If I could bottle up the smiles and joy of these beautiful children I am privileged to know it would be difficult to put a price on. I try daily to capture their beauty and their personalities, but I know that I fall short. I write down quotes and I snap pictures, but sometimes you just have to be there in the moment (like when Rose turned around in the bus the other day and asked if we would find Curious George in Heaven). Most days I want to write down whole conversations and video tape entire hours of the day. After a few pretty rough weeks, God has blessed me with several absolutly blessed days. Tuesday I was able to spend some time with one of my dearest friends from college. She followed me around and got to see what my afternoons/evenings look like and then we chatted late into the night about the excitement, the hardships, and the possiblities of life. Yesterday, only a few hours after leaving her we arrived in Crystal Lake, IL and two more dear friends from Moody came to visit. The people on my team make fun of me because I have friends in so many places, but God knows I sure needed some familiar faces, hugs, and encouragement this week. I'm excited to share this adventure with so many of you in person. These past few days my "home away from home" has been a quaint little farmhouse in Illinois. My wonderful host has created a photographers paradise with rustic barns, laundry lines, tire swings, cornfields, trees, antique furniture, and even a real maypole! After a lovely snack of chai tea and pumpkin bread last night we went to bed, but this morning when I woke I hurried the girls along so we could take some pictures. Uponing returning to the house this evening I discovered that it's no accident this place is a photographers paradise.....Nancy is a professional photographer! She pulled out all kinds of dresses and the girls thought they were in heaven as they danced and giggled in their flowy dresses. I snapped picture after picture of them as they ran through the fields, posed with the scarecrow, and ran around the maypole, getting completely tangled in the ribbons. Sarah, Esther, and Racheal are the best little models I could ask for. Their smiles radiate and their joy is contagious. They looked like little princesses tonight and they truly are. God's princesses and the princesses of my heart. A picture is truly worth a thousand words and some of the moments I captured tonight will forever etch in my mind the beauty of these times that I get to spend with the children, loving them and nurturing them.