Friday, August 29, 2014

7 Quick Takes



Thanks, Jen for hosting!


1. Not guaranteed tomorrow ...

This past week, my husband's cousin's husband died suddenly.  It was shocking news and so sad.  That day, I was reminded that we are not guaranteed tomorrow.  I know we all know that, but it is different when you are reminded of that.  With Sarah's death last month and Tim's death this week, it set a resolve in me to make all of us going to China together work.  We do everything as a family.  And why shouldn't we all be there together for this very special event for our family?  Since we are not guaranteed tomorrow, I want to make today and each moment count.  I want to make memories. I have no idea how we will make it all work financially, but at this point, our family being together in China is way more important that a few dollars saved.

2. Waiting is hard

I will be completely honest, this time of waiting to get Felicity Grace has been so hard on me.  But, what I did not realize is that the kids found it difficult too.  Yesterday morning, Caleb was sitting on the floor in Felicity's room and he started to talk to me.

"Mom, I wish we could go to China and get Felicity sooner.  It is hard to see all of her pictures around the house and not have her here.  The waiting is getting harder."

My heart melted in that moment.  I had NO IDEA that the little people in my house were feeling exactly how I was feeling about the adoption process.

Yes, dear son, it is so hard!

3. To lighten the mood . . .

Because I do not want these takes to be too heavy.  This short video is of Joel Osteen's wife, Victoria.  I have never been a fan of the Osteen's, particularly Joel's prosperity gospel message.  A friend told me to read his book, "Your Best Life Now" years ago.  I read the first two chapters and had to put it down.  It was awful.  Now, Victoria Osteen takes their message to a whole new low. Watch this short video.  At least the end will make you laugh.



4.  Little Flower Run Labor Day giveaway

Have you registered for the Run for the Little Flowers yet?  If not, do so by Monday, September 1st! If you do so, you will be entered in a giveaway to win a Shakeology Shake gift pack.

See the side bar to register!

5.  Adoption process update.

Things are MOVING!!  This week we got our approval to bring Felicity into the US, and we applied for her Visa.  Now, our paperwork is being dropped of at the Consulate in China next week and we wait on a couple more steps before Travel Approval!!  It looks like we will travel at the end of October or the beginning of November.  We are getting excited and so ready to get our little girl.


6.  Fun Friday Pop Quiz!

Last song I listened to . . . "Reason to Sing" by All Sons and Daughters






7. I am sneaking two 7's in because this is just too good not to share.  This is Cardinal Wuerl on the situation in Iraq and our response/lack of response.




7. Little Flower Cuteness . . . 


Happy Friday Everyone!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes - pictures of my girl, the run, and other Friday thoughts




1. Yesterday morning, I opened my email and saw an email from Helen, a woman who works for our agency in China.  She had sent pictures of our sweet Felicity Grace!  It just made my day! Our paperwork is going slower than expected at this point and that, combined with other things, has made this week difficult. These pictures came at the perfect time to give me some more endurance to get through the next two months before we bring her home.




2. Murphy's Law

It is in full effect here right now.  In the last few weeks we have had to buy a new refrigerator, get our dryer fixed (for the 2nd time in a month),  and attempt to fix our leaky toilet. The tuition to the new tutorial is due in the next few weeks.  The worst of it is that it looks like the transmission on our van (my car) is going (for the second time) and we will have to either get a new car for Pete or put significant money into his dying car.  Two cars with significant work needed!!! All two months before the bulk of our adoption money is due.

I had been warned that  things like this would happen during the adoption process.  We have not had expenses pile up like this in years!  I am stressing out a little, to put it mildly.  I know it is all in HIS hands and in a few months, when Felicity Grace is in my arms, I will not think about the fact the Murphy has been knocking on our door (a lot) lately.


3. Going solo?

Because of Murphy's Law, we have been seriously praying about only one of us going to China (me).  We had planned on taking the whole family, but financially, at this point, it just does not make a whole lot of sense.  All 5 of us are getting our visas, so we can all still go, but we are also making arrangements so that I can go alone, if necessary.  I have talked to others who have done it and said it was fine.  There is a guide with you pretty much the whole time and the guide takes extra care of the parents that are alone.  The boys are sad about the prospect.  Joshua said he HAD to go to China because he wanted to be in the room the first time we meet Felicity!  Andrew proclaimed that he will get off the plane and run to meet his sister right away.  Oh, they knew just what to say to melt my heart.  We will see what doors God opens and which ones He closes over the next two months.

SASSY!

4. Run for the Little Flowers!


The shirts are in!  If you have not registered yet, please do so soon.  My goal is to have the run sold out by October 1st!  The giveaway post will be up soon.  Please spread the word!


5. On fundraising, etc

I got my first negative comment on my blog a little bit ago.  It was about our adoption and fundraising.  I deleted the comment, but this person shared his/her disgust for the fact that we were fundraising for our adoption and how we clearly do not love, nor deserve our daughter.

I have lots of thoughts and feelings about that.  I wanted to devote a whole post to it and talk about adoption expenses, how my hubby works and has always worked in ministry/for the church (read: does not get paid tons), how we live frugally, etc, etc, but then I thought that we do not need to explain our reason for fundraising. 

Truthfully, I do not like fundraising.  Asking people for anything, particularly money, is tough for me.  I never want anyone to feel obligated to help us. Yet, many people have asked if they can help us. So we have set up an an AdoptTogether account.  It works like a GoFundMe account, but all donations are tax deductible.  For more information please go here.

*Just a note: I am more than willing to share about the adoption expenses; how much we have already paid, how much more we have to go and how we have been covering all of the expenses.  If you are interested, please leave a comment and I will gladly write up a post about it.  It has been an incredible experience . . . . I think similar to families who work so hard to get out of debt, you just find a way and are amazed how you were able to do it.


And since I overloaded you all with photos of our cutie, I am going to end at #6!


6. Little Flower Cuteness . . .
This is why I do the Run for the Little Flowers!

Have a great weekend everyone!! Thanks Jen, for hosting!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My new toy

I have wanted a camera, a good, DSLR camera for years, but just could not justify the cost.  Before digital camers came on the scene, I used very good 35 mm SLR camera.  My dad had purchased a Pentax Ashai camera while in Japan on furlough from Vietnam.  He purchased everything; about 5 lenses, filters, tripod, etc.  When I was a teenager, I had found the camera collecting dust in a closet.  I learned all about aperture, shutter speed, and lighting and took that camera everywhere.  I stopped using it about 8 years ago when we got our first point and shoot digital camera and it had gone back to collecting dust in a closet.

Our point and shoot has taken good photos over the years, so I remained fairly content with it, but I really did miss playing with a camera and seeing the world through the eye piece verses the digital screen.  So when we knew we were going to China, I knew I wanted to take a DSLR with me.  I sold off a bunch of things on Craigslist and eBay, including the old Pentax Ashai to pay for it, and two months ago, I got this new toy . . .

It is certainly not the best or most expensive camera out there, but for what I was looking for and for the price range I was looking in, the Nikon D3200 was my camera of choice.

I brought it out to use it for the first time while on vacation in Cape Cod.  I am a camera junkie and I just loved holding it in my hand, waiting to take some shots.



The first thing I loved about having this camera, other than the feel of it in my hand, was the fact that I could look through the eye piece again to capture a photo.  I LOVE that.  I feel like I am actually IN the scene again and not just watching as a bystander.


I can actually play with the lens and focus it again.




I am able to catch this boy in all of his silliness . . .





I can get up close to objects with out getting a blurry shot.


I can get this son of mine, who does NOT like getting his photo taken, before he turns around and is out of the shot . . . .














I can capture life as it happens.  Smiles and all.


I am THRILLED with my new toy.  I just played with it while on vacation and am excited to figure out all that it is capable of doing!  Then, to tackle Photoshop!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Do Something! Register for the Run for the Little Flowers!

Matthew West, writer and performer of the song "Do Something" is encouraging us all to have a Do Something Summer.  Since his song "Do Something" has been the inspiration for this year's Run for the Little Flowers and the refrain is featured on the back of the shirt.


So, if you have not, please register now, for the Run for the Little Flowers and Do Something for orphans in China.


If you have received your shirt already, please put it on, and take a picture of yourself in it and put it on social media and hashtag it #dosomethingsummer .  Matthew West is watching all of those #dosomethingsummer and will repost those he likes!  Let's give the run and Little Flower Projects some great publicity!

Please watch this video.  Mathew West explains his inspiration for the song. (And do not forget to register!)


Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Daybook

Outside my window...
It is a cool, over cast August day.  It seems like the fleeting days of summer are already gone and we are in the Fall already.

I am thinking...
About our adoption, our girl, the start of the homeschooling tutorial and all the projects that need to get done around our home before we travel to China.  I cannot seem to turn my brain "off" lately and just relax.  And in the quiet moments all I can think about about is how I want to go to China and get our little girl.  That thought is overwhelming at times, yet I trust in His timing and pray for His patience and peace.

Oh, and the Run for the Little Flowers!! Please consider registering if you have not yet.

I am thankful for...

My husband.  He is the most wonderful man and I cannot imagine life without him by my side.  
Friends and our local community.  God has planted us among amazing families.

I am wearing...

Khaki shorts and a flowered short sleeve shirt and I am clod!  I may have to put on my yoga pants soon!

I praying...

For our adoption process; that we may get our i800 approval this week.
For the Harkins Family
For a smooth transition for Joshua and Caleb into the tutorial.
For our Walking with Purpose Bible Study that will start next month.


I am reading... 

A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman
Little Oratory by Leila Marie Lawler
The book of Acts


I am hoping...
Our adoption process goes smoothly with no more delays.


From the learning rooms...

Books are ordered. Bookshelves organized.  Uniforms purchased.  Supply lists printed and ready to go out with me on my next errand.  I think we may be ready for the start of school when it comes in two weeks!



From the kitchen...

Sauerkraut fermenting, almonds being roasted, yogurt being made.  A chicken is defrosting to be roasted for dinner.  After about three weeks of being COMPLETELY off of GAPS, we all are ready to go back to the GAPS lifestyle.  There truly is a difference in the members of this household when we are eating GAPS foods versus when we are not.  There is a huge difference and I am convinced, even more so, that GAPS is a lifestyle that our family needs to keep.


Around the house...

It is quiet.  The boys are upstairs playing Legos. The scent of candles fills the air (I love candles). Other than the occasional, gun sound made by my boys, all I can hear is the chirping of crickets outside.  It is kinds of nice.

My nesting is in full swing and we are getting many projects done around here.  Adoption nesting is so much nicer and more productive than pregnancy nesting.  You do not tire as easily and there is no big belly to hinder you from doing projects.

One of my favorite things .
 .

Making our house more and more of a home each day.


A picture thought I am sharing ...
A vacation photo.  I miss Cape Cod!  It truly is my happy place.