Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Heart...Christmas Eve

In our home we mix traditions from Norway and the States. This year we started off the morning opening up one gift and then started into the full gift giving in the afternoon. We paused for a traditional Norwegian Christmas meal and had Risen Grøt, this is basically a rice pudding that is hot...basically. We put sugar, cinnamon and butter on top. In one of the bowls (this is a mystery to everyone) there is a peeled almond. The person who gets the almond gets a prize. It's great fun to pretend we have it and save the reveal until everyone is done. This year Karston got the almond (mandel in Norwegian). It was his first year getting it without "all the little kids get one."
The big winner!

Eager anticipation for the next gift

Then we jumped back to presents for a while. We decided to go to the 5PM service at church, as we would have been late for the 3PM service. I love going to Christmas Eve service at our church. It's a highlight of the year. We sing tons of great Chrsitmasy songs, hear the story of Jesus in new and creative ways and finish with anyone who wants to go on stage singing the Hallelujah chorus! I used to make fun of that until the first time I did it. I remember pulling my friend Steve on stage when we were in Atlanta and laughing most of the way through it. Now I truly love that moment.

Part way into the service there was a drawing of baby Jesus up on the wall. My heart suddenly longed for our babies in a way it hadn't yet. Oh, I've been longing for them for quite a while, but it had not hit me until that moment that I never dreamed we would make it to Christmas and not hear a word about our referral. Tears slipped down my face as I thanked Jesus for coming to the earth so that we would have the opportunity for forgiveness of sins and eternity in heaven when we leave this earth. I have been resting in Philippians 4:6 recently, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." I try not to be anxious about this process. I try to just thank God for the process and for my children and for the MANY people who have been part of our journey. I also present my requests to God. This night I was just sad as I longed for them.

That night, as Jeanne-Ann and I were talking she told me that she was crying and longing for our kids. She didn't know that it was happening to me too! Haha. They are coming. We will get a referral. For now, we just sit and wait. We live life, one day at a time. Each day praying the next will be the day we get the call. God is good...all the time. I know this to be true!

My sweet children, I know you are out there. I pray for you every single day! So do your brother and sister and mother. We can't wait to meet you and live with you as a forever family!

Friday, December 24, 2010

I won an iPad!

Well, MANY of you jumped on to help me with my latest video competition. I am sure there will be more to come in the future. Haha. I really enjoy doing it and winning is fun too. You are too kind to jump in and support me in these crazy endeavors of mine. Thank you! It was a close battle to the very end. The video that came in first was really awesome and honestly way more deserving than mine as far as good videos go. I "liked" that video myself.

That of course means I got second place! Second place was an iPad. They are in Germany and asked if I wanted to wait for it to be delivered or if I wanted the money in paypal. Now, if I am honest, I was VERY tempted to get the iPad...but we were planning on selling it anyhow so getting the money without the hassle of selling it is awesome! Straight to the baby fund!

Now for last minute Christmas items...thankfully I was up late last night wrapping gifts while I was refreshing my video, so most of it is done. I LOVE Christmas!!!

QUESTION: What's your favorite Christmas song?

You might remember this little nugget from a couple of years ago.

Here is my video and the winning video. Remember, the contest was with so the song is about the free apps they are giving away.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Wish List

What are you wishing for Christmas? An iPad? The latest droid phone? A Segway? An original Wrigley's chewing gum pack? We tell our kids that they can't go into a store and ask if they can have something, but they are welcome to tell us all year long what they wish for as we walk down the shopping aisles. We keep some sort of track of what they wish for and when Christmas or a birthday comes around we begin to ponder that list, we look at our budget, we talk about reality and then we make some decisions.

I love shopping for gifts for other people, because I love to give gifts. I wish I was loaded so I could give more and more, but with what we have, I love to get creative. I constantly see things and think, "I could make that." Then Jeanne-Ann gives me a good case of reality and says, "Seriously? You never do." That is true, but I could. Haha. Every now and then I actually do. I have an idea I am working on, but I can't mention it just yet, because I do have potential receivers of this gift who read this blog. (Yes, it's you I am talking about.) I am excited about it, because it is a cool gift and I can make it AND I think the recipients would really like it. I will let you know how it goes.

Want to see my wish list? I'll show you mine...will you show me yours? I would love to know what you are wishing for.

* Call of Duty Black Ops
* Belt Buckle
* Ted Dekker books - (Kiss, Boneman’s Daughter, Burn, Bride Collector or Immanuel’s Veins)
* Thumb Ring - Like Howie Mandel’s
* Red Sox knit hat
* Chair massager - one that hangs on your chair
* Anything Red Sox
* Fish eye/Macro lens for Canon Camera
* Great zoom lens with Macro for Canon Camera

Those things are all great and fun and all that, but the number ONE thing on my wish list?

A REFERRAL CALL from our adoption agency!!!

ps. A post on how I am dealing with anxiousness regarding this wait coming in the next week.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Warning: Buying on Craigslist? Test it before you buy it.

I learned a valuable lesson recently. Our Wii stopped working and was out of warranty. I checked Craigslist and found a ton of great deals. I put out offers to a whole bunch of people and got a reply and made the deal. Jeanne-Ann told me I should meet somewhere I could test it. I sarcastically said, "Should I bring the TV or just meet at Best Buy in the back by the TVs?" Then I told her that she sounded legit and she wanted to get the Kinect for her son. I knew where her baby went to daycare and found out several other things from her in our conversation. No problem.

I get home and the Wii makes a LOUD spinning noise when you put a disc in. Louder than the game. VERY annoying. So I contacted her about it. She said it has always done that and she thought that was what it was supposed to do. WHAT???!!!?? Are you kidding me? Then after playing for a while we kept getting disc errors. I told her this was not going to work out and I needed to return it to her. Then some guy contacted me (a boyfriend? I don't know) and told me I had to deal with him and was NOT to contact her anymore. I said that was fine and would be happy to deal with him. Basically he tells me that this is all user error and it is my fault and that the disc error is bad discs.

So there is my story. I am not sure it is over as I need to decide how to finish this conversation, but you have been warned.

Craigslist, I love you, but I need to be more careful how I use you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thanx...and further endeavors

Our raffle was a smashing success. We raised just over $1,200 and had such a blast doing it. I want to thank all of you who donated towards our adoption this way. So many of you gave us gift cards to go into this raffle and then so many of you donated your dollars. I was seriously overwhelmed. So thank you! We are very close to having what we need for our referral check. (holding tightly that maybe it will be coming soon...Christmas gift?)

You may know that I happen to run into the most random things. On Tuesday morning I was headed to Port Angeles, Washington to speak at a youth group meeting. About 30 minutes before I left I remembered I had a website opened from the week before that had a video competition. I decided to look at it. Sure enough, the video was due THAT DAY! was running it and so I read the rules...less than 2 minutes, had to be in a Santa costume and that was it. You could do anything. I looked at the time and I decided I was going to try it.

I took a Christmas carol and rewrote the lyrics. Then I pulled down my Santa outfit, grabbed my guitar, practiced it twice and recorded it on my iPhone. I sent it in and the guy told me it was awesome and was in the top 10. So here is the deal. The top 10 were then uploaded to youtube on Friday and then it is up to the most views. Here is the breakdown 4-10th place get $15 iTunes gift cards. 3rd place will get a Parrot AR. Drone (remote control with your iPhone helicopter with a video camera on it). 2nd place wins an iPad and 1st place wins a MacBook Air! The competition ends on Friday, December 24th at 1AM...I think. It says Friday at 10AM GMT+1. This is a really great website as they give away a free app every day in December each year. I love loading my iPhone with the apps they give away. Feel free to jump over and support them.

So, here is where I come asking for your help again. Can you go watch my video...A WHOLE BUNCH OF TIMES!!!????!!! Are you planning on sitting down and watching some TV? Got a laptop? You could just keep hitting refresh all night. Even if the view count doesn't go up right away, it is still counting each view. It just takes some time for it to catch up. I would GREATLY appreciate it! Just go here.
3rd place. 
2nd place.

1st place.
Check out the video of the's sick!

FB friends who want to view the video click here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

5 Months

My how time flies. A year ago Jeanne-Ann and I had just made the decision to move forward in adoption process. A year and a half ago I wasn't even thinking about it! Now we have been on the waiting list for 5 months. If you are new to what I am talking about, let me explain.

In December we submitted our application to Dove International, then we took a bunch of classes, filled out a bunch of paper work, got fingerprinted, did more paper work, waited a lot here and there, had in-home visits and finally sent off our dossier (all our paperwork that said we were approved to adopt) to Ethiopia. On July 8, our dossier landed in Ethiopia. That is when we started on the waiting list.

That was 5 months ago today. They say the average wait is 4-6 months. Some have waited for just over 6 months and 3 weeks, some have waited just shy of 3 months. We are smack-dab in the middle of the "average." Typically I don't like to be average in anything. I am an all in type of person. We would love to be VERY AVERAGE on this one. So if we got the call today, I would not be upset. :)

Ever feel like the thing you want is so close you can almost taste it, but for some reason you can't quite grasp it? I feel ya kid.
(FaceBook friends click here to see the video below)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Adoption Raffle (lots o stuff) Help Bring Our Babies Home!


If you have been following our story for a while, you know that we are in the process of adopting 2 babies from Ethiopia. If you are new to the blog, welcome.

The process of adoption has been an amazing one. We are so excited to grow our family to 6! Two days from today will mark 5 months on the waiting list! WOW! Our pray is that we will get our referrals for our sweet children this month! Wouldn't that be amazing? I think about them all the time and I don't even know who they are yet. It is a strange thing. A year ago I did not think we would actually be moving forward on this… Not until God grabbed my heart and totally and radically turned it around. You can read more of our story here.

Today we are starting a Gift Card Raffle. We have been doing all kinds of fundraisers and we are trying to get creative in how we raise money for our adoption. Being that it is Christmas time, we thought that maybe you would want to take a chance on winning some gift cards to give away as gifts (or to shop with). So really you just MIGHT be doing a little Christmas shopping by supporting our adoption. Below you can see what we are raffling off.

Raffle tickets are $10 each or 3 for $20. You can get as many as you like. So, for example, spend $40 you get 6 raffle tickets.

After doing the math we realized that if 200 raffle tickets are bought we would receive $2,000 towards our adoption and that would cover the remaining amount of $ we need to have at our time of referral!!! That would be amazing! If we make anything over that amount, it would go towards our travel expenses to Ethiopia.


If you get at least one ticket there are other ways you can get extra tickets for "free."

1) If you post about it on your FaceBook status with a link to our blog post you will get a free ticket. (tag me by typing @erikwilliams as you post it)

2) If you blog about it on your own blog you will get another free ticket. (send me a link with your blog post in the comment section)

Just to be clear: donate $40, blog about it and FaceBook it TWO TIMES and your grand total is 8 TICKETS!! Or donate $60, blog and FB and you get 11 tickets! Those are pretty good odds. There is no limit...the only limit is you...haha.

Now for the goodies:

We will raffle off everything you see in the picture below (plus a few items not pictured). The way we will raffle them is in groups. There will be 5 total raffles and if you do not win the first round, your tickets stay in the pot for the other ones. You could win several things if you have multiple tickets in the drawing.


1) "Techie Bundle" - $50 Amazon and $50 Best Buy. $20 Starbucks (just added)

2) "Mall Package" - $50 Macys, $20 Christopher & Banks, $25 Starbucks

3) "Restaurant Bundle" - $25 Olive Garden, $25 Red Robin, $20 Texas Roadhouse, $25 Jamba Juice

4) "Local Package" - $20 Ike Box, $20 Bible Book House, Wash, Cut & Style by local Hairdresser (this will go to someone from Oregon); $25 Broadway Coffeehouse (just added)

5) "Music Galore" - $70 itunes, 1GB iPod Shuffle

Just click the donate button at the bottom of the page and put in your desired amount. (if you are local you are more than welcome to give us cash or a check)

The raffle will end at 5PM PST on Friday, December 17, 2010. We will then go live on camera at where you can watch us draw names. This should be VERY exciting!

ps. There may be more things added as we go on.
UPDATE: We got $25 to Broadway Coffeehouse gift card and $10 to Starbucks.

Thanx for your donation!!
(FaceBook friends click here so you can click on the donate button)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Armless Pianist Wins China's Got Talent

Have you ever had a dream and something kept you from it? What is your "issue/disability" that causes you to not move forward on a dream you have had? Could it be possible that you are letting something stop you from your dreams because you just don't think you can?

This is crazy amazing!

Facebook friends click here to watch it.
Are you ready to stop letting it keep you from your dreams?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Is December Our Month?

We are just over a week away from our 5 month waiting list "anniversary." I wonder if this will be the month we get the call. I am holding on to hope for just that. It is weird. I did not think I would be the way I am about this. I could not have imagined how much our babies would have consumed my thought life. I think about them all the time.

I know that the Bible says we shouldn't be anxious.
Philippians 4:6-7 "6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
So I am trying not to be anxious and spending as much time as I can to be thankful to God for all that I can. I just did a post on thankfulness the other day. I am thankful! Whenever I think about our kids I thank God for the opportunity he has given Jeanne-Ann and I to be parents. Kynzi and Karston are amazing kids and they will be amazing older siblings. I can't believe that God is allowing us to be parents again! For that I am very thankful. I just want to hold them and love them and begin to teach them life lessons. Is that so bad? ;)

So today is another day we have not received a call for our referral. Maybe tomorrow?
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