Good mood...

As you can see, Cokie's in one. Especially for a kid who just had a bunch of staples pulled out of her head and is about to have some more put in soon. We are planning on taking her to a plastic surgeon in Tennessee to have some more work done on her scalp.














Bret likes to sing in the teen choir at church and she sang with them last Sunday in the sanctuary.



Before church.




Our church has three traditional and contemporary services each Sunday.  The contemporary services are held in the gym at the same time the traditional services are being held in the sanctuary.  Our preacher preaches during the first half of the contemporary service and then runs over and preaches during the last half of the traditional service.  I can't imagine how wore out must be Sunday afternoon.  That's a lot of talkin'!  

We can dance if we want to...

Stafan just took a big growth spurt and it happened overnight.  I think he only had one pair of jeans that still fit and not many shirts.  He was basically living in a few pair of sweats.   


So Saturday we went to the mall, and  luck was on my side.  When we got there, Gap was having a great sale! 

I heard Shepard say, "I'm going to try and grow real fast, because I don't want to get all the hand-me-downs. OK, about the title. Mike went with us and he was watching the kids... I thought.  Fast forward to tonight (two days after our trip to the mall).  I decided to go through Cokie's I-thingy and found the video below.  Lyric had done the recording.
  I showed it to Mike, and from the look on his face, it was obvious he'd never seen it.  So much for counting on him to keep an eye on the kids at the mall. 


We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don't dance
And if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine

And all the people said. . .


Boone saw a teachers' aide from his school last Sunday at church. Boone isn't thrilled with church, because I keep him in big peoples' church with me since he doesn't know a lot of English yet.  Pryor likes church.  He doesn't know a lot of English yet either, but I send him to Sunday School class with Stafan and Shepard.   Anyway, this is the conversation Boone and I had when he saw the teachers' aide:

Boone: "Why she here?"
Me: "Why are you here?"
Boone: "You make me."
Me: "Don't you like church?"
Boone: "No."
He does, however, like being the only kid that gets to go with Mike and me to Panera Bread every Sunday morning.  That is our Sunday morning routine.  We drop all the kids off for Sunday School and then we had to Panera for an hour.  We then go back to Church where the older kids join us for church while the younger kids attend childrens' church.  For now, Boone tags along with us.  And he loves his souffle.



Ran into 4 of my oldest sister's girls at church.  From L to R, Lacy, Avery, Erin and Lain.  They are all very sweet girls (even if Erin can be a little ornery).
After church, it is off to Steak n' Shake for lunch.  As you can see I don't do a whole lot of cooking on Sunday.






I am a firm believer in Proverbs 22:6 (as well as the rest of the Bible):  "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  And society has gotten so bad, I cannot even imagine not taking my kids to church every Sunday.




Every time he gets in the shower I hear this:

Her story

Wuhan, Hubei  China 1998

Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home 

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These were police sitting in the middle of the road.  They would point at people who broke the law and the person had to pull over. We were actually in a taxi that had to pull over.  Our guide told us our driver did get a ticket and "as soon as he dropped us off" had to go pay his fine.  The driver appeared to be very unhappy.  I'm sure the taxi driver was poor enough already.  

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As long as I live, I will never forget how about the only thing I saw was little, red, dirty taxis with the exception of commercial white trucks.
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Driving has greatly improved since 1998, but then again they literally had few driving rules.  It was like the lines on the streets meant nothing.  We were in total shock. 

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OK, a few other colors, but not many.  During the middle of the night I would look down out of our hotel room.  The drivers would be washing their taxi in the road with only a bucket of water. 

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You could, and still can, walk around the roads (alleys) and watch people eating their dinner, brushing their teeth etc...  They didn't like us staring at them,  but sometimes it was hard not to. 


 Lael wrote a paper for school the other day.  She wrote about her memories of being an orphan.  She was almost 4 years old when she got out.  Back then most everyone was adopting the "young as possible healthy infants." The people above were Canadians staying in our hotel.  

lael referral

Lael (Bian Yuhong) is now a freshman in college.  Lael's paper is below.
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Tiananmen Square

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This purse proves it was 1998!!

lael bkfst
lael ws buffet

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We were in one of the red little taxis, when I heard our guide let out a scream.  The motorcycle beside us just fell into our taxi. 

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Mike thought he was so cool. : - )

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Lael was totally intrigued this cup did not leak.

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We finally made it to Guangzhou and the beautiful White Swan.   Back then it was so nice!


It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.)
The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers… (The current population of Russia is 141 million)