Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Paintings....and more

Well after having a busy week leading up to Christmas, then having my beloved laptop die on me (being fixed currently...still under warranty thankfully!) only to be followed up with an even busier Christmas Eve, Day and week following I am actually getting a post on here and am quite proud of myself :)  

I wanted to post my 2 new paintings I did for the winner of Lara's Giveaway, Makenzie and I was so excited to do them.  She pretty mcuh gave me leeway to do whatever which is almost harder for me because I second guess anything I want to do but wanted to start basic and will see if she wants I can add more to it, so here are the 2 medium sized canvas paintings that may or may not be quite done yet :)

On Christmas Day we got to help out with the most amazing event in our little town, Davo's Diner.  You can read about it if you click on the link but in short we not only served a wonderful meal to hundreds of families in need but also were able to distribute coats, hats, gloves, toys and bags of groceries as well as provide family pictures to be taken, a visit from Santa and meals to be taken to those unable to get out.  My parents came along too and helped out and honestly it was a bit overwhelming to see how many volunteers there were, maybe more than people we were serving...and it all started because of one sweet little boy's heart for those in need!
And now here is a family picture we got just before heading out to the Christmas Eve service with my parents.  We had so mcuh fun and miss them very mcuh already!
As for our adoption process we will be submitting our USCIS application any day...still just waiting on our finalized and notarized home study. 

In the mean-time we have been quite busy with our new non-profit organization we have started with 3 other families in our church.  It's A Child's Life will be meeting on
Jan 8th, 2011 at 5pm at H2O Chruch in Ada, OK and we are SO excited about it.  We hope to see you all there.  As of now you can see a general idea on our blog about it but we have already bought the websites .org, .net and .com and soon will have them up and running too with a lot more to offer. 

Lastly I want to say a HUGE congratulations to our friends Rachel and Scott Miller who will be leaving in 3 DAYS to go bring their precious daughter Aamina home from Ethiopia.  This has been a long haul for them after receiveing the referral for her at the end of July 2010 at only weeks old!  Please keep this family in your prayers for safe travels and an amazing Gotcha Day!!!! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Adoption Family Christmas Party & Some Favorites

This season I have a few recent Christmas decor additions that I just love and want to share.  The first is an ornament I ordered in support of one of my best friend's adoptions through Ordinary Hero and just love it!  If I had the money I would love a whole tree filled with these! 

My next favorite is my new Christmas card display.  I usually put them into a wreath shape but then I never get to see the whole cards so I thought I would try to hang them from little clips on ribbon...something I saw someone do with pictures and wire before.  I was looking for the wire and little metal clips and then came across these cheap little wooden ones and I think I just might like it better.
 Here is our Christmas card I hung up too...they will be going out this week once I make sure I have my address book updated.  I decided to save money this year by doing them on a 4x6 photo (SO much cheaper, I may have to start doing this every year)
My next item to share is my new ornament from a new friend Kathleen.  She is SO talented and has an Etsy shop to keep her busy, check it out at
 This is a picture from last night at our Christmas party, books from Jennifer that I cannot wait to read to Jalen as well as to our future little Ethiopian baby!
 And here's our group picture (L>R):  Jennifer and John, Matt and Sarah, Jason and I, and Clint and Kathleen.  All of us are adopting from Ethiopia, from 3 different agencies but are all at about the same timeline, give or take a few weeks.  We had so much fun, good food and drink and such good conversations.  We are so blessed to have people near us that we can go through this journey together!    We are so excited for the next get together already.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recent Events and Our Non-Profit is Coming Soon!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!
Our holidays have been so packed full and are packed until New Years as well but we are so excited about everything that is going on and can't wait to share it all with you.  First of all, where are we in our adoption process???
Our Home Study has been completed and written up, reviewed by us for corrections and returned to our social worker today for final touches.  We have our list of all that is included in our Dossier (aka Paper Chase).  Most we have already done for application part 2 and a lot of it is just transferring info over and getting it re-notarized and some stuff state certified but our goal is to get this done this week!  This may be a lofty goal as we have a lot going on this week with our church and work but we'll do it.

For those of you reading who are not familiar with the process, this is what we will be doing to get our dossier complete to be sent to ETHIOPIA!!!
1.  Notarized power of attorney letter
2.  Notarized Letter of intent
3.  Certified copy of Jason and my birth certificates
4.  Certified copy of our marriage license
5.  Notarized letter of criminal clearances
6.  Notarized medical letters for Jason, myself and Jalen
7.  Notarized financial statement
8.  Notarized letters of employment
9.  Notarized letter from bank
10.  Notarized proof of life and health insurance
11.  3 Notarized letters of reference
12.  2 passport sized photographs for both Jason and myself
13.  Notarized copies of each of our passports
14.  Notarized USCIS I-171h approval
15.  Notarized Home Study
16.  Notarized agency license
17.  4 copies of our picture book (pictures of our immediate family, home, and extended family)
...and That's ALL!  Whoa, I'm actually exhausted just from writing that!  So if we are not as available as usual over the next week or two, you understand why :)                                                                       
Now for other things going on this week that I want to share.  Above is a picture of some of the stuff we have bought so far for the 4 kids we have "adopted" this year to buy Christmas gifts for.  We do this every year and get "our" kids from a friend's friend who is a social worker in a very small and poor community here in OK.  I went out at 4am on Black Friday to get as much as I could for them and still find myself buying things every time I go to the store because I keep thinking of how this may be the only time they get nice clothes, toys or anything for a while and it just breaks my heart!  I really recommend finding someone in your area that knows of some families and children in need and doing this.  It is such a nice thing to do and you can really get a lot for your money this time of year.  Our Church is also doing something similar and this Tuesday and Thursday evening we are going shopping at Walmart, at Walmart's cost and without taxes for about 35 families and over 100 children to fill boxes with clothes and toys and such for each child in need.
Lastly and very IMPORTANTLY!!!  Our non-profit organization has begun and we are so excited that we will soon be registered and have our website up and running.  Jason and I have wanted to do this once we got started in our own adoption process and knew we would do this after the adoption was over but because of our amazing friends and supportive church family we, along with 3 other families from our church are starting this up NOW!  We are a diverse group that all has a heart to help those that don't have a voice, in some way or another.  Whether through adoption, foster care, or orphan care (sponsorship, mentoring, etc), we want to be the "go-to" people to help out in our community and hopefully expand further out as well.  Our pastor is meeting with other local church pastors this week and will be announcing our group and after the holidays we will have our first official meeting .  We are still working on all the details but I will reveal our name.  After lots of creative thinking from everyone included and looking up what names already exists we have decided to name our organization.... It's A Child's Life.  Whenever we are asked questions about why we do what we do and how we are able to be comfortable stepping out of the comfort zone, really it just all comes down to the fact that it's a child's life!  Stay tuned for our website, facebook page, etc.