Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pastor Simon and Family

Are these not some of the sweetest pictures ever!! Just got these not too long ago from Pastor Simon and Irene in Uganda. Baby Esther is just a few days old...I think they're all in love with her!

LOVE this family!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I’ve been meaning to post something for the past couple days but still kind of processing a little bit about what I wanted to say. I love my job, I’m blessed to work for a small humanitarian organization that distributes new shoes to children and adults in need all over the world. It’s my full time job and I get to travel around all over the US and abroad training our wonderful volunteers about the process in which we distribute shoes. We don’t just hand them out, we wash each person’s feet before a new pair of socks and shoes are placed on them.

Martin Luther King Jr. weekend is a big time for us. We spend months planning for the many distributions that we facilitate across the United States that will take place during the MLK week/weekend. Most of our work is done Internationally but MLK weekend and back to school time are our two biggest domestic projects that we do each year so a lot goes into them. I’m involved in all aspects of the planning process for many of our events in the US and it’s a whole lot of work for a small organization to plan nearly 20 events taking place simultaneously over just a few short days. In the past I’ve been so stressed out with the planning and making sure everything gets shipped to where it needs to go and that we have enough t-shirts for all of our volunteers. I have to make sure that we stay on schedule and that the whole event runs as smooth as possible with no complications. I completely admit that because I’m so worried about those things I have lost focus on why we were there in the first place. I lost focus about why we do what we do on MLK day, about why January 16th is a holiday and why it should be important to people all over the world. This year was different though! I did two distributions this past week and I was able to sit and just watch a little bit of what was actually going on around me and reflect on what was taking place. Had it not been for Dr. King our organization probably wouldn’t even exist. Had it not been for Dr. King I wouldn’t be able to experience the things I have the opportunity to experience through my job which truly is so much more than just a job. I wouldn’t be able to be a part of a community nearly everywhere I go. It’s not perfect and I don’t know that we’ve gotten to the point that Dr. King hoped we would be. Of course we still have issues sometimes at our distributions, kids don’t like the shoes they’ve received or parents are pushy or get upset with us sometimes if they have to wait in line too long. Beyond all of that though it’s good. At every event I get to meet people from literally all over the world and from all sorts of different backgrounds and it is truly a blessing to me. Everybody has a story, none of us are without one and every one is unique. Dr. King fought for justice, for social change, for peace and I’m so glad that he did.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


You might have noticed that this blog is kind of a mix of all sorts of different things. When I first started it was supposed to be about our adoption process and it still is although that process is moving along a little slower than we thought. It’s been amazing though the connections I’ve made through this process and not just adoption connections. In the blog world you always seem to find your way to other blogs that other people have linked to until you eventually forget how you even got to that point. There are so many blogs that I now read on a daily basis that I don’t even know how I first got to, probably a link from another person’s blog that I linked to from somewhere else because someone else told me I should check it out…it’s just crazy. This one in particular though I will never forget how I eventually found it and I’m so glad I did. I follow a blog about a young girl in Jinja, Uganda who has a home for extremely sick children, the pictures of these little ones will completely melt your heart. Over a year ago probably she did a post about a new baby that had just come into the house and he had what was called EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa), a rare genetic disease that causes the skin to slough off even at the slightest touch. From what I understand basically the body doesn’t produce the collagen needed to adhere the layers of skin together. The top layer of skin just comes off causing horrible blisters and sores that take a very long time to heal or never heal at all. In some of the worst cases the same things is happening internally. You can imagine how difficult this would be to take care of in Africa, and so she started reaching out for help and suggestions because it’s so rare. I remember reading a comment from a mom here in the US whose son named Daylon, also had EB and was going through a bone marrow transplant to see if it might help with the disease. Her comments were so sweet and you could tell she was very interested in the well being of this little one in Uganda which I thought was so amazing seeing how much her little one was going through. I clicked on her blog and read a few posts which eventually led me to Tripp and his mom Courtney who live in Louisiana. I read her entire blog from beginning to end…many times crying about what I was reading and then in the next post laughing at the sweetest video she had just taken. I don’t know what else to say other than this little guy totally captured my heart from the moment I started reading about him. I don’t even know this family but the trials they have been through have been more than I can fully comprehend. Tripp passed away this past weekend and while I know that he’s no longer suffering, my heart breaks for his sweet Mom, Courtney. I know that she knows that this is God’s plan for Tripp and for her. But just say a prayer for her that she can take full comfort in knowing that.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kitchen Love

Here are some before and after shots of our new kitchen counters and I must say I’m super excited with how well they turned out. I’m doubly excited that it only cost about $30 plus most of my week off from work between Christmas and New Years…but I’ll take that over spending a whole ton of money on replacing the old counters.

So here’s the breakdown on what I did. First I took everything off the counters and this was quite confusing to Murphy that the microwave was now out in the hallway…it was actually right in the spot where he usually lays when I’m working on something in the kitchen. I moved it for him though so he could have a birds eye view of what was going on. After that I taped off everything around where I would be painting…generally I don’t tape off anything when I paint, it’s just a hassle and it’s not worth it in my opinion as long as you use a good brush. But in this case I wasn’t using a brush so I knew things could get kind of messy. Next I wiped down all of the counters and then went back over them again with a dry cloth to make sure nothing was still wet…then I started painting! My friend that did this in her kitchen told me what colors to get if I wanted to go with a granite look. Wait…let me back up a little bit. If I had my way I would totally want an all white kitchen with white cabinets, concrete counters and floating shelves and all stainless steel appliances, oh and a huge island right in the middle all with dark, rich flooring…kind of like any one of these. Yes, that would be my dream kitchen, but let’s be realistic…this is a rental house that we have no idea how long we’re even going to be in. So I worked with what I had and felt like the granite look was my best option to make a big change on a limited budget. So anyway, I got two different colors of tan, a brown, and black. These were all acrylic paints and I actually got them at Wal-Mart because they had the colors I needed and the bottles were pretty big for only $2.50 each! So I started with the lightest color first and dabbed it onto the counters with wadded up pieces of newspaper. After that was dry I did it again with the next darkest tan, then the brown and finally the black. With the brown and black I was more sparse with the paint. I waited for each color to dry before going on to the next but by the time I was finished the place where I had started was already dry so I never had to wait at all for the paint to dry. Once all four colors were on I went back over with the lightest tan color. I had planned to just leave it at that because you could still see the brown and black showing through under the tan, but Scott thought it was still a little too light. So I went back over it again one more time with the black and just kind of played with it until I liked the look. I left everything to dry over night and then with a foam brush I went over everything with a clear wood lacquer. I did four coats in a gloss finish which sealed in the paint and also made everything shiny! For the first two coats I actually used a semi gloss but in the end I didn’t think it was shiny enough so I ran out and picked up the same brand just in a gloss this time. That was it!!! I started Wednesday and finally finished up Sunday night. So, what do you think??

This is the "before". Pay no attention to how messy everything is...what in the world! Honestly I think we had just moved in and I must have not been real interested in making sure the kitchen was clean before I took the picture.

And these are the "afters".