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

Friday, November 29, 2013

Trimming the Tree

The tradition continues.  The day after Thanksgiving is our big decorating party.  The boys will not let me forget this day as they have been reminding me for two weeks about the party.  We always did this as a family when I was growing up and the tradition continues with us.  The boys were so into it this year.  I hardly had to lift a finger.  The boys really wanted to set up my Christmas Village, so I let them.  

 Joel was busy trying to fix the lights on our fairly new tree.  
 We always have a shirtless boy.   He was pants-less too, but I asked him to at least put pants on for pictures.  Els was the same way, but he let me put jammies on him!

 I love how Elliot showed us every single ornament before he hung it.  "Look at this one"  "This one is my favorite" "Oh, this one is so pretty".  I love Christmas through their eyes.
 Our traditional feast of junk food!  The BEST!

 We even had a shirtless Santa.  Strangely, I could not find our traditional lime sherbert for our punch, so we had orange.

We are already for Christmas now!  The boys did such an amazing job decorating the house.  Hopefully, they will be all gung ho when it is time to take it down!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cousins and Santa

I love how Gigi (my mother-in-law) loves tradition and has instilled so many fun memories into her children and is also making them with her grandchildren.  I don't brag on this woman enough.  She is amazing, loves the Lord and loves her family more than anything in the world.  She would do ANYTHING for us!  ANYTHING.  She is giving and she is full of grace.  I am so blessed to have her as my mother-in-law and the grandmother for my children.  Not many can say this.  
Anyways....every year we do a Cousins photo with Santa.  Same Santa, just more kids added in.  The Santa photo is really blurry, but this is the first year that not one kid shed a tear.  It was perfect.  We had a fun, loud lunch with all 10 cousins.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


We decided this year to do an Operation Christmas Child box.  I thought the boys would pick a boy box to do because it would be someone like them, but they decided to do a box for a little girl "like Annie" (cue the tears).  After school, we headed to Target to load up our box.  I envisioned this happy shopping trip with happy boys picking out these gifts.  But, let's get real here.  We had fighting over which socks, which outfit, which doll, whose pushing the cart, whose touching who....my visions...SHATTERED.  By the time I got in the car, I just wanted to cry.  But, we got home and packed the box together.  Elliot truly thinks this box is going to Annie.  Oliver insisted on getting this Sophia the First doll to put in there.  We tried to find other dolls, but this was the one he wanted to put in the box.  I think they just each had such strong opinions on what this little girl would like that it caused some tension.  Next year, we will do three boxes.  

I did feel defeated and wasn't sure that they even grasped the concept of giving until Oliver's teacher sent me his writing assignment.  

Cue more tears.
I am so thankful that God has blessed us so that we can give.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cutting Back

This one is so hard for me.  My love language is gifts.  I love giving gifts and I love receiving gifts.  But, after our sermon series this last month called "Possessed" which was all about materialism and collecting more and more stuff, I have felt convicted to cut back this Christmas.  I always go way overboard.  Last year, I think my kids had 15 gifts each (not all big gifts, but still) from just us (I know...sad).  It just love giving gifts to my kids and family.  My kids have EVERYTHING they could ever possibly want.  So, this year I am sticking to 5 gifts.  Something they WANT, Something they NEED, something to WEAR, and something to READ.  And the fifth that doesn't rhyme...something to GIVE.  I am almost done with their Christmas shopping and I have been online looking at more and more stuff that they WANT.  I am so tempted to just keep buying.  "It's only $10 more dollars", "It is just one more little thing", "I can just sneak it in their stocking"....this is sooooo hard for me. My heart is racing just trying to control myself.   I want them to be happy.  I want them to get everything on their lists.  But, what am I teaching them?  They are learning to be possessed by their possessions.  They are learning that they get whatever they ask for.  They are learning all of the habits that it has taken me years to unlearn and still daily struggle with.  I want them to learn that we are richly blessed and everything we have is God's and that everything we have beyond our daily needs being met is excess.  We need to bless others with that excess and not collect more and more stuff for ourselves.

Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

15 more Days!

 Only 15 days left until my half marathon and I think I am ready!  Last week I ran 13.31 miles.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done.  My legs are still trying to recover.  I have been taking it easy this week.  I don't want to be injured before the big day!  This is something I never thought I could do.  If you are not a runner, but want to run....you can do it.  All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and just go.  I texted Joel when I was a mile away from the house and told him to go outside to cheer for me.  I needed that.  I burst into tears when I finished.  Not because I was hurt, but it was such a big deal that I did it.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Heart

Photo by Jenni Kimbrell

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy 14th Anniversary!!

To the love of my life!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Almost there!

 I cannot believe I can run 11 miles.  I have never considered myself an athlete.  I still have a hard time considering myself a runner because I just don't see myself that way.  Nonetheless, I ran 11 MILES!!  I have 36 days left until the half marathon and I am so close.  This was hard, but I know I can do it!  The humidity made it much more difficult!  I am experiencing some severe runner's toe which is when your underneath your toenails turns black.  It looks gross and is quite painful.  I have three toes that have fallen victim.  I never realized how often my kids step on my toes until just recently.  It HURTS!  My shoes fit fine.  I have done a lot of reading on it, and it is just something that happens when you run long distances, especially when you are new at it.  Poorly fitting shoes could also do it, but my toes have plenty of room in my shoes.  Maybe it is the shoes.  I don't know.  I could just paint them and try and ignore that it is there, but the nurse in my likes to assess them for any changes!!!  Thankfully, it does not hurt when I run.  Just when my kids step on them or I hit my toe against them.  When I am not running, I spend a lot of time in flip flops.  My legs feel great after running....it's just those toenails.  Next week...12 MILES!  Hopefully, I will be running with my sidekick and not alone.  So much easier to run with a buddy!

Friday, November 1, 2013

31 months

We have been waiting for 31 months.  It seems silly for me to be keeping track, but I have done it for so long, it is just what I do.  "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps" Proverbs 16:9.  I was talking to a friend of mine about my half marathon and she said to just focus on the mile you are on.  Don't look at the total amount because it will seem too hard.  I can use this same advice for our adoption journey.  Focus on where the Lord has me now and not look at the whole journey because when I do, I get discouraged.  I can look at all the months behind me and see how far we have come.  We are 31 months closer to Annie!