Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Created for Care 2012…

This past weekend, I got the treat of going to Created for Care…and retreat for adopting moms!  I went last year, and I knew I wanted to go back.  This year, I recruited some more people to go with me, and we had a blast!  This year they did two retreats; one in January and one in March. I originally planned on going in Jan. but the retreat filled up so quickly (within a few hours) so not all of us got a spot.  So, we decided to wait and go in March.  I am so thankful I went.  I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to be in a room of women (around 450!) that are like-minded!  I think sometimes people think we are CRAZY to be on this adoption journey, but NO ONE at this retreat does!  It is not abnormal at all to speak to a mom that has 3, 4, 5 or maybe even 10 adopted kiddos.  All of these women have a heart for orphans and adoption, but not only do they have a heart for it, they have taken action.  We watched a video of a couple that moved to Uganda with their 2 year old son to speed up there adoption process and ended up living there and establishing a non for profit agency (Light Gives Heat) that helps 120 women support themselves by making beaded jewelry plus many other things.  Did anyone at this retreat think that was crazy?  NO!  We were so inspired!  Would most “normal” people think that was crazy?  Absolutely!  Anyway, I just admire people who put their faith into action even when people think they have gone off of the deep end.  Okay…I’m stepping off my soapbox now.  Onto pictures…


Here is our little group that traveled together from MS! Emily (adopting from Korea), Meghan (adopting from Ethiopia), Me, Jill (adoption from Ethiopia), Mimi (has baby James that was adopted domestically) and McCall (has a HUGE heart for Africa and is patiently waiting on the Lord to see what than entails!)  We had so much fun together, and as you can imagine, I don’t think there was a lull for more than 10 seconds because we talked the entire time!


Jill and me…I’m so thankful to have Jill right here in the same town walking this journey together.  I met so many women this weekend that don’t have any other people that they know of in their towns adopting. I can imagine that would be a lonely place!


Alisha, Me and Dianna.  I met Dianna the first night and we just hit it off!  I enjoyed getting to know her so much.  She is adopting a baby boy from Ethiopia, and we are using the same agency.  She said right before I met her that she had prayed that God would send her one friend during the weekend.  Soon after we started talking, she teared up and said that God had answered her prayer by sending me.  Oh my goodness, how humbling!  It was NO accident that we got to sit together!  I was more blessed than she was.  Alisha is adopting a girl from Ethiopia.  She is single, so I greatly admire her strength to walk this road on her own!


Me and McCall


Meaghan and me – I was so thankful to finally meet Meaghan in person.  We have been talking on the phone now for months!  She emailed me last summer after she read my blog.  Now, she and her husband are on the waiting list for a little boy from Ethiopia with our same agency!


This cross had hundreds of sticky notes on it that had prayer requests written on them from all of the women. There was a breakout session called “Date with God”.  It was a wonderful hour of time where we could just really focus on the Lord’s presence.  We could do different activities like paint, sculpt, pray over a huge map of the world, and spend time in the Word.  There was also a prayer wall that we were encourage to go to and pray for 2 of the requests on the wall.  As I read over some of the requests, I just began weeping.  There are so many hurting people, and I just considered it a privilege to be able to pray for some of them.  They were eventually stuck to this cross in the main banquet room as a reminder to pray!


I had to take my picture with this amazing lady.  Her name is Julia.  She adopted a sibling group of 5 domestically.  So, she and her husband went from 0 to 5 kids in a very short amount of time.  Wow!!  Talk about having faith.  I told her I just had to hug her neck.  Again, there stories like this are incredible to  me and too many to count among the women we were with!


Emily, Mimi, Meaghan, and Jill ready to hit the road and head home!


Jill and me again.


The six of us back in Tupelo after spending a lot of time in Meaghan’s mommy mobile!


I was happy to get back to my family!  I brought the girls shirts back from Ordinary Hero.  They say, “I’m Gonna Change The World!”  Oh, I hope they do!


I can’t get enough of Selah in her glasses.  I think she just looks too cute!


She has figured out how to play with Myla’s iTouch.  It leads to MANY fights during the day of who is going to get to play with it!


Giving Daddy love before bed!


It’s wonderful to be with such amazing women at an event like Created for Care, but oh, how much I love coming home to these three people!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Glasses Are Here!!!

Last Wednesday night after we got home from church, Selah’s glasses had been delivered to the front door!  We let her go get them and opened them up.  At this moment, I was so sick that I had not gotten new batteries for my camera after it died on Monday night.  She put them on and proceeded to run around the house laughing hysterically.  She looked at herself in the mirror over and over and just cackled.  I thought, “Wow, this is going much better than I imagined!”  On Thursday, we went Michael’s work and Mimi’s school to show everyone.  She only had one little breakdown while we were out.  She would take them off in the car and wouldn’t want to put them back on, and at one point, she was determined not to put them back on…but, bribery worked.  I had told her we would go to Holli’s if she kept them on all morning.  When she was having her tantrum, she kept saying, “I don’t want candy!”  But, once we got to Holli’s she decided wearing the glasses was the better option because she got candy!  It seems like the hardest part is getting them on.  Once they are on, she does fine.


My favorite picture from her first day to wear glasses!


The first thing she said when she put her glasses on Thursday morning was, “I wanna show Mr. Tony.”  So, we headed to Daddy’s work to show him!


Silly girl!


Daddy and his girls.  Selah was too busy snuggling to look at the camera!


Next we headed to Mimi’s.  She was super excited to see her and show her her pink glasses!


Me and my sweet girls at Holli’s!


Selah enjoyed coloring after she ate her candy


Myla always likes to write on Mrs. Holli’s big chalkboard wall!

Overall, I would say the glasses wearing is going very well.  I was gone all weekend to an adopting mom’s conference (more on that soon), and Michael said she did great!  Well, this morning when I got ready to put them on, we had WWIII.  She REFUSED to put them on….pulling them off her head, kicking, screaming, hitting, and yelling “NO!”  I stayed very calm, which is sometimes hard to do, but she just simply refused.  Then Myla was crying because Selah was getting in trouble.  It was a hot mess.  We had to go to Michael’s work.  I was determined to put them on her myself, and as soon as Michael got out to the car, she let me slip them on her with NO fuss.  Talk about frustrating.  Both girls act completely different with me than they do with Michael and it drives me bonkers.  Oh, well!   Such is life, I suppose.  I am very thankful that she is doing well with them…I know she is still having to get used to them.  It does seem that she is noticing more things.  I’m not sure if she just couldn’t see anything before or what.  The nursery workers commented yesterday how she touched a lot of things around the room just exploring.  It breaks my heart a little that she was having trouble seeing, and I didn’t know.  I am just so thankful that it was pointed out to us, and she is getting help!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night!!

Monday night was such a FUN night at Chick-Fil-A!! Us, along with the Carpenters, had a spirit night, and we received 15% of the profits from 5 to 9 pm!  We had a huge turnout, and I am so thankful for all of our family and friends that showed up!


Myla sporting her new 147 Million Orphans shirt!  She loved it and wants to wear it all the time now!


Of course, little sister couldn’t be left out!  She had a 147 Million Orphans shirt too!


Sweet girls!  I love the expression on Selah’s face….it is SO “her”!


Even the back of the shirts are cute!!  If you want one too, you can order one from my friend, Jill!


My sweet friend, Christina and her kiddos were already at the restaurant when we got there!  Selah loves Ashtin, so she immediately hopped up in her lap!


I tried to get pictures of everyone there, but after just a few pictures, my camera battery died!  So, thankfully, my mom had her camera, but after just a few pictures, her camera died too!  UGH!!  I was so upset!   The Holleys are in the picture above!  They are a sweet family in our church.  My mom taught Rodney in first grade!! 


Marni, Carter and Thomas Herrington – sweet friends with a tremendous testimony of God’s faithfulness in VERY difficult times


The Hopsons – Will, Heatherlea, Liz and Jamie…love these sweet friends!  They are such encouragers to us!


The Shaws – we were in a newlywed Sunday School class with them many moons ago at FBC Jackson.  J.D. was an attorney but went back to seminary and is now a pastor here in Oxford at Grace Bible Church.  They adopted sweet James (from here in MS) last year!  Can’t wait to spend more time with Mimi this weekend at Created for Care…a conference for adopting moms!


Anna & Brody Burns – Anna is a former athletic trainer at Ole Miss and worked with Michael, but they moved to Birmingham for 2 years for Anna to go to PA school.  Well, she graduated and they are back in Oxford!  YAY!!!


Our sweet friends, the Booths – August, Blake, Sage, Jamie and Montana.  I love this family and am so thankful for new friendships!


The Bains – Hilarie, McCord, Sam and Kevin – Thanks to Hilarie we had BEAUTIFUL posters and fliers to advertise for this night.  She is a very gifted graphic artist that is always willing to help with these projects!


More families from our church….the Moores and the Hightowers


The Boones – Laurel, Pharis, Morgan and Taylor – Laurel is my “boss” at MMO, and I am so thankful for her friendship!


The Hankins – John David, Janet, Emily, Eric and Jake – this is our pastor and his sweet family.  I am SO thankful for them! They have been so supportive and encouraging the entire time we have been in Oxford!


The Quarles and the Fields


This is Hope..she is a MIRACLE baby!  I could do a whole other post about this sweet baby, but her life is a product of God’s faithfulness to answer prayers.  She has face more medical issues than most grown people and has faced death several times.  She is doing great now and is the happiest little thing you have ever seen!


The Carpenters – Jill, Joe Hudson, Joey and Mady – this is the other family adopting that had the spirit night too!  They are adopting from South Korea.


Jill and her dad


The Williams – Ashley, Piper, Hannah, and Gunner


Our family!


Daddy and Selah (with her wild hair!)


The Turners – Molly, Caroline and Anna.  I have Caroline in my MMO class, and I just love her!

Again, I am so thankful for so much support!  After it was all said and done, we made right at $1,000!!! Praise the LORD!!!

An update is coming soon about Selah’s glasses.  They were here last night when we got home from church.  Y’all, she put them on and LOVED them!  She didn’t want to take them off to go to bed.  She kept staring at herself in the mirror and just laughing hysterically!  I am so SICK that my camera was dead because I would give anything to have her reaction on video to share with y’all.  It was PRECIOUS!!  I just hope her fondness with them continues!  Pictures to come…

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Favorite Picture Ever, Bubble Bath and Craftiness…


I snapped my favorite picture of the girls EVER this past week while they were on the trampoline!  I love that they both have natural smiles and are looking at the camera!  It doesn’t hurt that they happened to have on matching dress-ups either!!  I almost didn’t let them put them on, but now I’m glad that I did!  This one has already been framed for the house!!


This picture is so blurry but I love it because they are having so much fun on the trampoline!


Last night Selah requested a bath in the “big” bathtub!  Although it was a pain to bathe them in there, they had a blast!


In order to run the jets, the water has to come up so high that Selah had to stand up!  Selah wasn’t a fan of the jets, but Myla LOVED them!


The funny thing is we didn’t have any real bubble bath, these were just suds from their soap!


“Look at all my bubbles, Mommy!”


Love this picture of sweet Myla!  I think I’m going to get the two pictures above framed for the girls’ bathroom.  What do you think?


Yesterday I wanted to make something for the mantle for Easter, so I made a little burlap banner.  I don’t have any twine, so I just used some ribbon and tape, but they are already falling down, so I will be going to get some twine and tiny clothespins (if I can find them…SOOOO wish Oxford had a Hobby Lobby) to rehang it!  But, I thought it turned out cute, nonetheless!


I also love my EASTER letters that my friend, Tamah, got me two years ago.  I love to display them with wooden eggs that we have painted.  I’m two years behind on painting an egg for the girls…I need to get caught up!  I let the girls paint one for themselves each year too!


I have been determined to make a burlap door hanger recently, and I finally got around to doing it last night/today!  I tried to think of the next holiday (after Easter…I have an adorable Easter one that my friend, Lyndsey made me), so I made a flag for Memorial Day and the 4th of July.  I love it, and I can’t wait to make more!  I’m thinking about selling them…we’ll see!