Friday, April 29, 2011

Shout Out ))))))))))))

My friend, S, is a classic example of God's favor upon our girls. Look what she's been up to.
Cute butterflies...
Adorable Kanzashi flowers...
Pretty Polka Dot Flowers...and so much more!
There's a story behind these petite pretties. We 'met' S almost two years ago because her beautiful daughter and Kooper shared the same orphanage. She delivered a gift for us and took priceless pictures of our son. We've kept in touch via email ever since.

She's been following our journey to Kasidi and Kennah and felt led to help in some way. Apparently she discovered a talent she didn't even know she had :) She began making hairbows (because no girl can have too many of those!), in hopes of selling them to raise $100 for our journey.

That was several months ago...and several hundred dollars ago! At last count, she had raised over $600!!!
Folks have approached and invited her to sell bows for special occasions and craft shows. The Lord has placed so many people in her path it's incredible!

Right now she has a dear friend who's been taking bows to work and has sold over 40 of them! She happens to work at FedEx (you know, our heroes who deliver precious adoption paperwork!!!) Next week FedEx is holding a silent auction, and one of the prizes is a grouping of S's bows!

Next Saturday, May 7, she is attending a large craft show in hopes of selling even more!

We are so grateful for her commitment to help bring our girls home. And to think, it all started with her desire to help in a small way, and the Lord has magnified it beyond anyone's imagination!

And here's the best part, you can buy her bows too! They are uber cute and very reasonably priced. Check out her website, Red Thread Bows.

To our friend, S, those who've given and to our friends at FedEx,



Four More Days!!!

Did ya'll see the commercial about the Xoom?!? My kids were lovin' it, and then I told them I'm giving one away Monday...and for a moment I was the coolest mom ever ;-)
Seriously, we draw for this bad boy on Monday. Every contributor to our matching grant will be entered also...but we need more funds toward the Xoom. Thank you so much for your prayers, for spreading the word and for investing in our girls!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I’m typing through tears as I reflect on God’s goodness. I can’t even fathom it. I certainly don’t deserve it.

Many times in our walk with Christ we speak of His goodness, His love, His mercy and grace, His provision, but do we really stop and meditate on it? It’s incomprehensible really.

We’ve seen His character shine time and again since we came to know the Lord at an older age (40 for my husband and 36 for me), and certainly our adoption journeys are no exception.

We’ve received His invitation to walk the narrow path several times. I call it ‘that awful place where you know what you ought to do, but you don’t know how you can do it …or if you even want to.’ Yes, it’s the awful place. There is a stirring, an unsettling. And so much seeking ~ “Is this really You, Lord? Or is this just me?”

And then there is the peace that comes with complete surrender. Surrender isn’t having all the answers or seeing it laid out in black and white. Surrender is stepping out, without necessarily knowing ‘how,’ ‘why,’ ‘when’ or even what the finish line looks like. And the peace of taking that step is indescribable.

That’s hard to explain in today’s instant world. We have so much at our fingertips, literally, with our iPod, iPad, and iPhone. But the result of faith isn’t revealed instantly. On one hand we can pull up tons of data from a postcard size gadget, and on the other we don’t know what tomorrow looks like when we accept the Lord’s invitation to journey with Him.

As we close in on our current journey to bring our two Treasures home, I am in complete awe of how He has lavished His love on our family. Through family. Through friends. Through strangers. In our times of doubt and fear, we have not escaped His sight. He has worked miracles ‘behind the scenes,’ that once revealed to us have left us falling to our knees. And He’s not finished yet!

Please be encouraged today that we serve a God who really is sovereign! Even though He created the Universe, He loves each of us and cares about the smallest details of our lives. No matter how rocky the path looks, He has promised to never leave nor forsake us!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 12:2-3

He has not lost sight of this Treasure...

...or this Treasure.
One of the reminders of this are the funds that are still coming in and those that have been sent to Lifeline on our behalf as we wait for TA (Travel Approval)~
$3,000 grant from Katelyn's Fund
$5,000 grant from Show Hope
$3,000 grant from anonymous organization
$550 from Wild Olive Tees
$4,539 from Lifesong for Orphans (Both Hands Project still open)
$2,870 of the $5,000 Matching Grant
Completely and utterly speechless we are!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Provision!

We received word today we have been

Awarded a $3,000 grant!

The organization wishes to

Remain anonymous,

But we hope they know

How they have blessed us!









Monday, April 25, 2011

Sweeten the Pot!

You can still XOOM for another week! But get this...
Since we are so close to travel and we also have a $5,000 matching grant, we've decided that each person who contributes to the match will also be entered in the Xoom drawing!
How cool is that?!?
So whether you enter the Xoom drawing or contribute to the matching grant, you are in!

1 Week Left to Zoom!!!

Next Monday, May 2, we will draw for the Xoom! Thank you to everyone who has posted and contributed! There's still time!
We still have a ways to go, but the Lord has NEVER failed us!

As for the $5,000 matching grant, we are at $2,795 of the match!!!! Isn't that incredible?!?

It's Monday

I have 30 seconds to post so...
I hope you had a blessed Easter celebrating or resurrected Savior! We enjoyed time with my family.

On Friday we made a fun trip to welcome home a little man.
...for the star of the show, Kaleb H!
What a joy to spend time getting to know him!
And now we're off to the orthodontist - at 7 am on a Monday. What was I thinking????

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Almost Everything Post

Goodness, where to start?!? How about with today's mail? It was like Christmas, I tell ya'. I received both of these tees (from Wild Olive, of course!) for helping 2 adoptive families!
We also received our passports, complete with Visas to China!

I'm thinkin' with these...
...and these, I'm ready to travel :) :) :)

In other random family news, we have a new family member! Kolton's Australian Shepherd pup Hoss. He's adorable, but if you tell Kolton I said so I'll deny it! At least he didn't get him while we were in China. Seriously, the last trip we were introduced to his new dog via Skype. Yes, he knows better!
And there was this: with a house full of company during Project weekend, Kambry decided her hair was in her 'thace,' so she climbed to the cabinet, fetched the scissors and cut her hair starting at one ear, moving upward, then down to her other ear. Oh my stars! And of all my kids, her hair grows the s.l.o.w.e.s.t.!
Miracle hairdresser Kim to the rescue! The up side ~ Kambry won't need a trim for a very.long.time.
Our house has also been full of surprises that I've wanted to share with you forever. First, during Project weekend when we had company (which I can't wait to tell you about!), we came home Saturday night exhausted from working hard on the find groceries on the counter! I can't even tell ya' what a blessing this was because we'd worked so late we missed the grocery story and I was fretting about what I'd fix for Sunday dinner... you know, easy so I could enjoy our company, and plenty so I could fill their bellies. It was perfect! Thank you to our sweet neighbors, Grace and Rodger!

Then last week this ginormous box was in the mail! My friend Dina surprised us by shopping for complete outfits for each of our 10 kids, including the one in college and the two waiting in China! I wouldn't even take on that task! Also in the box was a $25 gift card to Ch*li's and a DVD on attachment that I've been wanting to watch! Dina, thank you!!!!
Just for you ~ the littlest Krew in their new duds!
There's so much more I want to share, but I have to gather my thoughts.
It's true, we are officially awaiting Travel Approval!!!
It's surreal.
And it's a good thing we have so much good stuff to keep us busy over the next month ~
Youth Graduation Banquet
Falls Creek Promo Night
Kenzie's 8th Grade Graduation
Meghan, Kelsey, Paittan and Ashley's high school graduations
Summer T-Ball and Softball...

I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has given to our $5,000 matching grant! With the on-line gifts and those made through our church, we are at $2,665!!! Over halfway there!

And THANK YOU to all who have given to the Xoom to the Finish fundraiser and posted about it! We are at $435 on that one, and we still have over a week to go!

Our prayer is that God would fully fund this 2K Race, and with 4 to 6 weeks till travel we are praising Him in advance for doing so!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Surprises! $5,000 Matching Grant and new pix!!!!

These two Treasures are the reason we must cast our pride aside and ask for help.

***Updated with new pix on Monday!!!!***
I had planned to write a post today with this title...and right after church the Lord changed the surprise!

We launched the "Xoom to the Finish" fundraiser on Friday, admitting we still need $17,000 to bring Kasidi and Kennah home.
We have been praising God that He will fully fund this journey. We have no idea how...but if we knew, there would be no need for faith.

And if this journey had a title, that title would be "Faith."

Faith that this precious little girl who is in need of surgery will come home...
(Kennah in April ~ look at those pink hightops!) that this precious little girl with a potentially frightening and unknown medical need will come home...
(Kasidi in April)
...and faith that God would provide everything to get them here!

So what's the surprise?
After church today a family wishing to remain anonymous told us the Lord has led them to give a $5,000 matching grant to help bring our Treasures home! $5,000! Do you know what that means? Any gift of $10 turns into $20, a gift of $50 turns into $100 and so on! We will keep the ChipIn up until May 15th.
We never know how the Lord chooses to provide, and we have been constantly blown away throughout the course of this journey! We can never forget that He loves our girls even more than we do!

If you wish to participate in the matching grant, please see the ChipIn on the top of our side bar .

Father, we praise You for your boundless provision and for those who are sensitive to Your Spirit.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Xoom to the Finish!

Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi
The first tablet with Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Play music, movies and games
Access Google mobile services: Maps, eBooks and others
Portfolio Case for Xoom

Have you seen this? Oh golly, I want one! But I'd rather give one to you!

We are nearing the end of our race for Kasidi and Kennah super fast. Back in August when we started the race for Kasidi Joy, I couldn't wait to be this close...and now here we are, with the added blessing of Kennah Janae!

We committed the entire journey to the Lord, knowing He'd have to provide every dollar we needed, and as always, He's been faithful in doing just that!

We've held all sorts of fundraisers, had lots of people jump on board to help, and spent hours applying for adoption assistance grants. And every time a fee was due, the money was there!

In a few short weeks, the largest fees will come due ~ airfare, orphanage donation and provincial fees x 2, and lodging. I have no doubt the Lord will provide.

Will you pray with us and praise Him for what He will do?!?

And if you're interested in a shot at the Xoom, it's as easy as this~
~There is a ChipIn button on our sidebar
~1 opportunity for $25
~3 opportunities for $50
~1 additional opportunity for each post on FB or blog.
(Please comment of email me if you do this.)
~3 opportunities if you post our ChipIn and story on your blog sidebar.

The fundraiser will last just over 2 weeks, ending Monday, May 2.

Thank you to those who have so generously given already! You have blessed us beyond our imagination.
We want to finish the race strong, all for His glory!
Here's the ChipIn code if you want to copy and paste for sharing~

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adoption Tax Refund ~ Really?

If you are an adoptive parent, at first excited that the former Adoption Tax Credit has been changed to an Adoption Tax Refund for tax years 2010 and 2011, by now you are probably scratching your head, yes?

Today, 60 days after filing our taxes, we received 'the letter.' You know the one ~ requesting receipts and supporting documents for adoption expenses claimed (even though we've submitted all documents previously requested and did not have to produce receipts for the ATC). Yes, that's the one.

Since I have far more important things to do than become distracted by this looming task, what with 5 prior adoptions and all, I decided to tackle the project tonight...and finish it tonight.
Let's see, where are those 2003 documents anyway?
After way too many a few hours, seven years' of documents were ready to stow, again.
I believe our response can be summed up in this...
...and tomorrow will go out in this. Perhaps to wait for the next letter, requesting supporting documentation for our supporting documentation?
And as much as I'd love to stay up the other two hours of this night, I must slip off to bed I can go to work tomorrow and pay my taxes, of course.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our 2K Race

Our 2K Race

Prayer for specific direction in serving the orphan ~ Summer 2010

Picture of irresistible child landed in my in box ~ July 2010

Asked hubby to pray about adoption ~ July 2010

Revived hubby J

Requested update on irresistible child ~ July 2010

Frightened by medical need of irresistible child, sought medical opinion ~ July 2010

Inconclusive medical diagnosis and prognosis but faith to move forward, waiting for “yes” from hubby ~ July 2010

Hubby surrenders completely again ~ August 2010

LOI for irresistible child ~ August 18, 2010

Began fundraising entire adoption costs ~ August 18, 2010

PA ~ August 23, 2010

Homestudy Completed (approved for 2, just in case)~ October 11, 2010

I-800A submitted ~ October 11, 2010

Fingerprinted ~ November 9 and 10, 2010

I-800A approval ~ November 19, 2010

Praying about adding a 2nd child ~ November 30, 2010

DTC ~ December 13, 2010

Surrender to adding a 2nd child ~ December 13, 2010

Reconsider adding a 2nd child ~ December 16, 2010

Prayer, tearful conversation, more prayer ~ December 2010

Log-in-date ~ January 11, 2011

Surrender to adding a 2nd child ~ January 12, 2011

Referral of irresistible child from special focus list ~ February 10, 2011

LOI for 2nd irresistible child ~ February 10, 2011

LOA x 2 from CCAA ~ February 25, 2011

Submit 800 x 2 ~ March 2, 2011

800 Provisional Approval x 2 ~ March 25, 2011

Files sent to NVC ~ March 26, 2011

NVC cabled files to US Consulate in GZ ~ April 4, 2011

Lifeline submitted visa paperwork to US Consulate in GZ ~ April 7, 2011

Article 5 to be picked up from US Consulate in GZ ~ April 21, 2011

TA ~

CA ~

Travel ~

Sunday, April 10, 2011

2nd Project ~ The Video!

The Project~
Replace kitchen and bathroom countertops, sinks, faucets
Paint garage doors and window shutters
Trim trees, clear brush, plant grass
Install siding and eves
Add kitchen and bathroom lighting

Thank you~
Donald (formica)
Dennis (electrical)
Jim & Joanne (2 meals!)
Church Family (desserts, snacks, prayers)
Andy's Disposal Service
Sherwin Williams
Ashley (photos)
April (video)
Corkerns & Smiths (traveled from another state to help!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Can't Wait For You To See This!

But, you're gonna have to...just a bit longer. We didn't complete our 2nd Both Hands project at Shirley's today because it was such a big one. But the day was a.m.a.z.i.n.g, and thanks to the Muellers, we already have a video of it!
BUT...our amazing Team and church family NEED to see it first!
*Check back tomorrow* (sorry I'm so bad)
Coming soon~

Johnson/Lowden Both Hands Project Video

Our 2K Race

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is It Saturday Yet?

Not asking because we want to sleep in.
We can't wait for The Project!
Are you ready, Shirley? Cuz here we come!
Tomorrow we'll be moving all the tools and building supplies to the site.
Saturday we'll be rollin' up your drive about 7:45 to:
~ replace kitchen countertop, sink and faucet
~ replace bathroom countertop, sink and faucet
~ add outlets, light fixture and mirror to bathroom
~ paint garage door
~ replace/repair eves
~ install siding on gables
~ trim trees and remove brush
~ do some other things I can't remember :)
I can't wait for you to meet the two families driving in for the weekend! We get to work side by side on Saturday and worship side by side on Sunday.
*We hope to have the video uploaded Sunday too*
Lord, You are awesome!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This Week ~ Halfway

I know, I'm up for the Lousy Blogger Award this week! It's ridiculously crazy here, and I have about 5 minutes so let's hit the highlights, shall we?

3 softball games

3 baseball games

1 track meet

2 families coming for the weekend for the Project (yippeeee!!!!)

2 more steps to our girls (yippeeee!!!)

1 surprise in the mail today ~ $1000 for our adoption. Praise the Lord and thank you (you know who you are!!!!!)

And the week's only half over!
OH NO, I almost forgot there's a band/music concert tomorrow night! Gotta get some dresses...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kambry Day!

Four years ago *yesterday* you were placed in our arms.
Such a beauty! Such spunk!
We love you, Kambry Hope! I know the Lord has big plans for you!

B90X ~ done!

I did it! I finished reading my Bible in 90 days! No way could I complete P90X... and there were days I didn't think I'd accomplish this either, but I did!
Finished, right before what I believe to be some of the most hectic months of my life. Not that I'm gonna stop reading; I'll just do so in smaller bites.
I wish I could say I remember and understand everything I read, but that wouldn't be true. I do love how the Spirit allows us to recall those nuggets of Truth when we hear a sermon, have our quiet time or just need to share a word of encouragement with a friend.
And can I just say thank You, JESUS, that I don't have to sacrifice a dove, a lamb or any other animal, cook part of the meat a certain way, dispose of other parts a certain way...
thank you, JESUS for your obedience to the cross!
Although I'm quite astonished I finished, there's no glory to me, that's for sure! That's all reserved for my Father!
But I do have some super cool friends who decided we needed to celebrate this occasion with cake at our Bible study tonight!
Yes, I know my friends rock!!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

S'Long Cowboy

Seven years ago *I think it was*, a man on horseback rode up to our front door and scared the livin' daylights outa me.
Turns out, he's one of the most interesting people we've ever met.
He lives about 45 miles south of us and had taken vacation time to travel north to Dodge City on horseback. It was his dream. That was seven years ago.
He camps out at a different home each night he travels. We are so glad he stopped at our place 7 years ago...and nearly every year since then. Each time he stops, our family has gotten bigger, and he wants to know all about the kids. He won't come inside, and he is completely self-sufficient. But he will sit outside and talk for hours before sleeping in the corral with his trusty travel mates.
We've been wondering where he's been the last 3 years. Turns out he traveled all the way to Washington, graduated from a horse school and traveled back home.
This time he's sold his home, and he's heading north with his dog, his donkey and two horses. He's not sure he'll be back in these parts.
It just seemed like a final farewell as he left this least this side of heaven.
He's a little camera shy, but he always has time to pose with some kiddos!
Happy trails, Cowboy. Till we meet again!

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