Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mattox Family Update

Merry Christmas!
I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and felt the love of our Saviour, the newborn King, like we did at our house.

I should change my user name to Blessed Mom of 5. Since October, we've added Ellie and Brandon to our home. We are always busy, one 19 year old, two 16 year olds, one 5 year old, and one 2 year old!

Ellie has been to the doctor several times, with many more visits to come. The pediatric orthopedist said, "She will walk." We'll try a hip brace at night for several months. If that doesn't train the hip to stay in place, then she'll have surgery sometime late next year. We have many tests of the bladder and an appt with a urologist scheduled for late in February. I'm also waiting for a call from the neurologist.

In the meantime, Ellie is using a walker to increase mobility. She loves it! It's the first time she could really be independent in public. She also attracts much attention. On Christmas Eve, my parents took her to visit a local nursing home. The residents who used walkers were impressed!

She amazes us everyday at her ability to adapt and make her own way to do the things she wants to do.

Ellie was so proud of her new Christmas dress. She had to show off to every member of the family and say, "Piao le," (Beautiful!). She went into church with her walker and stopped for anyone who would tell her how pretty she was.

My Photogenic Girl
Josie-Tatum knows how to turn on a smile for the camera!

The girls behave like typical siblings, only 2 years apart in age. Ellie always wants to hold the toy Josie-Tatum is playing with. Josie-Tatum loves to tell on her baby sister. But, they are also the best of friends, playing together, laughing together. Josie-Tatum loves to help her sister do the things Ellie can't do because of her disability. Josie-Tatum jumps rope, then hands the rope to Ellie. Ellie swings the rope back and forth while JT stand behind her and helps her jump. She thinks she's jumping rope, and that's all that matters.

Forget the house full of toys, we'll play in the laundry basket!

Hmmm, not sure about the look on JT's face, but here's Caleb, Josie-Tatum, and Ellie.

Since we've come home from China, Josie-Tatum turned 5 years old--on Thanksgiving Day. What a blessed Thanksgiving, five children in the house, so hard to believe Josie-Tatum is 5!

The boys are always trying to make people laugh, and they love to pose for the camera.

Caleb and Ellie

Making cookies is an annual Christmas tradition at our house. You wonder what teenagers think of such things, but when they ask what day you're baking cookies, you realize they expect it. These pictures are from our all day cookie factory day on Saturday.

I never know what to expect with 2 teenagers in the house, but when Brandon grabbed the camera to take a picture of Caleb and me, I knew something was "up."

Ellie made the biggest mess, flour from the top of head to her feet, literally. She got into this cookie making. I'm not sure how much dough she ate. :)

I think Josie-Tatum had the most fun, not just making cookies, but having everybody home all day.

All of the teenagers were involved, including my nephew Joshua. I must take a good picture of Whitney. Here you'll only see the back of her head.

The boys are always good for a laugh, even decorating Christmas cookies.

Life is never dull at our house!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Quick Update

Ellie, who still answers to Chun Chun, is adjusting marvelously to her new life in America. We've only been home 11 days, and she sleeps most of the night. She takes naps well if I lie down with her for a few mintues. She loves her brother, sisters, and Brandon. She plays with all of them at any opportunity. She likes to yell for Brandon at PCHS football games. She likes for Caleb to throw her in the air. She likes for Whitney for blow on her belly. She likes to do anything Josie-Tatum is doing.

She is eating well and learning new words. She says "Zhe shi ma?" (What is this?) throughout this day. Today, she kepting asking about the foods we were eating. She knows milk and decided to call everything milk. One of the pictures is of Ellie laughing at herself when she called grapes, milk.

We hope to have a walker for her in a few days, so she can be more independent. And, we go to Nemours on Nov 28th. Please keep praying!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Crazy Intersection

These are all pictures from ONE crazy intersection in China. There are many others, but this one was just blocks from our hotel, and we had to pass through several times. Click on the picture to make it larger. You'll be surprised at the details. There is no light. Bicycles, scooters, cars, buses, pedestrians all take their chances and go. It's crazy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Scenes from the Yuyuan Hotel in Taiyuan

(First, let me say, I like Tostitos in the states, the kind with a touch of lime. So I bought some Lay's potato chips, Natural and Cool lime flavor. We just tried them. They taste like potato chips with key lime pie, sweet, not salty. Bobbie said all we need is some cool whip. Stan said, "I love them, NOT!?" I suppose they're better than prawn flavored chips.)

Our hotel is located in a busy commerical district. All along the street are shops, and most are rather expensive. When you look down the alley from our hotel, the scene is very different. Like in America, there is a big difference in lifestyle for the people of China.
Looking from our window:

This is the mall directly across the street from our hotel. It has 8 floors. We have ridden the escalator up to every floor. In China, when an American shows ANY interest in an item, the sales people come running. They start showing you things. They start almost shouting to others. I think they're asking for someone who speaks better English, because sometimes a person who speaks better English shows up. This is where we bought Josise-Tatum's Barbie that sings Chinese.

These are apartments that can be seen from one of the sets of windows at the end of the corridor. Quite a different scene that the one we see from our hotel room window.

Right beside the apartment building is this one. This looks like an old home around a courtyard. It is really beautiful. We've decided it must not be a home, though. One morning, I saw many people in white hard hats, I think standing in the center. After they gathered together, they all entered one of the buildings. We are on the 12th floor, and I am often intrigued by what I see below. On the left side of the photo, you see a building. It sort of looks like a church. If you could see the roof, it reminds me of a Greek Orthodox church building. I hope to remember to ask our guide what it is.

This is an alley that can be seen from the one of the hotel windows at the end of a corridor.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Mama holding her for the first time.

Our first picture ALL together.

I'll post details on journeytome, but right now I'll post some pictures. Journeytome is not working right now.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wal-Mart and Taiyuan

This Wal-Mart was more crowded than the Waycross Wal-Mart the Saturday before Christmas. You could hear American 70's music playing in the background. I know the people thought I was crazy going through the store taking pictures. How about some Mother's Korean Barbecue Dried Beef cubes?

Would you eat anything with a nose like that?

Doormat for Sale in Wal-Mart

This is a typical sidewalk scene in Taiyuan.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

People and Olympics

If you come to the Great Wall in tourist season, be prepared to fight crowds, really push through a sea of people. Can you count all the heads in the photo? Can you imagine there were that many people up and down every hill and mountain on the Great Wall at Badaling?

Bird's Nest--Olympic Stadium

Olympic Aquatic Center

Olympic Tennis Center

This picture's for you Caleb.

Friday, October 12, 2007

More Pictures from our Tour Day

Robbie and Bobbie on the rickshaw--The smell was less than pleasant, a sewage smell a lot. Last time, I guess the sewage was frozen, because I don't quite remember the overwhelming odor.

Who says a 4 year old won't enjoy China?

This is where Mulan saved the Emperor. Well, they weren't refurshing the place at the time.

See why we brought Aunt Bobbie to China!

I love the signs in China. This one was at the acrobatic show.

This one was in the line at the Forbidden City.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Our Life in China

Somebody will have to email me and tell me if you can read this. I can access the page where I post to blogspot, but I can't see the MeiMeiMakesFour page. I decided to post some extra pictures here so I could save the 5 I'm allowed on Journey to Me for Ellie pictures.

Rick, here's an editing assignment for the students. See if they can figure out how many things are wrong with this shirt.

Stan found Chinese food he liked. We found Chinese food in China, and it was good!! We paid less than $16 American dollars for more fried rice and Pork with Pineapple and Sweet and Sour sauce than we could all eat. The rice was "different" but it was really good. It has some kind of lettuce in it, so Stan wouldn't eat it. Bobbie and I tried chopsticks and were somewhat successful.

We went to this supermarket last night. Today we read the sign. There's a little tiny corner of the sign that says, "IGA." Would you think that...IGA in Beijing. Somebody tell Peggy Wall.

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Ellie Min Chun

Ellie Min Chun
Josie-Tatum's MeiMei