11.16.2015

We're going to a 'land' He showed us!

Abraham set out to the land that God would show him. He was told to go, not knowing where he was going, and he went. 

That has been such a cool story for Drew and I lately. God calls us to different things throughout life. Some good things and some hard things - but all things to make us become more like Him. Our goal as the Hunsley family is to make much of Him. To love God and share that with others - no matter whether it is easy or difficult. We pray we will be faithful each day with how we should live that out - even when we don't understand it. 

That being said, God told us to go to a land He would show us... and we were willing. We thought for sure it would be far away. Arizona, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Michigan. Instead God has placed us, through circumstances only He could orchestrate, back home in Roanoke. Drew has accepted a position as Associate Pastor of Family Ministries at Green Ridge Baptist Church. 

It has been a whirlwind of a couple weeks. 

It has been hard. Hard knowing we are leaving so many people we love. We've seen our kids grow to love God on a deeper level. We've seen people help and care for us when we were in need. They love our kids well and we will miss them a lot. 

It has also been so good. It's been good because we have seen God work in so many of the details. He is in this decision and we are reminded of that daily. It is also good because the GRBC family has already been wonderful. We've had people praying for us both in the process of gaining one job, and having to leave the other. 

We are excited to follow Him back home and see what God has next for us! 

10.09.2015

Sadie is two!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SADIE ELISABETH!



My dear Sadie lady is two! She has grown up a lot faster than I feel Peyton has, and it makes this mama's heart a little anxious! That being said, sweet Sadie is a fun toddler and I'm enjoying this stage of motherhood. Sadie is my crazy lady, who loves to get into everything and moves from one thing to the next at lightening speed. She loves and plays hard, and is one tough cookie. She will run into things and get back up without even blinking - unless she is tired in which case she will wail and be super dramatic! She is working on her obedience... since she is so independent she is having a hard time finding her boundaries and how to control her anger/disappointment. She is one to push the boundaries but also is quick to say sorry, which is good since she has to say it many times a day. She is my stubborn child and unfortunately a lot of days the only time she obeys (when she doesn't want to) is when I am loud and stern with her. That's hard for me because I hate yelling, but if I ask her calmly and politely she stares at me - if I am loud and firm she runs over right away and obeys... Tough love I guess.




Sadie has been talking for months and repeats pretty much anything we say. That makes me think she is older than she is because Peyton took his time with talking. I am amazed at the words that come out of that girl, especially when she spouted off the VBS memory verse with Peyton the other day! When I ask her if she wants to do or eat something she always enthusiastically responds "uh huh, I DO I DO!!" Which is just my favorite! Oh, I think it's important to note that she is obsessed with her paci which she had been calling baba for a while now, although I'm not sure why. She likes carrying around two or three at a time.




I love that she enjoys snuggling way more now than when she is little. I rock her to sleep a couple times a week now and sometimes she begs me too. She loves her babies and blankets and will carry them around all wrapped up. She would read all day if we'd let her, although rarely will we read all the words. She loves playing with my makeup and will carry around chapstick smearing it all over her face.



Sadie loves Monsters Inc and Monsters University right now. So much that she only wants to watch 'rawr' when asked if she wants to watch a show. She occasionally asks for batman these days which is just hilarious coming out of a 1 year old's mouth. Handy Manny, Doc McStuffins, and Sid the Science Kid also come up occasionally. She plays with dolls and little figurines and loves to slide and swing outside. She is fearless - jumping off beds and on couches, sliding on the biggest slides, and swimming without my help. She climbs the rock walls on playgrounds and at least attempts to do everything Bubba does. She hates water in her face during baths and refuses to look up when we rinse her hair, but she gets splashed in a pool and doesn't blink. Right now she has a little makeup bag that she pretends is her purse and carries it full of her little people around everywhere. Puzzles, books, and coloring have also become favorites. It's amazing how a switch went off saying ' I'm two and therefore I should be coloring!'                    



Her favorite songs are the b-I-b-l-e ('BIBIB) and this little light of mine. She also reminds us to pray at every meal which is just the cutest... She folds her hands, looks down and mumbles a few things and then yells 'amen!' She then makes sure the rest of us has our turns praying... LOVE.




I said it on her first birthday and I will say it again today. This little lady is going to do BIG things. Our prayer is that those things are to turn this world upside down for Jesus! 







4.14.2015

We love you already!


“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
James 1:27

This verse can have many different applications for different people, but to us, it speaks to the fact that orphans are important to God and, therefore, should be important to us. For several years, we have both had a desire to adopt. I (Kari) have cousins who are adopted and we both have friends who have fostered and adopted children who didn’t have the love and support of a family. We see adoption as one way we can live sacrificially and offer our worship to Christ. We believe that by doing so, we are acknowledging God’s work when he adopted us as His son and daughter. Through adoption, we hope to be able to offer some shadow of that love to the children that we want to adopt.

Two years ago, I (Drew) went to a mission’s conference where David Nasser spoke about the overwhelming need of orphans around the world. Listening to the horrors that many children are forced to face each day and praying through how God could use me to help in this area, I began to seriously consider the possibility of international adoption. Over the past two years, God has continued to bring international adoption to the forefront of my mind. After much prayer, many conversations with others who have adopted, and seeking wise council from a few close friends, we have determined that God is calling us to international adoption.

I (Kari) have been reading a book the past couple months called Rhinestone Jesus and in it, it talks about saying yes to Jesus and taking simple steps to do big things for Him. It also talks about how no one can do everything well. There are so many great causes in the world that people can focus on and are clearly good things to support. The End It Movement, To Write Love on Her Arms, international child sponsorship through organizations like World Help, and many other opportunities exist for people to help those around them. Many of us find ourselves trying to stretch our time or our resources too thin because there is so much need in the world. Kristen Welch, in Rhinestone Jesus, says, “I believe we are all called to do something, just not everything. Focusing on our one thing and doing it well to His glory is both liberating and life changing.” Instead of trying to do everything, we want to choose our ‘one thing’ that God has called us to and do it well. For us, our one thing is going to be international adoption. We have seen the huge need of children around the world and we know that God has blessed us with much to give. My (Kari) desire in life has been to be a mom for as long as I can remember. It’s not glamorous, but for me, it’s the best thing I can imagine doing. I don’t believe that God has given me that desire for nothing. I think He has been preparing me to be a mom to many children – both our biological children, as well as to the ones that we are planning to adopt from around the world.

“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 a 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 a 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 you did it to me.”
Matthew 25:34-45

After praying and determining that we both felt like God was calling us to adoption, we began to consider several adoption agencies and different countries where adoption is available. Seeking God’s direction through this process, we both felt God drawing us towards Haiti. Once we decided to focus on Haiti, we realized that you have to be 30 years old to adopt from there. Since we are currently only 26 and 27, we were discouraged at first. However, after some prayer, we realized that God wasn’t shutting a door, but He was simply asking us to wait. After all, Peyton and Sadie are still very young, so we feel that waiting a little while will allow us an opportunity to be better prepared. We also know that adoption – especially internationally – is incredibly expensive. With this in mind, we have started to look for ways to prepare now for the adoption that God has called us toward. We have started a savings account and have begun looking for ways to begin fundraising. Many times, with adoption, people are left wondering where the money is going to come from and how they will be able get it by their deadline. Our desire is that, by starting the fundraising process before we are eligible, it will enable us to move quickly through the adoption process when the time comes.

We started a landscaping business last year and have decided to put all of the income from that straight towards our adoption. We are also praying through Christmas and how we can begin to put the money we would spend on presents for each other straight towards our account. We know that we will have to come up with many other fundraisers, but we are excited and we look forward to seeing God provide the $25,000-$35,000 it will require for us to adopt one child from Haiti, and that cost will double if we are able to adopt two.

We would also like to humbly ask each of you to pray about how you can be a part of our journey. We NEED your prayers. International adoption is a huge undertaking and there are so many variables that can affect the process, but we know that this is what God has called us to do. If God lays it upon your heart to help us in this process, that calling may result in giving of your time, money, and prayers. Our family has decided that there is at least one, and possibly more, children out there somewhere that are ours and we want to begin the process of bringing them home. Would you be willing to consider how you can begin to help us in this process?

We want to conclude this post with a quote from a book I (Kari) have been reading. This quote summarizes our desire to make a difference in the life of the one or two children we are hoping to adopt. Our prayer is that, by being faithful to serve one small child, God can use our efforts to make a profound impact on the world.

“People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.”

-Beth Clark (foreword of Kisses from Katie)

1.27.2015

Three??? How can it be?!?!?


This sweet boy is 3 years old! You're such a tenderhearted boy that i can hardly stand the cuteness! You are shockingly helpful - that I occasionally have to take a deep breath since you want to do everything! You can dress yourself, go potty alone, buckle the top of y our car seat, and brush your teeth, among other things. You LOVE to help mama. You wash and rinse the dishes, like to vacuum and sweep, put soap in the dishwasher, assist me with the laundry, and put your clothes away. You also LOVE to make cookies, pancakes, cut salad stuff, and anything else we let you do it the kitchen. "I'm a chef, Mama!"


You are a mama's boy when it comes to your love for all things sweets! Anything chocolate will put a big smile on your face - and suckers make you downright giddy!


Oh the words that you say. I can't keep up with how quickly you are learning and growing.
- 'bit o bit o bit' - little bit
- 'don't let the lady bugs bite you when you go nigh night!' - don't let the bed bugs bite... every single night
- P EE Boy - peek a boo



You are learning so much so fast. I love all of the questions about Jesus. You asked me how to pray in October and you talk about your Bible stories all the time. Your favorite story is Goliath right now because you want to grow big like Daddy. You are eating excellent for that same reason, and often wear daddy's clothes because your so big for yours. You also make us touch your belly after you eat because 'it's so big and full!'

You just love to play. Building forts by taking all the blankest and pillows in the house make me a tad stressed - but you love it so much. Puzzles make you super proud of yourself! Drawing, play doh, reading, and singing are your favorites. You also have a few favorite games. 'tag your it' where you tag us and don't run away. 'hide and seek' in which you still come out before we find you. You say '1,2,3, are you Dada??' 'big t rex' you rawr and gets real big. Peyton, you also run from 'daddy monster' and 'sadie monster'. Sometimes you're legitimately scared Sadie is going to get you. Building towers is super fun and jumping off our bed onto pillows, or flipping on the couch shows us you are all boy. :)


Whenever I try to ask you what your favorite things are - food, color, show - or who your friends are - you say all of them. You can't leave anything out and I love that about you.


Your job is super important. Usually that job is digging rocks. You fill up buckets with water and then pile them high with rocks. You take it very seriously and work up a sweat. You also collect them. Every time with go to church, a restaurant, the Dr office, or basically anywhere, you want to find a rock to take with you. Again I say, it's your job.
You have been sick with so much since August. You've had Hand Foot Mouth and Strep Throat and a stomach bug and allergies. Surprisingly you were the only one in our house that didn't get the Flu over Christmas. YAY!

My sweet baby bubba (which you insist on me changing to 'big kid bubba' or 'big kid Peyton Andrew Hunsley Bubba') you are passionate and emotional. You like things in their places, are quick to get upset if something stresses you out, but are also super quick to calm down once you are reassured that everything is okay. I love that you trust us when we tell you we will fix things.

For you, snuggling is your favorite. You have rest time while Sadie sleeps and almost always want to do it in my lap in the recliner. If I say not now you always say ' but I wanna snuggle with you'. Be. Still. My. Heart.


Bedtime routine is still super important to you. You go potty and brush your teeth and then get your jimmies. Then we read a couple stories (usually Bible stories), pray (usually for your friends to sleep good), and then sing. Right now you want to sing your Christmas program songs every. single. night. Those are 'this little light of mine' 'away in a manger' 'cows go mooing' and 'we wish you a merry christmas' (which you told me tonight was your favorite). I sneak in 'Jesus loves you' and 'I love you' - A song Mama made up for you.  You enjoy looking at your shadows now - something that scared you last year. Daddy and I have been so proud of you for staying in bed after we leave the room. We make sure to check on you, but you used to have to fall asleep with us in the room. Now you go to bed like a big boy and it makes us so happy!

Words cannot express all of the things we think about you sweet boy. My heart overflows with adoration of the wonderful little boy you have been to us. You love us so much and we love you back even more. This year as a three year old promises to be one of excitement, patience, growth and a whole lot of love! Mama and Daddy are so proud of who you are becoming!

1.20.2015

15 months and counting...

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 My sweet Sadie girl there is so much to say about you. You are 15 months old and growing like a weed. At the doctors office you weighed almost 24 pounds and were   inches long.Your hair is taking a lot longer to grow than you are which is slightly annoying for your Mama. I feel like new things are happening with you almost daily - and I love discovering what your little mind is learning. Watching you makes my heart happy... such as...

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The fact you say 'mama' 'dada' 'nahnah' 'baybay' 'ba' (book) and sign 'more, please, thank you, and all finished'. You have 3 signature faces which are all adorable. There's the surprised face - where you open your mouth super wide in an 'o' shape. The squinty smile which is just adorable. AND the glare, where you furl your eyebrows and I almost want to discipline you even though I know you don't know any better. 

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I love that you sleep through the night now. Bedtime is around 7 and you usually stay in bed until around 9. You also are more snuggly - even though it isn't for long periods of time, you definitely are more cuddly. You need more physical touch and want me to hold you a lot! You also love to read right now, and like to back into my lap and plop down with every book from your bookshelf. 

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You eat ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously you love to snack, but thankfully love the healthy stuff too. :) The bottle is gone, but you definitely love your milk! Toothbrushes are fascinating so at least you're keeping those pearly whites clean! (You have all but 1 of the teeth you're supposed to have, and you might have that one but you'd rather bite me than let me check!)


hide and seek, being super loud, splashing and loving your babies are a few things that make you happy. You squeeze your babies tight, and look for them and Elmo at bedtime. You dance every time music comes on, and request it all the time. Oh, and you my dear are a busy little bee. Nothing holds your attention for long, so you are definitely a tornado dropping things and moving on every minute or so.Discovering that crayons were for more than just eating was a relief to this Mama. Oh, can we take a moment to talk about the fact you run headlong into stuff, turn and keep on going. You only cry when you're exhausted... otherwise you don't even notice you just ran into a corner or door, or face-planted.


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Sadie, you are the typical younger sister who loves to get into whatever your brother does. He mostly loves you - hugging you and taking care of you - but you do tend to push a few buttons. I'm just praying the two of you will be best friends one day. 

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You've been sick a lot this fall/winter with the last bug being the flu at Christmas. Poor baby had a 103 temp on Christmas night but was trying to have a good time anyway. You sweet girl have been a huge, crazy, independent, opinionated, exhausting blessing to our home for the past 15 months. We can't wait to see what the next 15 hold. Oh, and I hope those chubby cheeks of yours stay forever because they are just so kissable!! Love you Sadie Beth!