Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thank you momma!

Yesterday Karl brought home supper from Shanes Rib Shack. I had to run out the door to a meeting for about an hour so I hugged everyone bye, as the rest of the family were about to sit down to eat. When I got home, Karl and the kids told me what happened at supper. Karl told me that he mentioned to Jolie that the day was a special day because this time last year we were in China getting you. We had been talking about the special day coming, looking at our China photos, and openly talking about our forever family day. Karl said, that Jolie looked at him and very seriously said over and over, "Tank you momma, tank you momma getting me."

Forever Family Day 2011

Signing those official papers and sealing with a thumbprints

When he told me about it, he said it was quite touching how she said it. AND she was dead serious. I got a lump in my throat just hearing about it. Karlie said she didn't mention dad!! While  the two were describing the event to me, Jolie looked at me and repeated the whole thing. "Tank you momma, tank you momma getting me."  Although she just said momma, I know she meant daddy too.
Summer 2011
Now that lump in my throat turned to tears, as I was hearing my baby girl tell us thank you for coming to get her.
Sibling love

We are truly blessed at the Berry House, and our hearts melted into puddles last night. Thank you Jolie for being our sweet baby girl! Thank You Lord for sending us on the journey!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Forever and Ever AMEN

One year ago this very day, Baby Girl was placed in our arms, and my blog  count hit an all time high that day.
Jolie arrives at the civil affairs office this time last year.
Her first impressions of the whole ordeal...
Our Guide Christine tries to comfort her.
Sill upset...
but Karl is the baby whisperer, and she quickly calmed down with him.
This photo was snapped the next day at the official adoption paper signing...she was blowing kisses to everyone, and was very happy. This is my favorite photo of adoption day. We both were joyful here and our hearts were captured on film. 

1 year later!
WOW! How she has grown! I can't believe it's been a year! Jolie has bonded well with our family it's if she has been here all along. We can't imagine life with out her in it. She is quite the social butterfly and knows how to work a room. She loves to go to church and learn about Jesus.  IF she has to miss church, because she has a cold, or something she cries and cries. I am glad she is delighted to go to church. She sings Jesus loves me all the time, afterall that was the first English song she heard as Karl sang this to her every night as she went to sleep. She goes to speech 2 x a week, she's had her palate repaired. She is speaking English words right and left, she holds up 3 fingers to tell how old she is, I always remind her that she's only 2 1/2, don't rush it. We talk of China, she calls it Tinna, she watches little youtube videos of the 4 princesses, (girls singing  songs in Chinese). We enjoy looking at her China pictures, I tell her that we came to China because we are her parents and her foster family took care of her until we could get there.

She has learned to pose, and if she finds something in the store she wants she stands by it and smiles similar to a Price is Right model..It's quite cute. 
She's big on giving and getting kisses and hugs
Sister love
Jolie loves to share your supper especially if your name is Zach!
Momma love
momma and 2 out 4 babies
Dad with 3 out of 4 kiddos

I end this post with a line from the old Randy Travis Hit  and a quote from Love you forever,
To our kids:
 "I'll (we'll) love you forever and ever amen!"

"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my bab(ies) you'll be."
Happy Forever Family Day, Baby Girl! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Decision I ever made

Life is full of decisions and choices to be made. I have made my share of good and bad choices over my lifetime, but the best decision I ever made was to follow Jesus. At the age of 13 years old, I  finally asked Jesus to take control of my life. You see I  knew who Jesus was, but I didn't KNOW Him. I knew I needed HIM, I knew I was a  mess. So, my mom talked me through the scriptures, and I asked Him to take control of my life and HE did. I have not been the same since! Sure, I have grown a lot, made mistakes, struggled with bad thought life, and even with doubts. BUT I am thankful that although I am growing in Him, I know that He is not done with me yet...I have one of those under construction signs with the orange cones  right in front of my life. I am thrilled that I am a work in progress~HIS work in progress.

At church, our focus has been The Frontier Awaits. Our church has partnered with other churches around the globe, seeking to share JESUS with those who have never heard of HIS saving grace. Also, our pastor challenges us to be a missionary in our own mission field, at work,  in our community, and with our family. After all we are missionaries everywhere we go, our lives are speaking to others,but what is it saying? If we know JESUS then are we being that light in this dark world?

So, I want to make the most of those divine appointments in my life, I want to take this opportunity to share a sweet little card that was given to us at church it was designed by the Billy Graham organization. The card's fold is called the never ending card ...and that's just what eternity is~ never ending.

The never ending card opens like this, and has STEPS to peace with GOD...
Fold the card to see step 2...we see what separates us from GOD and that is sin!
We can see that no matter what good we think we can do, it won't bridge the gap between us and GOD, but one bridge does and it is...
The Cross! God's bridge is The Cross.
Our Response is to TRUST JESUS.
Admit that you are a sinner.
Be willing to turn from your sins.
Believe that Jesus died for you on the cross and rose from the grave.
Pray to Jesus like the prayer listed on the card above.
If you have asked Jesus to take control of your life for the first time, let somebody know, comment here, or email me, I will be happy to pray for you as you live for JESUS and grow in HIM!

Friday, February 24, 2012

kindred spirits...bosom friends...

Sunday Snapshot

Friends are friends forever if the Lord is the Lord of them, and a friend will not say never cause the welcome will not end...I can still hear those words from that Michael W. Smith song. My classmates and I sang those words at our high school graduation years the song ended the tears flowed as we realized that we would not be seeing those same familiar faces as much anymore. Little did we know that facebook would reunite us all later down the road.

Yesterday, I read this really great post about friendship by Ann Voscamp. Much of her writings usually hit me in the core of my spirit, and this friendship post was one that hit hard. It listed 4 ways to be a better friend. Sometimes or should I say most of the time I fail horribly in the friend department. I have been the friend on the severed side before and I have been the friend that has done the severing before.

Everyone wants friends, close friends, the Jonathan and David, Anne Shirley and Diana Barry type of  friendships. But with that  kind of friendship there is commitment, so many times we just stop our friendship/relationship off at acquaintance and never really let anyone in, never let the walls down.  AND this day and age...we must be intentional with our friendships and relationships. AND many times, I am not. I let busy family life, or fear of rejection get in the way of making people a priority.
Anne Shirley~Diana Barry
Kindred Spirits~Bosom Friends
from one of my favorite books
Anne of Green Gables
In Voscamp's post she talked about a friendship that was severed. She wrote It doesn’t matter what you get done if you’ve undone a heart  – and there are no real accomplishments apart from relationship.
God has blessed me with lots of friends over the years, and several that have become very close dear friends over the years and God has recently blessed me with a sweet bloggy friend that I have so enjoyed getting to know. God is good...He is all about relationships!

Her post was a good one, one that hit  me between the eyes, a post that makes me want to strive to be a better friend. A posts that makes me want to drag out all the friend photos that I can find and post them, but I realize that I don't have photos of all my friends...but maybe I can drag up a few...

 Here's an 'oldie' photo with a lot of friends represented, including the hubs, he's a pretty good best friend let me tell ya! Also pictured here are Becky, a sweet college friend/band friend, dorm buddy BSU Bible study leader; Daf, we met in 5th grade, I moved away, then we reconnected in jr. college where we both were majoring in Music, and later became college roomies; Tammye friend since, high school, met in band, now she lives about an hour away, how funny we moved away from our homestate and ended up in the same state far from home, then there was Amy friends since jr. high, lived down the road from me. All sweet friends that have blessed my life.

Here's photos of more sweet friends...
Me, Carrie Ann and Melissa
We three were all walking/exercise buddies and Carrie Ann and I even walked the Peachtree Road Race a couple of years ago.
Kim. Elizabeth and me...met at church...our boys grew up together and were playmates when they were little kids and teens.

My sweet homeschool friends, Joni, Lorene, and me. They love me even when I make quirky faces.

Our fam with the Lewis fam...sweet friends who share Jesus without Fear in a far away place..and who planted a seed with us about Chinese adoption.
Here's my good friend Shannon and her best friend, Missy, they stayed up really late making this awesome sweet 16 cake for Karlie's bday.

I am so thankful for sweet friends.

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.
These are all the friend photos I have access to on this computer. So if you're my friend, and you don't see your photo here, watch out, because I have a camera in my purse and I know how to use it!
So get ready to say

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Someone needs some new pants?

With the weather feeling more and more spring-like, Karl decided to ditch his jeans and find his short pants. So when he tried on last year's spring shorts, he discovered that he needed to find his belt too. Loose pants make the Berry clan or at least the adults in the house super ecstatic! We can't seem to say it enough around here, Thank you Lord, for sending us AdvoCare!

Ready to take the 24 day Challenge and experience loose pants for yourself? Mssg. me or visit our website:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

genetic or learned behavior?

Is stubbornness genetic or a learned behavior?  I was just wondering! If you ask my hubby or my mom they would both agree that I am a little stubborn. Then you look at our kids and each of them have from time to time shown stubborn characteristics. Jolie is stubborn too, and I wonder did she get her stubborn qualities genetically or did she get them from watching the rest of us behave! lol

Jolie loves her lipstick.

Earlier today, we went to the doctor's office for Jolie's cold. When we got home, she had to take her meds, which she did not want to do, but at least I got them in her mouth. About 15 or more mins. later she came to me wanting me to wipe her nose. I wiped her mouth too because I thought there was a little of the pink medicine left around her mouth. SO when I wiped it, she spit  out all of her medicine. She had been walking  around with 2 different medicines in her mouth. NOW, can you say stubborn? I don't think even I am that my question is this: stubborn is it genetic or learned or a little of both?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Maybe, just maybe...I have lost some weight.

While looking through some photos on the computer today, I came across this one:
This is a photo of my friends Joni, Lorene and me. We are all homeschool moms, and Lorene was about to move out of the USA, her hubby is in the army. She is also a fellow adoptive mom. She adopted her youngest son in China several years ago. This photo was taken this past summer and I look quite fluffy here.
I am less fluffy here
I remember how I felt in that June photo too, miserable, I feel worlds better now.
Thanks to the Lord for sending AdvoCare into our lives to help get us 
back on track.
It's an amazing and fun journey.

Monday, February 20, 2012

fav photo monday

Dad had the day off, big bro was at school, big sis on a retreat and baby girl said she wanted ham for lunch. everyone loves dad including this momma...I snagged this photo w my phone!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Heart day Ramblings

Yesterday was Valentines day. I have always loved Valentine's Day. I remember that Valentines Day was always the best in elementary school. BECAUSE we made those sweet little Valentine mail boxes, we had a valentine party at the end of the day and everyone would bring their teacher a valentine heart wrapped in red cellophane.

 AND we'd munch on those little candy hearts with the messages on them. I would lay awake the night before in anticipation for the Valentine's school party.

Then Junior high came and the fun was just zapped right out of the holiday...gone was the day of sweet little Valentines for everyone in the it was time for student council to sell carnations, white for friendship, pink for secret admirer and red for love...and this went on thru high school..and then there were the serious couples, the guy would send huge floral arrangements with balloons to the school office for his girl...depressing, simply depressing for the rest of us

So in my memory...elementary valentines were the bomb...upper school not so much.

But once I was in college and had a love know that guy sitting across from me in this living room, well,  Valentines Day finally became special again because I would get flowers and  mushy stuff like that, it was no longer the single awareness day that so many people call it today.
retro us

I remember once when we were first married, it was Valentines Day and my doorbell rang, I looked out the window and what did I see, a florist, standing on my stoop with a beautiful vase of heart skipped a beat...I couldn't believe he had sent roses, delivered flowers back then would have been way to I yanked open the door and would you believe it, he had the wrong house, he was asking for directions, yep those flowers were for my next door neighbor. LOL...talking about disappointing!

Anyway, little presents/gifts are really not my love language. I did tell my hubby though that even though little presents are not my love language there are a few times during the year, that a little something is nice, Valentines being one of them, and yesterday, actually the day before yesterday he surprised me with tulips, my favorite...and then yesterday with a card too..
My tulips

The kids got a variety of goodies and candy, and have enjoyed the abundance of chocolate in the house.

I hope everyone reading my heart day rambles had a very happy valentines day this year.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sunday Snapshot~Karlie

Last week, when the sun was shining and it was still warm outside, Karlie and I grabbed the camera and took a few photos. Here's some of the photos we took just around the house.

Karlie my sweet 16 year old girl. Love you girlie!

Sunday Snapshot

An Arctic Blast

This winter has been a mild one. In fact, on Thursday, I walked outside in my bare feet, and short sleeves. I am not a fan of cold weather. This time last year, when we were in the middle of the coldest winter on my record, I was singing Rascal Flatt's song, Summer Nights, hoping that by singing it I could rush warmer weather my way. Anyway, today, the temperatures dropped to bitter cold reminding me that yes, this is really wintertime. So guess what we did on the coldest day of our winter so far?

We went to a new place called Berry Mango's, a frozen yogurt bar. Oodles of self serve frozen yogurt, and lots of toppings to add. I just like yogurt with no toppings, cheesecake and a dollop of praline yogurt was my choice.

 Shek wants a bite...
DAD was taking lots of photos with the iphone. 

I even had a little extra scoop in honor of my new friend who lives far away, but loves ice cream!
It was a coooooold day outside, but that yummy frozen yogurt hit the spot.