USCIS - Homeland Security THANKS for making this BIOMETRIC Trip SO fast and easy! :)  YAhooooo! After SO much mix up on our 1600A it was SO good to get it done!  Our appointment was at 9:00 - we got there at 8:45 and were done by 9:15! I call that Speeeeeedy service for sure!  I hope they are just as speedy sending us our Favorable Determination Letter (FDL)  :) Erik took the day off so we were able to enjoy the entire rest of the day together! :) DOUBLE BONUS! :)  We went out for breakfast, went to look at the next job we are doing in Renton, played softball with Kinz, and drove Madison and her BFF to a friends house an hour away for an end of the Summer party! :) GREAT DAY! :)


(The girls and I about 4 years ago - gosh they grow up fast!) :)

 Ya know it's funny - there are two little words, that as a parent, just bother me. I don't know why exactly - if it was something from my childhood or what but these two WORDS have had an impact on me and the way I choose to communicate with my kiddos.  I make a conscious effort to avoid these words, but instead choose a different word or action....

proud (proud)
adj. proud·er, proud·est
1. Feeling pleasurable satisfaction over an act, possession, quality, or relationship by which one measures one's stature or self-worth: proud of one's child
2. Occasioning or being a reason for pride: "On January 1, 1900, Americans and Europeans greeted the twentieth century in the proud and certain belief that the next hundred years would make all things possible" (W. Bruce Lincoln).
3. Feeling or showing justifiable self-respect.
4. Filled with or showing excessive self-esteem.
5. Of great dignity; honored: a proud name.
6. Majestic; magnificent: proud alpine peaks.
7. Spirited. Used of an animal: proud steeds.

I think if I use this word "PROUD" to tell my girls how happy I am with them, like - "I AM so proud of YOU!" It gives the girls an impression that they need to do the best that they can on things in life to make ME happy, to make ME proud! ...and this is ALL wrong!  First and foremost I want them to give 110% in whatever they do to GLORIFY GOD! I want them to always PLEASE HIM first! Cuz no matter what I will ALWAYS be happy when they do something well! :)

Instead of telling my girls how PROUD of them I am - I just tell them specifically what they did well!! :) "I'm SO excited you did SO well on that project!" "Congratulations on a FABULOUS report card!, GOOD JOB! - You worked REALLY hard on that!" "Yahoooo! You had a GREAT game - Good Job hitting the ball to the outfiled..." Okay, so you get it. :) Am I a little crazy? ha! :)

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

dis·ap·point (dis'e-point')
v. dis·ap·point·ed, dis·ap·point·ing, dis·ap·points
1. To fail to satisfy the hope, desire, or expectation of.
2. To frustrate or thwart: "I will not disappoint the confidence you have put in me" (Wayne A. Budd).
To cause disappointment.
I don't know why - but I cringe a little when I hear this word! It sounds SO permanent or something. "I'm so disappointed in you!" "That's a BIG disappointment to me." OUCH! :(

Ya see, no matter what my kids do, I'm gonna ♥ LOVE ♥ them forever and ever.. AMEN! :) Of course, they aren't going to always make good choices, they will make mistakes or mess something up or say something disrespectful... But, I want to be FORGIVING because I am Forgiven! :) Soooo, to avoid that word - I'll say something like, "It really bums me out that you didn't put more effort into that." "It hurts my feelings when you talk to me like that...."

1 John 2:1 
"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One."

1 John 1:9 
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Ephesians 1:7
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace."

Okay... so maybe I'm a little CRAZY or just a little sensitive about these two WORDS - I don't know! :)  ha ha! :) ...I do know that it helps me help my girls to remind them to ALWAYS put Christ first before their good 'ol Ma and Pa and that whatever mistake they make in life - our AWESOME Heavenly Father will always forgive them, and so will we! :)


I woke up this morning to a video in my in-box from my AMAZING friend, JUNE... and it was one of those moments where as soon as the music started, I had tears running down my face!!! It was SO thoughtful of her to put together a pile of memories of her sweet Kara and my crazy Kinz at NATIONALS! I can honestly say... that this friendship goes beyond any hitting lesson, a tag at home, a double, a steal, a home run... The most VALUABLE thing our family received the last 2 years in Softball has been June and Kara's friendship!! I think as soon as the music started and I began to see the pictures - it was a hard realization that next year the girls will be playing on different teams! It's a good thing for both the girls as far as Softball goes, and location to both of our homes, etc... but... Me and Kinz will definitely miss seeing two of our MOST favorite people on a VERY regular basis at: practices, tournaments, Starbucks before games, dinners after games, sitting together at practices, discussing plays, sharing snacks, cheering the team on together...and that's ME AND JUNE - Kinz is gonna miss her little Soul Sister - going in for a HIGH five to affirm each other, making up animal noises, dances, songs, cheers, making jokes, faces, LAUGHING OUT LOUD a LOT... This MOMMA is gonna make a HUGE effort to make sure we all get together even though the girls are playing on different teams, going to different schools, live in different areas... because like June said - the girls have one of those FRIENDSHIPS where you want to see them in each others weddings! :)  It's one of those friendships I would have LOVED to have had as a KID! ♥


(To really enjoy this video, just put the ipod (on the right side bar) on pause ☺)

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It is SO exciting to see who God puts in my children's lives to help Mold and Shape them into the AMAZING little people they're becoming.  Whether it is a teacher, friend, coach... I LOVE to see how GOD uses these people to assist in the development of my kiddos characters.  I like to take those opportunities and REALLY express my gratitude for their POSITIVE influences in my kids lives.  I recently sent a letter to Makinzi's Softball Organization sharing my thoughts and THANKS to their board of directors for an 
AWESOME Assistant Coach!  

...A definite way to a this Momma's ♥ heart ♥ is the kindness given to my little ones from someone else.   :) 

SO.... SOFTBALL is EXCITING to watch! The dynamics that create a TEAM: the parents, players, coaches, assistant coaches, etc are amazing to watch evolve into life-long friendships, lessons learned, etc...  We all had a GREAT Season! It is a FUN sport and it's FUN to get to know different people!  It's also COOL to be able to cheer on our lil sweetie playing Catcher, Left Field... or wherever! - Erik and I (and Madi) aren't real SPORTY people... so we are really enjoying this spectator sport! I'm afraid we may have reached that
CRAZY ,SUPER FAN status! :O) ha ha!

 We are already EXCITED for the NEXT Softball Season to Start - already looking for GREEN AND ORANGE things! :) ...Here are a FEW FUN pictures from my Dear Friend JUNE who took such AMAZING care of my little one at Nationals in Bloomington, Indiana!

A Letter of THANKS:

As a Mom of two kiddos, I always think it is important to highlight any POSITIVE influences in my kids lives.  Besides the impact we make on our kids, as parents, there are SO many people that help shape and mold our little ones. Kinzi, my  11 year old, played up this year on Bruce H.’s  Second year 12U team.  Bruce had a lot of dad helpers, assistant coaches, score keepers, cheerleaders (that’s me ha! ) etc… But, I just wanted to mention one person in particular – one person that really stood out to our family!  From tryouts to the very last practice before the girls hopped on the plane to Nationals, DAVE left a lasting impression on our family and with our little player!

Besides all the awesome contributions he made ALL year – at the very last practice he pulled Kinz aside and told her how proud he is of the progress she made this year, hitting, catching, fielding and the player that she is becoming!  He praised her for being one of the most improved players on the team and encouraged her to keep working hard. (THANKS DAVE!!! )  I think there is a fine balance of barking at the girls when they make mistakes (which they DEFINITELY need… to make the necessary corrections to help them become a better player) and then affirming the things they do well! I am thankful for Dave – in keeping this balance.  Also, this is the first year Makinzi spent any time playing in the outfield.  Dave would stand out in Left or Right field with her and help her by giving her technical skill advice, tips, tricks, additional reps, etc – to help her become a better outfielder. 

Dave is an AWESOME volunteer with no kid of his own on the team – showing up to all the practices, games, etc… because of his PASSION and LOVE for the sport – WOW! - I don’t know too many people who would make such a substantial time dedication! Dave lifted my daughter up, encouraged her, pushed her and most importantly, he BELIEVED in her!  It is amazing what sort of transformation can happen in a player when someone believes in them. As mentioned before, Dave also has a nice balance of correcting the kids and then adding some much needed affirmations. He didn’t have favorites, he was AWESOME to ALL the kids.  He has a wonderful, caring, giving, and kind character! He was always excited to see the girls, joke with them, understand them, work with them…  At game time he always showed up with a smile on his face, ready and excited to conquer our opponents!

As Kinz steps down from this team and plays at her age level next year on a different team, our family will definitely miss Dave’s positive influence on our little player – he has made us all ENJOY softball even more (…and we are total die hards! ☺)  We believe he brings so much LIGHT, enthusiasm and HOPE to each player trying to reach their utmost potential… and we have appreciated him BIG Time!

THANK YOU DEAR JESUS - for the positive and the not so positive people that you put in our lives - to learn and grown from!  Thank you for Molding and Shaping us to GLORIFY you God! ♥ 


We are number 44 on the Girls list.  Our parameters for a little girl are 0-24 months.  I was thinking this number would have been a tad less... STILL totally excited to see that this number changed by 6! Which means... SIX amazing families received a referral for their CHILD!! WOW! Now... That's EXCITING!! ♥ And that is what makes each new number we receive something to really celebrate... besides the fact that we are that much closer to being united with our child(ren)!! :)

We are at number 29 on the Siblings list.  Our parameters for siblings are two girls under 4 years old.  Yeah! This list changed by ONE. :)

We are praying for MANY, MANY more referrals to happen this month!

♥ ወዳጅነት ~ friendship ♥

 ሰላም sälam  ጓደኛሞች gwadänyamoc

This weekend, we had an opportunity to experience some AMAZING fellowship with other families who have adopted or are adopting from ETHIOPIA...  It was SO exciting to see where everyone was in their journey!  I feel SO blessed to have met some really GREAT people in our area and even more blessed to call them my FRIENDS!  I am SO happy to know other people who have a ♥ BIG HEART ♥ for ORPHANS and a PASSION to bring them home!

This is a picture by Niki of the whole group (well, minus Erik & Kinzi - Erik came late & Kinz is in Indiana) Madison and I are right behind Niki and Justin - I think Madison was trying to dodge the picture and hide behind Justin.. ha ha! What a gooooofball! :)
Thanks NIKI - LOVE this picture! :)

Thanks Megan and Shannon for taking some GREAT pictures also - I LOVE your BLOG Posts!! :)

...already looking forward to the next get together AND seeing many more babies join the group!! :)