Thursday, December 29, 2016


We went to the Riverbanks Zoo with the Hoovers and had a fun time!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


The kids and I are at the Hoovers' house and having a great time!  So thankful for good friends!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

 We had a great Christmas Day!  Nana spent the night which made Aaron SOOOOO excited!  He wanted her to sleep in his bed.  The kids were up early!  This year Molly was the first one up.  The girls kept going into Aaron's room to see if he was up yet so that they could go downstairs and open presents.  Aunt Marie came over for lunch (and to bring MORE presents!) and Nana made her traditional Happy Birthday, Jesus cake.  It was a great day!  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

We had a great Christmas Eve!  The kids baked Christmas cookies with Nana while Brian and I had a lovely lunch out!  Then we watched a Christmas movie, went to the Christmas Eve service at church, came home and had hot chocolate and Christmas cookies, and now the kids are all nestled snug in their beds waiting for Christmas.  It was a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Gingerbread Men

Nine years ago, Nana started a tradition with the kids of making gingerbread men for our neighbors.  It's such a fun way to spread Christmas cheer to our neighbors and such a special time for the kids to spend with Nana.  We are so thankful for our Nana and for Christmas traditions!
 Nana started this tradition with Molly!  It's been such a sweet tradition for the last 9 Christmases!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fun with Friends

So thankful for so many precious friends in our lives!  This morning, we got to meet some friends for brunch and Rayna got to go to a birthday party. She had so much fun!  We also got to make gingerbread houses with Ms. Cindy and Lindsey. And then I ended the day with my girls' group Christmas party. It was a fun day with so many sweet friends.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Baby

Tammy, the volunteer from Ethan's orphanage, posted some pictures today. He is still in the hospital and looks a little swollen but adorable!  We can't wait to get him home. Thankful that this will be the last Christmas he spends without his family.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Kids Sing at Church

Today the kids sang at church.  They sang Silent Night and Away in a Manger.  They also had their Christmas program at church a couple of weeks ago but (being that I was backstage!) I didn't get a single picture!  Molly was a narrator and Rayna was the star.  I am going to try to get my hands on some pictures that friends may have taken!  So thankful for our church family and even more thankful that God sent His Son and gave us a reason to celebrate this holiday season.  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

This Week....

This week has been a weeks of ups and downs.  We celebrated the life and mourned the death of our sweet Zeke.  It's hard to believe that our boy would be 11 years old.  Some years are hard and other years are really hard.  This has been one of those really hard years.  We really miss our firstborn son.  Happy birthday in heaven, Sweet Zeke.

We've also had ups and downs on the adoption front.  We sent off our letter of acceptance package to our adoption agency and we filed for immigration approval to bring Ethan home.  Making progress--yay!  Sadly, our Ethan has been in the hospital all week.  It's been hard not to worry being so far away.  Particularly given the timing.  We don't have any details other than the fact that he's been running a fever.  But we know that God is in control and loves Ethan more than we do.  We are praying that he starts feeling better soon and can return to his friends in the orphanage.  

We've also had some fun this week!  Here's a fun story about Aaron:

Rayna had a doctor's appointment this week and we had to park in the parking deck. After the appointment, we got off of the elevator.
Me: okay! Now we turn left!
Aaron: no! You going the wrong way!
Me: no, honey.... We are parked this way. Come with mommy.
Aaron: nooooo! Mommy you is going the wrong way!!
Me: Aaron! You have to walk. Now obey or I'm going to have to carry--wait. Where is the van?
Aaron: Errrrrr! I told ya!

My strong-willed 4-year-old has a better sense of direction than his Mama! He found the van.

Brian also had his company Christmas party this weekend.  It was a fun date night! 

This morning Rayna and Aaron made us all a "fancy" breakfast.  They even made little cards for each of us.  So sweet!

Finally, Molly's class is doing a gift exchange and the gifts have to be homemade.  The person Molly picked loves football, so Molly and Nana made her a football pillow.  So proud of Molly's sewing project and thankful she has Nana to teach her how to sew.  (Because her Mama sure doesn't know how!  Ha!)

So humbled by the way God has shown us His love this week.  I'm so, so faithless. He is so, so faithful to me anyway. So many prayers, texts, phone calls, flowers, dinner ordered for us by a friend out of town. There were a lot of hard times this week, yet God shows His love to us over and over. My precious friend (who lost her husband last year) emailed me these verses. I've been meditating on this:
"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."