising Him from whom all blessings flow.  God indulged our selfishness in wanting her here!

THANK YOU, JESUS, once again.  We are not worthy, but OH how YOU LOVE US!