Trees of Glory Update!

The entire amount for the Livestock/Barn Fundraiser for Trees of Glory has been raised.  Thank you to everyone who donated to such a great cause.  The money has been wired to Ethiopia so the land is safe. I look forward to posting pictures of the progress as it is made and follow God's plan for the staff and children.

Thank you Jessica and Nick for doing such a great job heading the fundraiser up.  And a special thank you to the bloggers who posted links for this cause.

And because I like to add a picture to my posts, meet Mitiku.

He is a full orphan that found his way to Trees of Glory and the director has taken him in.  My niece's (Jessica) husband's (Nick) parents have become his sponsor family.  I think that makes him my great nephew now.  I love how my family continues to grow.   Check out this story of God's Timing and Plan. 
This will be my Wordless Wednesday Picture. 
(Except with words)

Have a blessed day.


Valentine Giveaway

One of my favorite artists, Johanna Parker, is having a Double Heart Giveaway.  Visit Johanna for your chance to win the adorable pair above.


A Barn, 5 Cows and Lots of Diapers

I thought I would post about two worthy causes.

First, I've been helping my niece,  Jessica, who is heading up a fund raiser for Trees of Glory to raise money for a barn and cows (as you may remember the "Christmas Trees of Glory" fundraiser).   It was very successful and thanks again for all of you who generously gave.  The goal is 5600.00 and in just a few weeks time all was  raised  except 270.00.     We are having a final push to hit the goal so that the land will be safe. 

To make a donation, go to http://www.hopechest.org/ (from the home page, click on the orange GIVE button on the far right side at the top of the page)

Under "Gift Information," click on "choose a fund" and select "designated gifts"

Then write in your gift amount .

Then (this is the important part) under the "notes field" be sure to add in the Trees of Glory Livestock Fund code which is "ET2119000 LIVESTOCK."

Finally, add in your info and follow the prompts to complete your donation.

Once you complete your donation, send me an email at jirvin79@gmail.com with your donation amount so that we can make sure that your donations went to the correct fund.

There is no amount too small.

Second, I wanted to pass along a fundraiser from Kristi (a blogger who is such an inspiration to me).  She is asking for donations of  new or used cloth diapers.  The babies at the orphanages literally have no diapers and go all over themselves.  It would be so great to cover their little bottoms.  Please go to her blog and read about it. 

Thanks for taking the time to read about the two causes I'm highlighting for January.  Have a blessed day.


Thoughtful Thursday

I've decided to try a few new weekly posts to my blog (you can get some great ideas blog hopping).   One of those being Thoughtful Thursday.  This one in particular so that in the years to come when I look back, I'll remember what I was thinking about at this time in my life.   Like the journal I say I'll begin every new year and never quite get past  January 4th.

 Though today's words are not my original thoughts, they speak to how my heart feels when I have my grandkids around.  And, since I just had 5 days with grandkids .......

Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap.

- Doug Larson



Makenzie and Brody (two of my grandkids)  were in town for a visit.  Oh, and their parents came along for the ride.  We had such a great visit.  They left me with wonderful memories and a cold.  (The cold was so worth it though). 

                                                                 Dylan and Makenzie 
                                                           (Can you tell they're cousins)


                           Brody is the sweetest baby and always has a smile.

Makenzie's new "pet" turtle (formely known as our lawn ornament),  that she
 named Shirley Shelley Emerick.

                                     Makenzie asked Poppy to "take an action shot".  lol

         And this is Makenzie when she realized Daddy was loading up the car to head home.

         I miss them already.  Already looking forward to my next trip to Illinois in the next month.



M.L.K. Day

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”   Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wise words.


Dreaming of a snow day

I have to admit I'd  really love to have a snow day.  The chances of that happening in Orlando don't look good.  I've been visiting a few blogs that I really enjoy and have vicariously been enjoying the snow through their beautiful pictures and funny video clips.  If your dreaming of the white stuff, take a look.



Someone  in my office just told me that on this day, January 11, 2011, Florida is the only state  (in the 48) with no snow on the ground.  I've got to rethink why it is  I live here. 

                                                 I would love for this to be my new home.

                                                                 (For today anyway)

For all of you lucky ones who get to enjoy a few days of white winter bliss, have fun.



                                                      The beginning of a new year......
                                                    The beginning of a new decade......

The beginning of a new kind of life (I mentioned before, my husband medically retired).

In a time when things should be winding down, I'm feeling restless.  A new calling.... A new purpose.....

Let me find the time to look in the eyes and listen (I mean really listen and not listen while
I'm going over a list in my head) to my husband, kids, grandkids, family and friends.

Let me always assume the best and never the worst at first glance......

Let me be generous in volunteering my resources and especially my time to what breaks
Jesus' heart and never let me want anything in return.

Let me be kind  and forgiving to an unkind and unforgivable person.  You never know
what is happening in their life.

Let me spend  time with my loved ones so that they will always know how much they
 mean to me.  Please let me remember to always tell them in words.

Let me be a good example.

Let me be able to discern what God desires for my life and not what I think he
desires (or want him to desire) for my life.  This is especially important as I have a
desire that doesn't seem to be going the way I have prayed for.  If this is not for me,
let me accept it gracefully and open my heart to what I should be doing.

Let me be diligent in my prayers for Dege.  Let me do all I can to help him
(and the other children at Trees of  Glory) with their needs, but more importantly,
let me help them to know that they are special and loved.

Let me spoil my grandkids and nieces and nephews with time instead of by material
 things ( this is a hard one).
Let me do what I can to change the life of someone in need.

"To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world."-Heather Cortez


Debt And Children

Today I was visiting different blogs when I came across a sweet blog.  It began with a saying that really hit home as to how I have been feeling over this past year:

The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing. But in our culture, we apply for a curse and reject blessings. Something is wrong with this picture. - Doug Phillips


Happy New Year!

I've been reflecting the past few days on 2010.  Did I accomplish any of my New Year's resolutions?  That would be a big "NO".  I am one of "those" people who makes  many New Year's resolutions every year and I don't typically keep any of them.    But looking back on this past year I realize there were changes in my life.  First, our family grew:  a new grandson (4 grandkids now, yeah), two new great-nieces by way of adoption and two new great-nephews.   We became involved with "Trees of Glory" by having a sponsor child,  Dege.

Then there was the life  adjusting changes:  my husband medically retired the beginning of December.    I also became a blogger this year  quite by accident.   I had never even been on a blog when my niece started a blog to document her journey through adoption and as I followed it (and others) I just knew it was for me.  I'm not very good at it but I do love it.  I  grew in my Christian faith and developed a servant's heart for orphans and widows.  None of these were my resolutions but all of these were great blessings.

This year I think I'll do something different.  I will just resolve to be the best "me" that I can be.   Instead of saying resolutions, I'm  saying a prayer.  God, Please help me find the strength to resolve to be a better Christian, servant, wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, aunt, sister, friend and neighbor.  Show me the way Lord.

Happy New Year!