Monday, June 29, 2009

Something Beautiful

463 Days
1 year, 3 months and 6 days,
For this moment.
The moment I look at Xia...
I know.
I feel.
She's my daughter.
Something beautiful happened today.
That cannot be explained.
It's too precious
too big.
to fit in a
Beautifully real.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So Good!

Trust me-It's amazing!
Fresh-Non greasy.

The kids love to make this.

You need a basic dough recipe to start...or if you're lucky enough to live in Columbia-Go to Shakespeare's Pizza and buy dough for a buck. Just don't use store bought pizza dough. Make it from scratch or go to your local pizza shop and buy a dough ball.

Roll it out to about 6 -8 inches or however thick/thin you desire.
spread garlic oil with fresh herbs on one side. Like rosemary, Thyme, basil, garlic etc...

Put on HOT grill for about 3 min.

remove. On grilled side spread a little pizza sauce or fresh crushed tomatoes from garden(not too much) then layer with whatever you want. Final ingredient CHEESE. Whatever works. Provolone, pepperjack, mozzarella.

Put back on grill for a few minutes.


Sunday, June 21, 2009


We celebrated the twins 3rd Birthday. Last year we were all so sick we just kind of skipped their birthday. This year we postponed it 2 weeks until Grandma was out of the hospital. We had a wonderful day. The pool was finally cleaned today. We swam. Grilled pizza. Opened presents and ate cake.

They were so cute opening presents. For days they would ask, "My Birthday?"
They were so excited!

I grilled homemade pizza. Yeah, I know grilling pizza sounds weird, but trust me...
Delicious and fresh!

Diezel LOVES anything to do with cars!

I love this picture Faith drew on Xia's wrapping paper.
So Sweet!
I can't begin to tell you how much I had to hold back my tears as I watched Xia Beaming in her princess dress! Her face glowed!

Diezel and his truck!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Savoring This Moment....

Adam and Faith are on their way to a Father/Daughter dance.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trying to Prepare

Did I tell you all...I'm going on a 6 day backpack trip through the San Juan Mountains in Colorado with a bunch of women I haven't met?
Yeah, well I am...
I'm trying to prepare.
If you can really prepare for such a thing.
Apparently you can't wear anything that is cotton...
That's my whole wardrobe.
if I wipe myself I have to pack it out.
I need to break in my boots.
Did I mention..
I'm pretty much a flip flop girl.
Hiking boots. For 6 days.
My feet are gasping for air as I type this.
In case I haven't told you....
I'm not in the best shape.
My backpack will weigh 1/3 of me.
No kids.
No internet.
No phones.
No bed.
Only the great outdoors.
12 strangers.
37 miles.
I'm preparing to meet my Creator.
In a very real way.
Without distractions.
In HIS creation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Overcoming the Inner Tyrant- or Go Home Kitty

I noticed yesterday that I am saying, "NO" way more than yes. Somehow with the increased number of kids and my insatiable appetite for "control"-I've turned into a "NO" saying tyrant.

So what's a mom to do who finds herself in this situation?

Take her kids on a puddle jumping, mud splashing adventure.

There was only one problem. On our trek to find the yuckiest puddles ever, we noticed we were being followed. About 1/2 mile down the road we heard a loud, "MEOW". We turned to see our loyal kitty Prince braving the elements with us.

After several, "GO HOME KITTY" shouts- It was decided that a rescue mission was in order and the kitty was escorted safely back to the house.

Then this determined not to be the, "NO" saying tyrant mom and her three toddlers went on another adventure in the not so raging creek behind our house .
And then finally the night ended with a very friendly food fight.

But I only have pictures of our "GO HOME KITTY" adventure.

Stay tuned as this overwhelmed mother of 6 goes from being the, "NO" saying tyrant to
The sometimes- "YES"-saying mom that doesn't always weigh how much of a mess is this going to create that I will have to it clean up type mom.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


4 days left.
To help make a difference.
In this family's life.
maybe even win a keepsake or two.
To remember that your $10.

Enter here
Raffle to benefit Josiah's family

Friday, June 12, 2009

Can You Tell Me What This Is?

Xia has pus filled pimple looking things on part of her scalp. I did box braids a couple of days ago, but just now noticed. Before the box braids she had "free" hair for two weeks. Her hair has been incredibly dry lately-So I oiled it really good before I braided her hair. Do you think it's an infection or did I use too much oil to compensate for the dryness. Her head seems itchy as well.....

Any advice?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lost and Found

A few days ago I put a plea out on Facebook for the return of Momo; Diezel's trusted stuffed monkey. He Lost him over 4 days ago. It's one thing for any child to lose a precious "lovey" (the name we call their special things), but for your adopted child, it really is unimaginable. Diezel's Momo was his first toy. His first possesion. His first friend and yes his first attachment. Before he started seeking me out for comfort, he would often turn to Momo. Momo stayed with him in the hospital. Momo stayed with him through all the tests that poked his little non-understanding body. Momo stayed by his side. Momo was my sign that Diezel could love. That Diezel did desire affection. Momo became much more than a stuffed monkey-To me and Diezel that little furry lovey became hope.

Here's the facebook "ad" we published with help from the rest of the family-

Lost: One best friend. Goes by the name of "MOMO". Description:a very worn out, but loved stuffed monkey that was carried everywhere by a sweet little boy from Africa who found his home here in America with us. MOMO has been a constant companion and has even selflessly stayed many nights in a hospital bed comforting the sweet little boy from Africa. If found please contact Diezel-ASAP.

I know this may sound extrememly corny, but I believe because of the people that prayed over such a "silly" request that Momo was found.
He was found safe and sound by our hero-Diezel's daddy!

It was such a sweet reunion.
I am happy to report that Diezel did hug me after Momo was found. Lesson: Never underestimate the power of prayer and the joy that a little monkey can bring.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


We have a tornado watch effective until 1:00am. So does the county where my girls are staying at camp. Please pray for my sweet Faith-She is terrified of storms and for McKayley who often shoulders her sister's worry.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Are You Ready For This....

Because of all of you...working tirelessly, raising awareness, swapping things out, giving luxuries up, and donating YOUR spare change...
Feed the Forgotten
$15,458 raised so far! ($345 toward the $2500 matching)
that's 110,414 meals or 5,521 people fed for 20 days!

Do you understand what this means?
Do you fully get it?

Over 3 full villages will be fed. A mother will not have to look at her child and say, "No, honey, you won't get to eat tonight".

Because of your selfless act -People WILL live!!!!!!!!
Because you chose to collect your change, swap out a cup of coffee, eat rice for dinner, fast, take money from a travel budget- A mother will get to say, "yes, honey you WILL get to eat to tonight!"

Really. Take a moment. Think about this. Meditate on what God has done.

And it's not over yet!

Children's Hopechest
, and the always ready to tackle a challenge Brandi and hopefully YOU
Are wanting to feed not only 3 more villages but an AIDS Hospice Center to feed the children there.

The definition of Hospice
Definition: A model of care that focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice involves an interdisciplinary approach to provide medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support. The emphasis is on comfort, not curing. It can be provided in the patients home as well as freestanding hospice facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Also Known As: Hospice Care, Palliative Care, End-of-Life Care

These children have no cure, have no hope other than the love of the God you love, the God you worship.

The meal you provide in HIS name-
Brings the kind of hope you know. The everlasting hope. Hope that is freely given in HIS name.

Matthew 10:8
"Freely you have received, freely give."

This camp thing is hard. I miss my girls. 4 days left until I see them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Winner!!!!!And Another Chance!!!

My extremely high tech way of deciding the winner.
Your names got placed into the brown paper sack (1 entry for every $10.)
Then my incredibly talented son reached into the bag and chose a winner.
Before I announce the winner-I would like the wonderful ladies that participated to know how much I appreciate you.
I'm personally donating another $10. with each of your names on it for another chance to win the raffle for 7 different items on this awesome mom's blog that is also trying to raise money for Josiah. So even if you didn't win this raffle-You are still in the running for even more great prizes.
What's the catch?
Nothing really...
Maybe you could just spread the word about Josiah. Pray for him, his family and if you feel led post about the other raffle on your blog.

And now without further announcements.......

Congratulations Jenny!!!

Here are the amazing ladies who will be entered into the raffle on My Cup Overfloweth

Not Too Late!

Only a few hours left until the raffle of this bag is officially over.

If this is your first time reading about this-

An entry of just $10.00 enters you in a chance to win an original David and Sheku bag. All money then benefits Josiah and his family.

You can read his family here.

Another passionate momma is having a raffle on her blog as well.
You really should check it out. There are 7 different items and just one $10.00 gets you a chance to win each one!!!! So cool.

Her blog is My Cup Overfloweth.

*as a reminder* This bag is a little off centered in it's sewing-that just makes it even more original:) Also-This bag has never been used.

The list of raffle participants so far:
Ginny (3) chances
Jenny (2) chances
Candace(3) chances
Becky (2) chances.
Kari (2) chances
Please let me know if I'm missing anyone.
It's not too late to enter!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Best Friends Forever

Their first camp. Their first time leaving home. Last night the three of us stayed awake in bed with that weird feeling in our bellies. You know the one-A combo of an ache and flurries. I think I was more nervous than them.

when they stepped out of the van I watched them walk hand in hand. I took a deep breath. I knew they would be just fine without me. They had each other. They are best friends. They are sisters.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Raffle

Do you want to own an authentic David and Sheku bag for only $10.00?

It was purchased to help support an amazing cause. You can read all about David and Sheku on Jody's blog. *BTW*If you don't know Jody you should;)

It's a beautiful bag. I love it! So then why on earth am I selling it?
For this beautiful boy and his family.
Please note*****It's only the bag that my beautiful daughter is modeling that is being raffled for $10.00*****

If you read my blog then you have read about this family. Long story short- Josiah is fighting something that they don't know what it is yet. At first they thought it was cancer-He has been receiving blood transfusions. His mom is due any day to give birth to her 5th child. His dad has lost his union job due to the economy. They are truly living one of my worst fears. But they are doing so with grace and glorifying God with their faithfulness in wanting to serve HIM. I encourage you to go and read her blog. They are trying to pull together enough funds to bank her yet to be born, but coming any day baby's cord blood. I'm not exactly sure how the whole cord blood thing works, but I know and the doctors know that it could potentially save Josiah's life. This family is also going to be in desperate need of your continued prayers.

I would love to just write a check to cover the whole fee myself, but as I shared with you all a few days ago we are in a season right now that is dry financially. But God has placed it on my heart to help this family. As I sat here this morning asking Him to show me what to do...I started to look around my house for stuff to auction. I don't wear jewelry so that's not an option...Then it came to me...How about my David and Sheku bag. It makes perfect sense. A purchase I made to help a cause could be raffled off to help someone else. I think it would put a smile on David and Sheku's face. To know not only did their handmade efforts support their community but another life as well half way around the world!!!!!Goosebumps!

So here's the deal.
a $10.00 donation to help a family will make you eligible to win a David and Sheku original bag.

Make a donation on the Chip in button labeled- help for Josiah/David and Sheku raffle- found on the top right of my blog.
then leave a comment on this post and then on Monday at 6:00pm I will draw a random name.
We only have until Monday to raise the funds for the cord blood. Time is short.
*I should mention the bag is a little off centered in it's sewing-that just makes it even more original* Also-This bag has never been used.
You must leave a comment so I know you donated.
Thank you!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009



My rice dinner experiment backfired in the most unimaginable way ever. I will try to make it through this post without sobbing.

My plan was simple by serving simply white rice and water as a surprise to my 6 children-

It was to be a lesson in:
" We are using this as a visual and physical lesson in the harsh reality of poverty and hunger. With a message in gratitude for the absurd abundance most of us know."

I had it all planned- My children were to be seated at the table served only rice and water- Then after their dismay we were going to discuss what God has to say about poverty and hunger. I was going to show them a heart of gratitude-!!!!

But then this is what happened. Okay-Don't cry Steffany....

I sat them down. First they looked a little surprised. Then one by one they thanked me for dinner and ate. I was humbled. I was floored. Wait a minute..They were suppose to protest or something. But NO! They sat there thankful for their food. We then prayed and talked about FEED THE FORGOTTEN and each of my kids selfishly offered all the money they had. They were each excited about how many people they could feed. As I sat there amazed...It was MY heart that the LORD filled.

After dinner they all helped clear the table, but they did it differently... I can't explain it. Except to say we all walked away BLESSED!

I am in awe of my children's hearts. They continually sacrifice in so many ways. I am so proud to be their mother.

*The best part is when my 8 year old said it was the best dinner she ever had.*

What's For Dinner

Rice. Plain white rice. Why? Do we really like rice that much? No.
This is our dinner to remember Feed The Forgotten

...And Now For Some Really Great News!!!!!!!


Thank you all so much who felt led to pray for this family. If you want to continue to follow their journey you can read her blog. This really is such a sweet family .

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Freely Giving

I get so many requests to support different causes. In all honesty it can get pretty overwhelming.
Sometimes people come across while trying to plea their cause in a guilt trip type manner. If you buy Starbucks then you're not compassionate. If you get a manicure then your selfish-because that money could have gone to a charity. I think people get tired of this type of plea. The truth is there are going to be the people who will sacrifice their conveniences and luxuries to help and then there are people who won't in that way.

So, if I have ever used guilt to motivate some you..Please forgive me. Giving should never come from feeling pushed against a wall.

I'm going to be real honest here. I'm not sharing this for glory nor pity. I'm simply sharing.
We are going through a tough time financially right now. This past year we gave away about half our income to various causes including Gedese. Before you form any preconvieved notion of how much we make..let me paint a picture of our lives. I drive a 1991 BMW. My husband a1994 Land Rover. We also have a paid for 12 passenger van that I try not to drive that much because of gas. Our house is 35 years old and is in need of constant repair. We don't have cable. I have a limited grocery budget. I rarely buy new clothes. I sometimes get manicure 3x per year. I don't feel guilty when I do and don't feel bad when I can't. I do buy an occasional cup of coffee from Starbucks and don't feel guilty when I do and don't feel bad when I can't afford it for a few months. I don't buy paper products-except toilet paper. There are times I fill my cart with food only to see someone in a different line have their card denied and not be able to feed their family. If I feel like God is tugging at me I will quietly pay their bill which means sometimes I have to put my own groceries back and sometimes I have enough money to keep mine as well. Sometimes I can spend money on a splurge like a David and Sheku bag and other times like last week I had to cash in all my change I had been saving in a jar to go have lunch with a woman God had put in my path to minister to. In our business we have 50 employees that get paid-. We try to treat them well. We contribute to their health insurance-not as much as I would like, but at least something. Our business runs in cycles-Sometimes an abundant income(which we use to pay back the bank for the time it was lean). And other times like now-It's very lean. We don't have credit cards. So everything we buy for ourselves is planned and saved for.

What's my point?
What I have in my pocket right now should NOT dictate if I should give. I guess God called me to give and live recklessly. I started really thinking about the FEED THE FORGOTTEN program Brandi is working tirelessly for. I was in tears a few days ago while I was at the store trying to make $60 stretch to feed my family for the week. I had to tell my kids No 100 times. No Popsicles. NO chips. No! juice. ETC.... BUT- THEY DID GET TO EAT!!!!!! They never went hungry. I can't begin to imagine day after day not being able to feed my kids at all.
I was in tears over Popsicles for crying out loud. The people in the Uganda region that FEED THE FORGOTTEN is trying to support have nothing. Talk about perspective.

So how do you figure out what cause you give to.
1. PRAY.
2. What does your heart tell you? Do you have that huge lump in your chest. That feeling like you're choking on your own breath?
3. Do you WANT to give to this charity?

Give! Do it recklessly and do it in faith.

But if you're feeling pushed into giving or you're not feeling led to a certain charity. Then don't give. It's okay not to give $$. Maybe you just want to pass along the information to a friend or family member that you think would feel that prompting to want to give. Just because you don't give to a certain charity doesn't mean God still can't use you to help.

Give because you want to freely give. I did not put my groceries back because I felt guilty. I give often what I don't feel like I have because I want to. God called me to it.

Just my thoughts.

Will I be able to give as much as I would like to FEED THE FORGOTTEN.
In all probability-NO, but will I give something? YES.

As I was typing this God put a thought in my heart. Since all I seem to come up with at this time is a little bit of change (Remember only.14 cents for 1 meal) so any change WILL make a difference.
What if I got everyone I knew that had a desire to help just give their spare change. What kind of difference would that make?


So do you have any spare change in your pocket?

*I really hope this post comes across how my heart meant it to.*

Monday, June 1, 2009

Feed the Forgotten

Too often we hear heartbreaking stories like this (that I posted on Saturday) and do nothing. We feel helpless. . . and so we move on. Not this time. There are people DYING in Uganda right now. There are children who's bellies are hungry and aching. There are mamas who are too weak to stand and babies begging to be held. There are people trapping termites hoping for food and eating dung in helplessness. DO NOT CAVE TO DESPAIR. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING.

Join us and Children's HopeChest to FEED THE FORGOTTEN!!! (CLICK HERE TO GIVE NOW) (note: please write FEED THE FORGOTTEN in the notes section)

For $0.14, we can (and WILL) feed someone a meal of posho and beans. (posho is cornmeal, which is filling and beans are protein). Take that in for a moment. . .

$0.14 a meal

$2.86 for 20 days

$1 per FAMILY

$20 feed a family for 20 days.

How much was my Chick Fil A yesterday? How much is your Starbucks? The bigger question is how much am I willing to give up SO THAT OTHERS MIGHT EAT?

Remember Jesus story of the Good Samaritan? Remember how his very neighbors walked right by him? They probably looked at him with pity. . .probably thought "oh poor guy, that breaks my heart" but the fact is THEY DID NOTHING.

What will you do? These children are starving. . .

these actual children. . .

will you help? The money raised will feed those precious children. There are 3 - 4 villages that we are targeting (I'm hoping for more after we see how much we can raise!) to bring food relief to asap. These people are literally starving. . and waiting for you to act. Will you help? Even with paypal fees (2-3%) even $1 will feed 6 people! You CAN make a difference.

Spread the word, blog about it, facebook it, twitter it, ask your church or school or business to give, post the blog badge anything. Truly, we are begging you. . .on behalf of these children not to forget this post and move on to the next in your google reader list. Stop, pray, act.

(note: please write FEED THE FORGOTTEN in the notes section when you give)

To GET the blog badge, copy and paste this code into your post (remember to switch to the "edit html" mode in your post), or add as a "widget" on your blog. Spread the word!