Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Adoption Quilt Making

My mom taught me how to sew when I was in preschool! My mom's best friend taught a sewing class to elementary school students and my mom figured she could teach me! During the summers we would make outfits and one time a doll! For a while my mom made flags to make ends meet. I remember during nap time and when I went to bed at night I would hear the hum of the sewing machine as well as the washer and dryer going. Something about those sounds comforts me! About 5 years ago, I made a few quilts and taught some of my youth girls to sew. My first ones were a bit rough (the brown one to the right) and I never thought I would be using something like that to raise money for our Adoption! Back then I wasn't even dating let alone thinking about having kids!


Some of you have seen posts on Facebook showing me making quilts. It has been CRAZY! In one month I received 10 orders! Ya'll I NEVER thought I would sell 10! Seriously... When we bought the first fabric I was questioning why I thought I could do this! Now, we only need 10 more quilts and we will have enough to get through the home study portion of our adoption!! Then hopefully we can get grants! Honestly, the way this is going we might be able to do it all making quilts! I would love to make this a small business one day and employ some of my family so they could stay at home! How cool would that be?! That may never happen, but hopefully we will continue to sell some so that we can pay the agency so that a birth mom can choose us!!

I can't write this post without including all of the blessings we have received. Some of you are helping us quilt (HUGE BLESSING), some have given us donations (I cry every time we receive one), some of you have ordered quilts, and hopefully all of you are praying! This is a perfect picture of Church! Everyone helping and pitching in for one goal! God is definitely up to something! The more I talk about adoption the more people pour their lives and hearts out to us about their struggles with pregnancy! God is allowing us to be heard and share our story in many different ways! I can't wait to see all that God is going to do!

Some people have wondered how I am getting all these quilts done... Well, I work on my Youth/Children stuff till 12:30 and then after lunch I get to work on quilts! At 5:00 I stop and go to whatever games/events our students have normally getting home between 8:30 and 9:30. It's crazy busy, but it's our life right now!!

Send me a picture of a nursery and we will get to making a quilt to match!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Adoption Update #1

I don't know about you, but there have been times in my life where I wanted God to answer my prayer RIGHT NOW! He doesn't always do that does He?

I've always felt the calling to adopt. I've always wanted to continue the adoption culture which my family has and hopefully those prayers will be answered! Right now though I sit waiting to hear a little more from God. We made a baby quilt over Christmas that we have prayed over believing that God is going to grant us a child.

Jaron and I have picked an adoption agency... We have the first little part of money for the application fee. Next comes $3,000. We don't have 3k. We can't apply for grants until we are home study approved and that is the $3,000... With grants we would be looking at close to 13k. It's hard to think about... We are still paying a mortgage on a house in GA while renting here in VA. Even though we have amazing people renting our house it is still a financial burden when looking to adopt. People have told us to set up a GoFundMe page, but I've heard so much negitivity with others who question fundraising. They think because people looking to adopt can't afford the adoption then they wouldn't be able to afford the day to day and that is untrue!

 I'm starting to make baby quilts, sheets, and receiving blankets to sell online to help offset the cost, but it's going to take forever! Jaron is working 6 days a week from 8 to sometimes 8 for extra income. Jaron and I have a separate bank account just for our baby! 

We are working hard and believing that God is going to help us and bless us throughout this crazy journey! Please join us in praying for our situation!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

He is Here!

As I sit on our couch in a dark house after a pretty quiet day I am reminded of how God is here! In the darkest of days/nights and in the beautiful days... He is here! My friends I want you to remember that God is here... He wants a relationship with you... Through the good and bad! Some nights like tonight I just love to go to bed after Jaron and just sit and soak in our little life. Our lives are not perfect, our marriage is not perfect, our families are not perfect, the ministry that God has called us to is not perfect, but God is here in the mix! He is fighting for us!

As you know, Jaron and I would love to have a family! When I get bummed out about the process of adoption or the cost of it I am reminded that God is here! When I see all the wonderful pictures of ultrasounds and babies across my Facebook I am reminded that God is here and it's just not our turn!

Jaron and I have attended another adoption meeting and fell in love with this agency! My heart filled to overflow when the ladies talked about the counseling for the birth mothers. I really want to have a good relationship with our child's birth mom. I don't want our child to have a hole in their exstitance that wonders about their mom. I know God is working ahead as I pray for our future child's birth mom. God is there with her and God is here reminding me that He is here and He has a plan!

As of 2 weeks ago, we have enough money to actually start the process!! We will need quite a bit more money through the process ($10,000) but I know God will provide! He provides for us everyday and I know He will provide when it comes to this! I am starting an online business of making baby quilts and crib sheets and possibly receiving blankets to help with some of the cost. I know God wants us to work for it and not expect a hand out. He is here urging us along in this crazy process.

I am so grateful for all the prayers we are receiving through this journey. I know that one day when we get through all the paperwork and financial stuff we will have the child that God has granted us! It's so crazy to think about all that goes into an adoption, but it will all be worth it in the end! We will have the family He desires us to have, but as for right now... He is Here!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

God's plan vs Our plans

When I was a Senior in High School I went to a youth ministry conference where David Nassar spoke about how God's plans are better than our plans. The title of his message was, "God's going to ruin your life." It has been 12 years since I heard that sermon and almost every year from then on I felt my plan change into God's plan.

A little over 2 years ago was one of the hardest to date. I was told one of the worst things that could be told to a woman engaged to be married. I was told I did not ovulate (You know that thing that women have to do before they have sex to be able to have a child!)... a week later I was in the same room finding out the gender of my first niece or nephew. (He is an amazing little boy!) His mom was only 15 at the time. So, there I was watching a young girl do something I was told I could never do unless by a miracle of God. I thought it was SO unfair! Later, I found out that multiple teenagers I knew were pregnant. It was my job to minister to these teenage girls... to love them. Inside I was dying! I knew they were hurting, but so was I. Life was so hard. That summer was terrible. I was dying on the inside and had to be happy for them on the outside.

Jump ahead 2 years and Jaron and I are married and would love a family of our own! Instead, of trying IVF we have opted to begin the journey of parenthood through adoption. So, here goes nothing! I am so excited I feel like I'm about to pop, but I know it's a long process.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spaghetti Sauce

I am such a Foodie! I absolutely love to eat, but I also LOVE to cook! I started cooking when I was small just helping my mom, but in first grade both of my parents had the flu and I was able to make them food! By the time I was in middle school when I would get home from school I would start dinner because the deal was the first person home had to cook dinner! I hope one day I will be able to teach our child/children.

I don't know how your house was, but my whole family was in the kitchen cooking! When I started dating Jaron I was the one that cooked, but slowly he is moving into the kitchen alongside me!

Well, I always get rave reviews from my Spaghetti Sauce and honestly I feel like it isn't homemade, but I have found that in our world today people think that it is! I made this sauce, other than the beef, for 100 people for $20! That's right $20!

Depending on how many people you are serving depends on how many CANS you will use! Tonight, it will just be Jaron and Myself so I used 1 can. Normally, I use 2 cans. We got a couple of crock pots that link together (Thanks Aunt E!) but I haven't tried them for regular stuff just dips, until tonight!

Food Lion has Large cans of Spaghetti Sauce for .84. That's right, less than a dollar! So, pour the can of your favorite sauce into the crock pot (keep the can), then drain and add a can of diced tomatoes, a drained can of mushrooms. Stir that together and put it on low. Dice up a clove of garlic and throw it in!

Now, we are going to use our skillet and brown a pound of ground beef. I chopped about an eighth of a large sweet onion and one clove of garlic! Sometimes I don't have fresh gar
lic, so I use garlic powder.
Put the skillet on medium and just when you can feel the heat on your hand, with your hand about an inch away from the bottom, put your onions and garlic (only fresh) into the pan! Do not leave them alone because we did not add any oil, so stir stir stir! Now, put into the pan your pound of ground beef, thawed! We are going to add some seasonings! I use Oregano, Basil, Parsley, and Cilantro. I know cilantro is normally for hispanic food, but I LOVE IT! If you are using the garlic powder add that now as well! Mix it all around and when it is all mixed in, flatten the mixture to the bottom of the pan and LEAVE IT ALONE! Once the bottom is browned then flip it over and start smashing! My Dad loves the meat to not be all clumpy, but to be smooth! That is where the smashing comes in!

Once the meat is browned drain the grease back into the can your sauce came out of! I told you to keep it! Move your meat around and drain again. I don't rinse the meat because I believe it takes all that flavor away. Now, Put the meat into the crock pot! Fold it in and add the same seasonings other than the garlic and onion! Now, let it sit on low for 4 hours.
Oh man! Look at that! Just perfect! Oh and that plastic is a slow cooker bag! It makes clean up a snap!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow Day!

Sometimes I think about all of our plans. We have tons of plans of what we are going to do and what we want to accomplish! Yesterday was a day full of my plans! Well, it SNOWED (very little) and snow means everything is canceled!
Everything I had planed was canceled! I took a step back and took a breath. My day was going to be completely different and wonderful! I had forgotten how much I love snow days! I went into work and saw the preschool children as well as got all of our circus and winter jam forms ready.!

What do we normally do when everything has changed? I was very excited that a little snow showed up! Everything was up in the air yesterday! I was able to just sit back, drink my coffee and watch the deer! God granted me a day to sit and reflect on Him. Even when it is not winter sometimes I believe we need a Snow Day. A day to sit and reflect on God and his goodness and his love! So, what do you do when you get a Snow Day? Do you ever get a day to sit and reflect?

Oh and I made an awesome meal: Venison Roast, Grandma Betty's Mashed Potatoes, Peas, and Creamed Corn! My husband was very thankful for Venison instead of concession stand burgers!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Welcome to Clarksville

Well, it's been a little over 2 weeks since we have moved to Clarksville, VA. We first talked with Clarksville this past sumer and honestly Jaron and I thought they had gone another way because we had not heard from them. We received a call in September saying they were still interested and at this point we were talking with another church. Through the process we became excited about the possibilities here in Clarksville. Jaron and I both gave 2 weeks notices the week before Christmas and were here the first of the year. It was so quick, but worth it because we both really felt God's hand moving us. We moved on a Saturday, I was installed as a minister that Sunday, and on Tuesday Jaron went to work! God has provided for us so much more than we ever thought! I am so excited about what is to come! I grew up in small towns in Va and I feel right at home here. Jaron even said after leaving Food Lion one night that he loved our little normal life here! Most people (all but 2) are so loving and excited we are here! I definitely do not have on rose colored glasses knowing that some people don't see the need for my position, but we are loving on the kids and parents as much as we can!

Now the questions start rolling in....
  • Where do we start?
    • Where are the kids Spiritually?
    • What kind of ministry has been taking place before now?
  • How do we start?
    • Build Relationships
      • Go to games, plays, band things
    • Get Organized
      • Budgets, Parent Meetings, Teaching Schedules, Camps
    • Begin to create a Spiritual Culture
      • Focus on Time with God
      • Show how God changes us and molds us to be more like Him
      • Set the bar HIGH!
  • What do we change?
    • Create a "Sacred Space"
      • walking in it says, "time to talk with God"
So this is how we have started...
At the end of our official 1st week Jaron and I went on a Ski Retreat with some of our new Youth, Volunteers, and Parents! What a way to kick start relationships!

The start of the 2nd week we did what I grew up doing and went to a basketball game and had concession stand burgers for dinner!
 I love it when we are able to go to games and see our kids play! We rounded out our week at a game night with church people playing Bunko and Spoons while eating pizza and sipping wine (in my case a diet mountain dew!)

Tonight I have a JV basketball game to go to as well as a Children's Committee meeting! Later this week our Community has a Women's conference!! I'm so excited about being able to meet people and learn more about our Savior!

We seem super busy, but honestly it's such a slow pace that it doesn't feel rushed or busy at all! Jaron and I are able to have lunch and dinner together almost everyday!! AND dinner is before 8pm!!!