Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Request for a sweet friend...

I have been amazed at how my readers on my blog have rallied for precious friends of mine in the past. And I come to you now asking for your help, on behalf of my sweet friend Sara.

I would like to introduce you to Sara, Supo, Issac (17) and Israel(15). Supo is a Minister in Nigeria, and is living and serving there. This is a loving family, that loves the Lord and serving Him.

Unfortunately their son Israel became very sick in Nigeria, and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This is unheard of in Nigeria. And they were advised to bring him to the united states for treatment. The boys are both US Citizens, because Sara gave birth to them in the United States.

They came to the States, to seek Medical treatment. They were also told that her son would be unable to attend school in Nigeria, because they didn't have a way to help manage his diabetes at school. She managed to get her boys enrolled in school in the United States, while staying with an extended family member in the greater Atlanta area.

Issac graduated with top honors, and at just seventeen, was accepted on a 50% scholarship to Mercer University. He is majoring in Engineering.

Everything was going fairly well, when the extended family member they were living with discovered serious black mold in his basement, where Sara and her son were living. It was obvious they could not continue to live there. So, they moved out, and are presently living in an extended stay hotel, and are considered homeless. This is not a safe, nor desirable place to live for the next year and a half, until Israel can graduate.

Supo, is flying to the States tomorrow, to spend some much needed time with his family. The boys haven't seen their father in quite some time. This will be a few weeks they can enjoy each other's company, and make the most of their present situation.

This is a family that lives by Faith. Believing God will provide for them, and walking in obedience to His calling on their lives.

So how can you help?

I would love to shower this family with notes of encouragement, and GIFT CARDS. Any amount, for places like wal-mart, or restaurants, or gas, or groceries, or tickets to do something fun in Atlanta while Supo is visiting. Just to have fun, and make life less stressful. They NEED to have some family fun!

We are also working on finding this family a permanent  living situation. As well as transportation, and would also love to pay Issac's remaining balance for his education through the end of the year.

If you are interested in helping, please leave your email address in the comments below, and I will send you the information on where to send Notes of Encouragement and gift cards. Or, if you would like to bless the family in a different way. Thank you friends!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." 
Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, November 3, 2014

{Family Photo's 2014}

I had the opportunity to get our family photo's done last weekend, thanks to my sister in law, who was up visiting, and didn't mind snapping some photo's for us with my camera! It's much easier to have someone take the photo's, than attempt using the timer (We have done that before too though!)

As a photographer myself, I hear all the time "I don't know what we will wear", or "I just need to loose ten more pounds, and then we will have family photo's taken." or "My kids will never co-operate and I'd hate to waste your time."

As a Mom, I get it. I really. Really. Do! My kids act loopy when I take their photo's. Getting outfits together can be a chore. And add getting myself photo ready on top of the madness, can be a nightmare. (oh, and since I use my own equipment, that means making sure it's ready too!)

I can't tell you how many times, I've looked back, and been so grateful for those images. It's about capturing a moment in time, you will never get back. 

The majority of our clothing is from thrift shops and goodwill this year (mixed in with some hand-me-downs). See, it IS possible to dress your family, on a budget. Mine? Was $30. It can be done! And, it's all name brands, from J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, Gymboree, Abercrombie, Chicco's, and Clara's dress is handmade. (Not by me! I just found it at goodwill!)

All of these photo's were taken in our backyard! The lighting back there is great! If any of you live in the Atlanta area, and are looking for a photographer to book your families Holiday Photo's, I am now booking sessions. Feel free to contact me through the blog, or visit my facebook page

For the next month I am offering a special:
$100- for a 45 min session with 15 high resolution images. 

(Good for Nov 1st-Nov.30th. Must pay at time of booking. Good for up to five people. 
Additional $20 per person.)
Hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Elliott Benjamin

I can hardly believe that in just a few days, our sweet Elliott Benjamin will be EIGHT years old!!!!! It seems like just yesterday, this picture was taken in the Hospital...

 He has always been a beautiful child. He was born via c-section, and the nurses were constantly coming in my room to see if I "needed a break" because "We just can't get enough of him!". 

He has lived through more in his eight years, than most people do in a lifetime. He is our joy and delight, constantly showing us what it means to persevere, through pain and hardship. He really always has been the sweetest, cuddliest, tender-hearted, compassionate, kind, loving, energetic and out going child. I am so blessed and grateful to be his Mom.


I love how unique he is, example, all he asked for, for his birthday....
1.A camera
2.A wrist watch

He came up with those things all on his own, and it really tells you what kind of kid he is, not typical at all. Everyone that gets to know Elliott, says he has an "Old soul". or he is "Wise beyond his years" or "He is always so grateful." That is Elliott. We are so excited to celebrate him all week long.

 (Elliott as John, from Peter Pan, Halloween)

We chose the name Elliott, because of the meaning..."Jehovah is God." Elliott exudes this. When having labs done, he always sings "Jesus Loves Me". Always leaving the staff in tears. When someone in the medical community has treated Elliott, they don't forget him. We will run into them again, and they say "Hey, I remember you! I sang Jesus Loves me for weeks because of you!". Doctors and nurses alike, are amazed by his strength. That is no co-incidence. His middle name is Benjamin, it means "Son of my right hand", when we were choosing names, I did some name research. Of course, having NO idea what Elliott would live though. But God did. He lead us to the name Benjamin. Your right hand, is typically your strongest. In Hebrew, it also means, "Son of Strength"....or get this. "Son of the South".

Those pictures, were taken right before we moved. To the South. We praise God we moved (for a job), but more so, for Elliott. In the south, he finally got a diagnoses. The years of doctors scratching their heads, of hospitals, and every test under the sun. Moving south, has meant him getting some of the best care in the United States. This boy has lived through a lot. And yet, look at this smile...

Why do I tell you all of this? Because, God goes before us. Elliott Benjamin, his name, tells us that God is Jehovah, and He gives us Strength. Arthritis has taken away so much of Elliott's physical strength. But, Elliott in spirit, is the strongest child I have ever known. If you can learn anything from Elliott, it would be this. A diagnoses, has no power over who God intended you to be, and what He has in store for you. We love you so much sweet boy, you point us to Jesus daily. You love so well. You are an example and testimony, daily. Your high pitch, sweet voice, is precious to all who know you. Your smile lights up a room. Your honesty makes everyone laugh. Your joy is contagious. God is using your life in so many ways, and we know He has great and mighty things ahead for you. We love you so incredibly much.
I Love You Always and Forever, 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Life Lately...

It's Fall Y'all! This is one of my favorite times of year. The weather here has been BEAUTIFUL. I love all the things that come with fall, changing leaves, spiced pumpkin smells wafting through the air, bright blue skies, decorations. Love it all! I thought I would just share with all of you what has been going on as of late at the Hartman house.

(Photo's from my instagram)

These two cuties got new glasses a few weeks ago...

And in a few weeks they will be celebrating their Birthday's! I can hardly believe I will have TWO double digit children!!!! Say Whaaaa???

My best friend from Chicago, flew down to visit for a week. And her timing was perfect. She is such a blessing to me. Way more than just a friend, more like a sister. She loves well. And my heart was so blessed by her helping hand during a rough week health wise for Elliott.

   We took her to the aquarium one day, SO fun to show her our Atlanta aquarium! And we headed to a park for a little bit one day. Elliott loves his Aunt Emmy.

I have been working on making a home photography studio. I am so excited about having a beautiful space to take photo's of newborns/babies/toddlers. This space is coming together quite nicely.

We also went out exploring last weekend. We were all getting cabin fever. Elliott hasn't been feeling well, so we had been sticking close to home. He is doing a bit better, and we decided to just go out for a long drive, and discover a little town close to us. Talk about a picturesque town!

We had so much fun as family. Making memories, being silly, and just having fun.

Lastly, but most importantly, this guy. Sweet Elliott. Through all of this fun, this guy has been really struggling. His asthma has gotten progressively worse. At some points needing nebulizer treatments around the clock. We have no idea what caused this, he didn't have anything viral. But his arthritis did flare at the same time. (Hence the re-occurring fever) he has been very dependent on his inhalers. There is a very real possibility of lung involvement with his SJIA. (See article here) We have seen a specialist, and will be seeing another tomorrow morning. We appreciate prayers, as we need and hope to find someone who is knowledgeable at the complications of SJIA and is VERY attentive to monitor Elliott closely. We need wisdom and clarity of mind (something that is difficult when in a very sleep deprived state, that I am!) Elliott has been pretty exhausted himself. His endurance is pretty low. Praying we get answers and attentive care tomorrow.

 It's so hard to see him struggling so much. I had this song playing the other day...and heard Elliott trying to sing along. I left the room and wept. "We'll sing. Holy. Holy. Holy is our God. And we will finally, really understand what it means. So we'll sing. Holy. Holy. Holy is our God. While we're waiting for that day. We will see with our own eyes. He was always in control."

No one plans to be walking this journey with their child. But, we have this hope. An anchor for our soul. We will one day, taste and see, and understand . To see how He used this, to shine His Hope and Light. Until then. I write this to say.
 I know. Our God is in Control.