God has blessed us with more than we could ever need. He has not blessed us so we can have the latest iPad, game console or a new car. We have been blessed to be a blessing.

Keep up with our adoption journey and get a peek into the Hollingsworth household.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

You Could Win This Frame


Click here to see details for winning a photo session with me and a framed print. FYI: It does involve donating $5 to my friend's adoption fund.

I was going to stop the entry tonight, but only one person has entered. Come on!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Seth's Play

He was playing with his dinosaurs when I heard him speak as the baby, "Daddy, I want to hold you a minute."


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

Our dossier is on its way to Ethiopia. Estimated delivery time is January 3rd. However, we are already in the system and are officially waiting for a referral! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!


I took these photos a few years ago, actually on July 4.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Prospective Timeline

A lot of people have asked what our timeline will look like. We can only speculate of course. Based on others who are using the same agency as us, this is our prospective timeline.

Our dossier COULD arrive in Ethiopia soon after the holidays.

If it does, we COULD receive a referral in May.

It is POSSIBLE that we will travel in July.

HOPEFULLY we'll have our baby home by fall.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Tree Thumprint Ornaments

I saw this post on Pinterest and read where it could be done with salt dough. Negative. While you can use a cookie cutter to cut out a tree from salt dough, it does not look near as good as the ceramic one shown. I had already decided to give the trees as gifts to grandparents. So I headed to Wal-Mart this morning (yep on Christmas Eve, yikes!) to find something to replace the salt dough creation.

I found Sculpey. It's as easy as clay (hey, I think I have a new saying) and doesn't require a kiln. We made a total of 10 ornaments (2 kids, 2 sets of grandparents, 2 great-grandmothers, plus 2 for our own tree).


We have done so many other activities and the kids even made a new friend today. But there's no way I'm taking the time to post all the photos I'd love to share. It's time for me to hit the sack with a book I won in a Dirty Santa game, "Redeeming Love." This will be the first novel I've "read" since 12th grade "Pride and Prejudice." Only this time I won't be using Cliff's Notes.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Raine Says

Thank you for tuning in to another episode of "Raine Says."

Raine: Can we go to a park today?
Me: No. It rained and everything will be wet.
Raine: What about tomorrow?
Me: I think it is going to rain all week.
Raine: It doesn't rain on Christmas.

Operation Christmas Child

I just received an email from Samaritan's Purse letting me know that our box went to Madagascar. I couldn't be happier... unless it had gone to Ethiopia!

Check out this video.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

This is by far one of my favorite Christmas songs... comes in close with "O' Holy Night."

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

I relate to this song. I suppose that's why I like it so much. I'm pretty sure I've made statements like, "Peace on earth won't happen until Jesus comes." And maybe it won't. But perhaps that's what the phrase is referring to... Christ's return?

I wanted to post a video of the version by David Phelps, however I cannot find one online. His CD "Joy Joy" is the only Christmas CD I own.

Raine Says

You may be thinking to yourself, "Does she really think we care about all the silly things her 4 year-old says?" Well, I don't really. This is just the best place for me to document those things. One day, I hope to do something with them, like include them in a memory book or something. I feel safe keeping them here rather than in a journal that could get lost. I do have two different ones that I started with a few years ago. My plan is to transfer them to a safe place on the computer or web where they will be backed up. But in the meantime, we'll just stick with what Raine asked me today.

Who will be my kids' Nana and G-Daddy?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ugandan Necklaces

The Ugandan Necklaces (similar to photos below) are a hit! They are now on back-order. If you would like to pre-order yours to have as soon as they become available, use the button below.











Color Scheme (cannot guarantee)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Redeeming the Holiday

Last Wednesday our pastor lead a short study on reasons some Christians object to celebrating Christmas. I wasn’t sure if I should sink low in my seat, sit up really tall or try to blend in with everyone else. However, I'm not against Christmas. I just desire to observe it in spirit and truth.

I want my children to know the facts. I can’t lie to them and say that Jesus’ birthday is December 25, when that is the date the pagan’s celebrated the rebirth of the sun god. I do think it’s great that pagan celebrations have been redeemed by Christians and we are showing the world who the one true God is. But, at the same time, I would like to see less and less Christians getting bent out of shape when a sales clerk says, “Happy Holidays,” or a student mentions “Winter Break.” The truth is, a lot of religions and people groups have celebrations this time of year. We can’t force someone into a relationship with Christ by demanding him to say “Merry Christmas.”

What I am against is the modern-day Santa Claus. Yeah, I know, I get grief every year. I get questions and statements like, “How can you rip your child of something so magical?” and “It’s just make-believe.” My response is there is plenty of magical things and make-believe in their lives. But more importantly, when a child plays make-believe he knows he's playing make-believe. My daughter knows the Chick-Fil-A Cow is a costume with a person inside. She knows cartoons aren’t real. She knows dolls don’t eat and grow. And she knows Santa is just pretend. Besides, I don’t want my kids to get greedy around Christmas. We are redeeming the holiday, are we not?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Raine Says

Her Bedtime Prayer Tonight

Dear God,

Thank you for the world that spins around. Thank you for the sun that shines in the morning. And thank you for the moon that shines at night.

In Jesus' Name I Pray, Amen.


The other day she started talking about a pair of shoes she likes to call soccer shoes. Below is our dialog.

Raine: I like to call them my soccer shoes.
Me: Would you like to play soccer...on a team with other kids? Maybe we could find you a team.
Raine: No, I like to play by myself so I can keep the ball.
One more for ya:
While I was at the holiday market at UMC a few weeks ago, there were some ladies there making crochet hats. Raine walked up to them and asked if she could make one. one of the ladies told her that it takes a long time. Raine replied, "Well, we're going to be here all day."

Help My Friends

Last April, our city of Tuscaloosa was hit by an enormous tornado. Of the numerous houses, businesses and other structures damaged, Alberta Baptist was among them. Our church, Open Door Baptist, opened its doors to the Alberta family so they would have a place to worship. To this day, we are alternating small group Bible studies and worship services with them.

I have become friends with one precious member of Alberta. Her name is Kara. Kara and her husband are currently in the process of adopting a little boy from China who has a heart defect. She shared with me this morning that they will need over $6,000 VERY SOON for various fees such as dossier translation and authentication among other things. She doesn't know that I am starting this Chip In. She may know soon though. I'm not sure if she checks my blog or not.

I am asking you to give up something small each week between now and New Year's. Maybe it could be your weekly Starbucks run, a candy bar or even a dinner out with your lovie. Then, donate the money here using Chip In.

Let's see if we can help Kara and her husband bring home their little boy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2 Days Left

I realized I never posted when I would draw for the $10 African crafts giveaway. I will draw this Monday. Also, these items will no longer be available after then. So order now! And don't forget to leave a comment. Then link this post on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for an extra chance at winning. Do all 4 for 4 extra chances!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vote for a Family

The Angel Foundation is hosting a contest to award an adoptive family $2,000. Please go online and read about the various families in the running and vote for the one you are touched by.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

African Crafts and Giveaway


I have another shipment of paper bead jewelry to share with you. These are from a different ministry, but with the same benefit. But first, I want to show you some of the other handmade items they offer.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the information on how you can win one of these creations!

First up are glass seed bead ornaments. Choose from stars and crosses. They are approximately 2.5 inches in height. Cost is $10.



Next are patchwork sling purses. Nylon lining; zipper closure. Handmade in Uganda. Cost is $25. Perfect for the lady on your Christmas list. To keep the size of the purses in perspective, just know that the model is a 4 year-old.






Hand-carved Animals;



Tiny Animal Ornaments made from glass seed beads.


Bark Cloth Bookmarks



Fiber Ball Ornaments; $10



Beaded Leather Bracelets; $5



Wood Bead Bracelets (Stretch): $5


Keychains; $6



The following paper bead necklaces are approximately 34".




Paper Bead Necklaces Approximately 20"



Paper Bead Wrap Bracelets



Paper Bead Stretch Bracelets (Single Color): $5



FYI: 60% of the sales go to Pearl Ministries and 40% go to our adoption fund!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Politically Correct Dirty Santa

Tonight we played our first Dirty Santa game of the year. It was with our Bible study group. Somehow at the beginning the name got changed to "Redistribution Santa." I think that's what the Democrats should start calling it. I'll stick to Dirty Santa!

Secret Church WOW!

I'm on the 4th section from "Marriage, Family, Sex and the Gospel." David Platt is speaking on abortion. Here's what stood out to me and I've had similar thoughts.

Most debates on the abortion controversy comes back to "what is in the womb?" If the unborn is not human, the argument against abortion is over.

Yes, a woman has a right to choose whether or not she wants to have a baby. But she does not have the right to eliminate a toddler or teenager who is an inconvenience. No woman has the right to kill her child IF it is a child.

A little girl named Rachel is 2 months old, but is 6 weeks away from being full term. She was so small she could rest in the palm of her Daddy's hand. Great measures were taken to save her life. Why? Because we have an obligation to protect and nurture human beings who would die without our help. Get this, if a doctor came into the hospital room and took Rachel's life while she was nursing at her mother's breast, it would be homicide. However, if that same Rachel was just inches away, resting inside her mother's womb, she could be legally killed by abortion. That makes NO sense.

Scripture is clear, the womb contains a person being formed in the image of God.