Monday, March 30, 2009

A few "Unexpected" blessings...

One day during this past week, I received the sweetest email from Jane, my Bible study leader. At the end of her email she concluded by saying... "May you find His blessings in unexpected ways...!" That line really grabbed my attention! Sometimes it is so easy for me to get wrapped up in my daily routine and with what's going on in my busy little life, that I miss the amazing blessings happening all around me!!! The Lord truly has been so good and has revealed Himself to me in so... many (unexpected) ways!!! When I step back and take a moment to look around, I can see that His blessings (big and small) are everywhere!!!

I just thought I would share a few of my unexpected blessings this week...

1- This Glider!!!

Now, I know this looks like just an ordinary glider to you, but it's truly a blessing to us from the Lord!! We have one glider already, but with another baby on the way, we really felt like we needed to have two. We didn't want to spend a lot of money on one, so I have been searching Craiglist and the Goodwill for several weeks now, just hoping I might stumble upon one. A few days ago I got a call from one of my neighbors letting me know she had a glider in her basement that she didn't need anymore. She wanted to check with us to see if we needed one before she gave it away to Goodwill!!!!
What an UNEXPECTED blessing!!!!!



2- Lots of cuddle time...


Riley, Sophie, and I have all not been feeling well this past week. We all have icky colds and coughs. No one has really slept well and overall we are just feeling yucky. On top of that, the weather has been down right miserable too...cool and rainy! Needless to say, we have spent plenty of time at home just snuggling on the couch together.
Being able to be home with my little ones, and give them the little extra TLC that they needed this week has been such a blessing!!!



3- A date night with my husband...

Shane and I have not had a date night in literally months!! Saturday night my family watched the kids so we could enjoy a little time away, especially before baby Hudson arrives! We went to our favorite restaurant- The Outback, and then headed over to Borders book store, where we sipped coffee and chatted. It was a simple date, but we enjoyed our time so......... much!!!
It was such a blessing to get away for a few hours and to be together!!!

4- A tub full of clothes...

I really haven't had to buy very many clothes for Sophie. Most of her things have come from many of our dear neighbors and friends. Again, just the other afternoon, a good friend dropped off a bin full of BEAUTIFUL clothes that her daughter had outgrown!!!
What an incredible blessing!!!!

Has the Lord blessed you in any UNEXPECTED ways recently?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting organized... (and a yummy recipe)

Getting organized has been my top priority the past couple of weeks. With the baby's arrival just around the corner, I have this overwhelming urge to get organized. Yes...I am nesting, nesting, nesting!!! One of the things I have been doing is cooking double, several nights a week. Whatever we are having for dinner on a given night, I double the recipe and make two. That way we eat one for dinner that night, and I freeze the other for a later date. My goal is to have at least 15 meals in the freezer by the time the baby is born. I have seven meals in the freezer now. I thought I would start to share some of my favorite recipes that are easy, taste great, freeze well, and did I mention EASY!!!

I have also been collecting and trying some different crock pot recipes too! I LOVE my crock pot!!! Makes dinner a breeze!!!

I really enjoy when others blog about a new recipe they found. I know they tried it, and it was worth passing along. I have come across some GREAT recipes this way that my family has loved!

Last night I made White Chicken Chili (in the crock pot)... it was delicious!

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb chicken, cut up into small chunks (I like to use boneless breasts for their "ease" and lower fat content)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (or the equivalent) chicken broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp Cumin seed (ground will not withstand long cooking as well)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 3 -15oz cans white beans (great northern or cannellini), drained and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 chopped red, green or yellow bell peppers, or combination
  • jalapeno chili peppers, fresh, jarred or canned, optional or 'to taste' (depending on how much heat you like!) I left these out, but I'm sure they would make it have a little more bite!!!
In a 4 or 6 quart crockery cooker combine the chicken, onions, chicken broth, garlic, cumin and oregano.

Let cook awhile on low (approx. 3-5 hours, depending on your schedule)
Add drained beans.

Now here is the important part if you don't want mushy chili.. Add the bell peppers and jalapeno peppers (if using) no earlier than the last hour or hour and a half before serving.

Top each serving with shredded Monterrey jack cheese and or broken tortilla chips if desired.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Showers of blessing!

This past weekend, I was blessed with two diaper showers! Friday evening, my friends from my Tuesday morning Bible study, threw a double shower for me and my sweet friend, Pam.

Pam is expecting her second bundle, a little girl this time, in the middle of May!
We enjoyed such a sweet time of fellowship!

The beautiful table with lots of goodies!

My time there was abruptly cut short though when I recieved a phone call from Shane letting me know that Sophie was quite upset. He (bless his heart) had tried EVERYTHING, but could not get her to calm down. He really needed me to come home! (Sophie is a true Mommy's girl!) My sweet friends were so understanding and gracious.
They loaded up my car with all my unopened gifts and sent me on my way!
You ladies are the best!!!
I am so blessed to know you and have each one of you in my life!!

Saturday, I had another shower. It was a beautiful tea party, hosted by some of my dearest friends;
Jessica, Melanie, and Celia.


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Jessica made these cupcakes and they were divine!



The table was just perfectly put together!



Me and my little Sophie girl!
She didn't want to miss out on the fun girly party!!



Melanie, Jessica, and Celia also gave me this green leaf tea set as a beautiful
memento of Hudson's shower!

Thank you ladies for showering me with such love! I feel incredibly blessed
by your generosity and friendship!!!!!

Check out at all these diapers and wipes we recieved!!
What a wonderful blessing!!!

I also recieved some really adorable clothes...

and check out these precious shoes too.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hudson's Nursery!

The walls have been painted, curtains made, art work hung, light fixture changed, crib and dresser sanded, painted, moved in, and put back together, and all the clothes have been sorted, washed, and put away!!! Wow... as you can tell, we have been rather busy around here!
All I can say is that it feels so good to have it all done and ready to go.

I have to give a shout out to my wonderful husband who spent hours and hours helping me get this room ready. He even took a few days off of work in order to finish the furniture!

Thanks so much, babe! I love it and I know Hudson will too! You are the BEST!



I love this scripture verse. I decided to put it right above his dresser!

This old dresser was used for storage in a closet downstairs. It needed quite a bit of work in order for it to be useful again. I so wish I would have taken a "Before" picture because it's hard to truly appreciate how great it looks now if you didn't see it "Before".

Now all we need is... HUDSON!!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Week 36!

I had a doctor appointment yesterday. I was nervous going in to this appointment because my doctor had let me know at my last visit that he was concerned about the growth of the baby. Apparently, I am measuring on the small side and my growth had slowed down the past few weeks too. Well, I had an ultrasound yesterday and was relieved to hear that all is well.
Thank you, Lord!!!
Apparently, Hudson is just all smashed in there. His head is down and very, very low, so when my doctor is measuring me, he is not getting an accurate measurement of the entire baby. According to the ultrasound, Hudson weighs somewhere between 5 and 6 pounds right now. My fluid levels looked GREAT too! I was so relieved to know that my little guy is growing normally and appears to be quite healthy and strong! Praise the Lord!!! My doctor also told me that he would call me next week in order to schedule my induction. I should have an exact date as to when we will meet our little guy soon!!

Week 36!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

some good questions...

I was left a comment by an anonymous reader yesterday. After much consideration, I decided to delete the comment. I totally did not mean to be disrespectful in doing so, but some of the questions in the comment were just a little personal in nature (in my opinion)! I know people are generally curious about our family's situation, (having and infant and expecting another so soon) so I thought I would take a moment and address just a few of the questions that were posed by this reader.
~To the commenter...If you by chance read this and still have more specific questions, I would love to talk with you off line, like through email. I am happy to share with you information about the adoption process, but feel more comfortable sharing specifics off-line. I hope you understand.~

Here are a few of the questions:

1- "How do you feel about adoption? I know you love her (Sophie) as much as your boys, but did that feeling of love come immediately?"

I can tell you, and I'm sure any other adoptive parent out there would agree, YES... that feeling of love does come immediately! Shane and I knew that God had placed this strong desire for adoption on our hearts years ago. We just knew it was part of the Lords plan to grow our family! As we were in the adoption process, waiting for our Sophie, Shane and I would spend time praying together every night for this child we knew God had already picked out for our family. Even though Sophie didn't physically grow inside of me like the boys did, that same joy and anticipation you feel when you're pregnant, filled our hearts as we waited for her. When we got the call about our Sophie and they placed her in our arms for the first time we were smitten!!! All our prayers had been answered and our dream had come true!!!


2- "How do you feel about the upcoming birth in just a few weeks? Are you scared to have two babies under 8 months at home? How will you care for both?"

Honestly, we are so... excited to add another child to our family. Shane and I always knew we wanted a large family. I am the oldest of six children and consider it such a blessing to have so many siblings. Christmas, birthdays, holidays, and vacations are the absolute best!!! We love to be together and have a blast when we are!! Shane and I desire our children to grow up in much of the same way I did. We want our children to experience the joy and excitement of having lots of siblings around. Just the same way we feel about each of our children, we consider this new addition a true gift from the Lord. We also think that it's GREAT for Sophie to have a sibling so close to her age. Not only will she have a built in playmate, but she will have a best friend for life!!! How cool is that?!?

Yes, we do realize that having two infants at home will keep us busy, but we also know that they are only infants for a short amount of time. Shane is able to take several weeks off of work when this baby does arrive, so he will be home and available to help. I also have ALL my family living with in minutes from our home! When Shane does return to work, my mom, sisters, and grandma will be around whenever I need them!!! I know I am so blessed to have so much help!!!

Thanks so much for the comment and questions!






Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This little piggy...

I know you'll agree that there is nothing sweeter in the world than baby toes!!!!

Sophie just recently discovered her feet. She loves to play/eat her little toes.
This girl even figured out how to pull her socks off in order to get to her toes!!!
Cracks me up!!

I love baby her precious baby feet.
They are just so... cute and always smell so sweet!
I could just eat them up!!!

I can't wait to add ten more precious baby toes to our family soon!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm six months old!

That's right--- I'm six months old TODAY!!! Can you believe it?
Mommy says that I'm growing up way too fast, but I like getting bigger.
I get to try all kinds of new and exciting things.

Let's see, what did I do that was new this month...

I got to try rice cereal for the first time. I wasn't too sure at first, but my mommy kept telling me that it was yummy. I sure would have liked to see her take a bite!!
You know what though...she was right. Now when it's time to eat, I just gobble it up.

She also tried to feed me some bananas the other day. I DID NOT LIKE BANANAS!!! They made me gag. Mommy told me we would try them again in a few weeks.
What she doesn't know is... I don't plan on eating them then either!!!

I'm getting better at sitting up too! Everyday my back is getting stronger and I'm almost big enough to sit all by myself!! I like sitting up, but I like having my boppy there too--just in case I tip over!!

I sure do love my brothers. They are the best. All I have to do is make a noise and they come running to me with a new toy. It's GREAT!!! When I wake up from my nap, I call out, and guess what... they come bursting into my room and can't wait to play with me!!! They are teaching me so many fun and exciting games!! I can't wait until I am old enough to run around with them!
We are going to have a blast driving my mom crazy together!!

Well, I guess that's all for now! Mom says I have to get off the computer and go take a nap!!! Growing up is hard work you know!!!
A girl has got to get her beauty sleep!!







Friday, March 13, 2009

Too Beautiful to Blog!?!?

Outside that is...

Yes, that truly does seem to be my excuse as to why I haven't blogged in over a week. We have been spending the majority of our time outside enjoying the beautiful weather we have been blessed with. Although, this month we have truly seen it all weather wise. We have had MAJOR snow storms one day and then 80 degree weather the next. CRAZY--- I know, but that's March in North Carolina. This weekend it is again supposed to be rainy and in the 40's so I'm sure we won't be outside all that much! Actually, spending some time inside would probably be a good thing this weekend. We still have a lot to do to get ready for Hudson's arrival. Only about 4 1/2 weeks left!!!! I can't believe it! We are so excited, but still have so much to do in order to be ready!! I hope to feel more prepared after this weekend.

~Here are a few pics of the kids enjoying the great outdoors...

~Winter jackets, hats, gloves, and snowmen one day...

...shorts, short sleeve shirts, and water gun fights the next!

~Sophie enjoys swinging for the first time

~Riley and his "big boy bike"~

~Riding in my car...

~"Mommy...look at me!!!"


"We love going for walks too!"

I hope to post some FINISHED pictures next week of Hudson's room!!!

Enjoy your weekend!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

YUMMY treats...

Saturday was a miserable day weather wise! It was cold, wet, and dreary outside! After being stuck in the house all afternoon, we decided to venture out for a while. Even though it was freezing outside we decided to go grab some ice cream.
Ice cream tastes good no matter what the weather---right?!?!?

I decided Sophie deserved a little taste too!!! Oh my goodness----she of course LOVED it!!!!!!
A girl after my own heart!

Riley loves the "black kind" as he likes to call it---
aka Chocolate

Corban and Al enjoyed their cone!!!

A YUCKY night...A YUMMY treat!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A little of this and that...

So I am playing catch up on my blog today. I have a few things that I wanted to blog about last week, but just didn't seem to find the time.

Last Thursday, soccer season officially began!

This is Corban's fourth season playing in our church's league and Shane will be coaching his team again this year!

Riley is now old enough to play this season as well. He's in an instructional league where they only play on Thursday evenings. No Saturday games for him yet!

I was so impressed with the instruction Riley received on Thursday night. Being only three, I wasn't sure how well he would do, or if he would even participate at all. He tends to get real nervous when he knows anyone is watching him. Well, he totally surprised me!! He ran out on the field like a champ, and had the best time ever. Because he has watched his brother play season after season, he totally knew what to do and was so excited that it was finally his turn to play!

Saturday morning, I had the privilege of going to a shower for my dear friend, Melanie!

Melanie is due with her fourth baby about 3 weeks before me. It's been fun being pregnant together. Melanie's oldest son, Jack, is one of Corban's best buddies and I pray that these baby boys will become great friends as well!! The shower was beautifully coordinated by my sweet friend, Jessica. (Check out Jessica's blog for more details about the shower.)

Melanie loves birds, so Jessica went with a bird theme for the shower. Every detail was just perfectly orchestrated. I'm telling you, if you need a party planner and are in the Charlotte area, give Jessica a call!!! You will not be disappointed!!!!!!!

Some of the table decorations

A beautiful feathery wreath hanging on the door.

As a party favor, Jessica came up with this great idea--- a cookie bar.
Before each guest left they received a beautiful bag in which they could fill up with an assortment of cookies to take home with them! There were four cookie flavors to choose from... Brownie Bites, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Pizzells

When I got home, it only took a moment before my entire bag of cookies was gone!