My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Friday, July 29, 2011


Sometimes I take Lucas to the grocery store and end up coming home with things that I don't really want or need.  But, today he picked out Garlic.
I like garlic.
Seems harmless enough.
I put all the groceries away a few hours ago.  Then at dinner time, Lucas asked for
"that thing"...
that we bought today...
"that's spicey".

I just could not place what it was until the lightbulb went on in my head.  He wanted the garlic.  ok.....and what do you want to do with the garlic?
So I peeled a clove of garlic and gave it to him ---
He said "watch this..." and then said "I need milk"....
He proceeded to eat the whole clove of garlic....THE WHOLE THING!  just chewed it up and ate it.  And took some good gulps of milk to boot.

Then he proceeded to eat the FOUR over easy eggs I made for him along with several bites of pork ribs.  Then he asked for another clove of garlic.  This time he engaged Daddy in a dare of sorts...."not for momma"  So this must be a true test of manhood or something.  I cut a tiny piece off the clove and gave it to Peter to eat.  And Lucas ate ANOTHER clove of garlic sans the small piece I gave Peter.

Happy Boy!
Burping Daddy....that's all I've got to say....Peter has been belching ever since he left the table and Lucas is not phased.

So there ya have it.  Who knew garlic was such a delicacy???

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Faith Means Taking Risks

I get a daily devotional called "The Purpose Driven Connection".   This one came today as I was reading through some incredible stories of people taking risks with adoption.  Taking on children with radical conditions from heart issues to Hepatitis B to limb issues to burns all over the body, etc.  It amazes me how God calls each of us to take risks in different areas.  The hitch actually take the risk.  To Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul and mind.  That's a challenge for sure!

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” (NLT)
Faith always means risk. Everything in life is a risk. Ecclesiastes 10:8 says, “When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you! When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax! Such are the risks of life” (NLT). There’s nothing we can do that doesn’t have some element of risk in it.
But the greatest risk of all is how we relate to other people and how we relate to God – the risk to do something about those relationships. Mark 12:30 says, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (NLT). You take a risk when you love with all your heart. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Jesus reminded us that one of the greatest mistakes we can make is to play it safe with our lives. He said, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you’ll lose it.”
You probably remember the part in the third Indiana Jones movie where Indiana Jones came to the edge of a cliff. He was challenged to step out over the cliff even though he couldn't see a bridge beforehand. That's not a bad picture of genuine faith. Faith is stepping out and doing what God has asked you to do when you can't see what will happen in the end. You don't know exactly what God's going to do in the end, but you know he’s asking you to step out in faith.
Many times we’ll come to the edge of faith in our own lives. We’re not sure where things are headed. Maybe it is a decision to start a relationship with Jesus for the first time. Maybe you need to trust him with a business decision or something related to a relationship. There is a risk in stepping out in faith. Who will you trust? Will you trust in the Lord with all your heart? What if you’re wrong? Is it really God telling you to take the step of faith?
Practice the 80/20 principle
If you'll do the 80 percent of God's will that's clear in the Bible, he'll show you the 20 percent that's not clear. In other words, love your neighbor. Spend time in God's Word. Talk to God in prayer. Spend time with God's people. Love your family. Love your kids. Protect the way that you speak to people. Be kind in your relationships. Be patient. Do the 80 percent that’s clear, and God will show you the rest.
So take the risk. Trust God with everything you have. Do what God has told you to do in His Word. Then, when God challenges you with a risk of faith, you’ll be more confident to do what God tells you to do

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Melancholy kid with a Sanguine parent makes for some "Fun" times

So if you are up on personality typing, we are pretty certain our boy is what can be identified as a "Melancholy".  Whether that has been a learned response to his environment or he was just built that way we will never know.  But, part of this personality involves a desire for things to be in order.  We've seen this over time repeatedly.
Some examples...
1.  the first day we had him he cried for 4 hours and then went silent and organized everything in his backpack.
2.  Every once in a while he will go on cleaning binges and clear off things and organize things like our kitchen coutner top or his bathroom, etc. (but be careful what you leave lay around, because it might get caught up in the whirlwind and/or tossed away if he doesn't think it's important)
3.  Yesterday, I was playing a game of Nerf wars with him with dart guns.  We were shooting daddy.  And he would not continue play until all the darts were facing the same direction and laid out flat and straight in 2 piles in front of each of us.

So, my personality has a twinge of that orderliness in me, but not enough to overcome the other part which is my "Sanguine" side most of the time.  This means I love social situations, I am not as disturbed by disorder most of the time, I sort of throw up my hands and say "whatever" more than I probably should.  I have a keen ability to walk away from a mess.

I think it is going to be a fun "ride" as we journey together and I try to mess with little Lucas's mind and cause a bit of chaos in his life.  Sometimes he literally gets mad at me if things are not in order. Like the darts for example.  I was teasing him and just grabbing them and throwing them in a disordered pile.  He was not thrilled by that behavior.   Is it wrong that it makes me chuckle?

Ok, maybe I need to grow up and maybe HE can help ME to be a little more Melancholy and clean up my act.  Maybe THAT solution would be more mature on my part.  =)

Either way, it makes for some fun and entertaining play and even cleaning days.  He really sticks to a job and does it quite well.  He sees things that need taking care of and does a pretty good job of it too.  That's sort of handy I must say.  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

God's Imagination

Last week our church had a guest speaker from Willow Creek in Chicago.  You can view it here;

But, I took several things from this sermon because sometimes my heart just wants to explode with ideas about what the Lord can do.  Sometimes I feel like I've missed the mark and haven't done "all" He may have for me to do.  The thought of "selling it all" and living a simple life sometimes is so appealing.  Going on the adventure of "missions" is just so exciting to me.  I know it's not all glamor and glory, but exciting in so many ways.
Right now we are at a crossroads financially and I wonder if we are keeping our eyes where they need to be. Are we trying to "live the American Dream?" or are we really open to "Whatever the Lord may have for us?"

Adoption has been an area that has opened my eyes and my heart in so many ways.  I believe it is one of the callings we have been obedient to.  But, is there more?

The teacher we had on Sunday asked this question:

"What do you believe God wants to do in and through you?"
Are you using your imagination?  Are you letting God's imagination go wild with you?

He reminded us of these verses:

1 Corinthians 2:9-10

New International Version (NIV)
9 However, as it is written:
   “What no eye has seen,
   what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[a]
   the things God has prepared for those who love him—
 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
   The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

A long time ago (June of 2007 to be exact) a friend back in Wisconsin, Jennifer Janes, shared this verse with me regarding our adoption--At that time we were "in line" for an infant, a girl, "healthy", and were told about a year from beginning to end.

She shared what God had given to her to share with us:
before we knew it would take 5 years, 
before we knew we'd switch to special needs,
before we knew we would be bringing home a boy,
before we knew we'd be bringing home a 7 year old.  

"Who knew?"
God did!  His imagination was beyond what we could ask or think in 2006.  

The verses she shared with me were actually from the original text in Isaiah 64:4:
"Since ancient times not one has heard no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who WAIT for Him"

and she also shared this from Habakuk 1:5:
"Look at the nations and watch-and be utterly amazed.   For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told."

I guess my reason for posting this is to ask myself, and maybe you if you are still reading...
Do I limit myself and my imagination of what God can and will do?  
Am I caught in what we call the "American Dream"? 
I think a lot of people are hurting on so many levels--one of them being financially--that we get fixated on paying the mortgage, putting food on the table, getting all our kids through college, that we forget to pause and ask God what His imagination has for us to do.

Look around and see what God has created in this universe.  His imagination is far beyond words.  The question is---will we humbly submit ourselves to His imagination?

PS I'm planning on picking up the book mentioned in the sermon above:
Colossians Remix    if you've heard of it or enjoyed it or have comments about it, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

...and then there were stories......and lots of play today...

The past few days Lucas has been quite the story teller.  He is beginning to tell us stories of his life in China.  He is telling me more and more about the caretakers, the kids, the food, what they did, etc.  I'm probing a little and he is totally good with answering my questions.  Some of it is kind of funny stuff like the boy he didn't like because he didn't brush his teeth---"he was stinky"....
He has told me they ate noodles, dumplings, rice, watermelon, juice, white milk.  Uh hummmm -- then how come he now asks for chocolate or strawberry milk and turns his nose up to white milk?  hmmmmm??

He has told me a few of the older kids were mean.  But, overall I cannot get a sense that he was mistreated in anyway.  Another testimony to the wonderful SWI (social welfare institute) he was in.  We are pretty certain he was very well cared for.

Today Lucas and I spent the entire day alone at home.  He has pulled out so many toys including but not limited to...Lincoln Logs, Duplos, and Playdough.

Right now daddy is just coming home and he is crawling around on the floor with Buddy pretending to be a dog.  LOVE that stuff!

He has been a very happy boy today.

A pile of pics and fun from the past several weeks

(first, if anyone knows a good way to make a photo album and share it on blogspot, could you please tell me?---I can't seem to find a way to do it)

here are some highlights....

teaching Lucas to play Uno and lots of laughter to boot...

Amicaloloa Falls, GA
(Lilli, Opa, Oma, Theresa, JJ, Lucas, Peter, Isaac, 
Lydia, Will)

silly Opa---

Pensive Isaac

adorable William


me n my boys

"you are silly"

My family
(Lucas -age 7, me, Isaac-age 16, Peter)

Lucas LOVES whipped cream--so we told the waitress at the Smith House to skip the strawberry shortcake for him and just give him a bowl of whipped cream---He thought that was pretty funny---Isaac on the other hand cannot stand whipped cream and was grossed out ---)

Panning for gems at the Consolidated Gold Mine, Dahlonega, GA

JJ, Will and Lydia panning for Gold.

all the yummy fruit we gathered in the past few weeks

I LOVE a full house of people.  and there they all sit in my living room...ahhhhhhhh

saying good bye to Lydia and Will =(

Opa and Lucas share a "moment" on the front stoop

Blueberry Pickin'....

...... and eatin'

Lucas and Opa

Lucas and Tante Lilli

Goodbye Oma....see you soon...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A close call...

Ever look at "those people" at the grocery store that let their kids sit on the grocery cart in weird ways or stand in them?  Ever think "that kid is gonna fall and crack their head open"?    "what is that parent thinking"?

Well, I was that parent today.

Lucas and I were at the grocery store and he was sitting on the cart handle facing me.  He is actually balances quite well and does do just fine.
Until today....
in the parking lot....
next to my car.
He fell face down,
head first
and was sprawled out flat.  He didn't move for at least 3 seconds.  Then he did cry.  But, not for very long.  He looked a tad stunned and he could tell I was upset.  Maybe it was the blood curdling scream I yelled out in the parking lot  "LUCAS"!!!
No blood
But within about 30 minutes he was very groggy and wanted to sleep.  I still believed the myth that you should not let a person go to sleep after a head trauma.  So the poor kid was barely holding his head up and I would not let him sleep.
I went to get tylenol at Walgreens and then called the nurse.  She asked if he had vomitted--no...and if he could speak/had memory of who he was/I was, etc.  All good.  She also said not to give him tylenol, etc. the first 24 hours in case there are any neuroligical effects.  After she clarified things a bit she said he could go to sleep.  He slept about 15 minutes and woke up much more alert.  We will keep an eye on him tonight.  We are suppose to wake up every 4 hours and jostle him to check on him.

All I can say is I have been running through the scenario all day in my head.  I'm not good at just letting things "go" like this.  There is the guilt, but also just the replay.  And seeing his little body face down on concrete not moving for what seemed like an hour (in reality was just seconds I'm sure).  There also is the over reactive part of me in that moment.  With our past history, I rarely let fear overcome me but this was one of those moments where the rush of fear overcame me.

I've been looking at him differently this afternoon.  With yet another level of love and tenderness.

He cried but only for a few moments.  He did let me comfort him.  He asked if the "Police truck" (ambulance) was coming.  or if he needed to see the doctor.  Then he kept saying "it'll be ok", "eets ok", "I'm ok mom".  Trying to comfort me.

I know one thing for sure, I LOVE THIS BOY!  I cannot imagine ANYTHING happening to him.  
And I am thankful beyond belief that God's angels were buffering that fall today.  Things could have been much worse.  And I have much to be grateful for.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Costa Rica

Isaac is off to Costa Rica for 10 days.  Took him to the airport at the crack of dawn this morning.  I'm jealous that I'm not going along.  I LOVE missions trips.
I'm so proud of him and happy that he gets the opportunity to use his gifts and talents to serve the Lord to children and adults that may not have the opportunity otherwise.

He will be staying at the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base in Guanacaste the whole time he is in Costa Rica.  Whel they are there they will be ministering to a local town called Colorado.  They will pass out Bibles, do some VBS, visit High Schools and also put on a youth camp.  They will also have time at the beach and a zip line tour through parts of the jungle the last 2 days.

Isaac took his guitar along and will be helping lead worship in English as well as Spanish....see all that Spanish he took this year will pay off...=)

We are proud of you Isaac for using your gifts and talents to serve the Lord.  We will be praying with and for you as you travel and serve.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Never Once-Matt Redman

Matt Redman was at our church 2 times in the past month leading worship for us.   It was so powerful and so many of his songs are so inspired by the Holy Spirit.  But this one in particular just ministers to me, because sometimes I just need this solid reminder of God's Faithfulness in the past and how He will remain faithful to us now and in the future.  He's done it before, He will do it again!  So why do I ever doubt? I mean really?  Has He been faithful in the past?  Yes!  I need to "Kneel on this Battleground" and see His victory.  "Never once did we ever walk alone".  
"Lord You are Faithful God"

Verse 1
Standing on this mountaintop 
Looking just how far we've come 
Knowing that for every step 
You were with us 

Verse 2
Kneeling on this battle ground 
Seeing just how much You've done 
Knowing every victory 
Is Your power in us 

Scars and struggles on the way 
But with joy our hearts can say 
Yes, our hearts can say 

Chorus 1
Never once did we ever walk alone 
Never once did You leave us on our own 
You are faithful, God, You are faithful 

Repeat Verse 2
Repeat Pre-Chorus

Chorus 2
Never once did we ever walk alone 
Never once did You leave us on our own 
You are faithful, God, You are faithful 
You are faithful, God, You are faithful 

Scars and struggles on the way 
But with joy our hearts can say 
Never once did we ever walk alone 
Carried by Your constant grace 
Held within Your perfect peace 
Never once, no, we never walk alone 

Ending Chorus
Never once did we ever walk alone 
Never once did You leave us on our own 
You are faithful, God, You are faithful 

Every step we are breathing in Your grace 
Evermore we'll be breathing out Your praise 
You are faithful, God, You are faithful 
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Lucas's first dentist apt.

....and he did Marvelous....of course....

He went in all by himself.  Sat nicely and listened to the hygenist. And the results?


He probably will need some orthodontic work.  But overall he has great dental health.

another testimony to the wonderful care he had in China.  Thank you Chifeng, SWI!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A trip to the Zoo...

I think we picked the HOTTEST and most humid day of the year to go to the zoo.  We wanted Oma and Opa to come along but they said they would not be able to tolerate the heat.  After it was all said and done, I think they probably were right.  I cannot remember the last time I dripped and sweat so much in my life.
It was a wonderful day, but I have to say I am grateful for air conditioning and a swimming pool tonight.

As we entered the zoo, Lucas immediately noticed the 2 motorcycle cops (ok State Troopers) in front of the zoo.  What we didn't expect was how friendly they would be and kind enough to let


we enjoyed the pandas

combing the goats

climbing the rock wall

feeding parakeets

hanging out with our kids

and watching relationships build between the kids.  These are treasured days for sure.  I only wish we lived closer so we could do it more often....They really seem to genuinely enjoy one another's friendship.    Lucas was a champ today--as were Lydia and Will.  Even though it was 100 degrees and humid, we lasted at least 5 hours at the zoo.  
Topped off the day with a swim in the pool and now all 3 of them are sleeping together side by side on a queen sized aerobed.  I think they like eachother.

swimming swimming swimming

JJ and Theresa, Lydia and Will arrived in the middle of the night/early morning on the 12th.  We've packed in quite a bit of fun already.  Lucas LOVES them and the kids are a perfect age for playing with him.  Ages 5 and 8 and he is 7.  Generationally, it is kind of funny though, because JJ is Peter's nephew. Which makes Lucas and JJ both grandchildren of Oma and Opa.  So Lydia and Will are great grandchildren and are the same age range as Lucas.   Funny how relation is...but in reality, it doesn't matter.  All Lucas knows is he has new "cousins" (which he called his "persons" yesterday).  He LOVES them and they get along really well.

Lucas LOVES being tossed in the pool and since JJ is a little taller---it makes it all the more fun!

Then the kids all ganged up on JJ and tried getting him into the pool....

We topped off the night with slow cooked and grilled spare ribs....I think Lydia enjoyed them more than any of us...

Lucas and daddy sleep in a tent (FINALLY) ....

Since Lucas did not get to go camping with daddy and Isaac a few weeks ago, he was anxious to pop the tent in our yard and sleep outside in the tent with daddy.  Finally we had a day where it would work out, ...

first there was the whole set up...Lucas TOTALLY Loved that part.

then there was the packing...I mean you never really know how many clothes you are going to need for an overnight in a tent your front yard....with your dad....

finally, it's bedtime (on the airobed air mattress of course)--it Was 80 degrees that night too, which Peter was soooooo grateful for (that was a just a touch of sarcasm).

I won't go into too much detail, but he didn't go to sleep until midnight...then woke up at 4:30....came in the house and was not quite a pleasant child....he did fall asleep again at about 7:30 and slept until noon....
ummmmm camping with boopski may not be part of our "habits" for a while.  But, I hope he remembers it fondly...