Monday, June 30, 2008

Compare and Contrast

What do you think? Do you see the family resemblance?

Bella definitely got the round face gene while Justus is more of an oval. And Bella was a caramel machiato baby. Justus...more of a vanilla latte. =) But one thing is clear -they have the same button noses and luscious little bottom lips. Sibling sweetness.

Today was Nathan's birthday. Nine years old. Last night, I feigned tears and said, "Oh, I'll never have a nine year old Nathan again." (You may remember that he mourned my thirty-fourth birthday in like manner.) He had a great day of Laser Tag and IHOP --Tim and I wanted real food. They wanted dessert. Pancakes seemed like a win-win choice. You can read some of his adoption story at this link. He is such a sweet and caring young man. He doesn't really like the attention that comes with having a new baby in the house but don't be fooled; he is in love. When no one else is looking, he leans over and whispers to Justus "I love my baby brother" and sings little songs to him.

Tim and I are still working out the feeding schedule and who is better during the night (Amie) verses in the early morning hours (Tim). And the rest of the crew is hanging tough and helping out in little ways. Bella wants to hold the baby more and more which is cool. He's growing on her. Unfortunately, she's getting her vocabulary a little confused where he is concerned. When she saw him this morning she pointed and said "puppy." Eats. Poops. Makes grunting noises in his sleep. I guess I can't come down too hard on her, huh?


Saturday, June 28, 2008


Even though our current lives are much more exciting than the past -I am updating another post to the braindump site. I must warn you -this is the last segment that I had pre-written. If you want the rest of the story, I will have to type it out. This means YOU will have to pray that I get enough sleep to continue this creative outlet. =)

Justus is doing great! He's so precious. The rest of the crew is enjoying him and Bella has really taken to being a little helper. Maybe he'll get to keep his other eye after all. I hope to do a side-by-side photo comparison of him and his big sis but haven't gotten the right pose yet.

We will head out to church for the first time with a jam-packed van. Just an FYI to any Faith-ers out there, please do not think I am being mean or rude but he will probably stay in a Snugli or in his car seat so not to be passed around too much. It's a bonding thing. While in sooooo many ways (remember I've witnessed the delivery room three times) we know that the adoption process is a huge blessing -we also, have to recognize that he/I didn't have the advantage of nine months in the womb and the undeniable insta-bond that occurs while traversing the vaginal canal. HA! Sorry if that was overkill for some of you. I couldn't resist.

Anyway, he's spending as much time in Mommy's arms as possible and it's in no way a reflection of how we feel about any of you or us being germaphobic or anything. Although, if you sneeze directly on him, I will karate chop you in the head. Kidding...sort of. =)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Scoop

It was requested that I share Justus' story (while ignoring the other children -no problem, Laura.) and you all know that I just love to tell a good story. I'm still waiting for permission from Tim to share his recent run in with the law -oh yeah, it's a good one. Anyway, back to the boy.

As you may know or have guessed, we weren't exactly expecting this new addition. We thought we were done -ya know; full. In fact, Tim's exact words were "Gabriel will have to personally tell me that we are supposed to adopt again." Well, last Tuesday night -Gabriel called. He (she) sounded a lot like our good friend from Amazing Grace Adoptions. ;-)

She began telling us about a baby boy, who was not just any baby boy -this little lump of yum is Bella's biological brother. Aha! Lights are coming on everywhere.

There are some things in life that require hours, days, even weeks of prayer to get a clear answer on. This one took seconds. A no-brainer. It's almost as though a man plans his way in his heart but the Lord directs his steps...or something like that. There was no doubt where this little one belonged and from the minute we knew he existed, he was in our hearts. We just had six days to fuh-ly through some hoops so that he could be in our home. And now he is.

Here was Bella's first glimpse:

This tender moment was followed by poking him in the eye.

Oh, and about his name...each of our kids has a Bible name and a family name. So, here's how it breaks down: Justus (Col. 4.11) is the biblical part. And Royal comes from Tim's middle name (updated slightly to avoid images of dog food.)

I've shared with some of you but it is worth repeating: As overwhelming as it was to bring home a newborn with a week's notice; it is equally overwhelming to see how quickly and completely God has provided for His little one. We have the most generous church family on the planet!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Justus Royal Sexton


More pic's soon.

Slap Me Five


one is the loneliest number; and

two's company, three's a crowd; and

...hmmm...nobody ever says anything about four, but anyway....

FIVE is our new number!

If you haven't already heard, we will be picking up a brand new (10 days old) baby boy TODAY! (The day which also happens to be our 14th anniversary -I love you Tim!! New post on the braindump, click here.) That's right Sexton crew member number five will be welcomed into the family this afternoon. Hopefully, this explains the lack of posting over the past few days. We've had a bit of chaos going on around here.

Everyone is excited but Bella has started the day in true "this is just the way life goes at the Sexton house" fashion --with a low grade fever and a big case of pitifulness. I'd say she is faking and just trying to make sure she doesn't lose any attention if it weren't for the actual temperature.

There's a young guy that Tim is mentoring who uses this saying often: "It is what it is. It ain't what it ain't. It's whatever." This has become a favorite for us. It is our somewhat slang way of saying God is in control so we'll just trust him. We've also coined the phrase "God-ordained insanity." So, if you're wondering if we are crazy -yes. Do we know that we are crazy? Yes. But it's God's fault so we don't mind. (plus we fall back on the Keel and Livesay families who are way crazier than we are!)

I will do my best to post pictures of the baby tonight. Please pray for the transition period which is sure to include excitement, sleeplessness, jealousy, crabbiness...and that's just me and Tim. ;-)

Love to all!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Deadline Dilema

My goal had been to finish the "Amie meets Tim" story by our anniversary. That would be next Wednesday. That ain't happening. But I will do my best and as a special treat (for the three people who are reading it) I am adding two segments today. Take a moment; don't let the excitement carry you away. ;-)

Click here and if you are new to the story, scroll down to the book mark post to read from the beginning up.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Attention Cinderella:

I found your shoes.

I'm not giving them back!

Hand over the Prince -and maybe we'll talk.

Cinder Bella ;-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oops, I forgot...

I added a new segment on the braindump site yesterday. Click here.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Redefining Greatness

In our Sunday School class this past week we got caught up in a discussion about world events and tragic situations that burden us. Tim and I recently read "A Long Way Gone -Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah, and followed that up by watching the movie "Blood Diamond." The plight of so many African countries where rebels rape, mutilate, and kill entire villages of people; where children are kidnapped, numbed, and trained to become thoughtless murderers puts a nauseating pit in my stomach.

One of our classmates has done extensive research into human trafficking where young women and girls are traded, sold, and abused as sex slaves right here in our own nation -the land of the free. Knots in the stomach.

Perhaps you saw the 20/20 special a while back on prostitution. Women, young and old, who sell their souls to the devil (or at least the local pimp) and sell themselves for as little as 25 dollars. Enough to get the next hit of crack, cocaine, heroine, anything that will dull the pain of reality. A life created by bad choices? In many cases perhaps. Well, why doesn't she just 'pick herself up by her bootstraps' and leave that lifestyle? Considering that I barely have the self-discipline to not eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting, I'm willing to assume it's just not that easy.

Add to these things the AIDS epidemic, malaria, children in Haiti eating dirt, war, pedophilia, natural disasters...whew. That'll bring your spirits down. So, what do we do? What is the biblical response? Well, we all agreed on one thing. The thing we CANNOT do. We CANNOT do nothing!

It is easy to become paralyzed by the overwhelming need. In this age of technology, it is easy to become desensitized and disinterested. It is even possible to run sporadically from urgency to urgency without ever effecting a lasting change. These are things we cannot do. We also can't allow ourselves to think that one person doesn't make a difference. We have to redefine greatness.

Throughout history great leaders have emerged for noble purposes. But no one can lead a great movement without committed followers. Some examples:

Abraham Lincoln emancipated the nations enslaved people -thousands of men and boys lost their lives so that Lincoln's proclamation could stand firm. They represented greatness.

Martin Luther King, Jr. powerfully and eloquently lifted a voice for his people, leading the charge of the Civil Rights movement -countless men and women marched in peaceful protest, and braved the sting of fire hoses, and endured the blistered and bloodied feet while walking miles to work in support of the bus boycott without ever being pictured on the six o'clock news or named in the history books. They embodied greatness.

If I redefine greatness, then I see that while I will never single-handedly end world hunger; I can effect change in one child's life through sponsorship.

I may not have pages of the history books dedicated to my work toward racial reconciliation but I can step out of my comfort zone to love someone who is not just like me and raise awareness of the issue among others.

I may not lead great crusades where people flood the aisles to embrace their Savior but I can faithfully share Him with those around me.

I don't write deep thoughts very often (not because I don't have them -watch it!) because I know that we all enjoy being entertained more than being challenged. BUT I can't help thinking --what if we cut the crap, lose the rhetoric and pretense, and just decided to look like Jesus; what would change? What would we become passionate about? Who would we become passionate about? Would we begin to see every opportunity to love our neighbors (from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth) as an opportunity for greatness?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Hatchett Man

Every neighborhood has one...the creepy house. The haunted house, the mean old man/lady's house. The house you're scared to walk by at night.

When I was a kid that house was right next door. Granny Trimble had been our neighbor for as long as I'd been alive and she was a sweetheart. She lived on several acres and had the most amazing oak tree. It would've taken three or four kids to stretch around it's trunk. Huge. We loved that tree. We loved the yard. We loved Granny Trimble. What we didn't love -the old house in the backyard. When I say old, I mean OOOOOLLLLLDDDD!

(I actually called my dad to see just when that house might have been built. I'll have to do some more research on it but apparently it started as a one room log cabin and then later they built a kitchen and second story bedroom around it, keeping the original house as the living room. There were stories passed down from the man who originally owned the land about watering the horses of the Yankee soldiers out under that tree. yeah, old. I told you.)

The house was falling apart and we were supposed to stay clear but we sneaked in on occasion to explore the area. Some of the boys we grew up with used it as a hut and did who knows what in there. Well, one thing they did was create the story of "The Hatchet Man" who lived in the creepy house and appeared in the one faded and cracked window of the second story every night at dusk. He would watch the children play in nearby yards choosing the ones that he would hack into pieces in their beds. Lovely.

I would be heading back from a friends house and get to the corner of our yard, which was directly in front of the old house. I would take a slow, terrifying look into the window and then take off like lightning.

So, why have I shared this tale of childhood trauma? Because just a few days ago, we almost became that house. No scary guy with a hatchet, just a psychotic, screaming red-head. After 876 knocks on our front door and four million times of answering the same (stupid) questions; I lost it. I started screaming at everyone. "CLOSE THE DOOR AND STOP KILLING MY AIR CONDITIONING!!!" "GET OUT AND STAY OUT!!" "DO NOT KNOCK ON THIS DOOR AGAIN!" I knew it had gotten out of hand when one of the kids sheepishly asked, "Miss Amie, why do you have an attitude today?"

I checked my "attitude" and our reputation was spared. Now, I'm my normal screaming red-headed self vs. the completely out of control screaming red-headed self. Oh, and I put away my hatchet.

--New post on brain dump. Click here and scroll down if you are new to the story.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Act Your Age

Random tidbit provided by Nathan (Mr. Whimsy):

Bella was having a crabby day recently and Nathan was doing his dangdest (is that a word?) to comfort her but she was having none of it. Completely exasperated by her foul mood he scolded, "Bella, you are being a baby. You are acting a zero year old." ooooh. That's a low blow.

--New post added at the brain dump. Click here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Liar, Liar...Pants on Fire

There are things that make me mad, annoy me, disappoint me but none so quickly or fully as lying. It makes me crazy. Satan is the father of lies, that's one reason. The other is because I firmly believe (and have witnessed first hand) that if you can succesfully lie to others and/or yourself -you can and will justify any other behavior no matter how wrong or hurtful. It is the first step down a treacherous path. So, to summarize...truth -good; lying -bad.

And having taken my stand on the issue, I must now confess my sin. I lied. Yep. It was a real doozie too. I could tell you that the devil made me do it but that would just be another lie. It was me, all me. The mommy me, that is.

We were sitting at dinner the other night discussing various events of the day when the children began sharing (read: teasing each other) about who they "like" and want to marry. Nathan was under fire for his usual obsession with Faith Millender. They will be an adorable couple --in twenty years! =) The conversation continued as Mamoune explained how Javon (one of the neighborhood crew) had explained that he liked her as a friend but did not like her "like muah, muah, muah like" (visualize Mamoune making a contorted kissing face).

I couldn't help it, something came over me and I asked, "You guys do know the laws about dating, right?" Three "huh?" expressions looked back at me. "Do you know the laws in North Carolina about dating?" Clearly, no one was familiar with them. :) I continued, "According to the State of North Carolina you cannot date until you are 18 years old."

"Eighteen?!!" they shrieked.

"Uh, yah. Oh, and you are not allowed to kiss anyone until you're married. If you kiss someone that you aren't married to, you will sooo go to jail."

Mamoune, always willing to testify against her brothers, pointed an accusing finger and said, "Nathan kissed Faith." Well, yes. But he got a stern talking to from his parents and what can I say? Every now and then one slips through the system.

They didn't ask anymore questions. Because they bought it? Nah. I think it was more because they were completely grossed out when I leaned over and said, "Hey Tim...I like muah, muah, muah, like you."

Now, you are grossed out, too. My work here is done.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Girly Ghetto

Girls are weird. I knew this but since Mamoune was almost five years old when she joined us, I didn't know just how soon the weirdness started. It starts dang early.

I spent most of the boys toddler-hood chasing them down and forcing their little feet into shoes that they had no interest in wearing. And as they grew, I was constantly yelling as they ran out the door, "Come back in here and put your shoes on!"

Not my baby girl. She goes to her room, digs out a matching pair of shoes, puts them in my lap, and holds her little foot up saying, "yesh." Here she is donning her pink sandals. Apparently, snot running out of your nose does not detract from fashion. Good to know.

And here she is in her new clothing line "Girly Ghetto." The key to pulling off this look is the sag. It's all about bustin' slack. She'd like to have a cute little butterfly airbrushed at the top of her diaper but her dad and I are putting our collective "foot" down on that one.

And lastly, while Mamoune and I were giving each other makeovers recently (Mamoune's idea) Bella wanted in on the action. So, we painted every one's nails, proving that pink looks good on any skin tone.

Side note -a new post has been added to amiesbraindump.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Feeling hot, hot, hot

Okay, so I haven't quite gotten the song titles out of my head. But dude it is hot! I sent the kids outside yesterday to sit in the shade. See how gracious I am? I didn't even expect them to play -just sit. =) Nathan argued, "It won't do any good 'cause the heat comes right through the trees." He has a point.

That'll make you want to live anywhere in the US other than Raleigh, NC. Yuck. And the five day is truly grim. The temperature itself makes me cringe and the "feels like" well, I think they're just mean for putting that on there.

Here's hoping you are keeping cool this weekend -wherever you are!

Oh, and as promised, a new post has been added to the brain dump. Click here and remember to scroll down if you are just tuning in to the story line.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Getting a Head Start

In just about three weeks, Tim and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Last year, we completely forgot about it. This year, I decided to get an early start. Since recently becoming a reader of, I have been inspired by her writing and thought it would be fun to recall my own journey to Mr. Right. It's somewhat less dramatic (Tim never wears chaps...shrug) but fun to recall just the same.

So, for your reading enjoyment (maybe), I will begin posting tidbits of my experiences in matters of the heart. Tim was not particularly happy that I started with the guys who came before him. "Why can't you just start the story with me?" I have a reason -contrast. If you don't see the "ugh" of the search, you might not fully appreciate the "ah" of finding you know who.

The posts will be on and I will post here whenever a new entry is added (hoping to average a couple a week). And, of course, this page will continue to offer the usual updates on the crew and silly anecdotes.

I don't have a title for this story yet but your first entry is there waiting for you. Hope it's worth your time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Were you watching? Did you see it? Did you feel it?

History forever changed.

This post is not open for political debate. I'm not going to post any comments about platforms, parties, etc. We can all make our views known, whatever they are, at the voting polls.

But for just a moment, I want you to strip away all of those factors and see what I (and millions like me) see.

For the first time, I can look my beautiful brown children in the face and say TRUTHFULLY -you could be the next president of the United States. It IS possible. And in a country where "all men are created equal" hasn't always translated into real life -this is huge!

Okay, Amie, but what if he's a big fat jerk who wants to kill babies and persecute Christians? Then, don't vote for him. But you can still celebrate the fact that a door has been opened and ground has been broken.

Nathan saw the picture on this post and this was the conversation that ensued:

"I know who that is Mommy. Is he the president now?"

"No. But he does get to officially run for president now."

"I hope he wins."


"mmmm...he looks like me. I can tell that he's African-American."

Nathan has heard and will hear many conversations about Godliness, character, values, etc. But for now, I will not discount or take for granted the connection he sees between himself and the highest (human) position in our country because it represents potential.

History forever changed!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Believe it or Not

Can you believe it? This is the 100th song title post!!!

It has been fun, fun, fun but I am done, done, done. Ron Millender -I hope I have proven myself to you. If not... tough patootie! And just for the insanity of it, here is the list in it's entirety:

1. Oh, What a Night
2. And the Gift Goes On
3. Country Roads
4. Another One Bites the Dust
5. Coming Out of the Dark
6. You Give Love a Bad Name
7. Hit Me Baby, One More Time
8. Only the Good Die Young
9. If I Only Had a Brain
10. Man, I Feel Like a Woman
11. At Last
12. Time Warp
13. I Keep on Fallin'
14. Beauty School Drop Out
15. If
16. Stuck on You
17. Here Comes Santa Claus
18. Give Love on Christmas Day
19. Georgia on My Mind
20. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
21. Change the World
22. Photograph
23. Unforgettable
24. Bad Medicine
25. This is the Day
26. Man in the Mirror
27. I Shot the Sheriff
28. One
29. Soldier Boy
30. Margaritaville
31. Son of a Preacher Man
32. She's a Bad MammaJamma
33. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
34. Don't Worry, Be Happy
35. Sweet Surrender
36. We are the World
37. Much Too Young
38. I'm Sorry
39. Doctor, Doctor
40. Smokin' in the Boys Room
41. Oh My Lord...Lord, Lord, Lord
42. Everybody Wants to Rule the World
43. Black or White
44. Achy Breaky Heart
45. It's the Same Old Song
46. Surfing with the Alien
47. Call Me
48. Come Away with Me
49. Almost Paradise
50. Say, Say, Say
51. Somebody's Watchin' Me
52. I Say a Little Prayer (for you)
53. It Ain't Over til it's Over
54. Danger Zone
55. I Can't Drive 55
56. Just As I Am
57. Our House
58. Sweet Child O' Mine
59. From a Distance
60. Home on the Range
61. Pressure
62. Fever
63. You Dropped a Bomb on Me
64. Beep, Beep
65. She Drives Me Crazy
66. Words Get in the Way
67. Only You
68. The Eye of the Tiger
69. Bye, Bye Love
70. Sound of Silence
71. Don't Know Much
72. God Bless the USA
73. Anything You Can Do
74. Tomorrow
75. What a Feeling
76. Into Jesus
77. You Got It
78. Going Back to Cali
79. I'm My Own Grandpa
80. (It's) Hairspray
81. Big Enough
82. Nothing but the Blood
83. Daddy's Hands
84. Pretty in Pink
85. Where the Boys Are
86. Picture to Burn
87. Freeze Frame
88. The Final Countdown
89. Simply the Best
90. Happy, Happy Birthday Baby
91. What a Difference a Day Makes
92. Mississippi Squirrel Revival
93. Foolish Games
94. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
95. That's What Friends are Four
96. Welcome to the Jungle
97. Help
98. Diggin' On You
99. Thank You
100. Believe It or Not

Oh my goodness. How crazy is that? Thanks for tuning it to six months of my life's blog soundtrack. We will now resume our regularly scheduled blogging under any old title.

Thank You

...for praying. And thank you God that Kali was found today and is safe! I'm sure her family is wiped out physically and emotionally so, please continue to lift them up as they breathe a sigh of relief and begin sorting through the details of the situation.

Diggin' on You

I forgot to share one of my favorite traveling stories with you.

We're driving down I-85 and hit a little bit of traffic. Moving slower than usual gave us the opportunity to witness this little moment of irony. As we got closer to a pick up truck in the next lane, we noticed that he had something etched in the back glass of the truck cab. It said:

"Real men cry." And on the passenger side of the cab, the sentiment continued...

"But we buy our own Kleenex."

It didn't strike us as all that amusing UNTIL we got side by side with the driver who's window was down and who was knuckle deep in his nasal cavity -diggin' out a good one.

Now, I'm all for nose-picking. Let's get real. Everyone has to do it now and then. But seriously, note to self: never pick nose while riding in a truck that references Kleenex.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Hello Blog family! I have an urgent request for help. Some of you will not be in the position to do more than just pray -but that alone is huge!

A young girl, Kali Norris (13), from our church has been missing since early Friday morning. There are many uncertain circumstances surrounding her disappearance. It is possible that she has runaway from home. It is also possible that she has a neurological condition which causes memory failure. Why or how she left is irrelevant at this point. She's gone and her family desperately needs to know where she is and that she is safe.

Please click here to read the article and link to news video. Here are two photo's of her and her identifying information:

DOB: Jun 27, 1994
Missing: May 30, 2008
Age Now: 13
Sex: Female
Race: White
Hair: Red
Eyes: Brown
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
Weight: 125 lbs (57 kg)
Missing From:FRANKLINTON NC United States

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)
Franklinton Police Department (North Carolina) 1-919-496-2511

For those who are in our area --MORE help is needed. There is an effort being made to blanket theYoungsville and Wake Forest areas with flyers. If you can help pass these out, please meet Jenny Cox at Faith Baptist Church (Youngsville) in the next hour. (It is 3:30 pm now) Meals are also being provided for the family and those participating in the search. If you can help in this area, please contact Dot Wiggins @ 761-8069 for more information.