Showing posts from December, 2012

And this is LOVE....

Today I read 1 John chapter 4 with my children. It was our bag for today. When I set this plan I had no idea what the day would bring.  But God is love.  Not God shows love or gives love.  He does this, but the more important understanding is He IS Love.  (v.8)  We can love because He first loved us.  The greatest demonstration of this love was in the gift of His Son, Jesus.  God put on human flesh to sacrifice Himself to rescue humanity.  To rescue me.  He IS Love.

We are to be a sponge.  We are to absorb who the person of love is.  It is not an action or a feeling, it is a who.  In order to give love we have to receive love.  The love we receive from God is not to hoard or to just enjoy for ourselves but to give into the lives of others.  Soaking Love in and squeezing Love back out.

Today started rough.  It came at the end of a long, hard week of a long, hard month of a long, hard year.  I am tired.  I am ready for a break.  I am missing my husband who is traveling for work this w…


First time to touch the ocean.  Before  Elie came home I thought I would have already missed out on so many firsts.  The reality is experiencing firsts with a five year old is just as powerful, if not even more so, than with a small infant.  There is much that has been lost.  But every day brings new hope, new life, and new firsts.  And we get the awesome front row seat to her life.  When she first set her eyes on the sand, the water, the horizon, she was in awe.  The spirit of the ocean captured her heart, just like it has every other member of our team.  Toes in the sand.  That unsure and odd feeling of something new beneath her feet.  She locks onto the hand of her Daddy to steady her gait and to gain the confidence to approach the ocean's edge.  It is loud, it is cold, it come in and it goes out, filling the bucket again and again, jumping in the waves, letting the water wash over her body, pure joy.  So thankful we said yes.

Celebrating Christmas in DC: National Tree and Santa in DC

We started a tradition when Tyler was a baby.  One evening in December we head to the city to see the National Christmas Tree and Santa's Workshop.  Some years we add other things into the day.  This is not one of those kinds of years. Our team of six + Nana (my mom) drove into D.C. just as the sun was setting over the National Monument.  I have spent the majority of my life here and never grow tired of the D.C. skyline or spending time in our nation's capital.

The tree looked spectacular and the train set up this year was fabulous.  When the tree came into Elie's vision she squealed and awed at such a large Christmas tree.  All four children pressed their faces to the rod iron fence and gazed in amazement at the trains as paced by, again and again and again.  They would look for about five minutes and then shuffle down a few paces and gaze again.  We repeated this pattern all the way around the tree.  And then each child received a penny to throw into the open car of the …

Not Okay

November and December have been filled to the top of both pure joyous moments and heaviness that takes my breath away.  The appointments once again filled up the calendar.  Many weeks we have had medical appointments 4 or 5 days a week.  We anticipated this would be our reality.  We acknowledged to our agency and all parties involved that we understood this would be our new life and fought for it.  And so you may say, well you knew what you were getting into when you decided to adopt Eliana.  Yes this is true, we knew, we had the head knowledge of it.  But as in most things in life the actual living it out is a much different story than the intellectual knowing.

We would never change a thing.  Eliana is our daughter through and through.  She is an essential member of our team.  This recently hit me as we went for a walk as a family.  Elie and I were walking hand in hand about 50m behind the rest of our crew.  Up ahead was Kevin with our other three.  As I watched them from a distance,…

Annual Gifts that Give Open House

Our family is hosting our annual Holiday Gifts that Give Open House.  The idea is simple.  People  want to buy gifts for others for Christmas.  We open our home and provide beautiful gifts to purchase.  It makes an easy stop for your Christmas list without having to battle the traffic at the stores.  All proceeds go to benefit others in need.  So you can give a gift that gives back and gives back again.

This year we have many new items from Pamba Toto along with all your old favorites. Fair Trade Jewelry from around the world and a wide variety of items from the Market Place in Kenya.  Pamba Toto provides a safe home, education and spiritual care for orphans from the slums of the Mathare Valley in Nairobi, Kenya.  All of their products are purchased fair trade and provide income to women in Nairobi that allows them to make a safe living and keep their families together.

We also have a wide variety of the popular Ugandan bean necklaces and bracelets for sale.  All proceeds from these…


Eliana loves shoes.  She was wearing these cute pink dress shoes when we met her.  She was very attached to them.  She still loves these shoes even though they no longer fit.  But not just these pink dress shoes, she just loves shoes, any shoes.  She loves to dress up and be fancy and try new shoes.

We had some used tennis shoes for her to wear when we came home.  They were functional but not very girly.  Once she outgrew them we needed to purchase a brand new pair for her.  That first trip to the shoe store will forever live in my heart's memory bank.  She was in love with all the shoes and so excited to have her foot measured and then to try shoes on.  Through our broken communication and sign language I understood that she thought we were just there to try on shoes... she was not expecting to take a pair home. When that reality unveiled itself to my little girls heart, she was beside herself with excitement.  We put the new shoes on so that she could wear them home and I swea…

Season of Advent

I few years ago I started a tradition with our kids for the Christmas Season.  Advent bags.  The bags are used to help prepare our hearts to celebrate the Messiah's birth.  My goal is for my children to understand what Christmas is truly about.  I have a paper bag for each day of December from December 1 to December 23 (we have our big celebration on Christmas Eve).  Each paper bag contains a star that I cut out of construction paper.  On one side of the star I write the Bible verses that we will be reading that day and on the other side I write a note to remind me of what should be in the bag.  The kids add some designs to the bags each year and I love looking at them remember their different stages of art.  Every year I tweak it some,  switch some verses around, and change how we will learn about what these verses mean.  But the basic ideas stays the same so each year it gets easier to put these together.

I always want the holiday celebrating to be fun and when it becomes a st…