Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year, Friends!

Lord, thank You that nothing is beyond Your transforming love:
our brokenness and sin,
not beyond Your gaze of mercy;

our hidden shame,
not beyond Your grace;
our descent into despair,
not beyond Your reach;
our dreams and visions,
not beyond Your power;
our emptiness or loneliness,
not beyond Your touch;
our life and our death,
not beyond Your risen power.

Now in these moments of prayer, we come before You, God,
for Your gaze of grace, Your touch of power, Your gift of life.

Or, more accurately, You come to us.

Help us to trust in You with our whole heart and live for You with our whole life, beginning now on this first day in the new year.

Amen.

by: Rev. Dr. John G. Hamilton

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Most Precious Gift


We received the most precious holiday gift in the mail today. It was in an envelope addressed to Mama and Papa Monfils and had Merry Christmas written across the top. Mama and Papa Monfils…it had to be from Haiti ~ sure enough it was!

Inside were two handmade cards from Daniel and Jonathan. Their names were written on the front along with “Look what I made for you!” Their handprints were stamped on the cover. Daniel drew a picture inside the card, and Jonathan’s footprint was stamped on the inside cover. Included was a photo of each of the boys taken while they were creating these priceless masterpieces.

We are so blessed to be involved Three Angels Children’s Relief! It is such an incredible organization headed by such devoted and caring people. I would have never imagined ever getting such a wonderful gift from the boys; however, it is no surprise we did. The people, parents and families involved with Three Angels have hearts of GOLD! They are always thinking about the children, the staff and the adoptive families. We are so lucky!

I will cherish these precious cards from our boys! After the holidays I plan to get them framed. I will hang them aside our children’s framed artwork displayed on the walls down our hallway. Each time I walk by them, I will think of Daniel and Jonathan and their first pieces of art ~ just as I do when I look at the others. I will also be reminded of the wonderful people of Three Angels and how fortunate we are to have them in our lives!

Thank you, Three Angels! You have given us the most precious Christmas gift. God bless all of you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Who Are the Cutest Orphans Around....?

....THEY ARE!!!!!!

Gotta love those Three Angels' kiddos!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas Three Angels Families!


May your holidays be bright, merry and filled with laughter as we all wait and wish for our Haitian children to come home!

Much love and many blessings!
Colleen & Mike


Merry Christmas
By: Third Day

There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn

Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are
But half a world away
I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow
But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep,
I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2007

So Kissable!

I just LOVE those lips!!!
And, I miss those lips, too!




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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Switch Is On...

What a day! We are working on switching Tim into a new bedroom. He has decided he would like to have his bedroom downstairs. This idea works out great because eventually we will have to rearrange rooms when the boys come home. Although their homecoming is way down the road, I think it's something good to work on now. This is a monumental task and I can use the distraction from the "long wait" for them. Tim is moving into the room which is currently being used as a toy room/scrapbooking workshop/craft room/video game gathering place. Needless to say, there is a lot of stuff to sort through and find new homes for it all some place in the rest of the house. So today, I tackled the scrapbook supplies. Ugh! I have sooooo much stuff to sort through. For those of you who do not know, I am a Creative Memories consultant ~ by hobby only. However, there was a very short time when I held classes and workshops. So, I have tons and tons of supplies, tools and albums... I think I have pretty much finished organizing it all at this point. And, now I have to move onto toys. Again, UGH! If there is anyone out there in need of any sort of scrapbook paper, albums or tools, please let me know! I can give them to you for cheap. And, I mean VERY cheap as in ~ take them off of my hands and you can have them for free!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Crazy! Very Crazy!!!

It's snowing pretty good here today. The boys decided to have some fun by going out to play.

This is what they call "Playing."

video

I call it, "You-Are-CRAZY-To-Let-Your-TEN-Year-Old-Drive-That-Tractor-With-The-Three-Foot-Blade-On-The-Front-Of-It!"

Friday, December 14, 2007

See What I Mean About....

...ICE!!!!!!
It's EVERYWHERE!!!!!!


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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Twas the Night Before Christmas At Tilton School

The kids performed in their school's holiday show yesterday. It was a BIG deal for us! This was the very first time Kate got up on stage without getting upset, sang with the class and smiled the entire time. We were so proud of her.

Megan also chimed away with the group. She wasn't too smiley unless she saw Dad making faces at her from the audience.
And, then there is the fourth grade attitude. Not a smile appeared on Tim's face. Surprisingly however, he did sing along...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Today, I Miss SUMMER!

What is with all this ice, snow and COLD Illinois is getting mid December...? Enough already!!!










Sunday, December 9, 2007

I Miss My Boy Today...

I have been working on a photo book from our medical mission trip. It has brought back such fond memories of a week spent carrying out God's will in Haiti. We were so blessed with an incredibly wonderful team whom I miss a lot. I learned so much from each and every person I worked with throughout that week. I made 13 new friends who are very very special to me. So, seeing all those photos (over 1,000 of them taken by everyone) makes my heart ache for Haiti and Three Angels. Most of all; however, I miss my baby boy terribly today!

While Tim, Meg and Kate are counting down for Christmas by eating a piece of Fannie May chocolate from their advent calendars each day, I will count down the days until I travel to Haiti once again. I will see you in 26 days, Jonathan!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Sledding We Will Go....



Here's how we sled in Illinois when there is a lack of hills nearby....
The kids love when Dad tows them behind the four-wheeler! It's so much easier than the trip up the hill over and over again...



Friday, December 7, 2007

Guess What, Guess What, Guess What...!

...I get to go to Haiti again! Yahoo!

There was a cancellation on the medical team for the January trip to Halos, so I get to go! I am so, so excited! I get to take care of some things I have been working on for the orphanage and see all those beautiful people again. I cannot wait to see the progress of the building, too. Plus, I get to see first-hand God's wondrous miracles take place as the team carries out His will at the clinic.

Even Tim, Meg and Kate are excited to see Mom leave for a week. Now that they know they can call me on a cell phone I will have there, they want me to go hug their brother for them. I am so, so happy I will get to spend another week with Jonathan and Daniel.
God, thank you for placing this incredible opportunity before me once again. It is a blessed gift I will cherish and use wisely. I am so grateful You have chosen me to carry out Your will in Haiti. I will do You honor by spreading Your word and love to its people once again. You blessed me with such a wonderful gift of prayer on my last journey, thank you for giving me the strength and wisdom to do so. I look forward to the discovery of my needs on this new journey. For You, nothing is too great or difficult. Your eternal blessings fill my heart and spirit and I will be forever grateful to You, Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

This Is What They Discussed....

The interview started out with what I would say is pretty typical. The kids explained they did want a little brother and why they wanted a little brother. Tim told Laura he is out-numbered and wishes not to be any longer. He added that he didn't mind that his brother would be lot younger because he gets along with all kids. Megan said she wanted a little brother but didn't want to share him with anyone (a very expected reaction from our middle child...) And Kate said she loves babies, so she was ready to have one in our family. Laura then asked if it was okay for Kate to no longer be the "baby" of the family. Kate responded by telling her that she would always be "my Mommy's baby" and Jonathan would be "Mommy's baby from Haiti." So, for the most part, the beginning of the meeting seemed status quot.

Then came time for the house tour; which Laura asked the kids to provide. Boy, was that going to be entertaining! Throughout the child-guided tour, Laura learned about Gil, our 4 year old Beta fish, and where our cats go to the bathroom. They also told Laura that their rooms are usually messy, but since Mom hires cleaning ladies, they get cleaned once a week. Nicccce! Tim then proceeded to explain how he has become a WWF fan lately and asked if she would like to see him wrestle our life-size Elmo. (OMG!) It was at that point I jumped in and joined the tour. I knew once they got into Grandpa's bedroom, the stories would fly. Fortunately, by then the kids had lost interest in the entire interview and had started being their goofy selves. At least they were being real.

Mike and I sat with Laura for a few minutes before it was time for her to leave. We learned about the rest of the home study process and what to expect time-wise from DCFS and the wait for our I-171H. I had to think about that for a second... ...our I-171H... OUR I-171H!!! Laura was explaining that we were approved and she would have our homestudy written and ready to be certified by next Friday! YAHOO!

So, my kids being real was a really good thing, or Laura really likes Beta fish....

The LAST Step!

Today we are finishing up our adoption homestudy. The kids will meet with the social worker to discuss...
.
...Well, I am not sure what they will discuss? Think I should be worried...?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fa La La La La...

...La La La La!
I was trying to work on holiday cards today. So, I sent the kids outside to take some pictures capturing the season's first snow....

...Boy! Do I miss Arizona today!

Monday, December 3, 2007

TIM

Where do I begin...? My first-born. My first son. There is so much to say about this child and I do not know how to start...

I would say Tim has a special place in my heart because he is my first born and first son. We spent almost two years together as mom and baby bonding and playing all alone. My entire world centered around Timmy and I loved being his mother. His laugh, his cry, his hugs and his smiles ~ my heart melted with every little thing he did. And, certainly, he could do no wrong! He was a perfect angel and gift from God! I was blessed to have been given such a wonderful boy, and honored to be his mother.
As time went on and our family grew, and so did Timothy. He was turning into such a sweet and sensitive little boy who was always happy and on the go! He loved to learn and loved to be with people. Everything made him happy! And, it was the littlest things made him happy! He was so easy-going and so content all the time! Mommy and Daddy were so proud of their boy!
Tim turned ten years old this past November 11th. I cannot believe 10 years have already gone by since Tim first joined our family. It was Tim who made us a family! Our first baby and first son - we could not be prouder, happier or more blessed the day he came into our lives! And, today we couldn’t be more blessed, happier or prouder of our son! He is turning into such a fine boy who takes pride in his schooling, loves his friends and cares so much about others. Family means so much to Tim and he is a great brother, cousin, nephew and grandson. He is dedicated to his projects and activities and takes pride and ownership in his work.
One of my favorites qualities of Tim is his sense of humor. I have never known a 10 year old with such a funny demeanor and wit! He is our big ol’ goofball! He makes so many people laugh and loves to be funny. He enjoys seeing others smile and works hard to get them to smile. He is genuinely happy and it is contagious when you are around him. One cannot help but enjoy his company and the energy he gives off.
Timothy Joseph is turning into a person I am so proud of more and more each day! Not only does he have a special place in my heart for being our first-born, but also because he is just such a special person! We love you, Timbo! You make us so proud and so happy! God blessed us completely the day He placed you in our lives. We are so lucky you are our son! Your kindness, fun-spirit and love for life are such wonderful qualities to possess. We couldn’t be happier for who you are becoming ! Continue being true to yourself and always follow your heart!

Love,
Mom and Dad