"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7-8

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Guest is HERE!

I will not likely be blogging over here for the next three weeks due to our Ukrainian visitor, Ira, who arrived Sunday night. So check out my other blog which will update you on our journey of God being at work in our hearts and hers.


Thursday, December 13, 2012


Ethan asked Poppy if he could borrow his riding helmet for an hour today. He put on his "riding clothes" and was happy as a clam. He doesn't have any official riding clothes, but he has put together this outfit to pretend. It might be time to explore riding lessons for this little guy. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Practical Lessons

Here are some things the boys are practicing and learning around here this week as we prepare for Irina. Since I'm the only girl in the house, we've gotten a bit slack... and I don't really count because I'm just the mom. Of course, these are things they should be aware of anyway.

1) Treat Irina like a lady. Always let her go first and be mindful of showing her respect.

2) Raise the toilet seat before and lower it after.

3) Flush the toilet!

4) Close the door when you are going to the bathroom.

5) Close the door when you are getting dressed.

6) Don't run around in your underwear.

7) No potty talk or loud bodily functions.

Anything else I'm forgetting???

Thankfully the boys are generally very sweet with their close girl friends, so I think they'll be on their best behavior -- at least for the first week! ;)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Deck the halls

About two weeks ago, we got busy decorating for Christmas. All the boys (young and old!) love the lights and decorations. This year we had help from Grandma & Grandpa AND Grammy & Poppy. Lots of hands make light work! So glad for all their help.

Notice 4 stockings... Luke, Ethan, Aaron and Irina!
We recently moved our television above the fireplace. We're not a big fan of having the tv out in the open so Darin is in the process of building doors to hide it. He added the shelf above the tv and the moldings to make it look like it was original. Can't wait to install the doors. 

And now there is the perfect spot for our nativity scene! 
I love the Willow Tree nativity because Mary is holding baby Jesus. 

For the past two years, we've prepared for Christmas by doing a Jesse Tree. This year, we're trying something new and doing an advent wreath and nightly readings. So far so good...

 Only 15 days until Christmas and SIX days until Irina arrives!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dippy Egg Saturdays

I love our Saturday morning tradition! 
Every Saturday morning while I am out on a long run, Daddy is in charge of breakfast for the boys. It's become our routine for Daddy to make "dippy eggs" for the boys and they love it. They wait patiently while he makes each of them breakfast. What a treat to be off duty for breakfast one day per week!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sweet Snowman Treat

It's that time of year to give gifts to the boys teachers. This year, we stole our idea from a friend of a friend. As usual, I am not the originator of this idea. It's so cute, I couldn't resist.

I bought several large dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe's and bought the matching quantity of Panera Gift cards. I taped the gift cards to the chocolate bars and wrapped them in printer paper. Then I let the boys add the hat, nose, mouth, buttons and last they stamped their fingerprints for eyes. I added the ribbon for the scarf. It didn't take much time and the boys were able to participate in the gift - which I love!

Now let's just hope that I don't lose any black buttons off MY clothes, because all my black buttons are being used by chocolate snowmen.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our Christmas Guest

It's ready... my new blog focusing on Irina and her stay with us. I haven't figured out if or how I will manage both. I'll probably link from here to the new blog if I update it. Still thinking it all through...

I've had lots of interest from people who I don't know AT ALL and for some reason, I feel more comfortable protecting our family blog and sharing the hosting blog address. So feel free to pass along the new blog address if you know anyone interested in adoption.

SO, without further ado...

Happy reading!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Making Some Changes

With Irina arriving in 14 days, I've decided to create a new blog with the sole purpose of sharing our experience hosting an orphan. It may be time to password protect our family blog and publicly share only our blog about our Ukrainian visitor. As soon as it's up and running I'll post a link here with the new address.

In the meantime, I need your help. We're grinding our tired brains trying to come up with a catchy title for the new hosting blog. I have a few ideas, but for all those creative folks out there I'd love any input you have!! Stay tuned... :)