Monday, October 31, 2011


October2011 117 Introducing, Silas ‘Ali’.  He has his match face on, and he is ready to do some serious boxing for candy!

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Pre-match photo

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Serious concentration people!

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Warming up!

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Ready for action

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Its a WIN!  The prize was too much candy and a treat bag for the most unique costume!

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I just had to end with this!  We went to a ‘trunk or treat’ at a local church tonight.  Each ‘trunk’ was decorated with some sort of Biblical theme or story.  I saw this and I just loved it!  Just as the members of that church freely gave candy to each child that came, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have the free gift of Salvation.  If any of you have not received this wonderful gift of Salvation, I would love to tell you more about it.  It is the best gift you will ever receive, and I promise you it will forever change your life for the better.  I hope each of you has a blessed week!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shop with a Purpose

It is hard to believe that Christmas is less than two months away, and now is a great time to begin knocking those gifts off your list! Ever since we traveled to Ethiopia for Silas’ adoption, Troy and I have a completely different perspective on Christmas shopping and the commercialism that surrounds Christmas in America.  We vowed that we would do our best to keep Christ at the center of any traditions we establish with our children, and that we would try to make as many of the Christmas gifts that we give benefit more than just the recipient of the gift.  This year I would like to invite you to do the same with your shopping, and I have a great way to assist you with that!

A little over a year ago, my husband,Troy, had been praying about a way to combine his passion for adoption/orphan care with the skill set God gave him(computer programming), and God faithfully answered that prayer.  It was soon thereafter that the concept of Olive Tree Promise was born.  For the next nine months,Troy spent many, many late nights developing this website to help adoptive families bring their children home.  The website was officially launched in July 2011, and multiple adoptive families have been blessed through it.  A unique feature on the sight is that you can search for families adopting from a specific country God has laid on your heart(click here to see that feature). The site has a good variety of products available or you can make a donation for items such as mosquito nets or baby formula in someone’s honor.  That would make your gift have a triple purpose!  I think the donation gifts are great for those people that are especially difficult to buy for because there aren’t too many people that wouldn’t appreciate a gift that is helping someone else.  Also, one of my favorite products are these Hope Ornaments that I plan to purchase in honor of our daughter.  It will be a tangible reminder that she is with us in spirit this Christmas season!

So that is it.  It is really quite easy to make your shopping count this Christmas. Please visit Olive Tree Promise to get your shopping done early AND help adoptive families bring their children home from as many as eight different countries.  I can’t think of a better way to spend your dollars than through answering God’s mandate to care for the orphan.  Blessings to you and your families during this upcoming wonderful time of year!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Official October Number

We received an email earlier this week, and our official October number is:


It feels great to finally be in the top 5!  I’m praying November will bring lots of movement now that rainy season has come to an end.  Regardless, we will continue to praise God for His faithfulness on this amazing journey to our daughter.

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.  1 Corinthians 1:9

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Farm & Fellowship

Summer is my favorite season; however, fall is a close second and I love all the activities associated with this time of year. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is visit a pumpkin farm.  We have been to a handful of local farms that have fall activities, but last year we discovered our favorite one yet! So, this past weekend we decided to return to that specific one, and the weather was perfect!  Silas enjoyed it last year, but I think he was able to appreciate it even more this  year as is depicted in the pictures below.

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Trying his hand at milking a cow!


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He had to have his picture on this ‘horse’


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Feeding the llama that he repeatedly asked “Is it mad at mama?(from the Llama Llama book series for those of you that aren’t familiar)”


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Brushing the animals


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After about 5 attempts, he finally sat still long enough for a  photo with the pumpkins.  He is FULL of energy these days:)


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Picture with mama on top of the stacked tires


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Testing out the swings


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Driving a tractor with daddy


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Riding the ‘train’


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Playing in the corn box and he eventually decided to lay down in it.  He always picks fun things for me to wash out of his hair:)


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Braving the slide by himself.  He did this many, many times!

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He had to get in a few quick bounces on the ball


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Juice time! He liked the pumpkin more than what was actually in it.


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One final snapshot to wrap up a fun day.  This picture cracks me up because he insisted on posing with the gourd in his hand.(yes, that would be our strong willed son!)

THEN…on Sunday we had our LifeGroup over from church for hot dogs, s’mores, and a mini-hayride Troy rigged up for the kids.  We had a great time, and it is always a blessing to hang out with these beautiful people.

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Here are some of the kids on the ‘hayride’.

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Molly and Cristina

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Fellowship time around the fire

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Sweet E.

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How about this marshmallow stuffed face! I love social gatherings, but it is a challenge to keep this little guy away from the food table.  Needless to say he was on a bit of a sugar high that night! 

So, that sums up our weekend!  It went by entirely too fast, but it was filled with lots of great memories.  On the adoption front, we still haven’t received our official number for October.  Hopefully, we’ll have it by the end of this week! We’ll keep you posted:)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All Aboard the Birthday Train!

Silas turned three years old last week, and I am still processing it.  It seems like yesterday that we were walking through the gates of Hannah’s Hope to lay eyes on our sweet boy for the 1st time.  We had his three year well baby visit last week, and he has grown 4 inches during this past year. He’s also had a language explosion, and he is definitely testing his limits these days.  Nevertheless, we are certainly blessed by this boy of ours, and we had so much fun celebrating his 3rd birthday with him. 

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His actual birthday was a weeknight so we gave him a few restaurant options or else his favorite meal at home, and he chose to go to Red Robin.  I think it was more for the fries than the burgers, and he definitely enjoyed it as you can see from the picture above.


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Our waiter was so kind to do a little birthday surprise for Silas complete with an ice cream sundae.  You should have seen how quickly he finished his meal when they brought the sundae out!  He initially decided to bypass the spoon and dive head first into it:)

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Daddy with his birthday boy!

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Troy and I both have water bottles that Silas is constantly asking to drink out of so we thought it was fitting to get him his own for his birthday.  He loves it..especially because it has a little button to push to pop the spout up. 

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Testing it out.  I think it’s a winner!

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My mom (Silas’ Mamaw) is a school teacher, and she had her fall break this past weekend so she was able to come down to help celebrate too! She knew that Silas loves monkeys so she got another one to add to his collection.  This one laughs loudly and Silas loved it!

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Mamaw also does embroidery so she gave Silas a new shirt as an early Halloween present.  She also made him a shirt to wear for his birthday party. 

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This past Saturday we had a small party for him.  He requested a train birthday party so that is the theme we went with.  Above you can see a picture of the food table.

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Here is a picture of his  requested chocolate birthday cake, and I added a few cupcakes for the kids!

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Our birthday boy!  He was so excited to have his friends coming over.

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This little guy enjoyed the ride on toys.

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Sweet E. was looking adorable in her new glasses

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M. enjoyed the roller coaster

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This precious girl’s mom babysits Silas for us on the days I work.  We are truly blessed by their family.

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My Aunt Darlene(on the left) traveled over for the weekend.  She and my mom(on the right) are sisters and enjoy getting together whenever they can!

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Pinata time! Silas took the 1st swing.

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This girl put some great effort into it, but it just wouldn’t break.

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We resorted to having a few of the dads take a crack at it!

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He managed to knock it down and then we just ended up tearing it open.  The kids just wanted their candy!

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Love this picture of M. hiding behind the pretend ice cream

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All smiles!  Also, note the donations of baby wipes and formula in the background.  In lieu of birthday gifts, we requested donations for Hannah’s Hope and our friends were so generous to help us out with this.  I can’t wait to pack them up for our 1st trip to see our daughter!

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Later that evening, Silas talked Mamaw into hiding under all the couch cushions, and she was happy to oblige his request.  I just had to get a picture of it:)

Silas, I can’t believe you are three years old.  Mama and Daddy love you more than words can ever express, and we are forever grateful to God that he chose you to be part of our family.  We have enjoyed spending your first years of life with you, and we look forward to many more.  Our prayer is that God will continue to impart his wisdom and favor on you all the days of your life, and that your life will be used for His glory alone. Happy 3rd Birthday!!