Thursday, May 28, 2015

An Update on Rescuing Ruby

As I await the final edits on Rescuing Ruby I thought I would share a brief update...

We are super excited to be so close to having it actually published. 

To be perfectly honest, it hit me the other day, 

"Wow! I wrote a book!"  

I don't think it had ever really, really, really 
hit me before.

One of the greatest joys I've had while finishing up writing it was to
place pictures inside it.  
The publisher is allowing me to place pictures throughout the pages.
I think there are approximately 13 pictures scattered throughout.  

Some of the pictures have never been public before.

It should be ready in about a month. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Daughter!

There are so many times throughout my day 
that I shake my head and marvel.

This girl right here.

Daily she has me laughing.

Yesterday there were some Essential Oils on the bed,
she had been tucked in for the night...

But she started sliding her feet over
to move them.  I said, "Hey Ruby, mommy is trying to 
sort through those, let's not."  

She moved her foot back.

Then after about a minute or two,
ever so slowly, 
and ever so slyly she slid her foot back over....
surely hoping I wouldn't notice.

I moved them a bit further away.

So now she began to stretch her leg out
with all her might...
trying to reach where they had now been moved..
slowly her foot gliding across the sheets...

I started to laugh


And she started to smirk...

This daughter of mine.  

And she's now started this as well...

I place the spoon in her mouth
and turn to get another spoonful
and turning back I find 
she has stuck her hand in her mouth
and begun to spread it all over her mouth and cheeks...

and so of course I exclaim
through my suppressed giggle,


And she grins from ear to ear....

 To think that some thought she would 
be propped in a corner for the rest of her life 
to just exist...

This girl right here has a stinkhead personality
that loves life, loves to tease and definitely
 loves to get a reaction.

She is so my daughter!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Your Friend Ruby Wants to Meet You!!!

As we were driving home from our big
3,700+ mile trip on Tuesday
we were playing our usual "Thankful Game"....

One by one the kids went around the car
naming 10 things they were thankful for
from the trip.  The conversation was lively.

We all had a blast.

The turn came to Ruby and Isaiah said,
"Mom!! It's Ruby's turn!"

I questioned her, 
"Ruby!  There are so many things from the trip!
What are you thankful for??"

Instantly she signed, 


Everywhere we went she had met many, many friends...

We all cheered for her signing "friends"
and then I said, "What else are you thankful for?"

Again she signed,


Over and over....

Each of her 10 on her thankful list was


And friends,
this summer we are heading across the country 
to meet Ruby's friends...

in one place or another....

This is 
in some locations
some events are still being arranged

Here's what the schedule is looking like.

[[These events are open to all!!]]

July 7th  
Meet Ruby  
[[Coffee Shop in St. Louis, MO]]

July 8th 
Backyard BBQ
Meet Ruby
[[Chicago area, IL]]

July 11th 
Meet Ruby
[[Library in Indianapolis, IN]]

July 12th
Dwight speaking both services 
Meet Ruby
[[church in Indianapolis, IN]]

July 13th
Meet Ruby
Backyard BBQ
[[Columbus, OH]]

Western New York 
visiting family and old friends

Saturday, August 1st 
Church Service & Meet Ruby 
[[Atlanta, GA]]

Sunday, August 2nd
[[Atlanta, GA]]

Monday - Wednesday 
August 3 - 5th 
[[Atlanta/Macon, GA or Birmingham, AL Area]]

August 6th evening
Church Adoption Ministry
Meet Ruby
[[Huntsville, AL]]

August 8th
Meet Ruby
Backyard BBQ
[[Knoxville, TN]]

That's the schedule as it looks right now.
We are super excited to be on the road
and trust me, 
Ruby can't wait to meet some of her friends!

 {{The above events are open to all!!}}

These dates are still available.
We are praying that in each location someone
would host an event for the area.
If you live in one of the areas mentioned 
as "available" and are interested in hosting an
event, please email me:
Subject:  Your specific city 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Swinging By...

Kinda' crazy how our days can get all mixed up when we're traveling.

I was thinking today....Hmmm, It's Monday.

What should I share today?

Then I looked at my laptop and saw that it's actually Wednesday.

I am still wondering who kicked Tuesday to the curb?

So we've just returned last night from a 3,700+ mile trip....7 kids and 3 dogs.

We went from Arizona to Utah, to Idaho where we were able to see my precious
friend Megan...then on to Montana where Dw spoke at a Men's retreat and then at
three week-end services.

For the record, Montana was gorgeous!!!

Just in case you haven't been there yet!!

And since we were that far north, we decided to  "swing by" Seattle.

I mean.

Why Not??

We were on a roll {literally}!!

Seattle's flowers were spectacular and being a flower lover I pretty much said
the entire time we were out and about, "Oh my gracious!! Look at those!"  And,
"Look!! Did you see those??"  And, "Guys!! Wow! Look at those!"

Eventually I'm pretty sure they quit looking cause they'd heard it so much...
but really, it was unbelievable for this flower-lovin'-girl.

Then on to Oregon...where we found a quaint family owned old-timey motel...that backed
up to a river...the kids had a ball...and after meeting the kids, the owner told Dw that both
his dad and his wife's dad had been raised in orphanages!!  How wild was that?

Totally a God-appointment!!

He then invited us back to stay and promised to set up four meetings where Dw
could share about International Voice of the Orphan and The Gem Foundation...
so a fall trip is being planned!!

Oregon was breathtaking and I could see why my grandpa settled there
many years ago.  I was kind of smitten...
except for that cold thing...

On to California

where we were able to hang out with our Abigail and her family and enjoy
their beautiful new home...complete with a crazy-amazing view


surrounded by such architecture that it was kind of a dream

for my always-wanna-be-an-architect-heart!!!

Then it was on home to Arizona.

Along the way we were able to spend time with supporters of International Voice of the
Orphan.  Such amazing memories for our souls!

This trip was kind of a dry run to see how Ruby would do...cause this summer we
are outta here and heading across the country....

And Ruby did beautifully.  


And tomorrow I hope to share our summer hopes that I just might be
able to hug some of your necks!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tea For Two {Or Three}

Mimi was praying about creating a special 
time with her sweet baby girl...

Something that we could do each time
we are together, whether at her faraway home
or at home in Phoenix...

And since I happen to love, love, love tea parties,
it just seemed perfect...

I brought her a gift in a "sparkly" box...

{which doubled as our table in the window seat of her room...}

The tea pot had been a gift from Poppa to Mimi about 20 years ago...
The teacups were mine that I've used over the years..

And so together we had tea...

Ruby joined us and thought it was very proper...

I told her stories from when I was a little girl...

And decided I would keep track of her answer to a question
I will ask each time we have the pleasure of tea together....

"What do you want to be when you grow up sweet girl?"

"A Princess!"

"And what is Baby Brother going to be when he grows up?"

"A Monster!"

Too fun for words.

I love these two.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Letting The Cat Out of the Bag...

A couple of years ago Dw, Ruby and I went out to a few yard sales.  We wandered not
far from where we lived here in Phoenix as we followed the colorful signs.

One of the sales we ended up at was at the home of a woman named Jamie.  We hit it
off as we stood talking for a long time!  It turns out that Jamie and her husband had
grown their family through adoption and we hit it off immediately.

But their adoption story gets to be one of the coolest around....

Listen to just how cool their hearts are.....  

After Jamie and David's second child, Madi was born with Spina Bifida Jamie thought,
"I can do this!!  Spina Bifida is not a big deal for me.  Why not bring home someone
with Spina Bifida?"  How's that for giving God their lives in obedience??

Her husband was on board and not long before the yard sale Ramya had come home from
Ind*a.   So they now had two precious little girls, both with Spina Bifida, in wheelchairs!

{{Cause don't forget - #wheelchairsarentscary !!!}} 

Well all along Ramya had talked about her best friend, Deena.   Deena was still waiting
in Ind*a with Brittle Bone Disease.   And eventually, and unbeknownst to Ramya,
David and Jamie began their next adoption...Ramya's best friend Deena!!

Because the process for adoption from India is long they
kept the cat in the bag, until finally, 2 days ago,
they were able to tell Ramya that they are bringing 
home her best friend......

Dw and I had tears falling as we watched the video....

You can follow Jamie's blog at....  A Worthy Journey

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


You guys!!!

Your reaction to the announcement of our precious new son #13
has completely blown us away!!

Thank you so much for sharing our joy!!  

Crazy story:

I was telling someone the other day, back in the day, when we announced
number 7, Isaiah, people cheered.

But when we announced, Jubilee, who was going to be number 8 {and then actually
ended up coming home as #10 because of losing our home to the fire} friends were not-so-enthusiastic.   Actually, it would be better to say, some were actually not happy.

I think they thought that Isaiah was just the one to "get it out of our system".

And then suddenly, we were not just "getting this whole orphan thing out of our system"....
but passionately pursuing Jubilee....

In the meantime, Dw had found Elizabeth and Elijah...and those same folks thought
we were looney...

Well, the upside of it all, is that God has graciously brought us you guys....
and prayed with us, loved on all of us and cheered us on!!

You understand that God's heart is for the orphan and we are so grateful
that you're walking this road with us....

Thank you for celebrating our son!!

We cannot wait to have him in our arms and have another pile of Legos on the floor!!

SO thank you so much for praying and thank you to all who have donated to help bring him home - 
your generosity has truly blown us away!!!

And hands down,
you guys are definitely