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, November 26, 2008

From Dreams to Reality

My heart overflows with thankfulness. As I child, I dreamed of having a large family. I thought it would be cool to be the little sister to John Boy Walton...really, I did. I never really dreamed I would one day be the mother of a sort of big family.

This has been the most blessed Thanksgiving holiday, and it's not Thanksgiving yet. We've had the entire week to be at home. Monday and Tuesday, we were all here, except Whitney. Today, Stan is the only one not a home.

I have so enjoyed being home with my children, and with Stan. We've just "hung out." We've cleaned house...we desperately needed to do that. We're almost finished with the Christmas decorating...and the girls had so much fun. I took a small tree from the attic, and Ellie saw it from downstairs as I walked across the balcony with it. She said, "Bring that down here, Mama." I told her that was my plans. She excitedly shouted, "Josie, come here, come here. Look what Mama has."

I've spent much time in reflection, too. This passage of scripture from Isaiah 43 has come to my mind today, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall teh falme kindle upon you. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior."

We've spent some time passing through the rivers this year, walking through the fires. Last year, in my prayer journal, I was praying, desperate for sleep. We were working to establish a new night time routine with Ellie in the family. The week before Thanksgiving we learned Stan was losing his job. We didn't know what to do. When he found a new job, he would need a new vehicle. (He had been driving a company truck.) We faced court proceedings to establish the guardianship of Brandon, unsure of the protest it would cause.

I was thankful last year, so glad to wake up each day with Ellie and Brandon in our home, but I worried too much. I worried about finances, and I worried over Ellie's medical condition.

But, this year I can say, "God is faithful. He has been with us. He has provided for our needs. He has flooded the dry ground. He has brought peace to my soul." Experience has brought more faith, more hope, more joy.

I thank God that my house is full. I thank him for the gift of five precious children. I thank him for a husband who will drive a $2,500 car, so the other members of the family have something better to drive. I thank God that, when the $2,500 car broke down, my neice's boyfriend help Stan repair it. I thank him that my parents provided him a vehicle until his was repaired. I thank God, that our cupboards are full. I thank him that I can enjoy Christmas. I thank him for the abundance of laughter in our home. I thank him that gas prices are under $2.00. I thank him that Stan and I both have jobs. I thank him for my parents who live next door, and my sister who lives down the dirt road. I thank him for my church and my church family. But, most of all, I thank him that He has called me by name, and I AM HIS!

The girls played dress up while Mama played clean up.

Yesterday, Ellie said, "I want more pretzels, Mama." I said, "We're getting ready to eat lunch. Ellie said, "I want more pretzels, Mama." I said, "We're getting ready to eat lunch. Ellie said, "I want more pretzels, Mama." I said, "We're getting ready to eat lunch. After about 7 times, I said, "If you tell me you want pretzels one more time, you're going to bed. Ellis said, "I want more.....bananas. (Should a 3 year old be that smart?)

Stan's days off this week were Monday and Tuesday, so we could all sleep in those days. The girls love coming into our room and piling into bed with us. They play a game with Daddy---Can you be still for 30 seconds?--He pretends to go to sleep, and then tickles the girls so they will lose.

The girls made a train of all the boxes from the attic. Then, they loaded up their stuffed animals for a ride.

Caleb On the Roof

It's Caleb's job to get on the roof and hang the wreaths on the dormer windows upstairs. Today, though, as he was holding the extension cord, he asked, "Which end to you plug in to the socket?" Scout's honor! After I got control of myself I said, "It's pretty standard that those 2 metal prongs have to be plugged into something for current to flow."

One of Brandon's Contributions to the Decorating

And, BTW, I was told my Aunt Bernie...I didn't tell you about Branon's foot...it's broken. He broke it in his next to last football game of his career. He wouldn't go to the dr, though, because he wanted to play in the last game. Dedication or......?

Whitney's Christmas Spirit!
Well, she did have to be at work at 7:30 this morning, so we'll give her a break. And, she is making mint chocolate later this evening, recipe compliments of an early Christmas present from our choir director, Mrs. Edie. Thank you, Mrs. Edie!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ayi's Heartstrings

Yesterday, my sister shared her heart for adoption at our church. While she knows God has not called her to adopt she has promised to help me love and and care for any the LORD leads me to adopt. And, she has been true to her promise. She is the best aunt to my children, while she and Ellie share a special bond.

So, at church, yesterday, she brought tears to many eyes when she shared this story:
While in China, there were many beggars along the streets of Taiyuan. One beggar in particular was a crippled man lying on a blanket on the sidewalk. It occurred to her that Ellie, had she remained in China, could have possibly become a beggar on the street.

I know there are many who are offended by the idea that we adopt to "save" the children. I know that the blessings are ours when we adopt, but I also believe we are the hands and feet of Jesus. He came to us when we were lost and undone. He allows us to represent Him on earth.

God is great and greatly to be praised. It is such a privilege to join Him in his work.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Josie-Tatum

Josie-Tatum turned 6 years old today. Having a 20 year-old daughter, I'm already aware of how time flies, but, oh how time really seems to have flown since Josie-Tatum joined our family. Yes, her birthday is one day after her referral day. She celebrated her first birthday in an orphanage, with no fanfare. We've certainly made sure that never happened again.

I've learned some lessons through the years I've been a mother. It's like the chance the start over again...and this time I know
***The house does not have to be spotless to allow guests to come over.
***The best gifts are often not material things.
***Every child is ABSOLUTELY unique.
***Every stage of life with your children is different, and each one can be enjoyed in a different way.
***And, just like my mother taught me...every child deserves to know how special she is on her birhtday.

We spent the early part of the afternoon celebrating another birthday, my nephew Carter turned 1 year old today. I took these pictures of the girls before my battery died.....so I don't even have any pictures of the Birthday Boy....but the girls had a great time.

Then, we celebrated as a family, just the 7 of us,plus Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Bobbie, Cousin Joshua, Cousin Trey, Mrs. Delaine, and an adult friend Robbie. We are planning another celebration later.....JT is accustomed to having a pretty big party, so I wrapped all of her presents from us individually. She received things she needs, a dress for church, church shoes, school clothes. And, from Aunt Bobbie,
The Tinkerbell movie.

Here is where we plan to celebrate in 3 weeks. That's why Josie-Tatum's presents were less "wants" than needs.

And, her gift from Grandma and Grandpa was a $20 bill inside a princess photo album that she put all of her Disney World pictures in.

I've posted recently about my daddy. Well, here's a quick tidbit about my mama. She is the cake baker/decorater in the family. She takes care of every birthday cake in the family, AND wedding cakes. It's her hobby. Most childre's birthdays she uses items to decorate the cake that will be toys for the kids. Not this year, though. She used a "used" Barbie. Since Barbie was too tall for the cake, Grandpa was forced to amputate both of her legs below the knees. Take a peek.

And, for those who wonder how Ellie is doing. You will see she was in typical "Ellie form" this weekend. She enjoyed hamming it up tonight as the family celebrated. The first picture, though, is I how I found her last night when I told them to go to the bathroom so I could help brush their teeth. She was actually standing in her brace, with her right leg, the one attached to the hip that was operated on...hiked in the air. There is NO stopping this girl.

Friday, November 21, 2008

For This Child I Prayed--the beginning of the story

For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition.

This is one of my favorite days of the year--Josie-Tatum's referral day. After months and months of waiting, after watching the country of China suffer with the SARS virus, waiting on CCAA to catch up with all of the backlog from adoptive families, on this day, November 21st, five years ago, I finally learned the name of my daughter...Gao Jie Lun.

I don't live in the past, really I don't, but I love to look back and remember where the LORD has brought me from. (I want to heed God's warning to the Israelites in Deuteronomy lest I forget.) Referral days and Gotcha days cause me to reminisce.

Praise the LORD for He has directed our paths. Sometimes, we're asked, "Why would you want to start your family all over again?" or "Why did you choose China?" The short answer is, "I didn't choose China, God did. I didn't decide to start my family over again. God did." And, the longer version of the short story is.....

While ordained before the beginning of time, I first saw God's hand in our adoption eight years ago. I was working on my administrative specialist degree, teaching full time, and busy being the happy mother of two awesome kids. I had taken the day off from school to work on my thesis, but God had chosen the day for me to be home. After dropping Whitney and Caleb off at school, I listened to Focus on the Family on the way home, and I was so intrigued, I went inside the house and turned on the radio to finish listening. It was the first time I had learned of orphanages in China filled with children who needed families.(The program was, "Never Beyond the Reach of Love," with speaker Pat Wadenpfuhl. I highly recommend it from Focus on the Family's webpage.)

I mentioned the radio program to Stan, and even to Whitney and Caleb. We were all touched. We were too busy, though, with me in school. Our kids were growing up, and we didn't need a baby sitter anymore. Caleb wasn't really interested in having annoying baby things around. But, Whitney made up her mind on that day she wanted a baby sister from China.

A year went by and Whitney received a Steven Curtis Chapman CD for Christmas--His Live Out Loud CD with "When Love Takes You In," his love story written for his first adopted daughter, Shaohannah. (You can see the video here.)God continued to put adoption before us. Whitney, Caleb, and I went to see SCC in concert, and little did I know, he would show us his baby pictures all the while singing his song, "When Love Takes You In." My eyes were not dry! And, while Steven shared his oldest daughter's persistence with her parents about adopting, Whitney was continually elbowing me.

The LORD continued to speak to each of us, and it can only be described after that as the still small voice that kept leading me to adoption websites. One by one, each member of the family felt clearly that adoption was God's plan for our family.

And, after 3 years of God's tugging at my heart strings, I received a phone call I never knew would bring so much joy. "Robbie, I have information about your daughter!" Can you be still just a minute and imagine God's joy--for me, for JT--at that moment? The day was late, almost 6:00. I knew others had received referrals and was so sad that we still didn't have ours. When the phone rang, I almost didn't answer because we were on our way out to eat. But, I did! And my life has been more full since that moment. I can never imagine my life without Josie-Tatum JieLun Mattox.

And, my God can do exceedingly abundantly more than I can ask or think. I never would have envisioned my life as it is now. I never dreamed all of those years ago, I would one day be the mother of five children. I never dreamed I would be coordinating adoption awareness activities at our church. And, I thank God for the burden He has given me for orphans, those who will be adopted, as well as those who are not available for adoption.

I loved Gwen's post about brick layers--another inspiration from Emily Chapman. Each of us can lay at least one brick to help build the wall of restoration for orphans. And, from another SCC devotional, I am reminded that we are the picture of Christ, His body going to the orphans as He comes to us when we are orphans without Him. He has chosen us to join Him in his work.

I am so honored to join him. What a privilege to be the mother of Whitney, Caleb, Brandon, Josie-Tatum, and Ellie.

What a difference 5 years make!

God is great and greatly to be praised!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thankful Beyond Imagination

I am truly thankful. The above pictures are the girls enjoying a ride with Grandpa, my daddy. My daddy is the best! He was the daddy who would bring his girls treats home from work, spend time looking for them in their regular hiding place as if he had no idea where they were in our 10 x 50 foot mobile home. Daddy was such a good daddy, and then, after much prayer he found Jesus at the age of 53. Now he is the best! How many grandpas will push their granddaughters in a motorized vehicle using a mop? (The battery was dead.) This grandpa will drive to Tampa with me anytime Stan has to work. This grandpa was over at our house yesterday evening checking on our pipes because the season's first freeze was on its way, and Stan was still at work. This daddy told me when I was still a teenager, "You are never too old to kiss your daddy." Believe me, I knew he meant business, and I still kiss my daddy regularly.

I have always loved the beginning of the holiday season, and this year is no different. The news of Ellie having to remain in her brace really upset me more than I thought it would. But, I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning.

Ellie took the news with the same resilience she's always had in life. Her spirit is not dampened. (All of the pictures with this post were taken on the day we learned she would stay in the brace. See any difference in that smile?)She still makes the biggest messes, causes the most laughs, and pitches the biggest "fits." Tonight, she asked Whitney, "Why do your pajamas have doggies?" Whitney said, "Because that's what Santa brought me last year, and that most be what he thought I would like." Ellie said, "So, so, so, so, so...so, so....so, so Santa Clause didn't want you to wear Dora?"

We've had a difficult 2 days, following Ellie's news...some frustrations for me at work, an "incident" at work for Stan that made he had to work 1 1/2 hours late, worried wife...where is he?.....teenager's issues with girlfriends, and, like others in our country, some financial worries. I was getting down, and, thank you, Jesus, the spirit of Thanksgiving floods my soul.

Look where we are today. Look where we were last year. When Stan was losing his job last year, I didn't know if we would make it on less salary. It's not been easy, but we're 2 weeks away from making it on $4,000 less salary this year. Last Thanksgiving, we were looking at legal proceedings to make Brandon ours. God made the crooked paths straight, and he is ours!!!! I get to hear my girls laugh everyday. I get to hear Brandon and Caleb laugh everyday, and know that Brandon is NOT going to have to go back. Tonight, my husband cooked supper so I could take a break. This week has brought the kind of weather than makes it FEEL like Thanksgiving. We have an entire week off for Thanksgiving holidays, and this year, I can really enjoy watching Ellie enjoy all the festivities.

Friday is Josie-Tatum's referral day, and, oh my how different life is now FIVE years later. Wow, 5 years ago, I was the mother of 2!

God is so good. His mercies are new every morning, so let me wake with the dawn.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Soul Doth Wait

So, I finally heard from Ellie's care coordinator. The doctor wants Ellie to stay in the brace one more month, no weight bearing, until we see him again on Dec. 9th. YUK!

I was reading in a Seeds of Change devotional from Shoahannah's Hope today. I skipped a few pages to read this page, felt drawn to it. I thought I would share it with Sabrina, because she is waiting so long on her Levi, but God knew I needed it today, too.

A family shared with a staff member of Shoahannahs' Hope how their family had been touched by adoption. Unable to have biological children, they sought to adopt from South Korea. They were then told they didn't qualify because the wife had Type I diabetes.

Several years later, they received a call from their adoption agency. The laws for Korean adoptions had changed and a little boy was available for them if they were still interested. Of course, they were, but the story gets better.

Many years later, the mother needed a kidney transplant, but no donor was found. While the adopted son wanted to be tested, the doctor refused to test him, assuming he couldn't not possibly be a match. The son wouldn't let it go, went to donate blood, found out his blood type, and continued until it was found that he was indeed a perfect match for a donor kidney for his mother. His adopted mother spent the remainder of her life telling her son, "Now I will always have part of you with me."

The scripture reference was Psalm 130:5-I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

And, just now, while my students are at recess, I flipped through the Bible I have at school, to find that scripture reference. As I did, I saw once again a picture of Ellie that has been in this Bible for 2 years now. I placed it there almost EXACTLY 2years ago. It's the picture I have first on the blog, the first glimpse I had of her face. I sat with that picture, 2 years ago, as I fasted and prayed through lunch at school, asking God to speak to my heart. "Was this the child He had chosen for our family?" "Could I trust Him that we could manage her disability?" And, even when she was first matched with another family, I didn't take her picture out of my Bible here at school.

I look at it now, and I think, "Wow!" Look what the LORD has done for us. Look how far he has brought us. Look at the miracles in her life. I will wait on the LORD. My soul will wait. He will renew my strength. He has plans for Ellie to give her a bright future, filled with hope.

Thank you for your prayers. We still need prayer and supplication on our behalf!

Maybe Some News

I did reach Ellie's care coordinator this morning. I asked her if she could chase a rabbit for me. She said, "I'm good at chasing rabbits." :)
She's going to try to find out news for me today.
Keep praying,

Friday, November 14, 2008


Oh my, I typed this and it wouldn't publish, so here it goes again.

I am anxious, as you might imagine, that I haven't yet heard from Ellie's doctor. I called her care coordinator this morning, to see if she would contact the dr for me. The care coordinator is out today.

So, here I wait. Please say a few extra prayers for Ellie and for her mama.

I must confess, though, I've let Ellie stay out of her brace every night for a few minutes following bath time. She can crawl really well. She stands on some, oh so wobbly legs. Those muscles seem to have forgotten how to hold her up, so I know it will take time to build up that strength again. I've even let her take a few step while holdling my hands. She is moving her feet, to take steps, bending her knees, but she does not have the strenght yet to really take any steps alone.

Thank you for your prayers. She is so ready to try walking again. I am so ready for her to get moving!!!!!!!!!

Blessings on this Friday,

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Still waiting on the doctor to call, still waiting to see my baby walk!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why Grandpas Should Be Careful When They're Praying--And a Quick Update

I have a daddy who prays, and he sometimes prays long prayers before meals, but since he didn't truly meet the Savior until he was 53 years old, I enjoy every second of his long-winded prayers.

Last night, Josie-Tatum stayed with Grandma and Grandpa while Stan and I took Ellie is Tampa. We have been taking her with us when we stay overnight because she is such a Mama's girl and a family girl. She had agreed that she would be okay staying with Grandma. She has stayed the night before. And, she spends many hours there.

Everything went fine, JT stayed with Grandma with little fanfare, and we hit the road. About 3 1/2 hours into the drive, my daddy called and asked if I could talk to a little girl. Josie-Tatum was inconsolable, and it all started during prayer time when Grandpa prayed that the LORD would keep Robbie, Stan, and Ellie safe. The boys went to check on her, even promised to watch Barbie movies while wearing dresses, and she would not calm down.

One hour later, she was calm, and all finally remained well. Note to Grandpa's Everywhere...Be careful what you pray for.

And, the news you thought you were waiting to hear. Hmmmmmmm, the jury is still out.

The doctor was not in today, so we saw a nurse practitioner. She said the x-ray looked to her as if the pelvis and femur were completely healed from the surgery. She will have to talk to the doctor, though, to see if Ellie can come out of her brace. The doctor is in surgery tomorrow, so it will likely be the end of the week before we hear from her.

So, we continue to wait.

As, I told my sister, since we committed to Ellie MinChun Mattox, I have had a lot of practice waiting. I will trust in the LORD, and pray that I can post pictures of her taking steps by the end of the week..

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you and your faithful to pray for us!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prayers Please

Just a quick post:

We leave this afternoon for Tampa. Ellie's appointment is at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Please pray for GREAT news from the doctor. Ellie is sooooooo ready to walk. On Friday, she said she was going to run to Grandma's when she learned to walk. Josie-Tatum said, "Are you going to run to China?" If only you could have heard the seriousness in her voice when Ellie replied, "No. China is too farther, right Mama?"


Friday, November 7, 2008

Busy, Busy Five Days

We're leaving in an hour to go see Brandon's last ever football game in his high school career. Our team has suffered 23 injuries this season. Last year, it was predicted to be one of the best season's in the high school's history. It has turned out to be not so good. I pray that Brandon plays his BEST game ever, though. I have a cruddy cold, but I'm going to prop up on a stadium seat and try to shout and scream. We'll get home late, as the game is about an hour away.

And, Wanna guess where I'm going tomorrow????????????

Oh, yes, we're going to see Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith in concert--The United Tour. My friend Joli and I are making it an all girls trip. As former recipeients of a Shoahannah's Hope Grant, she and I have the privilege of volunteering for Shoahannah's Hope at the concert. Whitney will have seats along with our girls, Josie-Tatum and Elisabeth. I look forward to answering questions anyone at the concert has about adoption and/or about Shaohannah's Hope!

We'll leave for St. Augustine Florida for the concert tomorrow just after lunch. We'll be gone until very late, then church on Sunday. Then work on Monday...

And, then on Monday, we leave for Tampa. Ellie will be going for a check-up on Tuesday. Prayerfully we'll learn we can "ditch" the brace. Please pray that Ellie can begin walking!!

And, please pray that her mama can experience the blessings of this weekend, whip this nasty cold, and not be too tired.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Found IT!!!!

I found my camera!!!!!!!!!!!
Was that you praying, Mrs. Donna??????
And, I'm now certain it was Ellie, the one with Ellie Mattox on her belly, who was responsible for its disappearance for the last 6 weeks.
I found it in a black box on the computer desk, and inside the black box were the Mulan disc and an ink pen.
But, yeah!!!!!!!!!!!! I found it, and note to self: Don;t leave the camera anywhere Ellie can get to it...but where that might be?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Another "You Never Know" Moment

I've posted before that I never know what to expect when I get Ellie out of bed in the morning. Add that to the fact that when I change her diaper, she talks NON_STOP!! No one can communicate with me, because she doesn't take a breath.

So, last night, I was getting her ready for bed. She already had on her pajamas, but I needed to change her diaper one last time. In the middle of her chatter she says, "I have Ellie on my belly." I think nothing of it. The boys often call her Ellie Belly anyway. Then, I lift her shirt to remove her brace so I can change her diaper, and this is what I found.

She's a smart girl, but she's not that smart. She had some help from somewhere!
I truly never know!

I thank God for all the laughter in my home. I thank him for my kids, big and small. Tonight at church, Brandon followed me to the car to load up the wheel chair. When we drove home, Caleb came to the car to ask if I'd like him to get Ellie for me. Whitney then supervised the teeth brushing. (They're not ALWAYS this helpful.) But, praise the LORD when they are. Praise the LORD for the days I get to hear Ellie say, "I want to stay here with my family." Praise the LORD for this family. He puts the lonely in families!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's the Mother of the Year Again

Just so you all know how absolutely imperfect I am. I already told you I'm not a good housekeeper.

But, tonight, I got the girls out of the tub to find Caleb home with his and Brandon's senior pictures.

We looked through the pictures and oohed and ahhed once again. Then Brandond asked what was for supper, and I told him. I asked if he was really hungry because I could have it finished in less than 10 minutes.

When he told me he was REALLY hungry, I went into the kitchen to finish up.

It was then that Ellie spoke, "Hey, Mama, you didn't put a diaper on me."

So, I had left the poor kid in the floor wrapped in her towel from the bath time...all the while sharing the boys' joy in their handsome faces on photo paper. I even left her there to finish cooking supper. NOTE: she didn't have her brace on either, and when I went into the great room to make up for my lack of attention, she was crawling. OOPS!!!

This might rank right up there with the time that I got home from church to find Stan home from church and neither one of us had Caleb. I think he has finally overcome the emotional scars 10 years later!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Humbled Honored and Honest

I am truly humbled and honored by something that happened at church today. I was preparing to go before the congregation with scripture to begin our church's focus on Adoption Awareness this month. I looked at the piano, where I sit every Sunday and saw this book, Twelve Extraordinary Women. Then, I opened it. Inside the front cover was this note:

To the most extraordinary woman that I know. How you do what you do for so many and still keep a smile on your face and kind word and worship on your lips is amazing. You are a very special person. I give you this book with all the love of Christ.

Most of you reading this blog are mothers, many of you are adoptive parents, and most of you are followers of Christ. Can you imagine the emotion that flooded my soul? As the tears began to flow, I sat in unbelief. I don't know who gave me this book. I have already started reading it, and I think I'll recommend it to you. But, to the person who gave it to me, Thank you.

I only hope and pray that what anyone sees in me is Jesus. From the moment we committed to adopt Ellie, I began to pray that God would manifest His glory in the lives of our family members. I continued to pray that as it became known that Brandon would join our home. This scripture in the preface of the book is what I hope my life exemplifies, "God had chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence."

May my flesh receive no glory, but may Christ be glorified in everything I do.

Up Next: Honest Confessions

I really do NOT have it all together. I work, I try to be a good mama, I teach Sunday School, I play the piano at church, I've been preparing for Adoption Awareness at church, and I'm in the Christmas drama. Yes, I have plans to slow down a little...maybe, But, I confess, my house is a wreck!!!! It could be cleaner. Sometimes, I just sit down and look at the mess. Sometimes, I just can't keep up.

But, this weekend, as we were making efforts to maintain some order, I told Ellie, You need to pick up your Dora toys." She asked, "Where are they?" I told her, "By the fireplace." Sometime around 15 minutes later, I walked through the Great Room. Ellie was behind the love seat. I looked at her sternly and said, "Ellie, I told you to pick up your Dora toys." Honestly, she looked straight at me and said, "I'm trying to find the fireplace."

Now, you get to decide for your self. Was the problem...
(A) She was finding a creative way to avoid housework?
(B) Fireplace was a new word for her? or....
(C) My house is such a wreck, no one can find the fireplace?

I get the privileg of watching Ellie, Josie-Tatum, and Brandon bond with each other while learning to be a part of a family. The girls love Brandon, and it shows. How special for him, too, to have them at his Senior walk on Friday afternoon.

And, I forever remained honored and humbled that God chose me to be this kids' Mom! I pray that his mother in heaven knows how much I love him.

Brandon played so well Friday night. Sadly, it was a loss that mean our team won't move to State playoffs. I didn't cry nearly as hard as I thought I would--the game was so close, I got into the spirit of the game, shouting like a Banchee. We'll see how emotional I am next week, his last game which is out of town.

Thanks for keeping up with us!
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