This Beautiful Inheritance: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Maybe It's So Much More...

This weekend I sat in (via live streaming from my laptop) on an Orphan Care conference in Northwest Arkansas. I learned about it through my new favorite blogger, who was speaking on a panel there. Anyway, I was so excited to find out that it was being live streamed so I, from the comfort of home, could soak up all the wisdom being shared.

credit: Joshua Segraves

The main message that got through to me from two days of speakers was this: Orphan Care is about so much more than adoption.

Only %.018 of the world's orphans will ever be adopted.

and considering there are at least 145 million orphans in the world... that's a big deal.

If you read my recent post on adoption, you know how big my heart is for it and how badly I want to. But, as the speakers at the conference pointed out, if I really care about orphans, I'll want to do more than adopt.

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. -James 1:27

 
credits: Esther Havens

Because so few of the world's orphans will ever be adopted, we need to be working toward other, better solutions.

Here's one example. Kristen Welch from We are THAT Family and her husband, Terrell, are starting a ministry called The Mercy House Kenya. It's a maternity home for young pregnant mothers. As Kristen explained at the conference, these women aren't getting pregnant because they're promiscuous; it's because they're hungry. The only thing that many young Kenyan women have to trade for food... is sex. And that, is very sad. The Mercy House (opening this summer) will be a place of hope for young women, where they'll receive prenatal care, learn job skills for sustainable living and more.

Kristen caught this vision after visiting Kenya on a trip with Compassion International. After visiting the depths of poverty, she and her husband realized they could never just go back to living the "Christian version of the American dream." So they changed they're life mission and started work on Mercy House.

So.

I've been processing everything I heard for a couple days now. And I just wanna DO something. This morning during worship at Church, we sang "Amazing Grace: My Chains are Gone," and I began thinking about the millions of children who need someone to come rescue them from the chains of poverty. And I felt that maybe God was saying, "Here's your life mission. Care for the orphan." 

And maybe that means adoption. And maybe that means so much more than adoption.

Whatever it is, I'm ready to get started.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday


It's that time of the week! Here's What I'm Loving on this lovely Wednesday afternoon!

I'm Loving this frame that Sara Bell made for Eden and all the kids at our Valentine Party. Isn't it cute?!?!


I'm Loving this Citrus Bowtie Pasta that I just made for lunch.


The recipe is from Whole Foods, and it is so stinkin' good! (p.s. I add some cut up chicken to the mix!)

I'm Loving our new flag in our landscaping. My MIL got it for us for Christmas, but we waited 'til it warmed up a little to put it out.


I'm Loving the clothes I got for Eden yesterday at Rhea Lana's.



I'm Loving the rubber boots we got her too! Since it's rather muddy in our yard right now, these are perfect for letting her play outside.





Oh, and I am so Loving that little booty :-)

What are you Loving today? Link up here and let us know!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Party At My House!

So, as I mentioned, Tuesday I hosted a Toddler Valentine Party. It was supposed to go down last Thursday, but due to blizzard-like conditions, we rescheduled for one day post-holiday. (This turned out to be the best idea ever because we got everything half-off!)


With one little boy sick, there were still NINE kiddos/babies in my house that evening. I think I underestimated the CHAOS that nine toddlers can produce. Or I overestimated our ability as moms to keep the party calm. Bottom line, it was chaos! Ha.

I wish I had photos that could properly illustrate that for you: like the babies screaming, the toddlers sneaking to the food table again and again to swipe yet another cookie, or all of them sticking their fingers, arms and elbows in paint. Yes, paint.

Again, I'm not sure what we were thinking on this one, but we thought it would be a good idea to PAINT the kids' Valentine sacks at the party. Wow. That was an adventure. Needless to say I did not let Eden paint her own. Here is her sack next to her cousin's. (Joe, who is about a year older than Eden, insisted on using "MY Blue Paint!" So he got to paint his own :-) )


Really, we did have fun though. If there is any group of moms up for this kind of chaotic challenge, it's us. We're all about the play dates and memory-making.




 

At the end of the night, when all the kids were starting to melt down, we decided to attempt a group photo. HA! The only option was to set up our cameras on the book shelf with a timer, and THIS is how they turned out.



The whole time Eden was turning around, crying, lunging for the TV saying, "Shows! Shows! Shows!" (Yes, she is a teensy bit addicted to her "Shows.")

Finally, I turned on Diego, and silence magically filled the room.



Works every time!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday


I'm Loving the Toddler Valentine Party I hosted last night. Full post about that tomorrow.

I'm Loving Cantina Laredo. This place is Scrum-deli-umptious.


Tyler and I ate our Valentine's Dinner here Monday night, and hands down, this place has the best Mexican food EVER. And I do mean EVER. Then, we spent our Valentine's Night at Holiday Inn Express for a one-night romantic get-away. I'm also Loving that. It was so nice!

I'm Loving the shout-outs that Savannah B. gave us, her blogging students. She is exceedingly gracious.

I'm Loving the warmer weather! So glad to be going from this to this!


And, as always, I'm Loving Loving Loving this smile.


Aren't you? :-)

What else are you Loving today? Link up and let us know!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogger Award!

My new friend Nicki from Baby Cakes just gave me my first Blogging Award!


Thanks so much, Nicki! Now I would like to pass this award on to my other new blogging friend, Ashley from Pumpkin Butter. (I think you're actually supposed to pass it along to 5 folks, but Imma break the rules...) Ashley, feel free to feel special! :-) ...Here's to new blogging buddies!!

Oh and Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trying to Avoid a Dream Deferred

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a new favorite blog, Rage Against The Mini Van. Cute huh? If you checked it out, and if you know me very well, you probably know why I like it. The woman who writes it has four children: two of them are biological and two are adopted. I am always drawn to families like this.

credit: RageAgainstTheMiniVan.com
It has been a desire of mine for a long time to adopt. Tyler is equally passionate about it, and we have been basically just waiting, waiting, waiting until it was possible for us. Being in college and living in an on-campus apartment weren't very conducive to becoming adoptive parents, but now that we are a little more settled in life, it's being talked about around our house a lot more often.

In fact, Tuesday night I attended an adoption information meeting at Dillon International in North Little Rock.


Tyler and I have been trying to go to one of these meetings for months, but every single time one came up, he had to work. So finally, he told me to go without him, and I could tell him what I learned. I learned so much! For starters, I always thought that you had to be 25 years old to start the process of adoption (I'm only 24). False, they told me. We could start the process now, and as long as I was 25 before the baby was placed, it would be fine.

This was a bombshell for me. We could start the process...now. The dream of adopting was always easy to dream and talk about because it seemed so far off. But suddenly, it was more than just something to fantasize about. It was a process we could begin today, simply with the online application.

When I told Tyler this news, he was...himself. "Let's do it!" were his words. His way of thinking is...God says 'Care for orphans,' we're old enough now, what are we waiting on? (and on a side note, we are fully aware of the outrageous cost of international adoption. I plan to go into full-blown faith-filled fund-raising mode when we begin the process.)  I, on the other hand, start having a hundred different thoughts go through my mind.

Here are some of them.

I want more than two children. Should we wait until after having a second child to try and adopt? The adoption process is lengthy... at least two years. I've already got a pretty bad case of baby fever, and I don't know that I want to wait that long to have another child.

But if we have another biological child first, it may be even harder to adopt, financially. (In fact, to adopt from China you have to make X amount of money per year per person in your family, and if we had another child first, we wouldn't qualify.)

I guess, mainly, I'm just afraid that if we have another biological child, life will happen, it will get more expensive, and we'll just never revisit our dream of adopting; whereas, now, it's at the forefront of our minds.

For now, I know we just need to pray about it. But I would love your feedback on this issue. Please, leave comments.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

On this, the snowiest day of my daughter's my life, let me tell you what I'm Loving, since you most likely are snowed in as well and have nothing better to do!

I'm Loving the way I feel after the Most. Relaxing. Bath. Ever. While Eden was napping, I seized my opportunity and used the Relaxation Bath Balm from Lush my friends gave me for my B-day. And let me just say, if you ever plan to use one, be prepared to block off at least two hours of your time, as you physically will NOT be able to remove yourself from the bathtub. It was the most serene, silky-smooth soak ever :-)

Credit: Collegjolt.com

I'm Loving LOVING LOVING my new favorite blog.... Rage Against The Mini Van.


I found this blog on Sunday and was absolutely HOOKED. I plan to talk more about it, and why I love it, tomorrow so check back.


I'm Loving the potato soup I made for lunch today.


Every time I make this I'm tempted to sit and eat the whole pot. It is mmm mmmm, good!


I'm Loving being snowed in with my family. While the upteenth snow of the year is somewhat annoying, it does have an upside...


Stay Warm and Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's the Matter in There?

Yesterday, I was back in Eden's bedroom, and she was in the living room.

Suddenly, I heard her crying. It was a pitiful, scared kind of cry.

After a few seconds, I went into the living room to see what was the matter.

This is what I saw.

...................................................................................................................


Bahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

I'm sorry, but being the mean mommy blogger that I am, I HAD to grab my phone and take a picture before I got her down. This girl was completely STUCK with her hands on the coffee table and her feet on the couch. I have no idea how she got like that, but I couldn't help but think it was pretty hilarious.

Don't worry. I cuddled her and comforted her afterward, and she completely forgave me for taking the picture!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Continuing with my new "meme" (<--- new blogging word I learned from Savannah), let me tell you what I'm loving on this Wednesday!


I'm Loving the Keurig coffee pot the hubby got me for Christmas. I mean, seriously, LOVING it.


Every morning I get up and think, "Hmmm... which kind of coffee will I brew this morning?" The perfect cup of coffee just brightens my day!


I'm Loving my new blog fan page on Facebook!


Click here and "Like" it now!

I'm Loving the anticipation leading up to my next event! :) Next week I'm hosting a Toddler Valentine Party for a few of my friends!



How cute is that?!? (I tried having Eden help me yesterday make Valentine cards for the party.... but she preferred to eat the glue and draw on her pants... maybe next year!)

I'm Loving all the new things Eden is learning these days! Seriously, yall, it's so cute!! In case there's one single person out there, I haven't already told... the other day I put her in her high chair, and she said, "Tank you Mama." Sweetest. Cutest. Smartest. Thing. Ever.

She's also starting to respond (correctly) when asked questions and surprise me by naming things correctly. For example, she LOVES these books with flaps. This morning she was 3 for 3, lifting up the flap and making the correct animal noise!


"What's the lion say?" "Grrrrrrowll!"  :-)

What are you loving today? Link up here and tell us!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Learning from the Bee Keeper

So last night was the night. Gathered around chip & dip, cupcakes and babies, Savannah Butler, author of Chasing My Bees, bestowed upon me and a few friends her wealth of blog knowledge. It was Bloggers' Night Out. I organized it because I knew I was in dire need of some teachin'. So I invited a few friends and made a night of it.


It was so much fun! Savannah was so gracious to those of us just starting out in the life of blogging. (Yes, actually, I have been blogging for a year now, but as I told her, I am a baby in knowledge!)
 

She gave us so many tips and tricks for improving our blogs and our following. Numero Uno: Utilize Twitter! I've been on Twitter for a while but have been a total deadbeat about it.... Facebook is so much friendlier! But, as Savannah explained, there is no tool like Twitter to connect with people you NEVER would otherwise. So I'm going to try start Twittering Tweeting again! Follow Me!


I got so many other ideas for my blog, too. Be looking out for some changes and improvements comin' your way!

Savannah and I... haven't checked her out yet? Do it now!
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