Friday, November 30, 2012


I know I have been missing from the "blog-o-sphere" these past two days and let me tell you it wasn't by choice... Long story short on Wednesday night I turned on my laptop to discover that ALL my pictures were GONE.....Yes, all 1,700 of them! So I did what any normal person would do, I started to cry.

I started scrambling trying to find out what had happened. I called my friends husband who "knows all things MAC" and he told me not to mess with anything! So I took it to Bill and for the last 48 hours he has been working to recover all my pictures. and he DID IT! The only problem is that he recovered
20,000 images that I have to sort through & delete all the duplicates. But I will gladly do it, I am just SO happy to have my photos back.  THANK YOU, BILL!

Last night I went with 5 other ladies from my church to see the movie documentary called "Somewhere in Between" It followed several Chinese girls who had been adopted & how they felt about themselves now. Some were on a quest to find their birth parents while other had no desire to. All of them however, were still struggling with abandonment issues. I am so glad that I went and I plan on ordering a copy off Amazon so that David can watch it too.

To be honest, I thought that last night was going to be very low key and uneventful but let me tell you, it was so far from a boring night! I can't even begin to explain all that happened (it's another blog post of it's on) that I may or may not share. What I will say is that addition to a nice night out with friends it all ended with a cat, a homeless man, & a police officer! Whew, too much for this Alabama girl to handle.

Now onto the good stuff:  My baby has been home for 3 months!!!!

If I am honest (and I really try to be :) these last 3 months have had many struggles but also many successes. This was a bumpy road, yet one that we had to travel to get to where we are now. Madison is doing great! She amazes me with her language each day & I am so very proud to be her mom. We are making progress in the bedtime routine as well, the last two nights she has went to sleep.......wait for it..... all by herself! No one has to lay down with her. She is still in our bedroom but we plan on trying to transition her to her bedroom the first of the year. I still look at her sometimes & am amazed that shes here, in our little family.. God is good!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SHOTS x 4!

Today Madison has to go in for the last 4 booster shots. Daddy was at work at wasn't able to go with us so I had to hold her during it this time..SIGH! I have never liked doing the shot thing with any of my girls but she was a trooper!

This was right before we went in & believe it or not she was actually very excited. She knew she was going to get stickers afterwards:)

And here she is after her 4 shots.. all smiles!

SO proud of my little firecracker!


Monday, November 26, 2012

favorite picture Monday !

I think I am going to start having a 
"favorite photo" day on the blog. I will just post one of my favorite pix from that week. I took these of McKinley last night, she was drawing a picture of the tree:) I have never been able to take good pictures at night or in low lighting so I am playing around with it, but I really liked the way these turned out.


Saturday, November 24, 2012


I love seeing all the excitement on Madison's face when we do ordinary things that we take for granted but are new & exciting to her. So I knew that when I got the Christmas tree out this morning it was going to be more exciting than usual, and she didn't disappoint:). She kept saying "lights" & " tree" and while her eagerness to help did produce a few broken ornaments all ended well.

This year I want to be able to stop & take it all in as if it were my first Christmas just like it is for Madison. I know I tend to get so busy & stressed that Christmas comes & goes and I don't truly slow down long enough to really enjoy the excitement of the Holidays.

We had a great time visiting family in Alabama last week, but I am glad to be back at home & to have our routine back. Madison slept soundly through the night last night Yay!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving & enjoyed spending time with your family.

So thankful for these two girlie's!

Morgan wasn't in the picture because she was off doing this:

She is my little tom boy!

Happy Saturday,

Thursday, November 22, 2012


We have a lot to be thankful for this year! Praying we all take a few minutes today & thank the Lord
for all the many blessings we have.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I got to go see my Granny today. She is doing better & loved getting to see Madison.
While we were there my cousin Kim brought her daughter Meileigh over so we could dress the girls up & have a little photo shoot. (because I don't feel like I take enough pictures of my kids:)
Meileigh came home from China last year & as you will see she is the most adorable little two year old ever!
Morgan & McKinley had a great time while we were there as well playing outside on the tree swing.
Also playing in the leaves:

It has been another fun yet busy day. Yesterday proved to be a little to much for Madison as she woke up 3 times last night and finally got up at 5:30 this morning:( Tomorrow we plan on staying at my parents all day & hopefully have a low key relaxing day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Before I begin I want to say a big "Thank You" to these three women who put together the meet & greet for Madison tonight.  All three of them worked almost all day to get everything ready and I am very grateful.  Y'all are the best!
Amanda, Cyndi, Madison, and my mom

We had such a great time tonight as we got to see and talk with a lot of people, some of which we haven't seen in years. And the decorations were so cute...I mean pink & zebra, how can you go wrong?

                                                    Madison with her sisters and cousins.

Above are some snapshots of various friends and family members who were able to stop by.  In all I think about 50 people showed up.  Madison was a bit overwhemled at first but quickly settled in. She got several presents throughout the night so between the cupcakes and presents she was all smiles. When I looked at my camera after the event I realized that we took over 240 pictures in about 3 hours!

It was neat to have people we've never met before stop by because they have been following the blog post from before we went to China. One couple even mentioned how happy they were to see and meet Madison because they've been praying for her for months.

In all it was a great night and as of 10:30 p.m. Madison is finally asleep. She hasn't been up this late since we returned from China so we are praying she has a great night. McKinley is crashed out on the couch too as she played outside for almost 3 hours with her cousins and Regan, my best friend from high school's daughter, while the meet and greet was going on.

Tomorrow I get to go visit my Granny, she was released from the hospital today. Thanks for praying for her.




We made it ! Madison did SO much better than I thought she would on the 10 hr car ride, we are so thankful and appreciate all the prayers from our church family back in Florida.  Prayer definately works so keep it up.  We arrived at my parents house around 4:30 pm and then at 5 my sister's family came over & Madison got to meet her 3 crazy cousins.

HA! I took 7 different pics and this was the best one...sad, I know! But with a 2 yr old, 4yr old, 6yr old, two 12 yr olds and a 16 yr old this is what you get...chaos :) !

Madison loved exploring her new surroundings & playing with all the new toys at my parents house. When we first arrived, McKinley brought her suitcase to her bedroom & Madison immediately unzipped it & starting taking all her clothes out and trying to place them in the dresser:) I told her we were only staying for a few days & we would just leave them in the suitcase.

Tonight, my sister is planning a meet & greet at their church for everyone to come & meet Madison. The meet and greet will keep us from having to take Madison from place to place visiting people. I will let you know how that goes tomorrow or late tonight.


Monday, November 19, 2012


Sunday Night ~ I feel like the Beverly hillbillies whenever we are packing up our car for the trip to Alabama :)  With four girls we have so much stuff to bring and with Madison, we are packing everything we can think of to keep her occupied and to give her some sense of "normal" while we are away in what is another brand new place for her.

Monday morning at 7 am ~ We are well on our way to Alabama now. As you can tell by their faces in the pictures below they are all very excited to go see grandparents & cousins.

Madison has been asking the last two days to see Nana & Pawpaw and she kept bringing me her tooth brush, cup & towel ( the ones that came with her from China) to pack. She uses her little cup & hand towel every day.
She doesn't really get the concept of having to drive 10 hours to see them, so she has asked , Oh, some 10,000 times if we are there!!! Its going to be a LONG day for us:) David has already put in his earphones & is listening to ESPN talk radio:) 

Monday 12:30 pm ~ we have stopped at our Lord's favorite fast food restaurant , Chick fil A (in Perry, Ga.) to eat lunch & let the two littles play in the play area & get out some energy. 

This is what Morgan has done for the last 4 hrs!

Something I don't think I've shared  here yet that Madison does, ever since we got home with her when she needs to share something, put something up etc we will say " 1 more time" and that is how she has learned that she needs to give something up or stop doing something. Well when we are out shopping, running errands etc and she has had enough she will look at me & hold 1 finger up & say " mommy, 1 more time" and that is how I know she is DONE with whatever it is we are doing, So about 3 hrs into our trip she started saying " 1 more time " luckily, I have distracted her with coloring books & crafts , Im not so sure she will be as excited to go see Nana & Pawpaw at Christmas now that she knows it means being in a car seat for 10 hrs:) 

6 hours down…..4 to go!!

Oh, and one last thing… HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my OLDER sister, Amanda!

I love you & your present this year is getting to see me :) HA!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bless the Lord !

David mentioned in church today how Madison loves to sing the worship song " 10 thousand reasons" well she was signing it again a minute ago, so I thought I would capture it for all to see:) Also, for me to have as a memory years from now when I am looking back!

 Please excuse all the movement in this video...as I type this all three girls are in the garage riding their scooters while David & I are packing up.


Look Who can write her name...

The pictures are from my phone so they are not great quality but I was so proud of her, I had to take a quick picture. I wrote it down & then I told her to right it underneath...I think she did pretty good!

On another note, My Granny is back in the hospital so please say a prayer for her , I will be able to see her in 2 days & she will be able to meet Madison. Plenty of family pictures coming soon!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

This & That..

The other day while riding in the car I looked back at Madison & this is what I saw:

Ha! notice the walmart bag on her arm? I had bought her some boots & she would not let that bag go :) I told David that she looked like a little happy and content old lady.

She was so excited yesterday when she was drawing with chalk..she started yelling "look look" she drew her first star!

Another thing that Madison does is that she likes to compare items that are alike. When I walked into the living room the other day I noticed that she had put her little toy cell phone right next to the real phone. It's neat to watch her little brain working as she learns what different things are.  We have a long way to go but we are making progress.

Doing a little work & taking a very important call:)

Have a happy weekend!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I think we have finally found our routine around here & things are working as they should. I never knew how much I craved routine until these last few months:) God has shown me a lot of things about myself I didn't realize ( or that I just didn't want to address about myself)

For Madison, having a routine makes her feel safe, she likes to know what is going on at all times. Every night around 7:15 or so she starts saying "take bath" because she knows that its getting close to her bedtime. David started setting a timer on his phone to let her know that it was time to go to bed & she has to have that timer set each night:)

After her bath each night she always does the same three things: she brushes her hair & puts on a headband( I'm not really sure why she does that but she HAS to do it each night or it messes up her routine & she gets a little agitated) and then she brushes her teeth.

I have never been that structured before, so it has been a little difficult to make sure we are home in time for her bedtime etc. I have had to skip some events at church because Madison needs this routine right now but I think this will get better over time. So this leads me to Thanksgiving... We have decided to go home to Alabama this year( we haven't been home for Thanksgiving in about 7 yrs) All our extended family wants to meet Madison & when we are home for Christmas we do not get to see everyone. I am extremely excited to see everyone But I am also worried about how Madison will do. This will be her first time in the car for longer than an hour:) And going to a new place & sleeping somewhere new.. all of this is fine even fun for most kids, but for her this is stressful. I'm praying it all goes well. She skypes with my parents often & talks with them on the phone so I think that will help her feel more comfortable at their house.

So if you think of us next week, say a little prayer for my little firecracker!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012


We had a little family game night last night, this was the first time we had done this since Madison has been home & boy was she excited! She must have played Jenga before because when she saw the box she yelled "yay" and then made a hand motion &  said "slow" as if she was pulling one of the pieces out really slow:) maybe her foster family had this game?

Then we started standing them up like domino's & knocking them over....I think she could have done this for hours, we will definitely be doing this again soon. It kept everyone busy for a good hour or so:)



Monday, November 12, 2012


We were given a back pack filled with things on Gotcha day. A DVD of a dance recital was among some of the things we were given. Madison was only in about a 10 second clip out of the whole 30 minute video, but that's OK we are so thankful that we have this from her past. Madison always sings & dances around so I decided to get out that DVD and let her watch it... We really never know exactly how she will re act when she show her pictures or things from China, so I was taking chance, but she got SO excited watching it!

In fact she wanted to watch it again & again!I am so very grateful that we have a few things from her life in China that she will always be able to look back on, so many other little children wasn't as lucky , and have no keepsakes from their lives before they met there forever family.

Thanking God today,

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Yes, We had our first fire of the season...and we all Loved it!
I think Madison enjoyed it as well, thank goodness because we love to
all sit out by the fire and hang out.

Madison still sleeps in our room, on the floor:) She refuses to sleep on a mattress. I guess this is because in China she only slept on a thin piece of wood, so the floor is more of what she is used too.
She still moves around a lot at night, she is never in the same spot when we wake up in the morning. Our social worker says this has to do with attachment issues & in about 6 months we will have a different child. When David & I get up in the middle of the night we always have to look on the floor before we step because we never know where she will be:)

We've made her little pallets really fluffy & soft for her to sleep on since she wont sleep on a mattress & she just moves all the cover out of the way before she lays down:( So we have given up & realize that this is the only way she will sleep soundly through the night.

Madison continues to add new English words to her vocabulary each day. Yesterday she added BACON to her vocabulary ....Yep, she's definitely a Whitten!I am continually amazed at how quickly she is learning & adjusting to her new environment.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Every morning when Morgan & McKinley are leaving for school Madison says "bye, I La you" It is the sweetest thing! She also gets her "bags" packed and ready each morning as the older girls are gathering their backpacks. 

And she carries them around all morning!

Madison also likes to sit at the table & do some "home work" while McKinley is doing hers.
Yesterday, I noticed Madison had went into her room & when I went in to check on her this is what she was doing:

Notice the one picture, she is telling me to be quiet because her baby was sleeping!

I love taking pictures of my girls and I think I hit the Jackpot with Madison!!!! She has been saying "take my picture" everyday:)  I mean, look at this sweet face!


Happy Friday-