Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rummage Prep Update!!

Well, we are exhausted! It has been a busy few weeks of abundant provision for the Rummage (Yard) Sale!  We have so so so much stuff to sell!!  It is amazing. 3 classrooms full of items, plus a hallway lined with more furniture, an entry way stacked with furniture and another area with furniture!  Amazing! Thanks to everyone who donated items, we are so so grateful!  This is the night before our big prep day at VCA. Tomorrow we have friends coming out to help us move items, price and make more signs. Most of the items are priced already, but we have a few more to do along with moving everything to the other side of the building in order of how we will take it all out on Friday morning. A BIG thanks goes out to VCA for letting us use the facility!!! Thanks Mom and Derek!! :)  Love you!!
Thanks to all of you that pray for us and think about us in this adventure.  We are truly grateful and humbled as we know God will be with us in the journey, now and when she is home. Please spread the news about our Sale and repost our Rummage Sale Event on your facebook page for your friends to see! We are so grateful in advance! :)  Blessings to you and we hope to see you all out at the SALE!!! [OH AND BTW- SEE OUR FACEBOOK KAYLEE'S HOPE PAGE TO SEE PRE-SALE FURNITURE FOR SALE!]  Love, Alyssa

Monday, June 20, 2011

Help bring THREE kids home...and maybe win an IPAD!

Check out their blog here! The Johnson family is leaving on Friday to bring home not one, not two, but THREE little them with their remaining costs and get a chance to win an IPAD!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

They are God's.

God sets the lonely in families.
God puts us in families.
He knows the dynamics of our families, neat or messy.
He is so good and He holds us all in His hands.
I was reminded of that today in church, He holds the ocean in the palm of His hand.
He knows who will be born to whom.  He creates life.
There came a time recently, well, I can't even say recently. But I will say ...again....recently, that God reminded me that my children are not mine. They are His.

Years ago, I was about oh, maybe 10 months into being a single mom standing by the sink of our old house, just got done washing the dishes again... heavy hearted.  Listening to my 4 year old, 2 year old and infant playing....I turned around with this weary and burdened heart for my children to have a 'whole' family, when God spoke.  Clear as day, I heard, do you put those kids in front of Me?! My heart stopped. Suddenly the room became brighter with my realization that I had been holding my kids above the Lord. I had cherished them so much and held them so close that it was too close.  He asked me again, Am I not big enough to take care of them in this?!  Do you not Trust Me?? Let Go, I heard. Let Go.  Give them to Me.  I am Big Enough for Them.  I released them. I realized I had held onto them when they were not mine.  I was free and so were my kids.

Recently, I was burdened again. I was burdened by holding onto my kids too tightly again.  See, now my kids are 16, 14 and 10.  Plus a 5 year old on her way....I have been burdened by thinking about what I want for my kids and what the reality is that they live in.  I desire God's character in them and God's desires to be on their minds and hearts.  I desire for them to grow up desiring His ways.  However, I am not in control of their future. I am not in control of all their parenting.  For any of them.  God reminded me again to let go.  Let go and let Him be their Savior. Their all in all.  He reminded me of what I am in control of ....and that is to pray for them, love them, train them and guide them.  He reminded me to listen to them.  He reminded me through my husband.  After a much stressful week and many conversations behind closed doors about this or that....Derek said, you know, I think we are reminded that we do not have control and we need to let go and trust God with them. I prayed.  I am free again.

I look forward to Kaylee coming home.  I know it will happen when its God's timing for it to happen.  I get anxious sometimes. I desire for her to be a part of our family. I want to read to her and kiss her goodnight, tucking her in to her own bed.  I want her to feel safe.... to...feel... family....but I know God is in control. Ultimately He loves her infinitely more than I or Derek ever could.  I give her to the Lord.  I trust Him, knowing that He is in control.  Even now, He holds her in the palm of His hand.  Nothing is a surprise to Him and He knows all the details.  I pray for her and I love her.  I trust Him knowing that I am just a mother that He is going to use to love her.  And I say 'just' not demeaning or belittling my role, but remembering God's role in her life is so much bigger than mine and it is and will be an honor to be used of Him as a mother to her.

Even just recently I have learned what family is....I have been in a family my whole life...mother and father, sister too.  But honestly just recently God has shown me what true family is through my husband.  Love.  I have experienced God's unconditional love now more than ever in my life. When I surrendered to His ways, allowed myself to be vulnerable and open to love...I actually knew His love for the first time.

I am not to say I have it all figured out, but as I was explaining to Sam (my sixteen year old daughter) last night in lieu of my birthday today...she asked if I like getting older and actually. I said yes.  I like getting older, because I have a peace I did not have before.  It is by no way perfected...but I am learning how to trust God more because I have seen His faithfulness.  I have experienced His faithfulness.  I praise Him.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More pieces! Puzzle and Giveaway Update

I promise that in the next day or two, we will try to write something a little more thought provoking than just another puzzle update...but pretty much everyday we either add pieces to our puzzle or have someone requesting an updated picture of the puzzle.  It is really coming along...we are now up to 516 pieces!  Our tshirt fundraiser is helping with that, as all proceeds are going towards the puzzle.

As you hopefully read in a previous entry, we are now doing a giveaway to get us to the last $2500 for the puzzle.  Every $10 donated results in an entry to the giveaway for a $50 Target gift card, a $25 gift card to a restaurant of choice, a John Wooden autographed print, and a tshirt.  Here is the updated list of entries:

Jamie Woodall- 4
Jayne Oberstadt- 2
Becky Williams- 1
Molly Cooper- 1
Kody Lindgren- 1
Erin Kempski- 1
Angela Mullins- 1
Lori Pratt- 1
Donna Trimble- 1
Austin Niravong- 1
Kelly Costello- 1
Melody Swart- 1
Penny Beattie- 1

We think the prizes are pretty good, and there are still plenty of opportunities to get entered into the drawing!  You get to do something nice AND you might win a cool prize!  That is not a bad deal.  Ok, keep an eye out for a much more emotional/encouraging/challenging/etc post soon...I know we have it in us.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Great giveaway from a friend!

Following His Lead: All About Dad . . . . . . . . All For Stanislav: "UPDATE: We have extended the giveaway until FRIDAY JUNE 17th. Please continue your efforts to get the word out about Stanislav. I recent..."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Exciting Updates! Puzzle, Funding, Giveaways, and T-Shirts!

Today was a milestone day for us in the adoption process, on two fronts.  First, as of this morning, we have crossed the $5,000 mark in our fundraising!  We are thankful for the generosity of our friends and family (as well as some total strangers!) and we praise God that we have yet to come to a bill we couldn't pay.  Second, we have now hit the 500 piece total on our puzzle!  (If you like doing math, you might notice that the fundraising and the puzzle go hand-in-hand).  We are now just 250 pieces away from finishing the puzzle for Kaylee's room!

In order to really finish this fundraiser quickly (hopefully before our rummage sale on July 1-2), we are doing giveaways for the remainder of the 250 pieces.  This is how it works.  Every time you donate $10 (or one puzzle piece), you will be entered into a drawing.  (If you donate $50, you get five entries, etc).  We will have three top prizes you can win: a $50 Target gift card,

a $25 gift card to a restaurant of your choice

and a signed and framed 8 x 10 of college basketball legend John Wooden (valued at $100-$300)!

There really is a prize for anyone!  We will draw three names; those three people will choose their prize in the order of selection.  Additionally, anyone who donates $100 or more will win one of our new t-shirts and a Kaylee's Hope bracelet!

If you would like to donate and be entered in the drawing, click the donate button to the right of this entry.  You will be taken to our Paypal page and it is pretty self-explanatory from there.  Once we have sold all 250 pieces, we will pick the winners.

In the meantime, if you would like to order a t-shirt, they should be arriving in about a week.  They will $15 and $5 to ship up to four shirts.  You can purchase them through the Paypal link as well...just be sure to leave a note with your address and sizes!

Thanks again to all of you for your prayers and support!

Friday, June 10, 2011

After Tonight's Dinner...(Puzzle Update!)

Friends and family bought tickets to our dinner and donated pieces as well, bringing our puzzle total to 469 pieces out of 750!  We are getting so close to finishing the puzzle.  Normally, I don't ask you to give on the blog, but if you're reading this and feel led to help, you can by clicking the Paypal button to the right.  Every dollar you donate goes directly towards the cost of the adoption!  Thank you so much to our friends and family who gave tonight and those who have given at other times...we could not do this without your generosity!



We could not have done this without you Angela and Torrey!! :) A big shout-out to our friends! Thanks! :)

Thanks to the young ladies below (including my daughter Sam! and a big big thanks to Ellen for all your help at the front table! :)

Great to see family at the dinner!

The puzzle is going well and was on display at the dinner! We are adding many more pieces with this fundraiser and will be adding pics soon!
A big thanks to Lori Pratt and Donna Trimble for all your help tonight too! :)

Don't forget the bracelets!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bracelets For Sale!!

We are selling silicon bracelets to raise funds for bringing Kaylee home! 
They are $2 each!
Colors available:  green, pink, yellow and orange
They say- Kaylee's Hope and Psalm 68:6

We can mail them, however, we would add $.50 for shipping! 

This is a great conversation piece, 
it gives opportunity to talk with others about adoption
and to share about Kaylee!

See the picture below!

Puzzle Update!! 377!!

377 pieces!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Barney Dance Mat, Sonar System for Boat and lots of purses! :)

Ladies and Gentlemen, We have many, many items in our Rummage Sale so far....from those listed above to candles, toys, clothes and coats of all sizes and genders! Many baby items....anything and everything to support a new baby to your family! Even...newborn diapers, a beautiful car seat, swing and bouncy seats to choose from!  There are all sorts of furniture items...desks, shelves of all sorts and an entertainment center.  Today was a sorting day and it was very productive! We have several Christmas trees and many holiday items.  Also, waffle maker, George Foreman grill, deep fryer, CD players and more!  Below are the first pictures of our sorting day today! Thanks to all that came out to help! :)  The sale will be July 1st and 2nd from 8-3pm at Victory Christian Academy North Campus at 360 N. 325 E., Valparaiso, IN...parallel to Rt. 2 and in between Evans and 400 North.  See you then!  (if we don't sell most items we will have another weekend to sell!!)