Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I am convinced I have never been more content than this Christmas.  It was glorious.


It was not the gifts under the tree.  We are not really list makers at my house so the joy or the feeling of contentedness truly does not come from there.


No, it was looking at my little China doll and knowing this work, this amazing dream that God gave us over 3 years ago had come to fruition.  The Christmas I had dreamed of in 2011 now was living, breathing, running and laughing right in front of me.


It wasn't her happiness that brought me contendedness, although it brought me tremendous joy.  It was the deep knowledge that we had been obedient to the call.  It was an extraordinary feeling.  For the first time in many years, there was a sense of completeness to my family, a sense of moving forward to the Father's next dream.


I have no idea what the Lord has in store for any of these treasures I am blessed to call my children, but it is an incredible privilege to watch it unfold.


I thank Him for the gift of His Son and this journey we call life.  It is truly Wonderful.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Referral Day!

One Year Ago... we got the call.  The call every adoptive family pines and prays for... on the other end of the line we heard..

"a little angel is in China, and we think she is yours"

Yesterday at church,  Ava was helping her dad with costumes for the upcoming Christmas pageant.  How gracious of the Father to remind me of His blessings.

A little angel lives with me now.  She makes me, her daddy and sister and brothers laugh every day!   She has FILLED our house with JOY and the Father has filled our hearts to overflowing.

Thank You Jesus!  

Happy Referral Day, my Ava Joy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

one of these little gals came to me from eurasia, one from asia, but they are woven into my heart like a beautiful tapestry.  my Lily, my Ava, my beloved daughters.

we celebrated them and orphans around the worldsaturday night.  it was an amazing, beautiful time.

God truly moved in the hearts of dear friends, family and our church family.

we are forever grateful !!

Friday, November 9, 2012

once upon a time there was a little girl who cried when her brothers and
sister went to school

now.... she sneaks up to their rooms, finds their most precious toys and
her imagination takes flight.

i was going to call this, 'tea for one" but with all the chattering
going on and the pouring of tea. i was convinced ava had her dearest
imaginary friend in the room.

i love age 2, and 3 and 4..... how blessed we are

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Introducing Marmalade Joy....

A very talented local girl is making these cuties for  our adoption concert to benefit the orphans of the HENAN REGION OF CHINA.

Concert is at 7pm on November 17, 2012 at Sanctuary Church  1S430 Road 
in Batavia, Illinois

 Pleasse  stop by if you are in the area, 
 Ava's dad, 
J Brian Hill will be singing.  

Go to for directions.

Also, more details to come with items for sale from Shaiman Island, China will be posted here in a few days.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sittin Pretty....

A little girl who goes to use the potty with a pretty hat is just asking to have her picture taken...   

sugar and spice,  she is very nice!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Six Months and loving...

I  wonder sometime if you look out the window and think of life before ...  in china.

I do,  I wonder who held you.  who helped you become so loving, so funny, so rich in humor, fun, and joy.

Your spirit now and then was breathed by the Holy Spirit.  He gifted you in ways I could have never imagined.

What an amazing privilege to watch as you find your voice and as your find your path to your Savior.

You have fulfilled every single one of my dreams of having a China doll and then some. 

We thank God for you every day, and for the masterpiece you are to Him.

For we are God's masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long."  Eph 2:10

Happy 6 month GOTCHA 
Ava Joy Violette!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Beauty of Fall

 These children even make yard work a joy!

Gotta LOVE it, and I do with all my heart

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Mirror Image

she does not have my eyes, or my skin or my hair, but oh does she have my heart.

doing things just like this. trying to be "like" me.

climbing up on the counter, using my make up brush, my eye makeup, and applying it just like me.

how humbling and so sweet that this little heaven sent child sees something in me she chooses to mimic.

I pray everyday, my love for the Lord shines thru enough that one day she will choose to mirror it, and outshine it and dance in it, and rejoice with it.

thank you Jesus for this precious little me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ava & Lily

I am blessed to watch the love of my children be shared with their siblings.

each one adores ava in their own way, but these sisters, well, that's something special, divine and such a treasure to watch.

I thank God every day i am here to be witness to it.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Our first trip to the orchard
with our sweet Ava

 She was enchanted - we tasted and picked and enjoyed a marvelous day.

How gracious God is in all His creation

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sometimes you have the cellphone camera right when cuteness happens.......
             Ava has been intrigued by Lily and I crossing our legs.

 She sat down, determined to teach her doll and herself!

 Dolly did beautiful... so did Ava, Chub and all!
Gotta love it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


balloons, parades, cook outs, ice cream, and children, sweet children. how very blessed we are to have them to lend us their eyes with which we can see the world as the Father intended us to...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ava Reading

After a loooonggg, sweaty, hot morning of football, we came home for a rest. It was a true joy to see bailey play but all spectators, especially Bailey's siblings were weary. Beau and Lily went off to play. i went into the kitchen to make ava's bottle. I returned to find Ava enjoying her own version of relaxing. She was sporting my sun hat and perusing a fashion magazine. She is growing cuter, more independent and full of life with each passing moment.

we love her and her Creator so!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

all eyes on Ava

Today we finished up our VBS week at church and headed to a French Connection event at a local park.
It is a gorgeous park belonging to the McCormick family of Chicago.  The kids had worked very hard helping their Dad lead VBS, singing and dancing.  We decided to treat them to a fun afternoon away.

My eldest Bailey had just spent his summer earnings on a rebuilt SLR camera.  Brian and I tried it out!
The venues at Cantigny Park are amazing.  We had a ball.  The kids were troopers. 

Miss Ava had not napped but decided these stairs were worth a go.  She left her stroller and was ready for a photo shoot!

As always she was the center of attention.  Ava’s middle name is Joy,  like Lily she has brought incredible joy and laughter to our home.  

                                                                     We are blessed beyond measure. 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Art Show

We went to our local art show and Lily and Beau both got the opportunity to try pottery, under Ava's watchful eye.

Ava was amazed and spent a good bit of time with her hands in the potter's water.

Beau has decided this is his NEW HOBBY!  We are seriously considering classes.  What an amazing art form, especially when you consider the Bible promises that God is the Potter and breaks and molds us.  Adoption is definitely a vehicle to feel the hands of the Father both breaking and beautifully molding.

He is amazingly good to give us windows to His heart.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ava's first trip on the carousel.

She absolutely squealed with delight!

what a delight, 3 months of joy...........and counting!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Little Princess

On my top 10 list of why I love being a mom would be that I LOVE reading to my children.

It has been a joy to my heart since my now 15-year old was a new born baby.

With Ava, this has come as a challenge.  She had never experienced this joy, there is a language barrier, and she likes to hold any book I attempt to read, and open and shut it, and open and shut it again and again.
Just a few weeks ago, I found a copy of Good Night Moon.  For the first time, she was captivated and I was overjoyed.  We still shut the book a few dozen times, but it is one I know by heart so this was no problem.
Then, before our family reunion, I surprised Lily with a copy of the "Little Princess" from the dollar isle at Target.
I began reading it and Ava sat perfectly still.  More amazingly, every time she looks at the cover she shrieks with delight and kisses the dolly.
We have now read the book 3 times, cover to cover and she sits or lays perfectly still.
Oh the Joy! 
I am amazed too that my little princess so closely replicates the fictional story.  Orphaned, yet never alone.  Loved deeply and able to love deeply.  A princess as she is a daughter of the King of Kings.
I am amazed the God has blessed me with this little princess and her older sister.  He is so gracious.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our sweet ava and her grandaddy

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend a family reunion this last weekend. the first one for my side of the family in 15 years.

this picture was taken in front of the house where daddy was born and raised in So. IL. He had the idea to have the oldest and the youngest in the picture.

the photo is not great, but oh so special to me.

Two people from two ends of the world that adore each other. God is incredibly good.


Our daughters...the summer readers!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sonnet for Summer

Sonnet 18
Shall I compare Thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely
and more temperate.
by william shakespeare