Friday, November 25, 2011


Thankful to say the least. This has been a year of blessings for our family, and as I've spent the last few days reflecting on all that I'm thankful for, I'm overwhelmed. I actually attempted to journal about all the blessings in my life this year, but realized a few minutes into it, it would take a really long time and a ton of journal paper.

God has blessed us this year with new family members, restored relationships, and new friendships, healthy children and renewed health for our parents, amazing ministry opportunities and wonderful brothers and sisters to do ministry alongside. We've had a year full of good times with our sweet kids and I have had another year of being married to the most amazing man that I've ever met. It has been a year of blessings, and to the Lord I am so thankful. Some blessings this year came in the form of a trial, but as a result, I have experienced growth that could not have happened any other way. Even for these trials, I am thankful.

We've been blessed to watch friends and family bring home sweet babies, including our dear friends Mark and Heather, who brought home their new son last week.

Baby Cruz had a huge fan club awaiting his arrival!

These three babies have all come home in the past couple of months, including my sweet niece, Daria.

Speaking of Daria and being thankful. Im thankful that right after this airport homecoming, Sonia decided to wash Daria's car seat cover, then realized she had to go to school to pick up her big boys. Guess what that meant??!!!

Aunt Polly got to babysit! Another thing I'm thankful for..... living next door to this sweet girl baby :)

It's been a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend at our house so far. We've spent time with all of our family, decorated for Christmas, my boys have been in the woods hunting, and we are spending tomorrow with friends watching some silly football game. We might be wearing some red and white, and that's all I'm saying ;)

Jesus, I am so thankful for the life you've given me. To YOU alone be all the glory!

Hope you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fundraisers and the Big Reveal

We have spent the past two week-ends doing something we absolutely love doing. Raising funds to help bring babies home. Last week, we had our final fundraiser for Esther. God is so good and faithful. We are set to bring her home, unless she has brothers or sisters ;)

Several months ago, my friend Andrea, who is an amazing artist, offered to help us raise money by doing a canvas painting party and donating all the proceeds to us. What a fun idea!!! My sweet friend Carol, offered to have the party at her church so we would be inviting girls who have not been invited to the other dozen or so fundraisers we've had. What a brilliant idea :) You may remember, this is the fundraiser that we postponed back in April due to the devastating tornados. A few families from Carol's church were left homeless as a result of the storms and we felt like their primary focus should be on those families.

We decided to wait until a better time and last Friday night proved to be the perfect night for our fellowship. I was able to share with the ladies about our adoption testimony, which I had planned to do the first time. But, now I was also able to share with them about the launch of our non-profit called, Altar 84. In addition to sharing our vision as a ministry, I was also able to encourage them to attend our Know More Orphans Conference in March. It was such a blessing to see the excitement in these girls eyes and be able to share our desire to see "the church" link arms for the sake of the orphan.

Had we had this fundraiser back in April...... I would not have been prepared to share any of that. Just reminds me how God's timing is ALWAYS perfect. BTW, to find out more about Altar 84 and the conference keep reading!

Here's a few pics from our painting party.....

Me, my sweet momma, and Maggie had so much fun, painting these Christmas wreaths.

The painting party came and went, and we were on to the next fundraiser. Only this time, it was not for Esther. It was for her little Asian friend, Gia!

Our friends, Kevin and Malerie are in the process of adopting a little girl from South Korea. A month or so ago, Maggie told me she wanted to do a bake sale to raise money for them. We've never done this before, so I called a local church that was having a craft show and then called all my friends to help. My idea of baking is making those cookies in the box with a snowman already stamped on them. Baking is not my specialty. Fortunately, many of my friends are culinary pros. Maggie and I baked some cupcakes and cookies to add to the yummy goodies and here's what we had.....

We had more stuff delivered to the bake sale including 3 cakes, a couple dozen brownies and lots of cookies. Maggie has started a ministry called, Children of God, and here she is at her very first fundraiser.

This sweet girl worked her booth for 12 hours Friday and 5 hours today. If a person even slowed down at her table, she was quick to tell them that if they purchased any of her goodies, they would be helping our friends get their baby girl home. All while directing their attention to this picture on my ipad.
Who in the world could say "no" to that?!!!..... Kevin and Malerie, holding a picture of their beautiful daughter. Maggie sold lots of stuff and she can not wait to hand the money to them in the morning at church.

To all of my amazing friends that helped make this happen for Maggie (and ultimately for Gia :), thank you so much. As I said to a couple of my friends earlier today, by "linking arms" we can bring these babies home.

What a blessing it is to get to be a part of Gia's story. Lot's of friends are waiting for you, sweet girl!

Last of all, it's time for the Big REVEAL!!!! We are so excited about the launch of our website for Altar 84 and the Know More Orphans Conference. Keep in mind, it's brand new and we've got more details to be added, but please take a look at both sites and feel free to email me if you have questions or you are interested in learning more about our ministry or conference. This has been like our baby that we, along with our friends, Jodie and Eric, have been preparing to birth for months. We feel like we are sorta in labor now. Literally, some days.... but God has been so faithful to provide a team of people who love orphans and are way more intelligent than us. We could have never gotten this far with out so many wonderful people coming alongside us in this effort. God has brought us to tears many times with His gracious provisions. Thank you Jesus for this journey!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baby Showers, Birthday Parties and Orphan Sunday

Last week was our quarterly baby shower for Expecting a Blessing. This never gets old. When God calls you into a place of ministry, it just gets better all the time. That's certainly the way I feel about these girls. With every group of girls, I sorta dread them delivering their babies and possibly being gone from my life, but God replaces ever single group of mammas with another special bunch of friends and we get to do it all over again. God has been so sweet to allow us to build long term friendships with so many moms that we met through this ministry. Here we are with our moms-to-be enjoying a very special day of celebration.
We have the MOST fun making these adorable baskets full of goodies. We are so grateful to the many people that donate all the items to fill these baskets up. It always makes me so happy to see how excited our moms are when they start digging into their goodies. Lexie, Maggie and Christen joined in the fun. Are these three girls beautiful or what?!

Lilly helped my friend Paula, from Grace's Kitchen serve punch.

Have you ever in all your life seen such an adorable baby girl? Baby K had all of us drooling over her cuteness :)

Thanks to our partners at Christ City Church, Hunter Street Baptist Church, and Grace's Kitchen for caring for these sweet babies and their mommas by making this a super special day!

We went from baby showers to birthday parties......
Guess who turned TWO!!!!!

We can not believe our baby Cash is two years old! What is wrong with me y'all? I have never let a baby have a paci for more than a few months and here Cashy is 2 and still loving his gaggy (yes that's what he calls it). Daddy and the kids give me a very hard time about this but its funny how the more kids I have, the more I want them to stay little. I also never let one of my boys have long hair until Cross.... it just fits his personality. He is long on rebellion..... and the older sweet Cashy gets, the more he learns from his partner in crime, Crossy. Cross + Cash = Crash! Lord, help me :)

I hope all of you are gearing up at your church for Orphan Sunday this week. I just heard about a great opportunity this morning and wanted to share it for those of you who are interested. You can go to Orphan Sunday's official website HERE and register to attend an online webcast this Sunday night at 6 p.m. central. This webcast will be LIVE and will include worship and guided prayer for the fatherless. Registration is simple and quick.

Last of all, if you are in Birmingham you should consider joining us at Lifeline Adoptions annual fundraiser banquet next Tuesday night, November 8th. This event will include a silent auction, followed by dinner and featured speakers David Platt as well as my pastor, David Nasser. With these two guys leading, I'm certain we will be challenged and encouraged to care for the orphans in our city and around the world. You can find more information and register HERE.