Monday, November 16, 2009

Stones of remembrance...

We might be familiar with Joshua and the stones of remembrance in the Old Testament. I too have collected some actual stones in my life, but I decided that my blog can serve as a stone collector from time to time... God is so faithful and I know in the future there will be valleys so right now I need to find ways to remember His great work! I am simply going to list a few ways that I have seen His faithfulness in the last week or so... I am so thankful and in this season of thankfulness I challenge each of you to take a moment and think about the ways you have seen God's handy work this week!
Counting my blessings one by one and seeing what God has done:
~ We got to spend 3 days with "2 sweet boys" at our home! Wonderful memories were created and relationships were deepened. We also realized how non-childproof our house currently is!!!!
~ Since last Sunday we have hosted 3 groups of people in our home and have experienced great joy getting to know the people in our dear church family.
~This is a longer one... A couple of years ago during Moody Founder's week I heard Dennis Rainey talk about orphan care and adoption. I was in my car and cried the whole way home. I ran to our living room stereo and listened to the rest sobbing away... at the end of the talk Dennis announced that he was selling orphan care ministry books and that he only brought 10 copies with him. I really wanted one, but I can't really purchase one through from my living room. God really used this talk to open my heart to adoption. We were still going through infertility, and it would be six months later before we were ready to say we were adopting, but it was very formative. We now own a copy of the talk and I listen to it quite often! Well, last week I found out that our church's youth pastor was at Moody Church that day and heard the talk live. I found out that he left the talk early so he could be the first to buy this orphan care packet and get this... he has no clue why... GOD KNEW!!!! He is faithful and we are excited to see God grow an orphan care ministry at our church!
~Our church participates in the 30 hour famine each year... this years focus... ETHIOPIA!! WOW!!!! We are so excited to champion this cause with our youth group!
~We have been praying for some specific requests of people at our church and God is moving!
~This is already in a different entry, but why not include it again: We were accepted to our international agency! Everyone posted such encouraging news on my FB status I really felt like I had announced bio pregnancy! You all don't know what a gift that was to me!
~All 100 boxes for Operation Christmas Child were taken!!!! We are now praying that they are all returned by Sunday!
~My husband blew me away in his message yesterday morning! I have been so blessed by Brandon's walk through Ephesians! I have also been blessed by our sermon discussion group between services! How big is your Gospel friends???
~I have great friends and great family. Their care and love have been so evident this week through cards, phone calls, conversations, hugs etc.
~We are DONE painting for a long time!!!! Well, until DTE (Dossier To Ethiopia) anyway!!!
~Our nephew turned one. We don't get to see him often, but we are excited to see him next month!
and best for last...
~To God be the Glory great things HE hath done. So loved He the world that He gave us His Son!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two lines... way better than one!!!!!

Anybody who has walked the infertility road for multiple years knows that two line are better than one... on a pregnancy test that is! Well, I have never had two lines on a stick, but today we got the email that we have been accepted to the International Agency which is the figurative "second line" confirming our adoption is in the works!!!!!!!! Let the pregnancy begin... hmmm... maybe I should go make some cookies... I am having a craving...
Praising God who is "able to do increasingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine..." (Eph 3:20)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here are all the before and afters!!!!

Hey friends,
Many of you have been asking for photos of our before and afters from the parsonage. I have a few comments before I get to the photos!
~I am NOT a photographer! I have bad lighting, bad angles, bad coloring (ex. Kitchen colors are much richer in real life) etc...
~I forgot before shots of the laundry room and ran out of memory for the guest bedroom and office
~The people who decorated before us loved it and we respect their love for it. We wanted to show our uniqueness and have done this to the best of our abilities
~These projects took way more work than the camera can catch!
~Double click on any photo to see it zoomed in!
~My dear friend Nancy helped with a HUGE part of the deco stuff. Yes, she has a business so let me know if you would like to use her services. Yes, she is the same woman who staged our home so it would be ready for a quick sell :) Thanks Nancy!
~B's your work with the paint is GREAT thank you sooo much!!
~I tried to put them in a different order and this is what I got... OK it will work
OK... on to the photos!

The guest room and home office

We didn't take any "Before" photos of these rooms as I ran out of memory on the camera. The guest room has not been painted, but the office is done. I thought I might as well show you what they look like today. The guest room will be a neutral creamy color.

And AFTER!!!!! (If you zoom in you will notice all the books are mine! The theological books are over at the church in Brandon's office :)

The guest room beforeish... it isn't totally before since this is where the furniture will remain.

Upstairs bathroom and nursery

Before: The Bathroom
And AFTER!!!!!! (The bathroom is sort of divided in two with a pocket door in between. There are two separate sinks... hopefully the photos are not too confusing.)

Before: The inner bathroom
And AFTER!!!!

Before: The shower
And AFTER!!!!!

Before: The nursery (some people really like Pooh and would really like this nursery now)
And now (not after... we are waiting until we are further in the process to do the nursery. We just de-poohed it)

Heading up stairs and the master bedroom

Before: Heading upstairs.
And AFTER!!!! (can't tell a difference??? new light fixture, clean carpet, paint...)
Before: Our bedroom

And AFTER!!!!! (What can I say... I like consistent colors throughout :)

Entry area and Living Room!

Before: The Entry area... we couldn't quite tell the wall color with this unique fixture!
And AFTER!!!! (The walls are a rich cream now... hard to tell the difference but it is huge!)
Before: Entering the living room

And AFTER!!!!! (There are few shots so you could see all the areas)

Before: Entry way area...

And AFTER!!!!
Before: Looking at the entrance wall...

And AFTER!!!!

The family room

Before: Entering the family room from the laundry room area.
And AFTER!!!!! (yes we still need to do something about the broken ceiling fan!)

Before: The opposite wall

And AFTER!!!! (Yes, we do not pay for cable TV)
Before: Looking at the hallway...

And AFTER!!!!!
Before: Fireplace and storage corner
And AFTER!!!!! (We plan to use wall to hang "Kid Art" one day storage for toys and movies)
One extra after of the fireplace close up... thank for the mantle Bret!!!!!

The laundry room and powder room

We don't have a before for the laundry room. Please imagine dark green and plaid wallpaper etc.

And AFTER!!!!! (The papers sticking out are on a cork board)

The downstairs bathroom before...

And AFTER!!!!!!!

The Kitchen

Before: Taken from Entry of the Kitchen

And AFTER!!!!! (cupboard, wall paper, curtain removal and new paint)
After in eating area: Notice Great Grandma's China!

Before: Looking into the cooking area from eating area
And AFTER!!!!

Before: Cooking area
And AFTER!!!!!!

I love our transformed kitchen. I spend a lot of time in it and it feels good! I wish my camera would have captured the richness of the colors better... oh well!