Archive - 2012

1
July 4th
2
And it begins!
3
Banana Day
4
My first “diet”
5
Being Mommy
6
I ain’t afraid of no beet!
7
Our weekend in Pictures
8
The Graduation that Didn’t
9
2 Months Home!
10
Design your own Appliqué

July 4th

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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!

Banana Day

Update on the whole diet thing: Banana day? Hands down the worst day of the diet. Tomato day was a rockstar compared to nasty banana day.

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My tips for surviving banana day are as follows:
-Make sure the bananas are not turning brown AT ALL. Otherwise the less than firm texture will gross you out as you repeatedly consume the bananas.
-Make a smoothie with the banana and skim milk. This almost seemed like a treat!

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-Freeze a banana in the morning, throw it in a food processor in the evening and you can almost trick yourself into thinking it’s ice cream!

Bananas, I just want you to know its going to be awhile before I entertain the idea of eating you again. No hard feelings okay?

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My first “diet”

I have never been on a diet. Never. I’ve tried to eat healthier and such but I’ve never been on a diet. Until this week. I would love to be 5 pounds lighter, not a huge task. So I hopped on pinterest and poked around in the fad diet pins. I came across the “Eat Your Heart out Diet” over at Refresh and decided to give it a try. I also dragged two good friends in with me. Misery always loves company. I initially thought this would be a super easy thing to do. The diet changes from day to day, so no monotony.

I’m on day 3. Today has been the hardest day. Three days without a protein or carb creates some pretty serious cravings. I’m also not drinking the Crystal light or using salt and seasonings like she suggests. Seems like it would be unwise to down artificial sweetener while cleansing. I’m staying strong. Tomorrow I get bananas and milk and I’m pretty dang excited about some dairy!

Side affects so far: On day one I had a headache. Not too bad. No headache since day one but I’m feeling a wee bit shaky and I’m hungry today. Calvin reports that I’m cranky. I am taking vitamin B12 after lunch so that’s helping with the mid-day slump.

I’ll be sure to let you know how banana day goes.

Here’s a few pics of my meals lately. The purple and yellow carrots were a super fun find in our CSA box this week!

Being Mommy

My youngest son’s favorite word is da-da, or daddy. All the time. Recently no-no has been added when combined with a mischievous grin. I think he knows how badly I want him to say ma-ma. I’ll sit with him saying ma-ma over and over again. He will look me square in the eyes and shout da-da! And giggle away. I have to laugh too. And yes, I do know that ma-ma requires a different tongue and mouth movement and is therefore harder to say… but he says na-na so it’s about time for ma-ma!

My older two call me mommy, but every once in awhile my daughter pulls out plain old mom. Mom. Really? She’s 3. I’m Mommy.

I love being Mommy. I absolutely do. I adore my 3, I adore watching them grow and learn. I am trying my hardest to shape them into great little people. And I am really trying my hardest to be a Godly example, a super fun mom and a good disciplinarian. Kind of a weird combo when it’s written out, but I think those are the keys to at least getting close to hitting the mark. God, Fun, Discipline. Yup. Sounds about right.

I’m just reflecting today on what I get to do in this world. Being a Mom is so good.

I ain’t afraid of no beet!

Our CSA through Eco-Farms has been positively delightful this year. Yes. Delightful.

The selection and quantity has been far better than the CSA we joined last year. Wondering what a CSA is? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically when you buy into a CSA you are buying a share of the farm produce. This enables the consumer to buy from and directly support farmers in their area. Bonus for us, our farmer uses organic farming techniques! It’s also really cost effective, our share costs us just under $20 a week for a big box of fresh organic vegetables. We get to eat in season and experience vegetables we might not otherwise seek out and purchase.

This week beets were included in our box which was pretty exciting. I grew up eating canned beets and last year we roasted beets so this year I wanted to try something new with our little purple friends.

Ah, the beet. A little intimidating. But actually really easy and tasty. Here is my recipe for Sauteed Beets and Feta.

Ingredients:

4 med./large beets

1 red onion

2 Tbsp. Butter

Thyme (dried or fresh)

Coarse Salt

Sm. block of Feta

Red Wine Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar

First cut off the stems and remove greens. You can use these in the saute as well if you would like! The greens had already been removed from my beets, so I did not get to incorporate them. Scrub the beets and slice them into disks. About a 1/4 inch thick. You don’t want them terribly thin. They will cook up too fast.

Then, using just half of the red onion, slice the onion thinly in circles or however you want. Just don’t chop it.

Put your saute pan on the stove, throw in the butter and keep it at medium heat. When the butter is melted throw in the thyme and onions and let them brown for about a minute. Resist the urge to eat the buttery onions right out the pan. Well, you may not have to resist, but I do!

Add the beet disks into the mix, laying them out somewhat evenly over those delicious onions. After about 30 seconds, lower the heat and saute for 15 minutes. Turn beets occasionally.

At the 15 minute mark you can add some greens or leave it be. Then add your vinegar, cover and let it mix for about 5-10 minutes.

In the end the beets will be tender and the onions crispy. SO good.

Season with coarse salt and serve with slices of Feta or Goat Cheese.

Our weekend in Pictures

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We got a fence!

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Did some pinterest projects.

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Became a princess.

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Baked homemade crackers.

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Learned to scoot.

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Played outside.

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And took naps.
Good Weekend.

The Graduation that Didn’t

Elliott has been attending the preschool program at our church, Treasure Creek, for about a year and a half now. We LOVE it there. His teachers are sweet, his class is cute and he is learning. This Summer, September, Elliott turns five. That gave us the option to enroll him in Kindergarten. So we did. Elliott is smart and very social. We knew he wouldn’t have a problem, even being the youngest in his class. Our confidence in his success was strong. So in May, Elliott graduated from Treasure Creek rather than moving on to the Pre-K fives class; a class for kids who could go to kindergarten but are on the young side.

Adorable right? The very next day, it may have even been that night… momma started thinking. Our decision to send him to school catapulted EVERYTHING one year in advance. Middle school one year sooner, girls one year sooner, COLLEGE one year sooner. Elliott leaving one year sooner. My heart hurt so badly I couldn’t take it. Normally I’m not like this. But I thought to myself, you can’t get this year back! You can’t say, oops… maybe I need to invest in you a little longer, get back in high school! If I want this year, now is the time to take it. So I did. And Calvin was all for it. Two days later I took our graduate pre-schooler on a breakfast date. I worried as we sat, worried that after all the kindergarten hype he would feel deflated at the thought of staying in preschool. I explained my feelings and asked him how he would feel about staying in Treasure Creek for another year in an older class.

Sure. What Elliott? Sure, I like it there. Can I have a doughnut?

And that was that. Here is what I’m taking away from the situation: it’s okay to change your mind. As parents we worry SO much about doing the right thing all the time. Like we have one shot and if we choose wrong we will lose the whole game. There aren’t a ton of do-overs in life, but there are chances to back-track, start again, apologize, try something new. Take advantage of the time you have and don’t ever give up time with your kids when they are young. We are responsible for molding them, and as Christians we have the privilege of introducing our children to God and allowing Him to mold them. I don’t spend enough time in awe. In awe of the job I’ve been given to help little people grow into big people.

I want to do this well. So with Elliott, I’m taking an extra year.

2 Months Home!

We have been an incredibly happy family of 5 for 2 months now.

I love having 3 kids. It’s crazy and fun. Liam has just stolen my heart! I mean seriously, look at this face!

Design your own Appliqué

Elliott and I recently had a couple of hours in the house. All alone. Just me and my firstborn. I haven’t done much sewing lately and really wanted to make something for him. He LOVES it when I sew things for him and also loves being my helper. We decided to do a little appliqué shirt but didn’t see any material in the stash that he really liked. Then a fun little idea popped in. Let’s make a fabric you like! I drew a five on some cream fabric and we decorated it with crayola fabric markers. Then we added some Steam-a-Seam fusible web, ironed on our appliqué and followed up by sewing around the edge of the five. It turned out very cute and very Elliott.

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