Friday, December 28, 2007


December 18th we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary! What were we thinking getting married a week before Christmas!! I guess when you don't have children to think about it's a great idea! Now that we have been blessed with 5 children and save almost all of our shopping until the week before Christmas, it doesn't seem like such a great idea!! Mark is usually in a Christmas musical of some sort and many years, he has been performing on our anniversary. This year, the program was early so that was nice.
So, what is it like to be married 20 years?!! Well, we still can't figure out how it is possible since we are both still in our 20's!! LOL!! Ok, the truth.....for the most part, the time has flown by. It hasn't always been easy but worth every second! It is made much easier by having a God fearing husband who is not afraid to follow God's will for our lives and lead our family! We have had some great times! It also helps to have a passionate and loving husband!
Mark got a new Breedlove guitar, the first surprise I have EVER pulled off in our 20 years of marriage, yeah me! and we spent the day together shopping in Orlando! YES, He really loves me! Well, the plan was to go to the new IKEA store first, then to the mall, and then have a nice lunch and return home in time to pick the kids up from school. Well, that was the plan and this is actually what happened.......

We went to IKEA

That's it! We ended up staying more than 3 hours at IKEA (could have been there another 3 if time permitted), didn't have time to go to the mall, didn't even have time to stop for lunch!! Not even a drive through! We were so late getting to the school we had to call our SIL who works at the school and she grabbed T & L for us until we arrived! Thanks Karen! We had a great day and it was so nice to get to spend time together...... just the two of us! That's a rare thing around here but one that we have come to realize how very important it is for a marriage to be successful!
I am so thankful that God has given me such a wonderful husband!
I don't know what I would do without him!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

National Adoption Month

Transition Home is Up & Running!

We received this letter from Laurel, our Ethiopian Program Director on 11-14!
It is nice to know what they need so that we can start collecting the items or monetary donations for when we travel to pick up our daughter.

Dear AW Ethiopia Families,

We are excited and pleased to be able to announce that the new America World transition home in Ethiopia is up and running. Last week the first 13 children, who were recently referred to families were moved from Kids Care to the America World home. The home has been equipped with all the major needs and staff have been hired, trained and are providing loving care. There are still many things needed to help make the home a nurturing and stimulating environment for your prospective children as they wait the arrival of their parents. Therefore, we are writing to let you know of some of these needs and how you could help meet them, if you desire to do so.

America World employee Rachel (Duckworth) Ward and her husband will be making a 10-day trip to Ethiopia before their official move there at the end of January 2008. So if you would like to donate items for use at the transition home, please have them mailed to or dropped off at the America World--Tennessee office by close of business on Wednesday, November 21st. Items may also be dropped off at the Corporate office in McLean. Rachel will be leaving for Addis on Monday morning, the 26th.

Here is a list of suggested items:

Classic children's books
Coloring books and crayons
Children's Bibles and/or Bible stories
Hand Sanitizer (large bottles)
CD players, children's worship CD's, lullabies, etc.
DVD player and Children's Videos (ie: Veggie Tales, The Wiggles, Praise Baby)
Rubber coated children's spoons
ABC and 123 learning materials for toddlers.
Tape recorder
Little cosmetic mirror
Baby blankets, regular ones and one with hoods sewn in
Towels/soaps and bath items
Jump rope
Inflatable balls
Lace cards, beads to string on laces
Baby Tylenol, antibiotics, probiotics

If you would prefer to make a monetary donation, you may write a check to America World and send it to the corporate office in McLean. In the memo line, please write "transition home support," so that our finance department knows how to allocate your donation. Rachel will be able to use these funds to purchase items while she is in Addis.

November News!

Praying that our news will come in November!!!!

Ethiopia - November 2nd
America World received court appointments this week for the five families who received referrals on October 3, 2007. The appointments are scheduled for November 7, 2007. Once we have final approvals for these families, America World will begin to work on their travel. We continue to wait for court appointments for those who received referrals on October 19, 2007

Ethiopia - November 9thAmerica World continues to wait on court approvals for the five families who received referrals on October 3, 2007. There were some hold-ups due to delays at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. We anticipate more news for the families waiting on approvals next week.

America World continues to work toward our goal of the transition home in Addis opening. This past week our staff representative secured cribs, beds, refrigerators and other households appliances for the home and has started the process of hiring nannies. Eventually children will stay in this home between referral and travel. Our agency looks forward to the home’s grand opening!

October News!

I haven't been very good at keeping up with the updates lately! SO...The following are the Agency Updates for October! This should fill you in!

Ethiopia - October 5thAmerica World is happy to announce that we received referrals for six children this week; four of the children were males, and two of the children were females. The ages of the children ranged from approximately 1 ½ months to 11 months old. There are five families currently reviewing the referrals for these children. We look forward to receiving their responses within the next week!

As mentioned in the Ethiopia September monthly update, America World signed a lease for a transition home in Addis Ababa last week! Once this home is up and running, the children who are being adopting by America World families, will be transitioned to this home from the orphanage between the time of referral and travel. In addition to this, our in-country staff liaison has recently hired two additional staff to help with adoption processing. Our agency believes that both of these accomplishments will lead to a smoother, more efficient adoption process for Ethiopia families, so we are happy to share this news!

Ethiopia - October 12thSeveral families have asked about referral timings. How often does America World anticipate receiving referrals? In answer to this question, referrals in the Ethiopia program will be more sporadic and less systematic than some of the other America World adoption programs. Occasionally our agency may receive two sets of referrals in a month; other times there may be more than one month between referral batches. In most cases, we will receive multiple referrals at a time rather than individual referrals. This will assist America World in planning group travel for families.

Ethiopia - October 19America World is happy to announce that we received referrals for six children this week; three of the children were males, and three of the children were females. The ages of the children ranged from approximately 2 months to 14 months old. There are five families currently reviewing the referrals for these children. We look forward to receiving acceptances from families within the next week!

October - 26thOur agency continues to wait on court appointments for the families who received referrals on 10/3/07 and 10/19/07. The court in Ethiopia has been overloaded due to re-opening after 2 months of being closed, but we anticipate receiving appointments in the near future.

America World recently hired Rachel (Duckworth) Ward to work with our transitional home services in Addis. Those of you in Tennessee may know Rachel as she has worked in America World’s Tennessee affiliate office as its Director of Social Services since AW-TN was licensed in 2004. She and her husband Barrett plan to depart for Addis Ababa early in 2008.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mac N Cheese Prayer!

Found this today and just had to share! Enjoy!

Monday, October 01, 2007


1. My oldest (11) started shaving her legs!
2. My baby started pre-school and turns 5 tomorrow!
3. My oldest son went to Homecoming AND drove himself!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

With Sad Hearts

Katie Denise Beary
12/20/1980 - 9/4/2007

Katie Denise Beary, 26, of Little Rock, died in a car accident in Memphis early Tuesday morning, September 4, 2007. She was born on December 20, 1980 in North Little Rock, and attended Parkview High School.

She is survived by a daughter, Leyla Paige Harpold, of Melbourne, Florida; her parents, Tom and Nancy Beary, of Little Rock; one sister, Billie Cobb, and her husband, Charlie, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; one nephew, Tyson Cobb, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins who loved her very much.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 8, 2007, at the First Church of God, Frenchman’s Lane, Little Rock, Arkansas, with Pastor Mark Lewis officiating. Interment will be at Pinecrest Memorial Park.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pics of the Lakehouse!

The Lakehouse was in Eatonton, GA which is located exactly in the middle of NOWHERE! The GPS couldn't even find the streets!! LOL!! It was a very nice new house and was decorated in a hunting/black bear motif. The floors were all wide planked pine and were beautiful! As you can see in the pics, even down to the mirrors in the master bath had antlers! There are 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The house is on Lake Sinclair which is 15,330 acres of water and has over 400 miles of shoreline! I think we saw EVERY INCH of the lake while boating! We had such a great time!

Couldn't resist! More Pics!

More Pics!

Our Summer!

Over all we had a great summer! We were all getting a little restless by the time school started but we managed to make it! :)
We finally went on a "real" family vacation this summer. We rented a lakehouse in Eatonton, GA and it was great to get away from everything! It was a good 25 minute drive to the nearest Wal-Mart (but thank God we had one, we made about 4 trips!) We enjoyed boating everyday and the kids had so much fun tubing and knee boarding! Mark even accomplished some scurfing and skiing too!! I will try to upload some pics to share!

Tommy, Tay, Blake, and Leyla started school last week and it went pretty smoothly! We love all of their teachers and we are praying for a great year! Sophi starts pre-school this coming Tuesday. She has been lost not having anyone around but mom these days so she is ready to go.

On the adoption front, all is still pretty quiet. We haven't heard any news lately. Our family co-ordinator just returned from a two week trip to Ethiopia and she shared her experience with us which just made us that much more excited to get over there to our new daughter! We will keep you posted on any news we hear!

So, that's about all that's goin on here!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Must See Video!

Video set to "Everything" by Lifehouse
If you need Jesus to come to your rescue and help you fight off the distractions, temptations, and harmful influences in your life all you have to do is ask for His help. Get down on your knees and pray to God. Ask Him to forgive you for your sins, tell Him that you believe that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die for you, so you could spend eternity in relationship with Him.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Well....Here it is!! We are officially parents to a 16 year old boy with a CAR!!!!
Tommy left for camp this past Monday and we started the hunt for a car for him. He had the money (most of it anyways :P), we just found the car for him! We wanted it to be a surprise and boy was it ever! I could not sleep Wednesday night and just kept praying and asking God to bring the right car to us and give us some kind of a sign so that we would know it was the right one. I was searching on Wednesday night and found a car in our area and when Mark got home from church, he e-mailed the guy. The guy calls him back on Thursday and it turns out that he's leaving for NY on Friday and wants to sell the car right away! The price is good and he offered to meet us at the church for us to look at it! I went to look at another car while Mark was waiting to meet at the church and by the time I arrived at the church, Mark had already driven the car and felt good about it. I told Taylor on the way that I had a good feeling about this and I thought this was going to be the one. When I got to the church, I stepped out of the car and the first words Mark said to me is, "Guess who Shaun works with?" Pam S.!! Turns out, he works as a teacher at the same school as a very good friend of the family!! THANK YOU GOD!!! That's the kind of sign I had prayed for! The guy was very young and is a speech teacher! So..................that's the story of how the car came to be! It's a beautiful 2000 Mustang! A reddish-orange color!
Now, Tommy got back tonight around 11:00pm from camp and was his normal talkative self! Mark had the car sitting across the whole driveway, all posed for the new owner as he arrived home! It was great! He was actually speechless and couldn't catch his breath once he realized that the car was his! Taylor gave him the keys and then it really hit him, IT WAS ALL HIS!!!
Daddy took him for a ride in it (it's a stick and he will have to learn to drive it) and he is in love! It was great to see his reaction! We also invited his girlfriend over to see it and her parents were kind enough to come by for a few minutes so they could "share the moment"! It was cute!
MY BABY BOY IS DRIVING A CAR!!!!!! I just don't see how that happens! Mommy is having a hard time letting her firstborn grow up! I know it is inevitable but does it have to happen soooo fast??!! He is such a good boy and we are soooo proud of him! I don't know many 16 yo teenage boys that would stand in front of almost 600 people and lead them in Worhsip like Tommy did a couple of weeks ago at church! It was a Youth Led service and he did an AWESOME job!! It was AMAZING to see my son and his passion for Christ!! Keep up the good work baby boy!! We love you and are so proud of you!!! You deserve the best!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I have been working on this for a few months but had not shared it yet with too many people. It's been kind of boring, regarding the process. We just received our USCIS approval this week so we are almost on the waiting list so I'ts time.
To follow our journey to Africa, go to:
(You may have to copy and paste it)
I will be posting any new news to this address but plan to keep this Blog for our family updates!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


This was one of the best Mommy's Day I have ever had!! I was awaken by a sweet little face that was excited to give me gifts that she had kept well hidden in her room for several days! Mark and the kids got me a necklace!!! It is beautiful as you can see! I also included a picture of some of the other special gifts that I received this past week, the best are the handmade ones if you ask me!!!! We went to church as we normally do and then took my mom and Mark's mom out to Chili's for lunch! It was very nice! I got to see my big brother that I hadn't seen in a while too! After enjoying a nice lunch, we came home and did NOTHING! That was the best gift of all!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Taylor entered a Design-An-Ad competition along with 4,000 other students from Brevard and Indian River Counties for the statewide newspaper, "Florida Today". There were a total of 48 schools represented and 140 teachers involved. 46 local businesses submitted their criteria to the schools so that students could design ads for the companies to chose from. Taylor's ad was picked! Out of 4,000 applicants, only 46 were chosen! We celebrated with her at the Florida Today compound! The company that she designed for was Marine Max and a representative from the company came to see her get her award! It was a great night and we are so proud of her! I have included some pictures of her with her Art teacher, Mrs. Weatherington, the Marine Max rep "John" and the Florida Today rep.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sophi's Room!

For those of you whom I promised a peek into Sophi's room.....
It still is not complete but here is the room so far..........

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Taylor's Birthday Bash!

Well, Taylor turned 11 this year!! I can't believe how time flies!
We had a great time! Taylor invited 6 girls for a sleepover. We started out at her favorite Chinese Restaraunt where they filled up on the best Chicken Fried Rice and Bourbon Chicken ever! We then went to ROSS where the girls filled a cart full of Junior Misses size dresses and proceeded to put on a FULL FASHION SHOW in the dressing rooms! We were in the dressing rooms for an hour while they modeled their beutiful dresses! From there we went to Payless Shoes where I endured yet another FASHION SHOW of SHOES and they all walked the wooden middle isle "Runway" sporting the highest heels they could find in the store! The girls ended the night with a "Midnight Swim"! It was great! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAYLOR!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Sophi's Favorite thing to say now.... While sitting at the computer..."Daddy, How do you spell "dot com"??? Too funny!! She always keeps us laughing!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

HIS Truth Is Marching On!

"Where you live should not decide whether you live or you die!"
"Love thy neighbor is not a piece of advice, IT IS A COMMAND"

Saturday, February 03, 2007

We're Growing Again!

Most of you already know but just in case you missed the news.......Our family is growing again!!! We are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia!!! Everyone is so excited and we cannot wait to see what child God has in store for our family!
Just a little background on how this all came to be.....
July 2006 - Began to pray!
August 2006 - Started researching countries and agencies
September 2006 - Prayed some more
October 2006 - Felt God leading us to Africa
November 2006 - We decided for sure on Ethiopia and found a great agency
December 2006 - Applied to agency
January 2007 - We were accepted
February 2007 - Started gathering paperwork for our homestudy and dossier.

The way things are looking, it will be about this time next year when our new daughter joins her Forever Family!

We are starting a new blog to keep as a journal of our journey to AFRICA!!! I will share that when we get it all set up!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Chuck E Cheese

We tried to go to Disney World but they were closed due to being at capacity so we took a trip to CEC instead!


Check out our new blog for our Ethiopian Adoption!!

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