Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our 2009 Family Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

2009 has been a year filled with joys and challenges. Here are a few highlights of how God has enriched us.

As a family we started the year with a clear goal-- we felt led to adopt a specific nine-year-old girl from Taiwan. We signed with an adoption agency in March, completed our home study, sent our dossier paperwork to Taiwan and received adoption approval from the orphanage in June. Unfortunately in August we received word that the orphanage had changed its mind and rejected our application. This was very disappointing, as we had already begun to love C*** in our hearts. We did all we could to appeal, but finally had to conclude that short of a miracle, there was nothing more to do. Then earlier this month God sent that miracle! The orphanage contacted our adoption agency and specifically asked if we were still interested in adopting C***. After prayer and some really neat confirmations from God (that’s another exciting story…), we decided to jump back into the adoption process. If all goes well, we will have C*** in our home next fall(???)! In the midst of all these adoption ups and downs, we finally sold our house in Richmond, Eric received his 3rd degree Black Belt and started teaching karate in Chattanooga, Jennifer started a part-time job (she works in the coffee/juice bar at the new Earth Fare in Chattanooga), and Jennifer’s parents moved to town. Noelle brightens our days as an energetic three-year-old. She continues to blossom and grow before our eyes.

The church is doing very well. We are blessed to be in partnership with such loving, faithful people. Over the last year we have added a staff family. Roberto and Rhesa Rodriguez are specifically responsible for developing our Hispanic ministry. We are expanding our outreach to our Spanish-speaking neighbors, offering ESL classes and have even started Spanish as a Second Language classes for those who want to better communicate with our neighbors. We took our first step into closer partnership with our Jewish neighbors and offered a “Philanthropy Camp” one week in July. We look forward to partnering in future compassionate ministry activities and meeting the practical needs of our community. Our music minister Rob Hambrick expanded his scope and started a small-group ministry. It’s been neat to see new families enter the church through this Bible Study/Fellowship group. The children’s ministry is thriving under the leadership of George Lawson. We had close to thirty kids in the children’s program earlier this month (almost double from this time last year-- thanks Christy & Sarah). I wish I had time to share with you about our Spring Homecoming or Fall BBQ outreach; our different prayer groups and Fall revival or simply how people keep asking, “Can we start this new ministry?” It’s hard to keep up with all the great and Godly opportunities!

As we come into the New Year we simply ask God for strength to stay near to him. We are confident that as we hold close to God, he will lead and provide all that is needed to grow in him and serve others!

May your joy be found in Jesus~

Eric, Jennifer and Noelle

EDIT:  Ultimately that Taiwan adoption did not come to fruition, but He did use the process and the journey to teach us some important lessons and prepare us for the future.  He always knows what He is doing!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Excuses, excuses!

I have a whole list of excuses for why my blogging has fallen off in recent weeks (...months...).  But the list would bore you, and I certainly don't want to bore my readers! :-)  I do know that there are some faithful aunts, cousins, parents, far-away-friends who check regulary for new posts (or at least there were??!).  To you good folk, I say "Sorry." :-( 
But in my defense, such as it is, I am in gooooooood company.  When I do grab 5 minutes here and there to scan others' blogs, I often read posts similiar to this one. 

And what is our BIG EXCUSE???

Yes, it's the truth.  I have been spending more time posting photos and stories and chatting on facebook than writing about family stuff here.  I am really trying to limit my time on the computer so I can be engaged in my real life (virtual reality is no reality!).  So the blogging has suffered.  I do hope to continue blogging long term, as I enjoy writing and I do like to document the life of our family.  But realistically I may only get a couple posts up here every couple weeks.  Sometimes I stress myself out with self-imposed blogging deadlines.  So I think I'm better off to just concentrate on 3-4 posts a month and be satisfied.  And if I get more in, that's just a bonus!

But for those of you who want more of the Johnson's, become my facebook friend!  Just click on the facebook badge on the top right of this blog.  It will take you to a page where you can request to be my friend.  Okay?  Hope you come find me!

~See ya'll at my next post!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 8 is ORPHAN SUNDAY - You are invited to...

...attend the following events celebrating this first annual national event - Orphan Sunday!

By joining us at Chattanooga First Church of the Nazarene:

~10:45 am
Special Service honoring adoption and sharing the needs of orphans around the world

~5:00-7:00 pm
Stephen Curtis Chapman Concert event (live via web cast)
*Please bring snacks to share! :)
*We are also working out a plan for childcare

RSVP to Jennifer or Eric Johnson at:
423-893-7756 (church)
423-693-5394 (jen's cell)

Church of the Nazarene
5455 N. Terrace (across the interstate from the Rave Theater)

Check out for more details!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


"If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves,
and pray,
and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

That says it all!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Poor, pitiful Jack

Oops. (and ick and gross)

Jack got left out in the rain, on our porch, and was forgotten,,, for a few days.

He was a sad pumpkin before.  Now he's REALLY SAD.

Noelle saw him, frowned and tipped her head to the side and said, "AWwwwwwww" in a voice heavy with pity (for him, not her - lol).

(Notice the chin drool-- a nice touch, I think.)

A Sweet Good Morning

Eric had to leave the house early this morning, before Noelle and I were awake, to drive to a church activity in Knoxville. When I opened the fridge to get the milk, I found a sweet note and a prayer from my hubby! Awwww!! 'Put a happy-silly grin on my face, I tell ya. :>}

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just FYI-- I put some adoption updates on our Taiwan Blog today.

Please Pray For This Young Girl--

One of the ladies in our Tuesday prayer group shared this story/prayer request: about a girl who lives in another state:

Last Friday a 15 year old girl went to an abortion clinic to abort her baby.  She did not want to go through with the procedure, but she lives in an overly crowded house with relatives who cannot affort the money or space for a baby.  They wanted her to make a choice:  the baby or your home with us.  So the teen did go to her appointment at the clinic.  She tried to follow through.  But she ended up running out of the place without having an abortion!!! 

I was and am deeply moved at this amazing show of courage.  This girl is in such a difficult situation and faces losing her home...yet she bravely chose life for her unborn baby!!  All of us ladies found ourselves weeping as we spent several minutes in prayer for these two precious lives.

The director of the local crisis pregnancy center opened her home to the teen for a few days until they could figure out what to do.  She (the director) has asked us to pray for God to intervene in this situation.  The young lady has been in much physical discomfort and had an ultrasound which showed the baby has a very weak heartbeat.  Please pray for her heath and the baby's.  But on the positive side, the relatives are now possibly reconsidering their initial untimateum.  It looks like may be able to stay with them during the pregnancy.  There are still many unknowns, however, and anything could change. 

I will be seeking updates about this young lady and will let you know how things go.  Just please, please pray for her and for God's best plan.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Taiwan Adoption UPDATE

Stop by our other blog for the latest news posted today:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chattanooga Cupcakes - yummy yummy!!

Eric and I had a rare Thursday afternoon date today.  My parents volunteered to watch Noelle, so Eric took part of the day off from work so we could have some 'quality fun'. :-) 

The fun included exploring downtown Chattanooga on foot...  Which brought us to a brand new shoppe: Chattanooga Cupcakes on Broad Street.  The sign in the window said they would be opening on Monday.  But the lights were on and we saw scrumptious looking cupcakes on display! 

The door opened at our touch, so we ventured inside.  The gal behind the counter introduced herself as Sonia.  She said they we not open for business yet, but would we like to try a free a sample?

Would we!??!  Of course!!

She was giving the delectible treats away to test them on the public.  We were quite willing to be test subjects.  The choice was difficult, but Eric went with the carrrot cake with butter cream frosting and pecan bits.  I chose the chocolate cake with white chocolate truffle frosting.  She packed them carefully in a to-go box, and we walked back to our car.  Eric thought we should drive to another destination to get something to drink and then eat our treats at the park. 

Thing is, my cupcake didn't last that long.  It was gone before I got out of the car! 

Ohhhhhhh people! Our taste buds were in heaven!!  You've got to try some of this lady's moist, decadent cupcakes.  Stop by her place at 500 Broad St - Chattanooga, TN.  These are tough economic times, but I sure hope her business thrives.  Everyone needs a sweet pick-me-up from time to time, right? 

BTW-- Eric said he would pay 5 whole dollars for one of these babies.  That is high praise, indeed. ;-)

Noelle Pix --- for your viewing enjoyment

Just a bit o' news from our life lately...

I had a special treat for Noelle when I picked her up from preschool Monday...

As a reward for participating in gymnastics class that morning.
And yes, bribery was involved.  Sweets are always a good incentive for our munchkin!

Cuz even though standing on her head was fun, ish...

...THIS contraption scared the heck out of her last week (her first gymnastics class).  Her buddy, Teagan, was just ahead of her in line and performed some fancy whirly twirly technique (Teagan has been taking evening lessons for some time).  Noelle watched and decided being a future olympian wasn't "all that".
Bouncing on a mini trampoline into a somersault is extra fun!

Squeaky-clean and oh so cute!

Our silly girl!

"EEERRRRR UUUGHHHHH!!!  If I turn it juuuuust right, I should be able to lift this thing..."

Noelle had been asking for several weeks to get a "jack-o-lantern pumpkin". 
Last week we obliged and drove to Linda's Produce a few blocks from our house.  It's not a pumpkin farm, but Noelle enjoyed it.
The pumpkin farm came that weekend (pix to follow)...

After finding a pumpkin, we spent some time at the local bookstore.  Eric and I took turns reading kids books aloud.  And you can see that Eric is really getting into it. ;-)
 My big cutie and my little cutie

Noelle:  the growling voice of the Big Bad Wolf

Grammy's scarecrow isn't very scary.  Noelle thought it was a big doll and wanted to carry it around.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 18, 2009 -- WE MISSED IT!!!

As of September 18, 2009 Noelle has officially been with our family longer (by one day) than she had been in orphanage care without a family.  Amazing!!  Eric and I are so honored to be the ones God chose for her parents. :-)

Some dear friends of ours celebrated this milestone with their daughter last year.  We actually were priveleged to help them celebrate Reagan's important day.  Eric and I thought it was a very nifty idea and planned to copy it for our family.  But darn it, with all the sickness and "other stuff" we've been dealing with recently, we both plum forgot!  I'm bummed. :-(  It may not have seemed significant to Noelle, but it means a lot to us.  We cannot go back in time, but I'm wondering if there is some way to recoup what we missed.  Hmmmm....  My fortune (cookie) says there is a Chinese meal in our immediate future!

Can anyone think of what the significance of this particular date is???
You win a *GOLD STAR* if you can guess correctly...

Monday, September 21, 2009



After all of us being sick the past couple weeks and spending waaaaaaay too much time in the house and with each other, I was looking forward to preschool today.  I mean really.  A lot.  I was look forward to preschool really a lot.

(come on, moms! who's with me!?)

In my defense, Noelle was too.  She loved her '1 day of school' from 2 weeks ago, and was excited to attend her first gymnastics class, and to see Teagan and the Rodrigez kids (friends from church).

BUT Chattanooga is under water. 

And I mean that almost literally.  It has been raining for days and days and many areas are flooded.  Eric and I feel blessed that our cosy church parsonange home is high up on Missionary Ridge and not in the numerous small valleys across the area.

So we were shoving food down our kiddo with 5 minutes to spare before I tossed her and her Dora backpack in the car...when the phone rang.  Eric grabbed it, read the caller ID out loud and we both groaned.  (My groan might have been a bit louder and longer than his.)  "Cancelled due to flooding."

I love my kid more than life.  But I'll say it again.


(Note: The building was not flooded. Just the parking lot.)


Notice anything wrong with this picture?

The mirror is missing. 
A large one that covers the wall and most of the window. 
(Ok, you probably noticed that this is poor placement for a dresser with a mirror, but in our bedroom there is literally no other place to put it.  Between the 2 awkwardly placed windows, the 2 closets, the door to the hall and the door to the bathroom, there is no other available wall.  I feel lucky that we were able to get our bed in this room!)

While in the shower I heard a terrible crash.  My first thought was that maybe the cats had knocked the tv to the floor.  My second thought was, "That had to have woken Noelle.  Grrrrr, those cats better not have woken up Noelle."  I dashed out of the shower to investigate and immediately noticed the dresser mirror was not in it's usual place.

It was here, on the floor.

So much for the mirror I've had since I was a girl.
I guess I won't be checking my outfits or putting on jewelry here any more. 
My antique jewelry/music box also bit the dust.

And so did my (previously) unbroken last collectible figurine given to me by my husband.

Here are the culprits.

I found them cowering under the bed.  When they did eventually slink out, there was narry an apology for the mess and destruction they had left behind.

What led to the cat-astrophe?  They had been up in the window behind the mirror watching birds and squirrels.  Evidently something spooked the kitty-girls during their vigil. 
We have a large tree so close to the house that the area wildlife, from the wooded area behind the parsonage, frequently leap from a branch and race across the roof then back again, all day long. 

The cats love it.
As indooor felines, they find this amusement a wildly entertaining way to spend an afternoon.
I never did love it.  Even more so, NOW.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Noelle's First Japanese Steakhouse Experience

The fire scared her so much she jumped into Eric's lap.  Each time our cook lit something on fire, she screamed a bit and either hid in her daddy's shoulder or covered her eyes.

Showing more interest in the process...

You can practically see her mouth watering over the steaming chicken.  She cried out, "MEAT!!MEAT!!" when the chef tossed the pink breasts onto the sizzling grill.  (Our girl does eat fruits and veggies, but she is quite the carnivore.)

The hostess loved chatting with Noelle and noticed her struggling to eat with the huge fork.  So...she brought her a pair or training chopsticks instead!  Just moments before, Noelle declared she was "All done!" and wanted to get down to play.  But, when she got those chopsticks in her hand, her focus suddenly changed to cleaning her plate.  And she almost did just that!  She had quite a knack for picking up even bits of rice with this new tool.  Our table-mates were quite impressed.  (Unfortunately we forgot to take them with us when we left the restaurant.  Noelle was sorely disappointed and wanted us to turn around.  Eric consoled her with, "I can make you some chopsticks just like that at home!")

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All Moved In!

A rainy day in Ringgold

Derek, Eddie and Ramon came over to assist.  You guys are AWEsome!

Much of the sorting of household items will take place in the garage

The Master Suite

The Great Room

My tired sweaty dad, taking a well-deserved water break

That's the last of it, guys!

Hi, handsome fella ;-)

Hey, where did this cute lil' squirt come from??  Was she in one of the boxes??  Can we take her home with us?? :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Parents!!!

Are finally, officially, moving down to the Chattanooga area from Knoxville -- TODAY!!! They have been living half time at their new condo, doing flooring projects, painting projects and such, while waiting for their house in Knoxville to sell. Unfortunately it still has not. :-( But we are trusting and praying for God to bring the right buyer along.

Anyway...this evening they are heading this way with their moving truck with the remainder of their belongings. Please pray for their safety as dad drives the truck and mom follows behind in the car...with a freaked-out, car-crazed feline in the front seat. eeeeekkkk!!! (I'm hoping they put Spanky in well-secured box - he's been known to escape!)

I've been trying to reach their cell all day to no avail. Sooooo we are not quite sure when they will arrive. We just want them to get here safe and sound. I am SO excited to have my parents here full time! It's been a long time coming. Thanks, God! :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

icky sickies around here

***Thursday Evening Update***
We are all doing sooooo much better. Noelle and I even got out of the house today. And the Tamiflu I started taking yesterday seems to have helped.

Please keep us all in your prayers. Noelle and Eric still haven't quite beaten the flu (since last Thursday and Friday, respectively), and Noelle actually developed a concerning rattle in her chest this evening. And the bug finally caught up with me yesterday.

Many, many folks all over are struggling with the same thing. We are praying for all of you out there, even as we pray for a quick end to our illness.

{{{Air-hugs}}} (anything else would spread germs),


Sunday, September 13, 2009

~The Blessing Place~

On Wednesday, Noelle started her first day of Mom's Day OutThe Blessing Place is a program run by a church in our community for preschool aged children.  It is a Monday / Wednesday program that follows a regular preschool curriculum.  The kids are divided into classrooms based on age, and they have bible lessons, crafts, music, basic Spanish, field trips (that come to the school), etc. ...and they even have a gymnastics class once a week (super cool!). 

Noelle really enjoyed her first day, and she didn't cry, which made me very relieved, as this was a new school.  I think checking out the room and "inspecting" each and every toy at the open house the previous week helped immensely.  She seems to like her teacher, Mrs. Heather, and enjoys her 5 other classmates.  Only one boy, poor kid - or maybe not!  He seemed to not mind the girls teasing and giggling all about him! lol  Noelle also has a buddy in her room-- Teagan from our local Families with Children from China group (her mom is Terri of Our Hearts' Desire blog).

Here are a few pictures:

Noelle, Teagan and 'the one' boy (I'll have to learn his name)

You might be living with a toddler if... can rattle off the words to the Barney theme song or the text of "Good Night Moon" but can't seem to recall your social security number or zip code when asked. scream in the shower because you see a gaping wound on your leg...thankfully it's only the red Elmo sticker your child stuck there last night.

...your cupboards and drawers are filled more with sippy cups and Dora or Cinderella flatware sets, than with dinner plates or ceramic mugs. And you value these plastic and rubberized items more than your fine china. find you've come to prefer the kids' menu (i.e. chicken nugget meal and apple juice) to your grilled chicken salad and water with lemon.

...your discarded containers, boxes and bottles are confiscated from the trash can and used as toys.

...before leaving the house, you ask your very manly husband, "Do you need to go poo-poo before we go?"

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Please visit our Taiwan adoption blog for the details I posted tonight. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our Girl Is 3!!!

Happy, happy birthday, precious Noelle JiaZhen! How did you get to be sooooo big? We are so very proud of you and the lovely little girl you are becoming. We LOVE being your mommy and daddy and look forward to many, many birthday celebrations with you in the years to come!!

All our Love~
Your Mommy and Daddy
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Congratulations....!!!! Nancy Cozadd, a friend of ours from Missouri, who won a Love 89 / Petros Prize Package from the Bears for Claire fundraiser!!!  You go, girlfriend!

If I counted correctly, 995 bears were donated to help the Adkin's Family in Knoxville bring home their daughter, Claire, from Taiwan.  Yipeee!!!!

Check the link below for all the details.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Only 2 days left to win GREAT PRIZES!

Donate to Bears for Claire and you could win a Nintendo Wii

Check out this fundraiser hosted by some new friends of ours. They have some incredible prizes! And they are also naming their daughter from Taiwan "Claire"! :-)

Invites for new Taiwan blog

Don't forget...I need those email addresses from you all!!

Though I should also tell you I haven't...

(continued at:

Happy 39th Birthday, Eric!

We LOVE you so very much!!!

(Noelle crowned her prince to honor the occassion :-))

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Attention Readers!!! (especially you "silent" ones)

I know there are lots of family members/relatives and friends from back in Richmond, and elsewhere, who read our blog. 

(ok, yes, i'm sorry. i know it's been a bit lame around here the last couple months. i.e. lack of photos and cute noelle stories and so forth. very sorry about that.  but i digress...)

My guess is that many of you also check in with our Taiwan adoption blog from time to time as well (sure hope so!!).  If you haven't checked there recently, let me share that I have created a PRIVATE BLOG where I will be posting more personal details of our Taiwan adoption process and information about the little gal we are adopting...information you will not see anywhere else!!! 

Here's the catch.  I think you have to have an email account, possibly even a Google account (i.e. Gmail account) to be able to read the blog.  I could be totally wrong about that, but I'm looking into it.

Here's how it works: 
1.  If you want to be a "reader" of our new private Taiwan blog, you will need to provide me with your email address. 
2.  Then Blogger (that's the blog program I use) will send you an email invitation for you to be a reader. 
3.  To read our blog, you will go to our website and sign in with your email address and a password you create. 
(4.  Or something to that effect.  I'll get back to you with the specifics.  If anyone reading this post knows for sure how the email thing works, will you let me know in the comment section?  Thanks!)

This is how our blog will stay private.  Only folks authorized by me can see any of the content on the private blog.  This format will allow me to speak freely about our adoption process without the fear of strangers, or internet lurkers, or even people in Taiwan seeking info about our future daughter, being able to have access. Cool, hu?

So all this is to say...I hope you will join us over on the new blog!! 

And in the mean time, just for fun, get yourself an Google email (gmail).  Just to be on the safe side, or until I know what I'm doing.  Just type into your internet browser; click on "Gmail" at the top of the page; click on "Create an account" on the lower right portion of the page; and follow the brief instructions.  That's it! 

The new blog site will be found at:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Taiwan Blog - going PRIVATE for now

The blog is BACK OPEN!


I've got to make some changes on our Taiwan adoption blog before I'm able to have it visible to others again. I will post here on this blog the status of the Taiwan blog and explain more at that time.

Thanks for your patience, friends! :-)

(and someone please let me know - post here - if you CAN see the Taiwan blog, so I can quickly remedy the situation. thnx)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This SATURDAY - Car Wash - Taiwan Adoption Fundraiser

** UPDATE, check the Taiwan Blog **

Who wants a shiny clean car??!!


Who would like to smile shout and bounce around while holding a sign? Or would like to scrub tires? Or take donations / hand out fliers??!!

Well...then I've got an opportunity for YOU! ;o)

This morning I was able to get us on the schedule for a car wash this Saturday, August 22, at the Rite Aid parking lot (corner of Ringgold and McBrien). We'll get started around 10am and go into the afternoon (we have a bday party later, but will figure that out).

Please let us know if you'd like to volunteer. Or just stop by and we'll clean your car!

Thanks ya'll~

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Techie Update

Last night our techie friend and hero, Oh-Danny-boy, talked Eric through the reinstall of my recovered data. It looks like most everything is here...except I did lose my email contacts. :-( Photos, documents, our Taiwan dossier scanned documents, etc are all accounted for. Only it's a crazy wild mess, 'cuz I tend to not be very organized as to where / how I save things onto the computer. But hubby dear assures me he can get me organized and has already created several new file folders. Now all I have to do is "click and drag" to said folders, or something. If I smile and wink just right, I think he will help poor little me...

But now for the less-good news. I have succeeded in losing 400 or so photos and a handful of videos on my BlackBerry. Yes, you'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now.
Download and backup.
Download and backup.
Download and backup.
I trust technology way too much for my own good. Somehow my memory chip became "corrupted". (I didn't do a thing to it! I promise!) I simply cannot retrieve any photos / video, nor can I take any. Time for a trip to the Verizon store.

Do you have Blogger's Disease?

I think I might. Cyber Doc is working on a diagnosis. But I think I already know. And I'm wondering...Do YOU have it too?!???

(Just a teaser, 'will 'splain more later, it's late and my brain is tired)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Poor little girl

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Look at this poor kid. Pitiful.

It's 2:00 pm and here she stands, barefoot, engulfed in a giant bib, eating a McD*uble sandwich, in our carport.

Who is this kid's mom anyway? Where is she? Where is the supervision??

Where's the nutritious home-cooked lunch? And where are the vegetables?! (ketchup, onions and pickles don't really qualify) Besides that, does the mommy know that those tiny hands feeding the hungry mouth are covered in germs from who-knows-where?

And where are the shoes?! Doesn't the mommy care that a sharp screw or nail may be lurking behind a trash car, preparring a pedi-assult? Or that some winged creature, such as a giant horsefly or other foul vermin, may come swooping down for a taste of the burger and scare/offend the child's delicate sensibilities?!

Pitiful, just pitiful.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

She's asleep!!!

It is 8:05 pm EST, and our Lil' Squirt (one of my many pet names for Noelle) is SLEEPING!!!! Wooeeee, praise Jesus!!!!!

You may chuckle, you may think I'm being overly dramatic, but Noelle has had a moratorium on bedtime and naptime for 3 months or so. I've been pulling out new gray hairs in frustration. Eric and I have been beside ourselves, because the child was obviously sleep deprived, but she just wouldn't sleep no matter what advice we followed. She had been getting about 11-13 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, then jumped quite suddenly to 7-8 hours per day. And that's where "we been livin'" these many weeks...

Until a couple of weeks ago when our ladies prayer group made this an issue of prayer. Eric and I had been praying regularly, but when this group of gals gets going...heaven (and hell) take note! Glory!! Within a couple of days, Noelle was getting 9-10 hours at night (naps are history). She has still been tired and a bit cranky in the evenings, but we feel like we are getting our life back! Especially me, 'cuz my "mommy-radar" ears never turn off. When Noelle finally sleeps, this mommy sleeps. Sigh. :-)

And now tonight. Eric and I take turns putting her to bed, but tonight Noelle specifically requested I do the honors. Eric had gotten her all pj'd and teeth brushed, so the kid was sleep-ready. I decided to forego storybooks or light in her room, and went straight for the lullabies and rocking chair. I snuggled up with my unexpectedly demure sweetie and sang our favorite prayer and praise choruses.

In short order, it happened. The "Twitch". You know, the tiny full body twitch that says sleep has ascended. Yes Yes Yes!!! I shouted inside my head, and sang/rocked her a minute more to be sure. Then ever so gingerly, I placed my beautiful angel child in her bed, blew a kiss, and slipped out of the room.

As I passed by the Hello Kitty clock next to her door, it read 8:05. Wow. Thank you, Jesus. :-)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fun drawing!

My friend Terri is a wonderful seamstress and is very generously hosting a drawing on her blog to raise $$ for our adoption of C--Y-- in Taiwan. Her items are super cute! Check it out here!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Please visit our other blog for the details. And please pray...

Photos from Chattanooga Philanthropy Camp--

Here's a couple links to photos from last month's first annual children's Philanthropy Camp held at our church and the Jewish Cultural Center:

Slide Show

Virtual Tour

*If you'd like to get involved with next year's camp (i.e. planning committee, being a counselor, outreach activity idea, field trip idea, etc.), have a child who would like to attend, or a teen interested in being a junior counselor, please send me an email or post a comment here on the blog. Thanks!

A Family in China Needs Our Help

For several days I've been following and praying about the story of a mom and dad and their newly adopted 4 year old girl. They are in China right now. The family is facing the tragic possibility of having to leave their daughter in China due some recent regulations put in place by the CDC.

Please check out the link below to the family's blog and see if there is any way you may offer help. The story is too long to share here, but their blog lays out very well what is needed (plus you can see some cute pics!). Most of all, pray that this newly formed family will not be ripped apart because of government *red tape*...ugh!

I'm writing this post from my... computer!!!

Yipee! It feel so good to be back in business. It has been 5 weeks since I've even sat in my computer desk. Eric's brother Kirk via delivery from Eric's parents (who spent the last several days with us) has set me up with a new faster hard drive, DVD burner and a "new" tower. Now I can get online, download photos (OMW there are tons of those!), etc.

Next step is to set up a phone meeting with our friend Danny - my data rescue hero - so he and Eric can load all my saved documents (inc. our Taiwan dossier), photos and such onto the new computer. Then I'll be siting pretty!

Thanks everyone, for sticking around through the lack of photos, lack of posts, and weird looking posts sent from my BlackBerry. I look forward to things starting to settle down (???) in our busy summer, so I can catch you all up and even get photos up on flickr!

YAY!!!! :-)


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lots to report from Johnson-World...

...but I still don't have a computer at home-- though I will this weekend! Hopefully Eric can load all my data back onto my new hard drive on Monday or Tuesday, then I can be back in business!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Would you like an EXTRA Blessing in YOUR life?

I saw this video on another adoptive family's blog and wanted to share it with all of you. Our Noelle was a "special needs child" (she had a minor heart defect which healed on "it's own" - glory be to God!), but we didn't START down the special needs / waiting child path. We though we wanted a "healthy infant" when we applied to our adoption agency. But God opened our hearts, we said "yes" to Him, and He gave us a MUCH MORE AMAZING BLESSING than we could have ever planned ourselves!!

And now we are adopting an older special needs child from Taiwan, a beautiful and precious girl named C--Y--. What joy to be on this path!! I never would have guessed that God would take us here! But you know what? We wouldn't change a thing!! :-)

How about YOU??? Is God quietly whispering to your open your heart to the most incredible blessing of special needs / waiting child / or older child adoption?

(psst...if you take that first step, you will never regret it...then get ready for the Miracles!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

like a mighty rushing wind...~....~~...~

I don't have time to do a full post now, but I am INCREDIBLY EXCITED about a women's prayer group we have started at church! God's hand is MOVING! I am thrilled to be part of this act of obedience. God has plans for us here at Chattanooga 1st Church (and His children all over the globe!), and we already see the powerful Holy Spirit at work!

Check back soon and I will share the Blessing~~~

Monday, July 27, 2009

Crunchy" Hair

Last night after we got home from church, Noelle and I were sitting on the floor together. She decided it was a good opportunity to "style" my hair. As she fiddled and pulled - "Ouch!!" - she commented that my hair was "crunchy". That would be the hairspray. 'Fraid I don't leave the house without it! And Sunday services require an extra coating just to make it through the day's events. ;-)

So today after her bath, I was combing Noelle's hair and we were discussing which hair clip might look nice with her red t-shirt. And then a brilliant idea hit my daughter.

"I want CRUNCHY hair, like Mommy!!"

This statement gave me quite a chuckle. She went on to explain that she wanted me to use hairspray to "fluff" and "scrunch up" her curls. She doesn't really have 'curly' hair, but there is a definite wave that can be acentuated with just the right styling product. And as I usually do "fluff" her hair after bath time, I knew exactly what she was wanting. I spritzed and scrunched away...

What do you think of the final effect?

Little girls are so much fun! :-)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Man, this kid is getting TALL!! When and How'd that happen??

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry