Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Flower and Arfy join the crew

Abbey and Elijah were treated to a trip to "Build-a-Bear Workshop" by Nana and Grandaddy. They both thoroughly enjoyed every step in the creation process.

First they chose and stuffed their new lovies; then they gave them an air-bath.

Next they dressed them in the clothes Abbey and Elijah had chosen.

and there you go! Two new friends join our family.

Arfy-the spiderman

and flower

Afterward, we celebrated Flower and Arfy's adoption by having some ice cream.

When we got home, both new creatures took beloved space on Abbey and Elijah's beds.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just imagine...

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”                                                    ― Albert Einstein

  Kids at play never cease to amaze me, especially when they use their imaginations. Oh, the journeys they embark on through their makebelieve world!

They can become a model, who walks the runway that emerges from a row of ordinary chairs.

Blocks and cars become New York City, complete with big sister Beth's house (on the right), which he's never seen.


"unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."~ Matthew 18:3~  Maybe, just maybe, God said this because, He is so wonderful, so magnificent, we can't begin to fathom it with our limited imaginations?

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within." ~Ephesians 3:20~ Again, we can't imagine or fathom it! What if we prayed without the limit of our lack of imagination? What if we really believed that God could do miracles?

 Isaiah speaks of a day when, "a little child shall lead them"~(Isaiah 11:6)~, could he be telling us that we could all use a good dose of childhood imagination? 

I'm no Biblical scholar, but I do recognize the theme in the Bible over and over which celebrates the innocence and wonder of childhood.

For now, I'll just stand back and admire my kids' imaginations and the play that it brings. I'll try to cultivate it, protect it and mourn the day when it is stifled by them growing up and feeling the pressure that tells them that to be a grown up you can't use your imagination.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Can you help?

 If you know our family, you know that we have a passion to help orphans find families. We believe that God weeps and grieves over each and every child that doesn't have a mother or father to kiss them goodnight, to cheer for their successes and share in their disappointments. As Christ followers, his heart should be our heart!

A large portion of orphans in China are severely limited in their options for getting a permanent family because of some kind of health issue. There is a wonderful organization which provides the medical care for these fragile babies to get the medical care they needed. Once they are stable, needed surgery can be performed. Many orphanages will not submit these babies for adoption until they have had surgeries to correct their health issue. One such issue is cleft lip and or palate. There are a large proportion of cleft affected children abandoned in China. 80% of these children will die because they don't have anyone who can take the time to see that they are properly fed. What a travesty! With surgery, these children can live! But, they have to get strong enough to survive the surgery.

Love Without Boundaries has several "Healing Homes", with lower ratio of nannies to babies, along with specialized medical, nutritional and therapeutic care to help them become stable enough for surgery. After surgery or other medical interventions, some of  these kids can be listed for adoption. It's a wonderful thing, but alas, it does cost money! 

That's where you and I come in. Our family, (yup, the kids too),  is participating in a 5 k walk to raise money for Love Without Boundaries Healing Homes. LWB  is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax exempt.  In 2010 they delivered over one million dollars of direct humanitarian aid to children, while maintaining an overhead of less than 10%.  For more information about Love Without Boundaries, visit

If you can help by donating any amount, that would be great. You can do so by donating online specifically for us by going to and click TeamLWB Events , then click the word "donate" under Koka Booth Amphitheater 5k.  Or you may send a check directly to LWB, P.O. Box 25016 Oklahoma City, OK  73125-0016.  Please make the check payable to LWB and note my name (Glenda) and 2013 Walk for Hope and Healing on your check. I don't receive any compensation or awards for the donations we raise, but I'd like to know who's responded. 

(You may need to scroll down and cut off the music in order to hear this)

I absolutely detest asking people for money, but for this cause, I will swallow my pride, beg and plead, if it will help an orphan!

Thank you so much for considering ministering to "the least of these"!  


Friday, March 15, 2013

Good guys, you can breathe easier; bad guys, you better watch out!!

There are two new super heroes in town.


Lightning Girl and Spiderman, Jr.

With incredible powers such as spider-web, and "big spider bites"(spoken by the hero himself), we can rest knowing he's on the job.

Harnessing the natural phenomenon of lightning, this super-girl will whip up a storm on any offending criminal.

Whew! I'm so relieved to know this super duo is prowling for evil villains!

*Both kids needed super-hero costumes for Awana. Abbey made up Lightning Girl. She told me she wanted a shield, a crown and a cape..but, this superhero mom could make the shield, crown and shirt decal, but she lacks the super hero skill of sewing and couldn't come up with a cape, so an Awana vest had to do. *


Thursday, March 14, 2013

My little man turns 5!

His first picture as a 5 year old.

My youngest baby just got a little less young. No longer can he state to anyone who asks how old he is, "I'm 4 and a half!" He was so proud of the "half", and he's even prouder to slap a big 'ole high-five and and declare, "I'm five now!"  For his birthday dinner, he chose, "Old MacDonald". Dad's wallet was grateful for this boy's culinary tastes.

Anna and Layne joined us for dinner

My brand new five year old has grown in many ways this year.  After having speech therapy and worrying that he wasn't talking enough, we now sometimes have to tell him to stop talking. He chats all the time. I noticed the other day, a statement I heard him say repeatedly was, "Did you hear me, Abbey?", "I'm talking to you, Abbey Do you hear me?", or "Don't ignore me, Abbey!" I thought it was sad that he was constantly asking her to listen, so the next time I heard him say it, I told her it was rude to ignore someone. Her reply to me was, "Well, he's always talking and sometimes I get tired of listening!" While I let her know that it wasn't kind and she needed to stop ignoring him, I can thing's for sure, that boy can talk!!

Elijah's best friend is his sister, Abbey. He absolutely adores her! They play so well together. Occasionally they do bicker and are jealous of our attention, but a vast majority of the time, they are best buds! (She loves him just as intently) He loves all of his siblings and especially wants to be like Daniel. He talks about being like Daniel a lot and loves it when Daniel comes home.  Although, when Daniel was home for spring break, he told Elijah not to do something. I had to laugh when Elijah emphatically told Daniel, "You don't live here. You live at college!"  When riled, not unlike his big brother when he was little, Elijah has a horrific temper. He can be heard from time out in his room, letting everyone have his arsenal of potty words. If he loses it, he can be a force to be reckoned with. At that point, he gets put in time out, until he calms down. It may take a little while, but he does eventually simmer down. The tantrums are getting less, and I hope that trend continues.

For his birthday, we had a basketball theme. He got a his-size basketball and a small hoop. He does enjoy dribbling and playing with Daddy on the big, outside goal.

Anna got him a memory game, guessed it, Cars on the cards.

Abbey gave him one of the mosaics she had completed

Basking in his "Happy Birthday" song

He still struggles with eating, as his size attests. Sometimes I'll show him how much he has to eat and other times, I'll just put it away in the fridge. If he says he's hungry, he can eat his dinner. Most of the time, I end up throwing it away at the night's end, as he never asks for it. His favorite food, besides Old MacDonald's chicken nuggets, is macaroni and cheese. Of course, he will eat, and eat pretty quickly, most desserts. I've noticed that he often holds food in his mouth, and the result isn't good for his teeth. He went to his first dentist appointment and they said he possibly had the beginning of cavities on his back teeth. They recommended I severely limit his sticky sweets, ie. fruit gummies, which he adores, but I've noticed he does leave them to dissolve in his mouth.

I've been warning him that when he turned five, we would begin to put yucky stuff on his thumb, to help him stop sucking it. He's so cautious and avoids anything of the slight discomfort, this is an easy task. When I put it on his thumb, he quit right away! Since he had adequate warning, and big sister Anna testified about the horrors of anti-sucking, braces' apparatuses, he didn't shed a tear and after a day wasn't trying to suck his thumb.

He is still obsessed with cars. Every time my mom gives them money to spend at the Dollar Tree, (a favorite pastime for them), Elijah buys a car. I bet he has over 100 cars and knows each and every one. He's also very astute regarding makes and models. He'll point out a Mini-cooper, or a Cube. He can also point out when he sees cars that other people own. For instance, he'll say, "That car is like Nana and Grandaddy's, but a different color." During a little icy weather we had a few weeks ago, I was watching the news. They were showing many of the inevitable fender benders that had happened that afternoon. The next thing I know, Elijah is at the TV, stating, in a most somber voice, over and over again, "Oh, no, that is bad! That's really bad. That's sooo bad." The boy adores cars!

 I love to see my sixth child grow and watch how his brain works. He's very observant and detail oriented. He lays with his cars and watches each of them roll over a hump in the carpet, or he lines them up in a perfect line.  We call him, Mr. Analytical. He can count to at least 30, and we are starting to work on his ABC's. He knows some by sight and can tell the sounds of a select few. Kindergarten is going to be put off a year, just to give him time to grow and develop some more.

Oh, how I love this little boy! His morning snuggles are a bright spot of my day. Elijah's so loving and caring, most of the time. He has a very tender heart and has been known to cry at the sad part in movies. He's beginning to process salvation and can verbalize what Christ did on the cross. I know that God has great plans for this little one. His Daddy, siblings and I love him so much. I'm so very grateful to be his Mommy!

Two handsome young men!

Love, love, love this boy!
The necklace I was wearing was made by him at MOPS and given to me for my birthday!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The conversation I've been dreading

It happened tonight. I knew it was coming, had been dreading it for years, praying that I'd say the right things, and just waiting for her to ask. This evening as we were getting ready for bed, Abbey asked about her story... her beginning.

She's been told she was adopted ever since she was a wee little one. That seemed to suffice. I waited for her to ask for specifics, but she didn't, until a couple of months ago. I figured Anna being pregnant with Layne would precipitate some questions, and it did. She asked one night, "Did I grow in your tummy?" I told her that no, she was born in China and adopted. She asked if anyone of her siblings grew in my tummy. I explained that the older ones did, but she and Elijah were born in China and we went to get them and bring them home. Then I waited for the next questions that didn't come until tonight.

I have dreaded talking of the "other mother". On one level, if I'm to be honest,  there is fear that this will somehow lessen their view of me. One a far more important level, John and I both worry that this will eventually be painful to her and Elijah. Painful because the natural thought progression is that their birth parents didn't want them. Feeling unwanted, knowing one was abandoned, certainly are feelings I'd like to shelter them from...but I can't.

So tonight, the other shoe dropped. Our conversation went like this:

Abbey-"How long did I live in the orphanage before you came and got me?"
Me-"You were 9 1/2 months old"
Abbey-"How did I get in the orphanage?

At this point, I knew the long dreaded conversation was imminent.

Me-"You were found in a garden and taken to the orphanage. They took care of you until we came to get you."
Abbey-"You mean I grew in a garden????"

There was distinct excitement in her voice and face at this. I realized that this little girl was thrilled with this thought. She's really into fairies, and fairies are born in gardens. She would love to be like Tinkerbell.  I could see the wheels spinning in this direction and needed to put on the brakes.

Me-"No, you grew in a lady's tummy."
Abbey-"What lady, who?"
Me-"We don't know. She put you in a garden and you were taken to the orphanage. You know that babies come from ladies' tummies."
Abbey-"Even adopted babies?"
Me-"Yes, even adopted babies."
Abbey-"How about Elijah?"
Me-"Yup, Elijah too."

I waited for more questions, but they didn't come. So for now, that's it. In a way, I'm glad to have that said. I'm glad I don't have to dread that part anymore. But, I still dread the hurt that is inevitable. I'd love to protect her and Elijah from that hurt. I know I can't. I know that that is part of who they are. I know that God will somehow use that in their lives. I also know that He's big enough to help them with their pain. I just pray that He'll help me know how to handle it when it rears it's ugly head.

I also pray that somehow, they will comprehend how much John and I love them and the fact that we couldn't love them any more if they had come from my tummy!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Somebody's birthday

Somebody had a birthday a couple of weeks ago. It's someone we all know. This young, well, young at heart, gal doesn't like to be public about her age. Maybe it's because so many of her friends are so much younger, maybe it's because she's supposed to be wise by this age, and she's not quite there, or maybe her age just sounds so darn, well, OLD! Whatever the reason, she doesn't announce her birthday. She does really relish having her family together, though. So this not-so-old girl's husband cooked up a plan to surprise her and have all of her children together for an hour or two to celebrate her birthday. Yes, she really does have a sweety-pie for a husband. (As long as you're not part of a team playing Carolina in any sport. Then he's liable to not be so sweet to you).

Her daughter who lives far away in the big, big city, was coming to visit her sister-the new mother, so conveniently she could be there. Her two boys who live sort of far away drove just to wish her happy birthday and share a birthday dinner. They took a round trip of 4 hours, just to fulfill one of their Mom's greatest desires.

Mr. Sweetie-pie husband arranged for the boys, and the new parents to show up at the restaurant where the rest of the family was going to share a meal after getting the older daughter from the airport.

Since Mr. Sweetie pie husband has trouble hiding anything from his adoring wife, she was a little suspect and not at all surprised when the new parents walked in.

Buuuut, it was a whole different story when the boys from W-town showed up. The birthday girl recognized the time and effort it took for them to show up just for a little while, purely to wish their Mom happy birthday, along with the effort her darling husband put forth to arrange it with everyone's complicated schedules. She had to blink to hide her tears.

It was such a sweet night, having all of her kiddies and hubby around, talking and eating together--the best gift ever!

Hubby has lots of talents, but photography isn't one of them.

But the birthday continued on for a couple of days. Mom and Dad came to visit and take her out to eat.

On her actual birth date she enjoyed gifts from the girls, including this precious picture!

So sweet!

They also went to Starbucks, as the older girl's treat, and had some great conversation.

So, this birthday girl had a multiple day celebration, where she felt the love of her family very strongly, and that's the best present ever!