Monday, February 22, 2016


Sometimes the silence is a welcome reprieve.  For those of you with kids at home, or busy jobs, you understand this.  To just be alone for an hour or two, with the sound of silence can be water to a weary soul.  I never understood this until I had my ovarian torsion and was forced to bed rest for three months.  I am the type of person that "goes" most of the time.  It was hard for me to stop.  But I was forced to, and forced to recognize my sin of being unable to just BE in God's presence.

But this silence takes on a whole new meaning now that I have my kids here "on the ground."  I don't think I've ever really understood the verse, "Be still and know that I am God."  Psalms 46:10

It is no secret that I'm an extrovert and thrive on being around people.  But now that my life is full of my "little people" I crave that sweet stillness with God.  I am not fully refreshed unless I have some of that quiet stillness before the Lord, when I know I won't be interrupted.  Some may think, well you're a stay at home mom, so you have nap time, and then once they are in bed, you have that.  I used to be someone who thought that.  Although I am thankful for those times, if I am home, and in the same place as my beautiful daughters, I always feel "on call" for lack of a better term.  They could need me in a moments notice.  So this silence is best found when I can physically be away from them for just an hour or two.

I used to feel selfish about that.  And think I wasn't a good mom because I "needed" that.  But I've learned I'm actually a better mom when I have had some time alone. Time to let God refresh my weary soul so that I can pour into my family again.  I am so thankful I have a husband, and other family and friends that allow me times to do this.

I want other moms out there to know it is ok to ask for help.  It is ok to admit that your soul is weary and you need some time to "be still."  Maybe that means finding someone who can take your kids for an hour so you can have time at home.  Maybe that means leaving them while you go sit at a coffee shop, or go for a walk.  We all get refreshed in different ways.  Pray and ask God to show you how He can best refresh you.

Our society of "I can do it all and then some" doesn't help us at all.  We are supposed to be strong, confident and able to manage the house, the hubby, the kids, the job and still have a "pinterest perfect life."  There is no way that is what God has called us to.  He has called us to be obedient to HIM, not to the world.

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 1 Corinthians 12:8-9

He can still use us in our weakened state.  In our state of "winter," in our state of being overwhelmed with the noise.  For it's in that time that we allow Him to take control and work through us.  It's in that time that we fall to our knees and our faith is deepened.  It causes us to wait and waiting forces our hearts and our minds to grow in ways we never imagined.

Sometimes the noise is more than we can handle.  Sometimes we can get away and have the silence, and other times we are told to wait and lean on Him.

I am thankful for times of silence that are welcome rest for the weary soul.

"Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.  REST in the Lord and WAIT PATIENTLY for him..."

Psalms 37:4-7

Saturday, February 20, 2016

New siding project (March of 2015)

I didn't blog much last year, so I'm trying to catch up a bit.

Last spring in March, we had the house resided that we currently live in.  After the bad hail storm the summer of 2014, we decided it was time to update as much of our siding got damaged.  It sure is fun to see the transformation of this over 100 year old house!




 We also finally finished our tile backsplash in the kitchen!  That had been on my to-do list for 6 years!  Thanks to Pastor Steve for helping me out!




Excited to finally have the kitchen "done" for now!  :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Grandma's 89th!

Happy Birthday to this amazing woman!  Grandma, you make 89 look fabulous!  Thank you for inspiring us to live life long and to the fullest!

I am so grateful for you and our relationship.  It is so special that you and Audrey get to share your celebrations together, and I am thankful for the relationship that you have with our girls.

Thank you for being the rock of our growing family, for praying for us and for continuing to lead us in pursuit of the Lord first, above all else.  Thank you for being an incredible Mom, Grandma and Grandma-Great.  You are so special to us and we love you so much!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bringing Annie Joy Home

As half of the Morgan Family traveled to China to bring sweet Annie Joy home, we had our share of adventures here.  We are so thankful and blessed to be a part of such a close family.  To get to spend so much time together, making memories is such a gift.  Forgive me for the long post, but I have been recording the days as we have been going along.

January 6-10, 2016 (Days 1-5) were spent with mostly Papa and Nama Knox.  Although we had our share of fun on Thursday, January 7, as we helped out while Lori had to work.    Ashley was at school, but Beth and Emma came over for a few hours to play and rest.  We played dress up, made headbands and ate lunch together.  Emma was convinced all things, including herself, were sticky.  Hmm.  This is an interesting and sticky situation.  We didn't have our favorite buddies or blankies, so Aunt Shelby made an emergency run to the store.  She was kind enough to bring back some coffee for us.  At one point, all four littles (including my two) were asleep at one time.    We ended the day, sad to part ways, but a taste of what was to come in just a few short days. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016 (Day 5)
Our day started with receiving pictures of our new little Annie Joy in the arms of her new family!  What JOY it brought us to see them together and to share that with our church family.  You are so loved by your new community Annie!  We celebrated the news by taking Grandma Miller and Grandpa and Grandma Morgan out for our own "Authentic" Chinese experience at Eddy's for lunch.  They were oozing with excitement as they looked at the pictures Shelby had printed out.  Grandma Morgan wanted to share with anyone who would listen. 

That evening, Uncle Dave and Aunt Shelby brought Emma and Beth over our direction to start our 12 days of fun!  We took baths and everyone was exhausted.  We got everyone settled into their new "home away from homes."  Emma has a twin blow up bed in the office with cute pink sheets and a heart bedspread.  She was asleep before the Colfax Crew made it back to Colfax.  Beth has a fun teal and brown bed upstairs in Kayla's room.  She gets the biggest bed as it is queen size!  There are a few more toothbrushes in our basket now.

Just as we were settling into bed, we got a call from China!!  Bridgett was calling us on a video chat through wee chat.  Beth was still awake and shot up in bed when she saw who was on the other side of the phone.  We were able to "meet" Annie briefly and see some of our dear family 5000 miles away!

Monday, January 11, 2016 (Day 6)
The day started with me being awoken by Emma's sweet voice talking in the other room.  It was happy at first, and then turned to cries.  She was distraught, I think, and unsure about her surroundings.  Once she was settled, everything was fine, but it sure made this Auntie's heart race! 

The day started with the girls opening their bag marked "Day 6."  The cutest little pack of gummy bears were in there.  Bridgett was kind enough to put enough in for our girls as well.  They were all excited to eat them!  Bridgett also wrote sweet notes to the girls, telling them what they were up to for the day.

It was two braid day, and all four girls got piggy braids.  Emma was beyond excited to get her "Anna" (from Frozen) braids for the day.  We did crafts and the girls made necklaces, and pictures galore!  It was super cold here today, so we bundled up and went for a quick walk to the mailbox and back. 

Uncle Dave, Aunt Shelby and Ashley came over after Ashley got out of school.  We put together puzzles and spent time together.

Then it was time for Happy Meal Monday!  We made it to McDonalds for 5 happy meals and mini cones.  Just as the girls were playing, we got a call from China!  We were all able to meet Annie as a family.  What JOY! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (Day 7)
We started our day with the usual potty time, breakfast, getting dressed and doing hair.  It's amazing how much time it takes just to do all that with four little girls!  It was bun pony day for hair today, although Emma requested "Anna" braids again.  Today in their bags they received princess fruities, and my girls' eyes lit up with they realized there was some for them as well! 

It's gymnastics days for my girls, so Bridget Hahn came and stayed with them for a couple hours, while I took my girls to gymnastics.  We got home in time to eat lunch together.  The girls are all eating great and not complaining about my food.  (Well, mostly...)  :)

The girls had rest time again, and I actually taught one of my Tuesday lessons, so Bridget came back to play with them.  They love being with her as well!  I am a bit under the weather, but am doing fine, energy wise, as I am being held up by the prayers of many!  Thank you to those that are praying for all of us and our strength!  We got another quick call from China, and sweet little Beth is missing her mommy.  There were a few tears, but then a silly photo shoot and some smiles came quickly.  Beth is enjoying her cozy queen size air mattress with a satin sheets and cozy blankets in Kayla's room. 

Beth is missing her big sister for sure, but Ashley is having a blast being on her own at Aunt Shelby's!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 (Day 8)
There were small packs of gummie bears in the Day 8 bag  The girls so enjoy hearing the notes each day and seeing the pictures that were sent the night before.

Dress up was on the agenda today and we had two Queen Elsa's, a fairy princess and princess Anna.

I surprised the girls with a trip to the library.  I thought it took me forever to get packed up or anywhere with my two girls, but try two 5 year olds, a 4 year old and an almost 3 year old.  Whew!  It took us all morning to go to the library and make one other stop.  They had a blast reading books and playing with toys at the library.  I let them each pick out two books and they have been enjoying reading them. 

We also did some coloring and had some more rest time.  (I don't know if this is more important for them or for me.)  We then set out for Cubbies!  Audrey and Ben have come down with the nasty cough, so we sent Audrey with Aunt Shelby and Uncle Dave while the rest of us headed to AWANA!  We were serenaded by 4 different songs coming from 4 different girls in the car.  Some of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard.  Love these girls and their hearts.

It's never a quiet ride and I have decided I have found a way to keep Kayla quiet in the car---Emma!  Putting them together in the back seat is an interesting combination! The girls all did great and recited their verses. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016 (Day 9)
There were pink and blue candy canes in the bags today!  It is always so fun to read to the girls the notes Bridgett put together ahead of time.

After our normal activities of breakfast and getting ready, the girls played with play dough and did some great creations!  Beth and Kayla made cupcakes and Audrey was into making cookies.  Emma soon decided she would rather color.  She is very focused and does a great job!

We then got 8 bows in their hair with bun ponies and decided to head out the door for a great adventure--Bonkerz!  (An indoor play center in Moscow).  I took all four of them over for a couple hours, and they had a blast!  They were almost too tired to each lunch by the time we got home.  This mommy/auntie may have gone through the Starbucks drive through on the way home.  :)

They all rested and then we enjoyed dinner together with Uncle Ben.  We had picnic beans and muffins.  Beth loved the picnic beans!  Uncle Dave, Aunt Shelby and Ashley all came over for a visit in the evening.  The girls all played well together.  Kayla went home with them as she had pre-school in the morning.  She and Ash were looking forward to having a sleep over!

Friday, January 15, 2016 (Day 10)

With Kayla at pre-school, Beth, Emma Audrey and I had a quiet morning at home.  We braided hair and played.  It was soon time to pack up and head to Colfax though.  I have a commitment on Friday's in January helping Mr. Cammack with the Jr. High girls choir and so Aunt Shelby had some special time with the girls.  She was generous in feeding them lunch and taking care of them for awhile so I could also take Grandma Miller out to lunch and to her hair appointment.  We picked Kayla up from school, and then decided that her and Beth would spend a few more hours with Shelby for some big girl fun! 

Emma and Audrey came home for naps.  They have a special relationship.  They are usually fighting with each other, pushing each others buttons.  But today, they did really well.  We all sat on the floor together and built blocks.  Emma is content to play by herself, but she is doing really well at playing together.

Once Kayla and Beth arrived with Uncle Dave and Aunt Shelby, we opened our bags for the day.  I also had bags for the girls, as they all received new PJ's!

How fun to put them on and have a PJ party after our big ham dinner!  What joy to have 5 girls and 4 adults around our dining room table.

We did a photo shoot, and made precious memories reading together on the couch.

Kayla, Beth and Ashley went with Aunt Shelby and Uncle Dave for a sleepover!

I'm afraid Beth didn't get much sleep.  She really hasn't been sleeping well, and the poor thing is so tired! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016 (Day 11)
Uncle Ben stayed home for the morning and made us waffles and eggs for breakfast!  Yum!  Emma and Audrey were loving their time without the big girls!

The big girls were having fun at the Ledbetters!

The big girls showed up around 10:30, and they opened their bag.  Nail polish today!  You know what that means for later on!

We all packed up in "Red" the minivan and set off for our "shopping" adventure.  We may have only made two stops, but it sure was fun!  We went to Walmart and picked out some shopkins, and made it to Wendy's for lunch. 

We put everyone down for naps (except Ashley) and she rested by playing Shopkins.  One by one as the girls got up, we painted their nails.  It sure was fun painting 70 nails!!

Emma's didn't last too long, but we at least got it documented!

Kayla went back with Uncle Dave and Aunt Shelby for another sleepover.  She is having a blast getting so much time with Auntie! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016 (Day 12)
We woke up in time to get all three girls ready for church by curling hair, braids and opening their bag.

Today's gift was a new Strawberry Shortcake movie!  How fun!  They all went to Sunday School and did well sitting through church.  We all took up an entire pew with Grandma-Great Miller in the middle!  We took everyone to New Garden for lunch and Grandpa and Grandma Great Morgan met us.  We shared another meal, more pictures, and lots of memories.

We then took Emma and Audrey back home to rest and the Ledbetters took the oldest three for a few hours. 

It was then pizza and popcorn night!

The girls are all playing so well together, they hardly even ask for movies or the Kindle!  We did watch Rapunzel tonight though, and Uncle Ben made us popcorn.  I gave them the car for the camper we bought over Christmas (toys) and Beth and Kayla had a blast with that!

A big victory for the day was Emma woke up dry from her nap (with a pullup).  We made a super big deal about it, and she was so excited about it!  Go Emma!  She has been wear panties, even when we go out and about and hasn't had an accident yet!

Tonight we went Audrey and Beth home with Uncle Dave and Aunt Shelby for a sleepover.

Ashley is staying here with us tonight and is in the room with Kayla upstairs.  They were too tired to even talk and fell asleep within minutes of being tucked in!

Monday, January 18, 2016 (Day 13)
Audrey and Beth spent the night at Shelby’s and when they showed up this morning, we all had braids in!  Even Shelby and I!  You would have thought we planned it!

In their bags were some more gummy bears.  Sydne came with us and we went over to Bonkerz in Moscow.  The kids had a blast!  


It was super busy, but we played for a couple of hours.  Ate lunch at Wendy’s again, and that worked well.  We came home for naps, and Shelby and Sydne took Kayla and Ashley back to Shelby’s.  Their ride home was a slight adventure!

After the littles slept here for a bit, we all loaded up and went into Shelby’s to head to Randy and Bobby’s for hot tubbing.  Kayla is still pretty sick and got herself pretty worked up while at Shelby’s.  I stayed behind with her while the others went and had a blast!  

Audrey even warmed up to Bobby.  They all loved Beau and had a great time.  Shelby made dinner and we enjoyed the yummy food at her place.  We bathed them all there, and I took the 4 littles home with me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 (Day 14)
The girls were exhausted and everyone slept in!  They had glow sticks in their bags today, and were they ever excited about that.  

Kayla coughed all night so I moved her to the couch so she wouldn’t keep Beth up!  Bridgie took Audrey to gymnastcs so I could stay with everyone else.  We played “birthday party” (it was Beth and I’s birthdays), and colored.  

We ate lunch at home, and went down for rest time.  Aunt Shelby and Ash showed up and we did our picture frame craft.  They had fun making them for Mommy, Grandma and the Aunties.  

Audrey went home with them.  You can only imagine the fun that was to be had!

We had a quiet evening at home with dinner, baths and early bed times.  Kayla ended up on the couch again, and Beth didn’t want to be upstairs by herself so she moved to the other couch.  It was another late night!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 (Day 15)
In their bags today was a bag of licorice.  

We have hardly watched any movies in two  weeks so I let them watch a movie and eat the licorice.  They have been pretty homesick the past two days, so we try to stay busy.  It’s so impressive to me how well they all play together.  Of course there are arguments, but overall, they are happy to just play.  

They don’t even request to watch a movie, even after all this time.  We made our necklace craft this morning too.  We at lunch early so that our rest time was early.  We are so looking forward to the arrival of everyone tomorrow!! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016 (Day 16)
The day has finally come!  The girls were bursting with excitement at the thought of seeing the rest of their family today and meeting Annie! 

We got everyone ready and met Shelby and Ashley at her house.  They had made adorable signs!

We headed off to Spokane to run a few errands before everyone arrived!

The girls did great as we did a potty stop at Nordstrom and ate lunch at Red Robin.  An older lady came to our table and told us how well behaved "our girls" were. 

It was finally time to head to the airport.  Uncle Dave and Ben arrived before us and we all gathered in excitement!  What joy to see them all walk out towards us!  The journey has just begun.

We have memories we will cherish the rest of our lives, and hopefully by documenting them, the girls can someday read about all the fun times we had.  We are so blessed to live so close to each other and we look forward to all the memories ahead with Annie now in our bunch! 
Precious moments of meeting Annie

That moment when you see you Parents, Brothers, Grandparents, Nephews and new sister and niece!

The Morgan family is now complete--Annie Joy is Home!