Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good News!

I'm double posting today--here and on our LOVEM Care Blog.  If you think I've been a slacker here, then you will be in shock when you see how long it has been since I posted on our LOVEM home page.

I'm not going to give excuses--just know that with our own mission projects having been welcomed into our home two years ago--our outward focus has been inward.  We are finally breathing in what feels like our new normal and are feeling God making us passionate again for the mighty work that He began in our hearts years ago.  I'm going to copy what I posted on our LOVEM Blog this morning. Over the next few days, I'm planning on adding pictures from various mission projects since LOVEM began in June 2004--yes, we are about to celebrate 10 years of orphan work.  You can go to here to see the updates and pictures.  (Remember--pics are coming!)

Post from LOVEM Care Ministries:

Good News!

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israel reigns." Isaiah 52:7
I just want to relay the Good News that we have to share from our  messengers who live by faith day after day and meet the needs of precious young adults who are trying to find their place in life.
Our 2nd Transition Home in Central Asia is on the verge of completing it's first full year and a half of housing orphans in transition.  What a praise that is!  Here are a few specific updates from the year:
  • They began church services in their home on a weekly basis.
  • They have already had 2 salvations as results of the outreach into neighboring villages.
  • All of the girls at the home are taking classes and working part-time jobs.
  • They are rebuilding their chicken business as a way to support the home.
Both of our transition homes take in orphans who have aged out of the orphanages in Central Asia and need shelter, food, clothing, while trying to go to college or technical school.  Our homes do meet their physical needs, but they do so much more than that.  Our homes are staffed by spiritually grounded Christian couples who have been trained with Bible knowledge.  They live in the same home with the transitioning young adults and they pour their hearts into them.  Day by day, week by week, they struggle together, they laugh together, and they learn what is like to be loved unconditionally.  Ever so slowly they see the love of Jesus lived out before them on a day to day basis.  Every week they get to participate in Bible study and church meetings as a family with other believers. 
Our 1st Transition Home has seen many young adults leave their house and enter into their communities as educated, productive citizens.  Many of those left as believers in Jesus Christ and are now taking the Good News with them.
We can't wait to see what God is going to do in both homes this year.  I am still amazed that we get to be apart of something so much bigger than ourselves.  That the same God who spoke the stars into being knit our hearts together with other believers around the world with the same purpose--to care for orphans.
In Him Who is Able,
PS.  If you would do me a HUGE favor and follow our LOVEM CARE BLOG--I would so appreciate it!  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All of Our Kids are in Double Digits!

You Got It!  Ben is getting old--I mean he is the father of all these children you know! 

But really--our youngest daughter Hannah turned 10--almost one month ago.  Yes, you are reading the blog of one put together mama.  Ha!  We had a fabulous birthday party--seriously it really was.
AND it was super easy and lots of fun. 

Believe it or not, we invited her whole class--because if you send invitations to school then you have to include everyone.  (Which is fine with me because how else would I get addresses for 20 kids? Could you even imagine what mess would come home if I asked Hannah's 3rd grade friends to write down their complete address? )  Anyways, we had 10 out of the 20 show up.  A great turn out.

Our theme was an outdoor movie night.  Ben bought this blow-up movie screen from Target online, and we borrowed the projector and speakers.

Next, we put out tarps and covered them with blankets, quilts and pillows.

We set up a Concession Stand outside and it looked like this.

And then the kids started coming and it looked like this.

Hannah opened her presents after we ate and then the movie began!  

We sat under the stars and watched a movie--well mostly, some of the kids got hyped up on all the sugar from the cupcakes, candy, and coke, but that's okay because we were outside and we didn't care if they were noisy or ran around like Tasmanian Devils, but that is beside the point. 

Just had to give a close up picture of the cupcakes and the homemade movie pics that I downloaded for free off of Pinterest and glued to toothpicks.  They were very cute and FREE--did I mention that? 

Also, the baskets that we used to serve the popcorn in were 10 cents each at an end of the summer clearance sale.  I bought 28 of them.  AND they will be reused.

I made Hannah's invitations myself on the computer.  I used  blank movie reel frames and put her pictures in each of the three frames.  It was a simple invitation and it was cute and inexpensive.  Just what I like!

We had neighbors riding/walking by and checking out the movie/party.  So this past weekend we invited 20 of our nearest neighbors to come watch a movie at our house.  We actually had a good turn out and got to meet some new neighbors--we have promised to do it again.

Oh, and a final note--tomorrow our oldest child, Austin, will be 20!
What?? Happy early birthday!!

Maybe--I'll blog before December--or maybe I won't . . .



Thursday, September 5, 2013


Mundane: The dictionary says this . . .  characterized by the practical, transitory, and ordinary : commonplace <the mundane concerns of day-to-day life>

In others words--washing dishes, folding clothes, cleaning, etc.

I know I have almost lost some of you--but hang with me--there is an "aha moment" coming.

One of my tasks during my Bible study today was to list the top 5 ordinary tasks you perform on a daily basis.






Go ahead and fill that list in yourself and let's see if some of ours match.

My # 1 . . .


Washing Clothes!
# 3

# 4
Washing Dishes!
# 5
Driving Kids Around!

Did we match up anywhere?  Are you doing the same ordinary things I am?
I bet you are. 
Now sit back and take these next words in. 
First, it is in the mundane things of life that God is grooming us, preparing us for the calling he has for us in the future.  Are we being faithful in these seemingly ordinary tasks?  Are we developing the ability to serve others with joy?  Is the ability to persevere when we are tired becoming second nature? 
Think about the "big picture" in doing the same things day after day.  God is at work preparing us for His future use.  Something that we are probably not even aware of. 
Second, these ordinary tasks are evidence of God's blessings in our lives.  Pricilla Shrier says this best. "Even our most mundane duty has a twinkle of the favor of God.  For if He removed His blessings completely from you--taking away your home, your family, your work, your possessions--the need for many of your daily tasks would disappear.  Don't despise the very things that signify your seat under the umbrella of God's goodness each day."
Did you get an "aha"?  I know I did today.
I even went back and wrote out the blessing beside each chore. 
A fresh perspective on some of the things I do everyday.
Hope you have a blessed day today!


Friday, August 2, 2013

One Crazy Summer!

We have had a C A R A Z Z  Z Z Y    S U M M E R ! ! !


In June, Austin, Jordan, Zach, Taylor (Austin's future bride), Andrew(our not officially adopted son from Korea) and Brooke(one of Sara's good friends) headed to Bonne Tarre, Missouri for World Changers.  This was most of the groups 3rd or 4th time going.  We traveled for 2 days in a 15 passenger van pulling a trailer.  I--yes, Me--Julie, drove the entire way out there.  And yes--there were a couple of times when it was a little scary, but we did arrive and no one died, so that was a BIG plus!

We spent the week doing a variety of things.  A couple of us helped build a deck and a wheelchair ramp on a ladies house.  She had been having to sit and scoot up her stairs because she couldn't afford to build a ramp.  Some of our group rebuilt a deck on a home, and still others helped tar parking lots of a thrift store and some churches.  It was hot and dirty work--but it was amazingly fun!


Sara went to Teen Extreme camp with her friend Jade and the Chinese Church in Jacksonville.  They left the day after we returned home.  She had a blast paint balling, ice skating, swimming, rock climbing and going to worship services.  It was a fantastic adventure!

July rolled in with 4th of July celebrations at the beach, a trip home to Alabama for Ben and the girls, and I snuck off for a weekend with some of my girl friends.  We also went fishing at my sister's house, we celebrated my dad's birthday, and we went to the beach and pool many days.  We had Kim and Ed's girls for a few days and they had a blast!

We were rocking along until I woke up one morning with intense pain in my back.  I went to the doctor and they thought I had a pinched nerve.  Two days later--I went back to the doctor with pain down my arm and numbness in my fingers.  Diagnosis--possible herniated disc.  The next 6-7 days were a blur.  I was on some serious pain medication.  However, I did make it to church one of those Sunday's for Hannah's Baptism!  Yes, our last child has asked Jesus to forgive her of her sins, and in her words "be the boss of her life" forever.

My mom and dad were there and after church was over my mom fell and broke two bones in her right wrist. Can you say emergency visit???  She ended up having surgery later that week to help her to heal faster and have more mobility.  She is on the mend.

Then this past week we took all the girls in for their yearly check ups and the doctor thought Leighanne's spine looked curved.  We just got back the x-ray report and they believe she has a mild case of scoliosis.  We are headed to Nemours in late August. 

Sara also had outpatient surgery today because one of the screws that she had had put in place to anchor part of her braces was too loose from the original outpatient surgery two weeks ago.

Finally, I had my MRI today and hope to figure out a plan to regain the strength in my right arm and lose the pain and numbness.

In all of this, I can say that we are still all hanging in there!  I am in less pain and can manage the pain with Ibuprofen most days.  I will be in physical therapy for the next 6 - 8 weeks trying to strengthen my crazy arm. 

I also know that God is watching over us and helping us to manage all the ups and downs.  Even when we don't understand all of the reasons behind the things that are going on, there are lessons to be learned if we pay attention. 

Hopefully things will calm down and we will ease back into some kind of normalness.  I say that--but does a family of 8 ever have a real "normal"???

Monday, June 10, 2013

Celebrating J. J.'s Graduation

Yes--we have another High School graduate.  Jordan and about
 580 other seniors walked across the stage at Camden County High School on May 24, 2013.

We are so proud of our Jordan-- he graduated with Honors as number 10 in his class.  His last semester he scored (4) 99's.
Way to go!!

In August he will move to Brunswick, GA and begin classes at College of Coastal Georgia.  He received a nearly full-ride scholarship for 4 years.  WHAT A HUGE BLESSING!!  He plans to major in Business Administration with an emphasis in Personal Finance.

We had a weekend of craziness with Friends and Family all around.  Thanks to all who dropped by to visit and celebrate!

Let me go ahead and say that my picture taking skills tanked.  I missed so many people that came by.  I only got a picture with my parents because they were there when Jordan walked out ready to go early to the stadium.  So here is the BIG APOLOGY!  Sorry!

Now for the pics I did get:

We love you Jordan!!  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another School Year coming to an End!

You Got It--We are Almost Finished!  In just 9 days Jordan will complete his high school career.  In 11 days--Zach, Leighanne and Hannah will wrap up their year.  AND--in 19 days Sara will say adios to her year of home schooling. 

Don't throw any rocks--it's not my choice that Sara has to go to school longer. 

Camden County kids only go to school for 166 days.  Homeschool students must complete 180 days.  It's a law here in Georgia--and I'm not about to break that one. LOL!

We are gearing up for a Graduation Party for Mr. Jordan.  We HOPE his Senior Portraits make it here before the party.  Yes--I admit it--we have procrastinated just a little.  But Jordan--independent child that he is--refused to use the school photographers.  Decided all on his own to NOT be in the annual, even declared he didn't want an Annual.  I love that free thinking child of mine.  Talk about doing things his own way!

So now, we are in the last few days of school.  We are trying to make plans for next years schooling, and are waiting to talk to the ESOL coordinator to start making plans for Sara.  We still do not have a definite plan.  We got her scores back from her spring testing.  She has made some pretty good gains since July 2012 in reading and math.  We still have a long way to go--but we will take the progress she is making.

Hannah has really been scoring great marks in math--almost caught up in this area!!!  Her reading is coming along, and we have seen great growth also.  Yay!

Leighanne is finishing the 5th grade this year.  She will make the transition to middle school next year.  Watch out!  I can hardly believe that those words just got typed by this mama's fingers.

Zach will be a Junior next year.  He's starting to look into his future possibilities.  We will wait to see what happens in the next couple of years.  He's really doing more adult things like working at Winn Dixie, working on his truck and paying for his insurance.  Love the responsibility this teaches.

I'm going back to World Changers with Austin, Jordan, and Zach this summer.  We will be heading to Missouri with the Youth Group this June.  I can't wait!

Sara is going to go to a Christian sports camp with a friend who was also adopted from China.  She will be going with the Chinese Church in Jacksonville.  She is super excited!

We are having some friends--Kaitlin and Ashley come over for a week of play this summer--sshhhh!--Don't tell my youngest girls that--they DO NOT KNOW WHO or WHEN yet.

Finally,  we are about to lose our "adopted son", Andrew, to the Air Force.  Andrew moved to St. Marys not too long after we brought our girls home from China.  He is from Korea and he just fits "in" with our family.  He has a funny sense of humor and we love to tease him because he will give back.  He has been a great friend to our boys, and we will miss his dry humor at our table and in our house.  I have told him that I will be glad to be on the look out for a future Mrs. Andrew, so if you know of any available 20ish, sweet Christian girls let me know!  Ha! Ha! Andrew--got you now!

Another pile of changes happening in the Agee home.

Until the next blog,


Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring is in Full Bloom!

Don't you just LOVE the Spring?

I do!

It makes me want to get outside and . . . bask in the SUN!

But it also makes me want to spend time with our kids, family and friends doing some "spring time activities"!

This is what we've been up to.

A trip to the Jax Zoo with cousins

Two Sisters

Beach Trip with friends--Sara and Brook

Leighanne and Hannah

Snorkeling on Spring Break with the Davis Family

Ask me if the water is cold

A cold 72 degrees--but Hannah doesn't care--she's our fish!

Zach getting ready to make the plunge.

Ben was already numb--but determined to snorkel

Sara getting all set

Leighanne and Kaitlin

Kim and I--still dry!  Kim did later jump in though--I layed out!

Sisters swimming!

Spring time = Spring Clothes!
My first attempt at "pillowcase" dresses.

And Spring Bows!

Sweet smiles!
I love the look of Spring!