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Daily Verse

Sunday~
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

Why do we try to conform God to our will? Live in His word and know true joy.

Monday~
"Make me to know your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old."
Psalm 25:4-6

God reveals the truth of our time and all time to us through Scripture.

Tuesday~
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the tstimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:7-10

All the laws in all the books in all the libraries of the world are but a footnote to the law of God.

Wednesday~
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

To know and understand God comes not through our intellect, but through the wisdom given to us by the grace of God.

Thursday~
"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:1-3

Don't measure success by society's standards. Use Christ as your measuring stick.

Friday~
"The the LORD answered Job our of the whirlwind and said: 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstond...?'"
Job 38:1, 4-6

When we measure God by our limited standards, we attempt to measure the elephant by weighing one strand of its hair.

Saturaday~
"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so lon, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?'"
John 14:8-9

Christ is God made flesh. If you want to know God, you must draw closer to Jesus.

J.E.N.E

Patch

12.14.03

8.20.04

1.20.05

4.26.05

Anniversary

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Princess

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunshine

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Cupcake

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Love Bug

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Ri-Bear

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Bo

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Healthier Me!

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Disney Dream Cruise with Mom!!!

Daisypath Vacation tickers

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shy Girl!

I was wanting to have this be something more than a 'on this date, this happened' kind of a post....but I have not found a cute way to relay the news.

On Sunday night, December 26th, our Cupcake finally let her Daddy feel a kick.  One kick was all she could manage to give him, but she did allow him that one kick!  He now has proof that Mama is not just gaining weight and 'taking it easy' for nothing!  (Handsome never thought that, he has been very amazing with this pregnancy)

Then in this amazing journey yesterday (the 28th) I was laying in bed before getting up for the day and she started doing an amazing little dance that allowed me to feel her, for sure, for about 15 minutes with my hand on my belly!  It is interesting to feel someone moving inside of you...and an entirely different ball game when you are also feeling that little person move on the outside too! 

Now if only you could be so kind as to let your big sister feel you, she would be so excited!  She is singing faithfully to you every night and patiently (though the patience is not going to last much longer) holding her hand on my belly often to try and catch you kicking....so PLEASE Cupcake, your Princess is so excited for you and would like to feel you move!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Sunshine!

Four years, wow, how time does fly away!  How is it possible that my 'baby' is turing 4!  You no longer need Mama to help you dress, eat, change your diaper...but one thing has not changed...you still need Mama for occasional snuggles!  Oh how I dread the day you grow out of that soft side of needing a Mama snuggle!  You have always been the one that would crawl up on my lap and snuggle in for lengths of time, I love that!

Sunshine it seems that we are finally in the area of not battling anything with you...before we knew for sure that you would be our Sunshine we battled for your life with so many doctors and tests that I thought it would NEVER end.  When we finally got to the end of that we battled in court for the right to be your parents since we were the only people that you knew!  God has given victory over both of those battles and for that we are thankful! 

I still remember the day in March of 2008 when the doctor told us to 'go home, love on him, spend as much time with him, but get final arrangements in order.'  My mind raced, for 14 marvelous months God had placed you in our home as a foster baby (though we loved you so and considered you ours) and now He was going to take you away from us.  Nothing legally had been decided so would we even get to have a say in your 'final arrangement?'  That is when God helped us find your gluten intolerance.  You all of a sudden (literally over night!) became a different child!  What a miracle!

Here we are almost 3 years out from that and while you are still eating a diet free of gluten, you are walking, talking, growing, laughing & smiling...and it isn't all just a memory!  You are living life!  It is no mistake that we call you Sunshine, your smile and warm eyes bring sunshine even to the most dreary times.  Your sweetness can melt a stone...you are my precious baby boy (sorry, you will always be Mama's baby!) 

Your Mama and Daddy love you more than we could ever express to you...the fact that God has privilaged us to be your parents is something we are thankful for every day.  To see you and your sister interact with eachother as best of friends one day and then have troubles getting along the next day is fun to watch.  I also love how you get distracted by the smallest things (it does get frusterating at times too) but to walk outside and see your eyes light up because a leaf blows by in the wind or to see you riding your bike at the park and be filled with joy because two squirls are chasing each other across the grass!  You never walk in a straight line because you are observing all the little details around you.  I also love to see how sweet you are with your unborn baby sister and enjoy hearing you sing your favorite song, "Today is the Day" to her at night after prayers.  Your smile and eyes are something I look forward to seeing when you wake up with your wild and crazy hair every morning.  What a blessing it is to get to work at home and be with you every day!  Thank you for loving, thank you for being our Sunshine!

Happy Birthday my baby boy...we love you!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from our family!

This year has been full of many blessings with a few trials mixed in - like most years - but this one was unlike any year we have lived before!

Mama started the year with the Ideal Protein Diet that allowed a loss of 48 lbs in 5 months!  It helped level out her PCOS which brings us to the biggest news of 2010: we are expecting our Cupcake on April 2nd 2011!  A shock for sure, but we are thrilled!

Handsome's biggest project for the year was taking on the addition to our house!  We needed more room for daycare and the growing family and while we did hire some of the work, Handsome did much of it too!  He also took on most of my 'wifely' duties at home while I was 'taking it easy' turing my 1st trimester.

We also made the decision to help plant Connection Church here in town.  It has been a blessing to get to know our Pastor & family, while seeing God work at the same time!

Princess had her 2nd dance recital in May and looked forward to the start of her 3rd year in the Fall!  She turned 4 in September and was excited to finally get her ears pierced!

Sunshine has enjoyed being Daddy's helper but does best with the destruction side!  It seems he may finally have the potty thing down and will turn 4 two days after Christmas!

Now the last big news of the year, one month before we found out we were pregnant we started the adoption process again!  We have had three friends offer fundraisers to us and all our paperwork is done.  We are now waiting to be matched with our Texas baby!

While 2010 has been packed full, we starive to live each day to bring glory to our King.  Let us each take time to remember Jesus' birth at this time and all year through!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Love,
Handsome, Mama, Princess, Sunshine, Cupcake & Texas Baby

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2009

 This is our family last year...Christmas Eve was a little different than normal in the fact that we were not able to go to the church service for the first time in YEARS due to a massive cripling snowstorm!  I still dressed the kiddos up and we took some family pictures.  I cannot believe how much a year has changed this picture!  Princess and Sunshine have grown (it seems like more than a year's worth of growth!), Handsome lost a little over 25 lbs this year, and I not only lost almost 50 lbs but am working on gaing a good bit of that back due to Ms. Cupcake growing inside of me!  Who would have ever guessed that a year would make so much difference...makes me excited to see what our 2011 Christmas Eve picture will look like!
A little sibling love!


Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday ~ Our Little Family Christmas

Saturday night we decided that we would have our 'own' little family Christmas! We spent the day together (after the Princess' dance class) and we were able to finish buying the supplies for what we need to do to finish up the addition. And Handsome allowed me to get a pedicure (as my stocking stuffer) while we were out and about too.


Our 'little' family Christmas has become a tradition over the last few years...we do not actually buy gifts for our childre, just stocking stuffers...but sometimes the stuffers are too big for the stockings so we end up wrapping a couple! 8-)

 
Princess opening her first stuffer...
 There is always some kind of clothing in the stocking for each of them...this year she had a 'beautiful pink sweater' ~ Her words!
 Sunshine was able to open his clothing item next!
 He had been feeling so left out because Mama & Daddy AND Princess all had scarves, but he did not.  I tried and TRIED to find him a 'little boy' scarf, but couldn't.  So ended up just buying a cheap black ladies scarf and that made him VERY happy!
 The Princess' other stuffer she had to open...anything with a princess on it is good for her!
Sunshine is looking forward to playing his 'wild' game!

Then we actually got down the stockings and I forgot to take any other pictures! 

Princess was excited to find the VeggieTales Jonah movie, a Strawberry Shortcake doll, a My Little Pony, and some Resse's Pieces

Sunshine was excited to find some (6) animals for his barn, a Buzz & Woody poster, and Resse's Pieces

Handsome received some AE socks he had been drooling over, an AE necklace, new earphones that stay on for his ipod, AND the Princess Bride DVD (huge sacrifice on my part because I DO NOT LIKE this movie at all!)

Cupcake even had a stocking (more for Daddy's than anyone because Princess and Sunshine each picked out something for her) but she received a set of pink keys (from Sunshine) a pink rattle (from Princess) and a little pink sleeper with cupcakes all over it (from Mama!)

I am still enjoying that my toes are beautiful once again, especially since it is uncomfortable for me to reach them these days!

It was a wonderful time together as a family, and we were able to take time and share with the kids again what Christmas is really all about...not the gifts, but The Gift of baby Jesus!

I love that my children are getting old enough to understand some of these things!

So many things to be Thankful for!

Anyone China ready?

Time is running out for THIS CASE.  If he has not found his forever family by his 14th birthday in February his chance of adoption will have run out.  His family must already be China ready....please pray for him!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Christmas Program!

 Last Sunday the kids were able to be a part of the Christmas Program at Hills of Grace and it was the first time we have been in a church with A) enough kids to do a program or B) a church that did a program, since they have been born!  They were so excited because their 'best friends' (Our Pastor's Kids) were Mary & Joseph and Princess was able to be an angel and Sunshine a king!  He looked so tiny up there!  But I thought it was adorable, Princess was up there first and she looked for where I was and waved at me right away with a big smile!  Sunshine did the same thing as soon as he got up there...found me and waved with a VERY LARGE smile!  Proud Mama right here!
 She was looking at me...
This was just as they were exiting the platform...so happy they were so excited to serve the Lord in such an important way!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

35%

35% is how much of this pregnancy is left...if they let me go to my due date!    It is crazy to me that we are that close to be done!  102 days...Christmas Eve will be our first day under 100 in the countdown. 

This morning as I was laying in bed waiting for Handsome to finish in with his shower so I could, Ms. Cupcake (not only does she already have a name, but we already have her nickname too) was moving my belly all over the place.  It was crazy!  It wasn't like the other times where it just looking like someone was tapping on the other side, this time it was an actual movement of a body part (still not sure which one!)  Like my entire belly shifted for a second, CRAZY!  I am enjoying being pregnant, and even all the comments when people ask how long we have left and their responses of, "WOW" or "REALLY, I would have guessed it was much sooner than that!" are not bothering me.  I know that is the 'nice' way of saying, "WOMAN, you are HUGE!"  But seriously, with all the 'taking it easy' this pregnancy has brought and the fact that I have high fluid and am possibly further along than they originally stated what is a person suppose to do?!?!?  I look forward to the day that someone other than myself can feel Cupcake moving inside of me too!

Each of my family have their own way of communicating their 'special' things to Cupcake.  Princess sings Jesus Loves Me to her almost every day now, has been doing it for almost three weeks and now every time she sings it Cupcake starts dancing like mad!  Hopefully one of these days she will give Mama a kick hard enough that Princess can feel her baby sister move!  Sunshine just started singing his favorite song to her last night after seeing sissy do it for so long...so every day Cupcake will get to hear Lincoln Brewster's "Today is the Day!"  While he was singing last night the phrase, "I won't worry about tomorrow, I'm trusting in what you say" really caught be off guard and reminded me I need to worry alot less about Cupcake and our Texas baby because God knows and my worries cannot change anything any way!  Handsome and I talked a week ago and he is narrowing in on a select few verses that he is going to start reading to Cupcake every night before bed (that seems to be when she is most active.)  It does seem that Cupcake likes the repetitiveness of hearing the same voice saying or singing the same thing and that does get her moving!

So in 102 days or less we will meet Cupcake, and everyone is VERY excited!

We ordered her crib and dresser/changing table this morning too!  So next week sometime after getting home from all the Christmas craziness, we should have that here waiting to be set up!  SO EXCITED!  She's coming!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where Else Would a Lamb Be Born? Performed by Steve Amerson

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

 Today I am thankful for memories.  What would life be like without the memories?  Good OR bad!  I think it is interesting how you can not have thought of something for years and a smell, a song, or something else all of a sudden brings you back to that moment in time that had been forgotten!  That happens to me all the time...there is a certain shampoo and a certain discontinued fragrance for lotion from a popular mall store that specializes in that sort of thing that brings me back to my college years.  The shampoo is the one I used the entire time I was at college and the lotion was sent to me in a care package from my church. 

There are also songs that bring me back to certain times too.  When I hear "Fingerprints of God" by Steven Curtis Chapman I always think of my senior year of high school and the amazing youth group I was a part of at that time!

I could go on and on...

But something that I think I do not take enough time is to MAKE memories on PURPOSE with my children.  So we did just that the other night.  They had been asking to make cookies for weeks, so we finally did.  I hadn't done this with my children before...and so when thinking about it when you make cookies with your children what do you think of?  CUT OUT SUGAR COOKIES!  But you see, I am not a baker....I can cook (sometimes~my husband thinks I am better than I am) but to bake is something I have not enjoyed or gotten into!  ANYWAY, so I made a trip to the grocery store to make sure I had all the proper ingrediants and we started.

First right after naps we mixed up the dough because it had to be cooled for a couple hours before we could roll it out.  Then after supper (and a very long, tiring day for Mama) we embarked on what turned out to be a trial of patience for this Mama.  The kids loved every minute of it, I hate to admit the fact that there were many times throughout the process that I had the thought, "why did I do this?  how much longer can it possibly take?"  But when it was all said and done, the kids have told me a million times in the last two days that they had so much fun and want to make cookies again!  Memories are important, and they will remember the time Mama made cookies with them for a long time!  So lesson learned: the memories are important, but next time Princess and Sunshine want to make cookies we are going to make chocolate chip or peanut butter! 

All in all it was much fun!
 Princess rolling out her first batch of dough...she cut out shoes and handprints!
Sunshine concetrating VERY hard on rolling out his dough...he cut out all Christmas Stockings!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What's for supper?

The last two Wednesdays I have overlooked the construction mess, and then today also the house mess that comes from not doing laundry or dishes for a couple days due to plumbing issues...and had different friends over for meals.  Tonight we had a recipe that I hadn't made in a while but remember after eating it how amazing it was!  It came out of a Taste of Home magazine when we were first married!

Cheesy Ham 'n' Rice Soup

4 celery ribs, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 medium carrots, shredded (I just cut them into bit sized pieces)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (to make gluten free you can sub 2 TBSP & 2 tsp of cornstarch for this)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups half and half...I didn't have this and tonight used heavy cream instead
8 ounces process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
4 cups cooked wild rice (I only had brown rice on hand and subbed that)
3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
3 TBSP chicken bouillon granules
8 cups water
Slivered almonds, optional


In a saucepan, saute celery and onion in butter until tender.  Add carrots; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes (if using cut up pieces maybe do 5 min.)  In a large kattle or Dutch oven, combine the flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually stir in cream.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thinkened.

Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted.  Stir in the rice, ham, bouillon, celery mixture and water.  Return to a boil.  Sprinkle with almonds if desired.  I always throw in a little parsley because in my mind all homemade soups need a little!

Yummy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My kids are getting big!

I know, I know "every mom goes through this" and "at least they are growing, that means they are healthy" and all those other good comments...but seriously!  It seems there isn't a thing they cannot help with any more.  From laundry to cooking to cleaning to even entertaining one Pumpkin while I diaper/feed another....they are very good little helpers these days! 

How did this happen?  How do they go from tiny little babies to such big kids with personalities and opinions all of their own?  It is funny to me to look at this picture an realize they are 3 months apart...and that Sunshine was bigger than Princess by over a pound when he was born!  CRAZINESS!

The newest excitement around our house is that the kids get to be in their very first Christmas Drama at church next Sunday!  They are very excited, Princess will be an angel and Sunshine will be a king!  While being in the drama means that we are going to miss out on Handsome's family Christmas, but we are excited to see the kids serving the Lord in this capacity! 

We do hope you are celebrating Jesus' birth this time of year and that you can have a 'Merry CHRISTmas'  Will be posting the family Christmas Card and letter sometime next week...if anyone wants one in the mail email or message me on FB with your address and I am still working on sending them out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The difference 10 weeks makes!

 Here we have the first picture we took at 14 weeks and the picture we have from this weekend at 24 weeks!  Needless to say little Grasshopper is taking up plenty room...and she is kicking me like crazy these days!  I cannot believe I have 15 1/2 weeks left, not sure where she is going to grow in that time as it seems my belly is stretched as far as it can be! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Family Time

Last night we managed to squeeze in a little family time between coats of paint in the daycare room!  We went to the city's 'Holidazzle Light Parade' and saw some of our Patch clients!  The kids got all excited to see B sitting on top of a chair with a Santa hat on a a bright light!  Then not to much farther down the line up we saw his wife J pushing little A in the stroller!  That really made the kids excited!  Afterwards we came home and had supper, did baths, drank cider, folded clothes (yes, my kids think that is quality time!), and watched Daddy put the first coat of color on (he already had primed it and painted the ceiling!) 

It is so much fun to watch life through a 4 year olds eyes!  The excitement over little things and the joy that comes from normal!  We are blessed to have Princess and Sunshine in our lives!  Thank you Lord, for blessing us in such an amazing way!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday December 11th...

We are 24 weeks with only 16 weeks left to meet our little Grasshopper (if they let me go to my due date!)  Excitement is starting to overtake any worry or fear about this pregnancy!  She is moving regularly and I {may} have felt the slightest of movement with my hand last night! 

Our Princess thinks she did too...except I didn't feel little Grasshopper inside when she felt her outside 8-)  Oh the imaginations of excited 4 year olds!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A little info...

So I think there are some things that I would like for people to know:

Our adoption, we have desired to adopt another child since the time we finalized Sunshine's adoption (8.1.08) and have been praying for God to guide us and direct us as to when it should or should not happen.  In May/June of this year God brought us to that time, the time when we knew it was His time to start the process.  We started with paperwork, contracts, background checks, and also with some payments...but we were committed.  The very day we signed our first contract we were 2 weeks pregnant but did not know that.  God knew, but we didn't. 

God has also brought into our path 3 people that offered to do fundraisers for us.  We are thankful for this.

The urgency that came about in November was due to the fact that if we got all of our paperwork finished and to the agency by the 30th of November we would save $3000!  That is huge!  So the fact that we may have seemed to be 'pushing' things in the Thanksgiving month was due to trying to be frugal and save that large sum of money!

Now that the paperwork is in we have no hurry.  If God brings us our adopted baby tomorrow, we would be thankful and excited.  If He chose to wait until after Emi was born or even a year down the road, we are happy with that too!  We want to do what God wants for our lives...never push ahead of Him and never hold His timing back.  Now are we perfect?  No, not at all!  Have we messed up?  YES!  But we know that God clearly brought us to the decision to adopt again at the very same time He created and {so far} has sustained our little Emi's life.  We also know that he brought us to the very end of November with the paperwork just to show us how AMAZING He is...we did get the $3000 credit, on the very last day of elegibility!  Do we still have some financial things to work out to be able to finish the adoption?  YES!  We do, but we also know that God can to amazing things and in His way and His time it will happen! 

I hope this clears some things up for some of you, I know that there are many people that think us continuing to persue adoption while expecting is not a wise decision and there have even been a few that have said they think we are stepping out of God's will for our lives.  I appreciate those that will sincere hearts have asked questions and tried to figure things out before jumping to conclusions and throwing names and accusations our way.  I am always happy to answer questions!  But we pray every day for God to direct our steps!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am VERY thankful for friends!  Yesterday I was able to have a good long conversation with my dear pregnant friend whos baby is coming in a month or so!  Sometimes you just need to talk to a friend and be able to 'vent' but what is best when they can understand and walk with you through it!  Thanks L!

Last night we also were able to meet with our Pastor and his beautiful wife.  We had them over for supper and were able to 'bounce' some things off of them.  It was such a blessing to have someone to go to for godly counsel and wisdom!  We appreciate them more than they can ever know.  Have you ever met someone and shortly after meeting them realize that it just 'works?'  Well we met these wonderful people and their amazing kids in the middle of July and it seems like we have known them forever!  It is very much a blessing!



~Was there ever a time in your life where you felt trapped by circumstances and unable to escape, yet somehow things worked out?  Praise God for His steadfast love and His promise never to desert us.!~


It seems we may be in a couple of those 'trapped' circumstances.  We are praying for God to work in all three areas!  I am sure he will, we just need to learn the lesson He is trying to teach along the way.  But both our Pastor and wife & our friends J and L have been a blessing to us at this time!  I am thankful for friends!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Dearest Emi~

Last night for the first time I saw my belly move with your movements!  It was so precious, your Daddy was able to see you move a couple of times too!  So you may not allow us to 'feel' you move from the outside yet, but at least you are letting your Daddy see your movements!  Thank you for that sweet memory!

Love,
Mama

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Adoption Help

Does anyone know any ideas about helping raise support for a family trying to adopt?  We have had a few fundraisers that have helped with small things like mailing contracts, renewing our homestudy, and things of that sort, but we really need to raise about $9000 more.

Over the last 4 years we have personally paid (barrowed and are still paying) $68,000.00, including $17,500 for our current adoption.  But that is the end of the road and we took this step in faith knowing it wouldn't be easy.  We will need roughly $9000 more in order to bring home our Texas baby.  We will be applying to a few adoption grant places, but many of the preface the grant applications with things like "grant will be given to families with greatest need, whether financial or childless homes."  Since we have two adoption children already and are expecting our little Grasshopper we are not expecting to be high on their priority list, but we are applying because we know God will do this some how, some way! 

I am thankful to Paradise Massage for the 5K in September that raised enough to completely pay for our homestudy renewal.

We are also thankful to Rita who did a Pampered Chef fundraiser for us and also to Yolanda who is currently running a Blessings Unlimited party for us! 

We are also thankful to D&R.H and L&L.H for their $50 (each) personal donations that totaled $100!  What a blessing that was!  So kind of both you couples to do that!  It is appreciated more than you know!

So we are curious if anyone is willing to donate to our adoption, or ask your church if they could help in some way (bake sale, special offereing, garage sale, etc).

Also, does anyone know what we would need to do to be okayed to put out donation buckets around to local businesses?  I would imagine you need to get permission from someone, but who? 

Any advise or help is especially apprecaited!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Dear Grasshopper,

Dear Precious Little Grasshopper,

     On Friday night your big sister and brother went to bed a little early and Mommy & Daddy sat down to watch Th.eBlin.dSid.e for some rest and together time!  We didn't make it all the way through the movie before we needed to go to bed, but I just wanted to let you know that we have come to the conclusion that you are a little stinker!  Your Daddy sat with his hand on Mama's belly for most of the movie and every time he would move it for a second you would start moving and kicking, he would put his hand back and you would stop instantly!  We are so excited to meet you and get to know you, but you still have a few months before you can safely enter our world....so until then all we have is your movements and while I enjoy them daily, would you please be kind enough to let Daddy feel you SOON! 

     We love you tons....and look forward to seeing when it is your time to meet us!

                                                                                                          Love,
                                                                                                          Mommy

Friday, December 03, 2010

We are ACTIVE!

We were able to get all of our paperwork and things in to our agency, Family to Family, this week and we now are active!  That means we are just waiting to be 'matched' with our little one and then wait until he/she is born!  We are very excited to see what God is going to do through this adoption, and what His timing with be with our little Grasshopper 17 or less weeks away! 

If you have ever considered adoption....in any way...I would highly encourage you to at least give the wonderful ladies at Family to Family a call!  They are AMAZING!   We are going back for a second time, that says something!  8-)  Great ladies that really do become part of your family!  We are excited to be working with them again!

On that note, a friend of mine has been kind enough to do a Blessings Unlimited fundraiser for us to help with the cost of our adoption.  She said order take only days to arrive at your door!  To see the details about the fundraiser, that goes through midnight on December 11th, you can visit the FaceBook event page!  We would apprecite your help! 

Will keep you posted on our 'Texas Baby'

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thankful Thursday, I think!?!?

 Today is Thursday, right?!?!?  That is kind of the way this week has gone...

BUT, I do have something to be extremely thankful for!  While our pregnancy has ben very up and down in the risky end...I am now (and have been for a while) feeling little Grasshopper on a regular, almost scheduled, basis!  I am thankful for this as feeling her wiggling and dancing inside of me is a constant reminder that she is there...ALIVE!  I have to say, while it is the neatest thing I have ever experienced...it is also the STRANGEST/WIERDEST thing I have evet felt in my life.  I am really enjoying feeling her move, wondering if she is going to look more like Handsome or myself...will she be blonde or dark haired?  It is pretty much a given that she will have blue eyes...I hope like mine were pre-miscarriages!  Will she have Handsomes ears?  Will she have my large nose?  Will she have his chin...on and on the list goes!  I think of these things almost constantly, because if I do not dwell on the positive the 'what ifs' of our risky pregnancy creep into my mind!  

On Saturday we will be 23 weeks, just 17 weeks from our estimated due date...that means that she could be 14 weeks from being 'full term' and that is thrilling to me!  Pregnancy has been one of the most wonderful journies of my life and I am thankful for the chance to experience it....even if every part of life right now I hear 'take it easy' and 'don't do that!'

On the other side of things, we also are completely and fully contracted with our adoption agency and will start being presented to birthmothers as they come in!  With that comes much prayer because we need a minimum of $7500 raised to complete the adoption....we had $17500 in a loan at the start knowing it wasn't the full amount, but also knowing God was leading us to adopt again....so it will be fun (and because I'm human - stressful!) to see how He works!

So much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

National Adoption Month

As we bring November to a close, it makes me think of the fact that November is National Adoption Awareness month.  There are so many different 'causes' people can take up as THEIRS, obviously God has put adoption on our hearts.  We are blessed to have our Princess and our Sunshine in our lives...and we are looking forward to meeting our newest addition to the family whenever we are matched and that little one is born.

But something I was to point out is that adoption costs ALOT!  Not just financially, though we will talk about that too!  But emotionally, while we {adoptive families} are celebrating our joy of growing our fmaily, there is a birth mother and her family that are grieving the loss of that same little one.  In a perfect {or even semi-perfect} situation you are able to maintain contact so that loss isn't AS great, but still there.  In both of our situations contact is not in place.  With Princess we had contact with her birthmother until Princess was 6 months old, but then her birthmother disappeared, we have not heard from her nor has the agency.  With Sunshine there are legal restrictions the prohibit any contact between him and any of his birth family due to the situation he came out of. 

But just because Princess' birthmother left us and Sunshines' birthmother isn't allowed to have contact with him doesn't mean they do not hurt.  I cannot imagine {especially now that I am experiencing the joy of pregnancy myself} having that little one grow and kick inside of you and go through the pain of delivary without getting that reward of parenting and loving on that child at the end of it!  I am sure both of these caring women still have hurts from the fact that these children are not in their lives, and I want you all to know it is something I think about often.  I am forever greatful for the fact that these mothers chose us to parent their precious little ones that now call us Mommy and Daddy, but I forever hurt for those two ladies as well!  Now I know in Sunshines situation it was not healthy nor safe for him to be in his birthmother's care, but that doesn't take away her emotions...maybe it even makes it a little worse for her!

There is emotional pain on this end too.  My kids are getting old enough now that they are asking questions....LOTS AND LOTS of questions...but we made the decision when they were babies that they would grow up knowing that they were adopted, it wasn't going to be some secret we kept from them until later in life.  Princess knows she grew in *****'s tummy and Sunshine knows he grew in ****'s tummy and now their question of 'why' is starting to come into play.  While I am thankful to their birthmother's for allowing my husband and I the chance to be parents, it still hurts that I was not able to be EVERYTHING to my children.  Now does that make them less of children, NO!  Does it really make me less of a mother, NO!  But sometimes it feels that way.  We see people in the community that disreguard them as our children because I didn't birth them...that hurts too, to see children rejected because they were born to someone else.  But Princess and Sunshine love us, know us, and call us Mommy and Daddy...they just know their stories are a little 'extra special.'

Now on the financial end of it, there is great sacrifice on the end of most adoptive parents.  Princess' adoption cost us right around $27,000 that we took out almost completely in loans.  We did receive $1200 as a gift to help with travel expenses and one of my Aunt & Uncles sent us $500 to help with the cost, but otherwise it was all loan that we are still working on paying for!  Sunshines adoption was slightly less, and with him we received no help, so again there was around $25,000 in loans we are still paying for!  This time we have tried fundraising.  Last Spring we did a coffee fundraiser that helped us raise about $200, this fall one of my wonderful Patch moms did a 5K for us that helped us raise $350, and we just wrapped up a Pampered Chef fundraiser and have a Blessings Unlimited one starting on Sunday.  My guess with the PC is that we raised about $40 and I am praying for at least $100 with the BU one!  So while we have had fundraisers and we are thankful for every bit that comes in, the cost of the adoption will still be right at or a little more than $25,000!  We do not expect other people to just hand out money to us, though we have had a neighbor hand us $50 and a friend also send us $50 (Thank you L&L and D&R, we are VERY appreciative!) we are praying that there might be a little more help out there somewhere.  We have already sent a $10,000 check off that we have in a loan, and the next payment is due when w are matched.  That payment is $7500, and another $7500 is due when the baby is born.  It would be wonderful if some how a miracle could take place and both of those payments could be raised so we didn't have to take out loans for them!  We are applying for grants, but since we already have two children and are now expecting that isn't going to put us up high on lists for receiving grants.

So my question is, would God lay on your heart to help out an adoptive family somehow?  I am not saying just us...there are hundreds of adoptive families out there.  In fact I know several families that the only thing stopping them from adopting is the money, they just simply cannot afford the $25,000+ it costs to adopt a child.  But there are also great organizations out there that help adoptive families in need of financial assistance.  ABBA Fund in North Carolina gives Christian adoptive families no interest loans so if you give to them your gift will help more than one family, because as the families pay back their loan that money is recycled and used with other families!  Steven Curtis Chapman also has a grant association I believe his new website is showhope.com.  Parenthood For Me is a new grant not for profit in New York I personally have donated to to help get them going, they give grants not only for adoptive families, but also for families going through fertility treatments!  The list goes on and on, but maybe donating financially isn't something you can do...that is okay, there needs to be people willing to pray for families going through the adoption process because it is a rollercoaster ride! 

Just my thoughts as National Adoption Awareness Month comes to a close! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Happy Shopping Everyone!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." ~E.P. Powell




I love Thanksgiving! It is my favorite Holiday...it reminds people to be thankful (though we should be year round!) But people are generally happier on Thanksgiving, than even Christmas...because they do tend to focus more on giving thanks...which does make a person happy!


I look back over the years of my husband and I spending Thanksgiving together and we have spent it in several different ways!


With his sister and huband (pre children), with a Pastor & wife (friends), with different families, on our own, we even hosted it once too! But since our children were born I particularly remember Thanksgiving.


2006 ~ We had a precious 3 month old baby girl and we drove more than 14 hours through the night to get to Hudson, WI where my mom's older sister lives and mom's family would gather for the holiday. I was so proud to be bringing Princess to a family get together, really her first! She was showered with so much love...I wouldn't say the weekend went without a hitch, but there was a big one involving myself and my grandmother...but that was getting to be kind of normal. It was amazing to have that time with family and see my daughter being passed around and loved on!


2007 ~ I believe this was the first year we started the 'new' tradition! We broke away from Mom's family and decided to have Thanksgiving at Mom & Dad's house with just them, my brother & wife, and our family...which had grown since the year before. We now had our Princess, our Sunshine, and three foster children that were 3, 2, & 5 months old at the time! It was a lively house to say the least! But it was still wonderful. I remember sitting at the table after we had finished the meal and seeing my Seester-in-law holding our little 5 month old foster girl, Sunshine was sleeping, the 2 & 3 year old foster boys were playing, and my mother and husband were trying to get Princess to hang a toothpick out of her mouth! It was beautiful! Mom was also successful in teaching my newly standing on her own Princess to stand and snap to Elvis! lol


2008 ~ We had the privilage of hosting Thanksgiving this year, only Mom & Dad made it to our home in the Hills...and we did without a snowstorm this time! Scratch that, I think one came in before they went home...don't remember! Anyway, we were down to our two children only, but were starting to pray that God would permanently grow our family again...and SOON! We also had a gentleman from the church join us, our kids called him, "Papa Denny" and he was such a sweet man to be around! It was a marvelous time.


2009 ~ We were back at my parents house again and once again it was too much fun! I always enjoy being together with family...we did have to sneak away a little earlier than planned to beat the snow storm, but it just allowed us a longer time to be there with them!


2010 ~ We have been told that November I should take it easy and not travel more than an hour away from home just to be safe, so once again Mom & Dad are HERE! We have been invited to join our Pastor & family/good friends for the Thanksgiving Meal. It should be fun...our kids love their kids and Pastor and D. are tons of fun to be around. This year brings extra things to be thankful for, Grasshopper being just 18 1/2 weeks away from birth and also the knowledge that any time we could receive our phone call from our agency in Texas letting us know a birthmother has chosen us! There are so many other things, but those two in particular are at the front of our minds.


Which brings me to being thankful...how many times a day are you thankful, yes I said A DAY!?!? Really, each day brings to reason to be thankful and trials too...do we take time to be thankful for the little things? Water running from our tap? Socks that keep our feet warm? Soap to wash our bodies? Tires on our car? Shingles that help our homes shed water? The people in our lives? The fact that there is a positive balance in the checkbook, even if only a few dollars? Your every living moment is something to be thankful! I, for one, do not take enough time to be thankful...I am too busy or full of worry.


It is interesting how God works, in the midst of typing about Grasshopper my phone rang and it was my clinic informing me that they found my ultrasound to have extra fluid around the baby...which can mean nothing at all, or can mean alot too. I can instantly worry about premature birth, or a baby with birth defects...or I can be thankful that there is a baby to be worrying about!

Anyway, there is a reason to be thankful every day....today being Thanksgiving is also one of my 'Thankful Thursday' posts...


I am thankful for family & friends...and haveing knowledge of the need and importance of being thankful!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Patch!

*Photo from file, 2 of those kids are mine, 2 are drop ins, and three of them are no longer attending the Patch...I just realized when searching for a picture that most of my pictures of The Patch are on my phone and not on my computer!  Sorry for an 'out dated' picture!

Yesterday was kind of a funny day at the Patch.  I had my regular Tuesday crew: a 4 year old (Princess), an almost 4 year old (Sunshine), an almost 3 year old, 3 - 1 year olds, and little sweetie that is 7 months old.  

Anyway, with the addition of our house there are people coming and going all day and funny noises that are happening outside all the time.  Yesterday was no different.  Two guys came in the morning to deliver sheet rock and it let a bunch of COLD air in the house.  I planned ahead and had all the kids that were awake pile on the couch and snuggle under a blanket while watching Toddler Action Songs on TV.  I had the three oldest, and 2 of the 1 year olds sitting on the couch snuggled up together.  At first they thought it was tons of fun because they are not usually allowed to sit on the couch, but after about 10 minutes the little ones started getting restless.  I actually asked Mr. R if he would like to sit on the couch or take a nap...he responded with nap!  Too funny...

Anyway, it was just so sweet (the first 10 minutes) while they were allowed to sit there and snuggled up together.  Some put their arms around their neighbor, some kept making sure those next to them were snuggled in warm and moving the blanket closer to them!  For the first 10 minutes I saw nothing but concern for the other Pumpkins sitting with them.  These days around here are fun.  While we have been dealing with sharing and attitude adjustments, it is moments like these that remind me why I love my job.  Not only do I get to be with my children all day every day, but I get to be the one to take care of other peoples' children too.  What a great honor!

Children make life fun! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Princess and the REALLY BIG FISH!

Last Friday while feeding the little Pumpkins lunch, one of the kids did something naughty and I corrected them and said they needed to speak kindly and have a good attitude.  Also said it is better to do what is right than things that are bad.

After that I went about cutting up the apples for the Pumpkins and I hear my Princess telling the little girl who had just been 'naughty' that one time 'last week' (because anything that happen in the past was 'last week' I stole some of my brother special crackers and that is a SIN.  Then I went potty on my floor one morning 'last year' and that is a SIN.  And when I do not obey my Mom and Dad, that is a SIN and it makes Jesus pleased (think she forgot the 'dis' in displeased!)  And we shouldn't sin because if we do we will get eaten by a REALLY BIG FISH!

We hadn't talked about Jonah in a while, which just goes to show how important it is to be cautious what you put into your kids' minds because IT STICKS!  I think that a 4 year old's interpritation of the fact that Jonah didn't obey God (which we have taught our children if you disobey God that is a sing) so God sent the 'REALLY BIG FISH' to eat him up is simple and to the point, not to mention precious!

Now just yesterday she thought it would be good that her and I pray together every day for all the people that we know that 'have babies growing in their tummies' so that the 'babies can grow big and strong and be born.'  Now we do at every meal pray for our Grasshopper and the 'other 6 babies' but with this request we are going to set aside a time of the day...maybe right before nap time when everyone else is laying down already...to pray specifically for the Mommies & Daddies, babies, and older siblings (were there are older kids!) 

As a Mama to little ones, sometimes they are the ones to knock you off your high horse and make you realize that faith doesn't have to be as complicated as what we adults make it sometimes!

I am thankful for my children's interest in learning about God!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby Belly!

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

 18 weeks
 20 weeks
(I was sick at 19 weeks and forgot to take a picture!)
21 weeks!

I am fearful of how big Ms. EMH is going to make my belly over the next 18 1/2 weeks!  But as one of Handsome's relatives said last night, "You are short so there is no where to go but OUT!"  I'll take it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

 Today I am thankful for my wonderful Patch Parents!  I have 5 families at this point and one family that uses me as a back up daycare and each of them are great!  Everyone of them have been so understanding and helpful since we found out about the pregnancy and I appreciate it greatly! 

All of my little Pumpkins are also wonderful!  My pumpkins are all excited about baby 'Grasshopper' and I get to hear about that excitement daily!  My youngest Pumpkin is almost 7 months old and my oldest is my daughter at 4!  We have much fun day to day and look forward to the addition of two more Pumpkins in April & May of 2011!

Thank you Patch Parents for being an amazing group of people that are so thoughtful, kind, and understanding!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's a...GIRL!!!!!









We had our ultrasound today and found out that we will be adding a girl to our family in the Spring!  Mom & Dad are very happy (we would have been happy either way) but Princess is especially happy with this news!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog!

Yesterday was my blogs 3rd birthday and I didn't even remember until today!  Thank you all who have read and left comments on this in the last three years! 

Tomorrow is the big Day!


Tomorrow morning the Patch will be closed and we, as a family, will be heading to the hospital to find out if Grasshopper is a boy or girl!  This is something that I have personally been looking forward to almost since we found out we were expecting!  But especially since we reached the 12 week mark and looked like everything was still going strong!  I would love to hear you weigh in...what do you think?

Mama ~ Girl
Daddy ~ Girl
Princess ~ Girl
Boo ~ Boy
Best Friend A~ Boy
Best Friend D~ Boy
Grandma~ Girl

It would be fun to see your comments on if it is a boy or girl!

*I have not been sick really with this pregnancy
*The heartbest started in the upper 170's, and has settled as of the last few weeks in the 150's
*I think I am carrying in the middle...but I would say low middle.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back Track...July 3rd 2010

 Somewhere in June...Julyish my blog wasn't letting my upload photos.  SOOOO, I am gonna do some 'catching up' here and there!  Here are Princess & Boo getting some snuggles in with Grandpa!
 Boo & Princess eating some yummy treats from our friend the Ice Cream Man (in the yellow truck!)
 A couple shot at the rodeo...I was down 50 lbs here...before Grasshopper started the scale going the other direction!
The only picture from the rodeo I have this year....apparently I am learning to enjoy it more and take less pictures!