"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question."
-Anonymous

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's hard to believe, but it's time to launch our Sparkle Project Fundraiser for 2014!
We are excited to show you some of the new products and designs we have this year!
Our new design is awesome!  We kept the girls we sponsor in mind with the design...as you can see, we wanted to inspire them as well as anyone who wears the new artwork!

"Be brave, strong, & courageous.  Love deeply.  Shine brightly."

We kept our original design as well.  The Mother Theresa quote seems to be a favorite for people and the message is perfect!

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."

We have a second tote option this year as well:



As you know, one of the main goals of The Sparkle Project is to do what we can to support girls and women in Ethiopia.  We have partnered with a wonderful organization called  Eyes That See to sponsor girls in Ethiopia. We were fortunate enough to visit the site of ETS while we were in Ethiopia.  We have also met the founders of ETS in person, and know first-hand about the incredible work they are doing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.   Eyes That See provides school tuition, uniforms, healthy meals, and emotional support for the children they serve.   It costs $25 a month to sponsor a girl in Ethiopia. 

Here is how you can make a positive change:  by purchasing a  Sparkle Project shirt or tote you can sponsor a child for a month!!!!  It's like spending $$$ to sponsor a child (a great gift in itself), and getting a cool shirt or tote along with your donation!

 Every time you purchase a shirt from The Sparkle Project, you receive your shirt, and a card containing a photo of the girl you are helping to sponsor We are so excited to offer you an opportunity to see the girl whose life YOU are supporting.  Please take time to think of and pray for the girl you are helping.  Each gift package that you purchase will help support a girl in Ethiopia for a full month! Please consider making a difference in the life of a child...

With each shirt or tote you purchase, you receive:
Your shirt or tote
A card with the photo of the girl you are helping to sponsor.
The satisfaction of knowing that you are making a difference in the life of a girl in Ethiopia!

We are doing a pre-sale for shirts and totes.  The pre-order shirts and totes will ship to you in December.

Everything will be shipped in beautiful packaging -explaining that "The purchase of this shirt helped to support a girl in Ethiopia for an entire month" - great for gift giving!!!! 

We are only selling for TWO WEEKS, so please visit our online store and order as soon as possible.  Thank you so much for your support!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thank You!!!


Check out this cute photo of Grace...I bribed the kids to go out in the cold to take a few pictures for our Christmas card.  It was super cold, but Grace was a trooper and did a great job of posing!
(they were rewarded with ice cream when we finished our 15 minute photo shoot)

I wanted to THANK everyone who purchased something from our Sparkle Project fundraiser.  The order is at the printer now and it should arrive to me by December 9th.  I promise to package and ship the orders ASAP so that you can enjoy your shirts or totes and so that your gifts will be ready to give for Christmas.
Once again, thank you for your support!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

THREE More Days!


You have THREE more days to purchase Sparkle Project shirts and totes.  
We are so thankful to all of you who have already made your purchases...you are helping to improve the life of a girl in Ethiopia (and getting some super cute stuff along the way!).

Please head over to:
to order.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Sparkle Project 2013




CLICK HERE to visit our store and see all of the items for sale.

Last year, Alyssa and I decided to start doing something to support girls and women in Ethiopia.
We started a blog, did some service projects, did a little fundraising, and had an awesome time doing it!  
We have partnered with a wonderful organization called  Eyes That See to sponsor girls in Ethiopia. We were fortunate enough to visit the site of ETS while we were in Ethiopia.  We have also met the founders of ETS in person, and know first-hand about the incredible work they are doing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.   Eyes That See provides school tuition, uniforms, healthy meals, and emotional support for the children they serve.   It costs $25 a month to sponsor a girl in Ethiopia. 

Here is how you can make a difference:  by purchasing a Sparkle shirt or tote, you can help to sponsor a child for a month!!!!  It's like spending $$$ to sponsor a child (a great gift in itself), and getting a cool t-shirt or tote along with your donation!

 Every time you make a purchase from The Sparkle Project, you receive your shirt or tote,  and a card containing a photo of the girl you are helping to sponsor We are so excited to offer you an opportunity to see the girl whose life YOU are helping to impact.  Please take time to think of and pray for the girl you are helping.  Each (adorably wrapped) gift package that you purchase will help support a girl in Ethiopia for a full month! Please consider making a difference in the life of a child...

We are doing a pre-sale for shirts/totes.  Your order will be shipped the beginning of December (in time for holiday gifts).

Everything will be shipped in beautiful packaging -explaining that "The purchase of this shirt helped to support a girl in Ethiopia for an entire month" - great for gift giving!!!! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday.  Those of you who have adopted know this.  Many of you have heard about how November is National Adoption Month.  We hear that there are over 147 million orphans in the world, but it doesn't really sink in easily....until one of them looks you in the eye and calls you "Mom."  Suddenly there are not just 147 million orphans in the world, there are 147 million real, live, children that you can't stop thinking about.
It has been three years since Grace has been home.  Today as we honor Orphan Sunday, we will do what we do every day...
It's really very simple:
We celebrate adoption every day, not just once a year. After all, how can you look at Grace's beautiful face and not be reminded of the love we have been blessed with?   Not only are we able to experience her love, but we experience God's love by witnessing first-hand what it means to be redeemed...her story is so beautiful; tragic and beautiful.  And trust me, we are the ones who are blessed.  We are the ones who have learned so much and grown so much.  And, we are so lucky have experienced the true, selfless love that Grace's birth family has shared with us through her life.

We share our story. It always makes me smile when I think about how long it took us to decide to adopt (when I say us, I really mean Doug and he knows it).  It seemed like it took forever for us to take that giant leap of faith and to start the adoption process.  Looking back, I know that this was really meant to be.  If it were not for God's perfect timing, we would have rushed into adoption and Grace, who was meant to be our daughter all along, wouldn't have been ready for us.  It's a classic case of 'thank God for unanswered prayers.'  Now, I smile because my once reluctant husband is the poster child (OK, poster dad) for adoption.  He loves to talk to people about our adoption story.  He is also willing to talk to any reluctant fathers out there!  Seriously...give him a call if you have a reluctant husband, who know what could happen?
And most importantly,
We remember the children still waiting.  Our family has a connection to and commitment to the waiting children who pray for a family of their own.  A part of our hearts will always be in Ethiopia.  We made a decision to always honor the country that Grace is from.  We look forward to the day that our entire family will travel to Ethiopia and reconnect with the wonderful friends and family that we have there.  In the mean time, we will continue our efforts to support the many Ethiopian children that need an education, sponsorship and in some cases, adoptive families. This is a passion of ours, and in the next couple of days, we will share a few ways that you too can partner with us to help sponsor some of these children (and get yourself some awesome clothes and gifts in the process!).

 Grace is a beauty.  I love the look on her face when I see her deep in thought. I will never really understand what she remembers about her adoption journey or how she feels about the experience.  At times, she looks like she is still processing so much.  One thing I know for sure is that she loves us.  She shines brightly.  She also loves her country of birth.  Please consider partnering with us this month as we set out to support some of the 147 million orphans who still wait.  I promise you will never regret helping one of these sweet children. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What in the world have we been doing for the past four months????

It's funny how when we were in the process of adopting (I was obsessed with reading blogs of people who were also adopting), I would be so disappointed when I hadn't seen a post from my "virtual friends" for a long time...how could they possibly be too busy to update me on their life????
Well, I am not sure anyone reads our blog anymore, but I want to keep updating in an effort to share some family memories, but most importantly, remember some family memories (because let's face it- I am NOT scrap booking these days...another long forgotten hobby that I really tried to keep up with).

So here is a quick update on our family...
Bryce turned 10 in January and was thrilled to receive a five pound gummy bear.  Seriously.  He loves it.  It sits on his dresser.  It is heavy (five pounds of gummy bear is solid I tell you).
Bryce also received a special surprise from his crazy mom...turtles! Illegal turtles.  Please don't turn us in to the authorities, but I guess it's illegal to own turtles under four inches long.  Funny, it was pretty darn easy for me to order these little guys online.  They were shipped from Florida, and arrived safely overnight (I paid more for shipping than the turtles).  You don't have to write to me to tell me how scary these little guys are to our health...I had my fair share of freaking out about salmonella, but I did my research, and we are VERY diligent about hand washing and disinfecting.
 We have also been busy attending our fair share of basketball games.  Bryce played ball, and transformed himself on the court, and off.  This is Bryce at the beginning of the season (white jersey...#33).  Notice his beautiful flowing locks?
 BEFORE
 AFTER
 What???  Break this mommas heart!  This is the same basketball player after he decided that it "was time" to cut his hair(red jersey #33)!  The boy had not had a real haircut in all of his ten years of life.  When he showed up at school, the kids thought there was a new student in their class.  I overheard some dads at basketball practice questioning who the "new player" was. At the end of one basketball tournament (following Bryce's haircut), a parent came up to me to ask why I was there..."Bryce isn't even playing..." they said.  Funny, no one recognized him.  I am finally getting used to his new look.
 High school dance team season also kept us VERY busy this winter.  There were many dance team performances (which came with awesome varsity basketball games to watch on Friday nights) and competitions to attend.  The girls had a great season.
 My favorite performances were their pom numbers, but...

 Their hip hop routine is what took them to "state."  It actually turned out to be a really cool routine.  Gotta love those baggy M.C. Hammer pants.

 When dance team season starts to wind down, studio dance teams are just getting started.  
We are in the middle of tons of (studio) travel team competitions (that will have to be another post).

Grace recently turned six  (had a great birthday) and is doing fantastic at school and loving kindergarten. 
She is also sporting a new "do."
We absolutely adore extensions.  They are such a time saver in the morning.  It takes a very long time to do the braiding, but after that...easy peasy.  We love the look on Grace too.
 Something new for our family this year, was watching Drew shoot at the state archery tournament.
I knew NOTHING about archery until this year.  It's actually pretty cool.  We were very proud of Drew.  This is something we knew nothing about.  Doug doesn't hunt or shoot, so it was totally up to him to learn how to shoot.  Turns out he is really good!  Drew even qualified to go to "nationals" for archery!  Crazy to think my 7th grader will be driving across the country to compete with 10,000 other students at the national archery competition in Louisville...




 And, last but not least, when it comes to the furry part of our family, there is good news and bad news.
Our sweet dog Blue is getting old.  His health is not great.
We thought we were going to lose him about a month ago, but, it turns out that he is pretty darn resilient.
He is hanging in there, but is 11 years old and slowing down a ton.
 The doctor was surprised we were able to celebrate his 11th birthday since he is losing weight and not eating much (he only weighs 30 pounds...crazy for a dog his size...thank goodness for his fur).
 The good news is that soon Blue will have a new friend.
We are adding this little cutie to our family soon.
I am pretty excited about this little guy.  I am looking forward to having a little dog in the house.
He is a cavalier king charles spaniel. He doesn't have a name yet (at least that's what I'm letting everyone believe...we can't agree on a name, but the way I see it, he's mine to name because I am the one who will be training him and getting up in the middle of the night with him).



 So, there you have it.  We have been busy. This last picture shows where I am heading in my next blog post...road trippin to South Dakota.  Funny, our adoption blog is the reason we headed to South Dakota...gotta love this crazy world of "virtual" turned real-life friends.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Because of these two girls...Spring Break part one...

because of these two girls.........
 two mamas reached out to one another from different parts of the country.



because of these two girls..........
 two families became friends when they otherwise wouldn't have known about each other......




because of these two girls........
 they will have a friend for life who has a similar story......a VERY similar story.




 because of these two girls.......
 there is a LOT of love going around.
because of these two girls.......
two families find a way each year to reunite.

God blessed us all.
so it's really because of
HIM.

***this post came from my friend Kendra's blog...thanks for letting me share your beautiful words Kendra!