I'm a married mother of "3 1/2" ;) and the loves of my life are my faith and my family. I've grown in my faith over the last two years since my daughter's adoption, she is the reason why I started this blog in the first place, and I'm so looking forward to watching God move in my heart, and the hearts of others who follow along on our journey towards bringing home one of "the least of these". Special needs adoption is my mission field, whether I'm adopting a child myself, or helping other families get funded, or shouting for waiting children who need families to find them, and I hope you'll come along for the ride and watch what God can accomplish when we say yes to His command to care for the orphan, and go out into the world to be His hands and feet.

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Hello :)

Hello :)

My Better Half

My Better Half

The Crew

The Crew

The New Guy

The New Guy

Before Adoption

Before Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." -Abraham Lincoln

Hi everyone. :)

This is just a quick update to introduce you all to a new friend of mine! Her name is Jennifer, and she's adopting not one, but TWO gorgeous little girls!! Jennifer is going to need LOTS of love, prayers, and support...and I know that everyone who reads this blog is great at helping ME to feel the love, so I was hoping you might extend some of that love to Jennifer's family.

If you look on the side of my blog, below the pictures, above the page views....you'll see a little Amazon box, above it will say "Willis Family Fundraiser". If you are an Amazon shopper, please come to my blog, or Jennifer's (link will be at the bottom of this blog post) and do your purchasing through one of these Amazon search boxes, that way Jennifer's family will get a little percentage of your total purchase! Free for you, helpful for them, everyone wins. :)

Also, if you're in the mood to do something awesome like, oh I don't know, be a part of bringing a couple little girls home to their Mama...check out the fundraiser going on over at Jennifer's blog! It's pretty cool! $5 buys you a piece of a puzzle, and when all the pieces are purchased, the puzzle will be assembled and hung on their girl's bedroom wall. (awww!)
I already bought my piece! Go buy yours now!

Have a good night everyone! <3

Link to Jennifer's Blog:


Monday, January 30, 2012

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

Fundraising. Ahhh how I've loathed thee these last few weeks/months.

After talking with a few friends who've held big fundraisers, we decided to follow suit. But what to do?

What to do....

Then a friend had an idea...

Natasha wouldn't be home with us to celebrate her 3rd birthday, so why not have an Alice in Wonderland themed 'un'birthday party for the fundraiser!

I *love* Alice in Wonderland, it's my favorite Disney movie so I JUMPED at the chance to be a part of such a cool idea!

As we started throwing out ideas, everything started to fall into place...

We are going to combine the 'un'birthday theme with lots of other fun Alice in Wonderland ideas...

We are going to have a raffle, a silent auction, a live auction, food, drinks, an art contest, lots of games and prizes, karaoke, a bake sale...it's going to be an awesome night.

Here are some of our ideas, let us know what you think!

an idea of what our inviations might look like :)

a friend of a friend has so graciously volunteered to make our cake!

we will have people dressed up as all of the characters from Alice in Wonderland...I get to be the Queen of Hearts! Whoo hoo!

Alison and I took a little trip to Hobby Lobby tonight to get ideas for decorations, etc...Red and black will be our theme, as well as hearts, of course! This garland was perfect!

heart shaped tealights! Love!

More pretty garland <3

PERFECT welcome sign for the event...I'm so glad Alison needed it for her house, and being the kind person she is she's going to let us borrow it! :)

These are all ideas for the bake sale...Little heart decorations for cupcakes, cute boxes and bakery bags, etc... *LOVE*

These would be PERFECT to hang on , or above our food and drink tables! One will say "Eat Me" and the other will say "Drink Me".....like in Alice in Wonderland!!

And of course no Alice themed party would be complete without pink flamingos! (Croquet anyone??)

And of course...a white rabbit is a must!

Red and black pails for one of many games!

centerpiece holders....

white roses for centerpieces....

white roses which, of course, must be painted red.... ;)

pretty ribbon that we'll definitely find a good use for!

and how much fun is this?! We are going to do face painting for the kids (and what the heck...the adults can get in on the face painting too if they wanna! lol)

Hope you can join us! We've had some great items donated for auction and raffle!!


Last but not least...look at what we're working on having DONATED for auction? AMAZING!

These doll houses are incredible!!

Have a great night...I'm off to bed <3

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." -Helen Keller

What I'm about to write has weighed heavily on my heart for quite some time. I've started to write this blog several times, then decided to delete it because I was afraid of how it would be perceived by others, how it might be taken the "wrong" way, that it might come off as "preachy" and that is not my intent. It isn't about judgement, it's merely what I've thought, felt, and observed over the last month and half. So here goes...maybe I won't delete it this time...

The easiest way I can think of to describe how I've felt since being called to adopt (I truly believe that adoption is a calling, not merely a decision) is to compare it to the movie Schindler's List. That might sound extremely grim, and morbid, but let me explain...those of you who have seen it will know what I'm talking about. Near the end of the movie, Schindler, who has secretly helped to save several Jewish people from being killed during the Holocaust by essentially *buying* them, has a breakdown when he is given a present by the people he saved. A golden ring, made from melting down a gold tooth. He looks at the ring, and asks "How many more could I have saved with this?", he looks at his possessions, his car, etc...and instead of counting their value in money, he counts their value in terms of how many people he could have saved by sacrificing more of himself, more of what he had, etc.

When I think about Reece's Rainbow, about Natasha, about the innocent faces that stare back at me every time I look at the website, I can't help but to have my own "Schindler moment". I ask myself "what more can I be doing?" or "Why did I just blow $20 on something I didn't really *need* instead of putting that money in a child's grant fund?"

When I look at the waiting children on Reece's Rainbow, I see a lot of questions in their eyes too.

"Are you my mommy?"

"If you aren't my mommy, will you please help me find her?"

"When will someone FIGHT for me?"

There are so many people fighting for these kids...so, so many people. I've had the honor of getting to know some of them and let me just say, I've never met hearts so pure. People are working tirelessly to bring these children home, to find their mommies, to BECOME their mommies, and it's a beautiful thing.

But, it isn't enough. MORE people need to do their part. MORE people need to get in the trenches and WORK to bring these children home.

Raise money, repost pictures, cover an adoptive family with prayer, look at these children and NEVER forget that they are out there, don't let them remain forgotten.

It truly breaks my heart to see people plead for $1 donations on behalf of a child, yet the child's grant fund, chip in, FSP, etc stays stagnant. It doesn't move....

A dollar.

One dollar.

What can you even buy with a dollar nowadays? A pack of gum? Can you even get a pack of gum for a buck anymore?

It boggles my mind...to deny a request of a single dollar to a child who's life hangs in the balance, quite honestly, breaks my heart. Maybe I'm a bit "tender hearted" on this matter since I'm adopting myself, and I have an inside view of how expensive and stressful the process is, and I've heard inside stories of what these kids deal with on a daily basis. I fully understand that people are not going to be as emotionally invested in these kids as I am, but still...at the end of the day...it's one dollar...how emotionally invested in anything or anyone do you have to be to dig some change out of your couch cushions, ya know? Imagine if EVERYONE gave one dollar to a child in need. If you posted on your facebook, or twitter, or blog requesting ONE dollar to any of the kids in need, and EVERYONE actually gave a single dollar...how much money would that be? How many lives could we save?

Before anyone stops reading because they feel like this is  nothing more than a plea for funding, there is more to the story. It isn't all about money. In fact, in my opinion, it has very little to do with money. Somehow, some way, the funding will show up when it needs to for the families who have been called to adopt. To me, the most important thing is EXPOSURE. Get people out of their comfort zones, rip those blinders off and make them look, make them SEE what is happening in the world.

147 millions orphans

Children being abandoned to die in asylums at the age of FOUR

Children being overlooked, forgotten, because they have down syndrome, HIV, CP, etc

Children living their entire lives never knowing love

This is really happening, and to know that it's happening, and to turn the other way and do absolutely nothing about it is shameful. It truly is. There is so much you can do, it isn't all about donating your money, if you don't have money, donate your time. Dedicate time to pray for these children, for the person out there in the world somewhere who was BORN to be their mother but just doesn't know it yet...repost blog links, Reece's Rainbow waiting child links, get their faces out there, make people LOOK at the children who NEED them. Have a carwash, have a yardsale, have a bakesale, whatever it is....DO SOMETHING!

I challenge everyone who reads this blog to make it a personal challenge to DO SOMETHING for these kids. I know most people who read this know me personally but that does NOT mean that you have to "pick" Natasha to fight for. Of course I'm partial to the baby girl I call my daughter, but that does not mean YOU have to limit yourself to her cause. There are SO MANY kids that need a WARRIOR in their corner, a prayer warrior, a fundraising warrior, maybe someone reading this was meant to call one of these kiddos their son or daughter...please, take me up on this challenge, don't sit idly by and watch as others fight for these kids...get in the game! It will be the most rewarding thing you'll ever do, I promise you that. Reece's Rainbow was started by ONE person who wanted to DO SOMETHING...and look at what she's done, over 500 kids home. What an awesome legacy. Every single person has the ability to have a similar legacy, all you have to do is decide that these kids are worth fighting for. That's all! So please, fight for these children. They need you more than you know.

Look at these faces, SEE THEM for what they are, kids...they're just little kids and they are facing hell on earth. That is not an exaggeration, that is a cold hard fact. Institutionalization at just 4 years old. Preschool aged children, facing a future in an asylum, where most of them will DIE within the first year they are there. Look at their faces, then let your mind go to the deep dark place you are trying to avoid. See the TRUTH, the DESPERATION of their futures.


Daddy's Corner - Good Friends, Great Ice Cream and 2 Awesome Cows!!!

Hi Natasha, It's Daddy!!!
So as I am sure you know by now, we had a fundraiser for you over at Maggie Moo's ice cream shop earlier in the week.  Wow!!! We had an awesome turnout and were blessed with the opportunity to meet a lot of really loving, caring people.  We even met a few people that can't wait for you to meet their kids and have a play date with you.  Pretty cool, huh?  You're not even home yet and you already have friends.  You're awesome!!!  But then again, who wouldn't want to be friends with a great girl like you?  So, I've got to tell you what your big brother and little brother did at this ice cream event...Dylan made sure that everyone was having a good time.  He was going up to everyone and telling them that he's your big brother, telling them about you and making sure that Jack was being good.  Jack was in love. Yes, your brother would not let Maggie Moo out of his sight all night. Maggie Moo, or as Jack likes to call her...Moosie....was a huge hit with young and old at the event. Heartfelt thanks go out to Amber and Alison who braved the costume and took lots of pictures all in the name of good fun!!!  Now for the really exciting news, baby doll, at this point it looks like we are less than 2 months away (keeping my fingers crossed) from coming to see you for the first time.  Mommy and I are going to bring you lots of presents and we're even going to bring some for your friends over there too...that's just how we roll!!!  We can't wait to see you and shower you with love and kisses and see you smile.  You're forever home is waiting for you....oh, and I really hope you like to play dress up because your mother has got a lot of really cool clothes for you to wear.  I know I kind of bounced around in my letter to you tonight, Natasha.  I'm just full of energy and really getting excited knowing we are so close to seeing you and bringing you home to meet your brothers and all of the really cool people that have been pulling for you each and every day.  I know you are with me Natasha, when I say to those cool people reading this.....THANK YOU!!!  Each and every one of the wonderful people that have shown you love and support, be it monetarily or through prayer or in some other way are like your guardian angels, sweetheart, and we are blessed to have them in your corner.  As I close this out tonight my darling daughter, just keep remembering that when you look at the moon and the stars and are thinking about us, we are looking at the same moon and stars and thinking about you and praying for you with all of our hearts!!!...Oh, before I forget...I really hope you like Elmo from Sesame Street, because your brother Jack won't stop listening to his songs on our phones..lol.  My love to you darling Natasha, and I will talk to you soon.  I love you and sleep well!!! Love, Dad

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quick Update

Hey everyone :) This is just going to be a super quick update to let everyone know what's been going on the last couple of days.

I finally got my rear in gear and made a budget. I *hate* math with a passion, but I must admit I DO feel a lot better knowing exactly where we stand down to the very last dollar when it comes to the adoption, and that's what this blog is focusing on.

As you can see, we have a new chip in widget. No we didn't hit our goal on the old one (but 60% ain't bad!) but the thing is, when I made the original one, I just threw out a random number for a "goal"...this time we have a REAL goal!

$1854 (and eleven cents but it wouldn't let me add that...I *LEGIT* budgeted down to the penny...)

If we can somehow, someway raise $1854 through the chipin button, we will be fully funded all the way THROUGH our 2nd trip!! That means that our yardsale or flea market fundraiser, any other "nights" we're given at local restaurants, and our BIG Alice in Wonderland themed 'un'birthday bash will ALL go to raise money for the final leg of this journey...the trip to bring our daughter home. WOW!!! That's so incredible to me!

So, please, if you feel led to donate anything, or if you want to buy a wristband, or enter the gift basket giveaway, use the chipin button so we can all watch TOGETHER how each dollar kicks the chip in ticker a little to the right, and brings us a little closer to bringing our girl home.

I'm excited! Let's get it done so we can move on to saving for trip #3!!!

I'll get out of the way now so David can post his daddy's corner.

Good night blogger. <3

Friday, January 27, 2012

Paula Deen Giveaway!!

Ok guys, here are the Paula Deen giveaway recipients :)

Bakeware set drawing- the name pulled was: Michelle Marble

Cookbook drawing- the name pulled was: Rosanna Michalski

Congrats! Please send me your addresses and I'll get your things right out!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rainy Day Ramblings...

I love this blog. I love that I was forced into encouraged to blog by Reece's Rainbow because I otherwise wouldn't have. I have started probably 10 blogs, and I've posted once, then I've abandoned them. Life gets too hectic to sit down and write, I'm not a great writer anyway, even if I did sit down to write...what do I have to say? All of those things still apply, with the exception of the latter. I have a LOT to say. I don't always know how to say it, so I often don't even begin to try, but this year, all 26 days of it, has been a sort of rebirth for me in every way imaginable.

I've learned that I'm strong, so much stronger than I ever thought I could be.

I've learned that I married a fantastic man. I already knew this so I guess I didn't really *learn* it, but I have been reminded of, constantly, day in and day out for weeks. David, you are amazing.

I've learned how BIG my oldest sons heart is...he's an awesome kid.

I've learned how to communicate better with my 2 year old. Seriously. He went through a really TOUGH phase of being destructive and just...crazy! Some might chalk it up to terrible 2's but I knew there was more to the story. We finally figured out he just wants to be HEARD! He would babble an entire monologue and we would say "uh-huh, yeah!" and it would set him off big time, so we started picking apart his "babbling"....he knows a ton of words so we would try and piece it all together in our heads, then repeat back to him what we THOUGHT he was trying to say, and most of the time we're right! His face would light up like a Christmas tree! He would be so happy, and content, he was HEARD! He was UNDERSTOOD!! That was it, he's like a different kid now, his frustration is gone! While he still does typical 2 year old stuff (like putting his brothers fozzy bear stuffed animal in the fridge), he knows that we hear him, he knows that we care about what he's thinking, and feeling, so he's chilled out. 

I've wrestled with some inner demons I've carried around for a while, and I finally won the fight, which has been such a burden off my shoulders. It's opened my eyes to how relationships should be, which ones are worth keeping, which ones need to be let go, and which ones you need to maybe put on the shelf for a while, you aren't closing the door, you're just taking a break. It's hard to take a good hard look at the people you've chosen to surround yourself with, and acknowledge that you've made some bad choices. It's hard to end friendships that are destructive, even when you know it's the best thing for everyone involved, it's still hard to say goodbye.

 I've learned that quality beats quantity....every. single. time.

I've learned that it's ok to apologize when you're wrong, it doesn't make you weak, it shows that you have character.

I've struggled with the fallout of adoption. No one said this road is easy, and no one said it would come without difficulties. I am 100% confident that I'm doing what I am SUPPOSED to be doing, I have never for one second doubted or second guessed our decision to bring Natasha home and make her our daughter. I have, however, struggled with the selfish side of things. How it affects *me*, what about *me* and what *I* imagined for *my* life...I wanted to go to law school, I had a pretty easy "simple" life. I had a plan. Well now I'm not going to law school, my life is far from simple, and my plan is gone. Those are things I had to deal with internally, I had to process through them, become ok with them, and be at peace knowing that sacrificing those things in order to become Natasha's mother is, and always will be, the greatest trade off of my life. The blessings this little girl will bring to our family can not be measured. My plan is different now, and I'm ok with that. I'm EXCITED about that...my eyes, and heart, have been opened to an entirely different world. For the first time in a long time, I feel an inner peace, I know that the path I'm on is the right one for me and my family. Yes there are people who are against us, yes we have made financial sacrifices, personal sacrifices, relationship sacrifices...but our marriage is stronger, our relationship with our kids is stronger, and our relationship with God is stronger. If that doesn't bring you inner peace, nothing will.

I have finally, finally....found balance. Wow, what a freeing feeling that is, it's the most amazing feeling ever. I have someway, somehow, learned how to balance kids, marriage, school, household chores, adoption, friends...everything! The biggest part of finding balance? Giving up the idea of perfection. My kids might hate each other one day, but love each other the next, it's ok. My dog might chew up my favorite headband, it's ok. I might burn dinner, it's ok. A friend might stop by while my house is a wreck, it's ok. No one is perfect, life isn't perfect, it's ok to leave your living room in a chaotic mess so you can snuggle in bed with your 2 year old and watch "Elmo's Song" 25 times with him. The mess will still be there when the baby is napping, it can be dealt with then...there is nothing more important that showing your kids they come first.

Balance. It's an amazing thing.

I am forever changed because of this adoption journey. Natasha has changed our lives for the better, and we haven't even held her yet. I can only imagine how incredible things will be once she's home. We have met so many amazing people, we've made so many friends...it's the hardest thing we've ever done...and it's the most rewarding thing we've ever done.

The greatest lesson I've learned: I'm blessed. I was blessed before this adoption process, and I'm blessed BECAUSE of this adoption process. I will never again take my children for granted, ever. I will never again take my loving, compassionate husband for granted.  I would have never guessed that so many people, many of them strangers, would come together to help bring one little girl home. There are 147 million orphans in the world, we can't save them all, but we can save one, and the outpouring of love and support for this ONE that God has given us, it's been nothing short of a miracle. God has blessed me beyond anything I could have ever deserved, and I am grateful, and I will be sure to always show my gratitude for what I've been given.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Ok so I've been a slacker when it comes to updating our timeline, and the finances of this adoption, so I'll do my best to update here!

I think I left off in mid December with our timeline. Since then we have:

 *chosen a homestudy agency and social worker
*been in contact with our adoption agency
*filled out a bazillion pieces of paper
*had physicals done (all 4 of us)
*tracked down tax returns, insurance information, 401k information, copies of our deed, copies of our car title, etc
*went to Chicago to get certified copies of our birth certificates and marriage certificate
*applied for and received our passports
*received and filled out our homestudy paperwork
*received and filled out our homestudy review paperwork
*received and filled out MANY forms needed for our dossier
*received and gone over the forms needed for our preliminary dossier
*started the process of applying for our visas
*received and filled out the paperwork for our I-600A
*took pictures of the family
*took pictures of the house/yard
*bought Natasha's toddler bed and toy box (already had a dresser)
*bought lots of girl toys
*bought LOTS of warm clothes to leave with her in Russia when we meet her for the first time <3
*bought some summer clothes for when she comes home :)
*deep cleaned the house like maniacs for the homestudy

Ok! so that's where we are on that front, we still have plenty we need to do though so please keep us in your prayers! We're going to start prepping to bring our little lady home soon! We need a crib, playpen, walker, high chair, 12-24 month clothes, baby-ish toys that will help her with gross motor skills, eye hand coordination, etc...if you have any of these things to give away or sell, please let us know!

Here is the financial breakdown (as it stands today...some of these things can and will waiver!)

I'll just start from the beginning, as that's the easiest:

$275 to Reece's Rainbow to commit to our princess
$80 for birth certificates/marriage certificates
$270 Passports
$1450 homestudy
$200 mileage for social worker
$2000 to agency
$600 for homestudy review
$2655 for agency expenses
$720 USCIS fee
$170 USCIS fingerprinting
$1500 visas
$400 other expenses, apostilling, whatever happens to come up...

ok, the above is everything that has been/will be paid before we travel for our first trip (March baby!! *fingers crossed*)

Here is what we need FOR that trip:
$2000 in US cash to be paid to facilitator in country
$2700 airline tickets
$1000 hotel
$600 driver
$1500 other (food, etc)

($2000 more paid to agency between 1st and 2nd trip)

2nd Trip:
All of the above plus:
$1000 medical exams done in Russia for me and Dave

3rd Trip:
All of the above minus medicals, plus:
$1000 orphanage donation
$404 Natasha's visa
$150 Natasha's medical exam for visa
$1300 Natasha's airfare!!!
$800 Natasha's medical evaluation

That my friends is a grand total of around $34,000...that number could go down a little if we get some sweet hook ups for hotel, airfare, etc...or, it could go WAY up if we need to redo things, end up traveling at a "peak" time, etc...

So, that number is pretty scary for a couple of Tennessee folks like us! LOL If you care to show so cyber donation LUV to our little Tasha bear, the chip in and Reece's Rainbow buttons are right over there! :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>

Hope this post answered a lot of the questions I've been getting lately!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Maggie Moo's Fundraiser!!!

Sorry for not posting lately! Life has been insane! So, last night we had our Maggie Moo's fundraiser and it was SO FUN!! We got there around 4:45 and we scooped ice cream until about 9:15! I was a little nervous that I would SUCK at it, but I think I did ok. :)

I was so blessed to have some amazing friends come out and help! Chrissy, Amber, Alison, Brandi...you guys knocked it out of the park and I couldn't be more grateful! Amber and Alison were awesome as Maggie the cow.

And Chrissy and Brandi were SUPER at scooping ice cream!!! I am also SO GRATEFUL to the guy from Best Buy who scooped ice cream with us! I don't even know his name but a lot of people from Best Buy (12!!!) came out to help and we seriously needed it!! This one sweetie came right up to me, and asked "what can I do to help?" and we needed an extra scooper at the time...he scooped ice cream for TWO HOURS! How awesome is that!? There were so many Best Buy employee's...some did simple stuff like wiping tables, or just helping escort Maggie around outside (because she isn't allowed to walk alone due to having like zero visibility)...it all added up to a BIG help! Thank you guys so much!!!

David spent most of the night selling, something he does best, and Dylan did a great job helping to keep up with Jack!

We are so thankful to all our friends who made it a priority to support Natasha. It meant the world to us. We can honestly say that everyone who will play a significant role in her life showed up for her, and that warmed our hearts!

We don't know yet how much money we raised, we will know when they mail the check, but I think we did pretty good, and in any event, we had a blast and met a lot of cool people, included 2 gorgeous girls we hope will become good friends of Natasha, Ms. Jaycee and Ms. Amelia!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Daddy's Corner...Big Doings Baby Girl!!!

Hi Natasha, It's Daddy!!! Big things have happened this week and big things are going to continue to happen next week my darling daughter!!!  This week Daddy appeared on a television news program and was given the opportunity to talk about you and how precious you are and how we are working hard to bring you home.  The wonderful folks at Jackson 24/7 and the awesome students at Union could not have been nicer.  Daddy also got to be interviewed by a friend of mine from one of our largest radio stations in town.  They can be heard all over the Western half of our state and worldwide over the internet. Pretty cool, huh? The interview is going to be aired on Sunday.  Mommy got to talk to our favorite hometown newspaper.  They interviewed her and the story is going to be in this Sunday's newspaper.  You are becoming pretty famous there my little princess!!!  Of course, this coming Monday is our scoop night over at Maggie Moo's. They are a great place to bring kids of all ages to get some awesome ice cream.  I can't wait to take you there when you come home.  They have a mascot named Maggie Moo and she is even going to be there to take pictures with anyone that shows up.  I hope the turnout is huge, hon, because we really need to put our fundraising into turbo mode.  We found out that, and let's keep our fingers crossed on this one darling, that we might be able to come see you a earlier than we thought....which means....that we might have you home to your forever home before the beginning of Summer.  You're going to love the weather here babydoll...there's not any of that below 0 temperatures out here and it gets really warm here in the Spring and Summer too. Hopefully you will be up and running around in no time.  I know Jack and Dylan are anxious to play with their sister.  I love you Natasha and as I always say baby, keep looking to the moon and the stars and know that when you are, we're looking at them too and praying that we will be together soon.  I love you, princess. Love, Daddy

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Calling All Paula Deen Fans!!!

I came home from the grocery store to a most unexpected surprise...a big box on my doorstep! It had no return address, which made me more than a little curious, and after deciding it was not a bomb (I've seen way too many episodes of Forensic Files...) I started getting really excited! I never get *unexpected* boxes in the mail! I felt a little like a kid on Christmas morning!

I bring the box inside, open it up and see there is another box...oy! There are packing peanuts everywhere, but I go for the box before digging through the peanuts. Taped to the box is a note card. I open it, and it reads:

"I hope these fetch a good price for y'all, good luck with your adoption, Natasha is precious! Best Dishes! -Paula"

Initial Reaction:

I don't know a Paula...

Hey! Paula Deen says Best Dishes, and her names is Paula! (I didn't say it was an *intelligent* initial reaction...)

This can't be from THE Paula Deen....?

So, I start digging through the box and there is my answer to my question...Paula Deen stuff EVERYWHERE!

In total, we received: a 9" stoneware pie dish, a solid wood spoon set (2 spoons/turners), a 4 pc pie crust cutter set...

and...an AUTOGRAPHED cookbook!!! WOW!!!

(please note: the autographed picture isn't going to be included in the raffle, I've decided to frame the note with the picture to hang in Tasha's room <3)

So, I'm not good with giveaways and such so I solicited some a lot of help from friends and here is what we're going to do.

The giveaway will run from right now, until 4pm (central time) next Thursday (January 26th).

Entry fees:

$5 for one entry
$10 for three entries
$25 for ten entries

There will be TWO prizes:

1. The stoneware pie dish with spoons and cutters
2. The autographed cook book

(Each prize has an estimated value of $40)

Please comment on this thread, let me know that you entered, and how many times. This giveaway will also be posted on facebook and will be open to people in our community who may pay via cash or check, in those instances I will personally post their initials on this thread along with the number of times they entered so I can keep track of everything!

The winner will be randomly selected at 5pm (central time) next Thursday!

(also, if you win, feel free to pull a switcharoo with the other winner if that's what you both want to do!)

Good luck!

Good Morning!

Good Morning everyone! It's a beautiful day here and a BUSY day too! Our homestudy is in NINE DAYS (EEEEEEEK!) so the deep cleaning has started! It's actually killing 3 birds with one stone though, so I can't complain too much. We are renting a spot at our local flea market in March to have a sort of "yard sale" there, so the cleaning will help me dig up all the stuff we don't need or want anymore, plus we have to take pictures of our house for the dossier, so when better to do that, than when the house is spotless! :)

I'm assuming the worst part of cleaning is going to be my 8 1/2 year olds room...cleaning an 8 (almost 9) year old BOYS room? I think I'd rather scrub a toilet, just sayin! lol

Also we have our Maggie Moo's scoop night coming up on Monday! That's going to be a blast! I'm so looking forward to it! I'm going to be scooping when I can (someone has to keep up with Jack, and he's a momma's boy so if mommy is there, he's going to want MOMMY and no one else...unless his "Tisha" comes...then he's a Tisha's boy and Mommy is worthless! lol).....David will be scooping ice cream, which is great because he's much more outgoing than me! Our cousin will be scooping, my friend Brandi will scoop, and sweet Alison will be dressed up as Maggie Moo herself! It's going to be a blast! If you're in the area we hope you'll stop by! It's January 23rd from 6-9pm :)

Also, I want to say thank you to the people who have so graciously volunteered their time and talent to raise money for Natasha's adoption fund. These baskets are GORGEOUS...I've seen them in person and I wish I could win one myself! LOL

Have a Blessed Day!


oh and by the way, do they not look like they could be BLOOD SIBLINGS?? Is my brain not fuctioning properly or can you see it too?? Let me know!!! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012