Thursday, August 30, 2012

The forgotten kiss

 He came in from work last night
and I was so busy I barely noticed. He kissed me and I don't think
I even felt his lips. Why do I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing
that I don't stop and make much of him when he comes in?

I woke up this morning and the clouds were low in the sky and so many things
and voices going on that we didn't even stop to pray. So busy,
too busy for each other and yet we both know that we will have
to stop and deal with it sooner or later.
Busyness comes with a price tag....
  and that price tag I've learned is huge.

I tried calling him to tell him I love him and that I was sorry for
not putting him first, but the other end was silent. The silly voice mail telling me that
my husband couldn't be reached at this time. I pushed the off button and
walked outside. I wonder how many times he can't reach me because of the kids
and house, school..
  Why do I do the things I know I shouldn't?

I have been distracted as of lately with many good things but in the busyness of the good
things I feel like I have pushed back the easy things that understand why I'm so busy.


I try calling again but still no answer.

I will keep calling until I get him.

and when I get him on the other end I will tell him how sorry I am.
I will ask his forgiveness for not noticing,
for not putting him first in my life,
for not remembering his kiss.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Suck it up!

We don't always want to do the hard things of this life.
Some days are just plain hard. Living around and loving on children
is my job right now but there have been moments when I've needed a pep talk to keep
moving forward.To keep doing what it is the Lord has called our family to.

Adoption and Foster care are not for the faint of heart.
Over 160 people showed up for our encouragement feast and it
was truly a night filled with encouragement and our faint hearts were
woken back up and brought back to life. 

Friends came who have walked the road with us for many years.
And if you're on this journey you need friends who will encourage you
and have arms big enough to help you when your bags get too heavy.

 From all over Alabama they came. Most of them with their children from Africa, China, U.S, Taiwan, Ukraine and the foster system.
They came to be loved on and encouraged that anything worth having is going to cost
you something. The days are long and we must not grow weary of doing good but we must count the cost of stopping. The children's voices that have no home, no parents, no one to hold them should be ringing in our ears. 
Their cries not drowned out by our living.

 We cried together as we heard the reality of family and friends who don't understand what we're doing. We walk alone sometimes but regardless we must walk.

 We marveled in sisters and brothers who choose to love.
Who's hair blows in different directions and their eyes look
nothing a like.... loving as Christ loves. 

It's a beautiful gift.

Foster parents who talked about the reality of foster care
and the cost of loving when you don't know how long you'll get to love.
The heartache of letting go when those little ones leave your
safe home. The triggers that remind you of the children that once
shared your walls are every where.

 We heard from some who said, " I thought I was a good mom until we
got our first foster children. Now I stand before you and tell you... I'm not a good mom.
I struggle with parenting"  and all of us were moved by the sweet words that so
many of us could relate to. So honest, so sincere that her words of, "I thought they
would be just like us" moved me to tears.  

Every where babies being held close by everyone else.
We know how important it is that every child knows that he or she is a blessing. God whispers
their name and they are not a burden. Our friends on this journey go out of their way to make all of my children feel loved.

 My wonderful oldest son Tucker videoing everything and catching all these moments for all of y'all who didn't get to come. Hopefully we will have it up soon, free to anyone who needs the encouragement to "suck it up and keep walking".  His love for children and his leadership amazes me. This guy is all about family and his future and I love that he loves so deeply. He will be leaving the farm on Saturday to go film a pastors conference in Nicaragua. So please pray for him as he travels.

My oldest daughter Taylor speaking on how adoption and the chaos of it all has changed her life. She is passionate and she said, " I'll never be able to live in a huge house and only have 2 kids when there are children crying from hunger or who just need a mom and dad".
What a work the Lord has done in her life. Giving up her bedroom and her space to share it with 4 little girls who think she hung the moon. 

Our time in this world is slowly ticking away. I will give everything I have to make a difference
for Christ. I will be His hands and feet. Lord Willing, I will not die someday and have a whole lot of stuff. In fact at the rate I'm going I won't have anything of much value, except the love
of some pretty neat people.  

Thank you all who came. Bless all of you who walk this road.

Blessings from the Farm,


Monday, August 20, 2012

Be prepared!

Hey Everyone!!

We are so excited about being able to sharing a meal with all of you Saturday evening. We are also excited about sharing our hearts and love for the orphans of the world. We have opened our doors and it is not an easy task all of the time but it is a work that our family is passionate about and feel called to. We could not do all that we do without the help and support of others. We need eachother on this road and being around others who are on the same or similar road is such a huge blessing.

This Saturday night you will meet some of our dearest friends who walk the foster care road, the international adoption road, and special needs adoption roads as well...and you will be blessed. These are some of the most incredible people doing incredible work for the Lord. You will hear their stories and meet their children. You will get to ask questions about adoption, bonding, how to, and what to expect from family and friends. The possibilites are endless, you just need to come and fellowship. 

Things not to forget:

1. Your Food: We will have a huge feast (hopefully!) of mexican foods. Please bring a mexican dish, a dessert and a drink. We will serve this buffet style, so if you bring enough for your family, we should be good.

2. Your Questions: Are you new to adoption? Are you waiting on a foster baby? Are your fingerprints hung up in the system? Are you having a hard time with your foster kids? How to prepare your bio kids...You will have families willing and able to answer these questions for you.

3. We have moved the location due to impending weather and larger facilities. We will have plenty of bathrooms, a playground for the kids and a nice kitchen for the food. 

4. Your love for children....there will be children from all over the world, come and enjoy the Lord's handiwork.

Side note- This is also a very unique opportunity to meet other families. The families that are coming have unmarried young adults as well as children. I encourage you to get to know these great families. :) 

Here are directions to the fellowship hall. Also, the address is 575 Branchcove, Branchville, Al 35120 for your GPS.

Kids get loved on!

Great food!

New friends!

What could be better?

Hope to see you there!


The White House

Thursday, August 16, 2012


It's been a while, I know..but life has overtaken me and I can't seem to stop long enough to blog about our world. The beauty of our world.
The beautiful children I share my hours with keep me busy and then there's 
the cows..   

I truly love the cow world. Who would have known that cows could be so dog like. They come when you call them and seem to enjoy the walks and baths I give them. I spend lots of time with them and so I stay really busy on the farm. I don't know any other place I'd rather be. From the time the sun peaks her lovely head out from the tree line, I'm up and out. Tending to the chickens or taking the cows for a walk. Always having extra hands to help me.

I love going to the pigs and calling, "come on girlys" and watching them as they come running to me. Even though two of them are boys...They seem to understand that we live together here on this small piece of earth and their job is easy tilling the ground with their noses and making me laugh as they nudge and fight each other.

 I also spend lots of time catching the moments of my life that I don't want to ever forget. Living them and cherishing them, like play between sisters. I don't know, maybe it's my age, maybe it's the ever changing state of our world or my life but I can't tell you how precious this is to me. 
I never had a sister but seeing them share everything makes me wish I had.
I sit on my front porch swing and throw a blanket in the yard and watch as they play.
I try and read a magazine I haven't got to yet, but I keep being drawn back to the sound
of their voices. So small and sweet.

 Things will be different next summer and the little red blanket will seem smaller.
I will be older and they will be a few inches taller.
Sigh. I love where we're at but I know enough to know we don't stay
where we're at very long. We can't stay frozen in time and not move forward.
So I embrace this moment in motherhood.
 I look deep into the wells of their eyes and drink hard with love.
I invite you to do the same with your children. Choose to spend the 
hours you have left with their childhood and truly enjoy them. I have found that having an
interest as a family and getting everyone involved helps a lot in the spending time together.
Like: cooking, gardening, animals, clotheslines, read alouds....
they keep us all on the same page.

Taylor has been baking and cooking so much lately that
I can't keep up with her. The kids love her in the kitchen though and she shows
her love the most by bringing to the table things you love to eat.
These doughnuts were a hit around The White House..I loved the smile on their faces
as they each savored their doughnuts.  

With 13 children these babies didn't last long.

I've been trying my hand with some herbal recipes for the winter time.
 A friend spent a better part of 3 hours showing me how to cook stuff down for things like coughs and flu. I love the idea of being able to use natural things for sickness.
It doesn't always work out but there is something about making your own recipe:) 
Something about using plants and honey..
Something about doing things the old fashioned way gets me every time.

Just like there's something about boys...I love my gun carrying, knife throwing,
hat wearing boys. I have 8 guys right now sharing my roof, my table, my attention..
and I have never been more exhausted in my whole life but
I also have never felt more loved.
 Waking up to who can pick me the most flowers in a day.
Who can be the first to pull my chair out or bring me water at night. I would say I'm getting a little
spoiled by all the attention..Their squabbles I've almost learned to stay out of..almost.

I get 13 hugs at night
13 good morning kisses
and 100's of I love yous through out the day
that all equals out to a lot of love
    on ... my mission field.

When I go to the fields to walk and to see all the beautiful things
the Lord has made, this is what follows me.
and that's only half...of them
I walk slowly.

I recently read that all things point to their creator
I pray that I'm pointing Heavenward like the flowers, trees and
the tall grass in our fields.  

You can't go fast when you have lots of people following you.
You have to slow down and go at their pace
or you miss the beauty all around you.
The things they see through their eyes. 

I love how she still sleeps with Rosie 
safely tucked in and with the blanket I made her
6 months before she was born.


I can't imagine Them grown and leaving
and walking in to see fluffy pillows that no one sleeps on, 
dolls on shelves, beds made, house clean. I can't imagine
not cooking for a crowd.

One day I will think this house is big and lonely
and that seems odd to me when right now every bed
and square inch is so very full. To think one day I will sit and read a book
without interruptions, I shall surely miss the interruptions. 
I hope that day is far, far away. No book is worth the trade..  

but for now I walk a gravel driveway with my daughters close and I do not regret
one single moment of the time that it takes to walk a little slower so she can tell me
every little detail of her thoughts and dreams. I dream with her and on this road we
 make memories that will be cherished forever.

My life lived out here on this farm. Their memories made here
and all of it a gift from start to finish.

Friday, August 3, 2012

My beautiful kitchen

From yard sales to canning we've been really busy! Our family living out the American dream 
on a small farm. Just your average homeschooling, God fearing, adopting family!

We drive a big van that sits 15 and we fill every seat and our rooms
 are bursting at the seams as well.  

We eat organic chicken

Grow our own peppers

Trying our hand at making organic vanilla

tearing open vanilla beans and smelling rich flavor

Bottling the vanilla with the bean inside

Picking apples from the neighbors trees. Laughing so hard as the guys would stand at the bottom and one would climb to the top and shake the limbs and the apples would hit everyone in the head but there were hundreds of apples..

Making homemade apple sauce and getting a bunch of help from
a bunch of terrific hardworking kids.

My kitchen a busy place
My kitchen the most favorite part of my house lately (besides my table).

I pray your kitchen is just as busy and beautiful a place. 

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow
for each other...

1 Thessalonians 3:12


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