Quick Reminder

You all are probably D.O.N.E with all my fundraising posts, but just wanted to remind you that orders for our Usborne Book Adoption Fundraiser are due by tomorrow night at midnight.  If you needed some steamy plans for tonight or Thursday night then look no further.

*Head over to my friend Suzanne’s book link:

SuzanneSharesUsborneBooks.com

*Browse all the amazing books and make you selections.

*As you check out you will be prompted to “Select An Event.” 

*Choose “Kelley Adoption Fundraiser.”

*And check out.  That’s it.

Our family will receive 25% of your purchase to go towards our adoption expenses.  And don’t forget to place your order by tomorrow night, January 19th at midnight.

So that’s it.  Just a quick reminder coupled with cute pictures of Kelley children reading.

Thank you again a 1000 times over for helping us fund this adoption and telling your friends and family.  We are forever grateful.

I Don’t Even Know

I feel like we are currently addressing 27 things that feel big in life right now ranging from heart kiddos and surgeries, to weird undiagnosed health problems, to kiddos struggling hard with loss, to broken van doors, to learning disabilities, to trying to make wise choices for everyone in our home, to being crazy excited to bring home another son and brother, to was that really the last episode of Sherlock forever…as in forever forever?!?!  and why can’t we just have all the cookies every single dang day?!?!?  I don’t even know.

I am currently not taking anymore custom new orders, but here I sit with 4 custom name pillows that still need to be created and shipped.  I’ve had about zero work time with life and China prep and them childrens 🙂 especially the ones who keep getting sick and the ones who keep coming home from school early again sick.

I read Meg’s post today and just cried.  All these kids…freakin geez…I don’t even know how I got so lucky to be their mom.  I really don’t.  I tell God every single morning what a screw up I am and then proceed to name all the things I need to lay down at His feet yet again and again and again.  I am a giant sinner.  I let anxiety squash my joy and send my head into a tailspin.  I have to tell myself things like “Laura, if ____ does not get done the world will really and truly not end.”  I feel lost in this parenting gig every day and yet know I was meant to be their mama and it’s the biggest honor and I really am the luckiest mom in the entire world…just like the rest of you.  They are a gift!

We’ve been wildly preparing for China.  We had yet another set of passport pictures to get taken and China Entry Visas to apply for.  I’ve never in all my life overnight shipped so many, many things.  We paid far more than I’d like to admit to send our boy a package containing a small blue blanket, a little stuffed panda with a heart over it’s eye and a book containing photos of his new family.  When I told our mail guy my choice of shipping method he looked at me and said, “Are you sure?” 🙂  I told him I needed this package to get to it’s destination as soon as possible…in other words, I want our little boy’s heart to start being prepared for our arrival as soon as possible because we’re coming and severe, aching loss is near for our son.  It makes me sick thinking about it.  How can I be so excited and honored and thrilled beyond my wildest dreams and in the same breath be absolutely heartbroken and crushed for our little guy?!?!?!

He is almost 3 1/2 now and I want to weep over the time missed.  I want to weep and weep and weep.  A simple thought of him sends me into tears.  Hudson and Solomon’s 1st grade teachers met me in the school office today, gave me a card and then wrapped their arms around me simultaneously and I just stood there in the middle of the sweetest hug and cried.

What is God up to?  What is He doing?  How is He going to work all this out and mend this little one’s very broken heart?  And how will all this time ever be filled?  And how will He make a way yet again?  And why, oh why did He think we were okay enough to allow us a front row seat to watch Him work…to watch Him do what only He can do…to watch Him do yet again the impossible and the improbable and the sheer insane?!?!?  I don’t even know.  I don’t get it.  I don’t understand, but I don’t have to.  God is God and He is good.

I read in Exodus this week about when God sends Moses before Pharaoh.  So far in Exodus Moses has questioned God over and over and over again about why God chose him…he’s got a stutter and isn’t equipped to be used by God…so Moses thinks.  And yet God keeps choosing Moses and showing off His power.  He keeps setting Moses apart.  I read in a commentary how God called Moses “to act and speak in His name and to perform things beyond the ordinary course of nature.”  Beyond the ordinary.  That’s where my hope is sitting this week…with God beyond the ordinary.  That is what God does…He does beyond the ordinary.

When things feel messed up and jacked up and weird and uncomfortable and hard as hell and sad beyond sad and we feel lost and completely out of sorts and we think “I don’t even know anymore” we can find that hope…even if it’s ever so tiny…we can find hope in a God who is beyond the ordinary and who does beyond the ordinary and Who’s specialty is beyond the ordinary and we can grab hold of that hope and hold on for dear life because He’s making a way even when we just don’t see how.  Goodness, what a God we serve to show up in and far beyond the ordinary for us.

Housekeeping

Just wanted to pop in on this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  All the kids are home and we ate Mickey Mouse waffles for breakfast, have played 32 games, have cleaned house, read books, food prepped and I’m currently watching Solomon do pushups while Hudson yells, “Give me 60 pushups on your knuckles.”  We watched Karate Kid this weekend hence the 60 pushups on his knuckles.  I keep cracking up watching it all go down.

Sidenote:  It’s been a looooooooonnnnnnnggggg time since Josh Kelley and I have seen Karate Kid.  In the beginning it was almost unbearable to watch, but 20 minutes in and I was hooked.  So good…minus some new profanity we had to tell the kids was not okay to say.  Sheesh, doesn’t Daniel Son know it’s my job to accidentally introduce curse words to my children when I drop an entire jar of poppyseeds on the floor.  End sidenote.

Okay so a few housekeeping items I wanted to write about:

A. You guys, my site it currently all kinds of jacked up.  How long has it been like this?  Good question.  Who knows at this point, but my contact button is not working and it was just brought to my attention.  Also, some people’s email subscriptions have ceased…I don’t even know.  And I am not receiving notifications of comments which means I have to log in and then go and look up any comments to answer questions, etc.  All that to say, if you have tried sending me a message and I have not responded I promise I am not ignoring you…I never got the message.  I always answer emails…it may take me a few days because, well, life and a hubs and 5 kids and everything else, but I will answer your email.  I’m looking into getting everything fixed and maybe even a complete re-do after we get our newest little guy home…we’ll see.  In the meantime, if you need to contact me please just email me directly at pitterpatterart at gmail dot com

B.  Our Usborne Book Fundraiser is still going on.  Today Harper, Hudson, Solomon and I all went through the books and made our final selections.  We are getting several of their awesome activity books for our airplane ride to China.  On Thursday night Suzanne is going to be doing a live portion of the party on Facebook to show off some of their books and all week long she is sharing more information about the books, highlighting certain books and giving away free shipping for an order.  If you would like to be added to the FB group just leave your Facebook name in the comments section of this post, email me at pitterpatterart at gmail dot com or message me on FB and I will add you to the group.

You can also order at anytime by heading over to SuzanneSharesUsborneBooks.com and snagging some great books.  As you check out you will be prompted to “Select An Event.”  Choose “Kelley Adoption Fundraiser.”  And check out.  Crazy easy and our family will receive 25% of your purchase to go towards our adoption fund.  Please feel free to share this information with family and friends and strangers 🙂

And C.  I did want to report back that I finally used my Instant Pot and it was like magic.  Perfect white sticky rice in just 22 minutes.  Consider me impressed.  I used the rice to make my SIL’s traditional Chinese rice.  So yummy and I text her approximately 41 times while making it to let her know how it was going.  Everyone ate with chopsticks as well…we’re in practice/prep mode right now.  This week I’m making the fried rice again along with pork pot stickers.  Can’t believe we have another little boy with a story only God could write to call our son.  God is so good and I am the luckiest mama in the world.

That’s it.

Hope you’re enjoying this special holiday.  What a dream Martin Luther King Jr. shared with us all.  What an honor to remember and celebrate.  And how much more work there is still to be done.  Let’s get to it.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love with have the final word.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

4 Things

1.  Have you ever tried hot yoga?  I tried it for the first time recently and consider my mind blown and my body officially challenged.  It was so good and so hot and so hard, but all in the best kind of way.  I loved every second of it…even the hard as hell moments.  I was really nervous and intimidated to try because I’ve only done one yoga video ever, but I found out there was really nothing or anyone to be intimidated by.  Everyone in the class was in their own zone doing their own thing and there were all sorts of different people in the class too.  And the instructor Misty, sooooo good and kind.  The best.  I’m officially sold.  Locals if you’re looking for a class to try I totally recommend Misty’s classes.  You can check out her schedule HERE.

2.  Has anyone tried the 21 Day Fix app?  Lots of questions in this post today 🙂  I do not do diets.  I like food too much and that includes all foods, but I do love something that helps me keep my eating on target and in moderation.  I really loved the 21 day fix because it was more about making a long term change rather than a diet and there isn’t any food elimination.  It’s about eating real foods, moderation and exercising.  Ashley, Alissa and I are doing the workouts for all of January and then Ashley told me about the 21 Day Fix app.  You guys!!!!  It’s awesome and makes tracking your food so easy.  I have really loved using it and keeping up with what food I’m putting in my body.  I love the reminder of how many fruits, veggies, proteins, etc I need daily.  If you need a little something extra to help keep you accountable I totally recommend this app.

3.  Our Usborne Book Fundraiser is still going on.  Have you grabbed your books yet?  More questions.  We are seriously telling everyone.  I’ve put fliers in every teacher’s mailbox at our school, our sweet MDO sent home fliers to all the parents and we’re sharing like crazy on social media.  We would be so grateful if you’d help us spread the word.  This is such a fun and easy fundraiser.  To order just head over to SuzanneSharesUsborneBooks.com browse all the amazing books and make you selections.  As you check out you will be prompted to “Select An Event.”  Choose “Kelley Adoption Fundraiser.”  And check out.  That’s it.  Our family will receive 25% of your purchase to go towards our adoption fund.  Easy and awesome.  Tell everyone you know!!!!

And 4.  You may remember I used to Zumba…oh, those we’re the days.  Life got busy and I was unable to make it to classes, but I still keep in touch with our sweet instructor Janet.  Janet text me yesterday and said she wanted this little site and our sweet China boy to be the recipients of her January Zumba Party where locals help raise money for others.  And then I cried.  How kind and nice and thoughtful and generous and Janet never ceases to amaze me.  She made up fliers and everything.  We’re even wearing red and gold for Chinese New Year!!!!  So come join us for a sweaty dancing workout with Janet on Saturday, January 28 in Rivergate Mall from 4:30-6:30.  All money raised goes directly to help cover our adoption expenses.  Mark your calendars and check out all the details below.

This has been a good week.  Hard, but good.  God is faithful and mighty and I love meeting you guys again here in this space.  Thank you so much for reading and thank you even more for the prayers and encouragement.  Have an awesome weekend.

Happy Friday!

Beddys

We have three sets of bunkbeds in our house…1 set in Harper’s room for her and our littlest and then two sets in the boys’ room for all 4 boys.  I don’t know if you’ve ever changed the bedding on bunkbeds, but it’s pretty much an Olympic sport.  There’s also always sweating and cursing involved which never pairs well.

I’d seen some Beddy’s pictures floating around on the inter webs, read some honest reviews and after doing some research we decided to give them a try.  We’ve had them for about 6 months now and it’s true love.  Like for realz.

They are super comfortable and make changing bunkbed bedding way easier.  The boys can make their beds much faster as well.  I love how they have the soft mink fabric on they inside as well as a patterned sheet.  One of my nephew’s told me how comfortable our beds we’re after sleeping over one night.  It cracked me up hearing that from a 7-year-old.

You do have to wash and dry them individually, but I will say after all the washes the color is still good and everything still looks and feels great as well.  So far, so good.

I did not get them for the girls because I love their quilts and blankets they have on their beds.  The boys I went with a solid grey because that seemed easier to keep clean and pair with pillows, etc.  And full disclosure…I took all these photos right after we received them so that is why everything is so neat and tidy.  Right now their room probably resembles more of a tornado than these photos 🙂  Don’t be fooled.

Make sure you head over and check out Beddy’s for yourselves.  We have so enjoyed ours!!!!

You can find Beddys on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Happy Thursday.

Ethiopian Christmas 2017

Here’s what I love about traditions you can start them anytime you want and you get to make them your own.  Last year we celebrated our first Ethiopian Christmas with family.  We had such a fun time and our family loved doing it.  We loved celebrating this special holiday from Solomon and Amon’s homeland.  We loved diving into the rich Ethiopian culture and remembering where they come from….where their little lives began.

Last year we read up on Ethiopian Christmas and then kind of tweaked it to fit us.  For instance in Ethiopia families often begin the celebration at their place of worship or church, light candles and walk around the building worshipping and praying together.  Our family gathered at our house and lit candles while we prayed before our meal.  We’re making it our own and it feels really special and sweet.

Josh Kelley also wanted to do a coffee ceremony this year.  We ordered some Ethiopian unroasted coffee beans from HERE and he kept a fire going most of the day while roasting beans.  Later in the night after dinner we served everyone Ethiopian coffee, popcorn and dessert.

I really hope next year I can make a few dishes of Ethiopian food on my own, but this year we ordered again from GoJo Ethiopian Cafe & Restaurant and also bought some fun Ethiopian snacks from Brundo.  The beef jerky was amazing and actually never made it to the party 🙂  Our traditional dishes consisted of Miser W’et (lentils), Shiro W’et (chickpeas), Yebeg Alicha (lamb), Beef Tibs (beef), Minchet Abish Deqa (ground beef), Chicken Curry & Peas and lots of injera bread.   We also had Chickfila, veggies, fruit, fun candy treats, rice krispy treats and THIS CAKE but Solomon asked me to make it green, yellow and red like the Ethiopian flag.  Plus ice-cream.  We partied until almost 10 so everyone continued to munch on food and treats all night long.

And as always there we’re tall glass bottle sodas because we have such sweet memories tied up in these drinks from all our special times in Ethiopia and meeting our boys for the first time.

Coming together with our whole family was really special for us.  Coming together and celebrating how special God has knit our family together was crazy good for our hearts.  I know Solomon and Amon felt the extra love.

Never in a million years could I have imagined this family of ours.  So thankful God’s plans are always 10 times better and more amazing than we could ever dream up or fathom.  He is so good.

Tuesday

Randomness is my game today.

Hope you saw we kicked off a big book fundraiser yesterday.  If not, check it out HERE or just scroll down to the post below.  Super easy fundraiser…people order books and our family receives 25% of their purchase to go towards our adoption fund.  That’s it.  Check it out HERE and please help us spread the word.

Kelley kids all in a row fixing each other’s hair like Kevin from Home Alone…I die!!!

The cold is pretty much destroying us.  I wear layers upon layers all the time and Solomon lays in the fetal position over our heating vents…in his mesh shorts…because he just can’t give them up yet. Is it summer yet?!?!

Nesting.  We have been cleaning out almost every inch of our house.  Purging like there’s no tomorrow.  Our dude’s bed is ready and we made the sweetest book over on mpix to send him.  He feels like a dream…the best dream and we get the honor of being his parents and his family.  Goodness, how on earth did God think Josh Kelley and I were good enough for this wildly wonderful bunch of kiddos?!?!

I call this the ministry of the Kroger parking lot sky.  It gets me every time.

Josh Kelley likes to take the kids for walks on the weekend.  This one ended with them watching barges.  Texts with these little faces are the best.  Amon’s pose game = stellar!

New Year’s Eve we game partied.  It got wild with Sequence and Bananagram and pizza and yummy treats.  Adults gamed and kids gamed and it was the funnest of the fun.  Then Josh, Harper and I rang in the New Year’s together along with Mariah Carey, popcorn tossing, selfies, cocktails and dancing.  2017 is going to be a good one.

Amon had a recent wrestling/tripping toe injury.  It was pretty much like the end of the world aaaaand he’s apparently going to lose a toenail over the whole unfortunate/dramatic incident.  Oi vey.

This is her new pastime and it keeps her busy busy busy and I love love love it.  Rainbow messy watercolor paintings forever and ever.  Refrigerator art always.

We got to celebrate our sweet friend Jessica and her sweet baby girl this past weekend.  It was the best time and such a kind reminder of God’s love and mercy and redemption.  His goodness to us is too much.  The way He brings beauty from ashes…the way He makes everything beautiful in it’s time…He is simply wondrously good.

  And Exodus is still killing it.  I’m still moving at a snails pace, but this is life and chaotic is my middle name and I’m just doing my thing.  I threw out all the rules and judgement on myself long ago because it’s too much to carry.  Every time I sit down with this book God sits down right in front of me.  He is absolutely with us.  And that is overwhelmingly beautiful and humbling.  He’s literally with us.  I hope I never get over His with-ness.  I hope it always moves me into tears and tender moments.

I’m really trying to get back on my regular scheduled blogging because this space makes me smile and I like writing no matter how much non-sense and craziness there is in my words.  I like being here.  And I like you.  Your emails and comments and kindness make my day and I think you are truly truly kind.  Thank you for reading.

Happy Tuesday!

Books, Books, Books! {A Fundraiser}

We are closing in on traveling soon to bring our newest little guy home.  We’ve given all our travel plans to our agency, passports are ready to go, we’ve cleared our big kids with school and we’re starting to gather things our boy will need.

We are getting closer and closer to finishing up our fundraising.  I’ll be honest in the fact that I let myself stress out about money the other night which is really not me.  I know God provides and I’ve seen Him do it all my life.  I typically have a good handle on letting this knowledge ride out, but I let myself get in the way and I let thoughts of traveling and heart surgeries and needing a new van and ummmmm, I just don’t think we can pull it off.  Then God sent little reminders all week that yes in fact we cannot pull this off, but He can.  He makes sense of things that clearly don’t.  He’s in the business of the impossible and we get the honor of trusting and letting go.

“Your love has called my name.  What did I have to fear?  What do I have to fear?”

We’ve got minimal time and just a few more fundraising options to throw out into the world.  Up first, books.  I’m kind of weird about toys because we have a small house and space is limited big time, but books have always been a go.  If there’s a book fair at school, I’m in.  When a teacher sends home a book order form, sure thing.  Library trips forever.  Books for everyone.  It’s kind of a sad day when I realize kids have outgrown certain books, but then it’s super nice to be able to pass those along to someone else.

A sweet new friend contacted me about doing an Usborne book fundraiser and it peeked my interest immediately.  We let some time go by and it actually ended up being for the best because at the start of January Usborne released 100+ new titles.  I spent yesterday pursuing the books and reading about new titles.  Every kid was over my shoulder asking repeatedly “Are we getting that one?  What about that one?  Ooooh, that one.”  They all look crazy good and I love they have books for all different ages and different stages of readers plus their super wide variety of topics and interests.

I really love an easy fundraiser and this is one of those.  Here’s how it works:

Head over to my kind friend Suzanne’s book link:

SuzanneSharesUsborneBooks.com

Browse all the amazing books and make you selections.

As you check out you will be prompted to “Select An Event.”

Choose “Kelley Adoption Fundraiser.”

And check out.  The end.

Super super easy and Suzanne is generously donating her entire 25% to our family.  That’s so generous and thoughtful and kind.  We are incredible grateful to say the least.  You can order books from now until January 19th at midnight.

Let me take a second and say I can never ever ever say how overwhelmed and so appreciative we are of all the different people and businesses who have volunteered themselves, their business and their funds for our family.  It’s insane!!!!!  It blows us away and it is simply Jesus doing His thing through His people.  We are so so grateful to be on the receiving end of this immense generosity.

So please please please feel free to share with everyone you know.  This is a great fundraiser for moms, dads, grandparents, people in need of a kid gift, teachers, homeschooling families, librarians, etc.  We’re super excited about our selections and can’t wait to dive into some new reads.

And thank you Suzanne!!!!  You’re the bomb-diggity.

Happy Monday.