Thursday, May 31, 2012


I really enjoy decorating---on a budget.  About 2 years ago, I did some dumpster (curbside) diving down the street from us.  I found an awesome twin sized wrought iron sleigh bed that will be Cailey's when she has her own room.  I also found 8 posts from a poster bed and the head and footboard.  They were completely different heights so I knew they wouldn't work for 2 headboards, but I loved the posts. I brought them home took the posts off and waited to find a way to make headboards that would match.  I found some free doors on Craigslist but could never quite get the idea all put together in my head and I really wanted a more rounded headboard.  Well, we were shopping at a new Thrift store in town and found parts of a bunkbed.  I'm not sure which parts but they looked like they had headboard potential and actually had a screw on top that could hold our existing posts!  We got them both together for less than $10 because they were half off.

With woodfiller my sweet husband put in and without the posts.

With the posts attached to the pre-existing screws that, btw, were the perfect fit! 
after 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of creamy white paint

All done!  One banner says, "sisters" the other one says, "friends".

In other news, the AG doll raffle is on!!!  $10 for 1 ticket and $25 for 3.  You have until July 1 at midnight.  All proceeds go to help bring Miss Avalyn home to us.  For more details, read my post from May 29.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

American Girl Doll Giveaway *now closed*

  • We will be giving away one American Girl Doll of YOUR CHOICE to one lucky winner!
  • If we sell more than 150 virtual tickets, we'll add a 2nd doll so there will be TWO lucky winners! 
  • The giveaway is open from right now until July 1, 2012 at midnight.
Here's how it works:
  • Purchase a virtual raffle ticket by clicking on the donate button on the right.  Enter AG doll raffle in the note part and include your email address so we can reach you if you win.
  • Each donation of $10 buys you 1 virtual raffle ticket.  A donation of $25 buys you 3 virtual raffle tickets.
  • Once your donation posts via PayPal, you will receive an email with your virtual raffle ticket number.  
  • The winner will be selected using and announced here on this blog.
  • If you are the lucky winner, we will contact you via email to find out which doll you would like.  I will order and ship her to you through the American Girl online store (dolls can only be shipped within the 50 states).
**We reserve the right to refund your donation and cancel the giveaway if we do not sell at least enough entries to cover the cost of the doll.**

You can check out the cuteness here

 My girls with their dolls.

BTW, HUGE, HUGE thanks to the blogger that I got the template for the wording on. :)  You explained it so much better than I could've.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My moms

It was August 18, 1986 when my church pastor came to door of the house I was spending the night at.  I was 14, a few months shy of 15.  The news he brought shook my world to the core. 

My mom had died. 

A few short days before that, though, she had shared Romans 8:28 with me.  It says that All things work for the good of those that love Him and have been called according to His purpose.  Now, I'm not about to pretend that I didn't feel sadness and a sense of deep, deep loss.  I was devastated but I knew that God had a purpose in it and that He was with me.  In the midst of sadness, I had peace.  An incredible peace.  A peace that I can't even explain.  Perfect peace.  I don't know if my mom knew that she was going to die or if God just led her to that verse for me, but it carried me through that time and I still rely heavily on it.  I also still don't know the purpose, but I don't need to know.

Several years later, my dad met a lady.  Her daughter, Heather, and I wanted them to get married.  We both wanted needed a sister.  Well, not because we desperately wanted them to, but because they loved each other, they did get married.  God gave me another mom---my Cindymom.  I was almost 18 when they got married and while I was never legally adopted, I'm very much one of hers all the same.  She was the beginning spark in my desire to adopt.  To long for a mom and then have that place filled while still allowing me to love my first mom is an incredible gift.  She gave me that gift with grace. 

On August 25, 2010 my dad went on to be with Jesus.  It was so hard but so beautiful all at once.  Hard for the obvious reasons, but beautiful because we were a family together missing him, crying together, praying together.  My Cindymom took us all out to Cracker Barrel for lunch after his funeral (Dad's favorite restaurant) and Heather, Jamie (family friend), and I all bought Cindymom a Willow Tree figure.  She's holding the American flag and mourning.  My dad had fought in 3 wars and had a military funeral so this was one of the most meaningful gifts I've ever seen.  It made her cry.

The week before Mother's Day, Cindymom sent me a gift.  A Willow Tree figure that represents our adoption.  Talk about meaningful.  It made me cry.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Well, we've been hoping for an update now for a while and when I opened up my email this morning there was an update with 50 pictures!!!!  I'm so thrilled! 

I'm expecting 2 more emails today but I thought I'd post a few pictures.





Monday, May 7, 2012

USCIS approval!!!!

One of the steps in an international adoption is the USCIS (immigration) application.  We filed an I-600A.  USCIS basically makes sure you meet the income, health insurance, etc.... requirements and that you're not a criminal.  While I could see it on paper and know that we qualified and that we're not criminals, it's still good to get the official okay.  It actually says, "It has been determined that you are able to furnish proper care to an orphan."  Those are some good words.  I actually stood at the mailbox and cried.  One more step to check off.  We're getting there.

So, for those of you wondering about the timeline:

USCIS received our I600-A application on March 22, 2012.  I got the text at (get this) 12:57 a.m. just as I was falling into deep sleep.  I'm not complaining.  I want any information immediately.  If it happens to come at 12:57 a.m. I'm just calling it a goodnight present.

We were fingerprinted in Austin, Texas on April 24, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.  It was a very relaxed appointment.  I'm not sure what I was expecting but the guy that did my fingerprints was wonderful.  We talked about being hungry (my stomach growled---LOUDLY) and about my very smooth fingerprints.  Ha!  That almost sounds like a really bad pick-up line, huh?  Anyway, it took about 15 minutes for both Kyle and I. 

Our completion date is April 30, 2012.  We received our approval in the mail May 7, 2012. 

They worked pretty quickly!  The expected time was 30-90 days but everyone seems to be getting everything back faster than that.  I'm glad we aren't the exception.

Here's the thing.  I told Kyle and the kids that all I wanted this year for Mother's Day was to have this in our hands.  Happy, happy, happy Mother's Day to me (a little early, no less)!!  I love a gift that can make me cry.