"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

To Tell of His Grace

Friday, January 31, 2014

Chinese New Year and Re-Adoption!!!

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

It's Kaylee Grace's 1st time celebrating CNY and her first time wearing her  silks :)

It just so happened that Kaylee's Re-Adoption date was today also! Her adoption was final once we hit US soil but they still encourage re-adoption which enables us to get a US birth certificate for her and legal name change.

Big Sister :)

She had NO idea what we were doing but she loved that the mics were on and she could
talk into them whenever she wanted to ;)

Big Brother, Kols!
 The boys seem as if they are just thrilled with the re-adoption process ;) Very patient siblings!!!
Big Brother, Keeg :)

The judge said that this is the BEST part of her job :)

Notice Kaylee's microphone pointed right down at her.....I'm telling you, she loved talking into it :)

She's totally listening to the judge like she knows what she is talking about....
we didn't even really know what she was talking about! Ha ;)  
Happy Re-Adoption Day, Kaylee Grace!!!

We had Thomas and Grandpa's birthday's after our re-adoption appointment....so we decided to incorporate celebrating CNY along with the b'days. We made a cake and my niece, Rachel, decorated it with a horse (it's the year of the horse this year). She is so artistic....we knew she'd be able to do it. And it turned out GREAT!
Happy Chinese New Year!!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


We are THANKFUL for the rain....although we wish we would have gotten more.
We are HOPEFUL and PRAYERFUL for more!

This was really the first time Kaylee Grace has really noticed the rain....it has actually only rained a couple of times since she's been home but this time she really enjoyed using her umbrella had being out in it :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Special Sunday

It started in the BEST of ways....Kolson made the decision a few weeks ago to be baptized! 
Today was his special day :)

Brodie has had the privilege of baptizing all 3 of our big kids....it really doesn't get any better!

Kolson made a decision when he was as little as can be to love Jesus. He says that his faith became more "real" when Kaylee Grace came home. He has seen Jesus' love up-close and personal and he says he wants to always be a good Christ-follower! 

Baptism is a sign of our inward faith....our old lives are gone!

We have new life in Christ!!!!

We celebrated by having some of Kolson's church friends over...pretty much every week after church the kids play football after first service. We decided to move the game to our  house and have a little celebration in honor of Kolson's special day!
And then.......
 We had Speak Up 2014!!!

Speak Up came out of an experience Brodie had a couple of years back at the Orphan Summit. The Lord kept impressing the verse "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves" (Prov 31:8) on his heart. A few days later, Mike Hahn from HLF called and wanted to do a show here in Fresno. Our church hosted them and many lives were touched by hearing the plight of orphans worldwide (HLF exists to be a voice for the orphan...they SPEAK UP for all of the children worldwide who have no voice). We decided that the next year we wanted to make it a city-wide event....last year was our first ever Speak Up and this was our 2nd....a GREAT evening for our community!!!

His Little Feet is always our favorite part of the evening :)
Here is Kaylee enjoying them...and I just know she is wishing she was up there with them! She watches the video from a couple of years ago over and over and knows all the movements to each song :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Photo Shoots

It's been a while since we have had the "real" camera out....so I thought I'd snap a few pictures. Kaylee was in the mood for a photo shoot so we took advantage of it :)

She's still working out her picture smile ;)

Getting some love from Sissy

Btw: look at those shiny teeth! Yep, she had a cleaning at the dentist...only took 3 minutes of him scraping (and her crying) and I got to hold her the whole time! 

We call her our "giggle box" because sometimes she just gets going and can't stop!

With her baby :)))

Big Brother wore his jersey to church last week and look who wanted to do the same ;)

The girls :)

Loving on her big bro!

Kols gets a kiss ;)

This is one of my favorites....it captures so much of how she feels about Kolson....anytime she needs medicine or needs to get her nails clipped she says, "Ko-Ko, Ko-Ko"....she knows he will comfort her and help her through it!

Daddy is getting some sweet love, too!

We are getting ready for Speak Up Fresno 2014 tomorrow...come on out to People's Church at 5:00 PM to see how God is moving on behalf of the fatherless in Fresno/Clovis county!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Let It Rain ~

Oh how we so badly need rain here! As I drove home today from running errands and I glanced up where I would normally see mountains and saw nothing but a gloomy sky, it made me so sad.  Those in our family with asthma are REALLY needing some rain to come and clean out our air! And our land here needs it even more!

Then as I laid Kaylee down for her nap and got my Bible out to sit with Jesus (my favorite time of the day!), I put my praise music on and the song My Soul Longs For You by Jesus Culture came on. 

And I began to pray for RAIN...both actual rain (even though it's not in the forecast- He can do ALL things!) and SPIRITUAL RAIN! 

As desperate for rain as our land it, our souls are even more desperate for JESUS! Sometimes I don't even realize how desperate for Him I am until I sit with Him, with my heart fully yielding to Him and my eyes fully fixed on Him. 

As He fills me I then realize how very empty I was. So much of the time I "get through" my days on empty....when all along He is right here, waiting to FILL me to overflowing with His Spirit! 

He is FAITHFUL! Every time I feel weary and go to Him He fills me....every single time!

The other night as Brodie and I left our house for our weekly date night (which we hadn't had for a couple of weeks due to the holidays), we were both on empty and had nothing left in us. We each grabbed our Bibles as we headed out the door - each knowing we were just at that point of being at the end of our ropes. 

There have been many times in this journey over the last 10 months with Kaylee Grace that we have hit this point - just feeling like we have nothing left to give, feeling like we are ready to start sleeping again and ready to not have to work so hard for every little thing with her (which we know is actually a GIFT to us...it is the grace of our Lord stripping us of our selfish ways --- and oh how thankful we are that He loves us enough to refine us in Him and make us more like Him and less like our old selves!) But in the moment of it all, we just felt completely wiped out. 

So before we went to dinner we prayed. We had a nice dinner and grabbed a warm tea (for me cause it was cold out :) and went and prayed and read our Bibles for a good hour together. 

We come back home COMPLETELY filled by Him and ready to pour back out! Even though we each start our days with Him in His Word, try hard all day to keep our eyes on Him and end our days praying together, there are times and seasons where that is just not enough....and all along He waits saying, "Here I am! All you have to do is come to Me and I will fill you! I am more than enough for all I have called you to!!!"

Jesus' words to us in Matthew are the best reminder: 
Matthew 11:28-30

The Message (MSG) Bible Gateway.com
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

And Jesus' words regarding how He strips us and removes the parts in our lives that aren't of Him:
The Vine and the Branches
John 15
New International Version (NIV) Bible Gateway.com
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit,while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.

 So, Lord, we ask that You let it rain! Rain both literally on our dry land and spiritually in our dry souls!
You are Faithful! We know that when we come to You, You will pour out so much of Your Spirit that we will overflow with You and Your love...so we thank You now in advance for how You will fill us. Let us be faithful to You as well; faithful to come to You first, come to You often and fill ourselves up by sitting in your Word! In Jesus' Name we ask these things, Amen

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First Week Back

This was our first week back to school. We could always use more of a break :). Here are a few more fun things we did over break:

We had an "after Christmas" party with Ben and Alese

The Baker kids came up and spent the night at the cabin on New Years! We had so much fun!!!

The kids made all kinds of fun things out of cardboard (here is a car they made for Kaylee) :). Complete with a windshield, side mirrors and a license plate! 

Now we are back to our normal schedule....and although Kaylee misses her brothers and big sis, a week to slow down a bit has been good for her! 

We also went back to Speech Therapy today ("Kaylee's School") as Kaylee calls it. She LOVES Speech Therapy!! Mrs. Gina is the best!!! Kaylee is really coming along. Tonight we had some friends over to pray with them about their adoption process and she heard us all say, "thank you for coming" and she said, "tank you comin!" Over and over :)

She will still eat Cheerios here and there (mostly when the kids pretend like they are Swiper the Fox from Dora and that she has to eat them before he gets them)...thank goodness these big kids are so playful and creative! 

We are loving this short week back and looking forward to weekend ;)