Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Monster Tunes-Revisited

This is from a post from LAST year ... the kids are having SO much fun with it replaying it today, I thought you all might enjoy a trip down memory lane ... or fresh for the first time in case you haven't seen it before.
(If you want to make your own, you can go to the Jib Jab site and enter your own photos ... but be careful it will suck you in and you'll lose an afternoon quite easily.)

Make sure to pause the music at the bottom of the sidebar before you hit the play arrow.
This is a hoot!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

While the husband is away ...

While my husband was away from home for the last 9 days doing this in North Dakota:

We kept busy holding down the fort on the homefront going to school and hockey and even a few hours at Chucky Cheese's ... and also burning the midnight late hunting for things like this:

 and this:
and this: (American Girl almond-shaped-eye Bitty Baby)

And working on a sewing an outfit like this:

for her and her soon-to-be new loving "momma" in matcing styles for the BOTH of them, in fabrics like this:

To help raise money for a sweet adoption from China.

Check out all the cool items at The Silent Auction 
for Randy & Rita Rippee's Adoption Fund, this coming Wednesday, 
October 27th thru November 19th!!
I'm hoping to have time to hold down one more "fort" ... to add to the end of the auction by close.

No promises ... But keep checking back to see if I get it made! (Just an FYI, I did NOT make this fort, but found it online ... for lotsa moolah ... I WILL keep you all posted with my version when I get it made.)
It would be a way-cool-Christmas present!

Ni Hao Y'all

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Circle of Love

My Great Aunt Ruza was someone whom I wished I could have gotten to know better before she passed away. I think in our funky, quirky, artsy way, we would have had a lot of things in common. She was an opera singer out in Hollywood, California during the 40's, 50's and 60's.
And she was married to a book shop owner. Oh my goodness. I love books! So, put the two together artsy-music and books ... and you can quickly understand how I treasure the things that she left to me ... because they show interests that she had that I see reflected in myself ... which is bizarre since we met when I was probably about 2 years old and then only when we talked by phone occasionally on holidays or if I mailed her a cassette tape (remember those?) of me playing the piano. 
(That's me on Ruza's lap along with my sister Pam ... circa 1972)

I did spend an incredible wealth of time with her brother, my grandpa, however ... and I'm sure this is the link to the box that I treasure the most. And the little material things, yes, are just things and I do wish I had the stories to go with them. 
But I don't.
Just vague, foggy recollections of comments made here or there from Grandpa or Grandma or Dad and what they remembered about her trips or her interests. They have taken those stories with them to Heaven.
However ... that allows me to dream up the details ...
Imagining something perhaps greater than what reality might have actually given me.

This box, for instance, was something she got during her trip to China in the 1950's or early 1960's, probably well over a decade BEFORE I was even born! I absolutely heart these little Chinese Children holding hands joyfully encircling the well of treasure in the middle. And the interesting thing is ... my Aunt Ruza never had children ... in fact ... I don't think children interested her. (There's a stark difference between she and I!) But there was a part of her that was drawn to this and I'd like to believe that somehow she knew that someone special one day might find great delight in it ...

Now, I will admit, I am not giving up my little treasure box children ... they are cheerfully tucked on my shelf I view often right before bedtime ... but recently I was able to locate another one! I know! Crazy, eh?! And it will be auctioned off to the highest bidder starting Oct. 27th, 2010 at
I look at these children with linked arms and how can I not be reminded of how we all stand together and circle one another in love and encouragement.

Find treasures like this (minus the jewelry) at The Silent Auction which will be unfurled NEXT WEDNESDAY, October 27th and will run through November 19th.
Proceeds will benefit Randy & Rita Rippee's Adoption Fund.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Overshadowed in the Ordinary

On the way out of my driveway to church last Sunday ... God met me.

No, not as a person, or a feeling ... or in something that definitely would have said it was Him to just anybody ... but I know it was.

You see, Sunday was the first day of the "Pendant Sale" for The Rippee Family's Adoption (if you made a post and got the early shopper code that is.) And I'd like to say that I'm so full of confidence that I don't worry about things like if I'm doing a great job in fundraising for The Rippees or if their fundraising goal to pay for the  adoption of their daughter will be met. And deep down really, I do have faith that funds will come through ... and I know that this goes way beyond anything I myself could try to do.
... But I do worry.

Mainly about what I am doing ... or what I'm failing to do ... or what MORE should be done ...
But it's usually when I least expect it that this doubt and fear creeps in.

This happened to be the very case on Sunday morning as I loaded the kids in the car and headed to church. Of course I was right on time (as in not yet late, but it was pretty much Sunday School TIME, as in it was starting right then, and I was still in my garage.) Thankfully our church is not far away! I had just checked my email ONE LAST TIME to make sure no one had emailed to ask for the "special code" (James 1:27) because I knew I'd be away from my computer for a good while. But there wasn't anything new ... it was quite ... silent ... 
and that's when my doubt started to swirl down low ... as I buckled the kids in their seats ... and then that doubt and fear started to leave my stomach and make my chest kinda feel tight ... as I backed out of the driveway ... and then my eyes kinda started watering in disappointment in myself and fear of failing as I drove out of our long lane ...

... and then I turned onto the road, and was met by this:
 It was not the first time I have seen this very shadow from this telephone pole. The last time was when I was trying to decide if I should sponsor a sweet little girl in  Fujian Province with a cleft lip who needed surgery to repair it. THAT is another story that I really need to share in full sometime ...
But on this Sunday, at 9AM, when I should have already arrived at church here it was again. And I know that the sun changes angles through the seasons and at certain times, yes, the sun will cause a telephone pole to have a cross shaped shadow across the road.
But not all the time ... and even when it does, I'm not always there ... or not looking.
And it was at this VERY time on Sunday, I was driving ... under it ... and it passed over me.

 And I continued down the road as another shadow passed over me ...

 And another ... it was like a Father's calming hand

 Washing over me as I drove ... and the tears started flowing ...

 Melting away the fear and doubt that He was there and knew exactly what I was worrying about.

 And like the telephone posts and this long road, the cross that overshadows EVERYTHING continues on and on and on along with the road of life as it stretches out in front of us. (click on the photo to see it larger ... that road goes on and on ... up and down some hills ... just like life's dips and mountaintops.)

I was reminded this morning by a post at ThrowingArmsOpenWide about how God meets us where we are and sometimes reassures us in very immediate and ordinary ways. In fact, so ordinary it could be easily overlooked. But what a blessing when it isn't.
I  hope you see God today in something especially ordinary.
Because He cares for you so very deeply.

*In case you were wondering ... I went back on Tuesday and took these photos ... although ... it wasn't at exactly the same time ... it was about 10-20 minutes later than when I saw it 2 days before.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"HAPPY"--My New Fav Fabric Line

I LOVE etsy ... if you are not in the know about this cool website for all things handcrafted, you have GOT to check it out. There are so many talented individuals out there, like Sarah from Sarah's Treasure Box (from the pendant sale.) And just like treasure, I came across THIS cool etsy site and cool fabric the other day. 

I could not decide which fabric color/patterns to narrow my selection down to. I then decided to start with the green with black/white swirlies and red with black/white swirlies as an accent on my planned Christmas skirts ... but I'm REALLY hoping to WIN this giveaway and get some of the other patterns for FREE! Check it out! ... AND let me know your favorite color choices. Maybe they'll be in the newest skirt design to come soon! You cannot look at this fabric and not be ... HAPPY!







BUT the BEST part of finding this fabric at this etsy store? Even beyond knowing that they have a giveaway RIGHT now for the VERY fabric I have fallen in love with ... is that when I went to their BLOG I came across scripture posted on the sidebar:
"No eye has seen and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9"

Check out the next 44th Street Fabric and the Fabric Giveaway on their BLOG! The winner will receive SIX 1/2 YARD CUTS (TOTAL OF 3 YARDS) of their choice of Happy fabrics! I've put pics up of just a few of the Happy fabrics--they have the entire line! The winner will choose which patterns and colors he or she wants from the 24 Happy fabrics! I love it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Journey of Blessings

Whew! WELCOME back to my regular blog.
Thank you to everyone who bought a pendant from Sarah's Treasure Box in honor of The Rippee Family's Adoption! Nearly $500 will be donated by Sarah and her family from the one day event!

It's interesting how this blog of mine weaves together family and my passion for adoption ... it sometimes doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me ... and probably even less to my readers (not that I have a  throng or anything.) Wait a second how many really make up a "throng?"
But this blog is a tiny reflection of where I am. We're not a family who is adopting, yet anyway... and quite honestly, it's my passion and only shared on the periphery by the rest of the family ... and I struggle with this wanting it to be more--feeling a heavy burden of it being MY JOB to get their hearts involved. But it seems like when I try the hardest I meet the most resistance. And really it leaves me tired and frustrated.
The feeling like I've failed.

 ... and that's usually when a quite breeze blows in and "they get it." Kinda out of the blue and in ways that are more true than anything I was trying to force onto them. And I realize it wasn't in what I feel I'm TRYING TO DO ... but rather just doing what I do and letting them see through example instead of being forced into a mold of doing something that their hearts are not ready and willing to do.

ANYWAY, regardless of my efforts, it is a blessing to see our lives intermingle with adoption on a variety of fronts--some that I cannot imagine trying to orchestrate so I am SURE that God is fully behind it. And here is where this story takes off.

Our family recently took a mini-vacation to Chicago and the Wisconsin Dells--my husband had a few days of vacation that were in a "use it or lose it" situation. So ... how could we just LOSE vacation?
We did things a little differently than our usual plan, as we didn't go up North to the family cabin (whew! can you say, Lyme Disease is just too close in my memory) and we didn't have ANY set plans. That is NOT like us to be unprepared. So, when Monday rolled around with a blank week standing before us like an unpainted canvas (we still hadn't heard back from one of our hopeful destinations on whether they had any rooms available for us.)  Jeff suddenly suggested driving WEST instead of EAST ... no maps, no plan ... no destination ... and me with no packing done.

I quietly packed the boys for about any situation we might come across (okay, I was grumbling inside my head for how crazy this seemed,) helped Jeff stain the front porch (that had been badly needing it all summer and why not squeeze it in right now) and did about 300 different things that had not gotten done before that day. Oh yeah, and we sent the kids to school for the day even though they were prepared to be on vacation ... yeah, even had their homework done! Amazingly they didn't balk too much at going. But after all of this, it is no wonder that a day into the vacation I came down with a wicked sore throat that developed into a cough and what I thought was pink eye. I'm a planner ... so, too many things outta the blue and it kinda stresses me.

We did finally hear back from The Dells and made our reservations to travel EAST ... which relieved my mind a bit knowing that we had a destination. It also left me strangely giddy ... asI was on our trip to Texas this Spring when I got to meet my sweet friend Tara and part of her family, I was going to have the opportunity to meet another dear friend (I'm not going to say "blog friend" anymore because that just doesn't explain it deeply enough. Do you recognize this little sweet fellow playing with Nolan?

 Yes! That is Evan from New Day! Who would have thought in a million years that I would get to meet that sweet little guy and actually "give 'em five." And this is my dear friend Molly, his mom.

As you might notice, Molly has been blessed with a very unexpected blessing ... due sometime early next year!! So when she emailed me the exciting good news a few months ago late in the evening, I was SO happy for her! She was, I think, in a little bit of shock about it all ... and mentioned that as they had not expected this, they had given away all of their baby stuff and would be starting from scratch. The amazing part was in the fact that earlier in the evening my husband and I had just had "another" discussion (argument--um, no ... but we had "words") about "the stuff in the basement."
Oh yes, "the stuff." I had a ton of baby stuff in our basement that we were no longer going to be needing ... as I'm now 40 and my husband is now done with adding to his family (according to him, although I continue to pray for that issue.) So, me having a difficult time parting with "stuff"--what an incredible and unexpected blessing to know a beautiful Christian family could be using it! Instead of having it gather dust and harsh words in our basement. I offered it to her in case she was interested (hey, it's been through 3 boys ... well, actually several more than that as some of it was gifted to me when we were first expecting!) And she so graciously accepted--and hopefully it's been a blessing.

This trip east gave me the opportunity to deliver it AND get to meet her in person! God is so cool. Something that had become such a burden to me in not needing it anymore ... became an incredible blessing to another when I let go enough for Him to use it where He needed it. And it ultimately became a blessing to me ... in a different way than expected. 

I do have to share how I first "met" Molly. It was just LAST October during Operation Giggle. I had asked to sponsor Sweet Samuel from ND. (You can search my blog history on my sidebar to learn how this child has touched me so much.) However, through a glitch or two my emails kept going into a SPAM mailbox and not to Sherri. When I finally got through that hurdle, Samuel had already been sponsored by someone else. I cannot express to you deeply enough how sickened my heart was when I saw Samuel go unsponsored each time the updated list would come out. I wanted to sponsor him SO badly, but could not reach him!   ... So, when I found out he was sponsored, even if it was not by me, I had some peace with that. We chose another sweetie, that I let the boys choose this time. In the meantime, Sherri went above and beyond her duties and asked the other sponsor, who was Molly!, if she would relinquish Samuel to me since I had asked first and it was through the SPAM glitch that we had gone unmatched. She SO lovingly gave him up to me--even though she has such a heart for him too! That touched me so deeply. So, I let her know what we had sent to him ... and we kept emailing over him ... and by February had become Prayer Warrior for him to find his Forever Family. In fact, we were joined by another sweet woman, Heather, who also had been advocating for Samuel unbeknownst to us all last fall! I met Heather in January when SHE won the interior vinyl lettering that I donated to Operation Giggle. WHO could have orchestrated all of that?! And to top it off we were joined also by Tami, Sophie's mama, who had connections with a prosthetics doctor who happened to be taking a mission trip to Beijing this year. If this does not make you stop and ponder the huge expansiveness of God and his heart for each of us, wow, I just don't know what would.

Some people don't appreciate the blog world, but I have found it to be a beautiful way to come together with people far away in distance but so close with people in shared hearts. It is such a blessing to pray for each of you and to know that you are praying for me. I love having had the opportunity to meet Tara and Molly!!! And if my path ever crosses with any of the rest of you I am sure I will be equally as blessed!

And here's the whole gang ... Brayden, Easton, Me, Nolan, Molly, Evan, Olivia (and you'll notice Mason hiding behind his mom-heehee.)
Strangely, all of our children (except for Nolan and Evan) were unusually reserved and shy that morning. Go figure ... but at least there weren't any tears over the items switching vans! (I absolutely LOVE how Evan has his little hand on "the baby bump." He's going to be a really good big brother!


P.S. Some of you may be followers of Shannon at, Throwing Our Arms Open Wide. Please PRAY for Shannon, her family and her sweet daughter Georgia. If you would like to post her daughter Georgia's button on your sidebar to remind yourselves and others to pray for her, I've included the code below. Sweet Georgia was brought home to her Forever Family with Doug and Shannon last August and received a life saving surgery almost immediately upon arrival. After receiving a clean bill of health, she has had some heart episodes of concern lately. We are praying that God would grant the doctors wisdom and knowledge to know what the problem is and how to repair it and heal her completely.

You can copy and paste her button from the code at the right on my sidebar or from the code below (which will also include the box with the code under the button on your sidebar so others can then copy and paste it from your blog and spread word of this prayer request! Thank you!

To add her button with the text box so this continues to spread.
Open your Design page,
Add Gadget
Choose HTML/JAVA button
Title it if you'd like in that field
AND add all the following to the content field (click on it to view it larger, sorry you have to key it in, it's a photo):

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SHOP For One More ... For One Less!

TODAY is the day that Sarah's Treasure Box is donating $5 from EVERY necklace pendant to Randy and Rita Rippee's Adoption Fund.

Yes, shop RIGHT NOW through midnight (or when Sarah gets up in the morning to check on things) and you will have a beautiful necklace to remind you that YOU made a difference .... especially to one little girl.

But don't wait ... there are REALLY cool necklaces that are waiting for you. And if you don't buy 'em I am going to be SO tempted to go back and buy some more (and I'll start looking like Mr. T. with all the neck wear. haha!) Shop now ... one more necklace so there is one less orphan.
One More For One Less. AND tell your friends!!!
Don't wait, 'cuz today is THE day.

Seriously, there are so many cool ones STILL available as of 6:00 am this morning!
Could that be because it's meant for you?



Monday, October 4, 2010

Buy Now!--Pendant Sale!

Have you gotten your Early Shopper Pass?!
Simply write (or copy and paste) a blog post about the Pendant Sale for the Rippee's including a link to Sarah's Treasure Box to help spread the word!

Leave me a comment or email me and I'll get you the Early Shopper Pass Code ASAP! so you can shop today and have it count toward the Rippee's Adoption Fund too.
We need the Hands and Feet of Christ to take this sale where it can go. Please join us!

The regular sale is tomorrow, Oct.5th starting at Midnight tonight through midnight tomorrow night.
My goal is to sell 200 pendants by then ... 10 down 190 to go as of noon Monday!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

An Early Shopper Pass to the Pendant Sale!

So, you all have been "window-shopping" Sarah's Treasure Box for the BIG sale on Tuesday that will be benefiting The Rippee Family in their Adoption ... right?!
OH! So many cool pendants every. time. I. check!

Well, I have the coolest DEAL to share with you that Sarah came up with. A little twist.
And here it is ... 
You can shop early.
Beat the rush. 
Before your favorites are gone.

How so? 
On Sunday and Monday anyone that does a blog post* about the fundraiser, explaining who it is for, when and with a link to Sarah's Treasure Box can shop early with a code from ME! 

To get the code, leave me a comment to this post and a link to where I can find it. When I check out your post (please be patient for my reply as I do sleep at night and will be at church Sunday morning until after 12 noon.) I'll then send you a special code to include at checkout that will give you access to this special twist of a deal!

It would also be GREAT if you would please include in your post to ask others to post on their blogs too--and then they can also have an early shopper invite too if they leave me a comment! We really want word of this fundraiser to reach as many people as possible as fast as possible.

The thing is ... we've set a really HIGH goal. I want to reach 200 pendant necklaces sold ... and Sarah wants me to reach it too, because not only does Sarah from Sarah's Treasure Box have a huge heart for orphans but also for adoptive families and those fundraising for them as she's an adoptive mom too and knows how long and hard that fundraising road can be! (So remember her heart and her shop in the future as well!) 

Sarah is donating $5 from EVERY pendant necklace sold to The Rippee Family's Adoption of one of the sweetest little girl in the world.

Here's the Info:
The regular pendant sale is:
October 5th, starting at 12:00am through 11:59pm.
Sarah's Treasure Box

PLEASE include a note to the seller at checkout with The Rippee's name so The Rippee's get credit for the sale. The Cool Twist of a Deal tacks Sunday and Monday onto the front of the Sale by using the special code ... making it a THREE DAY opportunity, Oct. 3, 4, 5th.) 
Remember that in the previous post you will find a jpg you can print, 
cut apart and hand out to your friends to invite and remind them too!

Please join us for this COOL sale ... remember ... One More pendant for One Less orphan.
One More For One Less!

*If you do not have a blog or would prefer to FaceBook instead or in addition to a blog post I would ask that you would send an ACTUAL personal message out to at least 25 people to qualify for the special code. (Not just post it to your page!) Please include an explanation of the fundraiser, the date and the link to Sarah's Treasure Box

The family

The family