Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas

HG and Flower
We had a great Christmas!
We have been running non-stop since Sunday.
On Sunday, we went to Auburn to visit friends. It was a wonderful trip!
It was great to see everyone!

HG opening presents!
You may notice scratches on HG's face. She was bitten by a dog on our trip.
She was trying to play fetch, but the dog thought she was taking his toy away.
The scratches are healing well. I am hoping this will make her more cautious around unfamiliar animals. She always runs up to animals and expects them to play with her.
This is a present from Aunt Cathy.
It is an autographed Alabama jersey. Rolando McClain signed it!
YEAH! She thinks it is awesome!
She has learned the BAMA fight song. She has sung it so much this week that I cannot get it out of my head! It is driving me crazy!

"I can't see."

Here are the cousins!
This was a very difficult pic to capture!
Mackenzie, Haley, KayCee, and HG tried to be good sports!

Christmas morning in her ballerina pajamas!

Pink Barbie Jeeps and Babies

These jeeps are the ones I fought for on Black Friday!
A very tall man tried to take one away from me. LOL! He didn't know who he was dealing with!
We bought 2, because SH is going to need one!
HG picked out these dolls. She wanted one with red hair, but it was "too Chucky-like" for me. So, she said the blond would be her second choice. She picked the brunette for SH. You can't see it, but the dolls are wearing a Mandarin dress.

Driving her jeep "on the REAL road."

More presents!

A PINK camera from NaNa and PaPa.

HG and NaNa made our family aprons with our names on them.
Greg continues to ask,"Why did you make Stephanie one?"
I must admit that cooking is one of my least favorite activities.
But, maybe this will encourage me! LOL!
HG's FAVORITE Present!
PaPa and NaNa bought her tools. PaPa made her a work bench with bolts and screws in it. She was in HEAVEN!

We all waited to see if she knew how to use the tools.
The most impressive was the socket wrench. She picked it up, put it together, and started using it appropriately! She had never seen one before!
I know that I am bragging, but it was surprising!
Eating Sprinkles

Jesus' Beautifully Decorated Birthday Cake

Singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus

HG and Aunt Cheryl
We really enjoyed all of the time we shared with family and friends!
I wish we could have spent more time with everyone!
Our family received an AMAZING Christmas gift today.
We received 21 pictures of SH from her Birthday party!
(We can't post the pics, yet. HOPEfully soon!)
It has been a great encouragement to us! (I didn't cry! SHOCKER!)
She seems very healthy and happy! The people around her in the pics appear to care a lot about her! They were hugging her and feeding her cake. They even sent a picture of her playing on the computer.
I know that I am her mother, but Sarah Hope is so beautiful!
Every time I look at the pics, that is all I can say!
I am very grateful to Ladybugs and Love for obtaining these pictures and sending gifts to SH!
I am most grateful to my Heavenly Father for loving us so much to bless us with SH!
She is a precious gift from Him!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Youth Christmas Party

We celebrated Christmas with the Youth tonight!
It was a great party!!!!
Lots of good food and, most importantly, fellowship!
Brother Mike (Big Mike) and Mrs. Bobbie were so kind to host the party at their house. They are always willing to open their home to our church and youth ministry.
This family is always ready to serve our Lord and others. They are such a blessing!!
I must add that they are very BRAVE! LOL!
The above picture is of the "Dirty Santa Game."
All the youth brought a wrapped, ten dollar gift. Each person drew a number to decide who could choose gifts first. They could "steal" someone else's gift (if they liked it). But, it could only be "stolen" 3 times and then it was considered "dead."
Let me tell you!
The young men and women at this party had alliances and strategies!
I have never seen such a hilarious game of "Dirty Santa."
Here are some of the young ladies plotting to obtain the
You will NEVER, EVER guess what the prized gift was!!!!

I know you are amazed and a little confused!
Please look below for the newest line of action figures!

How totally awesome is this?!?!?!?!
How many other women can say that their husband is an action figure?
I mean, this is the coolest thing since...
dare I say...
Chuck Norris!
Yes, DEFINITELY, the coolest thing since Chuck Norris!
I know you are wondering where you can find these incredible dolls (OOPS!), I mean action figures.
Well, unfortunately, this is the only one of its kind!
Currently, the Youth are DEMANDING for a mass production!
Actually, Cameron ( young man in our Youth Ministry), Marian (his totally awesome mother), and Will Lipscomb (an incredible artist) teamed up to make the action figures!
We were all amazed at their creativity! The background matches the backdrop to the stage in the Green House (Youth House). Will was the artist of the mural in the Green House. *I posted pics back in September of the remodel.*
The Youth actually argued over the dolls!
Of course, I was ready to pay big bucks for them!
It was Black Friday all over again! LOL!

And they came in this well, crafted box.
Perfect for the Collector's Edition!

Rebekah, Michael, Greg, and Jonathan

Rebekah, Michael, and Jonathan are Youth Leaders. They help Greg so much on Wednesday nights, Youth Trips, Sunday nights, Sunday School, well... whenever they are needed!

They are very dedicated! We appreciate them so much!


I must add these pics of HG, Michael, and Rebekah!
HG absolutely adores them!
Michael played with her so much tonight.
When we left the party, HG said,"I had the best time ever with Mr. Michael."
I must add that Michael is always willing to do whatever HG wants.
Above, she is using him to help her turn flips.

Michael playing "Hide and Go Seek" with HG.
Where is he?

HG and Bekah rocking and talking!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas!

(NaNa - notice the red shoes with the pajamas!)
We have a tradition with Christmas ornaments.
Every year I buy Greg and HG a new ornament for the tree.
I try to find an ornament that reflects their interests. Last year, HG loved Dora.
She is still a Dora fan, but is more partial to Tinker Bell this year.
Greg...well, it hasn't changed in 6 years! Football or should I say, Alabama Football.
First Ornament on the Tree

These are our fun reindeer cookies!
Thank you, Keisha, for sharing this!!! HG loves them!
She named each cookie. And, she doesn't forget who each one is!
The middle 2 are Allie and Maggie.
Clockwise: Sarah Hope, PaPa, HG, Mommy, Daddy, NaNa, Aunt Cheryl, and Ol' Ben.
Now she will not eat them.
***Aunt Cheryl, she wanted to add a belly to yours for Baby Trey. LOL!***

I had to add this video of Josh Groban singing "O Holy Night."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Special Mommies"

I have always known that "THE QUESTIONS" were going to be asked by my little one.
I had NO idea they would be at the age of 3!
We have always been honest and factual with HG about her foster family and China.
We want her to be proud of her heritage and culture. To embrace who she is!
When HG asked Greg if he was Chinese, he stated, "In my heart I am Chinese."
I thought that was a great answer!
Well, tonight I received multiple questions and comments.
Here is our conversation:
HG, "When I was in China, I not have anybody. I not have Daddy or NaNa or PaPa or Maggie or Allie. I all by myself in your tummy in China!"
Mommy (feeling a little surprised),"Well, Baby, you were not in my tummy."
HG, "I not in your tummy. Who's tummy I in?"
Mommy, "You were in another woman's tummy."
HG, "What her name?"
Mommy, "I don't know her name. I wish I did. But, I do know that she loved you."
HG, "You think her name is Sue?"
Mommy, "I don't know ... (interrupted by the curious one)
HG, "I call her Sue. OK! I was in China all by myself except for my SPECIAL MOMMIES. I was in my SPECIAL MOMMY'S belly and my head popped out and then my body (WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?!?!?!). And you prayed to Jesus to have a baby. I called you on the phone. And you came and got me. But, in China I was all by myself...except for SPECIAL MOMMIES."
Mommy,"Baby, I know that you were not all by yourself. I know that Jesus was with you the whole time!"
HG,"How did she get me in her tummy?"
Mommy, "God put you there."
HG, "You think Jesus was with me when I in her tummy."
HG, "You think Jesus held me? You think He rocked me and hugged me close to His heart when I born?"
Mommy, "Yes, I think He did. You mean a lot to Him. So, He took care of you."
HG,"I want to open Christmas presents!"
I'm glad we made it through that one!
I hope I have more wisdom with the next ones!!
I know part of it comes from us adopting Sarah Hope. We have talked about her being in China for Christmas and sending her gifts.
I am thankful that she referred to her Birth Mother and Foster Mother as "SPECIAL MOMMIES." Because, that is what they are!!! They are so special!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would give anything for HG to meet and know her Birth Mother! I know, deep in my soul, that she loved HG. You may think that is crazy. But, I do know that! She took special care and extra effort to make sure HG was in a safe, warm, healing place. She could have easily been caught and imprisoned. But, she cared enough to make sure HG was in the right place... the right bed! I pray that Jesus comforts her and gives her peace about the decision she made.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Merry Christmas

This song has a special place in our hearts.

We first heard it in December, 2006. We were waiting for our TA for HG. We had her picture, but were not approved to travel to China at that time.

Last Christmas, Greg sang this song in church as I held HG. I was so grateful to have her in my arms! Yet, my heart was burdened for Sarah Hope. I had so hoped that she would be with us this year for Christmas! But, she's not home.

This past Sunday was Greg's turn to sing in the service. When I arrived home from work I asked what he would be singing. He said, "You know, "Merry Christmas." The CCL (Crazy Crying Lady) came out. He didn't realize that he was singing "OUR SPECIAL SONG" on Sarah Hope's Birthday!!!

It was a reminder to me that God had NOT forgotten SH's Birthday! His watch is NOT broken! He knows the burdens I carry! I believe my Father was putting His arms around me in that moment!

Thank you, Father, that SH is in Your arms!

Thank you, that she is NOT alone this Christmas!

Christmas Pictures

We took HG to have her Christmas Pictures taken.
The photographers were in a hurry. So, they didn't really have time to work with each family. We were rushed in and out quickly.
But, HG did well to be so hurried.
I must admit that I bribe my child.
Usually, we bargain with chewing gum. But, that wasn't good enough today.
She wanted to go to the Galleria and eat. It really wasn't a big deal, since we were so close. However, I see that my normal bribes are not working. HMMMMM!
I better start getting creative.
Any suggestions?
I gave her this doll before her pictures.
It kept her entertained during the pics and wait.

Happy Birthday, PaPa!

PaPa had a Birthday on Wednesday.
We surprised him at the Chinese Restaurant!
He was so happy to have all of his girls with him!
He particularly loved the magic wand HG gave him. I gave her a choice of giving him a balloon or the wand. She decided the wand would be better. That way he could change everything he didn't like.
Too bad that thing isn't real!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Last week, I went to pick HG up from her Missions Friends Class.
She really enjoys this class. The teachers are great!
They sing, play, have a lesson, and make a craft.
This Wednesday night they made a bank to gather change for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Lottie Moon was a Missionary to China in the late 1800's.
I have always loved to read about her and the calling on her life.
God worked through her in a mighty way.
The Women's Ministry of the Southern Baptist started an outreach for the overseas missionaries. This is an offering that is taken up every year around Christmas time. The money from the offering goes to help the missionaries who are called to serve the Lord in other countries.
When I saw HG with the bank, I knew what it was.
I know the teachers think I am emotionally unstable, because tears started flowing. they come again.
I asked HG what she had and she said, "A bank."
About that time the Children's Minister walked up.
Mrs. Melissa said, "OH Hannah Grace! What would Lottie Moon think about you doing that? I bet it would thrill her heart!"
Again...more tears!
YEP! I am the CRAZY CRYING LADY at our church!
But, honestly... think about it.
Here was a woman who spent her life loving and ministering to the Chinese people. Teaching them about their Savior!
And then I look at HG.
Her foster family is Christian. She had been taught about Jesus before she ever met us!
I am so grateful for Lottie Moon, Dr. Bill Wallace (medical missionary to China in the mid-1900's-Sarah Hope's Province), and others who have given their lives to tell the Chinese about Jesus' love for them.
Their efforts have not been in vain!
I am also grateful for the opportunity to teach HG about Missions; the importance of giving with a joyful heart; and putting others before yourself.
I pray that her heart will be burdened for Missions.
I pray that my heart will be burdened even more for the lost and hurting.

Our Newest Additions

Meet Suzy and Sally!
They must have seen us coming a mile away!
Last Friday night we went to a Christmas Parade in Greg's hometown.
We walked past a truck that had many Lab-mutt mix puppies.
There was a black one that kept hiding.
I couldn't help it! I knew that was my puppy!
HG was easily persuaded, because... well...come on it's a dog!
Holding the puppy did not help.
Then the owner started pulling out signs.
Greg was praying that the sign would have a dollar amount.
So, since they are free and all...
how 'bout we get 2!
We came home with 2 puppies!
Maggie and Allie (our indoor Miniature Schnauzers) have been less than thrilled.
So, now the animal count is:
2 outdoor dogs
2 indoor dogs
1 outdoor cat
I am sure our neighbors love us! LOL!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We have received incredible news today!!!
NaNa and I took HG to the doctor today.
Dr. Cavender wanted to see how she has progressed with the new diet, medications, etc.
Well, she has gained 1 lb!!!! BIG DEAL for our girl!
He also evaluated how her stomach and intestines were functioning.
Last week I had to "hide" the test markers in her food.
HG kept pulling them out of her mouth and looking at me like, "What happened here?" She was a bit confused at why I would place these "things" in her food.
I am very grateful that she trusts me!!!!
She finally swallowed all of the tracers (after interrogation).
The doctor ordered X-rays for today. This was to see "which areas were not working properly."
Everything is working properly!!!!!
Isn't God so AWESOME!?!!?!!!
I am SO doing the Snoopy Happy Dance right now!!!!
HG did very well at the doctor's office.
She always gets real quiet when the doctor comes in the room.
But, NOT this time!
She stood up on the examination table and TALKED ...
and TALKED...
She kept telling the doctor, "I'm the boss! And Mommy can be the boss, too."
Then she would chatter about her dogs (that is another post).
She even HUGGED the doctor!
I was shocked!
When she left the room (with NaNa), he asked, "Do you ever have a dull moment?"
I guess y'all can imagine my answer!!! LOL! ;)
I would like to thank everyone for their prayers!!!
We appreciate them so much!
I know that God has His Hand on HG's life!
Her little body has been through so much. But, He designed her.
She is fearfully and wonderfully made!
I honestly believe that He was extremely creative when He molded her!
His ways are perfect.
Psalms 9:9-10
"The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You."


OUR L.I.D. WAS NOVEMBER 25, 2008!!!!!!!!!!!
Some of you are wondering,"What is up with all of these abbreviations?"
I honestly don't know! I guess the adoption world felt it would be easier.
For those who are not familiar with this term, it means our Dossier (crazy-thick history of our lives) has been translated into Chinese; has arrived at the CCAA (Chinese government agency that handles adoptions); and is "LOGGED IN" to their computer.
Now, you may be wondering what is next.
Well, our Dossier goes through many reviews.
Once it has been reviewed thoroughly, they decide if we are an acceptable family for Sarah Hope.
We then will receive a LOA (Letter of Acceptance/Approval).
Then they will decide on our TA (Travel Approval).
And provide us with a CA (Consulate Appointment).
now we WAIT (not an abbreviation)!!!
For all of you PRAYER WARRIORS out there, we would greatly appreciate your prayers for a speedy approval!
***Ohilda, Thank you for your comment! I know that Our Father is able "to do IMMEASURABLY more than ALL we ask or IMAGINE."***

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sarah Hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is Sarah Hope's Birthday!
I cannot believe that it has been a year and 2 days since I first read about her!
I did not see a picture, initially.
I read her medical report. Something clutched onto my heart and would not let go!
I remember on Dec. 7, 2007, sitting talking to my mother.
My soul was grieving as I talked about her.
Then, suddenly... I realized... it was her Birthday.
I started praying that God would speak to Greg.
A week later, Greg agreed to look at her picture.
He said,"Oh my goodness! Look at her! She is beautiful!"
He was smitten!
I cannot wait for us to be united with our Little Princess!
It will be a GLORIOUS DAY!!!
The following picture is from care package we sent to SH.
We used "Ladybugs and Love" to send a gift.
There is a link (in the margin) to their site.
Kelly and Angela send care packages to the orphanages for families.
They have been so WONDERFUL!
They sent a Birthday cake, books, translated letter, and camera to SH.
I was so thrilled to see the books! I know SH will love them!
I cannot thank Kelly and Angela enough!
They e-mail frequently and their prices are extremely reasonable!

Monday, December 01, 2008

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALABAMA BEAT THE STUFFIN' OUT OF auburn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ALABAMA 36 - auburn 0
The losing streak has ended!
Our home is such a HAPPY PLACE!!!
HG and her Daddy before the game.

HG making a funny face at auburn!

Thanksgiving and Camping

The week of Thanksgiving we decided to go camping!
We had such a wonderful time!
Hiking, campfires, lots of family... TONS OF FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

On Thanksgiving Day, we spent lunch with my family and dinner with Greg's.
Above is a picture of Clayton, by cousin's son.
He is the cutest thing EVER!
He and HG had fun jumping in the jumpy thing (?I don't know what your call it) and running around.

Grandaddy and HG

Mama and HG

Cheryl and HG
This is my sister-in-law. She is pregnant with my nephew!!!
I cannot wait for "Itty Bitty Ol' Ben" (that is what HG calls him) to arrive!