June 30, 2011

Poppin' wheelies

There were not really any wheelies being popped, but Tay did take her first ride around the neighborhood on her new bike. Her skills were pretty impressive, so I am sure wheelies will be in her near future.

Noah even gave it a whirl.

June 29, 2011

i heart Exodus

Our chiropractor, Dr. Josh, is awesome. He is awesome for the obvious reasons…our adjustments always feel great. He has helped our family get on a healthy living track. He even came to our house the day after Noah was born to give him an adjustment.

But here is what you may not know about Dr. Josh. He has a heart for orphans and for adoption. His company, Exodus, donated an iPad 2 for a door prize at our benefit concert and silent auction!! Dr. Josh also donated some of his fabulous cookbooks and DVD’s for our silent auction.

Thanks Dr. Josh!! You da man!

Tickets for the benefit concert and silent auction go on sale this Friday, July 1st! Photobucket

June 27, 2011

The perfect snack, or lunch?

As I was looking in the refrigerator for lunch ideas, I came to the conclusion that we had nothing. Well, I guess that is not entirely true. There is food in the refrigerator, but all things that need to be prepared. And at 11:15am, my kids were ready to eat THEN (yes, when you have kids, lunch time gets moved up considerably). So, I decided we were going to have popcorn, blueberries, and peaches. Probably not the healthiest lunch, but it is better than you think.

We have found the BEST way to make popcorn that is healthy AND tasty. All you need is a stock pot, grapeseed oil, organic popcorn, and salt and butter (optional).

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, add 1/3 cup of popcorn and let it pop. We add sea salt and organic butter, but it is good without it. Yummy.


Do you have any suggestions for easy, healthy lunch ideas? It seems to be the hardest meal for us.

June 25, 2011

Pleasantly surprised

Most of Mark’s family lives up in northern Ohio, thus we rarely get to spend time with them. Sometime last year, we drew up the idea to take a family vacation to the beach. Mark’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins live in New Smyrna Beach, Florida so this seemed like the logical place to go.

Noah has never been to the beach and Tay has not been since she was younger than 1. Mark’s parents generously offered to pay for the majority of a beach house, so we graciously accepted the opportunity to go :) Last Saturday, we packed up my parent’s minivan, headed out at midnight, and spent 11 hours in the car.

Enter “family vacation” week. I am not going to lie, at first, I was a little concerned. We were on vacation for ONE week with Mark’s entire family in ONE house. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mark’s family. But when you put 20 people in a house for one week, personalities are bound to collide, right?
However, I was pleasantly surprised.

We laughed, the kids played well together, we stayed up late, and the beach was amazing!

Memorable moments from our trip
• On the trip down, both kids were awake at 2:30am laughing hysterically at one another, slap happy?
• Noah loved the beach! He would run straight for it and laugh the entire way
• Tay on the other hand, not a huge fan. It “hurt her eyes”, so she stuck to building sand castles.
• Both kids are NOT afraid of the pool. We had to “rescue” both more than one time. Made me quite nervous
• Our 4th anniversary was Thursday, so we had a “date night” at one of the local restaurants
• Tay jumping in the pool yelling “cannonball”!
• Karaoke, need I say more?
• Nascar baby!! My father-in-law is a HUGE Nascar fan. We went to Daytona Speedway where he was able to ride in a race car.
• The quote of the week, “where’s Noah?”
• On the way home, Noah decided to pull an “all nighter”, meaning from midnight til we got home at 11am, he DID NOT SLEEP. Still recovering from that one.


June 17, 2011

Burdens or Blessings?

When we tell people that we are adopting from Ethiopia, there are two common questions we get. One question is “Why from Ethiopia?”.
The second is “Why would you adopt when you have 2 children of your own?”.

The short answers: God led us to Ethiopia and we would love to have a BIG family.

But to fully answer these questions, I need to start right before Mark and I got married.
While we were engaged, we talked about children…maybe we would have 2 or 3. And we would most definitely wait a few years after we were married. HA! God had much different plans for us and I am pretty sure He had a good chuckle about our “plans”.

During that same time period, we also began to be challenged to see children as God sees them, not as the world does. To see them as blessings, and not as burdens.
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
Slowly, God began to open our hearts to His will for us. We decided to give control to God, to let Him decide how many children we would have and the timing.

Taylor was conceived after Mark and I had been married for only 1 month and Noah was conceived before Taylor was even 1. When we began to think about a third child, God started to tug our hearts towards adoption. You can read more about that story here.
We looked into domestic and international adoption. We looked into private adoption agencies and government ran agencies. We looked into EVERY country possible. We did LOTS of research and LOTS of praying.

When asked “Why Ethiopia?” it is often because people question why we would go to Ethiopia when there are children here that need homes. Trust me, if I could adopt them all, I would :), but I know that is not God’s plan for us RIGHT now. Domestic adoption may be His plan sometime in the future, but RIGHT now, we feel certain that God has led us to Ethiopia. We know that He has a child for us and we have to trust that God knows what He is doing.

And to touch on the second question, I have two young children. On a daily basis they try my patience. Everyday God has to give me grace and forgiveness. There are days when I think we can have 12 kids and there are days that I wonder how I manage with 2. Day after day I ask God to give me a heart that will view our children as blessings and not as burdens, a heart that will love our children and long for His will.

As much I do not “love” how these questions often make me feel, I choose to praise God for the opportunity to speak to others about adoption and how God has worked in our lives.

June 16, 2011

Let me tell you bout' my best friend

Tay and her cousin Addie are so sweet together. They may fight like sisters sometimes, but when they are buddies, it is ADORABLE!


June 12, 2011

Something to hit

Noah is most definitely going to play some kind of sport. Specifically, a sport where an object is used to hit a ball. Maybe baseball, or golf, or tennis, I don’t know, but it is going to happen. Noah uses every object that he picks up to swing at some type of ball or whatever happens to be in front of him at the time.


June 9, 2011

Bidding starts at $5, can I get $5?

As you may know, we have been collecting items for our silent auction in October to raise money for our adoption.
Sun Tan City graciously sent us a gift certificate for 5 free visits to any location(worth $113)!!! However, the certificate expires on July 31st, 2011. So since it will be expired by the time we have our auction, I thought I would auction it off here.
The certificate is for 1 visit to each of the 5 levels of equipment (5 total).


I would like to start to bidding at $5. You can the bid in any increment, but please be sure it is higher than the bid before it. Leave a comment below with your bid and email. Happy bidding!!

The auction will close Sunday evening at 8pm.

Thanks friends!

Fun at the farm

My niece and nephew stayed with my parents in Cookeville while my brother and sister-in-law were in Ethiopia. So I packed up the kids and we headed there for the week. It was a little crazy at times, but it was well worth the trip!

We swam…

We fed cows…

We rode tractors…
You know, everyday kind of stuff.

I know I have wrote about my grandparents before, but they are just too cute. As we walked through the farm, they would hold hands . In 50 years, if Mark and I can have a relationship half as wonderful as theirs, we will be doing alright :)


June 7, 2011

Sign Language?

I am having mixed feeling about teaching Noah sign language. Some people say it is wonderful and helps children to communicate. Others say it causes children to have speech delays.
We did it with Taylor from the time she turned 10 months. Tay did talk late, but she also crawled late and walked late. She has always been my laid back baby.

We have started it with Noah, but I don’t know if I want to continue. What are your thoughts?

June 1, 2011


We are getting together the details for our benefit concert and silent auction. I need your help with something. Every person who attends the event will be entered to win a door prize. So far we have thought about an iPad2 or a mini vacation.

What would you want to win? Keep suggestions under $600, we don't want to get too crazy :)