Sunday, September 19, 2010


15 years ago tomorrow, God changed my entire life when He allowed me to become a Mommy to the most precious little girl ever born.
I don't know what I ever did to deserve such a blessing. God chose me to be the Mother of my precious Daughter. When she was little we were best friends, spent our days shopping, making pottery, playing babies, and soaking in all the time we had together. This precious daughter of mine has a sweet heart and has always wanted to help others. I am so proud to call her mine.
One of the happiest moments of her life was when we brought Anna Grace home. For the 3 years after she came home she prayed that we would go back to China. She is the reason we have Andrew. Her heart for Orphans, China, and Africa amazes me on a daily basis and I cannot wait to see how God uses her in the Future. Her heart has been broken for the Orphan. I  know He has GREAT plans for my special girl!
Just as the song says
It's not living if you don't reach for the sky
I'll have tears as you take off
But I'll cheer as you fly

Happy 15th Birthday Ashton, I love you so!
Mom

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mommy & Andrew



















In our bedroom, hanging on the wall, is a picture of me with each of my kids when they were babies. It has been a tradition since Ashton was born to have a "mommy and me" picture made. When Anna Grace came home, although she was older, we still did the pictures. She was so tiny that she still looked liked a baby. Jodi took tons of pictures and Anna Grace gets so excited to see that she has the same pictures as her big brothers and sisters. Today I started worrying about Andrew having the same thing. Ashton was sweet enough to indulge me and do a quick photo shoot. She has not had a chance to put her magic touches on the pictures yet but I think they turned out sweet. Andrew kept sneaking and kissing me while we were taking pictures. It was so precious. I wanted him to smile and he wanted to kiss me. I am so blessed. I can't wait to get one framed and hang it with the others. We missed so much during the first 3 1/2 years of his life, I am so happy to have these. He is my son and I love him so!

Monday, June 14, 2010

They are in Cincinnati...

Hey All,
This is Ashton. I am updating the blog for my Mom while she is in Cincinnati at Shriners.
I just talked to them and they made it safely to Cincinnati without issues. (thank you Lord!) The little ones did well and Andrew is still running wild. They went to a mall tonight to have dinner and try to burn the energy. From the noise in the background it doesn't sound very successful. (:
Please keep them in your prayers tomorrow as they go to the hospital for tests on Andrew and to see what the future holds for surgeries and such. Pray he understands all that is happening and accepts it willing.
Thanks,
Ashton

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The top 5


These are the top 5 reasons I love Mother's Day! I am so grateful to THE ONE who has blessed me with all of my babies-I have truly never done a thing to deserve such blessings and I am so grateful to serve a God who sees fit to allow me this joy in life! I can't believe that we are all finally together as a Forever Family of 7!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Andrew Update

Just wanted to update and let everyone know how well Andrew is doing. He has been with us for 3 months-It is unbelievable-Time has flown by. I will admit that for awhile, time seem to stand still. Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day. I am not sure of the exact moment but somewhere around the 2 month mark, things began to level out. Everyone started sleeping through the night and the days got happier. I can't imagine the emotions that Andrew has felt. Although in our minds we like to think that life began when he stepped off of the elevator, for Andrew life was turned upside down. We looked different, smelt different and spoke a language he did not understand. We took him away from his home and his family. Our sweet boy handled all of these hard changes like a champion. He has worked so hard to become a part of our world. He is talking, going to school and acting like he has forever been a part of our family. He loves his Mei Mei(Anna Grace) and will defend her like nothing you have ever seen. They fight lots of times but there is not a minute of the day that one is not looking for the other. They act as if they are twins. It is amazing to watch their love build and develop. I can't tell you how proud I am to be their mommy. I wanted to document all of the sweet things he has learned-
Andrew can:
say his ABC's
count to 10
communicate all of his needs
says "I lubba you mama"
Dress himself
put on his shoes(and he gets them on the right foot)
sing Jesus loves me, twinkle twinkle, little start, itsy bitsy spider, and he can sing all Barney songs!

Andrew's favorite shows are Barney, Kai Lan, Wonder Pets, Wow Wow Wubzy
He loves to sing
His favorite movie is Alvin and the Chipmunks(there is nothing as funny as watching him and Anna Grace sing "All the single ladies"
Baba(daddy) is his favorite person in the whole world and Mei Mei is right up there with him
He loves being outside
He can ride his scooter like a pro

Everyday is full of new things. I am amazed at how quickly he is learning. He has changed our whole world and we are all so very blessed to be a part of his life!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Fun











We had our annual Easter Party at Nana Bunny's house again this year. It was so much fun. We had so many friends join in on the fun. Nana Bunny made her appearance and the kids were thrilled. Andrew quite enjoyed "dying" his eggs. He spent forever working on his masterpieces. He did not like the bunny at all. All of the kids had fun hunting eggs and they loved their baskets from Nana Bunny.
Easter morning was so much fun. Andrew was thrilled that the bunny left him a basket full of goodies. It was priceless to see his joy! We got to spend the day with both sets of grandparents. Hal and I are so blessed to have such wonderful families!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!











On Friday, Hal will be 40 years old! Wow-Happy Birthday to the best husband, daddy, friend in the world. We are all so truly BLESSED to be a part of his life. He loves each of us unconditionally. He takes time with each of the kids. He supports me in everything I do. He has provided for us so that I can stay at home and take care of our children. There are no words to describe what a special man he is to each of us. Tonight we invited friends and family to a surprise birthday party for him. He thought we were meeting Craig and Jodi to celebrate Craig's birthday. He was so surprised and so very grateful.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Photos

I must admit it-I think these are the CUTEST KIDS EVER! Today was picture day at school. Andrew was not very happy to see school this morning. He kept shaking his hand at me and saying NO very loudly-Bless his heart-he wants to say with "Mama" Once inside, he quite enjoyed having his picture made with the live bunny. He kept patting him so sweetly. He got tickled when he let his Panda kiss the bunny-It was precious! Anna Grace is wearing a dress that Mema hand smocked for Ashton when she was 3 years old. I have got to find a picture of Ashton wearing it so we can put them together. Andrew ended up staying at school and having a great day. He is so lucky to have such sweet teachers loving on him. I think he gets spoiled greatly while he is there-We are blessed!



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Guangzhou




I could not believe it when we arrived in Guangzhou and the entire island was in chaos. They are preparing for the Asian games in November and it was was a mess(truly like nothing I have ever seen before) I had been looking forward to shopping since we found out we were going. I had honestly dreamed of the carefree days shopping and enjoying the beautiful island(I know I have a problem :)I had so many regrets from our trip with Anna Grace. I wanted to make sure I found everything to celebrate Anna Grace and Andrew's Gotcha Days. I was not prepared for the island to be destroyed. There were no sidewalk vendors and most of the shops were closed. The sidewalks were torn up and you had to walk in the road alot. Cars ALWAYS have the right of way so that could be dangerous. I imagine it is going to beautiful when it is done, but we will not be there to see it :) Hopefully it will be all cleaned up and the shops will be open by the time our friends go to bring home Lily and Owen!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

FRIENDS FOREVER!




Today was one of those moments that makes you stop and think---I mean really think---Think about things that you will never know the answer to---
My computer is in our kitchen. When it goes into screen saver mode, pictures are displayed. Today right as Andrew walked by the computer, MollyClaire came up. He stopped right in his tracks and started speaking in Chinese. He grabbed my chair and climbed up to the screen. He was so animated talking and gesturing to the screen. He tried to pull MollyClaire off of it. It was so precious. It melted my heart. What do these 2 share? A past that we will never fully understand, a connection that will last a lifetime. He was so thrilled to see his friend. I am so grateful that they had each other. I pray that one day they can tell us more about their past-but if not that is okay. I know one thing for sure---They have a wonderful future together--they will be able to see each other often-I feel so blessed that we can share in MollyClaire's life-God orchestrated something so much bigger than I ever imagined. He knew that we would travel twice with this sweet family. That both of our children would be friends. We feel blessed by their friendship.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

4 Weeks

4 weeks ago today, 4 small children were dressed and led from the place that they called home. They were loaded in a van and driven to a hotel. Imagine their surprise when they stepped onto an elevator---imagine their fright, when they stepped off the elevator to a hallway FULL of people, flashing cameras, video cameras and siblings! It was a moment that I will never, ever forget. One of those moments in time where although it is not possible, time seems to fly by and stand still at the exact moment. A moment where faith and prayers meet reality---the moment when dreams are realized, families are formed and where I know without a doubt, that ALL of heaven rejoices! A moment where an orphan becomes a son or a daughter forever! A moment when parents realize that all of the paperwork, fingerprints, background checks, more paperwork, prayers and more prayers, airplane rides, hotel living and all of the preparation has been so worth the REWARD---We are so very blessed to be part of international adoption! These 4 children were orphans no more! They were part of a Forever Family! The next 2 weeks were spent living in a hotel room, doing paperwork and then more paperwork, eating as a huge group with tables that swirled around in circles with more food than you could ever eat, walking everywhere, touring all of the "special" places in China, flying on airplanes, taking pictures on the "Red Couch" getting lots of shots, being examined by doctors, and learning that "Cheese" for the camera is an everyday thing with these new people they call "Family" We were blessed to be joined on this trip by 4 other children also. Although all 8 children were not together in the same orphanage, they immediately became friends and had lots of fun playing in hallways together. They now have an extended family in addition to their "Forever Family"

I can't believe that Andrew has been with us for 4 weeks---wow--it seems like he has been ours forever and yet it seems like we just met him. He is changing so much. He has a smile that will light up a room and a laugh that is just precious. I wanted to document how much he is learning -This week he went to the doctor--He weighs 34 pounds and is 36 inches tall-He needs to have tubes put in his ears soon as he has fluid on them-He is again on an antibiotic to clear up a sinus infection-We are praying that the tubes will help with all of this-

He sings along with all Barney songs---In english---It is just amazing!
He says "I wuv you" in the sweetest voice ever!
He gives Kisses whenever we ask
He now wraps his little arms around our necks and gives the best hugs!
He repeats words whenever we ask
He understands lots of what we tell him---He completely understands when we tell him to clean up his toys, when it is bedtime, ect.
He is very efficient in letting me know when he needs snacks, drinks or potty
He loves to color and draw. He especially loves to draw circles.
He still loves all things cars! His favorite thing to do is drive his cars tricycle around our house with his smaller cars in the basket in the back!
When I am putting him in his carseat, he points to the seat beside him and says "Mei Mei's seat" He wants to make sure his Mei Mei is going with him
He is sleeping all night but he wakes at 6:30 in the morning-He goes to bed at around 9 - 9:30
He LOVES Zoey---He feeds her all of the time-He lays in the floor with his arms wrapped around her and just loves her
He loves Nana alot and runs to her whenever he sees her-
He loves to be outside-He stands at the door and looks at the swingset whenever he can't go outside-He does not yet understand if it is too cold or too dark to be outside
He loves playing with Anna Grace---High heels and lip gloss are common toys around here-Anna Grace loves dressing him up :)

He is just a blessing to our family-God has answered each and every prayer---He is the perfect child for us--We are beyond blessed!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Day!












On Friday it started to snow :) It was precious to see the pure amazement on Anna Grace and Andrew's faces. I honestly do not think Andrew had ever seen snow. It snowed all night long---It was so beautiful! It was a winter wonderland. Hayne and Adam could not stay inside. They played out in it all night long. By 8:20 on Saturday morning, we were all dressed and looking for a hill to slide :) All of the kids had fun sledding down the front of our neighborhood. They played out side for a couple of hours. It was a great way to spend the morning. We brought the little ones in but Hayne and Adam found a hill at the back of the neighborhood and stayed out the rest of the day. They ended the day by building a snowman with their buddy, Colton. It was a great SNOW DAY(except for all of the extra laundry for mommy ;)

Happy Valentine's Day






Wow-5 kids on Valentine's Day--What fun! Before church this morning, we shared our Valentine's gifts. Anna Grace and Andrew LOVED their memory cards and candy--Hayne was thrilled with his Avatar toys and candy-Adam can't wait to spend his $$$ and loved all the chocolate--Ashton is already reading one of her books while enjoying her stash of Reece's Peaces! It is so much fun to get goody bags together for them. They truly appreciate the little things. I am the lucky mommy of 5 sweet Valentines!