Friday, December 12, 2008

Some Great Charities

I saw this list on a fellow America World family's blog. There are some great links. Check them out and make a purchase to make a difference in someone else's life.

For awesome Christmas gifts that keep on giving check out:
World Vision Online Donations:Animals
Give a family a goat, chicken, cow or ox to provide income for their family.
TOMS Shoes
Every pair of super cute shoes you buy gives a needy person a pair of shoes.
The Compassion Store
All gifts support the work of Compassion International
Saint's Coffee
My most favorite coffee! Buy a pound of coffee- feed an orphan for a month. Ethiopian is the best!
Tiny Rockstar
Buy a shirt- feed an orphan for a month.
Christian Freedom International
Great gifts made by persecuted Christians around the world.
Hearts in Hispaniola
Our friends Jeff and Vicki...if you plan to buy ANYTHING from, click on the link through their blog and a
percentage of what you buy goes to their ministry in the
Dominican Republic and Haiti!
Integrity Worldwide International Christian Missions
Friend's ministry in Africa...they have a Christmas gift page.
Amazima Ministries International
Break the cycle of poverty by providing an education for a Ugandan child.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

'Tis the Season!

I love Christmas...
the decorations,
the music,
giving and receiving...
I love that we can dedicate an entire month to celebrating the birth of Christ.
My husband teases me when I leave my nativity scenes up until February. I like to make the wisemen travel from across the room to the manger (still not completely correct but atleast they aren't at the stable the night Jesus was born).

This year, I am trying to make most of the gifts we are giving. I think I'm almost finished. I'd post pictures but that would ruin the surprise for those receiving my handmade gifts. I thought it would wear me out or atleast stress me out but, thankfully, I got a head start and chose projects that aren't too labor intensive. I think I am just about finished!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cancun is nice but home is too!

Brian and I are home from a fabulous 10th Wedding Anniversary trip to Cancun. When we began planning the trip, we didn't know how fast the adoption process would go so we decided to celebrate a couple of months early. I can't believe we've already been married that long. Time flies when you're having fun!

Our morining started off with waking up and watching from our balcony as the sun rose. We found ourselves opereating on "old people time". We woke up with the sun at 6:00 and went to bed early (about the same time all the partiers were headed out to the clubs).

This was our "base of operation". We were often the only people on the beach infront of our resort. We would lay out until we got hot, then take a swim or catch some waves with our boogie boards. Then we would lay out until we got hot again or take a walk along the beach and take in some of the amazing people watching opportunities!

Our hotel room had a kitchenette so we prepared all of our breakfasts and lunches in the room and went out for dinner most nights. This was a little outdoor resaurant that overlooked the lagoon side of Cancun. We were able to watch the sunset and enjoy the beautiful tropical breezes.

This is the view from our balcony.

These are our little cuties wearing their Los Luchadores masks that we brought home for them. I have a feeling that Levi is going to spend a good part of the next month or so wearing his. The boy loves to dress up!

We missed our boys (and our soft mattress). It is good to be home again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cutest Cowboy Ever

This weekend Brian and I took the boys to Boo Ha Ha on Brookside. Our neighbor and her son went along with us. Cole was a cowboy and Levi was an "understated" clown (he just wore the suit without a wig or any make-up). I thought it was interesting how well their costumes fit their personalities. Cole tries to do the right thing, is honest and kind. He loves his family. Levi on the other hand is the entertainer and loves to make people laugh. However, he also has a very serious side (hence no make-up or wig).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

God issues...

Here is a cute story born out of a car ride home from school.

Cole was talking to me about heaven and how cool it is going to be. He said he hopes that we all (Brian, me, Cole and Levi) go to heaven. I told him that I know that I am going to heaven because I decided a long time ago that I wanted Jesus to be my Savior. I told him that I pray all that time that he and his brother will make the same decision. Meanwhile, Levi is sitting in the back seat expressing dislike for all things "heaven" ie. clouds, angels, etc. Then he says that when he goes to heaven he is going to punch God in the face (not my proudest parenting moment)! As we pull into the neighborhood, I see my mom standing in her front yard (we live in the same neighborhood as my parents) so we pull into her driveway to say "Hi" to Nana. It was a beautiful day so we had the windows down and immediately Nana sees that Levi isn't very happy. When she asked about his angry face, Cole pipes in with his opinion of the situation. "Levi's having God Issues," Cole says. Where he came up with that terminology, I will never know but it certainly got some laughs from my mom and me! Well put, Cole.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Break Fun

Yesterday Cole had the day off from school so Brian took a vacation day. We had lots of fun. We went to the Tulsa Maize with our neighbors and their kids. I'd never been there but it was lots of fun. They had a cow train, a corn box (I think the adult boys had the most fun burying the kids in the dried corn), and a hay ride.

Later, we borrowed some friends Chiminea and Tent and we had a camp-out in our backyard. We roasted Hot Dogs and Marshmallows for S'Mores. YUMMY!

The boys were so anxious to sleep in the tent that we all climbed in before 8:00. Brian and I woke up after a long night of rest only to find that it was 2:30 a.m. We both started laughing at the fact that we were going to have to try to sleep for another 5 hours in the freezing cold. Thankfully, our bodies stayed pretty warm but our faces sure were cold. Levi and I made it until 6:30 when he woke up crying. Then Brian and Cole joined us inside at 8:00.

Friday, October 10, 2008


You must go check out this web site! We just received a mailer from Compassion International (a wonderful organization - if you aren't already, you should support them). The mailer featured a t-shirt that they are selling to help fight starvation. It comes in 4 different languages and one of them is AHMARIC (that's what they speak in Ethiopia). The shirts are really cool with a vintage look. I'm pretty sure that Brian and I will get one.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Oh the dreaded allergy season...woe is me!! On a brighter side, we are having a garage sale this weekend. If you would like to assist us in paying for my car tag (pulled over yesterday by our friendly Tulsa Police Officer for a tag that is 6 months over due...oops, don't know how that escaped us!) come on over and buy some of our not so junky junk. Several of our friends are going to be contributing to the sale too so there should be lots to choose from! Well, I'm off to deliver the second son to school!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's there!!!

I can 't believe it! I've forced myself to wait a few days before tracking our Fed-Ex package to Ethiopia. The Agency sent us an e-mail explaining that it's not uncommon for a package to sit in a European city for long periods of time before going on to Ethiopia. Then it may take a couple of days for the in-country staff to pick it up from the Fed-Ex office because it isn't close to the Agency's office. All this to say that the package arrived on the 29th! Apparently the package went out on the 26th and I didn't get an e-mail about it until the following monday.

I have a feeling that there is a very special little girl waiting in an orphanage for her mommy and daddy to come and get her. Maybe God is hurrying along the process so we can make that happen sooner than later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

DTE...what's that mean?

For those of you new to the adoption lingo, DTE is short for "Dossier to Ethiopia". Our DTE date is September 29th. This date is when our official wait for a referral begins. Currently America World (our adoption agency) is predicting a 7-9 month waiting period for a female infant. That puts us in Ethiopia some time next summer. Let the count down begin!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Carefree Childhood

Levi and I have been spending alot of time watching old home videos and looking at old pictures. These are a few of our favorites to watch. It's fun to see the way that they enjoy life without all of the inhibitions that we adults have.

This weekend we went to a wedding of Brian's Best Buddy growning up. They had a dance at the reception and all of the little nieces and nephews were dancing and having a great time. I tried to get Cole to go dance with his new friends and he was very reluctant to join in the fun. When I asked him why, he said that he was embarrassed to dance with all of the people watching him. It breaks my heart that at 6 yrs. old he is already struggling with insecurity and fear of what others will think of him. I'm sure that he's picked up on some of that from me....after all, I wasn't exactly breaking it down of the dance floor either. Oh for the good old days when we could go out in public dressed like this...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This week we are blessed with the company of my Sister-in-law and her 4 kids. They are here seeking refuge from the devastation of Hurricane Ike. My brother drove home yesterday to see what kind of damage was done to their home and his work. Thankfully, a little bit of water damage, a toppled privacy fence and a basketball goal blown down were the only signs of damage at their home. Until the electricity comes back on, we'll get to enjoy their presence here in


Thursday, September 4, 2008


I am loving the fall like weather that blew in to Tulsa yesterday. When the clouds roll in and the ground is wet with rain I just want to curl up with a quilt and read a book. However, there is much "mothering" to do so the book must wait. Cole is NOT excited about daily homework but Levi thinks it's not fair that Cole GETS to have homework. My afternoons are spent coaxing Cole into doing his work and making up work for Levi to do! Those two boys are completely different (except for the fact that they are both so cute)!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our last weekend of summer

Today we went to the neighborhood pool for the last time this season. I finally remembered to bring my camera. Cole got brave enough to swim in the deep end (10') and jump off the diving board! Levi is happy just floating around with his floaties. That's more my style of swimming!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dossier's safe arrival in VA

Here is an e-mail that we received this afternoon from our Family Coordinator at America World.

I wanted to let you know that I did receive your dossier. So you can breath a sigh of relief that it is safe and sound here at America World. I will be reviewing it next Tuesday and taking it to be authenticated and approved at the U.S. Dept. of State and the Ethiopian Embassy during the week. If all goes as planed it will be mailed out to Ethiopia next Friday. If I run across any issues or see any adjustments that need to be made you will hear from me Tuesday afternoon, otherwise expect to receive a confirmation email on Friday September 5th with a tracking number. Thanks for all of your hard work!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's in the mail

This afternoon I put our COMPLETED DOSSIER in the mail. They should receive it at our agency, America World, by Friday then it goes to Washington D.C. via courier for Authentication, then it will be translated and sent to Ethiopia. We've done our end of the work and now it is time to wait. When I left the UPS Store I had the very same feeling that I have waiting for the restult of a pregnancy tests. I guess this really is a paper pregnancy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Certification Completed!

Yahoo!! The UPS man delivered our Certified Dossier documents this evening! I really didn't know how long it would take for them to go to OKC, get processed and then back, but that was quick! I just finished making our photo sheets to send along with the Dossier. I used SnapFish and chose the option to pick-up my order instead of having it delivered. I sent in the order at 6:00 p.m. and 30 minutes later, got an e-mail that my order is ready for pick-up at the Wal-greens down the street. Now that's service!

I had to borrow my parents' camera to take some pictures of the house (for the Dossier) so I finally took some pictures of all the girly clothing items I've been making.

This top is made from scraps I had left over from making purses. I love how it turned out. I think it will look so pretty with her brown skin.

This is just a little play dress I made from fabric I found on clearance.

This little smock is reversible the other side is soft yellow with a striped pocket in the middle. It is made to fit a baby so depending on how big she is, it might have to be a gift to someone else. Either way, it was fun to make!

I knit this one night while watching T.V. I had some yarn left over from a previous project and decided to try to make my own pattern. I just started knitting and this is what I came up with. It's pretty small but if it doesn't fit her, I have a big teddy bear that it fits perfectly.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

School Days

Here are some pictures of our boys on their first day of school.

Cole's Teacher is Mrs. Munozcano and we are so excited. We prayed that God would put him in a class with a great teacher and our prayers were answered. Mrs. Munozcano was our first choice!

Levi only has 4 children in his class so he'll be getting all kinds of one on one time with his teacher. We are also very excited about Mrs. Kathy. Levi will most definately be ready for Kindergarten next year.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Secretary of we come

We sent our dossier to the Secretary of State for Certification yesterday. I tried to sent it on Monday via FedEx but they didn't know how to include a prepaid return envelope. UPS did it without any trouble what so ever. I'm a new faithful customer of UPS. Hopefully the certification process will go quickly!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our I-171H is here!!

Our approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office arrived in the mail yesterday (form I-171H). Happy Birthday to me!! Basically that means that we are approved to bring an orphaned child into the country. This is a huge step towards getting our little girl.

I am anxious to start working on her room but am making myself hold off. There is no reason for our little guy to have to share a room with his big brother yet. (Unless he'd like to stay in a little girl room...doubt it!)

I've been busy sewing today. I got gift cards to JoAnn Fabrics for my birthday and am anxious to pick out some fabric for myself. Actually, I'll probably buy fabric to sew little girl clothes. I just can't help myself. I'll post some pictures of what I've already made as soon as we get a camera that works. Ours died a few weeks ago. For now, I will just post a picture of one of the bags I'm selling on etsy.

Check it out at!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hurry up and wait...

Our family is very anxious to meet our little girl. Our two little boys have been talking about her for almost a year now and they don't really understand "what is taking so long for us to find our little sister". One evening at bed time our 4 year old told me "Mommy, I think she's lost." It broke my heart. But at the same time, I am comforted to know that it isn't just my husband and me that want another child, her big brothers want her too.

We are so very close to having all of our paperwork gathered for our Dossier. We are currently waiting for our I-717 form. I'm a little nervous that we'll have to go back to OKC for fingerprinting because they had a hard time getting good prints on a couple of my fingers. Hopefully the FBI will have enough info to clear me.

In the mean time, I have been sewing up a storm. I just can't resist all of the cute little patterns and girly fabric. It calls to me as I stroll the aisles of JoAnn Fabrics. Hopefully, she will be able to wear the dresses I've made. I'm trying to make them a little on the big side so that she can grow into them if need be.