Sunday, January 29, 2012


Friday was a day of Joy in our house.  The news that our dossier was officially submitted to court was very welcomed news.  We had been waiting to hear this because we are "hoping" to get a court date before Feb 6th. (The courts will be closing Feb 6th-26th, wish our holiday celebrations went that long!)  Also, we found out that two friends of ours had their dossiers submitted on Friday too!!..... making it very possible that we will be able to travel together, which would make this already great trip, even greater!!!

Today I find myself feeling a little different.  Don't get me wrong, I am obviously so happy to have everything moving forward, but knowing we are so close to seeing her, makes me even more impatient & it feels even harder knowing that we can't just go today!! So, I felt my anxiety level rise today, because I am so ready to be there with our little girl and hold her.  I just want her to have that feeling of knowing she has a family that loves her and wants her home.  See, she doesn't know yet! The thought of her seeing all of her little friends meeting their families, some coming to visit for the 1st trip & other's leaving with their families for a life in America...well, it just makes me want to get there that much quicker! Don't get me wrong..I love that her friends have met their mom's & dad's, brother's & sister's...I just want her to know that she is not alone.

If you have experienced adoption probably understand the way I'm feeling. I don't just look at "A" like a little girl waiting for a family...I look at her as my daughter, waiting for her Dad to scoop her up into her daddy's arms. From the first time we saw her picture...we knew. She was our girl.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Sneak Peek At Noonday!!!!!

 Woohoo!!!!! Look what the mailman delivered to my doorstep today!!! You have got to see these beautiful hand-crafted pieces in person!!! The stories behind each piece is overwhelmingly beautiful, as well.

Those of you who live nearby, and can make it to my launch...perfect!!! For those of you who want to shop, but don't live in the Bis/Man vicinity...check out my Noonday page, browse, but be prepared to won't want to stop!!!!      xo

Noonday Launch in Bismarck,ND!!!!!! February 4th!!

I am thrilled for this day!! A day that I can share with old friends, new friends, family, neighbors etc...A day that I can share about Noonday!! A day that you will walk away from, knowing that you made a difference in a woman's life...thousands of miles away. Come. Listen. Laugh. Share. Love. Be loved.

Saturday, February 4, 2012  10:00 am~1:00 p.m

  • Tim10:00am until 1:00pm
Let me, your Noonday Ambassador... show you how a beautiful table of jewelry, home & gift, accessories (purses, scarves, hats and more!!) can share a message of hope for women living in poverty and bring awareness to the need of each orphan on the planet: to find a forever home.

I would be honored if you came for fashion, fun, friends, & refreshments!!!!

And, if for some reason you are unable to make it, click on the link below & fall in love with Noonday!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Not a whole lot new to report...we are still waiting for a court date!!!! We hope to be hearing about one any day now!! The courts do close from February 6th -February 26th, due to a holiday. So, we hope to hear before the Feb 6th date:) We can hardly wait for that phone call!!!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Blessed beyond our wildest dreams!!!!

Wow!!!!! We continue to stand in amazement at what The Lord is doing through all of you, on our daughter's behalf in ET!! Words really can't even begin to express the feelings we have! I think one of the biggest things we have learned throughout this process... is that,God is faithful. I mean, we knew that before, but have literally been so blessed!! He is faithful. Always will be. There is no need to doubt how far God will go to move these mountains in front of us!! He will move those mountains. He has. Thank you for being the hand's & feet of Jesus....the love we feel is unexplainable! And, just think, about 2 months ago we seriously had no clue how these funds would be provided...We are just blown away! God is good, people! 
                                                        Thank you for loving us! 


#3 Kristen Gilliss from Bismarck, ND!! The Gilliss family is fundraising for their daughter's adoption, who is 6, and lives in Ethiopia. They are currently waiting for their court trip to Ethiopia! They are hoping to be traveling to Ethiopia in March! They have been long time followers of OH since October of 2009!. In just 10 days she raised $677.38 just from her 40% affiliate earnings and THEN she earned another $500 as being a top seller!! That brings her total earnings in just 10 days to $1177.38!! :-) Congratulations Gilliss family!

Thanks to all of our friends & family whose support has helped us earn this $500 grant!!!!!! So Blessed!!!!

Also, Thanks to Ordinary Hero for having this amazing fundraising opportunity open to adoptive families:)

What a beautiful way to start our Monday!!!!!!

Psalm 89:1 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.


Saturday, January 21, 2012


All of you who have bought something from ORDINARY HERO to help support our adoption, I want to also see where the other portion of the money goes that doesn't go to us. What an amazing organization and we are so blessed to be a little part of it this week. Seriously take 5 minutes!!! See the beauty and the need in Ethiopia? Watch the OH 2011 mission teams handing out Amharic Bibles, sheep, shoes and food. Meet the ladies who are barefoot & see their load that took 4 grown men to carry. This is where the idea of offering a donkey to them was born to lighten their burden! See your donations in ACTION! Be a part of Changing the World for One! Look at the link below to see how you can donate animals to help feed the children. Don't forget to click on our name in the affiliates drop down so it also helps bring our daughter home, if you decide to sponsor an animal. SO AWESOME!!!



We woke up this morning to an e-mail telling us we are in the Top 5 for the Grant contest so we are so close to the winning the $500 Grant from ORDINARY HERO on top of the 40% of the total purchase price that we receive.  We just have to finish in the TOP 3.  Thank you so much to all our friends who have already purchased.  We are amazed at the love you all are showing us.  Please check out ORDINARY HERO's store and now you have an excuse to buy some of the really cute items that are on their site. I know there are plenty I want! Here are a couple of there new items. Make sure you click on Kristen Gilliss in the affiliate drop down box at checkout.

Friday, January 20, 2012


This is so cool! What a great video, take a few minutes to watch... See the beauty and the need in Ethiopia? Watch the Ordinary Hero (OH) 2011 mission teams handing out Amharic Bibles, sheep, shoes and food. Meet the ladies who are barefoot & see their load that took 4 grown men to carry. This is where the idea of offering a donkey to them was born to lighten their burden! See your donations in ACTION! Did you know that OH has livestock for sale in the OH store? Sheep are a rare delicacy in Africa. Buy as sheep & feed 40 children. Buy half a sheep & feed 20. Buy a donkey & help a woman in Africa (usually older women who have no shoes) lighten her load by providing her a way to carry the eucalptuys braches up & down the mountain. They normally carry on their backs and recieve 1-2$ for each load of back breaking work. They do this to support their families. And we get credit for 40% of your purchase towards our adoption, even on cattle, ha. It can help us win a $500 Grant!! Change the world for one or for many!Be a part of Changing the World for One! Don't forget to select Kristen Gilliss in the affilate drop down at checkout. Also check out all the cool clothes that are available.  What an awesome organization!!!  CLICK LINK BELOW...

Ordinary Hero ~ Ethiopia 2011~ We Won't Forget from Kelly Putty on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


(Wait until the 13th to order)



Top 3 Selling Affiliates From Jan. 13th to Jan. 22nd Receive $500 Grant on top of the 40%! Check it out......

ORDINARY HERO offers high quality products that directly benefit adoptive families and those traveling to serve through missions. We will receive 40% of the purchase price of each item sold when our name is clicked as an affiliate in the checkout process.  If you are here to support our adoption or Ordinary Hero, we thank you! Through your purchase of ORDINARY HERO'S products you are directly impacting, and helping to CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ONE, one child at a time.

Please Note** When you are purchasing your items, you must click on the Affiliate's name (Kristen & Kasey Gilliss) in a drop down menu during check out to ensure that we receive credit for your purchase. Thank you for helping our family reach our fundraising goal through the ORDINARY HERO GRANT CONTEST.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Heart.

My heart. It continues to grow. I've always had a love & passion for helping others. By others, I used to think the "others" were just next door or down the street. Which they still are, but my "others" has grown!

I couldn't be more excited about what I'm about to tell you next!! I am a Noonday Ambassador!!!! Many of you are probably thinking..."what in the world is that?" "what is Noonday??" Well, the passion at Noonday is this.....

"Our passion at noonday collection is to connect you with the lives of artisans struggling for a better future while styling you along the way. Fashion and design are a vehicle for opportunity and change. you, too, can be a voice for the oppressed!"
I have also always had a love for fashion & design, so this new opportunity couldn't be a better fit!! 

The best part is that WE can make a difference for each of these women you see below...yes, me & you!!! After having been in Ethiopia, I see these beautiful women in a whole new way. I feel close to them, I want to help them, I feel responsible. We are responsible. 
So, I choose to keep heart's passion is to love. So, I choose to love these women from around the globe. I invite you to be a part of it!!!!
 Please take the time to browse through this attached won't be disappointed!!! 

meet our artisans

At Noonday Collection, the artisans aren't just at the heart of our company, they ARE the company. The artisans we purchase our collection from know their craft. For them to get paid a fair and competitive wage for the skilled work of their hands is a unique and life-altering opportunity for most of them. Because we practice Fair Trade guidelines, your purchases enable them to earn more than what they would be earning in another job. This extra income enables them to put their children in school, buy chickens, or even expand their own business so they can employ their local community.
Noonday Collection only partners with companies and ministries who assure that their artisans are growing, learning, and benefiting from their craft. All of our suppliers use fair trade principles. Basic fair trade principles state that artisans receive a fair, living wage, a good working condition, and a reasonable path out of poverty. We want to go beyond fair trade. In many instances, the artisans are part owners in the companies! Read more about the stories behind your purchases.
 Isaiah 58:10  "And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday!"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2 years ago...

January 12, 2010 was a day that won't ever fade from our memory. It was later in the afternoon, we were only on "the list" for  a little over a month at this point, and I remember getting a call from Kasey....He said, "are you home, have you checked our email?" We had obviously missed many phone calls from our agency...I wasn't at the point yet where I would have my phone on at all times!! The kids & I scurried home, waited for Kasey, once he made it in the door, we opened up the email that would forever etch our hearts & home. These two little faces were the 1st thing we saw when opening our e-mail!! What an emotional, exciting night (and the next 6 mo!) that was!!! It is so beautiful to see how far they have both come...these pictures hardly resemble them...They are both secure, loving, happy, joyful little boys!!! Crazy to think that was just 2 years ago, & we are already coming up on the 18 month home mark:) Time flies when you're havin fun!!!                    

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
Romans 8:14-16


a day to remember..

Last week, we received a beautiful picture of "A!" She is smiling so big, & standing next to a Christmas tree. You see, Christmas in Ethiopia was January 7th...take a peek below to learn a bit about their Christmas traditions...

Christmas Traditions in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in Africa. It still follows the ancient Julian calendar, so Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. It is a day when families attend church.
The day before Ganna, people fast all day. The next morning at dawn, everyone dresses in white. Most Ethiopians don a traditional shamma, a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly colored stripes across the ends. The shamma is worn somewhat like a toga. Urban Ethiopians might put on white Western garb. Then everyone goes to the early mass at four o'clock in the morning. In a celebration that takes place several days later, the priests will dress in turbans and red and white robes as they carry beautifully embroidered fringed umbrellas.
Most Ethiopians who live outside the modern capital city, Addis Ababa, live in round mud-plastered houses with cone-shaped roofs of thatched straw. In areas where stone is plentiful, the houses may be rectangular stone houses. The churches in Ethiopia echo the shape of the houses. In many parts of the country there are ancient churches carved out of solid volcanic rock. Modern churches are built in three concentric circles.
In a modern church, the choir assembles in the outer circle. Each person entering the church is given a candle. The congregation walks around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the flickering candles. Then they gather in the second circle to stand throughout the long mass, with the men and boys separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the holiest space in the church, where the priest serves Holy Communion.
Around the time of Ganna, the men and boys play a game that is also called ganna. It is somewhat like hockey, played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball.
The foods enjoyed during the Christmas season include wat, a thick, spicy stew of meat, vegetables, and sometimes eggs as well. The wat is served from a beautifully decorated watertight basket onto a "plate" of injera, which is flat sourdough bread. Pieces of injera are used as an edible spoon to scoop up the wat.
Twelve days after Ganna, on January 19, Ethiopians begin the three-day celebration called Timkat, which commemorates the baptism of Christ. The children walk to church services in a procession. They wear the crowns and robes of the church youth groups they belong to. The grown-ups wear the shamma. The priests will now wear their red and white robes and carry embroidered fringed umbrellas.
The music of Ethiopian instruments makes the Timkat procession a very festive event. The sistrum is a percussion instrument with tinkling metal disks. A long, T-shaped prayer stick called a makamiya taps out the walking beat and also serves as a support for the priest during the long church service that follows. Church officials called dabtaras study hard to learn the musical chants, melekets, for the ceremony.
Ethiopian men play another sport called yeferas guks. They ride on horseback and throw ceremonial lances at each other.
Ganna and Timkat are not occasions for giving gifts in Ethiopia. If a child receives any gift at all, it is usually a small gift of clothing. Religious observances, feasting, and games are the focus of the season.

   The traveling mom who took the picture of "A" stated that the girls were so pleased to be dressed up!! She said they also had their hair done really special & they were able to celebrate with soda & cake:) What a treat for all of the kiddos there!! 
 I often wonder, I'm sure this is the most Our girl has ever celebrated Christmas in ET, or maybe not!? By the look on her face, she was completely enamored by the tree, her beautiful dress etc. 
   Although she is waiting in an orphanage, I find comfort knowing that she looks happy & is able to celebrate these special traditions. You can tell she feels so special:) 
   I know this post is a bit late, but you know how I love to document special occasions...and this was just that!!!!                                              xo

Thursday, January 5, 2012

laundry low-down...


With a growing family, I'm always on the look-out for ways we can save ourselves money, so I thought this was a win-win situation!! I love natural & organic, we are saving $$ and it's much better for our Health(skin) & well being too!!

 So, we have been using our homemade laundry soap for about a month now & loving it!! Here is a list of the products you will need & how-to's!!

20 Mule Team Natural Laundry Booster, Borax, 76 oz 


ARM & HAMMER® Super Washing Soda®



Total weight 4.0 lbs

Fels-Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Bar $2.49

 Ok, so beyond the above 3 will need a 5 gallon bucket with lid, gallon milk jugs or something similar in size. I've also loved using the gallon size "ice mountain" jugs you can get at Target. The other 3 products for the soap you can purchase at Walmart!

  Step 1: grate Fels Naptha Bar into kettle with 4 cups water...boil on medium until the soap bar has dissolved.

Step 2: After step 1 is complete..add the soap mixture from kettle into the 5 gallon bucket...which should be filled half way with water! Mix it around a bit with a yard stick:)

Step 3: Add 1/2 cup of the borax & 1 cup of the Arm & Hammer super washing soda to the 5 gallon bucket. Mix thoroughly, cover & let sit overnight.

Step 4: Remove lid from bucket, you will notice the mixture is quite thick...mix again with will still be kind of lumpy!

Step 5: Fill your gallon jugs half full with water & put your funnel in the jug, now you  are ready to scoop & pour the soap mixture into your gallon jug. Once you have filled your gallon jugs, tighten the cap, shake & that's it!!!

  If you have any essential oils at home, you can try that too....I have added about 10 drops of lavender, lemon or peppermint to some of mine & they smell really good!!   

                            Happy laundry soap making!!!!!  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Guest blogger aka Kasey

I have been waking up lately and all day, all I can think about is our little girl waiting for us in Ethiopia. It consumes my thoughts.  It can be such a lonely feeling, but then one of our adoption friends miles away, reaches out to us.  I am continually amazed at the outpour of encouragement & support we receive from so many other adoptive parents from around the U.S....many of them from within our agency & others whom we know by name, but have yet to meet! They are definitely some of our biggest supporters! I think all of us adoptive parents can vouch for that. We stand with each other through some very long, hard but worth every second of it days, weeks, months & even years for some. At times, we feel as if the people who are closest to us, understand the least, but, it's all of you who really can understand & relate to this mighty journey we are on. The beautiful thing about looking elsewhere for encouragement is that you come across stories like Katie Davis from Amazima Ministries.  I look at this young girl with such admiration, and if you were to praise her, she would simply tell you that she is just doing what the Bible tells us to do. It's so encouraging to read her story, she is truly being the hands and feet of Jesus, which is something we should all strive for. I encourage you to take a look at this young lady and read her book.  It will change your outlook, and hopefully inspire us all to do more.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ageze's toothless grin:)

      another tooth gone...compliments of Kate!!!
                  is this not the longest tooth you have ever seen??
                                                  One proud boy:)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Her smile:)

Precious!!! We received the most precious pictures of our girl this morning:) It started our week off just right!
        Her smile. Wait till you see her smile. Not just an ordinary smile. Her smile lights up a room. goes from ear to ear. it's contagious.
     All of you adoptive parents know how special it is to receive updated photos...even though we are an ocean away, it feels like we are getting to know her personality & who her sweet little friends are!! 
         Thank you so much Kelly for taking the time while in Addis to send these our way!! 
                               I know, you all are just itchin to see her!!! Me too!!!!! 
Every night before bed, we pray..."Lord, please give "A" a sense of peace, that she too, has a family who loves her so much. Tell her she is not forgotten. She is loved. Protect her Lord. Watch over her in the coming weeks as many of her friends will be coming home to their families. Protect her heart. May the Love YOU have for her Lord, shine brightly through her." Amen.
    And, by the looks of it...She knows. She knows she is loved. She knows she will be ok. She knows & feels the love Our God has for her. 

Christmas 2011

                                                waiting patiently.
                                           Tesfa & his new kitchen!
                                              chaotic...but fun.
                                             is it my turn yet?
Wow...I'm way late on this post! We created many memories this Christmas, however, not many pictures were created:( during the hustle & bustle of Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, this momma barely has time to pick up the camera. And really, that's ok. It's ok that we were all just having way too much fun to snap pics. And it's ok that instead of taking pic's, we were creating special, fun memories with our family.  Love spending time together with the ones we love so much!!
    Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!!! And, Happy 2012 too!!!!!