Saturday, May 23, 2015


There have been very few times in my life where I have been speechless! I'm trying to think of words to say to describe what's happening...and no words seem adequate. But I'll try to explain where we're at!

A month or so ago we decided to try an online Facebook auction, where all the money raised would go toward the adoption. We started collecting stuff...asking friends, family and even strangers if they'd like to donate. Our friends, family and complete stranger friends came through for us and we had close to 70 items donated. I cried numerous times at the way people were giving.

A little over a week ago we put everything up, added descriptions and starting bids and held our breath. Would anyone even look in our auction, let alone bid? I was SO nervous that no one would bid. We would have all of this stuff donated and no one would want it.

Jason and I talked about what our hopes were for the auction. In my head $1000 would be awesome, but $2000 would just totally be God and I would be so thrilled with that! I was almost afraid to say it because it seemed like such a big amount. But I knew that God could totally bless this thing and I was excited to see Him move! So I told Jason I hoped for $2000. 

We started the auction on Thursday afternoon. By Thursday night we were at $1400 and by Friday night we had passed $2000.  We had PASSED my highest goal and we still had over a week to go on the auction. I have been in awe of what God is doing ever since. Complete awe! And that's where my speechlessness comes in. How do you describe what God is doing in your heart and family?! He is showing Himself to us in ways we've never seen.

We hoped for $2000...He was like, I'll show you what I can do!

We ended the auction on Monday night. At the end there was a frenzy of bids. and I just sat at the computer in shock. Our friends and stranger friends were GOING CRAZY bidding.

I totaled everything up and the total was staggering. We had raised $5845.


Almost three times what my highest hope had been. I get choked up just thinking about it!

After we announced the totals we just sat there and read all the love pouring in. We saw a man in our church pledge $100 to everyone who would shave their head. We saw a group of friends pledge $100 over the next several months and challenge each other to give up their Starbucks if need be.

I sat at my computer and cried my eyes out! I have never felt such a sense of community and love in my life. Many of the people are from our church and MOPS group. These people have sacrificed for our family, for our boys to become a part of our family and we are forever grateful.

I wish there were some magic words that we could say that would adequately describe our thankfulness, our love for all of you. But I don't know what they are! Just know that we are thankful.

This adoption road is hard. There are fears and worries and struggles. But days like these make it so worth it! On those hard, doubting days, I'm going to look back on this day and remember how we saw God move, and how loved we felt be everyone. And we will carry on, because this road is so worth it!


Monday, May 18, 2015

just trust.

So much has changed in our lives over the last couple of years, that this feels like a totally new blog!  Jason and I are enjoying four jobs, homeschooling, church and probably the biggest thing in all of our lives right now....adoption.  That's right, we're working on adding two more kids into our family!

The process all started last year when our friends headed out to get their two new kids. They kept sending pictures and updating us every step of the way.  Our hearts were opened and we felt this pull. A pull to be a father to the fatherless.  To give these kids a forever family, to teach them about the love of Jesus, not just through our words but through our actions.  So we started the process.

Within a very small amount of time (and I mean, super small), we were given pictures and info on two little orphan boys.  Jason and I were shocked, scared, excited, instantly in love.  Terrified might just fit in that description too.  =)  But once we had those pictures....we were in!

So we started the looooooooong process of doing our Home Study.  It took months.  During that time we (and by "we" I mean mainly me) faced many fears. I have had many fears along the way.  I'm a planner, and I like to know what's going to happen. I like to know exactly how long something is going to take, how much money it's going to cost, where that money is going to come from, what it's going to be like at the end, and the list goes on.  But I'm finding that God doesn't always, or even usually, tell us those things.  He just asks us to trust Him.

Hard! Just trusting is SO hard.

Once we remembered to just trust, and take one step at a time, it's almost as though God was like YES, this is where I want you!! And He began to move.

And that brings us to today.

We are in major fundraising mode.  We have three HUGE amounts of money that will need to be raised, plus travel expenses, etc. So we're doing every fundraiser that we can think of.  We had a fun fundraiser at a local boutique here in town, where friends got to shop and a portion of the sales was given to our adoption fund!

We are also in the middle of our biggest fundraiser so far, which is an online auction. I can't wait to share all the details of how this has worked out, but I'll wait until we have the final numbers to do that, which will be this evening. Let's just say, God has done some AMAZING things through this auction. I have cried more times than I can count in just utter thankfulness and awe.

We also have a rummage sale coming up and we got approved for our Both Hands project which hopefully will happen in the beginning of July!

We are just in awe of what God is doing through this process. I have seen Him in ways that I never have before, and it's simply from taking those small steps of faith and trusting Him with the details. We serve an amazing God!


Monday, December 2, 2013

easiest mac'n'cheese

My girls LOVE mac'n'cheese!  I used to buy the boxed kind and would just ignore that nagging question in the back of my mind...."why is it SO unnaturally orange?!"  Then I bought the book Cook This, Not That, and there was a recipe for homemade mac'n'cheese.  I decided to give it a whirl, and besides an occasional box of bright orange mac'n'cheese, I haven't looked back!  

This mac'n'cheese is so easy you guys!  Not only is it much healthier than it's boxed cousin, but it also makes a ton more!  This recipe makes three full meals for my four mac'n'cheese loving girls!  If your kids are GIANT eaters, it might only last two meals, but still!  


1 lb whole wheat elbows or shells
3 Tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Don't forget to salt the water that you boil the pasta in, it helps the noodles be tastier.  

While the pasta boils, melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Once the butter is melted, add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add salt.  Add milk and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  As the sauce boils, it will thicken.  Once it gets to the thickness you'd like, remove from heat and add the cheese and stir until completely melted.  

Drain pasta once it's cooked.  Put back in pasta pan and pour cheese sauce over the noodles.  Stir until every noodle is drenched in cheesy goodness.  Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top if you want, though this is optional! 


Sunday, December 1, 2013

free printable christmas subway art

Here is a sweet Christmas free printable for you!  Please only use for personal use and do not re-sell.  Click to enlarge!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

thanksgiving place settings

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I know everyone is busy making plans and preparing for the biggest meal of the year!  So here is a simple way to add a little beauty to your Thanksgiving table, do it yourself place settings. There are a couple ways to do them, either silverware holders like this:

Or place cards like this:

Both just require a few items that you probably already have around the house.  Easy peasy!

You need some twine (or ribbon), some Thanksgiving-ish paper, plain colored paper would work too, some white cardstock and some Thanksgiving printables.  Here is the free printable that I created for this project.  Feel free to use it for your own personal use (please do not sell or distribute as your own).

For the silverware holders, you simply make a little pouch with the white cardstock, I used double sided tape to secure it, but you could also use a hot glue gun, or sew it.  Then you tape on the Thanksgiving paper and then the printables.  I punched two holes in the top and tied a twine bow, just to make it a little more cute! =)

For the place cards, you do the same thing, except you flip it, so it makes a little tent.

So easy, but adds just a touch of special!  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 22, 2013

healthy baked oatmeal

There are two things that I love to bake with.  Cinnamon.  And chocolate.  This recipe has both, so it's delish!

I love this recipe because it has no flour, just oats!  You can tweak the amount of sugar also, I used to do it with 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and it's just barely sweetened that way.  This time I used 1/2 cup of brown sugar and I'll probably always do it that way now.  It's just yummier, but not TOO yummy, if you know what I mean!


1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups oats (I like Old Fashioned, they're more hearty, but quick oats would work too)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I like mini)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x9 baking dish (or similar size).  Whisk applesauce and eggs.  Add cinnamon, salt, baking powder and vanilla and whisk together.  Mix in sugar.  Add oatmeal, then milk.  Mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

chocolate-glazed pumpkin donuts

What is the perfect, chilly Fall morning breakfast you ask?

This was my first go at homemade donuts and they turned out just delicious!  I love making things that we normally store buy, and having it work out!  Not only are the ingredients all things that you already have in your pantry, but they're also BAKED which makes them *almost* healthy for you!  Haha! 

So with the coming of Fall, of course I've been pinning all sorts of pumpkin deliciousness!  And I just happened across this recipe for pumpkin donuts.....pumpkin donuts?!  Yes, pumpkin donuts!  Yum-o!!  

I made big ones like this:

And little adorable mini ones like this:

 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon (you can just do one, but I'm a little cinnamon crazy)
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp ground clove
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate ships
1/2 cup half & half or heavy cream
2 Tbsp salted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray donut pan with cooking spray.  Blend together applesauce, eggs, sugars, pumpkin and vanilla.  Add in the dry ingredients.  Mix until smooth.  Now for the next part, I totally recommend doing it this way.  The batter is very thick and would be hard to spoon into your pan, especially if you're doing mini donuts.  So what you do is spoon the batter into a ziploc bag.  Then cut off the corner of the bag with scissors.  Now just squeeze your batter into your pans.  I did it this way and it was a BREEZE!   Bake for 9-11 minutes.

While the donuts are baking make your glaze.  Get out a small saucepan, add all the glaze ingredients and melt together.  You should have a shiny delicious pan of chocolate glaze.  Try not to eat it all before the donuts come out of the oven.  

Let the donuts cool when you take them out of the oven, if you're patient.  If you're not, ahem, at least wait until you can pick them up without burning your fingers, and dip the tops into the warm chocolate glaze.  Immediately sprinkle with toppings of your choice.  Devour.

Original recipe found here.