Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Official

I am signed up for The Created for Care Retreat 2012! 
If you asked me a week ago I would have never thought going was even a possibility. 

So what changed since then? 

Well, Georgia's still about 1,850 miles away from Phoenix and plane tickets are still around $300....

BUT now I have found some crazy ladies willing to road trip across the country with me! 

So, I am excited for my week long adventure and meeting hundreds of other women who are passionate about adoption and orphan care from all across the country! 

 Woo Hoo, can't wait! Now I just need to find 3 room mates! Any takers? 

Oh and I leave for Uganda in 2 days! Oh my I need to get off this computer! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

1 Week

Did I really just type that! 1 week before we leave.

My life right now includes...sorting donations, attempting to fit all my stuff in 1 carry on suitcase, and making lists upon lists for our family taking care of our girls while we are gone
{which include the names and detailed descriptions of all my eldest daughters favorite stuffed animals that MUST be in her bed at night.}

Think I need to get some space bags.

The 4 big ones are donations & then we each have a backpack & a small suitcase for our stuff. 
Starting to get everything done on my list but next week will be a little nuts busy. My goal is to try and get everything I can done before Thursday so we can have a fun family day before we leave Friday morning. I really want to enjoy time with the girls before we leave and not just feel rushed. 10 days is 9 days longer than I have ever been away from them and I am starting to feel the weight of that. I know we are doing what God has called us to do and I know that He will care for them while we are gone but right now I am trying to truly believe it and live it. I don't want to waste any time we are gone fearing or worrying. I want to give it all to Him who knows all and trust that fully. 

Today I was looking at pictures with Evelyn that another group visiting "M" took and she asked if she could go too. She was specifically interested in pictures of one little girl and little boy. She picked out toys from the donation bag and said she wanted to go and take these to them. Her heart right then was so sweet and we stopped and prayed for them and the other children throughout Uganda who were in need. I also prayed that God would nurture that heart in her and that He would do mighty things through her someday for His kingdom. 

I know it will be hard on my girls and I know it will be hard on us to fly halfway across the world and be away from them for 10 days but we are called to GO. We are called to care for the orphaned and to visit them in their distress and I will not use the children God has entrusted to me here to be an excuse to why I can not go and love His children a world away. My girls will be cared for, they will have clean water and good food, they will sleep in comfortable beds and they will be loved while we are gone. The children we are visiting have none of these things, many of them have been abandoned or orphaned and the home that is their reality is a prison that honestly is in worse condition than where we send true criminals in our country. I want to be ready, I want to go and I will not let any lie this world throws at me to discourage me otherwise. 

How will you respond?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sandals and Jewelry {With A Purpose}

Wanna see what I got for my birthday? 

From my hubby and his family :)
Let me introduce you to my new Sseko Sandals. These aren't just a cute pair of everyday sandals but these were hand made by beautiful young women in Uganda. Women who desire to become doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers. These young women are committed to furthering their education by attending a University and with this opportunity to earn money for their tuition, they will . 

I love how cute and unique these sandals are.  I am having fun learning and coming up with different ties to make them my own.  You can get various color straps to switch the look too. I picked out these pretty turquoise straps and brown straps too. They even have a custom wedding line...hmm.. if I could do it over again I would have chosen these over my flip flops I wore! 

{It's not as easy as you may think to take a picture of your own wrist}....
Here's my other present from my little sister. She ordered this from 31Bits. This bracelet was also made by women living in Uganda. Women with hopes and dreams for themselves and their family. With opportunities like this they can flourish and help provide for their family. These beads are made from scraps of paper. Seriously. There are various styles of bracelets and necklaces available. Check out their stories here

It's really amazing to wear something that was made by a woman half a world away from me. A woman who really is not that different than me other than by circumstance. They want to learn. They want to have purpose. They love their children. They want to support their families the best they can. 

I love having purpose in gifts. Both giving and receiving. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Following in her big sis's shoes.  

Big Girl

I love the new teeth grin

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Catching Up & Birthday Recap

It's been awhile.
I leave for Uganda in 16 days...(Yes, I am freaking out just a little bit.)
At any given time my house looks like a tornado ripped through it, and if you know me this is not typical. I do this funny thing when I feel overwhelmed with stuff, I go a little catatonic and decide not to do anything... sigh. I will do better. Starting tomorrow morning because technically it's still my birthday...
26 This is the first time turning a year older has bothered me a little. Maybe it's the whole being closer to 30 thing but it feels weird.
Ok, little melodramatic, but it made me laugh.

So, for my birthday we took a little mini vacation to beautiful Peoria, AZ (insert hint of sarcasm) We stayed at a little resort through one of those time-share presentations. Pretty sweet deal.

I was not looking forward to sitting through the presentation but it turned out better than I expected. Josh took the nice, polite road where I was a little more rude direct. As soon as we sat down I said "we don't have any money to buy this" so you know the salesman really liked me right off the bat... they told us to expect to be there 90-120 minutes and here's my tips on how we got out of there in less than 60.
  1. Be direct 
  2. Bring your kids but nothing else... no snacks, toys, distractions. (bored kids can be VERY distracting)
  3. Constantly talk about God, our adoption, that NO family vacations are not a NEED, and the fact that we don't know the future so NO we don't know what we will be doing next year... 
  4. When they call in the "big guns" (other higher up salesman) just say NO there is no amount of money we are willing to pay today. 
So when we were lounging by the pool an hour later we saw all the other victims guests touring the grounds and viewing rooms... 

Favorite from the whole time was when the salesman tried to tell Josh he was going to have a nervous breakdown at some point if he doesn't make sure he is taking time to go on at least a couple vacations a year.... seriously... 
My sweet family
I may look happy now but don't  be deceived... I did not like sleeping in here!
Pool time
For my birthday I love getting all the free stuff around town and one of my favorites is the $30 bday certificate from Benihana . Josh and I got to go out Mon night to celebrate and it turned out to be quite the exciting dinner. So, if you haven't been before let me set the stage a little... you sit with other people around a big cooking table and the chef comes out and cooks your meal right in front of you. It's a little show and pretty entertaining. Well, after we all get our food and are about halfway done eating the young guy and his girlfriend across from us stand up freaking out about something... jumping around and whatnot. Turns out he had a cockroach crawling up his leg!  So everyone at the table is freaking out, the guy catches it in a napkin and I wave the manager over. He takes the napkin and leaves to dispose of it, comes back and says "well of coarse all your meals are on us and we will bring out certificates for you as well!" So we walked away with a free dinner and $60 in gift certificates for next time! Awesome. The funniest thing was when the manager saying bye and turns to me and says happy birthday, congratulations to the other guy who was there celebrating a promotion and turns to the young guy and says "and I'm sorry". 

Today I spent the day hanging around and trying to do as little as possible. Josh brought me home flowers, I got free food at all the Joe's restaurants and during nap time, instead of chores I painted my nails. All in all a great "bird"day. >little office humor if you didn't catch on<
Love my husband <3
feels pretty
Oh and remember that baby shower giveaway, I mentioned? 

Guess who won one of the prizes? I won a beautiful necklace from SayWhat Creations  and my friend Lara is fully funded to bring home baby A! 

happy bday to me!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Join The Party

What betters than a baby shower? 

Baby A Shower
 An online baby shower! No weird games where you have to eat baby food or look at melted candy bar diapers... 

My bloggy friend Lara has been a huge source of encouragement for me and is always straight up honest when helping me along this crazy adoption journey. They are welcoming home a little boy from Uganda any day now and everyone wants to love on them in these last stages of bringing little "A" home. Instead of burp cloths and diaper genies what they really need is funds to help purchase plane tickets and visa costs, because in all honesty adoption is down right expensive....

But that's not all! Those who "attend" this party are entered to win an awesome prize... 
That's the best baby shower prize I have ever seen.... 

So click on the link above and check out how you can help bring this sweet little guy home to his family! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Helping Seth Get His New Bed

What a smile! This is Seth and I have shared about this sweet little guy before here. I am friends with his wonderful mama Melissa. I am writing again to spread awareness about congenital human cytomegalovirus also known as CMV. Congenital meaning "born with". Before he was even born, unknowingly to his parents, he contracted a virus that ravaged his tiny little body and left him with a long list of medical issues. Read his story here to get a glimpse of what this tough little guy has endured in his life so far.  

But don't be discouraged! This beautiful child is full of life and has a wonderful family and support system. He is making progress but with that they need help caring for his specific needs. He is now able to get into a crawling position on his hands and knees (Go Seth!). However, Seth is strong and has recently given himself a black eye after launching himself forward and hit the crib bars!

So, he needs a new big boy bed. Not just any bed, but a very special bed for a very special boy. Two major issues that keep Seth from being safe as he sleeps are his seizures and his lack of ability to see. He has a tendency to bang his head and injure himself when he wakes up and is playing in his crib. He has also had seizures in the night that have caused him to whack himself pretty hard, and as he grows & becomes stronger, the injuries will become worse. The Courtney Bed is a great solution to these problems. It is padded and completely enclosed in mesh, so that a person cannot fall out of it or wander during the night. This bed is expensive. and is not covered by insurance. However, the creator/seller of this bed is willing to lower the cost to $4000. So far they have raised $3000 and have approximately 8 weeks to raise the remaining $1000. 

Please consider helping this wonderful family by making a tax deductible donation here and keeping them in your prayers. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Month

A month from today we will be boarding a plane in Atlanta, GA and flying halfway across the world. To a place that I have grown to love already, though I have never even stepped  foot on that infamous red dirt I hear so much about. I have wept in response to the endless stories of pain and loss and at the same time I have praised God for the work that is being done in places most will never know about. My heart longs to experience first hand the genuine joy that I have heard about that is so foreign in this culture I have always known. I desire to be Jesus' hands and feet while I am there, pouring myself out in the name of the gospel but I am most ready to be poured into by the very ones I long to serve. 

Prayer requests right now: 
-Our hearts will be soft and ready to serve
-The details of family caring for our girls while we are away
-Our hearts as we leave our girls for the first time and that we trust in the Lord to take care of them 
-All the "stuff" I need to get ready 

Beyond excited... doesn't seem real... 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Be Encouraged

(Pause the music at bottom to watch )

I can not wait to read this book. The work that God is doing through this young woman is amazing. Reading her story through her blog has been one of the stepping stones towards the path God has set out for me so far to Uganda. I am so encouraged by the faith God has given her. I know that everyday of my life has been set before me from God but, oh how I wish at 18 I knew what God is teaching me now. Sometimes I feel like I had SO much wasted time when I was more "free" in my life but, there's no turning back time. All I can do is seek Gods will for me NOW and pray He would use me to do mighty things for His kingdom. I get very easily distracted and I still have a lot to learn but I thank God for opening my eyes past myself and seeing an entirely different world.