May 30, 2010

Blessings Galore!

We had our yard sale this past week of all of the stuff people donated and we made $1600!! Three truckloads went to the auction before the sale with ‘auction worthy’ items. We are still waiting for the totals from that.
At the end of the yard sale we still had 4 pickup loads to go to Goodwill!!
We are blessed.
IMG_4380 Blessed by friends who let us overtake their house (for weeks) for a yard sale.

Blessed by my daughter and her friends who took a Saturday to help us.

IMG_4368 Beginning of the day….Look at all their energy.


Cooking hotdogs…

Break Time!

IMG_4434 Blessed by friends who worked all day in the hot sun. (with sunburns to prove it!)

Blessed by friends who made a ton of food for us to sell!

Blessed by friends who donated a ton of stuff and friends who came by to shop or eat…Thank you!

Blessed by the house owner’s neighbor who came to help for half the day and clean up who doesn’t even officially ‘know’ us.

Blessed by my sister in law who somehow can get people to pay way more than I can. She has some good salesman techniques.

We were all blessed by a complete stranger who came by early and then went to buy all 10 of us breakfast…sandwiches, coffee, oj..the works!

Thank you to her!! I love it when God blesses us through unexpected means.

May 27, 2010

Seeking Justice as a Family Article

I was privileged to write an article for Exemplify Online on seeking justice as a family.

Click here to read the article.

We have started making our butterflies for the Holocaust Memorial. A post coming next with those photos. Click here for more on that and how to get involved!

Also don’t forget to enter our Love Is Not A Color giveaway! We will pick a random winner on Monday!

We also had some girls over to work on books for the women’s shelter in our area. These are books that help kids work through their feelings and are given to them when they come in.

I encourage you to visit your women’s shelter in your home town and ask what they need and hear their story. You will probably be surprised as to how many women and children come through. Ask how you can help. It may be something very small but something very needed.

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May 25, 2010

Heart for Zambia? Mission Trip?



As most of you know, we are involved in a ministry that works in squatter’s village in Zambia.  We have been blessed to part of Grassroots Heroes for almost three years now. 

For more on the Grassroots Heroes page tab above or the Zambia links to the right (videos and posts)

What are we involved in there? 


Mango Grove School.  A joy to work in and love on the kids.  Such a privilege to see how much these students learn and how the teachers educate with so little supplies.

Community & Women's Meetings 205

Women’s Cooperative.  Women who are determined to better themselves and their circumstance. Women who will dance and sing at a moment’s notice.  I cannot wait to see them again.

Micro-Enterpise.  Projects that will enable families to sustain themselves financially.

  zambia 2

There are many things that we can do there depending on the group’s gifting.  We need those who are willing to help teach English.  We can help in the school. We can do projects.  We can encourage and lift up those who are on the front lines every day.IMG_4526

Would you like to be part of this trip?  If so, let me know at .  It will be Oct 22 for 10 days and we will stay at Heroes Farm next to the village with our YWAM hosts.

Costs:  $1060 for food, lodging, and transportation.  Airfare is usually around $1500.

If this is something you would be interested in…let me know asap and I can send you an application.

I would LOVE to have you join us!

zambia 054

May 24, 2010

Love Is Not A Color T-Shirt Give Away!

love is not a color tshirt

All proceeds from shirts bought from our blog will go to help us make a difference in the life of orphans—through Grassroots Heroes, our mission trip to Guatemala or Zambia this year or our adoption. Helping us to live out Isaiah 1:17.

We are also doing a giveway!! (Winner will be chosen on May 30)

Share this post on your blog, facebook page, or twitter (linking back to our blog . You can copy the picture from the post. You can also click here for the video link. Just make sure to direct people back to this blog.

You can also get a 'chance' by following this blog or sharing your favorite love quote in the comments. That's 3 total chances you can have!

Let me know by commenting on this post and I will enter your name in a drawing to win a shirt!

How to buy: (all purchases support our ministries and the adoptive mom who designed the shirt! helping 2 families at one time! win-win!)

Select size below and you will be directed to paypal. These shirts are a slim cut and larger sizes are needed (corresponding size shown in the box)
They are $25!


Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Linking up with Carissa for miscellany monday.

1) My computer’s hard crashed last week. After thinking I had backed it up—I lost almost everything. (sob!) I am still in recover mode trying to re-create things. However..I now know how to install a hard drive and add new memory!

2) We are getting ready for our big yard sale this weekend. Hoping to get rid of lots of stuff and get some cash to go into the bank!

3) I am making butterflies, books, and dog biscuits this week. Quite a combination.

4) I am wondering about our frogs. I haven’t seen or heard from them for a week. (they took up residence at our garden pond.) I miss them.

5) I am thankful for all my bloggy friends (like Carissa) God is good to unite those whose hearts are for orphans across the world.

May 23, 2010

Guatemala Trip

At the end of June Bekah and I (and our friend Savannah) will be traveling to work at Dorie’s Promise in Guatemala. We will work at the orphanage, women’s prison, and the dump.

We each have 2 special friends at DP for the week to take care of. (help with projects,meals, bedtime etc). We received their pics and bio’s this week. It was neat to the see the faces of who we will be loving on for the week.

Below are pictures of the dump and some of the children there. These children and their families live in the dump.


Their survival depends on what is brought in on the garbage truck each day.7630_101814586501693_100000194554328_51186_5005353_n

Can you imagine your child growing up here?


dump 2

7630_101814583168360_100000194554328_51185_3644182_nOne of things we get to do is take food baskets to families.

For $20 we can take a basket of food to a family. I would love our arms to be loaded with food baskets!

Would you like to help?

Your $20 would go straight to taking food to a family.

You can donate through the below paypal button.

For more on where we are going, check out Forever Changed International.

May 22, 2010

Another 3rd Place Winner

If you remember back a week ago, Ab received 3rd place for his logging truck for speed for AWANA Grand Prix race. Rachel had her race this past Wednesday and her caterpillar also received 3rd place for speed! Who knew a caterpillar could me so fast?
IMG_4195 IMG_4208
We were recently asked to write an article sharing about being home for over a year on Ethiopia Kids.
If you’d like to read it click here.
love is not a color tshirt

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the Love Is Not A Color T-Shirt! Click here for details! All you have to do is share about it on facebook, your blog, or twitter and link back to our blog.

Don’t forget about making butterflies (and send me the pics for a post!) for the Holocaust Memorial! 1.5 million are needed! A butterfly to represent each child killed. Read the post about that here.

May 21, 2010

Adoption Update

dWe have a few updates on the adoption. One is that IAN has moved into their new care center.
From IAN:
IAN is happy to announce that our new care home is up and running! The younger kids have moved over and are settling in to their spacious new surroundings!
ethiopia 4_10 099
Also…on referrals. It has been slow for a while due to the elections which will take place May 23. Please pray for the government in Ethiopia.
Here is an update from IAN regarding adoption and elections:
During this time, court officials are extremely preoccupied with election business and are not available to process paperwork that allows children from outlying regions to be transported to Addis and become available for adoption. This has been a large part of why referrals have slowed down recently, and we look forward to things picking up again after May 23, although it may take a few weeks for things to return to normal.
I look forward to things returning to ‘normal’ also! :) Ready for some friends to receive referrals and for my numbers to begin dropping!

May 20, 2010

Doro Wat Recipe

Doro Wat is probably the best known food from Ethiopia. It is traditionally very spicy but you can tailor it to your taste.

You can see it in the above photo. It's inthe middle of the plate. Next time I fix it, I'll get a better photo but I like this one. Ab looks so little here! It is just several weeks after bringing Ab home. We had gone to the Blue Nile to get some food he would recognize!

4-6 Servings
  • chicken legs & thighs –2 pounds
  • lemon, juice only—1
  • salt—2 tsps
  • onions, chopped—2
  • garlic, crushes—3 cloves
  • gingerroot, peeled & chopped, 2 tbs.
  • oil, butter, or niter kibbeh—1/4 cup
  • paprika—2 tbsp
  • Berbere –1/4-1/2 cup
  • water or stock—3/4 cup
  • red wine—1/4 cup (optional)
  • cayenne pepper—1/2 to 2 tsp
  • salt and pepper—to taste
  • hard boiled eggs—4
Mix together chicken pieces, lemon juice, and salt in large bowl (non reactive) and marinate for 30 minutes. While chicken is marinating---puree the onions, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender. Add a little water if needed.
Heal the oil, butter, or niter kibbeh in a large pot over medium heat. Add paprika and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Do not burn! Stir in berbere and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the pureed mixture and sauté until most of the moisture evaporates and the onion cooks down. About 5-10 minutes. Careful not to burn!
Pour water or stock and wine in and stir in the chicken pieces, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to maintain a sauce like consistency.
Add whole hard boiled eggs and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and very tender.
Adjust seasoning if you need to and serve hot with injera or rice!
I have also cooked this by adding it in the crockpot after sautéing the mixture and that does well also!

May 16, 2010

Wow! What a couple of very busy days!

We finished up our school year this past week with our year end tests. This was Ab's first year and I am AMAZED how well he did. The only struggle he had was on the grammar part.

We had the AWANA Grand Prix for Ab's age and his logging truck won 3rd place!

We had our last co-op day of the school year and the year end play. The highschoolers did a wonderful job on the play. It was Cheaper Than a Dozen (a true to the story play).

Add in some soccer games

and my computer crashing. (insert hysterical scream) Hoping to get it fixed tomorrow. Computer guy is coming. Until then, I may be a bit absent...I am unable to access any email addresses, pictures, or feeds!

I was on my way out the driveway this week and saw a beautiful rainbow right over top our house. Stopped the car and ran in to get the camera and show the kids.

May 13, 2010

1.5 Million Handmade Butterflies Needed


I just found out about something called The Butterfly Project. It is by the Holocaust Museum in Houston and they are looking for 1.5 million handmade butterflies to represent the innocent children who perished in the Holocaust. The butterflies will be part of a display in 2013.

The website has a set of teaching tools and list of requirement for the butterflies. This is a great family project! Granted you will have to tailor it to your children’s ages, but you can teach so many valuable lessons about life, love, and respect. A lesson of justice and what horrible injustice looks like.

I would love to make a post just of butterflies…so if you do this project, take a picture of the butterfly and send it to me at

Let’s give ourselves a deadline of June 1. (if you are like me you need a deadline to get anything done!)

The project is inspired by this poem:

The Butterfly

The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone....

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ’way up high.
It went away I’m sure
because it wished
to kiss the world good-bye.
For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto.

Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942

Born in Prague on Jan. 7, 1921.
Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942.
Died in Aushchwitz on Sept. 29, 1944.

“I Never Saw Another Butterfly”

Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp 1942–1944. By Hana Volavkova (Editor)

More than 12,000 children under the age of 15 passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp between the years 1942-1944. More than 90 percent perished during the Holocaust. In these poems and pictures drawn by the young inmates of Terezin, we see the daily misery of these uprooted children, as well as their courage and optimism, their hopes and fears.

May 12, 2010

A New Friend Made

Those who know me well know that I love Jewish history and tradition. I have often wished that I had Jewish background so that I could understand the symbolism in the Word better.

I was blog hopping of families adopting from Ethiopia and stumbled across Standing At The Crossroads. As I scrolled down and saw Messianic Keepers at Home, I started shouting inside…(yes, I’m weird.) Adopting…homeschooling….Messianic Jew…on a homestead in Montana… Can I seriously just go move in with her?

I emailed Gail and told her I would love for her to teach me. Gail, being the kind hearted woman she is, didn’t brush me off as a weirdo and said she’d love to! She actually has a blog just for that! It is Beit Simcha - House of Rejoicing and she would love to answer questions! Any questions that you would have? The family and I came up with some at dinner the other night. (coming your way soon Gail!)

Here is my favorite Jewish article in my house.

It’s an old menorah from a temple in Poland. I have read a lot about the stories of the Jewish people from Poland during the Holocaust so this one had particular sentiment for me. As my new friend, Gail, said….the stories it could tell.


On another note, the oldest daughter had a fight with a glue gun last night…not sure who won.


Chronological Bible Reading

Psalm 61-62; Psalm 64-67

Some good verses to inspire you to a heart of praise this morning! Click on the link to go right to a page with those verses!

May you feel God’s presence in your life today in a big way.

May 11, 2010

Muzzle on my mouth?

I am up early and just read a post on Exemplify Online asking if you talk too much. Then I went to the daily chronological Bible reading and below is the first thing I read:
I said, "I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence."

Lord—you trying to tell me something??

Chronological Bible Reading for May 11 ( I know..I have been really slack in this!!)

PSALM 39-41

Psalm 40 is on of my favorite psalms. I almost always share this one when I share my testimony. I am so thankful that God lifted me out of a miry stinky pit and set my feet on a rock. (The Rock!) Thank you Lord!

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Do you have a psalm that’s your favorite? One that just speaks to your heart? I’d love to hear!

May 10, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Joining in with the other 'carissa' on Miscellany Monday.

1) I am cold. The weather went to cold temps this weekend (for me anyway) and I want warm back.

2) The kids and I are testing this week for school and then 'bye bye' school for the year! Of course, being the ultimate homeschool family that we are, (haha) my motto is Education Is A Lifestyle (Enter eye roll by my kids)

3) I am currently now #49 on baby girl list (boy is holding stable at 32)

4) I have laundry to do...mounds of it....

PS...Head over to Carissa's site here for a giveaway for a beautiful clutch!

May 9, 2010


Ten-year sentences handed down for trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors in IJM-assisted case

KOLKATA, INDIA – On 3 May, 2010, two men and one woman from Kolkata were sentenced to 10 years in prison for the trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of three minor girls.

Over the course of one year, the victims had been forced to provide sexual services for the commercial gain of their captors. The perpetrators were arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on February 16, 2007, while attempting to sell three minor
girls for the purpose of sex. International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency, assisted CID throughout the case, including in locating the three victims and providing vital evidence on the basis of which the three victims were rescued and the perpetrators arrested.

The girls, 12, 14 and 16 years old, had been lured by traffickers from their rural villages in Nepal and West Bengal with the prospect of legitimate work in Kolkata. Instead, they were “sold” to the accused persons, who in turn forced them to provide sexual services to as many as 12 customers a day.

The convictions are a milestone in sex trafficking casework in India. According to a 2009 report by the United States Department of State, 1,970 traffickers have been arrested within the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Goa and West Bengal, resulting in just 30 convictions – a mere 1.5% of trafficking-related arrests.

“The courageous testimonies of the three girls, along with the compelling evidence that was seized by the CID at the time of the arrests in February 2007, convinced the Kolkata court to hold the perpetrators in custody throughout the trial,” said IJM advocate Saptarshi Biswas. “The conviction of all three perpetrators today sends a clear message to traffickers that their crimes will not be tolerated and demonstrates the state of West Bengal’s determination to ensure that access to justice is not denied to the most vulnerable and marginalized.”

Immediately after their rescue, the minors were placed in aftercares homes where they have been receiving counseling and schooling. “The girls have been completely transformed since their rescue,” reports IJM social worker Rupa Chetri, who has worked closely with all three former victims. “They are thriving in their studies and are hopeful for their futures.”

International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM’s multi-national staff work in 13 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to ensure that the global poor are protected from violent forms of oppression by their countries’ own laws. IJM’s founding principle is the
defense and protection of individual human rights for all people by bringing the law to bear on their behalf and by prosecuting perpetrators who violate local and international laws.

IJM’s lawyers, investigators and social workers partner with local officials to respond to violent oppression by ensuring immediate victim relief; pursuing perpetrator prosecution; providing aftercare for victims as they navigate the complex process of rebuilding their lives.

Happy Mother’s Day

The family went to The Blue Nile for lunch yesterday. Part celebration of being ‘waitlisted’ and part Mother’s Day.

As you can see Ab was really excited to get his Ethiopian food.


IMG_4070 IMG_4071

For whatever reason Rachel and I are focusing intently on my injera :)


A very satisfied and full belly boy!


This past week was very exciting! 6 referrals went out –one being for twins! As far as I could tell our numbers are now #49 and #32 (At least I am not the big #50 anymore!)

I am sure this Mother’s Day is very special for those mommies! I am thankful that more children will have a home, family, and love.

May 5, 2010

Wait Listed!!

Our home study finally arrived at the office!

Our caseworker called at 9 this morning to say it was on her desk. We are excited that this paperwork stage of the adoption is over. Now all we have to do is apply for pre-approval for immigration and to wait.

Our numbers are higher than we anticipated but that’s okay…all in God’s timing and plan (please remind me of this when I whine or am impatient!)

Before I share them, I wanted to explain a couple of things.

First of all--our agency does NOT find children for families. They find families for children. There is a HUGE difference in that statement.

Second—why a waitlist for a large amount of children needing homes? Well, there is quite a bit of paperwork that adoption requires both in Ethiopia and America. There are doctor visits, blood testing, papers to be signed and so forth. The orphanages and government can only process so many during the week.

Third---while the numbers seem large, keep in mind that families can be on several different lists on one time. If they receive a referral, several lists can go down in numbers.

Hope all that makes sense. If not, feel free to email me to ask any questions.


For an infant girl


For an infant boy


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