Friday, April 30, 2010

AWAA Africa reunion button

One of my fellow adoptive AWAA moms contacted me about creating a button for the Nashville reunion over Labor Day weekend. There were so many cute elements I wanted to include that this one came out looking a bit too busy but I loved every item so much it was hard for me to leave anything out. ;)

Gillman Family Blog button

Kim wanted something "whimsical" with trees and birds. Well I had done a couple of those and wanted to try something a bit different but still with a sense of whimsy. Hopefully this conveys that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Kind Hearts sponsor button

I showed Karen the first Kind Hearts sponsor button and she wanted me to try to come up with something using a photo of some of the kids at the Care center. I came up with this one and hopefully you guys like it okay. Now sure which one we'll wind up using. This one was a bit of a challenge for me spacially. When you're working with 200 pixels as your limits there's a lot that can be lost b/c of the small size.

Finally photos!!!

This weekend my sister came in town with my new nephew Maddox and we cooked out at my mom's house and Ezra went for his first swim of the season! The kid LOVES water and splashing as you can tell.

This weekend we also went to the air show at Michael's new Navy base here in Fort Worth. Ezra LOVES airplanes so he was in heaven for a while. That is until it got really loud then he wanted to go home :(

Pointing out the airplanes to Daddy.

Michael and I went to Granbury and saw this sign along the way. We thought it was hillarious and tried to come up with a good post title for it but never really agreed on anything so I just thought I'd add it here. Looks like Marian couldn't make up her mind on what kind of shop she wanted to have ;)
This is Ezra's airplane/Super Grover impression. He uses it interchangeably :) It also comes with sound effects!
The boy also LOVES my headbands. If he finds one he puts it on just like this. He will NOT wear a hat but he'll leave a head band hanging from his head.. hmmmm... strange little dude ;)
Even Herman got to sport the headband courtesy of Ezra.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Signs of a MILK addiction

Tonight Ezra was literally hanging by the handles of the fridge trying to get the doors to open to get to his 'nilk cup". He LOVES milk as do Michael and I. Together I think we go through about 3-4 gallons/week!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kind Hearts sponsor families button

I recently contacted Karen Wistrom about creating a button for all the Kind Hearts families to put on their blogs to show that they are sponsors. that way when people surf the net and find all these blogs with the same "badge" they can click on it to find out more and be directed to a post on Karen's blog about what it means to be a Kind Hearts sponsor and see all the stuff we're doing there to help orphans and other children in need. Hopefully this will spread awareness and also get more sponsors/donations :)

Funniest video EVER!!!

If you haven't already shared this video with ALL of your friends do it NOW! I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes :)
Ellen actually invited this girl with her sister to her show after seeing the video on youtube.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Bobo Family header

This is a design for the header for a blog of a family in the process of adopting a baby boy from Ethiopia :) The colors compliment the already existing blog layout.
I've had several more requests for blog buttons and goodies - yea! so keep checking back for more. Also I'll be posting new pics of Ezra shortly :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Hammons Family blog button

This is my fourth and final family to do a blog button for from my freebie giveaway! Courtney told me that their family is run by their 4 ShihTzus so I took that idea and came up with this canine friendly themed button :) Hope you like it!

The Primeaux Family Blog Extras

These are also some of the side bar title tags that I made. Her blog's color theme is black/pink/yellow/white

This is her post divider:

This morning I made a new header for my sister's blog. My first one ever! Now that I kind of have an idea of pixel size, etc. I'm going to start on one for our blog!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spangler Family Blog Button

This is the button I created for the Spangler family from my Congo adopt yahoo group :)
She said that she liked the our blog button with the trees so I did a different take on that design.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Caldwell Family's blog button

Rebecca was another lucky winner of a free blog button! She said she likes neutral colors and tends to update her blog with the seasons. This button what my brain came up with based on those parameters :)
Let me know what you think.

The Carpenter Family's blog button

The Carpenter Family was one of the lucky winners of my free blog button giveaway! Jean said the she like butterflys so this little guy was my inspiration for the entire design. What do you think?

Digital Diva in training :)

Michael and Ezra are out of town this weekend visiting family and I had to stay behind to work :(. BUT that did leave me lots of time to upload all of the digital scrapbooking materials I bought. (I have to cut myself off, there's WAY too much cute stuff out there). So I started watching some tutorials and voila - you can see the results below. I had so much fun designing the blog button for the Melloan family that I decided to offer my services to other families as trial runs :)
I then plan to hopefully design blog buttons/widgets/labels for a small price in order to raise money for our Dem. Rep. of Congo adoption! These are the ones I made this morning while our electricity was out. Luckily my computer battery was fully charged :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This Sunday we participated in the AIDS Walk in downtown Fort Worth. It was a great day for it and we had fun. I can't wait to do it again next year and hopefully next time we'll get more people to participate with "Team Ethiopia". Unfortunately this year we didn't hear about it until last minute so there wasn't much time to fundraise, etc. I was really happy with the turn out and it was so encouraging to see so many people showing their support for those afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

And they're off...

The walk is a dog friendly event but this pup pooped out early on and had to be carried like a princess :)

These are the matching t-shirts that I made for our family. I was going to applique "TEAM ETHIOPIA" but didn't have to time :(

A finish line kiss for Daddy...

Into the streets of Ethiopia

Below is the story of Robel, one of the in country staff members of AWAA who has used his own income to send many street kids to school who otherwise would spend 100% of their time living on the street with no home, no education, no food. This article tells his own story and his motivations for forming Children's Future Ethiopia. You can read more about this organization at:

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Children's Future Ethiopia

About Robel Alawi:

I was born on December 25,1986, in Harar, Ethiopia to a farming family. Our farm grew corn, fruit, and vegetables. When I was 10 years old my dad passed away. My mom, my sisters, and I lived together for the next year. My father's family eventually took over our land and due to financial pressures, I felt the need, as the only man, to take care of my family. The only way to financially support my mom and sisters was for me to go to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, and find work.
I had an uncle in Addis and I was able to stay with him for some time. The only work I was eligible to do as an eleven year old, was shoe shining and washing cars. Life was tough: my uncle was an alcoholic, his wife was opposed to me living with them, and even while working, street kids would beat me up to steal my money.

I decided it was better for me to move from my uncle's and live with some of my friends that had found themselves in a similar situation. Six of us rented a house that was 12-meter square. During this time I faced many problems as well: some days I went hungry, didn’t have sufficient clothing, and I even found myself on the cold street one night.
Then, one day, my life changed! A man came to me on the streets and asked me to wash his employer’s car. It was a good day to get work. I washed his boss's car and he paid me with 100% tip (20 Birr which equals $2). This was my happiest day ever, as I had never received a tip so large. After the boss inspected my work, he asked if I wanted to come to his home and was his cars three times a week. I quickly agreed! I was so happy! This man, who was very important at the United Nations, had given me a great steady job.
During my time of washing cars for the UN official, I noticed children passing me by to attend school. I was so jealous. I wanted so badly to obtain an education. I wished that I could join them, but because I was able to send money to my family in Harar on a regular basis I was thankful for my job. One summer, my boss and his family went on a vacation to Kenya. Their front yard became filled with weeds, so I cleaned everything up and even planted flowers. Upon their arrival home from Kenya, my employer's wife was thrilled with the extra yard work I had done that she asked me if I would like to live in a back room of their home and do additional work for them. Imagine my excitement! More work equaled more money! This was the opportunity for me to start school. I started saving and I was able to begin school at the age of 15. It wasn’t easy to make friends, as I was the oldest student in my classroom. But oh, I was so happy to be learning!
During my first year of school, I was invited by our coach to replace a sick athlete at the next track meet. I did so well, I was invited to join my school track team.

My boss noticed my talent, was able to help me obtain a scholarship to attend college in Cuba, where I studied Physical Education. Upon returning home from Cuba, I was able to obtain a job at the United Nations. While working at the UN, I learned much more about the many social problems we have in Ethiopia. Then, one afternoon, again I experienced these problems in the face of a person. I went to the post office district to buy some gifts for friends, and there, I met a boy who was begging for food and money. I talked with him and he told me what he wanted to be in the future. It reminded me of my own life, just a few years back. I promised him that I would help him attend school. I also began to research the best ways to help other street kids who begged for their survival.

Children's Future Ethiopia was born out of my desire to "pay it forward." These children are precious and loved by God. I am thankful that God has allowed me the opportunity to work with these very special kids.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Some people make my blood boil...

I read this post on a fellow AWAA Ethiopian adoptive mom's blog tonight. I'm not trying to "fire people up" or make anyone else as angry as I am at the ignorance of human beings but at the same time unless we are made aware of the persisent prejudice that's out there how will be be able to address these issues.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Button Designs

This morning I got an e-mail from a fellow Democractic Republic of Congo adoptive mom and she said she'd seen my blog and wanted me to maybe try and design a blog button for her. Well I was THRILLED b/c this is exactly the sort of thing I LOVE to do. Now of course I am not a graphic designer and have little idea what I'm doing so I know these aren't "mind blowing" but I wanted to share them all the same. The title of their family's blog is "At Our House", which is why I tried to incorporate it here.

I have lots more ideas but I have to go to the dentist :( - bummer. I hope to post a few more designs a bit later on.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Great blog for craft loving moms!

I just wanted to share fantastic blog that I found out about today with other moms/dads that LOVE crafting. It's called . Basically this mom from the UK re-uses common house hold products to make some amazing and fun goodies! I could sit and look at her site for hours so I suggest if you have preschoolers and are looking for something to do on a rainy day, hers is the blog you want to check out for some great ideas :)

Photo happy!

So these last few days I've been trying to just follow Ezra around since he's almost impossible to photograph. I have gone through SEVERAL lithium batteries already simply b/c I feel like I have to leave my camera on at all times or else I will miss some really great moments. Here are some examples of what our little guy has been up to:

Ezra loves rolling off of the back porch...

I have no idea what he was trying to convey here, but to me it looks something like, "If I've told you once, I've told you a million times..."

Easter Bunny suckers make for a good time :)

Playing with the dogs and horses at Gammy's House:

"Just one question..."