Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year... New Name...

Notice the new blog name?

I have been thinking about changing the name for quite sometime now. "Sophie's Hope" was fine while we were in the adoption process, but it just didn't seem to fit anymore. This blog has been a great place to record our life and our adoption journey, but now that we have our sweet little one home...well that title just didn't seem to be right anymore. This blog is not just an adoption blog, it's become our family's journal and online scrapbook! I thought and thought about what I wanted to change the name too, but I couldn't come up with anything cute or catchy. Then, as I was sitting here last night, I began to think about this past year and it hit me---
"Beyond Our Wildest Dreams".
Truly, this year, 2008, will be remembered as a year in which our wildest dreams came true. Not only did the Lord bless us with a beautiful daughter through the gift of adoption, but we also are expecting another son. The Lord's blessings have been poured out over our family this past year and we feel like we are truly living our wildest dream!!!

I look forward to 2009 with great anticipation! I can't wait to make more precious memories with my family. I am eager to watch the boys and Sophie grow and hit more of those monumental milestones. I can't wait to meet our little boy in April and experience again
the love and joy another new life will bring to our family.
~Yes, our life will truly be wild and crazy, but I can't wait!~

I hope you have a Blessed and Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Boys and Football

My husband is a die-hard football fan (Carolina Panthers that is) and our boys are following in his foot steps. They live and breathe football. They can hardly wait for the season to begin, and when it does they don't miss a single second of a single game!

It came as no surprise that last night Shane came home from work with all he needed to make playoff charts with each one of the boys.

There was lots of cutting and pasting...
and each one had their own job...

Now, they can keep track of the teams in the playoffs and which of those teams win each week. The boys were so excited to each have their very own football chart. They decided to hang them in the playroom right next to the t.v.--that way they can keep a close eye on the teams and where they rank.

Hmmm...I wish I could get them this excited about their chore chart=)!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

What a wonderful time we had celebrating the birth of our Savior! Our Christmas was extra special this year because we were celebrating it with our sweet little Sophie!

"My Daddy loves me!"

I remember chatting with Shane last year about how we both hoped and prayed that this Christmas we would have our daughter home with us. What a blessing it was to hold her in our arms this year! We were once again reminded and humbled by of our Lord's faithfulness to our family!

Our Christmas celebration started earlier in the week. Monday evening, Shane's grandparents and dad came over to our home for dinner.

We had a sweet time visiting with them! We also celebrated Riley's birthday.

On Christmas Eve my parents, brothers, and sisters came over earlier in the afternoon to exchange presents.

Cousins... Baby Jake's and Sophie's 1st Christmas! So sweet!

My Grammy's got me!"

"Thanks Uncle Matt and B for the boxing gloves!!! We are going to have fun with those ;)!!!"

We all then went to our church for the Candlelight Christmas Eve service. It was a beautiful service that ended with everyone singing Silent Night by candlelight! Between both services there were over 7000 people in attendance-- all who clearly heard the Word of God boldly preached.

After church we headed over to my Aunt and Uncle's home for our annual Christmas Eve celebration with the rest of my family.

B with Riley

We had our fill of my Aunt's delicious chicken pot pie and probably ate one too many Christmas cookies.

Our family...Sophie was sleeping soundly in her Daddy's arms.

We enjoyed showing our little Sophie off to some of my cousins who had not met her yet!
It was a great evening.

Christmas morning we woke up and celebrated Christmas together as a family.

Here come the boys... excited to see what Santa left for them under the tree.
Don't you just love the bed heads! Too cute!

The boys had a great time opening up gifts and seeing the surprises that Santa brought them!

Sophie got her first baby doll. I think she liked it!

I made our traditional Christmas breakfast...Monkey Bread. We put a candle in it and sang "Happy Birthday Jesus". We stayed in our pj's most of the day and the boys enjoyed playing with their new toys.

That afternoon we headed to Shane's sisters house to celebrate Christmas with his family. We snacked on some yummy food and enjoyed our time together.

It truly was a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just a spoon full of sugar....

Well-----We definitely used more than a spoon full, but what a wonderful day we had baking with my family. Every year, we get together right before Christmas and bake. Everyone came over this morning and brought with them the ingredients to their favorite Christmas treat.

What did we make... let's see...

~ Chocolate Covered Pretzels
~ Country Crock Cookies-(my husband's favorite)
~ Peppermint Patties
~ Peanut Butter Blossoms and
~ Sugar Cookies (made and decorated)

My mom, Grandma, and Sister "B"

Riley, Al and, Corban roll out the dough and cut out their favorite Christmas shapes!

Riley had fun mashing the dough...

Mommy and Riley...ready to decorate!

Decorating FUN!!!

Two of the smallest chefs in the kitchen!
~Sophie and baby Jake

...and a sample of the final results!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Riley!!!!

Today is our little Riley's 3rd birthday! He's our precious Christmas baby!!
We can't believe he is three, (or as he would tell you "I'm FREEVE!")

For several weeks, he has been practicing diligently on holding up three fingers. For some reason, it's just hard work getting that little pinkie finger to stay put when you are trying to show people how old you are! Finally, he's got it down!!!!

We celebrated his birthday last night, with our family, over at my parents house! We had a great time! Riley, like any typical three year old, couldn't wait to dig into his cake and open presents!

Happy Birthday RiRi!!!!!
Mommy and Daddy love you so the moon and back again!!!!!

Click to play Riley's 3rd Birthday
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Cookie Exchange

Last night, I went to my sweet friend, Melanie's house for her annual Christmas cookie exchange. It was so much fun! Everyone who came brought 3-4 dozen cookies to share. I had a hard time deciding on what kind of cookie I wanted to make. After looking through countless recipes, I decided on these Oreo Truffles.

Easy OREO Truffles

Melanie's dining room table was covered with yummy cookies for us to enjoy! We got to sample a few and then everyone loaded up their plate and took some home!!

Isn't this a beautiful assortment!?!? I plan on freezing most of them, so we can enjoy them with our family on Christmas Eve.

Thanks Melanie for hosting! I am already looking forward to next year!

Here's the recipe for the Oreo Truffles--( if you are ever in the mood for Chocolate)...

It's SUPER easy and DELICIOUS!!!

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted--I add a little Crisco to my chocolate to make it really smooth and not sticky

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.Place in freezer for about 1 hour until firm!

DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Concert, Cookies, Class Party, and Crowds

That title about sums up what we have been up to lately. This is a busy post, but I wanted to make sure that I blogged about all our Christmas happenings this week, so bare with me!

Last Saturday and Sunday night, Corban sang in the Christmas concert at our church. The concert was beautiful-- full of wonderful music, drama, and singing.

On Monday afternoon, we were invited over to our sweet neighbors house for a cookie decorating party. The boys had a great time frosting, eating, decorating, and did I mention eating their yummy sugar cookies.

I had to wake Riley from his nap so we wouldn't be late for the party. He wasn't fully awake when I took this picture. Poor guy!
After a little sugar, he was ready to go!

Tuesday morning, I got to volunteer to help in Corban's class during their Christmas party.
We had such a fun time.

The kids had yummy doughnuts and fruit, rotated through several craft stations, and then ended with a Christmas Tree pinata.

I absolutely LOVE Corban's teacher. She is so sweet and has the patience of Job. Corban's class in general, is very sweet. He has made some wonderful little friends and it's great to see him enjoy his time at school.

Wednesday, Shane and I headed out to do some Christmas shopping. He has the entire week off of work this week and it's been so great having him home. My Mom and Grandma came over to babysit Sophie and Riley so we could shop until we dropped. We had not bought ONE Christmas present before yesterday, so we had a lot to accomplish. Would you believe we got it all done!?!? Every store we went in was super crowded, but we were able to still enjoy our time together and get everything we needed.

A busy and crazy week so far...but so much fun too!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Three Months Old...

and I can hardly believe it!
Time just flies!!! I'm sure I'll say the same thing next month, but really, where does the time go?!?!?
I can't believe we have had our precious daughter for three months. In many ways, I can't remember life without her, and in other ways, it seems like just yesterday when we got "the call" and she was placed into our arms.

Sophie is the sweetest, most adorable, baby ever! Of course, I'm a little bias.
She loves to smile and has started to coo! Her eyes light up when the boys come in the room. She loves her brothers and they have a way of always being able to make her smile. Oh, and she TOTALLY has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger.

We can't wait to celebrate her first Christmas next week!
Such a fun and special time!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Christmas idea...

Tuesday evening I had a Manners and More Christmas Mother-Daughter Social. It always is such a sweet and special time for the girls and their moms to be together. (I can't wait until Sophie is old enough to be a part of the class with me!!!)

The evening not only provides fellowship, but also a great opportunity for the girls to practice some of the skills we have been working on in class. Each mom and daughter are asked to come prepared to share with the group a favorite Christmas family tradition. I love this time of sharing. It's so neat to hear what other families do to make Christmas special in their home. I always come away with great ideas and traditions that I want to start with my own family.

Here I am with a few of my precious girls.

One of the moms shared that each year they pass out cookies to all her friends and neighbors. Each homemade cookie on the plate represents a Christian theme or message. She attaches the following card to the gift that explains what each cookie means...

An ANGEL brought the glorious news to the shepherds that a Savior had been born.
Wise men followed a bright STAR.
They brought precious gifts much like the gifts we have under our TREE.
The best gift of all that day was Jesus. God sent His only Son that whoever accepts
Him into their HEART will have life everlasting.
Let the BELLS ring
out this holiday season as we celebrate Jesus' birthday and God's greatest gift to us.

What a great way to share the TRUE meaning of Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A weekend full of Christmas fun...

December is in full swing, and with it begins all the Christmas fun. Saturday morning our neighborhood hosted a breakfast with who else but...Santa Claus!! The boys had been looking forward to this ever since they got the invitation in the mail. They could not wait to meet Santa and sit on his lap. Corban was very concerned though about where Santa would park his sleigh?!?!

When we got there the boys wanted to meet Santa right away. When it was our turn to meet him however, Riley began to have second thoughts. He sat on his lap,
but he wasn't very happy about it.

Riley spent most of the morning just staring at Santa from a distance.

Sophie enjoyed her time with Santa. Santa asked if he could keep her!!

The boys then made a few crafts, enjoyed a few doughnut holes, and played with their friends. We had a wonderful time!

Then Saturday afternoon I went to a Christmas tea at our church.

I met my three sisters, Aunt, Grandma, and mom there.
I look so forward to this tea every year. Each and every table in the room is decorated by a different lady from our church. Each table is beautifully unique and special. It's so much fun just to look around at all the lovely decorations. You have to check out my good friend Melanie's blog to see some great pictures of this event. She decorated two tables and they were both equally beautiful!

Shane and I then headed out that evening to our Sunday School class Christmas party. I hate that I forgot my camera because I would have loved to share a few pictures. It was very evident that our host and hostess had put lots of time and energy into making this evening very special. From the food to the decorations to the place settings, every detail was well thought out and beautifully done!! My favorite part of the evening was when we gathered around the piano and sang Christmas carols. It was such a sweet and very special evening.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Random Christmas Fun...

I must introduce you to the newest member of our family.
Meet Sam, our adorable Christmas elf.

Sam arrived about a week or so ago from the "North Pole". His sole responsibility is to watch the boys behavior and report it to "Santa" each night. The next morning after the boys wake up, they discover that Sam has returned from the "North Pole" and is hiding in a different place. Corban is the first one up each morning and he races down stairs to try and spy Sam in his new location. Just seeing the look on the boys faces each morning as they find Sam in his new spot is priceless.
If you don't have an Elf on a Shelf you must get one! Too fun!!

The boys and I have also had fun completing a few simple Christmas crafts this week.
Today, Corbans' best buddy Knox came over after school for a play date and we made these adorable reindeer.

Michael's has GREAT craft kits that are super cute and cheap.
I like to have several on hand during the holidays for the boys to work on when they want.

~Just some Christmas fun!!!~

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year! I love the sights, smells, traditions, and's just a wonderful time of the year!
I couldn't wait to start decorating our home for Christmas!

We woke up early Friday morning, and even though I was in the Christmas spirit, my husband needed some sugar and caffeine in order for him to feel that same decorating enthusiasm!
So we headed to (where else) but Krispy Kreme Doughnut!!

The boys sure did enjoy their doughnut!!!

Sophie didn't need a doughnut!
She's sweet enough!!!

After a boost of sugar and caffeine, everyone was ready to head home and start decorating! We worked most of the day and got almost all of it done. I worked on the inside of the house while Shane and the boys put up the outside lights and wreaths on the windows.

I still have a few things left to do like order new stockings for Sophie and the new baby. I plan on getting us all new ones so they will match.
That's six stockings to order, so I hope I can find a good deal. I may have to wait until the end of the season.
I also am going to try my hand at this garland too. We'll see how it turns out!

Boomama is hosting a tour of homes on December 15th. Hopefully I'll have my home ready by then and I may join in on the fun. I love peeking inside other homes and seeing all the wonderful Christmas decorations.
Should be fun!!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Psalms 105: 1-3
~Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the people.
Sing to Him, Sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those who see the Lord be glad!~

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!!!!