Archive - 2010

Christmas Adventures
Fun giveaway over yonder —–>
The Great T-shirt swap and Donna Hawkins
Who sends their Christmas cards out on time anyway?
The Great T-Shirt Swap
Sseko Sandals Fundraiser
T-shirt sale!
Happy Birthday Calvin!
T-shirt winner!
The 12th day of Christmas… and just one more giveaway

Christmas Adventures

I’m happy to report that we received some encouraging information regarding our adoption.  (yes! finally some news to share!)  AGCI announced that the wait time for Ethiopia has decreased.  Exponentially at that!  This is especially encouraging to us because we are nearing the home stretch in our wait for a referral.  Do we know when we will get a referral call?  No.  But this means we are much closer than we thought!  What a lovely Christmas present.

Christmas season has been a little weird for me this year.  Knowing that you have a child on the other side of the world kind of dampens the cheer.  I was thinking about this today and consequently getting a bit irritated with myself.  Seriously.  Apparently I need some homely looking kids to pop up out of nowhere and do a quick skit on the “true meaning of Christmas.”  My Savior was born on Christmas day and I’m whining about not being with a baby who doesn’t even know I exist.

Of course it’s a little more than that… this whole season has gotten kind of weird in general.  Priorities are mixed up, people are incredibly stressed out… it can become so yucky. Sorry for the four-year-old word there, but yucky seems pretty accurate.  We over-think everything from how to handle Santa to how many presents the grandparents are going to dump on our kids.  Our poor Elliott is so full of the original story of St. Nicholas and the theology of Christmas that he has come to the following conclusion: baby Jesus was born on a star and consequently rode a reindeer to Heaven. Fantastic.

Here’s the funny thing:  we are pretty bare minimum parents when it comes to Christmas. We have a tiny tree and a wreath. We don’t amp up Santa and we focus on the story of Jesus’ birth. I’m guessing the fact that his preschool door is decorated with the kids’ pictures reincarnated into flying reindeer (with a nativity in the background) has fueled his weirdo stories about Christmas. (see pic. from camera phone below) So back to over-thinking Christmas. I’m not going to freak out that he came to this conclusion as I drove him to school this morning; he’s 3 years old. But I am going to make sure we continue to read the story of Jesus and teach him the truth about Christmas. I’m already anticipating what he will teach Charlotte. She is only 1 this Christmas, so her understanding of Christmas consists of taking ornaments off the tree and enjoying the lights on our neighbors house. She also loves to point to the nativity and say “Jesus.” She is far less tainted than Elliott at this moment. (=

Elliott the Red-nosed reindeer.

We aren’t total scrooges by the way.  We visited the ever-so-crowded Gaylord Opryland Hotel to take in the scenery.  Here’s some pictures that are bound to make you smile.

Looking cute in their Christmas duds

Yes. He loves Reindeer.

Trying to make Char. smile after the reindeer scared her.

With a pizza and a kiss!

Daddy Calvin freezing while we check out the GIANT nativity.

Fun giveaway over yonder —–>

Head over to Pitter Patter Art… right now…

Laura is giving away one of her custom camera straps.  I love these, my Canon put this on its Christmas list.  I’m hoping I win because it’s hard to justify buying your camera a Christmas present.

The Great T-shirt swap and Donna Hawkins

It’s time to start blogging about my t-shirt swapping friends.  First up, well actually second after Sarah U., is my sweet friend Donna Hawkins.  Their story is just gorgeous so I’m going to take the liberty of telling you a little bit about them before I do the swap details.

Donna and Mike are a darling couple.  I don’t use that phrase lightly.  They are just one of those married couples that have “I was made for her/I was made for him” written across their foreheads.  God knew what he was doing when he brought them together.  I had the pleasure of meeting the Hawkins when they made an appointment to chat with me about adoption.  Long story short: Donna and Mike battled infertility for 18 years, and they kept the faith!  They finally heard God’s voice in the midst of that struggle and realized his plan for them was adopting a waiting child from China.  What I love about this family is that they embraced adoption as a gift rather than an alternative! You can read more about their story here.

So, on to the swap!  Donna and Mike have set up a t-shirt store with Adoption Bug. Donna arranged to swap the brown  Hope, Joy, Peace (in Charlotte’s size!) for one of our t-shirts.  (It’s on the way Donna, enjoy!)        Great t-shirts for a great cause!

I have a few shirts left, let me know if you want to swap!  I will post another swap story tomorrow.

Oh, and btw: 9 days till Christmas!!

Who sends their Christmas cards out on time anyway?

I know that most of you are anxiously checking your mailboxes and watching for the mail man… just hoping that our card will arrive before Christmas.  I hate to spoil it for you but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year.  In fact, I know it’s not.  I have resolved to take some pressure off of myself by creating a new tradition.  From this season on, the Ho family will send their cards in January.  So after you have already taken down the tinsel you’ll get one last blast of Holiday cheer from four smiling Ho’s.

Here are my plans for the January pick-me-up that you can expect to receive:

First of all, we will not use the Ho, Ho, Ho card that I’ve fallen to in years past.  While it was clever and cute, there are no longer 3 of us.  Our faces wouldn’t all fit in the O’s.  I haven’t abandoned this idea completely however, with 3 children on the books next year this card idea may make a come back.

I’m liking this idea from Shutterfly: A nice H in the middle with some black and whites?  Yes please, and then I can keep one for myself, stick it in a frame and have a little reminder of home on my desk.

Also loving the matching address labels, great time saver!

Today is December 13th.  That gives me just a couple of weeks to take pictures, edit them, hop on Shutterfly, make a card and drop it all in the mail.  Doable?  Doable.

Here’s hoping that you hear from us in January!

The Great T-Shirt Swap

So I mentioned earlier in the week that we have 8 Adoption T-shirts left.  I initially wanted to sell the rest and move on to a t-shirt free life.

Shortly after I posted about the shirts a fellow adoptive mom texted me and said she wanted one.  Well… I wanted one of her shirts.  And bam!  The idea came to me!

The Great T-shirt swap is essentially this:

1. Trade shirts with us

2. I will then post your t-shirt on the blog with a link to purchase

3. We can enjoy wearing each others fun shirts while spreading the word about Adoption!

Great idea right?

I have four mediums, 2 smalls and one large left. Let me know if you want one! (We don’t have to trade for the same size)


Sarah Underhill and I recently struck up the following trade:

A size small “Don’t forget Africa” shirt for one of their “Adopt” shirts

(love the color)

The Underhills recently received their referral for TWIN baby girls from Ethiopia.  Check out their blog, and their fun t-shirts!

Sseko Sandals Fundraiser

For any sales, Sseko has agreed to donate 10% of the proceeds towards our adoption fund! Before adding an item to your cart, type in “aroadhome” in the “How’d you hear about us?” field as shown below. Shop now!

T-shirt sale!

In an effort to usher out the last 8 t-shirts and coffee bean bracelets we are lowering our shirts to $15 shipped.  There are 4 mediums, 3 smalls and 1 large t-shirt remaining.  Follow this link to order a shirt and this link to order a bracelet!  Just in time for Christmas!

Happy Birthday Calvin!

Today is the day when Calvin gets to officially say “I’ll be thirty next year.”  That’s right, today is Calvin’s 29th birthday!  This seemed like an appropriate time to reflect on what an amazing friend and partner he has been to me in this process.

I’ve said before that Calvin and I talked about adoption before we got married, but in a someday kind of way.  There was one day, over a year ago, when I knew that someday was already here and it was time to start.  That time also corresponded with us buying our first house, having two children under two and me being a stay at home mom.  Calvin had everything on his shoulders, and yet, when I shared my crazy news from God he was all in.  Within two weeks of beginning to talk and pray we had selected a county, turned in applications and moved full speed ahead toward our sweet Liam.  Charlotte was only 6 months old at this time… not sleeping through the night.  Elliott didn’t adjust well to the move and wouldn’t stay in his bed.  We were both up all night.  And he never once said “can we even handle another child right now?”  I attribute these things not only to my husbands gentle manner but to his relationship with the Lord.  He was in a place that he could clearly see what God was telling us and didn’t hesitate to take action.

God has been so faithful this year.  We said yes and He didn’t skip a beat.  I’ve been provided with a job I love, we have been surrounded with friends and family who have joined our adoption story in a big way and we are getting closer to bringing our son home with each passing day.  As evidenced above, our family would never be in this position had Calvin not been a Husband who leads his family according to God’s will.  He said yes when there could have been doubt.

I’m writing this to honor my husband on his birthday, but not to glorify him.  All glory for what we have and will do goes to the Father.  Thank you God for giving me Calvin.  Thank you for his sensitive spirit but his desire to be strong in leadership.  I trust You and therefore I trust him.

T-shirt winner!

Congratulations to Terah Sampler!  You are the winner of our “Don’t forget Africa” T-shirt.  Send me a message with your size and address!


Congratulations to Seth Green!  He won a coffee bean bracelet on the 11th day!

The 12th day of Christmas… and just one more giveaway

The Cause: is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.

Clean water may just be the #1 thing we as Americans take for granted.  Our toilet water is clear for goodness sakes.  My children have this awful habit of flushing the toilet because it’s fun.  I wonder how different their games would be if we lived somewhere else.

Imagine walking miles upon miles in search of water to drink and cook with.  Imagine that the water you bring home is contaminated, but your children are thirsty, you need to make soup… so you use it anyway.  This is how diseases, such as Cholera, spread; causing sickness and death.  The sweet people of Haiti are finding this out first hand right now.

Fortunately there are organizations like that are commited to providing clean water to developing countries is Africa, Asia and Latin America.  You can support by purchasing this BPA free camelback water bottle. (I have one and LOVE it!)  All proceeds from the sale of the bottle go directly toward providing clean water to those in need.








Now… it’s time for the final giveaway.  At least the final giveaway for this series.  It’s hard to believe the 12 days are coming to an end.  I’ve had so much fun writing this and reading all of your comments.  Perhaps I’ll have to think of an even better series to follow this!  Okay, on to the giveaway.

Up for grabs is one of our “Don’t forget Africa” t-shirts.  The winner may choose from size S, M or L.  Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment, make it something fun, silly even

2. FB this post, spread the word!

3. Twitter it!

Do all three?  Get three entries.  Do one?  Get one entry.

Have fun! Good luck!

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal