In a few weeks, Jenna's school will be celebrating one of my (and Jenna's) favorite hobbies...READING!

Every year, they try to schedule some celebrities to come in and read to the kids.  So, they are already putting the call out.  Of course, I don't know any celebrities personally, but I thought maybe one of my readers might have connections. 

What kind of celebrity?  How about...
She's local (kind of) and has been very well known in her support for kids reading and books.  If not her, how about...

Yeah, that one is a stretch, but I'm pretty sure I'd get voted mother of the year if I could arrange a visit from Selena. 

Talk about mother of the year.  To get the famous Justin Beiber to read...I think that would be a lost cause.  Those girls would never hear a word he said for drooling over him.  Heck, I know a couple of my adult friends who would have to be physically restrained!

Hmmm...she's pretty local...sometimes...bet her appearance might be a bit controversial though.  Maybe in a blonde Hannah Montana wig.

OK, well, this one is really all me, but dang.  He's local.  And surely some of you musical geniouses out there know how to get in touch with him and beg for a favor.  Just tell him we are adopting from China and see if he is willing.  You know, meeting this family is on my bucket list, so I could kill two birds with one stone.

I'll be anxious to see who the school ends up with.  I'll keep you posted!



Here's Jenna in her running outfit she wears for her after-school running on Tuesday and Thursday.  Again, not sure where the fasion cuteness comes from...



A couple weekends ago, we had to go to Centennial Park to have our pictures taken.  It was a great day.  I'll share more about the photoshoot and the other things we did while we are there later in May.  But for now, take a look at these awesome pics of the Parthenon.

Helping Others

If you are so inclined to help another family bring home their little girl from China, please click here.  The Varn Family is a family I have been corresponding with online and they are almost ready to travel to pick up their daughter Cori.  You can read all about their story and help them out by clicking the link above! 


Book Review

My neighbor, Aimee, let me borrow her Choosing To See book by Mary Beth Chapman.  As a waiting parent of a daughter from China, this book was especially touching for me.  But even more so because I have always been a huge fan of Steven Curtis Chapman.  I remember clearly where I was we heard the news that Maria had been killed.

This book is a must read even if you aren't an adoptive parent or SCC fan.  I knew it was going to be a hard read when I cried at the dedications in the front.  It's worth the tears though.  I finished it in less than a week.


Please pardon the interruption...

Just a quick side note to let you know that I've disabled anonymous comments and required my moderation before comments are posted.

On my last post, I got 2 quite ugly comments anonymously of course.  And since this is MY blog and no one is forced to read it, I deleted the comments.  If you have something to say, at least be big enough to address it with me privately or post the comment where everyone can see who you are.  But DO NOT use the comments on my blog as a forum to argue with me about what you disagree with me on.

With that said, I know most of this doesn't apply to my readers.  I don't want to make my blog private, but I certainly will do so if needed.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Adoption List

The list of special needs orphans in China is released once a month and generally comes out around the 20th ish every month.  Last night the list for April came out.  This was the first list we were really eligible to receive a match from.

It was pretty exciting to think our little Kylie's picture could have come last night.  Now, if the truth be told, I knew it was highly unlikely we'd get matched this quickly, but I was (and am) excited at the possibility.  The agency will call in the middle of the night if a match is made.

The last 2 months worth of lists have been really small so there haven't been as many matches.  I looked back at the last 13 months of our agency and it looks like they average about 8 families matched a month.  The total from the last two months was 7.  I'm hoping with the list being a little later this month that it will be a bigger list and the future lists will be back to normal.

I'll try and let you know before the next list comes out.


Easter pics!

Thought you might enjoy some pictures of our Easter.

For the first time, we did Resurrection Rolls on Saturday morning. 

If you have never done these before, you can find the recipe here.  I'm not sure Jenna really understood the reason behind them.  She's pretty familiar with the crucifixion and resurrection.  The whole premise is that when they are cooked, the marshmallow inside melts, leaving the actual roll empty, just like th tomb.  Unfortunately, ours didn't work quite as well as I anticipated.

Most of the marshmallow oozed out, but I managed to scrape it off the pan and put them on a plate, so all Jenna saw was that the rolls were empty.  And all but 1 was eaten, so I guess they tasted  OK! 
After the resurrection rolls, we colored eggs.  There are so many different coloring kits out there, but I just went with the basic egg color.  No tie dye, no tattoo, no wrap arounds.  I remember when you just had like 4 color tablets.  This kit had 9, but we only used 7. 

Since Jenna discovered the truth about Santa Claus, that means she figured out the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy etc. also.

I didn't want to fill a big basket full of junky candy (we are really trying to do better with our eating) and so we did something smaller and a little different.  Jenna has been missing her iPod shuffle for quite a while now.  So we purchased her another one with a handful of stuff from the dollar bin at Target.  I figure I spent about the same amount with this small basket as I would have one I made filled with candy and gum. 

I think she might have liked the iPod a little.  :)

Then yesterday morning, Steve had to be at the church at the crack of dawn (something like 6:45am) so we didn't get a family picture together, but I took several of Jenna and got one of me and her.  I almost made us late trying to get the tripod set up and stuff, but in the end, I am glad I got them.  They turned out well and Jenna's hair is super curly.

Hope you all had a Happy Easter.  He is Risen!


Invention Convention

About a week and 1/2 ago, Jenna had to create an invention that worked for a project at school.  Then she was to make a poster about her invention and present it at Invention Convention at school.  There were a lot of super cute ideas! Here's Jenna's idea...

The idea was that you could now brush the top and bottom teeth at the same time.  This not only saves time, but also water and toothpaste.  There were no other inventions of the same thing, but I noticed there were a lot of inventions containing toothbrushes, pencils and pets.

After the parents had time to walk around and look at the inventions, the kids all got together and did a little performance.

I really did enjoy the little program.  I think I've mentioned it before, but it won't be long until they won't have any more of these sweet programs for me to go to.


Hot Stuff

We've had several really nice days here in Tennessee.  A few weekends ago, Sunday was super warm and so Jenna got the opportunity to finally dress in something other than jeans.  I normally don't like her to wear jeans on Sunday morning even though our church is very casual.  I let her pick out her own outfit and this is the cuteness she put together.
And, I will have you know that this outfit was made up of all consignment clothing!  Hot stuff!  I guess Jenna has picked up her fashion sense from somewhere because it wasn't from me!


Easter Party

Tuesday was Jenna's Easter party at school.  So much fun was had.  There was an egg hunt along with so many other fun games and prizes.  The kids really enjoyed it and especially being out of school for the day.



Last week, Jenna was complaining about her ear being stopped up.  There was no pain but she complained about not being able to hear well etc.  I called the doctor to see if I just needed to increase her allergy medicine or give her something additional over the counter.  They thought it would be best if she came in just to have it looked at.

So, away we went one day after school.  Here's Jenna, happy to be at the doctor...
We finally got back to see the doctor and immediately when she looked in her ears, she saw the problem...wax.  Apparently, there was quite the buildup in there.  So she cleaned it out and gave us some drops to keep her ear from getting infected where she's been in there messing around.  then she gave us some samples of an OTC medicine which will help keep the buildup from happening again. 

Jenna now can't claim to not have heard us telling her what to do! 


Friday Night Pizza

Friday night, Steve was bowling as usual and so it was just Jenna and I.  We weren't in the mood to eat out and just wanted to come home and hang out.  I was in the middle of a book I wanted to finish (more on that in the days to come) so we just came home and scavenged the pantry to see what we could find for dinner.

What we came up with was homemade pizza.  I had forgotten I bought all the stuff for it during my last grocery trip and Jenna had never had homemade pizza before.  We are very simple pizza eaters, so just pepperoni for me and cheese for Jenna.

Here's what it looked like after it was cooked.  I think it looks like something delivered to our house if I do say so myself!
Even Jenna said it was "delicious"!  She's not a huge pizza fan, so the fact she thought it was good (and ate 3 pieces was a pretty big compliment!)


Getting Ready for Easter

This past weekend, we got ready for Jenna's school Easter party tomorrow.  Each child has to bring eggs stuffed with candy, one for each child.  Then you put the name of each child in class on one egg.  That way, every child gets the same number of eggs.  It's actually a pretty good idea, but this room mother forgot to send in the eggs last week.  So we went to Target, bought eggs and candy and here they are!

Jenna is pretty excited about the party tomorrow.  It's probably the only egg hunt she'll get to participate in this year.  And I'm thinking that our interest in egg hunts is probably coming to an end.  But until then....



Last week, Steve and Jenna went to see Gage play in his soccer game.  I had a much needed hair appointment to get to.

It's been a while since we had been to the soccer fields...when Chase was playing.  I was sad I didn't get to go, but I sent Steve with my good camera and the instructions to take some pictures.  He neglected to put my zoom lens on but still managed to get some cute shots.  Their team didn't win, but Steve said it was quite entertaining to watch anyway.

I have it on good authority that Katie enjoyed the game too!  :)


Book Review

Heaven is For Real.


Right now.  That is all.

Seriously, I'm not going to spoil it for you, but this is a story of a very sick little boy who while he was dying, went to heaven and met Jesus.  I literally got chill bumps reading it all through the book and cried many more times than I can count.  Rachel told me about this book that was lent to her by a friend.  Friday night, I was at B&N trying to use a Groupon before it expired and remembered this book when I saw it.  It took me a little over 24 hours to read it.

Get this book and read it.  You'll be glad you did!

(P.S. I'm getting no compensation or anything to say this.  These are my own opinions because I really liked the book!!!)


A Sneak Peak

It's not done yet, but let me just give you a sneak peek of what is about to go up in Kylie's room...


A Day In the Life...

Thought you might be interested in hearing what a normal weekday looks like for me.  I might have blogged about this once before, but just pretend like I haven't.  :)

5:00am Alarm goes off for the first time.  Hit snooze.
5:07, 5:14, 5:21am Alarm comes on multiple times.  Continue to hit snooze.
5:28am roll out of bed and go to the bathroom.
5:28 -5:55 Brush teeth, put on makeup, fix hair, put on clothes including jewelry.
5:55am Make sure Jenna is up and getting ready.  She almost always is.  Head downstairs.
6:00-6:20am Make lunch, snack, breakfast times two.  Most days I cram some kind of breakfast down my throat as well.
6:20am Get my bag, purse, Jenna's backpack (and jacket depending on the weather) and had out.
6:30am Hopefully on our way to school/work.
7:00-7:15am arrive at school. Give lots of love to JG and then she reports to before care at school.
7:30-7:45 Arrive at work.  This is where my day starts.  On any given day, there is at least one meeting or conference call and sometimes multiple or back-to-back meetings all day.  On about 3 out of 5 days, I'll get to have lunch away from my desk.  Most days my lunch lasts 30 minutes even though I have an hour slated.
5:00-5:30 leave work and head home.  I try to be out of the office by 5:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday because we have plans after work.  Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't.  I work very hard to try and make it happen.
5:30-6:30/6:45/7:00pm TRAFFIC.  With the construction out towards our neck of the woods, the traffice is horrendous.  On a bad day, when it seems like everyone is on the road, it can easily take 90 minutes for me to get home.  On a good traffic day, I"m looking at about an hour and 15 minutes.
6:15-7:00pm arrive at home.  Hopefully Steve is cooking dinner (or dinner is on the table).  Eat dinner, clean up the dishes (if Steve cooked).  On the rare occasion where Steve hasn't started dinner yet, I then start dinner (and he cleans up).  6:30-7:00 Eat dinner.
7:00-8:00 Clean up kitchen, get Jenna's bath, watch a bit of tv or work on the computer.
8:00-8:30 Jenna gets ready for bed.  We do devotional, pray, then read (or snuggle) and she's in bed by 8:30.
8:30-9:00 that's what I get a shower (obviously, there's not time for showers in the morning)
9:00-10:00 PC, TV, read, do Bible study, fold laundry, review Jenna's homework etc.
10:00 BED.

Then the next day I start all over again.  Maybe one day I'll let you in on what my weekends usually look like.


My Sweet Girl

This past Saturday, we had just gotten home from our photoshoot and running errands...it was pretty warm out and I'd just had a good lunch.  I felt like I just needed to lay down for a minute and rest.  But laundry was calling and Jenna wanted me to play frisbee with her.  ARGH!  What's a girl to do?

So I got Jenna to come in our bedroom and lay down with me and watch TV.  I told her to watch the clock for 30 minutes and then wake me up if I fell asleep. I told her I'd get up and get the laundry going and then if we had time play frisbee.

Well, I fell asleep.  And when she woke me up, it had actually been about 45 minutes.  It took me a while to get woken up, but I was awake enough to notice the laundry basket in my floor was gone.  When I got to the bonus room, this is what greeted me there:
My sweet girl had gotten up as soon as I fell asleep and sorted the laundry for me.  Not only did she sort it, but she checked the pockets (like I always do!) and managed to get everything in the right spot except maybe a garment or two.

She was rewarded by a surprise monetary donation (she's saving for our Atlanta trip this summer) and a mean game of frisbee (which ended soon because it was so blasted windy, you couldn't aim the frisbee for anything and we both ended up running all over creation!)

Love my girl!


Build A Bear

Recently, Jenna wanted to make a trip to her all-time favorite place...Build A Bear Workshop.  I made Jenna's first bear for her when she was a tiny infant.  My niece and I took our kids there while we were still on maternity leave.  Since then, I realized Jenna has inherited my childhood affinity for stuffed animals. 

As a child, I had hundred of stuffed animals and if given the choice would choose a stuffed animal over any other kind of toy.  Maybe it's an only child thing?

At any rate, it had been a while since we'd been to BABW and Jenna had really done some things to earn the trip.  So off we went.  When we got there, she wanted to know whether she could get something for Kylie?  How could I refuse!

And you'll never guess what she chose?  The panda bear!  Matching ones for them both!  Hers is a boy named Bamboo.  Kylie's is a girl named Lily Rose.  Here she is getting Kylie's stuffed (soft).
And yes, she's telling the girl that worked there all about our adoption and Kylie.  It was very sweet.  I told Jenna we'd take Lily Rose with us to China.  Lily Rose told me she was really looking forward to it!  :)



Yes, 3 posts in a day, but there's NO WAY I can NOT share the good news!  I just received an email from my agency with our log in date (LID)!!!!  A LID is the official date that China literally "logs in" your dossier!  This is as official as you can get!

THIS IS SUPER EXCITING!  I almost stopped breathing!  We were told to expect the LID to come in 2-6 weeks.  It will have been 3 tomorrow!  SO EXCITED!

What are you doing tonight?

Here's the deal for my local friends...tonight, the Millsaps are having an adoption fundraiser at Monkey Joes.  If you want to support this family's adoption AND somewhere to entertain your kids, then this is the place for you!  It's tonight, from 5-8pm AND they have food you can buy that the Millsaps benefit from as well.  Come on out and help the Millsaps bring their girl home from Ethiopia!  Click the links above to find out more! 

New Shoes

Something else that we did this past weekend...

If you'll remember, a few years ago I completed a 1/2 marathon.  Part of the after-effects of that marathon was I lost part of both my big toenails.  They didn't come completely off...just died and then grew out.  I thought that was the end of it until a few months ago, I finally took all my nail polish off myself (after many months of pedicures) and noticed part of my big toenails was dead again.  I did a 5k in December and thought maybe that was when it happened, but I wasn't sure why it kept happening.

So I decided to go to a local Athletics shop (Fleet Feet) and be measured to be sure I was in the right size shoe etc.  I have always gotten a horrible back ache when I am on my feet too long.  Anyway, the folks at Fleet Feet will actually watch you walk and fit you with the right size shoe etc.

Tracey helped me when I went in and told me to take my socks and shoes off and roll my pants up so she could watch me walk.  She told me something I wasn't too surprised to hear.  My arch collapses when I walk.  What she did tell me that surprised the heck out of me was that I need a full size and 1/2 BIGGER than what I was in.  For the longest, I wore a 6 1/2 shoe.  After Jenna, I grew into a size 7.  On rare occasions, I wears a 7 1/2.  She put me in an 8 1/2.  And she said I was a AA which is extremely narrow.  When I was a kid, I was always hard to fit because of my narrow feet, but I thought I'd gotten more average.  I ended up paying more than I've ever paid for a shoe, but they should last me a good long time.

You might be wondering why all of a sudden the interest in new running/walking shoes.  Well, at Jenna's school, they are training for the kids marathon for the Country Music Marathon.  While Jenna isn't doing the actual marathon, she is training 2x a week with her friends from school.  So, in an effort to participate in something with her as well as trying to get healthier myself, I thought the first step would be new shoes.  I'd like to do the Couch to 5k program using the app.  We'll see though.

After I got fitted and bought new shoes, I thought it might be good to have Jenna fitted if she was going to be running this kids marathon.  Nothing surprising came from her fitting though.  She doesn't have the collapsing arches like me.  She does have one foot about 1/2 size bigger than the other, but I've known that since she was little and apparently, it's fairly common.  They did size her up by 1 size, but by that time, I was expecting it.

Here are our somewhat matching shoes.
We were outside playing frisbee, but let's hope that's just the beginning of where these shoes will take us!


Grocery Shopping

This weekend was my big monthly shopping trip to the grocery store.  I didn't save as much as I normally do because there just wasn't as many good sales as usual.  I did save about 50% at Publix though.  You can just save so much at Publix especially with their buy one, get one free offer.

This is what my kitchen floor looked like after bringing in almost all the groceries.
For some reason Kroger (I shopped both Publix and Kroger) had a bunch of empty shelves.  In fact, one of the things missing was lettuce and I needed some.  I have determined I'm going to take my lunch more often this month and I need lettuce for sandwiches.  I went over to the produce in hopes of finding something that would work  since their heads of lettuce were completely gone.  And I found something.  Just look.  I've never seen anything like it!

So neat!  It wasn't as cheap as a regular head of lettuce, but it will do.  Super neat.  It took us (we all went!) 2 hours to do both stores and it took a while to get all the bags unloaded and the groceries put away.  Luckily we have 2 pantries (which was an accidental blessing) and this is what they look like after a monthly grocery shopping trip.

Of course, this doesn't count the stuff in the cupboard that is only for me (my low-fat, diet stuff), nor the fridge/freezer.  I just love the look for a full pantry. 

I think I'm pretty stocked up for a while.  I'll go to get meats and staples next month, but that's probably about it.  In June, my company is going to have it's own Farmer's Market and I can't wait.  Jenna loves fruit and I'm hoping to increase mine and Steve's consumption of fruit.  Having the Farmer's Market at my back door is going to save me lots more money (I hope!).


Weekend Photoshoot

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take part in something pretty stinking cool...at least in my mind anyway.

As most of you know, I'm a self-proclaimed "blog 'ho".  I read a ton of blogs.  I use Google Reader and have 78 blogs listed.  Thankfully, not all of them post daily or else I'd never have time to read them all.  Several of them are China adoption blogs.  And I have them all separated into different categories.  One of the categories is called "Classics". 

The blogs I put in "Classics" are those that I have been reading the longest and are pretty widely read blogs.  You'll remember a while back, I had asked for prayers for a little boy named Stellan.  Stellan was the son of the author of one of my Classic blogs written by MckMama. If you are interested in Stellan's miraculous story, you can go directly to MckMama's blog or just use the search function at the top of my blog and link over through my Stellan posts.

Anyway, MckMama's blog is probably one of the first, if not the first, that I ever read.  It is the sole reason for my blog reading addiction!  MckMama also does photography.  Well, she is taking about 6 weeks with her family in an RV to travel around.  She's stopping in several major cities to do photoshoots.

Well, guess what city she was in this weekend?  NASHVILLE!  I totally jumped on the opportunity to sign up.  It was a quick session, but MckMama is just as cool and friendly in person as she is on her blog.  I felt like I was talking to someone famous!  I can't wait to see the pictures.  The weather was very nice, but WINDY...so it will be interesting to see how they turned out. 

I tried to take the low key approach letting everyone wear what they wanted and not trying to match colors etc.  I didn't make a big deal over my or Jenna's hair which is a good thing since the wind destroyed it anyway.  Jenna had a bit of a fake smile in some of them.

MckMama uses LOTS of color, so I am anxious to see what she does with us.  As soon as I have them, I'll be sure to post them, so stay tuned....


A Blog Break

OK, so I've taken a bit of a blog break lately.  It wasn't really intentional, but the last week and 1/2 have just been crazy at work and at home.  The weekends are crazy too, so I just never had time to sit down and blog.

But I'm back now and hopefully will have something to blog about.  Now that our dossier is in China, I feel like there's not much to say.  As of Friday, we've been DTC (dossier to China) for 2 weeks.  We are still waiting to get our LID (log in date).  The information we got from the agency was 2-6 weeks for that, so we are just now on the early end.

I am thinking that a new matching list will come out in about 3 weeks so hopefully we'll have a LID by then.  We don't anticipate getting  a referral this soon, but the April match will be the first one we actually might be eligible for! 

I know it's short, but now that I'm back, I'll have some interesting posts over this week...come back tomorrow for more!