Growth...of our our walk with all things to worship HIM!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Waiting

Have you ever been on a journey that stretches you to the very core?  The type of journey where you need to cling to Christ every minute of the day to avoid being overcome with fear and doubt.  The journey where you are willing to throw out everything you know or think you know and rely on Christ to rewrite who you are and where you are going.

As I  continue to pray that my heavenly father will change me, make me like HIM, break my heart for what breaks HIS, strip me of my selfishness...HE is doing much in me.  I have come to realize that much happens in the WAITING!!

It is easy to get a glimpse of what Christ has for us, assume we know the destination, and start running and doing with all of our might.  But it is in the WAITING that we synchronize our compass and get confirmation of the path we are to follow.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

International Voice of the Orphan: So Much More

I spoke in an earlier blog post about wanting to go to Uganda for a missions trip this summer. If we are approved to host Aaron I will not make it there THIS YEAR.

But a team is there now...loving, doing, impacting the lives of children. Look at the plates of food. The organization is currently able to feed 70 children 3 TIMES A WEEK!! My girls eat that much at least 3 times a day, usually more.

Read their post...

International Voice of the Orphan: So Much More: So Much More: Day 1 in Uganda and already many have discovered that there is so much more …. So much more than words can express. ...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012



Well friends, it looks like the Philippines will allow Aaron to be added to the hosting program this summer even though we missed the deadline!!

We are still waiting approval for our family however.

 I wish I could post a picture of his beautiful face but they have strict laws against it.  So, you will have to take my word for it:)

  I called my sister this morning and told her how very happy her 9 year old son is going to be!!  He is the ONLY boy on both sides of his family and he has been anxiously awaiting our adoption.  We all thought that he was going to have to wait for his cousin to grow a bit before really playing with him.  Well Mr. Colin...we are bringing home a playmate that will be able to play from his first day home!!!!  I cannot wait to put those sweet boys together!!!

We still have MANY unknowns for the future, like do we start the adoption process now or after he comes this summer.  But once again...we know our heavenly father has is all under control.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Story Continues...

Are you all sitting on the edge of your chair?  ME TOO!!!  I still do not know where we stand!!!

I contacted the agency for the "Share Your Summer" program and found out the deadline has been past for quite some time.  I asked if Mr. Aaron is still available and if our family could still host/adopt.  The director suggested we make a mini profile page of our family to send to the Philippines and see if they would consider us.  Apparently they are not terribly supportive of bringing a child home that is the same age of a current child.  I corresponded several times with the agency to tweak the page and it was sent early evening.

In the mean time....yep, you guessed it....yet another baby opportunity became available.  A baby boy to be born in Florida in May.  We needed to give a response for that one by 5pm this evening as well!!

I realize this does not make sense to many following our journey.  Quite frankly I don't know how we arrived here myself.  What I can tell you is that we will not back out on Aaron because baby opportunities came up that we may or may not be chosen for.  This young man has been fearfully and wonderfully made by our heavenly father.  He has a story...he matters!  So friends, we contacted our referral agent, explained our situation, and told her we do not have an answer until we hear about Aaron.  

I was handed a quote from Oswald Chambers this evening titled "The Good or the Best"

God sometimes allows you to get into a place of testing where you own welfare would be the appropriate thing to consider, if you were not living a life of faith.  BUT if you are, you will joyfully wave your right and allow God to make your choice.

That is where we are at friends!!  We have given the reigns to Christ.  We will walk through the doors HE opens for us and trust that he will guide our path.  I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Of Course It Happened...In Other News

After following our journey this long...NONE of you will be surprised by what I have to say!!! 

 We were just sent a baby opportunity for a boy due April 20th in Florida:)  

It is all or nothing for us!!  We wait for months with nothing, and then have an abundance of decisions to make.  

I have to tell you, I was completely expecting this to happen.  It sounds like great news...we want to adopt several more children.  It would be so very wonderful to be able to adopt the baby in April, have Aaron come for a visit this summer, and then adopt him 9 months later.  Unfortunately it just does not work that way for the Philippines.  You have to wait 2 years between adoptions according to their adoption laws!!!  

So, I had myself an initial "of course it happened" chuckle and now it is time to soak the situation in prayer once again!!  I am not willing to just ditch this sweet boy because what we have been waiting for has presented itself.  We are going to move forward and knock on doors fully trusting that God will open/close them as HE sees fit.  

We will call the agency for Aaron first thing in the morning to see if anyone has stepped forward to host or adopt, and to see if we can still be considered for hosting since we missed the deadline.  From that information we will give an answer to the referral agency about the baby by 5pm tomorrow.  

We very much appreciate your continued prayer and support!!!  What a ride this has been!!!

In Other News

We had company from our old stomping grounds on Saturday

Kylee and Abby used to dream of having farms next to each other and riding their horses together each day.  I truly cannot say if that will ever happen, but they had a fabulous ride together!!  They spent some time in the rink and then went on a trail ride through the woods and around a gorgeous pond.  While on the trail ride they were giggling and singing...there was no love loss in distance for these two!!

 Mélika got to be a spectator this time.  She said it was so strange to be there with nothing to do:)

Good old Red didn't want her to feel left out...much love was exchanged:)

My hubby was finally able to make it back to the stables.  We usually ride on a weekday morning so he rarely gets to watch.  He says he has land envy every time he drives onto the ranch is gorgeous!

Mr Colin found things to do around the ranch, and joined us in walking through the woods.

Not our best picture Miss Jill, but it shows we were there none-the-less

 The guys had a good time visiting with each other as well.

And then I got sweet snuggles from Colin...I taught him in Kindergarten a few years back.  What a nice young man he is becoming!!  I love love catching up with former students!!!
Enjoy the rest of your vacation friends!  Thank you for stopping in on your way through!!!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Difference 24 Hours Can Make

Oh where to start?!?

Those of you that have been following our journey know that God has been growing us, stretching us, challenging us!!!  The domestic adoption road has been eventful and emotional.  We have laughed, cried, danced, and mourned.  We have put ourselves out there, many times, and have yet to have a successful match.

Along the way our hearts have also been moved and broken for orphans around the world...especially those with special needs!!!  It has been difficult to know just what to do with this information.  We thought it was wise to adopt domestically first because of the birthmother selection process...then do special needs or older child adoption in the future.  How long do you wait to be chosen?  How long do you watch children in need of a family around the world and hold tight to what you think you want?

Then God brought a young lady into our hearts and our home.  We pray that as she spends time in our home, Christ will love her through us...that she will feel cherished and equipped to take strides toward her end goals.  We knew when we opened our home that it could affect our ability to adopt in the future.  But...we decided to walk in faith and LET GOD!

Earlier this week I read opportunity to do what I have been dreaming about for literally YEARS!!!  Uganda has been on my heart for so very long and I have always wanted to do an orphan specific missions trip there!!!   When I read this post I started yelling in my bedroom...pick me...pick me!!!  I asked my hubby if I could go and without hesitation, he said YES.  He actually blessed my socks off and let me know he may also want to make the trip:)  So, I filled out the paperwork and sent in the application.

Well friends...that brings us to the last 24 hours:)

Yesterday I got an email from a gal we love love that did our homestudy.  She was checking in with us and wanting to know where we stand in adoption land. I have to be honest...I have been quite afraid to tell her, or the gal from the referral agency, that we have added faces to our home.  I knew that it could potentially stop our plans to adopt and I just could not bring myself to share that info...before yesterday that is:)

The long story short is that I told her the situation....and we can still adopt but we have to update our homestudy ASAP... yep, more time and money....BUT GOD!!

THEN...I read THAT about a "Share Your Summer" program that allows older orphans from the Philippines to be hosted for the summer.  I have followed this blog for a long time.  Quite frankly I have heard about the "Share Your Summer" program before.  So...why did it mess me up this time?  Maybe it was the fact that the other boys from the orphanage were going to host families and three would be left behind...maybe it was because I imagined my sweet Kylee being one of the unchosen.  I really cannot tell you what struck a cord with me.  For some reason....I could not get Aaron, one of the three, off my mind.  The girls and I prayed for all three boys.  Please God, place it on the hearts of the right family for them.

Later in the day I was still in knots about Aaron needing a home.  So, I contacted the blog writer and asked a few questions.

Then this morning...SHE SENT ME PICTURES!!!  I looked at the eyes of this 11 year messed me up.  I struggled much over the course of the day.  We had company, went to the stables, and had some commitments.  I really could not talk to my husband about it before evening came.

My hubby looked at me and said...I just don't understand what the problem is Joy!  We have had infant adoption on our hearts for have wanted to rock babies in Uganda for cannot save everyone Joy...this is really a no brainer.  I looked at him and said, "will you look at the picture?"  He let me know that he didn't need to see the picture...we were not doing it.  I asked again if he would just look at the picture.  He wanted to know what I hoped to gain from looking at the picture.  I told him I hoped to gain confirmation.  After a few more times around...he agreed to look at the picture.  He looked at both pictures sent for a very long time.  Then he read the emails that provided more info.  My sweet hubby looked at me and don't even know the dates of the hosting program or how much it costs.  I looked at him in complete shock.  Why did he care about the dates or cost?   He said BECAUSE WE NEED TO SEE WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO BRING HIM HOME!!!

Friends, I really do not know what the next 24 hours will hold!  I don't know if we missed the deadline for the hosting program.  (it was to end today) I don't know if another family stepped up today to be Aaron's forever family.

We still want to adopt infants, we still want to go to Uganda to rock babies and eventually adopt them:)  All I can say is that God is truly stretching us in every way possible!!

Please pray that God will open/close doors so that we will remain in HIS perfect will!!!  We do not want to make decisions on emotions, guilt, selfishness, or fear.  I have been praying since last night for God to grant knowledge and understanding in this situation.  Now we are praying as a family that God will continue to reveal HIS will and give us wisdom and discernment as we step out in faith once again!!!

James 1:5 says....If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Child Like Faith

Child like faith...that is really all we need.

As adults, we can come up with, or justify thousands of reasons we cannot do something.  Reasons to put our conscience at rest...reasons that keep us from reaching out to those in need or those without a voice.

You have heard them...quite frankly like me you probably have said (or at least thought) some of them:)

But child like faith...

We have taught our children about the story of the little boy with just 5 loaves and 2 fish.  We tell them how Jesus performed a miracle and multiplied those loaves and fish to feed 5,000 people.   The bible says that those 5,000 ate until that were filled...and there were 12 baskets left over!!!!!

Do we believe this account that was recorded in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?  Do you believe that Christ can still take our little and multiply it to reach the multitudes?


I want my child like faith back!!!!

The faith that says, ok blessed me with this...I will give the little I have (whether time, effort, money, prayer, a voice)...give it back to you...AND WATCH YOU MULTIPLY IT!!!

Let's take the attitude of this gorgeous 8 year old.  She found out that there are people in our world that are hungry.  Not willing to accept the injustice of it, she decided to do something.  No, her plan did not go as she had hoped the first try.  How often do we try to step out, encounter a setback...and say, "Hey God...I just didn't work out.  Maybe it isn't your plan after all."  Do we give up?  Walk away?  Abandon ship?  OR, do we regroup and try again?  Miss E...thank you for believing that Christ will multiply your efforts and not giving up on what your heavenly father placed on your heart!!

A Day of Preparing

A day of preparing...Kylee's mouth is preparing for braces...Bri is preparing for baby Adisen.  Hubby is preparing for another business trip...dislike!  And, Mélika and I are also preparing but I'll leave you hanging and save that for another post:)

After a trip to the orthodontist for spacers, Kylee humored me for a few photos today:)  She begged me not to take the camera into the office.  I would have loved a shot of her in the dentist chair, but I left the camera in the car.  

Yep folks...even the orthodontist can't get this girl down:)

She was convinced that spacer instillation merited ice cream.  I told her ice cream was just reserved for shots...then I gave in.  Look at that face...wouldn't you!?

Then it was back to school work!

This evening the girls and I went to Agape Pregnancy Support Services to attend a baby shower for Bri, tour their facility, and help in any way we could.

We have been so very blessed to get to know Bri's mama!!  She has such a servant's heart and loves her family to pieces!!  Bri is blessed to have such a fabulous support system.  And I know SOMEONE is going to be spoiling baby Adisen!!  

Bri received lots of beautiful baby items!!

 Our girls helping to sort baby clothes for families in need.  Again, we may not alway have money to donate but what about your time.  Every little bit helps!!!

Bri with Miss Helen, the founder of Agape Pregnancy Support Services.  This gal has such a heart for Christ and a love for all who enter these doors.  Miss Helen, I pray God continues to use you in mighty ways to impact families for HIM and save unborn lives!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Got $13 Dollars to Help Preserve a Life?

Our oldest daughter introduced us to Anna Marie a few months ago after church.  She was very sweet like many youth we have gotten to know from our youth group since moving to NC.  But there is something that sets this young lady apart from some of her peers.  Anna Marie has discovered that each of us can make a difference in the lives of others no matter how young or old we are!!

Each year since kindergarten she has found a way to bless SOMEONE ELSE for here birthday instead of looking to what she can have for herself.  One year she raised money for the American Red Cross, another year it was for the tsunami survivors, yet another she collected toys for children in need.  

This year for her 13th birthday she wanted to do something for her best friend Kristen who was diagnosed with cardiomyopothy in November and needed a heart transplant.  

Anna Marie launched ONE THOUSAND BLESSINGS FOR KRISTEN - she asked people to donate $13 and send a note of blessing to Kristen and her mom.  ($13 dollars  because it was Anna Marie's 13th birthday...AND,  Kristen will be alive for her 13th birthday because of the heart transplant!!)  Anna Marie hoped to raise $13,000 toward the estimated $50,000 the family will need to continue Kristen's care since the heart transplant.  She takes 14 different medications 4 times/day.  

When I spoke to Anna Marie's mother on Sunday she told me that they have raised over $20,000 so far!!!  It is not too late to bless Anna Marie's efforts.  The notes of blessing and encouragement will be presented to Kristen this Sunday, February 19th.  They will continue to collect cards and donations after that date as well:)  

This journey has grown the faith of both girls so very much!!  Would you consider blessing their socks off and helping their cause?  To many of us...$13 is so little....but to Kristen, it can do so much!!

You can make an online donation HERE  ( be sure to leave a note of blessing on the guestbook page if you choose this option)  If you would rather make a personal homemade card, contact me for an address.

This is a photo of the two girls just this week celebrating valentine's day!!!  

Their story has gotten quite a bit of media coverage:) 
To see the ABC news report click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

games, chocolate, mohawk

Got to love it when even Bri invites friends over for a game of Catan!!  She fits into the family so well...Catan junkie in the making:)

Treats for my sweets!!!!
Oreo Truffles, chocolate covered strawberries, and chocolate covered apple slices.  Oh so yummy!!

Yesterday was a COLD  COLD day for riding but Mélika weathered the wind storm and got a good lesson in.  She had the rink to herself this week and was able to get some great jumps in.  She started with ground poles, then one cross bar, and then two cross bars.  

Then she graduated to a straight pole.  I am sure this has a name but I am green and have no idea what that might be:)   

So, this is my favorite!!  Slick is sporting a cool mohawk in this shot.  
I love love the new big girl camera!!!   

Kylee hid from the camera the last few days...have no fear, I will catch a few shots of her soon!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trading a heart condition for compassion

ok...I know this is long but please humor me and read to the end:)

It is no secret how my heart breaks for children.  Those in need of!  The more I seek to know the heart of my heavenly father, the more my heart aches to make a stand in the gap and advocate for those that can't speak for themselves.

Throughout this adoption journey I have been selfish.  Yep, I will call it out for the ugly heart condition it is!  I have spent so much time and effort focused on what I grow our family through adoption...that I did not always have a view of the bigger picture.  Although I know this journey is on God's time, I have often cried out to HIM asking why is it taking so long.  I have reassured HIM that we are ready and willing.  There are millions of children in need of a loving why the long wait.

But, as this blog is titled, we are growing.  As we allow Christ to grow us, we are transformed.  If we had been given the first set of twins that we put our profile out for, I fear that we would have become content and comfortable.  Our vision and focus would have remained on our clan of warriors alone.  Please do not get me wrong...our first priorities are to Christ, our marriage, our children, and then ministry...activities...etc...  But, without this time of growth, we would not have allowed the transformation of our selfish hearts and been open to take action on a bigger level.  No, we have not arrived.  Selfishness is an ugly condition that we must daily make choices to remain distant from.  But oh the growth!!!

We are still not exactly sure what God wants us to do long term to advocate for children hurting around the world.  What I do know is that our hearts and focus have been taken off ourselves and is looking to impact others.  Right now...until it becomes clear what our long term goal is...there are MANY things we can do.  Sometimes we think we can't do anything because we do not have money...we are young...or we just don't know where to start.  I PROMISE YOU...there are needs all around you that God will reveal as you heart turns outward.  We may not be able to do much on our own...but as we band together...the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!

We are becoming more involved in Ship of Zion Community days.  This inner city ministry gives love, support, prayer, food, clothes, and services to those living in some of the most desperate and dangerous areas of our local city.  Our girls see poverty and hopelessness in the eyes of those impacted, and once our eyes are opened to the truth, we cannot pretend it doesn't exist!  As parents, we can't  raise world changers if we do not train them to give and serve as they grow up.

Through our homeschool group we are gathering school supplies for a missionary that is teaching school in a modest mud brick room in Sudan.  She is teaching 20 little children with VERY FEW RESOURCES.  We are so very blessed to have heard about this opportunity and are anxious to share what we can.  Again, we can do little, but our little combined with your little, makes a tremendous impact!!!

 A bloggy friend over at My Cup Overfloweth is running 26.2 miles on March 18th to raise $10,000 for this beautiful baby boy that needs a life saving surgery.  In China children cannot have surgery unless the money is paid up front.  Orphanages simply do not have the funds for these surgeries! 

She wants him to know someday that he is loved and someone half a world away cared enough to take action.  PLEASE CHECK OUT HER BLOG AND PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER SUPPORTING HER EFFORTS!!  There is also a link on her blog to purchase a necklace and all proceeds go to baby Herschel.

Bri, the gal that is living with us right now as she prepares to be a new mommy, and her family are strong supporters of Agape Pregnancy Support Services.  This location used to be an abortion clinic!  Miss Helen stepped out in faith to purchase the property and counsels young girls toward life for their unborn babies.  They provide love, support, and counseling for these mommies.  They are also the ONLY center in the area that provides free baby items to help the mommies be successful.  They are having a Walk for Life on April 22nd from 3-5pm.  We will be there...we will raise money...we will walk to help raise awareness and advocate for unborn children.  If you would like to participate or support us as we walk, please leave a comment and we will get you information.  We have also donated many baby items that I have been hoarding over the past few years.  I have come to realize that  we do not need all of it and there are those with much greater need for it.

We will also be participating once again in the Compelled By Love 5K walk/run to support girls that are caught in human trafficking.  I spoke in an earlier post about Mélika's close friend that is organizing the 5k for her birthday.  That will be taking place in September and I will post as the details become available.

On the side bar, I have added various badges.  Yea!!!  I have finally found out how to do it!!
The first is for a prayer team.  Friends...prayer is POWERFUL!!  If you are not someone that spends time on your is time to start!!

The second is for the International Voice of the Orphan.  Miss Linny and her husband at A Place Called Simplicity have recently started this non profit organization to feed, defend, comfort, and advocate for orphans around the world.  Folks can make a donation directly to their site, or donate hand made items, unused gift cards, or vintage/collector items to be sold.  Is there something you can make to raise money for orphans?  If not...consider all your gift shopping online through their site.  (shopping options are not yet up on the site as donations are coming in...check back soon)

Our family spent many months over the past year making and selling our adoption bracelets.  We have pretty much exhausted our ability to sell them in our circle of influence so we stopped production.  We still have a box of beads and cord left over and it has been sitting in my room taking up space.  When we learned of IVO the girls and I  immediately started praying about how we can help and what we can do/make.  We are still trying to raise funds for our adoption and have added a new face to our family recently so a monetary donation would be difficult right now.  BUT we have materials and knowledge to restart bracelet production!!

May the callused fingers begin!!

The third badge added to my blog is for Amazima.  If you have not yet heard Katie's are missing out!!! I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO CLICK ON THE BADGE AND READ KATIE'S STORY!!  She recently wrote a book that will rock your world if you get your hands on it!!  Kisses from Katie is a MUST READ!!

My fourth badge is for 147 million orphans.  I love love this organization and would like to have a shirt in every design and color!!!!  (hint, hint...hee, hee!)  This organization was started by two adoptive mommies that have a heart for orphans.  Below is a photo of their families together:)

They exist to FEED children in 8 different countries, educate families about HIV/Aids and financially support ministries that care for these children, offering adoptive families wholesale products to sell for fundraising, working with Ugandan women in Africa have a sustainable income from homemade necklaces, encourage adoptive families, partner with churches to advocate for orphans, and speaking up for those without a voice.  Because we are not currently signed with an agency we are not able to fundraise with them, but I know families who have!!  CHECK THEM OUT AND HAPPY SHOPPING!!

The last badge is from Wild Olive Trees.  This was also started by three adoptive mommies.  They make beautiful t-shirts that tastefully share the gospel on each shirt.  They also have a program for adoptive families to fundraise, they give proceeds to three very worthwhile organizations (Orphan's Wish, 60 Feet, and Eyes Wide Open International.)  It would be worth your time to look at their site and each of these organizations as well.  When you click on the particular badge I have posted it will take you to a special shirt that was designed to sponsor children in need of life saving heart surgery in China.  100% of the proceeds go to this cause!!    Yep...I would like one of each of these as well:)

Ok...I realize I stayed on my soap box for quite some time and may have lost a few of you along the way.  My point is time to take our focus off of ourselves and find out what EACH OF US can do to share the love of Christ with others!!!  I have listed a few ways...but quite honestly...I haven't even touched the surface of possibilities that are available!!!  Please prayerfully consider what you can do to impact lives in your local community and the world as a whole.

Start to a great weekend

Kylee and I went to a mother/daughter banquet at church tonight.  It was a beautiful night and...and I forgot my camera!!!  The room was beautifully decorated, there was yummy food, a fabulous speaker, face painting, crafts, and a photo shoot.  I am hoping to get my hands on a few of those photos to post here later:)  Here is a picture of a tired Kylee when we got back home.  

We brought Brianna L. back with us and found a competitive game of Catan going on!  The other Bri was learning the ropes so she can hold her own at a friendly game night tomorrow.  Apparently she won her first two games so my on!

 You are never too old for horse play with Papa.  Mélika started it but as you can see...hubby can still take her on:)

Kylee is not one for missing out on the action so she pushed her fatigue aside and got her horse play groove on as well.  

Bri and buddy had some bonding time while watching the show in the next room.  

The girls are heading downtown to do inner city ministry with their papa tomorrow!!  I cannot wait to hear all their excited stories of helping those in need.  
Oh I love thee!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recent happenings

We had a houseful for Super Bowl Sunday.  About 38 people made it out to our home.  This is how I spent my night so unfortunately I did not take many pictures:)  This is better than football ANY day of the week!!!

As you can see some of the younger crowd had better things to do besides football as well.  We did have a living room full of those that took the game quite seriously.  Only one of those was from our immediate family:)

Bright and early Monday morning we were back at the stables for barn work and riding!!  
It never gets old!!!

This morning I took Kylee on a field trip with our homeschool group.  Poor Mélika was stuck doing Chemistry at a friend's house!  I did bring her a t-shirt and doughnut home as a peace offering.  

So excited to see some folks still make doughnuts old school!  The owners and staff were so very kind and informative.  A great time was had by all!!

Kylee, tell us how you REALLY feel about your bag of doughnut holes:)  

We usually do not participate in many field trips unless they fit into our curriculum (like the art museum with the Egyptian artifacts earlier this year).  BUT...a bakery that is nut free...this mama was not going to miss out on THIS opportunity!!  Rest allergy sufferer stocked up on her fill of doughnuts today!!  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Famous Saturday

Our world has been topsy turvy busy the past few days.  But, that is what keeps life interesting:)  

Today our girls were involved in their second day of recording footage for a promotional video. my surprise...I was asked to say a line in the video as well:)  It sounded easy until the camera was  inches from my face.  If you can believe it...even our pampered pooch Buddy made the video.  

Kylee and Buddy taking a break from their 2 minutes of fame.  

  Mélika's dear friend, who also has a heart for girls caught up in human trafficking, has decided to have a 5k run (fundraiser) for her sweet 16 birthday party to raise money for Project Rescue.  We are very proud of her decision and agreed to participate in the video. I will post it at a later date and share information as to how you can show your support.  

I learned a few days ago that my oldest and her friends have started a band called "All 4 Love".  Here they are at their first practice together.  Someday when they are famous you can say... 
I knew them when!!  Whether they make it big or remain a garage band, this Mama is just tickled pink that they are rockin' it for JESUS!!

Oh, and the sweetest thing...Kylee and two of her girlfriends have decided they also want to start a band.  I found Kylee working on writing songs the other day.  When I asked her about it, she said it was music for her band.  Well baby girl, you can rock on for JESUS as well!!

Well, it is back to baking for me.   Super Bowl Sunday tomorrow and what is a game without treats?!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Are You Willing?

Those of you that know me at all, know my heart for children.  My heart breaks daily for those less chosen, in need of hope, in need of food, in need of a relationship with a Savior that loves them!  

It is so easy to say that we care or feel sorry for those hurting.  But there is a dramatic difference between sympathy and compassion.  Sympathy says poor them...I wish things were different.  Compassion drives us to take a stand, make a difference, and take action.  

As my oldest daughter so eloquently puts it...we are fat, lazy Americans in our big churches.  

We may hear a really good sermon or watch a video about making a difference.  We clap our hands and say "right on".  Then when it is all over, we return to our warm homes, eat a filling meal, crawl into our warm beds, and have sweet dreams of tomorrow.  

I have been praying for God to transform my heart and make it like HIS.  That not only will HE break my heart for what breaks His, but that HE will lead and guide our family as to how to take action.  Yes we are involved in local ministry, yes we tithe, yes we give to missions, yes we have added to our family, yes we are in the process of adopting.  But I know God desires more of me.

Please watch this video...Let the message penetrate your heart.  We are Christ's hands and feet! 
(If you are following by email you need to go to my blog to see the video clip:)

Today my thoughts have repeatedly gone to Schindler's List.  After successfully saving over 1100 Jews from death in gas chambers, Schindler said, "I could have gotten one more person...and I didn't!  And I...I didn't!"

Friends, I want to live with no regrets.  I want to stand humbly before God knowing I answered HIS CALL ... are you willing?

"...once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act."
Proverbs 24:12

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Big Girl Camera

I have been talking about and wanting a "big girl camera" for YEARS!!  We are very blessed to have a digital camera but the LCD screen now shows all photos in green, the shutter time is VERY long, and it is simply grouchy.  Or maybe I am grouchy when I miss that great shot because the silly thing will not take the photo!!  

Anyway, I have been saying for a very long time that when I grow up I would like to have a "big girl camera".  You know...the ones that can take continuous shots with a high resolution.  

W-E-L-L, my love got me a super sweet "big girl camera" for my 21st (30 something) birthday!!!!!!!!  


My first goal was to get a photo of our pampered pooch that was clear and without red eyes.  Not bad for my first try.  Over time I hope to learn how to use all the gadgets!!

Then I ran into my favorite toddler and just HAD to take her sweet picture:)

The majority of my day was spent in the kitchen today!  I FINALLY filled our jars back up with dehydrated fruit.  

And Tashca already tried to walk off with the pineapple!!  Nice try friend:)

Then I made some homemade hummus for lunch.

Caught me!  I couldn't help myself...homemade bread, hummus, sprouts, spinach, tomato, avocado, and love!!

While I was making bread and date squares...the girls were having their first guitar lesson.   

Then it was on to making turkey chili for dinner.  

In between stirs I was able to get some much needed "Oh Baby" snuggles with Miss Neely.  These just happen to be super sweet because my little friend pats my back and says "Oh Baby".  

Hopefully over the weekend I will get much practice with the camera and figure out how it works:)