As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Tonight I am filled with all sorts of different thoughts......

.....thoughts about how Chris and I were engaged 11 years ago today! It has been the best 11 years of my life.....

.....thoughts of how he is not even here to celebrate with me. Chris had to leave for Las Vegas right after church today and will be gone on business all week.....

.....thoughts of my husband's sweet grandma who was just sent home from the hospital today because the doctors can't help her anymore. Hopefully she will be comfortable as she spends her last days with family.....

.....thoughts of several other friends who are in the hospital.....

.....thoughts of my child(ren) over in Ethiopia. I miss them so much, even though I have never met them.....Hoping we get to see their faces soon.....

.....thoughts of how tomorrow is the last day of January! Wow, the time is flying! And February's schedule is getting pretty full already.....

.....thoughts of the song "I Surrender All" that I heard this morning (or was that last night?) Thinking about how I need to do just that.....Give all my thoughts, fears, and cares to Jesus.....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Living As A Vapor......

For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

My life is a vapor. I am here on this earth for such a short time. Here one minute, and gone the next. So while I am here, am I doing everything that I can to make a difference? Am I teaching my children the Truth so that when I am gone they will continue to pass it on to my grandchildren and great grandchildren? After all, this generation will soon disappear. Then the next will come, be here for a short time, and then disappear as well. Several generations down the road, my life will not be remembered. I will have faded away into nothing, like a vapor. This earth is not my home - I am only passing through. Am I living every moment as though it was my last? Reaching out to those in need and being an encouragement to those around me? Or am I living for myself? Doing the things I want to do and focusing on my own desires? Living in the here and now and storing up treasures for myself on earth instead of in Heaven? Do I worry too much about what others will think of me instead of stepping out in faith to do the will of God? In this small space of time that He has allotted me to live, I want to live for Him. I want to do His will so that someday when I stand before Him, I will hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."  I want to be a vapor that had a purpose. And boy, do I have a lot of work to do in the short time that I have left.

How will you live your vapor?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold Feet, Funny Faces, A Great Book, Before and After, and Other Stuff

How's that for a title? Well, that's what this post is about - lots of randomness. I'll start with the cold feet. This morning, I went to wake Ashton up for school. I peeled back his blankets and was alarmingly startled to find that his feet were swollen to about three times their normal size! Upon further investigation, I discovered that he was wearing multiple pairs of socks. So I started peeling off the layers, counting as I went. The child was wearing 6 - get this - 6! pairs of socks!! Last night the temperatures dropped to about zero degrees, and I guess he was getting cold feet about having cold feet!

It has been very cold, snowy and icy here in the Midwest. And slippery! I found that out firsthand last week when I was driving my Mother-in-law's van in Indiana. I was coming up to an S-curve, and decided I'd better slow down a bit. I touched the brakes and immediately started sliding from one side of the road to the other, trees flying past me on both sides. I finally came to rest in a ditch against some trees, heading the opposite direction. Whew! While I waited for the tow truck, many kind people came along and asked if I needed help. One man drove me to his home so I could - er - use the facilities, and as I rode off with him, I wondered what in the world I was thinking! Don't we teach our children never to accept a ride from strangers? But he was very kind, and as we visited I found out that he has 2 adopted children! See, adoptive parents are pretty cool! = ) I was OK, and so was my Mother-in-law's van, thank God!

Malia was very excited to find this icicle the next day:
It was almost as tall as she was!

And here is a newly updated photo of the handsome man that I married:

Looking at these pictures, I realized just how much my boys look like their dad: 

See? I told you this post was random. OK, just a few more things. I read a great book recently that I would highly recommend. It is called 'I Will Try' by Legson Kayira. This young man left his home in what is now Malawi with only a Bible, a copy of Pilgrim's Progress, and a shirt that said I Will Try on the pocket. He walked across Africa, working odd jobs as he went to get enough money for food. His goal was to get to America, and he never gave up, no matter how hard his circumstances became. The book taught me a lot about African culture, and also gave me an adult's perspective on coming from a third-world country to America and experiencing all of the new foods, technological advances, and opportunities that our country has to offer. It gave me a little better insight as to what our Ethiopian child(ren) will experience.

And finally, my kitchen reveal! I must say, I have had enough of this nesting stuff, and am just ready to get this baby bird home! In the past two weeks, I have ripped down wallpaper borders in 2 rooms, tiled my kitchen backsplash, painted my kitchen ceiling, kitchen walls, living room ceiling, living room walls, and the kids' bathroom walls, and have finished a portion of my Spring cleaning (even though it's not Spring, yet). So, here are a few before and after photos of my kitchen:



 So, there you have it. Have a great Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Am So Ready.......

I know that I can't change the world, but I CAN change the world for one (or two). I am ready to try.......

Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo.

Have an awesome Wednesday!!

P.S. For some reason the video works better if you watch it in full-screen mode. Just click on the little arrows beside the word Vimeo at the bottom of the screen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

7 Months and Counting......And a Mr. Y Update......

Today marks the 7 month anniversary of when we entered the waitlist. When we started the adoption process, we were told to expect a 0-6 month wait, probably closer to 0 because of our age parameters (0-3). Then Ethiopia made all the changes in the process, which has slowed things down quite a bit. So..... we're still waiting. But still trusting in God's perfect timing as well. One of these days, we'll get a call that will change our lives forever.....

In other news, our little patient seems to be doing quite well. My sister's little boy, Yikealo, was hospitalized Saturday night and had an appendectomy on Sunday morning. His appendix had ruptured, but he is such a tough little guy and has a very high tolerance for pain! My mom and I, along with Shana, Malia and cousin Zavier drove to Akron Children's Hospital yesterday to visit him. When we got there, he was sleeping peacefully. My brother-in-law, David, tried to wake him after a bit, and then Yikealo started making very fake, exaggerated snoring sounds. When he finally opened his eyes, this is what we got:

I think he was starting to feel a bit better, don't ya think? After a little while, we took a walk down the hall to a children's play area, and he walked all the way there and back without a complaint. He was pretty tired when we got back to the room, though, so then he laid in bed and played with bubbles and a balloon that we had brought for him.

And Zavi and Malia had fun playing with the Leapster together.

We're so glad you're feeling better, Yikealo! Hope you can come home soon!

Friday, January 14, 2011

There are 17 families from our agency traveling to Ethiopia this week and next to meet their children for the first time or to bring their children home. That means there will be room for more children to move into Hannah's Hope, which in turn means that more referrals will go out. Yay! It has been so quiet for so long, but I'm hoping that's about ready to change! To the families traveling - I hope you have wonderful and safe travels! Enjoy your time with your new little ones!!!! :-)


There. That's off my chest. Thanks for listening. I guess I'll go paint again now. (But I'd like to know whoever invented 10 foot ceilings, anyway?)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekend Project....

Chris and I are do-it-yourselfers. We built our own home 8 years ago (minus the framing and drywalling), and have tried to complete all of our own projects since then. Chris is definitely a handy-man, and I enjoy working with my hands and creating new things. So, add that to the fact that I am now entering the "nesting" mode, and now we've got projects coming out our ears. Friday night, we started things off by ripping down the wallpaper border that has graced our kitchen for the past 8 years. Then we primed the walls above the countertop. Saturday, we tiled the backsplash. My plan is to paint the kitchen and living room, too, before it's all said and done, and we may have to redo a bedroom when we get our referral (depending on the child or combination of children we receive). As I said, I'm definitely starting to "nest." Anyway, here are some photos of our latest endeavor (I still need to grout the tile yet, which sounds like a great project for today).

When the kitchen is all repainted, I'll have to post "before" and "after" pictures. But that's all for now - I've got lots of grouting, taping, and painting to keep me busy for awhile! Have a great Monday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January Numbers....

Our first official waitlist numbers for the new year are:

#29 for girls

#17 for boys

#12 for siblings

Since we entered the waitlist back in June, we have moved 42 spots for girls, 27 spots for boys, and 28 spots for siblings. Just in the past month, we have moved 6 spots for girls, 3 spots for boys, and 5 spots for siblings. So there definitely has been some movement! I was really hoping that we wouldn't get numbers this month - that we would get our referral instead since we're unofficially number 1 for a 3-year-old girl and for boy/boy sibs or boy/girl sibs of the same age group. But God knows best - maybe this set of numbers will be our last!

Have a great Thursday!! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goodbye, 2010!

We had a wonderful and busy week-and-a-half of fun over the holidays. Here is a random run-through of a few photos from our Christmas Break 2010:

On Christmas morning, each of the kids received a Go. Seek. Love. t-shirt. (The proceeds from each t-shirt purchased benefit a family adopting from Africa.) 

 My parents had a birthday party for my brother Doug, Chris and I. We all have December birthdays.

  And boy, did we ever light up the night with that cake! 34 candles! (Chris and I turned 34, Doug turned 32.)

 Lots of family time....

 and lots of games......

 Malia got the game of Twister, and the kids had a ball. Ok, so did Chris and I, although we found out that we're definitely not as young as we used to be! Poor Chris now has a pulled muscle in his back!

 Adrian received a Saints jersey, and Ashton got a Colts one. Now we have a little Drew Brees and a little Peyton Manning running around!

 A snowflake cheesecake that I made (and it turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself!)

 Me and my girls.....

 Lots of time with cousins.....


and more gifts.....

 Shana with cousin Zavier

 Ashton in the Colts uniform he received and Malia in some of the dress-up clothes she got. We decided that they were the football captain and the homecoming queen.....

 This was one of my very favorite gifts of all. My sister purchased a goat in Chris's name for a poor Ethiopian family. Goats provide a source of food and dairy products, and are a valuable source of income for poor families. Then, wealthier Ethiopians donate a second goat for each one purchased. So, our gift of a goat to a poor family instantly doubled! How cool is that? I love gifts that give back.

 And one more cute shot of Malia and her new baby doll wearing matching aprons. (The aprons were handmade by Haitian women who sew to provide a living for their families.)

Hope you all enjoyed your holidays as well! And wishing you all a very happy and successful 2011 filled with all the things you love most!