Archive - September 2011

1
Our Last Garage Sale
2
Africa T-shirts Galore
3
A birthday for E
4
Adoption is not the solution
5
Call us crazy…
6
Finally a family picture…
7
A case of the Mondays
8
Turn a pillowcase dress into a storage solution!
9
Yard sale results and yet another sewing project
10
Yes. Another Yard Sale.

Our Last Garage Sale

Tomorrow is the big day.  Dreading it a little, can’t lie.  My sister and I are going to sort and price everything tonight while our husbands treat the kids to a movie.  (Uncle Anthony’s TV is so big they are tricked into thinking it’s the theater!)  Not that we wouldn’t love their help… but we girls just like to do things ourselves sometimes, like cleaning the bathroom.  It’s just one of those things.  Explaining how I would like the bathroom to be cleaned would take longer than doing it the right way myself.  I am now re-reading my words, I sound really awful.  But really… it’s true.  (I love you Calvin!)

Any way, back to the sale.  Tomorrow is Creekside At Station Camps neighborhood sale so come on by.  Great deals all around!  I think I may have to post some pictures of Erin and I slaving away with price stickers later on.  Always good for a laugh (or cry!).

Africa T-shirts Galore

I had so much fun sewing up Africa T’s for friends and family this week.  I couldn’t resist posting a picture.  The fabrics are SO fun! Happy Wednesday.  And yes. We’re still waiting for that phone call. (=

A birthday for E

Four years old.  What a great age.

Today we celebrated Elliott and had such a wonderful family day.  Elliott stayed the night with his aunt and uncle last night so that Calvin and I could turn the house into party central.  We don’t exactly do parties in our house but we decorate like crazy and our children get to go on a special family outing.  Elliott chose to go to Cheekwood this year.  They have a fun little train exhibit and he has been really excited to go.  Erin and Anthony were supposed to arrive with Elliott at 9am.  At 9:15 they called to say they were running late.  A bit later they called to say they were leaving their house.  Two minutes later we heard someone come in the front door.  We rounded the corner to see my parents busting in the door with a very elated Elliott.  My parents live in SC, about 9 hours away.  We were all stunned.  Such a great addition to the day.  We spent the rest of the day at Cheekwood, followed by Las Paletas and Whole Foods.  Elliott’s favorite dinner, pizza, was acquired at Whole Foods and enjoyed at home followed by a few presents from family.  The party was complete with skyped-in great grandparents and Uncle Daniel.

Gosh. I just love that little man so much.  He has so much of me in him. Crazy facial expressions and a flair for the dramatic. Want proof? Check out the picture of Elliott and the swan fountain. Yes, he is mimicking the swan.  We love you so much Elliott James Ho.

Uncle Daniel skyping in from Korea. He and Mo gifted Elliott with an Air Force uniform!

Adoption is not the solution

Adoption is trending in the Christian church as of late.  We are seeing more and more racially mixed families as couples pursue international and domestic adoptions that cross cultures with their own.  The result is beautiful, but it also attracts attention.  Some negative, but mostly positive.  It also causes couples who have not experienced the joy of adoption to question whether or not they are “called” to adopt.  I have seen this become a source of conflict within marriages as well as friendships.  The spouse that wants to adopt becomes angry with the spouse who doesn’t, the friends who have adopted become critical of their friends who “don’t get it.” I find myself confused and somewhat irritated with these situations.  Let me first concede that, yes, one spouse may realize a call before the other and friends can sometimes be a great influencing factor as one prays and considers adoption.

Now, on to what I believe to be true.  Not all Christians are or will be called to adopt a child.  There is simply no biblical basis for this frame of thought.  Yes, we have the ever popular James 1:27 telling us to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” The King James version tells us “to visit orphans.”  Let’s get hermeneutical here for a second: the original Greek: ἐπισκέπτεσθαι means “to go help.”  To GO Help.  Is adopting helping? Yes. Is it the best or only way? No.  I feel that many families experience such a direct calling and then such a wonderful blessing in adoption that they use God’s beautiful Word to promote adoption specifically and exclusively.  God’s word can definitely promote adoption as a option in orphan care, but not at the exclusion of other methods.  The facts speak loudly.  There are over 140 million orphans in the world today.  Only a very small portion of those children are even adoptable.  What are we doing for those that remain and who will always remain orphans?  What should we be doing?  Easy: sponsoring, visiting, loving, praying.  Isaiah 1:16-17 says “defend the oppressed, take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”  It is undeniable that Christians are to care for orphans.  Adoption is one great way, but it will never, seriously, never end the problem.  We can’t adopt the number.  There are great speakers and writers that promote their solutions- if every Christian family would adopt 1 we would wipe out the problem.  There is a big fat hole in that thinking.  Those kids?  They aren’t adoptable for the most part.

Enter in the doctrine of Adoption.  We are adopted by God when we accept his perfect gift of salvation. Awesome! Thank you Lord!  This doctrine is used, even by Third Day, as a reason to adopt children.  I will agree that our adoption by the Father may inspire us to adopt children but there are elements of our adoption that should not be compared.  First of all, we were born sinners, separated from God.  Our choices, our sin separated us from God.  Not a tragic life event or someone’s bad decision.  This is where I draw the line.  We cannot compare our previous life of sin to an orphan’s life before adoption.  It puts the blame, the result of the situation squarely on their shoulders.  Their orphan status has NOTHING to do with their choices while our state of sin before salvation has EVERYTHING to do with ours.  Our job as parents, family and friends is to make peace with that situation.  To help our children understand that they claim no fault in their loss.

In conclusion: adoption is hard, it’s a commitment, it’s a struggle.  You must be called or have a strong resolve to enter into this beautiful event.  Do you have to be called to care for or visit orphans? No. We are commanded to care for them.  So Churches/Christians: sponsor orphanages, build schools and support those families who DO adopt.  Do it all. But please don’t promote adoption as the solution.  It’s simply not true and it’s simply a dangerous way to think.

Call us crazy…

BUT… we are having one last, one final, Yard Sale.  This will be our last effort at raising a bigger chunk of money to go toward our travel expenses.  We are required to take two trips to Ethiopia on pretty short notice and the plane tickets have averaged $1700 to $3300 EACH.  Thus… another yard sale.  I’m really planning to go all out for this one.  So donations of “stuff” would be quite welcome.  Also, please plan to drop by.  The weekend of October 1st is our community (Creekside at Station Camp) yard sale so we will actually get to have it at our house this time!  If you have anything… and I mean anything that you want to donate just let us know.  Thanks guys, couldn’t do it without you.

Here’s a picture of Elliott being super cute at our last sale. (Just in case you needed a reason besides shopping to stop by, cute kids are great)

Finally a family picture…

I stayed up fairly late last night sewing some Fall outfits for Charlotte and my niece Bella.  Fall fabric is my favorite.  I used the circle skirt tutorial over at MADE and I may have a new addiction: making circle skirts.  Seriously.  They are so easy to make and might very well be the cutest skirt ever on a little girl.  I also made a CUTE little applique shirt with leftover fabric and knit scraps.

Our family picture is at the end, not the best but we are looking in the same direction for the most part.  Thanks to my brother in law for stepping behind the camera for a moment!

I just can’t stop drooling over this outfit!


And a picture of my super cute niece just for fun (=

A case of the Mondays

This particular phrase has taken on a whole new meaning for the Ho family.  We are in the phase of our adoption process where we can literally expect a call any day. This means I spend a lot of anxious hours staring at my phone and double checking to make sure the ringer is working loudly and properly.  It can become exhausting.  My heart leaps just a little when I hear the phone ring and I do a quick glance at every area code before I answer.  This is not fun, I promise you that.  I wish I could be more relaxed, I really have been up until this point, but it has become pretty impossible.  The weekend has been like a mini-vacation.  The agency is closed on the weekend.  No concerns about getting an important phone call.  It’s been a nice two days.  But tomorrow is Monday. Monday, a week day.  A full week looming ahead, ripe with potential.  But potential is quite a tricky little thing… it is possible, but not actual.  There is hope, but there is also disappointment.

So here’s to Monday and all her potential!

Turn a pillowcase dress into a storage solution!

Yes, you read that correctly.  Storage solution.  It’s a beautiful thing really. I was recently faced with this dilemma: what to do when your little girl out-grows a monogrammed pillowcase dress?  It’s not likely that you know anyone with the same initials, and ripping out the monogram would just make a mess. The solution I came to, after starring at the dress for a few moments, is so simple it’s almost ridiculous.  Make a drawstring bag… or rather a drawribbon bag!  I realized and then promptly created this so quickly I didn’t take any pictures of the process, but I promise you won’t need them.

Here are four easy steps:

1. Turn dress inside out and sew along the bottom, closing it up completely.

2. Tie the two ribbon pieces together and thread them through the top, so that it’s basically one long ribbon acting as a drawstring.

3. Turn dress inside out again and sew all the way up one side closing up the armhole and securing the ribbon in place.  I left one armhole open because I liked how it shaped the bag. (see picture below)

4. Turn the dress right side out and pull the ribbon to gather the top and voila, Storage Solution!

Charlotte is currently storing her Leap Frog learning alphabet in the bag but I can already see it holding barbie clothes or toiletries in the future.


Yard sale results and yet another sewing project

It has been a hot weekend.  Hot as in H-O-T, hot.  So it was no surprise when foot traffic at the yard sale was low.  I suppose this is the last surge of heat before Fall makes her way in.  I can’t say I’m ready for snow days, but I will definitely welcome changing leaves and Fall festivals.  As I stated in the previous post we joined forces with two other families for this yard sale.  After days/hours of work we each walked away with around $400 for our adoption funds.  Pretty great!  We are worn out but it’s always well worth it when you are working for your kids.

I poked around in the yard sale clothing leftovers, found some old t-shirts, and completed one of my sewing projects mentioned in this post.

Here is my version of the T-shirt dress.  It took under 30 minutes start to finish.  I’m predicting many variations in Charlotte’s Fall wardrobe this year!

Yes. Another Yard Sale.

It’s time for our 5th and final yard sale!  This time we are teaming up with the Emersons and the Brentises to make this a triple adoption sale!

Sale details: Friday/Saturday September 2/3rd

Location:

1029 Dorset Drive in Hendersonville
Somerset Downs subdivision – 1 mile from Beech High School

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