"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

We had a great day celebrating some of the greatest dads of all time.
We surprised Joel with a lunch of some of his favorite things.

 He has been wanting to learn to fly fish, so we got him a fly fishing rod.
 Cookie dough is in the inside of the cupcake.  Yum!  Joel loves chocolate chip cookie dough, so I knew he would love it.
 For lunch, I made these AMAZING ribs.  I have never made ribs before and they turned out perfect.  Check out the recipe here.  We also had sweet potatoes (another one of his faves)
 After celebrating Joel, we had to go different directions to celebrate our dads.  Joel went to his Dad's house and I went to mine with the boys.  Here is my amazing, wonderful Dad.
 Then, we celebrated three birthdays...Chad, Emily and Elliot.
We got home so late, but it was a wonderful day spent celebrating three amazing men!

Daddy x3

Happy Father's Day to the greatest Daddy to these three boys!
 Joel with Clayton
 Joel with Oliver
Joel with Elliot

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Nights

I love summer nights.  It cools down enough that we can be outside and play baseball, run in the water, ride bikes, sit on the porch and eat popcicles, take a walk....and we don't have to go to bed early.  

**Joel took over the camera here, so this picture is so dark.  I love the look on Els face, so I posted anyways**

More summer nights to come!


At Elliot's 2 year check-up, the pedi told me to start giving him Zyrtec everyday for his constant runny nose.  He said he more than likely had some allergies and it would clear it up.  I was hesitant to give him medicine every single day.  Those kinds of medications make me feel so loopy and I didn't want him feeling like this all day every day.  Thankfully, a friend of mine suggested raw local honey.  
I had never thought of or heard of this before.  Have you?
I then researched it and it totally made sense.  http://www.localhoneyblog.com/seasonal-allergies/local-honey-and-allergies.  We found a place that sells raw local honey right down the street from us.  So, we will be taking the zyrtec back to the store and trying this out first.  Hopefully, Els nose will stop dripping constantly.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Movie Day

Have I mentioned how abnormally HOT it is here?  102 degrees today and it is only June.  The pool is already feeling like a hot tub.  We have had a crazy busy week with basketball camp and swimming lessons, so today we played at home in the morning and then went to the dollar theater to see "Gnomeo and Juliett" in 3D.  This picture was too cute not to post.  
It was so cute!  I have never taken the boys to a 3D movie.  Oliver kept reaching his hand out trying to touch the images.  

Just a Swingin'

This boy could swing all day long.  Unfortunately, the 100 plus heat won't allow for this.  We spend the mornings and the evenings getting some swinging in.

Thank you, Nonna and Nonae for my new swingset.  It provides hours and hours of entertainment.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Swimming Lessons

For the past two weeks, Clayton and Oliver have been taking swimming lessons and today was the big show day.  Oliver has done so well this year.  He has learned to tread water, back float really well and he can swim all the way across the pool (the long way).  He also did a dive off the diving board.

 This will be Clayton's last year.  In his class, they learned more advanced things.  He could already swim well, but got more endurance on swimming laps, he learned the breaststroke and the backstroke.  He also learned how to do flips off the board and improved his dive.  

We are so blessed to have such a wonderful aunt that is such an amazing teacher.  Thank you Haw Haw for loving and teaching our boys how to swim!!

10 of my Favorite things

1. My Jo Totes Bag
I just got this for my birthday thanks to Mimi and Gongi and Suzanne and Lowell.  I am in LOVE.  It is a camera bag and a purse all in one.  I can now carry my camera everywhere without worrying about it getting ruined.  It can fit so much stuff in it and it is super cute.
I came home to find this super cute box sitting on my front porch.  So exciting!
 I had the most difficult time deciding on the color.  I had several people giving me input and unanimously the marigold bag won.  It is more of a mustard color.  
 Oh, and the inside...it is awesome.  Love the houndstooth and all the room.  It comes with all these pads and you can arrange it however you like.  I can even fit a diaper in here so I don't have to carry an extra bag for Els.

2. Kindle
I LOVE, LOVE to read.  Since we don't have a tv, I spend my evening relaxing with a good book on my kindle.  My parents got this for me for my birthday and it is AWESOME!  I have read so many books.  My sister and mom have been able to loan me several books so I haven't had to buy many.
3. Nike Running Shorts
I have one pair and I wash them every single day.  Another birthday present from my sis.  They are the best running shorts EVER!  One day I will invest in another pair.
4. Itouch and couch to 10k app
This is the best way to get yourself up and running.  You can listen to your music while the program lets you know when it is time to walk or run.  Greatness!
5. pioneer woman's chocolate sheet cake
If you have never had this, you are missing out BIG TIME!  I forgo the nuts in the recipe because my family does not like them, but it is AMAZING!!  Plus, I always have most of the ingredients on hand at any given moment.http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/the_best_chocol/
6. Clothes line
It is strange that this is one of my favorite things because I HATE doing laundry.  It would be on my top 10 least favorite things.  But, the clothes line, I love.  I love that I can hang something out there for an hour or so and it is dry.  Cloth diapers look super cute hanging out on the line.
7. My Minivan
Yes, you got that right!  I am a minivan loving momma!  Our car killed over in March and I was so upset. Not the best time for our paid off car to die.  The cost to repair it was way more than it was worth.  So, we headed to the lovely carmax and drove away with a minivan.  It took me months to get over the grief of going back to a car payment, but now that I am over it, I LOVE it!!  The kids fit so well in it, the doors slide open with the push of a button.....oh, greatness!
8. Diet Dr Pepper
Need I say more...
9. Peanut M&Ms and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
I couldn't split these two up because they are equally awesome in my book.
10.  Netflix and Hulu.   I can pretty much keep up with some of my favorite shows (i.e. Glee, Modern Family) and either watch it on my itouch or on our laptop.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

40 before 40

Since I only have six years until 40, some of these things I need to get started on.  As fast as time flies in the house, I know it will be here all too soon.

1. Run a half marathon (already making progress)
2. Fit in my wedding dress (I don't want to get married again, I just want to say that I can fit in it.  How nice it would be to fit in the same dress I wore when I was 22 when I am in my mid-thirties.  Already working on this with weight watchers and running).
3. Make a comforter for our bed.  http://kojodesigns.blogspot.com/2010/12/kojotutorial-anthropologie-inspired.html  This is the one I plan on making.  It may take me awhile, but I LOVE it and can't wait to get started.
4. Take the family to Disney World.  This is more long-term.  We want to go when Annie is around 5.
5.  Have a garden in my backyard.  This will be a tough one since I do not have a green thumb at all, I kill everything I plant.  But, it is a goal even if it is just an herb garden.
6. Sponsor a well for a community in Africa.  Nearly 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water which is the cause of many diseases.  www.thewaterproject.org 
7.  Use my passport 

Only 33 more goals to go.  Whew!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moments of Anxiety

The past couple of weeks, I have had moments of anxiety surrounding our adoption.  We have not moved one space on the waiting list which means there have been no baby girl referrals since we have been DTE.  Thankfully these moments have been just moments....fleeting moments.  I just breathe deep, pray, and listen for God's voice.  We are a part of a yahoo group for people that are adopting through AWAA and from Ethiopia.  We are all in the waiting process, whether it be in the paperchasing process, waiting for referral process, waiting for court date, or embassy.  Most of the time the information is so helpful, and some of the information is too much and makes me anxious and forgetful that God has a plan.  This past week, someone posted something that really helped me and I hope she doesn't mind that I am posting this here.  Hopefully it will help someone else on an adoption journey or any other journey in life.  It really spoke to me.

**A.W. Tozer said, "most people gaze at circumstances and glance at God.  We need to gaze at God and glance at circumstances."  When we are gazing at God the view is GREAT and the peace is amazing.  God has put adoption on each of our hearts for a reason.  He may work out the circumstances in a totally different way than we thought but He's still moving and working out His plan for us.  God's plan is like a current.  We can exhaust ourselves swimming trying to get where we feel we should be in the quickest way possible.  Or we can swim with the current headed to the place He is bringing us.  And the best part?  When you're going with the current sometimes you can just flip over and float along while the current does the work for         

I love that!  So, I am trying to set some goals this year to take my mind off the wait.  I am not meaning that I will not be in prayer for the wait and for our daughter, just keeping my mind on the here and now and letting God take me to the place He is leading me day-by-day.  

#1.  I am training for the White Rock Half Marathon.  I cannot believe I am saying this!!!  I have never been a runner.  Currently I am doing the couch to 10k program and then will start the actual marathon training in September.  My SIL and my friend Lisa both talked me in to this.  

#2.  Both me and Joel are coming up with a list of goals (short and long term goals) for the next 6 years.  40 goals before we turn 40.  A friend of mine did this and I have been wanting to do it too.  Setting our goals will help us actually reach the things we want to do.  some of them may be small goals and some a little bigger.  So far I have only come up with six things.  Guess I better get to work.

#3.  Soaking up the time I have with my kids this summer.  Enjoying every moment God has given me with these boys.  I am so thankful for them!  I am reading a book called Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas and the current chapter I am reading is about leaving a legacy.  How 80% of the things we focus our time and energy on will be gone and fade away as soon as we die....what house we live in, how thin we are, what clothes I wear, where I work, how much money we make, how clean my house is or not clean.  The other 20% is the time I spend focused on my family and my children.  It should be flip-flopped.  I should spend 80% of my time and energy on my children and leaving a legacy that will last for generations to come.

Big Boy

Do you notice anything about this picture?  Anything that might scream "BIG BOY!"??
Hint:  Take a look at his mouth.
No more PACI!!!  I didn't give it to him for his nap and he fell sound asleep.  No crying.  Then at night, he asked for it one time, I ignored it and kissed him and then he fell asleep and I had to wake him up at 830 this morning.    No crying at all.  I am so proud of him!  I am a little sad because it means he is not a baby anymore.  He has not asked for it one time today.  I can't believe it was that easy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Let's Go MAVS!!!!

This is game 6 of the NBA finals and we were lucky enough to get tickets to the Mavs watching party at the American Airlines Center.  The tickets sold out in an hour.  There were 20,000 fans ready to cheer on the mavs.  It was INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!  My whole (well, minus chad) family came and our friends Phil and Courtney.  Sadly, Phil had to sit next to the only Heat fan in the stadium.  Who does that?  Who comes to a MAVS watching party when you are cheering on the other team.....oh, well, he had to walk out of that place in shame while wearing his heat shirt.  HA!

The boys had so much fun.  Oliver got a little tired towards the end.
 Emily and Macey.
 Jenni and Tim
 Courtney and Phil
 Nonna and Clayton
 Can you believe how packed this house is?  It was loud and crazy!
 Let's Go MAVS!!!

 Olivia and Erin.  Olivia loved watching the Mavs dancers.  She was just dancing the night away.  I would have been doing the same thing when I was her age.
 Me and C.

 Check that out!  What an incredible game for an incredible team!
 When they won, there were streamers falling from the ceiling and people going wild.  It was so much fun to be around all the fans!  

It was crazy getting out of there.  Horns were honking, people cheering.  I what awesome to be apart of it!
Both boys crashed on the way home.
Way to go Mavs!  NBA National Champions.  We will never forget this night!