Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Jonathon

Jonathon celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday. We're so proud of him. We never dreamed he'd be a police office. I wish I had a picture of him in his uniform to share with you all. Here's a picture of his birthday cookie.
On Saturday we went to the Fayetteville Square and enjoyed the Christmas lights.. You can tell it was COLD...

Friday, December 10, 2010


Well Christmas is upon us and as most of the folks that follow my blog know I try
to post pics of the kids with Santa each year to show their growth over the years.
Alex reminded me this morning that we needed to take our Santa picture.
So here they are.. enjoy!
Here's Addie's first Christmas with Aunt Fern.

I just had to share this picture of Alex with his friends. Taken in Vietnam.




Boy have they grown or what?
What a blessing!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Where has the last year gone. I feel like I've been in a blender and slowly starting to immerge as a new food item.. All mixed together and made into something new. Or at least I'm looking towards the New Year with anticipation for what God has planned for our family.

Two weeks ago Joe, Ashton and Bentley moved into their own home. I'm still adjusting to the fact that we only have 4 people living in our home now. Having to scale back on dinners and such. They had a wonderful house warming party last weekend. A special thanks to everyone that gave so generously to them. Bentley is growing leaps and bounds. He's now around 13 lbs and is laughing and cooing and starting the "fun" baby stage.

Jonathon and Shawna are expecting Jaylynn to arrive in less than a month. She messaged me this morning and is soooo ready for her to be here. Please keep them in your prayers as they await the arrival of Miss Jaylynn.

Johnny and I are both dieting. I've dropped 12 lbs and Johnny has 23 lbs. I'd like to loose another 5 lbs and Johnny needs to loose at least another 20 lbs. Weight loss is hard and requires a lot of sacrifice but oh I can't wait to see Johnny 30-40 lbs lighter. I think he'll feel so much better. The doctor has already taken him off one of his medications. So far so good!
We're still looking for a buyer for the Valley Inn. Please pray God will send the perfect buyer our way.. I truly believe the right person/people could make it work and be successful. That just wasn't me! We had some serious lookers but last Saturday they called and said they had changed their minds.

The kids are doing well in school. They're growing like weeds. I noticed last week that Alex can now turn the water on and off in the bathroom sink without standing on his toes or using a foot stool. Addie of course has been taller than him for quiet some time. We're in the process of putting up our Christmas tree and our Christmas decorations. I now have the tree up but ornaments on it yet. Was hoping to finish that tonight but I'm working late to finish a scheduled change. At least the hard part of pre-cleaning and dragging everything out of the attic is done. Alex has started making his wish list for Christmas. Surprisingly he's done well considering he doesn't know how to read yet. They're both very intelligent children.

Be a blessing to someone and receive a blessing in return.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Each week I receive a list of children that are waiting to be adopted. Most have some special need that has kept them from being adopted. Many people never look at children listed on Special Needs programs because everyone wants a healthy child. After I got thru looking at the special needs lists I glanced down at the two small pictures I have of my two little blessings and thought to myself I'm so glad my two are no longer waiting for a family. Many people problably don't know it but Mr. Alex was listed on a special needs list because he was 3 and had not been adopted yet. I'm so glad I made the choice to look at that list because our Alex was on that list. As Thanksgiving nears I ask that you pray for all the children out there that are still waiting. Many have special needs many don't. They all want and need to be loved by a family. Are you that family? Do you know someone that might be that family? The old saying goes "You can not change the world for all children but you can change one childs world".
Blessings to you,

Friday, November 19, 2010


That's about all I can say at this point. It's been a ruff week.. Yeah you hear that a lot lately from me. I'm not trying to be over dramatic or anything like that and I'm trying to keep up good spirits and Know That The Lord Is In Control. However that doesn't keep my heart from aching because after all I am human and I have emotions. But I am trusting in the Lord because I know thru trials and troubles we learn patience and we learn that the Lord is in all things.

On Sunday evening I was coming home from a wonderful day with family and after attending a great baby Shower for Jonathon and Shawna's baby girl Jaylynn. I came up the drive way and looked to my left and saw a cat. I looked to my right and saw our Beagle running as hard as she could towards the cat. Bad thing was my car was coming up the hill and she was almost at my tire when I saw her. Long story short without going into too many details our precious Paulie passed away Tuesday night. We brought her home Wednesday night and told the kids and then buried Paulie. Our old dog Katie who is around 18 years old now started falling this week and is unable to get up when she falls. I talked with Johnny this morning regarding putting her down since she layed all day Wednesday on a cold floor in her own urine. Not a good thing. So we're facing the lose of both our beautiful pets this week. To top Wednesday off Johnnys Aunt Fern was admitted to the hospital with heart problems. Great news on her front she had a stint yesterday and was able to come home today. Thank you Jesus.

As many of you know we had to close our business down in September. To say the year has not been easy is an understatement. However, we have a family that is coming to look at the cafe for a second time tomorrow so I'm hoping and praying that we'll be able to find buyers and move on to a knew phase in our lives.

Next week is Thanksgiving and I have a lot to be thankful for. I don't want it to sound like I am not thankful because I am. I have 4 wonderful children, a brand new grandson and a granddaughter due in January. We have a house over our heads, food on our table and jobs to go to each day and our children are healthy and happy. I also have wonderful friends and family members that lift me up in prayer. For that I thank you very much.

I have a couple of prayer requests for you. My cousin Tanis lost her Grandpa on Wednesday. They traveled to Yuma for the funeral please pray for her and her family during this difficult time. My cousin Amy's husband Keith lost his grandmother on Thursday and they will be travelling to TN this weekend. My friend Lisa's sister lost her husband over the weekend. She's now a single mom of three. Please keep Samantha in your prayers.

I send you my blessings.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Win $500 cash

My friend Connie is having a fundraiser/giveaway. If you want to learn how you can win $500 check out her blog.

If you just want to help Connie bring home her daughter from China hit the Chip In link on her blog. Every little bit helps so if you only have $5.00 I know it'd go to a good cause. We're not all called to adopt but God does command us to care for the orphan and the widow. So here's your opportunity to help bring an orphan home to her forever family.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Days of Giveaways.

Stephanie on Ni Hao Ya'll has several awesome
giveaways going on called 30 Days of Giveaways.
Go to here for details.
Ni Hao Y'all

Monday, November 1, 2010


Wonder Woman!
Ninja Boy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Birthday's, Birthday's, Birthday's

We have 4 birthdays to celebrate in less than a months time frame. I don't want to miss anyone so I'll do a post and wish all 4 a Happy Birthday.

First this month is Ashton. She turned a BIG TWO OOOH yesterday. Alex will be celebrating his birthday next week and he'll be turn a big SIX. A week later Joseph will also turn a BIG TWO OOOH. Yep he married an older woman. Finally the love of my life will turn a BIG fourty five. A special Happy Birthday wish out to each one. I love you guys.

On a side note Johnny and I are dieting. He started 2 weeks ago and has already lost 10 pounds. I created a weight loss challenge at work and I'm competing with 9 others to see who losses the biggest percentage of weight in 2 months. We started our diet yesterday. The smack talk here at work has already started so I'm anxious to see who ends up winning. The weight ranges start at 140 and go up to 264 so it'll be an interesting competion.

I'm still looking for a church home so please keep us in your prayers that we'll be able to find the right church. We're also still trusting the Lord to find us a buyer for the Valley. Please agree with us in prayer that the Lord will send the right person our way.

Blessings to each of you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Queen Addie and King Alex

Earlier in the week Addie was "Queen Addie" in her class. I guess they have a king or queen of the day so she got to wear a crown and take pictures and stuff to school and all the kids drew picture of Queen Addie and made a book for her. She had a fun day and came home wearing her crown.

So yesterday Alex came home saying that today would be his day to be King of the day. So we gathered his picutres and stuff for him to take to school and put them in his back pack. Nothing more was really said about it last night. This morning he comes upstairs as I'm getting ready and I say good morning son.

He responds...

I'M KING... too funny!I guess he's really looking forward to being king for the day.

Yesterday as I was driving home I realized I'd missed the update to announce that 3 years ago Alex became our son on October 1st. On October 12th we'll celebrate him being in the U.S. with our family for 3 years. I can't imagine three years going by so quickly but they have. He and Addie both are such a light to our family and we are so blessed to be called their mom and dad.

Just this morning I stopped at the end of the road to feed the horses. They came down the road in the truck with their dad as I was waiting to get back in my car. I see hands waving and kisses being blown my way.. Now how much more of a blessing can you ask for! I'm one blessed momma to 4 wonderful kids (even though two are grown!)
Blessings to you also.Tina

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Words

Lately I find myself at a loss for words. It's hard to articulate this last year and the ups and downs of the last year. Therefore I find myself at a loss for words.

A few weeks ago we made the decision to shutdown the Valley Inn. Last Saturday was our last day at the Valley. Each employee there was great and I respect each of them greatly. The hardest part of closing for me was telling them they no longer had jobs. I don't know if any of you have ever had to do something like that but let me tell you it's not an easy thing to do. It's not something I took lightly nor something I would have done if I could have kept from it. But there comes a time when you have to draw a line so we had to make that choice. I ask each of you to keep my employees in your prayers. I know one person has found a job and the others are looking. Also pray that we can find a buyer for the business. The good Lord knows where we stand financially and I know He has plans for me and my family. He's never left me homeless or without food so I'm trusting in Him that he can send us a buyer.

The kids are doing well in school. They're both enjoying school. I'm glad we made a choice to put them in separate classes. I see them looking at each others work and comparing work so I'm glad they're not competing in class. Alex has learned to read his basic colors and his teacher says he's very smart. I saw Addie's teacher last week and she said she was doing very well in class also. They had their school pictures taken on Monday so I'm anxious to see how they turn out.

Baby Bentley is doing well also. He's finally able to fit into his new born clothes. He's starting to fill out, he's starting to smile and also make eye contact. Pray that Joe and Ashton will be able to find them an apartment or house to rent. Two households living under one roof can be stressful. I would do anything in the world for them but I'm really ready to de-stress and have fewer people in the house. I hope that doesn't sound mean. It just takes a lot to keep up a house with 7 people in it. Those of you with larger families understand completely I'm sure!

We're also in the process of looking for a new church home in our area. I've visited several churches but just haven't found the right fit yet. Please pray we'll find the church God would lead us to.
Blessings to each of you.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Joe and Ashton decided last Wednesday that they were going to get married on Sunday. It was short notice but we pulled it off. Here are a few pics.

Many Blessing to the new couple.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Busy week

Well the kids started school this week. Yesterday was their first day of Kindergarten. They both really seemed to enjoy it. They were up and ready to head off again today which tells me it wasn't too bad. Alex informed his Dad yesterday that his teacher didn't teach him to read. His Dad told him it'd take a while. In response he told his Dad no it doesn't it only takes one day!
Addie on the other hand leaned on my lap last night and told me she was really tired that she'd had a really hard day.. It took all she could do to stay awake.

Here are some pics of the kids on their first day. My battery on my camera died.. thus no good pics of miss Addie.

Big girl waiting to go to her class.
Alex and Allison. He was telling me on the drive to school how he was going to marry Allison one day.

Big boy ready to start school!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Here's our Grandbaby Bentley. We think he's a keeper. He weighed 6 lbs 10 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. God is Good! Mom, Dad and Bentley are all doing well.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


My Granny (Beulah) and her sister Eula will be turning 90 on August 20th. I'm attaching a picture of the two of them. Don't they look great for 90? They are both still very active. My Granny still has a small garden that she takes care of and still cooks dinner on Sunday's for the family. She's telling everyone she's retiring from cooking when she turns 90..We'll see about that! You ought to see my Granny's rolls.. Not to mention taste them.
Here they are. Eula and Beulah!

Happy Birthday we love you both!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our Sweet Jewell turned 5 today

Yep Addie is officially 5 today. She and her brother will be starting Kindergaretn in less than a month. Wow I can't believe we'll be starting school AGAIN! Seems like Jonathon and Joseph were just starting Kindergarten yesterday and they're now 23 and 19.
Her Daddy took a cookie to preschool this morning so she can celebrate with her class mates. My mom will be picking them up this afternoon for a trip to Chuck-E Cheese and then we'll have dinner together as a family tonight. On Sunday we'll head to the river so the kids can swim and celebrate Addie's birthday with her.
I hope each of you has a wonderful week filled with many blessings.
Blessings to you,

Friday, July 16, 2010


Here are the girls 4 years ago. From left to right.
Carlie, Gentry, Addie, Charlotte, Erica, Susanna, Kaylee
Here they were last weekend. (Carlie was not able to make it)
Susanna, Charlotte, Gentry, Erica, Kaylee,(Alex), Addie, (Larkin)
Cooking at Camp

The kids had a great time at camp. We also had a wonderful time seeing friends and seeing how much the girls have grown over the last four years. Many of the girls are starting kingergarten now. So hard to believe it's been four years.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

China Camp

Last month we traveled to Tulsa for Vietnam Heritage weekend and celebrated Alex's heritage with his friends from Vietnam. This week we'll make the journey back to go to China Camp where Addie will get to celebrate her 4 year anniversary of being home with friends from our travel group. It's always great to see old friend and see how the girls have all grown in a years time. It's hard to believe they've been home for 4 years now. We've committed to each other to get together each year to continue the bond for the girls so they can grow up knowing each other and having a link to their home country with fellow friends. Addie always gets excited when I tell her it's time for her to see her "China" friends again. Our travel group for Alex was so much smaller and the boys so much younger than Alex it's not easy to get together and the bond just isn't there yet. We have seen his friend Binhson the last 2 years at Vietnam camp. I'm hoping as Binhson gets older the bond between them will also grow. We have met several wonderful children that we at the same orphanage with Alex that are closer to his age so hoping eventually the friendships there also develop over the years.

Johnny will be staying home this time around. He's just been so worn and still recovering/morning his dad's passing a few weeks ago. He decided that he just wanted a weekend to himself. So the kids and I'll make the trek ourselves! I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone.

On a side note. I wanted to thank everyone for all their prayers and support over the last few months. It is so much appreciated. Please don't stop now. We still need them directed our way!

Something bit Alex last Friday. We're still not sure what it was but he had a severe reaction to the bite and we spent Saturday evening at the ER and then returned for a checkup Sunday morning. I feel like it was a spider bite of some sort. The bite traveled up his vein under his arm which really alarmed us. I'm attaching a picture from Sunday. The swelling was already gone and the redness decreasing but I think you can get the picture of why it concerned us so much. He's on medication for infection and they are doctoring for a possible tick bite to ensure he doesn't end up with Lime disease or tick fever. He never really felt bad but really itched like crazy and the swelling and the traveling streak up his veins concerned us. The itching is gone now and the mark is nearly gone. Hopefully whatever bit him is no longer around!
Blessings to each of you.


Thursday, July 1, 2010


As many of know it seems like when it rains it pours and recently it seems like everything has been raining on my parade! Well this week I've been asking God to show me some signs regarding some things I have questions about. I can't go into all the details but God has been working hard to show me the signs I've been looking for. One prayer I had was that God would show me a way to advertise our business without it costing us an arm and a leg. As you know with any new business you need to advertise and If you've never paid for advertisements just let me tell you it's expensive. So yesterday guess who shows up at the Valley Inn? The local news crew for 40/29! They interviewed several customers, came into our kitchen and filmed our crew and then stayed for lunch. They will air the peace the week of the 16th. So how's that for an answer to prayer! I was so tickled. God worked it out to give us free advertisement. It doesn't require anyone to read a paper and like our add. It just requires them to watch their local news program. Plus it reaches a far greater audience than we could have with an article or with a single advertisement in any news paper. I've been rejoicing all day at how God moves and how he works things out in ways we would never dream of. I praise God for being faithful to me even when my faith seems to be weak. He reals me back in and says see I'm still here, I'm still in control and reminds me to let go and let Him!

Blessings to each of you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Over the last two years Johnny and his brothers have been caring for their Dad and their Aunt Fern. During the day we've had a care giver that's been able to lesson the load. Johnny, my brother-in laws and sister-in laws have stood strong for the last 2 years not wavering in the care they've provided for their Dad and their Aunt Fern. Last Thursday Johnny's Dad, James went home to be with the Lord. His boys unwavering dedication remained strong. After his passing the boys and the grandson's all helped bath and dress James prior to the funeral home coming into the home. Then the day of the funeral the boys met early at the cemetery and dug their Dad's grave. After the services were over two of the boys and a few of the grandson's and family members remained behind to bury him. James was a very dedicated father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was not much of a talker but he spoke wonders with his actions. He loved to joke around and he loved to spend time with his grandkids. I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize James and the great job he did raising his four boys. I also want to recognize his boys and our entire family for the dedication not only to James but to one another. For anyone that has cared for a loved one in the home you know what time and dedication it takes from everyone to provide the proper care needed. Our families still continue to stand firm and are dedicated to continue to care for Aunt Fern. We ask for your prayers during this difficult time.

Blessings to each of you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour

Pass me not, O gentle Savior
Hear my humble cry!
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Savior Savior,
Hear my humble cry!
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Let me at a throne of mercy,
Find a sweet relief:
Kneeling there in deep contrition
Help my unbelief.
Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry!
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by.
Trusting only in Thy merit
Would I seek Thy face:
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace
Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry!
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Thou the spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me!
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in heav'n but Thee?
Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry!
While on others Thou art Calling,
Do not pass me by.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vietnam Camp

Well on Thursday we headed to Vietnam Heritage Camp. The kids had a wonderful time. First on the list of things to do was to go to the Zoo. We spent Thursday morning at the Zoo. To tell you the truth I was a bit disappointed in the Zoo this time around. Last time we were there they had more to see this time around the Polar bear was gone (he died), the Low lands were closed and the exhibit for the Seals was closed. Of course the kids didn't know any different so all was good with them. On Friday night we met with the adoptive families for dinner and the kids played. On Saturday morning we joined back up and the kids made arts and crafts, learned to make spring rolls and learned a dance. That evening we got back together to eat again and to let the kids play together again. Then on Saturday the kids came together again to do some arts and crafts while the parents met with the Dillon staff to find out the latest on adoptions in Vietnam (or lack thereof for the U.S.) and to find out about birth mother searches. Some families are choosing to do birth mother searches at this time. Johnny and I are a bit leary about this. Our agency said that from what they gather from adoptee's the adoptee feels it's their right as they get older to decide if they want to do a search or not. The problem is the longer you wait to do a search the harder it will be to find people that might move. So we'll probably wait and let Alex decide if he wants to do a search for his birth mother as he gets older. We finished the day out with another meal and then we headed back to the hotel where the kids enjoyed time at the pool. The pool was their favorite pass time over the entire weekend. If you have little ones and you spend time in Tulsa I'd recommend the Radisson Hotel on 41st street. They have an indoor pool/park for the little ones and it's a big hit. My kids ask all year "when are we going back to the hotel again?" We ended the weekend by going to see Marmaduke. I have to say it was ok but not as good as I thought it should/would have been.

I'll attach a few pics from the weekend.

Blessings to you all.
Crazy Critters

Climbers.. Addie made it to the top!

Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts

Alex and Miss "E"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Can you say Vacation!

Well sort of anyway..

We're packing up and heading to Tulsa so Alex can go Vietnam Camp. Our agency hosts a heritage camp each year. Last year was our first year to attend both kids heritage camps. We feel like it's important that the kids learn about their heritage and also just as important for them to be around other adopted kids. Tomorrow we start off at the Tulsa Zoo and then camp begins Friday. Looking forward to spending some time just relaxing around the pool also.

So last Saturday spent time cleaning out my closet. I asked Joe to help me haul the stuff out to the car. Alex noticed Joseph caring clothes outside so he asked him what he was doing. Joseph told Alex he was moving out. So Alex proceeded to come find me to ask me if Joseph was moving out. Of course I figured out that Joe was just giving him a hard time so I said yep he's moving out. Alex looked at me very intently and said.. but, but, but is he taking the XBox? Yep was worried about that xbox! I just cracked up. I eventually told him Joe was just kidding. So Sunday I was in the laundry room and Alex came in very serious again and says.. Did Joe move out? I said Alex you know Joe was just kidding that he wasn't moving out. He looked at me and said "But the XBox is gone!" I had to inform him that Joe had taken it to Jake's but that he had not moved out. Joe said he knows now where he ranks!

Addie started gymnastics last night. I think she did really well. I'm anxious to see how she improves and if she enjoys it. Alex wanted to know why Addie got to do something and he didn't.. How quickly he forgets that we've been playing t-ball for almost 3 months now! T-ball is almost over so we may sign him up for Karate or something. I'm not trying to be stereo typical or anything but I really think he'd be good at Karate.

So off we head to Tulsa. Last year someone felt the need/desire to let themselves into our home where they felt the privilege to rummage thru Ashton bedroom and thru Johnnys stuff plus left empty bear cans in our home. We feel like we know who it was and if it happens again I will not refrain from pressing charges. That is breaking and entering and so much not respectful! That person knows darn well we don't allow that type of behavior in our house. Joseph should be at home and on guard this time around!

Have a blessed week.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ears pierced

I'll have to post pictures of Miss Addie's ears. This weekend I was checking FB and noticed that Addie's friend Charlotte had her ears pierced. I showed Addie and then she wanted to talk to Charlotte on the phone. After we hung up she proceeded over an over to tell me she wanted her ears pierced also. She has asked for a while and I've been putting it off but I thought since it was a 3 day weekend that it was probably a good time to have it done so we could watch them and doctor them. We headed over to the mall and had them pierced in no time. She sat very still and quiet and never let on a peep. She was such a big girl and said it only pinched a little. She's done well with them and they don't seem to be bothering her any.

After that we went to La Huerta and ate lunch and then headed to have our manicures and pedicures. I enjoyed this much more than Addie did. I've never had a manicure and I was tickled to get to have one done.

We're getting ready to go on a trip next week to Tulsa so tonight I went and had a spray on tan done. So far it looks pretty good. I don't see any streaks or anything odd. May be a different story when I get in better light! Anyway I didn't have time to tan and really didn't want to be the big "white" woman standing out in the pool. We'll be seeing several families who've adopted from Vietnam next week so believe me my "whiteness" would have shown bright and clear at the pool.

I'm working late tonight. One of my co-workers is out on vacation and I'm on call so I got the job of restarting some of his applications. Waiting for another co-worker to finish his part so I can do my part and head home. Alex had a ball game tonight so I had to miss his game for work. I hate that part of my job. Pray for me that my job won't interfere with my time with my family.

Have a blessed week.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Gotcha Day Addie

May 23rd marked Addie's 4 year Gotcha Day. Boy 4 years has flown by. Addie is such a joy. She still enjoys being rocked each night before bed and DOES NOT like to share moms lap with brother! She will pout if he's in her spot when it comes time to rock. She'll back up and stand in front of me and wait for me to pull her up in my lap. she's tall enough to do this on her own but if I don't reach and out grab her she'll turn and give me this look that only she can give and grunt like ok already! Johnny stayed with his dad last night and on the way home from Alex's ball game they wanted to call him. As Addie was talking to him she said. Daddy when you get home in the morning can you give me a kiss? Now how sweet is that? We are truly blessed that Addie Jewell calls us Mom and Dad.

Alex has six more t-ball games to go. He's really enjoying t-ball and really doing a great job. As most of you know he's rather spastic or at least I call him spastic. Last week his pre-school teacher caught him mooning the other kids.. Yep my son was mooning the other kids. The teacher said I don't know where he got that? Well I don't know either.. Like we walk around our house mooning each other! I probably need to have a conversation with big brother Joseph. He'll be home 3 years in October. He often tells me " I love you soo soo much mom ". What more can you ask for than to be blessed with 4 wonderful children?

Both kids are doing great and are getting ready for Kindergarten. I can't believe they'll be in school in just a few short months. Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday we were in China receiving Addie and now she's been home for 4 years!

Blessings to each of you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Yesterday Ashton's brother Sam passed away. He was logging and the tree he was cutting hung in another tree and the second tree fell on him. Sam was 21 years old and leaves behind a 2 year old son named Braxton. I ask that you remember the Starnes family in your prayers. I know his family would appreciate you lifting them up in prayer during this difficult time.

Thank You,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Back Pain

Well I feel like I'm on the mend however today has been a bit of a set back. Yesterday I went to Sams and pushed a heavy cart around the store and then vacummed last night so I think I over did it. I'm paying for it today. My back is reminding me that it's not well. I'm usually pretty busy and being down is not fitting into my schedule! I'd appreciate it if you all keep me in your prayers.

On a side note Johnny and I learned we are going to be grandparents last weekend. Jonathon and Shawna are expecting. I ask you to uplift them in prayer. Jonathon is still in Camden attending Police Academy. He just finished up his 7th week today. He has 5 weeks left before graduation.

Continue to pray for our new business. We continue to need more business to stay a float. Business has picked up this week but we need it to continue to pick up.
Thanks to everyone for thier prayers and support for our family. I do appreciate it so very much!
Blessings to each of you,

Friday, May 7, 2010


Yep that's the key word on my tongue this week. PAIN, PAIN and more PAIN.
Starting last Saturday my back started feeling not so well. By Sunday evening it was worse and by Monday morning I was in so much pain I was barely able to get out of bed and walk. I went to the Chiropractor on Monday. He asked me about my back history and I told him that I'd broken my tail bone ice skating a few years ago. So he decided to do an x-ray to determine if there were any other issues he could identify. He came back in the room and said. Well I think at some point in your life you've broken your back. He wanted to do an additional x-ray to get a better look at it and came back and said yep it's been broke before. Well the only time I can think of is when I broke my tail bone. So I guess I ended up braking my back when I broke my tail bone. So you'd think a broken back and a broken tail bone would be a lot of pain right? Well yep it was painful but I was always told they couldn't do anything for a broken tail bone and that it was going to be painful so I didn't grip I just dealt with the pain. But the pain I've had this last week has been way far worse than the pain I was in a few years ago! He feels like when I broke my tail bone and back that I also did some damage to the muscles and things surrounding that area causing scar tissue and the pain that I'm having now. Good news is I am feeling much better the last two days. I'm still moving rather slow but I am moving! I'm not in constant pain anymore and I praise God that I'm feeling improvements in my body. Johnny and the kids have been catering to me this week which I've much appreciated. Johnny tied my shoes for me the last two days and has done several other misc things to help me out. Shh don't tell him I've bragged on him but he has been great. I am blessed.

Alex and Addie are doing great. Alex had 2 t-ball games this week and is doing really well. We signed miss Addie up a couple of weeks ago for dance and she didn't want to but last night decided she would. So I guess I'll see if it's too late for her to join dance now. They visited kindergarten the last week and both seem to be looking forward to going to school. Johnny and I are looking forward to having the extra day care money back in our pockets! Time has flown by so quickly and I can't believe that they're getting ready to start school. I was looking at pictures of both the kids last night and how much they've grown and changed over the last 2-3 years. Time just flies!

Blessings to you all. Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


You know I don't consider myself to have a good prayer life. I do however try throughout the day to have conversations with the Lord. I'm trying to be better at praying more intently and focusing more on renewing my prayer life. I know this and studying the word is how I gain strengthen, knowedge and fellowship with the Lord.

The next few things I'm going to tell you about my prayer life are not an attempt to brag about the way I pray or how I pray. Because I know I fail to pray to the extent that I should. I do however want to share these things with you to open up your mind regarding things you might pray for that you overlook. I'm also in hopes that some folks will follow up and encourage me with comments to this posts on things they pray about and how they focus on having time to pray.

As many of you know I spend about 40 minutes each morning on my commute to work and then another 40 minutes returning home. This is generally the quiet time I have to spend and focus on the Lord. In the mornings I listen to Focus on the family. It's such an encouragement for my drive in. The last 15 minutes of my drive I try to spend in conversation with the Lord. Here are a few things the Lord encourages me to pray about on my drive.

  • I pass two liquor stores each morning and evening. I pray for the owners of those stores and I pray for the people purchasing alcohol. I pray that they will no longer have a desire to drink and that they will turn to the Lord instead of turning to alcohol.
  • There are 3 specific cars I meet on a regular basis. I call these my car buddies when I pray for them. I may never meet these 3 gentlement and they may never know that I pray for them each day. Regardless the Lord has called me to pray for these gentlemen so I do.
  • I pass through a community with several elderly people. I pray for the community and the elderly in that community.
  • Of course I also pray for my family and the situations we face and turn those issues over to the Lord.
  • I also pray for my co-workers at JBHunt and at the Valley.

Again I don't tell you these things braggingly cause I fail to pray as I should and I know where my failures are. However I want each of you to think outside the box when you pray. Do you have complete strangers you pray for? Do you have communities you pray for? Has the Lord given you a specific cause to pray about? If so share them with me. I'd love to hear about your prayer life and the things God has placed on your heart to pray about. We get so tied up in praying for me and my 4 and no more as the old saying goes that I think we forget about the millions that are lost and dieing that don't know the Lord. It's our job to be a light to them not only in deed but also in prayer.

Blessings to you.


Friday, April 16, 2010

We Are the Truth!

I was suppose to post this yesterday and I let it slip my mind so I wanted to ensure I posted today. Joint Council has asked adoptive families to join the "We Are The Truth" - an adoption blogger day: To ensure the world knows about every successful adoption, on Thursday, April 15, 2010 they ask that adoptive families blog about our adoptions or the adoption of someone we know. It doesn't matter if your adoption is with Russia, domestic or otherwise international. Let the world know your truth!

So here is the truth. Many people are called to adopt. Many people are NOT called to adopt! Our family answered the call to adopt and we have been so truly blessed for answering that call. Most of you that follow our journey already know our adoption stories but for those of you that don't I want to share.

On October 19, 2004 a little boy was born in Vietnam to a young mother that could not care for him. After 10 days of I'm sure heart wrenching thoughts and prayers she decided to give her son Nguyen Nhat Hung the opportunity for a better life. She in turn placed him in the care of the Social Center of Ninh Thuan orphanage Province.

On July 23rd 2005 a little girl was born in China. Her mother must have also felt the same heart wrenching pain and in four days after her birth she placed her little girl in at the gate of the Civil Affairs bureau of Shaggao County.

In November 2004 Johnny and I finally answered the call to adopt and began the process to adopt. We visited our agency for an informational meeting and decided we'd adopt from China. We started the adoption (labor) paperwork and began the long wait to bring our daughter home from China. As we waited to receive our referral from China the adoption process in China slowed way down. What was a normal 6 month wait turned into 9 months. During that time frame Vietnam re-opened for adoptions and I felt a tug at my heart that there was a child waiting for us in Vietnam. After careful consideration I felt we needed to move forward with our adoption in China so we processed with China. In March 2006 we received the long awaited call from our agency that we had a daughter! Her name was Shangguan Xin Jing and we immediately fell in love. It all seemed so surreal at the time. I really don't think I let myself believe that she was our daughter until we were in the U.S. with her. She was so cute and such a sweet baby. The first day we had her we decided to go out for a walk and see Nanchang. So off we went. TinaH and I walking and Addie in the stroller. We stopped to talk to another family along our way and as we turned to walk on I thought I'd check on Addie. There she sat hands clutched to the stroller setting straight up fast asleep. Bless her heart I had to pry her hands off the stroller. That scared little girl quickly became a shining spot in our lives. She has a deep down belly laugh that just makes you smile. We are so blessed that God saw us all the way across the world from Addie and picked us to be her parents! Yes God picked us to be her parents and we are truly blessed.

Six months after returning home the thought that we had a child in Vietnam was still very much real in my mind. A few months later Johnny and I agreed we'd check into adopting an older child. I'd already secretly been online checking out waiting children on our adoption website. I'd found a little two year old boy on the site and had brought home his picture for Johnny to see. After a few days I asked Johnny again if he'd made a decision on the little boy. He picked up his picture and looked again and said "Yes". That was it! I knew from that minute that Nguyen Nhat Hung was our son. Tears came to my eyes and I rejoiced all the way to work knowing that God had just given us a son! I contacted our agency and was told that since Hung was older than Addie that we had to go before the adoption board to be approved to adopt him since our agency does not allow out of birth order adoptions. A week later the board made the decision and we received the call that Nguyen Nhat Hung was now our son "Alex Scott". We'd already begun the paperwork to bring him home so we continued down that path to bring him home. In September 2007 Tanis and I traveled to Vietnam. Where an almost three year little boy by the name of Nhat Hung Nyguen took my hand and walked away from the only home he had ever known! He was such a little man. He didn't cry or wimper and really didn't look back. He just took my hand and walked away from the orphanage and forever became our Alex Scott. We love him so dearly and have been so blessed to have been chosen to be his parents.

I don't want to over look the opportunity to let everyone know how blessed we as parents are. Many people tell us how blessed our children are. But I have to say I think Johnny and I and our family are truly the ones that are blessed to have been chosen by God to raise these two wonderful children.

Blessed beyond measure to be an adoptive family! "We are the truth"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rubbing Elbows

How many times have you heard the old saying "Rubbing Elbows". Oh I went (....) and rubbed elbows with so and so. Or I did this and ran into so and so.. Well I have to tell you I went to church this weekend and guess who I Rubbed Elbows with..... Yep Jesus Christ himself. You didn't expect that one did you?

On a daily basis your co-workers and friends will tell you stories about being at the airport and running into someone famous. Or going to a Basketball game and only setting a few feet from someone famous. It's funny how we long to be noticed or to be involved or to be included or to shimmer a glimpse of what life might be if we were famous or if we new someone that was.

Well I have to tell you my friends. You already have that! Yep you know the most famous person in the world and can have a personal intimate relationship with Him! What more can you ask for? He's always present, always listening and has promised that he will never leaves us or forsake us. Hasn't the Bible always been the most popular selling book from year to year every since it was created? Doesn't scripture say with just the mention of the name Jesus that the demons have to flee? Do you know someone else who's name has that power and that authority. Can you call Him your friend? Can you call Him your Lord and your Savior and your King? If so why aren't you spreading the word? The next time someone tells you how they "rubbed elbows" with so and so. Tell them a greater story about how you "Rub Elbows" with the King of King and Lord of Lords each and every day!


Thursday, April 8, 2010


I've wanted to post about this for some time but have been really unsure how to post this information. I don't want someone to take the post wrong. So here goes. As many of you know Joe and Ashton have dated off and on again for a couple of years now. On October 31st Ashton decided it was time to switch gears and chose to move out of our home. As many of you know we opened up our heart and our home to Ashton as her own. So her choosing to leave was not an easy thing for any of us but especially hard for Joe. He cares very, very deeply for her. Ashton soon moved in with another family and in January we learned that Ashton was pregnant. She is 19 weeks along and she found out yesterday that she is having a boy. Our family continues to try to be there for Ashton we know she's facing a very difficult situation being a single mom. Joe has been very strong and has been a big encouragement to her during this time. She is now living with a girlfriend and her family. I ask you to uplift Ashton and her baby in your prayers. She has a long road ahead of her and needs your encouragement and prayers.
Blessings to you,

Monday, April 5, 2010


Here's Rick and the kids on his leave from the
Marines a couple of weeks ago. Addie did his hair for him.
Handsome and Single!
He found the prize.

My aunts and my granny before my Aunt Donna went back to Washington. From left to right Danita, Delane, Donna and my Granny who will be 90 in August.
And of course you have to have a sheep for Easter!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blessing this morning

So this morning I stop at the gas station to get gas. A man in probably his 50's pulls up beside me to get his gas. I pump my gas as he cleans his windows on his vehicle. I go in to pay for my gas and turn around and look out the window to see him cleaning my window! Yep about freaked. My first thought was.. You know people don't just do kind things anymore. So I walked out the door and he puts the cleaner back in the wrack and turns around to walk in to pay for his gas. He doesn't say anything so I look at him and say Thank you and he responded your welcome. So I added I hope you have a Blessed Day and he responds you too.

Yep I guess just a really nice guy doing something kind. I didn't think my window was that dirty but I guess he did.

God is good. Have you passed on a blessing to someone else today? Isn't it time we do?

Alex and Addie -ism's

Ok so as many of you know Alex is quiet the character. He's constantly saying things that are just really funny. Here are a few of them.

  • Alex and Addie are playing at my mom's house. Addie has the fly-swat and hits Alex on the leg with it. Alex turns and says stop it Addie when you hit me it hurts my throat.
  • I was rocking Alex the other evening and singing to him as I rocked him. He said mom stop singing it hurts my eyes.
  • Yesterday Alex was eating gummie snacks and he dropped two in the floor. He quickly scooped them up and went to throw them in the trash. I looked at him and said son they aren't dirty you can go ahead and eat them (10 second rule) So he proceeds to eat them and gets choked. I offer him a drink and he says I'm choked because you made me eat that dirt!

So I have to throw in a couple for Addie. She's our quiet sneaky one you have to watch.

  • So her Daddy as Daddy's will do farted the other evening. Addie was setting on the end of the couch taking the brunt of it. She never said a word. She waits a few minutes and gets up and moves to the other end of the couch where he was laying and sits on the arm of the couch next to his head. He then said she proceeded to fart (quiet but deadly) and waits for a second and then begins to giggle! Now who's the smarter of the two!
  • Johnny, Alex and Addie are driving home one day and they are talking about that hurt. Addie responds my eyes hurt when I poop! Her daddy looked at her and said well honey all I can tell you is not to strain so hard.

If those don't crack you up your funny bone is broken! Humor is good for the soul.
Blessings to you,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

If my heart is right when He calls me

If my heart is right I will hear.
If my heart is right when He calls me
I'll be somewhere listening for my name.
I'll be somewhere listening,
I'll be somewhere listening,
I'll be somewhere listening for my name.

Last night in church I was testifying regarding my thoughts on yesterdays post. Another lady in our church mentioned while I was testifying that the song above kept going threw her mind during the testimony. How true that is. In order to be in God's will and in order to hear what he has to say to us then we need to be somewhere listening for our name. Our hearts needs to be right for us to hear our call. If we're too busy listening to the things of the world or too busy worrying about what our neighbors doing or how they're behaving then truly where is our heart ? It's easy to look at others and cast judgements on what they could do differently or what they could do better. How often do we look at ourselves what can I do differently for God? What can I do better to Glorify the kingdom of God? Where is your heart truly?

If my heart is right when he calls me.
If my heart is right I will hear.

Are you somewhere listening for your name? Are you somewhere listening to that still small voice so you can be in the center of His will. Or are you somewhere listening to the latest gossip around you? Open your ears and here what the Lord has to say. Open your heart and be in the Center of His will. Open your mind to the things that only He would ask of you.

If my robe is white I will answer.
If my robe is white I will hear.
If my robe is white I will answer.
I'll be somewhere listening for my name.

shhhhh are you listening?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another Great Blog

Check this out

I'd visited this blog once before but had forgotten about it. I ran across it again one day this week and went oh yeah I really liked that blog. So I'm passing the link on to you all. I hope you enjoy it also. "We didn't get the Memo" is a really great reminder of how out of priority "we" as a culture have become. We spend more time worrying about time off, what can we do for self, and general day to day things "we deem" necessary that other cultures and people deem as luxuries. Recently I've run across several families that are giving so much of themselves unselfishly and it just amazes me and reminds me of the fact that God has not just called them to give of themselves unselfishly but He calls each of us to do just that. To put Him and His calling for our lives first and to put self second. I ask each of you to read Linny's post and ask yourself. Are you doing everything God has called you to do? Is there something in the back of your mind that you've thought about from time to time and you've never acted on it. Is it time to act? Is it time to step out on faith? Is it time to pray about it and see what God has to say? Yeah it's easier to push it to the back of your mind and try to forget it for now. But one of these days you will have to answer to God why you never answered that call. You're call may be different from Linny's. Your call may be different than mine. But God has called each of us to do His will and His purpose. Seek Him! He will lead you and guide you and He will never forsake you. I'm looking for the next chapter in our lives. The chapter God has clearly defined and planned out according to His will and His purpose. I'm looking forward to it with anticipation. The last two times we answered that call I was blessed beyond measure with two beautiful children I now get the privilege to call my son and daughter. I can't imagine what would have happend if I'd pushed that small idea to the back of my mind and never heeded that call. If you've ever met my children.. Can you imagine my family without them?? Deep thought, deep subject. God asks us to delv deep! But He doesn't ask us to do it alone!

Blessings to you,


Thursday, March 11, 2010


Been a few weeks since I posted so I started feeling bad that I haven't updated my blog. Not sure how often anyone checks it anyway but I to keep it updated as a kind of journal of our daily happens.

So what's up? Well not a whole lot! Alex and Addie are both growing leaps and bounds. I can't believe how big they're getting. They're both doing well in preschool and getting ready to start Kindergarten in a few months. Alex's preschool teacher told Johnny this week that the time it takes most kids 45 minutes to complete a task Alex is completing the same task in about 15 minutes. She said she just gives him additional work to keep him busy. They both have learned to say the pledge of the Allegiance to the Bible this week. I really like our preschool. I think they do a wonderful job with the kids. It amazes me at how much the kids have learned just in the last few months. The preschool even sent homework home the other night to help the kids prepare for school work. Oh I don't miss that and am not looking forward to nights around the kitchen table doing homework!

Jonathon is now officially Deputy Cornelison. I think he made 3 arrests this week. Two were illegal aliens. He also bought a horse last week and is wanting to learn to rope. I don't know how he's going to find time to do that since he'll be going to Camden in a few weeks to attend Police academy.
Joe has decided to work for a semester and go back to school hopefully next semester. He's currently employed at Swift-Eckrich. Hopefully he'll be able to save up enough money to help him thru his next semester of college. He is also planning on going into law enforcement but can't until he's 21.

So many of you may be wondering about The Valley Inn. Yep we're still in business. My sister-in law is running it for me. I think she's doing a great job. I have some really good employee's. It's not been easy so far but I feel like business is going to pick up and that we're going to be successful at "some point". So I ask you to keep us in your prayers. I have 10 employees and a community that needs this business. As many of you know we live in a small community and this is the only restaurant in our community. We have gas stations that serve pretty good food but this is the only sit down restaurant in a 10 mile radius. It's also 1 of 4 businesses in downtown Hindsville. When we reopened people were so excited to be able to have a local restaurant again. We just need to build our customer base to be successful. So I ask that you pray for us, our community, our employees and our customer base. I know God placed us there for a reason and I'm holding on to Him that He's going to see this thru.
I'm still working at JBHunt. It's not been easy trying to raise a family, hold down a job at JBHunt and keep up with needs of a restaurant. But God is providing, He's uplifting, He's encouraging. So I'm trudging along doing what I can and trying to not let it bother me if I CAN'T. I think we get so tied up in trying to do everything that we forget to place it all in His loving hands. Because I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Here's a link to our website for the Valley. I encourage you to come see us. We serve a mean steak on Friday night.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Blessings to you,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Morning

Well it's Saturday morning and I need to be cleaning the house but it's one of those days where I really would prefer to just sit and veg for a bit. Johnny headed to town to run some errands. The kids are watching cartoons and expanding the mess in the house. When my boys were little I spent all day Saturday mopping, sweeping, cleaning and doing laundry. Now my house is lucky if one room gets a good cleaning once a month. Life's to short to spend it constantly cleaning. So I forewarn anyone that wants to come visit come on over but know I'm not too terribly concerned if the house looks like a wreck. Alex and Addie will be past this age soon and the house will be in order again before you know it. Kids just grow up too quick.

I hope you all had an opportunity to look at the blog I posted last week. I started in 2007 and have made it thru 2008. I'm anxious to get caught up to the current date. I've been amazed at this girl named Katie and her joy for the Lord and her ability to drop everything that makes common sense to most of us and follow the Lord. Most of us as Christians worry to much about what others might think or how we're going to make it to truly step out on faith and do exactly what he's called us to do. Not that all of us are called to be Missionaries or called to adopt or called to preach but each of us has a purpose and a calling. Her blog has made me ask myself over and over am I stepping out on faith and doing all I'm called to do. We get so tied up in the day to day hassle of life that sometimes we forget to listen to the still small voice of our Lord.

I think tonight we're going to go to a Lunar New Year celebration. Last Saturday our Asian friends celebrated their New Year. We belong to a small adoption group that gets together from time to time to celebrate Holidays and things to allow our kids to see a small part of their culture and to be around kids and families that look like us. I'm just now getting to the point that when we go out I don't notice people watching us or questioning the appearance of our family. Some times it can be obvious. Last night Johnny brought the kids down to the cafe. I was talking to a customer telling her they were my kids. She responded your grandkids? lol.. It's always a learning process for everyone. I want the kids to be around other adoptive families so they can see that while we may be unique in some ways there are other families just like us. After all it's ok to be different. It's ok to be unique. It's ok to step out on faith! I'm so glad our family stepped out on faith. I encourage you to do so today. The blessing is far better that what people say or think.

Blessings to you all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Well it's Friday

All week I've been contemplating on what I should post and haven't really come up with anything substantial to post. However as I scanned over to my friend Amy's blog I was touched as she was by another woman's blog. Amy posted this link on her blog and I thought I'd share it on mine also.

Here's the link to her blog.

Wow is all I can say. What an amazing woman she is. I've added her blog to my favorites. I wish I could write and share the word of God as she has. I know each of us has our own talents we just have to look to God for them and then act on them. You may not be called to move to a foreign country and adopt 13 kids. But consider what it is God has or is calling you to do and act upon it. My prayer is we'll all follow Him. That is truly follow Him no matter what the cost.

Blessings to each of you,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Your primary goal should be to live in an ongoing state of surrender, acknowledging that without the intervention of the Holy Spirit you will be defeated by the power of sin. If there is a singular theme that emerges from the entirety of Scripture, it is this: Through relationship with God, man is finally capable of doing that which he was incapable of doing on his own. That's what walking in the Spirit is all about. And that's what character is all about...Character is the by-product of dependency...Character is the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost."~Andy Stanley~
Each year I post pics of how the kids have grown next to Santa. Here's 2007.
Here's the 2008 picture.
And here's 2009. Look at the hip action Addie has going on. Whew how they've grown!

My two big-ins at Christmas. I'm so proud of them both.

Here's some snow action from a few weeks ago. I couldn't leave Paulie out of the picture. I think she's smiling.

This is what you call a hillbilly sled. Oh well it worked!

Too cute!

Too handsome!

Taking time out to poise for a pic.

Too funny!

Well I haven't posted much lately especially pictures so I thought I'd better get some uploaded. I know that's what most people are looking for when they logon. Hope you enjoyed!