Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday snapshot: gam's birthday

Today we celebrated my mom's birthday. She turned 64 yesterday, but we celebrated today after church. We had Pioneer Woman Spaghetti Chicken, PW french bread. Honey made her famous pound cake for dessert and also her cabbage casserole.

Honey made this cake and bought the candles. She said since momma had always graced her birthday cakes with the "age" on the candles, that it was now payback time. 

Here's Gam with Honey and Pop and  2 out of 4 grandchildren (one is singing with the college group today and the other one is in China waiting on us!)

Gam blows out the candles.

Honey said "the girls" had to pose for a 4 generation photo, Shek insisted that the dog be in the photo too...LOL

Happy Birthday Gam!

Ni Hao Y'all

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Prayer Warriors UNITE

Please agree with us in Jesus' Name that we will receive our LOA(letter of acceptance) from China very soon so that we can proceed with the next steps to complete Jolie's adoption. We are more than ready to go.( well we are not packed or anything, but it won't take us to long to get packed, but we are READY!)

The Bible says, and my preacher quotes all the time that "You have not cause you ask not." AND  I am asking! I am praying for that LOA to come in soon...and I am asking for the other paper work to happen speedily too. The verse I got from the Lord just the other day was, "Is anything to difficult for me?"

I am praying and asking for favor with God and man that we can get this waiting done and get our baby girl home. Please pray diligently with us!

Blessings to you!
Zach's, Karlie's, Shek's and soon to be Jolie's Mom!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

He's got my back!

I woke up this morning praying. I like to start praying before my feet ever hit the floor, but this morning...I just couldn't get I simply  started praying..."Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..." I guess when you just don't know how to pray or what to say, Just pray Jesus over and over.

Today I asked God to show me a word and this is what I got...
"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh, is anything to difficult for me?" Which I immediately answered, No, no it's not!

 I also found, Romans 8:26-28 this morning as well. I memorized Romans 8:28 back in my high school days...but verses 26 and 27 gave me that extra punch that I needed this morning.  "And in the same way the Spirit helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose."

So this morning when I couldn't get past just saying my Jesus' name over and over...the Spirit helped me in my weakness...I do not know how to pray as I should...but He Himself intercedes on my behalf.

Why do I struggle with worrying? I am a daughter of the Most High God...The God who created it all...He's definitely "got my back" why do I worry. Pop handed my a thin little book called Letters from Ruth's Attic it is 31 daily devotions written by Ruth Bell Graham; and this little book was compiled after her death. I really enjoy reading her insights and hearing her mother's heart in her writings. Yesterday, I opened it up to Day 30 where she (even Ruth Graham) talked about worrying over her kids. The Lord spoke to her saying "Quit studying the problems and start studying the promises."...Whoa, I needed to hear that? The scripture verse for that devotion was none other than Philippians 4:6-7. Hmmm, sounds like He's trying to tell me something, doesn't it?  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

The devotion I read today out of Ruth's little book had several little gems that I underlined. God wrote them through her just for me cause he knew I would need them today. She wrote," He asks us to take care of the possible and to trust Him for the impossible. ..Our responsibility is to minister lovingly to the immediate needs of our families and our responsibility is to pray. God will do His part. Salvation and love for God, the willingness to come under His authority, and the longing to do His will joyfully are miracles of grace. And miracles are in God's department, not ours.

Again, I am reminded of the verse He showed me today,  "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything to difficult for me?"  I am a daughter of the Most High GOD... He has my back! He's got it under control.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recipe~~ Just Like Olive Garden Salad!

My friend Melissa forwarded me this recipe from her friend Stacey. This is supposed to be very much like the Olive Garden Salad. Now we can all have an endless bowl!

Olive Garden Italian Dressing

½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 T corn syrup
2 T parmesan cheese
2 T romano cheese
¼ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp parsley flakes
1 T lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a blender until well blended.  If this is a little too tart for your own personal taste, add a little extra corn syrup or sugar.

Olive Garden Salad Mix

1 bag American Blend Dole Salad
4-5 slices of red onion
4-6 black olives
2-4 Banana peppers
½ cup Croutons
1 small tomato (quartered)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jolie update

Last week we sent a care package to Jolie through redthreadchina. We sent the Pj package plus we added the photo teething ring so she could get used to what we all looked like. She really doesn't need a teething ring, I guess. The report says she has 9 teeth now...but at least she can hold it and look at us...LOL

                                      Here's a photo of the care package that Ann from Red Threads sent us. There's pjs,
                                    a blanket and a stuffed animal and photo teething ring for Jolie. There's also candy for
                                     her foster family and a camera that I hope they will use to take some photos of Jolie.
                                   Ann also sent us 3 photos of Jolie, we already had 2 of those photos from her referral,
                                   but there was one that we had never seen.

                                            Here she is all bundled up. I am wondering if the weight they
                                             sent us was taken with this many layers on! Her height report
                                            has her at 33 inches tall at 16mo. old. Can we just go get her already? Her 
                                            family needs her here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Air Show!

This Saturday we loaded up at the crack of dawn to get to Dobbins Airforce base for the Air show. The blue angels and the snow birds were there plus a variety of other air show fun stuff. There was lots to see and do. And since we got there early we were able to get seats right next to the runway fence. The sun was bright (very bright) was a good show. My youngest loved it. My oldest wanted to go but had to work and my middle girl (she could have done without

Canadian Snow birds

                                                 Shek on the shuttle bus!

                                                    blue angels parked in the background

                                                 Karlie says this is the car I want!

                                                   Gam Pop and Karlie...this was before the big crowds and before it got really hot.

                                                          jet car...glad we had earplugs

                                                I didn't catch the airplane in the photo...but there's its smoke!

                                              On our way to wait in the shuttle bus line for 1hour and 1/2, Shek posed for this photo...

It was a fun day! A long day...and we ended it by meeting up with Zach at Mellow Mushroom for Karlie's favorite meal...Pizza!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The name is Martha...not Mary!

My name is Martha! I was named after my 4ft11in great-granny Martha. She was called "marthE, by those around her, but she was a Martha just the same.
                                (My Great-Granny Creel (known as MarthE to her family, but really a Martha! She is holding me in the photo, my great-grandapa "Papa Creel, my grandmother, Honey and my mom are also pictured here....this was probably taken in 1968 or '69)
 I grew up 'thinking' the name Martha meant lady, or at least that's what I read in the name meaning books. But recently, the name Martha has taken on a new meaning. I think it has something to do with that book that was written Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Give me a break!! I remember when a church member came to me one day discussing in a sugary sweet tone how she wanted to have a Mary heart in this Martha just made me want to gag..

 So Martha gets uptight in the Bible  because she's getting no help in the kitchen while Jesus is visiting...and she gets a bad rap. I think I would be more than stressed out if I was her too after all Jesus was in her house as well as a lot of other folks. I think she would want things just right!  However, she was also one of Jesus's really good friends...and she had great faith..didn't she say, Jesus, if you would have been here, my brother Lazarus would not have died?...she knew that Jesus was the answer.

I guess Martha was a worrier...and I admit...I tend to lean on the worrying side. Yes, I know worrying is a sin. I give my worries over to Jesus and then snatch them back...
                                                   Don't Worry Be Happy!

As many know, when my daughter, Karlie was 4 years old she was skinnier and shorter than the doctor-world wanted her to be. We were sent  to every known specialist alive or so it seemed...and were threatening to give her growth hormone shots. I was a little worried...little is putting it mildly...I was a lot worried...I didn't want to give my baby girl shots daily forever for something to make her grow maybe 2 extra inches?!?! So, before the big 3 hour test she was to take (on a fast) and they were to take her blood every 15mins. I prayed to God for some confirmation that everything was going to be alright. I got some good verses from Him when I opened up my Bible...things like I am your rock! and I said to God, that's a good one, but can you give me something else too...then I would get another really good verse...and I'd say that's good too...but can you just give me something to really confirm that everything is going to be alright?  Basically, I wanted to read a verse that said, Martha it's going to be alright! SO then I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on the words of Jesus in red and it said, "Martha, Martha you are upset and worried about many things, but only one thing is important!" He got my attention. He called my name! I knew it was all going to be alright...and it was...She had a normal test result...She's still petite, just like He made her...beautiful!
       Here's Karlie with her Dad...Isn't she Beautiful? SO, why did I waste my time worrying over a growth hormone test when she was 4?...(I told those doctors, maybe she's just petite cause there's a "few" in the family that are petite...her momma just "ain't" one of um!)

 So, in this Martha world don't try to be a Mary, be like Jesus and let Him live through you...all other examples fall short!  


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blog has a new look

So, my blog has a new look. I have changed the banner about three times. I think I finally like it. It's the best it will look without "professional help" and I am good with out that!

I am "proud" of myself for finally figuring out how to put new photos in the banner thing from shabby blog. I did have to watch the tutorial like 3 times, but hey... repetition helps one learn, at least it helps this one learn! HA

There's not much to post, but plenty going on. Just waiting for LOA, and praying it arrives soon. We are ready to go to China. and get her. My agency says there's nothing to do right now while we wait...but wait. Karlie's passport came in yesterday...out of the blue. It's only been 2 weeks, they told us 4 to 6 weeks. She was very excited about it. Then Shek says, we need to get mine now, what if I change my mind and decide to go to.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prayin' without ceasin'

I received the following devotional email from the Max Lucado email subscription that I belong to. Also, while downloading emails this morning, my mom also forwarded this same email to me about praying...Let's all pray without ceasing...Do you have a prayer request..Leave a comment and we can all join together and pray for you...I know I love it when others pray for let's all pray together for one another!

Pray First, Pray Most

by Max Lucado
One of our Brazilian church leaders taught me something about earnest prayer. He met Christ during a yearlong stay in a drug-rehab center. His therapy included three one-hour sessions of prayer a day. Patients weren’t required to pray, but they were required to attend the prayer meeting. Dozens of recovering drug addicts spent sixty uninterrupted minutes on their knees.
I expressed amazement and confessed that my prayers were short and formal. He invited (dared?) me to meet him for prayer. I did the next day. We knelt on the concrete floor of our small church auditorium and began to talk to God. Change that. I talked; he cried, wailed, begged, cajoled, and pleaded. He pounded his fists on the floor, shook a fist toward heaven, confessed, and reconfessed every sin. He recited every promise in the Bible as if God needed a reminder. He prayed like Moses.
When God determined to destroy the Israelites for their golden calf stunt, “Moses begged the Lord his God and said, ‘Lord, don’t let your anger destroy your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with your great power and strength. Don’t let the people of Egypt say, “The Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt for an evil purpose.” . . . Remember the men who served you—Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. You promised with an oath to them’” (Ex. 32:11–13 NCV).
Moses on Mount Sinai is not calm and quiet, with folded hands and a serene expression. He’s on his face one minute, in God’s the next. He’s on his knees, pointing his finger, lifting his hands. Shedding tears. Shredding his cloak. Wrestling like Jacob at Jabbok for the lives of his people. And God heard him! “So the Lord changed his mind and did not destroy the people as he had said he might” (v.14 NCV).
Our passionate prayers move the heart of God. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Prayer does not change God’s nature; who he is will never be altered. Prayer does, however, impact the flow of history. God has wired his world for power, but he calls on us to flip the switch.
Most of us struggle with prayer. We forget to pray, and when we remember, we hurry through prayers with hollow words. Our minds drift; our thoughts scatter like a covey of quail. Why is this? Prayer requires minimal effort. No location is prescribed. No particular clothing is required. No title or office is stipulated. Yet you’d think we were wrestling a greased pig.
Speaking of pigs, Satan seeks to interrupt our prayers. Our battle with prayer is not entirely our fault. The devil knows the stories; he witnessed the angel in Peter’s cell and the revival in Jerusalem. He knows what happens when we pray. “Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places” (2 Cor. 10:4 NCV).
Satan is not troubled when Max writes books or prepares sermons, but his knobby knees tremble when Max prays. Satan does not stutter or stumble when you walk through church doors or attend committee meetings. Demons aren’t flustered when you read this book. But the walls of hell shake when one person with an honest heart and faithful confession says, “Oh, God, how great thou art.”
Satan keeps you and me from prayer. He tries to position himself between us and God. But he scampers like a spooked dog when we move forward. So let’s do.
Let’s pray, first. Traveling to help the hungry? Be sure to bathe your mission in prayer. Working to disentangle the knots of injustice? Pray. Weary with a world of racism and division? So is God. And he would love to talk to you about it.

Let’s pray, most. Did God call us to preach without ceasing? Or teach without ceasing? Or have committee meetings without ceasing? Or sing without ceasing? No, but he did call us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).
Did Jesus declare: My house shall be called a house of study? Fellowship? Music? A house of exposition? A house of activities? No, but he did say, “My house will be called a house of prayer” (Mark 11:17 NIV).
No other spiritual activity is guaranteed such results. “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action” (Matt. 18:19 MSG). He is moved by the humble, prayerful heart.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ.
(Colossians 4:2–3 NLT)

Outlive Your Life bookGod of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, you created all that exists, and you keep it running through your infinite wisdom and boundless power. Yet you invite me to come to you in prayer, boldly and with the expectation that you will hear me and answer me. Teach me, Lord, to take full advantage of this amazing privilege, especially in regard to reaching others with your love. Give me a heart for those who have yet to experience the fullness of your grace, and prompt me to pray for them and for their welfare, both in this world and in eternity. Lord, bring me to the front lines of this battle. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
From Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2010) Max Lucado

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: Making Bows and headbands for Jolie

Today after church we headed over to Gam and Pop's house for Sunday dinner. After lunch, Gam made bows for some headbands for Jolie. The "girls" in the family watched while the boys in the family either napped on the couch or shot bb guns with Pop.

Yesterday, Karl and I went to a local craft store and picked up some items to make hair bows for Jolie. My mom is crafty and creative and a bow maker extraordinare.

                                                    The Materials!

                 Here's my mom aka (Gam) in  her craft room.
                                               She has an awesome craft room.
Gam models a finished  head band! LOL

Here's 4 generations with the finished bows.

We were matched to our daughter on September 20. If you would like to read the post about her, read this post. Also, after receiving our PA last Wednesday, a friend of mine read that we are naming our girl Jolie.
Read this extraordinary post about how she was inspired to paint names meaning lovely things in other languages. "Jolie" was one of those names she painted and at the time she thought it odd that she was inspired to paint it. I am glad she was obedient to His leading. Read about that here.
Here's Jolie! Don't you think those headbands will be darling in her hair? Can we please, pretty please just go to China and get her? 

Ni Hao Y'all