Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Coming Soon...

It's Wednesday already!  How did that happen?  Last thing I remember I was selling BiblioPlan at the Convention.  Saturday night we left and headed for a hotel a few hours from Cincinnati.  We dropped our stuff off at the hotel and headed for the nearest restaurant.  I was starved. Exhausted.  The kind of exhausted where all I wanted to do was stuff my starving face with food and then crawl on the floor under the booth and go to sleep.  As we sat in the restaurant - the exhaustion increased.  As did a nasty sore throat that made it miserable to talk.  By the end of our meal I was handing over my keys to my helper.  I was done.  I have no memory of how we got back to the room.  I have no memory of crawling into bed.  I have a VIVID memory of waking up at 2:00 am with a raging fever.  Miserable doesn't cut how I felt.  Sick and exhausted and far from home.  Thankfully I had a wonderful helper who packed us up and got us home safe and sound.  By Sunday night I no longer had a fever which was a blessing because I teach on Mondays and I didn't have a substitute for my classes.  I love to teach.  I love my students.  They are my  guinea pigs for all of the curriculum we have written.  If it weren't for them we would not be writing 24/7!
I love my students because they are so much fun to teach that they take my mind off how weary I am.
I love my students because they don't mind if I look like I just got washed up on the shore. 
It's Wednesday and I am just now starting to come out of the exhaustion fog. 
I NEED to come out of the exhaustion fog.
I need to get my act together because there are HUNDREDS of orphans who are going to have a FANTASTIC summer and WE are going to help.
This is a story you don't want to miss.
This is a story that is COMING SOON.....
It is crazy and TOTALLY DIFFERENT than anything I have done before.
This is a story that requires a BIG STEW POT.
Yep.  I'm getting out my pots and pans.
At the worst possible time for me.
I was NOT planning on doing a Mulligan this year.  I have told all of you who have e-mailed and asked over and over again that I just do not have the time/energy to do a Mulligan this year.  NOT THIS YEAR. 
Which is how I know it is the BEST time.  Because it is never about me and all about God and His love for orphans.
And for this Stew... this time... Dear Friends...
So stay tuned.
And if you have something to offer.... BIG or little... please e-mail me a picture and description -
We have a lot of mouths to feed!

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Favorite Part

I'm here in Ohio at the Great Homeschool Convention
My favorite favorite favorite part of Homeschooling conventions is having Reece's Rainbow families visit me in my booth.
Loving on three RR babes absolutely made my night last night. 
These are the Allison babes...Lillie and Jocelyn just came home weeks ago and Eli (glasses) came home 2 years ago.  Their adoring brother and sisters are some of the sweetest kids around!  I love this family.  They came to the convention just to see me and that was such a sweet blessing. 
And the added blessing...
My internet was NOT working on the convention floor and I was in pieces.  The IT guy came over and tried to get it going but he was at a loss.  When you are in sales - internet is kind of important.  Jamie and Jared showed up with the kids while the IT guy was trying to fix my problem.  His solution was for me to buy internet from the convention center at the tune of 100+ dollars a day!  No thank you!  So in the midst of loving on the babes I was in a mental turmoil over what I was going to do about internet.  Well... when I mentioned it to Jamie she let me know that her dear husband just happened to do that kind of stuff for a living.... Can I tell you that he was my night in shining armor last night??  He worked on my devices and my internet came on.  It was slow and intermittent but I will take slow and intermittent any day over nothing.
So I was doubly blessed!
We have an 11 hour day today and a 9 hour day tomorrow. 
My poor feet....
But even so...
It's Fatherless Friday and this little guy is seriously fatherless..
This sweet little boy needs to be seen.

If you see him in this picture you think.... sweet... cute... time....

But he doesn't have time.

He's deteriorating.




Break our hearts Lord.  Break our hearts!

He needs a family.

He's breaking my heart!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Memories

Easter at Rob's Mom's house with the cousins...
Fun memories..







Monday, April 21, 2014

All I Want...

All I want.
All I want for my birthday.
It's all I want.
It isn't much.
Actually it is a lot.
Porter 2013
I want my four Lost Boys to be found.
I want them to know the love of a family.
That's it.
Will you help me?
They are living in Aaron's institute.  They are in a mindless, colorless world of nothing.  They are the ONLY ones available from there right now.  Out of 110 boys they are the ONLY ONES who have hope. 
They need families.
It's all I want.
I'm on my knees before the throne!
My Lost Boys.
Please.  Help them to be found!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Love's Redeeming Work

Elijah and I were at Walmart the other day. We had a full basket and I was exhausted and had a headache and just wanted to pay for our groceries and get home.  But Walmart was packed and every cash register was busy and the lines were 3 and 4 carts deep.  We got in one line and waited and waited.  We looked at each other and realized that we got in the never moving line from hades.  So we looked down and saw a bit of a shorter line and decided to make a change. 
I went ahead and got in place.  Elijah was pushing the cart around people and obstacles to get to me.  A lady showed up with her full cart to get in the line.  I politely told her that I was there and motioned towards my son.  She smiled and moved on.  I was relieved.  Just as Elijah rounded the corner to move next to me... a man in a wheelchair came up cutting Elijah off.  I tried to explain to him that we were in line.  He began to berate me.  "Where's your basket? I don't see a basket!"  Helpless I watched as he moved ahead of me and started to tell the people in front that I had no right to stand there without a basket.  Embarrassed I quietly informed him that we had already been standing in line for quite a while which was why we had moved.  He didn't respond. 
I stayed in that line behind that man and grieved.  I grieved my response.  I grieved that I was mad and tired.  I grieved my witness to my son.  I grieved that I failed in showing kindness to someone who was in a wheelchair.  I grieved the  fact that I fail.  Often.  My selfishness.  Tiredness.  I too often rip over people.  Wanting what is mine.  Refusing to budge when it comes to my rights.  My spot.  My way. 
We got in the car - Elijah upset at the man.  Me.  Upset at me.  I drove away thinking about my failings.  What I should have done better. 
He is Risen.
What does that mean? 
For me - forgiveness.  A washing of my sins. 
Here's the honest truth about me.  I fail. On a daily basis.  I get angry.  I'm rude.  I'm selfish.  I steal joy.  I get defensive.  I gossip.  I am sometimes less than truthful.  I am lazy and stubborn.  I want what's mine.  I am human.  I desperately need a Savior.  I can't wash myself enough times to rid myself of the grime of sin that clings to me on a daily basis.
He is Risen.
What does it mean?
To me...  It means freedom from the weight of sin. It means adoption.  It means new life.  It means that death loses its power over me.  It means hope.
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
I'm not stuck in my sin. I have a Savior.
One who gives GRACE and FORGIVENESS to me when I am less than kind to a less than kind man at Walmart.
 Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Three Matchings

Here I am again.
Yelling for the families!
I'll be honest.  The news across the ocean is making me ill.
I don't have words.  I have stopped writing about it because I just don't even know what to say anymore. The major news media has articles all the time now but often what I am reading doesn't match what I'm reading in other places. 
In the midst of the chaos... the families march on.
Nicole Dewberry is now IN COUNTRY working to get her boys.  I am so excited for her.  She met Anthony TODAY and HE SIGNED and he is going to have a MAMA and a PAPA and I am crying as I write!

Nicole Trimble Dewberry's photo.
Look at that sweet boy! Signing on the dotted line!!!

Photo: He said "Yes"!!!!!   Signing the letter and here we go!!!  Praising the Lord and so thankful.  Going back in a couple hours to play some futbol!
This morning I received an e-mail from someone offering a 500.00 MATCHING GRANT for the Dewberrys.  Won't you please help me match it? Nicole doesn't even know this yet.  I get to surprise her with the news when she reads this blogpost!!  Please help me match this for her! She meets Murray next week!! They are still about 2,900 short of being fully funded.  Pray too for them as Anthony is in a region where court has come to a standstill.  Pray that the doors open for court to happen!!
And talking about matching grants...
The Lusher family is adopting a sibling group of FIVE.
Yep.  Five children.  (Pictured are four of the five ... aren't they beautiful??)
5 sibs (1)
  5 sibs (2) 5 sibs (3) 5 sibs (4)

They are leaving in a matter of weeks. And are about 17,000 short... BUT... They have an $8,000 MATCHING GRANT through Lifesong for Orphans!  If they get that matched then they get another $8,000.00!
So every single dollar is doubled.  To donate to them you have to donate through their blog to Lifesong for Orphans.  Even though it is a tab bit harder then clicking the easy Reece's Rainbow buttons.. PLEASE TAKE THE EXTRA MOMENTS AND DO IT! This family is stepping off a HUGE CLIFF.  Think about it.  These kids get to be together.  They are true siblings.  Right now they are separated.  But in a matter of weeks they will be united under one roof.  That is amazing and wonderful.  Last December I helped Carla bring three siblings together and that was joyous.  Yes, it is hard.  Yes.  Absolutely.  Each of these children will challenge their socks off.  But the Lushers are up for the challenge.  They want these children beyond words. 

And also speaking of matching grants....
There is ANOTHER BIG matching grant that has stalled.... The Wetherington family.  This matching has been on the table for a LONG TIME and they have had less than $100.00 matched. 
Elliette (1) 
They leave in 6-10 weeks... they are bringing home two sweet babes.. This is their second time adopting so they really have stepped out in faith for these two.  Juliette is aging out soon.  They have a $7,000 matching grant.  Their FSP needs to read $16,001.28 for their match to be met.  PLEASE PLEASE HELP THEM GET THIS MATCH MET!! 
WHEN you donate... leave a comment on THEIR BLOG so that you can be entered to win an ipad or Disney tickets. 
That's it.  Three families. 
Pick all three. PLEASE.  Every single one has a matching grant so every dollar donated is doubled.
It's Easter weekend.
Nine children are finding families.
Nine children will be home next year celebrating Easter.
How utterly cool is that thought!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mamas Can't Run

I so very much miss this highly neglected blog!
Yesterday I was racing Aaron out to the car and he won.
In the car he informed me that Mamas can't run.  Papas can run.  Boys can run.  Little girls can run.  Mamas can't run.  Mamas sit.
Right now I fear that he is very close to the truth.
This Mama is TIRED of sitting.
We have ONE Year 3 product FINISHED!!
13 more to go...
It's going to be a long spring.
I'm going to be doing a LOT of sitting.
Aaron is going to be doing a lot of winning!
P.S. - I'm going to be in Cincinnati, Ohio next week for the Great Homeschool Convention!  All of you Ohio+ homeschoolers going to that convention... Come make my day and stop by my booth!   Just walk in the main entrance doors.. turn left.. walk a bit and there I will be!  A rather NICE location this year.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm Failing

I've been single minded.

Staying off the internet.

Refusing to blog.



We have 14 products due out this spring/summer and I need to stay focused.

Hover Effect

I'm HOPEFUL that the first of those products will be finished today!

Focus, Julia.


But then I take a quick break and slip into the Reece's Rainbow Facebook room where people are single-mindedly focused on advocating and raising money for families and doing whatever they can for orphans and my single-minded resolve just goes to pieces.

How in the world can I concentrate when I see Terri Casebier in that room helping to raise money for this family and that one and yet is NOT funded herself and is leaving in a LITTLE OVER A WEEK??

How in the world??
How can I concentrate when I see so many families with such great need?

I can't.

I can't do it.

I'm failing.

My single-minded resolve is out the window on this Friday morning.

I'm blogging this morning.

For a few families who are leaving REALLY SOON and need help NOW!

The Casebier family

Terri is crazy!!  She is leaving in nine days and spends her days yelling for other families.  She's the reason I am blogging this morning.  She's  getting these two darling little ones!  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SOW INTO THIS ADOPTION!

Brandy Brielle

I am so humbled by Terri and her willingness to lay aside her own need for others around her.  Will you help me bless her today?  Sow into her adoption.  They are about 7,000 short of what they need!! They are leaving next weekend!!


And after you donate to them... will you please help a few other families who are leaving soon and in real need!!

The Mayr family

Remember Rita?  I was yelling for her last year!  Well her family leaves TOMORROW to go get her!  She has arthro like Aaron.  Precious Precious!!  I'm figuring that I will run into them at Shriners one of these days...  Sweet reality!


This family is awesome!!  Kelly is crazy too.  She's been shouting along with Terri for other families.  Yes, they are short.  By a lot.  It isn't stopping them.  They are boarding the plane - willing to go into debt to get their little one home.  Every little drop eases their burden!  Every little drop matters.


The Thorp family

They picked two little sisters to adopt. Margaret (pink) and Merry (purple).  Precious sisters.  But in February they received the devastating news that Merry had died of cancer.

Oh Sorrow upon Sorrow.

The Thorps leave in a little over a week to bring Margaret home. Maybe they will have tucked another sweet one or two in their bags before all is said and done?  They are not closed to that possibility.  Not as a replacement for their wee one.  Never.  But God has opened this door and they are going through.  They are not funded.  Short by thousands.  I know they would be blessed to have some help! Tracy has been another one of those crazy yellers!!  Adopting families tend to be the most giving people I have ever met!  Even in their pain.  Maybe because of their pain.


The Bloom family

Remember Barton??

Well his family is boarding the plane TOMORROW to go get him.  Not just him though... They are also getting Theo and Orion and are FULLY FUNDED for those three boys...

Theo 2013 (1) Orion

But that is NOT the end of the story!


The Lord has opened the door up for them to adopt one more.  Evan.

Hey RR friends,
I am doing a shout out for the Bloom family.   They leave in a couple of days.  They are not adopting one boy (Theo), not two boys (Orion), not three boys (Barton) .. but also hoping to adopt a Fourth boy (Evan).  Imagine how overwhelming this must be … especially if you are concerned that you will not have enough money to adopt the 4th child (Evan).   Evan is bedridden.  His future is very grim.    The Bloom family is his MIRACLE! They need us now.   Every single child and/or adoption is worthy of our efforts and money but I am hoping that at least a ¼ of us are able to donate $5.   I believe they are estimating atleast another $3000 is needed but this number certainly could rise with any unexpected event!!!      This family is saving 4 older boys from life in an institution.     Kayleigh has been such an advocate for so many of the children!   I know that whatever you are able to give will be truly appreciated and a blessing to the family and the boys.
Thanks everyone :)

It is a GOD story and I cried when I read it.  He's desperate for a family and they are desperate to adopt him.  Simple.  The ONLY thing standing in their way is a $3,000 dollar price tag.  Yep.  That's it. 

A wee bit of money for a precious treasure to find a home.

They are packing their bags and whispering prayers that the Lord provides what they need. 

Want to be a part of God's answer??


I'm failing on this Friday.  So much work to be done and I sit here with tears flowing.  Families in need.  Babies who need out.

I'm going back to my writing now. 

Trying to get ONE product finished today!

Trying to be single-minded.

Failing terribly.

Whispering prayers as I go.

Will you donate $5.00 to each family?  How about $10.00?  That's only $40.00.  Would you consider taking $100.00 and spreading it around?  How about $100.00 each?  It is Friday for so many.  Payday. 

All four of these families are sacrificing everything to cross that ocean.  All four are leaving in days.  All four have been advocating and yelling for other families.  All four have jumped a cliff and trusted that God would provide. 


Please don't pass these needs by!



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Shriner's Recap

It's Sunday night.
Aaron and I are still in recuperating mode from our Friday Shriner's trip.  We left Friday at 3:00 am and returned home at 11:30 pm. 
It was by far one of the longest and most exhausting trips I have done.  Of course making that trip at the same time we are burning the candle at both ends doesn't help.
Aaron was of course amazing the entire time.

He rarely complains and just takes everything in stride.

The very hardest part was finding out that he is back to wearing his braces all day AND all night. 
With arthrogryposis... it is often a two steps forward, one step back condition.  Three years ago we did massive rounds of serial casting to get Aaron's feet flat and straight so that he could walk without falling.  After those casting rounds Aaron wore braces night and day for the next year and a half.  When everything looked good, we were  able to graduate to just night braces.  Last year when he had his major triple surgery, we set aside the nighttime braces for several months since his legs were in casts.  When he was finally able to go back to the nighttime braces... he had outgrown the pair he owned.  So...when he had the plates removed in the fall he was fitted for new braces.  Unfortunately we did not make it back up to Shriners until Friday due to sickness and snow and scheduling issues.  That is a LONG time to go without braces of any kind.
His feet are no longer flat and he has gone back to walking on the front part of his foot. We knew he wasn't walking correctly but we didn't know why... Not until he demonstrated his walking to the doctor did I see what he was doing. 
So we are back to full-time braces.


Aaron's eyes filled with tears when he was told but after the doctor told him that braces would have him walking straight again he was fine. 
And I promised him that he would have brace-free time so he can still build his Legos because my boy does all of his Lego creations WITH HIS FEET...
This is an Aaron Nalle EXCLUSIVE Mini-Van!
To be honest... I'm the one who is having the harder time with these awful things!

I have been grieving his loss for the last 48 hours.
He's the sweetest little guy with the most accepting little heart.  He bears his disappointments so well but dang it... I wish he didn't constantly have to deal with those kinds of disappointments!
It just kind of stinks tonight.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Shriners Bound

We are on the road... 

Thank you to everyone who poured into Renee and Alan's need..  They have all they need with a beautiful cushion.  Please pray those babes home.  

Pray them home. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Urgent Need

I am posting this tonight for Renee and Alan who are across the ocean in a very hard situation...
I am not able to write a blogpost at this time (Aaron and I are leaving for Shriners early in the morning) and as I wrote this morning.. I am in a huge writing I am just cutting and pasting from a friend's (Jennifer Doloski) Facebook page .... 
 "Renee and Alan are at the end of the process of adopting five children...

Two of the five are medically fragile. As in, the situation was so scary that last weekend several friends raised the airfare to fly a nurse/friend/adoptive mom out to help the family get home. 

 Those two babies will go, literally, from the airport to the hospital. Their doctors are already on alert.
  The nurse MUST be home by Saturday - she has a job and a family to return to - and this should have all been very simple. 
 But Lufthansa staged a planned strike this week, and now airfares have SKYROCKETED. They paid $717 to fly the nurse friend out there last weekend, and now that same flight is selling for $2900 - for a ONE WAY SEAT. The first quote the family got this morning to fly home was for $23,000. Their travel agent - who is usually able to access humanitarian fares - is also hostage to the increased fares from the strike. (Fares are up because people couldn't fly all week and are now scrambling to get on flights - so, of course, the airline takes advantage of this by charging more.)
  Last we heard the family had a quote just over $13,000 to fly everyone home on Saturday, with their nurse, and with doctors waiting for their arrival. They need just over $5,000 to be able to book the tickets and come home. 
 (If tickets were still at last weekend's $700/person, they would have funds enough.) 
 I know this family. When we raised the money last weekend to send out the nurse, we did so privately, both for the protection of the family and because we - a group of their closest friends - were able. But the situation is desperate now and we have been given permission to beg for donations to get this family home and get those two boys the medical care they desperately need. Please pray for this family, and if you can make a tax deductible donation - please do. "
Will you help?


Their FSP needs to read $48,987.00