Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beautiful snow...

sometimes when a winter gets this long and this cold, we have to go out and find the beauty in it! (You can see more posted on my photo'll see my button on the right)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Finalization Party

Our finalization for our adoption was acually in December, but no one was there with us to celebrate and we were all so busy with the holidays nothing got done. It was always my intension to have a party with our friends and family so this month we got the date set and had a simple little party with cake, ice cream, friends and family....Here are some pics of our night.
The cake turned out beautiful...We called the "cake boss" same lady who made Gracies Birthday Cake.
This is just a few of the kids :-)
Me (holding my friends baby Noah), Jamie, Stacey (expecting in April), Mariah (holding my Gracie)
Im so excited for Mariah and her husband Brian, they are just starting the adoption process for Ethiopia Africa! I know God is going to bless them so much for saying yes to this calling!!
My mom, My sis, and Me!
Tukuro (from Japan), talking with Terry . Eric from Korea was somewhere...
Some of the guys!!
I wish I would have gotten pics of everyone, but this is what I had...the night got busy with visiting, and i did not get as many as i wanted to. Thanks everyone for making it over to celebrate this special time with us. You have no idea how much this means to us!!

First Hair Cut

Today was a big day..Gracie's first hair cut, and party tonight. She did so great, and it was good the stylist was quick. We were not going to do bangs, but Grace moved as she was trimming the ends and there we she has bangs. :-) She is soo cute!
See her playing with my phone...this helped her to stay distracted!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-ok maybe just a few words :-)

"mama , holdy" :-)

my little baker....she made these for her friends b-day. So sweet!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Adoption Tax Credit -Sample Letters for Senators..

I got this site from another blogger friend. This is an easy way to write your senators...Keep this going and post it on your blogs as well. Beth!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Adoption Tax Credit...

ThereI saw this post on another bloggers site  "FOr Such As These" and wanted to help spread the word!
There is a bill - H.R. 213 Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009 that is in committee right now in congress that enables adoptive family to get a credit on taxes for their adoption expenses. If it doesn't pass, I have been told that it will go it will go back down to $5000 (this bill is for around $12,000 over a 5 yr period) This credit is what a lot of families rely on (including us) to use to pay off their adoption debt.

I did some research this morning. Here is a link showing where this bill is at and to keep updated on it.
If you could take five minutes to go to the site below to contact our officials and let them know that you support this act, I would appreciate it (as will other adoptive families!)
Here is a link that will walk you through telling your elected officials what you think. You search by zip code for your officials and then if you hit contact you can use a web form to contact them.
I am also asking other adoptive families to also help spread the word on this issue to all family and friends!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is God Telling me something?

If you remember several weeks ago I wrote about holy discontent. I have been feeling this pushing from God to be involved with an organization for orphans. Not knowing where, with who, what..I just kept praying about it. I knew I was not to just sit still. In the mean time, I started to collect "Dresses For Orphans" in my dance business. My goal is to collect 200 dresses. In one week we collected around 37 dresses.  When I began this I had no idea where God would want these dresses to go, but I knew they would go to Ethiopia Africa to one or several orphanages...what ever God has planned it will all work out, and I trust him to work out the details and lead me in the right direction. As soon as I made the poster and announced it in my dance newsletter I got an email from a friend of mine that is involved in helping an organization called Look Development. Look Developement is an organization doing amazing things in Ethiopia Africa.....anyway she asked if I would want to come to a group meeting and prayer time for people who want to help in certain areas and work to reach the goals for LD.  I was greatful to finally get that invite!

 I had the opportunity to meet Amanda Deserro and her husband Matt (with Look Dev.) when they visited our State back in November during a information meeting they had to share there story about their project with LD, recieve prayer, get sponsors for the children, and funding to build a huge facility with medical care, housing, schooling and support for these children. Funny thing is that before I met her in person, I was already starting to get to know Amanda through emails for different things. We wished we did not live so far apart from one another and could share daily life together more.

Now your probebly wondering what Im getting at..well the meeting and prayer time for look development was tonight. I was tired, and had been seriously running all day, but Yes I felt God telling me to go. I went and met some great people.......
As I heard more information, personal stories of specific children my insides became an emotional reck....or in other words hummbled even more...The stories are real, this project is real...the children...the children!!!!!...I feel so small God! .... but with a huge heart to be your hands and feet! Your right Lord when you say "once our eyes are opened we can not pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs my heart and keeps my soul knows that I know, and holds us all responsible to act."  I kept my emotions tight and close to heart tonight hoping no one would notice, except for the sniffle now and then. But I was moved so much tonight not just by the stories and the great things going on...but by the fact that I felt like God was putting me right where he wants me...I believe he is telling me something! Collecting dresses may seem small, but it is something, and everything we do starts with someone doing something to make a difference. I know God has wonderful amazing things in store I can feel it deep in my soul. Thank you to those of you who have reached out to me through prayers and leaving nice comments of encouragement or sharing your own personal stories with me.....I am thankful for the envolvement I can have with this group. I know if God has more in his plan the doors will also continue to open.

Wordless Wednesday-

Mac n cheese and a movie...with best buddies!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

10 Months Home Today....

I can not believe that 10 months ago we were waiting for Gracies plain to arrive! I remember the night before watching the plain on the internet where you can track exactly where they were in the air. It was amazing to watch that and know that my daughter is on that plain. While in the airport waiting for the plain to come in and land time seemed to stand still and then it took forever for them to get off the plain. Of course IM not a very patient person anyway...We were so anxious to hold her and see her for the first time! Oh my goodness what a Glorious Day!! It is amazing to me how much she has grown and become such a sweet little, smart, and loving baby girl. She is really starting to talk alot, and has figured out if she says "peez peez" (please) in her sweet little voice, she will nearly get whatever she wants! I said "nearly". :-)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day! We thought today was the best day to wear our new Tshirts "Simply Love" supporting orphans in Ethiopia Africa. Remember  my post I wrote about this great organization with Hope Chest...well we were so excited when they came in the mail last week!
Here are the girls with there stuffed animals!
Valentines day is my favorite holiday..spending it with the ones we love so dear!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Great Anniversary..

Kids took a pic of us as we were about to go out on our date...
Somehow he snuck outside because about 10 minutes later the doorbell was ringing...So I went to the door to then find him with a big bundle of beautiful flowers for me. Luckily I was all ready and the kids were situated with the baby sitter.... so out the door we went for our date. We went to a really nice restaurant and sat in the best seat in the place. Someone was playing live piano which made the atmosphere very romantic and relaxing...just what we have needed for quite some time now. We enjoyed some very great conversation with eachother without any interuptions..and then he surprised me with a beautifully wrapped box..........
Inside this box, was this new beautiful necklace!! How funny that I was wearing an outfit that it totally matched with. He told me later that as I was getting ready for our date he was sooo pumped at the outfit that I chose as he knew it would be perfect for the night. I absolutly love love love this special gift, but most of all I love this man who seemed to pull out the romance on this night.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Have I told you lately ...that I love you!

Happy 16 year Anniversary Hunny!..I remember the day I married you like it was yesterday..It was night time, lots of snow on the ground and remember the beautiful huge snow flakes that were falling from the sky! All the candles were lit in the church, and i was preparing to walk down the aisle to the man that God gifted me with. I remember as I was walking towards you our eyes locked in on one another I couldn't believe how blessed I was! Hunny, thank you for so many things, thank you for being here for me when I have needed you, thank you for listening, thank you for being my shoulder to cry on, thank you for letting me always follow my many dreams even if they seem crazy, you make me proud to be your wife! Thank you for loving me through good times and bad! I look forward to many many more celebrations with you! I love you!
1994 Above
2006 above (yes i was a blonde)

2010 ..I think he still is in love with me...can you tell?
Happy 16 year anniversary hunny!
Remember this song was the song we had our first dance to as husband and wife!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Dresses for Orphans"

"Holy Disontent" is certainly what I have been feeling for many months now....I know that God has been leading me to be a voice for orphans of our world, I know this without a doubt, I know he would like to put me into action rather than doing nothing. I still do not know exactly where He is going to lead me to, but in the mean time I have decided that I can not sit still any longer and I want to start to do something. I have decided to start an outreach for the month of February called "Dresses for Orphans".  With owning a dance studio and having a zillion girls I guess this is where I decided to start. I announced it in my newsletter last week and the kids are getting really excited. Then I decided to ask my kids school if they would not mind also jumping on board and let me put up a couple flyers. They just said Yes! So this morning I decided to send my pastor an email and ask if the church would also get on board with this. Hopefully I hear good new on that today as well.  The goal number I had in my head is a strong 200 dresses. But I am excited to see what God will really bring! Finally my passion and energy can be focused in one area to make a difference. I know it may be something small, but it is something that will put a smile on many of the orphaned girls in Ethiopia Africa. As I have posted before I don't know which organization God wants me to work with, but I have had contact with 3 different ones. I know he will open the door wide to where ever he wants me to go. For now Im collecting dresses, and I know God will unfold all the details of what orphanage in Ethiopia Africa they will go to . I am praying big and that we can send them to about 3 different ones! Hang on tight ...the ride begins!! If you would like to donate dresses please contact me by email and I will get you an address to send them to! Please keep our family and this outreach in your prayers! Thanks you and God Bless!

Friday, February 5, 2010

18 months old

I can't believe my baby girl is already 18 months old. Where has the time gone? I feel like she has been in our arms forever, but really it has only been almost 10 months. People always ask me how is Gracie has "adjusted"....Some seem surprised when I tell them how wonderful she is doing, and how much she is talking, learning , and growing! But seriously it is all because of God's hand....He calls us to take care of the orphaned and He sure is not going to leave us, he helps us through the whole process! She bonded to us right from the start, and I feel adjusted fairly quickly. For us, it seems as though she has always been with us, always a part of us! We are so blessed with this sweet little baby girl. Her peronality is amazing! 
Above it a picture of my invitation to our friends and family to celebrate with us on her adoption finalization. I know it is two months later, but the holidays were really busy, so now finally Im throwing together a party for a nice celebration...I think we all deserve it, and it will be nice to see everyone that was really praying for us during that time...and still continue to pray for our family. Be looking in the mail this week. :-)
Getting bundled up to go get kids from school, She did not want her photo taken..can you tell? heehee
Some of her new milestones include:
Talking alot, new words every single day..
Deciding she want to go on the potty like the big kids do
love playing on the computer
Pouts if she does not get her way
loves to dance, and sing
loves Elmo and asks to watch him
She will initiate a hug and kiss now
Much more affectionate
Really enjoys to be read to
Like to be at the dance studio with mommy
Hates when mommy has to go anywhere without her
7 teeth and getting two more way back ones
likes to go out side in the snow
sleeps from 8:30pm to 8:30am
Eats everything and anything
Easy going, and so happy!
We are blessed!