Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful happy Christmas this year! We sure did :) It was a pretty low key year spent at home with family and friends. Of course lots of presents were had by all and the kids had a great time. My personal present from CJ was a little over budget, but hey I am worth it :) I got new bar stools for the kitchen and will enjoy them each and every day. Hopefully you all received your own special gift as well. I have to admit that it was a nice and calm Christmas this year without having the "China Trip" looming around this holiday. Happy to have my girls home where they belong and fit in so perfectly.
Now if I could just get my brother "home" for Christmas next year, then I think the holiday would be perfect! It was strange this year missing him on Christmas Day. Now that I know him, I feel like he should be here with us celebrating our family holidays together. Oh well we did share some text messaging and some presents across the miles, but I secretly hope next year we can be together for the holidays!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are You Happy

What Would It Take to Make You Happy?

by Sharon Jaynes

I can still remember the day when the word infertile was written on my medical chart. An emptiness I had never experienced before echoed in my hollow heart. What have I done wrong? Why is God punishing me? Am I not worthy to raise another human being? I prayed, repented of everything I could think of, fasted, and begged God to intervene. I changed my diet, had two exploratory surgeries, injected and ingested hormones, and had timed intimate relations with my husband (which is anything but intimate). I was determined to outsmart the diagnosis.

But it didn’t happen, and I understood the pain of empty arms and missing someone I’d never met. Our five-bedroom dream house was a daily reminder of beds that would not be slept in, toys that would not be scattered, and children that would not be tucked in beds at night.

Steve and I do have one amazing son. Steven Hugh Janes Jr. was born on a frosty February morning, and I never knew so much love could be wrapped in one tiny package. But God closed by womb for the possibility of siblings for him. Steven was conceived with no trouble whatsoever, and we were surprised and brokenhearted when we learned he would be our only child. But through the painful years of infertility, God unfolded a plan, a purpose, and a promise. He began to show me just what I needed to be happy … Him.

The lie in the Garden

The lie “I would be happy if _____” is really nothing new, is it? It’s the same lie the serpent whispered to Eve. You would be happy if you eat the forbidden fruit. Today, he hisses the same worm-ridden lies.

•I would be happy if I had a child.
•I would be happy if I had two children.
•I would be happy if I had a husband.
•I would be happy if my husband treated me better.
•I would be happy if I had a different husband.
•I would be happy if I had more money.
•I would be happy if I had a better job.
•I would be happy if …
I could fill pages and pages with “I would be happy ifs.” But here’s the truth. Our ultimate happiness will be found only in Jesus Christ.

The pursuit of happiness

So what do we really need to be happy? A man? A new house? Children? Financial security? A slimmer body? A wrinkle-free face? A new car? A fulfilling job? Successful adult children? Loving parents? Encouraging friends? A padded savings account? Good health?

We have only to look at the latest edition of National Enquirer, People, or Entertainment Tonight to know that some of the most unhappy people on the planet are seemingly the most successful. They seem to have it all while in reality they have nothing at all.

Friend, we will never find true happiness until the only word that fills in that blank is the name of Jesus. Don’t be fooled. This is the truth.

Someone asked a very wealthy man just how much it would take for him to be happy.

“Just a little bit more,” he said.

But the little bit more will not satisfy the soul. Joy comes only from knowing Christ. We are each born with a God-shaped void in our lives. A husband, a child, a car, a family—nothing, absolutely nothing can fill that void successfully. There will always be emptiness surrounding the thing or person we attempt to put in the God-shaped void in our lives.

Happiness won’t be found by investing in the stock market but by investing in people. It won’t be found by spending money but by spending time with family and friends. It won’t be found by getting but by giving. The Declaration of Independence declares the right to pursue happiness, but it fails to give the guidelines to make that possible.

Like trying to read a crumpled map in a glove compartment, we try to find the way to happiness. We hold the creased pages that have been taped together and run our finger along the highway, looking for shortcuts. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). He is the highway to holiness, the roadway to righteousness, and the pathway to peace.

Every year, nearly forty million Americans move. Some moves are work related, health related, or relationship related. But mostly, people move because they think they will be happier somewhere else.

The truth is, as long as we live in this world, we will never be completely content. We were not made for this world. We were made for heaven. C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

We were made for heaven. This world is temporary and fleeting … just a breath. We are homesick, in a way, for a place we’ve never been.

But God does give us glimpses of home. Every time we spend time in His presence, we get a glimpse of our heavenly home, a taste of our eternal life, and an inkling of our everlasting peace. Wow, I can’t wait.

Adapted from: I’m Not Good Enough. Copyright © 2009 by Sharon Jaynes. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wild Animal Park

We went to the Calaway Lights last night and they were great. Lots of work went into making them and the girls loved them. Faith kept saying..."Look Mama Look!"
We had a fabulous time today at the Wild Animal Safari Park in Pine Mountain, GA. If you haven't been, I would definitely recommend it! The zoo has nothing on this place ;) Anyway we are home from our mini-vacation and had a great time. Only a couple of work days to squeeze in this week, then we are ready for our Christmas fun to begin!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Vacation

Considering the fact that we didn't do our "winter vacation" this year in China, we opted for Callaway Gardens! CJ and I brought Caleb down when he was just a year old, so this is our first time back in 9 years-wow. The kids are having a ball in the swimming pool, and we go to see the lights tonight. We may even get to see Santa Claus tonight too ;) I just love spending time with my adorable family!!

Christmas time should be spent loving on someone. Making memories spending time together is what the season is all about. I hope you are lucky enough to do the same this season. Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

History Review

Just thought it was neat to look back to see what exactly we were doing this time last year. And then I thought it would be cool to even go back one more year, to see what we were doing in that year. Wow what an amazing ride we have been through in just 2 short years! I can't wait to see what the future holds for my great family. Thanks for being a part of this amazing experience, I really love having all my bloggy friends there to cheer us on :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fun Days

We have been going strong the last few days doing some shopping, eating some cookies, and you know all that Christmas stuff! The boys are still playing Upward Basketball, so that is how we spend our Friday nights and Saturday mornings. They are getting really good at it and they each have managed to score every game! I need to get some pics of them this weekend.

Shelby is healing well and she had a checkup yesterday. Her stitches are still in tact and will hopefully start to dissolve soon. Everyone can notice a big improvement in her speech-yeah! It will take a good 3-6 months for her to learn how to speak with her new parts in there, so we are praying for great results.

Faith has a cold, so unfortunately it has gone straight to her chest/lungs again. So she has been on the breathing treatments and steroids this week getting her straightened out. She doesn't eat well when she is sick, so that drives Nana crazy worrying about her all the time. I have hope she will feel better soon.

Here are some pics from the last week or so. We were able to see our digit friends the other day at the Christmas party-FUN!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blog Christmas Card

Merry Christmas to all of my bloggy friends!! I hope you all have a wonderful season of family and fun this year. I know our house is already bouncing off the walls with Christmas cheer :)

This is our pathetic attempt at a quick family photo. Well I guess it turned out fine since it has our family in it and we all look silly, so yes I guess it fits us just fine. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Is One Yours?!

I dare you to look!!

Santa Encounter

We saw Santa at the Dairy Queen the other day. Shelby FINALLY got close enough to him to give him her letter. She wants a bike, a pony, and a flower :) Travis is in the "I really still want to believe" stage, so he was still happy to sit with Santa Claus. Oh the magic of Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Great Wish List

Stole this from a friend, just had to share...

Letter from Jesus about Christmas --

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree.

Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... It will be nice hearing from you again.

Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them. P

Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :


One Year Officially a Straight

Does anyone remember this baby from last Christmas??!!?

WOW, what a great year watching this little one blossom right before our eyes. We have enjoyed every minute (well almost every minute) seeing our baby girl turn into an wonderful funny toddler.
Faith was in her very first "performance" last night on stage at her school. Of course she was the most adorable child on the stage and she did SO good. She sang all the songs and did all the hand motions. And she loved to clap when they were over, and don't forget her famous Wa1mart wave as she was exiting the sweet!!

We are so very blessed to have little Miss Straight in our family :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Not the Way to Start the Day

I only have a minute as you can see below it has been a CRAZY day here! Today is our 1 year Gotcha Day Anniversary for little Miss Faith. Looks like I will have to do a post about that tomorrow :)

Here is the email I sent out to my employees this morning:

To: everyone
Subject: Morning News

Just wanted to let you all know at the same time, the ordeal we came into this morning. It appears the office complex was hit by a group of thieves last night. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful in breaking into our actual office. They did manage to get through the front glass doors, but did not get the lock to budge of our inner glass door. They did bust up the locks, so we were just now able to enter the office once Vince brought the key in for one of the wooden doors. Again, the alarm was still on and they did NOT get inside our offices. We are very lucky!!

The police said that 3 other offices were compromised in the complex, they only succeeded in stealing some TVs from the office beside us. The thieves also broke into 5 doctor’s offices off Roswell Road which appear to be the same bad guys. They mainly stole “records” from the doctor offices (for SSN I suppose). Anyhow, that is all we know for now. We are just VERY thankful that nothing was taken from Tridia!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Twins Reunited

Click here to read a very neat article about twins reunited both adopted from China, both given the same American name. Crazy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Blind Side

You must go see this movie! CJ and I went last week and it was terrific. I loved everything about the movie. And yes, it is even worth paying a babysitter for :) I can't wait to buy it so my kids can watch it too. If you don't believe me, then maybe you believe Stephen Curtis Chapman...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why Wouldn't You??!

December 3, 2008

Look at what we were doing this time last year... Getting on a plane!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


  • Nothing crazy going on at the moment at the Straights. Surprising, I know.
  • Shelby is doing amazingly well in her recovery. It is really hard to tell what all she has going on in her mouth right now, so praying everything is healing like it is supposed to.
  • Faith has become a pack rat, piling up stuff everywhere
  • Caleb loves his new cat
  • Travis, well Travis is Travis :)
  • Last Adoption Option meeting is scheduled for this Friday night at my house (will post more about that later)
  • Boys are now in basketball, so Saturdays are dedicated to those games
  • CJ is still working ALL the time, but in today's economy that is a good thing
  • Me, well I am hanging in there just keeping everyone in line ;)