Sunday, November 30, 2008


I don't fear death. By the grace of God, I heard the good news and chose to accept Christ as my personal savior at 13. Although my relationship with God is like any other, always growing and strengthening with each passing year, I know that he is always there for me. He desires that I will want to know more and more about him and in turn, share those things with others. Tonight I think I got to do that.

My best friend, Angie V., lost her mom today unexpectedly. Mrs. Pat was a wonderful woman, a cool cat as I told them tonight. I don't think I ever saw her without makeup, jewelry and some wonderfully smelly perfume. Her apartment was decorated to a "t" and she loved nothing better than to go to a tea room for a girls luncheon. She loved me like I was one of her own daughters, even though I technically wasn't. As I did her dishes in her sink tonight (I wanted her kitchen to be clean), I got tickled as she had a half drank cup of egg nog sitting on the counter. The egg nog wasn't just in any cup, it was in a fine china wine glass. Mrs. Pat loved the finer things in life, and one could never had too much BLING!

Even though I felt like an intruder being there tonight (Angie wanted me there), I hope that I was able to serve the family tonight in the way God would want me to. There were times that I wasn't sure what I should be doing so I cleaned (JuJu, you have definitely rubbed off on me).

So please pray for Angie and her family. She, her sisters and her dad are meeting to make arrangements at 10am in the morning. If you don't mind stopping and saying a prayer for them, I would be very thankful. For those of you that still have your momma's, give them a big hug next time you see them and never leave them without telling them you love them. They can be gone in an instant.

I love you Mrs. Pat and you will be greatly missed. You're a cool cat, and I only hope I'm half as cool as you one day!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Isaac and Luke - Growing Up

Seven years ago, as I type this, I was laying in Vanderbilt hospital wondering how in the world I was going to handle what God had just blessed our family with. Isaac and Luke had been born the night before at 9:41pm and 9:51pm, and although they were 7 weeks early, they were holding their own in the NICU.

They were so tiny compared to the only other baby I had ever birthed. Anna had weighed in at 8 lbs. 7 oz. Isaac was 5 lbs. 2 oz. and Luke was 4 lbs. 14 oz. I now know that is huge for twins that are born 7 weeks early, but at the time when they are hooked up to so many things, they looked like tiny little peanuts. I had labored the day before for 12 hours, so I was exhausted, but cried every time I had to leave the NICU and my babies. About this time, Anna was arriving to meet her new brothers for the first time. My grandma and grandpa had kept her the night before. When she arrived at the hospital, I think she was more excited to push mommy to the NICU in a wheelchair than she was to actually meet her new brothers. You see, she was only 3 years old, and although she was a smart cookie, she had no idea how much her world would change in 10 more days when mommy brought her new brothers home.

Now, 7 years later, those guys that started out so tiny are some of the tallest in their classes. Last night, our family went to Kabuto (the boys choice) for a small birthday celebration. JuJu gave them some New Balance shoes (size 3) and when we got home and tried them on, they are too small. My 7 year olds have a huge foot! Although many people still can't tell them apart (yes, they are identical), they are as different as night and day. They are both very smart, love to read. As I tell many, they are the best of friends and the worst of enemies. When they are in good moods, they don't want to play with anyone else (except their best friend Cam). When they are in bad moods, they don't want to fight with anyone else (well, that's a stretch).

Isaac was born first and to this day, remains more of the leader of the two. He's a pretty easy kid. He is a great reader but struggles a bit with his handwriting. He took to Mary Elizabeth right away when we brought her home and to this day, will come and love on her for no reason or pick her up and wag her around the house. He enjoys anything outdoors, especially riding his bike. He loves to help me with anything I ask and he is a great boy. I love this guy to death!

Luke is our free thinker. He is sometimes just lost in space and although he is the most loving child you will ever meet, he has definitely taught me more patience than I thought I would ever need. Luke doesn't read quite as well as Isaac, but his handwriting is perfect. He doesn't pay Mary Elizabeth much attention, unless he notices Isaac doing it and then he is on board. Don't get me wrong, he loves her, he would just rather drag his best friend (a stuffed bear) Johnny around the house than to wag his sister around. He is very sensitive and worries about what people think. He did everything first (walked, crawled, etc.) and to this day will eat anything you put in front of him (Isaac is super picky like his daddy). Luke makes every day fun as you are constantly laughing out loud at something he comes up with. He is a master of doing nothing but making you think he is right there working along with his brother. I love him to death as well!

So, that's my boys. My great guys that are now 7 years old. Being their mom is a blessing, seriously. They are a riot and I constantly am amazed at how much personality God stuffed in their bodies. A big THANK YOU to Uncle Josh who took these amazing pics on Thanksgiving Day. Check out this post to see the rest. YOU ROCK!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful for...

As with many blog posts I have seen today, I see everyone talking about what they are thankful for. Then I found this one. Please take a few minutes and read through it and then I challenge you to really think about it and give up what you are struggling with to God.

UPDATE: The blog post I was referring to has been pulled down. The author of the blog lost a child earlier this year and was talking about being thankful to God for everything, even the bad stuff. Finding the good, if at all possible.

Today, amongst everything else, I am thankful that I struggle with migraine headaches. I have learned to slow down and fully rely on God. I have learned that my body is not always strong and although I hate these headaches, I am thankful for them.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Hubby's Vision

Jonathan has always felt called to Ethiopia. We assumed that meant that we would adopt from Ethiopia, but as he read through one of his many books (yes, I finally rubbed off and my hubby loves to read), he discovered that just a small group around us could MAKE A DIFFERENCE in Ethiopia. So he started a blog to tell you guys all about it. I hope you'll take a few minutes today to read through it and catch a glimpse of my hubby's heart and vision for Ethiopia. Tomorrow as we sit and stuff ourselves with family surrounding us, keep in mind what you read on his blog and think about how your family can truly make a difference. Let me know what you think. I love you J and I'm really proud of you for stepping out and following God's will!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Brea's Rule For Tuesday 11/25

On Tuesday, 11/25, if you read a blog post (and yes, I am following my own rule) you MUST post a comment. Let people in blog land know you're glad that you get to be nosy and know all about them :)
UPDATE: This is not just for my blog, any blog you read today, you must comment!

The ball is OFFICIALLY rolling

Ever have one of those days where you feel like you lived fourteen lives in one day? Today was one of those days for me. We woke up just like any normal day, except that it was raining and yucky here in Nashvegas.

Mary Elizabeth, Angie V., Abby, and I loaded up to head to Catholic Charities in Nashville to turn in the pre-application to start our independent home study. On our way, we began discussing lunch. If you know me, I don't go anywhere and not start immediately thinking about lunch. Since we would be in Nashville, we were thinking a little P.F. Changs, but what would the girls eat? That just wouldn't work and then, at the same time, we said "MONELL'S!" out loud. If you have never been to Monell's, you need to stop reading this blog, get in your car and go. It's on 6th Ave. in Germantown in a cool cat old house. They serve authentic "Southern" food family style. This means you sit at a big, fat table with a bunch of strangers. It is UMMM, UMMM GOOD. You will need buffet pants if you go (or at least adjustable waist). $12.95 per person, kids eat free, trust me, you will eat your money's worth. So, we walk in and get seated at a table with two guys who turned out to be from New York. They were in town for the Jets vs. Titans game yesterday and we had a great time eating with them. For some reason, they didn't seat anyone else at our table but that was A.O.K. with us. As we sat down, the guys were already eating on the broccoli salad, cucumber salad, and breakfast casserole. They made over the kids and we started telling them the history of Monell's. That's when Angie V. and I discovered that these guys thought that was all the food they were getting. We both bust out laughing because right about this time, girlie brings huge bowls of (and I'm not kidding) mashed potatoes, meatloaf, fried chicken, chicken and dumplins, corn casserole, green beans, and biscuits and cornbread with fresh peach preserves. I thought these guys were going to die! They even took out their cell phones and took a picture of all the food as they said no one at home would believe this. Now, let's just take this moment to discuss that you are not supposed to use your cell phone inside Monell's. I have ate there several times and didn't know this, but we quickly found out when the cell phone freak from the back came out and rode New Yorker's butt about him using his cell phone to take a picture of the food. How about that Southern hospitality? Anyway, we ate and ate. Mary Elizabeth cleaned her plate. Then, it was time for dessert. Strawberry Shortcake. Oh YEAH!

We said our goodbyes and it was time to head to CC. We got there and can I just say, place is HUGE. When the Catholics say they are doing some Charities, they aren't joking. It's not just a little building, they have a whole freaking campus. I was very impressed and everyone was super nice, although I didn't have a clue what in the world I was supposed to do. We'll take this moment for a sidebar:

SIDEBAR: I would LOVE to use Bethany again and we have NOTHING in the world against them, but as I told Kim T. this morning, I feel God gave us a brain for a reason. If we can get a home study completed in 1/4 of the time and at 1/2 of the cost, it just seems wasteful of God's money and time not to do that. I absolutely LOVE Bethany and plan to recommend them to anyone I know (and still volunteer there), it's just that J and I have prayed about this at great length and we really feel God is leading us in a different direction this time. Ok, back to the story.

That's the thing I will miss about Bethany. I KNOW Bethany. I KNOW the staff. I KNOW my way around. It's COMFORTABLE. BUT, I have found in my life that when I get comfortable, I don't fully rely on God. So, we're going with the unknown this time. We walked in CC and I asked the receptionist to make copies of all of our birth certificates and J and I's marriage certificates. I gave her all our paperwork, a few pictures of our family, a check for $625 (half the homestudy), and then Angie V. took our picture. Can I just say that I am sure the front desk lady now thinks I am the crazy scrapbook lady who took a picture at her front desk turning in paperwork? So, yes, the ball is OFFICIALLY rolling on Freeman #5.

We get back in the car, run a few errands and are heading home when my cell phone rings. It's the dentist office wondering where I am. CRAP. I forgot that me and the three older kids ALL had dentist appointments at 1pm and it's 1:02pm. CRAP. CRAP. CRAP. So, I call J (at work) and he leaves to get the kids and meet me there. Angie drops me off, takes M.E. to meet my saint of a mother-in-law Barbara, and I start my teeth cleaning, x-rays, oral cancer mouth screening, scrape my gums off process. The kids come rolling in and 2 hours and $1034 later, we leave the dentist. Next week, we will be having a yard sale to raise funds for dental treatments (I'm totally kidding).

We head home with J who is officially hacked off at me as he has now missed 2 hours of work (did you notice that Angie dropped me off as my car was at home), my gums are radiating, and I'm trying to figure out what I can sell on ebay to help pay for the dental abomination that just occurred. Did I mention I'm getting a migraine?

So, that's my day. Aren't you jealous.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So, I have to tell all you fellow bloggers a funny little story about recognition.

As many of you know, I run a consignment sale. What started out as a small consignment sale turned into a large consignment sale pretty quickly so I am constantly running into people where I know their face (and possibly some recognition of a situation), but I have no clue what their name is.

After the fall sale, I received an email from a lady who had gotten home and one of the toys that she had bought was incomplete. Can I just take this moment to say, CHECK YOUR TOYS before you consign, as there is nothing more frustrating than getting home with a toy that you know your child will just love only to find out the silly thing doesn't work or is missing pieces. Can I get an AMEN! Anyhoo, back to the story. She was super sweet about it. Honestly, her name was familiar but I couldn't put a face with her name.

Fast forward to a day at CVS when they were having a special on paper towels/toilet paper. I loaded up because the deal was fabulous, but it took me forever to find the Viva paper towels as they were hidden in the back corner at our newly remodeled CVS in Hendersonville with the hateful staff-except for the manager (another blog post for another day) As I rounded a corner with my plethora of kids and Viva, I ran into a girl whom I knew looked familiar from the sale, but had no clue what her name was. She immediately said, "that's where all the paper towels went!" I immediately told her where they were hiding in the back corner, but it ate at me all day why I didn't ask her name and re-introduce myself.

Today, I get a wonderful email from a lady that reads the blog. It was awesome and made my day. I recognized her name as the toy missing parts lady so I decided to take a few minutes and surf her blog. Liked what I saw, decided to add it to blog reader and then I saw her picture. Yep, Mrs. Sarah, you are my CVS Viva paper towel lady.

So, this lengthy post is to remind you to do something. Next time you see someone you think you know, bite the bullet and reintroduce yourself. I just love this girl and I could have figured out a while ago that she was THE SARAH if I had just opened my mouth in CVS that day. Trust me, seeing her was the only pleasant thing that happened in that store with the hateful staff (except for the manager).

How we did this weekend...

This weekend those of you that came to my house and shopped helped us pay for our homestudy. Yes, we raised over $1500 this weekend and that is just enough to pay for our homestudy which we start THIS WEEK! You guys are awesome, a HUGE THANK YOU, and to GOD be the glory!

And the winner of the Wii Fit is....

a pic of the bowl of all the names right before we picked a name out
McKinley T. was my Vanna. THANKS McKinley for drawing out the name. The winner is Vickie Henry!

Vickie was so excited when I called her. She was screaming and just couldn't believe it. She and Allison were all smiles when they just came to pick up. CONGRATS and THANK YOU for helping with our adoption fund!

Thanks to all of you who bought tickets. You guys ROCK!!

An Adoption Update

This is where it appears we are heading right now. Just wanted to give everyone an update.

As I told you a few weeks ago, Jonathan's heart has been burdened for Ethiopia for a long time. I am so proud to tell you that yesterday Jonathan was on a conference call with a group that sponsors orphanages in Ethiopia and it appears that the Lord is definitely calling our family to make this a big priority. So, you will be seeing us blog very shortly about how you can personally help us in this challenge. What does this mean? Simply put, we are going to try to assemble at least 20 people who are willing to commit to adopting 1 child a year to support financially (the cost is roughly $35 a month). If we can assemble this, there is a strong possibility we can actually find an orphanage that is currently getting no financial support and get these kids fed, clothed and taught (not only with school related materials, but about the Lord!) How awesome is that!

As for us personally, I think we are both feeling led to do another domestic adoption so we will begin filling out of packet pretty soon for that. What does that mean? RIGHT NOW, we will not be adopting from Ethiopia, but instead here in the United States. We will only be open to African American children and we are also open to some medical issues so please begin praying for us as we begin this process. We just want to do God's will, not our own so this may change, but right now, we feel at peace with this decision. God has definitely put some people in our path this week (thanks Tracie!) who we totally feel comfortable with and this time we probably won't be doing a traditional agency adoption. We feel very strongly that we want to adopt a child that may be considered "hard to place" either because of age, health reasons, etc. and we love that Tracie sees our vision in this.

We are so thankful for your prayers. As I told my friend Laura last week, if you do nothing else to support else in this adoption process for us but pray, you have done the most. We are SO THANKFUL for money, don't get me wrong. That is what makes it possible. BUT without your prayers for us and with us, I'm just not sure what we would do. We have FELT THEM many times. We FELT THEM last Friday as we wept for the son that would not be part of our family. We FELT THEM when we brought Mary Elizabeth home. We FELT THEM when we announced God's decision for our family to go to Ethiopia initially.

Someone asked me recently in a comment if you can find an agency that will let you adopt if you don't attend a church/aren't a Christian. I'm ashamed to admit that I never responded. Not because I didn't know what to say, but honestly, I forgot about it until now. This is Brea's response. Yes, you can adopt and find an agency if you aren't a Christian. If you want to email me privately (, I will be happy to point you in the right direction. In my opinion, being a Christian and attending church are two different things. Should attending church be something a Christian does? Sure. But attending church doesn't affect salvation.

Now, as for adopting without Christ being your personal savior. I have physically birthed three children and mentally birthed one, and I can tell you that the process of adopting a child is one of the hardest things emotionally and physically I have ever done in my life. How I would have done it without Christ in my life is beyond me. I seriously CAN NOT comprehend it. There were days when I seriously did nothing but CLUNG TO MY DADDY. My relationship with Christ is so much stronger because of our adoption experience. I would love to share this with anyone that will listen, so again, please email me if you want to know more. So, I say this. Yes, you can adopt without having Christ in your life, but I wouldn't advise it. I wouldn't advise your feet hitting the floor without Christ in your life.

Sorry this post got long. God just put this on my heart to share.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How It Went...

Today was great, but honestly, there was barely a dent made. I am so thankful to each of you that came by and spent your hard earned money.

99% of the American Girl stuff is gone. People were lined up at 10am and they swarmed those American Girl tables like shark infested waters. It was amazing how fast they snatched it up.

Julie sold quite a bit, but I am not lying when I say that you can't tell her racks were touched. They are still STUFFED FULL.

The Longaberger tables are full. I think I only sold about 7 baskets today so if you are thinking that you aren't going to come on Saturday because all of the good stuff would be gone, you would be wrong.

I am exhausted. Ready for the yummy Steak and Shake my hubby is bringing home (a rare treat at our house) and then I am off to bed. The boys best friend, Camden, is spending the night and I have already told them it is a "boys night" so daddy is in charge.

Come see us tomorrow and don't forget that we are drawing for the Wii Fit at 12 noon sharp so if you want tickets, just pay through the paypal link on this blog. THANKS to everyone for their support!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Our House....

is a very, very, very FULL house.

Seriously, this sale tomorrow is going to kick butt. Come see it for yourself.

Friday, Nov. 21 10am-3pm
Saturday, Nov. 22 10am-1pm

Also have after hour by appointment times on Friday, Nov. 21 from 6-8 pm. Just email me at if you want to come during those times. Oh, and don't forget to buy that Wii Fit ticket while you're here :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What did I do today?

What did I not do today is the better question! Just to make myself feel better about how much I really DO get done in a day, this is what I did today.

1. Took a bath and shaved my legs
2. Gave M.E. a bath and styled her hair (trust me, this takes time)
3. Hosted an informal luncheon for three friends adopting from Ethiopia (had a great time girls!)
4. Organized downstairs to get ready for sale on Friday
5. Vacuumed bedroom
6. Emptied and reloaded dishwasher
7. Took several phone calls and made several phone calls (all adoption related)
8. Updated facebook, blog.
9. Gave what felt like 8 million sets of directions to the sale on Friday (I hope they all come)
10. Organized boutique clothing
11. Packed up two boxes I need to ship tomorrow.
12. Read a few pages in a book
13. Caught up on Alison B., Maris, Tracie, and my sister's blog.
14. Answered most of my email.
15. Helped Anna clean her room
16. Cleaned out a whole bag of paper/trash from the art/toy room.
17. Cleaned out three more bins from the garage and organized the contents
18. Got American Girl dolls completely organized on tables for sale on Friday.
19. Set sales goals for Friday
20. Got cost and timeline for homestudy if done by Catholic Charities (very pleased with results)
21. Took migraine pills and going to bed.

I'm pretty impressed with myself. All of this while parenting four children. Now, we did have leftovers for dinner, but the leftovers were homecooked and everyone seems content and ready for bed at 7:38pm. I consider this day a success.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family Pictures 2008

A big thanks to Alison B. for these great photos:

Monday, November 17, 2008

More about fundraisers

Am I starting to sound like a broken record? I hope not.

I wanted to update you guys on a few things about this weekend's upcoming fundraiser sale at the house. I don't think I have already posted this, but we will have WEBKINZ! If your children are like mine, they love them. AND if you are like me, you are going to LOVE the prices on these.

Webkinz $8
Littlekinz $6
Trading Cards $1

Also, I'm not sure if I mentioned this before or not, but in addition to Julie's awesome boutique goodies, Longaberger galore, and Webkinz we will also have the following random goodies for sale:

*Kid Express shoes for your little girls. THE BEST boutique shoes! 50% OFF!
*American Girl dolls and accessories. Approximately 6-7 more dolls, 3 horses, etc. Dolls are $65 each, horses are around $30 each, clothing is $12 and under. It is all organized and pretty.
*Gone With the Wind collectibles. A Scarlett doll, several collector plates new in boxes and some figures. All of this will be priced at $5-$10 each.
*Snowbabies/bunnies (I can't remember the exact name) These are cute little figurines that are collectible. $5 each.

All of this stuff has been donated and will be nicely displayed with the Longaberger in the bonus room downstairs. Remember, Julie will be taking cash, check, visa and m/c for her boutique stuff. All of the other stuff will be cash and check only so please plan accordingly. Can't wait to see you all!

OH AND DON'T FORGET TO BUY YOUR Wii FIT RAFFLE TICKETS. So far you have a 1 in 7 shot of winning!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Domestic vs. International

Since our news less than 36 hours ago that Ben wouldn't be coming into our home (although he IS going home...praise GOD!), J and I have both been doing the whole "do we go domestic or international?"

There's pros and cons to both. Having BTDT (been there done that for those of you that don't text-trust me, I'm still learning) with domestic adoption and then laying eyes on THE packet for international, I personally feel like internation adoption is a lot more work. With domestic, you do your home study and then once it's approved, you wait to be picked. Six months after placement (give or take), you finalize. With international, you do your home study, do your dossier, wait for referral, wait for court date, wait for travel date, travel but then you are pretty much done.

It's a hard decision and one that J and I don't feel ready to make yet. So we are just praying. And asking for your prayers. We do plan to start on the homestudy itself b/c some parts of it are the same (physicals, financials, etc.) Yes, mom, you can start breathing in your paper sack now HA HA! As we go through the paperwork process, we are just praying for God's will to be done. If we need to go domestic, we go domestic. If we need to be parents of a child from far away, we go international. We just want to go where HE wants us.

So, that's Brea's random thoughts at 11:44pm on a Saturday night. I'm sure there will be more to come. You never know with us!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fundraiser #3: All the Scoop

So, yes, even in light of the last post, fundraiser #2 and #3 are ON! God has a plan for us....and because we still feel so strongly that the plan is for us to adopt, we are FUNdraising.

#3 will be The Kids Clothing Basket inventory blowout sale along with Longaberger heaven as I am calling it :) The details are as follows:
Friday, November 21 10am-3pm (if you need to come after 3pm, shoot me an email at and we can hook you up)
Saturday, November 22 10am-1pm

DO NOT come before 10am, as we will line you up at the door to my garage (yes, the sale is being held indoors in the warmth with hot cider and a smile!).

Here's what will be here: Julie is bringing scads (I just wanted to use that word) of beautiful fall/winter clothing. Think smocked dresses, Gabiano Christmas pajamas, ZaZa Couture, Indygo Artwear, Mulberribush, SHOES, Baby Lulu...loads of yummies. ALL OF IT WILL BE HALF OF THE PRICE IT IS CURRENTLY MARKED which means that it will all be 60-90% off retail. If you have twins, you need to come. If you need outfits for Christmas pictures, you need to come. If you want to help Brea and Jonathan bring home their 5th Freeman, you need to come (like how I threw that in there?) Seriously, this is GREAT stuff and most of it is BRAND NEW stuff that she has gotten in SINCE the fall consignment sale so unless you have shopped with her at Christmas at Beech or at Christmas Village, there's a good chance you haven't seen it. DON'T MISS THIS SALE. She will be taking Visa and Mastercard (that's dangerous huh?) but there will be sales tax so keep that in mind. Bring your mama's and your wallets!

Now, on to Longaberger. Oh, there is yummy stuff in there as well. Four LARGE tables FULL ALREADY to be exact and did I mention that none of it is over $35. We will have a large tub of liners, protectors, etc. for $2 EACH, baskets starting at $10 and going to $35. We only have a few wrought iron pieces so far, but are hoping to get more consigned. EMAIL ME at if you have Longaberger you are wanting to get rid of. You are welcome to consign it here. The best part? Ms. Candy will be here taking orders on all the NEW Longaberger fancies so you can even be the first kid on your block to have the latest greatest Longaberger!

Ok, so that's the scoop. Email me if you need more info, directions, or a shock to the heart over all this greatness. THANKS for your support and see you Friday. Oh, and don't forget to buy your Wii Fit tickets!

We just got a call...

and Ben has been placed with another family that was waiting for a referral. Evidently, they requested him earlier this week and corporate just told our case worker. We are thrilled for Ben that he will get to be with his new forever family even earlier, thrilled for the family who will soon be his new family and yet sad at the same time. I held up so well talking with our social worker (who is an absolute doll) and then cried like a baby when I had to call and tell my husband.

We will pray about what direction to go, although I feel like we will continue filling out our paperwork for Ethopia. There are so many children there that need homes. We just want to follow God's will. Please say a prayer for our family tonight as we tell the kids.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fundraiser #2: Wii Fit

That's right, for $5 per ticket, you get your name in the hat for a BRAND NEW Wii Fit. The HOT toy this Christmas. It retails for $89.99 and is VERY HARD TO FIND! This only works if you already have a Nintendo Wii. What can you do with it if you win? Use it, Give It Away, Or Sell It On Ebay.

How do you buy tickets? Just click on that handy dandy paypal link to the right and make a $5 donation. If you want 2 tickets, donate $10. Be sure you put whose name you want the raffle tickets in and a phone number for us to contact you if you win. If you don't have a paypal account and still wish to purchase tickets, email me at and I'll email you the address to mail a check to. We will be drawing at 12pm CST on Saturday, November 22. I'll post the results immediately following. GOOD LUCK AND I HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE PICS OF US USING OUR Wii FIT!

Jonathan and the kids hoola-hooping on the Wii fit:

Mommy and kids doing a little yoga:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Next Fundraisers

Can I just say that I am having so much fun fundraising for Ben? Now, granted, I didn't know that with our first yard sale it would be to bring Ben home, but now that I have a face and a name, I feel so excited knowing that each dollar we raise puts us one mile closer to putting my arms around my newest son. I can't wait to hold him in my arms and tell him all about his brothers and sisters waiting at home to meet him (and grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, friends, etc.)

Anyway, I am proud to announce fundraiser #2 and #3 tonight. I think they are both PRETTY AWESOME if you ask me and I can't wait to see what you guys think. I think what makes these really fun is that you guys get to benefit from the fundraising too! Not only are you helping raise the balance of our adoption fund, but you are getting cool stuff as well. I mean, how much fun was it shopping through all those goodies at the yard sale? Anyway, back on track.

Fundraiser #2 will start tonight as soon as I get dinner in me and get the post up. We are doing a raffle for the HOT TOY this Christmas: A BRAND NEW IN BOX Wii FIT! Tickets will be $5 each and we will be drawing a winner on Saturday, November 22 at 12pm CST.

Fundraiser #3 will be held Friday and Saturday, November 21-22. Julie Montgomery (The Kids Clothes Basket) will be bringing ALL OF HER REMAINING BOUTIQUE INVENTORY to my house and selling it at 50% off the lowest ticketed price making it 60-90% off retail. If you love smocked clothing, Baby Lulu, etc. you do not want to miss this sale. If you need Christmas outfits for your kids, you do not want to miss this sale. It will be held in my garage and times will be announced tomorrow night here on the blog. Julie is graciously making a donation to our adoption fund since I am hosting this for her! During this awesome sale, we will also be having a Longaberger sale in the bonus room downstairs. What is this you ask? Candy Williams, my awesome Longaberger rep, will be set up taking orders for anything out of the current Longaberger wishlist and promises to have it to you in time for Christmas. The best part? We will also have OVER 70 BASKETS available for cash and carry and nothing will be priced over $35. Did you read that? Yes, $35. There are some amazing baskets here already. Signed baskets, collectors club baskets, etc. and most of them are retired. IF YOU HAVE LONGABERGER YOU WOULD LIKE TO's easy. Just email me at All you need to do is figure out what price you want to put on your items (we are taking baskets, wrought iron, pottery, pretty much anything Longaberger) and then we set up a time to get it from you. We will display it, price it and hopefully sell it. We will keep 20% of the selling price for the adoption fund, BUT if you choose to turn around and spend your profits with Candy, you keep 100% as Candy is making a donation to our adoption fund for all purchases made that day on any NEW Longaberger. It's a win win for everyone....

So plan to come see me on November 21 and 22 to shop for beautiful children's boutique clothing, new Longaberger and some of your retired favorites. It's a great way to pick up Christmas gifts and help us bring Ben home! And if you are a grandma reading this, trust me when I say, that we all love boutique outfits for our kiddos for Christmas gifts!

THANKS again for all your support. THANKS to those that have sent paypal donations the last few weeks. I haven't sent thank you notes yet, but I haven't forgotten you. Your support means so much and we love you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Following God...

to Ethiopia.

Yep, if you had told me a year ago that we would be considering adopting from Ethiopia right now I would have seriously LAUGHED YOU OUT OF THE ROOM.

But, here I am. Honestly, not even sure I have the right words.

In a nutshell, this is what is happening. Jonathan's heart has been burdened for Ethiopia for quite some time. He had mentioned several times that he wanted to adopt from Ethiopia and I would always do the "la la la, I don't hear you" comment. Then, I began praying that I would be submissive to my husband. He IS the spiritual head of our household and I knew his heart and relationship with the Lord was ALL GOOD! Still, after finalizing Mary Elizabeth's adoption, I no more felt led to adopt from Ethiopia than I did to go for a friendly jog (yeah, that ain't happening) We requested the packet from Bethany to pursue our second domestic adoption and yet, once it arrived, I noticed I did not have the same desire to HURRY UP and get it done like I did when it arrived for Mary Elizabeth. I blamed that lack of desire on the fact that I am struggling with migraines, that we don't have our money saved, that M.E. isn't old enough yet, and though honestly, none of those are the real reasons. You see, anyone that has known me for more than a millisecond knows that regardless of circumstance, once I get my mind set on something, I'm doing it.

So, without telling Jonathan, I went online a couple of weeks ago and filled out a preliminary application for international adoption through Bethany. I just wanted to see what countries we would be eligible for IF the day ever came that we decided to pursue an international adoption. When I got the response back that we were ONLY eligible for Ethiopia, I about fell off my chair. With that eligibility, I was also able to see waiting children in Africa and that is where I saw the most beautiful little face waiting for a family.

Again, though, I would not be swayed. How could we leave four kids and travel to Ethiopia for a week? How could we afford an international adoption when we weren't even sure we could afford a domestic adoption?

Thursday night was Bethany's New Friends Dinner. This is our agencies one time a year fundraiser. Jonathan and I hosted a table and as the speakers began speaking and I noticed that Chris, our international social worker from our office, was going to be speaking about waiting international children, I immediately felt that feeling I felt when I saw that beautiful little face the first time. Sure enough, as she flashed that picture on the screen and talked about how this child was looking for HIS forever family, I was officially sobbing. I knew without a shout of a doubt he was supposed to be our son.

So after the dinner, we made our way to Chris and told her we thought we were supposed to be his parents. Today, we officially told Bethany in Michigan (the main office) that we wish to pursue adopting this sweet little boy in Ethiopia. God has changed my heart and our circumstance.

So I am excited, scared, and blessed to share with you that you can begin praying for a little boy to join our family. His name is Ben (the name we had already picked out for our family). His full name will be Benjamin Tucker (Tucker after my great grandpa-did you catch that crazy aunt Jane?) He is 5 years old and is all alone in Ethiopia.

We don't know much about the process yet, except that the paperwork is INSANE and that the process will probably take about 10-12 months before he is home. He may be picked by another family before we get approved, but we are trusting that if this happens it is God's will and the praise will be that Ben will have a home.

We told the kids tonight. Luke and Isaac jumped around like crazy boys, Anna said "oh great" to another brother (although she is REALLY excited), and Mary Elizabeth said "DAH!" which we think means she is really jacked up.

So, please pray for us. It looks like the cost will be about $25K. We know we will get a $5K grant and we have $8K saved already for this adoption, so we are definitely going to be doing some letter writing for more grants and some more fundraising.

THANKS if you have read this far! Sorry I don't have a picture..I can't post it but trust me, he's a cutie! We covet your prayers and are thankful for your support!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Talented Sister

She's a Christian, a wife, a mom, a great friend, a teacher, a homemaker, a music lover, a scrapbooker, and UBER talented. And she's giving away this gorgeous little skirt that she made for free!

So, how do you win this you ask? Well, it's simple. Go HERE and leave her a pretty little comment about how much you love it and she will register you! Who doesn't love a free skirt from my beautiful little sister?

Can I get an AMEN!

I don't care which party you align yourself with, can we all just say THANK GOODNESS this election mess is almost behind us. I'm so sick of the mud slinging, the tv commercials, the word "maverick", people using the race card, etc. I'm just glad it's almost OVER!!! Can I get an AMEN!

Prayers for Wez & the Websters

If you are like me, you hear of many heartbreaking prayer requests daily. Requests for donations to certain causes. Heck, I've even asked you to come spend money at our yard sale to help fund our next adoption.

Today, I have two things to tell you about that I want to prayerfully consider if you can help these people.

The first is this family: Prayers for Wez He desperately needs surgery that insurance won't cover and they are even ready to sell their house to make this happen. Please check out their blog and consider giving. We gave $25 and I would challenge any of you reading this to consider giving the same!

The second is the Webster family. Karen and Brian are adopting an embryo through Bethany Christian Services here in Nashville. They are having a yard sale (does this sound familiar?) on November 15 and need stuff. I know Jonathan and I are cleaning out stuff to give to them (including all of our leftover stuff!). They need to raise at least $4,000 so please consider doing a little pre-holiday cleaning out and donate to them. They will even pick it up! What's better than a clean house and giving to a good cause.

Chicago Trip: New Kids On the Block Concert

So, I had these elaborate plans to make a wonderful post about the New Kids concert, but nothing can top Kim's post so I am directing all traffic there. She gives all the details and scoop on our night at New Kids. You must go and witness the video at the end. I will do one more Chicago post about where we went (besides the concert), where we ate, and what we bought! Stay tuned and let me know what you think about Kim's post. Good times indeed!


This was probably my favorite so far. ENJOY! Anna was Alice in Wonderland, Isaac was Tweedle Dee, Luke was Tweedle Dum and Mary Elizabeth was the Cheshire Cat. Everyone loved their costumes! The boys broke the spinners off their hats within about 5 minutes of putting them on and Anna won first place out of the entire 5th grade for best costume (they had to dress up like a book character!)