Wednesday, July 16, 2014

To young women and men everywhere!!

As you can imagine having preteen/teens in the home brings you to a new level of prayer!!  I mean like as in all the time!!!  Prayers for them to grow in faith, to keep them safe, to block out things they shouldn't see, to bring them God honoring friends, for their future spouse, but also for them to stay pure and wait.  Oh that is soooo hard. 
When we buck the trend we are really in for the questions from others who think we are crazy as well as our children.  We don't try to brain wash them, but to help them understand God's Best and Our Best for them!  They have their own minds I can assure you and thoughts, but we have very open conversations about marriage, dating, courting, why do this, why not do this.....all open book here!!! 

Dear Young Man,

I know a lot about YOU because I was your age a few years back, and I remember it well, so listen up......Maybe you’ve been ‘interested’ in girls lately. Online, Facebook, at the beach, school, and maybe you’re interested in a sweet ‘church girl’. That’s all well and good, but I need to tell you something:

When you ‘look’ at my daughter and ‘think’ about her I want you to also ‘think’ about her Daddy. You see, I will always see her as a precious princess sitting on my lap, hearing my heartbeat as she sleeps on my chest, running into my arms as I walk through the door, giving and receiving her butterfly kisses. SHE IS A PRECIOUS PRINCESS, and I WILL ALWAYS see her this way, and so will God. She is not your ‘eye candy’ or some ‘sweet thing’ to look at. She needs to be treated with honor, with respect, and with with respect to the mother and father who raised her.

If you see her the way her mother, God and I do, then you will understand how important it is to keep your eyes and heart pure when it comes to her, to wait until your wedding day before touching her intimately. To wait until your wedding day to kiss her. Can you do that? If not, then move along, she’s not for you. If you can wait (and she‘s worth the wait), then you are on the road to being a man of honor, and only then will I consider your interest in her.

 Dear Young Ladies,

You see these handsome young men? They are MINE as in I am their momma!!! Let me share something with you. When you look at my boys you see handsome, respectable young men. They are indeed just that. They are also my little boys. They always will be my little boys. They reached up for my heart and hands first. That is the way I will always view them. 

Maybe you have got the bug- you know the boy crazy bug? Yep, I had it too when I was younger, but it didn't really help me. It made me long for something that really wasn't mine. You see we are helping our boys stay pure in a world that is anything but. Help us out. Please don't follow them around or ooggle over them. They need to hear how amazing they are FROM ME and their DADDY not from someone who will date them and break their hearts 2 weeks later!!! 

Also, I am trying to show our boys respect for all young ladies, but when you wear those short shorts, shirts that show cleavage, dental floss bikinis, or make kissy faces on your FB feeds - YOU ARE NOT HELPING US!! Please- I know you don't always mean anything by it! I know you may want a young man to protect you and give you respect. Please go to your father or mother for those things. I know some of you don't have that- please pray that God would lead you to Himself HE can be your father figure who wants you, tells you that you are beautiful, and wants what is the absolute best for you! 

When it comes to our boys I want them to remain pure and focused on being the best godly father on the planet. Hey, we have taught them to change diapers, play with younger kiddos, cook, do laundry, the whole works! I want them to feel comfortable with hanging out with their mom and dad! I want them to chase after God not short skirts or an inappropriate photo or video!!

So here is the deal. In order to have the husband YOU DESERVE we need to take a step back from what society thinks is normal. You know date tons of men/women, kiss and tell, and much more that we don't need to detail. We strive for a "hands off" approach to ladies until they find that special young lady they will marry! 

Believe me ladies----- when it comes time for them to find a young lady. YOU WILL BE THANKING ME!!! You will say oh my goodness......why would I have wanted it any other way? PROMISE!!!

Their Momma!!!

 We know not everyone agrees with us and that is fine, but these were notes we wanted to share because sometimes as a parent it is scary.....  When you consider websites available from phones, FB, media, magazines at the check out.....  Then add in those changes that God created in us as we change from girls to ladies and boys to young men.  Well sometimes it would be easier just to lock them away in a closet!!! 

Believe me we joke about that often.  Not because we want our children to be sheltered, but yes in a way we do!!!  We want our children's innocence in tact!  We don't want them concentrating on things that are not appropriate for anyone.  We want them to know they whys, the hows, and the whens!!  But not from a s*x happy media, but from people who have lived life and have found out our own mistakes. 
We want them to ask questions NOW and daily!!!  We want them to learn and grow in God First!!  We want them to be pure and faultless (doesn't mean they and we won't make mistakes because we do) before their Heavenly Father and Their Bride or Groom one day!!! 

Just thinking about it gives me chills.  I want them to have a pure and beautiful love for their spouse that is not polluted!  We have been praying since they were babies for this very thing....and we have tried our best to help them attain that!!! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS Will & Holly - It's a Boy!!!

 Will and Holly started with Christian Adoption Consultants on January 4th!  The finished their paperwork, profile, and all those home study bits and were already matched by April 30th!  
May 19th this sweet face appeared and their world is forever changed!!!
 Holly shares:  After many many years of struggling with infertility and 7 miscarriages we still felt God wasn't done with our family. I turned to Facebook one day in January to ask how to even start a domestic adoption. I had many responses but two people strongly recommended not even starting without the help of Jason and Dawn Wright at CAC. So I checked the website out and realized we needed some help with everything! 
 After one phone call with Dawn I knew we were in the right hands. We started our home study right away and it was finished towards the beginning of April. Jason and Dawn did all of our paperwork and made our profile book for us! They answered ALL those questions you feel silly for asking and never thought a thing about it!
 When I felt the process was long and nobody wanted us since we had two kids already Dawn was there to reassure me there was a baby for us! They "held" our hands when we felt alone and gave us SO much exposure to situations!
OnApril 29th I got an email from one of the agencies they directed us towards saying we were chosen by a birth mom!! On May 19th we welcomed our son into our family! We can't imagine our lives without him! Needless to say I would never adopt again unless we had them walking with us!

WE ARE SO THRILLED FOR YOUR FAMILY!!!!  CONGRATULATIONS WILL, HOLLY, and your entire family!!!!  What a beautiful baby boy :)

If you have questions about Christian Adoption Consultants, how it works, what is the difference between an agency and a consultant, or anything else to do with adoption don't hesitate to contact me!  813-360-7368 or email

Friday, June 27, 2014

Becoming Oily

 Awwww......aren't they cute??  :)  So we got a new camera.  Finally!!!  However, I just now actually downloaded the pics so now I have more catching up to do. 
 This was Joanna's reaction to Mommy, Abigail, and Andrew being HOME from camp!!!  She was thrilled to have us all back again.  She really struggled with having us gone.  A big shout out to my awesome hubby who held it all together!!! 
 So these are some pics that I didn't post in Abagail's birthday pic post because... I hadn't downloaded them yet ;).

So I enjoy sharing what our family is doing.  So here is the deal....we are becoming oily.  THIS IS NOT A SELL JOB!!!  I am not going to start posting all the time about the wonders of Essential Oils mainly because there are literally 100's of people doing this already, and I have information on my pin board about oils too!!! 

I just simply want to share what I have learned so far.  :)
 I have ordered Essential Oils from both DoTerra & Young Living :)  he he he....cause I did.  It's all good and I am pretty sure I am not going to be captured by the police for it!!!  I have many friends that sell them both, and I was curious about them. 

I do have to say that Young Living's intro Oil packet (so to speak) is cheaper!!!  That's all I am saying about that. 
 So I am a believer in Thank You Lord for medicines, doctors, surgeries, and THE GREAT DOCTOR'S HEALING.  God made us to think and use our skills to help each other.  However, something about constantly taking medicines for everything is also worrying.  I am not one to hand out medicine on a regular basis.  I use sparingly.  However, I do also want my babies to be comfortable as well as myself. 

That is where the oils have come in!!!  With just the intro pack so to speak I have been able to take care of many "everyday" things.  From rashes from unknown source, poison ivy (specifically), headaches, body aches, bug bites, ear aches, congestion, sinus control, sore throat, sun burn, and more.  It seems a bit crazy at first.  Learning what is for what, but now Joanna will even come to me and say mommy I need some lavender for my itch, etc.  It's kinda adorable!!!  
 I think the thing is using oils is natural and unless you are allergic to them there are no side affects that I have seen.  Now you can't use them and then stick your finger in your eye before washing your hands ;), but really they are very family friendly.  And the oils last a looonnngggg time even in a family our size!!! 
 I know there are many combinations of oils too that can really help children from hard places.  We have just started our journey in that.  I think it took quite a while to really convince me of "is this real"  ;).  I can say that we have been using some to help Joanna go to sleep at night which is a real issue for her.  They seem to be helping- YEA!!!! 
 I think too when you have children who are from hard places there are times when you want to "give them something" because they ask.  I definitely don't want to just have them "popping pills".  Giving them oils is another way to say yes without harming them for sure!!!  Some of our kiddos struggle and I want to say yes as much as I can!!!  Kind of like Karen Purvis' - give them a 100 bandaids if that is what they need.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Give them an oil!!!  Especially when you know it will help too :) in more ways than one. 
 Awwww.......isn't this sweet??  This is what I came home to.  :)  I must be loved and missed!!!!
He got me roses and a laptop pillow for my bed.  :)  Have a blessed weekend!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Just Get Out There!!!

 Now before I get loads of comments on is this a ketchup commercial, are you an extreme couponer, or do you really buy that much is the answer to all the above.  This is our date night from last week that of course ends up at Walmart ;).  Don't all great dates end up there or Sam's or Target??  OK never mind just us then?
(Picture above from our "date night" with Joshua- we went to see a semi-pro basketball game with him, and he loved it!)

So the real reason of this post is that I saw an article that got me thinking on some things.  It was about putting on your swimsuits moms and dads and get in the water with your kids.  Don't let your insecurities get to you.  Don't allow your personal thoughts about your body stop you from doing things. 

So I started thinking about myself.  Do I ever allow my thoughts about myself stop me from doing things with and for my children.  I think the answer for all of us is Yes.  Now maybe not because of our own self image, but maybe for other reasons too. 
 Maybe it's because you are trying to "get ahead" in your work so you keep saying no to playing with your children.  Maybe it's because you really just don't like an activity.  Maybe it is self image, not just in your swimsuit, but what if those people at the park stair at me being silly with my children.  Maybe it is about what others at church will think of you if you raised your hands or got into your worship to the point you weren't worried about others around you. 
 We have all done it at some point to some degree.  I have certainly said well I don't want others to look at me in that way.  I don't want others at church to see me as "different".  I don't want to be made to be silly because I stink at this sport.  I don't want to be known as "that mom" who does it all.  The list could go on.....
 I want to take time to encourage you!  You who (like me) has some extra pounds, who isn't good at a sport, who thinks people may think you are crazy.  JUST GET OUT THERE!!! 

I promise you your children won't remember that part.  What they will remember is - MY PARENTS GOT OUT THERE!  They may have stunk at basketball but they played with me or took me to a basketball game and cheered loudly from the sidelines with me.  They may have not been able to swim laps like I do, but they got in the pool with me and we splashed and had so much fun.  They couldn't sing worth anything, but they sang praises to God with all their heart in worship to Him. 
They will remember the important times when YOU WERE THERE for them.  Physically spending time with them.  Saying I am here with you and enjoying these moments with you.  Those cute videos I have of all of Micheal's achievements those are because since the beginning when he does his therapies Jason or I are there with him.  We are there cheering him on.  When he cries or struggles like he did in today's therapy that we are humming along to calm him down.  We and the therapists are telling him you can do this! 

Now, I am sure Michael could do a lot in therapy with or without us there, but how much more can he do because we are WITH HIM!  Getting involved. 

Sitting on the sidelines is sometimes needed.  Sometimes we have to take a sanity break, but sometimes we just need the encouragement that we need to GET OUT THERE because my children NEED ME!!  They need me to get in there and be with them.  :)

No condemnation here---- just encouragement!!!!  We are all struggling parents trying to do our best ;)  What can you do today to be more involved with your kiddos?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Spiritual Growth & Happy 12th Adoption Day Abigail!!!

 Sometimes in our life there are times of huge spiritual growth and sometimes there are seasons of slow growth.  Sometimes we even feel stagnant.  I would love to say that I am a "perfect Christian", but that would be so unrealistic!!!!  I mean it just is for anyone!  
 These past few years have been hard.  Struggles I never thought I would face.  Challenging behaviors in our home- and that is just my behaviors forget the kids or hubby! 
 This past week I was able to go to camp with over 100 jr/sr youth from our church!!!  I have to say that I LOVE CAMP!!!!  Even though we knew we couldn't stay where we were before has no bearing on the fact that I LOVE CAMP!!!  I love the ministry that happens there....I love the campers.....I love sharing Jesus.....I love playing with other adults and kids in an atmosphere of FUN!!!!  I LOVE WORSHIP and just focusing on where my heart is and where it needs to be!!!
 So it was great to get back to something that I love, but also because I have been seeking hard after Him.......and waiting....and waiting.  This past week I felt breakthrough.  I felt like I was there for the campers first and foremost, but also that God had a plan for me too!  That I needed to remember WHOSE I AM! 

It was awesome!!!!  Awesome because even though there was some crazy- there always is.  Even though I am still catching up on lost sleep ;).  Even though there are major things I need to work on.  God has given my heart a new focus. 
 I am starting to read "Praying Circles- Around The Lives of Your Children" by Mark Batterson.  IT IS AN AMAZING book for ANY PARENT!!!!  GRANDPARENT!!!!  THOSE EXPECTING!!!!  I got it because a friend of mine recommended it.  I was not prepared for the rejuvenation in my heart for dedicated prayer for our children, those of my clients, family, friends!!! 

Children are my passion!!!  Pretty obvious ;).  I love children- mine, my friends, my clients, the beautiful children everywhere around the world that don't know Jesus or are without a family!!!  I LOVE THEM ALL! 

This book gives you just a boost of the why's & how's of serving children through prayer.  You know there are so many times as a parent that we know we mess up- BIG TIME!  There are times we pull our hair out.  There are times we are down right ashamed of our actions and words.  The thing is though that we are human just like our children.  We have to say sorry, but we also have to understand WHOSE THEY ARE! 
 As in they don't actually belong to us....they belong to the Lord!  They are all on loan from Heaven.  We can't actually lay claim to them because the are God's!!  We can however pray fervently for them.  For them to find families, for them to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, for them to follow after God, for them to learn and grow spiritually, for healing in their lives, to speak life over them.....and so much more. 
 I think sometimes my life gets a little crazy.  There are changes that take my brain time to catch up on.  There are things that sometimes overwhelm me.  It's true.  I have to take that time to step back, catch my breath, and do what I am called to do- GROW, SHARE, LOVE! 
 I want to pour into people!  I want to pour into relationships knowing this isn't easy.  There is drama.  There is heartache.  There are praises.  There are times of huge growth.  There are times when you beat your head against the wall. 

Funny how that works because it is just like my spiritual growth!  ;)  Yep God has a great sense of humor.  If you aren't sure where you are in your spiritual growth- step back, breathe, pray, seek.....God has this!!!
HAPPY ADOPTION DAY ABIGAIL!!!!!  Yep, of course the day we get back from camp with our church it is Abigail's Adoption Day!!!!  12 years ago we said our first YES TO ADOPTION!!!!!  Blessed doesn't even begin to cover it.  Abigail is an amazing young lady. 

We have a camera now- ummm....but I haven't uploaded there may be pics of that coming...

Abigail- I am privileged that I am your mom.  I wasn't there for the first time you cried, the first time you rolled over or sat up on your own, I didn't get to see you take your first steps, or see you on your first birthday.......but we have been privileged to see you grow in beauty!!!  Not just physical beauty which you have had since birth, but spiritual beauty!!  I am praying for you daily because I know there are times when it is hard.  There are times you want to throw your hands in the air. 

I just want you to know I don't take a day for granted and am so joyful that I get to share my life with you!!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014


 And boy oh boy does their son have some fun for his new little sister!!!
 It all began with an email......
My name is Amy. My husband and I live in PA with our 4 year old son (adopted from Ethiopia in Feb. 2010) through AGCI.  We have been in the process of our second adoption since Dec. 2010 with AGCI.  I came across your blog several years ago and have been following some of the adoption stories that you have shared.  My husband have been praying about doing a concurrent adoption while we wait.  I would really like some more information on what you do as an adoption consultant and what the process would look like. 
I look forward to hearing from you. - sent February 19th
 A connection- as we both have adopted through AGCI (All God's Children International) Ethiopia program.  We brought out son home from Ethiopia about a year before Amy & Ian did. 
 Then within a few days of phone calls and emails......this beautiful family signed on to do an adoption with Christian Adoption Consultants.  By  
March 26th their profile was finished and ready to go!!!
 May 9th they were matched with a precious birth mom that they felt a special connection to.  They just hadn't really shown their profile.....but then God knew just the child and birth mother that they were to be matched with.  Almost 2 weeks to the day later this amazing baby girl was born.......awwww........

2 Months from being ready to show their profile they were holding their sweet girl in their arms!!!!
 Now as you can see we had the EXTREME PLEASURE of meeting with this beautiful family!!! 
 We invited them into our home and shared a lot of conversation, laughs, food, fellowship, and the commonality of adoption. 
 I may have been totally in my element?  ;)
 Enamored with those tiny beautiful features :). 
 **Yes this photo is a little off center.....guess who was taking it ;)....
 My girls all took turns holding this precious little one. 
 Talking about how they remember when Joanna was that little....
 How they wanted another baby sister.....
 And just enjoying snuggles!!!
 They will all make amazing mothers one day!!!!
 Melts my heart. 
These 2....words can't really describe!!!  I am thinking.....arranged marriage?  ;) he he he he he he.......  
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