Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Great Day of Service 2010

Our church sponsored the Annual Great Day of Service this last Sunday.  This is the second year we have gotten the opportunity to be a part of it and it truly lived up to its name!  We had a blast and Miss Melia was such a great helper this year!  The pics in this scrapbook really say it all. :)

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To be honest, it is my goal to serve others more and more and this day was a great way to just set aside everything else and place other people's needs and share Christ's love through service as the only things on our priority list.  I really want to strive to make it a Great LIFE of Service instead of just a day!

Jen

Adoption Auction and a Give-away

So, check this out!! 
Worthy of the Prize ministries has impressed us YET AGAIN by doing this auction to help their adoptive families (including yours truly) raise money for the crazy costs of adoption.

AND, Cap Creations, in conjunction with WOTP, is offering a give-away for their AMAZING jewelry for promoting this auction.  You can view the details of this give-away here.

So, here's what you can do:
1. Donate to the auction.  They are looking for anything handmade (hint, hint, you creative friends) or other things that you could donate if you own a business, etc.  And, get this...if you donate on our behalf, half of the proceeds from your item will go to our account!  PLEASE let anyone you think would like to donate know this...we can use ALL the help we can get! :)  If you've got something to donate, just contact Erin at worthyoftheprize@yahoo.com with a picture of and information about your donation.
2. Help us promote the auction.  You can get the buttons for your blog here or here. (Don't forget to leave a comment and get entered into the drawing for Cap's Creations if you help promote!)
3. Shop til you Drop at the auction. It will be on the Worthy of the Prize website November 4-7...mark your calendars!!

As always, thank you for your love, prayers, and financial support throughout this journey!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Memories of My Grandmother

My Grandmother, Wilma Hickey, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 25th.  She lived her last several years in a nursing home, but I wrote the following about how I will always remember my Grandma:

When I think about my grandmother, many things come to mind. Hers was a life lived for others, which has become more and more obvious to me in adulthood. It is obvious in the stories I've heard about my own mother's childhood. It is obvious in the reminiscence of the jobs she took on in addition to mothering six children and her passion for those jobs. It is obvious in the way that all six of her children love each other, their own families, and all those around them. It is obvious in the desire of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to serve those around them and make life better for those with whom they come into contact.

Many of the fond memories I have of my grandmother include freshly baked bread, sweet kisses on the cheek or forehead to commemorate our arrival at her home, the beautiful flowers that decorated both the inside and outside of her home, homemade Christmas presents, her children's books (including my favorite, "The Pain and The Great One"), her tiny TV in her kitchen where my cousins and I would hover (using the turner to try and find any working station), her closet full of old toys and quilts, and the cozy way it always felt to be in her home.

Probably my most prominent memory of grandmother's house, though, was the love for Jesus and old gospel hymns. It seemed that every time we would visit, someone would end up playing and singing hymns in praise to our Heavenly Father. My grandmother left a legacy that has been passed down through generations and I know without a doubt that she is being blessed in her Heavenly mansion by her Heavenly Father for the way that she lived her humble life on Earth.

Blessings!
Jen

Friday, September 24, 2010

Home Study N Stuff

I am currently sitting in Panera in Lee's Summit while my hubs does his interview with our social worker, Nicky DiSimone.  This is the second half of our home study visit, so after today, we will be at the point where we will be waiting for our home study to be written.  Things are really starting to move, people!  Exciting!! :)

You know how I love pictures, so here is one of Nicky and I after my interview with her:
She is awesome!  God really blessed us with a super cute and FUN social worker that is SO
 knowledgable about the process.  Yet another blessing in an exciting process.

There are a couple of other things on my mind:

1. Check out this give away:

Oh, how I hope I win...what a great way to fill our home with Africa stuff!!!  (Thank you Meri Rogers for this link!!)

2. I SO wish I was going to this conference next week...maybe next year....sigh!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Soccer Saturday

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Well, today was the first day of soccer for both of my kiddos.  We were scheduled to play 4 games, but only ended up playing 3.  Wondering why?

The problem was NOT Melia's team.  Somehow Miss Melia's entrance into the athletic arena has been laced with a group of 7 kiddos that would each be the MVP if they were on separate teams.  I'm pretty sure they have all played at least one season before, some indoor, some outdoor, but regardless of the location, they know what they are doing.  Melia is working hard and I'm very proud of her.  I think being on this team is definitely pushing her and her coach (and teammates) are very patient with her and are showing her the ropes!

Now, as for Camden's team, well, remember the movie "The Bad News Bears"?  Different sport, smaller "athletes", same story (only without the successful ending).  Luckily, I had very low expectations and really was just hoping that Camden would play.  He did, but, how can I put this lightly?  Well, here is the rundown (I am abbreviating names to protect the egos of the parents ;)).
  1. G is the kid that knows the most, scores the most, and is about the only one that is really aggressive.  Coach Dad mentions to him at half-time that he needs to quit pushing and he goes into total melt-down mode.  Let me just say that it was like Camden-caliber melt-down (which is SO not usual for this generally mellow child)!
  2. N is also pretty good...knows what he is doing and can keep up with the game.  When he comes to sit down and take a break, his mom says "You're doing a great job, are you having fun?" to which he replies "No, I wanna be on the purple team...they're scoring goals!"  (HA!  Love it!)
  3. S is such a sweet little girl...does exactly what she's asked and tries her little heart out.  I'm sure she is thinking "How did I get stuck on this team?!"
  4. K plays for 5 minutes, goes to sit down to watch Melia practice writing words and refuses to get back out there. (Disclaimer: she was with me and I was NOT pushing the envelope on this one...had her parents been there, it may have been a different story!)
  5. C REFUSES to play.  When coerced, he gets out on the field and sort of walks around frowning and shaking his head as if to say "Leave me alone!" when his name is cheered.
  6. P sadly lays on the blanket basically the entire game, refusing to go in.  At one point his mom walks out there to try to get him to play, but he was having none.of.it!!
  7. B is a little timid, but generally just sort of goes where he's supposed to.  He's Camden's buddy in the picture where it looks like his is saying "Come on, let's go play.  It's not that bad."
  8. And then there is Camden.  Hmm...my little transition issue kid.  He would do fine once he was bribed with a cookie talked into getting on the field and then would wake up out there.  However, at the beginning of the game when K was playing, he walked out onto the field to try to hand her DS to her to play.  Guess he didn't realize there was a game going on!
Whew!  It was a long, but extremely entertaining morning!  Needless to say, after the Pre-K's first game, or maybe EVENT is more accurate, they decided to call it a day.  So, I think that means we officially have two losses even though we've only played one game. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chosen

Chosen. I've been thinking a lot about this word lately. It all started when I saw this necklace several months ago:



I immediately fell in love with it and it began this windfall of thoughts about this word: Chosen.

According to the great philosopher, Noah Webster, chosen means: one who is the object of choice or of divine favor : an elect person.

So this tells me that one unique thing about being chosen is that someone (other than the person being chosen) has to do the choosing. Whoa! That's big to me...HUGE! That means that anytime I am chosen for something, someone else has hand-selected me out of a crowd for that particular appointment and guess who that someone ultimately is? You guessed it!

Ephesians 1:11-12 says: 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

I can apply this to SO many things!

  1. I am chosen by God to be in specific positions.
  2. I then choose to be obedient in following through with my callings.
  3. All in between God and Me, many people choose to be obedient to God in order for His "divine favor" to be fully realized.

That is a huge responsibility. Basically what this means to me is that I better be stinkin' listening for Christ's voice to tell me what I am chosen to do. Because, what happens if I miss it?! I shudder to think!

Thankfully, though, Christ did choose me (and you). He chose to create us. He chose to give us free will. He chose to give us spiritual gifts. He chose to open our eyes to the gazillion opportunities he gives us every day!

For our family, He choose to allow us to chose to give birth to two amazing children and He chose to allow us to expand our family through adoption. And, he gave us the choice to be obedient. I'm so thankful that He gave us that choice.

For my sister and her husband, He chose to build their family through a different path; to give them the choice to be an amazing part of two children's lives who may never have heard about Jesus. If I've never said it before, allow me to say it now...I am one CRAZY proud big sister!!

For our friends in ministry, He chose to call them and open up doors, and they chose to be obedient (*and patient) to Him no matter how hard or uncertain the future may seem. And, thank you, friends, for showing us what relentless sacrifice looks like!

You see, the fact is, we are all chosen for something; God calls every one of us to further His kingdom and chooses different paths for each of us so that all the ground is covered. Oh, how I pray that I realize the full extent of this calling and see it through to fruition!

Thank you for reading, friends. May God make his choice for you clear and pave the path as you obediently walk it!


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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Grandparents' Day!

Did you know today was Grandparents' Day? I don't know why, but this holiday seems very underpublicized to me...Come on, Hallmark!! ;) In all honesty, I'd like to give a great big pat on the back of the founder of Grandparents' Day. I mean, seriously, a day to say thank you for the amazing amount of love and affection that my parents and in-laws pour into my babies...now that is a GREAT idea!

Melia's school did a precious little Grandparents' Day performance on Friday and she was represented by one parent (me), three grandparents, and a great-grandparent. She is one loved little girl!

Here's a little clip of it (please ignore my horrible videography and the fact that I so eloquently captured two older gentlemen's ears on either side of the frame!)

video

Today to celebrate, we went to eat at Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse with both sets of grandparents, Aunt Jen and Uncle Travis, and some cousins. How amazing is it that we got to spend Grandparents' Day with all four grandparents?! God has blessed us so much with our family!


Special shout out to Mom, Dad, Jan, and Terry...HAPPY GRANDPARENTS' DAY! Thank you for being the best grandparents to my kiddos that I could ask for! We LOVE you all SO much!!!

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Home Study News :)

Blog Entry Disclaimer: Ok, I admit it...I have been a total failure at updating our blog. SO SORRY~ I guess real life is getting in the way of E-life. :) I promise to try to do better at keeping up with it. I've been working on some fun projects, so I have some things lined up to blog about...just have to take the time to do it!

We do have some news on the adoption front! YEA! We have been collecting dossier and home study paperwork and completed everything that we have any control of just over a week ago. We sent our homestudy paperwork and initial home study fee to CHI on Friday, August 27th. They received it on the following Monday, August 30th and sent it to our social worker, Nikki, on Wednesday, September 1st. Nikki and I talked on Thursday evening and we set our dates for our visits. The conversation was a little funny, because she told me that she and the lady at CHI who received our paperwork thought that we set the record for the quickest turnaround of homestudy paperwork. What can I say? I'm anal, er, um, meticulous! :)

Anyway, Nikki will be at our house next Tuesday afternoon, September 14th to meet our kiddos, interview us, and do the walk-through of our house. Then, the following Friday, September 24th, Trev and I will go to Kansas City to meet her for our individual interviews. So, if you are praying for us, please keep those two dates in mind! We are honestly not worried about it. We've never met Nikki, but she is the one who basically gave us all the information that we needed to choose CHI as our agency. We've had several conversations with her and the excitement of meeting her really trumps any nerves we might be feeling (for now, anyway!).

To be honest, although I'm still struggling with letting go and fully trusting that our financial needs will be taken care of (will I ever get past this?!), I'm really ready to get this show on the road!! In some ways it seems so real it knocks my socks off, but in other ways, it seems so far off it is hard to fathom what it will truly be like. Either way, I know that we are following Christ's plan for our family and it is bound to be an AMAZING journey...He promises it in Jeremiah 29:11:


"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declaires the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Ah, how I love His promises. What an amazing God we serve!




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Because I don't like posts with no pictures, here's a pic of a shirt I made for myself! :) I LOVE how it turned out! :)




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