Sunday, March 30, 2008

What's been going on!?!

Well, this has been a busy weekend as usual. We had a soccer game on Saturday morning and boy was it COLD!!!!! Where of where have the 75 degree days gone? I missed them this weekend!!! We sat on the field with the cold wind howling around us. It felt like the tempeture dropped 20 degrees just in the hour we were outside. After the game I took the boys to a birthday party at Monkey Joe's. The party was for one of Corban's friends from our previous neighborhood. We had a great time hanging out and catching up with some of our old neighbors. After that Corban went with my sister to the Panthers stadium to watch my brother-in-law play flag football. They hold a tournament at the stadium every year and they get to play on the actual field. It's fun to go and watch! Corban had a great time!
Riley and I headed home to help Shane with some things around the house. Since Riley is no longer sleeping in the nursery I have begun to get it ready for our daughter. I painted the walls this weekend. Yes, they are PINK!!!!!!!!! I love it! I have a lot yet to do in the room before it's ready, but I am having a blast turning it into a "pink paradise"!!! I'll post pictures when it's finished!
We had church this morning and a potluck with our Sunday School class after the services were over. I have spent several hours this afternoon working on our scrapbook for our adoption. We have to put an entire scrapbook together that tells the story of our lives. This book along with a letter from us is how a birth mom would potentially choose our family to parent her daughter. I am having fun doing it, but it's been time consuming!
Anyway, I hope you all had a great weekend!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

God Is Faithful

Next month, April 16th to be exact, was supposed to be my due date from my last pregnancy. I suffered my third miscarriage September of last year. I was about 11 weeks pregnant. As April approaches I find myself thinking a lot about that child and the grief that accompanied that loss. With my two previous miscarriages I was pregnant with one of the boys when the due dates came around so this time it is a little different and a little harder. Even though this has been a hard time for me, God has proven Himself so faithful. A verse the Lord keeps bringing to my mind is Jeremiah 29:11- 13. "For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a HOPE and a future. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you if you seek me with all your heart and soul!" I remember memorizing this verse in the 2nd grade with my teacher Mrs. Hargett. Little did I realize then how much this verse would comfort my heart 20 something years later. My favorite part of the verse is " I have plans to give you a HOPE and a future!" I am claiming this promise today! I believe this with all my heart! I know God has something great in store for me and my family. Even though I am grieving our loss I am filled with such HOPE!
As we walk through this adoption process and all the ups and downs we have faced, I am filled with excitement and hope, anticipating what the Lord has planned for us. I am praying God's perfect will be revealed. I will continue to walk day by day seeking His face and trusting in His promises. He has proven Himself to me time and time again that HE TRULY IS FAITHFUL!!!!!!

The name of my blog is, of course, Sophie's hope. Hope will be the middle name of our daughter (Sophia Hope) because Hope is my grandmothers middle name.
It seems like hope has been a recurring theme in my life over the past few weeks. I need to remember that my true HOPE only comes from seeking the Lord. I need to be reminded who it is that is in ultimate control of my life. It is my risen Savior. He is my true LIVING HOPE!!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Big Boy

Last night was Riley's first night in his big boy bed. We have twin beds set up in Cor's room because we planned on the boys sharing a room someday. Well that day has come! Surprisingly, Riley did REALLY well in his new bed. We put him to bed and he never got up-not once! I was so concerned about him getting out of bed during the night that I think I slept with one eye open all night long! He did start coughing around 1:30am and I got up right away to give him cough medicine because I was afraid he would wake up Corban. When I went in their room to give him the medicine he was sleeping with his head down at the bottom of the bed! I moved him back under his covers, gave him the meds., and tucked him back in. I never heard another peep. When he woke up this morning he never got out of his bed. I could hear him on the monitor talking but when I went in to get him he didn't want to get up! I think he is very proud of himself and his new bed!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I waited to post this decision on my blog until everyone involved was made aware of our decision and understood why we made it.
After much prayer and deliberation, Shane and I have decided to pull out of the Ukraine adoption program. The reason we have decided to pull out of the program is because OUR heart has changed. Even though we have felt called to adoption for quite some time, we didn't really start pursuing adoption until September of last year. This was right after my third miscarriage. Our hearts wanted a child (any child) quickly! After researching many countries Ukraine seemed to be the answer. It didn't appear to be a long process compared to others. We have truly loved learning about the country and about the orphans there. Emotionally, we feel very connected to the Ukraine. We have followed many families and rejoiced with them as they traveled and found their children there. This has been a very hard decision to say the least. The two most significant reasons we have decided to go a different route is: 1- we now really desire an infant! This was not the case a few months ago when we started the adoption process. The second reason is that we are not comfortable with the amount of time that we would have to be in the Ukraine away from our boys. This was an issue before we committed to the Ukraine, but we thought we could "get over it". We thought we could talk ourselves into it, but we just can't. Our boys are still so small and we cannot see us leaving them for such a long period of time. Because of their age and the ever-changing circumstances that one encounters in the Ukraine, it's just not an option to take them with us.
After talking with our wonderful agency we feel very comfortable with our decision to pull out of the Ukraine program and lead to pursue a domestic adoption. Our agency was very supportive and encouraging as we went back and forth on this decision. Even though the timing is not right for us to adopt from the Ukraine, God definitely planted a seed of love in our hearts for the orphans there that may bear fruit in later years.
We are very excited to see how God is going to grow our family now through a domestic adoption. We wait anxiously for the day we get to meet our Sophie!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Checkers Game

Last Friday night we got tickets to go to the hockey game. One of our neighbors works for the Checkers and she was giving away tickets to residents in our development. We were so excited. Corban and Shane went to a game not too long ago, but this was Riley's first. We had the best time. Since Shane was already up town working, the boys and I decided to ride the train in to town to meet him. The boys had been on the train once before with Shane, but I had never been on it. It was $2.60 for the three of us to ride. Awesome deal! The boys thought it was great. Shane met us right where we got off and we headed to FUEL for a quick bite to eat before the game.
We had great seats at the game and Riley sat so good. I think he was taken in by everything going on around him. He wasn't too sure about Chubby the Checkers mascot, but enjoyed everything else.
It was a great family night!!!

A Wonderful Easter!


We had a wonderful Easter. After we went to church we headed over to my mom's house for lunch. Shane's grandparents and dad came too. We had an egg hunt for the boys and they had a blast. The weather was beautiful and we spent the entire day relaxing and hanging out with our family. We could not have asked for a better Easter!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter too!

Here are a few pics from our Easter...

My three sisters and my boys!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter picnic w/ friends

Today, we had tons of Easter fun at my friend Celia's house. Several of our wonderful church friends were there and we enjoyed our time outside enjoying this beautiful weather. We all brought our lunch and had a picnic in the backyard. The boys had so much fun hanging out and playing with their friends. Thanks Celia for having us! We had a great time!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

7 weird things about me!?!

Okay... I was "tagged" by my friend Dawn to write a blog about 7 weird things about myself.
So here it goes...

1. I LOVE roosters.
My kitchen is totally decorated in roosters. I even have a rooster here of there scattered throughout my entire house. I'm not sure what it is about them that I love so much, I just do!

2. I am a early riser. I wake up around 5:00am every morning and I enjoy it. Waking up early helps me feel like I can get so much more accomplished in a day. I am not a night person though. 9:00pm...I am in bed!!!

3. I love cookie dough ice cream!
Edy's Loaded Cookie Dough is by far the best. I do have a terrible habit though of just sitting down with the carton of ice cream and picking out all the cookie dough.

4. I LOVE the High School Musical movies!! There I said it!
I have watch both High School Musical 1 and 2 about 10 times each. I do like the music and dancing in 2 much better than in 1. I secretly wish I could sing and dance like Gabriella. =)

5. I HATE onions!!! I can't stand the smell, texture, or taste! YUCK!!!

6. I HATE movies or television shows with any suspense in them. I just can't stand it. When the background music changes to something scary, so does the channel!

7. This will come as no surprise to many of you, but I HATE to cook. I am just not good at it. I think that's why I don't like it very much. If I was good at it then I would maybe enjoy it, but try as I may, cooking is just not my thing!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter Crafts

I can't believe that Easter is this coming Sunday. It comes so early this year that it kind of crept up on me. At home this week we are going to be focusing on the Easter story. I have also picked out a few easy Easter crafts for the boys to do.
Today we made bunnies out of envelopes and Easter cards for all the grandparents. I think they turned out really cute. The cards were so simple to make. We just dipped their fingertips in paint and used their fingerprints to make the bunnies. The bunny envelope idea was cute and so easy too.
Check out what we did today!!!

And the finished product...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Our weekend!

I haven't had a chance to blog very much over the past couple days. We had a very busy weekend. Friday night our church hosted a dinner for all the CHAMPS (our church's sports program) coaches and their wives as a way to kick off the season. Shane is coaching Corbans soccer team this season so he and I went. We had a wonderful time. I can't tell which one is more excited about the season, Shane or Corban =). We had our first game Saturday morning. Riley and I, along with my mom, sister, and grandparents were all there to cheer our team on!! All Corban's games are played on Saturday morning at 9:00. Corban is playing in the 4 yr old, instructional league. They don't have practices during the week yet, but they practice for about 30 minutes before their game on Saturday. The one thing I LOVE about CHAMPS is that it is so Christ-centered. They have "Bible huddle time" during their practice where the coaches have the opportunity to lead a devotional. They also pray for each other. The focus is not on winning, but on doing your best and honoring Jesus Christ in all you do- even sports! I am looking forward to a GREAT season!!!!
BTW... Corban scored 3 goals during the game!!! He was so excited!
My camera was not cooperating with me, so I was unable to get any pictures. I hope to take some on Saturday and I'll post them later.
After the game I had to stay at church and get things ready for Sunday. I work part-time at our church as a Preschool Sunday School Coordinator. My mom and I share this position which is so great!!! Anyway, we stayed and got everything set up for Sunday School the next morning.
Saturday evening we had friends over for dinner. We had a great time!
Sunday was a busy day too! It was Palm Sunday and my mom and I coordinated a "Hosanna Parade" for the preschoolers. My wonderful husband dressed up like Jesus. Corban and my sisters dressed up as the disciples. Palm branches were handed out to all the children and they waved then as "Jesus" and "the disciples" made their way up and down the halls. It was so much fun and I think the kids had a great time seeing a Bible story come to life.
Tonight (Tuesday) we have our home visit for our home study. We are almost done with our homestudy!! Please pray that all goes well tonight!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Two shirts- Two GREAT deals

I don't really have to buy many clothes for the boys. Our old neighbor has a son a little older than Corban so we have been blessed by his (very nice!) hand-me-downs. Cor gets to wear them and then they are passed on to Riley! It's a wonderful thing!!!
One thing I do enjoy about buying the boys clothes though is the opportuny to dress them alike. I love it when they match. I just think it's so cute!
I was shopping at Goodwill the other day and happened to find a nice, plaid, collared shirt for Riley. I paid $1.79 for it. Great deal, right!?! Then, this week I ran into a children's consignment store looking for Easter outfits for the boys . I happened upon the same shirt I had bought for Riley in Corbans size. I think I paid $3.00 for it. So now my boys have matching plaid shirts to wear. I am thrilled!! The only thing is Corban just recently informed me that he doesn't really want to dress like Riley anymore. I knew that day would come, but that didn't stop me from buying them matching Easter outfits ;)

Here they are in their matching shirts...

New swing set!!!

When we moved from our old house we had to leave our swing set behind. We planned on taking it with us, but when the buyers came to purchase our home they wanted the swing set to stay. We were sad to leave it behind because our boys had so much fun on it. Because of the swing set, our old backyard kind of became the neighborhood hangout. We promised the boys we would get another one when we moved into our new house. Well today that promise became a reality!!!!! The boys sat and watched intently as the "worker man" put the set together. Within two hours it was up and ready to play on! We are so excited to finally have our own swing set again!

**Please ignore how horrible our yard and our neighbors yard looks. Because we are in a new development and because of the drought no one has been able to get any grass to grow. Therefore our yards are full of weeds and straw. **

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Somewhat encouraged!

In my last post I talked about some of the challenges families are facing during their adoption from the Ukraine. After speaking with Dave, our adoption program director at Orphans Hope, he offered some valuable insight that helped put our minds a little more at ease. We also received fabulous news today from two sweet families that are in the Ukraine right now. Both of them had their SDA appointment this morning. One family accepted a referral to go visit a healthy, five year old girl near the Donetsk region. The other family accepted a referral to go visit a healthy, 7 year old,girl. This news was so encouraging to hear in the midst of the unsettling news that we have received lately. I can't wait to hear more about these precious girls. I am praying that these families have found their children!!!!
On another note... Riley was diagnosed with viral tonsillitis over the weekend =(. He ran a fever for several days with no other symptoms. On Saturday morning he woke up and his fever was 104.8! So SCARY!!!! I took him to the doctor right away. His fever broke on Sunday and he seemed to be doing much better. Then the other day he woke up with the inside of his little mouth covered in white sores. I was thinking it was just part of the virus and hoped it would go away soon. The sores are still there and he is so... miserable!!!!! He can hardly eat anything because his mouth is so sore. We have yet another appointment with the doctor this afternoon to get him checked out. Please pray that my little guy will feel better soon!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Adoption Cares and Concerns

I want to preface this by saying that I totally understand the nature of international adoption and how unpredictable it can be. I also realize that things could change and turn around overnight, but these are some of the concerns we are dealing with right now...
Over the past few weeks I have become increasingly more and more concerned about our Ukraine adoption. I have been following several families as they blog about their personal Ukrainian adoption story. Several families have left their SDA appointment (meeting in Ukraine) without being shown any child's profile that match their families request. Other families have chosen a child and then traveled hours to that orphanage only to meet the child and realize they are in poor health or have major medical needs the families were not told about. I have also noticed many families are coming home with children a lot older than they requested.

We are concerned because we are praying and hoping to adopt a moderately healthy girl between the ages of 18-36 months. We chose Ukraine based on several factors including cost, time frame and availability. Now it appears that either we misunderstood some of these issues or the Ukraine is undergoing some changes. Like I said before, we understand the nature of international adoptions, but this seems to be a lot to process and understand.

I have read wonderful stories too. There are children who are finding wonderful homes and being united with their forever families. This just seems to be the exception and not the rule right now.
Please pray for us as we walk this emotional and sometime scary journey. Pray that God would give us peace and calm our anxious hearts. Pray that He would continue to direct our steps.

I trust Him completely and know that He is the One who is ultimately in control of our adoption... I just have to remind myself of this time to time!!!!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Recipe Swap and Hop

Lysa Terkeurst is having a recipe swap on her blog and I thought I would join in too. I am always looking for new recipes to try. Head on over to her blog and check it out...

My recipe is for Chimichangas!
They are easy, fast and delicious!

1lb. ground beef, cooked
1 jar salsa
1 can refried bean
1 pkg. taco mix
16 (8 in.) flour torillas
16 oz. monterey jack cheese

In a large skillet combine meat, salsa, beans, and taco mix. Cook until heated. In another skillet heat tortillas one at a time over medium-low heat. To assemble place 1/3 meat mixture onto each tortilla, near one edge. Top with cheese, fold in sides and roll up. Cover pan in foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rainy Day Fun!

It's one of those rainy, chilly days that make you want to crawl back in bed. Having two very active boys, crawling back into bed is not an option! I am very thankful and praise the Lord for the rain though because we REALLY need it.

Riley has a fever today too! He doesn’t have any other symptoms just acting irritable and tired. I hope it doesn't turn into something more. Anyway, since we are "stuck" in the house today, I decided I needed to pull out some of my "tricks" in order to make this day as enjoyable and productive as possible. We decided to first read the story of Noah's Ark. It's raining outside so I thought the story was appropriate =). Then the boys each made a colorful paper rainbow. They turned out really cute. After we got that mess cleaned up I decided to get out the shaving cream. I squirted shaving cream all over the table and then let them go to town. When I was in second grade my teacher would do this with our class. I remember having so much fun. Actually, she would make us practice writing our spelling words in the shaving cream, but it was still fun. Today, Corban and I practiced writing all his letters in the cream, while Riley just had fun making a mess. At one point I ran downstairs to get the camera to take a picture of them and by the time I returned Riley had rubbed the shaving cream all in his hair. The great thing about shaving cream is it’s very easy to clean up and smells really good too! We then played a few games and read some books that we checked out at the library yesterday!

I think a fun morning was had by all!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Prayers for my cousin!

My cousin Heidi gave birth to a baby, Alyssa, at about 25 weeks. When she was born she weighed 1pound 10 ounces. She spent several months in the hospital and had several surgeries. She is now a loving little girl living a normal life due to the prayers of many people. Since that time, my cousin and her husband became pregnant again and doctors felt she would be able to carry full term. This time, my cousin, Heidi made it to 27 weeks. Their new daughter is Lily Faith, born at 2pounds 2 ounces, a little bigger than her older sister.
Please keep my cousin, Heidi, her husband Jim, and their new baby, Lily Faith in your prayers. Lily is 10 days old and was just relocated to a new hospital. They are waiting to hear if Lily will need surgery. Please pray for my cousin and her husband as they again walk this all too familiar road. Pray for peace and strength and for total healing for Lily!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Weekend Pics

We had a really nice weekend. We managed to get several things done around the house and cleaned out the garage! We also took the boys to the neighborhood park to play for most of the afternoon on Saturday and then again after church on Sunday. We had so much fun and enjoyed the beautiful North Carolina weather. Here are just a few pictures of our weekend. Enjoy!

"Hut! Hut! Hike!"

My Boys!

Riley LOVES to swing!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Mush" in the brain

This week I have had to make some new rules about t.v. and computer time. For such a long time Corban didn't really care about the t.v. or the computer. He would watch a PBS kids show in the afternoon while Riley was napping, but the rest of the day he was content to play, color, or do a craft. That has changed. For the past couple of weeks it seems like all he does is either watch t.v. or play on the computer. If he is not doing either he is asking to do one or the other. It is driving me nuts. So this week I decided NO MORE!!! I have limited the computer time to one hour a day and the t.v. time (PBS Kids only) to one hour a day. If we have a dicipline issue, the time is shortened. So far it's working. When the hour is up he goes on to something else-something productive.
I explained to him that if he watched too much t.v. or played too many computer games his brain would turn to mush! I know, very intelligent explanation, but Corban understood- at least I thought he did. A little while later, after our conversation, Corban came into the room pushing on his cheeks with a very concerned look on his face. He said," Mommy, my brain still feels hard, but my cheeks have begun to turn to mush!
Poor thing! ;)

Missionary Dinner

Our church is hosting a missions conference all this week. Each night during the week families from our church signed up to host missionary families for dinner. Last night we had the privilege of hosting two missionary couples. One of the couples was Alketa and Mark. They are serving in Albania as church planters. Alketa is actually from Albania. They are here in the states on furlow, but plan to go back to Albania in 2009. It was so interesting to hear their story of how they met and ended up serving the people of Albania. The other couple was Halle and Phillip. Halle serves with Campus Crusade for Christ and Phillip with the Jesus film. They live in Florida. Phillip told us that they have translated the Jesus film into over 1500 languages. WOW! What was so interesting is that Alketa actually got saved from watching the Jesus film. She saw it on t.v. when she was living in Albania. It was so neat to hear her tell her salvation story to Phillip who is with the Jesus film. I know the point of these dinners is to encourage and minister to the missionaries, but I was the one who was encouraged and inspired. These people live their lives day in and day out serving the Lord and ministering to lost souls. Their boldness in their faith was contagious! I pray that God would continue to bless their ministries as they boldly touch peoples lives for Him!