Monday, August 31, 2009

Today we are so... myspace graphic comments
Graphics for Smiley Moods Comments


This is the verse I read today: "I will exalt you, my God and the King; I will ever praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:1-4
Yes, we got our Travel Approval today. I got the call about 12:30. The phone had only rang once before the agency called, and it was John checking. I'm afraid he didn't get a very cheerful greeting. But, the call finally did come. Our agency is requesting a consulate appointment for 9/23, and we will leave on 9/10. Yep, that's right, only 10 days away! Will I be ready? I'm not sure, but ready or not, we're going to China!!!
Beside this verse, I had written the date of 5/25/06. I also wrote that I wanted to remember to tell Abbey how God had moved to bring her home. Today, when I saw this, I thought that no matter if we got our TA or not, I was putting this verse on the blog. So many people have come up to us that didn't know about our current situation and said, "God put you on my heart this week, I felt the need to pray for you." We knew that whatever the answer is regarding our TA, God was in control. This has become part of our faith story, that we will indeed share with Elijah.
Now for the details. We really don't know details yet. We do have to get a consulate appointment and book tickets. I'm not sure if it is difficult to get a consulate appointment or not. We will not find out until Wed. (Our travel coordinator is off on Tuesdays...heavy sigh). But, again, the Lord is in control. Those who have been praying for us, please don't stop. Please pray that the consulate gives us the appointment that we need.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

John the Baptist and Pooh

Every night before going to bed, Abbey and I read stories from the Toddler Bible. She has picked a couple of stories as her favorites and we have to read them every night. She loves Mary and Martha and The Lost Sheep. In fact she can recite those two stories by heart. Whenever she sits down to read a story, she always recites the words from those two stories. She knows almost all of both of them word for word. (This morning she got the newspaper and opened it up and started reciting Mary and Martha.) Well, last week, I'd grown weary of Mary and Martha and The Lost Sheep, so I said," Let's read about John the Baptist." So, now every night's reading must include Mary and Martha, The Lost Sheep and John the Baptist. Last night she was sitting with John "reading" a book. When she started to recite John the Baptist. She said, "John the Babbist ate honey and bugs;" at this point she paused in her "reading" and said, " just like Pooh!" I can honestly say I've never thought of the correlation between John the Baptist and Winnie the Pooh, but I will now!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Abbey's and Elijah's Room

Elijah will share a room with Abbey. I've been trying to think of a way to "boyify" her butterflies and flowers room. I showed my dad some trucks and cars on one of our sippy cups. He, being the wood worker extraordinaire that he is, whipped up some cute, cute, car and truck wall plaques. He had also made the butterflies and flowers for Abbey. So, now we have some cars and trucks travelling among the flowers. Voila! A room for a girl and a boy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What the Lord delights in...

The enemy will try to stop, or at least delay. We know from this verse: James 1:27~ True religion that God our Father accepts as pure and fautless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress... Therefore, it shouldn't surprise us at the obstacles that pop up as we get close to bringing Elijah home. As I said earlier, we were told we needed travel approval by Friday in order to travel in September. Well, my friend in China e mailed me and told me that our TA was being printed and would be mailed on Friday. That would put it here on Monday. So, we e mailed our agency director and he sent the email to the travel coordinator. The travel coordinator sent a confusing e mail that basically said there wasn't enough time. John calls the travel coordinator and explained his heart and in the process of the conversation, the travel coordinator realizes that he was looking at next week, not this one!! Oh, boy, the lengths the enemy will go to to delay! So, the travel coordinator finally told John he will try to get a consulate appointment if we get TA on Monday. We pray we will.

But as children of God, we can be assured He will triumph. As a result of this predicament, many people have been on their knees for us. I can just see the warfare going on. But, we know the winner.
This morning as I was writing the e mail. I got an e mail from our friend, Maria. She didn't know of the situation, but she wrote and told me that she had a dream last night about Elijah coming home to a big party. When she woke up, she said the Lord laid it on her heart to pray for Elijah and us! Isn't that incredible? When I read that note, I got chill bumps and called John to read it. We both praised God for his faithfulness. I can't begin to know the future, but I know the One who does. He is at work here, no matter what date we travel!

So, Lord, we humbly ask that come Monday morning, our TA will be sitting in AHH's office, and we are able to get our consulate appointment for the date we need. To all our praying friends and family, we are so grateful for you walking with us and holding us up in prayer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another milestone

Today, Anna started her senior year of high school. Like all kids, she's been looking forward to this day for quite a while. The tradition at her school, is for kids to decorate their cars, go to the Senior breakfast and then parade to school for the first day. Last night, Anna and some of her friends got together to decorate their cars. I went over and took some pictures. The pictures aren't very good quality, but I need to document this special occasion. I know from experience, that I will blink and the next thing I know, I'll be blinking back tears as she walks down the aisle to get her diploma. It's so funny how things work. About the time that they are a pleasure to have around again, they graduate and leave! Anna and her car
Anna and her buddies

The balloon arch at school.
(I had to take Daniel to school today. When we drove in, Abbey said,"Look.... much, much balloons!")
I went to the store today and heard moms talking to each other, not even trying to hide their glee at the fact that their kids are back in school. I guess I'm weird, but it makes me incredibly sad. I love having them around the house during the summer. I miss them when they go back. From the moment they are born, they are striving to become independent. To me, parenting is a great paradox. There is intense pleasure, as well as intense pain as you watch and help them to grow up and take care of themselves.
Congratulations, Anna you're one step closer!! I love you and am proud of you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Girl on a mission

Abbey loves to get something from the snack bar at the pool. She wants to go up there, order, and pay all by herself. A few days ago, we were at the pool with her friends Lottie, Caleb and Kylie when I noticed that Abbey wasn't around. I looked and there she stood at the snack bar window. I said to the Mary Grey(a lifeguard and Anna's good friend), "Oh she doesn't have any money." Mary Grey said, "Yes, she does." I went to look and saw that Abbey had a dime. She had gone into the pool bag, found my wallet and taken out a dime. (that was about all the money I had) Then she had gone to the snack bar to order popcorn. She didn't have sufficient funds for popcorn, but she showed just how determined and independent she can be. Gotta give our little girl credit for tenacity and lots of spunk!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ok, it's crunch time

To all my prayer warriors out there:

In order for us to travel in September, we have to get our TA by next week. Otherwise, we will have to wait until November. Please ask God to allow us to go in September, if it is His will.

Thanks so much!

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" James 5:16b

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That's a long, long time

29 years....
Ago today,I met a pretty neat fellow. I had been at UNC for 2 days and I was lonely. I asked my roommate to allow me to hang out with her and her friends. They were going to some other friends' dorm room to hear them play guitar and sing. Anything was better than being alone, so I tagged along. I know this was a God-thing, because I have always been rather shy, and asking someone to allow me to tag along, just wasn't my style. But, God knew that the person he had designed for me to spend the rest of my life with was going to be singing in that room. After the mini-concert, we sat on the balcony and talked. He was quite cute, kind, gentle, and knew about the beach I grew up going to. (Everyone else I had met went to Myrtle beach and we went to Emerald Isle.) He walked me to my room and was a perfect gentleman. He vaguely asked for a date, so I thought, "Oh, well, I'll never hear from him again." Later, I found out that he thought he had asked me out. (Typical girl vs. guy communication) The next night I went out with a boy that I had grown up with and had a horrible time. The night after that, John found me and, as they say, the rest is history!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

By Jove, I think she's got it!!

Today marks a week that Abbey has worn regular panties full time. She wears a pull up at night, but the rest of the time, she is in big girl panties. We have only had one accident, and that was while she was taking a nap. Today at church, one of the Daddies was in there dropping off his daughter. Abbey comes up to him and pulls up her dress, and says,"Hey look, I got big girl panties on!!" So, she's mighty proud of herself, and so am I.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Future Lifeguard

These pictures were taken by another parent of a little Chinese girl. He visited our pool and took these pictures. He e mailed them to me and told me he didn't mind if I posted them. Thanks, Jay!

Abbey is still enamored with the pool. Her swimming just gets stronger and stronger. She has started doing a primitive backstroke. We go to pool just about every day. One night when I was putting her in bed we had this conversation:
Abbey: "When I free, I gonna sit in the big chair."
Me:(Not sure what big chair she is talking about) "Oh, you are?"
Abbey: "Yes, and I gonna take my whistle on do-um like this."(she makes twirling motions with her hands)
Me: "Oh, you want to be a lifeguard?"
Abbey: "Yeah, when I'm free in Sepbember."

She has held on to this and several times has said she is going to be a lifeguard when she's three.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Today we got our Chinese Visas. So, one more thing on the seemingly endless to-do list. When we were waiting for Abbey, I had most of everything done shortly after we received our TA. This time, I've been lollygagging and have a huge list of things to get and do before we can leave. Not that I'm complaining, I would love to be pressed for time, if it meant we would get to go earlier.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just For Elijah

As a 6th child, Elijah will be having many things that are hand-me-downs, or things that he has to share with Abbey. It's not that this is a bad thing. I'm very thankful that his needs are being taken care of. But, my wonderful friend, Julia, wanted him to have a special blanket that was only his. She has been describing this blanket to me for months as she worked on it. She has had many designs and different types of thread. She finally finished it and brought it over this week. I love it. It is very soft, and big enough for him to use it forever. She also knitted his name into the top of it. The blanket is in the crib waiting for a little boy to sleep under it. Thanks and much love to Julia!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Lesson From the Ants

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13 NIV

Yikes! We have ants, or I should say we had ants. I discovered last night a trail of tiny ants leading from the top of the window sill to the counter top in my kitchen. I quickly put out some Terro Ant Bait. It is great stuff for getting rid of the teeny tiny ants. First one, then two, then hundreds of ants will stream to the nighty, night ant nectar. When I checked out the progress of my extermination this morning. I saw that many were gathered around, with many more on their way. Then I noticed one little guy. Look at the left side of the tile below the window sill. He's not following the rest. I'm no biologist or animal behaviorist, so I can't explain why this little one was off the beaten path. I thought to myself, "Well, your nonconformity could save your life."

Here lies the point. We can be like the doomed ants and follow the crowd not following God. Many times what seems so enticing or attractive will ultimately lead to our destruction. How many times have we thought, "Well, everyone else is doing it. It can't be that bad." When we set ourselves apart and live for God, we may be the only ones doing so. Because of this choice, we will live. I love it when I can see God's principles in ordinary events.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Article 5!

I emailed the consulate in Guangzhou to make sure they had everything they needed for our Article 5. (Article 5 is our LOA, I-800 and DS230 all together) I received a reply stating that our Article 5 was picked up by the courier on Aug. 10. That is good news. The article 5 goes to Beijing and the C**A issues our Travel Approval. Whew! TA can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to be issued. Hopefully, ours will be quick. If it comes very quickly, we could travel in Sept. If it takes 4 weeks, then we'll probably have to wait until November. Anyway, I'm excited at how fast the Article 5 was submitted.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, John, Jr !!

Instead of looking like this... It seems he should be still looking like this...

This past Friday, John had his 22nd birthday. Again, as with all our children, I wonder, "Where in the world did the time go?" John has always been a very sensitive kid. I remember the first time we watched the movie ET. We couldn't find John, and when we found him, he was hiding behind a rocking chair crying. He felt sorry for ET, but didn't want us to see him crying. He's also always been very talented physically. As a 3 year old, he told his Dad to take his training wheels off of his bike. Then, proceeded to hop on and start riding as if he had been doing it for years. He also is very adept musically. He plays drums, guitar and sings. When I was pregnant with John, I was afraid to have another child so close in age with Beth. God told me not to worry, that this child was going to be special. I'm not sure what God has in store for John, but I believe his promise, and know it is something special. He's a joy to have around whenever he can get away to come home. We love you very much, John William!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

NVC Cable

Today, I called the Nation Visa Center and found out that the cable for our case was sent to Guangzhou on Aug. 4th. That's later than I'd have wanted. I've seen them sent in as little as 4 days. Ours taking 10 days disappoints me. Ok, God has a God sized task if he wants us to go to China in Sept. I know He can do it. I just wonder if it is His plan? I've surrendered my will to His. But, we are told to make our requests known, so I'm asking him if it is His will, for us to travel in Sept. If it isn't, then I trust that is for the best. We would appreciate your prayers. We truly desire God's plan.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not much will bring a Mom to her knees...

Like handing her child the keys!

Having just completed Driver's Ed, Daniel has been chomping at the bit to get his permit. So, Friday, we finally had time to go. Of course, he passed the test. Not that I wanted him to fail, but I surely didn't want him to start driving. Especially since he will be driving with me. I'm the worst supervising driver ever! Just ask my older kids. I detest the feeling of not being in control. I know this is my problem, not theirs, but we both have to live with it. They never brake as soon as I think they should, and they always have trouble keeping in the middle of the lane. I wish I could buy one of those Student Driver signs. Maybe that would help with other drivers getting impatient and cutting in front of us when we don't go as fast as they would like, or speeding up instead of letting us in when we have to change lanes. Oh well, I, as well as my 3 older kids, have survived this phase of life, I suppose Daniel will also. I'm sure he would appreciate your prayers (and I wouldn't mind them either)!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Look Alikes??

Today, as I got Abbey out of the car to go to Harris Teeter, one of the workers was walking in the parking lot. She said hello and then, "She sure is cute. She looks just like you." Bless her heart, maybe she wasn't wearing her glasses? I'm not kidding, she actually said that! I just smiled and said, "Thank you." All the while I was laughing like crazy on the inside. See our picture? What do you think?

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Great Weekend

Beth and Greg

This weekend was a rarity for our family. All of us were home together. Beth had a friend getting married here in town, so she and Greg came. John, Jr was able to come also. My mom and dad wanted to join the fun, so they came on Saturday. We spent the afternoon at the pool, since John, Jr's birthday is Thurs., we celebrated with a feast of steak and seafood. We sat around the table and shared many funny stories for a while after dinner. Abbey adores her brothers and sisters. While we were at the pool, I gave her money to go to the snack bar to get popcorn. She marched right up to the window and told the attendant, "I need lots of popcorn, for me and all of us," as she pointed to all of us at the table. It was quite cute! She spent the evening entertaining us, with her gymnastic prowess. I'm so blessed! My family is wonderfully special. It amazes me whenever I get to see them all together to see the love they have for each other. There was a time when they were growing up that I thought they would never, ever be able to be in the same room without trying to kill one another. It brings me such joy to watch them grow! Children really are a gift from the Lord!
But as I type this, I'm feeling rather depressed. The time flew by and before I knew it, everyone was gone. The house is eerily quiet now. Anna has gone on a retreat with the youth interns, John has to travel for work, and Daniel is busy helping out at the church. So, that leaves me and Abbey. We will definitely be going to the pool tomorrow. Let's hope the weather cooperates.

John Jr.

Anna had to work. She had cleaning duty.

My Mom