Thursday, January 22, 2009

Little ABBY... and Sara's "Locks Of Love"

After getting home from our first road trip to Wheeling... we decided it was time to get everyone (especially McCaleb...) a haircut. So we set the appointment - and began to make plans.

Since the time the kids were very little, at night we would add people to our bedtime prayers that we knew were sick, or sad, or hurting.... it has become a family ritual. Lately, it seems, the list has been really growing. It seems that more and more we find people who are hurting, or sick, or just need to be lifted up. The kids are so aware of each and every name on our list... and we say them all, out loud, together, each night during our prayer time. It has been a great way to make them aware of people and their situations... and also aware of times that we can praise God for the blessings of healing or restoration. It has been an awesome thing to watch unfold... and it truly touches me when we bump into someone out - and one of the kids will say... "We've been praying for you!"

One of the people that we have been praying for nightly for quite some time is little Abby Riggs. What a precious little girl. Her story is one that you hear - and it immediately tugs at your heart. (I would encourage you to go to the Riggs Family Blog and read about Abby, too. Consider adding this sweet child and her family to your prayer list each day!)

When the time came that Abby was losing her hair... and she decided to shave her head... Sara decided that she was going to give Abby her hair. Sar had heard the story of how I cut my hair off and donated it to Locks of Love. I don't think she really understood the concept at that was very soon after she first came home from Guatemala. However, when she saw Abby had shaved her hair... she immediately informed me that she wanted to give HER HAIR TO ABBY.

When we went to get our haircuts... Rachel went first. (She only wanted a "trim" and made that very clear.) Then we had Ali go next... because she wanted to cut her hair short too, since Sara was cutting hers. I thought that this would be a good idea (Ali has had short hair before...) so that Sara was able to see that once the hair was gone... it couldn't be put back on.

Sara was adamant that she wanted her hair cut... so after Ali was done... she hopped up in the chair, and held her hand up to her ears and said "Cut it up to here." Uh oh.

So Melissa... in all her infinite wisdom... pulled her hair back into a pony tail, measured off how much she needed to cut... and whacked off that pony tail.

Sara was THRILLED. She was so excited to send her hair to Abby. I tried several times to explain that we can't just send her hair to Abby... but I still don't think she ever really understoond me. She was just so proud of herself - and I am proud of her!

After the haircut - I could not believe how much older and more grown up she looked!

WOW! So here are all the kids, with their fresh cuts and trims. While I think they are the cutest bunch of children ever... my heart is overwhelmed by their sweetness and unselfishness... and their hearts that reach out to others. They are such good kids... and I am so blessed to be their mom!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Road Trip 2009.1 - Wheeling, WV

You would think that right after the holidays... we would want to stay home, settle back into a routine - you know - JUST REST. Nope, not the Hanks Gang. Instead, we decided to plan our first road trip of 2009!

We wanted to meet up with the Patton-Schmidt family... and since we needed a good half way spot to meet... we settled on Wheeling, West Virginia. On Monday of that week, Tim and I had our first "DISH" installed at our house. Instead of our usual 3 channels... we are now the proud owners of over 100 channels. No, I have no idea WHY...we still watch the same three channels. However... I decided that the SMART thing to do would be to check out the WEATHER CHANNEL. You know... make sure that we would have good driving conditions, and such.

Yeah - a lot of good that did.

We headed out on Wednesday morning... initially it was a beautiful day to travel. (keyword: INITIALLY)

On the way... I started to realize a few things that I forgot. Like, a bathing suit. It wouldn't be fair of me to go to a hotel and let Jane be in charge of all TEN kids. So just the other side of Columbus, I stopped to get the kids lunch, and hit the local Wal-Mart. It had started to spit snow when we went in to the Wal-Mart... but by the time we came back out (no bathing suits to be found...) there was a good 1/2 inch on the car! Uh, oh.

We decided we better get back on the road and head towards Wheeling. UGH. Four (4) hours later... we pulled into the Spring Hill Suites... thankful to make it in one piece. :)

We had such a great time! The kids were all so excited to see one another. It had been almost 2 years since Jacqueline and Sara had seen each other, a year and a half for Karly... and the last time we saw the boys was on our pick up trip in April of last year! It was so good to finally see them all here, in the USA... with their forever family!

There was plenty of action... we made a run to Target (bathing suit acquisition), swam in the pool, watched movies, stayed up way too late, ate lots of food, played games, danced, did "hair" and make up... and before we were ready, it was time to head home.

Let me just say... the trip home was MUCH quicker. The roads were clear and the sun was shining.

Despite the fact that we had to say was good to know that this good-bye was just a prelude to our next road trip. I'm already starting to make plans...

Thursday, January 01, 2009


A new year...

Time to consider what we might have done differently.

I got this email and thought it was worth posting. Enjoy.

Happy New Year! May 2009 bring many blessings to your life.


Will You Dance With Me?


Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain.' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet... We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord..

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I posted this for you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round

Or listened to the rain lapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butter fly's erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask ' How are you?' Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores running through your head?
Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.'
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die?
Just call to say 'Hi?

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.....
Life is not a race
Take it slower.
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

'Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!

Enjoy each day of 2009!