Saturday, December 08, 2012

O Christmas Tree


This is the first year we have gone to an actual tree farm and cut down our tree.  We had so much fun!!!  Kollin had to miss it because he had the tummy bug the rest of us had throughout the week (see the previous post).  Wish he could have joined in too.  The tree farm we went to was the most gorgeous old farm with a milk cow, chickens, a swinging bridge across a gorgeous peaceful river in the mountains.  I love living here.  Everywhere you look is just full of God's glory.  I was worried we would be miserable when we moved having lived in the same county most all our lives, but we really do love it here.

 The one they chose...they're pretty good at this stuff. :)  It's a 10fter
 Karaline, my tree hugger, and her little Charlie Brown tree
 The one Kemry wanted...how cute is she with the saw?
 Hmmm..$5 per foot and this is about.... (I can hear John's calculating thoughts without him saying a peep)
 Wrapping it up!  
 Then we took a walk across the swinging bridge to the other side of the river
 A view looking back at the farmhouse
 Meadow the milk cow  who loved my kids!
 Ready to take her home! 
(Kemry is pouting here because I wouldn't let her pose on top of the car with the tree)
 TIME TO DECORATE
(just so she can UNdecorate)



 Putting up our tree summoned DOBY! YEAAA!!!  Kemry was SOOO happy he was back (although she did put a magazine in front of him so he couldn't see her being naughty later in the day)
He left a note because he wasn't able to get in the house.
 Stuck between the screen and the window

 having fun after decorating the tree
 I love being a mommy sandwich!
 Where we found Doby the next morning
 We also got to go to our little town's Christmas parade for the first time that same weekend.  It's the most amazing quaint little historic town.  We love it and the parade was great.

 My sweet girl wearing PJs, a toboggan, playing with Barbies. lol
More Doby silliness...we found him in the arms of the angel on top of the tree one morning. LOL Guess what song was stuck in our heads all day after that? :)  
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Crazy Thanksgiving - Just Like We Like It

Thanksgiving was a CRAZY week for our family.  On Saturday, I had a neglected, cracked tooth start to abscess.  We drove to my sister's new old farm house to help them do some renovations and we didn't work long before Kerrigan threw up.  Hoping it was a fluke, we headed home.  It wasn't.  She threw up over 15 times within the next 12 hours.  After Kerrigan it spread through our house like wildfire.  On Monday my abscessed tooth had only gotten worse, the antibiotic wasn't working at all.  AND I developed mastitis!!!!!!!!!!  By Wednesday I had the tummy bug Kerrigan brought home.  The day before I was expecting over 30 people at my house for Thanksgiving.  By Wednesday night I was feeling much better and got up Thursday fine.  Praise the Lord we got through Thursday with no illness.  My sister, BIL, and nephews spent the night because we hit the black Friday Sales,which are now on Thursday (hmmm) and by late Thursday night Kolton was throwing up too.  We survived and have quite the story to talk about at future Thanksgivings. :)  Since I haven't posted many pics lately, here it goes. :)

 My 5am kitchen helper Thanksgiving morning
 Best buddies, and cousins, Avry and Kerrigan drawing on the kids' table
 This makes me want to go back and do it all again...yuuuum
 A few of the kids at the kids table.  Kerrigan took getting to sit at the kids table very seriously this year! HAHA  She saved Avry a seat and everything.
 My awesome brother, Kellon, and his son Mason.  Are they gorgeous or what?
 My sweetie FINALLY getting to get his plate.  He does a lot of the meal prep and poor thing has to be one of the last to eat. Possibly related...he has also lost 35lb in the last few months!  
 Everyone trickled through the food line. :)  This year my BIL's dad got to join us as well!  
 More amazing folks...my SIL, MIL, mom, and biggest boy, Kollin at the signature table
 The guys are trying to take our Black Friday shopper jobs! AHHHHH!  This is what our house looks like right after we eat on Thanksgiving, but it's usually us sisters going through all the papers and planning our disaster route. :)
 Two of my 3 nephews...pure sweetness
 My older 2 girlies with my baby sister and my Aunt Diane...love these ladies!
 TRYPTOPHAN 
My nephew Avry filling some big shoes
 KEMRY PIE!
 My camera has been broken so I'm relying on my cell for pics, but I still love how this picture of my nephew Mason turned out.  
 We were missing Mason here because he had gone home, but here are the rest of the grandkids Friday morning.....and yes they are weirdos. LOL
I couldn't resist ending it this way......this is the official after Thanksgiving, over-exhausted sugar CRASH...such despair haha
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Friday, December 07, 2012

OUR DOSSIER IS IN ETHIOPIA!


It's there!!!  Our dossier (the huge packet of papers from police clearances to our homestudy to employment letters to reference letters to medical reports to financial letters) is finally IN ETHIOPIA!!!!!!!!!!  Now we're officially just waiting on a court date!

The earliest we expect a court date is January.  We will get to travel for that and will spend time with the kids.  Once we pass court (we pray it's during our trip but it may not be until a bit after), we should travel a few weeks later back to bring them home.  I would give anything to stay there between court and pick up.  I know it's going to kill me to leave them, but we survived leaving Kemry until we were able to go back and we will have to do it again.

The kids are getting so excited.  They write us letters and it is so encouraging to see how they are relying on God to bring them peace during the wait for their family to come get them.  If they are so faithful, how could I not be?  They have spent their lives wishing for a family who will love them like they deserve to be loved.

The stories we're hearing from families who are traveling are so precious.  "Y" asked a friend to cut his hair with safety scissors.  THen he was so embarrassed he wore his hood all day to hide it.  "M" is the long standing "monitor" of all the children at the transition home.  This means she is elected to this huge responsibility by the other children.  She is very honored to have this title and is very loved by all the children.  She helps them with their school work, getting dressed, doing their chores, etc.  "B" never stops smiling.  Oh my goodness this girl is like a strobe light....so sparkly and bright.  We got video of them doing school and she smiled through her whole presentation to the classroom, batted her eyes, swayed her shoulders...so expressive.  We're SO excited to get them home.  Kemry can't wait to share a room with "B". She has always had her own room and hates that the other kids (except Kollin) share a room but she doesn't get to. LOL  I know, what is she thinking?!?! :)

Please be praying that we will get our 171H (immigration approval) quickly and a court date in January.
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Monday, November 19, 2012

This is starting to seem so REAL

Our dossier is on it's way.  Within 3-4 weeks or so we should be "in the system" in Ethiopia and be officially waiting for a court date. Usually it is super hard to depart with weeks or months of blood, sweat, and tears that go into a dossier, but this time I was SO ready to get rid of that darn thing. :)  We began in September, had to stop when we knew we were moving, and began again in April.  Usually it takes us only a month or two to complete a homestudy and dossier but this time it took us SIX months.  Most of that time waiting on unexpected road blocks we had no control over.  So once our dossier was packed away on headed out, I didn't miss it one bit! :)

Our sweet girl "M" has written us several letters asking when we are coming to see them.  This is new for us.  We have been the ones waiting and having to tell ourselves it's all in God's hands with the last two adoptions, but this time we get to experience the wait through the child's eyes who wants a family so bad.  That makes it so much more difficult.  This week we are painting bunk beds for Kemry and "B"s room and John is working on our mudroom preparing for TEN cubbies.  This is all getting so crazy real. :)  

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Our Give1Save1 Total

THANK YOU

just isn't adequate.  It feels like watered down koolaid to even say those two words because what we feel in our hearts is so much MORE powerful than just a simple "THANK YOU."

I'll be honest, I didn't even know how much we needed for our adoption before this fundraiser started.  I'm NOT a numbers person.  You can tell me the same number 20 times and I'll still repeat it back to you completely wrong.  If I ever give you a stat or a price or anything to do with numbers, don't believe me for a second! lol It isn't that I am trying to lie, I just have a total mental block when it comes to numbers.  I have come up with at least 20 different "rough guesses" when people ask us how much our adoption will cost and how much we lack.  I just knew we needed a LOT.

When Beth from Give1Save1 approached me asking if we wanted to be featured on Give1Save1 I thought, "SURE! that sounds FUN!"  I had seen the site because my awesome friend Ruthanne, who is fundraising for her Haitian adoption of crazy adorable Manno, had been talking about it, but I hadn't even thought about applying to be featured yet.  Mainly because we just haven't had time with the paper chasing.  But God knew...it was all part of His plan.  He used our precious girl in Ethiopia to warm Beth's heart and then Beth to come find us and offer us a spot.

So as the donations started coming in through our Give1Save1 fundraiser, we were FLOORED at the generosity of people from the $1 donations to the $1000+ donations.  We still had no idea what God had planned.  When I went to bed on Sunday night at 11:30, I was tempted to go ahead and post the final total on FB and the blog, but I just decided to wait.  I went to bed and prayed again for everyone who gave and shared our video and thanked God for them.  I woke up Monday morning and there was an additional couple thousand donated than had been the night before.  We were completely and TOTALLY amazed.  That's more than we raised on any one day all week.  That wasn't even the MOST amazing part......

After our initial SHOCK and complete THANKSGIVING to God, John and I discussed our total.  He mentioned that we should be "close to" what we needed for our dossier fees, the remaining fees we need for the agency.  We immediately went to our online banking and checked our adoption account, added it to the final amount from Give1Save1, and it totaled the EXACT AMOUNT WE OWE FOR OUR DOSSIER!  Down to the dollar.  Neither of us knew exactly how much we still needed, but God did.  I immediately emailed the person who made the final donation that put us at the exact amount.  She shared with me how she and her husband had sat down to donate Sunday night.  She said it was very God prompted and when they looked at each other to say "how much" both had the exact same amount in mind without even talking about it.  CHILLS!  They truly had no way of knowing how much we had already in savings or how much we had through Give1Save1 the last day or so (because we hadn't updated) or what we still owed the agency.  God knew.  He knew exactly how much paypal would take for their fees out of each donation.  He orchestrated every donation to be just enough, after paypal fees, to add to the amount we already had in adoption savings to total, DOWN TO THE DOLLAR what we owed for our dossier fees.  He used each and every person who donated...every. single.dollar...each person who shared it so someone else would donate...EACH OF YOU to make this happen.  If even one person, even those who donated $1, hadn't donated, or if anyone had donated even a dollar more, we couldn't say God planned this down to the last dollar. :)

All along, He had this.  I didn't, although I thought I did.  I thought this was all about how hard we worked, how much we shared our video, the song we used for our video, or how cute our kids acted for the video.  It wasn't at all...He had it all along.  Sooooooo I know everyone wants to know the end total.  I wanted to reveal it in a video, but frankly, my kids are so over videoing. They are willing, all except Kerrigan who screams every time I start to video her now (LOL), but aren't putting on the best show that I'd like to share. hee hee  I'll keep trying but I don't want to make you all wait any longer.

Our total from our Give1Save1 Week is..................



And you can believe this number because John double checked. HAHA

We feel so incredibly blessed beyond words.  We know this wasn't because of anything we did to deserve it.  It's all because of God.  This whole adoption from the time we first knew about them until this very second has had HIS hand prints all over it.  We went into this adoption without a penny set aside specifically for the adoption.  Through God, we only need to now come up with travel fees for the first trip.  That's it.  The 2nd trip is paid for, the fees for the agency are all paid for.  All because of God.  When people say, "I wish I could afford to adopt" or "I would adopt if it weren't so expensive" I want to say LOOK AT US! :)  It's possible.  I am the biggest doubter of all.  I worry.  I fret.  I analyze.  I weigh pros and cons.  And when I put my faith in my own ability, I have a darn good reason to fret, worry, doubt, and run from what God is calling me to.  It isn't easy for me to let go and just trust that God has this.  At my most faithless times, He does something like this.  He shows me I had no reason to stress at all.  Then I feel silly for ever doubting such a Mighty God in the first place.

So we still have to come up with fees to travel for our first trip, but ya know what?  I'm not one bit worried.

THANK YOU ALL again and again and again and again.
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Friday, October 05, 2012

Give1Save1 Day 4 Total & Bloopers

Sooo we're putting ourselves out there for humiliation again. :)

Know why?????
THESE GUYS ARE WORTH IT!
















So here it is.....our mess ups. :)



Seriously guys, we cannot tell you how GRATEFUL and blessed we feel!!!!!  We are getting so much closer to our goal because of YOU ALL!

Please continue to SHARE our video everywhere!!!!  Many people cannot give and we COMPLETELY understand that, but it's FREE to share our video with others. :)

ONLY 2 MORE DAYS!!!!!!

This is the link we want you to share through Sunday
http://give1save1africa.blogspot.com/2012/10/new-week-cash-family.html


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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Give1Save1 Totals at End of Day 2

At the END of day 2, this is how much you LOVELY people have contributed!

FIVE days left so PLEASE SHARE our FEATURED FAMILY blogpost at Give1Save1 (link below)! SHARE on Facebook, SHARE at church, SHARE at work, SHARE in email, SHARE with friends, SHARE with family, SHARE SHARE SHARE! :D

Cash Family on Give1Save1

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Day 1 Give1Save1 Total

Everyone who SHARED our video yesterday or donate whether it was $1 or $100...this is because of YOU!!!!!!  Our kids are closer to coming home because God used YOU to bring them here.  We cannot thank you enough.  Seriously.  We are speechless.  We'll let our kids tell you how much YOU gave to our adopt on DAY 1!



So it's DAY 2 now
Please SHARE....post our Give1Save1 video located here again

http://give1save1africa.blogspot.com/2012/10/new-week-cash-family.html

POST it on Facebook
EMAIL it to everyone you know
SHOW it in your Bible Study groups, youth groups, Sunday school classes

SHARE SHARE SHARE
We are soooo grateful.  AND BLESSED because of all of you!  Thank you all!
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