Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My 2014 Reading List

I love the new tradition of tracking each book I read.  There are several times when I read what a book is about and I honestly can't remember if I've read the book or not.  Keeping an ongoing list has proven to be very helpful.

I put an * by the book that I really enjoyed and would recommend to you.

1. Before I Wake by Dee Henderson
2. Charade by Gilbert Morris
3. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle*
4. The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle*
5. Balancing it All by Candace Cameron Bure*
6. Loving Libby by Robin Lee Hatcher*
7. Growing up Duggar by Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar*
8. Love Me Back to Life by Missy Horsfall & Susan Stevens*
9. A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller*
10. A Place of His Own by Kathleen Fuller*
11. What the Heart Sees by Kathleen Fuller*
12. False Witness by Randy Singer (Good but not great)
13.  Conform by Glenn Beck
14. A Man of His Word by Kathleen Fuller*
15. Plain Proposal by Beth Wiseman*
16. Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury*
17. A Promise to Remember by Kathryn Cushman*
18. Adopting Through Foster Care by William Gregory*
19. Firewall by Diann Mills*

As you can see I didn't do a lot of reading this year.  To be honest I'm a little ashamed of this list.  I used to read all the time.  I got two new books for Christmas that I am excited to read.  (I actually just read one of them over the past two days.  It was really good.)   I hope that I will do a lot more reading in 2015.

What is on your Must Read list?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

It's Not a Cure

I believe God has called us to grow our family through adoption.  

I believe it has been God's plan all along.

Yet, adoption is not a cure for infertility.  As a woman, the desire to carry a child within me and give birth to that child has not disappeared.  .

I have shared with family members that I feel like I am expecting, just not in the traditional way.  I have already fallen in love with my children and I pray for them every day even though I have not met them yet.   I already feel like a mom.  I just don't have the usual nine months to prepare for a newborn.  I have an unknown amount of time to prepare for children of unknown ages.

I have such peace and joy about this new journey so I was not expecting the wave of emotion that flooded over me a few weeks ago.

We were looking at some old pictures when we came across this picture of Andrew (on the right) and his brother Cary.

My heart broke instantly.

Our kids won't look like us.  

Maybe it is silly or even unreasonable.  But in that moment I was absolutely heartbroken that we aren't preparing to bring home a mini-me or a mini-Andrew.

Will I love my child any less because he or she doesn't look like us?  Absolutely not.

Will he or she be any less my child because he or she doesn't look like us?  Absolutely not.

But the pain was still there.  

It was in that moment of seeing that picture that I realized even though this journey of adoption is absolutely the right one for us, my desire to have a biological child may never go away.

Adoption is not a cure for infertility.  


Andrew and I had a wonderful Christmas filled with family.  Sick family, but family none the less.

This seems to have been the Christmas of sickness.  

It didn't matter if was my family or Andrew's family, there was sickness.

My parents, my brother and his wife, and my Mommom joined us for a traditional Christmas dinner on Tuesday.

Ham, stuffing, and chicken & dumplings.

It was absolutely delicious.

After dinner we exchanged gifts and then watched It's A Wonderful Life.

You'd never know from these pictures that my sweet momma didn't feel well.  Bless her heart.  She felt so bad the next morning that she stayed in bed all day.  

I hate that she was sick and missed out on seeing the rest of the family that came over on Wednesday.

We had fun with some photobooth props.

We spent Christmas Day with the Weavers.  

The boys played outside until new sweaters were ripped.

A delicious lunch was eaten by all.

And then the littles just couldn't wait any longer.

It was present time.

Our sweet Cody.  He is such a good sport.

The family likes to give him a hard time about having little feet.  Andrew decided it would be fun to buy him a new pair of shoes for Christmas.  Size 2.

It definitely made for a laugh.

After presents we went back to grazing on all the yummy food, playing with new toys, playing cards, and watching Christmas movies.

Let the record show that PB and I dominated at Spades. :)

It was a sweet time with family that Andrew and I wouldn't trade for anything.

I hope you had a Very Merry Christmas too!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Popcorn

Last year, my coworker found this recipe on Pinterest and we made it for our class Christmas parties.  I had some left over so I sent it to work with Andrew.  He and his coworkers LOVED it so I made some for him to take to work again this year.

I think it might be a new tradition.

I thought I would share the recipe with you so you can try it too.

Here is what you will need.

Pour your M&M's into a large mixing bowl along with your broken pretzel pieces.  You can put as many pretzels as you want.  They are my favorite part so I tend to put lots of pretzel in my mixture.

Add your popped popcorn to the mixture.  Be sure to remove the unpopped kernals first.  I used four mini-bags of popcorn or you could use two regular sized bags.

Next, pour your melted almond bark into your mixture and stir it up.

Once you have everything all mixed up and evenly covered with the white chocolate, spread it all out onto wax paper.  Sprinkle it with red and green sprinkles to make it even more festive.

Once your white chocolate has time to harden, break it apart and enjoy your Christmas popcorn while watching your favorite Christmas movie with your family.

Friday, December 19, 2014

DIY Personalized Glitter Ornaments

The steps to make these ornaments are all over Pinterest, but I though I would share anyway.  They are so easy to make.

Start with clear ornaments.  I bought mine at Hobby Lobby.

You will also need some Glitter It Glue and extra fine glitter.  I also bought these at Hobby Lobby.

Remove all the "tops" from you ornaments.  Pour glue into an ornament using a funnel.  Swish the glue around covering the inside completely.  Pour the excess glue into a disposable cup so that it can be used for the next ornament.

Next, pour the glitter in using a different funnel.  Swish it around until you are happy with the coverage.  Pour the excess glitter into a cup to be used again.

Repeat until all your ornaments are no longer clear, but are beautiful glittery ornaments.

It doesn't take long at all for them to dry and then you can put the "tops" back on.

I purchased a roll of vinyl at Hobby Lobby so I could personalize these ornaments.

I used my Inspiration, similar to a cricut, to cut out names for each ornament.

I have to say I LOVE how these turned out.  I gave each of my students one and they just loved getting their own personalized ornament.

I had a few ornaments left over so I might have to make an ornament for each of my nieces and nephews.