Have you received the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 2:37 - 3837When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

1 Cor. 12:13  "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

What is baptism in the Holy Spirit?
  • Matt. 3:11,  "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
  • Mark 1:8, "I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
  • Luke 3:16, "John answered and said to them all, 'As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
  • John 1:33, "And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, "He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit."
  • Acts 1:5, "for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
  • Acts 11:16, "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."





Cokie's doing great after surgery and Lyric's got a mouth

Lyric uses language very effectively. Last week I told the kids to hurry and get in the car, because their Dad was going to pump my gas on his way to work. Lyric spouted off "Why, you know were the gas station is." Yes, I know where the gas station is Lyric. 

FYI Three years ago gas was $1.84 a gallon!


Then we were off to school. My morning routine is hit Starbucks and then McDonalds. And, people think I have it rough raising 10 kids... not really. Stafan didn't like me taking his picture and I heard him mumble, "I'm sitting in the back."

Are there people who actually get up and fix their kids a hot breakfast before school?



Cokie has had close to 10 surgeries on her scalp like the one she recently had.  She always had staples in her head after scalp surgeries and then stitches on the inside. About a week after her surgery this time, the blood had finally washed away enough I could see her scalp. I was shocked to see bright blue stitches and no staples at all. Once again, just when I think I have it all figured out or know what is going on, I found out I don't.


It Is What It Is

Cokie had surgery last week... nothing new there. It went pretty much like the last how many ever we've gone through. I guess once again that puts me out of the running for mommy of the year since I've lost track of how many surgeries my daughter has had. Honestly though, for us, it like this quote I heard:
It is what it is, it's not what it should have been, not what it could have been, it is what it is.
Cokie was burned badly in China and she may have to have surgeries the rest of her life. Right now we are just doing mostly surgeries on her head, but one of her legs is always a concern and as she grows it looks worse.


Bret has a surgery coming up so I kept her out of school so she could see the doctor too (Cokie's doctor is the chief burn doctor/plastic surgeon at Riley, and he's done many surgeries on both Cokie and Bret). Cokie's orthopedic doctor even happened to be walking by and stopped and said hello. I told him we had missed her last appointment, and he said he would just check her out right there and then! He is the one, along with her plastic surgeon, who fixed Cokie's foot so she wouldn't be crippled any longer--and I can tell he is proud of that foot! We owe Riley Children's Hospital and the doctors there a lot! 


Cokie's rubbing in the scent that she picked to go to sleep by. 


The next thing she knew it was and over and done with. Easy for me to say! 


Now she is back where she started. 


Now this was some bandaging technique!! The nurse kept asking me if I wanted the doctor to re-bandage her and I kept saying no it was fine. Mike left to get the car and I had Cokie in her wheelchair and I was out the door when the nurse came chasing after me with the doctor. 


This was the new and improved bandage!  As soon as we got home she made me cut it off. 

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Some Facts About Lael

I picked Lael up from school last week and we did lunch. For some reason she brought her childhood up. I told her "Your childhood was not that bad Lael." She said "my childhood was perfect." Huh? I was in totally shock! Did I hear her right?!! Of course I wasn't going to let that one go by since I've very rarely heard any of my kids say something that nice, so I repeated what she said. Then, she said "Well, I was in love with you."

I knew from the day Lael walked in the hotel with that stern Chinese woman that I had saved her. Lael knew it too and that is why she loved me from day one.

Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to travel clear on the other side of the world and bring home a little orphan who still loves me today.

lael referral

Bian Yuhong, now Lael! Because of her age she was on the special needs list. I had several kids to pick from and I picked this one.

lael family


Lael is not spoiled at all. She works hard and makes high honor roll. She was inducted into National Honor Society and made student of the month this year. She works a lot of hours at her job and saves almost all her money for college. When she is not at her regular job she babysits several times a week for different people at our church. She also received a statewide award given to just a few kids from the Indiana High School Student Council Association (she was recognized for making hats for orphans in China and getting a bunch of other high school students and teachers to help her).


She calls herself Lael Bell, but Bell is not her name. When she was little people would call her Leal so she would correct them by telling them her named rhymed with Bell.


I've been asked if Lael and Arden are close. It is a different kind of close. It is more of a respect and I've got your back kind of thing. When we were eating here Mike heard Arden whisper to Lael, "I'll bring you your leftovers to work and heat them up for you." They have never had a real fight that I can remember (unlike me and my sisters). They do have a lot in common. They both study hard, worry about college, play tennis, love church and camps, like clothes, boys, (but aren't really boy crazy) never really talk back to Mike or me (but they will put other people in their place if need be).


When we got Lael these babies were being adopted and staying at the same hotel. The parents were Canadian and didn't speak English.

lael mad

No baby for us. Lael was almost 4 y.o. I've said many times when we got Lael she was mad at the world and a fighter. This picture shows it all and she had already been with us about a week.

lael bkfst

Actually, when we got Lael she was totally content as long as I was in eye shot. Of course she spoke no English. If she thought I was going to leave she would fly into a rage. After we got home if I tried to leave her she screamed, bit, tore her clothes and she knocked over a lamp. It was several weeks before we came up with a plan. My sister came over and we forced Lael into her car without me. As they were driving down the road Lael grabbed Becki by the hair of the head and about pulled her neck out of joint. Becki took her to McDonalds drive through and brought her right back home. From that day forward Lael got it she could leave and come back home. It was never an issue again.

lael soda

We had Lael home one year before she had any hair. Then, guess what? She got hold of scissors!! I went into a rage and ran around the house. My body ached so bad from my screaming I had to take Tylenol. Years later Lael said I was so mean I made her eat cold Ravioli for dinner. I didn't even remember that. I was probably out of my mind.

lael ws buffet

Seriously, can you imagine what Lael thought going from the orphanage to a 5 Star hotel? Lael said she remembers standing while they ate out of a bucket and got their baths from being sprayed off with cold water from a hose. By the way she smelled like she hadn't been sprayed off in awhile.

china street 1998

These pictures I took in Wuhan where Lael was from.

street shops


We had the sweetest tea party at the Yellow Crane Tower.

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School Lunches

Most of the time our kids pack their school lunches since eight lunches per day costs around $320 to $400 per month (even the NY Times is busting Obama's chops about the price of school lunches). Though I'm not sure we're saving that much by packing. Have you seen the price of peanut butter?!!! With eight kids to feed, a jar doesn't last long either. It takes almost a full loaf of bread per day too.


Well, tonight we went out to dinner with most of the kids. Arden mentioned Stafan added more food to his lunch. I looked at Stafan and asked, "You added more food to your lunch?" Stafan: "Yes. I put an apple in. You didn't have anything healthy in it!" Mike about choked on his burrito laughing. It was sad but true. I had packed him a sandwich, chips, cookie and a diet coke. Really, I don't usually send Coke, but he was going on a field trip and I would have had to walk down a few aisles to get to the juice. I'm auditioning for mommy of the year.


FYI, folks peanut butter costs are up 27.2 % because of gas prices!



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More Easter



You can tell in the pictures Cokie is getting quite the personality.


We are slowly trying to make less desserts on the holidays. We've got some big sweet tooths and our kids are actually more into the healthier foods. How sad is that?!


I didn't say we didn't have any sweets.




The cousins LOVE hanging out together and they do most of the time.


Lael and my niece Jenna.


At dinner tonight Cokie prayed that Whitney will have a cute baby. Yes, God please let the baby be cute! : - )





My brother and two sisters. I think we are getting old. : - ((((




I guess you can tell I like taking pictures of food (maybe a little too much).




At the end of the day Lael cornered her Uncle Dennis to help her with her chemistry. Dennis is extremely smart and was salutatorian of his high school class. Then he went on to graduate from Rose Hulman with a 4.0.












DSCN5000 After you're done checking out my blog, please visit some of the sponsors below. Thank you.