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Thursday, November 29, 2012


One of my favorite days of the year...decorating our home for Christmas. Jeremy decorated the outside on Saturday, while I did most of the indoor stuff. Then with the boys, we decorated the tree on Sunday evening. I probably say this every year, but decorating the Christmas tree was always a big to-do at our house growing up. And I love making it a special tradition for my little family. We eat a fun, not so healthy dinner. It usually does not include vegetables. :) We turn up the Christmas music and we decorate. The boys really got into hanging the ornaments this year. Pax even more so than Holden. Pax really enjoyed being my helper. Of course they each seemed to drawn to their own individual branch and just kept piling them on and on and on. Once they were distracted with something else, I did a little rearranging. They seemed to enjoy seeing special ornaments and listening to me explain why it was their ornament and the little piece of history behind it. Like Holden's obsession with airplanes when he ws 18 months landed him an airplane ornament in 2009. Here are a few pictures from our night...
And now we are Christmas-fied at our house. I'm loving it. I love the tree lights on at all times when we are home. It's one of the first things I do in the morning. I'm seriously as bad as Holden...and that boy loves some Christmas lights. We are headed into a very special season and I always hope and pray we're doing it right for our kiddos.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

10 years!

Last Thursday we hosted Thanksgiving for some of Jeremy's side of the family. I didn't take a single picture. I was busy cooking up a storm! But I was very thankful for 4 solid days with my little family. Jeremy is working hard these days and he will be until the end of the year. It's an unfortunate season for him to be tied up with work for long hours at a time. But I have much to look forward to. In less than 2 weeks he and I will have a weekend away to celebrate 10 years of marriage. Black Friday was our 10th anniversary! Our wedding was almost a week before Thanksgiving, back in 2002. But it seems like more often than not, our anniversary falls right around Thanksgiving day, as it did this year. Back in the spring, I talked Jeremy into this vacay, claiming it would be an anniversary trip. But we've decided to celebrate one more time. After all it's #10!
I do want to make mention of this. Last year was challenging for us. Jeremy is super committed to his committments. So if work gets demanding he puts in the hours and works his tail off. I've always known this about him. Long before we married I knew of his strong work ethic. I've always admired this about him. And let's face it, children change things in a marriage. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it definitely changes the dynamics. I would say that pre-kids our relationship was pretty effortless. But throw kids in the mix, a sometimes demanding job and Jeremy taking on a new little proejct of flipping a house (yeah, he didn't sleep much last fall), and somehow our relationship wasn't where it should have been all along. So last January we enrolled in a class called Dynamic Marriage through another church in our area. I had randomly heard about it in conversation through an acquaintance and I was immediately interested. Things weren't terrible at home, they were just a little...stale. I'm not okay with stale. With a husband that was willing but not really wanting to do this class, I enrolled us. And it was amazing! You can even ask Jeremy. It changed us and made our marriage so much better. Just like everything I had read about Dynamic Marriage. It really was exactly what we needed. So I encourage anyone out there that wants their marriage even a little better than what it is now, go find yourself a class. It's a heavy committment: 8 weeks, daily homework, a little discomfort, but the results can be incredible if the effort is put forth. I've heard amazing stories about how God is using this class to save marriages that are on the verge of divorce. It really can be that beneficial. I don't doubt that we may even retake the class in our future. Good stuff, people. Check it out.
So this year, I feel like our celebration is an extra special one. Not just because it's the big 10. But because 10 really does feel so good. We've always been committed - til death do us part. But it's nice to be lovingly and happily committed. And that I am. I'm a lucky girl!

Recent highlights

So blogging takes a little more work these days. Jeremy just showed me my new process, in order to keep our little family blog free. I'm sure I'll catch on quickly but I'm a little behind in posting because I just haven't wanted to take the time to learn the new process. So here is a little of what has been going on recently.
In August I started BSF for the first time ever. It was just what I needed and I've loved it thus far. I've been learning so much and have really enjoyed the study on Genesis...which honestly, I was a little disappointed when I learned we'd be starting with Genesis. A little bonus is that my little boys get to attend a class just for them and are learning the exact same material on their own level. They are also learning some hymns. Two weeks ago, all the children filed in and led us in worship with the hymns they had been learning. Honestly, I wasn't sure how it would go with one particular boy, but he surprised me. He made me really proud.
I did take a picture of Pax, but he was a bit of a blurr. The very next day the boys had a cute little Thanksgiving parade at their school. All the parents showed up about 30 minutes early that afternoon to watch them march around the parking lot. It was cute.
My little Indian made his Indian call most of the time he was parading around.
And my big brown turkey. He really is a big dude and one of the youngest in his class.
Turkey turned Pilgrim.
We normally go to the public library weekly. We check out 10-12 books. Read them. Again and again and again. They memorize them. I get sick of them and then we do it all over again. They love books so so much and they just love to be read to. I'm so thankful for this and I hope it sticks.
With the inconsistent cooler weather, the boys had their very first taste of hot coco. They were big fans!
Holden finished off his soccer season with a bang. By the third game he loved playing and scored 1-2 points for his team at every game since that time.  He did occassionally help the other team out by scoring for them as well. ;) It was a short and fun season, but I'm glad to return to our lazy Saturday mornings at home.
Holden getting his trophy.

Holden and his buddy, Luke.
More updates are coming...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankfuls and other stuff

I found this little diddy on Pinterest and I loved it.
And I specifically remembered it last week when my kitchen counters were covered in leaf projects and I smelt like dirt since we were leaf gathering on a very windy day.
We are fully enjoying this season with fun projects and counting our many blessings with our first ever Thankful Tree. I know it looks a little sad. We are no artists over here. But the boys have loved it. And I really enjoy what the boys consider the blessings in their little lives. It's been an opportunity to stretch them in their thinking as we think about what is really important in this life.
Holden's little turkey only has 1 eye on purpose. He tells me it is a pirate turkey. :) He likes to make everything pirate-style these days. I love it!
I'm in a little pickle with good ole blogger. Apparently I've just about maxed out my photo storage through Google.  Any suggestions from anyone that's run into this problem?  I'm not really wanting to pay for a "real" webpage. And I'm not even sure how transferring 5 years of blogs would even work! But I'm open to suggestions and ideas, so please share!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I voted!

Which is a sort of a big deal. As of last night, Jeremy and I had a small political talk. We both left the conversation with the same feeling we've had for months. Yep, not very compelled to vote this time. In years past I've felt somewhat passionate about elections and government. 4 years ago I wrote lengthy political post on my blog that received lots of agreeing comments. Over a year ago, I went into my blog and deleted it because I was embarrassed about my own one-sidedness and some of my own views at the time.  So in the past 2 years or so, my interest has dwindled further and further. We hadn't planned on voting today. It had nothing to do with the candidates. Just more to do with the realization that not much seems to change when a new guy enters office. Even a particular moral issues that really stir up my heart... well, almost 40 years later it's still legal. So who cares if a candidate is against it, if it's never going to change in the courts. Why is it even discussed anymore as if it's an option? Yes, that's a question mark. Feel free to answer me if you really know. And sure there are always economic highs and lows. And depending on which side you are on, you blame it on the present or the past person that was in office. And who knows the real reason for it. I think that people just need someone to blame. So now, I just don't like politics anymore. Jeremy had the Presidential debates on over the past few weeks. I nearly left the room several times. It sort of drove me crazy! Eventually we had to turn them off. The pointing fingers, talking over one was almost like an episode of Parenthood (which I love, but also tends to drive me batty when they are all talking at once!)
So today I voted. Completely unplanned. I went to pick up our co-op produce in our neighborhood. I drove slowly past the school where I saw the voting signs. And on my way back home, I pulled into the parking lot. Then I changed my mind and pulled back out. My plan was to drop off the produce and then take the boys for their dental cleaning right around the corner. I drove to the house and dropped off the fruits and veggies. I drove back to the school and got the boys out of the car. I only had 10 minutes to spare, so I was just going to check out the line. Guess what? No line at all. So I voted!
For the past week, I kept trying to get friends to compell me to get out and vote, but no one had a good enough argument for me. What it boiled down to for me? 1) Sadly it had alot to do with convenience. My polling place was in my neighborhood. It was at the middle school right down the street from my house. I could have walked there. Had there been a long line, I wouldn't have had time before our appointments and I wouldn't have cared enough to try and squeeze it into my day.  Afternoon naps (for the boys) are sacred over here! 2) I kept thinking of people in other countries that don't have this freedom. The people that would LOVE to have some kind of say in their government. Those that would proudly cast a ballot, even if they knew their candidate didn't stand a chance. And I didn't really want to take the freedom for granted. I felt very un-American at the thought of not voting in this election.
So I'm not very opinionated this year. I have friends on both sides of the card. And I feel like I even understand both sides so much better than in years past. I'm even calling myself an Independent for now, even though I will admit that I voted a straight party ballot today. I hadn't followed the smaller races to even know where to begin, past the Presidential candidates. And I had 2 little boys in tow that tend to believe that gymnasiums are for running! :) So there it is. Probably a little gutsy since I don't claim to know much about politics. No hate mail, please. :) Enjoy your freedom!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Families Like Us

We are part of a wonderful group of adoptive families in our community called Families Like Us. I've mentioned it before on the blog. In fact right about this time last year we went to our first event and began meeting these beautiful families. Several months ago, we committed to help assist with leadership to this group.  I am passionate about the need for this group so quickly yelled "YES!" when I was asked if we wanted to help out. But leadership, organizing and details are not exactly my forte.  At one time in my life it was, not so much anymore. Either way, I'm so blessed to have found this group and to be given a part of the responsibility to help keep it alive and growing. Something I've realized is how quickly I can connect with these people. The conversation never runs dry. We have a common bond. It's unique and special. And I'm thankful for this community that we are able to be part of.
Last night we headed to Rocky Top Ranch for our fall hayride and cookout. The boys had so much fun at this place. It's too bad they only get to go to Rocky Top once a year. It really is a cool place for kids. There are animals to see and ride, dirt to play in, a really cool playground, a fire pit and tons of space to run and play. Here are a few pictures from our fun filled evening.
A little boy's heaven, huh?
The coolest playground. Even the bigger kids loved it!
This little girl stole my heart! And Pax loved making her laugh. They were bouncing and she would fall down and start laughing. He would bend down to see her face while she was laughing at their game. It was really sweet and pretty darn cute.
the hayride!
Roasting marshmallows around the firepit.
And the aftermath of a yummy smore!
It was a great night and a fall tradition that we will look forward to each year!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween with Friends!

We had some friends over last night for dinner and to make the block with us for Halloween. The boys collected way too much candy and we've decided to send about 80% to Jeremy's work. We do better without the candy around here.  The boys loved everything about Halloween this year. They loved dressing up in costume.  They loved running from house to house and searching for those with their porch lights on. They loved saying "trick or treat" and getting their goods. They loved spending their evening with friends. We had 6 little boys at our house last night, ages {almost}5 months to 7 years. I'm thankful the boys were able to have this fun little time with other energetic boys.  Here are a few pictures from our day and evening.
A dinosaur and his daddy.
Me and my sweet Spider Man.
our lively crew of boys!
My family. Not our best picture or best moment. It was a little bit of a tense moment. The boys were ready to run and I was adamant about getting a picture of the 4 of us first! So it was one of those "smile and pretend you love each other moments". We got the smiles down ~ which is a miracle in and of iteself that we are all smiling. But I don't think we're convincing anyone of the love in this picture. Just being honest with you, folks. Please tell me you have these moments too. ;)
Pax LOVES babies. Especially little baby Cruz.
A cute little tiger with my boys.
And just because I can appreciate Jeremy's sense of humor and you should too...he taped this to our front door so we could all go trick or treating together. But we still wanted to share our candy with the neighbors. And amazingly enough, we still have a ton of candy left. I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween filled with candy and fun!