Friday, October 22, 2010

Ornaments for Olivia

My incredibly creative friend, Anna, is selling adorable Christmas ornaments to raise funds for their adoption of a little girl from Ethiopia.  They are only 6 dollars and all of the proceeds will help them bring Olivia home to be Selah's best friend :)! 
 Go to her blog, , to see all of the designs and read more about them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Holding Baby Kaylee

This past Sunday at church I had the honor of holding sweet baby Kaylee, one of the Thrasher twins, through the entire service.  Don't tell Shon, but I had a hard time focusing on the sermon.  I don't really know exactly how to describe it, but every time I hold one of those sweet girls I am overcome with a powerful emotion.  The first time I held Grace, I just cried.  I couldn't help it.  And it was more than just the sweetness of a newborn baby.  It was definitely more than that.  And sitting there yesterday holding Kaylee, all I could think about was how I was holding my story in my arms. Kaylee and Grace are adopted.  The story of their adoption is beautiful and full of God's grace.  They were rescued from their circumstances and now they are a part of a family that gives them love never ending.  That's my story.  Ephesians 1:5 says that God decided in advance to adopt me into his own family by bringing me to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. He rescued me from my circumstances.  Because He wanted to.  And it gave him great pleasure!  He has rescued me from me.  He adopted me.  I was an orphan.  Now I'm a part of a family and the daughter of a Father that gives me love never ending.  The 2 things that overwhelm me most when I hold Kaylee and Grace are this: They are so blessed and they are such a blessing.  Yes they are blessed that they've been given this life with 2 great parents who love them SO much.  But I believe even more the truth that they are a blessing to everyone who will know their story of God's grace and His hand in their lives.  And that makes me wonder if I tend to stop at just being blessed sometimes.  Or do I let the truth that I've been rescued be such a part of my story that when others come in contact with me they are faced with a powerful emotion? I wish I could answer that question with more confidence.

I can't wait for Selah to come home for so many reasons.  One of those reasons is that I know her daily presence in our family will be an ever present reminder of our own adoption story by the ultimate Father.   Please pray that our baby girl is being loved on and that we can travel to see her soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

more than one way to set a beautiful table

This time of year there seems to be a lot of emphasis placed on the ability to set a beautiful table.  No doubt the Thanksgiving and Christmas editions of Southern Living and Martha Stewart Living will be full of helpful ideas on how to decorate and set the perfect table for the holidays.  From centerpieces to place markers, the ideas will be abundant and the photos will be lovely, yet likely unachievable for the likes of me :).  People will spend countless hours and dollars trying to set the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the holidays around the table with the people they love the very most.  Now, if I'm being totally honest (and I always try to be), I have to say that I do think it's possible to go overboard with this as far as time and money are concerned.  But, I am not at all suggesting that setting a physically beautiful table is a bad thing, especially when the motivation is the love of your family and the desire to create a beautiful space to enjoy being with each other.  I would, however, like to suggest that there is more than one way to set a beautiful table....

You see, yesterday at lunch I had the privilege of sitting at a beautiful table that I believe was set by God.  At the far end of the table the place card read "Carl". Carl is a middle aged, african american man confined to a wheelchair.  Carl came with his physical therapist and our good friend, David.  David picked Carl up for church and then brought him to lunch.  That's not part of David's job as a PT, just what he does because he follows Christ.  Scattered among the place cards of the 15 children at the table were two that read "Mya" and "Chasity".  Mya and Chasity are two beautiful and precious african american girls that we take turns picking up and that spend a lot of time with our families.  They are 13 and 15 year old sisters.  Across from me sat the Glissons, a family that recently moved to town after returning from years of mission work in Uganda.  They have lots of place cards! To the mix, they bring their 4 biological children and the 2 little miracles they adopted while in Uganda, Brooks and Ansley.  

Ok, there really were no place cards.  There were no elaborate centerpieces.  This table was long and loud and scattered with dirty napkins and Jason's Deli advertisements.  There were half eaten plates of food, melted ice cream cones and empty cracker wrappers.  In order to see the beauty of this table you had to look the faces.  The faces that were black and white, old and young, rich and poor, biological and adopted, born in America and born in Africa.  As I looked up and around, I just couldn't help but feel that I was sitting at a truly beautiful table.  A table set by God with Christ as the beautiful centerpiece.  And I was filled with gratitude that one of the place cards read "Jenny".  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Duane and Sophia!

Our sweet Sophia turned 3 years old on Saturday.  There are no words adequate enough to express the joy she has brought to our family over the last 3 precious years.  At age 3 she loves to sing, dance like a ballerina, dress up like a princess (which I am slowly coming to terms with), and color in her girly coloring books.  She knows her letters and numbers and is pretty much a genius :).  She is one special little girl and I am humbled daily that God entrusted her to us.  

Little girls with big brothers get to celebrate birthdays at the soccer field :).  We did manage to take her out for lunch at The Summit and a birthday cookie in between games.

Sophia and I strolled around the mall while the boys watched a movie to pass the time until the next game in our tournament.  She picked out this fabulous hat and wouldn't leave the store without it.  I could barely pry it out of her hands to pay for it.  And really, would you have been able to say no after one look at her wearing it?! 

Noah's team came in 2nd place in the tournament and he scored a goal in one of the games.  We ended our month long birthday celebration with one last cake on Sunday night.  I just couldn't let her birthday pass by without seeing 3 candles being blown out by the sweetest girl in the world! (and as you can see, I haven't exactly found the time to take that cake decorating class just yet)

Just a couple of days before Sophia's birthday we helped Duane usher in his 38th year!  We celebrated with dinner at home (eating dinner at home could stand alone as a reason to celebrate these days) and a cinnamon roll cake.  Daddy is pretty much a celebrity around here and we are all thankful that he is ours!

I told Noah to go stand behind daddy.  Always the funny guy.

Whew, 5 birthdays in 1 month! We are thankful for so much LIFE to celebrate!  Please keep our sweet Selah in your prayers.  It is likely that she has been born and is in Ethiopia waiting for a mommy and daddy.  Our prayer is that she will be cared for and loved on until we can bring her home to her forever family.  Please join us in that prayer.  We hope to have her photo and be making plans for travel near the end of the year.  We can't wait to meet her!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Christmas Cards

Just a reminder that I will be designing custom Christmas cards again this year.  Head on over to my Etsy site to check out the rest of my new designs!  So far I have over 50 cards to choose from and I will be adding more.