{Our Family}

  Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
      the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
   Like a warrior's fistful of arrows
      are the children of a vigorous youth.
   Oh, how blessed are you parents,
      with your quivers full of children!
   Your enemies don't stand a chance against you;
      you'll sweep them right off your doorstep. 
Psalm 127:3-5
 Mark and I have known each other since, well, forever! Our parents attended church together way before we were born. We began dating in 1992, were engaged in 1993, and married June 11, 1994. 
 On October 1, 1997,  her due date,  we were blessed by our first daughter Makenna Kaylee.  She has taught me what it means to be mommy.  She is the one who stretches us, pushes us and helps us survive. She enjoys her role as the oldest and often reminds me she is NOT giving it up! She enjoys singing in our youth praise and worship band at church. She enjoys reading and writing stories. She loves animals, specifically dogs and plans to one day be a vet tech or something with animals. Though she also loves baking and has said that if the vet stuff does not work out, maybe she will open her own bakery! She has been passionate about going to China to serve since we adopted Sage and we are so thankful that will finally happen summer of 2011.  To read an interview I did with Makenna click here.
 This picture captures our only boy perfectly.  August 1, 2000, our one and only son, Sawyer Riley arrived at a whopping 9lbs 4 oz.  You can always count on Sawyer to make you laugh.  He has such a great personality.  Just a happy kid, with such a tender heart.  He is a good brother and a great friend.  I love to hear him pray, his heart for Jesus and others is such a blessing. He loves legos, reading, Harry Potter, playing board games, ANYTHING electronic, skateboarding and popcorn.  To read Sawyers interview click here.
 Our middle child, Malaine Shaye, aka Lainey. Born October 11, 2002, she was our gift, that we had no idea we needed! Everyone tells us they worry about Malaine, being in the middle.  We say, no worries, this child is amazing and we can't imagine life with out her.  SWEET is the best word to describe her. She is my little love bug who always makes me feel as if I am the best mommy in the world. She is laid back and just goes with the flow.   She loves, ADORES babies.  So her hobbies include, BABIES! Any type of dolls, babies, real babies.  ;-)  To read her interview click here.
 Sage ChenYi Mae. Our first China baby, and you can read more about our journey through adoption on our adoption page.  Sage was born 11/20/2005 and in our arms on August 21,2006.  This child opened our eyes to God in a whole new way.  We are amazed every day that He allowed us to parent her.  She is our little firecracker. She is hilarious and has no idea that she is.  Every day she does something that makes us giggle.  The way her mind works is just so cute. She is our thinker, way to smart for her own good! She is learning to read, loves to color, play barbies, anything that is FAST and is becoming quite the gymnast. You can read her interview here.
 Mavery Raye JinSong, born 11-1-05, yep just 20 days before Sage.  Home with us October 2008. We have been on a journey with Mavery and at times it has felt like a roller coaster with no end. But I can finally say that things have settled down and Mavery is settling in.  We are so thankful for her and we know she is a gift. She is so loving, and has yet to meet a stranger.  She gives THE best hugs and kisses and is most happy when she is in my arms.  She makes me the most beautiful pictures,  coloring is her favorite. (we still have to remind her to color on PAPER at times, but it is getting better!) She LOVES to be silly and trick us and we have learned that laughter goes a LONG way with Ms Mavery, and with us! To read her interview click here.
 Mark is the amazing dad to this tribe of kids.  He had no idea what he was getting into when he married me, of this I am sure.  Mark had a plan. A wife. 2 kids, a nice house with a small yard, a dog, maybe even 2 dogs, and a 9-5 job. An organized and orderly life that matched that of the neighbors.  Normal. In the box.  And then he married me!  To read about how amazing Mark is, read this post here.

 And so that leaves me!  A few years ago, I wrote out 100 things about me, so you can start there to see a bit of my heart.  I love God and am so thankful that He is my Father.  He is my reason for being. I am not perfect by any means, and I am thankful for His forgiveness and grace. I try to live my life with arms wide open listening to His will for me.  I often fight to hear His voice over mine. Or those 5 kids!!  I love to write, I love to read, I love to plan, and I love to dream.  Is that a song?  ;-) I ache for orphans and have a heart for China that runs deep.   Thank you for visiting our blog and hope you enjoy our ever growing family.

My Family from WiddlyTinks.com