Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time ~Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Two Words...

Potty training.

With potties strategically placed all around the house we are beginning the task.

And as always, she does it with style.

Elmo backpack, turquoise bracelet, and New Testament.

So far today,though, we're 0 for 1.

Might be a long week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Three Happy Hippos

With 2 swim meets under our belts already I had to take a moment and give a little shout out to my kids.

Moving to a new area, meeting new people, learning a new system under new coaches hasn't been easy but they have persevered and it paid off.

Wednesday night we had our second meet of the season and ALL 3 of them placed. Their team name is Hippos (hence the post's title).

Caroline came in 6th overall for her backstroke.

Lauren came in 5th overall for her backstroke.

And Michael came in 2nd overall for backstroke and 3rd overall for butterfly. (He placed 2nd overall for butterfly at the first meet).

Our next meet is Saturday afternoon with their biggest competitor. The team that is too big for its own pool so we swim at the local Aquatic Center.

Should be crowded, chaotic, and hopefully air-conditioned!

My 3 little fishes

On the block, ready to go...

Anxiously awaiting his turn to compete.

Family cheerleader and major consumer of popsicles during meets

Caroline getting ready to start her backstroke event

Good job guys. We are very proud of you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Knew It Would Happen...

I just didn't realize it would happen so soon.

But today is officially the day.

The day my baby boy turns 13.

Happy Birthday Michael!

We couldn't be any prouder of the young man you have become.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She Knows It

No doubt she knows quite well the power that those two little ponytails hold over me.

Otherwise, she wouldn't stand still long enough to let me to put them in.

Nor would she cooperate with my camera addiction and pose for some "cuteness" shots.

I'd say it's pretty obvious that she's well aware of the power that she possesses.

And that she isn't afraid to use it to her advantage every chance she gets.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Just uploaded the last of the beach pictures and missing it already.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


They happen so often, I don't appreciate the gems that they are.

The things he says or the way he says them are often...well, priceless.

Here a just a few from the past couple of days:

After losing yet another game of UNO (which he does not like to do) to his father (who never throws a game) he exclaims, "C'mon Daddy, I'M JUST A KID!"

At dinner one night, he asked if we had any more "dog balls" like we did the night before. In Alex -speak that'd be hushpuppies.

The other day, on the way back from the beach, we had just passed a Rest Area. I mean, I could still see it out of the corner of my eye, when we hear, "I HAF TO GO POTTY!" When we finally find a place to stop, his bladder must have been at maximum capacity because when he gets to the bathroom stall he turns to me and says, "This is gonna take a while. Can you count to a hundred?" For the record, I can and it did.

Yesterday at church we were singing a song familiar to him and he sang along with the first verse. When the second first started, he had stopped singing and Scott asked him why. "I'm singing with my bwain," he responded.

And my all time favorite happened a few months ago while giving him a bath. I questioned how he had gotten so much dirt underneath his nails. "Oh dats always been there," he said. "Even before I was born."

"Really?" I asked.

"Yep," he answered. "When I was in God's tummy, before I was born."

I love that boy and his budding theology.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Little Girl Behind the Smile

Her Chinese name is Long Pingli.

She is seven years old. Almost a year younger than Caroline and a little more than 3 years older than Alex.

She was born in October of 2002 and in 2004 she entered Longgang Orphanage in the Shenzhen District of Guangdong.

Right now she lives with her foster family there.

Our agency just returned from a camp where she and several other children from her orphanage were the special guests. From that camp we have seen several pictures and videos of this sweet girl and so many other faces of little ones wishing for a family.

Although she was born with congenital deformity of her hands and feet (basically missing fingers and toes), it is quite clear that nothing stops her. She sings (holding her own microphone), draws, dances, jumps, and giggles.

A lot.

Which is why we fell in love with her in the first place.

See, so far as we know, this will be her fourth placement (from birth parents, to the orphanage, to her foster family, and then home with us). Still she smiles.

And though she has hands and feet that don't look like everyone elses, still, she smiles.

In every picture we have, she's smiling. Beaming, really.

In every video, she's bouncing, and clapping, and yes, smiling.

And when it came time to think of an English name for this little one, I was at a loss. For seven years she has a lived a life that I can't even begin to comprehend. There are plenty of names out there that I think are pretty and suit that precious face but what would be the right name for her.

So I prayed, asking the One who has known her from the beginning, the One who cares for her even now as the Father to the fatherless. What name would He have for her?

And not too long after that prayer, as I was driving, thinking about her, the name Abigail came to mind. A name I had not considered but was now intrigued by.

And as soon as I was home, I looked up the meaning and knew then and there that would be her name.

Because Abigail means "the joy of the Father."

And when we look at her, we see His joy.

And when we talk about her, we feel His joy.

And as we follow Him, once again, in bringing this little one home, we experience first hand His joy in placing the lonely in families.

And if Abigail Claire Pingli prefers to be called by her Chinese name instead of Abbie Claire, that's perfectly OK by me.

She is and always will be to me a reflection of His joy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We're Going Back to China!

Because that is where this sweet face, the face of our newest daughter, currently resides...

More details to come (and there are plenty!)...but for now we just wanted to share a glimpse of the sweet smile that stole our hearts from the moment we saw it and ask you to pray for her and for us as we begin the journey to bring her....home.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Castles in the Sand

I promised our resident architect that today's post would feature his handiwork from this week.

So without further adieu...

Sunday featured a traditional castle

Monday he opted for an Egyptian pyramid

Tuesday's creation was a Mayan temple

And today he experimented with towers before a late morning shower brought construction to a halt.

It's pretty impressive what can be done with sand, water, and a bit of creativity!

Michael's Mayan temple and Alex's mini-Mayan temple

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Man vs. Nature

In one of history's greatest struggles...

the will of man versus the power of nature...

one man-child seeks to gain victory over the natural laws that surround him,

and nothing will thwart his efforts.
Neither scorching sun nor strength of surf will keep him from his quest for victory.
No, nature is no match for him. Only one thing can keep him from his date with destiny...
...and that is an ill-advised belly flop on his Spider Man boogie board.

As our hero recuperates from his injury,
nature breathes a sigh of relief until the morrow when they shall meet yet again.