Monday, February 28, 2011

Time to get serious...

Now that the fun is over, it's time for some serious stuff. I have some heavy posts coming up. Deep. Real. Seriousness that I have to share. There's a lot of fun and entertainment in the blog world, and in real life, but I have been pressed to go down the road on a more serious note these days. I am sure I'll go back to the fun once in awhile once I lay it all out here, and talk about these topics, but for now, I can't keep them to myself. It's time to dig deep. It's time to look in the mirror and be brutally honest. Stay tuned.

We have TWO winners!!!

Whooo hoooo!!!

There are two winners, not just one! Of course! This lady is not only fabulous and talented...but super generous!

Go to her blog to see who won:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last day to enter!

Today is your last chance to enter to win something sweet from my friend,  Lisa's shop! Go to her blog, and click on her shop and find your favorite item-

Come back here and tell us about it, leaving a comment on the original 5, 6, 7, 8 post below. Don't forget to read about her "creating for a cause" and how she is raising money with her shop to support foster children. She is a true inspiration, and I wish I had her talent! :)

Be blessed!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Only 2 more days...come on over & enter!!

If you haven't yet left your name in the "nest box" to win something fabulous from Lisa's adorable shop-I invite you to do so very soon! There are only a couple days left before Mattie, her hen, draws a name!
Go to her blog here-
then check out her shop, come back and leave a comment here or in the post below letting us know what you liked best!  There are lots of you that regularly comment that have not yet signed up, and we would love to have you join well as anyone else who would like to take part. Have fun & be blessed!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

5, 6, 7, 8 Who do I appreciate??

My readers that's's the special something I was talking about..I so hope you will check out my talented, generous, faith-filled friend and take part....

Hi! I'm Michelle's friend Lisa... (i'm the one on the left)

In celebration of Michelle's newly re-styled blog, I'd like to offer her blog readers a little something...
No hoops to jump through here, just a couple clucks clicks to visit my blog and shop, a quick post back to Michelle letting her know your fav item in my shop!
Then I'll make a note to include your name in the, "nest box!"

On February 28th "Mattie," my hen, will choose a name & I will snail mail that lucky someone, something "special!"

Told 'ya  e-a-s-y p-e-a-s-y!

***Mattie wanted to show you the nest box!

Michelle & I share a passion for helping children in need...
Fostering, adopting, advocating and praying for all the little ones that are abused, neglected & forgotten.
I am focused on surrendering to Christ & through Him, serving "Children in need, first."

I invite you to visit my blog, "2 Surrender & Serve" CLICK
and my new on-line shop, "S & S Dry Goods, Art & Sundries"

The Lord blessed me with a need to create, sooo I decided to create for a cause!
My shop is unique in that I am not making a profit for myself.
When something sells, I donate to charity first (like tithing!), buy more supplies with what is left &  then make more goodies for the shop!

A portion of each sale in my 'lil shop goes to National CASA and other organizations that benefit abused/neglected children in Washington State.

- Tacoma Rescue Mission
- DSHS *even this agency is in need of clothing, diapers & formula used in emergency placements
- Pediatric Interim Care Services

I am a volunteer Guardian ad Litem, or CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), for information about
National CASA
or Washington State CASA please visit here,
***Dr.Phil also supports CASA!
As of last week, we have 248 active CASA's in my county, 751 children have an assigned CASA and sadly approx.600 more are still waiting!

Will you please pray, volunteer and/or pass on the info to your friends & family?
Nothing happens by mistake, not even you stumbling across this blog, adding it to your reading list & becoming a "blog follower" here.
Michelle is glad you're here & that you take a few precious minutes of your busy day to share in her world.
She appreciates you stopping in to read, comment & share little bits of yourself.

...and now, so do I!

Proverbs 31:20
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hello NEW blog!!!

Welcome to "Gather the Lambs", my newly designed blog by Alexis, a teen who worked very hard at designing this blog for me. Thanks, Alexis!

Awhile back, as I was contemplating about what to do with my blog, I had a few options. I decided to pray about it. I wondered if I should quit blogging altogether. I wondered if I should keep blogging but change things up a bit. As I was reading scripture one day, this verse above practically jumped off the page, and I knew. This was something I not only needed to hear, but also wanted to share with others...and this new blog was born. God really does gather us in His arms and hold us close if we allow Him. What a warm and comforting thought. Something we all need to hear and allow to soak in, as we spend time in His presence. More than that, what I love about this verse is how He gently leads those that have young. I don't know about you, but I need as much leading and guidance from the Lord as I can get during this season of motherhood.

I pray that this blog will be a blessing to those that read here, and that they will find encouragement along the way. If you are a mother, I pray this blog will also bless you in your most high calling of motherhood to the little lambs that you are raising. What an awesome and most important job we have- as mother's to the precious children He has blessed us with.

I want to talk more here about foster care, and adoption, and what it's really like. I want to share our ups and downs in a more real way, as we are now closer to hearing the final decision on where our first foster baby, baby L, will live permanantly. Will it be us? Her mom? Her relatives?

I also want to use this blog to highlight ministries, and advocate for you will see real faces here, real babies and kids that are waiting for that special mommy and daddy just for them.

I'm so glad I am going to continue to blog, and use this format to reach out, advocate, encourage, expand awareness of ministries, and to inspire. At this time, that is my goal, and my greatest desire is that it is pleasing to God and glorifies Him.

Come back soon for my "special announcement"! You will be blessed!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good-bye old blog...

The new blog will premiere any day, keep checking back! Hoping to debut by monday (or earlier)!
I have something very fun to announce, as well as lots of updates, and new things to share!
See ya soon!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

McDonald's finally hits Africa

My neice sent this to me...had to share!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Out with the with the new!

The new blog design should be premiering sometime this week! I am getting rid of so many things at home, decluttering, cleaning out, and downsizing. It is nice to be doing the same with my blog, which will focus on the most important things in life, as all the rest of the clutter disappears. It will be time for a foster babies update, a peek into our new addition-as we begin painting, and putting flooring in soon, and more about living simply, and more intentional for Christ. I am SO looking forward to it. Stay tuned...I have also partnered with a talented friend who has something very special to share! Come back soon, and be blessed!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

A day late, but with the week like I've had, this is actually pretty good!

This year, our annual Homeschool Night of the Arts landed on this night, so we didn't celebrate. We still might do something special this weekend sometime. In China, it's not just one day of celebrating anyway, it is a long holiday where people take time off work, and spend time with family, and carry out many of the Chinese New Year, or spring festival traditions. I plan to encorporate this into our lives more and more every year.

I am behind on organizing events for the China adoptive families group I started 3 years ago when Lilyann came home. There are 3 new little ones that have come home from China just this year, so I am excited to see our little group growing. I will be planning something in the next few months.

I love the fact that having a chinese daughter adds another holiday to our lives to celebrate. It is such a festive holiday to celebrate too...healthy food, bright colors, lanterns, beautiful flowers and the love of family. Who wouldn't want to celebrate that? 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So much for simplicity...

I used to talk about simplifying my life on this blog a lot. Then homeschooling became homeschooling, plus all the extra homeschooling activities we do outside the home, and a few other activities they are involved in as well. Then we took in two foster babies. Life got crazy. Busy. Hectic.

This week is a good example. On top of our weekly Awana, basketball practice, and homeschool gymnastics, we have out of town guests coming to stay the night, and our annual night of the arts for local homeschoolers, which both girls are participating in. Somewhere between daily homeschooling, and homekeeping duties, I need to fit in grocery shopping, working out, and attend an important court hearing on one of the foster babies. Oh, and don't forget, this thursday is also Chinese New Year which we have been working on finding ways to celebrate every year. It's funny how so many people think that homeschoolers are more isolated and less involved with people and social activities. We actually do more as a homeschooling family with groups, friends, co-ops and more. There is so much to do, that I have to be really careful, or we would be so much more overscheduled than we already are!

Dh and I came up with a plan. Although living simply is a huge desire of mine, I know that in a family of 6 we all of individual needs.  We needed to find ways that we can both rest and rejuvenate, relax and simplify. We needed to do this while also meeting the needs of our children. I will be sharing some of the things we are going to implement in the upcoming posts. I cannot promise that it will work, but I have my fingers crossed.