Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Twins.....(and a shout out)

Ok, so they are really something like 18 months apart...BUT...they seriously act like "twins"!! LL acts OLD for her age, George acts like a BABY for just turning 3..and well....put that together and they seem to be ABOUT on the same page!!! :) (and nearly the same size :)

The older 3 yell, "Mom, come quick...look how cute they are being together!!" I come around the corner and see these two riding the Zebra together...They get a complete audience from their older 3 siblings (ages 5, 6 and 8)...and well...they HAM it up for me!!! And, I, of course, grab the camera!!! These two make me smile all day!!! Seriously funny little people together!!

And, to think that people say to me ALL THE TIME: "Maybe I'll consider adoption when MY children get older!!" Ummmmm....LL is as much MY child as my first 4.....so.....WHY WAIT?? Everyone is missing out on LOTS of fun times they could be having together NOW!!! Just my thoughts from the day as I saw HOW MUCH FUN they have together AND how much they LOVE each other!!! :) I certainly could have waited too....oh, but I'm so glad I didn't!! :)

***And an OVER DUE SHOUT OUT.....Please visit www.adamandamberstutzman.blogspot.com to help out in their tshirt sells!!! They are also doing a GIVE AWAY right now..so go see if you can WIN one of these shirts!! I just got mine in the mail and I LOVE IT!!! They are ONLY $12.00!! Can't beat that!!


***That's it tonight folks...More shout outs soon, I promise :) I'm tired cause my "twins" have me chasing them ALL day....Oh, and I tried that "quiet" library place again today with my 5 little people...and well...George and LL just didn't quite grasp the concept of being "quiet"!! Pretty sure they'd be happy if we never came back!! :) Happy Tuesday to you all, kj

Monday, June 28, 2010

June Family African Fellowship Group....

We hosted the JUNE African Fellowship Group YESTERDAY, Sunday, at our home!!! Oh, it was so much fun!! These people just speak RIGHT TO MY HEART!! There is NOTHING better in this world than seeing my house and yard (literally every square inch) covered with families and people that "think alike" and "get it"!! Each one of these families inspire me and encourage me to be a better person EACH AND EVERY DAY!! There were WAY MORE PEOPLE and children than I could even count!!! I kept losing my camera, so I didn't get ALL the pics I wanted, but here are a few:

Above, little Miss Poppy Dip (yes, my camera was yucky or something)..BUT...for some GREAT pics (much better than mine) head on over to the Poppy Dip blog: http://www.itspoppydipblog.blogspot.com/
I must explain these WET pics...We knew it would be HOT...so we provided MANY water soakers and such...and well...it kept ALL the big kids entertained for a LONG TIME!! They had "WATER WAR" going on from what I heard!!!

We not only used our back yard, but also our drive way, our basement and well...really our entire home was filled!!!

The stage in the kid's playroom was a hit!!

(above, my nephew Nathan...getting so BIG)!! He was adopted from Ethiopia almost 2 years ago by my sister Kelly!! Wow, where has the time gone!

I loved chatting with the families that came by to just "inquire" about adoption!! So neat to keep seeing God at work in people's hearts!!

Oh, such cute kiddos!!!!

The Stivers came in from Kentucky....pictured above...so glad they could make it!!

Oh, this little Ethiopian Beauty, Hope, just hurts me with her cuteness!!! :)

My friend Karen, my videographer and photographer, came by to hang too with her boys!!

The dessert table.....yuuummmmyyyyy!!!

LL got to hang with her travel buddy Silas too!!

LL just gets MORE "giddy" as the night goes on....By the time everyone leaves, she's on a sugar high and ready to "cheese" for the camera!!! And that's what she yells in these pics: "CHEEEESE"!!!

And, the kids turn the camera on me for ONE LAST PIC before we get them all in bed!!!
**I'm just straight up blessed for knowing all these families and following their journeys!! If someone had told me 5 years ago that I'd have 5 children and one from Ethiopia and I'd host hundreds of African children/families in my back yard....I would never have believed them!! It blows me mind THE PLANS the Lord has for our life THAT YOU JUST HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT!!! By simply saying "YES" to God's Plan, our life has been BLESSED more than I could have ever imagined possible!!!
Thanks everyone for coming last night...And, happy Monday to you all, kj
P.S. Just remembered a shout out for a fellow AGCI family: Check out www.godetchedyourname.blogspot.com for some great stuff being raffled off for their adoption!! She's also a talented writer with a big heart!! :) enjoy kj

Saturday, June 26, 2010


So, you ALL MUST read my friend Andrea's post!! She's in Ethiopia RIGHT NOW getting ready to pick up her NEW SON!! She's SUCH a talented writer and reading her post from her hotel room just made me LONG to be back in Ethiopia!! Andrea is pictured above when she came to our home with her cute fam on Halloween morning to meet us for the first time!!!
We hit it off right away..especially when I found out that she was a photographer and could snap cute pics of my kids and send them to me!!! :)

She's come back to town MANY times since our first meeting last October..and let me tell ya...that isn't a short drive!! But, I've been blessed to follow her adoption road to her son, Isaac, who is nothing short of a miracle!!

Andrea is LOVED by her AGCI family and everyone is rooting her on from the USA as she picks up Baby Isaac tomorrow!!! (above, a play date at my house she attended :)

And, as if she wasn't busy planning to leave for Africa already, she came in last week to celebrate LL's One Year Home with us!! Yes, it was a HOT night and I was very sticky...but I loved this pic she got of a few of us that night!!
***So, for a GREAT, INSPIRATIONAL READ....Head on over to www.babeofmyheart.com and soak in every word she writes!!! You won't be sorry!!! :) And, be looking for my post Friday or Saturday as WE drive the many hours this time to greet them HOME from Ethiopia at their airport!!! I cant' wait to meet Baby Isaac!!! Yayyyy!!!
Happy Saturday to you all, kj

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Father's Day (just a little late :)

Yes, I'm running a little late on this post, but I couldn't let it go....We had a GREAT day on Father's Day...and I just NEEDED to share ALL the fathers in my life with ya.......
We headed to Kentucky on Father's Day Sunday...We were able to let the kids have some water play at Jules and Poppy's house first, pictured above.... (thanks for the great lunch too Jules) Then we headed to my sister Kasey's house where I got to visit with MY grandpa (pictured above)...He's still a very cool and young Grandpa...He might be a retired doc, but you can find him in the skies most days STILL flying his airplanes around!! He LOVES flying and took me MANY times as a kid...I have great memories of visiting them in California during my childhood, but now they've retired in Kentucky to be closer with family..and I'm so glad they did!! Grandpa is getting ready to take my hubby up in the air for his FIRST small plane ride!! I'll be sure to post some pics :)

And, above is MY DAD!! Yes, he's always had a VERY unique sense of "style"!! LOL :) My dad was a Recon Marine during the Vietnam War, and these days you'll still find him Practicing Criminal Defence Law in his law firm he started MANY years ago in our small town back in KY!! He says they'll have to carry him out before he'll retire!! :) I worked in my dad's office for many years during my younger years!! I was a "runner"!!! :) It was fun running around the local court house all the time and even getting to go sit in on some of my dad's cases!! :) I almost thought about going to law school for about a minute...but...decided being a teacher would be WAY more fun!! :)

Here's my hubby with his Dad!! Poppy was in the Navy during World War II !! He even worked for my Grandpa for a few years during his banking career!! (kind of cool :) He's now retired and enjoying his grandchildren!!! :) Poppy is loved by everyone in town!!

Then here's the BEST DADDY in the world....MY HUBBY!!! Yes, I'm a little bias, but MY HUBBY ROCKS!!! Our kids are SO blessed to have him as their Daddy!! He devotes his every day to our children and they will be BETTER people some day because of this!!! :) I never need one gift EVER from my hubby cause watching him with our children is GIFT ENOUGH each and every day!!! (and yes, I failed to get a pic of him with all 5 kiddos this year...not sure HOW I got distracted :) Happy Father's Day Hubby!!! The kids and I think you are BEST Daddy in the world!!! And, since we WERE in Kentucky...I thought I'd show a pic of LL on her cousin's John Deer Tractor!!! :) Gotta love Kentucky!!!! :)

And, to this FUTURE father....he's gonna be ready!!! You can look up ANY day and find this scene!! He loves carrying her around, but he just doesn't have that HIP yet that the girls have to carry around Little Miss Lucy Lane yet!! :) He says, "Some day I'm going to adopt a baby 'gill' from Ethiopia JUST LIKE LUCY LANE!!! :) " too cute!!! :)

So, Happy LATE Father's Day and Happy Friday to you all!!! kj

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another Great Fundraising Idea...

A while back I did a post on Fundraising Ideas!! You can read that by clicking HERE!!! And, I'm adding it to my side bar too since I'm still asked weekly for IDEAS on fundraising!!! Well, I went straight from the airport last night (see last night's post) to an AWESOME fundraiser for the Raining Season!! The Raining Season is a non-profit literally SAVING orphaned children in Sierra Leone, Africa. These children are NOT adoptable at this time since Sierra Leone is closed for adoptions!!! BUT this didn't stop a few local women from GOING to Sierra Leone and literally taking starving and neglected orphaned children from the streets and giving them shelter, hope and love at The Covering (the Covering is a building they bought that now houses something like 80 + orphaned children)!! These women are AMAZING!! My sister, Kelly, traveled with them last year as they opened The Covering for the first time. Their site is http://www.therainingseason.org/ !!

I thought I'd share last night's fundraising idea because I KNOW some of you can use it to raise money for your own ADOPTIONS!! It was called a Penny Carnival! It was held in some one's back yard (thanks Charlene) and games, food, desserts, etc. are set up all over the lawn and deck...Families from all over the community are welcome and encouraged to bring anyone they know!! Children and parents drop coins in a basket/jar to play each game!! Dollar bills are dropped too...really ANY amount of money plays the game!! They did have a dollar price on the hot dog dinner (something like $2 or $3 bucks)...and Erica from The Raining Season was there set up selling her tshirts too (which I'm wearing in the video below)!! And, the dessert table which also just cost some coins WAS DELICIOUS!! Even drinks cost coins!! And, EVERYTHING was donated by different families (for example, we signed up to bring juice boxes and individually wrapped baked goods) that way all proceeds went straight to The Raining Season with no over head!! They did it from 5 -7 on a Wednesday evening and they had a HUGE turn out!!

So, if you want to see it IN ACTION..you can watch below...Someone was filming last night and sent us the video today he made on his new Mac Computer!! :) (and I didn't know I was being filmed or I would have at least smiled for the camera :) And, as always..pause my music at the bottom of my page to hear this music so you don't get DOUBLE :)

And, if you'd like to learn MORE about The Raining Season, you can watch the video below from their most recent trip they JUST got back from...It is an incredible video and will certainly break your heart in two for these precious children!!! My friend Amy that I've known for years JUMPED ON BOARD this last trip and was able to go!! Visiting Africa will certainly change your life and your perspective on things...Enjoy:

Sierra Leone May 2010 Team Trip from The Raining Season on Vimeo.

***They also keep a blog at www.savetheorphan.blogspot.com if interested in keeping up with these energetic women making a HUGE difference in Sierra Leone, Africa!!!

Happy Thursday to you all, kj

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

147 Million Minus 2 More...Joseph and Daisy are HOME!

Yes, there are TWO more children that HAVE A FAMILY TONIGHT!!! Praise God!! Do you remember when I gave my girl, Gwen, her Adoption Shower??????It was so surreal to remember the shower, the years of praying for Joseph and Daisy, the ups and downs of getting them home....then.....

WHAM.....in an instant..the pain is gone and right before your eyes STANDS A MIRACLE!! Two children brought out of the depths of loneliness to a family waiting with open arms...It is a beautiful sight to see:
Above, Dad with his new son Joseph.

Then...we have Mom with new daughter, Daisy (being loved on by big sister :)

I do believe this might have been the largest crowd I've ever seen at the airport....SO MANY adopting families came out to show Gwen love and support as they got off the plane!!!

loved this above sign........

LL got to even see her buddy Silas for a little bit too!!! fun!!!

You can read ALL about Gwen's journey to Uganda by visiting her blog at www.oatsvallteam.blogspot.com!! Welcome home Joseph and Daisy!! We're so glad you are finally home SAFELY with your forever family!!! Praising God for His Faithfulness!!
Happy Wednesday to you all, kj