Saturday, June 30, 2012

Proverbs 4:23 {Guard Your Heart}

This scripture has been on my heart lately.  There is so much out there that can pollute our hearts and then our minds.  Things that may seem like harmless entertainment can effect or hearts and our witness.  It is my prayer that we all (women of God, especially) guard or hearts and focus on the things that the Word says to focus on.

{Linking up today with A Scripture and a Snapshot and Found}

Friday, June 29, 2012


I'm linking up today with Gypsy Mama and Five Minute Friday.  Join in too, wont you?  Write for five minutes flat, don't edit, don't worry, just write!  Today's topic is dance.  GO!

How could we have known what the dance that began on the day in this photo would be like?  The music sweet and playful to begin with would have suited a jitterbug then turned to the quickstep within a year and a half when we welcomed our first child. 

How could we have anticipated the change in tempo and tone when we lost our sweet daughter.  Our dance more like a slow, heavy waltz.  Our steps beautifully broken with the sacred tears of grief.  Even still the tempo held in the low, slow melody when we buried our third child.

With hope the music changed yet again and we picked up our feet in anticipation of the change approaching.  Change it did, just not what we expected.  We adjusted our steps and danced on.

How could we have prepared ourselves, almost seven years ago, when we began this dance what it would be like.  There have been times when it felt our dancing shoes didn't fit right, steps that felt out of place and awkward while others flowed naturallly and purposeful.

While I can't say I would have choreographed it the same, if I had a choice, I know one thing's for sure...I wouldn't trade my partner for the world...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Save the Adoption Tax Credit!


I just wanted to post quickly and let you all know some advocacy that could be done for orphans and adopting families.  The adoption tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2012 and there are some initiatives to try to help keep it active.  For more information, you can visit Save the Adoption Tax Credit and also visit their fb page here. 

The adoption tax credit is important for several reasons, but basically, the adoption tax credit was created to help lift some of the financial burden of families who wish to adopt both domestically and internationally.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Date Night

Ben and I (and Ethan) have been a part of a young couples (Can we even really still call ourselves that?  Um...I'm going to say yes...) Bible Study the past couple of months.  Yesterday, we were talking about ideas for cheap date nights and it reminded me of a post I drafted a while ago and never published. 
I'll be the first to admit Ben and I don't "date" like we should.  It was easy to date before we were married.  Even after we were married for a while too.  Then after 18 months of marriage, we welcomed our first child.  A blessing (and a miracle) and things changed for us.  After the trials that the next few years brought, we appreciate our little guy more than ever and really hate to spend too much time away from him in what little free time as a family we have.  I started brainstorming ideas that we could do at home after Ethan goes to sleep and we occaisionally will plan an actual date, leaving Ethan at Nana's.  But with our future adoption expenses, we also needed these ideas to be free or frugal.

That's one of the reasons I made this list! After looking through about a bazillion date ideas from various sources, I came up with this list that would be something possible for us. Your list could look completely different. For us, going kayaking would be a free date because we already own a tandum kayak. For other's there may be a rental fee.  My husband LOVES the outdoors and spending time doing his hobby's definetly fills his love tank, so there are lots of those on my list.

FREE (except maybe the cost of gas to get there)
  • Go for a walk together.
  • Volunteer at a shelter, crisis pregnancy center, church event, clean a park, soup kitchen, etc.
  • Take a hike.
  • Go Kayaking.
  • Take the 5 love languages quiz.
  • Browse a bookstore together.
  • Sign up for the free month sample of Netflix and have a TV marathon.
  • Find somewhere close that does a large fireworks display for the 4th of July or New Year's and find someplace to get a good view.
  • Take some bread to the lake and feed the ducks.
  • Test drive your dream car.
  • Exchange love letters.
  • Go on a picnic.
  • Carve your initials in a tree near your home.  Probably not the best idea to do on property that is not your own :)
  • Do an internet search to find free concerts and events in your area.
FRUGAL ($20 or less)
  • Coffee date.
  • Be a tourist in your own town and visit local landmarks. 
  • Go to the drive in and bring your own snacks.
  • Mini-golf.
  • Do an online search of local festivals held near your area.  I know there are a few near us, like the Cornbread Festival, the Chicken Festival, NIBROC festical and a little further away is the Woolyworm festival.
  • Get some ice-cream (or a DQ Blizzard!) and talk about your favorite summer memories.
  • Each take $10 and go treasure hunting at yard sales in your area.
  • Go to a nice restaurant and get water and split a dessert or a large appetizer.
  • Each take a set amount of money (say $3) and visit the local dollar store, buy that many things that remind you of your spouse.  Be creative!  Check out in different lanes, hide the purchases until you find a place to exchange gifts (like maybe one of the frugal food ideas or a picnic).
  • Go to a matinee movie (skip the drink and expensive popcorn).
  • See if the alumni association of your college or university has Alumni day at local minor league sports events.

Stay at home dates...
  • Board game night! We love Wits and Wagers, Battleship, Scrabble, and a few card games.
  • Make fondue at home after the kiddo goes to bed.
  • Coffee under the stars.
  • Two person book club.
  • Write your bucket lists together.
  • Look through home magazines (or just browse pinterest) and talk about your dream home.
  • Build a campfire and make smores in the backyard.
  • Take turns picking your favorite Christmas movies while wrapping (or making) gifts.
  • Wii date.
  • Watch home videos or look at scrapbooks together.
  • At home photo session. Set your camera on the timer setting and get photos of the two of you together.
  • Learn something new together.
  • Write a children’s book for you kids (or future kids). Use an online book printing company to print ( is one of my favorites.)
  • Spa night.
  • Watch the sunset.
  • Watch the sunrise.
  • Paint a canvas to decorate your home.
  • Dinner and a movie theme dates (The Dating Divas have some awesome ideas!).
  • Make a 5 year plan and include short term goals as a family and individually.

Friday, June 15, 2012


It's been about a month since I have done an InstaFriday, so I wanted to catch up!  This will *almost* get you caught up to all that's going on with us!  Now, in no particular order our summer from the view of my i.pod...

We have two beautiful kittens that are so much fun to watch!

Memorial Day weekend visiting the babies graves and the saddles I made for their stones.

Visiting the National Veterans Cemetery and taking Dad flowers.

Lovely stained glass window at the library.

Ethan's big fish at the Fishing Derby!

Reminiscing on Ethan's birthday by looking back through his day of birth scrapbook.

Movie Day!

Fresh cucumbers from our garden.  Yum!

My awesome uncle went down the inflatable slide at Ethan's party to win a playful bet :)

Shopping for a washer and dryer!

Love my fresh perked coffee!

Pool Party!

Garden goodness!

My hubby's new brass that came with his promotion!  Go Ben!

Ethan reading in his new built in loft bed.  Happy birthday bub!

Love this kid!

New bike!

His reaction to his new bedroom.

One of his three birthday cakes.  Spoiled?  Nope.  Loved?  Completely!

His lego cake!

Juggler at the library.

Running outside to play in a sudden spring shower.  Making memories!

My love.

At the children's garden at the library.

He's in the Lord's Army!

Happy birthday Party!

Tasting a kid for the first time.

Blue Popsicle! 

LOVE these cupcakes!

Birthday boy breakfast of champs!

We found this little guy in our back yard.

Kissy face!

life rearranged

Five Question Friday

1. Would you grow your hair out to donate it?

    Um, well, considering I already have 5 times since 2003, I guess the answer would be yes!  I am currently growing it out again.

    The first time I donated 15 inches my freshman year of college.  I wish I had a picture here to show, because that was probably my most dramatic change!  The 2nd time was two weeks after Ben and I got married.  Here are some before after shots!


I have also donated either right before or right after each of my babies births.




2. What song makes you think of summer?

    Anything by the Beach Boys!

3. Are you a flip flops or sandals kind of person?

   Flip flops or my Chacos.  Love them!  My Chacos have been with me almost as long as my husband.  He got them for me when we were dating because I kept loosing my flip flop in the river when we would go on hikes and let"s be honest, flip flops just aren't for hiking and rock climbing :)

4. Favorite summer treat (ie ice cream, snow cones, etc)?

    Smores with real fire roasted marshmallows!

5. Do you do something special for the father of your children?

     Usually I try to find something little he needs and let Ethan pick something out for him too.  We usually drive over to visit with Ben's Dad and family on Father's Day after church as well.  It's just good to get to spend the day together!