Friday, April 29, 2011

My Week in Review

My week started with two HIGHS:

Sunday we had a wonderful Easter celebration with family. The weather and food were good. The time spend with family was great! We really enjoyed our last reading time with our Easter garden. (See post below.) Here are a few pictures of from our day.
We launched a new fundraising item this week. We have been so encouraged by the orders for our beach/summer/pool bag. It is a very fun, bright and bold bag to cart all your summer gear in.
My LOW for the week was hearing and seeing all the damage from the recent tornadoes. For the first time that I can remember we had a siren go off in our town because of close tornadoes--we did slept through it, but it went off none the less.

My LESSON learned this week is out of the book of Exodus.

"Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

This lesson graciously shown to me this week is deserving of a post all in and of stayed tuned next week.

Filled With Praise

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A new Easter tradition

We had a great weekend celebrating Easter with family. We added a new tradition. Tim saw the idea on "A Holy Experience" blog of Ann Voskamp. We adapted it a bit for our family. We really enjoyed doing this. It was a great representation of the days from Good Friday to Easter. It allowed us to set aside more time this weekend just as a family to talk about what Jesus did so that we could have forgiveness of our sins.

-I feel like the pictures don't give it justice. We did the reading and lighting of the candles at night and it was so peaceful. Photos, at least from my little camera, can't capture the beauty of the candles glowing.

Friday morning Tim and the kids made the garden. All four of them planted, collected rocks for the tomb and two sticks for the cross.
Friday night we read about Jesus' cruxifiction and lit the candles.
Saturday night we read and talked about Jesus body being laid in the tomb. We lit the candle inside the tomb. (This was especially beautiful with the way the light escaped from the cracks.)
Sunday night we read and talked about the stone being rolled away.
And finally about how Jesus ascended into heaven.
Again, the pictures don't quite capture it....but this is definitely a tradition for us. If you haven't read any of Ann Voskamp's stuff, I encourage you to. I am planning a post on her "10+ Real Helps for Really Busy Mom". What wonderful reminders, just like the "Easter Garden" of God's gifts to us, not just on holidays but every second of every day!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beach bag winner

Lesson 101 in blogging...give away=lots of comments! :) I'm guilty of it too. Who doesn't love free? I enjoyed reading over the comments. I appreciate all the encouraging words about our new bag. So...there were 34 comments and the winner is:
(*Stephanie..send me an email with your address and I'll get your bag in the mail to you!)

The fastest order went to Lisa who ordered about a half hour after I posted the bags! Talk about encouraging.....they like it, they really like it!!

Again, thank you to all of you. Something I have learned about fundraising, never being on this side before, it only works when people are willing to support you. For the supporter this may mean spending a bit more on something than you normally would in a store. It certainly means making a bit of a sacrifice to invest in a family, usually unknown before reading or finding their blog. So to all of you--who I consider investors--we are so thankful. We appreciate each and every order and the many encouraging words we have received. The "notification of payment received" email is accompanied by an announcement, followed by cheering and rejoicing in our home.....still.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mama's got a new bag.

We had a wonderful Easter. I have some fun pictures to share of our celebration and a new tradition. I will share on these later because I just can't wait to share our newest fundraiser item. I am so excited to take mine to the pool this summer. It would work great at the beach too.
It is a fun, bright green mesh and canvas bag. It measures 12"x 15". I easily fit two large beach towels, water bottle and magazine with plenty of room to spare. There is a pocket in the front, too.

If you have followed my blog for any amount of time you know that I enjoy a good contest and give away. I had hoped to have a contest to guess the our new item but it was delivered too quickly. So, here's the give away...leave me a comment telling of your favorite summer vacation spot that you could use this bag. We'll randomly draw a name Tuesday morning and send you one. (They are ready to mailed out...)
For all those out there that live on the edge, enjoy taking a the first one to order the new bag and you can pick a t-shirt for FREE...remember you have to be the first one!! Good luck and may the fastest orderer win! :)

Christ is Risen!

"Let no one caught in sin remain inside the lie of inward shame."
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

O that old rugged cross despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine
A wondrous beauty I see
For t'was on that old cross Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true
Its shame and reproach gladly bear
Then He'll call me some day to my home far away
Where His glory forever I'll share.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.

~George Bennard

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This just in..

We can take t-shirt orders until Sunday (April 24th) at midnight. Help us spread the word over the weekend. All items ordered thru the weekend will be delivered to you by Mother's day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Stop Shop

Who needs Walmart, Target, or some fancy boutique. We have it all right here...great gifts and deals for spring.

Next order for shirts ends April 22 (Friday) so shirts will be mailed by Mother's day. Be sure to check the side bar for all the color and style choices.
Visit These warmers and scents make a wonderful Mother's day, graduation (dorm safe), housewarming, and wedding gifts. They are safe and wickless (electric).

Here's a great make a Scentsy purchase from my website,, and we'll send you a FREE t-shirt (unisex, solid color). Just email me with your color choice and size.

Another great gift idea for any age is a Ugandan magazine bead necklace. They are so colorful, just in time for spring.
Don't forget we have our "got love? adopt. 147 million orphans" travel mugs and cotton totes, too. Another great gift idea for little girls this spring are the handmade tutus--you design and pick your colors!

These are the last two days to make a t-shirt order (that will be delivered before Mother's day) and to get a FREE shirt for placing a Scentsy order.

Don't forget to look at the SPRING FRENZY going on at Stacy's blog. Make all your purchases count. Great gift ideas for an awesome purpose...changing the life of a child, one fundraiser at a time!!!

Thanks for reading through yet another shameless fundraising-push post. I appreciate it...we've got a little one to get home. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Post office or bust!

All shirts ordered between March 21 and April 4 were mailed this morning. Sorry for the long wait. I hope you like them!! (by the way, total was 74....THANK YOU!!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lunch with a Purpose

Several weeks back we were invited to lunch at a local church. We knew the family that was organizing it. They have three biological children, one child adopted from Korea, and are currently fostering (to adopt) two children. What a great family. (I am not just saying that because they bought 8 of our shirts, either.)
The purpose of the lunch was to share about a local sibling group of three that was in need of adoption. They were no longer returning to their birth parents. In attendance were two social workers from Social Services and a therapist that had worked with these children. The above family had actually fostered this group for a short while and was able to share pictures and stories of each child. They were all open to questions and answered honestly about the future of these children. Don't you just love this idea? If every church committed to pray for a child(ren) in their county's foster care system, to advocate for them and to help find homes locally, I wonder what the foster care system would look like.

Tim and I left there so impressed with the heart of this family and church, not only for this sibling group, but for the many local and not-so-local children that are in need of a loving family. Once again, we were so encouraged by those stepping out of the "American Dream" to live God's dream for their family. I am sure that this young sibling group, through absolutely nothing of their own doing, will bring along some baggage of what their life has been thus far. I am sure parenting them and walking with them through the adjustment of a new life will not be rainbows and unicorns. But I also know that God equips those who He calls and He surely never said He would only call us to the circumstances that are easy!

"Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."
Hebrews 13: 20-21

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Week in Review

I am having a bit of a hard time reviewing my week because it went by quite quickly. It is true what they say about this season in is really moving on. Which I am thinking will lead me to my HIGH: Our time ticker passed the 8 month mark! Yeah! I'm adding one more high for all the Scentsy orders that appeared on my website (see post below).

I guess it is a good thing when you have to really think about a low. So my LOW for this week would be getting through school in the morning with the boys. I think all three of us are ready to be done and sittin' at the pool! Our testing material came this week.....should've added that to the HIGH section! :)

My LESSON this week came from Ann Voskamp: "Love is patient. Parenting's this gentle way of bending over in humility to help the scraped child up because we intimately know it takes a lifetime to learn how to walk with Him. Patience. Love always begins with patience."

How often have I been that "scraped child" that the Lord has gently picked up? Too many times to count. What a privilege to extend that hand to my children as we learn to walk with Him together. (Especially during school time!)
Filled With Praise

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bonus t-shirt

You may have read in past posts about my newest endeavor as a Scentsy consultant. Scentsy began with a simple idea-a safe, wickless alternative to scented candles. My local friends, as always, have supported me in this. (I have the best friends, ever!!) I do think they really like the product. When signing up, I received a website where people can order through so that I get credit. This is where you come in! :)

If interested, please visit to browse the pictures of all the warmers and scents. These make great gift ideas: weddings, housewarmings, birthdays, Mother's Day (safe for elderly), and graduation (safe for dorm rooms). I recommend the plug-ins, especially for bathrooms with little users! :) Our favorite scents are: thunderstorm, white tea and cactus, sweet pea and vanilla, pima cotton, camu camu and sunkissed name a few.

The bonus t-shirt? That's for you! If you place an order before April 22 through my website send me an email and let me know what color and size "got love? adopt." t-shirt you would like (unisex, solid colored one) and we will send it to you FREE!!

A FREE bonus t-shirt for you as a "thank you" from us for helping us raise the money we need to bring our little Korean love home.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Loved by Choice

"Loved by Choice is a ministry of Blacksburg Christian Fellowship that was created to educate, encourage, and enable the body of Believers to love children through adoption, foster care and orphan care."
I know I have shared several times that the Lord used Proverbs 24:12 to really change Tim and my's life and perspective when we returned home from China, in 2007, with Lindsey.

"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."

Once the fog lifted a bit from returning home and caring for our "virtual twins", we really began to search out how we could take what we were feeling and use it for the Lord. As time passed and we really began to process it all, I thought of the reality of our daughter.

Lindsey was one orphan in a room of several orphans, the room was just one out of dozens of rooms in an orphanage, and her orphanage was just one in a country of many, many orphanages.

Did we know this before we decided to adopt? Yes, we had heard the statistics and even seen some pictures. But now we had a picture of a specific orphan. We held a statistic-no-more in our arms and called her our daughter. We brought what used to be a vague number into our home to be loved, trained, be an Apisa for better or for worse. And we rejoiced to have all of our children under one roof, finally. But my heart would and continues to ache for the millions left behind. The "numbers" still living in their room in an orphanage or even worse circumstances.

There is such power in our testimonies. No one can argue with you on your life's story. It is true, undebatable and holds so much encouragement. How could we take God's written story for our family and share it in a way to glorify Him. It came as the idea to start an orphan ministry in our church. God's plan was already woven as we quickly mended with two other adoptive families who shared our same desire. And from that Loved by Choice began in 2009.

We started by ordering the "Launching an Orphan Ministry in Your Church" by Family Life, Hope for Orphans. It was extremely helpful and detailed. I would recommend it as a starting point for anyone thinking of starting this kind of ministry.

I have been asked before, "Do you think every Christian couple should adopt?" And here is my answer, in a nutshell, "No, but I do think it is the responsibility, like in all of life, to be willing to say yes if He is calling you to adopt."

I was so encouraged by a couple from our church that showed up for Loved by Choice's information seminar. As they walked in and we greeted them, they said, "We don't really know why we are here. I guess to just learn more about adoption and foster care so we can decide whether or not God can use our family in this way." WOW... can you imagine if we all spent our Saturday mornings searching out ways to learn more about different ministries so we could better hear the call of the Almighty on our lives?

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and the vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."
James 4:13-15

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Week in Review

I had to wait until this afternoon to post "My Week in Review" because my HIGH came this morning.

MY HIGH: Getting to share at our church's adoption, foster care and orphan care ministry's spring information seminar this morning. I am alway super nervous and feel like I am going to hyperventilate at any moment but I love getting to share how adoption has changed our lives.
MY LOW: The fact that I had to wait until Saturday to have a "high". (Just keeping it real!)

MY LESSON LEARNED: Came from a sweet email reminder from my husband mid week. It will certainly expose what type of week I had with my children.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1
Filled With Praise

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Frenzy

There are several celebrations this time of year that you may be looking to purchase gifts for:
~Mother's Day

Here is my thought on this: If you are planning on buying a gift, why not try to purchase one from families that are working to bring their child(ren) home. It is like giving a gift that gives twice...once to the fundraising family and again to the recipient.

Minus 1 Project is selling t-shirts, travel mugs, totes and car decals with the message
"got love? adopt."

In addition to those items, we are selling Scentsy warmers, scents, car circles, travel tins, etc..

Head over to Stacey's blog and her SPRING FRENZY post to see other fundraising families and their gift ideas. Make every one of your purchases this spring count.......twice!!!

After the lovely spring weather we have been having, I am thinking about adding a new fundraising item to our long list. It is sure to be a good seller but not-so-easy to ship. :)


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Last Orders are out and New Orders are starting!

Ben had a great math lesson yesterday in estimating, adding and graphing (we homeschool) as we prepared the last group of orders to be sent to the printers this morning. If you haven't ordered and would still like to, we will take orders up until April 22. Shirts will be delivered to you in time for Mother's day.

All you mothers out there...drop the hint, give dads our blog and have a new shirt to celebrate YOUR special day in!

As we worked on school yesterday and shirt orders, what do you think the girls were doing? I'll give you a hint:

What can children do for hours without ever touching the ground???

Did you notice in the first picture the two EMPTY baby swings? I think I spent about 2 years of my life out there pushing the girls in those swings. Oh, how I am hoping there is a sweet little body to fill that swing this summer!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Last Call

Monday, April 4, is the last day to order shirts.

This set of orders will go to the printers Tuesday morning and will be mailed out the following week--in time for Easter. Any orders after Monday (April 4) and before April 22 will be mailed out in time for Mother's day.

Another "thank you" to all who ordered and shared with friends. Please keep it up! I wanted to share some pictures we have received from the first order. Please keep sending them...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Week in Review

I am joining Amy again and linking up for My Week in Review.

My high this week: Going out to dinner with my husband. Just my husband.
I love this man!

My low is week: Having sick children. We have been so healthy this winter until late week which dragged into this week.

My lesson learned: I am breaking the rules a bit to share a lesson learned this day in 2006. If you happen to try for several years to get pregnant, decide the Lord is calling you to adopt at this time, finish all your paperwork to adopt from China, wait over a year to be matched with a child, and THEN find out your pregnant....Don't share your news on April 1st because NOONE will believe you!
Filled With Praise