Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{ideas} bringing Christ into Christmas

So a lot of you will remember that we started a new tradition last year...The Jesse Tree, celebrating the season of Advent. I posted about it last year HERE. It is by far the sweetest and most enjoyable thing we do as a family during the Christmas season. I changed it up a little bit this year and thought it would be fun to post the changes just in case it inspires any of you in any way. I love reading other people's ideas on their blogs. Anyway...instead of putting the ornament, devo and candy in a box every single day, we wrapped them up individually in Christmas sacks, numbered them and hung them in a doorway. That way the boys take turns opening a present every single day until Christmas day. In each sack is the ornament for the day, Bible story and two pieces of candy for the boys to eat. We started on Sunday and they love it so far! I bought the sacks at the dollar store and they love taking them down and opening them up!

And here is our Jesse Tree this year. It has its own spot on our dining room table!

If you've never done this before and want instructions and easy-peasy downloads to make your own ornaments, click HERE. Don't be intimidated to start late - just double up for a few nights!

Another great thing that we are planning to do this year is found HERE. This is the gift catalog for Compassion International. You can buy gifts for others around the world for as little as $5 all the way up to $300 or $400. There is everything from pigs to medical care to clean water to mosquito nets to birthing assistants. We are planning to spend at least $10 less on every person we buy gifts for this year and spending it in this catalog instead. We may put all that money together and buy one big thing or we may buy 10 mosquito nets. We haven't decided yet, but I am excited to be doing this! You can even print out cards to put with gifts telling them what was donated in their honor. If you missed the post with this video or didn't get a chance to watch it yet, please do - it's only 2 1/2 minutes. It's what inspired me!

And here's a link to a GREAT idea for teacher's gifts that will bless others HERE.

Make a difference this Christmas in the lives of others that actually NEED things we take for granted! Give gifts of compassion, and teach your children to do the same!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

much to be thankful for

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
And I have much to be thankful for.
Two beautiful boys.
A doting and supportive husband.
Food in our tummies and a warm place to call home.
God's mercies being new every morning.
And a beautiful baby girl coming soon.
Just to name a few.
We will hit 17 months this week.
We shall see, we shall see! :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

sweetly sleeping

Lately, Elijah has been crawling in bed with Judah at night.
It is so sweet to see them sleeping so soundly up next to each other.
Such sweet brothers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

images from an early thanksgiving

Looking so handsome in his great great grandfather's hat!

We had some family pictures done while there.
This is just a sneak peek...more coming later.

Sweet cousin Solomon.

With Aunt Laur-Laur's dog, Ginny.

Monday, November 21, 2011

it's that time of year again!

So it's that time of year again when you're needing great gift ideas, and I just happen to have some for you that will benefit a good cause - our adoption fund! :-) If you've been reading my blog for the past year then you remember our Just Love Coffee website and my in-laws wonderful homemade seasoning! We use the seasoning on everything from eggs to veggies to meats - it's fantastic and it's only $5 for a 4.5oz jar. All of the proceeds benefit our adoption fund. Which, if you're wondering, we are still needing funds for our second trip to Ethiopia - whenever that may be. Just let me know how many jars you need and I will get them to you!

Also, check out our coffee website. $5 from every bag of coffee goes directly to our adoption fund and the rest to help orphans around the world, so you can't go wrong there! Here is one of the many yummy coffees they have available from around the world.

Both of these are on our sidebar on my blog as well! Happy holidays!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

16 1/2 months

here we sit at 16 1/2 months.
it's almost surreal to actually BE at the average wait time.
my caseworker called me yesterday about some paperwork.
needless to say i about jumped out of my chair!
i know it will be soon.
it is just an AVERAGE after all.
while we wait, we just live life.
i've never been more thankful to just live life.
after 2 1/2 months of a long illness, it's good to be on the mend.
God is good...even in the darkest valleys of life.
hoping we'll have a little something extra to be thankful for this thanksgiving.
enjoy a sweet song about adoption by casting crowns.

Monday, November 07, 2011

take a guess

So, we are getting close to the average wait time for a referral. We were at 16 months on the 1st and the average wait time is 16.5 months. We are almost RIGHT. THERE. Anyone want to guess the date we'll get our referral and how old she will be? Our parameters are a girl age 0-6 months at the time of referral. Go ahead, get to guessing!


Can't wait to see if anyone gets close!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

{remembering} halloween 2011

Okay, way overdue here are a variety of Halloween pictures. They are all out of order ranging from our neighborhood Halloween party in the park to pumpkin carving to the pumpkin patch to Elijah being "The Man in the Yellow Hat" for storybook character day at school. Enjoy - there are a bunch!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

thinking ahead to christmas

Have you ever thought that you spend way too much time shopping at Christmas? Or way too much money buying gifts that people don't need? Maybe you have been wanting to shift the focus off of stuff and on to the real reason for Christmas? Then you need to watch this short 2 minute video on the Advent Conspiracy. There are even tools and resources for your family or small group to turn this into a reality!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

sixteen months

Feeling very thankful today.
Happy National Adoption Month!

Halloween post coming soon!