Why Adoption Works

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tomorrow is the anniversary of our official wait.  I never thought it would take this long,  and today is a long day for me.

I know enough to remind myself that it is a good thing that the governments that be are crossing their t's and dotting their i's.  And I do not wish for a tragedy to happen to any family, so that our family can grow.

But now that we have committed our hearts to loving a new baby, I am so anxious to meet her, hold her, kiss her and put a huge pink bow in her hair.

A friend was talking to our agency the other day about the extreme emotions and deep love she's felt during her adoption process all before even meeting her son.  The agency staff member reminded her that this is why adoption works!

Thankfully it does.  But what a roller coaster!

For those of you who know me in real life, and have prayed for me the days leading up to today, thank you.  I have especially felt peace.


Handmade Christmas:: For the Grandmas who have everything

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some people on our list are so hard to shop for --they have everything they need and are able to get themselves the things they really want.

Our grandmothers are like that.  Really, do they need another bathrobe?  I'm not sure they've ever even worn the ones I've gotten them in other years.

I'm giving up this year.  I don't have the imagination to figure out what they would love to open Christmas morning.   So a basket with baked goodies, including PW's Chex Party Mix, is what it will be.

What do you get for the hard to shop for?  And how do you end that sentence without ending on a preposition?  Both questions are driving me batty, so please share!

oh, i figured it out---"What do you get for those who are hard to shop?"  Better, no?

A Little Makeover

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hello friends,

Have you met Ana? Ana Degenaar is the genius behind my new blog design.

She and her family live in Brazil, where they serve as missionaries. She is a beautiful photographer and blogs about all the things that inspire her at Barefooted Blessings.

Just wanted to give a shout-out for all her expertise!  And if you need another reason to stop by Barefooted Blessings, Ana has all kinds of freebies, giveaways and excitement planned for December!

Handmade Christmas:: For the Preschooler on my List

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chez Beeper Bebe had a perfect tutorial for plush alphabet set. She turned hers into magnets. Ours are just softies. But along with the best book ever written on teaching your child to read, my preschool gift is complete.

What Handmade Christmas projects are you working on for the kiddos on your list?

I'm linking this post to Kimba'sDIY Day & Kim's Get Your Craft On & Emily's A Homemade Christmas

Handmade Christmas:: For the Photographer on my list

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So if you're on my Christmas list, and three little people in Texas call you Uncle Jon, please stop reading.

This weekend I made these ornaments for my brother, who loves all things photog-related.

Here's a quick tutorial for you:

Felt+Embroidery Floss + Blanket Stitch = Cute Ornaments

Didn't get a photographer in the Christmas Gift Name Draw? My suggestion: search their hobby on etsy for ideas you can make yourself-or support other artisans and make it easy on yourself this year! I may do some of that, too!

What Handmade Christmas projects are you working on?

I'm linking this post to Kimba'sDIY Day & Kim's Get Your Craft On & Chris' I Can Make That! Party

A Thanksgiving Birthday

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Belle celebrated her birthday this past week with a few sweet friends. Her theme: a Plymouth Colony Thanksgiving!

Each guest made a bonnet, hat or headband as they arrived.
The menu was pumpkin spice cake and apple cider, but with the temperatures near 80, I skipped the cider.

It was a sweet reminder to be thankful for my kiddos on my oldest's birthday!


Grandma's e-Brag Book

Sunday, November 1, 2009

We had an absolutely lovely weekend.

Saturday, Mr. Smarty found a Nintendo 64 on craigslist, to surprise the kids with. ( As I'm blogging, they are watching him play Mario World. And all is right with our world. )

Later, once the sun began to set, the kids politely asked our neighbors for candy.

Our Laughing Cowgirl

Buzz Lightyear, on a backyard mission

Small Town Law Enforcement

This morning, after an extra hour of rest (thank you Giddo & Tata, for the kids' slumber party), I ran a local half-marathon. Perfect weather, beautiful course and someone waiting for me at the finish. I couldn't have asked for a better morning.

Not quite awake at the start

Running in

The End

Hope you had a wonderful weekend in your neck of the woods,

I collect words.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I love reading. I love the written words that tell a great story. And I love the creative ways writers form words to make a clearer picture or a more beautiful or poignant statement.

Sometimes I have to reread phrases that make me smile. Other times I have to write them down. Phrases like, "companionable silence" or "runaway enthusiasms."

Sometimes I save an entire monologue. Last week, I scribbled this on the back of the closest water bill envelope:

"She glanced down at her shoes again, and they met her stare. Shoes are realists, she thought, and they seemed to be saying: 'No chance. Sorry, but no chance.' " Tears of the Giraffe

Anyone else collect words?

Waiting some more

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our 10 month anniversary of waiting has come and gone.

From what I can gather from our agency, they are holding off on making referrals until the baby's file is completely complete. Every form, letter, etc. must be ready before the child is matched with a family. This means a longer wait time for a referral but hopefully a shorter wait for a court date and a better chance of a successful court hearing.

This is good news, it just means we're still waiting.

She's Gone Country

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

As an east coast transplant, I'm still shocked every now and then when I realize my kids are born and bread Texans.

I had one of those shock moments this weekend when I took my daughter to Cavender's Boot City for her first pair of boots.

When she was younger, she wanted to be a Princess when she grew up. Then it was a Doctor, then a Princess Doctor. For a while now, she has had the dream of being a CowGirl. And I have no doubt it has more to do with the wardrobe than the duties associated with animal husbandry.

Still, I want to encourage her in her dreams, so after a trip to Costco, we stopped at Cavenders and picked out these puppies:

Rustic Stars

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On our last Nature Walk, the kids and I picked up sticks for a little star project.

Really, this was just something to make together, with no intended purpose. Although now that we've started a little star collection, the ideas are flowing with uses for them and none of them have to do with the Blair Witch Project.

::Small Christmas Ornaments tied with red yarn; a star for the treetop;

::Hung from our porch with twinkling lights for a rustic outdoor chandelier or stuck in a planter with twinkling lights to make the season bright;

::Hung from the ceiling of the kids' cabin theme room;

You don't think my sweet little stars are cryptic, do you? I was going for "rustic."

I'm linking this up to Kimba's DIY Day & Kim's Get Your Craft On today!

3 ways to Reclaim a Day with Little Ones

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ever have one of those mornings when nothing seems to go right?

Juice gets spilled, a dish broken, maybe an accident on the way to the bathroom with a tike in training. By lunch you just want to crawl in bed and wish the messes would go away.

But they don't.

And neither do the little ones who likely made the messes. And they still need a present mom.

How do you reclaim a day like that?

When the weather is nice, or nice enough, we've found taking a walk, even if just around the block for a few minutes makes such a difference in everyone's outlook.

When the weather is not so permitting, a mid-day bath or shower can also be a miracle calmer for the fussiest tot or mom.

And possibly the best reclaimer we use is something we call Circle Time. I call the kids together for Circle Time and read a child devotional with them. They know the routine of it: a story, a question, a prayer and an activity. And they love this. It often makes a messy day worth it.

How do you reclaim messy days?

PS, for those of you who know me & Mr. Smarty in real life, I've added a few more IronMan pics!

A Little Bit Early:: Car Seat Cover Makeover

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

As I slipped the finished cover over my friend's car seat, my phone rang with news of her baby girl's three week early arrival! Made me wonder about why I had the sudden urge to finish it up first thing this morning....

This was a wonderful distraction for me yesterday, as you have no idea how badly I wanted to call our adoption agency. But I told myself I would wait until Wednesday. I even let Mr. Smarty take the cell phone we share yesterday, since it has free long distance. But he kindly left it here this morning. And our friendly agency staff have been hard at work for an hour and 43 minutes already today, and look at how polite I'm being, letting them settle in and get a good uninterrupted start for the day. Think I'll post this then give them a quick call. No big deal.

Okay, gotta run. Congrats, Ray & Melissa! Can't wait to see Baby G in her new car seat!


Friday, September 25, 2009


Hold On To Your Kids by Neufeld & Mate. Essentially why parents need to matter more than peers.

Home Grown Kids by Raymond & Dorothy Moore. An urge to parents to consider teaching children at home informally in the early years. They have also written the book, Better Late Than Early.


New love is amazing, but love realized is even more wonderful.

That is is my desire that:

I am more concerned with principle than social pressures,

I cherish my children more than my own freedoms and

I am willing to study to provide them sound values, academic excellence and a sense of self-worth.

Working On:

A Car Seat Makeover for a baby girl due in October using these fabrics:

Deciding what fall color needs to go into my window box and large pots.

Trying Not to Think About:

The Phone Call that hasn't happened yet...I am granting myself a phone call to our agency on Wednesday, though, to ask for a status update, Come on, Wednesday!

What have you all been up to?

A Totally Awesome Weekend

Sunday, September 20, 2009

that was so awesome I had to break my blogging fast.

Okay, I haven't technically been fasting from blogging...it's more like it's just been very hard for me to lollygag in blogland and homeschool at the same time. And giving up sleep is not an option...so my blog has been ignored, and likely will continue to be over the school year...

but enough with the excuses and back to my aforementioned totally awesome weekend...

Mr. Smarty swam, biked and ran his way to the prestigious title of IRONMAN. That's right, he's an IronMan. Just like Robert Downey Jr. but without the ability to fly...and all the money. Yup, pretty amazing, folks.

Let me break it down for you:

Breakfast at the hotel began at 4:15 and consisted of 3 Ensures and a Cliff bar. Yum-yum. Don't you wish you could eat like that?

Into the water after a little weather delay, at 8 am.

Out of water at 9:28 am, after 2.4 miles in the lake.

Transition from wetsuit to bike gear, onto bike for 112 miles.

Off bike, fresh socks, start running at 5:30 pm for 26.2 miles. This is not Mr. Smarty. He was going to fast for me to get him. I warned him that he might get a speeding ticket, but he kept on truckin'.

Finished at 11:00 pm after running the ENTIRE marathon-A-Mazing!!!

Another runner took that photo, but Mr. Smarty says he likes it all out of focus like that...he says it's just about how he felt.

Half an orange, two IV's and three hours later, we made it back to the hotel, almost 24 hours from when it all began. Wonder if RDJr. can do that...

I miss you all-my sweet friends from blogland! More later, when I get a chance to breath,