Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gone for the weekend

I am off to spend some time with some amazing ladies and God... 

SO looking forward to it!

Say a little prayer for my D and the kids while mommy is  I think they could use it. ;o)

Have a blessed one.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Random fun...

The boys hangin with no When it's warm daddy doesn't like to wear his shirt and the little guys wanted to be just like daddy. Aren't they cute?!

Daddy and N relaxing.

It was 90 degrees here today so a run through the hose today was in order. Little E was just shivering even in the heat. He sure looks cute though huh?!

My mom had flamingo'd our yard for D birthday, I just found this pic on the camera. Isn't pretty?
And since D has turned 40 he looks a little funny... not sure what this was about. ;o)

Something fun....Make someone smile today

This weekend was crazy! Busy but really good.

I am participating in a spiritual renewal this weekend coming, and as part of the team of facilitaters we have been training for several weeks. We had a fun team building exercise this weekend that I loved and wanted to share.

We sat in a circle and had cut out paper hearts that we were instructed to write our names on. We then passed them to the right and each person in the circle wrote something uplifting about the person whose name was on the heart. We then got them back and got to see what other's thought of us. Some were just one word expressions and some were full phrases...some were just "I love you"'s It makes me smile to think about it now. ;o)

I thought it would be fun to try that in blogger community. So here's the twist since we won't have paper hearts to pass to each other....

If you have a list of blogs that you read regularly go to them and share a little note of appreciation with them. What makes you read their blog? What do you like about them? Even if it's just the lay-out or the Share some love with someone today. If you aren't a usual post-er...maybe send an email to 10 of your friends to tell them you love them and are thinking about them, tell them why. Make them smile.

There's so much craziness and uncertainty in the world... let's share a smile with someone.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

God Knows

Romans 8:27
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

When I was a little girl I really only wanted 2 children. I dreamed of having 2, a boy first and then a girl, about 4 years part. It's what I imagined when I played with my Barbie and Luke Skywalker dolls.(yes it was a long time ago) And that's what I got...first. My Z was first and about 4 yrs later I had S, my sweet daughter.

In my early 20's I wasn't walking with the Lord but searching for guidance. I ordered some self help tapes, Tony somebody's, program about how to think good things into your life. Several years later I found one of my lists from that had things on it I hoped to have or accomplish within 10 years. I was surprised to find that I had most of the things on the list, and the other's weren't that big a deal not to have.

In the mean time I had found the Lord and been growing in my faith daily. I began to realize that while I wasn't listening to God when I was thinking of my future children, He was listening to me. And while I wasn't asking God for the items on my list, He was listening to me. Things like a I only had 2 kids at the time but for some reason wanted a van, I had NO clue I would eventually need a van to hold us all. I have the house of my dreams minus my fire place... but I can live with out it.

I have learned in my years following God that He knows what we desire. He hears our thoughts even if we don't tell Him. The thing I love about God is that He also knows what we need even when we don't. He knew that I wanted 2 children, a boy and a girl, but He also knew that He wanted me to have more. He knew I would have to get used to the But He also knew that once I grasped it, I would hold on with both hands. He knew how I would be changed, broken, hurting for the things that break His heart.

God knows I want more children. There is a specific little girl that just keeps smiling at me in her picture that I would bring home now if I could. But now isn't the right time. I also see pictures of children living on the streets in Addis, children having lived through unspeakable ugliness. And as I form this mission team I believe God hears my mother's heart, my heart that wants to love more children. I also believe, He has other things for me to do right now.

Don't get me wrong I don't believe God is some Genie in a bottle granting wishes, giving us all that we want and desire. He's a God that wants us to be happy, He wants good things for us. He wants us to have the desires of our hearts.

I don't even begin to understand why those children on the streets in Addis have had to endure what they did while I drive my mini-van, in my house with out a fireplace. It will be one of those things I ask God when I get to heaven. But I know that it's within my power to talk to people about their hurts, it's within my power to possibly help relieve even just little bit of their pain. It's with in my power to stretch out my hands and surround them with an embrace, and tell them that God knows. God knows their pain, and hurts with them, and He loves them.

God Knows....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just stuff...

Thought I would share some "stuff" that we are up to.

Z is going to college and lining up summer stuff. Other than that...can't really tell you. He's not around much. Oh to be 19 again. ;o)

S is still REALLY looking forward to the end of the school year. She is seeing light at the end of the She has nothing planned for the summer specifically other than sleeping past 430 a.m. every day. Can't say that I blame her! She is currently in a Legal Studies specialized program at one of our high schools, she thought she wanted to be a lawyer, now not so much. I guess it's good to figure these things out when school is free and you are young. She isn't sure now what she wants to do other than go back to her 'regular' high school. We are not really sure we want that, because it's not the best one in the city. We live in a nice neighborhood, just the wrong side of the zone We are still praying about what God would have us do about the situation.

N is having fun enjoying the warm weather. He has more opportunities to get out and exert that endless energy. He is quite the song writer and music man. I think he may be on American Idol some day... in a good way not one of those crazy send off people. The other day he was making up a song that went something like this: "I love Jesus. Jesus Loves me. No matter what. He loves every body. Deep and Wide. hhhmmm and hhhmmmm. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Jesus loves me." I so love that he sings songs to and about Jesus. Now, granted we listen almost exclusively to praise and contemporary Christiam music.... but how cool is it that he loves to sing to Jesus?! Ok, maybe Simon Cowell won't like him. ;o(

E is on the mend. His nose seems to have quit running constantly and his cough is about gone. Thank goodness. Poor little guy was really not feeling well. The antibiotics seem to working the way they are supposed to, gotta love it. He was learning how to write the letter 'E' yesterday. He really is a smart cookie. We were all in stitches at dinner last night. He was trying to tell a story, and in his broken English he sounded a bit like this: "Dinosaur. Wake up. Chicken. Pop. Eye. Dinosaur say huh? gggrrrr". Now insert facial expressions and you have one pretty funny story, even if we weren't really sure where the popping chicken came from. He's also quite the cook. He loves to sit up on the counter and help cook whatever is for dinner. Last night he helped me stir and pour, and even broke the eggs open without getting shell into the bowl. He's got talent! Perhaps we have a future chef on his hands...his grandparents and great parents will be very happy!

D is still working nights. YUCK! He is headed on a Men's Emmaus weekend tomorrow. I am going to miss him. But I think a weekend with God and a bunch of men that love God can't be anything but good stuff! We will see him again on Sunday. Pray for the guys that will be there, it's a weekend of renewal and reminders of what a relationship with Christ is like. God is Good!

I am still learning, and focusing, and listening to God about His direction for me. I did take several steps towards our trip to ET next year. We are meeting tentatively on May 7th, at 7pm at the church to discuss the options. We are looking at sometime in the spring to early summer(not rainy season). Going to be gone about 10 days, 2 days for travel and 8 days for ministry. There are so very many opportunities that I am not sure what exactly we are doing yet. I do know it will involve as many children as I can smooch on, and HIV education where at all possible. Pray for clarity and vision, and for people who have a heart for the things God wants. THIS is the kind of thing I want to do...I so want God to lead us in the right directions though. Will you pray for these kids in the mean time?!

So that's about it. ;o)
Blessings to you on this Earth Day.

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scared - A Novel on the Edge of the World from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.

God Speaks....

lol some of you may be saying... "Well of course He does!" and others are saying "huh?"

"God Speaks"?

After writing yesterday's post about ministry in my family and in the world I just kept thinking about it.

Over the last year or so our core little family has been through some junk. Now in the scheme of things nothing earth shattering to be sure, but it's been stressful. Adoptions, health issues, children's behavior, adult behaviors (lol), crazy work hours and of course economical issues. All these things have slowly chiseled and chipped at the foundation of our marriage. Now there are only bits and pieces missing... nothing earth shattering.. but if not addressed could become a much bigger issue.

So God has been speaking to me. Through several different avenues, but I have been slow to listen, as usual. But today He actually kind of hit me with a 2x4. I went over to my dear friend Lisa's Marriage site and found this about being a Prayer Shield for your Spouse. It was as if God was saying to me, "Hey! Stop your whining. Do something about it. Stop complaining about how things to ME about them."

If I want to be part of the solution for changing the world maybe I should start in my home. Be part of the solution with my husband who I love like crazy ...even when he drives me crazy ;o). To ask how I can help instead of point out the issues, because I am good at pointing out issues, always trying to look past my own little eye plank doggon it.

I need to ask my kids what kind of day they had and remember that while they are 3 and 4 yrs old .. I am not (was reminded of that one today lol) and perhaps I should let them act that way.

As intently as I research ways I can make a difference to the world outside my doors, I need to be even more intent on praying and asking God for His wisdom in how I can transform my home into a reflection of Him.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect[a] the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

What is God saying to you?

Monday, April 20, 2009


Ministry is a funny thing.

I have been struggling with my roll in this area.

Where am I supposed to go, what am I supposed to do?

I have been reading blogs recently of people that went to Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia....after visiting they decided to move to those places and change things, change lives. A dear friend is going to spend 27 months in Africa with the Peace Corps.

WOW that's huge huh? I admire and in many ways envy them.

I feel like I need to go back to Ethiopia, and have begun the steps to start a missions team. I am not sure what we are going to do yet, but we have some pretty excited and committed people. I look forward to seeing what God has planned for us all. Maybe my piece of the puzzle is to help open others' eyes to the world? In a paper I wrote recently I spoke about the fact that there was a time in my life when the news shows saddened me but never really permeated my world. Now that I have seen it first hand, I cannot forget it.

I have been thinking alot about my roll in the grand scheme of things... last week I was reminded that my first ministry is to my family. My first job is to take care of my home. My thoughts have changed gears to how I can better serve at home. How I can better minister to my husband and children. What a concept huh? But how very true, if I am to make any changes anywhere it should be in my home, being Christ to my family. I will readily admit to being less than Christ-like most times at home. How in the world do I think I can be that way in the world? I think I will start practicing.

We watched the movie "Yes man" Friday night, not completely clean... but GREAT premise. I don't mean I will be saying yes to all obligations and questions, but how often as a mom do I say, no, or maybe, or later just because I am tired. Maybe I will be a Yes mom. ;o) Yes to more play time, yes to more kissy time, yes to more Candyland time and snuggle time.

I am still going to Ethiopia next year, but I look forward to working on my mission field at home in the mean time.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Drawn From Water

I recently found this new ministry going on in Ethiopia.  
It's called Drawn From Water.

I have been following them for a couple of days and have had some emails back and forth with them, and they really seem to be great!

Check it out.
I am praying about this being part of our trip to Ethiopia next year with the church.  I look forward to watching them grow and seeing how we can help.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So sad...

This morning I was reading an article that just breaks my heart.

Apparently there has been a large increase in the amount of child abuse cases seen recently that seem to be directly related to the economy. And most of the children are under 7 month of age with shaken baby syndrome... many die. ugh... doesn't that just break your heart???!!!

I don't want to place judgement... I have been frustrated with my children... I have been over the top mad at my kids from time to time...and in those moments I have stepped back and just gone to my knees to God. I given myself self-imposed time outs...and closed myself in the bathroom. I am just sad... sad for the parent who in a fit of frustration and stress made a decision that will forever alter more than one life... sad for the sweet children who just have no choice.

Money... man... sure does change a person huh? Those that have it and those that don't.

Will you pray with me for those that are hurting? There are so many people on so many levels, that perhaps just praying for those that are hurting will encompass them all. Our God is bigger than this... He's bigger than the economy, and bigger than stress, and bigger than money...and bigger than any pain we momentarily have here on earth.

If you are one of these people... you are in my prayers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stand By Me

My sister in law sent this to me.
She's the coolest!!  And not just because of where she lives...LOL

Love you!
Watch this....

Good Grief!

This has been a week!

I missed the boys! They came home, but were sad to leave nannie (my mom) and the pool. I tell you what, those boys are little fishes, and N has NO fear! ;o)

We had S's dental appt yesterday, and today I had to take E to the Dr. He woke up at about 1230am Sunday with a temp of 101.6 went back to bed and awoke with no temp and feeling good so I went ahead and sent him with mom. She said he was feeling puny yesterday and he did have a low grade temp at dinner. Sent him to bed with some Motrin and a At 430am he was up with a temp of about 101.4 so I called when the Dr office opened. We were fit in and found that he has an ear infection, the 2nd one in 3 months (he shows no signs of ear pain) and they did an xray because of a "crackly chest". Turns out he has an ambiguous shadow on his lungs.... well hhhmmm what do you do with a shadow? They think it's either a mucus plug blocking his lung and not allowing air flow, or the beginning of pneumonia. YUCK~ That would explain the incessant coughing last night. Poor little man! So we are on antibiotics and go back on Friday to have them take another listen. The blessing is that they didn't want to admit him to the hospital. Thank you GOD!

Good thing I am off on
D and I are also going on Friday to see a lawyer about our re-adopt/finalization here in VA for E. We have to use a lawyer in my town because of verbage and court weirdness...and it's not a small town! ;o) But we are also going to look into changing his date of birth. We were orginally given a date in 2005 which seems to be the right age. But the ET courts made his DOB in 2004. So on paper he's older than N. Have you seen pics of those 2? Not bloody likely he's older than N. ;o) Even his Dr's think the date is wrong. We shall see what we can do. He's a smart little dude, and advanced in alot of things. But he's totally not ready to start Kindergarten yet, as N is this fall.

Please take a minute to say a little prayer for parents in the middle of adoption right now. There are some funky...YUCKY glitches happening... and hopefully only for a short time... but parents are sad and hurting and children are waiting. I fully believe this too shall pass. God's got these kids in HIS hands. I know He does. Those of you waiting... I am praying!

Here's to an uneventful rest of the

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday update

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday, although I realized after checking out some other blogs that I was completely remiss in getting any pics of my kids! How the heck did that happen??!! LOL

I had some really cute outfits planned for the boys but it was a bit chillier than I had hoped so they weren't able to wear them. And Sami was adorable as usual, but she too had to wear a coat over her outfit to ward off the cold. ;o)

Over all it was a good day and we just went to church then hung out with family.

The boys left with my mom Monday morning to go down to the family timeshare condo. It was hard to let them go. D and I did get some quiet time together at Wendy's for dinner. :o) Hey, it's the little things that make me happy. Erin called me while were out and asked if we needed her to whine and spill something so we would feel at Funny girl ;o)

We talked to the boys last night and they had had a full day of beach and indoor pool with Pizza for dinner. E had one he was upset because he wanted to wear his socks with this flip flops. I guess mom let him carry his flip flops but wear his regular shoes and socks. Poor little guy, I was suprised he wanted to wear that because he is usually such a fashionista! Silly guy.

They will be home tonight by dinner time. YAY! I miss them. It was very quiet last night.

Today S has a dentist appt. She broke a tooth chewing gum. Not sure what type of gum it was, but perhaps she will refrain from doing that again. I hope they are able to fix it today. I don't know about dentists in your area, but ours tend to bring you in, check it out and then have you come back to fix it. It looks like a small hole to me so maybe we will get lucky. (ETA: We were in and out with a fixed tooth! YAY!)

And just an update. I am still working on getting a mission trip together for next summer. Still working on the details, but I am SO excited!!!

Well, that's about all the news I have fit to print.
Hope you all have a blessed day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Feeling blessed

There are days when I feel like pinching myself because I just feel so blessed. Today I have been just thinking about life and had one of those pinch me moments. ;o) Here's a few reasons why.

~We had such a grand time in Disney with friends that filled my heart. God is Good!

~On Saturday I was involved with our Emmaus teaming/training process and God just showed up! I had to preview a talk that I will be giving in a few weeks, and God just stood right there with me as I spoke. He then showed up as we all went out on the ocean front and brought the men from the Men's Emmaus teaming/training group to sing to us right there on the sand. oh man I wish you could have been there. At one point the women were all standing in a circle singing, and then one of them got all giddy and pointing (I had my back to the boardwalk) I turned around to see then men approaching singing loudly and smiling. I just wanted to tell all the women to shush so I could hear the men... something about a group of men singing to God just does something to my heart. Especially when one of them is my man!

~Sunday I was asked to help our senior pastor with our 11am traditional service at church. I haven't actually ever attended that service so I was pretty nervous about it. God again showed up and I read all the lines without choking, and didn't trip down the steps while serving communion. ;o) Always good times. ;o)

~Spending time with my family was a joy.

~ N really seems to finally be settling. FINALLY ;o) We have been really working on trying to spend time with him, quality time. We are also working on reducing the arguments. We just refuse to have

~ I have amazing friends. Truly God has blessed me in that area! I am usually in awe at how He placed some pretty doggon amazing people in my life!

~And most of all I have a Savior who loves me. ME! With all my flaws and faults and issues, He loves me anyway. No matter what! Now THAT is cause for praise!

Thank you God!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Some catching up...

Sorry it's been a couple of days I have been working on coming back to

We really did have such a magical experience in Disney that I am now have trouble remembering that we were actually there. ;o) I have been reading Erin's account of our trip, she's a great writer. I just keep going back to read her memories, it's good stuff! ;o)

We came home on Wednesday April 1. It seemed like an April Fools joke that were actually having to leave our dream place and new found 'chosen family'. E just kept crying, "No home, No home!" We were feeling the same, wondering how much trouble we would be in if we "missed" our We didn't of course, but it was sure hard to leave! In one of Erin's posts she says that she was afraid that after 3 days we would all be tired of her crew. I would say that was about the opposite of what we were feeling. I will admit to being worried that maybe S or D may be, cause they hadn't had the benefit of getting to love them all, over the last several months like I had. But even D was in tears as we were hugging them good Of course those of you who know D, know that he's not a man afraid to show emotion ;o)

N and E just loved being with them all. At one point we had all loaded into the vans to leave a park and N says "Momma, we need to have alot of kids like them!" LOL I don't think we will ever have that many, but I can tell you that D has decided our next adoption (a couple of years from now) will be another girl, he loved playing with all the little girls, little Belane stole his heart. ;o) I joked with D and said if we are going to adopt a girl, we will need to to adopt 2 of them because the boys will fight over who loves her more and gets to play with her. They are both suckers for little girls, E will share a toy with a pretty girl in a heart beat, and N is the defender of all things female. ;o) He is missing his

We had a great weekend home after being gone and D even got to be off for several nights afterwards because of the way the night shift schedule worked out. He's back to working and is really not a night shift guy. He's a sun worshiper, that man lives to be in the sun, so sleeping during the day makes for an unhappy bear. ;o)

The kids start Spring break tomorrow. S is especially excited because she will be off school for the next week or so...YAY. The boys don't really grasp the concept But this morning I was talking to N about it and he was pretty pleased with the idea that he wasn't going back to school for a while. We have a timeshare condo at a beach about 1 1/2 away that we go to every year about this time. Because of the time we took for the Disney trip, D and I will not be able to enjoy it, but I think my mom is going to take the boys for a few days to enjoy. They have an indoor pool and game room. It's close to the beach and there's mini-golf and lots of fun stuff to do. I think they will have a blast. I am not sure what I will do with out them there though. S may go down as well, although she may opt to hang out here with her friends.

I think that's about it. Nothing new, just adjusting to real life again. It actually took E several days to realize he was no longer king of the He pretty much got what he wanted when he wanted it in Florida, so it took him a while to get the fact that at home it doesn't always work that way. He's one funny little dude. I so just want to follow the boys around with a video camera and show you how amazing it is to live in a house with these kids. It's good stuff!

I pray you all have a blessed and happy Resurrection Sunday ...weekend!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Why adoption?

So there has been so much in the paper lately about Madonna and her rejected attempt to adopt a little girl from Malawi.

I will be honest in saying that I don't really like Madonna, not because of her adoption stuff... but just cause she's not my favorite. Although obviously I don't know her personally so who am I to judge? ;o)

I have been reading some articles that her attempt to adopt and subsequent rejection, have spawned.

There's the whole 'taking' children from their culture and children being better off in their own country debate. It's age old, and I am not sure if it will ever be fixed or truly answered. I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers by any means, and I see both sides of the coin.

Of course it would be better for children to stay in country with family to love and care for them. But there are SO many cases where this isn't an option. Quoted from this article on CNN, Melissa Faye Green writes:

CNN: What's your initial reaction to the news that Madonna's adoption of a Malawian child has been rejected?
Greene: Surprise. ... It was awfully tricky with Madonna's first adoption, when the child turned out to have devoted family members nearby. [The singer's adoption of a Malawian boy was finalized last year.] And if that's true with this child also, it seems a similar sticky situation.
That's not the situation for the majority of orphanage children around the world, who don't have caring grandparents or aunts and uncles a short walk or bike ride away.
I think it gives people an odd perspective on what international adoption can mean for children who don't have any support network outside the walls of an orphanage.
You often hear attacks on international adoption as robbing a child of his or her culture, and that's both true and false. It's true that an internationally adopted child loses the rich background of history and religion and culture and language that the child was born into, but the cruel fact is that most children don't have access to the local, beautiful culture within an orphanage. ...
There's a culture in orphanages that children are eager to escape from, and it's a culture of being reared as a group and not being doted upon by parents. For any child, that's the bottom line. The fact is that a human child wants that mommy or daddy or both. We're just wired to want that and to need that. And there's no way an institutional setting can give a human baby what the child needs. It's impossible. So you have to balance priorities. ...
I think what some of the human rights group say is absolutely accurate: that international adoption does not begin to solve the problems of the world's orphaned children. It's truly not the answer. ...
At the same time, international adoption, even though it doesn't solve the whole problem, it solves a problem for a few. I think it can be a brilliant solution to the problem of adults wanting a child in their lives or wanting more children in their lives and the problem of children who want parents in their lives.

I think she says it best. (that's why she's the writer!)

Of course it doesn't solve the problem, and I don't think celebrity or money should allow someone special treatment. I believe Madonna should have to follow the rules like the rest of us, but if the little girl she wants to adopt is legally available and the rules are followed, then why not?

I wish there were an easy solution, or answer, but like pretty much everything in life there isn't one. Especially where politics is involved.

My prayer is that those children that need homes, get them. I pray that those families that need help in order to keep their children, get it. I pray that those people that need medicine in order to stay alive to support their families receive it. And I pray that people that have room in their hearts and homes and can love a child that has neither... find the child to fill those places.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Our last park day....

Universal Studios!  ... this was a crazy day, rained some, stormed some... but we all kept our spirits high and had a blast.
D was serenaded by 17 of of us over ice cream breakfast.  I cannot even describe the smile he had on his face.  I think it's the best birthday morning he's had ...maybe ever.  Ice cream and people you love singing at the top of their lungs. ;o)  What a way to start your 40th year. ;o)

I am not sure these guys know who Woody Woodpecker even is, but they sure thought he was cool!  Did you know Woody had a wife?  Check her out in the back
Here's our crew.  Curious George was a huge hit.  All the kids and adults loved seeing him. ;o)
My little super hero!
oh man did these boys LOVE Spidey!  They were so in awe of him.  He was talking to them and telling them stay in school of course and they were just kind of looking at him and smiling these huge grins!  And trying their moves. ;o)

As promised here are some rain pictures.  At this point we were all hot, and the kids were so wanting to go on a water ride.  It started pouring so we got under an over hang.  One of the kids asked to go play in the rain and since there was no lightening, we decided "why not?"  Look at how much fun they had!

We were able to get a ride on the Hulk Roller coaster.  Oh man was that a BLAST!  
Then on to the NASCAR Cafe Diner ( I thought it was the cafe, but apparently they aren't one in the same.) It was really good food and our waitress was really nice.  And check out the car in front of the restaurant.  Yup, it's Dale Jrs.  ;o)  D's FAVE!

This was one huge YUMMY cake.  D got to get serenaded again, not only by us but the whole place seemed to be singing with us.  They even had his name outside on the marquee.  ;o)

oops sorry  Look D got his wish too... he's a driver for a day. ;o)  
This was a crazy day.  But one that I think will be a huge highlight in D's birthday memories!  
We all trekked back to our vehicles, full, and happy and TIRED...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Still more Hollywood Studios... ;o) Hey it was a good day!

I love this chick!
I love this guy!
Just enjoying some ice cream and family / friend time... 

E LOVED these guys!  He just followed them around and gave them kisses.  He is missing them! Me too!!

more hollywood studios

Lightenin' McQueen!  Need I say more?!
Dancin in the block party bash!  This was so much fun!  Hot ... but fun!

E loves Handy Manny! Can you tell?!  Meeting him was a bonus for E!

Hollywood Studios YAY

Helping Rocket take off

Some Annie lovin...
He was SO excited to see Rocket and the gang... look at this face ;o)
N posing... I see a modeling career here ;o)
Some super cute faces!
Is this a beautiful crew or what?!

More Magic Kingdom

Waiting for lunch... silly S ;o)
Beautiful Belane
LOVE me some Eeyore!

Love these boys! Are they too cute or what?!

Slurping ice cream through a straw because he could. ;o)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Taking a break from pics...

Man, what a trip!

We took more than 700 pictures and I am still uploading them so I will get back to them soon.
Here's a bit more about our trip.

We arrived at the airport on Thursday at 830 am as scheduled. Everything went smoothly we made all connections and all luggage went through. YAY!

It was warm and humid in FL when we got there, but beautiful either way.

We arrived at GKTW and settled into our villa quickly for a minute, and then went across the street to the park that was a giant candy land game. SO cute. The boys ran off some steam and then we walked to dinner. The compound is large but easily navigated on foot. Or by a little motorized train that comes by every so often to give people rides. That first night was a Christmas theme complete with Santa, Mrs Claus, elves and a parade! The boys had a blast. The village is run by a few actual employees, something like 90 on staff and then they have something like 1400 volunteers each week. It's truly a magical place. We joked about the fact that all the villas were basically the same and most of them had Dodge or Chrysler minivan's parked in front of them so it was like being in some kind of weird alternate universe. ;o)

Friday was spent at Animal Kingdom. It was another warm sunny day. We went on safari, took a train to Rafiki's Island, watched the Lion King show (FABULOUS!!!) and got pics with the chipmunks, Donald Duck and Goofy.

S, D and I went on the Yeti ride, the little guys were too small so we took turns while the boys ate ice cream... or wore it as the case may

We had planned on going to Epcot that night but we were all bushed by the end of the day so we went back to GKTW for dinner and got to enjoy the Princess and Pirate night.

Saturday we went to Sea World. Saturday was HOT. We got to feed dolphins and sea lions, we watched the Dolphin shows and of course Shamu! I think Shamu was my favorite! I want to be an Orca trainer when I grow up! WOW!

We got back to GKTW about 6pm and met up with Erin's family. What a joy! Her kids just kind of took to mine and vise versa immediately. They became fast friends. S was pretty happy to have a girl to hang with that was her age, and watching E with Solomon was beautiful. They had both had such hard times at AHOPE and had been together for about a year. It was just such a HUGE blessing to see them running around together healthy and loved and in forever families!

Sunday was Magic Kingdom and RAIN... yuck! It poured most of the morning. So we did alot of running for cover. Riding inside rides and watching shows. It was alot of fun and the kids were troopers! We got to have lunch with Eeyore (my FAVORITE), Pooh, Piglet and Tigger too. Yummy! We shot at Emporer Zyrg and rode space ships. We rode Dumbo and Thunder mountain. N has no fear! He was having so much fun riding all the roller coasters!

Monday was Hollywood studios. The Tower of Terror is aptly named! OIY! The Rockin' Roller coaster is as well. SO much fun! Erin and I were front row screaming and giggling like We then got to go see Play House Disney. And see ROCKET!!! E SO wanted to see and meet Rocket. It's the one thing that kind of disappointed me. They really didn't have anything planned for him to do anything special with Rocket. He got to meet all the characters from Little Einsteins but we couldn't get them to let him on stage after the show to pose with the big Rocket. oh well... it was still a fun day! We then got to go meet BUZZ!!! and Woody. ;o) This was Solomon's wish. He was dressed in his Buzz Lightyear outfit and was SO stinkin cute. His face was priceless. I am letting Erin write more about that and share pics. But man... it was so cool!

We ate at Pizza Planet! yum and rocked with the Block Party Bash parade. The kids got to dance in the streets and truly had a blast.

Tuesday was D's 40th Birthday. E sang daddy a special birthday song he madeup. He's so sweet!We all got up and went down to the ice cream parlor and had ice cream for breakfast. D was then serenaded by all 17 of us with a rounding Happy Birthday...Cha cha cha song. He was beaming! Then on to Universal Studios. It was packed! There were thunder and rain storms throughout the day. But we all had fun! We got to ride the Hulk roller coaster, FRONT ROW! WOOHOO!!! It was pretty warm so the kids were asking to ride water rides. We ended up just letting them play in the rain during one of the down pours (no lightening). I can't wait to post those pictures... that was so cute! Then on to dinner at the NASCAR diner for daddy's dinner. They even had Happy Birthday D up on the marquee! The dinner was grand, the company was grand and the cake was HUGE! ;o) We sang to him again and the whole restaurant joined in. He loved it!

It was a wonderful way to end the week. Erin and I stayed up late gabbing like little

Wednesday morning we were up early finshed last minute packing and then went to say good bye to GKTW and our new family of friends! We all cried and hugged and were sad to leave. GKTW is truly magical, the people are wonderful it was so so neat to be in a place that takes these kids with life threatening illness and gives them such a gift! E was not ready to go! He just kept saying, No Home No I was feeling the SAME way! ;o) I think we all went into Henderson withdrawls... and reality

Thank you Make a Wish...and Thank you Give Kids the World!
More pics to come soon.......

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Next stop...Magic Kingdom...

Look who joined  YAY!  We had SO much fun with Erin and her family.  We were just like a blended family almost immediately.  The kids are just GRAND!  We miss them already and we just left them yesterday. 

This is us waiting for lunch.  These guys had so much fun playing together.  They were collecting flowers that had dropped from the bushes outside the restaurant.
Look we got to meet Pooh!  It had poured all morning, so my hair is a  But N had given me a pretty flower to help.;o)
These guys were eating it all up!!!