Monday, September 23, 2013

Mission Trip Monday - Part 2

Well, in the busyness of life I kind of missed out on every doing another post in this series. But I am BACK now and plan on doing several more of these as we get closer to travel!  

And seriously, we are just 4 months shy of our big mission trip now!  Time is going so fast!

The next few posts I do in this series will be pertaining to some of the organizations we will be working with while in Ethiopia. The first organization I must highlight is Ordinary Hero!  They are the wonderful organization who will be sending us on this trip and who is facilitating all of the trip arrangements. 

This is one of the first video's I ever saw of Ordinary Hero and it led me to really want to support this organization and someday travel with them - Video Link.  It is kind of a dream come true for me to have this opportunity and I look forward to a trip that I know will change my life and I hope will positively impact others in even a small way.  

Kelly Putty is the founder of Ordinary Hero and she radiates God's love!  She is a world changer and somebody that I can just tell from the small interactions I have had with her, that she is a special person.  She sees a need and she responds! She's a doer!   I am almost giddy and feel like I am going to meet a celebrity since Kelly will be our team leader on our January trip!  

Kelly Putty on one of the OH trips! 

Ordinary Hero does a lot of various projects while in country.  As I uncover a few more of the organizations that Ordinary Hero works with in country, we will talk more about the various tasks we may get to participate on during our trip!

And, if you want to partner up with us and be a part of sending us to Ethiopia you can do so on our fundraising page HERE.  No pressure though!  The posts in this series are just intended to spread some more information about our trip as we prepare to go!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Family 2013

The day after we celebrated 7 wonderful years of marriage, we had the opportunity to have family photos taken by a very talented friend who was in town Joy of Life Photography!

I can't help but look at these and realize just how blessed my life is.  Sure we have some really hard days.  How is it raising 3 children under 3?  Well, it's HARD!  It's almost a miracle if all of the kids are happy at the same time!  It's been a journey, but such a wonderful amazing journey!  God has blessed my life beyond what I ever expected! 

I've been with the love of my life for 9 years now, 7 of which we have been partnered together on this crazy journey.  I couldn't do any of this without him standing by my side, and I wouldn't want to either!  Life just gets better and better with him by my side!  

We have been given this beautiful gift of a son in Malachi!  He is full of zest and sass and keeps us on our toes!  I love him for it!  My soul gets lost in his deep brown beautiful eyes.  He is smart beyond his years and I know God has an incredible plan for his life that I can't wait to watch unfold!  

And wow, God blew us away with this set of brother's.  I used to think he had quite the sense of humor giving us boys that are 9 months apart, but they need each and neither one would be complete without the other.  They are beautiful and such a perfect pair.  SO very different in personality from one another but they are the inseparable pair. So thankful God gave us our boys in this exact way!  Wouldn't want a thing about it changed!  

And my little Mr Eli.  Full of silly faces and the best little giggle!  Stubborn like his parents but always mommy's little boy!  So thankful God blessed us with him! Way smarter than he ever lets on and wanting to grow up way too fast!  He has a special kind of sweetness about him, all bundled up in a 2 year old body right now, but I know that tender spirit is there for a reason! 

 And lastly, there is my sweet little Sabrina. The happiest little baby on the planet that brings joy in the purest form into our life!  This little girl completed her mommy's heart!  I didn't even know I needed her, but I most definitely did!  She is amazing and fun and her spunk is going to take her places in life!

Look at these three little munchkins!  I love them all so much!  God's plan for our life was perfect!  3 beautiful babies given to us in 24 months :)  God is great and we have been blessed abundantly!

Monday, September 16, 2013


I admit, one of the things I  have looked forward most about being a parent is being able to give our kids lots of opportunities to try new things and see what interests and talents they develop.  One of the first such opportunities we have with Malachi is to let him try out soccer this year!  

I was so proud of him.  One thing with Malachi is he struggles in new situations with new people.  So while he was very nervous around these new people to start, after a few minutes he was off and running!  He handled it like a champ!

Soccer practice was REALLY good for this kids high energy level!  He was worn out by the end!

Little brother REALLY wanted to be out there playing too.  Next year buddy!  

It was a succesful introduction to a new sport and we will see where his interest in it goes from here!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

His Life Mattered

Today my heart is breaking for a friend in my adoption community.  Adoption has brought me together with an amazing group of woman, who even though we've never met, I know would do almost anything for me.  And 3 years ago, as we were bringing our son Malachi home from Ethiopia, this family began their journey through the same adoption agency that we used.  Their journey would take much longer than ours would but they stayed steadfast through it all and waited for the day that they would see their child's face.

Finally after a long wait, 1 month ago their patience paid off as they saw their son's face for the very first time.  Our adoption group celebrated this glorious day! These parents were in love at first sight and speaking from my own experience it does just happen that way.  You can fall in love completely 100% with someone you've never even met.  You can become a mama bear willing to do whatever is necessary (even get a bit crazy) to protect your new little cub!  

1 week ago, some amazing mother's from the group were able to travel to Ethiopia and meet this sweet boy as they picked their little ones up.  They took pictures and loved on this little guy.  They showed him pictures of his mom and dad on the other side of the world who couldn't wait to welcome him home.  Sadly, 1 day later this little guy was hospitalized with pneumonia.  His mommy would never get to hold him and whisper in his ear how loved he is. This morning we read this heartbreaking message: "We love you all. Our God is with us and our God is for us. Our son has gone home to true healing and rest with Jesus. He died with Almaz by his side. He did not die an orphan. He is our son, and we are going to Ethiopia this week to claim him. We cannot bring him home, but we will be there to lay him to rest. He had incredible medical care and lots of love at HH. His little body was just too weak to go on. Pray for us. We love you. Thank you for your prayers. They were felt and heard. We will see you again out precious boy. John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you."

It saddens me for this precious family that tomorrow they are jetting off in a plane, not full of excitement but of grief as they say goodbye to the son that they loved deeply but never got to hold.  And even though this precious little guy was loved so much by the Hannah's Hope staff in Ethiopia, it isn't the same as his mom and his dad being by his side.  This is why the fact that there are orphans in this world drive me nuts.  No child should die without knowing that someone loves them more than life and would do anything they could to protect and save them.  So many children die on a daily basis without feeling the love of an earthly parent.  It leaves me feeling sick.  Today has been a very difficult day as I try and process this little boy's life and the pain and anguish his parents are feeling right now. 

One thing I do know, is this little boy has touched more lives than he will ever know.  Hundreds of us were feeling the pain of his loss today and I can speak for myself and probably others that I am left in deep contemplation of what I can do to make a difference for the children who have nobody standing in their corner. I am so thankful for this little boy and that God allowed him to be loved by a family, even if it was far away and for a short time.  Sweet, precious Cruz - you were loved and your life mattered!  

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Day of School!

 Today is the first day of "Preschool" in our house!  The boys are still really young, but Malachi loves to "do school" and loves learning new things!  Eli loves to do whatever Malachi does, so we decided to start them both with a really basic curriculum this year.  It is really simple and fun lesson plans focused on lots of hands on fun and play with a small bit of teaching thrown in.  We will also be doing a lot of reading time together since I know all 3 of the kids will enjoy and benefit from that.  We will also try out some reading readiness skills with Malachi and just see where it takes him.

So for curious minds, the actual curriculum we are using this year is:

Abeka's 2 and 3 year old Preschool Program
and Malachi will also be using Explode the Code books A, B, and C.

I am sure there will be more posts to come with school fun as we dig in to this year.  I have very low expectations and plan on completely taking the boys lead on this.  It is mostly hand's on fun which they truly love!  I was super impressed with how they did today with everything. They LOVED every second of it today so we're off on the right foot!  

Such a big boy and yep, he really does want to be Fireman Sam when he grows up! 

Excited for school time this year, and he wants to be Bob the Builder - for real! 

My wildest dreams were being able to have a homeschool room in our "forever house" and I am so excited that my dream has come true!  Didn't get much done to it this year, but the space is going to be perfect! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fix #3

As fall begins its descent into the Northwest, I knew I wanted to expand my cold weather wardrobe a bit.  I truly have not stocked up the wardrobe in far too long and no it is well past time for some fresh fall looks.  I really enjoyed my summer stitch fixes and thanks to some Stitch Fix credits I was able to schedule my 3rd Fix!

I really look forward to mail day when my Fix is coming.  Bummer this month though that it came a day later than scheduled because of the holiday.  

First out of the box was this Ark N Co Sterling Belted Striped Mini Dress.  From the get-go, I loved this dress.  I loved the style and the stripes but just as I suspected (and even as you can tell in this picture) the horizontal stripes were not favorable on and it had to go back.  

Fun2Fun Grayce Button Up Sleeveless Blouse. This one was a great debate in the house.  I had to think long and hard about whether or not to keep it.  I know it looks a bit plain and boring, but it's a popular style and it was comfortable and flattering.  In the end, I'm not sure if it was the color being too bold or that summer is ending, but I just looked around the rest of my clothes and couldn't figure out very much I could wear with it.  So back it went. 

This is a boring picture, but what you are looking at is Just Black Connely Skinny Jeans.  In my last fix I received some skinny jeans that were a bold color and just a bit too snug for me.  So this time, I did request another pair to try.  This time they got me a pair that was a bit of a calmer color and fit perfectly!  I got Peter's opinion and he said they look nicer than any of my other pairs so even though they were a tad bit pricey, they were a keeper! 

Zouk Carleen Abstract Print Flutter Sleeve Top.  Another big disappointment for me.  Not only was this an ugly print but it was huge and made me look huge!  This one went quickly back in the box.

41Hawthorn Gennifer Zig-Zag Jersey Wrap Dress.  This one was also a bit of a debate for me. I kind of liked the pattern but it still wasn't very flattering and I am ALL for things that hide the problem areas right now.  So, it just wasn't the right one for me.

So verdict is, not my favorite fix but still beneficial.  As long as I can find that one nice thing in each box it is good to me.  I needed tops and didn't find anything good, so I am specifically requesting in my next box a lot of casual wear tops.  It is always nice to be able to give them my feedback on what I did and did not like.

If you are interested in trying out Stitch Fix services, I encourage you to give it a try.  If you sign up using my referral link, I do get credited which is always much appreciated - Start Stitch Fixing Me!