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

Monday, April 29, 2013

LSM Ethiopia

Loving Shepherd Ministries was instrumental in helping us through our adoption process. They did all of our background research; told us which countries we were eligible to adopt from based on our family size and income, informed us which agencies worked in those countries and had good track records, etc. And they did all of this for free! What a great organization. Friday evening, LSM held an Ethiopia Family Night, where we learned more about Ethiopian culture and were able to buy ethnic items and sample Ethiopian foods (which was Jalen's favorite part. He got to eat some of his precious injera!) There were also lots of children's games, and we got to visit with Allen and Susan Stoller, who serve as missionaries in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, rescuing women and children from lives of prostitution. It was a wonderful evening, and we got to meet and connect with many great families!

The market:

Women in traditional clothing told us about life in Ethiopia, and showed us the inside of a typical home:

This boy loves him some injera and shiro:

This purse was handmade by women at LSM's Counseling and Resource Center in Addis Ababa, out of plastic bags that they found in the streets. They turn trash into items to sell so that they can sustain a lifestyle of dignity and hope.

Find out more about what LSM is doing to combat exploitation in Ethiopia by visiting their website:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Yesterday, I mowed the lawn for the first time this spring. We have a large yard, so as I rode around and around and up and down, I had plenty of time to think. And I thought about what a long, cold winter it has been. A hard winter. A bitter and difficult and oh-how-I-can't-wait-for-spring-to-come winter. But out in the sunlight yesterday, I could see the signs of spring all around me. And I was once again reminded of my faithful God. He makes all things beautiful. He takes our darkest, coldest days when we think that the sun will never shine again and gives them new life. He brings a rebirth to old, dead wood and warms the darkened areas of the earth and our hearts until his love and healing can't help but to poke through the thick crust all around us. He is there. He will always be there. He is all about redemption. Hope. And all we have to do is turn, hold our faces up toward the warmth, and walk out into the sunlight. The Son light.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies..." from Psalm 103.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Empowered to Connect

Chris and I had the privilege of attending the Empowered to Connect Conference in Chicago this past weekend. It was absolutely amazing, and I learned so much about my kids, myself, and our relationships. I met some friends there, too; some new, some old, some blog friends, some AGCI friends - it was great to see you all!

If you ever have the opportunity to go to one of these conferences, I would highly recommend it for all parents, whether you have adopted children, foster children, or biological, homegrown children. It will be life-changing, guaranteed. Empowered to Connect gives you the tools that you need in order to connect with your children, and will help your children and relationships become all that God intended them to be. It's going to take awhile to process everything I learned, but we've already seen some changes in our family in the last 2 days! You can learn more and watch some video clips at:

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Project Complete! (amongst other things....)

Just wanted to make a quick announcement that Shana's Prayer Buddy Project is finished! For those of you who purchased bracelets, thank you so much!!! There will be children in Ethiopia who will be blessed because of your donations and prayers.

In other news, Adrian and Ashton were both awarded Students of the Month at school (Ashton for the second time this year!) Great job, boys!

I have been wanting to redo the girls' bedroom for a long time, but I just now got around to completing the project. I already had the comforter, curtains, pillows, etc. - they were Malia's when she used to have her own room before the twins came home. But the room and the furniture needed to be repainted. We also did some bed-switching between the girls' and boys' rooms. Anyway, here is the finished product:

I made a few things for the walls.....

.....and added a bulletin board that I got at the Vera Bradley outlet sale.

I painted the furniture, which used to be my mom's when she was a little girl.....

.....and added a pretty light.

Whew! It took awhile, especially painting all the furniture (bed, desk, dresser, and chest). But it's finished, and the girls love it!

That's all for now! Have a great day!