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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I think this blog needs a new design. So excuse the mess while I play around!

Seth has officially finished therapy. His case worker came today to close his case. Please pray for her. She told me her religion is a blend of Buddhism and Hinduism. I shared the Gospel with her last time she was here. Today I gave her a copy of "Who Do You Say I Am?" It is a small tract that explains who Jesus is and the claims he made.

Today I ordered a few home school books. I decided not to use the Veritas History Cards after I found out they only cover Israel, Egypt, Greece, Rome and America. I don't see a point in leaving out Asia and other parts of Africa. I will be using "The Mystery of History" which covers the whole world. Here is an excerpt from the editorial review, "Students will learn who walked the earth when and what was going on in other parts of the world at the same time as major biblical events."

Last night I decided to go ahead and get this great book even though Raine is only 4. I was sitting in her bed, asking her about the things we learned yesterday. We talked about the two parts of the Bible (Old and New Testament). I asked, "Which part of the Bible is when Jesus was born?" She said, "The New Testament. Jesus was pretend in the Old Testament." I said, "No, he was always with God in the Old Testament." Her reply was, "Why are you talking about Father God?" I was floored! We talk about God, Jesus being God and all, but I never know how much she understands. I mean, come any of us fully understand? But at that moment, I realized just how capable she is of learning. I don't plan on using the book formally, with tests and all, but there is no harm in simply reading to her from it. And more importantly, it gives me the opportunity to learn things I missed in school. My classes in world history were mediocre at best. Besides that, they were from a general world-view. "They Mystery of History" is a Christian World-View with a chronological study of God's intervention in human events. How awesome it is going to be to learn about events around the world along with what was happening in Israel and Egypt at the same time.

I also ordered "Phonics Pathways", D'Nealian Handwriting" and "How to Teach Art to Children." So the question remains, "Do I send Raine to preschool in the fall?"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Classical Education

This post has nothing to do with adoption, except for the fact that I plan on homeschooling our adopted child(ren) just as I plan on homeschooling Raine and Seth. However, I do not have a separate blog for homeschooling or even for our family in general. And I don't see a point in creating a third blog (my first one is for my photography business), so this one has officially become our family blog as well.

About a year ago, my good friend Leslie loaned me the book "The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education." It's a thick book, so I do not believe I read it cover to cover. I did however, read enough to make my mouth water with the sweet aroma of Classical Education, which I cannot wait to taste. Since then, I purchased Saxon Math (K edition) and have been working sporadically with Raine. She loves playing "math games" and is completely obsessed with "patterins." She has done so well with math and reading (BOB books), that it has lead me to research home schooling and classical education further.

During my research, I found that the local classical school (Riverwood) uses Veritas Press Curriculum. I found the company's website and ordered a catalog. May I say that my saliva glands went into overdrive. Of course, they offer so much for each grade, it can be a bit overwhelming.

Then, just last week, I attended a meeting for "Classical Conversations," a homeschool community that meets once a week for tutoring, support, projects and recreation. Even though we don't have plans to join the new Tuscaloosa CC Group, I got a lot out of the meeting. I now know how I plan on starting our Classical Education and I am more excited than ever! I am so excited, I no longer want to send Raine to preschool next year. I know my husband won't go for it. He knows I need one good year where I don't have the kids 24/7, so I'll be ready to homeschool AND bring 2 more children into our family!

Now, I'd like to share what I plan on using for our first year of homeschooling using the classical method. If you have done this before, feel free to give criticism and input! If you don't know what Classical Education is, visit The Well Trained Mind dot com. Oh, and you might want to wear a bib!

Math: Saxon 1

Reading: probably more Bob Books, other phonics readers depending on what level she reaches over the next year

History (my favorite part): Old Testament/Ancient Egypt Flash Cards (Veritas)
New Testament & Greece & Rome Flash Cards (Veritas)

Literature: books (from the library) about Greek and Roman Mythology, books about Rome in general, The Bible, Chinese and Japanese Fairy Tales (library), Aesop's Fables (yummy!), Iliad & The Odessey (library)

Bible: lots of memorization
Bible Flash Cards (all sets from Veritas)

Art and Music: "Drawing with Children"
"How to Teach Art to Children"
tin whistle

NOTE: Since this post was published I found out that the Veritas History Cards cover a lot of the same information as the Bible Cards. There's $100 I won't have to spend!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

DHR is Out

We have decided not to adopt through DHR. It is difficult... almost impossible to adopt a young child without first fostering him. When you foster, you must first want the child reunited with his birth parents. There is no guarantee that an adoption will occur. I am grateful that there are people who take that on. We aren't the ones who are called for that! I get too emotionally involved.

Back to international adoption!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Photography Sale

I have prints matted and ready to go! They are left over from the MOM's Market yesterday. The proceeds from this may or may not go to our adoption fund. If we decide to adopt through DHR, we won't need any more money.


Top Left "Desert Life"
5x7 with 8x10 ivory mat for $20 (3 left)
8x10s with 11x14 white mat $30 (1 left)
11x14 with a 16x20 ivory mat for $40 (1 left)

Top Right "Colors of the Canyon"
5x7 with 8x10 ivory mat for $20 (3 left)
8x10s with 11x14 white mat for $30 (2 left)
11x14 with 16x20 ivory mat for $40 (1 left)

Middle Row "Working Mule" in color
5x7 with 8x10 black mat for $20 (2 left)

"Working Mule" (black and white)
8x10 with 11x14 black mat for $30 (5 left)

Bottom Left "Cactus Bloom"
5x7 with 8x10 ivory mat for $20 (2 left)
11x14 with 16x20 ivory mat for $40 (1 left)

Bottom Right "Colors of the Canyon II"
8x10 with 11x14 white mat for $30 (1 left)
11x14 with 16x20 ivory mat for $40 (1 left)

Prices include shipping.

Name of Photograph and size

FYI: If you have donated money or purchased one of our fundraisers and we decide to adopt through DHR, we will either give you your money/proceeds back or let you know that it will go to another family. Keep us in your prayers as we wait and pray on which direction to go!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Be Still and Know That I Am God

I have been battling between "being still" and "not growing weary" as our pastor preached about Sunday. I definitely grow weary when my anxiety is up. Yes, anxiety has exposed its ugly head in my life once again. It has been very manageable this time, which I am thankful for. But I still search for the cause which could be one or all of the following:

1. Our church family lost a dear man almost 2 weeks ago. He was an elder and pillar of our church. His death was sudden and unexpected.

2. I tried the Atkins diet which resulted in my blood sugar bottoming out for 3 days. In case you don't know anything about anxiety; keeping blood sugar levels stable is a must.

3. God is telling me to slow down, because the child He has prepared for us before the foundation of the world has not yet been born.

After postponing our home study Wednesday, I visited with our pastor's wife. I told her all my fears and thoughts.

"What if something happens to one of my kids while we are gone overseas?"

"What if Jonathan and I don't make it back and my kids are left without parents?"

"I just want to enjoy the children God has already given me before adding more."

That last thought is of course the only one she felt was valid. But she did give me comfort that we made the right decision. I was afraid I was letting Satan get to me. She assured me that the Holy Spirit can use anxiety to get our attention.

We will still adopt. We just aren't sure when and from where. For now we are going to "Be still and know that [He] is God (Psalm 46:10).