Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Too Cool For School

I guess I should clarify.  Kate's not really too cool for school, she's just a bit too young for school.  Either way, she looks pretty cute in her new sun glasses.

Kevin and I both wear sunglasses frequently and then just perch them on top of our heads when we come inside.  It seems like Kate is always trying to grab them off of our heads, so we have joked around about getting her a pair.  I picked these up at Target on Sunday when I was running errands and completely forgot that I'd bought them until Sunday night.  I stuck them on Kate, hoping to get one cute picture.  She totally surprised me.  I thought for sure she'd try to pull them off immediately, but she didn't!  She just looked around and kept right on playing.

Then she got tired of all of the pictures and tried to shield herself from the paparazzi like she's famous or something.  :)  Sorry Kate.  Better get used to all of these pictures because I don't have any intention of stopping.

She even decided to keep them on to play in her activity center. 

Notice the hands in the mouth for all of the pictures?  If I haven't mentioned it (and I know I have), but we're teething over here in our household.  Kate now has TWO teeth.  They're both on the bottom.  No sign of any of the top ones yet, but I know they can't be too far off! 

PS- If you haven't entered yourself to win a free copy of the children's book Sweet Moon Baby, click here  to go my giveaway post to enter by leaving a comment!  Good luck!

Monday, February 27, 2012

My First Giveaway- Sweet Baby Moon

I'm so excited to do my first ever giveaway! As you know, I've posted a lot lately about my love of reading and how I hope that Kate will enjoy it as much as I do.  Well, this week I'd like to give away a GREAT children's book!!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Karen Henry Clark, author of Sweet Moon Baby.  She and her husband adopted their daughter from China a number of years ago.  As a result of her experiences, she wrote Sweet Moon Baby.  She stumbled across my blog and wanted to send me a copy of her book.  This is such a cute book, and is a great resource for adoptive families, whether you adopted internationally or domestically.  Further, I think it is a great children's book for ALL families.   

Here are a few words from Karen as to why she wrote this book.

When the nanny handed our baby to us on a summer day in China, I thought the journey was finished.  We could take our daughter home.  I smiled brightly until I read the orphanage report: "Baby found forsaking on steps of leather factory."  I wanted to cry.  I realized this tiny girl would always live with a mystery about her early life.  While I'd known this, I'd never felt its truth until that moment.  She would carry unreachable memories locked forever in her mind, her bones, her heart.
     So I began to dream of a history for her--something beyond the confines of that basket balanced on a step.  Then one night in our yard she looked up at the night sky and said her first English word: "Moon!" Her certainty and joy made me believe they had been dear friends from the very beginning of her life.  What else could she have seen in China that still inspired her games of make-believe?  Who's to say a turtle, peacock, monkey, panda, and fish weren't part of her life?  That basket on a step in China became the basket carrying a baby down a river from claw to paw to wing.
     What began as an answer for her ended up being an answer for others.  After I read my book at a school, I received my best review of all when an adopted Chinese kindergarten girl whispered to my husband, "I'm the real Sweet Moon Baby."  I suddenly understood how well the tale worked.  It held powerful possibilities for young children other than mine.  Many of the truest things in our lives begin with our imaginations. 

Would you LOVE to have this book... for free? Would you like to enter? It's easy!  Here are the rules:

I'm leaving this post open for entries from now until Monday, March 5th at 7pm.  You simply enter by leaving a comment...

1. For ONE entry- Follow my blog and leave me a comment that says "I'm following"!  If you already follow my blog, leave a comment that says "I'm already following!"  I don't care if you use blogger, or another reader, but please be honest!
2. For ONE additional entry per day- Leave me a separate comment with the title of one of your favorite children's books (because I'm always looking for new books).

So, you can get a total of 9 entries- 1 for following my blog and 8 more for listing your favorite children's books (one per day Monday night Feb 27 - Monday night March 5).

Again, you have until next Monday night at 7 pm to enter.  I'll pick the winner using a random number generator so it's totally fair!  I'll post the winner in ONE week (on Monday, March 5th) so be sure to check back to see if you won!  The winner will have ONE week to  get in touch with me via email (kelleyandkevin@yahoo.com) or I will re-pick and choose a new winner.  

Please note that because of shipping purposes, only people living in the US or Canada are eligible for winning.

Good luck!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Semi-Lazy Weekend

Is it just me, or does it seem like the weekends just FLY by?  I'm writing this as I'm relaxing on the couch, Kate is taking a nap, and Kevin is repairing a tire on his truck (he ran over a nail).  It's already 3pm on Sunday and our weekend is almost over! Boo!  I'm a little sad that it's almost over, but it has been a really great weekend.

Friday evening, Kevin and I went over to Chipotle for dinner.  We've only been there once before, and the main reason for that is because it's located on Woodruff Road.  We try to avoid this road at all costs because of the traffic.  So of course the one time we DO decide to go over that way, we get stuck in traffic on the interstate.  Typical.  Anyway, we enjoyed our dinner and ended up meeting a really nice couple who were there with their 8 month old daughter.  We struck up a conversation (because of Kate and their little girl) and without them knowing ANYTHING about our story, they mentioned adopting at some point in the future.  So, we got to share with them about Kate and our experience with adoption.

I had to work until a little after 1 on Saturday, but then my mom and Kristi came over to the house to get in some "Kate-time".  Mom hadn't seen her in 3 weeks and said she could not go any longer. :)  I talked her into staying Saturday night so she could have even more time with Kate.  We had the spaghetti calzone for dinner, and this time I actually used the frozen bread instead of pizza dough.  I think I like the bread better, like the recipe actually calls for.  I think it turned out pretty well. Here's a cute picture of Kate with her Gigi.

We went to church Sunday morning and one thing our pastor (Kevin's dad) talked about was prayer and how important it is to pray for other people... and not just when they're sick.  When we were waiting for Kate, our names were on our church's prayer list.  We had lots of people praying for us, praying for our future child (Kate), and praying for our future child's birth parents.  SO, with all of that being said, I'd like to start a tab at the top of my blog listing fellow waiting adoptive families and want to invite all of YOU to pray for these families with me.  Pray for their future child, their future child's birth parents, and pray for THEM as they wait for God's perfect timing.  I've had the privilege of "meeting" many of these families through the blogging world, and I have a good many people following our story on here.  So, if you're a waiting adoptive family and want to be added to this list and would like for all of us to pray for you, please email me at kelleyandkevin@yahoo.com.  I'll try to add this tab to my blog in the next week.

Now, here are a few pictures of Kate from today.

And then we played around with my camera...

And then Kate played with her new toy that her Gigi and Papa gave her...

Hope you all had a great weekend!  Check back with me tomorrow, as I'll be posting my very first GIVEAWAY!  Obviously, I've never done this before and probably won't be doing it often, but I'll be giving away a really great children's book.  It's a children's book about adoption, but is a great book for any child.  So, check back tomorrow to see how you can enter (easy) and maybe you'll be the lucky winner!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kate Collage

One of our youth sent me this today, and I thought it was too cute not to share. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Extreme Makeover- Blog Edition

Happy Valentines Day to ME!  Kevin's Valentine's gift to me was a blog makeover.  What do you think? I love it!  A big thanks to Faith, at A Design of Faith.  She was really easy to work with and I love the finished product!

You might also have noticed that I've also started a Recipe Blog (see the link at the top).  I actually did it to keep my favorite recipes all in one place that I can't lose, and just figured I'd share.  I had been putting my favorite recipes on THIS blog, but it was getting hard to go back and find the ones I was looking for.  Hopefully the recipe blog will be a little more organized and easy to find things.  It's definitely a little bare right now, but once busy season is over and I get back to trying out all of theses recipes that I've pinned in Pinterest, I'll have plenty more to add.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Monday

Ahhh. Things are finally getting back to normal around here and we're finally recovering from all of this sickness.  Kate has just about gotten over her first cold.  We're lucky that it was a very mild one and she really wasn't too fussy with it.  Kevin and I have both pretty much gotten over our bout with food poisoning.  My case was definitely a bit worse than his, and I ended up resting most of Saturday and Sunday.

And because I was out of work a few days, things were pretty hectic today.  I think I'll be playing catch-up all week. :)  But this little girl makes it so much fun to come home in the evenings.  Here are a couple of pictures from Sunday night, right after her bath.

She's gotten her first tooth and it looks like her second is about to pop through too!  How exciting!  Maybe it's because of the teething, but she's decided that she would much rather have her bottle than eat solids.  Before this week, she LOVED eating solids and would say "mmmmm" after and in-between every bite.  Now she just pushes the spoon away and looks over to where we keep her bottles.

And now here are a few other pictures from tonight. Check out her new "skill"...

Yes! She's standing!  She does have her back against the couch, but she's definitely standing up on her own.  She can't pull up yet but if you stand her up against something, she'll pull her hands away so she's doing it all on her own.  Can you tell in the first picture how excited she was that she was standing all by herself? 

And, here she is enjoying her new books...

And then it was bedtime.  Yes, my child is under all those blankets.  One of the first things she does when she is sleepy is pull a blanket over her head, and she's done this for as long as we can remember.

'Night everyone!  Hope you all had a wonderful Monday.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Catching Up...

Well, I didn't intend to take a break from blogging but for the past few days I have been as sick as I have ever been in my life.  Kevin too.  Wednesday night we just picked up dinner from a local restaurant.  We'd eaten there plenty of times before and their meals are big, so we just split a meal of calabash chicken fingers with honey mustard, french fries, onion rings, and cold slaw.  We actually watched a re-run of "The Big Bang Theory" while we ate dinner.  It was the one where Leonard gets to go to Switzerland and bring somebody with him.  He wants to bring his girlfriend, Penny, but his roommate and best friend, Sheldon, REALLY wants to go.  Anyway, this is what the whole show was about and then at the very end, Penny and Sheldon both get sick and can't go.  After we watched it I made the comment to Kevin that I couldn't even remember the last time I was THAT sick.  You know, stomach sick.  I'll never say that again.

About 4am I woke up sick.  I laid in bed for about an hour trying to convince myself that it was all in my head, because of the TV show we'd watched the night before.  But then I realized, it was NOT in my head.  Apparently when I got out of bed I woke Kevin up and he realized he was feeling a bit queasy too.  Around 7am he got up to feed Kate and then took her over to her Nana's house.  She ended up spending the night because we weren't sure if we had a virus or food poisoning, but we didn't want to take any chances with her getting sick.  We ended up coming to the conclusion that it was food poisoning for 2 reasons.  First, we got sick at the EXACT same time after sharing a meal- I mean within an hour of each other.  And secondly, except for church on Wednesday evening, we hadn't been around anybody.  Regardless of WHAT it was, that's the sickest I've been in as long as I can remember.  I didn't go to work on Thursday and I was hoping to be able to go back today (Friday).  That didn't work out.  This morning, I still had a fever and felt so weak.  Somehow Kevin recovered more quickly than I did and he felt much better already.  I feel a lot better tonight, but I'm still not quite 100%.  In the past 3 days all I've eaten are a few saltine crackers, a tiny bit of chicken noodle soup, and I just ate a banana.  I'm hoping I'll be fully recovered by tomorrow so I can get to work. Now is NOT the time of year to be getting sick!

Kevin DID go by my work Friday morning to pick up my laptop, and brought home my Valentine's day flowers.  I'd left them at work because I thought I'd enjoy them more there.  So he brought them home, and now they're my "Get Well" flowers. Bet he didn't know they'd be doing double duty when he bought them!

We finally got our little girl back at home with us tonight.  I'm so glad we have family close that she could stay with, but I did miss her.  I hadn't REALLY seen Kate since Wednesday evening, so it felt like it had been a long time!  And, while she was gone she got her very first tooth!  I knew one was about to pop through because you could feel it, and it decided to come on through while she was staying with her Nana and Papa.  That cute little toothless open-mouth smile is going to be changing! :)

In the past week, she also got a few surprises in the mail from some sweet friends!  One friend sent this adorable little doll, just like the ones her two little girls have.

And another sent this huge stack of children's books.  Love, love, LOVE them!

THIS one is my personal favorite.  Kate apparently loves to watch westerns.  She stays with her Nana each day, and her Papa loves to watch western movies.  Apparently, if the TV is turned to the western channel, Kate tunes in.  Especially on the horse scenes.  So this book is especially appropriate.  Plus, I love that her name is the title character's name!

And, here are a couple of additional cute pictures of Kate from Wednesday of last week and from this Wednesday that I hadn't had a chance to blog about...

 Playing with Rachel...

Playing with a golf ball...

And deciding that it was much easier to go down to the golf ball than to pick it up...

And now I think we're all caught up!  Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Greatest Love of All

Happy Valentines Day!  I hope everyone had a fantastic day, whether you are married, dating, single, or whatever! Isn't Valentine's Day such a commercialized holiday?  Do we REALLY need a special day just to tell the people that we are closest to that we love them?  No!  We should tell them every day. 

I have to say, though, I was pleasantly surprised when my husband showed up at my work today with a vase full of pink and white roses, a sweet card, and a bag full of hershey hugs (my fav!).  The flowers are beautiful and I'm very thankful for his thoughtfulness.  The flowers will be bringing me a little bit of happiness in my cubicle all week long.  So don't get me wrong, Valentine's day can bring enjoyment but it shouldn't be the only time that we make people feel special or tell them that we love them!  

But more than that, as Christians, we're all called to share the greatest love of all- the love of God.  We're called to share this message every day, but I would think that on the day where "LOVE" is the focus, it's an especially appropriate time for Christians to share their love story with their Savior.  "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

I could go on, but I'd like to share one of my favorite songs by Third Day.  It's appropriately titled "Love Song" and the images are from the movie "The Passion of the Christ". 

One of my OTHER favorite Third Day songs is called "Don't You Know I've Always Loved You".  The lyrics of that one are just as good...

Greater love has not a man 
Than the one who gave his life to prove
That he would do anything
And that's what I'm gonna do for you

Don't you know I've always loved you
Even before there was time
Through you turn away, I tell you still, 
Don't you know I've always loved you. 
And I always will. 

I'm thankful this day for the love of my husband, family, friends, etc. but I'm especially thankful for the greatest love of all- the love of God and His gift of salvation. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kate got her very FIRST Valentine in the mail last week from her Nana in Indiana.  And the first thing she did with it was stick it in her mouth.  Her first Valentine was followed quickly by her first Valentine from a BOY (baby Bennett).  Wish I'd thought to send out Valentines but I guess I'm not that on-top of things!

Here is Kate enjoying her first Valentine.  Forget the dollar, she wants to eat the card!

I took a few quick pictures of my little Valentine tonight because I wasn't sure if I'd get a chance tomorrow.  So since I didn't actually print out and send Valentines, here is OUR Valentine to YOU!

After our mini photo-shoot, Kate enjoyed a little Daddy quality time. You know, jumping on the couch, getting thrown up in the air, and then reading bedtime stories.

This post is a bit picture heavy and lacking in the words, but I'll catch up tomorrow on what we've been up to.  Mostly though, it's just been the same old same old.  Life is busy, but life is good!  Happy Valentines Day to you all!  Hope tomorrow is GREAT!


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