Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas without you...

Dear Kenzi,
When we started this process I was sure you would be home by now. But, nothing is certain with adoption and often times procedures change and timelines increase. So I had settled on just finding out just exactly who you are. I had imagined seeing your little picture just in time for Christmas. However, I am reminded once again that God's plans are not my plans and that His ways will trump mine every time.
Do not be mistaken sweet girl...we are still trusting God to finish this work He has begun. We still pray for you each night and imagine what life will be like with you here! Your brothers have already picked out a spot for you in the car and at the table. They have accepted the fact that we will need some girl toys and they even call the bedroom where you will sleep "Kenzi's room"! God is preparing our hearts and our home for you baby girl. I know that He is preparing you and your heart as well. Hopefully you have lots of little rowdy boys around you in the babies home... Heaven knows you will need to some preparing before becoming an official member of the K-crew!
We are praying for you our sweet daughter to be...praying that someone is whispering of Jesus' love and that he came just for you on this day so long ago. And we are praying that next Christmas you will be right here with us...pilled up the car looking at lights on Christmas eve, making sweet nativity crafts, and enjoying the sweet treats of the season! We are waiting with expectancy Kenzi Reigh!

Merry Christmas little one!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Adventures in Advent

We are continuing to enjoy our time counting down to birth of Jesus!

I am so glad that we chose to persevere even ├┐when it didn't feel like they were "getting it"!

Karter can now tell me major parts of the story and he is totally entralled every time he sees a nativity scene.

Kolson is remembering the characters and lives to say "Do not be afraid"!

Sweet Kaden is taking it all in and is quick to remind me that it is time for the countdown each night!

We have continued with the story by adding Mary's visit to Elizabeth, and her song to the Lord! They absolutely loved popping the bubble we had used for Zachariah's mouth after John was born and good ole Zach was able to speak again. We had a great time singing our own songs of praise while we decorated our CDs to represent Mary's song.
We also learned that Zachariah prophesied that Jesus would one day be like the sun. We made some beautiful sparkly suns for this.
Next we learned about Joseph. He too was visited by an angel and like Mary he chose to believe and obeyed right away (totally took advantage of that teachable moment)!!!
Finally tonight we talked the name that the angel told Joseph to name the baby...the name of Jesus!
I am excited to continue this countdown and hopefully keep our hearts and focused on Jesus this season!
Here are some pictures of our fun and ornaments...

Monday, December 5, 2011

The countdown continues...

We are continuing our countdown to Jesus' birth and we have had such fun! I will be honest...bible reading and art projects with 3 kiddos-2 of them under age 4- is not easy. At least once every night I have been tempted to say..."just forget it"! I have wondered if it is even making a difference, if they are even learning anything. But then I remember something I read last week...sometimes God just wants us to show up! We may not have a lot to offer or have it all together but if we will just show up He can take care of multiplying our loaves and fish!

So we will continue our countdown we will continue to show up and read God's word and let Him take care of the rest.

We spent the last 3 nights learning about Zachariah, Gabrial, and Mary. My boys loved how we used a bubble for Zachariah's mouth since he was unable to talk! They also loved pretending like they couldn't talk (unfortunately that only lasted about a minute:). I also loved the contrast between Zachariah and Mary...while Zachariah doubted Gabriel's message and what the Lord could do, Mary was quick to believe and offer her life fully to the plans of the Lord. What a sweet reminder to us!

Here are a few pictures of the fun we have been having...
I have had to let go of all my perfectionist ideas of how their crafts should look! None them are perfect but they all turned out exactly how each boy wanted them!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Prince of Peace...

And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Tonight we celebrated Jesus...our Prince of Peace by making crown ornaments!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Begins...

I cannot believe it is already December 1st!   Each year we try to use the time leading up to Christmas to help ourselves and our children remember what Christmas is really all about.  It is so easy to get caught up in all the business of this season and miss the true reason for the season!

This year we have chosen to use a new e-book for our Advent Celebration...
Truth is in the Tinsel is an easy to follow guide that gives you a section of scripture to read each day and a simple ornament that can be made to go with that scripture. 

To kick off our celebration we had Christmas Soup (aka zucchini soup) while listening to Christmas music!  After dinner we worked together to put up the Christmas tree.
I will admit that it doesn't look exactly how it would if I would have done it on my own but I loved the excitement and thrill in the boys eyes as they hung the ornaments and beads on the tree.  Yes, there were a few ornaments  that broke and there were a few tears (let's just be real here :) but all together it was so fun to work together.


After we were finished with the Christmas Tree we did our first Advent activity. 

Kaden and I put together this count down tree using the printables made by mama Jenn.   Each circle has a clue that leads the kids to a place in the house were they find another clue about what we will study for the night. 


The boys loved finding tonight's clue...a candle, because we talked about light tonight.


After we finished our reading we worked together to make this ornament...
 It didn't take long and no, they did not sit perfectly still through the whole bible reading but I am hoping that they will remember that we were a people walking in great darkness until Jesus...the LIGHT was sent!!

Most fun wedding...EVER!!!

So Britany and Gene get the award for most fun wedding EVER!     They went above and beyond and even made the week before the wedding so special!  They provided us with all kinds of fun including a trip to Ripley's Wonder Works (I totally recommend this place it was so fun for the kids and the adults)!   All of the girls were treated to a massage and pedicures as well!

We also got to  ride to the wedding in a huge hummer limo...all of the kiddos had such a great time taking a little spin in the limo!

The wedding itself was beautiful!  It was my first time to be at a beach wedding and I can certainly see why people get married on the beach...it was perfect!  Believe it or not the kids actually walked down the aisle like they were supposed to and actually did ok during the ceremony...well except when Kolson and Pierce thought it would be fun to throw sand on the groom during the vows!:)

The reception was by far the most fun!!  Britany thought of every detail and went out of her way to make it such a fun night for all of the kids.  There was a candy bar with all kinds of candy to chose from.  There was a hot chocolate bar with every type of marshmallow you can image.  She even hired someone from the local zoo to bring out the parrots.  Each of the kiddos got to have their picture taken with a bird on their shoulder!

By far the hit of the night was the kids table that was just loaded with different dress up items for the kids to play with!  There was even a little camera set up for them to take their pictures!  While all of the kiddos thought this was fun it was Karter who loved it the most (imagine that...ha)!
Congrats Britany and Gene!  Thanks for a great week and for making your wedding such a fun experience for all of us!  We love you and wish you all the best as you grow in love!!