Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fingerprints and Pedicures.....

Last night, Hannah Grace and I had some "girl time". We both went and had our toes painted! Hannah Grace got a special treat from the lady and ended up with flowers on her toes! She was grinning from ear to ear!!!!!!!! We had so much fun.
We also had our fingerprints done for our homestudy. Yeah! One more thing to check off the LONG list! We met with our social worker today for our first visit. It went really well. We were able to ask her all of our questions. She mostly asked us about how we met, what is our family like ect.. I am a little down today. She warned us that the wait time has increased. Looks like Lily might not be here for 36 months beginning Dec. 2007! But, with China, things could change at any time. That will be our prayer over the next 3 years! Please pray with us!

Monday, May 28, 2007


Friday, May 25, 2007

"Dear Sweet Daughter"
As a girl I had a common dream to be a mom someday. My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay. But now my dreams have been transformed. New visions fill my head. Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead. And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round Now in my dreams they're almond shaped and colored cocoa brown. And in my dreams my arms can stretch across enormous seas. They reach half way 'round the world and hold you close to me. As you grow in your mother's womb, carefully knit together, you're also growing in our hearts where you'll stay forever And in my dreams the moment that your mother says goodbye, I'll be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry. Our features may not look alike: We're different as can be. But still I know the Father has created you for me. And though I've not yet seen your face, or held your tiny hands. And though we're half a world apart in very different lands, I'll be right there to get you just as soon as God allows. But til he says the time is right, I give to you this vow. I'll pray for your protection every day on bended knee. For God to hold you in His arms until you're here with me. written by: Gayle Leubecker

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


BIG NEWS! After much prayer, the Lord has led us to adopt a baby girl from China! We will be journaling our journey on this blog. Please pray for us during this long journey (about 2 1/2 years, hopefully sooner!) We have chosen to name our daughter, Lily, which means God's vow. We are in the beginning stages, collecting massive amounts of paperwork. It can be overwhelming. If anyone reading this blog has been through this, please feel free to give us any tips or encouragement! Yesterday, the Fed Ex man arrived with our China Manual. I was so excited, I took a picture of him! Then later, I nearly cried when I saw how much paperwork we had to do. We are so thankful for Karla, our social worker, she answers ALL our questions and is guiding us each and every step. Carlton and I are so excited, we can hardly stand it. We can't wait to hold our little girl and bring her home to meet her family! Warning:::: these links I have added about china adoptions are addicting.....beware, they might consume hours of your time!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Noah was Hannah Grace's biggest fan at swimming lessons. He would yell,"Jump, Sissy, Jump!"

Here is Hannah Grace about to jump! She has gotten to be such a brave little girl. Swimming lessons have come to an end for this year. Hannah Grace did so good this year. She is almost swimming on her own.!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bunches of Blessings

Our little blessing is fourth from the left. Of course in many ways all of the children in this picture are a blessing to our family. Hannah Grace and her friends presented a memorization from Scripture and two songs to encourage the congregation at Grace Fellowship today. It never ceases to amaze me at the ability of little children to learn, memorize, and comprehend the Word of God. I know that the Father has a special plan for these children who are being raised in the love of the Lord. We are a small church with about 60 children. This is an awesome responsibility. Hannah Grace and Noah are blessed to be a part of a fellowship of believers that love them, pray for them, and seek to train them to know the Lord. We are so proud of all that is being done in the name of the Lord! -Carlton

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Motherhood and the Second Child

It wasn't until my second child that I resorted to bribery. With Hannah Grace, my first-born, I did everything by the book. People were amazed that she could go into Wal-Mart and never ask for a single thing. She sat in the buggy (in the front part where she is supposed to, as opposed to Noah who has to ride in the back because he thinks its a train) and was as content as could be. I could shop for hours on end. I thought to myself... I got this parent thing figured out. Well... Noah arrived and things soon changed. My whole mindset became "What can I do to keep these kids happy, so I can buy some milk and bread." It all started when he was about 6 months. I would stock my purse with cheerios, crackers, you name it. If he would fret, I pulled out the food. Hannah Grace was 2 at the time, and I also started packing things to make her stay happy. Its been 2 years, and the bribery is now part of life. We never leave the house without our "prizes" in my purse. And there is acutally a game plan. I have to mentally think how long we will be "out and about" and carefully time each prize. When our prizes run out, its time to go home. I wonder if other moms do this? I have learned with Noah not to sweat the small stuff. A couple lollipops will not cause eternal tooth decay. Lollipops can actually be compared to good therapy, they keep you from going nuts.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Birthday Pics for family who couldn't make it!

A new big girl bike. We made this cake together. (That's fruit roll-ups for the ribbon! And Sprees for polka dots!)

On my way to a meltdown. Just one more spoonful of icing.

All the girls in thier aprons. A before picture. :)

Me and my little cook.

I have had a request for birthday pictures. As you all know, Hannah Grace is obsessed with Rachel Ray. She watches the food network all the time! So, of course, we had to have a cooking party! We had our party in the playroom so we didn't have to worry about the mess! I made aprons for all the girls, they made pizzas and decorated cookies with all kinds of pretty colored icing and sprinkles! I sent there cute cookies home in bakery boxes along with a recipe book just for kids. The kids had a blast. Sorry, to the parents, for all that sugar! Hope there wasn't too many meltdowns! Double Click on picures to enlarge.

A Perfect Mother's Day

Hannah Grace learning how to swim!

A big kiss from Daddy!
Today was the perfect Mother's Day. We decided to hold off on going to Olive Garden, the wait I am sure was horrific! Carlton really wanted to make the day 'perfect' by doing something special. But, being at home with my family is what I desire most! I am most content when all my little "chicks" are under my wings! After church, we swam in our little pool and just 'hung out'. It was a great day. I wanted to share a quote that I read recently. Hope you all had a great Mother's Day.
“That she has trained her children for heaven, rather than for earth, for God, rather than for man--she is the parent that will be considered wise at last. Train with an eye to my children's souls. We are made what we are by training. Our character takes the form of what mold into which our first years were cast. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives blessing. Determine to make your children obey you, though it cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears. Obedience is the only reality. The mark of well-trained children is that they do whatsoever their parents command them - cheerfully, willingly and at once." John Ryle 1888

Saturday, May 12, 2007

For all you Bama Fans!

This one is for you, dad. Thought you might like to see a special gift Hannah Grace received from the man himself. Mr. Sprayberry pulled some strings, as Coach doesn't do autographs. We are sending Coach Saban a copy of this picture. After attending the A-Day game in Tuscaloosa, going to the Bear Bryant museum, I felt like I was "officially" initiated as a tried and true Bama fan. Honestly..if Alabama never wins another game, I will always scream "Roll Tide"! Not to be arrogant or prideful in any way... but somehow I feel sorry for those who have never experienced the Bama tradition. I finally understand Carlton's Crimson Passion...(it only took 12 years. :) )
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Hannah Grace's Pre-school Graduation

Family pic at Hannah Grace's pre-school graduation. I was so proud of her when she read her book to the audience. I just couldn't believe my shy little girl actually did it! She was so brave and confident! I am really having a hard time with my baby turning five. She read the book: "Look Out Kindergarten Here I come!" A sweet note: During graduation, Noah ran up to HG and hugged and kissed her. It was priceless. Yes, its on video. I look forward to next year(Kindergarten), her being home with me. What an honor to teach my own child! I am sure we will make memories that will last a lifetime. I am starting to get that silly feeling that all teachers get when its back-to-school time. I can't wait to be her teacher! I feel honored and truly blessed to be able to be a full-time mommy/teacher/cook/wife/nurse/well.....the list goes on and on on! :)
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Mother's Day Breakfast

This morning, I was surprised with a "breakfast in bed". This is a tradition that Carlton and the kids do the Saturday before Mother's Day. Menu: Pancakes with chocolate whip cream, eggs and oatmeal. And of course, hot earl grey tea! Hannah Grace and Noah were so excited to be able to 'eat in bed' with me. Carlton kept saying "Let Mom eat" but Noah couldn't stand it, and just had to eat with his mommy. This Mother's Day, I am overwhelmed by the love a mother can feel for her children. I think about the love Christ has for us, a perfect love, and being a mother has allowed me to catch a very small glimpse of Christ's love is for his own children.
I have been reading "Stepping Heavenward' by Elizabeth Prentiss. On page 258, one of my favorite parts of the book. Katy, the main character in the book, was talking with Martha about being a mother for the second time. Martha has a different view of being a mother. Katy says in response in her journal: " She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill, and two feet the more to shoe; more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure for visiting, reading, music, and drawing. Well! this is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss, here are two more feet to make music with thier pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christs name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome in her time, her strength, her health, her most tender cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly , how wondrously blest!!
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Friday, May 11, 2007

Justa' Swingin'

I loved this picture of the kids. I took it right before church. The swing has become a special place. It's right on our front porch. Hannah Grace and I have had lots of theological disussions in that swing! (she can be a deep thinker!) Noah and I usually watch the birds or sing.
'May my child know that the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe." Proverbs 18:10
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Easter Sunday at Grace Fellowship

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The First day of our Family Blog!

Today is the first day of our new family blog. I don't know what I am doing!!! If anyone would like to help, please tell me! The purpose of this blog is to allow friends and distant family to be a part of our daily lives. Its also going to be a great way to journal life events in a modern way (seeing how Carlton and I have a hard time with a written journal!) So, please check in every now and then...Put us in your 'favorites' for easy access! Hopefully, in a couple weeks, we will have this blog thing figured out! Carlton wants to put some good links on here too! He will also be blogging on here too. Oh, and you can comment on any post you like. Just please, be nice. HE HE! This is going to be fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!