Mar 2, 2013

Ashton Li

Only a year ago we went to China to bring Madelyn into our family. But we always knew we would go back. There was this other little girl. She was in many of Madelyn's pictures. We just kept stepping through the doors God opened, and we are happy to say that very soon these friends will be together again in our family.

We have been so blessed by amazing friends that are helping us give precious Ashton Li a family. God has provided for and continues to provide for this wonderful little girl! "For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations." Psalm 100AMP

We rejoice in this wonderful blessing!

Jan 27, 2013

Madelyn's Birthday Celebration

Madelyn had a great 5th birthday! What could be better than Chinese food, Mom's chocolate cake and monkeys for a present!!

Cailyn's Birthday Fun!

What a fun time we had celebrating Cailyn's 7th birthday! We made bow holders and ate cupcakes. Cailyn had a great time with all of her friends!

Jan 19, 2013

First Gym Meet of the Season

Cailyn won first all around in her age group at the Gala meet in Asheville. She works so hard, and we are so proud of her!

Oct 16, 2012


Our daughter is so proud that she can now write her name. She loves to practice. Her name and her ability to write it is important to her. Her name is part of who she is. What’s even more amazing is that she only has three fingers and no thumb and she just came home from China six months ago. She writes her name in spite of it all. No one tells her she can’t. She knows it is part of her identity, and she just keeps writing. How will she respond one day when that identity is challenged? How will she respond when she is teased or bullied? Or told she can’t do something?

The crazy thing is that we walk around every day letting others challenge our identity. When we choose to truly follow Christ, we claim a new identity in Him. Our entire mindset is changed, we are a completely new being. Romans 12:2 says, “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We now choose to be empowered by Christ, not by others. Our identity is in Christ.

I know that the day will come when Madelyn’s identity is challenged. She will be made fun of, she will be called names---it will happen. I want her response to be, “I am Madelyn, my identity is in Christ. My confidence is in Him, and He empowers me to rise above.”

Keep writing your name Madelyn!

Oct 14, 2012

Fun at the Apple Orchard

We had lots of fun picking apples this weekend. And eating apple doughnuts. And taking pictures of our precious children. Chris took these with his Droid and a camera app.Happy fall ya'll!

Ni Hao Yall

Sep 10, 2012

First Day of PreK interview

First Day of PreK interview

I interviewed Madelyn on her first day of prek, and this is what she said.

First Day Of School

First Day of School
Finally getting around to posting. This is what happens when you are a teacher. I didn't get a picture of Harrison, yet. His comment to me not taking a picture of him was, "What kind of mom are you!?" Can't beat the honesty of a 13 year old.

Aug 3, 2012

Books I'm Reading This Summer!

I like to read, but finding the time is not always easy. The following is a list of some of the books I am reading or have finished:

Teacher Books-
Teach Like A Champion by  Doug Lemov - Great ideas and techniques to help you become a better teacher. It even includes a dvd, which I haven't looked at yet.

Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher- Our county had him to speak a few weeks ago. He is awesome! He is not just some teaching guru, but a teacher that is still in the classroom. He was very down to earth and realistic, something we need more of in education these days. I think every teacher, not just English teachers, need to hear him speak. I can't wait to use some of his ideas this year in my classroom!

Christian Living-
Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer-I have already read this book once, but felt the need to read it again. She truly inspires me. She is one of my favorites.

Ezekiel Option and The Copper Scroll by Joel C. Rosenberg - These are the 3rd and 4th books in a series. They are like episodes of 24 connected to the end of times. These books are very well written for Christian Fiction.

Bloody Times by James L. Swanson- This is an adaptation for young people of this author's books on Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. This is so interesting. We just don't know enough about our country's history!

Happy Reading!

Jul 23, 2012

Monday Morning Motivation-Fear

Put your confidence in Christ this week. Pray for your fear to go away. I love this clip from Akeelah and the Bee about fear.

Jul 10, 2012

Forever Hope

Please take a moment to visit my new ministry that provides God's care and support to adoptive families. 

Jun 10, 2012

Motivation Monday

This Monday I challenge you to be movitated to adopt or help support someone who wants to adopt. Remember God usually calls us first, then equips the called. How many times have I seen this in action? Can't even count them. Please take the time this week to visit the following websites and look at all of the children in China that are waiting for a mommy and daddy!Holt Waiting Children  
Lifeline Waiting Children .

Just remember, Madelyn was waiting, too!

Jun 4, 2012

Monday Motivation

"Five sparrows are sold for just two pennies, but God doesn't forget a one of them. Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don't be afraid" You are worth much more than  many sparrows." Luke 12: 6-7

Join me as I reflect on this passage today.

May 28, 2012

Sprinkler Fun!

Yesterday, Madelyn went into the pool for the first time, and today it was the sprinkler! These photos were taken with a Cannon PowerShotA540 on the Kids and Pets Setting. They were edited with Microsoft Picture Manager.

Ni Hao Yall

May 21, 2012

Motivation Monday

Please watch this great clip from the movie Gifted Hands. In this clip Ben Carson is interviewing to work at Johns Hopkins.

This week remember the talents and abilities God has given you! Use them for His glory. 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each of you has been blessed with one of God's many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well."

Have a great week!

May 19, 2012

Cailyn's North Carolina State Gymnastics Meet

Cailyn had a great meet  today! Her all around score was 36.5 and she was awarded the elite gymnast pin. We are so proud of our "gymnast chick." This picture was taken with my Cannon Power Shot. It is old, but I am trying to figure it out. I actually tried using  the portrait setting yesterday.



Ni Hao Yall

May 13, 2012

Motivation Monday

I teach 7th grade, and this time of the year is brutal! The kids are tired, yet it is time for state testing. Yeah! So, every year at in May, I begin "Motivation Monday." Every Monday I show video clips (free from the "Wing Clips website") that have motivating themes. Not only does it serve as motivation to "do your best" for the rest of the year, but also as a way to discuss universal themes and other literary terms we are reviewing.

Last week was one of my favorites, Secretariat. We discussed how the book of Job was related to the theme of the movie. At the beginning and end of the movie, the following quote from Job is read,

Job 39:19-24 New International Version (NIV)
19 “Do you give the horse its strength
    or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Do you make it leap like a locust,
    striking terror with its proud snorting?
21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,
    and charges into the fray.
22 It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
    it does not shy away from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against its side,
    along with the flashing spear and lance.
24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
    it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. 

In this part of the book, Job is complaining to God  about all of his problems, and  God responds to Job with the description of one of his amazing creations, the horse. God wanted Job to realize that he should trust Him since He did create the magnificant horse. Job needed to understand that God is not going to quit on him. 

God is not going to quit on you either. Trust him and he will get you through! I hope you have a great Monday!

May 4, 2012

Our Adoption Experience Was Amazing, So Why Do I Feel Guilty?

Before adopting Madelyn I read everything I could about adoption, attachment, etc. I read so many blogs and articles that I finally had to stop. I was overly prepared for the worst. I was prepared for a little girl that would want nothing to do with us and scream and cry all of the time.I wasn't expecting a happy experience.There was no fairytale in my mind.

My worst nightmare did not happen. Our daughter came to our family with a smile on her face and singing our names! It was a surreal and amazingly blessed experience.After going upstairs to our hotel room, Madelyn cried for about 15-20 minutes, and then it was over.

Now I am by no means saying that our experience has been perfect. Madelyn was well loved by her foster family and was definitely the center of attention! In our house, she has had to learn how be a part of a family which includes not always being the center of attention.

When we came home, however, I found myself feeling guilty about blogging about our adoption experience. I actually felt guilty that our adoption went well. So many families struggle with grief, attachment, medical issues and more. Their stories of faith are amazing, and their passion for adoption through their struggles are again, amazing. How could I be of help to anyone adopting? How could I support them when I couldn't relate? It may also sound strange, but I didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings.

I have really struggled to blog since we have been home because of this. But, I know this can't continue.God has given us a precious gift in Madelyn. 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each of you has been blessed with one of God's many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well."

Our adoption story is not "worthless." I hope that my posts will honor the gift we have been given and inspire more to take that step of faith into adoption!

This picture was taken with an old digital Cannon Sure Shot.

Ni Hao Yall