Thursday, December 30, 2010

What will 2011 bring?

Tomorrow night we will ring in the New Year first with our children and then with friends at an UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER PARTY. Yep, that's the theme and the gaudy sweaters are so hot this year that they are being sold for big bucks on Ebay. So do not deliver them to Goodwill just yet... You never know if you may need one for a party next year and heck why not go the Ebay route if it is truly a one of a kind crazy ugly sweater- just sayin'

Anyhow the new year comes in here at our house with lots of excitement and sweet little toasts our boys make about what they have enjoyed and what they hope happens this next year. Hayden already picked out his favorite sparkling white grape juice and I am thinking I will be on the hunt tomorrow for the basement box of noisemakers. It is a special celebration. Just the other day Bob and I were remarking that 2011 should look very calm and simple as we are not in the middle of both an adoption and an office overhaul both in one year. 2010 was a remarkable year of dedication and very hard work. It was a year in growing stronger in our faith and trusting God when we were on very unsteady and/or uncharted ground. It is a year I will never forget not because our daughter was born and came home to our family but because I personally was forced to surrender so much. Here is what I mean... I sort of stopped trying so hard and simply let be what was going to be. It was a cool transformation for me and still to this day it is a struggle not to drive the boat. You have heard me say that a million times but it is oh so true. I'm thinking there might just be a few of you out there who can totally relate. What cracks me up is that we are driven to step out, to form a new friendship, to grow a business, to join a new committee, to parent in a whole new way and it feels like we call all the shots. I mean don't we? In order to make things happen we must act! We must fill out the first set of adoption papers or make the first visit to the new church or team. So we act, sometimes with a calculated type A energy that makes people wonder what we are all about. I love that! I love the drive, the energy and the courage that takes. BUT HERE IS WHERE IT ALL LOOKS DIFFERENT FOR ME NOW... After I act, make my move, take that step...  I surrender. I ask God to make me a vessel and to use me. I ask God to send me, to work through me, to guide me. You see I have become a living testimony to the fact that nothing worth doing is worth doing without it being for God's greater glory!

So join me in welcoming in another year with a great big BANG! Some days I can hardly wait to see what is next as I know that my work has only begun. I want to live for others in need and be a beacon of light to my children, my family, my friends and to total strangers. I want to be a strong Mother who is here for my children in all ways needed. I want to open my children's eyes through dialogue and travel this year. I want to keep communicating with my husband so our hearts are united as we roll into a new year. What an honor that we have such full, rich and crazy loud and chaotic lives. SO full and SO much fun. Take a look below and what poor Ava had to endure as her wild and crazy brothers joined her on her first crackly sled ride. She barely moved a muscle with the exception of her eyes and never uttered so much as a peep as her brothers zipped and zoomed her all over the yard. Now we just need some more snow!!!!


Um yeah mom... I'll go sledding with you
but can you pull the sled?

Oh here we go with the Owen twirl...

Please note her same face.
I am telling you the child did not move a 

Those big eyes say it all...

My favorite shot!

Here's to a happy and healthy New Year!


the overtons said...

i love ava's face in these pics...wonder what she was thinking. and that is a very cool little sled she is sporting. can't wait to see you soon.

Amy said...

Ha! Okay- her sweet face made me laugh. Gotta say I am not fond of the snow either!!! LOL

Into Our Arms Forever!

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welcome home ava! from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Meeting Ava during our first trip to Ethiopia

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Meeting Ava Ethiopia Trip July 2010 from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Korah- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

During our recent visit to Ethiopia I felt very called to the village of Korah in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. There have been numerous rumblings lately about the tremendous need to help the children of Korah who are growing up in and around the local trash dump. The village was established 75 years ago as a place to send people with leprosy who were said to be cursed. Now there is a 3rd generation of people living in Korah with nearly 100,000 suffering from such things as leprosy, HIV, misc disease and of course malnutrition. There are many children of Korah who have been forced to live and work at the trash dump in hopes of finding food and possible items to sell in Korah's center of town. With the start of the Great Hope Church in Korah and the building of a shelter, along with the ministry of local Sammy Liben and Sumer Yates, there is now a feeding program and a sponsorship program in place to rescue the forgotten children of Korah and send them to boarding school where they can escape the horror of the conditions of living and working in a large trash dump. For more information please visit: or where you can learn more about how you or your organization can help the people and the children of Korah. Please send me a message or email Erin Allen at to request sponsorship information. I will soon be posting the photos of my day recently spent in Korah. I must tell you it was life changing and beyond anything I have ever done to stretch, change and rearrange myself. God helped me to help the people who I met. Much of what I could offer was nothing more than the snap of my camera or a warm touch or an inviting smile. The needs in Korah are beyond our wildest imagination yet God is over Korah and there is already amazing work being done. I invite you to view the following videos to learn more about the beauty and the needs of Korah's people.


P61 grab button

Love this...

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Hannah's Hope Orphanage- Ethiopia

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