Church & Mihret

There is something about Christmas and all of the songs that bring me to tears to where I can't even sing - because they're just flowing and I'm all choked up... Thank you Holy Spirit for living in me, touching me and making me cry tears of JOY knowing and believing that God came to us as a HUMAN BEING, a baby, our King...  to live with us, teach us... to SAVE US! The last couple of weeks at church Mihret has been humming along... and then during one song, she lifted her hands up to her Heavenly Father. Does she know what she is doing? I don't know. But... I neeeeeeeeeded the entire box of Kleenex!! Watching children worship and praise our AWESOME God is just BEAUTIFUL!  I feel like it is unclouded, it is more clear, innocent, passionate... the kind of faith and feeling I want to feel for Jesus... but I let too much garbage in and too many things cloud my heart and my mind... I pray for FAITH like a child!!!

Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. ~ Matthew 18:3

As much as I looooove sitting with Mihret during church and looking at her and holding her hand - I totally need to help her become comfortable in the nursery.  Whether it is an adoption thing, a 2 and half year old thing, or just an 'I loooooove to be with Mommy thing'  - it's a BIG deal for me to 'weave' her - but, I know she would totally dig playing with all of her friends too. :)  Soooooo.... for now, we get some chocolate milk and our latte's and sit in BIG church. :)

This year will be Mihret's 2nd Christmas with us... she brings all of us SO much JOY - we could never have imagined life without her!  We are SO thankful for her sweet spirit, her laughs, her hugs, her health! We are blessed more than we deserve!

Thanksgiving... a little late. :)

This year we spent Thanksgiving at "HOME" - well, where we grew up. It was FUN to spend lots of time with Erik's family and my Family.  ...We were able to capture this picture of our girls and my sisters kiddos!!! I LOVE IT! - With the age differences between my sisters kids and mine - MIHRET like bridges the gap and they are ALL kinda brought together more! ...if that makes any sense. :) Anyway, it works! and... I LOVE IT! 

I think we will make this a tradition and head on over the mountains to visit family, spend quality time talking, playing and eating lots of GREAT food... 

We have SO much to be THANKFUL for this year, this month, this day... this MOMENT!! :) 


...I can't even begin to tell ya how GOD has touched this lil girl's life in ONE year's time, it truly is AMAZING...

a year ago she was...

TODAY she is...

  Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

..She is a GIFT we are so GRATEFUL for and look forward to all the wonderful things God has in store for her...


SUMMER happened... and LIFE as we know it got a little more crazy and busier than NORMAL... Now that Summer is starting to wind down and new school/sport/work schedules are being put into place... I am HOPING to spend more time UPDATING our blog... :)

...To do a QUICK lil catch'up - I thought I would share what's been happening lately... through pictures! :)

1. We celebrated Mihret's 2nd BIRTHDAY!! 

She's TWO... and TRULY terrific!!!

...such a different little girl from ONE year ago - when we were celebrating her birthday after our court date in Ethiopia at her transition home - Hannah's Hope.

She has got THE best lil personality!!! All of us have just LOVED watching her grow and change and talk and laugh and make her funny faces this past year!!! :)  We look forward to each new thing she's going to say... her hugs, her kisses!! WE LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE her to pieces!!  

2. We watched A LOT of softball!!! :)  GO KINZ!!!!!

3. Mihret learned to turn on the light switch with 
    a  comb... ha ha

4.  We went to visit family...

Mihret went swimming in  my sister's pool, laughed with her cousins, got to see new baby weiner dogs, eat yummy food, and have a slumber party with Grammy.

5.  Mihret had her first tea party... 

6.  We went to a lot of Parks to swing and swim...

7.  We went back to school shopping... 

8. I watched these two grow CLOSER... 

9.  We went to the BEACH!

10.  Kinz got her BRACES OFF!! :)

11. We vacationed with FRIENDS - had a BLAST!!!!

12.  FIRST Neighborhood BLOCK party! :)

13.  We celebrated Mihret's FIRST Gotcha DAY!!

...We had a FUN-filled Summer for sure.  I will miss not having ALL my girls HOME with me... Especially as Madison begins her LAST year of HIGH school... focusing her time earning COLLEGE credits and working at Starbucksl!!  Kinz will be experiencing life as a Junior Higher at a new, BIG school... and playing select softball on a NEW team this year... Lots of FUN stuff ahead! :) We feel SO thankful and SO blessed with our THREE amazing, BEAUTIFUL, smart, happy GIRLS!!!



...10 months HOME with Mihret and this new NORMAL feels like it would never have been normal without her!!!  WE ARE BLESSED! BIG TIME!!!!  She is a lil ROCK star around here!  The neighbors dig her, she is Kinzi's softball teams lil mini mascot, her sisters friends LOOOVE her... She's a popular lil munchkin....Well and, especially at OUR house! :) WE LOVE the SOCKS off this lil chicka!!!!  She has got such a FUN loving, silly lil personality - fits RIGHT in with all of our wackiness - It truly is AMAZING how GOD chose HER specifically, intententionally, especially, UNMISTAKABELY for OUR family!!

PSALM 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.

 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
    and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
    upright and just is He. 

...It is SO fun that Summer is here and she gets to see her sisters ALL the time - I'm sure hang'n with Mommy gets a little boring sometimes - TOTALLY fun when you've got a couple sisters to spice things up a bit! :)

Mihret has GROWN and changed SO much in these last 10 months. 

She is sleeping in a trundle bed now - and LOVES nighty night time! aaaaaah! ;)  YAY! :) ...took us a little bit to get to this point... first 2-3 months home she woke up A LOT! Sad and scared. :( ...we got her on a little schedule and she looks forward to it every night. She is eating great, she still takes a 2 or so hour nap a day... but, new places and faces concern her and make her uncomfortable.  Normally, she will join in on the fun after about15 minutes or so... once she can see it is a safe place... and I am still there.  Won't go to the nursery by herself yet though...

She is totally potty trained and is SO happy with herself that she can do it ALL with no help! She LOOOVES to go potty! She wasn't a fan of the lil potty seats so I got her a stool for each potty in the house so she can climb her lil booty right up there on the big seat! :) ... and just last week she mastered putting on her panties! ha ha! :) WEHOOOOO!  (I'm suuuuure this is waaaaaaay more than ya'll wanted to know - but some BIG steps for Miss Mihret) :)

...She has also become a lil TALKER lately!!! YAY!!! I seriously LOVE, LOVE, LOVE - each lil word that comes out of her teeeeny tiny voice.  Especially these ones....

...She copies EVERYTHING we say!! It seemed to happen all of a SUDDEN... and we all are getting the BIGGEST kick out of her and the way she says things... A couple lil things she says...

"It's DOOOOTY (dirty) Mommy."
"Wooooook (look) Mommy."
"One more POOOOK (book)"

...just lately she has really taken to her lil baby doll. When she first got home she didn't want to have anything to do with stuffed toys or baby dolls... now she TOTALLY digs them! :) SO SWEEEEEEET!!!

Mihret is taller, more confident, healthier, more affectionate, happier, more vocal and a lil more outgoing... and her hair - OH myyyyyy how it has grooooown - those CURLS - we are all LOVING her pretty locks and all the bows, ribbons, barettes and NOW.... her lil AFRO Puffs (I think that's the term for those cute lil PIGGIE tails) - whatever ya call'em - we LOVE'em... and HER!!

 Mihret is signed up for swimming lessons starting next week... and a lil ballet fun in the Fall! I am excited to see how she does both places... will let chya know how it goes. :) 
THANK you dear Jesus for this precious little life, she is a BLESSING, an answered PRAYER!!

The Bentley's

OOOOH Goodness - I have been SO bad about taking the time to BLOG - Buuuuuuut... thanks to the WONDERFULY Awesome Bentley Family - I have a REALLY SUPER DUPER great reason to.... right NOW! :) I TOTALLY - wanna take a sec to give a BIG HUUUUUUUGE shout out to a dear friend - who hugged and loved on our baby girl in Ethiopia - when we were miles and miles away... who sent me pictures and video of her changing, growing... SMILING - YES! SMILING!!!! are just a FEW of the AWESOME pics we received from Brittany and her family...

So.... this Momma's heart was melting a million miles away!!! ...and as I was being blessed by photos in anticipation to see lil Mihret's face for REAL... The Bentley's were in Ethiopia meeting their beautiful daughter, then bringing her HOME - God had placed the burden of orphans and widows on their hearts - but they were soon to find out he had placed even more there than they were aware of...

PLEASE take a minute and read about the Bentley's story - out of obedience for the God of the UNIVERSE they are not ignoring what has been placed on their hearts and they are doing what they were called to do... maybe you have a passion to help the orphans in this world, but don't know how - and don't feel called to adoption... THIS is an AMAZZZZING opportunity to be a little part of something so BIG!


 Bentley FAMILY


Adoption…what’s your first thought when you hear that word?  Overwhelming, expensive, crazy, paperwork, complicated, life changing, emotional…so many other feelings and emotions that can be added to these but for us adoption has become the catalyst leading us back to Ethiopia.
Isaiah 11:6 “…and a little child shall lead them.”

In 2008 our eyes and hearts were opened to the cause of the estimated 163 million orphans in our world today. While we found this statistic overwhelming, it began to ignite the fire in our heart when we started to place a name and face to the “statistic”, even asking the question of what if that was Parker or Clayton, our two biological boys…IF THAT WAS ONE OF OUR CHILDREN!  That’s a game changer and fueled the fire already blazing in our hearts for these children.
After bringing Selah home in 2011, our hearts continued to be broken for these precious children we had seen and loved on during our time in Ethiopia.  God had deposited something in us during our two trips to Ethiopia. Our expectation of coming home and getting back to “business as usual” wasn’t something that was going to work. We soon realized that this journey God had us on was far from over and in many regards just beginning.
(be sure to turn off the lil ipod of music on my sidebar to watch the videos)

Loving the Least of These - Ethiopia Adoption from Ian Bentley on Vimeo.
In late 2011, we began to seek God for direction and peace over this unsettled heart for Ethiopia. With open hearts to God’s best in our life, we started to pursue a number of opportunities around the world. It was quickly clear that God had placed this fire in our hearts to do something more in Ethiopia.
God has called us to Ethiopia, and we believe even beyond, to serve Him by serving others, specifically the orphans and vulnerable, while working to educated and empower them through sustainable development.  As you can imagine, there are a many challenges in moving a family of five to one of the poorest countries in the world…we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities!
Over the past few months God has been knitting us together with Ethiopian and American organizations that are working with the people of Ethiopia.
CHILDRENS HOME. It’s not right for children to be neglected on the streets.  God has opened up the opportunity for us to partner with a local organization in Addis Ababa to open a children’s home.  The home’s purpose will be to partner with the Ethiopian government by rescuing vulnerable and destitute children who have been orphaned and/or abandoned.  A final goal will be to try, if possible, to reconcile and/or reintegrate a child(ren) back into the community by placing them with family members and/or parents if found, or through domestic adoption.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.  Ethiopia has a strong entrepreneurial pulse but is oftenlacking the right tools to address the opportunity.  Our desire is to leverage our gifts, education and entrepreneurial experiences to help with practical and holistic strategies for sustainable development.  We are currently working on ideas to take woman off the streets from the commercial sex trade and create sustainable business through vocational job training.  Other ideas include simple job and skills training/education with the goal of empowering people with local resources.
We want to make a lasting difference in Ethiopia and are committed to this calling.



To learn more head on over to the link below...

FEB. PHOTO a DAY - Instagram Finale!

....Instagram - has been waaaaay too much FUN!!!  I totally dig it right now! My teenie boppers think I'm a little CRAZZZZY... and too OLD to do such things! :) ha! ...It's like I've entered their SUPER COOOOOOL world and I'm just a crazzzzzzy ole Momma!

Well... here it is... the February Finale of the Photo Challenge! :)  ...To tell ya the truth - it's kinda FUN to look back and see what LIFE looked like everyday this month... 

These 3 have got MY heart!!! SISTERS!!!!!

 February 15. PHONE
"EWOAH" - How Mihret says Hello! AAAAAAH I love it!! She LOVES to pretend to talk on the phone and take pictures with the phone.... and say, "CHEEESE!"
(she's actually holding the phone case - while I take her picture) :)

My sis came up to visit and she ALWAYS makes AWESOME stuff that she sees on Pinterest! (someone who actually PINS and DOES the stuff - Unlike me, I'm just a happy lil pinner - TOTALLY gotta do some of those FUN things) ha!  Anyway, she made this adorable soap dispenser with all our pics in it!! ha ha! I LOVE IT! - on the back is a pic of me and Erik - from a LOOOOONG time AGO! FUN STUFF!!! Thanks KRIS! I LOVE YOU!!!

Okay... This is out there a little bit... but, after I took this pic of Mihret - I thought... yaaaaaaaa, it is TIME to wear YELLOW! ha ha! I am ready for SPRING, short sleeves and sunshine!!! :)

LOVE ME SOME STARBUCKS! Okay - after I showed this pic to the girls - they TOTALLY thought I had a screw lose! ha ha! Okay.... I PROBABLY do - cuz I totally look like a spazzzzzzz in these pics... well, it was a TRIPLE! :) hehehe!

Eeeeeeks hate seems SO HARSH - So I revised it a bit and I'm going with... Something I'm not a FAN of! :) ....and that is trying to fix Mihret's SMUSHED up lil curls from her CARSEAT! ha! :) Guess I need to start carrying around a water bottle to fluff those curls right back up! :)

Soooooo.... I took a picture of an OLD, OLD, OLD little ole LOVE letter I wrote Erik when we were still dating! In 1988!!! EEEEEKS! :) He had just moved to Connecticut to work with his Dad - and I was pretty sad - missing the first boyfriend I ever had...

....I ADORE these pictures - not because I am in them... but because Mihret is!!! ....and to just see how much she has changed from the MOMENT I saw her and held her in Ethiopia, to today.... seeing her hold ME and seeing that SMILE!!! That's what makes these pics MY FAVE! LOOOOOOVE HER!

FEBRUARY 22. WHERE I WORK the kitchen, office, laundry room, living room, Mihret's room...  :)

These lil mustard colored Toms were walking all over University Village - getting READY to celebrate my BUDDY Janet and her SWEET 'A's' Shower at a Yummmmmy Mexican Restaurant! :)

Here we are CELEBRATING!!!! It was SUCH a goooood time! We missed a few of our SPECIAL AGCI Momma's :( - But we all could have stayed there all night chatting!! LOVE you gals!!!

....Okay... TOTALLY had to steal these pics off my PC - They were just TOO perfect for this day! :)

Kinzi's SOFTBALL Uniform is GREEN and orange - LOVE to watch her PLAY!

After waking up to balloons everywhere, hand made signs, flowers, Starbucks coffee, an AWESOME candy card, two SWEET cards from my big girls, dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant.... we came home and the girls put the COOOOOOOOOLEST firework making, singing, multiple candles spinning thingy on my birthday cake!! ha ha! IT WAS AWESOME!!! ....It was a bit of an INFERNO... but, totally appropriate for my ole age! :) ha! 

This is HEAVENLY CAKE - My Grandma used to make it for me and after she died my Aunt makes one for me every year on my birthday! AAAAH it's the BEST.... well, HEAVENLY really! ...I guess the ONLY thing that could make it better, is if it had ZERO calories... cuz I could REALLY EAT the WHOLE darn thing!!! :) ....usually I just leave the FORK in it - So I can re-visit it frequently!! ha ha ha!!! :) YUM!!!!

...My DAD gave me this FISH BOWL full of PENNIES! 
...A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned... :)

My sweet friend left some FUN goooooodies on my DOORSTEP for my birthday... and one of them was a Strawberry Shortcake Video!!! Soooooo.... Today, I put in the little Video in and Me and Mihret LISTENED and watched it together! SO CUTE!

Oooooooh DEAR - It's the LAST day of FEBRUARY - the photo challenge is officially OVER for this month!!! ......It was a BLAST!
:) hehehe! :)