april verse

wow.  the task of finding just one verse to focus on the season of Easter.  it was challenging.  do we focus on His death, resurrection, all of it, etc….i don’t believe you can pick a wrong verse, but i do believe we can read through Scripture and not really get an understanding of God’s Word.  that’s why i pray the Lord would reveal a passage or specific verse before i even start designing anything.

honestly, i thought it would be matthew 28:6 (“He is not here, He is risen…”)  because i love the way that is stated.  i don’t think we will fully memorize an entire passage or just one verse, but rather, memorize the ‘story’ and the events and even the significance of God’s details with Passover, etc.  (sooo excited to be having a Seder meal with our community group this year!).

here is what He has been laying on my heart lately.


even though God sent Jesus (John 3),  told Jesus what to do (John 6), and Jesus was God and could perform miracles, etc (John 8), He willingly gave up His life for me.


i can’t say that i would have believed in Jesus then.  i would have probably kicked, laughed, and spit at him.

i know because i do so in my heart when my lust has given birth to sin.

but, i believe in Him now.

my family will study the events leading up and including the resurrection and crucifixion, but this verse makes me think of how GRACIOUS Jesus is!

He gave up His life, willingly, to take on the burden of our sins. my sins.

thank you, Jesus.

thank you, God.




1st quarter resolutions update

i just sent my hubby a 1st quarter update on our LOAN PAYOFF PLAN and thought i would post about all of my goals for this year.

1. memorize 30 verses – i think i have 10?  doing pretty good with these.  hope to keep it up.

2. become licensed foster parents – almost there! got a call from our social worker. our home study will probably be scheduled within the next month.  and there’s only 15 things left on our list!

3. lose 20 lbs – this one is always hard.  i have lost some weight eating paleo, but i hover around the -5 range.  so, 15 to go!

4. serve Jesus better – i am so awesome at this! jk…needs some work.

5. spend more time alone with dane – yay!  good news! we have scheduled date nights now and are really getting to spend more alone time together.  way to go team henson!!!

6. pay off debt (ok, maybe this one will be).  our goal for 2012 was to send $1500/month to loans (we had about $18,000 left).  we knew this was going to be tough since last year we only averaged $650/month.  BUT i’m happy to report that so far this year we have averaged $1185/month!!!  we hope to play catch up with our tax refund.  statistically, may and june were our hardest months last year so we could use some prayer to stay diligent in giving and paying off debt.  we currently have around $14,300 left.  we really want to have it all paid off by december 31st.  we have a lot of work to do!  but, we started with $43,500 (all but $3000 was student loans!) so it’s getting smaller.

7. book 12 portrait sessions with clients – i think i have booked 6 already! yay!

8. read 100 books.  i changed this to 52 right after i made this.  one book a week was my goal.  according to my profile on goodreads.com, i am 5 books ahead. which is great, because i haven’t been reading much.

9. read through the bible – i am all caught up in my chronological bible as of today!  i’m in joshua right now.

10. meet weekly or monthly with a fight club or discipleship group (apart from bible study) – i meet with my friend tori (although we’ve had to cancel the last two times) and we are currently going through Beth Moore’s James Study.  She has been such a great mentor.  I’ve talked about her before. She is a foster parent and has been such a great example for me in this whole process.  I want to be like her.

that’s an update if i’ve ever seen one!




i just want to sell everything and move to china.

not to run away from anything, but to live and see and witness.

we know our calling (right now) is to stay and foster for a bit.

maybe after we adopt?

i would love to move back to dalian and teach english.

just for a few years.

or forever.

what we have left

last week we received an invite-only email to the LAST training session from our organization (Covenant Kids). this is only sent to those who have almost completed everything and usually have 4-6 weeks left until licensed! we could not be more excited.  each day the Lord has solidified this calling on our family.  even little Caleb’s heart.  i know things will be tough (that’s usually how God’s calling works), but i know Caleb loves kids and knows that we love him.  i can only thank God each time we are with friends with new/old little ones and being able to watch our son love on them, too.  he has never once been jealous of our attention for them.  and that has only made the process easier.

i told you we are currently working on the things from the ‘Documents List’.  there are 33 things on that list and a few weeks ago we had crossed off 25 (or somewhere around there).  well,  some of those items are more than just one step (like preparing for your Homestudy…that has 20, at least!).

so i made a new and FINAL list.  when everything is crossed off this list, we will be ready for our homestudy and ultimately ready to become licensed.  ready? here we go…

1. TB tests (dane and i have ours done, we need to get the paperwork to send in.  i take caleb tomorrow for his and then to check his results on wednesday)

2. Photos (need to have photos of front and back of house as well as any kid’s rooms…this will have to wait until after the nursery is put together)

3. Floor Plan (need a blueprint of our entire house with correct dimensions and emergency exits noted)

4. Adoptive Family Required Reading (there are two books.  we have each read one.  and written a small report. on wednesday we switched so we’re half way there!)

5. CK Handbook Training (April 26th.  this is the final training i was talking about!)

6. Fix sink leak (we put in a notice to our landlord so we’re waiting on them. grrr)

7. Fire extinguisher (this is on dane’s list…i have no idea where you would even get one)

8. buy crib (trying to sell a few things before we buy the one we have picked out)

9. buy mattress (my friend says she has one for us! yay!  need to pick it up.)

10. buy sheets (prolly target or thrift town)

11. bed for caleb? (we’re not sure if our case worker will mind that our toddler sleeps on a mattress on the floor. ha.  they shouldn’t, but we might get him a bed anyway)

12. buy box w/lock for kitchen meds (meds have to be double locked)

13. buy box w/lock for changing table stuff (yes, even diaper cream)

14. rid hazardous toys (need to go through caleb’s toys and put away those that will fit through a toilet paper roll.)

15. buy first aid kit

16. car seat and base (my friends said they would give me their infant one!  now we just need the next size up just in case! also, did you know they expire?  the one we used for caleb just turned 5 years old (my niece will be 5 in may!) so we can’t use it.)

17. bassinet (even though our new room is bigger, we don’t have enough space for the bassinet we used for Caleb that we borrowed from my sis since we have a desk.  and after going through the newborn days i did a lot of research on a good sleeper and think i found one we will like.  trying to find a good one on Craigslist or Kid2Kid)

18. schedule home inspection (NRH has to make sure we know how to store food and that our house is clean! we can’t do this until #1 and #6 are complete)

19. schedule fire inspection (NRH has to make sure we are ready for a fire! can’t do this until #7 is complete)

20. baby girl clothes (this isn’t necessary since that’s what the foster stipend is for, but we would like to be completely ready for any infant/toddler to make the transition easier. a lot of friends said they would help with this, too! yay!)

21. diapers (we’re going with cloth and we only have enough for Caleb.  but my sister just told me she wants to help in this way so i think i got that covered.  at least half of what we need.  yay!  i love my family!)

22. dresser (again, not a necessity, but it sure does help with all of those newborn clothes and blankets.

so, that’s it.  that’s everything (we hope!).

please pray over this list.

pray we are efficient.

pray there are no hangups.

and pray for our future baby!



change is nice

we rearranged our house a bit to make room for a nursery.

this room used to be our office with two of those desks and chairs.  we kept one and are now sharing my computer for video/photo stuffs.  our dresser is on the opposite wall of the foot of the bed (not pictured).  but, this is pretty much what you see of our new bedroom when you walk by!  no photos of the nursery. we’re still gathering things to put in it!

i printed 90 Instagrams for our new photo display above our dining table and moved our other family photos to our bedroom.

the idea is to change a few of them out each month, but i have no idea how i’m going to get rid of these…they are the cream of the crop from my instagram feed!


connecting again

with Project Mom (and a thousand business things to go along with that) and having company every weekend i feel like i’ve lost a bit of a connection with my son.

i’m not talking about the usual “he’s not a baby anymore” connection.

i’m talking about the parent/child connection.

the one i get too busy for.

the one that will be the most important until he finds a mate.

the one i’m so adamantly passionate about restoring through fostering.

the one that i can do something about.

soooo we’re on spring break.

we’re swinging outside 5 times a day.

we’re taking extra long strolls and stopping to literally smell the flowers.

we’re watching Toy Story 3 until we know every word.

we are snacking all day long.

we are singing as loud as we can.

we are playing with more friends.

we are talking, trying to form sentences.

we are doing activities outside or on the couch. or not at all.

we are dancing.

we are praising.

we are laughing.

we are loving.

we are connecting.


i have missed you, little one.