Thursday, March 31, 2011


~Two arms~
Fair skin tone
Moderate muscle tone
Slightly jiggly underneath (ack - how'd that happen??)
Suitable for~
Rocking 2 Treasures,
Wiping tears and bottoms,
Tickling tummies,
Love-pinching chunky thighs,
Preparing and holding bottles.
When: Soon!
Four slightly larger Treasures occupy the existing arms which ache to hold two more Treasures halfway around the world.
If two arms are not available,
no worries...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Teen Power!

I know some folks steer clear of the teen crowd.
But I've gotta tell ya, I consider it a privilege to serve as a youth leader and Sunday school teacher.
We don't always know what's on their minds, if anything, and sometimes their words and their actions don't jive.
But they teach me so much!
Okay, some of it I probably don't need to know :)
But they teach me a lot about myself.
How do I really love?
What does freedom in Christ really mean?
Why are we so uptight anyway?
Did I mention, How do I really love?

We have seen the Lord's heart in so many children and teens in the past several months.
Teens have raised funds in a garage sale to give to our adoption.
Children have held fundraisers to give to our adoption.
Teens from other states have sent us funds for our adoption.
Teens within our church are 'babysitting with purpose,' in order to contribute to adoptive families.
Teens are designing and selling hair bows and giving the proceeds to an adoptive family.
Teens are stepping to the front of the line to serve on our Both Hands projects.
Children and teens are sending letters, asking for sponsorship as they serve on our Both Hands team.
And let me tell you about one amazing red-headed gal.
I don't know when the Lord asked her to start giving to our adoption fund.
All I know is on three occasions she's sent funds home with Kenzie with instructions to place them in the adoption fund. So far they have totaled over $150!
Last night I texted her to tell her thanks and "U rock!"
She replied, "That wasn't mine; it was always yours."
TD, you bring me to tears, girl! And you do rock!
It's got me thinking, How do I really love?

Book Review ~ Inconceivable

When I was asked by TLC BookTours to review this book, I barely recalled the Carolyn and Sean Savage story hitting the news in September 2009. Probably because our lives were also changing forever as we flew to China to receive our Treasures, Kooper and Kinley. But I digress.

This book tells the incredible true story of a couple's selfless love and the decision to give the gift of life while giving away their last chance at expanding their own family.

Sean and Carolyn each share, in diary form, their entire pregnancy after learning someone else's embryos have been transferred into her body by mistake. They do an excellent job sharing their emotions and the difficult decisions they never expected to have to make in their attempt to have another child.

Even from the beginning of the book I had so much respect for the Savage family, and by the time I read the last page, I respect and admire them even more for the way they handled this difficult situation. They clung to their faith and the love of our heavenly Father. I actually thought about the birth mothers of my Treasures as I read this book, and while I have no clue the circumstances, I thank them for giving the gift of life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Three More Days!!!

Only three more days till our Wild Olive Tee fundraiser ends! I'm tellin' ya', between those gals at WOT and ya'll, we are blown away! These two tees are my personal favs of the four fundraiser tees. Of course, you should check out the site and see which one you like best :)
Please use our family code: JOHNSON1119 in the coupon code.

We are receiving $10 per tee, thanks to the number of sales! And every.single.dollar brings these Treasures home ~
Be still my heart!

Friday, March 25, 2011

With Confidence, I Say... (UPDATE!)

...Monday we will be one step closer to this angel! ****TODAY**** WE ARE ONE STEP CLOSER TO THIS ANGEL (and Kasidi Joy)! We received provisional approval this afternoon - WOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!
I'm thrilled to report, we are now only $18,000 away from all the fees we need! And I just happen to have a way you can help with that if you like these 2 tees! We purchased 40 tees for a women's luncheon in GA (thank you, Kristie!!!!!), and I have 11 on hand that I can ship to you today!
***I'm updating the quantities as the shirts are sold, and they are moving!****
They are $30 each plus S&H ($5.15 priority with track #). I have the following sizes:
Transform, black
Quantity: 5, Fitted, Large

Redeemed, Grey
Quantity: 2 Fitted Large
Both shirts are beautiful. Just leave a comment or email me if you'd like one.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Blogging on the fly is something I do a lot because...well, because that's life for me right now. On the other hand, I hope to be responsible and take seriously the things I write. I don't want to mislead anyone. As a youth leader, Sunday school teacher, wife, parent and believer, I will be held accountable for the things I say and do (and don't do).

All that to say, I was asked a question today that is worthy of addressing here. Thank you, friend, for asking me candidly. Some of you may or may not have noticed that I've recently started using the term 'ransom,' and I was asked why.

The question got me to thinking that if I've offended one, I may have offended others. While my opinion and use of the term hasn't changed, I will explain my motive. So at the risk of losing some of you, here goes...

As I use the term 'ransom', it is NOT:
~ to elevate myself as some type of savior
~ to imply a crime has been committed

As I use the term 'ransom' it IS:
~ the price paid for release from captivity

So what is captivity? In terms of our children, it can be so many different things. It's more poignant to us now that our teen son is home. Every child and every situation is different, but our children may be held captive by:
~ their loss(es)
~ physical/medical needs not met
~ neglect
~ trauma
~ living conditions
~ prospect of future (living on the street, a nursing home...)
~ hopelessness

Even among children who come home, some don't experience freedom. Some will battle emotional, physical or spiritual captivity the rest of their lives. That's not the 'happy stuff' we like to blog about, but it's the truth. There is a 'cost'!

Fortunately, many will overcome captivity and experience freedom! In my mind there is only One who can set us free, and there is nothing impossible for Him!

My children have been held captive, not by their choice or their actions, and a 'price' must be paid to release them.

It is my responsibility and privilege as their parent to help them become free from circumstances or things which hold them captive. The only way I know to do that is to point them to the One who paid the ultimate ransom, JESUS!

And I can't do that until the ransom has been paid to bring them home!

I hope this blog is a testimony of our faith and choice to follow hard after the Lord, never wanting to miss anything He has for us, no matter how crazy it seems. Trust me, there's nothing special about us apart from our Lord Jesus.

Jesus said, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday ~ Long Distance Style!

Thanks to Ladybugs N Love, we have new pictures of our girl! Be still, my heart! She has grown!
Look at that ~ even her new name for the party!
Honey child, your mommy wears that same expression most of the time ;-) Happy birthday, sweet girl. It's the last one you'll celebrate without your family. We love you!!!
God, You are so good!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


As we prepare for our second Lifesong/Both Hands project April 9, I wanted to share some of the things the Lord has done!

We are in awe!

There has been $3,771 contributed to our Lifesong account to help raise the ransom to bring our Treasures home. We know some of the funds will come in after the project, and there's room for the Lord to show up big time! In doing the math today, we still need around $19,000. That's a mountain for us ~ but it's not even a small hill for the Lord!

Just yesterday we received a $200 check in the mail from a family we don't even know. The Lord has touched their hearts for two children who need to come home! Today we learned a young couple we know sent $1,000 to our Lifesong account to bring our girls home...rather than take their vacation to Hawaii. Seriously! It makes me wonder ~ would I do the same? Would I give up something beautiful for something else beautiful?

There is testimony after testimony of hearts bent to treasures stored up in heaven, and we are so touched by folks around the world helping us run this race to our girls! It humbles us and brings us to tears most days. To Him be the glory!

And the Lord has provided in other ways too. My sister-in-law will be traveling to China with us! We've been praying about how we'd manage this trip since Mr. Greenthumb will be tending the sweet corn crop for the July harvest. Once again, the Lord has provided!

Stay tuned for our April 9th project! We are currently ordering siding, formica, kitchen and bathroom sinks and faucets...and of course sharpening those well-used chainsaws :) So far all the electrical supplies and paint have been donated. And it'll be worth the day's work just for the two meals being provided by a family in our church! They are preparing pulled pork for lunch and burgers for dinner, with all the fixins'! The Lord is good!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Despite What You've Heard... is not a zoo around here!

Okay, on second thought... never mind.

Friday we took our youth group to work at the Food Bank and watch some Thunder hoops.
This leader won a Russell Westbrook t-shirt! (way to go, hon!)
Guess what we did at the food bank?
Packaged...of all things....corn! Like 9,000 meals worth of the yellow stuff.

It was awesome!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where We Are

Since so many have been praying for, giving to and helping with our non-stop fundraising efforts to bring our two Treasures home, I thought I should give an update as to where we are.

We knew from the moment God prompted us to move again that the funds would come from His miraculous provision...cuz to be perfectly blunt, after five adoptions in seven years, we got nothin'.

But if we had what we needed, how would He receive all the glory?!?

In August we started with this ~
mere pocket change... not even enough for the application. We pleaded with the Lord to give us creative fundraising ideas ...and the energy to complete every task before us.

He provided!

We've had two camera giveaways (huge success, thanks to you!!!); we've been awarded three generous grants so far, and we have two Both Hands projects, one of which has already been completed. We've participated in the Wild Olive Tee fundraiser, Scentsy, had two friends making hairbows, sold squeaky shoes, mums, poinsettias, sold more tees at a women's luncheon, held a h.u.g.e. garage sale...and so much more.

And look what the Lord has done!!! He's provided $27,000 in the ransom to bring our girls home. But...
...based on the cost of our last duo adoption, we still need approximately $25,000. Really? Seriously! And based on our current time frame, we have 2.5 months to come up with it. While this is impossible for us, it is absolutely, completely possible for God! Because HE is our Provision!

Will you please pray for our family? Pray that we would seek His guidance in fundraising; pray for stamina; pray for priority.

Since we have another Both Hands project on April 9, our adoption account with Lifesong will be open until April 30th. If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution, you may do so using the Lifesong Donate button on the side bar.

We will be holding a couple more fundraisers, as necessary and as the Lord leads, for travel expenses.

One thing we've learned through this incredible process is that not only is God faithful, always, but He honors our giving. Even though we've been fundraising from the beginning, we've been prompted to give to several other adoptive families. And every.single.time we've done that, He has returned the blessing! Seriously! That was not our motivation in giving, and His provision has always come in unexpected forms ~ to Him be the glory for all He has done and continues to do!

Another thing we know ~
As much as we already love these two Treasures....


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There's More...

Don't even know where to start! God is so good!

Thanks to you, we've made our 50 tee goal ~ in fact, we've sold 51!!!! Thank you and praise the Lord!

Yesterday we received a letter from Show Hope. We knew they would be reviewing our app soon, but we had no idea how the Lord would lead them. We were stunned to learn they've awarded us a $5,000 grant! Unbelievable! Unexpected! Totally God!

We are still thousands of dollars away, but God has continually provided all we've needed. We are so humbled and grateful!

I've attached our Both Hands project video to the side bar, and we should all be happy to know it's been revamped to 4 minutes instead of 10 ;-) Who has time for a 10-minute video??? But I'm saving the long version for my girls to see. Someday they will know that God moved mountains to bring them home!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Have I told ya'll how awesome you are?!? Last week I said we needed to sell 13 more Wild Olive tees to make the 50 mark (meaning we get $10 per tee!). We are only 3 away! Three tees! Can we do this?
We are so humbled by God's generous provision through so many people! Every week we get a huge surprise (or two or three).
Saturday evening after the Project, we received a $400 check in our mail. Thank You, JESUS! And thank you to the precious family who sent it. It's HIS money, and it's the ransom to bring home
and HER!
If you love this tee...

or this tee...

...they come in all sizes from classic to fitted, and every one you purchase from Wild Olive using our family code JOHNSON1119 brings us closer to the funds needed to bring our girls home! Not to mention, they are beautiful apparel. It's a win/win situation.
Love you all!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

Can you imagine seeing this Krew (and a whole bunch more) coming up your driveway at 7:45 a.m.? Look out, Leona, here we come!
I can't believe our Both Hands project #1 is tomorrow! Have I mentioned how excited we are?
It's gonna be awesome because we serve an awesome God, and He's all over this deal!

Some people will do anything to get out of a little work. Kolton and his wether goat will leave for the youth expo tomorrow morning.
Kuyler also leaves college tomorrow for an evangelism conference.
So we're missing two of our best hands (but don't tell them).
Hopefully, the next time you hear from me we'll have the project video uploaded!
Please pray for my two biggest boys, Leona, our team and the Lifesong/Both Hands ministry.
It's gonna be awesome!

One Tee-ny Request ~ UPDATE!

I just wanna say "Thank You" to everyone who has ordered a tee from Wild Olive in support of our fundraiser! These two are my favs ~

Here's the deal~ the gals at WOT have been so good to extend our fundraiser to help meet our goal of selling 50 shirts!

You ask, "Why 50?"

Thanks for asking! Because when we sell 50 shirts, we jump from receiving $7.99 per tee to $10 per tee! And if my math is right, that's $500 in the ransom to bring Kasidi and Kennah home!

Here's the cool thing: We are only 13 shirts away!!! 13! So here's my tee-ny request ~ would you please consider ordering a beautiful tee to help bring our Treasures home?

Just click on THIS LINK. While Wild Olive has many beautiful tees, only four are eligible for the adoption fundraiser so thank you for choosing one of them. Please use our family code JOHNSON1119 when checking out.
May the Lord bless you!
Ya'll are awesome! Since posting this yesterday, you've bought 8 more tees! That means we are only 5 tees away from 50!!!! I know this can be done. Because ya'll are awesome!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The Lord just continues to affirm His plans for our family.
His provision is limitless!
We just received word from Katelyn's Fund that they have awarded us a $3,000 grant!!!
That is h.u.g.e.!
Thank you, Katelyn's Fund, for prayerfully considering and approving us! We were so blessed to speak to you on the phone last week.

"Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
Malachi 3:10b

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Children Of God" - Official Music Video

LOVE this song, love this video! Be sure to watch to the end...if you can still see through the tears :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Around the World or Across the Room

"Obedience is a willingness to do whatever, whenever, wherever God calls us. And that looks very different for each of us. It doesn't always necessitate going halfway around the world. Often the most courageous actions only require us going across the room or across the street."
~Mark Batterson
In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day

Monday, March 7, 2011

Great Start to a Good Week!

Since Kooper accepted Jesus last week he wanted to be baptized Sunday!

What an amazing answer to prayer!

Sunday afternoon we had a Both Hands team meeting to prepare for our first project this Saturday. We are SO excited! We hope to have the project video loaded by Monday.
I can't wait to share what God is doing as far as supplies and food donors!

And since this is such a random post, in other news, we took Kinley for another post-op visit today, and Dr. Miller is very pleased.

Remember my prayer journal? If you're in there, I have NOT forgotten you. Even if you don't know you're in there, you are still being lifted up. Some of the requests have already been answered, but some have not. If you'd like to update me, please leave a comment or email, and I'll continue to pray!

In further randomness, I am 29 days from completing the Bible, maps to concordance! I have loved reading it this way, in BIG chunks at a time!

And finally, some oh-so-sad news regarding the squeaky shoes. They are gone. History. Outa here! We decided to donate the 50+ remaining pairs to another adoptive family in hopes they could raise travel funds. It was fun while it lasted though, wasn't it?!?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oh, The Cookie!

I had some time today, and our first Both Hands project is next Saturday! So I thought I'd make some cookies to bribe encourage the team next week.
Just don't tell my kids or they may never make it to the freezer!

I seriously can't believe we will spend next Saturday in the company of so many people who love the Lord, doing some things for a beautiful woman who loves the Lord! Our local grocer has donated most of the food we need for the meal so this week we are seeking a few donors for some construction items and the rest of the food.
It's gonna be awesome!

Friday, March 4, 2011


"O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his command, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants..."
Nehemiah 1:5-6

THE PACKAGE IS DELIVERED, just as He planned!
Now that we're all praying, please pray for the hearts He will touch tomorrow, that it may cause action to change the status of children from 'orphan' to 'son' or 'daughter.'
Lord, we praise You for Your favor!

Prayer Warriors Needed!

Something amazing is going to happen tomorrow! The enemy has heard about it and is fighting it, but I claim he will not be victorious! Here's where we need your help~

You've heard the saying 'three sheets to the wind.' Well, we are currently '30 shirts to the wind.' Actually, it's 40, but that doesn't fit the saying (I'm trying to laugh about it so go with it).

On the day of Kinley's surgery, February 15th, we received an incredible email. My friend Laine connected us with her friend Kristie. Kristie lives in Georgia and is a member of a ministry which hosts an annual women's luncheon. Kristie has been burdened for the orphan and for fundraising families, and the Lord led the group to our family! Awesome, I know! The Lord works in the background, touching hearts and moving people we don't even know.

There are over 300 women expected to attend tomorrow. Kristie and I have spent lots of time on the phone sharing our testimony and coordinating the 'focus.' She will speak on behalf of our family and show our "Make a Difference" video. She wanted to help with our Wild Olive tee fundraiser and asked if we could purchase tees to sell at the luncheon. After much prayer and coordinating with the amazing WOT team, we decided to purchase 40 tees.
20 of these~
and 20 of these~
The tees have been ordered and shipped, due for delivery yesterday. BUT somehow they have been 'misrouted' by the USPS, and we still haven't been able to locate them!

I have refused to worry about this. As God would have it, my devo verse this morning was Luke 12:25-26 ~
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"

Will you pray expectantly with us that this 'lost' package will show up in Kristie's mail today? God is sovereign! He already knows the hearts He will touch tomorrow! And He will repay the funds we've expended for the shirts, and then some! Because this is HIS journey!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Double the Money!

Wanna do something really awesome today?
They are bringing home like a month!
They are still thousands of dollars short.
This is not a problem for God!
In fact, some dear friends of theirs have put up a $1,000 matching grant.
That means if we give $1, it turns into $2...if we give $10 it turns into $20 and you get the idea.
What're we waiting for? Let's get on over there and help bring Kaleb home!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where's My Tail?

We've had so much excitement here, I can't keep up!
Kenzie turned 14!
Happy birthday, sweet girl!
Wait for it...
New kicks, favorite candy and gobs of cash.

And after we recuperated from all the celebrating, we realized she needs a passport....since it's possible we'll travel within 3 months! The one-on-one time with Mom and Dad while applying for her passport was so exciting she tried to nap in the car!
And here's the hero of the week, our FedEx guy who said, "What does this make, six???" (*he couldn't have known about Kennah's referral less than 3 weeks ago!*)
Our first Both Hands project is a week from Saturday, we are in the middle of spring stock shows, and we start baseball season with three double-headers next week.
Why does it feel like I'm chasing my tail?!?

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