Friday, December 7, 2012

It's been a while! - Reece's Rainbow Baby Shower Update

Sorry it's been a while since I've blogged! I've been very busy preparing for Christmas and also for Kaisa's arrival. Only a few weeks left!

I thought I'd give an update on my highly successful baby shower last month! I was worried that not many people would be able to make it on such short notice, but the party was hoppin'! I don't think another body would have fit in my friend Laura's house! Not comfortably at least. Three lovely ladies who are very special to me, Laura, Sara and Talia, worked together to make Kaisa's baby shower truly special. It was amazing to me how you 3, and everyone else who participated, were able to not only celebrate Kaisa's life, and make me feel oh so loved, but also bless 2 little orphans in the process! I'd call that a success, wouldn't you?! Before the shower Marnie's adoption grant on Reece's Rainbow read $306. After we sent in all your donations (along with online donations sent in) her grant read $437.50! Before the shower Samuel's adoption grant stood at $157. Afterward he now has $306.50! I find that completely amazing, and I am so thankful to all of you who were able to give. Look at how God took a small group of people and multiplied their pennies to bless these two precious ones. It never fails to amaze me how God does that! We often think we have so little to give, what is the point? But I think we are actually missing the point entirely. God actually calls believers to give generously to those in need, to defend the cause of the widow and the orphan, to embrace the little children and not hinder them... and even if we have very little in the way of money to give, God can use it! He can multiply it! Just like Jesus did with the loaves and fishes:

Matthew 14:14-21

14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

This same story is retold in John 6, and there it says the loaves and fishes were a small boys lunch, but he gladly handed it over to the disciples. One child gave sacrificially and Jesus used his gift to bless more than 5,000 people. And had 12 baskets of leftovers! I think we could all do well to remember that God takes our small gifts, and multiplies them. This also brings to mind these verses:

Mark 12:41-44
41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.[a] 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

The Lord knows our circumstances, He knows whether we give out of plenty or out of poverty, and he blesses our gifts, donations, and tithes accordingly.

All that to say that I am so grateful for the generosity of all of you! You showed the love and generous spirit of Christ to me and to the "least of these", my sweet prayer warrior kiddos, Marnie and Samuel. Thank you all!

Please also continue to pray for them to find a family soon! The fact that they will spend another Christmas in an orphanage is heart breaking. I pray that by next Christmas they will be home with their forever families! For those who would like to see their beautiful faces again and read their profiles, here are their links:

And for fun here are a few pictures from the shower! These are all from my sister in law Talia, I didn't take any myself. If any of you have cute pictures from the shower on your camera or phone, please share!

[caption id="attachment_105" align="aligncenter" width="610"]Me after a shower game, where someone would say something about how we met, or something nice about me and then decorate me with a sticker or bow. :) Me after a shower game, where someone would say something about how we met, or something nice about me and then decorate me with a sticker or bow. :)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_106" align="aligncenter" width="610"]Another fun shower game where you have to draw a picture of a baby on a paper plate that is on top of your head! Another fun shower game where you have to draw a picture of a baby on a paper plate that is on top of your head![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_107" align="aligncenter" width="610"]My awesome sister in law and mother in law playing the paper plate game. My awesome sister in law and mother in law playing the paper plate game.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_108" align="aligncenter" width="610"]Debbie's (Mother in law) plate on the left. Talia's (sister in law) on right. Hehe. Debbie's (Mother in law) plate on the left. Talia's (sister in law) on right. Hehe.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_109" align="aligncenter" width="610"]Cana thoroughly enjoying her cupcake. Apparently she had 3. Cana thoroughly enjoying her cupcake. Apparently she had 3.[/caption]

My favorite keepsake from the shower:

[caption id="attachment_110" align="aligncenter" width="610"]Filled out with help from Aunt Talia. I will keep this forever! Filled out with help from Aunt Talia. I will keep this forever![/caption]

Several other guests filled out wishes for Kaisa, and I cried when I read them. They are all so sweet and beautiful. We will treasure them always! Thank you everyone!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baby Shower! Anyone and Everyone can Participate! - Reece's Rainbow Cuties

This Sunday is Kaisa's baby shower. But it won't be your typical shower. I wanted to do something different, something special... and at the same time, I felt guilty about having a baby shower at all seeing as how this is my 4th child, and we really don't need anything for her! But my lovely friends Laura and Sara conspired to throw me a shower anyway. At first they suggested making it a Pamper Party for me since Kaisa didn't need anything. That was a very thoughtful suggestion, but I didn't really feel right about that either. Then I had a thought. What if we could celebrate Kaisa, AND do something good for someone in need? And I knew just the 2 little people I wanted to help out. You see, in September, Cana and I became prayer warriors through Reece's Rainbow for 2 orphans halfway across the world who have Down Syndrome. Caden and Ovalyn. We committed to pray for them every night, and every night we did pray. We put up a picture of their sweet faces on our wall map, and they would come up in conversation from time to time. Cana was particularly fond of little Ovalyn and asked more than once if we could bring her home. She's such a sweet girl.

So, my thought was that in lieu of gifts, a donation be made to Caden or Ovalyn's adoption grants on Reece's Rainbow. Yesterday however, I checked on both Caden and Ovalyn's links and neither were working. I didn't know what to think, so I hurriedly sent off a few messages to the wonderful folks at Reece's Rainbow and very quickly got a response that unfortunately the region that they are living in has recently closed to American adoptions, and therefore they no longer have open files, and there is no way to donate to their adoption grants. My heart sank. Not only because of my upcoming baby shower plans, but mostly because of those two sweet little faces that Cana and I have grown so attached to, and all of the other orphans living in their region. No longer accepting American adoption will drastically reduce the chance that they will be adopted. Which just makes my heart hurt for them. I can only console myself that our Father in Heaven knows them and loves them, much more than I do. I continue to pray that they find a forever family, even though, now I will likely never know their outcome. Here are their little faces. Please pray for them?



And so, even though I can obviously continue to pray for them, I was set up with new prayer warrior kids whose profiles are active and I can check in on them and donate to their adoption grants. Though I am sad that I cannot bless Caden and Ovalyn in a tangible way now, I am glad to be set up with two new precious little ones through the Prayer Warrior program on Reece's Rainbow, and I hope and pray that this baby shower can in some small way, bless them and spread awareness to the plight of the orphan. Now, I am happy to introduce you to Marnie, and Samuel!



Aren't they precious? Little Marnie was born the same month and year as Cana. Please visit their profiles here to learn more about them:

These little children, who are so treasured in the eyes of God, are orphans because they were born with an extra chromosome. They deserve a loving family, just as much as my own children do, and it pains me to think of them spending most of their time in an orphanage crib, getting the bare minimum for survival, simply because they have a tiny extra chromosome. A little something special.

Friends and family, near and far, please consider these sweet faces. If you are so inclined, would you consider praying for them? Sending a tax deductible donation to their adoption grants on Reece's Rainbow? Spread the word about them, advocate for them? Know anyone interested in adoption? Perhaps you have a little extra room in your home and heart? Every prayer and penny counts. Anyone can easily participate in my baby shower by doing one of these things for little Marnie and Samuel. Donations can be made online, or sent in via check. Pray for them, or share their links on your Facebook or blog anytime! It would mean so much to me if my friends and family would take a moment and bless one or both of these little treasures. Kaisa and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts! :)

And just a last word on the baby shower. My local family and friends who were to be invited were supposed to be receiving invitations in the mail, but because of some planning mix-ups they were not sent. I am trying to fill in as many as possible through Facebook messages and texts. I fear very few will be able to attend the actual shower in person because of the short notice, but the great thing about this baby shower is that you can participate from near or far! :)

Edited to add:
Marnie also has an Angel Tree Warrior! That means if anyone wants to make a donation of $35 or more to Marnie, you can follow this link and get an Angel Tree ornament.

Just click the link and scroll down the the section that says "$100-$499 Raised" (so far her Angel Tree warrior has raised $306 for Marnie!), Find little Marnie's face and hover over the donate button just below her name. A box will pop up that says, "Buy Ornament $35" or "Just Donate".

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall is in the Air!

Yes, it's officially Fall! It took a little bit for the weather to change over here in Oregon, but being Oregon, it is finally living up to it's reputation and raining tons. These are some pictures of the kids enjoying the falling leaves. I actually took these pictures October 2nd, before it started to cool down much. Cana, Loyal and Judah scooped up a bunch of leaves, dumped them into the plastic kiddie pool and started rolling around in them. They had a blast!

I absolutely love how something so simple can bring so much joy to children! Couldn't we all benefit by taking a cue from them? There is so much to enjoy in this world for little to no cost!

So Fall has finally arrived, but what's even more exciting is the arrival of a precious little bundle of cuteness! My brother and his wife welcomed their first child early this October, a beautiful baby boy whom they named Finley. Finley is my very first nephew and my kids first cousin! So it has been a super exciting time in our family and we are all so thankful for him. Here are a few cell phone pics I've snapped of him when we've been to visit.

[caption id="attachment_85" align="aligncenter" width="764"] Uncle Josh, meeting his nephew for the first time (while also wearing Judah on his back, lol).[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_86" align="aligncenter" width="764"] Close up. Isn't he precious?![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_87" align="aligncenter" width="764"] My brother letting the big kids get a good look.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_88" align="aligncenter" width="764"] After they came home we went to visit and Cana got to hold him for the first time. She was in love right away.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_89" align="aligncenter" width="764"] Finley was so sweet examining his big cousin. I think they will be fast friends.[/caption]

That's all for now! Hope you enjoyed the photo update!





Monday, October 15, 2012

Wave of Light

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. All across the globe today, families who have been touched by the loss of a little life, before or after birth, are remembering their missing babies by lighting a candle at 7pm. If you leave the candle lit for at least an hour, there will be a continuous wave of light across the whole Earth in all time zones. It's a simple way to remember the precious ones we never got to hold, or who we only got to hold a short time. Are you participating? Today we remember Emory and Shiloh who find rest in our heavenly Father's arms. Shiloh's due date would have been in just 10 days, on October 25th. Who are you remembering? I would love it if you left a comment with your little one's name. I think in the midst of grief it's important to also celebrate the lives of our "angel babies", however short those lives may have been. They are still a perfectly unique, beautiful individual who's existence deserves remembrance and celebration.

I remember when I was first dealing with the emotional and physical pain of losing Shiloh, I felt bitter, wondering, "If I was going to miscarry, why did I have to even get pregnant at all? I would rather have not gotten pregnant in the first place, and then I wouldn't have to feel this way." But through the grieving process, and through God's healing my heart I came to a realization that that was the wrong attitude. Even though it hurt so much to say goodbye so early, I don't regret their existence. Even though I didn't get to hold them, I know someday I will. To wish them away, wish that they had never been conceived, would be to underestimate the value of their eternal souls, and to underestimate how deeply their lives touched our hearts forever. Their lives have purpose. However short, life has purpose!

I also want to give a shout out to the families who were in the process of adoption and lost their children before they were able to bring them home. In my mind their loss is just as real and painful as mine, and my heart goes out to them.

So tonight, we light a candle. Will you? Tonight I am praying for those who have experienced this sort of loss. Leave a comment and I would be happy to pray for you as well. I pray that the peace of Christ will rule in your hearts.


6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

(image credit to Startpage search engine)

Monday, October 1, 2012


It's October! Where on Earth did September go?! Well, out with the old and in with the new. With October comes a need for awareness. October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Whew! That's kind of a big deal! So over the course of the next month, I will be sharing information about both. I will still post family updates as well. So first off, a little information about how Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was started. Here is a word from our former president Ronald Reagan:

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the U.S. end in miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of the newborn child. National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members on work to prevent causes of these problems.

Health care professionals recognize that trends of recent years, such as smaller family size and postponement of childbearing, adds another dimension of poignancy to the grief of parents who have lost infants. More than 700 local, national and international support groups are supplying programs and strategies designed to help parents cope with their loss. Parents who have suffered their own losses, health care professionals and specially trained hospital staff members are helping newly bereaved parents deal constructively with loss...

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 314, has designated the month of October, as "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.

NOW, THEREFORE, I RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Ronald Reagan
Former President
United States of America

(information found at

Thank you Ronald Reagan for recognizing this need and helping to bring awareness to it. Our family has experienced the pain of miscarriage. Just before we conceived Judah we lost a baby, whom we named Emory. And again, just a couple months before conceiving Kaisa (whom I'm still pregnant with, she is due January 2nd), we had another loss. We named that baby Shiloh because it means "peace". Ironically, Shiloh's due date would have been this October 25th. So Pregnancy and Infant Awareness Month this year is timely for us. We have grieved for the loss of our children that we never got to meet, but rejoice in the comforting knowledge that they are awaiting us in Heaven, enjoying the love of our Savior, who we know cares deeply for the little children.

Matthew 19:14 (ESV)

14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

So the tears we have wept were not for Emory or Shiloh. They were for ourselves, for having missed out on the opportunity to know them in this life. But there will come a time for embracing them.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

A time for peace...

And since it is also the beginning of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I leave you with this:

(image credit to Google)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

God Gave Me You

Last weekend my awesome husband Josh and I spent 2 blissful nights at the beach, sans kids, to celebrate our anniversary. We've now been married for 8 years! And having dated for about 5 years prior to that, we have been together for 13 years! Whew, what a ride it's been so far! We've certainly been through ups and downs as any marriage does, and happily, we are at a wonderful place in life right now. God has used all of the challenges, struggles and valleys to shape us and teach us, and most importantly, to draw us nearer to Him.

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

We sent the kiddos off the their grandparents'. Judah spent the weekend with Josh's mom for some special one on one time, and our older 2, Cana and Loyal, spent their time with my parents. They were all spoiled and doted on and I do believe that they had as much fun as we did! Hopefully the grandparents had some fun too. While the kids were blowing bubbles and making forts and creating special memories with their grandma's and grandpa, Josh and I luxuriated in the quiet! We relaxed, walked the beach everyday, took an uninterrupted nap, ate good food, and did some leisurely shopping, of course picking up a trinket for each child, and goodies for the helpful grand-folk. It was nothing fancy, but it was exactly what we needed. God has brought us to such a wonderful place in our relationship, a place of closeness, understanding, fellowship, and deepened love. I see God still shaping us, individually and as one. I can't wait to see where God leads us from here on out! Here we are married 8 years and we are awaiting the birth of our 4th child. A surprise pregnancy at that, when we thought it was impossible for us to have such surprises due to my fertility issues. We are so thankful and blessed! I know God has more in store for us, and I look forward to discovering what it is. May we step out in faith wherever He leads us.

Psalm 26:2-3 (ESV)

2 Prove me, oh Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. 3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.

I heard this song today and it made me think of you Josh. (And how appropriate that the music video was shot at the beach!)


"God gave me you for the ups and downs. God gave me you for the days of doubt. On my own I'm only half of what I could be, I can't do without you."

And now for a few pictures that Josh took while we were at the beach:

[caption id="attachment_54" align="aligncenter" width="610"] The obligatory self portrait. It was bright. :)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_55" align="aligncenter" width="764"] 25 1/2 weeks pregnant here.[/caption]

Happy Anniversary Josh. I love you more than you can know.






Friday, September 28, 2012

Nature Exploration

My kids enjoy exploring nature, and I am continually impressed with what they discover in our own backyard! When rummaging around in the raspberry patch, scavenging for the last few berries of the season, Loyal discovered a large slug (he is always finding slugs!) and Cana found a snail! I've never seen a snail that large that wasn't contained in an aquarium of some sort! They corralled them into the kiddie pool and spent a long time observing them. Cana even drew them in her nature journal. Here are a few pictures of our little morning adventure in the backyard.

[caption id="attachment_38" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Contemplative[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_39" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Curious[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_40" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Judah brought a snack along for the show.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_41" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Ah, the simple wonder of childhood discovery.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_42" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] I must confess, I was pretty impressed with the snail myself![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_43" align="aligncenter" width="764"] On the move.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_44" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Up close and personal.[/caption]

My kids are never bored in our modest backyard. God's creation abounds! Thank you for the visit slithering creatures!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kindergarten! Homeschool style.

We are a few weeks into Cana's kindergarten year. We loosely did some homeschool stuff last year, but this year we are taking it more seriously since she is officially Kindergarten age. Cana loves doing school and is overall doing really really well, we are so proud of her! Here she is on her first official day of Kindergarten, in a special first day of school outfit picked out by none other than Cana herself. Here she displays her nature observation drawing of the day.


We did a special first day of school activity for all the kiddos. I got plain t-shirts at the dollar store and discounted fabric markers at Tuesday morning and let the kids go to town!


More to come soon!

Monday, September 17, 2012



This is us! The Parents; Josh and Chelsea. And the kiddos; Judah, Loyal and Cana.