August 30, 2011

my little lovies

There is no real reason for this post. I just have cute kids and wanted to share their cuteness with you :)


I love how you can actually see Noah making truck noises in this picture.

Happy Tuesday friends.

August 26, 2011

too much free time

Yesterday was Tay’s first day of preschool. Before we left, I dropped Noah off with the neighbor for the day, so I had the entire morning to myself.

When I dropped Tay off at preschool, she ran straight for her classroom without even a goodbye. As I am standing there with my camera and what must have looked like a really sad face, the teacher said “you can come in a take a picture”. And so I did. And then I left. And then I did not cry (yeah right).

I was really looking forward to having some “mommy time”. It’s crazy how much “thinking” I do when it is quiet. Not like “I am smart thinking”. More like “I don’t want to use my brain” thinking. So I wrote a few of these thoughts for your reading pleasure. Feel free to close out. I will never know. 

(Please excuse the short, choppy, sentences. It’s all I’ve got today.)

-Being alone stinks! Yes my children can get on my nerves, but I would much rather them be on my nerves than not with me at all.

-I went to a consignment sale during my alone time and turns out, I am CRAZY. Not like elbow throwing crazy, but like all nervous, gotta get me some cheap clothes crazy. Seriously, my heart rate was way elevated!

-Why would you try to make money off of the Dolly Parton books? I mean seriously people, you got them for free. Give them away!

-Listening to “top 40” music radio stations makes me feel cooler. I know weird, right? Maybe because I only listen when no kids are in the car. No kids = cool? I don’t know. Told you it was random.

-What the heck did Tay do for 5 hours while at preschool? I should have asked.

And there you go. A little preview of my thoughts.

August 25, 2011

Lucky you.

I am in photography mode. I have absolutely NO idea how to use our camera and I'm making it my new hobby to figure it out. I'm still pretty awful, but there has been some improvement. I took a class this past weekend, had a friend come over to show me a few things in Photoshop, and have been a crazy picture taking fool the past few days.

And you guys are the lucky ones who get to see my really bad attempts at what I've learned work.


There is a good chance that no matter how hard I try, I will never be good at photography.

Preschool…sniff, sniff

Tay had her first official day of preschool today. Seeing her with her backpack, nap mat, and lunchbox this morning was almost more than I could handle. When did my baby get to be so big? I mean seriously y’all, dropping her off at school was HARD.

Last spring, we made the decision for Taylor to attend preschool one day a week. I had been going back and forth between keeping her home and letting her go to school. Before we even had children, Mark and I made the decision that we would homeschool our kiddos (more on that later). So for us, preschool is not necessarily a step towards what her day will look like in kindergarten. It is more of a “trial run” for how we want to handle preschool with our kiddos.

Look at this cute tiny tot on her first day of school. Tay’s new thing is to squint her eyes when she smiles. And it was sunny. So….I did not get the greatest pictures. I won’t show you any of me with red, puffy eyes.


August 18, 2011

Following the leader, the leader, the leader

Can you tell that I have been watching Peter Pan A LOT?!?! Tay goes through phases of movies. Right now, she is in a Peter Pan phase which means we watch parts of it at least 3 days a week.

This post actually has absolutely nothing to do with Peter Pan, movies, or Taylor. It has to do with marriage.

One area in marriage where I struggle is in following Mark. Let me say this first, Mark is AWESOME! God made him to be the leader of our family and I am to submit to his authority (there is that dang submit word). The majority of the time we agree on our family decisions. Those are the easy ones.

But lately…

A few posts back, I wrote about some uncertainties that I have surrounding our adoption. I still feel 100% led to adopt. I still feel 100% that our baby is in Africa. BUT I no longer feel 100% that our baby is in Ethiopia. I have been praying (like crazy), researching, talking to other adoptive families, and reading other people’s adoption stories. I just can’t shake the feeling that maybe we are not considering all of our options. Here is where the struggle begins. Mark still feels certain that we are to adopt from Ethiopia. He too has been praying, but God has not pulled him in a different direction.

So for now, I just pray. I pray that God will either give me peace about adopting from Ethiopia, or that he will tug at Mark’s heart to consider other options. As much as I do not always like submitting to Mark’s authority and his ultimate place as the head decision maker, I have to. That is how God designed marriage. But let me tell you this, I would much rather be in my position than be in Mark’s. As the ultimate decision maker, he is the one who is directly held accountable by God, not me. And that my friends, makes the submission word a much easier weight to bear.

Heart break

These are the stories that make my heart break in two. I cannot believe we live in a world where any child is treated in this way. Every child is precious. Every child is a gift from God.

Please read about his little girl. Help in any way you can. Spread the word. Pray.

For nothing will be impossible with God. Lk 1:37

August 14, 2011

New look

Let’s face it; I’m indecisive and maybe a lot little dorky. Hence the new blog look and title. I discovered that I actually think it is “fun” to create backgrounds and buttons in Photoshop. Oh, and write HTML. Yep, a dork.
And since the blog has an entire new look, I thought it would be a good time to give it a new name as well.

Road to home has two different meanings for our family.

First, this life and our home here on earth are temporary. We have a MUCH better home waiting for us in heaven. Our road to get there has had many turns, detours, and bumps. It has not and will not always be pretty. But we can rest knowing that we have hope and that our permanent home is in heaven. Love this verse...
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Second: We are on an adoption journey. A great deal of what this blog revolves around is the road we are taking to bring our baby home.
John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

August 13, 2011

Our attempt at a family photo shoot

Our Saturday morning plans consisted of a yard sale and the farmer’s market. However, it has been so long since we have gotten cute pictures of the kids and the farmer’s market has several fun places for pictures. So, the wheels in my head started turning…

Originally I figured we would only attempt pictures of the kids. But then I realized my parents were planning on being in town. In my mind, this was a perfect opportunity to take family pictures. We actually have a really nice camera, but with one big problem…we don’t know how to use it! So, here is our attempt at family pictures. Yes, there are a few good shots, but it took us 300 to get these!!!



August 7, 2011

Something more?

One year ago I knew almost nothing about the orphan crises. Did not understand how many orphans there are in this world. Could not even think about how many children have no one to love them, no one to care for them, and no family to speak of. I did not truly understand the need.

Yes, God has led us to adopt. Yes, there will be one less orphan. But is that enough? The answer is a big fat NO! Children are hungry, thirsty, and unloved. Children still need homes, they need forever families. What about them? How can I care for them?
And what about the families who want to keep their children, but simply cannot afford to feed them?

I sit here with a heavy heart. I long to do more, but have no idea where to start.

Ideas run through my head and then excuses follow close behind. My plate is always “too full”. There are so many opportunities and wonderful organizations that serve orphans. Are there any missions or organizations that you recommend?

I read the following on one of my favorite blogs. It was written by Richard Stearns. It definitely has be thinking that I need to be doing MORE!


"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink ..." --Matthew 25:35-36

Jesus' words are a powerful and inspiring reminder as I sit in my office browsing on news websites the stories and images of the staggering tragedy unfolding in the Horn of Africa.

Nearly 10 million people are "critically short of food," according to the United Nations, due to what UN officials say is the region's worst drought since I was born 60 years ago. Those 10 million people live in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti and war-ravaged Somalia.

For some, the stories and images will be reminders of the Ethiopian famine. Twenty-five years ago, the images of bloated, dying children, images unlike any others seen before by millions of Americans, prompted a massive outpouring of donations and offers to help. That outpouring culminated in the "Live Aid," concerts in Philadelphia and London, the latter of which brought a group I had never heard of before to the world's attention -- U2.

For others, the name "Somalia" brings back the events of 1991-1994 when hundreds of thousands of Somalis were starving, prompting a U.S.-led peacekeeping force to intervene. That effort led to a military operation against Somali warlords and, regrettably, the deaths of 42 American soldiers.

I am reminded of two things.

First, the faces, the voices and the stories of people I've met in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. Kenya was the first nation I visited after joining World Vision in 1998, and where I learned one of the most important lessons of my life: Poverty is not an image, or a statistic; poverty has a face, a name and a story.

Second, I am reminded of the powerful and provocative quote from Josef Stalin: "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."

I fear that for many Americans -- Christians and people of other faiths or no faith -- will devote little time or attention, let alone resources, to the people suffering in the Horn of Africa. Rather they are preoccupied with "First World problems":

~~ How fluctuations in the stock market are affecting my 401(k) investments;
~~ Where to go on my next vacation;
~~ Whether to buy "name brand" or "store brand" items in the supermarket;
~~ Which diet and workout regimen will enable me to lose 10 pounds in a month; or
~~ The struggle over my next computer -- a notebook, a laptop, or the new iPad2?

Or worse, they are obsessed with finding out where Casey Anthony might be living, now that she's been released from jail after being acquitted of charges that she murdered her daughter, Caylee. Thousands of Americans followed Ms. Anthony's trial closely, and expressed outrage when she was found not guilty. They wanted justice for Caylee's death. Where's their outrage or sense of justice for the millions of children at-risk of dying in the Horn of Africa? Their lack of attention proves the late Soviet premier's admonition.

Many "First World" Americans have never met a person with "Third World problems":

~~ Whose income is $2 a day and who has never heard of a 401 (K);
~~ Whose only travel plans are traipsing by foot from Somalia into Kenya to a refugee camp;
~~ Whose primary source of drinking water is infested with animal feces, and has never been inside a supermarket;
~~ Who lost 10 pounds in the last week because of too little or even no food, and who has no use for a health club membership; or
~~ Who has no access to electricity, and does not need -- and maybe has not ever seen -- a computer.

I have the privilege of knowing people facing both First World and Third World problems. It is a privilege because, I believe, Jesus would consider it a privilege. He met with, ate meals alongside and learned from those His society considered its lowest and its outcasts -- prostitutes, tax-collectors, the poor and victims of injustice.

He would have been honored to meet and serve people like Hawo, a woman believed to be about 75-years-old who lives in Kalabeyr, a remote town in northern Somalia. Thanks to my World Vision colleagues working in the region, I know more about Hawo, than I ever will know -- or even want to know -- about Casey Anthony.

After the drought killed the more than 500 goats and sheep Hawo and her eight children lived on, they were forced to abandon their pastoral way of life and move to Kalabeyr. The nine of them live in a makeshift tukul, a small room within the compound of one of the town residents.

It is Hawo whom Mark Bowden

Jesus' words about hunger and thirst, as quoted in Matthew, led me a few years ago to create an NIT version (New Irreverent Translation), one that Americans obsessed with "First World problems" might relate to:

"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water."

We did not create the desperate conditions of drought and famine threatening the lives of 10 million people in the Horn of Africa. But, as Christians, it is our responsibility to do something about it. It is our moral duty to help our neighbors in need -- here in the U.S. and elsewhere, and God commands us to help those we have the means to help. We cannot look at their situation -- on television, in newspapers or magazines, or on the Internet -- shrug our shoulders, and say, "Not my problem."

Written by Richard Stearns.

August 5, 2011

Murky water

It seems that my blog posts come in spurts. Lately I have had so much rolling around in my head; there have been no words to express my feelings.

I have been a little unsure about the specifics of our adoption. Questions have been running through my mind. Is Ethiopia where we should be adopting? Is our agency the right one for us? Should we change the parameters for the child we are waiting for?

To be honest, I am not sure where these questions are coming from. There is uncertainty with any adoption, but it seems like there is ALOT with ours. The wait list seems to be getting longer which is obviously frustrating. And I seem to have this “feeling” that maybe we are not thinking about all options when considering our child.

I am thankful for a God who knows the plans He has for us. I am grateful that He knows our child and already has the details worked out. However, it does not change my lack of confidence in areas of our adoption process. I try to trust, but want to be sure that we are hearing His call and are attentive to His direction.

If you think of us and our adoption, say a little prayer. We can always use them :)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer 29:11

August 1, 2011

A shout out

We have an awesome neighbor, Brad, who is part owner of an awesome company, Blue Sky Filmworks . Brad donated his time and talent to design this AH-mazing poster for our benefit concert.

We have had so many compliments on the poster and we are so appreciative of Brad and all of his hard work.

If you think you can display this poster anywhere (work, church, school...), let me know. We are hoping to use it to help get the word out about our benefit. Thanks peeps!