"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 Resolutions

I won’t do a recap of 2014 because it was pretty much the year of ZOYA! We are so in love with her and she is so perfect for us and us for her. I am so thankful God sent this little chubby, bedimpled surprise to us. We wanted to be pregnant in December of 2014, not December of 2013, and sometimes I’m still shocked that she’s here, but she is a reward for sure. Even though I’m not sure we are done adding children to our family, having Zoya brings me such a feeling of completeness. I always wanted three kids, and now I have them. It’s a dream fulfilled, and I am savoring every moment. Last year had some very hard moments for sure, but I love where my family is right now!

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  • My bible verse theme for the year is John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less.” God is opening my heart in so many ways, but I know that I have far, far to go. I am doing the “My Utmost for his Highest” devotional this year and the statement below is what I have been clinging too. It’s true, it doesn’t matter how far we have come, we didn’t do it on our own, and we can’t get any farther without total dependence on our Lord.

“No matter what changes God has wrought in you, never rely upon them, build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives.”

  • To get my health and life after my hypothyroidism diagnosis figured out. This was last year’s resolution, but I didn’t know I was pregnant with Zoya at the time, and it was majorly derailed by my pregnancy. I’ve started reading my biography, “Feeling Fat, Fuzzy or Frazzled?” to find a solution to fixing my adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. I’ve also started eating paleo (no grains, legumes, sugars, or processed foods), which many people claim have helped with their thyroid disease symptoms. So far it has!
  • To complete the Whole30 challenge. I’m on day 7, and so far I feel great! I hope it helps me drop these last stubborn baby weight pounds I’ve been carrying, but mostly I just want energy to keep up with my kids! Nick is doing it with me. He’s been eating basically paleo since November 1, and has lost 16 lbs. I cheated a bit over the holidays and gained back the 4 lbs I lost when I was being strict in November (sigh), Nick cheated too, but he kept on losing...
  • To get a housekeeper. Nick’s says that’s not a resolution. I don’t care. I gave cleaning my house with three kids and cooking 100% no processed foods from scratch the old college try, and it’s not working. And the laundry! I cannot keep living this way. (Nick’s says I can because I have been living this way, but I cannot.)
  • To attend an exercise class, but this hinges on getting a housekeeper. My best cleaning times are also when I would have to attend an exercise class.
  • To refinish our kitchen cabinets. I think we can really do it! We’ve been experimenting with colors to determine which we like the best.
  • Just enjoy my blessed family. I love Nick, Isla, Gemma and Zoya with all my heart and I am so thankful for them! I want them to see,feel and know how much I love them every day.

That’s it y’all. I’m really looking forward to 2015!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Christmas Break 2014

One of my goals for the new year is to blog more often with less words, fewer qualifying statements, fewer exclamation points (I know I have a problem) and more pictures. Let’s see how I do.

First of all, the girls’ Santa photo was pretty much the bomb!

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The Live “Activity” as Isla calls it. Gemma was mesmerized. Isla threw a fit when it was time to leave, which is very unlike her, so we stayed longer because we could all use more time with Baby Jesus.

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Nick spent a lot of time working on this awesomeness – a much safer, more attractive play loft, and safer way to access it!

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We spent a lot of time at Home Depot getting supplies. Can you spot Gemma? My City Select has been the best stroller for us (exclamation point).

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Zoya seems like she is going to surpass Gemma in size very soon and catch up to her in diaper size. I spend a lot of time cheek to jowl with my littlest chubster. She is the most delectable squishy baby!

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Christmas Eve service!!! These three cute little girls generated a lot of smiles wherever they went. I told Nick I am doing a public service by dressing them in matching clothes – they make people happy just to see them.

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Opening presents Christmas Eve. Gemma’s favorite present was her baby doll. Isla’s was everything.

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Our littlest doll with her little doll.

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On Christmas day we went and looked at Christmas lights. Santa visited. We also made cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. It’s a great tradition if you have kids, it’s a great way for them to connect Christ’s birth to the holiday in a way that is meaningful to them.

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School Christmas party. Gemma loves to visit Isla’s school and stay for the parties. Hopefully things like this will make her transition to MDO easier next year.

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Dimples. (I will not put in a qualifier about how we DO take her out of her car seat, it’s just easier to take pictures when she’s in there.)

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We decorated Christmas cookies and a Gingerbread house. Well, Isla decorated, Gemma just ate the decorations.

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We had new floors installed in two rooms in the house. We have carpets for other rooms coming soon. I’ll post more on that later but here’s a sneak peak.

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The big girls were mesmerized by the installation process.

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We held a garage sale to help my Angel Tree cutie, Julie, meet her goal. Between that and all of my precious friends, she made her goal and then some. Most of the garage sale items were donated by people I don’t even know. I just put the word out on Next Door and Facebook. I live in an amazing town.

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Zoya worked really hard at finding her thumb. She’s now officially a thumb sucker. No pacifiers for this girl, which makes mama’s life so much easier.

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All in all, it was such a sweet, blessed Christmas. Having Zoya with us just makes everything so precious and complete.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Halloween 2014

I never post about Halloween, and I just want to get a few pictures on the blog for documentation purposes.

Just like 99.9% of sisters in America, Isla and Gemma were Anna and Elsa. We had planned to get Zoya into some sort of Olaf get up, but I just didn’t get around to it.

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If you’re wondering why Gemma isn’t wearing a red headed wig, and Isla’s hair isn’t in braids… well, I read this article and it changed my life. It’s called “I’m done making my kids’ childhood magical”. I’m done wasting my time on details that make absolutely no difference to my kids. I sprinkled a little bit of glitter in Isla’s hair and she thought that was pure awesomeness, Gemma would have had a wig off on in 5 seconds flat. They had the best Halloween and mom wasn’t stressed out. You what’s going to ruin my kids’ childhood? A stressed out mom. You know what isn’t? Not having a costume that cost $150 and copies Elsa’s ensemble down to the last glittering snowflake. Oh and at Christmas, I totally used the store bought sugar cookie dough for making our Christmas cookies. Slacker moms unite.

Also, of course I had cute little coordinating Halloween outfits for them. What can I say? It makes me happy, and make my life a little more magical. This is all of the girls at Isla’s school field trip to the pumpkin patch.

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Love her joie de vivre!

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Gemma loved the pumpkins and made a new friend!

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Sister pictures. Love them, love them, love them! True to Zoya’s personality until she turned 2 1/2 months, she cried through them all Sad smile. Now she’s one of the happiest babies in the world.

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Isla is an amazing, loving big sister!

IMG_5548IMG_5551IMG_5562Big sisters, comforting little sister. Yes, my heart is melting right now.

IMG_5582We also visited Isla’s school for their Halloween parade and Pumpkin Party.

Go ahead, you can say it… that’s a cute toddler.

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These two sisters love each other so much.

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Happy Halloween 2014 in January of 2015!

*****Update: I found these and I wanted to include them!

We also went to a Halloween festival at Isla’s school. Their Halloween outfits from last year still fit them, so they were able to wear them one last time. The girls were able to ride in a horse drawn carriage. I stayed behind with Zoya because she was sleeping (I am only a teeny bit jealous.)

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Isla had her face painted like Elsa!

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Nick was out of town so we had to Facetime him to let him see.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Previous Angel Tree Babes & Julie Love

I am so thankful to be a veteran Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree warrior. At this point I am able to see the fruit of my previous efforts to find my sweet little babies a family. Also, because I am asking you to help Julie find a family, it is nice to know that your hard earned donations are not being wasted!

Many of you remember my first Angel Tree boy, sweet Kai! Kai is now HOME with his family. Unfortunately they chose to pursue their adoption anonymously, which is their right, so I do not have much information on him. I do know that your blessings were put to good use and he is happy and doing well!

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Asher, my last year’s boy has a family! They are in the process of working to bring him home.

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And I am Facebook friends with his mama. His parents are so sweet and very young, and just welcomed their first baby, a little girl. You can read about his new family here: http://bringinghappinesshome.org/.

I feel so blessed that two out of three of my sweet Angel Tree babes have families. Unfortunately my little boy from two years ago, Sonny is locked behind closed doors in Russia. He was already transferred to a mental institution when they closed their doors and it does not look good for him. The change between baby and preschooler is shocking. My poor, poor little boy.

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Please keep him in your prayers. His funds were transferred to Henry in South American on Reece’s Rainbow. Henry is still waiting for a family.

As sad as I am about Sonny, I know that God does not waste anything. And it is so wonderful to know that his adoption grant is sewing the seeds for Henry to find a family!

Also, I know that Sonny’s picture has been seen by many and so many people have prayed for him. Sweet Sonny is not forgotten. Please continue to pray that Russia opens its doors to foreign adoption. For the near future, children with special needs in countries like Sonny’s have their BEST HOPE for a future the United States or Canada. I know that their countries can and will change, but for now, please help little babies like Julie have a hope and future with A FAMILY and NOT IN AN INSTITUTION!

Seriously check out that crib without a mattress! This picture was taken in Julie’s country. How my heart breaks for these tiny, precious ones.

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Please donate to Julie’s adoption grant HERE or click on her picture!

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And because I think its awesome and fun to get a chance to win something for giving something, the other AT warriors and I are hosting a giveaway that helps Julie and other Angel Tree babes reach their goal!

THESE ARE THE RULES: One donation of $5 will put your name into our giveaway! As an incentive for making additional donations, you will receive additional entries for every additional $5 donated.

          • $5 = 1 entry

          • $10 = 2 entries

          • $20 = 4 entries

          • $50 = 10 entries

          • $500 = 100 entries

          • And so on…

Give $35 and over to Julie, and you will receive an adorable ornament with her picture on it.

You can also gain additional entries by sharing about Julie on Facebook, Twitter or your own blog. Just leave a comment on this blog to let us know you’ve shared.

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  • Go HERE and donate to Julie’s adoption grant.

  • THEN, forward your Paypal or Reece’s Rainbow donation to receipt to allangelsgiveaway@gmail.com.

  • ALL OF THESE DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.

  • For additional entries please Blog, Tweet or Share about this on Facebook. You can do this everyday for additional entries! (One per each type per day) Just leave a comment below ON THE BLOG stating that you have done this. It will be the honor system folks. I trust you!

  • If you have any questions, please feel free to leave one in the comment section or email us at allangelsgiveaway@gmail.com.

THESE ARE OUR PRIZES!!!

  • $1000 to the Reece’s Rainbow adopting family of your choice! (You may split this amount between more than one family.)
  • $1000 to the Reece’s Rainbow waiting child of your choice! (You may split this amount between more than one child.)
  • An iPad mini 3 (16 GB, valued at nearly $400)shopping_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb_th
  • 6 Starbucks Mystery Cards (valued at at least $30… it’s a mystery because are not 100% sure how much is on them Smile)
  • $15 Starbucks Gift Card
  • $20 in Barnes and Noble Gift Cards
  • Hello Kitty hat (adult sized)Hello-Kitty-Hat_thumb1_thumb_thumb_t
  • Dr. Who inspired hat (adult sized)Police-Hat_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb_[2]
  • A beautiful handmade ornament, donated by fellow warrior, Annie, featured HERE on the AAG!
  • Cookbook “What Chefs Feed Their Kids
  • Cookbook “Bundt Entertaining”

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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