The big AWANA race was yesterday, it's somewhat like the pinewood derby race that the boy scouts do but I think some of the rules may be different. This was Emma's first year to participate and our friend Paul took care of getting Emma's car ... and boy, did he do it up right! He has a friend who is an artist and somehow he coerced him into designing and painting Emma's car which brought about lots of ooohhs and ahhhs from her buddies. Brian made Ryan's cool hot rod and it turned out really well too.
It was an exciting day for Emma, her car won "Best in Show" which was voted on by her peers. The corresponding prize was $25 in McDonald's gift certificates and Emma can't wait to take us out and treat us to dinner. Which is funny as she's always handing us pennies and telling us she wants to pay, now she really can! She won several of the heats she was in but still only came out 3rd in her age group. Then to top out the day she won a door prize of a 'mobile work station' - every girl needs a car kit like that. I would be willing to bet you could store barbie doll clothes in it :-)
Ryan's car ran 2nd in his age group and he also won a door prize - more McDonald's gift certificates!
I'm not sure what went wrong while the kids were outside playing today, but I do know that Emma came in snotting and bawling about her bike and telling me that her Papa had taken off the-snot,cry,cry-training wheels-sob, gasp and the peddles. I knew she had been asking for her training wheels to be taken off but I just couldn't believe the peddles were off too so off to the garage went I. Sure enough, no training wheels and no peddles! Brian said that Emma had insisted the training wheels be removed and so he had taken the peddles off too so she could learn to balance on it. After a few trips down the driveway I guess she had enough and wanted her training wheels back.
Anyway, back to the house we came with Emma crying her poor little head off and insisting she wanted her peddles and training wheels back. We sat down so I could rock her and get her settled down and she starts telling me everything she wanted with tears and snot filling the time between requests. She wanted to read a book, she wanted pretzels, she wanted chocolate, she wanted cranberry juice - on and on it went. I told her we weren't getting anything until she got a hold of herself and quit crying. She was laying up against me and looking at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen and she shuddered a little bit and added "I, I want Santa Clause". Oh man, I'm still laughing about that.
Our church hosted a community Easter egg hunt on Saturday. The kids had a fun time even though the weather was quite chilly! This was Emma's first one to attend, not sure what came up the last couple of years but for some reason or the other we weren't able to go.
Then on Sunday we spent the day with some friends from church. Every year since we've been here we've been blessed to be included in the Easter celebration at their house. My goodness they can cook but the topping on the cake is the good time we have with them. They are a LOT of fun! We met them not too long after we moved here when they called and invited us to church. It's an interesting story of how that whole connection came about. We have some friends in Texas that we went to church with that were an older couple but they had really reached out to us. Their daughter is probably about my age, and she and her husband had lived here in Kentucky but had moved off and they had been the pastors where our friends had gone to church. Anyway, our friends from Texas called their daughter and asked if they still had connections/friends in KY to help put us in touch with someone. So she called Brent & Angie and then they called us and invited us to church and out to lunch. Did someone say lunch?! We were there - and we've been there ever since! Who would have ever thought one out of the blue phone call would lead to a 7 year friendship? Neat stuff!
Oh, and I made a cake. Yummy, yummy, yummy! I think I've referenced my favorite blog before (pioneer woman - a lady who lives on a ranch in Oklahoma). Well, she also has a site called "The Pioneer Woman Cooks"
I made the DELICIOUS carrot cake recipe that she has on her site and even splurged and bought a sheet cake pan. It makes me feel like such a grownup to buy a sheetcake pan! The cake was so good that I made another one last night for a church thing on Friday. Heck, I just may make another one this weekend for Sunday school. Will Rogers had the saying that he "never met a man he didn't like" - well, I never met a recipe made with cream cheese that I didn't like!
Why do I blog, let me count the ways ... just kidding. I started this blog to allow other adoptive parents to follow along with our adoption story. We used a web service when we traveled to get Emma and I had so many people tell us how much they enjoyed following our journey. I know that when we were waiting for Emma, I LOVED reading stories of other people's journeys. But now that the journey to our next daughter has dragged on much longer than we expected I find myself with no adoption news to report and therefore share all kinds of other things. Which brings me to my question ... what would my readers like to hear about? Basically, what is it you enjoy about our blog? Also, what things bore you to tears? Do you come here to read about adoption or do you come here to read the goofy stories about my little ones?
I'd love to have some feedback as I want to keep it interesting!
During this current adoption process I ran across a story of a woman from South Africa that lives in China and runs a foster home for medically needy children. Now, during the course of my week I read all kinds of adoption related things but for some reason this lady and her mission has really touched my heart. The name of her home is the Starfish Home and is named from the well known legend of the little boy and the starfish which sums up her call and mission.
The Starfish Legend
An older man was walking along a beach when he saw a young boy. Along the shore were many starfish that had been washed up by the tide and were sure to die before the tide returned. The boy was walking slowly along the shore and occasionally reached down and tossed a beached starfish back into the ocean. The older man, hoping to teach the boy a little lesson in common sense, walked up to the boy and said, "I have been watching what you are doing, son. You have a good heart, and I know you mean well, but do you realize how many beaches there are around here and how many starfish are dying on every beach every day? Surely, such an industrious and kindhearted boy such as yourself could find something better to do with your time. Do you really think that what you are doing is going to make a difference?" The boy looked up at that man, and then he looked down at a starfish by his feet. He picked up the starfish, and as he gently tossed it back into the ocean, he said, "For this one, it makes a difference."
Just about every time I get a blog update from their site I'm struck with tears. First of all, while I call myself a Christian I have those days where I wonder what exactly is it that I do to further the cause of His kingdom? Do I try to live a good life, well yes - absolutely. But what am I doing to help others? What am I doing to help the least of these? My heart absolutely breaks and my eyes well up at just the thought of a child in the world not having a mother - someone to hold them up close, someone to kiss away the hurts, someone to snuggle up and rock with at bedtime and someone to call their very own. The question I keep asking myself is what is I can do to help? I'm still working on that.
Obviously the first step for us is to take this mission to heart and add to our family through the blessings of adoption. But that's barely making a dent. I read a startlingly statistic yesterday "If 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world". Wow. That statement takes my breath away. I'm still struck by that.
But back to the story of the Starfish Home. I think the bottom line fact of what reduces me to tears is the fact that Amanda has given her LIFE for the cause of a medically needy child that has no one to call their own. Her path has to be difficult, it would have to be but yet she lives it day in and day out.
All of that to say, if you are looking for a worthy cause to donate to - this is it. We already sponsor one child through her program but lately my heart has been tugged to give money towards the needed surgeries for the children there.
Along with a few basic facts these were the pictures we received of the little punkin' - we were instantly smitten with those chubby little cheeks. Who ever would have guessed she had a smile that will melt your heart and Texas sized dimples!
I couldn't help but tear up tonight when I was rocking her at bedtime because I just can't imagine our lives without her. It seems like she has been with us forever and she is such a perfect fit for us. There were so many trials we went through during the paperwork process for her but now I realize that each of those misshaps were for a reason and had any little thing gone as it should have, we would not have Emma today.
Well, the snow has mostly melted away but I've been too busy this week to finish up with the pictures. We took the kiddos down to the park Sunday after church so they could sled down the hill. Ryan had already gone out with some friends on Saturday afternoon but this was Emma's first trip down there. She was more than eager to go down on the sled on the "bunny hill" part but didn't want anything to do with going down the steeper part. It's amazing how the promise of a cookie can change a stubborn mind though! One trip down the steeper part & she was hooked - she LOVED it!
Once we got back home we worked on a snowman but by this time the snow was really starting to melt. Emma gave the snowman dimples, just like hers she said!
We woke up Saturday to a winter wonderland! Ryan & Emma couldn't wait to get out in it. This was Emma's first big snow and is by far the most we have seen since we moved here. It was amazing how quiet & still it seemed.
Snow started falling on Friday and by Saturday afternoon we had at least 11 inches! Here's a few pictures from Friday when it first started. I'll upload some more of them sledding on Saturday & Sunday. It just seems so weird to have snow in March!
Emma's daycare had a "Green Eggs and Ham" breakfast for the kiddos yesterday in honor of the 104th birthday of Dr. Seuss. The parents were invited to come down and partake of the goodies too. I can honestly say, that's the first time in my life I've had green eggs! Emma was so tickled that I was able to come down and spend a little time with her and she was really being the little class clown with one of her partners in crime.
It's just not going to be the same around here once she has started school! It makes me think of the mastercard commercials and "priceless" ... that's what having onsite daycare here is for us, absolutely priceless.
Thirteen years ago this evening Brian & I became husband and wife. In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday and in others it seems like an entire lifetime ago. We were married at "Little Chapel in the Woods" in Denton, Texas. The quaint little chapel is located on the grounds of the Texas Women's College.
One of my best memories from that night was the toast we received from Brian's best man. He told us "through the years as you look into each other's eyes, may you be looking into the eyes of your best friend". I'll have to say, Hudson was right on track with that. We were best friends then and we still are.
Most of the pictures from that day are in a scrapbook but here's a few that were duplicates and so I was able to scan them in. The couple in the picture with us is the pastor who married us and his wife. Not only were they are pastors, but wonderful friends as well. We used to have so much fun with them - absolutely delightful people to be around. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend an evening with them when we were in Texas back in November. Babs & Shelby - we miss you guys & count ourselves blessed to have you guys as friends.
I ran across this in my laptop bag the other day, I'm pretty sure Ryan was either in 2nd or 3rd grade when he wrote this. The scan of it is not that good, but you can at least get the idea. The "Theme" is what is so funny. It seems as though we must send our son to school very hungry or he just thinks about food when he thinks of his momma! My goodness my kiddos keep me in stitches. You just never know what they are going to come up with!
The words are:
Her hands are like small pancakes. Her hair is like dripping syrup. Her face is like a smooth icing cookie. Her voice is like sweet sugar. Her smile is like curved bacon.
I'm more than a few days late posting on this ... but Ryan & I spent a very enjoyable evening in big ol' Simpsonville last week. We were there to watch and cheer on both our church and school in none other than "Donkey Basketball". Now for those of you (who like my husband) have never heard of this, you have no idea how much fun you are missing. Basically, teams play basketball while riding a donkey. Some donkeys are nice, compliant donkeys and then some donkeys are not quite so easy to get along with. My camera battery died before the fun stuff started, but I was able to catch a few little videos with my cell phone. For the BEST picture ever, skip on over to
This young man is our new children's pastor at church and has to be the best sport I've ever met in my life. Ryan got the biggest kick out of watching Jared. I'll have to admit, I had a lot of fun watching too! Jared and his lovely wife Katie are the perfect addition to our church and we are so pleased and blessed to have them here. Not to digress, but Jared reminds me of "home". Maybe it's the FFA boyish about it, I'm not sure - but he makes me think of Oklahoma.
Back to donkey basketball, the highlight of the evening was that our church team won the championship game! Oh, and if you are wondering about the title - that's the term Brian uses when he refers to Emma & I both being obstinate and neither one of us backing down. Believe me, that quote came to mind as I watched Jared with the obstinate donkey!
(not sure why, but I'm not able to make the video work right now - I'll try again later)