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Monday, December 22, 2008

Let the fun begin

I have been thrilled for this week to begin. There is much to look forward to . . . and it all began today. Holden and I went to a birthday party for Jesus this morning and had a lot of fun with other moms and kids. Then, tonight we drove through a local park to see Christmas lights. I took Holden out of his carseat as Jeremy drove through because it really was a sight! The place was covered in lights. And Holden did say “ooooh”. I’m pretty positive that he was impressed by the display. I love going to see Christmas lights. Growing up, it was an annual event in my family. But since this month has flown by, we were really getting down to the wire. So I’m very glad we got out tonight to see the lights. Here are a few pictures from tonight.
Holden is his snowman jammies. Because it is so cold here!

Holden giving nice, slobbery filled kisses. Slobbery, yes. But so so sweet!
Jeremy reading “The Night Before Christmas” to Holden.
Tonight was sort of our Christmas Eve. When Jeremy gets home tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, we will do Christmas with just the 3 of us. Which brings more exciting events. Tomorrow, Holden and I will be making cookies for Santa. Ok, Holden probably won’t be participating much in the baking. Not this year. Despite the fact that my husband finds this absolutely ridiculous that we are leaving Santa cookies and egg nog (since Holden is only 7 months old), we are still going to do it! I’m telling you – traditions are starting this year! Did I mention that Santa is coming during Holden’s afternoon nap? It was most convenient for us this year. And I’m pretty sure that growing up, we never had Christmas at our house on Christmas day. So Santa comes whenever you want him to. Tomorrow should be a fun day.
I have also been so excited to have all of my family together. We are traveling to my parent’s house in Texas on Christmas Eve. Both of my sisters and their families will be there and I am expecting a very fun week with the fam. Lately I have just been almost giddy about this week. Many pictures to come!

December 2007 to December 2008

On Sunday Jeremy and I were discussing last December. We were talking about where we were at this time last year with our situation and desire for children. December was better than the previous months. In December, we felt hope. If you would have asked me in January of 2007 if I would have a child by the next December. I would have been certain of it. But as the month crept closer, I knew that it wouldn’t be a possibility. But December was also the deadline we set. God had been drawing us towards adoption for years, but more seriously the last 6 months of last year. So last December, we excitedly committed to adopt. And in May, 5 short months later, God blessed our socks off! And so, on Sunday I laughed and said – I’m glad we never got pregnant. And Jeremy smiled and agreed. It was a sweet moment. We just can’t imagine life without our Holden. I’m thankful that God continued to have us wait, because He had a better plan for us. Not only a plan that would fulfill our hearts longing, but a plan for a baby boy and possibly an overwhelmed mother. And sometimes I am amazed that He chose us!
In the midst of all of it, God changed our thinking, He changed our hearts and He changed our plans. My vision for my family looks different now. And it’s more beautiful than what I originally had in mind. Oh my, how life can change in just 1 year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

My sister told me about the website above. I really wasn’t sure if it would be my thing, but decided to give it a look. And I have to say that I really, really like it. You choose a “meal plan”, like regular, low-carb, low fat, even weight watchers. Then for $5 a month, this nifty little site plans your meals for the month and gives you a weekly shopping list. It has been so helpful and very affordable! It’s not those recipes that call for 17 things that you don’t already have. You can specify for a family of 2 or 4 and maybe even more, I’m not sure. I have tried it for 3 weeks now. The best thing is just the variety that it brings to the table. There have been times that we have eaten so much chicken and fish that it just made dinner so boring. But this has just added lots of variety to our dinners. And I have noted some good recipes. Many that we will do again and again. In fact, as a sneak peak, I will share with you my favorite recipe thus far.
Creamy Crockpot Chicken
1lb of skinless boneless chicken breast
1 can FF cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. RF cream cheese
1 packet of Good Seasons dry Italian seasoning mix
1 cup of dry white wine or cooking wine.
Pour all ingredients into crockpot (excluding chicken) and whisk ingredients together. Add chicken and turn crockpot on low. Cook for 6 hours. Serve over rice.

Now, Jeremy normally won’t eat cream cheese, but actually really liked this one. And since I did my meal plan for two people this particular recipe had everything halved; like ½ lb of chicken, half a can of soup and so on. I just doubled it and we had it 2 nights in a row. Who wants half a can of soup lying around.
So that’s my plug for Some tasty meals, variety to dinner time, very affordable shopping lists and easy planning for your week. Click here to check it out! I realize at this point that I kind of sound like an infomercial. For the record, I am not being paid to say any of this.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Diversifying the Décor

Last year I really wanted to buy a nativity scene after Christmas. I didn’t get myself into the stores in time and so I never found what I wanted. And I am sort of glad it happened that way. After Christmas last year, we didn’t have Holden and now I am more aware of the white world we live in. So recently I have had my eyes peeled for a darker-skinned nativity scene. One that would be more accurate to how I imagine them. I mean, I think that we can safely assume that Jesus and that bunch were not light skinned. I assume that Jesus looked more like Holden than Jeremy. And obviously this is more important to me now, because of Holden and our future children. For some reason, I just want my house to reflect the same diversity that my family is reflecting.
But this weekend I wandered over to Cracker Barrel because I always find cute Christmas things there. And so I have to show you may latest purchase for our tree.
Isn't he cute? And I have to mention the ornament was only $1.50. So if your family looks like mine, go get you one, or two or three. They had a little girl caroler too!
And I still haven’t found the darker-skinned nativity scene. So if you have any ideas for me, please do comment!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hello Santa.

On Saturday, Holden had his first ever visit with Santa Claus. When we placed him in his lap, he took a good long look at that white bearded face. He was a bit dazed in the picture as he had fallen asleep on our drive to meet Santa. So even though Jeremy was making all kinds of obnoxious noises behind the photographer, we received no smiles. Our son is so convenient in that way!
So, picture with Santa - check. Done! Mark it off the list.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If you're happy and you know it -

Yes, Holden has learned to clap. Oh what a fun age! It really really is!
watching mama clap and trying to play along.

Muscle Man!

Here is our muscle man. So, he is a heavy weight. People don’t think he is that heavy, until they hold him or pick him up. If only I could hide it so well! But like I have been saying, the boy is solid. See for yourself. I’m telling you all – I see football in his future.
I think here he is saying, "Check out these guns!"
*And no, I don't do cloth diapers. This is just a cute little diaper cover that someone gave to me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It’s beginning to look a lot like . . .

CHRISTMAS!! Well, it’s looked like Christmas at our house for almost 2 weeks now. We put up our holiday décor the Sunday before Thanksgiving, just because we knew that we would be wiped out from our Thanksgiving travels. And boy, were we! We didn’t even travel around so much, but Holden and I brought home bad colds (that we still haven’t completely knocked). So I’m glad the decorations went up early. Holden got in on the decorating action. Well, not exactly. He watched from afar. And as I have said in a previous post, I am kind of glad that he isn’t mobile yet. So I can determine his proximity to the tree and the shiny ornaments that I’m sure look so tempting for his little hands to grab.
You may have noticed that I sacrificed my spot on the mantel. We need new stocking holders . . . and now matching stockings for that matter.
So shiney! And even looks like a toy.

We even did a little decorating in his room, though there isn’t much space to add much.
Merry Christmas! I hope you are all able to relax and enjoy this season and its true meaning.
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15

Monday, December 1, 2008

7 months

Well, here is Holden at 7 months. I honestly can’t believe that he is already 7 months old. And I have this feeling that May 1st will be here in the blink of an eye. I know that time is not traveling faster than it has in the past, though it sometimes feels as if that is indeed the case here. I am just watching my little boy grow and develop by leaps and bounds. And then I begin to think . . . wasn’t he just a tiny baby that couldn’t even lift his head . . . that would fall asleep after drinking an ounce of formula . . . that I thought would never grow into his 0-3month clothes. And literally overnight (or approximately 210 nights) he is 7 months old. This was a very special month for us as we finalized our adoption. Holden has been 100% our son since the day we brought him home and so we have never wavered from that. But this month, it legally became official.
Onto what Holden has been up to this month. He is now completely sitting up without support. He has learned that bath time is so much more fun when you can sit up and SPLASH!
He loves to “swim” on his belly, but is not up and crawling yet. Jeremy is SO ready for him to crawl and I am kind of hoping for a peaceful Christmas with no ornaments being ripped off the tree. I can wait another month to see him crawling. But he is scooting backwards, as evidence of this picture I took a few weeks ago. He started out playing by the stacked rings. It must be so frustrating to travel away from your toys!
Speaking of the rings. This month I realized that he is kind of boyish. Yeah, I know that’s probably good since he is a boy and all. But I hand him a toy such as this one and he slings the pieces everywhere. He doesn’t seem to do anything gently. He might be my little bull in the china closet. I will have to teach him my gracefulness. That line might only be funny to Jeremy since he knows I break something normally once a week.
He has taken a liking to pink baby dolls this month. You know our babysitter club thing we have going with Blake and Lauren . . . well Katelyn and Noah were at our house last weekend and Holden seemed to like Katelyn’s doll. And I thought it would be funny to get a picture of it. And possibly hold it over his head for eternity.
He has some tickle spots and sometimes I use them just to make myself laugh. Hearing him laugh and cackle is quite contagious! Though over Thanksgiving, I was going to show the family his cackle and so I tickled him. Instead of laughing he reverted to screaming. He did this several times. Fun screaming, of course! Which really seems so appropriate for tickling. Tickling isn’t funny. It’s kind of mean!
I guess that is the newest on our little guy. I’m sure I will remember something else I should have added as soon as a click the publish button. But for now, that’s all I’ve got.