Wednesday, December 29

Happy Birthday Jesus

The holiday was a little crazy this year. With Phillip's sisters in town and trying to figure out what our family traditions are going to be we got a little side tracked and didn't get to accomplish everything we wanted to this holiday. We are trying to change the face of Christmas for our family. We want to really try and capture the real meaning of Christmas and not get lost in the commercialized part of Christmas. It is so easy to get wrapped up in gift, parties and dinners and completely over look the fact that it is a day set out of the year celebrate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This year attending our churches Christmas Eve service to worship our Lord and acknowledge him was extremely important to me. I want my boys to understand Christmas and have a heart for the real meaning. And at the same time enjoy family and all the festivities it brings. I also wanted to have a Birthday party for Jesus. Shamefully I got wrapped up in trying to prepare my first big holiday meal and gift exchanges that we pushed it off and didn't do it. I have felt funky the last couple of days for not doing this so tonight we did. While Phillip cooked us a yummy dinner the boys and I baked Jesus his cake. After it cooled Beckham and I decorated it. We had to sing Happy Birthday twice because mid song the first go around Beckham blew the candle out and Parker had a  mini melt down. So.... we lit the candle again so Parker could have a turn blowing it out.  And then we devoured it. My little guys have a sweet heart for Jesus and I want to nurture that and keep it alive.

getting ready to bake

sharing the cake batter

Finger Prints

I mailed off our application for our I600a at the beginning of the month and I have finally gotten something back from the US Department of Homeland Security!! YAY! I know it is a small step forward but right now any step is very exciting for me. We have to go all the way to Lubbock to get our finger prints done. It seems crazy that we have to go all the way there but I guess its better then going to Dallas or Houston for it! Our appointments are set for January 13. My appointment is for 2pm and Phil's at 3pm. I always like getting to go to Lubbock anyways. I now have a reason to hit some of my favorite junk stores and boutiques.

Tuesday, December 28

Skating is Scary

Parker...well today we are Larry Boy... was given some skates that a friend was going to donate. He loves the idea skating but not actually skating. Here is a little clip of our version of skate lessons.

Pause my music and turn your volume up to hear the videos. 

We will give the skates a rest for now. Maybe in a couple of days he will be a little less chicken. 

Sweet Friend

We are so blessed to have the friends we have. Not only are Phillip and I friends with them but our kids are great friends too! It is so cute to see them together. They are both little mini clones of their daddies. Its funny to see them playing and picture them as adults. I hope their friendship lasts a lifetime. Here are some fun pictures I have taken this month during our play dates.

They wanted to go swimming but it was about 40 degrees outside so they went swimming in the bath tub. This is them drying off by the fire after their swim. 

While I was trying to gather clothes and get lunch together this is how we found them. They took the top off of the train table and were standing in the frame naked. Silly Babies. 

Poop Camp Round Two

In November I started Potting TRaining was hard....but easier than Parker. After throwing away countless pairs of underwear because I refuse to wash squished poop out of little boy underpants he now poops like a big boy! PTL!!! You may remember this post if you have been following me since I first started a blog back in 2008. Well here is round two of our Poop Camp.

Beckham thinks he is so awesome in his underwear. He is definitely proud! What took me 4 months to do with Parker took me 3 weeks with Beckham he is a Champ!!

Keeping my mind busy

Since our dossier is officially on it's way to Ethiopia (as of 12-20) my mind has been going crazy. With things getting more and more complicated over there my heart is afraid. I am afraid that I wont be able to rescue the little one I feel God has shown my heart to love. There are 7 families ahead of us for an infant girl. I am not sure how many of those families are set on infant or how many are like us and are open to infant to age 3. I am hoping not many. God has been giving me dreams of her and in those dreams so seems toddler aged. I don't really know what age she will be or what she looks like but God does and she will come in his perfect timing. Watching friends go and meet their kids and get approved at court is hard. It hurts. It's strange how you can hurt and rejoice all at the same time. It is very exhausting and confusing. So to keep my self from wallowing around in my funkiness I have been working on crafts/projects and reading books. I have to keep my mind from feeding my flesh. My flesh is EVIL and I have to keep it in line. Here are some things that have been keeping me busy.

I made this lamp to go on my cute stripe piece of furniture Phillip got me for my anniversary last year. I love it and I love making them. I made one for my mom and for my nanny for Christmas.

I painted this painting for a friend. Her son is getting a bedroom make over. She is doing the super cute dino stuff from PBK and asked me if I could copy one of their painting that was way too much $$$. I tried my hand at it and I think it turned out pretty cute! I hung it in my playroom while we waited for Christmas to roll around. She didn't want her son to find it. I loved it so much in my playroom I am thinking about making myself one ;)

I have had this cute little side table in my attic for over a year. I knew I wanted it and I wanted to put it in a special place. I never had a vision for it until now! I painted it bright yellow and put it next to my red sofa chair in our playroom. I think it looks so sweet in there. It is a perfect place to set our books after storytime. 

I have still been making headbands to raise money for adopting families. It was crazy this month trying to get them all done. 

I started a new book and it is so good! I will probably blog about it more once I get more into it. I am only the first chapter ;)

December in a lump post

December has been so busy. So busy that everything thing kept creeping up on me with no warning and I was left planning parties the week of or even a couple of days before. It was a fun filled month with a lot of fun memories and completed goals. We have had some BIG moments this month.

We kicked the month off with a fun and memorable Life Group Christmas Party where we ate lots of yummy food and played an embarrassing and entertaining game of charades.

The very next night we celebrated Phillip's Graduation! Finally after 6 long years he has graduated college. I get my husband back in the evening and the boys get their daddy back. It is going to be so great to have him home with us every night. He is excited to get to come home have a real meal (not a bag of trail mix with a water bottle while driving down the highway to Odessa), he gets to play with the boys, bathe them and tuck them in at night. It is very exciting. We celebrated here at our house with some of our family and very close friends. It was a blessing to have them celebrate with us. A few of us toasted Phillip with words of encouragement and praise for all of his hard work. My speech was  a big giant tear fest with the ugly cry face and all a little emotional. I had been crying all week because I was so excited to get to have my husband home in the evening for the first time in our marriage.

Its offical!
My speech
Larry giving Phillip a word 

Daniel Sharing a word God gave him for Phillip. It was POWERFUL

The next weekend I help host a shower at my house for a special friend that just recently adopted a 15 yr old girl out of our foster system. She already had 6 kids and is pregnant with her 7th. Two of her children are biological, one adopted from here, one adopted from Liberia, two fostered and one on the way and now a teenager!!  She has an amazing heart and it was an honor to get to bless her and her new addition with some things they need and to just show her new teenager how loved she is and how excited we are to have her here.

I think I have to cover her face because the adoption isn't final yet.  
All of the Yummy Food. 
Some of the people who came to show their love and support. 

In the middle of the week we had several company parties and bunco nights. Also, I was finally able to get all of our paper work done for our adoption. It only took me 4 months. (hear the sarcasm in my voice) But now I am finished with this part. We are paper ready and waiting on a referral. Which is a whole 'nother post.

The day before Christmas Eve Phillip and I got to help watch my friends kids while they traveled to Ethiopia to meet their little ones for the first time and have their court hearing on the 27th. It was a lot of fun. They played here at our house with our boys while I got ready for the day then we took all four boys to Mr. Gattis for some Pizza and Games. Taking our 4 boys to a place like that is an adventure!! They had a blast! We wanted to do something special since their parents were going to be gone for 8 days. We wanted to keep their mind off of missing them. I think that this was pretty effective! They are pumped and full of energy!!

The week of Christmas we flew Phillips sisters here to spend the Holiday with us. It is always great to have them here. We had Christmas eve at my parents house. We shared a BIG and YUMMY meal then we all attended the Christmas Eve service at our church together. It was a FULL house at the 5 o'clock service. They had to bring in extra chairs and there were still people standing. It was an amazing service. Then we went back to my mom's and exchanged all of our gifts with each other. I always love getting to see the kids get excited over their new toys. That night was hilarious when we got home. On the way back to our house Parker (4) kept looking our the car window for Santa and his sleigh. He kept telling us he needed to hurry home and get in bed so Santa would come. He thought he was hearing jingle bells and would panic. It was too cute. We rushed home, put on our special Christmas jammies, sprinkled reindeer food in the lawn (consisted of oatmeal and red glitter) and tucked him in his bed. He was out cold in 5 minutes. So sweet.

I am so sad that Christmas day I didn't take ANY pictures!!! I can't believe it!!! I even made my very first Turkey and Dressing and I didn't take pictures :(! I am so bummed. But we do have over an hour of video footage of Christmas morning. We definitely had a blessed holiday.

We got word yesterday that our friend passed court and the birth mother met with them and gave them her blessing. I cant wait for her to get home so I can hear all the details! I am still a bit jealous I couldn't go on this trip too.
The adoption isn't final until January 4th. Until then I put show their face. 

We are looking forward to 2011 and all that it has in store.

Monday, December 13

State Seal

I received our State Seal of our Adoption this morning!! I am ecstatic!! I will be mailing it overnight to our agency and to the Stork in Washington DC to be authenticated. We are officially ready to accept a referral and be submitted to court once we do!

Monday, December 6

Dossier Complete!!

It's official I have gathered and completed every step required for our dossier. Man, it feels good! I hope I have everything right and it won't be reject or sent back. Crossing my fingers. I will send off the cover sheet and the power of attorney today to be authenticated with the State Seal.  I think that will take a week or two. I hoping for only a week. ;) It is starting to feel more real. We are one step closer to meeting our little Emerson.

Thursday, December 2

He Was Willing.... Are We?

What does it take to open the eyes of those who are hardened to the least of these? When we are open what are we going to do? What are we willing to do? It is so easy to say that we will bring change and we will rescue those in need and those who are left abandoned but are we really.  How many times do we let life get away with us and loose site of the calling... the commandment. When it comes down to it are we really willing? Are we willing to lay down all of the desires we have for our lives? All of the goals and the dreams that we had for our future? Are we willing to not indulge in the things of this world in order to have the resources to rescue those who are left hopeless and with out life? Is the sacrifice to big for us to do it? I struggle with some of these questions and thoughts and at times my flesh is groaning from the pain of it being torn off from my body.  My flesh tells me its not worth the stress, tears, the heart ache and the burden. My spirit is screaming to press on. To persevere. This video is amazing and it moved me. Please take the time to view it. It is for sure worth 8 min of your time. 

Tuesday, November 30

Thankfulness and Feasting

This thanksgiving we had a lot to be thankful for. We are very happily married, we have two very handsome boys, we have a fun family, a loving church family, the greatest friends anyone could ask for and way more than we need. I was reflecting on thanksgiving day on all that God has done for us since last Thanksgiving. He has done a lot.  He has done some huge things and some small things. All very important and meaningful. Some of the small things but still just as important as the big things include:

Me being 15-20 lbish lighter than last than last year (depending on the day of course)
Phillip being in the best shape he has been in a long time
Parker loving and thriving at his school
Beckham being 80% potty trained (we have good and bad days)
Beckham also loving and thriving at his new school
New friends
New members of the family
New volunteer opportunities with the Junior League of Midland

And some of the Huge things I am Thankful for:

Phillip & I's baptisms and our new unity in Christ
Our Best Friends/Family not by blood but by spirt adopting the two most beautiful Ethiopian Princesses
Another great friend conceiving the daughter God promised her 4 years ago
Our little Ethiopian Princess Emerson God has placed on our hearts
God stripping me of my rotten flesh and refining my heart
Phillip's graduation on Dec 11th!!!!!

I know I am leaving some things out. God has blessed us immensely, it is hard to get it all in on paper. We are so undeserving of our blessings. But I am eternally grateful for them.

We celebrated Thanksgiving this year for a whole week. We kicked it off with Parker school feast. I love Parkers little school. I am so grateful that God has allowed us to put our babies there. Here are some clips & pics of his Thankful Feast as he calls it.

I forgot to take pictures of Thanksgiving day! Booo!!! I am rotten I know! But we celebrate it with Phillips side of the family. We had lots of yummy food and I got a to take an awesome 2 hour nap with little B.

On Friday we drove to Weatherford and spent the day with my mom's side of the family. It was great to see all of my cousins and meet my second cousin Ella. She is great! I just love her! I wish we lived closer.

My cousin Eric, Phillip and my cousin Keith doing the dishes for us ladies.
My mom and her grand babies and my Aunt Jeanie and her sweet Ella
Me and my Dad
My Nannie and Papa and their great grand babies
Enjoying each other
My kids with my neice and my cousin's daughter Ella

On the Saturday following Thanksgiving we headed into Fort Worth to take the boys to the Zoo. We had a blast! They loved it. After the zoo we met up with my aunt and uncle and cousins for dinner at PF Changs (Yummy) then my cousin Eric and his wife Natalie went with us to the Gaylord Texan for a fun and freezing night at ICE. 

My sweet Beckham... my camera died after this shot bummer...

These little guys were made entirely of ice! It was awesome!

9 degrees is too cold for these boys!

sweet Ella!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend as well.