Friday, January 28, 2011

Story Time - What's In Your Library?

My friend over at Knit Together did a post recently on some books she was reading and asked for suggestions on what others were reading.  It got me really excited and gave me some new ideas for books I wanted to add to my library.  So in response to it, I suppose you could say, I am posting my own!

The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis
A parenting book specifically to guide adoptive parents into the best possible bonding and attatchment with their children possible.  I actually received this book for Christmas from my dear friend Katie (who does not have a blog, sorry) and I have already read so many great ideas.  Now I just need my sweetie here so we can start bonding! =)

A Sister For Matthew by Pamela Kennedy
(Children's Book)
This was also gifted to us for Christmas from my friend Katie.  This adorable, sweet story answers a lot of questions young children might have about international adoption.  Why are you adopting?  How will she get here?  Why doesn't she look like me?  Will she speak another language?  I love how it addresses these questions and I love the look on Monkey's face when Matthew finally gets to meet his baby sister and LOVES her! =)

God Found Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren
(Children's Book)
I was first introduced to this book by my sister and cried reading is THAT sweet!  I ended up purchasing it with some of my Christmas money this year and I just love reading it to Monkey.  "Mama, will you be my forever mama?" ...gets us every time.  =)  My husband may or may not have been caught with a tear in his eye at Barnes & Noble.  ;)

Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Our couples Growth Group went through this book over the course of several months.  We found it encouraging, challenging, and very much out of our comfort zone.  I think its one of those stretching books that everyone should read.  The videos that go along with it are great for discussions too.

Becoming The Woman Of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes
A friend and I recently started reading this together.  We meet together every other week (ish) and discuss what we've been reading and pray for each other.  This book has an AWESOME prayer section at the end that goes through praying scripture for your husband - so powerful and wonderful!  Again, this is a really stretching book.  Not everything I read makes me happy...but because it's teaching me to honor, respect, and love my husband...not myself.  I know...deep stuff, huh?

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
You all KNOW that I'm a Twilight nut!  Well...I've read all the books probably seven times.  It's a great escape for me...gets me out of MY mind and in a whole 'nother world.  (It takes a LOT for me to get there, lol!)  I know some of you are like..."I don't like fantasy" or "I don't like sci/fi".  Well!!  NEITHER DO I!  The love story is what gets you here.  Go to your library (or call your neighbor...chances are one of them has a copy to lend).  Pick up Twilight.  And READ.  Chances are you'll like it!  I've never met a person who has read it and NOT liked it.  So there!

Where Did That Baby Come From? by Debi Gliori
(Children's Book)
We borrowed this book from the library several visits ago.  Immediately we loved the flow of the words and Monkey thought it was just plain silly and cute!  Well it seems that every time we go to the library, this book keeps coming home with us, so my husband figured it was time to OWN it.  (Yay!  I love books so this gets me to do a happy dance =)  It is a definite favorite over here!  THIS is the book Monkey asks for EVERY NIGHT.  I think it's a simple and great way to prepare him for being a big brother...and the rhythmic pages help soothe him to sleep (bonus!).  Would totally suggest it for anyone welcoming a new baby into their home.

So YOUR turn!  What's in your library?  What are you reading right now?  Has something put a smile on your face?  Has something turned your world of thinking upside down?  Please share!  You can leave a comment or post on your own blog and let me know!  Inspire me with what inspires you.

{P.S. Just a crazy little side's driving me a little bonkers that I didn't put these in some kind of ORDER.  I know, the OCD in me...  But SERIOUSLY Megan...would it be THAT hard to put it in alphabetical order...or in order that you read them?  Or SOMETHING?!?  Whatevs.}


Help Me Be A Better Blog-Friend!!! (Simple Tutorial)

I have a little problem that I could use your help with...

I LOVE my readers (that's YOU)!  I read EVERY comment...and try to respond to every one too!  But that is next to impossible.  Do you know why? 

Most comments I respond to I get that lovely little diddy.  Do you know what's REALLY sad?!?  I didn't even REALIZE IT until my friend posted a similar post on her blog!!!

I hate to imagine how many of my clever and witty replys are sitting in cyber space RIGHT NOW!  =(

And you know what?  Remember that clever comment YOU left me a while back and wondered why I never said anything in response???  Probably due to this error right here.

But don't fret my friends, I have a solution!  There are 3 simple clicks to fix this problem and I will walk you through it right now!




(LOL about the random question there, RIGHT?!?  Hehee!)

See how easy it is?!?  3 simple clicks to get to know me a little better =)  (AND to hear my witty responses...which I won't promise will be all the time!  But when they DO happen, you won't have to miss it! =)

Thanks're the BEST blog readers EVER!!! =D


Thursday, January 27, 2011

My HEART Is In Ethiopia

Hello there strangers!

I know, it's been forever.  My apologies.  Our numbers are s.l.o.w.l.y. shrinking, my blog-stalking is increasing, my "nesting" is off the charts!  Yet my head and my heart are in Ethiopia, making it hard to carry on in some used-to-be "normal" activities for me.  Like blogging.  What can I say?  This mama is loooonging for her baby and I just don't think I'm going to quite feel like myself until after this pregnancy is over.  Maybe not even then.  Mabye I'll be getting to know a NEW me then.  I don't know if it's possible to come out of this unchanged in one way or another.

Well, it is just after 9am in Ethiopia (and yes, I have changed a clock in my kitchen to constantly remind me) where my friend Tarah is meeting her two precious children FOR THE FIRST TIME!  Oh...the JOY in my heart knowing what she must be feeling right now is unreal.

Last Friday, I met with Tarah to give her the donations I had been collecting.  I had just a couple things to give her....some toddler clothes...rice cereal...some formula...but after I had received word of Hannah's Hope desperate diaper situation (washing and line drying DISPOSABLE diapers for re-use...OH my mama heart!), I asked my friends and family for help.  I was AMAZED and immensly blessed by the response I received.  I had friends handing over disposables that their children had grown out of.  Coworkers donating cloth diapers they no longer needed.  Friends who I haven't spoken to in YEARS shipping me BRAND NEW cloth diapers.  I even had a friend of a friend send me 25 HOME MADE cloth diapers (PLUS the pattern and some materials to make more)!  WOW!!!

Amazingly enough, Tarah fit them ALL!  I wish I could be there to see Almaz' face when she catches a glimpse of all those cloth diapers to cover those little bums.  One of them could be my DAUGHTER!!!

But I have to share the SWEETEST part of this story!  When Tarah was over to pick up all these goodies, Monkey was running around us like a...well, like a MONKEY as we were comparing our two-year-old's weight and clothing sizes (turns out our boys are just a MONTH apart, hello playdates!).  We started talking about her itenerary while in Africa and I paused to remind Monkey that Tarah was taking all the diapers to babies in Africa, where baby sister is. 

"Babies in Africa?" he asks

"Yep!" I answer

That seemed to be the end of that as he ran off to his room.  Tarah and I got back to chatting when we noticed Monkey trying to get into one of the bags we had loaded the diapers in.  I ask him what he is doing and he finally hands over a small stuffed animal to Tarah and says, "for the Africa"!

AWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!  --> That was both Tarah and I in unison!

I could NOT believe my eyes or ears.  What a BIG HEART that little boy has (he's TWO!) to give up one of his toys for the babies in Africa!!!

I talked him through this decision, and he actually ended up choosing a different animal...but he INSISTED on giving it.  In all honesty, I thought there was going to be a meltdown when Tarah left and he realized it was GONE.  But there was none.  In fact, when I talked to him about it later and told him how proud I was...he asked me AGAIN, "go to babies in Africa?"  I assured him it would.

NEVER assume that someone is too YOUNG for God to use them!  I'm starting to think that "I'm Gonna Change The World" shirt I bought him is even MORE true than I origionally thought =)

***If you are interested in helping orphanages in Ethiopia with the great need for diapers, please visit Kristi's blog and find out more about her new project called "Covered In Hope".***


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Canvas Heart WINNER!!

Please forgive me my dear faithful readers.  I have failed to be punctual.  Yet again. 
I don't do it on purpose, I most sincerely promise.  But I think I have a problem.
So now you get to see how glamorous I am past midnight...
YEAH RIGHT!!!  =)  Like I'd be showing you this pajama'd, sewing-crazed woman at THIS time of night! =D

Time for the giveaway!  I spent FAR to long trying to figure out those online random generater chooser thingy's....if someone's got that down pat, give me a heads up please!  Would be nice for future midnight-slacking-to-post-a-winner events like such.  NOT that this will ever happen again!!!  Aww...who am I kidding??  It's a perpetual problem, I tell ya!
{P.S. I get kinda wierd/crazy when I'm tired...just sayin'!}

Okie dokie!!! 
\So here's my pretty draw-a-name-from-thingy!  {Made it myself, try to resist the compliments ;)}

Enter in all 54 fabulous entries {and thanks for the compliments ladies...these were fun ones to read!  And not just 'cause they were nice about ME =)}......

Shuffle up the numbah's and....

We have a WINNER!!!
Step on up, lucky {?} number 13!!!!!

Shawny is an adoptive mom I've met through the Babycenter Community who is adopting from Congo.  She has a beautiful little girl waiting for her as they wait to pass court and call her officially theirs!!!

Shawny wrote...
"I like the 8x10 piece similar to the one you got and I'd give it to a friend in ET right now for an undetermined period of time trying to bring her daughter home!"

What a great friend you are Shawny!  She will absolutely love Crystal's work and such a great gift to an adoptive mama!  Contact me at with your email address so I can forward that on to Crystal please =)

Thank you all who entered and put up with my tardiness/wierdoness!!! =)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I was doing so good!!!  WHAT is this adoption DOING to me?!? 

Seriously ALL week and all DAY even I have felt really calm and peaceful about the whole thing {the "thing" of course being this adoption and the CRAZY longer-than-an-elephant's-pregnancy wait}.  But right now?  Right now I feel like I'm having an anxiety attack.  My heart is pounding.  My palms are sweating {despite the fact that my feet are ice cold and its a measly 65 degrees in our house}.  I'm feeling a little bit crazy, in all honesty.

I won't pretend to understand these gigantic and and OUT-OF-NOWHERE moodswings{? for a lack of a better word...} but I can tell you I am ready for them to be over. 

Even though I've been expecting it for what seems like life is about to change in the drop of a hat....and I have no idea WHEN that drop IS!!! 

Moodswings.  Hormones.  Nesting.  Anxiety attacks.  NO DUE DATE!  Does my husband know what he's in for?!?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blessed Gift & GIVEAWAY for YOU!

*This Giveaway Is Now Closed*

I was introduced to The Canvas Heart back when Amy did a giveaway on her blog.  I instantly fell in love!  Crystal makes beautiful canvas creations incorporating Amharic, the main language in the capital city of Ethiopia. 

Unfortunately, I didn't win that giveaway {but I'm sure it went to a very deserving and appreciative adoptive mom}.  But I did start a conversation with Crystal....which led me to where we are today! 

Crystal contacted me last week with a gracious offer that has blessed my socks off!  She offered to make me a custom 8x10 piece of artwork for my daughter's nursery!  How could I turn her down?!?  I sent her a picture of the crib bedding we have for Lil Miss along with some sneak peeks of the nursery and she got to work right away.

When I got home today from a meeting at church, my custom canvas was sitting at my stoop to welcome me.  What a SMILE that brought to my face!  I quickly got my boys inside and settled before I ripped open that package! is sooo beautiful!  The background is a beautiful pink damask {which will work beautifully with the crib bedding and nursery decor} with the shape of Africa.  Inside of that continent I have grown to love is our adoption theme verse {Ephesians 1:5} in Amharic.  It is so beautiful, words to not do it I guess you will have to just see for yourself!

Our "Lil Miss" dolly with are new artwork

Monkey wanted to jump in and say "cheese"! =)

Look mom, Ethiopia!

I know though, it's gorgeous...right?!?  =)
Pictures DON'T do it justice either.

Well this gets better.  Because Crystal is also offering a custom canvas creation for one of my READERS!!!  The winner of this awesome giveaway will get $35 to splurge at The Canvas Heart!  Crystal loves custom work and will happily include your child's name, a special phrase or verse, or anything else in Amharic and in the colors of your choice!  You could even customize your own Amharic VALENTINE!  This would make a perfect accent in your child's nursery or bedroom, an amazing adoptive baby shower gift, or even a great way to extend Ethiopian culture into your home.  You could go with a custom 8x10 like I did, or a series of smaller canvases, or pool in some of your fun cash for a larger creation - IT'S YOU CHOICE!!!!

This giveaway will close on January 20th at 11:59pm so don't delay!!!  Here's how you enter!!!!

1} MANDATORY before completing any other entries...(only for the sake of I don't want to be used to get free stuff....I actually want to be your friend, okie dokie?!?)  If you haven't done so already, become a follower of my blog and leave me a comment telling me how much you love me!  {Alright, you only have to tell me you're a follower...but the compliments don't hurt!  =P  Don't increase your chances...but their nice for me =)}

2} Go visit The Canvas Heart and come back and tell me your favorite piece she's made {or what YOU would do with the $35!}

3} "HEART" The Canvas Heart on etsy and come back and tell me that you have!

4} Blog, tweet, or share this giveaway on Facebook and come tell me that you did!

That's a total of 6 get busy folks!  Please leave a separate comment for each entry {let's try to make this easy on me, okay?} and make sure I can get ahold of you in case your the winner {leave your email please}.  Best wishes to you!!!!!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Do I look like I'm about ready to pop?!? 
Ooooh!!!  Well that's because I AM!!!  I'm only....oooohhh...16 months, 3 weeks, and 6 days pregnant!!!!
{This picture is from a hiLARious game of PREGO RUNWAY we played at my friend Lindsay's baby shower...hehehee!}

So THIS is the week.  The week we have predicted in our realistic brains that we would get our referral.  It's not over yet!!!  Although now that it is here, I have my doubts this is actually the week...I know it will come soon.  So many children are coming home this week, leaving that many more beds open for more children to come in.  It's coming...only God knows the time.

For now we do what we know best {but aren't so great at}.....we wait.

Please pray with us that we see her face SOON!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I have goosebumps running up and down my arms {and not just from this frigid weather we're having} thinking about what is going to be transpiring in the next week or so.  THIS WEEKEND, my friend Niki along with 16 OTHERS will be traveling to Ethiopia!  While there, 7 families will be picking up their precious kiddos and taking them home.  FOREVER!  The other 10 will be meeting their children for the first time and attending court dates.  17 families!  Isn't that INCREDIBLE?!?  Not only are all these children being placed in loving, God-honoring families...but taking their place in the outstanding Hannah's Hope {our agency's orphanage in Addis Ababa} will be more children, possibly even my daughter.  It breaks my heart to think of what the move to Hannah's Hope will do on their little hearts {for most of them it will be their 2nd or 3rd move...each time those moves take them away from everyone and everything they have known and grown to love}, but PRAISING GOD that each of them gets the opportunity to receive the amazing care Hannah's Hope is famous for, and to be loved on by each of those special mothers. 

It could be any day now, and it could be another couple weeks yet.  Only God knows.  I am just continuing to rely on HIM for my strength and patience and hope every day until I see that sweet face {and many, many days beyond that, of course}.

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." Habakkuk 2:3


The Hub's CRAZY Fam =)

Okay...we're ALMOST to the end of the Christmas parties...or at least the ones I took pictures of.  This is my Hubby's side of the family.  His mom was very much present, but since she is just a couple days post-surgery in these photos, I'm not going to share them.  Please know she is doing GREAT, but could definately continue to use your prayers during her recovery!

Monkey helping Grandpa take down the stockings

Too excited?  Nah!  Just the right amount!

These two are it!

"Open please" says Monkey with a container of M&Ms found in his stocking =)

Present from Uncle M and Auntie J in Germany

Pimpin' hat - THANK YOU!!

Rockin' the hat sideways with his new POLICE CAR from GREAT-Grandma!  Woohoo!

Chocolate for breakfast?  It's Christmas...sure, why not?!?

I think it was good...what do you think?

Uncle Tony attacked Grandpa in the kitchen =)

YUM!  Thanks for all the hard work dad!

Michelle and Dad

Shane and Michelle

Pile 'O Gifts

Silly faces run in the family....


And see??....

And see??...

I feel like Desperate Housewives....without the drama!

Just woke up from his nap, but ready for the unwrapping fun!

Matching coats - SO cute!

Yay!  Choochoo!!!

Will they fit mama??  {CARS PJs}'s heavy!

A smooch is the toll! =)

Uncle Tony

He's a PRO by this point

Chowin' on Italian Fried Dough....a family tradition!

He can't get enough....maybe that's a good thing, look at that teeny tummy!

Licking off the sugar, LOL! we're pooped!

Thanks for stickin' it out!  We love our family!!!!