Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You know you're a mom when...

The inside of your dryer looks like this....

Yes, that is blue crayon in my dryer. Yes, it did get all over a load of laundry. Yes, it took over an hour to get it out of the dryer. And yes, I struggled to maintain my attitude of thankfulness during that hour!!:)

However, I can say that this whole counting of my blessings and writing out of all the things I am grateful for has started to change this heart of mine. In the midst of cleaning the blue crayon I started with the simple things....thank you Lord that we have clothes. Thank you Lord that we have a dryer and I don't have to hang all my clothes out.

It was in that simple act of thankfulness that the Lord began to speak. I felt Him showing me that the crayon was what He wanted my life to be like. That crayon left an impression on my dryer and everything it touched. There were lots of streaks that I was able to wipe away but my dryer will have an eternal blue hue as evidence of it's visit to our laundry. God desires to use us like that. He desires to use our lives as evidence of Him. He desires to use us to make an impression for Him that effects others eternally.

All of this sounded so good and warm and fuzzy to me. I was thanking God for His little reminder and started pondering ways to be more like the crayon. But then the weekend got busy and I didn't think about the crayon again until I read this in Beth Moore's Daniel bible study...


Ouch...strong words that stung (and are still stinging) this heart of mine.

I also love this quote from Tom Rainer..."It is a sin it good when God has called us to be great".

Truth be told...I will never be great by accident. I will not be more like my God and leave lasting impressions of Him just by mere coincidence.

I am challenged. Challenged to evaluate this life of mine and figure out what I need to be doing on purpose as child of God, a wife, a mother, a friend, and more.

She's back...

Addy Grace has come to visit the K-crew once again!

And look out world because this time she is mobile!!

We are excited to have my little niece once again while my sister and her hubby enjoy some time to themselves in Jamaica.

Last night we had our first hotel experience with 4 kiddos.

The very last part of our dossier (paperwork for the adoption) was to get finger printed by the immigration office. The only problem is that the immigration office gets to choose the date, time, and location of where the finger prints will be taken. It just so happened that ours were scheduled to be done this morning at 8am in Dallas. We had already committed to keeping Addy long before we got the appointment in the mail. Luckily my mom had a free night at the La Quinta and off we went! We figured staying in a hotel would be better than getting 4 kiddos up and out the door by 5 in order to make it to Dallas with morning traffic!!
While I can't say it was the most wonderful experience, I can say that it wasn't horrible and we all made to our appointment on time and back to Malakoff in time for Kaden to be counted present at school!

We are praying that USCIS will process our finger prints quickly and then we will finally be on the waiting list for our sweet Kenzi!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Super Soccer Stars

This year we decided to take a break from T-ball and let Kaden play soccer! Before we had kiddos Nathan was adamant that if we had boys they would play football for sure, t-ball most likely, but never ever would they play soccer!

Fast forward almost 7 years and we have a sweet son who loves soccer and is really good at so...we are playing soccer!

What makes is even more fun is that Kaden's friend Hunter is playing as well! It has been so much fun to watch the boys practice and get so excited!

Hunter and Kaden both played a great first game!

I am not sure I have seen a Dad more proud than when Kaden scored his first goal!!

Even Kolson enjoyed cheering for the team...

Go Ninjas!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


There are moments when I allow myself to be over come with worry. I spend time speculating about all that could go wrong or all that might not work like I had planned. With all that has been going on in Ethiopia I have found myself in that spot a lot lately.

I was in great need of distraction...something to keep my mind busy. So...I decided to bake some cupcakes for our neighbors.

I found this recipe for Oreo Cupcakes from the Beantown Baker blog. They looked too good not to try and since it was a new recipe I knew it would keep mind busy!:)

The most wonderful thing about these cupcakes is the surprise on the bottom...

can you see it... the Oreo with cream on the bottom?

I pared these cupcakes with this icing recipe I found on Pioneer Woman's blog...super yummy!

These cupcakes were delicious and a great distraction for my worried little mind!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


As much as I hate to admit it...I turned 30 this last weekend (grey hairs and all)!

Nathan, being the wonderful husband that he is, surprised me with a party while we were camping! He and his family got together to make my day so special.

My sister-in-law, Holly, makes the most beautiful cakes!

Since there is nothing I love more than spending time with family it was the perfect surprise! Nathan's mom went way out her way and brought hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixings and more. We are talking burgers with swiss cheese and avocado...hot dogs with chili cheese and even homemade sauerkraut as well...what could be better. There were party hats and noise makers...there was nothing else I could have asked for.

I was so thankful that 2 of Nathan's sisters, his Dad, and his Mom and Greg all took time out of their Saturday to make my day so special.

There is nothing more fun than watching a bunch of the cousins play together (bugs and all)!

All of the boys loved letting the caterpillars crawl on them!!

The ice cream man even made it out to the camp ground (smart guy)...here are some of the boys lined up and waving him down.

Finally got some ice cream (thanks Papa!)

It was a great surprise and the perfect way to bring in a new decade of life! Thanks so much everyone, I am blessed to call you my family!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Out in the woods...

It is no secret...I am a city girl at heart. I spent my entire life growing up in big cities. I have never been hunting or even shot a gun. I hate bugs! I never played soccer or softball or any kind of outdoor sport. I grew up with one sister and a great group of really girly aunts. I imagine God smiled watching this girly girl grow up...knowing all that while that He would throw me for a big loop when He would give me the blessing of 3 little boys and call Nathan and I to the country!!

I absolutely LOVE being a mom to my three little guys (I even have a "Boy Moms Rock" shirt). And the country life has grown on me as well.

Being mama to these 3 little guys has given me numerous opportunities to try all sorts of new things...like picking up bugs and lizards. I have learned to play soccer, t-ball, and basketball. We dig in the dirt and turn anything we can into some sort of race or competition.

Most recently Nathan and the boys convinced this city loving, bug hating girl to go camping for the first time in her entire life!!

So we loaded up the camper and off we went (I know that "real" camping is when you do it in tents but this was plenty for this city girl!)

The best part about camping is being able to wear whatever you want!

Little boys loving being outside to run free!

Of course there were s'mores (I will admit this is what I was most excited about...I am a foodie...what can I say)!

Little boys roasting their marshmallows!

One little boy who thought roasting was a waste of time when you could just eat them from the bag!

Kaden and Karter said their favorite part of camping was sleeping on the bunk beds in the camper! They asked to put their pj's on as soon as we got to the camp site.

All in all it was a blast! This city girl can tolerate and even like the woods if it means I get to see the 4 guys in my life having the time of their lives!

A few lessons from my first camping trip...

* you can NEVER have too many paper towels!
* camping is really fun if you don't have to get 5 people ready for church in the camper!
* bug spray is a must
* the dirtier the kiddos, the more fun they had

* other campers think you are crazy when they see you whip out an ironing board to iron your church clothes

Thanks for challenging your Mom to try new things boys...it was so much fun to camp with you! Can't wait for our next adventure!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"When you can't see His hand...

Trust His heart". Those are words from an old Babbie Mason song that touched my heart years ago. In the wake of what is going on in Ethiopia I have found myself repeating those words again and again.

We are still in limbo...still waiting to see if the government is actually going to move forward with cutting adoptions by 90% and what the fall out from that might entail. If I am just honest it has been hard and I have had more than 1 freak out moment. I don't understand it all and it is hard to see God's hand in this but we are choosing to trust His heart.

I know from Scripture that orphans and those who are oppressed have a special place in the heart of our God. I know that God says he will not leave us as orphans (John 14:18) and I trust that He will not leave the children of Ethiopia as orphans either. Will Kenzi come home on our time table...most likely no. Will Kenzi come home from Ethiopia like we had planned...God knows where Kenzi is and we trust that He will lead us to her wherever she is and at whatever time He sees fit. (Just so you know, I am typing this all for own benefit so when I have my next freak out moment I will have a place to come back and remind myself that I am choosing to trust in my God and His heart even when I don't understand and even when I can't see His hand at work in the details.)

The truth is that God is in the details. He and He alone knows the plans He has for us and His word tells us that His plans are for our good...He can be trusted. He can use the ugly, painful things and make them beautiful. He is so worthy our trust in the good as well as in the times when we don't understand. I pray that if you are in a time where things just don't make sense and they aren't working like you had planned that you will choose to trust. Grab tight to the Lord and don't let go, the ride may not be smooth but following Him will be worth it.

Would you please continue to join us as we pray for Ethiopia and the children there? We covet your prayers and we are so blessed by those of you who are walking this journey with us.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Join me...

Would you please join me in praying for Ethiopia? News is circulating that Ethiopia may cut adoptions by 90%.

I don't really have any other words...we would just totally appreciate your prayers.

Here is a list of things you can pray for: (copied from Tom Davis, of Children's Hope Chest, Blog)

1. For God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
God is in control. For those of you who are facing being stuck, remember that God is in control.

2. For God to breakdown strongholds of the enemy.
Every child deserves the right to grow up in a health family, and adoptive families provide that for thousands of children each year. Pray that God would demolish the strongholds that are set up against adoption.

3. For God to fulfill His promises.
God defines Himself as the Father to the Fatherless. He declares He will set the lonely in families. He warns those who would interfere with His plan to bring justice and mercy that is due to them. Find the orphan scriptures, pray them to God, and ask Him to fulfill those promises to the children of Ethiopia now.

4. For the courts and judges and government officials making this decision.
Ask the Holy Spirit to permeate the courtroom and convict the hearts of the judges and other government officials. Bring the power of the Holy Spirit into these discussions and proceedings--not that we would get our way--but that God's perfect will would be fulfilled in these decisions.

5. For the children and families
That God would shorten their wait times. Fortunately, God is bigger than these obstacles. Pray that waiting children would receive comfort. And pray that waiting families would experience peace, grace, and love from those around them

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We survived...

I know I am a little late on posting this but I wanted to do a little re-cap of our week with my sweet niece, Addison!

5 days, 4 kids, 4 carseats, 2 in diapers, 2 days with all 4 of them at home, a trip to wal-mart, a Wednesday night at church and we survived!!:)

Addy is a great baby so she made it easy on me!

I will confess that I was not alone on our trip to Wal-mart,Nathan came to help, and yes, it was somewhat crazy. Although, I also have to admit that I felt like "supermom" when I made it into and out of the church with all 4 of them by myself...yes, I know many people would've have helped but I think I just needed to know that I could do it so that when Kenzi comes home I am ready for 1 on 4!

Addy had such a good time while she was here. She loved to study the boys

and she absolutely adores being outside.

Here is a picture walk through our week with a girl in the mix!!

She ate well...

Enjoyed bath time...

Loved swinging...

Going for walks...Don't they looked thrilled? They really did have fun!

Her first picnic...

I love these pictures I caught of Addy and Kolson playing together.

Come back anytime Addy girl!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


It is no secret that I am a movie queen. I mostly enjoy chic flicks! I will take a romantic comedy any day and I am always down with a good Nichols Sparks tear jerker as well. Don't tell anybody, but Nathan is a lover of chic flicks himself. I guess in our almost 9 years of marriage I have just worn off on him (either that or he always liked them and I just gave him the perfect cover)!

While Nathan and I rarely get the chance to actually go to the movies, we do enjoy renting movies and curling up on the couch together after the boys are in bed. I guess you could call those nights our "date nights". After a stressful day it is nice to snuggle with my sweetheart and just not have to think too much!:)

Although chic flicks seem to be our genre of choice, there are times when we get the hankerin to see a good action movie. Last night since Nathan was gone to a men's conference I decided that it was the perfect night for an action flick.

So I popped in Takers. The movie was about a group of guys who were takers...robbers...thieves. But these guys were not your typical robbers. They were not portrayed as gangsters or thugs. These guys were high class men. They even had a regular practice of giving 10% of their loot to charities. To my surprise I actually found myself liking these guys and wanting them to succeed with their plan. That reminded me of how Satan works. In John 10:10 the bible describes him as a thief...one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But, I am quite certain that much like the characters in my movie, Satan doesn't come at us like some gangster or unwelcomed visitor, no this thief comes in all the right "clothes" making all that he offers look enticing and profitable. What a great reason for us to stay grounded in the word of God so that we are able to recognize the thief when he comes prowling at our doors.

One of the lines from he movie that has stayed with me even today was when one of the characters looked at his fellow thief and said, "We are takers, it is what we do for a living, we take things".

I keep playing that line in my head again and again. I can't help but to think about my own life. How much my existance is characterized by taking? Take for instance my time...how often do I take the time God has given to me and use it solely for my own desires? What about my home? There are so many times when I take this home and use it just for me and my family. I am certain that I often miss the opportunity to invite others into our home in order to offer them a cup of encouragement or a plate of comfort. And if I really want to step on my own toes there are also times when I don't use this home that the Lord blessed me with to bless my own family and to grow my children in His word. And what about my words? God has given me the gift of words and yet I find myself taking those words and using them not bless but to gripe or complain, to express frustration rather than love. The list could go on and on...we are given so much...our time, our homes, our resources, our words, our bodies, our abilities and talents...

The movie reminded me that I don't want to be just a taker. I want to be a giver. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that God blessed us with many gifts and the very definition of a gift is something you receive...something you take. However, I also believe that it doesn't just stop there. Again and again the New Testament portrays us as trees with the ability to bare fruit (John Chapter 15, Romans 7:4-5, Philippians 1:11, Colossians 1:10 etc.). Trees that bare fruit do not just take in the nutrients they are blessed with, no, they use what they are given to produce. I want to be like that tree...I want to take those blessing He has gifted me with and use them to produce the fruit of His spirit (Galatians 5:22). The coolest part about all of this is that He doesn't just expect these things from us without telling us how in the world to do it! In John 15 Jesus tells us that if we will abide (remain) in Him that we WILL bare much fruit.

So, the conclusion...if I want to be more than a taker I MUST REMAIN IN HIM!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dear Windex...

I have used you for years. Windex, you are by far my favorite cleaner. I have discovered that you work well for cleaning almost everything. I have tried all of your different versions over the years.

At the moment, my favorite version is the multi-surface version that contains vinegar. The scent is light and not over powering but still leaves the lingering aroma of clean! In the last year I have been so excited to find coupons to make you more budget friendly.

But windex...I have a confession.

Last week when I ran out of you, I was unable to find a coupon. In a moment of weakness I purchased a generic version of you. In the past I have tried many other generic products that measure up in quality. However, through this experience I have learned that there is just no comparison to the real thing when it comes to you.

Please forgive me!

Just thought you might need to laugh on this Friday and I wanted you all to know that the REAL windex is the way to go. Do not let the bargain price of those "other" brands fool you!:) Happy Friday!