Wednesday, September 30, 2009

LOA !!!!!!!!!!!!!

We received our LOA today ! We are so excited and filled with JOY !

Let me introduce you to our daughter -
Maggie Caroline !


Maggie's referral picture (around 6 months old).


11 months old and ADORABLE !!

Posted by Picasa


It really is feeling like fall here. Yesterday, we awoke to very cool temperatures. It was around 60 degrees at 8:00 AM, and who wouldn't want to have school outside ?

The boys took a little break to practice their archery.

Reading a good book outside is so much more enjoyable !

We did most of our subjects on the back porch while we listened to birds sing, woodpeckers hammer on a tree and lizards scurry up the brick wall. It is days like these that I feel completely BLESSED ! I certainly don't deserve to have all that I have been given, but God in His Grace has allowed all my DREAMS to come true.

But by the Grace of God I am what I am... 1 Corinthians 15:10

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Apron Dress


Posted by Picasa

I am in LOVE with sandi henderson's
PORTABELLAPIXIE dress patterns and fabrics.

I finally, found the apron dress pattern at a very nice fabric store and picked out these delicious fabrics. It took me three days to complete the dress. It is definitely for the adventurous sewer ! But, I was determined to at least try my best. I think it turned out pretty good. In fact, I am so completely astonished that I actually made this dress.

I first saw the apron dress on ETSY and knew that I loved this whimsical style. Well, now I am going to try the pants with a ruffle at the bottom. My confidence is boosted and I am on a sewing high. It is so fun to imagine our little Maggie in all these dresses, but we are really ready for the real thing !!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Maggie updates !

We used Ladybugsnlove to make an orphanage phone call for us. We were able to get four new photos of Maggie, updated measurements and asked ten questions about Maggie.

It was wonderful and amazing to see how Maggie has changed. The only photos we had were her referral ones and they were taken when she was about six months old. She looked like such a little angel baby. In the new photos, she is standing in her walker (one of her favorite things to do) and looks so big ! She is almost 11 months old now and she is able to sit and stand by herself. She is clutching a little toy and it is obvious that she LOVES to play ! Her cheeks are so big and round and it looks like she has no problem eating !! We have been praying that she has found favor in the orphanage and with the Nannie and from looking at her healthy cheeks - we believe she has found favor with someone responsible for the feedings. Maggie also has the most beautiful rose bud lips I have ever seen ! Seriously, her lips are so pretty ! We can't wait to see a big SMILE on her face. Oh, and she has four teeth.

Her updated measurements at 11 months are :
Height: 28 in
Weight: 16.5 lbs
Foot: 4.7 inches ( I think she would be in a childs size 3 shoe)

Like cold water to a weary soul, is good news from a distant land.
--- Proverbs 25:25

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall Break

(Picture taken Fall 2005)

The "Beams of Light" Home-School is taking a Fall Break !!
We are taking a small break from school to spend some time with our family and friends, go fishing,sew,eat too much and relax.

We have been schooling for 8 weeks now and we are loving our SonLight Curriculum !!
This has been our best year of schooling and even the boys have commented on how "fun" school has been this year. Thanks to SonLight, I am so much more organized and consistent. We are so pleased with the readers and read a-louds. The boys BEG for me to keep reading ! Geography is taught in such an interesting way, and we nearly always go to the globe or map with every thing we are studying.

I feel so blessed to be able to stay at home and snuggle on the couch with my boys and read about missionaries in China like Gladys Aylward or timeless poems by Robert Louis Stevenson. We have seen the fruit of having family Bible study time in the morning and eating meals together around our kitchen table. I see my boys developing into best friends and enjoying each others company. My heart is filled with GRATITUDE and CONTENTMENT for such an amazing opportunity to home-school.

Be still and rest in the Lord... Psalm 37:7

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sew Fun !

Here are some more dresses (size one)I made for Maggie.

I am not sure what size she is in, so all these dresses may not fit her.

I hope to get some updates on her soon !!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kisses In The Wind

I found this beautiful poem. It says exactly what we are feeling at this time of waiting and wanting to travel to get Maggie so bad. The boys have been blowing Maggie kisses since we got her referral.....

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child's Lullabye)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh


The boys have been shut sick in the house now for four days.

That is a LONG time for my very active and energetic boys (and momma) to be inside.

They have watched WAY too much TV and played WAY too much computer games.

So, tonight they got creative. Finally.

They pulled out their Draw.Write.Now books out and stated drawing...quietly, peacefully..

AHHH !!!

The Flu !

I have walked around all weekend with a thermometer in one hand and a medicine dispenser filled with Motrin in the other. Fever, chills, headaches and all kinds of stomach issues abound.... How did this happen ?

I tried so hard to protect us from this dreaded sickness..The Flu. I also tried to not get prideful when everyone around us has had it and we didn't. I thought we might be safe, maybe get through this 'flu season' without the flu.

Although it is not confirmed, I am pretty sure the boys and Chuck have the Swine Flu. Thank God, I have been well and able to take care of everyone. I can not imagine what it would be like if Momma is sick too.

I am thankful that we had a restful weekend watching football (War Eagle !!!) and eating home-made soup and cornbread. The boys have loved that they get to drink Sprite and Coke when they are sick and watch their favorite movies. We have been reading our Sonlight readers on the couch and having lots of snuggle time. Hopefully, though, the boys will be over the FLU soon and back to their normal, running around selves !

Friday, September 11, 2009

Golden dragon Acrobats

Last night we saw the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats perform at Auburn University !

The Golden Dragon Acrobats are an internationally famous troupe from Hebei, China. The company has traveled to over 65 countries on five continents. They have won several major awards over the company's history, including the National Association of Campus Activities Entertainer of the Year Award and the Campus Activities Today's Performer of the Year Award.

They were amazing !!! Of course, I forgot to bring my camera....

The last act was the most incredible and nerve racking thing I have ever seen. An acrobat man climbed I think 10 chairs and did some amazing acrobat stunts at the top of the tower of unstable, very high chairs. Amazing,Amazing, Amazing !!! Did I say the acrobats were amazing ?? And the Chinese woman were all so beautiful and graceful. We really enjoyed the night. If you get a chance to see this * amazing * performance you will be so AMAZED !

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Maggie's Room


This was our Guest Room.

Soon it will magically change into a pink, shabby chic nursery for Maggie. Hopefully, I can get it painted soon, get the crib out of storage and start the transformation. It has been so fun to look for bedding and paint for her room.

I knew I wanted to do something calm and feminine for her. Shabby Chic seemed to be a perfect fit and I love that it is very girly, with cabbage roses and mismatched florals. I wanted to be able to use my grandmother's dresser that is already in the guest room and some old glass lamps I have. The big, functional ceiling fan is going out and a white cottage style chandelier with shades is going up. I was so fortunate to be able to buy her crib bedding second hand from a friend. It is exactly what I was wanting, and much cheaper.

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is GOOD;
His Love endures forever. Psalm 118:1

Thursday, September 3, 2009

PA !!!!

We received our PA ( pre- approval) today !!!

This means that our application to adopt Gao En Xiao ( Maggie) has been submitted and received by the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA).

What next ?

We wait on our Referral Acceptance (RA) which confirms that the CCAA has approved our family's request to adopt Maggie. This is also known as the Letter of Acceptance
( LOA).

When will we travel ?

Since our Dossier was already in China when we sent our Letter of Intent( LOI), and our Dossier went directly to the Special Needs Department, we will wait an average of 2-6 months for our RA. From then, we will wait some more for our Travel Acceptance (TA). The average wait time seems to be about 4 months for an RA.
So, we really don't know when we will travel.
I can't wait to hold our little Maggie ! (which by the way, is what part of her name means - "little").

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Maggie's Finding Ad

This information was taken from Research-China.

"Since 1999, the orphanages in China are required to run a provincial newspaper advertisement for children that are found and brought to their orphanage. We call them "Finding Ads." These ads contain information about where and when the children were found and which orphanage is caring for them. Originally these were text-only ads, but most provinces now include photographs in their ads. These photographs are usually the earliest available pictures of the children, some from as young as a few weeks old ".

Maggie is less than a month old in her finding ad picture. We feel so blessed to have the original paper that her finding ad is in. The orphanage will post a childs picture one time in a provincial newspaper. (They usually post about six times a year). We used Research-China and they were wonderful.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
We have a daughter !!!!!!
Maggie Caroline was born Oct. 29, 2008.
She is in the SWI of Gaozhou City,China.
Guangdong Province)