Sunday, October 31, 2010

missing teeth and pretty butter-fairies

Last weekend, the girls and I took a last minute jaunt to Ashville, North Carolina to see my parents and my sweet Aunt Wanda. They were going to spend the weekend at the cabin and we decided it was worth the drive to see them for a few days. We had a great time and the girls especially loved doing their aunt's make-up! Not many people would let a 4 and 6 year old loose with a bag of make-up and their face as the canvas...

While we were there, Addie was constantly wiggling her front tooth. It was so loose that I expected it to fall out any moment. It actually did within an hour of being back home!

This past week has been a busy one for us but has been fun. We've done a lot of fun things as we've gotten ready for halloween.

The plan for months has been for my girls to be transformed into M&M's for their halloween costumes. Addie wanted to be the blue one Ellee opted for green. A few days prior to the creation of the costumes, the girls spotted wings and skirts at Wally World and decided they'd rather be butterflies. No, wait...they were going to be fairies. Actually, butterflies were more fun. Hmmm....maybe fairies??? Hence the birth of butter-fairies! Their identity may have been questionable, but one thing's for sure...they were beautiful!! (Although I was looking forward to making the M&M costumes, this was TONS easier!!)

Our little butter-fairies had a fun night!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

easy doubts and quick questions

It's been a discouraging day. I cannot say that I wasn't warned. But the discouragement came quickly and hit hard.

This adoption journey has brought an extreme range of emotions and quite a few frustrations. Today I hit one of the low points on the emotional scale and tagging along was frustration at its peak.

We knew, from the beginning, that our greatest obstacle would be finances. We have read about, been counseled on, and heard all the negative comments regarding the challenges of adoption - international adoption in particular. We do not take these potential challenges lightly, but they have never caused us to doubt our desire to adopt or the call God has placed on us to do so. The hurdle that has "tripped us up" is the same hurdle that keeps many families from adopting...the enormous expense that adoption brings.

In the past few days, we've tripped again on the hurdle and I still feel like I'm laying face down on the ground. We found out that we have been denied for yet another adoption grant that would've provided financial assistance. What hurts the most is that this is the 3rd grant that has been "unable to provide assistance at this time."

The frustration this brings is like nothing I've experienced before. Believe me, as a stay-at-home mom and wife of a youth pastor, we've had our share of financial aggravations. But this is different. So very different. The financial frustration of clipping coupons and shopping at consignment stores is nothing like the financial frustration of rescuing an orphan. It is incomparable.

My heart hurts and my mind is racing. The doubts come easily and the questions come quickly.

None the less, we will press on. I am weak, but in my weakness the power of Christ will be made strong. (2 Cor. 12:9) My confidence that the Lord will provide is not based on my emotions, circumstances or a denial letter. My confidence is based upon His Word and unchanging character. He is Jehovah Jireh - the Lord will provide.

Monday, October 25, 2010

just a few gift ideas...

Here are a few pictures of some things we've given as gifts lately. My hope is that it may give you some ideas of your own!

{We gave these to our youth ministry workers to say "thank you" for all they do. It's just a jelly jar filled with candy corn and peanuts - a great combo if you've never had it! I tied colored ribbon around the top and cut out an orange circle the size of the opening in the top and added a pumpkin sticker to it. Then we printed labels that said, "Without you this Student Ministry would be scary."}

The next pictures show something that is quickly becoming one of my favorite craft projects...painted picture frames! All of the wooden frames came from Hobby Lobby and with a little imagination, paint and ribbon, you've got a personalized, handcrafted gift that is very useful!

{for my sweet friend who is a Miami Dolphins fan}

{a Thanksgiving frame}

{for another great friend who is expecting a baby boy}

My wheels are turning with ideas for Christmas gifts...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

today's prayer

From Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp...

{The argument over the last pop tart, the cry of nothing to wear a half hour before school, the report card crumpled in the pocket of jeans heading for the wash, the pouting expression in the face of a parent's "No," the third fender-bender in a month, the constant words of discontent, the "everybody else does," and the "I'm the only one whose parents make them..." all must be seen as something more than hassles that get in the way of an otherwise enjoyable life. These are the moments God made parents for. You are God's agents on the watch. You have been given an incredibly high calling. These moments make your life worthwhile. Here you will make a contribution that is worth infinitely more than any career or financial accomplishment.}

My prayer for today...God help me, by Your grace, to parent well. I pray that I will seek to honor You above all things and as a result of that, I trust that I will honor You in parenting. Help me love Addie & Ellee with a love that overflows from You! Allow me to take seriously the incredible call of parenting and do it with JOY! Help me see that I'm on the front lines of a spiritual battle for my girls' hearts...the fight is for them, not with them.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

camping trip!

A few posts back, I mentioned that our family was going to experience a "first" together - our first camping trip!!

These are the sweet friends we went camping with. You may remember their faces from this post about our garage sale for our adoption. Kent & Danya graciously "hosted" the sale and allowed us to take over their garage for a few weeks! We are so excited that God has blessed us with these friends and is also blessing us with sons within a few months of each other. Kent & Danya are expecting a baby boy in February. We're looking forward to raising our boys together!

Ok, back to camping after a bit of a digression...

We began the adventure by setting up camp...

Later, we cooked our dinner by the fire...

And you must always end a campfire dinner with s'mores...

After the sun set (and the temperature dropped!) we decided it was time to go to bed...

Now there's a lot I could say about "sleeping" that night, but I don't know that my description would do the evening justice. The girls did great - fell asleep quickly and slept most of the night. I, however, didn't do as well. I believe I may have slept more in the hospital after giving birth to our children with nurses coming in every hour to check my stats and a crying newborn lying beside me! The experience didn't scar me too bad though. I do want to do it again; I'll just be a little more prepared next time!

So after surviving the night, we got the campfire up and going again and cooked breakfast over the open flame!

After a yummy breakfast, everyone was ready for a day of adventure...

It really was a wonderful experience! We had a great time with great friends and are looking forward to doing it again! But I will definitely pack warmer pjs next time...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

halloween glitter shirt

This simple yet festive shirt was super easy to make! It only took about 20 minutes from start to finish (not including drying time). Because it was so easy and fun to make, and turned out better than I expected, I know I'll be making more glitter shirts soon! I've already picked out colors for turkey shirts for Thanksgiving and the possibilities are endless for Christmas attire (for the kiddos, of course)! I'm even tossing around ideas for glittering up other things.

Here are the supplies needed to get you started:
*Freezer paper
*Craft knife or scissors
*Foam brush
*Fabric glitter
*Fabric glitter glue

Here's how it goes:
1. Draw your design on the paper side of the freezer paper. Depending on your artistic abilities, you can free-hand this or print something off the internet and trace it.

2. Using a craft knife (which I prefer!) or scissors, cut out your design so that you have a stencil.

3. Iron your freezer paper stencil (slick side down) onto your shirt in the exact spot you want the design to be. Make sure you get a good seal with the paper.

4. Using the foam brush, coat the inside of your stencil with a thin layer of the glitter glue. ( I don't have a picture for this because the glue is clear and the picture would look exactly like the one above!)

5. Next, generously sprinkle the glitter on top.

6. After 30 minutes, I shook off the excess glitter. I waited another 2-3 hours before I peeled off the freezer paper template. You'll want to follow the specific instructions on the glitter glue to know how long to let it dry.

The glitter glue I used said it was washable after 10 days as long as you turned the fabric inside out and washed it on the gentle cycle. I haven't tried that yet, so I can't tell you how well that works. I will tell you that I was a little worried that I would end up with orange glitter everywhere, but that hasn't been the case. After the shirt was completely dry, I gently wiped off any excess glitter (which wasn't much) and the remaining glitter is staying put. I'm very excited about this new project!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

random things of late...

A glimpse of some random things we've been up to lately...

The girls started gymnastics a few weeks ago. They are loving it and they remind me of myself during my "I wanna be Mary Lou Retton" days! With a great amount of humility I'll share a picture of myself during those days...

Wow...doesn't the hair cut say it all?! I was convinced that I was olympic bound! Moving on to more adorable girls...



In addition to perfecting cartwheels, we've been up to our ears in the seasonal wardrobe change. Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about! When the seasons change, into our storage unit I go and pull out plastic tubs full of the girls' clothes. The amazing fall weather we've had was my signal to let the fun begin (insert a large amount of sarcasm). I gathered up all the boxes and our den turned into a war zone. I began sorting thru the clothes to find the ones the girls can wear for the upcoming season and put away the ones they can't. Once we went thru the tortuous process of trying everything on, I spent the next few days washing clothes that had been stored.


I did find a little time to make some sourdough bread...


We have a very exciting weekend coming up! Our family is going on a little adventure and doing something we've never done before. It involves this little contraption that's set up in our back yard...

Yep, we are headed out of town on Friday to try our hand at camping! And as the girls say, "It's real camping cause we're sleeping in a tent and cooking over fire!" I'm very excited but also a little apprehensive. I trust that Lee has everything under control and thankfully we're going with some dear friends who have a few camping experiences under their belt. Can't wait to share how it goes!