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Monday, October 29, 2012

Photo Shoot!

Last weekend, I had the special opportunity to photograph a local Ethiopian adoptive family.  While we were still waiting for court dates to bring our sons home, Tara and I connected as they were also early in the process of their adoption from Ethiopia.

For a short while, Allie and our son Wesley, were at the same daycare (what a crazy coincidence that two children from Ethiopia, end up together at the same daycare in Minnesota!)

The Rosh's are all settled and it was truly beautiful to see how their entire family (mom, dad, big sister and little sister) has bonded and adapted to their new addition!  Big sister Sophie is so well spoken and polite, and knew exactly how to engage her little sister so that I could get some great photos.

Allie kept looking back at me, wondering what I was doing...

Swinging was so much fun, Allie wasn't about to walk on her own two feet!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

No longer go to bed with hunger gnawing ...

Our team of volunteers is making final preparations for our trip to Ethiopia in 2 weeks.  We will be working with the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory care-points, who are as excited about our visit as we are!

Not only will we see many familiar faces - but between our 2 care-points, we have just enrolled 96 new children!  96 new kids who are no longer standing around the perimeter of the care-points waiting, hoping and wishing!  This brings our total enrollment to almost 375 kids - who no longer go to bed with hunger gnawing at the tummies, or drinking water that makes them sick!  They have just been enveloped into the loving arms of the care-point, with teachers and mentors who will instruct them and love them like family!

If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please email me at  I can match you with a child immediately and email you their information!

$34 per month provides nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship.  You can write letters to your child throughout the year, and we have several volunteer teams that visit the children annually.  My team of volunteers leaves in 2 weeks - and we will personally deliver care-packages to each child from their sponsor family!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just Plain Fun!

Several weeks ago, I took pictures for the Homecoming dance and one particular photo became a topic of conversation.

Emme jumped on my computer and went searching for old photos and we found this picture from when the girls were little.  The same 4 girls, friends since 3rd grade.

That photo got passed around among the girls, posted on facebook, and lots of fun memories were shared and remembered.  Emme asked them over this weekend for a photo shoot day. 

(Hmmmm - suddenly it's ok to have a mom that can wield a camera.)

There were lots of laughs and giggles and just plain goofiness.

There were also a few tumbles but we were able to finish relatively unscathed, and only one pair of jeans was ruined in the making of these photos. 

(And they were my jeans.  Leaves are slippery and the hills were steep.  The girls accidently slid down the hill a few times, and then I went into an unexpected slide, landed on my butt and continued sliding, ending up with a pocket nearly ripped off.)

The shoot had to pause only for a moment, to free Emme's sweater from her braces.

Did I mention the silliness?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Christmas Wish for Kids in Ethiopia

In 3 weeks, a team of 20 volunteers will leave home (in the USA) to work with the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory Care-Points in Ethiopia.
Over the past 3 years, we have seen tremendous growth as our original enrollment has grown and grown again!  Between Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory Care-Points, we are now serving nearly 375 kids!!!
At Kind Hearts, we started with 68 children from very destitute families who could not afford the basics of food, clean water, clothing, medical care and education.  Today Kind Hearts has 136 kids and we have just enrolled 60 more - 196 kids!! 
Nearly 200 kids that have come to rely on nutritious food every day, clean water that won't make them sick, caring adults who mentor and teach them (and demonstrate the love of their Heavenly Father in a tangible way) and sponsor families here in America who love them, provide for them and pray for them from afar.

I have relayed to you how Kind Hearts has 4 small classrooms that are literally overflowing with kids. And yet there are still hungry, destitute children who line up along the perimeter of the playground every day, waiting and hoping to be able to attend Kind Hearts.

Despite the lack of space, Kind Hearts has just enrolled 60 more children!! The staff has stepped out in faith, believing that the funds will soon be raised in order to build a new school so that these children are not packed into already over-filled classrooms.

At Trees of Glory, we started with 84 children from a rural, subsistence farming community that experiences seasonal drought and famine.  Our enrollment in this rural village community has grown each year and our current 136 students have just been joined by 40 more kids - 176 total!!
The exciting news at Trees of Glory is that the Care-Point has just opened a medical clinic with an on-site nurse that will serve the children at the Care-Point as well as the surrounding villages.  This has been a goal for quite some time, and one that the government has been insistent on having as soon as possible since there is no medical support in the area.
The Care-Point has hired a nurse, has a small room with a few beds and word is spreading among the villages that medical care is now available.  But they literally have NOTHING for medical supplies and equipment.  Our team of volunteers will be bringing medical supplies to initially stock the clinic but an ongoing medical/health fund is needed to keep the clinic functioning long-term

This Christmas, will you join me and the HopeChest team and "Change Their Story" by raising funds to build a new school at Kind Hearts or to fund the medical clinic at Trees of Glory?
HopeChest will provide you with a personalized donation webpage and the online tools to engage your friends, family and co-workers.
This year, Americans will spend billions on Christmas gifts and cards. Instead, what if some of us decided that we'd ask our friends and family to pool their resources to help orphans and children living in extreme poverty?  We have already seen the dramatic difference made for the kids attending Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory, but with your help, we can do so much more ... for so many more!

Please click on the link to let the team at HopeChest know that you are interested in raising funds to "Change Their Story"!  You can select the Kind Hearts school fund or the Trees of Glory medical fund.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cute Chicks!

My sister, her husband and kids came up to spend a weekend with us and make our annual trek to the apple orchard and working farm before fall is over.  Our traditional family breakfast is pancakes, this time with chocolate chips.

I love our big table that fits all the kids ... and even 4 adults squeezed in too.

Favorite first stop at the farm - the chicks.

After feeding the chickens and goats, then we go look for the baby goats.

Wesley chased baby goats for about 20 minutes without catching one, but then it was time for the tractor ride.

Farmer Bob explained all the crops and the old equipment, and asked for volunteers to help him demonstrate.

Then the kids got to pick gourds and popcorn from the fields.

Wesley looking for popcorn.

Watching the animals do animal things.

The cows eat pumpkins and apples out of our hands.  I am curious what apple-fed beef tastes like?

Wesley finally caught a goat!

My dusty boots (and proof that I was there since I am always behind the camera.)

Last stop (and first stop), holding the chicks.  The kids noticed that the warmth of their hands made the chicks sleepy.

Bella's chick fell asleep in her hands (no - it's not dead, just sleeping.)

Jayden's chick fell asleep too.

Saying good-bye to cousins.