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Oh Happy Day!

We had just your normal, average holiday depending on what you call normal and average. We gave thanks, ate, enjoyed one another and argued about politics. I'm ashamed to say this, but I have a relative that is not as right as I am.

We started out the week with Cokie having a Thanksgiving play.

I started some CHRISTmas decorating.

Remi and Shepard are very intrigued by their first holiday season.

Brady drove all night from Ft Campbell and got home at 6:00am Thanksgiving morning.

Is it just me or does my nephew Sawyer look like a gangster?

Remi and Shepard LOVED Thanksgiving. This picture must have been taking late and they were tired, because most of the day they were running around and taken it all in.

These cousins are so close and truly love each other. Thanksgiving Day Arden wrote on her Facebook that Erin (right)was her favorite cousin ever. Mike told her she shouldn't do that and hurt her cousin Payton's (the blond) feelings. Arden said "Erin wrote it."

I'm really close to my nephew Corey even though now that he is all grown up we are both too busy and don't get to see each other that much. He and his older brother say I'm the one that taught them to like to shop. When they were little I was constantly dragging them shopping. They always got a Matchbox out of it though.

Corey's pretty wife Michelle.

Pot, Meet Kettle

Sarah Palin may not be the next Albert Einstein (although I believe she is a very intelligent woman with a lot of common sense), but you may be surprised how incredibly average (and in some cases, below average) many of the Democrat party's "best and brightest" are. But you never hear about it on CNN, NBC, ABC or CBS (we won't even talk about MSNBC), because they are all too busy laughing at each others' Sarah Palin jokes. Still don't believe there is a media bias in favor of the left? Then click here and read this article from

It's Friday night and I aint' got no money...

That isn't how that song went, is it? Oh well, it should have! Anyway, Friday night we went out to dinner with several friends. One family is getting ready to leave for China to adopt an "older" girl and one just got back with their 2 y.o. son.


This little girl is a little older than she looks and she is a hoot. She thinks she is in love with Shepard. Shepard is starting to speak a little English and I think he might have gotten the message..

Is she the cutest thing ever?!Her Mom works with Mike.

My friend's daughter, Annalee, on the left and my niece on the right. Annalee is such a diva!! She is quiet and shy, but to get her to lighten up all you have to say is "let me see your outfit."

Remi loves her daddy. She has been with us close to four months now and doing GREAT. If you want to change a life go adopt an older child.

My nephew Eliot. Nice... look Eliot.

Pray for the People of Burma

Please pray for Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma. Mike worked pro bono for years to obtain asylum for a young Christian Burmese man who had to flee Burma because of his involvement in a pro democracy organization. While he now lives peacefully and freely in the U.S., his family and friends back in Burma live in fear of beatings, prison and even death--simply because they want to be free like us.


God bless America

"Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die, that the protected will never know."

Written on a prison wall by an American POW.

Brady Michael, Adopted from Cucuta, Colombia at age 3 y.o.

Experts, School Lunches and Other Random, Disconnected Thoughts

I know this may seem like a rambling post, but I'm in the mood to rant, so here goes.

If you're in the adoption world you know some "experts" do not like you to adopt out of birth order. I never intentionally tried to adopt out of birth order, but eventually it didn't work out where it would be right for our family. We've now adopted out of birth order four times. We also have four 2nd Graders. I can't imagine what some "experts" would say about that!

Speaking of experts, I'm really getting sick of all the politically correct crap and all the big government trying to tell us what to do. I've been reading about schools trying to ban all junk food. Have you looked at a school lunch lately? They serve a lot of really fattening food that is not considered "junk"?! Sarah Palin just visited a school and brought cookies too! She is my kind of girl! Next time I visit my kids school, I think I'll bring the kids some deep fried twinkies and tell them to skip the cheeseburger and tater tots or whatever crap the school cafeteria is serving that day.

OK, rant out. How about some pictures of and random, disconnected thoughts about the kids.

I told the kids to pick up sticks in the yard. I'm not sure how much they got done, but they had fun enjoying Indian Summer. Whenever Indian Summer arrives, I always think back to my sweet Grandpa who told me he saw Indian Summers that lasted one hour and others that lasted two weeks. Let's hope for two weeks.

Lyric and Cokie do not have big feet, but it looks like it from the shoes they grabbed out of the garage.

I'm not sure what Shepard is doing with that little finger, but I know he brought it with him from China. Oh well as long as we don't know I guess it doesn't matter for now.

One of Bret's favorite people stopped by, Teri

Bret loves Teri. They have a special little bond, because Bret got to travel with us four years ago to adopt Arden and Teri was adopting Annie.

Teri brought Bret some cool crafts and it really made Bret feel special!

I'm sure Arden is envying Bret's stuff, because Arden is pretty crafty.

The Smoothie was compliments of Aunt Becki. I should have taken a picture of her cousin Eliot who brought her over some of his Halloween candy. It was so sweet, because he was so sincere. He said "Aunt Sammy can Bret have some of my candy?"

This is Eliot though. He and Bret have been best buddies since Bret got here when she was 4 1/2 y.o. They have been in the same classroom for 5 years. I have to say Eliot is like a loyal ole dog when it comes to Bret. He won't let anyone mess with Bret!

What better reminder how great our God is!

Bret's surgery went great!

I have lost track how many surgeries Bret and Cokie have had since we brought them home from China. By now it must be over 10 all together, and Cokie has her next one coming up soon. While Cokie was in China, she also had a group of European women pay for several surgeries she had there. They are in Nanjing and called Hopeful Hearts. In fact, if it weren't for a very special person with Hopeful Hearts, we would never have been able to adopt Cokie.

Before we got Bret, it never entered my mind to adopt a burned child. But then I saw Bret's picture on a special needs list, and it was love at first sight. I know it was a God thing that led us down this path, because he gets us through the surgeries and it hasn't been near as hard on me as I thought it would. Not that it doesn't tear us up to watch Bret and Cokie go through them. They are both so strong, and I sometimes think their strength makes it easier on us. It is hard to explain how blessed we feel God allows us to be their parents. Of course, to know Bret and Cokie is to love them. They are two sweet and special little girls!

taking it in stride.

Still in recovery and feeling pretty awful. I made the mistake of telling her she couldn't go home that night and it brought this on.

I think it goes without saying Bret has a GREAT Dad! He goes without a lot to give his kids all he can and that includes time and money.

At this point she was eating, but not keeping much down. She is stitched up from ear to ear. They took off a lot of her burned skin and gave her new skin!! We live in a great country with a lot of smart doctors.

Her super nice brother-in-law, Brian, stopped by.

Bret back home with her cousins Erin and Lain.