December 26, 2011

I love Christmastime.

Here are our past few days in pictures…

First, celebrating Christmas at my parent’s house. Do you see the amount of matching clothing going on here? This was not even the full extent of it.
Oh, and I have to give acknowledgement for the "waiting for you sign" in the last picture. I meant to on a previous post and totally forgot. I cannot take credit for the sign, I kind of stole it from Pitter Patter Art. The author of that blog is much more crafty and creative than me and when I saw this idea I just loved it. I am REALLY hoping this is our last Christmas as a family of 4!
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I really cannot get enough of this kid. Don’t you just want to squeeze him? I know I do. 
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The many faces of Taylor. She was SUPER excited. I like to think it was becasue we were celebrating Jesus' birthday, but we all know the truth. Girl was just excited about her new toys.
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Noah went from this, to this in a matter of seconds. We decided he only likes his tractor when it's in the garage.
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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6
 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior!

December 21, 2011

birthday, Christmas Cookie decorations and dancing lights

This past Monday, I turned to BIG 30. I thought it might bug me, but it did not really seem any different than 29.
I mainly just want to brag on Mark. Everyday, for 30 days before my birthday, I found a note. The note gave me clue as to where I would find the next note and a clue as to what he was going to give me for my birthday. On Monday, I found out he is taking me to the Biltmore. He’s a keeper, that’s for sure!
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Last night was family Christmas cookie decorating night. Mark grew up decorating cookies so he was pretty excited and the kids got to eat them, so of course they were thrilled.
My sister-in-law and her sister don’t mess around when it comes time to cookie making. They EACH made 12 dozen cookies. You do the math, 24 dozen cookies to decorate and split among 3 families. Anyone need any cookies?
Somebody should teach this girl some manners...where is her Daddy?
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First we let the kids decorate…
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Then the adults had their turn…
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I am not sure who made the bigger mess and whose cookies looked the best. I will let you be the judge.
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And then we went to a house that has the Christmas lights set to music. It was AH-mazing!
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December 16, 2011

December 15, 2011

gingerbread man decorating

Let me start by saying that I LOVE Trader Joes.
We found this little gingerbread kit there for about $3. There is no way I could have made the gingerbread man, the icing, and bought decorations for anywhere near $3. AND this little kit saved me the trouble of having to make anything.
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In the last picture, Tay is actually talking to the talking to the gingerbread man, or as she so cleverly named him “cookie”.
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Good times for a rainy Thursday afternoon.

December 13, 2011

layering and an update (although there is really not much to update you on)

I think Tay has mastered the trend of layering. Let me tell you a little about what is going on here.
Everyday Tay has “quiet time” where she theoretically stays in her room for about an hour. We just gave her full reigns to her closet where all her shoes become cars and she dresses herself in random attire.
Today she came out with not one, not two, but three pairs of britches (as we here in the south like to call them). She also managed to put an additional shirt on. Not sure how it got on or how it came off.  
Oh, and the big busted lip is from a collision with Noah. Or as Tay likes to tell the story, “Noah hit her with his dino”. Poor, poor girl. Always being bullied by her baby brother.
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In adoption news, we are still waiting on a referral….and it will be like that for somewhere in the ballpark of 6 more months. Once we get our referral, it takes about 4 more months until we travel to Uganda. So if all goes as planned (HA, like anything ever goes as planned), we will hopefully be home with our baby by this time next year.

December 4, 2011

2nd Annual Neighborhood Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Have I told you before how much we love our neighbors? Well, we REALLY love our neighbors. In fact, I have forbid any of them to ever leave the neighborhood unless we can all go together. I don’t think that is too much to ask…right?

Last night was our “2nd Annual Neighborhood Ugly Christmas Sweater Party”. Thanks to Pinterest, we had some pretty rockin’ games to play. The highlight was Christmas Minute to Win It. My personal favorites were “Can-you-get-the-red-pompom-on-a-string-up-on-your-Vaseline-covered-nose-in-a-minute game?” and “Can-you-get-the-cookie-from-your-forehead-into-your-mouth-without-using-your-hands-in-a-minute game?”

Oh and all the pictures are blurry because I still don’t quite know how to use the camera at night or inside :)

The nut stacker game winner! Do you see the motivation on his face?
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I don't have to tell you who won the red pom pom on your nose game. Do you see the amount of Vaseline on his nose? Amye, I know you are so proud!
I gave it a whirl too. I even pulled my hair back….that’s how serious it was.
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The only one to get the cookie into his mouth with no hands. We were all pretty excited. It's the little things in life, you know?
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And these guys just had some pretty awesome facial expressions so I thought I should probably share these too (you're welcome Matt and Amye)
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It’s Santa…nope it's just Eddie with a phone. Isn’t it crazy how kids just know when someone breaks out a phone and then they all gravitate to it?
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Not sure why Luke decided to put himself in timeout, but he did. And the kids played "Pin the nose on Rudolph"
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One minute they are loving on each other and the next they are belly bumping. I know it is fuzzy, but if you look close you can see the look of anticipation on Ben’s face and that Tay is about to fall down from the belly bump. It was pretty awesome. 
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Now everyone has to practice up for next year because you know we are going to play some serious games! And I will also be nominating either Diane or Tiffany to take pictures :)

December 2, 2011

Fall Family Pictures 2011

Our sweet and talented friend, Diane McDaniel, took our family pictures this fall. 

Not that I am biased, but we probably have the cutest kids ever!
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December 1, 2011

Did you know?

Today is World AIDS day. I have been mulling over this post for a while, so I thought today might be the best day to post it. 
 
When you hear the letters “HIV”, what emotions do you feel? Is it fear, worry, uncertainty, anxiety? Or is it hope, love, and passion?

Please know that this post is not meant to be judgmental. Only months ago, we fell into the category of uncertain and fearful.

But now we know. We have had the privilege of learning about the spread of HIV and we are no longer fearful. We are now passionate.

Here in the States, we have access to medication that can control the HIV virus. Antiviral medication can make the level of HIV in the blood UNDETECTIBLE! In addition to this, HIV is an extremely fragile virus. It dies almost instantly when exposed to air.

Mark and I have spoken with infectious disease doctors, HIV educators, and pharmacists specializing in HIV medication.
They all had different facts to share, but the consensus was the same. Once the level of HIV in the blood becomes undetectable, the risk of transmission by blood is so close to zero it cannot be measured. We were even told that we are more likely to have a fatal car accident, get struck by lightning, or hit by a meteor than contact HIV though blood to blood exposure!

Children with HIV often get overlooked when it comes to adoption. We should not fear that HIV will be spread in a family setting. The facts against it are there. We have to fear the psychological effects due to the stigma attached to HIV.

So, is it fair? What do you think?