from me

Hello! It's me... Brittany!

I FINALLY finished reading through {ALL} of your comments
...and thanks to my awesome moderators

I am left with tears in my eyes
a smile on my face
and a heart filled with love


for your prayers
your friendship
your encouragement
your kindness
your donations

and so {much} more

I am so incredibly humbled incredibly blessed by your love

God moves in amazing ways
...indeed he does!

and I must say...
the whole idea that people I don't know
people I've never seen
hard working people
people who are struggling to take care of their own family
would give to us
...brings tears to my eyes! {again}
Thank you again!

You are blessing our family with an amazing gift that will never be forgotten

I am in awe at the power of giving
the power of a few dollars
the power of love!
...and I hope you are too!


Now lets dive into some Q & A
{WARNING: this is quite long!}

Although some are very personal
I do understand why some of you would want to know a few things I will indulge and answer the most commonly asked questions!

Q: Can we see how much money you have raised?

A: Hot topic! {grin} I have spoken with a handful of close friend and family about this, and the overwhelming response was to not share the exact amount. While I do see why this is necessary for many reasons I also understand why some of you would want to know so you could rejoice with our family.
I will say this though, your amazing generosity will allow us to take our family home, turn our utilities on so we can stay there why we pack our belongings and return to the farm. While we have not raised enough money to save our home but we are still unbelievably grateful for what we are able to save. Thank you!

Q: Why do you all have to go home, why do you have to turn the utilities on?

A: This is a personal choice that Paul and I have made, a choice that we feel is best for our entire family, especially our children. When we left our home earlier this summer, it was not good-bye for good, it was only supposed to be for the summer. We had hoped that we would be able to find more work while lower our expenses so we could return home in a little better financial position than when we left. God has closed doors that we thought were open and opened doors we did not see and for many reasons our plans have changed drastically.
This is our first home, and through the years we have filled it with love, family and many babies {grin}. Our boys have never known another home and we feel that it is best for our entire family to return home to pack our things and say one last {real} good-bye.
There are many other practical and logistical reasons behind our choice but that is the main motivation.

Q: Have you sold everything you can sell to make money yet?

A: No. We can not sell things that we do not have in our possession. As I did before we left, when we return home I will continue to sell many many items out of our home. We will likely have to downsize our belongings to less than half to fit them in the borrowed pick-up truck and trailer. Another reason why we need to go home, asking someone else to sort through our entire families belongings and choose what to keep and what to sell would be incredibly difficult.
I am trying to sell certain things from home from here. With a friends help, taking pictures and meeting buyers, I am able to sell a few things.

Q: Why isn't Paul working?

A: This is the biggest misunderstanding! Paul is most definitely working! Paul lost his full time, excellent pay, job shortly before my accident & birth of the twins. Paul did everything he could to work from home and limited away time while he also cared for me and all 6 of our children while I was completely unable. During that time Paul was activly searching for any job in his field. He did find a few contracts jobs and worked until the contract was up. During this time the jobs were becoming fewer and far between. It was at this time that we begun feeling led to come to the farm. We came here to help our grandparents, to find more work & to focus on our family. While Paul has found work, it has not been enough to catch up or provide enough money to pay our mortgage and other bills. He is currently working for a IT contract company, where he travels hundreds of miles for IT trouble shooting, instilation or set ups. While this job is well below his skill level it is a job none the less and one we are happy to have. He is also not only working on the family farm in exchange for housing, he is also working for neighboring farmers. While all of this work is a blessing it is simply not enough, no matter how much we give up. Paul is continuting to search for more work and is working with someone on building his own contract company in hopes that this will be more fruitful.

Q: Why can't you get a job?

A: Staying home with our children is a choice that Paul and I made before we had children. We did not build our family on 2 incomes. I know times change and that is why I am pursing building a photography business and building my blog to produce some income. As for working outside of the home, it has been thought through and considered but is simply NOT possible for our family.

Q: How can you afford new shoes, strollers, amber necklaces and more but say you have no money to go home?

A: I can fully appreciate how this could be very misunderstood. Many of you may remember when I started working for Mama Speaks, a review site for moms. After leaving Mama Speaks, I decided to start sharing products on my blog or provide them with photography of their products, in exchange for the said product. At the time my personal spending habits were not under scrutiny so I do not see the need to directly disclose what was free and what I had purchased. If you would like to see which items were given in exchange for exposure on my blog or my photography you can click the "sponsors" link in the label cloud on the sidebar.

Through our hard financial times I have sought out to find products that we do indeed need, such as car seats, shoes for the girls, cloth diapers, highchairs and such. While there are other enjoyable items such as bracelets, necklaces & hair flowers, these are items that I would spend my money on if we were able. If it were not for these opportunities we would be without these wonderful blessings. I am very thankful to be in a position where I am able to receive products in exchange for my sharing with you and or my photography.

Q: Why did you have to have Brent ask for you?

A: I did not go out seeking to find someone to write a guest post for me. My dear friend Shelly worked very hard to put this together in hopes to help our family, when she felt that she needed some extra help she asked Brent to become involved.

Had Shelly and Brent been financially able they would have given everything we needed to our family. But since they were not, they came together and asked you if you could help our family as well. They did this for no other reason other than their desire to help our family.

I am not sure why there is so much dislike for Brent, but I must say, Brent has been NOTHING but wonderful to our family. He has been an amazing friend to our entire family and has given freely of his time, knowledge and friendship. Brent receives nothing but the blessing of knowing he has helped our family, through this fundraiser.

The idea of asking for donation on my blog has been an idea that was brought up by many {including a few of you}. I have been hesitant for many months, it was not until we were faced with the reality of not only losing our home, but our belongings as well that I agreed to let them post on my behalf.

And for those who felt that I should have asked myself...

I am asking
Would you please consider helping our family?
Not because we are any more deserving than any other family
...only because we need help right now and are asking you to consider helping our family.
I am so thankful for this wonderful blog community and the blessings that have come to our family.

Q: Why haven't you said that you were in trouble until now?

A: I really had to pause to think about this question, only because I felt that I had shared our hard times.
I am a very upbeat, look all your blessings, smile all the time type of person. For me, there is no other way than to focus on all of the wonderful things around me. We were struggling financially but we still have so much, we are losing our home but we are in our grandparents warm home on the farm. We all have troubles, and honestly I am thankful for the troubles we do have. Not only have they been faith strengthening but they have brought our family closer together. I am thankful that we are having finacial troubles and not health, marriage, death, abuse, or any other tragedy.

My boys may be wearing holey socks, stained clothes to church & patched jeans but I'm going to keep smiling because they have clothes on!
We may be eating beans & rice 5 out of 7 suppers but I'm going to keep smiling because there is food on the table!
We may have no health insurance but I am smiling because we are healthy!
We may not have some things that others do but I sure am smiling for what we do have!

Q: I would love to help but I am unable to give money, or are uncomfortable giving money.

A: So many of you have expressed your desire to help our family through tangible items, thank you! While material things are so easy to come across in our society there are a few things that we could use or do need and can not afford or find second-hand.

Gas cards & food gift certificates for our trip home would be very appreciated.
Instead of listing other items here if you are interested in blessing our family through tangible items please email Shelly or Myself
for that list.

I hope I have answered some of your questions and know how unbelievly blessed and thankful we are to have such wonderful blog readers
...although it sounds quite trite to call you mere blog readers are indeed friends!
brothers and sisters in Christ!
and for everything you have done for our family



and a little something from Shelly

It's me, Shelly, again...

I know you only hear from me when there's trouble brewing, but that's what friends are for, right?  This time, no trouble, just THANKFULNESS!!!!!

I would like to thank all of you who prayed, wrote, donated, or even just read. 

Thank you for helping me do for Brittany what I could have never done alone. 

Thank you for showing me the power that $5 can have. 

Thank you for sharing in spite of your own need.

Thank you for taking a step in faith to give to someone you know but haven't met.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, a heart that's broken because I miss a best friend, but a heart that's swelling with joy to be in the presence of  such generosity.

I hope you won't hear from me again for a long, long time...


and now...
in true Brittany fashion...
I must keep looking up
and focusing on everything I do have back to beautiful photos
and journaling our amazing life!

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