Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Girls

Option A was getting to church on time.  Option B was dragging the girls out to the front porch and making time for a few photos before we left.  No contest.

Lost Cause

From Hartsville to the Asheboro. 2 hours each way. 212 mile roundtrip. From the African plains to the North American swamps: 1,600 individual animals representing over 225 species. A Saturday road trip to the NC Zoo, and a cost of admission that I can't even bring myself to say outloud . Our third zoo in two months. And despite it all, it still always comes down to the same two questions for our 3 avid explorers... Where's the playground, and how many times can we ride the carousel? smh. One day these ungrateful rugrats will learn that we go to zoos to see the ANIMALS!!!!!!!

Good Grief.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Family Driven Faith

The road to DSS adoption and foster licensure has been a long one.  It hasn't been a particularly difficult road, to be honest... but it has been long. And what (for almost two years) has often seemed like an exercise in futility (seminar after seminar, one handful of papers to fill out after another... all to no end) shifted from theory to practice to our high stakes reality with one phone call during lunch today.  Yep... tonight we tucked four beautiful children in for bed.  And it was wonderful.

Today was definitely a race to the finish line.  An otherwise ordinary day became a pivotal moment in the history of our family; and it was filled with excitement (I thought Jasmine was going to bust out of her skin at some point), anticipation, nervousness, and purpose.   For all of us, it was mentally exhausting, and even physically taxing.  But through it all we could not be more grateful that God has trusted us with the opportunity to care for another of His most precious gifts. We don't know if her stay with us will be for just a few days, weeks, or months... but either way, we could not be more excited about bringing this mission to its first step of fruition.  Pray for us, as we stay true to his calling for our family and do what we can to influence and disciple a house full of warriors for Christ.


And good night!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pity Party

... because misery loves company.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I'm taking a few minutes to transfer a few photos from my phone to the computer (397 to be exact) and came across a photo worth posting.

Pop Quiz...
Question: who could possible fall absolutely sound asleep in a doctor's office at 11 in the morning with her sister sitting on the same bed and the door to the hospital room wide open?

Answer: two little girls with pneumonia, that's who.

Wow.  In the midst of our struggles, hard times often seem like an eternity and it feels like the end is nowhere in sight.  With three months of illness, and a miserably sick household, I remember thinking for days (weeks?) how miserable of a year this had shaped up to be.   But here we are, four months later, and just that quickly it's all a blur.  I totally forgot about our (evidently not-so-endless) bout with pneumonia, bronchitis, flu and (oh yeah) pink eye from January to March.  It's all just another reminder of our fine ability to take things for granted once the going gets good again.

Thank God for healthy children.  And thank God for the ups and downs, because without one we'd probably have zero appreciation for the other.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I didn't blog about Justin's birthday last month... but he still had one anyway. Go figure. Our original plan was a zoo trip, and then it switched to a visit to one of those indoor parks with inflatable slides and whatnot.  And then he lost his mind and started asking for a house party:  Lots of friends, rental inflatables, cake, food... the whole shebang.  And that's when I started getting that look on my face... when I start gripping my forehead and rubbing my eyes, and sighing heavily in that these children are gonna kill me kind of way. Luckily Venesa was on the same page.  Jasmine had a party for her birthday this year... and that was cool and all... but three parties every year just isn't gonna cut it.  We need a rule or something.  Maybe big parties can be for birthday years that are divisible by five.  Oh wait... Jasmine was four.  Okay, um... let's flip a coin.  Heads we go to Chuck E. Cheese's.  Tails... we go to Chuck E. Cheese's.  Or... we can skip the coin toss and just head... to Chuck E. Cheese's. Of course Justin, in his typical whatever's best for the family laid back demeanor, was cool with whatever; and the party-planning headache was dodged this time around.

Chuck E. Cheese and the Colliers. Let the good times roll.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Simplicity trumps extravagant almost every time in our house, and Father's Day was no exception.  Less than 5 minutes from the house:  Family picnic, nature walk, rocking chairs, and grass stains.  Low stress, no cost, blue skies (and bug spray).  In the midst of what has turned out to be a very hectic summer (mostly thanks to my own not-so-bright idea of teaching a 5 hour course, 5 days a week), I don't think it could have gotten any better than that.  Fun times.  And a simple reminder of how awesome my life is.

Perspective regained.

Battery recharge complete.