About Me

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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grateful for so much

I keep a daily gratitude journal (thanks to the Daniel Plan), so I didn't jump on the bandwagon on Facebook to document 30 days of thankfulness. But I have greatly enjoyed reading other people's posts.

I do want to share several things I'm so grateful for this year, though.

I am thankful for my home and the family God gave me to live in it with me. I am thankful for my job, my coworkers, and my husband's new job. I am thankful for a God who provides for all my needs, all the time. I am thankful for my boys and the relationship they are still building. I am thankful to still keep in touch with Julian so he and Juan David can continue to be a part of each other's lives.

I am thankful for my Christian heritage and for the legacy my grandfather left me when he left this earth a year ago today.

I am thankful to have family close by and for the recent chance to spend extra time with my brother riding rollercoasters and go-karts. I am thankful for my new oven to roast my turkey in today. I am thankful for my new fridge that my friends left with me when they moved.I am thankful for the comfy couch I'm sitting on that another set of friends gave us.

I am thankful to spend part of today working through the first round of book edits on my sequel, and I am thankful for the story God gave us to share to give a voice to the older orphan.  I am thankful for my writer's group, who never ceases to encourage me, challenge me, and inspire me to write with clarity, authenticity, and conviction. I am thankful for ABH Books and for the opportunity to write for such a great ministry. I am thankful for the many recent opportunities God has given me to share the stories He's put on my heart as a writer.

I am thankful for my church, my pastors, all the ladies' Bible studies, and my Lifegroup. I am thankful for the Daniel Plan and how it changed my relationship with food and with my body.

I am thankful for the movie War Room and the chance to see it with my boys yesterday. I am thankful that my own life is a testimony to the truth portrayed in that movie. I am thankful for my own Miss Clara who passed on her own prayer strategy to me years ago, the strategy that changed me forever.
I am thankful for my prayer corner and my front and back porch where God faithfully meets with me each morning.

( excerpt from Streams in the Desert)

I am thankful for a fun day at Six Flags the other day so we could take this cute picture. :) 

I am thankful for all the time we get to spend as a family, including today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

David's birthday

Things got busy around David's actual birthday, and I never got around to sharing pics from his special day. I am still in denial that he is another year older and probably a foot taller. :(

After school, we went out for dinner and then came home for salted caramel cheesecake for dessert. 

The never-ending birthday party

I hate parties. I am slowly, but surely, beginning to understand and embrace the introvert inside of me. It's not that I don't like to be around people. I just need some alone time to recharge my batteries between social events. But hosting a party is just not my thing. I absolutely hate feeling like I need to entertain others and keep everyone happy. It's just not me, and I'm finally realizing that that's okay. David and Mike are very similar, so we've never seemed to have any issues.

Then came Juan David, the social butterfly.

So we attempted a party this year at Speed Zone. We only invited a few guests due to the price, plus it was enough of a distance away that made it hard for guests to get there anyway unless they rode with us.

We chose Speed Zone for the go-carts, a big hit with teenage boys, plus it was something we all enjoyed doing together in Colombia.

Then it rained on party day, and we were stuck inside an arcade for 3 1/2 hours with four teenage boys and two ten-year-old boys, looking out the windows, longing to be on those go-carts. (There's that part that I hated, feeling like I had to entertain and keep everyone happy. So. Not. Me.)

However, Speed Zone treated us well as customers, and gave us a raincheck. Yesterday we cashed in on the raincheck and had a blast on the go-carts. Two of the guests didn't get to come back with us, but the one guest that couldn't make the first party got to come this time.

When I got on-line to book and pay for a 3 hour party, I thought we would get 3 hours of unlimited access to the arcade, the putt-putt, and the go-carts within those three hours, plus two large pizzas and two pitchers of soda.  With the rain policy, this is what we actually got for our money:

  • Three and a half hours of arcade time
  • Two pizzas and unlimited drinks for the actual party day
  • A round of putt-putt at the end
  • Three and a half more hours of unlimited go-carts (and arcade) when we came back on a non-rainy day
  • Another round of putt-putt at the end
I'd say we got our money's worth. Here are a few pics of our fun yesterday:

And then a stop at Cici's on the way home.

Now I can relax, knowing my boys had a nice, extended birthday. We all are needing to recover physically, now, especially David and I after crashing into each other so many times on the go-carts. Ouch. I hurt all over today. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

When the words aren't there

In light of a weekend filled with a reality that's so hard to swallow, I haven't even had the words to share. In addition to the horrible tragedies in Paris, my friends and family here are struggling with health issues and unanswered questions of their own.  An unexplained, on-going illness. A bad reaction to medication. Awaiting results from a catscan after a cough that won't go away. A concussion out on the soccer field.

As I tried to find the right words to pray for each of them, the Holy Spirit reminded me that sometimes I don't need words. He prays on my behalf.  Other times He tells me to simply open His word and read.

I heard this song while in the car tonight, and I think it says it better than I can. The song fits well with the weekend.


My little boy

How did this sweet little thing . . . 



. . . turn into this giant boy?

After today, we will have successfully survived 13, and my sweet little boy will turn 14 years old tomorrow. But this mama is in quite a stage of denial. This year brought more than just another year. As you can see through the pictures, his body decided to grow and stretch like never before, to the point that I hardly recognize my "little" boy. I now have to reach up for a hug, and he has to look down  to maintain eye contact with me. When I watch him run on the soccer field, I can't get over how long his legs are. At the rate he's going, he's not going to be the "little" brother for much longer. I wonder if he'll pass up both his brother and his dad within the year.

Sigh. My youngest and my first-born, I love you more than words can say. You carry my heart with you wherever you go. I am proud of who you are becoming, and I look forward to sharing this new stage of life with you. But I will always miss that sweet little #7 running around on the soccer field (top picture on this post). 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Just a few pics from Juan David's 18th birthday (though a bit fuzzy)

Mike wanted to get him a bilingual Bible with his name engraved in the front.

He had to search for the verse Matthew 6:33--Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. (That's where he found the cash he'd asked for.)

Grandma and Grandpa didn't disappoint. He checked the mail all week, looking expectantly for a card from them. :) Actually, that's what he opened first.

Bogota, Colombia--It's where my story begins. 

I got him doughnuts, and Mike made him eggs. He was served his plate with a birthday candle. :)

18 things I love about my son

I don't think I could have found a more perfect card.

Plus we both wrote him a personal letter with advice as he now enters adulthood (though, thankfully, he's still in high school for another year after this one).

Then that evening, he played the first game in his soccer tournament and scored a goal! And his coach led the team to sing Happy Birthday to him.

A full day of celebration. I hope it lived up to his expectations.