Friday, October 31, 2008

Last year....we pretty much missed Halloween. When we had our layover in Detroit....most of the workers at the airport were dressed up for that was nice. We ate at Chili's...I called my friend Angie to find out exactly how many xanax I could take...(really!), and then boarded the plane to head out for China. The next time we saw ground in Tokyo, was November 1st. And by the time we got to Beijing...November 1st was pretty much over there. Crazy huh??

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Twas the night before....

Twas the night before leaving when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, including my spouse.
The luggage was packed and repacked with care
in hope that our daughter would soon find us there.
No child was nestled or snug in our bed,
she slept that night in her orphanage bed.
And Mama in her kerchief with luggage in sight
had just settled our brains for a long sleepless night.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, And threw up the sash.
The sun on the grass and the newly formed dew
gave promise of morning time to bid our adieu.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a yellow airport taxi and our friends we hold dear.
With a little old driver, so lively and pip,
I new in a moment we start our big trip.
More rapid than eagles, from our cities we came,
and we whistled and shouted and called them by name:
Jackson! Detroit! Tokyo! LA!
Beijing! Nanning! Guangzhou today!
From the Great Wall of China to the Province of Guandong
now dash away…dash away…dash away ALL!
Like treasure from heaven in our arms they did place,
our precious new daughter tears fell from our face.
So up to the hotel room with our child we flew
our new bundle of joy "We have presents for you."
Then, in a twinkling, I heard from the door
"Paperwork to do!" I heard myself "MORE?"
Like rain from the heavens when hurricanes fly
tears just like raindrops fell from our eyes.
We bathed her and dressed her from her head to her toe
with ribbons and dresses and a giant hair bow.
A bundle of clothes we had that were too big or too small
we sent to the orphanage to be shared by them all.
Her eyes- how they twinkled! Her dimples, how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, my nose red as a cherry!
Her beautiful smile was drawn up like a bow,
and both of her parents seemed to give off a glow.
A stamp of her foot and a print from our thumb
made a family of us the adoption was done!
Passport and Visa then the Consulate Visit.
Our paperwork done? Afraid that it isn't.
The paperwork workshop we held in the hall
when finished a sigh, came from us all.
A wink of an eye and a twist of a head
soon gave me to know we had nothing to dread.
He spoke a few words, went straight through our work
double checked our documents then turned with a jerk.
He wanted to know "was this the daughter we chose"
and giving a nod; up from his desk he arose.
They gave the approval, we gave a loud whistle,
and away we all flew like the down of a thistle.
They heard us exclaim, both me and my wife:
"Blessings to all and to all a good life!"

I still cannot read this without crying. One year ago tonight...I was terrified. I remember laying on my sofa...after visitors had gone...and everybody else was in bed, thinking, "I can't do this!!". I never imagined that this trip...that I dreaded more than anything in my entire life, would be so magical. The Lord blessed me 100 fold. I knew getting Jillian would be a blessing....but the entire trip was so amazing...words just can't describe it. Last year, on this date, I didn't know what Jillian's personality would be...what she would look like...if she would be much she would grieve. Frankly, I wasn't convinced I was going to get to her. I remember one time praying...and I so clearly remember saying, "Lord, if you have these great plans for Jillian's life...then You can't kill us in a plane crash." I really did say that. And I really did mean it. What a year it's been. I never imagined last year, on this night, that this year, on this night, I would be crying at my computer thinking I wish I could do it all over again.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Uh oh.

Clearly I have messed up my blog. It's late...everybody is asleep....and I'm bored. Of course, I should TOTALLY not be bored, due to the fact that my house is a disaster... Just a little fyi about myself...I rearrange my house all he I thought I would try it on my blog! Thank goodness my travel buddy Carla made my page. And since I'm going to beg her to help me fix it...I may as well give her a plug. Her family is going back to China to adopt another special needs child. She's got link on her blog for donations....and for blog makeovers, with all the proceeds going to her next adoption! Her blog address is Go check it out...and maybe my blog will be fixed soon...and it might even be totally different. Maybe with a little red in it?? Who knows???!!!

The boy who cried wolf...or was it a girl?

Since I've not had a great day, and I'm determined not to go down that road...I thought I would tell ya'll a dramatic story that happened to Madison last week. Last year and the year before, Madison literally called me about every other day with some ailment that needed my immediate attention. Each and everytime, she would want to come home. When she called me last week, I probably rolled my eyes or something like that, thinking 'here we go again!!' She proceeded to tell me how she had been choking in the cafeteria....and because of that, she was crying so hard that she needed some advil for her head. I told her she probably just had some drainage....she of course, said, 'no, I was choking on food'. Again, I reassured her and told her all was well, but I would come asap with some advil....but it would not be immediately. About 30 minutes later, I left the store, certainly not in a rush, and brought my little Maddie Lee some advil. When I got there, the secretary buzzed down for her to come down to the office without me saying a word. This should have been a warning sign...but I ignored it. Since no words were needed, I went and waited in the hallway to watch for her to come. She is in the very last classroom at the end of a fairly long hallway, but I still saw her coming...but her teacher was walking her. Keep in mind, she is in 5th grade.... which means middle school next teacher is needed by now. This also should have been a warning sign, but I know this particular fairly well, and thought she just wanted to say hi. I could not have been more wrong. As they got closer and closer, I could see that the teacher was fairly red...and was beginning to well up a little bit in her eyes. Strange. Finally, they get to me, and Mrs. Munn says...."GIRL!". I look at Madison....and she starts to well up in her eyes. The whole story is....Madison and Mrs. Munn were sitting at lunch talking about Ashley and Phillip. Madison took a bite of an orange about the time Mrs. Munn asked her a question. When she went to answer, she breathed in and sucked the orange down her throat, where it chose to stay. Mrs. Munn threw her arms up, called the other teachers over, started doing everything they knew to do. Mrs. Salazaar was going to do the Heimlic maneuver when the orange popped out. By then, Madison was so hysterical that they had to physically carry her out of the cafeteria. When she finally calmed down, poor Mrs. Munn then lost it. She said she immediately called her husband...who is clearly a great guy...and he immediately brought her a sweet tea to help calm her down. So here I am, standing in the hallway, watching both Madison and her teacher starting to cry while telling me this awful story....and all I could think was....'I told her it was probably drainage!!!!!' I felt like dirt! And get make matters worse, the next morning, I had to go up to the school to help judge a little art contest. No lie, every teacher I passed asked how Madison was. Parents stopped me and asked how Madison was. One mom called me very shook up stating her daughter became very frightened, and just yesterday, a mom sent me an email checking on her....letting me know that her son also had become very frightened. Yeah. Drainage. I bet I win mom of the year!

Monday, October 27, 2008


For some time, I've really been praying for the joy of the Lord to come back to my life. But I've been stuck in such a rut for SO long that if I'm not a stay at home mom, and my kids can't participate in all their various activities, then it is just not possible for me to be happy. Don't get me wrong...I definitely have my good days, and my bad days...ask the girls at the Depot...they'll give you the real!! But I mean that true joy...that inner peace regardless of what is going on. So I've been thinking about my job, and my kids, and really, how very blessed I am....even with the pressures of owning your own business. Today I got up, got Jillian up about 9:30 so we could go to a funeral for a dear friend's family member. After that, I went to the store for a bit, left the store to go eat lunch with my kids at their school. After that, I went back to the store until it was time to pick the kids up from school. We came home, I made them a snack, took Collin to art, ran to Wal Mart, came home, and cooked supper. And then the rest of the evening was just the kitchen, laundry, telling the kids over and over and over to pick up their clothes up out of the bathroom floor. But I point of all that many jobs out there could I do that at?? Unless you count a drug rep that is working like a drug rep, but should be working more...none. And I DO make money at my store. If I really thought about it, my price per hour is probably petty stinkin good!!! Now, if I could work like a dog to get my mind off of it when it's not necessary....then my problems would probably be solved. So, as I struggle with what to do, and how to do it, I am going to focus on the good things about my job. Starting right now. I got some fairly frustrating news today about my competitor....but so be it!!! There is absolutely nothing I can do about why let it keep me up all night!! Right?? Right!!! Ok, so tomorrow when I'm devestated again....remind me to come read this blog!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

To stress or not to stress.

I know what you are going to think after you read this..but don't judge me too harshly!! Just call me fish. As I've thought of the freedom that selling the store would bring....I remembered why I was looking for a job in the first place. We need the money. And I remembered being so stressed about everything! How would we pay for this and that. How would Chandler ever be able to get braces?? How would we ever be able to do home updates that need to be done...not that we just want to be done. And then I asked I just trying to run from stress?? I can either have the stress of working, or not working. I wasn't the mother I needed to be when I was stressed about money. So what is the answer?? It is not an option for my husband to get another job. He loves what he does. And I mean loves it. Frankly, he's happy enough for both of us. And likewise, I'm stressed enough for both of us. How awful is that?? He seems to have the mentality of "what's the big deal...we'll sell the house if we need to...". Unfortunately, I don't have that attitude. And boy do I wish I did at this point in time. So, that brings me all the way back around to what on earth am I supposed to do? Just pray for me and all these decisions. I either need the Lord to send a buyer that would offer what I need, or I need Him to bless my business. Until tomorrow at least, when I feel something different. LOL!

So am I questioning the Lord?? Absolutely not. Am I questioning myself hearing the Lord. Yes. Unfortunately that's what I do. When we got the call about Jillian, I questioned myself every step of the way. I was so afraid of making the wrong decision....the one the Lord didn't want me to make. I was convinced if it was my flesh that answered the call, something dreadful would happen. I know deep down, that's not really the way the Lord works. He knows my heart. My days of being a happy stay at home mom with no financial worries are gone, unless the Lord steps in. Is He capable....absolutely, but is that what He wants from me?? What does HE want from me???? AGH!!!

Surrender, and listen.

Yesterday was a really, really bad day. But my eyes are very open now to what the Lord has been wanting me to see for some time, I believe. The Lord has strategically placed 3 people in my life over the last two weeks to open my eyes to the fact that I am not surrendering, and I'm not listening to anything He has to say. The first one made me really think about things....and ponder some things that I really have not let go of, that I should have. I'm not doing the best job at that...but I am conciously working on that, and thinking about things that I can change. Not the things that everybody else can change...which is what I tend to think about way too often. The next person, stopped me randomly in the hallway of the kids school, and out of the blue...told me, "I haven't told you what the Lord is telling me now."...then proceeded to tell me that the Lord was calling her to homeschool her 4 kids, one of which is entering high school next year. She doesn't want to, doesn't really feel capable right now...but clearly has heard from the Lord that He is calling her to. He's not even just calling her to just do it, but He is calling her to pour her life into it. We talked for probably an hour about what the Lord has spoken to her. I realized then, for the second time in a week or so, that I am so stinkin busy that I just don't really hear from the Lord anymore. She asked how the store was, and I started telling her how I thought it was for a season, but that I'd like to sell it. Which I do. I don't generally tell people that though these days, I tell them it's great! Then, yesterday afternoon, I found out that a project that I had been working for months on at work, was handed to my competitor on a silver platter. It seems a touch shady to be perfectly honest. I had worked with specific people looking for some specific items, and they ordered it from me. But, someone in the higher ups, decided to ask my competitor for a bid, not ask me, and give the job to my competitor. I literally felt like the wind was knocked out from me. I cannot even tell you how upset it was. Immediately, my first reaction was..."that's it! I'm closing it down!!". And then I realized a conversation I had had in the spring with the 3rd person the Lord strategically placed in my life. In the spring, I desperately wanted to sell the heart was at home with the kids, but my mind was very preoccupied with everything at the store. I had counseled with this person, who knows me inside and out....and she confirmed what I was feeling. She told me that it was clear to her that I should sell the store, based on everything I had been telling her over the time, but I couldn't flounder on my decision. At the time...I thought, "I'm not floundering....I want to sell it, no questions asked.". But as we did my taxes, and realized how much money I really made....and then I floundered. There was no way I could sell it, and not have that money. So, as all this came up...all I could think about was how the Lord had given me the opportunity to sell it, and I truthfully felt like I was supposed to sell it...but I let money get in my way, and went outside of His will. I firmly believe He is trying to speak to me, and has been since about December of last year....but I am simply not listening. I then spoke to that 3rd person again yesterday afternoon, and it was as if she knew this was coming...she's been experiencing similar things in her life. It's so hard when the Lord is telling you to do something, but you literally cannot figure out how it will work, if you obey. I don't know where the extra money will come from if I sell it. I don't know how we will have any extras in our life. And truthfully, I don't know who would buy it, and pay us what is needed....since I have just recently restocked the entire store!!! Maybe He's just wanting me to be obedient....or maybe not. Maybe He's got so many much bigger plans....for all of us involved in the Depot! But I know, that I know, I've got to trust Him. In all things....not just our financial state. And then I ask myself...why is that so hard to do...with ALL that He's shown me personally that He is capable of doing. Surrender. What a hard word.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Costume Party #2

At church, we have a small group called 'girlfriends'. We get together once a month, play some crazy games, eat some food, have a little time of worship, and prayer. It is always absolutely amazing, and the coordinator is an amazingly gifted woman. Since this one fell so close to Halloween, they decided to make it a costume party. I absolutely had to redeem myself somehow after the frightening "joker" costume from last week. I decided to attempt June Cleaver...and I think it turned out pretty well. I ended up going to an antique store, and racking up with all kinds of good things...for dirt cheap. Here are some pics...enjoy!

Caroline...aka Mimi from Drew Carrey show, Cleaver.
Richard Simmons came back to join us!
June and her little friend....Lil Taryn.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mish Mash

That's what we call it when I don't cook supper, and everybody just gets what they want. Cereal, toast, sandwich, chicken noodle soup, ravioli, and spaghettios are some of our favorite mish mash items. Not that that really has anything to do with my post....other than this may be a little scattered. What else is new is what you are thinking right?? I know...but really, that's how my mind works. I am an amazing multi tasker. I can literally do a countless things at once...but what I've that's how my mind works too. Hence the sleeping problems, etc. It's just going and going. Anyway...this weekend was Chandler's all state choir concert. We went last year...and he thoroughly enjoyed it. This year...we didn't know if Chandler would make it again since he was grouped with older boys with much mature voices. Thankfully he did, as it was another thoroughly enjoyable year. We stayed at the host hotel this year which made a huge difference in Chandler's 'fun' level. While I loved the cost of staying a my daddy's, and the fellowship between Daddy and I, Chandler really did miss out on alot of fun that the other kids were having after practice just hanging around the hallways, etc. We also got to take a tour of the capitol because Chandler's friend's Mom is dating a Senator. It was a great tour for the boys! I passed on going to the top of the capitol. Chandler told me later that he was glad I did...because I would "have freaked!!!". They went up on the very top...and looked over the balcony...24 floors up. Yes, I would have freaked...and then I would have thrown up.

While we were in Baton Rouge, we drove around to see Daddy's house which is ruined right now due to Gustav. It really is stunning when you see the massive amounts of 100 year old trees that are uprooted and gone due to this Hurricane. So much history wiped away. Of course it was nothing like post Katrina New Orleans....but it's still devestating nevertheless. Daddy will probably be in this rental for another 3 months or so...until they can get to his house. The list is a mile long for all these contractors. Daddy said this weekend, he would give anything to be in the roofing business during Hurricane Season. And I said I would be happy to join that business!! LOL!!

There are still so many scattered thoughts in my head right now....I so enjoyed time with just Chandler, and I know he will be a teenager in a few short months...and my time 'talking' with him is limited. Oh how I am praying for the Lord to have His had on him. I have also reunited on facebook with one of my elmentary friends....and it's made me so sentimental....I know, that's not hard. My mom took the kids to the zoo today while Roy had a church function, and I was still in Baton Rouge..and I'm so very thankful for that. She's really the best grandmother anybody could ever ask for....even when my life is so crazy that I become a pitiful daughter. Another friend of mine is going through one of the toughest times in her adult say a prayer for her tonight...the Lord will know who you are talking about. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. But for now, I suppose I'm going to try to turn in...and turn my brain off. Really...if anybody has spare prescription of Lunesta...please feel free to send it to me anytime!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bunco Pics....

Me and Tracy....
Richard Simmons....aka Angie!! Excercise Girls!!!
Check out the pit hair!
The whole group of us.
Tracy working on fixing my hair!
Sarah and Shannon....the nun.

We had such a fun night that night! The pics of me are really scary aren't they?? I kind of look like a mix between bozo the clown...and something else that I just can't figure out! Anyway...get a good laugh!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sleepless days and sleepless nights.

I can't sleep....again. I've got so much on my mind it's ridiculous. I'm heading out of town tomorrow... headed to Baton Rouge with Chandler for his All state choir concert. Last year it was so much fun. I was really, really impressed with the level of excellence these kids sang at. It was fantastic. As usual though, the timing is pitiful for this weekend. Roy is going to be busy virtually the entire time I'm gone. I've already asked Mom to come in and help as much as possible for Saturday....but now Roy's going to be busy Thursday night and Friday too. I have no concept of who possibly is going to help during those times. The girls at the store schedules for this weekend got all mixed up, so getting that worked out took up my entire afternoon today...all because of lack of communication. None of these issues are life threatening...none of them are relationship ruining...none of them can't be worked out...but man are they frustrating. Jillian's not been quite acting herself lately either....which is throwing a kink in our daily routines. This too shall pass.

However, on the flipside of all this....I went to Roy's uncle's funeral today. I saw him once a year for about the past 20 years or so at family reunions. I don't think I've ever had a major converstion with him at all. In fact, I can't say that I knew he even lived in our town. Sad. I did find out today though, that apparently he was an absolutely amazing Godly man. He lived each and everyday for the Lord. He made it clear to everyone around him what his priorities were. He lived 85 years, raised his children, knew his grandchildren, and great grandchildren. And now it's over. He evidently made his life to be a life for the Lord. Not rich in material possessions, but so very rich in all the other areas. So, after days like today....of LOTS of running around, trying to find a tie for the concert, run here, run there, place this order, etc., etc...I have to caution myself to remember...this will all be over one day. And soon, this entire busy, frustrating day I've had will not even be remembered by anybody involved. I just wonder why I let my mind get so filled with such clutter, when it is all in passing. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has given us peace.... and peace of mind. I know I for one just have to reach out and grab ahold of it. And while I'm at it, I'll take a little rest too. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Does anybody out there play bunco? I have had friends that have played it for years, but I never really thought it was for me. In the past, I never took a girls night or anything like that really. However, I am now at a point in my life, that I want to get out, once a month, and enjoy myself. I have always thought that would be selfish of me to do that....and it just wasn't for me. I never thought bad of people who just wasn't for me. Truth be told...I need it. I don't work lots of hours everyday, but I am one of those people who can't turn their mind off. So, regardless of whether I've been at the store for 7 hours, or 3 hours, my mind is still on a 24 hour schedule. Not to mention the fact, that I do have a 4 kids. Again, they aren't non stop like they used to be....but sometimes I just get mentally exhausted. I also have never really been invited to join a group, that had lots of my friends in it either....until this group. I think this night tonight was my 3rd time to play. Last month, I thought there was no way I could laugh any harder than I did that night. In fact, at first, everybody seemed a little bit quieter than usual tonight. But then it got started. I truthfully have some of the craziest, and funniest friends in the entire world. This month, we decided that for tonight, since it was October, we would make it a costume party. I guess since men aren't involved...we all just cut loose. My friend Angie dressed as Richard Simmons, and literally laughed so hard she peed in her pants. Another friend dressed as a nun...and acted it out the entire night. Actually, we met those two at the dollar general parking lot so we could all ride together...and to our surprise, they walked out of dollar general, instead of their car....which obviously means they weren't afraid to walk around in public like they were!! And so on and so on. I was dressed as an old lady, with crazy teased hair, and LOTS of makeup. I think by the time it was all over I ended up looking like one of the Who's from the Grinch. Truly, it was one of the most fun nights of my entire adult life. I am so incredibly blessed with such amazing friends!! The Lord as been so unbelievably good to me in that area of my life. I'll have to download pics and post them tomorrow so you can all have a good laugh.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fried Squirrel.

I ate it! I did....I really did. Fried squirrel! There is a relatively long story behind that, but I'll try to make it short. My friend Alisha had asked if Collin could go hunting with Finley this weekend. Long story short again..we said yes. In the meantime, Chandler was asked to go stay with a friend, and Alisha hates to stay at her house by she asked me and Madison to come stay with her. I absolutely couldn't pass up that request, (especially since that meant Roy would go home with Jillian... just them two), so Madison and I headed out to the country. Madison played with Aubrey, Alisha's daughter, and Alisha and I talked and talked. Literally, we stayed up till 4 am talking about anything and everything. I never imagined that we would have that much to talk about!! I think at 3 or so, I said, "we have GOT to go to bed!!"...and she said back..."but how often do we get to do this!!". Of course, the answer is never, so we chit chatted some more! Alisha is my friend that I had blogged about a long time ago... about going to her grandmother's every Saturday to eat lunch. And how wonderful I thought that was, and how great the food was...I think I even said..."amazing food" maybe. Well, since I had spent the night on Friday, I was privileaged to be able to go out to Chatham, to the grandmother's house. This particular weekend however, they had decided to fry up some squirrel. I had never eaten it before, but I know tons of people that do on a regular I thought...."if I'm gonna eat squirrel....where else better to do it, then in the country in an old country house, on beautiful property..on a beautiful day." So I did. And it really wasn't so bad after all. I don't know honestly if I ever want to eat it again. It was an awful lot of work for about 2 bites of meat. But that's neither here nor there. I have to tell you though, each and every time I go out to that grandmother's house I am in awe for so many different reasons. Just the fact that this family gathers, for the most part, every single Saturday amazes me in and of itself. But the house is as it has been for years and years. Very little updating per se. And they liked it like that. I thought, you know, if I can hold on to what I don't like about my house, eventually....I'll like it again. And eventually, it will be what comforts me. And hopefully, what will one day comfort my children when they come 'back home'. Sometimes I think how much I would love to move...even maybe to out in the country....but I'm just so sentimental....I think it would hurt me to leave my house. I know it would hurt Chandler..he freaks out every time we even mention moving. It's not a great house. But it's a good house, and there are just so many great memories here. I want my kids to have a 'go back home' house to go home to. And honestly, I would really, eventually like to have a 'camp' out in the country. But I don't think I could move out there any time soon. Especially with gas so expensive, and as many kids as I have!! LOL!! So now that you all know that I have eaten fried squirrel, I hope you don't think less of me. Who day I might even eat rabbit. I hear its better than squirrel anyway!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Looking back.

I couldn't remember the exact date last year that we got our travel approval. I knew it was sometime about now, but not the exact date. So, I went back in my blog to find out the official date. I have to tell you, I am overwhelmed with the memories that came flooding back. I know I've said often, that we thought we went to China for a one time deal. I can't express to you all what kind of zero interest we had in going back. But that trip of a lifetime became so much more...if that's even possible. I know we have so many emotional ties to it simply because of the fact we met our daughter, but truly the culture of that country is just incredible. This morning, after I saw we got our travel approval of October 15th....I kept reading. Those feelings of excitement, fear, anticipation, and pure joy came back totally over me. I also realized how much I relied on the Lord to get me through it. I think about the trip now, and realize, once again, how much the Lord's hand was on it. And how much I leaned on Him. I know, at I know that I couldn't have done it without the peace and knowledge that He Himself had put Jillian in our lives....and we had to go get her. And when we went to get her...He blessed us. Literally, we had not one piece of lost luggage, not one delayed flight, not one issue of weather the entire trip, etc., etc. All the things we had heard countless 'horror' stories about. I remember when I was packing, I intentionally separated all of our clothes in different suitcases in case any one piece of luggage got lost. None did. I packed all kinds of powerade, tums, pepto bismol, and antibiotics just in case any of us got sick. None of us did. It truly was a fairy tale trip....for the most part. I suppose it can't really be one of my fairy tales with 2 24 hour airplane trips! lol!!

As I was reading up to the point of our travel, I also realized how so very similar my life is this year as compared to last year. Chandler went to his first dance party last year...and he went back to the exact same dance party this year. He also made all state choir...and did again this we are off to Baton Rouge in a week or two. I remember going to pick out fall festival costumes realizing that when they were at the fall festival, I would be in the air somewhere between Detroit and Tokyo....and we just picked out our new costumes. Just good memories. Warm fuzzies. I am so thankful for the work the Lord has done. Is our life perfect?? No way, no how...just ask my mom....but the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He put Jillian YuLu Duffey in the lives of Leslie, Roy, Chandler, Madison and Collin Duffey. She has changed our lives....and I literally cannot imagine life without her.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Tonight we went to see fireproof. One of my dear friends from the church called out of the blue and said she wanted to come watch the kids for us to go. It really is a must see for every couple...and I really mean couple. I know sometimes there is a tendency for girls to go to the movies together on a girl's night....but don't make this one of those. Go with your'll see why when you go. I'm not sure why, but over the years, sometimes people I don't know very well just open up to me. Not just chit chatting, but really, really open up to me. Again, I'm not sure why..,maybe I'm a good secret keeper....or maybe I was just there when they needed to vent. But I have to admit, that I have become frighteningly surprised at the amount of people....and great Christian people at that who have struggling marriages. Not just the normal frustrations of marriage... I mean REALLY struggling. Don't get me wrong..I'm sure every marriage has it's ups and downs....and frankly, the end of last year and the beginning of this one was pretty stinkin' down for us even. I know I'm getting a touch personal....but unfortunately I'm about as transparent as they come. I also think for us all to pretend that we have perfect fairy tale marriages, sets others up for disappointment. You always point to 'that' couple that seemingly has it all together, and you end up comparing yourself to something that's so totally unrealistic, that it's absolutely impossible to live up to your own false expectations. Anyway....let me get off that rabbit trail....and back to the movie. I think it's a good eyeopener for all of us. Every marriage on the face of this earth, has a bullseye on it straight from the enemy himself. Make it a Godly marriage, and the bullseye just got bigger. I don't remember the names of all the characters in the movie....but the lead guy's best friend made some outstanding points. I'm sure any of you out there that have gone through a divorce can testify that the scars run so very deep. My parents got divorced when I was a sr. in high school. At the time, I thought it was fine. In my mind, I understood that they had grown apart, etc., etc. I was the only child at home at the time, so it wasn't that big of a my mind. It wasn't until many, many years later that it hit me. Roy had bought me Barry Manilow's greatest hits one year for Valentine's Day. My mom was a big Barry Manilow fan, and we listened to it often growing up....along with the Bee Gee's and the Beatles, mixed in with a litte Styx and Queen. How's that for variety?!! LOL!! Anyway, I started playing the CD, and started to tear up. I didn't think too much about it, since I am a big cry baby. But then I couldn't turn it tears that is. I cried and cried and cried. Harder and harder and harder. And I finally realized that it brought back the memories of my family, that I would not ever have again. I could feel it in the pit of my stomach. And in my late 20's or early 30' parents divorce made me sad....for the first time. The sense of loss was overwhelming....more than 10 years after the fact. My parents divorce wasn't a messy divorce...they actually still think the world of each other. So I can only imagine, different circumstances, and the depth of scars. Our society made it seem like nobody really gets hurt...does anybody else hear how relaxed people talk about their divorce. I'd be freaking out!! Maybe that's that transparent person in me....and maybe everybody else can keep it together much better. We have, as a Christian community, as young families, as friends, GOT to get a grip on our marriages. Pray for them. Pray for our husbands that are being lured by not only porn on their computers, but half dressed women ALL over the place. I'm shocked at how some people walk out of the house. Frankly, I'm shocked at how some moms and dads let their middle school girls walk out of the house. What are they thinking?? The bible tells us that even lustful thoughts are adultery. I know I'm branching out of my prayer requests for children, but in reality, praying for our marriages IS praying for our children. So now that you know my life story...go see the movie. You'll love it!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I know....I'm not in college, and I'm hardly a teenager, but I do really like facebook. How crazy is it, that one of my bridesmaids that I had lost contact with, and have searched for, for several years really, would find me on facebook. I was SO tickled when I got that 'friend request'...and found out who it was. Actually, if you are like me, you'd be excited to get any friend!! I know facebook can be so time consuming if you let it, but I have found more positive than negative so far. And it's certainly not near as time consuming as myspace for sure!! I also found 2 other girls that were so close to me during college. We were all in Interior Design at Tech....and our studio classes lasted forever. Needless to say, we all became very close. For now though, I'm hoping to find more of my old friends....and make them my new friends all over again. I'm loving this! Just my little tidbit for the day.

UPDATE: Woohoo!! I've gotten more friends on facebook since this post!! Yippee for me!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I almost got up this morning and apologized for my post last night. I didn't want to delete it, because it was how I felt, and deleting posts always seems a little fishy to me. I told Roy, when we were discussing why I was so tired today, that I had just really gotten myself all worked up last night thinking about Romania again. I literally cried and prayed for hours, to the point of needing eye drops this morning. Truth be told....that rarely happens....but it's not the first time it's happened either. And then I realized, for whatever reason, (I personally believe it was God ordained), the sense of urgency that was put in my 'gut' for Romanian orphans was so very real. I actually didn't get myself worked up....I truly feel like the Lord put it there. When I sat down to my computer, I fully intended to blog about something different. I had had a great night with some amazing friends, and I wanted to tell the world how blessed I felt. But as I typed, it just wasn't right. No telling how many sentences I deleted. And then out of the blue, I started to blog about Romania. I had really decided not to even write about it knowing good and well that any family of mine that reads this will think I've lost my mind. But I suppose that was established a long time ago! :) So as Roy and I were talking about it, he asked me what I felt called to....and my response sadly was.."I don't know....what can I do??". I am trusting the Lord to guide me once again. Obviously, I can't keep adopting children....and Romania wouldn't even let me....(and neither would Roy! LOL!), and our budget is stretched as far as it can go and then some, but I am convinced there is something out there that I can do....and not only that I can do, but that I'm supposed to do. I'm just going to have to wait on the Lord, and listen for that still small voice....once again.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I felt the call to adopt probably still when I was about 11 or 12. Of course I didn't know then it was a call at the time. In fact, I probably didn't even know what a call was!! I just saw all the stories on tv about the plight of Romanian orphans, and my heart broke. From that time on....through the years of Nadia Comaneci, I wanted to grow up, and adopt. As the years went on, Romania put a halt to all international adoptions for who knows what reason. I was so upset at first when I heard that, because I was so sure for so long that I would adopt a baby/child from Romania. What now? And why on God's green earth would they do that, when SO many children are suffering?? I still have no answer for that.....I guess it goes back to that eight letter word that I hate so much....politics. Anyway, for me, in the adoption realm, my mind turned to the Eastern European Russia, etc. As many of you know, when we started the adoption paperwork, our original application was for the Ukraine. It was only once our application had been received that every single door was slammed in our face as we tried to proceed. We know now, that the Lord had called us to Jillian, and through an often confusing, and extremely long road, He brought us together. I am still in awe at what a perfect match we are for each other. She truly was meant to be in this family. But even through that amazing journey, that I wouldn't change for anything, my heart never left Romania. I always stare at the Romanian gymnasts during the Olympics and wonder what their life must be like. I'm sure most of you don't know...and probably don't care too much....but it's an unbelieveably hard, corrupt road in Romania. Full of poverty, and everything that comes along with it. All that to say, this last Sunday, we had a missionary from Romania come to our church. I truthfully didn't even know our church supported a missionary in Romania. His stories were awe inspiring! The Lord is doing such an amazing work through him in the rural lands of Romania. Sadly though, I learned that the conditions and plight of Romanian orphans is still just awful. In fact, just googling images of Romania brought up some of the most horrendous images I have seen recently in terms of orphanage conditions. I am literally sitting here distraught at the thought of what these children go through for their entire life. Very commonly, in Romania, as well as the Ukraine, when a child turns 18, they are no longer fit for state care. They are turned out to the streets and often become the worst of the worst...and you can only imagine what that would be. They have learned no skill, no trade, nothing to help them survive. So this missionary that came to our church builds group homes for these teenagers and teaches them skills that they can use to get a job. I've know for so long that my heart was in Romania for who knows what reason...but I want to go there. I so desperately would LOVE to do some mission work there. I truly feel like it's not even a want anymore, but a need. I know not everyone has a heart for the orphans....just like not everybody has a heart for the elderly, or a prison ministry. But if you are reading this, because maybe you started to follow our journey to get our precious daughter...please say a prayer tonight...not just for Romanian orphans, and Chinese orphans, but for all over. Even for the ones that live in the "bad part of town" here in the USA, and have to go to school just so they can eat because momma never comes home....and yes that really does happen...and it really happens here. I've seen it first hand. James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world".

Jillian has a mad face....

And here it is.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Answered Question...

Not that this is anything profound or anything...but I thought I would write a little something that tickled me. Today, I went to my mailbox to find my monthly Southern Living magazine. I absolutely love Southern Living, and I love fall...and the holidays. Therefore, the October, November, and December issues of Southern Living are my favorites!!! Back to the story, I got all snug in my chair to look through the issue and find all the goodies of fall that it has to offer, and saw immediately this HUGE section of "The Fair"....the Texas State Fair. And it was just as I imagined in my mind fairs should be like....nothing like ours attall. That's how southerners often say at all....pronounced atTall. Anyhoo.....I felt slightly validated in my wishings of something more...because now I know it's out there, and if I ever get the hankering....I can go and take the kids to a "real" fair. I do seriously doubt that will ever happen though.

On a drastically different 10 year old started shaving her legs this week. It's time. I continue to look at her as if she is in 3rd grade, but she's not. She's in 5th, and will be at the middle school next week. We had been discussing when a good time for me to teach her would be, and we finally found a night that we were at home, and available. We went into the bathroom, got the water warm, and proceeded to "practice shave" with a razor with the lid on. She did fantastic, and really was ready to move forward all by her lonesome. She did the other leg totally by herself, without the lid on the razor, and only cut the back of her leg one tiny little cut. I told her I still even cut myself with tiny little cuts all the time. She did great. She left it alone yesterday, and then came home today, and immediately got in the bathtub to shave again. She literally told me this was a "dream come true!!". Now she only has 2 wishes ipod and a cell phone. She's so crazy!!! She's always been so growny. Just acting SO grown up....and now she actually is growing up. Middle year.....youth group...not rainbows. I really, really don't know if I'm ready for all this!! But she is....and has been for about 8 years now!! Yikes.