Saturday, December 31, 2011

{Fulfill} My Word for 2012

Last year, I saw that numerous bloggers had a word for the upcoming year.  I loved the idea and actually frequently thought this year what my word would be for next year.  Well, next year is only a few hours away, so I thought I would tell a little bit about the word I have chosen.  I have given a lot of thought and prayer over my word and how it would hopefully guide my life in 2012, so call it crazy or not, but I'm taking it pretty seriously.

Drum roll please.....


Websters dictionary defines this word as so:

fullfill (verb) [foo'l-fil] - to carry out or bring to realization.

I truly pride myself in having many great ideas, exciting ambitions and dreams, having a heart for the less fortunate, and wanting to learn more about my Lord and Savior.

The problem... about 75% of the time, all those great thoughts, ideas, and ambitions tend to remain just great thoughts, ideas, and ambitions.  This year, I plan to fullfill many of these exciting dreams!

I want to list several of these goals for 2012 to hopefully gain more accountability.  Some of these same goals you might recognize from 2011.  Don't judge- I didn't have a word last year! ;)

Goals to fulfill:

1. Read through the Bible in one year.  (I fell short of this goal last year only reading about 25% or so, but this year, I have a better plan that I'm really excited about!!)

2.  Be healthier.  This encompasses a lot in my head.  I want my children to have a healthy diet and disposition and the best way to provide that is to be a healthy example.  I'd like to incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies, less fried, less fat, and more organic foods into our daily diets.  I also want to be more active and choose activities for our family that promote movement and fitness.

3. Purge!  Uhg- Justin and I have SO MUCH STUFF.  I credit a lot of that to bringing tons of teen junk into this house from when we got married.  All those stupid flower-dy picture frames from high school have got. to. go.  Why in the world did I deem them so sentimental?  With Justin going on dayshift Tuesday (!!!!!!) I will have him home in the afternoons to help with this task.  We are going room to room boxing up yard sale stuff (date to be set for Spring) and putting things in trash bags.  Either it finds an appropriate home, or it's going in one of these two categories.

4. Go back to school.  I really want to do this one this year.  Hopefully this summer I'll start.  I love my job, but ultimately one day, I want to work for an adoption agency.  I'd really like to get my Masters in social work in order to hopefully make more of a difference in orphan's lives.

5. Write a cookbook.  I love food (see resolution #2).  I also LOVE photography.  And I happen to LOVE reading cookbooks.  Justin was incredibly sweet and gifted me with a guide to food photography this Christmas, and I absolutely can't wait to learn some new skills and put them to good use.  This is something I've wanted to do for a few years and finally shared it with my family at the beginning of December.  I haven't decided if I want to try to get it published locally or maybe just compile them as blog posts under a tab.  We shall see.

6.  Learn more about photography.  I feel like this one will probably be the easiest resolution for me to fulfill.  I absolutely LOVE photography!!  I think it is so amazing to be able to capture a snippet in time.  It's incredibly the memories on little click an savor!

On a photography note- this is my very last day of the 365 challenge.  I am both a little sad and a little elated.  I have to say, I have LOVED everyday of it!! (I only missed a handful of days.)  I am compiling my 365 and hope to be sharing it soon.  I also ordered a Becky Higgins Life Book last year that I have been recording and journaling my 365 in.  I can't wait to finish it- and have it delivered!

7.  Our agency has told us that by May we should have a referral for Miss Ruby-Grace, and honestly, I am beside myself so excited!!!  With that being said, I have also had my heart ripped out of my chest and stomped on to smithereens by Kay Bratt (thank you Mom for my surprise Kindle Fire this Christmas and to Lisa and Shay for sharing Kay's books with your Facebook friends, and thank you most of all to Kay for journaling such an amazing and heart-wrenching journey!!!)  Her account of her time in China has made it so real to me that even after we bring our beautiful daughter home, there will still be MILLIONS of children who do not have, and never will have, forever families.  Justin and I want to make a difference in those children's lives in some way or another.  It is a small jesture, but we have decided to start that difference by sponsoring a child in hopes of giving him/her a little more hope.  I also encourage you to read Kay's books and to pray for those precious children that are still waiting.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Whole Lotta Lovin' {WILW}

I'm linking up with Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday!

(Front "Pocket" Design)

I am LOVING that I have made the first delivery of our "From Rags to Ruby" T-shirts!!  If you have ordered one, please send your check (email me if you need my address) or use the PayPal button at the bottom of the blog.  I will put yours in the mail as soon as I receive your payment. 

(Back Full Size Design)

Thank you again SO much for ordering!  Each shirt we sell brings us a smidgin closer to our little ladybug!  If you would like to order one, please click on the Pay Pal button at the bottom of the blog.  I'm going to turn in another order this Friday!  (It takes about two weeks from the time I place the order until the time I get to pick them up/mail them out.)

I'm LOVING that today is the last day of school before Christmas break!  I cannot wait to spend some quality time with my two boys and the rest of our crazy family!!

I'm LOVING that I have some FaBuLoUs items to feature on our Adoption Auction Blog!!  New items will be on the blog this Friday!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prime Real Estate

Perry and I were missing Daddy more than usual tonight, so we decided to have some super fun on our own!  We went to "Migos" (Munoz) for a quick dinner date, and then headed back to the house for some messy fun.

I made gingerbread houses with my students at school yesterday, and it was so much fun, I knew I wanted to make one with Little Bitty too!  Ours is super special because it is made with Vanilla/Peppermint icing-  YUM-O!!

Perry was very good with listening to directions and being very gentle with our house.  (I didn't have a milk carton to act as a good, sturdy foundation, so I was incredibly surprised it didn't end up caving in by the end of the decorating session.)  And it was P's idea to add all the sprinkles!  Genius he is!

I love all the little details we added:  a snowman, our street address numbers on the front gable, and a letter 'P' on the back gable for yours truly.

I feel sure as far as gingerbread houses go, this one would be in the gated community!  ;)

(As I was taking pictures, P starts chanting, "Ta-Daaaa!!!")

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just a Swingin' {FPF}

I've been looking through photos from August-November trying to get them organized and framed.  I was (still am- don't know why this year has been so crazy) SO busy that I didn't post a lot of important events!  Over the holidays, I am going to post some Fall/Halloween photos and then manually correct posting dates... anyway...

As I was pursuing my shots, I came across this photo from Perry's friend, AP's, second birthday.  It was held at Homewood Park and was such a lovely party.  We had so much fun just being there and letting Perry just be a kid.

To me, this shot just captures so much joy of being a toddler.  Isn't that hair adorable?

(And the most exciting part to me?  This photo is straight out of the camera!)

To see more Favorite Photos, visit my friend Lisa at The Long Road to China.

the long road

Baby's First Christmas

My aunt Becky’s Sister-In-Law and my friend, Molly, is expecting her first child, Willow Jade, in February.

 We are SO excited to have another little baby to love on soon!

When I was pregnant, we painted my tummy like an Easter egg and it was SO much fun and really cute!

Molly had asked my Mom to paint her tummy like a Christmas ornament. And though my tummy made a much larger egg...

Molly’s “Christmas ornament” was SO dainty and adorable! Poor Pat was SO sick- we now suspect flu- but he was an absolute trooper through the whole mini-shoot.

Thanks for such a fun morning you two.

We can’t wait to love on your little bundle of JOY!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

O Holy Night

In keeping with the true reason for the season, we took Perry to a live nativity at my grandparent’s church nearby (the church I grew up in.)

It was so much fun seeing the nativity scene-despite the frigid temperature!

Every year that we have done something similar to this, I always try to truly imagine Mary and Joseph huddled together in the stable, trying to keep the Savior warm and cozy, and how scared and frustrated they must have been, knowing this was all they could provide for their new little baby and Lord of Earth and Heaven.

The birth of Christ is such a miracle and quite a beautiful story! We have really tried to instill in Perry that Christmas is about Baby Jesus’ birthday and not just Santa…

Though I’m not gonna lie- He’s pretty pumped about the possibility of that jolly ole’ fella bringing him a tractor or two, three, four…who’s counting? Right?! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Perryisms {WILW}

I absolutely love all the little “Perryisms Mr. P gives us to laugh about each day.

The other day, Perry was extremely tired and whiny. As he was crying about nothing, my Dad says, “I know a little boy who is tired and crabby.” And Perry yells, “Yeah! ME!”

Another day after an infamous overly exerted night, my dad says to P, “Hey little buddy. Did you go home and sleep good last night?” And P responds, “Yeah, I hap to go to sweep and get some west because I was willy cwabby!”

I was trying one of Ruby’s hairbows on Perry just to get a feel for it when Justin says, “Perry! Boys don’t wear hairbows.” P, “Yes! Day sure do!”

Loving on Perry talking to him about not being a little baby anymore, I said, “Perry, you are growing so so fast little love. Why do you have to keep growing so big?” P, “So I can pway footbaw!”

When Perry sees the stars in the sky, “MOMMY!!! God put out wots of ‘tars for me tonight!! And dat bwight one is my ‘pecial ‘tar! Dat wittle one’s for you Mommy.” Last night he really warmed my heart (and finally let me know that my Sunday School lessons ARE actually being heard and retained) when he said, “Where is God? At work?” Me, “Yes baby- God is at work in the sky in Heaven. He has lots to do to take care of us. Did you know God loves you?” P, “Uh-huh! And God made me! And God made you! And God made Daddy, and Dapper (Jasper), and Otey (Otis), and my dog (Hank) and the ‘tars and the twees, and da maiwbox, and da gwass, and this went on for quite some time…till he just about ran out of things he could see!)

Perry calls all his other dogs by their name, except Hank, who he lovingly refers to as, “My dog.” “Can you hand me my dog? Can I feed my dog? Can I pet my dog? I’m chasing my dog . I’m pulling my dog’s tail!” …. Poor dog.

When I went to wake up Perry this morning, I said, “Hey Baby… Hey sweet Perry… Hey Perry… Are you ready to wake up and go to Grandmommy and Grandaddy’s house?” P, “No tank you. I’ll dust tay wite hiwah and sweep all day.”

We went through the Jack’s drive-through for dinner last week. I gave Perry his drink, but then said, “Oops- you’re gonna have to wait to drink it when we get home. They forgot to give us a straw.” P replies “Uhck! What were they THINKING?!”

Once we topped the mountain this morning (where either the sun’s blarring in our eyes and P screams “BWITE!!!” and then covers his eyes, or he declares. “It not bwite. It cwoudy today.”), the sun was shining, but it was super foggy, so you could actually look directly into the sun and just see its outline. It was very beautiful. Perry was so confused, however, saying, “Hey!! Why da moon out hewah wif da sun?!!”

Hey Baby! Mommy loves you to the moon and back! “Uhck! (He does this exasperated smirk all the time now- it’s hilarious!) I not a baby. I’m a boy!” I have SUCH a habit of calling him “Baby.” No matter what the context, he ALWAYS catches it and corrects me now. SO sad.

When we made our fire over Thanksgiving break, one of the logs rolled back off the fire. P exclaimed, “Hey! Dat log backin’ up! Beep, Beep, Beep!”

After I had been blowing raspberries on Perry’s tummy, he grabbed my shirt and pulled it up and said, “I gonna bwo on your big fat belly!” Lovely son… I’ll soon have to start teaching you how to properly charm the ladies.

Driving really slow, Perry kept saying, “Huwy up Mommy!!” I said, “I can’t baby, that car’s driving too slow.” P’s solution, “BUMP DAT CAR MOMMY!!!”

Perry crawled into the front seat of my car and refused to get in his carseat. “I gonna dwive today… see?” I said, “You aren’t big enough yet Baby.” Perry crawls into the floor board and puts his hand on the pedal. “Yes I am big enough. I can weech da pedals. See?” Not exactly sure how he’s planning on steering this bad boy. Lucky for all you other drivers, Mommy won this battle.

Anything that Perry answers “yes” to, comes out Sweedish, “Yah!” He NEVER says “yes.”

Whenever our sweet social worker, Kelly, came for her first visit, Perry was not nearly as good as he normally is! I can’t tell you how frustrating it was! So, the night after Kelly’s second home visit, at my Mom and Dad's house, Mom asked Perry, "Did you have fun with Mrs. Kelly yesterday?" He said, "Uh hu! I sowed (showed) her my gwill (grill)!" Then mom said, "So were you a good boy this time?" And Perry said, "No! I gwal (growl) at her and cared (scared) her! GRRRR!!!" Oh that boy!! But, it did make me laugh! ... at least he tells the truth, right?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

Perry invited all of his Water Baby friends over for a Christmas play date on Saturday morning.  And while, I ended up not taking a single pictures of all the cute kiddos, I did want to share a few pictures of the favors he gave to all of his friends.  (I learned to make these this year at school.)  I thought they turned out SUPER cute!! And they have made our kitchen smell divine!

If you’d like to make these cinnamon ornaments yourself, here’s the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup white school glue (like Elmer's)
  • Bowl
  • Plastic food wrap
  • Rolling pin
  • Wax paper
  • Cookie cutters or a knife
  • Ribbon or yarn for hanging
  • Straw

How to make it:
  • Mix cinnamon, applesauce, and glue together in a bowl. The dough should be as thick as cookie dough. Add a bit of water if the dough is too stiff.
  • Remove from bowl and knead. Put it back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for at least a half hour.
  • Remove the dough, knead again to make sure it's smooth. Flatten/roll the dough between waxed paper until it's between 1/4" thick and 1/8" thick.
  • Cut out desired shapes, use a straw to punch a hole for the ribbon to hang. The circle of dough will pull out with the straw.
  • Gently place the shapes on a piece of clean wax paper. They will take 3-5 days to dry, and you will need to turn them over a couple of times a day for them to dry evenly and flat.
Don't be surprised to see that the ornaments get smaller during the drying process. Keep this in mind when you pick out the cookie cutters for your designs. You will also notice that if you do not turn the ornaments over often enough while they are drying, the edges of the ornaments will curl.
When dry, thread a piece of ribbon or yarn through the hole to hang.
SHAPE IDEAS: Tree, Apple, House (gingerbread), Bell, Heart, Goose, Gingerbread Man, Star...
Optional Painting ideas - use acrylic paints or fabric paints to paint details, like white 'frosting' on a gingerbread man or gingerbread house, or eyes on a goose.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What I'm LOVING Wednesday!!

I am loving SO many things this rainy, cold, Wednesday!!

I am LOVING that I took the day off to spend time with my family.  Thanksgiving holidays left us all more exhausted than ever.  It's so nice to have a time to just hang out and get some much needed stuff done around the house.

I am LOVING that I have been SWAMPED with monogramming orders!  I cannot tell everyone enough how humbling it is for you to let me sew for you in order to get closer to bringing our little Ruby-Grace home!

I am LOVING my Christmas decorations this year!  There's nothing like soft Christmas lights to make a home feel snuggly and relaxing.  

I am LOVING my new blog design!!  It makes my blog feel so much more "homey."  Thanks again Rita!!

I am LOVING that I FINALLY figured out how to get my blog button posted.  We're talking hours guys... Please feel free to grab a button!  

Heart & Seoul

I am LOVING all of my FaBuLoUs followers!!  You guys have offered the sweetest thoughts, prayers, and kindness over the last few months.  I can't believe that nearly 50 people (I know so many bloggers have boo-koos of followers, but to me 50 is HuGe!!) are interested in what I have to say each day.  But most exciting to me is the opportunity to get to share more about adoption and how God is growing our faith while He grows our family!!  Thank you, truly, for following along our crazy journey!!

I am LOVING that our first order of adoption T-shirts should be in this upcoming week.  I cannot wait to wear mine!!  If you would like to help spread the word and bring sweet Ruby home by ordering a T-shirt, you can click on the Pay-Pal button at the bottom of my blog.  

Front "Pocket" Design

Back Full Size Design

Wishing you a Wonderful Wednesday!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chocolate Macchiato Anyone?

The FABULOUS Rita at Coffee Shop has helped me turn my little corner of the web into a calm, fun, and chic place to hang out and sip your morning coffee.  Or sip your late night hot chocolate in your jammies, which is exactly what I'm currently doing!

I cannot thank Rita enough for all her talent and effort!  Friends joke that I'm "artsy-fartsy," but sometimes I just have a hard time getting what's in my head out onto paper.  Or a computer screen.

Rita NAILED IT!!! PERFECTLY!! She was SO sweet and patient and answered dozens, hundreds, thousands of emails from me daily!  When she says she likes working with "newbies," she really means it.

So, if you are in the market for making your blog a little more like home, go visit my friend Rita.  She will hook a girl up!!

Thanks Rita!!!

Mr. Wonderful

I just wanted to write a quick praise on my sweet hubby. With Mr. P around, I know the blog doesn’t feature Justin too often. But, I truly do love him SO very much. We aren’t perfect and we don’t have a perfect relationship, but we are simply perfect for each other. We really did get the honor of marring our best friend! I’m very glad God has blessed me in being his wife.

This weekend, Perry was sick-again- and our house was a W-R-E-C-K!!! (yes-more so than usual.) So after I get Perry to bed both nights, I started cleaning like a mad woman trying to get our house back in a shape where DHR wouldn’t come take my child away from me presentable. But, instead of letting me clean, Justin assured me that if I could just leave it disastrous for two more days and spend some time with him lounging around this weekend, he would clean it for me first thing Monday morning before he went into work. It was an offer I wasn’t going to pass up. And, not only does our house now look Southern Living worthy- but he also put up all the garland that I hadn’t gotten around to doing last week. I walked into our living room last night and it was just beautiful- clean and decorated. And to boot, Mr. Murphree has graciously offered to do some transactions at the bank for me, pick up some monogramming orders from a friend’s house, and do a little shopping for me (for monogramming supplies)- all while I’m at school today. I don’t know many men who would go so far out of their way for their wife. I’m truly grateful, Justin, for all you do for me and our little family. And I want to offer my sincerest “Thank You!” I love you beyond words!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Charlie Brown Tree Story...

That ended Happily Every After!

Every year, we go to Pine Hill Farms to pick out our Christmas tree. This year, for whatever reason, they were already incredibly picked through, despite the fact that we came the Saturday after Thanksgiving- just as we do every year. The manager even apologized at the lack of options and told us he was getting a new shipment of the Frazier Firs (which we get every year) on Wednesday. However, it was Saturday, and we weren’t leaving without the perfect tree.

Justin and I finally decided that tree Number 1 was perfect, though it wasn’t a Frazier Fir and had significantly pricklier needles. As we were discussing its perfection, I noticed a teenage girl starring at us. Thinking she was just checking out how cute Mr. P was, I didn’t think anything about it. Just before we took the tag off the tree (making it officially ours) we decided to ask my Mom and Dad their opinion. So, as we stepped a mere THREE FEET AWAY, said teenage girl RUNS over to the tree, proclaiming it was “the perfect tree for their family!!!” Seriously?? Justin and I were both like, “Oh my gosh, she seriously did not just run underneath our noses and claim our tree. “ So we watched for a few minutes as said family took OUR tree. Trying to remind myself that Christmas wasn’t about a perfect tree, I submerged my emotions and didn’t make a scene. Though I’m pretty sure Justin would have if I had of given him the go ahead.

So off we went. We found tree Number 2. Perfect, though more expensive, even though it was the same bloomin’ size. Pricky needles still, but it would do. Bag ‘er up. We pulled the tag, paid, then went to visit the reindeer, go on the hayride, get our picture made in the sleigh, and get our yearly ornament from the gift shop. Then we went to pick up our tree. They took our tag to match our tag number with the tags on the trees. Crickets… SOMEONE HAD TAKEN OUR CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!

I am not even kidding. I was telling myself not to cry over a stinkin’ tree.

So then, a worker told me we would go find “another tree.” I quickly explained we weren’t getting just ‘another tree,’ that it had to be perfect. Then, he asked for my ticket, explaining that if we picked out a tree that was more expensive, we’d have to pay the difference- which I don’t know your opinion on this, but it totally rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t think it would have under regular circumstances, but we were currently already two trees down and the selection was SO slim that we were going to end up having to choose a tree about 2 feet smaller and pay about thirty dollars more. I did not find anything fair about making me choose a tree that I was just “settling” for and paying much more for it. So, with tears coming up in my eyes, one of the ‘twins’ (there are two twin boys that have worked there every year since we started getting our tree there. They also somehow know Melissa.) asked me if I was ok. I quickly explained to him what was going on and told him that I really wanted to just find a tree that would do and them not make me pay more for it. Of course, he over-road the first guy’s statement and said, “Absolutely! No problem at all.”

He was very sweet and helped us pick out the PERFECT Christmas tree. It’s by far the shortest and by far the fattest Christmas tree we’ve ever had. I dubbed it the Charlie Brown Tree. And while it’s not worldly ‘perfect,’ I fell in love with it and it is PERFECT for us! (AND, it was a Frazier Fir without prickly needles!)

Our Adoption Timeline

  • June 19, 2011- We are officially "Paper Pregnant!" We have submitted our Waiting Child Application to Holt!
  • July 5, 2011- Submitted our formal Home Study Application to Villa Hope
  • September 6, 2011- Submitted all of our paperwork for our Home Study
  • October 8, 2011- Completed our First Home Visit
  • October 17, 2011- Completed our Second Home Visit
  • November 14, 2011- Home Study Approved
  • December 1, 2011- Filed our I600a
  • February 1, 2012- I600a Approval Letter
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