This is blog was created to share some tidbits of our daily lives

and advocate on behalf of the 143 million orphans around the world!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The best Christmas presents don't come under the tree..okay..maybe one did!

(This is LONG, but please read it, I think you'll be blessed...
and there's a sweet surpise at the end!)
"Open your mouth for the speechless...and plead the cause of the poor and needy."
Proverbs 31:8,9
After school begins a whirlwind of events for our family. Today was unlike any other day with many events on the to-do list. The responsibilities of being a teacher was first on the to-do list after school let out; I had car duty, one of my favorite things! (NOT!) I get my boys going on their homework, leave them a snack and a note that says, "I love you...DO YOUR HOMEWORK!" and its off to get the students safely in their warm cars. I rush back to the classroom to check homework, sign planners, and make sure all bases are covered to have them prepared for the next day. Next, we're off to get Lola Joy from her Momaw's. Normally we have a moment to say hello and visit, but today the boys stayed in the car as I rushed in grabbed Lolee, a couple of kisses and it was in the car seat and off to home. (Poor little thing!) In the van I am giving the boys the game plan for when we get to the house to be sure not a minute is wasted as we didn't have any extra time! The boys run in the house, literally drop their things, change for Brennan's basketball game which will be held about 30 minutes away, and we still haven't eaten anything! I run in the house, put Lola in the walker and run around trying to make sure the boys have what they need, make Lola a bottle, and gather the various supplies needed to take a baby anywhere! Today of all days Brennan can't find his uniform. I run upstairs and start pulling things out of his laundry basket. Nothing. Brennan is doing the same thing to Bryson's laundry basket. Nothing. I do a quick scan in the closet. Nothing. This same pattern proceeds. I call Doug frantic and ask if he has any idea where it could be, and of course he doesn't, but I was desperate! After what seems like HOURS of searching and re-searching closets, cars, bags, etc., I look in the laundry room one last time and hanging crisp and clean was Brennan's uniform! AHHH! Finally! Brennan scrambled to get it on as we were finally out the door, off to McD's to scarf dinner in the car, ( I know a nice way to have a family meal), pick up Doug, and GO TO THE GAME! Shew! We arrive at the game on time, actually early as Doug thinks we need to arrive a 1/2 hour in advance only to discover that the other team is forfeiting the game. What???!!! After all that? Oh well, our to-do list wasn't nearly complete, so there wasn't time to complain. We went to Wal-Mart to get gifts for the kids' parties and some other items, visited the Family Christian Stores, and topped off the evening with DUNKIN' DOUGHNUTS! Finally our vehicle was headed home! We got home and hurried the tired boys off to the showers, one upstairs, and one downstairs. It was Doug's night to put Lola Joy to bed, I had boy duty. As I went upstairs and walked into the bathroom, I found Brennan crying. I went into Mommy mode asking what was wrong and giving and playing the guessing game as to what was wrong. "Brennan, are you worried," I asked? "No Mom!" (more crying). "Did you do something wrong?" "No Mom!" I continued with many other guesses. Finally, He said he couldn't tell me. He said he could tell Daddy, but not me. I told him Daddy was putting Lola Joy to bed and that he just needed to tell me. The crying and chin quivering carried on for quite sometime. My heart was breaking and I just wanted to "fix" him and make it all better. I wanted to take away my son's pain. What could it be that could be causing him to cry in this manner? I finally discovered the brokenness and heartbreak my son was experiencing wasn't something a mother can "fix". He painfully let it out. "I'm crying because I feel sorry for people who don't have anything, but I didn't wanna tell you cause I knew you would cry!" (GULP!) With a HUGE FROG in my throat and tears already welling up in my eyes, I said, "I'm not going to cry!" He said, "you already are!" As Brennan and I embraced, we sobbed. Sobbed for the needy, the hungry, the least of these. I told Brennan that during my lunchtime today I was finishing my "Healthy Choice" orange chicken and rice bowl. As I looked at the few grains of rice that were left, I was reminded of the "grains of rice" the boys had been earning playing online games for those to help solve world hunger. I wept. I prayed to God, and wrestled with God, wondering why people have to suffer. Why people have to be hungry while my belly is full. I told Brennan that what he was feeling was COMPASSION. We talked about what we could do for those in need and how God is amongst the needy, and how we could reach out to them. I walked out of the room to let Bryson come in and, of course, Bryson was concerned about why Brenn and and I were crying. At first Brennan was hesitant about telling him, but finally agreed to let me share with Bryson. Well, he immediately began to flow the crocodile tears as well and said, "ME TOO!" He said, "I want to give them all of my money!" Brennan and I cried some more with Bryson. It was a beautiful moment of raw emotion and brokenness. Choking back the tears, we prayed. This was the BEST Christmas present any mother could pray for, and IT DIDN'T cost a thing!!! In the Matthew, God is clear. He states that "whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me!" It is our responsibility to step out of our comfort zones and go! Although today was busy, chaotic, and started out as an ordinary day in our home, it was far from ordinary. In fact, it was extraordinary, and was a day filled with lessons and memories I will carry with me all the days of my life! This was the BEST Christmas present ever and you can't find it under a tree or put a price on it!

And for the OTHER BEST PRESENT that WAS UNDER MY TREE tonight...well....

We got the biggest kick out of her "exploring" the "bee".
(That's what Lola calls the tree!)Humbled to be called, "mom"!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On the mend...I hope!

It's been a long time! My entire family was after another! We've been through the ringer, but we're hopefully, FINALLY on the mend! Shew! God is good! Between ballgames, school, sickness, and a baby in the house, I rarely have time to do anything especially check blogs and update mine! Sorry! But I am going to try to post when I can! Little Lola Joy is 8 months and 3 weeks old. She is still doing so amazingly well. She is still bringing so much JOY to everyone she meets. She is now waving and waves and says "HEY" to everyone she meets...with a HUGE smile on her face, of course. If you say, "How big is Lola?" We say, " THIS BIG" and she puts her hands up over her head. She says "Mama" finally!!! She has pulled up on her toy basket as well as in her bed. She is a little dancer! Anytime she hears music she is movin' her little body to the beat! She loves ALL foods and would give up her bottle if we'd let her! She goes NUTS when she sees her bubba's after school. We race out of my vehicle into the house, wash our hands, and RUN to see our sweetie pie. We push and shove to see who can get to her first and by the time she hears us she is squealing with delight!! We are so blessed with three INCREDIBLE children! God is so good!!! So here are some pics!
Here are the kiddos at the Apple Barn in Gatlinburg!
I loved this fun pic of Daddy and his little monkeys!

How blessed am I???

Lola Joy had her first sucker!
I thought this was the funniest pic! I look in my rear view mirror and this is what I find!
Gotta love boys!!!!!!
Take care and have a blessed Thanksgiving!
We have sooo much to be thankful for!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Family night fun

Lola Joy LOVES to look at books and to be read to! Can't have family night without some serious wrestling with Daddy.
These faces crack me up!!!
Lola and her big bro. (with slobber running down his shirt and he doesn't care!)
Lola and her bigger bro! So sweet!

Can you say precious!?? God is so good!
The 3 Musketeers!
What a fun night.
Counting my blessings this day!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Fun

We decided to allow the boys to have a friend over to spend the night over the Holiday weekend. We rarely get to do this as Doug's work schedule is crazy, but we took advantage of this opportunity and had a blast!!!
The boys planned to play Flag Football. It was a blast watching them!
Team Red!Team Yellow

I love this pic of Doug! He really gets into it! lol! Baby, you've still got it!

Game on!

I love their faces in this pic! Keegan and Cole are smiling, and Bryson is serious!

This boy can kick it!
What a crew!

Later we headed down back for S'mores!

Even Lola Joy was there. No S'mores for you yet!
Fun at home!
I almost waited too long to get this one. Looks like Bry might drop at any moment! oops!

My sweeties!!!
Mommy's little helper!
We had SUCH an enjoyable weekend! It was SOO nice to have an extra day off with my kiddos and spend some quality time with my family. What a blessing they are to me.
God Bless!

Friday, September 4, 2009

6 months old and Home 2 months!!!

Lola Joy Kalkidan Stanley is 6 months old and has been home for two months. This morning, we went out for a little photo shoot. I am NOT a photographer, but had fun shooting this little princess.
This was a funny pic. Our neighbors kitty, Frosty, came to love on Lola.
Lola fell backwards and I loved this shot!!:)

I am getting good at sitting up now!

Again, she plopped backwards and I stole a pic!
She was being so serious!

Love those eyes!

Angel baby!

There's a smile!
You've got the CUTEST little baby face!
Lola Joy is the most precious little girl. For a little girl who was quite wobbly when we got her, she has made great strides! She is meeting her developmental milestones and is learning new things with each new day. Lola is rolling both ways, and rolls across the floor! lol! She is sitting up, saying "Da Da", eating rice cereal and pears. She smiles, she laughs, she loves! She is truly a gift from God. Our lives are enriched and full of JOY each day by her. God is SOOO good. She is adored by her sweet big brothers! They love her more than I could have ever prayed for or imagined. It's so amazing how God can work such a miracle. We are overwhelmed by emotion and blessed by the Call from God to be Lola Joy's forever family. Thank you God for this INDESCRIBABLE gift! We love you Lolee!!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Playdate to meet our new friend Bella!

What a personality! This is one fun girl!! Lola finished her bottle, so, Bella thought she'd see what all the fuss was about. Lol!

Amy and LJ making a silly face!

Bella having fun with Emy!

Lola, Amy, and Bella...I wonder what they're thinking!

Shelby got home from pre-k ready to play!
Fun with Keenan on the couch!

Heather feeding Lola Joy and filling us in on how things are going.
Sweet Bella and Me!
It was an amazing day with great friends!
We are so happy God has knitted this beautiful family together.