Sunday, September 28, 2008

The fair.

I wonder what "the fair" is like in other cities and towns. I always think of "county fairs"....where there are rolling hills in the background...and girls in red and white checkered dresses showing their prize hog. Maybe I get that from Charlotte's Web....or maybe it's that...I really do live in a fairy tale world in my mind. I can just imagine Aunt Bee showing her prize pickles just hoping desperately to get that blue ribbon. If any of you are Andy fans out'll get that joke. Anyway, our fair is not really anything like that. It's in the parking lot of our civic center....and about every 5 minutes you get this whif of something that you just don't quite know what it is....but you would swear there was some kind of open sewer right at your feet. The rides are worked by people you really wouldn't trust to be around in general...and yet you are trusting them with your life as you hop on the ring of be turned upside down over and over again. The irony of the entire that regardless of how nasty it is...or how bad it smells....we HAVE to go every single year. We did take a year off when all the Katrina evacuees were up here and it was packed out, shoulder to shoulder. The kids LOVE it, they must get an elephant ear every year, and I really so very much enjoy a chicken on a stick. If you haven't had one...go find one....somewhere!! They also do happen to fit perfectly on this crazy no carb diet I'm on to drop those pesky 10 pounds. But I digress...this year....the oldest 3 kids really stepped their riding variety up a notch or two. They rode almost every single thing. The most heart stopping ride is the one that Chandler declared to be his favorite of all time. Madison did come off of one ride crying...and pretty hysterically at that....but she regained composure fairly quickly. And was off again to ride more breath taking rides. The funniest part of the entire night was when Chandler, Collin, and my nephew Tristin went through the haunted house. I was standing outside with my brother in law Jason, and Jillian. Jason had JUST said..."I think Chandler and Tristin are hiding at the back door trying to scare people". Not two minutes later, Collin comes running from around the back screaming hysterically with his hand over his mouth...."help me! help me!". And I don't mean he was just trotting out...he was running full force. I immediately thought Chandler and Tristin had met their first victim....and they got him good. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Collin had gotten spooked, tripped and fell, and somehow ended up hitting Tristin's elbow or something and knocked out a tooth. So after Collin comes running...Tristin and Chandler came running telling me this. Of course, I then felt HORRIBLE for laughing at Collin...but I promise if I had that on video...I'd be winning my family $10,000!!!! Collin did settle down...and realized it was a tooth that had been loose literally for months. Now he can finally get that tooth fairy money for it!!

Well, that's it for the Duffey day at the fair. It was a great day....with great friends!! And not just for my great friends were there too! I suppose with that kind of company, it doesn't really matter if it was in the middle of a parking lot with a sewer at my feet! LOL!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stuff, stuff and more stuff.

So for the last couple of days I've sat down to blog about several different things at several different times.....and I just can't seem to get it straight. I saw a great movie that made me do some thinking....which was good, but I couldn't figure out how to put in words what I was trying to say. Then one of my fellow adoption families asked us to come speak at an adoption seminar in Shreveport to give our adoption "testimony". That was great...we actually can't go do it, but it did get me thinking about how exciting it would be to do that. But truthfully, all I can seem to think about is the crazy state of our country. I literally have had to boycott the news because it stresses me out!! It also literally has put me in kind of a bad mood for the last several days....and so I try to distance myself from all the bad news. I think that I think if I turned off the tv, just go sit on the back porch with my coffee, that all will be good. Because of course, as a general rule it is good at my house. So I sat in my house this morning, doing a little painting, drinking my coffee, getting ready to head to work. Just a little background FYI, I ALWAYS stop at this one particular gas station to get a diet coke. They offer .50 refills in any size cup you want to bring in....and I LOVE that!! But when I stopped at that gas station today...after turning off the news....enjoying my coffee, yada yada yada....I saw a lady standing very suspiciously on the side of the gas station. I got a touch uncomfortable but still went inside to get my heavenly diet coke, and overheard the workers talking. Evidently, one worker had gone outside to find out what was up with her, and found out that she was eating out of the dumpster next to the gas station. So the worker immediately came inside to get a can of vienna sausages because she couldn't just let this woman continue to eat out of the dumpster. I just felt so sad. I do realize that in our great country, you have to make some really horrible decisions to get to the point where you are having to eat out of a dumpster. I do also realize that sometimes there are just some people with 'bad luck' out there, that often never have a chance...but I feel like that is definitely a minority. But regardless of how she got there, or what she did, she was still having to eat out of the dumpster. I know I need to get my head out of the sand and realize our society is what it is, and something really needs to change. I feel like the Lord is calling us to our knees, and reminding us that HE is in charge. That regardless of how this election turns out....He is still in charge. He has a plan. I take comfort in that...and I really wonder how those without the Lord go through the ups and downs of life....without that hope that only He can give. I encourage you to turn your burdens over to Him....easier said than done....and rest in His sovereign power....again, easier said than done...myself included. Maybe that should be another challenge for me this week....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Susannah is home!!

I don't know if you remember the little girl I posted about a few days ago named Susannah. Well, that's her.....isn't she happy!!?? When the family arrived in China to get her, they found their baby girl deathly ill, (literally) in a filthy hospital with a dr. that wasn't really a dr. They had to fight for the care that she so desperately needed. And they prayed. After seeing how sick she was, they weren't really sure how she would do on the flight, if she even made it to the flight. Well, she got better, and made the flight just fine. She is finally on U.S. soil, and has a dr. appt. with a specialist to finally give her the care that she so desperately needs. Not only for her clept lip, but especially for her heart. If ever you wanted to see the Lord's work first hand....go read their blog. It's . I know one time when I posted the link, she had changed the settings to private, but she quickly reversed that. The Lord was, and is being glorified. If anybody out there knows anything about the red tape that China puts in place with the adoption, you will know that almost every single issue in this entire adoption process has been a miracle directly from the Lord. He is great, and greatly to be praised!!! Continue to pray for Susannah and her family....she will have LOTS of doctor appts, etc., and we all know that isn't easy for any child. Much less one that has had such awful experiences in such awful hospitals. But for today, we are rejoicing!!! I'm so excited to see what the Lord has planned for this family!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My breakfast date.

Since we have such a crazy life, sometimes we take turns going to eat breakfast with one child at a time. This morning, my breakfast date was Collin. Just trying to think of some good conversation for just the two of us to have, over donuts, I asked him if he still wanted to be a "preacher". He said he did, and I off handedly said "well, you just keep praying, and the Lord will guide you to whatever He wants you to do, and where He wants you to go". And his response also was very off handed...and he said, "Well, I'm sure God would like for us ALL to be preachers". Which led into a small conversation over he difference in just sharing the gospel, and being a preacher for a living. To which, my 7 year old son said, "I just don't understand, if I tell one person and they tell one person, and then they tell one person....then eventually everybody would know the I think God would just like for us all to be preachers. " I had to then tell him that sometimes, even when people hear the gospel, they choose not to live for Jesus, so then someone else needs to come along and tell them again. And then I started many people have I 'shared the gospel' with personally this week, this month, or this year? Do I feel like I'm living for the Lord....absolutely. I know my own faults, so please don't point them out in a I do feel like I am "living for the Lord". I also try to glorify the Lord when I can. At work, I never hesistate to talk about the Lord with customers, or dealers, etc. But I am just talking about the Lord. I am not really sharing the gospel. Why is that so hard for me to do? I guess I chalk it up to "planting a seed", when actually the Lord may have already planted the seeds, and needs me to water, or fertilize....and I have not done so. If you've read my blog for any length of time whatsoever, you'll know I always go back to "what's it all about".....and I have just dropped the ball way, way too many times on that. So, I am challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone....and do better. And all that....was because my 7 year old wants to be a preacher....and thinks we all should be to.

Saturday, September 20, 2008 no particular order!

So, after my computer has been in and out and in and out of repair places....which actually have made things hubby decided to get on here, and fiddle with it for hours. And low and's working. I really can't remember the last time I was so excited...mainly because of the amount of pictures I had on this computer...that I will now promptly be downloading to discs. So I thought I would post a few for those of you that don't live near us. You can see some recent snap shots of our crew. The only challenge I have that I don't know why I still after all this time still have trouble getting my pictures in the order they are supposed to be in. Sometimes I can drag them, and other times I can't.... So, here are some recent totally, random order!!

Jillian, with her once again, "show me your teeth" smile, and Madison. Jillian was trying So hard to keep the towel on her head like her big sister.

Being silly out at MaMaw and Papaw's house on Labor Day.

Pouting because I won't let her play in the rain.
4th of July....I just love this pic.

4th of July again.

Since I was doing some 4th of July pictures...I just had to add this one. Collin and his best friend Finley had just gotten in trouble. Collin was clearly over it by now...NOT....and this was the best smile I could get for awhile!

One of my dearest friends, Alisha....who is also Finley's mom.

And here is Chandler...looking all cool in Wal Mart parking lot....just before heading to a boy/girl birthday party/dance. Yuck. I didn't like it one bit....butI didn't last year at this time either.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I went to the Good Hope Middle School football game tonight with the kids. I have to admit, I really think I'm in denial that I have a child that's almost a teenager. I was looking around at all these little cheerleaders, and my son's middle school...and very many of them were as big as me!! With more make up than I wear, etc, etc. I remember vividly being in 8th grade. And I never, ever remember looking like that in 8th grade. Geez!!! I will also have to admit, that I am slightly concerned about myself in 2 years. That will be the year that Chandler starts high school, Madison will be in middle school, Collin will be in elementary school, and Jillian will start Preschool. Yikes. 4 kids at 4 different schools. My mother is totally going to have to retire just to help me get my kids where they need to be. But I digress.... Football and Baseball are such beautiful examples of Americana to me. All of us moms....just hanging out in bleachers...with a nice crisp wind blowing...watching our kids do their thing. I love it!!!! And in the very same thought of how much I love it, I thought how amazingly fast the last 12 years have gone. I won't take you on another sentimental joyride that I so often like to travel on....but I will say, I truly can't believe Chandler is almost half way through his middle school years...(emphasis on the word ALMOST). And I can't believe we've almost had Jillian in our arms for an entire year. Amazing!! Time's almost fall again....and I LOVE fall. Last year, we left to go get Jillian on October 31st. Halloween Day. We came back November 16th to find Christmas lights up all through our neighborhood. We laughed at the thought that we were gone 2 1/2 weeks, and missed the entire fall season. Thanksgiving was early last year....and Christmas came super fast. So this year...I intend on savoring every single piece of fall. I think I may even buy some pumpkins next week.
On a drastically different note...continue to pray for the Irwins please. The Lord is working small miracles....just the fact that Susannah is hanging in there is a miracle in and of itself. Obviously more major miracles are needed...and I am believing they will come in His timing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request.

I know there are at least a few prayer warriors that follow my blog. There is another urgent prayer request that I am presenting you with. Another yahoo group friend is in China right now trying to bring home there baby that had been previously diagnosed with a serious heart condition. They knew she was very ill, but never realized how serious she was right this minute. She is currently in a filthy, disgusting hospital...being treated by a doctor with no more than a high school education. They are trying to expedite paperwork so they can get her to a better hospital..but the Chinese government is fighting them tooth and nail. This is literally a life and death situation. If you'd like to follow their's . This family has waited so very long to finally be able to go get their precious Susannah. Unfortunately, the Olympics, etc., etc., has caused senseless delays in their process....especially since Susannah is in such a critical state. I want people to understand how differently Chinese people think of "special need" children. As a general rule...they are throw aways. I am sure, part of the lack of concern is because Susannah also has a cleft lip. I am disgusted, heartbroken, and so angry for the neglect that is happening to this child....that has a family desperate to take her home...and give her the care she needs. Please, please, please pray for the parents of this child that are having to deal with this first hand...about their daughter. I cannot even imagine what they are going through!!!

I also want you to understand...that my yahoo group is for parents adopting special needs children from my particular agency. As most of you know..Jillian was technically a "special needs" child. She was too small for her age. The technical name of her special need was "developmental delay". This could really encompass so very many things....but thankfully, for Jillian, it just meant she was too small. She has made so many strides since we've had her, but I do believe, she will be a smaller than average person. I don't personally consider that a special need. I consider heart valve issues, cleft lip, cleft palate, deformities of limbs, etc. special needs. Those are needs that medical attention is required...hence the term, special need. That all being yahoo group is filled with the most amazing, selfless, Godly people I have ever seen in my life. Susannah's parents knew she was ill...they have arranged for oxygen on the flights, and have doctors ready to see her as soon as she stepped foot back in the USA. They were willing and wanting to do all this for a child, that they love as much as their biological children, and that is as much their child as any they had given birth to. Susannah's parents aren't the only ones either. I am so thankful to be such a part of such an amazing group. Please keep them in your prayers. All of them. And say a faith believing, miracle working prayer for Susannah! Thank you!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Ok...just a quick potty training update...Jillian has had 1 accident in 2 days!!! I know, for any male out there, that is an awfully boring post...but I am so excited I can hardly stand it!! Not only for progress...but because diapers are SOOO expensive these days!! Woohoo!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I hate politics.

My heart has been so heavy today. Not only for all the events of September 11th, but for our country itself. I think all of the events have just reminded me how impactful hate can be regardless what you do. I have really had to earnestly pray in this area, because I know that I know the Lord is the only one who can fix our countries issues...and yet I know He has a perfect plan, regardless of what happens. We spent 2 1/2 weeks in China. What came on our TV was controlled...what was printed in the papers was controlled...what our guides were allowed to tell us was controlled. I do not believe our government is in anyway attempting to control what we see...but I do believe our media is. Just go to a check out line at the grocery store. I was stunned today at the headlines of the magazines glorifying Barack Obama, and slamming Sarah Palin. Now, obviously, I am a McCain/Palin supporter...but frankly, I don't even think it matters. For the most part, our media, the entertainment business, so many famous actors...all seem to be so extremely liberal....and in control of what the Average Joe sees. Journalism is a thing of the past...I really believe that. There is no fact's opinion stating. My mother was wondering who the real Sarah Palin is. Well, according to one channel...she's this, and the other, she's that. Because everybody wants to put a slant. Please give me (and us) just the facts, and let us make up our own mind. Do I think all liberals are awful evil people....of course not. My kids would have one grandparent in their life if I did. But do I think the liberal MEDIA is trouble right now....absolutely. Do you realize, if you didn't have a 24 hour news channel, how little you would know about the world around you. I honest to goodness need to cut off my cable so I can't see it. I would be SUCH a happier person if I didn't hear all the slamming of Palin for her solid Christian beliefs, and senseless bickering of both parties over ridiculous issues. I know for so many out there, the real issue is not what mine is. My real issue is my children's eternal life....and the quality of life they will have her on earth. I'm afraid the Hollywood elite is jeaopardizing both of those items in my children's life. As most of you know, I have 4 children...that I am praying for every single day. I'm praying that they will stand strong to Christian values when they are bombarded with homosexuality issues in middle school. I am praying that my daughter's (and sons) will stand strong when promise rings are being ridiculed by their pop idols. I am praying that they stand strong, and stand with the love of Jesus Christ, and not the poison of hate that is being spewed against Christians, and their rights, and values. The Lord is going to have to come in and not only heal this generation coming up and what they are being bombarded with...but our country as a whole.

Show Me Your Teeth!!!

Well, as pitiful as this is...I am adding pictures that my dear sweet worker...Ashley...added to her facebook. I then, downloaded them to my computer, and now to my blog. The challenge is...she posted the silly pics. Right now, when you ask Jillian to literally have to tell her, "show me your teeth". That's how you get her to smile. And for a little while, it worked beautifully, but now, she's just gone a little nutso with it. Of course, I'm sure it's because she would get great laughs for it, therefore, it just has to get bigger and better each time!! LOL!! So, here are several great pictures of Jillian's teeth.

This last picture is of Collin and Philip...Ashley's boyfriend. My kid's have absolutely fallen in love with him. He loves to play with them...and as you can see...he and Collin think very much alike! lol!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Potty Training

This is not a picture of one of my kids. I do have one equally as precious of Madison wearing her pj's and barney slippers, reading a book, sitting on the potty. However, those were the days before digital photography, and since I still have no scanner....I have no way to post them. But regardless of who is in the is a classic potty training pic. The stance...the distraction...the proper placement on the seat, careful not to lose balance. So complicated!! Or not. We are potty training Jillian. We are generally having great success with this. Although, I have to remind myself that last time I potty trained a child...I just had kids. I didn't own a store, and have bigger kids that had to get to more important events as opposed to just a play date. So I humble myself to you, and tell you my patience is just not what it used to be. Same age, same issue, different place in life for mom. And different child. I know all kids have a mind of their own, but Jillian takes that to a whole notha level!! She can be as stubborn as .....well....her momma. As a general rule, I am proud to say, I win. Ever so often, I realize there is just no point in making such a big issue of something so small, and I let it slide. But for the big issues...I will win. All that being said...I am convinced Jillian knows full and well when she needs to potty. But she may not want to stop what she's doing long enough to go. She will sometimes even casually come get a diaper out of the cabinet, lay it on the floor, and try as hard as she can to diaper herself. Saying poo-poo all the way. Ummm, clearly, if she's capable of diapering herself, then she's capable to sit on the potty and poo poo where mommy doesn't have to touch anything. And I think we are working through those challeneges as well. It's so funny to me how just a few short years change your life. When I was potty training my 3rd...we just stayed home. And he could run around naked, and rush to the potty, etc. I can't exactly let Jillian run around naked. Although she would really like to! lol!! But, even though we are having to do it differently than before....I think it's going to work just fine. I'm very impressed with how smart she really is. So, run down for day 1, 2, and 3 of full potty thumbs up. A few accidents, and a few stubborn accidents. But this too shall pass...and our budget will be so thankful for for the lack of diapers and wipes that have to be bought with our budget!! Joy! Joy! Joy! Now, if I can just get her to learn to swim...we'll be good.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Century of Living

I have for some time wanted to go into nursing homes, and interview some people that have lived their lives. I've wanted to know what their regrets were. I so desperately want to learn from them. I remember when I was wanting to get pregnant with Collin, I would think of how hard that newborn stage was. And how I wasn't just really sure I wanted to go through that all over again. Then in the back of my mind, I would remember how fast that stage went. One day, you give birth, and the next day.... they start kindergarten. I did NOT want to get to the age of 45 and wish that I had more children. And then a few older people told me how they really wished they had had 1 more child. That it just seemed so hard in the midst of raising young children, but then, how truly fast time goes....and then they are gone and out of the house. So it became official...I wanted that 3rd child. Ok, just for fairness sake..then I wanted that 4th child...but ONLY if I could adopt. But that's beside the point. The whole round about thought process of all that is this: I saw a movie this morning called "A Century of Living". It was an unbelieveably fascinating, moving, and eye opening experience to watch. Times have changed so much over the last 150 years...and I just can't say it's all been for the better. Obviously, some conveniences we couldn't live without. But these people spoke differently, lived differently, loved differently, and worked differently than we do. They had baking days, and washing days, and shopping days. To wash was an all day experience. I think most of us know that already about pioneer days, but to see actual interviews with people who lived it, was so great for me. By no means am I saying I want to go back to those days, but I do so desperately wish some of those values would come back. The loyalty to family, to country, and to God were clear in every single one of those interviews. Women stayed home with the kids, and the husband worked. And took pride in the fact that his wife didn't have to work. Why is it so different now?? It seems that most men now, totally expect their wives to work...and our society puts women down that want to "just stay home". I think that's what I see in those Andy Griffith episodes. Modern day living...with those same values. Why can't we have it all now? What possibly can we do to get back there? Or is it even possible?

I know this post has nothing to do with my journey with jillian...or anything about my family. But I think it is an important thing to remember how far we've come. I lose sight of the great many blessings we have been given. None of us have had to live through the great depression, or the dust bowl. Most of us won't have children that die of a cold because there was no doctor in our town, and it turned to pneumonia. Most of us, (ok I can pretty much say all here) won't have to jump train cars to get a ride somewhere, and steal 3 rolls to tide us over for the day. It's just crazy what these people went through. A couple of them weren't able to have children, and talked about the grief they experienced from that. But then went on to talk about how life will deal you some blows, and you move on....because that's life. So inspiring! I was absolutely glued to this movie....and I'm trying to figure out where to buy it. I want to watch it again, and I want my children to watch it....and maybe we can all learn something from it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another delay for me....

Sorry for such a delay. If you've read Anna's have seen that a week ago today she went to be with the Lord. I just really can't imagine what that family is going through. Continue to pray for them....when all the family has gone back home, their older daughter is back at school, and the mom is at home by herself, I'm sure the quiet will get to her. The Lord alone will have to see her through this unbelieveably difficult time.

Since my post last week, we have certainly had an adventure. We headed down to see the opening game for LSU. It was so stinkin hot we couldn't stay past half time. We thought since the game had been moved up to 10 am it would help...but it only re positioned the sun to be square in our faces. We did have a great time with the couple we went with, so it wasn't all lost by any means. We headed out on Saturday afternoon only to be faced with bumper to bumper to bumper traffic of people trying to evacuate due to Gustav. We really thought we had planned for plenty of time, and were a little surprised to get stuck...but it didn't last long at all..thankfully. We did stop at one gas station to fill up the tank, only to be told they were out of gas. Scary thought. We did make it home safe and sound and were so thankful we went. On Labor Day, Gustav came ashore, and crushed my Dad's house. We had known it was going to be worse than Katrina for them in Baton Rouge, but we really never imagined it would be as bad as it was. Daddy said it looks very much like where Katrina hit in New Orleans in spots in Baton Rouge....if that makes any sense. By the time Gustav got here, the wind wasn't too bad, but it drenched us. My store flooded Tuesday and Wednesday. Thankfully, my floors are concrete and most of my merchandise is on we just had to get some shop vacs in there. My kids school has been cancelled all that has been interesting. They think since they are on a surprise "vacation", then we should be doing something fun every single day. HUH??!! So, we are trying to take advantage of a more leisurely schedule, as we prepare for them to be off again next week.

That is the run down for us. We are enjoying an evening at home tonight with just Chandler. The little one's are all at friend's, and my friend asked for Jillian for the evening. And of course, I would never, ever want to hurt my friend's!! Hope all is well out there for everyone! Blessings!