Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm in heaven

I love a good appliance. I mean, I really, truly, absolutely love a good appliance. The BEST GIFT Dave ever gave me (and he gives good gifts--it's his love language) was a Miele vacuum. Mother's Day, 1998.

The Miele died prematurely in 2005. Trying to be a bit more practical, I replaced it with a Riccar. Imagine my thrill, er, dismay, when the Riccar went on life support last week. Generous Dave encouraged, nay, exhorted, nay demanded I check out another Miele. How could I not submit?

So I went straight over to Boulder Sew and Vac, the local purveyor of all things Miele. Believe it or not, the owners of the store are grandparents of a toddler boy adopted from Ethiopia. The boy's family is currently waiting for a baby girl referral from Ethiopia. The owners were happy to meet a little baby girl from Ethiopia (that would be Amelia). They took pictures and skyped their daughter (who lives out of the country). To add crazy to coincidence, it turns out Dave had met this family last year at Target when they passed through Longmont on their way home (to their far-away country) from Ethiopia with their new son.

Given the crazy and coincidental circumstances, how could I not go ahead and get the Miele? It's the Calisto S5280, complete with big power brush. This vacuum really, really sucks. And I mean this in the most positive and glowing way.

Like I said, I just love a good appliance. When I vacuum these days, I really do feel like I am in a dander-free, dust-free, HEPA-certified, nice little vacuum tracks on my carpet....heaven.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Most Important Words in the World

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
John 3:16-17 (The Message)

We Howletts wish you and yours a joy-filled Christmas. May you know--and may we show--the love of Christ now and in the coming year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Next Time You Drive Across Kansas..

...may I recommend:
  • DVD player for big kids
  • baby who is generally happy-go-lucky
  • fun navigation system for Dad (although it's not exactly hard to find one's way along the same interstate for 600 miles!)
  • XM Satelite Radio and a lap dog for mom

I guess the swanky minivan is worth it!

We have arrived in Misery, er Missouri, and it hasn't been too miserable so far. It's our own Christmas miracle, I guess.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

She says MAMA... she means it!

And it melts my heart!

She also plays, "How big is Amelia?" (Answer: Sooooooo big!),
waves bye-bye, claps, and points her cute little finger.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I heard this amazing song on this amazing blog that I read.

The song is by a young artist named Brooke Fraser. The song is called, "Albertine." Albertine is a young orphan girl that Brooke Fraser met while she was in Rwanda.

The haunting refrain goes like this:

"Now that I have seen I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
Now that I have held you in my own arms
I cannot let go..."

Father, what is next?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Too beautiful

I love this girl!

So many thanks to Ross from our small group (that's Ross Greiner Photography) for this picture of Amelia. He took it while she was watching the Christmas program at church.

I can't decide if we should book a "family Christmas" sitting, or a "family in January" setting. Ross's work is so fantastic, it's hard to choose!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

Dave found this website called The Advent Conspiracy. The concept is this:

Christmas can (still) change the world.

The Advent Conspiracy challenges us to worship fully, spend less, give more and love all. Could it be more simple?

The idea is to reduce consumerism and change the world. Watching the video clip (below), I learned that Americans spend $450 BILLION each year for Christmas.

Elsewhere in the world, 1.8 million people die every year from water-borne illnesses. This includes 3900 children every single day. In fact, the lack of clean drinking water kills more people every year than anything else.

The world's water problem could be solved--once and for all--with just $10 billion. A small fraction of what we in America spent on Christmas last year.

I'm convicted and I'm challenged. I want to change the world. My heart hurts to change the world.