Sunday, December 12, 2010

Knowing and being Known

It seems that the holiday season always brings up memories (good and bad) of Christmases past. While decorating our tree I hung a painted sand dollar ornament that my dad gave to me the year after my parents separated. Surprisingly enough, I have fond memories of that Christmas. You see, my dad bought gifts for me, all by himself....and he got me all the things I loved. A puzzle, a book, a 'cat themed' ornament, and other stuff,I don't remember (I am no longer into cats...if anyone cares). I remember feeling known...and isn't that what we want when we receive a gift? We want the giver to know us. We don't want a sweater our grandmother would wear or a strange statue of Santa Clause.

I like to shop with this same attitude. And if I don't really know you, you're getting a gift card (sorry to spoil the surprise). I want my gift to say, "I know you," or "I like you enough to get you a gift card." I take the pressure off myself and you're not stuck trying to return an awful sweater. It's a win win!

Seriously, it's nice to look back at an awkward Christmas with a smile. Thanks dad, for knowing me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So much to be thankful for...

One year ago today, we drove our little princessa home from the hospital. I'm pretty sure about 10 minutes after we got home, I sent Adam to the pharmacy for her iron and vitamins and then proceeded to call my friend Amber and cry. "What were we doing?" "This is not a sure thing." "What if her mom decides to get her stuff together and we lose her?" Suddenly, having this little baby in our house was reality and ALL my fears came to the surface.

I don't remember what else happened that evening. We obviously fed her, changed her diaper and probably stared at her incessantly...wait that sounds just like today! :) What an amazing year you have given us Lucy Bear. We love you!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lucy's First Birthday!

Sorry....still no pics of Lucy...but I had to share some pics of the decorations and party! We had a "woodland" theme.

The stuffed owl was my one splurge item!

Granny came in August and helped make our Birthday Banner with her cricut.

I got these adorable favor boxes from Memorable Favors and put bird seed inside.

And of course the cake from Frosted.

We had a great time and hopefully next year you'll actually get to see a pic of the star of the show

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Realities of Foster Care

With the impending visit from Lucy's social worker tomorrow, I was prompted to relay one really harsh reality of fostering - APPOINTMENTS. Not once a month, no, not twice a month....but practically every week and sometimes twice a week we have an appointment with someone, simply because Lucy is in foster care. I have become a regular social secretary.

Lucy has had 7 appointments in the last 6 weeks, and has 4 more in the next 2 weeks. I appreciate that the court believes that these kids need multiple advocates to ensure they don't get lost in the system. I appreciate that Lucy is eligible for WIC and I don't have to buy formula. I appreciate that Lucy has health care that is paid for by the state. But all of these state run agencies are required to see my child WAY more often than necessary! Remember the dentist appointment? I still need to call and schedule her one year check up. yay.

Guest Blogger

Hey everyone!

Check out my guest blog today at

Can you believe it?!? Me either!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Saying Yes

Throughout our marriage Adam and I have generally been quick to say yes to the direction we feel like we're being led. It helps when the first major decision you make as a couple is to move away from home to help with a church plant. (We had been married about a minute and were the ripe old age of 20.)

And so, we set the course for our marriage. We are getting ready to embark on our 12th move in 13 years, we once owned a conversion van...with no kids, we started an adoption process to only watch it end in failure, we are now in the middle of an open CPS adoption and we're ready for a call to take 2 or 3 more. This by no means makes us some special breed of human....really you could surmise from these few facts that we're young and naive. It truly is God's grace and mercy that has made each crazy decision we've made work out. And I'll even say He gave us these crazy ideas. We've said no enough times to know that yes is much less scary.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How did we end up here?!?!

Lucy is quickly approaching her 1st birthday and of course I have been planning this birthday extravaganza since JUNE! What can I say? She's our first. Today, I was working on the guest list...dear Lord, help us all, there were 60 people on it! 60!!! I'm going to need everyone to bring their own cupcake and ice cream to afford this shindig!

Anyway...I digress. 8 people on this guest list are Lucy's biological relatives....holy cow, how did we end up here?!?! 9 months ago, when we received the call about this sweet baby girl in the NICU, if someone had told me this was going to be an OPEN adoption, I would have said, um thanks, but no. (Open meaning you meet the family members, closed meaning don't :) ) Through a crazy series of events Lucy will now have relationship with her Uncle, Aunt, 5 cousins and SISTER! While, I'm still apprehensive (and will be until the judge signs the papers and says she's ours) we've ended up right here in the middle of God's amazing, mysterious plan. I'm so thankful.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The challenging relationship called 'Friends'

So, I've wanted to talk about this subject for a couple of weeks, but honestly I still don't know exactly what I want to say. I was having a conversation with a friend about not having any friends. And it struck me so odd. Why is it that most women think they have no friends? Is our definition of friend incorrect? Are we expecting too much from the women in our lives? Are the women in our lives so needy that we are their friend, but would never consider them to be our friend?

So, I looked up the word friend. Here's what Webster has to say:
1 a
: one attached to another by affection or esteem b : acquaintance
2 a : one that is not hostile b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group
3 : one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
4 : a favored companion

Hmmm, I probably would not have defined friend like this. I would have said someone you can confide in, someone who knows you intimately, someone who's got your back in a time of crisis. None of this sounds like the definition above. This is a confidant, a family member, a spouse or...oh here it comes, wait for it....GOD.

Maybe, just maybe, we are seeking people to fill a void in our lives that is not for them to fill. Maybe, we have lots of friends, a few confidants and one true God who is always for us. Maybe all the whining and complaining about not having any friends to our friends should be a wake up call for adjusting our expectations and realigning ourselves with the one true friend, Jesus.

What's your definition of friend?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Urgently Pleading

This post is actually a couple of weeks old now...just deciding to actually hit the publish button.

Our pastor spoke on serving the poor this past Sunday and referenced the text 2 Corinthians 8, where Paul refers to the extreme poverty of the Macedonians yet "they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints." 2 Corinthians 8:4 NIV

This got me to thinking...."Do I urgently plead for the ANYTHING? Much less the poor?" So, I compiled a list of things I urgently plead for:

1. The guy in front of me on the freeway to go faster, or get out of my way!
2. For Lucy to go to bed, so I can be lazy and do what I want to do.
3. With myself to quit being so lazy and actually keep some semblance of a clean house.
4. Lucy to be with our family forever.
5. For each kid that comes through our children's ministry to know Christ before leaving us for Junior High.

Hmmm...I had 4 ME items before I ever got to urgently pleading for someone else....scary. Honestly, I don't want to work that hard. I don't want to be passionate about something, because then God might require some sort of action from me. It's WAY easier to be lazy, focus on myself and eat all the chocolate chip cookies I want. However, the payoff for laziness, self focus and self indulgence is well...myself. What a rotten payoff. Don't get me wrong the reason for doing what God asks isn't to 'get' something in return. But, I know from personal experience that God's reward is so much greater than the sacrifice and a heck of a lot better than anything I could do for myself.

So, what DO I want to urgently plead for? Yep, you got it....another list:

1. The Widow- I've been thinking about the 'widow' in James 1:27. Many Christian agencies use this as their "ministry verse,' in serving the orphan. But, what about the Widow? It's WAY easier to take home a cute little baby than to open your home to a divorced or elderly person who has been abandoned.
2. My 'kids.' All the kiddos I get to spend Sunday morning with. Not only do I want to plead for their salvation, but for joy and perseverance. I want them to know the vast love of the Father for them and really...they can get through ANY circumstance with Him.
3. Foster Children- This one was hard for me to articulate. While I am passionate about orphans and know that Adam and I will probably adopt internationally one day, I want to plead for foster kids. I want them to know the love of a family, to know acceptance and be protected from the insecurities that come from their circumstances.

I think that's a good start....I know this list will continue to grow....if I'm willing to step out and ask...the couch is still so tempting. :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Dentist

So, today, Lucy went to her first dentist appointment, at the ripe old age of 6 months, 2 weeks and 5 days old. Yep....we went to see the dentist. In case your wondering...she has NO teeth. Not one. However, in the state's infinite wisdom, all children on their health plan are required to see the dentist at 6 months old and every 6 months thereafter. It took me more time to take her in and out of the van, than actual face time with the dentist.

Rest easy folks, Lucy's soft palette looks great.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nothing to Say

Didn't mom always tell us "If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all?" I guess it's not really that I haven't had anything nice to say, it's more I haven't had anything positive to say.

So, after reflecting on the past CrAzY month, here are the positive things that happened:

1. I can no longer grind my teeth, because they are missing. Yep, major oral surgery will do that...take your teeth. No, I'm not missing ALL my teeth, just the three that I was very fond of grinding in my sleep. Who knew God was sneaky like that? Taking the teeth that I was taking my stress out on, so I would have to turn it over to Him...sneaky, I tell you.

2. We still have the most wonderful, amazing pleasure of raising Lucy. Court was well...not positive. Not negative...but just a new realization that Lucy is not "ours" and her fate really does lie in the hands of ONE judge. But, she's living with us right now. No person or fear can not take that away from us.

3. I'm one payment away from paying off my surgery from December. The Lord has totally provided...just in time for the new round of bills...ooops, that wasn't positive. But, I am SO very thankful to not be paying 2 of everything.

4. Last, but not least, I have the most amazing friends and family. Seriously....I lost count of the number of different soups that came home from the church with Adam and all the flowers, cards and phone calls (thanks Adam...for fielding those. I couldn't talk the first week.) I felt so loved. And in case you're wondering...I have THE best husband on the planet!

So, there...the positive. Think about your positive...your list of negative's will pale in comparison.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ah, the joys of foster care

As most of you know, we are adopting Lucy through the foster care system. The operative word in that statement is SYSTEM. There are so many rules, regulations and red tape that you could start seeing red if you lose sight of sweet Lucy Bear. I could make a ridiculously long list of all the rules that are crazy. However, rules are rarely created without purpose....'no, you can't put your child in a bumbo, on a table...they WILL fall out.' Thank you foster family #1276589 for making this rule possible. (Please don't misunderstand, I do appreciate that rules are necessary and am thankful that we have a system that cares enough to enforce the rules.)

Seriously, though. We had a licensing visit on Wednesday. Different from all the other social workers and child advocates who come through our doors, this was a visit to check on our adoption agency. Have they selected a safe home? Do we have all the proper documentation? etc, etc. We were warned that the licensing agent would make sure our knives were put away and that medications were in a padlocked box. Let me remind the reader that Lucy is 5 months old. If she can get to the utensil drawer or 6 feet tall bathroom cabinets, we've got bigger fish to fry.

So, being the rule follower that I am I purchased a padlock box and bag.

I loaded up the meds:
Adam set the codes for the padlocks and we were set. So for $50, Lucy can no longer access any of our medicine.

The lovely Ms. Johnson stopped by, an hour and a half early, I might add, and did she even ask where we kept the medicine? Open the drawer to see where the knives were? Make sure we had the safety latches on all the But everyone can rest a little easier knowing our house is a little safer thanks to foster family #342651 incorrectly installing a mobile over the crib and their foster child ending up with a face full of pooh-bear.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Finally....the small appliance portion of our show

I've always wanted a bread maker, so I decided with my Christmas money it was finally time to get one. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough money to get "The One". I actually only had $75.00. So, I had to go searching and found a "like-new" Cuisinart for 60 bucks on Craigslist! SCORE!

The sweet little couple I bought it from was moving back to Serbia, their visas had expired and they couldn't find jobs. :(

I've made LOADS of bread in the past few months, but I'm the most proud of my Grapefruit Marmalade!

Yep, made my own Grapefruit marmalade with my bread maker!! I actually used two separate recipes. One from the recipe book that came with the bread maker and one I found online. I still need to get the professional opinion from the Roddies, but I think the recipe from the bread maker is actually more I'll share that recipe with you...because I know you are all going to make your own now...yeah right.

I used 4 Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit from the valley, so they were SUPER fresh. (medium to large in size)

You'll also need 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup orgeat syrup (good luck finding it...I went to 4 different SPEC'S)
1 box powdered pectin

Peel grapefruit using a sharp knife.
Slice the bitter white pith from the peel, leaving just a thin layer on the peel. discard bitter white pith.Cut the peel into thin (1/8 inch thick) slices and place in a medium bowl.
Cut the grapefruit into sections, removing the membrane and seeds. Add the sections and any accumlated juices to the bowl. Stir in sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours-this is to tenderize the grapefruit peel.
Stir the orgeat and pectin into the macerated grapefruit peel and sections. Transfer to the bread pan fitted with the kneading paddle. Place the bread pan in the bread maker. Select Jam on the menu. Press Start. Scape the sides of the pan when tone beeps at 5 and 10 minutes into the cycle.

Transfer marmalade to clean jars. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate. Keeps refrigerated for 4-6 weeks. (I actually sealed my jars in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, so I could keep it in the pantry.)

One batch only made a pint and a half. It would be great in little jars to use as gifts.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lucy's Room

Lucy is almost 5 months old and I have FINALLY finished her room! We were so blessed to have someone give us a matching crib and changing table. (Thank you Roddies!) I picked up the Rocking Chair at Lowe's.

We got this cute little owl from here. It was really easy to put up...well it seemed easy...I watched Adam do it. :) We aren't allowed to hang a mobile or anything else for that matter over her crib.
This is Lucy's favorite spot! She loves looking at the butterflies and seeing herself in the mirrors.

I picked up these white frames at Hobby Lobby, and picked some fun fabric to create the "pictures."

The mobile I created over the rocking chair was inspired by this website. I covered some of the paper with the fabrics I used in the room.

Granny made the crib skirt and I made the curtains. (I was limited in design, because we need blackout curtains, too.)

Here's the fabric up close:
Lastly I picked up the curtain rod at Target and the rings at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

The paint color is Rejuvenate from Sherwin Williams. Adam balked at painting the whole room orange, but we both love it and Lucy does, too...we think. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Debt by Walmart

So, if you follow me on twitter or facebook, you know that I often refer to my neighborhood as 'the ghetto.' Is that an exaggeration...yes...but compared to the 'burbs where all my friends live it might as well be the ghetto. The police station, WIC office and Food Town are within walking distance. Because Food Town is so close, it has become my regular grocery store. The selection is not so great, they don't carry a wide variety of brands, the baby formula is kept behind lock and key, no one speaks English....BUT limes are 5 for a $1, avocados are 2 for $1. You can buy ANY pepper, mexican cheese or cut of meat imaginable, and chicken breast is regularly $1.99 a pound!

Recently, I've been shopping at Walmart because Lucy needs different bottles, or drop ins, or diapers or geez fill in the blank...Lucy NEEDS it! :) While I'm there I grab a 'few' groceries, which inevitably turns into my regular grocery shopping. I can not walk out of that store for less than 100 bucks (Lucy's NEEDS account for about 20% of that)! Maybe that's not much to you, but I rarely spend more than $50 at Food Town. And should I mention that Walmart has less and less selection...Great Value my foot.

So, while I can not officially write off Walmart...diapers are cheaper there. I will no longer be grabbing a 'few' groceries after visiting the baby department.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Silence is Golden

Silence. Peace & Quiet. Rest. All really great things that we haven't had too much of recently, thus the reason for the long pause on my blog.

Adam, Lucy and I had the privilege of being able to go back and visit all of our family and friends in Tennessee the weekend of Valentine's Day. We had a wonderfully exhausting visit and Lucy was quite the traveler. Not a peep or whimper one on the plane...not one!

She was a complete angel, slept through the night and didn't complain once about being passed around from stranger to stranger....that is until we got home. Poor child had been touched, held, patted and talked to until she was blue in the face. It was like a switch flipped the minute we deboarded the plane. A couple of people free days and some black-out curtains later and we are back on track.

We are very grateful for our family, but there's no place like place!

**Lucy update:
Lucy is up to 10.7 pounds! She's so petite and is still wearing newborn size bottoms. We have graduated to 3 month tops...unfortunately, that have matching 3 month bottoms. My poor child may be destined to wear one-piece outfits the rest of her life!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


If you've known me for very long, you know I'm a wannabe farmer who lives in the city with a husband who would rather starve than eat a vegetable.

My farmer persona likes to plant vegetables, herbs, flowers, anything that might grow. She also likes to make food from scratch (using small kitchen appliances, of course) and NEVER follows the recipe, exactly. In my former life, I'm convinced I was Laura Ingalls, I'm even the right size, half a pint.

Though, I'm not sure I would have survived without my gas oven, I'm 100% positive that Katie Riddle would have. She has inspired me to make my own cheese, pink pancakes and now roast my own coffee beans. (you can win green coffee beans from riddlelove and u-roast-em.)

You should check out Katie's blog, and you too can be Laura Ingalls. I'll share her for a moment, just one though.

Thursday, January 28, 2010's Thursday

Yes, I heart Thursdays. Most people live for Friday, the end of the week, the beginning of the weekend...but I live for Thursdays.

See, just like the months, leading up to Christmas, or the weeks leading up to your birthday, Thursdays offer the same sense of anticipation. Another work week almost complete and a day of rest is coming. favorite day of the week!

Lucy update: She can now rotate herself 90 degrees. Probably, because she never stops moving her legs when she's "playing" with her toys. We've finally graduated from newborn diapers ('bout time since she's going to be 12 weeks on Monday) and I pulled out the 0-3 month jammies tonight. So long sweet newborn phase, so long.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Awesome Husband

Usually, by this time in the evening, I'm on my way to dreamland....yes I have a two month old, and yes I have an awesome husband, thus the title of this entry.

You see one of the benefits to foster/adopting is that ANYONE can provide dinner. I totally lucked out with a night owl for a husband, so when Lucy wakes up, he's STILL up and I can go to bed at a decent hour. (Don't worry, I pull my weight at about 4AM. :) )

Unfortunately, this plan does not take into account the night owl getting sick. Poor guy....I've already sent him to bed, about 4 hours before his bedtime.

So, here we up past my bedtime, hangin' with Lucy and Adam, snoring in the next room.

Sleep well, babe and thanks for being a night owl!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome to 1999...

Well, here I am finally joining the blog community. I know, I'm 10 years late. Honestly? I'm not sure I've been super passionate about really I've spared you all the boredom of my mundane life.

But, here we are, and you're probably wondering, what's she got to blog about now? It seems in the past 2 months, I've been given enough material to last at least 3 posts. Mostly, I'll probably talk about random things like my love of kitchen appliances, or the latest achievement my 2 month old daughter is making (sans pictures, to be explained later.) You can count on adoption being a big subject and just normal life. Hopefully this will be a better documentation of watching Lucy grow up, than my memory is going to be and you and the grandparents can come along for the ride.