Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The 5th time is the charm...

Yes, you read that title correctly.  Finally, after the 5th date/time that we have had an appointment for our embassy, it actually happened!!!!  Holy Cow!!  This past month and a half has been so stressful for us. (And that is an understatement.)

We never in a million years thought we would have this much trouble when it came time for embassy.  And let me be clear- it was not the actual embassy that was the issue. It was the person we had representing us that was. 

It really is a long story to tell of the events that have taken place over the last month.  One day I will tell of those events, but not today.  I do not think it would be wise to do that before we actually have our daughter on US soil.  But I will say it has tested my faith.  It is very humbling and even somewhat embarrassing to admit that, but it's true.  There was one day last week that I was so upset.  Thoughts sprang into my head that this adoption was not going to happen.  That the past 2 years and 4 months have been for nothing.  I was asking God "why?" 

Thankfully, my awesome husband that I am so blessed to have, brought me to reality.  He said, "We have to trust Him.  He's got this under control."  We spent the next 30 minutes praying together.  Then I spent the next couple of hours just giving it ALL to God, confessing and repenting of my lack of trust and faith.  And when I finally just gave it to Him (like I should have already done) I had such a peace in my soul.

When I went to bed that night, I was utterly exhausted.  I knew that I would sleep well.  However, I woke up about 3am and couldn't go back to sleep.  I tossed and turned for a couple of minutes and prayed once again that we would hear good news.  I still couldn't go back to sleep so I decided to check my phone for the email that we had been waiting for.  And IT WAS THERE!!  The email we had been waiting for to let us know that everything was going to be okay!

Just like that- our prayers had been answered and our day had a total new outlook.  Oh how I let my circumstances dictate the day that I am having so many times!! 

And it became so clear to me once again the things God had been teaching me throughout this whole adoption process.  Thank you, Lord, for the ups and(and maybe even more so) the downs of this journey!!! 

So, now where are we?  We are just waiting to get the approval to travel.  We are hoping and praying to travel in the next 2 to 3 weeks.  We need to travel before the end of November because our visas will expire if we don't.  So you can be praying for that!

There are 3 families in Congo this week with our adoption agency that have been able to see Emmalyn and love on her.  We are so thankful for that!  It's been fun keeping up with their facebook and blogs to see how their personal experience is going with their kiddos and what it's like being in Congo. 

Now we just dream of the day that it is us, and we are confident that it will be soon! And the list making and packing shall begin!!!


This is the picture we received last week when we found out everything was okay.  The first picture we have ever received of her smiling!!!  Isn't she beautiful?  (We did find out, though, from the families that are there now that her head has been shaved.  We don't know why.  So, the next time we receive a picture of her it will be of a bald beauty!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Embassy Appointments- Take 2

As most of you know, our lawyer missed our Embassy appointment drop off on August 30.  It was a huge bummer.  Like made my cry for days.  I guess because we were so excited and it wasn't expected that he would miss it.  We just knew that we would travel in September to bring our daughter home (in fact we would be there right now), and it was such a HUGE disappointment to find out that that would not be the case.

That first week was rough. I talked about getting on a plane and going to Congo anyway.  Even if I didn't have an embassy appointment for another month at least I would be with my daughter and know that she is ok.  Then I talked myself out of it.  Then back into it.  And the pattern continued a million times until I finally decided that I would just wait patiently.  I just came to grips that God has perfect timing.  (And let me just say- it is super easy to say this, but much different to actually believe it.)

So, our new embassy drop-off date is September 27- just 2 days away.  The actual appointment is October 1. 

Would you all please, please, please pray for this?  Pray for our lawyer to actually make the document drop off.  Then pray that all paperwork that is needed is there and we are approved.  We really NEED this to happen.  Our daughter NEEDS this to happen.

I posted this earlier in the week on facebook:

"Get your "YES" straight at the very beginning. Decide on it. Roll around in it. Put it on the table and shellack it. Because you cannot let every delay and snag derail your certainty about adoption. When you say YES, you are saying YES to enter the suffering of the orphan, and that suffering includes WAITING FOR YOU TO GET TO THEM. I promise you, their suffering is worse than yours. We say YES ...to the tears, YES to the longing, YES to the maddening process, YES to the money, YES to hope, YES to the screaming frustration of it all, YES to going the distance through every unforeseen discouragement and delay. Do not imagine that something outside of "your perfect plan" means you heard God wrong. There is NO perfect adoption. EVERY adoption has snags. We Americans invented the "show me a sign" or "this is a sign" or "this must mean God is closing a door" or "God must not be in this because it is hard," but all that is garbage. You know what's hard? Being an orphan. They need us to be champions and heroes for them, fighting like hell to get them home. So we will. We may cry and rage and scream and wail in the process, but get them home we will." --Jen Hatmaker, Author of Interrupted and Seven and mother of five (two all the way from Ethiopia)
I needed to hear/see that this week.  I can relate to everything that Jen Hatmaker says. This past month- the crying, raging, screaming, wailing- has been me.  But so is the fighting and so is the determination to get our daughter home!!  
Thank you friends and family for your love, prayers, and support.  This adoption journey would be so much harder without you.  It is true that adoption is not for the faint of heart.  It is HARD. But would I do it all again?  You betcha. 
Because this precious girl is WORTH it!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sad news

This is gonna be short and sweet because I am still trying to process everything.

We were so excited today that we got our visas in the mail. Unfortunately, the news about Embassy is not good.  We just got an update from our agency director.  She said that our lawyer in Congo was in a car accident last week and missed our Embassy appointments.  They have been rescheduled for Sept 27 and Oct 1.  That puts us a month behind where we thought we would be.  Another month without our daughter :( 

My heart hurts.  I feel like it's in a million pieces. 

Thanks for your prayers!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Embassy Appointments and Other Things

Thank you so much for your prayers for our adoption process!  We are getting so close!!

I wanted to give you a brief update on where we are.  Since my last post, we got our Embassy appointments.  They were actually last week.  However, we have not heard anything about them yet (i.e. did they go ok?, was all the paperwork there?, etc.).  We are praying and hoping to hear something this week!

We have also sent in all the paperwork to get our visas to travel.  It was a little weird putting our passports and yellow fever vaccination cards in the mail and hoping they didn't get lost somewhere.  They didn't though.  They have arrived at the Embassy in Washington, D.C. (we may have stalked the USPS website with our tracking number) and we hope to get them back at the end of the week.

So once we get our visas and hear that Embassy went ok, what's left?  Emmalyn has to get her visa and then we can travel to Congo!!  It is seriously so close!  Like we are down to just weeks away (at least we hope)!

The question has been asked several times- "What can we do?  What can we send?" 

Well, you can send a couple of things if you so desire. 

1. Small toys- we are going to take these to pass out to the kids at the different orphanages.  They need to be fairly small since they have to fit in one suitcase/dufflebag. 

2. Non-perishable Candy- we are also going to take some candy with us to pass out to the kiddos.  I am thinking like dum dum suckers, smarties, etc.

3. Size 3T clothes- these would be for Emmalyn.  I am just guessing that this is the size that she will wear.  We have several things already, but we don't have many bottome (shorts or pants) or pajamas.  Please don't go out and buy anything.  I am just saying this mostly for people who may be cleaning out their  closets and may have some hand-me-downs that would work.  We know that she will grow quickly so we don't need tons of stuff just yet. 

Most importantly, though, you can just pray.

1. Pray for Emmalyn- that she will remain healthy, that she is being fed, that she is being taken care of, that she will not be moved again (she has been moved to a different place again since my last post), that God is preparing her for our family

2. Pray that we will hear good news about Embassy quickly.

3. Pray that we get our visas back by the end of the week.

4. Pray for our family- that we will trust God in His timing, that God is preparing us for Emmalyn

5. Pray for timing of travel- We need someone (preferably our parents) to take care of our children while we are gone to Congo.  However, my sister and Eric's sister are getting married the 2nd week of October and it doesn't look like our parents can come to AZ if we travel in October.  Also, Eric is the one marrying the two couples so it would be a good idea if we are home by then :)

6. Pray for the other families within our agency's adoption group.  Many of their children have jiggers in their feet that are absolutely awful!  They need surgery as quickly as possible.  If they do not get the surgery, their feet will get infected to the point where they could possibly lose limbs or even worse- death could occur if left untreated. Our agency is trying to raise the funds to pay for the surgery for each child.  They also need about 3 people to travel to Congo to take care of the children after the surgery is over.  If you would like to read more about this go to www.projectfeet.wordpress.com

Oh how I love her and can't wait to hug and kiss her!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Adoption Prayer Requests

Here is another quick adoption update along with a couple of prayer requests:

Since my last post, our I600 has been approved from USCIS!!  So excited about that!  We are now waiting to hear the dates that our Embassy appointments have been scheduled and for Emmalyn to have her passport.  Originally, we were told that she already had her passport done, but then we received word that it wasn't complete because she has been sick. We don't know how sick or even what kind of sick, but when I heard that news I had this immediate urgency that we need to go get her.  Also, we found out last night that she has been moved from the place she was staying to an orphanage. 

The good news in all of this is that our agency director and 3 other families are in Congo this week.  Those families have just met their children for the first time today!!!  So excited for them!!  In fact, I just checked facebook and one of the families had posted pictures which totally brought me to tears.  Our agency director is supposed to be seeing Emmalyn today and checking on her and getting some new pics!  And hopefully she is finding out when our Embassy appointment is scheduled.

So, here are the prayer requests:

1. Pray for the families meeting their children for the first time. Pray that the transition is fairly easy and the kiddos adjust and bond to their parents.

2. Pray for our agency director to see all the children and get updates on all the cases.

3. Pray that Emmalyn's passport is done and Embassy appointments have been scheduled (and that they are soon).

4. Pray for Emmalyn- that her sickness is gone and that she can stay healthy until we go pick her up.  And that she is adjusting at the orphanage with new caregivers, new kids, etc. 

I have decided to show her picture in this post.  I was going to wait until we traveled, but I want you to see the precious face of the little girl you are praying for.

Isn't she sweet?

Praying that our "gotcha" day is soon!!

Thanks for your prayers and support throughout our whole adoption process!!!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Quick Adoption Update

I have had several people ask me lately about what the latest is on our adoption.  If you are one of those people, thank you for asking and thank you for your concern. 

The reason I haven't given an update lately is because there is really nothing to update.  We are waiting once again :)

Here is where we are though:  Our paperwork and case have been submitted to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services).  In adoption lingo, this means filing our I600.  This basically means that someone reviews our case and looks at all the paperwork and approves that it is ok for Emmalyn to immigrate here.  I found out today that the officer assigned to our case has it on her desk, however she has a couple of cases before ours.  Please pray for quick approval!!

After this is approved, we get an Embassy appointment in Congo.  Our lawyer will represent us there.  If everything goes well at the Embassy, then visas can be issued.  Then we can travel!!!  Oh Happy Day that will be!!!

So the next question everyone always asks is, "so how long does all that take?"  And the answer is we don't know.  There are a couple of families working with our agency that just had Embassy appointments last week.  They are preparing to travel in August.  We are thinking we will travel in September, but we just don't know.  And we won't know until we get the phone call. 

We just wait and pray and wait some more and pray and try to get things prepared and then wait some more and pray and then learn a couple of words in Lingala and then wait and pray some more.  It feels like the story of our life.  But God has taught us so much in the wait and I wouldn't trade that. 

You can pray for us and for Emmalyn and our case.  Pray that things go smoothly with USCIS and the Embassy.  Pray that we get to travel soon to bring her home to her family. 

Thanks friends and family for supporting, caring about, and loving our family!!


Monday, July 9, 2012

What We've Been Up To

It's been a while, yet again, since I have last posted on this blog.  What can I say?  The craziness of summer is in full swing, and I literally haven't had many minutes to even be on the computer at all, much less complete a blog entry. 

Our third mission team for the summer just left a couple of days ago, and we have spent these last couple of days just spending time together as a family. I am trying to cherish these last couple of weeks because it will be time for Ella to start school again.  Yes, you read that correctly. Ella will start school in TWO weeks!!  It seems that summer has gone by in a blink of an eye!!

Nevertheless, I thought I would give you a quick update of what we've been up to.

1. Swimming/Playing in the water- Since it's been over 100 degrees pretty much everyday since the middle of May, the only way to stay cool is to be in the water.  We've done as much of this as possible.

Playing in the sprinkler is one of their fav things!
Fixing to jump in the pool!

I love Brayden's face in this one!

Ella @ the aquatic center

Brayden @ the aquatic center- what a crazy kid!

2. Trip to KY- We took 6 of our youth girls to Crossings church camp in Kentucky.  Thankfully, both sides of our family are just about a 15 minute drive from the camp so we got to see them as well!

Hanging out at my mom and dad's before going to camp

Look what I can do!


Ella and Jace playing in the water again (this time at Memaw's)

Always being goofy :)

This is Eric doing the zipline with some of the kids at camp (He's on the left side.)

Jace and I riding in the boat. (I should mention that Jace is the son of one our youth girls. He didn't just magically appear in our family. Although I would take him in a minute :)

3. VBS- Because of the nature of our "job" (if you would call it that), our kiddos have experienced VBS 6 different times.  Each time has been in a different place with different kids.  They have loved every second of it!

Ella (in the middle) with the mission team teaching the kids the song

Brayden (far right) in one of his classes
Excited to have friends visiting from KY for one of the VBS's!!

Brayden and his buddy

4. Girls Day and Boys Day-  This past Saturday we had a Girls Day and Boys Day.  We started the afternoon with all of us getting some lunch together.  Then we went to the movie theatre.  Ella and I watched the movie "Brave" together while Brayden and Eric watched "The Amazing Spiderman".  It was a great day that both kiddos really enjoyed getting to spend one-on-one time.

Here we are actually watching the movie (which is why the pic is so dark)

5. Our Garden- We planted a garden this year and some fruits and vegetables actually grew!  It is seriously a big deal because we kill everything we plant!!  We have gotten watermelon, okra, and green beans so far.  The corn and peppers didn't turn out :(   But we are excited about the other things though!!  Eric and the kids say that the watermelons are the best they have ever tasted! (I don't care for watermelon so I wouldn't know.  I'm excited about the green beans!)  After picking all the "stuff" from the garden and bringing it into the house to prepare, it brought back so many memories for me.  It felt like just yesterday that I was back at my Granny and Grandaddy's house watching them break beans and preparing the food we were going to have the rest of the year.  I wish I would have paid more attention now :) But so glad that I have those memories and excited that my kids will have the memories of us doing it together this year.  We are definitely gardening again next year (now that we know we didn't kill everything) and hopefully gonna have a bigger garden!

A while back

Our watermelon

Some of the green beans

Well, there is more to say, but I need to go cook supper and spend some time with my babies!  Remember we only have 2 more weeks left of summer. I'm gonna try to make the most of it!!


Friday, June 8, 2012

New Life in Christ

My sweet Ella was baptized by her daddy a couple of weeks ago!!   It was such a precious moment for our family!! 

I've been meaning to post pics since that night, but I am just now getting around to it.  (This is the season for mission teams and the busiest time of year for us.)

She was so excited!!

Buried with Him through baptism

Raised to walk in the newness of life!!

Wow!!  I may have cried a little :)

Thank you Jesus for giving my daughter new life!!  May You receive all glory and praise!!!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Growing Up

My sweet Ella Grace is growing up.  Of course I've noticed this over the past year, but it seems like over the past month she has become a big kid.

It all started with this:

No training wheels
She literally decided one day she didn't want to have training wheels anymore, and the next day she was riding her bike without them!  She has such determination!!

And then this happened not too long after:

See the missing tooth?

She was so excited to lose her first tooth.  She has been asking me all year long when she was going to lose her tooth.  You see they have a chart in her kindergarten class tracking how many teeth everyone has lost and she was (I think) the only one in her class that hadn't lost a tooth yet.  Finally, she made it :)  Just yesterday, she lost the one right beside it!

Not only has she hit these "first" milestones, but she is doing so well in school.  She loves math (definitely doesn't take after me) and she is doing well with writing and reading.  She just picked out a chapter book at the Book Fair to read over the summer.  She said, "I have to keep practicing over the summer, Mom.  This big book will help me."   Next week will be her last day of Kindergarten!!

And while thinking of my baby girl growing up makes me a little sad, it also makes me really happy.  I see the young woman that she is becoming.  She is learning important truths and truly understanding what life is really about. 

Just this past Saturday, Ella received Christ as her Savior!!  I cannot explain to you the joy this brought me.  This was a day that I have been praying for since the day she was born. 

To be honest, I always wondered how our kids would be affected growing up in a "ministry" family (Eric was a youth pastor for 5 years and now we are missionaries.) They see the good, bad, and ugly associated with this.  Also, they hear the Gospel pretty much on a daily basis (not a bad thing I know) but a part of me was concerned that they would never make a distinction between knowing the facts and actually knowing Christ as their Savior. 

But Saturday night proved to be one of the best days of my life.  Eric and Ella were outside playing in our little swimming pool and Ella said, "Daddy, I'm ready to believe in Jesus."  They started to talk and he asked her some questions.  Finally, Eric said, "Let's get out of the pool and go talk to momma."  So, they came in and she began to talk to me.

She said, "I wanna believe in Jesus.  I want to live for Him and worship Him."  She prayed the sweetest, most sincere prayer I have ever heard.  She began to cry and she said, "Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross to take my sin away.  I love you.  I want to live for you.  Help me to live for you tomorrow, and when I'm a big kid, and when I'm a momma.  I want to teach my kids to live for you too."  There was more, but you get the point.  It was a really precious moment that I'm so glad I got to be a part of!!!

She went to school Monday morning and told her entire class that she was a Christian now and she was going to be baptized. She also has a friend in her class that is a Christian, and they decided together that they were going to pray before lunch everyday!! 

Even though she is growing up, I'm excited for the big girl that I get to see grow in her relationship with Jesus and show others her love for him!!  I know God has big things in store for her!!

Man, I love that girl so much and am so blessed to get to be her momma!! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!

Enoying these precious blessings today

and my love

I feel so privileged that God chose me to be the mommy of these two. 

And hopefully one day soon, this little princess will be home with her mommy.

Until then, I'm praying that she feels the love of her mommy (and daddy) from across the ocean and knows that we are coming for her soon!

Also, thankful today for a wonderful mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother!!  I wish I could be with them today to personally say how much I love them and give them hugs, but phone calls and a blog post will have to do.  Love you all!!!

Wishing all you mothers out there a very happy mother's day!!  I hope you are enjoying your day as much as I am!!!


Saturday, April 21, 2012



We are so stinkin' excited about this!!!  Isn't it funny that I just posted about really feeling the "wait" of this adoption?  God knew my heart and, of course, He is right on time.  His time!!

So, what does this mean?  It means that the court process is over!  We have a mandatory 30 day wait period from the day we passed court.  If there is no opposition (which we do not expect there will be) then Emmalyn officially and legally becomes our daughter!!!  This day just happens to be May 13, which is Mother's Day and would also have been my grandmother's (Emma) birthday, which is where Emmalyn's first name comes from.  I do not see this as a coincidence.  It's totally God!!

After the "wait" period, we have some paperwork to file, Embassy appointment, visa issued, etc. Then we get to travel to pick her up.  Since we have no control over the people or of the time that it takes to get these things completed, we still do not know when we will travel.  My guess is still another couple of months.  We are hoping now to travel in June or July!!  So, yes we are close, but not quite there yet.

But we are PRAISING GOD for this court process being over!!! 

We would love for you to continue to pray for us and Emmalyn!  Please pray that this 30 day wait (which is more like 21 days now) passes with no opposition.  Please pray for us to have the funds necessary to travel when it's time!!  Thanks so much!!!


Monday, April 16, 2012

While I'm Waiting

The last couple of days "the wait" for our adoption has been very present in our family.  It seems so close, yet so far away.  Although the wait is hard, I know God has used this time to teach us and grow us.

Eric and I were just discussing the other day about the wait.  When we first started thinking about which country to choose to adopt from, we crossed many off of our list because of the length of time you had to wait.  We did not want to wait for years.  That's funny to think about now because in June we will be waiting 2 years. :)  But we see how God has worked and how His timing has been perfect.  A LOT has changed in those 2 years; we are using a different agency, we have a different house, we have different jobs, and we live in a different state.  But God used all of that to bring us to our daughter that He had prepared for our family!!!  We wouldn't have the privilege of being her parents if we had done things in our time.  Thank goodness He knows best!

So the last couple of days the song "While I'm Waiting" has been on my heart.  (You may recognize it from the movie Fireproof.) I don't know what the song was originally written for or about, but it speaks about how I feel at this point with our adoption. 

Here are the lyrics (by John Waller):

I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I'm waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship

While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait

I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord
And I am peaceful, I'm waiting on You Lord
Though it's not easy no, but faithfully I will wait
Yes, I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait

I will move ahead bold and confident
I'll be taking every step in obedience, yeah

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint

And I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You Lord

How ever long it takes, I will worship God and serve Him while I'm waiting!!  Praising Him today for His perfect timing and perfect will!!!!

Here's a video made to the movie Fireproof  if you would like to listen to the song.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!!

We hope you had a blessed day celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord!!  We sure did!!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Who needs training wheels?


Ella practicing with Daddy!!

Brayden's turn!!

How did they get so big so fast??

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

T-shirt and Adoption Update

So, it's been a while since I last posted on this blog.  Well that's because March was a super busy month for our family.  We had 2 straight weeks of mission teams, Eric's birthday, and a couple of little blessings come to visit us!! 

I wanted to give a quick update of how the adoption is going.  Our agency visited our daughter last month and so we have got to hear all about her, as well as their recent experience in the Congo. While they were there, they took lots of pictures and got her clothes and shoe size for us! They also were able to video her and we received that video a couple of weeks ago!!  We've watched it over and over.  Also, we are in the very last stage of the court process.  As soon as we find out we pass, there is a 30 day mandatory wait period.  After that, she is legally our daughter!!!  We will be able to travel hopefully soon after that!!  We would definitely appreciate your prayers during this wait!!  There are so many unknowns still and we have a busy summer planned with mission teams.  However, we know God's timing is perfect so we are trusting and knowing that God is in control of this!!

Moving on...to T-shirts.  They are ready to be delivered!!!  If you have ordered a t-shirt from us but haven't sent payment, please do that ASAP.  We are so thankful to everyone that ordered!!!  We have had several ask if we are going to do a reorder. It it a possibility that we will reorder in the summer.  Let us know if you would be interested. 

Hope to be back to blogging regularly again soon!!!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

February Top Ten

Well, let's just say that February was a busy, but very fun month. We took lots of time to spend together as a family, and we tried our best to relax most weekends instead of going non-stop.  Here are my top 10 favorites:

1. Camping @ Hickiwan-  We went to visit our friends and fellow missionaries, Ken and Thurleen Bain, in Hickiwan on the Tohono O'odham reservation.  We absolutley love Hickiwan for many different reasons, but one of them is because of the slow pace of life there.  It is quiet and peaceful and a place that we can go and relax. There is hardly any traffic and there are no sirens!!  Plus, it's beautiful (as far as deserts go) with mountains all around.  While we were there, we went to see Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and drove down to the border.

Yes, I laid out in the sun and it was great!

Ella and Brayden's "pets".  They kept feeding them apples so the donkeys stayed around a lot.


2. Valentine's Day-  We had a fun time together as a family.  I received my favorite flowers and favorite candy.  Eric got several of his favorite candies.  Ella and Brayden got new stuffed animals and candy. We all went out for dinner as well.

3. The Circus- This was part of Ella and Brayden's Valentine present.  Let me just say, I was not impressed with the circus at all.  However, the kids loved it.  So, it was worth it because of that.

One of the best performances of the night.  I'll spare you the rest of the pics :)

4. Picnic at the Park-  President's Day weekend was a long weekend for us.  Ella was out of school that Monday so we went to one of our favorite parks, Villago Park. We had a picnic by the water and took a walk around. 

5. More Adoption Updates- This has been a busy month for our adoption.  Everything seems to be progressing.  We have gotten shots this month to prepare for travel(ouch!), we have been refingerprinted (because there was a chance our fingerprints would expire before we traveled), and we have filled out lots of forms and papers for travel and Embassy.  Also, our agency director and program coordinator are in the Congo now!  They are getting new pics and info that hopefully I get to pass along soon!!

6. Rodeo- In Arizona, the time for festivals and events are in the months of February and March.  This month we went to the Casa Grande Cowboy and Indian Days.  One of the big events is the rodeo.  We had lots of fun watching in the stands and, of course, enjoying all the yummy food (kettle corn) and drinks (lemonade shake ups) that go along with it.

My cowgirl and cowboy

7. Donnie and Carla Visit- We were lucky to have our good friends come to visit us from Murray, KY.  They drove all the way to come visit and minister with us for a week.  It was so good to see friends from "back home" and just to spend the week together talking and catching up.  Of course, we were so thankful for their help as well.
Donnie and Eric

Carla with some of the girls

8. Our first ever Disciple Now Weekend with the youth at First Pima-  We had lots of fun with the kids that came from First Pima.  We played games, ate, had Bible Study, ate some more, answered questions, the girls stayed the night (notice I didn't say they had a sleep over because sleep wasn't involved I don't think).  Overall, it was a great time!  Not to mention, 2 students gave their life to Christ on Sunday morning!!! 

Playing a game

Abriel and Michele (pronounced Mish-a-lay) right after they gave their life to Christ!

9. Our 1st Pow Wow- We experienced our first ever pow wow and it was lots of fun.  It was really neat to see everyone in their traditional native dress and to see the dancing and singing and drumming. 

10. Speaking about blogging- We went to our first Arizona MSC missionary retreat and I was asked to speak about blogging.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I spoke about how to make a blog and all the things you can do with it.  Crazy, right?  I felt so inadequate to do it, but I did and it went great (at least I think it did).  I even think some people decided they were going to give it a shot. 

Well, that about sums up our month of February- at least the fun parts.  ( I didn't include that both kids were sick throwing up and that I feel like I didn't sleep for a week.)  But, after thinking back over all the fun we had this month, it's hard to remember that even happening. 

Feeling extremely blessed,

P.S.  Don't forget to take a look at the shirts we have for sale this month (see previous post)!  Let me know if you want one!  (or 2 or 3 or 4)