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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My part: Lifesong Ethiopia

Maybe one day I'll find a chunk of time big enough to catch up on all of our photos . . .but until then I've had an idea brewing in my mind and had to finally bring it to life.

For a while now, I've been brainstorming how to combine two of my favorite things:
and


Many of you are already familiar with Lifesong for Orphans. We love this ministry that not only has been a huge blessing to us in our own adoption journey but helps countless other adoptive families with their own financial hurdles to adopt. More importantly, they serve orphans all across the world with many incredible programs in numerous different countries

One program, Lifesong Ethiopia, is special to us for obvious reasons. Here's a little explanation, taken from Lifesong's website, that describes their program there.

"In Ziway, Ethiopia, children need an education to break free from gripping poverty. Public schools are lacking, so kids are left behind without the hope of an education or a future. Our current Lifesong School is not only giving hope, but also feeding 350 hungry children two meals each day. We have a critical need to build a 12 room expansion to the school. Please join with us to make a difference in a child’s life."

Here's the incredible part!

Lifesong has been offered a matching grant UP TO $130,000 from now through December 31st. This incredibly generous donation will help Lifesong expand their program to help meet the needs of even more children. I've seen what a blessing Lifesong is to so many and learned about many of their programs more specifically. I can't say enough about how deserving they are of our support.

Lifesong is offering a fabulous way to gift the teachers in your lives this year that I jumped at for our own family. How many Christmas mugs can they really use?! : )

Yes, I've now told every one of our teachers what they can expect for Christmas now.

You can read more about it here.

But I wanted to find a way to help spread the word.

So here's what I'm going to do (and we're operating on an honor system here : ) ).

I'm offering a few incentives to help YOU spread the word so Lifesong can try to maximize the full matching grant. There's no "minimum" amount - every dollar becomes TWO so every little bit helps. All you have to do is visit here to see how to make a donation. Just a reminder, if you're wanting to gift a teacher, they do request a minimum $10 donation.

For every donation you tell me you have made, I'll put your name in my "grand prize" drawing. That's one entry for each of you already! : ) You don't have to tell me how much and it can be $1, $20, a $1000 or more! : ) Every little bit helps.

For sharing about this opportunity on facebook, you get 2 entries.

For sharing about this opportunity on your own blog with a link, you get 3 entries.

For having someone else come to my blog and telling me they donated after hearing about this from you? You EACH get an entry. : )

Hopefully that all made sense!

Here's what I'm offering up:

4 copies of the book "Kisses from Katie." It's the story of a young girl who obeyed Jesus until it hurt and the people who were blessed as a result. Read it yourself and be changed. .. or give it away and impact the heart of someone you love. This book convicted, challenged and inspired me. Now THERE'S a good teacher's present: a donation card from Lifesong Ethiopia AND the book Kisses from Katie.

OR

One item of your choice from the Ordinary Hero Store

What I love is that my giveaways each help support a great cause all of their own!

But here's my final commitment: for every single entry I get, I will donate my own additional dollar to Lifesong. It may be a lot or a little but I love that every dollar becomes two.

You have until midnight on Dec. 6th - one week!

So surprise me. . . : )

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

watch out Disney . . .

These girls are already well practiced at posing with adoring fans.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The "big" reveal!

So I suppose I should put Grandmas out of their misery? : )

You may remember I sweetly left you hanging with this photo?
One last reminder of Ava's long locks!

No more pony tail! Finishing the cut.
Mommy wasn't prepared for how grown up this little girl would look with short hair.
A back shot
So proud of her and how she chose to bless someone else (and I may admit that combing it has been MUCH more pleasant these last few days).
Now if mommy only handles it this well when it's HER turn.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Haicuts!

We took all of girls to get hair cuts this past tuesday night. It was Kate and Olivia's first "salon" haircut and other than being very serious while their hair was being done, they did really well.

Olivia getting her trim
Kate's turn!
For Ava? Well let's just say we went in with more than just a trim in mind.
After talking for many months, Ava had decided she wanted to give her hair to "another little girl." She's been super excited to do it - here's one last picture of her long locks!
I wasn't sure what to expect when we actually went to do it. But my little girl amazed me. She popped right up into the chair, was answering the lady's questions and was calm as all get out.
About to say good bye to a good eight inches . . .
So do I have you wondering yet how it all turned out?!?!? : )
Come back tomorrow! (insert giggle on my part)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trick or Treat!


The girls were pretty excited by the time trick or treating rolled around!

One of the fun parts for Ava was that I bought her some makeup she could wear with her costume. She often begs to wear it and with the exception of a bit of blush or sparkles for a really special occasion, I always tell her she has to wait until she's big.

So I had talked to Ryan and decided to surprise her with this exception - she was so excited she slept with it the night before. We had a strict conversation that only mommy can put it on . .. and that Kate and Olivia are still too little. . . and that so is she for other days. So far, it's worked as I heard her echo it to Kate and Olivia herself. : )

Hitting our first house!
Kate and Olivia had no problems figuring out how this whole thing worked - they charmed our neighbors to the best of their abilities. : )
Me and my girls
Gpa and Gma stopped by to see the princesses and brought their own bag of treats. . .including an individual bag of Cheetos for each of the girls. A HUGE hit.
Happy Halloween!
Gpa and Olivia
Then Ava took up her post as "official" candy giver outer (is that an official term?!)
She stayed faithfully there the entire night, doling out the right amount of candy to each kid that came by. : )
Uncle David and Aunt Tara stopped by to see the girls too - I teased David if he had just come from work but I'll go ahead and say he may have modified the outfit a bit to emphasize the actuary part. : )
Beware the Cheetos monsters . . .it's a serious addiction around our house
Daddy and his girls . . .and their stashes

A happy Kate and her candy
Ava back at her post - she decided to sit inside for the last official 30 minutes.
Olivia shows up her stash
And with that, we were candied out until next year!

October Numbers!

We were excited to start our weekend, this past friday with our updated numbers for the month of October! I had prepared just the place to share them:

That's 82 for the boys list and 108 for the girls list.

I was pleasantly surprised by our movement this past month. While our numbers are always fun to get, it's just always good for me to remember that while they help give us an idea of our timeframe, they definitely don't predict our timeframe. We'll be thankful for each step closer we find ourselves at though! Thanks for your continued prayers.

Happy Halloween - part 1

It was a princess extravaganza at our house this Halloween - we figured with 3 girls, we had to do it at least one year before they outgrew it all! : )

Ava was SUPER excited about her costume this year - Ariel. They had a parade at preschool (without accessories I thought) - here she is, all ready to go!
Waiting with her class at drop-off
Class shot - notice Mary Poppins on the bottom? My favorite of the bunch!
Walking in the "parade"
Ava's cheering section
Then we ALL (well the girls ; ) ) got dressed up to go visit Daddy at work!

Princesses Belle, Ariel and Rapunzel
In Daddy's office
Trick or treat!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the rest of Daddy's birthday

For the rest of Ryan's birthday, we enjoyed a fun evening at home with just the 5 of us.

Ava and Daddy with his card from the girls
They picked out Toy Story cupcakes for him : )
Then it was time to paint pumpkins - a favorite each year!
Kate and her finished product (she drew a horse on it if you were wondering)
Olivia and her pumpkin (please notice the dripping paint : ) )
And our resident artist still hard at work . . .
Ava took a picture of all the pumpkins for me - Carebear and all