Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Watch It Wednesday!

As I said a few posts back, I'm a sucker for a good youtube video, and I love to share them on my blog. This video that was shown at the Ordinary Hero Change The World For One event on Thursday.  And p.s....the event was a HUGE success!! And of course, don't forget to mute my music player!

Real Life Among Us~ Ordinary Hero from Kelly Putty on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

**HUGE Garage Sale Fundraiser**

Two families from our church, who are adopting from China and Ethiopia, will be having a HUGE, and I mean garages full and PODS rented kind of HUGE, garage sale this coming Saturday in Franklin.  Who doesn't love a great deal? And who doesn't love helping to bring a little one home?? So come out this Saturday to help the Thompsons and Whitfields bring home their little boys! Details Below:

 All proceeds benefiting 2 Adoptive families

20 + Family Yard Sale
Saturday, April 16 
1005 Glastonbury Drive in Franklin
(inside Fieldstone Farms neighborhood)

Thousands of items for sale!
Multiple large TV’s
Brand New Hallmark Overstock Items
Entertainment Center, Electronics
Bikes and Power Wheels Kids toys
 Lots of furniture (beds, chairs, dressers, tables, couch, recliners)
Office furnitureArtwork/ large and small frames
Baby beds 
Silk trees and plants
Bedding and Drapes
Tons of clothes- all sizes and ages
Kitchen appliances and supplies
Sewing accessories (machines, sergers, software, fabric)
Holiday supplies (Christmas trees, decorations, garland, accessories)
Lamps, Luggage

See you Saturday!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Warning: MMRAW (Mascara Might Run At Work)

During his sermon on Sunday morning our preacher, Chris Smith, showed this video of a village in Kimyal, Indonesia receiving the New Testament translated into their language. When the video started I just knew I would cry and tried to talk myself out of it, because sometimes you just don't want your mascara to run all over your face, but to no avail. I cried. And then my sweet husband rubbed on my back all like- oh, my sensitive little wife who cries at the drop of any youtube video- which, of course, made me cry even more...I mean, everyone knows: showing any amount of kindness, especially touch, to a crying woman will result in more crying.

 So, anyway, I thought I'd share the video...and mess up your make-up too :)

I pray that this video will give me a new excitement about reading my Bible and that I don't take for granted the easy access that we have to God's word!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lacrae Concert: Good Times, Better Message

Got her hair done, toes, nails
Is that Her, well it's hard to tell
Cause she's so caked up in all that make up
It's like she tryna make up for what she ain't but,
She's a saint, but so confused
Cause she's been rejected by all these dudes
That tell her on a scale of 10 she's a two
But that ain't true
If she only knew
In Christ she is loved, she's secure and accepted
Never be rejected by God whose elected her
Her beauty is her Godliness
And she ain't gotta flaunt it cause it's obvious
Identity is found in the God we trust
And any other identity will self destruct
Identity is found in the God we trust
And any other identity will self destruct

This is verse two of Lacrae's song, Identity.  He sang this song last night at his concert and when the song was finished he went back and repeated this verse slowly and emphatically to a room of 2,000 impressionable minds (the concert was mostly teens).  I loved it!  How often do girls get told THIS message?? Especially from a chart topping male artist?? 

The concert was super fun! We stumbled across the wrong door and a friend from college let us into the VIP section (which, besides the obvious reasons, was nice because backstage was made up of people over the age 17:). That's how we got to meet Lecrae and Pro And Nathaniel got his picture (could he have a bigger grin??) with Lacrae, below!
Lacrae and Nate

Friday, April 8, 2011

Proud To Be His Wife!!

You will NEVER believe what my husband did! Well, at least if you have know my husband at all you wont believe it... 

He DELETED over 2,000 songs from his itunes (and I must say, our computer is running A LOT better)!! If it wasn't a song that he would let his daughters listen to, it got the axe. It's one thing to decide that you wont let your children listen to certain songs, but it's another thing to hold yourself to that standard as well...

Music has always been a major part of Nathaniel's life.  He plays the drums and guitar, has a ridiculous music collection, and has music knowledge that I could really care less about totally baffles me! So for him to give up these things is a really big deal.

This decision isn't totally out of left field...About 8 months ago he discovered christian rap and hip hop and I would say it has been a major part of his christian walk and igniting his fire for Christ. If you are riding in one of our cars you will likely be subject to the powerful lyrics of one of his (or Ava's) favorite rappers....and p.s. it really is great to hear your four year old singing about Jesus being the King of Kings!

It's easy to make excuses for the kind of music we listen to by saying that it doesn't effect our actions or our thoughts.  I don't buy that. What I listen to totally effects me and I see it effect others. It's not just hard on your hard drive, but also your soul. 

Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Proverbs 6:27

Hip hop music doesn't have to glorify people who sell drugs, disrespect women (and women disrespecting themselves), promote violence, only care about pleasing themselves and doing what makes them happy. It can glorify the Lord. Who knew??

So, per Nathaniel's request I've added some new music to my playlist. I hope the words inspire you like they have our family! And maybe I can get Nate to do a follow up post (which would be much better than mine :)

If he's truly raised to life
Then this news should change your life
And by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Family's Journey With Autism

April 2nd was World Autism Day and I really meant to write this post then, but I don't do lots of things when I mean to, so here it is two days later:

I post a lot about orphans and adoption, because those things are close to my heart, but I have yet to post about another thing very close to my heart. Autism.  I don't really know why I haven't posted about it, but a good friend told me I should talk about it when I am okay to talk about it and I've taken that advice to heart. I'm okay to talk about it now and I want to talk about our journey, because if a family comes along that we can help through this process, I definitely want to be able to help them.

With 1 in 110 children diagnosed with Autism the chances are high that you have somehow been affected by this mysterious disorder.  If you know our family well, you know that we certainly have.

A little over a year ago we found out that our Ava was on the Autism Spectrum.  Ava always had lots of words and was high functioning, so many of the signs were missed by us, and her doctors. We told ourselves that she was unique and quirky and would just grow out of these things. When we mentioned our concerns at her 2 year appointment her Dr. said "I promise, she does not have Autism" but recommended that we watch and wait and that she would probably grow out of these things by her 3rd birthday. At her three year appointment her Dr. "shared our concerns." (Moral of this paragraph: LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS, MOMS!) This was just days before her younger sister was born and also (unbeknownst to us) too late (you have to be diagnosed BEFORE age three) to receive any help from the state to pay for therapy (which for some families can reach $30,000 per year!).

The following days months were dark.  I wouldn't recommend combining finding out that your child likely has Autism with post baby is hard enough to overcome without the other!  During those months I couldn't look at Ava without crying. I couldn't look at typical children without crying. I couldn't look at Nora without crying (if you have a sibling with Autism your risk increases). I couldn't say the "A" word without crying.  I took showers so that I could cry and hopefully no one would notice. I didn't want visitors for the new baby and I screened many phone calls. I could go on, but you get the picture, I definitely wasn't coping well.

My husband was worried, my parents were worried and my friends were worried.  I couldn't have gotten through that time without them.  But mostly I couldn't have gotten through the time without God.  This experience brought me to my knees before Him, I had never relied on Him more, and nothing had brought me closer to Him.

We soon started down the road of evaluations and eventually treatment.  God put the perfect people on our path to find the best therapies for our girl.  Through a friend of a friend of a friend I found out about HopeTN ABA therapy, and from all of our research we saw that ABA therapy was the best thing for children on the spectrum.  ABA therapy is just plain outrageous, but we got her on the waiting list in October and would deal with costs when, and if, she got a spot.  Until then she did speech and OT therapies and stayed at her pre school.

In May of 2010 we found out that there was a spot for Ava and she could begin ABA therapy and right now her ABA therapist comes to our house for four hours a week. She goes to the center four hours a week for a social skills group. And she is in pre school three days a week.  Her schedule is full, but Ava thrives on a schedule, and she loves each of these activities.

There are so many things that we take for granted that Ava doesn't naturally know how to do and must to be taught to her: Saying Hello. Goodbye. I like your shirt. Telling someone your name. Making requests. Speaking in sentences. Initiating play. Playing at all. Following simple directions. Making up names for name just a few. And there are some things that she is a rock star at, like academics and her memory and vocabulary are ridiculous!

Costs for these therapies are definitely high, but we knew that we would have to make it work, and OF COURSE God has showed off along the way with his provisions. He is so good and shows us over and over that He will provide what we need.

One year later:

Ava is doing so great! We are continually amazed at the progress that our amazing girl is making and so excited to see the progress to come. She is doing well academically (actually she is a rock star academically), she is having and INITIATING conversations with people, she is interested in and learning how to play with her friends and has expanded her interests from just Mickey Mouse and Rocket to numerous other play schemas, and some of her most notable stemming activities have diminished or disappeared (just to name a handful of her accomplishments)! We aren't the only ones who notice; friends, family, and teachers at her school are just blown away at the difference from last year at this time. We still has so much to work on, but couldn't be prouder of how far she has come. The Lord placed the perfect people in front of us to be able to make the best  decisions for Ava. We know that all blessings come from Him and we are so thankful for the blessing of progress!! We are forever indebted to everyone who has prayed for Ava over the last year and we ask that you please keep lifting her up.

Many Blessings,
The Millers

Friday, April 1, 2011

We are...

(and this is NO april fools joke!)

I have been waiting to type those words since October, so I'm pretty sure all caps is totally necessary!!

Today we got word that our  new agency has approved our home study.  We are so very excited to be #4 on the waiting list for a little boy 0-24 months!! Can't wait to see his sweet face in, hopefully, 3-6 months!!!!!  (but possibly, and not exactly hopefully, 6-9 months)

Please join us in praying for our boy and a quick (and smooth) process for us and the other families on the waiting list. We SO appreciate your prayers!!

Sweet Boy,
We are praying for you every day! We take comfort in knowing that with each day that passes we are that much closer seeing your little face, and we can not wait for that day!
Loving you already,
Mommy, Daddy and Excited Big Sisters