Monday, October 31, 2011

Only Treats

The Littles feel a bit out of their element at library story hour.  I am not sure as to all the reasons but it is a lot of activity, especially at a costume party!

Hence the group picture.  Little J couldn’t handle all the pressure of all of the mother’s looking and taking pictures.

halloween 013 

When she turned her back to the wall, the mothers began to look in her direction and point.

halloween 014

Which was just a little too uncomfortable to my monkey, Little A. 

halloween 010

Heather and Beckham joined us for the day, so FUN!  The Littles want “Baby Beckham back”.  ;)

We tried the costumes again and it went better tonight. 

Trick or Treat!

halloween 036

halloween 039

Especially when they understood the concept that we knock on a door and then get “nummies”. Turns out they talk to strangers for candy and will even oblige them with “please”, “thank you”, “trick or treat” and animal noises.

halloween 051

Now it’s way past bedtime and they’re on a sugar high.  That’s why they usually don’t get candy before bedtime…


We leave tomorrow night to start our trek to Africa.  The Littles don’t know it yet but we have been trying to prepare them in subtle ways. We feel your prayers.

But, today’s post is about something more EXCITING!

The lovely and talented Aunt Kris is engaged!  :)  We are so happy for Nick and Kristen and The Littles have already nicknamed him, “Nick, Nick, Nicky”. 

kris and nick

Welcome to the family Nick!  We love you already!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Little Watching Crew

While Jon and I leave on the evening of November 1st and will be gone until the 11th, The Littles are going to be in good hands!  I am really thankful. As our departure approaches, we feel your prayers, for real, as in I can talk and think about it without crying. :)  Thank you.  Can you keep them coming?  For The Littles and the following people:

Aunt Steph is going to watch The Littles from November 1-3.

Gerst vaca and Chad wedding 275

Aunt Kris will cover November 4-6.

5-20 042

And Papa and Nana are November 7-11.

Gerst vaca and Chad wedding 621

Plus, a host of other people who will be helping as Papa and Nana harvest! :)

Bless you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Drum Roll Please

Wow, we have three winners from our



Congratulations to:

Steph from Loving Mercy

Jessica F.

Mandy R.

Ladies, please leave a comment so I know you heard you were the winner!  Then e-mail Jody at and let her know which style of headband, flower or bracelet you would like.  She can do flowers on alligator clips or headbands.

If you didn’t win, remember to visit the etsy shop, Grafted Together, and get a few Christmas gifts or suggestions for yourself!!  Isn’t shopping with a cause the best?!

Many blessings to the Detmers and their journey to bring home Isaiah and Sophie from the Congo!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday Best

Little A was accessorizing herself, but I wasn’t sure why.  When she was happy enough with her appearance, she announced she was going to “church”.  I was intrigued to see her impression of church as it sometimes seems they get stressed out by all the action on Sundays.



Little J, my underclothed rabbit, joined in the fun and yes, it looks like they are looking at board books, but make no mistake, they are actually hymnals, to which the girls sang a few bars.


“Hey sister, did you get that page number”?


I gave them the care bears to let them “parent” during the service and to see what they did.  The care bears sat on their laps for a little bit while the girls read them stories.  The game ended soon after as Little A had enough of her care bear’s attitude and took her care bear out of service for “discipline”.  Little J followed with her care bear.  Glad they are getting the important things.

As for the wisdom teeth, I am faring well, had a few more dentist visits and am feeling better, although the taste in my mouth is so gross, it actually makes me wince when a new little bit leaks out.  I am eating, well slurping, nonstop to get the taste out of my mouth.  I actually got so full I had to switch to constant candy.  Probably the only person who gains weight during wisdom teeth recovery. ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dry Sockets

You can enter the GIVEAWAY until October 26th!

From the bottom of our hearts, thanks to those of you who quickly grabbed donation items off of the list from the previous post and the many of you who have expressed in person or through another means of communication, your love and support of our family.  We are humbled and grateful.

Lately, it feels as though I have been all business.  Partly because I have had my wisdom teeth removed and have been very careful; however, this still did not stop me from having two dry sockets!  YUCK. On the bright side, I can’t be in too bad of a mood as three people covered dinners for us.  I am so spoiled. In an effort to lighten things around here (my mood included), a few random pictures of The Littles.

Zoo with daddy 186

Zoo with daddy 242

Fall 027

Fall 020

Starting this blog, we didn’t realize that it would actually become our “village” but it has and we are so thankful for you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

In Need

Don’t forget the GIVEAWAY!

We are in need.  Our family needs your prayers. If you have been reading our blog in 2011, you may have noticed references to us going through some hard stuff, the good kind of hard, the kind of hard that has made us fall to our knees.  Through a series of God ordained circumstances, Our family has been praying about entering full-time missions.  We leave for Africa on an exploratory trip and will be gone November 2-11.  The Littles cannot go with us. I will write a little more about this before we leave on November 2nd. 

Ethiopia-Canon Rebel 038

We have been asked to take over supplies for the missionaries we are visiting and a small group home for orphans. We would be really thankful if some of these items could be donated.  If you are interested in donating any of the following, leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. I am willing to do pick ups in the area and will also be down in the Bluffton area before we leave.  Thanks for your consideration!

Needs List

-Soccer balls (not inflated if that is possible, otherwise we can deflate them) 4 balls Thanks Ashley!

-4 boxes Purex 3 in 1 laundry sheets  Thanks Mandy!

-20 boxes of Crayons (boxes of 24) Thanks Jodi!

-15 children’s scissors Thanks Rachel!

-Clothes: Lightweight pjs, lightweight clothes, sweatpants, underpants, socks Thanks Suzy! (no sleeveless tops) Can definitely be used and specifically in these approximate sizes, dark shades are better for bottoms, socks and undies

-3 ½ yr old twin girls (small for their age) Thanks Mindy!

-4 yr old boy (wears size 3) Thanks Sarah!

-6 yr old girl Thanks Jody D!

13 yr old boy (size 12, needs cargo pants) Thanks Suzy!

-Jump ropes/puzzles/balls Thanks Janel!

-Toys (can use additional) Thanks JJ!

Books/DVDs (appropriate for Ethiopian children, can be used)

-3 large bottles of hand lotion  Thanks Emily!

-3 dawn liquid detergent (large bottle)  Thanks Nichole!

-3 long handled spatulas  Thanks Nichole!

-Children’s multivitamins (3 large bottles)  Thanks Kristi!

-Cardboard filing/storage box that can be broken down

Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


It is bleak. Midweek.  I get four cavities filled today and my wisdom teeth taken out. Blech.

How about a GIVEAWAY to bring a little cheer? 

Yeah? I thought it was a good idea, too. Especially because I am going to do all I can to avoid going out with a swollen face.

Recently, I stumbled across a garage sale of an amazing family who are waiting to bring home their two children (Sophie-6 months, Isaiah 2 1/2 years old) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 


The Detmers are creatively raising funds for their adoption, check out their blog here.

Jody is Miss Creative and has used her skills to make headbands, flower pin/hair accessories and bracelets to fund bringing their children home.

Visit the etsy shop where she sells her items.


A few samples

il_570xN_273724805 il_570xN_273746015

The Littles have headbands, but these fabric flowers aren’t just for littles!  They would look adorable on adults as well or pinned onto a sweater for a little flair.

Park 004 Park 015

Hmm.  What to get that woman who is hard to shop for at Christmas?


Want to win a bracelet/hair accessory/pin?

Of course you do!!!

1 item of the winner’s choice given away for every 15 comments.

Earn up to four entries (each entry a comment)

- Leave a comment

- Go the the etsy shop and leave me a comment on what pin/bracelet/hair accessory you would like to win

- Facebook, blog or tweet the giveaway and let me know with a comment

Let’s blow up the comments so I have something to do in my self-imposed lockdown. 

And visit the Detmers’ blog and leave some love. :)

Giveaway open until October 26th.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kung Fu Fighting

Last year The Littles didn’t do a lot of leaf jumping, mostly because they weren’t even walking. :)

More Random 241

Lots of leaf lovin’ this fall.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yearning For Justice

In 2011, human trafficking became the world’s biggest trade.

This is a problem internationally and within our own borders.

Though victims come from a variety of backgrounds, they are in a position of vulnerability.

Orphans are easy prey for traffickers.  No one is standing in the gap for them.

They estimate there are 27 million slaves worldwide.  More than there have ever been at any point in history.

Estimates say that at least half of those are children.

2 children are prepared for the sex trade every minute.


The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
   he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
   and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
   to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
   the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
   the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-3

(Information taken from Tom Davis with Children’s Hope Chest)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


A mother once told me, “When you are a mom, the days go slow, but the years fly by.”

Next week marks our 1 1/2 anniversary with the girls. I know, not that big of deal to celebrate, but it has made me a bit reflective. :) Since on the official day (October 19th), I will be getting wisdom teeth extracted and four cavities filled, I plan to not post because pain medicine messes with me. While it would probably be amusing for you, I will try to spare myself embarrassment and have Jon change my password or something. ;)

Mother's Day

While there is nothing quite as breathtaking as chunky little babies, I am glad we are through this stage. :)

Zoo with daddy 252

My Littles may need a new name soon as they insist that they are “big girls”.

Zoo with daddy 206

Big girls with cheesy grins.

Speaking of reflective, I just stumbled across this photo from our homecoming at the airport.  I am so thankful that my girls had the opportunity to meet their great-grandpa.  They are also still blessed with 4 living great-grandparents, a blessing for which I am so thankful.

Grandpa F

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our God Is Able

Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed with the needs, there are days when the needs can seem so vast, that I am immobilized to do anything.

Today I present to you another need, but ask that you consider if God would possibly want you involved.

Remember when we talked about Make Way Partners and Passport Through Darkness? Make Way Partners has an orphanage for orphans in HIGH risk in one of the most dangerous places in the world, Sudan. 


Because of the violence and loads of other factors, the food bill for these orphans has exploded, leaving the administrators facing some tough decisions.

Read the blog article and pray about how you can be involved. Click here: “How to Beat the Trigger Date for Starvation.”

One of my favorite audio series is “The Pineapple Stories” by Otto Koning.  I have taken many life lessons from his journeys, but one stands out in light of this situation.

“My God is not short of cars”.

I think of that now as we know our God does not lack. He isn’t short on funds.

In unrelated news:

We have two winners!


Congratulations to:

Ashley B.

Christa M.

Send me your addresses and wait for the One Hope CD!

Remember, if you didn’t win, it is a great way to start Christmas shopping.  100% of proceeds go to helping orphans!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


14 minutes is kind of a long time in your life. You are busy, I know. However, whether you have 14 minutes you can watch this or you can listen to this in the background, do it now. If you can't do it now, maybe bookmark it and come back later.

Thanks for posting this Nichole!

Take the time to read Psalm 148. Praise Him.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sniff, Sniff

Sigh. It has been a good season.  As of October 9th, our zoo is closed until April.

Zoo 186

Zoo 135 

Zoo 150 

Zoo 230

Don’t forget the giveaway! Check out the previous post!

Thursday, October 6, 2011



it is time for another giveaway!

We will be giving away two cd’s of An Orphan’s Prayer, a just released album! 

One Hope is a singing group of a Dad and his three daughters.


“Flowing from a passion for God and His work among the vulnerable, One Hope has released “An Orphans Prayer,”  a collection of songs designed to stir the heart of the listener toward greater compassion for the orphans of the world.  Featuring new renditions of hit songs from Mark Schultz and Natalie Grant along with plenty of original music from One Hope, “An Orphans Prayer” is sure to draw you closer to the Father-heart of God.”

I wish I was techy enough so you could listen to it as you read about the giveaway…just trust me, you will be blessed by it! 


100% of the purchase price of this CD will be donated to help orphans through the work of Loving Shepherd Ministries, a Christ-centered organization, who we have seen God use to bless the lives of many children, through caring for orphans by placing them in families, providing free adoption resources,  and combating exploitation. 

Check out the One Hope website as you can preview the songs, you will be blessed and maybe you can do a little Christmas shopping? :)


1) Just leave a comment here by October 11th 9:00 pm.

2) Facebook or blog the giveaway and comment about it for additional entries.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baby On Board

The Littles are going through a “Daddy” stage right now.  I love it. :)  Walking to the park tonight, both wanted Jon.  Which resulted in this.

Zoo 256

Yes, Little J is precariously clinging/cuddling on to his back.

Good thing the park was close. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crisp, Clear and Crunchy

(The title is my alliteration of a beautiful Fall Day, apparently I am very poetic today. ;)).  We visited family in Plymouth, MI this weekend and enjoyed much time outdoors!  Justin and Sarah were wonderful hosts and it was so fun to see The Littles get to know their cousins better.

Fall 049

The gentleman, Hudson, gave all the ladies rides in his powerwheel Jeep.  :)

Fall 108

We went to a cider mill, which was a perfect spot for kids.  It was a cold day, so we first went winter coat shopping in Paige’s old clothes.  So fun!  The Littles were both completely delighted with their new ensembles. 

  Fall 076

Little J’s reaction after she tried to feed the goat and it licked her entire hand.

Fall 125 

Fall 154 Fall 119

Fall 136

Fall 193 

 Fall 270

Surprisingly enough, The Littles REALLY like scarecrows. :)

Fall 231

Thanks so much Justin and Sarah, we were so blest by your hospitality!