Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Service Dog for Jonathan

Eric and I would like to ask for your prayers regarding his sister Heather, her husband Dave and one of their sons, Jonathan. They are in Ohio for a couple weeks to receive and train with a service dog for Jonathan, who has autism. Please pray that the training and the trip is highly sucessful, and that this dog will be a great asset to Jonathan and the whole family.

You can read about their trip and their awesome story here:

Heather, Dave and Jonathan- We love you guys so much and send you our prayers!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

House Update 5

The latest is...

The buyer is not planning to hire an independent inspector, which should save us some money in the end (since we are paying all closing costs - part of the deal). They are hiring a termite inspector (not sure who pays for that) and hopefully the house will still be bug free.

The lender did send in an independent inspector in today to appraise the house. Since it had been raining for days in Richmond, and our 100 year old house has a rock foundation and "cellar" type basement, he says, "Oh the basement is wet. You have to have a sub pump in here or we can't do the loan."

OOOOOkay. Whatever. It shouldn't be too expensive. But I don't think the guy understands these type of houses. It's been the nature of the thing for the last 100 years and we've never had a problem in all the time we lived there. But okay. If that's all we have to do, then we're good with that.

I believe the buyer has until May 6th to add anything else to the contract he wants us to do/fix. If nothing costly is added (our "profit" margin is very slim), then we will accept the deal on May 13th, sign and shake hands...and breathe a big sigh of relief. And Praise God!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

House Update 3

Well people, the original couple returned to negotiations. If all goes "well" over the next 3 weeks, we will no longer be home owners. Prayers are still very much needed, due to the nature of our "situation". Sorry to be vague - it is what it is. We will post here if a satisfactory deal has been completed.
We and the other party tried to work a deal over the weekend, but it wasn't meant to be. So it's probably a good thing.

Currently a couple in another state who are transferring to the area have seen the house, LOVE IT, and are thinking about a lease-to-own option until they sell their own house. We should hear more today if they want to pursue something with us or not.

Your prayers are still greatly appreciated!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We're Having a Yard Sale!

Mark your calendars for May 8 & 9!

If you'd like to come and shop, or have items to donate, please click here for more information. We are having the sale to raise money to file our Immigration paperwork. Immigration approval will allow us to bring CY home into the United States after the adoption. Thanks!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Couple Cute "Noelle Stories"

~Noelle's Version of Humpty-Dumpty~

Ever since Noelle watched a video of the "biblical" version of the Mother Goose stories at the nursery several Sundays ago, she has been very concerned for this good egg's health. She told us repeatedly for days that she was sad because poor Humpty-Dumpty fell and broke off his face. Every time we prayed as a family, or during nap time and bedtime prayers, she would ask that we pray for him to get better.

So that she would not worry so much, we have tried to explain that Humpty is a pretend story, an imaginary character, that he is not really injured because he's not real. Well, these concepts are either above our daughter's head, or she likes the drama of the situation, because her petitions to heaven haven't ceased. (Maybe we should all follow her lead, as it says in scriptures to "pray without ceasing"!)

Over time she had begun to worry less about Humpty's eventual demise, and feels now that he has only a miner owie. We know she has made this transition because of the way she recites the familiar nursery rhyme:

Humpty-Dumpty sat on the wall
Humpty-Dumpty fell off the wall
I pick up all his pieces and glue up his face
Then I put band-aids all over him
And Noelle, Humpy, Daddy and Mommy all sit together on the wall eating eggs!

~Noelle's Tall Tales and Cat Tails~

Earlier this week we were having dinner with my parents at a local eatery. While we were waiting for our orders to arrive, Noelle entertained herself in the corner with some toys provided by the management. You see, this cafe has a child-size table and a bookshelf loaded with children's story books and toys. This particular evening there was a 9 year old boy sitting at the table when we arrived (turns out he is the grandson of the manager).

That didn't stop Noelle from plopping down at the table and introducing herself, i.e. "Whatcha doing? What's that? Can I have it?"

We all watched to see how the boy would respond. He simply smiled at Noelle, smiled at us, and passed his toy over for Noelle to look at. What a sweet kid! Someone's been teaching him right!

Eventually our food came and Noelle was reluctantly pursuaded to join us. She ate as fast as she could, then joined Alexander again at the play area. This time, his cousin Jaden (a bit younger than Noelle) had joined the fun. They set the table for teatime with a Disney tea set. The threesome chatted for a while over their pretend snacks. I was so amazed at how quiet and still our daughter was being, I turned in my chair to get a better view of their interactions. Apparently Alexander had explained to Noelle that the other little boy was his cousin and they were talking about their respective pets. Not to be outdone, Noelle launched into an explanation about her pets and one of her cousins.

She says, "I have two kitties, Stormie and Rainie," as she held up two fingers. "And our kitty, Shadow...," she paused dramatically, leaned her head to one side, and frowned, "Shadow is in heaven with Jesus."

She paused for a moment of silence, and the boys followed suit.

Then with quite a bit of enthusiasm and waving of her arms, she continues, "And I have a cousin Andrew," said with pride, "who has a doggie named Holly. And Andrew lives far, far away in Taiwan!"

What?! Oh my! When we pray for CY (the little girl we hope to adopt, we say she is far, far away in Taiwan. When Noelle recently asked where her cousin Andrew was, I told her he lives far away in Illinois. Guess she got a little mixed up!

Seeing Noelle interact with these two boys reminded me once again how precious our daughter is. I literally teared up as I watched our bright, engaging, happy daughter. I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving, as I have done a million times before - Thank you, Father, for this wonderful child!

Proud To Be An American!!

Here's a photo of Old Glory!

(more photos added below)

I attended our local Tax Day Tea Party yesterday afternoon. This national event was sponsored by citizens in cities across America. It was an opportunity for people to cross political, religious, and economic lines to unite behind a common purpose - to send a clear message to our law makers - that we want to see an end to wasteful government spending of our hard-earned money. We had a great turnout and some very invigorating speakers and local musicians. We signed petitions, waved signs, hooted, hollered and just had lots of fun as freedom-lovin' Americans!

One of the most exciting segments of the event (for me personally) was when the entire crowd took time out to call our president and lawmakers! Countless numbers pulled out their cell phones and called President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, etc. and well as their own state congressional leaders (we had participants from Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama in attendance).

I tried several times and never could get through the presidential comment line, but did leave a message on Senator Reid's phone, left a message with Senator Pelosi's aide,...and actually got into a somewhat lengthy and lively debate with Senator Frank's aide!!

I hate to admit this was my first time to make a phone call such as this. I've wanted to do so many times over many issues of concern, but never quite worked up the courage. That's probably why I was so stinkin' nervous when I found myself talking to a man (Sen. Frank's aide) who wanted to debate me! And that was my first call!

My heart was pounding and I had to shoot up several silent prayers for wisdom. I knew I probably wasn't going to change this man's mind, but I did want him to take me seriously as an intelligent citizen who had valid points worth listening to. And surprisingly, the longer we went, the more confident I got. I could tell he was surprised and frustrated that I was keeping up and even "besting" him point for point. Just as I was about to make a really great zinger he cut me off with something to the effect of, "Ma'am, you've been bamboozled by such n such blah blah, thank you for calling, goodbye."

And that was that. I was listening to a dial tone. And it felt pretty good. :)

The people around me were having little success at getting through to anyone, so when they saw I had spoken to a live person, they wanted the play by play. Everyone there was just so pumped up and excited. It felt good to be standing up; to be doing something.

I feel amazingly blessed to be living in a land founded on Godly principles, and a land that still values free speech. It was a good day. And this was just the beginning. Now we shall see how or if our lawmakers respond.

Here's a partial shot of the crowd 2 hours into the event. And the crowd continued to grow as people getting off work joined us.

The other side of my crowd shot

The stage

You can see some of the news vans in the background. We did get some coverage!

Here is one of the petition tables where we signed to RE-RATIFY the U.S. Constitution. In other words, "Lawmakers in Washington, Please govern by this document and not not by one of your own impression or creation!"

The couple you see on your right are some nice folks I met on my way to the event. I parked quite a distance away and was grateful to run into these people who knew how to get where we were going!

Monday, April 13, 2009

remember our MO house?

We made a counter offer last night and will see if this gentleman accepts. It turns out, however, there are some other "possibilities" that may be presenting themselves if this potential buyer doesn't pan out. We are rookies at the house selling thing, so this whole process is intense/stressful. We are really asking God to lead us in the right direction.
We did receive an offer (very low) and are praying about a counter offer. We are asking God to navigate the process for us. We may not walk away with a penny, but our freedom may be just what God is planning...? 'Will let you know if a deal is made. Please pray that we have wisdom and discernment. Thanks!
Well it still hasn't sold -- though we really need it to.

A potential buyer is coming to look at it 5pm Central Time today...

Please pray!!! (oh i hope this is The One...)

You're Invited: To a "Tea Party" Near You (April 15 Tax Day)

If you are fed up with high taxes and big government spending and want to send our government a clear message, check out this link

Click on your state and you can find a "Tea Party" rally near you. It's our privilege and opportunity as a citizens of this great nation to stand up and be heard!

I will be attending my local rally. How about you?

Chattanooga folks, who's with me?!?
Where: Ross's Landing in Downtown Chattanooga
When: Wednesday April 15 (4PM to 7PM)
Bring: Lawn chairs
For more information:

(Leave me a comment here or a message on facebook if you want to meet and go together)

And the Winner Is...

"Walking in Faith: From Tennessee to Taiwan"

Thanks for stopping by and voting for our new Taiwan adoption blog! We really appreciate your participation. I'm off to make the official changes here.

We hope that you will follow along and pray along as we adopt our precious daughter Claire!!

Jennifer and Eric

Sunday, April 12, 2009



We praise God for the precious reminder of His love in this Easter season-What a tremendous sacrifice was given for you, for me-Christ's death gives us LIFE. Surely HE has triumphed over death and the grave!

What a wonderful Resurection service - our Lord's Spirit was felt in the cantata presentation, the sermon, and all aspects of our time worshipping together. What joy to be in God's house with so many others serving our same Risen Lord!

Praise His holy name!!!

Here's Noelle in her Easter dress sitting on the front platform at church this morning. Getting her to sit still and smile was quite the chore (a bribe with a lollipop was involved, but don't tell the pastor... ;-)

Here's how she preferred to sit...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Check out these photos on flickr

I uploaded some recent photos of the family on our flickr account here, including Sunday's church Easter egg hunt, a recent trip to the park, and some odds and ends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

guess what?!? my parents are moving to chattanooga!!! 9 months ago we were 12+ hours apart (kansas city, mo to knoxville, tn). 8 months ago we were 2 hours apart. now we will be 20 minutes apart - sweet!!

(more details to come)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our 1st Big Bump on the Road to Adopting "her"

Yesterday was a painful and disappointing day. And we still feel pretty crummy this morning. Actually it feels like we received a devastating blow. Like adopting "her" from Taiwan was just a sweet dream but not a reality. That's what it feels like.

We received the long awaited news from our CPA about our 2008 taxes. What will our 2008 tax refund be using the federal adoption credit now that we have Noelle?!?..... :)

The answer is: zero, zilch, nada

Turns out, because of the way the taxes (considered self-employment tax), income benefits, etc. are structured for a pastor, we do not have a large enough tax liability to take advantage of the credit. And likely never will.

So the chunk of money we had been counting on to fund the first portion of our Taiwan adoption, has not just vanished into thin air, it never WAS.

This news was a big surprise- shock, more like it. We are still trying to wrap our minds around the cold hard truth. But what I keep reminding myself is, God was not surprised.......

**Read the complete post at