Friday, March 27, 2009

Pray for the Red River Valley!

Some of you may know that I lived in the Red River Valley of Fargo/Moorhead for six years before moving here. The place and people are so dear to my heart. They are experiencing MAJOR flooding right now. People are being evacuated by the minute including my college's doors being closed! While my heart aches, it also warms as I am so proud of the people in these communities who have been working for days with very little sleep as they raise dikes higher and higher. If you don't live in a river valley you might not understand how FLAT it is there! I mean it is REALLY flat! The dikes must hold or the community will be filled with water... Our house will be praying for Fargo/Moorhead today, maybe you can say a little prayer for the people in these communities too!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

25 Random things about Shelly

So after being tagged through Facebook and here I have finally decided to write my 25 random things. If you are reading this consider yourself tagged and let me know when you post so I can learn some random things about you too!

1. When I was little I wanted to be a "hair cutting person"
2. I kept all of my baby teeth... I might still have them in a Rubbermaid tote in my parents basement.
3. I know every ingredient in the foods I eat as through the years I have learned I have Celiac Disease, can't have dairy or cane/beat sugar.
4. I have nannied for 3 families. Each family has had only boys and each boy has shared his name with an important Old Testament Bible character.
5. I grew up learning about God and Jesus in church and at home, but it wasn't until college that this knowledge moved from my head to my heart. I praise God for the patience He had for me and for His wonderful faithfulness. I long to live a life of surrender!
6. My ears are always cold...seriously, I will wear a hood even if it 70 outside... not sure why!
7. I love prairie movies, shows, and books... yea, I know every episode of Little House on the Prairie (including the pilot and the final three movies) Could I get more cheesy???!!!
8. I so enjoy working with the high school students at 24/7!!!!!!!!
9. I am married to the best guy I have ever met! I love him more each day!
10. When I was growing up one of my favorite Birthday traditions was making videos selling a variety of things I am too shy to say :)
11. In college my roomie Amy and I invented several games to keep dorm life interesting... the immigration game is still my favorite!
12. After college I lived with some amazing women and had the world's shortest commute to work. I lived on church property... in fact I could go days without leaving church property!
13. I am now 27 and expected I would have a couple of kids by now, but God had other plans... and I have learned that is better than OK because valleys help us grow... AND
14. My heart is pregnant with an Ethiopian Baby... we will be starting the adoption process in just a few months YES!!!!!! Adoption is an amazing thing. Thank you Lord for adopting me!
15. I still talk to my mom once a week and I look forward to each chat. I am thankful to be so close to her and my dad!
16. My favorite snack is popcorn cooked on the stove in a regular pot... yeah it is more work, but wow it tastes great!
17. I lived in a Freshman dorm all four years of college and I will never forget my Park Region Memories.
18. I am a Cobber and I never realized how much Cobber pride I have or how unique our school is until I married a non-Cobber who fondly calls my college a cult!!!!!!
19. I have SUPER in-laws. I can't believe how blessed I have been with Brandon's whole family. They have grafted me in and because of their love for me I have a better understanding of adoption! Judy and I also share a passion for Tivo'ed shows on TLC and for getting 10,000 steps a day on our pedometers!!!!
20. My wonderful friend Nikky calls my on Sundays at 4:00 so don't try to reach me then... her friendship means more to me than I can say!
21. When I was growing up my family traveled to a fun vacation spot each year. Those were some of my best memories. Bret and I actually had fun brother-sister time together. I remember a song we made up at Disney world, but since it involves underwear I isn't going to make the blog!
22. I so enjoyed summer vacation as a child. Playing in my backyard with neighbors, inventing games and food with Jessi, daily trips to the swimming pool, having cousins visit, sleeping in, WARM weather, YES!!!! I still think summer it the BEST season!
23. Getting free samples in the mail was my dream as a 4th grader so my friends and I called every 1-800 # we could find, after we called those we started to type in words and I will never forget the call to the Georgia carpet store!!!!!!
24. My Senior Year of college I had the privilege of being in a prayer group with some amazing women. I don't think my life will ever be the same and I still pray for them each week.
25. I have become queen of good deals when it comes to food purchases living in a suburban area with so many choices of stores allows for great sales if you are willing to travel. I often go to 6 stores to get the best deals! Once I started this our food budget was cut almost in half!

The Great Smokies/Creation Museum Stories and Photos!

We had an amazing time in the Smoky Mountains this Spring. The weather was perfect for hiking and we did plenty of it. We stayed in a time-share community with 100's of condos and about 15 Tree Lofts. We were blessed to be in the tree lofts and got to spend a week literally on our own... that's right, we didn't share a bedroom wall with any neighbors. It was amazing to talk in a normal voice at night! This is our tree loft!

We hiked to several waterfalls and enjoyed some beautiful views. The first waterfalls we went to was the most celebrated as it is the one Brandon couldn't find last year. It actually isn't on the trail maps so it is sort of a secret falls. The whole time we were near the falls (almost an hour) we didn't see a single person. This is quite a change from standing in line to get your picture taken at most falls. This is us by Baskins Falls! It is actually pretty tall, but the photo makes it look shorter since we are standing and much closer to the camera!

We made it to Cade's Cove again this year. The TV series Christy was filmed there. I highly recommend the series as it is clean, God honoring, family entertainment in a BEAUTIFUL setting!!!! Brandon and Shelly in Cade's Cove!

This is the view from the top of the Mountain pass where Tennessee meets North Carolina... Breathtaking. The layers of Mountains seem to go on forever. We went there on Brandon's 30th Birthday!

We ended our trip at the Creation Museum outside of Cincinnati. If you ever make it to that part of the US I HIGHLY recommend attending. It is very scientific and very Bible based. We both learned a lot and enjoyed the quality of the Museum.
We are so thankful to have had this wonderful time together!

Click on this photo to enlarge it and learn about some of the Creation Museum basics. BTW I have no idea why these words are underlined :)

A grandma to Ethiopia's Orphans passed away this week

On March 17th Haregewoin Teferra's life on earth ended, but not before touching the lives (saving the lives) of 1,000's of children in Ethiopia. Melissa Greene writes her story in "There is no me without You." It is a book every person connected to Ethiopian adoption should read! I will never meet this woman, but I am so thankful for her love for children, and for the ways that her story is inspiring others to open their homes to the beautiful children of Ethiopia!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quick Update

~Yes we are still alive!
~We had a wonderful vacation and celebration of Brandon's 30th Birthday!
~We are down to 2 months until Brandon's graduation from Seminary
~We have no solid church leads (Let me know if you know of any church job openings)
~We have heard of MAJOR adoption hardships going on right now in Ethiopia. PLEASE pray that the government would make necessary changes so babies can come home.
~God continues to be faithful and trustworthy!!!!!!!
~We would love you to join in our prayers. I will be updating here very soon with lots of stories and photos from vacation, but I am just on a quick stop Library computer so I need to run!