Friday, June 29, 2012

Emmie Dressed Herself!

What a hoot!

I think everyone should start wearing their dresses sideways and backwards.

Love the off the shoulder look!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hours of Entertainment

There's nothing like a box to keep "someone" busy!

Hello in there!

I'll just take a quick look inside

Oooo, tight squeeze!

I can fit! What are you laughing at!

Maybe if I stay low I can slide in...

Ugh, forget it, let the cat have it! Can someone get me outta here???

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teamwork Tuesday: Alexander... Don't pass this one by, Please!

I wasn't going to post today, even though it's Teamwork Tuesday. Then I decided I would post but "steal" someones post and make it easy on myself. With all the kids home, a play date for the boy this afternoon and now onto a sleepover for one of my girls , throw in the usual tasks of the day and well... I'm tired.

As I read a friends post for Alexander, a child believe it or not , I am not familiar with, I felt my stomach drop.


As I looked at his beautiful face, those eyes and that amazing smile. I read that he is dying! 





My God, how can we let that happen...

Here there is hope for him. Here there must be a family for him. Here there must be love for him!

In his country, there is certain death.

UPDATE FEB 2012:  Alexander’s brain tumor has caused vision damage now, and he is due to be treated again soon.  The doctors there do not expect him to survive  :(    Only God knows the plan for Alexander, but my goodness, the medical opportunity he has for survival here in the US is so much higher.  Hope someone will give him the chance to know that he mattered, even if only for a little while.
From a missionary who visited with him:  “I would say his personality seemed happy, cheerful and sociable from the little contact I had with him.  I did send an email to my friends that worked with his group to get their opinion since they spent several hours with him for a week.  I know he has a brain tumor that is supposedly treatable in the U.S., but the treatment is expected to be lengthy.  He has been treated some in Russia and was in the hospital in the spring for more treatment.   He’s a very lovable kid and very smart.  He remembers people and things that they say and he is very in tune with how sick he is.  He understands and comprehends a lot for his age.  He loves to dance and get one on one attention (what kid doesn’t?)  He’s sensitive and his feelings get hurt easily.    Sasha is concerned about others.  He always asks how you or someone in the group is doing.  He is very outgoing, not shy at all.  He loves to sing songs and recite poems for you, and he knows so many!   Sasha loves individual attention.  You are special to him and he wants to feel that he is special to you also.   Simply put, he is a loving little boy who is such a pleasure to spend time with.   One more thing:  I have lots of pictures of Sasha and some videos of him singing and reciting poems. It would be SO WONDERFUL if he could get adopted and get proper treatment in the USA.

Posting about these children never gets easy! And some like Alexander are so hard to write about! How easy it would be to read, and move on. Please scroll back up to his photo. Is he your son? 

Don't answer now. Hold this question in your heart, and lay it before Jesus. And then, listen...

Alexander has a chance here in the States. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

His Biggest Fan

His biggest fan is the littlest sister! I love this photo!

And I'm Andrew's other biggest fan! 
His team finished in second place. And took second in the championship game. 

It was his first year in AAA and what a learning experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He was the youngest on his team.... the "baby" .  

And if ever there was a year of initiation to the AAA club, this was it!

He was like a deer caught in the headlights, but he sucked it up had some shinning moments, scored the team ball twice and definitely held his own. 

He was teased, and discouraged, and took a couple of hard hits, but got back up every time!

Andrew showed he's not a quitter! And look out for him next year! Because honestly, if he could make it through this year, there's no stopping him!

 Maybe next year he'll get a chance to try his hand as catcher. I think he likes that position. And he looks cool too! 


Friday, June 22, 2012

Flashback: June 2009

Oh my goodness!! What a clean baby!

June 2012

I notice she's dirty in all of her pictures now! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's Officially Summer

Last night at around 10pm when it was still around 90 degrees outside and 210 degrees inside we gave in and put the AC in the windows.  With that done, we can declare summer 2012 underway!

Now the task of keeping five kids from turning on each other like a pack of wild dogs, keeping cool and keeping "my" cool . 

And enjoying every second of it!

Yes, that's a palm tree in the pool with my daughter clinging to it. And yes, that is also the ball pit making an appearance in the pool too. Don't ask, it's all good.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Little League Badge of Honor


As Andrew stepped to the plate, I said a simple prayer,  "Please God, just let him get a hit"

Something went awry with that prayer. 

I said get a hit, not take a hit...

And the tears fell, and the players took a knee, and Andrew sucked it up and went to first.

And my heart was so proud!!!

And afterwards we noticed just how hard of  a hit he took.His arm is imprinted with the stitching of the baseball!  All those perfect little red dots.

It hurt like hell but at least it looks cool.

seasons almost over, seasons almost over, seasons almost over..... I'll be fine ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teamwork Tuesday: Dmitry

These Tuesday posts are getting harder and harder. Every week another beautiful face. And never is there an end to faces in sight. Every Tuesday there is another one. Another little face being highlighted. A drop of hope that someone will see them and recognize them as there son or daughter. 

This week is Dmitry

To me Dmitry looks like a baseball player. I can see him swinging his bat, and I can so see him in a baseball uniform. He's got that look.  He looks like he'd be a great base stealer. Quick on his feet and always thinking. Maybe a pitcher, with a steady arm and a good eye. 

Not this summer, though.

Maybe next summer....

Maybe, someone will see him, fall in love and take him home.

Boy, born November 2004
Eyes: Gray
Hair: blond

Diagnosis: Down syndrome
Character: quiet, affectionate boy, easily comes into contact with adults and children. Interested in classes, complete instructions after the joint action.  Considered higher functioning and doing well!



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fight Each Battle Until The War Is Won!

I've been around enough adoptions to know it's a freaking battle field! You (the parents) are on the front lines of a war no one knows is raging! 

 You start out alone, with no weapons, no skills, no strategy. You enter the "war zone" with a smile and hope. Maybe also a little naivety.

You have your heart set on a child. Your child!!! And nothing is going to get in your way. You start out strong and confident.

But you soon learn that you need some help, and you call in the Calvary, the foot soldiers and any other able bodied people you can find. You soon realize there are bombs dropping all around you. 

WTH, you just want to take your baby home. But the obstacles are tremendous! There are set backs that you would have never imagined in your wildest dreams. Your child is available for adoption yet it seems the country wants to make it impossible. They don't want your child yet it seems they don't want you too have her  either. Things happen that confuse you and sometimes the battle wears you down. You get discouraged and maybe at times think it is impossible. 

The dream was so simple, so beautiful in the beginning. Why couldn't it have just stayed that way.

But you are the leader. You are in command and your troops look to you. What is your next move?

Are you going to give up?

Hell No!

Some of your army has left you. They don't think it can be done. They lost faith. Got tired. Scared, Confused. Whatever happened, they are gone. But you are still standing there on the battlefield. Bombs dropping, smoke clouding your view. You can't run. Logically your head is telling you to get out of there. It's just too much. Too much money, too much time, too much effort. And no guarantee . Nothing! But your heart, which is a hundred times stronger than your head, demands you to stay. Do not retreat! Stand and fight!

But then, suddenly the smoke clears for a while. And it's silent. A cease fire.

And there in the distance, you see her. She's there, she's alive, she's waiting for her mama! 

You run to her, and she is finally in your arms. And she smiles.

She is all the strength you need. 

You rally the troops still left and call in reinforcements because you're not leaving the battle until the war is won!

You are her mama. She is your child and Satan himself better take cover.


 This is just about where Chris and Jenn Abell are in their adoption. They are taking home Olga and Vanessa. 

They were fully funded. They had done everything. They had fought the fight and won. They had nothing left to do but bring their daughters home. 

Their first trip took much longer than it was supposed to. No fault of their own, but there were delays and then more delays when they were in country.  

While they were there they tried to conserve as much money as possible. They didn't go sightseeing, they didn't spend any money on souvenirs, they only ate one meal a day!

They are also required to make 14 visits with each child! The girls are over two hours away from each other! 

That cannot be done in a few days. So they will have to spend more time in country than anticipated.

This is what I mean about no guarantees. You sometimes can never foresee the problems that might arise. They are not all written down in a book somewhere. And every adoption is different! Just like every pregnancy. Some are relatively quick and easy, and some almost kill you!

The Abells need our support more now than ever. 
They are always right there for everyone else.
If you are part of the Abells Army, thank you!
If your not.... well there is always room for a few more warriors! 

Right now Jenn has a beautiful cookbook available. Please consider donating $20.00 towards  one, and sharing. blogging or posting on FB about it.

You can donate through the chip in here on my blog. There is also one on Jenn's blog. 
Jenn also has a FB page, Sugar and Spice, please "like" it. There you can buy her beautiful bows, cookbook and see what else she is up to raise money for their adoption.

They need 15,000 to be fully funded. I will not give up. I will not turn away or run for cover. She wouldn't do that to me.

I've seen twice that raised in two days. All children deserve to come home. Money should never be the mountain that can't be crushed!

Please help us rally for Olga and Vanessa. We need to bring them home!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How To Gross Out Your Mother...

Sneak into the bathroom, pick the most disgusting thing in there, and then run around the house with it while laughing hysterically.

Pause briefly for photo op... mission accomplished.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Teamwork Tuesday: Brett

This post was written by Pamela who blogs at Saving His Sparrows. She wrote it so perfectly I took (with permission)

So without further adieu, here is Brett

Abandoned! Teamwork Tuesday - Brett

He was born in a field and abandoned...

Left all alone to die...

Thankfully somebody found him before it was forever too late!

The doctor saved his dear little life...

But he still needs a Mom and a Dad...

To tell him that though once he was abandoned...

They've chosen to make him their own...

Never again to be deserted...

Loved and cherished at last!


Doesn't he look sad and lonely...

And maybe a bit hungry too?

While he waits for a Mama and Papa...

To see his great need of some love...

And determine to cross the great ocean...

To rescue their own chosen child...

To give him the love he is lacking...

And feed him the food that he needs!

To read him stories at bedtime...

And give him a chance to grow and to learn!

To put a smile on his face and a light in his eyes...

And fill him with laughter and love!

He's a beautiful, long-hidden treasure...

Just waiting for someone like you...

To see his great worth and great value...

And bring him home at last!

He's sure to enrich you life...

With joys and laughter and love...

For he is a long lost treasure...

And a blessing from God above!


You can read more about Brett or donate to his grant fund Here!

Brett can be adopted by single mothers, older parents, or large families.
Travel is easy and it is possible to adopt more than one child at the same time for relatively low cost!
Please consider Brett!


This is a Teamwork Tuesday post...

Where we join together to spread the story of one precious child!

This week is for Brett!

Together we can make a difference...

Will you join us?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cookbooks Still up for Grabs and I've Got the Chip In!

Here's what's up. Due to issues beyond their control for the safety of their adoption the Abell's have temporarily closed their blog. No big deal but just bad timing for the success of their cookbook, which is going towards their 2nd trip.  

So I've got the chip in!  

Here is a peek of the book with over 80 yummy recipes compiled by just some of the people who love and support Jenn and Chris. 

 This adoption will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most stressful yet absolutely one of THE MOST miraculous!

Two little girls are so very close to ending their time in limbo. Their ransom is almost completely purchased and they have an incredible family chomping at the bit to love and hold them forever!!!!

I've developed a friendship with Jenn that I value as I would a rare gem. I've watched her evolve and grow during this adoption. I've seen her sad, mad and frightened. She has been stressed to the max, and tried and challenged by friends. I've seen her support grow and I've seen it all but disappear.  I've seen this woman fall and get back up so many times I stopped counting. She has been told to give up, walk away, it can't be done. And repeatedly and consistently her answer has been a resounding.


A $20.00 donation to the chip in in my sidebar will get you a beautiful cookbook made with so much love and faith. Shipping is included. All you have to do is enjoy it! And know that you helped bring a family together, to be a family forever.  



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Racing for Orphans with Down syndrome! On Your mark, Get Set....

Sometimes someone comes along and they are just good. Good, through and through. Brady is one of those people.

Please read the post below written by Brady and then take the five seconds to vote! There is no registration just one click! It's all for what makes my heart beat. Orphans with Down syndrome. My passion, and Brady's! Only he's an Ironman and I'm a cream puff,  lol! 

So, On your mark, get set... Read on!!!!

Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

My family and I have loved being able to work on behalf of the children on Reece's Rainbow since finding this great organization.  It's for this reason that I had a hard time sleeping because of the excitement after hearing about this announcement!

Two months ago, Ironman announced a contest called Kona Inspired.  How it works is they have given the general public an opportunity to submit a 90 second video based around the theme, "Anything is Possible".  Winners receive a spot to race in the Ironman World Championship in October, but most importantly, they will race as a media athlete and have the opportunity to share their story on NBC's nationally televised broadcast of the championship this year!  THIS COULD BE OUR OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THESE PRECIOUS CHILDREN'S STORY WITH THE WORLD!!!

After reading Ironman's press release we immediately went to work.  This is an opportunity to help these children in a way that I never imagined possible!  The video came together with the help of many wonderful people and we submitted it.  105 videos were submitted. 
After over a month long preliminary public voting, we just received word that we are one of the top 15 videos and will compete in the final round of voting June 4 - June 18!!!

Please take a moment to
WATCH, VOTE, and SHARE our video as much as possible throughout the day from your home computer, work computer, laptop, phone, etc!  We need to be in the top 2 videos at the end of the day on June 18. 


Thank you for your time and willingness to make the dream of these orphans of finding their forever family a reality!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Let's Get Cooking!!!

Whether you are a gourmet chef or you just muddle through like me ,this cookbook is for you!!

Why,  do I think  you need to have this cookbook? 

Well, because it was made for these two Princess 


This book was made by their mama, Jenn, to help get them fully funded  for their 2nd and 3rd trip so these girlie girls can come home and have a taste of what family life is all about!!!

And our community of cookers all helped out too! There are over 80 recipes compiled from all of us. 

So with summer just about here, how about treating yourself and your family to some scrumptiousness!!

And knowing that you are helping to bring a family together , that honestly has waited long enough, is just an extra feel good bonus!

Hey, maybe you are not the cook in the family. Maybe dad would love this for Fathers day!!! Lots of dads like to cook!
 And if you don't cook and dad doesn't cook and you survive solely on take out, then how about  giving this book as a gift?

Say for...
a new bride
your boss
Teachers gift!!!!
Friend, who can't cook, but thinks she can and you want to help with love and kindness;)
new neighbor
old neighbor
hostess gift
for your BFF, just because
a graduate, getting ready for college

Here are some more details from Jenn:

The Details:

Each cookbook with over 80 tried and true recipes is $20 including shipping. The first 20 books sold will be entered into a drawing for a really cute handmade apron made by daughter Rebecca. (She has worked so hard sewing hobo purses, aprons, and no-sew blankets for our upcoming auction, she is a true blessing and such a joy to have as a daughter). Also, if you share about our cookbook fundraiser on your blog or facebook you will get an entry into the drawing for the apron. Just make sure you let me know you shared.

Click here to get your book!!!

And Happy Cooking!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Crawling Back Up To the Surface

I never thought I would not want to blog anymore. I never thought that I would lose interest or not have the energy to even put the computer on. I never thought I would experience being completely burnt out!

I won't lie here friends, it's been a tough time for us. Peter has been searching day and night for a job for going on two years. Financially we are in pieces. And I believe with my whole heart the only reason we are not on the streets is because God has His hands on us. The stress has absolutely taken over our lives. I feel like we are walking on a sheet of thin, cracked glass and at any moment it's all going to give way and we will fall into some black hole. And on some days I feel like stomping on that thin glass to make it shatter to just get it over with!

It sucks to live like this! It sucks to watch your husband apply for job after job after job, and not get one. He's a freaking genius! He's one of those spooky smart people that can do everything. His mind is like a flippin' computer.

It sucks to see the stress taking it's toll on your children. They can't go places , they need things. And we can't supply it. And that pisses me off!

It sucks to know that people are talking behind your back! Whispering ,"He still isn't working? How are they surviving? What's wrong with him, why doesn't he get a job?" 

It sucks to worry every single moment of every single day!

It sucks to be accused of putting Emmie in half day preschool so I could stay home and not have to work. Yeah that really happened! And just for the record there is no full day preschool in her school!

But you know what doesn't suck?

That through all of this, this freaking nightmare we've been calling "life", through all of it and because of it, my faith has grown leaps and bounds.

These past four years, beginning from when we found out Miss Em would be born with "extra-ness" we have been challenged and tested in ways I never dreamed of. Not just financially. Since Em was born, our eyes have been opened to the plight of orphans  with special needs. Our hearts completely broken.We have an inability to look away. We cannot ignore it or pass the problem to someone else. And that is challenging! It's hard and it's frustrating! It would be so easy to say a prayer for them and move on. But that's not Gods plan for us.

Sometimes I feel like heaven and hell are in a tug of war over us. And admittedly I've been furious at God. Furious that we have been left in the dust. That we can't get a break.  That others cruise through life never knowing hardship. But then I think of how God is working in our lives.

If it weren't for all these impossible times we are going through, my faith would not be where it is today.
I wouldn't have developed the compassion I now have for others. I would not have learned to never, ever judge anyone. No matter what "it looks like", from the outside.  You have no idea what's going on in peoples lives.

If it weren't for these challenges we are facing we would still be living in a "me" world. We have done without so much for so long that our mentalities have completely changed. We don't need or want so much of what we had.

God stripped us down to nothing to rebuild us to serve Him. We weren't headed in the right direction. Somewhere, even though we thought we were being "Good Christians" we made a wrong turn.  We weren't serving Him in the way He wanted us to. I honestly believe He had to just completely remodel us.

I like who I am now. I am a better person then I was four years ago.I'm a stronger... much stronger person than I was. And my priorities are in order.

My way of thinking has changed so drastically. I used to be a total shopaholic! Big time! Now I just can't justify it. Don't get me wrong, I love a good sale and going to the mall still stirs butterflies in my stomach. But the need to spend money on something that I don't need is gone. I'd rather put into someones FSP.

Even Peter who since he was old enough to sit up on his own has wanted a Mercedes, thinks differently now. Now he sees one and thinks , that car could fully fund an adoption for someone.

So I guess what I'm getting at here is , God is  working in our lives every single second. And I believe the tough times are when He is working the hardest because He sees our potential. 
If you are going through something that seems overwhelming and insurmountable, don't run from Jesus. 

Double time it into His arms. 

Trust Him, because He always has a plan. And don't try to figure it out because I also think He loves the element of surprise!!!

We're digging our fingernails in. Clinging to Jesus, and not giving up! 

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

~ Philippians 4:13, NLT