Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hb's THREE!!

 She's so stoic.

There's the smile! Can you believe this sassafras is three?! 
What a joy she is to me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Adoption is getting so much more airtime than it got when I was growing up. I love that its growing to have a postive light around it and myths are being debunked even in the media. While I was thinking about adopted characters Z often dresses up as, movies and TV shows that present adoption in a positive light started coming to me, too, and I couldn't help but share some of them. I'm sure I'm missing quite a few, so if you know of any that I didn't put here, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Diff'rent Strokes
Punky Brewster
all the Super Heroes in the last list
Tarzan...sure Tarzan is adopted by gorillas, but the movie still shows us you don't have to look just like your family members to be a family
Meet the of our favorites. This Disney movie is awesome.
Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda 2...this one is all about adoption and Po's search for "who he is"
Hook...remember this one? One of my very favorite movies. In Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie the lost boys come home with Wendy, John, and Michael and become...adopted.
The Blindside
Despicable Me

Know any others?

Losing Isaiah...thought I should take a moment to debunk this one. I think this one is terrible and discouraging. It will send you into a sob fest and not the good kind (i.e. The Blindside). This movie terribly portrays the majority of adoption. In fact, I have reason to believe this movie is more about foster care. I'm not sure because I haven't reviewed it in a decade and don't plan on it, but as far as adopting in America, once a child has LEGALLY become yours, the child is YOURS. I think Isaiah might have been a foster child who's mother decided to parent her child, a notion that is encouraged for kids in state care. Therefore Isaiah was taken from the only family he knew for four years. This does happen with foster care, but one knows this on becoming a foster parent. This is not a normal reality for adoption. Just wanted to do my part in speaking truth where I feel this movie has put a veil over it.

Check some of these out if you haven't already. Can you think of any others?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

South Carolina's Children

Have you ever been to a Clemson football screen and seen this pop up on the big Paw Vision? Or perhaps driven down one of our state roads and seen it plastered on a billboard? Have you ever wondered about those kids...who they are, where they are, maybe even how to get involved?

I have seen the above logo for a couple years now and what once started as a compassionate pull on my heart has morphed into a passion that is changing my DNA. The logo represents children in SC's care. In pursuing this passion I have picked up some numbers involving these kids.

Numbers that have really messed with me.
I just have to share them with you.

In our state 5,000 children, give or take, are in foster care on a daily basis.

Well over 700 children are legally free for adoption...this means their parents' rights to them have been terminated and they are waiting for a forever family.

Over 1,600 have a plan of adoption over their life, meaning the chances of them returning to their biological family is very bleak.

The average stay of a child in foster care is two and a half years, but for some it's much longer.

In the USA there are 107, 000 children legally free and waiting to be adopted into a family.

I can't get these facts out of my head. Five thousand children means these are children we see on a daily basis. They aren't tucked away out of sight. They are all around us. They go to school with our children. They go to church with us. And the bottom line is they are just kids.

What can we do to help?

We can advocate. We can foster. We can adopt. We can mentor. We can pray hard.

Please join me in praying for these kiddos. They are worth it. I know this post is a little heavy, but it's worth it to me. If you have questions, I'll try to answer them. Leave me a comment. If you're wondering how you can help, know that there is a place for you, and it is a battle worth fighting.

To view the USA's waiting children click here

South Carolina Heart Gallery

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Well then.

It's pretty bad when you're singing a lullaby to your two year old and they say, "Stop mommy. That makes my ear hurt."

Wow. Am I that bad? So funny!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Who's Who...

I couldn't resist.

Who's who in adoption...

Robin (of Batman &)
Kung Fu Panda
Iron Man
Webster (remember him?)

Now, how about that. All of the above are adoptees. And that's just some of the boys. I know there are lots more. How about some girls?

Pippi Longstocking
Anne of Green Gables (my personal favorite)
Punky Brewster

Isn't that neat!? Have any to add?
I was so excited to share with Zeke that some of his favorite characters were adopted just like him! And on a deeper note, isn't it interesting that so many super heroes have adoption written into their history. They go from an orphan to redemption and go forward fighting for justice and truth. Puts a whole new endearing spin on my Z's obsession with Super Heroes.

Interesting, eh?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November is....

National Adoption Month!!!

Yay for Adoption!! This month, along with my semi-regular posts, I am going to try to be intentional in posting special Adoption posts. Our family has been forever changed by adoption and I am thankful to my core that it is in our family DNA. We celebrate adoption this month, how it has brought our family together, healed my heart, and ministered to my family and our friends. It shows us the great lengths Father went to to bring us home to Himself
and it secures our place with Him, in His forever family.

I challenge you all, including myself, to think about all the kids in our county, nation, and world waiting for a forever family. Think about them, pray for them, maybe even ask how you might make a difference to them. They are worth it...just like you were!

Creation Groans from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What to wear, What to wear?

For a kid like Zeke, Halloween brings a big dose of indecisivement. What is a boy to wear when playing dress-up is his favorite pastime? Well, the answer is, he chooses lots of things...

Here he chose Spider Man and gives us his best Spider Man face

Here, with his sassy 85 year old great grandmother, he chooses Iron Man, or as my grandfather said in all seriousness and confusion, "Who is cast-iron Man?"

Here, for his school wide dress up day, he chose Woody which worked out fabulously since his close friend chose Bullseye, unbeknowgst to us.

Here, Zeke chose Super Man to protect Strawberry Shortcake, atleast that's who she says she was. What a cute pair!

Super Man and his best buddy "Cole-Man". The dynamic duo!

Go Strawberry Shortcake down that slide made for big kids!

Hannah didn't QUITE make the cut, that's what happens when you take
pictures in the dark on a hayride.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Road Trip!!

A few weeks ago we were able to drive up to PA (Philly area) to visit some very dear friends and "on the way there" Chris conveniently went to the Clemson/Maryland highscoring-win by the skin of our teeth-football game. Here's some blips from our trip...

We pull out the DVD players for long trips and it puts our kids, especially Miss I-didn't-blink-for-eight-hours, into a trance. Thank you library for your free DVD's, Backyardigans for keeping our two year old most happy with your upbeat, theatrical song and dance, and Fast Food playgrounds for your germs and energy burning climb-upons.

This is what I enjoyed for hours upon hours. It was DELIGHTFUL. Chris listened to Sports Talk and I read Jane Austen while gazing at the Shenandoah Valley in all its mountainous, pastoral glory. Pure autumn delight for this gal. Indeed Virginia is for Romantics.

Uncle Zuk took us to Ben Franklin's Science Institute! Thank you!!

That place was serious fun...even with one very cranky four year old...

I LOVE Philadelphia.

And I LOVE farms.
Uncle Zuk took us to this great apple/pumpkin/Christmas tree farm and it was good for the soul. The scenery was beautiful. I missed going to SkyTop in NC this year, but this TOTALLY made up for it. No crowds and maybe even more festive fall nostalgia. The only thing I could have lived without was the huge Elk hanging on the wall that crept up on me.

Mr. Cranky Pants

These were her apple babies she found on the ground. She didn't eat them.
Just held them and talked to them. Sounds kinda weird, but it was cute and very Hannah.

There's the smile!

So funny... "You are now entering the CRUM CREEK BASIN. We DRINK this water."

Oh no he didn't. Uncle Zuk encouraged Hb to climb up on the railing by herself,
using the swing as leverage, then jump off like a flying squirrel.

And lastly, what would be a complete trip to Philly without Zeke being able to see his dearly beloved Liz. In all sincerity, we love these people and it fed our souls visiting with them.
Thanks Malvernians for refreshing the Mizes and giving us a boost!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Seriously. It's just a great time of year! This week has been glorious! The warm sun and the gentle autumn breeze. Ahhhh. It is so refreshing. And part of this being the most wonderful time of the year is football season! Going to Clemson is good for my soul. It's such a happy feeling seeing scores of people all around in ONE ACCORD, wearing the same colors, having the same hope for victory! All are cheering for the same thing, whooping and hollering for the same goal, encouraging and yelling out 'atta boys when the players need it most! My blood is pumping harder just talking about it. There is such a spiritual parallel here...and if you want to think I'm bonkers for comparing Clemson football to the Kingdom, go ahead and call me crazy!! There in the stadium we have one goal, we jump up and down in celebration, smiles spread across our faces in sheer joy, we yell so loud we lose our voices because we know EVERY voice matters! It does my body good to remember we are born to replicate the passion in the Saturday stadium into the Sunday through Fridays, too.
I don't have a good transition sentence and naptime is almost over, so onto a funnier note...

Look at those happy faces awaiting a FUN family Homecoming Saturday...note foreshadowing...

Doesn't that look like FUN...apply foreshadowing now. One minute in the stadium and I had complete regret on bringing a two year to the game. Not so fun.

She has no idea how much her daddy loves her. He is reading a princess book during a football game. Sure, it was a time out, but still, SERIOUS points for dad right there.

Good Tiger face there hero!

This is the stance of a man getting ready to catch a field goal kick. Cup in mouth, check. Knees bent slightly, check. Boxing out four year old, check.

"My, what a flexible child you have"

In Clemson, "the world is your playground" perfectly applies. Hb became a happy content child once again as soon as we exited the stadium.

Looka' deM-ize (Look at them eyes) in full affect.
That was the name my aunt thought we should have given to Zeke. She makes a good point.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Something funny, something yummy

I mean this isn't necessarily the funny thing which I wanted to write about, but it is silly funny. Anyways, on to the adorable funny...
Zeke has gotten more and more interested in Firefighters and likes to dress up like them (surprise, surprise). This afternoon Z comes up to me dressed like a firefighter and says, "Mama, call me at 911 if you need me to come fight a fire for you and I'll rescue you. 912 is Daddy's number. He fights the smoke."
That's funny.

On to yummy. I am not a fan of squashes. You probably are supposed to say squash, but I don't care. I don't like it. Yellow squash, Butternut and Spaghetti, too. There's not enough cheese and condensed soup that can make that gourd good enough for me to eat. BUT, then I had Acorn squash like we had it tonight and everything changed. My friend told me about this and I thought, I'll give it a shot. Here's what you do:

Cut an acorn squash in half and cut a little off the bottom so it will sit up straight.
(P.S...One acorn squash served two people tonight)
Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp and massage the insides with a smidge of butter.
Roast the acorns at 350 for 45 min or until they're tender.
Add a little bit more butter and APPLE BUTTER, maybe some salt to balance things.
You'll be able to eat the insides just like a baked white or sweet potato.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Anyone still out there?

Well, for anyone still out there, here's a little of what we've been up to. We...

Went to see the Clemson Tigers win, win, and win again! I will say nothing more as not to jinx us.

Went to Wild Dunes with some very special friends from PA and NJ whom we LOVE to vacation with. These people are exceptionally fun. We only see them once a year, but we adore these people...and our kids do too!

Got A LOT of special attention

played in the water fountains with wild at heart uncle Zuk

and couldn't have been happier.

Pretended to be a statue

Ate low country the boil the traditional way

Entertained ourselves for hours on the beach

Ate food unconventionally

Got some much needed Katie and Zuk time

Started gymnastics. For real. Started taking Hb to gymnastics and she LOVES it. I love having that time for her to do chin ups, bear crawl across balance beams, flip, handstand, and log roll.

Played dress up...surprise, surprise, right?

Made homeade chocolate ice cream with Aunt Ya Ya Yee at the lakehouse.

Ate rock salt

Pretended to be a Clemson "football man"

Realized there's baby growing in Jess' tummy

Went to SCHOOL!!! K4 that is. And yes, I have boo hoo'd over it. If fact, atleast once a week in car line drop-off I tear up when I drive away. So true.

Again with the eating unconventionally. This WAS pizza.

Went to a dear friend's surprise 80's themed 3oth birthday party . She's the one dressed as JEM! Truly outrageous, truly truly truly outrageous!

I went with this fine fellow. I love any opportunity to pull out my Get In Shape Girl legwarmers and hair crimper.

Picked watermelons at my grandparents. Heave ho!

No big deal...It's only over half her size.

and threw walnuts at dad.

How was your September?