Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts on "Yuck".

I did something today that I haven't done in four years at least.  I put on my big black roller blades and took off.  Those of you who knew me four years ago, know how wonderful this must have felt.  Those of you who know me now, might also be able to imagine how much needed this time was.  You see, some of you know that the past couple of weeks have been filled with "yuck" all around me.  "Yuck" actually doesn't really begin to explain it really.  Here is a run down.  An adoption quickly approaching 2 years with no real end in sight.  One young man and two young women my age dead, leaving behind young families and countless loved ones.  Cancer claiming yet another precious member of our family.  A shooting in an elementary school, probably not too much different from the one I taught in only 2 years ago. Seriously, so much sorrow and sadness in this world.  I was to the point of being a bit overwhelmed by it all. 

Then, as I took off on my roller blades, this song was the VERY FIRST one that played.  We could make all kinds of arguments about these different tragedies.  "Adoption shouldn't be so hard, I mean there are sooo many babies who need homes" or "If we could only find a cure" or "We really need better gun laws".  I'm not saying that some of those arguments aren't valid; I'm just saying that even if all of those problems were solved this world would still be filled with sorrow.  This world would still be filled with pain.  This world would still be filled with "yuck".  Why?  This. world. is. not. our. home.  Like the song says (go listen to it) "Jesus has overcome, And the grave is overwhelmed, The victory is won He is risen from the dead."  I needed that reminder.  I needed to be reminded that Jesus has won the victory over sin and all the sorrow in this world.

1Corinthians 15:55-57 "Oh death, where is your victory?  Oh death, where is your sting?  The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"

My time roller blading ended with this song. These lyrics brought me to tears. 

"Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me  [ Lyrics from: ]
On and one and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains."

I am so thankful for His love.  So thankful that it never fails.  In the face of the fear of our adoption never coming to an end.  In the face of the sorrow for my friends and family who are dealing with loss.  In the face of evil that is senseless killings.  This one thing remains.  "Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me."  That love is the answer to the questions that these trials bring.

Romans 5:8 "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Adoption Update and some pretty awesome shirts.

We got some news last week that we have been waiting for for almost two years. Our agency notified us that there is a little girl in DRC who is now a Mattingly! Wow! What a journey we have been through so far. Here is a recap for those of you who may not know:

---Start with one agency. Wait for well over a year for a referral. No end in sight as far as that wait. Start to hear about and suspect some corruptness within that agency. Find an agency with a waiting child list. Switch to that agency. Get a referral for a little 11 month old girl almost immediately. Wait seven months only to hear that she actually had family come forward who wanted her. Cry, grieve, pray, and wait to see if it was in fact family that wanted her and not someone else. Get a phone call that the little girl did in fact have loving family that had been looking for her. Cry some more. Overwhelmed by peace in God's sovereign plan. Get word of another little girl who is a true orphan who needs a home. Accept that referral, she was then five months old. Two months later here we are! We now know who Lydia is and we can't WAIT to kiss all over her sweet cheeks!--

I have a couple whole other posts started about things we have learned through this journey and how this journey has changed our faith and grown our love for Jesus, but those posts are for another day. Today we just wanted to rejoice with you! I also wanted to let you know that we will be doing a long sleeved shirt fundraiser for the next couple of weeks. We will be taking orders so if you'd like one let me know your details! The adult shirts will be long sleeved and are $25. The kiddo's only come in short sleeve and are $20. If you'd like one just look me up on facebook or shoot me an email!
Thanks so much for walking this wonderful journey alongside us!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Greeting Card Deal!

Still card shopping?

Have you gotten your Christmas cards yet? Here is another great site! Treat is Shutterfly’s exciting new greeting card brand that makes it easy for people to create and send one-of-a-kind greeting cards. Treat cards are perfect for holidays, birthdays, congrats, thank yous and every occasion in between. It’s crazy fun. It’s super easy. And it’s totally personal.

And today only you can create and send a totally personalized greeting card from Treat for FREE. Whether saying thanks for Thanksgiving, wishing a best friend a holiday birthday, or simply sharing the holiday cheer with a just because card, Treat lets you create a one-of-a-kind card that is sure to impress. Just use the code TREATBLOGR! Then enjoy the fact that you just made the recipient of the card smile really big right before Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Are you planning Christmas Cards??

Are you planning on sending Christmas Cards this year?  It's hard to believe it's already time to start thinking about Christmas!  I've been picking pictures today for our Christmas Cards and I love the options that tinyprints has!  Seriously LOVE THEM!!!  So if you are looking for some great quality cards to send to friends and family this year then you will most definitely want to check out their special offers page!!  Oh I can't wait to see ours!  And seriously when you have awesome pictures like this one:
why wouldn't you want to share!!?? 

**This is a sponsored post from Tiny Prints.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Adoption Update and Cards for a Cause

In my last post I mentioned that our agency thought they might have another referral for us. They did in fact get us a new referral very quickly and while it was bittersweet knowing that we will forever love one little girl we'll never know, we are so thankful for God's mercy in giving us a new little face to pray for and hopefully call our own. We accepted a referral for a sweet little five month old girl on October first. The timeline from here is estimated at 6 months. We will of course be praying for everything to move crazy quick and would invite you to do the same. :-). Basically, now we wait to pass court (again) and for our appeal period to end which would make this little sweetie officially our Lydia.

For now we have a super exciting fundraiser!! As you all know I am a consultant for Usborne Books and More. What you may not know is we have a really wonderful fundraiser called Cards for a Cause. Basically you have the choice of two different sets of adorable cards. There are 30 cards in each box and each box is only $30!! One dollar a card!!! With each box you purchase you are helping fund not only our matching grant, but my sister's family's matching grant as well!! I do believe that is a win-win folks!! Interested?! Let me know on here or better yet check it out on my facebook! Our goal is to sell at least 50 boxes! Please help is meet that goal and share this with as many friends as possible! Thanks!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Heartache, adoption hiccups, and hope in God

We have been in an adoption whirlwind of sorts. You see, two weeks ago we received word from our agency that the little girl that we got a referral on in February actually had family in Congo who objected to our adoption judgement. Our agency wasn't sure about the validity of it, but yesterday we got a phone call from our agency saying that the little girl that we've been calling Lydia was no longer an orphan, she was with her family in Africa.

So there you have it. Adoption is hard, but at the same time it is glorious. You see adoption is the gospel. Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!". We have been reminded so many times in this journey about the depth of Jesus' love for us. And while we are heartbroken that the little sweet face we've been looking at for 8 months is not our Lydia, we have peace and hope in God's perfect plan for our family. We know that He will help us to love the next little girl that he gives us a picture of and prayerfully brings home to us. And just as we cling to His words in John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." about the day we will see Him face to face, we also cling to those words for our Lydia. We will come to you sweet girl.

So what's next for us? We will keep perusing our Lydia just as Jesus pursued us. Will it be hard? Yes. Will there be more heartache? Maybe. Waiting? Definitely. We will speak to our agency coordinator on Monday about another little girl that is waiting in Africa. We will continue to work on getting our Lifesong grant matched to finish funding our adoption. Most of all we will pray. We will pray for Lydia. We will pray for hearts to be stirred to care for orphans. We will pray for our story to bring glory to His great name. The one who gave it all so we could be "children of God." We will enjoy this sweet little one He has already entrusted us with:

And wait with excitement to see His plan for our little Lydia.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Huge Praise: Matching Grant and how you can help!

Lifesong and our church's orphan care ministry is partnering with us by offering us a $3000 matching grant. Here is the text for the letter with details on how you can help us get every dollar matched which would mean $6000 toward costs associated with our adoption and getting our sweet baby girl home. That would put this adoption very close to being fully funded. Our God is big people!! (PS. I'm going to try to not be a so terrible blogger in the near future)

Dear Family and Friends,

Most of you are aware that about a year and a half ago we began a journey to answer God’s call to care for the fatherless through adoption. We began the process to adopt a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo in February of 2011. You may also be aware that a little over five months ago we finally got to see the face of the child we have been perusing all this time. Our agency has advised us not to put our sweet Lydia’s picture in print, but trust us when we say she is beyond precious!! In the pictures we’ve seen she even has the same serious face that her big sister Lylah is so well known for! Right now we are waiting for documents to clear so that we can begin the process of applying for her visa and scheduling embassy appointments. We are getting so close and are prayerful that God would move in mighty ways to bring Lydia home even by Christmas.

Some of you might be wondering what prompted us to adopt. Well, primarily, we see that God calls us to care for orphans. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” James 1:27. We recognized that for our family one way we could care for orphans was to adopt one into our family. We know that God loves Lydia and all other orphans around the world. His desire is for them to be cared for. We have a loving home ready to adopt, love, and care for Lydia and prayerfully one day she will see her need to be adopted into an eternal family through Jesus Christ.

The biggest challenge for adopting families, ourselves included, is finding the finances to make an adoption happen. The estimated total cost of our adoption is over $25,000. This cost covers adoption fees, document preparation, home study, airfare, travel expenses, attorney fees, and funds to care for Lydia while she is still living away from us. We certainly don’t have $25,000 lying around, but God is faithful and has proven it over and over. By His grace and the generosity of friends and family we’ve been able to pay the initial $15,000! We appreciate you and the way you have been involved in our journey thus far. We would like to ask you to pray and consider continuing on with us as we seek to bring our little lady home. There are two specific ways you can help:

1. Prayer-Please pray that God would protect and provide for Lydia in the DRC until we are able to bring her home. Pray that the remaining steps of our process would be smooth and without problem. Begin to pray for Lydia’s transition to us and for our transition to a family of four. Ultimately pray that God will give us wisdom to raise the children He is entrusting us with and that Lydia (and Lylah) would come to know Jesus as their Savior.

2. Financial Support- Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us pay the remaining $10,000 in adoption expenses to bring Lydia home. Lifesong partnering with our church Living Hope has graciously given us a Matching Grant of $3,000 to help bring Lydia home!

If you would like to be a part of God’s work in giving Lydia a family and in turn exposing her to the gospel as a part of her daily life, you can send your tax-deductible gift between now and October 31st to the address below. Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on Lydia’s behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of the funds received.

1. Please make checks payable to: Lifesong. You may preference how the donation might be used by writing “Mattingly #2986 adoption” in the memo section of your check. (Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong which retains full discretion and control over its use).

2. Mail checks to : Lifesong for Orphans Attn: Mattingly#2986 PO Box 40/ 202 N. Ford St. Gridley, IL 61744

Thank you so much for investing in the Kingdom through prayers and finances-we pray that this journey will bring much glory to God! We will continue to update about our process and by all means stop us and ask to see Lydia’s picture! We love to show her sweetness to those who love her already just as we do!

In Christ Alone, Nathan, Lara, and Lylah

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lylah's third birthday party

******i thought I had already posted this but alas, just found it in my drafts! Happy flashback to summer! ;-)

As some of you may or may not have figured out I'm sort of having bloggers block. So with that being said I'm not sure how often I'll be blogging but I did know I wanted to remember Lylah's third birthday details. I had planned to have a mermaid party until one morning she came into the bathroom as I was getting ready and told me " mama, I want to have a Dr. Seuss 'birtay' and I want to wear this skirt (a Dr.Seuss skirt mom had gotten her last year) but I still want a Tiona dolly.". Now if you know anything about me you know I can handle a Dr. Seuss birthday! I didn't go crazy with it though. Just a banner, some stuffed animals my friend (who has a mutual love for all things Seuss) let us borrow, some photo booth props, and streamers and balloons. I thing it created the perfect setting for this super sweet picture!

Lylah had a ball at the party! The weather looked questionable for a but again (like last year) but it turned out to be a great day! Lylah swam with her friends and family until presents were opened and then she was glued to them. Speaking of presents we had talked all week about sowing thankfulness. Lylah had decided that it would show thanks to say "I love it, I love it" I ran with that and we practiced all week long. I'm weird I know. She remembered what we talked about as she was opening gifts but lets just say she sounded a bit robotic! It was really cute though!

And this is how she ate her cake! Too funny! It was a super sweet day celebrating a super sweet girl!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Impromptu Lightening Bug Catching

Tonight we had a great time doing something that I hope you get a chance to do this summer too...catching lightening bugs!! Lylah held the jar while mommy and daddy ran around like crazy people trying to catch each lightening bug she pointed out!! We filled her jar and came inside to turn out all the lights and watch the bugs flashing. Lylah loved it and actually so did I!!! We talked about how awesome it is that God created a bug that lights up at night! We also told her how we are to be lights of the world. We watched the bugs some more and actually went out and caught MORE!

Nathan put Lylah to bed (with her jar on the chair next to the bed) and he said we need to catch lightening bugs every night because Lylah was super sweet. She even asked to pray for me which she NEVER does!!! She talked to her lightening bugs for almost 40 minutes!! Summer memories. Love it :)

Princess Tea Party

We have the best library ever. We REALLY have the best librarian ever! She put together the sweetest little princess tea party for the girls on Saturday. Now our little lady is such a funny mixture of totally girly and adventure lovin' girl. Well let's just say that the tea party was super fun for the girly side of Lylah. Here are just a few pictures of our fun:

Thankfully the frog didn't turn into a prince :). We aren't going to be ready for that for a long time!!

Camping out

On Memorial Day weekend we finally got a chance to go camping. You see we tried going camping with Lylah for the first time in the fall, but couldn't find our tent, we borrowed one from our neighbors and it broke when we were trying to set it up :(

So we got a new tent for Christmas and finally had a night that was free and was good weather wise. Lylah was super excited about the tent and her sleeping bag!! When we got to the camp site we immediately ate lunch. Lylah was not happy about the flies which made me think we were for sure going to have to turn around and leave. Thankfully she calmed down and got to work "helping" daddy set up the tent. Like I said she was very excited about the tent so as soon as it was up she was ready to get in her sleeping bag!!

After playing around the site for a bit we went down to the lake to swim. She had some arm floats and another little float. We all had a great time swimming!! The water was perfect!!!

Nathan's uncle lives close to the lake so we went to his house for a cookout that evening. It was a great visit and incredible food, but sadly I didn't get any pictures :(

We got back to the site in time for Nathan to work on getting the fire going. We had the perfect camping evening. We roasted marshmallows and played games. We even got Lylah some glow sticks which were a big hit!!

When it came time for bed I reminding Nathan that I was sure we wouldn't be actually sleeping for a while. We all three got into the tent and the craziest thing happened....Lylah went right to sleep!! She slept until 7:30 the next morning!! Perfect camping trip with our little family!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Year Later

You may remember that about a year ago I left my job teaching and started a new job of being a full time mommy and wife. You may also remember that decision was a huge step of faith for our family as Nathan was self employed. Our plan was to look around to find him a different job ASAP. We needed (so we thought) a steady, predictable cash flow to make it with me not working. Well, I'm so thankful that God knows exactly where I need to grow because it was His plan that Nathan would continue to be self employed for the whole "school year". Talk about taking the act of provision out of our hands!! There were weeks without work, there were weeks with lots of work, there was a new friendship made that provided work that otherwise would not had happened. He who calls you is faithful. Our bills were always paid, our tummies were always full, we even still had some extras. This year has been so humbling as things didn't go as we planned, but we were still taken care of. Last week, Nathan started a new job. We are beyond words thankful!! He will be working full time and also have benefits. This job came along in God's perfect time. He knew that we both needed to learn to trust Him fully for our provision, so He waited to bring that job. I'm so glad He did. Now, we still won't be living a life of luxury! We don't want that life anyway! We will continue to need to budget well and be wise with our spending, we will just know how much we have to budget. We definitely won't forget who is the one really meeting our needs each and everyday!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Adoption Update Alert!!

We got word last week that our dossier (AKA: big ole stack of papers important for the completion of our adoption) was in the DRC!!! Woooowhooooo!!! We are super excited for this big step!! Our agency estimates the wait time from here to be 4-6 months!! Now, we know adoption is a roller coaster and timelines don't always go as expected, but would you join us in praying that the timeframe would be close to this?? Lylah is asking more and more questions about Lydia. Tonight while I was rocking her she said, "Mommy, Lydia is going to sleep in my pack in play and I'm going to sleep in a big girl bed. I don't think you can rock her.". I explained to Lylah that Lydia may want to be rocked too and asked her if she thought I could rock them both at the same time. Her reply, "oh that's a good idea. After we are finished rocking can I kiss her?". She also asked recently, "Mommy, will Lydia be scared?". Deep question from my little thinker!! I told her that yes Lydia would probably be a little scared because she has never seen us before. Lylah of course had a solution to that problem. "I'll just tickler her mommy, then she'll be happy!". Oh sweet Lydia we can't WAIT for you to get home so we can kiss and tickle you!!!


Sometimes as a mom, you have to take a break from all the teaching, all the discipline, all the messes, and all the "am I doing this right" feelings.

Sometimes you just have to let loose...

Stop being so rational.....

And enjoy the moments....

Of being a mom.

I needed that afternoon of laughter between two buddies more than I realized. I needed a reminder that part of being a mom is not taking yourself too seriously. Oh what a joy it was to see these two girls be silly!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Down on the farm

Monday we went with some other mama's to tour Chaney's farm. First of all, if you haven't taken your child to one of Mr. Chaney's presentations then that needs to make your summer bucket list! He loves what he does and it really does come through in his presentation!! I was always impressed when he could hold my kindergarten classes attention, but I was even more impressed when he held a rather large group of lil bits (who were mostly 3 and under) attention!! Most of them weren't even sitting with their mommies!!!

Anyway, we had loads of fun!! Lylah loves cows probably thanks to lots of trips to Uncle Kenny's farm. Her favorite part of the day was the baby calf, Bambi. She also got a big kick out of Mr. Chaney trying to squirt he with milk from Miss Glimmer the Cow's udder!! I loved getting to catch up with some of my best mom buddies and even though I did manage to lock my keys in the trunk it was a beautiful day so the wait for AAA wasn't bad at all!!! Here are some pics of our fun!!

Blurry getting squirted picture :)

Petting Miss Glimmer with her buddy Brady and cousin Bella.

Kisses from Bambi the calf!!

Tractor, tractor :)

Hugs from Mr. Chaney. So sweet.

Blue Mooooon ice cream! Yummy!!!

And some fun on the playground!

Friday, May 4, 2012

An impromptu taste of Barren County.

Last Friday we needed to go out to Nathan's uncle's farm in Barren County. It ended up being a delightful evening of enjoying some local businesses in the area!!! First we stopped by the Berry Patch. The Berry Patch actually is the farm right next to Uncle Kenny's so we know the family. After choosing a basket of strawberries we visited for a bit. They were getting ready for their open house and had this huge flower basket as a fun contest!!

How much do you think it weighed?! Lylah even got to help one of the girls on the farm with the chicken chores! She loved that!!! Oh, and the strawberries were so yummy that some of them did not make it home :)

After that we headed over to Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese. We bought some yummy Tomato Basil cheese, chatted with Aunt Beverly, played with their dog and checked out the cows and their awesome new cheese shop that is being built! After that we headed to...

This bakery/restaurant used to be right up the road from Kenny's, but they moved closer to town. It seemed to be a good choice! The place was hoppin' even though we didn't get there until 6:45. They have the yummiest homemade pizza EVER!!!!!

We ended our meal with some super yummy cookies!!!!

Soooo, if you are ever in the Barren County area stop by any of these great places for a treat!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

And just like that...our little budding artist!!

Lylah and I have been drawing and coloring together for a long time. I mean probably since she was 9-10 months old. I know, I'm weird, but anyway....I have always drawn "happy faces" for her and occasionally I'll draw our family or an outside type drawing with flowers and trees. I am NOT by any means an artist, but maybe I'll be the mother of one ;). Really, Lylah would prefer drawing to coloring any day, but a couple of weeks ago she drew this on her easel:

Her first "happy face"!! A pretty darn cute one too if I do say so myself!!! She hadn't really done it again and then all of the sudden she drew this Monday:

Just incase you didn't recognize her because I didn't either. That is "my little sister Lydia in Africa" as Lylah explained to me! Seriously, watching our child develop leaves me speechless before our awesome Creator God. Wow!!

Needless to say that picture wasn't a fluke!! Here is the artist hard at work and some more of her masterpieces!!

This person has "two short ponytails".

The ones with just one circle and two legs she usually calls "dogs". :)

And here is her super adorable "octopus"! Love it!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A little of this and that

It's been a while soooo in a very poor effort to catch you up on what has been going on around here, I give you the post full of this and thats. Here you go:

1. We had a dossier marathon a few weeks ago. I'm glad to say that after getting a huge stack of papers certified at the county we, along with my sister and niece made a trek to our state capitol to get the same papers certified there too.

The result of said trip to Frankfort (which really deserves a post of its own) was:

A completed and shipped dossier. And a huge weight lifted off of this mama's shoulders!! Hopefully all documents will be translated by the end of May and on their way to DRC!!

2. You probably know by now that I am a consultant with Usborne Books and More. What you may not know is that we have sticker activity books. Well let's just say that those sticker activity books are my lil lady's favorite thing right now!! My favorite one so far is the shape sticker book. She didn't know her shapes before doing the sticker book and now she does! Yay!!!

3. And just because I think I might have a problem when it comes to adoption tshirts :)...

How sweet is that?! Seriously love it!!

4. Lylah is only slightly obsessed with the game "hide and seek". She doesn't really understand the point as she always tells where she is going to hide and mostly hides in the same few spots, but it is still super fun to play with her!! Also it is not in common to walk out of the room for a second only to find yourself forced into a game of hide and seek when you come back to said room!!

5. If you know Lylah, you also know that she is a very nice blend of girly mixed with not so much girly at all. Well, let's just say her girly side loooooves to get her nails painted!!

I'm just glad the not so girly side is okay with getting those same fingernails dirty while playing out in the yard!

6. Do you like my new cup?!

My dear friend is designing these neat-o tumblers as an awesome adoption fundraiser. I'm sure you know someone who needs one :)

7. Our lil lady has a real issue with the wind. The result is her own skater girl style on a windy, yet warm day.

8. Speaking of wanna be skater girl:

I love my new shoes!!! Thanks Midkiff gang!!! I sure do love you guys!!!

9. I can't wait to tell you in a whole post of its own about some big provisions we've seen lately!!!

10. I'm ready for bed. So I leave you with a sweet picture of our sweetie in her jammie jams.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reach for the Stars Reading Program in Lydia's honor

As you may remember I became a consultant with Usborne Books and More in September. We offer a pledge based reading program called Reach For The Stars. I am organizing a summer reading program in Lydia's help raise funds to bring her home. Here is how it is going to work:

You let me know that you and your kiddo/s would like to participate. I will mail you a pledge form. You will take up pledges and read with your loved ones for 30 minutes a day for two weeks. You will earn 100% of your pledges back in FREE books. Those of you who live far away will have some shipping costs. I will make a commission and will use it toward our adoption. That I do believe is a WIN-WIN!!!! Here is a run down of information on the actual program:

Usborne's pledge-based reading incentive program returns 100% back to the participant in free books :)

What is the goal of the program?
The goal of Reach for the Stars is for children to read - or be read to - for 300 minutes over a two week period of time.

Who can participate?
This program is designed to benefit any organizational group, such as schools, individual classrooms, clubs, preschools, church groups, home school groups, charities, and public libraries.

How does the program work?
Parents and children ask friends, family, people they know (NO door-to-door) to sponsor their reading time by pledging a flat amount.

How do the kids benefit?
They develop the important habit of daily reading and receive Usborne books! The Reach For The Stars program helps children discover the joy of reading and gives them the opportunity to choose their very own high quality Usborne books to keep!

How can you benefit?
100% of the pledges collected are returned to you in books. PLUS you help Lydia get home sooner!! Yay!!

The event will run from June 4th-15th. So I will be mailing pledge sheets out in mid-May so hurry and sign up now!! You can email me at, find me on Facebook and let me know there, or give me a call. I'm soooooo excited about this!!! I hope you are too! Please help me spread the word and share this blog post with everyone you know who loves to read!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I wish this blog post would come complete with pictures of you all dressed up with ice cream cake all over your face sitting in your high chair with a hand made "I am 1!" banner hanging from it, but alas that wasn't God's plan for you Miss Lydia. His perfect plan for you was that you would spend your first birthday in an orphanage in your birth country-the DRC. I wonder what your first birthday was like? Did anyone make mention of it? I hope you got lots of extra hugs and snuggles from the Sisters there caring for you. We spent the day celebrating Christ's Resurrection, yes your first birthday was on Easter, another Holiday we can't wait to celebrate with you. I was especially guarded about your birthday, so while I thought about you EVERY minute there were no presents or decorations or a party here. I really wasn't even going to put anything on Facebook, but others beat me to it :). You are so loved already sweet girl!!! You better believe that when you get home with us, your first birthday with us will be a big ol celebration!!! Just wait until you taste your Poppy's ice cream cake!!!! Oh, and I apologize if Lylah tries to invade your present opening!! We will sing at the top of our lungs and maybe you'll smile or maybe you'll scream, but either way it will be wonderful!!! At the end of your first birthday we had some ice cream that Papa brought over. At the last minute we decided to put a candle on Lylah's bowl. She blew out your candle for you and we sang and prayed for you. We are so thankful for you and all you have taught us about faith and God and love even though we haven't even met you yet! We love you and can't wait to see you prayerfully before your next birthday.

Easter Day

We had a rather crazy week leading up to Easter. Nathan was with a team doing mission work in Europe so Lylah and I headed to Indiana with my sister and niece. Despite our routine being off in many ways, we still managed to have a devotion every night using the Resurrection Eggs. If you have not seen these you must check them out!!! Lylah loved them!!! They remind me a lot of the What God Wants for Christmas that we used at Christmastime. The night we opened the first egg which has a plastic donkey in it, she insisted on taking a bath with it!!!

We did a couple of crafts in Indiana too. We did a sticker page and made palm branches out of green construction paper and cut outs of the girls' handprints. I did not manage to take a picture of either :(. Bella was especially sweet saying "praise God" and waving her palm branch!!!

When we got home from Indiana we had a lazy Saturday waiting for Daddy to get home so we did a couple more crafts. We made a cross that came in a craft kit I found at Mighty $ as well as a little "lamb of God" craft I found on Pinterest. Again, I did not take pictures. Sunday was a sweet day. Lylah was soooo excited to have her daddy wake her up!!! I can't describe her sweet face when she saw him!!! Priceless for sure! I had made a special breakfast for Lylah the night before....

We all participated in the Easter challenge to wear clothes that helped support an adoption rather than the typical Easter attire.

Lylah was starting to feel bad so we took her to service with us. She actually did really well and only got a bit wiggly at the end!! She asked a lot of questions like, "why did they turn the lights off", "where is Merrick" (her daddy was playing in the band). By the time we got home though she was feeling even worse. I had planned to do another craft (we'll just save it for next year), but we only did resurrection rolls which she did really love. When they came out of the oven I showed her that Jesus was not there and she had to run and tell Daddy!! It was really sweet :)

So thankful for that empty tomb!!!