Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Summit 9- Christian Alliance for Orphans

I will be leaving tomorrow morning early :) to head to Summit 9!!!  I am sooo EXCITED!!!!!

Will be back soon I am sure with lots of fun pics and stories and things to share :)  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Financial Testimony!!

Just to explain this was a testimony I wrote for our church.  The 90 day challenge was something that our pastor preached on- Basically a money back guarantee on tithing!  YEP!  How is that for preaching?  :)  GOD is FAITHFUL!!!  Read on..........

(*oh and sorry for the no picture thing.....blogger didn't cooperate with me!!!) 
 Our story......

I loved your 90 Day Challenge!!!  Although we have been tithing since we first were married I wanted to share how over and over and over again God has been faithful!

It all started about the time this challenge did interestingly enough in that time this is the long list of repairs/things that have happened in our family: we had to make a small repair to our air conditioner, had to replace the septic lines in our back yard- ergo making it all a sand dune now (still have to resod), have had to make repairs to our pool system, I had a loss of hearing in my left ear for about a month, we have had water come in through our boys’ bedroom wall that we had to repair, replace our daughters retainers, throw in some marriage growing pains,  replace our refrigerator, our dishwasher needed a repair (wahoo it was still under warrantee- however it did take them a week to come and fix it), our water heater flooded our garage- we replaced it and then the company had to replace it again because the first one was defective, we had to do electrical work before we could replace our water heater, our computer had to be fixed, one of our children had to have stitches in her lip, and drum roll please......after making a minor repair we ended up having to replace our air conditioning unit! 

Now if that isn’t enough to blow your mind.....think of it this way over the last month- month and a half we have had 11 people in our home go 3 days without running water, around a week with limited heated water, a few days without a computer (which we use for school and work), and we went thankfully only a bit over a day without air conditioning - thank you Kevin Crandall!!  And the total cost of all of this loveliness?  Over $10,000!! 

HA!  That’s right and I want to say that we do not have a huge income!  We did not have $10,000 to spend on all of this.  BUT GOD!  God provided every penny that we needed.  How?  Well that is the crazy part- until you see our lives you wouldn’t get it, but we had some wonderful people that provided around $7,500 without us asking for anything.  The money just “showed up” little by little God provided exactly what we needed.  The day that we had to pay the second payment for our septic system- was the exact same day our tax refund came into our checking account!  God has sent us clients for our Christian Adoption Consulting, and we recently got an additional income for a small job with a few flexible hours each week as well.  We had people praying for us, and I know that HE has been proven faithful. 

If left to me I would have panicked after the first few challenges....and ran for the hills.   BUT GOD held onto us, and proved to us yet again that HE has it covered, and will continue to provide for our needs.  We may not have all we want, but God has provided for our needs and so much more and we are more than eternally grateful to HIM! 

ALL PRAISE BELONGS TO HIM: Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

It is true, and not just lately- God has given and proven HIMSELF to be who HE says HE is.  Not because we get to put a quarter in and use him like a vending machine, or not because we say if you don't give me this I won't believe in you, but just because HE has created in us NO DOUBT HE IS WHO HE CLAIMS- Our Savior, Our Provider, Our Loving Father Who Wants to Give Good Things To His Children.  LOVE MY JESUS!!!!!!

Praying your weekend is great!  Mine is :)  Oh and guess what?  NEXT WEEK I GET TO GO TO Christina Alliance For Orphans in TN!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Alright who else is going?  Let me know!!!  I can't wait to see some of you there!!!!!!!!!!  Just a tad excited :).
***Thought about adopting domestically, but don't know where to start or think it will take years?  ASK ME!  Our clients are typically matched within 6-10 months!  I can help you get started TODAY!  Oh and did I mention there is a discount going on through Tuesday?

IT'S DISCOUNT TIME WITH CHRISTIAN ADOPTION CONSULTANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Spread the word!!!!  10% discount for all full packages offered, 20% for the minority adoption program, and as always 50% off for our special needs program.  Want more information- EMAIL wrights@christianadoptionconsultants.com today!!!!!! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

CONGRATULATIONS Kristi and Thomas!!!!

Kristi and Thomas started with Christian Adoption Consultants November 21st!  After completing their profile with CAC they started their journey.  

On April 16th this little miracle was born!  They were matched on the 17th, called me early on the 18th with the wonderful news!  Have I mentioned how AMAZING my job is?  Because there is nothing better in the world than seeing God form families.  

Another blessing for me personally is that we brought our Jonathan home through All God's Children International.  Kristi and Thomas will also be bringing home another little one through the same Ethiopia program.  So within a couple of years there will be another bundle of joy added to this beautiful family! 

CONGRATULATIONS KRISTI AND THOMAS!!!  So thrilled for you and your newest bundle of love :)

***Thought about adopting domestically, but don't know where to start or think it will take years?  ASK ME!  Our clients are typically matched within 6-10 months!  I can help you get started TODAY!  Oh and did I mention there is a discount going on for one more week? 

IT'S DISCOUNT TIME WITH CHRISTIAN ADOPTION CONSULTANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Spread the word!!!!  10% discount for all full packages offered, 20% for the minority adoption program, and as always 50% off for our special needs program.  Want more information- EMAIL wrights@christianadoptionconsultants.com today!!!!!! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sometimes you just gotta....

 We interrupt the pictures from our farm adventures for a little story......entitled Sometimes You Just Gotta.
This story takes place on a beautiful Sunday evening.  Where a family decided to have a picnic by the pool on some blankets.  There was finger foods, good conversation, and fun......until.........well sometimes you just gotta cut loose a bit- right? 
 It all started with some dares.  Like daddy trying to get the kids to pay him money to jump in the pool with his clothes on.  Innocently.....at least until the dunking of Jonathan began......
 Then Abigail starts pushing.....
 Joanna decides to dip her toes in.....
 And pretty quickly 2 went down....in their pj's......
 Notice that Elizabeth has some real talent.  Somehow she managed to get pushed into the pool and still had her cinnamon/raisin bread in her hand!  Oh and notice her "bling" is still in tact as well :). 
 Uh oh......Abigail......lost........
 Joanna, well she jumped in!  She wasn't worried! 
 Oh dear- dresses in the pool? 
 Jonathan shows off his muscles....
 Abigail says - really mom please tell me you won't post this anywhere.  Of course not dear only on FB and the blog, no worries :)> 
 And they all went down! 
 Michael says "Ummm......have you all gone cray cray or what?"
 Girls just wanna have fun! 
 Squeezes of love.
 Then it really started with Abigail giving daddy what he was giving......it all started with a little splashing. 
 Ended up with full immersion! 
 Matthew says- yeah baby this is fun!
Even Michael got in on the action and got soaked because we are in this together as a family- right?

You got it!!!  Damage done- wet clothes, lots of towels......
Fun had- EVERYONE!!!
Sometimes you just gotta let it all go.  Throw the rules out the window.  Cut loose!  Make some memories!

A good reminder to us all that no matter what life can be fun- what can you do today to throw some pizzazz into your day?  I dare you!!!!

**Note:  I did not get soaked because I had the camera- win win for mom!!  he he he he he......

IT'S DISCOUNT TIME WITH CHRISTIAN ADOPTION CONSULTANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Spread the word!!!!  10% discount for all full packages offered, 20% for the minority adoption program, and as always 50% off for our special needs program.  Want more information- EMAIL wrights@christianadoptionconsultants.com today!!!!!! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013


 Christian Adoption Consultants is doing a discount!!!!!!!!!!!!  YEA!!!!!!!!!!  So if you have ever though- I wonder if domestic adoption is right for our family- NOW IS THE TIME TO ASK & GET SIGNED UP!!!!!  I mean look at our 2 domestic adoption cuties!!!!  Man I couldn't imagine life without them!!!!!  (or any of my children, but for this post I am focusing on domestic adoption)
 HERE IS THE SCOOP!!!!  Christian Adoption Consultants is offering a 10% discount for those interested in using our services and a 20% discount for those open to minority adoption!!!!  AWESOME!!!!
If you are interested in our special needs program- for children over the age of 3, sibling groups, or any child with a known diagnosis- there is a continuous 50% discount!!!! 
 You say you want more details?  OK Here is the scoop on Christian Adoption Consultants!!!!!

1)  We walk you through the entire process!!!  Would you like to have someone dedicated to you?  WE ARE!  It is what we do.  We talk with you over the situations, provide ongoing support when you have tough decisions to make, and help you get all the information you need to make a good match!  

2)  We have several agencies that we work with all the time- making it easier for you to get matched.  Most of our clients are matched between 6-10 months!

3)  We give you resources including a full list of grants and loans, and other websites that can help with online fundraising!  Loads of resources when it comes to birth families, traveling, and how to handle situations that come up along the way.

4)  We can also help you make a professional profile that will make a great first impression as you show it to expectant parents!!! 

 Question I get asked often:  Is there a need?  YES THERE IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How else would our wait times be short?  It's true there is a need!!!!!!!  :)  
 Can I adopt if I already have children?  ABSOLUTELY!!!!!
**We had 7 and then 8 when we did our adoptions :) 
Just think of all the love, the fun, the smiles, the hugs we would miss out on. 
 Not just us either- other people we have had the pleasure of meeting up with and having fun with. 
 Adoption touches your heart like nothing else- Why?  Because it is what Jesus Christ has done for us!!!! 
 My other babes would not be blessed with moments like this!!!!  Without domestic adoption :). 
 My family would miss out on special times too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I mean how can you resist this cuteness.......you know you want to adopt........he he he he
 My other children would miss out on some pretty amazing gifts if we had said- there is no way we can adopt domestically......I am just too overwhelmed.  No- instead through Christian Adoption Consultants- we adopted not just once, but twice!!!!! 
AND it was more than worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :)

Still have questions?  Have a friend who may be interested?  Pass on our information- call, fb, or email me today!!!  :)  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cheap Dates and We've Got Cows!

 OK......so do you see what we got to see next?  INCOMING!!!!
 As in RUNNING COWS!!  It was hilarious.....we got to call the animals so Callie would tell us how to call them and sure enough here they would come.  FUN STUFF!!!  So today's pictures are brought to you by Parker's Porkers!!  And these pictures are of us feeding some cows.  It was fun to see their long tongues, and their manners and arguments about feeding time ;).......
 As promised though.......here are loads of ideas for cheap dates (or possibly some of them just cheap gatherings for friends or family). 

1)  Watch the sunset or sunrise.  Preferably from your front or back porch, or you can venture out and find a great park like area, or if you live in town drive out a ways :).  If you are really fortunate find a beach or a mountain view!!!

2)  Free museum- there are plenty of museums that have "free days" or "cheap days".  So go online and check it out! 

3)  Parks are awesome places to go hang out for a little while- less noisy and long walks are awesome!

4)  Scavenger hunt- so if you are able to set up something really fun this is awesome.  You can be creative and have it be the items to a picnic, or even leading to what you will do for the rest of your date. 

5)  Water fight.  Never underestimate the fun of a water fight with water guns, water ballons, water ballon toss, or hey get out the hose.  I remember clearly when I was a little girl looking out my bedroom window with my brother to see my parents having a water fight- and we were cheering them on.  One had just gotten the other with the hose- then they went to the house and the other had a bucket waiting to throw out at them.  FUN memories. 

6)  Geocashing!  We just started this last week and it was fun!  You can go online to find some near you- or get a free app for your phone.  What is it- depends on if they are micro or bigger.  If they are micro they are the size of a 35 mm film canister- you open them up once found you open it up get a pen and write your name or "code name" on the paper and put it back where you found it.  If they are bigger you leave a small "treasure" worth the same value as the one you found.  :)  It's free and kind of like hide and seek for adults or families! 

7)  Beach/lake/mountains/river- I think anywhere you can see water or mountains is AMAZING!!!! 

8)  Bike ride, walk, swim, or participate in a sport together.  Go to the local YMCA, local tennis courts, etc.  Whatever you enjoy together.  Throw around a frisbee, shoot some hoops, hacky sack.  (Of course checking out your local minor league baseball can be fun and usually not too expensive.)

9)  Plan time to write a love letter- you can plan to go somewhere casual to hang out......write your letters.  Go home and read them to each other by candlelight. 

10)  Go on a picnic- to a state park, beach, open area, or on your living room floor!
11)  House hunt for fun!  Look up some houses on Zillow, Remax, etc. and just go look, dream, or talk about things you would love to do with your own home.  (when you have the money of course ;). 

12)  Pass it forward- get some awesome ideas of how you can give to others creatively!!!   Find a place you can both serve together!!  Women's shelter, homeless shelter, pregnancy crisis center, feeding children everywhere (one of our favorites as a family), or any other place that needs volunteers. 

13)  Go work out together.  If you like to encourage each other this works great!

14)  Read a book together.....on marriage, on parenting, on faith, THE BIBLE!  :)  Talk about what you read and share your hearts.

15)  Go look at RV's together!  We have done this and it is fun to pretend to have enough money for the big houses on wheels.  :)
16)  Go to a local art show or festival. 

17)  Hiking!  We love hiking trails at a local state park, and getting to do it alone is nice too.

18)  Go back to some of your firsts in your community.  Like your first rental, your first home, where you went on a date, where you met, old places you worked, etc. 

19)  Go to the zoo or aquarium or a theme park.  There are days usually for zoo and aquarium that are usually either free or reduced prices as well.  If you can get year round theme park tickets and you happen to live close by- you are set!  Yes, we love living in Florida for this reason :). 

20)  Go window shopping.  We love sometimes to go to a cooking store, or a fancy knick knack store, or just walking around a mall. 

21)  Sledding- obviously this is not for us southerners, but we could go swimming - in a nearby lake or ocean :). 

22)  Do a fun photoshoot of each other.  Take some outfits out and have some fun thinking of different places that have some fun backgrounds.  Oh and don't forget fun props- chairs, favorite books, etc. 

23)  Cloud watching.

24)  Fly a kite! 

25)  With friends:  Charades, or progressive potluck! 

26)  Look up some new recipes and cook them up together. 

27)  Get out your kids' paints and do a painting. 

28)  Sketch a blueprint of your dream home!  Fun times and great ideas too......

29)  Plan a vacation together.  Look up things to do online and share some fun ideas.

30)  Teach each other a skill.  Cooking, fixing things, planting, a sport, etc. 
31)  Get out that unused video camera or take out your phone or regular camera and make a video.  Do a fun tour of your home, a fun skill, do a commercial for your life, or interview other people who have been married a long time.

32)  Make your bucket list.

33)  Go bowling, do a round of mini golf, see a movie, or eat out- now these all take money, but plan ahead and budget :).

34)  Make a time capsule and put it in the back of your closet or dig a hole and put in in your yard.

35)  Make a list of things you love about each other and read them to each other giving affirmations.

36)  Go to a thrift store or garage sale!  You can find fun stuff, or at least have fun finding unique items other people are selling.

37)  Look up your town or an area close by to see if you can find a "historic walk" that tells you about the buildings and landmarks.

38)  Make a 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 15 years from now plan of your future together!

39)  Make a gift together for someone else.  Make a dish to provide for a local family, craft a special card to write and send to someone you haven't seen in a while.

40)  Go for a walk....in the rain......   

 These are all things you can do at home- so put your kids to bed if you have them or send them off to grandma and grandpa's, or out to friends' homes for the evening!!  :)

41)  Look through old photos of when you first started dating, got married, had your first child, vacations, your childhoods....etc. 

42)  Build a fire (if you don't have a fireplace dig a small fire pit in your yard or go to a park with grills or fire pits) and roast some smores.  For people like us who used to be camp directors- make some pizzas, pb goo, pizza pies, chicken stew, or your other favorite camping recipes :).  Yummy.

43)  Take turns cooking for each other- either each others favorite foods, or desserts only, or new recipes- blindfold your spouse and see if they can guess what is in the food they are eating.

44)  Dace in your living room.....push aside furniture, turn down the lights, and put on some music from when you first met.

45)  Pop some popcorn, dim the lights, and get out the candy stash, light some candles, set up the living room for just the two of you right in front of your big screen tv and watch a rented movie, netflix, or find some really funny You tub videos.  Or watch a movie you know turn off the sound and either quote it by heart to each other or make up funny lines to go with it.

46)  Play that expensive Wii or playstation you gave to the kiddos for Christmas.  Just make sure your kids aren't watching - he he he he.....it's fun!!!

47)  Steal Borrow your kids toys and play- come on you know you love the nerf guns, or lego sets, or jam out to their Ipods.  
 So there you have it......a pretty extensive list of free or cheap fun!!!  Best of all when you are on a budget you can still feel like you can still have some fun!  Take turns coming up with something to do- and it's easy if you have a cheat sheet right here!

Please - if you have other great ideas- feel free to leave a comment and add to our list :)  Clean, fun, and great memory builders.

Hope your week is going great.....do you have a date night  this week planned yet?  ;)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Marriage talk with a side of Parker's Porkers

 So today's pictures are brought to you by a visit with family (no we haven't gained 2- this is my cousin's girls both in the green in the middle....also brought home through domestic adoption) to a local farm that does tours.  The farm is called Parker's Porkers in Bradenton, FL just 45 min from us!  They literally will help keep your animal if you are in 4H etc and aren't able to keep an animal on your property.  They are all free range.......and it was a BLAST!!!!!! 
 First off we fed the chickens!!!  It was great to see the kids interacting with them and trying to chase them around.  Now this is a 3 generation home/property and the person who led us around Callie Parker was a BLESSING to be around.  Her heart was for the kids, answering a million questions, and showing them more about agriculture and God's design! 
 I can not say enough good things about our visit, and this is only a third of our pictures....so you will be seeing a lot more!  It was so fun, and all 11 children had a blast!!!!!  Feeding the animals, planting some seeds, and learning soo much!  It is only a small fee per child- and any school groups, homeschool groups, etc are welcome- guaranteed a fun time and learning together!!!  :) 
**Includes planted seeds to take with you, and you get to feed the animals too!  :)
 Pictured above is Callie- I am telling you she has huge dreams and plans to help children and people learn more about growing plants and animals.....with an amazing heart for the Lord!  Enjoyed hearing more about her faith and sharing ours.  As you can tell we will be going back! 
 OK so today's post......Marriage talk is something that has been on my heart, but up until now I just couldn't write about it.....it was too, well ugh!  I mean I love my husband dearly and he loves me, but let's just say this last yearish has been the most rough of our almost 16 years!  So hard to explain.........
 So we knew we had work to do.  We knew that we needed to refocus, and we have......but just like anything worth fighting for there are relapses, absence of thinking, and times where you just throw your hands in the air and say- I give - whatever......   NOW KNOW THIS- WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED!!!!  We are not, nor will we ever give up it is not in our nature and people we made a promise!!!  (Please know this is not a condemnation of anyone reading who has gone through a divorce- God heals and restores.) 
 This is to say that God's desire is for all married couples to stay together.....His heart is to reconcile, heal, and preserve what HE designed!  So the thing is that means 2 different people who love each other, have some things in common, have to WORK to keep it together.  He he he he.....ummmm......it doesn't just happen.  You see that whole thing of one day you wake up and things are just not the same is true, but it happens gradually you just don't notice.  You have children, you move, you change jobs, you go through seasons of walking through the fire, you grow, you stagnate, and well everything in between.......and you realize we are different. 
 What in the world do you do?  Seek GOD!  Seek counseling, seek each other's hearts, seek forgiveness, seek love- even if you don't feel it at the moment, seek remembering why you got married, seek common ground, seek - what God meant for you to be TOGETHER!!!! 
 And let me tell you that takes- TIME, EFFORT, and MORE COMMITMENT THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT YOU HAD.  :)  I mean it's all good- WORTH IT for sure, but man sometimes you just - UGH!  ;)  ...........but remember God is soooo very patient with us............and we need to pass that along. 
 **Look at these two are not the cutest?  Joanna and Jessa having a conversation- only 6 months apart- brought to our family through adoption and loved more than life. 
 All this to say- I want to encourage you keep plugging away!  Keep trying!  Keep reaching out to your spouse!  Keep praying!  Keep working!  Keep thinking about your spouse and how you can do more than your fair share!  Keep encouraging each other!  Keep saying I love you!  Keep giving more than you think you should!  Keep praying scripture over them!  Keep reminding yourself my spouse is not my enemy- my spouse was given to me by the Lord (whether you knew they Lord when you got married or not- whether your spouse is following Christ or not)!  Keep on keeping on in your walk with the Lord- believe you will need Him desperately as you seek to grow in your marriage because it isn't possible outside of God! 
 Life isn't going to be perfect.  Your marriage is going to take a hit now and again.  You will have to get back up and brush yourself off and get back in the game! 
 When you are throwing yourself into ministry- in your home, in your church, in your community, around the world, adding another child, whatever it is- ummmm satan will hate you!  Beware!  The enemy is real and will be shooting arrows at you the entire time!  The enemy will not let us just because you are both committed to your faith and your family- in fact- more arrows will fly because you are a bigger target!  Be prepared! 
 God has intended for you to look to Him for an unconditional love.  Because we are human our love although we want it to be unconditional....isn't.  We have conditions.  We set up perimeters.  Sometimes we build up walls- well remember when you said xyz?  HA!  I will teach you- up goes a brick or two or more. 
Want a few tips?   Here goes- admit that your marriage- ALL MARRIAGES NEED REPAIR!  It's true because there are two imperfect people in it ;).  Ahhhh....now that we have that over with....get down to the hard part!  WORK!  Yep, and you can't fix your spouse so you have to start with that person you see in the mirror every day.  So get to work- Pray and seek God. 
 TIME, TIME, and MORE TIME!  Like anything you value- you have to put your time where it is needed most....back to the basics:  God, Spouse, children, work, church, other family, close friends- that's it.  Sometimes we need to peel back other stuff!  Get rid of it.  If it isn't helping your marriage or your family- it has to go! 

Praying you feel encouraged!!!!

Next up- what animals are we feeding next? 

He he he he- Cheap dates we all need new ideas!!!  :)