(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Ryan was playing King of the Cats today and needed a place to sit, hence the stacked pillows.  The second picture is when he took his crown off to eat lunch - cute but made me feel kind of sad!

Conversations with a 6 Year Old

I was - amazingly - able to keep a straight face during these recent conversations with Ryan:

Conversation after the TV was turned off:
Ryan: I LOVE television!
Mommy (thinking this is a teachable moment): Oh, there should be more things you love besides television. (thinking he'll say something like his family, God, playing outside, etc.)
Ryan: (without missing a beat): I do! I love dessert ... I love chocolate and chocolate fudge and brownies ...

Conversation during this morning's kids' devotional:
Mommy (reading from the book, the point of this entry being God loves forever): God loves when you're at school, when your at home, when you're sad and when you're sick, when you're kind, when you're mad, when you're young and when you're old, and even when you disobey.
Ryan: And then what happens?  You die?

Braiding John's Hair

John has been growing his hair out since about last summer and I must thank my friend Kristy for all the hair knowledge she has passed on to me in our process.

First we did twists thanks to a wonderful product called NuDred - although we used Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk instead of the nudred cream.  It worked just fine for us.  We'd spend between 5-10 minutes each morning.
Twists done with the NuDred
Then we were ready to try braids and with good advice again from Kristy, I set aside an entire Saturday.  The key for us was to use TONS of conditioner, again a Shea Moisture product, and wet down a section of hair and load it up with conditioner so much so the hair looked white (it all soaks in).  Then I started at the end of his hair (not the root) and combed the tangles out with a rat tail comb.  I also used detangler which I'd spray on and leave for a few minutes before starting to work.
Adding conditioner
First hour of progress
Are we having fun yet?
second hour of process
about 3 1/2 hours into the process
Six and a half hours or so later
The finished product!
 So we watched Saturday morning cartoons and a movie, took a break to eat lunch and play outside, watched another movie, went to Gramma and Bompa's house to play with the cousins for a bit, home for another movie, dinner, and then the special features to the movie while I finished the last row.  All in all it probably took about 6 1/2 hours.  But the second time I braided them it only took 3 1/2 hours - less tangles and I kind of knew what I was doing this time.  They stay looking nice thanks to sleep caps the boys wear at night.  I re-braid John's hair after 6 weeks but every 4 weeks would probably be ideal.  And as we jumped for joy when I finished braiding it the first time, I told the Lord I'd be able to handle a little African American girl's hair now!  HA!

Hope this post was helpful!!

My Precious Moment

Precious mostly because the boys were not fighting with each other.  Precious also because I got to snap this picture before they saw me watching them!  But precious mostly because God chose these boys to be here at this time with us - BLESSING!
John reading a book to Ryan during tub time!

God's Provision

I have been writing this post (along with many others!) in my mind for months.  It is all about God and His great provision and how much bigger in the details He keeps getting to me.

I have said - and truly believed - from the beginning that the God who called us to another adoption is faithful and will provide for all our financial needs.  But the fundraisers I thought would be successful didn't go as well as I'd thought or raise as much money as when we did it with the first adoption.  Please don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for other's generosity toward us!  But God was at work in ways that I couldn't even imagine.  At first it was little ways - a $20 check from Just Love coffee would arrive or a rebate filled out months before and forgotten about would arrive or a bit of extra cash from a sewing project.  Then we heard  a speaker talk about adopting debt free.  She said the average American family spent approximately $250 a month eating out (we are not average!).  There wasn't that line for us to cut in our budget but the Lord laid on my heart that we could cut out "un-necessaries" for a time - we could wait and ask for that new CD or movie for Christmas instead of buying it now.  We really didn't need Christmas candy this year with all the other sweet treats we have.  It was amazing how little things like that could add up to several hundred dollars to add to the adoption savings.

God continued to be at work - we won a $500 adoption grant at a conference.  Mike's work adoption benefits doubled from $4,000 to $8,000. WOW!

And the God really blew us away.  We were approached on Sunday at church by someone who said he was just the "Secret Santa" delivering an envelope to us.  In that envelope was one thousand dollars cash and a note wishing our family well as it expands.  We have no idea who the money is from nor will I think we ever know.

But God wasn't done yet!  We recently learned that we would have to spend a large sum of tax return money, which we were planning to put aside for the adoption, for other purposes.    I have been applying for adoption scholarships and last week we received word from Show Hope that we have been awarded a $5,500 scholarship. Tax return money - my plan.  Show Hope scholarship, larger then what we would have set aside - God's plan.

I am truly humbled by all this.  I continue to be surprised and then think I shouldn't be.  My God is so much bigger than I can even imagine, so doesn't it seem only right that He would continue to act in ways that are so much bigger than my plans and my imagination!

I would encourage anyone going through the adoption process or thinking about it - God is so much bigger than financial restrictions!  Call out to Him!!  We are a family who on paper could in no way afford another adoption (we couldn't afford the first one he!).  But we serve a God who is bigger than how things look on paper.  And He who calls us will provide.  And His plans and His timing is always the best.