Friday, August 20, 2010

A new "home"

I first started blogging in 2007...

with a single post in all of a year's time.

And I set it up as a promotional blog for my website, Girly Girl Bowtique.

Blogging for self promotion never caught on with me. I'm not that type.

When I first began researching adoption and discovered the world of adoption blogs in 2008 and started to post and needed a blog of my own I just used what I had already set up.

Now it's feeling a little funny to tell people who ask about how our adoption is going that they can follow us on, well, a blog with a bowtique url.

So I have spent the past hour or so exporting and importing my blog contents to a new address. Unfortunately I have to move over all the elements one at a time. I've done most of them, but switching over the blogs I like to follow will take time. That will have to come later.

I have very few followers at this addy anyway, but if you are one of them...

change me out!!

You can now find me at
(corrected, Thanks Valerie!!)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In the past week...

I've managed to be extremely productive.

That feels good.

I stumbled upon a new forum where I can market my bows and have gotten many orders. I've been actively posting to gain credibility amongst the membership and have sewn over 250 bows and sent out about 18 packages. Whew!

I'm actually ahead of the game for the local consignment sale this year. Usually I am hanging the clothes and entering the info online to print the bar code tags at the last minute. This time I already have 56 items all ready for drop off and I have photographed about 100 other items I am going to try sell on e bay first (it's all top notch name brand stuff and will typically go for much more there than I can ask as consignment). Whatever doesn't sell online in the next two weeks I can tag to take to the consignment sale at the end of the month. Feels good to have a plan. Especially a plan that generates income!

The girlies are at their 3rd Vacation Bible School of the summer. My friend and I are trading driving and child care duties so we each get some free time to work. I sent them off at 8:20 yesterday and they didn't come home until almost 6!!! I'm meeting them at the movie theater this afternoon to all see the new Ramona movie together. The girlies earned $5 each cat sitting for a neighbor and this is what they want to spend it on.

Also about 90% completed with back to school supply shopping, and many of the items I already had, or my mom or my friend had in their stashes. Not too bad! They are long lists!

I have two more hours of no kid time. Got to make the most of it!


Monday, July 26, 2010

One in a million (or maybe make that seventeen)

I'm always inspired, motivated, challenged and a whole other host of stuff when I visit Linny's blog. After being away from any computer access for 8 days, I was catching up Saturday afternoon when I read her post that her blog was about to have it's 1,000,000 viewer. It was about 400 away when I visited. I went about my business and kept checking back in every 15 minutes or so. Around 2 PM EST it was really close and I decided I had a chance to be the millionth viewer. I got my camera ready, Linny requested a photograph and a screen shot. I also figured that there was no way I'd be it.

Guess what....

I was one of 17 folks who somehow saw 1,000,000 on the site meter!

I took a pic and a screen shot and sent them along with a requested pic of me to Linny.

He he he (that's me feeling giddy)



Saturday, July 24, 2010


Back from vacation. I'll have lots of pictures to post, but they are still on my camera.

My mom took the girlies and I on a "Girl's Getaway." We used a trade in from their time share. My dad put in for the trade only a few months ago, so there wasn't a lot to select from, especially since the big parameter was that it was in driving distance for me since I'd be the one to do all the driving.

So where did we go??

We went from VA, through West Va, Maryland and into Pennsylvania. Followed 81 North up and down some mountains and go off on 80 East into the Pocono Mountains to a little resort. It was OK. The time together was great. And so were the temperatures.

It was only in the 80's and most of the time there was a breeze. I also really liked that there were not mosquitos, as I get bit all the time at home. We took many day trips to girlie places like grocery stores and outlet malls and small unique ribbon stores and a quaint small town. We rode a 1920's train through a river valley, toured a turn of the century mansion, hiked (OK, so that's a bit of a stretch) in a State Park on a boulder field, swam in two lakes, went to the Crayola Factory (SO cool!!) and a bunch of other adventures.

It took 14 hours to get home to Nana's house Thursday, just before midnight. We made several brief shopping pit stops and two meals. It was an exhausting drive and it took me most of Friday to recover before I could make the final hour drive back from Nana's to our home.

Pics to follow!!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Play Ball!

The girlies have not ever played a team sport. Dance has been their only activity. So when we got the call that a friend was forming an all girls T-ball team and they were in need of players to make it a go, we signed the girlies up. It's a very realaxed summer league. No score is kept. Everybody bats every inning. The last batter clears the bases (home run!) so everybody will get a turn to bat last.

They have been having fun at the practices, especially since they end with Popsicles and a play date. Our first game Saturday morning was rained out and rescheduled for Sunday at 6:30. The lighting was beautiful and the evening comfortable.

I think they had a good time!!

We'll be gone (the girlies and I are taking a trip with my mom) and will be back next week.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Silly Band lesson

I really can't stand those silly band things. The girlies have been given a few here and there- birthday party favors, end of the school year party trinkets. They have about two dozen each and enjoy trading them with the neighborhood girlies.

A few nights ago we were headed up to get the girls ready for bed when Piper "freaked out" (her terminology). Her favorite tie dye band was not on her wrist. It was a bit looser than the others so she surmised that it must have fallen off.

She panicked.

And wailed.

And cried.

She had been all over playing in the past few hours. It was about 9pm and what little daylight that was left was quickly fading. I sent her outside to check the backyard while I looked over the sidewalk.

Admittedly, I was not so nice about it at first. She had already come close to losing it earlier that afternoon. She "accidentally" traded it at T-ball practice and the girl she traded it to then traded it on. She wanted to get it back. Thankfully the coach organized the complex trade back. I told her as we drove home, that if it was so special, she should put it in her room and keep it safe. She didn't agree.

So here she was completely hysterical and I was in a "told you so" mood. I was not doing well with all the screaming over a piece of rubber, but I helped her search the street and three neighbors lawns, all to no avail. We looked around the house and then got ready for bed. I hated seeing my girly so upset and hated the impatience I was feeling in myself.

As I tucked her in we prayed that God would help her to find her band in the morning. That He would make it obvious where it was. We talked about how God cares about even the little things, and that this was a little thing, but that it was meaningful to her and that made it meaningful to God.

I had completely forgotten about the darn thing as I stumbled downstairs for coffee in the morning. Piper hadn't asked about it yet. I paused at the bottom of the stairs in the family room and there in plain sight on the floor was, you guessed it- the tie dye band!

I yelled, "Piper look by the rocking horse!"

Her smile was ear to ear!

I can't imagine how we had missed that brightly colored thing right there on the floor. God had answered that specific prayer and made it obvious. How cool to be able to talk to my daughter about God hearing our prayers and answering them on a level she could completely understand and take to heart.

If I could, I'd place that band in my Memorial box (safely stored, not be be lost again) but I know that won't happen. Maybe a picture?


Saturday, July 10, 2010


Nice lazy day at home with the family.
Another year older...


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fairy Friends

Piper had her fairy friends come over to play last week to celebrate her birthday. She turned 7 last month, but it was so hectic with the end of school that we postponed her party. That and the tutus we needed to order for her fairy friends were on back order. She had decided that she wanted to have a fairy themed party so we ordered tutus, wings and halo streamers from the wholesale company I get some of my supplies from for my craft shows. Everything is priced perfectly and we ended up spending about $4 per guest and they each got to take home their dress-up ensemble.

We needed to do her party on the cheap and it was just as perfect as could be. We made a homemade cake and cupcakes, hid some $1 store shiny star stones around the yard (fairy stones) for the girls to seek and find, and offered markers and gems to decorate the wings. I also glued some foam hearts to skewers with a bit of $1 store bag filler tinsel to make wands for each fairy to decorate.

They played in the backyard and danced to music.

To take a break from the heat we strung beads inside and made bracelets.

It was so much fun! I've already had three moms call to tell me that their fairies have loved their tutus and not wanted to take them off.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's "live"

I've officially announced that my fundraising blog is up and running. I do still have about ten more fabric fobs photographed that I need to edit and get up on the site, but I have a busy next few days and not sure when I can get free hours so I figured the 75 options I already have up were a good start!

I have posted about it on my yahoo groups and my co-op ribbon buying group. I know I have very limited readership here and thank you all for your offers to post my button. I'm trusting God to do great things!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Making progress

I have put in about six hours of photo editing and copy writing and blogger uploading today and have made tremendous progress on my fundraising website. I have about ten more pictures to edit and add to the site and then I'll be ready to begin my advertising. I just want to get the final fobs up so I can relax and spread the word. Wish I could just punt I another hour and be done, but I have to go get ready. I have an outing tonight. It's the first meeting of my Summer Sisters women's group from church. I don' know most of the women in my group and I'd make an awful first impression in my present state of attire.

Thanks to Valerie and Tara for their extra pairs of eyes and fine tuning suggestions!!

It's been a lot of work to get this going and I'm hopeful that I'll sell a few. I know I can't live without mine.

Click the picture below to visit and let me know what you think!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tomorrow's it

The last day of school, that is.

I've had this week off work, so a few days to be at home without kids. I'd like to think that I made the most of my valuable 'free' time. Can't really say that I did though. I was up at the school 5 times in two days for various end of year activities. Visited the doctor twice for my physical and back again the next morning for my fasting blood draw. Filled 6 bow orders and got completely caught up. I worked on building my fundraising blog site this morning and it's looking good (if I do say so myself). Not nearly enough time. Today was early release, so they got home at noon.

Tomorrow I'll be picking the girlies up from school. There is a tradition I thankfully learned about just in the nick of time last year where our neighborhood parents attack the kids as they get off the bus with water hoses, water balloons, water guns (you get the idea). Not such a fun thing for my girlies. I intercepted Piper last year as I knew she'd freak out, and oh my... when she witnessed the ambush from the safety of our car let's just say it was a good thing I ran and got her from school. A few weeks ago she stared asking if I was going to be able to come get her this year. The all out ring leader parents aren't there this year, so it might be more tame, but I'll still be driving them home to be on the safe side.
Then both girlies are off to a birthday party at a kids salon where they'll get all glammed up. Lookin' pretty in their up do's, glitter hairspray, sparkle nail polish and the like, we'll head out to our Sunday school class picnic and red neck theater.
Quite the day. I'm tired already just thinking about it.

Isn't summer supposed to be relaxing?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Whew, that's hot!

Heat index of 110 degrees.

Yeah, I think that counts for HOT!

We ventured down to Williamsburg for the weekend. The girlies and I have had season passes for Busch G@rdens for several years thanks to my folks. Back in March they sent us a post card advertising the Christian music artists who'd be playing in the summer at Glory at the G@rdens. We were thrilled to see Steven Curtis Ch@pman listed. The concerts are free with park admission. So we marked it on our calendar, got Daddy a pass too and headed off to the gardens.

Saturday was nice. We did a few hours in the late afternoon. It was hot, but we had the water park in Elmo land and an hour of a/c at the Irish dancing show. Spent the night at Nana and Grandpa's house and headed back Sunday afternoon.

Sunday was a completely different story. By 4pm it was 97 degrees with a heat index of 110. And that's good old Virginia humidity heat!

The music venues is out in a field. An open field. Man, was it hot!!

We first saw Francesca Batiste!li and then Bui!ding 429. About 10 minutes before SCC was to take the stage they tracked a fast moving thunderstorm headed right our way. So the entire field of thousands of people had to be cleared. We took refuge in the FestHause in Germany and got dinner while we waited. Then back out with the masses to the soggy field for an amazing concert.

The girlies had a great time at their first concert. They were excited to recognize a lot of the songs and the highlight of their evening was hearing Cinderella live. So cool!!

The concert ended about an hour later than anticipated due to the storm delay. That had us leaving the park right before 9 and after a pit stop home just before midnight. Gave the girlies a quick bath 'cause oh my, were they stinky! Amazed that they got up and out the door for school by 8 this morning.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


We have just gotten started, and already the lessons have begun. In the past two years of waiting and praying for the open door to begin the adoption process, I have been grown like a plant- watered and weeded. I have learned to give up so much of my desires to be in control. I so very clearly understand that the only one in control is God, and His plans and time frame are perfect. So much better than my own. That has been hard to learn. The waiting to wait more has been hard. But oh the growth! I wouldn't have it any other way. And I know I'll be able to say that in reflection after all the struggles we are bound to go through on this adoption journey.

I had done all the research. I had a binder full of information and had contacted references, collected agency information, prayed over each decision we'd have to make... I knew exactly what steps we needed to take to begin. Just waiting to hear GO.

Two days before our yard sale I became anxious. What if I had heard God wrong and this wasn't His timing? It was asking a lot to raise $500 from the odds and ends we had to sell. Maybe this wasn't possible after all. But my loving Father reassured me, speaking to my heart that through Him all things were possible. I needn't fear. So for what will assuredly be the first of many times I laid this adoption down at His feet and said, "God, you are in control. Not me. May your will be done."

Two days later we had $500 in hand. This was His timing. So I gathered the initial paperwork we needed. Emailed the agency coordinator our family info sheet. Opened a new bank account. Sent off for some official documents. And froze.

The next step would cost $2100. I could wrap my brain around $500. But $2100 when I was just about to have my last day of work for the summer, and last paycheck? If I didn't send the agency the next set of papers I still had something to do other than wait and wonder how we would be able to do the home study. We needed a family picture, something we hadn't taken since Christmas. I found silly reasons to keep putting it off. I was afraid to move forward because it was the last step I had complete control over. Silly. I was doubting God and His ability to provide what we need for the next step. How could I have forgotten His provision just a week prior? I was placing God's ability in a box. Thankfully He found little ways of opening my eyes and setting me straight. I love how He does that!

So with renewed awareness that every aspect of this journey is completely in His more than capable hands, I once again laid it all down at His feet. The time frame that He reveals to provide the next chunk-o-change will be perfect. It might not be when I would like for it to be, but His timing will be perfect. It's my job to be ready and move forward with faith. So we posed for our picture. Gathered the last of the paperwork and tucked it nicely into a priority mail envelope and sent it off yesterday. I have a few minor things I can do at this point to move the ball forward, but for the most part we're seeking His will, beginning fundraising, and praying for $2100.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21


Friday, May 28, 2010

I did it!!

I have just completed my first school year teaching since I stopped working when the girlies were born.

Yesterday was the last day of school. We had a wonderful field trip, complete with parent escorts and a picnic. Then last night was the Pre K graduation. It was so sweet. Pretty emotional too. The parents gave us a standing ovation at the end and I was hugged by more parents and grandparents (and kids!!) than I can count. I also think I had my picture taken about 50 times (good thing I wore a pretty blouse!). It was so special to have so many parents take me aside to tell me what an impact I have had on their child this year. It was a special night. My amazing assistant and I went out to a cute cafe after for a glass of wine. It's owned by the family of one of our kids, and the father was there. He thanked us again for all we did for his son and had some gourmet cookies delivered to our table.

This morning we had an end of year staff meeting, completed packing up our rooms, and then several teachers went out to lunch. I have one week off and then I'm back for teaching a week of summer camp. The following week is my girlies last week of school. The year has flown by!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Box Monday- The Time is Now

This post is my first official contribution to Memorial Box Monday.

I have been following Linny's blog for almost 18 months, and have set aside a few items for our own family memorial box, but have never posted an official Memorial Box Monday post before. I have also been on the hunt for a 'box' and haven't found anything yet. Today Linny posted that she had a starter box to giveaway- you just had to post a Memorial Box Monday story telling of God's faithfulness.

Seems like the time is perfect for me to jump in.

The short background is that almost exactly two years ago I felt the Lord tell me at a church service where a family was sharing about their recent adoption of two beautiful children that our family was to adopt a child from China. Took me many months to get up the courage to even share that with Paul. I felt sure he'd be closed to the idea. In the meantime I researched adoption, became aware of special needs children and began sponsoring a child. About seven months later I finally felt it was time to share my heart. He agreed that we were being called to adopt- just not anytime soon. We, in fact, didn't even qualify at the time.

Fast forward a full year later, to January 2010. As we discussed the new year at hand Paul said that this seemed like it would be the year we'd get started, just a lot later into the year. But still, what progress!! I had been praying without ceasing that his heart would soften. A huge concern- we don't have any savings to pay for an adoption. We'd have to rely completely on God's provision. I'd seen so many blog testimonies of families who had trusted in Him and seen miraculous provision. I knew I could count on God if we were willing to step out in faith. Still, easier said than done.

Several weeks ago I had continual overwhelming feelings that we needed to! The sermons at church were about stepping out in faith. Blogs I regularly follow were talking about the responsibility we have as Christians to take care of orphans and there were so many links to families who had depended fully on God to provide. So I prayed, God- if this is your timing please provide the money we need to apply to the agency we had selected and get the ball rolling.

We were scheduled to participate in a neighborhood wide yard sale. We worked hard cleaning out closets and gathering items to sell. The girlies were on board, agreeing to sell some of their outgrown 'treasures' to help go get their sister in China. The weatherman was calling for rain, but it held off. Turnout was steady, and at the end of the day we had exactly what we needed to cover the agency application!

God provided just what we needed and He confirmed to us that this is indeed His perfect timing to start the journey to adopt.

I'm not sure exactly what item I'll put in our Memorial Box. I'll have to think about that (any suggestions??).

It has been difficult to wait two full years to start the process, but it's so exciting to know that THIS is the exact time that HE has planned.

Let the fundraising begin!!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

HE did it!

We worked until late in the evening gathering stuff from around the house and pricing and sorting and staging it in the garage.

Paul and I went to bed right before midnight and woke up a little before 6 AM to drag it all outside for the big yard sale. Folks started arriving just before 7!! We had many customers from 45 minutes to an hour away. Three neighborhood all do their sale on the same morning, making it a bargain shoppers playground.

It was steady throughout the morning. We were bargained down on most of our offerings, but the goal was to SELL!! The girlies sold a little bit of lemonade, but probably drank just as much and handed it out to their friends who came by. They also went two houses over and shopped, bring home 'new' build-@-bear animals and outfits bargain priced at $1.

Our goal was $500- the initial fee at our selected agency. We attempted to keep a running tally, but a few things here and there didn't get accounted for when it was busy. With an hour left it looked like we were $100 short. We had a few last minute sales and our tally had the total at $440. When we counted all the cash (and one check from a friend) and the seed money we put in for change we had $635 in bills and another $15 in quarters!

Quarters going in our China piggy bank. It's getting heavy!

To say that we are excited about His provision is an understatement!

Our neighborhood yard sale coordinator had arranged for a charity van to be at the pool to collect donations, so we packed up several boxes of odds and ends that we didn't want to try to sell again. If felt great to clear out. We still have quite a bit of really good stuff left too. The sale is advertised tomorrow afternoon as well, but we are expecting rain. If it's clear after church, we'll see if we can move anything else. I took pictures of everything while it was spread out so I can list it on cr@igsl!st and try to sell it that way.

We are exhausted. Tomorrow afternoon we'll fill out the family info form. We need some family and passport pictures, and we are going to open a separate checking account next week. Looks like the ball is officially rolling!

Praise God!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Seven years ago tonight

I became a mommy.

Today we celebrate Piper's seventh birthday.

How did that happen? Boy, they grow too fast.

My brother called this morning to wish her a happy birthday and she was quick to tell him that she isn't exactly seven until just after 9 tonight. She was born during the final reveal of Americ@n Id0l between Clay and Reuben. My water broke while I was watching the finals. We got to the hospital a little before midnight, and after five long months of bed rest and a cerclage to keep her in, my little girl didn't want to come out! I ended up having to have an emergency c-section the next evening after 22 hours of labour.

Piper is a beautiful little girl, inside and out! She is a fabulous dancer and artist and student. She loves cats, Barbies, reading, and anything art/craft related. We are having her party in a few weeks. Daddy took in treats and had lunch with her at school today. Tonight we'll eat cake, have the take home pizza she requested and play the new board game we gave her for part of her gift.

Love you, Piper-girl!!!!!








Happy 7th Birthday!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Goodness me...

I've been home for just over 30 minutes and it's been crazy!

I laid out a fleece last week involving money to be raised at our yard sale this Saturday. We have a neighborhood wide, very well publicised and usually very well attended yard sale twice a year. We have sold a few odds and ends, but never put forth much effort. We are trying this year. The "fleece" is regarding the timing of starting our adoption process. I've been having a very strong feeling for the past several weeks that we need to But there is this pesky thing called money. I have one week left of work before summer vacation and 2 solid months of no income. Not really the best time to get the ball rolling when we'll be fundraising the whole shebang anyway. So I have prayed that if this is His prompting and not my heart saying now, that He would provide the funds we need to get started. We have prayed that if this is His will, that we would raise the initial agency fee and hopefully the initial home study fee this weekend.

I put a few 'bigger ticket' items on cr@igslist last weekend. We sold an old love seat in a day. $60 down. Had a lot of bites on the other items, but nothing came to fruition. I had really hoped that all the stuff would go over the week and we'd be well on our way. As I was driving home today I was a bit down. In my mind we would have sold a lot more by now. Maybe this really was just my mind wishfully thinking. I got home, and opened my email. There was a post on our neighborhood yahoo group asking if anybody was selling a treadmill before the yard sale. Why, yes! I have emailed her the specifics of our excellent condition treadmill and anxiously await a reply. My asking price would cover the home study application fee. The next message in my inbox... a receipt for a headband purchase from my website for $50- and it's for items I have already created sitting in my inventory tubs in the garage. OK, God. I'm not doubting. If this is your time frame, you'll provide. If your time frame is later, you'll provide. I'm just going to keep my focus on You.

So I'm feeling a bit of a high as I head to the bus stop. My girly runs off the bus and asks me to get her to the car immediately. She has been physically hurt by another child on the bus. A girl who has an assigned seat next to her on the bus pinched her chest. She has two red marks and is on the verge of tears. We drive home and I ask for the story a second and third time to make sure she and I both understand exactly what transpired. Then I call the school. The principal is out and the assistant is in a meeting that the secretary interrupts. We have had a run in with this child a few months back- it was verbal abuse and the principal handled it. The assistant asked the secretary to get all sorts of information from me, and assures me that she will deal swiftly with this in the morning. Please let Piper know that she will be called to the office, but she is not in trouble. Tomorrow just happens to be her 7th birthday. And daddy is already planning on going in to deliver treats and have lunch with her. Now he'll have a conversation with the principal too.

What a wild 30 minutes.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Working on her info sheet

The packed box

The girlies with their gift boxes

Back in November we sent in our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes and filled out the tracking labels so we could know what country they ended up in. The girlies were really hoping for China, but were excited to learn that they had gone to Africa, to Gabon. We included a self addressed envelope in each box (it's suggested, as some recipient's may write back) and hoped that we might hear something. Teagan selected a girl age 2-4 and Piper a girl age 5-7 to receive their gifts.

Today Teagan received her envelope. Inside was a picture of a beautiful little four year old girl smiling in front of some flowers and two post cards from Gabon and a small map with her city highlighted in purple. The cards have a letter written in French, the girl's name, her address (just numbers and the city?) and phone number and a email that says it's for papa. She lives in the capital city of Libreville. I used an online translator and we got the main idea of the letter. It's written in cursive, so I'm not sure of some of the letters and I don't know any French to aid in guessing. I'm hopeful we can find a French speaker to translate for us and help us craft a letter back. Teagan is so darn excited to hear back from "her girl"!