A snapshot into what her future held...

A snapshot into what her future held...
Zhukovka, Russia

Friday, August 2, 2013

Honest Friday.

When I look at our blog... what was set up to document our adoption journey a little over two years ago now, I immediately want to turn away.  I don't want to see the cover page photo, or the title, and I don't want to even believe all that we went through to get our daughter home.

I think it's partly because she is so much a part of us now, so much a fixture in our home, so much... loved.  It's like she wasn't even adopted.

And she feels the same.  Amazing how God can shape hearts so quickly. 

She doesn't like to talk about the adoption, she doesn't believe herself now that she came from Russia, and in her heart of hearts, I believe she just wants to move on and never look back.  So why dwell on the past?  Why write about it.  Well... I don't know. 

There is a part of me that never wants to forget how we became world travelers!  Three times in one year!  I never want to forget the strength I found, within, when I was kept over there, by myself, for 21 days on the last trip.  And I promised God I would never forget what I saw, if He would just get us out of there.

So, what's that balance?  That's what I'm trying to work through.  Our daughter is SO not a part of anything we saw over there... now.  She is a new person... redeemed.

Photos from a recent fashion show at the fair...

Gorgeous. Confident. 
So as for the blog... I don't know the direction we'll take it.  But it's exciting to think about the next journey God has planned.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy 14th Birthday!

It was our Karis' second birthday party... EVER.
She requested a PINK party...
And had to have... PINK hair!!!

And really great friends!

And presents...

And cake!!!

And singing...

And LOTS of laughter!!!

Happy 14th sweet girl!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sports Banquet

We've always felt that it's important that our kids are growing:  spiritually, academically, socially,  and... physically.
That's why we usually say "ok" when our kids express an interest in sports.
Kids learn valuable skills through sports... like how to work on a team.
They get lots of good exercise.
They build confidence.
We are blessed to have a great sports program, at our school.
Last night, the athletes were awarded...
This was Karis' volleyball team.
Volleyball is the sport she truly loves.

Congrats, Karis!!!

Next, came Evan's basketball team.
Congrats Evan!!!
Evan, by the way, got A LOT of cheers from the ladies in the audience. Yikes!!!
Then, Karis was awarded her basketball trophy...

Yay Karis (again!) !!!

Until next year...
Hooray for sports!
I Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or... whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Planting Seeds

Evan plants watermelon seeds...
Karis plants cucumber seeds...
Karrigan plants sunflower seeds...

Now we have to wait...
And be patient...
Who knew planting seeds could teach virtues? Patience is a big one in our home.
But we can do it!
And excitedly!

James 5:7
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.    

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Worthy is the Lamb


The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.



Happy Easter!

Easter Blessings!
Beautiful sisters!
The Easter Bunny brought each of the kids LOTS of candy and one present each....
Karis got some perfume...
Evan got a gift card to the Game Stop...

Karrigan (look at that wonder and excitement!) got an Easter Barbie!

That silly Easter Bunny left baskets in the shower!!!

Coloring eggs the night before Easter...

Mom's bunny coconut cake and Peeps cupcakes for Easter Sunday dessert...
We LOVE Easter!
HOPE, new life, new beginnings...
He has RISEN!!!
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3

Monday, February 18, 2013

Daughters of the King!

Our church held it's annual "Princess Party"... to celebrate that we are all daughters of the King!


James 1:16 – 18
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession.
Both girls, very gifted at crafting and art, greatly enjoyed this activity... they got to make their own, personalized picture frames.
1 Peter 4: 10-11
 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
And then, they danced!
The princesses learned a routine from the Repunzel soundtrack. It was precious!
Psalm 150:4
Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
It was an awesome day!  One I was blessed to share... with my princesses.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

People not Politics

This post is certainly not a political one.
Politics are NOT my thing. 
I keep myself educated on issues, and I always vote... but that's about it. 
I sometimes will sign petitions if I feel strongly about issues.
Having said all of that... last night was a bit unusual.  Instead of hearing about the State of the Union Address the following morning on the Today Show, I actually tuned in.  And I'm glad I did.  Our president, who I admit, I have always been critical of... spoke something that really resonated with me.  A snip-it:
And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.
We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all. In many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day. So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves; by saving the world's children from preventable deaths; and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.

Yes, Mr. President, you are aware of the need to save the world's children from preventable deaths.

I may not agree with all of your liberal ideals, but THIS statement, I can agree with, and I'm glad you understand it's importance, also!  Children deserve to be children.

One other note, during the live speech, President Obama stated that by helping others... we will all be better for it.  I didn't see that anywhere in the official transcript, so that was something he added... ad libbed.
I again will say, I'm glad I tuned in, last night.
I am glad the president recognizes there is a need for Americans to grow stronger by helping those in poverty, around the world.

And despite all of the issues that America is looking to improve on in the coming year... I am beyond glad, and beyond blessed, and PROUD to live in the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine Love

I love Valentine's Day.
 In fact, I wallow in it.
Here is our mantle decorated with hearts and shades of red...

And words of warmth...

Some of the ones we love most...
Even on the outside... more hearts...
Even Karis is getting in on the decorating, making this... which I thought was clever and beautiful...

A look at my supplies to make Valentine's for the ones we love...

A couple of our designs...

So why the LOVE of Valentine's Day?
I believe it began here...

In 1976, this little girl, in Alabama, received love from her family, in Ohio.
In the form of a Valentine.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Back to Eastern Europe?

I have been asked to lead a group of students, this summer, to work in a children's home, in Ukraine.

These are the beautiful people who SERVE as family to the orphans, at the home.

These are the beautiful children...

This is what our meals would look like. I remember all too well this food, from three trips to Russia in 2010-2011.

This is the organization our family is involved with...
I am excited to see what God will do with this, and there's no doubt, a part of my heart is still in Eastern Europe. I promised God I would never forget what I saw, going there.

And what's really cool about this trip, is that one of the students would be none other than my own... Karis Yulia.

Who has a lot of love to give!

 She knows the feeling of abandonment. And after only one year and 7 months of being home, with her forever family, she is healing and wants to give back.

So, we will pray.

We will look to scripture.

And we will continue to praise HIM, because two things we prayed for... happened.  Our Karis accepted Christ and now... she wants to help others in the same situation. God is SO good!

Mark 16:15
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

Bryansk Home

Bryansk Home
My two favorite colors together seem to be common in Bryansk homes.