Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3rd Annual Run for the Little Flowers 5K

It is that time again!!  You know, I honestly had no intentions of doing this run this year.  Our adoption process has coincided perfectly, imperfectly with the time I normally have the run.  And the run is time consuming and lots of work, right about the time that we will be preparing to travel to China to snatch Felicity Grace into our arms forever.  But, as I prayed about it more and more, I knew I could just not NOT have the run this year.  I mean, what better year to do it, but the year we are adopting.

Local Run for the Little Flowers Meet-up 2013


The Run for the Little Flowers was born from a desire to DO SOMETHING.  Two years ago, adopting seemed like a dream that would never come to fruition and at the time I knew that to move myself beyond my own self pity of not getting to do what I wanted, I needed to do something that I could do to make a difference in the lives of orphans in China.  This run may be small, and may only make a tiny dent in the costs of the operations at Little Flower Projects, but I am proud of this run and so happy to continue it.




So, this year the run's shirt will feature the lyrics of the song "Do Something" by Matthew West.  So fitting because the words "Do Something" were what inspired me to start this run.  And this year, God has blessed us with the timing and ability to do the something that I have wanted to do for years; adopt.



For a better image of the COLOR of the shirt, please see the end of the post.


Details about the run:



When: Saturday, October 18, 2014 (or as close to that date as you can) (I am seriously praying that we are IN China, visiting Little Flower Projects that day!  How amazing would that be!!)

Where: This is a virtual run.  You can do it where you live.  Walk it on a treadmill, run at a neighborhood park, grab a bunch of friends and do it together.  You do not need to run or even walk the full 5K, just pledge to get out and do something, and while you are doing so, pray for those precious orphans in Little Flower Projects care.

Cost: $25.00 (plus $2.00 for shipping the shirt)  Each registrant will receive a t-shirt (LIMITED QUANTITIES, READ BELOW). (No medals this year. Sorry. Trying to keep it simple).

Shirts some in Youth, Unisex and Women's sizes.

PLEASE NOTE: The women's shirts fit more like a Junior fit.  ORDER AT LEAST ONE SIZE UP. I ordered plenty of Large and XL in the women's sizes.  (To give you an idea, I normally wear a small/medium, but wear a Large in this tee). (See end of post for size charts)


Register Here (or on my side bar.  You can add multiple shirts to your cart. Add one and hit "add cart", it will then take you to Paypal where there will be a "pay now" or "continue shopping" option):


Style
Sizes


If you have not liked our Facebook page, go do so!!  There will be fun giveaways here and there.  I am still working on a giveaway at the end of the run.  If anyone wants to donate anything for the giveaway, please let me know!!

Some differences from last year:

- I want to be completely honest.  This year the funds raised through the run will be SPLIT between our adoption fundraising and Little Flower Projects.  I have simplified things TONS this year in an effort to still have the same amount go to Little Flower Projects as last year, but spending time on this fundraiser means I cannot spend it on raising funds for our own adoption.  And, at this point, we cannot afford to do that.  I will be completely honest about how much money goes to our adoption and to Little Flower Projects.  If this is a problem, please email me at runforlittleflowers@gmail.com and we can work something out.  **If our family gets the grants we have applied for, the 100% of the money raised by the run will go to Little Flower Projects***

- Your donation will NOT be tax deductible this year.  All money will be coming through the run's account first, and then transferred to LFP.  Last year, money went directly to LFP which was great, but it made many parts of the process more time consuming for me.  So, this year all money will go through a Run for the Little Flowers account first.  Again, please email me if this is an issue.

- Finally, shirts have already been ordered!!  They will be to me in about a month.  If they sell out quickly, I will consider ordering more.  All shirts will be shipped as soon as they are ordered/I receive them (whichever is first).  Watch our Facebook page and my blog for updates on quantities.





Please spread the word about this run!! The more people who are involved, the more money for
 Little Flower Projects!

More posts to come on the run and Little Flower Projects!

If you have any questions, or concerns, please contact me at runforlittleflowers@gmail.com 

God Bless!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Harpers Ferry


This Sunday, we decided to take a trip to Harpers Ferry; the town known for the failed John Brown uprising and the scene of lots of civil war history, is now a National Park.  Many of the buildings are still preserved and if you are a Civil War lover like I am, you will know that Harpers Ferry was used in the movie Gods and Generals for the battle of Fredricksburg.






Stairs that were carved out of rock in the 1700's

St. Peter's Catholic Church


Unbeknownst to us, this weekend just happened to be the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Harpers Ferry.  So, there were lots of fun activities that are not normally there. And, thankfully, it was not too crowded either.


Pretending to haul explosives.


The picture comes to life.


Laundry. Civil War Era Style.

The town also happens to be on the Appalachian Trail and while walking through town, we met some hikers who had been hiking the trail for the last two months. They had were half way through their 2,197 mile journey which began in Georgia and will end in Maine!  Joshua was ready to start his trek on the trail, until he realized he had no hiking gear, camping equipment or food (silly boy).


 Harpers Ferry is situated in between the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers.  The old C&O Canal ran along the town. That day, the boys had fun running up the old locks, and climbing the walls of the old canal.






Canal Lock

Old Lock House

"Rock climbing"  I tried not to watch.
To give some perspective as to how high Joshua climbed.  My hubby is over 6ft tall.  Joshua climbed to the top and back down!


Ruins of an old Church in town


This boy is ALWAYS posing for the camera.  Maybe he will be an actor someday!
We had a GREAT time in Harpers Ferry.  There is a lot to do there and we wish we had more time to hike around, play in the river and explore the history of this town.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Auction Preview



Life has been beautifully busy around here.  We have been blessed with a location and lots of donations for another yard sale this year.  We have gotten many amazing donations for our online auction.  I want to share many of them here.  Although we have gotten incredible items, it is so important to spread the word about the auction so that it is successful.  Please consider sharing the above image on your Facebook page, Instagram feed, or blog.  Not only to help us, but to honor the people who have donated their time and talents to help us bring Felicity home.

The auction will start this Monday, July 14th and all bidding will end on Sunday, July 20th.  All items will be posted on our Facebook page, Bringing Felicity Home Auction.  For full details as to how the auction will work, please see the Facebook page.

Here are just some of the items that will be up for auction:

1.  St. Andrew Chaplet from Mary Devotions


2. $25 gift card to Target

3. Limited Edition Thirty-one bag.  Perfect for the beach or pool!


4. Girl's 2T dress.  Handmade.


5. Rag Doll from Ordinary Lovely.


6. St Therese Doll from Ordinary Lovely


7.  PiYo workout by Beachbody.


8. $25 gift certificate to Twelve2 Etsy shop


9. Earrings from Ike and Co. 



I will stop there for today.  There are over 50 items, so please like our page and come check out the auction and bid for a good cause!!



Monday, July 7, 2014

Forty, Fit and Fabulous! (Operation: Fit for Felicity)


            This is a big year for us.  In a few short months we will be in China to bring home our little girl, big changes are coming in the way we homeschool (a post is coming) and in December, I turn 40.  The age 40 does not really bother me at all.  Turning 30 didn’t either.  To me it is just another year.  I have grown wiser, I hope.  But, even though the actual age does not bother me, its effects do bother me somewhat.  Truthfully, I am starting to feel old.  I cannot get 5 hours of sleep and expect to be able to function normally the next day with an extra cup of coffee.  Workouts and miles logged that did not bother me years ago, suddenly cause aches and pains never felt before.  At first, I thought that there must be something wrong with me . . . after all, I used to be able to do all these things and bounce back easily.  But, after talking to some 40-something friends, they reassured me that the aches and pains I was feeling we not a sign that I was horribly out of shape or that I had a serious medical condition.  I was, in fact, just getting old and these minor things were just a sign of that harsh reality.

                On top of that, the last several months have been tough.  Ever since we have been matched with Felicity Grace, I have been more stressed than normal.  Attempting to get the house ready, planning fundraisers, and you know, normal life activities have left me sleepless and worn out.  I have not been eating as well as I should.  I may or may not have added chocolate bars with almonds back into my diet.  My workouts have gone from sometimes two a day, to about 3 per week.  The scale has crept up a little, my pants have gotten a little tighter and I feel “fluffy.”  And when my morning workouts are off or non-existent, my prayer time suffers too. And, like a chain reaction, my days do not go as well either.

               I do not want to enter my 40’s feeling like this.  I do not want to bring home our little girl and chase a toddler around, feeling like this.  I do not want to meet with personal training clients, embarrassed at how I look or how out of shape I am.  So, I have been formulating a plan. .  . and I am calling it Forty, Fit and Fabulous!

          Since I need a reset, I am going to start next week off with Beachbody’s newest program called 3 Day Refresh.  This is a quick cleanse to help me get back on track with my eating.



My workouts will consist of PiYo every day.  I have been looking forward to this workout for a while.
  It is a Pilates and Yoga combination workout to get you lean and strong.  It is very low impact but effective.  The main reason I am looking forward to is because I miss running so much.  Two years ago I injured myself and I cannot seem to get my mileage past 5 miles without some sort of IT band issue or glute issue popping up due to my injury.  I need a workout that will tighten and tone my muscles and fortify my core without aggravating my hamstring/glute injury that does not want to go away.  My main goal with this is to get back into a good, lean running condition where I can run 10 miles easily.  My workouts will consist of PiYo every day, with running 3-4 times a week.


          I desperately need accountability on this one.  I will not bore you all with daily updates here, although I will post, from time to time about this journey and progress.  But, I will be posting regularly on my Instagram feed.  So, if you are interested, you can follow me there at: runningwithboys. Or, if anyone wants to join me on this quest to feel fit and fabulous, let’s do this together!

Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Quick Takes - My world, our adoption auction preview, and adoption insomnia


I feel like I am living a strange reality lately.  Ever since we were matched with Felicity, it has felt as if time could not move fast enough; come on October!  Yet, at the same time, I feel as if someone has hit the fast forward button and things are moving so much quicker than normal.  Some of the sensations are very similar to when I was pregnant with my other kids but, oh, so different too.

1. Adoption Insomnia
I used to get horrible insomnia when I was pregnant with my boys.  I remember sitting in the hallway of our house at 3 AM just praying I would get a couple hours of restful sleep.  And now is no different.  I am not sure if adoption insomnia is such a thing. But, I think the fact that I am writing this post at 1AM is solid evidence supporting my claim.

2. Nesting
Did you nest?  When pregnant, I would have what I would call the "11th hour nesting".  I would be about three weeks from my due date and I would start to nest.  I would declutter, weed the flower beds, paint, move rooms, etc.  And, although we are still about 4 months away from getting Felicity, I am in full nesting mode.  I have gotten rid of 4 big boxes of books to sell.  I have about 6 bags of boys clothes we no longer need, waiting to be donated.  I have started to paint one bedroom and plan on painting another before we take off to China.  So, yes, nesting is no different for the adoptive mom and the pregnant mom.

3. Adoption Auction Preview . . .
One of the things we have decided to do for a fundraiser is an online auction.  It will occur mid-July and I am still in the process of seeking donations, but can I just tell you that I am giddy excited about the items we have so far!!  If we were not adopting right now, and using this auction to raise money for it, I would totally be bidding on ALL of the items!!

So let me just share a little of what will be in the auction . . .
China Print from Sunshine for Grace

Tea Towel from Big White Farm House

Felicity necklace from Full of Grace, Divine Designs 

Necklace of choice from Love Blooms Eternal

Garden flag of choice from Palmetto Stitch Company

Necklace of choice from Call Her Happy

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary Scapular from Mary Devotions

And this is not even all of it!!  I will have to share stories behind some of these items as we get closer to the auction, but it has been such a blessing to see God move through the auction so far.

To stay up to date on the auction, please go to the auction's page on Facebook at 
The auction will take place mid-July. I will post updates as we get closer.

4. And there is still time to donate an item to the auction! 
 If any readers want to donate, or if you know of someone who might want to help out by donating an item, please email me at katiepetko (at) yahoo (dot) com.

5. All my kids in one picture . . .


I cannot wait for a REAL family portrait!!

6.  Run for the Little Flowers update

A 7 Quick Takes  post would not be complete without talking about the run.  I had thought about NOT doing the run this year, but, truthfully,that just did not feel right. 

All I have to share right now is that it WILL happen this year (September 6th, tentatively), the money raised will be split between Little Flower Projects and our adoption fund and a the t-shirt design will be coming SOON! 

7.  Asking for prayers for these twins . . .


If you have read my blog for ANY length of time, you have seen their faces many times.  They used to be with Little Flower Projects, and now they are with New Day Foster Home. I may have mentioned, in a silly way, that I would have loved to adopt them.  And I did. I really did. While we were in process and close to being LID (when we could get matched), our agency did look into these boys to see if there was any possibility that we could get matched with them.  Without going into the details of how China adoptions work, we were told that it would not be possible, at all.  And, I was totally at peace with that.  It was about two months before we were matched with Felicity, and I was pretty certain that they would be matched with a family before we were matched ourselves. And that became my prayer.  Except, they weren't.  And, they are still not listed as matched on New Day's website.  It breaks my heart.  These two little guys just celebrated their second birthday, without a family.  So, please pray with me that they get a forever family soon!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thanks, Kathryn, for hosting!