Counting Our Blessings

Counting Our Blessings

Monday, January 31, 2011


What a looooong day! Jason left early this morning for a business trip. I took Hannah to the doctor to get checked out. She was running a fever, bad cough and runny nose. That turned out to be a "it's just a bad cold nothing we can do for her" kind of visit. Jonah had his appointment to see the allergist today. I have been waiting to get into this doctor and did not want to reschedule and wait longer. So I took Hannah with us. Bad mistake. It was like a scene from a movie. After dumping crackers all over the sitting room and office, she proceeded to scream until I let her out of the stroller. Then when I let her out she tried to get into every drawer and thing I did not want her to touch and screamed if I held her. Meanwhile the Doctor is trying to explain that he wants to give my poor son 30 pricks on his back to see what he is allergic to. I was trying to comfort Jonah and keep Hannah from screaming all at the same time. After all the poking and waiting. Jonah's testing came out negative. This now means he has to try a different coarse of nose sprays to rule out non allergy rhinositis(whatever that means) basically I give him nose spray for 4 weeks and if it helps they lower the dose and he stays on it for awhile. If it does not then he goes to the ENT doctor to check out his adnoids. Poor kid would just like to breathe through his nose. I rewarded him and me with some much deserved ice cream.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

busy weekend and rough nights

This was a packed weekend for all of us(well really for mom). Friday night my sweet mom took me to dinner and a musical. We saw A Chorus Line. It was great to spend time with her just the two of us. The blessings stayed home with dad and had a wii and popcorn night. Saturday I went to a tea comitee meeting for our churches woman's tea. I had delicious scones and spent time with some lovely ladies(thanks Joni). Then I went to my girlfriend Lu's house to help throw a shower for our friend Randi who is due with her fourth child next month. I came home for enough time to have dinner with my family and then I was off and running again. This time for another blessing shower for a friend who recently brought home two girls from Ethiopia. This was my fourth shower in one week. I love celebrating these children's lives and thank the Lord for each one of these special ladies. It is a joy to have you all in my life.

We could really appreciate your prayers. The last couple weeks have been hard with Hannah not sleeping well. Last night was our roughest night yet. She was up most of the night crying. Most nights she wakes up and we can give her a bottle and put her back down. She has been having a lot more night terrors and the lack of sleep is wearing on all of us. I'm going to be scheduling an appointment with her doctor to see if the medication may be related or what he thinks might help. We are just concerned because she is not napping very well either. well I'm off to take a much needed sunday afternoon nap.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AWAA Seminar

Jason and I recently took on a position with our adoption agency as Associates. This fancy title just means that twice a year we will hold an AWAA Adoption Seminar. We are in charge of finding the location, advertising for the event, finding speaking families and hosting the event. Well we are doing our first one at our local church Grace E.V.Free of La Mirada on Saturday February 19th from 10-12. We would love for you all to come. It is free and we will even provide child care. Just call 1-800-429-3369 to register. We have a family speaking who has adopted two beautiful girls from ethiopia, a family who adopted from Rawanda and Jason will be sharing our journey. I'm very excited to be doing this. I pray that it would be a way to get more people and churches involved in caring for orphans. I have had many people ask how do you find the time. I just do. It is something that is so important and we are hoping with the small compensation we get that we can use that to help others that want to adopt but don't have all the necessary funds. Some people have a passion for running(wish I did :0) some its cooking, or scrap booking. Mine is being a voice for the voiceless. Please consider coming or telling others about this event.

Flyer 2010.jpg

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Little Nasty Thing Called The Flu

No sleep+sick kiddo=very tired momma. I had a vibrant energetic child yesterday and then boom midnight rolls around and I have one sad lethargic sick baby. I just hate when they are sick. You feel so helpless and want to take away there pain. It was a movie and nap kind of a day around here. we are lysolling like crazy and praying the rest of us don't get attacked. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Does this weekend have to end?

What an amazing weekend and not one picture to show for it. I have to get better at remembering to take pictures. The weekend started off with a fun date with my little guy. This kid is so easy to please and really did not care what we did. I decided to take him to Ruby's for dinner. We sat at the counter, split a burger and of coarse had a shake. Then we went and saw a movie at the $2 theatre. It was a lot of fun having some one on one time. We try and trade off doing this with each of the kiddos. They are different kids when they are a lone and feel so special. Saturday I spent the day at a blessing shower for a friend who just adopted a baby. She has an amazing story of an unexpected adoption that God orchestrated and it was a pleasure to be celebrating such a great occasion. There were several adoption buddies and we had a great time. Saturday night Jason and I got a date while my parents spent time with the kids. Sunday after church I went to another blessing shower for a good friend who is going to do foster care for babies. She has an incredible heart and love for people and desires to be used by God . It is such a joy to walk along side her in her journey. I was just so touched this weekend to be able to celebrate some incredible things God is doing.

Don't forget to keep up with Noah on

Friday, January 21, 2011

It finally happened

Well it finally happened. Our biggest blessing lost his first tooth. He has been waiting with anticipation for a couple years now as he watched all his buddies loose there teeth. Noah got his first tooth very late at 12 months and his brother was even later at 16 months. I was sad that his other tooth was already popping out so you don't get to see the baby gap :) Is it silly to get emotional over this? I feel like he is growing up before my eyes and this is the last of his babyness. He is growing taller and maturing more and more. He is so sweet with Hannah and she just adores him. Here is a picture of her with Noah while he was doing school. She always wants to be right near him. It melts my heart to see there relationship. I wish he was this patient with Jonah. We are working on it and some days are better than others.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dinner with Grandpa Great

Last night we had dinner with Jason's grandparents(Grandpa Great and Nana Jean) Grandpa will be 93 this year. It is so precious to see our children with them and we always have a nice time. I always be sure to bring my cameras and try and capture lots of memories. Life is so precious and we don't know how much longer we will get to spend with Grandpa Great. This visit was extra special because we got to spend time with Aunt Janet and Fred who are here visiting from Washington.

I was so excited when I checked the mail and this beautiful camera strap came. One of my blogger friend sharon at makes these fun camera straps and other cute things. Check out her blog I promise you wont be disappointed. Thanks Sharon I just love it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

yeah daddy's home

Yesterday was a very relaxing day. Jason had the day off and had promised the boys they could go under the house. They have been counting down the days. Why they want to go under the house is beyond me. There is nothing but dirt and grime and spiders and who knows what else. YUCK! However boys will be boys and they were excited. I was surprised when hannah started following them and wanted in on the adventure. This mom had to put a stop to her fun in fear that she would get scared and we would have to go in after her :) Sometimes she can be so girly and then the next minute she is grunting and crashing her brothers trucks. I love how all three are so different and special in there own ways. Gods design is so perfect and we are all made unique. I got to do a little shopping with my mom and she even went to the gym with me :) Then we topped off our night at church for Project Hope. Project Hope is our churches adoption ministry. Both Jason and I feel so full when we leave. It is so great to see God doing amazing things in the families of our church body. This year we will welcome 10 children who will be blessed with forever families and a church body who are so excited to love on them.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Shopping for a cause

I wanted to give you all an opportunity to shop and support an adoption all at the same time. My friend Elizabeth from is having a sweet fundraiser Tonight until Monday. If you have little girls you will not want to miss out on these adorable hair clips. Have fun shopping and supporting a good cause all at the same time. I can't wait to put my order in.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Sype Party

I just love Skype! Tonight we had some friends over for a Skype Birthday party. We have some friends who are serving in China and there little girl turns 8 tomorrow. It was so much fun. We had a big birthday banner, a cake that she blew the candle out through the screen :) and presents we opened for her that we will send to her later. She was very happy and said that having us all in the same room was the best gift of all. She is such a sweetheart. We miss them so much but are so proud of the work they are doing in China. Happy Birthday sweet Emma!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A lovely weekend

We had such a fun and relaxing weekend. On Saturday morning Jason took the boys to sign Jonah up for T-ball while Hannah and I went to a fun Fortune Cookies get together. Fortune Cookies is a group we recently joined. It is a group of ladies that all have children from China. We all live locally and are connected from, homeschool and other avenues. It was a great party. I learned how to make Chinese noodles :) It was so great to recount our journeys and give each other advice on the many things these sweet babies face. I look forward to the next get together. Later that afternoon. Our parents were nice enough to watch the blessings while Jason and I had a date night. We spent our date night at a fun restaurant called the Boiling Crab and then went to the chinese market. I wanted to get ingredients for the Chinese noodles I learned how to make and some other fun things. It was our first time going to a Chinese market here in the states. It was so much fun but made us really long to be back in China. We have big dreams of partnering with other organizations and working with orphanages there but will see if God has those same plans for us. We just really have a heart for China and the millions of orphans that are sitting in orphanages not being held or told they are loved. Later that evening we had a fun skype double date with our friends who are in China. It was so fun to see the snow outside there apartment and to hear there voices. So Thankful for good friends and family who give us date nights :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

On the mend

I was finally up and around and out of bed today. I feel so much better. The ribs are still tender and I'm not lifting anything(poor Hannah) but we are on the mend. Thanks for all of your kind words. Yesterday Jason took Hannah to her Cardio Apt. I told him what to put on her and he was teasing me about her looking too dressed up for the doctors. When he got home he said he was being attacked by people telling him what an adorable little girl he had. (I know he loved every minute of it. Ha!) We couldn't be more pleased with her appointment yesterday. I feel like I'm constantly saying that and afraid one visit the streak will be broke. However God has remained faithful and I need to be faithful to trust in his plan. They did an echo and the sweet tech(who is also from china LOVE her) told Jason that her heart and arteries looked even better than before. The medication is working beautiful to keep the valves from leaking. Jason asked Dr. Chang if we were still on schedule to have the second surgery when Hannah turns four. He replied "with how well she is doing I would say possibly six or longer. If she continues to do this well the longer they can wait the better for her". Her oxygen rates are in the low 90's if they were in the low 80's they would want to go in sooner. However they couldn't ask for any better. I know this is confusing. It is to us most times. The bottom line is for now she is still Amazing these doctors and doing so well and this momma has more time before her baby is back in the hospital. Thank you Jesus for these wonderful reports and reminders that I don't have to fear for I know you have her in the palm of your hand.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Not the week I had planned

I was planning to get back to a normal routine this week. You know school, early bed time routine, regular night time devotions with the kids, home cooked meals :) The Lord on the other hand had other plans for me. Sunday night while putting something on a shelf in the boys room I slipped and fell and bruised a couple ribs. Luckily thats all it was. I have been in pain and done nothing but lay in bed. It has been frustrating not to be able to move around comfortably but I have made the most of it by getting so much done that I have put off. Emails, lesson plans, seminar planning, and great time in the word. I think God has his ways of slowing us down when we need it :) So Thankful for a great family and wonderful friends who jump right in to help.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A good plan

This year my main goal is to be consistent in the word on a daily basis. I have to admit last year I did not do as well as I had hoped. I'm really excited about this reading plan that a member of our congregation came up with. I have already started and love how it bounces back and fourth between Genesis and John. I encourage you to take a look and to please hold me accountable this year.

Spend a Year in the Bible

Justin Taylor recently made the post-to-end-all-posts about Bible reading plans; he has links there for just about every kind of approach you can imagine.

Too many options? No. A vacuum cleaner salesman once told me that out of all the vacuums on the market, the best one is the one you will actually use on a regular basis. Whichever one comes out of the closet and busts the dust is the best; the awesome multifunctional machine that you just can’t stand to drag out day after day is a bad vacuum. I didn’t buy his vacuum, but I took his advice and spiritualized it: The best Bible reading plan is the one you’ll actually use. So in that spirit, I want to pass along a new reading plan that a lot of the people at my church are doing in 2011. It’s not a plan to read the entire Bible in one year; it only covers about half of the Bible. What it is is a plan for using the Bible consistently throughout the year for a balanced Christian life.

The plan is by John Rinehart, a member of Grace EvFree and a recent graduate of Talbot School of Theology. Check it out here. John explained the plan during a recent church service, and I asked him a few questions about it. Here are his answers.

Q: What’s different about this Bible reading plan?

A: The first thing the reader will notice is that they’re not too far behind already. The plan begins with chapter 1 of Genesis and John being read and re-read everyday for the first week, followed by Genesis 2 and John 2 for the second week, and Genesis 3 and John 3 for the third week. It may look like a typo, but it’s not. Re-reading slows us down so that we seek to understand the Bible rather than merely complete a reading plan.

The second difference is the incorporation of articles from the ESV Study Bible. These articles, like the re-reading, are a tool to increase our understanding of the Bible. Understanding is different than hearing (or reading), and Jesus emphasized the eternal importance of understanding when he said, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.” (Matt. 13:19)

The third difference is an emphasis on Jesus’ words. We read each of Jesus’ five discourses five times in the month of March. In September and October we focus on Jesus’ parables in Luke. All of Scripture is God-breathed, true, and profitable, but I want to be especially familiar with what the only Son of God said when he walked among us.

The fourth piece relates to Christmas and Easter. In the past I’ve found myself feeling spiritually unprepared to celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection because I hadn’t been reflecting on passages like Isaiah 53, Luke 24, and 1 Corinthians 15. I’ve geared the reading in April and December to ramp up to these holidays.

Q: Why does this plan only lead us through half of the books of the Bible?

A: Two quotes I keep on my desk are these:

1) “Teaching habits is the key to discipleship”

2) “Nothing that does not occur daily will ever dominate your life.”

I’m not so concerned with helping others get through the whole Bible in the next 365 days, as good as that is. My concern is to develop and help others develop lifelong habits of reading and studying the Bible so that we understand God’s voice and learn how he would have us live. If we get a sense that God really does speak through his book to transform us by renewing of our minds, then we’ll keep mining every page until we see God face to face.

Q: Even though this plan only covers half of the books of the Bible, it directs us to read some chapters over and over. What benefits do you expect users to get from reading the same chapters repeatedly like that?

Last year I was asked to preach four sermons on the book of Philippians for a group of college students. To prepare I read the entire book of Philippians almost everyday for five weeks. When I stood up to preach I had the clear sense that I knew Philippians, not because I read a mound of commentaries or downloaded of an iPod full of sermons, but because I saw for myself what Philippians was about. Commentaries are helpful checks and balances, but should not substitute for learning to feed ourselves from God’s word. Great men of history (and today) who wrote commentaries and preached sermons were men who read and re-read God’s word until they had not only heard of God’s greatness with their ears, but seen him with their own eyes.

Q: This plan recommends using the ESV Study Bible, and even points to specific page numbers in that big book. Can people who don’t have the ESV Study Bible make use of the reading plan as well?

For a worthy investment of $31.49 the ESV Study Bible can be yours at I’m kidding. One guy came up to me at In-N-Out Burger and asked what he was supposed to do with the plan since he just got a new NIV Bible. I told him that God’s word is God’s word in the NIV too. Fred, I won’t hold it against you if you decide to read through the plan in the original Greek & Hebrew. You’ll just miss out on a few helpful articles each month.

Q: Have you tried this whole plan out yet, or is this year going to be the first time through for you as well?

2011 is a test flight that I just happen to be taking quite a few others along on. But it’s God’s word so I don’t think I can screw up that bad.

The plan is available at Grace’s website.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A sweet and special first meeting

Many of you may remember from Hannah's blog a special woman I met at my garage sale. One Saturday before we got Hannah we had decided to have a garage sale. During my garage sale I met a gal who was also in the process of adopting a little girl with a heart condition from China. We talked for awhile and she even prayed for me right there on my driveway. Well since that meeting that God clearly orchestrated :) Our families have become friends. Through many snags in their adoption process, they finally brought home there sweet baby girl on Christmas Eve. Her name is Jadie Mei and she is only 3 months older than Hannah. We have been praying For this sweet girl and today was the day we finally got to meet her. It was such a joy to see these two girls together. I stood there amazed that God had connected all of us in this beautiful way. We look forward to seeing them grow up together.