Wednesday, February 22

Flags. Valentines. Time Management

 I am so behind on updating on our personal life. Mostly because I am lazy and I haven't taken any of the videos and photos off of my phone in a while. We have also been busy with treating lice for a second time, I was down with the stomach bug again (second time in 4 weeks), We have had school parties, school programs, life group parties and Bunco. The last four weeks have FLOWN past us.

Emme has been home for a month now! CRAZY!! She is doing really great. She is picking up little phrases and learning how to put English words together. It is sweet watching her learn. We are working on connecting still. Its not a one day you pray next day everything is peachy and perfect kind of thing. We have our own challenges and we are working through them. Her and Beckham and still very much BFF! HA!

A couple weeks ago Parker's class put on a little program for their Flag Day. It was really sweet. He worked hard on remembering his line and getting it perfect. His line:
There are now 50 stars for each of the 50 states. 
I couldn't have said it better myself. He is just precious!
We also helped Parkers class celebrate valentines day. It was a lot of fun. The kids always love getting little treats from each other and you can tell that they LOVE having their moms in the class.  Here are a few little pictures from our Valentines Day.
The Valentines I made for Parker's class. 
The Valentines I made for Beckham's class. 
My sweet Little Valentines

Parker and his new buddy Jack! 
Class Party !!!

This is later that day... Emme was "Picking Lice" out of my hair. She kept digging in it and saying "Is ok is ok!" HA!!

We also started a fun new devotional a couple of weeks ago. 
It is really good! If you have children I highly recommend this devo! I have been doing the adult version for almost a year now and I LOVE it! It convicts me all the time like this day for instance... 

One morning a couple of weeks ago we all woke up late and I was frantic. If you don't know me very well I let you in on a little secret... I HATE being late. Yet we are always late to everything. Especially church. And every Sunday I sit in the car angry because we couldn't pull it together in time. Well this was a school day and I am NEVER late on a school day. It was one of those mornings where you run around trying to find the right shirt or matching sock or a pair of jeans and you open the washing machine to find them all wet. And... they have been wet sitting in the washing machine wet for 2 days!!! I sat down at the breakfast table that morning with the kids to do our daily Devo. I wasn't really being intentional at this point, I was more or less doing it because its what a good mom should do. Right?! Anyways. I opened the book up to that day and I couldn't help but laugh out loud. I even had to run into my husbands office to show him. Just 5 minutes earlier I was griping at him because we were running late and how I was so annoyed that we couldn't do ANYTHING on time and how we as a family are horrible time managers. God is so funny!

I realized after reading my kids devotional aloud, that it wasn't because I over slept that was making me and consequently all of us, crazy it was simply that I haven't been putting God first. I have been putting sleep first. SLEEP! Crazy! I had been doing really great, for a long stretch of time, getting up and having my coffee with Jesus before my day and my children's day started. But I was slipping and sleeping an extra hour was way more important. I didn't have to say it out loud for it to be true, my snoring is loud enough.  I felt so convicted because I know it is true, when you put God first in your mornings, your whole day tends to be so much better. Or at least I seem to make better decisions about things that come my way because I have invited Christ into my day by spending time with him. I am a better friend, wife and mom when I have invited Christ in. I don't panic over everything I need to get done, it just seems to get done with time to spare. He is the Ultimate Time Manager. You just have to let him be. Though most of us aren't consumed with school, homework, friends, or practice, we are consumed with laundry, meetings, grocery shopping, lunch with friends, play dates, cooking meals, hosting parties and cleaning house etc. I encourage you to stop, sit and spend time with Jesus. Invite him in. Let him be apart of your day. And get this Devotional for your kids. It will change your life! 

40days only water

Matthew 25:34-40
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For when I was hungry, and you fed meI was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into your homeI was naked, and you gave me clothingI was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?' " And the King will say'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'
(One of my all time favorites)

Before I tell my story I want to give you....

A few quick water facts....
  • 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world's population (WHO-UNICEF)
  • 1.8 million children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. This amounts to around 5000 deaths a day. (UNDP)
  • The simple act of washing hands with soap and clean water can reduce diarrheal diseases by an average of 40% (UNICEF)
  • Water-related diseases is the second biggest killer of children world wide, after acute respiratory infections like tuberculosis. (UNDP)
  • The weight of water women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads and backs is commonly 40 pounds, the same average airport luggage allowance. 
  • Intestinal worms infect about 10% of the population of the developing world. Intestinal parasitic infections can lead to malnutrition, anaemia and stunted growth. (WHO)
  • 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases (UNDP)
  • 11% more girls attend school when sanitation is available (DFID)
  • Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task. (DFID)

A few quick water usage facts...
  • The average North American uses 400 liters of water a day. European uses 200. (UNDP)
  • The average person in the developing world uses 10 liters of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. (WSSCC)
  • On current trends over the next 20 years humans will use 40% more water than they do now. (UNEP)
  • Agriculture accounts for over 80% of the world's water consumption. (UNEP)

If you read all of those... Bless you!! Clean water is something I personally take for granted every day. I am guilty of leaving the kitchen sink water running while I walk to the other side of the kitchen to grab something or put something away. I am guilty of leaving my bathroom sink running while I am brushing my teeth or fixing the kids hair. When I could simply fill up a squirt bottle and spritz their hair as I need to instead of wasting water. I am guilty of filling the bath tub too full, or taking really long showers, or letting the kids play with the water hose in the back yard for too long. I am guilty of a lot of waste. Though I have always been intrigued with the water movements, I had never truly felt convicted of it until we went to Ethiopia for the first time. Not being able to brush your teeth with the water from the sink or open your mouth in the shower or not being able to walk to the kitchen sink to get a little drink from the RO spout was a personal eye opener. I have always been sensitive to water movements in Africa and other developing countries. Charity Water has always had a soft spot in my heart as well as Living Water and other ministries that focus on bringing water wells and clean water to communities in developing countries. But once you have actually been to one of these countries and you see children washing clothes in a ditch of filthy water and you see children asking you for the drink you are carrying in your hand, it breaks your heart

Another thing I have been guilty several times is saying... I just don't like to drink water. It doesn't taste good and its boring. My oldest son refuses to drink his clean sink water and my youngest tells me that water is yucky and it makes him throw up. Where as my daughter chugs her clean water and asks for it about 5,000 times a day. We take water for granted.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many half full water bottles I have thrown away in the past because I didn't know how long it had been opened. Perfectly good water. 

So as a result of feeling convicted on my lack of gratitude for simple things like fresh, clean, crisp water, I have been asking God to help me be intentional about conserving water and for him to bring more awareness to my mind of the severity of the global water crisis. I have done a lot of research on water and the lack of water globally. I have read countless blogs about the devastating effects of dirty water and simple solutions to bring these people clean water. I wanted to be involved. During my research I found this amazing mission. blood:water mission

blood:water mission focuses on both the HIV/AIDS crisis and the water crises hence the name blood:water. Unclean water can have devastating and fatal effects on people who carry the HIV virus. Clean water is essential for them to survive and live out their daily lives. Blood:water has built 3 clinics in Africa for HIV infected people 34,689 people have been tested and 11,096 have been served.  They have 1,036 water projects, have served 632,670 people in 11 countries.  In just 6 years. This amazes me. 

I immediately fell in love with this mission and what they stand for. So, I knew I wanted to get involved. blood:water has a 40 day water only mission beginning today February 22 and it ends April 7th. The idea of this mission is to give up everything you drink except water. No morning (or if your like me afternoon) coffee, no tea, no soda, no orange juice, nothing but WATER. You are to keep track of every time you chose water over a different beverage and how much that beverage would have cost you. At the end of the 40day mission you total up the amount of money you would have spent on other drinks and you donate it to blood:water mission to drill water wells and to maintain current wells. I am really excited about this challenge. It is a way for me to be hands on in making a difference without simply writing a check or putting a on hard hat, trekking out to an African field and drilling a water well. I have to give up something that I love (I love yummy drinks) in order to provide clean water for someone else. 

A shocking statistic that I found said... A child dies every 15 seconds because of the lack of clean water. It costs an averages of $0.98 to provide clean, safe water to one person for one year. Every dollar makes a difference. Today I gave up my morning coffee. *tear* I guessed it would cost around $2.00. That is already 2 people with water for a year!!  

I encourage you to join me on this mission of bringing clean and safe water to theses communities. If you would like to check out blood:water for yourself follow the links below. If you would like to donate to my mission just click on the image below. 

To find out more about blood:water

Wednesday, February 15


 Meet Harmela. She is our newest sponsored child in Ethiopia. 

Harmela is 6 years old and is Upper Kindergarten at her school. Harmela is from a tiny village called Adami Tulu, nestled in the rolling hills of Ethiopia about 3 hours from the capital city, Addis Ababa. It is a tiny impoverished village with about 9,000 in population. 

In 2009 Lifesong partnered with Misgana Ministries to reopen a nursery school in the village.

The model that Lifesong employs in its schools – excellent education combined with two meals every school day – enable families to stay together, and kids to break the cycle of poverty and grow up into self-sufficiency. 100% of all donations to Lifesong go into the field, directly changing the lives of orphans and vulnerable children.

This project and the model of lifelong schools is very dear to me. It touches places in my soul that are really sensitive. I have mentioned before that Emme's birth mother had to give her up for a adoption simply because she couldn't afford to take care of her. This is devastating to me. It saddens me that mothers are faced with relinquishing their children because they can't feed them or put them in school or meet their basic needs. It is a huge problem in Africa and a reality to way too many. There is a simple and easy solution for this and this project is a great example. When a child is sponsored they are able to attend school where they are fed and taken care of and the family can stay together. This is beautiful to me. 

How much does a sponsorship like this cost? Only $19 a month!! If you have been looking for a way to get involved in making a difference in someones life, a way to defended and care for the orphan and the least of these then click the image below to see the faces of the other children who need a sponsor. Attending school will change these children's lives and the lives of their families and ultimately their villages. 

Go ahead... see a face, fall in love and make a difference. 

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of the orphans. Fight for the rights of the widows. - Isaiah 1:17 NLT

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. - James 1:27 NLT

Tuesday, February 14

7 Years Ago

 Seven years ago today I had one of my first conversation with my husband. We met in January 2005 in Algebra class at Midland College. I first noticed Phillip in Math Lab. He always had a lot of friends and seemed to know everyone. We had a mutual friend so that made us kind of friends too. (Right?!) Well because of our mutual friend I got to sit at the same table as him in Math Lab. I was always so intrigued by him. He, like I said before seemed to know everyone and was so charming. I quickly noticed how funny he was and how all the girls seemed to be intrigued with him. There was one girl in particular, I won't mention her name, but I knew her and he knew her. Her flirting was nauseating. I glared over my paper at her while she would lean on the table with one arm and laugh and swish her hair. I mean really girl?! How hard are you going to keep trying?! (hear my sarcasm here) As I am glaring she proceeds to take her shoes off.... YES... Take her shoes off to show him how funny she was because she had on 2 mismatched socks. At this point I am thinking really... If he falls for her then he is just as dumb as she sounds. Then they exchange numbers. I pretended it didn't bother me and a continued on with my math worksheet.

A couple weeks later and a couple of math labs later, while walking out of class one night he stopped me and we talked. It was sorta small talk nothing really serious but I was so excited. It happened to be Valentines Day. Honestly I was curious if he had a date that night or even a girl he was seeing (hopefully not sock girl) but I WAS NOT going to ask. After standing in the cold he asked me what I was doing that night. After I picked my jaw off the sidewalk I told him I was going home to my parents house to hang out with them and watch The Notebook. OMG I am so embarrassed now for even saying that. She laughed and said he was doing the same. I smiled and told him I had to go. As I walked in the opposite direction to my car, I pinched my eyes shut as tight as I could and let my butterflies that were fluttering in my stomach flutter me to my car. I drove home that night alone and sat in my parents living room alone watching The Notebook alone, without a Valentine.

So it isn't the most romantic story but it is where our story began. Standing in the cold on the sidewalk outside of our college Algebra class on Valentines 2005 and a simple conversation. It turns out tat he wasn't seeing anyone, well, he wasn't serious with anyone. Apparently he had an entire girl posse. HA! We began to hang out and the rest is history. This morning he woke me up on his way out the door and whispered Happy Valentines in my ear.  That was the last Valentines in 2005 was the last Valentines I spent alone. It has been 7 years since that night. Now on this Valentines, we are happily married with 3 perfect and beautiful children.

A lot can happen in 7 years. I never thought that night standing outside with this cute, charming man would I be married to him 7 years later with 3 beautiful children. One that looks like me, one that looks like him and one very special little girl who was born in Ethiopia.

I know many people say Valentines is lame and only another marketing ploy to get people to spend more money. I used to be one of those people. I now love Valentines Day. It is a day to set aside and celebrate your love for someone. I can't help wanting to celebrate my love for Phillip and my children. Sure it is more about showing someone you love them by doing something for them rather then getting someone something to show to show them. I love doing both. I challenge you to do both this year. You don't have to be married or have a boyfriend to celebrate love or to share love on Valentines day.

You can show love to someone by being patient and kind, by not being jealous or boastful or proud, or rude. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
You can show someone love by never giving up, never losing faith, always being hopeful and enduring in every circumstance. (1Corinthians 13:7)
Don't say you love someone, show someone with truth by your actions. (1 John 3:18)
Love each other and celebrate that love because God first loved us! (1 John 4:19)

Letters to My Family

Phillip, I am so thankful I get to celebrate our love today! You are perfect for me in every way. You lead me, grow me, challenge me and strengthen me. You are my safe place and be protector. You are my best friend and my love. Happy Valentines Day sugar!

Parker, You are my sunshine. You bring joy, laughter, smiles, frustration and love to my life. You are truly a gift from the Lord. I have always said you are my saving grace. I love being your Mom and I am so excited to celebrate my love for you today.

Beckham, I have a sweet love for you. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact you look just like you daddy but you have my heart. You are gentle, you are kind, you a tender and you know how to love. You bring my so much joy and happiness. I am so excited to celebrate my love for you today. I love you to the moon and back.

Emme, my precious girl. You are beginning to blossom. We are getting to see bits of who you are. You are silly, you are kind, you are tender and you know how to make us laugh. I am so glad that God saw you and he saw us and he made a way for you to be apart of us. You are a portrait of God's faithfulness. I am so excited to celebrate my love for you today. I will love your guts out everyday of my life!

Lice. Nits. An Infestation.

Head lice are tiny insects that live on the skin covering the top of your head, called the scalp.

Head lice infect hair on the head. Tiny eggs on the hair look like flakes of dandruff. However, instead of flaking off the scalp, they stay put.
Head lice can live up to 30 days on a human. Their eggs can live for more than 2 weeks.
I thought I would educate you a little bit before I begin my story. My mom says I had lice once when I was a small child. I do not remember this. She may be fibbing. I don't know. Phillip said he had lice as a small child. I believe him. I knew people who got lice and I remember the routine checks in Elementary School performed by the school nurse with her blue plastic gloves on. I remember praying each time... "Please God don't let there be lice in my hair, I really don't want to shave my head." I think one of my sisters actually had the lice. It was probably Jill. ;) What I never expected was, one of my children having lice. EVER. I have never even thought about it. Until this weekend. 
Let me start by saying... Sunday before last, after church I looked back at Emme, she was singing a cute song or making silly faces...I can't remember exactly but, I turned and looked at her a I noticed a little tick like bug crawling on the off-white bow on her dress. I quickly plucked it off and examined it. Being the big expert that I am I showed Phillip and said "Look babe, Emme has a tick on her. I wonder where that came from?" and I flicked it out the window. I never thought about it again. 
Saturday night, we planned on going to dinner with Phillip's dad for Phillip's birthday dinner at Luigi's (one of our favorite little restaurants in town). Well an hour before we were to meet his dad I decided I wanted Emme's hair to look a little more presentable at dinner. It resembled a large birds nest constructed of hair, twigs, goldfish crumbs, some left over sandwich, sand and whatever else got stuck in there. I am just now, after 3 weeks, getting to where I can comb Emme's hair with a wide toothed comb when wet. Her hair has been crazy matted and really dry and course. I have been working with protein rinses and deep conditioners. Well Saturday I was almost able to run my fingers through it while it was wet. While combing and stroking her hair I noticed these little specs floating in the tub. I stuck my finger in the water and worked one of the out on the edge of the tub. As soon as I lifted my finger to where I could examine the little spec it started crawling. Beckham is in the tub with her at this point. Just close your eyes and imagine this scene. Try not to laugh. I then started yelling "Phillip... Emme has TICKS!!!!! OMG! GET IN HERE!!!!" Instead of being sicked out, I felt curious and I being to explore her head... They were everywhere and I could pull them straight off the hair shaft. They weren't attached to the scalp. Phillip gets an on call nurse on the phone and explains to her what is going on and she informs us that they in fact are not ticks but.... LICE. I don't know where in my head I thought having TICKS would be better then having LICE. So we cancel dinner plans. Dry our bug infested girl off and head to Walgreen's to get some Lice treatment and a nit comb. She had HUNDREDS of nits and bugs in her hair. (Nits are the little Lice eggs)

When we got home bath time and debugging began.  Phillip administered the shampoo treatment while I took pictures. This needed to be documented. 

After an hour and a half combing through her 'fro with the comb pictured above she is finally LICE FREE!!! There were hundreds of bug in the water and little eggs. I should have taken a picture of that. Combing through her crazy hair with that FINE toothed metal comb was an nightmare adventure. Her hair has been so matted on the ends that we couldn't get the comb through some parts so I decided to just cut the tangles out. When I would cut them and flick the cut hair in to the tub, the bath water would separate the hairs and little bugs would float free. I am now thinking she had some many matted tangles in her hair because she had bugs trapped in them and so the knots got bigger and bigger as the bugs got trapped. Poor thing. 

What's funny sad is now that I look back, she has had signs of it all along. She has been scratching her head like crazy since we picked her up. I just assumed that her scalp was dry from never being conditioned and oiled properly. We think she came over with a few bugs and eggs and then those bugs laid more eggs. Lovely I know. I also have had a crazy itchy scalp this last week. So bad that, at 8 in the morning one day last week I booked it to Target to get some Head and Shoulders. I thought...Wow this is the worst case of dandruff I have ever had!!! It was insane! And the Head and Shoulders HAS NOT been working. It usually does! Fast! Now we know!  

I am excited to say after spraying, washing, combing, shampooing and doing whatever else you need to do to get rid of lice we are LICE FREE. We have conquered the BUGS!  

Friday, February 10

Well Check

 Emme had her first well check, since being in America, on Wednesday. We ended up waiting in the waiting room for over and hour. While we were waiting she made friends with another little girl her size that was also waiting with her mom. The two of them showed us their ballerina moves and played a little game of chase. I am sure we were a little rowdy but what do you expect after waiting for over an hour in the same little room.

Once we were finally called back, Emme did great. I was a little nervous on how she would respond to all of the nurses messing with her. She loved the attention. She acted a little nervous when they took her blood pressure but she just sat there staring at the machine. 

I didn't get any more pictures of her first visit. I was too busy trying to help the nurses figure out some milestone things Emme has reached even though we have only really known her for 3 weeks. They told me that Emme is in the low 5th% on height and weight for a 4 yr old. The Dr. believes she really is 4 based on these measurements. I asked if we could do the bone growth scan but they said it wouldn't really help up since she is so tiny and it could be off as much as 6 months anyway. So we are leaving her as 4 for now. I am fine with her being 4. ;) We also tried to coax Emme into going potty so that we could get a stool sample to figure out the whole parasite issue. We had no luck so they sent me home with the kit! LOVELY! I won't go into detail on how that was. All I will say is I will never forget it and it has got to be the grossest thing I have ever done. Emme left the Dr.'s office that day after receiving 6... yes SIX shots. Poor girl. When she started crying, I started crying. It was the saddest cry ever. But she perked up after I hugged her and rewarded her bravery with a sucker. ;) We should have parasite information on Monday or Tuesday next week. We also have to do some blood work one of those days. I think I may drag daddy along for that one. Other then that they said she looks perfect and healthy! 

Update on life.

 Emme has been home for almost 3 weeks. It has been really great! I am so thankful to finally have her home. I am loving this life as momma of three. I actually think having 3 is easier then having 2 because they stay entertained and play so well together. (This may change but I am praying it sticks) Emme has made several little friends all though she hasn't figured out that actually playing with them instead of sitting with momma is way more fun.

Her and her new friend Claire

Beckham and Emme are best friends. It is so sweet! I love to watch them play. He is a great brother to her. He will play dolls and dress up with her like its no big deal. In return she plays Star Wars and does her best to pretend she is a ninja. The other day I found them sitting on opposite ends of the sofa in our playroom taking turns tickling each others feet. Precious!

As time got closer and closer to bringing Emme home I was overcome with some fears that Beckham would have hard time adjusting to the whole thing. Beckham is a crazy mommas boy! He doesn't even like Phillip getting to close to me. So naturally I was so scared of hurting him. So, we were really surprised when we got home and him and Emme became best friend immediately. The one who had the hardest time was Parker. I never even thought he would struggle with it. We just assumed that because he was older he understood. Well on the 3rd or 4th night while I was tucking Parker in he started to cry. When I asked him what was wrong He said "Mom, can't you just adopt one my size too?" I replied "Sure! Just ask God if its ok and we will!" I really would. :) Phillip spent a lot of one on one time with Parker the first 2 weeks and explained to him that Emme and Beckham just get a long really well because they are the exact same size and basically the same age. It wasn't that she didn't dislike him or anything. And he explained to Parker how Emme really prefers to be with Me instead of him so, Parker and Phillip are the same. After that he has taken on the role of Big Brother and has done a great job! He likes to help her get things down from the shelves in the playroom and he likes to explain to her what everything is really loudly and slowly! HA! I always tell him that she's not deaf...She just doesn't speak english... ;)

Emme has done just as great as her brothers. She has jumped into our family smoothly. It's like she has always been here. We have only had a couple of little bumps but its ok! Our biggest challenge with her right now is getting her to see that WE are her Mommy and Daddy and WE are her providers and caretakers.  We have had to have a closed home policy. Its kind of like putting a bubble around your family. It's a form of shutting off so that we can establish our family unit for her. When new people come over and hold her and play with her she detaches from us and attaches to them. She starts giving us ugly looks and at times swats us away. It is at times hurtful because you pour yourself out so much for this child and in return when someone different shows up she prefers them. We know it is a result of lack of consistency in her life so its ok. We aren't devastated. We are surviving and figuring things out as we go. And establishing boundaries as we see need for them. Each week that goes by she gets better and better. She now is to where she will, on her own, come and kiss me wether it be on my legs, arm, face or belly and tell me "I  WOOV OUU!" (I Love You) When her and I sit in her rocker in her room before nap she requests special songs that we sing together (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and How Great is Our God) she traces my hands and face. It is those simple things that melt my heart and bring tears to my eyes.

We have only had 2 "Emotional Breakdowns". I call them emotional breakdowns because they were really really emotional moments. Last Friday I had to wake Emme up from her nap so that we could get Parker from school. When I went into her room to wake her up I found her covered in sweat. I mean COVERED. She had on a little sweater dress and you could visibly see sweat rings around her neck, in the creases of her arms, across her chest. When I picked her up, her hair was wet with sweat. I hadn't put her under the covers so I knew she wasn't hot. When she finally woke up she began to sob. It wasn't normal sobbing it was more like weeping. She stayed silent and just cried and cried. I didn't know what else to do other then to just sit and rock her. After about 15 minutes she was over it and was all smiles. This is when the language barrier becomes so difficult. It hurts your heart when a 4yr. old cries like that and you have no way of comforting her other then just holding her and praying over her. She did the same thing again Saturday night when we were trying to put her to bed. She just cried and cried. Finally she fell asleep and slept peacefully that night. We haven't had any issues since.

This is her and her little friend Piper after lunch last Sunday. I finally got to put her special Anthropologie dress on her. I have been saving this for months. Sunday was her first day at church. We didn't leave her in the child care. She stayed with us throughout the service. It was a bit overwhelming to her. We plan on keeping her with us for a while so she can get familiar with all of the faces and sounds.

She helped me make brownies for the Super Bowl. Isn't she just too cute in her little apron Daddy got her for Christmas?

Wednesday, February 1

Week1 Down

 Week 1 with our girl was great! We had a couple of hiccups but not with her. She has been perfect. I have no complaints! The language barrier is a little hard but we are doing great. She is doing great. She says... Thank You, No, Yeah, Mommy, Daddy, Water, Cereal and both boys are Beckham. Those are the main essentials right?!

Every night last week Emme woke up every 2 hours... on the dot. She would wake up crying "Mommy" Oh melt my heart! I am her Mommy! She knows that and she needed me! It was like having a new baby. I was kinda excited...well maybe not excited but ok with getting up with her. I wanted her to know that when she called for me even if it is 2:09am I will come to her. She is not alone.

That first night Parker woke up puking in the middle of the night! Welcome home Mommy! Actually Phillip got up and cleaned it! Such a good daddy. I prayed that stomach big out of my house!! We just couldn't deal with that the first week! Hiccup number 1! Thursday I was in bed all day with the bug! Hiccup number 2! But my sweet Philly came to the rescue and played the role as Mommy!

 Emme also woke up EVERY morning at 3:57 or 4:09 am. ready to go and WIDE AWAKE! The first night morning I went in there and 4:03 and her little tummy was growling soooo loud and every time it would growl she would suck on her fingers (all of them) really hard. It broke my heart because I realized that is probably how she has always pacified her hunger. Well not any more sister. We got up and I got her cereal. She has 2 BIG bowls, 2 bananas and a piece of cinnamon streusel bread!! I'm tell ya... This girl eats like a man! Every morning was like this until this past Sunday. She slept all night and woke up at 6:30am!!! Hallelujah!!! I felt like a new woman! I got to sleep in until 6:30am!!! As of today I believe we are on a normal sleep schedule! She is finally on America time! Praise the Lord. Although...I don't mind getting up early. Not 4:00am early but maybe I can make 5:30am a new habit! We shall see

Here are some pictures from this week.

Learning to ride her bike
Chalk with brothers
Playing with Great Aunt Brenda
Morning Bed Head
They play non-stop all day! Such sweet friends!

Welcome Home Emme

 My dear friend Wynne was at the airport to capture this amazing moment. I cried the whole flight from Houston to Midland. It was a really emotional time. Emme slept and Phillip slept. He woke up mid flight and didn't even realize we had taken off already. Poor sugar was tired. When we touched ground in Midland I thought "I have never been more excited to be back in Midland Texas in my entire life." But my life is in Midland and so are my loves and both were waiting for me to get back. Walking off the plane I thought my heart was going to jump right out of my skin. I knew my family and friends were right around the corner waiting to see and meet our newest addition. I am so thankful Wynne was there to capture these moments! I will treasure them forever.

My Best Friend Lana waiting for our long waited and much prayed for Emme. 
Parker and Emme's special friend Lomi... Lomi and Emme are both from Kamashi!!! 
My amazing friend waiting for us!

My mom was so excited! She texted me and told me she kept crying while she was waiting! Ha!
More family waiting. 
Meeting my Dad!!!
Meeting sweet Lomi

Meeting some of the girls who have tirelessly prayed her home and stood by me believing the whole journey!
It was a really emotional moment introducing her to all of my friend who have helped me fight spiritually for her! 
Being showered with gifts

The whole gang!! 

Our first family photo as a family of 5! Finally together!!!

Emme was a little nervous around everyone but it was ok! She perked up as soon as we got in the car. When we got home our family was there waiting for us. It was such a special time. Emme came out of her shell and was playing and performing for everyone. It was so much fun watching the boys show her her new room and all of her new toys. We all finally got bed around 1:45am. I went to bed with my heart full. I finally have all of my little chicken under the same roof tucked safely and warmly in their beds