Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Both Hands Project!!!!

To say our Both Hands Project was a blessing seems like an understatement. It was so neat to be able to see friends and family come alongside us . . .and to see their love bless our widow, Kay, as well.

The entire day was a great success. Our list of projects were all completed, no one passed out from the heat : ), and we went home hurting yet satisfied from a full day of work. Thank you seems insufficient for all those who helped in any way and who lifted up our day in prayer.

Take a look! (quick note: I've heard that on some computers, when watching the video as is (little) it is a little jerky. Click to view it "full-screen" and you shouldn't have that problem)

Our Both Hands Project from Amber Prevo on Vimeo.

We received a note from Kay today that read the following:

"Thank you, gracias and merci for a marvelous day! It looks like a showcase for country life. I'm so pleased with ALL of it. Little did I know when the Prevos came into my life, I'd be so blessed. God even sent rain yesterday for the roses and shrubs. Thanks again, Kay."

Yet what's so special to us is that this has little to do with us, but everything about the body of Christ coming together to make the day possible. You all were a part of allowing "us" to bless her and for that we thank you.

If you're interested in still supporting the work that was done on Kay's home, visit our Both Hands website here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

time with cousins

My sister and her kids spent part of last week with us. Being that I don't see her often, it was great to have them here and to live some of our crazy with them. : )

As always, my girls loved their time with their cousins.

Playing at McDonalds
Peeking through
life is rough? huh! : )

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our Both Hands Project!

You may remember me referencing a Lifesong for Orphans event when I shared about our adoption story? While that evening served as a night that God spoke clearly to our hearts about the time and place of our adoption, there was another part of the evening that hugely touched our hearts and served as a puzzle piece in the "how" of our adoption.

That evening we were introduced to the concept of a Both Hands Project - a ministry that had recently partnered with Lifesong for Orphans. The foundation for Both Hands is rooted in James 1:27.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

You often hear James 1:27 quoted within the orphan care community. But what we loved about the mission of Both Hands is how it lives out and bridges the entire verse.

A family wanting to adopt puts together a team of workers to spend a day serving a widow in need at her home. That team, in turn, sends out letters requesting family and friends to financially support them as they work. The money raised? Goes to support the family adopting.

The whole idea resonated with Ryan and I. We loved the idea of serving someone else in need as others bless us and support us in our need. The project allowed this adoption to become less about us . . .and more about the body of Christ being a tangible expression of a greater love.

It's been a lot of work in the making but we're thrilled that this Saturday, we'll be able to come alongside an area widow, named Kay, with family and friends and spend the day working on her home. We're so blessed by those who have agreed to be a part of this day with us and can't wait to see the end result.

JT Olson, the founder of Both Hands, shares briefly about the ministry, and what a Both Hands Project is all about, far better than I can in this video. You also can see a tiny glimpse of their first actual project. It's well worth the watch.

We can't say enough about this organization and we're so excited to be a small part of it. Would you join us in praying for the day and that Kay will be blessed by the work that is done and by those involved?

If you're interested in reading more about our project specifically or if you feel moved to support us in it, you can read our family's letter here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hooray again! : )

So you know that fingerprint appointment I said we were waiting on that generally takes 2 -5 weeks?

Ours arrived last week in 2 weeks and 2 days!

Hooray for something happening quickly! We were so thankful.

And double praise?

Instead of the possible 5 weeks of the estimated 3 - 5 weeks we might have waited for our appointment, it's scheduled in 3 weeks and 1 day!

And even more exciting?

The assurance that none of this has happened outside of God's timetable (even our homestudy delay).

We know there's a long wait still ahead once we're on the wait list, but we're so thankful to see that next time of waiting so close around the corner.

One step closer . . .and we continue to pray.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Horseback Riding

Ava has fallen in love with horses and it's been so much fun to see.

She has such a shy heart and is often easily overwhelmed by new situations and people. So I knew something was up when the first time she encountered a horse, she didn't blink at its size and climbed right on. She talked often of it since then.

So after talking about it, Ryan and I asked a family friend if she'd be willing to give Ava some horseback riding lessons this summer. While she's still little, I figured it be a great way to encourage Ava to take initiative and to be confident in different situations. And I thought, why not encourage her comfort level around horses why she's little. We went in with little expectations but to have fun.

While Ava's shy heart was still there, she quickly fell in love with the horse, Annie. It was her first chance to ride anything but a pony but she didn't blink as I hoisted her way up.

A happy little girl
How little does she look?!
She pretty quickly caught on how to tell Annie which way to go (with some sweet help from Melissa)
Melissa was so patient and encouraging with her.
Ava's fans. I heard many times, "I want to ride a horse . . ."
Helping rub Annie down afterwards
We're excited for more!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Fourth - Part Two

We had to start the 4th with our traditional family pose on the front steps

and a funny face : )
Then the girls thought they needed a shot . . .and Kate and Olivia thought that included them
the "big" girls
Then we headed for a fun day at the zoo

All the cousins ready to check everything out
Don't they just look like trouble waiting to happen?!
It's so fun to see these two becoming such good friends
We hit the penguins just in time for feeding
Checking out the snakes
These two are hilarious together: kindred spirits I think
posing with the "polar bear"
Olivia refused to join the picture
Kate insisting on walking

Then we hit what became our favorite stop of the day: the polar bear.

He totally plays to the crowd. They have a walk through in the middle of his swimming area and he would swim around and over us, showing off
The girls were glued. It was pretty neat to watch.
Ava taking a pose
watching from up top
another peek hole
my next favorite? was actually the groundhogs! They're just too cute.
They had these fun pop up's that the kids could climb in and watch.

Addy & Olivia
Brynne & Kate
Loved the zebras

and giraffe's

Olivia and Brynne cooling off with a frozen lemonade
a quick look at the gorillas
As a special feature for the weekend, they were advertising a Dora "4D" movie.

Ava was super excited - ready to watch with Addy
Grandma and Kate
Daddy & Olivia
The girls all loved it. But we had to laugh so hard as we glanced at Olivia throughout the entire movie, this was how she sat.
Thanks for a really fun day at the zoo Grandpa & Grandma!
one more shot of the munchkins
One last night to have fun being together
Until next year!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our Fourth of July - Part one

We spent our fourth up at my parents with my whole family again. The girls loved the chance to be at grandpa and grandma's again and loved the chance to play nonstop with cousins.

First morning there we had to wait for the rest of the family to arrive. So Ryan put the girls (and Sophie and Cole) to work.
Ava, Sophie & Cole
Kate had to make sure we had enough soap. Entire container? Check.

C'mon - this cute of a face & you won't care how your car looks when she's done!
Just trying to make an efficient use of soap
Then the traditional water slide down the back hill came out.

Ava loved it pretty immediately.
The boys having fun
Kate shocked me and LOVED it too.
Olivia pretty quickly planted herself at the bottom with the bubbles.
Action shot
We "helped" Olivia down one time thinking she would like it this time (she's usually our more adventurous one).

Peek closely at her face. That should answer any questions.
These 4 were so fun to watch all weekend.

Wonder what they're doing?
They sat here for probably close to 30 minutes . .. looking at clothes online.
love these girls
We had a birthday party for all the summer birthdays.

My grandma turned 91
My almost 4 yr old (gulp) and her Tinkerbell cake.
The three birthday girls
My sisters and grandma
Kate and Olivia?
They were busy enjoying their cake and ice cream
Ava with her presents
Checking things out
New Coloring books!!
Sunday night, I surprised my nieces and nephews with a little "craft" project. Ryan's cousin had introduced us to "tie-dye nails." After googling it and watching a tutorial, I bought everything, waited for the twins to go to bed and went to work.

It's quite the process but the end results are pretty neat. It made a fun way to incorporate red,white and blue.

Ava's hands before we cleaned them up.
I knew it was kind of "cool" when even my nephews got into it.

Yes, they'll love when I bring that up to their fiance someday. : )
Ava and Mommy and the final product!

If I look tired, I was. By the time we got all done, hours had passed and I think I'd forgotten what clean air was between nail polish and nail polish remover.
The finished results were pretty neat though. Then it was on to the 4th . . .