Smiley eyes, chucks, and SUNSHINE after weeks of rainy, cloudy days. #perfectoctoberday

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1QXOQ7E


This guy has been a blessing to us for five years now.  He is enthusiastic, dependable, affectionate, and very concerned about injustice.  I am so blessed to be his mama, and I can't wait to see what God does in his life.  Happy birthday, sweet Gus!

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1LksCOZ


It's not often that we leave her hair down because it tangles easily, but I just LOVE when we do. Because just look at those CURLS. And also, when did my baby get so old?!? #fourgoingonfourteen #chocolatehairvanillacare #curls

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1MYib3L


We decided to try a birthday trip this year instead of gifts, and it was awesome! We took just the big kids to Chattanooga and hit the creative discovery museum, stayed in a Chattanooga Choo Choo train car, and rode the kids' first roller coaster at Lake Winnie. It was a joy to watch these two experience new things with exuberance and belly laughs. They are truly a gift, and I am so blessed to be their mama. #giveexperiences

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1KXwd3v


Some of my favorite things in the kids' room: Owl illustration torn from an old book, corner reading nook, and my very favorite - a wooden elephant bust from our church's annual yard sale. We know very little about the area where the kids were born, except that there is an elephant sanctuary. So this was just meant to be in their room. So worth the $5! #details #boysroom

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1OqNm7V


This is supposed to be the boys' room, but Hampton has never shared a room, and the older two have never not shared a room. So hammie's sleeping in what will one day be the girls' room down the hall, and this is (for now) a boy-girl shared room. I finally hung a few things on the walls yesterday, and am hoping that they stay there. But with my wild and crazy bunch, probably not. I'm just thankful that they let me decorate however I want (and then like it!) and that they still want to be in the same room. ♥ I love overhearing their bedtime conversations. #twiblings #sharedroom

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1PgWqJX


My parents' plan for a few years now has been to renovate this old beauty.  After selling us their house, they moved out to the farm and started planning.  Well, last week it wasn't looking too good.  After speaking with their contractor it seemed like it would make more sense to build new and tear this old place down. :( Dad and I were maybe the most upset. But -- in a last ditch effort to save the house, dad tracked down a neighbor who's also a contractor, who also happens to live in the farmhouse's sister house (brothers originally built and lived in the two in the 1850s). And long story short, they're going to save it! Dad's birthday is today, and I can't think of a better present.  #oldhousesarethebest #farmhouse

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1ir7yK0


So at the end of July we bought my parents' house. There were many reasons for the move, and many clear signs that this was the house (and neighborhood) for us. We are by no means settled, and I still haven't quite decided what I want to do with each of the rooms (I'm thinking wallpaper for this one!), but we definitely feel at home here. I am constantly amazed at how God provides over and above what we expect or ask for. I am so thankful for room to grow and entertain, for some diversity in our new neighborhood, and for my sweet parents who gave us the deal of the century. #thanksmomanddad #thankful

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1XTGK54


I woke up this morning to this photo. Our daughter, seeing our family for the first time. The sweet family who took the book to her said she showed it to everyone and read it teacher-style to her friends. This makes my heart so happy. #adoptionrocks #ethiopianadoption #comeonpaperwork

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1L5d2ox


Praising God for His provision in the form of another adoptive family!  We are finally able to send the photo book we put together for our daughter with a family that is traveling soon!  We really have no idea how much she knows about us (if anything), so we are overjoyed to send her some photos to show her about our family.  I'm hoping she will feel loved and will know that we are excited to bring her home -- just as soon as we can!  #praiseGod #ethiopianadoption #adoptionrocks

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1N4R4DP


How Hammie does Kroger. #mustbenice #toddlerlife

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1MVNYlw

How Hammie does Kroger. #mustbenice #toddlerlife

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1NIIzxw


Shirts are also available in regular adult sizes, child and toddler sizes, and in dark gray. And the "why" of it all: After years of praying and waiting, we found ourselves holding tightly to two little babies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  We thought traveling to pick up our children would be the end of our journey, but we found ourselves at the beginning of much more. In our five weeks in Ethiopia, we fell in love with the carefree culture and the warm, hospitable people.  But while there, we also learned about some of the hardships the people of Ethiopia face, particularly the children.  There are over 4 million orphans in Ethiopia, many who will never know the stability and unconditional love of a family.  This is especially true for older children.  After seeing glimpses of the reality of orphanages, we returned home compelled to do something.  After supporting orphan-prevention ministries and orphan care ministries in hopes of helping many, we now find ourselves pursuing just one.  One little girl with soft curls and a bright smile who lives on the other side of the world.  We've only seen pictures and a video or two, but already she has our hearts. We are privileged to add this sweet girl to our family, and are so thankful for your support.  Thank you for helping us to bring her home.  Every little bit means the world to us -- and her.

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1U5mt87

Shirts can be purchased here: https://www.booster.com/gusandlula

We are ever so slowly moving closer to bringing our daughter home, one little step at a time. As we (hopefully) get closer to traveling to meet her, we are raising funds to cover travel and our last fees. These t's (hand-drawn by me) are available through Sept. 4. We truly appreciate your support in bringing our daughter home! http://ift.tt/1LnEAUC

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1NqLTOu

Shirts can be purchased here: https://www.booster.com/gusandlula


These two started pre-k4 today at a new school. They were so excited about the carpool line and getting to walk in to school by themselves. I'm sure by February I'll be excited about it, too, but today I may have teared up a little watching them walk in without me. Praying Joshua 1:9 for them today: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1JqNnHC


"Mama, look at my belly button!" #ouch #why ?

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1WCqBAz


We're slowly getting settled into the new house and I'm still pinching myself that I was able to sweet talk the sellers into leaving this gorgeous cabinet.  #thanksmomanddad #didimentionthatweboughtfrommyparents #longesthashtagever

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1WzDgEc


This sweet girl has been sick since Monday night, unable to keep anything down.  She doesn't complain, and if you ask how she is, the answer is "good". Always. I've been thinking a lot about when she was so, so sick as a tiny baby in Ethiopia, and how fearful I was.  But God was there, and He was (and He is) good.  And I keep reminding myself that He loves her and cares for her better than I do.  I'm so thankful for this sweet little life He's entrusted to me, and so blessed by her in many ways.  #praisegodfromwhomallblessingsflow

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1NcTvmB


'Bout time for a haircut, dontchathink? #curls #hamptonbrooks

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1IEETXO


She is wild and strong willed and challenging. But oh, her heart. God knew how much we needed to see her compassionate, selfless love for another, and so He gave us Hampton. I am so very blessed by their sweet relationship. Thank you, Lord, for them both.

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1D8CDLk