Thursday, July 28, 2011



Please join me in praying for this beautiful little boy Tripp, who in his short life has endured more pain than any of us could ever imagine. Praying for his comfort, and his momma.  I have no words, I can't even begin to understand. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Heart Today

My heart feels heavy.
Every time I get a minute to stop and just be quiet my mind is still racing. I see images of mothers, no different than me, holding their dying child in their arms. They have no food or clean water. They are forced to listen to their little ones hunger cries, and are completely helpless to do anything to help them. They watch as their child wastes away before their very eyes.  In Somalia, women are being forced to make the horrible choice of leaving behind their weaker children to save the stronger ones or having children die in their arms while they walk for days in hopes of finding food. Mothers and grandmothers are using rope to bind their stomachs to deaden hunger pangs so they can give what little food they have to their starving children. 
In this broken, fallen world there is so much pain and hurt, desperation and corruption, sadness and hunger. Children are dying, people are sick, young girls are being sold like merchandise, and boys are being trained as child soldiers , forced to kill their own families. In the US babies are being killed before they even take their first breath, families are falling apart, and people are enslaved to stuff. Millions of children are alone throughout the world. Children with no mommy or daddy to love them, to tuck them in at night, to play silly games with them, watch them take their first steps, teach them to ride a bike, give them a bath or teach them about Jesus. Millions of people are on a road to destruction, some never even hearing the gospel, some sincerely convinced they are "covered" because their good pile out weighs their bad and some shaking their fist in defiance till the end.

It's the easy route to say "there is too much, we can't do it all, so why even bother?". It is much more convenient to just change the channel, delete the email or turn a blind eye to the sadness and despair that plagues our world. 

This is what I did for too long. When I saw the pain, sadness, and wretchedness around me, I felt overwhelmed and uneasy. This would only last for a moment because when I felt like it became too much for me to handle I would choose to not think about it or let it really effect me. I would try to avoid feeling these emotions because I thought I had enough difficulties in my own life. I didn't have the time, energy, or emotional capacity to deal with other peoples hardships too.
But God. 
Now I finally see that feeling overwhelmed and emotionally spent is right where I am mean't to be. Crying (sometimes literally) out to God on behalf of the very least of these around the world. If I don't who will? This is where it starts, I believe this is the first step in making a difference. Stop fighting the spirit inside you that is crying out for the helpless. From here we need to be ready to act. Ready to give our time, money, resources. Ready to sacrifice our selfish wants and our comforts. The enemy wants us to believe the lies. To believe that one person could never make a difference in this messed up world. That it takes a "saint" or a "rich" person to make an impact and so we continue to live a quiet, self absorbed life in disobedience to the commands we were given. To take care of the poor, defend the hopeless, care for the orphan and widow and to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. 
I want to love. give. sacrifice. go. pray. share. and encourage

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip (this will rock your world)

*WARNING* This dip is very addicting and without very strong self control you and your spouse may just end up eating  the entire thing by yourselves for two days....


Yep....  just keeping it real around here... 
but seriously people.... this stuff is amazing.... just try it for yourself and you will's buffalo wings without the mess.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Adapted from Franks RedhotINGREDIENTS:
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (we used Marie's in the refrigerator/salad section)
1/2 cup regular FRANK'S® REDHOT® Sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Cups Shredded Chicken
tortilla chips, celery, carrots, crackers, etc. (we used tortilla chips)

HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish inside oven while heating up.
ADD in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese and chicken.
STIR after about 10 minutes and return to oven
BAKE about 10 more min. or until mixture is heated through; stir.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Toddler Tuesday- Pretend Flower Garden

Evelyn LOVES flowers. 
Whenever we leave the house she is constantly trying to pick a flower off some bush somewhere. 
Thanks to the genius who decided poisonous flowers like Lantana and Oleander were the best choice in Arizona landscaping, I am constantly bursting her little bubble saying "No, not that one! Put that down!".

 So, it was no surprise that her favorite activity at the Phoenix Children's Museum was the pretend flower gardens. If we would have let her she would have spent the entire time planting and arranging the colorful flowers. 

Perfect! Flowers that can be planted and replanted all day long with no worries of them being poisonous! 

For Evelyn's birthday I made her own personal Pretend Flower Garden. 

I bought: 
  • 10 different bunches of colorful flowers (dollar store)
  • Small plastic watering can (dollar store) 
  • Small toy shovel set (dollar store) 
  • 2 colorful planters (walmart) 
  • 2 square foam blocks (walmart, same aisle as fake flowers) 
  • Big clear plastic tub to hold everything (walmart)
All I did was super glue the foam blocks into the flower pots so she could push the fake flower into it and they stand straight up. (tried hot glue first but it didn't stay long) 

She loves it. Easy, cheap, and lot's of fun! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday Rambles

So I just have some random thoughts bouncing around my head right now, none of which really have much point but I just felt like saying them out loud and well this is my blog now isn't it..... 

First... we rented a movie Saturday night 
We had already seen the previews and could tell it was too old for Evelyn but Josh thought it looked funny so he rented it for us. It definitely had it's funny parts but through out the movie we were both in shock at the language and innuendos they allowed in this PG movie! You can read a christian movie review here with specifics but it was shocking to me and we literally were both saying..."are you sure this was PG?" "check the box, that can't be right." Twenty years from now I can't imagine what will be allowed in a PG movie because it certainly wasn't like that when I was a kid (wow I sound old)

So onto a new subject... with help from a buy one get one coupon I think we found the best Mexican food we have ever eaten. Seriously. 
This place is in Mesa right across from AMC and whenever I saw it I thought... "wonder how that place is still open"... Well let me just tell you... we have been eating at the wrong place for way too long. I am not saying I am an expert on Mexican food at all but almost always I feel a little let down when we eat at our regular places... but this was good. 

So movies and Mexican food... not much depth there huh? Well I promise I do have some real thoughts bouncing around in my head too but I am still working them out so you are left with my randomness today.... 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Waiting is Hard...(Adoption Update)

We started this crazy adoption ride officially on March 18th with an e-mail to our social worker. April 13th we sent in our fingerprint cards and since then we have been waiting...and waiting...and waiting. We found out that they are sending out the clearances in large batches now and ours didn't go out until May 6th.

Finally we received our clearances last week, July 8th!

Let me just say...waiting has felt hard 
and this was only the first step! 

Our Social Worker will send our Home Study to the court by next week and we will have approximately 4-8 weeks to wait for our court certification to come in . According to our Social Worker there is a new judge processing the home studies and it is taking longer (wait was more like 2-3 weeks prior).  We should expect it to be closer to 8 weeks. When our certification comes in we will be certified to adopt in the state of Arizona.

Next step will be submitting our  I600A application to USCIS (immigration) to get fingerprinted and certified to adopt internationally and from our understanding this takes approximately 3 months. 

So lot's of waiting and learning to be patient! This is only the begginning so I know I will have lot's of learning and growing through out the wait. I have been really encouraged by other adoptive mommies out there to hear about their stories of God's perfect timing. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Party

Evelyn decided she wanted a Tangled birthday party. For those not up on the Disney movies, Tangled is the story of Rapunzel and Evelyn loves the movie. So here's a bunch of pictures including decorations and the awesome cake I made. (not to brag or anything but Evelyn loved it) 
Decorations, kids tables
Lanterns are a big part of the movie
Big art pages (Rapunzel's an artist)
Rapunzel's tower cake
All the kids playing with their Pascal blowers
Stick the frying pan on Flynn's nose
Opening presents
Costume change in the middle of presents, she got a Rapunzel dress from Grandma and Grandpa
Love this girl
Big girl bike from mommy and daddy (this looks familiar...)
little sis having fun too

Cake time!
Dancing with her sweet cousin Carter...she asks him all the time to marry her.
Family pic (don't mind Uncle Alex making a  face in the background...)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Birthday Recap!

We had a busy fun filled weekend celebrating Evelyn's birthday. On Friday we started the morning with presents, her free breakfast at Joe's farm grill and chasing butterflies....(Side story about the butterflies....we asked Evelyn last week what she wanted at her birthday and she randomly said butterflies! I wasn't sure exactly how to do that so I bought her a balloon shaped like a butterfly that she was happy about, well at breakfast we ate outside and among the flowers were tons of butterflies, Gods gift to her) 
So excited! 
Wearing her new dress up dress (from Goodwill! score) and playing with her new garden set  i made her
Yummy breakfast and sweet face
She desperately wanted a butterfly to land on her :)

After breakfast we went to Bounce U for their toddler bounce and Evelyn had a blast and even ZoĆ« got in on the fun! 
Between Josh and I she went down this slide like 20 time!
Not sure what this was (blow up donkey?) but she loved it!
After that we headed to the Gilbert Water tower splash pad to cool off and walked over to Liberty Market for Evelyn's free lunch (she decided on Spaghetti, lemonade and a cookie) We were all exhausted by then so we went home so the girls could take a nap. 

After naps Evelyn and daddy went to the store and picked up Evelyn's free dinner from Joe's BBQ and we had a picnic in the living room and watched Evelyn's new favorite movie Gnomeo and Juliet. Then bedtime and mommy and daddy stayed up until 1:30am getting everything ready for the big birthday party in the morning! 
Next post I will share all about her awesome Tangled birthday party :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Evelyn

Happy 3rd Birthday!
Happy birthday to my beautiful little Evelyn Mae. Three years has flown by and it has been an amazing blessing from God to have you in our family. You are such a joy. You are my sweetheart and I love you so much. I can't believe my little tiny 5lb 2 oz little girl is getting so big. You LOVE dress up and dancing and would do it all day long if I let you. A song can't come on without you running to your dress up box for a dress. You love being outdoors and playing in the water. Wrestling with daddy is a daily request. You have your mommies sweet tooth and love having picnics and watching movies. You love reading bible stories and playing with your little sissy. Play dates with your cousins are one of your favorite things to do and are always asking if one of them will play marrying you (which is dressing up and dancing together by your definition). You are beautiful inside and out. You have some of the most striking blue eyes and lovely blonde curls. You have a tender heart for orphaned and hurting children and talk regularly about adopting them into our family. You love to sing and knew four verses of Amazing grace before you were 2 years old. You have a rock solid memory like your daddy and it's impossible to get anything past you. You are full of energy and life and it's never a dull moment with you around. You are very loved and I hope you have the most special day today. I love you. Happy Birthday my little Princess.   

Here are a couple of my favorite pics over the last 3 years and here's the story from my old family blog of our sweet little girls entrance into the world.
Fresh out of the oven
So small in her car seat going home from the hospital.
Little girl big bed
Sweet face 
Still loves the swing
1 year
2 years
Sisterly love