"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Monday, February 28, 2011

Uncertain Future

I read this today in my devotional.

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young 

I am leading you, step by step, through your life.  Hold my hand in trusting dependence, letting me guide you through this day.  Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy--even precarious.  That is how it should be.  Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things.  When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine.  This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting my promises to care for you.

Wherever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me.  I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that.  Relax and enjoy the journey in My presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.

This really spoke to me and I know it will speak to others.  My future definitely feels flimsy!!  I LOVE that He has my future already prepared for me. He already knows my journey.  It is not uncharted territory for Him.   It is difficult but I am trying so hard to just "relax and enjoy the journey in His presence."

If you do not have this book, I HIGHLY recommend you going out and getting it TODAY.  I seriously feel like each days devotional is written specifically for me.  God has really spoken to me through this devotional.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Academy Awards Night

We look forward to this event EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.  We have done it for so long that I cannot even fathom that other families do not take this night so seriously.  Some people don't even watch the Academy Awards AT. ALL!!  GASP!!!  It is almost up there with Thanksgiving and Christmas for our family.  My Dad starts planning this event months in advance.  As soon as Christmas is over, plans begin.  This year we got an evite, an invite in the mail and a large envelope containing this years ballots and arrival instructions.  Every year it get bigger and BIGGER.  This year, costumes were mandatory.  I took it as we had to wear costumes for movies that had been nominated.  So, it was hard for me to pick a costume.  Others came as whatever they felt like.

Can you guess what these two are?  Erin is from "Something about Mary".  It was very difficult to look at her all night without laughing.  Scott...obvious..."Social Network".
 Els on the red carpet as Woody from "Toy Story 3".

 Olivia came as Belle.
 Joel came as the guy from "127 hours"  His costume was in the less is more category.  My mom wore a necklace made of grits for "True Grit".  Pretty Clever.
 This is only half of the candy!  
 And MORE!!!

 I was one of the sisters from "The Fighter".  I will take any excuse to wear a side pony tail and leggings.
 Ols as Buzzlightyear and Clayton went as Andy.

 Jenni had the gutsiest costume.  She came as "Risky Business" guy.  All she wore was that shirt and some giant granny panties.  
 Haw Haw and Bob had the best costumes.  Bob was the guy from "127 hours".  Haw Haw was an army guy from Toy Story.  

 Love me some liquid cheese!!!!!!!!  LOVE!!!
 We also celebrated Jan/Feb birthdays.

The kids got trophies this year for their costumes.
 Tim was "Hurt Locker" and Macey was from "Karate Kid".  Emily came as the paparazzi.
 There were some shocking moments.
 And some disappointing moments.....
 ..........and frightful moments when I was afraid I wouldn't get the Boston Baked Beans I had my eye on.
 It was the BEST year yet.  Thanks Dad for putting on such a great night.  We LOVE it and cannot wait to see what you do next year.
                                                              ...and theoscar goes to.....


I have never won any contest...never won ANYTHING!!!  But, today, I am a WINNER.  I won a giveaway on a blog www.staciewood.com.  $25 amazon giftcard just for ME!!!  Her blog has really been an encouragment to me this week as she is a fellow adoptive momma from the same agency.  She came home with her sweet boy last year.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Joy of Love Day 22

Day 22
Face (a portrait)

The Journey is LONG

Adoption is a journey.  The journey is stepping out into the unknown.  The journey means putting ALL of my trust and faith in the Lord.  The journey is not easy.  In fact, it is the most difficult journey I have ever been on.  My faith is being stretched and I am being molded.  If I was not confident that God has called us to adopt, I would have run away a LONG time ago.  I must be obedient to Him.  I must continue on this LONG journey although at times I have grown tired and weary.  I will not be the same at the end of this journey.  I will be forever changed.

I have a daughter that lives across the world from me.  She has more than likely been born.  I have no idea if she is safe, sick, hungry, loved.  I continually think of her with this verse in mind ,"He tends his flock like a shepherd.  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart." Isaiah 40:11.  We studied this in BSF a couple of weeks ago and I have held on to this verse ever since.  I just picture Him holding her right next to His heart.  He loves her, He will protect her. I also LOVE the song Safe by Phil Wickham.  You can listen to it here. She is safe in HIS arms.  I remind myself of this moment by moment.

We are so ready for the next step.  We have our fingerprinting appointment on March 9th and we are so close to our financial goal to be able to mail in our dossier.  A couple of days ago, I was doubting that we would be able to come up with the money in time.  I struggle with trust in the financial part.  AGAIN, God provided.  I am so ready to be DTE (dossier to Ethiopia) and be put on the waiting list for our baby girl.  Praying for the first week of April.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.....those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31

Monday, February 21, 2011

Joy of Love Day 21

Day 21

Sweet, chubby, spaghetti-eating hands.

Why NOT Ethiopia


Check out www.anniehalpin.blogspot.com for our first big fundraiser.  Help us bring our daughter home!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Joy of Love Day 20

Day 20
When They're Home

There are many car races and many messes made.  There are many days when we stay in our jammies all day long.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Joy of Love Day 19

Day 19
When He's Gone
(a self-portrait)

Just me and Daisy hanging out.  Catching up on some blogging.  Might get a little crazy and watch something on Hulu or netflix.
Supposed to try and learn the art of the self-timer.  Not an easy task.  Most of the pictures had my head cut-off.  This is the best I could get.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Joy of Love Day 18

Day 18
Going Out

We have been stuck indoors for so long that we are loving the outdoors.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joy of Love Day 15

Day 15 Kisses

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Our plans for this evening were to just hang out at home.  I spent the day making homemade pizza dough and homemade dough for roll I was making for my stay at home date with Joel.  

The cute heart-shaped pizzas.  YUM!

 I am so lucky to have so many valentine's.  Here is one of them.
 And another valentine.  They were covered in heart-shaped tattoos.
 I decided for our stay at home date that we would each be in charge of 2 courses of the meal.  Joel does not cook much.  He can put a pizza in the oven or flip some pancakes, but I am not sure he has ever followed a recipe.  He was having a hard time figuring out the mixer.  I thought it was sweet that he was trying so hard.  He really came through with his part of the meal.  He bought some yummy bread and made the olive oil dip that you get at Italian restaurants.  It tasted exactly like it.  I made some shrimp pasta with a ceaser salad and homemade rolls (yes, we had tons of bread and we ate tons of it---explains the massive weight gain over a short period of time).  Then he made chocolate mousse.  It was perfect too.  I think I have a closet cook on my hands.
This was so much fun that I think we will do it again next year.  

The Joy of Love Day 14

Day 14
Wedding Rings

'til death do us part.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Joy of Love Day 13

Day 13

Phone in hand.  This is part of his routine.  

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Joy of Love Day 12

The Eyes

Pretty green eyes.
Long Eyelashes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Joy of Love Day 11

Day 11

Dreaming of the little sister that will one day be holding this bitty baby.
Dreaming of the little girl that we will one day be holding in our arms.