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Information about the upcoming American Girl releases is beginning to surface.  It looks like they'll be introducing two new characters simultaneously: Marie-Grace and Cecile!  But I think it won't be the dolls so much as the outfits that will be my downfall, because.... the era is the 1850s which is my absolute favorite fashion era!! ("North and South", "Bleak House".... :P )  I think I need to get a job. :)
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We are currently in the process of adopting a new girlie! :) :)

Meet Miss Esther Elizabeth Moore-Anderson!
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Esther came home to live with us today and she is so excited to be part of our family.   I am SO EXCITED... I've been wanting to bring home an Elizabeth doll for a LONG time.  I'm also excited about the costumes I'll be making for her to model. :D :D  Isn't she so sweet??
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I named her Esther, 1) because almost everybody else's Elizabeth is named Elizabeth ;) and 2) because she (and the actress for Elizabeth) look just like one of the main characters in the novel series I'm writing, named Esther Moore. (It's pretty close to the right era too. :) )  So Esther it is.
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Sonali was with me when we picked up Esther at a friend's house, and has been such a dear, making sure Esther was comfortable, introducing her to the rest of the family, and spending time with her.  Here she is keeping an eye on her on the drive home, making sure her box didn't slide around and that she wasn't too scared.  :)
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Welcome to our home, Esther! <3
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by Sonali

India is the seventh largest country in the world, but it is also the second-largest country in population, being the home to over 1.2 billion people.  Poverty and disease run rampant, and it is estimated that there are over twenty five and a half million orphans under the age of 17, living in India.  That's more than the population of Texas.

India is my home.  My heart is there.
And so is the heart of Jesus.

Charity is not a secular virtue.  The heart of God for the lost, the suffering, the lonely, the orphans, is clear throughout the Scriptures. 

    "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction..." (James 1:27)

    "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.   For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,   I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'  
    Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?   And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'  
    And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
(Matthew 25:34-40)

    "Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." (Isaiah 1:17)

    "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified." (Isaiah 61:1-3)

    "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." (Matthew 23:23)

We can adhere to a "biblical" dress code and listen to "biblical" music and attend a "biblical" church (unfortunately, "biblical" is a very vague word that can be used to apply to just about anything, even opposite things), but if we are neglecting those for whom Christ died, living our own lives in comfort and forgetting those who have nothing, we are missing the very heart of God.

This morning, Melanie discussed with Rebecca, Kirsten, and I the possibility of using our Etsy shop as a means to reflect the heart of Christ and reach out to those in need.  Together we came to the decision that 20% of all Etsy sales will go to India Christian Missions.  India Christian Missions is an organization started by James and Sarah Rebbavarapu.  It consists of a variety of branches: medical outreach, worship ministry, church planting, and children ministry.  Our desire is to reach out in particular to the latter, which reaches out to the orphans and disabled/special needs children of India.  They need to know that they are important in God's eyes, that He loves them as a Father.  They are my people-- I love them.  I am so excited about this opportunity to reach out to them.  It may be small, but if it can reach even just one child, it will be worth it.

Will you help me?  Help us?  Help them?


"Set the World on Fire"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66sQmu6fnxc&feature=share

I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for you
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one you use?

I, I am small but
You, you are big enough
I, I am weak but
You, you are strong enough
To take my dreams
Come and give them wings.
Lord with you
There's nothing I cannot do.
Nothing I cannot do.

I wanna feed the hungry children
And reach across the farthest land
And tell the broken there is healing
And mercy in the Father's hands.

...I, I am small but
You, You are big enough;
I, I am weak but
You, You are strong enough to
Take my dreams;
Come and give them wings.
Lord with You,
There's nothing I can not do.
~Britt Nicole

 
 
by Melanie

This evening the sun was shining and Rebecca was begging to go outside, so we went and did a little photoshoot. :)  It was lovely.  The sunshine and the dolly time were just what I needed after a very, well, emotional couple of days. :)
Here are some of the pictures...dressed up on Picnik. :)  Becky is wearing Felicity's "meet" dress.
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It's looks the same as the one above, but it isn't quite. ;)
 
 
by Sonali

The last couple days, the temperatures have gone up from the mid-teens (Fahrenheit) to the mid-50s!  Most of the snow as melted, except along the roads, and the daffodils are beginning to peek out. 
Miss Melanie took Rebecca and me outside for a photoshoot.  We had to stay on the deck or the porch, however, because it is so muddy due to the melting snow!   I didn't mind too much though; it was warm and the sun was shining! :D
Unfortunately, most of the pictures didn't turn out, but we all liked this one... it's a very lovely shot of Rebecca!
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And here is Rebecca daydreaming. ;) 
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"In this is Love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
1 John 4:10
 
 
One day this last summer (I believe it was late August or early September) I was getting a photoshoot of Sonali and Kirsten.  Kirsten wanted to pose by a certain tree in our yard, but before we started getting pictures, she noticed this cutesy little caterpillar trekking down the trunk of the tree.  She was too cute to resist taking pictures of as she watched the caterpillar climb.  It reminded me to the Burl Ives song from "Summer Magic", so I made this little collage of it with some. :)
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Sweet Sonali!
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I love her dark hair with it's streaks of brown, and her large, deep, dark eyes!!
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I wonder what they're talking about! Must be something very interesting, judging by their looks! :)
 
 
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As of February 4th, it has been a year since Rebecca came to live with us!


Here are some random facts about Becky: 

She loves Jane Austen, her favorite Jane Austen heroine being Catherine Morland and her favorite crush (eh-hem, hero) Henry Tilney. :) 

She would love to meet a faun and take a voyage on the Dawn Treader.

Her favorite era to dress up in is the Regency era (approx. 1795-1820), though she enjoys most fashion eras from 1600 until the present.  She loves the color purple, especially in floral prints.

Her favorite Bible passage is Romans 1:16-17.  "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.   For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'"

Rebecca is fascinated by her Russian Jewish heritage.  She loves kitties and teddy bears.

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Happy Adoption Day, Becky!  We are so glad you came to live with us!  Love you, girl!