Monday, November 24, 2008

Not Me Monday

My friend Julie does this every Monday...and I'm looking forward to getting some things off my chest.

I most certainly did not clean my minivan after MONTHS of neglect and find a banana peel so old, it was black and crisp under the back seat. I would never let my car get THAT gross.

I would never consider going to the craft store with my two tired children at 7pm, and bribe them to behave with a bag of DUM-DUM lollipops, because that would never work. Nope, not me! I would know better.

AND FURTHERMORE, I would never ever buy 12 yards of flannel, with the intention to sew every child I give christmas gifts to, thier very own, homemade flannel jammies and matching pillow cases, one month before Christmas. NO, NO, not me!

NOR would I allow my darling babies to eat animal crackers for breakfast, because I was out of cereal and milk, and I was too lazy to cook something like eggs or oatmeal. No, not me!

I would not let myself get so overloaded with laundry that my mom would have to come over out of the goodness of her heart and help me fold MT. KESLER of laundry in my family room. NOPE...I am way more on top of things than that.

How about you? What would you never ever do?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kebebtsehay Children's Home

Kebebtsehay is the name of the orphanage that we are helping sponsor in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as a part of the Children's Hope Chest. It is so exciting that 90 families have committed to sponsoring a child! There is 120 children at this home, so there is still a need for more families to join. Please check out these links and pray, asking God if he is leading you to join this really cool opportunity. Just $34 a month will provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care for these sweet children. Here's a video of kids at the Kebebtsehay Children's Home. 

This is a really neat online community, that I'm so looking forward to being a part of and learning as we go. I'm looking forward to being a part of a community with the same heart for orphans, and annual opportunities to travel there in the future as a "family" to love on and meet our sponsored kids.

Here's a couple of links to another blog, with a few more details on what this sponsorship will entail. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

family fun

I had the privelege of taking my sweet cousins family photos this week. (one of the many ways I'm trying to earn extra cash for adoption!!)

It was so fun, and let me just say this little Miss M...those eyes, WOW. So blue and sparkley!! She is a very happy girl, with easy smiles (makes my job easier!). I had lots of fun, and her mom and dad are pretty awesome, too. They have really blessed us by supporting our adoption in BIG ways. 

ps, if anyone out there knows how to put that watermark on photos, I'd love to know. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blankee Sale and I got 2 new puppies!!

Remember my super cute custom Blankee I had made from My Blankee? They are pretty fancy, and definitely a splurge, but they are on sale again for 30-50% off. Several folks commented about wishing they'd known about the sale, so here you go!

In Other news, I caved. I have said never never do I want to have dogs. (i'm not a huge fan of dogs, but I do like Golden Retrievers...mostly, I have enough poop to clean up after in my life, and really don't care to spend money on dog food...enough said. No offense to you dog lovers!)

But today ,these 2 cute little puppies were just too irresistible! I brought them home, gave them doggie bowls and let them lay on my floor. They are much easier and much more obedient that my kids....

JUST TO BE CLEAR....I don't make my kids eat off the floor....they were pretending to be puppies.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Check it

I copied and pasted this from another blogger site, but it is such an awesome opportunity to help an orphan. Matt and I are joining this cool movement called Children's below!

Incredible Opportunity!

Are you an older married couple who are done with the "kids" stage but desire to be a part of an orphans life?

Are you a married couple who are done having children but want to be "long distance" parents to a little one who has none?

Are you a young single whose not ready for marriage and children but understands the incredible need for caring for orphans and wants to be involved?

Are you someone whose never considered being involved in helping the estimated 143,000,000 orphans in the world but feels maybe this is something you should pray about?

Do you desire to be involved in a community that is part of an orphan care ministry but your church has no involvement?

Well we have an incredible opportunity for you! Children's Hopechest and Red Letters Campaign are partnering to launch holistic orphan care in Ethiopia!! Yes, this is child sponsorship but it's so much more than that! Here are the 5 key areas in which the children will be cared for:

1. Spiritual Development. These kids will have a personal counselor/discipler to meet with weekly. This is HUGE when it comes to an orphans life. Yes, a life without parents, but a consistent adult in their life to show them love and guidance.

2. Physical Needs. This is pretty self, water, shelter, clothes, ect.

3. Education. They will have wonderful education and will even get help in finding and applying to a university! This will also extend to skills training, learning how to interview for a job, ect.

4. Medical and Dental needs. Keeping the little ones healthy. :)

5. Emotional Support. The life of an orphan can be extremely stressful. These little ones will be loved by the incredible caretakers.

All this for $34 a month. $34 a month??!! Just give up a couple lattes and a few other things you don't need each month and a child with no future has hope and love and health and more!

Personal contact with your child will be much more personal than the average sponsorship. You can write them letters and there may even be access to email once in a while. You will receive a couple yearly updates on how they are doing and will be able to give money for them to have a birthday and Christmas gift. Another incredible opportunity will be the annual trip offered to go visit your child and their orphanage!! I think this is an incredible addition and will help build the community even more.

"The Community" that I am mentioning will consist of people from all over the states who are sponsoring a child at the same orphanage as you. RLC will be an online place to go and get to know each other a bit and keep up to date on our orphanage and children.

Without good orphan care these little ones could very likely end up on any of the following paths:

-prostitution (which could very likely lead to death from AIDS)
-drugs (also could lead to death from AIDS)
-death from a preventable illness
-sex slavery

But a child who experiences incredible orphan care and knows that someone far away loves them and prays for them...these kids could become the most incredible leaders in their country...the brighter future of Ethiopia. I truly encourage all of you... friends, family, fellow adopting parents, stalkers :), random think and pray about this and then ACT!

And finally, if you choose to sponsor a child with this community you will be involved with some really fun people. Like me for instance. :) Or Amy. Or Beka. And of course many other really cool people but I don't want to speak too soon for them. You can email me if you are interested or have more questions at or contact Amy (she is in charge of putting this online community together) at

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bazaar Update...

i for one, have too many blogs going. I can't remember what I posted where.

Anyhow, i have been crafting my little brains (and a few other loved ones brains) right out of our little heads. I'm so tired, I just may fall off this chair.

I had a table for e.k. inpired today at a local bazaar, and I'd say, overall it was a success! I broke even on my "investment", and I still have enough goods for another bazaar, so there is profit to be had! It was really fun spending the day with my mom and some sweet friends who stopped by to shop. I have been so blessed by people in my life, giving thier all to support us in this adoption.

This week, I've been feeling kind of down about the adoption process. It seems like just when I'm feeling the end of paperwork draw near, i realize that there is ANOTHER thing I need to send away for. Another signature needed. More money going out than coming in...UGH. Then as soon as i question "is this really what we're supposed to be doing right now?" God answers me with a big FAT "yes". I had been feeling bummed this week (maybe emotional from having my "monthly visitor" and working my tail off to get ready for this bazaar and juggling MOM's ministry and kids and family too)...My sweet cousin calls me up and says "Hey, can we stop by for a quick visit?" I say sure, thinking, that's kind of odd, she never just stops by for a visit. Her an her hubby hang out for a bit visit, catch up. I give them a thank you note for thier big fat contribution to our garage sale...and they say, "speaking of that...we have something for you" and proceed to hand me another big wad of cash for the adoption fund. ONCE again, I'm speechless at God's faithfulness. They affirmed me, saying they really feel God telling them to get behind us and support us, and they will continue to do so until Baby Girl is home with us. I started to cry, and shared how down I'd been feeling, wondering if this is really the right timing. She said that they had a busy day, and had considered putting off the visit until Monday, but after a quick discussion with her hubby, they just felt a "do it now" feeling and they came over. We were all blessed and glad they did! God is so good provide confirmations for me when I really need them. I am so blessed by my cousin and her hubby's obedience to God's call for them to support us, and bless us in this process. It is so cool to see God move to provide.

OK, back to the bazaar, I met this super sweet gal, name Julia, who makes THEE CUTEST BAGS. They are so stinking cute, and really nice quality. She designed them herself and they are just so great. Check her out, she's awesome! I really want this bag for my diaper bag with new babe girl
and one similar to this for a super cute purse (it has the cutest red with

blue flower lining inside that I LOVE)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Goodnight Mom, with apologies to Margaret Wise Brown

My sweet sister in law, Steph, gave me this poem for giggles tonight when I went to pick Jack up from her house. (THANKS for letting me go squeeze the new baby A-L-O-N-E)

If you have read Goodnight Moon, 10,000 million trillion times like we have, you'll appreciate it!

(with apologies to Margaret Wise Brown)
By Sarah Jio, Parenting

In the messy green
family room
There was a telemarketer ringing the telephone
And a crying toddler
because his brother just popped his
red balloon
And a picture of--

The cow jumping over the moon (which someone colored on with permanent marker)
And there was a missing
teddy bear, and a girl with
gum in her hair

And one to be scolded
And laundry to be folded
And a very hungry spouse
And something stinky in the house
(that no one else seemed to smell)

And a comb and a brush and a colicky baby who just won't shush
And a frazzled mommy screaming #*%#@

Goodnight messy room
Goodnight scribbled-on moon
Goodnight cow getting out while she can
Goodnight telemarketers and the
popped balloon
Goodnight long-gone teddy bear Goodnight cereal bar smeared all
over the dining room chair

Goodnight spitup
And goodnight leaky sippy cup
Goodnight much-too-little house and goodnight grumpy spouse
Goodnight comb and goodnight brush
And goodnight to a certain 4-year-old who just needs to hush right now I mean it

Goodnight Elmo
Goodnight toys we'll pick up tomorrow,
or the next day
Hello chardonnay and TiVo--
"me" time finally

AND my friend (and amazing artist) is having a fun blog giveaway, check it out here

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Love and Logic MAGIC-saving my sanity!!

So, one of our recommended readings for our homestudy is "Love and Logic, Magic for early childhood" by Jim Fay...and let me say, it IS Magic!!

I have read the first few chapters, and been implementing the principles with Hayden for the past 2 days...and truly, they have been the best 2 days we've had in MONTHS with him. (or should I say, I have had with him). 4 years old, has presented a few challenges with our big boy. He suddenly is Mr. Independant, wanting to "do it on my own" (or NOT do it on my own as the case may be...) I have been pulling my hair out, given many timeouts and, I'll be honest, alot of yelling, trying to get him to stinking pick up his toys on his own....

So, the magic book talks about giving kids lots of choices. ie, do you want cereal or oatmeal for breakfast? (giving 2 choices that I'd be happy with either choice) CHOICES CHOICES CHOICES. Blue socks or white? Sweatshirt or fleece? boots or tennies? This story or that one? Literally, give choices on everything. They are control hungry little animals. So, give them some control where it really doesn't matter. THEN when it does matter, for example, It's pouring down rain, and Mommy chooses that he wears long pants instead of shorts. Mommy has given you lots and lots of choices today, and now it's my turn to make a choice....and...he totally went for it! Yahoo!!

Another principle, react to thier mistakes with empathy and compassion instead of anger and frusteration. Anger and frusteration literally shut down thier ability to learn and think and make a good decision. Anger and frusteration turn on the "fight or flight" reaction in thier little brains, and kick in the adrenaline and they just can't think rationally. If you respond with empathy, ie, "uh, oh. Your brother is really hurt from you kicking his face, How can you make this better? What should you do differently next time?" It has been working like a charm, and we are both SO MUCH HAPPIER. I am finding alot of freedom from my own frusteration in discipline with these tools.

I'm learning that my heart needs to be focused on equipping him to be a good decision maker. How can he make good decisions if I have all the control and never LET him make decisions? He is loving having a say in what happens, and those are very "affordable" choices. Then when the really matter, I get the control I need as the parent. As L & L puts it, mistakes at 4 (or 2) are very affordable mistakes. At 14-17, they may not be so "affordable". I need to let him learn now, because by the teenage years, If I suddenly give all control to him with no training and practice at making good choices, it will not magically kick in when he's faced with choices like, "To smoke pot, not to smoke pot" or "skip school or not to skip school"...or worse, but I'll wait a few years to think about those possibilities :) Saying this stuff outloud, it all sounds so common sense-ish. I guess I have a very think (and stubborn) brain. I am loving this book, and it's principles really worked for H and me, almost instantly. He's usually grouchy in the morning, and today he came out with a big ol smile and said, "Good Morning, Mommy!"...later this afternoon, he said, "Mommy, you're AMAZING!"...Now, who doesn't love to hear that! Giving him so many choices throughout the day, has made him so much easier to get along with , and I found myself this afternoon, just wanting to spend time playing with him....we were just plain ol' having fun together. We toasted pumpkin seeds, snuggled and watched a movie, read stories. We just enjoyed eachother's company.

The other MAJOR victory for me has been in getting him to pick up toys on his own, specifically LEGOS. I love that he loves creating things with Legos and he's getting pretty creative. I HATE the million tiny peices all over the carpet and him not wanting to clean them up. I have started saying, "OK buddy, I have a couple choices for you. You can pick up the Legos now, and then you can play again later, OR Mommy can pick them up for you, and I will keep them."...He is just smiling and saying, "OK, I will pick them up so I can play with them later when I want to."

MUSIC TO MY EARS. Thank you Mr. Fay for the Love and Logic MAGIC!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Funsies

I took my fellas out to play in the beautiful fall crispness this past week. Here's a couple of my fave shots!

One more thing...I fell in love today. With these. I should've bought a case of them (it's probably good I didn't)....if you've never had Trader Joes Joe-Joes, they are like an OREO but SO MUCH BETTER. And, there's no nasty hydrogenated oils.ANYWAY, These are like an oreo, (but better) with tiny bits of real candy canes in the creamy part. I am a total sucker for anything chocolatey and pepperminty, but these are now at the top of my list. GO TO TRADER JOES AND BUY THEM, you won't regret it (unless you hate chocolate and minty deliciousness).
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