My sister-in-law AD's family uses these cloth bags for Christmas presents. One year she gave me a ton of them. I LOVE THEM! Not only do they eliminate waste, but they are so easy to just throw the gift in. I'm a huge fan! I'm not sure where you can buy these bags but I plan to use them forever! We still wrap a few things just for fun, but these are great.
Friday, December 19, 2014
In sticking with my holiday promise to keep things simple this Christmas season, I decided not to send out Christmas cards. I love Christmas cards. I think they are great. But the work involved in making one, getting it printed, and sending it, was just too much for me. So I opted for a 30 minute home Christmas card that I would post on my Blog. You can click on the picture above to see it bigger and read everything it says.
Some of you have asked me how my "easy holiday goals" were coming along. I am planning to write a blog on this, but so far may I say that just taking a few things off my plate has made this SUCH a better Christmas for me in so many ways. I already do Christmas pretty light. But doing it even lighter? I don't regret it a bit.
P.S. If for any reason you can't click on the picture to make it bigger and read it, here is what it says:
The last 9 Christmases have taken us from the depths of childlessness and infertility to a family bustling with activity. From the cold of Minnesota to the sunny shores of the Florida panhandle and then overseas from the Middle East to a tiny island off the coast of Portugal. We are back in the USA now but our heart for those who are grieving and waiting has never wavered. This Christmas we want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone. But we especially want to reach out and love and encourage those of you who find your heart heavy this holiday season. Christ’s love is big. His miracles are great. And His plan for your future is one worth waiting for!
Box of chocolate from JB's coworker.
Abigail puts ribbon on her head.
Looks like a hippie.
JB asks her to make a peace sign.
Top picture: "Two fingers?"
Middle picture: "Like this?"
Bottom picture: "But this one is much more fun!"
Joni is one of the best in-the-car-game-players you have ever met. She and the kiddos are constantly playing trivia and guessing and find-it games.
Joni: "I am thinking of something that is not real."
Isaac: "A witch?"
Joni: "No. This person has magical powers."
Joni: "No. He has a red hat."
Isaac: "Santa Claus?"
Joni: "Yes! That's it!"
Sidge: "But Joni?"
Sidge: "Santa isn't pretend."
Joni: "Oh. Yes. That's right. I was, ummmm ... talking about the one we saw in the mall today?"
In the car the other day I told Isaac how proud I was of him. I went into a long diatribe about how good he was doing and behaving and acting. "I'm just so glad I am your Mommy. You are such a good boy and I love you so much."
Isaac: "Does the state of Texas have the most sheep?"
There is an awesome Christmas house down the street from us. It is set up to music that you can play from your radio and it goes through the entire Christmas story and includes music from Frozen and other Christmas music. The whole presentation is about 10 minutes long. I had already seen it once with the kids and Joni but wanted to drive over with JB to sit through the entire thing.
Me: "Wait till you hear him tell the Christmas story. It'll give you goosebumps!"
A few minutes later, we noticed Abigail was very sad.
Me: "What's wrong Abigail?"
Abigail: "I don't have goosebumps. Where are the goosebumps?"
Don't feel the goosebumps.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
We are so excited to add a THIRD couple to our www.becauseofisaac.org website! Meet Chris and Renae:
Chris, Ranae, & Annie
Chris and Renae were matched on E-Harmony and met in person in November 2004. Married a year later in November of 2005, they were thrilled to start a family immediately.
Renae shares, “We were both in our 30s and both had a strong desire to be parents. But month after month, we were so disappointed that our dream was alluding us.”
With their age and other factors weighing in, Chris and Renae sought out medical assistance shortly before their first anniversary. They spent the next five years pursuing fertility treatments with the hope of having a biological child. During the years of treatments, they also felt called to adoption and attended information sessions, speaking with adoption professionals, and seeking the counsel of dear friends who had adopted.
“In July of 2009,” Renae writes, “we moved to my hometown for a job transfer. It put us farther from our doctor and clinic, and my new responsibilities didn’t allow for time off to pursue treatments. In August, after we were all settled in, we had what we called a Come to Jesus moment. Dear friends announced their pregnancy and while happy for them, we were devastated for us. Chris asked if it would make me feel better if he said we were done trying to conceive. I said yes. And he said we were done. It was literally as if a huge weight were lifted from our shoulders.”
The couple spent the next few months grieving their dream of conceiving a biological child and working on their adoption paperwork. They officially started the process in January 2010 and were home study approved in April and were thrilled to be selected by an expectant mom in June 2010. Chris and Renae spent the next two months building a relationship with the expectant mom only to be devastated by a failed placement when the baby was born in August 2010.
“We didn’t give up though,” Chris states. “We were certain that God would not forget us or our desire for a child. We knew He had a plan, and we were assured by one of our favorite Scriptures. Psalm 27:13-14 states: Of this I am still certain, we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be strong, take heart, and wait on the Lord.
And they waited. Nine months to the day Chris and Renae found out about the failed placement, their daughter, Annie, was placed in their arms by her birth parents.
Now 3 ½ Annie is incredibly vocal about wanting a sibling. Chris and Renae shared, “We have always said it would take a miracle for us to adopt again. The expenses are overwhelming and we weren’t sure how we’d be able to do it. And then we were connected with Because of Isaac – and we feel like this is our miracle.”
We now have three "current couples" on our website:
Chris & Renae
Kevin & Tessa
Joel & Criss
In addition, please continue to pray for one of our "graduated couples." Ryan & Briana have completed their fundraising and are now in the waiting stage -- waiting for a birth mother to choose them to become a forever family. No one can tell them how long this wait will be. It could be days or it could be months!
And of course, now is a great time to revisit our two "forever families." These two families are busy living the craziness of parenthood together with their adopted children:
Grant & Elizabeth
Steve & Teri
With two boys the same age, the teeth are falling out like crazy around these parts! Isaac lost his seventh tooth today -- and with Sidge's one, that makes for a total of eight for us now.
He actually lost this one about 30 seconds before he went in for his speech appointment. He just handed me the tooth, grabbed a Kleenex, and went in with Ms. Linda for speech like it was no big deal at all!
This little guy has been at such a fun age. He is just behaving so well and all the manners and discipline and guiding seem to have come together to produce a six year old who knows the rules and does a great job following them.
I love being his mom!
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
None of my kiddos have EVER sat on Santa's lap (outside of the baby age when they don't have a choice.) They are never interested, a bit freaked out actually, and we never push them. But last night, there was a Santa Claus outside of the show, and Abigail stopped in her tracks when she saw him. I asked her if she would like to take a picture with Santa ...
And the girl said YES!!!
Not only did she take a picture, but she returned to Santa to tell him that she wanted an "Anna Barbie" for Christmas (from the movie Frozen.)