Saturday, May 31, 2008

$5 Gymboree

Oh, I hope those of you that live close to me have me set on google reader and check your email this morning.

We are having a last minute yard sale to help with Angie's FUNdraising to bring Abigail home from Russia and last night I got in over 300 pieces of NEW Gymboree that will be $5 each today. So, if you know where I live (no, I am not posting that on my blog) and you love Gymboree, come shop today. We are starting at 7am! Tell your friends!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


As I search out the Lord's will in my life for getting more REAL, the word transparent keeps coming to mind. Today, I got a funny email from a friend and for some reason this picture made me think of being transparent. ENJOY!

An Update on Erik

For those of you that live in the Nashville area that read this blog, you will remember the little boy at the mother's day out that fell in the well last week. He was found in the well after what they think was about 5 minutes of being submersed in water. I just received this update and I wanted to share it with you all. GOD IS GOOD!

"We just returned from our scheduled meeting with the doctors to discuss Erik's prognosis. As you know, we have been anxiously awaiting this meeting since the MRI on Monday. They have been preparing us for this since we arrived last week and they are always careful about managing our expectations.

The scheduled time was 2:30 in the conference room and we were collecting our thoughts, praying and doing our best to prepare for what we were about to hear. Erik had shown no signs of improvement since yesterday and even seemed less lively than he had been previously. We were present for his neurological exam this morning and there were no signs of improvement - something we had heard far too many times before.

At approximately 2:15, just moments before we were to sit down with the doctors, something happened. The nurse ran from the room to get the attending physician because Erik opened his eyes in a way that we have not seen since our arrival last week. He became extremely agitated at the fact that he was in this very uncomfortable situation! He was following our movements, something he has not done to date, and focusing on different people at different times. He also showed signs of gagging and coughing - something that is critical to the proper functioning of his protective reflexes!

Dr. Flemming came out of Erik's room with something on his face that we have never seen - a smile. In his words, "this defies the odds and is nothing short of miraculous."

According to the MRI findings, there were no "devastating abnormalities" found. There will be continued MRI's to follow his progress and no one can be sure at this time the extent of damage or even which areas of the brain have been affected. Only time will tell.

His lungs are severely diseased and that will take some time to heal. However, they are continuing to reduce the dependency on the ventilator and MAY try to remove him completely in a couple of days. They did remove the drain from his right lung a few moments ago. Again, more time is needed to determine the long-term effects.

His organs are working remarkably well given his circumstances and Dr. Flemming was "absolutely astounded" at his heart performance. We, however, are not. We always knew he had a HUGE heart! His tests show no signs of poor heart function and he is "much closer to normal than history dictates."

We are hopeful that Erik can tolerate feedings and we anticipate to begin that process soon. There is also a chance that if things progress as they are, we may be out of the CCU "by the end of the weekend or first of next week."

Dr. Flemming stated, "If we could only convey how miraculous this conversation is. There is just something different going on here - we don't usually get to give good news like this under similiar circumstances. It's the kind of thing that makes me go skipping home tonight."

We are not out of the woods yet - he is still a very sick little boy. However, we have come a long way by the grace of God! Please keep praying, we are living proof that your prayers have worked. God is indeed in the life changing business!!! Thank you all for being the prayer warriors that you are! God Bless You All!"

Accountable Part 2

I haven't had a Dr. Pepper in two days (today is day #3). Now that probably seems a little silly to many of you, but I really like Dr. Pepper and although it doesn't help with my migraines, it's just something I've always loved.

You see, our space for the consignment sale has been leased. That's the hardest part about my job is finding a spot for the sale. Finding someone willing to short term lease a 10,000+ sq. foot building to me for 2 or 3 weeks is not as easy as some would think.

So I decided that starting this past Tuesday, it would be no more Dr. Pepper for me and every time I was tempted to drink one, I would instead hit my knees and pray that the Lord would show me where we need to have this Fall 2008 sale. I guess you call that fasting.

Yesterday, as I craved a Dr. Pepper a couple of times, I also prayed for this woman who posted a comment on my original post:

Want to know what REAL means? How about being a Christian and having a non-Christian husband who constantly puts you and your beliefs down. Yesterday, on my birthday, I was 'beat up' with accusations that are so unbelievable. During the tirade, I kept praying, "Lord, give me peace", repeatedly. Guess what? I was able to withstand the onslaught with dignity! I am asking all of my Christian brothers and sisters to keep my family in your prayers and pray that my husband will come to know Christ as his personal Savior. Now, will you be accountable?

I don't know who she is, but she needs my prayers more than I need a space for the sale (and I need a space for the sale pretty darn bad). So I am praying for you. I don't know what your life is like as I have a husband who has a great relationship with the Lord, but I do know what it is like to go to marital counseling and I highly suggest that you go. It was the best thing J and I ever did for our marriage and I would tell you that even if your husband won't go with you, it would probably still help you. The Babb Center at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville is a great resource if you are local. I hope you will keep us posted and I will continue to pray for you as I crave those Dr. P's.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I think that the majority of human beings probably subconciously groan when they see that word.

Being accountable is tough because not only do you have to accept the fact that you really do have faults and it's truly time to work on them, but you have to admit those faults to others and be willing to get smacked around when they catch you doing stuff your aren't supposed to do. We live in such a fake world where we are are all so afraid of what everyone would think if they REALLY knew about all the skeletons in our closets. In fact, we are so afraid, that we walk around not really allowing ourselves to be completely real with people and that wall we put up not only keeps our secrets safe, it also keeps people from seeing Jesus in us. Does it hurt to admit that I have made many mistakes! YES. But if I don't admit those mistakes, I can't ask God to forgive me and Lord knows that I can't fix myself.

So why all this rambling?

Well, I think it's time to get real. I've been saying it for a while now and it's time to put actions behind the words. I know too many people who have marriages falling apart, in debt up to their neck, stressed to the max, and feeling like there is no happy ending in their future. They feel alone. They feel tired. And they feel like they are the only one who has EVER felt that way because we are all so worried about what people would think if they really knew the TRUE me.

So, put some skeletons out there. Not because you want to brag, not because it's a crutch you want to lean on...but because maybe the skeleton you wish to bury is the same thing someone else is struggling with right now and needs to know that a Christian can struggle with those issues too! Jesus wants us out there leading people to the Lord, not being comfortable. My goal this week is to start out getting REAL with myself and asking for some accountability from other Christian women in my life. What's your goal?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Feeding the Ducks

After playing, it was time to head over for lunch and feeding the ducks.

Here's M.E.'s adorable little feet:

Walking over to duck island:

We came back from duck island and found a picnic table in the shade and had lunch. Then it was time to feed the ducks. In this first pic, we won't discuss what Isaac is doing:

Not quite sure what he's doing in this one either:

One of the great things about J's new job is that he is 10 minutes from home so he got to meet us for lunch. This is M.E. giving Daddy a kiss goodbye!

Our First Day Post School

Yes, school was officially out on I started rocking in the corner banging my head against the wall Wednesday night. Seriously, we have a fun summer planned and that started with a nice day at the park on Thursday. The pics will tell the story.

Here's Anna doing some funny dance moves. Yes, she is my daughter:

Anna and Alexandra going down the slide together:

Mary Elizabeth trying out the blue swing (which she loved):

Although she is teething and miserable, she was still quite the social butterfly:

This pic was definitely the motivation I needed to realize just how much weight I need to get off:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More About Maria Chapman

Someone posted this on the adoption boards tonight. I wanted to share it all with you. What a sweet story...

This question was asked of the Chapmans:

What inspired you and Mary Beth to adopt again?

Chapman: That's another crazy story! God has far more redemptive tricks up his sovereign sleeve than I've ever imagined. We met Maria on an earlier trip to China where she was staying with an American family, and I fell in love with her. Before the trip, we said we were done adopting and that our house was full, but God just made it really clear that we were to do so once again. Here's the real clincher: I asked the family if I could hold her when we were at church and when I did, I asked if she was their daughter. They said no, but they were praying about a family for her. I asked if her name, Maria, had any significance, since that was an odd name for a baby in China, but they said they just thought it was pretty. I immediately thought back to the song "Who's Gonna Love Maria?" I'd written ten years ago when one of my kids went to school with a girl named Maria. She came from a rough home and told stories of her dad being in jail, and sure enough that line "Who's Gonna Love Maria?" just started blaring in my head. I immediately thought, No, not me, but I just realized arguing with God is a really dumb thing to do. Long story short, we're adopting Maria and we're looking forward to starting the beginning of yet another new chapter!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Heart Is Heavy

I am so sad for the family of Maria Chapman, daughter of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. She was killed this afternoon when she was struck in her driveway by a car driven by her teenage brother.

I can't imagine saying goodbye to one of my children BUT I also believe that no matter what, God is in control. I pray for peace for this family and comfort tonight...and in the days, weeks, and months ahead. I also pray for her brother as I can't imagine the guilt he feels even though it was just a freak accident. Please take a moment to pray for this family!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

PT Clinic Supplies FOR SALE

My awesome friend Jeannie is closing down both of her physical therapy clinics here in the Gallatin, TN area. She is selling EVERYTHING...decor, PT supplies, computers, you name it!!

If you or someone you know needs anything for a doctor's office, heck, if you even need a computer...give her a buzz. She is using this money to fund a well earned summer vacation with her children (trust me, this woman works so hard and deserves time off) and she needs to get it sold QUICKLY so please pass on her info to anyone you might know that can use these supplies.

Love you girl! Hope you get it sold FAST! You can reach her at 419-5019 and if you need her area code, just send me an email or leave a message!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nyet Travel Date Yet

When I posted that I had learned that Nyet means No in Russian, I forgot to post HOW I had learned that.

Angie V. (my friend and partner in crime!) is adopting her second daughter from Russia. Ksenia is 2 years old and they were able to go and meet her several weeks ago. Robert and Angie were gone for 8 days to Moghadan, Russia (yes, I am probably butchering the spelling). It is near Siberia and VERY cold. J and I got to babysit Alexandra, their 5 year old for the 8 days they were gone so we got a taste of life with 5 kids.

Since they returned, I can't imagine what it is like for Angie and Robert to anxiously wait for their travel date when they can return and bring home their daughter. She is so stinkin cute and Alexandra is SO excited to meet her little sister.

I'm sure you have all wondered how much adoption costs. To answer you, it's a lot. Even more for international adoption because of the travel involved. To bring Abigail Ksenia home will cost close to $30K so Angie and Robert are doing FUNdraisers to help offset some of the costs (the tax credit provided by the IRS is only $11k so they have to spend $19K out of pocket). Their first FUNdraiser was a yard sale held almost three weeks ago. They made $1200 which was an answered prayer.

The next one is one you can participate in...especially for all you women AND men who scrapbook. My Creative Memories consultant has graciously offered to give 20% of all orders on her website this weekend to Angie in CASH for her adoption fund. I am so passionate about scrapbooking AND adoption so I was so excited when Tracy offered to do this. You can shop at her website and your order will be shipped directly to your home. If you have NEVER scrapbooked before, the first thing you need to start with is a powersort box. It is $25 and holds 2400 photos. It is so much easier to scrapbook if your photos are organized and once you get this done, you will feel like you have accomplished SO MUCH! I LOVE this powersort box (I have 7) and I love that when I am ready to sit down and scrapbook, I know where ALL of my photos are at. I have one for each of my kids and then I have all my vintage photos in the others.

If you live out of state and are reading this and have never scrapbooked, I HIGHLY encourage you to go to CM's main web site and find a consultant in your area. There is nothing better than having a personal scrapbook trainer that can teach you how to get organized and get it done. My children love their albums and the stories I write in them!

If you live in the Nashville area, you will not find a better CM consultant than Tracy. She is so consistant, orders quickly and knows her stuff. She is SO GREAT that she is speaking at CM's NATIONAL convention on sales! WAY TO GO TRACY!

Anyway, this got longer than I expected, but say a prayer for Angie, Robert, & Alexandra as they anxiously await their new little one and order some scrapbook goodies if you's a great cause AND a great product!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Quick autism question

Without doing much research (for some reason I am EXHAUSTED tonight), I wanted an answer to a quick autism question. Does anyone know if autism affects one sex more than the other?

The reason I ask is that I realized today that almost everyone I know that has a child with autism, that said child is a boy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thankful that my rose is red

With today being mother's day, we started off with lunch at Jonathan's family. Jonathan's mom (the kids call her grandmother) had a wonderful lunch prepared. After lunch, Mary Elizabeth was examing the flowers embroidered on grandmother's shirt and she decided to see what M.E. would think about the corsage that Papa Sam had given her to wear to church this morning for mother's day. As she brought out the beautiful corsage with a single white rose, all the kids wanted to know a) what it was and b) why grandmother had it. She explained that it was an old tradition that on mother's day women were given corsages to wear to church. A woman wearing a corsage with a red rose meant that her mother was alive, a woman wearing a corsage with a white rose meant that her mother had passed. I had never heard this before and took that moment to thank God that my mother is alive and well. Both Juju (my mom) and Grandmother have already lost their mothers and I know today was hard for both of them.

For those of you that don't know both of my moms (Juju and Grandmother), you are really missing out. They both are wonderful moms and grandmas and I am very blessed to have such wonderful women to be mentors in my life. Happy mother's day!

Friday, May 9, 2008


My beautiful girl with the beautiful voice at her talent show....

Field Day

Today is field day at the kids' school so that meant lathering up with sunscreen before heading out. Jonathan decided to take the boys onto the deck to get them coated with the spray suncreen and then use the good old fashioned stuff on their faces. I had to grab my camera as I heard them both crying on the deck. Luke was crying because it was cold and he didn't like it being rubbed his face and Isaac is crying in the background as he knows he is next. Too funny...

After 11 years...

today is Jonathan's last day at his old job. On Monday, he will start a fresh chapter in his life where he only has to travel less than 10 minutes to his new job.

He was really sad to be leaving behind such great friends and business relationships as he left out this morning, but so excited to be starting a new adventure. I love you J and I hope you have a great day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Random Thursday Thoughts

I haven't spent a lot of time on here lately simply because I have so much to talk about, I am simply overwhelmed. I have woke up several times the last few nights and thought about coming here to blog, but then I get lazy and go back to sleep. Here's a few of the thoughts going through my head:

1. I hate breast cancer. I know we are taught not to hate, but I just can't stand this terrible disease. I found out that yet another friend has just been diagnosed. She is one of my buddies that has adopted transracially and was such a HUGE help to me when we started our journey.

2. We hope to start the journey of adopting #5 in the fall. First, we have to figure out what type of trees grow money so that we can plant some in the backyard.

3. I learned that Nyet means No in Russian.

4. I am going to give September's Restaurant in Hendersonville a fair shake. September's husband sent a really nice email today encouraging me to come check it out for myself so I plan to do that pretty soon. I can't wait to form MY OWN opinion of this beautiful new restaurant in the Streets of Indian Lake. Maybe everyone that posted bad reviews should come with me and we can have a big pow wow!?!?!

5. I went fishing with dad at Center Hill lake yesterday. I didn't catch squat but I had the nicest time with my daddy. The lake was so quiet and we saw a pretty good amount of bass and croppy, but evidently they just weren't hungry while I was there.

6. I miss Sheila the Suburban sometimes...I love Homer the Odyssey, don't get me wrong, but you just can't beat the storage of the Burb. Especially during yard sale season.

7. Mary Elizabeth is sitting up like a champ. She is even standing against some toys. She is getting SO BIG!

8. Anna was in Beech's talent show last Thursday and was awesome. She sang "Bubbly" and did fabulous! I am so proud of her.

9. Isaac and Luke are full swing into the first season of baseball. They are both great little ball players and are enjoying playing. I never realized how serious 4-6 year old baseball could be...I watched a father bless his little boy out last week after the game simply because he wasn't paying attention. Um, hello? He's 5 years old. My 36 year old doesn't pay attention sometimes.

Mary Elizabeth: 9 Months

Time just keeps slipping by and my baby is rapidly becoming a toddler. I got brave and started "styling" her hair two days far so good. Is she not the sweetest girl?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More Consignment Sale Pics

Yeah, so it's old news by now...but I found these AWESOME pics in my inbox today and I just had to share! :)

I swear you would think I just do the consignment sale to take pics to put on here!

This is the first day we moved in:

And then four short days later:

These were taken at the adult sale. The first is Chrystal in her lovely Sunday best. Pam told her we would pay her $10 if she wore this to church.

Mary Elizabeth snoozing away at the sale with her baby:

If I could only go to prom again!