Monday, February 28, 2011

brown AND BLUE!

hey guys!  we needed to make one more t-shirt order for our sweet buddies in the corinth christian church childrens group.  they are raising money for our adoption!!  and they are givers!
we ordered more kids well as some adult sizes.  they weren't able to print them in the original brown now we have BLUE shirts...and I think they look great!  we have the blue ones available in adult SMALL and MEDIUM.  still the same soft, great feel...and the same fit.  we also have the brown adult version in L, XL, and XXL. 
we are still raising funds to buy our plane tickets, so if you feel like you want to help out we would be so thankful.
the directions are over on the right side of the blog on how to buy the shirts!  thanks again!!
Oh AND we are in the TEENS as far as a wait list number (from what we can guess). TEENS people!  getting closer!!  I am a little giddy.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

daddy's girl

the little sweetie pie pictured above LOVES her daddy.  when he goes away on trips out of the country she sleeps with his picture under her pillow.  the way they love each other is one of the sweetest joys of my life.  he plays pretend with her...tickles her til she screams with laughter...buys her push pops from lowe's...and they have read through her story book bible almost 3 times together. 
when eden sees a homeless person she wonders if her daddy can build them a house.
last week she got a new pad of paper to "write lists on" at the target dollar spot.  it has hearts and puppies on it. she is going to make lists of things that daddy could help people give them warm clothes, or food if they were hungry.
in her mind...there isn't much he can't do.
I wish every little girl could have a daddy like him.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I listen to music a lot.  so if you get bored of me referring to song lyrics in posts...sorry bout that.
kari jobe is a favorite of mine these days.  there really isn't a song of hers that I don't like.
there's this one called healer.  and it says
I believe you're my healer. I believe you are all I need.
and it talks about Jesus walking through fire with us.  and says he calms our raging seas.  heals all our disease.
then she sings "I trust in you. I trust in you."
there were some months and years in my life when I couldn't truthfully sing those words.  I didn't know if I believed anymore.  if I trusted. I felt like I needed to have God completely figured out before I sang him those words again.  which is hilarious.  figure out God? riiiight.
I felt like I needed to know why bad things happened.  why Doug died.  why it seemed like everyone had cancer. what heaven exactly was. 
but then a little miracle happened.  (after many people loved and prayed for me)... I started to believe again.  I started to trust.  I started to realize that I'd never figure all that stuff out.  or God (you know, the creator of the universe), for that matter.  I knew that all I needed to understand was in his book...and the rest I'd learn over dinner talk in the heavenly realms.
and I felt like I was healing.
which brings me to the point of all this writing.  I've been wondering about healing a bunch lately.  I've prayed a lot to God that he would continue to heal my hurting heart.  continue to patch up the tears and rips that sometimes open up and squirt all over my soul.  I'm pretty certain that the fact that doug isn't here will always ache.  when I talk about healing I'm not talking about not missing him anymore.  or forgetting memories.  I'm looking for that peace that quiets my tears and gets me going again.  and allows me to focus on life now.
last night I cried a lot.  I needed to see pictures.

I wondered about how much longer it would be until all was restored and we were all in heaven and there weren't any more tears or death or disease.
when I finally closed my eyes I asked God to keep healing me.  I also asked him to tell Doug hi for me (hey, a girl can ask!).  and you know what?  he did (continue heal me, that is. not sure about the heavenly hello). and he still is.  and today is another day to get up.  and teach my girls about Jesus.  and love him.  and be thankful for my beautiful life and serve.
I still cried a little today.  but I felt so incredibly loved, too. 
I hope you can believe and trust today.
he can keep healing you, if you ask...I am so sure of it.
when I sing words of the song "healer" to Jesus is a big deal.  I get this big lump in my throat.  because now.  I know
"nothing is impossible for you.
nothing is impossible.
you hold my world in your hands."

Monday, February 21, 2011

is forever enough

they didn't have you where I come from
 never knew the best was yet to come

 life began when I saw your face
and I hear your laugh like a serenade
how long do you wanna be loved?
is forever enough
is forever enough?
how long do you wanna be loved?
is forever enough
cause I'm never, never giving you up
(thanks dixie chicks)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

pedro's day

yesterday was my handsome husband's birthday. 

it happened to be a beautiful 83 degrees in el eden and I bought some water guns at target.  3 water guns to be exact.  around 4 p.m. daddy and his girls had a water gun fight.  I think daddy won...and the girls had fun running around in their bathing suits.  I tried to snap pictures without being squirted...but did get a little bit wet.  charlotte insisted on wearing shoes.  and socks.

then we went to chico's tacos (pete's choice) for birthday dinner.  and came home to a homemade chocolate pie (his mother's recipe) for dessert.  it was the first time I'd ever attempted to recreate mimi's chocolate pie...and I was so happy that it tasted like hers!

kids...don't try that at home.
I know he had a happy day.  and I hope that God gives him tons and tons of more days and birthdays to spend with us on earth serving Him.

Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine birth day

we had a very eventful valentine's day this year!  we woke up to a phone call telling us that our niece violet was ready to be born!  this put pete's parents in a bit of a pickle...because they were at our house in el paso.  so...they hopped on a plane and actually made it to the hospital in athens, GA on time. she was just born...16 days before her due a healthy 6 lbs 4 oz!  I've only seen pictures on my phone, but she is gorgeous with dark hair and big, full lips.  we can hardly wait to snuggle her!  and I can't wait to take pictures of her.
we did get to share a meal of papa's delicious heart shaped pancakes before they left, and the girls loved that.
the rest of the day we just sort of hung around the house. we made our new guess of a wait list number out of valentine-ish things.  we think we are around number 20!!  yay!!

the girls wore bows that have the ethiopian flag symbol on them today.  I got them from a fellow adoption mama blogger that adopted with holt and LOVE them.
and we also gave pete/daddy his valentine cards and he thought they were pretty great.  thanks snapfish.

and we ended the day with five guys burgers and fries for dinner. french fries are so romantic :).
we are so loved by our Father.  so in love with our family.  and so thankful to add more love to our hearts with the birth of miss violet!  happy valentine's and birthday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

sixty feet

while I was at the created for care retreat I learned about a ministry called sixty feet.  on saturday evening we watched an incredible movie about this beautiful organization, and listened to one of their team members speak about how God is working through them in Uganda.
when I went to see this short film about this ministry I expected it to be like something I'd already seen before...about orphan care or adoption or poverty.  I wasn't prepared to be shocked by what I saw.  and I most definitely was. 
sixty feet doesn't just care for orphans.  they are changing the lives of wrongly confined orphans.  they are "an action-based organization created to bring hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of africa".  you read that right.  wrongly imprisoned children.  3 words that don't belong anywhere near each other.  but it's real.  and it's really happening. 
sixty feet is working to help children trapped by a life where they are locked up, living in their own filth, and have little to no food or supervision. 
I really want to encourage you to go to their website and read their story. 
I picked up a little flyer at their booth about doing a cupcake fundraiser with your kids.  I told eden that maybe we could make valentine cupcakes to try and raise money for orphans in uganda.  she was all about it.  we baked up about 4 dozen cupcakes and took them to our church that we LOVE...that meets in a coffee shop called the percolator.  she raised $150 from 40 or so heart-sprinkled cakes. 
we are so thankful to be a small part of helping this ministry take care of these sweet children.

so. what are you waiting for? go make some cupcakes, too!

Monday, February 07, 2011

no stain

this weekend I attended the created for care adoption retreat.  and it is going to take a couple of posts to tell even a portion of how much I learned, and how beautiful those three days were for my soul.
right now I'll just share a really personal Jesus and Abby moment that happened the last few minutes of the retreat on sunday morning.
one of our speakers, the AMAZING Dr. Susan Hillis (senior scientist at the CDC researching the HIV/orphan crisis AND is an adoptive mom of 10!) felt that the Lord wanted her to play a song for the 250+ mothers in the audience.  so she did.  because she's obedient like that.  I'd never heard Kari Jobe's song called "my beloved".
it's pretty much a love song from God to His children.
so I closed my eyes and listened...because I listen the best that way, not because I think it is super spiritual.
the first few sentences made me teary.  "you're my beloved, you're my bride. to sing over you is my delight. come away with me my love".  to sing over me is His delight? wowzahs.
but then she sung the words "I see no STAIN on you my child. you're beautiful to me"

and I am 100 % sure that no one else in the audience had the same thoughts I did at that very moment.  because no one else there had a birthmark medically termed a "port wine STAIN" on their forehead.  no one else there was born with a fairly large reddish that changed to pink mark on their face.  they might have been stared at for other reasons throughout their lives.  but not because of a stain.
if I had a dime for every time someone asked me what it was, told me what shape they thought it looked like, what their child thought of it, or simply brought up the fact that it was there....I'd be a rich lady.
and no, I don't have some sort of psychological damage from growing up with a birthmark on my head.  most times it doesn't bother me.  but sometimes in new places or airports I get tired of people looking at it. and the elementary school/middle school years were not fun.
so anyways. the song.  I have no idea why it took until age 28 for me to hear this song and get it through my brain the way God sees me.  He sees no stain.  not a port wine one...or any of the ugliness I see inside of me.  He came and washed those stains away.  and I've known and believed the part about the sinful stains being gone since I was a little bitty girl.  but for some reason this picture of Him seeing no stains on my skin or inside my soul made things so clear in my heart yesterday morning.
and I am so grateful that God told Susan Hillis to play that song.
recently I have seen myself as not good enough at anything. mom. wife. Christ follower. exerciser. eat righter.
but that isn't how He sees me at all.  it is His delight to sing over me.  He thinks I am beautiful. AND He made me stainless.
I thought I was going to this retreat to learn all about adoption.  which I did.  oh boy, I DID.  but I also learned about myself and was refreshed.  and healed in a lot of ways.
I am listening to this kari jobe song right now as I type this.  and my 4 yr old, eden, told me not to turn it off because ken and barbie were dancing to it.
nothing like a little child to turn my tears into laughter.  love her.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

they weren't lying

it's snowin'. it's cold. freezing in fact. it was around 7 degrees this morning and we've warmed up to a toasty 14.  coldest el paso day in 20 years.  the power has been on and off, but we are extremely thankful for our warm, sturdy house.  seems like there are so many people freezing all over the country with all the blizzards and extreme weather.  praying it all goes away soon!
pete and some other casas por cristo missionaries just crossed into freezing mexico to deliver coats, blankets, hats, gloves, and other warmness.  his truck has been having some issues starting so the girls and I stayed home...although I wanted to go with all of my heart.  we pray that these gifts show these people Jesus.  that He cares. He loves.
here is a little of what we've been doing on this snowy day. I haven't gone outside except to let the dogs out.  making a snow man just isn't that appealing to me yet.
we made some snow flakes...don't mind the dirty window :)
 tried on daddy's hat....
then had to brush out that hat hair.
 endured the smell of the world's stinkiest chihuahua
 let jesse (the mostly outside dog) inside
 found our snowman hair bow
 took this picture of lencho's dog house
 and...played inside doll houses.
we are praying for pete's safe return, as well as the rest of the group.  and watching the snow flurry down to the ground.  hope you are all safe and warm!