Monday, November 29, 2010

My sweet Zac

Today is a Zac and Mommy day while the older kids are in school. Well, after the turkey leaked in the stove this last weekend I had some major oven cleaning to do. My sweet Zac said he wanted to help and started scrubbing. He said, "Mommy, if you ever have show and tell at work you could bring me! You can tell them what a good scrubber I am!" A few minutes later..., "Mommy, when I grow up I am going to be a helper cuz I am really good at scrubbing things."

I love this kid!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This is one of my favorite holidays! It is all about being thankful to God, sharing time with family and not giving any gifts! It seems like such a pure holiday.

Since this blog is mainly a thankfulness journal I can not pass up such a great day to give thanks!

Philippines 1:3 says, "I thank my God every time I remember you..."

God, thank you for...

576. Your Son, Jesus. My friend, my Savior, my example, my hope.
577. Your Spirit. My guide, my convictor, my comforter.
578. Ryan. My best earthly friend, my greatest love.
579. Hallie. My daughter.
580. Jacob. My son.
581. Zachary. My son.
582. Melia. The hope of another daughter.
583. My mom and dad. Patient, enduring, sacrificial love.
584. Doug and Jean. Adoption as a daughter into their hearts and family forever.
585. My sister. My dear, dear friend.
586. My brother. Family forever.
587. Jenni. My sister. She is so generous to me with her love and her life.
588. Shawn and Will. Brother-in-laws. The ties to other men, fathers through the gift of family.
589. Jillian, Tyler, Bill, Cole and Brooke. Cousins, nieces and nephews. The joy in each of their births, the opportunity to watch them grow into children and young adults. Fun, joy and laughter from time spent together.
590. Grandma. 94 years of life. The love and prayer she has poured over me and my family.
591. Aunt Anica and Uncle Jeff. Encouragement, friendship as adults.
592. Aunt Jonell and Uncle John. Intentional love, wisdom and devotion to my family despite the miles.
593. Aunt Marania and Uncle Wyman. Example of living a quiet dream.
594. Adam, Emma, Susanne, Aroha, John, Nick and Chad. My cousins. Different lives connected and bound by the gift of family.
595. Jen C., Jamie, Jacy, Lindsey, Emily, Darcie, Becca, Margie, Tami, Amy, Beth, Jenny Z., Cathy, Rhonda, Hannah, Jen G., Nicole. Close friends that I have and can share my life with. Accountability, faithful friendship. Answered prayer.
596. Church family. Real, genuine, kind, trustworthy Jesus-lovers.

Heavenly Father, in your abundant loving kindness you not only sustain my life with breath every day you also have lavished on me the gift of these lives. You have caused my life to intersect with so many others for my benefit and your glory. I thank you for each one of these precious, dear people as I remember them today. Love you, Father!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


566. Games and laughter with my family at Grammy and Grandpa's house tonight.
567. Little girls giggling for four hours straight.
568. They way Ryan processes things and thinks...he is spatial and sees things as patterns...amazes me!
569. Jacob in a pilgrim hat singing, "God bless this food" with all the Kindergarten kids at school!
570. Family support. Grammy, Aunt Jenni and two cousins all came to Jacob's 15 minute production at school.
571. Tickling Zac, hearing him laugh and getting a note from him with his name and a heart on it.
572. Forgiveness asked for and given by my 5 year old.
573. Writing Christmas letters.
574. A clean room. Reminds me of a clean heart.
575. The four boy cousins building legos, playing Star Wars and sharing fun.

Monday, November 15, 2010


So, here are some details about our decision to adopt.

A few months ago Ryan and I thought I might be pregnant for a few days. In most instances that would freak us out, but we were actually kind of excited about the idea. When I was not pregnant we actually felt a little sadness. This combined with the Lord prompting me during my quiet times to pray into adoption slowly led to our decision to adopt.

561. Lord, thank you for your patience in letting us come to this decision.

After deciding to adopt we decided gender. Hallie has always wanted a little sister and to even out the boy/girl ratio in the family we decided to adopt a little girl. Ryan teases that now I won't just have one to take to the bathroom (the easy one) when we go out!

562. Lord, thank you for longing in Hallie's heart for a sister and how it has helped us make a decision for a little girl. You use all these longings to bring about your good, pleasing and perfect will. Phil 1:8 "God can testify how (we) I long for all of you (our little girl) with the affection of Christ Jesus."

Next decision was where to adopt from. First, Domestic vs. International. From talking with the staff at NE Children's Home it seemed that it would be really hard to choose a young girl because their are so many families wanting to adopt young children. We did not want to take a child away from a family that desperately wanted a baby, but instead wanted to take a child that was in need and make her a part of our family. That moved us to International adoption once again. We considered Russia, Ethiopia, China and Korea. We wanted to use HOLT because of the wonderful things we have heard about their Christian affiliation, integrity, and the experiences of other families that have used them. They don't work in Russia so we looked at the other country options they had available. Obviously, China has a long history of having lots and lots of girls available for adoption so that combined with cost and one trip (instead of two) as well as Holt's long history of working in China led us to this country.

563. Lord, thank you for surrounding us with wise people that have gone before us in adopting from China and with Holt. Thank you that our lives are relational. Thank you for my running friends that have played a part in helping this story unfold and lead us to our daughter.

Next, was her name. Ryan and I have always named our kids early on. We love to think about names and begin to pray for our kids by name as soon as possible. Initially we just started looking on the computer for A names, B names etc... For God's reason we skipped to the M's and started to think about ways to use "mei" or "mee" in a name because it means beautiful in Chinese. After MUCH discussion and consideration we came up with a name that does not have "mei or "mee" in the name but, one that we love. Her first name will be MELIA (pronounced muh-LEE-ya).

564. Lord, thank you for giving us her name. We pray for you to guard and protect Melia's heart, mind and body in your Son, Jesus.

So, now we begin the paperwork process. We filled out the application to the agency and a list of minor/correctable special needs that we feel good about handling. Thanks to the wonderful International adoption physician who met with us for free at Boystown to discuss the list! We also each filled out a 17 page questionnaire about our personal history which will be a part of the homestudy and began filling out the paperwork for our criminal history check. Pretty soon we will be off to do fingerprints for FBI clearance.

The process has begun and we could not be happier!

565. Lord, thank you for the resources available in Omaha that make this process easier and smoother. We are so thankful for the doctor at Boystown and his generosity to us!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy News

Ryan and I have decided to begin the process of adopting a little girl from China! We are so excited about this decision! For those of you moms out there that say going from three to four is not that big of a deal...I'm counting on that to be true!

We have submitted an application to Holt Internationals Child of Promise Program. This means our little girl will most likely have a minor or correctable special need. We have discussed different medical diagnoses with the International Adoption doctor in Omaha and feel totally at peace with the information we have received and our application to use Holt.

I will write more as the story of our little girl's journey home unfolds. Please keep her in your prayers if you think about it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

When you need to turn off your mind...

...give thanks!

This week (yes, it is only Monday) my mind has been swirling. I feel like there are so many things to think about and figure out and do or not do and schedules to keep and..... I know you have all been there.

Well, I'm pretty sure one of the ways I am tempted into anxiety is to keep my mind preoccupied with stuff instead of CHRIST! So, I am choosing to see Christ and give thanks so that He will receive glory and my mind can know freedom and peace.

546. A crescent moon at sundown in a clear Nebraska sky.
547. 70 degrees on November 8 in Nebraska!!
548. Watching Hallie's graceful hands in ballet.
549. Playing dragon castle with Zac today.
550. Jacob yelling, "Mommy!" in front of all the kids running out of school today.
551. A letter to Jacob from Andrew that said, "Jacod is my bff!" (Still working on b's and d's
552. Listening to Hannah sing and play hymns at the piano.
553. Pushing Zac on the swings.
554. Zac's laugh.
555. Ryan's hug.
556. My mom's voice.
557. Reading grandma's evening prayer to her.
558. Quiet Reading.
559. My aunt's encouragement.
560. My uncle's silent, sweet protection and love for his wife.

Wow! That felt good to just think back on the day and praise Him. He is good, He is gracious, He is loving, He is peace!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Catching up... has been too long since I have sat down and written my thanks to God. It's not that I neglect to thank Him, but I want to stay committed to documenting His goodness. It's good for my heart, mind and soul to be intentional about recognizing His abundant provision and the Lord's loving kindness...
537. Hallie told me she had the perfect idea for a mom/daughter date. She want to go running with me!! I am so thankful she has seen fitness in my life and so glad that it is something fun to do in her life.
538. Forever grateful for all the wonderful things about my husband, but in particular, last night we were playing a game of tag at the park. I can never outrun Ryan and he was after me. So, I start running as fast as I can while laughing and frustrated. The best part is when he catches me and plants a big kiss on my lips. Thankful for these happy, silly moments.
539. Blogs. Whoever God gave the idea to for blogs, I am grateful. Just yesterday I read about my friend, Jen having a fun day creating and talking with her friends and it inspired me to want to do the same. I get great ideas and get to stay connected with far away friends. Thank you God for unique ways to stay connected.
540. My brother's happy voice. Yesterday I listened to a voicemail from my brother, who recently moved. His voice was happy and it made me happy too. Thank you God for making us family and creating in me a heart that shares joy and pain with him.
541. My running friends. God, thank you for bringing such ambitious, kind, welcoming and motivating women into my life. I actually look forward to getting up at 5:10 a.m. to run and talk with these women.
542. Ryan's family. I adore his family. Thank you God for giving me so many people to love and that love me. Thank you that my kids LOVE their cousins. Watching the boys wrestle and the girls giggle blesses my heart.
543. Picking up my daughter from school when she's not feeling well. Lord, thank you for letting me be a mom and giving me the opportunity to spend time nurturing my kids and being at home. This task is not always easy, but I am grateful you entrusted me with the job and equip me with all I need and more!
544. Reading with Ryan. Again, I can't get over how full my heart with love for my husband. Lately, we are spending each night on the couch reading the Hunger Games trilogy out loud to one another. The books are good, but the company is great! I am so thankful for these dates!
545. The Holy Spirit prompting me to more scripture memory. I don't know when and if I will ever not have the Bible to freely and openly read, but the Lord has asked that I hide his Word in my heart. So, for His glory and with His help I am going to try and memorize Philippines.
God directed me HERE for a guide on how-to memorize scripture.