Friday, December 26, 2008

THANKS CHAD!

:: posted by alex ::

One of my best friends, Chad, sent a Christmas present to my Nana and Pepaw's house just for me.  Boy was I surprised!

I couldn't wait to see what it was.

helicopter

No way!  A remote controlled helicopter!  Sweet!

helicopter

This morning, my cousins and I took it in the back yard to play with it.

The first flight took the helicopter OVER the house and into the front yard.

The second flight took it from the front yard, across the street, and onto the neighbor's roof.

helicopter

The third flight took it from our front yard, back across the street, into the top of a tree, over the neighbor's roof, then into their backyard.

After the neighbor was kind enough to help us get it...AGAIN, he requested that we take the helicopter somewhere else to play because he had work to do.

Thanks for the super cool, high flying helicopter, Chad!
I'm going to put it away for now so we can fly it together and you can see for yourself how cool it is.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

THESE THREE



Nine years these three have hung.
Nine years of just us three.
This is the last Christmas these three stockings will be hanging.
Next year there will be four.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

HEADED HOME FOR CHRISTMAS


2 adults. 1 child. 1 dog. 
drove 17 hours.
through 5 states.
made 4 stops.

to spend Christmas with family.

we left the warmth of sunny florida.
and landed here, in the cold.
where the temperatures are in the single digits.

i packed my flip flops, because i couldn't imagine not wearing them.
after all, they are a staple in my wardrobe.

and anyway,
how will everyone see my french pedicure in close toed shoes?

well, apparently they won't.  it's too cold.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

our friends...

they are quiet amazing.
they encourage us, pray for us, and continue to bless us.

they gave us this.
a box full of change.
their change.

they are collecting all their spare change to help us with our adoption and have committed to do so until the baby comes home.  

we have been blessed with amazing friends.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

keith

I am so blessed to have this man as a best friend and partner for life.
He is an amazing husband and wonderful father.
He is very passionate about his Lord and the ministry God has given him.

This man, my man, is something.
As we continue on our journey to grow our family through adoption,
I am continually amazed at the sacrifices this man is willing to make.

He works hard.
Really hard.

He has dreams.
Dreams of things he will one day have.
A new truck.  A bass boat.  A motorcycle.

But,
he sacrifices.
He is choosing to not go after those things.
Things he has worked hard and saved for.
Things he still dreams of having one day.

No,
he's choosing to go after something else.
Someone else.

He is putting his wants and needs aside...once again,
and choosing our family.

Yes, my man, he is something.
And today is his birthday.

I am certain he will not get all the things he dreams of,
all of his wants and desires.

But I did!
I married the man of my dreams.
And I pray that our boys will grow up to be just like their daddy.

Friday, December 5, 2008

:: OUR FRIDAY ::

After dropping Alex off at school this morning, Keith and I headed to Magic Kingdom to watch the taping of the 2008 Disney Christmas Parade.  Even though most of the taping will take place tomorrow, Alex has a flag football game.

Sorry Regis and Kelly, we have some cheering to do. And a little taping of our own.

Since Disney does such a good job of keep everything under wraps, you never really know the Who? What? When? and Where's?.  When we got to the park, we found out they weren't taping until after lunch.

PERFECT!
That gave us plenty of time to run over and ride Space Mountain.
TWICE.

While in line, we meet this cute senior adult couple from Tennessee that are here on vacation.  Without their family.  Just the two of them.  And riding Space Mountain.
I LOVE THAT!

The only performance we were able to watch was David Cook, this years American Idol winner.  Since he was one of my favs, I was very excited.  It took them about an hour to tape him singing, 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'.  He would sing one line over and over.  Then, they would have to stop and touch up his make-up because it was so warm out.  He was able to sing it all the way through a couple of times.  It was fun to watch, but since it took so long, we had to leave before Sarah Brightman performed.
So sad.

But, if we stayed, that would have meant being late picking up Alex from school.  Really late.  So late he would have been the last one there.   Probably a little worried, maybe even scared.  Possibly...um, sorry, I had a quick flashback.  I was left a school a time or two when I was younger, but that's another story for another day.  (love you mom, I'm not bitter, I promise)  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, we left, ran home, let the dog out and got Alex from school.  And yes, we were ON TIME.

David Cook

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

JUST THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW...




Right now, 1.1 billion people on the planet don't have access to safe, clean drinking water.  That's one in six of us.


DID YOU KNOW?
EVERY 15 SECONDS a child dies from drinking dirty water



WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH YOU?
"Do not you know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind?  How can you, how dare you, defraud your Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?" (John Wesley)

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

water4christmas
I guess you could start by giving water4christmas.

$20 gives one African clean water for life.
$5,000 digs a well for a whole village.
Click here to watch the live drilling at the Abenea School in Ethiopia.


JUST THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW...
Americans spend over 400 billion dollars on Christmas every year!

I am adding water to my Christmas list.
I want water for Christmas!

Friday, November 21, 2008

SO THANKFUL.

The 3rd Grade Thanksgiving Party today was so much fun.

Each of the students took turns getting up and reading a little story they wrote about what they are thankful for.  They were so cute!  After they each read their stories, a few of them took turns telling jokes and then they all got up and together recited Psalm 100, which they have been learning all month.  They did so good!  The party was complete with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner...doughnuts and juice!

Alex's Thanksgiving Party
Here is Alex's writing...

On this Thanksgiving I am grateful for all the ways God has blessed me.  I am especially thankful for two blessings.

One of the two blessings is my family.  I am especially thankful for my parents because my dad plays sports with me and my mom plays board games with me.  Also, I am thankful for my awesome cousins.  I am very thankful for my grandparents because they are as sweet as honey.

The second thing I am thankful for is my life.  One of the best things about life is going to church.  I am very thankful for friends, one of my friends is Malik.  Last but not least I am thankful for spending time with family.

Truly God has blessed me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've been getting this question a lot lately...


"So, how is the adoption coming?  Where are you guys at?"

I am so sorry for the lack up updates on the adoption.

We've been working on adoption stuff nearly every day for the past couple of months.
Getting things filled out, requested, copied, notarized, mailed.
The people at Fed Ex and I have gotten to be pretty good friends.
::

We are officially Gladney approved!
I just received an email from our agency letting us know that they are sending us our approval packet and certificate.
::
We are still waiting on our CIS approval letter, which is the LAST document we need to have a completed dossier.

Please pray that we get that in a timely manner.  We have had major issues with immigration here in Orlando.  They have relocated their offices and now have another new person in that position.  We are praying that our paperwork doesn't get pushed aside while the mess that was left behind gets cleaned up.

That's where we are.
That's what we've been doing.
We are so excited!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

School Fundraisers

I'm not a fan.
I want to be supportive, I do, but I really don't need any more wrapping paper, cookie dough in a tub, popcorn or magazines.

This past week, Alex brought home the dreaded fundraiser info.
Boosterthon Fun Run.
Basically, the kids run laps around the 'Boosterthon Speedway' (a field with a bunch of cones) and they get friends and family to pledge dollar amounts per lap.  They can run between 25-35 laps, 35 being the max.

What?  No book to look through?  I don't have to feel pressure to buy something I don't need?  Now that's my kind of fundraiser.  It even gets the kids outside and out of school for a couple of hours.

So today is the day.  The Fun Run.  It lived up to it's name.
There was music, parents cheering, and some guy with a microphone that really helped make the run lots of fun.  He had the kids skipping, dancing, playing tag, even doing the limbo all while running their laps.

Here are a few pictures from today... 




Total Laps...35!
WOW!  Way to go, Alex.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

TRIP TO COCOA BEACH

Keith's dad has been in town all week visiting.
The only thing we haven't done is the beach so we decided to go today.

Keith, Alex, and Grandpa Harmon got beat up by the waves all afternoon.  The angry Atlantic was exceptionally angry today.

I, on the other hand, had the best time watching them, and everyone else for that matter.  What a great day for people watching.

People are so funny!

I watched two guys run into the ocean fully clothed with their boogie boards in hand.  Why did they think this was a good idea?  A couple of minutes went by and I watched them run up on the beach and strip down to their underwear then run back out to catch some more waves.  Hilarious!  I later saw them walking down the street in their undies carrying their wet clothes.

*Note to self...next time I have the overwhelming urge to catch some waves and I am without a suit, just go ahead and start out in my unmentionables and keep my clothes dry!

Keith's dad got a hold of a skim board and thought he'd give it a try.  Ha!  Now, for those of you who aren't sure what skim boarding is - basically, you slide the board down, jump on, and the board skims across the water.  I was lucky enough to get part of it on video.

Thanks for the laughs Grandpa Harmon!



Friday, October 17, 2008

A letter from Mrs. Schuessler (Alex's teacher)...

Your classmates have selected you as a Royal Student!  You are kind, friendly and helpful.

Our Honor Code states that we are to love God wholeheartedly, serve others joyfully, obey authority, and work diligently.  Alex, your life exemplifies the Honor Code of TFA.

I am so blessed to have you in my class this year!  When I asked the students to write one girls' name and one boys name for a Royal Student the majority of our class chose you!  We select an honest, kind and caring person - Alex!  Congratulations!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

and The Royal Student Award goes to...

ALEX HARMON


Alex received The Royal Student Award in chapel today.  Each class is able to give the award to about nine different students throughout the year.  So exciting!  The students vote on who they believe should get the award and the teacher ultimately chooses.  This award is a character award, so as you can imagine, we are so proud of Alex.  The principal, Mrs. Lail, tells why the student is chosen.  She said all kinds of nice things (to be honest, I can't remember what she said...what kind of mom am I ?!?)  They should send the letter home and when they do, well, I will not hesitate to tell you how wonderful my Royal Student is!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home Study Complete

Keith and I had our last meeting with 'the inspector' tonight.
We meet with two other couples at a Barnes and Noble for about two hours.

She went over all kinds of stuff...
attachment, bonding, developmental delays, what to expect, how to handle comments that people will make, etc.

It was very informative and helpful.

Our home study report will now be sent to our agency so they can look it over and make any revisions they feel are necessary for translation.

Alex will be happy to know WE PASSED!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

DOWNTOWN DISNEY


Keith, Alex, Pepaw, Nana


Aunt Diane, Uncle Duane, Alex


Alex & Lego boy

CATCH OF THE DAY

ALEX CAUGHT A FISH!
Yes, that is a fish.  It does look a little like bait, but it's not.  It is Alex's big catch of the day!  Way to go buddy!  Nice fish!  I knew you could do it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

NO KISSING ALLOWED

FISHING WITH PEPAW

Keith's parents, aunt and uncle flew in yesterday to visit for a few days.

After we picked Alex up from school, he took them to the dock to do a little fishing.  Within the first 15 minutes, Pepaw caught a fish.  Alex was so excited.  He has been fishing off this dock for the last 3 weeks and hasn't caught a thing.

Alex spent the evening packing a snack and drinks to get ready for the early morning fishing trip he has planned.  We took him to buy some live bait.  Please Lord, help this boy catch a fish!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

FOOTBALL FANS.

Go Hogs Go!
Today is the Arkansas/Florida game.

Keith and Alex had the opportunity to fly to the game today with some friends, Florida fans to be exact.  They were both so excited and have been waiting for this day for months.

Since I was going to be out of town, I set out Alex's clothes before I left...an Arkansas t-shirt and just for fun, a Florida t-shirt.  From the picture below, you can see which way he decided to go :)  You can't blame the kid.  Florida is pretty good and with a guy like Timmy Tebow as a role model, well, he can love Florida all he wants!

They had such a great time.  Thank you Mr. Keator!

Alex getting ready to get on the plane.
This was the thing he was most excited about and the fact they ate Chick-fil-a on the plane, well, it just doesn't get any better that that!

Keith, Mr. Keator, Clark
(Am I the only one that noticed Keith holding a gator sign on Arkansas turf!)

Friday, October 3, 2008

BOYS ONLY...no girls allowed!

I flew to Dallas for the weekend so it is just the boys at home.
Nothing says boys weekend like CiCi's Pizza, Bass Pro and college football.

Keith took Alex to Bass Pro to let him pick out some fishing lures...a day I am sure he has been dreaming about for years!!  I think they fished everyday this past week.

I don't have to worry about them staying up late tonight because they are flying out early, early in the morning to Arkansas for the game.

Not sure what this has to do with fishing?


Monday, September 29, 2008

FISHING

Keith and Alex ran down the street tonight to do a little fishing before dinner.  They didn't catch anything, but already have plans to go back tomorrow.







Tuesday, September 23, 2008

DID WE PASS?

*Knock, Knock, Knock.

Ok, this is it, the social worker is here.
(I think it's funny that Alex refers to her as "The Inspector")

*Deep Breath.

*Quick Prayer...
Lord, help Alex not to say something crazy to try and be funny!  This is not the time or place!


We just completed our first home study with our social worker.  She was very nice and went easy on us.  We weren't nervous, but there is something about having someone in your home looking around, asking you all kinds of questions, and writing up a report on you.  We have a few more papers to get for her and one more meeting than we should be done with our home study until post placement, assuming we pass.

Friday, September 19, 2008

GETTING READY FOR AFRICA




Alex had his physical today.
We were also able to get his medical form completed for the adoption application.

One form down, hundreds to go!

He got a couple of his shots for Africa.
He hates shots!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

THAT BOY OF MINE

So sweet.

People have been asking me lately what Alex thinks about the adoption.

Alex is so excited!  He tells everyone.

I went to wake him up for school the other day and he wasn't in his room.  I found him sitting in the middle of the floor in, what will soon be referred to as, the baby's room..."just lookin'."

We have involved him in this process from the beginning and have not keep that fact that it is very expensive from him.  We have explained that we will have to cut back in some areas for a little while, and he seems to understand and is okay with it.

We are almost ready to turn in our first group of paperwork along with our first payment to the adoption agency.  As Keith and I were talking the other night, Alex comes in with a five dollar bill.  When I asked him what it was for, he said for the baby.

"I wanted to give more, but this is all I had in my wallet."

My heart melted!
Five dollars doesn't seem like much, but when it's all you have, it's much!

Last night, while he was gathering loose change around the house, he informed me that he doesn't want to be paid for his chores until after we bring home the baby.

When we began to pray about this journey, we were concerned about Alex and how this would affect him.  After seeing him the last few weeks, it is so exciting how God is already using this in his life.  God is willing to use anyone who will let Him, even a little nine year old boy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

AGAIN ON THE DAY OF REST?

check out Alex's Bible verse for this week...

"For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day."  Exodus 20:11

Is the Lord trying to tell us something?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I THOUGHT SUNDAY WAS A DAY OF REST...

...said Alex, on our way to church this morning.

I was explaining what our day was going to be like today and I guess it didn't sound very restful.

I was trying to figure out what he wanted to do today after church.

He had two options...
(1) the Mall at Millenia with his dad to have lunch with the high school students
(2) pizza and putt putt with me and the middle school students.

He went back and forth and finally decided to go with his dad.

I can't blame him...putt putt - in the middle of the afternoon - in Florida!?!
Who's idea was that!?!

After we finished our activities, we ran home to start getting ready for the Bible study we have at our house on Sunday nights for high school students.

I guess his 'day of rest' will start about 8:00pm - aka, bedtime!

Monday, September 8, 2008

ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie that had one of those, "I never saw that coming!!!" moments?

Our story has so many of those moments.

God has taken us on such an amazing journey the last 12 years.  We have lived in some amazing places and meet some amazing people.  Was that our plan?  No, but we're sure glad it was God's.

We have a wonderful son that we are so proud of and know God is going to use to great and mighty things.  He is a blessing to our family.  The last several years, we have often wondered if it would be just the three of us.  That really wasn't our original plan.

We have been praying that God will show us his will for our family.  It's kind of like, when you are reading a book late at night and you are tired but the book is so good you can't put it down.  So what do you do?  You look ahead and count how many pages until the end of the chapter.  If there are only a few, you quickly finish the chapter, close the book, done.  If there are a lot, you have a choice to make.  Well, as we pray and look ahead and count pages, God has not allowed us to figure out where the end of the chapter is.

So frustrating.

We want to know where the chapter ends.
Do we have more children or not?
No answers.  No confirmation, just that thing.  That thing inside that tells us not to close this door ourselves.  It's too big.

So, we continue to pray.

About 6 months ago, God laid something on our hearts that took us by surprise...ya know, one of those moments.  One of those, "that was never in OUR plan" moment.  So we began to pray.  As we prayed, something began to happen in our hearts.  Something crazy and amazing.  Something that we can't find words for.

A stirring.     A softening.     Something.

We gave all the excuses...it's inconvenient, it's uncomfortable, it's expensive.

Excuses.

We have followed him all over the country because we want to be in the center of his perfect will for our lives.  All which, at the time, were inconvenient, uncomfortable, and cost us something.  But the blessings!

This is no different.

We have committed to go anywhere God wants us to go and do anything God wants us to do.

So we're going...to Ethiopia, that is.  To pick up our son.

We began the process of adopting a baby from Ethiopia last week.
God has made it clear that there are several pages left in this chapter.

Monday, September 1, 2008

DOG PARK

we took tucker to the dog park this afternoon.
he is not real sure what to do there.
he did really good, for about 10 minutes.
he greeted all the other dogs and walked around a bit.

then, he came and sat under my legs. and sat.

we tried to get him to play, but he wasn't interested.
so, we left.

all in all, we were kind of glad.
it was so hot!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PARENT'S NIGHT




At school.  Tonight.  6:30 p.m.

We sat in chairs made for children for about an hour.


We got a lot of information about third grade.

We got busted for laughing during the meeting.  We are so bad about laughing when it is not appropriate.  Had to explain to the teacher why we were laughing...always embarrassing.

We are so blessed to have Mrs. Schuessler as a teacher this year.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

BYE BYE FAY

...no more rain!

It has been a beautiful, sunny day here in Florida.
Alex had a friend come home after church today and hang out.
They jumped in the pool when we got home and have been in ever since.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

TROPICAL STORM FAY

Well, school is cancelled AGAIN, since tropical storm Fay decided to stay for a few more days.

It will not stop raining!

When I pick Alex up from school, all the kids are standing outside in their ponchos.

He was soaked when I picked him up today because, according to Alex, ponchos don't work that great.  The way the wind has been blowing the last couple of days, I can't argue with him.

In car line today, I personally witnessed several hundred children working hard to keep their hoods on and ponchos down.  I also counted 4 umbrellas that were quickly inverted by the wind.

That always makes me laugh.

I guess we will sleep in tomorrow and then find something to do...indoors.

Monday, August 18, 2008

FAY FAY GO AWAY

What do people in Florida do when a hurricane is headed their way?
Apparently the answer is...have a hurricane party!?!
We meet a bunch of our friends at American Pie Pizza Company to celebrate the fact there is no school or work tomorrow.


Christie, Teague, John, Levi, Chad, Alex, Keith, Chris



"When we grow up, we want to be just like Chad!"



John, Derrick, 29" pizza!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!

Alex turns 9 today!
Alex decided he wanted a party at our house this year with the youth staff.  We have such an amazing team that we do ministry with and Alex thinks the world of them.  There were a few who were unable to make it (and we missed them), but we are so thankful to everyone who came and helped us celebrate Alex's birthday.

Alex is such a blessing to our family.
We are so thankful for him and pray daily that the Lord will continue to raise him up to be a Godly young man who loves and serves the Lord his whole life.
God is going to use Alex J. Harmon to change this world!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEXANDER!
we love you more...



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Alex's summer break has officially ended.
Today is the first day of school and Alex is officially a 3rd grader!
We love Alex's school and feel very blessed that he is able to attend
The First Academy.
Monday night, we attended the school's annual Family Worship service and then we were able to meet Alex's teacher, Mrs. Schuessler.
It is going to be a great school year!

Monday, August 11, 2008

WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR SARCASM IN A CUP OR CONE?

Main Street Bakery - Disney World

Mom:  Hey Alex, you should taste my ice cream...you will like it.

Alex:  What kind is it?

Mom:  Dulce de leche.  Here, taste a little bit.

Alex:  No, I'm good.

Mom:  Just taste it, it's basically vanilla ice cream with caramel swirl.

Alex:  Mmm, that is good!

Mom:  See, I knew you would like it.  Now, when you see Dulce de leche, you will know it's caramel.

Alex:  Mom, taste my vanilla ice cream.

Mom:  Mmm, very good.

Alex:  Now when you see vanilla, you will know it's ...vanilla


He was totally making fun of me!  

Saturday, August 9, 2008

MAKING MEMORIES

Instead of putting Alex in bed on time (like responsible parents), we decided to run to Magic Kingdom for a couple of hours.  We pulled in the parking lot about the time we should have been tucking Alex in!


We rode in the front cab of the monorail with the driver...

When we got there tonight, we immediately heard, "On this magic night, a million stars will play beside us...", OH NO!  Spectromagic is starting!  We love the parade but it means Main Street will be very, very crowded!  We made our way through the crowd and headed to Tomorrowland.  We were able to ride several rides before the fireworks started.  After the fireworks, we headed to Fantasyland before calling it a night.




Mad Tea Party
Alex and I LOVE to spin so Keith has to get his own tea cup so he doesn't get sick!


Cinderella's Golden Carousel
...the perfect way to end the evening!