Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Haley!!!

Our girl is 8 years old!! How time flies!

We love you Haley. You are such a blessing to our family, so spunky and fun-loving. I can find very few pics of you by yourself because you love to be with people - we love that about you!

An oldie but goodie - Haley (4) with Grandpa L.

Trav-6, Haley - 5, Caleb - 1

Haley - 7, Hope - 11 mo.

Haley and daddy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gotcha Hope!!

Today, May 13, is Hope's Gotcha Day - the day we were allowed to keep her with us forever! We were actually in Ethiopia this whole week and today was our Embassy Appointment where all the papers were made final to bring her home to the U.S and our family.

What a blessing she is!! As with so many other adopted children, we have just seen her blossom. She was a very quiet baby without a lot of interaction at first but, my oh my, has that changed! She is no longer so quiet (people in church can attest to this!) and she is so full of LIFE! She gives the whole family kisses every morning when she gets up. My dad summed it up by saying: "she barley needs to say words because she communicates so well with her big, brown eyes." She is very personable!

The orphanage she was in was great considering the poverty of Ethiopia and I do believe the staff really cared for the children, but God's word says that the "He places the lonely into families" (Psalms 68: 5&6) because it is the family where we are loved individually, just as we are! An earthy picture of God's adoption of us, His children.

Praising God today for Hope's adoption and for my adoption, your adoption, and 'anyone who will come' adoption into God's eternal family through Jesus Christ!

Andy did a great job of posting some pics of Hope on Lifesong's blog if you would want to check them out:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

I was reflecting a bit about Mother's Day and my mom. I am truly blessed to have had a godly mother in my life.

My mom is very friendly and talkative, but she is also a good listener. There were many nights when I would come home and she would be waiting up in the chair in the living room to talk about how my evening went. I loved those times! I hope I can be as relational with our kids too (I already KNOW I will be waiting in the chair until my kiddos are safely home while Andy is sleeping away!).

She is also a lot of fun! We would get "inspired" to do some decorating at about 11:00p.m.. We are both night owls. (My dad, on the other hand, would be snugly tucked in bed by 9:30 :-) )We would run out to whatever store was open to get what we needed. There were a few times when we were sure that someone was following us, so we would take an alternate route home so we could lose them before we got home!

One very distinct memory I have of my mom and dad is them praying for me and other issues everyday. They would pray in the morning before my dad went to work which is a sacrifice for my mom since we are not morning people. God has been so faithful to those prayers!

Mom, I am so thankful for you and your love throughout my life. It is a privilege to call you my mother and now my friend too! Thank you for ALL that you and dad still do for us and our kids!

I love you!
~ Jill


You've been incredible to all of us kids! I love your sponteneity in life - the fun & random ideas and places to go! I love your easy smile and ready laugh. I respect your ability to set your sights on a goal, and be unswayed from achieving that same goal - no matter how difficult. You are a classy lady.

Thank you for sacrificing a lot of time, energy, and "more fun" things to be doing than the sometimes mundane & monotonous things of raising kids! I really value and appreciate how you were able to stay home and not work when we were growing up! It spelled L-O-V-E to us!

I'm privileged to be your son. And our kids treasure you as a grandma to them!

I love you,