31 May, 2013

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Laura Smith you won the drawing for the Turquoise Earrings!!

To all of you that bid and shared our blog: THANK YOU! Please know how very grateful Cody and I are.  Every single time a bid comes in it is so exciting for us.  When I wrote each of your names on the pieces of paper to draw from, I was filled with such gratitude.  Our family has never had to raise money before, and let me to you, IT IS HARD!! It is growing us, and it is giving me a new appreciation for others that have been here. But we have been so overwhelmed by our family, friends, and community that have come along side us and chosen to make it their priority to help us bring our kids home!!

On a less sappy note—I decided I wanted to know where the phrase "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" came from.  Weren't you wondering too? 

Urban Dictionary says: The legend tells that years ago every casino in Las Vegas had a three-piece chicken dinner with a potato and a veggie for $1.79. A standard bet back then was $2, hence when you won a bet you had enough for a chicken dinner. !” So, the call of glorious victory rang out “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner"

Photo Friday

30 May, 2013

Baby Dino pattern

If you like the baby dinosaur toy I made for the auction, now you can make your very own for someone you love. Below is the Baby Dino sewing pattern.  Please let me know if you make him! I want to hear how many other baby dinos there are out there in the world (:

  • If you’re visiting beloved-ones for the first time, I'd love get to know you. Please follow me for the latest updates or leave me a comment to let me know you were here! 

23 May, 2013

Last Day of School

 So today was Mae's last day of school and I am so sad to say goodbye to her first teachers... 
Ms. Susan & Ms. Ansley.  

These women have blessed us with so much since we started Mae in January.  Mae was the only one in her class to come in at the middle of the year.  She started off very timid and never spoke during class and now she is completely comfortable to be herself.  We saw Mae grow up a lot, and being in her school environment forced her to be a little more independent and grow some confidence away from us.  On Tuesday we had her class party at Webb Bridge park and celebrated these two amazing women that have shown all of our kids so much love.
I got Mae to paint the thank you cards for her teachers.  She loved her artful contribution... and I stumbled upon another fun activity that I can have her do while I shower and get ready for the day. yay!

I am always looking for cute gift ideas, so I thought I'd share what I came up with... a monogrammed tea towel and I found these cute planters with soil and seeds to grow herbs. I thought it was different. I'd love to hear if anyone has other cute ideas! Please Do Share.

So here's my grown up three year old—off to her LAST day. sniff, sniff I had a lump in my throat dropping her off this morning.  This was our first, last day (I know we will have many, many more!) It also means this was my last Thursday that I enjoyed a day alone, while she was at school. 

Things aren't going to be the same next year (:  

22 May, 2013

New Music

I think many of you are like me... music is so important to me. I keep pandora playing all throughout the day. Recently, I have completely fallen in love with Ellie Holcomb... I love her voice and her words are magnificent.  Her and her husband are involved in Younglife and have played for various summer camps. 

I hope this will bless you as much as it did me, here's my favorite song from EP.  Anchor of Hope!
I could listen to this all day.

Ellie Holcomb Magnolia EP

Listen, and let me know what you think.

15 May, 2013

Dossier Complete!

 So all you other adoptive mommies know the keen ear you get for the FedEx truck (or mail truck) during these final days of paperwork chasing.  Well, it happened for me yesterday afternoon. I was upstairs and I knew I had heard our blessed FedEx delivery come!  These are our papers back from Washington DC with every last signature and seal we need for these bad boys to go to China!!  WOOHOOO!
 So today I drove to our agency... on cloud 9, to deliver our paperwork.  Last time, with Mae's paperwork I felt like it was hard letting go of our pretty papers.  But this time, nope!  I was READY to hand it over.  Not too sentimental about paper once you've been on the other side.  All I want is our babies home.  FAST!
 So here's the staged, but necessary picture of the hand-off of the dossier to Jaime at CCAI.  (: That pretty red folder I'm holding will be in the hands of an official at the CCWAA in China.  Deep breath now... it's out of my hands.

While I was at CCAI today we talked about our papers getting expedited (we have a letter from our cardiologist going with our dossier which explains the urgency for Jovie's immediate surgery) but our agency said it may happen that only our daughter's file be expedited... and not Ian's too. We would do anything we needed to to get our babies home, at any point that we could, but I sure hope it happens in one trip. I can not even imagine what it would be like to fly to China and only get Jovie and come home to open heart surgery and all the same time going back for Ian.  Needless to say, this momma won't be sleeping tonight.   Does anyone else have any experience in this area? Has anyone been successful at getting paper pushed through because of a serious special need? Just wanted to hear from any others that have tried. Friends and family we ask that you join with us and be our prayer warriors... Our prayer is that we can get BOTH of our sweet babies together and that it would happen soon for Jovie Ming.

14 May, 2013

God has a Plan

Many of you have heard Jeremiah 29:11 quoted to you, seen it on a coffee mug or on a pretty poster on Pinterest. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” 
This verse, although delivered with good intentions, is taken out of context (as many verses are).  Like so many Christians, I have been fearful about making decisions, hoping God would just tell me what to do... fearing that I would choose wrong and not be on the right path to God's plan. When I decided to go work for a company called Plaid after college, I prayed about it and very happily accepted the job.  Once I started, I was miserable there and started even making myself sick by the stress it caused me. (Stress is pretty powerful stuff!) I was depressed, I developed an allergy to dairy, and at the end, my doctor told me that he recommended me take a leave of absence... to which at that point Cody told me to leave and never return (my knight in shining armor). After that ordeal I found myself asking if I just went forging on and made my own plans without God.  Did I make a decision outside of "God's Plan" and reaped the consequence?

I hear many Christians pray, when faced with a crossroads, “Lord, close the door if it’s not Your will.” In other words, “Lord, I really want to know Your will. Stop me if I’m wrong and bless me if I’m right.” It's kind of like covering your bases, don't you think, like we prayed that prayer so now we can proceed and no harm should come. I've done it too, but God is not obligated to stop you or me from making a mistake!

Actually, this verse isn't about us at all.

Jeremiah was speaking to Israel in this passage and they are in exile under the Babylonians. This means they were seized from their homes, ripped from their families, and exported to Babylon. If you read a little before, you understand right away that this verse is not for individuals making difficult decisions. This verse was Jeremiah writing the people and letting them know that God has not forgotten them; that he sees their pain. This verse is not about God giving us prosperity if we live in the plans God has for us. The problem is God did not promise us prosperity.  God never promised you a life that would be easy. You will face difficulty: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV

However, God did promise to discipline us, to refine us, to grow us in our faith. "Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?" (Hebrews 12:7, NRSV)

I do believe God has a plan for our lives.  It's pretty simple. God’s plan is for us to be in relationship with him.  Jesus said that the greatest commandment of all is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40). Jesus didn’t die to make you happy and successful.  He died so you can be in relationship with him. If you want to know God's plan for you, love God by loving your neighbor, love those that talk bad about you, love those that are most difficult to love. Love your coworker who cheats, respect your boss when no one else does, love your spouse the way Christ loves us and let your marriage be one of grace and self sacrifice. Take care of his orphans and widows. Doing these things sets us apart and that is God's plan. Followers of Jesus—this is our path.  

13 May, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

 Mae's class invited all the mommies to a tea on Thursday.  It was precious and I realized that this was my first time getting to do this... I know many of the other mommies knew this song and dance.  Well, it was heartwarming and memorable.  The class lined up and sang a song, "If I had a little tiny box to put my mommy in, I'd take her out and muh, muh, muh." Mae is one of the more animated little entertainers of the class.  I love to see her lit up with all smiles -- all because I'm there!!

Mae made a place mat, served me lunch for a change (and ate several berries herself). While we ate, the teachers read recipes of the children's favorite food their mommies make for them.  I knew as soon as I heard "sugar" that this was her recipe.  Our girl thinks sugar goes to make every good dish. 
On Sunday, Cody made sure that I felt extra attention and love.  I am so fortunate to have a man that is my support and help in every way he can, every day of the year.  We got to have lunch with my mom and celebrate together. All day I kept thinking how mind-blowing it will be to have six little feet running to me and six little arms around my neck.  Today I am just incredibly grateful God called us into this journey... I am greatly humbled to be able to have this child call me Mommy. I can not wait for the day our Ian & Jovie learn who their mommy is.

Cody got me a very precious necklace, "m, i, j" that I got earlier in the week.  
And he took Mae to help him pick out flowers.  She chose these gorgeous roses. 
 Cody has been gone out of town with work this week and came home Saturday morning.  Mae has really missed her daddy.  Every morning her first words are, "Is Daddy home?" And if he's not, "Daddy coming home tonight for dinner?" This morning she took it a little further and said, "Daddy take me to school tomorrow?"  She is certainly her Daddy's girl. 

 She sent him this little message on Friday.
This is Saturday morning, as soon as Daddy came home, she had a grand celebration for him. I felt the same way... my heart is so full (:

03 May, 2013

Beautiful Papers

 Jaime and Chaunda at the Georgia CCAI office, looking over our paperwork and notarizing them all for us. These ladies are incredible.

To all those that have adopted, you know what a beautiful sight it is to see all these pretty papers! For those of you that don't know, this is our dossier (all of the papers required from us to go to China). These precious papers shipped to Washington DC to get authenticated by the Chinese Consulate. When these papers come back to us, our agency will translate them and send them to China!

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