Saturday, March 31, 2012

"7" Winner

Wowza.  Your response was incredible here.  I am praising God and so thankful that many of you are interested in reading and possibly participating.  It is funny, when I started the book, I thought, "No way would I ever do this." I finished the book and thought, "Wow, hope someday I will have the grace to do this." And now I have publicly declared  "I'm doing it".  Too late to back out. Looks like God has given me the grace. :) 

Even if you didn't win, remember, you can get a copy of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess(cheapest I have found is at If you just want to read and don't want to commit, no problem.

We will start on May 1st. To the women who have already committed, I will send an e-mail soon.

Winner: Tara Reinhard! Tara, I will get it to you!

And here is Little A with a sheet of stickers, all on her face...

Many, Many Blessings,

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Don’t forget to check out the previous post for a GIVEAWAY!

Grandma’s house has lots of outdoor space to run and play.  Since it is also far away from the road, an idea crossed my mind…”Jon, what do you think about getting the girls kittens?”. I was thinking along the lines of providing the girls warm, fuzzy moments that I experienced as a child. Since I haven’t seen many cats in Ethiopia, I thought this summer would be perfect and maybe the only chance for the girls to have kitties for a long while. Jon was completely on board for this idea (of course…in case you haven’t noticed, he is almost up for everything).

I felt a familiar pang in my heart.  The same one I get while watching the girls play with cousins and friends, seeing their delight over visiting a grandparent or hearing their sweet little voices announce, “my church!” when the lovely body of Christ where we fellowship comes into view.  I am thankful but there is also this deep, bittersweet ache. Living close to my family has brought many joys and also deepens relationships with The Littles and the “normal” I thought my children would have.

“Hmm, Babe, I changed my mind about the kitties.  I don’t want The Littles to have more thing that breaks their hearts when they have to leave it.”

Jon reminded me of the fact that this year living here was an unexpected and highly unplanned blessing.  He mentioned a few things like, “Do you think that stopping all experiences for a year and just being on hold is the right thing?” Humpf. I am so thankful that God has given us this year to deepen relationships.  I know that Jon and I, we’ll be okay.  We are older and know that God has called us to make this decision, for our family too.  It is going to hurt when we leave and The Littles can’t grasp why we are leaving everything and going to a land where they don’t understand the language and don’t even like the food (completely Americanized food choices…working on it).

But it’s okay.  God is good.  Here, there, everywhere.

Yesterday, to the delight of The Littles, we got our first kittens.

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Meet Purr and Meow

I think our year 2012 will be full of sweet memories.

And it’s gonna be okay.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Giveaway and Book Review

The lovely Amazon box waited for me, I ripped it open with great excitement and pulled out my own copy of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. (Cheaper at  What I didn’t expect was how much this book would push me to think…and…change…


Very enthusiastically I explained the premise of the book to Jon. I was ready to read it, not jump into the craziness. Jon’s first response, “Let’s do it”, annoyed me.

Book Review:
”Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe "seven sacred pauses." So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.” –excerpt from CBD

Read along as Jen journals this journey, from how God has brought her family from pastoring a “successful” mega-church, living the American dream and enjoying everything this life has to offer to literally giving her shoes off her feet (multiple times, I might add). As I read Jen’s accounts of living one month on seven foods (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) to the next month eating what she pleased but limiting herself to wearing 7 items of clothing, including shoes (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?), it became desirable. Not the part about self-denial, but…it was the part about self-denial and how God can work mightily through it, when we slow down, simplify and just take the time to hear Him. How often do I fast or practice some form of self-denial? Very little. Is it something the Lord has been convicting me for some time about? YES.

What I am taking forever to say is, by the grace of God, we are embarking on this journey. I know this is sticky because broadcasting a fast seems proud. Be assured, I don’t tell you so you can admire my self-discipline (seriously a very weak area in my life) but to see if you want to join.

One of the strongest things that stood out to me in the book was Jen’s “Council”, basically a group of friends all doing this together (to varying degrees and in a myriad of ways, not everyone’s journey was the same) who supported each other, talked about the hard things and just kept each other sane and laughing along the way . Are you intrigued in doing this together? This will not be a time commitment as we will keep up over e-mail.

We are starting Month #1 on May 1st. If you are interested, that gives you a bit over a month to find the book (hilarious, quick read), read through it and prayerfully decide if it is an experiment on which you want to embark.


If you are interested in possibly participating, leave a comment on this post. One winner will be announced March 30th and will receive their own copy of “7” with no obligation or pressure to participate.

May God use this for His glory and praise.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

3 Funnies A Bit More Wedding…

Sorry if you are my FB friend and this overlaps! Three instagram snapshots:

1. Doorbell


I made the mistake of telling The Littles, “If you need me, just ring the doorbell.”

2. Inside Jokes


3. Potty Training


As the girls have been on the potty multiple times this morning for “trying treats” but not actually using it, I tried to curb it. "Girls, I am afraid if I keep giving you trying treats I am going to spend the whole morning here.” To which Little A responded, "don't be afraid mama, trust in God."

Official Wedding Pictures:

Jenna from Patch 36 Photography just posted wedding pictures from the wonderful weekend.

Follow the link to see more

Frills and Flowers:

Our dear friend, (whom I have actually never met) Tricia, came through for us big time when it came to our hair “pretties” for the wedding.

Tricia has a heart for the oppressed and uses the proceeds generated by her business to benefit International Justice Mission (IJM).

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She loves to do custom orders and made the bridesmaid flowers as well as those for J&A.

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Check out the Frills and Flowers Facebook Page and think about her ability to match anything!

Thanks Tricia!

Monday, March 26, 2012


My whimsy post was this morning, this one gut-level reality. Trayvon Martin.

These few articles are worth the time, all three come from different angles but a Christian perspective.

Dear Trayvon’s Mom by Jen Hatmaker

Why I Fear “Good” People: Trayvon Martin and Kony 2012 by Sharifa Stevens

Trayvon Martin, Race and The Gospel by John Piper

Let this effect us.

It’s Not About the Finished Product

And more about the process…

I obviously learned a few things from our first finger painting experience. ;)




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Wednesday, March 21, 2012


March 22, 2012 is World Water Day.

(And Happy Birthday Jeff!)

My babies have been sick.  Virus plus ear infections.  High fevers in the night. Hence the reason I am inside blogging and not outside.
Yuck.  I can start feeling sorry for myself in this situation, especially when I am cleaning up puke.

Last night as I lay beside Little J, waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in as I listened to her fast, shallow breaths because of her fever. "Water", she panted. She got as much as she wanted.
The doctor says they don't need to eat, just make sure they stay hydrated.

I looked down at her face, beaded in sweat and thought about the many times I have read about women without access to clean drinking water, who have children die because of fever.  The water makes the babies sick and have fevers. They have diahrrea and dehydrate and are given more unclean water, the cycle continues and the child dies.

Worldwide, every 20 seconds a child dies from water related problems. Woah.

This short video creatively portrays a great perspective.

It's time we get involved (and sidenote also getting a little "greener" with my water consumption).  I haven't researched enough to give a list of organizations I stand behind.

"Christianity Today" rates bringing clean water to a village as the most effective use of donated dollars. Read the thought provoking article here. (Thanks Drew!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here Comes The Bride…

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Aren’t they so beautiful? They are amazing and we were so honored to be a part of their weekend.


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The Littles love Uncle Nick!

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All the sibs…

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Little A


(photo credit: Jenna from Patch 36)

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Aunt Kris still smiling at the end of an amazing but LONG day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

And Two Became One

Don’t miss the post from this morning!

I am currently sorting through wedding pictures and “aah”, long contented sigh.  It was lovely and joy-filled.  The weather was perfect, Kristen was gorgeous and Nick was a dashing groom. 

Our weekend started with an evening out with Kristen and the bridesmaids with pictures the following morning. I went early to help Kris and Jon was going to bring The Littles. After hearing that he had completely lost track of time, I may have been was impatient with him and said, “just get here and get The Littles dressed in the parking garage!".  A short while later after realizing the pictures were running behind and feeling very convicted that I lashed out at Jon, I called him back, apologized and said to bring the girls downtown and I would help get them dressed.

They parked in a parking garage about five blocks away and I was waiting for them to come.  I saw something odd in the crosswalk, two toddlers in only diapers crossing the street, holding their daddy’s hand.  GASP…oh wait, those were my toddlers and hubby, in a large city.

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Me: Hi babe, umm…what happened?

Jon: You told me to take off their clothes and bring them to the courthouse!

A very funny miscommunication.  We dressed them immediately as I prayed no one had seen the odd sight and called DCS.

  I must sign off because I have a load of papers to go through as I pushed everything possible until “after the wedding”.

One picture I took from Jenna Stoller from Patch 36 Photography to get us started


$7 for our 7th

Jessica and I, though we haven’t meant, are forever bonded.  We were both bringing our first kids home from Ethiopia at the same time, lots of e-mails back and forth, following each other’s blogs, etc.


I just love this family and their hearts. After adding two kids to their family from Ethiopia, they felt God’s nudge to bring another girl home off a waiting child list and a short while later, they were a family of 8.  Now, God has made it clear that they have room for one more.

Because of unexpected expenses that have popped up in their life, their adoption fund for baby #7 has dwindled but they know that God always provides, but not always in expected, well-planned ways. 

They are asking for people to contribute, $7 for their 7th child to offset the cost.

Follow this link to read their story and to be a part of changing the world for one orphaned child and one family.

or visit their blog at

Friday, March 16, 2012

Let The Fun Begin!

Yes, yes, their wedding is here!



I couldn’t ask for a better sister than Kristen.

Even the weather is celebrating.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Survival Skills

Because we are moving to Ethiopia, it is high time that I teach the girls some (maybe all) the survival skills I know. Like…hmm…making cereal necklaces in case we get too hungry on the way to the mailbox.

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The Littles thought Mama was genius.


Whew!  The lane is long (ish) and The Littles dawdled, so I continued walking , leaving them to eat their necklaces in peace.


I came around the curve to find them both sitting in the only puddle in the driveway, at least no one was hungry. Too bad “Froot Loops” won’t be easy to find in Ethiopia. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tender Hearts

The Littles started on their trikes.


They worked together to fix the flag…


But because their feet don’t reach the pedals and they only know how to go backwards, it doesn’t take long to get distracted.


Little A found the figurine on the porch and instantly declared her “sad”. “She needs a daddi-o!”.

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Little J, a complete care bear with a very sensitive heart quickly joined in bringing comfort to the girl of stone while Little A, my action child, called daddy to let him know that someone was in need of his “lovin’s”.

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Much to the sadness of The Littles (all three of them), Daddy couldn’t come home yet. The Littles reassured the statue in sweet, quiet voices, “It’s okay, daddi-o is coming home.”.


As my lover, Little J, stayed close to the statue, my “life is a party” child was bored and decided to shake things up a bit.


Something I often pray for The Littles is that they would see others as Christ does, treating everyone with love and kindness.  I rejoice in the ways I see them have a heart for “sad people” around them, even if that person happens to have a heart of stone. :)