Sunday, May 30, 2010

One of my favorite headers yet!

header:


post divider:

button:




The Andrews Family blog goodies :) Lindsey said she liked Africa, turtles, and bright colors so hopefully this will hit the mark!

LSU Tigers 2010 SEC Champs!!!

Geaux Tigers! After one of the longest baseball games EVER the Tigers finished on top :)
Great game guys!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fantastic video! A must see.

Bradford Family header and post divider


Check out the blog I did...

So if you go to thegreaestmarathon.blogspot.com you can check out my lastest full blog "redesign". Here is the button, header, and post divider for the Ramer family:



Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gingerbread button...

A family I did a whole blog for wanted me to create a button for her friend's gingerbread bakery buisness that she could post to get the word out for him. Hopefully it helps :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nightmare morning!

This morning has been a doozey (spelling?). As many of you know I have been a single mom for the month since Michael is away at pilot training for the Navy. Trying to be good and multi-task this morning I put some clothes in the dryer quickly when I woke up and before I left was going to switch out the wet and dry clothes. When I checked the whites they were no longer white. Ezra had apparently put his colors in the dryer so now I have clothes/towels/socks that look like this:



EXCEPT the colors he chose to put in the dryer were brown and green so it looks like all the clothes have been dragged around in a cow pasture- if you know what I mean ;)

The rest of my dryer is filled with what you see below:


So after I scraped the melted crayons off the walls of my dryer and scrubbed the lent trap I went to get Ezra out of bed and both he and his bed were soaked in diarrhea - uggghhhhh! Had to just strip him in the bed and put him directly in the tub. Now I'm finally at work and I just want to go home :(

Monday, May 17, 2010

Whole Foods Button

I was recently contacted by a mom who has a blog devoted to whole foods and she asked me to come up with a button that incorporated their tag line with an image of a green apple. Here's the final product:

For those who watch American Idol

Today I saw Casey James' dogs for their annual vaccines! I had seen them in 2008 when he brought them into the clinic but had NO recollection of meeting him before until today. Then as I'm realizing who these dogs belong to and I told the receptionist she said, "it makes sense now Burk, don't you remember coming out of the room and saying that you like boys with long hair" :) hahahaha
He's back in LA for the top 3 performances but I have to see his dog again in 14 days so maybe I'll get to see him again.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

No this isn't Ezra,

but isn't he precious! This is my friend Karen's little boy adopted from Ethiopia around the same time as Ezra. I just saw these photos on her blog and fell in love with them so she kindly allowed me to post them to my blog to share :)



New button for Into the Streets of Ethiopia

Recently a fellow adoptive mom and now non-profit aid organizer Kara Portilla asked me to create a button for a new campaign for their new web site, "Into the Streets of Ethiopia".
Here's a bit more about the project:

Friday, May 14, 2010
$6 FOR 1

Every six seconds a child dies because of hunger and related causes.

1 2 3 4 5 6


What if you were told the dirty, sticky change from the bottom of your purse or your car floor could make a difference in the life of a child? The change that we so carelessly toss in an empty drawer could be enough to fill a child's belly. How many pennies do we pass by on the street? It's only a penny, right? Those wasted pennies and dirty thrown-away-dimes could add up to enough to provide a meal to a child living in poverty. A child that is starving from malnutrition. 30 cents is all it takes to feed a child a hot meal. $6 will provide a child one meal a day for an entire month.

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.Mother Teresa

James 2:8 "Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord's command, "You must love and help your neighbors just as much as you love and take care of yourself."

Into the Streets of Ethiopia is excited to offer a new campaign entitled, $6 FOR 1.



The challenge is simple! Can you and your family gather enough change (in a 30 day time frame) to help feed the hungry in Ethiopia? This is an excellent way for parents to engage their children in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Saving all those loose pennies, counting them at the end of the month, is a practical way of sharing and caring for others.

$6 FOR 1, will be an on-going effort in feeding the children involved with Children's Future Ethiopia. The second Friday of each month will be dedicated to $6 FOR 1. We will provide updates on the feeding program in Addis Ababa as well as reports from YOU! What is your family doing to make a difference for 1? We want photos of you in action!


Becky Burk of Adopt Africa, designed our grab button! Please help spread the word!

***Into The Streets of Ethiopia has received a promise from a generous donor matching every dollar that is given--up to $250. Please give!***

Friday, May 14, 2010

New header to match the peace sign button

This is the header to match the "peace sign" button seen below in a prior post. I also made some side bar "titles" as well and next up are the post dividers. I am revamping the entire blog so if you're interested check it out at

www.goingtoethiopia.blogspot.com

Post dividers for the giraffe header...

After seeing the header for the Barchus family, the woman who requested that I make one for her friend as a gift also asked for a post divider. I had several ideas so here they are for her to pick from.




Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Blog Designs...

This header was requested by a woman wanting to surprise her friend living in Benin to help spice up her blog. Her blog currently has a giraffe print background with a yellow scalloped trim, so I thought this little giraffe would be a cute addition as well as bringing some more color.

2 different giraffe options:






This blog button was requested by a family who wanted a button with a peace sign in the background with some bright primary colors. Next up is a header to match! :)
2 options:


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Artsy-fartsy...

In an effort to get Ezra away from Elmo's World I decided to intoduce him to his first lesson in painting. I have been inspired by one of my favorite 'crafty mom' blogs www.filthwizardry.com so I am trying to introduce Ezra to the idea of pigment and how mixing colors creates new ones, etc. He's not as interested as I'd like :) BUT he's still young and hopefully he'll be more interested in creating things and less in Grover as he ages.





Leaving the dark ages, and terrible twos!!!

Well today I decided to bite the bullet and go and get a new cell phone. Ezra had lovingly broken my cell and I'd been having to contort my wrist to hold it together while talking to someone to keep the top from falling off (yes it was a old style flip phone). I don't text, take pictures with my phone, or get onto the internet. I have always been of the mind set that I just need my phone to receive and make phone calls all the other techno babble stuff is WAY beyond me. Yet, today when I was in the Sprint store and found out I have been eligible for an upgrade for like a year and a half and started looking at all the phones the "cool kids" have I was sucked in. Now I have a brand spanking new touch pad phone but I still have to just keep pushing buttons randomly to get it to turn on, then push even more buttons to get it to unlock?!?!?!
Earlier a friend called and I couldn't figure out how to answer it and then when I did I couldn't get him off of speaker phone?? gosh... I miss my flip phone with like 2 buttons one red and one green. Green means 'talk', red means 'shut up please'... that's IT!

Also today Ezra has officially entered the "terrible twos"!! BIG TIME! He was so bad today at the Sprint store that I had to walk out with him 3 times while he was wailing/writhing on the floor. He has NEVER done anything like that before. I honestly didn't know what to do. At home I would have just let him throw a fit and ignored him so that he doesn't think that that kind of behavior is acknowledged however in public it was a different story. When I would try to pick him up he would immediately do whatever he could to 'launch' himself out of my arms and onto the floor. Even Super Grover didn't calm him down which is unheard of. This also happened after he, Herman, and Clovis tear off down the road this morning and left walking back home carrying a toddler and 2 dogs in my arms marching back to the house. Our neighbor screams at me from down the road, "when is Michael coming back?", then I scream, "not soon enough!!!"

This is Ezra as cowboy Super Grover :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Growing your family - going from 1 to 2

Recently one of the mom's of my Ethiopian adoption yahoo group posed a question about the difficulties of going from one child to two. One of the other moms sent in this responce and I just thought it was very well put and fitting for Mother's Day. Here it is:

When Mother's of more than one say, going from one to two was the hardest, I don't think they really mean it was hard because everything doubled and they had this major adjustment. . . . Going from one child to two is the most difficult, because you've never experienced it before. Loving one child was easy, you didn't know what you didn't know, you figured it out as you went, you grew and you fell in love with this most perfect creature God ever created. Going from a single child to multiple is hard because all of a sudden the thought that you're about to destroy everything this child knows scares you to death. No longer will he be the center of attention, no longer will he have undivided attention, you're about to rock his world to the core and I spent more time crying over Brooklyn just before Nathan was born than any other thing in my past. It's normal.

We have five kids and I've often had moms say, "I don't know how you do it, I only have one and I'm worn out!" My response is always, "If you have one, you're just as busy a mom as I am with five. . . mostly." Really, the work load doesn't double, the tension doesn't double, the amount of time needed doesn't double. It's not that kind of math.

You're scared because you can't imagine loving anything else as much as you love your first child. Only because you haven't had the opportunity to experience it yet. It's frightening because you can't imagine any other child being as adorable and precious and perfect for you as this child, because you don't know what other areas of your life a child with different personalities and interests can spark and fill up further.

Your love grows, it doesn't get divided. The time and attention gets accommodated, not split. Children need the opportunity to learn so many life lessons, like priorities, sharing, patience, conflict resolution, compromise. Those lessons are best taught in the loving boundaries of the home, and the best and single fastest way to do that is through learning to be good siblings. I have often said my greatest joy of being a mother is watching my children be siblings. There is just nothing like it.

All of my friends that I've had these conversations with have felt this sense of doom and dread over the impending arrival of the second child like I did. Most of it wrapped up in worry for the first child's reaction and feelings about the new sib, but also a lot of it encompassed in feeling like you are only a good mom because it's somehow considered "easy" with just one, and if it gets tougher somehow you might not be as good a mom. Both of those are as far from the truth as possible. You'll figure it all out and you'll be amazing with 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 children, whatever God asks you to do, He also equips you to handle. By the time you're having your third, you understand how your love grows and how amazing siblings are, so you don't experience this doom sense, which is why I think people say it's hardest to go from one to two. And then, after your third and you've had to go from man to man to zone defense anyway, adding a fourth, fifth, or more, doesn't seem like that big a deal long term either.

You'll go through the adjustment period like any new mom and family. It will take a bit to figure out a new routine, and learn how to accommodate all the new needs. One rule we've had since B was born is that we made it a point that each of our children are part of our family, not the center of it. I treated B like a sibling even when she was the only child, because essentially she was a sister, we knew we were going to have more children. So when she would ask for juice, I would purposefully sometimes say, "Ok, mommy will get you juice in just a second. Let me finish up here." even if I just sat there counting to 20. When N was born and I couldn't jump up immediately, she was used to that, and there wasn't a sense of "he's taken all the time I used to get." I also stressed with all my kids the importance of being the big kid. I stressed all the things they got to do because they were big, and how babies, or "new kids to America" didn't get to do those things. . . my kids never wanted to regress and be the baby for attention, because being who they were was so much more appealing. You can begin to practice with your first child while you're in the paperchase. Ask the Holy Spirit for creative ways to begin acclimating him/her to siblinghood now. He'll give you some cool ideas.

Bottom line, it's extremely normal, and all based on feelings of the unknown. But once you "know" it through experience and living it, you'll realize it's all worth it! You can do it!

Birth Mothers...


Today I have thought about Ezra's birth mother non-stop. I am soooo grateful to her for Ezra. We know nothing about her or if she's even still alive but she will always live in my heart and I love her immensely.
I also wanted to honor the most amazing other of all, Mary of Nazareth. Jesus' mother is a role model to all and I will strive to be a better mirror of her love and devotion.

Friday, May 7, 2010

We CAN make a difference!

The proof is in the pudding :) In this case the check out these before and after photos of the kids we sponsor through Children's Hopechest at a care center called Kind Hearts in Ethiopia. Since traveling there in November of last year a fellow adoptive mom, Karen Wistrom, has been striving to get these kids sponsors so that they can have more then one meal a week served at their school, safe drinking water, latrines, to have books, and school uniforms and now even a playground :) The Kind Hearts sponsor families have made such a difference in these kids lives but we still have a long way to go. I was able to travel to meet my and my sister's sponsored kiddos in ET and saw first hand the bare bare bare center that is Kind Hearts. The toilet is a hole in the ground, the kitchen is a pot over a fire outside, lunch is a bowl of rice, and the playground is 2 rickety swings for over SIXTY kids (most of them are orphans). Now they are fed multiple meals a day with meat and injera, they will have a REAL playground, and now have uniforms! We are still a few hundred dollars from our goal and if you wish to make a donation please contact Karen on her blog
family-from-afar.blogspot.com or just go there to real more and see her beautiful family which includes 2 boys adopted from Ethiopia :)

BEFORE



The boy in the photo above is almost unrecognizable in the photo below! Good food and brand new clothes, and knowing someone care about you make a huge difference in his self worth and it shows outwardly.

AFTER


The handsome boy at the center of this photo is Kenenisa my sister's sponsor child. I met him in January and he's just as cute in real life as he is here!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blurg on my blog!

The past 2 nights I've tried to put up new pics of Ezra making artwork out side and some of him as "super grover" but it won't work - yuck! So at least I can post this one of Michael's plane.
Michael is in Colorado this month training to fly the C-9 for the Navy Reserves. :( I'm super lonesome and it's hard working full-time and being the only one home to care for Ezra. Plus in the mornings I have to take Ezra and the 2 dogs with me since they can't be home alone all day so it's a car full. I'm sooo tired :(

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You've never seen guitar playing like this!

Inpromptu photo shoot...

My brother's babysitter who's in college stopped by the other day while I was at my mom's house to take some pictures of my brother to practice her photography skills. Since we were there she got some of Ezra as well. We hadn't fixed his hair that day so it's a bit WILD!





The Ramer Family's blog button



The Ramer family's mom is named Becky and her son's name is Bekele (which could be pronounced Becky Lee like my name - hahaha) so of course I was thrilled to make a button for them :)

Cowboy breakfast...

Last weekend Michael and I took Ezra to a "cowboy breakfast" that a local ranch puts on for the community. They have several stage coaches and cook biscuits, bacon, coffee, and eggs as they would have in the "wild west". Then they work the yearling calves by branding/vaccinating/tagging/castrating-(YIKES) them. It was really neat to see, especially for Ezra who ADORES cowboys. As you can see he's taken to wearing a cowboy hat around the house. It's twice as big as he is but still fits b/c his "fro" is so big :)




Tory Burch never looked so good

Last night Ezra was walking around with my shoes (Tory Burch Reva ballet flats - love them) over his own. SOOOO cute! This one will be shown to future girlfriends for sure!