Saturday, January 29, 2011

We Have a NEW photo of JOLIE!~~Sunday Snapshot

Ni Hao Yall

First thing Saturday morning, Karl grabbed his new Droid phone to check the email. IT must be nice to have a nice fancy phone (LOL) But my upgrade day is coming! :) Anyway, we had 2 emails from our agency. The first one he opened said we expect your TA very soon as in a week or so...(Chinese New Year is in as soon as it can get here will be great!) The 2nd email  was titled NEW Update! It was taking too long to load on the phone so off to find a much for sleeping late on a Saturday morning.

We have one new photo, only one.  I am pretty sure I recognize another little girl that's about to be adopted by another blog family that I follow. I clipped her out of the photo so that her mommy can see her photo first. This photo had a date of 12.01.10 so it is very recent!!!. She is said to have 15 teeth, and weighs 25lbs and is 33inches tall with a 20cm foot.  They said she weighed 25 lbs on the last update too. I think the foot size may be a little off...that would make her have very big feet for a 1and 1/2 year old. LOL We have bought her a few clothes just trying to guess at the size she may need...I hope the clothes will fit! As for shoes, I don't know what to do about shoes. I guess we can get some when we get there! Or if her foot is as big as they say it is she can wear my

Here she is! Can't wait to go get her! Can't wait to put a big bow/ head band on that head.  Her update says she is a gentle and smart little girl who is very attached to her foster family. Please pray she attaches to her forever family as well. Thanks for your prayers and concerns! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pillow Pets?


Emily says, "It's Monday!" or she could be saying, "Why
didn't you get me one of these pillow pets?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

All BBQ is not equal

My family loves bbq. Well, my family loves food and to quote my momma, "We're from south Mississippi, and we know what's good!" Now that we all live in Georgia, we still know what's good! LOL At least what we think is good anyway.  I have discovered that not all bbq is created equal, some bbq places are really good some are so-so and some are plain awful. I have noticed that in all of our bbq tasting, that different parts of the country have different styles of bbq. And what's good to me, might not be to you and vice a versa.

SO here's the run down of some of our family's favorites. I will mention the not so favorite places too, but will not mention their restaurant names as to protect the well, or not so innocent, because if it tastes bad it ought not be served!

Our number 1  favorite place is Sticky Fingers in Chattanooga TN. My hubby loves ribs (I don't) but I did split an order with him there...and from a non rib lover these were awesome! The meat was tender, fell right off the bone  and did not get stuck in my teeth...( A good rib is tender and the meat should not get stuck in your teeth) LOL We had the dry rub....totally awesome...hit the spot. My oldest boy had the ribs with the sauce on it, he liked the sauce better than the dry...but he raved over their ribs. On another visit, I had their bbq pork sandwich was pretty awesome too.

Our Number 2 pick is Poole's BBQ in the N Georgia Mountains. We love trying mom and pop local restaurants instead of chains, but we do eat at chains too. We knew this place must be a hit because when it opens the parking lot is always full and usually there's lots of bikes there...Bikers don't eat bad food! So we gave it a try. VERY down home, friendly, great service...great sweet tea and their BBQ pork sandwich was the best ever and this place wins the sauce award...loved their sauce. I wished I would have ordered a Large sandwich here instead of the regular. So if you're headed to the mountains in the fall to see the leaves turn yellow or if you're just up there anytime try Poole's BBQ. You can't miss it! It's a yellow building with Pig tombstones allover the yard!

Jim n Nicks is # 3 on our list. It's actually a chain, but the food is always good! The cheesy muffins brought out before a meal are great. You can't eat just one! We have tried lots on their menu. The smell of bbq permeates the air as you drive up...I love their bbq sandwich, their hamburgers and even their catfish (cause it's farm-raised form MS) But fried catfish is another blog entry for later.

Number 4 is Shane's Rib Shack in McDonough GA. We live very close to the Original shack. It opened just a few years ago, and has been a hit and is now a chain. Shane's is noted for their generous portions, you do get a lot of food  for the money here. His sauce is one of the BEST! Everything at this restaurant is good and believe family has tried a lot off their menu. We love the ribs, and pork sandwich, chicken wings and the fried okra is my favorite side!

Number 5 is Glenn's BBQ in Conyers , GA. When we first moved here over 20 years ago. Hubby and I would eat here every Thursday night. Several years later the family owned business decided to retire, but recently they have re-opened  in a bigger place with charming decor and the food is as good as I remember.

Number 6 on our list is OB's BBQ in McDonough GA. It has good family atmosphere, a fire roars in the fireplace in the winter, the smoked chicken is delightful, the brunswick stew is one of the best. The Savannah chicken salad made with their smoked chicken is great! The portions are generous and the price is reasonable.

The above BBQ joints are hits with my crew, but over the years we have met with a few "fails" as my oldest would say. Recently, we have hit two down right "bombs" and we would not recommend them to anyone. I will only describe our experiences with out revealing their actual whereabouts because maybe just maybe we hit them on an off day, but I don't think so!

Our first recent "bomb" of a resturant came as quite of a shock to us...we were expecting great things as the name of the resturant has a successful cooking show on tv. This  bbq place was located in TN. We found the place located on a river and the atmosphere was nice, the staff was friendly, but the food was less than delightful. I chose a side that I had never heard of and thought I'd give it a try. I had bbq spaghetti. Not only did it taste bad it did not present well on the plate either...the bbq beef seemed dry and tough as well. None of us were pleased with our lunch choice of the day, but the sweet tea was good!

Our next "fail" also came as a shock to us because we had heard so much about the restaurant , some had given it rave reviews.  The restaurant was family owned for over 80 years and located in a town not too far from our home, so I had high hopes, but I was disappointed. I ordered the bbq beef, chopped with Brunswick stew on the side. When the waitress brought our food, my youngest said to me that the stew looked like Emily's dog food...I was hoping he didn't say it loud enough for the waitress to hear. My oldest, later said it looked like something else to him, but I won't mention that here. My hubby ordered bbq chicken and was expecting bbq chicken on the bone like a 1/4 chicken...nope he received 2 boneless char grilled chicken breasts similar to those you purchase in your local Sam's store, and it was topped with bbq sauce. He also ordered a side salad, which was a saucer full of lettuce shreds with a few tomatoes on top, since he picks off tomatoes, he basically had a plate of salad shreds. Salad shreds and a few tomatoes does not a salad make! If you're going make a salad, make a salad! Their bbq sauce has a very vinegary based sauce that actually burned my throat. BUT many people do enjoy the vinegar based sauce, but not us. The price was also very high. So not only was our taste buds dissatisfied so was our wallet!
I took a photo of the food that my youngest said resembled our dog's dogfood.

Like I have said before, we enjoy eating and trying new places. We enjoy bbq, but as with everything, different strokes for different folks. Some people like what others don't. I hope you have enjoyed reading our take on our favorite and not so favorite bbq places around the southeast


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adoption TiMeLiNe so far!!!

Here's the highlights of our adoption timeline....these dates do not include when we first felt the 'nudge' to adopt, the HELLO moment of let's do it etc...but here's some of the important dates. We sent in our application to adopt last Feb. We are currently, 11 months paper pregnant.

Referral 9/20/2010
LOI 9/20/2010
PA 9/20/2010
LOA 11/24/2010
1-800 12/17/2010
NVC 1/6/2011
Article 5 1/20/2010
CoMe On! Travel Approval...time's a flyin'!

On another note, we went to WinterJAM this past Sunday. We waited in line for 2 and 1/2 hours which was worth it because we got seats on the floor. We were seated right next to the second smaller stage where a few of the singers perform and the speakers speak. Tony Nolan did his preaching from right was awesome. I enjoy hearing him speak. His testimony is an amazing one to hear. The first time I heard it was at Winter Jam 2009. Just the previous year, we had an unexpected pregnancy followed by a miscarriage. I had already gotten the adoption bug, when our friends Marc and Sherry came home with their baby girl and the miscarriage intensified this desire to parent another little one.  But I thought back to us and thought who adopts when they are in their 40's and when they already have 3 kids...(apparently many people do)

So, Tony Nolan shared his testimony at WinterJam. He was an orphan himself. If you have not heard his testimony...hear it or read his book Hurt Healer: Reaching out to a Broken World. He also, shared about the need to sponsor orphans and the need to walk in obedience to the scripture of James 1:27. He then shared how they were adopting a little girl from China too. I listened to his story, and weeped. I asked Karl did he hear his story? (lol) The next year, Winter Jam rolled around again, I had already been feeling the strong desire to adopt and had been praying and talking to the hubby about it. He said he was not sure, but he was open...If God wanted us to do it, He'd push us right through the doors. So Karl and the kids planned to go to Winter Jam 2010, I did not go...I knew that Tony Nolan would be sharing his story, he'd be advocating for the orphan, and he might just have some news on his adoption of his China girl. Karl went, came home and said that Tony Nolan shared his story, and introduced everyone to his newly adopted little girl from China. My hubby said to me "maybe we need to do this thing, every where I turn it's adoption, adoption, adoption....China, China, China..." He also said, We won't go wrong helping the orphan." So the rest is history...after almost a year of paperwork and more paper work, a clean septic tank, pet shots, kids check-ups, our checkups, waiting and more waiting, $$$and more$$$.  passports, visas, adoption reading and education, re-building the "nursery" (cause 40-somethings have usually by this time given all their baby stuff away)....we await travel approval!

I heard Tony Nolan's story again this year at Winter Jam. I tried not to weep when I heard about the orphans.  The whole family was a little emotional. So, I emailed Tony Nolan and told our story. He emailed back! He said that he was inspired. I am thankful for people like Tony that share the story that God has given them so that they can be an encouragement and blessing to others.

James 1:27 (New Living Translation)

27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Please pray for us as we continue our adoption journey. Pray for favor as we travel out of the country. Pray that she bonds well with us. Pray that she comes to know Jesus at an early age and seeks to serve Him all the days of her life. Pray that God would parent through us and that He would make all the rough places plain...that HE would love her through us and that HE would love us through her. Pray that HE is glorified! In Jesus' Name!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sunday Snapshot ~ War Eagle

My hubby graduated from Auburn University. I graduated from Miss. State. We root for each others teams until they play each other...and then it's something else around here. THIS year AUBURN is the Nat'l Champions. We decided to take a little day trip to Auburn today and purchase some new Auburn-wear. Today was actually a warmish day and a great day for a day trip after a week of being snowed in and each of us with more than our fair share of cabin fever.

On the way we stopped for something to eat! Shek was already wearing orange and blue.

We went to Wal-Mart first and found a few things to take home! All orange and blue...well, I did get my Karlie girl a pink auburn tee, but the rest of the purchase was orange and blue.
 Orange and blue at the self-checkout!

I snapped this photo as we passed by Toomer's Corner. They were already starting to clean up the TP from the celebratory win earlier this week...
National Champions Banner at the Stadium

Shek and Me pose at Cheeburger Cheeburger....awesome food!

I really liked the water tank!
I thought this was the cutest summer dress with bloomers for Jolie!
My boys modeling their Auburn duds...
We had a fun day at Auburn University today. Karl has great memories of a great school that gave him a great education and prepared him for the career he has today. God is good!

WAAAAAAAR EAGLE! (unless of course they are playing Mississippi State...and then it's Go STATE!

Ni Hao Y'all

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday Snapshot: Some favorite moments from 2010

I loved the year 2010. We celebrated our 20th anniversary. We graduated our oldest from high school. We started the adoption process. We took a few mini trips. We spent a lot of family time together. Here's a few photo highlights of the no particular

Shek at the waterfall steps in Chattanooga this summer. It was very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Zach and band at Atlantafest.

Karl and me pose on our 20th anniversary. Wow! Has it really been 20 years?

My friend Melissa and me and Festival of Light...we exercise together almost everyday.

Karlie poses in her 'back to school' outfit for the PURE FASHION  fall fashion show.

Shek loves to take photos of Emily.

Every year the kids get to open one present on Christmas Eve...they know it will be pjs. We all went downstairs and opened them at "Honey's House" Here they pose in their new pjs in front of her tree.
Zach's Senior portrait by Daniel Stancil. He had some wonderful portraits...We loved them all.

Here we are at the Perry Fair. We love going to the Perry Fair every fall. Hopefully, we can take Jolie this year.

This was taken last January at Caylene's.

Our favorite summer place~~on the boat!

The END of soccer season at our church rec league...Shek and his buddy Ben walk to the car after winning the final game of the season.

Gam's birthday. Honey made her famous pound cake and we put on the 'age' candles!

We all went to the Braves game. Zach was singing  the National Anthem with ACC singing group One Accord.

My sweet 11th grade Core group (Bible Study accountability)  munching on cupcakes.

Karlie with her friends celebrate her 15th birthday at the Cheesecake factory.

Jolie's referral photo.

Jolie on a horse during the winter.

Jolie in pink!

Jolie with no hair?!?

In the N. GA mtns. on our 20th anniversary trip.

In our Easter duds...squinting in the sunshine.

Kim and me pose in her office at church on Easter Sunday.
Zach graduates! Our first 'Homeschool experiment' graduates and goes on to college!

4 generations of girls!

Honey, Karlie and I go to see my cousin get married in LA.

Here's me with my cutie hubby!

In the summer, Elvis sleeps in the sink to keep cool...oh how I miss the summer today as I sit by the fire looking at the snow outside as the entire metro area is shut down due to all this ice and snow...come on spring

Karl and me Christmas 2010

Praise the Lord for a great year. Praying for His guidance and  HIS will and protection  as we face each new day.

Blessings from The Berrys

Ni Hao Y'all

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


We received the NVC letter today via email. It will be "dropped off" Thursday...and I think the current wait for article 5 is 2 weeks. I really don't know what each of these steps mean...I just know we have to walk through them.

NOW to try and get my youngest a passport. We've decided to take him along too. Zach would love to go too, but missing that many days of college would be hard to make up.

That's all I have got for today....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Snapshot-- Nashville

After Christmas, Karl said let's go to Nashville. So we got ready packed a bag and hit the road. He had reserved us a room at he opryland hotel.  IT IS AN AMAZING place. I remember Opryland the theme park from my youth...and also, we went there on our honeymoon....but this hotel is something else...I thought I was over my country girl ways...(not really)!  BUT I felt like the Jeffersons ...I felt like we were movin' on up! LOL

The Christmas lights outside were amazing!

I loved the Nativity and the fact that they were playing the Christmas story straight from scripture. The lights in these trees covered every branch...I am glad I don't have the job of stringing and de-stringing these Christmas lights.
On our way to find our room...we passed many little specialty stores. This one had red glittery boots. I really need these for the cow-girl in me! LOL
Karl and Shek pose by the picture on the wall in the room....
Karlie stands by our window...look at the beautiful view we had of the Christmas lights!
Here's the crew on one of the pretty staircases. I am behind the camera as always. I really was on this trip, I promise...there's just no photographic proof! lol

Karlie and I stopped to take a photo inside by some of the decor. 

Across the street from the motel was the Dukes of Hazzard museum. The General was not on the premises, but we photographed what we could...YOU can't pass by a Dukes Museum without going in. 
Here is Shek with Roscoe P. Coltrain's car.
We took Zach by Belmont University to check it out. He loved it.
We found a cupcake place along the way. 
Here's Zach by a fountain at Belmont. He is holding his Belmont folder with school information in it.
He found a hoodie while he was there!
ON our way home we stopped back by Chattanooga. I love Chattanooga. We ate at Sticky Fingers and then  had dessert at Chattanooga Cupcakes. These are some of the best cupcakes around. I had to have the key west flavor again...but couldn't eat it all. Karlie got the huge turtle one, Shek decided on chocolate overload which is what he got the last time we were there, Karl got lemon raspberry....and after hearing me brag on the key lime flavor so much ...Zach got one like mine too.
We had a great time on our mini-trip! Can we go back, especially since the Home School begins again tomorrow?! LOL 

Ni Hao Y'all