Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our wonderful Christmas present!

To hear more please visit our new blog
"jorja on our minds and in our hearts"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chef Jailyn!

Not one of my other kids ever wanted to help in the kitchen like Jailyn does!
We really need a stool for Jailyn to be able to reach the counter, but for now we use the high chair!
Jailyn and Mom are making a new dish with some of our left over turkey!

Wonderful Christmas Morn!!!

There's nothing like the joy of children ages 14 to 2 waking up on Christmas morn! Kenzie and Conner came to our room at 5:30am! We made them sleep until 7am! We had a wonderful day watching Jailyn experience her first Christmas morn!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Only two kids left

Our adoption agency has only two more children to find families for on this list!
Drew and Leah! They are both beautiful children!
For more information on these two children contact Karla at
Praying these kids meet their forever families soon!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Brady

Brady is 14 years old today. He was so excited today! Almost too much to handle having your birthday on Christmas. Brady is a so good at letting us celebrate his birthday on Christmas Eve! Usually, he wants me to make lasagna for him - but this year he wanted Steak and Shake, he loves the cheese fries. Watching him eat these fries is not a pretty thing, so I didn't post any of those photos. :) Happy Birthday Brady we love you! You were/are a wonderful Christmas present!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sweet Baby no more tears

This sweet little guy would have been 2 years old on Sunday. He was on an adoption list with people searching for his forever family, but he died. In God's hands, may this little guy's eyes now see and his heart be full of peace. This sweet guy never knew what it was like to have a mommy or daddy to hold him tight. Please pray for all these kids world wide whose families have not found them!

Away In A Manger:
Be near me Lord Jesus
I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever
and love me I pray.

Bless all the dear Children
in your tender care
And take us to heaven
to live with thee there.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Igloos

Rather then making Gingerbread houses (which can be very time consuming, frustrating, and a mess). We make Christmas igloos! We love this tradition too! This year the kids worked on them a little bit at time and came up with this scene! Love it!
Merry Christmas to y'all!

Made out of sugar cubes and vanilla icing! Fun for all ages!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Prayer Requests

These two little guys, Sawyer and Evan, were Jailyn's buddies for 16 months. They are both having medical issues and are under going numerous testing. Please keep them and their parents in your prayers! Bonding is hard on any level, but when you are worried about the health and development of your child it can be even harder! We love you guys!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Traditions!

What are some of your holiday traditions? We love new ideas!

Some of our traditions are - each child has a Christmas tree at their bedroom door. The kids have really enjoyed this. They usually decorate their trees in ornaments that they have made throughout the years. This year Kenzie and Conner (my decorators) wanted to get new ornaments so they all match. Brady our traditionalist didn't want anything new - he likes his old ornament. He did want to add a new soccer ball ornament. They were all excited about getting Jailyn her first tree and purchase ornaments.

A few other traditions we keep up - take a drive around town at night to see all the Christmas lights. This is fun for all ages! Make chocolate chip cookies for Santa (you know they are Santa's favorite). Trace the kids hands and feet and make reindeer's out of them (we will be doing that today). It's amazing to see how the kids have grown. Brady's feet and hands are too big anymore! :) We read the Nativity Story throught out the month and remember to keep Christ in Christmas. We also wrap the kids doors with their specified Christmas wrap. We began this tradition when the kids couldn't read, so they knew whose gifts were who's.

And of course, we have lasagna and chocolate cake for Christmas Eve dinner! Brady's favorite! One year he asked for a cross cake to celebrate his birthday and Jesus' birthday! :) This year Brady wants his lasagna dinner on Christmas day. (not too sure what Mimi and Papa Paul will think of having an italian christmas! :)

This year, Kenzie suggested that the kids play Secret Santa. They will be choosing names and purchasing gifts for each other - under $10. So, they have to be creative. Hopefully this will be the first year of a lifelong tradition!

Enjoy your holiday traditions!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Jailyn's fun day!!!

Jailyn had a great morning at her ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) Christmas party!
She was able to make a photo frame, decorate a cookie, take a sleigh (wagon) ride, and meet Santa!
We have talked to her about Santa, or "Ho Ho!" as we call him. But she has never seen him in person. While we waited in line ECI employees blew bubbles for the kids (what a smart idea! I think I'm going to bring bubbles shopping with me! Totally amused all the kids!) When it was Jailyn's turn to see Ho Ho, I told her, "It's your turn to sit on Santa's lap." and she turned toward him and crawled up on his lap! Couldn't believe it! Even though she wasn't all smiles, she was not nervous at all. Santa gave her a gift and she politely took it, walked to the basket of gifts and put it away. I think she thought it was a prop. :) I'm sure she will get a hang of the "greedies" soon enough, but it is sure nice at this stage! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Update on Zhang Qi

This little guy is doing a little better! He is eating 50ml (approx 1.69oz) of formula every 3 hours. He is gaining strength enough to cry. (He was unable to cry when he entered the hospital) When the nurse stuck him for a blood test he cried! I'm sure that was a sweet cry! We are praying that his strength improves and can be moved to foster care.

Thank you for your prayers for this sweetie!

Another UPDATE 12/7/07
Zhang Qi is in stable condition! Although he has developed a cough. He is continuing to take his formula. If all goes well in the next several days he should be ablet o go "home" to the SWI. There are several nannies there waiting to love on him.

Please continue to pray for him!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Please pray for this little guy!!!

This little guy's name is Zhang Qi. He is only 6 1/2 weeks old. His body is refusing to keep any milk down. He has been placed in a hospital (finally). The hospital didn't have an incubator available for him so one is being borrowed from another organization. Dr.'s are consulting today to see how to help this little guy!
Unfortunately, this happens to too many cleft babies!!!
Thank you for your prayers for Qi!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


"Lovey" is my nickname for Jailyn. She is so "lovey"!
We were out taking photos yesterday and Kenzie snapped this one of Jailyn and I.
I thought it was too cute not too share.
Kenzie is getting to be a wonderful photographer!
I was also able to get a few good photos of our four kids! Aren't they cute!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beautiful girl!

I can't believe I didn't see these photos of Jailyn earlier.
Her lip looks so good!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Keeps getting better!

Life with Jailyn keeps getting more and more fun! She loves everyone if the family and has a special relationship with each one of us! She is using her words or signs more and more! She has even come up with her own signs for certain things. The first few times it takes a bit of guessing as to what she is trying to tell us but once we figure it out - we are good to go!
Jailyn really enjoyed Thanksgiving break this week and having Dad and the kids home all day. This morning she was asking for "Tate", the little boy I babysit. I think Jailyn is ready for things to get back to normal.
We are excited to share Christmas season with her! She already can spot "Ho!Ho" (aka Santa) from a mile away. :)
Jailyn is calling now so I better go for now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Praise God!

I have been told that Sandy and Hannah will be coming home today!! They were able to be at the swearing in ceremony at the US consulate yesterday (last night to us). Please continue to pray for Sandy as she tries to bond with her new little daughter and as she greives over the loss of her husband.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Prayer Request

Please pray! A couple went to China to adopt their treasure! Sandy and Dennis are the parents, Hannah is the little girl!
They were days away from coming home as a family, when Dennis died while in Guanzhou. They had done all their paperwork accept the US Consolate appointent. By adoption laws Sandy is legally Hannah's momma. The problem is that since Dennis has passed away - the paperwork is incorrect. Sandy is having a horrible nightmare trying to get home with her daughter. Sandy's congressman is working on the issue, but prayers are needed for Sandy and Hannah. Sandy is alone in China with no other family. Her brother was able to get as close as Japan. I can't imagine what Sandy is going through right now! Please pray!

Interested in adopting? Isn't this little guy adorable?!!

This sweetie is looking for his new family! He is 18 months old now! He was born with cleft lip and cleft palate. What a doll! If you would like more information on this sweetie contact Feel free to look at the other kids waiting for their forever families too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Conner's team are Champions!

A weekend of soccer for Conner J! Three winning games on Saturday and the Championship game on Sunday afternoon! The team did great! Conner had a great weekend! He is always so happy on the soccer field!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption month!
As I cuddled with Jailyn today I was trying to remember what our life was before she came home. What life would be like if she never entered our lives. I can't even imagine! When we entered our journey of adoption there were so many unanswered questions. I am so thankful that we moved on faith and let God lead us! I wouldn't of made a better choice for our family!
We are in the process of beginning our search for another sister. Researching some different children and their "special needs". We would appreciate your prayer! We want to be in God's will and go where he leads.
If you have any questions about adoption please feel free to send me an email. I would love to help you in your journey. Even if you don't feel that you are able to adopt - there are many other ways you can help orphan children all over the world!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Under construction

Sorry for the mess - I am trying to get this blog looking better!

Jailyn's first Halloween!

What a fun celebration! Jailyn has not been afraid of any of the Halloween decorations! She thinks everything is fabulous! Jailyn was a monkey. She loves to walk around pretending to be a monkey so it was perfect. She wanted nothing to do with it until I began calling it her jacket. She loves jackets! Hates shoes but loves jackets! Crazy kid! :) She had so much fun trick or treating! She learned to say "Happy Halloween", actually, it's kinds "Haaay Haaaoween" Guess we need to work on the "p" and "l" sounds! Conner was a Cyborg alien, and Kenzie was a Gangster! Poor Kenzie had a fever Halloween night. She slept all afternoon after school, up until Trick or Treating and only went out for an hour or so. Poor thing!
Brady is unpictured. He was off with his buddies. He got the most candies, he and his buddy went to a bunch of houses that were ready to close up for the night and had bowls of candy left. Great just what we need in this house! :)

Jailyn received this fun swing from Uncle JB for her birthday - she loves it!
It also keeps her entertained when we need to do yard work. :)
Of course, there is always an argument about who gets to push her - Jailyn still enjoys being the Princess.

We hope y'all are enjoying your autumn season - at some point Dallas may get some Fall weather!

Love ya,

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Pumpkin Patch!

Jailyn loved going to the Pumpkin Patch! The best part was the petting zoo! She loved feeding the animals and just walking around playing with her friends. The weather was actually pretty chilly for Texas, and windy. But we still had a lot of fun! This photo was taken on the hayride. She loved that and had a temper tantrum when we had to get off. It was a fun time Mommy and daughter were able to share!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Jailyn's mommy is a wimp!

My sweet baby girl went through such a rough surgery - plastic surgery, repair of her palate... and she was so strong! I had a temporary crown put on and last week and am still in pain! This is totally driving me nuts because I am usually strong and have a high pain tolerance. But with this I just want to stay in bed! UGH!
Any home remedies you might have I would love to try! The kids are enjoying the fact that I don't want to talk as much!

The more I just sit and watch Jailyn the more I am just amazed by her! She is so smart! She has an incredible memory! She likes to play the Memory game - where you flip over cards and try to remember where the matching card is. She is really good at this! Amazing!
Her speech is really coming along! She is putting together two words now on her own.
She is growing up so fast!
She is so close to being potty trained, she tells me whenever she pees in her diaper she tells me that she did, and before she poops (or "Ella" as she calls it, short for Elephant). When I ask her if she wants to go peeps or Ella on the potty she says "no".
I think she is afraid of it - I think one or two times and she will be trained.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers! She is doing great and is a very precious part of our family! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yeah Kenzie!

Gotta brag about Kenzie!
Kenz came home yesterday and told me the good news that she auditioned and made All- District choir! :) Totally cool! I'm so proud of her! Not only can she sing - but she had the confidence to audition! Yeah Kenz!

Brady - another lose, this one was hard!
Kenzie - another tie, 1-1
Conner - two wins!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jailyn is TWO!

Wow! Can't believe she is already two! and so sad that I missed her 1st birthday!
Last year Jailyn was only a photo to us! and now is a huge part of our family! She keeps us laughing and makes us appreciate each other even more!
Here are some photos of our little two year old!
Her party was a bubble theme! Jailyn loves bubbles! We had a big bubbles, little bubbles, even in between bubbles! (too much dr.suess).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Great Game!

Another win for Conner's rec team, The Knights. Conner was upset when Coach (also know n as "Dad") told him not to score anymore. He had 4 goals and that was enough. I may be biased but he is playing really well this year. Last year he was still getting over having mono, so he wasn't as quick. Yeah Conner! Go Knights!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend Soccer scores

Another great weekend of soccer!
Brady's team lost a hard fought game - 3-2
Kenzie's team also fought hard and the game ended in a tie 0-0
Conner's rec team won by way to much!
and his academy team won by way to much too!
(of course, too Conner and his teammates there can never be enough -
until your on the losing side!)

Jailyn loves going to the games and actually made a run for her brother Conner on his fields this weekend. She gets so excited to cheer for the other kids! Too cute!
We drove by the soccer fields earlier in the week and she started cheering and signing/saying all the kids names and Da! Lol!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Update on Jailyn!

Good news! Jailyn has hit 21 lbs! Wow!
The 9 month clothes she wore last spring are beginning to fit without being
tied up with a belt. Of course, the ribbon belts are so cute we use them anyway!
I took Jailyn to the Dr last week to get her some allergy medicine. Poor girl has horrible allergies. Even some type of skin allergy. She has been breaking out in little red spots on her torso and neck - not chicken pox, just some allergy. Guess we
will have to go to an allergist next. :)

Jailyn is doing great in speech. She's usually pretty quiet during her class, but today she was in a nasty mood and was very demanding so she spoke out much more clearly. A friend of Brady's made a good point... "Jailyn doesn't cry, she demands."
Very true! She is too funny too - she knows when to turn on that charm!

Scores this weekend:
Brady's team - lost 9-1 (all in the 1st half, new team - hopefully, they can put it all together at the beginning of the game next week!)
Kenzie's team - win 1-0 New team! Doing great!
Conner's team - win 4-3 New team! Amazing!
Conner's other team had a Bye this weekend. Surprisingly he wasn't super disappointed - think he needed the break! :)
Bryan's team - Broncos won in Overtime!

Have a great week! Feel free to leave a note!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Do the math!

So I have never been good in math, but Bryan is supposed to be this math wiz and he was blinded too.

Preparing for our first day back at school this fall got me thinking. Brady has begun 8th grade... he is 5 years away from high school graduation! Kenzie just began 6th grade - 1/2 way through with her academic career (besides college)! Conner is considered one of the "big" kids in Elementary school. Entering 3rd grade he is a few years away from middle school! And little Jailyn is turning 2 the end of September. Wow! This means that Jailyn will begin Kindergarten when Brady is in his senior year in High School. I will be attending a High School graduation and a Kindergarten graduation all in the same week. WOW!

And next year, Jailyn will begin preschool. (She will qualify for special preschool) This means we will have one child in each school.. high, middle, elementary and preschool.
And we want to adopt another little one! Though we have looked into adopting an infant - I may be too old for this! Another 16 month old at time of adoption is looking better and better! Please pray with us that God will lead us to our next baby or older child!

How did I get here?

Wow! Life sure throws curves!

Don't get me wrong I love my kids but...

Today I found myself, researching Off Campus PE for our 13 year old son. Trying to convince the school that soccer players should have the same rights as a tennis player or golfer, so that he can have 7th period to train for soccer. Forbid a young boy is in PE in Texas and doesn't want to play on the football team... you're not a real athlete. So we have been told from one of the coaches! What are we even thinking that a 8th grader needs to leave school to train for his specialized sport? Is this world crazy or what?

Then I had to argue with my new 6th grade daughter about the school district dress code. We haven't spent 7 years in the school district!!! and every year we have heard about the dress code... but my Angel thinks she knows everything. Amazing how a few days in Middle School makes you an expert in everything! :) Needless to say, 12 minutes after school began we received a phone call from our beautiful daughter asking for a different shirt. "Why would you need a different shirt?" "Tank tops aren't allowed at school." Surprise! Surprise! She had to wait in the office before Dad brought her another shirt. (Dad offered to bring her the shirt - he was just protecting her from the wrath of Mom!) And of course, Kenzie always being positive... while she waited, met a newly enrolled student. They are great friends now. "Mom, we would never have met if I didn't have that shirt on." Oh, give me a break!

This is all after I had to spend breakfast bartering with our 8 year old. After not sleeping well last night knowing that I had promised that I would go to his school to have lunch with him and that I had to break the news that I had to break our date. (I had forgotten that Jailyn had speech therapy at the same time.) "Conner can I make it up to you next week and come eat with you then?" With his sad puppy dog eyes, that break my heart, he shook his head "no". "What if I call your friends Mom and see if he can spend the night?" Jumping down from the kitchen stool he began cheering "yeah! I get a sleepover!!!!!" Hummm... he got over lunch with me pretty fast! Wish the bags under my eyes would go away just as fast.

Last but not least, my darling almost 2year old baby girl! She only has about 25 words and many of them are only understandable by Mom and her speech therapist. There is one word that she can pronounce very loudly, and very clearly! "MmmoooooooM" We may not have the same eyes or skin tone but anyone who sees us in public knows that she is my daughter. Though we all wait for the day that our children say "Mom" Jailyn has learned to say it in a very demanding way. When we are in the car and she doesn't want to hold her sippy cup anymore its, "MmmooooM!!!" Does she forget that I bought a car seat with a cup holder on it? I do count my blessings - atleast she is not chucking it the length of the minivan and spilling juice everywhere!

I am also babysitting an almost one year old boy. He is so cute and so funny! But man is he fast and his favorite place is climbing on the stairs! He is going to give me a heart attack!

Who thought 40 looked like this!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

6 months!

Amazing! Can't believe that we were united with Jailyn 6 months ago last Sunday! I am still amazed at how easily she has become part of our family! With a lot of prayer God prepared our family for this journey! Jailyn loves her siblings and loves mommy and daddy! She is so fun to play with, but even more fun to just watch as she gets a feeling of overwhelming joy spring through her body and she just runs and hops across the family room and down the hallway giggling! I wonder what she is thinking when she does this - she just looks so happy!
Jailyn loves swimming! Well, being in the water! She spent 2 hours playing in a friends pool on Sunday and only got out because mom made her! Yesterday we caught her taking her stacking cups to Cosmo's (our black lab) water bowl and playing in the water with her cups. This would be okay except for the fear I have of her slipping on the wet tile floor.
Speech is going well! Her therapist said yesterday that she is catching up to be close to her peers in speech. Her articulation will need extra work because of the severity of her cleft. We are still working on getting her to suck. She still drinks from her bottle and sippy cups on the side of her mouth - so that is my new goal to work on this month. Hopefully, we can break her of this habit! She does smack her lips together after we put on her lip gloss! :)

Update on the rest of the family!
Brady begins 8th grade in a few weeks! One more year of Jr. High! He loves soccer and is all about soccer! He even decided not to pursue football this year, so that he can give all his energy to his club soccer team (that Dad coaches). He is also the Asst. coach of a U-5boys soccer team! The Head coach is a close family friend who is excited to have Brady join him. Brady will also be a referee too - Here's hoping his too busy to get into trouble! :)
Kenzie begins middle school this year, entering 6th grade. She is busy with karate and soccer! Karate is her first love and she is excelling in this sport. She is a red belt presently and her goal is to be a black belt by the beginning of 7th grade! Dad is hoping this will keep the boys at bay! She has also joined club soccer this year (Dad is coaching). She is enjoying this too. Kenzie has been invited to travel with People to People Student Ambassador program for next summer. We will be looking into that more!
Conner J begins 3rd grade! Not sure who is more nervous about this Conner or Mom! He is also into karate and soccer. Soccer being his favorite, like Brady. Conner plays on two outdoor teams, one recreational team, and one club team, (Dad coaches).
He loves both teams! In Karate he is a blue belt, getting ready to test for red belt later this month. At this rate he will be a black belt by the end of 4th grade! Wow!
He wants to interview for the STORM team, Student Team of Role Models. This team helps lower belts learn their drills, patterns, kicks, punches, leadership... He is already looking forward to helping Dad coach Jailyn's soccer team!
Dad is working hard at Raytheon, still in the Naval Reserves, and coaching the kids teams and being the President of Manchester Soccer Club youth division. He loves soccer and has really found his niche!
Mom is busy chasing everyone! and will be baby sitting a little guy this school year. We are also looking into other adoption options and praying that God lead us to our next child. Please pray with us as we begin the adoption journey again. :)
Hope you enjoyed this longer post. Good thing they aren't all like this! :)
Have a great day! My children are beginning to stir for the day... here we go!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What a trip!

WOW! We had a great trip this summer... Colorado for Bryan's mom's 75th birthday parties. That was nice hanging out with the family! Then we went to Glennwood Springs with some of Jodi's family for a few days of swimming in the hot springs pool! Then we were off to Omaha to see our friends, the Stahrs! What a crazy group of 8 kids and 2 mom's! People must have thought we were nuts! But, we had fun! After a week with the Stahrs we were off to Chicago to see one of Jailyn's friends from China. It was wonderful to see the kids together again - not sure if they knew each other, but they played together!
I could go into a lot more detail about our car trouble this trip but I don't want to bore you! - just know that I am looking for a new van! :) Enjoy these pictures!