Happy Memorial Day

I have a confession to make...I sometimes write my blog posts in advance and date them to post on a certain day.  I did that with the post below about my PC.  And now I have to confess because I don't actually have my computer back yet.  It does need, and is getting, a new hard drive, but it has to be sent off.  When I originally wrote the post, I had no idea it would take this long.  So anyway, there's my confession.

Today was a SUPER GOOD day.  We celebrated my great-nephew's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY GARRETT!!!  He turned 10 and he and Jenna really enjoy getting to spend time together despite their gender differences.  After the party, we went to eat lunch with my family, which is always enjoyable.  I got to catch up with my sister in law, which was a welcome surprise.

I spent a few hours at home doing laundry and Saturday was spent in almost its entirety cleaning this house.  Then tonight, we went to grill out with several couples from our LifeGroup from church.  It was absolutely wonderful!  I love spending time with these families because they are so REAL.  And it makes me so happy to know that they are just like us in so many respects.  It does make getting up in the morning way harder.  My little sidekick won't be going to school, so I will be making the long commute alone and it gets rather lonely.

And also, I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge those who have paid the ultimate price to secure our freedom.  On this Memorial Day, I want to thank those of you who have lost loved ones while fighting for our country.  I am forever grateful.

Hope your Memorial Day was as good as ours!



If you'd wondered why my pictures have been scarce or not as good quality as usual, well...

A few weeks ago, Steve's laptop, a Toshiba (the same brand of our first laptop) started acting weird.  Actually his Outlook started acting up and we thought it was some software problem.  Then we got this screen...

We took the computer (which was ony about 9 months old) to Best Buy and found that the hard drive had crashed, everything was gone and they had to replace the drive.  Luckily, Steve doesn't keep much stuff on his drive so not a lot of loss.

Then about 2 weeks after we got his PC fixed, this is what popped up on my screen:
So, I also had to get a new hard drive.  I luckily had backed up all my pictures, so no losses there, but I did have quite a few adoption forms and stuff that I'd saved and not backed up.  I was just sick that I'd lost it all, but with a new hard drive, I'm good to go.

Did I mention my laptop is the exact same as Steve's?  Not sure what's going on with the Toshiba laptop hard drives, but I hope it's fixed now.

So thanks for bearing with me and my lack of pictures and quality.


The Gift

In our fair city, there is a new movement to help the homeless called the Nashville Contributor Newspaper.  Those who chose to participate stand in certain heavy traffic areas and sell the newspaper for $1 or whatever contribution you choose.

There is a sweet lady near my work who stands at the exit ramp from the interstate.  I've bought papers from her a number of times and if the light is red, she'll stand and talk to you or bless you.  If the light is green she'll wave at every car that passes.  I've seen cars hand her bags of clothing and food out their window.  That lady probably has more friends than I do.

Well, a few weeks ago, there was a gentleman standing on the exit ramp where we get off the interstate to Jenna's school.  Jenna noticed him right away.  It tore her up that he was standing there having to sell papers and to know he probably didn't have a home.  I turned the moment into a learning opportunity and told her about how they sell papers as their "job" and it helps them make money.  She wanted to give him some money, but I never carry cash with me, so I didn't have anything.  I suggested she might give him some of the money she's been saving for our trip to Atlanta later this summer.  She didn't like that idea very much!

However, when I came home that afternoon, this is what I found:
That's her donation bag.  It has a baggie of goldfish crackers, baggie of cookies, baggie of snack mix, brownie, bottle of flavored water, pop tart, a blanket (pink, no less) and a tiny pillow that Jenna sewed herself.

And that's not all.

See the money?  That, my friends, is a $20 bill.  From her Atlanta money.  Tell my that my God is not doing a work in this girl!

Jenna has watched us be faithful in our tithing and how God blesses us.  But it took everything within me not to tell her to keep her money and I'd give mine.  Or to not give so much.  I even thought about sending her an anonymous $20 bill in the mail.

Why do I feel the need to help God bless my child?  It was definitely an eye opening experience for me.  I am just so proud that she has such a giving heart.  What more could a parent ask for? 

It took us a few days for us to be able to deliver the bag because the gentleman wasn't standing in his normal spot for a while.  Jenna was extremely frustrated for a while, but finally, we were able to bless him.

I don't know if he will eat the food or drink the water, but I know that someone was blessed because of a 9 year old girl's generosity.



Chinese Jewelry

On the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend, I got together for lunch at a local tea room with a bunch of other adoptive moms to celebrate our weekend.

I met the sweetest gal there who is waiting to travel to get her sweet son in China.  She had the most lovely necklace on that I totally coveted.  She was kind enough to share with me where she ordered it.

I took it upon myself to totally copy her and ordered myself one!  And I ordered Jenna one too!
The one on the left says "Love".  The one on the right says "Sister".  I also bought Jenna's chain and if you look closely, you can see it's made of little tiny hearts!  I'm totally in love!  If you would like to check these out, you can find them right here.



This is the last week of school and then it's officially SUMMER TIME!  These are the days where I truly wish I was able to stay at home, but I am just looking forward to the slower pace of summer. 

So many of our activities are on hiatus during the summer, we find ourselves at home a lot and since we are homebodies for the most part, that is totally OK with us.  I hate that I still have to get up at the crack of dawn to go to work.

Traffic is lighter, even with construction, so I don't have to get up QUITE so early.  I'm just looking forward to a quieter, slower pace of life.


Yummy BlueBerry Pancakes!

A few nights ago, we decided to have breakfast for dinner.  Is that a southern thing?  Anyway, we realized we didn't have any bacon or sausage so we decided to go the direction of pancakes instead.

For Jenna, she always likes chocolate chips in hers.  I made hers first and she gobbled them up as usual.  Then I realized I had bought some blueberries from the grocery to go in my cereal.  The problem was I hadn't been eating the cereal.  So I asked Steve if he might want some blueberry pancakes and he was game.

So I threw in the entire box of blueberries and WOWEE!!!  It was delicious!


Happy Re-Birthday!

A year ago today, my sweet girl was baptized!  I'll post a little bit later about how we are seeing God work in her life, but for today, I just wanted to say Happy RE-birthday to my girl!

Mom and Dad love you like nuts!  We are so proud of the Christian young lady you are growing into!  We can't wait to see what God has in store for you.


Kylie's Room...Almost Done!

Finally!  I can give you an update on Kylie's room!  As you might remember, we have been waiting to show you all some neat things we have put up in Kylie's room.

My sweet, SWEET friend Karen G. made these 5x7 canvas prints of Kylie's name. 
I ordered some custom made knobs to hang these with from Etsy.  I really wanted cupcakes to match our valance, but once I started talking to the sweet lady from Etsy, she and I decided that solid colors would be best.  Sorry for the bad quality of the photos, but they are from my phone.

Now, here's a little of what the window looks like.

Remember the valance I had custom made? 

Well, while I was talking to my friend from Sweet Petites Boutique, I realized she could handpaint a switchplate for the light switch.   I will admit, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was literally speechless when I received it in the mail...

I mean seriously?!  Is that not the absolute cutest thing EVER?  Yeah, I thought so.  And she can handpaint/customize to just about anything you want!  Check her out on Etsy.

Here's another view of the room...

What's that?  Oh, the plate on the dresser?  Well, *I* did that, thankyouverymuch!  I free handed the cupcake from looking at a picture at the pottery painting place.  It's not perfect, but it is made with love.
So, all that to say, the room is really coming together.  We are still in search of a glider, but that will be it.  I've very proud at the way it turned out so far.  Being that I don't have a decorative bone in my body, I think I'm doing pretty good (thanks to help from all my friends and family!)


Field Trip

A few weeks ago, Jenna's class had a field trip to the state capitol.  Since I had not been able to chaperone a field trip this year, I took the day off and drove a bunch of giggling girls downtown.

First up was a scavenger hunt which took a pretty good chunk of time.  But the girls got it done. 
After all that hard work, it was lunch time, which was topped off by slushies purchased by a generous parent.  Jenna got cherry, but didn't like it.  And since I didn't want it to go to waste...  :)

After that, we walked up the 300+ stairs to the capitol.

It was an absolutely beautiful day and it was quite warm.  The day started out a little chilly, so I wore 3/4 sleeves, which turned out to be  a good thing because it means the only thing that got burned was my head.  :)

The best part of the whole day (besides getting into my air conditioned van) was getting to spend time with my girl.  I know these days are numbered and I thought it was a PTO day well spent!


Adoption List-May

So, we have it on good authority that the next list of available children for adoption will come out tonight. 

This will be month #2 we will be eligible for since logging in our dossier back in March.  What is the liklihood that Kylie will be in that list of children?  We really don't know.  It depends on how many children are on the list all together as well as the types of special needs that are there and finally how many other families are waiting at my agency for the exact same kind of child as we are.  There are very many options in play.

I can assure you, I will post to the blog if we hear anything.  It will be late Monday night (our time) when the list arrives.  And I'm not sure when exactly I will post.  Once we are matched, we'll have an international adoption specialist pediatrician review the file to be sure there are no hidden needs to be concerned about.  Sometimes, prospective parents, for whatever reason, are not able to accept a referral.  Those files are unlocked and available to be re-locked for a new family on Thursday night.  If we aren't matched tonight, our second chance is Thursday night.

We are trying not to get our hopes up and even if we aren't matched with this list, we know it's all in God's good timing and we will still be one step closer to our Kylie.

MckMama Photoshoot

I was so excited to receive my photo CD from the MckMama Photoshoot this week. Here's just a taste...for as windy as it was, I thought they turned out great!  I'm a B&W fan, but man I love the color she uses!


Your Turn to Help!

If you've been around long, you know my BFF Rachel is adopting a little girl from Ethiopia.  They are, like us, waiting on a referral, but they are also trying to raise money for the fees that come due when the referral happens.

Tomorrow and Saturday they are having the mother of all yard sales!  Just about anything you could want, they will have.  So, if you are in the area and would like to help out another couple to bring home their daughter, then come on by.  If you are interested, leave me a comment and I'll tell you the address.

And if you aren't local, you can still help.  Send up a prayer for the family and all those who are helping her over the next few days.  Pray for all of their safety, good weather and most of all that God would totally show up and provide them every penny of the money they need.

Let's go God!


Happy Birthday

Today would have been my brother David's birthday. 

He would have been 53 today. 

Instead of celebrating, I'm left with only memories. 

Some days I can't hardly believe he is gone. 

I miss him. 

But I have to believe he is celebrating in heaven today.

I love you. 

And I miss you.



The children's choir at our church sang this past Sunday.  This time, I was prepared and so I had my Flip camera charged and ready!  I love seeing the kids worshipping.  This is our future.

There were 15 kids singing with just a few adults.  I think that's a pretty good number...and yes...they are mostly girls. 

I do so love my church.  LOVE it.  If you are in the area, you should come visit.  You'll worship like never before.



On Mother's Day, my girl and her friends danced at church again.  I never thought much about ballet, but since she started these lessons, I have learned to love it.  There's such a beautiful art to it.  Granted, the girls are early amateurs, but the combination of their fluid movements and the music is just beautiful.

I fully intended to post a beautiful video of the girls dancing, but unfortunately, my flip camera battery was dead and so Steve recorded it with his iPhone.  The problem is the video was recorded upside down.  :)  But thanks to YouTube, I uploaded a portion and it flipped upright!  Yay YouTube!


Adoption Update

I know it's been a few days since I've given an update here about the adoption, so for all your inquiring minds...

Our dossier is in China.  We were logged in on 3/31/2011.  The list of children with special needs available for adoption are released by the CCCWA once a month.  As far as I can tell, it's around the 20th ish of every month and always on a Monday night (our time).  Once that list is released, agencies are out there (yes, some-including my agency-are up in the wee hours of the night) looking for children that match the profiles of the famlies waiting in their programs.

If you're "up" and they find a child that matches the profile you filled out (of what special needs you can accept), then they lock the file for you and you get what is affectionately known as "the call" to say a child is available. 

Until then, you just wait.  Kind of like the whole rest of the process...just waiting on something different.  :)  May's list will be released towards the end of the month, I'm guessing the 23rd.  This will be the 2nd list we will be eligible to be matched from.  Of course, I'll let you all know as soon as I hear, but we are anticipating more months of waiting before we get matched. 

As for fundraising, we are going to be quite short in funds, but yes, t-shirts are still for sale.  I have PLENTY, but just haven't heavily pushed the selling of them.  If you want one, you can purchase online right there ---------------------------------->.  I will ship them to you if you aren't local.

So, that's it.  We are waiting.  Stay tuned...


Mother's Day

On Mother's Day, I remember and honor several women in my life. I still think of and miss my mom.  The mom who raised me the best she could until cancer stole her ability to do so.

I also find that I miss the woman who became my mother when I married Steve.   Mary was a mother to everyone who would let her.  I miss her as if she were my own mother.  And I know today brings mixed emotions for the moms in the Taylor family.

And then I honor the woman who stepped in to be my "mom" and one of the only grandparents Jenna will ever remember...
And today, I am also thankful for this precious blessing that made all my sadness disappear the day she entered the world.  She danced in church today and I could not have received a better gift.

And then she also presented me with a plethora of sweet, heartfelt gifts today which are the best ones in my opinion!

After church, I was treated to lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant.  Upon arrival, we were seated immediately (miracle on a Sunday afternoon!) AND was told for moms, it was free queso day!  YAY for free queso!  YUM!  We then went and visited with my stepmom (see above) and celebrated this special day with her.

During the worship time at church, Jenna was where she always is, clinging to my side.  And I had a sudden memory of way back before I was pregnant...standing during the worship in the building at the main campus and watching a sweet daughter hold to her mom in front of me.  I don't remember who that family was or how old the little girl was, but what I do remember is wondering if that would ever be me.  A mom with a sweet child holding on to my side.  And then here I am.  I am abundantly blessed to be sure.

And today, even enjoying my day, my thoughts turn to my other daughter, Kylie, in a far away world.  With no mom or dad.  And so many others like her. 

Thank you sweet Jenna Grace for making me feel like I'm the best mom in the world (despite all my shortcomings).  And to you Kylie...Mommy is coming for you soon.  Until then, may God send his angels to watch over you.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers, adoptive mothers, step moms and birth mothers.