Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Together 4 Adoption Conference!!

I am THRILLED to be attending the

It is going to be WONDERFUL!!!!!!!

A WHOLE weekend of people just like us who are just a LITTLE BIT CRAZY! Crazy about loving orphans! Whether you are just learning about orphan issues or the leader in your church on the issue... you will LOVE this conference!

I would love, love, love, LOOOOOOVE to hang out with some of my blogger/twitter/facebook buddies at the conference!! SO WHO WANTS TO COME??

HUGS! Angel

Charlie bit my finger - again !

This made me giggle! We all know I LOVE to giggle.... I just adore that little accent. :o) Angel


Here are some of the faces of the little "neighbors" who we saw had been left on the side of the road yesterday.
NOT TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


God provided $4884 in the last 28 hours!!!
The 12 children I told you about yesterday will experience His love through the gift of an education. I THANK YOU deeply for caring about the little ones we spotted on the side of the road. It is such a deep joy we receive when we choose to love.

THANK YOU! Truly, thank you.
My heart is moved and crazy grateful. I wish I could hug each of these little ones personally and tell them of their Father's love for them. Still, I know there are people right now that are there doing just that!! Any moment I imagine they will receive the news that THIS THURSDAY they WILL get to go to school after all. Maybe this is it.... the moment that changes everything for these little ones.

Hugs for all my fellow warriors,


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Learning To Love My Neighbor

"Love Your Neighbor."

That's what I'm learning this year... a kind of heavenly assignment I suppose.

In January I asked God what this year would be about for me. That is what I heard.
"Love Your Neighbor."

Predictably I asked God, "What does that MEAN? Do I need to take more cookies next door?"

God gently pointed me toward the story of the Good Samaritan.

Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.

Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.

So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'

Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise."

Then I got it...

my neighbor is someone You place in my path.

Am I so busy on my own chosen path that I don't notice the people all around me? Or worse, do I ignore their pain because I am busy doing good things? Am I so busy that I don't notice if my daughter is sad. Do I not care enough if my friend can't pay her medical bill? Am I clueless to the family in our church that has no groceries? Do I skip over the blog post where someone is raising money to adopt?

I don't need to go searching for people to serve, love... God has placed them all along my path.

Jesus didn't come to Earth and physically heal everyone alive. He poured Himself out for those God placed in His path every day. Whether they are in my neighborhood or across the world- there they are... somehow on the same road I am on.

So I don't want to hurry along! I want to stop and hug my babies, buy the groceries, help pay the medical bill, participate in the fundraiser.

So that's what I'm working on this year. I'm trying to intentionally walk this path of life God has given me with my eyes scanning to the left and right. I'm always trying to check the periphery for wounded.

Today some wounded came along my path. These are some precious little ones from India.

Some of them have mothers who are trapped working in brothels. Their mothers were trapped or sold into this life and now their precious babies are born into the trap. To be born into that feels unthinkable to me.
They are in a wonderful little orphanage where my friends are visiting on a mission trip right now. Turns out, school in their area starts on Thursday where they live but they don't have money for tuition YET.
I would love to help these little ones go to school. I think it's important they know someone loves them- that God loves them.

I guess I was wondering if any of you wanted to help me with this little mission- with these wounded on the side of our road. It's $407 per child for clothes, supplies and tuition. Even if we raised money for one of these little ones to go to school this year... well that's huge... that's giving them the ability to read and write. Maybe that's what saves them from the horrible trap of sex slavery.

The thing is, school starts Thursday! So I'm just gonna do what I can to love my neighbor. Thank you so much for helping me. Please feel free to repost this or spread the word in any way God lays on your heart.


I would LOVE to hear your heart!

Hugs, Angel

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just a Beautiful Slave...

My friend Brandi shared this song with me. It's powerful-disturbing- beautiful. It has been in my head for days... If you have read Priceless I guess you'll know why I can't quit thinking about it. I just wanted to share it with you. I pray it reaches our hearts and propels us to love the slave.

Click here to view the video on youtube...


Thursday, June 24, 2010


It's the new book by Tom Davis. I JUST finished it. Head spinning a little!!!

This is one of those books that NEEDED to be written. We NEED this book to exist. Not just like.... oh yeah... that's a good book... like this is an IMPORTANT book.

SOOOOOO who's read it already???? What did you think? Who's gonna read it soon?

I am certain I feel a blog post brewing on the subject. I just wanted to know how many of you are there with me already on this! ;o)

HUGS! Angel

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The DAD Life!

Great dads are the BEST!! Just thought I would post this HILARIOUS video celebrating the JOYS of Fatherhood! Thanks for the laugh Deedee.

Dad Life from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

The Night I Tangled With The Tooth Fairy...

PARDON ME!!!!!!! Can someone PUH-LEASE direct me to the Tooth Fairy COMPLAINTS department???? Cause I have a SERIOUS bone to pick with that WICKED, winged little snit of a creature....

Maybe I should back up.

Yesterday our little Kaitlyn Elise lost her 3rd tooth! A special moment. Exciting no?

So we put her tooth in a special little coin purse from China. She was all ready to slip it under her pillow when Zoe began to recount a story SHE remembers about the Tooth Fairy. (When she came home from Guatemala at almost 8 she had lost many of her baby teeth)

I will tell it in her words,

" When I was in Guatemala I remember my tooth fell out. I knew about the Tooth Fairy and I was SO excited! When I woke up my tooth was still there and they said it was cause my teeth were too dirty. The Tooth Fairy didn't want my teeth. So when that happens in Guatemala you have to throw your tooth on the roof and tell the mice that they can have it. Then that night they will come get it."

Well, now... every momma reading this knows exactly what I wanted to do at THAT MOMENT! I wanted to kick some Tooth Fairy TUSH!!!

YOU THINK YOU CAN TAKE ME ON BIG MAN????????????? YOU THINK???????? Such a BIG, BAD, TOUGH FAIRY making PRECIOUS little girls from Guatemala SAD??? Oh... we are NOT FINISHED with this yet. Not by a LOOOOONG STRETCH!

Losing your first teeth as a little girl is a BIG DEAL! It's huge. I hated that this was it for her- the memory she had. Little dreams that turn into sad moments. My momma bear went crazy. So after the girls were fast asleep I took action. I wrote the "Tooth Fairy" (and I use this endearing title loosely) a KIND but FIRM e-mail.

It went something like this....

Dear Sir or Madame,

I am afraid there has been a HORRIBLE MISTAKE! You see my little Krysta Zoe Mirna Aracely was DENIED a visit from the Tooth Fairy through NO FAULT of her own! She had no running water, no tooth brush, certainly no tooth paste.

I can't imagine your intention was cause this lonely little girl in Guatemala to have such pain. Sadly, her memories of the Tooth Fairy are not happy ones.

I hope sincerely that you can help me in righting this HORRIBLE INJUSTICE.

Tonight Kaitlyn has a tooth under her pillow. It seems to me that it would take you very little time to reimburse Zoe for each tooth she was wrongly denied payment for whenever you visit Kaitlyn.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


So this morning Kaitlyn awoke joyfully to see that the Tooth Fairy had indeed visited and left her some money. I asked Zoe to check under her pillow just in case my e-mail had touched the steely heart of the creature.

Lo and behold!!! There it was!!! I had gotten through to him!! He left her a generous amount. SO I told her all about the e-mail. She thanked me and gave me a HUGE hug. I told her I expected that she might be getting more payments in the future for teeth that had been passed over. I informed her that the Tooth Fairy must not have UNDERSTOOD that she had no clean or running water. She nodded vigorously in agreement, then beamed.

There are many wrongs that have been done to this precious jewel of a girl that I cannot right. There are so many injustices I can only pray over.... so many scars I can only HOPE fade with time.

This one- this one I could fix- if only a little. Maybe now her memories when she is a mother to her own children will be of how her Momma threatened to beat up the Tooth Fairy if he wouldn't pay up. Maybe thoughts of the Tooth Fairy can bring a smile and a laugh now instead of a tear.

Sometimes being a warrior is in the little moments that really aren't little at all.

Sometimes they are the moments that mean everything to someone.

I try to remember that.

Love, Angel
PS... I am working towards forgiving the Tooth Fairy though it may require intensive therapy. ;o)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


How do I love thee????
Let me count the ways!

I love you because my kids now know clearly what they should be working on at all times.

I love you because they are learning to manage their own time.

I love you because they are learning the value of earning money.

I love you because they are learning the value of items they believe they want.

I love you because they are now ASKING me to learn how to save and budget.

I love you because they now have a way to easily be generous all on their own.

I love you because I am discovering more about what is important to my kids.

I love you because I no longer feel guilt when anyone chooses not to do an earned activity.

I love you because you cut down on sibling rivalry.

I love you because my children do not feel we are obligated to do everything for them.

I love you because my children are more appreciative when we are generous now.

I love you because you text and e-mail me about my kids progress and rewards.

I love you because you just make my life simpler!

Oh You ROCK my world! :o)

SO SERIOUSLY! About 6 months ago my friend Mollie told me about this site. It has been AMAZING! is the top management tool in our home. It is a free on line service.

All the girls have access to computers so this is a much more effective tool for us than charts or chore lists ever were.

I have gotten asked so many questions about how we use this tool that I thought I would just post about it.

So all you have to do is sign up. Each of your kids will have their own section that will show their jobs. They check off the jobs they accomplish and get points for each one they finish. They can also go to a section called "extra jobs" if they want to earn extra points. Then they can go to their "store" and trade in their points for rewards.

As the parent you set it all up. You have complete control. You decide what jobs they have and how many points they get for each job. You can even decide if it's something they do only once a week or everyday or morning and night... whatever. Then you put in any extra jobs you want to be optional and how many points those earn. Finally you think up the rewards you would like to have set up for them to earn.

To help you understand this and get ideas I will list out our girls list. This one is Zoe's list. Kaitlyn's is very similar. Kaiya is younger and has a bit less.

The way I do things is about 60 points roughly=$1 in our little jobchart world. I give about 15 points for every 30 minutes of job accomplished. With rewards I calculate the cost based on the dollar cost to me and the time required of me. I also might throw in extra points if it's something I would really love to see them do! :o) The number to the far left is the amount of points earned.


15 Review CC Cycle 1-30 Minutes
10 Listen To Bible On CD While You Play-15 Minutes
15 Practice CC Timeline-30 Minutes
10 Listen to Story Of The World While You Play- 15 minutes
10 Clean Up The Play Room
15 Practice CC Math-30 Minutes
15 Get Some Exercise/Play/Workout- 30 Minutes
15 Practice Phonograms-30 minutes
15 Language Arts- 30 Minutes
30 Math Work-1 hour
15 Grammar Sheets- 30 Minutes
15 Handwriting- 30 Minutes
15 Read A Library Book- 30 Minutes
10 Lights out- going to sleep at midnight
5 Brush Teeth
10 Clean bedroom
30 clean the kitchen
5 Turn on the dishwasher before bed
5 fix my hair
5 Get Dressed
5 Make My Bed
20 put away my laundry
5 Straighten my bathroom
5 Sweep the floor
5 Take Bath/Shower


100 Clean The Baseboards downstairs
10 Sweep the trampoline
20 15 minute massage
200 Memory Masters For One Week
100 Wash Windows
100 Clean and organize the refrigerator and pantry
150 Put all STUFF lying around in the proper place in THE WHOLE HOUSE
100 Pick up all trash in backyard and side yard
15 Read a chapter in a book
3000 Finish Curriculum Workbook

30 Clean the inside of the car
120 Take care of your little sister if mom asks- 1 hour

THE STORE WHERE YOU CAN BUY REWARDS (number to far left is how many points it cost)

60 $1= 4 Meals For a Child With No Food
600 $10 to Buy a gift for someone
30 TV Time
30 Video game time
300 $ 5.00
20 Phone time
20 Sweet Treats
50 cooking something with daddy
60 $1
300 Go to the Park
300 Sleep in
200 Skip a job
200 Picnic
650 Go to a movie and movie treat
500 Go Out To Eat
18000 Vacation To Six Flags
18000 Weekend at the Beach
500 Special Play Date With A Friend
90 Sleep with Mom
250 Ride Bikes
250 Rental Movie and Snacks
150 Stay up 1 hour later
500 EXTRA Mommy Special Date
500 EXTRA Daddy Special Date
15 Special Snacks
150 Special Field Trip
500 Pedicure
400 Request 1 special item from the grocery store for ONLY you
6600 American Girl Doll
1500 American Girl Doll Stuff- Around $25
600 Trip To The Zoo
600 Stay Up As Late As You Want
1500 Barbie Stuff - 25$ of stuff
70 A song for Mp3 Player
2400 Outfit to match my America Girl Doll- about $40
3900 Bitty Twins Stroller OR Carrier- $60
1800 Clothes Shopping With Mommy-$30
2700 Dress Up Costume-$45
180 Mickey Mouse Ice Cream- $3
500 Minnie Mouse Caramel Apple-$9
120 Disney Chocolate Marshmallow-2$
360 Disney Chocolate Popcorn- $6
4000 DISNEY Princess Dinner-Epcot
1000 Hair Cut
2000 DISNEY- Go to Disney Quest

Is this making any sense yet??? OK, let me go through the points and explain....

My kids now know clearly what they should be working on at all times.
I put everything they do for school and all chores on this list. I even break it down into time sections many times. Each of my children have timers they use during school to help organize themselves. This has helped them in becoming very self organized and driven. I only need to teach difficult skills or help with trouble areas. Everything else they do on their own. They know exactly what to do without me saying a word because of myjobchart!

They are learning to manage their own time.
I don't tell my kids what time they have to do anything. I make suggestions like,"If it were me I would do my hardest school work first when I wasn't as tired and save the easiest stuff for last." Then I let THEM make the decisions and learn from it. I have found that they very often take my advice! :o) I think it is great that they have accountability to get things done without me nagging them. AND if they don't do anything they won't have points to do anything fun. OOPS! BUMMER!! Guess I don't have to discipline anyone... they just disciplined themselves.

They are learning the value of earning money.

My girls are growing to love working hard because the value of it is already meaning something to them. They are already starting to get an understanding of economics.

They are learning the value of items they believe they want.

There is NO WAY my girls can earn all the things on the rewards list. I let them put WHATEVER they want on there and discuss with them the cost of each item. They struggle through making decisions on what they want now and what can wait till later. I have seen my girls making FAR wiser decisions with what they buy and how they use their time since they have been using myjobchart because they know the work that went into it.

They are now ASKING me to learn how to save and budget.

I ADORE the fact that my girls are coming to me asking for guidance in how to make savings plans to save for their favorite rewards. They will ask me what I think should wait till Christmas and what they should save for. They will ask me how much they need to save each day to reach a goal. We even discussed today the wisdom in having a cushion of points in their account "Just In Case" like Mommy and Daddy do. They have each decided they want to always keep 500 points in their account just in case something comes up last minute! Tonight we also wrote out each reward they are saving for and how much it costs. When they earn it they can cross it off and move to the next item on the list. I LOVE IT!

They now have a way to easily be generous all on their own.
We have shared with our children the importance of being generous and all that the Bible teaches about loving widows, orphans and strangers. I've talked to them about the heart of tithing. With myjobchart they can turn in points to provide 4 meals for children per dollar/60points to Children's Hopechest! When an e-mail comes through that they have cashed in their points I can just wait till we have 10 or 20 in an archived folder then send the money through Pay Pal to Hopechest! They can also spend their points to buy a gift or be generous to someone in need they see. I love that this lets them start following that prompting all on their own!

I am discovering more about what is important to my kids.
Now that the kids are thinking about things more carefully instead of jumping into every activity I am seeing which things they truly value. They are also learning that about themselves. While before they would jump to go see every movie that came out in the theater.... now we might wait for more to come out on video. I might have thought they REALLY cared. Turns out- not so much. Hmmmmm.... cool....

I no longer feel guilt when anyone chooses not to do an earned activity.
I used to feel guilty anytime I went through Sonic drive through for a drink because I felt like I had to get EVERYONE something. I felt bad if I took one kid to the movie and not the others. NOW I DON'T!!! They have plenty of points to be earned. When I go to Sonic I use my money to buy my tea and they can use theirs if that's important to them! If one kid REALLY wants to see Alice In Wonderland and the others don't care enough to earn the points then they know they made that decision. Once my kids got used to the way this works it was NO BIG DEAL!! They love it.

Cuts down on sibling rivalry.
The more responsibility you take on the more points you earn. Zoe has harder chores than KK cause she's older. So she can earn more points and therefore get more privileges. KK knows she has the option to ask for more responsibility or take on extra jobs when she feels ready. Since she can see that the extra rewards come from working harder it doesn't even phase her.

Text and e-mail me about my kids progress and rewards.

I LOVE that I know when the girls get their work done even if I'm out of the house. I love that I get notices each time they receive a reward. My girls are saving points for certain things they want to do at Disney. So whenever they have enough points they "pre-buy" the item. For instance... tonight Zoe bought a Mickey Mouse ice cream. So that I can remember when Disney time gets here I have a folder labeled Disney Rewards For Zoe. I put each reward e-mail in there so when the time comes I have it all there. I plan to print each one out for them to keep in their purse. They can redeem them at Disney. :o)

My children do not feel we are obligated to do everything for them.
My children EXPECT to earn many things for themselves. Don't get me wrong... these princesses want for NOTHING! BUT they know that they won't just get everything handed to them. We will always provide for their basic needs and more BUT any "you owe me" attitudes just won't fly.

My children are more appreciative when we are generous now.
Now when we suddenly say, "We are going to a movie and it's our treat! You don't even have to use your points... they are EXCITED! When we pull through Sonic and I buy them a drink from me they are truly grateful. It's definitely helped them value the things we do give them.

My life is simpler!
Enough said..... ahhhhhhh...... I only hope this will make YOUR life simpler too!!
HUGS! Angel

Where does it all begin? -Evolution Of A Warrior Girl

When did it start? When did the passion begin for loving the least of these? It's like asking me when I started breathing or eating. It's always been there in a way-kind of core to who I am.

My mom tells me conversations we would have about it when I was younger. I used to cry and pray for hurting children.

BUT there is a moment in time I can point to that the light switch flipped and suddenly life looked entirely different to me.

I was about 14 I guess?? I lived in Germany and had these youth leaders there. They were this precious young couple that served together. We all ADORED them. I, for sure, adored them. They were passionate and fun and full of life.

They did something that changed me forever. They adopted an amazing little boy from Romania.

They saw this little one in need of a family and did something remarkable....they said, "Yes!" They didn't even try to do the biological kid thing.


It was the 1st time it had occurred to me that adoption was about the least of these. It was the first time I got the feeling in my gut that adoption was something God cared about deeply. Something in me responded to that little boy finding a home.

I was home schooled so I ended up bonding with the little guy. I would babysit him on youth leader training trips and stuff. I would play with him and look at him and just adore him... always thinking... where would he be? What if they hadn't said, "Yes?" What would they have missed? Would he have even made it? What about all those sweet little ones they couldn't bring back? Where were they? Would they make it?

In those moments I spent with this precious little toddler from Romania I KNEW that God was telling me to adopt.

It wasn't a question or possibility for me.
It was a deep knowing.

It was clear for me. It became a consistent part of my decision making- even to the point of breaking up with any guy who wasn't open to adopting children.

So when it comes down to it... that's where it all began.

Hugs, Angel

Monday, June 21, 2010

Me in a nutshell- Evolution Of A Warrior Girl

So as I am beginning this little reflective journey of mine I thought perhaps it would help me to take a look back at where I've been. Really, this is all just very therapeutic for me. Sorry I'm dragging you along for the ride but you are very good company. ;o) I found this video I posted in 2007. It was taken by my bud Chris/CL in Guatemala on a mission trip. If I had to describe me in a nutshell this is it. It's kind of the core of who I am and the highlights of the journey without all the nitty gritty details. Maybe that's not a bad place to start. Hugs, Angel

Evolution Of A Warrior Girl...

Warrior Girl= spends her life fighting injustice against the defenseless/the least of these

Warrior Girl- is that what I am? Is that what I USED to be? Is that what I'm becoming? Is that what I want to be? What does it look like to be a warrior? Is God's idea of being a warrior always obvious or is it often something we don't expect? What does it look like in my life?


These are questions I think I am trying to answer. Most of my life... but ESPECIALLY this last 4 years of my life have been this roller coaster followed by some nauseous feelings followed by a short trip down the lazy river followed by total confusion on what ride is next or whether I just want to go home.

OK! That's a lot to unload in one little post. I plan to expound. So I may just spill guts in a series of posts called Evolution Of A Warrior Girl. My real question is... have any of you felt like this??? The process, the passion, the loss, the frustration, the letting go, the freedom, the questions involved in caring so deeply for the hopeless??? Or MAYBE you are just totally confused now. ;o)

HUGS, Angel
AKA- sometimes, maybe, used to be, gonna be, hopefully, probably a WARRIOR GIRL!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On our way to the BFF!!

Kaitlyn's BFF lives in Colorado now. No matter where these 2 live they are inseparable. This June they both turn 7!! I can hardly BELIEVE that! They were born 20 hours apart and have always celebrated their birthdays together. SOOOO naturally Kaitlyn said all she wants for her birthday is to be WITH MADELINE in Colorado. That is why today we are on our way to Colorado. :o) Here's a peek at the special relationship these 2 cutie pies have always shared.

Monday, June 07, 2010

7 Years Ago Today My Favorite Little Diva Arrived!!

My precious Kaitlyn. She's 7!!!!!

I can't believe it! The years are flying by me so fast. I am CRAZY grateful that God gave me this little diva girl. She is compassionate, cuddly, killer smart, crazy funny, cute as a button... not to mention highly entertaining. It's hard to be with Kaitlyn Elise and not be charmed! Whether or not she is ever on stage she will always be a star. I adore you my little KK. I thank God for giving you to me 7 years ago today. The day you entered my life is the day I became "Mommy" instead of just plain old Angel... what a blessing you are every single day.

This is one of my favorite videos of our KK... cause it's just SOOOOO her. It makes me smile EVERY TIME I see it. :o)

Happy Birthday Baby!

I treasure the days with you knowing how fast they will go.

Love always, Mommy

Sunday, June 06, 2010

2 Years Ago Today Kaiya Came Home!!

2 years ago today this sweet baby girl toddled off the airplane with her beaming Daddy and excited sisters waiting to be with her. Here's our journey to bring our princess home...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Kaiya's 4 Year Old Portraits

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Great Garage To Play Room Conversion!!!

About a week and a half ago I decided to finally do a project I have wanted to do for several years. It was finally time to convert the garage into a play room for the girls!!! I was so excited and a little terrified to get started. First step was to clean out the garage.

Whew! Got that done!! :o)

Next step was to paint. Hmmmm... how about bright red??? YES, PLEASE!

First coat....

2nd coat.....

NEXT STEP! Time to clean a garage floor that is 20yrs old. That apparently takes some heavy duty cleaning. This part REALLY made me nervous. OK! Here goes... time for the hazmat gear.
(Is that how you spell that??)

NEXT! Time to stain the garage floor. Primer then first coat....

2nd coat of stain! CHECK!

IT'S FINALLY DONE!!!!!!!!! Time to get the room set up!!

Cost- About $400 for paint, stain and box fans to pump in the A/C from the house. Also required a lot of elbow grease and involved massive amounts of soreness. END RESULT! NO TOYS IN MY HOUSE=TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!! OH HAPPY DAY!!!
HUGS! Angel