Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thank you !!

To my dear friend Jill who is so gifted with cyber scrapbooking and blog designs! She is the designer of my blog and while I loved the Christmas design that we worked on earlier, this design is HERS ALONE and so, so pretty!! And, unlike the previous one which we didn't have total control of design and placement over, all of my blog page words are out in the open and not hidden or partially hidden by script! Jill is turning her gift into a business venture , by the way. I'm linked to her blog for those of you who don't know Jill already.Check out "Forever n ever n always". Maybe you and Jill can bless each other???????????????

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Blessing by John Waller

I had shared with my PRAISEmoms prayer group a while back that this song really ministered to me one day quite recently. I had never heard it even though it is not a "new song". Working on future music for church worship services today I spent quite a bit of time listneing to and thinking about the words to this song. The final ending is so powerful to me! See if it challenges you as it has me!

For Your kingdom
For our children
For the sake of ev'ry nation
For Your kingdom
For our children
For the sake of ev'ry nation
We will choose to be a blessing for life
For life
Blessing for life
For life
Verse 1
Let it be said of us
While we walked among the living
Let it be said of us
By the ones we leave behind
Let it be said of us
That we lived to be a blessing for life
Verse 2
And let it be said of us
That we gave to reach the dying
Let it be said of us
By the fruit we leave behind
Let it be said of us
That our legacy is blessing for life
Verse 3
Let it be said of us
That our hearts belonged to Jesus
Let it be said of us
That we spoke the words of life
Let it be said of us
That our heritage is blessing for life
This day
You set life You set death right before us
This day
Ev'ry blessing and curse is a choice now
And we will choose to be a blessing for life
We will choose to be a blessing for life
Misc 1
'Cause blessings and curses are choices
Will we build up tear down
The moment of truth is now
Misc 2
For Your kingdom
For our children
For the sake of ev'ry nation
For Your kingdom
For our children
For the sake of ev'ry nation
We will choose to be a blessing for life
For life

the near mishap..............

Had to share. Here is Jon the Wonder Son- in -Law saving the tree from going horizontal!

Day after Christmas gifts

Oklahoma weather is so unpredictable and so extreme, one really must be prepared for ANYTHING and this Christmas week was no exception. Over the weekend and Monday we burned wood in the wood stove round the clock. The weather man promised that the week would give us warmer weather and FOR SURE, it was!! Christmas day was downright balmy and yesterday I scooted to good ole Walmart for marked down bags of spring bulbs and I planted 100 new bulbs in my yard on December 26 in Oklahoma..........me, who is almost ALWAYS cold, was outside in shirt sleeves and no sweatshirt whatsoever......... happily digging in my dirt. WHAT A GREAT GIFT FROM GOD FOR A WARM WEATHER LOVER, and with investment for springtime too.....hundreds of pink and purple hyacinth, tulips and allium to enjoy later!! And that is not all!! I had dinner to fix and didn't get to water all those freshly planted bulbs. I planned to do that this morning. You know what? God gave me another gift! It RAINED last night, a good steady soaking rain. I woke up to crisp, cooler blue skies and WATERED BULBS!!!! But that was not all!!
I almost never remember dreams,but night before last I dreamed that we got out 171H in the mail on the 26th. SURE ENOUGH, there it was.............our advance approval to adopt Junior and Diamoh.....and oh , um, even though we asked for approval for two children, our social worker approved and recommended us to be approved for up to three, and that is what our approval documents state....APPROVED FOR THREE CHILDREN.
I will leave that alone for now, but its done. MY open arms and big big heart already have "ideas".I HAD ideas, even when I wrote the word "two" in the block on the app.......................Charlie and God, God and Charlie, may have input that is different from my heart stirrings; yes, I will let God do ALL the stirring, or letting things stay still, but it won't stop me from praying that THE RIGHT FAMILY be found for a precious little 5 year old in Ukraine, a little girl named Ginger whom I KNOW God put on my heart to pray for. I believe that God will stir the hearts of THE RIGHT FAMILY for Ginger, whomever they are!!!!!!!!!!! I know HE will!
"How can I keep from singing Your praise? How can I ever say enough How amazing is Your Love How can I keep from shouting Your Name? I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve before church. Caleb and wife Courtney are in Kentucky, Joshua is in Iraq, wife and kids Diana , Emily and Ethan are home in Maryland, Kari and Keith kdis Zachery , twins cody and Chloe are in Texas, but it was so special to have 11 of the kids with us.
Back row is Gideon in short sleeves and Malachi in long sleeved hoodie,
Next row is Hannah and Jon, ( Kids Mady andBlake were with their other familes,) Charlie and me, Leah, Jael and Esther with her Casey,
Front; Isaiah, Naomi, Rachel, middle Noah and then Isaac.
The tree is set up for Christmas morning, you can't even tell it fell over once can you?????????????? A helpful child got behind it for a gift which had slid out of reach............near disaster thatwas, but all s well!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I LOVE how this photo turned out!!! Getting them was part of my Christmas eve day AFTER baking a cake, check, goat chores, check, slicing 6 # of onions and 4 # of carrots to add to and flavor the two huge eye of round roasts which had to go in the oven by 9:30, check, GET PHOTOS,check, return a huge batch of gift
ideas bought on Black Friday and not needed for life thereafter, check, shop for a suit jacket for Gideon: cash in gift certificates and refund store credits to keep cost as low as possible, BUY a $180 jacket for NO cash outgo and come home as impressed with me and God's ability to help me shop as I have EVER been, check, whip the cream to ice the cake, check,praise Jael for a great job mashing the potatoes, check, heat the greens and the green beans while cooking the gravy, check, wrap a slew of gifts and arrange under the tree for later in the evening, check, practice the music for the church service, check, set the table and start serving at 5 minutes after 4 so we can eat and have plenty of time to get to church by 6: done. WONDERFUL service at church, two of the teens accompanied the worship music , playing their trumpet, guitar and clarinet. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!! WONDERFUL message : With the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel: God IS WITH US !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Home for photos, cake and coffee and that crazy fun time of exchanging some gifts. WHAT FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With the 9 live at home kiddos, Gideon, Hannah with Jon, Esther's beau Casey and my mom and gifts of everything from a mirror for Jael to a case of Pepsi for Malachi , Noah's robe which I sewed for him yesterday, it was FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NOW its back to finish up the details for tomorrow and stuff those STOCKINGS!!!
Does anyone else put pomegranates and beef jerky in their kids' stockings? How about Blueberry bagels or a block of cheese? Well those were some of the requests ,and I love to please!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Did you see them??

With some help from Jael, and some work on my part, we undid whatever we did that made the photos so tiny when we uploaded them.............some of them anyhow!!!So here are a few of my December photos of Levi and Keren Jubilee! There will be a new Smith Kids At Home photo later tonight too!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stirring the soup

It has been a VERY busy week of basketball games,practices, youth group parties, the kids hankering to go shopping for each other after drawing names, my aunt and uncle coming to visit from N Georgia (albeit mostly to see my MOM), a dinner party for 20, and then getting to go away for an entire 24 hours with just Charlie for a company Christmas dinner party, treated to a wonderful hotel room with a simply fantastic breakfast the next morning and then lots of shopping while we were in Tulsa ...land of malls and stores which Stillwater simply does not possess. Now its all about those wrapping gifts and SEWING NOAH's ROBE so it will be done tomorrow...oh and finishing up two crocheted scarves, which are also gifts. OUR WONDERFUL CHILDREN cleaned the living room and set up the tree while we were gone!!! Awesome substitute man of the house Malachi got the tree up and when the pre-lit part of the tree malfunctioned, he strung lights all through it anyhow and helped the younger kiddos to put the ornaments on!
Last week Isaac's JV team had three away games, and I heard "Isaac: WOW!!!!!!!!!!! " stories for days from parents and kids alike. Friday we all went to the game and I got to see for myself what everyone else was bragging about my son over. Being Cambodian Isaac is NOT tall. This does not stop him for 1/2 a second. He studies the shorter NBA players and how the taller guys deal with them. It was so obvious Friday night that he knew what he was doing when he scored 21 of his team's 36 points, stole the ball on a "down low" steal play and sank some perfect three point shots as well. People who are so gifted athletically thrill me. I am SO not athletic! That this amazing athlete is my son is so fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been the mom to a state gymnastics champ (Jael) and a lot of slightly better than average ballet dancers, other basketball players and baseball players, Tai kwon do students, and I have cheered through being the mom of several, er, weakest links too.............. I will cheer on anyone who is trying, or even trying to try. I can't wait to cheer for Levi when he is home and playing soccer or whatever else his brothers get him into, and Keren Jubilee in whatever she chooses to pursue as well!!!
OK, back to that sewing!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fun and games from Rachel's blog!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Layers of an Onion
Peeling back the onion that is my life. I tag Bonkland, Building the Blocks and Smith Soup. Oh, and anyone else who wants to join in! :)

Tell us your... (I'm being a little vague on some of this for privacy sake)
* Name: Linda
* Birthday (month, day): Feb 19
* Birthplace: Nyack NY
* Current location: OK
* Eye color: green
* Hair color: red
* Height: 5'4 1/2"
* Righty or lefty: Lefty!!!
* Zodiac sign: Aquarius or Pieces, depending whose charts you read,but I don't care

* Your heritage: German and some English
* The shoes you wore today: Black boots and my awesome purple fleece lined BARN BOOTS!!!!
* Your weakness: weakness????????????????? oh you mean like butter, or new Sean Connery photos for my fridge door??
* Your fears: I do not like high bridges, like the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
* Your perfect pizza: VEGGIES but no mushrooms, go pickeld artichokes and peppers!
* Goals you’d like to achieve: That ALL my children are walking closely with the Lord
* Your first waking thoughts: "Please Lord use me today, but can I sleep a little longer first?"
* Your best physical feature: I like my eyes, Charlie isstill crazy about my legs!
*Your most missed memory: being able to drive to Galveston, Texas for a day trip or weekend and ride the ferry boat forever!!
Do you...
* Smoke: Not since 1984
* Cuss: I like "fiddle-DEE- dee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Is that it?
* Sing: ALL the time!!!
* Do you think you’ve been in love: Absolutely
* Did you go to college: yes several of them
* Liked high school: the music classes were the best, and history and running track
* Want to get/stay married: I am quite satisfied that we celebrated 26 years of marriage this September! I am COMMITTED!
* Believe in yourself: Now that I know who God made me to be and how to operate in those parameters, yes I do
* Think you’re attractive: sometimes, not most times, and if Charlie forgets to tell me, I wonder
* Think you’re a health freak: um no
* Get along with your parent(s): Dad is gone, Mom is 81 with a Swiss Cheese memory. We get along as long as long as I stay on the solid parts of the Swiss cheese.
* Like thunderstorms: YES!!! They remind me of "How Great Thou Art" when I "hear the rolling thunder" LOVE IT
* Play an instrument: The piano. Mostly I play AT the piano, but I play

In the past month have you…
* Drank alcohol: well right now I am finishing a glass of Chardonay
* Smoked: long long very long time ago, long story
* Done a drug: tried marijuana, OYE who really smokes that stuff ??!!! IT BURNS YOUR LUNGS OUT!!
* Made out: Like...WHEN????????????????? The kids sent us to the kitchen this morning so we'd leave the living room where they were
* Gone on a date: We try to go out at leat once every two weeks. THIS weekend its an over nighter!!
: .
* Eaten an entire box of Oreos: No.
* Eaten sushi: No.
* Been on stage: Yes, singing.It was fun
* Been dumped: NOT since 1979
* Gone skating: Roller skating last year for somebody's birthday. Ice skating not for a very long time!
* Stolen anything: No

LAYER 5:Have you ever…
* Played a game that required removal of clothing: nope
* Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: ONCE, a friend gave me stuff I was not used to. I fell asleep in a coat closet at a party. NEVER AGIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* Been caught “doing something”: only making out, by our kids
* Been called a tease: No
* Gotten beaten up: once and he was arrested
* Shoplifted: In my PRE-Christ life, ashamedly yes

* Age you did get/hope to be married: NOT at 18 , but it happened anyhow. 27, YES!!! and still going strong!!!!!
* Numbers and names of children: Joshua 34, Kari 33, Caleb 25 , Gideon 23 Hannah 21 Malachi 20, Esther 18, Jael 14 , Isaac 12 Leah 12 , Noah 11 Isaiah 10 Rachel 9 Naomi 7 waiting on our 6 and 9 year olds to come home from LIBERIA: Levi and Keren Jubilee
* Describe your dream mate: My husband, only musicial
How do you want to die: In my sleep.
* What did you want to be when you grow up: A Nurse and Midwife, (did that) a mom of many (doing that) and a skydiver (did that too)
* What country would you most like to visit: Italy again, Anywhere in Africa, Australia
LAYER 7: Now tell...
* Name a person you could trust with your life: My husband
* Name a favorite CD that you own: Got to be Helen Baylor or Aaron Schust, or the "Stylistics"
* Number of piercings: 2 in each ear - contemplating a third piercing in one ear
* Number of tattoos: none . Charlie hates them... however, in my mind there's a ladybug on a yellow rose inked onto my ankle
* Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: at least 5
* Name a past experience that you regret: except for the birth of my son Joshua, the whole experience which involved my ex husband
WOW...........is any of that a surprise?????

stuff in the soup

Bless the electrician's heart!! He was here for 5 hours and is not done YET. He will be back tomorrow at 8!! My "big Christmas gift" for the family is new wiring, no more shorts, no more sparks in the circuit box, no more blow dryers shorting out bathroom light, and a very diminished risk for electrical fire. We won't discuss the price tag but it appears to be a bit less than I'd planned. Thank You Lord!!!!!
AND the other accomplishment of the day is that I finally finally FINALLY got all the adoption grant apps filled out, the numbers plugged in, and the requests made. AHHHHHH!! PLEASE LORD let us find favor with these groups and please let there be funds available when our apps are received and considered? We would so very much like to plan our trip to Liberia for our children's court date , for late February, and really don't know right now if that is a good plan or not. The powers that "be" in Liberia are not doing what they promised, alluded to, or should be doing with regard to case histories and completing adoptions. Much prayer is being entered into for our agency and our children. There are families who have waited absolutely unbelievable lengths of time and still don't have completed adoptions and children home, and we are just on the inner edge of our process...................not a good thought to let run unbridled in my thoughts! I am still tinkering with my photos so that I can post good sized shots of Junior and Diamoh.They are so beautiful! I love to just ponder thoughts of them in my heart, and play with thoughts of ALL MY CHILDREN being home together!

Friday, December 12, 2008


OK I thought I knew what I was doing when I posted the photos in the narrative of this entry. WHY ARE THEY SO MICROSCOPIC? Why don't I know how to delete my own post so I can start over?? Why is it time to go get Jael from school already??

MERRY CHRISTMAS.........in Liberia!! Here are Keren Jubilee and Levi Matthew opening gifts from us, THANKS YOU so much HollyAnn and Jeremy for being with the children at this time of the year!!! I have loved pouring over all the photos from this latest Addy's Hope trip. Here are a few that I have shared with my own photo album. The soccer photos were so fun ,and oh is my Levi photogenic!! He also shows up in a lot more photos than does my Keren Jubilee. I am still hunting for her. I found her BEHIND a sign just a little while ago!!! Do yu see her?? How 'bout NOW??

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Yes Haiti..not an adoption although we prayed about thatseveral years ago.we are too big a family to adopt from Haiti. We are smaller than an orphanage but too big for a family..that is water under the bridge, or a door that God clearly closed....but.........
I heard about a project to sew new born caps from t-shirts to put in birth kids for Haitian moms and their babies. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stirred up the nurse - midwife AND the mom in me!!! I enlisted the help of a couple of friends, we copied the "Hershey's chocolate kiss" shaped hat pattern and made new born caps from t- shirts no one is wearing any more and from a yard of pretty soft lilac jersey that I bought just for caps. Leah helped with cutting , Naomi helped cut too, and with the tying of the knot at the ends of the little hats after we'd sewn rhem and turned them right side out. This afternoon I mailed 50 new born caps to the lady in Maine who is coordinating the project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My friend did 15 for which I was so thankful; my girls and I did the rest. I did not get the photos down loaded but it was a lot of fun thinking about doing the caps together with my daughters , and as a midwife and former OB nurse, knowing how important those caps are, it was a very satisfying investment of our time, and the caps turned out REALLY well too!!!!! Sweet Ginger far from Haiti was deep in my thoughts and OF COURSE so were our precious KEREN JUBILEE and LEVI in Liberia!! Their Christmas party was today and we are so eagerly awaiting photos of that event!!!!!!!!!!!!
It never ceases to amaze me how small our world is with cyber space drawing so much world into such a "small space"...to be able to communicate with people ANYWHERE instantly in our world blows me away!!! When I lived in Italy in the 70s, a letter took weeks to reach its destination ,and weeks to receieve a reply to.............. today I communicated with people in Iraq, Cambodia, Liberia and Ghana as well as many parts of the USA!!!!!!! How critical to being able to pray for people and reach out and meet their needs when the needs are fresh and most vital!!
Thank YOU Heavenly Father for allowing man to discover even an inkling of what all You know and that You have shown us how to use some of those concepts for GOOD!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008


is a little girl whose photo I "happened " across when looking on a website for the chosen child of another e-pal. Those of you who "know me" know that I have never been drawn to what I lovingly call " vanilla" children but have always been drawn strongly to those who were of more colorful ethnicities. UNTIL GINGER!!!!!!!!!!!
This little girl is 5 and has DS, a condition I have never felt "called" to minister to, but sure love to pray for those who are. My heart went flippity -flop, and my scrolling finger stopped as if frozen when her precious face presented itself in front of me. I thought "We should adopt her!!!" She is a REECE'S RAINBOW child, and its crazy; I don't see any way that we could/would adopt again, especially right now in the middle of Levi and Keren Jubilee's adoptions in Liberia..............I can't even mention her to Charlie. He is so nose deep in new work projects, he'd probably have to shake his head and walk away from me for even saying "There is this little girl I saw............." and I know he'd be right, well, maybe...........
SO, until something unlikely happens (like someone bringing her to my door) I am going to be praying that THE FAMILY she is supposed to be in finds her QUICKLY!!!
She is dangerously close to being sent to an institution. Hearing the words from Isaiah 6..." "Also I heard the words of the Lord saying "Whom will I send and who will go for Us?" THEN I SAID HERE AM I SEND ME. " For me , thinking about Ginger this means "YES LORD I will go to You in prayer and seek a family for Ginger, whoever they may be!"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the news from Liberia

was good today!!!!!!! I won't share it all, but this is the song our children love to s ing and have taught to our agency director since she has been with the children this week. From HollyAnn: I am going to leave you with a song your children taught me! They sing
it very loud...Daniel Binda sings it the loudest of all and he MEANS
it! It is just priceless! So here you go!
"God is our Father
Jesus is our Brother
The Blessed Holy Spirit is our Guide
The Devil's no relation
I am a new creation
I'm a member of the family in the sky!
The meetings we have been praying for, the ground breaking ceremony for the new ADDY'S HOPE facility and dedication...............a breathtaking day of answered prayers and answers in the making!!
I can't WAIT to hear the tune to this song! We will be singing it here for sure!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NEW PHOTO of Levi and Keren Jubilee!!!!

Technology is so amazing to me!! Our agency director just arrived in Liberia within days and today she was able to post photos of some of the children at the orphanage. To my utter delight the first photo "up" was one with our Levi Matthew (Junior C.) and Keren Jubilee (Diamoh ) in it with some of their friends!!
Thank you HollyAnn for this newest blessing!! Tomorrow is a very important meeting regarding the way adoptions are processed in Liberia, a VERY important meeting. MANY of us who are adoptive families waiting for our Liberian children are going to be in fervent fasting and prayer for the outcome of this meeting. PLEASE join us for a season of your own choosing if you would ? There are some issues which simply must be settled and standardized and made "just a bit" more predictable!! LORD JESUS WE TRUST YOU , just as the Psalm promises that the heart of the "king" is in the Hand of the LORD, to have Geebro's heart in Your Hand and that You would move on this man mightily and write Your Name on his heart indelibly!! To quote from a song I heard mentioned earlier today, "HAIL HAIL LION OF JUDAH!" "Glory glory to the Lamb
You take me into the land We will conquer in Your name And proclaim that Jesus reigns " Jeus reign over Liberia, reign over the orphanages and reign over the government authorities who would seek to promote their sense of self importance over the well-being of children and the adoptive parents who are waiting for them!