Thursday, July 21, 2011


Monday I arrived at a friend's office who employs several church members and more friends of ours (we pretty much know everyone in the office).  He has been notarizing papers for our adoption.  When I walked upstairs, everyone was in the main office or hallway, all looking somber. My future nephew-in-law, who works there also, informed me that John, our dear friend, had just been taken to the hospital by ambulance after suffering a heart attack in the office about 30 minutes prior.  Shock.

I went to the church office to make copies of all the dossier documents to mail.  When I arrived, our church secretary came out to meet me.  She informed me that she had just finished speaking with our pastor and John had passed away.  Shock again.  Major.  Numb. 

She (Libby) helped me make the copies as we chatted and periodically spoke to someone in the office about John.  Still in shock.  What do we say? 

Our pastor returned from the hospital and gave a staff briefing, which they let me sit in on.  John's wife, Carol, had been able to speak with him before he died.  What a precious conversation.  He told her he loved her and he loved Jesus.  He was ready.  Thank you, Lord.  What peace.  What comfort.  As a wife, wouldn't you want your husband to tell you he loved you and loved Jesus as his last words?  I know I would. 

John and Carol have been friends of ours for years.  Carol's daughter, Leslee, is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  We met in the fourth grade, and we've been together ever since.  Our friendship has been through A LOT and been tested.  But I love her so much.  Our oldest daughters were born two weeks apart, and they have been friends since birth. 

John was a computer genius.  I do not use that word lightly.  He really was a genius!  So, so, so kind.  He would help us with all our computer problems any time day or night.  Not just us. Multiple other families.  He would rarely take any compensation for his help.  What a blessing.

John was our sound technician at church.  Every service sounded good because of him!  He was sooooo talented.  Service oriented.  Loved by multitudes.  I don't have adequate words to express what he meant to our family and so many others. 

Carol knows he is with Jesus.  What rejoicing is taking place!  John's service on Sunday afternoon will be one of praising our Lord and Saviour.  Exactly what John would have wanted.  I can picture him in the back of the room in the sound booth during choir practice.  If we were singing a song that was especially moving for the Lord, he would stand in the back with his hand raised in thanks to Christ the King.  Let us all do the same.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!  "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Yesterday was a very emotional day.  We lost a dear friend, which I will write about later when I have the time to write about him the way I want.  We also mailed our completed dossier to our agency in Virginia.  This morning I received the following email:

"Hi Dawn,
I wanted to let you know that your dossier arrived yesterday safe and sound! After one check through, everything looks correct and complete. The dossier will undergo another staff check and then will be taken the Department of State and the Ethiopian Embassy for certification/authentication. Assuming that all goes according to schedule, your dossier will be mailed to Ethiopia next Friday, 7/22/2011. This will be your official DTE! You’ll receive an email on Friday with mailing confirmation and a Fedex tracking number so that you all can follow the package’s trek to Africa.
I’m sorry to hear about the death of your close friend. It sounds like yesterday was a very emotional day for many, and I’ll be praying for great peace to cover your community as you mourn that loss.
Congratulations on completing your dossier!
Emily Lineberger | Africa Family Coordinator
America World Adoption "

So hopefully I can announce our official DTE date next week!  I'll keep you posted......

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homemade Cleaners

As I was cleaning today with the girls, I ran out of a couple of my cleaning solutions, so I made more.  It occurred to me that other people might be interested in the cleaning solutions we make in our home, so I am going to share the recipes.  Lots of recipes for cleaning just about anything around the house can be found online.  I am sharing some of the ones we use.  Try them - you might like them!  They are CHEAP. 

All Purpose Cleaner (good for anything but wood):
Mix equal parts of vinegar with water and put in a spray bottle.  We use this for just about anything around our house that needs cleaning.

Glass Cleaner
Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1 Tbsp. white vinegar and put it in a spray bottle.
*If you run out of rubbing alcohol, the mixture of vinegar and water will work on glass as well.

Wood Polish:
Mix 1 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice.  Keep in a sealed container.

Use undiluted white vinegar.

Sinks and Tubs:
Use baking soda as a scouring powder.  Add a small amount of water (to make it pasty) and let it sit for half an hour, then scrub it off.

When I need to bleach something, I use a big bottle of bleach (cheap from Walmart) and dilute it into a spray bottle according to the directions on the back of the bleach bottle.  There is no need to buy a new small spray bottle every time you run out of bleach!  Not economical.

Dishwasher Detergent:
Mix 1 cup borax with 1 cup baking soda in a small container.  Put 3 Tbsp. of the detergent into the cup each time you run your dishwasher. 
*I used this exclusively for about a year.  During that time, I noticed my dishes were getting cloudy.  So now, I buy a commercial dish detergent on sale.  I alternate between the cheap homemade version and the store-bought version.  Every other cycle gets the homemade version.  Saves money and my dishes aren't cloudy.

If you have a stock of the following products all the time in your home, you will never have to run out to the store to buy cleaning products (I usually estimate how many jugs of each I will need for the year and purchase them all at the beginning of the year.  Then I have what I need when I need it.):
white vinegar
baking soda
rubbing alcohol
olive oil
lemon juice
liquid bleach
spray bottles

If you fall on hard times, you can make do with vinegar, baking soda, and water.

Adoption Upate for July

We have now received every piece of paperwork we need to be able to send in our dossier.  The only things we are missing are our family picture pages.  My niece's fiance, Matt, is coming over Friday to take the pictures and help me arrange them for the pages on the computer.  My camera is still not working, so hopefully Matt can help get that fixed as well.  Then we take the entire dossier to Staples and get multiple color copies made, make out our huge check (yikes!) and send it all to our agency in Virginia.  When we get our final DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) date, I'll let you know.