Archive - July 2012

Home Forever: 4 Months
Pinterest Fail
How in the World are we going to afford this?
The $27 dresser
July 4th
And it begins!

Home Forever: 4 Months

I cannot believe Liam has only been home for 4 months! How is that possible, it seems so much longer? Either way, the past four months have been so good. Liam still doesn’t sleep well but all other areas, attachment, eating, development have been coming along perfectly. We just love our little man so much. To celebrate 4 months here is a little photo journey.

A precious picture sent by another family who traveled before us. We were still waiting for travel at this point.

Our “meetcha” day. We had to leave him a few days later. Not a good thing. ):

Picture from another family, we were waiting for our final trip to bring Liam home at this point.

Our “Gotcha” moment. Can’t even explain the joy and relief in this moment.

Homecoming at the Airport! March 24th, 2012.

Happy and Home for 4 months!

Pinterest Fail

I am a pinterest addict.

It’s true. I fantasize about waking up at 5am, brewing some coffee and pinning home decor and projects until my kids awake. When that kind of morning transpires I’m a pretty happy momma. However, I’m starting to think pinterest should have some kind of warning like “Your projects will never be as stunning or functionally useful as the blogger portrays them.” With that bit of reality I think pinterest would be a happy place for all. So today, I’m going to share my worst pinterest fail to date. I’m still really mad about it.

So here is the story. I found this fun little mirror project on one of my morning pinterest explorations. Perfect, I’ve been dying to do something with the plain builder grade mirror in the downstairs bathroom. The materials were under $20 so this also fit the budget. (this was pre-China adoption, the budget no longer allows for projects that cost money!) I ran to Home Depot for the supplies and picked a paint sample for the project. Who else loves the $3 little paint sample jars?? They are an amazing way to buy a small amount of good quality paint for projects like this. Paint and Primer in one!

Materials were gathered and I went home to complete my project. I painted my pieces and followed the directions exactly.


20120724-132752.jpgThe result was SOOO cute! I skipped away from the guest bathroom pleased as punch.

20120724-132815.jpgUntil that evening when the entire thing fell down. I re-read the directions. I used all the right materials and used painters tape to hold everything in place! I tried, and failed miserably, to salvage the cute little mirror frame but nothing worked. I grew more and more frustrated until I literally ripped the entire thing off the wall and threw it into the garage. My sweet patient husband just smiled and provided moral support. I’m quite thankful for not being judged in that moment of pinterest fail.

I don’t even have pictures of how ugly the mirror was post-fail. It was horrid. I had to scrape liquid nails and hot glue off with a razor blade and it took forever. This may have been a good lesson about appreciating a good mirror when you have one. The naked builder-grade mirror suddenly seems quite wonderful after the whole framing charade.

All this to say… use pinterest with caution and low expectations or you too may find yourself ripping things off the wall and throwing them.


Our days have been spent keeping the house clean, playing outside and working on documents for our China home study. I don’t have a whole lot to report on anything right now, so here are a few pictures from this week that make me so very happy. I’m planning to post some new projects and recipes this week so check back if you desire!

How in the World are we going to afford this?

As most of you know, we literally JUST completed Liam’s adoption. Therefore, it was a little daunting to hop into the process again. As we weighed the pros and cons of starting again, the only thing on our “cons” list was money. Stinks. Stupid money. Stupid expensive adoptions.

Adoption is expensive. But going through the process highlighted many reasons why adoption is SOOO expensive. For one, there are many people and agencies involved in bringing a child into a family. Every agency and every person has a job that they must be paid for. Additionally, there is travel, accommodations, many sets of fingerprints and so on. Seriously, every step costs money. And it adds up. This time we are looking at about $30,000.

It’s a lot of money.

But my daughter is waiting somewhere. She is worth every penny I have to fund-raise and dig out of our shallow bank account.

A child waits. And we are her family.

So this begins another season of selling things from our home, holding garage sales and wracking our brains for worthwhile fundraiser ideas. If you have any great ideas please let me know! I have a few brewing, but a fresh prospective is always welcome.

I am also pretty excited that our new agency allows friends and family to donate directly to the agency on our behalf. That was not the case with our previous agency. It makes it much easier (and tax-deductible) on those who feel led to be a part of this through giving.

So yeah. It’s a lot of money. But God provided before and He will again. After all, He sets the lonely in families.

The $27 dresser

Now that we are in family building mode again our budget is also in family building mode. This means we don’t spend money.

However, we really needed a dresser. I began a search at the mile-long garage sale near our home in Hendersonville TN. I found this beauty for $7. Don’t mind the missing hardware, I just forgot to take the before picture until I had already removed them!

After getting the piece home I began to dream up what my little dresser could become. I definitely wanted green and I assumed I would just grab some rust-oleum and go to work. However, the deep grooves on the drawers needed a change. Enter Elmer’s Wood filler. I wanted to put fabric or paper on the front of the drawers, so I needed a smooth surface.

Elmer’s Wood filler is super easy to use. I chose a shade that matched the dresser and filled in all the grooves until they were more than full. Meaning it was not level, there was excess that needed to be sanded down. I let the filler dry for two hours and then sanded the surface of the drawers until they were smooth.

I then used 2 1/2 cans of Rust-oleum to put two coats on the dresser. Why Rust-oleum? It’s durable, will bond to anything, and can even be used on outdoor furniture. I have kids. I need durable.

After giving the dresser several hours to dry thoroughly I began to cut the paper for the front of the dresser. This is easy but tedious. I measured the drawers and cut the paper accordingly using an exacto knife. I hate scissors. I cannot cut a straight line.

Then I applied Mod Podge to the surface of the drawer, liberally, you don’t have to be exact, it dries clear. And placed the paper on the drawer. I marked the borders with a pencil beforehand so that I wouldn’t put the paper in the wrong place. There is no room for “eye-balling” it when you are doing a piece like this.

When you use Mod Podge the paper has a tendency to pucker up a bit. Don’t freak out. It smooths out as it dries. Then I employed my daughter to “paint” the Mod Podge on top of the paper. I’m a huge advocate for toddlers that want to help. Time spent together is always time well spent. (note the puckering here, it went away as you will see in the final pic)

After applying two coats of Mod Podge we let the drawers dry in the super hot weather. This sped everything up and we were able to put the hardware back on about 30 minutes later. We also lined the drawers with matching paper while everything was drying. And yes, my 4 year old is using a power tool. Isn’t he cute though??

And the dresser is now complete! Happy day.

Dresser: $7

Materials: $20 (Home Depot)

(the yellow mark on the top is a sun reflection btw)

July 4th



And it begins!

Almost 4 months ago we found ourselves in Ethiopia bringing home our third child. There are four days that I hold very dear, my favorite days: our wedding, Elliott’s birth, Charlotte’s birth and the day I held Liam and brought him home forever.

Now we are looking forward to adding a fifth day to that list.

We have contracted with America World Adoption agency to adopt our daughter from China! We don’t know exactly who she is right now, our parameters are 2-4 years old and we are adopting through the special focus program. This means she will need a little extra care but we are so blessed to have Vanderbilt Children’s hospital in Nashville. We are confident that we will be able to meet her needs and we can’t wait to get started doing just that! Because we are going to be matched with a waiting child we will receive our “referral” much faster than we experienced with Liam. It’s an amazing day when you see your child’s face for the first time so we are greatly anticipating that day already!

Why Adopt from China?

There is a very large number of children currently waiting for homes. Many of these children are older or have special needs.

We feel a special connection to China, due to Calvin’s heritage, and find it very natural to respond to what is currently happening with the orphan crisis in China.

We simply feel that this is the door that God has opened for us as we continue to build our family through adoption.

We have room for more. In our family. In our home. In our hearts.

We are incredibly excited to begin this journey again. It wasn’t easy with our first adoption and it won’t be easy this time. However, we have an advantage. We have seen firsthand the way God builds a family through adoption. It’s an incredible thing and we are humbled to walk this road a second time.

Side note: Elliott and Charlotte have already proposed 3 names: Lisa, Debbie and Stacey. Their teacher’s names. Naming will be a little different this time as our little one will be older. We’ll just have to see!

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