Welcome home, Mandy!

Our beloved friend, Mandy Potter, arrived home on Nov. 5 from seven months of mission work in South America. The entire Potter family is sooo precious to us, and not only did Steve and Kari (Mandy's parents) allow me to drive with them to the aiport to pick up Mandy, but they invited Andrew and I over for their family dinner the next night, on Nov. 6.

Abigail has been looking at Mandy's pictures on our fridge for many months now. She pointed them out without me saying anything. She'd carry them around and kiss and hug them. She somehow knew how special this Miss Mandy is to us. And clearly, Mandy was already becoming special to her. So it was really fun for the two of them to finally meet. :) Here she is hugging Mandy's picture on Mandy's birthday - Aug. 22! This was not planned, just something she wanted to do. Wow.

Abi hugging Mandy on her birthday before she got to meet her.
Welcome home, sweet Mandy!

Mandy on the left, Abi in the middle with Uncle Steve, and Amber on the right. (PS: I can't handle how stinkin' cute Abi Mei is with her head-top ponytail!!) The beautiful, beloved Kari is missing from this picture as she is the one taking it! We will need to remedy that next time. :)

Us and Mandy. Queue song: "Reunited and it feels so good..." :)

Big hug for Uncle Steve!

23 months old

Our beautiful daughter turned 23 months old on Nov. 7. It's hard to believe in less than a month, she'll be two!

Abi says several words now, which is exciting! Baba, Mama, Yéyé (grandpa on dad's side), Nǎinai (grandma on dad's side), Popo (grandma on mom's side), baby, puppy, Ada (her weekly playdate friend), bear, ball, uh-oh, yummy, yea, moo, ruff-ruff, water, walla ("finished" in mandarin) and I can't think of what else. But she understands so much more than she speaks. I can ask her just about anything, and she responds to be what I'm asking like, "Where's your toothbrush?" "Grab your shoes, let's go!" "Are you hungry?" "Would you like some water?" "Can I have a hug?" "Can I have a kiss?" etc.

She has gained a lot of momentum with using her right arm and hand. Our occupational therapists are great, but most of all - Abi is super-smart and catches on quick. :) And yes, I'm biased. :)

She is running a lot, can climb the stairs well and go down them good too, she's kicking the ball now rather than just rolling or throwing it, and she likes to color more these days as well. She especially likes to sit at her little desk and color. So cute!!

Abi also loves her mama. :) We are buddies, and I often call us "thunder and lightening" because we are so much the same. She is intense, extreme and everything she does is with all of her heart...the good, the bad, and the ugly. :) I know I'm raising a revivalist and world-changer, and I hope she'll let me follow her around the earth someday. :) 

Abi loves her baba too. She says his name many, many times throughout the day. She is often looking for him, and we'll look at his picture so she can smile and see him. Sometimes we'll pop into his work, which is always fun.
Abi is a very happy girl and she has a super-fun personality. She is always laughing at us or with us, or teasing us. She also likes to play rough and tough...the higher you can throw her in the air, the better. She LOVES music and we dance and sing together all the time, and worship Jesus together too. 

Abi has a fun imagination, and we pretend things all the time. She feeds me or her babies and stuffed animals with food she has "made." She also puts me to bed (or her stuffed animals, or all of us). She'll have me lay down, then she'll cover me with a blanket, pat my belly or back, then say "Bye!" She'll also have me do the same, but she'll want me to leave the room as if she's really going to sleep, then come right back in and say, "Good morning!" She also likes to take her purse, her keys, put her shoes on and head out the door pretending she is going somewhere.

She also loves DVDs, though we don't let her have a lot of screen time right now (I don't think we ever will). :) But when we do, she loves the worship DVD from Jesus Culture, and the "Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss." Here she is watching Dr. Seuss. I had put her in the living room play area with this portable DVD to watch Dr. Seuss while I was finishing making dinner, and the next thing I know, she had moved herself and the DVD to her desk. :)

Turned and looked at the camera...

...then back to Dr. Seuss. :)
We continue to grow together as a family, and fall deeper in love with our daughter daily. I hardly remember life before Abi. While we had a full life, it certainly wasn't as fun or complete! I simply can't imagine life without this beautiful, hilarious, adventurous, smart, sassy, darling, imaginative, loving person. Thank you, Jesus, for this precious gift!

Let us hear. Let us know. Let us act.

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." —Psalm 82:3

"Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow." —Isaiah 1:17

"O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror." —Psalm 10:17-18
"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." —James 1:27 

November is National Orphan Awareness month, and today is Orphan Sunday. Having come full circle now with our beloved Abigail, my heart truly burns within me for the voice of the orphan to be heard and comforted. My heart burns for the 145,000,000+ orphans to know that they are loved, adored, and have purpose in this world. 

If you have a yes in your heart to adopt, no matter how big or small that yes is, I have no doubt that you are called to adopt. I encourage you to act on it. Don't let anything hold you back!

If you do not feel called to adopt, there is so much you can do. Hear the voice of the orphan, gain knowledge of their cry and needs, and act on what you learn and discover...you can pray most of all, but you can also give financially to awesome organizations that are being the hands and feet of Jesus, or to someone who is adopting. You can also go on mission trips with organizations to orphanages in other nations, or be a foster parent in America.

There is one less orphan in the world...

Her name is Abigail Mei Robinson, and she is our daughter.

I know we can all help every child find a home to call their own! Every child deserves a home, and each of us can be that home.

I am praying you will find courage to act on what is in your heart on behalf of the orphan.

Abi in Jeans

I just couldn't resist taking a couple of pictures of Abi in her jeans. This is the first time she has worn jeans. As I tried to squeeze her legs into the jeans, I realized they were "skinny jeans," and let's just say - today may have been the only day she'll get to where these. My chunky monkey just isn't a skinny jeans girl at this time. :) But for today - look at the cuteness!!!



Cutest girl on Planet Earth!

First ponytail on top of her head. (Sort of hard to see because of the dark granite counter behind her head.)

Still kind of hard to see the pony.

And finally - got a pic where you can see the ponytail. But Abi just wants to eat her fruit roll-up! This face says, "Enough pictures mama, let me eat my snack!"

Monkey mug shot

Harvest Baby

We spent last Saturday in the yard harvesting the rest of our garden veggies, peppers and pears, and cleaning out garden beds and such. We had one cute harvest helper!!

This and That

We were headed out for the afternoon, and Abi grabbed her favorite teddy bear and her "laptop." She looked like she was headed off to school!!

Goofy girl!

Abi is in a new phase of eating, which is mainly not eating much and not interested in much. So we improvise...this night it was hard boiled eggs, cheetos and figs. Haha!

At least she was eating and happy!

Andrew harvested our pears!

And she's still happily eating!

Yummy figs

She loves putting on my shoes. Here she is sporting my slippers.

Our Fun Critter!

Abi Mei is so much fun. She is always making us laugh!!

Here she is with her conga drum turned upside down on her head. She looks like she's en route to mars!

One morning last week, she wanted to run around in her diaper. No problem. How cute is she?? Later in the morning, she put on her shoes, grabbed her favorite teddy bear, then turned to me and said in the cutest voice ever, "Bye!" She pointed to the door for me to open it, so I did. She walked out on the front patio and looked around. It was too darn cute. Then she wanted me to put her PJ's back on her. (I'm sure she was getting cold!) And she stayed outside for a bit longer, just looking around. I love this girl!

Life with this little treasure is so absolutely wonderful!! I also want to say that I am so grateful that I get to stay home with our precious daughter, and therefore get to see all of the darling things she does!! Thank you to my husband for working hard at his job so I can have the best job ever! Abi Mei, you steal my heart over and over again!

Pumpkin Girl

My parents, Jim and Bonnie, came to visit last weekend, along with my sister Kristi, her fiance Wally, her youngest daughter Kaylea (11), and my stepsister Jenni and her family - husband Sheldon, sons Gabriel (7) and Gideon (5). What a wonderful time we had! On Saturday we got to see my nephews Gabriel and Gideon play soccer, and my niece Kacey (Kristi's oldest) play Volleyball against Whitman College. (She plays for Pacific Lutheran University.) Unfortunately PLU lost, but we had a great time watching them play their five matches!

One special event was taking Abi Mei to her first pumpkin patch. We had fun pulling her around in the Radio Flyer wagon, picking pumpkins, and going down the slide! Then we went through the corn maze, and had a blast amidst our many failed attempts to figure out that darn thing on our own!! We had to ask for a few hints by some of the workers. But hey, we made it!

Baba pulling around our 28-pound pumpkin!

Cousins! Kaylea and Abi

The slide!

Here we go!

She loved it, and couldn't wait to go again! I KNOW that I have a thrill-seeker on my hands. Truth be told, that slide was steep and Mama was actually scared, even though she didn't show it. :)

Here we go again!

Good times!

She was ready to go again!


Our little pumpkin wanted to move, not take pictures. :)

The cutest pumpkin is right in the middle. :)

My sis Kristi with my niece Kaylea, and once again...Abi was not interested in photos. :)

Time for the corn maze! Looks like Abi is leading the pack!

Baba was hiding and Abi found him!

Abi's hunchback walk. It's hilarious!!

Coming for Baba!!

Abi LOVES being on Baba's shoulders.

Like father, like daughter

Mom and Dad, Wally and Kristi, Kaylea, Abi and me and Andrew

Kristi and Wally

My girl

Home stretch! We finally figured it out!

"Where's Dad?" We didn't know where my Dad was!! He was waiting for us on the other side. :) Silly guy.