Important! Federal Adoption Tax Credit

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I read about this on Kimberley's blog. This is something we all need to take action on. Please post about this and get the word out that this needs to be renewed. Many families won't be able to afford to adopt without this credit.

3 out of 4

Saturday, March 28, 2009

3 out of the 4 girls played in the rain today!!! Fun times!!!
And EK found this great big feather too! Big treasure!!!


EllaKate Day Celebration

Friday, March 27, 2009

Today was the best of days hanging out with EK. We played, talked, laughed, and enjoyed being home. I finished up an outfit for her to wear for her special day and she played and did her school work. For the past week, she has not really napped- could she be growing out of a nap? She is almost 4 so I guess it could be time to let them go. She has stayed in her room for a quiet time and rest- that's ok with me.
EK Day 1

EK Day 2

She waited all day for everyone to come home for her celebration. Scott brought home PF Changs for dinner and the DVD Sheryl made. We ate dinner with Jason, Amy, & Max. We also had Sarah here with Amelia. Mama and Daddy came down for the dessert- all Ek asked for all day was chocolate cake- The Great Wall of Chocolate! Yum!!! We sang Happy Ella Day and she blew out candles.
EK Day 3

For EK's surprise, I took an idea from my friend Lynn and ordered both me and her a necklace with the Chinese symbol for mother and daughter. I have been wearing mine for a while and asking EK often what it means. She was so happy when I gave her one of her own tonight. I asked her what it meant and she said, "I love my mommy and daddy!"- well that is fine with me if she wants it to say that!!!

EK Day4

We all met in the family room to watch the DVD and had big tears watching it and hearing EK talk through the whole thing. Even Max watched it and grunted when he saw baby Ella. She was so happy to see herself as a baby and told us all about the day we became a forever family. It was so sweet! She and Rosie capped off the evening watching Kung Fu Panda- cute movie.

We are so blessed to have been chosen as her forever family and not one day goes by that I don't thank God for her and Savannah, Amelia, and Rosie. Thank you Jesus for such a precious gift!!!


EllaKate Day: 3 Years

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today is EllaKate Day. Three years ago today we were given the precious gift we had been dreaming of for 18 months. It was a very exciting day for all of us- really like Christmas. We could barely wait for the time to come for us to go to the Civil Affairs office. That morning we were taken shopping for things we might need for our baby, we ate lunch at Pizza Hut, and boarded the bus about 1:30. EllaKate was supposed to be there about 2:00 but they were running late and finally arrived after a six hour bus ride. A man walked in and placed her in a chair and walked away. Can you imagine how hard it was not to pick her up and kiss her all over??? We sat very close and took tons of pictures. Finally it was time for us to take her into our family forever... there are no words. You are welcome to watch part of our EllaKate video made with love by my precious friend Sheryl. Thank you so much sweet friend!!!

I remember watching my friend Cathie Z. with her two Chinese daughters before we got EllaKate- absolutely beautiful! I wondered how it would be when EK was ours and then I dreamed of who she would be as she grew in our family. I never imagined it to be this sweet. She is still a spicy Chongqing girl and strong willed, loving, happy, creative, smart, funny, and extremely attached to her stuffed animals especially her horses.

She is still extremely attached to me and needs routine. She can't wait for her daddy and sisters to get home each day and when Savannah is on her way home, it is all I can do to keep her calm. She loves to read books and watch Diego. She would rather do school than most anything- especially cutting and gluing. She loves to do whatever I do whether it be vacuuming, ironing, writing, texting :), resting, reading... we are pretty much always together. I think the sweetest thing about her is that she knows God made her and chose her for our family. She loves Jesus and loves me to read her Bible stories. And she cannot WAIT to go to China to get her baby sister ShayleeJoy. We talk about her everyday and look so forward to ShayleeJoy Day!

To celebrate, Scott is picking up PF Changs for dinner and we will all watch EllaKate's video plus look at the scrapbooks I have made. I also have a very special gift for her... check back to see...

New Item on Sew Shay: The Sassy Strap Cover

What would make your photography more fun and exciting? A Sassy Strap Cover! The Sassy Strap Cover slips right over your raw strap for more comfort and a classy look. It's the easy way to make your camera personal and stylish. So easy to slip on, you might want two so you can change them out often. It measures 24"x 2.5" and completely covers the strap.
The Sassy Strap Cover sells for $15.00 (which includes shipping). Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery.
Stop by the shop and look around!!!

Precious Max

I was driving by Amy's house Tuesday and we saw her out pushing Max in a little car that has been a hand-me-down through our family. It used to belong to Rebecca, then EK, and now Max. He was adorable riding in it. Seeing him in it brought back sweet memories to EK too. I used to push her all over the place in it and her favorite thing was to put treasures in the front trunk- it still had things in there she had gathered. Hope you like the pics!

Max & Ella


It's Tough Being a Woman

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

That's the subtitle of the Bible study I am experiencing right now... Esther study by Beth Moore. My s-i-l, Amy and I are leading a group of women from our church through this study and it has been phenomenal. I have always been amazed what Beth could pull from a scripture I would have sailed right over. This has been true through this study as well.

Monday evening we watched session 5- Waiting. Whew... a big one. These days what do we wait on? Just about nothing... everything is instant from communicating to eating to shopping. I was talking with a friend at tennis last night and we both remembered the days when the only way to talk with someone was a land line at your house or a letter received in the mail- that is crazy thinking now!!! We never have to wait to talk with a friend or anyone for that matter. We don't have to wait for anything if we don't want to. But...

God's Word says differently...
Psalm 40:1- I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 130:5- I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I put my hope.
Isaiah 30:18- Blessed are all who wait for Him!

What do all these scriptures say to me? Wait on ShayleeJoy? Wait on match? Wait on travel? What???

During the session, I felt my stomach lurch because I didn't really want to hear what Beth was saying to us about waiting... She suggested God does not want us to wait on a person, a thing, or an event.... He tells us to wait on HIM! If we wait on anything other than God, aren't we very likely to find a way to make it happen ourselves?

Waiting on God is much different than what I have been doing... I've been waiting on God to do something that I could think of... He can do WAY more than I can think of!!! I have been waiting on a person instead of concentrating on God. While I am waiting, I can be sure God is working amazing details to bring heaven and earth together to a blessed time when He chooses for us to take ShayleeJoy into our family.

So what now? I will wait on God and while waiting, seek Him with all my heart so in the course of my wait, I can grow to be all God created me to be. And as Beth Moore says, "It's tough being a woman who can balance passion with patience". I am very passionate about my family and the adoption of ShayleeJoy and I pray God will pull closer to Him as I change my focus from the Wait to the Walk!!!



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When I taught K, I always kept prestapled books available for my kids to make books. EK asked today for some 'clean' paper so I decided she was ready for make-a-book. I cut two sheets of copy paper in half and stapled to make a book. I handed it to her and said, "You get to make a book today!" She was so excited and went straight to her table and got our her Rainbow Roll of course! She began drawing right away and came back beaming! I asked her to tell me about her pages. She turned to each page and told me something about them.
1. This is a H.
2. This is a D for daddy. (she had made the D into a person)
3. These are pretzels.
4. This is a house.
It was completely her creation and I praised her greatly. I wrote on each page what she said and read it back to her. She even wrote her name on the front.

This is very open ended right now but can progress in so many directions: ABC book, cut magazine pics and label, names and pics book, number book... get the picture? Each one of my kids had a "Reading Box" where all their books lived. Each day they got to get their box and read. Today EK began her box of books!!! We are happy about our new adventure here in school!



Every morning lately, I pull out EK's school books and tear pages for her. I hardly have to give her any directions now- she knows what to do and will ask a question if she has trouble.

One of things EK needed for her birthday was a new table for the basment. Well, I ordered one and it came in. Do you think I could wait for her birthday to give it to her? No!!! Scott and I put it together Sunday, got a coule of old chairs out of storage, and set it up for her. Yesterday when it was time to do school, we went downstairs where she could work and I could sew.
She loved it!!!


A Little Sewing

I did a little sewing for EK Saturday. I think they turned out pretty cute.
Her birthday party outfit:

and I made these boutique bottom capris- shirt from Old Navy.


My Horse Girl

EK is turning four in about 2 weeks. We have planned her party and because she loves horses, she is having a Pony Party and this is the image we used for her invitations. Little does she know, we have a white pony coming named Snowball. We are not telling her so it will be a big surprise. Can't wait to see her face when he pulls up!!! Dread when he has to pull away:(!!!

Saturday night, we went to eat Mexican and one of Amelia's friends was there after a long day at the rodeo. Her horse trailer was out in the parking lot with 3 huge horses inside. I was telling her family how much EK loved horses and they invited her out to pet them. She has never been near a horse and we wondered how she would react- she was not the least bit scared and LOVED them! I didn't have my camera so snapped some shots with my IPhone! She hasn't stopped talking about them yet- can you image how long she will talk about her party???



The New Beginning...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You all probably know I had a traumatic afternoon one day last week when my three blogs were deleted and gone in seconds. I can't even describe the feeling I had but can say, I was devastated!!! I panicked, almost cried, and felt sick. The happy thing about the whole thing was being able to find Blooms & Blessings but unable to go through my dashboard. I desperately began copying every single page into a word document- 1000 pages. It is still out there so that is good!

I could have allowed this to consume me (I haven't slept that well since it happened) but chose to look at it as a fresh start. So... today I start with a new beginning and new family blog: Isn't She Lovely. I have always loved that song and it just fits our family- girls, girls, girls. I look forward to this new journey and pray you are blessed as you read about our lovely beautiful blooms whom God has blessed us beyond belief!!!

ps hope you like the new header. my precious girls let me shoot a few new images today when we got home from church so I could create this new header. Lovely, right???
Today I woke up sad... Parker William Ankerich was born March 13, 2003 @ 21 weeks. Still after 6 years, I miss him desperately... but the Lord gave me a sweet Word this morning in a song I remembered singing at our old church, First Baptist Duluth...

Blessed be the Name of the Lord,
Blessed be the Name,
Blessed be the Name of the Lord,
Blessed be His Glorious Name,
You give and take away,
You give and take away,
My heart will choose to say,
Blessed be the Name!!!

How can I be sad today when I have so much to be thankful for...
I am not alone today- Scott is working from home, the girls are home on holiday from school, Savannah is surrounded by Josh's sweet family on her way to Florida for spring break, and this precious little gift from the Lord is holding onto me as tight as her little arms can squeeze!!!


Oh thank you Jesus for holding my two babies in heaven and holding us together as a family as we wait to see them once again! I also pray today for our precious ShayleeJoy who will come to us when God chooses the day... OH I have SO much to be thankful for!!!

James 1:17

Update: This was sent to me by a precious friend who has been through the valley too. Thanks Kim for this sweet word-

Find comfort in the sovereignty of God...
There is no lost potential, no purpose unaccomplished-
there is only the glorious plan of God
perfectly fulfilled in a precious little life.


Birthday Party

Friday, March 13, 2009

We had a birthday party Sunday for Amelia when she and Rosie came home from their trip away with their youth group.