For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:14-17

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! We're looking forward to celebrating with family and friends. John has the privilege  of baptizing our sweet E tomorrow on Christmas day.  God truly continues to bless us.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Great Christmas Ideas...

...and help adopting families at the same time!  Lora Lynn started Home for Christmas last year when she and her family were working on bringing their sweet Mira home from Uganda. This year Mira's home for her first Christmas with her forever family and Lora Lynn is once again helping other adoptive families raise money to help bring their children home by highlighting some great gift ideas.  Click on the Home for Christmas  icon on the side bar to see some great shopping opportunities...including my Etsy Shop that's listed under Glass Pendant Necklaces.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shirts are in!

Just got the shirts in today. They look great! Will be getting them sent out by next week. Thank you so much to everyone who ordered one. I'm hoping to have a new design ready in January for Valentine's day.

Also, I'm now an Amazon affiliate...if you click through the link on the sidebar, we'll get a commission from whatever you purchase...doesn't cost you anything and all proceeds go to our adoption fund. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's T-shirt time!

We're taking orders for our adoption t-shirts to help raise money for our adoption expenses.  Click on the link or the Simply Love button on the left sidebar to go to our fundraiser page.  We've been very blessed to find so many resources online and in the blog world to help us along the way... Kari has an adopted daughter from Ethiopia and has become a great resource for information and advocacy for adoption. Having her help with fundraising has been wonderful.

Please email me or leave me note in the comments if you have any questions!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Today is my Dad's 80th birthday...we managed to pull off a big surprise by having 4 of my sisters from out of state (2 of us live nearby) show up for lunch today...he had no idea! We had a great lunch and talked about how having 6 of 8 kids (considering how spread out we all are) together for his birthday is quite an accomplishment. Then my brother was able to surprise the girls (Mom was the only one in on that one!) by coming up for dinner.  We aren't able to see each other often, so we really enjoy it when we do. Mom and Dad are enjoying having a houseful of people.  We're loud and crazy...but have a good time together!  We're proof that LOVE makes a family and for that I am very thankful!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Counting the Cost

One of the things people ask when they hear we’re adopting internationally is “Isn’t it expensive?” Short answer “Yes” Longer answer “Yes very!” According to our agency it will cost approximately $24000-29000 (this includes most fees, donations to the orphanage and travel expenses) to adopt 1 child from Ethiopia.  We’re hoping to adopt siblings…so at least 2… That will not double the cost as some expenses are a one time thing like home study (actually not calculated in the above estimate) and fingerprinting, but some things are like passports, visas and airline tickets per child. So our tab will end up being more than the estimate.  Like most people we don’t have that kind of money just sitting around. We’re not entirely sure where it’s all going to come from. What we do know is that our God has led us on this journey and that he will provide as he sees fit.  We also know that He has a heart for the orphan, that we are commanded to care for them and this is how we feel led to do so.  We have started saving on our own and cutting back here and there.  I’ve opened an Etsy shop and we’re selling Just Love coffee through our blog.  We’re planning on doing some fundraisers like selling shirts and once our home study is done we’ll be applying for grants through ShowHope and Lifesong.  I've added a paypal donation button to our blog so if you feel led to donate to our adoption fund it will be easy to do so.  It’s hard to ask for help….John and I have gone back and forth on that aspect of our adoption….it boils down to a pride issue. We know we can not do it on our own.  John met someone recently who had adopted siblings from Rwanda and he told him his biggest regret was not asking for/allowing people to help them financially.  As believers, we are all called to care for the orphan, for some that means adoption, for others that means orphan care and for others that means helping financially.  Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Adoption update...or lack of one

A friend asked me recently "So what's going on with your adoption because you haven't posted anything lately" Basically we're still in the middle of paperwork. We've gotten our physicals done and have the paperwork to the boys' pediatrician so that can get filled out. I've requested several documents and am just waiting for them to get here. We're working on our autobiographies and then there are getting our reference letter info sent out and drawing out the floor plan of our house, emergency evacuation plans and financial info. My original goal was to have most of it done by the end of July...well...this summer we've been enjoying having the boys out of school and just hanging out. It'll all get done...eventually.

It's been amazing to see how God has been working. Since we announced our adoption He has led us to several new friendships and a new support network. He keeps placing people in our paths that just continue to encourage us on this journey.

The boys are still excited about the whole thing and pray often for "our children in Ethiopia" We've had a lot of talks lately about some of the hardships orphans face...even those who find new families and it's been sweet to hear them talk about ways to help and love them through it all.

We appreciate your continued prayers. Please also pray for the adoptive families and their waiting children affected by the courts closing in Ethiopia during the rainy season and delays with the American embassy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

We're having a relaxing day today. Just enjoying being together as a family. Will head over to my parents later for a dinner of hotdogs and hamburgers. Just thinking about the freedoms we have that started on this day so many years ago...Grateful to live in a country that allows us the freedom to worship the one, true God openly. Grateful for the sacrifices of those in the military who have provided all the freedoms that we have. Grateful for a God who gave us the ultimate freedom from the slavery of sin through His Son.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Please pray!

Please be praying for Sonia and her family as they are trying to bring home their 7th son home from China. Little "J" has severe heart conditions and needs to get home soon to receive treatment.  Sonia just welcomed home 2 boys from China in January. She's the only person I know that has more boys that I do ;-) and has a great outlook and sense of humor (living w/ lots of boys, you need it!) Please pray for this family, little "J" during this time, that the finances will be there quickly to get him home, that he will remains as healthy as possible while he waits.

My Etsy Shop

I've opened a shop on Etsy to help raise money for our adoption. Right now I have a few glass pendant necklaces for sale and hope to add more items soon. My seller name is WrittenOnMyHeart. I hope you'll check it out!

I'm linking to Kelly's Show Us Your Life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yummy Recipe

I'm always on the lookout for new recipes that will appeal to my family. I've gotten several from Mary, who is mom to 10--6 adopted, 4 from Ethiopia. One of the latest ones I've tried from her site is Ethiopian Sloppy Joes. It's easy, inexpensive and 4 out of the 6 (and E will eat it, it's just not one of his faves) of us love it...that's a win for me ;-) As we go down this adoption road we're trying to learn more about Ethiopia and that includes the food. Here's Mary's recipe:
Ethiopian Sloppy Joes

Preparation Time: 50 minutes

Serves 6
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 pound ground beef, already browned
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 to 3 tsp cayenne pepper (add gradually, to taste) (I use 1/4-1/2 tsp for our taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water (I usually start w/ 3 then add more if needed)
Cook ground beef in a large heavy skillet and set it aside.  Wipe excess grease from skillet .  Peel onions and puree them in a food processor (or mince them very fine). Peel and mash garlic. Peel and chop potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
Heat oil in a large skillet and add pureed onions. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown a little.  Add garlic, tomato sauce, water, and potatoes.  Add the ginger, turmeric, cayenne, pepper and salt.  Mix well. Add cooked ground beef.
Stir and cook over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes.  The mixture will look a little watery at first, but water will gradually evaporate as potatoes cook. Add the butter during the last few minutes of cooking.  If potatoes stick to the bottom of the skillet even after adding butter, add another 1/2 cup of water and turn down the heat a little.  Dish is done when potatoes are cooked through.

A couple of notes: I just finely chop onions and garlic and do not add the butter at the end.

It's yummy on buns w/ fruit on the side. Enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Our family was blessed (again!) today by the birth of my great sister's first grandbaby. While I'm sad I'm not able to be there with them to hug on my sweet niece (She was a trooper! It was a long, hard labor.) and kiss on that yummy newborn, I'm rejoicing that God has chosen to once again bless our family with a new life.  My Mama told me recently that her "wealth was in her family". I love that! She understands what blessings children are and what a privilege it is to get to raise them. She started off as mom to 3 (2 for a while...I was a late surprise) became mom to 8, grandmother to 25 and great-grandmother to 11 as of today (#12 is due in December). We're looking forward to the day when we get to add more blessings to the total...

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's starting to become real...

Last week I was sitting on the couch w/ C2 playing. He's into his "AB's" as he likes to call them. Loves to sing the alphabet song and loves this placemat we have that has 2 of his faves on it...letters and animals. He was sitting in my lap and we were singing the song (many, many times), he would point out different animals and letters, sometimes grabbing my hand for me to point to things. I was snuggling his neck and stealing kisses on his toes (because is there anything cuter?) and it hit the near future there will be little brown fingers intwined w/ mine and little brown toes to kiss... All the months of talking about it and starting the paperwork that's what made it feel real to me. My other child(ren) live in another country...I don't know if they're born yet, what their situation is, how long it will be until we meet and bring them home, but I do know this...they are my children and I will snuggle with them on the couch, sing endless songs and steal kisses just as I've always done w/ my's what a mama does.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

An introduction

I know most of the readers here will be friends and family who know us well, but I thought I'd do a quick post to introduce my family. John and I will celebrate our 18th anniversary this summer. We were college sweethearts and he's my best friend. We are both up for the crazy adventures God wants us to go on. We've grown up together and look forward to growing old together.

Now for the boys....a quick friends IRL know I have major internet privacy issues. I'm not a big fan of putting my kids names and faces out there for the world to see. It was a major deal when I finally got a FB account and I'm still picky about what I post about them on there. That said, I will be using initials when I mention them and I would appreciate my IRL friends and family do the same when commenting....thanks!

P is my 14yo. He's about to be a freshman in high school. (How is that possible?) Loves football and basketball, is a leader in his youth group at church. Is a great big brother.

C1 is my 12 yo. He'll be starting 7th grade in the fall. He's also into football (our Thursday nights will be interesting!) and basketball. He's a deep thinker and has a million ideas going at once. He loves to work w/ the little kids at church.

E is my 8 yo. Oh that boy! ;-) He's a funny one. You never know what he's going to say. He's a math whiz and is obsessed w/ dates. Tell him your birthday and he'll remember it forever. He did great in AWANA this yr. finishing the 3rd Sparky book.

C2 is our baby. He's 2 yo (and yes he's still a baby!) He's been such a joy. He's into animals, cars, counting and "AB's". He loves his big brothers and can be found running around the house with a various assortment of light sabers or swords. We marvel at him everyday. Sometime I'll post about the story that led us to him.

God has blessed me with my family.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Food for thought....

A simple way to help widows and awesome is our God that he allows us to help like this?
Kelly has a great post on the subject.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Official! We're adopting from Ethiopia!

Our application #1 was accepted and we decided it was time to share our news with everyone. Last Sunday John announced our plans to our church. It's been an interesting journey so far and we've just gotten started....I'm excited to see what God has in store for us in the months ahead. Now on to application #2....the paper chase has begun!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My sweet little Valentine!

My baby boy wearing the cutest shirt. I ordered it from a family adopting from Ethiopia. Their blog is and she makes the cutest things. My little C2...can't believe how big he is's almost birthday time!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Week

What a week! The boys have been out of school all week and John has been home too. It's been nice to get lots of time together since our schedules are usually so crazy. on day 4 we're all starting to go a little stir crazy! It's been so icy the boys don't want to go outside, but maybe after getting some more snow today they can go burn off some energy! I've been able to get to work and back OK the past 2 days, slowly, but OK, since the hospital is always open. Hoping things start melting soon!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Help bring a baby home from Ethiopia!

One of the great things about blogging is the community it creates of people you'd never otherwise get chance to meet. I "met" Joely through her adoption blog. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. They're stepping up their fundraising efforts as there's some major money due soon in the process. You can help by checking out her blog... Expecting from Ethiopia

Monday, January 17, 2011

Crazy Week!

So glad to have last week behind me! It started off w/ a bang w/ all the snow on Sunday. The boys were off school Monday and enjoyed playing in the snow both days. My hubby went out of town from Monday to hats off to single moms and those who have their husbands gone for extended periods...I was exhausted when he finally made it home. Not helping of course was having sick kiddos...It's nice to have us all home together again. The boys are on the mend too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1st blog post ever!

Ever since I discovered the world of "mommy blogs" a few years ago, I've thought about starting my own. I'm not really sure how it will go.... I'm a pretty private person. I feel like 2011 is going to be a big year for me and my family. God has exciting things in store for us. I wanted to have somewhere to document our journey.