Independence day

Happy Independence Day!

Whew! Where did the three-day weekend go? While we all may have celebrated Independence Day differently, I imagine one thing our holiday weekend had in common is how busy we all were and how quickly it came and went. As a Christian, I hope another thing we had in common was taking some time to thank God for the freedoms we enjoy and the blessing of living in such a great country. Our preacher delivered a great July 4th message Sunday and talked about how important it is for our nation to go back to its roots and become a God honoring nation, if it is to remain great. Our founding fathers certainly understood that:

"It is impossible to govern rightly without God and the Bible." George Washington

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson

"We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government: upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

This weekend also was Stafan's birthday. He is such a good boy. He and Shepard sometimes fight each other like cats and dogs, but they are both very sweet and eager to please me. So I'm feeling pretty blessed. With celebrating Stafan's and America's birthday, we did a lot of eating out. We ate at one of our favorite places--Gray Bros. Cafeteria--Sunday after Church. With eight Chinese kids (we have 10, but the eight younger ones, all from China, are still at home), we get stared at a lot. We and the kids also get a lot of interesting (I'm trying to use a nice adjective) comments. Sunday was particularly bad. If the man in front of us in line at Gray's (again, its cafeteria style) turned around to stare once he must have turned around 15 times. The workers were just as bad. Mike had to work to get the attention of the girl passing out salads, because she was so transfixed with the kids. Then we finally sit down ready to relax, and the woman taking care of our table (refilling drinks, etc.), started asking the questions all adoptive parents hear too often. She first asked, "Are they all from the same family?" Lyric blurted back, "No, we're adopted" with a serious undertone of "Hey lady, I just want to eat my macaroni and cheese in peace." She then asked the kids, "Do you like it here?" I'm surprised Lyric didn't shoot back with: "I'd like it a lot better if you'd stop asking me so many questions and let me eat." Actually, my kids are very well-mannered, and I get a lot of compliments in strangers out in public telling me so. There are just some days you're not in the mood. I guess Sunday was one of those days for Lyric.

Right before church. I think this was the very first time I've ever worn jeans to church.

Mike didn't think I was really taking this picture of him. He thought I was trying to take it of my tomato and pepper plants.

Lyric at Gray's. The look tells you all you need to know about how she felt about playing 20 questions with the lady at Gray's.


Our town set off fireworks Sunday night. It was a nice show, and the kids had a lot of fun just hanging out at the park before the show started. It was Remi and Shepard's first July 4th here (we got them in late July last year).






Cokie's new due.






Remi got to watch fireworks with her best friend from China!











Happy Birthday Stafan! (sorry, I forgot my camera, and the last two pics were taken with a cell phone.





Arden designed Stafan's tshirt.


I'm trying to learn to eat to live and not live to eat. This was carrot cheesecake. Oh my word!