Thursday, July 31, 2008

Things We Collect

Just in case you haven't heard yet...we collect Box Tops, Campbell Soup Labels and Soda Tabs and USED Cell Phones, Mp3 Players, Hand Held System Consoles, Digital Cameras, and Ink Cartridges.

I've noted below why we collect these items and where you can find them. Would you consider saving any of these items for us?

If you are local the kids and I will swing by as needed to pick them up from you and if you are far away we'll gladly reimburse you for your postage.

Box Tops are the only sort of "fund raising" our school does. There will be no candy or wrapping paper sales from us. Just a simple request for something you would probably throw away.

These items can be found on hundreds of products like Zip lock, Pull Ups, Betty Crocker mixes, Chex Mex, Kleenex and many many more. For a complete list please visit the Box Top website

Campbell Soup Labels is a resource our school uses for miscellaneous school supplies. Simply cut the cute little Campbell guy off the back of your soup can or your empty goldfish package. He is worth lots of $$$ in school supplies. For more details please visit

Soda Tabs are collected and donated to the Ronald McDonald House. The RMH allows families to stay free of charge while their children are being cared for in a near by hospital. These little tabs "pay the tab" for the families so they can concentrate their concerns on their children rather than their finances. What a beautiful ministry!!

USED Cell Phones, Mp3 Players, Hand Held System Consoles, Digital Cameras, and Ink Cartridges - for a family who is adopting a little girl from Russia. Read more about their journey at

Thank you for reading this post and supporting our kids in their community projects. If you or your kids are also involved in a project that we may be able to help you with PLEASE let us know.

Many Thanks,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We're raising RockStars....

*Courtney maybe we've been spending too much time together :-)

These little Super Stars rocked the house last night! Sadie even wrote her first song. The girl is deep and we were SO awed we HAD to share the lyrics...
Are you ready? Here are the words to our baby girls first single:
My daddy really loves me
Yes he does
He always wants to snuggle
Yes he does
But I just wanna play!
I just wanna play!
The End - followed by a well rehersed bow.
So beautiful!

Monday, July 28, 2008


There is a beautiful family in AZ that is in the process of adopting a little girl from Russia.

To help off set some of the expenses they are collecing USED Cell Phones, Mp3 Players, Hand Held System Consoles, Digital Cameras, and Ink Cartridges.

I will be sending a box to her this Friday. If you have any of these above items that you are no longer using would you PLEASE consider donating them to this family? If you are local, I would be happy to pick them up from you. If you aren't local but you would still like to be a blessing to this family please email me. I will help make the mailing arrangements for you.

To read more about their adoption journey please check out their blog

MANY Thanks in advance!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

Ok, so my friends Dawn and Krista both did a post about their favorite things on their blogs. If I were all computer savvy I'd post the direct link to their names but I'm sorry to say I'm not so you'll just have to trust me :-).

Anyway I enjoyed their posts so much I decided to do one of my own. Below you will see a few of my favorite things:

These 4 people by far bring me the most joy in life!

Then there is Molly - the GREATEST dog ever!!!

And our pool - which is 1 month old today. This pool has brought us more family time, more time with friends and more down time than we ever imagined. What a blessing!!!

This may not look like much but it is EVERYTHING to my kids and their friends!! This is the empty lot next door to our house. Our kids love to play, dig, "hike" and whatever else their imagination thinks up. This place has made a mulitude of memories for our kids and for that reason alone I LOVE this land!

My TV - sad but true! I'm a reality TV show junkie! I love Jon & Kate + 8, Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race, Secret Life of a Soccer Mom... all of them but the dating ones.

These are our front doors and it's not the doors I love so much but the people who enter them! On Tuesday and Thursday nights we host Bible studies, through out the week we have several play dates, sleep overs, coffee talks, games nights...these may look like standard doors but they are actually revolving doors. Everyone that knows us knows we love having a house full!

Ok, so this may be my MOST favorite thing (aside from my husband and kids!). I love my coffee - actually I depend -on my coffee pot! I drink a full pot every morning and sometimes another cup or two in the evening. Coffee is what keeps me going. I love the way it smells, the way it tastes, they way it makes me feel. Everything about coffee makes me happy :-)

And finally, my computer. Oh, how I love her! She is so faithful and patient (I'm not the easiest user). She is dependable - morning, noon or night I can count on her! She's amazing and without her I'd not be where I am (on-line :-)!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Child Waits - Encouragement


I have received a TON of comments regarding A Child Waits post I made a few days ago.

It seems that many who read the post were “moved” or cried and felt sad for what they saw. Many confessed that “one day, they too hope to grow their family through adoption but right now financially it is just impossible!”

Before I address that comment I would first like to say I believe ALL children are a gift. Whether brought to our families biologically or through the adoption. I do not believe that one way is better or more noble. I do not feel that those who adopt are “great or selfless people” I also do not believe that adoption is for everyone. No one should ever pursue an adoption just because they feel sorry or sad for a child. Adoption is NOT a rescue mission!! Adoption is simply uniting your child with his family.

With all that being said….These last paragraphs are ONLY INTENDED for anyone who “one day hopes to grow their family through adoption but right now feels that it is financially impossible”

If you and your spouse have a united heart towards adoption but you are holding back due solely to finances PLEASE DON’T. I know first hand that when we step out in faith and trust in what we know is right rather than what “makes sense” we are blown away by what is possible. I also know first hand the initial fear. I know how hard it is to take that first step, but once you do, once you leap, you see things you never dreamed possible actually happening to you, in your life, and for the good of your family! I have seen a couple loose their job in the middle of an adoption and not only stay the course but bring home 2 children instead of one. God did not forsake them. I’ve seen other couples loose their home and job and STILL complete their adoption. Another couple had no finance options available to them for a little girl whom their heart broke for so 3 times they “found” her a forever family. All 3 times it fell through and finally they “got it”. They proceeded with NO finances and their daughter is now home! Our personal adoption expenses doubled what we thought they were going to be when we completed our first adoption and since we were not planning to adopt again we had NO adoption fund for our last adoption yet all of our children are home safe and sound. We have plenty to eat, hot water, clothes on our backs and a roof over our head!

My plea to any of you holding off because of finances is this: PLEASE DO NOT LET FINANCES KEEP YOUR CHILD OUT OF YOUR HOME! I will personally partner with you, join forces and encourage you every step of the way. I have seen miracle after miracle in family after family. I would be honored if you allowed me that privilege on your journey!

For those of you who have testimonies like those above PLEASE share your stories. Be an encouragement to those who may be in a financial stronghold. You never know whose child may come home as a result of your trials and testimony!

To Him Be The Glory!

2008 edition of getting to know your friends

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your friends. What you are
supposed to do is hit forward and change your answers. Change all the answers
so they apply to you, and then send this to your friends including the person
who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things
about your friends that you might not have known.


1. What time did you get up this morning? 8am – and the kids are STILL sleeping!
2. Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds
3. What 2 things do you always have with you? My kids and someone elses kids – it’s summer!
4. What is your favorite TV show? Grey's Anatomy, Big Brother, Survivor
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Honey Bunches of Oats
6. What is your favorite book? The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent. 7. What is your middle name? Lee
8. What food do you dislike? Mushrooms
9. What is your favorite CD? I prefer pure quiet of music.
10. What type of car do you drive? Honda Odyssey
11. Favorite sandwich? Rare Roastbeef
12. What characteristic do you despise? Arrogance
13. Favorite item of clothing? My Jammies!
14. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? I REALLY like home!!! But I would like to start summer trips to various orphanages beginning in Central/South America. 15. What color is your bathroom? Yellow
16. Favorite brand of clothing? Gap, Old Navy and Ralph – and I like it better when it’s on sale
17. Where would you like retire to? Right here in my home in warm sunny FL!!
18. What was your most recent memorable birthday? My 30th – It’s was when I became a mom!!
19. Furthest place you are sending this? It’s going on my blog so who knows!
21. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? Good question
22. Person you expect to send it back first? Good question
23. Favorite saying? “Represent” It’s something our family says a lot and it means a lot.
24. When is your birthday? August 14th
25. Are you a morning person or a night person? I’m stuck between the two. It's weird because I am not officially either.
26. What is your shoe size? 6 1/2
27. Pets? 1dog - Molly 28. What did you want to be when you were little? Fire Fighter
29. How are you today? great
30. What is your favorite candy? Chocolate, of course!
31. what is your favorite flower? Gardenia – my husband recently bought me my own gardenia tree and hedge – LOVE THEM!
32. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? The kids “Gotcha” days.
33 What is the last thing you ate? Krista’s FABULOUS ice cream, caramel, whipped cream dream come true. (last night)
34. What are you listening to right now? The dishwasher – doing my job.
35. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Brown – like everything else I own.
36. How is the weather right now? It’s a Bright sun shinning day
37. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My sister
38. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Love (and miss) her
39. Favorite soft drink? Diet Coke
40.Favorite restaurant? The Tides 41. Hair colour? Brown with highlights
43. Favorite day of the year? My kids birthday’s
44. What was your favorite toy as a child? Easy Bake Oven – funny thing is I can’t cook!!!!
45. Summer or winter? Summer for sure
46. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
47. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
48. Do you want your friends to email you back? yes
49. When was the last time you cried? I cry at commercials – this is an unfair question!
50. What is under your bed? Who knows!
51. Who is the friend you have had the longest? My Sister!
52. Favorite smell? Cookies Baking
53. What are you afraid of? CHANGE!!!!!!!!!
54. Plain, butter or salted popcorn? BUTTER & SALT
55. How many keys on your key ring? 5
56. How many years at your current job. 4 years stay at home mom
57.Favorite day of the week? Saturday
58. How many towns have you lived in? 2 – as an adult
59. Do you make friends easily? I think so
60. How many people will you be sending this to? A Lot! it’s on the WWW

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Child Waits

On Saturday we hosted an adoption reunion here at our home. There were 4 families that were able to make it. We all meet in 2003 when we each started our adoption journey's. At that time only one of the 4 couples had a (bio) child. On Saturday the same 4 couples now had 9 children. 8 of which were all brought home from various countries and joined to our families through adoption. Had the additional 2 couples been able to make it there would have been another 6 children brought home through adoption. Unbelievable!

I spent that evening celebrating the joy of adoption, my life, and the cherished friends I made on the journey.

Before bed I checked my emails one last time and I received this real picture of real children STILL waiting to belong to their forever families the same way my children and those that were here on Saturday do. They long to know a mom and dad, to be held, to be tucked in, to be read a bedtime story....My heart aches for these waiting children...Please look at their picture and pray with me that they have a forever family and that they are united soon!

Children depicted are 3 and 4 year old boys and girls from the Nadvirna Children's Home in Nadvirna, Ukraine. Photo by Melanie Bevan.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Ok so here goes... neither me or my kids are perfect!!

We are only 1/2 way through summer and 2 of my 3 kids have been "at it" and I have lost most (if not all) of my patience...I'm sure if try hard enough I can come up with a million excuses: they're spending longer periods of time together because of summer, they're tired, they're kids, this is what siblings do. On and on. But my thought is they are Garcia's and Garcia's DON'T represent that way!! We show love and speak kindly AT ALL TIMES. Of course I'm a "Garcia" and sadly I fail to "represent" all to often myself.

So tonight in our small group during prayer requests I confessed this issue and asked for prayer with and for the kids. (Our small group discussion happened to be on encouraging and building others up... How appropriate!)

As I was putting the kids to bed and saying bed time prayers I had an idea. We all sat in a circle and everybody said 2 kind things that they liked about each person. It was SO great!!! Ethan told Madison she was pretty and that he liked her toys. He told Sadie she was fun and kind. Sadie told Ethan he was sweet and handsome. She Madison she was fun to play with and pretty. Madison told Ethan he strong and funny and she told Sadie she liked it when she read her bedtime stories and played with her.

It was so sweet to hear them sincerely say kind words to one another. And the best part was when it was all over they all said "Mom, this was fun. Can we do it every night?"

All three of them enjoyed being encouraged and liked hearing kind things about them. They all went to bed feeling good about who they were and knew they were loved deeply by their siblings.

Now, after weeks of getting frustrated with them for arguing and changing out the discipline methods hoping to find something that stopped the bickering I realize that teaching them to be kind and encouraging means "teaching them" to be kind and encouraging.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Little Get Away

Brian and I headed to the FL Keys on Friday (7/10) and spent 4 fabulous days at the beautiful Ocean Reef Club ( in Key Largo. We enjoyed breathtaking sunsets, deliciously prepared fresh sea food, hours on the boat and at the pool. I savored long periods of quiet and endless cups of coffee. Brian turned off his cell phone, fished with out curfews :-) and slept in. We were there with 2 other couples whom we enjoyed SO VERY much. Everything was perfect! Including our Home Coming... We were greeted with a banner the kids made that read "Welcome Home Mom & Dad, We love you". They also made cookies, Mac & Cheese and had fresh fruit for us. Oh, and balloons throughout the house. What a treat!

A huge Thank You to my Mom and Dad and to my dearest friend Nicole who helped with the children and Molly - this weekend would not have been nearly as enjoyable if it weren't for ALL your help with my most precious possessions. :-)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another Summer Playdate...

Ok, so yesterday we had 17 kids (and JUST 4 moms!). It was a GRAND time...Take a look:

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July Weekend

Here are some pics of our Happy 4th of July weekend!

Life Group Finale

Our Marriage Building Life Group ended it's 8 week stint 70's Style. Take a look a this CRAZY group of people...Sadly, the 2 strob lights, disco music and wild dancing was NOT captured...Enjoy :-)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Horse Camp

Sadie has been looking forward to going to horse camp for months now. We promised her all school year that she could go this summer. Well, June was crazy busy with family and vacations and speech camp so we just never could fit it in...Until last week. Sadie headed off to horse camp with her helmet, her boots and her lunch. She was SO excited and couldn't wait. All along her brother and sister were saying NO WAY! They didn't want any part of it. That was UNTIL Madison got there to pick Sadie up at the end of the day. Madison litterally begged me to let her go. REALLY, My Madison - the one that HATES to be dirty, doesn't like anything that smells and has only been on a horse ONCE and for just 30 seconds because she demanded we get her off because he was gross!!! Well as you can tell from the pictures BOTH girls LOVED horse camp. They got to clean the stalls, feed and water the horses, groom the horses, shovel poop (YUCK!), and THEN finally ride. I am SO proud of them both.

Root Clip

My Friends from our Life Group are in the following video Please take the 2 minutes to watch their clip and if you agree with me that THEY ARE AWESOME please vote for them. Their clip is called A HERO IS BORN. If my friends win this round they will win a trip to the Film Festival where their clip will be shown on the BIG SCREEN. They will also get to meet Michael Moore. This is really BIG for them please watch their clip - I know you will be glad you did! MANY THANKS!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Be Real Challenge

Ok, so I have been challenged "TO BE REAL"! Below are 20 REAL things about me...I figured 20 was a good start. After you've finished reading I hope you will accept the challenge to be real also!

I don’t mind getting out of bed *early* IF the rest of my family is still sleeping…Early meaning 7ish – I’m not getting up at 5am just to be alone.

I WAS a morning person before kids – SO STRANGE! – Now I find I have a need to stay up until at least 11pm in order to get the most out of my day.

I long to enjoy a hot cup of coffee uninterrupted and finishing it before it gets cold!!

Since we’re talking about coffee, I like mine plain (Maxwell House is perfect!) with non-dairy powdered creamer and splenda. NO FUNKY FLAVORS.

I don’t like to cook and I don’t like to go out – the solution – a live in chief. But that is not an option. SO I cook or we go out!

I only like the color brown. It’s safe, it’s warm, it’s neutral.

I have a severe germ fob when it comes to public restrooms. Really, I would rather the kids NOT wash their hands after using a public restroom than have them touch the facets or handles. It’s REALLY bad!!

I am simple!!! I like easy NO MAINTANCE friends who are flexible and easy going.

I do not like to dress up or be all fancy! I love chilling out, being real with the people I love and enjoy. (My husband, is the opposite, he loves to wear suits, go to fancy places and embrace the finer things in life. YUCK!)

I love having a houseful of people. Truly, I shoudda been a “Walton” My family and friends tease me by asking when we'll have a vacancy. We ALWAYS have someone staying with us!!

I really love a clean house but I HATE CLEANING. And I mean HATE IT…So I have resorted to help. Only a few people know this. I never would have dreamed of sharing this information if it weren’t for this blog challenge!!

While I am fully enjoying the summer and love having the kids home I have a count down on the calendar that I reference on the *tough* days! Knowing just how many days till school starts gets me through the moment.

I don't like meeting new people. I struggle in social settings. I always fear I won’t have anything to offer to keep the conversation going or that the “real, simple me” will show through and people will think/know I am dull and boring.

I totally struggle with vanity. I am NEVER pleased with my looks/weight/appearance/hair. I fully believe in plastic surgery and as soon as I can convince my husband I hope to have it from head to toe!! It is SAD, but the challenge was to be real!!

I have irrational fears that something will happen to one of my children or to Brian. I often have these vivid thoughts that something terrible or tragic has occurred.

I love my husband and kids SO MUCH it literally takes my breathe away.

I often feel inadequate. I feel like a failure and a fake. And I wonder what God saw in ME and why He chose ME…I so don’t deserve my life!

I want my life to really count. I want do something for God that REALLY matters. I try to do so many things for God that I miss being with God.

I have a sick desire to please everyone. To make everyone around me happy. I apologize for everything whether it was in my control or not. Sometimes it annoys even me.

I’m so afraid to fail that I don’t try to succeed.

Now that you know a little more about me and have probably signed me up for some type of group therapy...I hope you will take the time to be real too. We can be in therapy togetehr :-)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You’re still the one

Babe, I added a song to my playlist and it’s dedicated to you because you’re STILL the one!!!

I love you!

Fun in the sun

Well it's been 48 hours and we are having a blast in the pool. We're all a little soggy and water logged and our skin is a few shades darker we've worn nothing but bathing suits and I'm not sure if we've showered since we started swimming but we're having a great time and we are making some wonderful summer memories!!! Here are some pics: