"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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Need Some Inspiration?




I can't wait to read Stephanie's book.  It will be available on April 3rd.
You can follow her blog HERE.
She is truly an inspiration!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tooth Fairy Visit...

 I can't believe it!  My LITTLE girl lost a tooth!  Ugh!  I hate that...I love Grace's sweet smile and don't want it to change.  The missing tooth also symbolizes something to me...she's growing up.  
I was in Atlanta (Created for Care retreat) when the tooth came out.  It is probably best that I wasn't home. I would have told her NOT to take it out and it would still be hanging in her mouth by a thread.
Grace was excited.  She looks pretty adorable.  But, it's still a little sad for me.
 The Tooth Fairy came.  Grace told me all about it when I returned from my trip.  She was excited to find "lots of coins" under her pillow.  She was also VERY excited about all of the "fairy dust" that was on her pillow and bed (and face!).  Fairy dust is pretty neat...it looks very similar to the ultra fine iridescent glitter that the sell at Hobby Lobby.  My kids have always been lucky enough to find fairy dust after the Tooth Fairy visits.  It is pretty cool.
(Super cute Africa shirt is from Naartjie...every time they have clothes with Africa on them, I scoop them up for Grace.  I wonder if she'll ever get sick of wearing them???)

Well, I better get used to Grace's new smile.  It might be changing again soon...her other bottom tooth is super loose.  Ugh.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

$4 for Four

Take a look at this adorable family...this is my friend Kim and her beautiful family.  
I am so very impressed with Kim's ability to step out of her comfort zone and adopt from Ethiopia.  Kim has NOT been on a typical adoption journey...the road has been filled with challenges and disappointment.
She began her adoption journey on a mission trip to Ethiopia last summer.  Since returning home from Ethiopia, she has been following God's lead and has been on an incredible ride.  
 Little did she know that her family would DOUBLE after her amazing experience in Ethiopia.
 You see, after meeting the beautiful children she served while on her mission trip, her heart for the orphans of the world was magnified in ways she could never dream of.  She and her husband have decided to pursue adoption and were matched with this beautiful baby girl.
 Funny thing...God was not done transforming this adorable family yet...
Soon after accepting the referral for their baby girl, Kim and her husband accepted the referral of THREE more kids!!!!  They said "YES!" to a sibling set of three!  
I have met a lot of adoptive families, but I have met very few who have stepped out in faith in such a huge manner.  FOUR NEW KIDS AT ONE TIME!

Now it is time to bless this family with a little support.  If everyone just gave a little, it would make a HUGE difference to them.  You see, Kim will be flying to Ethiopia NEXT MONTH to meet her FOUR new kiddos.  She has less than a month to raise A LOT of money.  She is doing a really cool give away on her blog, you please check it out!!!!!

JUST $4 to help bring FOUR orphans home to their forever family.  We can do this!!!!!  Let's bless this sweet family with a little financial help!
Please consider heading over HERE to make a $4 donation.
You just might win a fabulous prize in the process!!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Ideas...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  OK...I realize I am a day early (which never happens around here), but I wanted to post a few really cute St. Pat's ideas that I found on Pinterest.
Today Grace got this super cute leprechaun hat at school. What? You can't see it?  Well, it is barely visible     on top of her sweet little fro.

Here are a few ideas to make tomorrow extra fun...


I just know my little Bryce (who is a lego builder extraordinaire) will love this idea.  He loves to make leprechaun traps.



Since it is the day before St. Patrick's Day and we still haven't made this little trap, I am not sure it is going to happen.  I still thought I should share it with you because it is just so darn cute!
The blogger who crafted this beauty also taught me a few things about leprechauns...did you know that:

  •     You can find a Leprechaun if you hear the sound of a hammer.
  •     If you take your eyes off a captured Leprechaun, they vanish.
  •     If captured, a Leprechaun has to lead you to his treasure, he cannot lie.
  •     If a Leprechaun looses his gold, he also looses his magic and becomes more and more human.
  •     Leprechauns spend their time making shoes.
  •     A Leprechaun is and Irish Fairy
  •     Leprechauns live in the hallows of trees.
  •     Leprechauns carry a hammer in their belts.
  •     Leprechauns keep their gold at the end of a rainbow.
Hope you enjoy these ideas.  Just click on "source" to learn more about each project.  I can not take any credit for these amazing ideas...I just choose to share the work of those who are way craftier than me! 
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

And the winner is....

ASHLEY!

Congratulations Ashley!  Thank you to everyone who made a donation to The Hendersons' Both Hands fundraiser.  Today is their project "work day" and I know they will do amazing things to live out James 1:27!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Guess Who Got Her Ears Pierced?

Grace has been waiting a long time to get her ears pierced...after all, she LOVES sparkly, fancy and shiny everything!  She was so excited when her dad and I surprised her the day before her birthday and took her to the kid beauty salon in town.  We went right after dance class (which is why she is wearing a tutu...although, knowing Grace, she could be wearing a tutu at any time I guess).
I'm not 100% sure she knew what to expect when they did the actual piercing.  The video captures her personality so well...she just rolled with it and acted like it was no big deal.
Grace is so happy to have "real" earrings.  
The hard part will be waiting for two months to change her earrings!


REMEMBER...
today is the LAST day to enter the giveaway for all of this cool Africa themed stuff.  Please help our friends The Hendersons bring their little boy home from Ethiopia by making a donation to their adoption fundraiser.
If you make (any size) donation, leave me a comment and you will be entered to win.  Drawing will take place tonight!  Thanks for your support!
 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

YOUR ODDS ARE GOOD!!!!

Just a reminder that you have until tomorrow to enter my little (or BIG) giveaway to help benefit our friends The Hendersons.

PLEASE click the donate button below to make ANY SIZE donation to their Both Hands project, and you could win all of this great Africa themed stuff! 
(leave me a comment after you donate to be entered in our drawing)
Grace will draw the lucky winner's name tomorrow...trust me, your odds are great at this point ;)

Read this post for complete details...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Grace!

 Happy Birthday sweet girl!
I can't believe how fast the time is going...it seems like we just met, and you were a tiny little three year old.  Five sounds so old!
You are an amazing girl.  You impress everyone that meets you.  You're so darn smart, kind, and resilient (not to mention cute)!  Your smile can light up a room.
We are blessed to call you a daughter and sister and we can't wait to see the amazing girl and woman you grow up to be.  There is no doubt that God has a very special plan for your life!!!!
"I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord.  They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Grace ready to head out the door to preschool this morning...
She gets to be "special helper" at school, and then she is having her friends come over for her birthday party.  I can't even describe the excitement that is in the air around here!

Friday, March 2, 2012

BIG Giveaway!

I am so excited...lots to write about!  Our dear friends, The Hendersons, are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia.  They are so special to us, because we were able to travel to Ethiopia together and bring our two precious kiddos home together.  JT was so much fun to spend time in Ethiopia with.  He was a first-time dad traveling alone to meet and bring home his son.  Natalie and I had gotten to know each other throughout our adoption process, and because she was doing her residency and was unable to travel, we promised that we would be there for JT when he entered the world of fatherhood for the first time.  Can you imagine traveling to Africa alone to meet and bring home your four year old son?   JT was a natural and our time together was awesome.  He was an amazing dad from day one.  

The Henderson Family- 5 Million Minus One (but now...more like minus 2 or 3 or more!)

Tedi and Grace are almost like family...they arrived at the orphanage the same day.  They met their forever families the same day, and they even traveled to America together on the same day.  We have been lucky enough to stay in touch with Tedi and his family even though they live in Louisville, KY.  We traveled to Louisville and it was as if Grace and Tedi didn't skip a beat.  They will always be special friends.

The Hendersons are adopting again, and we are thrilled for them.  We also want to do whatever we can to support their adoption.  They are working with Both Hands to take part in a great fundraising opportunity.
Both Hands is a non-profit organization with a two-fold mission. They serve widows in a very practical way in communities, while raising funds to help willing families adopt. They partner withLifesong for Orphans whose mission is “bringing joy and purpose to orphans.”  

JT and Natalie (along with a lot of friends and family) will be serving a widow in the Louisville area.  They will be having a huge "work day" to help meet some of her needs, and in turn, will be asking for people to sponsor the project.

For the next week, I will be giving you a chance to win this awesome assortment of Africa related loot.  I have three shirts, a paper bead necklace from Uganda, a key chain, and a great book to give away.  
All you have to do is make a donation to The Henderson's Both Hands project. 
I don't care how much you donate...every single dollar helps.  We have all seen the amazing things that happen when people in "blog world" donate to help fellow adoptive families.  I have seen amazing amounts of money collected for families in such a short time!  EVERY SINGLE DONATION will help.

If you make a donation, please leave me a comment.  That is all you have to do!
If you feel led to share this giveaway on your blog or facebook, that would be extra awesome!
Here are all of the items you could win...

I love Suubi necklaces.  They are beautiful necklaces and are packaged beautifully for gift giving.

This book is such a good read!  It is a historical fiction novel which is set in Ethiopia during the 1970's.  I have learned so much about Ethiopia and it's history through books.  I promise you will love this book and will learn so much about the heartache and difficult political struggles that Ethiopia has endured.  I am giving away a new, hardcover edition of the book.
This hand-embellished t-shirt is super cute.  It is black and has an applique Africa cut out on the left hip.  It is a size L, but it seems like a junior fit, so it runs a bit smaller than a regular women's shirt.

This kids shirt is a size 6-8.  I would say that it also runs small and is more of a 4/5.  It is a pink tee with a brown polka dot Africa appliqued on the front.
I also have a very small tee from a wonderful adoptive family.  The brown t-shirt pictured is a shirt says "147,000,000 minus one" and is about a size 24 mo (the tag says 4, but there is no way).
I ordered one of these shirts for Grace, and was unsure of size, and Cindy was so sweet that she sent me two shirts to be sure that one fit Grace!  How sweet is that?  So, here is the smaller shirt that did NOT fit my little  Grace (or her not so little tummy).
Super cool Africa key chain

So there you have it!  PLEASE donate a few dollars (or much more) to our friends Both Hands site
After you donate, just leave me a comment.  Your odds of winning are really good, so get to it!
Thanks so much for your support!!!!
I will be picking (Grace will pick out of a hat) a winner next Friday (March 9th).  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beautiful Dancer

 Isn't this picture beautiful? I just love it. It was taken last weekend at Alyssa's first dance troupe competition of the season. Alyssa is the girl in the left corner of the front row (bent over backwards).  This lyrical number was AMAZING.  The number was professionally choreographed by a well known dancer in LA.  She came  to town last summer to start teaching the number to the girls, and the first day Alyssa practiced with her, she said..."our lyrical number is so cool!"  Alyssa must have known that this number would be good.  It took first place at last weekend's competition.  

We had an awesome time at the competition last weekend.  The whole family went (usually it is just Alyssa and I that travel).  In addition to watching dance, the kids were able to do some swimming at the hotel (the water park was an added bonus) and sight seeing.

Here are a few more of Alyssa's dance friends in some of their various costumes...I missed a couple photo opportunities with her other costumes.  She also performed a great duet with her friend El.  Alyssa has grown into such an awesome dancer.  Most importantly, she is still as beautiful and graceful on the inside as she is on the out side!  We are so proud of her!
 "Just Dance" - a production number with Lady Gaga songs
 "Fly Me To The Moon"
 "Radio"
 Sisters...you can order a shirt like Graces here to help support my friend Kim's adoption!
 "Burlesque"

After the first day of dancing, we took a few dancers and their families to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant.  We do not have any Ethiopian restaurants where we live, so whenever we visit a bigger city we try to find one.
 The girls were pretty daring and willing to try some new food.  
 The boys have gotten pretty good at eating Ethiopian fare.
 And Grace, well, she was in heaven.  She still loves her injera and is an expert at scooping up her favorites!
 The meal was complete with a little coffee ceremony of our own!
It was fun to take these dance parents with us to the restaurant.  They were good sports and tried a lot of new foods.  It's funny how we think we are experts at eating Ethiopian food...two years ago we went to this same restaurant (while we were waiting to travel to Ethiopia) and had no idea what we were doing or what to order.

The next day we were able to take in a few sights between dances.  Here is the capital building in Madison.
 And not far from the capital is my favorite popcorn shop, Vic's.  Whenever we are in Madison, we try to make a stop there for rainbow popcorn.
 So, there you have it.  A great time was had by all.  The dance competition was great, the girls scored very well, the kids had fun throughout the weekend, and we got home safe and sound (and very late on Sunday night!).  After resting up on Monday, Grace was off to her own dance class...
Doesn't she look cute with her matching dance bag?  I actually didn't even notice until we got to the studio and the teacher pointed out how she looked just like her bag!