Sunday, December 30, 2012

Friends, Blessings, and Christmas Eve

 WOW!  I am a bit behind- always happens this time of year....lots of family time, no school, crazy schedules, loads of birthdays, adoption days, just added another adoption day, etc.  So I am going to try to play a little catch up this week :).

For the weekend before Christmas we had some long time friends, summer camp staff (who got married) come and stay with us before flying back to Iowa for Christmas.  Joe and Lisa are wonderful friends and we enjoy having them with us! 
 So both Saturday evening and Sunday morning our church had a fun fest of Christmas Cheer and an invitation to others in our community to come see Jesus!  There were hayrides.....
 (oopss this picture is out of order?  oh well this is Joe playing with the kiddos- as you can see our kids  love Joe and Lisa too!)
 Michael and daddy on the hayride- although daddy is talking.... :)
 Enjoying hot cocoa! 
 Getting warm because to us Floridians this is cold weather.....I think it was in the 50's- brrr.....yes all my Northern readers can now make fun of this former Iowa girl!  It's all good, and yes I have become southernized when it comes to weather. 
 So here we all are.....
 And Michael who isn't so sure about drinking anything besides milk.  :)
 Have I mentioned that Lisa works at school with children in the special needs program- high school age.  She loves all our kiddos, but her heart is taken with Michael and all the huge improvements she sees every time they get to visit.  It's awesome for her to see it, and for us to be reminded that not that long ago he wasn't doing a lot of the things he is now. :)
 Petting zoo.......
 Joanna isn't too sure about this idea. 
 He he he......just having some fun!!!! 
 Kids opening gifts from Joe and Lisa! 
 Huge crayon, paint sets with coloring books and Bible Trivia!  Bring it - our kids are good!
 This present is as big as Michael  is!!! 
 Ooooooo- FUN!!!!  It makes noise, there are gears to play with, shapes, and you can walk with it. 
 A ferris wheel picture frame- with pictures of us on it!  (usually all our pictures are of our kids.  When we do profiles- we have to hand our camera to our kids to take a few pics so we have some of us too!  ;) 
 Michael really loved the bubble wrap.....
 Seriously loved!  Smart boy- it's fun! 
 Everyone loved the coloring paint, marker set!  They have played with it daily since then!  Oh and they were smart and gave us 2- one for the boys and one for the girls :). 
 Michael trying his hand with a crayon! 
So wanted to share some blessings we have again received.  People ask us all the time how do you do it, and our answer is always prayer.  The truth is God provides for our needs all the time.  We have never had times when our needs were not provided- never! 
 We strongly believe that we are called to give big!  In our monetary giving, in our daily giving to each other, to God and to our kids, and to others as much and as often as we can- or even when we think we can't! 
 So recently we have been stretched by what we were being asked of God to give.....and we did it, and waited because we know that God has always proven faithful.  UNDERSTAND CLEARLY this is not about getting money "back from God", but in seeing how HE CHOOSES to change our hearts and minds about what we need or what we do with our money!  Creative financing is something God helps us do!  He enables us to seriously rely on HIM ONLY!
 We have literally in the last month been EXTREMELY BLESSED by others.  If I wrote a huge list of the whole year and all the ways people "gave" to us throughout the year...I am pretty sure I would be even more amazed.  I know I have written things about this before on our blog. 
 So here it is......we have gotten 2 separate checks from people we seriously have had limited contact with wanting to bless us!

Some friends bought our whole family pizza (hey this is a huge blessing!)

One of our boys busted a pipe outside our home.  Unfortunately Jason felt this was slightly outside his realm because of how it was we called a plumber- who is a man of God and has done work for us before at very low prices.  He decided that even though he came out on an evening on the weekend to charge us- Nothing!  WHAT?  YES!!

We got another unexpected monetary gift from a family member :).

We got a gift card at our Christmas party for volunteers at our church's children's ministry- for free ICE CREAM at Coldstone!

We just yesterday had a pastor give us tons of bread - for real too many loaves to count, along with bagels, and English muffins.

Pretty much a supply for a few months (in the freezer).  And then another pastor and his wife who also love our kiddos took all but the "twins" to the movies to see Nemo in 3D!!! 
 We are continually amazed and humbled to see God's provisions for our family!  I know that sometimes there are times that are tight.  Sometimes we have change to spare.  God has  always provided!!! 
 The best BLESSING is seriously having our family!!!!  How do we do it- because we look at these beautiful faces daily.  We plead  with God to make us better followers of God, to be better spouses, and to show us and guide us in how we raise our kids.  We are totally NOT perfect at all.

In fact that is one lie satan tells us all the time.  Maybe you shouldn't have adopted all these children I mean you aren't that good of a parent- look at all of your mistakes.  Yep- we totally feel that all the time, and when we do- we have to pray!  God remind me of who I am IN YOU! 
 We are Blessed with friends that visit us, and want to spend time with our crazy family!!!! 
 People who pray for and cheer us on and our children!!!!! 
 Oh and a church family that LOVES US DEARLY!!!!!  This is us lined up and ready for Christmas Eve service rehearsal! 
 Why yes i know - I am handsome.....and this is my "smolder" look baby!  Check it!  ;) 
 Joanna- loving on a friend!  Hello I am cute and I know it! 
 Our kiddos praising God!  :)   So for the Christmas eve service we were sitting up front in a "living room" scene.  Jason read the passage in Luke of the story of Jesus while all our kids watched.  If you don't think I was a tad nervous that one of our kids wouldn't get up and bolt across stage or dance away- you would be wrong.  Not that anyone would have cared at all!  Because they wouldn't have! 
 But the sweetest thing ever happened instead.  At the second service (we did this in rehearsal and at 2 services without naps- my children deserve big time awards!) Joanna reached over to Michael - they were both on my lap- brushed his hair aside and gave him a big smooch on his forehead.  My heart seriously melted in a big puddle!!!!  HERE IS A LINK- you can see it for yourself at this link and if you don't want to watch the whole service- although I highly recommend it- watch from about 19 minutes on.....right before the lights fade the last time on Jason the kiss :)

***HA- had people ask me if that was planned.  My response- ummmm......she is 2- you can't plan anything with a 2 year old!  ;) 
 Our Christmas Eve photo- (these are the outfits we bought for Michael's Adoption Day.  Yes, remember, I am the matching freak!  :) 
 Of course we then came home read more of the Christmas story, lit our Advent candles......
 and put Mary and Joseph in the nativity scenes.....they had wandered around our home for a while......
of course our wise men are still wandering until January 6th :). 

You've been contemplating adoption for some time now, how about making your New Year's Resolution to GO FOR IT!
Let's make 2013 the year that you open your home to a child through adoption!


 Today through January 4th, we are offering 10% off our Consulting Services and 20% off consulting services through our Minority Adoption Program.  As always there is a 50% discount for our special needs program - for children over 3 years old or children with physical needs or syndromes. 
(This discount does not apply to our Do It Yourself Program and may not be combined with any other discounts)


  1. Always fun to see pics of your beautiful family! So glad that you all have been BLESSED abundantly this month.

    Thanks for your prayers for our family! Love and miss you, too.

    :) :) :)

  2. So fun! Love watching how God is blessing your family!