Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Catching Up a Bit

Whew! It has been a busy Christmas season for us this year! Here's a little picture recap of the last few weeks.
 We broke tradition this year and set up our tree before Thanksgiving. In the past, we have always done it the day after, but now that we live closer to family, we tend to do a little more traveling that weekend. I love having Christmas decor up, so setting it up early seemed like a better option than waiting until later. This was Ben's first year to help put the ornaments on the tree. Needles to say, all of them were pretty much in one place. :-) He had a great time though.
 We spent the weekend after Thanksgiving with Matt's family and got to see not only his parents, grandma and aunt, but also his brother and sister-in-law as well as his sister, brother-in-law and two nieces. This was really the first time the three kiddos actually played together. I don't know if I would go so far as to say they always played well, but it was still fun to see. I think they will keep having more fun together as they get older.
 While we were at Matt's family's house, we were blessed to have a baby shower thrown for us by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It was a beautiful shower with fun decor and super yummy food. We enjoyed getting to see more of Matt's family and they showered us with some great gifts!

 Last year, I had this great idea for starting a Christmas countdown calendar complete with fun activities and treats to count down the 25 days until Christmas. I also wanted to start a Jesse Tree. I think one big idea is enough for one year, so last year, we just did the Jesse Tree. We use a tiny tree that I purchased at Hobby Lobby and little ornaments that I cut from stiff felt. We start the Sunday after Thanksgiving and go all the way up until Christmas. The devotions are simple and it's a great way to see how God had a plan for our salvation from before He even created the world. You can find these free devotions, as well as templates for the ornaments here. This year, we are continuing the tradition of the Jesse Tree, but I added a Christmas countdown calendar in as well. It's kept me pretty busy, but it's been really fun and I'm hoping to keep up the tradition. The above picture is one of the things that was on our calendar. We made these as teacher gifts - dipped marshmallows on sticks, hot chocolate packets, and candy cane kisses. Super fun and super easy. Other things we've done for our calendar are homemade ornaments (total fail of a project, but fun to do), reading books while cuddled under blankets, making cookies, making paper snowflakes, making a paper chain in Christmas colors, and attending a few fun things around town.
 One of the events we attended last weekend was called Clabber Girl Country Christmas. My sister works are this awesome bakery and coffee shop downtown and they had all kinds of fun things for kids. Each of them cost a little money, so we let Ben choose two. He went for getting a gingerbread cookie with his name on it and making a paper elf.
 And lastly, my belly has most definitely popped in the last few weeks! I cannot believe it, but we are into the third trimester now. I feel like time is going to fly over the next 10 1/2 or so weeks. I'm still feeling pretty good overall. The belly is starting to make me change the way I do a few things, but I've been so blessed so far with a great pregnancy. I had my glucose tolerance test last week and since we are in the middle of Christmas goodie season, I was super nervous that I wouldn't pass and would miss out on lots of yummy stuff. Then when I went into the lab, the lady asked me if I was fasting. My doctor hadn't told me to fast, so not only was I not fasting, but I had been extra hungry that morning and had already eaten twice. She told me she'd probably see me back for the three hour test. I drank that grossly sweet drink and praise the Lord I passed the test! Pretty sure I've gained 5 pounds since then from all the Christmas goodies I've consumed since then. Yikes! :-) We started our childbirth classes last week. I'm not super thrilled about them, but hopefully they will get better and more informative over the next few weeks. I have a friend who loaned me a great book that Matt and I have been reading together that has been super informative (it's also been freaking me out as we get closer to delivery time), so I'm not too worried about the childbirth classes being as basic as they seem to be. I've also been attending a weekly prenatal yoga class and I love it! Last week my balance had definitely changed a bit and I kept falling out of poses, but the strengthening and stretching we do during the class is great as I continue to gain weight and prepare for labor.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Benjamin Funnies

Yesterday I was in line at the grocery store with Ben and he started talking to the baby. Then he looked up and asked me if the baby could hear him. I told him he could hear his voice, but probably couldn't understand the words he was saying. I told Ben it was kind of like having your head under water in the bathtub and trying to hear someone talking. Ben got a funny look on his face and asked me if there was water in my belly. I told him there was and that it helped to protect the baby. He paused for a minute and then asked "Are there sharks in there too?"

Monday, November 7, 2011

October Travels

I think after a week of being home, we are finally recovered and caught up on sleep from all of our October travels. We were so blessed to be able to be gone for just over two weeks and enjoyed the refreshment of time away as a family. We got to see some great friends in Kansas and Texas and also got to see some of Ben's birth family. It was a great trip. We were definitely ready to be home in our own beds by the end of two weeks, but even the time in the car was mostly enjoyable. We listened to lots of books on tape, played travel Bingo, colored with Ben in the back seat, and got annoyed with each other a few times. :-) Ben watched a few movies and was in heaven getting to watch way more than he normally does. And while we were gone, my belly finally really popped out! It's so much fun to be big enough now that people who don't know I'm pregnant can tell. I felt pretty good through most of the trip. My back was not appreciative of all the car time and I had a few times of travel food not sitting well with me, but other than that, I think it all went great. Little man is kicking stronger and even making my belly move sometimes. It's amazing!

 23 weeks

 We stopped in Omaha first for Matt's conference. It was freezing cold, but Ben and I got out and found these awesome slides a few blocks from our hotel. Matt joined us later and that's him at the top of the slide.
 We had such a great time with our friends Brian and Katie and their son. Ben and Cale played hard just about every minute we were with them.
 Yay for great friends!
 Dinner out with Bert, Tina, Eric and Jamie
 We spent an afternoon in downtown San Antonio and had to splurge on freshly made guacamole from Boudros. Mmmmm. I sure do miss good avocados!!
 Ben did super well with all the hours of driving. We had a fun little surprise for him for each long day and I think it made it a little more fun for him. I picked up some animals at the dollar store and they were a huge hit.
 Ben was so excited to get to help daddy wash the windows!
Our last stop before beginning the drive home was El Paso. We had a great time visiting Ben's birth grandma and great grandma.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Emotions of Pregnancy after Infertility

I've had some pretty emotional weeks lately. A week ago I finished out a journal I started just over three years ago. I'm not very good at consistency with journaling and it was only a 70 page notebook, but when I get to the end of one, I always like to look back through to see where God has taken me. Three years ago we found out about a possible adoption opportunity. The journal started with prayer over that situation. Three years ago today that little boy was born and we thought God meant him to be part of our family. God had other plans and if I had known that it would be three and a half more years before we would add to our family, it would have felt like too much. I'm always amazed at how I want to know what's coming, but when I look back, I'm so glad God showed me only what I needed to know for each season. So my journal ended with the wonder and amazement of finding out I was pregnant. Only God could take something so silly like a journal and start it and end it in such a way.

Pregnancy after years of infertility is so filled with emotion. Some days I feel guilty and almost hesitant to share excitement because I know the pain of so many women who have not yet carried a child in their womb. Other days I feel like it can't be real and I wait for the reality check to let me know that this too is just another pain filled experience along the way. Sometimes fear takes me over and I spend the whole day trying to place myself back at the feet of Jesus in full surrender to whatever His plan is. And some days the joy fills me so full to the top that I cry just thinking about the precious baby boy growing and kicking inside my womb. Overall, I'm in awe. I don't know God's plans for this child. But I'm amazed that He is allowing this child to grow inside of me. Each day is such a blessing and I don't want to take any of them for granted.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Guess Who's Getting a Little Brother!!

Whew! This pregnancy is flying by! I'm 19 weeks and I think now I almost want it to slow down just a tiny bit. I love this stage! I'm finally starting to show a tiny bit more and in the last few weeks I've felt little flutters and kicks and it's just amazing!! I think I can finally say that I am over having sick days for the most part, unless I do way too much one day. I have so much more energy now and I'm loving being able to work out more consistently and get a few more things done around the house. I am also finally able to eat just about anything now, which is awesome, but now I need to be careful because I went from wanting nothing to do with sugar, to craving chocolate ALL THE TIME!! But I'm also enjoying all kinds of healthy stuff again too. I'm officially not fitting into my jeans anymore and I was so excited to find some maternity jeans that look and feel great, but are also long enough. I've decided that they may have to remain in my closet even after pregnancy because I think they fit better than my non maternity jeans. :-)  I'm still so in awe that I am getting to experience this. I feel like I just want to soak up every minute. Last week was a super exciting doctor's appointment. We got to see this little life that is growing inside me. It felt surreal. Of course based on tests and the way I was feeling, I knew I was pregnant, but to have the image of this precious baby come up on the screen was amazing! And, we found out that God is blessing us with another boy! Benjamin was so excited when he found out. He was pretty set on having a boy because he thought he and the baby should match.
OK, so still not showing a ton, but definitely growing!

Friday, September 2, 2011

14 Weeks

Seems like the first trimester went by super slow, but I have a feeling things are about to speed up now that I'm mostly feeling better. I'm still waiting for the energy boost that all the books mention, but at least I can eat normal food again! I still can't believe this is for real! We had our second doctor's appointment yesterday and I am pretty sure hearing this little one's heartbeat will never get old. Apparently we have a little mover because when the nurse placed the doppler on my stomach, she got the heartbeat right away, but then it was gone and she had to search quite a bit to find it again. In the midst of her searching though, we got to hear a kick. It was amazing! Can't wait for our next appointment when we will get to see this little person on an ultrasound!!!

I never took any belly pictures before now, and I kind of wish I had just for the fun of comparison, but I'm finally starting to get a little bit of a belly, so I thought it was time to start taking belly pictures!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ben's Take on the Baby in my Belly

This morning Ben was perusing through a week by week pregnancy book I have from the library. It's complete with illustrations and his analysis was quite entertaining.

When he came to a picture of the cells dividing, he said "mommy, do you have pancakes in your belly?"

When he came to a picture of a tiny tiny baby inside the womb, he said "Oh mommy, look at the little baaaaaby inside of you. (said in baby voice) How tiny is he? He's like a booger!"

After that, Ben asked me how big the baby is in my belly right now. I tried to explain that it's about the size of a large lemon (at least that's what the internet says) :-). He insisted that no, our baby was not a lemon. I then explained that it was about the size of my fist (this is how my pregnancy book describes 14 weeks). He then grew adamant and said "No mommy, the baby is not a lemon and it's not a fish! It's just a baby!) So there you have it!

Friday, August 19, 2011


A strange thing hit me this week. This child is going to look like me and Matt. Would this be a strange thought to most people? Probably not. But seven years ago when doctors told us our chance of getting pregnant was less than 1%, whether or not our child looked like us was the farthest thing from my mind. I just wanted to be a mom. As we grieved through infertility and God moved our hearts toward adoption, the thought that our child would not look like us did cross my mind, but it just didn't really matter. I wanted a baby to hold and love and I wanted to see Matt be a daddy. And then God blessed us like crazy by bringing Ben into our lives and people began to comment about how he must take after Matt, or me. I would laugh because I knew his adorable looks came straight from his birth families. And I love that. In fact, sometimes it rubs me the wrong way when people know we adopted Ben and they still insist that he looks like us, as if looking like your parents truly is the only way you know you belong.

And so, the idea of our child looking like us almost surprised me when it came to mind this week. I'm so excited about it! But I'm also so glad for the perspective adoption has given me. Families are put together by God. Sometimes they all look like each other, and sometimes He likes to change things up. I can't believe I'm getting to experience both! And in the end, I hope we all look most like Him!

Friday, August 5, 2011

For Nothing is Impossible with God!!

I love a good secret, but I hate keeping secrets when it means keeping good news to myself. And this is the reason that it's been over a month since I updated our blog. This secret has consumed my mind and well, my body and I felt like I had nothing else to talk about. But now it's out!!! God has worked a miracle and let us see in a very tangible way that He is the God of the impossible. I am pregnant!!! Totally unexpected, totally out of the blue, but totally in His timing.

Our church had VBS at the end of June and I was in charge of a Bible times bakery. Ben turned four at the end of June and I was attempting to plan his little family party. And the timing just so happened to work out that all that fell during my dreaded monthly misery. VBS was in the evening at our church this year and I was TIRED!!! Tiredness around this time is not that unusual for me, so I didn't think anything about it, until my regular monthly friend wasn't quite as regular as normal. After seven years though, I didn't get my hopes up. I was just frustrated because I didn't want to feel yucky for Ben's party. So I woke up early on Thursday June 23rd and my mind just wouldn't let it go. I felt kind of silly because, after all, this had happened MANY times before and been nothing. But I knew we had a pregnancy test in the closet that we had purchased many many months before and I thought I would take it and at least that way, I could put the thought out of my mind and move on with getting ready for VBS that night and preparing for Ben's party. Matt works out at a gym and leaves really early on Thursday mornings, so I waited for him to leave before taking the test. I honestly just felt silly for even deciding to take it. I figured I would tell him later that I had taken it and that it was negative, but we've done this so many times, that when one of us has a hopeful month, we rarely say anything to the other because it's just not worth the emotional drama.

So at 6:07am or so, I took the test and within seconds there were two pink lines. I was stunned! Honestly I had no idea what to do. I walked out of the bathroom and then walked back in 20 times just to look at it again because I just didn't believe it. And Matt wasn't even home. I knew there was no way he would hear his phone while he was working out, so I waited a little while before calling him. You can imagine that I spent those few minutes just praising God and asking Him if this could possibly be for real. The passage in Luke came to mind where Mary has just been told that she is going to have a son and then when the angel tells her that her cousin Elizabeth is also with child he says "For nothing is impossible with God." I felt so amazed in that moment to be offered such a tangible way to knowing that to be true.

I finally got a hold of Matt and told him that I had taken the test and that it was positive. He was completely speechless. Then he told me he was coming home and we spent the next several minutes before he had to go to work asking each other if this could possibly be for real. I still didn't completely believe the test, so after he left for work, I called my doctor and asked if I could come in for a blood test. Then I went and bought a second test, which was also positive. Waiting for the call back from the doctor with the results of my blood work seemed to take forever! But when they finally called, I let myself believe that this was actually happening. What an amazing day!

So I feel like I've spent the summer sleeping and trying to figure out what to eat that doesn't sound completely disgusting. I have been blessed not to be super sick, but I definitely haven't felt great. I've struggled with worry and fear that this pregnancy won't last and that this will just be another disappointment, but even that God is using to teach and refine me as he shows me more of His character and calls me to trust Him with the unknowns and what-ifs. I'm learning to leave tomorrow for tomorrow and praise God for each day I get with this precious little life inside me.

I am 10 weeks this week and yesterday I had my first appointment. I knew it was early, but I was so hopeful to get to hear the heartbeat and we got to! What an amazing blessing! Now I'm addicted and can't wait until my next appointment so I can hear it again. :-)

So, Lord willing, we will be welcoming this little miracle into our lives on or around February 28th. I'm SOOO excited!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Little Super Heroes

A few weeks ago my little brother came over for the afternoon to play with Ben. I had this idea I found for making super hero capes and decided to give it a try for both boys. It was a total success! Both boys were running around the house pretending the fly and chase villains for the rest of the afternoon.

I found the idea for these here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Benjamin Funnies

Benjamin was just eating his breakfast and showed me his tongue covered with toast crumbs. I made an "eeewww" sound and told him to put his tongue back in his mouth. He swallowed and said the toast was in his tummy, so I told him maybe he should drink some water to flush it down. He filled his mouth with water, ran to the bathroom, spit it in the toilet, flushed, and said "I did it mommy! I flushed it down." I love the literal thinking of an almost four year old.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where Has the Time Gone?

I think my brain still thinks it's April and so when I stop and realize we are almost a third of the way through June, I'm a little bit in shock. It's amazing how being busy can make the time pass so much more quickly. So what have we been up to? Well, attending my sister's high school graduation, traveling to Matt's sister's wedding, getting away for an anniversary weekend combined with attending a homeschool conference, and now I'm preparing for next year's MOPS. Oh yes, and while this doesn't take up any of our time, we are active with our adoption agency and I'm truly having to practice patience as we wait to get "the call." Some days I don't actually think about it much, but other days I feel this constant need to keep the phone by my side just in case. It's so exciting, but waiting can be so hard.

Matt and I celebrated 9 years of marriage this past week. My parents were amazing and kept Ben from Thursday night through Sunday morning (they were going out of town and brought Ben to us on their way). It was the first time we'd been away from Ben for that long and we were very ready to see him by Sunday. But it was super refreshing to get away. We stayed in downtown Indianapolis in a hotel we got for a steal on Hotwire. We walked to almost everything and never ate dinner before 8pm. Not sure why that was so much fun, but it just felt so carefree and unconstrained by bedtime schedules. I'm married to such a great man and it was amazing to have that time to talk uninterrupted, take lots of walks, eat out at some of our favorite restaurants, and just kind of feel like we were newlyweds again.

In addition to celebrating our anniversary, we also attended a few sessions at the homeschool convention. Honestly most of them were not all that helpful to us in making a decision as to whether or not to homeschool. Some of them were even enough to make me say "no way!" But we went to one that inspired us and after spending a couple hours looking through curriculum and asking tons of questions, I think we are going to give it a try for kindergarten. I'm pretty excited about the curriculum we will be using.

So this week has been the start to preparing to be in leadership for MOPS next year. I'm really excited to be a part of his great ministry. There is just something so freeing about being able to share mommy stories with other women who are going through the same thing and I feel like I've gotten so many great parenting ideas from some of the speakers I've heard over the past few years. I think MOPS was one of the things I missed the most when we moved away from San Antonio. I always felt so inspired by the group of women in my group. So now it's my turn to be in leadership here and sometimes I think maybe I'm in over my head, but I'm excited to see what God does with our group next year.

Here are a few pictures of our time at Matt's sister's wedding.
 Ben enjoyed hanging out with his cousins.
 Ben and the other kids were tearing up the dance floor!

I know I'm biased, but I don't care. He is just the cutest little ring bearer ever!!

Friday, May 13, 2011


This week was an exciting one because we got our homestudy report and sent in our last form and fee before we activate. Woohoo! We should be active by sometime next week and then the waiting begins. I've had all kinds of emotions throughout this process. Some days I feel like I can't even handle what God has given me and I think there's no way we should be adopting again. Other days I am anxious that we will never get chosen again. But lately, I've had peace. I don't know what God's plan is for us this time. I don't know if our first match will go through, or if we will have a fall through. I don't know how long the wait will be or even if we will have a match. But God does and I'm choosing to surrender to His will, whatever that may look like. But that's not to say that I'm not excited!! The thought of having another baby to love and of watching Ben be a big brother thrills me! I feel peaceful about the wait, but I'm so excited to see what this next adoption story looks like.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rest Time

It's been several months now since Ben gave up his nap time. It was often a fight and then when he did actually sleep, bedtime was another fight. So now we do a rest time in the afternoons. Sometimes this is a fight too, but it allows him some time to do quiet things and it give me a little down time each day. The past month though it's been getting light earlier and earlier and he's been waking up in the mornings earlier too. This leads to a lot of tired days. The other day I decided to sneak a short snooze in while Ben was resting. He was being quite loud when I was dozing off, but when I woke up twenty minutes later, the house was quiet. I panicked, thinking he was getting into trouble. Then I went into his room and this is what I saw...
I guess he was so tired that pulling up his pants was just too much!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Since my Last Post...

We had our homestudy interview
We attended our homestudy class
I cleaned like a crazy woman
We had the home visit portion of our homestudy
Ben and I (mostly I) built a cardboard city for Kindermusik
Matt successfully pulled off a surprise 30th birthday party for me
And last but not least, we spent Easter weekend with lots of family

Whew! It was a busy couple of weeks!

Hopefully within a month or so our homestudy report and our bio will be complete and we will officially be active with our agency. We are SO excited to bring another baby into our family! I think I'm still in a little bit of shock over how quickly everything went after we registered with our agency. I can so easily get into this mode of moving quickly and forget that we may very well have to wait a while before we are chosen by a birth family, but I know that God already knows the child He has for us, so I don't want to be impatient.

This week is Ben's last week of Kindermusik. It's been fun watching him interact with other kids in more of a class-like setting and listening to all the songs he's learned. I don't know that we will continue next year, but it was a good experience for him. The theme this year was cities and the end of the year project was building a city out of whatever materials you wanted. We used a lot of cardboard and Ben loved it. It was a little crazy trying to build it in the midst of adoption paperwork and home study preparation, but it got done and he was pretty proud of it.

And here's the part where I shamelessly brag about my amazing husband. He apparently started planning for my 30th birthday party months ago. He worked out every detail, snuck into my e-mail to get addresses for friends he'd never even met, enlisted help getting everything set up, figured out how to get me there without making me the least bit suspicious, and managed to keep it a surprise the whole time. I thought we were going to an combined egg hunt for several of the small groups in our church. I even at the last minute went and got Ben a cute little basket to collect his eggs in. When we walked into the church I thought it was awfully quiet for an egg hunt with lots of little kids involved. Then we walked up the stairs and I heard someone whisper "surprise." right before everyone shouted it. Needless to say I was a bit overwhelmed and felt so blessed to have so many people come to help me celebrate. I'm still a little bit in shock that I'm turning 30 tomorrow. I always thought I would feel grown up and capable of handling life by this age, but I don't. But when I look back over the last ten years of my 20's, I can see how amazing God is as He has pursued me and loved me and convicted me and humbled me and been patient with me and comforted me and blessed me and most of all shown me that He's not finished refining me and that His refining draws me closer to Himself. (sorry for the run-on) There have been some tough things to walk through in my twenties. Sometimes that makes me nervous about my thirties. But it shouldn't, because the tough things have been the things that have made me see that God is the only important One. So I hope that when I get to the end of this next decade, I can look back and see that God was more often my first priority that He was in my twenties.
 Walking into the party
I am one very blessed woman!!

This year was such a great Easter. Ben is asking so many questions and understanding and remembering and I had so many opportunities to talk with him about the reason we celebrate. He walks around the house now saying "Jesus is alive!" I love it!
We never did get a family picture on Easter morning, and Ben is a little washed out by the flash in this one, but he was decked out this year and so grown up looking.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Conversations with Ben

Conversation while eating lunch with Ben today:

Ben: Mommy, I'm gonna be Goliath, Daddy is David, and you be a pig
Me: OK, but what does the pig do?
Ben: It goes oink and eats a lot
Me: Are you sure you want to be Goliath?
Ben: Yes, I LOVE Goliath
Me: But Goliath was a bad man who didn't follow God and David killed him
Ben: No, mommy, you be the pig, I'll be David, and daddy can be Goliath
Me: no way! I don't want daddy to get killed
Ben: Then you be Goliath and I'll be David, and then I get to kill you.
Me: Can I just be the pig and you be David?
Ben: um, sure
Me: (in my head) did I really just request to be the pig?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Captured Moments

Do you ever have times when you wish you could stay in a moment forever? I had one of those yesterday. We had a family movie night last night complete with snacks and cuddles. But that was not the moment. The moment came after the movie was over and I went out on our porch to watch the last of the sunset and feel the rare warmth of the air outside. I looked back inside and caught Matt and Ben dancing crazily to the credits of the movie. The moment continued when we all put our flip flops on and ran outside to see the beautiful sunset. And my favorite part of the night was Ben taking off running as fast as he could and Matt and I running with him and all of us laughing together because we were just enjoying each other. And in my mind at the time, I wanted it to last forever. Of course it couldn't and we had to come in and put Ben to bed, but that moment was such a reminder to me not to take life for granted and to recognize the blessings God gives.
Matt and Ben dancing to the credits

Friday, April 1, 2011

Quick Update

I cannot believe I let March go by with only one blog post. And this one is going to be short because it's still crazy! Right now we are in the middle of adoption paperwork in preparation for our home study. We attended an orientation meeting with an agency here and last week we called to register with them. Since then it's been a whirlwind of getting fingerprints, criminal record checks, copies made, and a ton of other things. But we are SO excited!! We will attend our office interview next week and our home study class the week after and then we will have our actual home visit. We are scrambling to get our extra bedroom cleaned out and ready to be a baby room. I'm going through Magic Erasers like you wouldn't believe in attempt to get all of Ben's fingerprints and crayon marks off the wall. It's amazing how many things you don't notice until you know someone is going to come to your home to look at your home. I know from past experience that this isn't a white glove check, but still, I want things clean.

Besides getting ready for our home study, Ben and I have also had a few little projects to work on. He is doing Kindermusik this spring and the theme is cities. One week they were talking about sculptures and art and they had to create a sculpture. I gave Ben a couple of pieces of aluminum foil and told him to make something. He crumpled it up and said he was done. Then he looked at it and said it looked like an elephant. I decided we would go with it and gave him more foil to make a body. Then he changed his mind and said it looked like a squirrel. We added a bushy tail and some eyes and he had a pretty cool squirrel sculpture that other than hot gluing, he did pretty much by himself. I was one proud momma!
Our next project was a car. Ben is in Awana at a local church here and each year they have a grand prix car race. I had no idea what we were going to do with this as I do not feel artistically inclined and besides painting the base color, it was kind of hard for Ben to do. It didn't help that I was sick for three weeks in late February and early March and didn't even have time to start painting it until a week before it was due to be raced. But despite that, Ben won first place for design and came in fourth (out of five total) for speed. Mostly though, he just had a great time sitting along side the track eating fun snacks and watching the cars race down the track.

The big excitement for last month was getting to go visit my sister and her family after the birth of my new nephew. He is so precious and it was fun to get to see him while he was only two weeks old. Ben was a little to excited for Stephen and kind of scared him out of wanting to play, but we still managed to get a cute little cousin picture. I cannot wait to go back up and see those sweet boys again.

We took a wonderful vacation in March as well. We stayed two nights in a lodge about two hours away and enjoyed hiking and the indoor water park. We spent the remainder of the week doing fun things around home. We took Ben rollerskating for the first time, went out to eat a few times, went to the children's museum, and watched some movies. I think having a vacation mostly at home, while not as exciting as a travel vacation, is the most relaxing type of vacation. It was much needed and we were so refreshed by the end of it.

I think that about sums up our month. Now back to the adoption craziness for me!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Benjamin Funnies

I haven't posted any of these in a while. I really need to carry a notebook around with me to record all the funny things Ben says. But here are a few I remember from recently.

Matt's parents were here for a visit and Benjamin was talking nonstop as usual. We were trying to clarify something he said and mentioned "everybody." He said "No, not everybody, just a couple buddies."

Matt was reading to Ben from a children's Bible verse book and read Proverbs 20:11 to him. It reads "Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right." Matt started talking to Ben about how our actions show what is in our heart. Then he asked Ben what was in his heart. Ben thought for a minute and then said "Blood."

This morning I was sitting on the floor reading my Bible and Ben brought his children's Bible in to read. He turned to a picture of Jesus being baptized and said "mommy look, he got advertised."

I love love love the mind of my little three year old!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine Rambles

Happy late Valentine's Day! I am a girl who likes any excuse for celebration, so Valentine's day is one of my favorite days. After having at least one of us sick for nearly two weeks, the fact that we were all well for this weekend made it even better. We had a great weekend (yes we like to extend our celebrations) that included a date for me and Matt, a date for me and Ben, and lots of good family time. Matt actually started this year off two weeks early by hiding valentine's notes or treats for me somewhere around the house each day. I felt pretty spoiled and very blessed. I'm not sure when the last time was that we were out at a restaurant on Valentine's weekend, and it was definitely crowded, but it was fun. Yesterday I took Ben out for a lunch date and then we went to the pet store. I have pretty severe allergies to anything with fur, so we will never own a cat or dog, but it was fun to look around. We could have come home with a baby hedgehog for a mere $190. Not sure what you do with a pet hedgehog, but I will say that it was kind of cute.

Getting cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory has been pretty traditional for us the past few years, but now that we live in a little city, that was not an option. Unless of course I wanted to pay $45 in shipping, plus $28 for the 7" cheesecake. So, we opted for our other favorite dessert. Or at least, it used to be. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge ice cream girl. I think I would say it is, or at least was, my very favorite dessert. But for some reason, my body has decided it doesn't appreciate milk or cream, or yogurt, and only tolerates small amounts of other dairy. This has been the case for several months now and I think it's almost been a bit of an adventure for me as I have been figuring out what I can and can't have. But for some reason this weekend the adventure aspect of it was no more and I kind of had a silent kicking screaming fit inside myself as I stood in the dairy free ice cream aisle. Matt had requested chocolate ice cream and that sounded SO good to me. But my choices were very limited in the dairy free aisle and chocolate was not there. I went home with Matt's chocolate ice cream and my vanilla rice non dairy dessert and about half way home I was convicted of how bratty I was being. As if the world was coming to an end because I could never have real ice cream again. It's amazing how much I can blow things out of proportion when I get into the mode of having to have exactly what I want. As it turned out, we all enjoyed our valentine's day (r)ice cream and I discovered that homemade chocolate chip cookies make even non dairy options taste amazing.

In other news, (not that what we had for our Valentine's dessert was really news) one month from tomorrow we will be attending an adoption information session for an agency in our state. We did attend one training session for foster care, but after lots of prayer, we think that the timing may be a bit off for now. It's hard because there truly is such a need for good foster homes, but we feel like we need to be a bit more connected here before taking on something that could potentially be very emotionally difficult. This is still something we think God is calling us to and we are praying about the possibility of going through the training again in three or four years. In the mean time, we plan to pursue an infant adoption through an agency we've heard good things about. I'm nervous about starting over again, especially since the doors have so clearly been shut these last couple years, but we are laying it before the Lord and asking for His will. I'm hopeful that His will is another child in our family, but my hearts desire is that I not be in a place of desiring a child more than desiring God's perfect plan for our family.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Iced In

I find it quite humorous that we lived in Texas for almost seven years and then the first winter we are back home, we have the worst winter in years. Although from what I've heard, Texas is getting a pretty bad one this year too.

The freezing rain started Monday night and later turned to ice, continuing through Tuesday night. We never did get much more than a dusting of snow though and our building only lost power for a little more than an hour. Compared to much of the city, we were blessed. It's officially been four days since I've ventured beyond our parking lot. I'm such a wimp when it comes to driving in winter snow, so driving on potentially icy roads terrifies me.

Matt had two days off, which was also a huge blessing since my body decided it was time to get sick and I was worthless for two days. But yesterday was a fun day of hanging out inside doing crafts, baking, reading, playing, dancing to music, and enjoying the pretty sunshine from the indoors. We did make it outside for a little while, but everything was so slick that Ben kept falling and I came close several times.

I did finally remember to take a few pictures!
 Puzzles are best when done in your bathrobe
 Benjamin and I made cinnamon raisin bread. mmmmm!
 Time for some honey butter
 Now for the cinnamon and raisins
 He was so proud of his bread
 This picture doesn't capture it well, but the trees looked like crystals yesterday!
 Ben couldn't stay on his feet and ended up having to crawl back to the door
 The bushes behind our building
The side yard beside our building is a solid sheet of ice