Monday, January 31, 2011

Out of hibernation

Winter has been L-O-N-G and cold this year. Both December and January were just down-right frigid! We live in the south and can't take too many below freezing days in a row. Our blood isn't thick enough;)
Our family has spent little, if any, time outside in weeks, maybe longer. It's been so long since we played out in the front yard that we had to re-introduce ourselves to our neighbors;)jk!

Anyway, this weekend was different.

The temps were somewhere in the mid 60's, the sun was shining, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

It was beautiful out!

We took full advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent lots of time outside enjoying the fresh air.

After Cor's basketball game on Saturday...

we made plans to meet some of our sweet friends at the park.

We picked up a few D@mino's pizza's on our way,

and enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch.

This is one of Hud's best buddies, Jackson.
Enjoying a good Oreo while discussing politics;)

Check out these three little monkey's...

just hanging around...

having a blast at the park!

It looks like it's gonna be rainy and chilly again the rest of the week. Just another reason I am so thankful for the beautiful weekend we enjoyed, and for a little taste of SPRING!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Greatest Show On Earth!!!

Late Thursday afternoon, Shane's mom called and told us she wanted to buy our family tickets to the Ringling Br@thers Circus that was in town. We talked, checked the calendar, and decided the best time for us to go would be THAT night. It was a last minute change in plans for the evening, but what an amazing treat for the kids. I wanted them to be surprised, so I didn't tell them where we were headed. All I told them was to get ready quickly, hop in the car, and that we were going to meet Daddy downtown for an adventure! The boys were literally dying to know where we were going. They each asked about a million questions, and begged for little hints. It probably was the l-o-n-g-e-s-t ride down town EVER!!

Align CenterWe made it into town, picked Shane up in front of his office building, and then made our way to the arena!

We had to wait outside for a few minutes (which seemed like an eternity) before the doors opened and we were finally allowed to enter. As soon as we walked inside, we were greeted by flashing lights, loud music, life size animal posters, and colorful memorabilia. It didn't take long before the boys figured out what the BIG surprise was.
They were ecstatic!

An hour before the circus started, all guests were invited down to the arena floor for the pre-show.

We watched a magic show and met a few clowns.
We were also able to see and meet the "strongest men in the world"

These men were truly amazing.
They tossed and juggled huge, heavy, weights as if they were rubber balls.

Corban got a chance to see just how heavy these weights actually were.
Still, using all the might he could muster, Corban could barely lift it off the ground!

We then grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading to our seats.
It was time for the show to begin.

Watching Sophie girl's reaction was the highlight of the entire night.
She was totally mesmerized by it all.
She oohed and ahhed and cheered the entire time!

What a way to turn what was supposed to be an ordinary Thursday evening into something SPECTACULAR.
This will definitely go down in our books as one of the

Friday, January 28, 2011

Our girl...

Kelly's Korner is hosting "Show us your--Adoption Stories!
I was so excited when I saw this and knew I wanted to participate.
There is NOTHING I enjoy more than reading about other adoptive families and hearing their stories.

If I was I forced to
pick ONE pivotal point in my life, where I felt the Lord presence and direction more clearly than any other, it would be during our own adoption journey!

Words cannot even express how much adoption (and this precious little girl) has changed our lives.

Our adoption journey began in the beginning of 2008. We were already a busy family of four, living life, and trying to keep up with the two sweet boys the Lord had given us. It was during this same year though that we experienced a third miscarriage. We longed for another baby, but felt that dream slipping away. The feelings of despair and helplessness began to make themselves a home in our hearts. The Lord was very real to us during this time, and He continued to fill our heart with hope, even at times when all seemed hopeless. As we walked through this season in our lives, we began to feel the Lord tugging at our heart concerning adoption. At that time though the whole process seemed overwhelming, daunting, costly, and almost unattainable. Although the Lord continued to impress and confirm to our hearts that this was indeed His plan for our family. We began researching our options, chose our agency, and then finished our home study by April of that same year. On September 17th 2008, after about a five month wait, we received "the call" that every adoptive couple longs for. Our daughter had been born, our family had been chosen, and we could pick her up the very next day at our agency.
Talk about SURPRISE!!!!

(I've shared this before, but these are our Gottcha Day pictures.)
Click to play adoption

On the evening of September 18th-- sitting on the couch in our agencies office, our social worker placed in our arms the most beautiful 5 pound, blue eyed, blond haired baby. was the tiniest and the most precious thing we had EVER laid eyes on. We couldn't believe she was ours...all ours!!! And most of you are aware that it was also during this same week that we were surprised to find out we were pregnant as well!!!!
(Our Hudson was born 7 months later!)

We were truly overwhelmed by the Lord's blessings and undeserving favor on our family.

As I sit here right now and reminisce, my heart is overwhelmed with love and gratitude for our precious birth mom! Because of her courage, strength, and selfless act of LOVE we have our beautiful, amazing, silly, girly-girl Sophie!! I will never, EVER forget what she has done for us!!

We are FOREVER grateful!!!!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
I Samuel 1:27

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's for dinner tonight?? (update added)

Okay, so I'll be the first to admit that I am not the best cook in the world. Truth be told, I actually HATE cooking. I really wish I enjoyed it, but it's so not my thing. If I could have my way, we would all eat cereal for dinner every. night. of. the. week. Unfortunately, that won't fly with my husband--or my kiddo's for that matter. And with a growing family and limited budget, going out, or ordering in each night isn't an option either;) So over the years, and as our family has multiplied, I've been forced to learn the "how to's" of cooking. Not just how to follow a recipe, although that's part of it, I really mean the planning, the shopping, the preparing, and the making of a meal for my family. One of my new years resolutions this year was to get better at this whole process. My goals this year are to cook budget conscious, healthy meals, that can be prepared QUICKLY (that's really important), and that my family will actually eat!!

I HAVE used my crock-pot a lot over the years, but became bored with the recipes I had. That was until I found THIS blog. I have seen this before, but kind-of forgot all about her. She is so my new super-hero!!! All I can say is "bye bye" to humdrum dinners and "HELLO" to delicious, QUICK, and healthy meals!!! Seriously y'all, I have rekindled a love affair with my crock pot!!!

I put everything in it in the morning, smell it simmering all day long, and by dinner time all I have to do is whip up a few side dishes and I'm DONE!!!!
I'm LOVIN' IT!!!!!!!

I did my meal planning this month using A TON of her recipes, and have yet to be disappointed!
Here's a peak at our family's meal calendar for the month...And here's the list of ingredients needed for the meals I am making.
I won't necessarily use all these meals listed in the month. Things come up and life happens, but knowing I have something planned and the ingredients on hand is a huge stress relief! Also, some nights we may have a lot of left overs which we can always heat up and eat the following night.

If you've tried any of these recipes I'd love to hear how you liked them. Most of these are new to me, so it's going to be trial and error. Up until now though, everything has definitely been a keeper!!!

**UPDATED...I have gotten several emails that you are not able to view the menu or list of ingredients. I'm not sure why. If someone could help me figure this out then PLEASE let me know. Thanks y'all***

***I think it's been fixed!***

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Celebrating my mom!

This weekend we celebrated my wonderful mom's birthday. Words cannot even express how much I love and appreciate my mom. She truly is my best friend and true confidant.

She raised SIX kids, (well I guess she's still raising three-because they're still at home) home-schooled all of us, and sacrificially poured everything she had into each one of our lives. I am so grateful for all she has done (and continues to do) for us!

I am blessed to be her daughter!

Saturday night, our family gathered at my sister B's house to celebrate my mom!

B was a wonderful host and we enjoyed such a great time of being together.
Taco's were on the menu for the night--

which is one of my kiddo's favorite foods!

I will say...even though it was my mom's special night,

my new niece Brooklyn was definitely the star of the show.

Everyone had to take their turn holding,



and loving on this newest (and cutest) addition to our family.

Our family LOVES babies!!!

Happy Birthday to THE BEST mom---and the most wonderful Mimi EVER!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sew busy (again)!!

I hope y'all enjoyed a wonderful weekend.
We sure did. It was CRAZY, but oh so fun!

I've been busy with a few little projects lately and I thought I'd share.
I found this AWESOME tutorial recently on how to make little boy ties.
I've been dieing to make some for the boys for a while now.
Well, this weekend I FINALLY got around to giving it a try!
This tutorial was GREAT and super easy to follow!
{Even if you don't sew, you could make these ties---I PROMISE!!!
No sewing machine involved!!!!}

On Sunday (which was Sanctity of Life Sunday) Shane and I had the unique opportunity to share with our church family our testimony concerning ad@ption and f@ster care.

Here are my kiddo's lookin' oh so spiffy and ready to head out the door for church.
I ran out of fabric so sweet Hudson had to settle for a little bow tie;)
I thought he looked so handsome though and it made me grin every time I would look at him sportin' that tie!!

I fell head over heels in love with this bird fabric from H@bby L@bby.
(Notice the apron on the front of Sophie's knot dress)
I purchased ALL they had {I loved it that much}and used it on a few other projects I was working on.

We celebrated my wonderful mom's birthday this weekend.
Another post on that coming soon;)
I made her this apron using some of that cute bird fabric.
I think Sophie and I are in need of aprons now too. Maybe I'll get around to that project this week;)

Oh Sew Fun!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I scream, you scream, we ALL scream...

for ice cream!!!!!
Well...tonight y'all our family had ice cream for DINNER!
Yes...for DINNER.

It wasn't exactly planned that way, but it's just the way things worked out tonight.

Cor's school was hosting spirit night at a local Chic-fil-@ and TCBY.
We planned to hit the Chic-fil-@ for dinner first, and then head over to the TCBY for dessert.

We went early, hoping to beat the crowds, but when we got to CFA it was clear that EVERYONE else had the same idea as well.

Instead of lugging all the kids in and fighting for a table, we decided to skip dinner altogether and just go straight for the good stuff!!!!

My kids were in total SHOCK and completely amazed that they didn't have to eat even one veggie in order to get dessert tonight!
{What they don't know is... I plan on doubling up on their veggie consumption during tomorrow nights dinner;)