Friday, October 21, 2016


As I cleaned my kitchen this morning I notitced the significance of my view...
Madeline's medication holder lay behind my little wooden reminder that God Keeps His Promises
see the rocks to the side??
they are both heart shaped 
Madeline wrote "from Madeline I love you to Mom" on the large one
she gave this to me after a particularly rough day
she was sad and I was sad
 it was the first time she came to me after a long battle...broken and sad about her behavior
I believe I was broken and sad about my behavior as well
this rock will always remain on my counter along with my little wooden reminder...
yes... God does keep his promises
He keeps these promises on hard days and on quiet days
in the peace and in the mess

we have had some peaceful days around here regarding Madeline and for that I am thankful
I see her precious heart learning that all sins are forgiven
hers and mine
I know the mess will continue to come but I trust God will continue to keep His Promises
He will never leave us or forsake us
in all our mess and brokeness

and goodness has God kept His promise to equip us in His calling
look at this ridiculous peanut!!

don't most kids watch tv upside down????? hahaha

Monday, October 17, 2016

~ The Great Pumpkin Harvest 2016~

We hosted our 2nd pumpkin harvest over the weekend
Hank plots and plans this harvest just like he does with his corn

The kids and adults had a blast
Janie and her buddy Kennedi

I had to get a pic of Tyler since he would not pick a pumpkin last year because of the "prinklers"
Once again he had the best story of the night....
He was riding with Hank and the rest of the kids in the golf cart and asked Hank about the horse in our neighbor's field. Hank proceded to tell him that acturally it is a fake plastic horse (I know why would someone have a fake plastic horse???)....Tyler said  "then why do they call you a farmer?"
Hank said "because I grew these pumpkins for you".  He just looked at Hank and said "but the horse is fake"..... he was NOT buying that Hank is a real farmer if he has a dumb fake horse in the field hahaha

these kids humored us by taking a pic
little do they know that they will still have to do this in college
....we will plan it around fall break ha....

a typical Gardner and Kendyl pic

anxiously waiting to ride in the golf cart

the crew, I wish we had gotten a pic of the adults as well!

this pic totally cracks me up
 Janie and Kennedi are posing and all the boys are crazy!

Hank was proud of his harvest ....lots and lots of pumpkins:)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

~Capturing The Moment~

these pics of John David and John Parker look like album covers
goodness that makes me sound old...
but they do
Lisa said they tried hard to not smile in their "posed" pics haha

a normal pic..

album cover

back cover haha

and this one absolutly made my day!
Look at Janie Jane right in the middle with the BIGGEST smile ever!
pictures like this gives me have a glimpse of what God does every single day
beauty from ashes

Saturday, October 8, 2016

~A Life~

this picture represents a life
three roses peeking out the middle of an azaela bush...
this rose plant was given to me after I miscarried a precious child
many years ago ( 12 to be exact)

I was watering my ferns the other day and noticed these blooms 
~the azaela bush has been crowding it out for years~ 
 I've never had the heart to to pull up this weak little bush and all it represents
I doubt anyone in our family even knows the significance this bush has for me...

I gazed at those blooms and thought about what that child did for our family
the loss of him/her was felt strongly....and lead us all the way to China
two times and a yes to Carly

As I thought about the loss of this child I realized we most likely would not have listened to God's call to open our lives to orphans if we had not lost first
sometimes God uses our brokeness to move us forward to Him and to more
our more ended up coming in the form of 3 orphans

I stood on my porch and thought about how "normal" our lives would have been if this child had been born to us...
would we have turned deaf ears to God's call????
I don't know...
but I do know that He has blessed us immeasurably more after loss
He has taught me that this life on earth is not about me
not about my family
not about easy
it is about Him

Thursday, October 6, 2016

~A Day In The Life~

John David is on a plane right himself...yikes
he is going to visit his bff JP in New York!
I am so excited for both of them
they have been friends since 2nd grade and continue to get together since JP moved after 5th grade

We, of course, had some shenanigans this morning at the airport...
why you may ask???
enough said

I had to sneak a pic of this! All the momma's of teenagers will attest to the fact that this made my day! I immediately laughed when the attendant gave JD this lanyard to wear around his neck. I know life's most embarrassing moment for a teenager! He is an unaccompanied minor so I encouraged him that he will never again see the people that stare at him today:)

a simple walk to Starbucks cannot be simple in our family...

Friday, September 30, 2016

~We Are Back Home~

Whoop Whoop we are back home.....many days early!!

this little girl was so happy to be in a hotel instead of the hospital..
can I just say that she loves loves loves room service haha...she is living up to the diva name:)

sweet baby sleep both flights home (so did Mommy)

she ventured outside with her sister to visit with the chickens

she got tired so Daddy brought out the golf cart for her to sit in
he is showing Janie one of our new super ugly chickens, look at that head!!!

I have to say Madeline is so in her element with these chickens!
She can tell each of them from the other and does not understand why I can't remember their names!
Can we guess who is not a farm girl???

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

~Successful Surgery :)

I am very thankful to say Janie had a successful surgery yesterday! She was a bit slow coming out of recovery due to pain but her pain was managed well yesterday and going great this morning. The team mentioned possibly going back to the hotel late this afternoon....WHOOP WHOOP:)! 

I'm waiting for xray but if all looks good we will be able to head home late tomorrow afternoon:)

She is a bit weepy after her first flush but that is to be expected....all new and took a bit longer today....tomorrow is a new day:)

waiting for our first flight

crazy girlfriend sending a "smile" for Daddy

she was so excited for her first food of the day after surgery:)

She wanted me to go to the gift shop and take pictures of all the stuffed animals
this is one of the 8 pictures I took haha
she sent me back to buy the pink seal of course:)

finally crashed late in the afternoon

while Madeline caught chickens at home ha!

she had a good night and woke up with smiles to send to Daddy:)

I am very thankful for success so far....praying that Janie's anxiety will lessen and she will love her new freedom soon!