My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 2 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Finished.... well not quite

It was another successful day for our yard sale. No total for you yet, though. You'll just have to keep biting those nails. We have a lot of items left over so we have decided to have another sale next weekend in another neighbourhood for different traffic. In the meanwhile while you are waiting for the total I am sure Julie will be posting pictures soon at her blog since she is a better blogger than I an actually remembered to take some photos! (You're on top of things Julie!!)

You'll have to try to imagine me in my present state, hair disheveled, sweaty, looking ragged and in a walking zombie like state so if this post makes no sense at all please excuse me.

Heather wanted to know some details about how we ran things so I thought I'd just post it here in case others wanted some pointers.

Our sale consisted mostly of donated items. We traveled to pick up all the donations. We really didn't turn down anything.

First order of business: Clothes. Here's how we did it. We had so many bags of clothes that we couldn't believe it. If I had to guess I would say we had close to twenty five.... that's 25 large outdoor type black trash bags full of clothing (I could be low on that estimation but I didn't want to be dramatic about it ;) In light of our over abundance we came up with the idea to do the $5 fill a bag. Julie bought some plastic waste paper basket liners and we used those as our official bags. If you wanted to you could up the price of the bags for baby clothes simply because you can pack a bunch more in there but we had so much of everything we felt $5 was good. Even with the awesome deals we still had selfish people who couldn't handle the rule that anything hanging over the top would have to go into another bag. You'd think people would be generous being it was going to a good cause but some people are just THAT CHEAP!

Second: People told us that Fridays were better than Saturdays and THEY WERE RIGHT! Our best sales were Friday and NOT Saturday. Shocking but oh so true. We started at 6am and had tons of traffic from people on their way to work who would stop back by on their lunch, etc. More drivers saw our signage on Fri so maybe even some folks came back on Saturday after they saw the sign driving to work on Friday. We made large signs with paper printed in LARGE fonts. Then we used spray adhesive to glue the papers to stiff poster board. I honestly believe that the neat clean signs drew more people than a hand written sign would have. Also, the signs were the MOST effective tool for getting shoppers. We emailed the entire planet and sent out adds in local newspapers, listed on Craigslist, printed up wallet size papers to hand out and I would estimate that the return on that was 10% of the shoppers we had. That's pretty low. So good signage is important (that and a few key shopper who got on their cell phones to tell Friends and family,
"Oh my gosh I am at the hugest Yard sale ever. You've got to get down here!.") Our signs said "HUGE yard sale Fri/Sat 6a-1p" and we printed up separate arrows to affix to the signs after they were hung directing traffic to our place. That got 'em here with no need to include our address. Our city only allows you to post 6 signs and with 6 well placed signs we were able to draw a large crowd.

That's all I can think of. Any more questions leave a comment and I will try to address them for you.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Our first day of sales was wonderful. I am holding off on the total because I am excited to share the final amount with you tomorrow. It's going to be big. We are so thrilled and thankful to the Lord for His provision. Each family is going to make a nice amount of cash. Yeah baby!

I am a bad blogger because I never took pictures but never fear tomorrow is a new day and we still have TONS of stuff. We even picked up more items today. I will really try to remember to take one just so you can see what were dealing with over here.

I couldn't believe all the shoppers we had today. The fill a clothes bag for $5 was a hit and I think that's the way to do it if anyone is thinking of having a sale. I think it was really a blessing for people to get those clothes because so many people gave REALLY nice things. The people who donated to this sale gave out of sheer generosity! It was evident to me that people tried to give their best! What an honor for us to receive such gifts. We have asked God to bless those who gave ten fold for their generosity.

My dogs are barking and I am exhausted! All of us worked really hard today. I am asking for strength and renewal for all of us for tomorrow! If you would pray for us we'd really appreciate it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Twas the night before...

...the HUGEST yard sale ever and everyone is already tired! I had my friends Julie, Kim, Stacey and Sherry over to help set up today from noon 'till 3:30/4-ish and Julie hung around until 10pm. We still aren't finished. Tomorrow we have to wake up and unload furniture and set out MANY last minute items. I will take pics tomorrow so you can have a visual of what this thing looks like. It's monster!

I have to get up really EARLY tomorrow to finish setting up. The sale starts at 6am. OUCH that's gonna hurt. Tomorrow I might actually make an exception to my usual coffee free routine ( I am really sensitive to caffeine) and opt for a cup, increased pulse rate and flutters be darned! I'll need all the help I can get. It's all about service with a smile ;)

New Rule

We received more information today that looks like things are moving in the direction of more timely processes for orphans in Ethiopia. Our Family Coordinator emailed regarding the waiting times children must complete after relinquishment before they can be referred:

Dear Ethiopia Families,

The number of days an abandoned child
has to remain in an orphanage before being eligible for adoption has been
reduced from 90 days to 60 days. We are happy with this new law as it allows
children to unite with their forever families even quicker.

A New Orphanage

Our agency is working with a new orphanage as stated on the AWAA blog. Check out their web site and see learn about them. AWAA will be referring kids from their Nazareth orphanage. I am excited about such a partnership. I am praying it's a fruitful relationship between AWAA and KVI.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

more referrals!

2 girls and 2 boys, and two sibling sets were referred by our agency this week! Yeeehawww!!

Very exciting stuff!!

Congratulations to:
The West family
Kidd family
Cordelle family
and three other families I don't know

Thursday, March 20, 2008

How do I want to be remembered by my children?

I was reading over at and this was the topic for the day. An interesting topic, I thought.

Hmmm, How do I want my kids to remember me? It is, for me, less about what I want them to remember about me and more about what I want to model for them in the hopes that they themselves will grow to embody and value the same things. So I am adjusting the question to fit that concept. To keep it to three would be very difficult. I am going to make three categories instead.

Loving Christ: I want my kids to love Jesus, know Him, follow Him, trust Him, and share about Him more than I do. I want them to exceed me in everything Spiritual. This means that I hope and pray they remember me for living an active, challenging, genuine and growing faith out daily. I want them to remember praying with me. I want them to remember me blessing them. I want them to remember the family alter in the back yard which received a new river rock every time the LORD provided for our family in a breathtaking way. I want them to remember me sharing Christ's love with others consistently throughout my life. I want them to remember me serving others. (see the last category)

Loving My Family: I want them to know and feel how much I treasure them. I thank God for giving them to me every night. They are the biggest gifts I have in this life. I want them to feel like every moment with them was relished by their mother. I want each child to feel like they were in the spotlight and that my eyes were on them. I want them to grow up confident that they are loved.

Being a Do-er: (James 1:22) I'm typa busy woman. There's no denying it. I hope, though, that my life will translate for my children into a story of action and compassion. I don't want mine to be just a life filled with busyness. I am ever working on making wise decisions with my time. I hope that when I'm gone my kids will be able to confidently say I had my priorities right, That I lived the right balance between working (when I say working I mean in service to others as a follower of Christ) and playing. I esteem life. I value the purpose in it. I want them to grow enough to know that there are times when I ( and our family) needed to sacrifice some of "my" (our) time working for the benefit of others, and I pray they would recognize the benefit of that discipline in their own lives as well.

Those are the top three most important things for me. Sure, I have TONS more secondary and tertiary things, but those are my TOP priorities.

I've bragged before

about having some of the greatest friends ever but you have to know just how true that statement is! Our friends and family have donated so many items for our HUGE combination garage sale that I think we could open a consignment store tomorrow if we were so inclined. We have EVERYTHING you can imagine.

This garage sale will benefit 3 families including mine. Kim at Living Love Out Loud along with her family and Julie at Four Plus More along with her family will be splitting the proceeds with us. All funds will go directly toward our adoption expenses and we couldn't be more excited about the help. The Lord has poured His love over our families through His Body of children who have given to us in an amazing way and we have to give Him glory for His amazing provision!! Simply amazing.

Please pray for many shoppers on March 28th and 29th as I am now running out of space in my home. The car port is FULL, the storage unit is FULL, the baby's room is FULL, the entire back patio (which is quite large) is FULL. We have no more space left!!!!

I am sending my hubby over to the neighbors to make peace offerings before the big event hoping the increase in traffic will not annoy them overly. Maybe they'll come shop too.

We are setting up a table to help raise awareness about adoption at our garage sale. I pray at least one family who visits will have their hearts turned toward adoption.

Stay tuned for all the gory details of the sale......

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Quick Funny

The girls were playing pretend this morning. Rienne and Aurora were making introductions and Aurora said to Allyse, "So nice for you to meet me!" with so much excitement and confidence I just had to laugh. In her little world everyone is blessed by her meeting and lucky to know her. And so it should be for us all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Whew, What A Relief

So I did some investigating and the good news is our biometrics (that's to say our fingerprints) don't expire until 10/08. That gives us some more time. If we get a referral in June we shouldn't have to have them taken again. IF we don't have a referral by then we most likely will need to have them taken once more. From what Duni told us during the conference call last week a referral in July probably wouldn't make it through the courts before they closed so that would certainly mean more fingerprints for our family. At least we have a little more time to wait it out and see what happens. Of course, we hope and pray that June or the beginning of July will bring the news of a referral but if not we can't stress enough that we trust the Lord's plans and are at peace. Like I wrote my friend the other day: We are strapped in for the ride no matter what. ;)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Timely Word

So most of you know I've been doing the Beth Moore study: Breaking Free. Last Monday's session spoke to me in such a powerful way I really wanted to share with you. If you've been reading for a few months you'll know that I have been hearing God whisper to me about deepening my prayer walk with Him. These points from the study just absolutely spoke to me about how to go about doing that.

Beth says in BF: (my notes are in italics)

Our prayers become more powerful when we are acquainted with:

-God's personality. (see Neh 1:4-7) She says to look for "God is..." in the Bible and
take it seriously. Study what He says about Himself and become familiar with

- God's promises (Neh 1: 8-9) Look for what "God says..." to His people

-God's practices Again, be looking for what God does in His Word. Has there been a situation in His Word that is similar to what I am going through or what I am praying over? How did God respond?

So this is where my husband and I are at the moment. Really digging into the Word and learning all over again, it seems, to pray.

Monday, March 10, 2008


After some of the best conversation of my life Saturday night with our friends Mark and Julie my husband Dustin and I are praying in a whole new way. Mark and Julie Have a real testimony of stewardship. They inspire us to ponder our maximum effectiveness as we seek to be stewards of all we have been entrusted with. Not merely maximizing our money but everything we've been entrusted with! Our talents, our passion, out time.... each breath we take is entrusted to us. We have a choice. Will we glorify God or ourselves?

Folks, something is happening to us that we can't even explain. I don't know where it ends but I do know that it's BIG. We are simply getting to the point in life where we cannot know about hurting people in the world anymore and do nothing about it. Christ is everything to me! If I don't share His love and tell others about Him what does that make me? Of course my heart burns for people around the word but just the other day I was driving on a PHX freeway when I saw a man at the exit holding a sign. I looked at my purse knowing I had no cash in there (usually don't) and then I unrolled my window and told him, "Sir I have nothing to give you but I offer you blessings." He smiled and said thank you. The light changed and I drove off. Yet, I was sick inside. I KNOW prayer is vital. I know God cares about that man and that He heard my prayers for the man. I think what God did in my heart was tell me that I could offer more. Maybe not in the case of the man at the freeway exit but in the future I want to be ready. I want God to prepare my heart to truly meet the needs of others. It's fine to offer someone blessings in the form of prayer (in fact we must because we are commanded to do it) BUT many people need blessings in the form of a full belly and a listening ear which offers compassion. They need a friend who will speak to them about the love of Christ in words AND deeds.

God I pray you make me and Dustin an Isaiah 58 kind of person For your glory and fame. Not ours.

Life is sad and so broken. It's hard. It can be overwhelming but it IS all worth it in Christ.

Isaiah 58-
1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?' "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD ?
6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Our Saturday Night Date

We were blessed to hear Eunice of Tumaini Ministries speak last night. It was wonderful to hear her stories about the children she loves so much yet difficult to hear about what the have had to endure before they came to Tumaini. I highly recommend you head over to the website and check them out. My good friends Julie and Mark invited us to the gathering. We made a night of it afterwards and ate dessert at the Cheesecake Factory afterwards.

Julie's parents invited Eunice to their church. I guess they had found out about Tumaini through internet research and ended up volunteering at Tumaini during a trip to Kenya a while ago.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Our Adventures in Time Travel

Ok, so the ticker has changed again..... BUT I promise this to be the last change. I moved it back in time since I was told today via conference call that our log-in dates will now be counted as the date our dossiers make it to ET. I need this revised date because it more accurately tells me what we could face with court closures (for those of you who might not know the court closes every year Aug - Oct and no adoptions are finalized during that time in Ethiopia yet referrals can still be received. families are not able to travel to pick up their children until they have officially received custody of them in Ethiopia). I expect that we will indeed need to get our finger prints taken again since those were done the end of July '07. That is the only thing that should need to happen for us before we travel.

All told the conference call with the program director today was very encouraging and exciting. I like that we have a solid timeline to lean on these days and even if the Lord should choose to have us wait through a court closure I am so thankful to be in the ET program. This is the journey that is involved with International Adoption. I am becoming used to the twists and turns, the ups and downs. I thank the Lord that His peace is growing on me and that the more I learn to rely on Him the more thankful I become for all He is doing. His peace allows me to give Him thanks in all things. What a gift! Thank You Lord.

My birthday is mid June and our anniversary is mid August. With the possibility of a referral happening anytime in between we should have a lot to be celebrating around that time of year.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Site I Like

I really enjoy this blog I recently found. It's great. There have been many thought provoking articles presented there lately and much interesting discussion. Go check out and then come back and tell me what you thought of it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Living Vicariously

It happens every time a family from our agency travels to get their child. I watch their videos full of happiness and excitement. I overflow with joy for them and show the kids what they can expect mom and dad to be doing while we are away. I show them the beautiful nannies of the Transition Home and where 'brother' will stay until we arrive.

It happens right about the time I push away from the computer. My mind races and suddenly I find myself trying to imagine what it will be like when I am standing in their shoes. Only, in my imaginings my son remains faceless for now. It a weird surreal kind of thing. The way a mother's heart will try to connect with her child. The way my heart goes about trying to make sense of an event in my future just too big to comprehend.

When I was physically pregnant I didn't need the picture of the ultrasound to bring home the reality that my child was real and coming soon. I could feel them growing and kicking. I felt continually connected to them. In this paper pregnancy I struggle from day to day to experience the feelings, the reality, that our son will eventually be here. Taking the trip with the other families helps me to connect in some strange way with our boy. I find that I tell myself, "See they are actaully getting their kids, and someday you will too. This wait which feels like eternity really won't last forever. The end is coming. It came for them, it'll come for our family too"

I honestly need that kind reassurance some days. There are weeks when the people around us forget that we are 'pregnant' because there is no visual reminder. It's hard, even, for some of the extended members of our family to feel connected to the reality of it all. That's why I am so thankful to have my blog. I can write and obsess all I want and not wear out the people around me. If they don't ask I don't have to take it personally. I can come here and rant endlessly about the adoption to you all and if you get sick of me you can simply click away to some other, less obnoxious, more entertaining blog. Everybody's happy. It works.

Watching the videos and reading the details of the trips help me to visualize where he will be when it's our turn. I am growing more acquainted with Addis Ababa believe it or not. I hope things will be somewhat less shocking and all brand new when we travel because of the blogs I've followed before hand. I have learned a bit about what the people and environment around us will look like. I am familiar with the Hilton where we will stay, and I've read all the reviews of the local restaurants. haha. Any little detail which gives me a sense of familiarity helps me feel a bit more grounded and less like I am living a fantasy of adoption. That this waiting will really end with our homecoming. (God please let our homecoming come swiftly... but as in all things, only in Your timing ;)

Today we are 3 days away from the 2 month mark waiting for a referral. The wait gets both easier and harder. Easier because we've not nearly 10 months under our belts here and what's a few more. Harder because every day we are separated from our son feels like an eternity!

So come rejoice with me in the union some families from our agency and share in other's momentous occasions! The Lord is good all the time!

Here are some links to a few of the families who are in ET right now. Some have yet to update us but the Treadwells have some pictures and videos to see:

Treadwell Family

Harpold Family

McIllrath Family

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Becuase many of you have asked

how long the wait is expected to take before we have a referral I am posting the latest info from our agency.

Based on the new referrals, the wait time for infant girls is 7-9 months, for infant boys 5-7 months and the wait time for sibling group under five is 9-12 months

That is good news for us because our wait time hasn't really increased but discouraging, I'm sure, for others who are watching their timeline extend. I continue to pray that the Lord would release a flood of adoptions and that children who are waiting would quickly move into their forever homes.

I have been praying often lately about our referral. Last Thursday an overwhelming sense of peace washed over me. It was as though instantly God made me understand and more importantly accept all the pieces which needed to fall into place on our end to really truly be ready and He gave me the assurance that He was working to make those things happen but that they would happen in His time. My peace lasted on a few moments (Ah, will I ever learn!?) before my motherly instincts kicked in and I felt that familiar nesting feeling I remember so well from the arrival of the other 3 kids of ours. I suddenly found myself making a mental check list of all the things I needed to finish up before I would "feel" ready for our boy.

I prayed and asked God to grant me His favor over all the little things that needed to happen on my end. He answered in a few wonderfully gracious way. Seemingly small details that to me were weighing heavily on my heart and were at the top of the list of things which ended to be done.

Dustin and I have been discussing our need to purchase a new video camera for our trip considering the great and momentous occasion and to document ET for our son. Not to mention sharing our travels with our extended family and friends (like you!). Our old one is nearly 10 years old now and doesn't have a way for us to transfer the video from the dig 8 format to dvd. We went to work researching the camera we wanted and found a reasonably priced model on Consumer Reports which was rated their "best buy". Armed with that info we knew what to expect price-wise for the camera that fit our needs. Our only problem is we have no extra spending cash these days. So we didn't know if we would be able to get a new camera (something both of us REALLY felt we needed).

We receive rewards for using our bank's debit card. We had saved up sufficient points to send for a $300.00 gift cert to a major electronics store. This would be a nice chunk of the purchase price of our camera but we knew we'd need to come up with at least another 150 dollars or more. I wondered how long it would take to rack up more points for another gift cert. We decided to go into the store and look at the model in person and get opinions from others. When we went in we found out that they we going to stop carrying "our" model of the camera anymore and were updating the model. "Our" model was on clearance and we'd only have to pay about $100 after we used our gift cert but we still didn't feel the timing was right. When we went back this Fri the camera had been discounted even more and we ended up getting "our" Panasonic Hard Drive Camera and a case for it for under the amount of our gift cert! Now that was a blessing!One major item checked of my to do list.

I'm ready to get that camera rolling! Now I just need to learn how to use it!hehe