Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Kids in the Paper

Every year when we get our first snow we all go out and build a snowman. Then we take pics and submit it to our local paper. Well, for 4 years in a row we have done that and 4 years in a row they have put it in the paper. Front page! This year we did not have much snow on the first snow fall, but we still took advantage of it and made a snowman...on a slightly smaller scale than last years. Here you can check out the pic from last year. Here's hoping we have a LOT more snow this year too!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thank You

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful day hanging out at home, playing games, being with friends and of course, EATING! I love Thanksgiving. One of the reasons is that it reminds us all to think of what and who we are thankful for. That being said, I am thankful every day, but it is a good time to say it out loud. So I thought I would share a list (not comprehensive) of things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for...
      My wife
                my children
   the gift of adoption
     a good book
             a good movie
                           time with my bride
     a date...with my kids....with my wife
             self-serve frozen yogurt
          random texts of good news
                                              so many people supporting our adoption
   dancing with my daughter
              shooting paintballs from wrist rockets with my son
                     reconnecting with old friends
       sleeping in
my parents
    collaborative journeying
                          thoughtful gifts
     a good fitting hat
                              hand holding
           others' perspectives
                              soft pillows
                  a kiss
knowing looks from my bride
              my heritage
                    my upbringing
                 spell check
hot tubs
                            the Bible
          walking barefoot in the hot sand
       a great deal
                      a generous heart

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Simplicity - simplifying your life

I am a pack rat. I admit it. I have a hard time throwing things away. I am not sure exactly why. Maybe it's because I "may need it someday," or that I have sentimental attachment to something or I just can't let go. I don't know. I am sure there is a combination of all those things and more. I am getting better. Jeanne-Ann helps me with that. She is good at tossing things.

This week I got to spend some time with my friend Joshua. He is a youth pastor in Vermont and a couple of years ago he and his wife made some decisions to simplify their lives. It has become such a major deal that he has written a book about it. I sat down with him on camera and interviewed him about it. I thought you might enjoy what he has to say. Who knows. Maybe this is what I need to start moving more in that direction. Anyhow, here is the video. Enjoy.

By the way, if you are interested in buy his ebook, Click here to visit Becoming Minimalist.
If you buy it from this link 50% of it goes to our adoption!!!

ps. If you are reading this on FaceBook click here to see the video.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I need to tell you a story

This week I was at a conference in Colorado with a bunch of youth pastors. We had an awesome time of sharing one afternoon. Later that day in one of our sessions my friend Danny got up and said, "We have had a great time of being transparent and sharing some tough stuff. Today I have seen the Father's heart. We all know Erik worked really hard to get votes for his video and that he did not win. Today Erik told me his story about their adoption process. I heard a father's heart. Then when he walked away I saw the back of his shirt. It said, '5 million orphans...minus two.' That's when it hit me. We need to to take an offering for his adoption."

Then they all gathered around me and prayed for me. They passed a bag around and handed it to me at the end. We were in a meeting so I didn't pick up the bag to look inside of it. Jason had asked me to take Britt Edwards, our worship leader, to the airport during the session. On the way he shared his story of adoption and I shared mine. I prayed for him and he prayed for me and I dropped him off.

I decided to dump out the money and count it. I counted $100, $200, $300, $400...I was getting near $500 and I thought how amazing it would be if it were exactly $500. I hit $510!! I couldn't believe it. Tears started forming in my eyes. Then I read a note that was in there. It said that he would work it out with me and he was giving me $500! I know you are good with math, but that's $1,010!!! The tears went over the dam and flowed.

When I first counted the cash I thought I had counted wrong, so I recounted. EXACTLY $500!!! That's what I would've won in the video competition. Had I not lost, this moment would likely not have happened. The Lord doubled it! I called Jeanne-Ann to tell her about it. She asked me if I was OK. I said yes. She said, "Are you crying?" I said yes. She said, "I thought you said you were OK." "I can't cry and be OK?" Haha. I started to tell her the story and I had to pull over. I could hardly get the words out. I seriously have not cried like this in a while. Jeanne-Ann then got Kynzi & Karston on the phone and I told them the story. I finished and said, "Isn't that cool?" Karston said, "Yup." I laughed and Kynzi told me she thought we were calling to tell them we got the referral. I felt so bad. But this was great news...just not THE news. Not yet. Soon.

I told the story to a friend that night, he told me that he wanted me to deliver something for him. It was a check for $250! Wow! I am so overwhelmed with God's goodness. I have never been good at asking for money. When I was a boy scout I didn't like going door to door to ask people to buy stuff. I do know that God has our finances in control. I do know He is good. I know that He is and will provide.

This is truly something that God is using so many people to be a part of. I am overwhelmed at how many of you have joined us in this journey and support us with your kind words of encouragement, your prayers, your dollars, your gifts, your time. Thank you. Thank you. Seriously, thank you. I knew when we ventured forward with this we would have to trust God completely. It is not easy every day, but it is good. As I dream of our babies my heart swells with joy and longing. I love praying with my family every night for some many things and I love to hear my kids pray for their siblings. I love sharing with them how God uses people like you in so many amazing ways. I love hearing them thank God for you. Thank you for being part of my family.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Over

I want to thank you so much for voting for my video. It was a close race all week long. It was back and forth by only a few votes the whole time, until last night. I was behind by 5 votes. This morning I woke up and was behind by 20 votes. I kicked into high gear with my facebook pleas and people came out and voted! t was awesome. At one point I was 50 votes ahead.

In the end the other video had 1,183 votes and I had 1,097 votes. They came on strong. So I will not be going to the video finals. No $500 for our adoption. No $500 for McNary high school.

That being said, I learned a few things through this process. I learned that I could really get caught up in this and still trust God with the money even if I didn't win. I have known since we started this adoption process that we could not afford to do it, but I have also known that I have not worried about the money. So when I realized I wasn't going on, I was OK with it. I was disappointed because I am competitive, but I was OK. I also learned that the power of people getting behind something is huge. So many of you reposted the link for my video in your FaceBook status that I was blown away. The video I was up against had a whole bunch of people involved, so it was me with your help against a bunch of people and their friends.

I also learned how generous people are. You may have read my last post where I shared some of my friends were giving me a % of their sales if you put "Erik's Adoption" in the order. And now my friend Joshua Becker is giving me 50% of his eBook sales for any orders he gets from my website. I will try to have that up on Monday or Tuesday. I will be interviewing him about what "minimalism" is all about.

Anyhow Thanx for your support. Thanx for bearing with all my updates. Thanx for your prayers. We will be bringing our babies home before we know it...I am sure!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

iPhone sent to Outerspace?

What is the most creative thing you have done? Do you ever have an idea that you think would be really cool but just never do anything about it? Sometimes we just need the right motivation to get us to follow through with the dream. Last winter when we decided we wanted to adopt I knew I needed to get creative with the money part. I had bought about 3 or 4 years ago, but I never did anything with it. This moved me forward and I did it.

I wish I was the guy that followed through on all the dreams I have, but alas, I am not. I think if I were I would be so overwhelmed with all my projects I might collapse. Haha. I will just keep plodding along and see what happens along the way. I have so many ideas in my head right now I feel like I just need to do something! I will let you know when the next idea is out.

I saw this on the news last night. I guy and his son decided to launch their iPhone into outer space. Wow! The iPhone is truly amazing! You have to see this in action.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fund raising updates

I have made it to the semi-finals in the "High School Spirit" competition. This means I need your vote again. Head over here and click on my video. Under the video that pops up you will see a little "like" button that looks like this.
Click on that and you are done. You will need to be signed into FaceBook in order to do it.

Something else cool came up as I was out "knocking on doors" to get your votes. I got a message from my friend Crystal Stevens who has been creating jewelry since she was a teenager using stuff from all over the world. We Create Freedom is her website where you can find great Christmas gifts. She has offered to donate 20% of all sales that have "Erik's Adoption" in the tagline of where you want it to go to. She uses this site to send 20% to people and organizations she believes in. Pretty cool, huh?

Another friend, Keri Boda, also offered to give 15% of her Mary Kay sales if you do the same thing. Just type in "Erik's Adoption" there too. You can find her site here.
I am overwhelmed with your generosity! Thank you so much!

Monday, November 08, 2010

4 Months

Today we have been officially on the waiting list to adopt our babies for FOUR months! What a crazy ride this has been. They say the average wait is 4-6 months. That's AVERAGE. It could be sooner, it could be later. If our adoption goes the way we are seeing others right now it looks like it will be more on the later side of things. If our adoption goes the way almost everything else in our process has gone we will be more on the sooner side. Who knows? God does and that is what we are holding on to.

A couple of really exciting things...

1) Last weekend we hosted an intro class to adoptions with Dove International Adoptions at our church's new building. It was awesome! Josh & Bex and Jeanne-Ann & I got to open it up by sharing our stories. I know that we got to be an encouragement to these other couples who were there. If you missed out on it and want to get in a FREE class, please let me know. We plan to host another class in the future.

2) We attended out first Adoption Support group last Tuesday. This group is made up of 4 couples from our church who are adopting from Ethiopia and Rawanda. We got to share where we were at in the process and encourage each other. This process can be very difficult at times and it is amazing to share this process and walk through it with others who are walking the same journey. We laughed, we cried, we shared. It was awesome! Are you in the adoption process? Can I highly recommend finding some other people to connect with? Share openly and pray for each other.

3) I made it to the semi-finals in the video competition I am in.  There are 4 videos left in this competition and it's head-to-head. Voting opens up tomorrow morning at 8AM. I would greatly appreciate your vote. The winner gets $500 and all of it would go to our adoption. Another $500 would also go to our local high school. Pretty cool, huh?

What are you waiting for these days?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Halloween - Extreme Makeover, Trick or Treat and Pumpkin Seeds

For the last three years I have been running a retreat over Halloween weekend. As a result it has been hard to participate with my kids in the trick or treat festivities. (sidenote: this is not a should I or should I not debate) This year we finally were able to move our camp to a different weekend. It has been many years since my kids have wanted to attend whatever church happened to put on an "alternative" or trick or trunk or harvest party event. They wanted to go trick or treating with their friends, so that's what we did. I have fond memories of this as a kid. I even went my senior year of high school and ended up winning a 12 speed mountain bike from the inside of an M&Ms bag celebrating Mickey's 50th birthday.

I had not put much thought into what I would wear, as I usually don't dress up much anymore. Then we found out that Kara & Jeff Brown were headed over to the Salem Conference Center to a viewing party of Extreme Makeover Home Edition (can we drop "edition" as there is no other show anymore and just call it Extreme Home Makeover?) with the Oregon School for the Deaf and they had tickets for us. Jeanne-Ann and I went over because we wanted to support the Brown's and because they were showing the East Coast feed and we wouldn't miss our time with our kids.

I threw together an outfit and dressed up like a nerd of Urkel-like status. I even had 3 different styles of Billy-Bob teeth that ended with braces. Jeanne-Ann dressed up like a nurse (I have an owie..can you look at it?) and we were on our way. We went, ate some yummy desserts and met Scott, the guy who did most of the work with Kara on getting her hearing aids fitted, and enjoyed the show. Yes, I cried. I always cry when I watch that show or Undercover Boss. But this one had so much more meaning because we got to be a part of this whole experience. I will forever be connected to this show/school/experience because of the impact it has had. Largely on my friend, but on our community as well. I got to see myself on TV a few times too! Steve is with my in a couple of shots too.

We headed back home to catch up with the gang and trick or treat till we were done. It was a beautiful night out and the Condellos, Unwins and Bakers (Heather, Andy, Kyler and Lily) and Williams family walked around and filled their bags. It was fun to see everyone. There were some great costumes and then there were the "I'm a skateboarder" costumes. Lame!

When I was a kid, we would come home and separate all the different candies by kinds and categories. Chocolates in one section, chewy candy in another, etc. Then the trading would begin. There was a science to getting the stuff you really wanted. I don't eat much candy anymore. (attempt at trying to live a slightly healthier lifestyle which includes no more McDonald's, etc.). I did anjoy an Almond Joy and some gummy junk.

Then we went home and finished the pumpkin seeds. I made one batch with sea salt and the other batch with sugar and cinnamon. I have decided that the salty seeds are so much better! Need a good recipe? Check out Bex's blog. I have not tried it, but it sounds great. I just clean off the junk and then soak them in salt water overnight; spread them out on a tray with greased tinfoil; pour salt on top and cook for 45 minutes at 350F. Yum!

It was an extra special treat to have my parents with us this year. They came out for an extended weekend and my kids were over the moon about having them there to trick or treat with them!

What is your favorite candy?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...