Friday, July 30, 2010

Benefit Low Country Seafood Boil

Come and join us on Saturday, August 28th, starting at 3:00pm for a Benefit Low Country Seafood Boil. Enjoy views of the Seattle skyline and Mt. Rainier as you partake in a fun boil that is served in the traditional way by being "dumped" onto your table. You will be able to enjoy fresh crab, shrimp, potatoes, corn, onion, sausage, etc. Sip on your iced tea from Mason jars and smell the fresh salt air as you fellowship with friends or just enjoy a date night with your loved one.
This dinner is a fundraising effort to help in the expenses associated with bringing Matthew and Ivanna home. We will be charging $50.00 minimum donation per adult and $10.00 per child. The evening includes appetizers, the seafood boil, desserts and beverage. We will also be holding a Silent Auction one week prior online as well as take additional bids during dinner and announce the winners later that evening. All proceeds from the dinner and auction will go to bring Matthew and Ivanna home.
Our goal this evening is to not only have the opportunity to focus on our sweet children awaiting us afar, but also to bring awareness to those who are still waiting and left behind. We will share how God is working within our hearts in this adoption. How our eyes have been opened to the needs of these precious children, and why it is so important to answer the calling of God to care for them.
Please join us as this evening promises to be memorable.
You can register for the Boil and Silent Auction by going to our 'sidebar' and clicking on the button provided for it. Once there you can enter your information and make your donation for the dinner. Registrations are considered complete upon payment.
Local or not - please consider helping us get the word out and pass along this event in your Facebook status or Blogs.
~~Thank you~~

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Outfits

Just recently, while out grocery shopping, I noticed these sweet and comfy looking outfits. They were inexpensive - and I decided to get them for Matthew and Ivanna. They look super comfortable for travelling back on the plane ride. I bet they are too big, but I will roll up sleeves and waists if need be. I just could not resist.
When you are expecting a child in the traditional way - you prepare by getting things ready and outfits for coming home from the hospital in, well - you need to do that when adopting too. It's just that you buy toddler sizes instead of newborn. :) I have been so focused on paperwork - that this was a nice way to make what we are doing a bit more tangible.
To envision sweet Matthew and Ivanna in these outfits puts a smile on my face and warms my heart. Just think - this is probably the FIRST outfit EVER purchased just for them. Breaks my heart.
Oh, and big brother Isaac is just a tad excited too - as you can tell from the pictures!

Monday, July 26, 2010


... has a family! THANK YOU for all your prayer on his behalf! Excited to see that he will be loved on and soon belonging to a family! AWESOME news.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kelly Zaiko Photography

My very sweet friend, east coast photographer Kelly Zaiko, has graciously offered to help bring Matthew and Ivanna home. Here is how: she is making available any SCENERY image that she has on her website to you for purchase. The portrait will be mounted on a 2mm styrene and sized at 16x20. (watermark will NOT be on image) Kelly does stunning work, and I am often impressed with her 'eye'. For those of you who are local to Washington - there are many scenes from Mt. Rainier and even the original Starbuck's located in downtown Seattle. You just need to scroll through older posts on her blog. You will not be disappointed. The price is $100.00 per print. This is a GREAT deal. Remember, these are mounted on styrene. All proceeds after shipping and printing will go to bringing Matthew and Ivanna home. If you are interested in placing an order, please contact Kelly. Her website to go to is:

Thank you Kelly, for helping us and having a heart to save Matthew and Ivanna. Thank you to those who order from her. You not only get a beautiful work to hang on your wall, but you are helping Matthew and Ivanna to know the love of a family ... finally.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Here!? There!? Huh!?

Yesterday I was able to take the kids to go berry picking and spend an incredible day with fresh air and fresh berries to fill the bellies of my kidlets. While stuffing my mouth with blueberries, I received a call from the chief deputy at the assessor's office telling me that the notary I arranged to meet him in order to notarize his signature for a document - never showed.


Okay! No problem. He was gracious enough to say that he would meet me at the local credit union to notarize his signature. WOW! What a kind offer. He then said he would give me a call later this week and we could arrange for it. Whew!

Well, this morning was a sllllooooowwww morning. With Justus having woke up through the night and a busy day behind us, I was just exhausted. In my mind, I thought today would be a lazy sort of catch up on laundry, no need to look pretty, let the kids wear pajamas ... day. I get a call at 9:30 from our very kind chief deputy asking if he could meet me in an hour to notarize the document. AAAHHHHH!! I wipe the baby slobber from my cheek and take quick note of my pajama attire, six ragamuffin kids and very calmly said .... "That's no problem, I'll be there!"

I get to the credit union with time to spare, but when I sit for awhile - panic sets in. Did he know WHICH credit union?!? Ohhhhh nooooooo....

Sure enough, about a quarter to ten, he calls. He went to the wrong bank. So - our very kind gentleman asks if we can still just get this done now? AMEN! Oh, and by the way, he has no car - can I pick him up?

~~~ Now remember that we just berry picked ALL day yesterday with six grubby kiddos and one tired momma. ~~~~ my car is a WRECK!

~~~ I reply - "Sure Mike, not a problem, be there soon!"

I run out of the credit union with kids in tow. Quickly buckle said kids in, and get to work "cleaning" my car. After all, the CHIEF DEPUTY is about to ride in my mommy mobile. I look for my baby wipes, and guess what - not one in the diaper bag! Panicked, I toss all various and sundry items to the back seat where Mike won't be able to see them. I grab a water bottle and a bright pink baby bib and start scrubbing my car down. You know, the coffee dribble, and cracker crumbs that have somehow mixed together to create - well ... just plain groddiness.

I speed ... ahem, I mean drive efficiently to the assessor's office and sweetly smile as Mike climbs in. I'm sweating by now and silently praying that kids stay sweet for the car ride.

We get to the credit union, notarize the document, make small talk, and safely return the county's most gracious employee back to his office. No one is hurt, no need to fret. The document is now DONE! Thank you Lord for making this little adventure fun and exciting, and for reminding me that you can and will provide the means to get these things done.

~ whew ~

... I need some serious caffeine ...

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Prayer Request

I am asking for a couple of prayer requests. There are MANY of you out there that I know are reliable prayer warriors. While these requests are not urgent or life threatening - they are important.

After a home study is complete, it needs to be sent to immigration for approval. This is what is typically referred to as 'USCIS approval' or the I-600 approval. Normally this process has been promised to take 45 days for approval (from date of submission - to date of receiving your approval letter). NOW - it takes more like 60 - 90 days! Can you believe that?!? Apparently they have moved this all important office to a different location, thus needing to train a bunch of new people. This has slowed the process down considerably. Ugh. What a let down that could be.

Matthew and Ivanna's orphanage director is working to keep them in the orphanage and not transferred, so timing is crucial. If you could join me in praying for the approval time to be swift, I would be so thankful. God can give "our" application to just the right person. The person who is quick, and determined. The person who has a heart to see these kids come home soon. We have not submitted our home study and application, but it will probably be done this week.

I would also ask prayer for the various documents that we need to finish for our dossier to come together without complication. Matthew and Ivanna's country is very thorough when it comes to your dossier. Everything needs to match up accordingly, with no mistakes.

To some, these prayer requests may seem odd; but the paperwork and application process can be overwhelming because so many things need to come together at just the right time and way. Every detail is so important. Thank you all for your sweet encouragement and prayer.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Auction Winners

This is a list of the winning bidders from the auction. If you won - you can pay via the chip in located down below in a previous post. Once you have paid I will either deliver the item or mail it, depending on where you live.

Thank you so much for your involvement and support.

Nursing Cover: Meagan P.
Family Portrait Session: Simpson Family
Child Portrait Session: Bowden Family
Flower Hair Clips: Henson Family
Spindlenique Boutique Gift Cert. #1: Henson Family
Spindlenique Boutique Gift Cert. #2: Henson Family
Mt. Rainier Portrait: Mcarthur Family
Denim Bag: Debbie M.
Brown Bracelet: Kim H.
Coach Purse: Mark L.
Gym Membership: Jenny S.
Teeth Whitening: Cindee C.
Blankie: April N.
Ladybug, etc. Clips: Cindee C.
Guitar Strap: Spain Family
Tu-Tu: Deb Whitaker
Jammies: A. Ament
Greeting Cards: Jenny S.

Thank you for your help in saving Matthew and Ivanna. We can't wait to bring them home.
Next auction starts August 10th

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meet Monroe

For those who want to be apart of adoption - but the financial committment is overwhelming, here is your chance to save a child. Monroe has a FULL grant of $20,000. You are literally just looking at spending out of pocket for a committment fee, homestudy, your USCIS application., and passports. Please - help save Monroe - upload this info and picture on your blog and facebook - let's get the word out. He only has six months left, and the paperwork process needs to be started NOW! You can go to for more info.

Monroe (12)

BOY, Born February 4, 2005


Monroe is a sunshine of a little boy! He is already 5 and blessed to still be at the baby house. He needs a family right away!

From a missionary who visited with him in June 2010: I met with the doctor in his Groupa House who brought me back to meet him. The Head Doctor wanted me to meet the children who needed equipment. While measuring him for a chair, she explained to me what was more important was that he get a family. He will be traferred in six months to the worst institution, restrained in a crib in a dark room. She broke into tears! Monroe has spastic cerebral palsy in all four limbs and is globally delayed. He is able to recognize the voices of his careworkers and understand simple directions. However, due to his spacitiy he is unable to do much of anything. No speech. With therapy he can improve but will always have limitations. I measured his head circumfeence and once home will check with a doctor regtarding whether ir not he is microcephalic as well. I will try to gather more information on him today. His temperament was sweet and his eyes twinkled. He needs a family fast!

From an adoptive family who visited with him in June 2009: Monroe has CP. It appears that he is unable to use his arms and legs and is not sitting up on his own. He has the most beautiful smile and I don't think there is much of a cognitive delay. He loves to be held and his whole face lights up when you come near him."

*** Monroe has an incredible benefactor who has offered a FULL GRANT of $20,000 for his adoption. He is facing imminent institutionalization, and will regress quickly once he is transferred. Families who are qualified ( to adopt internationally and who are approved to adopt a significantly delayed child should contact Andrea for more information. This is a very fast program and it is very possible to have him home before the end of 2010! ***

Monroe has $20,000 in my grant fund towards the cost of his adoption!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blog Auction Ends at Midnight

The auction ends tonight at midnight. This has been a fun fundraiser and we want to thank everyone who participated. Those who donated of their time, talents and resources - THANK YOU - we can not adequately express our thanks. It is because of your help - that we are this much closer to bringing home Matthew and Ivanna. Those who have bid on items - I know your motivation in doing so has also been to help get our little ones. Thank you. It has been humbling to watch as you all have been so generous.

When Auction is Over:
1. Please use the Chip In below to pay for your item. Please wait until auction is OVER to pay for item (midnight tonight). Let me make it clear that the payment is not considered tax deductible - as it is going to our paypal account. Tax deductible donations can be made, but through our "button" on sidebar.
2. Please leave your personal contact information in memo field when you are paying. If you are out of state, please leave your address.
3. If you are out of state, the shipping will vary per item. Some items are being shipped directly from the person who donated the item, and some items need to be created - so allow for time on this.
4. If you have bid on an item that needs to be made - I will give you the contact information of the person donating her time and talent so you can get your order in.
5. If you have any questions - please feel free to use the 'contact us' tab in our menu.

Again - Thank you!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blog Auction!

Welcome to our first blog auction.

We are hoping that this will be a fun way to raise some funds to help bring Matthew and Ivanna home.
*We were going to be holding a raffle instead of an auction, but in researching a bit further - it looks as if there may be some question regarding it's legality. We are not entirely sure, and unfortunately I misplaced my stack of hundred dollar bills to check with our lawyer on this. Soooo ... WELCOME TO OUR AUCTION! ;)
How it works:
* You just leave your highest bid under the comment field of each item you would like to bid on. *** NOTE***Your bid is what you agree to pay at the end of auction.
* At the end of the auction period (one week) the highest bidder on each item wins that item! You will then need to pay via the Chip In located on side bar of blog in order for the item to be delivered or shipped to you.
* Be sure to hit "older posts" at the bottom of page to see more items. Not all items will be on one page. This is due to our high amount of FABULOUS donations!
* You can always go back and bid higher on an item if someone outbids you. This is all in fun and done in a donation type spirit - so have fun, and know that we are so thankful for you are HELPING US BRING THEM HOME!
* If you have any questions please use the 'contact us' tab in the menu.
~~ To all who have donated you have made this possible and your efforts and talents are extremely appreciated~~ THANK YOU
*** As of 10:00 pm , July 6th - there are still some issues with Blogger publishing comments. Some comments are published, some are not. I would encourage you to go back and leave a comment if you do not *see* your bid. I am finding that all the comments are now visible in comment field - just not showing up below post section. So just because an item might have "0 comments" below it, does not mean no one has left a bid. Be sure to double check by clicking on "comments". I do receive email notification of your comment and will go back and double check to be sure your bids are visible. I think this will clear up soon. Thanks for your patience***

Blue and Brown Nursing Cover

Starting Bid: $3.00

Creator: April Newcomb
These are widely popular and very nice to use. I have three (two that April made for me) and I LOVE them. Trust me, after having six nursing babies - I can tell you that this is very useful. The lightweight cover has an adjustable strap that goes around your head. You can adjust it using the "D" rings. You can comfortably see your baby and help him latch on by peeking through the opening that stays open with the boning. The cover also has a corner pocket for that ever essential "binkie". The pocket has a little coordinating terry cloth sewn into it for an easy wipe up of any milk on your sweet baby's face. All fed, clean and ready to go.

Love this item. Online and in Target, something similar (but not as sturdy) goes for about $30.00.

Item can be shipped or delivered if local.

Family Portrait Session

Starting Bid: $10.00

~ Guahan Photography ~

This is good for a one hour long family portrait session that includes 10 - 12 print ready shots on disc. This session is for Kitsap county residents and is valued at approx. $200.00

You can visit Guahan Photography at:

Child Portrait Session

Starting Bid: $10.00

~ Guahan Photography ~

Children's photography one hour session that includes 10 - 12 edited print ready shots on disc. Session needs to be within Kitsap County and is valued at approx. $200.00

You can visit Guahan Photography at:

Set of Four Flower Clips

Starting Bid: $1.00

Set of four flower clips ~ made by yours truly! ;)

(please excuse some of the images being upside down - I soooo tried to correct them, and now I give up!)

Each flower is securely adhered to an alligator clip. These are really popular in our church, and we get LOTS of compliments when our girls sport them around out in town. LOVE these! They make any outfit so much more polished.

Spindlenique Boutique Gift Certificate #1

Starting Bid: $5.00

Spindlenique Boutique Gift Certificate #1
Good for one adult sized pieced denim skirt; any length or size. The skirt will be made by spindlenique's own creator: Amanda Hand. I LOVE her creations. The winner of this certificate will email Amanda your measurements. From there, she will custom make your skirt and ship directly to you!

Please visit for more information or products from Amanda.

*I can't seem to find a picture of an adult sized skirt in my archives - but you can look at the picture of the child's skirt (gift certificate #2) and have the idea. Each skirt differs as they are made to order and custom.*

Item will be shipped directly from Spindlenique Boutique.

Mt. Rainier ~ by Kelly Zaiko

Starting Bid: $15.00

~Kelly Zaiko Photography~

A stunning 16x20 photograph of Mt. Rainier. Mounted on 2mm styrene and shipped directly to winner from east coast photographer Kelly Zaiko. This would be a GREAT Christmas gift for that special someone. It's estimated value is $300.00.

Visit her photography blog at

(watermark in left corner will not be on printed image)

Large Denim Pieced Bag ~ Spindlenique Boutique

Starting Bid: $5.00

~ Spindlenique Boutique ~
Spindlenique Boutique large denim pieced bag. This bag is hand crafted by boutique owner: Amanda Hand. Perfect for a day at the beach, or a trendy diaper bag. Versatile yet durable. Very well made.
Visit the Spindlenique Boutique for more items:

Brown Bracelet ~ Spindlenique Boutique

Starting Bid: $3.00
~ Spindlenique Boutique ~

This bracelet was purchased in an open air market in Nairobi, Kenya by Jason Hand who was on deployment there at the time. It was hand crafted by a Kenyan woman.

Coach Purse

Starting Bid: $5.00
Coach Purse

Black and grey tweed with leather. Immaculate condition. Protective bag included.

This purse is *slightly used*, but you really can not tell at all. It looks brand new inside and out. Snap closure buckle. Should length straps.

Purse will be shipped to entry winner or delivered if local.

Two Month Gym Membership

Starting Bid: $5.00

Olympic Fitness Club in Port Orchard, Washington

Gift certificate for two months of gym membership.

This is an excellent gym that has been serving our community for nearly 22 years, offering a full gym and class schedule. They also have child care which is AWESOME! The staff is very encouraging, friendly and helpful.

Valued at over $100.00

Teeth Whitening Certificate

Starting Bid: $5.00

Teeth Whitening Gift Certificate by Max Fitness in Port Orchard, Washington.

Valued at $99

A *Jaxson's Blankies for Babes* blankie

Starting Bid: $5.00

This blankie is a donation from Lacey Rugg ~ Jaxson's mommy.

Lacey and her family are adopting from the same orphanage that Matthew and Ivanna are at. She also has a little boy at home with an "extra leaf" like our Justus, Matthew and Ivanna. Jaxson has had many medical needs and has spent a majority of his little life in a hospital room. Because of this, Lacey has started her own type of ministry by making blankies for critically ill children who are facing life threatening diseases or illness. This very special blankie is one of "Jaxson's Blankies for Babes". We feel very humbled that she would donate one of these blankies to our raffle. A very special blankie indeed.

You can visit her adoption blog at: or you can visit Jaxson's blankies at:

Justus has stayed in a hospital now four times in his first year of life. I have been on the receiving end of getting to wrap my sick baby in a blanket that some sweet soul has sacrificed time to make ~ and it was a comfort. Sometimes it's just the most simplest of things as receiving a blanket from a stranger that can put a little wind in your sails. Thank you Lacey for doing this for others!

Set of Three Hair Clips

Starting Bid: $3.00

Set of three hair clips: minnie mouse, lady bug and hot pink with white bow

These clips are not just any clips. These have been donated by Lacey Rugg. A friend of whom we share two very special things in common.

Lacey and her family are adopting from the same orphanage we are. I am a little anxious for her trip, which should be in a matter of weeks. She also has a very sweet little boy named Jaxson - who has an "extra leaf" just like our Justus. Jaxson is such a trooper. He has encountered many medical needs due to his health, yet he keeps his sweet little countenance.

How sweet and awesome is it that these clips have been donated by someone who is also adopting from our same orphanage!?!

Lacey also sells these bows to help bring home Makayla. You can visit her adoption blog here:

Rafter Cross Gift Certificate

Starting Bid: $10.00

Gift Certificate by Rafter Cross Leather (location: Texas) ~ Tuck Whitaker

This gift certificate is good for one custom leather strap for a guitar, banjo, dobro, or mandolin.

These straps are created from the finest Herman Oak leather. Superior hardware is used. You can customize your own strap from colors, engravings, hardware, and stamp design. Or you can leave the design up to the owner and creator himself, Tuck Whitaker.

This gift certificate is valued at $150.00 and must be ordered by October 1st, 2010. The strap will be mailed to you directly from Rafter Cross.
(what an excellent gift this would be for the musician in your life)

Custom Tu Tu

Starting Bid: $3.00

By ~ Julie Sindora

Custom Tu-Tu made to fit your little sweet pea. Size and color of your choice, and shipped directly to you by Julie.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Spindlenique Boutique Gift Certificate #2

Starting Bid: $5.00

Spindlenique Boutique Gift Certificate #2

A gift certificate to Spindlenique Boutique good for one child's sized denim pieced skirt, size and length are your choice. The creator and owner of this etsy store is Amanda Hand, and she does a beautiful job. You can visit her store at:

Photography Greeting Cards ~ Marla Tolle

Starting bid: $1.00
Set of 10 beautiful photography greeting cards by Marla Tolle

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mine Eye Affecteth Mine Heart...

...and in reflection, though it is hard to see, I am so thankful that my Lord has opened my eyes to see that which is hard to see, and yet is a reality. The verse quoted in the title of this post was Lamentations 3:51. It was written by a prophet who looked on the desolation of his own country and the persecution of his people and was impacted...moved with compassion.

We too have been moved with compassion. To the prophet he was viewing the persecution of a people that had turned from the things of God and suffered for it. Today we are moved because of the fruits of a people who have forgotten that ALL children have been formed in the womb by the hand of the Lord, made perfectly...some with extra leaves (chromosomes), some without...every one fearfully and wonderfully made by the perfect hand of a loving Father.

Many children in far away lands have no voice, and some because of their disabilities are not given the opportunity for life with a loving family. Recently we viewed a clip from the Today show on the state of foreign mental institutions for disabled children and was again moved with compassion.

Please pray for these little ones. I know that the Lord can bring them a comfort that I could never understand...and yet I know that He would not have our family stand by and not act on their behalf.

We are thankful for your prayers as we endeavor to bring Matthew and Ivanna home as soon as possible. We would not want them to spend a single day in an institution if at all possible.

Phillip Browning

Thursday, July 1, 2010


God is providing. I can't tell you how full my heart is right now. He is continually teaching me that trusting in Him is the key. Full trust. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for teaching me your faithfulness in provision. This adoption is not just about us loving and bringing home Matthew and Ivanna. It has impacted me ~ through and through ~ already. God is showing me that He is able to provide the ability to do this, the encouragement to go on, the reassurance that this is His will for our family right now, and the financial needs along the way. These are NOT little things. I can't adequately express how God is providing. I don't even know where to begin. It's all in different forms and ways. From one person offering to help with creating cards with our information on it, to another handing over a pocketful of cash, to another tearfully giving me a hug, donations to our raffle, sacrifices of time and talents galore, and yet others who now are entertaining the notion of becoming a forever family themselves. ALL of this, is HUGE in the eyes of our Lord - and has humbled this lady's spirit - KNOWING that it is all coming from Him.
Provision. Awesome. Encouraging. Humbling.
Thank you Jesus ... Thank you.

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