Lily’s First Dance Class

My apologies, Dora the Explorer, but it may be true that Lily is becoming more interested in Angelina Ballerina. I know that we have spent many mornings over the last 2ish years singing, counting, jumping, laughing, practicing our Spanish, and constantly talking to the TV because we can’t use the backpack or the map unless we call for them several times. Dora, we need them in every episode of all 4 seasons on Netflix, why can’t they just hang around?
This is probably too good to be true. I’m sure Dora will be requested again in our house, but at least we now have the option to watch Angelina Ballerina. Thanks to all this….Lily’s first dance class!

Getting dressed. She insists on wearing her tap shoes to dance, then she changes into her ballet shoes when she gets in the studio

Showing just a wee bit of an attitude, haha!

Pretty blue eyes 

Waiting for class to begin. AKA: waiting for all the mothers of screaming children to make the decision stay or leave. Thankfully, Lily went right in the room and didn’t think twice. 

Sitting by the teacher, still waiting on those mothers to make a decision

Waiting still…

I had to escape the maddening chaos in that room. This pic is zoomed in quite a bit and it’s her reflection in the mirror…but I do love how she is sitting! Like a little butterfly 🙂 

FINALLY….we can start dancing! Lily is the ghost child on the left going absolutely crazy. Terrible pic, but hilarious how she was SO in her comfort zone. She let loose, haha! 
Showing off her tap shoes

The music begins, the hands go up!

Freeze dance with her teacher

Stickers for being good in dance class! 
Lily is really enjoying dance class…it’s quite obvious! Just outside the room there are chairs and a video monitor so all the parents can watch. She is such a good little student. She follows directions and gets involved. And she patiently waits and waits and waits for the less than happy tiny dancers to calm down or leave so class can begin. We’re loving it! 

Beach Trip 2012

Better late than never! Here are some pics from our family beach vacation at the beginning of August. 
What Lily did while I was packing

Our pool had a water fountain and she used her foot to play hide and seek with it 

Brent will kill me for posting this pic, but I just have to! We bought Lily a really small pair of goggles. Brent thought he would try them on and act goofy.   

Lily was reading the Bible to the boys, so I thought I would get a candid shot. Instead, Brent and Ben made it obviously not candid with their annoying stares and Lily looked right at the camera. Whatever. 


We had the top floor of this duplex and boy was it nice! 

Waiting for the ferry to Dauphin Island

On the way back to Fort Morgan

Goodness gracious, is she looking older or what?

Sleepy eyes on Daddy’s shoulder

Pretty girl at dinner. She thoroughly enjoyed entertaining everyone with her dancing skills while we waited for our table!

After dinner, the three of us went on our annual ferris wheel ride. Then, Lily spotted the trampoline. We were unsure at first. Didn’t even think she’d let the guy put the harness on her. Boy were we wrong! Best $7 ever spent! 

On the trampoline for the first time

Beginning to jump
And she flipped (with help of course)! 

Just chillin’ under the umbrella with her koozie

Sippin’ on some Sprite like a big girl

And the goggles…

This is the face she gave us when we said, “Lily, close your mouth and hold your breath.” Even though she had goggles on, she still closed her eyes :).

She requested a pic with her new bear “CeCe” that she made with Grandma and Grandaddy at Build a Bear just before we left for vacation

Sweet pic of my two favorite people reading the Bible…we did this A LOT that week by request of Lily :). 

Our pool that we shared with the rest of the duplex. It was a zero entry pool and wrapped around the building to a waterfall. It was the PERFECT pool for kids! 

Our uncrowded view all week 🙂 
Don’t ask…I’m not sure. (pic courtesy of my dad)

Lily and Granny Rosie (pic courtesy of my dad)

The whole gang: us, my parents, Granny Rosie, my brother Ben, and his friend Clay (pic courtesy of my dad)
We look forward to this trip every year and we are very thankful to Granny Rosie and my parents who make the vacation possible!  

My new accountability partner

For the record, this is one of “those” posts. It contains something special that I would put in Lily’s baby book if she had one. She has this blog instead. 

Having a child definitely makes you want to  be a better person be a more devoted follower of Christ. That’s one thing.

It’s another thing when your child holds you accountable to your relationship with Christ.

Recently, Lily will randomly ask us to read the Bible to her or ask to read the Bible to us. There’s no rhyme or reason to the time she picks to read the Bible. Today she asked to read the Bible after I spanked her. I can think of no other response more glorifying to God than to for a young child get in trouble then desire to spend time with Him.

It’s definitely challenging and a test of my devotion to Christ to see if I am willing to stop what I am doing to sit with her and read His word. I pray to be flexible in every moment to be ready to say yes to her request. I never want to discourage her from diving in to Him.

She really got me today, though. As I was laying her down in bed for a nap, I told her I was going to the den to read the Bible and talk to Jesus. If I fail to get up early to spend time with Him, I try to do it during nap time. I would be lying if I told you that I was committed to that everyday.

Almost two hours later as I heard her very quietly and sweetly saying, “I want Mommy. I want Mommy,” I went into her room. As soon as she caught my eye, she immediately perked up and said, without hesitation,

“What did you read about in your Bible, Mommy?” 

She caught me off guard. My mind was blank. I had to think for a minute about what I had read. Once it came to me, I proceeded to tell her I read about Noah in 1 Peter 3 and how the Flood relates to Baptism.

It was quite hilarious to hear that question come from a 2 1/2 year old. But WAY more than that, it was extremely humbling for my 2 1/2 year old to ask me about my time with Jesus.

Lily, I think you are teaching me more than I am teaching you. May my life and my motherhood be evidence of the great gratitude in my heart for you. 

Nothing more, nothing less

For when I am discontent, disappointed, and impatient, may this be brought to mind…

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matt 6:33)

Contentment comes from seeking first His righteousness.
Joy comes from seeking first His righteousness.
Patience comes from seeking first His righteousness.

All the things I need in this life come from a right relationship with God. If He is my goal, my reward, my purpose, all the details will take their proper place without my worry or fear.

I will always have what I need. That is a promise. 

Believing that promise is my choice. I will never believe it unless I am seeking Him first. My needs are met in Him alone and I come to believe that by intimate fellowship with Christ.

So as long as I am putting Him aside, it’s a promise that I will be discontent, disappointed, and impatient.

And when I’m sick of myself not believing His promise, I’ll run to Him. He’ll forgive me again. And He’ll remind me that I’m seeking all other pointless things when I only have to seek one thing: His righteousness.

And I’ll believe again that what I have is what I need. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Three Summers Ago

Three summers ago the Lord began a work in our hearts.

But the enemy lies to me constantly. And many times the lies are easier to hear than the truth of the One who has chosen to reside in me.

I’m afraid to submit to this. I’m afraid to go ahead and do what I know I need to do. Say yes. So, so afraid. The father of all lies tells me that in my submission, I am agreeing with my Heavenly Father that I will never have a baby of my own again.

That is so tragic for me. But it’s way more tragic for me to believe the lies.

I am selfish. I want to have my cake and eat it too. Brent and I deeply desire to adopt an orphan. But, if I am to be completely honest with you, more than adoption I want to carry/give birth to my own child again. At least that’s how I feel at this very moment. I beat myself up for admitting that because there are many mothers, ones that I know, that are unable to have their first biological child or have tried for years to finally have their first biological child. And I didn’t struggle with either of those things. Forgive me, seriously.

It’s a daily battle to trust that God’s way with my womb is good and perfect. Deep down, I know my empty womb is completely full with an orphan somewhere in this world. That stands true whether or not He wills me to carry a baby again.

For the 2.5 of you that keep up with all the details of my every post, you know we had plans to begin raising money to visit orphans in Papua New Guinea next spring. $15,000 to be exact.

God’s plan remains constant, never changing, and always perfect and faithful. Through prayer, lots of discussion, and by His guidance it’s our plans that have changed to be like His. He has pulled our hearts in another direction toward something we’ve wanted to pursue for 3 summers. We’ve never had a defining moment where we heard God instruct us to pursue it now. We’ve just always known in our hearts we are ready when He does tell us now.

But we’ve heard it. Now.

{I’ve typed the word “now” so many times I’m beginning to think it’s not a word, I’ve spelled it wrong, I made it up, and it has no meaning.}

As we began to write our support letter for PNG and gather addresses, we started asking ourselves questions:

When exactly in our timeline do we start fundraising for an adoption? 
Are we going to ask people to help us raise $15,000 for a two week trip, then come home and immediately ask the same people to help us raise approx. $30,000 for an adoption?

We know that if we want to adopt, the long process needs to start now. God can do miraculous things with money and could certainly make a way for us to raise $45,000, but we would rather put all of our fundraising efforts toward one thing. To be the forever family to a precious child of God.

Brent and I attended an information meeting with Lifeline this week. We went in knowing three things: we want to adopt internationally, we want the child to be younger than Lily, and we want a girl (at least we think so). And we fully realize that those three things could completely change as the Lord leads us on this journey.

Adoption was something we thought we would do after we were done having our own children…like 3 or 4…then we would add a 4th or 5th child via adoption. Thankfully, God is the planner of our family and His ideas are different and better than we can imagine. I never imagined that at my age and with only one child I would be sitting in an info meeting for adoption. It was surreal.

After the meeting, we scraped up some change and went to Starbucks with our little info packet and discussed our options over coffee. We were quickly able to eliminate some countries due to our age and countries that require a long travel stay (i.e. the Dominican Republic requires 14-18 weeks in the country before you can travel home with your child).  I have no desire to leave Lily for that long, nor do I desire to take her to a foreign country for that long. We made a pros/cons list with things like age of child at referral, travel stay, how many times you have to travel, average time of completion, etc. We compared the child’s possible age at completion vs. Lily’s age at completion. Surprisingly, the cost of adoptions in each country wasn’t really a determining factor. Because, well, if you are raising $26,000, what’s $4,000 more?

Our countries are narrowed down to four choices. I will disclose the country of choice once we have filled out the application. We have a few questions about the home study process and we want to get a full rundown of the financial aspects and options for grants/loans/fundraisers that are available. Thankfully, there are no transfer fees with Lifeline if we choose one country and later switch to another.

As you would guess, I came home and immediately began dreaming of fundraising ideas. I have an idea for a Christmas fundraiser…that is if we get this process started that quickly (which I hope we do!)

So let our adoption timeline begin!!!

Summer 2010: After hearing David Platt speak at StudentLife camp in Orange Beach, AL, we become sure of God’s calling for us to adopt in the future.

March 2012: God asks me the toughest question I’ve ever been asked. And I still answer with such hesitancy.

Early July 2012: In the middle of the day with no reason for this to cross my mind (because Dora was on TV and Lily and I were playing with pink and purple Legos), I am overcome with the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray right now for our future adopted child…whom I’ve never met and may not even be born yet. So I sat on my couch and did just that. I prayed for the child and the birth mom. I am speechless that I am praying for a child somewhere in this world, or not yet conceived, that belongs in our family. CRAZY!

Late July 2012: We decide to take the first steps toward the adoption process.

August 14, 2012: We attend a Lifeline information meeting and discuss options for international adoption.

Let the journey begin. You know I’ll keep you posted!!!

My dear friend Heather posted this today. It’s a must read. I continue to see the Lord at work in both of our lives in similar ways and this is just another example. Many times lately I have chosen to “cozy up to the sharp pieces of a hope derailed.” As I submit to the Lord’s way in my womb and many, many other things in my life, I need to be more like Mitchell in “not letting the way things look today eclipse to great promise of the future.” Thank you Heather for your transparency!

Lily Lately

There’s a post that’s been written for nearly two weeks now that is just waiting to be published, but the Lord keeps telling me to wait. So that I will do.

I’m not preggo. Though it would thrill me to no end if I was.

I have a feeling that I will have permission (if you want to call it that) to publish this certain post after August 14 (though I can’t make any promises), but I can’t just sit around and not blog about anything until then. It would nearly kill me.

So…here are some of our favorite things about Lily lately.

1. Hide n Seek is Lily’s favorite game to play. Her version is slightly different than what most would consider Hide n Seek. She picks one spot and one spot only to hide in over and over and over again in the dark. The lights must be turned off. The darker the better. Typically, it’s under the covers in a bed or in a closet. And while she waits for someone to come find her, she’s screaming “Come find me, come find me!” followed by the most exciting squeals you’ve ever heard a little girl make. Once she’s found, she stays right where she is and does it all over again. The best part? She refuses to hide alone. That means some lucky adult gets to sit in a dark closet for a good 30 minutes with an exuberant little girl who’s energy and excitement level is greater than an entire school of kids going on a surprise trip to Disney World.

Playing with her soccer ball in Mom and Pop’s backyard in Mentone

2. She recently got a radio in her room. This just adds to her love for all things music and dancing. She likes to CRANK up the volume as loud as it can be, shut her bedroom door, and force you to dance with her. All the while, she’s also trying to carry on a conversation with you. We still use our baby monitor so if we are able to escape her mad dance party, we can still enjoy the surround sound throughout the house via the monitors.

Rocking and singing Aubie to sleep

3.  She loves to read God’s word. Many times in the morning she will get a Bible and ask us to read it to her.  Blessed beyond measure that my 2 1/2 year old already has a passion for reading the Bible. She loves to “read” it too. It is precious to hear her blend Bible stories with other things going on in her life while she reads. Dora never fails to show up in a Bible story.

Memorial Day at Papaw and Grandma’s 

4.  Anytime she pretends to be going somewhere, it’s always to Bible study. She will grab her purse, get in her car, go to Bible study, sing some songs, and come back and tell us all about it.

Playing at the splash pad

5. There’s been a lot of thunderstorms lately. While Lily is terrified of them, she knows exactly Who made the “funder”. Every single time she hears thunder, she jumps and says “what was that?”. I tell her it’s thunder. She frantically responds with a shaky yet reassuring voice, “I don’t have to be scared. God made the funder.”

6.  As we walk out of her room after putting her down for nap or bedtime, she says, “Goodnight Daddy/Mommy. I love you.” SO SO SO sweet!

We have this awesome tree swing in our front yard. She spends a lot of time there. 

7.  I still can’t believe how quickly she broke her thumb sucking habit. I only put the Mavala nail polish on her 3 nights in a row and that did it. Never thought it would be so easy!

Her very first haircut! Looks painful, I promise it wasn’t!

8. She’s been talking about going to the beach in August since May. At MDO this week, her teacher was introducing the new month and when Lily heard the word “August” she FREAKED out and started yelling, “I’m going to the beach in August! I’m going to the beach in August!”

So that leads me to the end of this post. Headed to the beach for the week with my family. I’ll be back with pictures!!!