Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Christmas in April? No, just Ellee's birthday!

So why are we celebrating Ellee's birthday in April when she was born in December?

Because we moved here in February, Ellee (obviously!) wasn't able to share her birthday excitement with her new preschool class. Ellee's teacher loves for each child to have a special birthday day, so she asked if we could celebrate in April. What do you think Ellee said? Yes, of course!! Here's how it went down...

the birthday girl with her birthday crown.

ellee enjoying her snack. part of the celebration is choosing what the snack for the morning will be. ellee's choice? chocolate and white powedered donuts!

ellee sharing her birthday poster with the class.

i read ellee's favorite book to her class. this is it!

ellee brought treat bags for all the kiddos in her class. we put sidewalk chalk in party bags and tied a bow with a sucker on them. the label said, "thanks for helping me 'chalk' this birthday up to a good one!" (i had cute labels made on the computer, but wouldn't ya know we couldn't get the printer working!)

the birthday girl with some of her friends!

Happy Birthday (well, not really) sweet Ellee!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

forever home

What an amazing day! We had the wonderful privilege of welcoming home our sweet niece, Feven, today! She arrived in Louisville this afternoon with her parents (Lee's brother, William and his wife, Charis) after a long journey from Ethiopia - a journey that started in the heart of her parents so many months ago. Over the past year as the family has waited for this day to arrive, a deep love for this sweet child that we had never met grew - despite the distance and time!

Being a part of this celebration today has only deepened our desire to adopt a child of our own.

I couldn't resist sharing a few pictures from today. She's just perfect!

Feven with her proud Daddy and Mommy!

Isn't she beautiful?

Daddy's Girl

This one's a little blurry, but it captures what a happy baby she is!

Friday, April 23, 2010

my BMX-in hubby

There are many things that have surprised us about our new Kentucky town. Just to name a few..

1. The CRAZY obsession with Kentucky basketball!!

2. The tornado siren that goes off EVERY Friday at exactly 12 pm.

3. The ability to get anywhere - yes, anywhere in our KY town - in 10 minutes!

4. The strange overpopulation of bunnies - the Peter Cottontail kind!

5. The amount of youth riding bikes. Now we're not talking about the ole' Huffy bikes with a basket and bell on the front - we're talking the BMX kind where you only "ride" standing up and do crazy hops, jumps and rail sliding. (I obviously don't know the lingo!)

Now many of you know my hubby and you know that he doesn't exactly - ok NOT AT ALL - fit in the BMX bike-riding-dude category. I don't mean to stereotype, but let's face it - you don't usually see guys in their J Crew jeans and Polo shirts doing a "tail whip." (Hubby gave me that trick name!) However, this didn't seem to intimidate Lee at all. He came home one day and announced that he was going to start "riding." From there, he began hanging out at the bike shop and befriended some of the guys there. He also got a bike - apparently a "cool" one - and started going to a concrete pad (where a lot of guys ride and do tricks) and made friends there as well. I'm amazed at my husband for so many things, but this is one of them, for sure! I don't think I would ever have the courage to walk onto the scene of something that I am totally unfamiliar with and know very little about, amongst 20 strangers and start introducing myself!

And here's the reason's all for the Gospel! Lee has never wanted to own a BMX bike, ride a half pipe, land a 180 or anything else remotely associated with this sport. However, it was obvious that there was a small sub-culture in our new community and Lee wanted to "be all things" to them. His desire was - and still is - to share the love of Jesus with these guys and be salt and light in their world. (Side note - I don't mean it imply in any way that these guys are not and can not be fully devoted followers of Jesus!!)

Now I'll be the first to admit that I love bragging on my man, but that's not really the intent behind sharing this! I pray that what my hubby is doing will encourage and challenge others as it has challenged me! I continue to ask God to give me the desire and courage to "go into the all the world and make disciples." I want the light of Jesus to "shine before men!" Let us not sit in church and wait for the world to come to us, but may we go out and compel them to come in!

Grandparent's Day at school

Why would nearly 30 "mature adults" be scattered around a kindergarten room watching a game of "Around the World?" For Grandparent's Day of course!!

Addie's school celebrated grandparents today in a special way. Many grandparents of these sweet children gathered in their grandchild's school room to observe and participate in their day to day activities. Addie's class also shared many songs and bible verses they had been working on with their Grandpas, Grandmas, Nanas, Papas, Mimis, Grannys, Granddaddys and Grammys! It was so sweet to see them perform proudly for these very important people! Addie was excited to have her Granddaddy and Grammy there. We are so glad they got to come! Here are a few pictures from the morning...

Grammy helping Addie with a worksheet

Addie, Grammy and Granddaddy

Addie receives a special letter...

It's a letter from Grandpa and Mimi!! They were very sad they couldn't make it to Grandparent's Day but they sent a letter of love to Addie which made her feel so special!

This afternoon as I thought about Grandparent's Day, I was reminded of how blessed I am to have such an amazing family - not only the family I was born in to, but the one I married in to as well!! My kiddos are so fortunate to have 2 sets of grandparents who love them deeply, but more importantly, who love the Lord and His Word! My girls have a Grandpa, Mimi, Granddaddy and Grammy who serve and follow Jesus and have a desire to set an example of godliness for their grandchildren. I know I don't deserve such a wonderful family, but I thank God, that by His grace alone, I do!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

the adoption journey begins

There are many times in my life when I know, without any doubt, that God is leading me and directing my path. There are other times that I'm not as aware of His guidance until later on in life. Picking a topic for my final project in a college speech class is one of those times. A few years ago, for no particular reason, I chose "international adoption" for a speech topic and began to do extensive research on the need and process of this type of adoption. Because Lee and I were already married, he was the recipient of all my new knowledge and the "audience" when I needed to practice the speech. It's safe to say we were completely unaware of how the Lord was using this project to change our lives. He began, with this project, fanning a flame of desire in our hearts for orphans. As the years have passed since then, the flame has grown stronger and brighter and has spread! Along the way, we weren't sure how or when the Lord would bring all of this to fruition, but we are so excited - and a little scared! - to share that we are beginning the journey to give an orphan a home - our home!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

crafty hand-print trees

I saw this idea somewhere - I can't claim it as my own! - and I wanted to give it a try. I'm a sucker for anything that has my girl's handprint on it! I tweaked it a bit so it's not exactly like the original. Here's how it all happened...

1. First, I gathered all the supplies - Mod Podge (one of my favorite craft supplies), brushes (to apply the Mod Podge), brown fabric, scrap green fabric, burlap, and foam board.

2. Next, I covered the foam board with burlap. I think the original called for canvas board, but I opted for foam board because it was cheaper and the finished project looked the same. As you can see, I used my 15 year old stapler to do the covering.

3. Cutting out the little leaves was the part of the project I disliked the most. I used several different scraps of green fabric the make the leaves of the trees. You can cut them any size or shape you want.

4. After I had all the leaves cut out, I began attaching them to the burlap covered boards with the Mod Podge. I didn't have a particular design in mind - I just glued until I had the look of the tree I wanted.

5. I failed to take a picture of this step, but I traced the girl's hand and arm on the brown fabric. Then I cut out their hand and arm. After I had the leaves on the board the way I wanted them, I used Mod Podge to attach the "trunk."

I made one for each of the girl's hands. I thought these trees were adorable and a fun, personalized addition to a room. The girls were able to help create these which makes anything I do a little more special!

Monday, April 5, 2010

celebrating the risen Savior!

Easter is truly one of my favorite celebrations of the year! I absolutely LOVE sharing in the joy and excitement that comes on Sunday morning knowing that Christ has risen! We serve a glorious God and a living Savior!!

Our amazing Easter weekend began when some of my family came to visit us. My parents, aunt and cousin came to see our new home and we had a great time!

(my parents, my girls, Aunt Joyce and Lacie)

Easter morning...

On Sunday afternoon, we spent time at my Grandparent's house. The girls were able to have an egg hunt...

home sweet home

Maybe it's the familiar smells, or maybe it's the expected creak of the hall door, but whatever the reason, there is nothing like going home. Thankfully, the girls and I are spending our spring break in Georgia with my parents and we're loving every moment of it! I think I have the most loving, giving and servant-hearted parents anyone could ask for which makes the time here all the more enjoyable! We are soaking in the relaxing days by the pool, rides on the golf cart and honestly, doing nothing!! There is such a tremendous feeling of love, comfort and safety with being home.

And even as I type this, I cannot help but think of what it will be like when we are home - truly home! This world is not our home - we are passing through. The feeling that I get each time I drive up to Mom and Dad's quaint little home does not even begin to compare to what it will be like to be home with our Savior! But until that day, I take delight in being with my with the sqeaking hall door and with the gnats and all the things that are so familiar and comfortable!