Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Camp 2010-2


We have an AWESOME and AMAZING group of volunteers that take time out of their lives to spend it with children for a whole week! We had an absolute blast together!!

::The cute blingy heart-camo hat was made for me by Wild & Precious.
::The dolls on sticks were the spirit awards each day for the boy & girl teams who won the challenge. By the end of the week the poor things had been through the wringer.

--I know the 6th grade boys were all about NOT getting to win the "doll", but came around when they actually won and got to tote Camo Clark (which later turned into Combat Charlie, I think).

--The girls.....the girls became a little wild about Camo Cami whom the 6th grade girls decided to tattoo her arm, remove her other arm, add things to her in ways I'm not sure a doll should experience and wholesomely gave her the name Pole-dance Polly, to which I put an abrupt end to. I hope my teaching them in Bible Study for the past year has done a little more for their growth and well-being than their name attaching ability has proven. Sweet Jesus. The 3rd grade girls cried when Polly.....I mean Cami had her arm ripped off. Little darlings.

::Below on the long table we had lots of snacks for the adult volunteers in our "green room"...had nothing to do with the green camo stuff. A green room is a term used for TV & movie studios, radio shows, stage acting, etc. for the people to relax in when not performing. We've always provided a place of respite for the adults to gather. Funny things happen in that little kitchen.

::PandaPop had dog tags made for everyone with our church's name on to go along with their name tags. Very fun to have at Boot Camp.

::PP really worked his tail off last week, as usual, and I am so blessed to be his wife!! He really didn't camp out on stage all week on the cot, but I walked in during a time of explaining the next event to the kids and couldn't find him. Surprise! He found the perfect spot to listen to instructions!

::Also interesting that we actually had three different camp shirts this week. It made it all flow together with the many kinds of camo represented.

::As "cute" as all of this camo stuff was.....I am so very thankful for true military people who wear this gear all the time in rough and horrible conditions for my freedom. I do not take that lightly.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Camp 2010-1

We always leave on Sunday afternoon for camp with an "early crew" to get everything set up and ready for the campers to arrive on Monday. PandaGirl has her friend along as a companion and the other two girls are other staff kids. Our wild & precious friend who has blessed us with goodie baskets for the last four years of camp thought it would be a brilliant idea to give darling little bottles of fingernail polish to PG and her friend.

You can see where this is going.

I felt totally confident to leave to room for a bit because PG is used to her Daddy and I having to run around at church doing things while she occupies herself. The other two staff kids are little, but their mom lets them roam as well. However, we moms both thought that the other was going to be peeking her head in shortly.

Apparently shortly wasn't quite short enough. I walk in to the powerful smell of nail polish. When I left I knew PG and her friend has already done their fingers and toes, but I thought they were done.

It seems that the little one the bed wanted hers done, too so PG tried to accomplish the task.


I look down to see smeared RED polish on the comforter. Not so bad, it kinda blended in to the print on the fabric. Then I see a white washcloth covered in blood....I mean red polish smears as well as the 3x3 size white box that connects the wires to the wall and the base of PandaPop's Mac laptop!!! Not only that, but the white cloth was WET and just resting on the PLUGGED in white box. PG tried to clean the polish with water.

Note to self: teach PG that polish and water don't mix. Nor do water and electricity.

Oh my word.

One part of me freaked out over the whole water/electricity part but the polish part of the incident made me giggle at how young we girls start with pampering ourselves and our friends!

More pics to come!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Always Better with a Friend

We are back from children's camp. It was so great.....AGAIN! This year's theme was BOOT CAMP and I'm making a collage to show you just how fun it was. Camp is the big event we really look forward to each summer. PandaPop is an amazing children's minister in how he totally cares for the spiritual well-being of these kiddos. Along with the "fun", they got lots of Biblical truths and hefty spiritual meat to chew on for awhile.

Our camp is cute and up-to-date, but not state-of-the-art, hip & slick like a lot of camps these days. Not to diminish ANYTHING about those kinds of camps, but we LOVE that our camp is JUST our church. This is the second year that we were on the same campground facility as our youth ministry. We get to interact with the kids and the volunteers at various points in the day. It is a huge blessing to be one big family at camp for a week, but still have age appropriate activities going on. I LOVE laughing so hard that I can't breathe and there was ample opportunity for that to happen this past week! Good laugh therapy.

As always, PP and I love coming up with next year's theme and are sooooo pumped about it!!

PandaGirl was able to have her sweet friend come along with us to camp this week. Her friend's three older sisters were already there so we brought her, too. I adored having a companion for allowed me much more freedom! They only had about three times where I had to say, "Get it together or else....". Pretty good for two girls to be in such close quarters for five days.

Hold on---BOOT CAMP 2010 collage is coming!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Look

I designed a new logo and my great friend helped pull it together with her graphic design skills. I LOVE my new logo for my photography. I haven't really focused on having a huge business and depend on it for income, but it has started to domino and I am loving it!!

We are headed out this week for Children's Camp and when I get back I have a huge photo shoot at an event for 300 people. I'm even taking another photographer with me......I feel so lah-tee-dah!! LOL!

Can't wait to get back with some BOOT CAMP photos from camp!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Happy Birthday.....PJ

What an interesting day.

Today is PandaJoy's 2nd birthday. So weird to think that IF she comes to us permanently then we will have missed this significant milestone. If she does not ever come to us again then this little one will have had some loving prayers said on her behalf.

We were actually supposed to be doing respite with her for the foster family this week and would have had her FOR her birthday, but since the whole strep thing and believing that she is the strep carrier that has provoked my flare ups, then I couldn't risk another bout of strep before children's camp next week. So....we thought it was best for someone else to do the respite care for the foster family.

That was a hard decision to have to make.

Anyway, we are very much at peace with whatever comes of this situation. If she does, indeed, come to be our number 4 in the PandaFam then we will celebrate her 2nd matter the date! LOL!!

Besides.....I already bought Princess Tiana napkins and darling purple and sage paisley plates. They'll need to be used. ; )

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Little Chapel


There it stands with the white wooden walls draped in the lush green of the trees around it. Beautiful stained wooden doors and a little pond are the icing on the cake. The enormous old, huge trees take my breath away.

Not the trees in the pic. No, no. The other trees are five times that size and filled with years and years of growth.


It's my little chapel that I pass many times in a week on my way to Target*, Wal*Mart or Hobby*Lobby.

Sitting quaintly behind it's larger, more modern brick sister church, the chapel woos me to it no matter the season. There is nothing fancy about it, rather I am drawn to the simplicity of it. No matter if the trees are lush green in spring, delicate summer blossoms, magnificent with a fall palette or no leaves at all in the dead of winter....I still love it.

This is where I parked my car to just breathe.


Staring and wondering the day after we had to take Little Guy back to the foster system last November. This is the first place I thought of as a physical respite for myself. This place is gentle to my eyes and they needed something other than the hurt oozing from our home to focus on for awhile and to regroup.

I'm tellin' those Small Hours that mean so very much to me.
I love my little chapel.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Rains of 2010


The temps are down and that is great, but our July has looked like this! Three summers ago is rained the entire month of June except for a few days the second week. I remember taking PG to swimming lessons for two week in the rain! Everything is green and lush, but I'm thinking we are about to become a swamp. Though we don't get to hop in the pool while it's pouring down cats & dogs......

I Heart Summer Rain!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Way to a Man's Heart Is...



I know that there are those wives who have to say good-bye to their husband on a regular basis due to business travel, but I am not one of when PP does have to leave, it just kills me!! I hate it!! The couple of days before he left I could feel myself getting all wonky and weird in my actions and emotions. PG and I kept ourselves busy with family and friends and a road trip, but we were EVER so grateful to get back home and prep for PandaPop to come home. To welcome PP home from his almost week-long trip as a sponsor for the middle school choir from church a couple of week's ago, PandaGirl and I made his most favorite chocolate marble cake. It really doesn't take food to get to his heart, but that old saying does have some merit. ; )

I still want to say a huge thank you for praying with us and all the encouragement that has come our way concerning PandaJoy. We won't know anything for several weeks, but as soon as I do know something I will let you know---no matter what it is.

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



How humbling it is to have so many responses on here and on Face*book that show support for our family. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

I am expecting God to show off in a BIG way in this situation and I hope for all of you to watch Him in action. By no means does my enthusiasm ensure that PandaJoy will come home to us, but I do believe that no matter what happens, the Lord is pleased that His children are talking to Him and will surely bless us for it.

This summer I am going through this Bible study on the book of Ruth with a few friends. I can't even begin to explain how each day that I have done the homework that it fits PERFECTLY to whatever circumstances are right in front of my face at THAT TIME. Crazy.

My boost of energy came on Monday night when I felt compelled to fight instead of sit back, cry and let the enemy stomp all over me. I'm so glad that I was able to turn the corner for good before I read this scripture of truth the very next morning in the Bible study:

In my alarm I said,
"I am cut off from your sight!"
Yet you heard my cry for mercy when
I called to you for help.
~~Psalm 31:22~~

I'm quoting straight from my study guide here, but it is my own feeling as well:

"How often have our difficult circumstances propelled us to determine in alarm or haste that God has abandoned us?"

Have you ever done this? You know from past experiences that God is good, faithful and always comes through for your own good, yet when things get really rough, you bail on him. OUCH.

I am so thankful that His mercy is new every morning (really, every moment).

Know that if you wrote a prayer request for me that I have prayed for you as well. I have prayed blessings to pour out over all of you who took the time to encourage me. What a blessing you are!

Monday, July 5, 2010

After 2 Days--I'm Not Giving In That Easy!!!


OK--I'm NOT crazy. I was just slapped smack in the face with something that knocked me out for a couple of days. I knee-jerk reacted because I was sick of seeing other families so easily adopt.

There. I said it.

Can I be totally honest? Sometimes I want to scream my head off as to WHY PandaPop and I are on this incredibly crazy, long, long, long, hurtful adoption journey, yet other families get to adopt and adopt again and adopt again, and some of those already have biological children. It blows me away.

For whatever reasons, the Lord has allowed us to go through such torment and odd circumstances to build our family. We THOUGHT getting to PandaGirl was hard. Sarcastic HA!!! Anyone at all who knows us or who has followed this blog for a few years KNOWS that we have tried so many times to adopt only to have some bizarre oddity thrown our way which ends the journey in tears on our part and we question our whole purpose.

This time, with PandaJoy.....some news on Friday morning just did me in. There is no finality, no decisions made, but God will HAVE to move mountains for her to come to us. If it is His plan for that little girl to be a part of the PandaFamily---nothing will thwart that plan. However, the enemy is fighting us at every turn. My faith waivered from Friday morning on.

Again, deep loss and feelings of being "left out" or teased by God filled my mind. How can I be so blessed and still whine like a baby for what I want? How can I be a walking contradiction by knowing on one hand that God is exactly WHO He says He is yet doubt, waiver and whine at the same time?

That's why I have a Savior. I am depraved. Jesus is righteous. Jesus is THE only thing allowing me to stand righteous before the LORD.

I wanted to stop my blog so that the pain would stop. I wanted all the blogs I visit (including the THREE this week who got MORE adopted children!!!) to stop being "there".

Duh. I can't stop that. It's THEIR life, not mine. I can compare myself into complete depression if I allow it.

God has a plan. PandaJoy just might not come to us. I cannot, for the life of me, tell you why any of it came to pass when we did not go looking for her. What I do know is that we are His children and He is always in control. I kept my hands on the pages of my Bible on Friday right on top of Psalm 121 where it told me that the Lord watches over me and never slumbers nor sleeps. He KNOWS. He SEES.

I couldn't even pray words so I just held The Word and sobbed. I can say that peace didn't come right then. It didn't come the next day or the next.

A little bit ago, I felt compelled to fight. I have been fighting or so I thought, but now I want to invite you to fight with me. The only weapon we have is The Word. Prayer keeps us close to God's heart, His word is alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword according to Hebrews.

If you are here and reading this, please, please leave a comment. You can do it anonymously, but since I get about 100 hits a day on here then SOMEONE is reading the mess I write and the pics I post, but maybe three people consistently talk to me on here.

Are you comparing your life to mine? STOP IT!!!!! I DON'T have it all together!! Anything good in my life is from the grace and goodness of the LORD. HE is good!

If you have something for me to pray about, leave it in the comments. I can pray for YOU just as easily as you can pray for ME. We are in this life together and I want to help people instead of envy them.

I'm not taking a break until September. I am an emotional girl and I was very emotional when I posted about taking a break. I even deleted it because it was so blunt.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sweet Peas


"He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy
mother of children. Praise the LORD."
~~Psalm 113:9~~


We would appreciate your prayers today as there is a meeting about the next step for PandaJoy. We do not know anything. She is not even in our care, but the Lord can move mountains. He has proven himself over and over. Nothing is too hard for Him. Thank you so very much for even caring about our family. I always pray for blessings to pour over ANYONE who prays for us. Very humbling to know other Believers are lifting up our family to the Lord.

That Scripture from Psalm 113 is marked in my Bible and has been for a long time. It "just happened" to be in my study this morning.

Move, mountains.