Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Results!!!

Today was our BIG garage sale fundraiser and we also had a Cupcake Kid's stand! 
Our Family (so far)
Yes it was like this all morning, crazy!
There was a ton more in the garage and on the side!


We received so many donations from family, friends, and even people we never met. It was amazing to watch it continue to come in. We opened the doors and started pulling stuff out at 5:30am, had the signs out at 6:00am and then we had a steady stream of customers until we packed it up at 1:00pm. We have a lot leftover still and plan to have more sales in the future and sell bigger items on Craig's List. 

Our little Cupcake Kids set up a stand and made some of the cutest treats to raise money for SixtyFeet. {Sixty Feet is an action-based organization created to bring hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of Africa in Jesus' name} This ministry has become dear to our hearts and God is doing big things through it. Praying about God using us along side them this fall {more on this to come soon}




THE GRAND TOTALS!
Garage Sale for our Adoption: $2,595.66
 The Cupcake Kids Stand $590.63

We are very thankful for all that God did to make this happen and for what He has provided! Praise God, this is only the beginning of what He will do. 

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." -- Phil 1:6.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fortner Family Garage Sale!!!!

Come out and support our family and our adoption from Uganda! We are raising funds to help pay for our adoption expenses and we hope you will join in! My garage and now dining room is overflowing! I 
think there just might be something in there for everyone!


When: Saturday April 23rd 
          7:00am-12:00pm

Where: 1823 W. Encinas St.
           Gilbert, AZ 85233


The Cupcake Kids will be there selling treats to raise money for the imprisoned children of Uganda! Come and buy a cupcake and glass of lemonade from some cute kids and make a huge difference. All money raised will go to SixtyFeet to help the orphans of Uganda.

Meet Seth


I would like to introduce you to Seth John Asher. This happy boy belongs to my friend Melissa and he is such a joy. This little one is blessed to be born into a wonderful family who love and support him daily. I wanted to share Seth's story and encourage others to support their family in prayer, encouragement, and financial help. Please visit their blog HERE and see how you can help this beautiful little boy. 

From Seth's Mommy:

Seth's Story

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine"
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


On June 22, 2009, a big, beautiful red headed boy came into this cold, harsh world. It was an easy delivery, a fast (and natural!) event - after so many months of waiting, we welcomed 9 pound 1 ounce Seth John Asher with happy, loving arms! Seth was perfect. He cried, he was pink, he ate well and slept well. He was such a blessing and a gift! Our daughter, Sydney, now had a baby brother, and we had a son! After a few very rough weeks for our family, we finally had our precious, beautiful boy...and for a moment, all was right with the world.



On June 23, 2009, roughly 18 hours after his birth, Seth was whisked away to the newborn nursery with what the nurse called "delayed breathing". Shortly after that, he was taken to the NICU with low O2 levels. Seth was placed on oxygen, and at this time it was discovered he had an enlarged liver & spleen. All they could tell us was that it meant he was fighting some sort of infection. "Do you have cats?" became a popular question. No, we dont have cats. Please dont ask us that anymore.



June 24th-25th were spent testing. Bloodwork, urine, MRI, ultrasounds - Friday, the 26th, Seth had an MRI of his brain, where they discovered extensive calcifications. We were told this was indicative of him having contracted CMV in utero. CMV? We had never even heard of it. By Saturday, the results were in and Seth was officially diagnosed with congenital human cytomegalovirus. Congenital means "born with". cCMV. Our son had contracted a virus while still in the safety of the womb, a virus that had ravaged his small body...and we never even had a clue.



The list of "abnormal" was long. Seth had breathing issues, low platelets, enlarged liver & spleen, severe kidney reflux, two holes in his heart & extensive brain calcifications, as well as a small cerebrum & cerebellum and underdeveloped optic nerve in his left eye. His prognosis was mixed. One doctor said he may have some learning disabilities, one said he would never be anything close to "normal". He spent 11 days in the NICU and then we took him home....to a world of fear, anxiety, guilt, sadness, wonder. Google became our best friend as well as our biggest enemy. We couldnt understand it - here was this horrible virus that can wreak so much havoc on an unborn baby, and we had never even heard of it!? And what would this mean for our precious boy, what would his future hold? We wanted to believe cCMV would not define our son, that cCMV would not define his life. We still believe that.



Today, Seth is a joy. Each day is a gift, and we are so thankful for his presence in our lives. It's been a hard 20 months, and it has flown by. Seth has had multiple surgeries - two for the kidney reflux as well as placement of ear tubes. He has had a total of 11 urinary tract infections. He has been diagnosed with mixed cerebral palsy, optic nerve hypoplasia and cortical vision impairment. He is legally blind.



Seth has been dealing with infantile spasms - or West Syndrome - for a little over a year now. He has been on every medication possible in an attempt to control his seizures. Ninety-eight percent of the time, this particular seizure disorder will develop into another kind of seizure disorder. We are prepared for a life of seizure medications for Seth. It's hard to watch him spasm, it's hard to wake up in the morning to find blood on his sheets and his clothes, and know he bit something during a nighttime seizure. Sometimes, it's scary too. There are so many things we cannot fix, so many things we have to simply watch our boy go through. We love him and yet we cant "fix" him, no matter how much we want to. We cant take his pain and make it our own, we cant give him our eyes with which to see the world or our legs with which to walk. That just wasnt meant to be.



Seth has physical, occupational, feeding and speech therapies once a week. He rolls over both ways, claps, plays with toys. He laughs, babbles, responds to touch & the sound of our voices. He has perfect hearing - supersonic, we call it - and we are so thankful for that. We are working on getting him to sit up and to crawl, as well as eat solid foods. We have watched him gradually but continuously fall off the charts in weight....our once roly poly big guy is now quite skinny, he doesnt have any extra chub to spare anymore. But he's still beautiful. He's still precious. He still an amazing, wonderful gift from God.



God is bigger than CMV. He is bigger than seizures, CVI, kidney reflux. We know that with one wave of his mighty hand he could heal our baby. We pray that he would, but we know that God's plan for Seth's life is so much bigger than anything we could dream of. We are just thankful that he has seen fit to choose us for Seth...that we get to share our lives with this incredible boy.


"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me".
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bereaved

 Friday night was amazing. God totally showed up and I believe we saw a big glimpse at His heart for the orphaned and abandoned children in Uganda. We are so thankful for the friends and family who came. We had about 30 in attendance and we can rest in knowing those who God wanted were there. We are praying for your hearts to be forever changed like ours have since learning about SixtyFeet and the imprisoned children. 


Hanging out before 
Kathy Jason Gabe and Mel
Ben Jolyn Mike and Dave
Melissa Heather and Annita 
Fortner Girls 
Harvest Bible Family
Gary sharing some background on SixtyFeet
Wonderful husband and tech guy 
Here we go
 We were blessed to have Laura and Gary Hill from SixtyFeet at our showing. It was wonderful to hear about Gary's recent trip to Uganda in March and hear about the amazing things that God has done over the last year with this ministry. We loved our short but sweet time we had with them talking about Gods work in this ministry and in their family. We felt immediately connected to them. It's amazing how you can be instant friends because of your common faith in Christ and passion for His work. We hope this is only the beginning! Such a wonderful couple and encouragement to us! 


If you were not able to come and would still like to view the video please contact me; there may be an encore showing. Please visit the SixtyFeet website for more information about the ministry and the children they are serving. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Family After My Own Heart

I would like to introduce you to a beautiful family that God has put on our hearts. The Allee's have passed court and are ready to bring Genet and Amo home from Ethiopia next week! 


Here’s the deal: The Allee's need $4,000 in order to bring their children home.


They have covered A LOT of the cost of their adoption on their own. They've done all they can do at this point: maxed out the credit cards, sold their house, sold one of their cars, and done every bake sale, garage sale, and car wash possible. These people are driven and will do what it takes to get their kids home! 


You can help. All they need is 200 people to donate $20.00! That is not much for many of us in the US... can you cut back on Starbucks this week, or eating out,  or shopping this weekend and give to this family so they can make their family whole? I know you can! 


Go to their blog to read more and donate. Don't hesitate do it now. Need some help deciding if it's worth it? Check out this sweet faces....


PLEASE participate in “Project 20s” and give $20 (or more) to Jacob & Susan TODAY.  (button on top right of their page) We are needing to raise the money FAST as they need to travel SOON.  So please try and donate by THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 15th.  

or To donate:
Mail checks to Jacob & Susan Allee at:  1762 N. Jefferson, Junction City, KS 66441  

or To make a tax-deductible donation:  
Make your check out to LifeSong for Orphans w/ #1648 Allee Adoption in the memo line.  Mail to:  LIfesong for Orphans, P.O. Box 40, Gridley, IL  61744

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Girl

ZoĆ« is 7 months old tomorrow. She is such a beautiful little girl. When she smiles her whole face lights up and it's contagious to everyone around her. She is super easy going and loves playing with her big sissy. She does not like her baby food and seems like she would rather just skip it and eat real food.  She rolls and scoots all over and I am sure she will be crawling anytime now.  She has the chubbiest little legs and gorgeous blue eyes. I love her so much and I am so thankful to be her mommy.
Big Smile

She really doesn't like her rice cereal. 

Blueberry Face :)

All smiles after her bath
On the move!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

My oldest daughter will be 3 this summer and her cleverness surprises me everyday.

In our house a very typical scene is me trying to get my daughter Evelyn to put her clothes back on. This often turns into a game in her mind and she tries to do whatever possible to get out of getting dressed. (I guess clothes are just a hassle, she would much rather run free.) We'll, she does this in a variety of ways; wrestling free, running away, and straight up ignoring me. 

The other day she took it to a whole new level when I noticed her "ignoring me". She was acting like she wasn't hearing me; turning her head to the side, swaying back and forth, and just being silly. (hopefully you can get the picture I'm painting) Then she says:

"Short Term Memory Loss...."

Yes my friends she was pulling a Dory from Finding Nemo... 


*** And yes I proceeded to tell her No she does not suffer from short term memory loss, just disobedience but after we both got a good laugh first!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Let it Pour

Today God did more than I expected. 


I have such little faith but I know that God's working in me.


Most of you know we have our BIG Garage Sale 
planned for April 23rd, but since our neighborhood was having a community sale we decided to have a smaller sale this weekend with what we've collected so far. We wanted to try and raise the money we needed for next week's expenses. Monday our plan is to get fingerprints done/sent, passport photos taken, and physicals done. Therefore, we need about $105.00 without the cost of Dr. visits. Well, we realized halfway into the week that rain was on Saturday's forecast and by Friday it seemed pretty certain it would be a pretty wet morning. 

I decided to go ahead and stick with it. I mean, this is Arizona; "they" say rain and half the time it's a light sprinkle. I set up as much as I could the night before inside the garage in hopes that people would still come in if it was dry. 




Both Josh and I got up at the crack of dawn and finished getting the garage all set up and then we waited... It didn't take long for me to feel silly and want to just close my garage and wash my hands of the whole thing!  (especially when I realized nobody else in our community had a sale and they didn't have the gates open like they said they would.) 

Minutes after I asked Josh if we should just close the door and forget about it our first customers pulled up! We ended around 11:30am with $98.00 dollars! 

We got almost all we need for Mondays expenses as well as a reminder that God will provide what we need. Even if we didn't make a dime today He would have provided it in another way! 


 " But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added to you." 
Matthew 6:33



**Update- This evening we checked the mail and a sweet family member had sent us a check for $30.00 to go towards our Garage Sale  since they live so far. Now we are over what we needed! **

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

THE MISSIONARY MARSEILLAISE


Ye Christian men of every nation,
Hark, hark what cries salute your ears!
The heathen in their degradation
They call for help with sighs and tears,
They call for help with sighs and tears;
Shall souls immortal languish bleeding?
Oppressed by Satan’s slavish chains,
In superstition’s woes and pains,
While Christian hearts are dead, unheeding?
Refrain

Arise, O Church of God!
Awake for Jesus’ sake!
March on, march on, all hearts aflame,
For Christ the world to take.


By thousands, hopeless, they are falling,
And ne’er have heard their Savior’s Name;
For life and liberty they’re calling,
But perish in their guilt and shame,
But perish in their guilt and shame;
Too long have Christians heard their wailing,
Their death cries out of pagan night;
Their prayers in vain for Gospel light;
Oh, shall their cries be unavailing?
Refrain

Oh, ye who serve the King of glory,
In lands where heaven’s blessings glow,
Can ye withhold salvation’s story,
From myriads sunk in heathen woe?
From myriads sunk in heathen woe?
Nay, by the blood that makes men brothers,
The bannered cross must be unfurled;
The kingdom is for all the world,
And men redeemed must uplift others.
Refrain

Shall Christians hoard their golden treasure?
And pile their stores with miser’s greed,
Or spend for fashion, pride and pleasures,
While empires for the Gospel plead?
While empires for the Gospel plead?
Can men of soul, their God adoring,
For heaven’s crowning glories hope?
While millions in their blindness grope,
And die, the light of life imploring?
Refrain

See, heaven lends cooperation!
For conquests grand and manifold;
And calls the Church to consecration,
Of life and strength and precious gold;
Of life and strength and precious gold;
While with God’s power the world is shaking,
O’erturning systems, creeds and caste,
And working changes worldwide vast,
’Tis time dead Christian souls were waking.

I love this! 
What strong and convicting words. My husband shared this old hymn with me a couple weeks ago and I just had to share! What truth and passion are in these verses! Can we continue to ignore the cries of the lost and hurting as we live a wasted life spent on our own self pleasures? This life is but a vapor, I exhort you to wake up and fight the good fight! 

Arise, O Church of God! 
Awake for Jesus’ sake!
 March on, march on, all hearts aflame, 
For Christ the world to take


Fight the Good Fight 
Josh Fortner 




Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On the Farm

In efforts to raise some quick cash for our immediate adoption expenses we have been selling as much "stuff" as we can. Well, it just happened that the person buying my used Malt Maker (yeah we had an appliance just for making milkshakes..., kinda ridiculous) off of Craig's List ended up being the owner of Superstition Farms, who then invited us to their morning farm tour too!


Evelyn had fun on the hayride and feeding a calf. She really wanted to play with the chicken who surprisingly was not as excited about that as her.