Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NaBloPoMo July. Lessons learned.

Yes I did!  I really did it.  I actually posted everyday for an entire month!  Whew!  And, I actually learned a few things along the way...

#1 There is a reason I don't normally post everyday.  That's because I'm boring.  And I get a little distracted by other things in blogland.

#2 I have really deep things to say, but posting everyday keeps me from saying them.  Just to get the days post up, I sacrifice quality for quantitity.  So, unless I just need the distraction, I probably wont do another NaBloPoMo. 

#3 I love writing prompts.  BUT, I rarely to never follow them.  I get off on a mental bunny trail and write about something different.

#4 There is a fine line between over sharing and still being interesting.

#5 A person can waste WAY too much time reading about people they have never or will never meet. 

#6 The more I post, the less I comment :(

#7 Expect much less posting around here...school starts next week!!!

#8 I'm afraid to talk politics.

#9 Not discussing what is considered "politics" leaves out some of my core beliefs.

#10 I really, really wish we could read into each other's tone of voice in blogdom.

#11 Linky parties are fun.

#12 I love comments.

#13 I'm a tad bit embarassed by how much a simple blog comment can make me smile.

#14  I want to learn more about photography.  Again. 

#15 I can't believe I've just posted 15 things I've learned from NaBloPoMo.  Well, 14 really. 

Anyway...Kindergarten here we come!!!  Look for more posts about homeschooling and adoption around here.  I think I've found my niche.  Let's just hope I can remember to photograph said niche :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Time Flies

I’m feeling awfully sentimental lately. I’ve been looking back over Ethan’s first year pictures and I can hardly believe it’s been five years. We are starting Kindergarten next week and we have been busy, busy getting the schoolroom ready, pulling books for the first lessons and preparing our routines.

I just can’t believe this little baby is now FIVE YEARS OLD!!!

And he can still make his mama laugh just like in the beginning.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Isaiah 43:5

I have a special child on my heart today.  I don’t know if this child is born yet, or if the child will be (or is) a boy or girl.  I only believe there is a child that is ours and someday we will meet.  I’m feeling a little anxious again to see this child’s face.  I’ve been doing good lately, not wishing things would rush by.  But just the past few days have carried with them a longing to meet our next child.  To see their shining eyes and tell them they are wanted.  They are loved.  They are mine.

Isaiah 435


Someday, sweet child.  Someday.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ten Years!

I had the opportunity to meet with a few of closest friends from college last week and it was so much fun catching up and looking through photos.  We had fondue, we laughed and talked about what we have been up to the past ten years since we met. 

Would you believe this silly group of girls made it where we are today?  An elementary teacher, two nurses, a chemist and myself (the Adoption Social Worker/Crisis Pregnancy Center Director/Homeschooling Mama).  I was the first to get married and have babies, but my old roomie is joining me as a mama in November (yay!!! SO happy for her!)




When I was looking back at the college age me, I couldn’t help but smile.




(Yes, I was in color guard…)


How could have God been preparing me then, for who I am now?  My life at 18 was band practice, theatre work study, working an off campus job, hanging out with friends, homework and fun. 




How was God using my experience in college?  Well, I know one way for sure…


He brought these ladies and I together.  Some of my biggest supporters, encouragers and friends….



They have sent cards, facebooked me, held adoption fundraisers, marched together, and shared our story with strangers.  It may have been several years since we have hugged each other, but we are only a phone call away. 


Isn’t it amazing to be able to glance back ten years and see what God was doing?  I can hardly imagine what I will look back on ten years from now!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Photo Dump!

My love.

Traveling to conduct a homestudy.

At the Lake.

Why yes, that is a lighter in my dryer.

Glorious rain at a family reunion.

It's almost here!

Walking on the shoreline.

We found this chair just sitting at the end of the dock.

I love farm fresh eggs!

We've had some mighty awesome storms here lately.

Ethan learned about bees and bats at the museum last week.

Ladies night at the melting pot with my college girls!


Picnic at the park.

If you look really closely, you can see a lightening bolt.

Scrappy curtain valence I made for the classroom.

Love the playground.

Spidey hanging out at home.

**Linking Up**

life rearranged

Thursday, July 26, 2012

North Korean Refugee Adoption Act

Take just a little over 2 minutes to listen to Francis Chan speak about orphan refugees from North Korea.  Then just take 30 seconds to sign the petition at www.thinkchildren.org.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas {Planning} in July!

Well, folks, Christmas will be here before you know it!  And one of my goals for this year is to shop early and another is to gift items that make a difference some how. 

(Christmas 2007)

How do I plan on doing this?  Through adoption fundraisers, helping families bring their little ones home.  Etsy shops that are ran by adoptive families.  Shops that promote social change and fight to end slavery or have a goal of helping mothers get on their feet. 

And here are a few options of where I might do my shopping or maybe some ideas of where you could do yours.

Shop to End Slavery has some great shops linked up for items from clothing to food and drink to housewares.  I personally love how they have sorted the shops by category and link to the individual shops.

Consider shopping from the Sparrow Fund.  It's their mission to help forever families be united and they also support artisans from other parts of the world.  Two blessings in one!

Check out Gifts with Humanity.  They have a wide variety of items produced in different areas of the world including America, Asia and Africa.

Shop from The Mercy House Kenya (shop is currently closed, but will be re-opening and restocked in August!)

Purchase clean water for a community who needs it.

Maybe check out the Compassion Catalog and purchase in honor of some one you love.  Their hearts will be warmed knowing you thought of them and that another life is being cared for.

Or maybe the Samaritan's Purse Catalog has something you wish to purchase in honor or in memory of some one on your gift list.

The World Vision Catalog also has some amazing ways to spend your Christmas budget.

Consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International or sponsor an orphan with ShowHope.
One other thing we plan on implementing in our family is the 4 gift rule…

four gifts

This may be a little hard to get used to because we love to give gifts and training our child to focus on REAL gifts.  But this will make us much more intentional in our gift giving and still nurture certain family members love language.

Are you getting ready for Christmas yet?  How do you handle gift giving?

(Also, if you are a fundraising family, please leave a comment and I would love to include you in this post or future posts about intentional gifting!)

**Linking up!**


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summertime Learning: Bats and Bees


Ethan attended week 2 of the local Museum’s Summer Enrichment classes and learned about Bats and Bees. He is in love with both topics right now, so he, of course, loved it! The ‘bat’ speaker talked about bats that are native to our area and even put together a little booklet for all the kids.


A local bee keeper brought one of his bee boxes and talked about how bees make honey. Ethan’s favorite part was using the smoker and learned how the bee keeper using the smoker to block the guard bees scent of smell allowing him to get in the bee box without being stung.


I couldn’t really get many pictures, but trust me, he had an excellent time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

3-2-1 Cake

Need a sweet snack, but no time to bake a cake?  Or just need one serving?  I have the perfect answer!  I came across this simple recipe here months ago and quickly whipped up a batch using chocolate cake mix.  It lasted for a very long time and I recently decided I would make a yellow cake version.
Just three ingredients…

1 Box Angel Food Cake
1 Box any kind of Cake Mix
Mix these two together (I just dump in a big baggie and shake)

To make your little cake, just scoop 3 tablespoons of the cake mixture into a microwave safe mug, then stir in 2 tablespoons water and nuke for 1 minute!  That’s it!


Sometimes I drop a few milk chocolate chips on it while it’s still warm and let them melt.  Yummy!

Linking up!

No Ordinary Blog Hop

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Snapshot 7.21.12 {Reminiscing}

I’ve been sorting through pictures this week and remembering what my little boy was like when he was so little. Five years ago this little tiny baby (well, not really tiny, he did weigh almost 9 pounds at birth) would cuddle up in my arms to sleep.  Those times are a little more rare now, but this morning he woke up early and wanted to cuddle.  I can't believed how blessed I am to call myself his mama! 

*Linking up with Saturday Snapshot*

Friday, July 20, 2012


I'm joining in with the writing flash mob today with Lisa-Jo and a bunch of other wonderful ladies.  Writing for 5 minutes and not worrying about editing or if it's right.Won't you join us?

Today's topic, Enough.


As I sit this morning catching up on some blog reading, I read a post by Kalina.  She and her family have moved to a country not their home to share the love of Jesus. 
They have no car. 
No air conditioning.
They walk two miles to town to get groceries and necessities. 
And I wonder if I am doing enough. 
Am I doing enough to share the love of Jesus?

I know you don't have to pack up and leave your home country, state, town (or even neighborhood) to meet people who need love and need to know what Jesus did for us.  But if asked, would I be willing to?

I think the answer is yes.  Then I pause.  "Really?" I think. I'm pretty spoiled with modern amenities like air conditioning and yes even the luxury of being able to buy my groceries at a store and not have to carry them home.  And then I choke a little when I think of what we just paid for the combo of fixing our a/c in our van...

I step away from the computer and pour my second cup of coffee.  I begin to feel unsettled.  I think about the amazing experience her children are having.  It's more than Sunday School and memorizing scripture and VBS (not that there is anything wrong with those things).  Her children are watching their parents live out the love of Christ.  More than that, they are living it out loud WITH their parents.

What a concept.

Now my thought is not, "Am I doing enough?" it is, "How can I do more and how can I allow my child to do more for the Kingdom as well?"

I think I feel some additions to his homeschool curriculum this year...


Thursday, July 19, 2012



I do my daily Bible reading before Ethan gets up in the morning.  This year, I’m reading the Bible through chronologically.  Last year, I read the Bible in 90 days.  I love my morning reading and coffee time.  It’s so peaceful and I feel so accomplished actually getting something done so early in the morning.  I can tell a HUGE difference in how smoothly my day goes when I read the Word first thing in the morning.


I love these quite mornings.  Unless they just happen to be one that is not so peaceful.


Like one morning when I could have sworn I was hearing a mouse.  We have lived in this house almost 5 years and have never seen any sign of mice here.  But there was one morning while reading in Chronicles I kept hearing “scratch, scratch, scratch”. 


I was a bit freaked out.  It seemed to be coming from our fireplace.  My mind wondered and I thought maybe something fell down our chimney or a snake crawled through the area we clean the ashes out from under the fireplace.  I could hardly finish reading. 


Finally, I had enough and grabbed a flashlight.  I looked around the fireplace and didn’t see anything.  But I could tell I was getting closer because the sound got louder.  Then I glanced down in a piece of Turkish pottery that I have set on the fireplace and saw this (big) little guy…


He was trying to crawl up the side of the inside of the pottery and would fall back down and make the scratchy noise as he was trying to turn over and keep crawling.


I still have no idea what kind of bug this is.  The closest thing we could come up with is an old house borer, but there are still some distinct differences.


And you better believe I showed it to Ethan.  And we might have even kept it in the pottery (on the back porch) to show Ben when he got home from work.


Isn’t it funny how the little distractions can take the most away from our day and our quite times.  Sometimes it’s our never-ending to do list that drowns out His words. Sometimes its tiredness or just “lack of time”. 


Sometimes it’s a creepy little bug.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Boy Mom Blog Hop!

Hi there!  Welcome to my little piece of the web!  If you are visiting from the MOB Society’s Boy Mom Blog Hop, I’m so glad you stopped by!   First, introductions…

This is my first boy and the love of my life…

I know you can’t really see him in the picture well, but it pretty much sums him up.  Outdoorsy, fun loving, adventurous.    That’s him.

We were married in 2005 and honestly, we have had a rollercoaster of an almost 7 years.  But God buckled us in and we are enjoying the ride despite the curves, loopty-loops and scary flips.

Our first child, Ethan, is 5 years old.  I don’t even have words to express what a blessing he is in our lives (and the lives of others!).  We are definitely blessed.


We also have two children, Shyla Joy and Jakin Isaac, that were born into the arms of Jesus (Shyla in 2009 and Jakin in 2010).  You can read more about our whole family on the “Our Story” tab at the top of the page or by clicking on the photos of their little hands in the right side bar. 

There is one more little boy who came into our lives through adoption.  We were his parents for 6 days and he still has a very big place in our hearts.  As does his birth mom and siblings.  (You can read more about our sweet Samuel by clicking on his photo).

We are also currently waiting for a referral to adopt from South Korea.

This blog is used to chronicle our adoption journey, homeschooling Ethan (we will start Kindergarten in just a couple of weeks!), family happenings and the occasional recipe or craft.  I also blog here about our grief journey.  I began blogging there almost three years ago after the loss of our daughter and found such love and support from people I had never met that I just continued blogging!

I am an adoption advocate and adoption social worker that works writing home studies and post placement reports.  I love seeing forever families united.  I also work as Client Services Director for our local Pregnancy Resource Center two days a week. 

I hope you grab a cuppa joe and take some time to get to know our family a bit.  Basically, we love Jesus, we are stronger for what we have gone through together, we enjoying learning together and we like to have a little fun! 

I’m so looking forward to “meeting” all the boy moms in the blog hop!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Recipe: Cowboy Caviar

In honor of Ethan’s recent encounter with The Duke, I thought I would share a little recipe I found while perusing Pin.terest.

I originally found the recipe HERE, but I made a few changes based on what I had on-hand and it turned out quite yummy.  Here is how I made it…

Cowboy Caviar

  • 2 cans (11 Oz. Can) Mexicorn, Drained
  • 1 can Rotel, drained
  • 1 whole Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 small onion, Chopped
  • 8 ounces, weight Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
Mix all ingredients and chill before serving.  The best way to serve is with Frito Scoops (in my opinion).
(Next time I’m thinking I might add just a little less of the mayo and sour cream and a little more shredded cheddar so the consistency isn’t so thin.)
I made sloppy joes and served with the Cowboy Caviar and Fritos.  It got approval all around…well, that’s until Ethan decided it’s too spicy for him!  But really, it wasn’t that spicy at all.
What are some of your new favorite recipes?

*By the way...the month is over half-way over and I am still hanging in there with NaBloPoMo!!!  Yay!  GO me!