Monday, December 29, 2008

Unspoken Prayer Request

I REALLY don't like unspoken prayer requests. I really don't. I feel like if you don't know what the reality of the situation is, how can you really pray for that person the way they need to be prayed for. But I find myself in a predicament tonight as we need your prayer, and yet I can't go into great detail. Just pray that God's will be done in a situation in our life. Pray that our hearts and heads don't get in the way of HIS will. I promise I will update you when/if I can.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Did you know?

That I love to scrapbook? I don't talk about it on here that often, but I do love to do it. I started scrapbooking in 2000. Actually, that's a lie. I started scrapbooking in middle and high school, but I didn't know it had a name. I used to save my allowance and then buy the scrapbook style books at Hallmark. I would use scotch tape to tape down pictures, movie stubs, anything really and then I would write dates and the events that went along with the pictures/stubs, etc. I put them in a hope chest and forgot about them until my mother in law, Barbara, asked me to go to a scrapbooking party in 2000. Honestly, I really didn't want to go. I was partied out. I had just had a Pampered Chef party and with Anna underfoot, I didn't have time to scrapbook so why even go? But I went. It was in the basement at Ebenezer Baptist Church. A lady Barbara went to church with, Mindy, was the consultant. She went through the "spill" and showed off cutters, corner rounders, papers, a tape runner (basically the scrapbook version of scotch tape) and then we sat around and made our first page. As the night went on, I fell in love. This is what I had done in middle/high school. There were actually REAL tools I could use to cut circles in my pictures. There were actually scrapbooks that were gauranteed not to fall apart (I forgot to tell you that my beloved Hallmark albums that I had saved for were in shambles in the hope chest, they were total crap).

I must stop here and remind you I am cheap.

When the event was over and it was time to order, I wanted EVERYTHING and they even had a kit that had everything. But it was $300. And I am cheap. So, Barbara and I decided we would split it. We would scrapbook together at her house and split everything. HA!

I think about a week later I was a Creative Memories consultant. Not only could I not stand not having it all, but once I learned that a consultant got a discount, I couldn't sign on the dotted line fast enough. That was almost 9 years ago, and although I am no longer a consultant (although I loved being a consultant), I still LOVE to scrapbook. I love to see my kids' faces as I bring them their school albums that I just done a few pages in. I love to write stories in my books. My style of scrapbooking is not fancy. Pretty plain actually. I really enjoy paper and writing and being able to use all of that in to albums is really great. Plus, when you get together and scrapbook (called a crop), you get to hang out with friends and you eat. What could be better than that?

Anyway, the reason I am telling you all this is because I am having a crop at my house this Friday, Jan. 2 from 6pm-midnight. If you've never scrapbooked before, don't worry, you can come and there will be a consultant here to teach you. AND TRUST ME, no strings attached. You don't have to spend $300, you don't have to sign up to be a consultant, but you just might fall in love with something that your family will love looking at. Come crop, eat and have fun with new and old friends!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Silver and Gold

Well, it's already December 27th and I haven't even updated the blog with Christmas pictures, details on our festivities, etc. There is a GOOD reason why. I have, and have had, the stomach virus since Christmas mid-morning. I just got back from the doctor who confirmed it was indeed the virus and not food poisoning. I have felt so bad that today is the first time I have turned on my computer since Christmas Eve, I believe. What was just the 12-24 hour bug has turned into a 3-4 day virus and since I am officially half way through, I got a nice shot of phenegran in my bootie and instructions to go back to bed with clear liquids only. So much for post holiday shopping and hitting Crescent furniture. It will all have to wait. Jonathan just left to take the kids (and hopefully NOT the virus) to his parents. I decided to check email (all 153 of them) and do a quick update. Here are a few stories of our Christmas:

1. The other night the boys and I made a last minute pre-Christmas trip to the hateful CVS in Hendersonville. On our way, the boys began telling me how excited they were to open presents. "Aren't you excited too mommy?" they asked. "I am," I replied, "but even more excited about the real meaning of Christmas!" We then began discussing the birth of Jesus which then led into the wise men visiting the baby. "Do you remember what gifts they brought," I asked. At the same time, in perfect pitch they both sang out "Silver and Gold" and then Luke added, "and Purr" Well, there you go. Thank goodness it was dark, as I was dying in the front seat.

2. The boys got a McDonalds kitchen from Santa. They would DIE if they knew I had posted this on the blog, as they are very nervous about their friends finding out they have a play kitchen. Yes, they fear it is a baby toy. But, they love it and even though I was very sick, I went upstairs and placed my first order last night for a cheeseburger, fries and shake. It just so happened that Luke was the cook at that moment. He wanted to know if I wanted his "special" fries. I later found out the "special" fries are fries with cheese and mustard. I'm thinking being a cook is not in his future.

3. Anna announced yesterday she would like to be a nurse when she grows up. Or a rock star. Hmmm. Do you think we watch a little too much Hannah Montana around here?

4. Speak of HM. Anna is now sporting the UGLIEST pair of crocs made. Yes, I know all cros are ugly, but trust me when I say these make the normal, ugly ones look like ruby slippers. She is the proud new owner of purple with black fur Hannah Montana crocs. They come complete with silver guitars on the front and a big label proudly stitched to the front that says HANNAH MONTANA. That way all other children her age will know that Hannah herself designed these hideous things. Anna promises me though that they are warm and super cool. I'm pumped.

5. I had really planned (in my super grand vision scheme of things) to pull down all our Christmas decor today. I'm thinking it might take a while since we decked a bunch of our halls this year. I guess this too will have to wait. Why is it everyone begs me to put all the Christmas decor up but everyone groans when I mention taking it down. I plan to go through all my decor when we do take it down and donate all the crap I haven't used in a few years. There are lights in there that we haven't touched in at least 3 houses and it's time to let that go.

6. Mary Elizabeth is offficially walking. Not just her past two months "I think I can" walking. The girl can now WALK. Granted, you could run a small train through her legs while she is trucking it across the house, but it is adorable all the same. We are so blessed that our tiny little peanut whom we were told at birth would have CP is walking around, talking up a storm, and the perfect bill of health.

Hope all of you had a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

who, what, when, where? oh, and how?

These are the questions I think about when I think about our next adoption. I know I haven't talked about it as much this time. It doesn't consume me. My four beautiful kids do.

Here is a little update on us: Brea is dragging her feet. Really, but for no good reason. J's paperwork is complete, my paperwork is about 90% complete, and then we have to get fingerprints and physicals. I think most of our references are already turned in (now that is amazing!). Once we turn in the above mentioned items, the social worker from CC will meet with J and I individually and then she will come to our house and do a home visit. Then, we will be approved and waiting.

I'm not sure why I'm dragging my feet. Maybe because I can't imagine having another baby right now (not yet anyway). Maybe because I want to get my migraines under control first. Honestly, I just keep feeling like God is telling me to wait and enjoy the process. The first time with Mary Elizabeth, we went through the process like a crazy person. We finished our formal packet in four days and I was constantly so stressed about hurrying up and getting approved that I look back at the whole thing as stressful. I want this time to be different and so far it has been.

Back to my initial questions...
I think about whether we will be blessed with a boy or a girl. J seems to think girl. I think about what she/he will look like. Will he/she be premature like Mary or a fat chunk like my other three were? Will he/she be born here in TN or will we travel to another state? How will we raise the rest of the needed funds? Then, I just sit back and smile because I know my God has it ALL under control.

The perfect spot

I have the perfect spot in my house for this...

Is it not gorgeous? My friend Laura made it for my friend Tracie to raffle off for her adoption fund. For $10, you get a ticket AND you help bring a child home. Go HERE NOW and donate before it's too late.

But don't be upset if I win...I told ya, I already have the perfect spot for this!

I bet Santa has a migraine

I just loved these...hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Many people have asked me about how people react to us being a transracial family. Today I had two funny things happen so I thought I would share them with you so you could see some of the ignorant things people say. I should tell you that many days, although many people will stare, we usually never have anyone say silly things like this.

I met Alison B. for a quick lunch/shopping trip. I stopped in Janie and Jack to look for Christmas shirts for the boys. I was holding Charlotte while Alison and Norah were outside the store waiting on me. I quickly found two sweaters and headed to check out. The sales lady, who was very nice I might add, began commenting on how sweet Charlotte was. She was asking me questions like how old is she, how much does she weigh, etc. I then told her that I wasn't her mom. She then asked me how many kids I had, I answered and then told her our youngest was adopted. Her face immediately lit up and she said, "it's so funny you mentioned adoption. I was just telling my family we need to go to the town orphanage and see if we could help out." I just smiled, paid and left, wishing her good luck in her endeavors. Good luck finding the town orphanage.

Then, it was off to lunch and then playland for Norah. While Norah was running around, I was sitting there holding Charlotte when another sweet lady approached and asked how old she was. I told her and then she asked if she could touch her hair. Sure. Then, she asked me how much she weighed. I said, "um, I'm not her mom, I'm not sure" to which she said, "well, that's obvious that you aren't her mom" I felt like I had been smacked. I wish you could have seen her face when I then asked Alison how much she weighed and loudly said, "and there's her big sister" and pointed to Norah. Hmmm...shouldn't assume I couldn't be her mom.

I make ignorant comments all the time. We've all asked how far along a woman is when she really isn't pregnant. I guess I just try to be more aware of what I say now. That "normal" is no longer 2 kids and a white picket fence. I love being a transracial family. I love that others feel comfortable around us, especially those that also don't have the traditional family.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow Can't Stop God

If you don't live in TN and are reading this, let me preface this post by saying that even during a threat of snow, life in TN stops. Seriously. People forget how to drive, stores are instantly out of milk and bread, and people hunker down like we will have a blizzard. Never mind that since the ice storm of 1993, I'm not sure we have EVER had a snowstorm that would keep you from getting to the store, but alas...I have other things to blog about tonight.

So, last night was our auction. I must admit that this was a stressful event for me. For some reason (AKA SATAN), we seem to have been under attack during the planning of this event. Kids were sick, I got sick, people died, you name it...we've experienced it in the last few weeks. I just felt completely ill prepared, but Katie and Ray totally picked up the slack. I must admit, when everything was set up last night, I realized that no one but me would realize that I felt ill prepared. Bidder registration started at 5:30pm and at 5:50pm we still had less than 10 people there. It wasn't because we hadn't advertised, it was because it was snowing. Hadn't I said (OUT LOUD) multiple times yesterday that Satan needed to stay away from me in the name of my Lord, Jesus Christ. I was freaking out. Seriously. Freaking out.

And then we had to make the decision to cancel the auction. What would we do with all the items that had been so graciously donated? How would the people feel that had ventured out in the SNOW to come to this? I mean, I would have been ill.

It was at that moment that I was once reminded that I am not in control. GOD IS. God is in control of everything. He knew it would snow. He knew I would doubt. AND HE INTENDED TO PROVE ME WRONG. You see, the people who did show up were there by the GRACE OF GOD. My sister, Ali, and Sarah...both of whom graciously helped us load in everything and set up in the rain, snow and cold. Both of whom reminded Katie and I not to worry. My mom and dad wrangling all of our kids. Laura Horton, my ultimate prayer warrior, who instantly put me at peace. Angie V., ever faithful, with her plates of cookies and brownies and a smile that made me feel safe. Karen and Brian, who are themselves new friends! Ray and Katie's family, always so kind and have such encouraging words. A couple from Long Hollow, who come to find out, the wife was Anna's first camp counselor years ago. Such a kind, sweet soul. Another couple from Long Hollow who know Ray and Katie. A couple who saw our signs and decided to drop in. Susan Gupton who always is just a doll! I hope I have named you all. You were all instrumental in what I am about to tell you.

You see, we canceled the auction, but offered to everyone that was there that if they had come for something specific, we would sell it for half of the listed value OR they could make an offer. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Everyone started rounding up items off the tables and coming out front to check out. And you know what? We sold $1900 and we both brought home carloads of items to sell on craigslist and ebay. $1900!!!!! AND WE DIDN'T HAVE THE AUCTION! People paid us full price for items, people handed us cash, checks, etc. and people gave us love.

THANK YOU to those that hugged us, prayed for us, and gave. Not just your money, but your time. I am humbled, so incredibly humbled. And exhausted. Love you all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A more detailed listing

of goodies we will have to auction off on Thursday night:

Massage Therapy sessions, Fisher Price Smart Cycle, Super Speed Wash certificates, living will and estate planning session, Restaurant Certificates, Dance and Gymnastics, Real Estate Signs, Manicures, Mini Storage for 3 months, Golf Packages, Nashville Symphony tickets, Arbonne, Pampered Chef, Art Pieces, Photography sessions, Hotel stays at Hyatt Place and at Lowe's Vanderbilt Plaza, Heating and Air service packages, Car services from Firestone, Upper Case living, Furniture pieces, Boutique clothing, Gift Baskets, Tee Shirts, Webkinz, American Girl Doll w/ accessories, custom curtains (THEY ARE GORGEOUS!), mirrors and other home decor, Maggie Moo's customs, Pitter Patter Art custom artwork, framed oil on canvas by Eddie Holland, Bakugan basket (THE HARD TO FIND BOY TOY THIS CHRISTMAS!), Taste of Home Entertaining, Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Jr. set, Longaberger baskets, and SO MUCH MORE!

Be there at 6pm Thursday night. Score some great stuff and help a great cause!

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Auction Time In Tennessee!

I know I haven't been good about really advertising the auction coming up this week, but please don't take my lack of posting as a lack of excitement. I am JACKED about this auction, just sick with a sinus infection and I feel like I am running 2 steps ahead and taking 6 steps back.

Here's the poopy scoop on the auction:
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11 at 6pm at THE CHURCH AT INDIAN LAKE (formerly the Hope Center in Hendersonville) This is located at the Drakes Creek exit on Vietname Vets and is opposite the interstate from the Streets of Indian Lake.

This is a LIVE AUCTION with Gene Carman Realty Company. All items have been donated and you will get a number and bid, bid, bid. ALL and I mean EVERY DIME is going to our adoption fund (J and Brea) and Ray and Katie's adoption fund. They are adopting from Ethiopia.

As of 8:22pm on Monday night, we already have over 60 lots to bid on. This ranges from a piano, a computer armoire, a chair, photo sessions, custom kids clothing, paintings, an American Girl doll with accessories, hotel stays, massages, toys, and so much more. People have graciously donated some amazing items.

What we need? Of course, we still donations. Please let anyone you know that might want to donate from a local business that we have a way to have them write that donation off AND they will get a ton of exposure as every bidder will have a piece of paper in their hand knowing who donated what.

If you don't have stuff to donate, we also need baked goods. We will be selling canned drinks and would like to be able to offer something for people to snack on as well. If you wouldn't mind baking some brownies, cookies, a cake, etc. We don't care, you bake it...we sell it. Again, every DIME goes to our adoption fund. All you need to do is email me at and let me know where to come get it. We will take care of packaging it up and getting it ready for auction night.

I don't say this enough, but please know how much we are thankful for your support!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Aiden: Help Bring Him Home

As you know, I am very passionate about adoption. And, unfortunately, part of adoption is finances.

I mentioned a gal named Tracie on my blog a few weeks ago and several of you asked me later who that was. So I thought I would take a moment to tell you a bit about Mrs. Tracie and what she and her family are up to.

Tracie is a consultant with Christian Adoption Consultants. I have followed her adoption blog for over a year now (give or take) and I find that their approach to helping people find matches in the adoption world is refreshing. Many of you might be wondering what exactly she does? Well, I'll tell you (in the Brea way I can). She is in contact with tons of adoption agencies and when they have a "situation" (AKA baby that they don't have current families wanting to adopt) they let Tracie and her company know. She then works with her clients to help find families for these babies. The thing that is nice about Tracie is that she is up front and honest about what she does. Yes, there is a fee, but it is minimal. If and when we choose a consultant, it will be Tracie.

Anyway, she and her hubby have four wonderful kids. Three bio and one adopted daughter (does this sound familiar?) They have recently answered God's call on their life to accept their newest child for their family: Aiden. Aiden is a cutey patootie that has Downs Syndrome and they, like us, are trying to raise funds to bring this little guy home. Someone has graciously offered to match any donations made into their adoption fund between now and Christmas up to $5K. So, if someone donates $5K, their other person will match that, giving them $10K in their fund. How AMAZING is that? If that doesn't give you a reason to give, I don't know what will. So, even $5 means a lot, because it magically turns into $10. Please consider sponsoring sweet Aiden as one of your Christmas gifts. Does your grandma really need another ugly sweater? NO. But Aiden needs to come home to his family. And trust me, parenting four kids, $10K is a BIG DEAL!

Check out the post HERE and take a look at their wonderful family and then write a check. It will make you get all warm and fuzzy, I promise!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cutting Back

J and I have been having some pretty DEEP conversations on cutting back. Another post for another day. Tonight I got to thinking about if the economy is forcing readers of this blog to cut back this Christmas? Or are you just wanting to get back to the spirit of Christmas and that's why you're cutting back? OR are you not cutting back simply because it's Christmas and you want it to be as fun as possible? AND on that note, do you have a certain number of gifts you give your children? A certain tradition? I want to hear all about it, so give me some scoop in the comment section!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pretty funny

I realize that no one else will think these are very funny, but I completely cracked up when I saw them simply because I was HORRIBLE at math and science in high school and college. I don't think I was ever this bad though...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


for the love you showed to Angie and her family (and me!) the last three days.

for the food your brought to the funeral home. It was so needed, so appreciated and so eaten.

for the prayers you have prayed for this family. I feel confident to say that they have felt them.

for being willing and able to help in any way, whether it was watching kids, cooking meals, or forwarding an email.


A little more REAL

I'm sure many of you that have followed this blog for a while thought "oh boy" when you read the title. What is she going to rant about now?

My weight.

As many of you know, I started on estrogen about 3 months ago to help with migraines and some other issues I was having. Well, in my opinion, the old estrogen hasn't helped and I am anxious to go back in a few weeks and find out if my doctor feels the same. On top of that, when I went in to start on the estrogen, they weighed me and I was 144. Honestly, I was pretty happy, because I had been hovering around the 150 mark for a while but with all the migraines, I had dropped some weight. Now don't get me wrong, I am not happy at 150. I feel heavy at 150.

Well, three months and a week later, I have gained 13 pounds. Yep, 13 pounds. It ain't cool.

Now, before any of you leave a comment saying "I wish I only weighed 157 pounds" well, that's great. But, it's not great for me. I hate looking at myself naked and my clothes are TIGHT (and not in a good way). So, I'm being real and saying that I am super bummed. I'm putting it out there because I'm being REAL and I'm going to try to loose it, even though I feel the good old Estrogen has a lot to do with it.

Honestly, I've never really struggled with my weight and it sucks. I'm sorry to those of you that do.

That's my real moment for today.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Arrangements for Pat Hill, Angie's Mom

Here are the arrangements for Angie's mom. She will be at Cole and Garrett in Goodlettsville. Visitation is Tuesday, December 2 from 2-4pm and 6-8pm. The service is Wednesday, December 3 at 1pm. Mrs. Pat wanted to be cremated so their will not be a viewing, just visitation for the family.

What is needed? Food at the funeral home. I (and my mom) are coordinating food for the funeral home. If you can bring something for the family to eat, please leave me a comment below. Right now I am not going to try to assign different food to different people, so just check others comments.

I am going to take care of all the drinks and I am also planning to get one of the big sandwich rings at Sam's Club. I know JuJu is doing a chicken casserole and a vegetable. Please keep in mind we will need food both Tuesday afternoon/night and Wednesday for after the service.

Also, the family is requesting that you make a donation to the Fybromyalgia Foundation vs. sending flowers since she is being cremated. Mrs. Pat struggled with this for years and funds are desperately needed for research to treat this disease.

THANKS for your outpouring of love to Angie and her family.

HILL, Patricia GriffinAge 67 of Madison, TN, passed away November 30, 2008. She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Warren Hill; daughters, Lisa (Marty) McPherson, Angie (Robert) Vaughan & Margaret Dennis; grandchildren, Katy, Duncan, Sarah, John, Alexandra & Abby; sister, Jackie Smith. Visitation will be Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. & 6 to 8 p.m.. Services will be 1 p.m. Wednesday at Cole & Garrett Funeral Home, with Bro. Joe Vickers officiating. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 2121 South Towne Centre Place, Suite 300, Anaheim, CA 92806. COLE & GARRETT FUNERAL HOME, Goodlettsville, TN (615) 859-5231.

Bringing Home The Children Auction

Our next FUNdraiser is December 11, 2008. I am going to post the details below (THANKS Ray for typing this up!). Basically, to give you a quick overview...we are having a LIVE auction. We are busy collecting donations of anything and everything that will be sold at auction that night. We only have three fundraisers left (this being one of them) and are hopeful that we can raise the remainder of our money at these events. Did I mention how THANKFUL we are to all of you that has supported us in this journey!

Here's the scoop:
It is coming around the corner and fast! It will be December 11th before you know it! That is the day for the:

Bringing Home the Children Benefit Auction!

The sale is going to be at The Church at Indian Lake in Hendersonville TN. If you work at a company or know of a place that would be interested in making a donation (gift cards, certificates for service, gift baskets, etc) please let Katie Carman ( or Brea Freeman ( know. They are doing a great job gathering up donations, even though our economy is somewhat interesting.

If you have some nice items you would like to give personally, you can let them know and we will arrange to come get them as well!

Thanks for all your help! This past holiday and the one coming up are great reminders of the fact there are millions of children who will not know the joy of the season till someone opens their home to them! Continue to pray for us and other families who are taking this leap of faith! You guys are great!


P.S. As a little spoiler, here's a few things we have collected so far: HARD TO FIND Bakugan gift basket (the HOT toy this year), Broyhill Computer Armoire, Custom Framed Artwork from Eddie Holland, Maggie Moo's Mom Original, gift certificate for J.D. Harris photography, and so much more!!