Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feeling Insecure

Cupcake is not feeling so secure today. She's not sure we really love her. She's afraid of bad guys in vans taking her away. She's not sure the boundaries are in the same place they were yesterday. She's not sure they're the same minute by minute. You might pray for her little heart if you feel led....and for wisdom for us as her parents.

She had a few hours today where she was sort-of confident in our love. It was a beautiful, warm cloud-free day, so I took the girls up to the school playground for a short time.

We also went to a park yesterday....maybe pictures of that later.

Blessings to you,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night

It hit me tonight...

At our Christmas Eve service...

The pastor was praying. He started with, "Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to be here tonight..."

And it hit me...

How thankful I am that He allowed US to be HERE tonight. All of my kids in the same country...in the same household...in the same pew. And the youngest one actually on my lap. The Christmas I've prayed for for so long. The daughter I've prayed over for so long. She's here. Thank You, Lord. Oh, thank You.

And the tears welled up.

And I thanked the Lord for all the other kids who are home this year.

And I prayed for those that are still waiting.

And I kissed my sweet baby's head and held her a little tighter.


After church, we had dinner with Grandpa and Grandma. Cupcake was wired for sound. So here are some action shots. (Please excuse and ignore the mess in the background.) Did I mention that she has NO FEAR and she totally trusts me...

Enough with the pictures already, Mom!

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Blessings to you,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Random Fun

Sunshine and his "baby"...

Purple eye-shadow compliments of Salon de Cupcake...

Giving TE the what-for...

Playing possum...
See my braids?

Look at me taking a picture of you taking a picture of me...

Wild fun with Daddy...

My big girl...

Blessings to you,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Congratulations to a Dear Friend!

Several months ago (like March), I asked for prayer for a little girl who has waited way too long to come home. I am thrilled to report that God has answered our prayers with a YES! Tomorrow morning, my friends E and D will go to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City with their son, J.J. and their new daughter N, and they will promise to be her parents forever.

After 3.5 years, countless prayers, and more tears than we can count, N is coming home!!!!

Congratulations E and D!!!! May God bless your family forevermore!

Blessings to you,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Delinquent Blogger - Belated Thanksgiving

I am. Delinquent that is.

Sorry for the long silence. Things are just crazy busy around here. Christmas is coming, you know. :-)

Thanksgiving was nice. Quiet, peaceful and nice.

Cupcake celebrated 6 months home just before Thanksgiving. She's come SO FAR in 6 months! I am amazed at this child. 6 months ago, I never imagined we could ever ENTER Grandma's house, with all of her crystal and knick-knacks and breakables, let alone EAT on her china and sit at the table with so many delicate things nearby. But Cupcake has no problem being careful and keeping her hands off Grandma's pretties. Well, at least mostly. :-)

My heart just swells with thanksgiving for this little one. She is not defined by the bad in her life. She is defined by her vivacious spirit and tender heart. She loves life and she loves us.

Thank You, God, for bringing her to us. Thank You, Lord, for carrying us through the darkness. Thank You, Jesus, for each of my precious kiddos that I love insanely. Thank You for a husband that I am proud to stand beside. Thank You for in-laws that are kind-hearted. Thank You for my mom, who taught me unconditional love. Thank You for Jesus, Who rescued me from myself. In His name, Amen.

Blessings to you,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday

Blessings to you,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Geographically Gifted

One of Cupcake's unusual gifts is the ability to remember locations. When she first came home, we went to visit the pediatrician. The next time we drove past the hospital where his office is located, she yelled out, "Doctoro!" and pointed to the building.

Wow! That's pretty good.

The same with church.

The same with my friends' houses.

The same with the dentist office, Kohl's, and Wal-Mart, and the church where the boys have Scouts.

The week she came home (late May), Sunshine and Sugar had testing at local foundation for homeschoolers. TE began taking classes there in September. She immediately recognized it as the same place - only TE goes in a different door than the other kids went in.

Whenever we go past familiar intersections, she will recite all the things that are to the right, to the left and straight ahead. And she is dead on...even if you come at the intersection from a different direction. The other day, she gave Daddy directions to take TE to school and back when I was caring for Sugar.

When we back out of the driveway, she wants to know which way we are going. When we get somewhere, she wants to know which way is home.

I think this incredible understanding of the local geography is one of her survival skills. I know that she was often moved with no forewarning. I think she wants to be able to get home if anything happens to her.

I think home is a good thing for her. :-)

But there are drawbacks to having a child with this incredible skill...

...A funny thing happened on the way to the hairdresser...

Several weeks ago, we were on our way to get haircuts (the kids and I). We had had a late lunch and were running late. (We are always running late, but I digress....) Cupcake had a chicken strip left to eat when we needed to head out the door, so she brought it in the car.

About two miles from home, she says, "Mommy, I done. Here..." and she hands me the chicken.

We've got at least a 20 minute drive from this point. I can't really drive and hold this greasy chicken and I can't set it in my car. (It's an old car, but I have my standards.)

So, I made an executive decision. I rolled down the window and tossed it into the grass as we were exiting from one highway to another.

Now, don't jump down my throat. We are not litterers. We have made it a point to teach all of our kids that we keep God's earth as clean as possible. But we also have taught them that biodegradable materials are just that...biodegradable... they will turn back into dirt in a pretty short time.

Cupcake gasped when she saw her chicken sailing through the air. So I explained that some raccoon family would have a special treat for dinner that night.

Fast forward a few days....

We are heading to church on a Wednesday night. It's dark. We pass the very same intersection, but instead of exiting, we go straight on. Cupcake starts yelling and jumping and pointing, "DADDY!!! MY CHICKEN'S ON THE FLOOR!!! RIGHT THERE!!!"



By this time, I'm rolling on the floor with laughter. I have to explain to my baffled husband what in the world she is talking about.

The worst part is...we pass this intersection 20 times a week and, no matter which direction we're coming from, Cupcake makes a point to tell us her chicken is on the floor.

Blessings to you,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turning a Corner

I think we've turned a corner here.

Cupcake has been home a little over 5 months now.

The last three weeks, I've seen a change...a change in her demeanor. She is a secure little girl who is comfortable with our love. She is no longer pushing my buttons and testing the limits 24/7. She accepts correction as correction - not hate. She is beginning to accept the fact that I have 3 other kids to love and she can share my time with them. It's been three weeks since she's had a real knock-down drag-out berinche (tantrum/rage) with me.

I've hesitated to post this for a while now, always expecting to hit a setback as soon as the words were typed. But, in the last few days, I've seen her go to that dark place where she feels unloved, yet she has been able to recover and come back to security before she falls apart. I'm so proud of her. This is hard work...learning to be loved unconditionally. But she's a quick study and her level of trust is astonishing, considering all the people who have hurt or betrayed her in the past. I still expect setbacks, but I believe she will be able to return to this security after each storm.

God is working miracles in this child's life and it is incredible to see His hand at work.

Blessings to you,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pumpkin Farm/Trick-or Treat

Pumpkin Farm

We went to the Pumpkin Farm Thursday with a friend. Sunshine was an awesome big brother, and took her in and around the whole farm, so I could have a chance to talk with my best friend.

Cupcake had a blast exploring the hay tunnels.

Here is my Mayan Princess and her bodyguard...
My other princess and her best friend at the top of the pyramid...Getting ready for her first hay ride....

Zip-Line Fun...

Cupcake was exhausted after all that fun...

Trick-or Treating

The homeless guy who lives on my porch...

Sugar (I mean Cleopatra) and her friend the cat...

A pretty pink princess...

Rascal dressed as a pampered puppy...

Blessings to you,