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

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thirty Days of Prayer--Updated below

Ellie will have MAJOR surgery in 30 days. We will be going to Shriner's Hospital in Tampa where she will have surgery for her hip dysplasis. Following this surgery, she will be in a spica cast, from the waist to the knees or ankles for up to 12 weeks. Doctors will not promise, of course, but we are hopeful that, after the surgery Ellie will be able to walk independently.

I would be honored if you would join our family and church family in praying for Ellie over the next 30 days. If you can commit, perhaps you could do as our pastor suggested and post her name on your refrigerator or dash of your car to keep you in remembrance of her.

Here are my specific prayer requests. (Feel free to add your own. )

**That God would get glory in Ellie's life and the lives of all of our children.
**That, whether God chooses to completely heal Ellie or not, her mama, daddy, brothers, and sisters, and especially Ellie will know that God's grace is sufficent.
**That God would give strength to her family as we "nurse" her following her surgery.
**That God would make the healing time a quick one.
**And, if it could be His will, that Ellie would be able to walk independently, and develop some manageable control of her bladder and bowel.

My prayer and desire is to read, claim, and live 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for directing my path last night to these verses.

And, thank you my friends, who I thank God for, the body of Christ, determined to lift up, support and encourage.

I love you all!


Update! Praise the LORD! Ellie saw the gastroenterologist today, and he is hopeful that she will develop the ability to control her bowels. Keep praying!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight, I said to Ellie, "Hello Sweet Pea."
She said, "I am NOT sweet tea."

And, tomorrow, Stan and I are going tubing with Caleb, Brandon, Josie-Tatum, my sister Bobbie, her husband Shannon, and my nephew Joshua. (Whitney does not love the outdoors, and the 3 hour float will be too much for Ellie.)

I'm excited about spending the entire day with people I love, enjoying God's creation. I won't be able to post pictures, though. My digital camera has an aversion to water.

May God bless you all!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mama, LOOK!

"Josie's shoes almost fit me!"
Can't you see it?

Thank you, Jesus, for the rest I've had this summer, for teaching me to enjoy my blessings, to live for the moment, to truly listen to laughter!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Newest Member of the Mattox Family

No! We are not adopting again. Not that I'm opposed to the idea, but Stan says, "We're finished!" And God has not rained any money on us lately, and we now have 7 people living in 3 bedrooms.

So, while Stan and I have both said, "No," over and over again to a dog, we've had a change of heart. One day not long ago, this HUGE dog followed me home from my walk. Did I mention he was HUGE? Well, he was gentle and the girls were fascinated with him, still a little scared, but constantly saying, "Where's Elijah? Can I go see Elijah?" Anyway, Elijah disappeared in 36 hours. But, it got us thinking. The girls are both afraid of dogs. Perhaps owning a gentle dog would help them overcome their fear.

Which leads me to the introduction of Cocoa!

It is so hot here in south Georgia. The humidity would kill a person from Arizona, but the girls keep going outside. They come in dripping with sweat, only to go out again in a few minutes. They can't stay away from her.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quote for the Day

I took this from the blog of one of my cyber-friends.
Thanks, Brenda.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the
morning, Satan shudders & says...
'Oh crap...she's awake!!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

South Georgia Multicultural Festival

So, it really wasn't a south Georgia muliticultural festival, but it was quite an interesting reunion. Our God is full of surprises. Who would have ever dreamed, 12 years ago, when Sabrina and Amy were in my Sunday School class as teenagers, that I would have 2 daughters from China, Amy would have one son from Vietnam, and Sabrina would be waiting on her son from the Phillipines? Not to mention, Amy's husband's mother is from Japan, and Sabrina's husband's grandfather is Filipino/Hawaiian. It's a small world afterall.

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad!!! (Psalm 126:3)

Did we have a full house today? Not only were all seven members of our family here off and on throughout the day. Sabrina was here with her Kati and Eli. They are waiting on Levi. Amy was here with Blake, Grace, and Samuel. Samuel joined his forever family in February. Caleb's girl friend came over, as did my sister and her husband. Then the girlfriend's parents stopped in to say, "Hello," when they picked Sara up. It was a wonderful day.

Here are some pictures of the kids at the pool, 1 seven-year old, 3 five-year-olds, 1 four-year-old, and 2 three-year-olds. Got that?

And, to end our day of multicultural activities, when all of the guests were gone, we went swimming in the red neck swimming pool. Well, actually, it was playing in a mud hole. And, in case you wondered, this pool, uh hole, is in our driveway. We should fill it in sometime, but then where would the kids play?

Short Note

Last night, I had sent the girls to their room, and told them I was coming up, for stories and prayers before bed time.

When I walked to their bedroom door, the girls were standing on opposite sides of the door. Josie-Tatum said, "Your majesty," and her copycat Ellie said, "Your majesty." This was followed by many giggles and hugs. What a great way to end the day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Essence of Ellie and Josie-Tatum's Stunts

My favorite verse, those of you who know me is, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory...." Ephesians 3:20
When I had two kids, and never dreamed of adopting, I could not have asked or even thought of my life today. Everyday I enjoy my children more than I could ask or think. While I worry sometimes about Ellie's mobility and other functions, her loving, strong-willed, charming personality is more than I could have imagined when we committed to being her parents. To Him be glory!!!!!!!!

This is Ellie with my nephew Joshua. Joshua plays with my girls at the swimming pool, entertains, accpets commands, and is just an all around good kid. You can see from this picture....and the video below that Ellie LOVES him! Of course, he is Aunt Bobbie's son, and Ellie LOVES her Aunt Bobbie.

Josie-Tatum continues to amaze us with her "stunts." Just 6 weeks ago, she didn't want her face to get wet. She surely didn't go under water intentionally. After mastering her fear, here is one of her favorite tricks.

This video has to be the Essence of Ellie. Nine months ago, she didn't even know English, but we knew she was strong willed. She is THE BOSS. Here sits a child with spina bifida who has NO clue she is disabled. My friend Joli says she is differently abled. I had someone tell me today, "You can't watch her and think she has a disability." She finds a way to do anything she wants to do. She enjoys life with all of her being. (Note it is my nephew Joshua following her commands.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cow Appreciation Day

In celebration of Cow Appreciation Day, the entire family of seven, along with one cousin, one girlfriend, and one friend, dressed as cows and went to Chic Filet. While it took us hours to put together ten costumes, complete with masks, make-up, horns, and much laughter, we were rewarded with 10 FREE meals today. We were quite the hit in the restaurant. While Stan was most reluctant to join us, he was pleased when we were not the only people in the restaurant dressed for the occasion. We were the best group while we were there, though we do know one office staff complete with 30 cows all had lunch there today.
The girls had such fun, and the teenagers got into the action, too. It made for lots of laughs, and little money. What better way to spend a day with your kids?
Hope you can find a reason to laugh at yourself today,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

South Georgia Fun in the Sun

We had such a blessed day today. We were joined by my sister, my nephew, my great-nephew, my friend Joli, and her precious 3 children, also adopted from China. I had as much fun snapping pictures as the kids had playing in the pool. I also enjoyed learning to make this slide show. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One More Blessed Day

Today was one more blessed day in the home of the Mattox Family. My Grandma Tatum and my Aunt Nancy came to have lunch with us, and the whole family was home for lunch. I cooked dinner for 9! My girls so enjoyed spending time with their great-grandmother and great-aunt. I'm not sure who was entertaining whom. And, now those of you who wondered, may know why I call my biggest little girl Josie-Tatum, rather than just Josie.

I don't know who had more fun, Grandma Tatum or Ellie. Ellie had my 84-year-old-next month grandmother in the floor playing Princess Dominoes. Then she was leading grandma by the finger, leaning on her for support, telling her, "My room's upstairs." So, she guided Grandma Tatum upstairs to play in her room. She was most upset when her daddy wouldn't let Grandma carry her to the dining room for lunch, but was quickly made happy when she found out Grandma Tatum would be seated next to her in the dining room.

Josie-Tatum has been looking forward to today's lunch! She said, "Yeah, I can play with Aunt Nancy." (Ellie calls her auntsie) I remember as a little girl when I liked playing with Aunt Nancy. She taught us silly songs. We went swimming in the cow pond, after picking vegetables, of course.
Now, Josie-Tatum enjoys reading to her great-Aunt Nancy. Aunt Nancy was duly impressed with Josie-Tatum's reading skills when she is only starting kindergarten this fall.

One more picture of Grandma Tatum and the girls!

Monday, July 7, 2008

June And More

We've been busy this summer--PLAYING!
Our computer had some serious issues, so I haven't been posting, but now I have a new computer.

We went to Palm Coast for vacation and had a wonderful time. We stayed at Ocean Hammock and if you want to know who we rented from, I'll let you know. There was a kiddie splash play ground for the baby girls, family pool, adult only pool, the beach, of course, fitness room, and balconies with beautiful views.

Josie-Tatum learned to swim while we were on vacation. Big Step! When we left home, she didn't want water splashed in her face. She can swim on top of the water, and under the water. When we got home, she started jumping off the diving board at Grandma's house.

Enjoy the pictures!

Josie-Tatum not only learned to swim while we were on vacation. She spent the month of June getting over her fear of getting her face wet. She got brave enough to jump in the pool, has been learning to dive, AND here is her cannon ball!

And my oldest "baby" turned 20 years old last week!

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