April 2014 Flexi-Of-The-Month

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Aqua Burst the April Flexi is here!  If you have never tried flexi-clips or beaded head bands…this is the month to try!  They are also offering matching You Pins this month! As always the flexi of the month is produced in a limited supply and is sold at a first come first served basis.  Its not unusual for them to sell out in all sizes in just a week.

Remember to check out Lilla Rose styling and sizing video’s before ordering!

To order yours today…click here.

 

Pure Religion – The Lloyd Family Adoption Journey

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This post is dear to my heart.  I have personally been praying for this sweet family for quite a while.  I know I am in good company, because I know there are many others lifting the Lloyd family and little Samuel up in their prayers.

This is from a post on April’s page…

I was asked today why we were adopting and why Africa. Honestly I love that question. It allows me to brag on God! I am not perfect or anyone to follow I am not posting this because I think I am good. But to tell a little of our story and answer why to anyone who we call a friend. My quitting work full time was a huge leap of faith and a test that we passed. One month and one day later God changed our lives again. That day we did a newborn session and I pulled out a scarf I had brought back from Africa. I told the mom that it was special because it was from Africa. Little did I know she too had been on a mission trip a few years ago. As she spoke I kept hearing God say the time is now. I actually had to sit twice and try and compose myself. After the session I had to hurry home to pick up our kids from school. Jason stayed behind to shoot a Senior session. During that 45 min drive I argued all of the logical reasons why we can’t do this with God. Then as I arrived to Dyersburg I heard him very clearly say you have a baby in Africa. You are the mother. You can waste time and tell me why you can’t do this but I am telling you, you have a baby in Africa. The longer it takes you to realize that is the longer he goes with out his mother!
So I pulled over and cried and apologized to God! Little did I know at the same time Jason was also having his own God moment. I thought I would surprise him but he already knew! So that’s it. We are following God every step of the way no matter how crazy or illogical and we could not be happier. One day soon hopefully we will have an update that we can post but for now it looks like we will be home with our baby in 10 months to a Year.
Thanks for reading and please keep our complete family in your prayers!

God spoke to their hearts almost a year and a half ago, and they are still waiting. Following God is not always easy, but the Lloyds have decided to do just that. No matter how difficult or expensive, they are on the journey to their son. #waitingforu

Take a moment and watch their Journey… (Warning, have tissues ready!)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=san3BvMudJs&feature=youtu.be

 

The Lloyd Family Adoption Journey Timeline

Nov 12 2012 Heard separately, but at the same time that they had a baby in Africa …
(don’t you just love when God does that)
Nov 14 2012 Signed with an agency
Nov 28 1012 Announced to family and Facebook that we were adopting
Dec 27, 2012 Homestudy done
April 2, 2013 All documentation complete and approved. Officially waiting for a referral
April 10, 2013 Samuel was born
May 20, 2013 We got THE call. We have a SON!!
Aug 27, 2013 Passes court and CONA!! Samuel is now a Lloyd!! Told Gavin and Addie
you have a brother. Announced to youth group, we have a son, and told family and
friends!!
Sept. 27, 2013 Our adoptive country stopped issuing exit letters, for up to 12 months :(
Oct 10, 2013 I-600 Approved!!
Oct 17, 2013 Embassy received I-600 and Visa investigation started.

Currently they are waiting on the visa investigation to be completed. This can take from 3-6 months. They are at month 4. Since passing I-600 Samuel has been in foster care.
It is expected that both parents will have to travel to pick Samuel up and are expecting a 3 week stay. Currently they have not received any grants, in spite of applying for many. At this time they  have paid all agency and lawyer fees. However they still have monthly foster care fees, travel cost, and re-adoption fees to pay as those arise.

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What you can do…

Pray for the Lloyd Family and little Samuel as they go through this adoption season.

Sign the Petition to Congress to help resolve pending adoptions to the Congo…  www.petition2congress.com/14960/please-help-resolve-pending-adoptions-from-democratic-republic-co/?m=5272303

If you feel lead to help in a financial way please donate using the go fund me link… www.gofundme.com/lloydsadoptionafrica

Pray for all the orphanages around the world, Pray for the children who are hurting, and families who are waiting to selflessly receive them into their home. Pray that these children will come to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and that they can be used as an instrument to further the gospel to the United States and even to their native lands.

May God give us an open mind and open hearts…may we desire and seek a pure religion.

James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 

Marriage Retreat 2014

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March 16th marked our 12th Anniversary!  Lee is a great photographer, don’t you think?  We haven’t always “gotten away” for our Anniversary, but we have for the last few years and it has been a great investment in our family.  Last year we enjoyed Fort Rock so much, we decided to go back.  This year we were joined by our friends the Mashburns.

 

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Fort Rock is an awesome Christian camp!  We can’t say enough about the awesome time we always have there.  We went last year for Family Camp and had a blast then too.  This year we enjoyed sermons from S. M. Davis.  We always enjoy his messages and we came back home with many more dvd’s to watch.  You can check him out at Solve Family Problems’ website www.solvefamilyproblems.org .  On the first night he preached “12 Reasons Why I Am For The Permanence of Marriage”.  It was very good!  Its so sad how so many in our culture today start out their marriage with the thoughts that they are going to “try it out” and when they encounter their first problem they are already gone.  Another great sermon was “Are You a Giver or a Taker”.  It was really eye opening and caused me to evaluate everything I do!  I have always considered myself a giver, but I thought of many more ways I can be a giver, and ways that I can take less.  He also preached on the demonic nature of anger.  When you think of how yelling and anger destroys our families and children, and gives place to the devil, it is much easier to keep your cool!  It is much easier to raise children with tenderness and compassion than it is to repair broken adults.

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His last sermon was about the two paths a person takes when they go through a trial.  He called them the garbage trail and the golden trail.  God allows and sends trials in a Christians life to refine us like gold.  It is up to us to choose the right path.  So many will take the garbage trail and pick up garbage along the way.  They will pick up a why me attitude, anger, doubt, fear, jealousy and come out defeated carrying all their burdens with them on the other side.  Then God looks down and sees that they have learned nothing and sends another test to see if they can get it right.  Most people will habitually take the garbage trail.  Most will try to walk through life alone and never will experience the blessings that are found on the golden trail.  On the golden trail you pick up things as well like…patience, peace, compassion, understanding, love and joy.  When you take this trail through your trial you learn and grow in the Lord and come out a better person, ready and able to help others when they go through a similar place.  Let us pray now that when the next trial approaches we will choose the right path!  Let us pray that people will remember us for our smile not our frown!  Let us be a giver instead of a taker!

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We enjoyed the trail ride!  It brought back memories of our honeymoon in the Smokey’s 12 years ago!

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Baby Stella enjoyed “hanging” out with her Mom and Dad

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Target shooting with friends

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Jake and Jess were kind to babysit Stella while we were shooting

 

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What’s a few tomahawks between friends?

Tomahawk throwing is much harder than it looks!  It is a lot of fun though! I actually got 2 out of 6 this time! Last year I scored a 0.

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Bow and Arrow fun!  Between our shooting, tomahawks and bows, Don said he knows why the Indians lost!

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Saturday evening we were  also joined by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.  They are great speakers and are very encouraging.  Michelle is such a kind hearted lady and has a special heart for young mothers.  It was sweet to watch her taking time with so many women at the retreat, encouraging, offering wisdom from God’s word and praying with them.  She is very petite and has a sweet voice like a whisper, but man can she WHISTLE!  I guess you would need that with 19 children!

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The view from our door

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Well that’s it!  We missed our babies and were ready to come home, but it was an awesome time of much needed fellowship and re-commitment!  We look forward to Marriage Retreat 2015!

Jo Anna is 5!

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Jo Anna at 5 years (above) and  4 months (below)

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It is very hard to believe that our 1st baby girl is already 5 years old!  She is such a good little and big sister and she loves to help with Stella.  She is already finished with all her preschool workbooks this year and she enjoys learning.  I just know she is going to fly through kindergarten next year and be reading before we know it!  She loves being with her daddy and enjoys whatever they are doing.  Shop work or tractors, she loves it all!

 

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So it is no surprise that Jo Anna chose a “Pink” John Deere party!  To get ready for it we purchased everything we could find that was pink and green!  The boys made Yellow and Green tie-dye shirts and the girls made Pink and Green ones.

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The birthday girl ALWAYS gets flowers on her birthday from her Daddy and Momma!

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Her PINK and GREEN tractor cake

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A few of our friends have what they call “Milestone” parties.  This is when you celebrate BIG for certain years, and the other birthdays are celebrated with only family.  We loved this idea, and we adopted it into our Birthday routine!  This year was Jo Anna’s Milestone (5) party, so we invited over all our homeschooling friends!

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We had a BBQ with hot dogs and burgers and enjoyed fellowship with our friends!

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I didn’t have a wide enough lens to take a picture of everyone!  We need a few more couches when our friends come for a visit!

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Eli and Mary Claire are a mess!  They are going to get into a lot of trouble together one day!

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Dress up fun while the boys were playing outside.

We hope you had a wonderful birthday Jo Anna!  We are so blessed God has entrusted you to us! 

 

Tractors in the Snow

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Stella the Party Girl

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We are so blessed God led our family to Tyler Baptist Church!  Don has been the pastor there for almost 3 years now, and we love our church family!  Recently they threw a shower for our little Stella, followed by a fellowship meal.  These are a few pictures from the afternoon…

 

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Stella is our “Best” gift!

 

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Proud Daddy holding his littlest girl.

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I think Stella racked up!  Thanks again to the Ladies at Tyler Baptist Church for the lovely shower!

 

Happy Birthday to the Farmer

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Happy Birthday to the best man in the world, the best husband and best friend a girl could have, not to mention the best daddy!  We are so blessed to have you in our lives!  I thank God for you every day and I hope all your dreams have come true…because mine sure have!

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O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Psalm 34:8

 

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Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee…Psalm 84:5

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Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. Psalm 65:4

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Blessed is the man that feareth  the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. Psalm 112:1

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Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is…Jeremiah 17:7

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Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalm 32:2

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Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1

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O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. Psalm 84:12

And blessed are everyone around you…just because you were born.  We hope you have a Happy Birthday sweetheart! We love you more than you’ll ever know!

 

Love is in the air…

We are so blessed to have such great homeschooling friends to get together with!  This Valentines Day, Stacy invited the Mashburn family and our family over for a party.  I have very fond memories as a child making my Valentine Box and picking out little cards and treats to carry to school.  Just because you homeschool doesn’t mean you have to miss out!  These are a few of our homemade creations…

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After we swapped our valentines with our kids at home, we headed out to the Witcher’s house.  The kids jumped right in and started playing with all their friends, they had a lot of catching up to do, and so did the mommas!  It was sweet having two little babies there.  Stella has a new little friend, Felicity, who is just a few weeks younger.  I’m sure they will be great friends one day!  After a wonderful lunch, we passed out our goodies and Valentines.  Next year I’m going to be smart like Stacy and only fill in the FROM: and not the TO: ! It took me forever to “deliver”  all the Valentines!!!!  It didn’t help that we only have 2 readers in our family!

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Happy Valentines Day 2014!

Valentines Day 2014

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Valentines Day is a fun time to show your kids just how loved they are!  We always get them a little box of candy and a small “lovie”.  This year we added a card for each child in which we both wrote them a letter.  These letter’s, believe it or not, were our big kids favorite thing!  Kids love to hear you say how precious they are to you.  In a family, big or small, we need to take time to let them know every day just how important they are to us and how much they are loved!  A good rule of thumb is to praise them 10x more than you correct.  Some days this is harder to do than others, be diligent!  You may have to praise something that seems so small, but in the end you will have the heart of the child and they will smile ear to ear for that “little thing” you noticed!

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 Cupcakes for breakfast isn’t such a bad idea either!

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“LOVE-ly” Valentines Shirts

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Valentines Day is all about LOVE and when our family thinks about “love”  we think about Jesus!  What better way to show the world where our heart is on Valentines Day than making and wearing our John 3:16 shirts!  The kids had a ball painting their hands and deciding how they wanted to make their heart shirts.

 

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The little ones did a more simplified version.

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Clara just did her feet.  She wouldn’t open her fist for me to paint her little hands!!!

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I think they turned out really well!  We received lots of compliments on Valentines Day!

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For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

Quit Chasing Rabbits!

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As we shared yesterday we have recently expanded our farm!  Chickens and Rabbits, Oh, my!  Like I said we were going to wait on meat rabbits until we had a barn, but as I was searching Craigslist for chickens, I ran across a rabbit listing that was too good to pass up.  It included a New Zealand buck, New Zealand doe, 3 Flemish Does, and 17 of their babies (who were a week away from butchering).  Also, 3 hutches, all their feeders, and nesting boxes, heat lamps, and whatever feed they had left, and at a price we couldn’t refuse!

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The people we bought these from had raised the bunnies and then couldn’t kill them.  Their loss was our gain. Here is our current line up…

 

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“Buckey”

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“Little Momma”

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“Big Momma”  Who has since had us a litter.

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“Big Momma 2″

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This is a picture of the 8 weekers who currently reside in my freezer.

We sold 3 rabbits to a friend for meat breeding purposes. and butchered the rest.  The kids even helped skin them.  We saved the skins so we could learn how to tan hides, when it gets a little warmer, of course!  We are looking forward to many more litters, an many more yummy meals, and hopefully a great learning experience for the kids.

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The fruits of our labour!

 

Birds of a Feather

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Our little farm has grown recently, an I’m not talking about our newest addition Stella.  I’m speaking of an addition of the furry and feathery sort!  We have always wanted chickens and eventually planned on adding meat rabbits and other animals once we got in a permanent location and got a barn built.  Well, the barn isn’t built yet, but we found a deal we couldn’t refuse on Craigslist.

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Above: Speck and the girls in their first night home.  Below: is a picture of a few of the hens.

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We researched chicken breeds and chose Silver Laced Wyandotte’s and luckily found a breeder pretty close.  We had to wait 2 weeks for pickup, due to weather. It seemed  like an eternity, but we had plenty to do!  We had our cool coop delivered and we built our fence, gathered all supplied and feed we needed, and then waited!  We highly recommend Dragonfly Farms!  We picked up our 7 ladies and we chose a very curious looking “Speck” for our rooster.  He is 1/2 Wyandotte and 1/2 Ameruchana.  He is a sweetheart!  We let the kids choose which was their favorite and he was it!  He actually lets them pet him and eat grain out of their hands.  I think they were excited at the prospect of green eggs as well.  You see, since Speck has the “blue egg” gene, any chicks he fathers will lay green colored eggs.  This spring we are planning on incubating some eggs and see what we come up with.  Next year, we might just invite you over for green eggs and ham! Ha Ha!

Here is “Specks” baby book…

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His awkward teen years…

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More about rabbits…TOMORROW!

 

Stella’s One Month Old!

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Can you tell how behind I am?  Stella is really 9 weeks old!  Here’s her one month report anyway:

Stella is such a good baby!  She is more alert than ever now!  She loves for people to talk to her and she smiles all the time.  She adores her brothers and sisters!

 

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Stella is a happy baby and although she hasn’t laughed at us while awake, we catch her laughing in her sleep all the time!  Her hair is getting curlier and at our last midwife check up she weighed in at 12 pounds 8 oz.

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She has started telling us she’s “good”  and she seems to be a night person.  She really gets stirred up talking before bed.  She loves to snuggle with her mommy in bed in the morning, and her mommy loves it too!  We thank God for our precious little Stella and cant wait to see what a fine lady she will one day be.

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Stella’s One Week Pictures

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Its hard to believe how fast our little “Stella Bella” has grown!  She is now 7 weeks old!  These pictures are a flashback when she was only a week old.  I still feel like she is tiny, but I forgot just how small she was until I was looking through pictures.  She is the best baby!  Every one asks “So this is the Last one right?”  I always say that Stella has been the easiest baby yet, so why stop now!

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At one week old she only nursed 2 times in the night.  Every one always comments on how alert she is.  She always seems to have her eyes open for pictures and she loves to stare and smile at her brothers and sisters.  Apparently the “new” has already worn off of Stella, because her brothers and sisters are already talking about the “next” baby!

 

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Verse of the Day
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” — 1 Corinthians 1:18 Listen to chapter Public Domain. Powered by BibleGateway.com.
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