"I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
~Jesus (John 10:10b)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Naphtali is 20 months old!!

This is going to be a VERY eclectic blog post, just to give a heads up! There is a mixture of how my girl is growing and our fun Christmas memories. I cannot believe that my little girl is 4 months away from being 2 YEARS OLD! Where has the time gone?! Even typing out this blog has been such an encouragement and warning that the days may feel as if they are long at times, but that my life really is a vapor, here for a little while, and then gone. How children and families are a blessing in this! Though life is short, this is where my legacy lies- in my family. In my husband, in my children, in the church. How good God is to give us such great purpose in our lives! So, here is a few of my favorite pics recently and some cute things our girl is doing :-)

Christmas is my favorite time of the year... but it only gets better with kids! Naphtali helped pick out the tree!

And decorate it!

Isn't this SOO classic? She was not a fan... cousin Bethany (or Nee-Nee as Naphtali calls her) was concerned for Tili!

Our girl LOVED Christmas lights this year! Lately, she has been really loving on her Daddy. Mama is still her favorite :-), but she is learning that Daddy is the goofy and really fun one!
Christmas morning held its magic since having Naphtali! We got her this cardboard house for Christmas (BEST $5 we ever spent!!) that she can color and here is her first impression of it!!! LOVE! 

One of the sweetest things our little girl is doing, is playing "Mama" so often! Here she is with her sweet brown baby :-) Preparing for bringing her brothers home! 

It humbles me and melts my heart as well, to see how much she wants to be like her "Mama". She LOVES helping wash dishes, changing her babies' diapers, feeding them, going on walks with them, dressing them... it is amazing to see this sweet God-given quality in little girls at such a young age! 

This is definitely one of her favorite toys. She has lately LOVED little people... little playmobile babies, sesame street characters, baby Jesus from the nativity set, it has been really sweet to see her imagination develop. We want to encourage that!

Did I mention that she is off running?!!! Naphtali has always been SO active! From the womb on... we call her our future rock climber :-) 

I also wanted to list some of her new words and phrases she is picking up:

1) walk (she asks to "alk" when we are outside!)
2) chocolate (yes, she knows this word- she is my kid!)
3) George (for her love of Curious George...she now sleeps with her stuffed animal version!)
4) milk- another one of her loves. She is quite the dairy kid.
5) ball- loves these.
6) duck 
7) God (almost has this down- needs some encouragement, but she can say it!)
8) Jesus (comes out Gisuss- there is a little baby Jesus in her little people Nativity set that she dearly loves!)
9) Ashes, Ashes, down! (her version of Ring around the Rosie)
10) animal sounds- "neigh" , "quack, quack!" and "meow" are her new ones!
11) "Nee-Nee" (her name for her cousin Bethany), Nana (my Mom), Papa (both my Dad and Daniel's dad), Andma (Daniel's Mom)

These are just some of the highlights! It is amazing how her vocal is growing!! 

How we love our little blessing!!! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Our New Etsy Store!

SO, like I mentioned in our last post, things around here have been BUSY. Very Busy. Our latest addition to our fundraising has been an ETSY store! WOO HOO! I love crocheting, especially hats. Baby's hats are the best. Recently, a friend messaged me on facebook to ask if I would crochet a hat for her son. I happily (with a bit of nervousness- I have always crocheted just for fun and not for profit!) agreed and then began what I see as another way the Lord is providing on our adoption journey. I have received many other orders just by word of mouth. Hence, the need for an official online store! Oh, how I have come to love Etsy, and now I get to actually sell items on Etsy! It's such a unique, artsy, fun place to browse.

I have opened our store officially with just a few items, mostly hats that I have made for Naphtali in the past (also that a friend, Rachel Lundy, made for her and gave me the pattern for! I LOVE her newsgirl hat!). We will be adding more items to the store in the near future! If there is any crocheted item that you would just love, but don't see in the store, please message me and I can most likely make it and add it to the store later!

Fall is here, winter is coming, and I will be sipping coffee, crocheting and working towards bringing our boys home! God is good.

Here is the link to our new store, Threads for Africa: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThreadsforAfrica .

Monday, October 22, 2012

Noonday Fundraiser!

First of all, I apologize for dropping out of the blogging world there for a little while! We have reached a whole new level of busy with the adoption paperwork... even when in graduate school, I do not believe I have had this much output required. It has been a trying time, but the Lord is gracious to remind me that this is a season, it too shall pass. He has been gracious to encourage me that in order to adopt me and millions of believers into the family of God, it was HARD. He understands. What comfort to know this as we walk through the beginning steps of our journey! He has also blessed me with a time of CELEBRATION of our boys with a Noonday party! It was such a fun time of fellowship, SHOPPING, talking, sipping coffee, and enjoying learning about the heart of Noonday. Click on their name if you want to know more! Such an inspiring and compassionate organization!
Here are a few pics of the party! 

So much pretty jewelry! All of us had a hard time deciding what to choose!
Don't you just want all of it??!

Beautiful scarves just in time for fall!

The only man in the whole party :-)

Final decisions...

LOVE these ladies! They are each so encouraging and inspiring to me!


Totally had a blast...

They even had a time of prayer for our family and for noonday! Sweet time of fellowship!

Kate Halaris, our ambassador, and myself. This lady has such a passion for adoption and for supporting artisans around the world! Check our her page here: http://www.katehalaris.noondaycollection.com

With this party and the generous gift of our ambassador, the Lord provided $125 towards bringing our boys home!!! We are so close to our goal of $2175 for our next payment! God is so good. He cares for the orphans. He cares for our boys across the world, in the DRC. Such a comforting thought! Thanks ladies for a FANTASTIC evening!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Naphtali's First Visit to Starbucks!

This past week, after staying up late working on some paperwork for the adoption, I got an email from Living Social offering a deal for Starbucks! Pay $5 get $10 worth of Starbucks! That definitely made my night. I bought two of them and we cashed in on one of them this past week for a family outing. It was Naphtali's first time drinking Starbucks. This was a dream come true for me as a Mommy. I know, kind of lame. But, I have wanted to take my little girl and get her a kid's hot chocolate and drink my peppermint mocha, color with her, and talk with her (not quite to that stage yet). It was so much fun enjoying it as a family! Here are some favorite photos:

Eagerly awaiting her own "coffee" (aka- hot chocolate!) Notice the shirt is on in this photo!
Loved it! 

Momma giving her a taste
Pulled out the dominos- they immediately became "phones"! 

Too sweet! Talking on the domino...

Showing off Naphtali's first cup of Starbucks

Doing a switcheroo :-)

Daniel came up with this neat idea! LOVE it!

These photos melted my heart! She looks deep in thought... what is she going to journal next- hmmm

She is loving "writing"! Love it!

So many great memories with our girl!

Noonday Trunk Show!

Hello readers! I am so thrilled to be writing again for our blog! We have so much to update you all with. Our lives have been quite busy with school starting back up and more importantly we are in the middle of our HOME STUDY!!! Woo hoo! Praise the Lord that we are this far now! We have had our first home visit and we did well! We had to buy a fire extinguisher, and lock box for medication, and clean every nook and cranny (only because we were so nervous about it! They don't actually check every nook and cranny). Our sweet little 880 sq foot cozy apartment is approved to be able to house two more little ones :-) Think IKEA. We can house 5 people (3 little people) in our sweet, humble abode comfortably- maybe it will be a little tight. We just have to be smart about it :-) We are just so grateful that there were no issues with our apartment being approved for two little ones. 

We still have three more interviews to go, so continue to pray for peace of mind and for patience in this process. We have mounds of paperwork that we are sorting through. It is definitely overwhelming, but each paper signed is one less until we meet our boys face to face and welcome them home to their forever family.

That brings me to another fun topic- a Noonday trunk show!!! Have I ever mentioned how much we love our church, Kenwood Baptist? We are so grateful to the Lord for bringing us to this church during this season of our lives. They are so supportive, prayerful, and encouraging throughout this adoption process. Mariah, a sweet friend from our church, offered to host a Noonday Trunk Show to help raise funds for our adoption. I had never heard of them until she mentioned the idea, so I of course, enjoyed doing a little research on them! They are a company that was founded by a woman who adopted a child from Rwanda. She merged her love for the orphan, adoption, giving aid to the oppressed through fair trade sales, and her passion for fashion all in one. You can read more about the Noonday story here: http://www.noondaycollection.com/our-story-about-the-owner.html 

Kate, our ambassador, is coming to a friend's house, Sarah, who will be helping to host the trunk show on September 17. 

I absolutely love their items! They would be great for Christmas presents or for an early Christmas present to yourself :-) 

Here are a few pictures to inspire you and below them is a link to their fall collection. Love it!

Here is the link to their catalog: www.katehalaris.noondaycollection.com

If you would like to place an order and are not able to come to the party, you can email Kate, our ambassador with what you would like to purchase. Here is her email address: kiflemin@gmail.com. Every purchase you make, we receive 20%!

And a special thanks for my friends, Mariah and Sarah, who are making this possible. Love the ladies at Kenwood!

Happy Shopping!!!

In Christ by His Grace,
Amber Lawson

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Naphtali is 15 months!!!

Our little girl is 15 months old now! She is a full-fledged toddler- hardly any "baby" left in our sweet little girl! She is truly a joy in our home. Many days I look at her sweet little face and cannot believe she is my daughter... that Daniel and I have a daughter to love, nurture, and raise up in the admonition of the Lord!

Here are some of our favorite pictures of our girl lately:

I had SOO much fun making cookies with my girl for the first time! I let her "dump" some of the ingredients in and of course there was some taste-testing involved!

One of the things that warmed my heart, was seeing my girl go straight to her play kitchen after finishing "helping" bake cookies with Mommy! It is definitely a humbling and yet, delightful thought to know that my daughter is watching me to know what being a woman is like!

Daniel and I were the band nerds. Ha ha. Well, I was a nerd and he was the metal head. In short, we LOVE music and creativity in the Lawson home. A couple of weeks ago, I was able to introduce Naphtali to my trumpet. These are some of my favorite shots from that afternoon. We would love it if she enjoyed music and learned to play an instrument! We shall see what the Lord gifts her with!
She totally looks like she's playing for a Jazz band here!

An area that the Lord is working in my life, is to really take joy in the moments that make up life. One of the struggles I am having as a stay-at-home wife and mother, is getting frustrated and impatient by the little things. It does not seem profitable to finish the same chores daily, to change three poopy diapers in one day (ha- really, that is what happens some days!), to prepare meals, and to clean up cheerios from the living room floor. And yet, the Lord is using these areas of frustration to reveal my impatience and to show me that service, though dirty, is LOVING and honoring to the Lord. It is a noble thing to serve. And in it, there are sweet joys. Like blueberry cinnamon rolls on a Saturday morning!

Or car rides with Daddy in our seminary parking lot to pick up mail!

Or designing my daughters room one Saturday! So much fun!
Or spending a Saturday morning with my girl in our pj's- watering plants and cleaning but enjoying each other's company!
A thrift store find that Naphtali is showing off! Mommy has big plans for this little desk- hope for it to be my next DIY project!

Thankful that the Lord is showing me the beauty of becoming more like Christ in serving my family! 

One big thing for our girl during this time, is that she is in the process as well of becoming a BIG sister! We are excited to see what the Lord will do in her life through giving her little brothers! I'm sure she will love to boss them around- ha ha! This is us with the adoption paperwork.

   We have LOVED having a zoo membership this summer! And so has Naphtali! She particularly loves the giraffes and elephants and the petting zoo :-) Such a sweet time to go during the weekend! These are few of our zoo shots recently.

 Naphtali has had so much time with her cousins this summer! It has really been a joy to watch her play, learn, and have SOO much FUN with her cousins!! She is trying to give Bethany a kiss in the above picture. 

Here she is enjoying Emma and Sydney at Caitlyn's b-day party! They were so good with her! She adored them- especially because they went sliding into the pool with her! This girl is addicted to adventure and the water! We found that out this summer. Here she is drinking from the hose- ha ha!

These are some shots when we went out for ice cream with family! 

Our girl LOVES music!

And some fun shots with Bethany and Caitlyn at the ice cream shop.

Besides all the fun, Naphtali is growing and learning so much!

Here are a few of the things she has mastered:

1) She is practically running! This girl is always busy walking, climbing up stairs, and exploring her world. She keeps Mama VERY busy!

2) She is understanding so much of what I say now! She knows when I ask for shoes that means for her to get her shoes (and go outside!), she knows what hungry means and goes straight for the fridge, and she knows what are names are when we are looking for Daddy or Mommy :-)

3) She loves coloring and writing! She cocks her little head and gets close to paper to "write" a letter and she LOVES to color on her coloring books. Of course, we are still in training mode for this, but it sure is cute!

4) She is saying words like, hot, hat, eye, ball (not all the time, but we're pretty sure she knows that one!) and animal noises like Moo, Roar, and Ooh-Ooh Ahh Ahh (Like a Monkey- thanks Aunt Hannah!)

5) She is waving hi and bye-bye, blows kisses and signs thank you, please, all done and more.

These are a few of highlights  about our girl! We are so thankful for our gift from the Lord!

Thanks for reading!

In Christ by His Grace,
Amber Lawson