Thursday, March 25, 2010

coffeepot of faith

i've been a little m.i.a. in the blogging world for a couple weeks... so much has been going on!

last week i was out of town for 5 days attending a conference in northern new jersey. it was great, but i didn't have internet at the house where we were staying. thank God for my iphone and google reader. i was still able to read all of your blogs, but commenting was another story. not impossible, but painstakingly complicated.

after returning it's been a whirlwind of trying to catch up but still feeling farther and farther behind on things. and to top it all off, i am in the process of buying a house! some of you might remember my post back in january where i shared my house woes... the process of making an offer and then being beat out but someone else. i've done a lot of thinking and praying since then and the recent developments have been very exciting!

there is a community of homes within the city of coatesville that were built about 6 years ago. they are these adorable little townhomes nestled on the east end of the city that are home to a diverse group of people from all different backgrounds and races... it's a beautiful mixture and it really has that "community" feel. neighbors actually talk to one another and pop over just to say hi. kids can run around freely and everyone keeps an eye on them. my pastor and his wife actually live there as well. it's just a great place to be. honestly, it feels like home when i'm there.

so long story short there's a house for sale there and through some crazy circumstances i have the opportunity to purchase it for about $50K under the normal asking price. seriously, this has GOD written all over it! i would not have been able to afford a home like this under normal circumstances and God knew that. since it's newer construction i literally have nothing to do but paint. granted there are some things i would like to get my hands on, but that can always wait. i already have 2 people who are interested in living with me which would help me out with finances tremendously... it's just incredible the way things are working together.

in about a week i should be hearing from the mortgage company and then things will really get going. i'm not at liberty to discuss all the details on here, but it's possible i could own a house in less than a month! i'm so excited to get my hands on that place and put my own touches on it.

i was at target the other day browsing the clearance isles and i came across this awesome coffee pot which was 50% off. i decided to purchase it in faith that this house purchase goes through. i can't wait to brew my first pot in my new place.

now all i need are cups. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

bundled up

i thought i'd enter the i heart faces contest this week just for fun. the theme is "bundled up" and i took this picture of my adorable niece kylie during one of the february blizzards. her snowsuit kept her hands trapped so she sat down and just started eating the snow. she is too cute!

Friday, March 12, 2010

compassion sponsorship

in 2001 i went with a bunch of my friends to creation fest. it's basically a christian music festival with lots of bands and speakers. it was the first time i had ever been and i had a lot of fun. the creation festival has partnered with compassion international and every year they try to get as many kids sponsored as possible. my friend and i both felt like we were supposed to sponsor a child so we walked over to the compassion tent and started browsing through photographs of hundreds of little kids. i didn't feel led to choose a specific country, but i did know i wanted to sponsor a little girl. then a photograph caught my eye. it was a 4 year old little girl from haiti named eveline. she had the same birthday as my sister katie- april 5th- and i thought that was special. so i chose her.

a couple years later i was back at the creation festival and when the speakers on stage would talk about compassion and sponsoring a kid i kind of zoned out. i knew the routine. i was already doing it. and then the speaker said, "some of you are tuning me out because you already sponsor a child with compassion. maybe God is calling you to sponsor a 2nd one." immediately i perked up and i felt that tugging in my heart. i could afford another $32 a month (at the time that was the cost, it's up to $38 now). i was working full time, making good money, had very few expenses. it wouldn't even be a sacrifice for me to sponsor another child. so once again i found myself walking to the compassion tent staring at all those photos of precious little children just waiting to be sponsored. this time i was more purposeful about who i chose. i wanted another child from haiti and i wanted a little boy. i figured if i ever got the chance to visit my compassion kids it made sense that they be from the same county. so that's how i found little denol.

i'll be honest... there are months that go by where i don't write... where i forget to pray for them. i get so used to seeing their picture in my room that i walk past it without taking time to really look at it. i move on with my life and the automatic withdrawl happens every month without a second thought. these days my life is in a different place and now it actually is a sacrifice for that $76 every month, but God provides and i still have all i need.

on january 12th when that earthquake hit haiti i thought about them. and i prayed for them and their families. i wondered if they were alive. were they suffering? did they have food to eat? what if they ended up in a mass grave like so many others? i knew it would take compassion time to find out the answers to all these questions.

last week i got the call. there was a blinking red light on the answering machine. a voice on the machine told me that both my children were alive. their homes suffered damage but they were ok. i felt such relief. i am so thankful for the work of organizations like compassion that are providing hope to children and families around the world who need it most. i've been keeping up with mckmama's posts while she was in kenya with compassion international and it's been amazing to hear her stories.

i pray that someday i will have the chance to go visit eveline and denol... to hug them and tell them how special they are.

to let them know that the sacrifice was worth it.

that they are worth it. because everyone needs to know that.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion
Sponsor a Child

Monday, March 8, 2010

baby shower recap

on saturday i got the chance to throw my little sister a baby shower and i realized in the car yesterday that i only get to do that for her once. for that reason i'm glad i paid attention to details, because when it comes to party planning it is ALL about the details! i've learned in all the birthday parties, bridal showers and baby showers that i've thrown (and believe me, it's been a lot) that people really do appreciate the details! those are the things they remember that set your party apart from other ones they've attended.

for katie's shower our details happened to include the most adorable owls. it started with the invitations which i found on etsy here. i loved that they featured a cute little owl family which represents katie & declan's soon-to-be family of 3. we decided to hold the shower at a restaurant because let's face it, who wants to have to clean their house, make all the food and then clean your house again? yeah, not me. i'd much rather pay (or in this case have my mom pay) to have the event at a restaurant. *thanks mom!* we held it at this great place called brickside grille and they were amazing! we had my sis-in-love's baby shower there a few years ago so i knew how accommodating they would be. our 2 servers did an incredible job taking care of all 40 of us that were there!

one of the things i knew i wanted to do was a 'wishing tree.' i've seen images of these floating around the internet and had it filed in the back of my mind to use someday. it really fit in with the owl theme of the shower so it was perfect! the wishing tree was literally a branch i cut off of one of my mom's dogwood trees (sorry mom!) that i spray painted brown. i put it in a vase filled with glass marbles to keep it from shifting. then i created these cute little tags in photoshop and printed them on cardstock. i punched a hole, looped some ribbon through and they were ready! the guests wrote a sweet little "wish" for katie and the baby and hung it on the tree. it looked so pretty with all these precious little notes hanging from it. it was so elegant and added so much to the shower. at the end of the shower i took all the tags off and this afternoon i made katie a little scrapbook that has them all in it. now she can look back and read all the sweet notes from her friends and family whenever she wants! maybe someday my little niece will read them, too! here's to hoping the "wishes" come true! here's a couple shots of the tree that lyryn took.

my sis-in-love made the amazing cake. you can see a photo of that on katie's post. she did an incredible job! i am always impressed with her talent when it comes to desserts... mmmm! i found the favors on etsy here. they were the cutest owl cookies i have ever seen... ok they were the only owl cookies i have ever seen, but they were still awesome. we had one at each seat for the guests and everyone was so happy to get them. you couldn't help but smile at how cute they were!

there were of course fresh bouquets of flowers... i am a firm believer that fresh flowers are a must at parties! i went to a couple places on friday morning and found a great mix of pink, green and white flowers. i have a large collection of glass containers that i collected over the years which we used for vases. i love using different size containers. i think it adds a lot of visual interest and keeps things from looking too uniform. for a final touch to the flowers we made paper owls and stuck them in the vases. it was a great touch and the guests loved them as well!

sorry, i know this post is getting long! it really was such a beautiful day and i loved being able to shower my sister and future niece with lots of love! i couldn't have pulled it off without some amazing help so thank you to lyryn, kesh, jennie and my mom for all your hard work to make the day special. and a big shout out to jesus for giving us such a sunshiney, beautiful spring day!

i love you katie and i am so excited for this next chapter in your life. you are going to be such an amazing mom!!!

hope everyone has a fantastic week!