Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reynolds Wrap Aluminum foil for .24 at Kroger

I just read on hip 2 save's website that there is a coupon for 1.25/1 Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil (click here.)  I just bought this same kind yesterday at Kroger for $1.49...snag it for .24 after coupon!!  I also heard that Kroger is doing triple coupons starting TODAY - 3/28.  Maybe I'll go back!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's a long but AMAZING story I've been praying about what to write on the blog and God's been prompting me on a couple of items.  So I have MATERIAL!  The reason I started writing on here was to glorify God through life experiences He gives me.  The main one or two He gave me, I haven't even shared on the blog yet.  One is my testimony and the other is really the reason I started writing on the blog...I knew this would be a great avenue to share an amazing story.  I thought I wouldn't share the story until it came to fruition but God is prompting me now to share.  Over the past year God has been revealing some HUGE things to me...things I think that are meant for me, but I am not sure.  I have been getting the feeling lately that some things He revealed to me were not meant for my family...but for someone else's.  There have been several things that have led me to this conclusion but I am still unsure.  I am not sure if this is the Accuser (Satan) putting thoughts in my head, or if it really is God's prompting.  I guess one way to find out, is to put the info on the blog and see if it effects the family my heart is thinking about or maybe that it effects someone I wouldn't have suspected.  Or maybe it IS for my family AND for someone else's - double bonus!  And sharing it on the blog shows my faith and trust in God (because these things aren't really all that easy for me to share...but I am trying to be transparent...the whole purpose of writing on the blog).  Either way, it's all part of God's plan and the story is just too amazing to keep to myself!  I know it means something, but it hasn't all come together yet!  No matter what I means, I feel strongly that it is a story that God gave me to share with others whether that's before it's all played out or not.  And right now, it's not complete...

I've been journaling these events in my "private" journal...some people know the story, some know parts of the storey, and others don't know any of it. Don't feel left out if you haven't heard it...I have been hesitant to share and have only asked for prayers surrounding it.  Also, my hubby is not in the same place as me on it so that makes it difficult. So here goes...

Last February (2009), I was woken in the middle of the night (keep in mind this happened frequently as I had a 4 month old).  When I awoke, a vision occured.  I saw a little dark skinned girl with dark curly hair and brown eyes.  She looked to be around 2 or 3 and I was unsure of her race.  She was not black...but she was not white.  It was clear that she needed a mommy and was to be the time I thought by me.  I was awake during the vision and I was brought to tears by the sight of it.  I thought to myself...I only had one glass of wine with dinner...and I have a 4 month old who does not sleep through the night.  This seriously can't be happening to me.  Brock and I have always said we only wanted 2 children.  Although adoption always sounded neat to me, I never thought it was for us.  But God can change that, right?  So therein lies the desire.  I went back to bed thinking I'd forget about it by morning, which kind of happened.  But later that morning I was brought to my knees by the word of God and could not get the child out of my head.  I sobbed that morning over this situation.  I was scared, overwhelmed, and even overjoyed by God choosing me.  I thought of Esther saying "at such a time as this". 

It probably wouldn't surprise you to know that I did not share this with my hubby right away.  We just had what we thought would be our last baby...and he had a vysectomy...seriously, the wound was still fresh.  But was this part of God's plan?  To ensure we had no more biogical children to leave room for an adoption?  Plus, I wasn't convinced myself.  I had never had a vision...I never fully trusted God with something and handed the control over to Him.  In this case, I had to. It was all that I had to cling to...

Then the Lord was very quiet.  It wasn't until November, 9 months almost to the day, that it began to stir in my heart and mind again in a big way.  I went to the Beth Moore conference on 11/6.  I prayed that God would give me a sign at the conference.  Going to the conference with 5+ other women who had already adopted or were thinking about it, was a start.  I heard an awesome new song called "Do it Lord" are part of the lyrics...

I see your glory, covering the earth Lord
Just as the waters, covering the seas
I see the millions, coming to salvation
I see revival, fire in the land
I see the lost, nameless ones remembered
I see the widows, shouting out your praise
Is see the friendless, loved and celebrated
Orphans fullfililing Lord, your calling on their lives
Do it Lord, do it Lord,
Do it Lord, we are praying;
Do it Lord, do it that your glory may be seen. 

Wow, how His glory would be seen if we were to adopt.  Everyone knew we only wanted 2 children, but if they saw how our hearts were changed to follow what He wanted for our lives, what an amazing story that would be to tell. So I prayed...prayed that if adoption was something God wanted us to do, that He would continue to show me more signs (I was just a little "faithless":).  And boy did the signs come...That next Thursday (11/12) when I was rocking my son, a girl's name (or could also be a kind of emotion) popped into my head.  I was overcome with the feeling that this was to be the name of the child.  That night, I went to the Ladies Tea at our church.  One of our pastor's wife spoke about their road to adoption of their children.  She also used the name I learned of earlier at least 3 times in her testimony (yes, I counted).  The following Sunday (11/15), our pastor spoke about Jesus reinstating Peter (John 21).  God kept asking Peter "Do you love me?"  And Peter says "yes of course" and then God says "then feed my sheep"...he asks him this 3 times and gets the same response.  Which is what I do.  Yes, Lord I love you...but...
I felt like God was saying through this "Trust me...if you love me, you'll follow me, you'll feed my sheep, you'll do anything I ask".  Verse 18 says "I tell you the truth that when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go (adoption or another child was not really where I wanted to go).  Then Jesus says in 19 a simple "Follow me".  Even when it is somewhere you don't want to go.  That same Sunday our pastor announced and asked for prayer for a family who left to go pick up their adopted children.  Sheesh...Okay, Lord...
Then on Wednesday (11/18), Brock and I were watching TV.  It was some show about Football wives.  And wouldn't you know it...the couple had 3 biological children - boys (one who was an infant like Brody when I had the initial vision) and they were preparing to adopt a girl!  Okay...that one was for Brock, right Lord?
Then on Friday (11/20), we had a speaker come to our MOMs group.  She spoke about the adoption of her little boy and the process they were going through on adopting again.  She said the "name" 6 times in her testimony (yep, counted again).  Then I was so overwhelmed and emotional...Okay, okay Lord...I get it.  I asked for signs and you delivered all that in a 2 week period...AMAZING.  So during our prayer group, I felt brave (and pushed) enough to ask the group for prayers surrounding it.  I was very hesitant to do this.  I knew Brock wasn't on the same page and I was afraid it would get back to him.  But this was so much bigger than me...I need prayers from many if this was going to come to pass.  God told me to believe Him, to trust I asked for prayers.  After I did this, I started feeling embarrassed...Satan came and said "God's not going to come through for you...and you're going to look like a FOOL!"  I prayed right away...for me to BELIEVE what God was revealing was true.  Sunday came and I opened my devotion to the title "Belief and the Believer".  The first sentence was this (I used this in my very first spiritual post) "God seems to work in themes in my life.  You know what I mean.  Every sermon, morning devotional, and Christain radio program all "coincidentally" speak to me about the same subject for an uncomfortable length of time".  One of the questions in that day's work was "Have you been afraid to "put God on the spot" because you might look foolish if He didn't come through for you?"  OUCH!  Uh-huh...just yesterday as a matter a fact.  Then it asks you to describe a time when your fear of looking foolish controlled your actions - OUCH again.  I was afraid to ask for prayer over the aboption because I was afraid I had misunderstood Him...or that He wouldn't come through for me.  That very same Sunday...went to church, opened the bulletin...Today's topic?  BELIEF (trust me, I kept the bulletin).

That next week on Wednesday (11/30) another girl's name popped into my head so I looked its meaning up on my computer.  It meant "royal forest".  Okay...and the 2 names sounded good together. on a whim decided to take the kids to the Children's Discovery museum.  While we were playing, a white mother came in with her white son and a little girl that looked just like the one in my vision.  I felt God saying "go talk to her". way...and we moved to another workstation...but wouldn't you know they followed us where ever we went until I just couldn't take it any longer.  Reece and the little girl were playing and us mothers were standing there watching.  So I got up the nerve to say "I know this may sound strange to ask, but where did your little girl come from?"  In which she replied "Indonesia"...ding, ding, tell her what's she's won, Johnny?!!  I had explained that my husband and I were considering adopting (now, I am liar too) and we didn't know where to start.  We were interrupted by the kids moving on to other places, so we moved on too.  By the end of the day we were back on the 1st floor next to her (I actually took a picture of the 2 girls playing by each other - and so I'm a stalker too).  I overheard her say to her son that they were getting ready to leave.  I hurried over for my last chance to get some information.  I asked her what adoption agency she went through.  She said "Illini Christian Ministries".  She said she didn't have a web address but if I googled it I would surely find it.  To which I was the first thing listed on the results page.  I looked around on it but didn't do much with the info.  I also googled "Indonesia" which is home to the most forested region, many of which are considered ROYAL FORESTS! Come on, people...I can not make this stuff up!!

I let it go a week or so and then felt that I needed to talk to Brock about it.  I was hoping that during that week, that God so graciously spoke to him about it so that my part would be easy.  Not so much...We went to Chuck E Cheese on (12/7). While putting on Brody's tennis shoes, I lifted the tongue of the shoe to shove in his chubby foot and saw the words "Made in Indonesia"...Seriously?  What's made in Indonesia?...most forested region on the planet?...okay, Lord, I'll talk to him.  We got hom from Chuck E Cheese and after I put the kids to bed, I came in to read my email.  I noticed that one of my emails had been read (this has never happened before) was from a friend (who oddly enough has the same name as one of the names I was given for the child) and she said she had been praying for us in the adoption situation and wondered how it was going.  My heart sank and I knew he had read the email.  I asked him and he confirmed.  We talked about it all - all that is documented here on the blog.  He told me that God has not spoke to him in this way and that as of right now, he just doesn't see that happening for us.  Of course I was crushed...God wouldn't lead me in one way and my husband in another, if this was His plan for us.  I know God can change that though...he changed it in me.  And well, he's God!  The next morning, I opened my bible  to search for something on "trust".  I needed to trust God in the situation.  The daily devotion I found in my bible was called "Strength out of Tears" and of course about ADOPTION.  This verse was printed on it "The Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.  For the Lord is a faithful God.  Blessed are those who wait for his help"
So...I'm waiting.  I am waiting for God's help.  Because I know I can't do it.  He's in control and I'll let Him be.  It's actually very freeing to let go of it and know that it's in His hands.  I know that if it's suppose to his timing. 

It kills me to say that this is the end of this post...that there isn't some other news to share.  But I know this isn't the end of the story.  It will be used in my life or a life of another...or BOTH.  He's amazing...His intention is not to make me look foolish...He is completing a good work in me..and through all of it, I want to give Him glory! 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Photo shoot Round 3

2 years ago, my mother in law took her 3 (then) grandchildren for pictures with matching outfits.  They were then all one year olds.  We've done it again now that there are 6 of them.  The older ones are almost 3 and the little ones are all around 1 or so.  As for Reece and Brody, they've been to portrait innovations 3 times in about a week - they must think we are nuts!

In the back (left to right): Kennedy, Reece, Bo; In the front (left to right) Tate, Gracie, Brody

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reece 3 years, Brody 1.5 years

Well, it's that time of year again when we do our annual inexpensive Portrait Innovations pics...It's a cheap, quick and easy way to get some decent pics of both kids.  Although, easy wasn't quite the word I could use this year.  With two kids being mobile and having emotions, it was a little harder to capture good shots of them together.  And acutally I went in the morning and had to come back in the afternoon because the morning photo shoot did not go least for Brody.  I didn't feel I need to be in the picture as much as he did.  When we came back for round 2, he seemed to remember the place and felt a lot more comfortable.  They're not the greatest but hey, we got a couple of keepers.  And again, they are
Reece will be 3 on April 5th and Brody will be 18 months on April 7.

Reece is just such a character.  She is so loving and I just hope it continues.  I try to encourage her loving behavior because I don't want her to feel she can't express her emotions.  She tells me everyday that I am her best friend and I never stop loving hearing that.  When I am gone and come home she says "Mommy!  You're back!  I'm so happy to see you!"  She is becoming such a big girl.  I can't believe the many things she notices and says.  She doesn't miss anything.  I took her shopping the other day and she was going through racks of clothes saying "Oh....this one's cute!  How about this one mommy...try this one on...oh, that's just beautiful".  She also tells Brody that he's "just precious" and calls him "sweet tart" (meaning sweet heart).  The other night Brock started the bath and was bathing Brody.  Reece runs in naked and pushes him and says "I can't want you to give me a bath!  I want mommy to do it...she's my best friend, not you!"  I was laughing and crying at the same time.  I did tell her that she could have more than one best friend and that daddy should be her best friend too.  She said "No, I can't like daddy".  Poor daddy!  She's such a girl...very dramatic when happy or sad!

Brody is babbling more and more and is also very detail oriented like his sister.  He is loving being able to walk outside this year.  He loves his momma too!  He is very cautious, unlike his sister, but it's a bit of a relief.   Reece is an accident waiting to happen most of the time and I am a little more relaxed around Brody.  He really doesn't get hurt because he is very cautious, slow, and checks everything out first...most of the time waiting for my nod of approval.  And I thought the first child was suppose to be the people pleaser??  There aren't many times I have had to tell Brody "no" more than once.  He does not like to be punished.  Also NOT like his sister...with her I feel like I am constantly explaining why we do or don't do certain things and most punishments are no big deal to her.  It's amazing how different they are! 

I love that they are both cuddle bugs.  I always stop for my hugs and kisses from them!  I am afraid if I don't stop for one, I'll never get one again.  We are very blessed that we have such good children.  So far they are polite, loving, obedient, and good in public!  I love being with them each day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I know it's been awhile since I have written but I am praying about what to write about next.  We have been really busy the past week.  I let my house go so that I could concentrate on the conference which was last weekend and then I have been working on Reece's upcoming b-day party.  This week I have been catching up on cleaning and other things I let go of last week.  And we have been battling colds...all of us.  Anyways, I feel God leading me to share what I shared with the young girls at the conference last weekend.  But I am praying and asking for clarity and direction as to what exactly to write and show before doing so.  I don't want it to be hurtful or offensive to anyone so just asking for prayer on this one. 

I was lucky to have my mother in law sit in on one of the sessions.  It was very sweet and we had a very sweet conversation afterwards.  I remember when I married into the family thinking "I really need this family" and the Lord said "no you don't...all you need is me".  I didn't really believe Him but as I submitted to that and let the Lord lead my life, I couldn't believe the results.  I always prayed for a good relationship with my mother in law and sisters in law for the past few years.  All I was asking for was a good relationship but what He delivered was SOOO much more.  I never could have thought it would be as amazing as it is.  We have obviously been placed together for a reason all according to His plan for our lives.  They need me as much as I need them! :)  Love you C, J, & J!! XXOO

4 generations

Sunday I had the honor of eating with my grandma G and my family at her nursing home for a brunch.  My grandpa G past away just over a year ago.  He was a pastor of 40 years and he and my grandma G have been huge godly examples in my life. I love them dearly!  They started living in the nursing home a few years ago when my grandpa health started failing and my grandma was having a hard time caring for him.  He had a few strokes and didn't walk well.   He fell alot and my grandma as frail and thin as she is, was unable to lift him.  She often had to call my dad and even 911 just so they could come and pick him up...many times waiting so long that he wet himself on the floor...we knew then it was time for some help.  They have a nice room at a nursing home...the nursing home where Grandpa use to preach once a month on Sundays (as long as 20 years ago).  They know many people there.  I remember as a kid going there to watch my grandpa preach and to sing and play trombone with him (yes, I played the trombone for 11 years).  So God was at work in their lives even then when they "worked" there. 

It was time I put my couponing to good use.  I put together a care package for my grandma of things she could use.  The nursing home supplies her meals, toilet paper, and laundry needs but she needed other things that Social Security is just not covering.  The bag of goodies cost me under $5 and included: paper towels, toothpaste, body wash, kleenex, air freshner, body lotion, and some snack items for her room. 

Here is a sweet picture from my visit:  Reece, me, mom, Grandma G.

Reece almost 3

Reece is almost 3...isn't it amazing?  I have been busy working on her 3rd birthday party.  Coming up with a theme was more difficult this year as she has opinions.  But she is still flexible and will go along mostly with what I say and choose.  Before she was even born we were calling her Reecey Piecey (secretly of course as no one knew her name) I decided this year would be perfect to do a "candy style" theme for her party featuring Reese's Pieces...and her favorite candy is M&Ms so we will be doing a combo of things.  Her party isn't unti 4/11 so I don't want to give away any of the surprises, but since the invite went out Monday, I'll at least show you those because I am really proud of them and think they turned out super cute (gotta give credit to my girl, L for helping me with software that writes in a circle; and my girl S for circle cutters - thanks, chicks!!).  You probably can't see the writing too well but that's's just the cheesey details of the party.  I wanted it to be in white ink but apparently printers don't have white ink??  What's up with that?

The only other thing I'll give away for the party is that the cupcakes are going to look like M&Ms but with the letter R of course and all different colors like M&Ms.  And of course there will be lots of candy in fun candy jars!! 

Playing outside

Hooray!!!  We've been able to play outside for the past week and it's been so much fun...not to mention how well the children are sleeping!  This is a new experience for Brody.  Last time we played outside, he was not walking.  To see the delight in his eyes of this whole new world around him is so amazing.  He loves exploring and squeels with joy everytime I say the word "outside".

Precious boy in his carhartt gear...

He points at everything and screams like a girl!
Reece taking her doll on a brisk walk...