Friday, May 27, 2011

Birthday season!

I am just so ecstatic that school is out!  Along with that comes birthday season at our house!  We have many birthdays back to back.

Today we celebrated our precious Olivia.  Oh, what joy she brings to our family!  She  is FULL of life, joy, emotions, and spunk!  I love it!  She reminds me to not be so serious in life.  She reminds me to take a little breath and lay down for "just one more song..." or "one more back-rub..." or "one more prayer..." I am so thankful to the Lord for giving us such a healthy, happy girl.

She loves "Tangled," so we had a "Tangled" birthday party today to celebrate her turning five!

Here are some pictures:

Here is the cake table:

Here is pin the hair on Rapunzel:

The birthday girl coloring one of the coloring sheets:

A mini-Rapunzel!  Liv didn't want to wear her dress for the party, so her little sis GLADLY wore it!

We were making Pascal (the chameleon from the movie) party blowers:

I loved getting to celebrate Olivia with one of her favorite things.  It makes me want to grasp with all of my heart how God celebrates me.  He made me.  He loves me.  He knows my favorite things, too... I love that.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Birthday Video

I was going through old videos and pictures and I thought this was so cute!  When we celebrated Austin's birthday at Mema's house in Newbern with the Crenshaw side of the family, Mimi got some trick candles!  It was too funny!  Sweet Austin was such a great sport!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My SEVEN year old!!

A couple of weeks ago, we got to celebrate this guy turning seven!:

What a cutie!

I am so thankful for so much about him, but one of the things I love the most is his tender heart.  God has given him compassion for others and a sensitive spirit for Him.  He brings such joy to our family!

The apple not falling far from the tree, he wanted a "painting party!"  (I am not the sweet hubby is!  More on that later...)

It was so much fun!  He had his cousins there and his buddies from school, and each one got to paint a canvas to bring home as their party favor.  They did a great job!

Here is his cake:

Surrounding the cake are little cake balls ("paint balls!")  It made a LOT, so I put all the extras in little paint cans:

They were yummy!

Here are the kiddos painting away:

And, Eliana looking at all of the finished products:

It was a great time of celebrating our little guy!  God has blessed us so much through him!

God is so faithful!

Of course the title of this is a believers in Christ, we all know this to be true.  But, we all experience it in different ways and the "freshness" of this truth in different depths.

My heart is FILLED with thankfulness!  I don't know how to put it all into words, but I truly got to experience a miracle last weekend.  We had a yard sale that we were preparing for for a long time to raise money for our adoption. We had a TON of people donate a TON of things for it!  We got to see the generosity of the Lord through the body of Christ in a tangible way.  People not only donated their things, but their time and service to help us sort, gather, bake, set up, organize, sell, and clean up!

There were three families in this thing together, and we all were blown away by what God did!

To recap:

  • Thursday was set up day!  We had two storage units FILLED, plus things at each of our houses and a storage place at an office!  We rented a UHaul and got it all there (after almost 12 hrs of moving!).
  • We had an unbelievable location!  We have some friends that live at a very busy intersection and they let us use their yard!  How generous!  Their whole house/yard were taken over!
  • We were not going to sell anything on Thursday...just spend the day organizing and setting up.  BUT...the Lord had other plans!  People saw things coming and they started stopping and buying!  At the end of the day, we had raised $3,000!!!!!!  WHAT?!?  We didn't even remember anything that sold!  We looked out into the yard and it was still FULL!!!!
  • Friday morning came bright and early!  It rained through the night, so everything was wet.  We were sad, but people kept coming and not one person even mentioned that things were wet or complained! WHAT??!?
  • My sweet friend Kristin (who was one of the families doing the yard sale with us) said that God used the rain to remind her that it is all about what HE was going to do with this...not about our (wet) stuff, the weather, or anything else.  Amen!
  • At the end of Friday, I think that we had a total of around $8,000!!
  • Saturday brought some more rain around lunchtime.  We covered everything up and hoped that it would stop soon.  People continued to come and were shopping under the plastic covers.  WHAT??!?
  • At the end of Saturday, we were overwhelmed with emotion, exhausted, and SO VERY THANKFUL for what God had done.  It felt like we were in the New Testament but instead of fish and loaves, we were seeing "stuff" and "money" just multiply.  It was amazing.  Truly.
  • A sweet Ethiopian man came!!!  He told us pieces about the Ethiopian community here in Memphis, and even the Ethiopian church that he goes to!  I can't wait to meet more people from the country our child is from.  What a cool way to keep parts of their heritage!
  • God used this yard sale to provide for other people in need, too, whether it was a flood victim or a family in need of a carseat, or an encouraging word.  It was really sweet to watch.
  • In all, the total from the yard sale was $11,200.  Again...WHAT??!?  Who raises over $11,000 at a yard sale?!?  Thank you, Jesus!  And...we still had stuff to help two other families get started on gathering for their yard sale next month to raise money for their adoptions!  And, when I say stuff, I mean truckloads!
  • My sweet friend Wendy (also one of the families doing the yard sale!) sent us an email the week before saying to pray, pray, pray...the theme: beauty from ashes.  Wow...did God ever bring beauty from ashes!  People donating what they thought was their "junk," to raise SERIOUS funds to bring kiddos home to their forever families.  THAT is beauty!  
I can't say how thankful we are for the part that SO MANY people played in this!  From designing fliers to donating stuff to working with us that weekend to (most importantly) pray for God to show Himself faithful in raising a huge sum for us. So...THANK YOU!!

Here is a picture of us at the end of Saturday....with God's provision!