Wednesday, September 28


This week is Apple Week at Parker's school. They are learning about all the different Apples God created, how they all are different in size, shape and color. They are learning about Johnny Apple Seed all lots of other fun things. I thought it would be fun to take an apple "treat" to his class one day. So I dug through all of my pins on Pinterest and found these cute things.

I LOVED the cute little packaged idea for a teachers gift but then thought this would be a perfect little treat for apple week. So I search for a tutorial a came across this blog by Gourmet Mom on the Go it is such a great website. There are so many neat things on there I can't wait to try. So... here is her recipe...

Krispy Apple Treats
Makes 25
6 C. Krispy Rice Cereal
1 pkg. large marshmallows
3 T. butter
1 small pkg. Jell-o powder, cherry or strawberry flavor
25 small Tootsie Roll Candies
Royal Icing, tinted green
Baking spray
Wax Paper
Red Food Coloring, optional
optional: you could use fruit roll-ups or those green mint leaf candies instead of the royal icing.

Directions:Place marshmallows and butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for an additional minute. Remove from microwave and stir in jell-o powder. If desired, you can add a few drops of red food coloring (depending on how "red" your jell-o is). Add Krispy Rice cereal and stir well. Spray hands with baking spray and roll mixture into balls (a little larger than a golf ball) and drop on wax paper.

After balls have set for a few minutes, use your thumb to press into the top to make an "apple" shape.

Add a small tootsie roll "stem" and using royal icing (or any green candy), pipe on a "leaf". I actually would have rather used some kind of green candy but didn't have any on hand. I just used royal icing and a leaf-shaped icing tip.

Serve to your favorite kiddos! These would also be a really fun "Teacher Appreciation Day" snack!

Thank you Gourmet Mom! My son's class will love these I am sure! Here are how mine turned out. Pretty cute I think. 


This last weekend we got to get away fro everyday life and take two couples from our life group on a marriage vision retreat in Ruidoso NM. It was so much fun. Some of you may wonder what a vision retreat is, so let me explain.  A vision retreat is a time where you get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. You take a couple of days and leave town with out your kids to be with your spouse and God. You take these days away to allow God to speak to you about your marriage and to make sure you are on the same page regarding goals, priorities and values. You get a "vision" for you marriage and family. Our goal is to do this yearly to allow God to refine our vision and realign our values and priorities. Sometimes these things get lost in the chaos of normal day to day living. Jimmy and Karen Evans for Co-Authored this amazing workbook as an aid for these retreats.
I was so surprised what God showed us through this trip. I highly, highly recommend any couple with or without kids to take a weekend or a few days and get away and alone with your spouse with no computer, TV, and minimal cell phone use to focus in on God and is design of marriage.

We had so much fun on our trip. We stayed up late with our friends, ate meals together and had several moments were I nearly peed my pants because we were laughing so hard at each other. It was so refreshing and I was really great to hang out with other couples for a weekend with out having to break up sibling rivalry fights, wipes boogers, clean bottom, and threaten spankings every 15 minutes.

Ruidoso was a perfect location for this trip. The opening page in to work book starts with this scripture...

Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord...He will teach us His ways and we shall walk in His paths...
Micah 4:2 NKJV

How fitting for our mountaintop location. 

The view from the deck of our cabin

We went bowling the last night and it was so much fun. Even though my total ending score after both games was about 54. HA

We also made s'mores the last night. It was so much fun sitting out on the deck roastin' some marshmallows, and listening to some old hymns on the iPhone dock while bundled and snuggled up with each other. 

This is the view from the mountain top. Phillip and I went up there on our fun thing that we were to do together. We first went antiquing (my favorite) then we went and sat on the mountain. Honestly I was a bit terrified and couldn't relax up there. I felt like I was inches from death and I couldn't over come my anxiety about possibly falling off. I so badly wanted to embrace the beauty that God created in this land but my fear got in the way. IT IS SO HIGH!!! 

Here I am with my beautiful friends Holly and Taryn. 

And me and my Love 

I can't wait to go again next year. 

Tuesday, September 27


My new favorite thing....

I finally got a bike. I have been talking about this for months. I have been on the hunt for a vintage style bike for a long long time. The ones that I found were so $$$. I wasn't willing to pay $400+ for my bike since I know that I will not be riding it a whole lot. I finally found the perfect one. It was less then $100 and it is white with pretty aqua accent. It did have some damask stickers on it but I picked them off. I am a girly girl but more on the sporty side of girly. I am not really foofy so off they went. I can live with the damask on the seat. Its just the right amount of girly for this girl. I am not on the hunt for a sweet little basket for the front. 
Like this...

The whole family went riding together last night around our block, it was so much fun! I can't wait to have more family evenings so we can cruise around our neighborhood together. 

Monday, September 26

Birthday Cont.

 Once I recognized what I was going to have to surrender my birthday presents the flesh battle began. But my heart battle was so much stronger and it won. I asked God on the way back home from the Beth Moore trip what I was supposed to do. As I was praying about it I was reading through one of my best friends blogs (check it out here it is awesome!). As I scrolled through her words my heart was moved again and I was reminded of the place God sparked a deep love for over a year ago.  I have not forgotten the place, I love the place it will forever be buried in my heart and dreams. It is the place where my passion of the orphans and poor grew. Not through physically being there but there the words of others and the beautiful faces of those who live there. This place is a community in Addis Ababba, Ethiopia. It started 75 years ago when they cast the lepers out of the city. Now there are over 3 generations living there. Still know as the outcasts. This place they called Korah. It is believed that the people who reside in Korah are cursed. They are not.

I blogged about this place a year ago and what it did in my life, you can find that post here.  One of the things I wanted to do last year but wasn't able to was send a child to school in Ethiopia through Project61. This organization, is the organization that hosted the missions team that lead me to the discovery of Korah. I am in love with the organization. They take children out of the trash dump (Korah) and they find them sponsors so that they can go to a boarding school and get a really great education.  I knew immediately that God was telling me to give up my birthday and sponsor a child to go to school.  Being a sponsor to a child who lives in Korah is more than just being their Sponsor. They often think of you as their family. You make a direct and huge impact on their life.  You are giving them an education, a place to sleep (they are usually sleeping in the streets), 3 meals a day (no longer digging through the trash in a land fill for food) medical care and clothing. This literally changes their life. I cried and told Phillip what I felt like God was telling me. He was on board. I emailed Erin, who is charge of the sponsorship stuff stateside, and told her we were ready to sponsor someone. There were about 10 children/teens to choose from. I prayed over every beautiful face and asked God to direct me to the right one. He lead me to Aster.

Her full name is Aster Tesfaye
Aster is Amharic for Esther which means in her country "Beautiful Flower" 
Tesfaye which means "My Hope"

She is both of those things. She is beautiful and she is "hope". I have learned that Aster is 17, she has no parents and she lives with her Grandfather. She is going to go into the 9th grade and she is an average student. She also fights sometimes. I nearly dies laughing when I read that. I thought "God you are so funny". I thought for sure I would sponsor someone who was a little bit like me. But God has other plans. He has plans for Aster. He has "Hope" and a future for her. God knew that he was going to use my battle against my flesh and y victory in the battle to get Aster to school. Aster will be going to the school in Shashmene. It is a large private boarding school. We will get to communicate to her through letters and pictures. I am praying that while we are there in November we will get to go to Shashmene and meet her face to face. I am so in love with this pretty girl and I feel really honored to be her sponsor for school. I pray that the Lord will begin to reveal himself to her and that she will learn who she really is. She is not cursed. She is not an outcast. She is not unloved or unwanted. She is very much loved. The Lord is enthralled by her beauty. I pray that she knows that "The Lord has plans for her. Plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her HOPE and a future." 

Something I think is really interesting is that the exact cost of the purse I had decided I wanted (which is not in the set of pictures in m last post) was the exact amount of money it cost to send Aster to school for a full year plus medical care. Isn't God awesome?!

Last Saturday when my birthday rolled around. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude. I think it is really beautiful how God can use your funk and your sin to bring himself glory and how out of the correction and discipline God helps someone else. I feel so very thankful that God used all my selfishness to gear me into the direction of Aster. To God be all the Glory! God is so good. 

I had a wonderful birthday. I did get some presents. They were really really thoughtful. I love how my friends know me and they know my heart.  Thank you all for everything! I love you bunches!

If you would like to learn more about this amazing opportunity to sponsor a child and updates please visit these links below:

Updates and...well for just a really awesome blog to follow

For an amazing story about Korah and Sammy (a boy who grew up in Korah)

There are only FIVE kids left that need sponsorships. You could be the next one to send a precious child to school and open the door to their future. What an awesome gift. 

Thursday, September 22


I love birthdays. I have made that clear on here before. I think they are really special and I love to celebrate them. In my house I like to have a birthday week. I think I may have mentioned that on here once or twice before. I embarrassingly really love my birthday. I have joked with some that it is my favorite holiday. But I am not really sure if I was joking. This is not a surprise for my husband. I love presents. Gift giving and receiving are my love languages. Receiving gifts makes me feel really special and loved. There is something so sweet about someone taking the time to think about you and go out of their way to buy you something pretty. It doesn't matter to me if it is big or small. Expensive or cheap. Handmade or bought. It is the thought behind the act that is so special to me.  I am lucky to have a husband that understand that part of me and let me just say...he is a great gift giver. This year I had been planning out my birthday for about 6 weeks. Yes... 6 weeks. What I mean by planning is, I have been scrounging the internet for the most perfect gift a girl could get. Before I tell you what I am going to tell you please know that what I am about to say has nothing to do with these items, I think these items are really great and they will probably remain on my wish list for a really long time. The point of this is not the "stuff". are a couple of the things that I had picked out.

You see, for weeks before my birthday I have been obsessing about these things. Things. They have consumed me and filled a lot of my thoughts. Oh how I hurt knowing now that these things were invading my heart and my mind. They were creeping in and trying to steal the throne of my heart that belongs to God and God alone. Let me back up a little bit...

God has been setting my "mood" or "setting the stage" for my heart to be changed or refined again. Sometimes we need to be sifted and refined to get our feet back on track.

A about 3 weeks ago Beckham came to in my bathroom with these words "Mommy don't be mad." This is never a good thing. He continues "don't spank me. It fell." My thoughts which quickly turned into frantic words of "what do you mean don't spank you, what fell?" He led me to our guest bath, my heart sank because I just knew. He lifted the lid to our black potty and beneath the murky poopy water I caught a glimpse of my beautiful and treasured iPhone4. I had no words just ears blazing with fire and frustration. I sent him to his room with a swat on the hinney and told him to not ever come out again. Well at least until I come get him. I wrap my hand and arm tightly in a grocery sack, dip it into the nasty water and bring forth the ruined poppy dripping iPhone. Ugh! In that moment I no longer have a cell phone and not even a house phone. No means of communication. I was devastated. I mean I guess if I really needed someone I could turn on my car and use my on-star. But wait, all of my contacts went swimming in my potty. Great. I spent the next 7 days moping and throwing little temper tantrums like a 2 yr old would over not getting goldfish before bed time. It is insane our a simple little device seems to connect you to the whole world. Or really how your whole world is connected to this little device. Phillip scolded me several times about how selfish I was for wrapping my whole mood around such a thing. He showed me how I was so devastated over the fact that my phone was ruined, my phone of all things. There are way bigger problems in this world to be devastated over like mothers being forced to put their children up for adoption because they cannot feed them. Children and families and villages in Somalia dying because there country is suffering the greatest drought they've experienced in decades. Now that is devastating. I heard his words but my callused heart wouldn't absorb them. They only made me more annoyed. The day comes where I get my new phone. It was like Christmas. The next day I left for a Beth Moore trip with my church. I was so relieved to get away from my life for a night. 

That night at our girls pajama party our pastors wife led a little devotional. It was good. It was perfect. It was spot on. She read Psalm 51. If you are not familiar with that Psalm it is the Psalm David wrote after committing adultery with Bathsheba. The main theme that night was "How's your heart?". Ouch that got me. My heart was so unclean. Why was it so much easier for her simple words..."Hows your heart?" to break me, then my husbands honest rebuke? I will not ever fully understand but what I do know is that in that moment my heart broke. I felt burdened, heavy and ashamed before God for my ugliness. My heart is wicked and I needed Jesus to fix me then.  I need Jesus every day but I really did that day.  I need God to have mercy on me, I need him to wash my sins away. I began in my heart to pray Davids prayer. I felt a shift. 

The next day at Beth Moore there are so many brilliant things that she talked about that day that was perfect for me. I felt like God was speaking right to me. I will have to write a whole 'nother blog post about that. I was rocked that day.  I began to feel alive again and new. On the bus home God spoke to me. I had been praying over the last 24 hours for God to change me. Change my heart. Put my feet back on his path. Break me again. Rip off this flesh like a bandage. All while praying this I was still battling the consumption of the things above. I was flipping through my phone and looking at these beautiful presents I had picked out for myself. I was about to send them to Phillip to remind him that my birthday was exactly one week away and if he was going to get me something he needed to buy it then so it would be there in time. (Just typing that and hearing it out loud this week as I have confessed it out loud to Phillip I am ashamed) But in that moment I clearly hear God. I don't mean that I heard him audibly what I mean is that I heard him changing my heart. He was showing me all the things that my heart breaks for, well until I got consumed by these things. Again, let me say that these things are not bad things. I think they are great. The enemy however, will use anything he can to devour you. Even good things. He will use what ever it takes to get your heart to not love God and commune with him daily. The enemy used these things against me. I had a tiny crack in my heart and he slipped in. I knew in that moment that if I want God to reign on his rightful throne in my heart I needed to surrender to mySELF and that meant, for me, giving up my birthday. It meant to lay down my presents and give my birthday to someone else. I was to receive nothing from Phillip since he was the one I expected it from the most.  God knows how much I love my birthday. He knows how much time I have spent over the last couple of week planning it. He was there with while I was scrounging the internet for hours. He knew that it would take me giving it up to get my attention. God is so good. I am so so so thankful that he loves me enough to get involved with me. He cares about us and he cares what our heart is worshipping. We were made to worship God and God alone. Not the silly little things of this earth that a fleeing. When our heart is not right with him, he takes the time and effort to meet us right were we are at, shake us up, sift us out or rip us up. It is painful but where there no pain theres no gain right?! To God be all the glory.

To be continued...................

Tuesday, September 13

Open House

Last night we went to Parker's open house at his school. He was really excited to show us his classroom and all the little projects he has been working on. I love his teachers this year. They are really great and Parker loves them which makes school exciting for him. I feel so blessed that we are able to send Parker to this school. I love the warm safe environment that is provides and I love how they allow his imagination to go wild and his creativity to flourish. I am excited for Beckham to go to PreSchool there next year so we can see all the fun things he will be doing.

This is part of Parkers Classroom.

His self portrait he drew and colored. So funny! Notice the "Darth Vadar" shirt he drew on himself!

Parker with his teachers Mrs. Ice and Mrs. Ports

I have no idea why he thought it would be cool to smile like this but he does it all the time now. 

Parker showing us where sister is. 

Excuse my belly roll below... I thought I left that at the gym today... Sheesh...


Sunday, September 11

You Will Rob Me No More

 I have been robbed for far too long. 

 John 10:10 (NIV)  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..."  
The thief meaning... Satan, the devil or the enemy (which I like to refer to him as). 

Almost a year ago today Phillip and I announced that we are adopting. Many of you may be familiar with this post that we co-wrote a year ago. (If you are new to following my blog and would like to get caught up on our journey click on the hyperlinked words in the last sentence.) As I reread my words that I wrote on that day, my eyes fill with tears.  Tears of brokenness, humility, anger, amazement and joy.

Brokenness and humility because at times on this journey I had lost sight of Gods sovereignty, truth and faithfulness.  Anger because in my moments and times of weakness and vulnerability the enemy crept in and robbed me. He saw a crack around my heart and slipped right in and stole what was mine. He is a thief out to steal, kill and destroy. He is, like I have said before on here, a lion looking for someone to devour. The enemy's schemes are tricky, smart and invading. He caught me at moments where I haven't been standing firm. Oh how I wished I had always stood firm.

This whole process of adopting has been so difficult. I assume easier then some others but so difficult for me. When I first felt like God was calling up to adopt a little over two years ago I had no idea what kind of ride we were in for. I guess I thought because it was something God had placed in our hearts it was going to be easy. Because... if it is God then it should be smooth and easy right?! Oh my word... let me just say that, is so far from truth. Just because God is in it and God ordained it does not mean that it is easy. Living out the Gospel is HARD, inconvenient, painful and it does wacky things to your emotions. When you step out and lean on God to guide your steps you stick your neck out there for all kinds of attacks. I think when we are truly walking in obedience we are marked with a red flag and the enemy charges like a bull in a fight.

Well I am a child of God and the Enemy has no authority in my life and he does not and will not have the power to rob from me. I will not stand in doubt, fear or worry. Mostly and the point of the blog post is that he will not longer steal MY JOY!!! He cannot have it. He has tried to steal and for a few weeks he had it but, not any more. And since he doesn't have any control over my emotions or feelings, I have an announcement to make.

I wasn't going to make this announcement publicly (I have told some of you in person) because of what happened last time. But I am stepping out in faith that this time everything will be ok! First, there's something you need to know about me. I DO NOT handle public grieving or sadness well. I wear me emotions on my sleeve and it is not pretty. I don't like for anyone to know when I am hurting or discouraged for some reason I have made myself to believe that those emotions are weak and I am not about to be seen as a weak person.

 Truth is... I am weak but my Jesus is strong and when I am in him... I AM STRONG!


!!!!!!!!WE HAVE A COURT DATE!!!!!!!!

We will be going to Ethiopia...God willing of course...

NOVEMBER 3!!! for our NOVEMBER 7th COURT DATE!!!!!!

Can I get a Hallelujah!!!!
Man! It feels great to tell you all that! Now you all know and you know that we have a lot to be hopeful for. Please be in prayer that our MOWA letter will be on time and that the process will run smooth. God has been moving big in Phillip and I's hearts so please be in prayer for discernment, wisdom, clarity and favor. Also please pray for M's mother. I cannot imagine being in her shoes. Please pray that the holy spirit will surround her and us during this time. Thank you all for sharing in our excitement with and for continually praying with us over the last year or so. You all are really great!!