Sunday, May 30, 2010

Updates (on Luke and Life This Week)

To say this has been an exhausting week for me, is an understatement, BIG TIME. Besides being physically exhausting, it's been an emotionally packed week as well.

Our TA is not here yet. I think I "fixed a date" in my head that I hoped it would be here....really hoping for May 27th or 28th. We found out that it IS being processed and should be sent out next week! However, in the meanwhile, we also learned that because of the Dragon Boat Festival that will be occuring in China in mid June, the provincial offices will be closed for adoption processing, which automatically moves travel away a week further at the least. A consulate appointment cannot be requested until we have the TA, so we're just praying the appointment dates don't fill up too quickly! Every week that passes seems like an eternity here at the end of the wait. This part of the wait has been, by far, the hardest for me! I've had lots of sleepless nights with my mind working overtime!

A bright side to all of this happened this morning when I woke up to find an update and pictures of Luke in my inbox from Ann of Red Thread China from the care package we sent! That just made my (OUR) day. Just look how big he's getting!

The update measurements say he is now 37 inches tall and 41 pounds! Wow! We need to go get him before he's grown! lol! He is only 27 months old! I'm wondering now about all the clothes I've bought. I think I'm going to have go get a size bigger and maybe take some of both sizes with us to China! I pretty much bought all 3Ts and I'm thinking 4Ts are more what he'll need!

His foot is now 6.89 inches long! I'm pretty sure the shoes we have now won't fit either! lol! I have size 8. I'm thinking maybe even a 10! I guess his foot matches his height and weight though! :)

His update also said that he is a very smart child and a strong boy and that he is loved so much by his foster family!

He looks so happy in the pictures!

In addition to the emotional draining this week, we've spent at least 10 hours between Wednesday night and Friday night at Joy's dance recital rehearsals. Then yesterday was the big recital day......3 recitals in a day - 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. The title of the recital was "The Hottest Ticket in Town". We were there for 13 hours! But it all went so well....actually smoothly in everyway! I spent my whole day walking up and down stairs from the auditorium (so I could watch) to going back stage to help Joy with costume changes and makeup....constantly...all day! :) But it was all worth it! They all did really well on the dances and Joy did a super job on her first solo!

Because I was so busy, I didn't get many pictures. However, I did manage just a few!

Here's Joy with friends, Christina and Kayla, dressed in their gumball costumes for the Willy Wonka Ballet play, which by the way were their least favorite costumes of the day! lol! They had really pretty flowy ones as chocolate bars in the play. I think these were super hot to wear!

Here's a few of the pictures of them on stage during the Willie Wonka Ballet. Remember you can click on the pictures to make them bigger and see them closer (since they're SO far away)!

Their studio performs a full length ballet every year and rotates between Sleeping Beauty, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz. I've never seen The Wizard of Oz, but so far, Willy Wonka is my favorite!

That's Joy on the back row with her arm held up straight in the air.

Here's the part where Violet blew up from chewing the gum...that's her rolled in as a ball! lol! And aren't the colorful Oompa Loompas cute?

And Ava, Joy, and Christina during a moment they were able to enjoy the show between numbers:

We counted up how many times she performed and it was 14 dances throughout the day! She's a little tired today! :)

Jason did video some from a distance and maybe we can share some of that next week, if they turned out okay. Thank goodness we can buy the DVDs so we can sit back and enjoy the whole show together later!

Hopefully one day this week, I'll have good news to share on our TA and will know more about when we will leave for China!

Thanks for remembering us in your prayers! I do know God is in control in the midst of this waiting and I don't want to be in China any sooner than what God has for us. I know He will work all things out in his timing! :)

Okay, have a great week everyone! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One More Care Package

Originally we thought we would hold off on sending another care package to Luke and his foster family and just collect things to take with us to China for him, but realizing it was the end of February since he received his last one (for his birthday), we wanted to make sure they knew we were thinking about him and close to coming for him! So....we quickly got together another (smaller) package through Ann of Red Thread China along with a letter. It was a challenge finding things in Ann's store/website that we hadn't already sent, as I believe this is our 4th package sent, in addition to the cake for the orphanage on the Chinese New Year!

But here's what we came up with:

The cookies are for the foster family, as is the letter. The disposable cameras that we have been sending are for the family to take pictures of time we've missed..... Luke's time spent with them. They are supposed to bring the cameras with him on our Forever Family Day, so we can then have them developed and have these photos as treasures!

Isn't that cap so cute? I always liked to put caps on Colt. He looked so very cute and cool in them!

Just maybe we might have time to get another update after sending this package. But if we don't, it will probably be because there wasn't enough time BECAUSE WE ARE ALREADY THERE! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Family Movies (Worth Watching)

If you've followed my blog for very long, you may remember that we disconnected our cable (Direct TV) because we were just fed up with.....well, the junk. And although some of it may not be junk, it was still consuming time better spent on other things, and definitely wasn't worth the money we were paying out. We were paying out money for something that we felt just wasn't good for our family in the long run. And yes, I did miss my HGTV for awhile. But I'm over it.

We do have TVs. (Just in case you're thinking we're really odd by now and feeling really sorry for us and our children)! :) The difference now is that we control what we watch. We have a Netflix account and we frequent Redbox too, as well as Blockbuster.

When I find movies that I feel are family friendly, I am very excited. I wanted to share some of these with you today!

First of all, I saw where AFA (American Family Association) was recommending this movie: The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.

Here's what the synopsis of the movie says:

Best buddies Dustin, Albert, and Mark, are twelve year old boys looking forward to a summer of fun in 1970.

Dustin has a crush on Tyanya and wants to ask her out on a date, something he has never done before. His main obstacle though is the town bully, Nick, who also likes Tanya. When Dustin mows the lawn of seventy-five year old Jonathan Sperry (Gavin MacLeod), a man he has seen at church, a unique friendship develops.

What happens the rest of the summer is something Dustin and his friends...will never forget.

I felt good after this movie, really good. WE felt good after watching this movie. We need more of this. Joy has watched it a couple of times since then. This is the kind of movie I like for her to watch. It's definitely Christian based and focuses on things that are most important. It makes you want to exercise your Christian values and moral character! If you have a Netflix account, this one can be watched as a Watch Instantly.

The second movie alot of you have probably already seen since it has a more popular cast.....The Blind Side. It's family friendly too, although there were a couple of words it could have have done without. But overall, this movie made us feel good after watching it too, especially being adoptive parents!

Here's what the summary says:

"The Blind Side" depicts the story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time, Oher's presence in the Touhys' lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

Again, I liked it alot. I also like Sandra Bullock's acting, so that was a plus too. Joy has also watched it a couple of times since then. She's decided she's adopting all her children....all 6 of them! :) This movie is out on DVD for rental and purchase now.

Another movie for TV created with families in mind by Walmart and Proctor and Gamble, as a result of a survey from the type of movies families desire, is Secrets of the Mountain. My family bought me this for Mother's Day and we sat down and watched it last weekend.

Here's a description of the movie:

Somewhere between the demands of her career, her ex's wedding and her kids' busy schedules, Dana James (Paige Turco, The Agency) is noticing her tight-knit family starting to unravel. An unexpected offer to purchase her family's mountain property sets up a weekend road trip, which she hopes will bring her family back together. But when they arrive, they quickly learn that the mountain is much more than it seems. An ancient secret and a treacherous quest will test the family like never before. It's an edge-of-the seat thriller that reminds us that when times are tough, families don't run away from problems — they run back to each other.

We liked this one too. Joy liked it and has also watched it a time or two since we watched it together. For me, the only thing that would have made it better was if the parents weren't divorced in the first place, but I know they were trying to "keep it real" with many families today. This one can be purchased at Walmart for only $12.

It feels good to take charge of what our family watches and when our family finds movies worth watching, I want to make sure I share it with you all too! So why not make it a movie night....pick up one of these family friendly movies, pop some popcorn, and sit down and enjoy a movie that you'll feel good about watching!

Have a great Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Drum Roll Please....

The shutters from my 2 year blogging anniversary giveaway have a new home!

Joy and I made out over 100 entries. (I really need to check out that random picker thingie)!

Thank you to everyone who entered! Thanks to all of my faithful readers, and for those that posted the giveaway on your blog as well. I loved reading the types of posts you enjoy most. Thank you for the sweet comments! I sure wish I could give a set of shutters to you all, but we had to choose one, so Joy reached in and drew out the winning entry just a few moments ago!

Would you like to know who it was? (hee hee)!

Give up????

I'll give you a hint! She's truly been a faithful reader and bloggin' buddy since I first began blogging!

Well.....the shutters are going home to..............................

LINDA OF PARKER'S PARADISE! Congratulations, Linda! I'm so happy for you! I'll get the shutters ready for their new home! Email me with your address! Thank you for being such a faithful blogging friend and for all of your encouraging comments! Thanks for sticking with me for 2 years so far! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beauty for Ashes

If you've clicked over here today to sign up for the giveaway, you can click here to do so. I was going to leave it up until tomorrow (the day it ends), but I just had to share something else on my heart today. The drawing will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon.

There are two adoptive families that are in great need of our prayers, especially right now.

A few weeks ago I came across a blog through another blogging friend that posted about this family. At the time, Adeye was in Russia (during the news breaking time of of the little boy being sent back to Russia on a plane). I read that this family was adopting not one, but TWO little girls from Russia with Down's Syndrome. And I have to tell you that catching up and reading about Adeye and her husband and their precious family has blessed me so much. They already had three children the old fashioned way, and added two little girls from China as well. They felt led by the Lord to these two girls and literally have saved little Hailee's life, as she is 5 years old, and barely weighs 16 lbs. They had to make a second trip to Russia to go get the girls and they just arrived back home with them. A news crew was waiting for them as they stepped off the plane. You can read and see that here if you'd like. To read more, you can also visit Adeye's very popular blog, No Greater Joy Mom. Warning better get the kleenex handy! Please pray for this family as they face many challenging days ahead. I can't wait to see what God is going to do here!

Through blogging, I've also met another fellow adoptive family going through the adoption process with the same agency as us. This past week, they received devastating news. Their 2 year old precious daughter, McKenna, that they were so close to bringing home from China (probably in June), passed away unexpectedly this past week. I was so shocked when I read this news, and can't even imagine what they must be going through at this time. I've been heartbroken and they've been on my mind so much. However, I know God can bring something good from this and I know that is what gives Nikki and her family the strength they need right now. You can visit their blog here. In honor and memory of McKenna, they have created a website, A Ladybug's Legacy, to raise money for Grace and Hope (an organization to help orphans).

A Ladybug's Legacy

Please remember this family in your prayers! They've loved McKenna for so long, imagining they day they would bring her home, and my heart aches for them. Only God can give them the strength, faith, and hope they need to get through this.

It's great to know I can post here asking for prayer, and knowing that there are Christians that will take on these requests and lift them up in prayer! Thank you so much!

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great week! God bless you all!

~ Tammy ~

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blogging Anniversary Giveaway!

It's hard to believe it's been two years since I started my blog. Here's my first post, if you weren't in blogland back then. I have met so many sweet and generous bloggers, as well as others that email me. You are all such a blessing to me....really! I talk about you like you live next door. My family knows who I'm talking about.....sometimes I might have to add the name of your blog or how I know, you behind the name, but mostly they just are accustomed to hearing me talk about my blogging buddies and readers. Thank you....all of you.....that make a visit to my blog a part of your day or week, or even occasionally popping in. I appreciate it so much and I really look forward to hearing from you!

In honor of my two year blogging anniversary, I would like to hold another giveaway. This is a set of 24" shutters that Jason made. They are painted a barn red and distressed with black.

Here are the rules for entering:

Although I would love to open the giveaway to everyone everywhere, because of shipping costs, I must limit it to those within the US.

If you would like to enter, leave me a comment and letting me know you want to be entered, for one entry. I would also love to hear from you on what your favorite kinds of posts are from me. I do try to put variety into my blog (although I know you've seen MANY posts on this wait to Luke...thanks for hanging with me through these exciting times).

All followers (I still don't really like that word...I like faithful readers better), will get another entry. So be sure and let me know in your comment also that you are a follower or just became a follower, so I can add you in twice!

If you would like to use the above picture and announce the giveaway on your blog, that would be wonderful too. I will add your name in once more for that too.

A name will be drawn on Tuesday, May 18th at noon and announced soon after. If you're not a blogger, be sure and leave a way to contact you if you win!

Thanks again! God bless you all!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Article 5!!!!!!! Next step....TA!

Joy and I are here at home, bubbling over all over the place! We just received the email from our agency that our Article 5 was picked up yesterday and overnighted to the CCAA (Chinese Consultate)! That means after all of these baby steps, we are FINALLY closer to the last leg of the journey, the home stretch,......our TA (travel approval)! From what I'm hearing, this usually comes in about 2-3 weeks. After that, flights are scheduled, packing starts, In-China scheduling and arrangements are made (as in we get the date we'll meet Luke).....and then we're off to go get our Luke!!!

Thank the Lord for getting us to this point so smoothly. Thank you for the prayers! We're praying for that speedy TA now! Please keep us in your prayers!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gifts of Love

Gifts of love. That is what I call them. The love that has been shown to our Luke....warms my heart.

Almost two weeks ago, our homeschool support group surprised me at gym (our weekly meeting day) with a shower. I have no idea how they all managed to keep it a secret from me, but it was a total surprise! They called me into the snack room and this was waiting for me!

To celebrate Luke coming home, they all chipped in and bought a bush/tree to plant in his honor. But it wasn't just any bush/tree. It was a money tree for us. Hanging from the bush were many cards! They were unsure as to what was most needed and wanted to do something for him (for us). Sitting at my kitchen table, I cried as I read all the very sweet notes.

They were very generous and it came at a time when the need is great. Travel to China is going to be more than we thought as airfare in June is considerably higher. The fact that our homeschooling family would do such a thing for us really touched our hearts!

In addition to that, at the end of the year picnic with our homeschool group, there were more gifts brought.

Rebecca and her family gave us the buddy harness. My silly kids have been trying this out on each other already! It's so cute! Thank you, Rebecca!

Julie and her family gave Luke these shoes (love those shoes), the bathroom sticker set and Thomas the Tank Engine puzzle. (Joy thought those vehicle stickers for the bathtub were just the coolest and I had to restrain her from opening and playing with them). Thank you, Julie!

And Kellye brought me this adoption scrapbook kit! What special pages I can create with that! It's red too... Thank you, Kellye!

And last but not least, yesterday these arrived from a dear blogging friend....a gift for Luke from Mandy (A Mayberry State of Mind).

Aren't they perfect for Luke's room? Mandy has her own business, Creekside Creations. Check out her selling blog! She does such beautiful work. I'm so thrilled to have these blocks for his room! They are just adorable! Thank you so much, Mandy!

Thank you so much to all of you, for the love that's been shown to Luke and to our entire family through the prayers, gifts, and words of encouragement as we wait to bring Luke home. Sharing our excitement with us has meant so much. God bless you all!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Momentous Monday

My blogging friend, Tiffany, is hosting Momentous Mondays to share those special moments in a week with family in which we want to pause and reflect and remember. Tiffany is the sweetest person, with a precious family. They are just beginning the adoption process to bring home their baby from Ethiopia too. Tiffany truly has a mother's heart.

I wanted to share a few moments from this past week with my family. These were moments that I want to savor! I recognized them as a blessing that as a mother, I want to treasure always.

The first one, I didn't actually capture on camera, but I did get a sort of related picture. This is Joy with her daddy. Moments like this are not rare around here either. Usually Joy and I race each other to see who can get to him first to kiss and hug him when he gets home from work. She's really fast and is known to run out barefoot to the car, leaving me way behind! Yes, she's a girl, but remember she's tomboy too and she and her daddy have always had their game of "roughest toughest" since she was little bitty. She still likes to get him to play parts of it with her. She's still all about hugging and kissing her daddy.

Here's what I wanted to share. Yes, Joy is 11 years old and some may say "too big" to do such a thing. Believe me we got a few looks from folks, but mostly kind words and glances really. When we're in a parking lot walking from the car to a store, Joy will sometimes ask for a piggy back ride or a shoulder ride. So here's this tall 11 year old on daddy's shoulders! Two things about this make me happy. First, that Jason is wise enough to know that this won't last too much longer. One day, she'll think this is too "babyish" and won't be seen doing anything like this (in public anyway), and he is more than willing to oblige and enjoy this moment with his daughter. And second, that Joy still wants to do this and isn't bothered by what folks think. That's a moment I want to remember.

For the next one, we did get a picture. I was driving down the road, with Joy in the passenger seat. She had her MP3 player and reached over and put one earphone plug in my ear and the other in her ear. And that wasn't a rare occurrence either. She often shares her music with me as we're driving down the road. That's special. To me, it's similiar to sharing a book together when I read aloud to her still. We're very fond of music in many ways around here and I've always answered to folks when asked what type of music I listen to......"whatever my kids are listening to". And that's the truth. Jason is the same. How many dads do you know that know most of Selena Gomez's songs and sing along? :) I loved sharing this moment with Joy. She had her camera and I asked her to take a picture of us, driving down the road sharing our music. I'm so glad I thought to ask her to take a picture. This will be a treasure to keep. I'm thankful for this moment, and for my daughter including me in her world.

And last, but definitely not least, is my Mother's Day. I had a wonderful day! First thing yesterday morning as I was still in bed, I heard someone saying, "Mom". I opened my eyes, and there stood Joy with a tray. She said "Happy Mother's Day". It brought a smile for lots of reasons. First, for Joy to get up before me on her own was a huge thing. Second, what was on that tray...was SO me! It had my cashew breakfast bar, a napkin, my fiber pill (lol!), and a glass of Diet Dew. Yes, folks that's my (most common) breakast these days. Oh, and it had a note that listed activities for the day which included breakfast in bed, manicure/pedicure, massage, foot wash/massage, lots of hugs and kisses, dinner out, my choice of movies, and the computer charger for the day....

Then a while later...Jason called me into the kitchen. He said Colt had something for me. Colt worked all night and wasn't home, but had left instructions with Jason. This meant so much because Colt really knew me too. He got me this from Hobby Lobby.

You have to know Colt. He's NOT a Hobby Lobby kind of guy, yet he went there and not only did he get this, but had it sitting in the passenger seat when one of his friends got in the car. He endured a little teasing for the Hobby Lobby sack in his car and what was inside it. He says he's been called ""Hobby Lobby" this past week.! lol! He called me as soon as he got off work Sunday morning to wish me a Happy Mothers Day, and then met us at church. We all had dinner at Panchos after church. Mexican food is also my favorite. I really enjoyed that time with my family!

Oh, and Jason and Joy also gave me the movie, The Secrets of the Mountain, which is a family friendly movie put out by Walmart and Proctor and Gamble. I haven't gotten a chance to watch it yet, but it was recommended highly by AFA as a movie worth watching with your family. They know I'm all about that. I get tired of the movies that aren't and am always looking for a good family movie. I can't wait to watch it. And along with the movie, were a couple packs of butterfingers (my favorite candy bar) to enjoy with my movie! :) And as we were walking out to go to church, there was rose moss waiting for me on the sunporch (for planting). They know that's my favorite flower to plant (one that I won't kill). :)

Looking over the gifts, I realized the love and the thought put into it each one, because those things really do fit me perfectly. I'm so blessed with my family and so thankful for them. I love them dearly.

So see...I had a week full of of moments to share for this Momentous Monday!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Tribute to My Mother

Today, as I was thinking about how thankful I am for the way my mother (and daddy) raised me, I thought of this poem that I first heard read in church a few years ago by a friend of mine. So I share this today, in honor of my mother! If this makes the meanest mother, I'm so glad I had the meanest mother too!

The Meanest Mother In The World
Copyright© 1967 by Bobbie Pingaro

I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also.

But at least, I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and two brothers had the same mean mother as I did.

My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute. I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once, but each time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased. That poor belt was used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy's pants. Can you imagine someone actually hitting a child just because he disobeyed? Now you can begin to see how mean she really was.

We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults because she made our clothes herself, just to save money. Why, oh why, did we have to have a mother who made us feel different from our friends?

The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at eight the next morning. We couldn't sleep till noon like our friends. So while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.

She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did.

By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser, and our life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for us to come running. She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to get us. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.

Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. We could not lie in bed, "sick" like our friends did, and miss school. If our friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. Our marks in school had to be up to par. Our friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.

As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame. We were graduated from high school. With our mother behind us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out.

My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four children, a couple of us attained some higher education. None of us have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten his mate. Each of my brothers served his time in the service of this country. And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You're right, our mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.

Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean. Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.

Written by
Bobbie Pingaro ©1967

To my mother: Happy Mother's Day, Mama! I love you so much! Thank you for your love, guidance, and the way you raised me. Your influence has molded me into the mother that I am today!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Walk by Faith (Colt Playing Drums)

Sunday we sat on the front row at church and were able to get a video of our favorite drummer (smile), and our praise team leading one of my favorite praise and worship songs, "Walk by Faith". I'm always so blessed by the music (as well as the message) at church. Love the awesome guitar solo by Greg also.

Just thought I'd share it with you! (The video is a little shaky in the beginning with Jason moving the camera, but it gets better)! We also haven't figured out this posting video stuff really well as the video was way too big and we had to reduce it before uploading to youtube. Unfortunately, we lost some quality as well. Oh well, maybe be we'll get it figured out one day!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tomorrow is National Day of Prayer

As a Christian family, we have really been burdened over the direction our country has taken. It saddens me that our President stated that "America is no longer a Christian nation." I don't think this is true, but if we don't take a stand and we continue to let our leaders do whatever they want, our country is going to change drastically, and folks, it won't be for the good. America will be destroyed, in many ways, from the inside and out.

Sorry if this offends you. I didn't write it to offend, however it is something I feel strongly about. And I feel like I wouldn't be doing my job as a Christian, if I didn't say so.

Tomorrow is National Day of Prayer. Our forefathers built our nation on Godly principles and I believe it is what has made our country strong. I've always been proud of that. As a matter of fact, the tradition of national days of prayer goes back to our very first congress and our first president. Just two days after members of Congress passed the First Amendment, they asked President George Washington to declare a national day of thanksgiving and prayer. In response to this request from Congress, President Washington, less than a week after passage of the First Amendment, issued just such a proclamation on October 3, 1789.

Will you join me tomorrow, Thursday, May 6th, in praying for our nation, its people, and for our leaders? Many are meeting at their City Hall at 12:20 p.m. (until 12:40) to pray, but even if you can't do that, you can still stop and pray right where you are. Standing together in prayer, we CAN make a difference. There is power in prayer. God's Word says so. Prayer is America's hope. One heart at a time...we can change our nation.

"The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective." James 5:16

"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those that trust in Him." Nahum 1:7

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

"May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:22

Thank you! God bless you all....and God Bless America!

~ Tammy ~

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Labor of Love for Luke

It seems like we've been remodeling or redecorating since forever. I'm happy to say that Luke's bedroom is finally finished! It's really been a labor of love with Jason building his bed and nightstand and shelves, and us painting and staining it all, then putting it all together and decorating it! It's been fun too!

Anyway, I won't keep you waiting any longer. Here it is:

It's a very small bedroom, only 8 x 12, so it was a little challenging with furniture arrangement. The reason this bedroom is so small is my fault! lol! When we were building our home, I wanted our stairs to turn (and have a landing in the middle), which cut into that bedroom's space, reducing it's size and closet space. Joy endured it for 11 years and it's worked out alright, especially since we have a playroom area upstairs. However, we've wished many times we had just gone ahead and just adjusted the size of our house a few feet while we were building to make it that much longer, and had a bigger bedroom. But it is what it is! :)

Maybe one day he'll realize how special it is to have a bed made by his daddy (which I love by the way).

A little closer look at the headboard. I love the beadboard he used in it.

Jason also made the nightstand, complete with a little drawer of his own and a shelf for his favorite bedtime story books at the bottom too.

And the accents in here had to be red...Luke's favorite color, according to his foster family. These are the letters that Dan of Yesterday Once More so generously made and sent to us for Luke. Thank you so much, Dan! They're perfect for Luke's room and add so much character! The pegboard was repurposed from Joy's previous bedroom, given a coat of red paint.

I bought this dresser used before Colt came home to us. It was a really ugly dark dark color. Jason and I stripped it, and refinished it. It was used in both Colt and Joy's rooms when they were younger. Now Luke gets his turn using it!

Remember the prints I bought? I bought $1.00 unfinished document frames from Dollar Tree and painted them blue to frame the prints.

This one's my favorite print of them all! :)

I wanted no frill shelves...just basic plain straight line shelves, so that's what Jason made. We treated them to a coat (actually three coats) of red paint also. These shelves with fill up with Luke's toys and goodies when he comes home. Until then, we're leaving them as is and waiting to see what "belongs there". :)

I love these little overalls. I saw them over at Barbara's selling blog. It's one way I was able to sneak a little primitive in there...with the dirty distressed blue jean overalls! I thought they were adorable with the homemade sling shot hanging out of the pocket and the patches. It's hanging on a truck plaque that was handed down to us and I repainted it to match his decor. The stop sign over in the corner was a gift from my sister-in-law, Missy, at Christmas time, for Luke. It is actually supposed to be one of those that you use in your garage that starts flashing if you get your car too close to it or brush up against it. We just thought it would be cute in a bedroom done in transportation.

And aren't these just the cutest little things? Colt's girlfriend, Amber, picked these up unfinished at Dollar Tree and brought them over this past Monday. I had fun painting them to go in his room.

This red shelf started off life as a changing table for Joy, with a padding on top. Jason made it too. It used to be white. It was then turned into a shelf later for Joy's room, then given a new coat of red for Luke's room to hold some of those toys.

Oh, and Jason and I tallied up what we spent in here and it was right at $465. That included all the following: Building the bed, building the nightstand, building the shelves, all the bedding, curtains, and lamp, the laminate flooring, the ceiling fan, shoe molding, new white outlet receptacles, the transportation prints and frames, the painted plaques, and all the paint and stain for the walls and furniture.

And just because Jason and I took SO many pictures, I'll leave you with a few more!

Now all we need is our little Luke to complete the room with his personality! :)