Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Back Home

We had a nice short trip to Tennessee. We went to Jill and David's wedding in Knoxville. The wedding was sweet. We then went to Kevin's brothers house and stayed with them. The kids had so much fun. We enjoyed getting to see them again. I had a few miserable hours with my back. I don't know if riding in the car made it worse or what, but I have had a good bit of pain the past three days. I called the Doctor and hopefully can get in to see him soon. I took Lortab last night and I slept pretty good, but the pain was not knocked out. I woke up very stiff and felt like I could not straighten the back. I am so ready to be back to normal again.
Over all our trip was nice. Brooke and Kalie played so well together. I wish they live here still. Those two would have a blast. Courtney and Jacob also played well. Courtney played Jacob's XBOX and now she wants one. I said we would see. I don't know anything about those things.
Well I must go for now, I have to go to Kids Kloset. I have a belt hooked to my basket so I can pull the clothes instead if carrying them.

In Her Own Little World

I took these pictures of Brooke when she was not looking. Brooke loves the outside. She is in her own little world. She loves looking at rocks, flowers, and anything that is outside. You can't take many pictures of her looking at you, because she is to busy taking in the beauty around her.


Cadie and Brooke
Blowing bubbles
What are they looking at?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I need some Tissue

Brooke has really touched my heart tonight. This girl truly is a blessing to us. Brooke wanted me to tell her a story. I asked her what story she wanted. She tried to tell me. I finally figured out that she wanted Noah. Brooke nodded her head and said "yes that she wanted that story"
All of a sudden Brooke gets this VERY serious look on her face and she says "Jesus gave me to my mommy and my daddy."
Brooke said this with the sweetest little voice. Big Tears came to my eyes and I said " Yes, baby Jesus did give you to mommy and daddy."
I felt like I really needed to read Brooke her life book that I made for her. I met my goal and made it, but I have not read it to her yet. I never knew how hard this would be.
I got the book and ask Brooke if she wanted me to read her the book I made for her. Of course she did. She said "You made tat for me"
I stated to read the book and I choked up, and started to cry. I could not help the tears. I am still crying as I type. I got to the part about the nanny's naming the little baby Qian Wen Bo because they thought that was a lovely sounding name. Brooke started laughing. That helped me to go on. I will tell you a little of the book. I can't write it all down, but I will share a few things with you. I wish I could show you the whole book.
I had one page with Brooke's nanny and Brooke in a walker. I also had pictures of her friends in their walkers and a picture of the little beds. On this page I put "Wenbo had special nannies who did their best to care for her. Wen Bo had friends that she played with. She had so many friends that is was hard for the nannies to give her all the attention she needed. Sometimes that made Qian Wen Bo sad. She wanted her diaper changed right then. She wanted her bottle right then.....but she had to wait. It was a lonely time for the baby".
You go to the next page and I have a picture of Jesus, a Angel, and Brooke in her walker. On this page I put "She was not alone. God and His Angels was with her. God looked down from Heaven and saw Qian Wen Bo. He knew that this special child needed for Him to find her a forever family"
The next page has a picture of Kevin, me, and Courtney. This page says " At that moment God heard a couple praying in Alabama. They were asking God to give them a baby to love and care for. The couple had one daughter who was praying for a little sister. God knew that this couple would be good parents for the baby in China. So He spoke softly to their heart and told them "I have just the baby for you. She is in China!!!"
I add several more pages about referral and then I do a page on us and Brooke's grandparents being so proud that this little girl was going to have a family.
I did a page of the sky and a plane and told about us going to China.
I then did Gotcha day pictures. Brooke sat in my lap and was soaking it all in. I was crying and just hoping she did not notice. Brooke said the same thing again in the middle of the story
"Jesus gave me to my mommy and my daddy" I am really needing to cry and I don't want her to see me. I am not crying because I am sad, I am crying because I am so happy that God allowed us to be Brooke's forever family. I am crying because I went through so much during the wait for my sweet girl and it was so worth it. I am crying for Brooke's birth parents who left her and gave me the most precious gift. I rejoice at how good God is. He is so faithful to us.
I ended the book with a picture of all of us in China and this page said
"The couple named the little girl Brooke Danielle Wenbo Hardin, and she named the couple mommy and daddy. God looked down from Heaven and smiled. He said " This is a family I have created in love and it will last forever"

Good News/Bad News

I will start with the good news first. My back is so much better. The past three days and nights have been really good. I have slept wonderful. I bought this pillow and I slept a few nights with that under my knees and it really was great. (Thanks Delinda for the suggestion) This is one of those pillows that you put behind you when you read and it has the arms on it. I used it for taking the pressure off my back. I can still feel some discomfort when I do certain things, or pick Brookie up to much, but over all I feel better.

The bad news is the Doctors office finally called me back today and told me they understood why I have been in so much pain. I have two herniated disk in my back. He wants to see me again in a few weeks just in case the pain starts back. He said that the steroids have eased the pain and that is good, but this is something that I will have to be very careful with the rest of my life. Surgery is a last thing. I DO NOT want that. He said the next step would be to give me a shot in the back. I really don't want that either. Hopefully I will continue to do good and will not have to face any of that. The steroids may have helped but I have to give God most of the credit on this, because for days after my last steroid I was in terrible pain. Many days I did not feel like moving. I know there was a lot of prayer for me, and I believe that God has helped me.
I copied and pasted a little about a herniated disk. I know many people want to know what exactly it is.

Herniated disks are most common in the lumbar spine--the part of your backbone between the bottom of your ribs and your hips. Disks are the soft "cushions" between the bones of the spine. The disks in the spine let you move your backbone.When a disk between two bones in the spine presses on the nerves around the backbone, it's called a herniated disk. The word "herniate" (say: her-nee-ate) means to bulge or to stick out. Sometimes this is called a ruptured or slipped disk.

I have two of these. The doctor gave me the locations, but I don't understand medical terms to well. Well that is it for today. (I think) Four post in one day WOW

Who loves their DAD

Courtney and Brooke


Going to Sunday School

Brooke is old enough to go to Sunday School now. She has been going for a few weeks. I kept forgetting to post. Brooke loves Sunday School. I am sure with me being the teacher for her age group makes her like it even better. I really don't know if she would stay if I was not in there with her. She is doing great though. I was worried about how she would do, but she had been GREAT. In fact she listens better than some that has been in there for awhile. Brooke will sing. When story times comes she listens and soaks it all in. Two is a very hard age because their attention span is so short. They don't like to sit still. Many times I just have to pray for God to help me. Sometimes I feel like the children are not listening at all. It makes me feel so good when I ask question and they answer correct. I guess they listen more than we think they do. This one little boy tells his dad what the lessons are about. That makes me feel good, because he pretty much tells exactly what I do. Over all the children are wonderful. I love this age. I have tried to bring a puppet each week. This quarter I have brought a monkey puppet and I made her a purse. I call her Trixie. I will put things in her purse about the lesson that day and the children will pull out what is in the purse. They love it. Example: When we had the lesson on Noah, I put a little hammer, saw, and chisel in Trixie's purse. That lesson was about Noah building the Ark. When the animals went into the ark I put animals in the purse.
The children think it is neat to see Trixie and her purse. When the times comes to put Trixie away the children all start saying "bye Trixie"
Next Quarter I have a Cute horse puppet. I am going to try and make a saddle for him and put things in the saddle. I have to figure out how to make a saddle though. I also don't know what to name this horse. Any Suggestions??
Here are a couple of pictures of Brooke and her class.

First Day of Sunday School.
Enjoying Sunday School

Friday, July 20, 2007


I am happy to announce that I met my goal for this summer. I got Brooke's life book done. I started Tuesday night about 8:00. I worked until about 2:00 in the morning. I worked some on it Wed. and a good bit on Thursday. I am so glad to have that for her. I think it turned out pretty cute. I have two pages that I have to add stickers to. I worked on most of it Thursday. Kevin was so bored. He said he did not want me to ever scrapbook when he was home again. I wanted to get it done. I had all this scrapbook stuff on the table, so I really hated to put it up until I was finished.
Now I have to start on getting my Kids Kloset items ready for the sale. I will be busy the next few days doing that. I am so happy to have the life book finished.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Our New Decision

Kevin and I have always loved games. For the past 12 years our favorite game has been Rook. We would stay up until 2:00 in the morning playing. When Courtney was a baby she would stay up late with us. (Maybe not that late) We had our favorite Rook partners, which was my mom, and Colleen. We would play almost every night that Kevin was off. If we was not playing with our favorite partners then we had many of our other friends down to play. Some times people did not like to play Rook with Kevin and I if we was on teams. We was very good at it. I don't mean that to brag, but we was really good. Rook was our hobby. All our friends knew how much we liked to play. When we started the adoption for Brooke we slowed down on our games. Once Brooke came home we did not play hardly at all. We still played, but not like we did in the past. We just did not have the time that we once had. Since we don't play as much as we used to, we are not as good as we used to be.
About a month ago we went to visit KellyandChris. They wanted to introduce us to a new game that Kelly's dad was making. When they first showed us the board and the cards we was both thinking "We much rather be playing Rook" To be honest Kevin and I was both dreading on learning to play this game. It did not look fun, and it seemed like to many things to remember.

Boy was we wrong. WE LOVED IT. We was so hooked. We came home and I could not sleep because I wanted to play the wonderful game of Tuck. I was so desperate to play that I called

KellyandChris the next day and ask if they wanted to come to our house and play. They did, and we had another fun night. This game is not on the market yet. Kelly's dad is still making them. We called Kelly and told her to order us one. We have a temporary board for now. We have played that game so much. We have already wore one deck of cards out. Courtney even likes it.

Tonight we played Rook with my mom and Colleen. As soon as they walked out the door, Kevin looked at me and said " I have decided one thing." I said "What"

Kevin said " I like Tuck better than Rook" I agree with him. I never thought we would say we liked any game over Rook.

Kelly make sure you tell you dad how much we love the game. He has done great with it.


Different ones have called and ask about my MRI. The results just came in today and the Doctor will not be back in the office until Monday.
My back feels a little better. At night when I lay down it hurts bad. The mornings is sometimes rough. Once I get up and walk around the pain eases. Certain things I do I can feel the pain more.
I don't know if anything will show or not, but I am so ready to feel better.

My grandmother is doing some better. She is still sleeping most of the time.
Thanks for your prayers and concern.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Rough Day

Today has been very hard in many ways. My mom called at 8:00 and said that my grandmother had took a turn for the worse and that the family was being called in. We quickly went to my grandmother. It was a very emotional and sad time for us. My grandmother looked so bad. She was sleeping most of the time. She did perk up a little when we spoke to her. She told me she loved me. The girls kissed her and told her they loved her. There was so many of our family coming in. I had to leave and go for my MRI. That was terrible.
When I first got there to register, they start asking me crazy questions. "Do I have a living will" "Am I a organ donor?" I was so nervous. I was thinking why are they asking me all this for a simple test. They then put a arm band on me. I was thinking all kinds of things. Here I was by myself at the Imaging Center and all this just happened. I was only coming in for a simple MRI. Right???? Did they think it was going to kill me or something? Once I was back for the MRI I really started to hyperventilate. The lady told me to get on the table. I am looking at this huge machine thinking "no way can I do this" My back is screaming " OH YES YOU CAN"
This was suppose to be a open MRI. Well I might as well done a closed one. The lady got me all comfortable and then she puts a towel over my eyes. She said that would help me. (CRAZY.) Everything was dark. I felt like my chest was caving in on me. I grabbed the lady's arm and said "I am really nervous, can I pull this thing off if I need to" The lady says " No don't move. Tell me and I will pull it off" I feel my heart beat strong and my breathing feels like it is about to stop. I then ask the lady " If something happens can I get your attention so you can get me out of here" The lady says " yes, just speak and I will be here" I try to relax, but I feel like I am going to faint. My hands are shaking so bad. I am praying for God to help me.
Music....... I start to hear music.....Gospel music. Thank the Lord. I keep trying to relax. The lady is speaking to me through a microphone. I had no idea where she was because I could not see. She says this first part will take about 5 minutes. I feel the table start to move. I think I am going to throw up. I also knew I had to get a grip on this. If only I could see. The thought came to me that I should just try to sleep. I tried to sleep and think about good things. I was able to relax and make it through the MRI. I don't want to ever have another. When I got off the table my back felt like it was locking up on me. That is what happens at night when I can't sleep. The pain gets so bad that my back feels like it is locking and I can't move.
I left the hospital and picked my sister up. We went back to visit with my grandmother. Brooke was a pill. She would not let anybody hold her. She wanted only me. She also was being a terrible two. I was so tired when we left. I know my back will suffer tonight.
My grandmother was doing so much better. She knew us and talked a little to us. The nurse said my grandmother only had 3 to 4 days to live. It makes me sad. I love my grandmother. It is really hard to think about death. My mom is taking it very hard. Please pray for all of us as we are going through this. It has been a very rough day for all of us. My grandmother ask my sister where her children was. My sister had to leave the room. Wesley and Liz was on their way to see my grandmother, but little Austin is still not with us. My sister tried to call Austin's dad but he will not answer any of her calls. This is a really nasty situation that I can't talk about on my blog.
Right now we have a lot of sadness in our family. God is my strength and He helps me through these hard times. The past 4 weeks have been like a death to my sister. Not seeing her son and not being able to talk with him has really been like a death. Our family is grieving in so many ways. Please pray for us the rest of the week.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Photo Shoot

Growing up. :(
Makes me want to go to the beach.
Beautiful Girl

We went to have a family picture made today. The photos turned out terrible of the family. The lady that did the pictures was not good at taking group shots. She had us on the floor. We have two people who have glasses, so the glare was terrible. Then there is a two year old who did not want to cooperate at all. Brooke wanted in my lap which made it very hard, because Kevin is taller than all of us, and it was just not working. If the lady would have had us sitting on a bench or chair it would have worked so much better. We also wanted pictures of Courtney by herself because we have not done that in over a year. We did Brooke's two year old picture so we did not need any of her. I was planning on only getting Courtney with the beach scene, but Brooke ended up in them. Of course I did not bring her a outfit. I had brought a skirt to put on her after the pictures, so I quickly slipped that on her for the beach picture. I think they turned out great. Courtney is such a beautiful girl. She is so photogenic. I feel sad seeing how she is growing up on us. She looks like a teenager in those pictures. She is only nine. Where did my baby girl go to? I think I am getting old.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

World's Largest State Run Restroom

Chinese visit a four-story, free-of-charge public restroom in
Chongqing, China Saturday July 7, 2007. They're flushing
with pride in a southwestern Chinese city
where a recently opened porcelain palace features an
Egyptian facade, soothing music and more than 1,000 toilets
spread out over 3,000 square meters (32,290 square feet).
Officials in Chongqing are preparing to submit an
application to Guinness World Records to
have the public restroom listed as the world's largest,
state-run restrooms.
Central Television reported Friday. (AP Photo)

This is to funny. If you notice this is from Chongqing China.

Somebody sent me a video of this, because they knew
my daughter was from this area.
I could not figure out how to put it on here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Where do Babies Come From

The girls talked their daddy into playing barbies with them. (He is a GREAT dad)
They had the Barbies set up for a Tea Party. Courtney named her doll Elizabeth. She also had a little baby.
This is the conversation.
Kevin: "Oh Elizabeth, where did you get your baby? Did you get her at Wal-Mart"
Brooke: "No, she came from China"
Courtney: No
Brooke: "oh, from Alabama"
Courtney: "Yeah'
Brooke: " Oh, I know that"


Happy Birthday Austin

Happy 5th Birthday to my sweet nephew Austin.

Auzie, I hope one day you will be able to read this and know that we was all thinking of you today. We love and miss you very much. I hope soon we will be able to hold you, and celebrate your day with you. We will do a late birthday party with cake, and ice cream, and lots of gifts.

You are in our thoughts and hearts everyday. We hope your day is great.

Hugs and Kisses to you, from all of us...

Mommy, Aunt Denna, Uncle Kevin, Grandmother, Grandaddy, Courtney, and Brooke

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Little Catching Up

Jesse and Courtney at the Mall
Caleb at Chuck E Cheese
Jacob and Courtney at Chuck E Cheese
Talking to Chuckie
Courtney and Jacob clowning.

Caleb being crazy at Ryan's.
The past few weeks have went by so fast. I can not believe I am already buying school books.:(
There is only a few weeks left, before we start school back.
I still have not started Brooke's life book. That was a goal I had this summer, but so far I have not done it.
A few things to mention......... I took Courtney and one of her friend shopping one day. We went to the mall. The girls had a blast. We ate in the mall. Of all the things they wanted to eat, they chose Chinese. I think it was a total waste of money because neither girl ate very much. They had a good time though. I was very tired after a whole day of shopping.
My two nephews, on Kevin's side of the family came to visit us. They stayed here for almost a week. We really enjoyed having them. One night we all played games and they all got into a popcorn battle. My floors was a mess. It was funny though. I have a video if I can ever get it to download. Kevin was in on this one. He was trying to throw popcorn into the mouth of other people. Those that had a big mouth was a easy target. They even had Brooke throwing popcorn. We took them all to Chuck E Cheese one day. They really enjoyed that.
Of course my back has been hurting for several weeks now. Brooke is completely potty trained.
Brooke told me that she would give her passy to the horses. Of course I am still not ready for her to give it to the horses. I know, that is bad of me, but I want her to stay a baby a little bit longer. She is growing up way to fast as it is. The other day she told Courtney to stop doing something. That of course made the girls start to fuss. Brooke looks at Courtney and she says "I AM THE BOSS, Not you." Of course we could not help but laugh at her.
We have been playing games a good bit with my sister. She is still going through a very hard time with her son. It is like a death to all of us. My sister and I have became very close through this. I have shared her pain, her tears, and her sadness. I am only the Aunt, and I feel like I am dying inside. I can not imagine what my sister is going through. I also can not imagine what my sweet nephew is feeling.
Well I guess that is all for now. I will quickly add some pictures.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Is anybody else having problems with blogger? I can't put a title on any of my post. Anybody else having this problem?

Back Pain

My back has been hurting me now for almost four weeks. My sister and I lifted a couch about four weeks ago. It was a real challenge trying to get this couch moved. Really it was a man's job to move, but we thought we could handle it. The door we was trying to get it out of was small, so it was a real struggle trying to get the thing moved.
Three days after we moved it my back started hurting. I thought it would get better, but it has not. In fact it is worse. Many nights I can't sleep. When I lay down, it is like I am on a nerve. Pain starts shooting all through my right side of my back. I can not find any comfort no matter which way I turn. Last night I slept in the recliner for a couple of hours and got a little relief. I went to the Doctor last Tuesday. She put me on some strong pain killers, and Skelaxin. (That is suppose to help relax the muscles) Nothing is helping. During the day I get a little relief, but I am so sleepy from the pain medicine that I can't function. I really don't need to be lifting anything, but it is so hard with a two year old who is potty trained. Brooke can't get on the toilet, so I have to lift her. Many things I have to lift Brooke for. Kevin helps when he is here. This has been his busy week and he has not been home much. Brooke still likes to be rocked. Many nights I have had to just tell her I can't tonight. She is sweet. She will say "I rub your back mommy."
(If only that would help.) When Brooke wakes up at night, and keeps crying I have to pick her up if Kevin is not here. It is really tough.
Friday I was doing much better, I thought. We went to the park with friends and watched the fireworks. I had to lift Brooke a good bit that night. I paid for it last night. I was so miserable.
I am suppose to have a MRI Thursday, but I don't know if I can wait that long. Some moments I feel like I can not take any more pain. I have tried ice packs, heating pads, nothing is working.
I did call Kevin to pray last night, and God gave me a little relief so that I could sleep.
Today has been horrible. I had to leave church because I was hurting and the pain medicine was doing nothing but making me sleepy. I am really scared about the MRI. I thought it was just a x-ray. Kevin told me I would be going in a closed machine. I got sick thinking about it. I just don't know if I can handle being closed up. I am going to see if they can do a open MRI. If not, I just don't know if I can do it. I guess I don't have much choice, but it does scare me.

Friday, July 06, 2007

New Wheels


Kevin bought me a new vehicle. So far I like it. It will be much better at pulling our camper. The gas mileage will not be as good. It rides very nice. I guess this can be mine and Kevin's early Anniversary present.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A busy Morning

The girls and I had a very busy, fun morning. We went to a Tea Party,to the park, and to a dog show. We did all this in a hour. I guess you might think it was to rushed and we did not get to enjoy it. We had lots of fun. The Tea Party was the best. Brooke even got to bring her first Barbie. We had salad, fruit, little danish cakes, and much more. I served Tea. There was six of us there.Brooke had the giggles. She kept dropping food on the floor. She spilled mine and Courtney's drink a dozen times. Courtney and I laughed. Can you believe we would laugh at Brooke spilling that much tea?
When we went to the park, the guys showed up and it was not as much fun.Courtney got sick when my sweetheart came and gave me a kiss. I sit in his lap, and Courtney said that was gross. Brooke played in the sand. The girls relaxed and the guys played volleyball. That was really funny to watch. The volleyball turned into soccer.
When we went to the dog show, the dogs was real funny. They like to jump on us. Brooke laughed so hard. Can you believe we did all this in one hour? You have to try it sometime. After a hour, of so much fun I decided I needed to sleep. My back has been hurting really bad, and all these fun things we did I had to sit. Believe me....it did not help my back. I can handle the pain, if my girls are having fun. Check out all our pictures of our fun morning.

Sweet Girls
Our Tea Party
At the Dog Show
At the Park. One guy fell from to much ball.
Brooke with her first Barbie. She has one from China, but this is her first that I let her play with. She loves to play with Courtney's Barbie's. It causes a real problem sometimes, so I bought Brooke her own. She loves it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy birthday to my wonderful mom. I hope your day is great. We all love you very much.
Denna, Kevin, Courtney, and Brooke

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Chongqing Life

I received my DVD of Brooke's Old city. The video had Brooke's orphanage. I have to say, it was well worth my money. As I started watching the part on the orphanage, my emotions went crazy. It was like being right there. I saw Brooke's nanny in the video. I am so thankful that God blessed us with our little girl. I hate that we missed those first 10 months of her life. This video will allow Brooke to see a little of what her first few months was like.

I also received the pictures that I had ordered. I have to tell you something strange that happened. I showed the pictures to Brooke and ask her if she knew the lady in the picture.( the director) Brooke looked at the picture and she shook her head no. I could tell by her expression that she did not recognize the lady.
I then showed Brooke the picture of the little beds. In the picture it also had several pictures of babies in their walkers. I asked Brooke if she knew where this was? Immediately her face got a smile on it, and she said "That's China mommy. That China." My mouth dropped open and I about fell out of my seat. We don't talk about her days in China very much. She saw some pictures a long time ago of some children from her orphanage and she knew that was China. I can't believe she would remember anything about the place. Maybe there is some things that she has in her mind that is about her days in China. Maybe that is why she is so clingy sometimes. Or maybe that is why she gets scared so easily. I guess I will never know. I am thrilled to have the pictures and the DVD. My guide had sent me pictures of Brooke's finding spot. I always was a little confused because the road name she sent me was different from the information I had received from the orphanage. This video cleared it up. The video said that in early 2005 many road names was changed. The video had the road that Brooke was found on. The guy doing the video said that this road had been changed to Jiaotong. That thrilled me because that is the exact road name that my guide sent me in 2006 and told me that the road name had been changed. Having the pictures of Brooke's finding spot is something I will never forget.