Monday, March 28, 2011

The Stand!

We have all heard the saying,

"Stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

I am beginning to see adoption as a victory. There are so many things that adoption wins on.

For the family it wins pleasure, fulfillment, joy, contentment, love, legacy, blessings...

For the child(ren) it wins heritage, belonging, love, acceptance, love...

I feel like I could go on and on about the reality of adoption. It ultimately brings victory to all of the lives it touches. Adoption is at the heart of the gospel. The gospel is the main victory.

And so what are you standing for? Who are you standing for?
"I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the One who gave it all."

Will you join me? Happy Monday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Week in Review

I am joining in on some blogging fun from Amy at Filled With Praise. The object of the exercise is to document one high, one low, and one lesson learned from the week.

My HIGH was on Sunday spending time with my family at the beach.

My LOW was returning home with 3 sick kiddos and a stomach detoxing from Skittles and Coke Zero. (I'll spare you a picture! :)

My LESSON learned (other than don't mix Skittles with Coke Zero) is you can never invest too much time and energy into your family!!

Filled With Praise

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Super cute tees!

I wanted to share with you the super cute tees that my friend, Abby, is making and selling to help with the funds for their adoption. They are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Abby, with her homeschooling family, reminds me of myself in so many ways. I am so happy that this blogging world brought us together as we wait for our fifth child to come home.

Go check out all her cute shirts she has made. You can custom design your own. I wish I had the picture of the mini "got love?" shirt she made for a family that is bringing home their baby from Ethiopia. They ordered blue (for the boys) and pink (for the girls) "got love? adopt." shirts from us and Abby made them a blue "got love? adopted." shirt for the baby!! Can't wait to share that picture when they send it.

Lindsey, Lucille and their cousin Katie from this weekend. Aren't those shirts so cute?! I had planned on putting them in the girls' Easter baskets..but couldn't wait!

And you shouldn't wait either...go visit her blog, Life as I Know It.

Beside the little bit of suntan and sand we brought home with us from this weekend, we also brought home a bug that has 3 of the 4 kids running high fevers. This is where I found Lindsey yesterday as I switched clothes from the washer to the dryer.
My first thought was, "I am glad she is laying on the clean clothes" quickly followed by, "I hope she doesn't potty and make me have to wash that load again!" Nice, huh??

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pop's birthday celebration

It is a 18 year old tradition for my family to meet up at the VA Beach Shamrock Sports Festival every year to celebrate my dad's birthday. I love looking at pictures of those weekends...some of the early ones are while Tim and I were dating. It is a fun filled weekend of playing, running, watching basketball, and being together. This year we had great weather. It looked a bit more like summer than early spring.

All the cousins had fun running on the beach and playing in the sand. We stayed down on the beach until after dark. We, well Tim and the boys, did a bit of fishing while playing two hand touch football with everyone.

Here is a picture of our whole gang. Missing from the picture is my mom (taking the picture) and one brother, wife and kids (who couldn't make it this year).

One last picture of the birthday Pop with Lucy.
You have got to love a dad/grandpa who year after year chooses to celebrate his special day with all of his children and grandchildren. What a privilege it is to share this weekend every year together. A weekend filled with family, running, basketball, and chaos!! Thanks, Pop, for another great Sham weekend. We love you!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Introducing a new "got love?' shirt!

We had planned on waiting until April 1 to do another round of shirt orders but thanks to you all--we are starting now. I cannot thank you enough. The first order of colored and tye dye shirts went out and so many of you spread the love!! I saw posts on Facebook about the shirts, pictures of families (can't wait to share) and even a give-away! All of these things resulted in several emails asking about ordering.

And so...why wait? You can order your colored and tye dye shirts, NOW. Did I mention the new twist? Just in time for spring and Mother's Day!
(I just wish the photographer hadn't cut the rest of my head off, but you get the idea.)

The new baseball style t-shirt! Available in women's size small-Xlarge. $20 XXL $22
The very popular tye dye t-shirt. Available in youth Xsmall - adult Xlarge $20 XXl, XXXl $22
The women's fitted short sleeve light t-shirt. Available in women's size small-Xlarge $20 XXl $22
Available in pink, purple and iris blue.

A rainbow of solid colors. Available in youth Xsmall-adult Xlarge $15, XXL $17, XXXL $18
Solid colors include: black, sapphire blue, navy, military green, Irish green, red, orange, pink, purple and dark heather. See below!!
***Orders placed between March 18 and April 5 will be mailed out around April 12. After that we will continue taking orders in two week increments as long as the demand is there--keep sharing about our fundraiser, please!

*We still have the black travel mugs, cotton totes, and car decals to order, too.

We aren't having such good luck with the colored mugs. Last I heard they are still on back order. We are looking at some other options and travel mugs/cups but wanted to make shirts available while interest is high!

Email me if you were wanting shirts for the whole family. I cannot wait to share some pictures we have received from families that wore our shirts for their homecoming celebrations!!

We are headed for a weekend away with my family to celebrate my dad's birthday. Hoping to have lots of pictures to share on Tuesday, hopefully including a new family colored shirt picture. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sharing my heart

Here is a bit of what has been on my heart lately. It has to do with these statements that I hear quite often from people once they know that we have adopted.

"We've thought about adopting."

"I've always wanted to adopt."

"Oh, I would have loved to have adopted."

The first response that pops into my head but I don't think I've ever voiced is, "And..."

Here is my heartfelt concern with those statements: Did they miss it? Was the Lord calling them to adopt with that "thought" or "desire" and they missed it? Did the idea of adoption come into their mind and back out with all the other zillions of "what ifs" and "if onlys".

The bottom line for me is that adoption is too big of an idea to just let hang. Don't put it up with the "maybe one day I'll start my own business, buy a vacation home, travel overseas, etc."

Be sure. Pursue the Lord. Seriously pray and ask Him if He would have your family to adopt. I don't think His answer is a yes to everyone, but it might be for you and your family. If His answer is no, close the door on it at least for a time and find other ways to help the orphan, but be willing to reopen it if He moves you to.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, March 14, 2011

7 months down!

I have officially entered my third trimester...of waiting! Come on, little one!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All mailed out and some leftovers

I am very happy to post that all the shirts were mailed out by yesterday. Thank you all for your patience while we sorted and packaged. I know many of you ordered them over a month ago. I mentioned to some of you that I would love pictures if you are comfortable with me sharing them on the blog. (If not, we would still love to see your pictures!) I can't wait to see some of the entire families that ordered for homecoming celebrations!!

Our dear friends at Advertising Authorities sent some extras for us to sell and/or raffle. I thought I would post what we have this week while I decide exactly what I can do with them. They are $15 each (including shipping). **Email me about a specific shirt and I'll let you know if it is still available before using the donate button to pay for it.

Youth extra small: 1 black
Youth medium: 2 dark heather (gray), 1 lime green, 1 black
Adult medium: 1 military green
Adult large: 1 light orange, 1 dark heather, 1 red, 1 brown

I wanted to share a picture from Tim's birthday celebration last week. We had fun making gifts and cards for him.
It was great to have a night together to celebrate his birthday. The party apparently required guests to wear their "got love?" shirts! :) Happy Birthday to a wonderful husband and a fantastic dad! We love you!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The "got love?" rainbow

The shirts are in. The shirts are bold. The shirts are colorful. The shirts are awesome!!!
Only the girls were home with me when the boxes arrived. They couldn't wait to put their shirts on.
They were just as excited as I was to see all the vibrant colors, that is until they saw the empty boxes....

As I pulled stack after stack of shirts out, I seriously got teary. Who would have thought? I remember the night Tim told me of his "got love?" adopt. idea. (It was in March 2010. Can't remember the date--wouldn't that have been cool if it had been 3-8-10?!) I loved the logo right away--and have been overwhelmed with thanks to see how much you all like it too.

Each shirt to me represents one step in the direction of our little one's life. I am sure he/she is born. I am sure he/she will fit right into our family. I am sure he/she will be perfect. And so with each box and envelope I seal up today and tomorrow I will think of my fifth child...who, although I don't know him/her, my heart is really starting to miss.

A HUGE thank you to Advertising Authorities, who did an incredible job on our order. Please remember them for all your printing needs: 1-800-948-4328

If you haven't heard of newest Ethiopia adoption news, please check out Amy's blog where you can learn more and more importantly sign a petition. There are many, many orphans and forever families that this may impact.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Earning Pennies

A few posts back I did one titled Pinching Pennies. This post I want to share with you my new job (ha!) to help Earn Pennies. There is a longish story that goes with how it came about but I am now a consultant with Scentsy. Have you ever heard of it?
My niece, Dani, and I at my open house launch party.

My disclaimer: I am really not a sales person and never saw myself doing something like this. However, it was pretty clear to me that this was an opportunity for me to do something to help with adoption costs. (And hopefully, after the adoption is final to have a little extra fun money.) I have had three very successful parties--nothing of my doing, but a testimony to a fun product and my great friends that seem to support me in all my crazy endeavors.

I wanted to share about this because it may be a good way for some of you to do the same. (I would be happy to answer any questions about it if you are interested.)

Moral of this post: Never say never... :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

t-shirt/travel mug update

T-shirts should be here Wednesday. The box of tye dyes got lost by UPS. (Don't worry Sallee, I will hand deliver yours to your family, if needed. I can't wait to see your crew in those shirts!!! :) I have everything ready to pack 'em up and ship 'em out!

We are hoping to get word on the mugs this week. Our friends are working to find another company if these ones stay on back order.

Thanks for you patience!
FeFe with her baby, Micah, and her dog, Rolly! Happy Monday.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I read this quote the other day:
"In adoption the fearful become beloved, the scorned become adored, the nameless become cherished, the lonely become the laughing, and death becomes life abundant."
~Kerry Hasenbalg

It has run through my head over and over. It has gnawed at my heart over and over. I do a lot of "what ifs" when it comes to Lindsey. I'm not sure it is healthy or if it serves a purpose, but I do it. I hear statistics and stories on orphans and I think "that could have been Lindsey". That could have been our beloved, adored, cherished, and laughing Lindsey.

This played out in a very real way for me a couple of weekends ago. Ben had his pine wood derby race. Tim had planned on just taking him when he asked if Lindsey could go. She could race an old car of his in the sibling category. The three of them set out to conquer the race track!

Tim sent me a picture from his phone during Lindsey's race.
There for all to see. She is no longer nameless. She was given a name by the orphanage staff and her last name matched all the other orphans in leu of the province she was found. No baby book names, no discussion and no heritage. And now...cherished and an Apisa name with all the rights and inheritance that come with it. There seems to be something so gospelish about that. Isn't that the same as our spiritual adoption?

God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, " Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Galatians 4:4-7

I met Ben at the door when they came home. He ran past me to his room and came back down with an old baseball trophy. His car had actually won a trophy for placing second. Lindsey's car didn't fare as well. But he wasn't about to let his little beloved sister feel left out. So in our kitchen, he conducted his own award ceremony to present her with a trophy as well.
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me...He has sent me to bind up the give them beauty for ashes...that He might be glorified."
Isaiah 61:1-3

Considering adoption? Pray...there are millions of fearful, scorned, nameless, and lonely that wait.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Swim meet weekend

This is where we spent our a crowded YMCA gym with loads of people literally camped out for three days. Ethan (12) and Ben (10) were very excited to be participating in a regional swim meet of this size. We had a fun, long, and exhausting time cheering for them and their teammates. They came home from practice tonight with their medals. So in true mom fashion, I made them stand together so we could document their success with a photograph....I should have known better! :)
(Ethan lovingly and roughly cleaning some spaghetti sauce off of his brother's face.)
I don't want to be a bragging mom..but I am so proud of how hard and fast they swam.
After a full weekend away from home, this is how the girls spent most of Monday
in pajamas playing with play dough.

T-SHIRT AND MUG ORDERS: just an update on those 116! shirt orders that went to the printer this week; hoping to get those mailed out to you as soon as they come in. I am working now on getting all our mailing supplies in order. The mugs are still on back order. I am hoping to hear about those by the end of the week and I'll let you know. Thank you to everyone who inquired about them....leading me to think you are considering an order. WONDERFUL!!