Friday, April 29, 2011

God's Miracles

 Once again.....this is why we wanted to be closer to family :)  Nothing to do with the Easter Egg hunt, but to do with fun with family. 
 The boys being silly with the baskets.
 Lining up in age order.....Let the little kids go first and DO NOT run them fact help them please
 Joanna is excited about her extended family- look at this smile :)
 Hunting (Auntie Heidi helping little Jonathan).....
 Happy and skipping........
 Daddy with Joanna and my Aunt Jane aka Mimi with Jessa- oh yeah Joanna and Jessa have a very special relationship already :)
 Uncle Mark being silly.....the kids thought they were done and he said "so you found all the eggs right?  As he tipped over an orange cone with 10 eggs hiding under it."  and walks away :)  Always one big kid our family - several!
 Couldn't decide on a posted a few....Just look at all those cute faces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I mean 16 children....ages 13 and under......who knew they could be this CUTE!

So I want to share a little about how Jason found the job.  Because I believe that God obviously had everything under control :) of course.

So you know that wonderful tax letter we all received (except the 1% of you who already got your refund).  We had to dive through boxes and boxes in our temporary storage with all our furniture and stuff.  That Monday.....after calling some people for receipts like our lawyer and social worker, etc.  We were a little worried about the instant money transfer we did for Joanna's adoption.  How do you prove that?  Well, we called the bank and they didn't quite know what to do......

It is now 4:30pm and we are like- well gotta send what we have I guess.....and we are writing those ss numbers and Jason's name on every page.....getting ready to be at Fed Ex by 5pm to overnight it.  The bank calls and said we figured out a way to get you that proof!  YEAH!!!!!!!  So now we are off to Fed Ex...they are faxing the information and it is DONE- PRAYING!!!!

We had the kids go outside to swim in the pool and they are all having fun...the pool is still a bit cold for this whimp :)  So I think to myself, maybe I should look up some of those ministry job websites and see if there is anything.  

You see since we have been put in a predicament due to the tardiness of payments by the IRS....we thought we better look for a job sooner rather than later.  Otherwise I truly believe I wouldn't have even been seriously looking.  

I am scrolling down and I see Tampa- click- there it was a ministry in need of an administrator.  Read through it.....and it struck Jason and I later this is exactly what we had talked about a few months earlier.  What if there was a way to connect the needs of the community to the churches.  Because we all know that when we are done with that crib there are plenty of others that would be blessed by having it.  And yes, talking around your church is great, but sometimes the need isn't in your own church.  

That is where Meet The Need comes in.  It is software designed to be "behind the scenes" on your church's website to help all the churches in the area meet needs.  So let's just say recently here in Tampa there was something called Feed the Bay.  It is a big food drive to help all the local food banks get enough to help feed people.  Pretty big operation and plenty of churches want to help, but if they did it on their own....not enough.  BUT when the churches pull together as the Body Of Christ should be doing with Meet the Need - they are able to bring in 6 months worth of food at once (and that wasn't even the latest drive)!!!!!  How amazing is that???

So you can sign up on your church's website (you don't even  know it is Meet The Need because they are the background it is THE CHURCH that is doing the work) to help with Feed the Bay, or diaper drive for the local pregnancy crisis center, or a local family in desperate need of a refrigerator.  All these needs are met through the program- easily, everyone can be a part, and sooo many more needs are met because lots of denominations are working together!!!!!!

Can you see the excitement?  This is what we talked about months ago...and yet here it was a job opportunity on the screen.  I said to Jason when he came home from the Fed Ex office- you need to look at this job!  He did...researched the website....applied.  That day he got a call for a phone interview.....yesterday he had a face to face interview.....and now he is a Member Services Coordinator.  Which means he will help pastors and churches put the software to great use.  He may do trainings with new members, answer questions, explain software, etc.  

Another wonderful thing is Meet The Need is GROWING!!!!  The vision the president has is HUGE!!!!  I mean if you thought of a system that helps the church and the community - communicate and get a LOT DONE FOR GOD wouldn't you be sooo excited?  He wants to take this Nationwide and Global!!!!  I think God is going to use this to help the church rise up! 

So due to the lateness of our tax refund...not finding a home yet.....going to run out of money in the next couple of months.....and thinking- we need a job sooner rather than later.  We see the add online.....and now Jason has a ministry job that we are both sooo very excited about and it provides for our family.  BONUS!!!!!!!!!

I am still reeling from the fact that we moved without having a job.  I was seriously thinking we may have to really become super thrifty- which I actually don't mind anyway.  And within a couple of months in a time when the economy isn't that great- GOD PROVIDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is impossible for our God?  NOTHING!!!!!! 

Thank you for all of your prayers is not enough, but we are sooo Thankful for bloggy friends and our family that have really been on your knees on our behalf!  We have felt those prayers and Jason felt total peace in the interview. 

Now for the next step...finding a temporary rental home in Tampa area.  We can't be over an hour away with these gas prices for a few months.  We need a house to stay in....until the tax refund comes- praying praying praying.  We couldn't find one earlier or else we would have already been in this area.  Since it is way closer to family!  So this is not all that easy - considering it is summer time and rentals especially short term in FL are almost all booked.....we know it will take another miracle, but we know OUR GOD IS GREATER!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jason Got The JOB! :)

Just wanted to update everyone real quick- JASON GOT THE JOB!!!!  Join us in celebration through cyber space because OUR GOD IS GREATER!!!!!  There is a story behind this miracle I want to share with stay tuned and we will let you all know what he is exactly doing since a lot of you have asked that too.

Now to find a place closer to his work to rent prayerfully for a short time before our tax refund comes back :)
And of course the move there too.... he he he- I tell you the adventures just keep coming right?

ALSO please join in prayer as a friend of mine is experiencing troubles with a homestudy agency that thinks her family is "too big" already.  If anyone has experience in dealing with this please let me know and would love your prayers on this.  We know that OUR GOD is bigger than social workers and LOVES to unite families......  :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


 This is how transition affects Joanna....she says- What transition?  :)  I think it is good to have babes during transition because they are so care free with the "stuff".  As long as they are fed, loved, and changed they are good. 
 In fact she loves the boxes hanging around.  They are fun to play in. 
 So...since we are close by we went to Downtown Disney last week, hey it's free.  The highlight- Lego store!!!  Our kids loved it and there were all of these lego built life size things around.....
 Like this one in the water....
 They had lots of little places for kids to have some fun too and our kids always love to play with Legos. 
 I can't imagine building all of this?
 Is this cute?  It is supposed to be tourists......  Actually later this year, I think in the fall, Legoland which is not far away will be built. 
 Here is the Tower Bridge from London which we have stood on and walked on many times :)
Here we are hanging out with Buzz and Woody.

So this whole thing has been going pretty well.  Trying to see all the positives.  One being this interview tomorrow (Thursday- 11AM All Prayers Appreciated :) !!!!!!   Really excited about this opportunity!!!!

Of course if Jason gets the job then there is another short term move in our future because we can't handle the long commute for months??  Or however long it will take with the refund.  BUT hey, we are experts at moving now, right???  Of course the possibility right now of a house there - it is much we will be a bit squished, but we will have a job and be together.

So...praying for tomorrow and thinking about what that do we move with Jason gone all day- very carefully.  Our lives are upside down, but really aren't they all the time?  I mean hey why not throw in some extra fun :)  More pictures of our Easter with family which was AWESOME to come.........

Thank you all for your support and prayers.....really wonderful knowing we have people who are rooting for us and praying knowing God's Plans are WONDERFUL.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Jason had a phone interview with a Christian non profit that helps connect churches to community needs and vise versa.  Very exciting and growing ministry!!!  We were thrilled to get a message that he had an interview yesterday.....and later that same day another message saying next week on Thursday he will have an in person interview!!!!!!!  This is HUGE!!!!  A ministry that we are excited about, a position that he would fit right into wonderfully!!!!!!!!  PRAISING GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Praying that it goes well....knowing that it is all about what God has planned and not our plans ;)  right?

 Joanna's favorite part of the day I think besides snuggle time is splash in the tub time.  She gets the entire floor wet- SOAKING.  But look at that face.  How could you say anything?  I can't just mop up the floor with a towel :)
 Now she is getting some ideas......look a curtain - I could stand up with....hmmm...
And play peek a boo with....... I LIKE THIS MOMMY!

So on this wonderful Easter weekend......I have been reflecting on last year's Easter.  You see last year it was earlier of course.  Last year Joanna and I had just flown to Houston from Pennsylvania to be with our family and friends.  We spent the weekend introducing all our kiddos to their new sister.  Didn't take long for Joanna to assume the roll of beloved little baby girl in our home :)  

Remembering the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior who died on the cross just for me!  Remembering the pain we had endured losing our sweet Naomi through failed adoption, and yet, the new life that was handed to us the week prior to Easter.  Her name- Joanna Faith (God is Gracious through our faith in HIM)!  Only time Joanna's name appears in the Bible- THE EASTER STORY OF COURSE!!!

Today as it is Good Friday...I always remember that being a little twisted.  Good Friday- HELLO JESUS JUST DIED ON THE CROSS EVERYONE!!!  Then remembering.....YES HE DID for our sins!!!  So we could have EVERLASTING HOPE IN HIM!  Because Easter is coming......we have to is hard to wait.....sometimes it is really painful to wait......even a few days seems like too loooonnnngggg to live without Jesus, because it is!!!

BUT THEN GOD!!!!  God says I know you are waiting for HOPE and HERE HE IS - MY SON!!!  Come see!!!  You see after the pain of waiting the world stood in awe breath held.... (Luke 24:1-12)

Jesus Has Risen
 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’8 Then they remembered his words.
 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. 

So today is a day to prepare ourselves....will we be like the women that on that day saw the GLORY OF GOD REVEALED TO THEM?  Or like the disciples who doubted?  This is soo hard.  I mean let's be real it is kind of like Jesus' beginning right?  Who believes that a man and woman didn't sleep together...and a miracle happened and Jesus was born- I DO!!!  But is it really that easy to believe.  

I think for me....sometimes yes and sometimes no.  That is why there is a time preparation for us.  To prepare our hearts to REALLY BELIEVE.  To trust it not just because our pastor tells us, but really deep down believe.  PRAYING YOU TAKE THIS TIME to let it soak into you too.  That you will be like the women.  I can imagine their excitement all over their face!!!  The look of HOPE of PROMISE of PURE JOY!!!!!  Praying that for each one of you today :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Melt my heart beautiful

 Hello, it's me again, Joanna it has been a while since I have written to tell you about how my life is going.  As you can tell from the title this post is about me :)  This is mommy and I having a fun time playing with phones.  She has her new Blackberry and I have, well....her old pay as you go $10 phone, but the buttons are still fun.  Even if it was turned off.
 This is me after eating yummy pasta, chicken, and corn.  Yes there is something in my hair, but that just makes me more adorable :)
 I wanted to make sure to tell all my fans how much I love you!  And if you look closely you can see my 7th tooth coming through on the top :)
 This is part of my "cheeky kind" of look.  What do you think? 
 I LOVE PLAYING peek a boo!!!  I start this game a million times a day no matter what gunk is on my hands.  It just makes it more fun. 
 This is my "don't bother me please look". 
 This is my "you just think I am kissing daddy, but really he has an M & M in his mouth and I am getting it from him picture" look. 
This is me reminding you all that I AM CUTE!!!!!!  In fact earlier this morning when I was standing on mommy's lap I crouched down tilted my head to give my mommy a kiss.  She said that it was definitely the best moment of the day.  :)

I like to try to stand up on my own now.  I can do it for a few seconds.  Yesterday I got so excited to be standing up on my own I started clapping.....and then fell down.  But, hey I am getting there.  I am taking the laid back approach to walking.  I'll get there.  For now I am happy to be carried everywhere, scootch, cruise, or crawl.   It worked for my older brother Matthew so I figured I am good to go.

I love solid foods, but there are times I still like my baba.  Mommy and daddy are plotting to get me more used to the sippy cup, but I am holding strong in rebellion.

I am actually taking naps now....well most of the time...except when I don't want to.  You know how it is.  I need to keep everyone guessing because it makes it more fun.  None of this mommy and daddy have me figured out kind of thing happening here. 

The other thing I am really great at is chatting really loudly and looking extra cute when mommy is trying to read to the other kids.  She gets frustrated....looks at me....laughs and well, what is a mommy to do?  I love all the attention :)

Well, I guess that's all for now.  Please keep praying for mommy & daddy, our tax refund, jobs for daddy.  My mommy said that she knows and feels us being covered and surrounded in prayer and it keeps her going.  THANK YOU!

******UPDATE:  HELLO EVERYONE!!!  This is Joanna here.  Well my nap was great...I have had a few snacks and now am Happy to report that my daddy has a phone interview with a Christian Ministry based in Tampa that he is very excited about- TOMORROW at 11am our time!!!!  Join us in prayer!!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Round 2......done

Sorry...tried to load a video of Joanna walking around the HUGE coffee table we have here, but it would load :(  Try again later.....  

So I have been really trying to focus on my heart and not letting my circumstances affect my joy.  I think I have done pretty well considering that this is something that is very hard for me.  It is true I am a perfectionist.  I love having everything in it's spot, clean, and organized.  he he he he- yeah even with 8 kids.

Sunday we spent more than 2 hours searching for documents in the storage area- 30 X 10 with all our stuff jammed in.  YIKES!!!  Our kiddos were in the van (right outside our unit so we could hear them and see them of course) that was running with a movie on .....and then another movie.....and they did AMAZING!!!!!  Snacks of course were included as well as a trip to McDonald's afterward.  I LOVE the fact that our kids do so well when we are trying to get something important done.  Seriously I have the best kids in the world!!!!!!

Then today we spent THE DAY getting everything photocopied, and corrected, and stapled, and marked etc. to send to the I R S.  PRAYING that everything goes well.  PRAYING!!!!!!!

I said today on facebook that it seriously feels like we are doing another adoption.  Gathering all the documents needed is a familiar feeling to anyone who has done an adoption.  Although there is a child waiting for you instead.

Praying your adoption taxes are going better :)

Finding JOY in everyday disaster:  Like the fact that Joanna was doing some serious belly laughing today.  The fact that we got our stuff overnighted to the I R S.  The fact that it is Easter week and we get to spend the weekend with family.  The fact that our kiddos are so very well behaved on the whole.  The fact that we are all healthy.  SOO MANY things to thank God for today!!!  Going to keep reminding myself of that!

***Praying for Jason as he starts the job search.  There are 2 jobs specifically he is applying for right now- both have great potential and both are things he would enjoy doing :)  PRAYING...for God to open the door that needs to be opened.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The In Between

Why is it that I am so not good at "the inbetween".  I feel like my skills to get on in life and do something normal seems a million times harder when we are in the "in between" time.  It is like I get emotionally stuck in a vortex.  

Homeschooling is much harder work.....
Cleaning and keeping up on things much harder.....
Feeling like a real person instead of someone going through the emotions is not existent....

Don't get me wrong having family around has felt as AMAZING as we dreamed it would!!!!  Besides not being closer (like we will be when we actually buy a home)...which in and of itself is a bit of a pain because we are spending more money on gas as well as time on the road, but part of the transition that isn't fun either.  

The "not knowing" really puts a damper on me.  I am struggling.  

I am searching scriptures for answers.  I am a scheduled person.  I don't do well with "whatever" and that makes it pretty hard.  This is a time I wish I could just let it go.  I am in need of a heart change.  

So here we go trying again to not get so emotionally dependent on my circumstances.  Trying to think about what God desires from me.  What is He trying to teach me?  You would have thought after 8 adoptions I would have learned more right?  I guess not.  

So here is a verse I am trying to concentrate on- if you have more please share :)

Matthew 5:3 God Blesses people who depend fully on HIM.  They belong to the kingdom of heaven.  

My desire is to belong to the kingdom of heaven- To be dependent FULLY ON HIM!  Not money, not the future, not mere circumstances.  It sounds so easy, and yet it isn't.  

What are your favorite depending on God verses?  Let's encourage each other to depend FULLY ON HIM for all our needs, joys, and desires.   


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Faith battling my Fears.....

 Well, since the new rental home has a pool (pretty small, but a pool nonetheless)- we have been taking full advantage of that this week.  Even though it was freezing until today....that doesn't stop our kiddos :)
 Matthew takes his squirt gun seriously!
 Could Abigail get any more beautiful?
 High flyin'
 Crazy action
 Cutie pie fun!!!  The cutest is that Jonathan never actually gets any water in his squirter because he doesn't get the concept of putting it in the water and pulling back- he he he, but he doesn't mind.  It's the idea that makes him giggle.
 Sarah....she has come a long way baby!!!!  Praising God for that!  And that smile is AMAZING!
 I know I am biased, but she is amazing :)
 And our little ball of fire Elizabeth is soo cute- just want to squeeze her.

 Stop- wait!
You see this sign- it was at a rest area we had our picnic at on the way to my nephew's baseball game last Saturday.  We thought it would come in handy for blogging...and I have to say it sums up how we are feeling.  You see.......he he he- we had a plan.  Yeah it's ok to laugh now.

The plan was to rent a place for a couple of months...wait for our tax refund......and put that towards a home to buy.  As you know.......most of us haven't seen that refund.  And may not for a while.  Hey, being as vague as the government here on this.

So we saved enough for the move, for the first few months of what we would spend.  BUT we did not plan on waiting so long to be able to move to a home.  Now, had we known it could take months we would have just rented a house for 6-8 months moved all our stuff there, but how were we to know?  Then the disastrous rental that we were at- that we lost a few thousand on....yeah....not good at all. 

You could see where our faith has been a little shaken.  Our fears are creeping in.  Why ......?  The list could get so long, and yet we know that God led us here.  We have been in "this spot" so many times.  We have encouraged others "in this spot".  We have let it roll off our tongue- the Lord will provide, but now we ourselves are "here again".....and it stinks.

So here's our sign: venomous snakes in area......satan tries to attack us.  Make us believe that we are wrong for trusting, making that decision to move closer to family.  That snake starts arguments over silly things in our lives.  Things that don't matter.  Well- EVEN WHEN IT IS HARD WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN!  NO TURNING BACK!!!  We are here for the long haul.  We are praying and keep standing firm on HIS WORDS OF TRUTH! 

Today Jason heard something on the radio from a pastor that talked about running.  He  said that runners will run hills to get the strength.  I remember doing that my senior year of HS as I thought it was a great idea to go out for track.  I remember thinking why are we running hills this isn't cross country?  It is for the strength.

So right now we are running that hill.  It is hard.  Our faith sometimes waivers.  We question ourselves.  We question our sanity.  BUT we are gaining strength- NOT OURS- from GOD ALONE!  PRAYING, READING HIS TRUTH, and HANGING IN THERE!

Praying your hills will help strengthen you too...even when you don't want to run them.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Cost!

 So not last week, but the week before we went to Bush Gardens with my cousin Heidi & her daughter Makenna.  It was is the evidence :)

 Awww....look at these gorgeous kids!!!!!  Waiting so patiently :)
 Hanging out waiting for lunch. 
 Joanna has something to say about it- she loves hanging out with the family :)
 Matthew trying to console Joanna because she said she was hungry - NOW! 
 Riding the water ride....who is that in the poncho you ask?  Heidi & Makenna....he he he- you mean you don't want to get wet?
He he he he.....

So a couple of weeks ago we went to a church for the first time.  We really enjoyed the service and the sermon.  One thing that I am still digesting was a story the pastor told.  He said.... shouldn't it be a rule that if you are on your way to Disney World that your children should be angelic for at least that day?  But no...on the way there erupts an argument.  WHY?  I mean really.  When you have worked hard, planned, and forked out the dough- why don't they appreciate it?

The Answer:  Because they don't understand THE COST IT TOOK TO GET YOU THERE!

Just like ourselves.  We sometimes forget THE COST that was paid for us on the cross.  We walk around defeated, worried, and scared like our lives are falling a part because we forget THE COST!  We forget what was PAID ON OUR BEHALF!  We forget that CHRIST PAID THE DEBT that WE OWED.  We GET TO GO TO HEAVEN someday because HE PAID for our sins, our worries, the many times we doubt HIM, the times we spit in HIS face, the times we HATE each other and argue.

We argue in "the car" on the way to Heaven because we forget that there was a HUGE PRICE PAID FOR US TO GO THERE.

If you don't know that cost.  If you don't know the price that was paid for your sins....if you have been walking around defeated by the world.  STOP and think today about the price....let that sink into your brain a moment.  In fact let it sink into who you are.  Where you are......let it open your mind to HIM.  If you don't know what I am talking about please take the time to e-mail me.  I would love to have an e-mail conversation or a phone conversation.  I want you to hear about what Jesus did for you.....because HIS LOVE is SOOO HUGE  it is better than all the theme parks, Dairy Queen blizzards, and chocolate bliss that you could ever consume.

Remember THE COST!