Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My New Toy...

I got a cool new homemaking toy!!!! It is so super cool!!!
So I can't remember wear I saw this...for the first time, but I bought it at Ikea!

I just about squealed with delight with all of possibilities!!!

The main thing is all of the cloth diapers that can enjoy some sun time, and I don't have to stand out at the clothes line to hang them up...that means more time in the nice warm heat this time of year!!!

So cute~so cheap~my cute little octopus toy!!!!

~Our Adoption Reading List~

So we have been doing a lot of reading to get ready for our adoption... I thought I would share some of the books on our list. 

~Our Adoption Book List~

The Bible~ Our Guidebook Of Life!
The Adoption Decision: 15 Things You Want To know Before Adopting,  By: Laura Christainson
Successful Adoption: A Guide For Christian Families By: Natalie Gillispie
Your Guide To Adoption,  By: Focus On The Family
Our Bible~ Training them up in the way they should go...
Handbook On Thriving As An Adoptive Family,  By: David & Renee Sanford
The Connected Child,  By: David Cross, Wendy Sunshine, & Karyn Purvis
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, By: Sherrie Eldridge 
Parenting the Hurt Child, By Regina Kupecky

Our Family Bible~ Devotions together as a family! 
After the Dream Comes True,  By: Michelle Gardner
Before You Were Mine, By: Susan TeBoss, & Carissa Woodwyk 
Talking To Young Children About Adoption,  By: by Ms. Mary Watkins and Dr. Susan Fisher M.D

 For Friends & Family
Wrapping Around Adoptive Families,  By: Focus On The Family

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Poor Kitty.....

It is November that means it is time for the fur-babies to go to the Vet's office for a check-up and shots...pout!  For us humans, stress!
 So we are off....

Time to see if all of the teeth brushing...

Bathing & brushing....okay so not that much anymore, LOL!

Warm cuddles, vitamins, and heathy cat food...

Hours of de-shedding so they don't get really paying off?

And with one poop in the car, a 6.7 mile drive there and  6.7 miles back with NON-STOP MEOWING,  a super sweet new Dr. (even though we still love our old one, and kinda missed her),  a huge bill, and one puked-on kitty later.......

we have 2 cats in perfect health!!! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Getting Ready For Christmas!!!!

Well, Thanksgiving was amazing!!!! Now we are on to, friends, lights, food, carols, sweets &  treats, the tree, decorating, and most of all a Savior.

We as a family are putting off getting the tree just in case we have little ones to help us decorate...just praying that our social worker is really Santa Claus in disguise! We shall see and we have a date in mind and we will get a tree, that is if we don't hear anything, but it is looking really good right now! More to come about that later... 
The rest of the house is mine.....the mantel, the walkway, and pretty much every counter-top in the house is in need of some decoration!!!! That of course means lot's of Disney stuff!!!! We try to go to Disneyland every year and usually at Christmas time so I add a piece every year...hoping to add another piece soon, maybe a few! 
So lets bust out the box of decorations, put on the carols, and beautify everything with the joy of Christmas!!!! 
....and for those of you that get snow; make a snowman for me! Because for now mine only comes by way of a snowglobe. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Little Book....Filled With Lot's Of Love

As I spend this day before thanksgiving in the kitchen I am reminded of those that I love as I reminisce on Holidays gone by...

I have been so blessed with wonderful family. I have also been blessed with good ol' Southern training especially in the kitchen! I can still hear my Aunts laughing as they prepared the food for special "get-togethers" and Holidays. I can still see my wonderful Memaw standing at the stove while teaching me some little life lesson...such wonderful memories! I can still see my mom almost at my eye level as I stand on a chair at her side while she reads the recipe and tries not to sigh as I always seem to slosh things over the side of the bowl.

When it comes to family I am have been extra blessed! I now also belong to another family...this one came as a wedding gift! Tomorrow I will sit around the table with them and laugh at their jokes, listen to family stories, and enjoy a wonderful meal.

Preparing for tomorrow's Thanksgiving Feast I once again reached for one of my greatest treasures....

~My little book~

It is a little cookbook my Aunts put together for me and gave to me on my wedding day. It is a treasury of all of the special family recipes, my favorite foods as a child, some little notes, and motherly wisdom since my mom had to view our wedding from the splendor Heaven. I like to think she smiled a little...

It is a little piece of home.

It is my passed and that in turn effects my future.

One day I hope to do the same if God blesses me with daughters, and maybe I'll stand by the stove and give a little life lesson or two...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

'Tis The Season...Well Almost!

So we usually wait to decorate until after Thanksgiving, but this year I think I am going to need a little more time getting into the "spirit" of things. You see this year a few things are going to go a little differently...we are not going on our annual Disney trip for Thanksgiving, we are not going home for Christmas to see my family, and the hardest of all ~without a miracle it looks like we may not be getting placement in time for Christmas. .
We held so many hopes and dreams for this Christmas...

In all of this there is still the joy of Christmas. We celebrate that Our Savior came in the world, and as a part of that we decorate our homes, our rooftops, and okay and pretty much everything that will sit still!!! So this is where I started getting ready; with one simple decoration~

I love this little candle warmer with the little snowflakes, the warm glow, and the wonderful scent it reminds me so much of the the little things that makes life so special, love that warms our hearts, and the smell of warm goodies from the oven shared with family & friends.

So when were do you begin...what fills your home and heart this time of year? 

Gorgeous Skin For The Journey!!!

It's the weekend!!! So for me that means lot's time out with hubby, and a great way to start a weekend is with a little pampering...gotta look my best for Mr. Hotness!!! ;)

So whether your weekend is soccer with the kids, a day at the beach, shopping with girl friends, or spending time with the love of your life get that gorgeous face glowing a little more with a little pampering!

Here are a couple of my favorite face masks, enjoy~

Honey & Oat      ~Great for dry, sensitive, itchy, winter skin!
  • Oats, about half a handful..
  • Honey, a good squeeze, about a tablespoon..
  • About a tsp of (plain for sensitive skin) yogurt
Mix well, and gently slather on to warm damp skin in a circular motion to gently exfoliate....allow it to sit for a few minutes and gently wash off mask and dab dry with a soft towel. Use a gentle Toner (recipe soon to come) and follow with a nice moisturizer. Fabulous!!

Creamy ~ Dreamy Mask   

  • 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado~smashed
  • A good dollop of yogurt (lemon or strawberry gives you a mild antioxidant!) 
  • About a tsp of honey
  • A tsp-sh of aloe juice (optional; if you have a plant around the house) 
Whip well and apply to freshly cleansed & exfoliated skin ...leave on for about 30 minutes; which I use this time for a nice cup of tea and a girl movie of great book and just relax! Rinse face and apply moisturizer...then  go out and enjoy that beautifully hydrated skin!

You will notice I didn't put super strict amounts of the ingredients because I want you to make these masks your own... I want you to enjoy pampering yourself and believe in your abilities to take great care of yourself and bask in your beauty!
~Because you are beautiful...glow, baby, glow!!!! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Journey In Pictures, Pizza, & Promises!

These are some of the pictures from the Adoption Fair last week. It was such an emotional journey as I am sure you can tell by the look on our faces...

So we decided to match, well sort of... Hubby looked awesome!!! 

One HOT daddy-to-be!!!!  

 A kiss for good luck!!!

 Happy, excited, nervous tears...after prayer time.

We couldn't take any pix at the adoption fair, but we felt that it was positive and decided to go out to eat at one of our favorite places..Roma's! It is this little place that James went to a lot growing up,  also where we had our first dinner date, told his parents that we were getting married, AND had our rehearsal dinner so it just seemed fitting! 

Also home of some of the best paste ever!!!!

 So ready to eat!!!

I just couldn't stop smiling!!!! 


Now to go home and wait...trusting in the promises of God. This is the hardest part of the adoption journey, the waiting...Thankfully He gave us His Word full of promises, here are a couple we hold to: 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.            ~Jeremiah 29:11

Leave your orphans behind; I will protect them.                        ~Jeremiah 49:11a

We leave our little ones in God's hands~wrapped in His love, and can only pray that He lays them in our waiting arms soon...  

A Journey To a Cheaper Kind Of Soft...Clothes That Is!

So I love, I mean love my fabric softener!! There is nothing like some super softer, warm jams in the winter! The only problem was the cost...I mean I could do okay with my coupons, and free samples by mail which I will be posting about in the future, but it was still more than I wanted to spend...

So being the DIY kind of girl that I am I set out to find a recipe! I looked over a few, and came up with a mixture of a few that I really like, here is what you need:

  • 2 Cups of HOT (not boiling) water
  • 2/3 Cup of Conditioner (pick a great scent)
  • 1 Cup of Vinegar
  • Some Essential Oils (Optional) 
So let's get started~ 

Add your HOT, not boiling carefully to a large bowl...

Now it is time for one of my favorite tips...line your measuring cup with wax paper or tin-foil to measure conditioner!!! This saves so much time cleaning up!!! I do this with measuring grease for making biscuits too ~such easy clean-up and no slimy hands!!! :D If you have a soft silicone whisk you can also line the bowl in foil, but the metal one that I have will tear the you can see what works best for you.

Lined measuring cup!!

Add Conditioner....I had to eyeball the amount cause my other measuring cup broke. 

Add the conditioner to the hot water...

Whisk till nice and frothy!!!

Add the vinegar....Yep I buy it by the gallon!!!

Add your essential oils if you like...for added scent! 

Shake well in your empty container!!! You will need to shake again after it cools and occasionally..

There you go...enjoy your soft clothes!!! So go curl up in your super soft jammies with a great book! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bitty Baby Bum Fluff!!! ~An Adoptive Mama's Collectible!

As an adoptive soon-to-be mom in the fos-adopt system there is so much that is simply unknown...the gender, the age, the size of your little one. It can be so frustrating wanting to prepare, to fill your nursery. Well, I finally found something...CLOTH DIAPERS! 

I did a lot of research and realized that I wanted to use cloth diapers long before realizing that they would ease my "I need to buy something for baby" itch! They are great for baby, non-toxic without all of the chemicals found in 'sposies, environmentally savvy, way cheaper, and most importantly SUPER CUTE!!!!! 

So you maybe wondering how I can get them while not knowing the age, etc?? Well, because most styles are available One Size- most brands go from 7 to 35-40 pounds. This makes it possible for you to provide for your little one's needs longer, remember many little ones from the system may need a little more time. One size diapers have rows of snaps or Velcro that make them customizable to your little one! 
 (The two green ones are the same!) 

 I love all of the designs and at this time buying only gender neutrals and plan to add some trains & cars or flowers & hearts when we get placement. There are so many styles, designs, colors. a girl can go broke!! So I watch for sales, coupon codes, and special deals, and give thanks that I can shop...for something!!! 

So I happily stay on my journey picking up a few cloth diapers I find on sale along the way...

Click Here to join me on Swagbucks! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

~The Adoption Family Fair~

So the adoption fair went great!!!! It was such an amazing experience and not one I will soon forget...

It was in a large, loud, bustling room that I would associate with the New York stock exchange! The room was set up with tables forming a large circle with placing(the ones that have kids available) social workers on the inside and hoards of hopeful families, huddled masses pushing and inching their way around the outside for those few precious minutes with the one person that might possibly have their child. The social workers trying to be friendly some showing signs of fatigue and burnout in their face; while others had the excitement of a child showing off a new doll as they handed out pictures of children in need of homes.

Then there were the want-to-be-mothers walking around with pictures and information of a possible placement tenderly holding the pages as though they were as delicate as the little one pictured, yes that was me. The sadness in the eyes, hidden by smiles as they had to hand the pictures back to the social workers at the door. They are silent as they walk down the long hall to the elevator with inside fluttering and minds swirling...then stepping out of elevator and into the sun feeling the warmth; same as the warming in the heart. Then is returns-in an instant; that sinking feeling that comes when ones has nothing left to do but wait....only this time having a little more hope and a picture seared into one's mind not to mention heart.

The Journey To Cleaner Clothes... maybe not cleaner, but definitely cheaper! I decided to join Amazing Amanda..the Duggers..and many more in the quest to make our own laundry detergent. It was such an easy process and only about $7 for a six month supply!
So we started with the basics:

I made the dry version which works pretty well, even with our hard California water~even better in hot water!

  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) 
  • 1/2 Bar of Fels-Naptha or Zote  FINELY grated.. 
You can also add a little Oxyclean & a few drops of Essential Oil, but I didn't try those at this time...

You only need a tablespoon for most loads & 2 for heavily soiled loads...

Then you just whisk well and put in a pretty jar or container to make laundry day a little more special!!! There you go...Divalicious Laundry!

*As always keep out of reach of children, don't eat it, don't put it in your eyes...blah...blah...blah!

Our First Adoption Family Fair!!!

We have our first Adoption Fair in the morning and I am just a basket of nerves!!! I have practiced my "I will be a good mother, I swanny" smile in the mirror at least a thousand times!
I am armed with collage pages, homestudy copies, and a lot of prayer!

I keep trying to think of funny, yet serious things to say that will make them remember us... I am much more of a wall-flower than a mingle type so this is really killing me!!

Now for the big decision: WHAT TO WEAR?!?! Should we match?? Color Coordinate? Oh, or Wear Opposites to show our individuality?? The possibilities are endless!!

I will have to post a pic tomorrow when I figure it all out...cause for now I am off to put my hair up in rollers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How Did I Get Here??

As I sit here it is 6:34 AM and I ponder over my ice water(don't do the coffee in the mornings, yet) how I came to love my morning quiet time? In those few still moments before the children arrive, hubby is up wanting breakfast, and the kitties are meowing at my feet that I find such peace...the kind of peace that lasts the entire day.
It is in that time that commune with my Savior, find my inspiration, and collect my thoughts & ideas for the brand new day. I reflect on my mistakes the day before and am reminded of His it is made new every morning. 
I remember that girl that would sleep to the last possible second, and would always be running late...if she had only known how wonderful these moments were and how wonderful her quiet time would be maybe she would have gotten here a little bit sooner. 

It's A Good Time To Blog....

Well, I finally decided to start blogging...duh, right you are reading it! I had a lot of friends tell me I should, and it is my hope that you are inspired!

We have a lot going on right now in our home~ the Holidays are right around the corner, and we just got back from the Home For Good Conference...hence, a great time to let the blogging begin!

We had such a great time at the conference and made new friends while learning so much! I wish we had gone to one of these before we started this process...we would have been way ahead of the game. It was a joy to get hear  Keynote Speaker: Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, as well as all of the other fine speakers! We came back so refreshed and ready to do what we were called as a family to do, to start our family in the way God has chosen for us. 
~Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. 
James 1:27
~Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. 
Isaiah 1:17

We are strengthened and excited for all that we have coming up and we are taking you with sit back and enjoy our journey!

Why Do We Call It A Journey??

A Journey To Home is about just that...our Journey. 

It is the road we walk everyday that leads us closer to God and our family ~ or in the other direction. We take each step by the choices we make all the while knowing that others are watching and may choose to follow. 
We may find that our journey has many bumps along the way. We may stumble and fall, or we may get a little distracted, and then there are those times that it seems the wind just lifts us up and we travel so far with very little effort~ I love those times! 

I am so thankful that I am not alone..I have a great leader & friend that holds my hand as we walk along this path...talking and laughing all of the way! I have the most amazing husband! Yes, I let him lead~ I want him to lead because he can kill the snakes that might try to cross our path...oh, and kill spiders! ;)  

In our family our little ones are on a journey of their own...a journey to find their way home. We are in the process of adopting our first child(ren) from the fos-adopt system. I can only pray they come home soon. It is so hard (and sounds weird) missing someone you have never met...and the waiting is so much harder knowing how painful & hard their journey must be for such young, innocent travelers.  

As soon-to-be parent via adoption we are working our way through the paperwork, meeting with social workers, Dr. visits, child fairs, home visits, conferences, hard decisions, and sleepless nights. I have heard the quote: Adoption the road of hell that leads to heaven on earth. Well, I wouldn't go that far, but I can tell ya it isn't easy, but it is so worth it!

So that is us...simple travelers on a journey.