And Other Real Life Happenings

Our life loving others, serving God and selling all we own to move to Africa.

Friday, December 31, 2010

...Greater Than The Universe

Drew and I have received the question a lot, especially at the beginning of the adoption process. "Why are you adopting?" A huge reason for me is I have ALWAYS wanted to just seems like a natural thing to me. Why wouldn't you want to give a child who had no home or family a home? I remember when I was about 10 begging my parents to adopt another brother or sister! But, another reason for Drew and I since we are believers is that we realize it is part of God's design. I know every family is not called to adopt...but I believe that if you follow Christ you are called to do something! Here are just SOME ideas...
Call your local Department of Child and Family Services and see how you can help. Most child protective service branches are overwhelmed with the amount of children in the system. Some counties have an “adopt-a-social-worker” program where individuals act as “finders” to help with family preservation. For example, if a social worker is trying to keep a child in a home where there is inadequate provisions (i.e. a crib, diapers, formula), the “finder” would assist with finding donations that match the family’s need so that the child is not removed. Become a CASA worker - Court Appointed Special Advocates are community volunteers who act as a voice in court for abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers get to know the child and speak to everyone involved in the child’s life, including their family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, and others. The reality is that social workers do not often have the time to do this, so judges rely heavily on the information they gather. CASA volunteers commit to a child until the case is closed and the child is in a safe, permanent home. Become a respite care provider - Respite care is the short-term care of a child which enables foster parents to take a break. Some children's needs require round-the-clock intensive care and parents need some time away to recharge. Sometimes respite is provided so that foster parents can take a vacation (most foster children are wards of the court and cannot leave their state). Foster parents cannot simply leave their children in the care of a babysitter or relative – the caregiver needs to be licensed with the county. Becoming licensed to give respite care offers a huge relief to those in the trenches and allows foster parents to do what they do without burning out. When we had children in foster care living with us, at times this was invaluable! Consider adopting a teen who is aging out – There is something profoundly heartbreaking in reading the photolistings of children who have turned 18 and who, despite being old enough to live independently, place themselves on national photolistings because they desperately want a family. Many of these teenagers have college plans or career aspirations and are really looking for the moral support of a family as they enter adulthoood. Everyone deserves to have a consistent place to land for the holidays, rituals, and celebrations in life. Maybe you have that to give. If you visit and sort by age, you will find many young adults searching for a family to call their own.
Annette and Norma, “18-year-old twin sisters with dreams of having a family of their own and a sense of belonging. Both girls want to attend college and talk of being a lawyer or a doctor down the line. While they have each other, the one thing that is lacking in their lives is a permanent place to call home.” - The Los Angeles Heart Gallery. Get involved with Orphan Sunday at your church. Orphan Sunday is your opportunity to rouse church, community and friends to God’s call to care for the orphan. It is a great opportunity to recruit help and raise awareness for the various relief organizations listed below. Volunteer for a local group home – Group homes are difficult places. There are so many needs that can be filled. You could help raise money for clothes, shoes, backpacks, and other supplies. You could mentor a teen who is aging into adulthood. You could tutor students who are struggling in school, or make regular visits to play with children who are in the difficult season of temporary care. Lend a hand to families who have adopted – Do you know someone who has adopted a child? Chances are, they are exhausted, both mentally and physically. Maybe even barely hanging on. Think about lending them a hand with whatever tasks are overwhelming for them, so that they can get a little break. Sometimes babysitting, folding clothes, bringing over dinner and things like this can mean more than you know! Start a mentoring group for moms with kids in the system – This is one of the most unique ministries I’ve seen: a group of moms (many of them foster moms) started a bible study with the biological mothers of local foster children. They mentored them, prayer for them, and encouraged them in their reunification efforts.


It is the best of our humanity when we acknowledge the suffering of another, and we make the changes necessary to do something about it. But in order to bring about societal change, we need to talk about the realities of poverty. We need to educate others, and motivate those holding the privilege to step up and help those who have nothing.
I know there are many, many more ways that people are mobilizing to care for orphans. If you know of some ideas or organizations, leave them in the comments. I would love to think that our current generation will sacrifice and work together to ensure that every orphan receives his or her basic human rights: food, shelter, clean water, and the love of a family.
Annnnd to answer the questions I've been asked a million times,
“Why do people have to adopt kids from other countries? Why can’t they take care of the kids here in the US?”
This is a question the Howertons answer best...honestly, I could not have said it better!
"This question both angers and amuses me. Amusing because it is so completely petty and almost always posed by people who are doing absolutely nothing about the “kids here in the US” that they are so indignant about. And angering because it is so ridiculous to assume that children born in other countries have less of a right to be adopted into a loving home than those born in the states.

I typically don’t feel defensive by this question (obviously, since we DID adopt a child from the US), but it does irritate me. My friend
Alida commented back and I really appreciate what she said. She is a former foster child herself, an African American/biracial mom of five, and she is in the process of getting her foster care license. So I think she knows a little something something about all that.

“One thing to consider, at least here in the US we have foster care. The government sets aside money for each child to have the basics, food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, developmental services, therapy, etc. In Haiti, Africa, places in S. America, Asia, there is NOTHING! You are a FORTUNATE orphan if you have access to the few poor overcrowded orphanages available. Even still you are probably malnourished. Those not in orphanages are often forced into child traffic, slave labor, criminal activity, abuse, begging, uneducated sick, and expose to the elements. Having been in foster care myself, it wasn't pleasant but my basic needs were met. I have lived in group homes here and they were nice. It wasn't perfect but I never went to bed hungry. There are well over 153,000,000 worldwide and as many as 163,000 right here in the good ole US of A in need of adoption, 500,000 here needing foster homes. If you are concerned with US orphans, I'd encourage you, to sign up today. There is also a special need for domestic adoption of black or biracial infants not in foster care. I hope that the many folks that so quickly ask the "why adopt from there when there are children here " are the same ones I see in my foster/adoption classes. Have you ever tried to adopt from the foster care system? It is difficult, time consuming and a VERY intrusive process. I should read you some of the homestudy questions! You'd blush! There are SO MANY REQUIREMENTS. You may or may not meet the requirements based on your family size, home size, views on birth control, parenting style etc. You could have a child or children in your home for YEARS and never be able to adopt that child and call them your own. You may have a child or sibling set that you have tenderly loved and cared for and have to return them (yes even years later) to the SAME drug addicted people that abused or neglected that child in the first place! We are trying to adopt a sibling set from foster care and the hoops I have to jump through to do it make international adoption look oh so appealing. It works for many and I hope we are successful. I pray each US child finds a forever family, but I can easily see why others chose international.”"
And, if you are wondering about adopting from a theological standpoint listen to John Piper on adoption and why it IS biblical.
*Special thanks to

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

What a day...not because anything spectacular happened.  But this is the first Christmas I have ever spent at home without my mom, dad, sister and her family, grandmas, grandpa and uncles.  Today has been peaceful, exciting sad and happy all at the same time.  The kids and I baked and cooked all day long.  We prepared the house to celebrate the birth of our savior!  It wasn't until dinner when Drew read the Christmas story that I started crying because I wish I was with my family...and just thinking about my great grandma, who is very sick.  I spent last Christmas with her and it was SO SWEET!  For the first time ever in Drew's and my life we will open presents on Christmas Day!  We both grew up opening presents on Christmas Eve seeing as it was a Swedish and German tradition (he is from German decent and my fam is Swedish)  Drew and I wanted to start some of our own traditions so we will open presents tomorrow like the majority of America.  I suppose growing up I always felt left out on Christmas day knowing that everyone was just experiencing the excitement of presents Christmas morn....and we "didn't do anything" (in my kids mind).  Since growing up, Christmas day with my extended family is a time for us to craft and just be together.  But, as a kid I didn't "get" that.  I am very thankful that we are close to Drew's side of the family so we WILL get to have a yummy lunch with them tomorrow that I am preparing.
Drew had to work today and when he came home he had a FREE tree from Earth Fare in his car!  I totally wasn't expecting that so it was a fun surprise to swap out the little fake tree I had (adoption budget people, adoption budget!)  :)  for a real beautiful one.  Then, against my scrooge like ways, Drew took the kids to Lowes and bought $12 worth of junk beauty!  They came home and were soooo excited to replace my color coordinated ornaments with tensile, huge colored lights and plastic....stuff.  Mmmmm, I was NOT excited at first, but the joy on all THREE of their faces and the treasures they found made me say WHO CARES about my beautiful tree.  This sweet phase of the kids life will not last forever.  Put all the ornaments down low and clumped together...if it makes you happy.  :)  The tree looks....well, different from other years.  It looks LOVED.  And isn't that what this season is all about?  LOVE?
Well, I'm going to sound like a dork, but I need to go so I can watch the annual mass at St. Peters in Rome. I'm not Catholic, but I used to spend hours roaming Rome-off to reminisce.  
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Lord of Strangers

So this is one of those posts I have been thinking about for a long time.  Not that there is a whole lot of content to it...but I just wonder what others think about a topic I think is pretty important.
 A word I like to put action to.  I love to have people over, let people use my stuff and make people feel comfortable and welcome.  I've been the recipient of others who have been hospitable towards me the past few months and every time it gets me thinking about hospitality.  I think hospitality is important.  Why though?  It got me thinking...WHY is it important?  And, everyone has different ideas of what being hospitable is.  What is yours?  I really want to know...that's not a rhetorical question.  :)
Wikipedia says this about hospitality.  "The word hospitality derives from the Latin hospes, which is formed from hostis, which originally meant to have power. The meaning of "host" can be literally read as "lord of strangers." hostire means equalize or compensate."  

My mother in law is writing a book on hospitality.  I won't tell you the name because it is not out yet...and it's clever, I'd hate someone in the Internet world take it.  ;)  BUT, I can't wait to read it.  What do YOU think about hospitality?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Begging for Myrrh

Two posts in two days!  Don't get too excited.  I don't know if I can keep this up!  :)  I did want to stop by to tell you about the awesome tradition our family has started this year.  I know this is only in time for those last minute shoppers, but maybe it can become a tradition of yours next year.

Don't mind Fuggy, Asa's baby (yes, I said ASA'S baby...that's what happens when you have an older sister) he is standing in for baby Jesus...with real hay from our rabbit!  :)
There are several different versions of this gift giving idea-but this is my favorite.  This year our family is giving three gifts per person.  Each present is either wrapped in gold, natural colored paper or white paper for a reason.  To read more about the symbolism go HERE.  I am excited about doing this for two reasons...reason #1 is I am so tired of the rate of American consumerism.  On the other hand, I find it hard like every parent to resist getting something for my child when I can just picture their excitement beforehand.  So, this year we bought with a purpose, modeled after the three gifts the three wise men brought to Jesus.  Gifts are fun to give and receive, just as long as we don't miss the reason behind why we give.
And just to top it all off, these are my favorite wise men.  I don't have very many Christmas decorations that I've had since we got married-but I remember buying these sparkly men after Drew's and my first married Christmas.  They just make me happy when I look at them.  :)
Even if you are not interested in doing the three Christmas gifts idea...check out the article above!  There is some really interested history about the reasons the wise men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Absent Blogger

...that would be me.  At one time in my life I was good at blogging, and now I think I like the idea-but am really not good at it.  It is very low on my priority list.  However I love reading blogs and I especially love the unity among the adopting group blogs.  I however am not your star blogger.  :)  I have been enjoying staying sort of un-busy this season (well, compared to previous Christmas seasons) and I have been just trying to slow down and ENJOY the snow and cold (trying to change my attitude) and just appreciate every mess I have to clean, errands I have to run and how blessed I am to be a part of something bigger than myself....which right now is adoption and Sole Hope and raising two precious children.  This is the first year since Quinn was two (she is 5 now) that we have not had children in foster care living with us.  It feels...different.  Not good or bad, just different.

I'll go all the way back to Thanksgiving!  I cannot believe I did not write about what an amazing time I had.  Despite the horribly cold and grey weather, the company was perfect-just what I needed.  Seeing some friends (I never get to see everyone I'd like!) and spending time with my sister, brother in law and nephew and my brother in laws family was just more wonderfulness than I had expected for Thanksgiving.  :)  My sister married into an AWESOME (and HUGE) family and their Thanksgivings just warm my heart.  Family and God are at the center of everything and I was so happy I could be a part of their family that day!  I spent last Thanksgiving with them also and every time they are just SO welcoming, warm hearted and loving!
(Josiah and Asa eating Allie's Thanksgiving breakfast and watching the Macy's Day Parade)

Another bonus was getting to see my nephew who I only get to see a couple times a year.  He was super shy at first and wanted to have nothing to do with me.  Ugh, I HATED that he wouldn't let me play with him or hold him so I was thrilled when my sister asked me to babysit one day while they went to look at homes.  (Oh yeah, and they were trying to buy a home while we were there)  When Josiah (my nephew) got up from nap he was a little hesitant to let me get him out of his crib but once he saw there was no one else there but good ol' ME he attached to me like a leach.  My time from then until I went home was precious with him.  The only draw back is now I miss my Indy family like CRAZY!
Josiah and I did THIS for about 45 minutes!!!

The day after we came home from Indiana, (just the kids and I) the whole family took a trip to Charlotte to get fingerprinted for the adoption!  Drew prayed on the way there that we would have all the paperwork we needed and that it would be "easy".  I'd say our prayer was answered as we walked in and NO ONE except the people working were there.  We found out on the way to Charlotte we were not supposed to bring children because of limited room in the waiting room and so we were nervous about having them with us.  BUT, since there was not one person there we got in and out WITH our kids in about 15 minutes!  We got a letter in the mail saying our fingerprints were APPROVED and they will expire in 2012....boy I hope we have a child before 2012!!!  Since we had some extra time we stopped by Ikea to get some basics for the school room and on our way out I just had to take a picture of the flags that were flying in the parking lot.  Tribute to my roots and my home.  :)  North Carolina, Sweden and America.

A couple weeks after we got back from Charlotte we drove to Boone, NC for the "Collie Christmas".  I was so sad it was cut short because of the impending snow storm.  My in laws live on top of a mountain and icy/snow mix + driving = DANGER so the family only got to stay together for one day.  Needless to say, we had a great time together and had so much fun!  The kids were happy to see their cousins and the food and company was awesome!  We took Quinn and Asa out sledding in the yard on the left over snow from the previous snow storm.  They LOVED it!!
Asa got a DVD from his CC that sings his name during the songs.  He LOVES watching it!  :)

Quinn and her Uncle Steve (Drew's middle brother) and her only girl cousin, Sydney!

Aunt Netta got Quinn lip gloss-here she is putting her gloss on by the Collie collie.

The view from my in laws back porch.  Beautiful!

Quinn and Asa's first time sledding.  They are now waiting patiently for our next big snow!

Asa won't keep his gloves on!!  Any suggestions!?!

And this picture just makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.  Our dog Jake came running down the hill as fast as his short little legs would carry him until he started doing a snow plow with his face!  If it wasn't already flat it would be now!  ;)
CC hand made this sock monkey for Asa!  How sweet and CUTE!!

The first year he "gets" opening presents.  He was so fun to watch.

Lastly, I am so excited I get to be part of an AMAZING adoptive mom's retreat in February!  I am really looking forward to this experience and I feel like I need this now, so I really will need it in February!  It is emotionally exhausting waiting for your child, the unexpected, the paperwork.  Would you like to buy one of the super sweet shirts that will support this venture that is completely volunteer run!?  If so, go HERE.

I've run out of time-I was going to tell you about the neat Christmas tradition our family started this year that I am so excited about!  I will save it for next time-and hopefully next time isn't in a month.  Kidding...maybe tomorrow??  We will see... for now I think you should go buy a shirt to support adoptive moms all around the country and I need to get back to being MOM! (I already bought my shirt!) :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Amazing Asheville Street Performer

Drew and I went on a date tonight and a couple blocks away we heard our favorite Asheville street performer. She has the most powerful voice-it is magnified times 10 when you hear her in person! I love her daughter sitting in the background drawing. :) This song is special to me for a couple of reasons, but one being it is so timely. I love the verse in the Bible that talks about how much God cares for us, every single one of us...he cares for the sparrow, how much MORE does he care for us!
We are now (unofficially) on the waiting list for our baby...and wow we have a wait ahead of us. Possibly 14 months! Just the thought of waiting 14 months for my next child makes my stomach hurt! Thats why I am just going to think about what I DO have right now and how THANKFUL I am for what I do have!!!
For example, my daughter who will be FIVE TOMORROW! So thankful the world has been blessed with five years of Quinn. She amazes me everyday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Wonderful Day

Today has been such a wonderful follow up to such a fun day yesterday.  It was all about Quinn yesterday and she knew it!  Her idea for bags to give her friends when they left was cute...she made "mini" crayons and added her business card and a silly band and then personalized each of the bags.  Speaking of her crayons, I don't think I have blogged about what she is doing! 
 You can purchase some of these for Christmas presents by going to Quinn's Etsy store online.
Let me just start by saying, Quinn LOVES to create!!!  She is very artistic and is always making something out of nothing.  When I taught her how to recycle crayons into fun shapes she was hooked!  She loved making them so much we have gone through all of our old crayons and she is now making new crayons out of new crayons.  :)  Quinn has an entrepreneurial spirit in her...I could tell the second she decided she wanted to SELL her crayons.  She said she wanted to sell crayons to help bring home her baby!  That girl is just too fun.  So, now she has joined the ranks of business women in the house and is a crayon maker.
Oh, and a precious moment from today that really shows how her heart is being shaped, I told her Celine Dion just had twins (don't judge-Quinn knows who has the most beautiful voice in the whole wide world...actually, she said it was me so maybe she doesn't know.)  And her response was, "Cool!  Are they the same color as her?  Like, did they come from tummy or did she adopt them?"  I LOVE that her almost 5 year old brain goes there!  When I was four I would have just assumed all babies come from the mom they live with.  She knows how family can be built. 
Quinn's friend Avenue spent the night (first time anyone has spent the night that was not from out of town) and they were so cute to listen to as the giggled themselves to sleep.  And actually, they were quite cute to listen to as they woke up giggling at 4AM!!!!  Avenue is staying with us until tonight so the fun has continued and the kids are enjoying the nice weather. 
I have spent the day working on things around the home that I feel like I never have time to get to.  I've been making my own Accountability Kids cards and hanging system.  I'd heard several good things about this "chore system" so I thought I'd give it a try.  Buuut, seeing as we are on the adoption budget I am making my own.  Let me just say, there has been a lot of cutting, laminating and painting going on here.  I'll take a picture once I get it finished and hanging up.  If you can afford it I would recommend just buying the kit, it would save a lot of time!  :) 
And, just for kicks (no pun intended) I'll post this picture from Quinn's last soccer game where she got her metal.  I'm not so sure she will be my soccer star, but at least she had fun playing.  :)  She was glad the season is over so she can start DANCE with Avenue!  I'm glad she hung in through the season-it made me smile to see my first born in shin guards and cleats...I know, I'm strange. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quinn's 5th Birthday

Because I'm SO tired, I'll let this video speak for itself right now and I'll write more tomorrow.  Today we celebrated my Quinny's 5th birthday!  We had such a good time with friends and family.  The day was celebrated with ice cream delights, a Care Bear cake (that has a good story to it!), Shrinky-Dinks, fun in the back yard and lots of friendship.  The only think I wish I'd done different was take more pictures!!!  Here is a sneak peak...till tomorrow.
(click on the link below...disclaimer, these were just taken with my phone)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sick & Tired of Being...Sick & Tired

You know that kind of sickness that just sucks the wind right out of your sail?  You can hardly stand up to talk two feet?  Your body hurts so bad you can't lift your phone?  That's been me the past couple of days.  But, I am happy to report I am feeling much better today-not better, just not feeling dead anymore.  My head is still in a fog so I apologize ahead of time for the clarity of this post.

I got an email update from our agency today.  It suggested that we have about another SIX month wait for a referral of a child.  I knew that was coming but it still boggles my mind when I think about waiting SIX more months just to find out who our child is.  What is even harder to think about is the fact that if our child is more than six months old at the time of the referral (which we are guessing will be the case) then he/she has already blessed this world with their presence.  Can you imagine your child being born and being on the other side of the world just waiting for you?  Thankfully I know who my baby-daddy is. :)  No, not Drew, not his/her bio father, but GOD.  Our child's creator...HE knows where our baby is and HE will watch over and protect our child.  For now I will just wait, so eager to get THE call.
In the mean time I'll fill my time with the precious family I have.  Here are some pictures from our last hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

Drew hiking, the kids catching a ride.  They know their daddy will do ANYTHING for them!  Include carry them up a mountain. (Yes, he really hiked like this...for at least a good mile)  
And, just for laughs, my princess Quinn with her prince, Jake.  :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dossier SENT & Halloween

(Above: The kids at the Post Office with our dossier packet)

Our dossier (AKA- LOTS of paperwork telling the Ethiopian government all about us) has been sent to our adoption agency today!  What a whole lot of paper work!  I am praying none of it will come back as needing to be redone.
Asa was very sad as we drove home.  He sat in the back seat crying, "But I wanna go get our baby from Affriiica at the post office!"  I had to explain that we just mailed the paperwork from the post office, that's not where we will get our baby(s).

So now what do we do?  We wait.  We pray. And we wait some more.  I'm not sure exactly what we are waiting for.  :)  I think for our agency to call and give us an update on when our dossier is sent to Ethiopia, or if we need to make some changes.  I'm praying I didn't miss something!

As far as Halloween last night, Quinn was Cinderella.  My friend made her a custom Cinderella dress, just because she loves her.  How sweet is that!?  Asa wanted to be a pirate, but we are on a budget so we had to go with something we had...a Starbucks Barista uniform.  ;)  Normally I would just make him a costume but I've been too busy sewing shoes.  So, I thought the Barista idea might be kinda fun-maybe he'd like looking like his hero, daddy.  So, Quinn got dressed in her Cinderella dress and I did her hair and let her wear make up.
Then, well, then it was Asa's turn.  He threw himself on the ground saying he wanted to be a cow!  A COW??!!  All this time he's been saying a pirate.  I was prepared to let him wear an eye patch and a Starbucks apron.  But nope, he wanted to be a cow.  After about 30 minutes of me explaining that he can either look like daddy, or be a chicken (his costume from last year).  He didn't want to be a chicken which I was thankful for.  (It would be super small on him.)  Finally I got him dressed and the only way we smoothed things over was I pined a Batman pin on his hat.
I have a lack of pictures because I just wasn't feeling it.  Cranky kids-didn't know who we would be trick-or-treating with or where we were going for that matter.  (You can't go in our neighborhood)  I won't finish the rest of the story because it was kind of gross and depressing.   We'll just leave it at, my kids looked adorable.  :)
Off to bed!  I have a board meeting for Sole Hope tomorrow morning.  I cannot even tell you, (but sometime I will try to explain) how much I love the board of Sole Hope.  They give me so support and encouragement!!  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Adoptive Talk

This is a wonderful, positive link that I think will help those who have a friend or family adopting.  These are the things you don't think about until YOU are the one adopting, or you were adopted.  Here is some food for thought.
 Click on the link below...
**This is our new adopted dog, Jake.  We really don't mind at all if you forget to use respectful adoptive language in front of him.  He is used to being laughed at and loved on all because he has a pug face.  Poor guy!  :)  He is Quinn's new best friend.  Jake is 7 years old and was given to us by some sweet friends who moved.  He has been such a fun addition to our family!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Get It

I get it!  I finally get it!  Those crazy adoption mommas in a frenzy to get their paperwork done.  (hehe)  That is totally me right now.  I remember watching mom's who were going through adoptions and just didn't really understand what all the rush was.  It is almost a maternal feeling, something like nesting when you are pregnant.  When the lady at the bank tells me she can't get that paper for me today, I have to wait 48 hours I get so frustrated.  Its good though, I get to tell myself a million times a day that this whole adoption is in God's hands.  I can only do what I can, the timing of everything else is up to Him!

This would explain why I have been so MIA these past few days.  I have been working VERY hard for Sole Hope getting all of the details worked out for running a non-profit, and getting ready for our trip in December.  PLUS, doing this whole paper chase.  I started getting our dossier ready this past Monday, and my goal was to have to mailed out today.  But, Drew's work has not returned the LAST piece of paperwork...and as soon as it comes in the mail I'm headed to the post office like a crazy body get in my way!!!  :)

So, this was just a little glimpse of life.  I have not disappeared and I have several things in my mind I am waiting to blog about-maybe tomorrow!  But for now I'll leave you with this picture that left me laughing!  We were at our friend's house tonight and their dog is missing some teeth and his little tongue was hanging out.  I don't know if it will come across as funny as it looked in person but....for smiles...

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Some of our best friends left today. They came and spent a couple days here in Asheville with us. We had such a refreshing time. True friendships are like gold. We got to talk about life, and of course, Sole Hope-because that IS such a huge part of my life. Sole Hope, in case you didn't know, working with Wiphan. Check out this video and you'll get to see the heart of Wiphan. And, you might see someone you recognize along the way. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Need Africa More than Africa Needs Me

So absolutely 100% true for ME! This is beautiful! How privileged our family will be to have a child from such a joy filled country! It's true-I've been there. WE are the ones missing something. Let us not second guess our responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in Christ, for this is our duty as a Christian! (sorry for the preachy-ness for those of you that are not Christians) But, just simply as a human being who breathes the same air as those experiencing loss, persecution, genocide...we are here to help one another. Be cautious your motives are in sync with humility and serving.
For our family, the call is to adopt. And we are SO excited to fulfill that calling! I know we have a long road up ahead. What could you be doing? I know everyone is not called to adopt. (Although I personally cannot imagine that!! ;) There are several needs right here in America that are waiting to be met! Go help someone who is less fortunate today. You will soon realize that if their JOY is in the Lord, they very well might fill YOU up! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Boone, NC

Today we are leaving to spend the weekend with Drew's family in Boone, NC!  If you have not been there-you must go.  I know several people go during the winter for the skiing, but my favorite time to go is in the fall and summer.  Downtown Boone is beautiful!  Well, ALL of Boone is beautiful!  This time of year we celebrate all the fall birthdays.  So, needless to say, I've been packing all day.  Why does it take ALL day to get ready for a weekend trip?!  It used to take maybe an hour-before kids...and only 30 minutes before I was married.  ;)  But, they are SO worth the extra time!  One of my favorite friends and her children are coming to stay at our house this weekend and use it as a little get away while we get away.  I love when plans align just so and you can bless someone with what you have!

On the topic of adoption, (ooo that word just gets me more excited every DAY!) our finalized homestudy came in the mail yesterday.  And hopefully today will be the day we get our papers so we can start our dossier!  (For those of you unfamiliar with the adoption process, that is just a bunch of paperwork...BUNCH...that is sent to the government you will be adopting from)  We have listed that we will adopt one OR two children between the ages of 0-2 years, either gender.  I am starting to realize that I do have predicted outcome in my head of what we will get.  I need to start opening my mind more so I am not totally thrown off if we get more than one child!  Right now I picture us with one little boy under the age of one.  I think maybe because all of our friends that did not specify got one boy under the age of one.  :)  He even has a name!!  (But we are not telling what the name is until we know what child we will call ours.)  ;)

OK, I need to get back to cleaning and packing!  Quinn has started a little business making crayons and "coloring books" to bring home her sibling(s)!  Too cute, I'll inform you more of the details later. She is definitely cut out of the same cloth her mother is!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet husband!!  I've been saying he was 33 all year, now he really is!  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Adoption Dos and Don'ts

If you ever wondered what to say or not say to a family adopting, or how to view a transracial family, or what's going through an adoptive family's mind-  this will help spell it out.  
Click on the link below:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Warm Fall Days

The kids and I had so much fun yesterday!  We went to Starbucks for Quinn to do her school work.  We both seem to concentrate better when we are not at home.  We sat on the porch outside Starbucks and she worked on school on the computer while I read a book on shoe making.  Asa was very enthralled with Quinn working on the computer, so he inadvertently was learning while she was.  We brought our lunch with us-which happened to be Africa shaped sandwiches.  My kids love these!  
(we eat the scraps too)
After our day at Starbucks and running errands we went down to Splashville downtown.  It was after 5pm but surprisingly it was still warm enough.  As tired as myself and the kids were, I knew it would be one of the last days of the season to enjoy Splashville.  We spent a couple hours there-I just sat and read more of my shoe making book and watched the kids.  What a beautiful night!
 Quinn taking a break from running through the fountains.
On our way to the car she asked me to please stop and take a picture of her.
 Downtown Asheville on a beautiful fall night.

Today we are off to the post office to drop more papers in the mail for our adoption and to mail these awesome artisan shirts.  These shirts are made by a local fabric artist with fabric from Ndola, Zambia.  All of the proceeds go back to helping put shoes on the feet of orphans in Ndola.  This would make an excellent Christmas present for someone!  Each shirt is different-but if course if you see one pictured you like, our shirt maker can make one very similar.

Check 'em out in our store!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

When Being A Follower Is Good

For those of you that are as non blog savvy as I am, I just thought I'd let you know that if you FOLLOW me on this blog you'll get updates on when I write blogs.  :)  Then you won't have to randomly remember to check back.  You just click on the FOLLOW button on the right.
It's okay, just this once you can be a follower and it's okay.
We were given a new family member last week.  Some friends of ours needed to get rid of now we have a dog, cat, rabbit and chickens.  And, I will warn you, Drew said Asa could have a hermit crab for his birthday.  (I'm less than thrilled about that one) Jake is hilarious and provides many hours of laughter to our family-not to mention he is a good companion.  I think I'm his new BFF, and I'm okay with that.  Just as long as he keeps me laughing!
Now go follow me!  Please.  :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Corn Maze To Help Eliada

Today the kids and I had a FULL day!  The kids and I ran errands all day and then when we got home we went to the Eliada Corn Maze this evening. The maze we chose to do was 2.5 miles and the kids had a blast!
It was so fun to run through the corn with the kids and and Asa had a great time trying to figure out on the map which way we should go.  :)  The kids also played in a box full of corn (instead of sand) and they loved it!  

 Above: Quinn and Holly.  Holly will be going with us to Africa!  We LOVE this girl!!!

We walked through corn and talked to a new friend about our adoption...oh how I can't wait for our new child(ren)!  Then, we came home to a message on the machine from our agency saying our homestudy was approved and the LOVED it and it could not have been more perfect!  Wow!  Yay!!!!!  I got chils and all excited....its becoming more real-and harder for me to put in the back of my mind.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sole Hope Threads

I'm going to be too tired to get up in the morning because I've stayed up doing THIS! Check out this very short and simple video I made for Sole Hope. Click on over to:
if you'd like to buy one of these for yourself or a friend or family member. Remember, its not too early to start thinking Christmas shopping! :)

Littlest Golfer Photoshoot

Here is a slide show from a photoshoot we did for The Littlest Golfer yesterday. It was at the BEAUTIFUL and historic, Grove Park Inn. The pictures they took will be used for promo materials from what I, rack cards, banners...whatever. :)
Our friends, the Wilson's own this super sweet little business. If you are into golf, you just might want to pick up some of this gear for your littlest golfer.
Click on the link below to view the slideshow!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bike Ride

Yesterday we went on a bike ride.  It was quite comical!  Thankfully I had my friend Holly with me on her bike I affectionately named, The Dino.  She has had it since 7th grade...and, well, it brought back memories. :)
Shortly after we got all of our bike gear out of the car and loaded the children into the bike trailer we realized we had two problems.  One, her bike had no brakes and two, I couldn't get my bike to shift into a lower gear.  She could go uphill and I could go downhill, but together we could go nowhere.  We were riding downtown and here in Asheville everything is either extremely uphill, or downhill!  You don't realize that until you are on a bike pulling 100 lbs. behind you!  :)
So, after about an hour of riding around and stopping every three feet we decided to just to circles in the parking lot.  It was hard to get up the parking lot, but once I did there was a long driveway that took us downhill fast and made the kids squeal!  
So, I did that about 10 times and today I'm sore.  Tomorrow we are going riding with GG at the Biltmore Estate.  I've requested small hills and flat ground since I have a two other people behind me.  
I wish I didn't have to use a car but could just ride my bike everywhere with my kids.  Maybe I could get a little motor to put on the back to help me out a little.  :)  If I felt like it was a safe choice I would train myself to do it.  Too bad.  For now I'll just enjoy paved trails and the bike lane occasionally.