Sunday, December 26, 2010

Waking Up a Little Grouchy

Carlie woke up this morning. She was still getting the puckers out. Avery comes over (who had already gotten her puckers out - the worst one to wake up with puckers EVER) to say, "Good morning Carlie!"
Carlie isn't talking to her or anyone else. Barely makes eye contact with anyone.
Avery (who just came home from CHINA a year ago, who's SECOND language is English) says, "Carlie doesn't speak English."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Master Bath Redo - Day 7

You see that??? HUH????
It's the beautiful TILE!!!
AND the freshly painted base boards! So pretty! Almost done in here :).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Master Bath Redo - Day 6

Well . . . not too much to report today on the 'ole redo, but I swear the handyman guy was working ALL day.

He spent the whole day prepping the floor and making marks on it so that he could do THIS tomorrow. Lay tile.
This is the tile that Lori bought. It will go in tomorrow, or at least some of it will go in tomorrow because this looks like a two day project to me. But what do I know, I just take care of these kids.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Master Bath Redo - Day 5

It's getting a little more exciting!!
I'm combining two days into one. The other day he painted the walls and the cabinets.
Today he hung the lights/towel rings/hooks/tp holder, and ripped up the carpet. YAY!! And YES, to those of you who are thinking it, I DO use the hot pink exercise ball that we store in the tub. SO THERE!

Monday, December 13, 2010

One WHOLE Year

December 13, 2009 A Hotel Conference Room in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China

A Few Months Later
October 2010
Today is our "Forever Family Day." The day we got Avery one year ago. She was very scared of us 'white' people, had an upper respiratory infection, a rash on her torso, ate only formula (she was 15 months old), spoke Chinese, was VERY well cared for (despite the infection and rash) in the orphanage, had endured open heart surgery, had never worn a diaper, and had never known what being in a family was like. She was found when she was a month old. The Chinese believe that after a mother has her baby she is to go home and stay there for one month to protect the Chi or luck of the child and family. After that one month they are able to go out. Most babies who are found are about a month old because of this tradition.

Now she has two older brothers, two older sisters, a Dad, a Mom, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, extended family, church family, and friends that all love her and care for her. She came into our home and KNEW it was hers - she never asked for permission to fit in. She has blessed us beyond belief. And we have seen why it is called "The Miracle of Adoption." Our family's life has been stretched beyond what we could have imagined. We are part of a population known as conspicuous families. We gather with other families just like ours so that we can feel normal. We love this normal!

Tonight when we said our prayers, we prayed for the nannies who loved her so much in the orphanage. We also prayed for her birth mother and birth father. My heart hurts for them so much. I want so bad for them to know that she is healthy, happy, loved, ornery, and such a blessing to us. I want them to have peace. God can do this.

We are so glad that we have been on this amazing ride. We would not have missed this for anything!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Master Bath Redo - Day 4

A little color does WONDERS! Well, don't get too excited, it's just primer. But still . . .

So all "we" have left to do is paint the walls, paint the cabinets, rip up the carpet (who puts carpet in a bathroom??? Gross!!) and put tile down, put up new light fixtures, towel rings, and accessorize. WHEW!!!
I'm not quite sure what to do about the windows. Just the 2" horizontal blinds? Hmmmm . . . gonna have to think on that one.
Wow. Primer is boring.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Master Bath Redo - Day 3

It's hard to tell, but here's what the troweling texture stuff looks like on the bathroom walls.

See? Cool, huh?

Tomorrow the paint goes on!!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Master Bath Redo - Day 2

This may be boring. OK, it IS boring. But it just brings us one more day closer to the finished product!

Today our handyman guy primed the walls. See I told you it was boring.
Tomorrow he will put a troweling texture on the walls. WOO HOO!

Where is Your Mother?!

I know . . . you are waiting for an update on the master bath room. That's coming, I promise. However, we interrupt this regularly scheduled programming on home improvement to bring you this special report . . .

Somebody (who shall remain nameless) (who's name starts with an E) got ahold of a pair of scissors while the mom (who also shall remain nameless, who isn't me) was on an important phone call.

This E person cut his hair. He informed me that he saw it (the hair) fall on the ground (which he knew was not in his best interest because the mom might make him clean it up), so he decided to finish the self-given hair cut over the trash can (I've taught him well).

After the hair cut that he gave himself we had to go for emergency hair cutting surgery at Super C*ts. E wants to know how they are going to fix his hair. He wants them to glue his cut hair back to his head. Unfortunately that is only possible in the Tyra world. There were lots of tears.

He wore a hat to church. He's talking about paying a dollar so he can wear a hat to school tomorrow (not gonna happen). Or I'm sure he may come up trying to be sick in the morning.

Either way, he's still just as cute as ever!

My friends (who are twins, but shall remain nameless) think it is just hilarious that this happened because I have two more right behind him. HA HA! They are sooooo funny!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Master Bath Redo - Day 1

Our house was built in 1994. We've redone all the rooms except this one. This one had this lovely Jacobean wallpaper - very busy, and very dark. This is after our 'handyman guy' had sealed the seams on the paper, cuz the stuff is GLUED to the walls and it ain't coming down except in teeny tiny pieces. And I don't got time for teeny tiny pieces.
Isn't it lovely? Just a piece of artwork, right? It's so . . . so . . . 1994.

To be continued . . . .

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Clothes to Wear

Tomorrow I will tackle massive loads of laundry.

Towels, socks, jeans, shirts, and sheets will be run through my high capacity/high efficiency washer and dryer.
I'm not complaining . . .

Thank you God for laundry. It means we have clothes to wear.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

See This Kid?

This is Carlie Grace or, as she calls herself, Cawlie Gwace. She is a little spitfire. This morning she came to me and said, "Mom, did you see what Jazzy did?" I said, "No, what did Jazzy do?" She said, "She ate my cereal!" I ask, "How did she GET your cereal?" Carlie says, "I frew it on da gwound."

Christmas Parade!

What a beautiful morning for a Christmas Parade! The Saturday before Thanksgiving (yeah, I'm a tad behind :) our children's choir paraded our beautiful selves down main street in Jenks. We passed out fliers for our upcoming church events. Waved our little hearts out. And sang our little hearts out.

After the parade we went back to the church for a cast party to celebrate how hard all these kiddos had worked. We did some turkey bowling (my team won, of course) and feasted on one fabUlous cake.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Visitor from WAY Up North!

We have a friend at our house for about 6 weeks. He's hired help - FINALLY!! The kids named him Carson Crash or Car Crash for short. Nicci thinks he looks like our cousin Carson (he does), but Ethan wanted to call him Crash Bandicoot. We compromised. And Ethan has fallen for it hook, line, and stinker. He talks to Car Crash, waves to him, and writes him notes (has his sister write them for him).

One morning Car Crash hadn't moved to a new spot. Ethan was very upset. He said, "Mom! He lost his powers because you touched him yesterday!" I had to read online to see how to get his powers back ;). What I discovered was that if Ethan does three nice things for someone else then the elf would get his powers back - piece of cake! So, he got busy making a bowl of cereal for Avery, then feeding Jasmine, and making our bed. Just like that Car Crash had hopped to a new spot!

Why hadn't we thought of this earlier?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Krazy Kids!

I've got these friends. Let me just tell you how KRAZY they are . . . FIRST of all they have 8 kids. Yes, I said 8. SECOND of all they are bringing home their NINTH child in a few months (it will be their SIXTH adoption from China). THIRD of all their kids' names all start with the letter "K" and each name is six letters long - kooky, I know. FOURTH of all they are one of the biggest examples in MY life of someone who has AMAZING faith. They KNOW that God is going to provide for their family, for their adoptions. They just know it. Adoption is not cheap, but God always ALWAYS provides. Kurrently they are fundraising for their newest treasure from China, Miss Kasidi (isn't that cute?). If you wouldn't mind taking a peek at their blog just to check them out I would just LOVE that. They make and sell the most amazing kandles - great for teacher's gifts or just to make your house smell yummy. You will be blessed!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Oh My Goodness!

Ni Hao Y'all

My "bloggy" friend Stefanie is having 30 days of give-aways!! WOO HOO!! Go check her out! But, don't do think link thing because the more people who do the link thing the less of a chance I get to win anything. Wait . . . is that selfish? Nevermind then, do what you want.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Orphan Sunday November 7 -Huk*u Papers

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday. We are an advocate whether we want to be or not (we want to shout it from the mountain tops, but what will Avery want? what will our other children want?) For now, we will be as vocal as we can. When Avery is older and more able to make decisions we will include her in how much she wants to be involved if at all. Like I said, we are a walking poster family for adoption even if we don't want to be. My basic message is for everyone to do something. There are MILLIONS of children who are orphans - they go to bed without being read to, prayed with, alone, they may or may not have access to the basic needs of food, clean clothes, regular bathing, medical care, nurturing, warmth, toys, they don't know what it means to have a mom or a dad, brothers, sisters, an extended family who dotes on them and loves them. Can you imagine what that must be like? If every Christian would adopt just one orphan there would be no more orphans. We are called to care for the orphans, it's Biblical. What does it mean to 'care' for an orphan? It can mean lots of things. Adopt. Pray for them. Provide financial assistance to organizations that help orphans like Half the Sky and Love Without Boundaries both help children in China by providing medical assistance or training for nannies and a lot more. Or you can search for blogs of people who are adopting. Families are always raising money to help with their adoptions. Some of my favorites are: or or or God knows every hair on their head, He is concerned with each one of them.

I've been waiting to post about Huk*u (pronounced who-ko) Papers until I had some time to give it. I hope I do it justice because it just dumb-founded me that a system like this still exists. And from the research I have gathered it has only been around since the 1950s. It is Ch*na's way of classifying people into mostly two categories: urban and rural. It is associated with your family history and surname, and it follows you where ever you go. It sounds to me like it's a bit like illegal immigrants in your own country who can't go from province to province. Imagine living in Oklahoma and not being able to go to Texas for work. From what I gather this is what Huk*o papers do - keep track of or control their citizens (the article I read compared it to apartheid in South Africa). If anyone who reads this knows more about this subject than I do, then please chime in! Occasionally they will perform raids and round up anyone who is working outside their province and deport them.
Well, what if you are an orphan in Ch*na? You have no home, therefore you are not tied to a family, or even classified as urban or rural. Forever you are classified as an orphan! Your Huk*o Papers tie you to your orphanage. You have an almost impossible time getting into college and getting a job (you are considered unlucky and people won't hire you). Amy Eldridge from L*ve With*ut B*undaries was our guest speaker at Ch*na Camp this past summer and she told us this (see the link here:, I hope you will read it). My heart was broken for these kids who have this stamp of disapproval for life in their country.

So, in honor of Orphan Sunday, let's recognize that their is so much we can do to get this number down and bring home one more.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Is that an Entomologist?

The Butterfly Palace was one of the highlights of our trip to Branson. It was perfect for the little kids (and that one big kid we brought - the best big sister ever - NICCI!) There were all kinds of butterflies and lady bugs every where. They thought that the little girls' hair bows were flowers and would land right on their heads!
They passed out pith helmets and magnifying glasses so they could really get into it. How many legs does a butterfly have?
Such silly kids . . .
This was one of my favorite butterflies. Isn't she beautiful! (Aren't all butterflies girls?)

Falling In Love With Branson (Wow That's a Corny Title)

We took the scenic route on the way there. Not sure there's much of a choice, but it was beautiful to see the Mark Twain National Forest with all it's changing tree colors and winding roads swirling up into the mountains. When I was a kid we used to go to the Rocky Mountains in the summer. My Dad loves the mountains, but doesn't like driving up into them on rural roads much. We'd get up about half way and he'd precariously turn us around. These roads weren't like that. This was God's country.
Our first day was spent at Silver Dollar City or Sinner Donner Cinny as Carlie called it. It was a beautiful day and we went all over that place more than once. There were only a few rides that Avery was tall enough to ride and she seemed fine with that. We kept her busy with the food and the sights.
This was fun! It went up and down and round and round. I made Nicci go with me, she wasn't too sure about it and I don't think she was too happy with me. She's more of a roller coaster type of chick!
We're missing one! Yup, Conner stayed back in Oklahoma with some friends so he wouldn't miss the church Fall Retreat. We really missed him, but he had a great time where he was. We stayed in a cabin in the woods where it was nice and cozy. After our days of exploring we came back here to make caramel apples, drink hot chocolate, explore outside, sit in the hot tub and watch movies. It was a wonderful and much needed break from our rat race.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Kinda Like a Church Family You Only See Once or Twice a Year

Last Saturday was a great celebration. We celebrated the fact that less than a year ago a young man was just 3 days away from aging out of the orphanage (which means he would have been placed in a vo-tech type of situation and never known about the love of a family in a country where family means A LOT) and was adopted by his forever family. There were about 6 families all gathered at the N's house to meet face to face the children we have all prayed home. Several of these children weren't here a year or two ago! There are more on the way (not us, don't panic, but you never know!). The kids made new friends got reacquainted with ones they had seen last year or at China Camp and the adults chatted and ate and ate, and the adults ate, and then we had some food. Our big group picture is missing three China born babes (they had to head home early), so that makes 17 of 28 total children who are orphans no more. Technically, we are all orphans no more, right? Our heavenly Father adopted us all!

Making Friends

Jessa and Carlie had so much fun. Carlie was trying to squirt the dirt off of Jessa's legs. I think these two might be quite the pair if left alone for too long ;). Carlie came home and named one of her babies Jessa!

Ethan and Kaeleb did lots of boy things. They had their own squawky language going and got all kinds of dirty.
Maggie and Avery kept a safe distance from each other. They both wanted the same toys a lot of the time, but kept a mutual respect for each other. I'm sure with time they will be two peas in a pod. Maggie just came home about 5 months ago!