Friday, October 24, 2008

my heart's in China today

In a few hours, one of my precious friends will be united for the first time with her newest child--in CHINA!

I first "met" Pam two years ago through our agency's Yahoo Group. The two of us, along with about a dozen other women, had just received our referrals and were anxiously awaiting travel to receive our girls.

Not all of us were able to travel together, however, it felt like we did because we bonded so quickly and tightly through our own Yahoo Group.

I finally got a chance to meet Pam in person, along with two of her children (AnnaClaire & Emily) this past summer on my trip to North Carolina. We spent a wonderful morning together drinking sweet-tea at Chick-Fil-A (my first time there!) Emily is the sweet girl who redesigned my blog!

And now I'm starting to ramble...I am just so excited for what's about to happen half-a-world away. Sorry; adoption is an exciting thing for me, Friend! :-)

The newest addition to the Horner family is currently residing at the same place where Sara was cared for (Philip Hayden Foundation in LangFang.) She has received wonderful care and medical attention through the financial support of sponsors world-wide. Their organization is incredible and such a blessing to orphans who need a place to call home as well as medical care.

If you have a heart for children in need, or are interested in adoption, feel free to watch the video I made about our journey to Sara. And, check out Emily's blog about their journey to Kate (my newest "niece.") Isn't she adorable? :-) God is SO good!

Oh, by the way, my sweet girl's sponsor listing is still up. Sara, (referred to as "Becca"), received surgery to repair her cleft-lip and cleft-palate while she was at PHF, as well as multiple test to diagnosis and monitor two holes in her heart.
Although she will still need additional surgeries (cleft-related, her heart has completely healed) in the future, she came home to us completely healthy! We are so thankful for the team at PHF as well as her generous sponsors.

Look at how much our beautiful girl has grown in her two short years of being home with her family:
It is because of God's adoption of me that I am able to enjoy LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a certain adoption blog to go visit and wait to see pictures of the BIG event...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

along my drive

And to think I was dreading the end of Summer! :-) This afternoon, we took Sara to her dance class. As we pulled out of our neighborhood, I was stunned by God's handiwork.

On the drive home, I pulled out my pocket camera and started snapping pics of some of my favorite views.

This is my all time favorite street to drive down. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, the trees that line either side of the road are spectacular. And of course, it doesn't hurt that it leads to our favorite new library.

Isn't it gorgeous? It's especially fun to drive through when the leaves start falling.

There are a few ponds near the library that have fountains. Unfortunately, my oldest has a bird and duck we enjoy the beauty from the safety of our car. ;-)

A few years ago we moved out of suburbia and bought a smaller house. (We tend to go against the grain in most areas.) This adds a good 1/2 hour to all of our errands, classes and shopping trips, BUT the highlight is all of the amazing scenery along the way. The is the view as I drove over a hill. It's especially nice at sunset.

These are Chelsea's favorite shade of trees (above.)

A golf course along the way home. Love the red and gold trees!

Yes, one of the drawbacks of living surrounded by farmland is that it's impossible to keep the windshield clean. But if you ignore all the yuck on my windshield (sorry), you can see the beautiful green hills I drive the LONG way home to be able to enjoy. Aren't they gorgeous? We have several wineries and lots of nurseries out here.

This question comes from the dairy farmers of Oregon. :-)

There's something about seeing soil being prepared for planting that makes me smile.

So there it is, my long, but beautiful drive home. Isn't God amazing?

Just another way that choosing hard leads to LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Hope you're enjoy yours,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

wordless Wednesday (with words!)

from my bedroom window (it was a full rainbow!)

I love Whole Foods! :-)

sanity night beauty

Sara style (check out the shin guard!)

Princess Amadala(?)

Mr. Light Sabre (complete with robe)

Trying to get a nice picture (didn't happen)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

turning the day around

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you have totally lost your direction and focus?

Ah, today was one of those days for me. Somewhere along the way, things started to get off kilter and before I knew it everything felt like it was all wrong.

The good news is that feelings are not always a true reflection of our reality. My reality was simply that I had let a few things slip and it made my world feel like it had been turned upside down.

This morning I felt God place before me two options. I could stay stuck in the mire of my feelings (discouragement, depression, gloom, etc.) -OR- I could actually choose to do something about it.

Since I'm writing this post, you can probably guess that I chose the latter. Yup. I chose to ignore my feelings and get active.

And, you know what? I feel 1000 times BETTER. Whew. What a great feeling.

Here are a handful of things I chose to do in order to turn my day around:

Instead of getting stuck in routine, I decided to shake up my morning time with the Lord and found a Bible study taught by a woman I haven't learned from before. Just needed something new and fresh to stir up my spirit. (Anyone out there familiar with Priscilla Shirer? Can't wait to get started! Lifeway has her videos available to purchase one at a time online.)

Instead of paring down our school schedule, I gave it my all today; and therefore, so did my kids.

Instead of putting in a 1-mile workout, I chose to do the 2-mile. (Definitely a great way to combat the "yuck" feelings!)

Instead of making muffins on my own to save the mess in the kitchen, I invited Miss Sara to put on my apron and climb up on the step-ladder. While I didn't choose to eat one myself, I'm certainly still enjoying the yummy scent of chocolate chip & pumpkin muffins that is permeating my house. (Wish I could somehow make it come through your computer screen so you could enjoy it too!)

Instead of staying in my pj's and feeling crummy, I chose to treat myself to a mini-spa. (A hair treatment, new color on my toe nails, and extra care on my make-up really help turn the blahs upside down!)

Ah, and the cherry on top? Turning on two of my favorite Christmas CDs while Sara and I made muffins. (There's definitely something to be said about being able to dance around the kitchen singing with MercyMe and SCC BEFORE all the crazy holiday schedule kicks in!)

So, what about you? Need a little boost in your day? Feeling like your life's out of control or just struggling to get past the blahs? What's one thing you can choose to do today that will help put a smile on your face?

On that note, why don't you stop reading right now and go do that one thing you just thought of?

Sometimes we need to shake things up in order to be LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Sweet blessings to you,

Monday, October 20, 2008

zephaniah 3:17

Are you feeling sad? Are you worried? Struggling with fear? Feeling discouraged? Do you feel alone? Are you overwhelmed? Are you struggling with doubt? Are you feeling empty? Do you simply need to know you are loved?

Zephaniah 3:17 is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. I pray it meets you where you are at and ministers deeply to your soul.

"For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

Know that you are not alone, there is a God who cared and you are loved VERY much.

Search for Him and you will find Him; it's the key to LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Praying God gives you exactly what you need today,