Monday, February 26, 2007


This is the family all dressed and ready to go to church the Sunday after Valentine's Day. YEP! Almost everyone wears jeans at our church. You're jealous right??? Don't worry. You are ALL invited. I am soooo excited because this Sunday is rodeo sunday. It is an annual event to celebrate the rodeo comin' to town and it's a big old southern hay wagon full of laughs. Everyone wears their southern duds (which is actually very rare in our neck of the woods) and we use ya'll and howdy a lot. Our pastor wears a HIDEOUS western shirt and then we sing some awesome country songs. There is even a petting zoo for the kiddos. It something we all look forward to. You'll get pictures of that FOR SURE! Wanna come???? :0)

Friday, February 23, 2007

The hardest lesson we learn

This song is about the hardest lesson we learn- if we ever allow ourselves to learn it.

Most of us reject it and are angry at God for wanting us to learn it at all.

This is what God started to teach me through this process of adoption. I know so many of you out there have gone light years beyond me in learning what this song means. I know some of you are in the middle of loss and pain. I know some of you are waiting for children. I know some of you wonder if they will ever make it home. I know some of you have lost children, waited for years, lost parents, been through divorce.

You read my blog with feelings of hope for the future and despair for where you are. I know this because I sat where you sit a year ago. My heart was breaking everyday. God was asking me to give him my daughter- to trust that He was in control. I couldn't let go and surrender my heart and circumstances to God. I was failing. I frantically searched my online support group looking for something besides God to cling to...calculating time lines and hoping against hope.

I had such trouble learning this spiritual law.

It doesn't matter where we are. It matters where we are looking.

God cares infinitely more about the condition of our hearts than the comfort of our circumstances.

Like a loving surgeon he will allow us to go through painful surgery after painful surgery to help us become who we are supposed to be. It is beyond difficult. Much of last year I was having a spiritual temper tantrum.

Looking back- I am so grateful for what I learned. I only wish I had done it sooner. I chose to have a miserable year. I let myself be ruled by my fear and anger. It took me about 9 months of that torturous year to finally let it go and begin to focus on what God had for me instead of what I wanted right now. It took me nine months to begin to TRUST Him.

Not just have faith. I always had faith that God could do it. I didn't TRUST Him to be in control- to run things- to take the steering wheel. When I did it there was such freedom... and peace. I am just starting to recover from the pain of my rebellion and anger.

I pray for all of you that you do it differently than I did. That you learn the value of being "held." You are in my heart today. As I write this tears are literally streaming down my cheeks because I feel it. I feel the struggle. I feel the pain as you watch this video. My heart is with you. Open your hands. Love, Angel

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Operation Zoe's Birthday Phase 3- The Grand Finale

For Zoe's birthday we gave her the choice of spending her birthday budget on a party with her area buddies or having a VERY special day with her cousin and sister. She picked the special day. AND BOY WAS IT SPECIAL!!! We had such a wonderful time. Here is what we did...
First on the agenda was makeovers at Libby Lu! The girls could choose different styles of makeover and costumes. All three wanted to have princess makeovers.

Here is Zoe girl getting her hair done. They also got to have makeup and pick out five goodies like glasses and lip gloss. All the girls wanted cheetah sunglasses!

Here is the end result of the girls' makeovers!! Super cute!


These cousins are the best of buddies. I love seeing their friendship. It's so precious.

The next stop for this birthday princess was Build-A-Bear Workshop. Nonny bought her special bear. The other girls got theirs for their birthdays last year too. When you go to build a bear you pick an unstuffed bear and make it yourself. Zoe was very confused at first. She said all the bear were broken! Hee hee!!! Once she figured out the "system" she loved it. She named her bear "Teddy Bear" and it says "I love you" in Spanish. Then we all went to The Cheesecake Factory to eat lunch. The waiters sang happy birthday and Zoe practically glowed!

The next stop was the Mad Potter where you get to paint your own pottery.
Kaitlyn picked an Ariel mermaid statue of COURSE!

Lauren painted a special plate for Zoe. So SWEET!

Zoe made an intricate design of roses and hearts. It was impressive!

It takes about a week for them to have them "cooked" and ready. I'll post a picture of them when they are done.

All in all- it was a blast! Fun was had by all. Hopefully it's a birthday she will remember for a long time. I know I will. :0) Angel

Here are the girls dancing at Libby Lu.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A good day when you homeschool...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Operation Zoe's Birthday Phase 2

For Zoe's actual birthDAY we had an all about you day! Daddy took off the afternoon and Zoe got to pick special activities for the whole day.

First we went to eat at Chipotle. It's a family favorite.

Yummmmm.... Delicious....

Next she wanted to get her hair trimmed. This was her first time being in a hair salon. She was very excited but wanted to make sure it wasn't short. I agree!

While we were at it we got Kaitlyn her first haircut EVER!! Just a trim to get off the dead ends.

After everyone was well fed and groomed Zoe wanted to get her ears pierced. So we went to the mall. I had warned her repeatedly that it wouldn't hurt bad but it WOULD hurt a little. At first she seemed very calm.

Then she started to get nervous and asked if she could sit in my lap. I told her we could stop if she wanted but she was determined!

Then we got this face. Awwwww.... but she was tough!

2 Minutes after she was as happy as could be and PROUD of her beautiful earings!!

Next we went to Target and gave Zoe a budget. She was allowed to shop in the whole store and buy whatever she wanted. She picked out this bike. It was a great price and we thought it was a very smart purchase. However, I want to ride with her so we had to get this...

My friend let us have an extra bike they had. We bought the trailer for Kaitlyn. Now we can all ride together! YAY!

We also let Zoe pick out fun movies at Blockbuster and bought candy and milkshakes. It was AWESOME! :0) This weekend is Phase 3 of her birthday. Stay tuned for fun details.

Operation Zoe's Birthday Phase 1

Russ and my daddy slaved away on Zoe's big present. My parents and Russ and I pitched in together to pay for this one. :0) It's a super awesome trampoline with extra padding and a big safety net.

Russ sustained an injury but pressed forward! In the end it was all worth it to see this...

Isn't this gorgeous?

My cousin makes custom stained glass windows. Isn't that cool??? She made this for a friend who likes modern decor. TALENT!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Zoe Girl!

Krysta Zoe Mirna Aracely is now 8 years old!!!!

We met Zoe when she was still six. She was this tiny, skittish wisp of a girl. She was a irony of emotions-so strong and so scared. Completely loving and yet withdrawn. We were all scared. Here it was before us... a new life. An arranged marriage of sorts. She would be in our lives forever and we had just met.

Even then I could see what she would be. She was and still is strong and vibrant. Her personality can only be described as dynamic. She never feels her emotions in pastels. It is always hot pink, blood red or pitch black.

We fell in love with our sassy pixie.. our Guatemalan Super Model. We were so grateful- so very grateful that the fear didn't win. Here we had a miracle. The truth we don't think about is that miracles are almost always scary. Was Moses scared when he stood in front of the Red Sea with everything he loved and an army behind him? I am sure he was terrified. Was Mary scared when she found out she was pregnant with Jesus and she wasn't even married yet? Of course she was. The essence of miracles is depending on something bigger than ourselves to make something extraordinary happen in our lives.

We went through a year of visits in hotels. We had Zoe's first birthday party ever in the Marriott in Guatemala City. Some of you were actually there visiting your little miracles and came to her party. It was a hard year. It was joyful and painful year. It was without a doubt the most wonderful and life changing thing I have ever done. I literally became a different person inside in the course of this journey. God worked a miracle- saved a life- changed our lives forever. I'm eternally grateful.

Krysta Zoe means - Divinely Chosen Life

Zoe- Life

It's the essence of who she is. She is LIFE in a little body. So sweet, so dramatic and full of joy. She has taken her past and overcome it. She knows faith in God at a deeper level than so many of us at her young age. She is no accident. She is ours. Divinely Chosen Vibrant LIFE!

We are so blessed. We are the ones who are blessed to have her.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

For all of you out there.... don't let fear stop you from seeing a miracle in your life this year.

Love, Angel

Monday, February 12, 2007

OH YEAH! She's baaaaaacckkk.....

A little more Gladys from Tia Bek. SWEET! :0)

Christmas in FEBRUARY????

Well, I guess it does go with our not-really-Christmas-card schedule!
This weekend we had Christmas with my mom and dad and Tia Bek (our adopted aunt) They were in Germany and Switzerland during Christmas. We lived in Germany during some of my teen years so they brought back some fun reminders of that time for our Christmas presents.

If you ever lived in Germany you PROBABLY know what this is. It's called a kinder egg. It a super yummy chocolate egg with a super cool prize inside. My brother and I used to ride our bikes to the store to get these in Germany all the time. YES it's actually safe for kids to ride around on their bikes in Germany!

This is one of the little prizes. My brother and I must have collected like 50 of these. Sadly, these can't be sold in the US because Americans are to law suit happy and these toys are little. You know someone would give them to their one year old and be SHOCKED that they choked and sue.

So unless you visit Germany or have a grandma and granpa who love ya lots... you may never know the joy of a kinder egg. Awww man!

Watch out Zoe. Tia Bek might try to steal your kinder egg!

Here is Grandpa decorating our little wooden Christmas tree from Germany. So cute!

My hubby. OOOOOHHHH the suspense is killing him. :0)

KK trying out her new V Smile game. COOL!

My mom found this very special musical jewelry box in our attic. My parents gave this to me when I was 5 years old. It was the first time they took me to Disney World. It played "It's A Small World" which was the song from my favorite ride. I made my parents go on it 5 times in a row!! I always LOVED this jewelry box. Mom found it and wrapped it up for Christmas. I am so happy to have it back. It's a great memory for me.
Zoe mesmerized by her new snow globe.

All in all- it doesn't matter WHEN Christmas is. It matters who it is with. Whether in February or December I am grateful to have family who love us and supports us and help us through life. Merry Christmas Everyone!
Love, Angel

Friday, February 09, 2007

This is a true Texas Granny!!!

You gotta check out this video. It is TOO FUNNY! Thanks Tia Bek. Great Find....

Need To Giggle???

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Daddy Daughter Dance

This weekend was the annual Daddy Daughter Dance at our church. (grandpas and uncles are allowed too!!) This is a BIG DEAL at our house. It was so fun to see Zoe in on the action this year. Last year at this time I was dreaming of next year when I would dress them in matching dresses and off they would go.... dreams do come true. They are just sometimes bumps along the way! :0)

We spent a long time getting the girls all ready. I put sparkles on their nails and braided their hair. We even put body glitter on!

My girls love each other SO MUCH! It is such a blessing to me.

Our dear friends grabbing a family picture before the dance.

Friends Forever... nothing like four giggly girls all dressed up!

KK and Daddy dancing. You can see that Kaitlyn is exhausted. Russ said right after this she laid down on the dance floor to go to sleep!! I had to pick her up early. She told me, "It was SO FUN but I am just a little bit too sleepy to dance."

Zoe, however, was NOT too sleepy to dance. According to Russ she boogied the WHOLE night. She didn't want to stop till they turned the music off. Even then she was ready for more. When she came home she practically DROPPED into bed. She was exhausted!

Here are my girls dancing.

This is my dream in the flesh. It's been hard and messy, wonderful and beautiful... I wouldn't trade it. NO WAY! We have many years of dances to come.