Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Eva turns 7

 Happy birthday, my sweet rainbow baby! You are such a delight.
You are beautiful, smart, wise and deliriously funny. We love you big!
And just like that six flutters away into the sunset and seven takes root!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Just a Random Text

Friend: Go buy armor of God!!!!

Me: I did. ;-)

Friend: Yay!! So excited!!

Me: Me 2

Friend: Now we can talk about it and whoop each other's (behinds)

Me: :-) (laughing)

Me: Let the whopping begin

Friend: You are ON!!!

Friend: You haven't even started it and you whipped mine yesterday with the information from it

Me: Accountability at its greatest

Friend: Yes!! I so love and cherish this relationship.

Friend: This is why I need to see your (behind) before you leave the country. So you need to look at your calendar. And tell me when I can come spend time with you!

(Walking into my house)

Me: Someone broke into my house

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

 Our Christmas was filled with fun, family, old traditions and some new ones. We work very hard to make Christmas about our Savior Jesus. It is so easy to get sideways and lose the whole meaning behind Christmas. We try to buy early and celebrate the rest of the month. We enjoy watching Christmas movies, making candies and Christmas cookies. We have done our Jesse Tree devotion to celebrate Advent for many years. This year we were fortunate enough to purchase Ann Voskamp's new Advent devotion, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. We went out to Ward's Christmas Tree farm and selected our tree and decorated it together while listening to familiar carols. This is the season that Christians celebrate the long awaited Savior that came after over 400 years of silence. The wait is over, the Savior has come.
**Goodness knows I wish I had not procrastinated in blogging about our Christmas. There was so many adoption things that needed finalizing that I just didn't do it. Marcus was able to salvage a lot of what was on the camera's SD card, but a lot had already been written over with new photos. All of our pictures from Ward's Christmas Tree Farm are gone, but we did make out with a lot of tangible memories. 

Abe had the honor of "starring" the tree

Christmas cookies

 homemade turtles
Homemade fudge

 "I now there are cookies in there!"
Our homemade Christmas ornaments

 Our new Advent devotional
Our new Jesse Tree that Daddy built
 Christmas lights in our pjs at the Markowski home.

 Annual Christmas photo

2015 Christmas card (which only went out via social media....because China)

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Eli turns 11

The first born child. He is closer to manhood than he is childhood.
Breaks my heart a little. We are excited to watch him grow into his own.
He is becoming brave. He is loyal. He is so very compassionate and loving.
We love you, son. God will do great things through you.
Happiest of birthdays, Eli!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fundraiser: Piecing Together A Family

We have one last fundraiser that we are a part of, in hopes that we can raise all of the funds to cover our travel expenses. We will be traveling in January....THAT'S JUST WEEKS AWAY!!!! Here is the latest way that you can be a part of the quest to bring our daughter home. There is a Facebook page that will serve as the hub of this endeavor. You can reach it through this link 

 If you are willing and would like to help here is how:

"The West family have mere weeks to finalize travel to China to bring their 2 year old daughter, Lottie-Qi home!! With the help of family, friends, fundraisers and two generous grants from private foundations, they are a bit over $9,000 away from completing their adoption!!! They started their adoption journey in 2013 with a puzzle fundraiser. Let's help them finish this in the exact manner that they started. They currently have a 252 piece puzzle about half way completed with donations. There are 135 remaining pieces that need sponsors....starting from $1 all the way to $135. 



Help us piece together this family! Help us complete their puzzle! There are two ways you can donate. 

1) You can choose to donate through their Crowd Rise fundraising site
All donations are tax deductible and the transitions are easy and secure, but there is a 3% charge deducted from each donation. 

2) You can also donate through their private PayPal account by sending money via the Friends and Family option at This method assures your complete donation goes toward the cause, but unfortunately the donation is not tax deductible. 

You get to choose your donation amount with the number of the puzzle piece you sponsor! Piece #16 is $16, piece #49 is $49, piece #122 is $122 and so on. This page will be updated daily with a photo of the progress made toward the completion of the puzzle. EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE WILL BE ADDED TO THE PUZZLE WITH THE DONORS NAME ON THE BACK!!! The puzzle will hang in Lottie-Qi's nursery to show her all of the support and love that brought her to her family!!! We ask for your support!! We ask that you pray that God would work mightily through this fundraiser. WE ASK THAT YOU PLEASE SHARE THIS ON FACEBOOK WITH EVERYONE!!! We want to reach as many people as possible that will help this family. Ready, set, GO!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Littles


These guys have become affectionately known as the "Littles", by default I suppose.
 They stick together. They have to.
 Wish they would stay little. The others didn't.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Needing a new crib for our new China doll.
Bought this one off of Craigslist for $40 and
gave it a little touch-up paint that I bought from the Vintage Market.
Hope our sweet girl loves it!


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Introducing Lottie-Qi

This is our daughter! THIS IS OUR DAUGHTER!!!! This is the face we have been admiring since February! Today we received our RA (referral acceptance) from China. That means she is ours!!! We can now share her face and our progress toward bringing her home. We have paperwork to continue to file (I800, DS260 etc). Here is a little about our girl:

Qi is her given Chinese name. We choose to keep it to preserve part of her Chinese heritage. It is pronounced Chee.
She has albinism, an inherited disorder characterized by no pigment in her skin, hair, or eyes. In other words, she is a blue-eyed, blonde from China.
Her albinism also affects her vision, to what extent we do not yet know. It could range from slight to very severe vision loss.
Her approximate birthday is within days of when we first applied with our agency.
She is two years old.
We chose to give her the name Charlotte after the great Christian missionary of China, Lottie Moon.
We are also giving her a family name, Agnes, because she IS family. And, we must carry on the tradition!!!
We can't wait to get her home and love all over her...but you already knew that!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fall Festival 2015

The crew is ready for fall festival at church!!!
We have a fox, a leopard, a greek goddess, a soldier, a lion and a butterfly.

These two crack me up.
Yes, BFFs are supposed to share, Chi, but your mama would flog the lion.


The fox was nowhere to be seen. He was hunting ALL. THE. CANDY.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Pumpkin Patch 2015

 We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. Each of our children hand selected the finest pumpkin (in the $1-$2 range.) to take home and decorate to celebrate our favorite season. Ok, not everyone's favorite, but certainly mine! Of course I needed our traditional photos in the pumpkins, on the pumpkins, among the pumpkins and anything else we could capture on camera.