This is blog was created to share some tidbits of our daily lives

and advocate on behalf of the 143 million orphans around the world!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy 2nd Bithday to My Ethiopian Princess!!

Okay, so Lola Joy didn't have a great start to her 2nd birthday. She was pretty pitiful and had to go to the dr. :-( She has a runny nose, cough, and ear when I came home from work...I found one pitiful little girl.

She did cheer up by the end of the night!

Here's her sweet cake. She LOVED it.

She said.."It's MINNIE!!!" "It's CUTE!" "I LIKE HER PINK BOW!!"

We LOVE her all the way down to her sweet little pink boots!!!!

Lolee Joy LOVES her baby dolls...

I LOVE her sweet chocolate brown eyes!

You are so yummy, I could eat you up, girl!!

Lola Joy Kalkidane...

You are something else, let me tell you!! You have one VIBRANT personality. You light the room the moment you enter into it. You talk with your hands. You're prissy...and Sassy, too. You LOVE music and to dance. You would watch Barney 24/7 if we'd let you. You LOVE your new SILLY SONGS video. When you go to sleep you have to have your BB, Blanky, and Monkey. You are so smart..and funny...and lovable. You are so stinkin' cute...and we simply cannot get enough of you. You love your big bros and oh do they love you...and look out for you. And then there's "Lil". God brought you a twin sister from around the world, but the two of you couldn't be more perfectly matched. You are the PERFECT PAIR!! You adore one another. You are always together, playing, dancing, reading, hugging, oh my it's totally adorable. Seeing the two of you together is the sweetest miracle to watch each day. I squeezed you tonight and you squeezed me back soo tightly. It broke me into tears, just so thankful...I didn't miss this little miracle in

We love you Baby JOY!!!!

Stay tuned for an amazing charity:water update!!

If you'd like to the water link at the top right of the blog with the charity water logo...or click

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Water Wishes for the World: Charity Water

(This is long, but PLEASE read this!)
Hello Friends! February begins with birthday celebrations at our house....then we party through April..have a small break until July. Bryson's birthday is February 7, Lola Joy's is February 28th, Brennan's is March 8th, Doug's is April 12th, mine is July 6th, then Lily's is August 25th. Each birthday is a time to celebrate another year of life that God has blessed us with. And each year we're showered with many gifts. Many in which we don't even need. I mean, let's face it. Our pantry is full, fridge is stocked, closets stuffed, toy boxes over-flowing. I could go on. You get the picture.
Well...we want this year to be different. Since traveling to Ethiopia, our family has not been able to get the vivid images out of our minds. The people of Ethiopia are some of the most beautiful people I've ever met...inside and out. They have a joy that blows me away living in the horrific circumstances and living conditions...but .... we also saw great poverty. lepers. victims of HIV and AIDS. and people living without their basic needs being met...shelter. FOOD.


I remember getting into the van as we were headed for the airport leaving Ethiopia. I BAWLED. I mean, SOBBED. Doug looked at me, wondering what was wrong. We had our precious four month old baby in our arms and we were headed home to our boys and family waiting at home. But, I was overcome with emotions. Overcome with great joy and deep sadness. I fell in LOVE with the people. The Country. And I saw what I saw...and I didn't know how to process. How could I come back to the comforts of my home and live the way we live...knowing what I know. Well, we're still dealing with this issue and processing how God is going to use us. All we know is we're willing to be used by God. And we're praying for His direction.
Our boys eyes have also been opened to the needs in the world around them. I was reading this blog one night and saw that they had joined a campaign to help get clean water for people in developing countries. Unfortunately, I read this when they had already raised all of the money they needed, or we would have donated. I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk to the boys about how almost 1 billion people on the planet do NOT have access to CLEAN water!!! We watched the video and the boys were touched. Each and every night since then, they have been praying that God would provide ALL people the opportunity to have access to clean water. And then we realized that we could do something about it! So, this year, we wanted to give up our birthdays. Most of the time when you make a wish and blow out the candles, you don't share your wish. This year, we're sharing our wish...and we hope it will become your wish too. We are asking our friends and family to donate to our charity water campaign. We have titled it Water Wishes for the World. You can click here to check it out for yourself and donate. This organization is legit. It has been recognized on the national day of prayer by President Obama. 100% of your donations will go to build wells and bring clean water to people in developing countries. A donation of $20 will provide clean water for 1 person for 20 years!!!!! Our goal is $5,000. We say.."Go BIG or GO HOME!" $5,000 will build a well. You can give a little, or blow us away, challenging your family to sacrifice and give BIG. If you have questions or problems donating, please leave a comment. I'll walk you through this. At the bottom of this post is the website address. Simply click on this. Then there are buttons you can click to donate. It will give you detailed instructions. We have a few months to accomplish this. Please, consider challenging your family to donate. And if you work at a business that would like to match a donation, PLEASE talk to them and let us know!
The boys had one of their two family parties this past Friday night and collected $400!!!! Yay family! You guys rock! (It will show up on the donate page once the check arrives to the organization and Doug is mailing it tomorrow!!!)



Instead of giving your sweetheart a box of chocolates, give a donation in honor of your loved ones and make a difference that can CHANGE the WORLD! (I did! i paid with a credit card and it took a minute and was so easy..and I got a tax deductible voucher a minute after i donated!)
"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who keeps our hearts and weighs our souls, knows that we know and holds us responsible to act."
Proverbs 24:12

Monday, February 7, 2011

My baby boy turns 8!

My baby boy is 8 years old today! So hard to believe!! We had a blast this weekend celebrating our youngest son. He invited a couple of friends to go snow tubing. What a blast!
Here he is acting like his silly self.
Bren invited a his buddy, Kyle. Love these boys.

Bryson and his crew! Sweet!

Heather and Corey

Me and my man!
Sweet Sophie Belle
And...the birthday boy on his special day.
My sweet Bryson. Where has another year gone? You are getting so big. You are such a jokester. You love to tell us jokes. You tell long stories...and it's so adorable to listen to you. You are so smart. A walking, talking encyclopedia. You love to learn new things and share what you've learned with us. You can play some basketball, little man. You scored 17 points on Sat...and blew us away. You are courageous. You are strong, yet gentle and sweet. Your smile lights up each day. Your heart for orphans, the poor..ugh brings me great joy and chokes me up. You want to be a missionary. Your prayers are the most heartfelt sweetest things my ears have ever heard. We are so proud of the little man you've become..and we CANNOT wait to see the man of God you will be.
We're here for you through it all. Your biggest fans.
Always and Forever.
We love you 39 cents.
Momma and Dad
(My grandparents watched the girls so we could have a night to spend with our boys. We are forever indebted to you Mamaw Jean and Papaw Bob!!!!)